Dear BurdaStyle magazine

Dear BurdaStyle magazine,

I received my April issue today and your accompanying letter informing me that I had only two issues remaining. Thank you for the heads up, I knew our time together was coming to an end. “It’s not too late, but soon it will be” you said, to re-subscribe for a special price of 86.06€.

Your offer is generous, at the current exchange rate that is $177.74 AUD or approximately $9.81 per issue. Since you are $18.00 at the newsagent you tempt me and I have thought long and hard about it.

I hate to tell you that recently, when your issue has arrived, I take a quick look though, then put you straight into my bookcase and I never feel like looking at you again. I admit I have hocked off several of you on eBay, breaking my neat collection which I never imagined I would do.

My pattern love has shifted, now I long for the next issues of Patrones and Manequim, even with their non-English instructions, they excite me, they get me sewing, they show me trendy future fashion and I crave it. I flick through them over and over and they sit out on my cutting table for weeks on end.

You had your chance to win me back but you failed. BurdaStyle magazine, I am sorry, but I must make a stand, our love affair is over. Goodbye my friend.

Melissa xx

 

There are a couple of items I like in this issue but apart from the dress (which I’m 50/50 for) and the neat idea for a “craft bag” there is nothing I don’t already have a pattern in my stash for and they are not so amazing as to replace those patterns. Here they are:

Patrones 300 & 302 (January & March 2011)

Yay, my Patrones issue #300 finally arrived filled with some great items.

First up this sweet little dress. It’s a wrap with curved skirt and nice pleats below the waist band. The fabric almost looks like a linen and it’s nice to see a wrap dress in something other than jersey.

I like this (pea?) coat but I know it wouldn’t look good on me, still the dark blue and white trim is cute, a bit nautical.

Another nice jacket, slightly military but softened by the fabric choice, great top stitching details. I like this girly dress, really sweet and summery.

.

.

.

.

The white blouse/shirt has nice pleating on the front and every girl needs a crisp white shirt but I’m not sure about the skirt, it seems to stick out a bit at the tummy.

The dress is my absolute favourite in the whole magazine. I just love it even though the fit on the mannequin is pretty average. It’s a bit safari and a bit trench-coat looking and so many buttons!

.

This month also features some maternity patterns. They are mostly just big flowing tops, I think I like the more fitted look of these two but then I guess I’ll never really know what I “like”  until I actually am pregnant. The boarder print on the green top is beautiful and the patterns are provided for the pants as well.

.

And then of course, once baby arrives, you’ll need some cute little outfits for him or her. The little blue dress is so incredibly cute! I have a friend who just had a baby girl and is learning to sew so I’m going to help her to make this.

.

.

I also received issue 302 earlier in the month but I wasn’t hugely excited about it , hence my only just posting it now, I think because I was so overwhelmed at the awesomeness of the Manequim magazine that arrived just after it – as in it’s pattern sheets are being put through the large copier as we speak for at least 4 future items.

I loved this top as soon as I saw it, kind of similar to this one. I had a few reservations about this style, how it would look on me, I seem to be getting is all wrong lately but then I saw Melissa’s version of the Manquim top she made in silk for her birthday. She looks beautiful and she achieved a great fit so I am sold. I have some nice silk in my stash, I bet I could whip up one of each really quickly for some instant sewing gratification and two quick wardrobe additions.

 

 

It’s been a while since Patrones has given us a ‘wtf?’ moment.

So, uhh, here it is…there are no words really…

.

.

Aaand moving right along…

.

I’m not really into this dress but I’m putting this up here because I love the belt!

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

The next section is nighties/slips, there are several iterations and all really pretty.

The last of my picks is this jacket, I really like the back length and curves. I like how the stand-up collar comes down the front as panels, it gives the illusion of lapels but keeps the bulk down making this jacket quite sleek.

.

.

.

.

Next issue is Summer, excellent. The Google translation is all a bit weird but the gist I got was pants in different lengths and skirts plus some original design XXL items.

I’m not receiving the extra issue, I didn’t expect to but I’m not too disappointed since I’ve been told they are just a kind of “best of the best” repeated patterns issue.

A gripe and a revelation

Today I went proper clothes shopping, it’s been a while since I did that. I said “proper” clothes shopping because usually clothes shopping for me means fabric shopping ;)

I had a specific target in mind: trousers. In particular the appropriate-for-work kind. Even though we are heading into another heat wave here in WA, Summer is sure to run out of puff sometime or other and site-safe steel-capped boots don’t look all that good under a pencil skirt either.

My need is far greater than the speed at which I could make them, mainly because they are far down a list of things I want to sew now. Summer things, dresses, mostly. I’m not lacking in pant patterns and it’s also not that I am scared to sew them. I am half-way through a pair of jeans that appear to be a win, and I made a work-appropriate pair several years ago (taking a pattern from my favourite Shanton’s pants that I wore to death and then couldn’t find again) and I did a good job of those too.

No, today was rtw purchase day. So I took myself off to the local mall where I intended to first try Target and then my fall back, Portmans. I started at Target because recently they have upped their image and have a lot of really good quality items, on-trend and at reasonable prices.  I’m not sure if Target here in Australia is like Target in America but for you Kiwi’s it’s kind of like Farmers. I love Portmans’ pants, I’ve owned them before but I really didn’t want to spend $90 – $120 or a single pair today, but they were there if all else failed.

In Target I started in the “younger” section, they had a wide selection or styles. I chose two and because I swing between a size 12 or 14, depending on brand, I grabbed one in each size. Cut to the dressing room where the size 14 was way too tight I was back out again, smiling to the counter girl, handing back my tag. There weren’t any size 16’s in the “young” section…So I figured there must be more pants in this huge store and wandered around a bit until I came across the “City Women’s” area, more business style pants. I selected four styles, and thinking I had learn’t from the “young” section I meekly grabbed each in a size 16. Smiling at the counter girl, I entered the curtained cubical and tried on my first pair…you want a lesson in non-standard industry sizing? You got it sister. These pants swam on me, I could actually put both my legs into one pant leg and almost pull it off over my head. So after stripping me of my self esteem at the front of the store, now I am just utterly confused. I didn’t bother trying on the other three pairs, another smile at the counter girl, back to the hangers, back to my first plan, one of each in a size 12 and 14. Sigh, back in the change room, I felt I should introduce myself to the counter girl. Oh great, now the size 14 is a tiny bit big and the 12 is, again, inappropriately tight.

No need to tell you this is the point at which I gave up and left the store.

Cue Portmans, where they had a couple of sale racks and I was sure I’d find a perfectly fitting pair, I’ve never had any problems there before right?

Wrong.

I found 2 pairs in the sale rack and one other pair. I confidently grabbed two of them in size 14, and one size 12 just in case. The 14’s were too big (ok, so I’m a Portman’s size 12, good), thank goodness the 12 fitted me perfectly…in the leg…Oh but the crotch was a whole other story, you know what Camel Toe is? Yeah…

That’ll go down nicely on the construction site, exit stage left.

This time I gave up for completely, home for lunch went this little ruffled kiwi.

Really, should I have expected anything better?.

So now it looks like the only solution was the one I pushed aside earlier on. I will have to fall back to making my own pants.

Lucky my good friend Jacquie gave me an amazing book: Making Trousers for Men & Women by David Page Coffin. I had a good flick through it when I first received it and it is full of beautiful photographs and is extremely well written. It comes with a 2-hour DVD as well which I am about to put on while I eat my lunch.

.

Jacquie, thank you so much, you’re timing couldn’t be better  xx

I’ll be thoroughly reading your wonderful present to me cover-to-cover tonight.

Ladies tell me I am not alone, please…

Manequim 621 Mash-Up

Tutorial: Visualising Fabric on Patterns – Part Two (Gimp)

Welcome to part two of my tutorial showing you how I transform pattern line drawings with photographs of my fabrics to get a little taste of the end result. It also helps me decide if I like the pattern in that fabric and it is particularly helpful when using boarder prints to work out how best to place the pattern pieces on the fabric.


If you missed part one using Photoshop have a look here.

As I said before, I am quite new to Gimp but it is an incredible program for free. I’ve done my best to replicate the part one post so you can achieve the same beautiful images as I do using Photoshop.

For this tutorial, to keep it interesting I have a different pattern and fabric selection.

Here is the download link I used to install Gimp. You should also grab the help plug-in download in your language while you are there; install this after successfully installing Gimp.

Although Gimp is written for Linux-based operating systems (such as Ubuntu) this version is specifically for running in Windows and seems pretty stable  (I had a couple of freezes and one crash but I was being pretty brutal and hey, I’ve used worse and for more important projects!)

(Typical but important disclaimer: At the time I downloaded the above files were clean and free of viruses. Even when downloading from a reputable website you should always use up-to-date virus protection software to scan all downloaded files before installing them in your computer and re-scan your computer after installation as well. FYI: I use AVG Free which is excellent.)

OK ready? Good, let’s begin:

What you’ll need

- Gimp program

- A really good photo of your fabric.

Iron any major wrinkles out and take a photo by standing on a chair over your fabric. Try to get as much in the photo as you can but don’t stress if you get your feet in there or the colours don’t look perfect, we’ll fix them up later on. My picture isn’t prefect but I know I can fix that up later on, you’ll see.

I got this amazing jersey print from Potters

- A clean line drawing of your pattern.

My scanner has decided to stop talking to my computer so my image for this post is taken with my camera…but it ends up being a good example to show you that any image can be fixed up (even this crappy pink toned photograph) and jazzed up with your choice of fabric.

For my example I’m using dress 173 from the Manequim issue 621

——————————————————————————————————————–

First of all let’s go over a few of the Gimp tools I’ll be referring to and where to find them (click images to enlarge):

Free Select tool – this tool is great for drawing selections that are weird shapes.

Crop tool – Just what it says, used for cropping an image down to just what’s needed

Move tool – Use to move parts of an image about

Fuzzy Select tool – The most amazing tool in the world and it is just a little bit magical, used for automatically selecting areas of the same or similar colour

Zoom tool – To zoom in select this tool and click on your drawing. To Zoom out again hold Ctrl and click

Scale tool – Used to change the size of your image (similar to “Transform” in Photoshop)

In Gimp the Layers and History share the same window, you swap between them using the tabs at the top

Layers Window – This is where you control your images layers. They list here as you build them up in the image. For this example we’ll only end up with two or three layers so it won’t get too complicated. The darker grey layer is the one that is active so if you find what you are doing to your image isn’t affecting the right layer pop over to the Layers window and check that you have the correct layer selected.

History Window – If you make a mistake in any of the steps below you can click back in the History list to undo it. You can also Ctrl + Z or Edit > Undo to go back several steps but sometimes it’s easier to view these step using the History window.

——————————————————————————————————————–

The first thing I do is prepare my pattern line drawing.

Open your patter image file.

Select File > Open and browse to your image, open it

You can see my image is a photo from the instruction page. It contains a bit of text as well as the pattern line drawing.

Since I am only interested in the line drawing  I am going to crop the image down to just that.

Select the crop tool then click and drag across your image to enclose only what you want left behind. The parts of the image that will be cropped out are shown dark grey.

You can move the selection box around with your mouse or adjust it by grabbing at each edge to fine tune the selection. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to increase the size by small amounts.

When you are happy with your selection press enter on your keyboard and your image is cropped.

——————————————————————————————————————–

If you are using a photograph or scanned image like me you’ll probably find your image isn’t perfectly black and white, this is no good for us because firstly it doesn’t look very good and secondly when we use the Fuzzy Select Tool to remove some of the white it’s just not going to work so well. We need to make sure our image is truly black and white so let’s desaturate it just to be sure.

Select Colors > Desaturate, click ok.

Even if your image looks black and white it’s a good idea to desaturate it anyway.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Now comes the fun part. We need to remove the white from the inside of the line drawing so we can see through it. To make this easier you might need to enhance your image a little. If you scanned your image from a magazine or envelope (or took a photo like me) it’s an especially good idea to make the black darker and the white brighter.

Select Colors > Brightness-Contrast and adjust the sliders to improve your image.

Subtle works best here, but if your image is particularly bad (like mine) you may need to bump both sliders up quite high. Just have a play, you can slide them back and forth until you are happy, you don’t want to distort the line-work. This makes the next step that much easier.

Click OK when you are done

——————————————————————————————————————–

Now we need to do something funky that I don’t quite understand (I might be a Photoshop Queen but I am definitely a Gimp N00b) but we need to do it so just trust me on this one…

Select Layer > Transparency > Add to Alpha Channel

——————————————————————————————————————–

Now we are going to use the Fuzzy Select tool to quickly select the white and then delete it.

Select the Fuzzy Select Tool and then click on a white part of your image that you want to remove (basically all the central areas) then press delete.

You should reveal a grey chequered background, this is a good thing. Our layer is now kind of floating over nothing. Now we are looking through the deleted areas at that nothing.

You can select multiple areas to delete using the Fuzzy Select tool and holding the shift key on your keyboard. Keep selecting and deleting areas until you have them all.

——————————————————————————————————————–

If you find an area doesn’t select very well or the Fuzzy Select tool selects too much you can manually select these areas using the Free Select tool.

Select the Free Select tool and zoom in to the troubling area. Click around the areas you want to remove to create an enclosed selection (the marching ants) then press delete.

When zoomed in you can move around within the image by holding down the space bar on your keyboard

——————————————————————————————————————–

Right, now let’s sort out our fabric

Open you fabric photo image

Select File > Open and browse to your image, open it

Now you might not be happy with the colour or contrast of your fabric image, we can fix this up using the following tools.

Select Colors > Color Balance and adjust the sliders to correct any colour discrepancies. Again, subtle is best and the general rule is that if you image looks a bit magenta, drag the Magenta/Green slider away from magenta. If it looks a little yellow, drag the Yellow/Blue slider away from yellow etc…When you are happy, click OK

Select Color > Brightness-Contrast and adjust the sliders to improve your images brightness and contrast, click OK when you are happy with the result

——————————————————————————————————————–

I took a pretty big photo of my fabric and because it’s jersey I was able to get it really flat and wrinkle free, most of the image is good, I just have to chop out my toes and the hideous carpet, hehe

Select the crop tool  then click and drag across your image to enclose only what you want left behind. The parts of the image that will be cropped out are shown dark grey.

You can move the selection box around with your mouse or adjust it by grabbing at each edge to fine tune the selection. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to increase the size by small amounts.

When you are happy with your selection press enter on your keyboard and your image is cropped.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Ok, we’re nearly there, still with me? Good :)

——————————————————————————————————————–

Now for a little bit of technical jiggery.

We need to just quickly check our pattern image size so that when we copy our fabric into it we’ll have a bit of an idea of how much we need to crop it.

Select Image > Print Size

My image measures 12cm wide by 15cm tall, make a note of this, we’ll use that bit of info in a little bit.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Now comes the proper exciting bit, we’re going to finally copy and paste our fabric image into our pattern image and get the first glimpse of how it all looks, ohhh!

Right click on your fabric image and select Edit > Copy

Now right click on your pattern image and select Edit > Paste

Our fabric image appears but it is huge! We need to scale it down a little.

Click on the Scale tool  then click on your image

The Scale dialogue box pops up, wow, our fabric is a huge 60cm wide!

Let’s bring that down a bit, I’ve typed 15cm into the width box (remember my patter image is 12cm wide), the height adjusts automatically

That looks better doesn’t it?

——————————————————————————————————————–

Now take your mouse over to the layer window and right-click on the Floating Selection (Pasted Layer) and click New Layer

Our fabric image automatically became the top layer but we want to put it below so grab the active layer (Pasted Layer – our fabric, you can see the little thumbnail) and drag it below the Background layer (our pattern image)

——————————————————————————————————————–

So far so good, but now we need to move our fabric about a bit and maybe even change its size.

Click on the Scale tool  then click on your image.

To change the size of you fabric image grab one of the corner handles on the transform box. As you drag it smaller (or bigger) hold down the shift key to keep the proportions correct. Let go when you are happy with the size.

Clicking and drag the circle inside the transform box to move the fabric image around.

If you want to change the orientation of your fabric image right-click on your image and select Image > Transform you can choose to rotate your image 90 or 180 degrees.

When you are happy with your scaling you can press enter on your keyboard.

Use the Move tool  to further adjust the position of your fabric image and you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to fine tune it.

——————————————————————————————————————–

You can see that I have positioned my fabric at the bottom of my image but it isn’t big enough to fill the whole dress so I need more fabric to fill in the top part.

I can with just make a copy of the fabric layer and reposition it.

Take your mouse over to the Layers Window and left-click on your fabric’s layer, select Duplicate Layer

Now you have a second fabric layer. If you like you rotate this layer (right-click Image > Transform) then use the Move tool  and reposition it to fill the leftover space

——————————————————————————————————————-

One you are happy with your final image the last thing we need to do is flatten the image so we can re-save it as a jpeg.

Take your mouse over to the layers window and right-click on one of the layers, select Flatten Image

Now save your image

Select File > Save As

Chose where to save your file, give it a good name and select your File Type as JPEG, click Save

Aaaaand you’re done, good job! :)

Ohh I like it! For this example I DO have enough fabric for this pattern, but there are also two other dresses I might want to use it for. How can I decide? Of course I can repeat the above and decide which result I like the best :)

This is only my second quite technical software post so if you have any questions or get stuck on a step please contact me through the comments on this post and I will do my best to help you out and improve any steps as needed.

I’d love to see your images so please feel free to share them with me.

Good luck! xx

IMPORTANT: This work is my creation and my intellectual property, protected under a Creative Commons license. You may not use it for any commercial purposes, claim it as your own, or resell it.

Creative Commons License

The Curious Kiwi Tutorial: Visualising Fabric on Patterns – Part Two (Gimp) by thecuriouskiwi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tutorial: Visualising Fabric on Patterns – Part One (Photoshop)

I was hoping to share some sewing with you today but I had a bit of a crazy weekend. I’ll share more of that with you later but for now, here’s what I was working on most of Saturday.

I posted recently about my NERDY stash busting using Evernote. Several sharp-eyed seamstresses noticed that in my examples I had included images showing my selected fabrics with the pattern line drawing. I make these up to help me decide if I like the pattern in that fabric and also to help me chose how best to place my pattern pieces on the fabric, for example if it is a boarder print like in two of the examples below.  I find if I get the perfect fabric choice I’m much more excited about the finished result.

So for those of you who were curious how I achieved this, and so you should be, I would love to share with you how I do it.

I use a program by Adobe called Photoshop. My version is quite old (version 7.0 – if you have a newer version you should still be able to follow along) it is very common due to its pre everyone-has-an-internet-connection registration process so a few of you might have it. If you don’t and cannot get a copy (new versions are quite expensive) do not fear because there is a free Ubuntu program called Gimp which is really great and so similar to Photoshop it makes me giggle. I downloaded it from here and it runs in Windows. You should also grab the help plug-in download in your language while you are there; install this after successfully installing Gimp.

(Typical but important disclaimer: At the time I downloaded the above files were clean and free of viruses. Even when downloading from a reputable website you should always use up-to-date virus protection software to scan all downloaded files before installing them in your computer and re-scan your computer after installation as well. FYI: I use AVG Free which is excellent.)

To keep this manageable I’ll cover Photoshop first in this post and sort out Gimp in the next post

OK ready? Good, let’s begin:

——————————————————————————————————————–

Tutorial: Visualising Fabric on Patterns – Part One (Photoshop)

What you’ll need:

- Adobe Photoshop 7.0 or newer

- A really good photo of your fabric.

Iron any major wrinkles out and take a photo by standing on a chair (be careful) over your fabric. Try to get as much in the photo as you can but don’t stress if you get your feet in there or the colours don’t look perfect, we’ll sort that out later on. My picture isn’t prefect but I know I can fix it up, you’ll see.

This beautiful cotton sateen came from Potters fabrics, it feels amazing to touch and the colours are just gorgeous, I can’t wait to use it for something

- A clean line drawing of your pattern

I usually just get one from the website or if it is from a magazine or old pattern then you may need to scan/photograph it. The other option is to just search Google images and you might get lucky.

For my example I’m using Butterick’s 5455 dress A

——————————————————————————————————————–

First of all let’s go over a few of the Photoshop tools I’ll be referring to and where to find them (click images to enlarge):

Polygon Lasso tool – this tool is great for drawing selections that are weird shapes

Crop tool – Just what it says, used for cropping an image down to just what’s needed

Move tool – Use to move parts of an image about

Magic Wand tool – The most amazing tool in the world and it really is magic, used for automatically selecting areas of the same or similar colour

Zoom tool – To zoom in select this tool and click on your drawing. To Zoom out again hold Alt and click

Hand tool – When you are zoomed on your image sometimes you need to move about to see another area. Select the hand tool and click and grab to move about the image. You can also hold down the space bar while using any other tool (it’s a bit faster)

Layers Window – This is where you control your images layers. They list here as you build them up in the image. For this example we’ll only end up with two or three layers so it won’t get too complicated. The darker grey layer is the one that is active so if you find what you are doing to your image isn’t affecting the right layer pop over to the Layers window and check that you have the correct layer selected.

History Window – If you make a mistake in any of the steps below you can click back in the History list to undo it. Ctrl + Z or Edit > Undo will work for one step backwards but to go back 2 or more steps you need to use the History window.

——————————————————————————————————————–

The first thing I do is prepare my pattern line drawing. Open your pattern image file.

Select File > Open and browse to your image, open it

You can see my file contains all the pattern options and the back view as well. Since I am only interested in the front view ‘A’ I am going to crop the image down to just that.

Select the crop tool (or press ‘C’ on your keyboard) then click and drag across your image to enclose only what you want left behind.

The parts of the image that will be cropped out are shown dark grey. You can move the selection box around with your mouse or adjust the handles to fine tune the selection or use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it around by a small amount. When you are happy with your selection press enter on your keyboard and your image is cropped.

——————————————————————————————————————–

If you are using a black and white image from the internet like me you’ll probably find your image’s colour mode setting is “Grayscale” or  “Indexed  Color”, this is no good for us since our fabric photo will be in colour and when we drag it into our pattern image it will automatically change to black and white. So we need to check the colour mode and change it if necessary.

Select Image > Mode > RGB to change your images colour mode.

I could write a whole essay on CYMK vs. RGB but it’s not relevant to this tutorial so we are using RGB since the idea of Red/Green/Blue will be more familiar to most people.

If you scanned your image in it might already be in colour (RGB), for reasons that are a bit magical it is a good idea to change it to Grayscale, and then back to RGB.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Photoshop uses Layers to give you more control over your images. At the moment our pattern image is a background layer. Because we want to make some changes to it and also stick our fabric image under it we need to change it to something more usable.

This is really easy to do, simply get your mouse and double-click on the layer labelled “Background” and click “ok”. It is now re-named to “Layer 0” and if it helps you to visualise what’s about to happen next, imagine that this layer is floating over nothing.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Now comes the fun part. We need to remove the white from the inside of the line drawing so we can see through it. To make this easier you might need to enhance your image a little. If you scanned your image from a magazine or envelope it’s an especially good idea to make the black darker and the white brighter.

Select Image > Adjust > Brightness/Contrast and adjust the sliders to improve your image.

Subtle works best here, you can see I’ve only needed to up my Contrast by a small amount and I am happy with it. This makes the next step that much easier.

Now don’t freak out, I’ve zoomed in on my image using the zoom tool and it looks a little bit pixellated, that’s fine, it’s one of the drawbacks from using an image from the internet, they are often quite small and low resolution but it’s fine for what we want to do.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Now we are going to use the Magic Wand tool to quickly select the white and then delete it.

Select the Magic Wand (or press ‘W’ on your keyboard) and then click on a white part of your image that you want to remove (basically all the central areas) then press delete.

You should reveal a grey and white chequered background, this is a good thing. Remember how I said our layer is kind of floating over nothing? Now we are looking through the image at that nothing. You can select multiple areas to delete using the Magic Want tool and holding the shift key on your keyboard. Keep selecting and deleting areas until you have them all.

——————————————————————————————————————–

If you find an area doesn’t select very well or the magic wand tool selects too much you can manually select these areas using the Polygon Lasso tool.

Select the Polygon Lasso tool and zoom in to the troubling area.

Click around the areas you want to remove to create an enclosed selection (the marching ants) then press delete.

——————————————————————————————————————–

We’re moving on to the fabric image next so you can just move your image off to one side by clicking on it’s title bar and dragging it over or just minimise it for now.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Right, now let’s sort out our fabric

Open you fabric photo image

Select File > Open and browse to your image, open it

Now you might not be happy with the colour or contrast of your fabric image, we can fix this up using the following tools.

Select Image > Adjust > Color Balance and adjust the sliders to correct any colour discrepancies.

Again, subtle is best and the general rule is that if you image looks a bit magenta, drag the Magenta/Green slider away from magenta. If it looks a little yellow, drag the Yellow/Blue slider away from yellow etc…When you are happy, click OK

Select Image > Adjust > Brightness/Contrast and adjust the sliders to improve your images brightness and contrast, click OK when you are happy with the result

——————————————————————————————————————–

I took a pretty big photo of my fabric and only the middle part is really any good so I’m going to crop out the rest (including my toes, hehe)

Select the crop tool (or press ‘C’ on your keyboard) then click and drag across your image to enclose only what you want left behind.

The parts of the image that will be cropped out are shown dark grey. You can move the selection box around with your mouse or adjust the handles to fine tune the selection or use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it around by a small amount. When you are happy with your selection press enter on your keyboard and your image is cropped.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Now for a little bit of technical jiggery.

Our internet/scanned pattern image is probably not very big but, given today’s amazing cameras, our fabric photo to likely to be huge.

Because our next step will involve dragging our fabric image into our pattern image and if it is a lot bigger it’s just gong to be a huge pain to muck around with. So let’s check our image sizes.

Select the pattern image – un-minimise it or click the title bar to activate it

Select Image > Image Size

We’ll concentrate on the Document Size measurements and let’s look at the largest one, in this case it is the largest size is the height, my pattern image is about 7cm tall, click OK to close

Now lets check the fabric photo, select the photo image by clicking on the title bar to active it.

My fabric photo is a whopping 71cm tall! That’s pretty big, we need to adjust it to a bit closer to the pattern image size.

I’m going to change my height measurement to 10cm so that it is still a bit bigger than my pattern image but not so huge it is impossible to work with.

Notice that the image width altered automatically to keep the proportions correct.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Ok, we’re nearly there, still with me? Good :)

——————————————————————————————————————–

Now comes the proper exciting bit, we’re going to finally drag our fabric image into our pattern image and get the first glimpse of how it all looks, ohhh!

Select the Move tool Grab the fabric imager by clicking in the middle of it, hold on to it, now drag it across and into your pattern image and then let go.

Our fabric image automatically becomes the top layer but we want to put it below so move your mouse over to the Layers Window, grab the active layer (layer 1 – our fabric, you can see the little thumbnail) and drag it below the pattern layer (layer 0)

——————————————————————————————————————–

So far so good, but our fabric is a little large don’t you think? The print is way out of scale when compared to the dress.

You probably need to move your fabric about a bit and maybe even change its size too.

Select Edit > Free Transform or press Ctrl + T on your keyboard

(You might have noticed I have a bit more grey space around my pattern image, you can do this too by dragging the edges of your drawing a bit bigger, it helps to see the transform selection handles.)

To change the size of you fabric image grab one of the corner handles on the transform box. As you drag it smaller (or bigger) hold down the shift key to keep the proportions correct. Let go when you are happy with the size. Clicking and dragging inside the transform box lets you move the fabric image around. If you want to change the orientation of your fabric image you can rotate it by hovering your mouse just outside one of the corner handles, a curved arrow shows up, grab and move your mouse to rotate it. Again you can hold down the shift key to snap to the angles. When you are happy with your transforming you can press enter on your keyboard.

Use the Move tool to further adjust the position of your fabric image and you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to fine tune it.

——————————————————————————————————————–

You can see that I have positioned my fabric along the waist seam line, I think the fabric looks the correct proportion so I need more fabric to fill in the top part of the dress.

To do this I can just make a copy of the fabric layer and reposition it.

Take your mouse over to the Layers Window and left-click on your fabric’s layer, select Duplicate Layer, and click OK

Now you have a second fabric layer. If you like you can transform this layer (Ctrl + T or Edit > Free Transform) and rotate it to move the print about. Then use the Move tool and reposition it to fill the leftover space

——————————————————————————————————————–

One you are happy with your final image the last thing we need to do is flatten the image so we can re-save it as a jpeg. Take your mouse over to the layers Window and click on the small circle with the arrow in the top right of the Window, select Flatten Image

Now save your image Select File > Save As

Chose where to save your file, give it a good name and select your File Type as JPEG, click Save

Aaaaand you’re done, good job! ;)

Ohh pretty, yes? Tragically I don’t think I’ll have enough fabric for this particular pattern (it needs 2.20 meters and I only bought 1.50, what was I thinking?) but it was fun anyway. I’ll have to have a closer look at the layout, I’m going to guess that the piping is cut on the bias and therefore takes up a large amount of fabric so maybe if I make the piping in a contrast fabric I can get the pieces out of my 1.50…

This is my first really technical software post so if you have any feedback, questions or get stuck on a step please contact me through the comments on this post and I will do my best to help you out and improve any steps as needed.

I’d love to see your images so please feel free to share them with me.

Bear with me while I make up the Gimp post in the next day or two. I’m new to the Gimp program but I’ll do my best to replicate this tutorial so that those of you who cannot get a hold of Photoshop can still play along and maybe I’ll even choose a different pattern and new fabric from my stash to keep it interesting ;)

IMPORTANT: This work is my creation and my intellectual property, protected under a Creative Commons license. You may not use it for any commercial purposes, claim it as your own, or resell it.

Creative Commons License
The Curious Kiwi Tutorial: Visualising Fabric on Patterns – Part One (Photoshop) by thecuriouskiwi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Manequim 621 (March 2011)

I was going to post this Manequim up AFTER posting Patrones 302 but I have somehow managed to lose the files I so carefully scanned and edited yesterday. I am blaming it on Photoshop and it’s tendency for picking a random folder when saving instead of the one I assumed I was working in. They are in my computer somewhere but do you think I can find them?

.

.

So this months Manequim is by far my favourite issue ever. I think it’s helped by the abundance of wrap-style dresses and the fact that I seem to have amassed a lot of pretty jersey prints in my stash that I am dying to use and add that these dresses are either in my size or one up/one down, so little to no drafting for me = Yay!

Let’s start with one of those dresses first shall we? We’ve seen this famous lady in a previous issue, I think she’s gorgous just like this dress. It’s got a sort of dropped waist with a tie and some diagonal pleating. I’m a fan of v-necklines on me and I think it would be very quick to whip up.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Another v-neckline and a cute bow at the back. This isn’t actually a wrap dress, I can spot a zipper at center-back, but I love the cut, nothing particularly exciting design-wise but another quick dress and it is a multi-sized pattern 42/44/46/48, perfect!

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

I love the designer section this month, based on Moschino, below are my picks

Isn’t the heart fabric amazing? It’s got a sort of Escher quality to the print and cute hearts. I like how they completely change the look with a belt and hot little heels. A  ruffled blouse, need I say more? Looks great with the pants and the cute tulip skirt. Speaking (well, writing actually) of tulip skirts, I’ve never made one before thinking it wouldn’t suit me but on an image I’ve not pictured they have it marked for the ‘ampulheta’ figure, which is hourglass, which is definitely me so maybe I’ll give one a go, and hey, now I have a pattern, albeit in a size 38.

I scanned this image just to show you the belt, I really love it and need to find one just like it or make one…

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

I think the next section is suggested styles for ladies in their 40s and 50s…but I love them anyway, to be honest I don’t see anyting particular about them that marks them as being for that age group ;)

The pants have a nice pleat detail down the front of the legs and I love a good flare/wide leg pant. The top is cute too, I wish they’d included the pattern for it. Then we have two more dresses, both in size 44 which is, give or take, my Manequim size, excellent.

I’ve saved my absolute favourite for last. I just LOVE this whole outfit, the shorts are beautiful: pleats, buttons, pockets, cuffs, I want them badly! The blazer suits them perfectly, great proportions. They are sized 42 so a little bit of jiggery and they’re all mine.

The top pattern is not included but they show it later on in full and I reckon I would whip that up even with my limited knowledge then it’s just a matter of hunting down the perfect shoes :)

.

.

.

.

To wrap it all up here’s one of the recipes from this month, the whole section is pizzas so ofcourse I’m drawn to the desert offering, hehe, that’s not going to help me get into the shorts above but I don’t care ;)