Faron Hack // Side Zip

Today we’re sharing a fun and super easy way to switch up your Faron for a slightly different effect. Sandra whipped up a Faron that is cut on the fold at the front (eliminating the center front seam), and has an invisible zipper at the side, rather than an separating zipper along the front, all with just one small pattern change!

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The Hack:

  1. Trace a copy of your center front pattern piece (#1) and front facing pattern piece (#5).

  2. On each piece, trim 5/8” from the edge of the center front (CF).

  3. Both of these pieces should be cut on the fold of the fabric. All other pieces can be cut as normal.

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Construction Tips:

  1. Sew the princess seams as instructed, but skip sewing the center back (CB) seam. After sewing the shoulder seams, finish the sewn edges, but then skip the zipper installation and go straight to attaching the facings. The back seam and both side seams should not be sewn at this point.

  2. When turning the facing right side out, lay the garment flat, but instead of reaching between the back jumper and back facing, reach up through the front of the garment and pull the back pieces through.

  3. Pin and sew the center back seam, and then the right side seam, once the facing has been understitched.

  4. On the left side of the garment, attach an invisible zipper from the left underarm seam to the hip. Sew the left side seam from hem to where the invisible zipper stops.

  5. Tuck zipper end in under facing, and hand stitch facing to zipper.

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Sandra made this side-zip hacked Faron in a Rifle Paper Co rayon fabric. She took 3” out of the torso (she’s 5’1” and claims she has no torso to speak of), graded from a 16 in the bust to 18 in the waist and hips, and did a square shoulder adjustment. Paired with a lightweight button up or a t-shirt, or even worn on its own, this is a great combination for warmer weather!

(Is it spring yet?)

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What Faron hacks are on your list to try?

S + P

Elwynn // fabric ideas

Today we wanted to share some fabric inspiration for sewing your very own Elwynn blouses! We tried a bunch of different fabrics and textures to experiment, and below are some of our favorites and some on our wishlist.

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Rayon challis

Rayon challis is so nice and drapey, but is super prone to wrinkling and shifting, so you might want to starch it or otherwise stabilize it when cutting.

You can find this fabric here.

Double gauze

Double gauze is basically two layers of gauze woven together to form a super soft and breathable fabric. Garments have a little more structure, but in a way where you’re basically wearing a cloud.

You can find this striped floral fabric here.

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Cotton lawn

Cotton is always nice; it’s stable, easy to cut, easy to sew, readily available, and easy to care for. Cotton lawn has all those qualities and is lighter weight than quilting cotton.

You can find this fabric here.

Crepe

Crepe is an awesome option for an Elwynn with nice drape that typically won’t wrinkle much, if at all!

You can find this fabric here.

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Lace

We love any opportunity to include a sheer yoke! Use lace on the yoke with a solid on the bodice, or use lace for the whole thing and wear a tank top underneath. The options are endless.

You can find this fabric here.

What fabrics are you thinking of for your Elwynns?

Don’t forget to tag your makes with #FNelwynn so we can see what you’ve made!

S + P

Faron // fabric ideas

We had so much fun choosing fabrics for our Faron samples, and wanted to share some of the fabrics we used, and a couple still on our list to sew up!

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Wool

Is there anything more luscious than an amazing piece of wool? We like to steam-shrink with an iron before cutting out the pieces, but make sure you test a swatch first!

Find this fabric here (414 - grey & natural herringbone).

Corduroy

We love corduroy for the Faron jumper! Just make sure to remember it has nap and you may need to deviate from the cutting instructions to ensure all pieces are cut in the right direction!

Find this fabric here.

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Linen

Linen would be a great fabric to sew a Faron for summer. It’s breathable, easy to clean, and has amazing drape. A linen Faron would be so cute over a summery tee or tank top.

Find this fabric here.

Ponte

We love the idea of a Faron with slightly more give. You’ll want to find a fairly stable medium to heavy weight ponte, and you might even size down a bit for less ease.

Find this fabric here.

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Denim

A denim Faron is definitely on our sewing list. We recommend using something similar to the weight you’d want for jeans to ensure enough body in the garment. Also, depending on the wash, you may have to pre-wash a couple times to get all the extra dye out!

Find this fabric here.

What fabrics are you planning to use for your Farons?

Don’t forget — 10% off your entire purchase ends tomorrow night 2/12 at 11:59pm PST!

S + P

*Note: these are not affiliate links! Just fabrics we liked :)

Elwynn + Faron // tester roundup!

We were so lucky to have an amazing group of pattern testers, and we want to share some of the gorgeous garments they made!

Click on the images to enlarge. You can also hover over each image to see each tester’s blog/Instagram.

Thank you again to all of our amazing testers!!

If you’re interested in testing for us in the future, please send us an email at hello@figandneedle.com and we’ll add you to the list and reach out when it’s time for our next round of pattern testing!

S + P

Meet Elwynn and Faron

Launch day is here and we’re so excited to finally share our first two patterns!!! ….Introducing the Faron jumper dress and the Elwynn blouse!

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ELWYNN

The Elwynn keyhole blouse is a yoked blouse with bust darts, a back keyhole, and capped sleeves.

View A has a Peter Pan collar and a tie closure. View B has a button and loop closure.

Our favorite Elwynn tops are sewn with drapey lightweight fabrics. You can also use a crisper fabric for a more structured look. The Elwynn is so easy to throw on over a pair of leggings or jeans, or to dress up with a cute skirt. You can sew it all in the same fabric, or have fun with color-blocking.

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FARON

The Faron jumper is a sleeveless overdress with a scooped front neckline and low back, front and back princess seams, an a-line skirt, and a separating zipper opening in the front.

Faron is designed to be worn over other garments, such as blouses and t-shirts. (Or Elwynn.)

Faron works best with heavier weight fabrics and is such an easy dress to wear! Throw it on over a t-shirt or a cute blouse and you’re good to go. We made ours out of wool and corduroy — super warm for winter, and easy to accessorize with cute boots and scarves.

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We’ll be posting fabric inspiration and pattern hacks on the blog soon so look out for those! Also to celebrate launch week, get 10% off your purchase when you buy both patterns! Use the code FN10. (Ends 2/12 at 11:59pm PST.)

Please share your makes on Instagram with the tags #FNfaron and #FNelwynn!

S + P

Patterns: a starting point

At Fig + Needle, we feel that size really is just a number. It’s a place to start so we have an idea of which one to cut out and how much fabric we need. Size charts vary from company to company because there is no single standard size. And that’s not even getting into RTW sizing!

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We’ve talked about size before because this is a topic very near to our hearts. We’ve been following the recent online discussions about extended sizes (see our Instagram post here), and are so pleased that other members of the indie sewing community are considering extending their size ranges! One amazing resource we recommend to pattern makers and sewists alike is the Curvy Sewing Collective. Their guides are so helpful, and we referenced the CSC often as we developed our size chart.

Our patterns are developed using two completely separate slopers: a size 8 drafted with a D cup, and a size 20 drafted with a DD cup. From there, we’re able to grade each sloper three sizes up and three sizes down, resulting in a 0-12 range and a 14-26 range, with fourteen sizes in total. We sewed endless samples and made countless tweaks before we were happy with our slopers.

From there, we draft actual patterns! Having two size ranges means twice the amount of work for a single pattern. We sew lots of samples and make many adjustments to each pattern to make sure we’re keeping the proportions and visual effects consistent. Considering the amount of time and work it takes to draft and test each design in two size ranges, we hope to release 3-5 patterns each year. 

The goal is not to make something that would fit literally everyone, but rather to create a product that is closer to the current average body, that hopefully cuts down the amount of alterations and fit adjustments it takes to sew something that fits you. That includes us! Ping typically has to add 1-2” to the torso, add 1-2” to the sleeve length, and usually rotates sleeves about 1/2” forward. Sandra usually has to square the shoulders, grade between two sizes, and shorten the torso by 3". 

Regardless of what size you are, you’ll likely have to make some alterations to any commercial pattern in order to fit your own unique shape.

What are the most common alterations you have to do to make a pattern fit? Let us know in the comments!

S + P

Update + new launch date!

Hi friends!

Our planned release date of Fall 2018 has come and is almost gone, and yet, our patterns still haven’t launched! We wanted to fill you in on what we've been working on, what's been holding us up, and roughly when you can expect to be able to purchase Fig + Needle patterns.

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As might be expected while starting a new business, we’ve run into some delays over the past few months. The first large hurdle we encountered was grading: we weren’t happy with our original grading efforts, and since great fit across all our size ranges is very important to us, we ultimately decided to have a professional grade our two size ranges for both patterns. This was a fantastic decision and we're so happy with the results, but extra time was necessary to put the properly graded versions through pattern testing.

The second large hurdle has been the process of setting up a new business operating from two different states, as Ping is in California, and Sandra moved to Washington in the spring. (At least we’re in the same time zone!) As of right now, the patterns themselves are complete. We’re putting some final touches on everything, and perfecting our instructions, but we’re also waiting for some paperwork to be finalized.

Due to the upcoming holiday craziness, we’re currently looking at January for our first official launch, and we are SO EXCITED! We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on, and we really appreciate all of the support we’ve received while we work out the growing pains of getting started. We’d also like to extend a very special thank you to our testers, who have been so amazing and patient with us throughout this process.

THANK YOU!

Ping + Sandra

Looking for Testers!

Calling all sewists!

We're looking for a group of testers for our first two Fig + Needle patterns! If this sounds like fun, please fill out this form by August 20th! We'll be reaching out to those who have been selected shortly thereafter. 

photo credit:  Annie Spratt

photo credit: Annie Spratt

We are currently planning to have PDF files ready to send out on August 24th, and we ask that our testers be able to print the pattern they'll be testing (you only have to test one!), sew it in your own fabric, send us photos, and fill out a feedback survey by September 10th. 

Testers who successfully complete all of the tasks will receive the finalized PDF files for both patterns once they're released this fall. 

All sizes and all levels of experience are welcome to sign up here!

Behind the scenes

Hi, sewing friends! We've been as busy as three swarms of busy bees working on our fall releases, and we are so excited about the progress we've made! 

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It feels a bit like we've gone through countless adjustments for both of our patterns, but we're getting everything finalized for pattern testing across our size range. Both patterns are mostly digitized and now we're working on grading all the sizes.

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We'll be looking for interested volunteers for pattern testing soon, so keep an eye out for that later this week!

Printable Sewing Planner pages in 2 sizes!

We are so excited to be offering our first downloadable freebie: Sewing Planner pages in 2 body sizes!

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Since our patterns will have two size ranges, we also wanted to create two figure sizes so you can pick the one that better matches your curves

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We've included a space for listing required supplies,  as well as a second space where you can attach swatches, make pattern adjustment notes, whatever you want to use it for. 

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We've been having so much fun using these sheets to plan our sewing projects and we're so excited to share them with you! 

We recommend printing on cardstock so it's easier to attach fabric. Another option is to print on regular paper and then slide them in sleeve protectors. 

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Sign up below to snag your copy and get sketching. And don't forget to tag us on Instagram or use the hashtag #FNsewingplanner so we can see what you're working on!

Slopers, Bodies, and Blocks, Oh My!

Last week, we mentioned that we've been working on our first patterns, and that we've been getting our slopers set up. But what does that mean?

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 A sloper, or body, or block, is a master pattern from which other patterns can be created. It is a basic fitted shell, which has basically no interesting design features, but has fitting darts for all the right spots. This allows us to avoid starting from scratch every time we make a new pattern, and we can be sure that the resulting design will come close to fitting the same way each time.

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Once a design is considered to be complete, the designed pattern is then sized up and down, to give a fuller size range, in a process called grading. It's only possible to grade a pattern by a few sizes, however, before it begins to distort and fit oddly. This is why many clothing and pattern companies seem to have a limited size range—if the final pattern is a size 8, for example, it can be graded down to 6, 4, and 2, and graded up to 10, 12, and 14, giving a full size range of 2-14. 

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So, to make a large range of clothing sizes, multiple patterns will need to be made and graded, which can become costly and time consuming. At Fig + Needle, having an extended size range is one of our top priorities. We have two slopers, one with a 34" full bust (C/D cup), which will create the smaller size range, and another with a 48" full bust (DD/E cup), to create the larger sizes.

As we test our patterns with real people (more on that in April!), we may make some adjustments. Either way we'll be posting update and eventually an official size chart with explanations on how to select the best size to fit your body!