Alternative Cutting Layouts for Geodesic

I wrote the first half of this post up in January, but I backdated it so that it would show up in the tutorials section, but not make its debut until I had enough alternative layouts added. Now I'm posting it to the blog for real!

Here are some alternative cutting layouts for Geodesic. This section will be updated periodically, so check back or leave a comment if you're looking for something specific!

54" wide fabric

V1: Sizes A-H

layout_12-13-16_v1-54-ah.png

V1: Sizes I-L

layout_12-13-16_v1-54-il.png

V2: Sizes A-H

V2: Sizes I-L

Using the Solid Back Piece

Version 1

44" Sizes A-F

44" Sizes G-L

60" Sizes A-D

layout_v1-60-back-ad.png

60" Sizes I-L

60" Sizes E-H

layout_v1-60-back-eh.png

Version 2

60" Sizes A-D

60" Sizes E-H

60" Sizes I-L

 

For a scrap-buster: Just the sleeves, hem band, neck band, and cuffs

Version 1 or Version 2

44" Sizes A-D

44" Sizes E-H

44" Sizes I-L

 

60" Sizes A-D

60" Sizes E-H

60" Sizes I-L

 

Geodesic Addition: Solid Back Piece & Cuffed Short Sleeves

One of the suggestions from my intrepid Geodesic pattern testers was the option for a solid back piece, as an alternative to having both a pieced back and front. So I decided to make one! To be honest, it's been drafted for quite a bit, but I've been reformatting Geodesic for print and decided to update the PDF version and tidy up the back piece pattern in the process.

So, at long last, here it is! **Updated 1/6 to fix error**

Geodesic Back Piece
 

Today, in honor of this pattern addition, I thought it would be fun to make another Geodesic using the solid back piece and a bunch of knit scraps that were taking up real estate in my stash. Geodesic is an awesome scrap buster and gives you an opportunity to get a little wild and wacky with color & fabric combos. I've seen some amazing scrappy Geodesics popping up on the #blueprintsgeodesic hashtag on Instagram. Be sure to check them out if you need some inspiration!

When I finished it, snow was falling. So I ventured outside in the flurry to get a few pictures for y'all. Hopefully the charm of these snowy pics will make up for the fact that they're a little slapdash and underexposed.

Here's the solid back piece in action!

After taking these shots, I promptly ran back upstairs to sit in front of the fire. Though being out in the snow in short sleeves was a bit refreshing, my hands were freezing! Any other sewists have constantly cold hands? My hands are icy even when it's mild out.

This is the 3rd Geodesic top I've made with short, cuffed sleeves, a look I really dig. Each time, I've experimented with a different method of cuffing the sleeves. While I'm not sure this one is my favorite, I think it does the job well and is a bit fancier than simply turning up the hem. This method also allows you to do a contrast cuff. For this version, I thought I'd include some pictures of what I did in case you'd like the do the same!

First, shorten your sleeve to however short you want the final sleeve to be. Cut a piece of contrasting fabric that is as wide as the hem pattern piece and as long as your armhole opening. Sew one side closed.

Fold the cuff over along the edge so the raw edges meet. Press lightly, but avoid creating a major crease.

Put the cuff inside the sleeve, raw edges together. We're going to attach it in the opposite way of the pattern instructions, so that the serged seam is on the outside. Sew and press the seam up towards the sleeve.

Fold the cuff up along the seam line.

Here's the tricky part: roll down the cuff slightly, so that the seam attaching the cuff to the sleeve is about 1/2" from the bottom edge of the cuff. Then, from the inside where seam is, pull out the excess fabric, creating a new fold for the top of the cuff.

In the picture below, you can see how the cuff has been shifted up by looking for the shadow of the original seam. This is right after pressing...when worn, the shadow/outline is not very visible. Part of the lumpiness of the seam is from the serger. If working with a thick knit, you could probably avoid this by straight stitching and trimming down to 1/8" or pressing the seam open.

I decided to do a small tack at the top of the sleeve as well, to keep it from unrolling. You could also do a second tack at the underarm.

I'm pretty excited about how this guy turned out! Looking forward to wearing it this week.

I hope you enjoy these additional options for Geodesic. If you ever have an idea for a pattern renovation or addition, please feel free to share!

Geodesic Renovation: Woven Geodesic Top

Though the seam lines look quite nice on a solid fabric or with one or two pops of contrast thrown in, I also envisioned Geodesic as a great pattern for using up scraps. I'm glad to say I finally made just that! I also used wovens, a super easy substitution with Geodesic (and paired it with a really wrinkly skirt... forgive me, it's nearly 100 degrees and humid today!)

 

While I don't have tons of large, coordinating jersey scraps, I do have lots of woven scraps just sitting in boxes languishing and waiting for their day to shine. As I've become more and more interested in quilting, these scraps which had previously been out of sight and out of mind have come to the forefront of my consciousness.

What can I use the scraps from this project for? Do these scraps work together? I've even started bundling like scraps together for future projects, quilting or otherwise. I may have a quilt all in earthone linen scraps next up in the queue.

I have a box labeled 'Large Special Scraps' on my shelf, which includes mostly the substantial side part of many cut-on-the-fold sewing projects. Cutting pattern pieces out on the grain is important, but certainly not the most economical in terms of cutting. With the goal of making a woven geodesic from scraps only, I dug into this box of goodies and pulled together a palette of lovely scraps.

I chose 4 fabrics that went together: An old nani iro print, a stripe/solid double cloth, some essex linen, and some vintage mauve percale. I cut a few triangles of each and started playing around with them on my 'design wall' (which is a felt back vinyl table cloth clamped onto a folded up ping pong table) I did this for the front and back, playing around with color and pattern placement.

While this isn't in my usual color palette (quite the opposite) I LOVE it. I also feel like it goes with things that are 'my colors' quite well! It has a bit of a Miami beach 1991 vibe.

In the original pattern, I wanted to include instructions for using wovens, but I decided to nix them to keep things nice and concise and consistent. The good news is that the process is actually quite simple and straightforward! Here is what you need to know when making Geodesic from wovens:

  • Size: Geodesic is pretty roomy, but if your jersey version is snug in the chest, you might want to go up a size or do an FBA (instructions for this are provided in the pattern!)
  • Cutting: While it can be tempting to cut triangles willy nilly out of scrap fabric, trying to cut them on grain is fairly important. You can cheat a bit if you're using stable fabrics, as I did for one of the stripes. Just something to be aware of, but not a 100% must if you're feeling experimental and extra recycle-y :)
  • Fabric: If you're using multiple fabrics, try to keep them in the same family in terms of weight and drape. I cheated a little as the nani iro and essex are on the stiffer side and the double gauze is a little drapier. For the most part, it's okay, but I can also see it starting to sag a bit as the day goes by.
  • Construction: Geodesic uses 1/4" seams and you can keep this for the woven version. I assembled my top entirely on my serger, but you can also finish your edges with a zigzag or over edge stitch. Since there's so many seams, I wouldn't leave them raw or you'll have a tangly mess inside your top in no time.
  • Neckline: I cut the neck band using the same pattern piece, but cut on the bias. I made this neckband slightly narrower than the original. My fabric was a very loosely woven chambray and stretched well on the bias. I folded the strip in half and attached just like the knit band is attached in the pattern.
  • Hem: You can do the hem in the same way as in the pattern, though you may want to add a bit of extra fabric since the knit hem band is slightly smaller than the shirt hem. I decided to serge and turn under 3/8" and do a blind hem, but I may go back and add a band of the essex. I like the look, but it's definitely very cropped.
  • Pressing & point matching: So much easier than with knits! Hurrah!

I also changed the sleeve length to short sleeves (easy, just crop the sleeve pattern piece wherever you desire and cuff, or not.) which has been one of my favorite Geodesic mods to date! Plus, it's been a million degrees lately.

While this may not be an everyday piece, I do really love it! It makes me happy. I hope if you try it, that it will make you happy too :)

I love it when my shirt matches my beverage! We just started getting this La Croix things here in MA and I <3 them.

Do you like sewing with scraps? Are you always searching for the perfect way to use them up? Any favorite patterns that are scrap busters?

Introducing: Geodesic

I'm super excited to share this pattern with you all. And I have been for a long time.

Find Geodesic Here!

Let me explain...

When I first launched Blueprints, I envisioned a garment inspired by a geodesic dome and started on its development, but eventually decided that having Cabin be the first release was the way to go. After Cabin was released, I revisited my little geodesic idea and started creating prototypes and doing research.

Some quick background on the geodesic dome:

The geodesic dome was popularized by Buckminster Fuller, who saw it as an appealing building method that created an incredibly strong and stable structure for its weight. Fuller envisioned it as a solution to a post war shortage of homes (he had a penchant for problem solving, the Dymaxion House being an earlier rethinking of housing) but it's lightweight construction and speedy prefabrication made it most appealing for large structures.

Without getting too mathematical, the dome starts with an icosahedron (a shape with 20 sides). To make it more like a sphere, the number of triangles increases. Something about the triangular structure is incredibly strong, but I'd recommend asking an engineer why. Something about making a sphere (or half sphere, like the dome) out of triangles is appealing to me in a way beyond math and science.

Creating Geodesic was neither true pattern making nor math problem. It was something in between. Since Fall of 2014, I've gone through several different prototypes that eventually evolved into the pattern you see today. The idea was to design something that used only one pattern piece: an equilateral triangle like the ones used in a geodesic dome. This of course presented several problems, both of mathematical and stylistic origin.

I was never a math person. But of course, in the typical twist, I ended up creating patterns, which utilizes tons of math, specifically fractions, percentages and geometry. Through pattern making, I feel like I picked up a lot of the math literacy I missed out on in school and have actually grown to really enjoy it! Though it was a bit daunting trying to figure out how to adapt the dome concept to a pattern.

I figured out several things though the prototyping process that went on to inform the final pattern. I could create different sized tops by simply increasing the size of the triangle, but it made grading a bit of a challenge, since human bodies grow at different proportional rates than the triangle shape. I ended up including a side panel half triangle that would create the right body width, without the length and neckline getting way too big and allow for easier alteration. Since the triangle arms had been quite bulky, I decided to scrap them in favor of a raglan sleeve that would set in along the diagonal edge of the top row of triangles.

Another prototype using polar fleece, which was scrapped for bulkiness. I still think it could work (In fact, I lined my tunic pockets with it and one of my testers sewed up a fleece version that she loved!) Polar fleece is made here in Massachusetts, often using recycled fiber, so I feel like it deserves another chance.

Another prototype using polar fleece, which was scrapped for bulkiness. I still think it could work (In fact, I lined my tunic pockets with it and one of my testers sewed up a fleece version that she loved!) Polar fleece is made here in Massachusetts, often using recycled fiber, so I feel like it deserves another chance.

I also played around with a zip pocket. I still like this idea, so I plan to revisit it in some additions for the Geodesic pattern that will be available next month (wink wink!)

I also played around with a zip pocket. I still like this idea, so I plan to revisit it in some additions for the Geodesic pattern that will be available next month (wink wink!)

After releasing A-frame, then Saltbox, I thought it was time to revisit Geodesic. I spent the winter in my (sometimes cozy) studio making a few muslins of geodesic 3.0 while working on other projects. I also worked out a variation on a typical sweatshirt pocket, built into the triangles. I sewed up the tunic length in a bright coral sweatshirt fleece. I wasn't originally envisioning this pattern for knits, but once it occurred to me, I couldn't really picture it in anything else.

I wanted to have a 2nd variation in the pattern and personally don't wear a lot of long tops. As a high-waisted skirt/pants wearer, I thought a cropped version could be awesome as well! So I sewed one up for fun in a beautiful hemp sweatshirt fleece that I only had 3/4 yard of (I squeezed nearly all the pieces in, only having to piece the neckline) and I loved it.

Both these new protoypes felt right. They felt wearable. And I found myself wearing them constantly, which is a good sign!

The cropped version feels like the perfect thing to throw on for a little extra warmth. In the colder months, I wore it a lot over button down shirts,

The cropped version feels like the perfect thing to throw on for a little extra warmth. In the colder months, I wore it a lot over button down shirts,

It's also perfect to wear with my recently finished Ginger Jeans!

It's also perfect to wear with my recently finished Ginger Jeans!

So once all the technical work was done, my mind started swimming with all sorts of patchwork possibilities! I'm a big fan of stash busting patterns (Like A-Frame & Saltbox) and Geodesic fits right in with the lineup! The construction allows you to be pretty economical with your fabric and is great for using up knit (or woven) scraps.
You can find Geodesic here!

My pattern testers played around with some awesome fabrics and had me feeling really inspired. Did I mention how grateful I am to the amazing pattern testers I worked with? Couldn't have done it without them!

Find Geodesic Here!

I'll be highlighting some of their makes in a later blog post and look forward to sharing some fun extras for Geodesic, including that zip pocket pictured above and a few other goodies! All in all, I think Bucky would approve.