April 18, 2016

Tutorial: PDF patterns (Part 1 - printing, calibrating, taping)

Welcome! This is a two-part tutorial for preparing print-at-home patterns. By the time we're done, you'll have a full set of pattern pieces -- including seam allowances -- ready to lay out on your fashion fabric.

If you're an experienced sewist, you've probably dealt with PDF patterns before. If so, I hope you come across a couple of tips here that make you go, "Ooh ... I didn't know that!"

And if you're a beginner, we have lots of pics to help you navigate your first PDF pattern experience.

April 11, 2016

Finished project: Lisette for Simplicity 1419, aka "Skull-tastic Chambray Dress"

The skulls made me do it. I mean, wouldn't you? Wouldn't you snatch up a 2-yard remnant of this tiny skull-printed chambray? 
Skulls. And stars and lightning bolts for some reason. Do not question this chambray, or it will zap you.
With the help of Simplicity 1419, I transformed it into a perfectly cromulent pickle-flavored angel food cake of a dress that combines the weird with the conventional.

April 7, 2016

Announcement: Lekala 4456, Cap Sleeve Blouse Sew-Along

Hello, friends! I'm working on something new: an illustrated sew-along for Lekala 4456. This pattern is a cap-sleeve blouse that features a lined yoke in front and back, as well as welts over faux pockets in front.

April 2, 2016

Finished project: Butterick 5880, aka "Slippery Boatneck Flower Explosion"

Hello! Here, have yourself a martini. We're going into retro cocktail dress mode!

Butterick 5880, originally released in 1951, reflects a style that's much earlier than Mad Men, but I would still classify it as a "Joan" dress. Just look at the wiggle silhouette, the luscious diagonal side darts, the cut-in sleeves!
Have you finished your martini? Come on, down the hatch.  Because here's a bombshell: my version does not include the draped flounce at the hips. I know. It's a main feature of the dress. But what respectable pear silhouette needs all that fabric pooling there? By eliminating the flounce, I allowed this dress to become a (sort-of) office-wear garment. Which I need. Because I work in an office five days a week. Rarely do I attend fancy flounce-appropriate cocktail parties.

Wanna see more pics? Read on. I'll make you another martini while the images load.