Holiday Parties, Sequins & Sheers: New Issue of Sew News is here (and full of hacks!)

newissue1901 300x300 Holiday Parties, Sequins & Sheers: New Issue of Sew News is here (and full of hacks!)The December 18/January 19 issue of Sew News is fondly referred to (around here!) as the holiday hack issue! Seriously, this issue is big and beefy and inspiring, especially if you’re in the mood for a little #sewfrosting. But don’t worry, plenty of cake, too, that will get you through the holidays and beyond.

One of my favorite elements is a selection of three articles, each featuring three pattern hacks for wardrobe basics: a raglan sweatshirt (looking at you, Linden Sweatshirt), a drop shoulder blouse and a jacket. The hacks are designed to help you get maximum potential out of patterns you already have in your pattern library and turn an everyday pattern into something special for the holidays. Continue reading

 Holiday Parties, Sequins & Sheers: New Issue of Sew News is here (and full of hacks!)
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And the Winner of the My Doll, My Style Giveaway Is…

Peggy K!

Congratulations, Peggy! We’ll be in touch soon so we can get your prize in the mail to you.

My Doll My Style 800x1024 And the Winner of the My Doll, My Style Giveaway Is...

If you didn’t win this time but are still interested in the book, you can find My Doll, My Style at interweave.com.

Look for our next book giveaway on January 3, 2019!

 And the Winner of the My Doll, My Style Giveaway Is...
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Giveaway: My Doll, My Style by Anna Allen

It’s giveaway time!

We’re giving away a copy of My Doll, My Style by Anna Allen, as seen in the October/November 2018 issue of Sew News:

My Doll My Style 234x300 Giveaway: My Doll, My Style by Anna AllenDiscover how fun and easy it is to make custom, on-trend doll fashions the child in your life will love. Designer and Doll It Up blogger Anna Allen shows you how to create runway-worthy looks for 18” dolls. From jeggings and dresses to shorts and tees, each pattern is designed for today’s fashion fabrics with a modern aesthetic and fit.

For your chance to win a copy of My Doll, My Style, leave a comment on this post between now and Friday, November 8, at noon Mountain Standard Time. We’ll randomly pick a winner from among the commenters Friday afternoon using Random.org.

Good luck!

 Giveaway: My Doll, My Style by Anna Allen
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Tips for Fitting a Raglan Sleeve

Screen Shot 2018 11 01 at 3.25.11 PM 226x300 Tips for Fitting a Raglan Sleeve

By fit expert Rae Cumbie

There are many fitting points to evaluate when fitting a raglan sleeve. Because the sleeve forms a section of the front and back, neckline and shoulders, it’s necessary to consider all these elements in addition to the actual fit of the sleeve itself. That means there are lots of possible adjustments, but the good thing is there are also a lot of seams where you can nuance the fit.

If you’re having trouble fitting the sleeve and it doesn’t have a seam from the shoulder to the hem, consider adding one so you’re better able to adjust the sleeve and shoulder.

Make a mock up or work on the ill-fitting garment. Follow these guidelines to begin the assessment:

  • Does the shoulder seam or dart sit at the center of the neck and point smoothly to the shoulder point? Decide if this is a simple shoulder realignment, or if the top is being pulled to the front or back because it’s too tight in the body. Continue reading
 Tips for Fitting a Raglan Sleeve
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Backpack Sewing Pattern Roundup: Our Top Picks

Whether you’ve fully embraced the backpack trend or you’re still on the fence, you’ll love reading about our favorite backpack sewing patterns. Backpacks are a definite favorite around here: strap one on for a quick hike in the mountains, use one as a cool next step or alternative to the traditional diaper bag or make one that’s perfect for the office so you’re hands-free for your commute. Here are a few of our favorites.

Screen Shot 2018 09 27 at 12.06.34 PM 300x280 Backpack Sewing Pattern Roundup: Our Top Picks

Desmond Roll Top by Taylor Tailor
No matter what you sew the Desmond Roll Top Backpack up in, the results seem to be stunning! Take it from me, I’ve now made four. The styling has a slightly rugged vibe and the inside is roomy, perfect for toting around town on errands or as a work bag. Size the pattern up or down and you’ve got a trendy everyday backpack or luggage built to travel.

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Range Backpack by Noodlehead Sews
The Range Backpack has a similar roll-top style, though is a bit more structured. This one is a definite possibility for school – it’s big enough to wrangle books and folders. Bring in some high-end fabrics to vary the look easily: faux leather or cork give this bag instant high-end appeal.

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London Backpack by LBG Studio
Maximize a fun or interesting fabric with a basic backpack pattern! The London Backpack is a perfect canvas for fabric fun. And the perfect size too! It’s the perfect little-person backpack, but in the right fabric, totally sophisticated.

Screen Shot 2018 09 27 at 12.08.24 PM 300x298 Backpack Sewing Pattern Roundup: Our Top Picks

Retro Rucksack by Radiant Home Studio
The Retro Rucksack might be our top pick for combining a very usable size and design with rugged details that make it feel special. It looks like it came right from a high-end store!

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Juki Backpack by Elbe Textiles
The Juki Backpack makes my old-school heart happy! This design is so classic and timeless, just right for errands, a quick overnight or a walk in the woods. Perfect for a dude or a kiddo, too!

 Backpack Sewing Pattern Roundup: Our Top Picks
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A-Frame Sew Along Week 3: Elasticized Waistband

Today we’re finishing up our A-Frame sew along with a great hack for creating an elasticized back waist for your skirt, for added comfort and a higher waist look, proving once again that this dynamic garment pattern belongs in your pattern library. Read more about constructing this skirt here. And thanks so much for joining us, Taylor. Take it away!

aframeelastic1 918x1024 A Frame Sew Along Week 3: Elasticized WaistbandI love a high-waisted skirt. There was a time in my life where the more fitted at the waist something was, the more I liked it. I liked being squeezed a bit around the natural waist. (This was, not coincidentally, the time in my life where I wore the most vintage clothing, which is notorious for waist-squeezing)

Something I often do with my high-waisted, waistband having skirts is to add a bit of elastic. Not enough to created a pronounced gather at the waistline, but just enough to give you that extra inch you might need while sitting for long periods of time or after an awesome meal.

Continue reading

 A Frame Sew Along Week 3: Elasticized Waistband
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A-Frame Sew Along, Week 2: Sewing A Lapped Zipper

aframe Folder cover 5 20 15 03 1 204x300 A Frame Sew Along, Week 2: Sewing A Lapped ZipperLast week we discussed colorblocking and layout options for the A-Frame Skirt – with so may options, it’s the gift that keeps on giving! During week 2 of this sew along, we’re taking a deep dive into creating the lapped zipper closure for the skirt. Blueprints for Sewing designer Taylor McVay is here to share her tips!

To start, press the seam where your zipper will go open. Press the open end of the seam as well, folding back the seam allowance.

 

 

 A Frame Sew Along, Week 2: Sewing A Lapped Zipper

With the zipper partially unzipped, align the left side of your zipper teeth with the folded edge of the fabric. There should be a small gap between the zipper teeth and the fabric edge. This will help keep the zipper from getting caught on the fabric. Pin or baste the zipper to the fabric along this edge.

Ever wonder why your zip has extra, toothless tape at the top? This is to give you a bit of room for seam allowance, if your zippers end is being sewn into something else. That way, you don’t have to sew over teeth. Align the edge of this tape with the edge of your fabric, or align it so that the zipper head is 1/2″ or 5/8″ (or whatever your seam allowance is) from the edge of the fabric.

aframe2 300x300 A Frame Sew Along, Week 2: Sewing A Lapped Zipper

The other side of the opening will become the ‘lap’. It often helps to mark this stitching line with chalk. For most zippers, you’ll want the stitching to be 3/8″-1/2″ away from the opening. You want to be sure that wherever your stitching line is, it must catch both the seam allowance and the zipper tape. Since those two factors are variable, try pinning or basting along this guideline, then checking the back to be sure you’ve gone through all layers.

 A Frame Sew Along, Week 2: Sewing A Lapped Zipper

Basting is a fantastic technique to have in your arsenal. If you have the patience for it, baste your zipper onto the fabric by hand, instead of using pins. This will help keep things aligned and predictable during each step of the process.

Set up your zipper foot with the needle coming down on the right side of the foot. Starting at the top of your zipper, sew along the folded fabric edge. Try to keep your fabric aligned with the side of the foot, making sure your stitching catches this fold. It’s better to be a little further from the fabric edge than miss it entirely while sewing (which results in a zipper that is not attached).

Click on over to the Blueprints for Sewing blog for next steps on this helpful visual tutorial. So many great, close-up pics!

Join us next week!  There’s been a slight change. We’re veering from the schedule for an an exciting tutorial about how to add an easy-fit elastic waistband to the skirt back. 

 A Frame Sew Along, Week 2: Sewing A Lapped Zipper
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A-Frame Sew Along, Week 1: Colorblocking & Layout Options

Screen Shot 2018 10 09 at 12.25.49 PM 196x300 A Frame Sew Along, Week 1: Colorblocking & Layout Options

We are so excited to get our October sew along rolling! The A-frame skirt is the perfect fall garment you didn’t know you needed. You can sew it up in anything, including heavier weight fabrics for cooler weather, and the unique angled panels (and pockets) create the perfect opportunity for colorblocking. Today, Blueprints for Sewing designer Taylor McVay walks us through the colorbocking process plus additional layout options. And do join us next week for a lapped zipper tutorial.

And in case you missed it, read Taylor’s interview here.

Continue reading

 A Frame Sew Along, Week 1: Colorblocking & Layout Options
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Inspired by Architecture: An Interview with Taylor McVay, Blueprints for Sewing

aframe Folder cover 5 20 15 03 1 204x300 Inspired by Architecture: An Interview with Taylor McVay, Blueprints for SewingThe October Sew Along with Sew News  features the A-Frame Skirt by Blueprints for Sewing. Inspired by the iconic A-frame house, this pattern features two versions: a pencil silhouette and an A-line silhouette. We’ve fallen pretty hard for the triangular seaming (so flattering) and the ingenious pockets – we’re quite certain this is the perfect cool-weather skirt.

We’re kicking off the sew along officially on October 9th, but today we’re sharing our full interview with the skirt’s designer, Taylor McVay of Blueprints for Sewing. Taylor’s approach to pattern design is so unique: her designs are inspired by architecture, hence the name of her company. Her designs are the perfect blend of classic and comfortable, yet plenty unique and artfully edgy.

Screen Shot 2018 09 28 at 10.47.19 AM Inspired by Architecture: An Interview with Taylor McVay, Blueprints for SewingSN: How did you get started sewing?

My sewing career began at a very young age. I’d always been keen on making and as I began to care about clothes and accessories in my early teens, the natural inclination was to make my own. I never quite liked the things I found in stores and they never fit. I found making my own clothes to be an act of self expression, at a time when many of us are first forming our identity and questioning who we are.

I continued to make my own clothing through high school and began to create my own patterns and conceptualize fashion lines while I studied art and art history in college. After college, since my art degree presented my few viable career options, I decided to fall back on my sewing and retail experience and got a job managing a high end vintage boutique.

Continue reading

 Inspired by Architecture: An Interview with Taylor McVay, Blueprints for Sewing
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Basic Serger Anatomy & Serger Threading Tips

How well do you know your serger? Familiarize yourself with the basic parts of a serger so you can start serging full speed ahead.

26 28 SN1811 Serger School 755x1024 Basic Serger Anatomy & Serger Threading TipsSpool pins (1): These vertical pins holds the thread cones. A serger has three to five spool pins, depending on how many thread strands it allows. Different serger seam types require different numbers of thread strands.

Continue reading

 Basic Serger Anatomy & Serger Threading Tips
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Big Time: 25 Tips for Making Time for Sewing

Of all the resources needed for sewing, time is probably in the shortest supply. When I tell people I sew, this is always their first question: how do you make time? And it’s true, in today’s busy world, it’s hard to make space and time for a hobby. But happiness can be hard to come by. If sewing truly makes you happy, it’s worth making time for.making time5 1024x1024 Big Time: 25 Tips for Making Time for Sewing

Over the years, I’ve changed the way I think about sewing: instead of feeling silly or selfish, I’ve started referring to my hobby as my “sewing practice.” This subtle change has helped elevate my hobby in my mind and it’s changed the way I prioritize sewing. One thing I’ve learned is to treat your sewing time with respect. Here are some tips to help you carve out time for yourself, stick to it and make the most of it.

Decide a few things up front and get started the right way.
Decide what you plan to sew before you get in your sewing room. Too many fabric options can be distracting.

Have a set amount of time each week that you plan to sew.

Decide whether you work better in small batches or longer expanses of time. Know yourself – I time out at about the two hour mark! And most things sewn after 11pm are a touch wonky!

Spend time in your sewing space everyday. Even if it’s to straighten up or sew on buttons.

Don’t wait until all the laundry is put away and all the chores are done – if your house is like mine, that may never happen. Continue reading

 Big Time: 25 Tips for Making Time for Sewing
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Off to Italy with Craftours

We’re off to Italy on the BurdaStyle fashion sewing tour with Craftours!

Screen Shot 2018 09 13 at 4.30.29 PM Off to Italy with Craftours Continue reading

 Off to Italy with Craftours
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Sew a Workwear Capsule – 10 Must-Sew Patterns

In my social sewing circles on Instagram and Facebook, I see people asking all the time for recommendations for workwear-appropriate patterns. And that’s where our story began! It’s one thing to sew loungewear, tees and jeans (which are totally my favorites!) but sewing pieces that will work for the office environment is a somewhat different endeavor. There are colors and fabric types to consider – and, of course, patterns.Screen Shot 2018 09 07 at 4.11.29 PM Sew a Workwear Capsule   10 Must Sew Patterns

Whether you’re looking to revamp your office attire or heading back to work for the first time in a while, we hope our Career Capsule serves as a good starting place. The featured 10 garments are easily combined to make more than 40 combinations, so no one will think you’re wearing the same thing twice. Find the full story in the Aug/Sept issue of Sew News. A special thank you to the pattern designers and fabric companies who supplied materials for this story. Continue reading

 Sew a Workwear Capsule   10 Must Sew Patterns
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Freebie Friday: Taos Leather Tote Pattern

If you’ve seen the cover of our latest issue, you know we have a fondness for a nice leather and wool combo. And when it comes to wool, nothing beats the bold patterns and durability of Pendleton Wool, who supplied the wool fabric for this piece.  This is definitely one of our favorite covers and one of our favorite projects!

Screen Shot 2018 09 13 at 1.42.06 PM Freebie Friday: Taos Leather Tote Pattern

Paired with a dark black leather and light leather handles, the wool is set off nicely and provides a luxe, dynamic texture. The bag features hammered copper rivets and the instructions include steps for installing rivets and saddle stitching by hand. This high-end bag is sure to last – and perhaps even get better as it ages – a true heirloom piece that we were sad to send back to designer Sara Cougill.

Screen Shot 2018 09 13 at 1.41.35 PM 300x228 Freebie Friday: Taos Leather Tote Pattern

Screen Shot 2018 09 13 at 1.41.27 PM 290x300 Freebie Friday: Taos Leather Tote Pattern

Download the Taos Tote pattern free (for a limited time) here.

Then find the perfect wool pocket fabric here. 

What are you sewing in wool this fall and winter?

 Freebie Friday: Taos Leather Tote Pattern
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And the winner of the Flossie Teacups’ Guide to English Paper Piecing Giveaway is…

Joni!

Congratulations, Joni! We’ll be in touch soon so we can get your prize in the mail to you.

Flossie Teacups Guide 227x300 And the winner of the Flossie Teacups Guide to English Paper Piecing Giveaway is...

If you didn’t win this time but are still interested in the book, you can find Flossie Teacups’ Guide to English Paper Piecing at quiltingcompany.com.

Look for our next book giveaway on November 4, 2018!

 

 And the winner of the Flossie Teacups Guide to English Paper Piecing Giveaway is...
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Seasonal Sewing with the October/November issue of Sew News

It’s all things fall in the October/November issue of Sew News magazine.

And bring on the textures! Make fabulous fall garments, accessories and home decor with leather, faux suede, real suede, faux fur, velvet, wool and more. I have a lot of favorites in this issue – so please bear with me!SN11018 Seasonal Sewing with the October/November issue of Sew News

The Taos Tote project on the cover is truly the stuff tote dreams are made of! With two tones of leather, Pendleton wool and copper rivets, this project shines (and I want it!!!). By designer Sara Cougill, the article includes tips for installing rivets and saddle stitching leather – skills perfect for your fall repertoire.

If you are loving the super-popular Persephone Pants by Anna Allen, you’ll flip over the Make Waist Pants pattern hack by Delphine Colbeau. Designed specifically for wide leg pants with no side seam, get instructions for creating a paperbag waist and a self tie that creates a cool 70s vibe for fall.  Continue reading

 Seasonal Sewing with the October/November issue of Sew News
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Giveaway: Flossie Teacups’ Guide to English Paper Piecing by Florence Knapp

It’s giveaway time!

Flossie Teacups Guide 227x300 Giveaway: Flossie Teacups Guide to English Paper Piecing by Florence KnappWe’re giving away a copy of Flossie Teacakes’ Guide to English Paper Piecing by Florence Knapp, as seen in the August/September 2018 issue of Sew News:

Blogger Florence Knapp shares her love of this hand-sewn patchwork technique through step-by-step tutorials and inspiring articles. From fussy-cutting fabric and sewing curves to creating unique rosettes and a gorgeous quilt top, you’ll learn the fundamentals of English paper piecing, time-tested tips, tools for achieving great results and what to look for when choosing fabric.

For your chance to win a copy of Flossie Teacakes’ Guide to English Paper Piecing, leave a comment on this post between now and Monday, September 10, at noon Mountain Standard Time. We’ll randomly pick a winner from among the commenters Monday afternoon using Random.org.

Good luck!

 

 Giveaway: Flossie Teacups Guide to English Paper Piecing by Florence Knapp
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