A Unique Summer Reading List Just For Sewists

Dear Fellow Sewers,

One of the best things about summertime is reading (ideally by the pool, on the beach or with your toes in some kind of water). I’ll admit it’s been a long time since I read a novel. Having three kids pretty much puts the kibosh on finishing anything other than a magazine excerpt. However, I have found the time to at least make my summer reading list—and to no surprise it is full of sewing books!

EM by the pool A Unique Summer Reading List Just For Sewists

Enjoying summer with the kids!

The greatest thing about sewing books is that I can look at the pretty pictures, navigate through the how-tos and dog-ear the projects I want to make in the future. Then I’ll come back and read the instructions as time (and fabric) permits! I still love having an actual book—especially one that comes with a pattern insert—but ebooks are great too. At least when I’m reading an ebook, my 11-month-old daughters don’t fight over who can tear the most pages while mommy reads!

I thought I’d share some of the books that are on my summer reading list. Perhaps you’ll let me know how you like them, too!

First up is Burda Style Modern Sewing: Full Figure Fashion. This book has more than 24 patterns, sized from 14-24. There are wardrobe staples, and some statement pieces, too.

Modern DIY Upholstery is next. This book contains 10 upholstery projects that are actually do-able. I’ve always wanted to showcase a fabulous fabric on my old ottoman, and I’m sure this book will motivate me to do just that!

Stitch, Wear, Play is full of 20 children’s garments and accessories. They are so adorable! Plus, you don’t need much fabric to create an outfit for a 4-year old—bonus!

From now until July 10, these books (and many more) are all 50% off at the Interweave store. You’ll find some great ebooks for a mere $5 that you can download instantly, too!

The official start of summer is only a couple of weeks away—make sure to arm yourself with some good reads!

Happy Sewing,

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HUSQVARNA VIKING Is Having The Biggest Sale Of The Year! Read More On How You Can Save!

HUSQVARNA VIKING is having  the Biggest Sale of the Year!

The biggest sale of the year is going on right now at HUSQVARNA VIKING retailers. Sewing, embroidery machines and embroidery software are up to 30% off MSRP June 1-14.

Click here to find the perfect machine for you!

Ruby Royale mom embroideringwebb image5 1024x636 HUSQVARNA VIKING Is Having The Biggest Sale Of The Year! Read More On How You Can Save!

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Summer Sewing…and a sale!

Have I told you how lucky I feel to have joined the team at Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery? I only have one complaint: the constant stream of sewing inspiration! I have more patterns than a girl should have…and likely more fabric, too. Sewing is such a good fit for the planning part of my brain. And summer sewing plans: I’ve got plenty!

Nautical pillows 300x300 Summer Sewing...and a sale!In case you missed it, I’m mid-move from one set of mountains (Blue Ridge) to another (Rockies) but someday (someday!) I’ll live by the ocean. Until then, I can indulge in fun home décor that reminds me of the beach. Around my home, you’ll find ships, shells, and a fairly impressive collection of shark teeth from the South Carolina coast. Up next? This Under the Sea Pillow set: the perfect punch of color against our hides-every-toddler-spill gray furniture. Sign me up!

This summer, I’m really hoping to focus on wearable garments so I can build out my handmade wardrobe. I didn’t take part this year, but I’ve been so inspired by Me Made May (and now our very own Me Made Monday)…I vow to be ready when next May rolls around! I have one of those body types that can be hard to fit, and I’ve been considering a dress form purchase. Next best thing…maybe I’ll make my own with duct tape!

arches skirt full image 500px 200x300 Summer Sewing...and a sale!And to beef up my homemade wardrobe, I’m on the lookout for patterns that are wearable on an everyday basis (and toddler proof – so no beads!!) but still stylish. The Arches Skirt Pattern is definitely calling my name. I love the lines: just enough detail without being too fussy.

I’m also planning my new sewing space with the move…and I think it’s time to upgrade from the retired catfood bowl pin holder to something a little cuter. Hedgehog Pincushion kit it is!

That’s it for my summer sewing plans, friends. What about yours? And speaking of friends, happy news: we have a 40% off Friends and Family deal going on now…just enter SSIA40 at checkout for 40% off your purchase. Happy summer! Happy sewing!

2015 03 06 02.35.33 11 150x150 Summer Sewing...and a sale!





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What Makes Sewing Joyous For You?

To say  sewing is my passion is a bit of an understatement. I not only work at Sew News, Stitch, Creative Machine Embroidery magazines where I spend all day writing and promoting sewing I also have a community organization that I run called the Denver Sewing Collective. It’s a group of men and women online and off and we sew, talk about sewing, sew and talk sewing etc. etc. etc.. I’m also the Vice President of the American Sewing Guild, Denver Chapter. On my off off-time in between family, work, working out, social life and so on I sew a little, at least every day. Or if anything just look at a new pattern or fold my beautiful fabric.

  What Makes Sewing Joyous For You?

What does this have to do with sewing?

So ya, I kind of like sewing. It’s hard to say why I like it so much to someone who doesn’t sew. It can be a pain in the butt sometimes, and quite frustrating. It’s an expensive hobby, can be any way. And, if you’ve ever tried to make pants or tried to fit your own body well again with the frustration.

But oh the joy of making something that fits, that gets compliments and “wow, you made that?!”. Or the joy of sewing for your little boy a monster softie that he adores and has loved to shreds. I’ve been giddy with happiness by making a pillow case for goodness sake.

I love watching a sewing newbie who has made an absolute disaster out of something and be completely unfazed and ready to do better the next time.

This type of person seeks out knowledge, reads blogs, watches videos and You-Tube, takes face-to-face classes whatever it takes because she is hungry to learn and figure it out. That kind of attitude is the hallmark of someone who has caught the sewing bug. You cannot fill her cup up.  LOVE. IT.

I was recently asked what books and educational references were my go-to sources. What has changed my sewing for the better. The nature of my sewing I rely heavily on vintage sources and out of print sewing books.  I also go to what would be considered the sewing elite in the sewing world. Nancy ZiemanClaire Schaffer and Lynda Maynard.

However, I have had the pleasure of reviewing Joi Mahon’s book Create The Perfect Fit. At first glance I was skeptical. But, good grief I learned something! My cup isn’t filled! I cannot sing her praises enough. I have used several of her fitting techniques when I am making a new garment or using a pattern and they work, period.

I don’t know, maybe it’s the spiral bound book (awesome) the clear instructions or in some cases a different approach to an old fitting problem (narrow chest adjustment). Whatever, I love it and it’s now in my top 5 sewing books.

You’ve heard of the definition of crazy? Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. That’s kind of like garment sewing. Sewing the same type of garment over and over and magically expecting different results.

No matter how many pant patterns you sew from you’ll keep getting the same result unless you try something different . Try a new fitting book, check out a new teacher or class, watch a video from a top-rated instructor.

And, for all my sewing friends out there I hope you take advantage of our 40% off Friends and Family Deal going on now. And, however you choose to learn and grow as a seamstress, just keep your cup a little empty.

So, despite the frustrations what makes sewing a joy for you?

Happy Sewing!

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Me Made Monday – See What We’re Sewing at Sew News!

Good morning!

It’s Monday and boy was it hard to get out of bed. It was made a bit easier by the thought of Me Made Monday. If you’re new to MMM it is something the Sewing Blogging Community (SBC) does where bloggers will post on Monday something that they have made. The SBC also does a wildly popular Me Made May where bloggers will wear an item that they’ve made every day in May. I am not that together for a Me Made May, but I think I can handle a Me Made Monday! Plus, it’s fun on Sunday night to plan my outfit for the day.

Stay tuned for more details on Me Made Monday and how you can participate or just have fun seeing what we at Sew News  have made.

RED SKIRT 1 Me Made Monday   See What Were Sewing at Sew News!

Here I am in my new skirt!

Midi skirts are quite popular and they are so lovely to wear in spring and summer. Use a soft shimmery main fabric and line it with a luxe silk and you’ll make one for every day of the week (that’s what I’m doing!). Check out how to make your own maxi knit skirt here or make one in a woven. And you can read more about my obsession with skirt making here.

Here are the details of my project.

I love elastic waist skirts. They are so incredibly easy to make and are perfect year around. This skirt is from Vogue 8981 with modifications.

V8981 Me Made Monday   See What Were Sewing at Sew News!

I eliminated the pockets and the side slits. I also used a wider elastic to act as a bit of tummy control and I made a full lining instead of the half lining.RED SKIRT 4 WAIST 300x252 Me Made Monday   See What Were Sewing at Sew News!

The fabrics I used for the main fabric is a red crepe de chine from Colorado Fabrics a local fabric store here. The lining is a light tangerine color China silk from Elfriede’s (again in Colorado).

RED SKIRT 3 Me Made Monday   See What Were Sewing at Sew News!










Full disclosure: I did not sew these beautiful hems. As I was trying to even up the hem I kept cutting and cutting and cutting trying to even it out. I ended up cutting about 5 inches off. If I didn’t stop I was about to have a mini skirt. I took the skirt to a professional alterations person and she did an amazing finishing job. So glad I did.

red skirt lining 300x293 Me Made Monday   See What Were Sewing at Sew News! And, that my friends is my first Me Made Monday.

What about you? Do you like making skirts, do you participate in MMM? You can post skirts that you’ve made or are particularly proud of on our Flickr Sew News Member group or on Instagram with the #sewnews.

signautre 200 Me Made Monday   See What Were Sewing at Sew News!

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Learn To Draft Slopers – Take Your Sewing To The Next Level

Slopers are the perfect starting point for designing and making your own sewing patterns and garments.

drafting tools Learn To Draft Slopers   Take Your Sewing To The Next Level

Slopers are in essence the basic template for the pattern making process, and they are used to establish the fit of the body. So when you have a perfectly fitting sloper to your body, you’ll have a perfectly fitting garment!

The best way to develop your own set of slopers is to actually take multiple measurements from your body and draft them suited to you using 2-dimential paper and the addition of carefully calculated and placed lines. These lines will create the outer shape and darts that will make your sloper fitted exactly to you.

Through this 6 week long course Amber, Editor of Stitch magazine will guide you through the entire detailed process of developing a sloper library consisting of a bodice and sleeve, skirt, pants, dress, and knit sloper. Then to top it all off in the end you’ll get to see how these slopers transform into stylized sewing patterns that you will want to sew and wear (and they’ll fit you too!). This course will house video instruction of every single measuring and drafting step to help you along the way, and to aid your drafting process you can print off multiple handouts to have with you at the drawing table.

Amber will be able to answer any question you have throughout the course as she has much experience with slopers and developing them for both herself and others.

Knowing this information can also help you learn your body and address fitting issues that you may have with commercial sewing patterns and even clothes that you buy. So come join Meg through this extensive process and learn first hand how to develop and draft your own personal sloper library.

With these slopers in your sewing studio you’ll be more than well equipped for when you have a design idea and want to execute it quickly and efficiently!

Course Level: This course is for anyone beginner through advanced in pattern drafting.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to take accurate measurements on your body through video demonstration
  • Developing your bodice and corresponding sleeve sloper from your body measurements
  • How to draft a skirt sloper
  • Drafting your own pant sloper
  • Transforming your bodice and skirt sloper into a dress sloper
  • Making your new dress sloper into a torso knit sloper foundation with sleeve
  • Techniques for stylizing your sloper patterns
  • How to effectively store your slopers in your studio and how to use them

Who Should Attend

  • Anyone interested in creating a set of basic body patterns fitting to their body measurements
  • Sewers who in the past have had trouble fitting into “one” size pattern due to fitting issues
  • Designers looking for a template to develop garment styles on

What It Will Cost

  • $79.99

If you are serious about garment sewing and want to take it to the next level, please look into learning how to draft your own personal sloper.

Let me know if you have questions on the blog!

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Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

At this point in the sew along, you have now experienced just how easy the Decades of Style Arches Skirt is to put together. It’s a beautiful skirt that has a lovely elegant look and because of its a-line cut, it’s also quite easy to wear.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 FinishingA lovely skirt such as this really deserves to have a lining. A lining not only gives ease in wearing the skirt, but a lining also adds to the longevity of the garment by adding a buffer between the body and the fabric. Adding a lining to this skirt is really quite simple. Nothing will need to be done to the back skirt pattern, just cut it as it is. The front skirt needs a little tweaking as we really don’t want to deal with having the style lines or the pleats in the lining. Be sure to take a look at the video. In the video, I explain exactly how to create the lining and eliminate the style lines and pleats.

Once you have made your lining, attach it to the waist of the skirt, attach the waistband and fold back the lining along the zipper and hand stitch the lining to the zipper.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

The final step is of course the hem. There is a little trick that I would like to share with you regarding the hem. If you have made an a-line skirt, you have probably experienced the hem being a little bulky and not laying flat when it is turned up. It’s really quite easy to compensate for this. As you can see in the picture below, I have not removed my basting stitches, which is okay as the stitches are just holding the interlining to the fashion fabric. Take note of the angled stitching line. If I sewed the seam as I typically would, the seam would run straight to the hem. In order to have a hem that will lay flat, simply angle the seam as you see below. Begin the angle at the point that you will turn up the hem.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

Once the angle has been sewn in, simply trim the seam allowance and then press the seam allowance open.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

A lovely finished hem is a must. A seam finish that I love and use quite often is the Hong Kong finish. With my wool skirt, I decided to accent the hem with a contrast binding. In order to do a Hong Kong finish, you will need bias tape. You can either make it yourself or purchase it as your local fabric store.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

 In order to have a smooth look to the front of my skirt, the hem is sewn with a catch stitch and the catch stitch is sewn between the inside of the hem and the backside of the skirt.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

To create the Hong Kong seam finish, lay the bias tape along the edge of the hem. Sew the bias tape to the hem with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

 Fold the bias tape down and press. Now fold the bias tape to the back.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

 On the front side of the garment, stitch in the ditch.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

 You now have a clean finish on the front of the garment.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

To do a catch stitch, using a needle and thread, take 1 stitch in the bias tape. Your needle will be facing to the left, but you will be working to the right. Now, pick up a thread in the fabric. This forms the catch stitch.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

 Now come back down and pick up a few threads in the bias tape.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

 Continue in thse manner around the entire hem of your garment.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

 By sewing the catch stitch between the back of the hem and the garment, the edge of the hem is not against the garment. This will keep the hem from making a mark on the front of the garment when pressed.

 Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

At this point, I think you now possess all the knowledge that you need to create an incredibly beautiful skirt!

Please be sure to check out the video for more tips and tricks!

Screen Shot 2015 05 12 at 12.30.35 PM Decades of Style Arches Skirt Sew Along: Week 4 Finishing

I hope you’ve enjoyed the sew along as much as I have enjoyed sewing with you.

Rhonda Buss


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Summer Time Style and How To Get It

Dear Fellow Sewers,

I’m sure the last thing you’re thinking about in the midst of spring is getting into a swimsuit, but as the weather gets hotter we’re focusing on summer style and getting ready to jump in the pool! It’s time to think about revealing a little more skin in sweet shorts, simple skirts, frilly dresses and sleeveless tops.

summer time Summer Time Style and How To Get ItShades of purple, pink and coral are prevalent this season, and they’re perfect for venturing outdoors while making a statement. Choose fabrics featuring these colors and vibrant prints to emerge from rainy spring weather like a flower in bloom.

Here are some of the things you can expect this month as we delve into the June/July issue of Sew News—on newsstands May 19. Plus, find new offerings at shopsewitall.com and shop.sewdaily.com that will help you embrace the warmer weather. SN1507 Cover 500px Summer Time Style and How To Get It     Reveal a little skin in a cute pair of shorts! Join our June/July Sew-Along to watch videos and learn from others while you create your own pair. Contrast piping gives a great pop of color and interest to these one-of-a-kind shorts.

shorts 300 Summer Time Style and How To Get It   Skirts have a forgiving fit and require little yardage, so they’re affordable and easy to sew. Find the Striped Paper Bag Waist Skirt from Stitch Summer and make your own to wear cinched with a matching or contrasting skinny belt. paper bag skirt stitch 299x300 Summer Time Style and How To Get It

There’s also a video that takes you through the construction to make things even easier. We’ve also got a second skirt option (also featuring a paper-bag waist) that has side-seam pockets. Find the Pick Pocket Skirt e-Pattern by April Rhodes, plus the video featuring it on Sew it All series 800, available on DVD.siab1412 skirt Summer Time Style and How To Get It

Making your own swimsuit ensures a proper fit and desired coverage, so why not give it a try? We have a great pattern made by Michelle Lesniak of Project Runway fame. Michelle made this swimsuit exclusively for Sew it All fans, and it’s now available as an e-Pattern.

SIAB1413 SwimStyle PatternPkg Summer Time Style and How To Get ItIf it’s not your style, perhaps you’d be interested in our vintage swimwear feature in the June/July issue of Sew News instead. The top and bottom both have fuller coverage and will have you looking like Marilyn Monroe.

swim suit piece 500 300x300 Summer Time Style and How To Get It    We’ve also expanded our online education platform to offer you more live and on-demand web seminars. Recent topics include: How to Create a Fabric Arts Business; Serger Tips, Tricks and Troubleshooting; and Writing a Sewing Tutorial 101.  These web seminars are conducted by industry experts, and they all love connecting with you. Give one a try today!

Thanks for reading,

Ellen March

Editorial Director

Sew News, Creative Machine Embroidery & Stitch magazines


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Sewing Book Giveaway

Happy Monday seamstresses! To ease you into the week, we have a great book giveaway for you!

9781849493659 Sewing Book Giveaway

Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking by Tilly Walnes ­

Tilly Walnes breaks down handmade clothing in an approachable, fun-to-read way. Each chapter contains a project, beginning simple with a scarf and ending with an impressive lined dress. Plus Tilly provides variations to make the project your own and suggestions for making sewing not only a hobby but a lifestyle and incorporating sewing into a busy schedule. These helpful sections outline how to approach your trip to the fabric store for the most organized and least stressful results, and sewing for your personal style and wardrobe. Tilly walks through the basics, from sewing lingo and supplies to more advanced techniques, such as staystitching, invisible zippers and facings. With seven projects, including pants, skirts and dresses, and the full patterns in eight sizes for each, sewists of all skill levels will enjoy this beautiful book. 

Enter to win a copy of Love at First Stitch by answering the following question in the comments section below: “What’s the most difficult part of garment sewing for you?”

Update: Congratulations to winner Erin E!

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Sew News 35th Anniversary Sweepstakes Continues with Coats & Clark

Sew News 35th Anniversary Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes – Week Three – Coats & Clark

Happy Monday! We’re hoping we can help cure your Monday blues with a new prize to be won through our 35th Anniversary Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes.

35 Years square webf Sew News 35th Anniversary Sweepstakes Continues with Coats & Clark

This week, we’re giving away TWO prizes to one lucky winner on behalf of our sponsor, Coats & Clark! The first is a 50-piece assortment of Coats & Clark’s Dual Duty XP Thread (pictured). coats dual duty grand prize Sew News 35th Anniversary Sweepstakes Continues with Coats & Clark


This medium-weight thread is sized for most hand and machine sewing. It can be used on all fibers, knits, and wovens. Dual Duty XP is a strong, smooth thread for consistent tension and excellent stitch formation.

Coats & Clark’s second prize up for grabs is a 20-piece assortment of Bold Hand Quilting™ Thread. Coats Bold Hand Quilting™ provides quilters with a thread that has the luster of natural cotton and the strength of polyester, perfect for the “Big Stitch” handwork trend. The Glace finish prevents knots and tangles.

To view the scavenger hunt questions and get started, click here. The answers to the questions are hidden throughout www.coatsandclarksewingsecrets.com. You must answer all questions correctly in order to be entered to win. Good luck, and have fun!

coats and clark logo Sew News 35th Anniversary Sweepstakes Continues with Coats & Clark

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