Sew with Me: Carla Crim

SewWithMe Logo Sew with Me: Carla CrimCelebrate with us as we launch a new video, pattern and kit series called Sew with Me: your chance to sew along with some of your favorite sewing designers. Today we’re chatting with Carla Crim, aka Scientific Seamstress and part of the duo behind the Sis Boom Pattern Company. Jennifer Paganelli and Carla have worked together to create an amazing line of patterns for Sew News readers. Read more below about Carla’s interesting background and her approach to designing for modern sewists.

bomb4 242x300 Sew with Me: Carla CrimWhat do you love most about the online sewing community?
I love that there is 24 hour access to sewing help.  In the Sis Boom/Scientific seamstress Facebook group (we call it the lab group), there is always someone online, willing to answer questions and lend a hand.  There is also the instant gratification of showing off completed projects to people who will appreciate them.  Along with that, you can get so much inspiration from other members’ projects.

How amazing is it to see people make special things with your patterns or instructions?
It is truly a thrill!  For the adult clothing, it is heartwarming to see a woman feeling beautiful and empowered to make her own custom-fit garment.  The kid/baby garments are a joy to see as well. I love my daily dose of cuteness.

What trends, sewing or otherwise, are you enjoying this summer?
Lace!  I’m seeing lace overlays and pieces that can be layered over a tank or a cami.  I’m also glad jean shorts are back. I wore the heck out of those in the 90′s.

clutches 300x263 Sew with Me: Carla CrimWhat are three must-haves in your creative space?
Good lighting, a big stash of Sis Boom fabric, and a big cutting table to clutter up. icon smile Sew with Me: Carla Crim

Where do you get your best ideas?
In the bathtub or when just waking up.

How do you stay motivated and inspired?
My team (Jeanine Thomlinson, Social Media Director, and Cathy Peckiconis, Customer Service Rep) and of course Jennifer Paganelli are my cheerleaders.

Tell us the story behind your moniker, the Scientific Seamstress?
My background is in Biology.  In fact, I have a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology.  After I had my little boy, I left the world of research and started sewing doll and baby clothes.  I had lots of people ask for my patterns, so I ended up compiling them in PDF format.  My business name was SewBoutique4Dolly.  When I transitioned into older kids and even adults, I wanted something that was more reflective of my style and background…Scientific Seamstress was the perfect fit.

Want to know more? Watch a quick preview video and then peruse our line of Sew with Me kits, patterns and video packages at You can also grab a copy of Carla’s book Essential Sewing Reference Tool, a must-have for your sewing library.

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Christmas In July – Start Your Craft + Sew Give List

Dear Fellow Sewers,

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Believe it or not, we work about six months ahead of time in order to publish Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines. We’re always working on winter issues in the summer and summer issues in the winter. It sure makes things interesting when you’re looking for a model to wear a swimsuit while it’s snowing outside!

christmas in july Christmas In July   Start Your Craft + Sew Give List

I’m sure the last thing you’re thinking about is Christmas (it’s just now summer, after all). But, as a sewer, it’s a good idea to get a jump on holiday planning, especially if you’re going to make some handmade gifts. So, I’m announcing our first-ever Christmas in July!

I’m notorious for needing last-minute gift ideas. What I love about our Hedgehog pincushion kit is that it’s packaged in a box, so if I don’t get around to making it for my sewing friends, I can always just gift them the kit and they can make it themselves! Love that!

hog 500 Christmas In July   Start Your Craft + Sew Give ListFor my aunts and cousins, I’ll make simple aprons and embellish them with the CME Christmas Goodies design collection. You can buy it on its own or in our 2014 CME Collection. A whole year’s worth of embroidery designs. CME 2014 EmbCollection Christmas In July   Start Your Craft + Sew Give List

This collection was one of our biggest sellers last year and it’s super cute! The Christmas Cheer collection is also adorable, and perfect for some tea towels or bathroom décor. (For a great tutorial on mitered napkins and place mats, look to this video hosted by Elizabeth and Liz Evans!)

In-the-hoop projects are wonderful gifts, and you can sew them assembly-line style to whip out several in no time. Check out the Table Trimmings Trio for super cute favors to make for your holiday gatherings.

Another great gift is a pair of slippers—you can make these for each person on your gift list and change up the fabric to suit their style. Plus, the pattern is on sale for $1.50. Does it get any better than that?

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I’m trying to get my friend Erica into sewing, so I’ve decided to gift her the Essential Sewing Reference Tool by Carla Crim. I’m sure this will inspire her to dust off her sewing machine and start making some easy projects. I may even throw in the Shellie Clutch kit so she has a pattern and fabric at the ready.

SisBoom PatternCover1 Christmas In July   Start Your Craft + Sew Give List

If you need more inspiration, look to our 12 Days of Sewing ebook, full of 12 great gift ideas for family and friends!

Happy Sewing and Happy Holidays!

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Take A Sewing Holiday With Joi Mahon, Nancy Zieman, Janet Pray, Mary Fons & More!

Ah, a sewing holiday, how fantastic would that be?! Well, your dreams can come true. Read below for all the details for Joi Mahon’s first ever Sewing Holiday. If you are in the Sioux City, Iowa area in July please be sure to check this out. Find a list of all the classes here.

joi front shlogo Take A Sewing Holiday With Joi Mahon, Nancy Zieman, Janet Pray, Mary Fons & More!

Fashion entrepreneur Joi Mahon, of Dress Forms Design Studio, LLC, has announced that she will host the first ever Designer Joi’s Sewing Holiday event from July 22-25, 2015. The event will be held at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in her hometown of Sioux City, Iowa.
Mahon is a fashion designer, McCall Pattern designer, author of “Create the Perfect Fit”, a popular online instructor, Baby Lock sewing machine spokes-designer, ASE teacher of the year and contributor to Sew News.
“I thought if I could bring all my favorite aspects of successful sewing events across the country and create a go-to sewing event, this would be it,” says Mahon. “The industry is excited, customers are excited, and I am excited because we are setting the stage for a yearly destination event that will feature A-list talent and great learning opportunities every year.”
The 2015 Designer Joi’s Sewing Holiday will feature sewing, quilting and embroidery classes by popular sewing personalities, a banquet, contests and prizes, a traveling quilt exhibit, book signings, and a historic clothing presentation from Iowa State University, where Mahon earned her degree in fashion design. Sewing machines for classes are graciously provided by Baby Lock Sewing Machine Company.

Behind the scenes, Mahon has been planning all sorts of details, including special guests. Among the “sewlebrities” scheduled to attend:


Entertainment for the “sewtacular” will be provided by Emmy Award-winning a cappella act Tonic Sol-fa during the opening ceremonies and banquet on July 22, 2015.

Sign up for email updates at for details about speakers, class descriptions, pre-registration and more. Space for the event, which will accommodate sewing enthusiasts of all ages, skill levels and sewing interests, is limited to 300 attendees.

For more information – visit the Sew Holiday website her website

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Dixie DIY Shorts Sew Along: Week 1 Pattern Prep

 Dixie DIY Shorts Sew Along: Week 1 Pattern Prep

No other garment screams summer quite like a pair of shorts. Visions of sitting on a beach, or poolside, riding bikes, a leisurely evening stroll, or even movies in the park  all come to my mind when thinking about the freedom and comfort of wearing a fun pair of shorts. Dixie of Dixie DIY has put together a short pattern that is the perfect summer short. When choosing your fabric, think about fun summer fabrics. This is a great opportunity to use bright bold prints that you might not necessarily use for a pair of pants. A cotton with a little lycra is always a plus when it comes to pants and shorts alike. The shorts can also be made out of corduroy or wool and then paired with tights for a fun fall into winter garment.

The pattern is a downloadable PDF pattern. Please don’t be intimidated. The pattern and instructions are easy to print at home and the pattern goes together in a snap. Just follow the instructions for joining the pattern and in no time, you’ll be ready to cut your shorts out of your fashion fabric.

The shorts were designed with a waistband yoke, pockets and a curved detail around the leg openings. All of these seams give you the opportunity to really make the pattern your own by adding piped and bias accents. When choosing your fabric, think about a coordinating fabric that will really set off the seam details. I chose a stripe fabric to coordinate with the floral print. Although the patterns don’t match, the colors do. Purchase about a half yard of coordinating fabric for the piping and bias trim.

 Dixie DIY Shorts Sew Along: Week 1 Pattern Prep

The shorts open on both sides with buttons. You’ll notice that in the original pattern, the shorts have buttons that go all the way down the leg. I decided to only use 3 buttons on either side.

 Dixie DIY Shorts Sew Along: Week 1 Pattern Prep

Although the last 3 buttons on the leg are none functioning, I decided that I wanted my buttons to not be such a focal point.

 Dixie DIY Shorts Sew Along: Week 1 Pattern Prep

Once I adjusted the fit,

 Dixie DIY Shorts Sew Along: Week 1 Pattern Prep

I then stitched down the lower portion of the short leg. Take note that you will also need a small amount of fusible interfacing for the buttons and buttonholes. 1/4 yard will be plenty. If you opt for using buttons only on the top portion of the shorts, you will need a total of 6 buttons rather than 12.

 Dixie DIY Shorts Sew Along: Week 1 Pattern Prep

One final detail, I added snaps to the side edges of my waistband yoke. It will give a smoother finished look to the shorts when they are on the body. You will need a total of 4 snap sets.

 Dixie DIY Shorts Sew Along: Week 1 Pattern Prep

Not everyone feels comfortable in a shorter pair of shorts, so in our next post, I’ll show you how to easily lengthen the pattern. Just keep in mind when purchasing your fabric that you will need to buy a little extra. The pattern calls for approximately 1 1/4 yards of fabric for 45″ wide fabric and 1 yard of 60″ wide fabric. If you are lengthening the shorts, purchase 3/8 to 1/2 of a yard more.

The Dixie DIY Movies In The Park Shorts are easy to put together, and go together very quickly. Once you make one pair, I think you’ll be making more!!!

Happy Sewing!

Rhonda Buss


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Learn How to Sell On Etsy – And Take Your Business Higher

Etsy is an international platform for crafting talents to trade their goods, virtual files, vintage items, supplies. You can find a multitude of items on sale at Etsy, from one of a kind wooden beds to 2mm Swarovski crystals beads, and everything in between. With multi-lingual platforms and selling interfaces, your items are visible to customers worldwide. So… how do you harness the power of Etsy?

etsy blog post phoot Learn How to Sell On Etsy   And Take Your Business Higher

Carla Crim will walk you through how to set up an Etsy store, listing an item, and then fine tuning your brand to captivate an Etsy customer and achieve the ultimate goal of a sale! We will also cover after sales care, maintaining customer relationships, keeping track of inventory, cost and additional fees.

Connecting all the personal success tips and Etsy tools, you will come up with a solid plan to launch your Etsy store.

What You’ll Learn

  • Capture the essences of your item through artful photographs
  • Easily navigate the Etsy user interface
  • Write clear and savvy item descriptions that illustrate what your costumer wants
  • Be business savvy in manage inventory, sales and shipping
  • Establish a systematic tool to calculate costing
  • Smart marketing your online store, the unique Etsy way!

Who Should Attend

  • Any artisan crafters who wishes to sell their products on Etsy, or other online artistic venues
  • Existing sellers who wants to find new ways to establish or improve selling
  • Artists who wants to test their product in a gobal market
  • Sellers who aspirations to better keep inventory down and sales up!

If you have ever wanted to learn the in’s and out’s of Etsy now’s the time to find out and get started selling your wares!

About the Instructor Carla Crim

Carla Hegeman Crim, founder of Scientific Seamstress LLC, is a molecular biologist turned patternmaker. She is a work at home mom with a sweet little boy named Louie and a chef husband named Delmar. Although she was born and raised in the South, Carla has lived in Upstate NY, New England, the Midwest, and is currently planted on the East Coast.

She has a B.S. in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Virginia Tech, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University. She is a self-taught seamstress who has been experimenting with fabric since she was a wee little girl. When her son came along, she decided to stay home with him and build a business out of sewing. For the first few years, she focused on elaborate clothing and furniture designs for collector dolls.

She had many requests for her patterns, and began publishing them in 2006. She was one of the first authors, and has worked with members of the YCMT team on a number of collaborative works. She is currently working with fabric designer Jennifer Paganelli on a series of Sis Boom patterns for children and adults.

And, is the featured artist along with Jennifer Paganelli on the new web series  Sew with Me! that offers  exclusive kits, patterns and videos of the Sis Boom fabrics and designs.

FOUR PG SHOTS WF Learn How to Sell On Etsy   And Take Your Business HigherWhen she isn’t in her sewing lab, Carla enjoys gardening, yoga, and spending time with her family.


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See What’s Under The Tent!

Camping is one of my favorite activities. I used to be the girl who loaded up her backpack, brought gourmet food for the campfire, and headed for the hills. Now I’m a car camper. If I can’t be near the car to use the charger for blowing up my air mattress, count me out. Guess I have the “been there, done that” mentality.
I haven’t taken my kids camping yet–I’m a little frightened about taking them so out of their element, and suffering through the dreadful night of no sleep. But we will get there in time, and I’ll be sure to pack the gourmet goodies (at least for my husband and me).
Years and years ago I made my husband a fishing vest (featured in the July 2006 issue of Sew News, and yes that’s him modeling the creation).

00000001 764x1024 See Whats Under The Tent! It’s his favorite thing to take camping because it’s totally waterproof and holds all of the gear he needs while fishing at the stream.

He’s always asking me why I don’t fix all of our tents if I can create a vest that’s so fantastic. Well, that’s a different story!

Admittedly, we have a number of tents with rips, tears and broken zippers. They’re great for playtime in the yard, but of course not ideal for keeping out bugs and the weather! Some day I’ll get to it, which is why I haven’t thrown them out!

TENT SALE 300 See Whats Under The Tent! Speaking of tents, we’ve started out tent sale in the Interweave store, and TONS of things are 50%-80% off! From books to patterns to notions, kits and even web seminars, you’ll find a lot of things to help further your sewing–and even help you with those pesky tent zippers, I’m sure.
Here are some of my favorite items that I know you’ll love too:

Serger Tips & Tricks Web Seminar

DPWNR033015 See Whats Under The Tent!







Zipper Basics Tutorial

zippers See Whats Under The Tent! Learn the basics to zippers in this quick video tutorial.

Travel Tote

Make a zippered tote with a handle. Great for traveling.

zipper totte 206x300 See Whats Under The Tent!

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Me Made Monday – Some Sewing Finally!

Amanda here, chiming in and celebrating my small sewing successes. Why, you ask?MMM SN Me Made Monday   Some Sewing Finally!Because I finally sewed something! And better yet,  something for myself!

Carving out time to sew or create anything is probably my biggest creative challenge these days, thanks to the infant and toddler who live with me and need to be fed regularly. So when it happens, I celebrate. Speaking of things that have changed, gone are the days when I had hours of uninterrupted time in my sewing room. No, now I sew in short 30 minute to 1 hour sessions, doing little bits at a time. Hence my wee bit of progress on this top.

mmm6.22 768x1024 Me Made Monday   Some Sewing Finally!Placket is done! They never make sense to me until I just do them.

This colorway is top one. Fabric is already bought and prepped for top two. That’s part of my big summer sewing plan: find a few good, really wearable patterns and make several of each. I love this pattern: it’s casual but still quite stylish, has some interesting details, and is calling out for some fun alterations. Maybe a cute mini pocket?

Keep reading our Me Made Monday series. We have your favorite contributors lined up to share their creative Monday’s and we’d like to see what you are sewing. You can always email us at or post on our Flickr Sew News Reader Group!


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Me Made Monday – What I Made (and didn’t make) Over The Weekend

I asked you all what I should make over the weekend and all my plans fell apart. MMM SN Me Made Monday   What I Made (and didnt make) Over The WeekendI have this beautiful fabric from one of our local fabric shops, Colorado Fabrics. It’s whispering to me to make something with it. I asked on Facebook your ideas and I finally made a decision.

IMG 31963 1024x1024 Me Made Monday   What I Made (and didnt make) Over The Weekend

Decisions. Decisions.

 Then this fabric told me to take it home on Saturday. It was begging me, to be honest. I’m contemplating pants and a dress.

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Now, more decisions.

Focus Jill.  Focus!

And, because I have an attention span of a gnat when it comes to sewing I instead started and finished the midi knit skirt Sunday night.

charley girl knit skirt Me Made Monday   What I Made (and didnt make) Over The Weekend

Knit fabric from Girl Charlee Knit Fix

Fabric is a wonderful soft knit from Girl Charlee     and it is a very simple knit skirt. I’m thinking I might want to shorten it, I’ve made so many midi’s lately. (If you’re new to sewing with knits, check out our Getting Started With Knits!)

So, that was my sewing plans for the weekend. Ah, the best laid plans of seamstresses, eh?

How did you sewing plans go for the weekend?

signautre 200 Me Made Monday   What I Made (and didnt make) Over The Weekend


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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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