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.
The 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.
SN: 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.
How well do you know your serger? Familiarize yourself with the basic parts of a serger so you can start serging full speed ahead.
Spool 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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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?
Congratulations, Joni! We’ll be in touch soon so we can get your prize in the mail to you.
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 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!
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
It’s giveaway time!
We’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.
There are many reasons that sewing with a serger is faster than a sewing machine. First, the motor typically runs faster and produces more stitches in the same amount of time, usually about 50% to 60% more stitches per minute. Another reason is that a serger performs more than one operation simultaneously. Along with seaming, it trims excess seam allowances and overcasts, producing a finished look with just one pass under the presser foot.
Sergers are also speedy because of some special techniques they can perform. For example, serging a rolled edge is an easy and fast hemming method. Using a narrow serger stitch on curved seams, such as necklines and armscyes, eliminates clipping and notching to achieve an efficient turn of the cloth, resulting in a smooth curve. Continue reading
How are you feeling about the current jumpsuit trend? We’re seeing them all over the place!
In an informal poll around the office, jumpsuits were far more favored over rompers. Jumpsuits (usually) offer more coverage, can be more structured and look great in all seasons. Let’s take a look!
Posted in Fashion
Fall Sewing Plans are in full swing over here!
We have big plans and we better get to it, because September is just around the corner. In our part of the world fall doesn’t last too long and we quickly slip into winter. So, start your engines ladies we’ve go work to do. Be sure to let us know what your fall sewing plans are!
Amanda Carestio, Senior Editor, @seamsandstone
I’ve spent the last year sewing basics and now I’m ready to have some fun. I still have a few basics on my list for fall but far fewer pants and far fewer cardigans (as in none!!!) than last year. At the end of last winter, I found I had slipped into a uniform, usually involving pants, cardigans and tanks. And I was so ready for summer makes – I feel like I wear a much greater variety of clothing in the summer. So this fall and winter, I’m focusing on outerwear and dresses and skirts that work for winter layering. I’m hoping, with some careful planning and layering (hello pinafores…finally!), I can make some of these items work through the winter and get me out of the pants/cardigan puzzle. Or I could simply be looking for an excuse to wear linen year-round…. Also, just putting it out there that I group fall and winter together, in terms of sewing. Most things I make for fall I planto wear through the winter as well.
Posted in Events
Tagged fall sewing
Today we’re concluding our Tea House Dress sew along with tying options. The ties create the subtle shaping on this dress and blouse, with two different versions included in the pattern. We’ll look at those versions and discuss some options for tying a bow that provides a polished finish for this stunning dress.
First, let’s take a look at the pattern options included. For a traditional look that can be tied in the front or back, options A, B and C include wider ties inserted into the side seams that can be ties in the back or front (with a nod to the dress’s kimono inspiration!).
Have you been following along with #braugust2018? This month-long bra and swimwear sewing monthly challenge is so inspiring! We’ve got bras on the brain and are happy to share some bra making tips from our new series with lingerie pattern designer Sophie Hines. For more on bras, check out the first installment (in the August/September 2018 issue and be on the lookout for our next two issues.
TIP 1: Choose a mostly natural fiber, such as cotton, or a blend, such as bamboo rayon with a 3% to 10% Lycra content Continue reading
Welcome to week 2 of the Tea House Dress sew along! One of the most eye-catching features of this dress and blouse pattern is the amazing yoke. Perfectly framing the face, the yoke is a great place for color blocking and pattern play (like turning stripes) to accentuate the shaping and lines. In addition to being flat-out stunning, the yoke can be a bit tricky to stitch. Today, we’re joined by Sew House 7 designer Peggy Mead for her yoke assembly tips.
Now, we get to one of the fiddlier bits of the garment – the neck ease for the Front Yoke and Front Yoke Facings (piece B).
Welcome to the Tea House Dress Sew Along! We hand picked this pattern for a number of reasons: it’s modern yet timeless, comfortable yet chic and looks amazing in just about every fabric we’ve seen it sewn up in. And we LOVE the nod to the kimono silhouette! With variations, including multiple hem lengths, and a tie for subtle shaping, this piece is a unique yet versatile addition to your pattern library…and we hope you love it as much as we do! This week, we’re talking with Sew House Seven designer Peggy Mead about fabric selection for this amazing dress (and blouse!).
As for fabrics, you may choose a rayon challis, wool challis, linen, silk charmeuse, crepe de chine, cotton voile or lawn – just about any woven fabric that isn’t too stiff or heavy. If you do use a cotton, I prefer a light-weight cotton however, I’ve seen some nice ones in quilting cotton to my surprise. Quilting cotton is a bit stiff and so expect the sleeves to be a bit more stiff and less fluid however, it could be the look you are after. I find that the dress takes on quite a different look depending on what fabric is chosen. Continue reading