SEWING

INTRODUCING THE CALVIN WRAP TOP & DRESS PATTERN

August 19, 2019

I am so excited to show you the newest True Bias pattern, the Calvin Wrap Dress & Top. The Calvin comes in two views. View A is a top hitting a couple of inches below the natural waist and it pairs wonderfully with high waisted pants such as the Landers. View B is a straight dress ending around mid calf.

Both views have exposed bias binding that finishes the wrap edges, creates the shoulder straps, and extends into the ties. You can either use the same fabric as your main garment for a streamlined look, or use a contrasting fabric for your binding for some added interest. This is a great way to use up stash fabric when you only have a small about of yardage to work with.

It’s a simple pattern with some really fun elements including instructions for a threadloop chain to hold your waist ties in place and ring and sliders used on the straps for easy fitting.

The Calvin works great for a lot of different types of fabric. We are offering a small amount of kits for the Calvin in overstock rayon crepe which is a wonderful lightweight fabric for an elevated look. If you want something more casual, I recommend linen or cottons. The Calvin does not require fabric with drape so a simple cotton or cotton blend works wonderful and is a more beginner friendly option.

I will have a full sewalong including fabric recommendations and some fun hacks for the Calvin starting the first week of September. In the meantime, you can purchase your pattern here in either a PDF or paper format. The pdf pattern is on sale (no code necessary) for the next week, ending on August 27th. If you would like to purchase a kit you can also do that through my shop here.

MAKES SEWING

FRISCO JUMPSUIT IN RAYON TWILL

August 15, 2019

I sewed up the new Frisco Jumpsuit pattern from Threadbear Garments this week and I love it. It’s such an easy to wear style that can be dressed up or down. I wore it with heels here, but expect to throw it on with flat sandals most of the time for a put together every day casual look.

I measured in as a size 6 C cup according to Leslie’s size chart so that is what I cut out and sewed. I would say that was very accurate. I am only 5’3″ and the pattern is drafted for someone who is 5’7″ so I obviously had to make a lot of changes to the length of the pattern. Here are the changes I made in length :

  • 1.5″ from the straps
  • 0.5″ from the front bodice
  • 3/4″ from the side of bodice
  • 1″ from the back of the bodice
  • 1.5″ from the rise of the pant
  • no changes to leg length but I did a 3″ hem

The other change I made was to eliminate the front D ring tie from the style of the pattern. It’s an easy change if you want to do the same thing. Leslie already gives you a front and back waistband lining pattern pieces. So you just cut two of each of those on the fold instead of just the lining. Use one of each as the lining and one of each as the main waistband piece. Then you sew it up like a normal elastic waistband where you leave and opening to insert the elastic at the end. You will also need to cut an elastic for the waist that wraps around your entire waist instead of just the back as the original pattern has you do.

That’s it! It was a really fun sew. I made all of changes that I mentioned to my actual pattern pieces so I can easily recreate this in a linen next summer. I expect this to get a ton of wear. You can find the Frisco pattern on Threadbear Garments site here.

MAKES SEWING TUTORIALS

SHELBY BLOUSE HACK

August 7, 2019

I am back today with another pretty simple hack for the Shelby pattern. This time I wanted to try out a Shelby blouse. This is a look I have been seeing a lot in ready to wear and thought it would be the perfect match for the Shelby pattern.

To create this hack I only had to make a few simple changes. The first thing that I changed was to lengthen the ties by about 10 inches each so that I could cross them in the back and wrap them around to the front for a bow. I thought it would be a fun was to add a bit more waist definition to the blouse. It almost gives it a peplum look. It would work fine without the wrap around too, I just wanted to give it a try.

The next change I made was obviously to shorten the pattern significantly. To accomplish this I measured down from the lengthen / shorten line by about 6 inches on each seamline. This gives you a bit of a cropped look so if you want an longer blouse just add more inches.

Then I made a line about an inch long that is perpendicular to each side.

Next create a curved cut line to join the two sides.

Make sure you shorten all front and back pieces in the same manner as well as the front facing.

The last thing that I changed was the button placement. I decided this at the very end once it was hemmed and I could visually figure out what would look balanced. I ended up going with 5 buttons / buttonholes that are a bit closer together than the dress or romper simply because it was my personal preference.

And that is it. I sewed up the rest according to the directions for the Shelby dress and it all came together quite smoothly. I love the way it turned out and I think it will look great with high waisted jeans or Landers. You can find the Shelby pattern in my shop here is you would like to give it a try.

MAKES TUTORIALS

SHELBY LACE BACK HACK

July 3, 2019

I wanted to share a really fun and easy hack for the Shelby dress and Romper. The lace up trend is back in a big way and the Shelby seemed like the perfect pattern to use to try it out.

I am going to be sewing up the dress version but shortening it a bit for more of a middi length. If you decide to go for a middi length in this pattern I do recommend shortening the long views instead of lengthening the short views since the longer views have a bit less width to keep normal fabric widths into account. If you simply lengthen the shorter views the circumference of your pattern pieces will get quite large at the bottom and make them hard to cut out.

For fabric I am using some beautiful rayon challis gifted to me from the online Fabric Store. As of when I am writing this it is still in stock and you can find it here. I love rayon challis for the Shelby because of it’s great drape and this fun print is large scale which is hard to find.

The first thing to take into account when cutting out your Shelby is that your ties will be one long tie instead of two. You simply place the pattern piece on a fold at the short end and cut out one long tie. Sew it up according to the normal instructions.

Next, you need to cut out two strips of fabric which will become your loops. Cut two 1.25″ x 18″ strips of fabric.

With right sides touching, sew them up with a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Trim the seam allowance to about 1/8″ and turn right side out using a loop turner or small safety pin.

Press your tubes flat.

Get your center back piece. I am sewing up a dress view so it’s on the fold but if you are sewing up a romper view, make sure it is already sewn up along the center back.

You should already have one set of markings for the original tie placement. We are going to use those markings and add two more sets above the original. You could add more if you wanted.

I decided to place my markings for loop placement 2 1/2″ apart. You can have them closer or further according to your preference.

These markings are for the center points of your loops. Make another set of markings 1 inch out from the cut edge, at each loop marking. This second marking is for the turn of each loop should hit.

Pin generously so that the tube is centered over the markings with about 1/4″ on each side and turning at the second 1″ marking.

Once you feel confident that they all evenly looped, baste in place at 1/2″ seam allowance.

If all still looks good, sew the side back to the center back, sandwiching the loops inbetween.

Trim loop seam allowance.

Finish seam allowance in your desired manner and press seam allowances towards side back.

Repeat for other side until you have matching loops on both sides.

To lace up the loops, pull the long tie through the loops so that it is centered along the top two loops.

Continue to lace it up just like a sneaker and tie in a bow at the bottom.

Sew the rest of the garment up according to your instructions.

I love how mine turned out! You can find the Shelby pattern here.

ON MY MIND OTHER TUTORIALS

FABRIC STASH ORGANIZATION

July 1, 2019

Last week I talked on instagram stories about my stash and my unsuccessful attempt at organizing it. For years I have been folding and storing all of my stash fabric (which I embarassingly have way too much of) in bins tucked under my cutting table. The problem is that although it was nice and safe in there, I never remembered what I had so I would buy more and more. I also couldn’t easily locate fabric when I needed it. Enough was enough so I decided to take everything out of my bins, organize it, donate the fabric I was never going to sew, (I was able to donate it to my local library for their creative space) and get all of the stash fabric organized onto shelves. I started using the rolling method because I had heard it was easier to see your fabric, but as I kept going I realized it was way too messy for my liking.

They I shared it on instagram and a bunch of you replied that you used the comic board method. I had never heard of this method before so I went to youtube where I found this great instructional video from Sew Sweetness. I was immediately hooked and decided to change my methods. The only issue I anticipated was that all of the tutorials I found were geared towards quilting and therefore 44 inch wide stable cotton fabrics. Most of my stash consists of 54-60 inch wide apparel fabrics. Some of them are super thick, others are slippery, and most are in 2-5 yard cuts. So I wanted bigger boards right off the bat.

Instead of the smaller comic book boards, I went with these 8.5 x 11 inch magazine boards. This little bit of extra size gives just enough extra room to help with my wider fabric. They also happened to fit the height of my Ikea shelves better. This is definitely something I would consider when choosing the size of the boards you use. Magazine boards are kinda like a thick cardstock, pretty inexpensive, and most importantly are acid free. This is something I would highly recommend thinking about because you do not want the cardboard you are using to damage your fabric if it stays on there for a long time.

I also ordered these clear plastic alligator clips which come in a big package and are pretty cheap. I do wish that they had bigger ones for the thicker fabrics in my stash and I am still on the lookout for those. So far I have only found metal ones that are bigger and I don’t feel comfortable using metal on my fabric in case it rusts. I know a lot of shops also use T pins which are a great option if you are not worried about rust or the pin damaging your fabric. I decided to stick with the clear plastic ones and make them work.

Now that you know what I am using, here is the step by step of how I folded my fabric. Keep in mind that I am no perfectionist when it comes to folding these. I always wash and dry my fabric right after buying it so I am left with some wrinkly fabric and frayed ends. This doesn’t bother me at all. You could certainly go the extra mile and iron your fabric before folding but personally I think this makes the whole process too long and more of a hassle. That’s just me though.

For this demo I am using 2 yards of denim that is 60 inches wide. For each cut of fabric you need one board and two alligator clips.

Start by folding your fabric lengthwise with selvages touching. I choose to have the right side of the fabric out so that it’s easier to see the fabric for what it is on the shelf, but that is up to you.

Take your magazine board and place it in the middle of the fabric between the selvages and the fold and about 5 inches in from the cut edge.

Fold down the top selvage edges over the magazine board. Make sure to continue the fold all of the way down the length of the fabric (2 yards in my case). This can get a little tricky if you have more yardage. On my rayons when I had 4 yards I folded the whole thing in half widthwise so it was like I was dealing with 2 yards wide.

Fold up the bottom folded edge over the magazine board. Make sure to continue the fold all of the way down the length of the fabric (2 yards in my case).

Fold in the 5 inches to the left of the magazine board.

Flip the magazine board with the fabric over and over until you get close to the end of your yardage. Keep it nice and tight.

Fold in the cut edges at the end of your yardage so that they are not hanging out.

Now fold this last fold in so that everything is nice and neat.

Take your alligator clips and slide them into the second two layers of fabric up against the last fold you made. This will hold your fabric tight on the roll without having to expand the small alligator clip too much.

That is it! I am so excited about how nice and neat it looks.

They stack perfectly on my shelf and keep it looking tidy, while still allowing me to see all of my fabric. I love it so much.

Folding all of my stash only took a few hours, cost about $30 US and was weirdly relaxing. I am hooked. It is how I plan to organize my fabric stash from here on out. I hope this was helpful for you as well.

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