SEWALONG

CALVIN : FABRIC & NOTIONS

August 30, 2019

The sewalong for the Calvin wrap top and dress starts next week and I wanted to do a quick post in preparation to go over fabric and notions so that you can be ready to sew come Monday.

FABRIC:

One of the things that I love about the Calvin is that it really works great with those beginner friendly, easy to sew fabrics that we all love to use. The pattern does not require a lot of drape (although drape is fine) so cottons, linens and rayons work great. The most important thing is that the fabric will press well so stick with those natural fibers and stay away from polyester blends or you will really regret it when you are making those yards and yards of bias binding. I decided to go with some medium weight linen in a beautiful vintage red from The Fabric Store that I have had in my stash for awhile. I love linen for this pattern because it’s breathable but still has some structure so it presses well and really shows the style lines.

BIAS BINDING:

This pattern has a lot of bias binding. The way that the yardage is calculated, you can use the same fabric for both the dress/top and binding or you can use a contrast binding. This is such a great way to use up scraps. I love the idea of mixing stripes with florals or different sized prints for some really fun affects. Making the binding will take you a bit of time, but it is super easy so try not to shy away from it. I do not recommend using the bias tape you buy in the packages at the big box store. They are cheap, stiff, and won’t feel nice against your skin. That being said, there are some resources for really nice bias tape that you can buy if you want to go that route. You will need 6 – 7 yards of bias tape and you want double fold bias tape with a finished measurement of about 3/8″. Here are a couple I have found:

The Fabric Store – They have bias in not only their Liberty fabrics but also their exclusive range of linens. This is such a great option for those who want matching binding and main fabric but don’t want to make the bias yourself. The width is perfect too. I’ve use this exact combo for some of my tester versions and it was perfection.

Imagine Gnats – I recently noticed that Imagine Gnats is now carrying Atelier Brunette bias tape by the yard in both viscose crepe and double gauze. It’s the perfect width and matches the very popular Atelier Brunette fabrics. The viscose crepe is on the light weight side so keep in mind that it may be a little more finicky to work with.

I am sure there are more out there. I know a lot of indie fabric stores carry bias tape by the yard so check around.

RINGS / SLIDERS:

One of my favorite details of the Calvin are the adjustable straps made possible by the ring and sliders. It really helps for getting a good fit. I know that the 1/2″ sliders can be a little harder to find so I wanted to give you a few resources. First of all, the best place to look is in your drawer. If you have an old bra that you don’t wear or is worn through, save the rings and sliders before you discard it. If that is not an option here is where you can find them:

Tailor Made – This is such a great place for all things bra making, but also a great resource for rings and sliders for the Calvin. You can pick up a couple sets for just a few bucks which is great if you don’t want to buy in bulk.

The Bra Makery – There are quite a few shops selling rings and sliders on Etsy so you may want to poke around a bit for one closer to you, but the Bra Makery seems to have quite a good selection and at a good price. You can choose 3 sets or 12 sets at once and they even have these adorable heart shaped sliders if you want that novelty look.

OTHER NOTIONS:

OK, those were the trickier things to find, but you still need a few more notions. Make sure you have coordinating thread. There is a lot of topstitching on the bias binding so it really should match well unless you are purposefully trying to make it contrast.

You may want to add the optional modesty snap and if so you will want to source a 1/4″ sew on snap. A lot of people are tempted to skip this, but if you are C cup or bigger I highly recommend it. These are pretty easy to find and you should be able to pick up a pack of them at almost any sewing store.

You also need a hand sewing needle to attach the sew on snap and make the belt loop / thread chain.

SPRAY STARCH:

One last thing you might want to consider getting is some spray starch. The more lightweight and slippery your fabric is the more this helps. When you are making your bias binding, applying spray starch really helps to keep the creases and reenforce the binding for easy stitching. It will disappear in the wash so it’s not permanent. It just makes your life easier.

OK, I think is all for today. We will not be going over printing your pattern or cutting out your pattern pieces so get that done before Monday. If you need a little help with that part, check out this blog post for printing and assembling your pattern.

See you Monday! If you still need to get your Calvin pattern you can do so here.

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.