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May 22, 2020

I am back today with another simple hack for the Rio pattern. Today I am going to show you how to create a scoop neck version of the pattern instead of the crew neck style that it comes with.

To create this pattern you are going to make adjustments to the main front and back pieces and also the neckband. The sleeve and sleeve band pattern pieces will not be changed at all.

First take the back pattern piece. You are going to want to widen the neck opening a bit so we will make the shoulder seam shorter. I decided to take 1″ off of the neck edge of the shoulder seam. This is on a size 8. You may want to make it a bit more or less depending on your size and the look you are going for.

Now draw a nice curved line back to the original back neck cut line. Be sure that the line that intersects with the shoulder seam is at a 90 degree angle. Trim your neck back neckline.

Just like you did on the back, make a mark 1″ (or whatever measurement you decided on) on the shoulder seam closest to the neckline.

Make another mark down the center front that will be for the depth of the scoop. I decided to mark 4″ down for this one. Next time I may increase that a bit, but this is personal preference.

Now, connect the two markings with a nice curved line, making sure that the beginning and end are perpendicular to the CF and shoulder seam.

Cut along your new neckline.

Measure your new front neckline and your new back neckline. Add them together, multiple by 2 and subtract 3/4″ for seam allowance (because of the way the Rio in constructed we only need to account for the front and back shoulder seam allowance of one shoulder seam). Then multiple this number by 70% (.7). This will be the new neckband length. Here is an example.

Back Neck (4.6″) + Front Neck (10″) = 14.6″ x 2 = 29.2 – Seam Allowance (.75″) = 28.45 x .7 = 19.92″

So I will cut my neckband as the same width as the original pattern but the length with be about 20″.

Now cut out all of your pattern pieces and sew it up.

The construction does not change at all from the original instructions.

That is it. I am so happy with the way this hack turned out. I already am planning to make a few more for easy summer wardrobe essentials. If you want to purchase the Rio pattern you can do so here.



April 3, 2020

Today I am going to go over the instructions for the Shelby pattern puff sleeve add on. Before continuing, you will need the Shelby pattern (which you can purchase in my shop as either a pdf or paper pattern) and the free Puff sleeve pattern piece. You can get this as a pdf download by signing up for my newsletter here.

You will cut out all of your Shelby pattern pieces as instructed in the original pattern except, omit the sleeve pattern pieces and cut out the puff sleeve instead. You will need 3/8″ elastic for this hack, as well as a safety pin to insert your elastic into the sleeves.

You will sew up your Shelby according to the original instructions for Steps 1 – 24. The following instructions replace steps 25 – 30 of the original Shelby instructions.

The first thing we need to do is add gathering stitches to the top of your sleeve. A gathering stitch is a long straight stitch length of between 4.0mm and 5.0mm depending on your machine.

Without backstitching at either end, stitch a gathering stitch from the first armhole notch, stitching past the shoulder notch, and ending at the other armhole notch. You will do two lines of gathering stitches. One at 3/8″ seam allowance and another at 5/8″ seam allowance. Leave the thread ends long.

With wrong sides touching, fold the bottom of the sleeve up by 1/4″ and then again by 1/2″.

Because of the curve of the hem, you will need to ease in the fold when pressing. Don’t worry too much about this as you won’t see any pinches or gathers once the elastic is inserted.

Unfold the hem. With right sides touching, stitch up the inner sleeve seam at the normal 1/2″ seam allowance.

Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner.

Press seam allowances open or towards the back. Fold the hem back up along the original press lines.

Stitch close to the inside fold, leaving an approximate inch opening to insert the elastic.

Now we are going to insert the sleeve into it’s coordinating armhole on the dress or romper. Start by gently pulling on the basting threads to gather the top of your sleeve. We will adjust the basting more once in the armhole.

With the sleeve turned right side out, and the dress or romper inside out, slip the sleeve into the armhole and line up the armhole openings. Match up the underarm seam with the side seam, and the shoulder (middle) notch at the shoulder seam. Align the outer notches, and gently pull on the basting thread tails to gather the fullness of the sleeve cap into the armhole of the garment.

Use your fingertips to even out the gathers and pin in place.
Take the ends of the basting stitches and figure 8 them around the pins at the notches to secure the gathering stitches.

Stitch the armhole using that normal 1/2″ seam allowance and a regular stitch length. Trim and finish seam allowances.

Press seam allowances towards the sleeve.

Take your 3/8″ elastic and wrap it around the widest part of your bicep without stretching. Add an inch to that measurement (1/2″ for ease and 1/2″ for overlap seam allowance) and cut two at that length.

Attach a safety pin to one end of one piece of elastic and string it through the casing you created at the hem of your sleeve.

Bring it out the other end, making sure it is not twisted at all.

Overlap the two ends of the elastic by 1/2″ and stitch it flat.

Tuck the elastic back in the casing and sew up the opening.

Give your sleeve a final press and you are done. Repeat all steps for the other sleeve. Continue with step 31 of the original Shelby instructions to finish your garment.

I hope this was helpful and a fun and easy way to get more mileage out of your pattern. If you still need to purchase the Shelby pattern you can do so here.



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.

Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. All opinions are honest and my own.



December 7, 2018

Welcome to the last day of the Salida Skirt Sewalong. Thank you so much for following along. Let me know if you have any questions.


Step 35 – Starting at center back, edgestitch the entire waistband at 1/8” from the finished edge, pivoting at corners.

Step 36 – Zip up the skirt and mark the position for the waistband hook and eye. Hand sew onto the waistband as shown. Make sure that you only sew through the inside layer on the outer part of the hook and eye. I usually sew this one on first since it is more tricky.

For the smaller, inside part of the hook and eye, feel free go through all layers since it won’t be show on the inside waistband.

VIEW A ONLY (For View B, skip to Step 38)

Step 37 – All done except for the hem! Fold the bottom raw edge of the skirt up by 1/4”, wrong sides touching, and press.

Fold up again by 3/4”. Pin and press.

To secure the hem, stitch close to the fold.



Step 38 – Fold the bottom raw edge of the middie skirt up by 1/4”, wrong sides touching, and press. Fold up again by 1/4”. Pin and press. To secure the hem, stitch close to the fold.


Congrats! You are finished!



December 6, 2018

Today is the day when Heather and I finally announce the winners of the Sew Frosting Challenge.

First, let me say that you blew us away with your talent, effort, and love for sewing things that are simply fabulous. You made the decision so hard. I hope that even if you didn’t win, you enjoyed participating and sewing something that pushed you a bit out of your comfort zone. I know that for me, this was an important few months for to really reflect on why I sew and what brings me the most joy to create. I already have ideas for what I want to create next year.

And here are the winners:

Unconventional Fabric/Material: Keira (@islandsewcialist)

You have to check out Keira’s blog post all about how she embroidered this jacket with upcycled trash! She is a true artist and she was a clear winner for this challenge.

She won : $100 gift certificate to The Fabric Store, $100 gift certificate to Stone Mountain & Daughter, $75 gift certificate to Oak Fabrics,  a bundle of 3 naturally dyed silks from A Verb for Keeping Warm, 3 meters of vegan bamboo silk from Ray Stitch


Oona Ballona Award: Katie (@katiekortmanart)

Just like the amazing Oona, Katie rocks the color. She is also a fine artist which really brought her project to the next level. Not only is this dress fabulous on it’s own, but she hand painted the fabric! I love her confidence and how it shines in this dress.

She won : $100 gift certificate to The Fabric Store, $100 gift certificate to Imagine Gnats, $75 gift certificate to Fancy Tiger Crafts,$50 gift certificate to The Confident Stitch, 3 meters of vegan bamboo silk from Ray Stitch,  3 yards of this gorgeous botanical silk print from Bolt in Portland


Couture Award : Elora (@eloraroseledger)

Elora really brought out her couture skills with this gorgeous rose ball gown. Not only is it gorgeous from the outside, but the structure of the dress is is amazing too. One day I want the skills (and patience) of Elora.

She won : $100 gift certificate to The Fabric Store, $100 gift certificate to Blackbird Fabrics, $75 gift certificate to Style Maker Fabrics, 3 patterns of your choice from By Hand London, 3 meters of vegan bamboo silk from Ray Stitch


We also had three prize packs by random choice. The winners of those are:

Community Prize Pack #1: @vreed8657

A collection of gorgeous notions and supplies from Stitch Sew Shop, £30 gift certificate to The Fabric Godmother, $100 gift certificate to the True Bias shop, 3 meters of vegan bamboo silk from Ray Stitch

Community Prize Pack #2: @sewhotmommi

£30 gift certificate to Backstitch Fabrics, $100 gift certificate to Coset Case Patterns shop, 3 meters of vegan bamboo silk from Ray Stitch, $50 gift certificate for Drygoods Design

Community Prize Pack #3: @mydiscowardrobe

3 yards of holiday fabric from La Mercerie, $50 gift certificate for Drygoods Design, $75 gift certificate to Promenade Fabrics, $50 gift certificate and Japanese hand sewing needles from Josephine’s Drygoods


Thank you so much for all the excitement and participation in this contest. I hope you are as inspired by the winners as we are.