Firehose

For a holiday gift that’s absolutely brimming with possibility, look no further than our brand new feature which allows any reader to gift a WordPress.com subscription renewal to their favorite website.  

As a website owner, this is a way to allow your most ardent fans to show their gratitude for all the hard work you’ve put into your passion project over the years. 

As a reader, this is a way to show a bit of thanks to your favorite creators — be they bloggers, artists, small business owners, or even your pesky-but-loveable little brother who’s finally trying to give his site some attention. 

This feature will be displayed as a black banner across the top of the site, from which readers will be able to click “Gift” and then be taken right to a checkout page. 

Easy as that!

As of today, we’ve rolled out this feature to a small number... [read more]

In September 2022, we released SSH for Business and eCommerce sites. SSH (secure shell protocol) allows you to access your site from the command line and use tools such as WP-CLI to manage your site, plugins, users, and more.

Our users loved the feature — but they wanted more. So we’re pleased to announce that we’ve added the ability to add SSH keys to your account to make it even easier to connect to your site. Read on to get started.

How to Setup and Use Your SSH Key

  1. Copy your public SSH key to your clipboard.
  2. From your WordPress.com dashboard, go to My Profile.
  3. On the My Profile page, click on Security.
  4. Click on the SSH Key option available in the Security Checklist.
  5. Paste your SSH Key to the Public SSH Key field.
  6. Click on the Save SSH Key button.
  7. Select the site you wish to connect from the My Sites option.
  8. From your... [read more]

A different kind of post today - I'm trying out my new lightbox which I bought to help with my embroidery projects! It's a basic style, the size of a regular sheet of paper, with 3 brightness levels and a USB charger. It should be enough for me though. 

I generally trace my patterns by taping the pattern and fabric to a window (ie: my summer Peace for Ukraine project). But in winter it's harder, since my porch is too cold to trace in and my inside windows are harder to use; it's not as bright out and many of my windows have panes. So I splurged on this little lightbox - it was under $30 and should make my life easier.

I got out the next pattern I am planning on using - a floral Tryzub design, also by @EmbroideryArtbyNat. This is a pattern from her Patreon, and I'm happy to support her this way as she is on her refugee journey from Ukraine to... [read more]

Hello, Friends! I'm back with what is probably my last personal make of the year. *gasp* I feel like this has been a great sewing year for me and I was able to grow and experience a number of different sewing skills. And I experienced quite a few in this top specifically.


This is the Viki Sews Tally Bustier in a size 44, 170-176cm height.

Fabric

There is so much drama that goes into the making of this top, between printing the pdf pattern at the wrong scale and sewing it up in the last of my fabric at the smaller scale, that I don't have the energy to recount it all smh. But I will say, this isn't the fabric that it was originally supposed to be made out of.

If you check out my last post about the Aso Ebi skirt, the double-sided suede green fabric I used for the flounce was going to be what I used. I was making it with the shiny side as the... [read more]
We're making festive frosting over here.

Read more »



These were leftover birdhouses from our wedding centerpieces. I tried to make them into Christmas village houses. I just used cardboard/cardstock and kept them all white. Next year I can easily paint them different colors to match a new theme.  I have a couple other houses I can makeover next year and truly make it a village (with more trees too). I'd like to actually cut out the doors instead of cardboard too. I think that'll look best but for now this is what I did.

The macrame candle jar cover took me a bit but now I know really well how to do square and diagonal half hitch knots. I used this tutorial on youtube: DIY Macramé Jar Cover | Boho Candle Holder Tutorial by Macrame School



Pretty simple transformation with these birdhouses. I also think adding some paper string lights would be cute added detail.




I had these 4 inch square frames and... [read more]

I finished my project for the #SewWrapped Instagram challenge that I mentioned last week -- I did get it in by the deadline on IG, but haven't got around to writing a full review of it, until today! I decided to use New Look 6081, a pattern from the 80s that's been in my stash for a while. I paired it with a stash fabric, a red & white, faintly sparkly stretch lace that I bought ages ago. 

The pattern calls for wovens or a jersey, so I thought that this not too stretchy lace would work for it. It's a fairly simple pattern, with four pieces -- front, back, and two ties. I had to make adjustments with my fabric in mind. First, I had to cut it out on the crossgrain so that the stretch was going around my body and not vertically. Luckily the floral pattern is random, not a vertically oriented one, so that didn't matter. The hems and finishes were actually easier than... [read more]

Another family birthday gift, this time a beautiful jacket for my mom. 

Read more »
Make, Sew and Mend / Bernadette Banner 
Salem, MA: Page Street Publishing, c2022
200 p.


This is a new book by the popular historical sewist/blogger Bernadette Banner. I must admit I haven't really followed her closely in the past, as hand sewing and historical costuming isn't my main area of interest. But I have certainly heard about her. So when this book showed up in my library, I had to check it out! The subtitle also caught my attention: traditional techniques to sustainably maintain and refashion your clothes. 

The book is set out in sections: Preparing Materials (fiber, cutting, pinning etc); Stitches (lots of hand stitch examples and how and when to use them); Applications (seams finishing, pressing, buttons, extras like pleats & insertions); Practical Alterations (adding pockets or sleeve gussets, hemming -- this is the entirety of the 'refashion'... [read more]

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Best-in-class WordPress hosting. Unparalleled support. All the SEO, security, and design features you need, built right in. For a limited... [read more]

Sewing Challenges are always a fun thing to follow on Instagram -- I must admit I don't do all that catch my eye, as my sewing schedule is always pretty full with preplanned things. But now and again one aligns with my ideas and my stash and piques my interest.

The latest one is #SewWrapped, hosted by @cloth_edit and @dahlia_sewciety

I have come across this one at the eleventh hour: the deadline is Nov 27, NZ time. The challenge is to make an item of clothing with a wrap or surplice feature. I'm not always very fond of wrap designs so don't have a ton of patterns with that feature -- or at least I thought I didn't, until I sorted through some patterns to see what I could make. 

Here are some of the patterns I'm considering: 




These are all stash patterns and I'm hoping to find the appropriate fabric in my stash as well, as I am not buying any more fabric this year!

And I also... [read more]

Hello, friends! I was invited to another Nigerian wedding last month and this time, I was given the opportunity to wear the aso ebi of the wedding party! Aso Ebi is a uniform dress or dressing code/style that is worn in certain African cultures as an indicator of cooperation, camaraderie, and solidarity during ceremonies, events, and festive periods.


Out of this beautiful Aso Ebi fabric, I made the skirt from Vogue 1426 (OOP) in a size 14.

Fabric

Okay, so about this fabric. I bought this fabric straight from Nigeria through the bride & groom's wedding website! It's a BEAUTIFUL burgundy floral lace with sequins around the flower petals and accents of yellow, green, and pale pink. It's way more gorgeous in person than these pictures show, sorry to say.


As soon as I received the fabric, I went straight to my Sortly app to check out my directory of... [read more]

 

Make Your Own Dress Patterns / Adele P. Margolis
illus. by Judy Skoogfors
Mineola, NY: Dover Books, 2006, c1985.
480 p.

I realized when I recently reviewed Sewing Love by Sanae Ishida that she mentions Adele P. Margolis' Make Your Own Dress Patterns -- which is one of my favourite books on patternmaking. Inexplicably I have never shared it here. That changes now! 

This is my Dover edition, the easiest one to locate if you're looking for a copy. It's an exact reprint of the original, though, and has all the delightful line drawings intact. I have talked about another of Margolis' books in the past, How to Make Clothes That Fit and Flatter, and many of the selling points for me in that book are found here as well. 


Margolis is funny, with quips in her intro and clever chapter headings. But she's also very knowledgeable, and this book delves into how to... [read more]

Have you used Patterns on your site yet? 

These prebuilt, customizable templates combine professionally-designed blocks for specific uses like stylized quotes, contact page layouts, and product listings. But that’s just the beginning. All told, we have more than 275+ Patterns you can insert into your pages and posts at the press of a button.

If you’ve never used Patterns before, they’re like any other site element: Access them by hitting the “+” button at the top left of the page or post you’re working on, then selecting the “Patterns” tab. You can also click on the “Explore” button to bring up our entire library of Patterns, organized by category. 

Think of them as sophisticated slices of web design for your posts and pages. You can drop them in as-is, or customize them to your liking. Even better, we’re adding more... [read more]

Many, many sewers have made this jumpsuit and loved it. So now I have too, but there were many, many problems along the way. And there was less love.

The Pattern

This is the very popular Zadie jumpsuit from Paper Theory, an independent pattern company. It is the most widely-sewn pattern I have seen online, and in the countless posts I have come across, I am surprised that nobody seems to have any complaints about it. None! But I have a lot of issues with this pattern specifically and digital patterns/independent pattern companies generally.

Pdf patterns
I find pdf patterns to be a problematic format. Obviously, they are great for pattern merchants, who have eliminated a whole layer of printing, shipping & handling, storage, and inventory management costs. But I generally avoid pdf patterns when possible, unless the company offers no other option. If the past year... [read more]

 I've been doing some sewing the last little while, as you might have noticed from my last post about projects underway; sadly I can't share anything I've finished this week quite yet as they are both for other things right now. 

But I can share some of the interesting things I've been reading and watching and seeing around the online world! I have found that I've been spending a lot of time listening to podcasts while sewing, and they are 95% sewing/fashion ones -- probably the usual suspects, like Here We Sew Again, PunkFrockers, Check Your Thread, UnCut, Stitch Please, Stitchery Stories, and the Dressed Podcast, among others -- but if you haven't checked these ones out they are all a lot of fun to catch up on. I've also been listening to UkrainianSpaces, a fabulous Ukrainian based podcast (in English) in which the two hosts interview tons of people... [read more]

I feel like it's been quite a while since I made myself something simple, and the new Jesse Tee from True Bias is a great palette cleanser. You can get this pattern for free if you sign up for the True Bias newsletter. There are two versions, cropped and regular length, and sizing is from 0-32.

True Bias Jesse Tee

I was drawn to the cropped version, since I already have my ride or die TNT t-shirt in the Union St. Tee. I have gently eased into the high-rise/cropped shirt trend, but only with cropped tank tops. This is my first crop top with a sleeve, and I like how it came out!

True Bias Jesse Tee

Fabric choice is important if you want to achieve the boxy shape shown in the sample photos. You don't want too much drape, or you'll lose the silhouette. True Bias has a blog post about fabric here, they recommend the slub jersey from iSee Fabric. I decided to shop my stash and found a... [read more]

If I’m honest, I always used to avoid sewing invisible zips – it looked fiddly and I wasn’t sure I’d ever get it looking neat enough to be worth it!

Over the years I’ve seen lots of tutorials and learned a few tips for how to get them looking lovely and neat. It turns out I was making it hard for myself, and it actually was surprisingly achievable!

Here are my top tips, and a little step-by-step for how to sew your own invisible zip. They’re brilliant for neat closures on dresses, skirts or things for the house like cushions.

For starters, you’ll need an invisible zipper foot. There are different types, but they all allow you to sew nice and close to the teeth. Choose a zip to closely match your fabric, and the right length for your pattern.

You’ll need

 Hello, friends! Long time no talk... sewing has definitely been going on!

I'm back with the skirt I made to attend NYC Frocktails, and BOY is there a lot to talk about!

This is the 10K Midi Skirt from Tammy Silver in a size G (spoiler: I should've gone smaller).

Photo by Anjelica Jardiel @anjelicajardiel
Let me first start this deep dive by talking about the fabric. This is a stretch reversible sequin fabric that I picked up at Los Tejidos in Panama. You can see that fabric haul in this previous blog post. I picked this fabric because it was beautiful and so dynamic! This was my first time ever sewing with sequins so my rude awakening was soon coming LOL



Cutting the Fabric

I did some research on YouTube on the best ways to cut sequin fabric because everyone talks about how much of a pain and mess it is. I found a video that showed to use... [read more]

Fresh off my recent knitting success, I decided to give a crochet sweater pattern I'd been eyeing a go! 

Read more »

Ina of L'Etoffe Fabrics posted a link to this in her recent email blast.

Some things never go away, so maybe we don't need to use them.

Four minutes worth your time.

 https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/second-opinion/microplastics-and-human-health




 

The Paris Seamstress / Natasha Lester
New York : Forever, 2018
453 p.

I knew I was going to have to read this one at some point -- I couldn't ignore the title or plotline, in which a seamstress from Paris escapes to New York during WWII and starts up a fashion line. However, I am getting a little read out on the WWII stories these days and so had put this one off for a while. 

But this month I finally got to it. It was a pretty good read, although the plethora of "WWII in Paris" novels do start to kind of blend together at some point. In this one there is the added intrigue of famous people who our main character slowly finds out are linked to her in inextricable ways. Lots of family secrets, dashing spies, political intrigue, romance, and of course a lot of sewing.

I liked the balance among all these elements. Estella is a young woman working in a... [read more]

This is a baby romper I made using this vintage Simplicity sewing pattern and thrifted plaid fabric. I’ve made a variation of this pattern in the past many times for my @fancylittlemoon Etsy shop so I’m quite familiar with it. I did add Kam snaps to the bottom of this one though. Felt cool making it for keeps now lol. I had this fabric in my stash for a long time too so it’s nice putting it to good use. I made a matching baby bucket hat using this pattern by Sweet Red Poppy and adorned it with a cute little teddy face embroidered patch I bought from Chicbaby Studio etsy shop.

 ✂



Simplicity pattern 7456 is vintage from 1976. It comes in individual sizes. For this particular romper I used the... [read more]
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