Who doesn't love a free pattern? I first discovered Misusu through Zoe's Free Pattern Friday feature, and the Rowan tee has been on my list for a while!

A slightly oversized boxy tee with short dolman sleeves, you say? Count me in! Given that we often find ready-to-wear clothes a little on the tight side, an oversized look was a welcome change. Something that doesn't cling to the body is also perfect for the little heat wave that we are having here in the UK.  
misusu rowan tee free
With very few pattern pieces (front, back, neckband, optional pocket and optional long sleeves), this is certainly a pattern to show off cute prints. And just how cute is this pineapple cotton jersey? The colours just scream summer, and has that effect of instantly putting a smile on my face. 
misusu rowan tee free
I decided to omit the pocket, due to sheer laziness (I wanted this to be a satisfying quick sew). I also opted for the... [read more]
Diary of a Chain Stitcher: In The Folds Wrap Top from Peppermint Magazine in White Linen from The Fabric Store

The project I'm sharing with you today was so enjoyable to make. I don't know about you but I haven't had the concentration of late to get stuck in to an all day or even all afternoon sewing sessions. This project turned out to be the perfect antidote to feeling frustrated with that and I sewed it up across a number of half-hour/hour stints. As I've become more experienced and confident with sewing I think I've developed a tendency to dive right in and speed through things. But this pattern (despite being straightforward and not particularly taxing to construct) made me stop, think and try something new. Trying something new and enjoying the process always makes me fall a little bit in love with sewing all over again. Plus at the end of the process I've made something I'm really proud of and I think improved my techniques slightly too.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: In The Folds Wrap Top from Peppermint Magazine in White Linen from The Fabric Store

This Wrap... [read more]

I’ve always been drawn to the rich colors and artistic patterns of fabric, and I’ve always adored the beautiful detailing of embroidery. So when … More raw edge applique tutorial »

The post raw edge applique tutorial appeared first on My French Twist.

It's Caftans and Cocktails pattern round-up time! 

You all know how much I love a pattern round-up, and this is a pretty fabulous one...

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I’ve been running almost exclusively in my own-sewn sports bras for years now. Specifically, some Jalie “sports bras” I’ve hacked to be supportive enough for running but I couldn’t really recommend to others as the instructions were just for a crop top without much support. And I get asked about sports bra patterns all the time!

I don’t really fancy developing my own sports bra pattern, to be perfectly honest, so I’ve been on the lookout for a good one to recommend to people for just as many years. Now and then I hear from someone that they found so-and-so’s supportive enough, but then I’ll hear from someone else that they had to pinch inches out of the same pattern! I don’t have time to be trying out every supposedly “sports bra” pattern out there, but I’ve tried a few, and had rather enough fails along the way (I’m looking at you, [read more]

I want to be sustainable, I want to be sustainable… sounds a bit like a catchphrase you can sing, doesn’t it? What does the word sustainable evoke in you? A shout of yippee? A groan of “here we go again” or a feeling of guilt? Or maybe it’s in the too-hard basket, so let’s not even think about it

In the current climate, focussing on sustainability can seem almost trivial. But it doesn’t mean we need to totally forget about it if we have a little headspace, so seeing that it’s #MayWeRemindYou month, let’s revisit.

“Less” is the only approach accepted by the majority

In the last few years, I’ve thought a LOT about sustainability, particularly within textiles and fashion. Through a lot of reading, talking to academics, journalists, scientists… the one thing that everyone can agree we can all do it embrace the idea of less. Less stuff... [read more]

My standard knitted hat is 1/4″ of seed stitch and then k3,p3 until I reach the desired length. Bind off, rinse, and repeat. This evening, I picked up one of my knits in progress and began knitting.

This knitted hat will be gifted to my father. He wears all the hats I’ve knit for him, in fact, my mother has taken some of his knitted hats.

This weekend while going through some of my fabric stash I discovered some old clothes that I had put aside to mend or refashion someday -- and I do mean someday!

One of the dresses was a favourite of mine that I wore and wore, probably 20 years ago! I know I bought it in Montreal when I lived there in the 90s. But despite the fact that it was too small and not really in fashion anymore, I couldn't give it away. I love the crinkle stretch rayon and the print, and always thought I should do something with it. I used to wear a lot of those long full skirted dresses and they do have quite a bit of fabric in them. 

So I got it out this weekend and thought I'd probably be able to fit a top onto the skirt pieces. The sleeveless empire bodice is too small and has too many buttons and details to be able to use much of it but the skirt was perfect.

I tested out a... [read more]
Since I completed the first Sinclair Cachet pattern, I cut out another top using fabric from my stash. (I was going to post a photo of it but not found on my computer.) I will post after it is sewn.

Lately I have been reading about cutting fabrics in batches, which I have done previously but not recently. So I cut out the fabric mentioned above and I have cut out another using McCall's 6964. I have made 3 tops in the past couple of years from this pattern and adjustments made still work now. Again I am using fabric from my stash. No photo! I believe I purchased from

The fabric is a cotton knit and one that I was disappointed in when I received it. It has now grown on me and I thought this pattern was good as the fabric stretch matches the required stretch on the back of pattern envelope.

I have also printed out a Sinclair pant pattern to... [read more]


During this difficult pandemic period, sustainability is perhaps not too high on people’s agenda. If anything, an undesirable side effect was the shunning of reusable options, especially outside the house. Moreover, we have also unwittingly increased the amount of disposable plastic, be it wipes, plastic gloves, disposable face masks, as well as take-away containers or other unrecyclable packaging when you did not have another choice based on what is available in the shops. However, life will go back to normal at some and we should go back to the good habits that we might have started forming with regards to…


I hope you’re all ready for a bit of frivolity… I know I am!

Loni, of Havin’ Sew Much Fun fame, and I are teaming up for a high-fun, low-pressure sewing and socializing event for the summer: Caftans and Cocktails. If anything can take your mind off the current craziness in the world it’s dressing up in a bright, oversize swooshy dress and pouring yourself a drink.

Read more »

I love wide legged trousers, so was very happy to see this recent release from Style Arc

They describe the pattern as a ‘pull on pant sewing pattern with a smooth front yoke, elastic back and side pockets. ‘This new wide leg pants pattern gives you the option of 7/8th or full length. The Fifi Woven Pant is a simple pant to sew that will give you a sophisticated look’.

If you’re new to Style Arc patterns, you may find the instructions to be a bit brief, but the diagrams show you the seam order to aid construction and they use a lot of markings to line up seams.

The front sits at the waist and is interfaced to add a bit of body

I also added two small pieces of interfacing at the pocket opening to strengthen

The back 1 inch wide elastic is sewn to the top of the back yoke, two darts add shaping so this section lies flat when worn

Belle Citadel

I bought the Recital Shirt pattern a while back in one of Liesl + Co.’s great periodic sales and thought of it immediately when I was putting together plans for my #thegreatmodulesewalong capsule wardrobe. Masha, the editor of the Oliver + S blog, reached out to ask if I’d be interested in writing a post about how I usually go about fitting myself for a series she’s running (well worth a read!) around the same time and so I mentioned this project and she thought it would be a good one. It wasn’t until I actually got down to it that I remembered it had princess seams, which are actually not something I’ve worked with too much! Still, I went ahead with the post and you can read all about my fitting process in the resulting post over on their blog.



Since I’ve gone into so much detail over there, I’m going to pretty much skip it here and just give a short... [read more]

With COVID-19, the business world has come to a fork in the road: Down one route, shuttered offices. Down the other, companies embracing remote work, showing us how businesses can survive — and thrive! — with a fully remote workforce. And that includes fostering strong team bonds and employee relationships; just because there’s no physical break room or water cooler doesn’t mean companies can’t create opportunities for colleagues to connect.

Not all businesses can operate with remote employees, and the world’s frontline workers don’t have the luxury of dialing in from home. But for those companies that can function without a central office, there are myriad benefits to a distributed workforce. Automattic has always been fully distributed, and we’ve learned a lot about how to build a productive and happy remote workforce over the past 15 years. (CEO... [read more]

Early in March I started making protective masks. It happened accidentally. I went with a friend to visit an assisted living home for her husband. it was at the beginning of things in Michigan. You couldn’t visit people in the hospital and medical workers were having a hard time getting protective gear.

We went to the place and they gave us shoe covers but couldn’t give us masks because they couldn’t get them. I was sad for them and also worried for the residents of the facility. I had seen a tutorial to make the surgical style (pleated) and the shaped masks. I quickly found the tutorial and showed the photos. I asked them if they would like me to make some for them. They were so grateful and asked for 20 masks. I figured it out and dropped them off 2 days later thinking that would be the end of my mask making. I had... [read more]

This weekend past was a long weekend here in Sweden, Ascension Day is a public holiday and at my office we always get the Friday off ass well, so Woo-hoo, four day weekend!  We had grand plans, well grand to be in the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, we meant to meet people. Friends on the Thursday and Friday was my sister 40th birthday so she invited us to a picnic. On Wednesday night my son started sneezing, which was a full-blown cold by Thursday and thus all plans were cancelled.

Love the skirt paired with my denim jacket

Luckily, I had planned to get my car inspected on the Wednesday (mandatory in Sweden), so since I had to leave the house, I also decided to go do some fabric shopping. During April I’ve made a big dent in my stash (11 metres out, nothing in. Still had about 70 metres, though), but I wanted something new and fresh to work with. I picked up four pieces... [read more]

How excited was I to discover that the Spanish-language pattern magazine, Patrones, had launched an app complete with digital issues and downloadable pdf patterns!? You know, the thing we’d all wished Burda had done years ago rather than the abomination of a website they made instead!

I literally was on my iPad in seconds (there’s a version for Android, too) and was browsing the previews of a few issues when I came across a dress I just had to have!

I loved this asymmetric dress enough to buy the whole issue (no407)!

Each pattern comes as its own download with instructions in Spanish (easy enough to Google Translate, but not illustrated so you’ll need to know what you’re doing) and an at-home pdf pattern (no Copy Shop versions). The pattern pdfs are only a few pages (yay!) but with the pieces overlapping so they have to be traced (boo!). And since this... [read more]

We just had denim month in February this year, so it’s a bit tough to revisit. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a bit of our behind the scenes process so our readers know how these months come together.

You may have seen one of our call outs for articles or pieces for this site — we do at least one for every theme month and mini call-outs for specific topics where we know the community will have more experience or a different viewpoint than the editors do.

You see, that viewpoint is critical to the Sewcialists — we acknowledge that we are not the most diverse group of people, with our diversity limited by who volunteers to become a guest editor, and the people who volunteer to write articles for us. This is why the call out process is so important, and why we work so closely with our guest bloggers to get their content on our... [read more]

Sometimes the thing I bought the fabric for turns out to be a bad idea
And then I need to think of something else.
The fabric in question is in the bucket under the bucket. Dyed the fabric and it still was a fail. A sad dull icky fail.
Pinterest used to be a good brain jogger, but it's so full of ads and repeats, there's no real deep dive. And Any Popular Internet Search Engine tends to have the same gamed results.

Thus, Style Arc.

A deep enough catalog of recognizable tech drawings and patterns similar to ones I own.
(there's a whole conversation about that I'm sure I had with myself about this over the years)

Now I cruise their patterns for ideas and use them for my own.

I have enough patterns.

I can kluge a feature onto one that already fits me.
I have a couple of sweater knits that need to be made up to keep me warm in this very cold and housebound spring

 This idea is for later

Creative Sewing Ideas / Singer Reference Library
Minnetonka, MN: Cy DeCosse, c1990
127 p.
This is another book in the Singer Reference Library series, published by Cy Deosse in the 80s & early 90s. I have quite a few titles in this series, thanks to my thrift store habits.

This one fits nicely into this month's look at some of the books on embellishments that I have on my shelves. However, the first third is more about fabric manipulation than strictly about embellishment. 

It shares how to twist silk for a pleated texture, how to felt wool, and dye and discharge or stamp fabric to change the surface design. Some of these ideas are quite beautiful - the silk technique in particular seems very modern again.

Then the book moves on to sharing creative details that you can adapt to add some spark to your garments. From adding shaped bound buttonholes... [read more]
Like many people in Australia (and worldwide) I've been working from home for quite a few weeks now. Or is it months? Who knows - time seems to have stopped making much sense lately.

During that time the weather has gone from warm to coolish as we head towards winter. I've been wearing the same leggings and tops during almost that whole time and am really lacking some comfortable, but not too pyjama-like clothes for "work".

I've not really felt much like sewing as my "office" now takes up the whole space where I usually sew. I hardly sewed at all last year as we lost the space due to our flat flooding so this work from home thing is really cramping my creative outlets.  BUT I looked through my fabric stash the other day and saw this knit fabric bought on our last trip to Tokyo and I thought it would make a nice top or tunic (IG poll said Tunic was the way to... [read more]

Sometimes, a style catches your eye even if you aren't sure you will wear it. I suppose it isn't the worst thing ever to make a frivolous garment or two. And for some reason, I keep noticing capes and cape-influenced styles.

The Pattern

Although I have several thrifted cape patterns, I really liked another from the "Fun with Burda" category, Burda 08/2009 #112.  Which I could only find on the German site, so that means...instructions in German. I blithely thought my high school German and Google translate would cope just fine. And I'll just say that Google translate was not up to the challenge. I don't know if the abbreviations or terminology were stumping it, but the "English" was very bewildering. Just an aside: I have a lot of trouble finding Burda patterns online, so if anyone else does too, I'll add that the website address current as of today is [read more]
Well … I’m blogging over at the Lányos Handmade Shop this weekend. If you would like to learn the answer to that question, and more importantly leave your own opinion, head on over here! Thank you! Oh! While you’re over there, don’t forget to sign up for “The Bag Blog”, the Lányos Handmade Newsletter –… Continue reading Which Fabric Face Mask pattern do I like the best?

Style Arc are based in my home town – Melbourne. They’re a terrific bunch of women who also design awesome clothing and draft superbly. I really liked the look of these trousers – fitted yoke waist, pockets, tapered but loose fit. And the added style feature of the very eye catching front full leg pleat.

From the SA website

As I traced off the pattern I altered the pockets to be slant pockets with a pocket stay. I did my usual waist adjustment to remove excess, tapering in from the upper hip on each pattern piece.

Sewing up was interesting to say the least. Style Arc have a minimalist approach to sewing  instructions. Consequently I folded and stitched the pleat the wrong way. Instead of the outside in, mine is inside out. Style Arc have some instructions on their website – craftily hidden under blog posts, I managed the fly zip anyway.

Then I... [read more]

papers beside shears and paper cutter
Credit: Jazmin Quaynor/ Unsplash

One of the positive things about being in quarantine is all the "free" time we have. Time that we usually do not have, which means that we know have the time to be crafty, to learn a language, or to just relax.

During this time I've done some sewing, crafting, and used part of my time productively, but one of my issues as a craft person is that I'll often feel overwhelmed with all the craft possibilities out there (looking at you Pinterest). Obviously, I'm not the only person who will feel stressed out or overwhelmed when faced with many options, and so I thought to make compilation/roundup post of some simple DIYs to do during this quarantine period.

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