Recently I was asked by a friend if I could make a tulle petticoat for her daughter's prom dress.  The dress in question is a lovely navy knee length dress with a lace bodice and softly flared skirt in satin with a soft tulle outer shell.  Something very like these:


My brief was to make the skirt fuller.  It is softly gathered at the waist and slightly 'A' line which meant sewing a petticoat which added fullness without losing the original shape of the dress.

I made a toile first for the upper part and then made a petticoat based on measurements with a satin upper half and pleated tulle layers to fit the length of the dress.

To make the upper section, I cut two rectangles of navy anti-static satin lining fabric, 10 cm wider than hip measurements and about 30 cm long, to give good coverage.

For the tulle, I used alternating layers of navy and black to... [read more]

csc swimwear month

We’ve reached the end of Swimwear Month on the CSC!  We hope that we’ve inspired you to sew swimwear for yourself and if you ever want to share your experiences, what you’ve made, or any tips and tricks with our community, we welcome your contribution to our site.  For further information on contributing to the CSC, please read the contributor guidelines here.

Below is a summary of our Swimwear Month posts which you can refer back to for inspiration or help.

Suzan Steinberg - Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics -

Suzan Steinberg

In February the Bay Area sewing community was shocked to hear that Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics was going to stop offering sewing classes at the end of June. This great store had offered classes for two decades. Owner Suzan Steinberg made this momentous announcement on her Fabric Lady blog. You can read that post here.

As the news about Stonemountain’s classes gradually spread, I could tell from conversations I had with a few people at Bay Area Sewists meetups (I’m the organizer of this Meetup group), that there was some confusion about why the decision was made and what it meant for the future of the store. So I decided to go directly to the source and interview Suzan. After our phone interview concluded, she also sent me these two paragraphs about the store, which will give you some sense of its history:

Our... [read more]

Hi friends! Long time no see! If you follow me on instagram you know my life has been all-consumed by our 6 month house hunt and now, phase 2, a 4-6 week reno. (Shameless Over-Excited new home owner plug...)

Somehow, through the madness, I've managed to talk myself into committing to social sewing projects. Which in this case is actually something I'm grateful for. I needed to scratch my creative itch (in a non-$$$ light fixture kind of way).  

So that's exactly what I did here, on my stop of the Top Knot pattern tour! 

My friend Gabriela over at Chalk & Notch just released her second girl's pattern, this adorable all-season romper and dress:

There have been so many inspiring Top-Knot creations made throughout this pattern release tour! (Link to those below) Long and short sleeve versions, short and pant versions, and... [read more]

Buoyed up from watching some complete strangers on a TV show (Great British Sewing Bee) make bras I’ve decided to make my own bikini. I know – there’s something about fools and money and parting in that statement.

First decision is which pattern.

I like the vintage style bikinis but have some confused thoughts about the big pants on them. I’ve been polling friends about whether they are flattering with mixed responses of “yes!” and “hell no your arse will eclipse the moon!”

I don’t have a particularly large arse but I do have rather unsightly varicose veins. So my thinking is if I wear large pants people will be too busy commenting on my large arse to focus on my hideous varicose veins. Well it’s a theory and as a scientist theories should be tested!
So pattern choices are

Named patterns Beverly twisted bikini

I’ve got the hots for this pattern but... [read more]

Back in May Kat Hardisty from The Monthly Stitch and Muse Patterns got in touch and asked if I’d like to join in something new for Indie Pattern Month.   In return for being given a pattern bundle I was asked to make one or more of the six garments and tell you all about it.   I chose the Getaway Bundle.  At the time of choosing I had no idea what patterns would be included, but as I was going away on holiday in June I was sure there would be something I’d want to make. And there was! It was all a bit exciting and if I’d have had time I’d had made at least 4 of the garments.  I’ve already got the Islander Jacket Express pattern traced off (from at least 18 months ago!!) but not gotten round to making it!   But time wasn’t on my side so I first off the Amber Trousers. The trousers were made in time for my hols but due to extremely hot weather I never wore them (the lowest …
Hello! Thank you to all of our participants in the Social Sew this month. Your Sun Dressing items really impressed me with their creativity and sheer variety, so thank you so much for linking up! Also, I want to thank you for introducing yourselves through this medium--I've been finding new bloggers to follow every time, which I absolutely love. I hope you have also been exploring the other people who link up their projects, as there is some amazing work to be seen!

Rachel at the Wild Stitch is in this month's spotlight--I love the colors and the relaxed fit of her Seamwork Catarina midi. She's in Canada but it looks like the Caribbean with that gorgeous aqua water and perfect summer dress!

I also lovvvve Sara Jolie's lemon print retro dress! Beautiful inside and out.

The Kninja made a great chambray set--y'all know how I feel about matching sets!--that... [read more]

While my own wardrobe may be 99% own-sewn, I’m only one woman and I like to concentrate my sewing for James into items he can’t regularly find in shops. Often this means loud and garish shirts in unusual prints (just wait til 4th of July…), but occasionally it’s for practical reasons. In this case, he has two Dakine shirts that are made from some sort of thin, technical woven that dries really quickly and resists wrinkling. So he got just a wee bit excited when he saw was stocking something that looked really similar. They called it “workwear fabric” (it’s no longer available) – a thin, 100% polyester woven that resists wrinkling and dries quickly – perfect for him to wear to cycle into work without looking like a sweaty mess all day.

James red shirt - 4

If you’ve sewn with wrinkle-resistant fabrics before, you know they can sometimes be a pain as they also... [read more]

Simplicity 1363 is complete!  Finally!

I really like this top and wore it yesterday with pants and open toe shoes to work. The top felt good while wearing and the fabric was perfect for hot summer day, yet cool in the office. Hardly any wrinkles.

I took pictures Tuesday evening of the top and it looked good with shorts as something casual, it looked business casual for work though our work place attire is very formal.  With planning discussion with staff from two mission related programs, this was perfect for brainstorming, no suits or panty hose needed.   A certain someone in the agency may think otherwise.

I digress--here are shots of the top.

A few notes about this pattern that you may want to consider if you decide to make this.

  • Pattern has lots of ease.  I normally use size 14-16 in Vogue and Butterick patterns. For this one I used small for neck, upper chest,... [read more]

The fabric that we use to make our bags can change the look of the bag completely and for some of us choosing the fabric is the most exciting part of making a bag.  Below, I listed some places and … Continued

The post Fabric Inspiration for Bag Making appeared first on My Handmade Space.

Waterfalls and sweater knits...

Read more »

Pssst! Over here. Need something to take the edge off? Something that’ll make you feel great? I got what you need. I’m your pusher…


And I’m pushin’ TERRY CLOTH. Lawdamercy, why didn’t anyone TELL me that terry cloth is heaven on earth? These pants caress my legs all day with millions of tiny soft loops that swish around in buttery-soft drapiness. Siiiiighhhhhh….


As soon as I made these addictive narcotic pants I rushed back to my pusher (The Work Room) to get more. I had experienced nirvana, and needed more, More, MORE! But when I got there I didn’t see any left.

Sweat broke out on my brow.

“Excuse me,” I said, concealing my panic, “I bought some terry cloth here last year, I think it was rayon or bamboo terry…do you have any left?”

“Sorry, none left.”

“Will you be getting any more in?” I choked out in a high pitched voice.

“Maybe. I don’t... [read more]

Jodå, det går framåt. Trikåtoppen har ju sett dagens ljus, men också en vit blus och snart också en jeanskavaj. Men jag vill inte posera med min ”kollektion” förrän den är helt klar och jag dessutom har varit hos frissan. Så om en tio dagar ungefär! Kavajen är väldigt rolig att sy. Jag har sytt […]

Hello again!  Here are some shorts I made for going to Croatia.  New Look 6100.  And you know what that means?  I managed to get some gorgeous sickeningly beautiful location shots- same day as my swimsuit wearing at Orlec on the Croation Island of Cres.  (see previous post for my travel notes on Cres) Sorry…. blue sky & turquoise sea alert….seems such a long way from our current rain & semi autumnal week we have been having.

Orlec Croatia

So I have made New Look 6100 twice before – both versions.  They are a lovely style – a yoke waist, side zip & front pockets.  Two styles – a straight cut pair with a cuff – view A and the slightly flared version (almost culottes!) – view B.  I loved my pink pair the most, version A – the most -straight cut shorts with a cuff.  However (cough) I have added a few pounds since making these (it will drop off again once I am back training... [read more]

It's a long story...are you ready?
I love this dress and I wanted to make it the mintute I saw it for several reasons. It's designed by Lisa Pahn who won The Great Swedish Sewing Bee (Hela Sverige Syr). It's a total throwback to the 70's country western vibe which I have loved since the days I started seriously thrifting and following KD Lang and the Reclines everywhere. Though not extremely complicated, it needs a great level of precision. Kwik Sew 4133's got a whopping 19 pattern pieces, it's a lot for an unlined dress, in total I cut 44 various bits of fabric and interfacing, what a puzzle! 
C'est une longue histoire...vous êtes prêts?
J'ai aimé cette robe dès que je l'ai vu et j'ai voulu la faire tout de suite pour plusieurs raisons. Elle a été dessiné par Lisa Pahn la gagnante de Cousu Main Suédois (Hela Sverige Syr). C'est un flashback du temps où je courais le... [read more]
Guys. There are a few garments in my closet that I made in a fit of holy-shit-it’s-hot-out-get-me-some-silk-tshirts last summer. I haven’t blogged them. Because they’re basic. And they were made in aforementioned fit. But they’re also some of my most-worn items, so it’s about time. Here, I give you my favorite silk t-shirt: True, it’s […]

The Mighty recently published an article about living with high-functioning anxiety and it got me thinking.

I got into a car accident (not my fault) several years ago that triggered a long period of crippling anxiety. It affected me in ways that I'm still not quite ready to talk about. But I went to a psychologist and she helped me develop coping mechanisms, and now I'm pretty much okay.

That doesn't mean that I no longer suffer from anxiety though. I just means that I can function through it. I actually function really well through it; it pushes me, makes me question everything I do, which in turn makes me better.

I think that one of the differences between being anxious and suffering from anxiety is that being anxious is a temporary, normal and even healthy state - one that we've evolved to help us in times of trouble - whereas when you suffer from... [read more]

Life has still been moving at a hectic pace, and I am really feeling the need to just take a few days and veg out to some Netflix or some of my favorite movies. Last week was my birthday, and I didn’t get a chance to take time off from work, like I usually do. So, this past weekend, I spent most of Saturday just hanging out with Miss Elma. She indulged me on my impromptu quest for ingredients to make olive cheese bread that quickly became a late lunch of vegetarian sushi and boneless, honey BBQ wings. lol. After she left, I discovered that my ac unit went down for the second time in a week, but this time it’s down for the count. Figures that it would die just before the hottest days of the year, so far. While we are waiting for the new ac unit to be installed, I have acquired a portable ac/heater room unit. It’s doing a really good job of keeping the house... [read more]

Let’s start off with something happy. My garden is flourishing:

Instagram Photo

I got more flowers and the back planter is fixed, but not yet rid of the rogue tree in the planter. Once the tree is gone, I can dig out the roots and finally refill the planter. I think some more hostas and a shade-loving flowering bush or two would be awesome.

On to the not-so-happy…

I’ve been pretty transparent about my health issues on this blog and I wanted to update since I finally got diagnosed. I have ehlers-danlos syndrome hypermobility type. It’s a connective tissue disorder that presents with hypermobile joints, chronic pain, thin skin, (cigarette paper) widened thin skinned scars, frequent bruising, and poor wound healing. My connective tissue which keeps my joints in place sucks and doesn’t help keep my joints in place at all. This explains my frequent subluxations/dislocations... [read more]

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at sewing a swimsuit for years, but have always been intimated by the idea. I’ve sewn pants, jeans, and lined coats in the past, but a swimsuit? That’s scary! (At least, it’s scary to me.)

Enter Beverly Johnson’s Sewing Swimsuits class from Craftsy. This class walks you through the entire process of constructing a swimsuit, including basic fitting adjustments and ideas for design alterations.

Sewing Swimsuits with Beverly Johnson

Sewing Swimsuits with Beverly Johnson

Class Description

On the Craftsy website, Sewing Swimsuits has the following class description:

Sew swimwear that fits better than store-bought! Learn techniques for working with swimwear fabric, adding supportive cups, shaping seams and more.

Learn how to sew a one-piece swimsuit that’s comfortable and flattering with sewing expert Beverly Johnson.... [read more]

Click here to open your summer shirt lookbook

The post Are You Looking for The Perfect Summer Shirt? appeared first on Muse Attire.

Ernest Wright & Son, Sheffield

Given the referendum results, I think those of us in Britain currently feel awkward posting anything which sounds like it celebrates Britain. In the wake of an isolationist result, we don’t want to look insular or nationalistic.

However, regardless of UK and international politics, it’s important that we celebrate and support our independent businesses, our manufacturing industry (and the jobs it creates), & our artisans and craftspeople.

In fact, the referendum results make it even more vital that we support independent businesses, who are themselves facing a lot of uncertainty and new risks.

I keep in mind how much pressure independent businesses are under, and that it is often a real struggle for small businesses to keep operating, let alone profitably. If we don’t support the independent businesses we care... [read more]

skirt | top: Simplicity 3480 | shoes (similar, similar and under $100!) | clutch 
fabric c/o Fabric Wholesale Direct ($5 off $35 with code weloveallie)

When I made my tuck-in crop top, I was inspired by the design of a 60s pattern with the same detail--a deep pleat at the waist that gives the impression of a crop top but still allows you to tuck your top in. Here's a different way to accomplish this effect! Although my original tutorial uses less fabric and is perfect for light to medium weight fabric, if you have a thicker fabric that would be too bulky to tuck in neatly, or if you have a sheer or see-through material (like this gorgeous lace) and you want some more coverage, this dual-layered top might be a better choice. I made this top by cutting two layers (crop top-length in the guipure lace and longer length in the cotton voile) and sewing the... [read more]
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