My favorite kind of clothing is something simple, with a fun twist. Today I mean that quite literally, as I'm sharing my tutorial for a tie-front top using the Santa Fe pattern from Hey June!

I've seen these tie-front tops all over Pinterest, and actually Hey June already has a pattern for a version in a woven fabric. But I wanted one in a knit, and didn't feel like purchasing another pattern for this feature. I figured it would be easy enough to do with any pattern that has a center front seam. I chose the Santa Fe because in addition to the seam I needed, it has extra ease due to the swing hemline. The ease is needed so you can tie the top without it being too tight.

My previous Santa Fe, you can see the swing hem

To start, lay out your pattern piece with extra paper on top or below (I used Swedish tracing paper from Amazon). Line up the straight edge of... [read more]

So it’s come to this. Me, sharing pictures of myself in a bikini online. A leopard print one at that! But you know what? I’m more proud of this make than any other so far, despite it still needing a few tweaks. Read on for more about my first (but definitely not my last) plunge into swimwear sewing…


Flintstones Bikini 5
Yabba, dabba doo!


In a Nutshell:

A retro-style, halter neck, high waisted bikini. In leopard print pulled from the stash. What’s not to like?! I should just stick a bone through my hair and go full on cavewoman glam 😛

No, honestly, I did save a chicken bone for precisely that purpose, then forgot to use it in the photoshoot!


Two Seamwork patterns, which were intended as a set as they came in the same issue. The top is Reno, and the bottoms are Dakota.


A leopard print 4-way stretch poly jersey I found in Fabric Land, Bristol. I’d originally... [read more]

Tribute Month - Meg

Tribute Month is finally here!!! It’s been a lot of work getting the Sewcialists blog up and running, but I’m so thrilled with the awesome team of volunteers who are making this theme month happen.

I’ve got a few projects planned for Tribute Month, and I decided to start with the easiest: Meg from Cookin’ and Craftin’! Easy because of the patterns I used, but also because Meg’s style is close to my own, and while I think this is something she’d wear, it’s also very much something that feels like me!

Remember my plan/inspiration?

Meg Collage

Happily, it came together just as I imagined! (Unlike the other Tribute Project I’ve made, which had to be ripped apart and resized!)

Tribute Month - Meg

Meg is a prolific blogger and Curvy Sewing Collective Editor who often tests new patterns and sews a little bit of everything: jeans! jumpsuits! boxy linen cocoon dresses!... [read more]

So here's the latest installment of the #ettaquiltproject.  Now my Grandma had this labeled as an "all american star" [Luckily she had labeled all of her templates which made this project a bunch easier, it also showed me where my big sister gets her organisational skills from!] But looking on the internet I could only see one example that looked this this under the title of "all american

Other people’s blogs?  Apart from the very few books that I already recommended in an earlier post, I really don’t do that sort of research.  I’m not an academic, I’m not a historian, I’m a maths teacher who likes making costumes!  I love reading everyone else’s accounts of their fascinatingly precise research, and I like to pretty much know when I’m doing things correctly, and when I’m being theatrical or deliberately anachronistic, but I don’t need to worry about the dreaded H.A.

So apart from good old Google, it all comes from reading the stuff you guys write.  Keep ‘em coming!

I could try to do a comprehensive list of all the bloggers I love to read, both muggle and costumers, but there are a lot of them, so I’ll just post links here to things I have read fairly recently, that informed and/or entertained.  S

ome bloggers that I used to really... [read more]


Here’s one of my recent makes “in action”. This is a gratuitous pic of my Scooter, who is stubborn enough to stand on the armrest regardless of how many times I command, “step back”.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve worked on finishing the bodice-embellished dresses that I wrote about. Here’s an update of how things have gone.

The stencil dress turned out really well. For this project, I first stitched the front together and the back together. Then I taped off the stencil area,  and it was easy to rotate the stencil and fill in the bodice.

Because of my surgery area, and the thin fabric of the dress, I wish I had extended the stenciled area further down, but I like and wear the dress. It’s very comfortable on warm days, and we’ve had plenty of those in the past few weeks.

Yes, I’m barefooted around the house most days in the summer…


stitch dress topAnother... [read more]

I posted a picture of this top on Instagram a week ago, a work in progress.  I completed it and finally wore it to work.  I took some pictures of this top after work deciding to shoot them outside in the front of the house.  I am tired of the hallway, kitchen and bedroom photos.

I used the tripod and timer to take these.  I have to say I was wondering to myself  what are the neighbors thinking seeing me do this.  Oh well, if they are curious enough they will ask.

Back view

Here is the hands on hip pose
and another hands on hips, not my best smile-it was hot outside

Front view

I love the fabric, a Nicole Miller design sold at JoAnn's; I like the top.  It is a little wide in the neck area and would adjust that more so should I make this again.  It is a boxy top with drop shoulder.

I think boxy tops are "okay" and work with slim pants or even a longer skirt; maybe even a... [read more]
This year has not been a very productive one so far - this is only the third item on my #2017makenine. But still, I'm chipping away at it, slowly!

I don't usually wear this type of looser pants, but I always thought it would be super comfortable, especially in the summer. I can't remember where I bought the pattern from, but it was probably on sale somewhere. As a matter of fact, I can't remember where I got the fabric either, possibly from Gala fabrics before the closed down their South Granville location.

The fabric had been in my stash for a while. It's a medium-weight cotton, which makes it a pretty versatile fabric, suitable for a number of garments. When I first bought the pattern, I didn't remember about this fabric, until i went through my stash and figured it could be a good pairing. I didn't have any sort of emotional attachment to this... [read more]
The reason I decided to write about this dress in the form of a diary is the amount of excitement around it. I've been psyching myself up to it for quite a while now. I was hoping to get it done before the summer to wear it during the summer but so many other things got in the way, especially things I promised to sew for others and that ended up on a schedule because of travel plans etc...Well, better late than never.

So today after getting back from work and putting the finishing touches to the blouse I've been working on (coming soon to the blog of course), I started thinking about this dress again. Now I'll make it! And will take it with me on vacation in 2.5 weeks time!

Read more »

We love podcasts: they’re like the blogging version of radio, a medium anyone can jump into and use to share their story. They introduce us to new voices and give us glimpses into new perspectives… and they pair perfectly with blogs and websites, where they can add more texture and interest to what you’re already publishing.

Thanks to a new partnership with RadioPublic, you can choose from a quarter of a million podcasts to embed into your posts and pages on and Jetpack-powered websites. Whether you produce a podcast yourself, write about them, or just like to listen, you can share podcasts with your visitors, no matter where the podcasts are hosted.

What Can a Podcast Add to My Site?

Use a RadioPublic embed to share and promote your own podcast !  But even if you’ve never even listened to a podcast before,... [read more]

Sigh….I couldn’t keep the guys away when I wore this on holiday at Sandals… it’s not getting as much love at Ladies night at Applebee’s.

Is it called resort wear because wearing it is a last resort on laundry day?

Can we stop trying to make these pants a thing? They make most of us look like General Froggie in his dress whites. 

Project Runway placemat challenge!

Siri- remind me to buy pillow cases for the guest room.

Valances are in aisle 4, just past the salad spinners-

Too much ambien and Estelle woke up naked in Senor Vallejos Casa de Pampas…..again.

Photo credits:

Convert a pattern for woven, elastic-waist pants, to a pattern for tie-front wrap pants

From this:

to this:

Who’s it for?
Anybody who wants to give it a try!

Any restrictions?
Before attempting this hack, you should be reasonably familiar with how regular pants go together

2 out of 5.

For drafting your pattern:
* A pattern for non-stretch, pull-on pants with an elastic waistband, that fits you. I used, and recommend, HotPatterns 1190 Fast & Fabulous Pull-on Palazzo Pants
* Two large sheets of tracing paper (minimum)
* Pens/pencils
* Long Ruler
* Large Square (optional but helpful)
* French curve (optional but helpful)
* Pins or pattern weights
For sewing the pants:
* Main fabric, quite a lot – up to 4 x the distance from your waist to the ground.
* Knit fabric for waistband, 0.5m (or a t-shirt)
*... [read more]

It’s time for another unboxing on the Finch Box – and it’s another amazing one! The Finch Box Instagram account has been teasing the contents of this box all month and as a Rifle Paper Co fan, I couldn’t be more pleased with it. This is the second month of the Finch Box (you can […]

The post The Finch Box | Month 2 Unboxing appeared first on Handmade by Lara Liz.

Why you should be buying vintage clothes

One of the best things about our clothes is that they can say so much about us. Fast fashion kind of kills that with everyone…

The post Why you should be buying vintage clothes appeared first on Thimble End.

Hello Everyone! My name is Julian Collins and I am the person behind Julian Creates. For Tribute Month, I thought it was a perfect time to honor the first major sewing blogger I followed, Peter Lappin of Male Pattern Boldness.


Before discussing the project I made I wanted to give a bit of background.  

I remember always loving to rummage through the basement at my grandma’s house, especially in the corner where all the sewing stuff was.  I remember that was my favorite place as I was fascinated by sewing even asking for my grandmother’s sewing machines when she passed (a singer 99 from 1937 and an crinkle finish singer 66). Along with the machines I got scraps of old fabric most of which had dry rotted and this old comic like book called Home Sewing is Easy.  


I loved reading as Sally Stitch taught housewives how to sew and make their own clothes that would rival... [read more]

I very much want to post here about a couple of pieces from the wedding outfit I’m making for my friend Jackie…but I promised not to blog anything until after the wedding. So instead, here are my smalls.  Or bigs.

My collection of Victorian/Edwardian undies, to wear when steampunking.  Now if I was doing proper re-enactment, or being all HA, I would have spent a lot more care and attention on these not-so-little treasures, adding tucks, and lace, and pretties.  Instead, I’ve always been pretty rushed [apart from the corsets] so they are mostly rather basic.

The first chemise I made was a rush job, from a free pattern I found online.  Very, very basic, and I dashed about rummaging in stash to find some fabric for it.  A friend had given me a piece of light beige/gold silk a while back, beautiful, but not a great colour on me, so I thought it would... [read more]

A while ago, I detailed how I organize my Pattern Stash, here.  Over the years, I have probably collected, and received from others, over 200 patterns.  I still use the same method I blogged about back then, but now I also have a photo of each of my patterns on my iPad.  Always at my fingertips! […]

Hello! It’s been a while. After my furious burst of sewing a few weeks ago, the pace has dropped off as I’ve been knee-deep in wallpapering, painting and furniture rearranging territory (as you may have seen on Instagram with my lemur wallcovering. I love it.). Anyway, I have been doing some sewing; just not much photo-taking or writing. So I’ll get to it and dive right in with this latest make and my first proper button-up blouse.


The Colette Aster has been around since 2015 and there are a ton of reviews on the web. I perused a good number of them and took some notes: the sleeves being hard to set in was a common complaint, as was the trickiness of putting the placket/neckline together (spoiler: I concur in both cases). Nevertheless, I’ve admired the Aster for a while and kicked myself when I saw it on so many #makenine lists this year. Recently, I felt a... [read more]

This is a dreamy dress!

The Jennifer Lauren Handmade patterns are really lovely patterns - drafted dreamily - I love the Bronte Top (I have several versions) as a tried and true pattern.  When I had an opportunity to test a new dress - right when I needed a new dress - I jumped on that wagon!

The Laneway Dress is a lovely - straightforward dress with separate pattern pieces for B, C & D cups - and I was able to make and wear it with no (I swear!) adjustments - no swayback, no bust changes, not even length!  I made the dress three times - all in a 16C - a muslin, this one and another to be revealed later.

I had a silly purchase in my stash - a gorgeous linen with a garish black overprint - I don't wear black, so that's the silly bit.  I am not sure what I was thinking - but from the pattern accompanying the fabric - it looks like I thought a... [read more]

1 Thrifted and Vintage Denim Vest + 2 yards Floral Fabric = 1 Upcycled Maxi Dress!

I found this vest at the thrift store while looking for jean jackets to upcycle and embellish. I didn't find any jackets that day and rather than be defeated I swooped this up thinking I could at least use the material. The buttons and darts are so cute though. I had to come up with something. Then I got this floral rayon and the blue of the flowers matched the blue of the denim almost exactly so I thought I would put them together.

The vest despite it's cute detail looks and is quite dated looking. I thought by combing the two and somehow changing up the vest, it could look a less 90s but honestly it might even look more so now haha.

It seems the vest had adjustable ties on the back that had been cut off. I knew removing the leftover pieces would leave unwashed denim... [read more]

When I get together with sewing friends I talk a lot. I mean, I generally talk a lot no matter the subject material, but I definitely talk a lot when sewing is involved!

Last week I was the guest on That Sewing Blab, a live internet show that runs every week. It’s hosted by my new friends (it’s pretty easy to make quick friends out of other sewists!) Dawn of Duelling Designs and Myra of 1 Simple Inspiration. They’re both delightful ladies and inspiring sewists and really great interviewers!

On the show I talked a lot (no surprises there!) and we covered a broad range of topics from my mission, to my travels, my favorite makes. I talked about what it means to me to play dress up, how I end up with an overflowing fabric stash, and how my handmade clothing and my tattoos are great conversation starters. There was lots of laughing and the time flew by!

Shows run live on Crowdcast... [read more]

If you follow me on Instagram (hayek.m83), you know by now that I have loads of projects in progress. This was NOT one of them.

One of my best friends got married recently, and I couldn't decide whether I wanted a new dress to wear to his wedding or not, and in the end decided not to make one. Until the last day before the wedding that is 👀. But since the time left was one evening, the following set of requirements materialized:
- It has to be a simple quick to sew pattern.
- I have to have this pattern in my collection already.
- I have to have all the required fabrics and supplies.

Read more »
Hi all! If you follow me on Instagram, you're probably already aware of the reason for my recent radio silence over here. I've just got back from my travels to Japan, where I had the most amazing time and managed to make it to Tokyo's infamous Nippori 'Textile Town' district for the most overwhelming fabric shop of all time (more on that soon). In a pre-trip panic over (extremely) warm-weather-appropriate clothes, I managed to stitch up a few new garments that I'll be sharing over the next couple of posts. First up, here's a Sew DIY Nita Wrap Skirt hack.
Nita in Nara
I've made the Nita Wrap Skirt a number of times (first up as a pattern tester) and I've always found it an easy pattern to get a bit experimental with - see previous attempts in denim and pleather. The inspiration for this gingham ruffle hack came from a couple of fab skirts by Jess and Daisy, as... [read more]
Originally posted on Domestocrat:
I hate ironing. Don’t we all? I’ve avoided buying everyday clothes that have to be ironed because, ultimately, they end up at the back of the closet. It’s also tough when you’re used to apartment dwelling without enough space for a full sized ironing board. A few years back I bought…

I actually made this over the winter but never got around to blogging about it. This is McCalls 6803 – The Grandpa Cardigan and I’ve already made it a few years ago. I think that’s why I wasn’t rushing to post it, I figured it wasn’t that fantastic ans I’ve already posted about a different one – but these pictures have Guinness in them, so they needed to be posted. I’m still super heartbroken over him passing away and this is part of my therapy.

That picture above is one of my favorites because it’s the whole family (minus the cat – who refuses to be in pictures) and we all look happy. Nico looks like an innocent angel and Guinness has the blue steel look from Zoolander, Andres looks handsome as always and I’m happy 😀 I love it!

Okay, onto the pattern review. When I first made this pattern it was 3 years ago and my measurements were 33-28-38 so I... [read more]

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