***This blog post was written weeks ago, before the covid-19 outbreak. I am publishing it now in hopes of providing even a small amount of distraction for those of us that need it.

I am a die hard fan of knits for tops, and it's a rarity that I'm wearing a woven shirt. But I make exceptions for my beloved Hey June Patterns, and for this fun Willamette Shirt!

Disclosure: I am a Hey June affiliate. I met Adrianna in person last fall at the Maker's Retreat and she is awesome. I LOVE her patterns. But I paid for the Willamette and will give you my honest opinion, as always!

I can't remember what inspired me to finally buy this pattern, but I think it was seeing it in person on Adrianna (I'm 99% sure it was this one). We were in the midst of indigo dyeing a lightweight woven fabric and I decided I wanted to use my yardage for a Willamette when I got home. Because that... [read more]

One of the lovely things about this strange period is how people are coming together in different ways to support each other and make life a little easier.

The team at Sew Organised Style podcast contacted us a couple of weeks ago to see if we might take part in their Daily Series. The series runs from Monday to Friday and consists of short (10 minute) episodes to help you stay motivated and connected to sewing.

So many people have reported feeling like they have lost their “sewjo” recently, despite having so much more time to sew! Hopefully this will help pique your interest or just keep you in touch with the sewing world!

Sewcialists will be featured every Tuesday — with me (Chloe) chatting to Maria Theoharous (Velosews) about what’s coming up at Sewcialists. Maria and I are both Australian-based, so this might be live on your... [read more]

.........Sooooo I made this dress a while ago for Minerva Crafts but I never hit publish!! 

Ever heard the expression “cart before the horse”? It means you’re doing things in the wrong order. Well that’s what happened here, the shoes came before the fabric but it all worked out so well. When I saw these shoes in this neon yellow, I picked them up without giving it a second thought. That’s a bad habit I have when it comes to shoes. I live vicariously through Mori who can actually still wear the heels that I long ago gave up.

So, when you do things in this order, they tend to sit around waiting for the right outfit to make the magic happen. For me when I saw this sequin fabric from Minvera Crafts in neon colors, it was a done deal! I snatched up a few yards and decided that I wanted to make a caftan dress or shirt. I wanted something boxy and flowy. The... [read more]
Vivienne Colle's Make It Yourself Boutique / Vivienne Colle
NY: Evans, c1967
255 p.
Open Library is an online resource that has many out of print and out of copyright books available to read. If you create a free account, you can also check out books that are older but not out of copyright, like this very 60s sewing book!

I checked out the Make It Yourself Boutique last week when Open Library had announced that they were forming an Emergency Library with many books available that are still in copyright -- this has caused quite a bit of upset as authors consider it pirating, as they don't get anything out of it. However, I've been using Open Library as an account holder for quite a long time in the regular manner, and still do. 

So I found this book and thought it sounded (and looked) fun -- that mod cover! It's a rather laissez-faire kind of sewing book by the owner of... [read more]
I have a new obsession.  Well, not exactly new.  I've always been overly fond of the common garden gnome. The new part of it is the fact that I have started knitting gnomes.  I'm calling them my Indoor Garden Gnomes and I've got a healthy little collection started.

It all began back in February when, after months, maybe years, of seeing my friend knitting gnomes, I decided to take the plunge and do the Imagined Landscapes Mystery Gnome Knitalong.  I told you about that one in a previous post; how it actually brought a real joy of knitting back into my life.  I was actually excited to pick up the needles and it came naturally instead of feeling forced.

So Gnome Is Where You Hang Your Hat was my first gnome.  I love him and his sweet little pullover.  But once I finished I found that I'd enjoyed knitting him so much that I was a little sad it was over.  ... [read more]

Sewing mojo has been looooowwwwwwwww but yesterday, following a friend’s advice, I joined the FB group named in the title of this post.  I spent some hours reading the many many posts, people are joining all the time [over 4000 as I type] and subgroups are forming to coordinated efforts to make NHS scrubs all around the UK.  I got myself hooked up to the one organising efforts in Birmingham, and as it happens, the hospital they are first responding to is the one where my lovely niece is working on the front line.  She tells me they already have 5 dedicated wards of COVID patients, with as many as 16 nurses per ward already sick and isolating.

I have some fabrics in stock which meet requirements [cotton or poly cotton, min weight 120gsm] and have ordered 40m+ more after some hunting.  Lots of places are offering discounts or reduced postage, BUT not all... [read more]

Lately I have developed a taste for minimalist art and it is influencing my sewing. Simple shapes, simple stencil motifs. I also try to repurpose when I can, and using sheets is my latest strategy. Either good parts of my worn out sheets, or sometimes ‘as is’ sheets from Ikea when I can find something suitable.

This outfit started life as a single size fitted sheet, 100% pure cotton. It was pink, not a colour I can do much with at the moment, but not to worry. I overdyed it in blue, expecting some sort of purple, but instead it came out as a nice denim blue. Perfect.

The pants are elasticised at the top and tapered towards the ankle. The original pattern was changed and adapted past all recognition, so I won’t bother to link to it. The top is once again the Tessuti Mandy tee, with the armscyes changed to accommodate a woven and the sleeves changed to cuffs.... [read more]

Seriously, why can I never finish a coloring page?  Is it because they are all so incredibly detailed that coloring a handful of leaves takes me all afternoon?  Is it that I’m afraid of “ruining” my beautiful books by attempting to color them when I’m not 100% on top of my coloring game?  Is it […]

It took a pandemic quarantine to finally finish my Ginger Jeans.

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you may remember years ago when when I first started these jeans.

Some time passed after the above post from 2017 (technically I bought the fabric in 2014!). I attached the waistband to my wearable muslin…and when I tried them on again, it was clear the black twill “jeans” no longer fit. The waistband gaped and with the pants sitting where they should, I could tell that I needed to take in the center back seam a bit. But I managed to psych myself out (and then changed jobs) and it took me another 3 years to make an effort to alter these pants.

Frankly, after 6 years of messing around with the wearable muslin and still not being able to wear these pants without major alterations (they are too loose in the thighs AND waist now) I just decided to push the... [read more]

I’m making flowers for everyone. Well, actually I’m making masks, but I’m using up fabric remnants from my sewing stash, and that means girly, … More sewing masks – flowers for everyone »

The post sewing masks – flowers for everyone appeared first on My French Twist.

The first Belfast Frocktails (which was sold out!) was supposed to be tonight, but it has been postponed for obvious reasons.  It has been organised by the fabulous Claire and Laura from The Dab Hand, and ably assisted by some lovely local sewing chums.

But never let it be said that we sewists aren't an adaptable bunch, because then they organised virtual frocktails on Instagram and it's really taken off, with sewists from all over the world taking part.  It's all happening today, and just search for the hashtag #virtualfrocktails on Instagram to join in.

Obviously I had to make a new frock; it took me a while to decide what I wanted to make, and my first choice was to use some stash fabric that I was nearly going to sell.  The fabric is some gorgeous Liberty silk georgette that I bought about 3 1/2 years ago.  I got 2 metres on sale for £33, and... [read more]

Today's the day to talk about the author of our pick for this round of the #LiterarySewingCircle! Susanna Kearsley is an accomplished author of  13 novels; she's won a number of awards for her writing, including the 1993 Catherine Cookson Award for Mariana, a novel that is still very popular among her readers! In 2014, she received Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best Paranormal Romance for The Firebird -- and many other reader's choice awards along the way, too.

Susanna is well known for her romantic stories that usually focus two timelines and some kind of connection between them, whether that is family history, psychological ties, or paranormal elements. And there is always a happy ever after. 

On her blog, she calls her work "women-in-jeopardy" novels, or, as I know them, Modern Gothics. I really love this genre, and so am... [read more]

I’ve got a few minutes of downtime from teaching the youngster how to make rain sticks and plasticine dogs (!) to write down a few notes about my rigid denim Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen. I’ve been meaning to make a “proper” high-waisted garment for ages as I have quite a few cropped items and -ahem- garments that might have turned out shorter than planned or shrank in the wash – and wanted some bottoms I could wear with them. I will be honest and say that I wasn’t completely sold on the high-waist thing. Partly because I have a long torso, so wasn’t sure if I could make them work for me, but also I just wasn’t completely sure it would suit me somehow. Or possibly even be comfortable with the high waist in rigid denim in my advancing years?


Of course, now that I’ve made some, I’m kicking myself, because they’re great! I didn’t really make many... [read more]

So you’ve suddenly got kids home with you for weeks, and more likely, months. What is a parent to do? Some school districts are providing you with plenty of resources, but many are not. As an elementary school teacher and sewist, I thought I’d share some tips for you if you have kids ages 4-13 at home!

Let me share a bit about myself: I’ve been teaching since 2008, and working in schools and developing teaching resources before that. I’ve been a classroom teacher in Canada and Japan, and taught Kindergarten to Grade 8 along the way. Right now my specialty is supporting English as a Second Language learners; I work with 80 kids a week at three schools, and support their teachers in developing best practices. Teaching is the one topic I love more than sewing! It’s also a stressful and exhausting career, and I hope that my suggestions can... [read more]

Ever since I made a “paaskran” last Easter (learn more about it in this post), I’ve been intrigued with all nature-inspired Easter decorations. So … More egg carton easter displays »

The post egg carton easter displays appeared first on My French Twist.

I hope everyone is taking care of themselves in these troubling times. My prayers go out to you. All is well

Continue reading

From our support sessions with customers each month, we know that growing your brand or business is a top website goal. And in this unprecedented time in which more people around the world are staying at home, it’s important to promote your products and services online to reach a wider audience and connect with more people.

Our team has been hard at work improving the block editor experience. We’ve launched six new blocks that integrate and Jetpack-enabled sites with popular services — Eventbrite, Calendly, Pinterest, Mapbox, Google Calendar, and OpenTable — enabling you to embed rich content and provide booking and scheduling options right on your blog or website.

Whether you’re an online boutique, a pilates studio, an independent consultant, or a local restaurant, these blocks offer you more ways to promote your brand or business. Take... [read more]

Well hello! And welcome to my version of 1982, my birth year. We’ve had this Sewcialists mini challenge planned for months, but it ended up coming at a time when lots of us could use a frivolous distraction.

This time the challenge is to “Sew Your Birth Year”. Since I’m organising it, I obviously had a head start! I picked up this floral knit on my last IRL fabric shopping trip, just before all the stores were closed. It’s a scratchy loose knit which is has clearly been sitting in stock since a previous decade, sometime after those thick 1970’s poly knits but not as recent as ITY or anything I’ve sewn with before. I’ve been eyeing the print for years at my local Len’s Mills warehouse store, and it finally was perfect for something!

Can you guess the pattern? It’s a Cashmerette Concord, and I made a nearly identical dress hack in... [read more] summer plan for 2020 is bittersweet. Like anyone, anywhere, the Corona virus has an impact on my life. It’s not a major infringement, but plans that have previously been made are cancelled and that is sad for me. As I am a person I can keep many thoughts in my head at once so I do understand why these things are cancelled and cannot be done and be sad for me, I can also look at the big picture, the scale of the global pandemic; the lives lost, the economic setbacks, the consequences of isolation, and realise that my sacrifice is quite small. I stay home to flatten the curve, in solidarity with those who need to fight in the frontline.

Thing is, I had so many fun plans for this year; I was going to go see Green Day and Trevor Noah. For the... [read more]

I've wanted to make moccasins for awhile. I always wear them at home, but they don't actually last that long, despite the price which starts around $80. That is, the interior lining becomes matted and the fur trim sheds, although the exterior is quite durable.

The courses I've come across are all about $150. I assumed this was due to the materials, but when I found a more reasonably-priced workshop which had everyone buy their own supplies, I was glad to find the components are actually not that expensive. Some of what is needed is sold in larger pieces though, so one pair will be more expensive than the average cost if you make several pairs.

This workshop was for what is called northern-style moccasins. The method I learned is described here, but I note a few shortcuts that worked for me. I compare them to some purchased moccasins and note a few improvements in an... [read more]
Yesterday, late afternoon, DH and I had to pick up a few food items as well as prescriptions. After returning, I decided to take shots of me wearing the newly completed top.

In an earlier post, I mentioned having some fitting issues. After completing and taking these photos, I feel there are other adjustments I could make should I ever attempt to make this again. I am not thrilled about this top.

This is, of course, the front. I like the look of this and the look of the sleeves in this photo.

This is a semi-side view. The top is pulling at the hip area so this is part of the diagonal lines I see. I had a lot of issues Inserting the sleeves was an issue also. Perhaps there is still a need for bust adjustment.

This is a look of the sleeves from the front. I like the sleeves and was part of the reason for trying this top. 

Now for the back! I posted previously with the top... [read more]

Hey, everyone!

With the extension of the current mini challenge to Sunday April 5, we wanted to check in and see how people are going!

There are lots of excellent inspiration pictures out there. A world of patterns with bright colours and large-haired illustrations awaits! 🙂

  • @gracklehousestudio
  • @shanski.gee
  • @mtl_yogagirl
  • @SallyMakesStuff

We are loving seeing makes pop up on Instagram using the handle #SewcialistsMiniChallenge. Some people are sticking closely to a pattern and appropriate fabric to look like a garment from the relevant year, some are using modern patterns to mimic the style of the year they were born, and some are ending up with very modern-looking garments that are a riff on the fashion from their birth year. We love all of those interpretations!

  • @anniebeeknits
  • @grosgraingreen
  • @monkeysocksk
  • @ohsewmargy
  • @leila_sews
Here’s... [read more]
Well it doesn’t really matter that I’m late with my Sunday Sevens as no one really knows what day it is as the moment! I thought I’d change the title and add #isewlated too as there will definitely be a different feel to my Sunday Sevens for the foreseeable future. Everyone is struggling as they adapt to a new way of life. Hopefully it won’t be for too long, although I image it will be the back end of summer before we can have some sort of normality back into our lives. And have real life sewing meet ups! I really miss you guys, but aren’t we lucky having our social media to keep in touch! And sewing to keep us sane! At work it’s business as usual. I say usual, but definitely not normal. It’s actually a relief to go to work and have some social interaction, and the public continue to be amazing with the support and encouragement we are receiving, which is a real morale booster. This photo was taken Sunday Evening …

One of my goals for 2020 was to experiment a little with more advanced techniques, and working with bias is one that I’ve been interested in for a little while. When I saw that one of the classes at Sew Expo this year was “Making a Bias Tee”, I made sure to sign up as quick as possible when booking opened! I’ve also wrapped the rest of my Sew Expo trip in at the bottom as I forgot, as usual, to take many photos, but wanted to document it again this year. This was pretty much the last time I was out as the Covid 19 situation ramped up right after this, but I was glad to attend something before everything shut down.


Before I get into details though – a little intro to what I mean by experimenting with bias. I’ve flicked through the odd fashion history and famous designer book since I started sewing and was rather captivated by the work... [read more]

The Smiths Screenprinted Seamwork Tees

Hi everyone, I’m sharing some photos taken in our garden today, which is possibly the furthest I’m venturing for any blog photos for a little while. I haven’t been stuck at home long enough to actually tackle any gardening yet (it may be coming), but I did pop outside to get some pictures of these t-shirts, and to join in with an online tap class on the patio (not pictured).

The Smiths Screenprinted Seamwork Tees

These t-shirts are one of my projects for the Sew Your Birth Year challenge currently being run by The Sewcialists. I was born in 1983, the same year my favourite band, The Smiths, formed and first toured. These tees are based on the design of a t-shirt from that original tour, featuring the band name and a bunch of daffodils. I was originally just making myself one but Phil requested one too, cue matchy matchy photos!

The Smiths Screenprinted Seamwork Tees

My t-shirt is a Seamwork Jane tee (size XS;... [read more]

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