The Sewcialists’ main purpose is to create community — and what better way to bring people together than through giving? Giving our time, skill and love for sewing always makes the world a bit brighter!

This November, we challenge you to sew things and give them to someone else! Whether it be getting together with friends and doing sewing for charity, or simply creating something for another human, community is being cultivated.

Theme Month banner for the Giving Challenge, November 2019, showcasing the hashtag #givesewmuch

You can interpret this however you like! Maybe your local assisted living facility could use some lap quilts. Or perhaps the women’s shelter needs clothes for women and children. Whatever you make, just make it for someone else!

Other ideas include but are not limited to:

  • Animal items for your local animal shelter (toys, blankets, beds, etc.)
  • Hats for NICU patients
  • Items for chemo patients (port... [read more]
It is now Autumn which usually means that the leaves have started falling, the world has slowly begun to cool down again and one of the events that define fall as a Canadian is thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is coming up next week and I thought it would be great to share one of my favorite recipes that is easy to make and delicious to eat and can be made for Christmas, Easter and other holidays.

Vegetable Bread Stuffing.

Hello CSC! I hope everyone’s September was good. Don’t forget to check out the other creations from September with the hashtag. These are just the highlights. There are a lot more incredible inspirations.

@theladywholunches made a Peppermint Magazine Wrap top

@kamikatdesigns made Simplicity 8884

@minimalistmachinist made Seamwork Bo

@silverluna888 made a Sinclair Patterns Yasmin top

@seamslikestyle made a Petite Stitchery Sapphire top and paired it with  Petite Stitchery Hells Bells

@gmariesews made Simplicity 8090

@someday_sewing made a Hey June Willamette shirt

@shannonsezsew made a Love Notions Laundry Day tee

@redleaf.etc made a Chalk and Notch Victory tank

@sheila.okelly made an Paper Theory LB Pullover and paired it with Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes

@jennifercrawfordpereira made a Cashmerette Rivermont top with a longer gathered... [read more]

I test a lot of patterns, and it’s not often that I’m so confident that a pattern will be a huge hit! But this Jalie Rachel Tie Front Dress is a banger, and it’s got everything going for it: fast, knit, forgiving fit, sexy but also casual, and lots of options! Plus it’s Jalie, so the size range is excellent and the drafting is top notch.

(Side note – look at that gorgeous curvy model! I keep looking at the cover and thinking, I want ALL of those versions!)

I made the short sleeved version with the tie that wraps all the way around the waist. I made CC at the bust and waist, and EE at the hips, because this sort of skirt can tend to ride up over my booty if I don’t allow enough fabric. I like that the tie that goes all the way around pulls in the back waist of the dress too – but the versions with the front tie only or just the... [read more]

It's time for another inspiration post, and this one will focus more on the granular, sentence level inspiration that we can find in this book! (our last post looked more at the settings, if you missed it)

As I was reading, I was thinking about some of the imagery that stuck out for me, and also some of smaller characters and elements of the story.

If you look at it this way, there really are infinite directions you might go in with a project!

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Unsplash

Early on in the book, when Ruth first finds the diary, she notices the handwriting on the pages, smudged violet letters. Ruth notes:
Print is predictable and impersonal, conveying information in a mechanical transaction with the reader's eye.
Handwriting, by contrast, resists the eye, reveals its meaning slowly, and is as intimate as skin. 
To play with this you might... [read more]

My local chain fabric store closed a few years ago, and I complain that all I can buy in town are basic fabrics and notions… but the contributors in this post put me to shame! They all live at least an hour from the nearest fabric store, and today they are sharing their tips and tricks for living #sewremote! Gillian

Heather says:

A map of UK on the left with marks showing Heather's location and the nearest fabric store... which is not near at all. On the right is a photo of Heather standing on the beach with the tide out wearing a hat, scarf, and coat
A map of Scotland shows Heather’s small Scottish Island off the West Coast and points to the nearest fabric – all the way in Edinburgh and Glasgow! This is beside a picture of Heather, in hat and coat standing on a wide beach as the sun turns the clouds pink.

I definitely fit into the category of #sewremote, living as I do on a small Scottish island! 

I live on South Uist, which is across the country from my nearest brick-and-mortar fabric shops. Glasgow is a flight away, but that flight still... [read more]

I’ve made a handful of swimsuits in my time – most recently the Seamwork bikini in 2015, which I wear pretty much every time I go to a spa or holiday pool/seaside. But I certainly wouldn’t consider that a suit that’s, err, suitable for Serious Swimming, and recently I’ve decided to take up swimming lessons with my running coach (who’s actually a triathlon coach so it’s not totally weird!).

I had swimming lessons when I was a kid at the local municipal pool, so it’s not like I’m going to drown or anything, but my strokes are seriously sloppy, and it’s been embarrassing me recently. I’m certainly not efficient at getting from A to B, and I hate the front crawl, and I tire quickly. And now that I’ve done London Marathon (four times!) and Ride London 100 this year, I’m eligible for the enormous London Classics medal if I also complete the 2 mile Swim Serpentine. So... [read more]

Meanwhile, on eBay, this caught my eye

this image has been edited from the original listing, but it's available as the boldface listing states. And it is not an official Titanic pattern, but you get the idea.
 Well, it IS the dress she goes swimming in.

Has anyone seen a drenched version with her, a door, and some ice cubes? There's no seaweed that I know of at that location. Perhaps I am overthinking this.

Feel free to use that.

I'd also carry bag C

According to the lone review on Pattern Review, this is a hot mess of poor instructions.

I own both patterns (and was too lazy to go dig the bag pattern out to take a photo). Perhaps I should sell them as a package deal? Not yet though, I'm not done believing that I'm going to make them and wear them.

So this make I am totally in love with. 

Lately I've been admiring the designer team Ace and Jig, and their gorgeous textiles and easy styles. In particular, this jumpsuit got stuck in my head:

Then, Emmaonesock got in a lovely yarn dye, linen blend stripe. The yarns it is woven from vary slightly in weight, giving it a subtle texture. 

The pattern I used was a mash-up of the Kalle shirt (top) and the Amy Jumpsuit, both by Closet Case Patterns. I made a wide partial placket, cut on the cross-grain to the shoulder, then hugging the neck in the back. I added sleeves from the Kalle shirt long sleeve pattern. 

It was very tight fitting my pattern on my 3 yards. Then I had a total screw up-- I had cut the big pieces on the table at work, then took the scraps home to cut the small pieces on the weekend, and I cut up one of my front pieces thinking... [read more]
I really, really want to love the Zadie by Paper Theory as much as the rest of the sewing blogosphere. 

I spent far more time on this than you can probably even believe. I made a muslin, and shortened the bodice by an inch or two. I drafted a facing, since I'm pretty sure bias tape on this wrinkle prone linen would be begging for a pressing every time I washed it, and that is a route to the very back of my closet. 

Then I made it up, wore it a couple of times, but the linen relaxed after a few hours of wear and the crotch was hanging halfway down my thighs and the backside was voluminously baggy. So I chopped off another 3 inches at the waist seam, which involved rather a lot of fussiness putting the facing and ties back together again. I think the back view is significantly improved, and it is still plenty loose in the crotch.

Sadly, I still don't... [read more]

Heavens, it has been a while, hasn’t it??  Thing is, when you don’t write these post for a while you quickly get out of the habit of doing so, and kinda forget how to write!  I have lots to show, and very few photos!  But last week I made a thing, and I even managed to get the other half to take some pictures for me – miracles!!

So, what’s the lucky garment?  Well, it’s a blouse.  I have only used this pattern once before, it’s a Burda pattern – as you may well have guessed, based on my history!  I made this first blouse (way before I had even heard of blogs) in silk satin in a gorgeous wine colour.  (See it worn in this post)  I loved it, but soon it was too small and I relegated it to the “unwearable” box in the loft.  This summer it came out and I decided that, as I didn’t wear it anymore, I’d see if it could be recut and refashioned into something else.  It sat... [read more]

That’s a wrap on another phenomenal mini-challenge! I really loved seeing how everyone interpreted this challenge. There was a lot of quilted fabric used and a good mix of non-apparel items too.

So, without further ad,o here are some highlights from the challenge!

Fun Things!

Thank you so much to @ohsewmargy @squirrelsoxsews @pimp_slapped @histiomomcreations @chlo_thing @craftingarainbow for sharing your fun things!


Thank you SEW much to @divinedita @ohsewmargy @judithrosalind @meandmyvintageclothes @heart_plant @heatherymakes @marjieannsews1 @rocketcitysewist @lisasayssew @anita.mark.5 @aem2_ @sheilasewsherclothes @helenlovestosew @malinsyr @suzycsews @aubergine_kenobi @ambrosiakramer @wardrobe_from_the_past @acraftteacuppa @mom.wife.model for sharing your beautiful wardrobe additions!

This was a great mini-challenge, folx! Can’t wait for the next one.

Hello friends! I'm back with another dress I made this summer. I'm hoping to get all of these summer dresses out on the blog before the weather here in the DMV gets cold on a consistent basis. Right now, the weather is a massive see-saw between the high 80s and low 60s. I'm still grateful for the highs, by the way. lol I'm not a fan of cold weather at all.

Anyway, back to the dress. This simple, but pretty thing is McCalls 7922... again lol This time I made View C with the length of View D.

This fabric is pink linen that I bought in 2014 from Fashion Fabrics Club. This linen feels great on the skin and it sewed up with no problems. 

As you can tell by looking at the sleeves and the hem, the fabric keeps its shape well. It's not too lightweight but definitely keeps the body cool, as linen does.

I left off the front strip down the skirt, the same as... [read more]

Last week I gave just an overview of my three days with Gertie in Beacon, NY. Today I want to show you what we did to each of the muslin bodices I brought to class and how we changed the patterns to match the changes that were needed.

I started with the princess seam bodice. The pattern for this bodice came from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. I hadn’t made this particular bodice on my own before this class so I measured the pattern pieces and traced and cut the size closest to my body measurements. I just sewed it up and added a zipper and off I went to class.

When I put the muslin on in class Gretchen pinched out any extra fabric and pinned it until the fit felt right. I did add sleeves to this muslin because the arms have been tight in the past. You can see in the photo above that the re was extra fabric in the shoulder and the top of the princess seam... [read more]

I picked up this 1992 era See & Sew 6454 pattern while thrifting a while back. It is made up of a cocoon-ish dress and a matching long jacket, both colour blocked very carefully to have a matching line running across both pieces. Plus big shoulders!

I didn't want to attempt the colour blocking and matchy nature of the whole outfit. But I really liked the lines of the dress.

And then while I was cleaning, sorting, reorganizing -- whatever you want to call it -- I came across a piece of silver-shot suiting fabric in my stash. It's soft and has a slight stretch. And when I started cutting into it, I realized it also frayed like mad. Lots of seam finishing required.

But for some reason, the idea of making this dress from this fabric got into my head and wouldn't let go. It has a subtle stripe in the weave, and so I cut the top crossways to change the direction of the... [read more]
Cotton voile Ogden Cami, Summer 2019

Cotton voile Ogden Cami, Summer 2019

If you search #ogdencami on Instagram you’ll see close to 13,000 posts. That’s a huge amount in any sphere, but for a sewing pattern that seems crazy big numbers Only a few other indie patterns can claim that - I haven’t done the research but let’s just go with that assumption!

In case you haven’t come across it (and if not, where have you been?!) the Ogden Camisole is a simple top released in July 2016 by True Bias, the pattern company run by the supremely lovely and talented Kelli Ward.

The reasons for the Ogden’s success are obvious. It’s simple to make, there are no darts and therefore minimal fitting issues, it’s immensely flattering - the front and back necklines are just the perfect V - and it’s endlessly customisable.

... [read more]
I finally completed the top. I was able to take some photos of the finished garment hanging. I hope to take some pictures of me wearing it soon. Depending on the weather I hope to wear it during the class reunion weekend. At the previous reunion the weather was still very warm. We just had a dip in the temperatures here over the past couple of days and whether that will last into the following weeks is unclear. As much as I love summer, this past summer was brutally hot!

Another person who made this top told me that she found the bust to run small. As a result, I decided to go with a larger bust size than I normally wear. I did not want to make an FBA because the front was two pieces and more time-consuming. I hoped that the larger size would work and it did.

Here are photos of the completed top.

Front view

Neckline-bias binding

semi-side tie 

Back view

I ran... [read more]
Fun gifts for sewers and quilters $30 and under with sewing wallet, jeans zippers, thread assortment and seam ripper graphic hoodie

Here are some fun gifts for sewers quilters, and they’re all $30 and under. Whether it’s for you or for your sewing friends, here’s some ideas to help you brainstorm your gift list for the Holiday season. Fun gifts for sewers and quilters Sewing room decor, something to wear + a really really cool tool [...]

The post Fun gifts for sewers and quilters $30 and under: 2019 gift guide appeared first on Elizabeth Made This.

Autumn musings... (and #2019MakeNine Progress)

It’s that time of year again. It’s getting colder, wetter, darker and I break out my knitting. Hurrah for autumn!     This autumn things…

The post Autumn musings… (and #2019MakeNine Progress) appeared first on Thimble End.

Disclaimer: I was sent the Forget-Me-Not Patterns Clementine pattern for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own, though.

Forget-Me-Not Patterns is a new pattern company created by Johanna Morris. Johanna also designed the Manuka dress and top with Muse Patterns. I really love my version of the top I created during testing. Johanna reached out to me when Clementine was released. The pattern does only go to a 48.5 inch bust so my instincts were to say no since I have a 52 inch bust. I let her know and she asked that I follow the tutorial she released on doing an FBA on the pattern and incorporate that into the review. I used that tutorial and an additional tutorial on increasing the depth of the cowl since I knew from personal experience that I like a deep cowl.

I used size 48 and did a 2 inch FBA and graded out at the waist a bit. I... [read more]

After two successful shirtdress hacks of the Sewaholic Granville, I'm back with a dress version of the Granville's sister pattern, the Oakridge. While the Granville has all the styling details of a traditional men's shirt, the Oakridge turns the femininity up some with a lowered neckline, an optional bow, a plain rather than yoked back, and bound placket cuffs rather than tower plackets. I've been wearing my Granville shirtdresses all the time, and recently, a patron stopped me in the library and said "that's a beautiful everyday dress!" which was lovely since I designed that hack to be just that--my ultimate everyday dress, super wearable and functional as well as pretty.

I used the shape of the Oakridge pattern once before to extend the Carolyn pajama top to a shirtdress, so I knew it was possible, would fit over my hips, etc. However, I had... [read more]

Editor Becky Jo here: I stumbled upon Laura Volpintesta on what was then Craftsy years ago. I’ve long been a technical illustrator, but my hand drawing has always been my weakest point, and after a custom croquis investment, I wanted to up my game. From there I found Laura on YouTube and her private courses. Her fresh, all-ethnicities, and real-body take on fashion flats is everything. Laura is an artist first, that happens to dabble in fashion flats, water color, singing, work at Parsons… but oh, what an artist. While Ebi was a temp Editor, we found a common adoration for Laura, and I was thrilled to hand off this interview. Our hope is that if you’re already a fan, or this is your first introduction, that you enjoy this conversation between Ebi and Laura as much as we do.

Laura's art for sale, showing her earth-mother-goddess aesthetic

It was a wet, grey Saturday when I dialed Laura Volpintesta’s... [read more]

I asked Seanna Curler to write about historical costuming, since I know there’s a lot of interest in that topic. You can find her on Instagram @curvy_costumer. Take it away, Seanna.

I have always been a step out of time. As a kid, I never felt that I belonged in the 20th century, and I was positive that I was more suited for a long ago time filled with fainting couches and billowing gowns.

I may not have a TARDIS, but I was given a hand-me-down sewing machine, and the very first garment I made was a velvet and silk gown with puff sleeves and flowing skirts. If I couldn’t actually BE an old timey fantasy princess, at least I could DRESS like one. 

Historical costuming is definitely a niche market. Patterns can be expensive and hard to obtain and they also aren’t known for being terribly size inclusive. When I first started sewing my own historical... [read more]

What can I say about a parade of cuties?
Go read about them! A delicious parade of features.

If you ever wanted to see the interior of a sewing machine and think "I could deal with that", this is the machine for you. It's very straightforward and will accept amateur hour tinkering.

It's a parade of cuties!

Peter Lappin has a 2011 post about his
You can search my blog on Kenmore or just see Becky here

The only trouble is the bobbin pin. New bobbins won't fit on it.

And just in case you were wondering,
yes I'm working

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