The Essential A-Line: make 17 flirty skirts from 1 basic pattern
Jona Giammalva
Lafayette, CA: Stash Books, c2013.
128 p.
I've owned this book for quite a while but haven't yet gotten around to making a skirt from it. I spent this week looking through it and examining the ideas that Jona Giammalva shares, and noting the designs and tips I liked. For example, there's one intriguing lining method that I've never seen before.

As the cover states, there are 17 different designs created from one basic a-line skirt pattern. That is a tiny bit misleading for new sewists, since the designs require a bit of pattern hacking for each one -- it's not hard but you will have to retrace and alter the master pattern for the different additions and designs. There are lots of illustrations telling you how to make changes, and the instructional tone is quite engaging and... [read more]
Just in time for Earth Day, I've made my first zero-waste dress: the Elbe Textiles Maynard dress!

Read more »

[Moody Blues- a  Brummie band, did you know?]

Anyway, not white satin, but ivory silk satin, very fine, very slippery, very lovely.  The pattern is another Style Arc Victoria blouse, slightly shortened – this time at the cutting out stage!

The fabric is very fine, so the whole thing, bar the sleeves, is cut double for a little opacity.  I used fine fusible knit interfacing on the front band/collar pieces, the cuffs, and to reinforce the V shapes…then decided to sew the whole thing by hand to avoid wrecking it in the machine. This helped me keep a soft finish and drape, but reasonably sharp points on those yokes, which are much more of a feature in a plain fabric of course.

Well, swings and roundabouts.  I decided to start with the back points, which I tackled in stages.  First I sewed the shorter outer seams, then one of the long inner ones, then the... [read more]

SWAP #9? Maybe #10? Is it?  Another New Look 6735 t-shirt in pink/blue stripe premium cotton/lycra from Frumble fabrics.

No photo description available.

Pink!  Me!  Who’da thunk?  Well the inspiration colour palette does contain some pinky shades, [see above] I was itching to buy some more of this premium jersey, the other colours ways were pretty meh, and hey, it reads purple to me!

Easy peasy, nothing to add as it’s a duplicate of the blue-green stripe one.  The sleeves are lengthened, all else straight from the packet.

Of course, because it’s so easy. I dived straight in and sewed the SIDE seams of the back pieces together instead of the centre back.  Hey ho, more unpicking.

Comfortable, fun, and a good fit.  I love these stripes!


Geodesic sweatshirt, Blueprints for Sewing, multiple offcuts in ponte/  WAY TOO LONG remember?


I hate unpicking.  Really hate it.  Knit unpicking is the WORST.  Ah well.  I stuck a talking book on and got to it.  The bottom row of triangles came off fairly easily, making  a huge pile of thread snippets, then I took the bottom band off THAT.  I lost patience very quickly and cut it off.

I then reduced the band length by another couple of inches, and THEN realised I also needed to take the whole top in a bit to compensate for that, so sliced another couple of inches off each side seam. This of course means that the side triangles are not equilateral any more, but I can live with that if you can.

THEN I took the neckband off, shortened it  a little to tighten it up, made darts in the shoulders and scooped the front neck... [read more]

This is the second of my 2019 Make Nine makes, and number 9 on my grid. I'll calling it #2 (A) because number 9 is a self-drafted 1940s (or 1970s does 1940s) dress using something from my ever-growing pile of viscose fabrics.  I have lots of ideas for this style of dress, so will hopefully be making more.  And I'm wearing my boots in these photos because they were taken a few weeks' ago, today is definately not boots weather!

The inspiration for this particular dress was a dress worn by my Auntie Evelyn back in the day.  She had dug out a load of old photos last summer, and there were lots of photos of her and my mum wearing the most amazing dresses - none of which they thought to keep for their daughters!!!

I'm not posting a photo of the original dress, because I'd get told off, so I'll describe it.  It was navy with white polka dots with a round... [read more]

Well, the last week or so has certainly proved just how popular Jumpsuit patterns are within our sewing community! There appears to be one clear leader at present, the newly released Zadie Jumpsuit from Paper Theory. So today I have something just a little bit different for you; a guest post from my fellow #sewtogetherforsummer co-host Suzy (aka @sewing_in_spain) talking you through her experience of sewing it up – twice … including a helpful tip with regard to narrow hems! If a woven jumpsuit doesn’t ‘float your boat’ she’s also showcasing her fab knit Abi Jumpsuit from AK Patterns!

So, over to Suzy :


“Thanks Sarah for inviting me to share my jumpsuit pattern experiences on your blog.

Even before the end of last year’s #sewtogetherforsummer IG challenge, Sarah, Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

What’s that? Well this is going to be a short post introducing you to my new Shop, Lányos Handmade! I thought I’d open a small Shop now to get the “bugs” out before I’m actually retired and want to run it full time! LOL! I’d like to sell my 100% Handmade Bags and accessories, and […]

#Awesome, #Earth Blog


ใครๆ ก็อยากมีหุ่นที่ดีผอมเพรียว

        การเลือกซื้อเครื่องดื่มที่อ้างสรรพคุณว่าสามารถลดความอ้วนได้ ในวันนี้เราก็จะมาพูดถึงเรื่องกาแฟลดน้ำหนักกัน ซึ่งการเลือกซื้อเครื่องดื่มชนิดนี้มันไม่ใช่สิ่งที่ดีอะไรเลยการเลือกดื่มกาแฟลดน้ำหนักมันไม่ได้ช่วยทำให้เราผอมเลยสักนิด ในการที่เราดื่มในปริมาณที่เยอะๆ ก็อาจจะทำให้เราอาจจะเสียชีวิตก็ได้ โดยทุกวันนี้ทาง อย. ก็ได้มีการตรวจจับผลิตภัณฑ์ดังกล่าวไปเยอะเป็นอย่างมาก และพบว่าในกาแฟลดน้ำหนัก ก็จะมีการใส่สารไซบูทรามีนลงไป ทำให้เกิดผลเสียต่างๆ ให้กับร่างกายของเราก็ได้

การเลือกซื้อเครื่องดื่มเราควรที่จะต้องศึกษาหาข้อมูลให้ละเอียดก่อนเพราะบางทีอาจจะส่งผลเสียต่อร่างกายของเราก็ได้ ยิ่งกาแฟที่โฆษณาว่าลดหุ่นได้ ก็ควรที่จะต้องพิจารณาให้รอบคอบ


        นอกจากน้ำหนักของเราจะยังไม่ลดตามที่เราต้องการได้แล้ว... [read more]

Do you muslin something as simple as a t-shirt or pop-over blouse? I don't, generally, but I was prepping some older patterns I thrifted recently, and found that this McCalls 6091 90s suit had a hidden gem: a nice boxy blouse with lots of potential.

This top's recommended fabrics are a challis or soft cotton kind of drape. I never usually try out such simple things before using my intended fabric, but this time I'm planning on cutting up an old dress and didn't want to waste the limited and very pretty fabric. So I found a scrap in my stash that was just the right size (about 1/2" waste left after cutting this out) and went ahead. And after I cut it I realized that I'd used a knit to muslin for a woven. Doh!

But I continued on since this pattern is quite literally two pieces. Plus neck facings, but I left those out on this trial make and just... [read more]

Is your Seamwork account full of credits, but you just don’t know what to make? I recently found out that you can re-join for a month and swap around any patterns you never downloaded for different patterns. I’ve had a fun month poring over my choices. I don’t wear many dresses, but I like those separates. Some of the newer patterns are now in my stash, and I returned some which didn’t appeal.

I needed some tops to freshen my spring wardrobe, and the Natalie seemed like a perfect transitional piece.

Pattern name: Seamwork Natalie

What size did you make?

Pattern description from the Seamwork website: When it comes to versatility, few garments can compare to the chic simplicity of the button-up. The Natalie button-up blouse features a flattering relaxed fit and a notch collar.

The Natalie comes in sizes 0 to 26. Bust 33” to 54” (84 cm to 137... [read more]

You know how I mentioned that I volunteered to make costumes for the school production of ‘Wizard of Oz’?  Well I heard a suggestion that they were planning a papier mache version of Toto.  My reaction?  HELL NO

Image result for hell no GIF

So, I did some googling.  The first thing I came up with was this free pattern from Cutesy Crafts

However. I googled on, and found THIS by Linda Pay on Etsy, published as ‘PedigreesRoyal’ the ‘Scribble’ dog pattern.

image 0

Well, what would you do?  I snapped it up, then spent bloody ages hunting on eBay etc to find AFFORDABLE fur fabric’n’fixings of a suitable quality that wouldn’t require a mortgage.  Eventually I found ‘Mohair Bear Making Supplies‘ and got all the goodies for about another fifteen squid, for fur, nose, eyes, and joints.  There’s plenty of fur left too…


This is NOT going to be gifted to school, just loaned, then it will live with us!

The... [read more]

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The time when we challenge ourselves to stretch out of our comfort zone and see our wardrobe in new ways!

Logo for Me-Made May 2019

This is the 10th year of Me-Made May, hosted by the brilliant Zoe from ‘So, Zo…what do you know? blog. Ten years!!!! Can you believe it? The sewing community is full of theme months now, but back when MMMay started, it was really unique. I’m so glad Zoe keeps hosting it!

Last year the Sewcialists did a whole theme month around Me-Made May, appropriately called #SewcialistsLoveMMMay! Did you know that you can easily find post from pervious theme months in our header drop-down menus? If you are stuck picking a pledge, you should check out last year’s posts!

Here are a few of our favourite posts from last year:

#Beautiful Views, #Landscape

Chocolate covered strawberries are not only delicious and beautiful, but deceptive. That’s right. An impressive display of fresh strawberries dripping in chocolate and arranged … More chocolate covered strawberries 101 »

The post chocolate covered strawberries 101 appeared first on My French Twist.

Have you ever written for the Sewcialists? We love having our community contribute to our theme month posts!

Here’s the deal:

  • We will accept the first three volunteers who comment at the bottom of this post! (And the first three volunteers 12 hours later when we put a call out on Instagram as well.) Preference to people who haven’t written for us before!
  • In your comment, tell us what you want to make for the Sew Brave theme! Will you tackle a fabric, pattern or technique that scares you? It’s time to push your boundaries, try a new style, or use some precious fabric!
  • Your post will go up on the Sewcialists blog during May, so we ask that all volunteer authors to submit their post by May 5th.

On your marks, get set… Volunteer!

Gillian is a Sewcialists co-founder and blogs at

Sewcialists is a [read more]

Sharpie Dress

Well hello! Let’s go back in time, shall we, to November and the very first thing I sewed post-concussion! (These pictures are WAY later though.)

So, what do you sew when you see everything doubled and you only have the concentration to work for a few minutes? A knit TNT, of course! This is one or other of the Cashmerette bodices and a Burda skirt.

Sharpie Dress

As it turned out, the top and sleeves are a bit tight in this double knit, and the waist seam sits very high… but who cares, I was just so excited to have sewn something!

Sharpie Dress

I’m sure we all know the feeling of going shopping to self-medicate with fabric, only to find that there isn’t nothing just right to spend your money on! This print was the one I liked the most, but it was a bit too cool-toned and muted to be perfect. “Never fear!” said my bruised and confused brain. “We can Sharpie this!”

And so I did! For a... [read more]

I’ve been busy making another bag for my friend. I call it The Gemma© Bag! My friend told me what style of bag she liked and very nicely let me go with the flow! She had her choice of Cork Fabrics and chose these two beauties. When it comes to choosing Cork Fabric, I learned […]
I mentioned that I wanted to make another Klum House project in my 2019 Make Nine plans so I was obviously so excited when the ladies at Klum House reached out to me to be a reviewer for their latest kit, the Maywood Totepack. I just recently purchased myself a cute Fjallraven backpack and didn't need another backpack at the moment but my husband Alex has been using a ratty old work-swag backpack to lug around all his Dungeons & Dragons gear (books, notebooks, pencils, dice, miniatures, etc.) and it was time for an upgrade. Plus, in waxed canvas and vegetable tanned leather, it totally fits the aesthetic of a roving band of adventurers, don't you think?

As with the Woodland Dopp Kit, the Maywood Kit that Klum House put together was gorgeously packaged, super organized, and contains everything you need to make a professional quality bag. The Maywood is a... [read more]
As you guys know I love a good pair of scissors! So when Korbond asked me if I'd like to try one of their pairs I jumped at the chance.  Right so. They cut good. I've tried them on thick fabrics and thin one and they slice through them every time. I've been using them solidly since February and they still seem as sharp as ever. Which I think is something to do with the serrated blades????

Do you have a sewing task that you have avoided because of repeated failures? For me it has been sewing buttonholes. When I started sewing all those years ago, I wanted to make all the things! I had a good foundation in sewing and did not expect problems not of my own making. No matter how well prepared I was, I would have one or more failed buttonholes. It got to the point where I just decided it wasn't worth it to try and fail with them. I have a new sewing machine with digitally calibrated buttonholes. I figured it is time to tackle my fear.

Looking through the Riley Blake catalog at the Sweet Stems collection, I was inspired to make a floral shirt-dress. I was drawn to Sweet Stems Main Dark Blue and  Sweet Stems Dots Green. The beauty of these prints could surely get  me over my buttonhole aversion. 

I wanted a pattern to use both of... [read more]

When I was a little girl, I was surrounded by fabrics. My mother was a seamstress and made aprons for schoolgirls. She taught me the basics of sewing, but also taught me her fear of linen, silk, and jersey! Let me tell you how I overcame this fear.

The author wears a sparkly silver-grey linen camisole and skirt, and stands in the sun with a large glass of wine


Needle: Universal, size 80

Last summer I made a self drafted skirt and the Ogden Cami by True Bias in a metallic blue Robert Kaufman linen fabric from my stash. Linen varies widely in price and quality. Good quality linen costs more, but I sew the first version of a pattern in a cheaper linen because it’s less intimidating. I pre-wash linen several times, to avoid surprise shrinking after a garment is finished. It also softens the more you wash and wear it, and the creases become softer. I don’t worry about the wrinkles, they’re part of the beauty of linen. On Instagram I created the hashtag #weloveawrinkleortwo... [read more]

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