thee inspiration:

a denim jacket with contrast chunky knit sleeves

Pretty straight forward refashion. Take a jean jacket and a sweater then cut off their sleeves. Attach the knit sleeves onto the jacket.

This vintage sweater was such a neat find. The pattern is awesome. I found the sleeves on this sweater rather short though. So to match up with the jean jacket sleeve length I had to attach more of the sweater to complete the length, I used the bottom hem of the sweater to have that nice finished edge. You definitely want to serge/overlock any raw edges of the sweater since it can unravel easily.

I placed the new top part over the rest of the sleeve. Then attached the new sleeves to the jean jacket right under the original stitching of the jean jacket armholes. So no need to serge the denim.
 There you have it. A simple jean jacket now with added visual and textural interest.

You can find this upcycled unique piece in thee shop: here



It's the first week of our Literary Sewing Circle featuring Amatka! Have you found a copy yet? Have you started reading? If so, how are you finding the opening chapters? 

This week we'll be looking at some of the characters to inspire a project. This story has a wide cast of characters to draw from, and luckily for us, some of their names even match right up with patterns.

We'll start with our main character, Brilars' Vanja Essre Two -- or more simply, Vanja. There's a Vanja Hoodie/Sweatshirt Dress pattern on Makerist, and the cozy warmth of it is just what Vanja might have appreciated when she first arrived in the chilly environs of Amatka. Note: the pattern is in German but looks pretty straightforward. 

Next we'll look at Vanja's new housemate Nina. Being more adjusted to the weather in Amatka, Nina might have already been prepared with... [read more]

If you haven’t seen Gillian’s post from Wednesday about us wrapping up Sewcialists – go check it out. This post won’t make much sense without it!

I have only been involved with Sewcialists since the reboot, but it has been an absolute honour to be the scheduler and one of the permanent editors for much of that period. Like many, I was drawn to Sewcialists for a number of reasons – a big reason was Gillian’s take on the world and a sense we could do some good. Another was that it seemed different to most other content at the time – probably because it wasn’t attached to a business or any sort of money making enterprise at all. It’s a source of happiness for us that it has remained that way.

So, as Gillian mentioned, we will finish up around mid-June. But what happens until then? I thought as scheduler I should pop in and let you know what we are going to do... [read more]

“Follow me on Bloglovin’ here.” Sorry … just checking out RSS feeds and this one, Bloglovin’ seems to be defunct? Does anyone have any other suggestions for RSS feeds? Or do you even use RSS feeds and instead stick to other social media platforms? Comments more than welcome! 🙂 Thank you!
I love pockets. You might have noticed.

I also love words.

I slant in the openings for the side seam pockets (to let the hand find the pocket more easily) and make the pocket bags long so the weight of the pockets hangs from the horizontal seam in the waistband (the top of the pocket catches in that waistband seam).
(this also keeps the sides from floating up.)

For the kids pants (the ones they would burn through as toddlers) I made a single layer pocket and topstitch it from the outside to secure it (usually a couple of rows of stitching)

What is this called anyway?

Side seam pocket. With topstitching.
Solved that problem.

I desperately want to re-caption this image with random phrases for pocket types shifty shady flirty spooky death heavenly clicktrack. Who wouldn't want clicktrack pockets?

Fraudster should be Tail Lights

After a successful winter making terracotta/parika/rust coloured trousers to counter the denim, black and grey, it was time to do the same with the summer wardrobe – assuming summer is actually on the way (along with getting out of lockdown)!  I bought a little pile of fabrics from Rainbow Fabrics in the Autumn, one of which was a piece of viscose linen in what I thought was rust, but turns out to be more a red brick/terracotta colour.  No matter, I still like the colour, and it will still work with my summer wardrobe!

Burda trousers 102 July 2009

Having already decided on using a tried and tested pattern, Burda 102 from July ’09, I thought it would be a straightforward project.  But it seems I’ve done a lot of scribbling on the traced pattern in the past, jumped around with sizes and shortening locations, and generally just made a mess.  So I retraced the pattern,... [read more]

I always thought I’d be sad when it came time to end the Sewcialists… but it feels right. What a relief!

I’ve loved organising the Sewcialists – we have had the most amazing volunteer crew behind the scenes. Right from the start in 2013 it was a team effort, with different friends taking on various types of social media or running a theme month here and there. Since the reboot in 2017, we have had a rotating cast of volunteer editors every six months or so, plus incredible copy editors making us look good. I’m so honoured that people put their time into this project.

Looking back, I’m astonished that Sewcialists kept going this long. Anne, Chloe and Becky kept it going for a good six months without me after my concussion in October 2018… and I was in and out while recovering. I returned to work full time and started climbing out of... [read more]

picture: From Forest to fashion According to the regulations of BISFA (International Man-made Fiber Standards Agency), as long as the cellulose fiber obtained by the organic solvent spinning process can be called Lyocell, Lyocell is the scientific name or collective name of this type of fiber. Tencel™ is the registered trademark of the lyocell… Continue reading →

The post What’s the different between Tencel™ and Lyocell ,also Modal™, Viscose? (Detailed explaination) appeared first on .

Sewcialists logo with a speech bubble saying "Farewell!"

After eight years, Sewcialists is saying goodbye!

We absolutely adore this community we’ve built, and we are so grateful for all the volunteers and readers like you who have made it possible. But eight years is a long time to run a sewing blog, and we need a break.

When will Sewcialists finish?

We plan to host our final theme month, All Butts Welcome, and then spend June rounding up our favourite posts. Our relaunch in 2017 began in mid-June, so June seems like an appropriate time to come to an end.

What will happen with the blog and Instagram?

The blog will still be here, with all our past content. Our Instagram account will go dormant too, but you never know, we might pop on there from time to time if there is something really important to share.

Will Sewcialists ever come back?

Never say never! Sewcialists was founded in 2013... [read more]

I've been slowly working away on this cheery spring dress for a couple of weeks, in between other things. I've had this floral linen-rayon blend for a while, and have had Butterick 6655 in mind for it. So I finally got moving on this plan!

I loved this pattern as soon as I saw it. I've been meaning to make it ever since it first came out. I like the button band element, it adds something extra to a basic sheath dress. It's actually a faux button band -- the flap is sewn into the front centre seam and buttons are stitched down through all layers at the end. I do love a good button so this one was calling my name.

The pattern is rated as easy, and it is. There are two long darts in front and two in back. There's also a centre seam both front and back, and you attach the button band into the front seam, and then topstitch to keep the seam allowance... [read more]

Today I first wanted to point you towards a post I have up on the new Minerva site and then show you the other versions I have made using the same patterns! The sweet little sets made in Liberty's always-amazing Tana Lawn are the third version of the Seaside Playsuit that I have made, and, in my opinion, the cutest yet! You can read more about them here.

Now for a bit of background on the previous two versions, also shown above!

I've been sewing for myself for over a decade now and have mentioned time and time again that I love a well-thought-out, carefully drafted, logical pattern. I generally stick to the same pattern brands that I know and trust to have professional drafting and a standardized fit--Simplicity, Sewaholic, Deer & Doe--and ignore even the hottest new releases from pattern companies that have burned me in the past.

Then I decided... [read more]

Just a quick note to let you know I have another post up on Minerva featuring this lovely Liberty Tana Poppy and Daisy Lawn. You may remember I made these Wiksten Bloomers in this same fabric, today I made two pairs of the Oh Me Oh My Sewing Flutter Bloomers and two matching bonnets using their Bonnet Bundle pattern. I made the plain bonnet but I can't wait to make the pixie bonnet, it's so so cute.

The drafting of the Flutter bloomers is pretty different than the Wiksten bloomers--the Wiksten bloomers have a flat bottom hem (the leg opening) and a gently sloping waistband, whereas the Ruffle bloomers have a straight-across waistand a curved leg opening with a facing. I prefer the latter (I love a facing, y'all), but also, in my non-expert opinion, the Wiksten is drafted poorly. The center back seam is canted up in the center and is not squared off,... [read more]
Just a quick note to let you know I have another post up on Minerva featuring this lovely Liberty Tana Poppy and Daisy Lawn. You may remember I made these Wiksten Bloomers in this same fabric, today I made two pairs of the Oh Me Oh My Sewing Flutter Bloomers and two matching bonnets using their Bonnet Bundle pattern. I made the plain bonnet but I can\’t wait to make the pixie bonnet, it\’s so so cute.
The drafting of the Flutter bloomers is pretty different than the Wiksten bloomers–the Wiksten bloomers have a flat bottom hem (the leg opening) and a gently sloping waistband, whereas the Ruffle bloomers have a straight-across waistand a curved leg opening with a facing. I prefer the latter (I love a facing, y\’all), but also, in my non-expert opinion, the Wiksten is drafted poorly. The center... [read more]
Hi guys! I’m back again to share a new make. After making the Cinch It dress (and loving how it was both flattering and easy to fit) I decided to make another Gertie creation – the Popover Dress. This one can be found in the book Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses.[Read more]
I’ve just enjoyed a week’s annual leave – how lucky was I that it coincided with some lockdown restrictions being lifted – including opening up the golf courses, and also some glorious weather! A new frock was needed to mark the course being open at long last and I made this to wear on Tuesday in my first competition of 2021. This is the Mary Quant Dress designed by Alice & Co Patterns and is available as a FREE download on the V&A website. As well as golf this week we have done some garden hopping now we’re allowed to venture out a little bit more. Unfortunately, I never thought to take any photos – I was too excited and too busy being sociable to think about taking any, but hopefully I’ll be back in to the swing of things for my Sunday Sevens next week and it won’t be all mainly about golf! Have a great week whatever you’re doing. Stay safe and keep smiling! Ali x

The Muna and Broad Grainger coat is an oversized, quilted coat in two lengths: hip length and thigh length.

Click here to see the Muna and Broad Grainger coat.



Muna and Broad has a fantastic size range and will grade their patterns up if you need a larger size.

I made a size G with no alterations. My bust fluctuates between 51 inches and 53 inches and my hips are fluctuating between 51 inches and 54 inches these days, but I like extra room in the hips (even with the oversized style of the coat) so I didn’t fuss with grading down at the hips.


The fabric I used is a faux shearling. It has a soft blue faux suede on one side and white fur on the other side.


It’s so freaking soft on the inside. All the edges are finished with a pink and white gingham bias tape.


I think the fit is oversized and comfy. While there is folding at the bust, it is a stiff fabric... [read more]

For the longest time I’d say Fall was my favorite season, mainly because of the clothes – I love wearing jeans, boots and sweaters 🤷🏻‍♀️ but this year I’ve realized just how much I love Spring – the freshness, newness, blooming flowers, the still cooler weather. Granted, we get very little traditional Fall and Spring weather here in Texas, but I’ll take what I can get! I say that, but then it was about 55 degrees when we took these pictures, so it was chilllyyyyy.

When Michelle invited me to be part of the Spring Style Tour I was elated! I’ve enjoyed the Spring/Fall tours in years past and I’m thankful to now have been part of one! There are so many gorgeous fabrics to consider for your Spring sewing plans. As I was trying to decide on a fabric, I kept being drawn to the Rayon Crepes. I couldn’t shake the idea of a flowy, floral skirt – the ultimate Spring piece of clothing.... [read more]

Birthday boy, having his second pandemic birthday!

Read more »

Hey everyone! It’s time to wrap up our Spotlight on Accessibility — not that we’ll stop considering accessibility in what we do or amplifying the voices of those who champion accessibility. Thank you to everyone for joining us through this exploration. There’s definitely been a lot to learn and many stories to share, so let’s get this round-up started!

First, I’d like to start off with a few actionable items for both the community and businesses. Even though this Accessibility deep-dive on the blog is over, we are still responsible for, first and foremost, listening, creating space, AND making sure everyone is included. We understand that not all of the following things apply to everyone, but here are some things to consider:

  • Make captions for videos.
  • Use Alt Text on images.
  • Use hashtags with each word capitalized #JustLikeThisExample.
  • Have... [read more]

The Complete Sewing Machine Handbook / Karen Kunkel
NY: Sterling, c1997.
160 p.

I'm going through some of the older books on my shelves this month, and this is one I picked up at the thrift store a while ago. It is a great book even if it is nearly 25 years old! In fact, I'd like to see it updated, since it's really solid apart from the one section on computerized machines. 

It's made up of 8 chapters, starting with buying a machine (points to consider), getting to know your machine, needles and thread, and moving to stitching basics (straight stitch, zigzag, buttonholes, blind hem), decorative stitches, specialty presser feet, then the aforementioned chapter on technology in the sewing room, and finishing off with some tips on care and maintenance of your machine. 

There is a ton of great info in this book, presented clearly and succinctly,... [read more]

Every hobby sewist, and probably professionals too, started with a sewing machine on the kitchen or dining table, or some equally multi-purpose place that required cleaning everything away frequently, if not every time they sewed a stitch.

I have vivid memories of cutting out on the floor of the living room, with kids and animals having fun with the tissue paper, me cursing inwardly every step of the way. I had fantasies of a ‘cutting out service’, or of paying a friend. Needless to say the friend hated cutting out as much as I did and there was no such thing as a cutting out service. Desperate to save sanity and my knees, if not my back, I graduated to cutting out on my bed, only a marginal improvement which came to an abrupt halt after I accidentally cut into the sheet. Ouch!

Then rotary cutters and self-healing cutting boards arrived in my... [read more]

New Retail Store and Instruction Lounge!

2020 was filled with quite a few highs and many lows! We made it through tho!

In 2020, I moved my business from my apartment into a studio in Mount Rainier right after loosing my full-time job! The opportunity landed in my lap to move my sewing business to full-time and build my way to a “real store!” This was always a dream of mine.. to leave a legacy for my children.. The studio opened then COVID hit.. urgh.. it was instant mask making time for the next two months!

Mask Making 2020

Within those two to three months I made over 1500 masks! It was exhausting.. but I learned a lot in a short amount of time!

As the months wore on I kept building and building.. then in November I received devastating news that I needed to move so the persons... [read more]

Alright folks – I’m going to tell you this upfront. Fasten your seatbelts, because this is going to be a longggg post. I have so much to say about this project. First – I got through Round 2 of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee! Yayyy! I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but I was very fortunate to be one of the 26 sewists who made it through to the penultimate round. This means, of course, that I am in the throes of Round 3 – it’s all about pattern matching and I reckon this is going to be extremely tough to get through, but – first! – let me tell you about the challenge for Round 2.

The brief for the round was to repurpose denim garments and make a brand new garment plus an accessory. All in 6 days! The source of the denim had to be from garments (no stash fabric at all) and you had to take photos of the... [read more]

Hello, hello! Spring in the air, even though it’s often still freezing here over night. Helen from Helen’s Closet sent me the new March Top and Dress pattern when it launched, and I decided to sew it up right away! I used to pattern test for Helen’s Closet quite a bit, but obviously not since Helen moved to a paid quality control model. I appreciate getting the patterns, even though I’d buy most of them anyway. I enjoyed sewing March so much that I dug out my old Ashton pattern (which I had tested) and sewed one up too.

First up, the March Top. When I first saw the release I thought for sure I’d sew the dress version, but the more I loved at the modelled pictures, the more I liked this straight peplum top. Basically I wanted to look just like this model and this one! (All the models are local seamstresses from Vancouver Island.)

So... [read more]

Better late than never with this post!!  I have a very quiet time on IG and here in the lead up to Christmas time because I was busy making presents!  Then we had the announcement that Chirstmas wasn’t happening the way we’d all planned and I had to post everything.  I waited for the mad rush to be over before I sent mine, I really didn’t want my handmade items getting lost or going missing in the huge pile the post office had to deal with all of a sudden.  Which all means getting photos of said items was heavily delayed.  But I have some now!

Grown up pyjamas

I’d decided to make luxurious pjs for the girls for Christmas – proper, grown-up pjs!  I looked at all sorts of fabrics;  double gauze, flowing viscose, tencel and cotton lawn.  I knew Daughter No1 would want hers in a plain fabric, and I tried very hard to find a terracotta or something that looks like it’s... [read more]

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