Be careful what you wish for. I only have sons but have never cared whether my home was filled with sons or daughters. I … More easy-to-sew wedding garter »

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The past two weeks have been busy with some sewing and doctor visits. I did wear my new Cachet top for a trip to Wilmington for my DH's doctor visit. I took a quick photo in the mirror before departing.

Not the best picture, soon I will get around to taking some appropriate photo shots. Being retired we go to bed later and get up later. Later for me is sleeping to 8:00 AM, compared to my 4:40 AM rise for work and 7:00 AM on weekends. To travel to Wilmington for noonish appointments requires an earlier wake-up to get ready. I was still sleepy when I took this photo!

I had plans to enter the tee-shirt contest on PR and was working on this project but did not complete it on time. Still not complete as of Wednesday I had trigger finger surgery and my hand is bandaged for now.

I can remove the bandages Sunday and use band-aids to cover the stitches. Yesterday was a rough... [read more]

Happy Friday everyone! I sewed this a few weeks ago when I was in desperate need of a pick-me-up so I went off-plan for a purely joyful sew! It’s all because of this incredible fabric I found, the Lucha Libre kitties cotton jersey from Like Sew Amazing. I mean, how could I not click buy?!

Sarah had actually had some of this jersey in stock before, but it pretty much sold out immediately – I pounced on this the second I saw she got stock back in, and I’m glad I did, because that round sold out quickly, too. She actually restocked this last weekend, and (yep, you guessed it!) it sold out again. So what I’m saying is, if you want this fabric, definitely follow Like Sew Amazing on Instagram and keep an eye on her IG Stories so you can pounce when she gets another shipment.

Because of the design, this is actually sold as 60cm long panels rather than by the... [read more]

Now that we’ve announced our August theme month, “All Chests Welcome”, I wanted to hop on and explain how this topic reflects the evolution of the sewing community!

Logo for Lingerie Sewing Month with two vintage drawings of a woman, one a close-up, the other an image of the woman wearing a bra, underwear, and a robe.

Back in 2015, Sewcialists hosted Lingerie Month. I’d just started sewing bras myself, and the theme month focused on making bras, panties, robes, and lingerie. It was all based on the assumptions that a) sewists are women and b) women wear bras. That seems so arcane now, but five years ago I swear it seemed normal.

Amazingly, some of those posts still get heavy traffic today! In particular:

For us in Melbourne, Australia the shutdown started gently in early March, then became more onerous by the end of March. For most of that time I was struggling to get my online work setup going OK. Eventually March merged into April and the need to fill my spare hours with – somethingcreativityconcrete and tangible things. I made:

Miss 20’s pyjama’s

  1. Leggings for Miss 15 – Melbourne safety black (of course).
  2. Hoodie for Miss 15.
  3. Long pyjama bottoms for Miss 15.
  4. Two short pyjama bottoms for the husband.
  5. Hoodie for Mr 19 – also in Melbourne safety black.
  6. Long pyjama bottoms for Miss 20.
  7. Non-hood hoodie for my husband (red this time).
  8. Two pairs of oven mitts.
  9. A new coat for whippet.
  10. Two dog beds.
  11. Two pairs of undies for me.
  12. One pair of boxers for me.

Am I the only one hearing “12 Days of Christmas”? It is the carol I dislike the most.

Miss 15’s hoodie

The... [read more]

Over here at the Curvy Sewing Collective, several of us are firmly on #teamoveralls, as you may have noticed from our previous posts about the Decades Everyday Ophelia Overalls and Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls. You can never sew too many pairs of cute overalls, right?

Recently, Raphaëlle from the French indie pattern company Ready to Sew reached out to us and asked us if we’d like to try out any of her new patterns with her newly extended sizing. Seeing how cute the designs looked on her curvy models, several of us jumped at the chance to give them her fashion-forward patterns try, with the Ready to Sew Patsy Overalls being first up for a post.

If you’ve been tempted by the overalls/dungarees trend but are intimidated by the thought of sewing your own, the Patsy overalls are a great option. They’re fairly easy to fit, easy to... [read more]

***This blog post was written in March, before the covid-19 outbreak, and has been waiting to be published for more than three months! I plan on making this pattern again soon.

In case you guys didn't know, winter is cold. And when you need to look a little nicer in the winter time, pants are a good option. I know what you're thinking, "Beth, this is obvious." Well, it took me like 7 years to sew myself some dress pants.

I used to have many pairs of pants like this, back when I worked in an office. Only one of those still fits now, and even that is a stretch. I didn't want to spend too much money or effort on a pair of pants I knew I would rarely wear, so I dug up a pattern I already had, McCall's 6711. It must be out of print now, so I'm linking to the Pattern Review entry. This pattern has a top, pants, dress, skirt, and a blazer. That's a lot! I made the [read more]

Alright, sooo, we got a new puppy a few weeks ago – and this skirt is called the BARKLY skirt. I mean – what’s a girl to do? Enjoy a guest blog appearance from our new Lagotto Romagnolo (or Italian lake dog to you and I) who is now known as… Luigi. Oh yes we did.


I was really excited when I saw one of the patterns for Sew my Style was a new pattern from In The Folds. I’ve made a couple of the free patterns that the owner/designer Emily collaborated on with Peppermint magazine (The Jumpsuit and Jersey Dress) and I also own the Rushcutter dress and Flynn jacket pattern from her own line, although I must admit I am yet to make them (time, time….always time). But I’ve made and seen enough to know that Emily is a fastidious designer who takes great care with her design, drafting and instructions – and so I was always going to plump for the... [read more]

I only rarely sew an exact replica of a pattern, but sometimes I’m just drawn to the same pattern and similar fabric to recreate a look that I know really works for me. ATACAC are Swedish designers who sell short-runs of their very interesting wraparound and zero-waste designs to the public but also offer up sharewear patterns on a “pay what you want” basis, which is SUPER cool. These patterns are pretty bare bones though, so you’ve really got to know what you’re doing. They’re only offered in one size only (size 3), for starters, and with no instructions! I personally love nothing more than seeing a “wtf pattern piece” and trying to make my 3D brain contort it into shape, so I absolutely love figuring out their designs, but you might prefer something more user-friendly!

I made the /-shirt in a blue and white irregular striped jersey two years ago and just... [read more]

Theme month banner graphic. It looks like a black chalkboard, with the words ALL CHESTS WELCOME scrawled in all caps. In typed letters underneath, it says "August 2020 — Sew for your chest, whatever it is, from bras to binders. #allchestswelcome." The Sewcialists logo is also featured.

Do you have breasts, boobs, ta-tas, bazingas, body building pecs, a post-mastectomy shape, or something in between? One thing we’ve noticed here at the Sewcialists is that fitting your chest is very common preoccupation among sewists. It seems that very few of us are making a fitted pattern right out of the package without doing some kind of adjustments.

Lingerie making has exploded in popularity in part because it’s so pretty, but also because everyone’s chest is different and commercial off the shelf bras that fit and are comfy can be harder to find than a four leaf clover. Specialty undergarments like post-mastectomy bras and binders can be even more of a challenge as commercial options are more limited.

We’re also seeing an increase in gender-inclusive patterns and I know I for one am curious about how to fit those to my body... [read more]

I received the July 2020 issue of my Burdastyle magazine subscription last week, and while a few of the patterns caught my eye, it was this woven tee (#125) that gave me instant heart eyes. Something about the shape and sleeve detail just made me want to make it now. So I did!

I think this is the fastest I have ever made a Burda pattern from receiving the issue to wearing the item. It helps that it was an easy pattern, and that PatternReview is having a T-Shirt contest that spurred me to get going (woven tees are allowed).

I had this piece of extremely drapy rayon challis in my stash; it's so old I don't even remember when or where I bought it. But it was just enough for this top. Because this is a plus size pattern, it starts at 44. I'm a Burda 42 in my shoulder/bust but a 44 in my hip, so I trace the 44 but then just cut the shoulder and... [read more]


I did warn you this post was coming. Oh, was it back in the other life in March, beyond the wormhole of the lockdown happened? Yeah, I had to go back and see what I wrote too. But anyway, this is part 2 of the Working from Home outfits, this time the ‘keeping cool edit’. It seems almost unbelievable how many layers I had on in late March. Now I really can’t think how to keep my body temperature down… What a difference a few months make (and summer!). I have been working from home since mid-March and although I…


Throughout June, we’ve published a series of Q&As at WordPress Discover featuring members of the Automattic team. These conversations explore personal journeys; reflections on identity; and diversity and inclusion in tech, design, and the workplace. Here are highlights from these interviews.

“In a World That Wants You to Apologize or Minimize Who You Are, Don’t.”

Gina Gowins is an HR operations magician on the Human League, our global human resources team. In this interview, Gina examines identity and language; communication and trust-building in a distributed, mostly text-based environment; and how her life experiences have informed her work.

I am particularly attached to the term queer as a repurposing of a word that was once used to isolate and disempower people — it was used to call people out as problematically different and other. From my... [read more]

The WordPress app on your Android or iOS device is your companion wherever you go. Manage your site, write and publish, and even add images to your posts — from anywhere you are. Oftentimes, the most engaging posts include visuals, like the photos you take on the go: pictures from last week’s walk, snapshots of your afternoon picnic, or portraits of the family with your puppy.

Have you ever needed to edit your images on your phone? Maybe the lighting wasn’t quite right, or the framing and composition were off. You can now make small retouches right in the WordPress app, like cropping, rotating, and even adding a filter to change the mood of your photos.

Editing photos

You now have the option to edit an image. If your photo is already in the post, tap it, then tap the icon in the top right corner and select Edit. When you’re finished editing the... [read more]

For years I blogged twice a week, but now I haven’t blogged for a month. Like everyone, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, learning and reflecting… and working from home… running Sewcialists… and sewing!

I have some special projects that I want to blog about so they are recorded, but also some quick things I’d like to mention. All of these fit my self-imposed rule of supporting companies that actively support diversity in the sewing community. I made a few things in May and June that I’m not going to mention because the companies haven’t posted about Black Lives Matter or responded to my emails asking about their stance.

I made a reverse-applique Black Lives Matter shirt! I’ve worn it to protests and to school on the day parents picked up their belongings. I also made one for a friend!

Did I ever show you this Closet Case Patterns cat onesie? It’s... [read more]

It's swimsuit season, y'all! 

Read more »

There are some experiences as a teacher that I will never forget. One of them is the culture shock and wonder when I became immersed in the unique and distinct Mennonite culture as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. How could it be that just an hour north of my hometown there were these distinct groups of people wearing bonnets, “pioneer” style dresses, driving horse and buggies, and living such a different life? It really fascinated me, and I had so much to learn.

I soon learned that there are many different types of Mennonites, and each group has very distinct rules of what is allowed. For example, some groups don’t believe in the use of glass in tractor windows, or rubber tires; other groups fled anti-German persecution in Canada after the first world war and now split their time between Canada and northern Mexico.... [read more]

In the May issue of Burda magazine, there was a behind-the-scenes feature into how they design and develop their sewing patterns and the example they used was an amazing wrap-front jumpsuit, which I immediately wanted to sew! But I found out that the jumpsuit would be in the next issue, so I had to wait a whole month before I could get started.

It ended up actually being the cover star of the June 2020 issue, and even better – it also has the fully illustrated instructions for the issue, too! If you missed this issue, it’s also available to purchase as a pdf pattern from the (otherwise awful) English Burda site.

While I was waiting for the issue to arrive, I took the opportunity to buy my fabric for it, selecting this “linen-look” viscose in “old rose” from Like Sew Amazing, but I feel a lightweight linen or standard viscose would also work well here. I just... [read more]

Our Princess has passed.
She arrived with the name Ida.
As a Savoyard (fan of Gilbert and Sullivan), I honored her with the Princess title*.

Which she royally deserved.

She had opinions about how you spent your time.

You're done voting

You're done sketching

You're done cutting this out
(she was banned from the sewing room, so this is the only 'cat and sewing' photo I have)

This was how she liked to travel. Usually in the hood of the hoodie. Of the photos I have of her, and there are a lot of them, over 60% of them are photos of her being carried around by one or another of our family. Or acquaintances she pressed into service.
She enjoyed an elevated viewpoint

I don't have the photos from when we brought her home, but she lived with us for the last nine years. She was 18 (possibly older) but considering how little time she spent on the floor, she didn't have much... [read more]
Ever since shelter-in place began, my usual spin and lift workouts have been out of the question, so I've gone back to running and yoga. Running is higher impact, and free at-home yoga involves looking at young, sleek youtube yoga instructors wearing the cute clothes of their sponsors. 

All of that had me looking sadly upon the section of my drawers devoted to the ill-fitting sports-bras of another era of my life. Bras are the one area of my wardrobe which I do allow myself to buy, so I did actually attempt to buy one. After spending hours hopelessly attempting to gage fit and style on a computer screen, I finally selected one, paid, and settled down to wait only to get an email from the company-- sorry, out of stock, order cancelled. I took that as a sign that I should just rise to the challenge of making my own. How hard can it be?

The [read more]
Walking with the Muses / Pat Cleveland
NY: Atria, c2016.
336 p.

This memoir of a model who was most famous in the 70s and into the 80s is a dishy story of high fashion, the underbelly of celebrity and the social lives of the charmed. But it is also a sincere story of how a young girl from New York City became a ground breaking model who walked in all of the biggest shows.

Pat Cleveland was born to a single mother in 1950, and her life was shaped by her mother's artistic talents and their Harlem surroundings. Things changed when her aunt moved out and an increasingly controlling stepfather moved in. Cleveland is open about her experiences but doesn't dwell on the dark sides. She states them and moves on. This happens a few times in the book, when really awful things occur, and it does give an impression of a person who isn't able to help others in... [read more]

Yes, I can do a proper sleeve placket. But it is time consuming and by the time I get to the end of the sleeve in my sewing process I am almost finished. Spending another hour faffing around with a minor detail does not appeal. Besides, this is MY hobby and I do what I want, so if the sewing police should turn up to drag me off to sewing jail I will tell them politely where to get off.

Lately I have been making the Tessuti Jac shirt, which has a 3/4 sleeve with a notched cuff. This can be folded down to reach the wrist when worn under a jumper. (For some reason WordPress does not let me make a normal link, so I have to insert the address.)

But I thought I would have a go at a more conventional shirt pattern as I wanted to repurpose something that doesn’t have quite... [read more]

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

I decided to join in with the mini challenge Sew Over 50 are running this weekend (to share a previous holiday photo in a me-made garment), by finally posting about my Closet Case Patterns Pietra Shorts on the blog!

I hadn’t previously sewn shorts, as I don’t wear them very often, but on a previous holiday I threw my remaining RTW shorts into my suitcase, only to realise on arrival that they no longer fit me (and have to buy a pair while there).

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

I made these shorts last Autumn, just before heading to Dubrovnik for a week’s break. I got Phil to take so many photos of them while we were there, as every location we visited was more beautiful than the last, so a blog post was definitely in order!

I made a size 10, with no changes other than reducing the length of the elastic in the back waistband to pull them in sufficiently. The... [read more]

I’ve got a double-header for you today, and that’s because it was in fact a double test I did for the lovely Beth of Sew DIY. Back in April I made both a pair of stashbusting quilted slippers for her, as well as a test of the Tasi jacket/robe, which really appealed to me because of the draft-your-own adventure style of the pattern.

Tasi 1

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’d really intended to take part in many fewer tests this year. I enjoy testing a lot, which is why I do it, but I felt I wanted a bit more creative time this year as I spent quite a lot of last year making things to a deadline. However, as it turned out, some tempting tests raised their sneaky little heads in the first half of the year and many of them were a chance to test an extended sizing range, which was an... [read more]

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