Friday, May 25, 2018

Bondi dress from Tessuti patterns

How could I resist a dress named after a beach? When it comes to nature a sunny ocean beach is my favorite spot. Plus this dress is a great summer basic, I love the shaping of the neckline and shoulders and it works in so many fabrics.

Bondi dress 1

We were looking for a versatile pattern to use at Hello Stitch Studio for a dressmaking class and Stacey, one of the owners saw this pattern and loved it. Which was great as we were planning to make one in each size!

I think this dress is really versatile. With a little pattern hacking you could change up the neckline (I made one sample with a V-neck) and yesterday I sewed a tie belt which works with this lightweight rayon fabric.

Bondi dress wth belt 2

Sewing and pattern details: I used a woven rayon fabric that I had in my stash. I must have bought it at some kind of tag sale - maybe at the local ASG stash sale that they have 2 times per year. It had a piece of paper pinned onto it that said 45" wide 3 yards and was serged on the cut ends. Nice when I find a remnant that is ready for the pre-shrinking like that. Irresistible as it is a sort of tropical floral in my favorite colors. Super soft and great drape as well, which I think works nicely for this pattern.

Here's the line drawing for the Bondi dress pattern which is from Tessuti Fabrics in Australia.

Bondi dress line drawing

This is the first Tessuti pattern that I have sewn. They are a great choice for beginners or any level as they are mostly simple shapes that show off the fabrics, not a lot of fitting and I found the instructions to be very good.
For our class the pattern is included when you register, you will receive the PDF of the pattern and the instructions to keep, but perhaps the best part - you don't have to print it out because it is already done at the studio! So you can trace out your size. How do you know which size? Because between myself and the studio owners, we have sewn a Bondi dress in each size so you can try them on, figure out which size to make and trace away :) Here's a link to the next session of the class (Sat. June 2) . If it is full then I believe we are scheduling it again before the summer is too far gone.

bondi dress pattern pieces

The pattern pieces are on sturdy tagboard and they have large tracing paper at the studio so this might be the easiest tracing project ever. Which was not ready when I made a couple of the sizes 🙁 so I had to trace for myself. On the positive side - we had the patterns printed at PDF Plotting which was great, super fast service, and quite economical, especially if you have multiple patterns printed in one order. Although recently someone told me about a copy shop here in my town that is equally good and local - so instant gratification! Now if I could just drop off my Burda magazine sheets for them to trace out I would be a happy girl!!

Bondi dress front on form

I made a size 10, and the neckline etc. was just right. I took it in just about 1/2" on each size above the bust dart as the armhole was a bit gaping on me, but otherwise no adjustment. I was thinking of making the size 12 for me but last weekend I tried on the various ones at the studio and realized the 10 would be better. So a win for the try-on system.

Here are a couple of the samples at the studio. Left, size 8, made as pattern indicates, and on the right, in a soft linen from Stone Mountain, the size 14 with the neckline changed to a V-neck and the shoulder edge brought out to a more standard sleeveless dress placement. (also on that one I did an all-in-one facing instead of a bias binding, so that's an option as well.)

Bondi dress examples

Closer look at the neckline on my dress. I love this back yoke detail and the simple closure. Time to confess - I don't make the bias loop for the button - I sew a piece of 1/8" elastic as a loop. So much easier!

Bondi closeup front and back on form

More true confessions - I do make sewing mistakes, usually one per project and on this one I sewed the pockets on backwards, i.e. with the wrong side of the fabric facing outwards. The pocket design on this dress is clever so that you have a stitched on pocket on the front of the dress but that means you need to have the right side of the fabric on the wrong side of the front inside. Makes no difference in the green linen version above as both sides of the fabric are the same but in a print...

Pocket mistake Bondi dress

Late night sewing fail. Oh well, unstitched and did it the right way.

Bondi dress pocket closeup

Bondi dress belt on form

For the tie I just cut up some remnants and stitched together to make a long tie, about 1" wide. Didn't really pay attention to the length, and found that it goes around my waist twice with room to tie which works well in this soft fabric. I think in a linen it wouldn't work as well with a waist tie. This look reminds me of the Sway dress from Papercut Patterns which I have always liked.

Bondi dress back view

Back view. Just FYI, for a bra I tried one that I have where the straps can be changed to an X in the back and it worked perfectly. Although there is probably a peek of strap at the opening in the center back yoke. Which I think is better than the straps sticking out at the shoulders (ugh that makes me crazy to see that).

So that's the latest on my Bondi dress. Pattern love!

Bondi dress with belt 4

After these pictures were taken I looked at the thermometer on the patio and it said 59℉. Yep, it was a bit brisk for a sundress. The weather is weird, people. But you know that. In any case, we are supposed to have a nice warm up this long weekend, which is Memorial Day, so a bit of sewing, some garden work, a sewing student tomorrow, a plant sale on Sunday, plus dinner reservations and a holiday get-together. I had better step away from my laptop and get moving!

Upcoming classes at Hello Stitch Studio: 
Sat. June 2:       Bondi dress class mentioned above
Sat. June 12:     Sewing Pattern Alteration and Fit Lab
Thurs. June 14:  How to read a sewing pattern 6-9pm. *I love to do this class - and it's not just for beginners  - it's a great way to discuss sewing patterns, find out about what makes a pattern good/not good, how to match the right fabrics to a pattern, how to choose your size and all kinds of other details before you sew a stitch. (p.s. this one is post-workday so I think we will include a happy hour element to the class 🍷
Sat. June 16:     Pencil skirt  (two session class)
Sat. June 16:     Sewing with Knits, Basic T-shirt
Sat. July 14:     Pants clinic: Diagnose your fit issues.
Tues. July 17:   Button front shirt class (two session) any shirt pattern
Sun. July 22:    Copy your favorite garment.  (we just did this one last weekend and it was So Much Fun! and a few people emailed that they couldn't make that date so here's another session)

and one more that's not on the website but will be soon:  Pattern Hacks, (Sat. July 28) where I will show how to use the patterns you already have and create new necklines, add or move darts, change sleeves, mix and match two different patterns and generally have fun with hacking up your existing patterns.

Happy Weekend Sewing,

for today's garden photo - May means rose season, as you can see in the photos above, most of my rose bushes are blooming like mad. Which is lovely and means I have an abundance both outside and in the house. We have to enjoy them now because they get a bit tired in the August heat, particularly that yellow one. But today's rose is one that blooms all summer long, and might be 30 years old? no idea as it was here way before me. I would love to know which variety it is. I think maybe Mr. Lincoln. (for you rosarians, I think it is a hybrid tea, canes are about 3-4 feet long and then stems grow anywhere from 2-5 feet long, and puts out either single flowers or a cluster on the stem. I probably have that nomenclature all wrong but you can get the idea. Also it has a lovely rose fragrance and the blooms last at least 2 weeks often longer).


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tropical shift dress - my Akris knockoff

Do you like to do a bit of comparison shopping? Looking at the seriously expensive designer clothes to see what fabrics they use, to check out interesting and unusual details of pockets, zippers and trim? Like most of us who are interested clothes and fashion I look at a few websites for inspiration but don't really spend much time doing that. So my pinterest boards are not really full of ideas - very occasionally I put something there - mostly sewing patterns and once in a while a dress or sewing idea. But maybe two or three times a year I go into the Nieman Marcus or Nordstrom store in my local town and practically paw the designer garments. Despite being in suburbia they have a large selection and I especially like to see tailored pieces and interesting dresses and jackets or coats. A few weeks ago I saw a dress where I really liked the shape but the fabric didn't appeal.

And that is the beauty of sewing your own clothes, you can take ideas and inspiration from things you see all over but make something in the fabric or color you want. Or you can make your own version at a fraction of the cost.  I saw a dress from Akris Punto for $ 1390 (I erroneously referred to it as Prada on my IG but it was Akris) and decided to use that idea to make my own version.

blue ruffle dress front view

Here is the inspiration dress that I saw in the store. I thought it was silk, but looking at the website today I see that it's a rayon blend. For a mere $ 1390!

Tropical shift dress papaya

Maybe I'm smiling because my version cost me about $ 8. I bought this blue tropical print fabric upstairs at Stone Mountain, so it was $ 3.50 per yard? I think around that and I bought 2 yards not really knowing what I would use it for, but flowers and palm trees on a bright blue background. You know I couldn't pass that up, especially at that price. It's a cotton poplin with a touch of lycra so it has just the right amount of body for this dress and the hem ruffle.

Blue dress with ruffle1 (1)

blue ruffle dress neckline

Closer look at the fabric. For this dress I used my TNT pattern, something I have been using for a very long time. As I purchased this pattern when it was new.

Which I know because it has the stamp on it from New York Fabrics, a store that used to be around when I was a teenager. And spent many happy hours there after I got my driver's license and could go on my own on a weekend to shop without having to beg one of my parents to take me there. Also the patterns used to come in a 3 size range instead of the multi-size of today with perhaps 6 sizes or even all the sizes in one envelope.

Vogue 7769 pattern envelope - favorite pattern

I have used this pattern as is, modified it for other things, used just the top half as a bodice, used the neckline shape as a template, used the armhole shape as my ideal,  and added/changed the darts as needed for various styles. I have had more than my money's worth out of this one and it is the only pattern in my stash that is copied onto thick paper and hangs in the closet ready for repeated use. Shall I mention the pattern publication date? It's.......1990. Yes I was surprised to see that. So I've been using this pattern for 28 years. I wonder if anyone can top this? not just a pattern that you have kept for a long time - but a pattern that you have been using for this long. Somehow I bet Carolyn (of Handmade by Carolyn blog) or Tany (of Couture et Tricot blog) might have something that is still in current rotation.

blue ruffle dress back view

Back view, looking a bit wrinkly on the form. Although this dress was perfect on vacation, that bit of lycra in cotton fabrics is so nice - the wrinkles are minimal and fall out on the hanger.

blue dress with ruffle2 (1)

And here I'm standing in front of one of my favorite stores in Hawaii. This is one where I do tend to pin a lot of their looks, Tori Richard. This is kind of my ideal clothing range, beachy, vibrant colors and tropical prints. Plus recently I have bought a few of their fabrics so I am really happy to have found them. (Listed as famous Hawaiian designer fabric, hint hint). My previous post dress is one of their fabrics - I think.

Sewing details - I made an all-in-one neckline and armhole facing for this dress, similar to what I did on this dress. Although no lining, not really needed. And cut it out about 2" above my knee length, then played around with ruffle depth and amount, just improvised until I liked how the ruffle looked.
I had a few random compliments from strangers as I was walking around which is always nice, so this dress/fabric combo must be a winner.

Why is this girl smiling? Could it be the tropical drinks? quite likely. Could it be the incredible re-use of a perfect TNT pattern? probably. Could it be the bargain fabric find? Definitely. Or just the Aloha spirit. Yes to all of those options.

Blue ruffle dress in bar 3

And now home from vacation and back to real life. Until the next time.

Some spots still available in my Fitting Class: Adjust the Bust this Thursday 2-5pm at Hello Stitch Studio in Berkeley. This Thursday's class is part of the Maker Faire Bay Area celebration, so if you sign up for the class their monthly Sewing Clothes Support Group session from 6-9pm is included. I'm going to stay for that and be available to answer general sewing and fitting questions so bring all kinds of projects to share, discuss and get some progress made. And have a bit of happy hour fun with some fellow stitch fanatics :)

On Saturday we have the Copy your Favorite Garment class which is one of my favorite things to do and to teach. I show a variety of methods in this class so you can learn which one is best for different  garment styles. How about recreating a favorite pair of pants? I think this is where learning this technique really pays off - I copied a pair of jeans and now I'm turning that into my TNT pants and jeans pattern.  The class is Sat. May 19, 10am - 3pm. The class is half demo/lecture and then after that I will help you with making the pattern from your own garment that you have brought.

From 4-6pm that same day (Sat. May 19) is my Zipper Confidence class, so if you have been struggling with zippers register here.

Note that all the classes at Hello Stitch come with an extra hour of studio time so you could use that to cut out things on their large tables or perhaps hem a bunch of knits on their coverstitch machine. And a 20% discount coupon for Stone Mountain is included when you register.

Upcoming schedule:
Sat. June 2:  Sew the Bondi dress from Tessuti patterns  - register here. I'm just about to make another one for myself in a print. This pattern is such a perfect summer dress with great pockets and lots of options for personalization or pattern hacking.

register here for any of these classes or to get more info.
Sun June 3: Sewing Pattern Alteration - Tissue Fitting and Fit lab. register here.
Sat. June 16 and 23: Pencil Skirt
Sat. June 16: Sewing with Knits - Basic T-shirt
Sat. June 23: Garment sewing - Easy Tank top
Sat. July 14: Pants Clinic - Diagnose your fit issues - Pant pattern fitting

Also in June and July we will have a couple of weekday evening classes which are not listed on the website yet but will be soon. If you're in the bay area and interested in a class but can't make it to what is scheduled or have something else in mind please email me and let me know. We're flexible and want to do classes that will work out for your schedule.

Now back to what's on my sewing table - a few things that are in progress and so many great summer fabrics piled up in my spare bedroom which I want to sew up and wear Right Now!

Happy May Sewing, 

Today's garden photo - this is the time of year when there are so many to choose from. And who doesn't like that. I think May is my very best garden month, or maybe June. We shall see next month. 

But for now it's all about the roses!


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

McCalls 6069 knit dress with draped back

Let's do a slight detour in my my blogging order, since it is Me Made May and it seems only right to post something that I am wearing this week. Plus I love the colors in fabric.

A while ago I saw Allison in Hong Kong post a dress she made with this pattern and I had to have it. It seemed to be out of print but I found a copy on eBay and ordered it - even though it was still winter and the time to wear it would be more than a few weeks away. It's McCalls 6069.


It says a 1 hour dress - not quite. And I am a fast stitcher! However I did a make a few changes to the design - what else is new.

For some reason I'm not a big fan of front cowl necklines, I always feel messy in them. Although in this version I am wishing I did the cowl front and back as it would have been a very pretty and dramatic look. Oh well, didn't think about that at the time. Also I had a minimal amount of fabric to work with.


Because I found it on the remnant shelf at Stone Mountain Fabrics in Berkeley and it was about 1 and 1/3 yards so not much available. Plus cowl necklines with a built in facing do take a bit of fabric. I'm not 100% positive but I think this is a fabric from one of my favorite clothing lines, Tori Richard of Hawaii. They make great casual but elegant resort style clothing for both men and women. And their fabrics are such pretty colors. I have never found the fabrics in Hawaii for sale but lately I've found some remnants and bolts of fabrics that I recognize from stalking their website for inspiration. So of course I made a dress to wear on a Hawaiian vacation.


On the same day I found two other remnants, a nice linen in hot pink, no idea for that, and a golden metallic black denim which might be used with a recent Burda mag pattern.

And here's the finished dress, with the change I made to the front. Once I cut it out and sewed up the square neckline I didn't like it at all. I really like square necklines but it just didn't seem to go with a knit fabric or the cowl neck in the back. I stitched it up and tried it on, and decided to treat the front like a scoop neck t-shirt.

knit dress front view

Here's a look at the neckline. I tried on the bodice as you see it in the picture above, when it was just the top half of the dress, and marked with a pin the place where I wanted the center of the scoop to dip down to. Then I folded the front in half at the center and drew a round neckline, cutting off the extra but leaving 1/4" so I could attach the binding. Which I sewed on just like a t-shirt and then just reattached the front to the back at the shoulders. The armholes also have a binding turned to the inside and stitched.

knit dress front neckband

Knit dress on form front

I made a tie sash as the pattern had but didn't wear it. I actually think I made the elastic a bit too snug, and I'm going to undo the elastic, put a buttonhole in the center front and then make it into a drawstring with elastic instead.

But this dress is all about the back view! Perfect vacation dress that scrunches up to nothing in my suitcase.

knit dress back view

Which came out perfectly. Ages ago I saw a woman wearing a dress very similar to this, except it didn't have any waist, just a straight knit dress but with a very low cowl back. I remember taking a picture of it on my phone - and that was about 3 phones ago. (a pink Treo - loved that little phone!) It looked so interesting, I might have to try that style hack as well.

knit dress side view 2

knit dress back drape close up

So that's the latest on my 1-hour knit dress (more like 3 or 4 hours). But a winner for my vacation and the summer ahead.

What's next on my calendar? Lots of classes at Hello Stitch Studio in Berkeley. I have to miss meeting Gertie this Thursday May 8 but she is having a book signing and talk that evening at the studio if you are interested.

Here's some details on upcoming classes for this month:

Adj the bust

copy vintage dress

More classes in May and June:

Sat. June 2:    Sew the Bondi Dress
Sun. Jun 3:    Sewing pattern alteration and Fit Lab
Sat. June 16:  Sew a Pencil Skirt (2 session class)
Sat. June 16:  Knit T-shirt (2 session class)
Sat. June 23:  Garment Sewing, Easy Tank Top
Sat. July 14:  Pants Clinic, Diagnose your Fit Issues

Also upcoming classes not on the calendar yet are a button front shirt class, and some vintage style sewing. Sign up on the website for their newsletter to get all the updates.


Plenty of things to post on the blog and then after my time in Hawaii I will get back to sewing some of the gorgeous fabrics from Britex that my friend Heather bought last month.

Aloha, and happy sewing, 

today's garden photo, I think a passion flower vine that only puts out one bloom at a time, but it is a stunner of a color.



Thursday, April 26, 2018

Silk blouse Burda 6840 in crepe de chine from Mood NY

For the last few days I've been trying to sit down and post this blouse but the spring weather has been calling me elsewhere. How about you? It feels so good to get outside and at this time of year there are a million chores in my garden. While not the case it seems like most of my time is spent getting the irrigation system started after the winter hiatus. Totally necessary and water-wise here in California. Plus it will be 100℉ soon and that's the time to stay in the shade and sew!  Or take a sewing class - updates for all my upcoming classes are detailed at the bottom of this post.

As for sewing this blouse - I finished it in early December. And it has been waiting for the accompanying jacket to be completed, and then some opportunity to take nice pictures. Which are done, thanks again to my friend Alice. Although strangely we only took one or two with the jacket off. Oops. But the light was just right and this is a very good representation of the color of this silk.

blue silk top 3

Which I bought at Mood Fabrics back in 2016 during my trip to NY.  I bought this silk and another one, closer to a navy blue, and then the double sided wool fabric that I used to make the jacket tossed over my shoulder. Next post on that jacket.

To confess, I'm not totally sure about my pattern choice here. I made this same pattern a while ago, in a plaid cotton. I think I like it better in the cotton. The reason I chose it for this fabric is the nice hidden buttonhole placket (which I could have done on any pattern but on this one it is included) and then the lack of shaping. Sometimes I find that silk crepe de chine gets kind of wrinkly if it is a shaped shirt, and a more loose silhouette works better with the fabric. But I think I overdid it on this. Not that I dislike it - but would make some other choices if I could do it again.

Here's the pattern envelope.

Burda shirt pattern

I like the bow look on the pattern but didn't want to be limited to that, so I made a detachable bow. And used just about every square inch of the fabric. Virtually no scraps left, which is nice for a change.

blue silkblouse with bow

Sewing details - this blouse has no darts but instead pleats at the shoulder yoke. which means a lot of tailor's tacks.


The pattern has the built in hidden button feature all the way down the front, which is shown here. I did a post on the Craftsy sewing blog on how to create a hidden buttonhole placket, in a different way which also works for silk shirts like this. (By the way, all my Craftsy blog posts and tutorials are here on another page on this blog, listed by category.)

blue silk shirt in process

After I finished the blouse I stitched down along the shirt front edge of the buttonhole placket as I didn't like the way it gaped open at the top. Since I didn't put a button there near the top it wasn't needed in that section. I think that may be way I prefer the other method which is detailed in my Craftsy post linked to above.  By the way that's the jacket fabric hanging behind the partially finished blouse.
A bit about interfacing - sewing with silk like this requires a bit of thought and testing when it comes to choosing the interfacing. I always make some samples with various weights of interfacings. In this case I used the Fashion Sewing Supply Sheer Elegance Light in the buttonhole placket and also in the collar and cuffs. However if you look closely at the unfinished collar there is another fabric in there.


The collar seemed a bit floppy so I added a layer of silk organza interfacing. Not sure why I took this picture. Maybe to show that I had sewn the collar and then decided to add, so I roughly cut out a piece of silk organza, stitched it onto the collar and then trimmed it later.


For the collar stand I think I just went with the two different types of fusible interfacing. The collar stand at the bottom of the picture has a very lightweight Japanese interfacing that I buy at Stone Mountain,  here's the link to the page on their website. They show 4 colors (black, white, and 2 shades of beige). This interfacing is the best I have found for certain applications on silk or other lightweight fabrics. The beige tones seem to magically disappear on sheer fabrics or at least don't show so while expensive they are worthwhile and of course you just use a small amount on each project so 1 yard will last you a good while.
Also shown in the above photo is the pattern piece for the collar stand. Often when pattern companies give you that small piece which is to be cut on the fold I make a 2nd copy in paper and either join to the original so I can cut out as a single piece on two layers of fabric, or alternatively have two of the same to cut on fold without having to move and place the pattern piece again. With all the dots and markings of course :)

Thinking about RTW silk blouses I have had, they often have the edge stitching which keeps them crisp so I actually hunted around in my desk drawer to find the edge stitching foot.


My sewing machine came with a lot of accessory feet - and I rarely use any of them. Zipper foot, yes all the time. Walking foot - Never! I just saw someone on IG this morning praising the walking foot and I understand the appeal - but I don't think I have ever needed it? Anyway the edge stitching foot did work well for this collar.

blue silkblouse on form backview

sewing buttons blue silk blouse

Sewing on buttons - my least favorite sewing task. And I am super picky about them, so I sew one at a time and then button and make sure they are placed correctly and not pulling the front up or down. Perhaps my little obsession makes me also hate this task. But I tell myself extra time will result in satisfaction and not annoyance at misplaced buttons. On a shirt there is a bit of wiggle room on the button placement - on a coat there is no wiggle room - they must be in the exact right spot or I will not rest. As evidenced when I made this Quart coat from Pauline Alice patterns - and tangled with the button placement until it was just right. Plus plaid and double breasted style - buttons are critical.

silk blouse blue2

For the length I knew I would be wearing this with a shorter jacket so decided to make it kind of long, and I'm not entirely sure this is successful on me. You'll have to see when I show it with the jacket on.

Which will be my next post! Here's a quick look.

blue silk blouse with jacket lining

So up next, a post on the jacket, another silk top which is more summery, a few sleeveless dress and some tropical travel in the near future :) Which meant some unnecessary but always fun sewing. And Me-Made-May just around the corner.

Maker Fair Bay Area is coming up in May, and to participate in that we have a class at Hello Stitch Studio on Thursday May 17 which is a bit of a bonus - with a social component. Or should I say Sewcial?

Maker Faire image
I did this class a few weeks ago and I think it's a great way to get familiar with adjusting your paper patterns -  no pressure as we go through adjustments on sample paper pattern pieces. Plus the why and how behind them, how to measure yourself and how to choose a pattern size to start with. The Sewing Clothes Support Group is a great way to use the studio - all those lovely machines and cutting spaces.

After that we have the following classes:
Garment Copying: Sat. May 19 - how to make a pattern from an existing garment. Among other demos I am going to copy a lovely vintage dress I have in my wardrobe)
Bondi Dress: Sat. June 2 - this is a great summer dress, and we have every size at the studio so you can come in, try on to figure out your best size and then start sewing right away. Plus the patterns on oaktag for easy tracing, also the pattern which super cute and versatile is included in the cost of the class. (you will receive the pdf pattern and instructions but don't need to print out as those are at the studio).
Pattern alteration and Tissue Fitting: Sun. June 3. A slight change on our Fit Lab class. This will be common pattern adjustments, similar to the Adjust the Bust class with paper samples to practice on, also how to measure and choose pattern size, and then an optional part 2 of the class where I will help you tissue fit and adjust a specific pattern.
Pencil Skirt: Sat. June 16. Sew a fitted pencil skirt and perfect your sewing on darts, waistbands, zippers and the walking vent.

All the classes are listed on the Hello Stitch website, under Garment Sewing.

Happy Spring Sewing,

Today's garden photo, the tulips are all gone now but a few were spectacular while they bloomed.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Classes, latest Craftsy posts and what's on my sewing table

Do you find the number of new sewing patterns released a bit overwhelming? Looking at blogs, instagram, various newsletters and other sources means that I find something new almost every day that I want to make. I think choosing patterns that are good for you is a skill you can learn. Unfortunately it comes with a bit of expense, both in time and money since you can't magically determine if a particular pattern will work for you. The investment in your time and in fabric is a real thing. Some aspects of that are just experience, like anything else, and learning from your mistakes.

Hoping to help people skip a bit of the trial and error aspect of pattern selection I have a class at Hello Stitch this weekend (Sunday April 22, 10 am - 1 pm) that can help with this aspect of sewing knowledge.  to register for any classes. By the way - if you want to make it a full day there is a knit t-shirt class at 2pm the same day.

This is currently my favorite class to teach! It's really rewarding to help stitchers of all levels understand all that info printed inside and out (or digitally) on a pattern and how you can use that information to make your sewing more successful.
Including things like "why are the specific fabrics recommended?" "what does loose-fitting or semi-fitted mean" and my favorite "why does this pattern take 4 yards of fabric?"

So if you use any kind of pattern: PDF, envelope, vintage, modern, multi-size, cup-size, we talk about them all and also cover pattern markings, measuring yourself, and choosing the right size to start with.

pattern reading for blog

My other class this month is a Pattern Fitting class, Sat. April 28 at 10am. This is actually a two part class. In the morning I will go over a lot of common fit adjustments and show how to do them on the pattern pieces. The second part is a Fit Lab where I will help you tissue fit your pattern and do the adjustments to your pattern pieces. You can sign up for just the Pattern Fitting overview or both parts.

Pattern fitting class for blog

And in June we are doing the Bondi dress class again, this is a great summer dress and the best part is that the pattern is included in the cost of your class. We have a dress sewn up in each size so you can come into the studio to try on the dresses and see exactly which size is right for you, then trace off your pattern size from the tagboard versions we have at the studio. It's a simple pattern so that is a quick process, plus you get the PDF and the instructions mailed off to you.

Here is a terrible blurry photo of all the Bondi dresses hanging up in the studio. My last class was full and I planned to take some photos but never slowed down to do that.

Bondi dresses at HS SaveSave

Latest Craftsy posts: here are my latest on the Craftsy Sewing Blog.

A post about knit fabrics. Although I want to issue a caveat on this one - I wish the sewing world would have a definitive wording about knit fabrics. Note that in this post I refer to 2-way and 4-way stretch - but sometimes it is referred to as 1-way and 2-way.
Which if you look at the diagrams in the post then it makes sense but how should we refer? On most of the patterns I looked at I noticed that they called for 2-way stretch knits. By which they mean knits that stretch both on the cross grain and the lengthwise grain. Aargh - what should I have called them?

Here's the link to my post. 

Craftsy stretch post image

Another recent post is this one on how to lengthen or shorten a top. Which seems like a simple adjustment but there are a few things to note. In fact my friend Meg just did a recent post on the same topic, with some really good diagrams as well.

Craftsy post shorter image

What I've been sewing: I just finished this dress and have a few things I would change if I were to make it again, which I don't really plan to. As there are so many knit dress patterns I would like to try.

McCalls cowl knit dress

But our scorching hot weather is not that far away so I'm sure it will get plenty of wear soon. And the fabric colors are so pretty. (Stone Mountain bargain upstairs purchase).

Up next: some tropical travel is on my calendar so you know what that means, frivolous floral sundresses  - my favorite thing!

Happy Sewing and hope to see you at Hello Stitch,

today's garden photo - the first backyard rose. This might be the oldest rosebush in the garden but oh that color - so pretty.


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