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WHAT’S DOING VOL. 55

Pattern-hooks

Happy Sunday Makers! I hope you’re either having a productive or an indulgently lazy weekend. A few sewing pals are in town this weekend and I’m off to the park to lay under a blanket of Sonja’s pugs. Things could be worse.

So much was going on in the sewing blog world this week…..

ADMIRE

Elisalex’s embroidered folk top is de-lovely.

Honig Design’s Linden dress is rad; I’ve been hunting for that exact striped jersey for what feels like my entire life.

Mushroom dress! MUSHROOM DRESS!

A very pretty blouse from Amanda’s Adventures with Sewing.

Maimu’s flared Gingers are so good.

Cation’s cat blouse! Meow.

I just discovered this hilarious blog series called Film Petit; adorable children in hand sewn costumes recreate Zoolander, The Big Lebowski and Moonrise Kingdom, among others.

NEWS

If you’ve somehow missed it, here’s my favourite sewing news of the week/month year. Jenny got fat shamed on instagram by some over-tanned, bicep kissing gym bro. She responded in her typical ebullient  manner, and the #cakewithcashmerette hashtag was born. After hundreds of sewing folks ate cake in solidarity, news sources started picking up the story, and as a result, a large portion of the sewing community has now been featured stuffing their cake holes on The Guardian, The Independent, Buzz Feed, People, Hello Giggles, Cosmopolitan…. the list goes on. I have never loved our community more.

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Sophia Dress pattern // By Hand London // Closet Case Files
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THE SOPHIA DRESS PATTERN // BY HAND LONDON

Sophia Dress pattern // By Hand London // Closet Case Files

Do you ever stumble on fabric that feels like it’s yours even before you get to the checkout? Like you would maybe snarl at someone who even looked at the bolt while you were hugging it desperately to your chest, a half-mad and possessive gleam in your eye? I spotted her in Mood last year; I was almost out the door when she waved a little abstract geometric arm at me. If fabric had eyelashes, hers would have been batting. A lovely textured cotton with a deconstructed modernist tree print, she was in my arms within seconds.

Like so many of my emotional fabric purchases, I didn’t have a plan. I just knew she needed to come home with me and be mine forever. It wasn’t until BHL released the Sophia Dress that I realized it was indeed kismet/beshart/fate. The sharp, modern, angular lines of Sophia were a perfect foil for the sharp, modern, angular lines of this fabric.

Obviously a dress like this needs an occasion. One of my closest friends had a gorgeous farm wedding this summer, and the combo of Sophia + fabric seemed like the right blend of fancy and casual. Of course there is no rest for the sewing blogger’s boyfriend; I dragged Guillaume outside in between courses so we could snap these shots before the sun went down. Unsung hero, he.

By Hand London Sophia Dress pattern-3Sophia Dress pattern // By Hand London // Closet Case FilesSophia Dress pattern // By Hand London // Closet Case FilesSophia Dress pattern // By Hand London // Closet Case Files

I really, really love the design lines of the second variation of this dress pattern. The silhouette is a classic sheath but the angled straps, diagonal darts and centre slit feel cool and modern. The bust darts create a pointy,

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Sallie Jumpsuit and Maxi dress pattern Round-up // Closet Case Files
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SALLIE JUMPSUIT & MAXIDRESS ROUND-UP

My absolute favourite part of my job is getting to see all the creative and idiosyncratic ways people make a pattern their own. You guys are so inspiring and I’d like to share your genius. Here are some of my favourite interpretations of the Sallie Jumpsuit & Maxidress pattern – apologies if some of the instagram images are a little grainy. So many beauties! So many ladies in secret pajamas! I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch so leave me a link in the comments if I left you out….

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WHAT’S DOING VOL.54

Calder Sculpture Montreal - Iles Jean Drapeau

H aving a good weekend? It’s Just for Laughs right now, my favourite of Montreal’s summer festivals, and so far I’ve seen Margaret Cho, Jen Kirkman and Eddie Pepitone. Hoping to make it to Norm McDonald this evening…. my belly hurts from laughing.

Here’s what’s up in sewing blogs this week…..

ADMIRE

I was curious about this Rachel Comey pattern… I’m kinda digging the apron vibe of Bellbird’s version.

More Comey goodness – a tropical print version of Vogue 1247 over on Telltale Tasha, a pattern I will never tire of.

These denim-y Hudson pants from Baste + Gather are pretty great, even if Lauren did accidentally over distress them.

Every woman needs a neon orange embossed jacket… or so I’ve learned from Blogless Anna.

Did you see Peter’s linen coveralls? My favourite make this week- I WANT A PAIR SO BAD!!!!

Dixie’s Regency cosplay is next level.

Lisa’s evil eye Linden sweatshirt has the power to ward off all the bad vibes.

Mokosha is a stripey vision.

I’m into By Gum By Golly’s spot-on vintage taste pretty much always, but this outfit was particularly fly.

STUDIO/ORG

Maria Shell’s solar powered sewing room/cabin in Alaska is basically studio porn for all us makers with an urge to move into the wild.

Some great tips from Grainline Studio on organizing pdf pattern files.

LISTEN

I already loved Jenny from Cashmerette, but the interview she did on The Crafty Planner podcast gave me a totally different perspective on her big,

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HOW TO SEW KNIT BINDING ON A V OR MITERED NECKLINE

Mitered V neck knit binding // Sallie Jumpsuit Pattern // Closet Case Files

I recently discovered a love for knit bindings, spurred after admiring a lovely dress made by Kay the Sewing Lawyer. It’s great when you want a simple, narrow finish on knit garments but don’t need a lot of stretch. I had a hard time finding any tutorials for binding a v-neck, but worked it out after emailing with Amy about it (one of my favourite people to nerd out about sewing esoterica with).

In yesterday’s post on hacking the Sallie jumpsuit into a romper, I explained the changes you must make to the pattern in order to remove the lining. The lining is convenient because it encloses all of your raw seams; if you’re going to forgo it, you’ll need to use a neckline binding instead.  In this tutorial, I am using the kimono tee as an example, but it can also be used on the tank variation. In that case, sew the front and back V first. The side bindings should be extra long so they can become the shoulder straps. You can see what I mean by checking out Amy’s version here.

First step: sew and stablilize your shoulder seams with some clear elastic or stay tape. Press the seams to the back.

BInding a knit V neck // Sallie Jumpsuit Pattern // Closet Case Files

For reinforcement, sew a short line of stitches around the pointed V seam allowance . Clip at the V without cutting your stitches.

BInding a knit V neck // Sallie Jumpsuit Pattern // Closet Case Files

Measure your complete neck opening to get your binding length (plus seam allowance x 2). The width of the binding will be your seam allowance x 4. In the case of the Sallie, the total width of the binding will be 1 1/2″

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HACKING THE SALLIE JUMPSUIT INTO A ROMPER PATTERN

Sallie Jumpsuit pattern // Pattern hacking a romper pattern // Closet Case Files

As promised in yesterday’s outfit post, today we’ll be using the Sallie Jumpsuit with simple modifications to make your own ladies romper pattern.

As drafted, the Sallie pants fit on the snug side. Were you to cut the pants into shorts as is, they wouldn’t really give you the loose, flared fit in the thigh you’re probably after; they’re called rompers for a reason, right? Like most knit patterns, Sallie is easy to tweak in all manner of ways. You don’t need to worry about darts, so it’s a snap to hack and modify to your heart’s content. Here’s what I did to get a looser fit on my bottom half.

MODIFYING FRONT LEG

To modify your pattern, use tracing paper on top of the original draft. Please note that the black dotted lines in the following illustrations indicate the original pattern lines.

Sallie Jumpsuit pattern // Pattern hacking a romper pattern // Closet Case Files

 

  1. I noticed that without the weight of the pants pulling the crotch seam down, my romper had a tendency to ride up. I suggest dropping the crotch curve 1/2″ (12mm) & give your lady bits a bit more room to breathe.
  2. Once you decide the length of your shorts (I cut them about 4 1/2″ below the start of the crotch curve) extend the inseam out 1/4″ (6mm) at your new hem.
  3. Extend the side seam by 2″ (50mm) at your new hem.
  4. Line your pocket piece on top of the original pants to find the location of the waist seam. Draw a diagonal line from the 2″ point you marked in step 3 and connect to the waist seam.
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SALLIE JUMPSUIT PATTERN // ROMPER PATTERN HACK

Sallie Jumpsuit Pattern // Romper DIY // Closet Case Files

I know that summer is generally a slow time for most sewists (what with the sun, the bbqs, the beach, and the merciless days when it’s so hot you get chafe rashes on your inner thighs from any kind of movement and can only survive by lying down on sweaty cotton sheets with a fan blowing on you while getting melted popsicle all over everything. Err, just me then?) That said, this Montreal summer has been pretty schizophrenic and we’ve only had a couple of truly oppressively hot days, a godsend to some degree because I work from home without air conditioning. It’s been mild enough that I can actually sew without sweating and crying, and I’ve been cranking out summer me-mades like a one woman (barely) sweat(y) shop.

When I launched the Sallie Jumpsuit sewing pattern, a few of you were keen to make a romper variation. It was one of those *bang head against desk* moments, because a romper hadn’t even occurred to me (pattern tunnel vision – it’s a thing!) Had I not had my head up my butt, I definitely would have included a romper pattern variation, since y’all know I like to drown you with options. Needless to say, it’s basically the easiest hack in the world, and I zipped up this cobalt number to test it out. I’ve been cruising around town in it every since.

Sallie Jumpsuit Pattern // Romper DIY // Closet Case Files Sallie Jumpsuit Pattern // Romper DIY // Closet Case FilesSallie Jumpsuit Pattern // Romper DIY // Closet Case Files Sallie Jumpsuit Pattern // Romper DIY // Closet Case Files

The fabric is a medium weight cotton jersey from Globetex. I loved the colour but knew it was way too thick to keep the bodice lined, especially not for a little summer romper you throw on when you want as little touching your skin as possible.

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WHAT’S DOING VOL. 53

Nina Simone style

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you’re enjoying your weekend. If you have a Netflix account and you’re looking for something to watch tonight, I highly suggest checking out this Nina Simone documentary. I fell in love with her when I was a teenager from a mix tape my older brother made me; a complicated, brilliant, troubled, yearning woman, with a voice so powerful it could sear a steak. Well worth a few hours of your time.

In other news, here’s what’s doing in sewing blogs this week:

ADMIRE

These denim leggings from Fehr Trade are fantastic.

A truly groovy collection of vintage makes from Sewing the 60’s.

Nettie, beautiful in neon and Frida.

Debbie is back from a blog break, and it was such a pleasure to see her in this gorgeous bird print Delphine.

Sophie, a knockout as per usual in her Beverly bikini.

Clio made a magnificent jacket from a hand traced pattern from Rachel. Sewing bff-ery at its finest.

This outfit from Cut Cut Sew is me-made perfection; I’m totally rethinking my position on peasant skirts.

Kind of obsessed with The Scruffy Badger’s sewing room…. SO MUCH LIGHT!!

SEWING NEWS

Sunni is closing her online shop. I’m sure I’m not the only one sad to hear it, but let’s support her by helping her clean out her remaining stock (use the discount code AFSCLOSING2 for 30% off).

Portia over at The Makery is hosting a rather epic edition of The Refashioners this summer,

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MAKE BOSS: CHOOSING THE BEST ECOMMERCE PLATFORM

How to choose the right E-commerce platform for your creative business // by Closet Case Files

One of the most important decisions you will make as a small business owner in the age of the internet is choosing the right e-commerce platform. I’ve been selling patterns online since 2013, and in that time I have cycled through 3 primary platforms, and done countless hours of testing, research and price shopping. It can be a bit of a quagmire so I’m here to help you find the best fit for your business.

Here are some questions I would recommend asking yourself before you get started:

  1. How comfortable am I with custom coding in HTML and CSS? Am I willing to take a more DIY approach to my website or do I want something more user friendly?
  2. Is it important to have access to a built in audience, such as on a site like Etsy?
  3. Do I need to be able to easily connect my store sales with an accounting program like Quickbooks?
  4. Do I want a simple, fast “starter” site, or something that can easily scale as my business grows?
  5. How much money am I able to pay each month for web hosting and e-commerce fees?

Once you know what you need from your site, it becomes much easier to narrower down the many options out there. Have a list of things that you absolutely must have, and make sure your platform can meet those needs.

CUSTOM DESIGNED STORE VS. BUILT-IN AUDIENCE

If you are selling a handmade or crafty related item, web platforms with built-in audiences like Etsy are a great place to get started selling your wares. Since all the design and infrastructure is already in place,

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