How to draft your own facings

This shows you how to create your own one or two piece facings. How to make a sleeved dress sleeveless or how to make a facing intead of a lining.

Have you ever wanted to change up a favorite pattern, to make a dress or top without the usual sleeves, or maybe skip the collar this time?  Or maybe you have a dress pattern that has a full lining and you just want to replace it with a one-piece facing instead.  Take a tried and true pattern and design your own facings so you can finish neck and armholes neatly! To begin with, you will need your pattern pieces, paper, and a pen or pencil. Take the bodice front pattern piece and trace around the neck, shoulder and armhole, and a couple of inches down the side seam. Keep in mind any seam allowances that may need to be added – the Haven Acres Blouse pattern that I’m using has no seam allowance at the neck edge, as it is bound with bias … Continue reading

Free skirt pattern – The Flouncy Bouncy Skirt

This skirt goes straight to the top of my summer sewing list! The cotton jersay is great, but I LOVE the drape in the ITY knit version.

I’ve had this skirt design in mind for a while now and with the warm weather coming, now seems the perfect time to show a little leg and put some wiggle in my walk. With this skirt you’ll certainly be swinging your hips and swishing your hemline at every opportunity. It’s fitted to your body in the waist and hips because most of us feel like we don’t need to extra volume there.  Then the skirt flares out to give you a great full hemline. What’s great about it? Quick and easy to sew Comfy elastic waist Fitted in waist and hips Lots of flare and fun Uses a stretch fabric for fit and comfort In hip sizes 34 to 50 inches You will need: Stretch knit fabric with a good drape and a non-directional pattern 3/4 inch elastic, enough for your waist … Continue reading

Simple Summer Pleated Skirt pattern

Free pattern, tutorial and video for how to make an easy pleated skirt for summer. Even has optional pockets!

I’ve had a couple of nice lightweight cotton fabrics in my stash since last summer, meaning to make myself a couple more skirts.  I’ve got quite a few patterns I’ve designed I could choose from now, but one of the skirts has a border print and I wanted to make sure I had a pattern that would work just as well with a border print as with the floral.  So I designed another skirt pattern. This could easily be your go-to skirt for summer.  Make it once, and then over and over in different fabrics.  I think you’ll like it! Features of the Summer Pleated Skirt Pattern Quick and quite easy to sew Cool and casual fit Pleats front and back, no darts Optional side seam pockets (who doesn’t love pockets!) Pick your own skirt length Ideal for use with … Continue reading

Clean out your closet week. The best clothing refashions

25 of the best and most ingenious clothing refashion ideas - for Clean out your Closet Week. I'm inspired!

It seems there is a National Day, Week or Month for almost everything these days. One that caught my eye for March was Clean Your Closet Week (running 17th – 24th). I’ve just recently lost some weight, with a little more to go and I’ll be cleaning out my closet of all my ‘big’ clothes and bringing back in some of my sewing projects from last year I hope to be slipping back into again soon. Spring is a great time to go through your closet and make some changes. move that thick and heavy winter clothes into storage, bring out the bright colors and lighter fabrics. Also the best time to look through what you aren’t wearing and why – can they be better changed into something else? Here are some great Clean Out Your Closet refashioning ideas to … Continue reading

Sew a pretty lace jacket

One piece free pattern for this pretty lace coverup. Ideal for modesty over a strapless dress.

Do you remember the free Sew A So Simple Shrug pattern that came out at the start of this year. I’ve worn that thing to death! But already its getting a little warmer here in Cayman and although sometimes you need a little cover up in the evenings, not something very heavy. And I do like to wear a nice dress when we go out for dinner, which is almost always outdoors, or sometimes in a restaurant with overly aggressive air-conditioning. So I needed something light but pretty to wear with a nice dress. Ta dah – I already had the perfect pattern for it, I just needed to use a lighter fabric. This stretch lace is perfect. You will need: Stretch lace - 1 yard of 58 inch wide.  (The largest 2 sizes will need just a few inches over 1 … Continue reading

Cross My Heart – free easy dress pattern

This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

You know sometimes how you look about and everyone seems to be wearing the same thing, the same styles, the same colors?  That’s especially true on a small island where there are only a few places you can buy clothes anyway, so its no wonder everyone has the same pieces.  So I set out to make myself a dress.  Something I could wear to dinner, or if I had to go somewhere smart, or heaven-forbid, ever get a job! I was really liking the Simple Shrug pattern and wanted to see if I could incorporate the idea into a dress because I think it gives a really flattering look by having the fabric fall from the bust, making the waist look smaller – or at least I hope so!  I’m very rectangular through the waist, so anything that draws attention … Continue reading

How to get your wardrobe ready for Spring + Free patterns

How to get your wardrobe ready for Spring.

I know you must all be familiar with the great site All Free Sewing.  Many of you may have even found this site originally from one of their links. They’ve been kind enough to feature quite a few of my patterns – in fact I have my own designer page here! Over the last couple of years, we’ve built up quite a relationship, and I’ve even written a few articles for the Seams and Scissors blog.  Now it’s time to do that in reverse and the lovely Kayla has written an article for me!  I gave her free rein to write about whatever takes her fancy right now and I have a feeling she is longing for Spring! * * * * * * * * * How to Get Your Wardrobe Ready for Spring + 10 Free Patterns By … Continue reading

Moved to Tiers Tunic – POTM

Single layer shingle tunic top pattern. Love how this looks in stripes but there are some fun color blog versions here to check out too.

Thanks to Sharon who suggested this style of top based on one she owns and loves. This Moved to Tiers Tunic pattern has 4 layers, tiers or ‘shingles’ and is so versatile. Make it in a fun and funky stripes, or on-trend with color blocking with a different fabric in each tier or just comfy and casual in a solid color.  What about an ombre version with the tiers going from light to dark?  Features: Comfortable relaxed fit in a knit fabric 3 different sleeve lengths Versatile mix and match for the layers Sizes 29 to 45 inch bust Only one layer, no lining layer How about extending and making a dress! By request this time, the pattern is now all black and white to save on colored inks while printing.  I’d love to hear your feedback on whether you … Continue reading

Free crossover top pattern – with a difference!

Great beginner video tutorial on pattern hacking. How to take a basic t-shirt pattern and create this top, knowing it will fit you.

As you know, every month I like to offer up a new free sewing pattern. But so many people have been asking me recently about how I make the patterns, how they can make their own, and how they can adjust patterns to fit them better or slightly change the style, that I thought a change was in order for this month. So the free pattern for February is one you already have, and might already have downloaded and sewn.  What?  Stay with me, because we are going to do something very interesting this month that will change one pattern into something completely different. Why learn more about sewing patterns? Understanding how a pattern works, how it is created and can be manipulated is a really important skill for sewing your own clothes. It helps you take a simple pattern … Continue reading

My second attempt at a bra – fitting

Review of the Craftsy Class on Bra Making, Construction and Fit. Adding lace and working on the perfect fit.

So I made a bra from following along with the Bra Making: Construction and Fitting Class on Craftsy.  It looked amazing and I was SO happy with how it came together.  But no matter what it looks like, it only really works if it actually fits.  Did it fit?  No.  Sadly not.  It was actually a pretty good fit in most places, but the cups were far too small and I had some top overspill as well as feeling constrained.  It felt like my boobs were being pushed flat. [Read part 1 of my class review and more about my first bra sewing experience here.] The neckline edge of the cups was also too tight.  I almost always have this in store bras too and think I must be fuller in the upper chest than ‘average’ which is probably why … Continue reading

Where to buy Bra-Making Supplies

Big list if suppliers for bra making and lingerie, fabrics, patterns and other materials

(Image credit – all images from Bra Makers Supply)   I recently posted about my first ever bra I’ve sewn following after watching the Bra Making class on Craftsy – you can read about it here if you missed it. Both here and on Facebook, people asked about where they could buy these specialist supplies, in the US and elsewhere because you don’t often find everything you need in your local sewing shop. I can’t get what I need here on Cayman at all – well, my local shop does sell bra underwires but only in one size , and it’s not mine. They also sell replacement hooks and things for bra repair but not really all the supplies you need if you are going to sew your own from scratch. So enjoy my extensive online research and hopefully somewhere … Continue reading

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