Twist Front Dress Pattern – POTM

Love this twist on the front of this dress. Flattering and yet its easy to sew. (Video)

Classy, classic, elegant, refined.  Not words you could use to describe every dress, but this twist front dress pattern really does suit those words.  You’ll look a knockout in this dress, whether you choose a solid or a small print.  Introducing the ‘In a Twist’ Dress pattern, Pattern of the Month for December. With a higher neckline in the front and a more dramatic lowered neckline at the back, this dress is a good-looker from every direction.  Worried that it looks complicated to sew?  The pattern testing team thought so too until they tried it!  It’s deceptively easy and there is a video to take you through the sewing on this dress every step of the way. Features: Interesting twist detail at the waist Creates interest and diagonal lines across the center of the body to shape and create a waist … Continue reading

How to shop for knit fabrics online

Stretch fabric swatch kit - at last I can see and feel what all these knit fabrics are like so I know which one to choose for my project. Great idea.

Do you ever shop for fabrics online?  What about shopping for knit and stretch fabrics?  Are you confident in where and how to shop for knit fabrics online, and how to make sure you are using the right kind of fabric for your project? I came to sewing only recently so naturally when I wanted to sew clothes,  I wanted to emulate the types of clothes already in my wardrobe, and these days most of them are stretch in some way or another.  I think some of that has to do with the expanding nature of my body in the last couple of years – I’ve found a stretch garment will fit me over more size changes than a regular woven garment. Many of the sewing patterns I’ve developed have been for stretch fabrics, but I still sometimes struggle to … Continue reading

Color block skirt – free skirt pattern

Free skirt pattern. Love this color block skirt with the fade away panels on the side that make me look instantly slimmer!

The free pattern for December is nice and simple – none of us have time for complicated sewing this time of year!  So here’s a simple free skirt pattern for a skirt with shaped seams front and back, flattering side panels and a nice comfy fit. Make this skirt all in the one color for a classic knit straight skirt or use the seams to create a color block effect.  Be more traditional with the solid or dark panels on the outside, or go crazy with print! Features: Easy to sew Princess-style seams front and back Video tutorial Knit fabric for comfort and fit Sewn-in elastic waist Sizes 34-50 hip just 4 pages to print for the pattern – nice Works well with a ponte knit Want more of a dramatic tapered look to the center panel and skirt? The standard … Continue reading

My Disco Party skirt – 30 minute skirt pattern

Sew this skirt and still be ready to go out in 30 minutes. Dance the night away in the quickest skirt ever.

Hubby came bundling in like a whirlwind like he usually does after work, dropping things everywhere.  As he crashed about and made his way to the shower he shouted out “How soon can you be ready to go out?” Er, what?  Where?  And who with?  Turns out the team at work had decided on an impromptu party night and were going into town to the monthly 80′s night for drinks and retro dancing.  And the bus was coming in an hour! Darn – you know the feeling of instant panic – I don’t have ANYTHING to wear!  At least not for an unplanned 80′s disco dancing night.  I fluttered through my wardrobe.  No, nothing would do. The 30 minute skirt pattern came to the rescue.  Could I really make something and still be ready to go out in an hour?  My … Continue reading

Cuddle Me Cardy – POTM

Love this really unusual pattern for a draped front cardigan, for stretch fabrics. PDF pattern.

If there is one thing I don’t get to wear very often here in the tropical weather of the Caribbean, it’s a cardigan or jacket.  But when I was running a few ideas past the pattern testing team, a cardy or jacket was a pretty popular idea now the cooler months were coming and so I knuckled down and got my thinking cap on. I don’t mind telling you, it took 7 different pattern designs and many trials and errors before I finally settled on this design that I hope will look flattering and wearable to most figure types. Features: Interesting vertical seaming Long loose sleeves to wear over the top of other things Optional ties at the waist High cosy collar at the back of the neck Can be worn loose and long, or cinched with a belt Not … Continue reading

‘Give me a shrug’ Top pattern – POTM

Interesting top to sew with a built in collar that looks like you're wearing a shrug over the top.

Did you notice the black top I was wearing when I modeled the Flirty Skirty pattern a while back?  It had my pattern testing team calling out for me to make a pattern just like it.  Their wish is my command! So here is the Pattern of the Month for September – the Give Me A Shrug Top. Features: Made with knit fabric Wrap around collar that pleats under the arms and forms a back yoke 3 sleeve lengths 7 sizes from 31-46 inch bust Lined over the bust Wear the collar turned up or laid flat Flattering square cut neckline Includes a short video just to help with the pleating, the rest is easy Pattern rating – Intermediate My own versions I made several versions during my development of this pattern using various different fabrics and sizing.  I think … Continue reading

Easy to make knit dress from Gosia

Easy to make knit dress tutorial

Gosia was our blogging winner in the Make It Yours Contest, and is here today with a guest post to introduce herself to you, and show off her unique style. * * * * * * * Hello fellow sewing enthusiasts! I’m Gosia of As I Sew  and Ambrodust Clothing, here to guide you through the creation of a super cute and easy to make knit dress. We’re going to start with a basic design, and later I’ll have some tips on what other styles of dresses you can use it for. This is a great project for a beginner who is familiar with sewing knits and understands a bit about altering a pattern. Here we go! This is the dress we’ll be working on: What you need: Knit fabric (I used about 2 yards of light jersey) Tank top … Continue reading

It’s a Wrap top – free pattern

Love the way the pleats form the wrap front on this top. Video and free pattern.

I’ve had this pattern on my mind for a while now and at last, ‘It’s a Wrap!’ The Wrap Top is loosely based on the original Wrap Dress pattern that has been downloaded thousands of times and been the most popular pattern on the site so far.  This ‘It’s a Wrap’ top has taken some of the best elements of that dress and turned it into a blouse with a few variations that I think you’ll like. Features: Cross-over front bodice Loose and casual sleeves with a little flutter Pleats on one side to create soft draping across the front Can help to hide a prominent tummy Slightly shaped at the waist Close fitting in the hips Flattering look with no awkward ‘gaping’ Step by step photos and written instructions Video tutorial too Sizes from 32 to 44 inch bust This … Continue reading

Color block dress pattern – POTM

Color block dress pattern

I LOVE this dress!  I can assure you that I am not as slim as this dress makes me appear, but the design, shape, dark side panels and careful shaping to the center panel creates an illusion that makes the wearer look slimmer and smoother.  I’ve combined mine with a border print for the center panel but this dress also looks great in a solid too. This color block dress pattern is Pattern of the Month for August. Make this dress loose and figure skimming or really turn some heads with a figure hugging look and some vibrant colors. Looks best with a patterned or brighter central panel and darker side panels to emphasise your shape. Features: Scooped neckline with binding. Slightly A-Line skirt Center back seam for perfect fitting Princess seams front and back Use dark panels on the outside … Continue reading

The perfect Maxi Skirt pattern

How to make the perfect fitting maxi skirt without it being too flared or too tight.

If you’ve been reading sewing blogs for a while now, no doubt you will have come across tutorials for easy maxi skirts.  Basically, sew a tube of fabric, add in some elastic and you’re good to go.  I’ve read some really funny reviews recently of ladies who did just that and then had to hobble around with tiny little steps because these skirts didn’t have enough room to actually walk properly! Most of us take a stride which is much greater than the width of our hips. Making a tight fitted ‘wiggle’ skirt might be OK for knee length, but make it longer and it will be like a permanent sack race. photo credit: Steve Bowbrick via photopin cc There are basically two types of maxi skirt I think – a low volume skirt that is not gathered and basically … Continue reading

30 minute easy skirt pattern

I like this tutorial better than most others because it includes proper shaping between waist and hips, not just a tube.

  While I was learning to sew with stretch fabrics and taking the excellent Sewing with Knits class (see the class review here and 25% discount), I got lots of knit remnants to practice on, and one day I simply sewed up a tube, added a fold over waist and made a skirt.  It all took no more than 30 minutes from opening the door to my sewing room and leaving wearing my new skirt.  In truth, I never did wear it a lot because I’d made it rather too tight, the fabric was very thin and it showed a VPL in the rear.  But the theory was good. Today, I’m having another go and refining my sizing to make a skirt that is the same principle, a 30 minutes easy skirt, but this time with a more everyday fit. … Continue reading

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