Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tutorial: How to Sew a Side Seam Pocket

With the exception of the Simplicity 1061 sew along (which I am neck deep in the middle of), it's been a while since I've posted a tutorial so I figured it was time to address our baggage needs. We all carry a cell phone these days and where to put it is always the question. My bra, at least, was not made to take care of this need, so why not put pockets in everything? No more undressing to answer a phone call! I like that.

As part of the sew along, I've made a pocket pattern to go into our skirt.
 
 

1. Down load the pattern by clicking on link below. Cut 2 from contrasting or fashion fabric. Though not as strong, you may choose to use lining fabric too. Being limited by page size, this pattern and opening are small, but big enough to house your phone. If you'd like to enlarge your pattern, lengthen the pattern about 1 inch below the notch.

http://www.sewchicpatterns.com/images/pocket_simplicity_1061.pdf

2. With right sides together, pin the pocket to skirt front and back at the right side seam. Remember that the left side seam has the zipper, so only one pocket on this project.









3. Sew to side seam using a 3/8" seam allowance

4. Press pocket and seam to outside.

5. With front and back side seams and pocket edge matching, sew as directed on the photo. 

6. Press pocket to skirt front. Baste at upper edge. Complete your skirt as directed in the guide.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Mixing Patterns" Article in Threads magazine

Threads Inspires with Reader-Written Expertise

Make it Yours
What do you do when you picture a garment in your mind but can't find just what you are looking for in the pattern catalogs? Ever tried putting two (or more) patterns together? It may sound intimidating, but it can be done. My article "Mixing Patterns" walks you through the steps of combining two patterns to create that perfect piece.
Let's say you don't like the sleeve on your pattern. You want it bigger, smaller, longer, whatever. Wouldn't you just take a sleeve from another pattern and try to edge and ease it into place any way you could without another thought? There is a better way, and that's what my article is all about.



Here's part of the article. Get the magazine to read the whole thing!

How many of you read Threads magazine? It's one of my all-time favorites and one I've subscribed to for many years. In fact, my collection goes all the way back to 1998. But the current issue is special because the dress I made (for the article) is on the cover. I really liked the way it turned out, and they did a wonderful job with the photos- they came out fabulous. How lucky am I?? Thanks Threads! You guys are great!



Decades of Design

My favorite cover. Ever.

Why do I like Threads?
It's a magazine for designers. And that's who we are! Whether you're a veteran like me who starts with an idea and takes it to finished product, or someone who is passionate about sewing but maybe just wants to embellish a garment or learn a new technique, there really is something for both the beginning and the advanced sewists. I certainly don't try everything suggested, but every issue definitely sparks my imagination, and the articles are always interesting.

One of my favorite features is "UpClose" on the back cover. Each issue shows a garment with some kind of unique detail. Then there's an up-close picture of the detail. Even better, inside the magazine are often instructions on how to do it yourself!

UpClose from March 2008



Specializing in Original
We love vintage details and embellishments. Whether designed decades ago (remember Nicholas Ungar: Vintage Treasure Hunt?) or of more recent origin, Threads is full of ideas that inspire me. Why? Because you don't see these ideas in every store, in every mall. Last year while attending a conference in Las Vegas I went shopping. I hadn't really shopped for about a year. And, boy, I wasn't inspired. Every store had the same pink and tan separates! That's fine if you want to look like every other gal -- lace booty shorts anyone? But I'm looking for something a little more original. Threads gives me something surprising and wonderful with each issue.

Waist detail from the March 1998 issue.

Hands On Expertise
Reader-written, the articles are full of suggestions for sewists at all levels. The articles show and tell you how to master both basic and advanced techniques. With time and practice, you can improve your sewing skills so you'll be able to achieve the look you want with greater ease. Teaching each other is a great way to minimize the learning curve! Don't forget to use my Sewing Tips & Techniques page as another source for the tricks of our trade.

Learn to love zippers!

Need some tips on hand stitching? Here they are!

Sewing projects don't have to take weeks!

If you also love Threads (or are now thinking you should), what would you like to see featured? They have asked me to, and I would love to write another article, so let me know your ideas!

Where do you get inspiration and how do you express it? I've said it before (and I'll keep saying it) -- I love to see what you've made! Keep those pictures coming.

Have a great sewing day,

Laura




Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sew Alongs Great Way to Learn to Sew

In the "old" days, everyone knew how to sew. Girls watched mom and grandma at the machine and were expected to also learn to sew in order to do their part and keep the family moving along. For the frugal family, sewing was essential. Wade Laboissonniere in "Blueprints of Fashion" says that an early 1950's survey shows that housewives made 21-27 garments a year. That's 2 garments a month! In those days everyone knew how to make a gathered skirt with a waistband from three panels of fabric sewn together.These days it's more rare to find mothers and grandmothers that can teach these well practiced techniques, and with time always at a premium, it's no wonder everyone reaches for any quickest to-the-point answers available on YouTube.

Following a sew along for a specific pattern is a great way to find success with a project because you get training specific to that pattern. I am now 2 weeks into my first sew along with Simplicity 1061, and it is as time consuming as I expected, but even more crazy, I put the start date right before leaving to teach at the ASG conference! Together with not having internet available at our site in San Diego, dealing with credit card fraud while on my trip, files arriving late and refusing to be transferred over the internet, week 2 ended up being sent out  little later than expected. Please accept my apology.

I'm hoping for smooth sailing from here on out, and that you will find some nuggets of wisdom embedded in my own personal methods by and by.

If you haven't joined yet, I invite you to do so. Soon I will be inviting everyone by email to join the sew along pinterest board too. Sort of like Craftsy, I can enjoy your progress too. We each gain satisfaction in our efforts knowing we can help our fellow enthusiast along their way.

Sign up here:
 http://www.sewchicpatterns.com/simplicity.html

As you sew, post comments or questions about week 1 here:

http://sewchicpatterns.blogspot.com/p/simplicity-sew-along-week-1.html

and week 2 here:
http://sewchicpatterns.blogspot.com/p/v-behaviorurldefaultvmlo.html

Have a great sewing day!




Monday, July 6, 2015

Sew Along for New Pattern Release!

Hooray! It's really really here!

Just in case you didn't see my Facebook post, Simplicity #1061 (AKA "Pongo") is now available in stores and online in the Simplicity Fall Catalog! Here in Oregon you can also get it at JoAnn and Hobby Lobby.





As you select your fabric and notions, please keep in mind that just as clothing manufacturers often use different calculations to come up with their sizing charts, so do pattern makers. If you are used to choosing your size based on my size chart, be aware that Simplicity sizing does not equal Sew Chic sizing! 
Here's my Sew Chic size chart:
Sizes
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
Bust
32”
33”
34”
35”
36.5”
38”
40”
42”
45”
Waist
25”
26”
27”
28”
29.5”
31”
33”
35”
38”
Hip
35”
36”
37”
38”
39.5”
41”
43”
45”
48”
Back Waist
15.5”
16”
16.5”
16.75”
17”
17.25”
17.5”
17.75”
18”
 
Compare it to the Simplicity chart below and you'll see what I'm talking about! A Sew Chic size 10 is NOT a Simplicity size 10. There is a big difference, and it will translate to a dress that won't fit if you don't pay attention. Check (yep -- this means getting out the measuring tape) and compare YOUR measurements with those on the pattern before deciding on a size!

Simplicity size chart:

Sizes
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
Bust
29 ½”
30 ½”
31 ½”
32 ½”
34”
36”
38”
40”
42”
Waist
22”
23”
24”
25”
26 ½”
28”
30”
32”
34”
Hip
31 ½”
32 ½”
33 ½”
34 ½”
36
38”
40”
42”
44”
Back Waist
15 ½”
15 ½”
15 ¾”
16”
16 ¼”
16 ½”
16 ¾”
17”
17 ¼”
 

Sew Along with Me

If you read my previous post on the evolution of this pattern you'll remember that I promised a Sew Along. I know you want this fun summer combo! And my intention for creating the Sew Along is to encourage you to start and finish it! Sign up, and starting July 13th you'll get a weekly Sew Along delivered to your inbox.




I'd also really like to see what fabric you choose and how it turns out! So send me a picture when you are done!

Thanks for all your support and comments about my new pattern release.

Have a great sewing day,

Laura