Sunday 27 October 2013


Lemon Dot Legs

lemon dots ensemble

Of all ye olde retired paper patterns, the one I'm asked if I'm going to resurrect the most is my yoga leggings pattern.  Previously available in 18m to 4T, I pulled the pattern this week and graded it alllllllll the way up and down.

lemon dots yoga legs close

And then made up these crazy legs.

lemon dots yoga leggings full

If double denim is a Canadian Tuxedo, what would this get-up be called?  A Scandinavian sweatsuit?  I'll certainly never lose her in a crowd.

lemon dots abs

If you need me, I'll be working on my abs.

Thursday 17 October 2013


The Bimaa Pattern Tour: Cowl Goes Zippy

zippy bimaa

I completely honored to be posting as part of EmmyLouBeeDoo's Bimaa Sweater Pattern Tour today!  Between all of the Sew Fab Bimaas and Pattern Tour Bimaas I think there's a legitimate case for renaming October Bimaaober.  It makes my heart swell to see this great pattern getting the love it deserves.

zippy bimaa zipped

Seeing as I'd already make a straightforward cowled Bimaa, and hacked the Bimaa with my skater dress,  I wanted to make something a bit more adventurous to show off the 'blank-slate' potential of this shirt.  So I gave the cowl a functional zip!

zippy bimaa full

Looks cute with the zip fully closed and folded down...

zippy bimaa zipped up

Less cute, more creepy when hiding one's head...

zippy bimaa half zip

And back to cute when partially zipped.

zippy bimaa full half zip

I think it'd be fun to put the zipper off-centre or at an angle for an asymmetrical look too.

zippy bimaa unzipped

Or you could use it more unzipped for a Pilgrim Costume.  Not the drapey shawl I was striving for but the retro pattern and colours make the huge collar strangely appropriate.

Thanks so much for having me, Sarah!  Make sure you check out my co-touree Sew A Straight Line too.

Wednesday 9 October 2013


Framed Panelled Pinafore 4.0

camping pannelled pinafore full

Yep, still soldiering on with the Panelled Pinafore! So far we've had one overall print, one colour-blocked solid, one mixed print, and now a print / solid mix. I hesitate to say it's piped as the strips I inserted in the seams are too wide by all accounts.

camping pannelled pinafore seam line

I do like the way the contrasting strips highlight the seamlines and frame the different panels.

camping pannelled pinafore close

But it's really too heavy-handed a treatment to do with fabric this weight and causes buckling. Impeccable posture required (but not granted).

camping pannelled pinafore full 2

Leaving for Spain on the morrow with the pattern in the capable hands of my testers (provided I can get it all scanned today) means you'll see less of me and my endless Pinafore iterations for awhile.  Just kidding, I made short sleeves one for our holidays.

Addendum: Facebook elected to show only a handful of people my announcement yesterday about how the shop will be affected by my absence.  I'm going to be away from the 10th to the 20th so if you need any fabric before then you'll have to place an order today. PDFs ordered between those dates will still be automatically delivered, but any fabric orders will be posted on the 21st!

Monday 7 October 2013


Spoonflower Design Swap: Alida Makes

Spoonflower Collage

Several light years ago, Stacey from Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy emailed some very talented and design savvy bloggers (and me) to ask if we wanted to participate in a fabric swap.  The catch: you had to design the fabric for your partner.  Naturally I thought I'd be pretty good at designing fabric (spoiler: I'm not) and was delighted and a little scared to be partnered with the amazingly stylish and creative Alida from Alida Makes.  Who then, of course, knocked out this amazing fabric in no time whatsoever:

designer challenge hem

Those, my friends, are Momongas (Japanese dwarf flying squirrels) carrying umbrellas in the rain. Obviously it is nearly impossible to do this fabric justice, but by jove I tried.

designer challenge twirl

None of your lacklustre boring ol' skaters here.  A Bimaa Skater!

designer challenge cowl close

Told you I was going to Bimaa All The Things.

designer challenge cowl close 2

Bimaa-ing your skater is really easy, I just matched them up on the shoulder line and then swapped out the skater neckline for the Bimaa neckline.  The result is a narrower but deeper neckline that fits the Bimaa cowl (and the hood! and the shawl!).

designer challenge celebration
So exciting.

I only had a yard of Alida's fabric so I had to be a bit creative. The skater skirt at 7/8 length was too tall to fit the Spoonflower interlock while leaving enough left over for the bodice and sleeves so I had to shorten the skirt quite considerably.  Once it was shorter, I did slash and spread it for some extra fullness.

designer challenge twirl 3

Great from twirling.  Omitting the hem and instead adding a band at the bottom gave some of the omitted length back, plus the weight of the band gives the bottom edge some heft.

designer challenge jump

Thanks so much to Stacey for the Design Swap idea, Alida for the awesome fabric that both Maia and I adore, and Sarah for the Bimaa!  Hop over to Alida's blog to see what she made with the fabric I designed.

Today is the last full day that the Sew Fab bundle is available (which includes my reversible zippy hoodie in all sizes and Sarah's Bimaa too).  As a designer, I get a portion of the sales made through my site so I really appreciate your support! You can get your hands on it here with my affiliate link.  But if it's the Bimaa that swayed it for you, it'd be so nice if you pop over to Sarah's blog to show her some love.

Sunday 6 October 2013


Tutorial: Make your Reversible Zippy Hoodie Non-Reversible (plus a really neat bound neckline finish)

Non Reversible Hoodie cover

As you know, my reversible zippy hoodie pattern is part of the Sew Fab bundle that's available for one week only (you only have til 8am EST on Tuesday morning to get yours!).  A lot of people's reactions to the hoodie might be 'Ugh, too much time / effort' but I'm going to show you how to make the pattern non-reversible.  I had no idea that making the zippy hoodie non-reversible would shave off quite much of the making time; the reversible version takes me between three and four hours, the non-reversible version took me a little bit more than an hour!  As well as the time consideration, a non-reversible hoodie has half the fabric costs and a non-reversible zip will bring your material costs down too.

Omitting the lining will work best with medium to heavy weight fabrics, for this one I used a heavy-ish cotton lycra french terry.  If you don't have a serger, you should zig-zag (or otherwise seam-finish) the raw edges for neatness as they'll be exposed without a lining.  I recommend that you use a zipper than is the correct length already rather than shortening one as it'll save you a lot of time, and it's also much easier to find the correct length zipper when it's not a reversible one.  Let's get started!

Cut one back, two fronts, two sleeves, two hoods from the main fabric, and one waistband and two arm cuffs from ribbing.  Personally I like the neater appearance of a lined hood so I also cut two hood pieces from lining fabric.  You'll also need a strip of 1" wide knit several inches longer than the neckline to bind the raw edge, I like interlock because it's stable and doesn't curl.

Assemble the hoodie as you would the reversible version: sew shoulder seams, sew sleeves, sew side seams.  Sew the arm cuffs, fold, and then sew the cuffs to the sleeves.  Fold the waistband and sew waistband to hoodie.  You will have this:

Starting point

Sew the two shell hoods along the centre seam.  Sew the two lining hoods along the centre seam.  Turn lining right side out, place lining hood inside shell hood (right sides facing) and sew together along the face line.  Flip right side out through the open neckline.  Press. Baste opening shut along the neckline edge.  Set hood aside, unlike the reversible hoodie we're going to do the zipper first.

Interface edges

If you're using a knit you will want to iron a strip of interfacing along both centre front edges on the wrong side of the fabric.  This will make it easier to sew your zipper in without waving.  The interfacing should go from the top all the way down onto the bottom of the ribbing.  Do this to both front pieces.

Baste zipper

Unzip the zipper so you have two separate sides.  With the zipper right side down and the teeth facing towards the side seams, align the edge of the zipper tape with the centre front edge of the hoodie.  If you're using the correct length of zipper it should reach down to the bottom of the ribbing with the extra bit of tape sticking up at the top edge. Baste the zipper tape to the hoodie close to the edge.  Repeat for the other side, making sure that your zipper is positioned exactly the same on the left and right sides so they're even when you zip it up.

Press fold

When both sides have been basted, fold the zipper towards the inside of the hoodie so the teeth are sticking out.  The fold of the fabric should not be too close to the teeth or you run the risk of the fabric catching in the zip.  Press well with the iron.


Topstitch close to the edge of the fold, securing the zipper tape in the correct position.  Take care when sewing through the waistband seam and ribbing as it's quite a bit thicker. Repeat for the other side. This is what it will look like now:


If there is any extra tape sticking up at the top, trim it off.  This is a case of do as I say, not as I do. I folded the tape under so it was trapped under the tape which is good thing to do if you're not finishing the neckline seam, but unnecessarily bulky if you are!


Pin the hood to the neckline, stretching it slightly (or easing if you're using a woven) it so that the edge of the hood is very close to the zipper tape.


Baste in place close to the edge.


Then get your strip of knit (remember it should be longer than the neckline by a couple of inches!) and pin it along the neckline edge so that the raw edges match at top. Start from the centre and work towards the zipper.

Fold trim edge

When you get to the zipper, fold the strip back towards the middle and pin in place.  Repeat for the other side.
Sew neckline

Stitch through all layers, attaching the hood to the neckline.

Press seam allowance down

Press the seam allowance down firmly towards the hoodie.

 Press trim down

Then press the trim down so the seam is hidden.

Fold up raw edge

And then fold up the bottom raw edge of the trim so it is enclosed and neat.  The corners are also neat (albeit a little bit bulky as I didn't trim off the zipper tape).

Press, press, press

Press and steam until your arms can't take it anymore. 

Topstitch trim

With the trim facing up, carefully topstitch along the bottom edge of the trim.

Zipper tape corner

If you want you can also pivot and stitch up along the folded edge of the trim.  Admire your nice neat neckline.

non reversible hoodie neck finish

You're done!

The reversible zippy hoodie is part of the Sew Fab bundle in both sizes together for one week only.  As a designer, I get a portion of the sales made through my site so I really appreciate your support! You can get your hands on it here:

Friday 4 October 2013


Bimaa, Baby

bimaa close 

The hills are truly alive with the sound of Bimaa.  My heart has been growing at least two sizes a day seeing Bimaas pop up all over the place this week; it's another wonderful pattern (the third I've sewn from the LouBeeClothing collection) getting the love it deserves!

bimaa side

The majesty of this top will literally blow your hair right back.

bimaa cowl

The cowl is delicious and I plan on mashing it with every pattern I have to be-cowl all the things.

bimaa hijinks

Just look at the fun possibilities.  As an aside, Sarah and I met up Stateside this summer and have become fast friends.  And look who else became bosom buddies:

Maia and Emmy

I brought Emmy a me-made Skater in Busy Beavers to add to her Animals-of-North-America skater collection.  I know you're not supposed to meet people off the internet (and you're certainly not supposed to accept their offer to stay overnight sight unseen) but no one got murdered and only one person got groped:

Emmy loved Maia's hair.  Sisterhood of the Derp.

bimaa full

So if you're still thinking about buying a Sew Fab bundle, I'd suggest you head over to Sarah's blog and show her some love for the Bimaas that have (rightfully so) taken over the internet.