Sewing 18th Century undergarments using a easy and simple pattern from Simplicity.

Yes, you read the title right, I really did make a pair of 18th-century stays (or corset) and a chemise! 

For the last couple of years, I've been somewhat obsessed with late 18th century fashions and after learning about the Fete De La Nouvelle France festival where people are invited to wear their own 1700s garments I decided to make my own 18th-century gown that would be semi-historically accurate and fun to wear. 

And the best place to start is with the correct undergarments. Specifically, it meant making a pair of 18th centuries stays that would give the correct body shape/style of the era align with an era-appropriate chemise using Simplicity 8162.

 And while they are not perfect, they are super cute and  I'm absolutely proud of them!
From left to right: Cashmerette Tobin(ish), Closet Core Mile End Sweatshirt, Helen’s Closet Jackson.

As promised, here’s a comparison of the new Closet Core Pattern Mile End Sweatshirt and the new Helen’s Closet Jackson Pullover, with a sneaky little Cashmerette thrown in too. Sewing these over the last month has been a pleasure – my favourite kind of easy knit sewing and cosy cheerful fabric to boot!

(Disclaimer: I have pattern tested for all three companies. I pattern tested the Cashmerette Tobin years ago, was sent the HC Jackson for free with no requirement to make or share, and bought the CCP sweatshirt myself. All opinions are my own, which you know if you’ve been here before!)

Up first, the Helen’s Closet Jackson.

Jackson is a gender-inclusive design for a classic sweatshirt. It has slightly dropped shoulders and is finished with... [read more]

This week we have a special feature: an interview with the author! Karin Tidbeck is both a writer and a sewist, and has shared some of both of those worlds with us. Read on for more!

Credit: Patrik Åkervinda 2020

1. Welcome Karin, and thank you for taking the time to do this interview for the Literary Sewing Circle! Can you tell us a bit about how you came to write Amatka? What was the genesis of this novel?

Thanks for having me! So, Amatka took a very long time to write because the process was very meandering. It started out as a series of dream notes that took place in specific environments, and I realized the notes could be organized into a continent of sorts. I found that it could best be expressed through poetry, so eventually I ended up with a poetry collection. It didn't sell. I then decided to write short prose based on some of the... [read more]

And so, we enter the twilight of the Great Shoulder Digest: here are Parts One and Two. In Part Three, I discuss narrow shoulders, broad backs, why sleeve cap widths shouldn’t be ignored, the Dread Pirate Raglan, grown on sleeves, and a few last bits & bobs.

Narrow Shoulders and Broad Backs

Hello, I see you! I’ve gotten plenty of questions on how to make these adjustments, and here are some resources for going either way (as always, the ones I found to be clearest and easiest to follow):

How do you know if you need an adjustment? In other words,... [read more]

Our boat renovations are in their last few weeks, which means that everything is in disarray and even the meagre folding table I had been using to cut out fabric is now out of bounds, blocked in place by several massive sheets of plywood. But thankfully I planned ahead and cut out a few projects before this happened, the last of which I’ve now sewn – two more Jalie Coco sports bras, made entirely from activewear scraps!

If you recall, I made two of these last year, one in each view and with a few crucial tweaks to increase the support in order to be enough to run in. Please refer back to this post for the details of what those are, as I’ve done the exact same tweaks here. After wearing both the Y-back feather bra and the cross-back Tokyo bra for a few months, I can say that I definitely prefer the Y-back view. It’s easier to get on and off and feels a... [read more]

Here’s a peek at the latest changes in the block editor — subtle-yet-practical enhancements that help you create beautiful posts and pages more efficiently:

  • New page layout picker experience.
  • Convert text and images into Columns block.
  • Improved spacing options for social links and buttons.
  • Streamlined behavior of the writing prompt.

Let’s dive in!

New Page Layout Picker

Page layouts are pre-designed templates that make creating beautiful pages a breeze. In this update we focused on improving the layout picker, making it easier to quickly browse different categories and select your layout.

Convert text and images into Columns Block

Transforming one block into another is a nifty trick that can greatly improve the editing experience. With the latest update, text (and images too!) can be automatically converted to a Columns block with the click of a... [read more]

Your website is a product of your hard work and passion. Therefore, when your site hits a milestone — it shouldn’t go unrecognized. To make it easier for you to keep track of your site’s achievements, we’ll be rolling out a new celebratory notification that will alert you when your site reaches or surpasses a certain number of views

We hope these celebrations are meaningful and motivational for you and that they inspire you to take time to pause, reflect, and celebrate. 

If you have the WordPress app on your mobile, we also have a little surprise for you each time you unlock a milestone! Be sure to update your WordPress app to the latest version. If you don’t have the app yet, download it for free on both Android and iOS.

We’d love to hear your feedback! Reach out to us from within the app by going to My Site, tapping your photo on the top right, tapping Help & Support,  and then selecting Contact Support.

I bought a new to me magazine last month, but not new to the sewing world!  I thought I’d try out the Ottobre magazines, as some people think they’re a better option to Burda.  Unfortunately there aren’t as many each year as the Burda, only one for Spring/Summer and one for Autumn Winter.  They’re around £11 each and this one contains 18 patterns.  The one I got is Spring/Summer 2020.

First impressions. The styles aren’t as “trendy” as the Burda, but there is a good variety of items.  Three patterns stood out to me, a pair of trousers, a jersey top and a camisole top.  So for £11 it’s not bad value, especially when you consider the Burdas are now £7.50 an issue and I often find nothing I want to make.  My measurements put me in the same size as the Burda sizing, but these patterns all go from a 34 to a 52, so much more inclusive than Burda.

I traced the pattern for... [read more]

As we head towards our final theme month – All butts welcome – I have been reflecting on the various fitting issues that come with our lower halves.

I personally have two main fitting challenges for pants and other lower garments.

The first is that my waist measurement puts me in a size two sizes larger than my hip measurement. This leads to lots of pants that are cut out for waist measurement, graded in the hips, and still don’t fit. They just end up way too big, even in the waist… I think there is something in some pants construction that relies on your hips to hold the pants up and maybe a certain ratio of waist to hip which is throwing me off and I don’t know how to address it.

My second issue is a flat seat. I suspect this exacerbates issue one. I routinely have lots of fabric swimming around the hips and lower bum and... [read more]

Great British Sewing Bee 2019 - William Gee
The Great British Sewing Bee is back on our screens in April 2021, set to broadcast on BBC1.
Please come back soon to apply for 2022.
If you’re looking for fast delivery on your Sewing Bee supplies, you’ve come to the right place! 
Are you nifty with a needle or handy with a hem? Put your skills to the test!
Producers of the show, Love Productions, are looking for the next group of brilliant, amateur sewers to showcase their talents for an exciting new series of The Great British Sewing Bee. So if you or someone you know is a brilliant amateur sewer, then why not apply?
   Start Your Wish List at William Gee Haberdashery   Buy dressmaking supplies, tailoring tools & haberdashery at William Gee Online
Joe Lycett will be hosting the new GBSB show which is back on BBC2 for a 7th series. To keep us all entertained over the weeks, we will be introduced to 10 of Britain’s top amateur sewers, competing in three challenges to test... [read more]

This month my local Garment Guild set ourselves a challenge, in recognition of one year since the first lockdown, to make something we would have worn on vacation if we'd been able to take one.

My vacation choice would have been to visit my sister in Singapore, and with that in mind, I cast about for a lightweight summery top that would have helped me in the heat there! I decided on the Penrose Peasant Blouse by Sew News Magazine, which was their current free sewalong (pattern still available to download free until April 30). It's a loose and floaty design, and I paired it with a very lightweight cotton blend that I'd thrifted a while back -- it had been made into a curtain but was clearly a garment fabric.

This was a fairly quick sew. I wasn't enamoured of the separated over-boob gathers so I simply gathered the entire front in between the outer... [read more]

Is it possible to make an amazing garment with no sewing adjustments? 

Bianca from Vintage on Tap, standing in front of a green plant wall

A garment that fits straight out of the envelope, with no sewing adjustments, with no problems, and fits you like a glove is a dream come true, even for me! 

So I wanted to give it a shot.

I wanted to find out if I could make a dress straight from the envelope and have it fit decently well.

Bianca making a silly face with tropical fabric and the Gertie Cinch It Dress

I chose the Charm Patterns Cinch It dress for this experiment, released in Spring 2021. 

What drew me to this pattern was: 

  • The dress was described as a simple pop-over dress, meaning it should fit decently ok*, as long as I followed the instructions.
  • If it worked out, it had many options for customization, with additional collars, sleeves, and pockets to make several versions.
  • The completed pieces I saw... [read more]

 I literally can't stop making pants. Elastic waist pants. 

Read more »


All packed up and moved over here.... zoe_made_this

Hey everyone, it’s time to put out a call for next month’s theme! We’re looking for a few individuals to write about anything butt related! It can range from a complex project to something fairly simple that doesn’t take too long to make at all. The deadline to apply and have a post written is May 1st. Here are some ideas you might consider:

  • The forever dreaded sewing/fitting pants,
  • Swimsuits,
  • Sewing garments where you don’t have to worry about fit too much (like loungewear),
  • Underwear,
  • Rompers,
  • Your journey to the perfect booty fit (as a beginner or experienced),
  • And So Much More!

Anyway, that’s the general idea. We know that not all peaches are the same, and not everyone has had the same journey, so anything goes!

We’re taking the first three volunteers who comment below, so let us know if you would like to contribute and what you’d like to... [read more]

The Elio Top from Allie Olson caught my eye as soon as it was released. I love a wrap neckline and particularly liked that this has nice clean lines without any bulky ties which means it can be easily tucked into high waisted trousers. This is due to it being a 'mock wrap' and the edges of the wrap are sewn into the side seams. When thinking about gaps in my wardrobe and what I miss when I'm getting dressed it is often comfy, casual tops that I can wear with high waisted trousers and skirts. The Elio fits the bill perfectly and goes with my Dawn Jeans, Persephone Pants and Evie Bias skirts beautifully.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Allie Olson Elio Top in Ocean Teal Bamboo Rib Knit from Patterns & Plains
Read more »

It’s been a while since I posted anything here. Plenty of sewing has happened, but mostly posted on Instagram, if at all. It randomly occurred to me that 1) I kind of miss having the full blog option and 2) Even though my old laptop died, a bluetooth keyboard and my phone might be all I need and 3) a phone tripod with a bluetooth remote might make up for kids no longer being very interested in helping mom take pictures.

In the spirit of trying something new, this outfit is definitely something new for me. I’ve watched with admiration as people throughout the online sewing community have made all kinds of gorgeous jumpsuits/onesies/rompers over the past few years. Admiration hadn’t made the leap to imitation until I saw the Ellie and Mac South Shore Romper. This pattern looks good in every version I’ve seen, on all ages and sizes. Also, it’s a knit with no... [read more]

3 weeks in a row! Crikey! Even I’m shocked! When I stopped blogging so much (almost 4 years ago) it coincided with me & Craig splitting up, and I just felt like I needed to keep my life more private and I lost my blo-jo. That’s liking loosing your sew-jo, but to do with blogging. But I’m happier now and as I really used to love writing my Sunday Sevens, and also looking back on them it wasn’t a hard decision to start sharing them with you again. So don’t be surprised if this is a regular post from me on a Sunday (isn). And as in the ‘olden’ days of my Sunday Sevens, there’s likely to be more than 7! One of these days I might narrow my Sunday Sevens down to 7 pix🙄. Next week H’s cricket season starts. I can’t wait to watch him in action again! I’m on nights next weekend but am hoping to catch a couple of hours when I get up. And hopefully I might get a pic …


Encyclopedia of Sewing Machine Techniques /
Nancy Bednar & Jo-Ann Pugh-Gannon 
NY: Sterling, c2007.
336 p.

Another book off my shelf that I sourced at a thrift store, and another looking at the potential of your sewing machine. This one is aimed at experienced sewists, who know the basics - those aren't covered here. 

It's a collection of tips on how to use your sewing machine for all sorts of unusual or advanced techniques, arranged alphabetically and with lots of clear photos to accompany each technique. It covers applique (a variety of approaches) and quilting related ideas fairly extensively, but also has interesting ideas for dressmaking. There are tips on counted cross-stitch and drawn thread style stitching, using machines. And it covers some of the more expected things like bias binding, hem and seam finishes, buttonholes, top-stitching,... [read more]

Me-Made cardigan cased on the Cashmerette Concord. Blogged here, with a tutorial here!

I’ve been digging through my patterns lately to find TNTs for knits. Over the last year I bought so many wovens that I don’t have many knit patterns in my current size! Of course, Cashmerette comes through with the knit basics, and so this Pembrooke dress was born.

I’ve made many dresses in a similar style over the years, using both the Pembrooke and the Closet Core Patterns Nettie. I think a slim pencil dress is the perfect use for Liverpool knit (aka a beefy textured polyester double knit) because it doesn’t cling, but making it sleeveless allows plenty of armpit ventilation! (Yeah, I said it.) I didn’t cut back the shoulders at all on this one, and you can see the back is very wide because it is designed to have sleeves. Do I care? Currently, no, because I’ll... [read more]

 I have been sewing!

I am working on the Willow Wrap top from Love Notions.

Just a glimpse of this sewing project.

Fabric cut out to be sewn

Shoulders attached, front pieces basted at sides, the right side is gathered

I visited Hobby Lobby to purchase a new blade for my Olfa rotary cutter. While there I saw that Simplicity patterns were $.99 and a limit of 10. I only purchased 3 as I was limited for time. Not sure if the sale is still on and hopefully will find time to revisit the store to see. $.99 sale for Simplicity is a rarity IMHO,

Here are the three I purchased

I have fabric washed and ready for 9273. I plan to make the view on the bottom left side. I have seen a blogger wearing a top like this and I fell in love with the sleeves.

Another purchase I made was the cotton fabric. It is mid to heavy weight cotton. I plan to make a pair of shorts with this.

That's it for now. Hopefully will complete the Willow Wrap this afternoon.

Making this little macramé hanging pod is a bit trickier than a simple wall hanging, but it is well worth the effort. I already … More macrame hanging pod tutorial »

The post macrame hanging pod tutorial appeared first on My French Twist.

I returned to work this week. After months of wearing leggings and drool-covered nursing shirts, it is time to jump back onto video calls and once again cultivate some degree of professional presentation. To help me get in the work mood and to give myself a creative project to sustain an aspect of my pre-mom identity, I sewed something!

Note on garment terminology and cultural appropriation

The pattern featured in this post (Simplicity S8887) is described by the company as a “kimono jacket,” following the fashion trend of the past few years. But these drapey robe-like jackets are nothing like the the traditional Japanese kimono. The use of “kimono” has become shorthand for “loose-fitting, large boxy sleeves, and robe-like” (I’m guilty of using it too), and there are calls to change how we refer to these types of garments. Some of my favorite summaries of... [read more]

thee inspiration:

a denim jacket with contrast chunky knit sleeves

Pretty straight forward refashion. Take a jean jacket and a sweater then cut off their sleeves. Attach the knit sleeves onto the jacket.

This vintage sweater was such a neat find. The pattern is awesome. I found the sleeves on this sweater rather short though. So to match up with the jean jacket sleeve length I had to attach more of the sweater to complete the length, I used the bottom hem of the sweater to have that nice finished edge. You definitely want to serge/overlock any raw edges of the sweater since it can unravel easily.

I placed the new top part over the rest of the sleeve. Then attached the new sleeves to the jean jacket right under the original stitching of the jean jacket armholes. So no need to serge the denim.
 There you have it. A simple jean jacket now with added visual and textural interest.

You can find this upcycled unique piece in thee shop: here



It's the first week of our Literary Sewing Circle featuring Amatka! Have you found a copy yet? Have you started reading? If so, how are you finding the opening chapters? 

This week we'll be looking at some of the characters to inspire a project. This story has a wide cast of characters to draw from, and luckily for us, some of their names even match right up with patterns.

We'll start with our main character, Brilars' Vanja Essre Two -- or more simply, Vanja. There's a Vanja Hoodie/Sweatshirt Dress pattern on Makerist, and the cozy warmth of it is just what Vanja might have appreciated when she first arrived in the chilly environs of Amatka. Note: the pattern is in German but looks pretty straightforward. 

Next we'll look at Vanja's new housemate Nina. Being more adjusted to the weather in Amatka, Nina might have already been prepared with... [read more]
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