Firehose

At WordPress.com, we’re always adding features and pushing our blocks and Site Editor to do more so that you can create, design, and publish amazing things with ease. Our newest features are largely design-focused, giving you the confidence to explore a variety of styles and then easily apply them across your entire site. 

Let’s jump in and see what’s new. 

Browse Mode: An easier way to navigate the Site Editor 

Browse Mode allows you to easily explore, navigate, and edit your site’s templates and template parts, including adding new templates right from this interface. To play around with Browse Mode, simply click your site’s icon from the Site Editor. 

When to use this feature: You want to see how all the pieces of your site fit together — and to jump between your templates and template parts... [read more]

Many of us are trying to live in a way that is more mindful to our environment, as well as being economical. Though we can’t really avoid creating some waste when we create, we can learn how make the most of our materials.

Scrap busting projects are perfect for this. As well as being sustainable, they’re also fun! There are so many wonderfully creative ways to mend and work scraps into your makes.

I have an embarrassingly large stash of fabric and wool scraps – treasured pieces too precious to let go of. Lately I’ve been thinking of creative ways to use them. Last week I shared a tutorial of some basic Scotch darning techniques using some leftover wool, but it’s just the tip of the scrap busting iceberg!

In this mending series we’ll be looking at different techniques from around the world, as well as some from closer to home.

The art of mending

The Insouciant Stitcher

It’s not always easy to judge if it is worthwhile persevering with a project that turned out to be disappointing. Sometimes it is enough to put it out of sight for a while to realise that something that bothered you a lot when you were obsessing about it has somehow disappeared once your mind has moved on (probably to obsess about something else).

On the other hand I have learnt to take the time to fix something that can be fixed, rather than have the garment become a wardrobe flower. That is why I am so excited about the possibility to recover a dyeing disaster with TUD discharge powder. Like the dress below, which definitely ‘does not spark joy’.

What was I thinking? But I like to experiment, so I’m glad I tried this idea and satisfied myself that it doesn’t work. But as the fabric is linen it would have been sad to have to bin it. Then I... [read more]


At least I had a coupon for this splurge

I don't want to screw it up. I went to look for Miyake sweater examples and really didn't find much to tempt me


So I'm trying out things  The Style Arc Brooklyn uses some of that acrylic backed faux sweater knit, which is really heavy (heavier and stiffer than scuba to some extent) The Freya and the Winnie I have made before. The Iris (similar but larger collar than Freya) and the Jasper are in there to poke my brain.

Heaps of ideas all scrambled together



Remember the Bristol? So glad i tagged that post with the chicken tag

https://erniekdesigns.blogspot.com/2015/02/what-i-bought-at-sewexpo-today.html

I made one at one point and it was a dud, so dud it went straight to the recycle bin. I was so full of myself in 2015. I think everyone learns more from the duds, frankly.

And there was this with the Freya and the... [read more]

Ok, another project from the WIP pile! I got started on this project back in the fall, and then... it sat there. Thank you to #SewFancyPants2023 and the #JFFIChallenge2023 for the inspiration to just f*cking finish these pants!

Read more »

 

Hester / Laurie Lico Albanese 
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2022.
322 p.


I picked this up because of the beautiful cover, and because the main character was described as a seamstress and embroiderer. I discovered that it tells the story of Scottish born Isobel, who arrives in New England in the early 1800s with her new husband -- and meets Nathaniel Hawthorne, at that time a young moody writer skulking around town.

Isobel feels a connection to him right away, despite being married to an older man. But her husband goes off on an expedition with the ship's captain who brought them to American, and she is left alone in this new and unfamiliar settlement. Her Scottish heritage and her red hair mark her out as 'lesser than' to the Americans already living there. And then she finds that her husband has taken her small savings with him, leaving her literally... [read more]

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Bella Loves Patterns Traveller Coat in Camel Wool Blend Melton from The Fabric Store

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen on my stories that I spent a large chunk of December working on a new coat. I've been meaning to make one for the last couple of winters but never seem to find the time. This year I planned ahead and got the fabric early (I think back in August!) and the forecast of a very cold spell here in the UK before Christmas motivated me to get going. 

Read more »

I can't believe it's nearly the end of January already. Time has simply whizzed by and I feel like I turned my head and two weeks have disappeared. I'm still working on the one project I have started in January -- nearly done now and looking forward to sharing it soon! 

But as I draw close the finishing this item, I'm also thinking about February. I have lots of my own plans, as evidenced by my Make Nine; however, February is full of great sewing challenges. One of my favourites happens every February, the Black History Month Pattern Designers Challenge. It's run by Nateida of SewNaturalDane, and features all sorts of Black pattern designers - for sewing, knitting/crochet, bags, fabric etc. The challenge is to make something by a Black pattern designer between Feb 1 & Feb 28, and share it following the rules on the website/IG post. It's always... [read more]

I’ve made a lot of lingerie over the years, but my bra preferences have changed over the course of the pandemic (like a lot of women) to favour soft bras over underwired styles, and I’m still trying out different patterns to find ones I like. So I was very interested to learn that New Craft House had not only bought up the un-used fabric and haberdashery from a lingerie brand that sadly went out of business, but bought their patterns, too! When the collection was finally ready to buy (two bra patterns, three panty patterns, and four kits), I literally set a timer and hit buy within the first minute (if you’re ready this right after I’ve posted, the kits are only temporarily sold out while they catch up on the avalanche of orders).

I decided on the Wren bra pattern as I liked that it was a little unconventional, and also bought the mesh kit for it and a... [read more]

Seems like we’ve barely taken our Christmas decorations down, and we’re already planning Valentine’s Day. But it’s just around the corner. So I decided … More macrame heart bunting »

The post macrame heart bunting appeared first on My French Twist.

In 2015, I started a blog to document my sartorial adventures in stitch. I had set myself a target of learning to sew and crafting a handmade wardrobe of my very own. True to form, I embraced the plethora of opportunities afforded by socials and dived into a heady sea of sewcialists, sewalongs and hashtags.

Maude – my dismembered dolls head – graced the Readers’ Makes page of Love Sewing, Issue 22 and by Issue 31, my Kwik Sew meets Victory dungaree dress, gained me an honourable mention as one of their Stitchers of the Year. I even bagged myself a gig writing blog posts for Minerva in exchange for free patterns and fabric. Perhaps the height of my fame was winning #MIYmarch17 with my iteration of Wendy Ward’s Roehamptom culottes. As someone who had been fangirling my way through Wendy’s Beginner’s Guides … this was my moment.

Kwik Sew K4138 / Victory Patterns Madeleine
Sewing World Pattern Review
#miymarch17

Over time, I began to... [read more]

 I miss Bill Cunningham something fierce today. I am avoiding something else by reading today's NYT style section, and these things caught my attention. these images are not mine, and I have put proper credit on them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/21/style/rachel-comey-nyrb.html



I don't think I can gift it to all of you, and I am sorry.

Rachel Comey has done a collaboration with the New York Review of Books, where she has had clothing made from reproductions of their covers printed on silk and sewn in India.

You can go here:

https://rachelcomey.com/collections/new-york-review-of-books

It's a lot like getting things made for you on Contrado or the fortythousand other digital print services. 




The tshirt looks familiar. On the website, there is a dress that has some thought put into it


It just doesn't fit the model very well. And the back is dull.... [read more]



In its past life: remnants of jeans and cotton.

Found new life as: A unique upcycled patchwork jean top! All seam inside are serged. There is a snap closure on the top middle back. There are 2.5" side slits on the bottom hem. (I used Simplicity pattern 8602 for the fit).


Size: US Medium (please refer to measurements)

*Photographed on a size US womens 6/8 mannequin for reference

Width from underarm to underarm (chest) lying flat across front: 20"

Length from shoulder to hem: ~21"

Sleeve length about: 8.5"

Check it out in thee shop here.

☮♥♻

 

Points of View / Valerie Hearder
Woodinville, WA: Martingale, c2007.
96 p.

Another art quilting book for today's pick - this one is from my local library, and despite it being an older book I'd never really noticed it before. It is a great find! 

The title makes the focus of this book clear; it is all about creating varied landscapes with fabric. But there are a variety of views and ideas here. The first section is all about technique - from choosing fabric to construction and pattern-making tips, paints & other ways to colour your fabric, embellishing it in various ways, and a clear and useful section about finishing and mounting/framing your work.

The second section includes 9 step-by-step, illustrated projects. Each one shows you exactly how to use a certain technique, so that you can get some practice with these ideas before you set out on your own.... [read more]

It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following me on social media for the past few months that one of my first makes of the new year should somehow involve the “Interview with the Vampire” tv show (aka “the show so good I think it altered my brain chemistry”). I also spoke more about it in my end of year roundup if you want more explanation of just how good this show is, and how to watch it (short version: AMC or Amazon in most territories).

Anyway, in the official Behind the Scenes documentary, Sam Reid (the actor who plays Lestat) wears a slate blue teeshirt with a coffin drawing on the front, which I really liked, so I did a bit of investigating. Sam’s a massive Anne Rice nerd (to an encyclopedic degree!) but it turned out that this was the “crew shirt” for the show – a promo item made and distributed to cast and crew only. Usually these are... [read more]

I'm so thankful for the sewing community and the fun challenges that prompt me to tackle sewing tasks that are lingering on my to-do list. 

I've really been struggling with sizing these days. I'm bigger than I used to be, but sizing up has not been foolproof for me. Earlier this year I cut two pairs of pants my measurements and sewed them up.

But they both ended up turning out enormous for some reason! They've both been bunched up in a corner for many months... but happily Sew Fancy Pants, hosted by Nicole, and the #JFFIChallenge2023, hosted by Wyldwood Creative prompted me to dig them out and give them another try!

Dani Pant: This pair of pants has a tortured origin story even beyond the sizing issues. This is the True Bias Dani pant, which I originally cut out last year, maybe in the spring? 

This is view D, the tapered pant with the full elastic... [read more]

Social media is a great place to build and connect with your audience while promoting your offerings. However, you don’t own your social profiles or traffic. Creating a Link in Bio page with w.link enables you to truly own your content and traffic while tailoring it to increase your engagement and conversion rates across all of your social channels.

You can also embed Paypal, Amazon stores, an e-commerce store, and other features that allow you to continue earning money.

As a creator, we know how much effort and time goes into finding the right audiences and perfecting your offering. We know you already manage multiple deadlines and channels, with increasing competition everywhere you look. We wanted to make it a lot easier for you to handle your operations while making sure you can link to all your available channels and... [read more]

Welcome to the first in our mini-series about visible mending. We’ll be using different methods of darning, Sashiko embroidery, statement patchwork and other decorative mends.

Visible mending has become increasingly popular as we look more towards sustainable fashion and crafting. We’re beginning to recognise the joy in caring for much loved garments, while also injecting some new energy into them!

The first project

For this first week, I’m going over the basics of the the ‘Scotch’ darning methods to patch up some well-worn wool socks. They need a strong, reinforced heel to wear with boots.

‘Scotch’ darning is similar to weaving, and creates a nice, strong patch for heels or elbow patches. It doesn’t need any prep work, and can be used on irregular holes as well as thinning patches.

You’ll need

  • A knitted garment with a hole/thinning patch
  • Scrap yarn... [read more]
Apparently, lightning does strike twice. My first pair of Ash Jeans (flared view) turned out amazing. I almost doubted whether they could be that good again. Guess what. They can.

Wide Leg Ash Jeans

I've long needed a pair of nicer looking, trouser-esque jeans. I decided to try Ash again in the wide-legged version. I made the same size as before, a 6. This Tencel denim is totally bonkers and is fused/lined with French Terry. I'm serious. It was a score from LA Finch Fabrics (who else?) from two years ago. I previously made a pair of Yanta Overalls with it, and I liked it so much I went back and ordered more. I was worried about the stretch, but it turns out it worked fine for this pattern. I had totally forgotten it was Tencel but that explains why it's so soft!

Wide Leg Ash Jeans

Because I wanted these to look fancier, I skipped a lot of the contrast topstitching, omitted the belt loops and the leather... [read more]

As we settle into 2023, we’ve been thinking about ways to help you get the most out of your WordPress site throughout the year. That’s where the new Jetpack mobile app comes in! 

We know inspiration doesn’t wait for you to be sitting at your desk. It can strike anywhere. With the new Jetpack mobile app, you have the freedom to snap a photo to post while out on a walk, begin drafting your Bloganuary entry on your morning commute, or make tweaks to your content while on your lunch break.

Inspiration, we’re ready for you!

What’s more, the app brings the tools you need to manage and grow your site right to your fingertips: 

  • Understand how your content is performing and know what’s resonating with your audience using Stats and Insights.
  • Reply to comments on the go, see when your traffic is booming, and stay engaged with your audience with... [read more]

For the past 15(!) years I’ve posted my year in review on 1 January, but not this year. I lost my sewjo around the end of September so I didn’t really have much to blog about. I waited for it to reappear (as I learned a long time ago there’s no point in trying to force it) and prepped a few projects, tidied a bit, planned a bit, and then fell into a massive “Interview with the Vampire” fandom hole (more on that later), and generally was happier in October and November than I’ve been in a long time (completely unrelated to the sewing) but that’s not the reason this post is late.

This post is late because, despite my best efforts (cycling to/from, FFP3 masking indoors with my CO2 monitor and otherwise staying outdoors) I caught a virus of some sort at the office christmas party which left me practically bed-bound with post viral fatigue for 4+ full weeks... [read more]

 

Art Quilts Unfolding: 50 Years of Innovation
Edited by Sandra Sider. Written by Nancy Bavor, Lisa Ellis, and Martha Sielman
Atglen, PA: Schiffer, c2018.
351 p.

It's a new year, and I'm back with some more book reviews! Today's pick is one that I've been poring over and enjoying over the last couple of weeks. This large and lengthy tome is an overview of the field of art quilting from the 60s to recent years. It's produced by SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) -- this group is one of the top in this subject, with tons of resources for members and lots of exhibitions going at all times. 

This book delivers on the promise of the title. It's broken up by decade, from the 60s to the 2010s. Each chapter talks about the state of art quilting and its development in that decade, has a short piece about or by a museum, collector, or organization that was... [read more]

IF I were going to make even more sewing plans, I have enough that I want to make to fill up multiple MakeNine grids. But I don't want to overschedule myself with things to make, I like to go with the flow of inspiration when it comes to my sewing. Nevertheless, these plans are awfully entertaining to put together, so I'm just making a couple more of these grids for fun.

IF I had decided to make a sewing plan just with my Burda magazine TBS (to be sewn) projects or from my stack of vintage patterns, they might have looked like this! 


From l to r, and top to bottom, here are my what-if Burda plans:

1. 104/03/2021 - dress

2. 102/09/2022 - sweater

3. 112/01/2022 - cropped blazer

4. 120/11/2020 - dress

5. 106/09/2022 - vest

6. 119/01/2022 - dress

7. 114/01/2022 - dress

8. 117/12/2022 - skirt

9. 116/09/2019 - blouse


And as for vintage/retro patterns, I have a fair... [read more]
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