I seem to be really good at making multiple items out of the same fabric recently. Rather than have an odd metre or two sit in my stash, I’ve been making an effect to use up the excess to make something for someone else and share the love.

Case in point – I’d bought a few metres of digitally printed, loop-back sweatshirting from Fashion Formula using this “Turquoise tropical leaves” print design in advance of filming my my Craftsy/Bluprint “Serging Activewear” course last year. I had to sew up some of it before I flew out to Denver, then you got to see me sew a bit more of it on screen, but then it sat unfinished at home for a few months during the summer heat wave.

Eventually I dug it out and serged on the last remaining sleeve cuff and hem band (yeah, that was all that was left!!) and then I had a great sweatshirt to wear, woo!

We used Jalie 3355 for the... [read more]

While the CSC doesn’t currently have any plans to host any theme months or ongoing sewing challenges in 2019, several of our editors and regular contributors will be participating in the Make Nine in 2019 Challenge. The Make Nine challenge is an annual year-long “making” challenge hosted by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille with the simple rules of picking nine projects to “make” in 2019–they can be sewing, knitting, or other craft projects, and your list of nine can be as specific or as unstructured as you like. Post your plans and progress along the way to Instagram with the tags @makeninechallenge and #MakeNine2019 to participate.

To kick things off, we thought that we’d use this post to share our own plans and provide a little inspiration for this year’s Make Nine Challenge.

IG: @sewprettyinpink

I view the Make Nine list as a nice set of... [read more]

For the February theme month #sewmenswearforeveryone I’ll give you a round-up of tutorials of some traditional tailoring techniques. It’s a selection (*) because you can imagine there are a zillion tutorials about these techniques out there.

The first thing I encountered when doing my research were references to the two books of Roberto Cabrera: ‘Classic Tailoring Techniques for Menswear’ and ‘Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Women’s Wear (F.I.T. Collection)’. You can consult and read the one on Women’s Wear online.

Cover of two tailoring techniques books by Roberto Cabrera

Another way of discovering which techniques are used on a tailored jacket is by deconstructing it! On ‘Gertie’s blog for better sewing’ you’ll find a detailed photo story of the deconstruction of a 40s jacket. It’s like a backwards tutorial!

Picture of an old jacket that has been unpicked to show the canvas and batting inside

Traditional tailoring techniques for jackets and... [read more]

Hello there! This post is a tad (like a lot) on the late side as it’s already over halfway into January, but I just haven’t gotten around to finishing it. It’s a sort of mixture of the last 3 categories (Goals, Reflections and Highlights) in Gillian’s Top 5 series – you can read about my Top 5 Hits and Top 5 Misses in the series already. I just got home and have spent the last week taking down Xmas decorations and unpacking and all those fun (not) kinds of things. I’m determined to get the post done though, because the equivalent post last year and in 2017 have actually been super helpful in clarifying what I’ve achieved and would like to achieve.


My 9 “most liked” pics of 2018 on Instagram

It’s not that I’m trying to climb some sewing Mount Everest of ambition, but I am a very enthusiastic sewer of all. the. things. – as you may have noticed –... [read more]

The minute you post the post, you find what you're looking for.
This is what I'm thinking about.
As much as I like putting a lot of detail into something, I think this is the casual look I'm going to be happiest with. I do like the "I SEE YOU" interplay with more interpretive, less strictly reproductive costuming.

Let's say I wanted to make a layered hoodie. 
My favorite
The Volantes make some sweet sweet stuff. Textures and layers and oooh la la.
Those shoulders slay!
The Wraithe hoodie back detail

Knight Hoodie
Duncan Knight hoodie
You get the idea. Overlap and... [read more]

First completed make of 2019: done! I made the Muse Patterns Jenna cardigan for the first round of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee.


It’s no surprise, I LOVE sewing challenges! I’m not always great at participating within the time limits, but they often inspire my sewing. I’m a person with A LOT of ideas. I have way more ideas (& fabric, notions, patterns…) for things I’d like to sew than I can possibly execute. I find that the constraints of sewing challenges help focus my creativity into specific projects. Sometimes they even get completed! Like this cardigan!


This is my fifth time with this pattern–it’s become a TNT. It’s a classic cardigan design, with a full button placket, round neck, a hemband & sleeve bands. I never blogged my first go with it. I made a questionable fabric choice, a drape-y black knit with zero... [read more]

The Savvy Seamstress / Nicole Mallalieu
Lafayette, CA: C&T Publishing, c2017.
175 p.

This is an excellent read, one I'm happy to have finally got my hands on. Nicole Mallalieu is an Australian sewist, designer and teacher, and she has created a book that is perfect for self-taught sewists.

It covers basic sewing information: terms, tools and techniques, with lots of photos. But it also then goes on to explain how to easily alter patterns, how to change details like pockets, how to best perform sewing tasks like inserting zips or attaching collars, and even shows how to change patterns substantially - how to change a back zip closure to a front button one, for example, or how to completely change a neckline. It moves from simple to quite complex.

There were useful tips in this book for sewists like me, who know how to do most basics, how to use a pattern... [read more]
If you’re feeling a tiny bit down, due to the hideous weather we’re currently having in GB, then I hope this garment will brighten your day a little bit. Who doesn’t like penguins, after all? The pattern This is the Oliver + S School Bus T-shirt. Again. And my latest attempt to convert it into […]
Well it’s been a busy week! Lots of sewing, work and time for sewcial stuff and golf too! Phew! A few more than seven pix but on time! Hope you’ve all had a lovely productive and happy week too, Thimbers xx

It’s that time again! Actually it’s late, I’m usually on the ball with this [for the last 3 years anyway] and get started straight after Xmas.  My reduced mojo this year meant that I forgot, but to my delight, the rules for this year are BANG ON for the way I like to sew- all about the colour baby!

Here are the rules, from Stitcher’s Guild Reloaded.

2019 Seasonal Designer Collection II SWAP Rules

You are still the Designer. Create a cohesive seasonal collection of eleven garments of your choice.

Choose an inspiration piece of your choice —  Could be a scarf, artwork, fabric print, photograph, etc
Choose two neutrals that coordinate with your inspiration piece
Add 1-5 accents and/or prints that will work with your inspiration piece (ie: not clash)
Make 9 garments that form your core
You must create multiple outfits using at least two core garment... [read more]

Wharf Street Pullover by Hannah Fettig

During 2016 (and following being one of the winners of the We Wear Knitbot Competition), I was extremely flattered to be asked to test knit a pattern from Hannah Fettig‘s upcoming book, Texture.

I selected the Wharf Street Pullover, and it was a reminder that I am still a relatively inexperienced knitter as it took me far longer than the testing period to knit and I missed the deadline for feedback, plus my finished jumper (blogged in 2017) ended up excessively long in the body and sleeves.

Wharf Street Pullover by Hannah Fettig

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get a lot of wear from a tunic length jumper, so last year I built up the courage to finally alter it. Since the pattern is knit bottom-up, it isn’t possible to unravel from the bottom. Instead you need to decide where you want to remove length from, cut into the jumper at this point, and then unravel downwards, towards the hem. Due to the... [read more]

Well, it’s been a while, but the sewing gods demanded more of me yesterday than just spending an hour re-threading the overlocker five times, and went for the blood sacrifice.

I was getting on with the coat [collar’s on, skirts are joined to bodices, hole in lining mended …shhhh….] and the end is in sight.  I got out my wonderclips [thanks to CatherineDaze for reminding me I had some!] and got lining and coat ready to sew together, zip basted and clipped in place.  Seriously, the end is near, after this, it’s sleeves [already assembled and lined] and hem, so a small amount of machine sewing and an hour or two of hand finishing.

OBVIOUSLY time for a sacrifice, so I obliged and machined my left index finger.  Good job the coat is red, is all I’m saying!  OW.

It’s scabbed over now, so I should be able to continue.  If I was religious/superstitious,... [read more]

Here we are with week 3 of the 2019 Sunday Lately series! If you are new to Sunday Lately, it is a weekly series for the Blogger Tribe featuring three prompts to get us writing and sharing our stories from the past week. Each blogger can interpret these topics however they choose in their post. Then we all link back to Katy to share with each other. This week we are talking about losing, pairing, and surprising.


I have been in this sewing funk since the first of the year. I haven’t cut a single piece of fabric until this week. I had a lost sewing mojo even though I keep finding all sorts of inspiration and things I want to make. This week I completed my entry for the Sewing Bee (see Pairing) and I completed a pattern test for Bella Sunshine Designs (affiliate link). I am actually working on a second pattern test for BSD today.  Both are... [read more]

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

I'm currently exploring Southern Africa! But I have been sewing like a mad woman for the last few weeks and have prepped and scheduled a number of blog posts to share my handmade holiday wardrobe with you. When planning my sewing I kept being drawn to Half Moon Atelier patterns and three of them made it onto my list! Practical and easy to wear, yet modern and with well thought out designs. A big tick in my book. This is their summer jumpsuit Tofo and it is possibly my favourite item in my suitcase.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

The fabric I've used is a really lovely cotton ikat from The Fabric Store. Unfortunately it is not on the website anymore as I believe I snapped up the last of it when I ordered it a few months ago. I was browsing for something for this pattern and this just jumped out at me as the perfect match. And that it has proved to be. It is a fine and breathable... [read more]

I’ve been enjoying the wonderful series by Doctor T Designs on the Kibbe method for determining what styles of clothing suit women. The method is incredibly detailed with several main types, each with sub-type variants. Doctor T goes into a lot of detail about each type and then each sub-type. She then provides three levels of formality and detail (from casual to evening wear) for each type.  To really underscore her amazing attention to detail all these posts are accompanied by multitudes of patterns and suggestions. Most of this happened in the latter part of 2018. Then on January 1st she created the Kibbe Challenge.

Normally I avoid the sewing world challenges. But this one really suits me. Step one is to determine my Kibbe type. Initially I thought I maybe the soft classic sub-type, but a review made me realise I am very much a Classic. Their clothes are... [read more]

Here's how I drafted the 3/4 length sleeves and French cuffs for my self-drafted shirt


My usual disclaimer applies that I'm no expert - just winging it from stuff off the internet, and stuff I think up!  I'm putting this how-to here so I can refer back to it myself, and hopefully it will also be helpful to someone else.  

Drafting the pattern pieces


This was drafted from my sleeve block which doesn't have a seam allowance, it's added at the end, and my pattern piece below includes the seam allowance.  I started by deciding how far below the elbow I wanted my sleeve to finish, which is 5 cm.

Then I added 6.5 cm ease to the bottom of my sleeve (3.25 cm on each side), and ruled a line up to the underarm point to make the sleeve seam.

Next was the placket, which is the vertical line marked 9.5 cm in the photo below (I forgot to write... [read more]
My first Make Nine 2019 is done!  It's number 6 on my list, and is a self-drafted shirt.

It's a bit tricky to see the details, so I'll describe.  It has bust and waist darts, and is shaped with waist darts at the back.  

The sleeves are three-quarter length, and have French Cuffs.  These are twice as deep as a normal cuff, and fold back on themselves.  Then the extension doesn't overlap, but both sides lie flat against each other, and are secured with a cufflink.



There are no adequate words in the English language to express how delighted I am with these!!  They turned out exactly how they looked in my head!  I won't go into details here about how I drafted and sewed them, as I've written a seperate post about it here.  

This gorgeous fabric is a viscose challis from Like Sew Amazing, which (at time of typing) is still available -... [read more]

Here at the Sewcialists, our mission is to build community and make everyone feel welcome. We support sewing and crafting as an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, orientations and sizes.

With these goals in mind, we’re starting a new occasional series on the blog: Good News in Sewing. Inspired by our fearless leader, Gillian, these posts will highlight news, conversations, opportunities and happenings in the sewing world that move the craft and the community in a more inclusive direction. If you know of any happenings fitting this description, drop us an email at!


Rad Patterns has released a collection of accessible sewing patterns! Their collection includes three thoughtfully designed patterns that address various accessibility issues in style.

The Clara Skirt opens... [read more]


On a roll here!!  This time I’m using the Clean & Natural book and making the puffed sleeve pullover, pattern S.  It’s a loose fitting top with boat-neck(ish) that finishes mid hip and has a yummy, puffed sleeve.  The fullness in the sleeve is at the hem, rather than the sleeve head.  This book has a handy size table and the pattern sizes are S to LL.  I graded the LL up two sizes, going by the body measurements and the finished measurements of the top.  Remember, I don’t like too baggy…


puff 1.jpg

I toiled the pattern in some remnant cotton sheeting and made the following conclusions.  I needed more ease across the bust and length of about 2-3cm.  I also wanted the top to finish at the length it was un-hemmed.  So I needed an FBA of 3cm and to lengthen the top 3cm.  The sleeves are ok, finished at the right place and weren’t tight at the hem.  On... [read more]

"Saturday Night Live Webcast"

I considered not sharing a copy of the last email newsletter which went to my subscribers only. However, I figured I’d let you know there is a conversation going every week, that you may want to join.  If you don’t want to miss our private conversations,you can participate here::  Join the SewToFit conversation...
Newsletter 1/17/2019
Thanks to everyone for checking in on the livestream last weekend. I hadn't realized how much you enjoyed these Saturday night livestreams on youtube. You showing up, tells me I must be doing something right!
The next webcast is this Saturday, 1/19/2019 @ 8pm CST. (Set your reminder.)
Webcast Thumbnail
Saturday Night Live Webcast...1/19/2019
This week we are discussing the "Jasmine" tunic pattern design from the new "Let's Design" Video Series. If you missed it, here's the link for you to catch up before we go... [read more]

"Saturday Night Live Webcast"

I considered not sharing a copy of the last email newsletter which went to my subscribers only. However, I figured I’d let you know there is a conversation going every week, that you may want to join.  If you don’t want to miss our private conversations,you can participate here::  Join the SewToFit conversation...
Newsletter 1/17/2019
Thanks to everyone for checking in on the livestream last weekend. I hadn't realized how much you enjoyed these Saturday night livestreams on youtube. You showing up, tells me I must be doing something right!
The next webcast is this Saturday, 1/19/2019 @ 8pm CST. (Set your reminder.)
Webcast Thumbnail
Saturday Night Live Webcast...1/19/2019
This week we are discussing the "Jasmine" tunic pattern design from the new "Let's Design" Video Series. If you missed it, here's the link for you to catch up before we go live: [read more]

Oh my goodness I wish I could get into some pattern of regular writing / blogging again. I know no-one expects it and it shouldn’t be something that I feel I have to do, but I really enjoy it - weirdly I find it immensely calming - and it’s frustrating not to be able to make it even a little closer to the top of my priority list.

I hope I can change that this year.

Peppermint 1.jpg

These trousers are a case in point. I finished them before Thanksgiving and have carefully worn them a few times, finally taking photos last week and now thinking about what to say about them.

As with so many of the clothes I make, I saw an image of some teal-coloured jumbo cord wide-legged trousers and had to have them. Again as with so many of the clothes I make, finding or adapting the right pattern is... [read more]

Happy Friday everyone! The weather is so drab and grey here in London that I thought it was worth posting about this little ray of sunshine I made myself last winter. Normally I can track down when I’ve made something by the odd in-progress photo on my phone, but I must’ve whipped this one up very quickly last year because there’s no trace of anything in progress! But, to be fair, I used the Raglan Tee design from my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book, which is a very quick make indeed!

You may have noticed here that this Raglan Tee has long sleeves, but I show you how to convert the standard tee-shirt sleeves to short raglan sleeves in the book. If you’ve drafted it for short sleeves like in the book instructions, you can quickly hack it to be long sleeves if you take a Loose Fitting Top Block sleeve and align the underarm points with your Raglan Tee... [read more]

Last January I turned 30, and this important event was joined with a celebratory hallmark of my gender expression. In the winter, Glitter Grandpa was born. Glitter Grandpa is both my brand as well as a part of my identity, born of a mashing of aesthetic goals — Richard Simmons meets Mr. Rogers. As I ventured into the world of sewing for money, I took with me this moniker as a source of inspiration to further explore the bounds of gender.

After this birth of sorts, I spent the remainder of 2018 seeking out ways to reclaim pride in my gender non-conformity through sewing. This should come as no surprise — as someone assigned female at birth who is drawn to glitter and traditionally feminine textures and silhouettes, but who is also most affirmed by he/him pronouns, I struggle refuse to place myself in a sphere of strictly men’s or women’s fashion.

Menswear patterns... [read more]

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Sew Twists and Ties programming with this brief message... because it's time to Sew Fancy Pants!

Read more »
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