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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Alternative Pattern Companies

Having grown up in the 90's, the word alternative always makes me think of the music, which is the most nebulous description of a type of music pretty much ever.

Uh, anyway.

I've been thinking about everyone other than the 'big' pattermakers (which I count as Butterick-McCall's-Vogue-Kwik Sew, and Simplicity.)

You recognize this pattern, right?

Do you consider BurdaStyle a 'big' patternmaker or not? I'm inclined to think of them a big but maybe that's only from my perspective of going on their website pretty much all the time.

Sometimes I just forget about the smaller patternmakers. I have to admit that I mostly just download BurdaStyle patterns but there are so many great pattern designers out there! Maybe it's time for me to branch out?

What about this one?

What are your favorites?

Here's a list of the smaller/less well-known patternmakers I'm more of less familiar with. I really just wanted to have a list all in one spot that I could refer to when I need inspiration. I'll add to this list as I discover/remember/am reminded of others.



So help me out - what designers have I missed?

Am I the last home sewer that doesn't own this pattern?

What is your go-to designer? What do you love about them?

Is there anything about these little pattern makers that you don't like? 

As I mentioned above, I don't buy many patterns from these designers but I'm not entirely sure why. I guess some of the designs look a little 'homemade' but it's not like I don't know I can add interesting details and use great fabric to make a plain pattern look more sophisticated. And certainly, with my pear shape I should be all over Sewaholic's Thurlows. Maybe it's just the price? And shipping to Canada isn't cheap but many independent designers have download options. I can't figure it out!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Crushinator: The Final Crushining



Jacket: Conquered.

Well, maybe conquered isn't the word I'm looking for.

Let's...call it a draw.

Here I am finishing off the final buttonhole!

After working on and worrying about it for so many months, it's so strange to have this finally done! It makes all the things I'm not happy with seem so final.


The biggest issues are that the back of the collar doesn't cover the collar seam (It was fine when I constructed and steamed it but I think something went wrong when the roll of the collar matched up with the roll of the lapel or something, I don't know). And you can see there's some sagging in the front. I think maybe the buttonholes should have been higher but it sure is too late to change it now.

I also somehow managed to CUT THROUGH THE FABRIC at the back if the collar! I think it happened when I was trimming the collar seams and now there's a quarter inch slit in the fabric at the centre back of the collar, right on the roll line. Ugh.


The most important part, though, is that my Sweetheart likes it and wears it!

And it's only two months late. Merry Christmas, Sweetheart!.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Fancy Clothing Label DIY

I realized, as I was finishing up my Sweetheart's jacket, that I wanted to put a label in there as a reminder that I love him and also so he could show it off to people.

I was inspired by this post on the Victory Patterns blog but after much frustration, I couldn't make it work (it's a long and sad story, but you don't need to hear it).

Finally it dawned on me that I knew of another transfer technique that I had used when my Sweetheart and I were making circuit boards for custom guitar pedals that he was designing.

After a little experimenting, I've come up with a process that works pretty well, and allowed me to make much fancier labels.

Of course, I've had to obscure Matt's last name, but the actual label looks really nice in real life, I swear!

You'll need:

  • an iron
  • a hard, flat surface to iron on (I used a clapper)
  • torn out magazine pages
  • access to a lazer printer
  • silk (I used a second-hand silk scarf)*
  • tissue paper

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Style Crush: The Boys of Summer

Not the current Boys of Summer, though they do clean up nice.

No, I'm taking about the ball players in the early decades of the 20th Century. Those guys wore some crazy get-ups. And you know how I feel about jodhpurs. But the best part - the absolute raddest of the rad - is their giant bulky sweaters!


Look at these handsome mothers in their preppy cardigans! Why do they need cardigans? It's summertime!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Buttonhole Bonanza!

I knew when I started making this jacket that I would have to make proper hand-worked buttonholes.

So the smart thing would have been to start learning how to make buttonholes in like, October, right?

Well, guess what I've been doing for the last week and a half.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Style Crush: Ruth from Wartime Farm

The BBC historical farm series is back, this time with Wartime Farm. So far this is by far my favorite era for them.

Have you seen any of this series? They also did Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm.

The series focuses on how England's farms really had to step up to provide food for an population that imported 70% of their food before the war. Farms were asked to increase production of human food by 50%. This meant the use of new time saving technologies and the beginning of women taking a significant role in the physical labour of a farm.

And of course, features lost of great 40's fashion.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Coin Pearl Bracelet Tutorial

I made another bracelet like these ones and this time I took photos for anyone who is curious. This is a nice simple project that you can finish in about an hour and depending on what types of material you use, can come to about $10-$15 and who doesn't like that?

What you'll need:

  • Beads 
    • I used little cut stone beads or coin pearls. I'm obsessed with coin pearls.
  • Thread 
    • get the silk stuff that comes with a wire needle attached. I guess you could use any thread and thread the needle yourself but with the pre-threaded silk stuff costing about $2.50 I can't see why you would. It's nice and can come in a variety of shades and grades. You'll need extra thread to make your tassel. I like to use regular all-purpose thread so the tassel doesn't get too bulky.
  • Clasp 
    • I'm using a magnetic clasp because magnets are awesome. Just remember to slide them apart, not pull them apart or your thread will break eventually and you'll cry bitter, bitter tears for your foolishness or something.
  • Cardstock
    •  or similar. 3-4 inches wide.



1. Thread the beads to about the length you want your bracelet to be.













2. Loop through one side of the clasp.












3. Thread back through your beads.












4. When you've gone back through all your beads, knot both ends of the thread together, thread through the other end of your clasp and knot again.








5. Prepare your tassel thread by winding a bunch of thread around the piece of cardboard and then cut through all the threads in one place to get a good number of short pieces of thread all the same length, just like in this video. Knot the beaded thread around the centre of your tassel thread







6. Tie a knot in your tassel thread, including you beading thread.










And yer done!