Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Classes, latest Craftsy posts and what's on my sewing table

Do you find the number of new sewing patterns released a bit overwhelming? Looking at blogs, instagram, various newsletters and other sources means that I find something new almost every day that I want to make. I think choosing patterns that are good for you is a skill you can learn. Unfortunately it comes with a bit of expense, both in time and money since you can't magically determine if a particular pattern will work for you. The investment in your time and in fabric is a real thing. Some aspects of that are just experience, like anything else, and learning from your mistakes.

Hoping to help people skip a bit of the trial and error aspect of pattern selection I have a class at Hello Stitch this weekend (Sunday April 22, 10 am - 1 pm) that can help with this aspect of sewing knowledge.  to register for any classes. By the way - if you want to make it a full day there is a knit t-shirt class at 2pm the same day.

This is currently my favorite class to teach! It's really rewarding to help stitchers of all levels understand all that info printed inside and out (or digitally) on a pattern and how you can use that information to make your sewing more successful.
Including things like "why are the specific fabrics recommended?" "what does loose-fitting or semi-fitted mean" and my favorite "why does this pattern take 4 yards of fabric?"

So if you use any kind of pattern: PDF, envelope, vintage, modern, multi-size, cup-size, we talk about them all and also cover pattern markings, measuring yourself, and choosing the right size to start with.

pattern reading for blog

My other class this month is a Pattern Fitting class, Sat. April 28 at 10am. This is actually a two part class. In the morning I will go over a lot of common fit adjustments and show how to do them on the pattern pieces. The second part is a Fit Lab where I will help you tissue fit your pattern and do the adjustments to your pattern pieces. You can sign up for just the Pattern Fitting overview or both parts.

Pattern fitting class for blog

And in June we are doing the Bondi dress class again, this is a great summer dress and the best part is that the pattern is included in the cost of your class. We have a dress sewn up in each size so you can come into the studio to try on the dresses and see exactly which size is right for you, then trace off your pattern size from the tagboard versions we have at the studio. It's a simple pattern so that is a quick process, plus you get the PDF and the instructions mailed off to you.

Here is a terrible blurry photo of all the Bondi dresses hanging up in the studio. My last class was full and I planned to take some photos but never slowed down to do that.

Bondi dresses at HS SaveSave

Latest Craftsy posts: here are my latest on the Craftsy Sewing Blog.

A post about knit fabrics. Although I want to issue a caveat on this one - I wish the sewing world would have a definitive wording about knit fabrics. Note that in this post I refer to 2-way and 4-way stretch - but sometimes it is referred to as 1-way and 2-way.
Which if you look at the diagrams in the post then it makes sense but how should we refer? On most of the patterns I looked at I noticed that they called for 2-way stretch knits. By which they mean knits that stretch both on the cross grain and the lengthwise grain. Aargh - what should I have called them?

Here's the link to my post. 

Craftsy stretch post image

Another recent post is this one on how to lengthen or shorten a top. Which seems like a simple adjustment but there are a few things to note. In fact my friend Meg just did a recent post on the same topic, with some really good diagrams as well.

Craftsy post shorter image

What I've been sewing: I just finished this dress and have a few things I would change if I were to make it again, which I don't really plan to. As there are so many knit dress patterns I would like to try.

McCalls cowl knit dress

But our scorching hot weather is not that far away so I'm sure it will get plenty of wear soon. And the fabric colors are so pretty. (Stone Mountain bargain upstairs purchase).

Up next: some tropical travel is on my calendar so you know what that means, frivolous floral sundresses  - my favorite thing!

Happy Sewing and hope to see you at Hello Stitch,

today's garden photo - the first backyard rose. This might be the oldest rosebush in the garden but oh that color - so pretty.



  1. I wish pattern companies and fabric websites would get on the same page regarding 1-way and 2-way and 4-way stretch fabric. 4-way stretch fabric doesn't even make sense. Fabric either stretches vertically, or horizontally, or both. But 4-way? What does that even mean? If everyone was consistent we could eliminate the ridiculous "4-way stretch" description. Sadly, it will never happen.

  2. Yes, I agree about 1 way, 2 way stretch. My tutor says it's 1 way and 2 way def not 2 way and 4 way but even big 4 patterns are not consistent within a brand. Usually from US I read 4 way but recently a pattern I was making said 2 way (correctly!) but meant the same; fortunately it had the stretch percentages required in each direction so I was clear what was required. A very similar pattern from the same brand at the same time said 2 way and meant what I would call 1 way. Only 1 stretch measurement given in this case. As patterns were SO similar I wasn't sure why they required such different fabrics. So yes, I find it very confusing and difficult to decide if my fabric is suitable for a particular pattern.


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