Today I'm sharing a new purple Margo Blouse for spring. I stitched this one up in a lovely Anna Sui silk that's been sitting in my stash for a year and I'm quite proud I cut into it because it was becoming one of those fabrics that was too precious to cut into.
My Margo Blouse Pinterest board was the inspiration for this version. I made View B but left the elastic out of the sleeve. It looks fresh and it's right on trend with the bell sleeve craze. I sewed it up in about 3 hours and brightened up my closet.
I've been quite busy in my sewing studio these days and while I sew I like to watch Netflix and listen to podcasts. Unfortunately when I get ready to sew I find I spend the first 15 minutes figuring out what I'm going to watch or listen to. Does anyone else have this problem? This week I binge listened to The Maker Style podcast hosted by Rachel. She interviews different people in the sewing industry (my favorite is the Kate from The Foldline episode) and has a modern take on garment sewing. I don't just listen to sewing podcasts and I'd love some suggestions. What are you listening to or watching?
One word friends...pockets! What's better than a dress with pockets? And a pink dress just in time for Valentine's Day with pockets that can hold Reese's peanut butter hearts (in case you want to buy me some uh-hem!) This is Simplicity 8258 and I picked this pattern up the minute it came out. I've been looking for a good basic dress pattern and here it is with pockets as a bonus. I sewed it up in a pretty pink and white 100% cotton suiting that was easy to sew. Now I have simple, classic and comfortable dress to add to my wardrobe that lends itself to some great accessories or a cute jacket.
I've made quite a few of these Amazing Fit patterns and find they're easy to work with and since they come with cup size options and offer slim, average and curvy fit it's easier to get a good fit right out of the envelope. That said, here are the small changes I did make:
I will definitely be using this pattern again. It'd be cute in a cotton print or even a lightweight denim. So many possibilities...never enough time.
I must have pink on the brain because I just finished this denim bag with pink stitching. A happy accident!
Happy Valentine's Day! Diane
This is a brand new pattern from McCall's that I picked up at the, you guessed it, pattern sale. When I walk outta the store with a new stack of patterns in hand I feel like I just made money and that feels great! Especially when I pick up one I can use over and over like this one.
It's McCall's 7534 and although I was thinking ahead to spring when I made this it is truly a seasonless dress. A simple cardigan would make this great in the fall. The pattern in suitable for woven fabrics although I chose an ITY knit. It's not a fabric I choose very often even though there are plenty of them out there but it turned out to be a perfect choice for this dress. It's comfortable, flows nicely and washable.
The pattern is really simple and goes together quickly. The most time consuming part of putting it together was matching the graphic design before I cut it out. I added 4 inches to the length as I'm a knee length gal but other than that I made it just like the pattern.
I can certainly add this to my TNT pattern list. I'm excited to make it again. Wouldn't it be cute in one of those drapey linen/rayon blends in a pretty color?
Happy Sewing Friends!
I read somewhere “When you find French terry, buy now, ask questions later.” So that’s what I did. This fabric from Fabricland in Orange County is gray on the sweatshirt side and black on the terry side. It’s soft, medium weight and to die for. I originally thought I would make a t-shirt/sweatshirt dress of some kind but after I saw Burda 7184 made up I knew it would be perfect.
Although this is a simple pattern and it went together in under 2 hours, Burda patterns are not for the beginner. I love many of the designs they offer but their instructions are difficult to understand and the pattern pieces don’t have very many pattern markings. If you want to make a Burda pattern, I suggest you pick something that you can put together without step by step directions.
All that said, this pattern was well drafted and the pieces flowed together easily. Part of the reason it was such a quick sew is I used my serger to finish all of the edges and hem. A major timesaver and great detail.
Even though I enjoyed making it, when I first put it on I didn’t like how it looked! What? It felt heavy and too long but after I put an entire outfit together and the weather turned cold, it turns out I love it. I’ve worn it at least ten times so I don’t know what I was thinking.
I still have some projects to share with you from my sewing during Christmas and on my cutting table now are two “unselfishsewing” projects, believe it or not.
Happy sewing my friends. Diane
That's right folks! Today is my birthday and no matter what I do they just keep comin'. So why not celebrate? Use code ITSMYBIRTHDAY now through January 20th and received 25% off all PDF patterns in the store. And feel free to eat cake too!
It’s great to be back from a break. I enjoyed time with my gang (everyone was home!), did lots of cooking and even more eating and even had time to sew a few things. I feel rejuvenated and creative and excited to get going.
I always make new year’s resolutions and goals for the year that without a doubt include where I want my sewing to go. As most of you know, even with the best laid sewing plans it’s easy to get distracted by some new fabric, new pattern or an exciting thing you see on Pinterest (this is my "I Wanna Make This" board...not enough time).
I thought it would be fun for my students (and maybe even you) to choose a sewing goal for the year. I’ll be hanging them on a board in our classroom for us to have fun with all year. I made these tags and pulled them out last Monday and explained the idea. Some people grabbed the tag and wrote it down right away and some had to think about it. There are no rules here...and they can add a goal at any time. Even though it was fun to come up with something it was even more fun hearing what other people had planned. Here are just a few:
In 2017 I Want To Make...
So...what do you want to make in 2017? A pencil skirt, a perfect t-shirt pattern, baby quilt, new pillows for the bed, your first pair of pants....what is it? Grab a tag and write it down.
Put them in the comments or add them to Instagram or Facebook tagged #SewIt2017. Don’t forget to tag photos of your finished stuff too.
Have fun with it friends! I can’t wait to hear them....and see them!
I've been as busy as an elf lately sewing for Christmas. I saw this tutorial on Sew Mama Sew by Elizabeth Hartman (from way back in 2009) that inspired me so I decided to make pincushions for all of my students, 26 in all! It was fun.
I used a lot of the construction directions from Elizabeth's tutorial (here it is) but changed the dimensions and eliminated the thread catcher. I wanted bigger ones for the adults and smaller ones for the kids. Since I used a stack of charm squares from Moda, I was able to make each one different. They are filled with rice (let me tell you, stuffing them was the hardest part) and it took about 12 pounds! The checker at the grocery store must've thought I was heavy into carbs.
There are 3 pockets on the larger versions and 2 pockets on the smaller. I wrapped them in brown wrap like "brown paper packages tied up with string" and one of my little students said "I love that song!" I put them in a basket and used my muscle to take it to class.
The bad news is.... I didn't make myself one!
There are more handmades this Christmas including some small crocheted items I made for my girlfriends. I'm still not the best at crochet but I'm determined to get better.
Blue Dot Patterns are now on Indiesew! Needless to say I'm pretty excited about this. Indiesew has an amazing collection of modern indie designer sewing patterns, lots of support and tutorials to make your sewing better and supplies. They are committed to our sewing community and what could be better? Check out this most adorable plaid version of the Margo Blouse pattern and all of their other indie patterns. I'm honored to be in such good company!
Hello All! It's a Thanksgiving sale! Save 30% off all patterns through 11/27! Check out the pattern store. Enjoy!
It’s the final week of my skirts series, inspired by my "Sassy Skirts" Pinterest page, and I have to say I’m really happy with the additions to my wardrobe. It’s been good discipline for me to hold myself to a time frame and specific projects that keep me on task. As you all know, it’s pretty easy to get side tracked by some pretty fabric and toss your sewing plans to the side.
For this skirt, I used a newish Simplicity pattern 8175 I purchased a couple of months back. It has 2 styles of skirts and one pair of pants (all with pockets) and I’d really like to try all of the views. For this skirt I used view D and added 4” to the length. I made a size 12 and it sits at my natural waist.
I’m not really sure what to call this fabric but it’s a fairly heavy but soft cotton with lots of texture. I picked it up at The Fabric Store in LA because I simply couldn’t pass up the color. Normally, I would think a purple skirt wouldn’t be very practical but I put the skirt up against the shirts in my closet and found it goes with quite a bit. A basic that’s not too basic. I like it!
Because the fabric is so heavy, I used a quilting weight cotton scrap for the pocket lining and the waistband facing. I wanted to reduce as much bulk as possible. When pressed , the fabric left a “shadow” so I was careful to use my tricky strips of manilla folder between the seams and skirt when I put the iron to it. Do you use these?
I used some bias strips of the cotton along the hem because the small hem looked skimpy when I turned it up and by adding the fabric I was able to make the hem wider while hiding the raw edge. Although it looks cute, I’m hoping it won’t show to the outside when I sit down..but we’ll see.
Christmas gift sewing is on my table now. I’m making 20 pincushions for all of my sewing friends so there’s lot of repetition. I sew in small spurts of time to break it up. I’m thinking about making some plaid flannel scarves too if I have time. My goal is to have all of my Christmas sewing finished by December 1.
Anyone else Christmas sewing?
Hi! I'm Diane, a wife, mom, sewing teacher and pattern designer from sunny Southern California. I share my sewing adventures here on the Blue Dot Blog formerly Gatorbunnysews. For more info click here.