Nothing makes me happier than when I see someone hack one of my patterns. I don't attach any pride to the pattern by expecting for the pattern to only be made as I first designed it. In fact, The Georgia Top is the perfect simple design to have at it. Now it's my turn...
The cold shoulder trend is hotter than SoCal in August and Georgia needed to hop on that party wagon. This fan print rayon jersey came from my last haul from Craftsy. It's a cream background with peach colored Asian fans and is soft and cool for the warm summer.
This hack couldn't be easier and I think I finished sewing it in under 2 hours. It was one of those pieces I made in the morning and wore to my class in the afternoon. To start, I left the armbands and waistband off of view A. To make the cold shoulder I stitched the shoulder seam from the neck 2" and stitched the last 4" from the shoulder to the sleeve hem. I finished the opening by folding back the seam allowance and stitching in place. Seriously....that's it!
I set aside my selfish sewing for a bit to sew for my favorite girl. She's home from college and a girl needs something new when she comes home, right? I made a wrap skirt out of this rayon challis print she found at Joann. It was quick and easy and she's very happy.
I used New Look 6456 and made View C and made no changes (not even to the length) and it's perfect. You really can't go wrong with a wrap skirt, they're an easy fit and easy to make. The fabric shrunk like crazy so I had a difficult time getting all the pieces out of the fabric. I think figuring out how to make the pieces fit took almost as long as making it. Cutting and sewing was under 2 1/2 hours and I only had a few square inches of fabric left over. Yay me!
She's going away to work this summer and my plan is to make her another one before she gets back. Chambray maybe? I'm going to miss her so sewing for her will make me feel better.
There's still so much more I've made and haven't blogged about. Coming soon!
One of my students brought this fabric into class and I immediately fell in love! Not with my student (although she's wonderful and has amazing taste) but with the fabric. I thought about sliding it into my work bag when she wasn't looking or offering to buy it from her but instead she told me she got it from Craftsy and I was giddy to discover it was still available! Yay! For those of you that haven't purchased fabric from Craftsy, all of the their fabrics either come in kits or in precut lengths. I purchased a 4 yard cut so I still have enough for a blouse or shell.
I made McCall's 7381 View A in a size 12 straight out of the envelope but ended up making quite a few changes after I wore it the first time. This is a polyester/spandex knit and although I usually sew with natural fibers, I love the way this dress looks, feels and washes (which is a good thing since I purchased another knit just like it.) The dress calls for a woven fabric and has quite a bit of ease built in, so sizing down to a 10 would've minimized the alterations I needed (and the amount of time it took to take it apart!).
Here are the changes I made:
I'm happy I took the time to make the changes even though it took me almost as long to make the changes as it took to make the dress. Every time I need to make changes that require a lot of ripping out I spend days deciding if I should do it or not. I'm always happy when I take the time. "Unsewing" can be very discouraging but I highly recommend taking the chance sometimes.
I've been sewing faster than I've been blogging so I have more to share with you. Summer sewing is in full swing and I couldn't be happier.
Well thank you UpCraft Club for featuring me on "Meet The Designer" this week! I'm really excited! I can't believe I have this dream job so thank you UpCraft for all of the support. Here's a reprint of the article but check out the article on their site and features on other pattern designers too.
Meet...Diane of Blue Dot Patterns! Diane is a wife and mom in Southern California. She started Blue Dot Patterns in 2014 out of her love for sewing and also from her experience as a sewing teacher when she realized her students were frustrated with commercial patterns. Her vision is to inspire sewists through modern design and well-crafted patterns.
Why do you sew?
I can't help it. But really, there's something a little bit magical about taking a fold of fabric and turning it into "something". I'm not one to sew for sewing sake, so making something that's beautiful or even better useful is very important for me.
When did you started to sew? And what was your first make?
I was about 8 years old and I proudly made eyeglass cases for my parents.
When did you start to draft patterns? How was the learning process?
I took pattern making classes at two local design schools and that's given me a good foundation for my pattern line. Although I learned industry techniques, I gear my patterns and write instructions for the sewist.
How is your creative/design process?
I have to say my sewing students and my daughter are great design inspirations but when it gets down to it, I design pieces I want to wear. A pattern needs to fit well and be flattering, comfortable and enjoyable to make. Initially, I start by sketching, drafting the pattern by hand and making it up several times. When I'm happy with the finished product I digitize it in Illustrator and make it a few times more. I write detailed instructions and drawings in InDesign (this is my sweet spot since I'm a sewing teacher and I see on a daily basis the struggles new sewists have with instructions). When complete, the pattern goes out to my amazing team of testers (all skill levels and sizes), is finalized and then released! The entire process can take about 3 months.
How/where do you see yourself and your business in the future?
My next pattern is geared for the beginner/beginner (which getting a newbie excited about sewing is my fave) but also is a great wardrobe builder for anyone. I'd like to release a mini wardrobe pattern collection complete with a bag. I also want to support and interact with my customers more by expanding my website to include more tutorials, sew-alongs and photo sharing.
What sewing machine do you own? Is it the machine of your dreams?
I sew on a Janome 6600. It's not top of the line but it's a workhorse and I love it. I have a 25 year old Juki serger that just keeps running (no lie, I've only had it serviced once, I'm so bad) and a very used embroidery machine someone gave me that's on it's last leg. I'd really love a new embroidery machine and a coverstitch.
What is your favorite make ever? Why?
Pick my favorite child? Hmmm... I have a few. A blue maxi dress made from a challis I bought at Mood in NYC that's nothing fancy but I feel pretty in it, cowboy flannel piped pajamas I made for my son when he was 3 or 4 and a black shantung two piece evening outfit I made from a Vogue pattern.
What is on in the background while you're sewing?
Of late, Spotify and MakerStyle podcast. But for sure I've played "You've Got Mail", "While You Were Sleeping" and "Pride and Prejudice" (all versions even the BBC) 20 plus times...each.
Which is(are) your favorite pattern(s)?
I have at least 5 Margo blouses in heavy wardrobe rotation right now so that's my favorite pattern at the moment.
Who's your sewing/blogging/style/fashion/designer/quilter hero(s)?
I love Anna Maria Horner fabrics, marvel at the prolific sewing from blogger Lori at Girls in the Garden and designer Tracy Reese. I also find I follow a lot of British sewing bloggers on Instagram.
What are your favorite sewing techniques?
Pressing and basting. The iron can smooth out a lot of mistakes and basting can keep you from making them.
What is your least favorite sewing technique/step?
Waistbands, ugh! I think by the time I'm putting on the waistband I'm anxious to finish my project and wear it.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Energetic, nurturing, positive.
3 Favorites - color, texture and fabric:
I love blue, soft fabrics and natural fibers. A beautiful cotton voile has been known to bring tears to my eyes.
3 things that make you happy:
3 random things about you:
Thank you, Diane!
Enjoy 15% off on Blue Dot Patterns during this week! Go check the whole pattern collection here.
Don't miss next week's interview!
I'm happy to say I have another entry for the "Tops That Pop" Sew-long at Faye's Sewing Adventure blog. I grabbed my BFF pattern, The Georgia Top by BlueDotPatterns to make a piece that's a quick and easy to wear addition to my wardrobe.
This is a black and pale aqua rayon jersey that is soft and easy to sew. The Georgia Top is just about the fastest top you could ever hope to put together. I cut it out and made it on the serger in less that 1 1/2 hours. Can't beat that!
I have one more top coming for "Tops That Pop" and don't forget to check out all of the fun things people are making.
Faye at Faye's Sewing Adventures has a "Tops That Pop" sew-along that I joined. The guidelines are pretty simple, make a top by April 30th and she posts it on her blog. It's a perfect sew along for now because spring and summer tops are easy and fun to make. She posts a few projects every day and people are making some great stuff. Lots of cold-shoulder looks and fun prints. It's really inspiring....check it out and the Pinterest board too.
I made the True Bias Sutton Blouse and it's been perfect. I've been wanting a simple t-shirt type tunic, simple but not too simple and this fits the bill perfectly. I made it out of a rayon challis I picked up at Hobby Lobby of all places. I normally just pop in there for notions or patterns but I walked by this and stopped. It's a lovely color and so so soft.
It's not easy to see but the Sutton Blouse has a yoke that extends from the front to the back so doing variations on this pattern would be really fun. It has a high/low hem but it would also be nice as a long tunic. This is a don't miss pattern friends. It can build up your wardrobe pretty quickly.
I made two more tops for the sew along but I've yet to photo them. I better get to it! Thanks Faye!
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
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.