PatternReview Blog > Archives May 2013|
|New Jalie Patterns Are Here!||By DianeSev on 3/28/13 5:05 PM
We've been waiting nearly a year and half for more, and here they are…new Jalie patterns! If you're a Jalie fan, like many of us are, you'll know the wait was worth it.
There are eight new patterns in this collection. Here a few of them, paired with wonderful fabrics selected by the staff at Elliott Berman Textiles in New York City (that's great, because we get to see what they're wearing in New York without having to buy a plane ticket! Thank you, Elliott Berman!
Let's start with a fun pattern that you'll get lots of wear out of!
Detail: Jalie 3245 Raglan Tee, Racerback Tank and Tunics
Sizes: Girls 12M to 13, Women 4 to 22. All sizes in one pattern envelope.
With this pattern, you'll make all the tops you'll need for spring, summer, fall and maybe even winter!
Description: A: Raglan top with curved hem, half sleeve and binded neckline B: Raglan tunic with curved hem, half sleeve, patch pockets and binded neckline C: Racerback top with curved hem, bounded neckline and armhole D: Racerback tunic with curved hem, patch pockets binded neckline and armhole.
The Elliott Berman staff recommends this fabric:
Jalie 3248 Drop Pocket Cardigan
Sizes: Girls 2 to 13, Women 4 to 22. All sizes in one pattern envelope.
Cardis are the most practical wardrobe piece around. They are functional (keeps you warm when it's cool out) but trendy, and you don't look like you're bundling up, just keeping up with fashion!
Description: Drop pocket open front cardigan that hits just below the hips. The sleeve is fitted and designed to be worn over a sleeveless top or dress. The double-layer front provides a great finish and allows the use of constrast fabric where the inside of the cardigan becomes the outside of the pocket. A quick "instant gratification" project!
Elliott Berman Textiles recommendation:
Jalie 3246 Maxi Dress and Shawl-Collar Shrug
Sizes: Girls 12M to 13, Women 4 to 22. All sizes in one pattern envelope.
This maxi pattern is right on trend! With the right fabric, you'll be the most fashionable around. The included shrug pattern will double your fashionability!
Description: A: Scoopneck maxi dress with bound armholes and neckline B: Long-sleeved shrug with shawl collar
Elliott Berman Textiles recommendations:
You can purchase any of the fabrics recommended in this blog post from Elliot Berman Textiles by clicking on the fabric, or by visiting Elliot Berman's Web site.
See the entire Jalie collection here.
New Jalie Patterns are available for Pre-Order (patterns will start shipping out on April 10th) on PatternReview right now.
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|Sewing for Pets||By DianeSev on 3/25/13 4:51 PM
Our pets…we love ‘em, and we love to sew for them. And let’s face it…they’re adorable and above all are very, very patient with us, tolerating fittings and photograph after photograph. And the cuteness factor? Very, very high! They make us laugh and they make us feel good. They’re priceless!
So it’s no surprise that we see tremendously sweet and fun projects on PatternReview for members’ pets, dogs and cats. Costumes are the number one sewing project for our beloved critters, but we also make beds, backpacks and let’s not forget coats!
I ask you…who can resist Basset Hound as Musketeer, the model of patience and acceptance. (Notice the happy tail.)
NhiHuynh sewed this self-drafted pattern for her basset hound as a Halloween costume.
The tunic is a simple t shape with a hole for his head. The fabric was made with spandex left over from her nephew's Superman costume. She used a double-sided iron-on fusible web to anchor the cross, but because of the constant back-and-forth motion when he walked, the cross didn’t stay put. She says that next time she’ll sew it on.
There are some considerations that we don’t think of when we’re sewing human garments, like how to attach a leash. NhiHuynh made a slit for the leash between the shoulder blades.
But why should your pet have fun alone when a family member could have fun with him or her? That’s the case with Simplicity 1765:
Riley models Simplicity 1765.
Riley, a Blenheim Cavalier King Charles spaniel, looks very dignified in his dragon costume (and cute at the same time. How does he manage that?), and think how great it would be sew and wear the child’s version of this pattern!
The pattern comes in 3 sizes, S (13"), M(15"), and L(17"). mars418 noted that they don’t tell you what the measurements are for, but she correctly guessed that they meant the distance from nape of the neck to the beginning of the tail. She says that the pattern was super easy to make. She used fleece for the body, felt for the plates and horns, and Velcro for the closures.
She laughed about making two muslins…for a dog! Her biggest problem was that Riley wanted to nap when she wanted to fit. But it was all worth it, because Riley wore it twice, to mars418’s neighborhood Fall Festival and for Halloween.
We could talk all day about the really darn cute costumes members have sewn for their dogs and cats, but there are other pet projects out there too that don’t involve costumes. And you can still wear an outfit that coordinates with your pet’s garment.
Lounging at home in the living room with the family? That includes your dog too! Why not sew this highly recommended Simplicity pattern, 2771, Unisex child's, teen's and adults' tops and pants and top for dog in three sizes?
Can’t you see a family photo of everyone around the fireplace (including the dog) wearing pajamas from this pattern in red plaid?
thepattyc made two pairs of the men's pajama bottoms. Her son is 6'4", but she didn't have to add any additional length to the pants. But, she says, “The star of the show is my dog. I have a short-haired Chihuahua and he has no fur under his front legs or tummy. Therefore, warm attire is critical for him living in the Northeast. I used the leftover flannel from a pair of my son's pajamas and made the dog a little coat.”
thepattyc’s short-haired 6 ½ lb. Chihuahua, Junior, in Simplicity 2771
thepattyc also made 2 pairs of the men’s pajama bottoms.
Don’t feel like sewing for the whole family? How about for yourself and your pooch?
Simplicity 4316 Misses and Dog Accessories
And there are so many options for hats!
Want just your dog to be the center of attention? How about sewing Simplicity 2740 Dog Bonnets in 3 Sizes?
You’ll have so many people stopping to say, “What a cute dog!”
lauramae highly recommends this pattern, one which she sewed for her dog Tino.
Tino in his hat from Simplicity 2740.
She gives a hint to manage the model that might be a wee bit squirmy: “As you are perfecting fit, and each time you put the bonnet on his/her little head, make sure to reward with a treat! Positive reinforcement is a fabulous thing and really works!”
How about a nice coat to go with that hat?
Vogue 8312 Dog’s Coat
FranVan highly recommends Vogue 8312, and ShastaKatt rated it “Easy & Great for Beginners.” FranVan says, “It was an easy pattern without too many steps. The largest size wasn't large enough for an 80 lb. greyhound, so I modified it the second time around.”
Want a pattern that’s really versatile? Try McCall’s 5776! You not only get patterns for dog coats but also one for a scarf and legwarmers.
Perhaps Fifi or Dutchess is too small to be walking around, especially in the big city. There are a few great patterns for carriers.
McCall’s 6621 Dog Hoodie, Harness, Leash, Carrier and Carrier Tote
Kwik Sew 3311 Pet Jacket, Dress and Carrier
I don’t mean to leave out our other favorite companion, the cat! But cats aren’t as willing as dogs to wear costumes (although I was able to put a sombrero on my kitty long enough to snap a picture and sing the first few lines of "Cielito Lindo").
But they do love to play and snuggle. Kwik Sew 3642 satisfies both these needs.
Kwik Sew 3642 Tunnels, Snuggle Sack, Placemat & Toys
By the way, it’s wanted by 9 members and owned by 4.
And when a kitty is not sleeping, playing, snuggling, eating, and keeping your house safe from bad critters, she’s…sleeping, so you need to make the perfect place for her to rest in the perfect fabric and perfect colors.
Kwik Sew 3357 Crafts Pet Pillows, Jackets & Toys (Wanted by 4 members and owned by 8!)
Of course, your dog will want to sleep there also, so why don’t you make him one too?
McCall’s 6455 Dog Bed In 3 Sizes, Leash, Case, Harness Vest and Coat
And if you don’t find something you want, like all PR members, you can draw on your creativity and draft your own pattern.
Here are some items that PR members have created and reviewed.
Claverie created this Collapsible Pet Bowl.
JETrinity sewed this Small Cat Bed (model: Smoky). Note the pet-appropriate fabric.
When you see the contentment in an image like the one above, you know that it is worth all the hard work you put in!
See more pet patterns.
See more dog patterns and reviews.
Talk about sewing for dogs.
Talk about sewing for cats.
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|New Patterns from Sewaholic,Colette,Lily Bird Studio,PatternRunway and Little Lizard King||By DianeSev on 3/22/13 1:08 PM
We’ve got new patterns to announce and new pattern companies too!
Sewaholic Patterns 1301 Robson Coat
Sizes: 0-16 (all sizes are included in one pattern)
Skill Level: Advanced
Every woman looks amazing in a classic trench coat! This is a feminine take on the traditional military trench, with rounded edges for a softer look.
Description: Trench coat features rounded collar and lapel, princess seams, and front pockets. Double-breasted with storm flaps and epaulettes for a classic look. Coat is unlined, with inner seams bound with bias tape for a clean finish. Closes with buttons and a fabric tie belt to create an hourglass silhouette.
Recommended Fabrics: Light to medium weight woven fabrics such as cotton twill or canvas, cotton nylon blends, gabardine.
See more Sewaholic patterns.
Colette Patterns 1025 Laurel
Skill Level: Beginner
Looking for a stash-buster that will work with a wide range of fabrics and nearly any print? This chic and simple shift dress is easy to sew, astoundingly versatile, and comfortable to wear year-round. This pattern is so versatile! It features 4 versions and an e-book gives you nine more downloadable variations!
See more Colette patterns.
Pattern Runway is a little pattern boutique selling patterns to craft your own fashionable garments at home. With a contemporary fit, detailed instructions that are easy to follow that enable you to construct a professional looking garment.
“We love to sew and to craft our own fashions and thought you might like to as well. We are honoured to be able to contribute to the rival of craft and made by hand as we believe it is much better when you make it!
“All our patterns are drafted and graded in our Gold Coast studio in Australia by creator Sarah Olding and supervised by the demanding and distracting Louie, our resident blue-eyed fluffy rag doll cat. Sarah works part-time as a garment technician and production co-ordinator for local fashion labels, but this little boutique is what really captivates her heart.
“We hope you enjoy our patterns and fall in love with handmade fashion.”
PatternRunway patterns are downloadable.
PatternRunway 1401 Draped Knit Skirt Downloadable Pattern
Sizes: XXS – L
Sewing Level: Intermediate
Easy, soft and comfortable! This skirt pattern is gathered at both side seams, resulting in soft drapes that encase the figure. An elastic waist and it’s fully lined!
Description: Fitted, gathered, fully lined skirt with an elastic waist, cut to finish above knee length.
Suggested Fabrics: Stretch Knits Only; cotton jersey, cotton elastine, polyester spandex.
See all the PatternRunway downloadable patterns.
Lily Bird Studio
Lily Bird Studio specializes in easy sewing patterns for children clothing for beginners to intermediate sewers. Each sewing pattern includes a step-by-step tutorial with simple instructions and photos. The pattern pieces are computer drafted and color coded for each size.
Lily Bird Studio Juliette's Dress Downloadable Pattern
Sizes: 2 years to 10 years
How cute is this dress! The cutout in the back makes this dress the perfect style for summer!
Description: Juliette’s Dress is a vintage-inspired dress. Its built-in panels with a rounded neck line and an opening at the back makes it perfect for hot summer days. It has a fully lined bodice. It closes at the back with 2 small buttons or snap buttons. This sewing pattern provides the instructions to make a petticoat that makes this design look even better!
Suggested Fabrics: Medium-weight fabric, including cotton, velvet, corduroy, silk, shantung.
See all the Lily Bird Studio downloadable patterns.
Little Lizard King
Little Lizard King specializes in boutique clothing patterns for children and their dolls. Little Lizard patterns and instructions are beautifully illustrated and easy to follow; it's "sewing made simple". These sewing patterns are perfect for the novice and the experienced seamstress.
Little Lizard King 312 Ellie Tiered Twirler Downloadable Pattern plus Doll Pattern
Sizes: 6 mos. To 8 yrs.
Skill Level: Intermediate
As we all know, the twirl factor is very important to little girls when it comes to dresses and skirts. We rate the twirl factor high on this pattern!
Description: This layered sundress features a bodice that is loose in style. The straps tie in a bow in back of the fully lined bodice or as a halter style tied around the neck. This is an intermediate pattern that requires a significant amount of fabric and time to gather each tier. Includes a pattern for a matching dress for an 18” doll.
See all the Little Lizard King downloadable patterns.
See more downloadable patterns from independent pattern companies.
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|Islander Giveaway and $27 Jacket Class Sale||By DianeSev on 3/18/13 12:47 PM
We haven’t had a giveaway in awhile, so when we got a copy of Islander’s newest pattern, we thought, “Members will love this. It’s perfect for a giveaway. Let’s do it!”
This is what Islander has to say about the new pattern:
“Jacket Express is a grown-up version of the blue jean jacket, but it’s not just for denim! The hemline has been dropped and rounded to flatter all figure types. Seams are finished with optional double topstitching for the classic sportswear look. Instructions for the Jacket Express are created for faster construction by using a unique, out-of-traditional construction order and simple ready-to-wear techniques.”
Islander Sewing Systems 218 Jacket Express
Sizes: 6 through 36, all included in one pattern envelope!
Suggested Fabrics: Jacket weight cottons such as light to medium weight denim or twill are recommended. Also, linen/cotton blends, corduroy and other similar weights are appropriate.
See more Islander patterns.
This is a perfect time to bring up the sale on Angela Wolf’s video class Sew a Designer Unlined Jacket!
From now through Thursday, March 21st, this class (regularly $49) is on sale for only $29 ($27 for FoPR members).
See a video preview of this class.
Now for our giveaway…
Post a comment below telling us why you need this jacket pattern! What fabric do you see yourself using if you make it? Will you make the jacket for you or someone else? What embellishments will you use, if any? Tell us!
We’ll select a random winner from the posts and announce it on Monday, March 25.
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|The Big Reveal: Pattern Review RTW Contest by kealoha||By DianeSev on 3/15/13 3:41 PM
We all know the hard work that goes into preparing for a PatternReview Contest. When we came across PR member kealoha’s blog post, we asked her if we could share with it everyone as an example of the process of preparing for and entering a PR contest. She said “Yes” and so here it is.
By the way, kealoha won First Prize for her entry in the RTW/Designer Knock-off Contest.
The Big Reveal: Pattern Review RTW Contest by kealoha
Hello, Everyone! I’m so glad to be back in action this week. Flu season hit me pretty bad the past week or so, and I’ve been trying to sew through it. Thankfully, this weekend I put in some good hours of sewing and got my PatternReview Ready-to-Wear February Contest piece all done! Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!
Before I raise the curtain for the big reveal, I want to share the whole story of how I chose the piece I wanted to replicate and the process of figuring out how to do it. Feel free to skip forward if you’re short on time, but I promise the reveal will be much more exciting if you stay with me. So here I go.
Love at First Sight
Flash back to Christmas 2011. I was visiting my parents in Vancouver, Canada. And as us Gomezes like to do, we went to the library to pick up some reading material to bring back to the condo so we could all sit around by the fireplace, drink hot cocoa and read together. I saw a stack of really cool Asian fashion magazines (my guess is that they were from Japan or Korea, but all the writing was in Asian characters, including the title, so I all I could do and wanted to do was look at the photos), so I checked them out and brought them back to my parents’ place.
There I was, flipping through the magazines when I saw this dress
and I loved it and wanted it!!! But who was the designer? Where could I find it? I couldn’t read Asian characters and there was no way to keep the magazine, so I took a photo of the page in the magazine on my phone to keep copy of the image.
Months passed, and I didn’t really think about the dress again, and I eventually lost the image when my phone was stolen this past summer (I always forget to save my photos onto my computer).
It wasn’t until this year when I was reading about the pattern review’s February RTW contest that the image popped back into my mind. ”Oh wow”, I thought, “That dress would be the perfect project to try to knock-off!” But how would I find another image of it?
Thank you, Google. I searched and searched and searched. “Houndstooth dress.” “Houndstooth dress in Asian magazine.” “Asian Fashion Magazine 2011.” “Mixed print houndstooth.” I have no idea how I found it, but I found out that the dress is part of a collection by a Canadian designer named Joseph Ribkoff. And it was part of his Automne/Fall 2012 collection.
All his collections are designed, sewn and produced in Dorval, Quebec (yay!), and apparently, Miss America winners are known to wear his collection when attending media appearances as he is one of the official sponsors of the pageant. I absolutely love that this dress is Canadian and am even more stoked that all his clothing is made by Canadians in Canada! I was destined to replicate this dress!
How Do I Do This?
As you can see, the actual silhouette of the dress is super basic. At first, I thought I might draft my own pattern from scratch from my pattern blocks, but then I thought, “Nah”. My blocks are made for woven material, and I would much rather find a pattern in my stash that is designed for knits than to figure out all the ease and negative ease calculations and such.
I was lucky enough to find the perfect pattern in Vogue 1314 by Tracy Reese. Although the pattern itself is supposed to be ruched at the side seams, I used the lining pattern to make my first muslin.
Vogue Patterns 1314 Misses' Dress
My first muslin, in black sweater knit, fit well enough. I had to take in the seams a lot at the hip because I think the pattern was designed for hour-glass figures. I also altered the back bodice pattern to adjust for my slight sway back – to do this, I had to create a center back seam, but I was okay with doing that because I knew my final pattern would have an invisible back zipper. After those alterations, I felt like the bodice was perfect.
However, even though I think this is how the pattern was designed, I didn’t like how low the arm-hole sat. So I tried to fix it by raising the side seams and changing the shape of the sleeve cap. This was the worst idea ever. I ended up making 2 more muslins for the dress just to address this. I also made 3 or 4 more cropped, half-bodice muslins to try to make the sleeve fit perfectly the way I wanted it (snug and high into the arm-pit), but I ran out of time and decided that my last muslin was good enough to move onto the next step.
Pieces of the Pattern
This next step scared the daylights out of me because I knew that re-creating this dress involved creating (what felt like) a million pattern pieces to be perfectly fitted together. I started the process by closely looking at the photos I had of the dress from all angles. I, then, retraced the finalized muslin pattern onto tracing paper and drew out the shapes onto the pattern with a sharpie. Finally, I traced each piece one by one, added seam allowance, and cut them out.
Remember how I have a stash of hip-hop promo t-shirts generously given to me by my DJ cousin? They really came in handy for this project. I was able to make myself a totally wearable pattern muslin from his over-sized urban tees.
I still need to finish the neckline and the hems on this dress, but I think this version is super cool in itself!
It was a bit of a headache trying to fit the pattern pieces together. Sometimes 1-3 notches for each pattern piece gets super confusing. Did I mention there were about 28 pieces? 29 if you add the neckline band.
The Real Deal
As I was making the muslins, I was also slowly collecting fabric pieces that I wanted to use for my fashion fabric. Even though there are a lot of prints in the design, the nice thing is that each piece doesn’t really need too much fabric. I bought 4 online at a yard a piece and 1 (the zebra print) I already had in my stash. […] I did receive one piece of the wrong fabric, so I had to wait a week for that to be corrected. In the end, I was really happy with the fabric that I ended up with.
As you can see, I wasn’t able to match every single print exactly. It’s funny how easy it is to find cheetah print with black spots on white, but how extremely difficult it is to find white spots on black. I also couldn’t find the cross-hatch and herringbone looking prints in knit, so I had to double up on the baby houndstooth and sub in the zebra print from my stash.
Of course, not all knit fabric is created equal. Some were 4-way stretch, some were heavy-weight, some were interlock; I had to use some knit iron-on interfacing to manipulate the weights of a few of the pieces and reduce some of the stretch in the direction of the grain. I tested a few types of interfacing on swatches because I wanted to keep the horizontal stretch as much as possible.
When it was time to cut the fabric (do you take a big breath before you cut really beautiful fabric, too?), the back pieces had to be pattern-matched along the center back seam.
This dress would not be what it is without having black piping between all the pieces to make all the different prints pop. The shoulder seam also had a black stripe from the neckline down the center of the sleeves to the sleeve hem. I used black interlock and created my own bias tape for the black stripe, and I also used it to make my own piping by encasing black rattail.
I wanted to make sure the center back seam came together just right, so I ironed on strips of interfacing along the wrong side of the center back seams before installing the invisible zipper. I finished the hems with my favorite twin needle and I used the neckline binding pattern piece from the Briar pattern to finish off the neckline with black interlock.
Are You Ready?
After discovering the origins and designer of the dress, it was easy to find 360° photos of the dress as it is sold on a few online shops (it retails for about $250). Here are side-by-side photos of the Joseph Ribkoff dress and my knock-off version!
What do you think? I think my center back seam matches even better than the original!
I think I did a pretty good job!
It’s Not Easy Being a Model
As part of the contest, they encouraged us to submit a photo of ourselves in our knock-off RTW garment striking a pose similar to how the garment is shown in the media photo. This is the photo I found to replicate. It is of Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan.
I enlisted the help of my cousin (to be the photographer) and my sister (to be the director) to help me match the photo as well as possible.
How did we do?
I get a kick out of looking at the two pictures side by side. Don’t you?
I’m generally really hard on myself. But for this project, I’m so overwhelmed with happiness that I’m actually able to verbalize how proud I am of myself for completing it. I’m so happy and I’m so proud!
I honestly wasn’t sure I could do it. I’ll admit, I cried a few times. When I couldn’t find the exact prints in knit, I cried a little. When the wrong fabric came in the mail, I cried a little more. When I saw the 29 pattern pieces sprawled all over my bedroom floor, I may have shed a few more tears as I hid in my bed. When my serger broke, I definitely wailed. But the end result feels worth it all. This is what is so great about sewing, we get to bring to life ideas that are just in our minds. Especially since this project is just a kind of re-creation, I now have even crazier amounts of respect for those designers that come up with their ideas out of thin air.
I feel so good about my dress! I hope you all enjoyed reading the story of it’s creation. If you’re a member of pattern review and you think my dress is your favorite, please drop by and give me a little love (your vote). I took a look at the entries so far and they are all so wonderful and wonderfully different! It’s really cool to see what garments other sewers chose to replicate. I’m excited to read the blog posts on their stories and journeys.
In my researching of the dress, I found a YouTube clip of the photoshoot with Miss America 2011 posing in the dress. Her photo shoot might have been a little more glamorous than mine, but I think mine was equally as fun.
Special thanks to my cousin, David, for his help as the photographer and setting up his apartment to try to duplicate the photo. Super special thanks to my sister, Everlyne, for directing the shoot and being patient as I occupied every crevice of our apartment with all the components of this project.
We thank kealoha for letting us reprint this contest write-up, a piece which originally appeared on her blog.
See the blog post announcing kealoha’s First Place win in this year’s RTW/Designer Knock-off Contest.
Visit kealoha’s blog, simply E.GO.tistical.
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|PatternReview on Facebook: Have You Ever Made a Handbag?||By DianeSev on 3/14/13 4:23 PM
We’d like to know:
Have you ever made a handbag? Do you find it intimidating to think about doing? Or is it easy? What material did you use? And what pattern did you use? Tell us!
Tell us in the comment field below!
Or, join the discussion on Facebook.
Here’s what other members said on Facebook:
“Lots of them. All kinds.”
“I've only made tote bags. Easy. Use something washable, or outdoor type fabric.”
“I have an old 1968 pattern (McCall's 9291) that makes a great handbag. Two sizes: beach bag size or purse size. Inside pockets and zipper closure. It can be made in leather too. I've made it in ripstop that I embroidered for a light weight travel bag.”
“I made 5 Amy Butler handbags for my colleagues as holiday gifts one year. They were really fun to make, but I thought the pattern directions were incredibly overly-complicated to follow, so I made up my own way of doing them, and they turned out really well!”
“I made my own hobo-pattern and made it in faux leather. It's wasn't hard to do.”
“I'm making skirts for my 31 gifts skirt purse bag. As many covers as I want with only one remarkable bag. SO easy. I found a free tute online.”
“Where did you find the tute for it?”
“I make the 31 purse skirts as well. Simple to do and you don't have to shuffle the stuff inside your purse.”
“Making one right now...with turquoise leather...made my own pattern after looking on the web at ready-made I liked. Probably not the last one I make.”
“I have made several Amy Butler Weekender bags. The last one I made I added pockets on the inside. I just used it this weekend on trip to NY/DC. It was the perfect carry-on bag! I usually make it out of deco fabric.”
Weekender Bag Reviews
lbreton’s Amy Butler Weekender Bag
“I have made the "Villager" by Linda Lee Workshop Patterns from their kit. Love the bag!”
“I did a short course at Central St. Martins in '99 with Susannah Hunter (I'm sure it was her, but it was years ago). It was my first foray into "proper" sewing, and it was terrific. I made a lovely little orange glitter PVC (I know!) handbag.”
“I've made several, including wristlets and Amy Butler's yoga bag. I like using remnants of home decor fabric. I've made a few with this free pattern.”
Wristlet Reviews by PR Members
Wristlet by sagittmama
“I've made a few Amy Butler bags, usually out of her twill/canvas. I think you really need to concentrate on the inner structure to avoid having a homemade-looking bag.”
“I have made dozens! Totes by Sandy are my fav patterns.”
Sandygirl’s Fringe Bag
“I love to make handbags! The last one I made was out of black fake leather from Walmart recommended by Bunny (solosmocker) in her La Sewista blog. It is lovely, soft and supple - not a bit cheap looking. I interlined it with flannel to give it body and used a pink silk dupioni lining. It is really good-looking and I get lots of compliments on it.”
solosmocker’s Butterick 4409
“I've worked with many of these patterns and they always come out spectacular!”
“Nicole Mallalieu's patterns are Fantastic! Excellent instructions so you get a very professional result. I have made a few. I used some Ultrasuede (left over from upholstery) and it was fabulous - it outlasted the lining, and still looked like new.”
You Sew Girl (Nicole Mallalieu) PFBARR 90mm Barrel Purse Kit
“I've made handbags, but mainly make clothes. It’s like any other sewing, although I think people are intimidated by it. I made up my own patterns. The fabrics I use range from leather, to upholstery, to silk.”
“I'm about to make one! It's going to be out of heavy cotton duck - so more utilitarian than useful. I'm going to make my own pattern because I want it to have space for exactly what I need!!!”
“I am to bags as others are to quilts.”
“Just made two StudioKat designs handbags for my son's school auction. Entered one in the handbag contest. I will probably do a few more this spring.”
StudioKat Odyssey by quathy
“I've made about 15 of them. Used some Lazy Girl patterns, and most of them were either from free tutorials or out of my own little bitty brain. Use denim, quilted cotton, twill, canvas....make my own quilted bags...it depends on the need.”
Lazy Girl Designs 206 The Whimsy Bag
“This is a great post. So many experienced bag makers. Any suggestions for a beginner bag? Like an easy breezy beginner bag?”
“I have made many Vogue bags, and some others. Take your time, make sure you cut everything perfectly, read the pattern ahead of time. Use cloth, light upholstery first. It’s fun.”
Vogue Patterns 8741 Handbags
"Yes, I have made quite a few. I used a pattern from Butterick or McCall’s and then changed it. I used faux leather, denim, quilted cotton and canvas. I interlined all of them with canvas. Love sewing bags."
“They are fun, but harder than they seem.”
“Don't know if this is what you are talking about but I've made clutches to match my hats, the one in my profile pic is one of them using Simplicity Pattern 2166. I've redesigned the Flap. I have a clutch for all of my hats, use scrap and left over fabric from garments I've made and hats too.”
slmstyle’s Simplicity 2166
“Nine years ago I made and sold 200 handbags during a one year span before burning out. A gal came into my office and I admired her bag. She told me someone had made it for her and thus, my passion was born.”
“Now I am returning to that old passion but with less intensity. Gotta use up that huge stash of drapery and upholstery fabric.”
“Have never had patience to use a handbag pattern. I do, however, have a photo album filled with pictures. Crazy, huh?”
“Yes, I have made several handbags.....Hobo style bags. No patterns...free hand using upholstery fabric....I find it in the middle of easy and hard....just takes patience. The more complex I want to go with the bag...then it can become somewhat intimidating.”
You Sew Girl BO373 Hobo
“Years ago I made a handbag - my own pattern - to suit my needs. I used heavy nylon, strapping and hardware form an outdoor equipment fabric store. Recently, I was ready to make a small purse using a pattern ("Cell Phone/Camera Case and Wallet") from Clotilde. I thought I had the perfect material - soft deer hide - stowed away upstairs. I couldn't find it and asked my son if he had seen it. He told me that since I wasn't using the hide, he has given it to one of his friends. AAARRG!!! He knows I'm disgruntled.”
“Yes, I have. Made of bandanna fabric…that went great with jeans. The corners and the handle insert was the toughest part. Lost track of the pattern now. Would love to make another handbag.”
“Yes. I love to make handbags. I've used leather, denim, place mats, and just plain fabric. They're hardly ever a fashion fail. They always fit right.”
“Yes…it was lovely, but the pattern neglected to explain how to keep the lining in place, without bagging down into the inside...I don't sew as much as I did in previous years, but the last ones I've done often neglect fine (needed) details.”
“I made one using McCalls 6045, which was going really well until I got to the end and had to sew the strap on - turns out it was a sort of unintuitive way to do it and my sewing machine couldn't handle the thickness of the material - even broke a needle!”
Amazonium’s McCall’s 6045
Check out these reviews for handbags on PatternReview. Many tips and patterns!
Nicole Mallalieu You Sew Girl Handbag Patterns
Lazy Girl Handbag Patterns
More Handbag Patterns of Every Shape and Size!
Tell us about your handbag projects, past, current or future!
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|Announcing the Winners of the RTW/Designer Knockoff Contest!||By DianeSev on 3/12/13 1:23 PM
Non-sewers think highest compliment they can give a sewer is to say, “It looks store-bought.”
They never take into account the inspiration and the perspiration in creating the garment, things like the fabulous fit (and the time spent getting it!). And then there are the added dimensions of self-drafting and picking the right fabric and color. Doing an RTW clone is a big task that non-sewers just can’t appreciate!
PR members do appreciate it, and that’s the reason for this contest. 73 ambitious sewers tackled the RTW project of their dreams, and look at the results! Wow-wee! The rules required that contestants include pictures of the garments that inspired them, so, lucky us, we get to see that too! When we look at these originals, we admire their talent even more!
Let’s meet the winners.
First Prize (by Member Vote): kealoha for Vogue Patterns: 1314 Misses' Dress
kealoha only used the lining pattern pieces of Vogue 1314 in making her contest garment. She made the dress 5 times, giving her plenty of practice!
She says, “The first was the trial of the pattern in black acrylic sweater knit. When I adjusted for my narrow hips, swayback and armscye, I made another version in striped jersey. I then tried to adjust sleeves and armscye again and so made a 3rd version in another acrylic sweater knit (in polkadot).
“Since this dress was for my RTW contest piece, I then spliced up the pattern to replicate the original (dress that I was copying) and tested the drafted pattern pieces using old (but unused) t-shirts. When that seemed to work out, I then made my contest piece using 6 pieces of fabric: black interlock (for side seam pieces, neckline binding, piping cover and bias-tape), and then 4 knits: polka dot, 2 houndstooth, and zebra print.”
Practice makes perfect!
Her conclusion: “I would sew it again, as it's so easy! And so easy to modify (sleeve length, hem length, adding zippers). I haven't tried the ruching version but I'm sure it is just as flattering! I would totally make this again many times (as I already have!).”
Second Prize (by Member Vote): Diahn for Simplicity: 2337 Misses' Dress
And congratulations to all our contestants!
We thank Mood Designer Fabrics for sponsoring this contest.
We thank PR member Terri A for managing this contest.
Congratulate the winners and chat with other members about the RTW/Designer Knockoff Contest.
Look at all the RTW/Designer Knockoff Contest entries.
Never entered a PatternReview contest before? It's easy! Our contest tutorial will show you how to enter.
Check out the current contests.
Going on now:
Why not enter?
Plan ahead! See all the contests for the year.
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|New Oliver + S Patterns!||By DianeSev on 3/11/13 4:14 PM
Roller Skate Dress and Tunic
Are you ready with your skates? This cute and easy dress can also be made as a tunic, with two different styles for each length. All views include built-in cap sleeves, Empire-waist elastic casing, and keyhole-with-button opening at back.
Pinwheel Tunic + Slip Dress
Get out the pinwheel and prepare to have fun! The tunic and the slip dress that make up this versatile outfit can be worn together or individually. Both pieces feature a bias-trimmed flounce that overlaps at the inverted V-shaped front bottom edge. Worn together, the pair makes a spectacular flouncy dress.
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|New Pattern Company: Cake!||By DianeSev on 3/11/13 3:48 PM
We’re now carrying Cake Patterns!
Stephanie Cousins is the designer behind Cake, a line that features sewable, wearable basics for busy women…always with pockets!
Stephanie says, “So what’s Cake? There’s been some chatter on sewing blogs about sewing 'cake' vs. sewing 'frosting.' It’s a sweet way to describe the difference between sewing frothy, fun or 'out there' statement pieces and sewing the basic underpinnings of a good wardrobe. I love frosting, I sew plenty of frosting myself, and some Cake Patterns will totally feature a thick layer of frosting. But frosting melts when it’s left on its own… Cake is a pattern line devoted to having fun while sewing wearable basics suited to a busy woman’s lifestyle.
Knit knee-length dress with front surplice (mock wrap) neckline, short kimono sleeves and an easily customizable midriff section. The skirt features in-seam pockets and falls in the soft folds of a vintage half-circle skirt. The pattern includes optional stripes placement guide, cup sizing A-D and a bust alteration line. Sizing: 30"-50" high bust
22 reviews - highly recommended by PR members!
Cake Patterns 0169 Pavlova Separates
Ballet style wrap top in jersey ties at the natural waist while the back tucks into the skirt as a 'muffin cover.' The top is cut all in one piece with the sleeves, which may be cut longer or shorter. The four-piece circle skirt makes optimal use of fabric, zips up the back and features a pintucked patch pocket. A strong, simple, neat double binding finishes the waist edge of the skirt. Full Bust: 30”-50” / 76.2cm-127cm Waist: 25”-50” / 63.5cm-127cm
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|Member in Focus: treefrog||By DianeSev on 3/11/13 12:08 PM
Your PR Name: treefrog
Member Since: 2008
Sewing Skills: Intermediate
How did you learn to sew? What's your sewing background?
I've dabbled on and off for about 10 years but really got into sewing about 5 years ago when I needed a new pair of jeans. The "distressed" look was in and most of the RTW offerings were in worse condition than the jeans I wanted to replace. Being able to choose my own fabrics and own style kept me wanting to improve my sewing skills.
I'd describe myself as a self-taught sewer. The things I really wanted to sew were often beyond my skill level, but getting in and "having a go" meant I learned a lot. There have been lots of trial and error, and I'm eternally grateful for the PR members who have helped and inspired me along the way.
Oddly enough, working on KnipMode patterns helped me a lot. Because the Google translations were very funny but not overly helpful, I started working without instructions and started thinking more about how garments were constructed. They occasionally do a feature where they take a standard block, e.g., a shirt, jacket and pants, and have mix 'n match variations of it that really change to look of the garment. This got me more confident in tackling RTW knockoffs.
KnipMode Magazine: 05-2011-102 (Panelled top and dress)
What aspect of sewing do you find most challenging?
Getting the fit right. I think when it comes to reading wrinkles, I'm totally illiterate! Being short (5'2"), I've always had problems finding RTW clothes that would fit. So even a minor adjustment, like shortening a sleeve to have the cuff at my wrist rather than past my finger tips, was vast improvement. I've got pants pretty well worked out, and I'm starting to get a good handle on tops. Fitting a jacket, especially the armhole/sleeves, is something I need to work on.
Your profile says that you are a self-taught sewer. As you look back, are there any projects that didn't turn out as you'd planned, that you laugh about now?
Plenty! I have this attraction to wacky printed knits that don't suit the pattern I sew it up in! I've also learned that some styles just don't look good on me no matter how many variations I try. But on the other hand, I’ve had a lot of projects that I didn't expect to work, that I've been surprised at how well they turned out.
KnipMode Magazine 12-2011-25 (Twist front top)
Which sewing book do you refer to most often?
I don't have many sewing books. I find the instructions on KwikSew are an excellent resource, and I often will refer back to them. I love Threads Magazine and will often go back to past issues to look up techniques or get inspiration. I also use the PR boards a lot if I get stuck with something. Chances are that someone else has already asked the same question and there are heaps of suggestions on what to do.
You have won First Prize in three PatternReview contests in the past few years. What's your secret?
The first contest I entered, I had this grand delusion that I'd win it. I was totally outclassed, and I think I ended up with 2 votes! After that, I just entered the contests as a way of improving my sewing or as a motivator to work on something challenging that I've been procrastinating on. There are so many talented sewers on PR and I get a lot of inspiration from seeing their entries. So maybe the “secret” is not to worry about winning. Sew something you really love. Your wardrobe is always the biggest winner. If you do win, then it is just pure icing on the cake.
treefrog’s entry in the One Pattern, Many Looks Contest
You won First Prize in this year's One Pattern, Many Looks Contest with an assortment of bras that members found awe-inspiring. What made you decide to sew bras for this contest? What was the hardest part of sewing the bras? What advice would you give to anyone who is considering tackling this project?
I was really inspired by the lingerie Sigrid has been making. I'd been stashing laces and notions for a while, and back in November I decided that I'd spend January making lingerie. Margaret had made bras in a previous OPML contest. So when contest schedule came out, with OPML in January, I asked Margaret if I could use her idea for the contest. (Thanks, Margaret!). I made the first 3, realised they were all black, so I decided to add a few colours. Then I couldn't decide which white ones to make, so I cut them 5 out, and it became a bit of a chore to finish them. It was in the middle of our worst heat wave, so I wasn't thinking very well.
The biggest problem is that you won't know how well it fits until you’re finished. My first bra, last year, ended up being a bit big. The second was better and the third was spot on. The hardest part was sewing the bridge. It was a short seam, and the lace would get caught in the needle plate. Using tissue paper under the lace made it so much easier. The rest of the construction wasn't really difficult, although you need to be fairly precise sewing the channeling in. It is very time consuming, though. Stitching the elastic and straps takes as much time as constructing the band, cups and channeling.
My advice to anyone wanting to try bra-making would be to just have a go. Use some off-cuts, like a firm cotton jersey, for the first one, as you may not get the fit right first time. If sewing with lace, take time with the layout and pay attention to where the scallops finish at the seams. Check out Sigrid's tutorial, as it is an excellent guide. I much prefer her order of construction to the pattern instructions.
I'll also warn you that it is very addictive and you'll very have to worry about boring store- bought bras again!
You have written 200 pattern reviews on PatternReview. Do you sew everything you wear?
Almost. The only things I buy now are shoes and socks. I have a few left-overs from my pre-sewing days, but it is mostly things I have made myself. My sewing has improved a lot in the last few years so I'm starting to replace my earlier stuff with things which some better made/fitting items.
treefrog's DH wearing "Drafted from RTW: Overalls"
What are your sewing goals for this year?
I've been working on a series of knock-offs from the major outdoor clothing companies. And I'd got a few more lingerie patterns I'd like to try to make sets for the bras.
I'd also like to make a couple of jackets. I've avoided sewing jackets because of fitting problems. I might start with a jeans style jacket or a biker style and see how that goes.
What are you sewing right now?
I'm trying to finish off some UFOs. One is a copy of a Columbia hiking shirt made from a silk/bamboo fabric. The fabric goes off-grain just looking at it, so stitching parallel tucks on the shirt front will be interesting. I also have the blue bra to finish off.
Favorite Pattern: Controlled Exposure's 'Mountain Pants'
Pick your favorite pattern (only one please).
Controlled Exposure's 'Mountain Pants'. It is a standout for me as there very few (men’s) patterns available for serious hiking/outdoor gear. It is very well designed - definitely designed by someone who does a lot of backcountry walking or skiing. The instructions were excellent… A beginner could follow them even though the design is quite complex. Best of all they start off by getting you to make a few measurements (crotch depth, inseam length, inseam to knee length) and then walk you through adjusting the pattern to fit - so no stressing about the fit. I made these for DH from Goretex with all the seam sealing and waterproof zippers. They get a lot of use.
Do you have many fabric stores in your area? Where do you buy most of your fabric?
I live in a rural area and most of the fabric stores have closed or converted to quilting. I can get thread and zips but not fabrics. There is a wonderful fabric shop (Julia's Fabric Boutique) about 100 km away, and the owner is extremely helpful. Other than that, it is a long day trip to Melbourne. Most of the sports fabric (Goretex, Polartec etc) I buy mail order from the US and lingerie supplies from Europe.
How big is your fabric stash? What's in it?
Way too big! I've got a nice supply of fine merino, Polartec, Goretex and other tech fabrics.
RTW Knockoff Contest: Self Drafted Pattern: 125587-1002
What you love most about PatternReview?
I love the community spirit that you find on PR. Lots of sharing of techniques, getting inspiration from others to try new things or just giving you a boost when the sewing mojo starts to fade. I like how the more experienced sewers share their knowledge. I love seeing new sewers get hooked, and it is fun to watch their progress. I've made some great friends and I love hearing about what they are making
How has PatternReview helped you with your sewing?
My sewing has really improved in leaps and bounds since I've joined. Early on I'd give up on a project if I hit a snag. With PR it is so easy to search the boards, or ask a question, to keep me going. I find the enthusiasm for sewing infectious and I've been inspired other peoples work.
Any other hobbies?
Lots of outdoor activities like hiking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, cycling, gardening, watching the sunrise.
Wardrobe Contest 2010 (Trekking Treefrog)
Your profession, where do you live, etc.
I live in North East Victoria (Oz). It is a great place to live with snowfields an hour away and lots of places to go walking and paddling. We build our own mudbrick house and have just over 20 acres, which we have been slowly re-vegetating. The older plantings are getting established enough to start attracting sugar gliders and some rare birds (and lots of treefrogs).
I run my own business doing spatial modeling and custom software. I originally did electrical engineering and later studied ecology. Now I have the best of both worlds as the resident geek on a lot of environmental projects.
Is there anything else that you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I'm learning to weave at the moment. I got some samples for Linton Tweeds, and they looked similar to the weaving a friend of mine was doing. So I have this grand plan of making Chanel jacket made from something I've woven. At the moment, I'm weaving webbing to use on a messenger bag.
Thank you, treefrog!
Read treefrog’s pattern reviews.
Read treefrog’s KnipMode reviews.
Read about treefrog’s winning entries in these contests:
One Pattern, Many Looks
Ready to Wear Knockoff
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|New Simplicity Patterns Are Here!||By DianeSev on 3/4/13 11:13 AM
Meteorological Spring is here in the U.S., and official Spring’s not far behind. There’s still plenty of time to sew for that season!
Simplicity brings us more choices for our Spring wardrobe. What fabric would you use to make these fashions? Let us know!
Simplicity 1666 Misses' Dress, and Bag
Lisette Sew Your Style
Sizes 6-14, 16-24
Designed by Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S fame, this pattern combines two hot styles, peplums and pencil skirts, to give you that contemporary look. Make a coordinating bag and you’re all set to face the day!
Description: Misses' & Miss Petite fit & flare dress & peplum top have princess seams, back zipper & cap sleeves. Pencil skirt has side zipper & walking slit. Carryall bag completes the look.
Suggested Fabrics: Laundered cottons, lightweight pique and poplin, twill, sateen, crepe de Chine, laundered silks-rayons, silk linen, voile, satin, soft lightweight linen and linen blends.
Simplicity 1644 Misses' Dress
It's So Easy
This mullet dress is just what we’ve been looking for…an easy to sew pattern in a comfortable knit fabric. Don’t fancy the mullet? There’s a non-mullet option too!
Description: It's So Easy pullover knit halter dress has smooth front midriff, elasticized back and gathered skirt in knee length or long length with high-low hem.
Suggested Fabrics: Jerseys, lightweight knits, two-way stretch, novelty knits.
Simplicity 1654 Misses' Dress
Sizes 4-12, 12-20
Cynthia Rowley’s designs are so popular, and her fans will love this one too! Make the view of your choice with sleeves or without. The overstitching accents your silhouette.
Description: Misses' dress with bodice variations including optional top stitching details on bodice seams. Dress can be made sleeveless or with cap sleeves.
Suggested Fabrics: Silks and silk types, challis, crepe, crepe back satin, crepe de Chine, laundered silks-rayons, silk linen, soft lightweight linen and linen blends.
Simplicity 1655 Misses' Formal Dress
Sizes 4-12, 14-22
Strapless gowns were all the rage at this year’s Academy Awards. Look like an Oscar winner at your next formal party with one of these views. You can choose a short, mid-length or floor-length skirt. Accent the corset-style bodice a waist bow or not…it’s up to you!
Description: Misses' & Miss Petite special occasion dress & gown have strapless bodice with drop waist & side zipper. A with skirt cut from 3 fabrics. B has lace overlay, tulle ruffle & sash belt.
Suggested Fabrics: Sateen, pique, crepe, crepe back satin, silk linen, satin, shantung, taffeta, brocade. B Overlay in lace, georgette, voile, crinkled gauze.
See all the new Simplicity patterns. Buy them on sale!
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