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Giving ThanksBy Deepika on 11/25/15 8:50 PM

As PatternReview goes into its 15th year (on the 28th), I can't help but feel nostalgic and also very grateful. A simple idea which has blossomed into this kind and generous community is something I am thankful for. 

Today I want to take the time to express my gratitude and thank each and every one of you who has been a part of this community. Whether you joined on 14 years ago or today. A site like this cannot run without volunteers and I want to recognize and appreciate the efforts of these members who give their time generously on the site.  

The Moderators 

First column: Carolyn, Cynthia, Eleanor

Second Column: JEF, MissCelie 

Third Column: Lynnelle, Pyrose, Sharon

Thank you ladies for your tireless moderation on the forums. 


The Contest Committee

Clockwise from top: AnneM, Bonnie O, ClioBklyn, ConnieBJ

Thank you for not only brainstorming the rules of all the contests, setting them up, but also spending countless hours answering the questions about contests on the site. As well as judging the Sewing Bee. 


The Contest Managers

Thank you so much for managing and mentoring the indvidual contests. 

First Row: KathleenS, Jacqui315, lyndle, sewmaris

Second Row: CTBarb, michellep74, MaryDB, treefrog

Third Row: SheBear0320, marec, Quincunx, Sew Whatever

Fourth Row: LM2HYD, MrsCharisma, SuzanneSewsRVA, AnneM  

Not pictured: Rhonda Noah


The Contest Sponsors

Thank you to all these sponsors for giving away fabulous prizes for the contests this year.

Angela Wolf, Bernina, Blackbird Fabrics

Fabric Mart, Fabulous Fit, Fashion Fabrics Club

Mood Fabrics, O Jolly Sweater Knits, Patterns from the Past

Sulky, Threads Magazine


A special thanks is in order to Quincunx for helping with the mammoth task of editing the sewing machine database so we could link the reviews correctly. Thank you Samantha! Thanks also to Mvi14 and SouthernStitch for creating pattern specific tags for projects.



The Members! Every little action of yours is important. Writing reviews, adding projects, participating in contests or just voting in them, its all important and makes for a very fun community. So thank you for caring and thank you for your participation. 


A Fun Giveaway

Would you like to thank any member on PatternReview?  Tell us in the comments below how they've helped you and we will enter their name into a random drawing. On Dec. 1st we will announce 5 lucky winners (randomly) to receive complimentary Friends of PR memberships and a pattern of their choice. Make sure you enter their PatternReview name in your comment. 

15 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
sewnaomi said... (11/27/15 at 7:28 PM) Reply
I want to thank MrsCharisma for managing the sewing bee this year. Oh my goodness, I had so much fun! It was a good start back into my work/sew routine. Thanks!
MrsCharisma said... (11/27/15 at 7:20 PM) Reply
I want to thank Westmoon for giving us the joy of Burda every month! :)
Quincunx said... (11/27/15 at 2:05 AM) Reply
Another layer of thanks for the contest committee. They do ALL the work. Seriously. Running a contest was as easy as plug and play (and then follow up when gently poked by contest folk, looks like they've all already been thanked in the comments). And I am most thankful for the sewing machine reviews of zanylady who bought/fixed/sold dozens of vintage machines and reviewed them all with knowledge and love!
Dee2 said... (11/26/15 11:05 PM) Reply
SandyS for all her reviews for children's patterns and the amazing amount of sewing she does! I have enjoyed watching her little girl grow up over the years & how she adapts her choice of patterns to her children's interests & hobbies.
Melwyk said... (11/26/15 9:31 PM) Reply
I agree with Vivian, there are so many people who make PatternReview a wonderful place to be. I'll thank Prttynpnk for always making me laugh with her crazy reviews - and for pointing out patterns that I always want to try!
Judy Kski said... (11/26/15 8:23 PM) Reply
Thanks to Alpine Queen for sharing her adventures in France with us. I enjoy learning about another country through her eyes. I'd also like to thank her for the creativity she shares with everyone in her reviews and contest entries.
Sew Whatever said... (11/26/15 4:59 PM) Reply
Thanks to MadelineL for her extra little touches which are helping people think outside the box. Not just the Olympics themed Sewing Bee either!
mlsews said... (11/26/15 3:34 PM) Reply
I love reading Cabinbaby's reviews- she seems to be drawn to the same patterns I am! If only I looked as good. ;)
Kiwirose said... (11/26/15 2:28 PM) Reply
Id like to thank Mufffet for her words of wisdom on so many different topics. She is always so helpful, kind, and also funny. Thanks!
amzggal said... (11/26/15 11:13 AM) Reply
I'd like to thank Sue Parrott for her Style Arc patterns reviews. I now have a great wardrobe!
splainer said... (11/26/15 10:15 AM) Reply
I want to thank clothingengineer for her consistently superb reviews.
rtrittel said... (11/26/15 9:09 AM) Reply
I would like to thank MrsCharisma for all of her upbeat reviews (of patterns that worked and those that didn't!). She has really encouraged me to get out of my sewing rut and try new things. Many thanks!!
VivianZ said... (11/26/15 8:00 AM) Reply
What a wonderful job you all have done. Thank you all for your volunteer work in moderating or creating and managing contests, and to the sponsors. So much work goes into all this, so thank you immensely and thank you to Deepika for having the foresight and initiative to create this wonderful site that I know many appreciate and I can't imagine life without it. I am sorry I don't have one name, but it is too hard to cite just one person to thank, all I can see is the whole of it, and we would be the poorer for it if everyone didn't help out.
annem54 said... (11/26/15 3:58 AM) Reply
I'd like to thank Sarah Liz, who has been there in the background all along, and commenting on my blog, subtly supporting - and providing an incentive to move on when it was much needed. Thank you, Sarah Liz.
Samantha82 said... (11/25/15 11:36 PM) Reply
I'd like to thank marec for leading the Jacket Express sew-a-long this year. It was the kick I needed to complete the Craftsy class and the jacket, and it was a lot of fun. Thanks, marec!!
Closet Case Files Patterns now in Paper Format!By MadelineL on 11/25/15 2:28 PM

As some of you may know, Pattern Review has been carrying Closet Case Files digital patterns for quite some time now. Today I am proud to announce that Closet Case Files patterns are finally in paper format! Furthermore, designer Heather Lou has coincided the paper formatting of her patterns with the release of her new pattern, the Clare Coat!


Calcedonia has already made her coat in a grey houndstooth wool that looks chic and polished!


Need some indoor clothing too? Take a look at the Carolyn Pyjamas, Ginger Jeans, and the Nettie Dress and Bodysuit, all of which are in paper and digital formats.



Shop the Clare Coat

Shop all Closet Case Files

Filed Under: New Patterns  
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Inspiration: New to Me ContestBy MadelineL on 11/24/15 12:08 PM

The New to Me Contest 2015 starts in December 1st and I am eagerly awaiting the creation of some amazing and unique garments. Participants are asked to sew a garment using a pattern from company they have never used before. Since most of us have sewn using patterns from the Big 4 companies, here is a nice collection of awesome sewing patterns from the indie designers.

Colette 1030 Myrtle Dress

Thinking about making a dress for an upcoming holiday party or date night? Try the Myrtle dress by Colette. Colette Patterns are a great choice for those of us who need just a little extra room in the bust area. All of their top and dress patterns are drafted for ‘C’ cups in dress cup sizes. MissMarnie loved this pattern so much she made three different versions of this dress! Check out this version in royal blue with lace trim:


By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit

By Hand London makes stunning fashion-forward patterns and the Holly Jumpsuit is no exception. House of Pinheiro makes a lovely rendition in red lip print. This is a great garment to wear to a more casual party or for a night out with friends.

photo credit: House of Pinheiro blog

Sewaholic 1505 Harwood Dress

I love the Sewaholic Harwood shirtdress because it is a perfect choice for any season. Wear it now with a chunky knit sweater and matching beanie hat; finish the outfit by adding some warm tights and a pair of Mary Janes. SewingDelight makes a wonderful example of this shirtdress!

Jalie 3246 Maxi Dress and Shawl Collar Shrug

Jalie is our best-selling indie brand but for those of you who have not sewn with one of their patterns yet, I highly recommend trying it. The 3246 pattern is a great way to step into the world of Jalie. Make the shrug now for cozy evenings reading (or sewing!!) by the fireplace; make the maxi dress for warm spring days ahead. JEF makes an amazingly pretty duo.


Fehr Trade 201 Steeplechase Leggings

Fehr Trade makes an excellent legging pattern for all activewear-minded sewists out there. Best of all, this pattern comes in two formats: a tiled version for home printing and a big paper format for copy shop printing! Kathhhhhy makes three (!!!) colourful pairs of leggings with this pattern.


Tilly and the Buttons 1004 Francois Dress

Many of us are already familiar with Tilly and the Buttons’ infamous Coco dress/top, but did you know that they make the gorgeous Francois Dress too? Nicole T. makes her version of the dress in cotton sateen fit for a queen.



Sign up for the New to Me Contest 2015 today!

Filed Under: Contests  Inspiration  
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dianelwilson said... (11/24/15 8:54 PM) Reply
I'm going to try a Paprika Patterns pattern!! I'm narrowing down fabric choices now!
PR Anniversary Month Third Monday Giveaway!By MadelineL on 11/23/15 12:24 PM

It’s Monday again and we are doing our third giveaway of the month today! Janet Pray of Islander Sewing Systems gave us a package of awesome patterns to give to one lucky member!

The package contains the 225 Apron Chic Express (one size fits most), 224 Cape Super Express (sizes 2-24), 218 Jacket Express (sizes 6-36), 222 Motor City Express (sizes 2-24), 208 Men’s Islander Shirt (men’s sizes XS-4XL), and the new 221 Details Express Shirt! (men’s sizes 1X-4X)


One lucky PatternReview member has the chance to win the Islander Sewing Systems pattern package.

To enter, simply post a comment below telling us which people in your life you will be sewing for using these patterns. (can include yourself!)

Pattern Package Giveaway will close on Midnight EST on November 23rd, 2015.



1. Have a picture for your PR icon (add one here!)

2. Be a member on PR for at least 1 month

3. Have your mailing address information filled out here.

Don't want to wait Janet Phe giveaway? Buy Islander Sewing Systems patterns here!


We would like to thank Janet Pray of Islander Sewing Systems for giving these wonderful patterns.


Update November 24th: Congratulations to Mantidfly for winning the pattern package! The giveaway is now closed.

Filed Under: Giveaway  
35 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
MariePBarrese said... (11/25/15 10:17 AM) Reply
This package of patterns is awesome! The apron I would use to make for my daughter and myself. The cape, jacket and Motor City Express all for moi; the first in velvet, second in fleece and the last in leather! The men's shirt for hubbie and son and last but not least I would pass the shirt pattern on to my dear friend, Penny, who sews the most amazing shirts.
JoaniesJosh said... (11/24/15 5:37 PM) Reply
I love the jacket pattern, and have had my eye on it for a while. Would love to make the men's shirt pattern for the love of my life.
daintydeb said... (11/24/15 10:23 AM) Reply
I would use the cape pattern. Would love to win this package.
LlanoGirl said... (11/24/15 8:44 AM) Reply
I've had the men's shirt in my wish list for a LONG time, and the other patterns would be great! My husband always says "why don't you ever make something for me?" My grown girls all love to cook, so the aprons would be theirs. I have my fingers crossed!
teddysclj said... (11/24/15 6:54 AM) Reply
I've taken online classes from Janet and even had the pleasure of experiencing her expertise in person. I would love to make some shirts for my hard to fit son.
VivianZ said... (11/24/15 6:47 AM) Reply
Well quite few friends and members would benefit from these patterns. Right now I am working on a mans shirt for a friend, and it is the third pattern I've tried and the fit still isn't good, so the that would definitely be used. The 2 women's jackets would definitely be used, as they are perfect for my climate. The apron would make lovely gifts from my fabric stash!
Jennelmes said... (11/24/15 4:09 AM) Reply
My daughter has been hinting she'd like a cape and my husband could definitely do with some new shirts for work.
QuiltSewSewSue said... (11/24/15 1:34 AM) Reply
I would love to sew the moto jacket for myself after seeing some great ones in the sewing bee. I have also heard great things about the men's shirt patterns and would love to make one for my husband.
Vonnevo said... (11/24/15 1:24 AM) Reply
Having read excellent reviews of Islander Sewing Systems Patterns, I would like to sew these styles for myself and family members.
Sable said... (11/24/15 0:36 AM) Reply
A shirt for my husband and the Moto jacket for me I think.
Melwyk said... (11/24/15 0:02 AM) Reply
Same for me: the Moto jacket for myself first :) Then a shirt for my husband; I keep promising to try making him one. Love that cape too
crookedfingers said... (11/23/15 11:35 PM) Reply
Oooh! Love these patterns. I'd sew both shirt patterns for my husband and the Details shirt for my son. They both need some button downs that fit properly. The jackets & cape for me because I'm selfish like that. And the apron would be fab for my sisters. They'd look adorable in that style.
Mantidfly said... (11/23/15 11:29 PM) Reply
Jackets for myself, shirts for my husband. I think I might make the apron for myself; I've never used one before but just a week ago thought it might have been handy while cooking dinner.
LynneH said... (11/23/15 10:54 PM) Reply
The jackets for me, then I would make them for my daughters. My hubby needs a couple of new shirts.
Sew WYO said... (11/23/15 9:26 PM) Reply
What a great package! After making the jackets, apron and cape for myself, I just might make my husband a shirt!
Lisagale said... (11/23/15 9:07 PM) Reply
It would be the Moto jacket for myself! Thanks.
sewcrazee said... (11/23/15 8:21 PM) Reply
My sisters...i know one would love that cape and the other the moto jacket!!!!
OceanSew said... (11/23/15 6:59 PM) Reply
Details shirt for my 26 year old son, Islander shirt for my retired husband who wears Hawaiian style shirts even in MN winters. The rest: Meeee! I do wear aprons, and I've never owned a cape, so curious about that. Nice giveaway!
Housemom said... (11/23/15 6:54 PM) Reply
I would definitely make Islander shirts and detail shirts for my husband and son, Motor city jackets for my daughters and I, and a jacket express for my mother.
Violet01 said... (11/23/15 6:50 PM) Reply
Definitely the Motor City Jacket for me would be first. After that the Jacket Express and the Cape for both me and my daughter and the Islander shirt for my husband and son. The apron would be made as gifts.
maryfrana said... (11/23/15 6:12 PM) Reply
I would make the motor city jacket for me, the men's shirt for my sweetheart. The cape for me too! Maybe the apron for friends, but mostly it would be me, me, me.
Enerostar83 said... (11/23/15 5:10 PM) Reply
My best friend would get the apron and I would get everything else.
adelajoy said... (11/23/15 5:00 PM) Reply
My husband would get the shirt, my mom would get an apron, and I would get the moto jacket!
MVi14 said... (11/23/15 4:40 PM) Reply
I'd be sewing the moto jacket and cape for daughter and me, the shirt for DH!
PammyJ said... (11/23/15 3:57 PM) Reply
Great giveaway! :) I'd sew some of these up for sons, nephew and nieces.
margob said... (11/23/15 3:16 PM) Reply
Motojacket for me and shirt for my husband!
Judy Kski said... (11/23/15 3:01 PM) Reply
My DH would love to have a shirt from either of those patterns. A cape for my DS from the cape pattern would be a truly unexpected gift this Christmas. That apron pattern has gift giving written all over it!
Creablogger said... (11/23/15 2:41 PM) Reply
Some items for myself, a shirt for my husband and a jacket for my daughter. I love the patterns.
NancyZL said... (11/23/15 2:19 PM) Reply
Love the cape for my daughter!
SheBear0320 said... (11/23/15 2:17 PM) Reply
I'll be selfish -- the MotorCity jacket and the cape for me would definitely be at the top of the list. Then the apron pattern would be perfect for some upcoming plans for birthday gifts.
rtrittel said... (11/23/15 2:16 PM) Reply
I would sew the men's shirts for my husband, the aprons as gifts for family and friends, and the jackets and cape for me!
cinnaspice said... (11/23/15 2:09 PM) Reply
I would use the shirt pattern for my husband for our 35 yr anniversary in January. And the apron would be adorable for my hairdresser.
michellep74 said... (11/23/15 1:18 PM) Reply
I would love this package! I've been eyeing several Islander patterns for a while, so this would be a great way to jump start my collection.
MrsCharisma said... (11/23/15 1:07 PM) Reply
I have seen countless versions of that jacket and they're all awesome. I would totally make that! And I have an obsession with apron patterns :) Lastly, I've wanted to sew a shirt for my husband and I like the details in the Details Express shirt!!!
MrsCharisma replied...(11/23/15 3:00 PM)
"that" jacket being the moto :)
Vote Now in the Home Dec Contest!By MadelineL on 11/20/15 12:40 PM

Voting for the Home Dec Contest began two days ago, November 18th! For this contest, contestants were asked to one sew one decorative item for their home. Twenty entries were submitted for this contest.


The first and second prize winners will be determined by member vote and revealed at the end of the contest.  First prize receives a $100 gift certificate from Fabric Mart. Second prize receives a $50 gift certificate from Fabric Mart.



Voting for the Home Dec Contest closes Tuesday November 24th. Happy voting!

Thank you to LM2HYD for managing this contest!

Filed Under: Contests  
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Pattern Hack - Lark Tee into a Vintage TopBy froggiegirl on 11/19/15 3:35 PM

In this article

- Learn how to modify Grainline Studio's Lark Tee Pattern into a vintage looking top.

- Learn how to construct the modified garment.


I must admit that knit top patterns are one of my weaknesses. My stash is full of patterns with dozens of different neckline, sleeve and length variations.  I love being able to mix and match design elements and then pull a finished garment off the machine in a matter of hours.  So it seemed right to start off this series with a my favorite kind of quick project, a simple knit top.

The Hack

In this pattern hack I will be showing you how to convert the Grainline Studio's Lark tee into a retro looking top with a high self faced "Slashed" neckline. This design also features a self faced split faced hem and slightly shorter 3/4 sleeves.  First we'll go over the pattern drafting steps needed to change the style. Then I'll show you how to sew the modified areas of the garment. So grab your paper, pattern, and rulers and let's get started.



To recreate this pattern hack at home you will need:

- Grainline Studio's Lark pattern, specifically the Boat neck front, Boat neck back, 3/4 Sleeve pattern pieces

- Your favorite type of tracing paper

- A clear ruler

- A french curve or hip curve ruler

- Scotch tape

- Scissors

- Pen or pencil

Optional, A gridded cutting mat is helpful, but not necessary to complete the drafting.




We will be starting with the boat neck front pattern piece.

1. First we will draft the new neckline. Draw a horizontal line across the pattern 1/2" down from the bottom of the armhole. Cut the pattern apart along this line.

Drafting 1

2. Place a large piece of paper behind the lower edge of the pattern and tape it in place. Slide the upper half of the pattern towards the side seam 1", then tape in place. Now extend the CF line up to past the shoulder area.

Drafting 2

3. Place your ruler on the tip of the shoulder seam and perpendicular to the CF line.  Draw a horizontal line to connect these two points.  This will be your new neckline.

Drafting 3

4. Next we will draft a cut on facing for the neckline.  Fold the top of the paper down onto your pattern along the horizontal neckline.

Drafting 4

5. With a clear ruler trace the neckline edge and shoulder 1.5" alway to make a facing.  Also trace the armhole edge and the actual shoulder seam.

Drafting 5

6. When you unfold the pattern the facing should look like this.

Drafting 6

7. Moving down to the side seam you will need to reconnect the armhole edge. Tape some paper in that area and connect the armhole edge with the side seam with a french curve.  You can either blend the armhole into the existing side seam or nip the waist in a bit more.  In my example I've curved the side seam in an extra 1/2" at the waist area and blended to back into the hip.

Drafting 7

8. Time to shorten the shirt and give the hem it's own facing.  From the line drawn in step 1, measure down 12.5" and make a mark.  This will be your hem edge.

Drafting 8

9. Mark the hem by drawing a dashed line across the width of the pattern. Draw a notch on the side seam to make construction easier.

Drafting 9

10. Fold the bottom of the pattern up along the dashed hemline.

Drafting 10

11. Draw the edge of the facing 1.25" away from the hemline. Also trace the edge of the side seam so that facing will fit correctly when it is folded up.

Drafting 11

12. Unfolded the hem facing should look like this.

Drafting 12

13. All the changes are done to the front pattern so you can cut off all the excess paper.  You pattern should look similar to this.

Drafting 13

14.  Repeat steps 1-13 on the back pattern piece.

Drafting 14

15. Sleeve - Shorten the sleeve along the lengthen/shorten line 1.5".

Drafting 15

16. Optional - I shaved a bit of the sleeve cap off to compensate for any length that had been lost when redrawing the side seam.

Drafting 16 


My sample garment was sewn together with a serger and a coverstitch machine. You can also use a stretch stitch on the regular sewing machine for the seams and a twin needle to sew down the facings. I recommend using a knit that has some body to it so that the high neckline does not fall. For example a cotton/spandex, wool jersey, or ponte. 

1. Place the front and back right sides together, sew the shoulder seams of the main body and facing together. (The V area.)

Construction 1

2. Open the seam up with the inside of the shirt facing up.  Pull the neckline facing inside so that it lays nice and flat.  Check with your ruler that facing folded in along the neckline edge measures 1.5", pin into place.

Construction 2

3. Optional - The front and back necklines are very similar looking so you might want to put a tag or piece of ribbon in the back to tell them apart.  You can easily sandwich in a tag now before sewing down the facing.

Construction 3

4. Cover stitch or twin needle the facings in place.

Construction 4

5. Set sleeves flat in the usual way. Just make sure to get the armhole edge of the facing into the seam.

6. Before sewing the side seams the hem facing needs to be sewn. Fold the facing up and measure that it is folded at 1.25".

Construction 5

7. Sew just the facing area of the side seam. Repeat for the other 3 side seams.

Construction 6

Construction 7

8. Now sew the side seams together from the sleeve edge down to the hem facing. Stop at the hem facing notch or just a bit below it. (I like to catch the very top of the facing edge in the seam so you don't get a gap there.)

Construction 8

9. Finish the garment by heming down the facing at 1.25".

Construction 9


Note - My sample also has the following fitting adjustments added to it. 1/2" hollow chest adjustment, 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment to shoulder and sleeve cap. (Looking at the pictures it also needs a sway back adjustment.)


I hope you've enjoyed this vintage inspired hack. Come back next month for another fun hack. 

P.S. This article is part of my new column on PatternReview. You can read more about it here

13 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
carlalissa said... (11/23/15 5:36 PM) Reply
I simply adore your froggie tag!
sewinfrance said... (11/22/15 1:42 AM) Reply
Thanks for an instructive explanation. I like the folding paper way of drafting a facing, very clever!
becca a said... (11/20/15 12:13 PM) Reply
This is a clever way of changing the neckline and adding facings. I don't understand, however, why you begin by sliding the shoulder wider. What is the reason to do that? I have very narrow shoulders and am forever altering my patterns in the opposite direction to fit my frame. Thanks for the very clear photos and explanation of the process.
froggiegirl replied...(11/20/15 1:28 PM)
Hi Becca, I did make a version of this shirt without moving the shoulder over and the neckline came out looking too small. I could get it on my body but it just looked weird. However I do have normal to broad shoulders. Since a narrow shoulder adjustment is one of your normal adjustments, you could skip this step and make a test garment to see if the neckline width works for you.
Deepika said... (11/20/15 11:55 AM) Reply
The neck facing was my favorite part of this hack. So clever and very clean finish. With your clear step-by-step photos, there is no reason why anyone can't attempt it.
Jstarr4250 said... (11/20/15 11:19 AM) Reply
Great idea for a series and Heather is the perfect choice to do it! Really great photos and tutorial.
Karine said... (11/20/15 10:38 AM) Reply
Great instructions - the photos make it so clear. Thanks!
VivianZ said... (11/20/15 7:19 AM) Reply
Wow I hacked a t-shirt into a boat neck before, but your facing method is great, so much more tailored and not cheap looking. Thanks!
Danvillegirl said... (11/20/15 6:44 AM) Reply
Wow! You made this look so easy. Thanks
Horopito said... (11/20/15 2:24 AM) Reply
Very useful information very clearly explained. Thanks so much
raymed said... (11/20/15 2:19 AM) Reply
Great instructions and a really smart top. I always wondered how a slash neck is sewn.
nothy lane said... (11/19/15 5:16 PM) Reply
This is such an easy hack to follow but I wouldn't have been able to do it without the pictures. Thanks for this.
Kiwirose said... (11/19/15 4:29 PM) Reply
Great trick drafting the self facing with folded paper! I really enjoyed this hack :-) So informative & helpful, thanks.
Pattern Hack - New Monthly Column by Heather Beckley (froggiegirl)By Deepika on 11/19/15 11:47 AM

Like most pattern-o-holics I love to hack patterns. If you've seen my renditions of Jalie 2805, you know what I am talking about, don't you? Of course that doesnt stop any of us from aquiring more patterns does itJokes aside, I find pattern hacking liberating. It's a great way to teach yourself some new techniques and know that in the end, it will fit, because you started from the base pattern which you have already tried before. Its truly a win win. 

Would you like to try your hand at Pattern Hacking? 

I have great news for you. Starting today, Heather Beckley (Froggiegirl on PR) will have a monthly column on PatternReview blog and each month she will share a cool hack with us. 

I'll hand it over to Heather now. 

Hello fellow sewists. I'm Heather Beckley. Sewing has been my favorite hobby since childhood and it inspired me to earn a Fashion Design degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Once I became a stay at home mom, I starting hacking up existing patterns to keep my drafting knowledge fresh.  I don't always have the time to draft from scratch, so tweaking existing patterns has become a fun hobby which I love to share with others.  Not only does pattern hacking give you creative freedom, it also allows you to get a little more bang from your pattern purchasing buck. As a result you can end up with a garment exactly the way you want it, while learning a little pattern drafting to boot.  

I hope you'll enjoy my hacking series and that it will inspire you to take some scissors to your own patterns.


Heather will be posting her first column later today. If you'd like to subscribe to pattern hacking series, leave a comment below and we'll send you an e-mail when its posted. You can also subscribe to the PR blog and read it in your blog reader. 


Is there a hack you ever wanted to try but didn't know how to? Leave a suggestion in the comments below. 


Heather blogs at

On PatternReview you can find her projects under froggiegirl

31 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
cathydavison said... (11/25/15 3:20 AM) Reply
"Subscribe to RSS feed" doesn't work on my tablet which is how I view PR. Please let us know of another way to stay informed
Jodi Lynn said... (11/22/15 7:26 PM) Reply
Please subscribe me to the series. Thanks!
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:16 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
Kimbercrow said... (11/21/15 11:26 PM) Reply
Add me please!
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:16 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
travel4fabric said... (11/21/15 12:35 PM) Reply
I would like receive the PR blog, but cannot find out how to subscribe. Your link here is not working. I would like see everything on the blog including Heather's hacking blog. Travel4fabric [email protected]
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:16 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
NevadaGrace said... (11/20/15 10:57 AM) Reply
I would love to be included. I'm not sure if this would be considered a hack, but I've always wanted to try combining separates patterns (a top and pull-on pants) to make a jumpsuit.
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:16 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
Karine said... (11/20/15 10:37 AM) Reply
Sounds like a great series - please include me.
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:16 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
RedRockin said... (11/20/15 9:20 AM) Reply
Thanks, please include me.
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:17 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
betty bushwacker said... (11/20/15 9:05 AM) Reply
I'd be very interested too.
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:17 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
Fran G said... (11/20/15 7:23 AM) Reply
Sounds very interesting! Looking forward to reading your column.
VivianZ said... (11/20/15 7:08 AM) Reply
This should be fun and interesting!
janet said... (11/20/15 6:18 AM) Reply
I have just started hacking patterns and have had varied results. I am looking forward to your posts (-:
sewpelican said... (11/20/15 1:04 AM) Reply
Sounds fun and informative, thank you Heather
Vonnevo said... (11/20/15 0:37 AM) Reply
Looking forward to reading monthly pattern hacks.
koo104 said... (11/20/15 0:29 AM) Reply
Count me in!
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:17 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
daintydeb said... (11/20/15 0:13 AM) Reply
Great idea for a monthly blog. Let me know when she posts.
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:17 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
kitecker said... (11/19/15 6:44 PM) Reply
This is a interesting topic. Let me know when Heather posts.
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:17 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
nothy lane said... (11/19/15 5:19 PM) Reply
I love some of the really great alterations made to Colette's Albion pattern - some have added quite a bit of shaping to really make it a more flattering coat. I would love a hack on it.
Quickie said... (11/19/15 2:52 PM) Reply
I also think that I will enjoy these posts
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:17 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
Judy Kski said... (11/19/15 1:46 PM) Reply
This sounds like a very interesting topic. Let me know when each post in the series is available. I'm looking forward to Heather's first post!
MadelineL replied...(11/23/15 1:17 PM)
To subscribe, please scroll up to the top of this page. On the right hand side there will be a green button: "Subscribe to RSS Feed." Click it.
All Digital Patterns 20% off today and tomorrowBy MadelineL on 11/17/15 11:40 PM

Pattern Review’s 14th anniversary is in full swing and we are celebrating all month long. Today we would like to announce a TWO DAY SALE:

ALL digital patterns are 20% off until Thursday November 19th, midnight EST.


Here are some of our best-selling patterns and why you should try them out.


1. Grainline Studio 11004 Archer Shirt

Our most popular button down shirt, Grainline’s Archer shirt consistently gets excellent reviews from Pattern Review members.  Make the perfect button down for work or for hanging around at home. We love swirlgirl’s version.

2. Pattern Review 104 Ina Maxi Skirt

Our next pattern is by far the most popular digital skirt pattern. Everybody could use a good maxi skirt and Pattern Review’s Ina is a great choice for almost everybody. TinaLea makes a beautiful rendition of the skirt that can go from casual day to date night in a cinch.


3. Pattern Review 103 Winter Street Dress

In recent months Pattern Review’s Winter Street dress has become our most popular digital dress pattern. It’s easy to see why: it can be customized in a million ways! Helenabee adds a turtle neck to her gorgeous green dress.


4. Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans

Jalie might be our customer favorite for paper pattern jeans but the Closet Case Files Ginger jeans is by far our most favored digital jeans pattern. siaramartin made an amazing pair of jeans with this pattern.


5. Tilly and the Buttons 1003 Coco

One of our most reviewed casual knit top patterns, Tilly and the Buttons’ Coco takes the cake in versatility. pigsinpajamas makes a cute dress in floral brights.


6. Paprika Patterns Jasper Sweater Dress

What should one wear for winter? Why Paprika’s Jasper of course! For those of us who live in semi-cold climates, it’s a great outerwear piece that takes you through the entire winter in style. For those of us who live in really cold climates, it makes a good sweater/hoodie/sweaterdress for lounging around the house or for layering under the biggest, warmest, most insulated parka you can find. We are amazed by Lori V’s navy blue sweater.



Today and Tomorrow if you buy any Digital Pattern on PatternReview you can save 20%! Click the button below to start shopping. Intimidated by Digital Patterns? Read our step-by-step tutorial on how to assemble the digital patterns at home


Shop digital patterns

Filed Under: Inspiration  Sales and Promotions  
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Kiwirose said... (11/18/15 2:08 PM) Reply
there really is something for everyone here! thanks again, PR :-)
Last Day Class Sale! All Online Classes 30% Off!By MadelineL on 11/17/15 11:49 AM

We’re extending our class sale so tomorrow will be the last day of our Online Class sale!

Want a gift for a loved one who is a beginner sewist? Deepika teaches Sewing Basics, an excellent class that gives the novice sewist all the essential information to start sewing.

For intermediate and advanced sewists looking to make opulent garments, The Contemporary Couture Jacket is a class that can help you take your sewing skills to new heights.


Hurry – this great deal won’t last long! Sale ends at midnight on Wednesday November 18th.

Register for classes

Filed Under: Sales and Promotions  
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PR Anniversary Month Second Monday Giveaway!By Deepika on 11/16/15 10:58 AM

It’s Monday and we are doing our second giveaway of the month today!

Interweave/F+W gave us a 3-book package to give to one lucky member!

The package contains Boundless Style: A Mix-and-Match Sewing Pattern Workbook, Stitch, Wear, Play: 20 Charming Patterns for Boys and Girls, and The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques.


One lucky PatternReview member has the chance to win the book package from Interweave/F+W!

To enter, simply post a comment below telling us what kinds of garments you would make like to make using these books.

Book Giveaway will close on Midnight EST on November 17th, 2015.



1. Have a picture for your PR icon (add one here!)

2. Be a member on PR for at least 1 month

3. Have your mailing address information filled out here.


Don't want to wait on the giveaway? Get these awesome books from the Interweave Store here!


We would like to thank Interweave/F+W for giving these wonderful books.

Update November 18th

Congratulations to mmmberry for winning this giveaway. She was picked from a random draw.

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Inspiration: Layering Pieces for AutumnBy MadelineL on 11/13/15 1:27 PM

Summer has gone by and autumn, a season known for unpredictable weather, is in full swing. Many of us live in climates where autumn temperatures are warm during the day and very chilly at night. So what is a sewist to do when the weather seems to have multiple personalities?

top row: PR Winter Street DressNamed Clothing Sara Ankle Zip LeggingsNew Look 6378

second row: New Look 6217Kwik Sew 3636

bottom row: Simplicity 1318McCall’s 6708


I have compiled a few awesome pieces that can take you from warm sunny days to cold blustery nights in style. Here is a rundown of some of the handiest garments around and why you should have them in your closet:

1. Kimonos

Kimonos are awesome and super comfortable layering pieces. They are the perfect top layer for those of us who live in climates where the temperature changes frequently and days are hot while nights are cold. They look good in almost any fabric type and are easy to make. Three of the most popular kimono patterns on Pattern Review are the New Look 6378 and the Simplicity 1318 and the New Look 6217. All are excellent choices to wear to school, to work at a more casual office, or for taking a stroll outside on the weekends.


princessluv2sew created this beautiful and richly coloured cotton kimono with Indian-print. She used the New Look 6378.


Glamourai is also rocking kimono fashion with her wear-everywhere rendition of Simplicity 1318.


The New Look 6217 is one of the favourites here on Pattern Review. PrettyTallStyle made hers in an extra long length to suit her tall figure.


2. Cardigans

Unlike kimonos, cardigans are already part of most people’s wardrobes. However, my current cardigans are, well, basic and this article features clothing that is anything but basic. How to make an unbasic cardigan? Take a look at these sewists and their lovely cardigans.

top row: Jalie 3353McCall’s 6708

bottom row: Muse Jenna, Muse Sophie

Sue Parrott ditches dowdy colours and goes all out in tropical brights. Her two McCall’s 6708 cardigans are delightful in guava pink and aqua blue. One of the best things about her aqua cardigan is that it is made from a lightweight poly crochet, perfect for cool but not bone-cold autumn days!


This next cardigan is the ultimate versatile piece. artysam has made the wonderful Jalie 3353 cocoon cardi, which is a hybrid of cozy cardigan and breezy kimono.


Many of us know about Muse Patterns’ Jenna Cardi, but did you know that Muse also carries the Sophie Cardi? Make a traditional crew neck button up cardigan like Melissa B in WA, or branch out and explore the v-neck version and the zip-up version with collars.


3. The Perfect Autumn Dress

Want a non-summer dress? Have a go at Pattern Review’s own Winter Street Dress. It’s an easy-to-sew knit dress with only 4 pattern pieces! ehashley makes a gorgeous version of the dress in royal blue and a gold print!


4. Leggings

left: Kwik Sew 3636, right: Named Clothing Sara Ankle Zip Leggings

How to complete a dress and kimono/cardi combo outfit? Rock a pair of leggings! With autumn come cooler temperatures so leggings are great transition piece between bare legs and heavy jeans. Kwik Sew’s 3636 are a perfect wardrobe staple; dinagideon makes hers in bright red!


We think that the Named Clothing 05-032 Sara Ankle Zip Leggings are very alternative chic; they have centre seams which are chic and different. Eli cat makes two amazing versions; one in leopard print and one with cross leather lacing up the back!




With these fun autumn projects, you will have so many options to choose from!


Shop Patterns

Filed Under: Inspiration  
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Cookie101 said... (11/18/15 7:53 PM) Reply
Love the long blue kimono
iloveasunnyday said... (11/18/15 11:26 AM) Reply
This was so helpful to see the patterns made up in their various forms!! Please do more of these!!
Chiffon Queen said... (11/15/15 8:03 AM) Reply
Great post, v helpful thanks.
artysam said... (11/15/15 5:09 AM) Reply
great post, thank you x
Danvillegirl said... (11/14/15 8:16 AM) Reply
Most inspiring! I needed that~
Tiesje said... (11/13/15 5:16 PM) Reply
Thanks for the inspiration! I love wearing cardigans and think I really need to put the Sophie Cardi on my list.
Jstarr4250 said... (11/13/15 3:17 PM) Reply
What a great inspiration filled post! Love every one of these looks.
Vote for the 2016 ContestsBy Deepika on 11/12/15 3:10 PM

It is that time of the year. When we collectively decide which contests will happen in the next year. So based on your suggestions on this topic and the overall popularity of the contests we've hosted in the last two years, we've designed this survey for you to vote on.

From this list, pick 7 contests you'd like to enter next year. Based on your votes, the contest committee will come up with the lineup for the whole year!


Help us decide! It's only going to take a couple minutes to weigh in.


Take the Contest Survey

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PR Anniversary Month Second Sale Wednesday!By MadelineL on 11/11/15 12:40 PM

As we announced at the beginning of the month, Pattern Review’s 14th anniversary is this month and to celebrate we are having a different sale announced every Wednesday this month. Last Wednesday we started with our Friends of PR pattern sale; today we are happy to announce that ALL of our online classes are 30% off until Tuesday November 17th at midnight EST.

Been trying to figure out how to sew buttons and buttonholes? Let our awesome instructor Sarah Veblen help you out. Her class teaches you how to sew buttons and buttonholes with computerised sewing machines, traditional sewing machines, and by hand.

Everybody who sews has alterations that they’d like to make. How does one make a pattern fit for petites? What about a full bust adjustment? Or a swayback adjustment? Pattern Review members love Sarah Veblen’s Pattern Work class because it teaches you how to adjust a commercial sewing pattern to fit your unique shape.


Register for Sewing Classes

Filed Under: Sales and Promotions  
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Winners of the Sweater Knit Contest 2015By MadelineL on 11/10/15 4:18 PM

The Sweater Knit Contest 2015 has concluded! Participants for this contest were encouraged to sew a garment out of sweater knit fabric. Contestants had one month to sew their garments and Pattern Review members voted to decide the first prize winner. A random winner was also selected.

Let’s see who won!

First Prize Winner: ArtAttack for her Muse 1401 Jenna Cardi


ArtAttack says:This is one of the most versatile patterns I have ever owned. The design possibilities are endless. The fit is great, it's quick and easy to put together and the style is timeless. Her techniques for the neck and front bands really give a RTW finish. What's not to love?”

Random Prize Winner: SusanK50 for her McCall’s 7194 Top


SusanK50 says: “My favorite part is the diagonal seam across the body with the fabric going different directions above and below - it makes it more interesting!”


Congratulations to all who participated in the Sweater Knit Contest 2015!

Special thanks to our Contest Manager, Quincunx for managing this contest.

Thank you also to our sponsor O! Jolly!


Follow the participant chat.

Want to see what others made? Browse the contest gallery.


Currently running…Sign up for the Sewing for Children Contest today!


Starting soon…Sign up for the Color Blocked Contest!

Filed Under: Contests  
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francescape said... (11/12/15 4:57 PM) Reply
Congratulations! Your sweaters are beautiful!
Rhoda K said... (11/12/15 11:28 AM) Reply
Congrats to the winners and kudos to all who entered.
slmstyle said... (11/12/15 10:49 AM) Reply
Awesome job! Congratulations!
PattyE said... (11/12/15 8:44 AM) Reply
Congrats ladies!
Jstarr4250 said... (11/11/15 11:08 PM) Reply
Beautiful job on this one, Dorcas. Congratulations on a beautifully made sweater and truly inspired fabric choices.
krafts said... (11/11/15 8:27 AM) Reply
Congratulations to both! Such lovely creations, must start sewing with sweater knits.
tryntsje said... (11/11/15 6:35 AM) Reply
Congratulations to you both.
Danvillegirl said... (11/11/15 5:08 AM) Reply
Congratulations to ArtAttack!!!
Utta Retch said... (11/11/15 3:50 AM) Reply
Congratulations, ArtAttack. This is a really accomplished ensemble.
SusanK50 said... (11/11/15 3:39 AM) Reply
I can't believe I am so lucky to win the random prize- there were so many beautiful entries and I'm so inspired! Thank you so much! Congratulations Artattack- you made such a gorgeous and perfectly fitting sweater!
Sew WYO said... (11/11/15 0:31 AM) Reply
Congratulations! Beautiful job!
SewLibra said... (11/11/15 0:29 AM) Reply
Congratulations to you both! These are stylish tops, for sure. ArtAttack, I love the details and polished look!
wildberrymom said... (11/11/15 0:06 AM) Reply
chenille said... (11/10/15 10:49 PM) Reply
MrsCharisma said... (11/10/15 9:35 PM) Reply
ArtAttack said... (11/10/15 8:31 PM) Reply
I'm thrilled! There were so many outstanding entries and I had already chosen a winner. It was certainly not me! Congratulations to SusanK50 and to everyone who entered. Special thanks to Quin for managing this contest and O!Jolly! for the great prize. I'm so flattered by the win and really appreciate the support from my PR friends. What a great group we have! Dorcas
Judy Kski said... (11/10/15 7:55 PM) Reply
Congratulations to ArtAttack and SusanK50!
Last Day Friends of PR Pattern Sale! All major pattern company patterns 30% off!By MadelineL on 11/10/15 12:05 PM

Today is the last day of our special sale!

Friends of Pattern Review members get 30% off all major pattern company patterns: BurdaButterickKwik SewMcCall’sNew Look,Simplicity, and Vogue.

Pick up the new Butterick Winter 2015-2016 collection today! So many elegant winter patterns!


But hurry, because this sale ends tonight at midnight!

Friends of PR members will receive free domestic shipping or discounted international shipping on your order of $25 or more


Hurry – this great deal won’t last long!

Filed Under: Sales and Promotions  
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PR Anniversary Month First Monday Giveaway!By MadelineL on 11/9/15 11:37 AM



As we announced on Friday November 6th, we will be doing our first giveaway of the month today! Jennifer Stern of J Stern Designs gave us two wonderful pattern packages to give to our lovely members!

Each package contains three items: 1 tee pattern, 1 Perfectly Fitted Shirt pattern, and 1 jeans pattern. We will be giving away one package with all patterns in the 6-14 size range and the other package with all patterns in the 16-24 size range.



Two lucky PatternReview members have the chance to win pattern packages from J Stern Designs!

To enter, simply post a comment below telling us which package size range you would prefer.

Book Giveaway will close on Midnight EST on November 9th, 2015.



1. Have a picture for your PR icon (add one here!)

2. Be a member on PR for at least 1 month

Don't want to wait on the giveaway? Get Jennifer Stern’s patterns here! or from her website.


Update November 10th

Congratulations to chenille and happysquirrel for winning the pattern packages! The giveaway is now closed.


We would like to thank Jennifer Stern for giving us these wonderful pattern packages.


Reminder: Pattern Sale ends tomorrow

Filed Under: Giveaway  
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Pattern Review Anniversary Month Sales and Giveaways!By MadelineL on 11/6/15 1:33 PM

November 28th will be our 14th anniversary and to celebrate we are going to be doing promotions and giveaways all month long!

To start things off, Friends of Pattern Review memberships will be 14% off ALL MONTH! With a Friends of PR membership, you will get 10% of all merchandise from, eligibility for VIP card at Jo-Ann’s (10% off all merchandise there), free shipping on all US orders of $25+, Pattern Review’s own Linda Top pattern, and so much more…

Every Monday we will be doing a mystery giveaway! Stay tuned on our blog as we unfurl the wonderful goodies we are about to send your way.

Every Wednesday we will have a mystery sale! Going on right now, Friends of PR members are able to get 30% off all patterns from the major pattern companies: Burda, Butterick, Kwik Sew, McCall’s, New Look, Simplicity, and Vogue until November 10th.


Get your Friends of PR membership


Filed Under: Sales and Promotions  
3 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
lakaribane said... (11/10/15 7:04 AM) Reply
Wow, this anniversary is going to be fun! Please enter my name for a 6-14 package.
rtrittel said... (11/7/15 7:44 AM) Reply
Happy Anniversary PR! What fun - thanks for sharing the fun with us!
Samantha82 said... (11/6/15 11:10 PM) Reply
Super exciting!!
Member in Focus - GuineveresmomBy MadelineL on 11/5/15 2:48 PM

This month we introduce to you Cari Espinoza, aka guineveresmom from the wonderful state of Oregon. Cari is known on Pattern Review for her amazing fashions inspired by the 1940’s, 1950’s, and early 1960’s vintage and pinup styles. Here are some of the highlights from her life and her sewing…

Member Since: 2012

PR Name: guineveresmom

Name: Cari Espinoza

Birthday: August 21



How did you learn to sew?

According to my mom, I started out playing quietly with her notions while she sewed. When I was not quite two years old, she had two pin cushions and she could occupy me for quite some time by letting me move all her pins from one of her pin cushions to the other one and back. When I got a little older, she started teaching me the basics of sewing. When I was about 11 or 12, I started wanting to seriously be able to sew any and everything I could think of, so I gradually did. My mom was a great resource as I learned, and still is when the occasion calls for it.

What aspect of sewing do you find most challenging?

I think fitting is my current downfall. I'm not the same shape as I was when I was first learning to sew, and it feels much more obvious when things don't fit well than it did when I was younger. I tend to want to get right to the sewing part of my projects, so I find it difficult to put the time and effort into adjusting fit before I get going. Sometimes I really suspect I might be a terribly lazy seamstress.


Which sewing book do you refer to most often?

I have a Vogue Sewing Book from the 1970's. It includes some silliness (such as when it waxes poetic about the "modern feel" of men's velvet blazers), but the basics of fitting and techniques haven't changed over the decades and I find that if I have a question, it usually addresses it in a straightforward way.


What type of sewing machine do you currently have? Would you recommend it to others?

I have a couple of machines. The main one I use is a Singer 500A (Rocketeer). I bought it from Ebay, but it's the same kind of machine as the one I originally learned on. It's a good, sturdy machine, so I originally bought mine thinking it would be good to teach my kids on; it definitely works well for that, but I use it far more than the kids do. I do recommend this machine when others ask me about getting a machine for themselves. They are fairly inexpensive and fairly easy to find and things like new bobbins and presser feet are readily available since they still make these to fit the old machines.

I also have a Viking Husqvarna 310. It's a decent starter machine and I still use it some of the time. It doesn't always sew as neatly as my Singer so I use it less than I did before I got the Singer. I think it gets the most use when I'm making jeans or other projects that involve two kinds or colors of thread. It saves me a lot of time and annoyance having two machines set up and not having to change threads all the time for those projects.

My other machine is a Janome 3434D serger. This is not a fancy or very expensive serger, but I've put it through a lot of work over the past few years since I got it and I've managed not to break it. When I wear it out, I don't know that I'll replace it with exactly the same thing, since I know I use it all the time. When the time comes, I'll probably spring for an upgrade. For someone who isn't sure if they'll use it or is looking for an inexpensive option, this is a great machine for the money.


How would you describe your personal style for the garments you create?

Vintage-flavored but quirky, lady-like but playful.


What are your sewing goals for this year?

I absolutely must use up a lot of fabric so I can fit what I have all on one shelving system. It would be very helpful if I'd stop acquiring more while I'm working on this, but I'm not sure I can completely keep incoming fabrics away. They seem to sneak into my basement and multiply of their own volition.

I also want to make my husband the peacoat of his dreams to wear this winter. I'm feeling a lot of pressure to make this project turn out just right, so it feels like a major goal even though it won't be the first coat I've ever made.

Pick your favorite pattern (only one please):

I hate when I get asked this question. It's always so hard to just pick one. I'm going to go with By Hand London's Anna dress. I've made it at least 5 times and wear all of them. It's a style that appeals to many ages and works on many body types. Depending on fabric, it suits both casual and more dressy occasions and, at least where I live in Oregon, I can pretty much wear this style year-round. I have firm plans to make at least 2 more of these, which tells me that its holding its appeal well for me.


What you love most about PatternReview?

Of course, the option to easily find patterns I'm thinking of making and see what issues I might run into before I start in on a project is the first thing I love about the site. The other thing I really love is how many different people of all ages and sizes and experience levels are showing off their creations. It's a different flavor than a lot of other forums that have a more narrow focus, and it makes for fun browsing.


Any other favourite hobbies?

I have a husband and three kids, so a lot of my leisure time is spent with them doing various activities as a family. When I'm on my own, I read voraciously. I like romantic stories, classic novels, and history so long as it’s the kind that includes details about ordinary people not just details about events or how they affected a few famous or wealthy people. I knit when I'm too tired or distracted to sew. I like to cook too, which is good because my family tends to like to eat.

Thank you for sharing with us, guineveresmom! We love how you make lovely clothes for your entire family!


Connect with guineveresmom on PR and see more of her reviews in her review Gallery.


Filed Under: Member in Focus  
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Vicki330 said... (11/12/15 8:38 AM) Reply
Kari, I really like your style and fabric choices. I enjoyed how you coordinated you and your daughter dresses. Simply fabulous!
stirwatersblue said... (11/12/15 0:41 AM) Reply
Great interview! Fun to see the gallery of your machines. All of your work is gorgeous, but... love love love the bathing suit. :D
WheelyBad said... (11/11/15 9:40 PM) Reply
Hi Cari, I love the dresses you've made, very inspirational. I've never found shop brought dresses that I feel comfortable in and I love the vintage styles of the mid 20thC. My favourite outfit from the interview is the one with the floral top and green skirt, so elegant but not too formal. I brought the updated Vogue sewing book, it's a brilliant resource for sewers of all abilities, Ive learnt so much from it. I get the fabric multiplying problems too. If I see a fabric with a great pattern I buy it! Your 500a is awesome, so of its time.
Eg1976 said... (11/11/15 11:01 AM) Reply
Great interview! I'm a fabric hound myself and it's so hard to purge, so I feel you!
Sunnie49 said... (11/11/15 8:43 AM) Reply
I love this feature on PatternReview - it's always so interesting to get to know another sewer. Cari, your sewing is ab-fab - all of the outfits shown here are brilliant but I have to say I'm especially partial to the bathing costume, the incredible striped dress, and everything your gorgeous children are modelling! Love-love-love your Singer:)
Sue Parrott said... (11/10/15 6:09 PM) Reply
So nice to learn more about you! You make beautiful clothing!
chenille said... (11/9/15 12:32 PM) Reply
Thanks for sharing, I like your style!
sewnaomi said... (11/7/15 9:31 AM) Reply
Enjoyed your sewing story. I wish you many sewing years to come.
sewcrazee said... (11/6/15 11:13 AM) Reply
So nice to learn about your style!!!....
Alpine Queen said... (11/6/15 10:12 AM) Reply
Ah, memories of a DH and three kids, sewing all the time, and reading in between. What a life, eh? You can keep the cooking part, though. Nice to meet you.
Baja Susana said... (11/6/15 8:50 AM) Reply
, felicidades on being focused. You have a wonderful style, and I LOVE the striped knit dress. I perused your entire gallery. My daughter loved to pick up my pins, and to this day at age 40 something, she says when she visits she can smell my pins! Congratulations again!
Nancy Rhodes said... (11/6/15 8:37 AM) Reply
So glad to meet you.... StitchOn!
Danvillegirl said... (11/6/15 5:09 AM) Reply
Great background post and your garments are lovely!
EleanorSews said... (11/6/15 2:00 AM) Reply
You have lovely style. It's fun to see that everyone in your family benefits from your talents. I think there may be at least one discussion on PR about making a true pea coat; do check that out as another resource when you're getting started on your husband's jacket.
hibihai said... (11/5/15 10:32 PM) Reply
Bet your kids are the best dressed for miles around! So cute. Thanks for sharing your story and your machines. Rocking!
AZGreyGirl said... (11/5/15 6:58 PM) Reply
What a great story! I love your style.
Krista said... (11/5/15 3:33 PM) Reply
Love your beautiful and fun vintage style, Cari! (And I covet your Singer Rocketeer.)
Vote Now in the Sweater Knit Contest 2015 By MadelineL on 11/3/15 3:03 PM

Voting for the Sweater Knit Contest 2015 begins today, November 3rd! For this contest, contestants were asked to sew one garment made from a sweater knit fabric. The quality of the entries is astounding! So many great items to choose from!


The first prize winner will be determined by member vote and revealed at the end of the contest.  First prize receives a $100 gift certificate to O Jolly. A random winner will also be selected and will receive a $75 gift certificate to O Jolly.


Voting for the Sweater Knit Contest closes Monday November 9th. Happy voting!


Thank you to Quincunx for managing this contest!

Filed Under: Contests  
3 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
tiadia said... (11/4/15 3:39 PM) Reply
Wow! So many to vote for!
Nancy Rhodes said... (11/4/15 10:03 AM) Reply
OMGoodness! So many entries! Just looking at the tiny thumbnail photos is almost overwhelming. Success!! to so many.
PattyE said... (11/3/15 10:46 PM) Reply
Quincunx, thank you so much for managing this contest. Good luck everyone!
Sewing Machines for BeginnersBy MadelineL on 11/2/15 4:10 PM

The sewing machine is the centerpiece of every sewist’s arsenal of tools and supplies. However, the sewing machine market can be ultra-confusing to the beginner sewist. There are duds and there are gems; there are expensive machines and there are affordable machines. We hope this handy guide will help the beginner sewists out there and those who are helping a friend or family member get started in sewing.

What do you want from a basic sewing machine?

After reading many machine reviews from beginner sewists, here are the top three things mentioned as “must-haves” in a sewing machine:

  1. Affordable. Many beginner sewists are most comfortable plunking down less cash (or none at all!) for their first sewing machine.
  2. Durable. Ideally, breakdowns would never happen at all. If they do happen, they should be scarce and cheap to fix.
  3. Easy to transport and/or lightweight. This is especially important for those of us who take sewing classes and need to transport our machines to and from.

The Favorite

Pattern Review members who list themselves as “Beginners” use Brother CS-6000i more often than any other sewing machine. At under $150 retail price, this computerized machine has it all for the beginner sewist.


   Read Member Reviews for CS-6000i

JennMY says: “This is a very user-friendly machine that is great for the serious beginner. It has a drop-in bobbin and computerized stitch selection…The machine is easy to thread and there are little numbered steps on the machine itself to help you learn…Selecting a stitch, width and length are very easy- the screen will even tell you what presser foot to use. The automatic buttonhole setting is a wonderful feature to have and it works great…it is very well made and durable. The whole set-up is extremely light weight- I can pick it up and move it with only one hand, which is great…I have pushed this machine farther than I thought it would go…I have recommended this machine to my best friend and my mother-in-law and they now both have one!”

For Young Sewists

I learned machine sewing when I was 12 and I would have loved having a machine specifically tailored to me at that stage. These next sewing machines were designed with the young sewist in mind.


  Read Member Reviews for SewMini 124

The Janome SewMini 124 is marketed as a great starter machine for teen and pre-teen sewists. You can easily buy a new one online for under $60 and it weighs only 5 lbs.! neaner says: “Bought this for my 10 yo niece. Didn't think it would be much of an investment if she decided she really didn't want to continue. But it was wonderful!! Very nice manual, explains a lot. Love the fact it has a drop in bobbin because I figured that would be the first thing a youngster who is never around a sm would get discouraged by. Has a very nice set speed. Stitches very well, winds a nice bobbin. The size is great too. Very light weight and compact, it fits into a reusable grocery bag!! She loves it and took it home. I was sort of disappointed so I bought one for myself!”


   Read Reviews for Hello Kitty 11706

Beginner sewists and all fans of Hello Kitty will love the Janome Hello Kitty 11706. Available at retail stores for around $120, “The Hello Kitty is a fully function 3/4 model that is perfect for the beginning sewist! It offers a free arm and a carry handle for easy portability. This 12-lb. machine offers 11 stitches, including 2 stretch stitches and a built-in buttonhole.” twinnie808 says: “I love this sewing machine! It winds bobbins perfect and sews smooth and quiet. Instructions to wind the bobbin and thread the machine are given in the illustrated manual. It's so lightweight and portable. Perfect for teaching children or beginners to sew. I got this for my daughters ages 6 and 10 and they love it! They tried sewing on my Viking but it was a little too fast for them to control. In my opinion, I think the speed on this machine is perfect.”

The Classic

In the sewing community Singer brand is known for producing excellent vintage machines. What is wonderful about vintage Singer machines is that they have stood the test of time. They are in a class of their own when it comes to durability. How to get one for cheap? Look for them at “schools getting rid of home ec machines. Garage sales. Church sales.” Estate Sales. Shake your family tree and see if an older relative has one. If you can get your hands on one of these models, you will have a trusty sewing machine for life.


   Read Reviews for Featherweight 221

Pattern Review members love the Singer Featherweight 221. JillyBe says: “Everything that it does, it does very very well. It's a straight stitch machine, and it does the most beautiful straight, consistent topstitching you can ask for…The extra feet and attachments allow an amazing amount of flexibility to do so much more than just a straight stitch. The buttonholer gives a gorgeous buttonhole. A good walking foot helps with all sorts of potentially problematic fabrics… At 13 pounds, a Featherweight is easy to carry around to classes, or room to room. The case is designed well to protect it for transport or storage. The fact that there are still so many of these still going strong after 50-80 years speaks to how well-made they were!”

For Advanced Beginners

For those of us with a bit more sewing experience, it may be the wisest choice to go with a sewing machine with more bells and whistles. These next sewing machines give the advanced beginner more options and automatic functions.


  Read Member Reviews for Stylist 7258

You may have learned sewing on a simpler machine; now might be the time when you get your own machine to take you to new sewing heights! The Singer Stylist 7258 comes with a ton of automatic functions for under $200! mcurk says: “I love the needle threader. The automatic tension works wonderfully. The stitch length allows a basting stitch of 4.8, which is easier to remove than a 4. The buttonholer works well when set up properly. The variable speed control is wonderful for a beginner.”

   Read Reviews for Harmony 8080

The Janome Harmony 8080 was a model specifically produced to be sold at Sears stores. It was based on the Janome DC3050 but at a much more affordable price. Whereas the DC3050 goes for around $450, the Harmony could be gotten for only ~$300. Mini says: “The 8080 has all the features I really need, plus a few extras to play around with. The stitch quality on all stitches is fine, just as I expected based on my previous Janome experience. Ergonomic design is the latest trend (or fad) in sewing machines, and this machine looks very streamlined and efficient. Looks don't deceive, because I am finding this machine even easier to operate than my 3123.”

The Best Value

Want a hassle free sewing machine for less than $80? The Brother LS-2125i has all the basics and is easy to use. My mother bought me this one as my first machine. I mend clothes, make clothes, and even make elaborate cosplays with this machine. Thirteen years later, I can honestly say that I have had zero problems with this machine. If you want a basic machine that goes the distance, is easy to afford, and is easy to transport (weighs only 13 lbs.), the LS-2125i is for you.

   Read Member Reviews for LS-2125i


Still deciding as to which sewing machine is right for you? Use the Advanced Search function for sewing machines or post a question on the Sewing Machines board in our forums. Wanna learn more about how to operate your new sewing machine? Take the Sewing Basics online class!

Filed Under: Sewing Machine Highlights  Tutorial  
5 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
karen149 said... (11/17/15 4:05 PM) Reply
If this article pertains to new sewing machines, some of this information is out-of-date. For instance, the Janome Harmony 8080 is no longer being sold. Sears no longer makes any Kenmore brand sewing machines.
MadelineL replied...(11/17/15 4:34 PM)
This article pertains to both new and older models of sewing machines. It pertains to new *sewists*, not necessarily sewing machines. A lot of new sewists find that getting an older model of sewing machine that they buy second-hand is just as good as buying a new model. Thus, I included models that you can buy new and models that you can buy second-hand.
Felisa Cino said... (11/5/15 6:21 AM) Reply
Bel blog! Articolo E 'davvero informativo e utile Grazie per aver condiviso queste preziose cose su macchina da cucire. Ho comprato anche questo tipo di macchina dal negozio "sewshop" online.Keep blogging!
lilwren72 said... (11/4/15 8:20 PM) Reply
This is a great resource! I have the Janome Gem for classes ( similar to hello kitty), lightweight, works great and so affordable- The other options suggested would be fun to check out!
Barbara Allino said... (11/2/15 5:08 PM) Reply
This is great info for beginners and also for sewers who just like to have an extra machine. I personally wanted all of the machines mentioned. LOL

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