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It's a big, emotional, heart-full-of-gratitude week over here. Yesterday marked exactly five years to the day that Indiesew was launched to the sewing community after six months in development! It simultaneously feels like we've been working at this dream for a decade and also for about six months. I can describe it in no other words than it's been a ride.

Here are some flashbacks from the early years:

When we launched Indiesew in 2014 there were only a handful of indie sewing pattern designers on the market. There were even fewer online stores selling apparel fabrics. The industry was (and still is) growing at a fast clip and we felt like our idea was needed. Five years later, I'm so happy that so many of you still find value in Indiesew! We're working hard to continue to bring you value in the hobby that is so meaningful to each of us.

Five years in, Indiesew is still very much a small business: right now, it's just me, two very part-time employees, and one part-time contract web developer on our team. We are so grateful for every customer who has made a purchase on Indiesew. Where you spend your dollars does make a difference.

To show our appreciation for all of your support, we're having a sitewide 20% off sale through Monday, May 27th. Use coupon code FIVEYEARS at checkout to receive the discount. Collections and gift cards are excluded in this promotion. Please make sure to enter the coupon code at checkout, as we're not able to honor the discount retroactively.

Shop Now >

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for keeping us going for five years. So much love for you all. Sew on, friends.

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My involvement in the Indiesew community started 3.5 years ago, when Allie reached out to me, asking me to do a guest post on the Indiesew blog (my FIRST indie pattern!). Looking back makes me realize just how far I’ve come since then, because I remember the exact post I had just written on my own blog when she emailed me…and it wasn’t very good. Haha. But Allie must have seen that I was making an effort and was serious about getting better at sewing, and she welcomed me with open arms! I will be completely grateful to her and Indiesew for a VERY long time.

Looking back at my earlier work is pretty painful, and I just cringe because I still remember the frustration… true and utter frustration I had at the beginning — and my beginning lasted for probably about 2 years. I felt SO LOST, as you do with any new hobby, right? I was pregnant and postpartum for about half of that time, so that made it hard to focus on fitting things to my body, and there were months when I couldn’t sew very much.

In those first 2 years, it took sewing roughly 20-30 full on garments to start “getting it”. Let that sink in if you’re a beginner, okay? I can count on one hand the number of things I’ve kept out of those 20-30 items, so let that sink in too. When I think about the frustration I felt, and how many times I threw things, or had to put something down for a day or two, I remember that I came back to it because I LOVED sewing. I was determined! And I wanted so badly to love it more and to not be so frustrated with it. I also remember how looooong it took to make those first things. In one of my blog posts for a simple knit dress with a gathered skirt, I wrote that it took me around 8 hours to make...Thankfully I can say I can shave a few hours off of that now, AND the dress will be much more wearable, AND I’ll probably use better fabric. Can you relate to this?

We are all at different stages of our sewing journey, and it’s so important to remember to pack some extra patience and grace for yourself some days. And sewing is such a broad craft that you could learn techniques and skills in forever! So unless you decided to stick with making one thing for the rest of your life, you are going to be a beginner in at least parts of your sewing a for a long time — like I’ve been for the past month! 

I made my FIRST pair of jeans last month, and when I was done I thought I was going to take a break from denim... but when I saw the amazing mid indigo denim in the Indisew shop, I thought “what the heck”, and decided to make a pair of Chi-Town Chinos (Expansion Pack No.1)! I’ve actually had this pattern and the expansion pack for a while now, and I knew I wanted to make these shorts, but I didn’t really have a plan for when. Thankfully Allie has her nifty blog post about fabric weight, because when I first looked at the weight of the denim I had NO idea what it meant! I saw on the chart that the denim was actually really lightweight since it was at the lower end of denim weight. I also recently asked the sewing community what fabric they love making their Chi-Town shorts out of, and the most popular answer was linen, but this fabric is 100% cotton, which is also really breathable for those hot summer months.

Before I cut the fabric, I washed and dried the fabric twice because I didn’t want to get blue hands and to make sure the fabric had shrunk beforehand. I think the dye is already pretty set in the fabric, because I didn’t have blue hands at all while making these. I noticed that the fabric was almost the exact same color as my Everlane jeans! Which is great because it’s a really good mid indigo (like it says) and I didn’t feel a need to bleach it for being too dark. 

After making a pair of Ginger Jeans, these were a little bit easier, and I got a few tips from the sewing community that made making these much smoother. Plus I was able to order the exact thread color (Mara 70 #488) to make these look more RTW without having to do any guess work, since someone out there has already figured it out for us! The main game-changers were to use a top stitching needle (as opposed to a denim needle) and to use Gutterman Mara 70 thread (much less thick than Mara 30 and your machine will appreciate it!).

My measurements are 32” waist and 41” hips, so I was going to make the 14 and grade to a 12 in the hips, but Alina has added a center back extension in case you are like me and are one size bigger in your waist than your hips. I think it worked pretty well, but I did notice that the center back extension makes the pattern more straight up from your hips to your waist and less curved, and after wearing my shorts for a day I think that makes my shorts more likely to fall down.

So there are a few different things I could think of to fix this. (Solution 1) I left the belt loops off to experiment with the look, but I’m going to sew them on and then I’ll be able to wear a belt. (Solution 2) I could take the center back extension in by about a ½” which would add more curve to the backside to help hold them up. (Solution 3) Next time I could make the size 14 and omit the center back extension, since it’s completely optional, and that would make the shorts less tight around my hips and curve up towards my waist.

One other thing I think is worth mentioning is that the Chi-Towns are a bit more low rise than pant patterns that have been coming out in the past few years. I like that they don’t come clear up to my belly button because during the warm months, I think I will appreciate the lower mid rise. But I do think I will increase the rise by 1” the next time I make them, just for my own personal comfort. Plus I am 5’11, so that might play into them being a little lower rise on me than someone who isn’t as tall. 

Now, you might recognize this pretty top! It is the Anza by Itch to Stitch, but the pattern is for a dress or jumpsuit, and I opted to make a top out of it instead! I just printed the bodice pieces and the facings to make it really simple, and I lengthened the bodice by 10”. I am tall though, so just make sure you measure from the shoulder to see how many inches you need to add to make it the right length for you. 

This beautiful fabric is a crepe rayon that is currently sold out (back in stock next week), but there are a few other fabrics in the Indiesew shop that would work really well for this pattern as well!

This goldenrod stripe is also a crepe rayon which I recommend to the more intermediate sewist. It was a bit of a struggle to sew since this fabric didn’t press very well, and I think my machine is having some small problems since finishing my first pair of jeans last month, and it needs some maintenance. If you are a beginner sewist who loves big prints and easy-to-sew-with fabric, I highly recommend this navy tropics rayon fabric that I made a Bonn Dress out of last summer.

For those who have been following me for a while, you know that I was on a dressmaking kick for a while, and now I’m diving into making really good wardrobe basics. So this outfit feels very me! I love making dresses so much, but when it comes down to it, I have a no frills, casual, comfortable style that I love! It may not be extremely trendy, but it’s what I’ve come to figure out that I like and that I will actually wear. 

Back then, looking forward to now, I never would have imagined that I would make jeans, shorts, and a top all within one month, love all three of them, and actually be able to and want to wear them. I hope this post inspires you or encourages you to keep going with your sewing journey, and know that we are all just trying out best and getting better at this skill one sewn garment at a time!

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We're so excited to be carrying a new Closet Case Patterns design in the shop: the Fiona Sundress! I've been eyeing this design since it released last June, but I've been waiting to find the right fabric to complement the fitted bodice, body skimming skirt, wide straps, and snap closure.

And then I realized we've been carrying it in the Indiesew Fabric Shop this entire time. Our Navy Tropics Rayon Challis is the perfect substrate for this silhouette!

Fiona has two views. View A is a midi-length, bra-friendly dress with side slits. View B has crossed straps and a low back with two shorter skirt options. Fiona is intended for medium weight woven fabrics like denim (this one is ideal for View B), twill, chambray, and linen.

I sewed View A using the size 4 pattern pieces for the bodice and the size 4 graded to a size 8 through the skirt. My measurements are 33" bust, 27" waist, 38.5" hip, and if I follow the Closet Case size chart, I can typically achieve a pretty good fit right out of the envelope.

The only major change I made was to shorten the straps by about 1" and move their placement so they cover the straps on my favorite bra. I'm pretty short from shoulder to bust apex, so it's common for me to have to adjust strap length on most garments like this.

My Fiona has a few inches of ease through the waist, so next time I might pinch that extra width in at the side seams. But otherwise, I'm thrilled with the fit of this dress.

Sewing this dress was a total dream. I tried on the bodice constantly while sewing, careful to get the perfect strap placement, but in the end, I didn't have to make any adjustments to the princess seams.

All of the seams match perfectly and the fabric was really easy to work with. Because it's about 5 ounces per square yard (learn more about fabric weight), it didn't stretch out or shape-shift while I was working with it. This Navy Tropics Rayon Challis might be my favorite we've ever sold.

I decided to use snaps instead of buttons because I find them so much easier to install. You'll definitely want to heed Closet Case's instructions to put five snaps on the bodice, otherwise you may experience some gaping there.

I've been wearing my Fiona Sundress with my favorite leather jacket and clogs. I tend to not wear dresses too often, but I can see this one becoming a summer staple in hot weather.

Grab your copy of the Fiona Sundress and a few yards of our Navy Tropics Rayon Challis to create your own version! I think you'll find this intermediate sewing project to be a satisfying sew.

Happy sewing!

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(Karen used Indiesew's Red Geo Crepe Silk fabric for this post)

Do you ever have an “ah ha” moment, something Merriam-Webster defines as “a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension”? A few weeks ago, a light came on and I realized that when it comes to sewing, my brain works like a combination lock. You know – like The Italian Job or similar movie where the character has her or his ear right up to the safe and is carefully listening while the wheels spin, turning the dial this way and that, until one by one, each correct number is dialed, the wheels line up perfectly and CLICK, the door swings open to reveal the treasure inside. “Ah Ha”!

Very often, when I begin a new project, the wheels lines up very quickly - maybe the safe was never properly closed - I visualize a finished product, and I’m off and sewing. . . With this project my brain’s “safe” had been carefully shut and I had to listen very closely to dial up the correct combination. I generally find it a bit easier to pick the “right” fabric for a pattern or design I am planning than to choose the “right” pattern or style for a piece of fabric. In this case, Indiesew dialed up the first combination number on my lock by selecting silk, a fabric they wished to showcase. It seems some people find this substrate a bit intimidating. I love silk and have sewn with many types over the years. It’s always my first choice whenever I am lining a jacket because nothing else I’ve tried ever feels quite as luxurious. Aside from lining, I’ve made silk charmeuse blouses, a raw silk midi vest, a fabulous wedding dress for my daughter, and years ago (when I used to do custom interiors), I covered the windows and tented ceiling of a canopy bed in such an explosion of fabric that the room looked like a party dress. ​Silk – CLICK

There were four silk crepe options in the Indiesew Fabric Shop: two floral prints and two with a geometric motif AND print repeat ... and one of the geometrics was a beautiful color of red – CLICK. The color won out over my slight fear of the print repeat, but who doesn’t love a bit of a challenge? While I waited for my order to arrive, my mind went to work on the design. This is a crepe de chine with a bit of a matte finish, very slight texture, and extremely soft hand, and flowing drape. Because of the nature of this fabric, anything with too much structure was out of the question. It had to be a style that would take advantage of the beautiful drape and, because of the pattern repeat, it needed to be fairly simple with a limited number of pattern pieces. ​Soft and Simple – CLICK.

Dialing in the specific pattern took the most amount of time, although, now that I think of it, I ended up coming back to one of the first ones I had considered. I was able to bounce some ideas off a dear sewing friend who generously created the backstory where I would be attending a summer winery concert series in a boho vibe dress, which solidified the vision I was forming. I choose the ​Jade Dress​ pattern by Style Arc, since I had previously made another one of their patterns almost exactly like this, without the wrap front. I altered the pattern by adding an extra 10 inches to the center skirt front and the center back width (for some extra flow and to camouflage the squares a bit), adding inseam pockets, lengthening the skirt front and back, and extending the sleeve width by adding 2 1⁄2” to the underarm curve. ​Breezy Boho Maxi Dress – CLICK​.

Here are a few other patterns I considered (all with difficulty rating of Beginner):

In the early 70’s we used to wear halter tops made without patterns, casings at the top front and back, angled down under the arm, with a tie strung through the casing and knotted or tied in a bow on one shoulder (in those days we used a piece of leather – what can I say ... I was a California girl – Hippie Chic wasn’t retro then, it was current). Something along the lines of this ​Halter Top by Making Patterns Fly

Once the fabric arrived, and after I sewed up a test toile (in a printed rayon with a flow as close to the silk as I could find) the wheels began spinning more freely. Although you may be tempted to shy away from this print because of the pattern repeat there are some great bonuses you would be overlooking. The contrast of the red and ivory and the opaqueness of the fabric make it very easy to see through the layers, which aids in matching seams. 

The face side and wrong side look almost the same which is great if you use any sort of pattern with a slit (like I did) or high-low hemline where the wrong side will be visible. And the best bonus of all – those red stripes run the length and width of the fabric and along both selvages. This is an element of the print that can be used throughout your piece as anchor points in your garment design, which I took advantage of for the neckband, sleeve bands, and ties.

 

 Here are a few of the techniques I used and some tips I can offer:

  • I pre-washed the fabric in the washer on a cold water “rinse and gentle spin” cycle, then hung it up to dry - which took no time at all. This will be a very nice garment for traveling. The entire dress folds up, fits into a gallon size freezer bag with hardly any wrinkles and could easily be hand washed and touched up quickly with an iron.
  • Whenever I sew, I am very careful to use an organza press cloth, but this fabric loved the iron and the steam and I didn’t need to use the press cloth much, which made it a dream to work with.
  • BEFORE starting into a project, I ALWAYS test stitches, pressing, seam finish methods, buttonholes and interfacing options on scraps. Write down any settings you use (length, width, needle position, buttonhole size etc.) so that you can keep everything looking exactly the same throughout the garment. Make sure that your seam finish choice leaves your fabric feeling soft and flexible - a tight zigzag or serged edge might show through or leave ridges on the face of your garment when pressing your seam allowances.
  • Trim all paper pattern pieces prior to positioning and cutting. This helps to prevent any movement of the fabric since you are only cutting through the silk and not the paper at the same time (especially if you are working with a pdf pattern that has been printed on thick paper).
  • I have a large table that is covered with a cutting mat. All the fabric was cut on a single layer using a rotary cutter (ALWAYS with a brand-new blade). I usually tape the selvage edges down to the cutting table along the ruled lines of the cutting mat to keep everything on grain (although when working with a print that needs to be matched, the design lines will have to trump the grainline – in this case, the print matched the grainline so that was not a problem).
  • ​When working with printed squares make sure to keep the center front and back right in the middle of your design. I started by cutting the back-bodice piece and made sure I had the square right where I wanted it, and then matched everything else to that piece. 

  • ​Lay the bodice pattern piece over the cut back bodice and mark the matching lines on the paper with a pencil to help guide your placement on the fabric (there are some great tutorials online).
  • Since I wanted the red stripe to be a bit wider for the sleeve and neck bands, I cut strips and sewed them together for a double width.

  • I LOVE Hong Kong seams with self-cut bias strips around the inside of the neck and sleeve band for a cleanly finished inside.

  • ​I used French seams for the shoulders, under arms, side seams and in-seam pockets. You can search “Pockets in a French Seam” and “French Seams with a Side Vent” online for some extra tips and tutorials on beautiful finishes for the inside of your garment.
  • Use an extra light weight 100% woven cotton interfacing for the neckband (with this weight of fabric you don’t want to add anything that will make it stiff).
  • The midriff tie was cut out of one long piece of the red stripe that ran along the selvage and turned with the aid of a Fasturn Fabric Tube Turner - one of my favorite purchases in the past year. If you have any arthritis in your hands this tool is a real pain saver.
  • It’s fun to think about something a bit extra you can add to your garment - these two beads I threaded on the tie ends added just the little extra I was looking for.

The safe door swings open and the treasure is revealed – this was exactly what I had in mind! I love the entire process! The feeling of wearing silk on a breezy day is glorious! Give it a try! Start with something simple, you can do it! Indiesew has a great​ ​Fabric Files: Silk​ post with some good general sewing tips that will be very helpful if you are new to this amazing fabric. If you get stuck, let the wheels keep spinning: search the internet for inspiration, bounce ideas around with a friend, and little by little, you can crack the combination.

Thank you Indiesew team for giving me the opportunity to share my passion for sewing and silk!

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For over a month now, we’ve had a super luxurious fabric sitting on our shelves that didn't translate well in flat photos. In the office, we’ve all been brainstorming what to sew in this Heather Grey Stripe Rib Knit to give you all a better idea of how this fabric drapes and moves. 

Angie, our Marketing Director, mentioned that I should sew a Monarch Jacket in it, something I hadn’t considered. You see, this thick 1x1 rib knit fabric has 80% stretch and we had been sewing the pattern in ponte fabrics with roughly 40% stretch. I wasn’t entirely sure the end result would be something wearable.

But, oh it is. And it might be my favorite Monarch I’ve sewn yet. 

Here, I’m wearing it with my black Kila Tank and Persephone Pants. I love how the light grey fabric pops against the black. I might work this high-contrast, neutral color palette into my wardrobe more often.

 

I sewed my normal size 2 in this pattern, but I honestly could have sized down one size because this fabric has so much stretch. But because Monarch is designed to be boxy, I still love the look of this one. It’s ultra cozy.

The cuffs are still nicely fitted, so I can wear it with the sleeves pushed up. And the collar lays beautifully around the neckline because it has so much stretch. I used the Monarch’s collar intended for 80 to 100% stretch fabrics (there are three offered, depending on the stretch of your fabric). 
 

Instead of snaps or buttons, I just topstitched the center front plackets down. I used a straight stitch as this seam doesn’t need to stretch.

The rest of the jacket was sewn using my serger. You’ll definitely want to check out our Four Tips for Serging Bulky Knits if you plan to do the same with this fabric.

This Heather Grey Stripe Rib Knit fabric is 67” wide, so you can get away with ordering about 10% less fabric than what the pattern calls for. But hurry, it’s almost gone and we won’t likely reorder anytime soon.

Thanks for tuning in today. You can follow us on Instagram to catch more content like this daily! Happy sewing!

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I feel extremely lucky to have some of the best pattern testers around. For the Monarch Jacket, ten lovely ladies helped us test this design. They helped us perfect the fit, fix a grading issue, caught my typos, and overall improved the quality of this pattern by leaps and bounds. I couldn't release a pattern without their help.

Below are photos of seven tester versions. After these were sewn up, we decided to offer three different length collars based on stretch percentage. So, where you see a collar standing up a bit, that issue has been fixed. Otherwise, the fit you see below on the testers is the final fit of the design, except where noted if a tester made a modification. Kaylee was also a tester for us, her Monarch Jacket is featured here

Tessa

Tessa's Monarch Jacket is sewn from a floral scuba fabric for the body and navy ponte fabric for the sleeves and collar. We love the way she styles it with a neutral popover.

  Amber

Amber's Monarch Jacket is sewn in our sold-out Navy Stripe Rayon Ponte. She lengthened the bodice and sleeves of her jacket by 2" and added a few more snaps. She's wearing a Kila Tank underneath and Morgan Jeans!

  Heidi

Heidi's Monarch Jacket is sewn using a green ponte knit fabric and we love it paired with a striped mock neck tee and jeans. 

Patti

Patti's Monarch Jacket is sewn in a navy blue double knit and is worn over a body-skimming knit tee dress like the Panama Tee. Throw on some sneakers for a comfy, casual look!

Teri

Teri's pink Monarch Jacket is everything we want to wear this spring. Use this Dusty Pink Rayon Ponte fabric to sew a look-a-like!

  Jennifer

Jennifer's Monarch Jacket is also sewn in our sold-out Navy Stripe Rayon Ponte Fabric. The jacket looks great layered over a button-up, like the Cheyenne Tunic.

Fleurine

Fleurine's Monarch Jacket is also sewn in our Navy Striped Rayon Ponte (it was a popular fabric, y'all). She added a fourth snap and also added 1/2" in length.

A huge thanks to all of the testers who helped us perfect the Monarch Jacket! I am so grateful for the time and attention to detail they each provided. I have so much love for this sewing community!

We'll be back later this week with a different take on the Monarch Jacket in our Heather Grey Stripe Rib Knit.

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I was beyond excited to test sew Allie Olson’s new Monarch Jacket pattern. I just knew that I would get a ton of wear from this structured, boxy, knit jacket and now that spring is here, I’m wearing almost everyday!

This cropped jacket is perfect for everyday wear. It feels comfy and casual like your favorite sweatshirt and elevates an everyday look. Most of my favorite garments feel like sweats, but look a bit more put together and the Monarch Jacket definitely fits that bill. I love pairing my Monarch with some high waisted jeans and a tucked in Kila Tank

My ultra high-waisted jeans are a huge staple in my wardrobe and I loved the idea of wearing my Monarch with them. I decided that for the most flattering and comfortable look with my high waisted jeans I would crop the bottom of the jacket just a little bit so it sits right at the top of my jeans. I took off the waistband and removed 1” from the folded waistband (2” total) piece and 2” from the bottom of the assembled jacket. This new, extra cropped length ended up perfect for my spring wardrobe dreams, but if I were to do it again I would definitely just take 3” from the lengthen/shorten line of the pattern before cutting my fabric. Sometimes you just have to make do with what you already have though! 

The simple construction of the Monarch is quick and easy to assemble making it a great confidence booster if you are new to working with knits. The pattern doesn’t require any special equipment, just grab a ball point needle and your ready to sew! I loved using my serger for a more professional looking finish on the interior though. If you are working with serger, but are not confident working with multiple layers of bulky knits, be sure to check out Allie’s guide for Serging Bulky Knit Fabrics

The buttery soft Terra Cotta Rayon Ponte I used has the perfect combination of drape and structure for this cute knit jacket not to mention a beautiful and warm color. Handmade layering is made simple with this effortless and stylish jacket. 

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On Monday we launched the Monarch Jacket and I'm feeling pretty over-the-moon that so many of you are drawn to this design! My design aesthetic is simple and comfortable, with a nod to the 70's. And with this sewing pattern I feel like I'm starting to build more a collection of sewing patterns that mix and match well together. I hope you do too!

Today we wanted to give you a peek at the images we've pinned over the several months while working on the Monarch Jacket as inspiration. If you're having trouble envisioning how to style this design, these are a great starting point! You can read more about the origin story of this design here.

There isn't any designs exactly like the Monarch in the RTW market (that we could find), but the images below are a close approximation to the intended fit of the Monarch Jacket.

1. Club Monaco • 2. COS • 3. Celille Cardigan • 4. Vintage Boxy Sweater • 5. Everlane • 6. Rue21 • 7. Everlane 

The boxy bodice and slightly cropped length of the Monarch Jacket means it complements high-waisted pants and skirts beautifully. We love Monarch worn with the Persephone Pants and Ginger Jeans.

The Monarch Jacket looks great layered over the Kila Tank and Union St. Tee for a casual look with jeans. But we also love it worn over a button-up like the Cheyenne Tunic or Archer Button-Up with boyfriend jeans and some fun jewelry.

This design also layers over body-con and fit and flare dresses with ease. Because this cardigan-style jacket is boxy, think about proportions and balancing out the extra ease with more fitted designs around the waist.

We'll be back later this week with a tester version of the Monarch Jacket in Indiesew Fabric. Stay tuned!

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My fifth sewing pattern is finally here! The Monarch Jacket sewing pattern has been in the works for a very long time, and I am over the moon to finally see so many months of hard work materialize!

Monarch’s origin story is a bit funny. Last spring, I saw a woman walking on a Boulder sidewalk wearing a pair of wide-leg cropped pants and a knit raglan jacket with contrast sleeves (like the navy version you see below). I could only see the jacket from the back, but I could tell the wide waistband fell above her hips and the boxy jacket stood away from the body a bit. I couldn’t get the visual of this jacket out of my head for months; I was obsessed.

Over time, I started to fill in the blanks. I wanted the front of the jacket to be slightly bomber-inspired, but without super stretchy ribbing that gathers in the bottom of the jacket to the waist and makes it more of a bubble shape. I added a bomber collar, wide waistband and cuffs, all designed to be sewn in self fabric. The snaps complement the sporty vibe and make this a very beginner-friendly pattern.

The result is a design that I’m absolutely in love with. And I have been wearing it nonstop.

Monarch is slightly cropped and is intended to be worn with high-waisted pants, over bibs, or with a body hugging knit dress. The waistband seam is intended to hit just a few inches below your natural waist. The sleeves are slightly cropped as well, and look great when scrunched up the arm a bit.

While we designed Monarch to be worn open, like a cardigan, a three snap closure does offer the option to wear it closed, which looks just as great. 

Monarch should be sewn in thick knit fabrics like ponte, French Terry, or scuba. This 12.5-ounce rib knit is also an excellent choice. We’ve found that rayon-based ponte fabrics have resulted in the nicest samples (see a few we have in stock below). They have excellent drape, can be worn several times without washing (yay for sleeves that don’t stretch out!) and the collars lay flat against the neckline.

The body of the Monarch Jacket should be sewn in a fabric with at least 20% stretch, while the collar should be sewn in a fabric with at least 40% stretch.  

This design is a relatively simple sew; any adventurous beginner should be able to tackle it. The collar insertion is an intermediate skill, but with patience you’ll do great.

Besides thread, the only other supplies you’ll need are three 1/2" or 5/8" snaps and 1/2 yard of interfacing (non-stretch is fine). From cutting to finished garment, you can definitely complete the Monarch Jacket in an afternoon.

  Monarch Jacket Fabrics

We've got three fabrics in the shop right now that are ideal for this design, and a few more on the way!

Brick Red Rayon Ponte • Terra Cotta Rayon Ponte • Cotton Stripe Rib Knit 

For the next two weeks we’ll have lots more Monarch Jacket inspiration for you! Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter to know when the new content drops.

Happy sewing!

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During Shirt Month this year, I made a point to finally sew up the Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Patterns. For years, I’ve needed an upgrade in my sleepwear. I love the classic look of the Carolyn Pajamas and since the top of this set is technically a button-up shirt, I thought #shirtmonth was the best time to tackle it.

In fact, the Carolyn Pajamas were the only button-up shirt I was able to complete in February, and I’ve been wearing this set (not actually together, more on that below) nonstop since they came off my machine. Between wearing and washing, I haven’t wanted to part with these pajamas long enough to take photos!

So here we are, a month later, and you’ll finally get to see my Shirt Month efforts:

  

I sewed View C of the pattern using a nice quality rayon challis and red store-bought piping.

My measurements are 33” bust, 27” waist, 38” hip. I sewed the size 4 top, grading to an 8 at the hips. For the shorts, I sewed a straight size 10 and adjusted the elastic to fit my waist measurement.

Regarding fit, the top fits really snugly through the shoulders. In the future I would go up a size (maybe two?) so the top is oversized and comfortable to sleep in.

The shorts are super roomy, perfectly comfortable for sleep. The only change I made to the shorts was using 2” elastic for the shorts, and adjusted the waistband accordingly. Next time I plan to grade from a 6 in the waist to a 10 at the hip so there’s less fabric gathered at the waistband.

 

Like all Closet Case patterns, no details were omitted in this design. I loved sewing the piping, though I need more practice. The front facings create a clean finish. The pockets in the shorts are essential.

The only place where I ran into a bit of trouble was attaching the facings at the shoulder seams. I think next time I’ll draft a back facing to make this a bit cleaner.

Since the top is a bit tight for sleeping, I’ve been wearing it during the day with jeans! I love it tucked into a pair of high waisted jeans. And every time I wear it, I get a ton of compliments. For me, this amount of pattern and color are a huge departure from what I normally wear and it’s fun to see people’s reactions.

I also think the Carolyn Pajama top will be a great base pattern for some serious hacking. I’d love to make the collar points more angled for a camp-style shirt to wear with jeans.

Overall, I’m super happy with my Carolyn Pajamas. I’m itching to sew View B with some of the mods I listed above. If you need a new pair of pjs, grab a copy of this pattern and a few yards of rayon challis and you’ll have a luxurious set in a few days!

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