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Seamwork Issue 04: Transitions

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The March issue of Seamwork is up and ready for you to read!

This month, we’re celebrating the road to spring with a theme of “transitions.” We’ve created versatile, changeable, multi-season patterns; ideas for ways you can make the same garments in any season; and some brand new columns to round things out.

In this issue:

As always, we provide information to help you create the new Seamwork patterns including Resources and fabric ideas from Swatch Service

Some favorite quotes from this issue:

“Clothing tells your story; if part of that story is your relationship to the current season, you can use color to express that.”

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“The secret to maintaining a small closet without getting bored is to aim for versatility in every piece.”

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“For thousands of years, the story of wool has been entwined with that of humanity’s” – Devon Iott

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And here are the two new quick-to-sew patterns in this issue:

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Aberdeen is a beautiful tunic that is equal parts comfortable and flattering. This top can be sewn in a wide variety of fabrics, making it suitable for all seasons. Sew it up in lightweight jersey for the summer, and try soft sweater knits for the fall and winter.

And check out the lovely clogs our model is wearing! They’re from our friends at Sven Clogs, who are also providing a reader discount this month.

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Osaka is a simple little reversible skirt that is highly functional and fun to wear. In just under 3 hours you can have two brand new skirts in your closet with this workhorse garment. We provide two different cutting layouts for pairing up your fabrics, but we hope you’ll get creative and dream up your own unique combinations!

You can visit Seamworkmag.com to read the issue, download it from the current issue page, or subscribe to get the patterns.

Like what you read here? Subscribe to our blog via email so you don’t skip a stitch! And sign up for our weekly Snippets email for even more sewing tips and tricks.

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Wardrobe Architect: Closet clean outs + 7 tips for tackling your mending

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This post is part of the Wardrobe Architect 2015 series, led by Kristen, our patternmaker. Read more about it here and join the fun!

This month, your challenge was to clean out your closet. So how’d it go?

Hopefully, you’re feeling the sense of calm that comes with decluttering and getting rid of the old, unwanted items that have been bogging you down. You could also be feeling a little lost, or nervous about your seemingly sparse closet.

Depending on the state of your closet before you started, you may be left with a head start on creating your capsule wardrobe, or you may be feeling like you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into.

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Time to Mend

Once you’ve done a closet clean out, one of the fastest ways to restore order is to tackle your mending and alterations pile as soon as possible.

It can be tempting to dive right into sewing brand new items, but repurposing and mending is a practical approach that will leave you feeling proud of reusing what you already have.

Approaches to the Mending Pile

The mending pile can seem like a boring, forgettable task, but if you take some time to organize first, it can actually be quite painless to get through. Here are some tips I’ve picked up that have helped make mending a little less of a burden:

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  1. Pick a time. Depending on how large your pile is, you can choose to carve out an entire weekend to do mending and alterations, or you can space them out as a palette cleanser between larger sewing projects.
  2. Divide by color. To get started, I like to make a list, divide my pile by color, and assign each garment a thread color.

  3. Divide by sewing method. Next, I decide whether it needs to be mended or altered with a sewing machine, serger, or by hand. You may wind up needing different thread colors for every garment, but it’s nice information to have so you can avoid changing out your thread more often than you need to! For simple fixes, if you already have the color of thread you need on your machine from a larger project, it’s not a big deal quickly fix that tear along the seam of a jacket.

  4. Gather other supplies. You’ll also want to gather all the supplies you need to fix each garment, such as buttons, trims, bias tape, or zippers.

  5. Keep mending at hand. I make sure to put the garments that need hand mending next to the couch so that I can work on them while watching TV or listening to podcasts in the evenings.

  6. Set a goal. You may want to set a goal to fix one garment a day, or a few every weekend. It’s easy to put aside mending and alterations in favor of newer, more exciting projects, so whatever you do, it’s important to have a realistic plan that works for you. When I have a really large mending pile, I like to knock out all garments that require certain thread colors a day at a time.

  7. Invite friends. If you’re really struggling to motivate yourself you might consider hosting a mending clinic with some of your friends. Everyone has a pile of stuff they need to fix, so why not make it more fun for everyone with some food, drinks, and music?

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How Does it Feel?

So now that you’ve cleaned out your closet, how do you feel? Do you feel more organized and in control, or are you already regretting some of your decisions? Did you learn anything new about yourself or your spending or sewing habits? Let me know how your February closet clean out went in the comments!

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Tutorial: Add Corset Inspired Ties to the Cinnamon Slip

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Today, we have one more tutorial from Devon, for a more lingerie-inspired look for your Cinnamon. -Sarai

Add a little bit of ooh-la-la to the back of your Cinnamon slip with these corset-inspired ties! No special skills required – just some bias tape and pretty ribbon. We’ll start out by doing a few pattern alterations, then skip the straps in lieu of pretty satin ties that will crisscross down the back to end in a tied bow.

You can repurpose this method on just about any top – I can imagine some cute strappy summer dresses and tops!

Materials

Here’s what you’ll need in addition to what’s on the pattern envelope:

  • 5 yards of 1/4″ ribbon
  • about 1.5 yards of 1/2″ double fold bias tape [I used metallic gold Wrights]
  • 2 strips of lightweight fusible interfacing, 3/4″ wide and about 20″ long

Continue reading the tutorial

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Join us! Italian Style at the Portland Art Museum

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If you’re in Portland, you’ve probably already seen the billboards for the Portland Art Museum’s exhibit on Italian fashion since 1945.

Fellow Portlander Jessica is organizing a meetup of sewing folks to see the exhibit on Saturday, March 21st at 2:30pm. Simply meet outside the museum beforehand, and if you’d like, stick around for a showing of Antonioni’s Le Amiche in the basement of the museum at 4:30.

I recommend buying tickets in advance for the exhibit (and the film if you’d like to do that too).

You can also RSVP on Jessica’s Eventbrite page to give her an idea of how many people are coming. Note that this is just the RSVP that Jessica set up, it is NOT a ticket for the museum or the film.

We hope to see you there!

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New pattern hack: The Cinnamon maxi dress

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I’ve been saving up this pattern hack for a long time.

In the fall, Kenn and I cashed in some airline points and took a quick trip to Panama to celebrate our anniversary. I knew I wanted to make something special to wear there, something romantic and flowing and long and breezy.

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I decided to lengthen the Cinnamon into a maxi dress, with slits up the side.

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The fabric is a crimson silk with a burgundy foliage print by Milly. I really wanted something with a tropical feel (and definitely silk), so when I saw this fabric at Mill End, I knew the stars had aligned.

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From a technical standpoint, this is an easy hack, but not quite as simple as just lengthening the skirt.

The biggest consideration was whether the long skirt should be cut on the bias as the pattern was originally designed. This is nigh impossible for a skirt of this length without piecing it together from two pieces, because fabric is not wide enough.

So instead, I cut the skirt on the fold and reshaped the sides to allow for more flare.

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If you download the hack, I illustrate how to do this, how long to cut the skirt, and how to straighten up the hem.

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I had to get a picture walking to show off the flowy side slit action.

If you’ve signed up for the pattern hack pack before, you should have already received an email with the new update. If not, enter your email below and we’ll send you the pack, including this one.

And don’t forget, Cinnamon is 20% off this month with code CINNAMONTH.

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