Weekend Reading: Pearls, cheap travel, and evil evil glitter


Maybe it’s the unusually dry, sunny weather we’re having. Maybe it’s that our office is full of flowers at the moment. Maybe it’s the new issue of Seamwork that I am over-the-moon excited to put out on Sunday (the lingerie issue!). Or maybe it’s our lovely and talented new art director who began with us this week (I’ll be posting an intro soon, she’s awesome).

Whatever it is, I have been feeling good, at least in spirit. I have also unfortunately fallen prey to some sort of mysterious lung ailment for the last month, but you can’t win them all.

I plan to spend this weekend cleaning house and decluttering, with a brief break to publish the new issue on the first. I hope you all like underwear, curvy women, and the combination of the two. I really love lingerie, so this issue has me pretty darn excited.

Weekend Reading:

For more links every week, you can follow me on Twitter, where I’m always posting interesting tidbits I find.

image above via colettepatterns on instagram

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Giveaway: Win a copy of 110 Creations: A Sewist’s Notebook


To go along with our new Wardrobe Architect challenge this year, Beth of 110 Creations has kindly offered to give away a free copy of her wonderful planning notebook!

110 Creations: A Sewist’s Notebook is a lovely little planner that you can use to sketch, scheme, and dream. Use the croquis and accompanying notes to plan out all of your projects this year.

I love the idea of not only having a single place to keep sketches and plans, but a nice little record of the things you’ve made. I was thinking it would be fun to attach a photo of the finished garment (even if it didn’t turn out perfect) to each page.

How to enter

To enter, leave a comment and let us know how you planned your last sewing project! Did you buy swatches? Did you start with the pattern? Fall in love with a fabric? Get an idea from a photo or a garment you already had? How did it come to be?

I’ll pick one winner at random on Sunday, Feb 1st at noon pacific time. This is open to international as well as US entries!

PS: If you’d like to purchase the book, Beth tells me that there is currently a 10% discount. It ends tomorrow (the 29th) at midnight eastern, and the code is MOREFUN.


Wardrobe Architect Challenge: What did you learn in January?


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

I am so excited by the overwhelmingly positive response the first Wardrobe Architect challenge post received! It’s amazing to know so many people around the world are joining me to create a capsule wardrobe for so many different reasons. Some of you are looking to sew through your fabric stash, many of you want to refine your wardrobe after a change in career, tastes, lifestyle, age, or weight, and a few of you want to quit fast fashion or become more mindful consumers of clothing or sewing supplies.

This month’s assignment focused on defining your core style. We completed weeks 1 – 4 of the Wardrobe Architect and then took things one step further by searching for sewing patterns and creating designs that fit your style and silhouettes. I started a Pinterest board to collect my inspiration images.


I also started a notebook to keep my worksheets, pictures, and sketches in. Surprisingly, I found questions on the style worksheets to be challenging, and I usually love filling out surveys and answering questions about myself!

I ultimately felt like my answers were sort of boring and that I didn’t have much personal history or culture to draw from. I did find them helpful in that I began to make some connections about my style I hadn’t really considered before. I noticed I feel equally drawn to feminine and masculine styles, which is probably due to being a tomboy as a child, but then feeling embarrassed and overcompensating for it as a teenager by wearing some really pretty, cutesy clothing. Now I’m looking forward to working with both of these styles, instead of trying to pick one or the other.


Defining a style

After completing all of the worksheets the 5 words I came up with to describe my style were:

  1. simple
  2. feminine
  3. comfy
  4. tomboy
  5. playful

Despite the fact that some of these words seem like they wouldn’t necessarily mesh, I feel like I can work them into something that is unique but cohesive.

Choosing Silhouettes

Taking a stab at the silhouettes section felt easier for me. I know that I’m an hour glass shape, and have strong opinions about the styles I like to wear, though that is evolving a bit lately due to some changes in my weight and lifestyle. I’m becoming more willing to try new shapes, but I know what to look for in terms of fit and I know pretty quickly if something will work for me.

Historically, I’ve always liked wearing really tight pants, full skirts, waist defining dresses, and shirts with just a bit of extra ease. More recently I also find myself wearing a lot of more form fitting dresses and skirts. As of right now I’m not interested in wearing really long skirts, wide legged pants, or super form fitting or baggy tops.


Picking Patterns

I moved on to searching for patterns I that I could see fitting into my capsule wardrobe. After reviewing my choices, I noticed that I picked a lot of button-up style shirts and dresses such as the Grainline Studio Archer button up, and Hawthorn. I especially like the button-up style tunic dresses because it seems like they can be styled in several different ways to reflect my mood.

I also mixed in some easy shift dresses and knit pieces such as Moneta and the Lola dress from Victory Patterns.


I didn’t make note of many pants or shorts, but I did include Clover in hopes that I’ll get around to making a pair in some sort of a moisture-repellent technical fabric that looks like a typical bottom-weight fabric.


My list of outerwear is probably overly-ambitious, but I have my eye on a new peacoat, a lightweight Albion, a rain jacket from the Sewaholic Minoru, and a Victoria blazer from By Hand London.

Your Turn!

Next week, we’ll kick off February with cleaning out our closets and taking inventory!

In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you: What one thing did you take away from the wardrobe planning process this month (even if you haven’t finished)?

And please keep sharing your blog posts and Pinterest boards in the comments and keep posting on Instagram and twitter using #WAChallenge2015! I love reading about your progress and ideas!


Weekend Reading: Having it all, speeding up intimacy, and tech anxiety


I’m having an amazing time in the studio these days. It’s insanely busy as we work to create each new issue of Seamwork, looking for the millions of ways we can make it better and expand, while also taking care of the main pattern line.

I’ve been writing, editing, playing with fabric, photographing, fabric shopping, hiring models, you name it. But we’ve also been working on patterns, thinking up new ways to help our stockists, and staring to plan a blog overhaul (woo!).

It’s frankly a bit bananas, but it’s invigorating. Every day, I have an insurmountable list. Every day, things are left undone. And I’m fine with that.

Weekend Reading:

For more links every week, you can follow me on Twitter, where I’m always posting interesting tidbits I find.

image above via colettepatterns on instagram


Free pattern hack: Violet sans facing


I don’t know about you, but I’m not always crazy about facings.

Sure, they’re easy to sew, and there are certainly times where a facing is the best option for finishing a neckline. There are even times when it’s really the only option.

But with a little more work, you can often change out facings for other finishes that look a little less homemade. This month, I decided to try that out on Violet, swapping the front and neck facing for a placket and finishing the neckline with bias tape.


This is an especially great modification if your fabric is at all sheer, since facings can sometimes show through. The placket gives the Violet a more traditional and slightly less feminine look. You could use this same modification on just about any button down shirt that has a facing.



Modifying Violet for a placket does mean changing up the pattern. You have to cut separate placket pieces, and adjust the right and left sides of the blouse front a little differently. The collar also has to be trimmed back a little to leave room at the center front for that placket.

To make it super clear, I created some free instructions, complete with illustrations, to show you step by step how it’s done.

I went with lovely clear glass buttons on my own Violet. I love the weight of glass buttons, don’t you?


Introducing the Pattern Hack Pack

We’ve created a few downloadable pattern hacks with these bonus sets of instructions at this point: the MOD-ified Laurel, the plaid Dahlia, and now this one. And we have a lot more of these freebies planned in 2015. I’m hoping to create one for each Pattern of the Month this year!

To keep it all manageable, I’ve created a special list just for free pattern hacks. When you get on the list, you’ll get the link to download a zip file with all the current pattern hacks. As we add new freebies to the pack, we’ll send you a quick email to let you know that you can get a new free download. That way you won’t miss any of them.

Just click the button below to get free hacks delivered as we create them (if you change your mind, every email will have an unsubscribe link).