28

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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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.

10

Giveaway: Sew Better, Sew Faster class from Craftsy

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I’ve noticed that among the things home sewists are always eager to learn about, industry sewing methods are near the top.

First, we want our clothes to look at least as good as ready-to-wear. You know, well-formed cuffs, perfectly positioned plackets, clean topstitching, and all the other little nuances you expect when looking at a well-made garment in a store.

Second, industry techniques properly adapted for the home can save a whole bunch of time. There are tons of little tricks that experienced pros use, whether it’s in a factory setting or a small workroom.

So I thought you guys might appreciate this class from Craftsy called Sew Better, Sew Faster: Garment Industry Secrets. Craftsy has offered to do a giveaway for this class (click this link and sign up to enter).

The class is taught by experienced seamstress Janet Pray, and comes with a pattern for a casual jacket (which I think would look really cool in dark indigo denim, personally). She walks you through each step of the construction, teaching you little secrets along the way. You’ll learn about things like interfacing, pressing techniques, topstitching, and sewing cuffs.

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To enter, just click the link below and sign up. The giveaway ends at 2/20/15 at 11:59pm MT.

And if any of you have already taken this class, I’d love to hear your reviews as well!

19

Tutorial: Add a Fagoted Seam to the Cinnamon Slip

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One of the great things about vintage sewing books is finding instructions for techniques that aren’t quite so common any more. When looking through one of mine, I came across a page about how to sew fagoted seams.

A fagoted seam is a seam in which both edges are hemmed, then hand stitched together with a small space in between. In an older context, fagoting can also refer to a method in which the crosswise threads in a certain section of fabric are removed, and the loose vertical threads are tied together into bunches.

It takes a little bit of extra time, but it really is a beautiful detail that adds an airy delicateness to a garment. So I thought it would be a perfect embellishment for the Cinnamon slip.

For this tutorial, we’ll be creating a 1/2″ wide fagoted seam between the front midriff and skirt pieces.

MATERIALS

The only extra thing you’ll need in addition to what is listed on the pattern envelope is embroidery floss and an embroidery needle. I used standard cotton floss in a matching color.

Instructions

1) Subtract for space. Since we’re working with a seam that’s already there, we’ll just use the seam allowance for the hems. However, we should still subtract a bit from each edge to create the open space for the hand stitching. For this tutorial our fagoted seam will be 1/2″ wide, split equally between the two involved pieces.

So, measure and trim 1/4″ from the bottom edge of the front midriff and the top edge of the front skirt. This will create the open space.

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2) Stay stitch. Stay stitch at 5/8″ along the following edges:

Top and bottom of midriff
Top of front skirt
Top of front bodices
Top of back bodice

3) Attach front bodice. Following the pattern instructions, sew the center front bodice seam and attach the front bodice to the top edge of the midriff.

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4) Hem the midriff. Clip and fold the bottom edge of the midriff as the instructions indicate, but then tuck the raw edge under, pin and press.

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Stitch along the inner fold to hem the midriff, pivoting at the center.

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5) Hem the front skirt. Hem the top edge of the front skirt in the same manner.

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6) Baste to paper. Using scrap paper, trace the bottom edge of the midriff piece.

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Then draw a set of lines 1/2″ lower.

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Pin the front bodice along the upper line, carefully aligning the bottom edge of the bodice with the drawn line.

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Do the same with the front skirt, using the lower line.

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Baste both pieces to the paper.

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Note: Definitely test a swatch first to see if your machine will scar your fabric once the basting stitches are removed. Mine didn’t, so I was able to machine baste. If your fabric is quite delicate you may need to hand baste.

7) Hand stitch. To keep your stitches even, mark them with a ruler, starting from the center and working out to the edges. I placed my marks 1/4″ apart, though my stitches were staggered 1/2″ apart so I ended up using every other mark.

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Working from left to right, use embroidery floss to sew a fagoted stitch across the gap. To do this, sew through the hemmed edge from back to front.

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Then pass the needle under the floss before going on to the next stitch.

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Gently pull taut and repeat.

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Once you’ve finished, remove basting stitches and paper.

8) Sew the side seams. Sew the side seams as the pattern instructions indicate, but make sure that as you pin and stitch you preserve the gap of the fagoted seam.

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9) Finish. Finish your Cinnamon slip according to the pattern instructions.

17

Meet Christine, our new Art Director

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I met Christine by chance in December when my friend Rodellee invited me to a small gathering at her studio. Besides being the proprietress of Camillia Heirloom + Modern, Christine also manages a studio space shared by a number of creative women.

She was one of those sweet people whose kindness and creativity just radiates from them. Not only that, but she was wearing a beautiful wool 1950s dress almost exactly like one I used to own and still sadly miss.

As we chatted, I learned that in addition to her photography, Christine was interested in moving into art direction. I’d just started looking for an art director.

A couple of visits, lunches, and chat sessions later, I invited Christine to join our little team. She’ll be mostly helping guide the aesthetic and photos over at Seamwork, but she’ll also be working on various other projects as they come up (like shooting some updated imagery for the patterns!)

Christine has a passion for beautiful vintage details, which I’m sure you’ll see in her work. She does an incredible job of combining vintage and modern and telling a story through photos. She also feels strongly that women should love themselves as they are, another value that makes her a good fit here, and that I’m sure you’ll see shine through in the coming months.

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She’s also a mom to 3 kids, a plant lover like me, and makes some killer chocolates. Since she’s been working with us, we have not wanted for fresh flowers or little chocolate treats.

Please join me in welcoming Christine!

16

Tutorial: Creating Adjustable Bra Straps

How to sew adjustable straps

Adding adjustable straps to your sewing projects is a simple way to bring an incredible level of functionality to your clothing. Whether you’re making lingerie, a layerable camisole, or a strappy summer dress, knowing how to make a strap adjustable is an important skill that you can use on a variety of different projects. The step-by-step tutorial below will show you how it’s done!

Supplies

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  • Two yards of 3/8″ lingerie strap or plush elastic.
  • Two 3/8″ bra rings
  • Two 3/8″ bra sliders

How To

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1) Cut 5″ and 18″ length of elastic.

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2) Thread the 5″ section of elastic through the bra ring, matching the raw edges of the elastic.

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3) Stitch the ends of the elastic together at a scant 3/8″ to secure. If you are using a piece of elastic with a right side, make sure it is facing outward.

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4) Thread the 18″ section of elastic over the center bar of the slider, pulling about 2″ of the elastic through. If you are using a piece of elastic with a right side make sure it’s facing upward.

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5) Thread the end of the elastic through the bra ring.

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6) This part tends to be the most confusing. Turn the strap over and pass the raw edge of the elastic above the center bar of the slider, then turn it back toward the bra ring and insert the raw edge under just the center bar of the slider and pull 3/4″ through to the other side. If your raw edge is sandwiched between two layers of the strap you did it right!

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7) The strap should still be turned over with the wrong side (the part that faces your body) facing up. Use zig zag to secure the elastic to the wrong side of the strap. Do not stitch through the last layer of the strap.

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Now you’ve created an adjustable strap! Repeat the steps above to create a second strap.

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Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

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