Introducing Dahlia! 15% off this week


Here is how I knew we had a good thing going with our new pattern, Dahlia.

After taking a slew of pictures in the studio with our beautiful model Amie a few weeks ago, we stepped outside to capture a few outdoor shots before the sun went down.

As we were walking around for about forty minutes, Amie got no fewer than three (!) compliments from strangers on her plaid dress.

That’s a good sign.



A dress for all seasons

To be honest, we originally conceived of Dahlia as a spring pattern. But schedules changed, projects were flipped around, and we realized that it would be the perfect dress for fall and winter too. I couldn’t help but imagine it in plaids and tweeds.


Version 1 is the most obvious cold-weather option, with mid-length raglan sleeves and a barely flared skirt with small back kickpleat. So far, we’ve made it in wool flannel, raw silk (the emerald green version), rayon suiting (the plaid version), and wool tweed. All beautiful, warm, and great paired with thick tights and a sweater.


Version two is sleeveless, and uses bias tape to form simple and easy straps. The skirt is cut in six gores, for a smoother but still gently flared shape. We made this sample in a beautifully drapey black rayon, finished with metallic gold trim. I think this version would make a fantastic holiday dress, but it would also be great for those of you in the southern hemisphere. It works just as well in cotton lawn, voile, seersucker, or linen.



A return to feminine shapes

The other day, I was having lunch with a friend and we were discussing the fact that shapeless clothes are in fashion right now.

I admit that I don’t mind the occasional shapeless dress. I like comfortable clothes, after all, and a dash of androgyny does tend to liven things up.

But there is nothing quite like a pretty dress, one that’s designed to flatter curves and make you feel good about what you’ve got. When I said that I wanted to return to our roots, that’s what I had in mind – something pretty, ladylike, and most of all, classic.



Dahlia has an inset waist yoke, which is one of my favorite ways to play up curves. This type of styling was common in the late 1930s and 1940s, and lasted through the 1960s. It’s a feature that’s difficult to find in modern dresses, but I find it to be universally flattering.

The sleeves are cut in a raglan style, with a slightly loose fit that allows plenty of motion. Raglan sleeves have a diagonal seam from underarm to shoulder rather than a circular armhole with a set-in sleeve. In some ways, they are easier to sew and to adjust (no easing or sewing in the round!), though the fit is a bit different.

If you’re curious about sewing this type of sleeve, you’ll want to join the sewalong we have planned for next month. It will begin on November 3. I’m pretty keen to try some color blocking with this sleeve, myself.

The perfect dress for stripes and plaids

Without a doubt, my favorite versions of Dahlia so far have been the plaid ones we’ve made.



We specifically planned the design lines of Dahlia to work with stripes of all kinds, from the raglan sleeve to the inset yoke to the use of gathers instead of darts in most places.

If you want to try making either version of Dahlia in a plaid or stripe but are intimidated about matching, you’ll want to grab a copy of our little bonus pack on sewing it in striped fabric. There, I go over how to cut the pieces, plan your sewing, and match stripes and plaids throughout.

You’ll not only figure out how to sew this dress in plaid, I think you’ll come away with a better idea of the theory behind plaid matching for anything else you might want to sew.

This information will also be posted in a tutorial on the blog next week, but if you want, you can download it now.

Goodbye facings!

When I showed Dahlia to a group of ladies from Modern Domestic (our local sewing studio) last weekend, our friend Lupine (co-owner of the shop) commented that she loved that there are no facings.

Yes, facings are often necessary and sometimes make finishing easier, but often they are just too fussy.


Both versions of Dahlia are finished with bias tape instead. If you’ve ever made our free Sorbetto pattern, you know that bias tape can be very easy to work with, faster to sew than a facing, and also really fun to make in different colors or patterns. But even if you don’t want to make it, there are a lot of fun options on the market these days.

Now in French and English!

One more piece of good news. We also have translated instructions for Dahlia in French, so if French is your preferred language, you can download the instructions and sew along more easily!

Whether you buy the printed or digital pattern, you can download the French instructions from us either way. We’ll also be translating some of our other popular patterns into French and releasing those very soon.

We’d love to translate into other languages as well, but we’re beginning with French because we have a great translator with sewing knowledge.

Get 15% off, now through Friday!

I’ve talked enough, so head on over to the shop and get Dahlia for 15% off through Friday!

I can’t wait to see what you guys make.

Model: Amie at Muse
Photos: Sarai Mitnick
Makeup: Hayley Miller
Hair: Brianna LeBlanc, Bandit Styling
Fabrics: Emerald green raw silk (v.1), plaid rayon suiting (v.1), black rayon with metallic bias tape (v.2), purchased locally
Styling help: Kristen Blackmore
Shoes: Vintage Ferragamos
Bag: Vintage Coach

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New pattern Tuesday!


Just a quick reminder that our new pattern is being released on Tuesday!

There’s still time to get on the secret preview list to be first to see it and order on Monday at noon Pacific instead. We just ask that you keep it a secret until the official release at 10am Tuesday. You’ll also get a special discount just for folks on the preview list. I can’t wait to share!

(And don’t forget, we now have new lower shipping prices too.)

Get on the sneak peek list!


Weekend Reading + new pattern on Tuesday!


I hope you guys are looking forward to the new pattern next week. We’ve been working on it so long, I feel disconcerted about actually releasing it! I can’t believe it’s time to let it go off into the world.

Don’t forget to get on the sneak peek list if you want an early preview Monday and a special discount.

Here are a few things I’m reading right now.

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


Do you have any sewing rituals?


I love rituals. They shape my life and make me a happier, more centered person.

For example, every weekday starts the same way for me. I wake up early, turn on the coffee, and meditate for 10-15 minutes while it brews. I drink my coffee and go through a list of quick tasks I call “my dailies”. I eat, run or work out, eat again, shower, get dressed. Every day.

You might call this a routine, but I prefer to think of them as rituals. They are the things I choose to do, the things that center me and prepare me for the rest of the day. They make me feel calm and more creative.

And that’s what I think the difference is between a ritual and routine. Rituals energize and prepare you, routines (while helpful) are rather mindless.

I realized recently that I also have sewing rituals.

I clean off my space. I brew a cup of tea or coffee. I make sure my tools are handy. I put a pair of nippers on a ribbon around my neck.

Doing these things helps to put me in the right head space. It makes me feel (1) more prepared and (2) relaxed. The latter is especially important, because I find that beginning with this feeling of ease and relaxation is the number one thing that prevents me from getting frustrated.

This made me wonder if you guys also feel you have rituals around sewing, and what those might be. What makes you feel prepared to work on a project?


New lower shipping prices!


As I mentioned on Friday, we’ve made some big changes along with our move into a new studio. The most important one is overhauling the way we do shipping.

Working with an outside fulfillment warehouse has been vital to our ability to grow. I really can’t imagine how different things would be if we hadn’t made that switch years ago.

But we got to a point where it just made sense to bring it back home. We were dead set on getting our shipping prices down for you guys (and for our retailers).

So from this point on, we have a completely new and more efficient shipping system, run by the fantastic Meg.

The bottom line

We’ve reduced shipping prices across the board, for all kinds of orders. International customers will especially notice a huge drop in shipping rates, as we’re passing on all the efficiencies straight to you.

Not only are there lower rates, but we also are able to ship now with more options, including cheaper shipping methods for many orders that we weren’t able to use before. So that’s the deal!

Check it out in the shop!

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