Five Things to Sew This Weekend: Fall Edition

Of all the seasons, I think Fall invokes the most feelings. When you imagine Fall, vivid pictures enter your mind; colors, foods, objects, the smell in the air, the feel of the chilly breezes. Everything just seems so rusty and burnt orange, so soft and cozy, like we can relate to the hibernating animals, innately knowing it's time to wrap up the outside life and prepare for the season of being indoors with our blankets, slippers and hot tea.

That Fall scent is in the air here in Northern Utah and it give me all the feels. I wish it could last a big longer before Winter hits and the true hibernation begins, but in the mean time, I will start some Fall sewing projects and share my top five Fall weekend sewing ideas here with you, in case you feel the need to sew something cozy too.

Five thing to sew for Fall that you can sew up this weekend! Click over for my top favorite sewing tutorial and patterns for Fall. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewing #fall #diy #pumkincrafts

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.


One:

How to sew a fleece blanket by Sugar Bee Crafts. Ok, I know, fleece blankets are everywhere, but I really love this one because it’s actually sewn together with a front and a back, not just tied or finished with a zig-zag, AND has those fabulous big pom-poms. I think these would make great gifts, especially if you use nice anti-pill fleece.

Two:

Chenille Fabric Pumpkins by Flamingo Toes. I adore these! I’ve made some fabric pumpkins, but the texture of these ones is so great, and the raffia adds a special touch, plus the vintage baby spoons for stems!? C’mon. So cute. I love the colors she chose too, unconventional colors always add something unique to traditional projects. Find some chenille options here.

Three:

Arm warmer tutorial on the Califabrics blog. I like arm warners because my other hobby is photography and I use them to keep my hands kinda warm while keeping the necessary fingers free. This project is super cute and could really use up some knit scraps! And they’d be way faster than the knitted pair I made several years ago, ha! (For real, knitting takes forever … or I’m just really slow at it).

Four:

Hey June released the Evans Blazer today and I’m dying. She makes the BEST patterns for people like me, who dress casually most of the time. I like how she styled each different blazer she made for the post too. Just love it and definitely plan to buy the pattern and make one (or three). I just need to find the right fabrics. Maybe this for my first one.

Five:

Pumpkin Sky Pillow by Carried Away Quilting. I really like this quilt block, especially the white pumpkin idea. It’s a pillow here, but I’m thinking of making it as a mini quilt. It will be fun to go through my scraps to find some fabrics to sew this up this weekend. Seems like a relaxing little project for me!



That’s five! I definitely want to fit in some serious sewing time this weekend! It’s been pretty busy around here this week, so I’m going to try to carve out time to sew on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of five things to sew this weekend. Here’s a link to all the previous editions.

Cheers : )



Comment

One Pattern, Three Looks: New Look 6644

Happy Monday, folks! Did you do any sewing this weekend? I haven’t so far, but today after the Bronco game I hope to … or during the game if they start losing really bad, hahaha.

Last week I got on a roll with one knit top pattern and made three different versions. It’s one of the Fall New Look releases, 6644, and I liked it for the pants initially, but once I looked at the top, I was even more excited about that!

I have three versions to show you, so let’s get started.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

PIN ME!

I made New Look 6644 three different times! Each look is so different and I know I’ll be using this basic knit top pattern a lot in the future. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #newlookpatterns #sewingpattern #diyfashion #sewingclothes

The first version was intended to be a muslin and thus, is made from a thrifted jersey sheet. Once I knew I liked the pattern, I went ahead and finished this top as a pajama shirt. Of course, I needed some shorts to go with it, so I pulled out McCall's 7610 and whipped up a pair with the remaining fabric. It was my first time using this pattern for shorts and I really like it!

I made New Look 6644 three different times! Each look is so different and I know I’ll be using this basic knit top pattern a lot in the future. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #newlookpatterns #sewingpattern #diyfashion #sewingclothes

The second version and the one I love the most is from a rayon baby rib knit I got on my last trip to Colorado. It's a beautiful deep sea green color and so soft. There wasn't quite enough of it to make a cardigan, which was my original intention, so this pattern was the perfect solution. It's absolutely perfect to throw over pretty much any outfit and it's a perfect transitional piece for Fall. I've already worn it quite a bit this week and I'm sad when it's in the wash. (My shoes below are a pair I thrifted and they were like new! They’re Puma, you can find them here in several colors, and SO SO bendy and comfy). Also, the jeans are from Target, find similar here.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my    disclosure policy.

I was so excited about this pattern, I went ahead and pulled a few other fabrics to see if I could squeeze out one or two more. This pattern doesn't take very much fabric, so it's perfect for the smaller knit pieces in my drawer just waiting for the right project to come along.

I had thrifted this striped double knit several months ago. For this version I got fancy and used some stretch lace to make a small front pocket and sleeve bands. I cropped the sleeves on this one and also two inches off the bottom before adding the band. I love this one too! It's perfect over my plainer dresses. I also think it would be cute over a solid white button down. (My booties are also thrifted, but they are Nine West.)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my    disclosure policy.

I'm not done with this pattern by a long shot. I didn't even put it back in the envelope when I worked on something else this week. I've pulled a pretty green rayon sweater knit out of the drawer and am crossing my fingers that I'll have enough for a fourth version.

I will also be making those pants at some point!

What is your favorite tried and true pattern? Also, are you creeped out by thrifted shoes?? Haha!!

Cheers!

Comment

Unrelated: Vol. 1

This happens to me ALL the time: I try and love a recipe, I devour a great book, I come across a fascinating article online, or I find a product I'm crazy about and I DESPERATELY want to share it with you all. BUT, this is a sewing blog! I'm supposed to blog about sewing!

But, who says I can't share these unrelated things with you, right? This is my blog, after all, and you are my tribe. Chances are, if we relate to each other about sewing things, we may relate to each other over non-sewing things too.

So, without further ado, welcome to Volume 1 of "Unrelated", where I will recommend to you five things I am loving, but are unrelated to sewing. Look for a new edition every Sunday!

First though, here’s a photo of my pretty Fall living room :)

Fall living room || Pin Cut Sew Studio #livingroom #decor #Fall

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Let’s get to it!

First,

if you’re a fan of C.S. Lewis (who am I kidding, of course you are ;), I’ve loved these two books of his complied letters, Letters to an American Lady and Letters to Children. Of course he was a brilliant man and author, but there is something about reading his letters to others that gives insight into his life and mind and let me tell you, he was so funny.

Second,

I’m going to Hobby Lobby today to buy supplies for this Fall wreath. The kids and I are going to make it together. We’ll have to go hunt down some pine cones first because the only ones at the park nearest our house are too skinny.

Third,

I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times. It’s one Instant Pot recipe that I feel is truly instant. I can make it in literally 15 minutes in between running my girls to dance. It’s crowd pleaser too! We had a house guest recently and he gobbled it up, asked for the recipe, then made it for a crowd when he got home. Everyone loves it.

Fourth,

we homeschool as you may know, and my son was wanting to learn to type (he’s 11). Rather than purchasing software, we poked around online to see what there was for free. This site is perfect! He’s learning so quickly and it makes a fun vintage typewriter noise as he types, which for some reason, I love.

Fifth

and last, there is this Instagram account called Cheap Old Houses and it’s soooo much fun to follow. If you’re like me and are obsessed with browsing realtor.com just to see what’s out there in various cities and states, you’ll love this account.

That’s five! Please tell me what you’re loving right now!

Simple Fall living room decor || PIn Cut Sew Studio #livingroom #falldecor #simpleliving

BTW, those little fabric pumpkins are from the Target Dollar Spot. You can get a set of 8 here :)

Cheers!

Nikki

Comment

Vest to Jacket Pattern Hack (my almost-sewing-fail)

This jacket story is more like a saga. I found this amazing pink and red wool flannel at my thrift store and neeeeeded to see my jacket vision through immediately. This must-have-it-now attitude sort of backfired on me this time! Long story short, after putting in a lot of pattern hunting time, then pattern hacking time into it, the jacket was just slightly too small for me.

BUT, there is a happy ending! The jacket is perfect for my daughter. Meet Natalie's new coziest-ever-super-cute-really-well-made jacket.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

How I used to Hero Vest pattern to make a jacket by adding sleeves (and all with thrifted fabrics!) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #teensewing #jacketpattern #sewing

It's SO cute and seriously, the wool flannel is the coziest ever. The dark navy sweatshirt fleece I used for the sleeves, lining and hood lining is also thrifted. It was originally a very nice quality sweatshirt fleece blanket! (I've blogged about thrifting for fabrics here.) The inside of the lining is sewn so that the soft side is against her body, like a sweatshirt would be.

I could not for the life of me find a pattern for the jacket I knew I wanted to make with these two things, so I ended up using a vest pattern and adapting it to include sleeves. The Hero Vest pattern by Make It Perfect was the closest I could find (I wanted both pockets and a hood). My fatal mistake was not making a muslin! I've even blogged about why I started making a muslin every time! Ugh, Nikki. I didn't take my own advice and it backfired on me, for sure. Lesson learned, though!

How I used to Hero Vest pattern to make a jacket by adding sleeves (and all with thrifted fabrics!) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #teensewing #jacketpattern #sewing

If I had made a muslin, I would have realized how small the sizing runs. I did make my size according to the chart, but I should have cut the front and back out of muslin fabric, just to make sure it would fit. I even added four inches to the front opening in attempt to make it work (see the navy bands down the front) and it was still a little snug. But again, the silver lining here is that it's perfect for Natalie and she really loves it. She’s worn it to dance a couple times and has gotten lots of compliments, which is always a good feeling.

How I used to Hero Vest pattern to make a jacket by adding sleeves (and all with thrifted fabrics!) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #teensewing #jacketpattern #sewing

As for my changes, I added sleeves by using the sleeve piece from a hoodie pattern I had in my drawer. Then, since the vest pieces have lower armholes than a garment with sleeves would, I altered that line using the front and back pieces of the hoodie pattern as a guide.

Also, there are instructions on the designer’s website for how to encase the zipper into the lining, which I used and that worked awesome. This way, the zipper tape doesn't show if you wear the jacket unzipped.

SO, despite my troubles, I actually would recommend this pattern! It turned out so cute and I might reprint, figure out the correct size and try again. Just beware the size chart!

While I was hunting for a pattern for this project, I came across several amazing vest patterns, which I recently compiled into a blog post here. So check that out, if you’re inspired to try a vest this cold season!

Comment

Green Shirt Dress: Simplicity 8014

I really love green! I always have. Do you guys remember the “Color Me Beautiful” quiz from the 80’s (I think) that categorized you into a season and told you what colors to wear? I’m pretty sure I was a Spring, and most greens are probably Fall colors, but I don’t care, I like to wear it anyway. It does need to be a certain shade to look good on me, though. If it has too much yellow, it’s a no go.

I’d been pinning several green shirt dresses to my style board on Pinterest, where there are no shortage of styling ideas for a piece like I had in mind. A quick search on Gap’s website alone comes up with three fabulous green shirt dresses, like this green denim one, this maxi version and this one (my favorite!).

When I spotted a pretty green cotton fabric with great texture at Hobby Lobby, mixed in with the Halloween and pumpkin prints, I immediately bought some. It was just such a perfect weight for garment sewing, so I thought it would make a great green shirt dress for Fall.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Green shirt dress with Simplicity pattern 8014 || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewing #shirtdress #diyfashion #simplicitypatterns

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! I already had a couple shirt dress patterns on hand, but since one of my favorite sewing bloggers, Emily Hallman, has said good things about this one, I went with Simplicity 8014. I made a muslin and to my amazement, it needed zero alterations! That never happens to me, but I wasn’t going to argue with it.

I did have a bit of drama with the buttons. To make a long story short, the snaps I bought at Hobby Lobby don’t function and need to be taken off the shelves. I didn’t read reviews on them first, but if I had, I could have saved myself the trouble. Since I had already purchased them (AND the corresponding snap pliers), I didn’t want to spend more money on different snaps. I also didn’t want to go all the way to Joann. I really was set on the look of snaps, though, ugh! I was being so picky!

Green shirt dress, Simplicity 8104 || Pin Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #shirtdress #simplicitypatterns

I slept on it and it occurred to me I don’t actually need the buttons to function. It’s not like I’d be wearing it unbuttoned! I had managed to figure out how to attach the snap fronts, just not the backs, so I went ahead and installed them on the front placket and then … I sewed the front shut from the top snap to the bottom one, right along the top stitching on the placket. I can get the dress on over my head just fine and no one will be the wiser (except for you, because I just told you ;) It has the added bonus of not being at risk of gaping open between the buttons!

Problem solved.

I find there’s a lot in sewing that requires problem solving skills (wait until you hear about my latest jacket adventure!) and that’s actually one of the things I really like about this hobby. Don’t you feel like sometimes having to make do, or come up with a creative solution, ends up being what you like best about a project? Happy accidents abound in sewing.

Cheers!

Comment

The 6 Best Vest Patterns to Sew for Fall

I acquired a piece of plaid wool flannel from my thrift store last weekend and got a bee in my bonnet to make a jacket sort of like this one. Let me tell ya, I had a really hard time finding a pattern! I did find a few for men, one Simplicity and one McCall’s, but none for women.

I decided a pattern mash-up was in order. I found plenty of great vest patterns, so I would need to choose which pieces I’d add to one of them to get the look I wanted. I definitely wanted a hood and pockets and I wanted it lined, so I found a pattern that had those elements, to which I could easily add sleeves. I’ll reveal which pattern I purchased later, but I also want to share with you the six fabulous vest patterns I now want to sew up, thanks to my frantic searching for the perfect jacket pattern!

PIn Me!

I’ve found my six favorite Fall vest sewing patterns and put them in one handy place! come see the six vests you should sew for Fall and get fabric suggestions to go with them! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #fallsewing #vestpatterns #outerwear #diyfashion

This post contains affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

  1. First up, from our trusty Big 4 company, McCall’s 7695

Someone on Instagram who was watching my pattern hunt on stories, alerted me to McCall’s 7695. Ultimately I didn’t go with this one because it didn’t fit my vision for this particular project, but I promptly put in on my list for the next McCall’s sale. I’m seeing similar jackets on boutique sites (like here) also, which helps me see the many ways I could style a vest like this.

But, if sewing outerwear isn’t your thing, you can try this one:

2. Second, Burda Style Puffy Vest Pattern

I just found out today my city is expecting epic snowfall this year (facepalm), and I have frozen my way through my two winters in Utah (Hawaii living really killed my cold tolerance, ha!) I think adding a couple of warm layers might be the ticket and help me stay warm. I’ve never owned a puffy vest, but this might be the year I finally make one! This pattern seems to be basic enough and would do the trick.

Though, if I were going to buy a puffy vest instead, I'd go with this pink one (the yellow is a close second!)

3. Next up, the Envigado Vest by Itch to Stitch

I love this vest and see similar ones styled up in all kinds of ways all over the Internet. I didn’t pick this pattern for this project because I wasn’t sure how I’d figure out the sizing if I’m planning to line my jacket with a thicker fabric. I think is a great utility vest pattern, though and I’m excited to track down some twill and make one up. I have a great Fall flannel I could line the hood with, too.


Here is a similar vest for purchase (I love the burgundy color too!)

4. Burda Style Waistcoat

This pattern is so cute! I almost ditched my whole plan and made this instead, but I think it will be more useful in a solid color. I can see it being a good addition to my wardrobe in a neutral, but probably not in the pink and red plaid I’m using for this project. The peplum and the side buttons are my favorites details.

5. The runner up, Waffle Patterns Hooded Vest

I almost went with this pattern, I truly love it. But using an Indie pattern company for the first time, knowing you’re going to make alterations is always risky and in the end, again, I wasn’t sure of the sizing with the thicker lining I was wanting to use. This pattern is fabulous, though, especially because you can purchase a sleeve add-on to make it into a jacket instead of a vest, which is pretty convenient.

Since we’re vest shopping (ha!) I really like this Carhartt vest in light blue. I don’t know if it fits my life. Maybe if I still had chickens, I wouldn’t feel like a poser wearing Carhartt, hahaha! Is this something I could wear in my city-girl life??

6. The winner: Women’s Hero Vest by make it perfect

I went with this pattern for my jacket! The pattern calls for sherpa lining, so I know it will work with the sweatshirt fleece lining I’m planning to use. The hood is also lined, which I wanted. It has pockets, I like the style and it should be easy to add sleeves. I already cut out my pieces with my sleeve alteration, so I’ll keep you posted on my finished product later. Fingers crossed it works out how I want it!

Hero Vest pattern by make it perfect. Come see why I chose this pattern among 5 others, plus fabric links for sewing Fall vests! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewing #fallsewing #vestpattern

Fabric Suggestions:

Like it said, I got my wool flannel at the thrift store, but I didn’t mention that I also found my lining there. I always shop the entire linens section for fabric options! I found a sweatshirt fleece blanket of great quality that I cut up to line my jacket with.

Finding the proper fabrics for projects like outerwear can be confusing, I know. Hobby Lobby’s Fall fashion line has some seriously amazing choices for these styles of vests right now! Yesterday I spotted several sherpa options, including a sherpa-lined buffalo plaid. They also have some great quilted fabrics, including a dusty pink one I think I might use for McCall’s 7695. When I first saw these fabrics arriving at my Hobby Lobby, I had no idea what to do with them, but this vest saga has given me plenty of ideas!

And of course there are also plenty of great options on Amazon!

I’m excited to sew up some outerwear this Fall and Winter! I’ve been pinning all my favorite ideas here, and I’d love for you to follow along and point me in the direction of any other great outerwear ideas you come across! Tips for how to keep my feet warm this winter are also welcome ;)

Cheers!

Comment

Brushed Poly Dress: McCall's 7812

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links.  For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Last Summer I made a dress out of a brushed poly fabric I got at Hobby Lobby. I’m usually somewhat anti polyester, but the print was so beautiful and the fabric SO soft, I gave it a try. That dress is one of my most-worn pieces of the last year! There’s something about brushed poly. It travels great because it doesn’t wrinkle, it holds its shape with wear, the print doesn’t fade even after many, many washes.

So when I visited Denver and went to Colorado fabrics, I chose another brushed poly fabric with McCall’s 7812 in mind. I love how it turned out.

Knit dress, McCall’s 7812

The only changes I made were to shorten the sleeves and to make my own ties out of my fabric, rather than use ribbon. It’s a very easy pattern and perfect for this brushed poly knit fabric.

I rounded up some great brushed poly prints for you, including the cactus print I almost bought instead (it was hard to choose! Here are a several I think are great:

We’ll see how much I like to wear it when it’s super hot outside. The first dress I made with this kind of fabric is very loose, so I stay cool in it, but the jury’s still out on a closer fitting poly dress. I’ll keep you posted.

double brushed poly dress, McCall’s 7812

Did you know I’m always pinning great content and ideas for sewing on Pinterest? Click the button below to follow me there!

Comment

Why I started making a muslin every single time

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links.  For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Before we start, if you don’t know what a “muslin” is in garment sewing, it’s basically a mock up of the pattern in an inexpensive fabric called muslin. I didn’t used to bother with muslins at all. When I got really into garment sewing about 10 years ago, I lived in a place where nice fabric was readily available to me at a good cost. That is no longer the case. The industry has changed quite a bit, I no longer live somewhere conveniently located to good fabric stores other than JoAnn (don’t get me started), and sewing definitely isn’t a cheap hobby these days!

Several months ago, I got really tired of making things that didn’t turn out and having to toss out my nice fabrics and decided to muslin my next project. I had such good results that I have made a muslin of every single garment since then and have only had one wadder due to poor fabric choice (rookie mistake.)

Whether you’re just starting out with garment sewing or are an old pro, I thought I’d give you some tips for making muslins here today.

How to make a muslin for sewing patterns

1.Your muslin doesn’t have to be muslin

You can of course buy muslin fabric by the yard or by the bolt for just this purpose, and if you’re the kind who really needs your practice clothes to be uniform in color, this may be the way to go. However, you can use anything to make a muslin. When your well-meaning neighbor gives you a box of ugly fabric, keep the biggest pieces to use as muslins rather than throwing them out. I’ve taken to buying sheets at the thrift store to use as muslins and it’s been working awesome for me! Be strategic, though. Sheets come in all kinds of fabrics these days. I use the microfiber kind to sub for my drapier fabrics, 100% cotton sheets to use as heavier fabrics and jersey sheets to mock up patterns for knits. Sheets at my thrift store are around $4 each and I can get three or more garments out of one.

2. Cut only the necessary pattern pieces for your muslin

You don’t need to construct the entire garment. You’re making a muslin to check and perfect the fit, so only cut the pieces you need to do so. Omit collars, facings, pockets, and often even sleeves or skirt portions of dresses. No need to insert the zipper either.

3. Use a basting stitch

Use a long stitch length and go ahead and sew your pieces together. I so still back stitch at the beginning and ends of seams so that when I try them on they don’t just come apart. Assume you’ll need to take some of those stitches out as you adjust. A basting stitch will make this much easier.

4. Nip and Tuck

Try on your muslin, pin up any openings or what have you, then see what adjustments needs made. You can get a lot of information about fit by pinching out excess or slicing open spots that pull. Is your top too small in the bust? Do you need a full bust adjustment? Do the edges not quite meet where the zipper will go? Try taking smaller side seams. I the back of the neckline gaping? Take some darts out of it. While I can’t go into a whole fitting series here, you’ll have no trouble finding tutorials for every issue only and below are some fitting books that could be very helpful for you.

5. Transfer your changes

Many people prefer to trace their pattern pieces and make their changes there, but I usually just make my changes on my pattern pieces with good ol’ scotch tape. If you changes were extensive, you may need to cut a new muslin of one or several pieces. I promise it’s worth it! When I posted a wrap dress I made recently, I made the comment that the pattern would not have worked out if I hadn’t taken the time to make a muslin. The front would have gaped wide open and I would have been so sad if I’d had to throw that project away! You can see below how I taped up that front bodice pattern piece and added printer paper to heighten the neckline! I posted Natalie’s Easter dress here, where you can see the taped up pattern piece.

How to make a muslin

Proceed with confidence!

Now that you have your pattern perfected, you can cut into your nice fabric with confidence! Just make sure your print isn’t upside down. A muslin can’t help you there ;)

Comment

70's Wrap Skirt

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links.  For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Last summer Casey and I were in Canyon City, CO and went to the BEST thrift store ever. Does anyone else visit thrift shops everywhere they go? It was there I picked up a vintage 70’s pattern for a wrap skirt. Then, in Denver last month I bought a fabric I knew would be perfect for this pattern. I was so excited when the result matched my vision!

Wrap Skirt

Below is a photo of what the pattern looks like. Check out the price! Haha. Vintage patterns typically came in just one size per envelope, you can see this one is size 16, which is larger than I usually make, but being a wrap skirt, I thought it would be fine and it was. (Read my post about making sense of pattern sizing here). This skirt actually even fits my girls, so they want to borrow it, of course. They tend to look offended when I make myself something they like for themselves, ha!

DSC_0074.jpg

I feel like a wrap skirt is one of those things that has always been and always will be in style. Obviously you can’t go out and pick up this pattern unless you look for it on Etsy, of course. But there are other wrap skirt patterns you can use instead. Below is the most similar I could find and while it’s out of print, you can still get it on Amazon!

Ooh and here’s a current Burda pattern that is also similar.

bur6340_01.jpg

I think I may use this pattern again, I like the non-wrap version also, although I may have to grade down the sizing on that one. I have lots more summer sewing plans, I’ve actually made a handful of things already, I’m just behind on blogging them!

Comment

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Part 4: Reading the Instructions

This post my contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links.  For more info, see my disclosure policy.

I'm back with part 4 of a series on how to read sewing patterns and today we're going to learn to decipher the instructions! If you haven't read the rest of the series yet, here are some links: 

Part 1: Choosing your pattern and reading the envelope

Part 2: Making sense of sizing

Part 3: Cutting out your pieces

How to sew with patterns

Did you ever take those quizzes in school, where the first instructions was to read all the instructions and the last instruction was to ignore every instruction after the first one? So you looked like a total idiot if you skipped reading the instructions? Yeah, well, when reading sewing patterns, I'm going to tell you NOT to read all the instructions before you start. If you're a beginner at using patterns, reading all that stuff with all those drawings is just going to overwhelm you. Thus, today's Pro Tip: Just take it one step at a time! 

We talked about the first page of instructions already when we learned to use the cutting diagrams in part 3, but there's some more important information on that sheet. In time, you won't need to refer to this page at all, but for starting out, if you're having a hard time knowing what the instructions mean by certain terms, go back to your "General Instructions" and chances are you'll find your answer. See below the glossary of terms on a pattern I cut out to make today. 

How to read sewing patterns 

I know, those are very short descriptions, but it's okay because we have the Internet, ha! I promise you'll find plenty of videos or more thorough explanations of any of these terms with a quick google search. 

Also on this page, you'll find your "seam allowance", which is how far from the raw edges you're going to be sewing unless otherwise instructed on certain steps. For garment sewing, seam allowances are almost always 5/8" (in the U.S., at least). If you have trouble knowing where that is on your machine, use your gauge to measure from the needle and stick a piece of washi tape there as a guide. I do this for my sewing students quite a bit to help them stay on their seam allowance! 

How to use a sewing pattern

You can also see in the above photo, along with the seam allowance, there's a fabric key. In the drawings throughout the instructions, you'll come across these textures to help you see which parts in the drawings are the right or wrong side of the fabric, for example. 

The last bit of good info on this sheet is about pattern markings. You may have noticed when you cut out your pieces, there are notches, circles, squares and/or triangles all over them. These markings are important! You'll find your own favorite methods of marking, but I'll share some of what I do after this next photo. 

How to sew with patterns

Most of your markings will be notches and these help you line up your pieces correctly when sewing them together. I cut a small snip (not too big, maybe 1/4" so it's well inside my seam allowance). For the circles, squares and triangles, different people have different preferred methods. A collection of marking pens and tailors chalk is a good thing to have on hand. I don't like marking with these things, so I almost always just mark with pins by picking up a couple threads with a pin in just the right spot. This works for me, but experiment with the tools available to you and decide what you like best. Megan Nielsen has written an excellent article on five ways to make your pattern markings. To make these markings, simply stick a pin through the circle on the pattern piece and then mark each fabric layer right on the pin. 

See that pin in my dart circle? 

See that pin in my dart circle? 

You're officially ready to start sewing! And remember, just take it one step at a time! 

Trying to write a post covering every new thing you'll encounter as you sew various patterns would be impossible, but here are my three pieces of advice as you work through the instructions: 

  1. Trust the process. Some steps may not make sense at first, but they're in there for a reason, so don't skip them. 
  2. Us the Internet! One of the best things about people who sew is that they love to help others learn to sew too and there is so much content online to help you with those steps you don't understand. 
  3. Press as you go. You can always tell when a handmade garment has not been properly pressed! Make friends with your iron, because it is an essential tool in sewing. When the instructions say press, you'd better press! I use Shark irons in my studio  and I love them. And remember, pressing is different that ironing

I hope this series has helped you feel prepared to tackle sewing with patterns! Part 5 will be about fitting garments as you go, so stay tuned for that next week. Cheers! 

1 Comment

The things we made in May

This post contains affiliate links, which mean that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links.  For more info, see my disclosure policy. 

The best part of sewing blogs is seeing what people have made, right!? I compiled all the things we made at Pin, Cut, Sew studio in May and boy, it's a lot. 

Monthly Makes, www.pincutsewstudio.com

I'll start with what my sewing students made over the last month. 

We made colored pencil rolls using the tutorial at Create in the Chaos. These were a hit with my students and they were all able to do the sewing with little help since it's just a lot of straight lines.

Kids sewing class, www.pincutsewstudio.com

My other class made their own pajama shorts using Simplicity #8401. You can visit my post about teaching kids to sew clothing right here

Teaching kids to sew at www.pincutsewstudio.com

That same class also wanted to make pineapple plushies on the last day of classes for the school year, so I came up with these cute little guys! They got to practice some embroidery and got creative with the faces. 

Kids sewing classes at www.pincutsewstudio.com

My other class, for the last day, chose to have a free sewing day, where they could come up with their own ideas and I could help bring them to life! These two siblings came up with some super cool ideas! John made a golden snitch with a zipper case for it and Alex made a pillow to give her parents on their anniversary.

Kids can sew, www.pincutsewstudio.com

My third student in that class made a doll skirt and shirt and a doll tote bag, but I forgot to get a photo (bad sewing teacher!) I do have a tutorial for that doll tote bag right here, though and tips for sewing doll clothes right here. Stay tuned for a tutorial on making skirts for any size doll! 

I think that's it for my classes for May, so now let me show you some personal makes! I don't always sew this many garments in a month, but there were some holes in my Summer wardrobe so I got busy. I definitely sew more of my Summer Wardrobe than I do my Winter wardrobe. I guess I have no desire to make jeans or sweaters, ha! 

I'll start with the most recent make because it's a new favorite. I made yet another Blackwood Cardigan and it's my best one yet. Actually the next three photos include makes from this pattern, so you could say I'm obssessed. I don't buy a lot of indie sewing patterns, but it's safe to say I've gotten my money's worth from this one! 

Blackwood Cardigan made by Nikki at www.pincutsewstudio.com

This next one I made awhile back. I didn't have enough fabric to make sleeves, so I made it a vest instead. Both this fabric and the stripe above are from GirlCharlee.com, a great resource for knits of all kinds. I made this gray tank too, from a pattern I drafted from a ready-to-wear tank. Fabric is from Hobby Lobby. 

Blackwood Cardigan, www.pincutsewstudio.com

I liked that one so much, I pulled out another knit I didn't have a whole lot of (I actually bought it from a thrift store) and made another Blackwood vest. This knit is thicker and it turned out with kind of a utility vest vibe, which I dig! 

Blackwood cardigan vest by www.pincutsewstudio.com

Next up, this is my favorite top! This organic cotton double knit has been on the clearance table at Joann literally since I moved here a year ago, but it was still super pricey. It finally went down in price another notch and I bought a yard. I used a tried and true pattern, Very Easy Vogue 9109      and I love it so much. 

Vogue 9109 by Nikki of www.pincutsewstudio.com

My next outift includes two handmade pieces. I wanted a higher waisted crisp denim skirt. I grabbed the perfect denim at a Joann sale and used a Cynthia Rowley pattern, Simplicity 1783. I almost always Cynthia Rowley's designs and this one turned out great! The yellow lace tie top was made with a mustard lace I'd had in my stash for a couple years and I used the new pattern, Simplicity 8601, eliminating the sleeves and lowering the neckline. I like this look and my fashionista daughter said it's her favorite, so I think it's a good one! 

Simplicity 1783 & 8601 by Nikki of www.pincutsewstudio.com

I really needed some basic tanks, so I snatched one yard of this rayon jersey at Joann and used the free pattern by Hey June called the Durango Tank. I highly recommend, the cut is great and you can't beat free! Be sure and check out her other patterns too. 

Durango Tank pattern

This is another outfit with two handmade pieces. The skirt is a very basic pattern, New Look 6436, and I love the pockets! The top is McCall's 7603 and while this is not my first attempt at it, but it is the first version I've loved. It just took some time to get the fit right, because it runs large and I don't like the pleat in the back, so I'll now eliminate that altogether in the future. Now that I have it how I want it, I can see a few more versions! Both these fabrics are from Hobby Lobby's Spring Fashion fabric line. 

New Look 6436 and McCall's 7603 by Nikki of www.pincutsewstudio.com

Lastly, I made a couple pair of rayon shorts using Kwik Sew 4181, which is really an activewear pattern. The shorts are super cute and comfy, but they're a bit too short for me to be comfortable wearing out. But the pattern is great and I'll definitely give it another try and lengthen it! For now, these shorts were awesome for the two days we spent outside building a chicken run for the ladies (by ladies, I mean hens. It occurs to me you wouldn't know that if you don't follow me on Instagram). This pair is a rayon denim from Joann (such dreamy fabric!) and the pair I didn't get a photo of is out of a textured black rayon also from Joann. 

Shorts from Kiwik Sew 4181 by Nikki of www.pincutsewstudio.com

Whew! I feel accomplished! Please don't start thinking I have this kind of output from the sewing room every month! We finished our homeschool year in April, so that probably explains my productivity in May, ha! Come September, I'll probably have one or two things to share if I'm lucky ;) 

One last thing, I remembered, we did make these cute unicorn headbands in May! Find our easy tutorial here. 

Cheers and happy sewing!! 

Comment

Weekday Sewing & Why I Love Jalie Patterns!

I've been parenting solo for about three weeks and have about the same left to go. My mother-in-law visited us this past week, which was an awesome break up of the time Casey's gone. It was nice to have some adult company and we even took a break from school and homeschool co op while she was here, which was also nice. My sewing machine was happy to see me back yesterday, though! 

I was being a little short on patience with my kids and knew I was craving time alone in my own head and that it would help to put my ear buds in and sew and nicely ask them to not ask any questions of me unless someone was dying, for at least two hours. It worked, I felt a ton better after that and have this AWESOME shirt to show for it! 

Jalie hooded tee

Jalie hooded tee

I had the girls snap some pics for me during Kelby's golf lesson today. Sorry to my winter friends who hate me for my palm trees. 

The pattern is the Jalie hooded tunics and tees. As usual with Jalie patterns, I absolutely love this and will get a ton of use out of it! I bought the pdf and taped. I don't mind the taping process, I think it's kinda fun. The fabric is an amazing French terry from Girl Charlee. After making a dress and a skirt from French Terry recently (which I just realized I haven't blogged about!), I had to get my hands on some more French terry and I really loved this print. It's actually darker gray than it looks in these photos, more on the charcoal side.

Jalie hooded tee

Jalie hooded tee

Jalie hooded tee

Jalie hooded tee

This is my second completed project that is on my  2017 Make Nine to-sew list! I do like having that list made, because when I'm looking at what to sew next, it's a good reminder that there are things I really need in my wardrobe and patterns I've been wanting to try. 

Let me just rave about Jalie's sizing real quick! You cannot beat the accuracy, my measurements fell right into one size AND it's the size that corresponds to my ready to wear size according to their chart! And this top fits me absolutely perfectly. ALSO, their pattern include the sizing for children up to adult, so I can use the same pattern to make my girls some tops without having to purchase another pattern in their size. Awesome. 

I have plans for another version of this, but long sleeved. Maybe out of this sweatshirt fleece? I also think the tunic length will be cool in colder climates after we move, with leggings!

Can't wait! Before I go, Layla snapped this photo of a cardinal at golf today! So pretty. 

2 Comments

Soft Headband Tutorial

Our newest video tutorial is up! Layla and I are going to show you how to make soft headbands in any size.

How to Sew a Soft Headband

We hope you're enjoying these tutorials and if so, that you'll subscribe to our channel and share with your sewing friends. Part of the reason we started the Pin, Cut, Sew YouTube channel is because there just isn't a whole lot out there specifically directed at kids who want to sew. I know many of my local sewing students have been watching our videos and trying the ideas, so that alone makes the effort worth it! But these tutorials are also good for adults, I really try to span the ages :) 

Enjoy! 

My girls are really loving these and they're sooo easy. I hope if you make some, you'll show me by commenting here or on YouTube or tagging me on Instagram! I would truly love to see. 

Comment

Archer Shirt and thoughts on Indie Patterns

I don't buy indie sewing patterns very often, not on principle, but mostly because I tend towards getting more for my money and the Big 4 pattern companies are so, so cheap. However, my wardrobe has become quite small, as I gravitate towards items that are lasting, timeless and that I will wear over and over. Something has shifted in my style and my closet and I have less these days, but wear what I have more often. And I love it ALL. I don't keep things I don't love (I let the kids cut them up, ha!) 

Anyway, I committed to the 2017 Make Nine challenge and purposefully chose nine indie patterns that are basics and hopefully that I can sew over and over again. I started with the Grainline Archer. Before I launch into my thoughts on the pattern (I had issues!), here is my end result, which I really do love. 

DSC_0020.jpg

I've had this great plaid fabric for over a year, knowing I wanted to make a long sleeved button down, but not really needing one here in Hawaii. Now that we're moving back to the mainland soon, I thought it was a perfect time to make it happen. I also love that I can use this here in place of a cardigan or sweater (because, you know humid states and their air conditioning). 

You can read my entire review of this on pattern review, but let me just tell you that I had some issues. First, the sizing chart is not accurate. My measurements fell right into the size 10, but I ended up taking a full inch out of the shoulders AND a full inch out of both side/sleeve seams! It was huge. Also, the instructions on this pattern are severely lacking. I had to look up the sewalong on the Grainline blog to figure out the placket application, only to find out it's the same application I've always used with other button down patterns, just horribly explained. The instructions have very few pictures and the wording is just confusing. I have made many button down shirts, but if I hadn't, or if I were a beginner, these instructions would have been seriously frustrating. I didn't even use the instructions after that, I just did it how I know to do it and it looks great. But somehow I doubt they got better. I'm not sure why no one is talking about these poorly written instructions. 

So, my question for you is: Do you think we give indie designers more of a pass because they have faces and are real people who might see what we have to say and be hurt? What are you thoughts on this? I feel bad even asking this and posting these semi-negative points, so I think I've answered my own question. 

That said, in the end, now that I have the fit right, I will make more.  I already have another one planned. But first, I have eight other patterns I'm committed to making this year! Here is my Make Nine list:

  1. The Kelly Anorak Jacket. Moving to Utah will mean I really need to beef up my outerwear collection and I really love this pattern! I intend to hunt for the perfect fabric soon. 
  2. Style Arc Rae Tunic. Looking at this again, I think it might get replaced. Haha. Not sure what I was thinking that day.
  3. Style Arc Josie Hoodie. I'm seeing this in a French Terry! 
  4. Wonder Unders. I need some good slips in my life and this pattern is versatile so I think I'll get a lot of mileage out of it. Looking for a good silk and a silk jersey for slips! 
  5. Archer Shirt. Check! 
  6. Morris Blazer
  7. Knotmaste yoga set. Love those pants! 
  8. Jalie Hooded Tunic. I've had great luck with Jalie Patterns. I'd do this in a French Terry.
  9. Sew Over It Heather Dress. This dress will fit my lifestyle nicely, I think. I enjoy her Youtube channel and I'm eager to try one of her patterns. 

You can find many, many other lists like this by searching the #2017MakeNine hashtag on Instagram! It's fun to take on a challenge like this. I don't usually plan my sewing, but now that sewing is also my business in many ways, I'm finding it's neccessary to schedule in my personal projects, which are really what I love sewing the most! 

Cheers and Happy Sewing! 

8 Comments

A parade of handmade gifts

I was so honored to receive several handmade Christmas gifts this year! I took some photos of them today so I could show you (and just to show them off because they're pretty darn cool!) 

My friend Jenn made me this absolutely adorable mini quilt. Isn't is GREAT!? 

She said it should serve to remind us as we move over and over again, that "home" is wherever we're together. The house is pretty irrelevant, I have learned! 

Next up, my friend Felicia took the time to make me such a thoughtful gift! She made a little cork board for us to use as a prayer board: 

And then added these prayer cards from notconsumed.com, which she couldn't have known I've been wanting to order myself! I would really love to focus on prayer this coming year, it's the only New Year's goal I've come up with so far and I think these will be a great asset as we incorporate more prayer into our homeschool and our family life. 

Lastly, my very talented sister sent me a gift that I LOVE. She is a super talented water color painter and she created a beautiful set of Scriptures to be clipped to a clip board AND several smaller verses to stick around my house (anyone else have Bible verse index cards plastered all over their walls? These are so much prettier). 

So beautiful!! I know how special it is to receive handmade gifts and I feel so honored to have received such beautifully and carefully crafted things. 

Did you get any handmade things for Christmas? 

Cheers and Happy Sewing! :)

1 Comment