You might have seen that Patterntrace has partnered with In a Haystack this month. Kate provides a digital monthly sewing subscription and this month’s package included a treat from us, the Rebekah Top from Sonia Estep Designs and a fabric discount from Loubodu.
With such lovely things on offer I thought it’d be rude not to try them out! I decided (after a lot of thought, there are so many options!) to make the shirt length top, with a scoop neck and a straight sleeve. I knew I’d get the most wear out of that, but I was tempted by the knee length to wear as a dress with tights and boots, next time perhaps! The fabric I chose was Loubodu’s Cotton Jersey in Petrol, a really nice quality medium weight knit, perfect for cooler days.
The pattern was super easy to follow and would easily be within the reach of a beginner, the instructions are clear and I found the sizing to be accurate for a loose fit.
The sleeves are sewn in flat before the side seams are sewn so it really is a quick make. I really love the petrol blue/green of the fabric and it’s made a lovely snug top, which could easily be dressed up or down.… Read More...
This is a guest post from Jayne at Loopy Mabel’s Closet. Jayne is an avid stitcher who is creating her own handmade wardrobe one garment at a time. Follow her journey on her Blog, Instagram or You Tube channel.
I don’t know what it is about the start of the year, but I always feel it’s time to plan my dressmaking projects for the months ahead. It must be because it’s a new year, it always feels like a fresh start or a chance to re-evaluate the year before. Either way it really makes me feel motivated and inspired to sit down and plan my sewing wardrobe. It can’t just be me who feels this way, I’m sure it’s what every dressmaker does. I just love the thrill of planning what sewing patterns I am going to choose and even better what fabrics I need.
Mind you saying that it doesn’t have to be a start of a new year for me to choose new fabrics and projects! I love this part of dressmaking, just as equally as the actual sewing part.
But it’s the planning stage that really triggers my excitement. Just sitting down with a good old pen and note pad and some sewing magazines for inspiration. … Read More...
It looks like we are set for a long cold winter this year, so our thoughts have been turning to nice warm garments and layers to keep us warm. We’ve found several great free patterns to help keep you cozy and warm this winter.
Deer & Doe Plantain T-shirt
This free 3/4 length sleeve t-shirt pattern from French Pattern brand Deer and Doe makes the perfect base layer. Why not whip up a few to wear under thick jumpers this year? Download the free pattern here.
Melly Sews Long Sleeve T-shirt
If you’d prefer full length sleeve then this free long sleeve t-shirt pattern from Melly Sews is just what you need.
Ladies’ Raglan Top
This ladies’ raglan top pattern from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom could be made up in jersey to be used as a long sleeve t-shirt, or from sweatshirt fabric or sleeve to use as a jumper. Get the free pattern here:
Cowl Neck Sweatshirt
You can’t get much cosier than this cowl neck sweatshirt pattern from Sewing Rabbit. Guaranteed to keep you warm this winter!
I pretty much live in these zip up style hoodies all winter long.… Read More...
Ideal for using with our Swedish Tracing Paper, Patterntrace, these metal patternweights will hold the pattern and Patterntrace still whilst you trace. They are also great for keeping the pattern pieces on top of your fabric whilst you cut out (removing the need for pins) and for stopping fabric from pulling or shifting when you have some hanging off the edge of your cutting table.
Patternweights have partnered up with several amazing artists to create beautiful designs for the top of the weights. Have a browse at www.patternweights.co.uk to choose your favourites.
Tula Pink Scissors
If you are looking to treat yourself the Tula Pink scissors are not only beautiful, but are sturdy and super sharp too. When testing my pair out I managed to cut through over 20 layers of fabric at once! They are made from quality German grade steel anchored with a 22k gold plated screw and will take pride of place in your sewing room. They even have left handed pairs too. Find them at Crafty Mastermind.
Pattern storage envelopes
We would be remiss to not mention our bestselling new product: pattern storage envelopes. These durable large gusseted envelopes can hold not only your paper patterns or pdf patterns, but have space for the traced pattern too.… Read More...
One thing you can rely on is that children are always growing! There are so many brilliant childrens patterns on the market and most of them cover a very large size range making them excellent value. We were gifted a copy of Two Stitches Charlie Hoodie so we could show you how to really make the most of sewing for the small people in your life!
First things first, this is a beautifully presented pattern, the stitching on the spine especially is just perfect!
I’m making the hoodie for my nephew who’s about to turn 1, so I’m making the 12-18m size, but the pattern covers 6m to 9 years which if you’re clever is an awful lot of hoodies for the price of a pattern!
The key here is not to cut into the pattern sheet, I know you want to, and I know it’s marginally quicker that way, but believe me, in the long run you’ll be thanking me!
The Charlie Hoodie pattern fits on to one huge sheet of paper, I had to spread it out on the kitchen floor,
We’re going to trace off the size that we’re making, in my case 12-18m, I used an ordinary biro but a pencil would work just as well (don’t use a felt pen/sharpie if you don’t want to leave marks on the original pattern sheet).… Read More...
This cute pincushion is a great way to use up pretty scraps, or you could use a single fussy cut fabric for the centre if you prefer. It’s a quick and easy make so you can knock one up in no time. We designed this pincushion to hold our new product – glass headed pins.
A fat eight of fabric for the front corners and backing. I used Art Gallery Fabrics’s Mystical Land collection by Maureen Cracknell.
Assorted scraps (6 x 1.5 by 4.5 inches) for front
Toy stuffing or crushed nut shells for the filling
Backing fabric – Cut 4 x 3.5 inch squares and 1 x 4.5 x 6.5 inch rectangle
Scraps – Cut 6 x 1.5 by 4.5 inch rectangles
Seam Allowance – ¼ an inch
Choose a layout for your scraps, bearing in mind that the first and last scrap in the row will barely be visible on the finished pincushion.
Sew the scraps together using a ¼ an inch seam allowance, and press the seams open.
Take your 3.5 inch squares and draw a diagonal line across each with a chalk pen
With your scrappy rectangle facing upwards place one of the squares into the bottom corner, aligning with the side and bottom edge.… Read More...
Project Bag Tutorial
This large project pouch will easily hold the fabric and pattern for your next project, or your works in progress. Why not make several because let’s face it we never just work on one project at a time! I’ve designed the pouch to showcase some of your favourite scraps, but if you wanted to you could just use a single fabric front and back and show off a large-scale print instead.
1/2m of fabric for the exterior. I used a grey linen.
1/2m of lining fabric. I used a grey blender.
A selection of scraps cut to 4 inches high by 2.5 inches wide, you will need 16 in total. I used Makower’s Stitch in Time fabrics which I fussy cut.
1/2m of light or medium fusible interfacing. I used Vlieseline F220
A 15 inch zip (or larger cut down to size which is what I did as I never seem to have the right size zip to hand!)
Cut 4 pieces 16 inches wide by 5.5 inches high from the exterior fabric
Cut 2 pieces 16 inches wide by 14 inches high from the lining fabric
Tip – If you want to make your exterior from 1 single fabric instead of patchwork cut 2 pieces of exterior fabric the same size as the lining pieces
Cut 16 pieces of 2.5… Read More...
We have decided to start selling a range of pretty washi tapes as washi comes in so useful in so many ways when you are sewing. We’ve round up our favourite uses for it below, if you have any others please do comment and let us know.
To hold pattern pieces onto fabric when cutting out
If you have issues with you pattern pieces shifting whilst you are cutting out, or don’t have pins or pattern weights to hand simple use washi tape to hold them into place whilst you cut out.
To label fabric pieces
Help keep track of the front and back, left sleeve and right sleeve etc by writing the name of the piece onto washi tape and sticking it onto your fabric. Because washi tape doesn’t leave behind any residue and isn’t as sticky as Sellotape it’s easy to apply and to remove.
To use as a seam guide
You can stick a strip of washi tape to your needle plate along the seam allowance line you need for your project. It’s much more visible, and means you don’t have to keep checking you are lining your fabric up with the correct line.
To tape pieces of Patterntrace together.… Read More...
I cannot tell you how long I’ve been looking for a simple, stylish way to store my sewing patterns! So I am stoked to bring you our newest product.. The Pattern Archive Envelope.
Study, stylish and with room for you to get creative. No more struggling to get your sewing patterns back into the original envelope.
Best of all is the opportunity to add the pattern artwork to the envelope! A chance for a little creativity!
I’ve always found storing my sewing patterns a bit of a challenge. I tried a few solutions before we developed our storage envelopes, plastic wallets and cardboard envelopes, but nothing quite clicked, they were either messy or impractical. So we are super proud to bring you your very own pattern archive!
The envelopes are strong and sturdy with a side gusset giving the capacity to take a large amount of pattern paperwork. They are perfect for storing your original dressmaking pattern alongside your traced pattern pieces.
Illustrate your storage envelope
Best of all is the opportunity to add the pattern artwork to the envelope to give it even more visual appeal! We’re stoked to be able to add this chance for a little creativity!… Read More...
This spacious fabric box will hold your sewing tools, fabric and haberdashery plus it also fits our Maker’s Workbook into the side too to help you keep track of your projects. I managed to fit over 10 metres of fabric into my Maker’s Box. The Vlieseline Style-Vil gives it really good body which means it can hold it’s shape even when empty. It has padded handles to make it easy to carry even when full, this fabric storage basket is ideal for sewing room storage or taking sewing projects and supplies out with you.
1 metre of exterior fabric. I used the same fabric for the lining and exterior, if you use different ones you will need 1/2 metre of each. I used a vintage red denim material from my stash. Find a similar one here.
1/2 metre of light or medium weight fusible interfacing. I used Vlieseline H250
1 metre of Vlieseline Style-Vil
1/4 metre of fusible fleece for the handles (or you could use interfacing if you prefer) I used Vlieseline H640
50cm of co-coordinating double fold bias binding
9 inches of elastic
Cut 5 x 10.5… Read More...
One of our most unique and bestselling products is SpoolPods so we wanted to let you know more about them. SpoolPods are a silicone case perfectly designed for storing or transporting your spools of thread, with the matching bobbins too. Clare invented them after getting frustrated trying to find the matching bobbins for her thread when sewing. So she came up with the perfect solution for keeping them together, in an easy to store manner.
Image credit: Coffee Rings Studio
Because they are made from silicone they are flexible, which means you can fit several different brands of thread in the slots. We’ve tried Gutermann, Aurifil, Coats and Wonderfil and they all fit without issue.
The silicone also grips the spools so they don’t fall out (as I tested in this video). You can even roll the whole thing up to pop it into your bag, or you could make our Spoolpod case project to carry up to 4 at a time. They can stack on top of each other, or stand upright next to each other for easy storage. Plus if you buy a 5 pack you get a £3.50 discount, which means one is almost free.
You don’t have to use your SpoolPods for storing thread, it works great for just holding bobbins too.… Read More...
SpoolPod Case Tutorial
This quick to make pouch is big enough to hold 4 SpoolPods at a time, and because it’s clear you can easily spot the spools inside. You can even fit your Maker’s Workbook or Garment Planning Notepad in it too. Don’t be daunted by sewing vinyl, it’s not as scary as you think, I’ve included some tips below.
1 fat quarter of fabric
1 fat quarter of medium iron on interfacing
1 fat quarter of vinyl (I used Premium Clear Vinyl from Search Press)
14 inch chunky zip (or longer cut to size which is what I did). You could also use a normal zip but because this is quite a large pouch I think a chunky zip looks better.
Fabric: Cut 2 pieces 15 inches wide by 7 inches high
Interfacing: Cut 2 pieces 15 inches wide by 7 inches high
Vinyl: Cut 2 pieces 14.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches high
Tip – I’ve found cutting vinyl bluntens my rotary cutter so I use an old one for vinyl only, or you can use paper scissors.
Seam allowance: ¼ an inch
Iron the interfacing to the back of your two fabric pieces, allow it to cool down.… Read More...
Spending a bit of time planning your projects out can help to save you time and stress in the long run. Sometimes it can be hard to decide what to make next, so many ideas and so little time! Our tips below will help you focus and prepare for future craft projects.
- Think about how much time you have – If you haven’t got a lot of time in the next few weeks then why not go for some quick makes so you get that finished project satisfaction, and it doesn’t feel like it’s going on forever. If you have lots of time why not push yourself to try something more complicated and build your skills. If short on time break your project down into small blocks so you know what you want to achieve in each sewing session.
- Make sure you have all the supplies you need – Gather the supplies together in advance, why not use our new garment planner notepads to help make sure you don’t miss any? Store them in one place, with your pattern so that when you are ready to start it’s all good to go. Don’t forget to pre-wash the fabrics.
- Skill building – Are there new skills you want to learn?
Swedish tracing paper is made from eco-friendly abaca fibres which makes it more tear resistant than regular paper but at the same time keeping a transparency which allows you to easily trace your sewing patterns. We wanted to share with you 12 great reasons to use Patterntrace, our Swedish Tracing Paper:
1 – It is fibrous, like a light interfacing, so easier to manipulate than paper.
2 – It is translucent so you can easily trace the pattern beneath it.
3 – It is a metre wide, ideal for large dressmaking patterns, no more taping pieces together.
4 – You can use it to draft patterns, why not place it over your cutting board so you can see the grid underneath to help guide you.
5 – It comes in 10m rolls, enough for several patterns
6 – You can use it to make pattern alterations ensuring a good fit
7 – You can iron it (with a cool iron – I use the silk setting on mine) to remove creases, so feel free to fold up your patterns to store them so they don’t take too much space.
8 – You can sew it to make toiles, or 3d versions of bag patterns etc.… Read More...
Do you ever wish there were a few more pages in your Maker’s Workbook? Do you want to write about more than 25 projects? Do you have a large stash and require more stash pages?
Good news! We’ve just made some of the workbook pages downloadable so you can print extras and add them to your workbook. Find all our downloads here.
If you’re wondering how to store these extra pages, we have a solution. Below is a simple tutorial for adding a pocket to the back cover of your workbook which you can store the extra pages in. All you need is a piece of card which is 13 x 16cm. You could use some cardboard from your recycling to colour match the Kraft covers of the workbook. Or like me you could pick a contrasting colour. I decided to use a piece of turquoise card as that is my favourite colour.
Start by drawing a 13 x 16cm rectangle on your card. Yes, that is a ruler of rulers I have there in the picture, when I spotted it I couldn’t resist!
Measure in 5cm from the top right hand corner and make a mark. Measure up 5cm from the bottom left corner and make a mark. … Read More...
Using Patterntrace (Swedish Tracing Paper) to draft sewing patterns means I’m not wasting fabric, but can make a 3d version of my pattern and check all my measurements are correct. It lets me ensure I like the size and shape of it, and to make alterations, before making it in fabric. Patterntrace can be sewn together like fabric, or to save time you could tape it.
I used it to make a trial version of a bag I was designing for The Sewing Directory (see picture above). It’s a handbag sized bag with an asymetric patchwork flap. Quite different from anything I’ve designed before so I wanted to make a test version before I started to cut into fabric.
First, I placed Patterntrace over my cutting board so I could see the measurement grid underneath. Patterntrace is translucent so you can see through it. Using a ruler I drew the lines I needed to make the main body piece of the bag. I marked the measurements on each line, but remember to make the marks on the inside of the pattern piece not the outside or you’ll cut them off when you cut out your template.
When I cut out my original pattern piece I realised it was too small.… Read More...
Gifts for Stitchers
We’ve got a great selection of Christmas gifts either to add to your wish list, treat yourself to for Christmas or buy for a sewing loving friend. We have linked to other small businesses to purchase these products, as what better way to spread Christmas cheer than supporting small businesses?
Rose Gold Shears
These stunning 21cm rose gold dressmaking shears from Hemline would make a great gift for any stitcher. Useful and beautiful at the same time. They have nickel and chrome plating to make ensure they will last for years.
Find them at Backstitch £19 a pair
Rainbow unicorn scissors
If you had something a little smaller in mind you can’t go wrong with these fab rainbow unicorn scissors. With their magical purple shimmer they are sure to appeal to stitchers of all ages. At £7.95 a pair from Brighton Sewing Centre they are ideal for stocking fillers or a secret santa gift.
The Maker’s Workbook
We would be remiss if we didn’t include one of our bestsellers in here. The Maker’s Workbook will help you keep track of your projects in 2019. It is available in a sewing and knitting edition, and for an extra special gift why not order our gift bundle which includes a beautiful handmade drippy tumbler made by Alice Duck.… Read More...
A while ago we decided that our Swedish Tracing Paper needed a name of it’s very own. We enlisted the help of some of our customers to come up with a name fit for our haberdashery essential. We took all of the result and turned them over to our talented graphic designer who created this fab logo,
and Patterntrace was born. After an age of waiting, I’m thrilled to say that we are now the proud owners of a trademark!
There’s no change at all to the paper, just the name, and after all, what’s in a name..?
If you’re anything like me, you’re a big fan of independent pattern makers, there’s nothing wrong at all with the ‘big four’ (McCalls, Simplicity, Butterick, Vogue) it’s just that the new raft of independents for me at least, provide much (much) better instructional information in the form of colour photos, well laid out instruction books and sewalongs WITH VIDEO! Coupled with the modern clean designs and I can’t remember the last time I used a ‘big four’ pattern.
I definitely have my favourites but I’m always worried that I’m missing someone. This is a list of the excellent indie pattern makers I’m aware of, all of them have PDF patterns that are available online.
I’d love to know if there’s anyone I’ve missed, drop me a line!
Who: Grainline Studio is run by Jen in Chicago, USA.
Who: Heather Lou is the face behind Closet Case Patterns, she’s based in Canada
Who: Started by Tilly Walnes in 2013, in London
Who: Papercut Patterns was founded by Katie Romagnoli in New Zealand, in 2010
Who: Kristiann started Victory Patterns in 2011, in Toronto, Canada
Who: Started by Sarai in Portland, Oregon in 2009
What: Womenswear and Menswear
Who: Ex-Physics teacher Rae Hoekstra based in Michigan, USA
What: Womenswear and childrenswear
Who: Launched by Morgan and Matt Meredith in 2010, in Canada
Who: Run by Lisa, who started Sew Over It in 2011, in London
Who: Named is a Finnish clothing pattern label founded by sisters Saara and Laura Huhta. … Read More...
I’ve been doing some research this week for some new products (secrets for the moment!) relating to sewing room organisation, I’ve found some fantastic solutions whilst in the depths of pinterest, I’ve rounded up the best and where possible have linked to the original source.
- I’ve actually done somethign very similar on my sewing table, the tape measure cost less than a pound and I use it all the time. (Pic: Melly Sews)
- Keep your rogue length of sewing elastic or bias binding in check with some bull dog clips. I’ve also found this a really useful trick for keeping USB cables under control! (Pic from Craftsy)
- This is what I aspire to! A pill box used as an organiser for different sewing machine needles (first I need to remember to actually change the needles..) (Pic from Hand sewn and home grown)
- Not strictly ‘organisation’, but something on my to do list is to get my scissors sharpened. Turns out it’s not so tricky, there are a variety of methods but it looks like cutting through six layers of foil might do the trick! (Pic from So Sew Easy)
- These homemade drawer dividers are an excellent solution for keeping things in order, who knew you could make them so simply?!
As well as buying online you can also find Creative Industry products in the following fabulous stockists;
Dot to Dot Studio – East Hoathly, East Sussex
Fabrics a go go – Sheerness, Kent
Fiona’s Fabrics – Woodbridge, Suffolk
Harvey Jacobs – Online
Minerva Crafts – Online/Darwen, Lancs
Ray Stitch – London
Sew Crafty – Online
SEWN – Bristol
Sewisfaction – Online
School of Sewing – Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire
The Crafty Mastermind – Online
Village Haberdashery – London
Meter Meter – Aarhus
Style Maker Fabrics – Online
For an up to date list please have a look at our stockists page
I’ll accept it finally now the clocks have changed, Autumn is here. This is the time for warm cosy layers and of course the opportunity to add a few more handmade items to your wardrobe!
I’m looking for an autumn skirt pattern, these are my finalists, what do you think?
Tilly and the Buttons: Arielle Skirt
You can’t beat a skirt with thick tights and boots! Arielle is a pattern for a confident beginner and comes in mini and below the knee lengths
Sew Over It: Tulip Skirt
In Tulip Lisa has designed a funky update on a simple pencil skirt, this skirt also comes in two different lengths and could easily make a versatile summer skirt with bare legs and Birkenstocks!