Image Slider

Full Belly Adjustment - The Auden Cardigan Tutorial Series

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Auden Cardigan is a slim fit cardigan, so a Full Belly Adjustment (also known as a Beer Belly adjustment) could be an alteration you may need to make if you're making it for someone with a wider middle section.

This is a fairly common adjustment that gives the wearer more room in the front to accommodate any extra fullness in the stomach area - you'll know if you need one of these because drag lines will be apparent to the side of the cardigan leading from the stomach, as well as possible pulling at the button band depending on how full the belly is.

A Little Tip - this is also a useful adjustment to make to any pattern you're considering turning into a maternity pattern that is not already designed for that purpose.

Note - the Full Belly Adjustment only needs to be made to the front of the Auden Cardigan and all adjustments should be made without seam allowances.

You'll Need - 

Steps - 

1. Draw a horizontal line from the front side seam, at the widest point on the chest, to just over half way into your pattern piece. Draw a vertical line down from where you ended your first line, all the way to the bottom hem.

2. Cut into your marked lines, leaving a pivot point where the two meet in the centre. Pop some spare paper underneath your pattern, then open it out along the hem line by your desired amount, pivoting your hinged pattern piece up.

Tape in place and true up the side seam of your pattern by extending it back down to it's original length - indicated by the dashed line below.

3. If you have a significant full belly, you may also need to lengthen the front of the cardigan.

To do this, slash and spread (by your required amount) a rectangle off the bottom of the front section. True up the hem of your cardigan by drawing in a gentle curve that joins the bottom side corner to where your new front starts, indicated by the dashed line below.

The line in red is the pattern piece before the additional length was added.

And that is how you make a full belly adjustment.

Shop Patterns     .     Instagram     .     Newsletter      .     Facebook    .     Pinterest   .   Podcast

Broad & Narrow Shoulder Adjustment - The Auden Cardigan Tutorial Series

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Today I'm going to be taking you through how to adjust the shoulder line on the Auden Cardigan for broad or narrow shoulders.

Because of the saddle shoulder detail, it probably looks more difficult to make these adjustments than it actually is. Really, they're just as easy to do as they are for normal shoulders, they just have slightly different steps, but it's the same principle.

In the tutorial, I've just shown the front pattern piece, but the same adjustments will need to be made to the back pattern piece as well.

Also, I mention this below but thought I'd point it out at the start too that you shouldn't over do these adjustments. If you do, you could not only significantly distort the design lines of the cardigan, but you could also end up making the overall fit worse. If you have significant broad or narrow shoulders that you're adjusting for, I would suggest grading a half or full size in the shoulder area on the front, back and arm pieces, rather than risk completely changing the look/fit of the cardigan.

You should always make a muslin first to determine any fit issues. If a broad/narrow shoulder is required, measure your shoulder line to determine by how much you should adjust the shoulder on the pattern.

Right, let's make some shoulder adjustments!

Note - All pattern adjustments should be made without the seam allowance included on the pattern.

You'll Need - 
Steps - 

1. On your Front Body pattern piece, draw a straight line from the middle of the top 'straight' section of your shoulder line, down through to roughly the middle of the two notches on your armscye.

Cut along this line leaving a pivot point at the circle marked below.

2. Draw in a second line, 90 degrees from your first line, up to the top notch on the armscye. Cut along this line, leaving a pivot point at the notch circled below.

Broad Shoulder Adjustment

This adjustment adds length and height to your shoulder to accomodate the extra fullness a broad shoulder requires.

This is probably the most common type of adjustment you'll need to make. A word of caution though, don't over do it, as you could end up changing the angles too much, resulting in weird design lines and a poorer/baggier fit around the shoulders. 

Steps - 

1. Add scrap paper to the bottom of your pattern then pivot your shoulder line out by your required amount, keeping the top of your shoulder in line as much as possible. Tape down then true up your shoulder line. 

2. Adjust your sleeve shoulder piece by cutting along the straight section, popping some paper underneath and spreading by the same amount you increased your shoulder line by. Tape in place and true up seams.

Narrow Shoulder Adjustment

This adjustment removes length and height from your shoulder to accomodate a smaller shoulder.

The narrow shoulder adjustment doesn't tend to be as common as the broad shoulder adjustment on mens clothing, and you more than likely won't be taking out as much for a narrow shoulder as you would add for a broad shoulder. Don't over do this adjustment though, as you could alter the fit around the shoulder making it overly short and tight and leaving you with weird design lines. 

1. Add scrap paper to the bottom of your pattern then pivot your shoulder line in by your required amount, keeping the top of your shoulder in line as much as possible. Tape down then true up your shoulder line. 

2. Adjust your sleeve shoulder piece by cutting along the straight section, and bringing the two pieces together by the same amount you narrowed your shoulder line by. Tape in place and true up seams.

And that is how you adjust the fit of the shoulder on a saddle style. Easier than you thought, huh?

Shop Patterns     .     Instagram     .     Newsletter      .     Facebook    .     Pinterest   .   Podcast

The Auden Cardigan Tutorial Series...

Friday, January 6, 2017

At the end of last year, I released my very first men's wear pattern, The Auden Cardigan, and this month, I'm going to be taking you through a few common fit adjustments that you may need to tackle depending on who the cardigan is for.

Auden is a deceptively straight forward make, but I know that men's patterns can seem daunting if you've never made one before, especially one with a saddle shoulder. From my experience, they're actually easier (there's no bust to fit!), there's just a bit more fabric to deal with.

During this series, I'll be covering the following adjustments:

  • Broad & Narrow Shoulder Adjustment
  • Full Belly Adjustment (aka Beer Belly Adjustment)
  • Bulky or Narrow Arm Adjustment

Let me know if there is something you'd like to see that isn't listed, otherwise I'll see you with the first tutorial next week!

Shop Patterns     .     Instagram     .     Newsletter      .     Facebook    .     Pinterest   .   Podcast

A New Year...

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy new year you guys!

I hope you had a good one, however you chose to spend it (I did some knitting, drank some wine & watched The Crown before going to bed around 11pm and sleeping right through. We like to par-tay in this house, obviously...).

I'm still trying to find my energy for the new year though I have to be honest. I feel... bitty. Like there are too many bits and pieces to do and like I'm doing a little bit of all of them and not a lot else.

I went back and read my first post for 2016 a few days before the 1st and had completely forgotten that I had a word for the year. That word was Focus, and although I promptly forgot my word a few months into the year, it did actually put me on the right track to get s**t done. And, yes, although I forgot about my word for the year, as I was reading back, I found that I still really loved the concept of it and so started to think about a word for 2017.

I ran through a few words but kept coming back to the feeling that I still wasn't done with 'Focus' yet. Focus all on it's own however, just seems a bit too broad for what I feel like I need for 2017. This year, I need more defined, intentional focus. Not just random pick-a-project focus, which is what I feel like 2016 was. Yes, I got stuff done, but it was bitty. You know?

As I look back on 2016, I realise that I didn't set myself up to work smarter during my work time - there was an overall plan, but there wasn't much of a daily To-Do list. Also, when a project was complete, instead of tidying up to give myself a fresh space to work in, I'd plow on and find myself lifting up piles of fabric for my scissors, or spending ten minutes moving bits around so that I had a large enough space on my desk to draft. This year, my goal is to take at least one of my work sessions every fortnight-ish to clean and plan the next week or so, to hopefully gain back some much needed productive time. To focus intentionally.

With that in mind, January is turning into a busy month for us. David and I are pretty 50/50 when it comes to looking after Oscar, we're fortunate enough to be in that situation (for the time being), and it's been to the benefit of all of us. This month and on into February though, is going to be a bit of a different situation with David being pretty much completely inundated with work. It means I'll be on almost full time Oscar-watch while also trying to squeeze in some work of my own (Auden Cardigan tutorials are going live, The Gable Dress Expansion Pack release will be here at the end of the month and getting The Juniper Cardigan ready for testing, are all things vying for my attention this month). My mum is visiting for a week in the middle somewhere and the garden appears to have entered into it's post-Christmas-New Year explosion. It's always a few days after Christmas when the flowers bloom, the veges pop and we can't keep up with it all.

I also have lots of personal projects on the go that I desperately want to either finish or make a start on, many of which I talked about in my last podcast for 2016.

So, it's all go round these parts. Not to mention that 2017 is shaping up to be interesting in many other ways than just my small part of it.

I'll leave you with these words that I read a few days ago by Neil Gaiman, no one could have said it better...

Be kind to yourself in the year ahead.

Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It's too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.

Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.

Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them.

Hug too much, Smile too much. And, when you can, love.

Shop Patterns     .     Instagram     .     Newsletter      .     Facebook    .     Pinterest   .   Podcast

The Harvest Apron - A Free Pattern.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Hello everyone,

My last little gift to you this year is The Harvest Apron.

Last year I released a little circular half-apron pattern just before Christmas, and this year I've not only updated the instructions and look of the pattern, but I've also included a new gathered version.

The Harvest Apron is a complete sewing pattern with full instructions and diagrams to walk you through the construction process. The pattern also comes with your choice of either a standard print-at-home tiled pattern or an A1 size print shop copy. All for free. From me to you.

Little half aprons are so lovely and perfect for all kinds of different things. The new gathered version is particularly perfect for gathering Christmas treats from the garden (or weeds or flowers...) and squirreling away sweet tidbits for later.

They're also great stash busters, quick to make and, oh, if you've left your gift making to the actual last second and therefore don't really have the time to make one, print out the print shop version, choose some fabric from your stash and gift a little Harvest Apron sewing kit to someone special.

Top off your gift with some lovely pins for the sewer, seeds for the gardener, paint brushes for the artist or wooden spoons for the baker, tie it all up with string and voila, a beautiful gift that anyone with even the smallest inkling of a crafty urge would love to receive.

I do hope you all have a wonderful day on Sunday, however you choose to celebrate. Stay safe, look after each other, and I'll catch you all one more time before the start of the new year...

Shop Patterns     .     Instagram     .     Newsletter      .     Facebook    .     Pinterest   .   Podcast

How to Make a Tailor's Ham - with Free Pattern

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hello everyone,

Gosh, how did it get to be less than a week until Christmas?

Today I wanted to give you all a little pre-Christmas gift in the form of a free Tailor's Ham pattern and tutorial. There's nothing like sewing your own sewing supplies right?

Many many moons ago, I posted a mini-tutorial on how I made my own (very loved) Tailor's Ham. While the process hasn't actually changed, unfortunately, the website where I had gotten that pattern from has long since disappeared. My copy of that pattern has also long since disappeared (in-between moving countries, buying a house and having a baby...), so I thought with Christmas looming, now might be the time to get my A into G, make a new pattern for you and write a complete tutorial.

This ham is slightly bigger than my original, but I've found that having two different sizes has been pretty handy over the few months I've been using my new ham. To make a smaller ham, cut an even amount off the outer edges, all the way around.

Fabric Options - 
You'll need relatively sturdy and breathable fabrics to make your ham. It gets stuffed tight and will probably be used quite often with a steamy iron, so using fabrics that breath and will dry quickly after use is a must.

The two inner layers should be made from a fabric with a tight weave to make sure your stuffing doesn't work it's way through the fabric (calico/muslin is perfect for this). The bottom outer layer should be cut from a wool (or a fabric with some grip - felt is a good choice) and the top layer should be a pretty cotton or linen of some description, quilting cottons are great - pretty and sturdy.

For the sake of the tutorial, I'll be referring to the inner layers as calico, the bottom outer layer as wool and the top outer layer as quilting cotton.

Stuffing - 
The traditional stuffing for tailor's hams is sawdust. This is what I used in my original ham, but do you think I could find it here in NZ? Nope. Well... I could if I wanted several cubic metres of it, but I'm really not planning on turning into a tailor's ham manufacturing plant. So...

I used wood chips. Don't use wood chips by the way. They are dense, but hard to pack tightly, and you end up with a ham that moves more than you want it too. I'm going to be taking mine out and stuffing it with fabric scraps in the interim, knowing that I may need to re-stuff in the future as the ham starts to settle.

I've also considered using pea-straw. It's easy to find in gardening stores here, and I think it has the same consistency as sawdust when it comes to being reasonably easy to pack in tightly.

I honestly have no idea how this would go in the long term though, but I'm thinking that if you use pea-straw, just make sure it's completely dry before stuffing. Pea-straw, when used in the garden, can sometimes sprout a pea plant or two (coming from experience) because the straw hasn't been completely dried before bagging. Not a major issue in the garden, but to avoid any germinating hams, (or even worse, a mouldy ham), popping your straw in a dry room in direct sun or an airing cupboard for a few days, should ensure you don't get any unwelcome guests in your sewing room.

You'll need -
  • Your free Tailor's Ham Pattern
  • Fabric (Cotton & Wool - see above for more details)
  • Stuffing (see above for more details)
  • Needle & Thread
Steps - 

1. Print out and piece your ham pattern together using the print layout below.

2. Cut out 2 of the pattern in calico, one in wool and one in quilting cotton. You'll have 4 pattern pieces in total.

3. Right sides together, place your quilting cotton and wool on top of each other.  Then sandwich those layers between your calico layers.

4.  Starting at the bottom notch, stitch all the way around your ham as indicated on the pattern piece. Back tacking at each end.

5. Trim away seam allowance and notch curves.

6. Turn your ham right-sides out and get stuffing! You want to stuff your ham as tight as you can possibly get it, and then some. Layer your stuffing to get a smooth outer edge by using small amounts and building up towards the bottom open edge.

Then stuff some more.

7. Stuff some more. Close your ham with a slip stitch - flatten your wool bottom layer over the stuffing, then tuck the raw edge of the top layer under, and secure with a needle and thread.

And that's it, all done. A lovely little Tailor's ham...


Shop Patterns
     .     Instagram     .     Newsletter      .     Facebook    .     Pinterest   .   Podcast

How To Make - Beeswax Kitchen Wraps

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hello everyone!

Since it's nearly Christmas, I have a few little things I'll be posting over the next couple of weeks that would make lovely handmade, inexpensive, yet awesome gift ideas.

Today, let's make some beeswax kitchen wraps!! In episode 3 of my podcast, I mentioned having made my own beeswax kitchen wraps this year (you use them in lieu of plastic kitchen wrap) and mentioned that I'd do a tutorial for them, so here you go.

These really would make amazing gifts - they're not only super pretty, but they're functional, can save you money and the less disposable plastic you can use in life, the better for the environment right?!

Oh, and did I mention that they're so so easy to make?

The supplies list is below and if you want to jump ahead to the various different topics covered within the tutorial, I have a list with start times after the video.

You'll need -
  • Fabric (I use cotton fat quarters, but I do go into more detail about options in the video)
  • Beeswax Pellets or shavings 
  • Baking Paper
  • Baking tray with a lip
  • Iron
  • Drying rack

Topics Covered -
  • 0.01 - Introductions: what is a beeswax wrap & different uses
  • 1.49 - Taking care of your beeswax wraps & how to use them
  • Supplies:
    4.01 - Fabric options & finishing edges
    6.19 - Beeswax
    7.58 - Other supplies listed above.
  • Extra Notes:
    8.46 - Different size wraps to consider for different uses
    9.45 - Shelf-life & re-waxing older wraps
  • 12.22 - Let's get started with the tutorial already!
  • 16.55 - The results of your hard work (and a note on jojoba oil & antibacterial things).
  • 18.33 - Storage of your beeswax wraps
  • 18.42 - Closing thoughts on this particular way to make beeswax kitchen wraps
I bought my beeswax from Candle Creations here in NZ, but if you just google 'beeswax' in your local area, I'm sure you'll find plenty of places close to you who stock it.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you make some! I'd really love to see them :)

Shop Patterns     .     Instagram     .     Newsletter      .     Facebook    .     Pinterest   .   Podcast

Auto Post Signature

Auto Post  Signature