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How To: Flat-felled Seams, An Ivy Pinafore Tutorial

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I love flat-felled seams. They're strong and sturdy and are great for seams that require a less-bulky finish when using medium/heavy-weight fabrics. You can make them a feature by using a contrast thread, or have them blend into the background with a matching thread.

The Ivy Pinafore has flat-felled seams down the centre front and centre back where the pattern pieces are joined. In this tutorial, I'll be taking you through how easy they are to make.

Note - The steps in this tutorial are referring to the Ivy Pinafore specifically, but it is the same technique no matter what you're using a flat-felled seam for.

You'll Need -

Steps -

1. Wrong sides together, stitch your centre seam closed, back tacking at both ends. Press seam open.

2. Trim down one of the seam allowances to less than half its width.

3. Fold the remaining seam allowance down and then fold in half, tucking the raw edge under. Press.

4. Secure with a line of top stitching 3mm or 1/4" away from the folded edge.

Yeah, that was easy peasy right? Repeat the same steps for the centre back seam and you'll be away laughing!

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Cyber Monday Sale - 30% OFF!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Happy nearly Cyber Monday everyone!

Let's get started a little early with this sale then, shall we? 

From now until the end of Monday* you can get 30% every single pattern in my little shop! Woohoo! Just use the code MONDAY at the check out to have your discount applied.

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* Well, Tuesday for those of us in the southern hemisphere - so, let's make it 8pm Tuesday 29th November NZDT.

What is Fabric Nap? An Ivy Pinafore Tutorial

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hello everyone!

Today I'm going to be talking a little bit about some of the different options you might want to consider when deciding on fabric to make up your Ivy Pinafore, mostly though, this post is about nap.

More specifically - what even is nap?

Some fabrics, like velvet and corduroy (and faux fur for that matter - not that you're going to be making a faux fur Ivy... probably...) have what is called a 'nap'.

Fabrics with a nap are made up of a flat base layer that have little fibres sticking up from it - a bit like the hair on your head (with your skin being the base layer). The nap is basically the direction those little fibres on the base layer want to face. There will be a 'wrong' way and a 'right' way and that usually aligns with the grainline of the fabric.

If you run your hand against the grain, you'll find that, just like with your own hair (or your pet's hair, especially if it's short) you'll get resistance - this is the wrong way. Whereas, if you run your hand along the grain, it'll go down smoothly, or the right way.

I recommend making sure you cut your pattern pieces with the fabric nap running down towards the ground, unless you're doing the opposite as a design decision. This is mostly a gravity thing really, it's more comfortable to have the nap running down because that's how our arms hang.

Make sure you cut all of your pattern pieces with the nap running the same way - if you cut two pattern pieces with naps running in opposite direction to each other (or even slightly off), you'll notice in the final garment because the fibres will catch the light differently. One piece will end up looking lighter and the other, darker.

So, what fabrics work with Ivy?

I recommend making Ivy up in a medium weight, woven fabric that has some drape. My favourite's are pin-whale cord and denim, but jacquard and wool are equally lovely and cosy.

Be careful about making the slim-fit Ivy in a fabric that has too much bulk though, as you could run into some issues with making the bust dart lay flat (though you can trim the dart excess out to see if that helps if you're running into this issue).

And although Ivy was designed to be made in slightly heavier fabrics for the cooler months, now that you know how to make an unlined version, you could certainly make it in lighter fabrics. The full version of Ivy in a soft, flow-y fabric would be beautiful and cool in the summer and would make a perfect dress for throwing on over your swimsuit at the beach, or riding your bike down the lane with your dress billowing daintily behind you (we can all dream...).

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Get 'em Before They're Gone... $2 World Wide Shipping!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Hello, hello!

I took a mini internet break last week to focus on getting the Gable Dress Expansion Pack out to my lovely testers.  Now that it's away, I can finish up the Ivy Pinafore Tutorial Series and get another podcast up :)

But before I do that, I wanted to let you know that I have $2 world-wide shipping* on my Bronte Top Paper pattern and I only have a very small handful left, and once they're gone, they are gone! 

Unfortunately at this stage, paper patterns haven't really made much sense for me. I'm too far away to offer competitive shipping, and the cost of getting paper patterns printed down here has proven to be exceptionally high. That means, I won't be doing any more in the foreseeable future - so, er, if you want one, now's your chance - get in quick!

These would make lovely christmas gifts for your sewing buddies, and if you buy them now, they should be on your doorstep before Christmas. I'll get them posted asap anyway.

If you're on my newsletter list, you got first dibs, so if you're not, make sure you sign up so that you not only get special discounts on new patterns, but also get access to subscriber-only sales.

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*USD and while stocks last.

A Handmade Day Podcast, Episode 3 - Whatcha been up to?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Hey all,

I have another podcast for you today - I'm sharing some of the makes that haven't made it to the blog this year (for one reason or another). There's some knitting, some sewing and a little bonus bees wax wrap in there (you can use them in place of plastic wrap in the kitchen!). I'll do a proper post on those soon if you want to see how I made them.

This podcast is a long-ish one, well, for me anyway, so I've listed the start times below (as well as links to the things mentioned in the post) so that you can skip along if you're not interested in some of the other things I'm talking about.

Before you begin though, huge apologies for the occasional random auto-focus/buzzy noise issues in this episode. I had no idea that was happening until I went to edit the video, sigh... I've figured out the issue though, so it shouldn't be a problem in the future.

0.01 - Introductions & chatter (baking of the episode - Nigella's Chocolate Stout Cake)
3.43 - The Auden Cardigan
6.11 - The Ivy Pinafore (How to make an unlined Ivy tutorial is here!)
8.28 - The Gumnut Hat - by A Makers Burrow
16.34 - Knitted Dishies - by Very Pink Knits
20.37 - The Belfast Cardigan - by Carrie Bostick Hoge
28.13 - Easy Peasy Baby Pants - by Climbing the Willow
36.07 - Roman Blinds
41.48 - Bees Wax Wraps

If you'd like to be friends on Ravelry, you can find me here.

I've had lots of questions for 'Ask Jen' already, but keep sending them in if there's something you'd like answered. I'm hoping to get to one or two in the next episode.

Speaking of the next episode, I'll be sharing some of my new personal making plans - knitting features heavily, funnily enough, and a Christmas dress of course...

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Introducing, The Auden Men's Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

With a contrasting neckline and elbow patches, View 1 offers the ability to customise Auden to your own tastes and preferences, while retaining the unique saddle shoulder design and slim fit body.
View 2
For those who prefer more subtle details, the saddle shoulders and sturdy cuffs on View 2 of your Auden Cardigan remain the stars of the show — offering just enough unique elements to remain classic and stylish while still being a little bit different.

Influenced by the classic lines and tailored subtlety of the 50s, The Auden Cardigan is the smart yet casual men's cardigan that is equally comfortable exploring the city streets as it is strolling down country lanes.

Made from cosy and comfortable sweatshirt knits and featuring a modern slim fit body and unique design lines, Auden is a deceptively quick make. Easily customisable to even the most discerning of tastes: you can mix and match fabric colours and prints on the body, sleeves, cuffs and neckline for a truely unique garment.

Auden is perfect for those new to making menswear, gently easing you in while building on current sewing skills — you'll always end up with a garment that is sure to impress.

Saddle shoulders offer a unique perspective on this dapper cardigan. Perfect for the weekend gentleman.

With Christmas only a few weeks away, Auden could make the perfect gift for the gentlemen in your life (or yourself!). 

Can't wait to see your creations!


ps) A big happy birthday to my favourite menswear model!!

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