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The Vielle Top - Free Gathered Sleeve Pattern + Tutorial

Monday, December 30, 2019

It's nearly the end of 2019 and as a little thank you for all of your support this year here's a little free pattern for you.

Add a delicately gathered sleeve — and another point of difference — to your Vielle Top! With this free Gathered Sleeve Cap pattern you'll take your Vielle from a simple everyday t-shirt to a dressy top in no time. 

Download your free pattern and follow the instructions below.

You'll need:

Make up your Vielle Top as per your included instructions until you get to the section called 'Inserting Sleeves' -
use the instructions below in place of these.


1. Take your main Vielle Sleeve pattern and draw a line straight across, meeting at the corners where the sleeve cap meets the length of the sleeve.

2. Take your free sleeve cap pattern, cut it out and right side facing up, line it up with the line you drew above.

3. Tape in place permanently onto your original sleeve. When you want a plain sleeve cap, simply fold that pattern piece down, and when you want a gathered sleeve cap, flip it back up again.

4. Take the new bodice shoulder patterns and match up the corners and bottom notches. Then either tape them permanently onto your original pattern piece, or simply transfer the additional notches (D & E) onto your main pattern piece. 

The curves of the bodice armscye do not change, so transferring the additional notches is fine.

5. Place a line of basting stitch within the 1cm seam allowance, around the sleeve cap from notches D to E, leaving long tails (you may wish to do a second line of backing stitch for extra security).

Pull basting stitch tails through to the wrong side.

6. Right sides together, match the top sleeve head notch to your shoulder seam, pin in place. Match remaining notches along the armscye (including corresponding notches D & E noted on the pattern pieces).

7. Gently pull basting stitches on the sleeve cap until the sleeve fits into the armscye. Distribute gathers evenly between notches D & E and pin in place. 

8. Stitch in place starting from one side all the way around. Do this slowly and gently, without stretching the armhole.

9. Trim off excess seam allowance around armscye, finish raw edges and repeat for the other side.

10. Continue making your Vielle Top as per your included instructions.

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A Holiday Break + Shipping Dates

Thursday, December 19, 2019

It's nearly that time of year again - which means I'm going to be taking a little break from processing paper pattern orders.

From 5pm Friday 20th December NZDT, any paper pattern orders will be processed when I get back on Tuesday 7th January NZDT.

So while you can still shop all patterns during this time (paper + digital), if you purchase a paper pattern, it will not be processed and sent until the second week of January.

I hope this doesn't throw the spanner into too many of your sewing plans, but the new year will be here before you know it...

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New Pattern Alert! The Vielle Top... + Quincy now in paper.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

With its flattering scoop neckline and side-tie detail, Vielle is the quintessential knit tee turned into a standout wardrobe staple.

The Details

Vielle is a classic fitted knit top with a twist - its gorgeous side-tie neckline details lends a feeling of effortless chic to your outfit and is deceptively easy to make.

Three sleeve lengths will see you through all the seasons in comfort and style.

Made with stretch knits, Vielle is a little bit 40s-esque with a retro vibe, all mixed in with lovely details. Vielle is sure to become your go-to when you need something classy yet comfortable and quick.

 Skill Level

Vielle is a great introduction to knits if you're new to them, and if you're a seasoned pro, you'll more than likely be wearing a new top after just one sewing session.

The Vielle Top is designed for confident beginners through to advanced seamstresses.

Fabric Options

Look for lightweight knit fabrics with good stretch across the grain. Knits should have 40% stretch with good recovery.

The Vielle Top was drafted using a 95% cotton 5% lycra spandex knit with a weight of 180GSM (grams per square metre).

The Vielle instructions contain more detailed information on suitable knit fabric requirements.

Tutorial - How to tie the perfect knot!

There are several tutorials planned for the next few weeks, but in the mean time, if you're needing to know how to tie the perfect Vielle side-knot, then look no further. It's easier than you think!

Available in Paper Format - Shipped direct from the UK!

You can choose between a paper OR digital version of the Vielle Top.

All paper patterns will now also be shipping direct from the UK - you can estimate your shipping costs at the check out, and in many cases, it is now less expensive than it was. Please see my updated shipping policies here.

New-to-Paper: The Quincy Dress

Yes, the Quincy Dress is now also available in paper format. Please see my updated shipping policies for new-to-paper as these will now be sent direct from the UK.

Purchase Vielle + Quincy!

You can purchase your digital or paper Vielle Top here...

and why not add on a paper Quincy Dress pattern too?

You can also find Vielle and Quincy at your favourite retailers here.

Make sure you tag me on Instagram or use the hashtag #VielleTop + #QuincyDress so I can see and share your makes.


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The Vielle Top - New Pattern Coming Soon!

Monday, November 25, 2019

YES - a new pattern's on the way!

The Vielle Top is the quintessential knit tee turned into a standout wardrobe staple, a little bit 40's with a retro vibe, it'll be landing on Wednesday next week. BUT, if you sign up to my newsletter,  you'll not only get to see it before anyone else, you'll also get access to the subscriber-only discount.

And, I'm excited to announce that Vielle will be available in both digital and paper format, can't wait to share more...


PS) Make sure you sign up on or before 8pm Monday 2nd December NZDT, otherwise you'll miss out.

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New Pattern Alert - The Trixie Briefs!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Trixie Briefs have a higher rise at the back and full bum coverage - they're star-jump proof and the ultimate in everyday comfort, all while being a quick and satisfying make.

The Details

With classic or panelled options, you can make Trixie in your choice of a modern hipster brief or a 50s-inspired true high-wasted style (sitting above your belly button, at your natural waist).

It's time to get adventurous with those knit fabric scraps, mixing and matching to your heart's content. Instructions are included for finishing with fold over elastic (FOE) as well as lingerie elastic, making for a total of 8 different variations all within one pattern.

Based on the popular Nixie Briefs silhouette, Trixie is like a warm, comforting (and comfortable!) hug for your bum. Your all-day, every-day brief.

The high-waist style are perfect for pairing with fit'n'flare dresses and high waisted skirts and pants. As they sit at the true waist, they would also make the perfect 50s bikini bottom when made up in a swim lycra as well as the perfect lounge pant paired with a cropped lacy dressing gown.

Skill Level

If the overlapping curves of Nixie had you a little worried, Trixie will set your mind at ease.

Designed for Confident Beginners, the Trixie Briefs are the perfect introduction to knits and elastic sewing. They're small and quick, which means you can cut multiple pairs at one time, then build your knowledge and confidence with each pair made.

Fabric Options

The Trixie Briefs should be made with stable knit fabrics that have a good amount of stretch across the grain.  A minimum of 30% stretch is recommended for best results as Trixie has built-in negative ease (i.e., they're smaller than your actual measurements). A fabric with 4-way stretch is the best choice for maximum comfort.

Cotton/lycra (spandex/elastane) combinations work well for light-weight, breathable briefs, but other options include stretch lace/mesh, power mesh etc. Trixie is also the perfect bikini bottom when made up in swim lycra.

The Trixie Briefs were drafted using a 95% cotton 5% lycra spandex knit with a weight of 180GSM (grams per square metre).

I recommend using a breathable natural fabric like stretch cotton or bamboo for the gusset.

The Nixie+Trixie Bundle

Why not get the best of both worlds and combine your love for unique, comfortable, full bum coverage undie by purchasing both Trixie and Nixie in one go?

The Nixie+Trixie Bundle is just that, your two favourite brief patterns all under one roof. Usually $20USD when purchased separately, you'll get both for just $18USD.

Update your undie drawer safe in the knowledge that plumber's crack, hungry bum and drab undies are a thing of the past.


Trixie is available in digital format only. Links to your pattern will be emailed directly to you.

I'd love to hear how you're getting along making your Trixie Briefs, so why not tag me on Instagram or use the hashtag #JLHTrixieBriefs so I can see and share your makes.

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New Pattern Coming Soon - The Trixie Briefs

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

It's been been a while!

I'm very much looking forward to releasing my first brand spanking new pattern since I launched my Sorrel Dress Kickstarter campaign nearly a year ago now. So much has happened since then, most notably, the arrival of this little lady...  So, I'm gently dipping my toes back in with this one, before we ramp up to lots of lovely new things in the coming months.

The Trixie Briefs are based around the same silhouette as the Nixie Briefs (um, hello full bum coverage!), they include hipster and true high waist variations in both a classic or panelled brief look. They're great for scrap busting, and if the overlap of Nixie had you a little worried, Trixie will put you at ease.

Make sure you sign up to the newsletter before 8pm Monday 7th October (NZDT) to be the first to see Trixie, as well as get access to the Subscriber-only discount.

Catch you next week...

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* Trixie will be available in digital-format only.

Pattern Tester FAQ's

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Thank you for showing interest in becoming a JLH Pattern Tester!

Testing patterns before they're released into the world is a crucial part of getting patterns to be as good as they can be 'out of the packet'.  And while I know that I cannot make patterns that will fit everyone perfectly straight away, my goal here is to create a great base that allows you to make a well fitted garment that you can hopefully make just a few adjustments too to fit your unique body shape.

Testers often point out inconsistencies I've missed, help to stream line fit throughout sizes and are just great sounding boards in general for whether a style will work or if there need to be additional tweaks or even whole new views added (which I have done before - hello Ivy!!).

Please take a moment to read the Tester FAQ's below so that you know what you're getting into before you sign up...

1) Do I get paid to pattern test?
Unfortunately no, but you do get a (hopefully) cute pattern! Once all feedback is collated and any changes are made, I'll also send you a final copy of the updated digital pattern as a thank you.

2) How do you pick who get's to test?
Once I have the next pattern ready, I'll email the entire database to let you know. From there, testers will be chosen on a first in per size email basis.

If the first 10 people signing up are all a size 16, obviously I need a range of sizes to test for me, and sending the pattern to a large group who are all sewing up the same size isn't going to give me a good idea of how the pattern works across all sizes. So in that instance, the first few in that size group will get to test.

3) What do I have to do?
Once you've received my email with a description of what the next pattern is, if you want to test it, all you have to do is let me know. If I receive your email before the testing group is full, I'll email you the pattern with a list of questions I'd like you to answer.

After you've made the pattern, you'll need to email me back with the answers to my questions and any other comments you think might be useful for me to put into the pattern (whether it's fit, typos, missing information, instructions that are hard to understand etc). This usually needs to happen with a 2-3 week turn around.

4) What if I'm too busy to test a pattern with a 2-3 week turn around?
I'll always let you know what you're in for before you commit to testing a pattern and I always try to give you at least 3 weeks to test.

If you think there's no way you'll be able to provide feed back in that time then I'd appreciate it if you'd pass on testing that time and let someone else do it.

Don't worry, just because you pass this time, doesn't mean you get a black mark next to your name for next time :)

5) Is the pattern going to be in pdf? Do I need a printer? I hate pdf's by the way...
At this stage, all tester patterns will be delivered to you in digital pdf format. You won't necessarily need your own printer though as you will receive both the A0 Print Shop file and the A4/Letter Print-at-Home file.  All digital files now come with layers as well.

I do understand the difficulties of working with pdf patterns, however, if you're yet to try one of my PDF patterns, I hope I'll curb some of that dislike. My pdf's are laid out in a way that you don't end up needing to rearrange your entire living room to tape together one big blob of paper. You get to print out only the version you want to make, and you'll save a bunch of paper and time doing it my way :)

6) What if I don't like the style of the pattern on me?
I'll hopefully describe the pattern to you as best I can without actually showing everyone what the pattern looks like (cause that'd be giving it away!). Based on that information, you'll need to decide if you think it's something you'd like to make, and then fingers crossed you like it.

If you end up hating the style, I'd still need your feedback but I guess you'll just need to look at the pattern objectively (rather than emotionally) so you can let me know any issues with it.

7) What if I'm a beginner seamstress?
Great! I release a range of different patterns that suit all levels of sewing experience. If I've stated in an email that a pattern is intermediate or advanced but it sounds like something you'd like to have a go at making, then please feel free to sign up. You never know, while I think it's an advanced pattern, you might think it's super easy, which would then mean I'd need to re-think my classification of the pattern anyway.

8) If I sign up and give you my email address, will you use it for other spammy 
purposes, or give it to spammy people who will send me spam?
No way! Your email address will specifically go onto my testers database, and you'll only ever get an email from me if it's about pattern testing (unless you'd like other emails of course! You can sign up to my actual newsletter here). And I'll never give your email address to spammy people either, don't you worry.

9) How do I know what size to make?

Fitting information is included in the instructions with all patterns, including the intended final fit of the garment. Read through this info and if you have any questions or are in between sizes, just send me an email.

There is a cross over between the Original and Curve sizes of the C + D cups, sizes 16 to 24.

Right click tables below and open them in a new tab or window to fully expand.

All JLH Patterns are based on a height of 170cm or 5'6".

9) You haven't asked for my size when signing up for the Tester Database, why not?

I don't require your size when you sign up initially, only when you apply to test a pattern. This is because our bodies change and therefore our sizes change! So, while you may be one size when signing up, you could be an entirely different size when actually testing.

Also, you may want to sew/fit the garment for someone else! While a pattern description may not sound like it's your kind of thing, it may sound like something someone else in your life would like.

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Introducing Paper Patterns!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Hot on the heels of last week's Sorrel Dress release comes the release of 4 more paper patterns!

During my Kickstarter Campaign last year, we surpassed my initial goal so quickly that adding on additional patterns was just a no-brainer. I didn't have any more 'new' patterns ready for release at that time, but I knew that there were firm favourites that everyone had been asking about having paper available for for such a long time.

So, I decided to do an initial run of paper patterns for The Pippi Pinafore, The Gable Top, The Juniper Cardigan and The Ivy Pinafore. You can purchase all of these, as well as Sorrel, in both Digital and Paper format from my shop or from my lovely Stockists.

If your favourite local retailer isn't listed, you can either ask them to get in touch with me, or I can get in touch with them for you — just email jen at jenniferlaurenhandmade dot com and I'll get right onto it.

And just for a bit of fun, which patterns would you like to see in paper next?

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