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JLH Size Range Update!

Saturday, September 19, 2020
Close up of a shoulder, lips and curly hair. Wearing a fitted grey top and denim button up pinafore.

At the end of this month, I'm going to be releasing my first new pattern that has the new extended JLH Curve size range included. WOOHOO!

The Dulcie Pinafore will have both the JLH Original sizing, 6-24 with A to D cups as well as the new JLH Curve sizing, 16-34 with C to F cups. That's a total of 15 sizes and 6 cups, up from the current 10 sizes and 4 cups.

The introduction of the new Curve range also gave me the chance to reassess the current size range of (what I am now calling) JLH Original patterns. Measurements are now more cohesive, grading rules have been slightly adjusted, and this should give a much better and more accurate fit across the board.

Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about the new Curve block, the updated measurements and some ideas on how to choose which pattern to use if you happen to sit in the cross-over sizes.

The JLH Curve Block

In general, the new Curve block has a bit more built-in ease through the bust, waist and hip area, and more finessed grading rules, especially in the upper sizes.  Depending on the pattern, there will also be differences with back width, neckline height + width, overall garment length etc.

The bust tends to be a bit more shapely in the Curve block and the shoulders — depending on the style — will have a little more room in them. The block is based on a height of 170cm (5' 6''), just the same as the Original.

There may also be slight differences in the placement of things like buttons: there may be more or less, or they may be distributed differently depending on the pattern/garment.

The Cross Over Sizes

If you fit into the cross-over sizes, 16 -24 C+D cups, you can choose to use either pattern.

From the outset, there is no quick way I can think of to find out which block might suit you best if you fall into the cross-over sizes. Bodies can have the same circumference measurements, but be completely different in proportion and the way the body is held, which can make garments fit differently. 

My advice here is if you've made a JLH pattern before in these sizes and were happy with the fit, keep using the Original pattern. If you've had to make several alterations in the past, perhaps the new Curve block will give you a better 'out of the packet' fit. And if you've never made a JLH Pattern before, then making a toile of both would be your best bet.

The JLH Original and Curve Measurement Tables

You can find the new JLH measurement tables right here.

Make sure you measure yourself before you choose your size, especially if you have made JLH patterns before, as you may now fall into different sizes with the refreshed measurements. 

Follow the new guide on choosing your cup size and always choose your cup size first! Even if your full bust circumference puts you closer to (or smack bang on) another cup — always choose the cup size bodice you fall into then grade to get the right circumference. You will get a much better fit (the first time around) through the neckline and shoulders this way, which is a much harder area to perfect than the full bust.

All new release patterns will include Finished Garment Measurements, and depending on the style and intended over-all fit, sometimes these measurements can be quite different between the Original and Curve measurements. Take care over these measurements: don't rush into choosing a size before comparing them. If you have a similar fit garment hanging in your wardrobe, even better. You can compare these measurements to your garment to get a better idea of how the garment will sit and if you might want to make any initial changes, pre-toile. 

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As always, I recommend you make a toile before cutting into your pretty fabric. I know it's a whole additional step, but it really does save heartbreak (or gives you the green light to proceed with confidence) at the end of the day.

If you have any questions, feel free to flick me an email jen at jenniferlaurenhandmade dot com.

I'm so excited to bring you Dulcie at the end of the month... sign up to the newsletter here if you'd like to know when it's available.



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JLH Tester Call - An Updated Size Range!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

JLH Patterns is getting a makeover in the form of a refreshed and updated size range, and that means it's time to update my Tester Database.

If you'd like to be a JLH Pattern Tester, check out the new size tables below and sign up here.

With the release of the Dulcie Pinafore later in 2020, all new release patterns from there on out will include an additional 2 bust cups (up from 4 to a total of 6) as well as 5 new sizes (up from 10 to a total of 15) and in a few weeks time, the first of these new patterns will be ready to test.

The 'Original' range includes the current A to D cups, sizes 6 to 24 but with tweaked measurements for a more accurate fit. The 'Curve' range includes C to F cups (that's 2 new cup sizes) as well as 5 new sizes at the higher end, 16 to 34.

Below, you will find my two new size ranges - right click tables below and open them in a new tab or window to fully expand.

 Right click tables above 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"

The cross over between the Original and Curve sizes are the C&D cups in sizes 16 to 24. HOWEVER, you will receive BOTH size ranges when testing (and also when purchasing!!).

The main reason I'm splitting the 2 size ranges off is for ease of use at the other end. Nesting 15 different sizes and 6 different cup sizes, based on 2 different blocks with all of the notations and pattern markings required, does get a bit messy for the end user (and me, if I'm being honest!). It's easier for me to keep track of pattern alterations across sizes as well.

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As I mentioned above, some of the patterns coming up for testing are new styles for release in the future (hello sneaky peek of the Willa Wrap Coat above...), BUT some will be previous popular styles that will be getting a makeover and a new lease of life in a bigger size range.

If you have any questions about testing, you can head on over to my FAQ's page here.

Please feel free to share this far and wide! Getting a wide range of Tester sizes and sewing abilities is just what I need.

Thank you so much in advance!


Introducing The Bastion Culottes - New Pattern Release!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Bastion Culottes combine everything we love about 1940s sailor pants, 1930s beach pyjamas and the modern A-line skirt.

Hot off the back of Me Made May, let me introduce you to my newest pattern, The Bastion Culottes. Heading straight into your favourite summer (or winter!) wardrobe rotation, the Bastion Culottes are secret trousers masquerading as a skirt.

Bastion features a sailor-style front button opening with deep, roomy pockets cleverly integrated into the waistline.

Gently fitted at the natural waist, the legs drape effortlessly down over the hips in a breezy flared silhouette.

With two length options - falling to mid-calf or above the knee - wear Bastion with fitted knit tops or loose button-up blouses tucked in or tied at the waist. Throw a cropped cardigan over the top for cooler climes.

Choose lighter weight linens and chambray for summer, or go for snuggly wool suitings and flannel for the perfect winter garment.

Bastion has been styled here with the Gable Top, the Hunter Tank and the Aisling Blouse.

View 2 Bastion Culottes worn with a Hunter Tank

View 1 Bastion Culottes worn with a short sleeved Gable Top

Skill Level

Bastion is a fun sew, with interesting construction techniques. If you're a confident beginner seamstress and love the look of Bastion, you will enjoy the challenge. Buttonholes and keeping track of important notches are the key skills required.

Of course, advanced seamstresses will also enjoy the construction and will have a lovely pair of pants in a day or so.

Fabric Options

The Bastion Culottes work well in light to mid-weight fabrics with some drape for both summer and winter options.

Linen, chambray, poplin and voile are perfect for summer. Look for mid-weight denims, pinwale (baby) cord, wool blends and flannel for winter.

View 1 Bastion Culottes worn with a cut-on-the-fold Aisling Blouse

Sizing and Fit

Bastion sits at the natural waist, so choose your size based on this measurement - the smallest part of your torso, usually above your belly button.

Bastion ten falls gently out over the hips in a fit'n'flare style silhouette, meaning the hips are free in the finished garment.

The crotch height is designed to sit at approximately the height of regular, loosely fitting wide legged pants, but an additional lengthen/shorten line has been added to make adjusting this height easy and stress-free.

Bastion is drafted for an average height of 170cm or 5'6".

Your Bastion Culotte Files

Bastion is currently only available in digital format for the time being. Files include my easy-to-lay A4/Letter pattern file and an A0 Print Shop file. Links will be emailed directly to you.

Make sure to use the hashtag #JLHBastionCulottes on instagram so I can see and share your makes!

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No more silence...

Sunday, June 14, 2020

I see you. I stand with you. I will speak up.

I shared last week that I was lost for words, because there were no words, but as we all know, silence is no longer an option.

As I slowly start to think about sewing again, I am aware of the fact that things can't go back to where they were. I connect with this community through craft, so finding ways to show I am marrying this and anti-racism work is important — they are not mutually exclusive.

I wanted to take the opportunity here to lay out some of the things I will be doing moving forward to fight systemic racism, especially here in my own country, Aotearoa, New Zealand.

  • I will continue educating myself on the ingrained racism we've all grown up with and will be doing more work around understanding the racism that is rampant in Aotearoa and how I can effect change locally and nationally.
  • I will continue having hard conversations with my Pākehā friends about what it means to be privileged in this way and how staying silent is no longer an option.
  • I will continue supporting charities working towards equality.
  • I will be using more te reo Māori in my everyday conversations — it's a beautiful language and deserves to be spoken by everyone in Aotearoa.
  • In terms of my business, it's still just me, so I will be making sure I ramp up efforts to work and engage with a more diverse range of people from testing groups to collaborations, to the handful of freelancers that help me run this show.

    I also know many indie designers are talking about having more diverse models showcasing their patterns. I currently still model all of my regular patterns myself, and while hiring this out has been a thought I've had frequently, it's not quite an option for me yet. When it does become an option in the future though, I will be seeking out a diverse range of models.

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I also thought here was a good place to round up some of the things I shared on social media over the past few weeks.

Justice in June — Education Resource

White friends — if you are floundering, and don't know where to start, how about you start with yourself.

I've been telling people about Justice in June as much as I could ever since I found out about it. Written and compiled by Autumn Gupta and Bryanna Wallace, Justice in June is an incredible resource and a brilliant place to start learning how to be a better Ally to the BIPOC community.

It's broken down into digestible information and you only need to spend 10 minutes a day on it if that's all you have (but there are schedules that you can also spend 25 minutes or 45 minutes a day if you have more time). Download the resources, follow the timetable and do the work. It will get you into the headspace you need to be in to be helpful.

They're running a fundraiser to build a website, so if you use this resource, perhaps consider supporting them for that work here.

Black Women's Mental Health Campaign

Mental health — we all know we need to take care of it. The events of the past week, combined with a pandemic ravaging the world, has probably left many teetering on the edge of complete overwhelm, anxiety and depression. It's a scary and unknown place out there right now and unfortunately, BIPOC have to shoulder all of this AND their everyday reality of being oppressed, ignored, attacked.

I shared a campaign being run by Jennifer at Workroom Social on social media to help Black women and girls get the help they need during this tumultuous time.  While this particular campaign has been fully funded (yay!!), you can donate to other campaigns through the same Loveland Foundation site here.

Having said that, I also know that this is a hard time for many financially, so please don't worry. You can still help by sharing campaigns, speaking out if you see something, educating yourself (hello Justice in June), signing petitions (more on that below), highlighting the work of BIPOC in your community (also more below) and making sure you're enrolled to vote (yes, that's below too!).

Support BIPOC Makers

Are you following Black Makers Matter on Instagram yet? Make sure you follow them on Instagram here. They have a great list of BIPOC and Ally craft vendors which is being added to all of the time. Take the time to browse this list and if you have suggestions to add, especially BIPOC owned and led, make sure you get in touch.

Also, now's the time to let your dollars do the talking! If you're not happy with the response (or lack thereof) from your favourite crafty makers/designers/proprietors, I'd encourage you to get in touch with them first. If they don't give you the answer you're looking for, shop elsewhere.

Arms Down NZ

I was planning on posting about supporting the #ArmsDownNZ campaign, but if you're a Kiwi, you already know that this has been scrapped! Yay!  So, I'll leave this here as a reminder that your voice does matter and that signing petitions, writing letters to local and national Government agencies and speaking up in general, DOES WORK!

And last but not least for today...


New Zealand (along with America and many other countries) has a general election coming up this year. The very most important thing you can do is make sure you're enrolled! Your vote counts! Your vote could be the vote that changes everything, but it can't if you're not enrolled and then don't vote on the day.

If you're in NZ, click here to either enrol or check your details are up to date. EASY!

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I know there is a lot of noise out there at the moment, and it can feel deafening, but I guess that's what the world needs right now. I've only highlighted a very small handful of ways you can start to fight systemic racism and oppression — hopefully they help clarify your thoughts and give you a way forward over the coming weeks, months and years.

Kia kaha my friends,


Coming Soon... The Bastion Culottes sewing pattern!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

It's nearly new pattern release time! And this time, I'm adding a pair of 'pants' into my sewing pattern offerings.

I say 'pants' because they're secret pants, disguised in skirt form... If you like 1940s sailor pants, 1930s beach pyjamas and A-line skirts, you'll love the Bastion Culottes.

Sign up to my newsletter before 8pm Monday 1st June NZDT to be the first to see them AND gain access to the Subscriber-only discount.

See you next week!!

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It's sale time! Take 20% off All Patterns...

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

It's nearly the end of Me Made May!! WHAT?!

That means it's time for a little sale. So, from now until 8pm Sunday 31st May NZDT, you can take 20% off ALL PATTERNS (paper, digital and bundles) from my shop.

Enter the code MMMAY20 at the checkout to apply your 20% discount.

Happy sewing my friends,

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Me Made May 2020

Sunday, May 3, 2020
And just like that, May has rolled around again, along with Me Made May 2020.

It's a very different looking May to this time last year - I had a little 3 month old baby and life was relatively slow (as far as babies are concerned). Fast forward to today and my 3 month old is a walking 14month old with her own opinions, Baby number One turns 5 (and should be starting school, but won't be due to COVID-19) and the world is grappling with something we couldn't fathom a year ago, let alone any time really...

I wear me mades everyday of the year anyway and so I'm not going to promise daily outfit photos this month, especially when I know full well that they just won't happen with time restraints (maybe next year...?).  I've also had various test garments for future pattern releases in high rotation, meaning I can't really take daily photos anyway, because that would be giving them all away! But I definitely hope to share the odd outfit.

My big goal for Me Made May this year is to finish one of my knitting projects. I'm stuck on sleeve island for 3 projects, and if I can finish at least one this month, I'll be very happy. We're heading into winter down here, so more cosy cardigans will be a welcome addition to my winter Me-made wardrobe.

'I, Jen, pledge to finish my Populux Cardigan (and possibly my Sandy Cardigan) and take the odd outfit photo throughout May 2020'

If you're not sure what Me Made May is, head on over to Zoe's blog to find out more about it.

Happy May everyone!

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