Category Archives: Techniques

Make a Jorna with me!

I’m teaching a class at Pink Castle Fabrics all about sewing with stretch knit fabric.  AND WHAT BETTER WHAT TO LEARN ABOUT SEWING KNITS THAN BY SEWING A JORNA!  ::fist pumps::


Make a jumper! Wear it with jeans!

In this class participants will be given the complete pattern for the Jorna dress, the Jorna junior, and the maternity-style Jorna. Throughout the class you’ll learn tips and techniques for working with jersey knit, how to do an all-in-one bodice lining, and you’ll leave with a finished garment!

The Jorna dress comes in sizes XS-XL for women, 2T-5T for toddler aged girls. The “Knocked-Up Jorna” is for pregnant women sizes XS-XL (pre-pregnancy sizes). The patterns come with length options, making this a garment you can make again and again, achieving different results that are always flattering.


Make a dress!

Prerequisites: Students should be comfortable sewing a straight stitch on their machine. 

Price per student:  $60

Length of class:  Meets once for 3 hours

This class will be taught on:  Saturday, September 28, 2013 // 10:30am – 1:30pm



Make a sexy and comfortable tank!

penny2 copy

Make a Jorna Jr.! 2T – 5T!


Cover that bump! Luxe Knocked-Up Jorna is super awesome.

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Filed under Clothes, Fabric, Shop, Techniques

Mountains Quilt



For a friend, I was asked to make a quilt inspired by these gorgeous wall decals from blik. The pattern for these wall tiles, called “Conquered” is based on a Threadless pattern by Ross Zietz. Mr. Zietz was extremely generous – I reached out to him on flickr to get his blessing to make this one quilt and for permission to blog about it, and he was kind enough not only to encourage my endeavors, but he also sent me his design documents!

This made it so much easier to formulate my plan for “conquering” this project.

I photoshopped guide-lines on the tile until I had pieces that were nice rectangles that would be paper-piecing friendly.


Okay so then I printed out that guide and went to the floor with a giant piece of paper (wrapping paper taped together to be roughly 60″ square) and I translated my guide with pencil onto the paper by scaling, just like you used to do in grade school. Something roughly like one inch squared on my guide was equal to 7 inches square on my giganto paper.  I fudged things here with layout and color from the original design in order to work best for me.


Then I cut out each rectangle and those were my paper piecing pieces (although I had to be conscious about adding seam allowance when I was actually cutting out fabric and the resulting “blocks”). From then on it was just assemble blocks and get a quilt top.


Then I used my sew and turn appliqué technique to make the snowy mountain tops, and top stitched those onto the quilt-top.

Cloudy quilt lines.


Cloud fabric and stripped pieced backing.


Skinny purple binding.


Lovely quilt. Thanks, Ross!






Filed under Quilting, Techniques

Pants to Skirt and Blind-Hem Tutorial

Do you have a whole bunch of ill-fitting clothes still taking up space in your closet?  Once again I found myself reluctant to give away a pair of pants: they were from The Limited, bought in 2007, 2 sizes too small, but in great shape and buttery soft.

And, as I mentioned in my last shorts-to-skirt tutorial, I really need the warm-weather bottoms! I decided to use more of that stretch sparkle denim for my side panels.  But this time I used the reverse side of the fabric which is a bit more gold than blue.  Saucy!

SONP-2I followed the same procedure as last time for making this skirt.  The only difference was that this time I did a blind-hem stitch on my machine!

I think I tried to do a blind-hem on my machine once before, but I decided to take this opportunity to really learn this skill. If you’re new to the process as well, here’s a tutorial on how to sew a blind hem by machine!  Read on…

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Filed under Clothes, Supplies, Techniques, Tutorial

Back-to-Front Binding Tutorial


One alternative to making traditional binding is to make a quilt-back big enough to fold over to the front of the quilt and sew in place.  That’s right, you can use the backing for the binding!  I’ve had a tutorial for this process up on the blog – it was one of my very first posts back in 2010!  But that tutorial needed some updates – here we go!

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Filed under Quilting, Techniques, Tutorial

Laurel in Red

Coletterie has launched a new pattern called The Laurel and is having a contest!  And it just so happens that this contest is happening at the same time as Made By Rae’s Spring Top Sew-Along showcase/contest!  So I had double inspiration to make a couple of tops.


Here’s my first Laurel blouse!  I made it with some red polka-dot fabric that was handed over to me from a friend.  I think it’s rayon?  It goes swish-swish when you rub it against itself, it doesn’t wrinkle, it pretty transparent, doesn’t fray, and it holds its shape.


Adjustments to the pattern included dropping the armhole down an inch, reducing the shoulder ease, adding about three inches to the waist and another to the hem (!! am I really that stretched out!?!?) and I moved the back darts down an inch.

Also – instead of bias tape binding for the raw edges, I did piping!!!!!  I am so happy with this choice.  I think the edges look super sharp and it was SO EASY (especially since I just used ready-made piping binding from the store).


Yay new blouse! Clap clap.


Filed under Challenges, Clothes, Fabric, Techniques

Trapezoids at Work – Quilt Top and Tutorial


After seeing THIS IMAGE float around pinterest ( “Trapezoid Love” by Melanie Mikecz), I knew I wanted to do a wonky tumbler quilt.  And, like the inspiration piece, I wanted my points to match.  Wow… how was I going to make a liberated trapezoid quilt (no meticulous calculating and template-making), and still get the points to match?


It took a couple of unsuccessful trial runs before coming up with this method.  It’s not for everyone – at the end, you’ve got the entire quilt-top in your lap and you’re completing seams and wrestling and it’s a bit gnarly.  But I LOVE the final product.  I see more of these in my future…


I’ll chat a bit more about this quilt when I finish quilting it and binding it, but for now – a full tutorial!  I have no idea if the below will make any sense, but I tried my best and… you know… it’s free for you to read.

traezoidsatwork copy

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Filed under Fabric, Inspiration, Pattern, Techniques, Tutorial

Pattern Walkthrough – Vogue 8615 in Jersey

After seeing this post, I knew that once I felt I had a handle on garment sewing, I wanted to try to replicate this look: Vogue V8615 Very Easy in a jersey.



I cannot emphasize enough googling the name of the pattern before proceeding to sew a garment.  Find all the blog posts you can and read up on the desired alterations.  After reading though a bunch of posts I knew I was going to…

  • Alter the neckline so it wasn’t such a dramatic boat-neck. (I didn’t want my bra straps peeking out).
  • Cut the front bodice piece on the fold of the fabric so it didn’t have a center-seam.
  • Not do a zipper (the jersey would allow me to stretch the dress over my head).
  • Lengthen the torso and the sleeves
  • Adjust the ease on the shoulders.
  • Adjust the sleeve pattern to avoid the elbow dart.
  • Use stay tape on the neckline, skirt hem, and sleeve hems.
  • Only line the bodice – not the sleeves or the skirt.
  • Not do pockets.

Read on for tips on pursuing each of these alterations and for a general walk-though on the pattern!

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Filed under Clothes, Pattern, Techniques