Named Clothing Maisa Denim Jacket from Upcycled Jeans

One of my very first sewing projects with a pattern was a denim jacket… I know very ambitious of my 13 year old self.  I remember having to ask the teacher to help me with just about every step. After it was done I was unimpressed by the end result. To me it looked handmade (in a bad way), bulky, and wasn’t what I was going for with all that work.  From that point on I decided I didn’t want to try another denim project (jeans, jacket, etc). And I pretty much stayed true to that until now…

I saw Named Clothing’s Maisa Denim jacket from their SS17 Playground collection and I couldn’t resist giving it a go again. I was drawn to the combination of contrasting colors and their sample was even made of recycled denim remnants. Perfect! My boys have a box of torn down denim that was just too trashed to giveaway but not nearly trashed enough to throw out.  I also can show my boys (as they laugh) this was the pocket of your jeans here, and here was yours right here…I know I’ll get good use out of this and it will also remind me of the many adventures I have with my boys. For the parts I didn't have enough denim to cover I used TÉLIO's bleached wash denim that went perfect with the mix of colors I had. 

Named Clothing is a Finnish clothing pattern label founded by sisters Saara and Laura. They offer patterns of all skill level from beginner to more experienced.  This one is a bit advanced but if you’re new to sewing patterns they have plenty of options to pick from. I love the style of their patterns…classic silhouettes with a twist, interesting little details that bring out the designer in you. 

What I loved the most about this specific sewing pattern is the easy to follow instructions, even for an advanced project like a denim jacket. I never once questioned what was to be done. This alone deserves an applause as we all know most sewing patterns can be difficult to follow.  

  See the steps of the process below including video...

 Tiling the pattern. 
 Piles of torn denim my sons' and husband have destroyed. They play rough like they should. 
 The hardest part was making all the scraps of denim work for the project and picking out the color theme. 
Cutting the pattern.
I love seeing the jacket come together little by little. 
Had to add embroidery of my boys names on the cuff...
Finishing the button holes...
The pattern turned out better than I expected with a perfect fit.  The construction process took awhile but take your time and enjoy it.  Not every project needs to be under 1/2 an hour.  The finished results are worth it! 

Check out more of Named Clothing patterns here


Sewing Pattern Series: Sew House Seven

 The #modernseamstress is a term I use to describe today's sewist.  She most likely can re-create patterns from existing garments on last year's wrapping paper, and loves redesigning clothing into fashion-forward looks.  The cut and sew type of person knows the project will somehow work out…usually,  although he or she may have a hard time with sewing patterns. I’m pretty much describing today’s seamstress.  We’ve shunned traditional sewing patterns because of the unnecessarily difficult instructions and outdated looks, using sewing terms you’ve never heard of and you cringe at the thought of nylon paper exploding from the envelope.  Now don’t be turned off just yet.  There are many modern sewing patterns that are created for today’s seamstresses in mind.  They offer fashion-forward looks with simplified instructions.  They also come in digital or PDF files you can simply print at home!  All you have to do is download, print, and tile the patterns.  Learning to create garments from sewing patterns is actually a breeze.  It’s also a necessary skill that as a seamstress you should know.  The finished results will be better fitting garments and professional finishes that will enhance your sewing and design skills.  If you plan to work in the garment industry, pattern making and construction is a necessary skill you’ll want to master.  This new series, that I’ll be introducing you to, will use a few of my go-to sewing patterns. 

The first sewing pattern I’m starting off with is Sew House Seven’s Bridgetown Backless Dress & Tunic.  The pattern is easy to follow with clear instructions.  The design is a simple silhouette with modern features like the open draped back and kimono style sleeves. It’s a versatile look for all occasions.  Go with a semi-sheer cotton gauze for a swim cover up, a cotton knit tunic for casual, or/and a silk sateen for special occasions.  Once you master this pattern you will zip through them and want one in every color and fabric.

I chose Navy Bohemian Print in Wool Dobby from Stylish Fabric and couldn't resist a ultra soft and drapey knit jersey in teal here.

Steps of the process and tips on using PDF patterns below:

Begin by downloading the pattern.  When printing make sure to print “Actual Size,” full scale, 100%.”  Print the first page that contains a square prior to printing the whole pattern.  Measure to make sure it’s correct.  If so then proceed to print the remaining pages.  If not, check your printer settings, make any changes, and print another test page…

Cut the left and top lines of each inner tile piece. 
Like a puzzle, match the marks and pattern lines up with tape. Make sure to tape through any cutting lines that go through the page edges and where the four corners meet. 
Once everything is taped, cut the pattern pieces out.  You can then trace the pattern onto pattern paper. This is a good option if you want to make the pattern in different sizes as well.  I prefer to use the printed pattern for time efficiency. 
Pick the fabric that is suggested in the pattern instructions. 
To store your patterns use hangers with clips used for pants/shorts.  When I'm done using them for awhile I like to fold them up along the cut lines and place them in plastic storage bags. 

Get the Bridgetown Backless Dress & Tunic Pattern here and check out the other lovely patterns by Sew House Seven


DIY: Off-the-Shoulder Ruffle Top

Create this off-the-shoulder ruffle top I designed for summer! You can make the hem longer for a dress or add trim for extra details. Once you get the hang of this pattern you’ll want one in every color and print.

Full tutorial and pattern at the We All Sew BERNINA blog here.


Travelling to Australia? 10 things you must know before you pack your bags

Travelling to Australia? 10 things you must know before you pack your bags...
Australia is the only country which is a continent by itself! Apart from being champions in sports like Rugby and Cricket, there is a bunch of other factors that makes it distinctive. Situated far in the eastern hemisphere, it is one country that garners much attention. With its vast variety of flora and fauna, it houses many different animal and bird species. Before travelling to this beautiful country, make a note of the following:

1. Australia is huge!
What else do you expect from a diverse country housing a continent in itself? It is the 6th largest country in the world by land area. Most of the Australian population is seen to live along the coast as the climate in the interiors is not as friendly as the coastal region. It is not densely populated with population density figures at one of the lowest in the world. It is also known as the country which is down under, owing to its geographical location in the southern most section of the world, somewhere above the continent of Antarctica.
2. Prepare to get tanned
As you know, Australia is endowed with natural beauty and is surrounded by multiple beaches. But can you really wet your feet there? Not really. Not unless you have applied loads of sunscreen. The weather can be quite harsh if not taken care of. Apart from tanning, too much exposure can leave you vulnerable to skin cancer. We recommend you to stay indoors away from the scorching heat and schedule your wandering for the cooler parts of the day. 
3. The Kangaroo myth
Yes, this bewildering animal represents the country but they are not everywhere (as most TV shows or movies portray). To locate these lovely beings, you will have to venture into the wild areas of Australia. Quite seldom, they are also found in the countryside or suburbs. Who doesn’t know about the special appearances they make during international golf championships? Same thing goes with another adorable creature called Koala or Koala Bear. If you don’t manage to spot them in the wild then you can always visit places like the National Zoo in the capital city of Canberra.
4. The wild side of Australia.
Australia is filled with wildlife, quite literally. Apart from their native animals, you also get to see iguanas and possums, king-parrots, bats, raven and magpies, just to name a few. There are many other species which are found nowhere else, but here.  
5. Exotic weather.
Australia lies in the southern hemisphere. Which means summer over here is winter for people in the northern hemisphere. It is to be kept in mind that the northern hemisphere is the most populated half of the world and this upside-down phenomenon is not very commonly known. Apart from this fact, weather here is also unpredictable. When it rains, it does non-stop. When it’s dry, the spell remains dry for long. The best months to travel Australia are April, May, October and November as the weather is fairly pleasant.
6. Mind your accent.
Australians speak English, but they also have their own slang and accent which they are quite proud of. And why shouldn’t they be? The language has developed so much that it is is literally known as Australian English. Below is the list of certain famous Australian slang words with their common English counterpart:
ï Cuppa = A cup of tea/coffee
ï Macca’s = Mc Donald’s
ï Footy = Rugby
ï Choccy = Chocolate
Even the term ‘selfie’ was also originated from Australia! We bet you didn’t know that.
7. The expenses?
The fifth most traded currency, Australian dollar (AUD) is the integral part of the country with comparatively higher interest rates. Yes, let’s do some money talk. Australia is blessed with a powerful local dollar. This makes travelling and staying in Australia quite expensive for people coming from countries with weaker currencies. Food, accommodation and even drinking water come at a fairly high cost. With OZCodes.com.au you can discover the best for less. It is the finest way to keep an eye on daily travel deals which can surely help you get your next holiday cheaper.
8. What’s brewing?
If you love coffee then Australia is your place. They love coffee unlike any other drink (apart from alcohol). So much that weekend gatherings are planned around coffee drinking! No doubt ‘cuppa’ is the most common Australian slang.
9. Do not tip!
We repeat. Do not tip. Tipping someone at a bar is regarded inappropriate! This is unlike anywhere else in the world. So unless you want to get yourself into trouble, we’ve already tipped you off! This has also lead to the customer service in Australia turning bad. 
10.  Diversity in culture.
Australia has two tribal cultures; namely the Aborigines and the Islanders (Torres Strait Islanders). They have existed in this territory much before Australia was first discovered.  They are known for many beautiful and jaw dropping cultural ceremonies. Make sure you get familiar with their livelihood and learn about their culture for a better insight. catch up with them and learn about their culture right from their tongues. Respecting culture, sharing experiences and unravelling the roots can always pave way for a better society and this is what Australia, a seemingly lonely planet, is built on. 
Respect for any culture must be shown in every new place you visit, regardless of the circumstance. This is what builds a peaceful society. This is what built Australian, the seemingly lonely country on this planet.


How To: Custom Fabric with My Fabric Designs

Sometimes as a designer you can't find exactly what you're looking for when it comes to fabric. You see it in your head but can't seem to find it...you know how that goes?  I've always been drawn to indigo, the pretty blue and all its different shades.  I started hand dyeing my own textiles with indigo and learned shibori techniques to create prints.  I was able to make intricate designs with stitch resist techniques on smaller sample sizes.  To do this on a larger sheet of fabric it would require many hours of time I don't have right now.  This is where My Fabric Designs comes in to play.  My Fabric Designs is an online custom fabric maker where you upload your designs or shop from other artists collections.  They have 25 different high quality fabric you can choose to print your designs on.  This is ideal for me as I can create my indigo shibori prints on different materials like performance knit or modern jersey.   There is no order minimum and you can purchase swatches prior to committing to large orders.

Here is my first set of designs I created and I have to say I'm impressed by the results.  The colors, prints, and quality of fabrics are top notch.  You'll have to check back to see what I come up with for projects.  For now,  check out the video I created opening my first package from My Fabric Designs and see how easy it is to make your own! You can also shop my "Indigo" collection here!


DIY: Bell Cuff Top from T-shirt

 In this tutorial I'm showing you how to update a basic t-shirt into this trendy bell sleeve top.  This versatile look can be worn dressy or casual.  For this look I used ShirtSpace tee in ice blue.  All you need is a t-shirt, sewing machine (or thread & needle) and 15 minutes.

Video Instructions Below: