Monthly Archives: April 2013

Add a touch of class to your knits

Maybe you need to get a little sass girl, and up your game the next time you make a tee.

Linda stitched up this T-shirt with a gentle scoop neck in a lovely, heathery-brown, cotton interlock. One of those basic wardrobe workhorse patterns we all love, right?

Brown Knit Tee

But check this out:

Brown Knit Tee hem detail

Uh huh. Two rows of straight stitching, and a fancy-pants embroidery stitch in between. No, I did not suggest this hemming technique to my student. In fact, this was the first T-shirt she ever made. Looks like she is plenty smart (and bold!) enough to design and implement this awesome hem all on her own. BAM! What are you doing to your next tee-shirt hem?

Happy sewing!


Fit (and flatter) definitely matter

Lynda Maynard

You can straighten your top-stitching, neaten your seams, and smooth out your darts, but if the finished garment doesn’t fit your body correctly, none of those will trounce fit.

You bought the perfect fabric, cut out the pattern accurately, stitched the pieces together precisely, and yet…it looks like a dog’s breakfast on your body. Sloppy shoulder lines make you look like you are wearing your husband’s jacket. Straining at the waistline brings a sausage tied in the middle to mind, and a too-high crotch seam causes a bit of “lift and separate” where it is least attractive.

It’s time to take charge of your fitting issues, ladies. I for one vastly prefer an orderly approach to problem-solving (and fitting IS a problem), and IMHO Lynda Maynard tackles fit in an extremely sensible manner. Top down. Big to little. I just spent 3 days watching her fit every conceivable body shape during a hands-on class, and it was magical. Helping women of all ages, sizes, and body types achieve better fitting garments is her passion, and it shows in all she does.

Lynda signing book

If you can’t get to San Francisco to take one of her classes in person, Sew the Perfect Fit on is an excellent online fitting tutorial. (Bonus: you can watch the class as many times as you want – it never expires!)

Do yourself a favor and invest in learning more about fitting. You will be happier with your sewing results if you do.

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen


No relaxing during spring break for these gals

Spring break brings to mind relaxing somewhere on a beach, sipping a cocktail and reading a trashy novel.

That is pretty much the opposite of what happened last week at Sew Camp. Frenetic pinning, stitching up seams, ripping out mistakes, giggling, and having fun with other slightly obsessed sewists was how we spent our school break time. Wednesday was “twirly skirt” day, and I was so busy I didn’t have 2 seconds to snap a single pix. You are just going to have to trust me -six darling skirts were made on that day. Adding the bottom ruffle to the skirt nearly undid us, but we muddled through and the results were worth the effort.

Unimaginable though it seems, Thursday was slightly crazier still. Seven girls, 7 fleece ponchos, and one day to get them all done. Sounds like a Project Runway nightmare, right? Check out the concentration while they were pinning their pieces together – love it!


Who says girls shouldn’t operate power tools? I remind them “You are the boss of that sewing machine, make it do what YOU want.”  Yeah baby, they sure love being the boss of something. 😉


Focus, problem-solving, task completion, proper sequencing – all of that is going on here.


Ohhh, look. Someone is very meticulous about her sewing!


And how about these finished products? Cute, cozy, and individual!


They left tired, happy with their ponchos, and I headed for the couch! With a slight detour thru the kitchen to pour a VERY large glass of wine. 😉

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen