Monthly Archives: June 2015

Cosmos Reversible Skirt & Purse Tester Call

I have a favor to ask you. Kind of a big one, really.

I need your help getting my first pattern ready for the world stageprime time. If you can commit to making up a simple skirt for a special little girl in your life, and maybe a purse to match, it would mean the world to me. Truly!

  Cosmos Reversible Skirt & Purse by Sew Maris Designs


Cosmos Reversible Skirt Features

  • Reversible skirt construction eliminates need for seam finishing
  • Scalloped hemline adds a feminine detail
  • Easy, elastic waist finish
  • Available in size 2-10
  • Pattern tiling so you print only the sizes/pages you need

Pattern Sizing

This children’s pattern is available in sizes from 2- 10 years.

Picking a Size

This pattern is based on waist size and skirt length. Measure your child’s waist to determine the correct size, and also measure a skirt you already own to determine the proper length. To lengthen or shorten any size skirt, add or remove length at the waist rather than the scalloped hem.


3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8


Waist measurement 20.5 in/ 52 cm 21.25 in/54 cm 22 in/56 cm 22.75 in/58 cm 23.63 in/60 cm 24 in/61 cm 25 in/63 cm
Finished skirt length 10 in/ 25.4 cm 12.5 in/31.75 cm 14 in/35.5 cm 15.5 in/39 cm 16.25in/41 cm 17 in/43 cm 18.5 in/47 cm


Primary fabrics

Lightweight cotton, quilting cotton, chambray or similar fabrics without stretch are good choices. Since this skirt is reversible, you will need two pieces of fabric to complete the skirt. It is not necessary that the fabrics are complementary colors or prints, as the “underside” is not visible when wearing.


Medium weight interfacing is suggested, but not required, for the purse “lining” fabric.


Medium weight muslin or cotton duck is suggested, but not required, for underlining the exterior of the purse. Underlining will provide a nice amount of support for the finished purse, and will contribute to its longevity.


I plan to start testing Thursday, July 2, and complete testing by Sunday July 12. If there are extensive changes then the testing period may be extended.

Tester Selection

Selected testers will be invited to a private Facebook group. This is the place to discuss the pattern, share pictures and consider revisions. I will send the invite/link to the email that you provide in the tester form, so no typos! 😉

In return for your time, effort, attention, and much-appreciated comments, you will receive:

  • A copy of the final pattern
  • A blog post featuring your creation, and directing traffic to your blog, web site, or store

Thank you so much for your interest. Pattern testing for Cosmos is now closed.

Happy sewing!



Super Sale + A “Feel-Good” Opportunity

You can’t go wrong with this offer, friends!

Idyllwood Pattern by Itch to Stitch Designs

Kennis Wong, the super talented designer behind Itch to Stitch Designs, is offering her Idyllwild Top and Dress pattern for ONLY $1!

Not only do you get an awesome, basic T + dress pattern with loads of options built in, 100 % of the proceeds from this pattern will be donated to Salvando Corazones, an organization dedicated to providing education, rehabilitative services, and unconditional love and support to child survivors of commercial exploitation.

What are you waiting for? This offer only lasts until July 1st, so Get.On.It!

Happy sewing!


Quick Tip Tuesday: How to Align Coverstitching

It drives you nuts when you hem a garment “in the round” on your coverstitch machine, and the last few stitches stitches don’t line up perfectly with the beginning stitches, huh? Me too!

How to coverstitch knit hems by Sew Maris

I was hemming a bunch of items the other day, and decided to try marking one of the stitching lines so I could have an alignment guide to help me “join up” the coverstitch. I was using a 3-thread coverstitch, so I drew a little line with my Frixion pen on the center row of stitches (in red above). It really helped! I was able to tweak my alignment so the join was much better.

What tricks do you use to get your coverstitch “join” to line up nicely?

Happy sewing!

How DO You Make Knit Tees Look RTW?

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Your coverstitch hem stitching looks like Lombard Street in San Francisco. Your neckline served as an excellent crumb catcher at a cocktail party hosted by your husband’s new boss. What the H is the problem!?! Knits are fast and easy, right?

Sewing knit tops by Sew Maris

Yes. And no. In my opinion, the basic construction of a Tee is fast and easy. But your finishing details can spell Becky-Home-Ec-y in a heartbeat.

I made 3 Tees last night; two sleeveless tanks from Pamela’s Patterns Versatile Twinset, and a long-sleeved Tee using Pamela’s Perfect T-Shirt pattern. Both of these patterns are TNT for me, and I am very happy with the fit of my previous versions. BUT. A few have some not-so-perfect-for-me issues. Little things. The kind of things no one would notice. Except possibly some of my ASG sisters. (I’m looking at you, Helen! . 😉

Sewing knit tops by Sew Maris

This sleeveless tank is made from Birch Fabrics Twigs organic cotton interlock. I don’t sew with interlock that often, but this fabric was a dream to work with. Zero complaints about the fabric, and I think the tank sewed up really nicely. Rather than turning the neck and armhole edge under as Pamela suggests, I added a narrow band finish. The armhole to binding ratio was 1:1, and the binding to neckline ration was approximately 7:8. I think I might have cut the armhole binding a smidge shorter, but the neckline ratio turned out pretty close to perfect.

The conventional wisdom for neckline: binding ratios is somewhere between 7:8 and 3:4. So basically not much better than a guess, huh? I can’t offer perfect precision, but I can say there are a couple of factors to keep in mind when deciding which ratio to use.

  1. If your fabric has lycra (i.e. great recovery), then do not get that binding too short. WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD.
  2. If you are using baby rib or some other very, very stretch fabric, even 3:4 might result in a gappy crumb catcher neckline. (Ask me how I know 😉
  3. Basting the completed ribbing to the neckline is a great way to test your ratio without ripping serger stitches. Just sayin’.
  4. Experiment with binding widths. Look at RTW. Narrow is often used in RTW, but is tougher to do really well in a very stretchy rib.

Sewing knit tops by Sew Maris

This little pink number is made from a cotton baby rib, and is super soft and yummy. And I Just.Love.Petal.Pink! LOVE it!

I stuck with the same narrow armhole bindings as the organic cotton T, but I did make sure the binding was shorter than the armhole length. The neck binding? I put that sucker on 3 times! The first mistake was that even a 3:4 ratio is too big on a stretchy rib knit. And the narrow binding that looked great on the interlock looked weird on ribbing. Yes, I ripped out serger stitches. The second attempt I cut a shorter and wider binding, and also made sure to apply the binding so the join was in the center front instead of center back. GRRRRRR! Bad words were uttered, and I ripped out serger stitches a second time. Note to self: Do.Not.Sew.Late.At.Night. Thankfully, the third time was the charm. Wider band and less than even a 3:4 ratio made sure the neckline was not gappy.

Sewing knit tops by Sew Maris

I had enough of the pale pink ribbing to also make a long-sleeved Tee. I even managed to apply my lessons from the tank neckline to the Tee neckline, and it was right the first time. But you can be sure I checked where that seam join was before I started serging. Twice. 😉

I noticed something on a RTW Tee belonging to my granddaughter. The binding on the armholes is applied before the side seams are stitched up, and then the side seam is stitched down with a straight stitch on a regular sewing machine. This straight stitching is only about 1 inch long, and is right at the armhole so it doesn’t show at all. That 1 inch of stitching really neatens up the serged seam at the armhole edge, and keeps everything tucked into place. Super easy and effective RTW technique combined with an easier/faster armhole binding process. You’re welcome!

Sewing knit tops by Sew Maris

Now, shall we talk about hemming knits. Specifically, coverstitch hemming? Actually, that is a whole ‘nother post. Maybe a tute. Because I have lots to say about that process.

Happy sewing!