Monthly Archives: August 2015

Quick Tip Tuesday: Easy templates

Do you want a fast and easy way to turn hems up evenly? Or casings for skirts or pants? Templates!

Hemming templates by Sew Maris

Using a gridded ruler, old (or new) manila file folders, draw straight lines to create tagboard templates in dimensions you use frequently. Time to iron your hem turnback? Turn the fabric over your uh-mazing template, and press the hem turnback. YES! You can iron right on top of the manila file folder. A cheap, accurate, easy, solution for fa-a-a-a-a-a-a-s-s-s-s-s-st hems, casings, and more!

Happy sewing!


Style Arc Allison Skirt

Swingy. Classic. Feminine. Fast-to-sew.

Style Arc Allison Skirt by Sew Maris

What’s not to love about Style Arc’s Allison Skirt? I made this skirt up in a cotton/lycra knit I had in my stash. Double win! Used a pattern + fabric from my stash!

Style Arc Allison Skirt by Sew Maris

There are 2 inverted box pleats in the front and the back, so another bonus: easy dressing because there is no difference between the front and back side of the skirt!

Allison Skirt-1-5

I love this pattern, and plan to wear the heck out of my skirt. One skirt pattern piece, and 1 waistband piece. Even with the fiddly pleat stitching on a soft knit, this skirt is a definite fast-sew. It is swingy and comfortable, and the narrow waistband (about 1/2 inch finished) is comfy but doesn’t scream “big ole fatty elastic waistband for old people.” Yeah, I’m a little sensitive about that one. 😉

My one reservation is the weight of the fabric + the topstitching that secures the pleats in place. If you have not ever ordered Style Arc paper patterns from Australia, they include actual fabric swatches glued to their patterns, so you can tell exactly what fabrics they recommend. My fabric is a dead ringer for their sample swatch.

But. Those pleats. I feel like the weight of the pleat, stitched down to that pretty flimsy knit…..I dunno. Seems like an opportunity for a big ole hole to develop, right?

I will definitely make this skirt again, but I plan to stabilize the WS of the skirt front and back with a fusible stay tape before adding the final topstitching. Since I did not have this wonderful foresight on version #1, at this point fusing a bit of stay tape at the ends of the “V” just *might* help prevent a disaster. I also might try a light-weight ponte, so the skirt has a bit more stability/structure. I am planning to make a track-style jacket out of ponte in the near future, so if I can remember I will experiment with the scraps to see how pleats will behave in that fabric. Too thin, too bulky, always looking for that “just right” fabric!

Style Arc Allison Skirt by Sew Maris

Cutest little photo-bomber ever, huh? She likes to get in on the action, plus see “Nana-made” garments up close. And talk about why she didn’t get a new outfit, too. 😉

This skirt will definitely become a basic in my wardrobe. I have about 10 tanks and  T’s that will go perfectly with this skirt, and plan to give it a test drive on my upcoming trip to Italy.

What about you? Have you ever sewn a Style Arc design? Have you tried the Allison skirt? What is on your sewing machine right now?

Happy sewing,


Kari Made a Cosmos Skirt and Purse!

I love seeing all the different versions of Cosmos skirts and purses that are popping up around the world from the One Thimble release last week!

Cosmos Skirt by Sew Maris designs

Kari (from That’s Sew Kari in Australia) is part of the blog tour reviewing Issue #8 of One Thimble magazine, and I can’t even believe how totally adorable her version of the Cosmos skirt and purse is. So.Stinkin’.Cute! And that flower crown, designed by Molly and Momma, really is the icing on the cake, amiright? Love everything about this look!

Check out what Kari has to say, and I’d love to hear what you think about the Cosmos patterns. Have you made yours yet?

Happy sewing!


Cosmos Reversible Skirt and Matching Purse

Maybe you  know what it is like to give birth: painful, exhilarating, and completely overwhelming, right?

Cosmos Skirt and Purse pattern by Sew Maris Designs

My newest baby! Welcome to the world, Cosmos Reversible Skirt and Purse pattern! For now, and until early November, you can only purchase this sweet little skirt + purse pattern thru One Thimble (yep, affiliate links). It is a digital download (both the mag + my pattern), and you can purchase either the entire magazine (12 patterns, plus tutes, articles, and more!) for $25 AUD, which is about $18 USD. Such a bargain! If you prefer, you can buy patterns individually, too, but really, the full edition is a bargain and full of other patterns you are going to be begging for.

I am loving the adorable print Jen used for her Cosmos Purse!


Looks like somebody likes their new purse!! 🙂

Want to hear what others are saying?

I just love Kimmie Sew Crazy’s review and her crazy-cute little girl in the Cosmos Skirt! Krista Smith of Bee Quilted Beauties thinks this reversible skirt will be soooo practical for school (she’s right!). Melissa of Rebel & Malice loves the super fast Cosmos skirt sew, and Amy of Sew-Well tested this pattern for me. I am sure her little peanut is just too cute for words in her Cosmos skirt.

What about you? I’d love to see pix of all your #cosmosskirtandpurse versions! Tell me what you think, I am dying to hear from you!

Happy sewing,




First Sewing Pattern Release: Cosmos Skirt and Purse!

Have you been looking for a sweet AND simple skirt pattern, that sews up in a blink?

Cosmos Reversible Skirt and Purse by Sew Maris Designs


Finally done, I should add. If you have never tried it, designing and packaging a PDF pattern is work, sistah. Fun, challenging, and mostly exciting! Initially both patterns—the Cosmos Reversible Skirt and Cosmos Purse—will only be available thru One Thimble Issue 8 (affiliate link!)—a beautiful digital magazine published in Australia by the talented and hard-working Jen Kennedy. If this is a new-to-you magazine, you are going to be blown away. It is chock-ful of sewing articles, patterns, tips, and tutorials. Seriously, a bargain at only $25 AUD (which is just over $18 USD.You can spend more than that on a single pattern, right?) If you prefer, you can purchase just the individual patterns that are most appealing to you; either way works!

Sooo, a bit more about the Cosmos Skirt. Did I mention it is reversible? Double the fun, and a chance to showcase two cute prints. A bonus: spills can be “reversed” away! 🙂 With a super-easy-to-apply fold-over elastic waistband, you can have this skirt finished during naptime or while your daughter is at soccer practice, and the sweet scallops add a just-right feminine touch.

Cosmos reversible Skirt pattern by Sew Maris Designs

Amy of Sew-Well made this mini-Cosmos-version for her daughter. Her cute little peanut is a bit smaller than the smallest pattern size, so clever momma thought it looked adorable pulled up over her sweet, little baby belly.

Cosmos Reversible Skirt by Sew Maris Designs

Love this bright purple version Jill made for her little one!

Cosmos Reversible Skirt Pattern by Sew Maris Designs

The pretty flowered print fabric is adorable, and I love the braided strap on the Cosmos Purse made by Zara. Too cute!

Both the Cosmos Reversible Skirt and the Cosmos Purse patterns will be available on August 14 (Australian time, so sometime August 13 U.S. Time) in One Thimble Magazine, Issue 8  (there’s that affiliate link again). Make sure to grab your own copy – you’ll be delighted!

Happy sewing!



Emily Culottes Sew-along: Welt Pocket Option

We certainly have covered all the basics in this sew-along, and some of those Emily Culottes posted in the FB group are uh-dorable! You can still join in the fun and see what others are cookingstitching up!

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

Have you tried adding welt pockets? Too scared? Really, you can do this!

I have no idea why this pink pair is so wrinkly. I carried them on a hanger down to my daughter’s house for her to take a few snaps, and it looks like I rolled in the grass!

And see the kind of bulgy business at the waistband? Hmmm, that would be because someone decided to try a different lining insertion method. Sometimes who occasionally thinks she is one big smartypants. Note to self: Stick.To.Kennis’.Lining.Technique.

OK, enough self-bashing. On to the welt pockets.

There are really only a couple of things to keep in mind with welt pockets. Accurate seam allowances. Interface well. Clip carefully. There are lots of tutes out there about welt pockets if you want to look at other ways to do things, but let’s go over the steps Kennis uses:

Start by stitching the 2 welts together. See how Kennis graded the pattern piece so the underside is slightly smaller than the interfaced “public” side? Nice drafting, Kennis. 😉

Emily Culottes Sew-along By Sew Maris

Do yourself a favor and trim off the upper points on the diagonal. Makes the turning easier.

Emily Culottes Sew-alongby Sew Maris

Word (2): point turner. See how the “underside” (lower welt) is slightly smaller than the public side (upper welt). I am a nut for excellent drafting on little details like this. Swoon!

Emily Culotted Sew-along by Sew Maris

You can figure out how to baste the welts and press the pocket all by your lonesome. 😉

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

Now, Kennis has you basting the welt to the pocket bag first, instead of to the garment, like many other instructions call for. I say po-tay-toe, you say po-taw-toe. Either works. My welts are pinned and ready to be basted in place. And after the basting is done and you have checked that it is in the right place, follow her instructions in step 32 to stitch the welt in place. Instead of backstitching, be sure you shorten your stitch length at the beginning and the end of the welt. You’re welcome. 🙂

Emily CulottesSew-Along by Sew Maris

Trim off the welt seam allowance on the diagonal ONLY if the welt is all good and happy.

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

This is the “align to the circles on the skirt” step 34. Welt is in between the pocket bag and the skirt, pointing down toward the skirt hem.

Emily Culottes sew-along by Sew Maris

Instructions 36 – 43? They are all about stitching a little box so you can cut an opening in the skirt and pop the welt in place. This is the part that is often done much earlier in other welt pocket methods. The difference here is instead of a complete rectangle, you angle the stitches a bit on the ends. Really, if you don’t overthink it and just do it I am pretty sure you will be fine. Or, say! What about making a mini sample on a scrap to just try out the technique? David Page Coffin, the king of sample-making-testing, will be so proud if you do this! 😉

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

Check your stitching ends exactly on the welt. Do not stitch beyond the welt or your opening will be too large and there will be gaposis.

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

This is what it looks like from the wrong side of the skirt. Doh! I didn’t stitch exactly on my alignment marking at the inner edge. But I did angle my stitching! I decided to live with it. 😉

Now the rest is easy. Slash in the middle of the sewn rectangle thru the pocket first, and then the skirt. Don’t cut the welt!  Push the pocket thru the opening, and press the welt up and the pocket down.

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

Taaa-daaaaa! The inside view….

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

…and the right side view, prior to hand stitching down the sides of the welts.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

Have you ever tried a welt pocket before? Do you like this method?

Happy sewing!






Emily Culottes Sew-Along: Waistband Facing + Hem

We are in the homestretch now, ladies. All you have to do is add the facing to the waistband yoke and hem your culottes.

Waistband facing first! In instruction 67, Kennis shows you a way to slightly ease up the fabric before applying twill tape to stabilize the waist edge. I accomplished my easing in a different way, but I want to try her method next time. Taking the time to add some twill tape to the top of your waistband is a very good practice on all waistbands; it really helps prevent that waistband fatigue that occurs during the day. You know, from bending, stretching, and also just the warmth of your body. Have you noticed that most higher-end RTW pants and skirts use this same technique?

First, it is important that you cut the twill tape your actual comfortable waist measurement. I like a snug fit around my waist, so I pull the tape snugly when I measure. You get to decide what degree of snugness is comfortable for you!

Emily Culottes by Sew Maris

I think it is easiest to apply the twill tape if you chalk the stitching line first. Then, center the twill tape over the stitching line. I often move my needle over 1 position so it is closer to the seam allowance, just to make sure this stitching doesn’t show after the facing is stitched on.

Emily Culottes by Sew Maris

My way of easing the tape in place is to stitch the twill tape at one end to secure it, pin the other end in place, and then just ease the garment to fit the tape. You can do the quarter mark thing, too; you know, divide the garment and the tape into quarters and then match those points up before you start. This method works fine for me, but it does take a little practice to get the feel of it. It is a little bit like rubbing your tummy and patting your head. 😉

After your twill tape is applied, stitch the waistband facing (which you assemble just like the waistband yoke)  to the waistband yoke. You should stitch just across the top edge, backstitching at the beginning and the end. The side edges of the facing can either be tacked by hand along the zipper, or you can use Kennis’s very cool technique to stitch by machine alongside the zipper (use instruction #74 only for the unlined version).

Emily Culottes-1-3

One last little thing. If you used the interfacing/clean finish process that Kennis suggests, everything looks lovely in the inside. If you are like me and prefer your interfacing on the public side of the yoke, you need to either turn under the hem edge of the waistband facing, or you can bind the raw edge with narrow bias binding. I love this look, especially with a contrasting color. I didn’t have anything very colorful in my stash when I was working on this Emily, but at least it isn’t navy! 🙂

The grand finale: hem your culottes. Turn up and press the hemline 3/4 of an inch from the raw edge. Clean finish in whatever manner you like (I serged), and topstitch the hem in place  by machine. This may be an opportunity for some decorative stitching, or a twin needle, or coverstitching—whatever strikes your fancy. Now wasn’t that easiest pair of culottes you’ve ever made?

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

Don’t forget to post your pictures in our Facebook group! And you can become Insta-famous too, just be sure to use the hastag #sewmarisemily.

I am so excited to see these love Emily Culottes coming together! Aren’t they easy and fun to make? And right on the fashion cusp, too.

Happy sewing,