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!

Maris

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,

Maris

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!

Maris

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!

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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,

Maris

 

 

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

Done!

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!

Maris

 

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!

Maris

 

 

 

 

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,

Maris

Emily Culottes Sew-Along: Invisible Zip

Zippers actually freak you out a little, don’t they? Especially the invisible ones.

I am here to tell you that if you follow my suggestions, you are going to fall in love with love invisible zippers. I guarantee it!

(Oh, before we get started, did you baste the side seams together and do a quick fit check? If not, make sure you do this before inserting the zipper.)

OK, never before seen in print, these are my 1011 best invisible zipper tricks:

  1. Keep the garment as flat as possible. That means for the Emily Culottes, do not sew up the right side seam yet, and do not sew the left side below the zipper.
  2. Use an invisible zipper foot specifically manufactured for your machine. Do not waste your money on the generic foot; lots of garments need zippers and this foot is worth every penny. If you do not have one or cannot get one, you can use a regular zipper foot, but you will need to practice to find the EXACT placement of the stitching. Too close to the teeth and the zipper won’t open; too far away and the zipper tape will be visible. Start with your stitching 1/8 from the teeth. Use a basting stitch and practice to find the best placement.
  3. Interface the stitching line of the seam allowance before inserting the zipper. That super-firm twill tape the zipper is attached to needs to be stitched to a very solid fabric base, or the fabric will ripple over the top of the zipper. Cut strips of fusible interfacing about 3/4 of an inch wide (vertical grain), and fuse to both sides of the left seam allowance of the zipper area. Make sure the interfacing covers the stitching line.
  4. Clean finish the zipper area seam allowance and the seamline below the zipper area  before you insert the zipper. ( I serged my seam edges) It is too hard to get into this area after the zipper is in place.
  5. Use a stitch length of 3 or a bit longer. You are going thru several layers, and need the extra stitch length. Especially if you need to rip any of it out! 😉
  6. Mark a chalk line on the right side of the fabric 1/8 + the seam allowance from the raw edge. For your Emily, that means 7/8 of an inch (1/8 + 3/4 = 7/8). Line up the zipper teeth on this chalk line.
  7. Position the head of the zipper pull at least 1/4″ below the waistband/facing seam allowance, and a bit more is better. This allows for the “turn of cloth” when the yoke lining and seam allowance is turned to the inside after stitching. The thicker your fabric – the more room you will need for the hook and eye. Because every zipper needs a hook and eye at the top, right? Right!
  8. Make sure the zipper is face down on the right side of the fabric, and stitch one side of the zipper. Doesn’t matter which side; you pick. Life is easy if you are using the invisible zip foot for this stitching, because the foot “rolls” the teeth flat so the stitches go in exactly the correct spot.
  9. If you can’t figure out how to position the second side of the zipper in place without getting a twist in it; zip it up. Then lay the second “zipper opening”  edge on top of the zipper with the seam allowance folded to the wrong side. Flip the whole mess over, unzip the zipper, and align the teeth to the chalk line. You can always zip it up again and look at it from the right side to make sure everything is hunky-dory before you start any stitching.
  10. Before you stitch the second side of the zipper, change to a basting stitch, and baste only the “horizontal join” areas of the second side. For the Emily, this means the top edge, the yoke/pant seamline, and the bottom edge. The idea is to  make sure your stitching is perfectly symmetrical on both sides of these horizontal alignment areas before you stitch the complete zipper in place. If the 2 sides do not line up correctly, it is a bazillion times easier to just rip out a few basting stitches. Keep at it until you are satisfied with how it looks. (I have been known to rip these basting stitches out 4, 5 or even more times if I am using tricky fabric. But it is fast and easy to redo, and worth it in the final product.) Then stitch the second side completely with the same stitch length used on the first side.
  11. Using a regular zipper foot, sew from the bottom hem of the left side up to where the zipper stitching ends. Ideally, you want to go 1 or 2 stitches beyond the zipper stitching, and very slightly towards the garment. It really helps to chalk this stitching line, at least an inch or two below the zipper. Do not try to perfectly align the seamline stitching and the zipper stitching; they will not align. But you do want them to be as close as possible.

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

Chalk line marked 7/8 inch from the raw edge of both sides of the zipper opening.

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

Chalk line marked on upper edge of yoke, accounting for enough space for a hook and eye to be added. The first side of the zipper is pinned to the culottes, right sides together. Notice that the teeth are toward the garment, and the edge of the zipper tape is toward the seam allowance.

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

Lining up the zipper teeth in the left side of the invisible zipper foot to stitch.

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

Checking that the horizontal alignment of the yoke seam is perfect (enough!) with a few basting stitches across this section of the second side of the zipper.

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

Both sides of the zipper are stitched, and the top, bottom, and yoke seamline all align correctly. Yay!

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

See how the left side seam stitching is very slightly “below” (from the perspective in this image) the zipper stitching? And the side seam stitching only extends about 1 stitch beyond where the zipper stitching stops.

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

Bam! Press the zipper over a ham, and nary a bulge, pucker, or ripple to be seen. You’re welcome!

Stitch up the right side of your culottes, finish the edges, and press both the left and right side seam allowances open. Easy peasy, right?

Can you believe you only have to add the yoke lining and hem the culottes? This version is such a quick sew; I love it!

Happy sewing!

Maris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Culottes Sew-Along: Plain Front Cutting and Basic Assembly

Today you are going to remove the pleat from the Front pattern piece, cut out your culottes, and complete the basic construction up to installing the zipper. Sound like a lot? Really, it is no more than a couple of hours of work. I promise!

(Psst! You did run your fabric thru a wash/dryer cycle, right?)

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

If you have never adjusted a pattern before, this kind of change is about as simple as it gets, so no worries. And when you are done you have “I adjust my patterns” bragging rights. 😉

To remove the front pleat option:

  1. Fold the Emily Front (#3) pattern piece along the blue, dashed pleat line that is farthest from the center front.
  2. Bring this folded line to the pleat line closest to the center front, making sure both lines meet up exactly.
  3. Tape to secure. Use a temporary stick tape (blue painter’s tape is easy and cheap) if you plan to make a pair with pleats someday, or cellophane tape if you will never use the pleat option.

Bam! That’s done.

This is also a good time to decide if you want to make your culottes longer or shorter than they are drafted. All sizes are 22 1/2 inches long, so you can measure a skirt or hold a tape measure against your front to decide if you need more or less length. My first pair were a smidge short, so I added 3/4 of an inch to both the Front (#3) and the Back (#4) pattern piece. If you have never done this kind of adjustment before, please read this blog post about pattern adjustments. It refers to changes for a shirt pattern – but the concepts apply to all patterns.

Cutting out an unlined version of Emily culottes is fast and east. That’s good because cutting out is not my favorite part.;-) You only need four pattern pieces; Front Yoke (#1), Back Yoke (#2), Front (#3), and Back (#4).

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

See my blue painter’s tape where I folded out the pleat on the Front? Also the extra length inserted? I was able to cut this pattern out of a leftover remnant of denim from a jacket I made a few years ago. I had to squeeze a bit, but I got it out. One pair of Fronts, one pair of Backs, 2 Front Yokes on the fold, and 2 sets (4 total) of Back Yokes. Also, you will need to interface the yokes, so be sure to cut one Front Yoke and a pair of Back Yokes from medium interfacing.

Now, Kennis shows you a very couture interfacing technique (starting on page 13, instructions 1 – 8), taught by people like Marla Kazell and other fancy-pants sewing teachers. It works very nicely, and provides a lovely finished lower edge to the interfacing. BUT. It only makes sense if you are planning on following her directions to use the interfaced yokes on the inside, which I do not do on my waistbands/yokes.

So why did I get all rebellious and ignore her instructions? Because I have another RTW technique that I like to use on waistbands, so I just fused my interfacing “per usual” to 1 Front Yoke and a pair of Back Yokes. Your call. Either follow Kennis’ directions, or wait for it……all shall be revealed. 😉

I also skipped the Front Patch pockets because I don’t need any extra fluff in my front, and decided to try out the welt pocket in the linen-blend version. Your call—add ’em if you like. I do kind of miss having a pocket in these, so if I can find a scrap of leftover fabric I might try a jeans style pocket on the back.

So if you are skipping the finished edge interfacing technique, the Patch pockets with Buttons, and the Welt Pockets, jump all the way to instruction 48 on page 19. We are ready to sew! If you have ever made a pair of pajama pants, these instructions should look very familiar.

Do keep in mind that this pattern is drafted with a 3/8 inch seam allowance. 🙂

  1. Right sides together, sew the inseam of 1 Front and 1 Back.
  2. Repeat step 1 for the second side.
  3. Press both seams open, and finish as desired (I serged).
  4. Right sides together, sew the crotch curve, aligning all edges, notches, and the inseam.

Note: I did not press the crotch curve open as suggested. Instead I just serged the curved seam and pressed to one side, because, well, that is just how I always do it. That curve is not really going to press open very well without clipping/weakening the seam, so if you have a serger this is a good use for it. If not, I would stitch with a straight stitch, trim to about 1/4 inch, and then overcast or zig-zag the 2 edges together. My 2 cents.

Now skip to step 52, since we are making the plain front version.

  1. Right sides together, stitch the Front Yoke to the Front.
  2. Right sides together, stitch the two Back Yokes together, and then stitch to the Back right sides together.

Note: I deviated from Kennis’ instructions here too. She applies the non-interfaced yokes to the Front and Back. I like the interfaced side to be the public side of my waistbands/yokes, because I don’t want this part of my garment to “crumple” when wearing. And now you can see why I didn’t bother with the interfaced edge finish in steps 1-8; there is no value because the interfaced bottom edges of the yokes are stitched to the body of the garment. Like many things in sewing, neither method is right or wrong—just personal preference.

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

This image shows all the completed seams. The inseam is the vertical line right in the middle, the crotch curve is the horizontal seam in the center that is serged only, and the interfaced yokes are attached to the Front (left side of the image) and Back (right side). I think this was about 15-20 minutes max of stitching.

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

Instruction 55 has you trim off the “extra” zipper seam allowance on the right side only of both the Front and Back the culottes, since the zipper is on the left side. I like to draw a chalk line 3/8 from the raw edge so my cutting is accurate all the way along that curved seam.

Emily Culottes Sew-Along by Sew Maris

Double check you are working on the right side of the culottes! And then go ahead and trim. 🙂

Next up, inserting an invisible zipper. Which is the easiest, fastest zipper to install, IMHO.

We covered a lot of different steps today, but it just doesn’t take that long to cut out 4 pattern pieces, slap a little interfacing on two of them, and stitch up a couple of seams. I want to see you wearing these culottes, so get going, ladies! 😉

Happy sewing!

Maris

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Culottes Sew-Along: Getting Started

Alright friends, let’s get this awesome Emily Culottes party started!

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

I am really excited about this wonderful pattern from the talented Kennis Wong. I have already made up 2 pairs, and have plans for at least one more pair. So.Comfy!

Hopefully by now you have purchased your own copy of the pattern, but if not, be sure to do so very soon. In my earlier post you will find the “secret” coupon code that saves you a whopping 30% on your pattern, which is good through August 2nd. Thanks, Kennis!

Also, some of you might be new to sewing with PDF pattern downloads. Honestly, it is as easy as pie, and here are a couple of hints that are helpful:

  1. Use your waist measurement to select the correct size. (Tip: I was between an 8 & 10, printed 10, and it is a little big for me, so I plan to size down to an 8. This may be because I like a very snug waist fit.)
  2. Be sure to use the Adobe “Layers” functionality to print out only your size.  Kennis has diagrams and great instructions on how to do this on page 7 of her written instructions. Check the “Actual Size” or “Scale to 100%” option on your Print dialog before printing the pattern tiles.
  3. Page 8 of the pattern instructions shows you the arrangement of the tiles so you can tape/glue the paper together in the right order. It is way easier than it may appear to you newbies. Trust me!
  4. I use a liquid gel glue stick rather than cellophane tape to assemble my pattern. Saves.So.Much.Time. There are loads of other types of glue sticks, and I am sure they all work fine.
  5. Do not bother printing the instructions. The pattern tiles are located on pages 27 – 49, so those are the only pages I print. I always just read the construction info on my computer – saves a tree or two.

Have you joined our Facebook group yet? It’s a fun way to ask questions and chat with others who are sewing up Emily Culottes, too.

Emily Culottes Sew-along by Sew Maris

Have you bought fabric, or better yet, are you using something out of your stash? Kennis recommends medium or “bottom-weight” fabrics. If you plan to use a fabric with stretch, it should be stable with slight stretch – a woven with a small amount of Lycra is probably a good choice. So far I have made 1 pair in denim and 1 pair from something linen-y  (or maybe a linen blend – it has been in my stash so long I don’t really know!). The denim has more structure, and the linen-y is softer and drapier. Maybe it has some rayon? Honestly, depending on the look you want to achieve, many fabrics could work (with the exception of something very stretchy like a jersey knit).

You no doubt have noticed how many options are included in this pattern. I plan to cover in this sew-along:

  1. Plain front (non-pleated) culottes without pockets or tabs
  2. Pleated front culottes with single welt pockets.
  3. An Emily-hack with side front pockets. Yes, I will cover the pattern drafting to accomplish this!

If you have never participated in a sew-along, the idea is you sew along with a community, and share your tips and questions with the group. That is what our Facebook group is intended for, but if you are not a FB user feel free to leave comments in the blog. If you get behind, don’t sweat it. All you have to do is pick up the blog posts again as soon as you can. The blog and FB group will still be accessible, so don’t let this project be the thing that pushes you over the edge. This is supposed to be FUN!

If you tweet or use Instagram, be sure to use the hashtag #sewmarisemily. That way we can all find each other’s posts.

Fun times, and thanks so much for joining in!!

Happy sewing,

Maris