Feb 262013

Lolita Patterns | Invisible Zipper  Tutorial

How is everyone’s Fuchsia coming along? There is only one more step after we insert this zipper! I tried to be as inclusive as possible with this tutorial so you can refer to it any time you need to insert an invisible zipper in any project. Ready? Let’s go!

First thing I like to do is press the zipper. This is a totally OPTIONAL step, and you can pull it open as you stitch if you do not want to press it. If you do want to press it first, put it on a polyester (low heat) setting and do not press over the coils. You want to press the coils open to create the “ditch” the stitching should go in.

Lolita Patterns | Invisible Zipper Tutorial 1

The next picture shows the zipper with one side pressed so you can see the difference the pressing makes.

Lolita Patterns | Invisible Zipper Tutorial 2

Since we finished all our seam allowances in the last step, we can start right in on the zipper. Measure down 1/8″ more than the seam allowance from the top of the waistband. Our seam allowance is 3/8″ so I measured down 1/2″ and marked a line. (with a Frixion pen!) Make this mark on both sides. This mark shows us where to place the top stop of the zipper. Not the top of the tape, the zipper stop will go right below this mark.

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I use pins to place my zipper, but a great alternative is to use Wonder Tape. It is sticky and holds the zipper in place exactly where you need it, yet washes away with water after you have completed your stitching.

If this is your first time inserting an invisible zipper, watch the pictures closely to make sure you are placing it correctly. While inserting it, it may look a little twisted, but if you follow the pictures, it will come out great.

Pin (or wonder tape) the right side of the zipper tape to the right side of the project.

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Lolita Patterns | How To Insert an Invisible Zipper 5It is best to sew an invisible zipper with an invisible zipper foot. These feet are not very expensive and definitely help get in the groove next to the coils to make sure the zipper is truly “invisible” when it is finished. However, you can use your regular zipper foot and we will discuss both ways.

While sewing, be sure to peel back the coils to make sure the needle can get as close to them as possible without actually stitching through any coils. Stitch as far down as you can–the zipper pull will eventually stop you.

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This picture shows the zipper being inserted on the left hand side, but make sure to pull the coils back as you sew on both sides

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Using a regular zipper foot and pulling back the coils

After sewing the first side, go ahead and zip up the zipper so we can make a marking where the zipper needs to match up seams.

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Now we want to mark the match points. (I only had a 9 inch zipper so mine does not go into the scallops, but if yours does, do this same marking where you want the scallops to match.) Draw a line exactly where the waistband seam is on the opposite side of the zipper. (and the scallops if necessary)

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Now unzip the zipper, and use those placement lines to match the seams while pinning (or wonder taping) the zipper to the other side.

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matching the mark to the waistband seam

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Look closely at the above picture to orient the zipper correctly. The right side of the zipper goes to the right side of the fabric and the coils face away from the opening. Where the zipper pull is at the bottom will look all twisted and weird. This is okay.

Go ahead and sew down this side as far as you can while again pulling the coils out of the way of your stitching. Here is a picture of what the zipper will look like after stitching. The seam below the zipper is still not yet sewn.

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Go ahead and test the zipper to make sure it has been sewn up the right way and that the seams match where you want them to.

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Lolita Patterns | How To Insert an Invisible Zipper 13

close up of seam below zipper that is not yet sewn

If you are pleased with how invisible the zipper is and all your match points line up, then go ahead and fold the right sides of the fabric together so we can sew the lower part of the seam.

I sew from the bottom of the seam up to about 1/2″ from where the zipper stitching stops and I use my regular foot. Make sure to pull the bottom of the zipper tape out of the way so you do not sew it in the seam.

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close up of zipper stitching and seam stitching from bottom of garment

Lastly, put on your regular zipper foot and attach the stitching together while holding the bottom of the zipper tape out of the way.

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see how I am pulling the bottom of the zipper tape to the side so it is not caught in the stitching?

All done! The more you do these zippers, the more they are easier than regular zippers. I love invisible zippers!

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All done! oops, I forgot to press…ignore the wrinkles please

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completed inside of invisible zipper with seam allowances finished with seam binding

How did it go???

If you do regularly insert invisible zippers and they are not truly “invisible” when finished, try pressing the coils before beginning as written above, and also using an invisible zipper foot and pull the coils back while sewing. The easiest way to make an invisible zipper not invisible is not sewing close enough to the coils. But sew too close, and you might sew into the coils and you won’t be able to do the zipper at all! It is a fine balance, but after a couple time, you figure it out and then it works every time!

Only one more step to finish our Fuchsia! We will attach the waistband facings and have a beautifully clean finish, all attached to the zipper, and done completely by machine!! No hand slip stitching required. Then I want to see everyone’s finished Fuchsia!

Still need to get your Fuchsia? It is free in the shop! Missed any of the other sew-along posts? They are all compiled right here!

 Any questions? Leave us a comment here or email us!  Also, check out our new Pinterest board on tutorials. I am pinning all sewing tutorials and projects that look helpful. It is a great resource to find the help you need when you need it. I refer to it all the time!

Post your Fuchsia pictures to the Fuchsia Flickr Group and when the sew-along is finished, I will do a round up of all the beautiful finished garments–a Parade of Fuchsia’s!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Feb 212013

It is time to announce the winner of the Fuchsia Giveaway! Since it worked so well for the giveaway on Amity Originals, I decided to use Pumpkin, one of my dogs, to pick the winner again. Pumpkin’s favoritest toy in the whole world is paper! She loves any kind of paper–paper towels, tissue, toilet paper rolls–anything! So I printed out and cut up all the comments and put them in her bowl. (I custom made the bowl on zazzle.com)

Lolita Patterns | Fuchsia Giveaway | 1

Lolita Patterns | Fuchsia Giveaway | 2

Then I got Pumpkin and the bowl together.

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Then she looked at me to find out what I needed.

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What do I do mama?

She is being so good not just jumping in after the “toys”.

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Here I go!

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This is an important job…I better lay down and check these more closely

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And we have a winner! Sorry about the slobber mama…but I’m a Bloodhound…I can’t help it!

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And the winner is Javie!!  She has a wonderful blog, dashingmarmot where she chronicles about her sewing and cooking.

Her comment for the giveaway: “Just found this blog via Debi’s site. Good luck with the pattern launch! I am sew grateful to find people that share my passions in the interwebs. The fuchsia giveaway is awesome!”

Thank you Javie!! Please contact us with your address so we can send your fuchsia goodness along! Thank you all for entering…keep your eyes peeled…we just might do this with every pattern launch….

amity bow

Feb 192013

How is everyone’s Fuchsia coming along? We would love to see pictures!

When we left off, we had the skirt in two pieces–front and back. Today we will be finishing the edges and sewing the right side seam. The next post will be a detailed invisible zipper tutorial for the left side seam. It may seem like just sewing a side seam should be easy, but this might be the hardest step! Matching up the scallops is a little tricky so I will try to explain it as well as possible.

Missed any of our sew-along posts? All of them are listed here!

Finishing the Edges

First thing I did after we left off in the last sew-along post was to stitch the side seams down within the seam line to hold all the scallops in place. First I pinned all the layers lined up together so they did not slip and then I sewed from below the waistband to below the second tier about 1/8-1/4 inch from the edge.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew-Along 5_1

Now all the layers are held in place. Next, you can either finish the edges now, or sew it together and then finish the edges. If you finish now, you can press the seam open. If you serge the seam together after it is sewn, you need to press the seam to one side. It really depends on your method. I serge everything I can. Nhi finished her edges with seam binding.

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At this time, you should also finish the edges of the left side seam where the zipper will be installed. Finish the left side seam edges with your preferred method and we will install the zipper on the next post.

Sewing the Right Side Seam

The hard part about sewing the right side seam is making sure the waistband and all the scallops match up so that the scallop line is continuous all the way around the skirt. To do this, I use a lot of pins to specifically line up the match points. If it is more comfortable for you, you might even want to hand baste all the intersections to make sure they line up exactly. I tried to take some pictures of how I line everything up and pin but some of it is hard to see. Hopefully this helps.

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Pin exactly through the waistband on both layers

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Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew-Along 5_9

Hand baste or use several other pins to hold it in place. Make sure you pin the waistband at least as far in as the seam allowance, otherwise, the edges might match up and it could skew farther in. In the pictures above, you can see I am making sure I pin exactly at 3/8″ inch and through the exact seam line.

For pinning the scallops, I like to pin the actual scallops to each other first, and then match up the edges. I hope this is making sense :)

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew-Along 5_8

It is hard to tell, but in the above picture, I am lining up the matching scallops together to pin them together first. Then I will match up the edges and pin those just as we did with the waistband seam. Again, if matching seams is not your strong suit, please hand baste first. It might be easier in the long run.

Because I refuse to hand baste (any handwork actually…unless it is shank buttons) I end up using a lot of pins to make sure it matches when sewing this seam.

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If one of the scallops does not match after you finish, you can unpick just that part of the seam and realign with pins or hand basting and then sew it again instead of re-sewing the entire seam if the rest of them match well. On some sizes the scallop will be meeting in the middle, such as my size, and on other sizes, the seam goes in the valley of the scallop, as in the fuchsia Fuchsia of Nhi’s below. We haven’t shown you this version but trust me when I tell you it is sooo cute! I love how she used a black lining and has it peeking out of the edges.

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side seam attaches in between the scallops

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side seams meet in the middle of the scallop

Phew! That is probably the hardest part of the skirt. We will need to do it one more time with the zipper but for some reason, I think it is easier with the zipper since I can mark the match points? Maybe I am crazy!

Let us know if you need some help or have any questions. Leave us a comment and let us know how your Fuchsia is coming along!

amity bow

Feb 172013

Today we will be gathering the layers and attaching them to each other and the waistband. We will only be working with the waistband pieces that are NOT interfaced.

Miss a step? All the sew-along posts can be found here. Still need your pattern? It is available in the shop for free!


First, let’s talk about gathering stitches. These stitches are a longer stitch length have long tails left at both ends for pulling up the gathering. I use a 4.0 stitch length when I am gathering. Before I start the gathering stitch, I pull up the bobbin and top thread slightly longer than usual and when I finish the stitch at the end, I leave a longer tail of thread instead of cutting near the stitching. We will use these tails to pull the stitches and make the gathers.

Usually patterns will tell you to sew two or three rows of gathering stitches within the seam allowance. If this is the method used, three rows is definitely better than two. However, the method I use has only two rows of stitches, but has one row inside the seam allowance, and one outside. Yes, that does mean I have to remove a row afterwards, but the gathers turn out so much more even this way. Plus, since the stitch length is 4.0, the stitches are very easy to remove after the final stitching is completed. Try this method….you may never go back!

Lastly, some of these pattern pieces are very long. And gathering stitches sometimes have a tendency to break. To combat this, it is better to stitch from the center towards the edge for these stitches. This also makes it easier for the gathers to be in the center and not just on the outer edges.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew-Along 4_1

The picture above shows the gathering stitches ending in the center and the long tails left. You will need to sew gathering stitches at 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch on the top of all pieces through both the fashion fabric and the lining fabric.

Next, you will pull up the gathering stitches to fit the piece they are being attached to. The Tier 2 (pattern pieces 8 and 6) pieces will be attached to the bottom tier pieces on the line we marked with snips in Sew-Along Post #2.  Make sure you attach the front tier 2/middle layer (piece 6) to the front bottom tier, and the back tier 2 (piece 8) to the back bottom tier. Keep the front pieces with the fronts, and the back pieces with the back.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew-Along 4_2

After pulling the stitches on the middle layer pieces, line up the right side of piece 6 or 8, to the right side of the bottom tier. But line it up so the middle layer piece is upside down from the bottom tier. Sounds confusing? A picture will be easier.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew Along 4_3

See how the scallops are facing opposite directions? This is how you want your fabric to look. Distribute the gathers evenly. Go ahead and pin that layer into place matching up the edges with the marking snips you made earlier.

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Next, sew along your 3/8 inch seam allowance to attach the pieces together. This means you will be sewing directly in between your two gathering stitch lines.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew Along 4_5

Flip the middle layer piece down and remove the one line of basting stitches the shows if you want. The top tier will cover it so it is not necessary. It is purely up to you. To remove the stitches, use your seam ripper in approximately every 5th stitch and clip those stitches. Then turn the fabric over and grab the under thread end and pull. Bye bye stitches!

Next, we press the seam down. I start this from the back, and give it a good pressing, then flip to the right side and only press just barely over the edge so the gathers do not get ruined.  One thing to note: If you do not want this one line of stitching to go through the lining, you can flip the lining up while you attach the gathers to the fashion fabric only. Then put the bottom tier lining back up for the rest of the gathering. Then you will have a completely smooth inside, instead of one line of stitching showing. Completely up to you and your preferences.

Now make sure the top of the bottom tiers and the top tiers have gathering stitches at 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch. We are going to gather the tops of these pieces to their respect NON interfaced waistband pieces. Again, the front pieces attach to the front waistband, and the back pieces attach to the back waistband.

Repeat the same gathering procedure. I found it easiest to gather the top tier to the width of the waistband and pin or baste it right sides together to the waistband. Then gather the bottom tier to the waistband behind it and pin. Then sew the seam with all three layers together.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew Along 4_8

Press the waistband and seam allowance up. Then flip over and remove the one set of gathering stitches that shows on the outside. Repeat for the back.

It is almost starting to look like a skirt now!  Next post will cover sewing the skirt together and will post on Tuesday, February 19th. It looks like you all are following along well and really making some nice skirts! I love it!

Leave us a comment if you need help…I know some of these steps are confusing! Also, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest, Twitter. Also subscribe to our blog on the right so you don’t miss a post!

amity bow

Feb 152013

This post is all about sewing the scallops. When we left off in the last post, we had done all the cutting and marking of the fabric and are ready to begin sewing. If you missed the first few posts, you can find them all here.

Sewing the Scallops

Place your fashion fabric and lining fabric right sides together. This will make sure the scallop marking line is face up since you marked on the wrong side of the lining. I found that placing one pin per scallop worked well in slippery fabric.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew Along 3_2

Next, sew along the scallop marking line. It is important not to cross over your stitches at the point of the scallop. When you do this, it catches too much fabric in the point when you attempt to turn right sides out. So make sure you do your best to sew your scallops as shown in the pictures below—not like the ones in the picture with the big red no symbol on it.

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If you look closely at the wrong scallop, you can see that the stitches crossover each other at the top. It is much better to sew the scallops as seen in the previous two pictures where there is no crossover. Even if you do have some crossover by accident, you can press most of it out so do not stress about any mistakes.

After you sew across the scallops on all 6 pieces, we need to cut slits into the valley of the scallops. Cut as close to the stitching as you can without cutting through it. If you have fabric that frays a lot, you may consider sewing the scallop stitching with a shorter stitch length. However, I used a very shred prone polyester taffeta and had no issues with trimming closely to the scallops. They are not part of a high stress area, so it did not end up being an issue.

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Then trim the scallops to around 1/8 of an inch. It is perfectly acceptable to just eyeball it and cut as close to the stitching as you can without cutting through it.

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Now we want to turn all the fabrics right side out. I usually do this using the curved end of a bamboo point presser first, to help push out all the corners. The picture below shows what my scallops looked like after using the point turner but before pressing with an iron.

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 Next, make sure you press each scallop very well with the iron making sure to turn the lining just the slightest bit underneath so it does not show from the right side. I make sure to push each scallop out a second time with the point turner right before pressing it so I do not end up with accidental tiny “pleats” from some fabric not being pushed all the way out to the right side. Here are my scallops after a good pressing. Don’t they look beautiful???

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew Along 3_14

If you are using a lace or eyelet type fabric that requires lining behind it, you should now go ahead and place the strips of interfacing where the zipper will be attached that we discussed in the previous post. Piece 7 and 10, where the zipper is attached, are now completely right side out and the lining is in place.

That’s it for this post! This step may seem like it is simple and quick–and it is. The reason we made it in a post by itself is because it has to  be done 6 times! This method produces such smooth scallops. How about posting some pictures of your gorgeous scallops in the Fuchsia Flickr Gallery?

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment here or email us. The next post will cover gathering and attaching the layers together. The plan is for the next post to go live on Sunday, February 17th. See you then!

amity bow

Feb 132013

For this second post of the Fuchsia Sew-Along we will be finishing up all the bits and pieces that need to be finished before we can start sewing.  This includes interfacing the waistband, interfacing where the zipper will be inserted, finishing the bottom edge of the waistband facing, and marking the scallop stitching line, zipper placement, and second tier placement line. Phew! Sounds like a lot when you type it out but it will actually go quickly.

Missed any of the other Sew-Along posts? You can find them all here!

Interfacing Your Fabric

During the last post, we cut out the interfacing for our waistband. In this post, we need to fuse the interfacing on to the waistband pieces. To fuse interfacing, I usually place it fusible side down to the wrong side of the waistband and then spray it with a spray bottle and cover it with a press cloth. Then I press (not iron! Just press and lift movements) over the entire surface until it is completely dry. At that point, any potential shrinking of the interfacing will have occurred and the interfacing should be well fused.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew-Along 2_1

Now let’s grab the interfacing scraps we saved from the last post. I cut 1 inch wide strips to use to stabilize the zipper area. You can also use a fusible seam tape or stay tape if you wish. The zipper will be inserted on the left side of the skirt. Fuse the interfacing strips using the same method described above to the left hand side of the front and back skirt bottom pieces–pattern pieces 7 and 10.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia Sew-Along 2_2

If you look closely, you can see the interfacing strips fused on the edges from the top down. The zipper will not go all the way to the bottom so if your interfacing only goes most of the way, as it shows in the above picture,  it will still work.

Marking Your Fabric

We need to mark the scallop stitching line, the zipper placement dot, and the placement for the second skirt layer.

First, go ahead and mark the zipper placement dot. This dot is on pattern piece 7. This piece should still be out from fusing the interfacing strip above.

Next, on both pattern piece 7 and 10, we need to mark the placement line for the second tier. All I did was snip at each edge of the placement line. I am always in favor of snipping over marking if it is an option. The little snips at each edge, as long as the snips are within the 3/8 inch seam allowance, will work beautifully to help you place your second tier when we get to the stitching.

Lastly, marking the scallops! There are several ways to do this. The key is to find which one works best for you and your fabric. Also, if you have fabric that will not taking markings, hold off on this step. We figured out a work around and will cover that when we get to sewing the scallops in the next post.

First way of marking the scallops is to use a tracing paper and tracing wheel.

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Layer your lining wrong side up, tracing paper colored side down, and then the pattern piece on top.


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Take the tracing wheel and trace along the scallops pressing hard enough for the paper to transfer to the lining. When you are finished, it should look something like this:

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Another way to mark, is by using Frixion pens. I did a review of these pens on PR. You can see that review here. These pens remove with the heat of your iron. I have found that using a lower heat, a polyester setting, and NO steam works best for removing these marks. I use these pens almost exclusively for marking now. I only am unable to use them when the fabric is dark and in those instances I use this same method but use a Chaco liner in white instead of the Frixion pen.

For this method, I cut the scallops on the paper pattern piece. I personally only cut one of the pieces and made sure I placed them where they belonged on each pattern piece by following each piece. But if that sounds too confusing, it is probably better to cut each piece. Keep in mind that if you cut the pieces, you may need to reprint out the pattern if you make this skirt again. Or you can just remember to cut a rectangle around the scallops in the future.

Place the lining piece wrong side up, and the paper pattern piece with the scallops cut away on top. Then mark along them with your marking tool.

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They will end up looking something like this. (Mine are wobbly because the lining fabric is so slippery–it won’t make a difference. I still have a line to follow with my stitching)


Finishing The Facing Edges

Last step for today! Let’s finish the bottom edge of the interfaced waistband pieces. You only need to finish the bottom edge of the waistband pieces that have interfacing on them. You can do this with seam binding, zig zag stitching, serging, or by folding over a 1/4 inch seam and stitching it down. I normally serge or zig zag my edges but you may prefer a cleaner finish inside. In that case, folding the bottom edge under 1/4 inch and stitching, or applying seam binding tape may be the way to go.

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That’s it for today! The next post will cover all about stitching, trimming, and pressing your scallops. We were planning on posting this on Friday, 2/15. If you need any more time or have questions, leave us a comment or email us!!

Still need to get your pattern? Grab it now in the shop!

Also, there is only one more day for the Fuchsia Giveaway! Make sure you enter before time runs out!

amity bow

Feb 112013

Welcome to the Fuchsia Sew-Along! Today we will cover how to pick the right size, printing and putting together your pattern, as well as cutting the fabric, lining, and interfacing. Since this is our first sew-along, we are counting on all of you to tell us what pace works best for you. So let us know if we are going too slow, too fast, or just right. Also, please post in progress or finished pics in the Fuchsia Flickr Group. We want to see what you are making!

Still need to get your pattern? Pick it up for free right here in the shop!

Picking Your Size

The sizing chart for the Fuchsia is very simple because it only needs one measurement–your waist! This is not a tight skirt so the hip measurement is not crucial. This pattern is designed to sit two inches below the waist and has a curved waistband for a nice fit. The sizing chart includes both waist measurement, and finished garment measurement so you can decide which size based on how you like your skirts to fit. Each finished garment waist measurement is two inches larger than the actual waist measurement. This is for two reasons: 1) The skirt fits two inches below your waist where the measurement is larger, and 2) Wearing ease is built in so you can move while wearing the skirt. The skirt would be awfully constricting if the finished measurement were the same as your waist measurement. It would constantly ride up to find your actual waist and it would be difficult for you to sit!

Fuchsia Sizing Chart

Because this skirt only requires your waist measurement, it should be fairly easy to pick your size. If you go by your waist measurement, you should not have any problems. If you suspect you might, take a garment you know you like the fit of that fits two inches below your waist, and measure that garment. Then pick your size based on the finished garment measurement and it should fit exactly the same. Still have questions about sizing? Leave a comment here or send us an email.

Printing Your Pattern

After you receive your download, you can open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Next thing is to print the pattern. First, only print page 1. Make sure when you are printing that you have the page scaling set to NONE. You do not want the settings to say fit to page or auto-shrink. You want to make sure it says none. Then to test that it is printing correctly, you measure the test square on the page one that you printed. The test square should measure 4 inches by 4 inches exactly. If the test square does then you are all set! Go ahead and print out the rest of the pattern using those same printer settings.

Our pattern has cute skulls on each edge of each page so that matching up the pattern is a breeze. To make it even easier, these skulls have numbers on their crossbones so that you can make sure you have the right pages meeting each other.

When I put a pdf pattern together, I cut off the right and bottom sides of each page.

 Lolita Patterns Fuchsia pdf download

Next,  line them up following the numbers on the skulls and making sure the lines match.

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Then use tape or a glue stick to put the pattern together. Once you tack all the pages together, your pattern is completed! Still having trouble putting your pattern together? Leave a comment here or email us for help, or visit this great tutorial Tilly has for putting together a pdf pattern.

Cutting Your Fabric

I am all about saving time when cutting my fabric. So I like to do layers whenever possible. For this pattern, you can use either the lengthwise or crosswise grain. However you get your pattern to fit will work well. We have tried it every possible way. Even putting some pieces on the lengthwise grain and some on the crosswise grain and this skirt still looks wonderful. When I made this pattern, I used a size 2. The smaller the size, the shorter the pieces. So I was able to fold over just enough of my fabric to be enough for the longest piece. You can see this below. I only folded over enough fabric for my longest piece.

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The great thing about this pattern is that all the edges are straight! This means you can butt all the pieces up next to each other and save some fabric.

I layered my folded over lining on the bottom, and then my folded fashion fabric on top.

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Next, I line up all my pieces on the fold.

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And butt them up against each other like you saw in the first photo about cutting the fabric.

But my way is only one way of cutting fabric! Nhi likes to really maximize her fabric usage and cut in single layers. She traces the pattern off into full pieces so the piece is one very long pattern piece that you do not cut on the fold. This way she can lay out full sized pieces on a single layer and not have to worry about folding the fabric.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia pdf download 8

The point here is that there are so many ways of doing things that there is no one right way! Hopefully, between the two of us, we can show you a way that will work for you. The reason Nhi and I make such a good team is that we do things so differently! When we made Tina’s eyelet Fuchsia, we folded the fabric in from both sides so that the selvages met in the center. Be creative, and do what works for you.

As far as cutting the actual fabric goes, I am a firm believer in using my rotary cutter…especially when the fabric is slippery which is the case for my polyester taffeta you see above. I use weights to hold the pieces down and then my rotary cutter to cut the pieces. You can see my “weights” in the above picture. My phone, water bottle, pin holder– anything I have handy!

Nhi uses weights and cuts with scissors. If you put enough weights on the fabric, it will not move, even when cutting with scissors. Nhi proved this by using the most slippery polyester satin you could possibly imagine. We tried out the most difficult fabrics to make sure we were able to help with any issue that may arise!

The last part you will have to cut is the waistband pieces and interfacing. Don’t forget to cut 2 of each waistband piece on the fold. And then 1 out of interfacing–also on the fold. Also, save some interfacing scraps for us to use on high stress places such as the zipper. We will cover that in the next post.

Lolita Patterns Fuchsia pdf download 9

Now you are done with cutting!

The next sew-along post will cover the last odds and ends we must do before sewing. This includes, fusing interfacing, transferring the markings to the fabrics and finishing edges. We are planning on posting this on Wednesday, February 13. Do you think you will be ready by then?? Please give us feedback on the speed you want this sew-along to go. We want to make sure everyone can follow along!

Any questions? Email us or leave a comment! Still need your pattern? Click here to go directly to the shop where you can pick up your free pattern!

amity bow

Feb 102013

Our friend Tina is modeling this gorgeous green eyelet version of our Fuchsia. This version was made in a lime green cotton eyelet with a polyester lining.


This Fuchsia was a little tricky because the fabric could not be marked, making the sewing of the scallops more difficult than other versions. Lucky we tried this because we were able to devise a perfect solution for tricky, hard to mark fabrics and we can share it with you all during the sew-along. Even though the fabric was tricky, the scallops still turned out beautiful.


Here is a closeup of the back.


How cute is this skirt?  I love it!!

The Fuchsia skirt sew-along starts tomorrow! Have you downloaded your pattern yet? It is available now here in the shop.

Tomorrow we are going to cover picking the right size, putting your pattern together, and cutting the fabric, lining, and interfacing. Make sure to join the Fuchsia Flickr Group to post pictures of your works in progress! Also, if you want, we have a Fuchsia sew-along badge in the sidebar you can grab for your blog. Feel free to send us any questions and comments and we cannot wait to get started with you tomorrow…See you there!

There are also only a few days left in our Fuchsia giveaway!

amity bow

Feb 072013

The final post of Sew Grateful Week is posting a project that shows our gratitude by using the presents and kindness we have received. You can use fabric or an item that was given to you, something you won in a giveaway, anything you made from a tutorial or pattern given away online, etc. For my personal sew grateful project, I am using a pattern that was given to me as a gift. It is a well known pattern in the online sewing community, Colette Patterns Beignet skirt.
















I used a wonderful piece of stash fabric that was found at Joann’s of all places. I bought it at least 5 years ago. It was a denim fabric with embroidery and sequins on it that had a rainbow feel to it. I felt that the natural thing to do would be to continue the rainbow theme with the buttons and top stitching!


Button closeup


Rainbow topstitching and fabric closeup


The pattern and lining pieces fit together perfectly and the instructions are wonderfully detailed. The sewing of this project was a dream.  The only problem I had was it was too long for me. It came to the middle of my knees which is a terribly unflattering length for me. But of course I decided to sew on all the buttons and everything before realizing I should shorten it. So I took the lining and facing pieces apart and re-sewed every button! This was because I had started with a white button when it was the full length, but when I shortened it, it became one button less. And in order to keep my rainbow order, I removed the white, so every button had to be moved up one buttonhole!

For the eagle eyed among you, these buttons are the same as the custom earrings in our Fuchsia Giveaway. I made them into buttons by ordering button shanks and gluing them to the back using E-6000 glue.


Pockets and bow belt closeup


Instead of using the pattern pieces for the belt, I used Tilly’s bow belt tutorial. I think it turned out so cute! Unfortunately  I don’t think I am in love with this version. I still love the pattern, but I need to modify the hip curve. Right now, the curve of the hips is far too low for my hips and it makes the pockets bulge. As soon as I modify the curve, I think this could be a great staple piece. I plan on modifying it on this piece because I just love the rainbow fabric, buttons, and stitching so much! Am I being too critical? Can you see what I am talking about?






The last thing I wanted to let you all know was that I made the belt loops 100% on my serger. I do a lot of unusual things on my serger and am willing to share if there is any interest. One note: I use the coverstitch function of my serger for this so it will only work if your serger has this capability, or if you use a coverstitch machine.  If you want to know how to make the belt loops on your serger, it is very simple and I would be happy to do a tutorial if you want. I use the belt loop attachment. The belt loops can be made in the time it takes to stitch one coverstitch through the serger!

Our Fuchsia themed giveaway for our first pattern is still open. Go here to enter!

Don’t forget that our first pattern, Fuchsia, was just released and it is free!!!  Go ahead and grab it right now in the shop!

amity bow

Fuchsia Pattern Release

 Pattern  Comments Off on Fuchsia Pattern Release
Feb 052013
It’s here! The sharing part of Sew Grateful Week! We have an extra special treat for you today….Lolita Patterns first pattern! Fuchsia is the skirt you can wear for both work and play. This three tiered gathered skirt has a modern silhouette and flirty scallops for a sweet lolita twist. It is fully lined and has a curved waistband that flatters all figure types. Fuchsia also features an invisible side zipper to keep the beautiful line of the scallops perfectly smooth.  This versatile pattern has many variations built in with several fabric options. Sew two tiers or just one tier; add more gathers, use less gathers. It is all up to you!
Fuchsia Collage-Nhi
Many of you have already seen Nhi’s versions as entered in Pattern Review’s One Pattern Many Looks Contest. Mine will be debuted this weekend as well as a couple other versions you have not seen yet. This is all gearing up to a Fuchsia Sew-Along that starts on February 11th. Go ahead and grab your badge in the sidebar.
Our first release is 100% free and will only be released in PDF version. Future patterns will be released in hard copy and will also be released in pdf if the demand is there. So let us know! You can get the Fuchsia right now in the shop. Just a couple notes in case you decide to go ahead and start before the sew-along. On the pattern, the dotted line for the scallops is a STITCHING line–not a cutting line. The cutting lines are essentially long rectangles. If you are not sure, just wait and join us in the Sew-Along and ask questions and post pictures to the Fuchsia Flickr Group as we go along. Anyone can make this skirt and we are here to help!
Go grab the skirt, join the Flickr group and get the badge! We will start the pattern on Monday!
Feb 052013

At Lolita Patterns we’re joining in on all the Sew Grateful week festivities.  So for today, we’ll be posting about what the online sewing community means to us.

First of all, without the online sewing community, Amity and I may have never met and there would not be a Lolita Patterns.  What are the chances of two ladies living in the second largest metropolitan area in the US crossing paths, becoming friends and now business partners?  Slim to none, if it weren’t for the online sewing community.

Sandra, Jill, Amity, and Nhi at ETA California

We also credit our great wealth of drafting, construction and fabric knowledge to the many other sewers and independent pattern makers who been generous enough to share their tricks and tips, successes, UFOs and occasional wadders.  We love lurking, laughing and learning from all the wonderful sewists from around the world.  We have used every bit of what we’ve learned in starting our business and will continue to do so.

KC, Amity, and Nhi shopping in Fashion District

On a personal note, I’m grateful to have converted a handful of online sewing buddies to real life.  From Promaballoona, to several fabric buying trips, to a handful of sew-ins, to a sewing expo, I’ve never laughed so much and got so little done.

Nhi, Sandra, Amity, and Jill at Promaballoona

Nhi, Sandra, Amity, and Jill at Promaballoona

We are sew grateful to be a part of this community and hope we can give back by bringing the community another great indie pattern company for sewists to choose from.

We are also giving back in the form of our Sew Grateful week giveaway.  Don’t forget to enter!

And stay tuned for tomorrow where we will continue Sew Grateful week with Sharing Day. Guess what we will be sharing?  Our first pattern!! You don’t want to miss that.

Nhi Signature (1)

Feb 042013

Every year, My Happy Sewing Place hosts a week where the sewing community can show their gratitude to everyone that supports us in our sewing endeavors. This is a particularly meaningful week for us this year because all your support led us to start Lolita Patterns! We have some great posts for this years Sew Grateful week and it starts with today’s giveaway!

In honor of our first pattern, Fuchsia, being released this week, we decided to do something a little different for this giveaway. This is the Fuchsia giveaway and consists of all things fuchsia!  (Could this be the start of a themed giveaway for every pattern??…hmmm….) We have scoured all ends of the earth to find you the very best in all things fuchsia as well as a few lolita inspired items. And we succeeded. This giveaway is good! Want to see?

fuchsia giveaway Clockwise from top left:

  1. A fuchsia Lolita Patterns button
  2. Smashbox blush in Radiance which their website calls a “bright fuchsia”
  3. Custom made fuchsia rose (very lolita) earrings by AmityOriginals (my etsy store)
  4. Neon pink thread, Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP (I think neon pink is the color fuchsia would be if it was neon-ized)
  5. Hand dyed by me fuchsia houndstooth rayon suiting fabric (I made my dress for Promaballoona out of this fabric!)
  6. Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick The Vivids in Fuchsia Flash
  7. Fuchsia hair elastics
  8. Six fuchsia buttons
  9. Sparkly false eyelashes, including bottom lashes–a very lolita-esque look
  10. Milani Jewel FX nail lacquer in color Fuchsia
  11. Fuchsia skinny belt

What do you think?  Enough fuchsia for our celebration? We love the online sewing community and want to show you all how much! The support and inspiration we draw from all of you is incredible!

If you want to enter to win our Fuchsia giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling us what you are “sew grateful” for in your sewing. We will ship anywhere in the world so anyone and everyone is free to enter. This giveaway will be open until Valentines Day, February 14th.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Thank you for entering!

Our first pattern is being released this week and the sew-along starts next week! You can find the materials list and fabric requirements for imperial measurements here, and metric measurements here. We hope to have you join us!

To make sure you don’t miss a thing, please like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest, join our mailing list, follow the blog, find us on twitter, or any other social media you want! We would love to have you with us on our exciting new journey.

amity bow