May 282013

Well, as you all know by now, Google Reader is disappearing. So that means we need to find a new way to follow our favorite blogs. Naturally, Bloglovin’ seems to be where everyone is turning to. We made sure to claim our blog and you can now follow us via Bloglovin’.

Follow our blog with Bloglovin

I read all of my blogs via my smartphone, an Android Bionic. The Bloglovin’ phone app makes you click the link on each blog excerpt to go to the full page—with the millions of blogs I follow, that would take forever! So I tried Feedly next. So far, this one works great. You merely sign in with your google information and it automatically imports all your blogs from Google Reader. The mobile app is pretty good as well. You can scroll right through all the posts without having to link to each post separately.

Hopefully you have found a substitute reader or way of reading blogs that you like. If you use Bloglovin’, make sure to use the link above to follow us! Our next pattern, Sugar Plum, is only a few days from being released to testers—more details in the next post!  Then when the testers return feedback, we can send to the printer. So make sure you follow us because I promise you do not want to miss all that exciting stuff!

Have any of you tried any other substitutes? Does everyone read their blog list on their phone whenever they catch a minute or is it just me?


Me Made May Wrap Up #2

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May 222013

Time for the second Me Made May wrap up! To avoid overloading this post with a million pictures, we put them into a collage. If you want to see the full picture, check out our Flickr account and view the set entitled Me Made May 2013. And for other pictures, we have linked to our various other blog posts or pattern reviews for more information.

Lolita Patterns | MMM Wrap Up 2-Nhi

I’ll be discussing the outfits in order. Left to right, row by row.

5-6-13:  Spent most of the day plopped in front of the computer.  The only time I leave the house on some days is to get the mail and walk the dog.  Waffle is waiting patiently for me to take a pic and get going.  I’m wearing Silhouette patterns #3400 Three piece yoga pants and previously mentioned unmentionables.

5-7-13:  Full days of meeting so I didn’t look like a bum today.  Wearing 4 pieces of me made.  Red faux wrap top is McCall’s 6513. Trouser jeans are Silhouette patterns #3600 Ralph’s pants.  Jacket is Vogue 8480 made in a water proof fabric.  It was raining a little so I thought this jacket would be appropriate level of California rain protection.

5-8-13:  I was a complete dressing disaster today.  Not sure how I managed to get my coat on inside out, somehow was able to button it but couldn’t aligned the buttons.  Got myself straightened and managed another day with 4 me mades.  Fleece coat is Simplicity 2760.Pants are those Silhouette yoga pants again.  Bunny slippers are Kwik Sew 130.

5-9-13:  Yup it’s those Silhouette patterns yoga pants again.  This is my “khaki” version of my “pajama jeans”.  I made them out of a khaki looking knit so I can wear them into the office.  I’ve added pockets and a seam detail down the center front so no one is the wiser.

5-10-13:  So much going on I didn’t get a pic.  Headed to Northern California for a wedding on Saturday.  I dropped off the dog at his dog park-like boarding place in the am.  Had a very difficult day at work.  Packed.  Then drove all night to Northern California with a boyfriend sick with food poisoning in the passenger seat.  I wore me-made yoga pants made in a grey ponte roma for the long trip.

5-11-13:  The day of the wedding.  That’s me in Butterick B5559.  I made it in a stretchy twill backed satin from Micheal Levine’s loft.  It was the only fabric that I had that was dressy enough for the wedding.  I whipped it together in 2 nights because I had already fitted the pattern previously.  Neck and arm holes were simply folded and sloppily topstitched.  The hem was atrocious.  Thank goodness for cardigans.

5-12-13:  Sick.  Oh so sick.  Basically slept from Saturday night until Monday morning.  My boyfriend had to drive us home and pick up the pup on the way down.  He put me and the dog in the bed.  Waffle and I didn’t move until Monday morning.  No good pics could come from this day.  I wore me-made pajama pants.  No pattern just one of those tie at the waist types.

5-13-13:  Needed at the last minute to work in our Northern California office.  What?!  I was just there.  So turned around and headed back.  No pic because I would have a frowny face on.  :(  I wore me-made yoga pants for the trip.

5-14-13:  Spent the day in the office.  I wore Simplicity 2702. Before you think, “hey, that’s a cute dress,” read the pattern review.  I took this pic with a self timer in the hotel room.  I’m not trying to be a model.  I like my standard frumpy poses in front of a boring wall just fine.  This pose was the only position I could come up with that showed the whole dress, didn’t cut off my head or legs and didn’t make me look like a tramp selling something in one of those magazines.

5-15-13:  Day 2 in the office.  My coat was self drafted.  The fabric is a sweater knit I got from Baron’s fabric in Woodland Hills, CA.  It was a designer sample cut and is quite lovely.  The skirt is Silhouette Patterns 2950 Joyce’s Almost Bias Skirt that is modified with a cascade hem line.  I lined it with a peacock blue lining that matched the specks in the brown fabric.  I had hoped would peak through with the longer back but it doesn’t when I stand.  So my friend who took this pic had me sit down and “pose” so the lining shows.

5-16-13:  Not looking for feeling my best today.  No pics but I did wear yoga shorts.  I had a little bit of brown ponte roma left.  Not enough for my standard work-at-home yoga pants.  So I made them into shorts.  This is a pic from another day but it’s the same shorts.

5-17-13:  Went to a concert, Reyli, at the Honda Center.  The top is New Look 6648.    The top has plenty of ease for dancing, arm waving, drinking and overall having fun.  I drank Cristal for the first time.  I think a bottle is $200-300!  The pants are trouser jeans.   Silhouette Patterns 3600 Ralph’s Pants made in a denim fabric.  I had a back stage pass and was able to meet the artist.  What a night.

5-18-13:  Back to reality.  After doing hot, messy yard work I cleaned up and put on something nicer than normal.  The top is a heavily modified Silhouette patterns 312 Giorgio’s top.  No my favorite top but I don’t have an extensive me-made casual wardrobe.  I’ll need to work on that.  The skirt is Silhouette patterns 2010 yoga skirt with more of a pencil shape skirt.

5-19-13:  Spent Sunday with a friend.  We met for brunch in Old Town Pasadena and headed off to tour the Gamble house.  It was a beautiful example of Arts and Crafts architecture.  We also visited Heritage Square Museum and the Lummis house.   It was a warm day so I wore the sleeveless version of Simplicity 2927.  I added the pockets into the seam instead of the pouch pockets from the pattern.  I think this gives it a cleaner line.

5-20-13:  Boring day working from home in me-made capri “pajama pants.”

5-21-13:  Had lunch with a gf.  I wore Silhouette Patterns #115 Ann’s top without the cowl neck and sleeves.    Not quite sure which pattern I used for the capri pants.  All I can remember is that they made from water resistant fabric.

And oh yeah, a cute picture of Waffle to make the collage nice and even.


Lolita Patterns | MMM Wrap Up 2-Amity

 5-7-13: Spent the day working at home so I could cuddle with my babies. Those are my two puppies, Pumpkin and Wednesday. Pumpkin is already 126 lbs! These are self drafted pajama pants made out of a Halloween colored plaid. (I wear me made pj pants a LOT because I tend to stay home when I am not needed in court or jail instead of heading to the office)

5-8-13: Another home day! Today in pink and purple skull sweatshirt fleece fabric from Joann’s. These babies are my two older ones.

5-9-13: Today was semi chilly. I had originally dressed up in a me made dress but it was too cold. So I wore my awesome Minoru (Sewaholic patterns) I made with quilting cotton underlined with polar fleece. I added a lining to the hood, drawstring to the hood, and 4 different pockets! Zippered welt pockets in the front and side seam pockets. This jacket was perfect for the San Francisco Pattern Review Weekend and was a big hit!

5-10-13: I headed out to Vegas for the weekend to take care of my grandmother so casual, cool, clothes were needed. Today I wrote my heart ‘n bones Renfrew. Such cute fabric!

5-11-13: This is New Look 6470 view A. For some reason, everyone loves this top! I guess it looks great in the pic, but when I am wearing it, it doesn’t feel that cute? Who knows…. I still wear it because I love the fabric and it is comfortable. I stayed at my mothers house when we were in Vegas so this is one of her dogs, Hercules. He is also the brother of my older bulldog, Buffy.

5-12-13: Here is New Look 6648. I spent the day in the car driving and forgot to take a pic. But this is the same top from when I wrote my review earlier. I just recycled the picture.

5-13-13: Here is where the pictures get lazy. I forgot to take one. But I wore my Colette patterns Beignet skirt and recycled the picture from my last review. Here is the problem with pictures. I often leave the house before my husband is up and get home before he returns. And since I live with 4 doggies, I never wear my real clothes around the house. I change literally one minute before I leave and get undressed into pajamas the second I return. Otherwise all my clothes would be covered in dog hair all the time! So often I am out of my nicer clothes by the time I can get a picture. I tried taking them in the mirror and it looks funny. So a lot of the future pics are  recycled. Sorry :(

5-14-13: Day at home in me made PJ’s and lots of cuddling with the girls. (All 4 doggies are girls) No picture today.

5-15-13: Today I wore my orange Giorgio’s Top around. This is a wonderfully comfortable shirt and very flattering.

5-16-13: Today was yoga pants day! I made them out of a nice matte jersey with wonderful drape so they end up looking dressier than regular yoga pants. So I can wear them to work.

5-17-13: No pics….another around the house day with me made pajamas. And yup…I’m such a homebody I did not go out on Friday night. I love hanging with my hubs and my doggies too much!

5-18-13: Today was my friend’s baby shower and I decided it was the perfect time to wear my spider and bat Colette Peony!

5-19-13: This is Vogue’s 8815 peplum top.

5-20-13: I wore my red leopard print Giorgio’s Top that I made in honor of Jungle January today.

5-21-13: Another stay at home and work in pajamas day!


Whew! We have both held strong but taking pictures every day is tough! How have you all been holding up?

Nhi Signature and  amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Pattern Pyramid Winner!

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May 202013

I just realized that this post has been sitting in here and never actually got posted! Oops :)  So here, after a long wait, is the winner of the pattern pyramid! I used the random generator this time:

Lolita Patterns | Pattern Pyramid Winner

The winner is Laura Mae! Congratulations!  She has a gorgeous blog called Lilacs and Lace where she features the most beautiful vintage outfits and patterns.  Hopefully she will have some great vintage additions for the next giveaway. You know what this also means?  The pyramid is staying in California again! Crazy…. I won it from Beth in San Francisco, and I am in Los Angeles, and now it is off to Laura Mae back in Northern California.

I felt so bad for all the people who said they have been entering over and over like I did…I wish I had prizes for all of you! Enter into Laura Mae’s and hopefully you will win next time…..

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

May 142013

Lolita Patterns | Tips for Efficient Sewing


My mom was a factory sewer.  I don’t remember how many dresses she would sew a day but she only got paid $2/dress so it had to be a lot of dresses.  Keep in mind this was the 80’s so wages were different and she only did a portion of the sewing.  Another person did the cutting, another person did the serging, another clipped thread, etc.  Regardless, she cranked out lots of dresses in a day.  In factory sewing they did things that minimized waste in terms of time and material.  The following are a few tricks that I picked up from factory sewing that I apply to home sewing.

No Pins

Lolita Patterns | Tips for Efficient Sewing

As I mentioned in my previous post on Dual Duty Tools my mom doesn’t own pins.  At the speed of which she sewed she didn’t have the time stop and take out pins.  Her machines can sew a yard in a split second, so pins would be very dangerous if her needle hit it.   She used clip marks to match up the pieces.  This can be done with home sewing patterns also if they have proper notches, which ours do.

Also with matching prints, pins work against you because of the uneven feeding to the top and bottom layer of fabrics with many home sewing machines.  I sewed this striped fabric as the machine feeds it.  Notice how at the top the stripes match perfectly.

Lolita Patterns | Tips for Efficient Sewing

Towards the bottom the stripes are off.

Lolita Patterns | Tips for Efficient Sewing

The bottom layer feeds faster than the top on my machine because the dog feed.  To get the stripes to match, I put a little tension on the bottom layer so that it’s a bit more forward/towards you.  When it gets to the needle it hits right on.

Lolita Patterns | Tips for Efficient Sewing

Lolita Patterns | Tips for Efficient Sewing

How much more the bottom layer needs to be forward depends on the fabric and the machine.  It takes a little testing to figure it out but it’s much faster than all that pinning, basting and unpicking.

Continuous Sewing

Not sure what the exact term is but I call this continuous sewing.  What I mean is that in factory sewing you end one seam and start another with the other previous pieces is still attached to the thread.

Lolita Patterns | Tips for Efficient Sewing

Here you’re getting a sneak peak of our upcoming pattern release.  In the pic, see how I’m ending one flounce and then starting another.  Many sewers stop at each piece, pull the piece off and cut the thread.  This wastes a lot of time and thread.  You can’t always do this in home sewing because you’re not sewing a lot of the same seam but there are still plenty of opportunities to utilize this tip.

Sewing corners

In sewing corners like collar points, cuffs, plackets etc crossing the seams instead of pivoting is more efficient and accurate.  Here is the pivot scenario.  You sew down one side.  You get slow down as you get to the turn.  You put your needle down, lift your pressure foot, rotate the piece.  If you’re past the pivot point you have to unpick a bit and start again.  If you’re not quite there, you sew another stitch, ½ stitch or whatever random amount you need.  Put your needle down, lift your pressure foot, rotate.  Rinse, repeat.  If you sew straight across and then sew the other way your corners are always in the right spot.

Lolita Patterns | Tips for Efficient Sewing


Sewing multiples

No one need to produce quantities like a factory, but there are times that sewing multiples make sense.   When I’m sewing pants I’ll sew the same pair in 2 different leg lengths at a time.  Like long pants and capris or shorts.  The cutting, thread color, machine settings and construction order are the same.  You can then use your continuous sewing and sew pockets, pockets, pockets, pockets then inseam, inseam.  You get the idea.  It’s not glamorous but it’s fast.


I hope you enjoyed the efficient sewing tips and get more done in less time.  Who couldn’t use some more time in their day?

Nhi Signature

May 052013

Both Nhi and myself held strong for the first week of Me Made May. I still haven’t gotten my camera back so my pictures are all from the phone…except the first day when I had a friend take an entire outdoor photo shoot of me!  The first day of May I had to go to three different courthouses for appearances, so I was wearing my finest! And what do you know? My finest that day happens to be our next release, Sugar Plum!

Lolita Patterns | Sugar Plum

Lolita Patterns | Sugar Plum

The second and third day of May, I was working from home so I was in my pajamas…which are me made! But I was not smart enough to think about phone photos, because I always use the camera for blog photos. Of course, by the fourth day, when I still did not have my camera, someone mentioned phone photos and a light bulb went on above my head! I will re-wear my pajamas during the month I am sure and I will definitely get a picture cuddling with some puppies. I post all my best puppy pictures on our Instagram account.

May 4th:

Lolita Patterns | Husband and wife MMM '13

What is that??? A double me made you ask???  Yes! A husband and wife Me Made May picture!  Russell is wearing the physics equation shirt I made him (post to come) using Kwik Sew 3422 and I am wearing Simplicity 2594, View A in a fun cotton lawn from Fashion Fabrics Club. My husband has a double physics/math undergrad degree and a masters in physics. All those equations on the shirt are real!  I printed the fabric from Spoonflower…I’ll review the experience soon.

May 5th:

Lolita Patterns | Me Made May '13

Rock on! Haha…look at the cauldrons

May 5th was a long working day at the house with Nhi. All in preparations for getting our next pattern, Sugar Plum, out to testers. (Any volunteers?) So I wore my scrubby shirt. It was cute at first, but the colors bled after the first wash. Which was bizarre since I pre-washed the fabric and have another version of this shirt with the same fabric that I was with all kinds of colors and it has never bled on anything else! So weird… This shirt is a colorblocked version of New Look 6648 and you can see my review about it on my personal blog here.


Nhi has been wearing two garments a day! Beyond amazing…  Here are her snapshots.

May 1: What it’s May?!  Hazard of working from home, I lose track of time.  I did manage to get a shot of my “pajama jeans” made with blue denim jegging fabric.  Pattern is Silhouette Patterns 3400 Three Piece Yoga Pants.  My pledge of 2 Me Made items is fulfilled.  Just take my word for it. Lolita Patterns | Me Made May '13

May 3: Finally got a decent pic of me.  Top is Silhouette Patterns 115 Ann’s top without the sleeves.  I used a light weight knit; perfect for the hot weather we’ve been having.  Skirt is Silhouette Pattern 2010 Three piece yoga skirt made with grey ponte roma fabric.  Not shown for obvious reasons; I’m also wearing McCall’s 5651 lace panties.

Lolita Patterns | Me Made May '13

May 4: Look at me, I’m actually presentable to the outside world.  The shirt is a very easy, very comfy shirt from New Look 6648.  The denim skirt is Simplicity 2451.  Both fabrics were from Michael Levine’s loft.  Again not shown for obvious reasons; I’m also wearing McCall’s 5651 lace panties.  Pretty much all my panties are Me Made so I’ll stop mentioning them each day.

Lolita Patterns | Me Made May '13

May 5: Another casual day working my 2nd full time job as a pattern maker.  I spent the day with Amity working on our envelope cover art, instruction illustrations and pattern making.  I thought she would enjoy the bright green/yellow top.  The pattern is Jossilyn’s top #210 from Silhouette Patterns.   I don’t remember what pattern the capris are.  I made these years ago.

Lolita Patterns | Me Made May '13

How did you all do? Ready for three more weeks of Me Made May?

amity bow | Lolita Patterns   and   Nhi Signature

May 012013

Who’s ready for a little Me Made May? We certainly are!  Both Nhi and myself signed up for this year. Here are our pledges below.


I, Amity of Lolita Patterns, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavor to wear one handmade item each day for the duration of May 2013!


I, Nhi of Lolita Patterns, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavor to wear 2 of me made pieces of clothing or accessory each day for the duration of May 2013. There will be no limit to repeats as I spend many, many days in my “pajama jeans”.

I also pledge to sew at least 1 Me-Made item to be gifted to a non-sewing friend(s) to share the joy that comes with a home sewn item. I call it the drug dealer plan; the first hit is free and they’ll come back for more.


It is the first year for both of us and go Nhi!! She went all out on her pledge! I know some 400 of us are participating?!?! That is awesome! We joined the Flickr group and will be posting often.  We will probably only do recaps on the blogs once a week as we know it is not that fun to see an outfit post everyday.

What was my first Me Made May setback you ask?? My camera is missing!  I went to take a pic for today and it is nowhere to be found! I called around and guess what? I found it in the trunk of a super nice lady I met at PR weekend who drove us around to the different fabric shops around San Francisco!  So my first few days will have to be either shoddy phone pics or I’ll re put the outfits on as soon as my camera arrives in the mail :)  Luckily Nhi is much more prepared and is not having this same problem!

PR Weekend was so much fun! We cannot wait to tell you about it. But that is for the next post (when I get my camera back and can share pics.) In the meantime, here is a sneak peek from Nhi’s camera.

Lolita Patterns | PR Weekend San Francisco 2013

Sandra and Deepika! What fun!

So Me Made May….are you in?  What do you think of weekly posts instead of daily posts? Or would you prefer daily posts?

amity bow | Lolita Patterns