Sep 182015

I’m honored to share with you this interview with Mari from Seamster Patterns, the brains behind the entire Sew Indie Month! Today we get into the nitty gritty and find out what makes Seamster Patterns tick.

(To see other SIM posts from this year, check out Kate & Rose’s tutorial on turning Olive into a folkswear inspired top with a front zip, or my tutorial on Fehr Trade’s site on turning her PB&Jam Leggings into a yoga style pant with wider legs and a wide waistband.)

Don’t forget that all PDF patterns are 40% off in celebration of SIM. Take advantage of this sale by using code SIM40OFF.


1. Sewing Indie Month is an amazing event for the online sewing world. What inspired you to create the event?

The first Sewing Indie Month started around when my company turned 1yr old. I started it because I felt like such a tiny, unknown fish in a larger pond. I wanted to get to know and become friends with my fellow designers; sometimes it can get lonely working away at home without anyone to talk to who has done exactly what you’re trying to do. And I was bored with the traditional methods of marketing that were being used online. While there’s not necessarily anything inherently wrong with those methods (I use some of them myself), I wanted to see if there was another way that could feel genuine and not only help my company grow, but would be fun for my customers while thanking them for their support. As someone who has never been big into certain kinds of competition, the idea of working with the competition to celebrate each others patterns and the people who sew them seemed like an exciting experiment.

2. How do you balance your time between organizing SIM and creating new patterns?
Honestly, I don’t. The Sorrel Dress & Top that finally came out with the 1st SIM Bundle that launched in August was meant to be launched before last year’s SIM. There is such a huge amount of work that goes into organizing SIM that I have to put all my own patterns on hold as the month gets closer. And with all the extra work that has gone into hosting the bundle sales while dealing with some family medical issues this year, I still haven’t gotten the Sorrel into the Seamster store!

3. What helped you decide to start your own pattern company…what was your “aha” moment?
There were a lot of things that lead up to deciding to start my own pattern company, like graduating during the recession and seeing that my only “career” options included working for a decade at soul crushing office jobs until I could finally hope to get the smallest of promotions. But if we’re talking about a single moment, it would have to be when I decided to not live as if I was horribly depressed. Three people I cared about died in less than a year. Once the third one passed I realized that if I stayed mourning I would end up looking at my life in ten years and have only those horrible office jobs to show for it. That didn’t seem like a fulfilling or enjoyable way to live. Obviously you can’t turn depression on and off like a light switch, but giving my life purpose, working for something for myself instead of for some uncaring company, helped me become happier and more fulfilled in the long run.

4. How has your company changed since it began? What have you learned that you can share with newer designers?
I would say I’ve changed more than Seamster has. I’ve gotten better at using various software programs so that’s helped speed up certain parts of the pattern making process. And I’ve become more committed to taking a bit of time out for myself, mainly with getting back to reading. Right now I’m on a 19th c. binge, only reading books written during or about the 19th c, which means a lot of Jane Austen. So to newer designers I’d say make sure you take a bit of time each week to do something that makes you happy, but doesn’t in any way feel like work. Not surprisingly, you may find you’re more refreshed and ready for work when you get back to it. But when you’re in the thick of an exciting project, like your first pattern launch, or are racing against a deadline, it can be hard to remind or give yourself permission to do such things.

5. What types of designs are your primary focus? Are your designs influenced by your style and fashion sense?
I focus on creating interesting basics for which you can’t already find a ton of, or hopefully any other, patterns. For me a basic is a pattern with uncommon style lines or a pattern puzzle that I can wear in a number of ways. It’s basic because it’s versatile. That’s because dressing in clothing with unique details makes me happier than wearing what are more traditionally thought of as plain basics. I design with my lifestyle in mind, which means I design with young, urban, public transit commuters in mind. So my skirts tend to be longer (to avoid legs sticking to train seats) and more contemporary in style. Since I don’t just want 20-to-30-something women who live in big cities to sew my patterns, I add options to the patterns that look good on different body types and suit people with very different lifestyles. For instance, when making the Honeycrisp Mittens I couldn’t see myself ever sewing them without conductive finger tips, but not everyone needs that option, so I made one that does not use conductive fabric. And on the Sorrel there’s an option for a straight skirt on the dress, which looks horribly unflattering on me, but looked great on all the ladies who were fit models for me. So when making a pattern I start with a specific idea, then branch out to a design that can suit a range of people with the addition of a few options and with a simple change of fabric.
6. What are you finding is the hardest part of having your own business?
Finding the time to get everything done and learning to not beat myself up when I don’t make my self-imposed deadlines. I recently had to take about a year off from Seamster to take care of and then mourn my grandma. Truthfully, it’s been very hard to see all the patterns I had planned for that year not get made or worse, to see other designers come out with similar ideas. So resigning myself to the fact that I’m late to the game and may need to shelve some things and that that’s OK is the hardest part right now.

7. What is your favorite part of having your own business?
Having a larger budget for fabric 😉

8. How do you bring your sewing/pattern/designing day to an end…or do you?
If I have a deadline, then the day doesn’t really end until after midnight when I’m too tired to keep working effectively. If I don’t have a deadline then I’ll try to stop sometime in the evening, usually when my partner Quincy gets home from work.

9. Do you still have time to sew patterns from other designers?
Lately I’ve been trying to make more time for sewing other designers’ patterns. While I love my own patterns (you have to to spend months churning out muslins to develop a single one), it can be a lot of fun sewing someone else’s pattern. And since I tend to feel guilty when not doing something productive, I can tell myself I’m doing market research, it’s just market research that ends with me getting a pretty new garment :)

10. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’ve started listening to more podcasts and I think anyone interested in food or science ought to try at least one episode of the Gastropod podcast. It’s really great to sew while listening to it!

 Thank you for sharing Mari! There is still one more post from us to go up for SIM month so stay tuned…

Sep 012015

Remember Sew Indie Month from last year? That awesome month where many independent pattern companies got together and hosted a huge month of contests and sew-alongs? Well it is back! And this month it is better than ever. Before I get into all the details, everything related to Sew Indie Month is taking place over at Mari from Seamster Patterns (the genius engineer behind Sew Indie Month and the bundle sales) took over this domain for SIM. Go visit the website to get all the details about the exciting things we have in store for you this month!

Many of you already participated in the first bundle sale that included our Sugar Plum dress and the proceeds went to the International Folk Art Alliance. Now it is time for the second bundle sale! This bundle is mostly knit patterns to make up fast and easy for the contests. This bundle is also an amazing value! Not only that, you get to pick the price you pay AND 20% of proceeds go to Women for Women, which helps women dealing with violence, marginalization, and poverty due to war and conflict. Grab it quick! This bundle is only around from September 1-September 10th.

You can buy the bundle and keep up to date with the latest SIM news at

Also, in order to make it easier for you to participate in the contests and sew up Lolita Patterns, I am having a massive sale for PDF (immediate) patterns. Take 40% off all PDF patterns for the month of September and sew those babies up, enter the contests, and win amazing prizes! We have never had a sale on PDF patterns and never had such a huge discount! Take advantage of it while you can! Use the code SIM40OFF to save 40% on all PDF patterns.

Stay tuned for more exciting SIM posts featuring tutorials and guests—-starting tomorrow!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns


Aug 152014

Remember way back in March when I went to NY and partied with some awesome sewing ladies? During that trip, we told you about Oona’s Drunken Fat Quarter Challenge. Well the time has come for the big reveal!

To refresh your memory, this is what I started with:

Lolita Patterns | Oona's Fat Quarter Challenge Reveal

And here is what I ended with:

Lolita Patterns | Oona's Fat Quarter Challenge Reveal

Oops. I forgot to mention. This is the only way I can fit this garment at the moment. When the challenge was created in March, I was barely pregnant. And the due date was April 30th so I was not going to be showing yet. But as the due date kept getting pushed back, I kept getting bigger and bigger. And the cute skirt and top I had planned was no longer going to work. No woven was going to fit well now! Plus, I wanted to be able to wear my zombies more often than only when I was nearing my third trimester!

My solution? Make an Olive! I can’t believe it never occurred to me earlier. I had this adorable skirt and top I had picked out of the Sew Serendipity book but when I couldn’t make something work with my belly in a woven fabric right now, I realized Olive would be so cute “zombie blocked.” (i.e. colorblocked) It was my goal to try and use all the fat quarters without any supplemental fabric! I used all but 1 fabric…but I have plans for it don’t worry! I made view B and I made it sleeveless and finished the sleeves with bias binding.

Lolita Patterns | Oona's Fat Quarter Challenge Reveal


I used the awesome rainbow fabric I traded Devra for in the waistband piece of Olive. I love my rainbow waistbands. The rest is all various zombie collection fabrics. Zombies in the front and back center, and buttons on the other pieces. More zombies on the facings!

Lolita Patterns | Oona's Fat Quarter Challenge Reveal


I made this Olive one size larger than my regular size hoping to account for post pregnancy weight as well as a larger bust. I want to wear this baby as soon as I can! When I was making it, I kept thinking it looked so weird. But I am in love with the finished product! I am going to colorblock some more Olives!

Lolita Patterns | Oona's Fat Quarter Challenge Reveal


For the peplum pieces, I split them into three pieces, added seam allowances, and sewed the different pieces together to make them work with all the different fabrics…plus the peplums were too wide for the fat quarter on its own…sometimes creative solutions end up being the best!

What do you all think? Do you think Devra and I have convinced Oona that you can use fat quarters in clothing projects? Should we all send her fat quarter bundles to use??  If not, we still have Jennifer and Carolyn showing their projects to help us convince Oona. They will be posting this month as well as part of Oona’s birthday extravaganza!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns



Jun 212014

Before we dig into The Rambo Project, I wanted to share a little surprise with you all! Yup, that’s me…sporting quite a baby bump for someone not due until November. This picture here is me and our little girl Clover Rose expected this November.

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

I know a lot of you already knew about my pregnancy because you were either with me while I was showing, or you were with me when I was trying to confirm that I was officially pregnant (I’m looking at you Trice, Lladybird, and Clare!) But now that we finally got to learn the gender (girl!) I figured it was time to share it with all my virtual sewing buddies.

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

So since I’ve known about this new addition for a little while, I had plenty of time to plan my Rambo project accordingly. Since it was hard to gauge what size I would be ahead of time, I thought I would make something more practical that I could  use everyday instead of only when I was 5 months pregnant. A baby sling!

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

You have probably heard about The Rambo Project by now from all the other talented ladies participating, but just in case you haven’t, I’ll give you the cliff notes version of the story. (Click here to see the full version) My girl Erin received a box of turbans that were used in the movie Rambo III! These turbans were actually used so they have rips and stains and are different colors, etc. She messaged some of us around the web to know if we wanted to make something out of them. Believe me when I say the answer was a unanimous yes!! Everyone wanted a piece of the Rambo action…and really, can you blame them/us?

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

I started searching around the web for how to make a baby sling. This is my first baby and I have no idea about these things yet. Turns out it is very simple. I bought some sturdy rings from Sling Rings and followed the instructions on their website. I did NOT believe this was going to hold anything. It seemed too simple! Of course my dogs are ginormous so I couldn’t test it out with them, but luckily my parents have a smaller dog and she was more than willing to help me test out my new baby sling. And look! No hands! It totally works and Nellie (the cute white dog) was completely comfortable just chilling in it. I’m excited to try it when Clover finally gets here!

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

Of course, me being me, I couldn’t just leave the baby sling the way it was. I had to embellish it, with neons, and pom pom balls, and variegated thread decorative stitches…and of course couch some of my new neon pearl crown rayon that I picked up in New York at Pacific Trimming. Here is a closeup of all the stitching.

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

neon pink hearts, green pom poms, neon orange and yellow spikey squiggle, couched neon variegated trim from NY, neon yellow and green squiggles and more green pom poms

In order to do decorative stitching on a fabric, especially if you are using wide stitches, you need to use a stabilizer on the back to keep the stitches from tunneling and pulling. I used a tear away/wash away stabilizer that tore cleanly. You just stitch with the stabilizer underneath and tear it off when you are done…easy presto!


Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

Also, one easy trick I use when couching trim, or using binding is to put the roll on the knee lift lever and unwind it from there. Holds everything perfectly and works much better than trying to hold it on my lap when it constantly falls off and then the doggies try to play with it.

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

How about one last pic for the road?

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

I hope to alter some Lolita Patterns into a version I can wear for maternity because I am seriously outgrowing my clothes way too fast. If I do, I will definitely post how I modify the pattern so you all can make them too!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns


May 292014

Sewing Indie Month has almost come to an end…but not without one more post!  Today I am posting an interview with Sew Caroline. She recently released several modern and comfortable patterns that are super cute and I was so excited to get to connect with her and learn more about her philosophy and design style.  Now you can too! Here is our interview.

Sewing Indie Interview With Sew Caroline

  1. Which came first…love of sewing or desire to make your own styles prompting learning sewing?

I think my answer to this question is … both! BUT, I didn’t sew garments at first. When I first began my sewing journey I loved sewing small, easy to sew items such as zip pouches, bags, etc. but I wanted to create my own style of these items because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I began imagining the things I would create and shortly after finding a way to sew them.

  1. What started you sewing…what was the precipitating moment? DO you think of sewing all the time? What aspects do you dwell on mostly?

I begain sewing about four or five years ago when I received a sewing machine for Christmas. It was a magical day! I don’t remember much a bout the first few months of owning the machine, but I quickly learned how to use it and found myself staying up late watching youtube videos on how to sew things.. This is how I learned! I think of sewing and designing MUCH more often than I care to. I find myself awake in the middle of the night thinking of a new pattern that’s been in my head and having “aha!” moments of figuring out how those seams should go together. It’s really a problem! ha! I dwell on the design of things a lot. When I am out shopping and/or gathering inspiration, I tend to think deeply about how certain garments are put together, etc. I love learning new techniques!

  1. How would you describe what you sew? Is there a particular influence on your choice of design? When did you decide sewing your own clothes was important to you? When did you decide to share your ideas as patterns with others? What inspires or influences your style? Do your pattern plans come from dreaming up styles or from styles you see and want to modify to fit your ideas?

Because I know people live busy lives, I want my garment designs to be things women can sew in an afternoon. Quick and simple are important to me when sewing as well as designing. I love being creative, so when I first learned to read a pattern and began sewing my own clothes I did it because of the sense of pride I felt! NOW, I wear my own clothes proudly because I never have time to go shopping and prefer what I have sewn over other store bought things. When I began altering pattern so much that they no longer looked a bit like what the original pattern looked like, I knew it was time to start designing my own, from-scratch patterns. I love seeing ready to wear garments that look simple enough for me to sew. I gain a lot of inspiration from current trends and timeless staples.

  1. Describe your typical sewing/patterning daily routine.

Every day is different, BUT.. I typically get up in the mornings around 7, make my coffee and eat breakfast while checking Instagram, emails, etc. The emails that need responses immediately, I answer. The others wait until around mid-afternoon. After coffee, I head into my studio and decide what has priority. It may be a sewing project, some pattern drafting, a blog post, etc. I figure out what it is and do it right then. After this I eat a bite for lunch and typically go work out in the early afternoon. When I am back, I do some more emailing and computer work and then have a couple of hours in the late afternoon to do a bit more sewing. Sometimes this late afternoon time spot is used for a photo shoot. Like I said, though, everyday is different, so I kind of fly by the seat of my pants sometimes J

  1. You have released your first three patterns in such a short period of time! Are there more en route very soon? What have you learned from these patterns that will affect your future releases?

I have been working on these three patterns for about 8 months, so it seems like they all released in a very short amount of time, but in reality they’ve been in the works for quite some time! I have another pattern set to release in 4-5 weeks that I am really excited about. Every thing I’ve learned has been through trial and error and I have of course learned valuable things through each and every release!

  1. What helped you decide to start your own pattern company…what was your “aha” moment?

After I realized I was re designing so many patterns to where they no longer looked anything like the pattern I had purchased, I realized that was silly.. I should design my own! That was definitely my “aha” moment.. and it happened almost a year ago.

  1. What types of designs are your primary focus? Has designing your own fabric influenced the kind of patterns you design?

I love wearing dresses and easy to style tops and skirts. So these easy to sew staples are definitely my primary focus. Since my fabrics will be sold in quilt shops, I try to design clothing that will work well with quilting cottons (along with other apparel fabrics!)

  1. What influences your style?

I love classic, yet trendy styles. I love Anthopologie, J.Crew, ModCloth, etc. I find a lot of inspiration for my patern and fabric designs through ready to wear garments.

  1. What are you finding is the hardest part of having your own business?

Finding time to do everything!!!

       10. Will you be having sew-alongs? Why or why not?

I want to! I just haven’t found the time to get it all organized, yet! I think it is a fabulous way for people to connect while sewing the same patterns.

      11. How do you bring your sewing/pattern/designing day to an end…or do you?

My husband comes home and we have dinner together.. I try to stop working for a couple of hours to spend time with him, but inevitable I am always back at it for an hour or two before I go to bed.

      12. Do you still have time to sew for yourself using patterns by other designers?

Not much… but I try. I really enjoy this part of sewing! I am hoping to get to do more self-sewing this summer.

      13. Is there anything else you would like to say?

Thank you so much for having me here today! I’d love to connect with you on my blog  (, Instagram (@SewCaroline), or Facebook (!

It is so sad that Sewing Indie Month is almost over but I hope everyone enjoyed it and that you learned about some new indie pattern companies…I definitely did! Stay tuned for a new challenge I am participating in being announced in a few days :)

amity bow | Lolita Patterns


May 202014

Wow that title was a mouthful!  Sewing Indie continues with a tutorial I wrote up to share over on Sewn Square One’s blog. This tutorial shows you how to shirr fabric using elastic thread but by using your serger that has chainstitch capability. It is a wonderful time saving technique that keeps you from having to hand wind bobbins.

sneak peek photo from tutorial

For those of you that don’t know Sewn Square One, they are known for their modern and streamlined designs. I am currently crushing on this Skirt Smarts pattern! The ruching on the side is right up my alley!

click for source

Another awesome pattern I’m eyeing is the Go Anywhere dress. It looks extremely practical and cute for every day.

click for source

So go ahead and check out the tutorial and hopefully learn a new technique and a new pattern company at the same time!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns


May 152014

Today I want to show you two gorgeous Olive’s made by testers. The first one started as view A but was converted into something completely different. This one was made by Handmade by Carolyn.

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The above photo shows the final version. She started out with view A making the cowl overlay and flounce which you can see below but decided it did not quite fit her style…so she adapted a button front view instead! You can see how on her blog post!

click for source

Her Olive is made of a beautiful white linen and I love how the white tone on tone looks for Olive. Below you can see a closeup of her final version after modifications.

click for source

She has a bunch more pictures and details of her modifications over on her blog post.


The second Olive I have to show you was made by Velosewer. And this version is made out of olive colored fabric!  This is so perfect. She made a spearmint colored Spearmint and now an olive colored Olive!

click for source


Her version is view B but she couldn’t resist adding the sleeve ruffles from view A. She also converted the neckline into a v-neck. Don’t worry, she will be doing a post on how to do that on your own Olive!

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Here is a closeup of the sleeve ruffles.

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There are tons more pictures and info on her alterations over on her blog post. She even mentions another version of Olive coming up! Click on over to see the details.

I’ll be featuring more Olives as we go along. In the meantime, don’t forget about the coupon code sewing15indie to save 15% on all physical patterns through May 19th including Olive!


amity bow | Lolita Patterns

May 132014

I wanted to write a quick post to let you all know I am heading to NY again! I will be there next week and am looking forward to meeting up, fabric shopping, drinks/dinner…everything!  I had so much fun the last time I was there and I hope to see a lot of you again. I am around Tuesday the 20th, Wednesday the 21st, and on Thursday the 22nd I am going fabric shopping with Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic! Does anyone else have time to meet up? Send me a message!

NY dinner pic

picture from last NY trip in March!

Reminder: All physical patterns (including the newest release Olive) are 15% off through May 19th using the code sewing15indie!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

May 112014

Today we have our second Sewing Indie post. I partnered up with Soma Patterns by Sylvie P and she interviewed me about Lolita Patterns for her blog. Go ahead and click over to get the scoop on behind the scenes at Lolita Patterns!

Let’s talk about how cool Soma Patterns is for a minute. They make patterns with zero waste! The patterns are designed to use all the fabric so there are no unnecessary and wasteful scraps left behind. Not only is this such a great idea, the patterns are also very practical and fashionable!

Check out their new FloriAnn Skirt:

click for source


They even have a link to show you sneak peeks of their upcoming patterns.  Soma Patterns was a new company to me that I learned about while preparing for Sewing Indie Month and I am so glad I did! I love learning about new pattern companies.

I hope you are all enjoying Sewing Indie Month.  We still have some more posts coming up this month partnered with Sewn Square One and Sew Caroline!

Also don’t forget about the pattern sale going on to support Sewing Indie Month! Use code sewing15indie to save 15% off all physical patterns!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns


May 072014

I’m sure you have all heard about Sewing Indie Month by now and seen all the great independent pattern companies that are participating. One of the great things that this month brings is the big sew-along that features over $1,000 in prizes! Check out Mari’s post to get all the details.


To make it easier for you to participate, we have a 15% off all physical patterns discount going on until 11:59 Pacific Time Zone on May 19th, 2014. And stay tuned, because there just might be a new pattern release hidden in those dates that will also be eligible for the discount! Just use discount code sewing15indie to save 15% on all physical patterns! Go ahead and take advantage of the discount at the shop and enter the first Sewing Indie contest!

I hope you are all enjoying Sewing Indie Month as much as I am! Good luck with the contest…I can’t wait to see all the fantastic garments you all make!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

May 012014

This month has a huge surprise for all of you…it is Sewing Indie Month!  This month will compile tons of interviews, tutorials, and special goodies from tons of independent pattern designers all put together by Mari from Seamster Patterns. To get all the details, check out her blog post here. Also, grab a Sewing Indie Month badge from the sidebar!

Twenty one different independent designers are participating! It has been incredible! There are also over $1,000 worth of prizes available. See the information about the prizes here.


There will also be sew-alongs and prizes hosted by various bloggers around the web. Lolita Patterns is offering patterns in the prize pack for the Dressed to the Nines category put on by Laura from Lilacs and Lace.

Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Lolita, Pauline Alice; paper pattern of your choice from By Hand London, Christine Haynes

Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Lolita Patterns, Pauline Alice; paper pattern of your choice from By Hand London, Christine Haynes

Hopefully this month will show you all the great independent pattern companies that are around and help you learn a little bit more about them. Today I am so excited to show you this fantastic tutorial put together by Stepalica. Stepalica makes wonderful more advanced patterns. Check out this Nougat Dress with the gorgeous spiral detailing. 

click for source

And the recently released Zlata skirt

click for source

Today Ana will show you how to convert a basic skirt pattern into this beautiful YSL inspired skirt. Her instructions are so detailed that anyone can follow along and end up with a high end designer skirt at a fraction of the cost!  Without further delay, here is her tutorial:

I am so thrilled to show you a lovely and unusual skirt I made. At first glance it looks like a basic pleated skirt, but take a closer look at it and you’ll notice it’s a skirt with a twist, or should I say – a twisted skirt. The knife pleats are slightly angled, thus making the twist effect.

I got an idea for this skirt from a commercial for a YSL bag. The bag itself didn’t impress me as much as the skirt from the photo did. Just look at lines of those pleats – such an ingenious design! My interpretation is slightly different, but I kept the basic design of it.


YSL advertisement that inspired this skirt tutorial

This kind of skirt is perfect for office and work environment, but it could look quite casual if made from denim, twill or cotton. It is suitable for plain fabrics or those with floral or abstract prints, but I’d advise you to avoid using plaid and striped fabrics, since those can be challenging for matching.

A pattern for this skirt is really easy to make, especially if you have a pattern for a basic pencil skirt – with just a few cuts you can transform it into this lovely and unusual skirt.

Jewelry made by Anya – Studio Artesania (



– Start with a basic skirt pattern that has waist darts.

– If you’re using a pencil skirt pattern that tapers towards the hemline, straighten the side seams so that they’re perpendicular to the hemline.

– Copy the panels to a new sheet of paper, transferring both left and right side of each of them.

– Join the front and back panels along the right side seam (the right side of the pattern will represent the right side of the fabric).



– Draw a set of parallel lines connecting the waistline with the hemline. The lines should be angled – you can use one of your waist darts to define the angle of the line (in the drawing, I used the back dart). There should be nine lines:

  • one for each dart,
  • one for the center front line,
  • one for the center back line,
  • one for the right side seam,
  • two for the left side seam, as shown on the picture.

– Each line (except for the ones that correspond to the center front and center back lines of the skirt) should be drawn so that it intersects with the apex of the corresponding waist dart, or with the point on the side seam where the front and back panels form a V shape.

– Measure the width of each waist dart. Optionally, you can copy the shape of each dart by making small triangles as guides for the next step.

03_RotateDarts 3. 

– Rotate each of the darts so that it’s width is equally spread to the left and right side of the angled line that corresponds to it. Make sure the apex of the dart remains in its original position.

– If you were using triangular templates as dart guides, fixe them in place. If not, redraw the darts on the pattern.


4. Cut the front and back skirt panels along the angled lines.



– Define how wide the pleat should be when folded. I’ll call this measurement the pleat width. In my case, the dart width was 1.5” (4.5 cm).

– Multiply the pleat width by 2, so in my case that’s  3” (9 cm) – this will be total pleat width.

– Spread the panels as shown on the picture. The distance between the two panels should be equal to the total dart width.

– Split the distance between the left and right panels in two, by drawing a line parallel to the panels.

– Also, draw two lines, one on each side of the pattern; each line should be distanced from the pattern by pleat width.

– Define the point on the skirt where the pleats should start and draw a line at that point, parallel to the hemline


6. Transfer the shape of the skirt to a new sheet of paper as shown on the picture. Spread the front and back skirt panels.


7. This is how the final skirt pattern should look.



– Take the panels gotten in the step 4 and lay them over a sheet of paper. Close the waist dart on both front and back skirt panel, by rotating the panels as shown on the picture. Fill the gap that’s been made by the dart rotation at the hemline.

– Smooth the hemline and the waistline so that they form nice curves. Redraw the shape to the paper.


9. This is how the lining pattern should look.

Ready for some finished photos of the skirt?

stepalica-twisted-pleats-skirt-01 stepalica-twisted-pleats-skirt-04 stepalica-twisted-pleats-skirt-07 stepalica-twisted-pleats-skirt-10

I hope you all enjoyed this fantastic tutorial Ana from Stepalica put together. I adore this skirt and cannot wait to make one of my own. It is the perfect combination of stylish with interesting lines but still perfect for the office. I hope you enjoyed this first installment of Sewing Indie Month…don’t forget to check out Seamster Patterns for what else is in store coming up this month!

Apr 032014

Has everyone heard about this contest?

It features an amazing prize—a Babylock serger!!  The deadline is coming up on May 1st and it is definitely worth your while to enter. To check out the rules, visit So grab some fabric, pick your pattern, and make your winning creation! These prizes are fantastic and the contest is definitely worth entering.

I know I only recently heard about the contest so I thought I would post it here to make sure everyone gets the chance to enter. Let’s help get the word out!

Party Like A Rock Star


amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Mar 312014

Today’s feature is two gorgeous Sugar Plums, a mother and daughter combo!

click for source

Cbsyr has a blog where she details many of her sewing adventures and you can see her post specifically on her Sugar Plum by clicking here.

Both of these Sugar Plums look so comfortable! I don’t speak or read Swedish, but I used google translate and think I got the gist. Even if I could not understand any of it, you can tell by their smiling faces and beautiful dresses that they love this pattern as much as I do!

I love seeing that other countries have learned about Lolita Patterns and are able to make the patterns with the detailed illustrations instead of relying on the words in English. These are truly gorgeous and I can’t wait to feature more!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns



Mar 262014

Did anyone notice Fabric Mart Fabrics amazing sale going on right now? They have 35% off their entire Sewing Room section!


This section has patterns—and includes Lolita Patterns!  I just wanted to point it out to everyone because if you have ever been iffy about purchasing a pattern or were waiting for a sale, this is it. Thirty-five percent off is an amazing deal….the most we ever had was 31% and it was only for one day–my birthday. They carry lots of other patterns and many other items in their sewing room section that are all 35% off. Plus they have 40% off knits going on right now!

I don’t know how long the sale is going to last so pop over quick before they sell out of everything!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Mar 242014

I know March is almost over..that’s how far behind I am in getting my garments posted!  For those of you who don’t know, the Sewcialists choose a color every other month to theme sew and for February it was blue. This was fun for me because while I like blue, I never seem to gravitate towards it and have very few blue fabrics. This was good for me to break out and use the blue for once. I found this gorgeous navy fabric with light blue hearts all over it at Fabric Planet (the newer one across from Ace Sewing) in the Los Angeles garment district.

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

I don’t know how my eyes ended up half closed in all the outside photos I took…but I know you need to see the garment so I post it for you all anyway!

I have this extreme weakness for hearts..I have to buy all fabric with hearts on it..I just love them! (Side note: Some of the sewing gals I took shopping in the garment district this weekend picked up some of this fantastic fabric for themselves!)

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

I decided on Sewaholic’s Pendrell which I had been planning to make for some time. This fabric was a rayon challis and works perfectly for this pattern. I love how drapey it turned out.

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

Back story: When I made my Renfrew, I had to extend out at the underarms 1 1/4″ and then taper back in to size 0 for everywhere else because her patterns are designed for pear shapes which is tiny up top. While I am definitely tiny, my ribcage is very broad…especially in comparison to the rest of my body. My first Renfrew kept riding up trying to get room under my arms so now when I make any Renfrew variations, I extend under the underarm.

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

Now I had not yet made the Pendrell, and know it is a woven and not a knit, but thought it might also be tight on the underarm based on the build Sewaholic is drafted for. For this reason I extended under the arms out to a size 6 and tapered back in to a 0 everywhere else. Turns out it was unnecessary! The woven block Sewaholic drafts from seems to have the room I needed. So the extra room was unnecessary and I was able to sew in that extra excess under the arm and the blouse fits wonderfully!

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

The only other change I made was to shorten it by 2 inches and it is at the perfect length for me. Works well tucked into skirts and still looks great when worn with pants. I really like it and think the challis is a perfect fabric for it. I can’t wait to make another one!

I have some rainbow charmeuse that would be so beautiful as this blouse. Next time. :)

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

Lastly lets talk about these shoes. They are one of the first pairs of expensive shoes I ever bought back in 2002 (which back then did not cost nearly as much as Charles David shoes do nowadays) and I love them so much still! They are real Charles Davids (this was before Charles by Charles David existed) and are extremely comfortable wedges and looks great with pants and skirts. I don’t wear nearly enough blue which is why these are still in such good condition…I obviously need to make more blue clothes to go with these shoes!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Mar 192014

By now you have probably already heard about Oona’s Drunken Fat Quarter Challenge. It was dreamed up in the midst a dark restaurant, loud laughing and talking, and plenty of margaritas. Oona was trying to convince us that fat quarters could not be used for garment sewing. What?!? Luckily for Carolyn, Devra, and myself….we did not agree. And trust me, Oona can be convincing. But we held our ground…and now Carolyn, Devra, Jennifer and I are all going to prove it to her!

picture of some of us at dinner taken by Carolyn

We each got a bundle of 9 fat quarters that we get to use to make a garment/outfit. You can see the rules over on Oona’s blog. There were four different styles but I didn’t even need to pick the kind I wanted. Oona already knew. In fact, she started off early in the evening asking me if I could do anything with zombie fabric. Me?!? Use zombie fabric?!? As I’m carrying around my orange and purple skull bag made especially for my New York visit. I practically leapt out of my seat exclaiming that I must have all the zombie fabric.

Lolita Patterns | Fat Quarter Challenge

So guess which bundle I got? The zombies!  But of course, we all know I love my rainbows and hearts and things so I begged Devra to let me trade one fabric for some rainbows and unicorns. In my world, rainbows, unicorns, and zombies go hand in hand. They needed to be together. Lucky me, she agreed! So I now get one piece of rainbow unicorn fabric to use as well.

I have all these ideas on what to do but I keep changing my mind! There is a deadline so I will have to make up my mind soon….off to my sketchbook!

I have to tell you all, I had such a wonderful time in New York! I got to see Clare again and spend time with Lauren and meet tons of new people! So much so that I plan on going back very soon. I didn’t get nearly enough fabric shopping in, there were so many other things to do!  Next time…..

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Mar 132014

Remember the Spearmint themed giveaway we did in honor of Sew Grateful Week? Well we have a winner!

First, let’s refresh ourselves on the prize:

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint Giveaway

We had 127 entries! It was so wonderful to see how excited everyone was about this themed giveaway. And the winner is:

spearmint random generator

Congrats Laura!

Laura is actually someone I had the pleasure of meeting in person last week!  She is so nice and very fun. We met up with another sewist, Joy, and went fabric shopping all over Los Angeles. She blogs over at A Make It Yourself Mom’s Diary. Hopefully I will get a chance to meet up with her again soon.

Right now I am blogging from my hotel room in New York!!  There are some epic meetups planned with a gaggle of people (Lladybird, Clare, Oona, Carolyn, Betsy, Sonja, Devra, Sown Brooklyn, and that’s just off the top of my head, there are more!)…dinner/drinks/fabric shopping so expect tons of instagram/twitter coming your way! And yes, I brought an empty suitcase with for the fabric I plan to buy…I did this in London and bought more than fit…hopefully I can stay within my one extra suitcase this time :)

Thanks for entering the giveaway. I’ll be back soon with New York news!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns


Mar 092014

Edited to Add:  Apparently I never pressed publish so now this post is a little behind since Sew Grateful Week is over but I still love the Sew Grateful sentiment so I’m publishing anyway!

Sew Grateful Week continues! Today is the day to showcase a sewing project. This make combines several themes! It was made with a gifted pattern, Jalie 2921, and I also originally made it up to match with Project Sewn’s shoe inspiration challenge. But of course, I didn’t get it photographed in time so I figured it would be perfect for Sew Grateful!

Lolita Patterns | Jalie 2921

I was given this pattern quite some time ago and I loved it from long before then! I don’t know what took me so long..this is such a quick sew! It is only 4 pattern pieces. I made the smallest adult size, R, and extended under the arms out to size S. I have a broad ribcage and regularly add at the underarm on patterns. A quick check of the measurements showed that this would be a tiny bit too big, but since my fabric was only slightly stretchy, I figured it would work well. And it did….except for the sleeves. I couldn’t even get my arms in them! So I cut off the sleeves and re did them in the black trim fabric which is much stretchier. It is a black matte jersey that I buy in bulk and use all the time. My favorite!

Lolita Patterns | Jalie 2921

I had originally planned on doing all the hem bands and scarf collar in the black, but when I had to switch the sleeves to the black fabric, I switched the sleeve band to the yellow lace. It is a little itchy on my arm since the cuff is double layered and the lace rubs on my arm.

Lolita Patterns | Jalie 2921

Lolita Patterns | Jalie 2921

How great is this fabric?!? It matches my shoes absolutely perfectly! I have had these shoes for years, they are Colin Stuart from Victorias Secret. Yellow is my favorite color and I love lace (hello? Every single Gunmetal I’ve made!)  so the black lace yellow pumps were a no brainer!  When I was in London in November, I went to Walthamstow market with Simona and saw this fabric hanging in one of the stalls….I bought it immediately!

Lolita Patterns | Jalie 2921

I actually had another make I made for the Project Sewn Shoe Challenge that I didn’t get photographed. It involves shoes given to me by the awesome Leila!  I’ll post it soon. I also have my Sewcialist Blue February post to do…even though February is over. I’m slightly behind! I did post a sneak peek of my Blue February make over on my Instagram though so if you follow me there, you already caught a glimpse!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Mar 042014

How many of you have ordered from Fabric Mart Fabrics in the past? I’ve been on their email list for years and cannot resist all the amazing prices and sales they have! They even have a great discount code for your first order! When I realized they also carry a select amount of indie patterns, I knew I had to contact them about Lolita Patterns. Luckily, they tried out the patterns and wanted to carry them!  I think I have used a piece of fabric I bought from Fabric Mart in at least one of the samples for every pattern.

Fabric Mart now carries all Lolita Patterns!  The best part? When you order your fabric, you pay a flat rate for shipping…and that shipping stays the same even when you add patterns to your order! No extra shipping charges ordering a pattern from a separate can get everything at once on Fabric Mart’s website!


My favorite part is that Fabric Mart separates all their fabrics by category–and even makes their categories very detailed! For example, anything in the coating category would be perfect for Spearmint!  Their mesh category is ideal for Gunmetal…I love that they have a separate section for that. Their ponte section is exactly what you need for the skirt section of Sugar Plum. And any of the silkschiffon, or challis’ (not wool) work for the top portion.

I just wanted to give you all a heads up now that Fabric Mart carries Lolita Patterns so you can order both your fabric and pattern at the same time!  New vendors coming soon…stay tuned!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Feb 242014

Last year we participated in My Happy Sewing Place‘s Sew Grateful week where the sewing community can show their gratitude to everyone that supports us in our sewing endeavors. We had a great time participating last year and we saved our Spearmint themed Giveaway specifically for this years post!

This giveaway celebrates both Sew Grateful Week as well as the release of our Spearmint coat pattern back in December. This pattern has been really popular and there are many fantastic versions around the web. I have compiled many Spearmints from around the web on this Pinterest board here. They all look so gorgeous! This giveaway also coincides with the group sew-along we have going on right now. We are smack dab in the middle of sewing up Spearmint as a group on the blog. You can check out the sew-along page with all the links.

This not only goes with the Sew Grateful theme, it also goes along with our pattern themed giveaways! We have done one for every pattern we released and it is such a blast shopping for the color themed giveaways. Let’s see what the goodies are!

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint Giveaway

1. Spearmint colored buttons

2. Gorgeous gingham checked eyelet fabric

3. Fun stationery

4. Spearmint flavored Doublemint gum

5. Spearmint flavored Trident gum

6. Spearmint flavored Orbit gum

7. Sally Hansen nail polish in Mint Sorbet (not available if international winner since nail polish can only be shipped ground)

8. Spearmint colored ribbon with pink polka dots

9. Spearmint colored Coats and Clark thread

10. Spearmint colored Jordana eyeliner

11. Spearmint colored rose Amity Originals earrings

12. Spearmint colored Sharpie marker

13. The Spearmint pattern itself!

14. Sparkly spearmint colored fold over elastic

15. Shades of spearmint eyeshadow set

16. Spearmint Chapstick

17. Spearmint colored crepe knit fabric (awesome texture!)

18. Spearmint colored zipper

Whew! 18 pretty goodies!

To enter:

– Follow the blog (through wordpress or bloglovin’) and leave a comment on this post.

The following are optional (for more chances to win!):

– Like us on Facebook for an extra entry and let me know in the comments.

– Follow on Twitter for an extra entry and let me know in the comments.

– Follow on Pinterest for an extra entry and let me know in the comments.

– Follow on Instagram for an extra entry and let me know in the comments.

Here is the fine print: This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere! (One problem: If the winner is outside the continental U.S., I can’t include the nail polish because it has to be sent by ground shipping.) This giveaway will be open until midnight Pacific Time on March 3rd. Good luck!


amity bow | Lolita Patterns