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  (SewCaroline.com), Instagram (@SewCaroline), or Facebook (fb.com/sewcarolineblog)!

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 122014
 

I am happy to finally introduce you to our latest pattern, Olive. Olive envelope front olive line drawing

Olive is a beautiful blouse that plays with fabric texture to create a striking look. View A features a beautiful draping sheer fabric combined with a stable solid that produces a unique look. The sheer cowl overlay and soft flounces draw attention to the gorgeous blend of fabric textures. The waistband combined with the pleated peplum adds shaping to the garment. View B eliminates the sheer fabric to provide a fantastic all-around basic blouse perfect for pairing with suits, skirts, and pants.

Lolita Patterns | Olive

In the photos here, I am wearing View A. I will also be sharing with you some fabulous versions of View B in the coming weeks. This blouse is so versatile and so unique…I love all the ways you can play around with fabric pairings and texture with this pattern. Olive is now available for sale! And the timing is perfect because we have a 15% off all physical patterns sale going on right now for Sewing Indie Month…and that includes Olive! Just use coupon code sewing15indie and the discount will show in your cart.

Lolita Patterns | Olive

That isn’t all. We decided to launch a limited two pack set so customers can save when buying two patterns. This two pack set is not part of the Sewing Indie coupon code because it is already discounted. But don’t worry, the two pack will still be around after the sale ends so you can still save when buying multiple patterns.

Lolita Patterns | Olive

Both views of Olive use small amounts of fabric when you cut in a single layer so it is great for small remnants and special fabrics. You can see all yardage chart information on the Olive pattern page.

We also have exciting news: Olive will be launched with a blog tour of various sewing bloggers around the world starting tomorrow! Here is a list of the bloggers participating this week.

Three Dresses

Handmade by Carolyn

Velosewer

Peneloping

Quirky Pretty Cute

Made With Hugs and Kisses

Instead of a sew-along with Olive, we have chosen the trickiest parts and decided to feature tutorials on how to do them best. Each time we post an Olive tutorial, we will post a link on the Olive pattern page so they are all collected in one place. We will also feature hacks for the pattern including making Olive in a knit, using lace, and even making the top into a v-neck!  I can’t wait for you all to see it!

The pattern comes in both physical pattern and PDF form. The PDF version includes both tiled PDF versions and print shop versions.

Don’t forget that the Sewing Indie discount code (sewing15indie) is only good through 11:59pm Pacific Time Zone on May 19th, 2014!

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.

sewalongrule02

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.

banner_sewingindie

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-inspiration-photo

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 (http://studioartesania.blogspot.com/)

01_BasicSkirtPattern

1.

– 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).

02_MarkPleatsDirection

2.

– 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.

04_CutPanels

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

05_SpreadPanels

5. 

– 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

06_RedrawShape

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.

07_SkirtPattern

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

08_DraftLining

8.

– 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.

09_LiningPattern

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!