Monday, October 23, 2017


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halloween inspiration

October is a popular month for costume sewing, so we couldn’t leave it without a little costume inspiration. To view a large collection of costumes visit Liesl’s Halloween sewing with Oliver + S Pinterest board. So many wonderful costumes have already been featured on the blog in the past, some of them even have tutorials. I’ve gathered a long list for you, be sure to click on all the links to see all of the examples. Enjoy this trip down memory lane. 1) Seven Costume Tutorials 2) Monster Hat Tutorial 3) Sewing for Disney 4) Don Juan de Austria, Halloween 2016 5) Halloween Sewing: King Carlos IV 6) Costume Linky Party 7) Halloween Wrap-up 8) Halloween Inspiration 9) Costume Round-up 10) Elsa Dress Round-up 11) Evel Knievel Costume 12) Miss Frizzle Jump Rope Dress 13) And remember these cute costumes? What are your Halloween costume plans?

Orange Peel Quilt Finished

I finished piecing this quilt a while ago, but I was debating whether to hand quilt this, machine quilt it myself, or ask someone else to machine quilt it for me... I finally decided to go with choice #3. I dropped the quilt top off at my friend's who does machine quilting. I happened to have enough bias tape I made a long time ago and the colors went perfect with the quilt. Don't you love when things work out like that? I quickly binded the quilt and took advantage of a beautiful Autumn day to take some pictures. I spread the quilt to take a picture and my dog must have thought that was an invitation for him to sit and chill... He kept coming back no matter how many times I would shoo him away. I decided to change the location to the near by bridge. There were some beautiful yellow and orange leaves still on the trees that gave me a gorgeous background for my picture. I love how this turned out and it motivates me to finish more quilts I have started this year.

Navy Lace Alston Dress

I wrote this post ages ago and just now got around to taking pictures of the dress! I wore this dress to another wedding this past weekend though, so just swap out "New York" for "St. Louis" and it basically all holds true! Last weekend, one of my dear friends got married. It was a whirlwind trip to St. Louis and back but it was so, so worth it to see all my college roommates and, of course meet the brand new Mrs. Alston for the first time! She looked beautiful, the party was fantastic, and I wore a new navy version of the dress named in her honor. This whole dress started back when I wanted a new dress to wear to this season's weddings and was feeling uninspired by my pattern collection. (I even looked on Rent the Runway before realizing that it's not slightly embarrassing to wear non-me-made things now, because everyone asks if I made xyz and I hate having to admit that no, I didn't! Do you have this problem? Just me?) After a while looking around at all sorts of patte..

How to Sew the Perfect Quilting Seam Allowance

INSIDE: How to Sew the Perfect Quilting Seam Allowance. When piecing a quilt it is a truth universally acknowledged that all seam allowances must be exactly, precisely, and perfectly one-quarter-inch. Has This Happened to You? Your 12″ x 12″ quilt block measures 11.5″ x 11.5″ Seamlines don’t match up on your quilt top. You can never get triangles to sew together correctly. What’s the Problem Here? Let’s say you follow all of the directions in the quilt pattern to achieve a 12″ x 12″ block. You’ve used a 1/4″ piecing foot and measured the seam allowance to find that it is a perfect 1/4″ from the seam to the raw edge. Once the block is complete it measures 11″ x 11.” If you’re having trouble with your quilt blocks not turning out in the right size it may have something to do with your seam allowance. Click to read the rest...
News of Sewing

DIY Pumpkin Costume Project [Sponsored by Baby Lock]

Watch video to learn how to sew an adorable children's pumpkin costume using a pillowcase.
News of Sewing

Video: DIY Pumpkin Costume Project [Sponsored by Baby Lock]

Watch to learn how to sew an adorable children's pumpkin costume using a pillowcase.

Bee Happy Sew Along…Week Nine!!

Good morning cute people!!We are moving right along and are already on week nine:) Are you ready to roll? Grab your fabrics and your... Bee HappySew Simple Shapes... And let's finish up row four:) The last block in that row is this one...Coral Flowers:) The Sew Simple Shapes from the set that we will be using are:D1 D2 D3 D4 D20 Run the 2 "Holly" solid strips through the 3/8" bias tape maker(remember that's the purple one that looks a little different from the others) Press your background fabric in half both ways...and then again in half diagonally both ways as well. Sew and prepare your appliqué shapes using the same steps that I have given in all of the other blocks:) Cut your stems to measure 9" long and glue baste right down the center of the diagonal like this. the large flower right in the center and top it with the circle center. The flowers measure about 1 1/8" from the outside edges. Make sure you are keeping all five flowers straight and in ..
News of Sewing

Pants Pattern Review: Ninni Culottes by Named Clothing

Pattern: Ninni Culottes, Named Fabric: Tencel twill Size: 14 Any Adjustments: After making a muslin, I shortened the crotch on the pant front and back and sized down 2-3 sizes. For the pair featured here, I extended the culottes to … Continue reading →

Happy Scrappy Village Quilt

House quilts are so much fun! This one is perfect for that layer cake that you’ve been saving for a special project. Break it out, and start construction on your own Happy Scrappy Village! This quilt finishes at 60″ x 60″. 1 Layer Cake® {Flower Mill by Corey Yoder} 1 ¾ yard blue background fabric ½ yard green background fabric 1/8 yard neutral brown/gray fabric for tree trunks ½ yard binding fabric 4 yards backing fabric 30-degree ruler (optional) Templates (found in PDF at end of pattern) Organization is key for this project! Spend a little time planning a system to keep your pieces labeled and in order before you begin cutting. Plastic baggies work well. I repurposed a tray from my daughter’s play area and the labeled the different sections. It’s pretty perfect for this project, huh? There is little waste in this project, which means little room for error. Most of the width and length of the layer cake squares are used. Make sure your cuts are precise and that you’re not b..

Spelling Bee Saturday!! – Letter “C”

Hello again!!Welcome to Spelling Bee Saturday:) Todays episode is brought to you by... The letter "C" Grab your Spelling Bee Book and let's learn a few things about "C"... "C" is for CAKE "C" is for COUNTING "C" is for CAMERA And for our "Show and Tell" guest this week... "C" is for COOKIE!!! Thanks so much Melissa ..."C" is also for CUTE!!! Make sure to use the hashtag #SpellingBeeSaturday when posting on Instagrambecause it's sew fun to bee inspired by others!!Everyone is being so creative with their blocks and projects...and I'm loving the super cute photos! Tune in next week for more Spelling Bee fun:)xxLori
News of Sewing

A Sassy New Serger

Yesterday, this little girl arrived! A new toy to play with! I would love suggestions about thread to use and/or avoid. Hoping this serger will get some use this Winter. I have a few knits stashed away, and I can't wait to get started (as long as I don't chicken out)! #sewingA post shared by Laura Mae (@lauramaedesigns) on Oct 20, 2017 at 11:15am PDT I entered a contest with this dress (someday I will post finished pictures) and I won the grand prize - which means I am adding a new toy to my sewing arsenal! And it sounds like this particular model is a goodie!! If anyone has any suggestions on threads to avoid or use I would love to hear. I avoid the cheap stuff for my sewing machine, but generally do not purchase the super expensive stuff, either, and I assume the same applies to a serger? Is wooly nylon really as fantastic as people say? Any advice would be welcome because I am a complete newbie to this whole serging thing . . . the last time I recall using one was in colle..
News of Sewing

How to Sew Crisp and Clean Collars

Here's a step-by-step method for keeping the seamlines out of sight
News of Sewing

Project Runway Recap: Episode 10 Driving Miss Unconventional

Project Runway Recap, Season 16, Episode 10: Driving Miss Unconventional photos courtesy of This week the designers had to use “safety” materials to create a look in the Lexus unconventional challenge. A collection of caution tape, bungee cords, … Continue reading →

how to pre-wash your fabric before sewing

A few weeks ago I wrote to you about how to wash clothing, including tips on how often to wash and how to treat your clothing so it will last a long time. This time I thought we’d talk specifically about pre-washing fabric and how to treat each type of fiber. You’ve asked a lot of questions about this topic, so I’m putting it all together in one place. Why is Pre-Washing Important? There are a few reasons why it’s important to pre-wash your fabrics. The simplest and more important answer is that many fabrics shrink when washed, particularly in the first washing. (A few fabrics–flannel and interlock come to mind–may continue to shrink a little bit after the first wash). So the first wash is critical, especially since most fabrics will shrink more in length than in width. There’s nothing worse than making something that fits only to discover it’s several inches shorter after it gets washed! It’s also a good idea to pre-wash fabrics to remove any extra dyes and chemicals that have been..

I’m Teaching in Chicago at Bernina USA!

I almost never teach in the Chicagoland area, actually I don’t think I ever have, so I’m super excited to share that I’ll be teaching at BERNINA USA just outside Chicago this December! I’ll be teaming up with Jaime David who is the serger education specialist for BERNINA USA to teach you how to make the Driftless Cardigan on a serger as well as specific garment making techniques on your sewing machine. Here’s a bit more about the class.. Class Info Are you ready to take your garment sewing skills to the next level? Come to our two day Capsule Club Meet and Make and let BERNINA educator, Jaime David and Grainline Studio Pattern Designer, Jen Beeman show you how. In this two day workshop you will create a Driftless Cardigan and learn a series of techniques for Hems and Closures. Cardigans are an essential piece for any wardrobe and this pattern can be made to fit your style. Additionally, you will get to know other garment sewists and have time to socialize during our dinner recepti..

Plum Week: Flannel Margot Pyjama Pants

My last Plum Week entry is certainly not the most glamorous, but is sure to be the most worn: pajama pants! Read more »

A Kalle Shirtdress pattern in Blue Tencel

I just realized this week I totally failed to post about this Kalle shirtdress I made in the spring. I’ve had photos edited and waiting to go, but just plum forgot. Which is weird because this was easily one of my most worn items this summer; it got packed on every trip and was generally the garment I reached for most when it was so hot and sticky I just wanted to live inside my freezer drawer. I don’t have nearly enough Kalles in my life, odd considering it’s one of my favourite patterns and in the end, we’ve sewn god knows how many. Most are unwearable/half finished muslins, and the rest we shoot and then keep in pristine condition in our sample closet (which we occasionally lend out to magazines, and also just for prosperity). After the frenzy of sample making that happens before we launch a pattern, sometimes it takes some time to feel like sewing that particular garment again, even if I really love the design. I decided I definitely needed a new dress, since the white linen one I..
News of Sewing

Pants Pattern Review: Alexandria Peg Trousers

The month of October we’re celebrating Pants Month here at Sew News. We’ll have tips and tricks for making pants of your own, as well as reviews from the editors of Sew News on their favorite pant patterns. Today we’re featuring Ellen’s review … Continue reading →
News of Sewing

Top 5 Notions To Help Sew Smarter

Essential and inexpensive tools for smarter sewing