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Three Alabama Chanin-Inspired Tutorials

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In 2013, Linda took her first workshop with Alabama Chanin down in Florence, Alabama. It was a weekend that would change her sewing forever as she started incorporating Alabama Chanin's signature intricate embroidery and appliqué techniques into her own garments. It also introduced her to the beautiful American-made, organic cotton knits manufactured and used by Natalie Chanin in her designs. Today we are one of the few places where you can buy the full range (25 colors) of Alabama Chanin knit! But, what if you don't want to spend all that time hand stitching, beading or appliquéing? What if you just want to add a little detail to a simple garment? Well, we have three ideas for you.

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The London Sew Along Part Four: Hems and Buttons

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Welcome back to the final post of the London Sew Along! Today we are going to finish the project by focusing on the hems and making buttonholes. Let's get sewing! 

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The London Sew Along Part Three: Collars and Sleeves

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Welcome back to the London Shirt Sew Along! Today we are focused on constructing the collar, sleeves and side seams of the garment. Grab your materials and let's get sewing!

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The London Sew Along Part Two: Front and Back

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​Welcome to the first sewing day of the London Shirt Sew Along. Today we are going to tackle the Front and Back of the shirt. This involves staystitching the necklines, creating the center front hems and sewing the front to the back at the shoulder seams. Let's get sewing! 

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London Sew Along Part One: Getting Started

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 Welcome to the London Shirt Sew Along! This new shirt pattern is designed to be worn oversized and has a generous amount of ease. Today we are going to discuss tips for getting started on your sewing journey. Let's get sewing!

On the back of the pattern envelope you will see a chart that has size measurements (these are your body measurements), as well as one that has finished measurements. After taking your own full bust measurement, compare that to the size measurement to see where you fall. For instance, my bust is 34ʺ, which puts me at a small. However, the London has a very loose silhouette and includes a lot of design ease. Design ease is the extra fullness added to a garment to create the silhouette. To calculate design ease, take the finished measurement and subtract your actual bust measurement. You may want less design ease and choose to make one size smaller. If you prefer even more ease, you can make a larger size. Looking at the finished measurements and calculating design ease can really help you understand how a garment is going to fit you. 

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Creating a Scallop-Back MixIt Tank

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 At our Sewing Workshop at the Sew Arkansas retreat last April we hand-dyed silk to use as linings in the Tremont or San Diego jackets. I decided to use some of my silk to create a scalloped-back MixIt Tank. I mixed the pink silk with our a stripe ponte knit. The process is simple, and I love how the addition of the scallop hem adds a little surprise to the MixIt.

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Matching the Cottage Shirt

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​Those of you who followed along our Cottage Shirt Sew-Along may have wondered why I didn't show my finished Cottage. Well, there I was, getting ready to sew the buttonholes when I realized that the fabric design didn't match in front. And I knew that I just couldn't wear the shirt with a non-matching front.

I rarely use a print that is as grid-like as this one, so mostly I don't worry about matching prints. In fact, the prints not matching on the side didn't bother me at all, but something about that center front being off was just too much for me. So I took the almost-finished Cottage apart and started again.

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The Cottage Sew Along Part Six: Buttons and Buttonholes

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Welcome back to the final post of the Cottage Sew Along! Today we will finish off the garment with tips about making perfect buttons and buttonholes. When you finish your Cottage, be sure to send us photos, we would love to see it! 

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The Cottage Sew Along Part Five: Side Seams and Vents

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​Welcome back to the Cottage Sew Along! Today we are going to sew up the sides, create the 6ʺ hem and add the armhole bands. Let's get sewing! 

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The Cottage Sew Along Part Four: Sewing the Collar and Stand

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Before you begin the process to sew the collar, begin by making a marking template for the collar stand. Use a seam gauge to mark the seam allowance on the front curve of the collar stand.  

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Cottage Sew Along Part Three: Sewing the Back, Yoke, & Shoulder Seams

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​Welcome back to the Cottage Shirt Sew Along! Today we are going to tackle sewing the back, yoke and shoulder seams using the "burrito" method. Why is it called the burrito you ask? Well, there is a lot of rolling involved in this fun technique that creates a perfectly enclosed back yoke. And when you are finished, you might find yourself so satisfied with how your shirt is looking that you can treat yourself to a real burrito! (Extra guacamole, please!)

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The Cottage Sew Along Part Two: Sewing the Front

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As we begin construction of the Cottage Shirt, I wanted to point out that you will see images of different fabrics throughout the process.  I am using this Dollface cotton to make my shirt, and you will see images of many of the construction steps using this fabric. However, some of the steps or techniques used in making the Cottage have been highlighted in our Sew Confident! tutorials. In these instances, I will be using images from the Sew Confident!, as they have been carefully photographed to be as clear as possible. Now, let's get sewing!

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The Cottage Sew Along Part One - Getting Started

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 Welcome to the Cottage Shirt Sew Along! This new shirt pattern is designed to be worn oversized and has a generous amount of ease. The shirt is somewhat cropped and can be worn over another layer such as a tank or tee, or it can be lengthened using the printed lengthen and shorten line. Today we are going to discuss tips for getting started on your sewing journey. Let's get sewing!

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The Hoodless West End

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I've always liked the look of the West End Jacket. It is a great looking, casual jacket that can be thrown over anything. However, I am not a fan of a hood, so I have avoided making it. But when I was thinking about making a garment using our fabulous Palm Tree fabric, I decided that it was time to tackle a woven, hoodless version of the West End. Creating the jacket without the hood was incredibly simple, involving just a few tweaks to the pattern. Read along to see how I did it and make your own!

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Stitched Damask Tremont Jacket

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Every time I go to teach at Mulberry Silks in Carrboro, North Carolina, I come home with more inspiration than I can possibly give to my students. The work of Nancy Quaintance never fails to just bowl me over.

Nancy was a guest contributor for Sew Confident! 2016. Her tutorial called Artistic Piecing shows her range of artistic talents. I love how she has an eye for using elegant fabrics and combining them with ease. I have never seen Nancy look anything but totally put together, and she is a person who wears what she sews and is not afraid to experiment.

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Stafford Sew Along Part 8: Hems and Snaps!

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 Welcome to the FINAL post of the Stafford Sew Along! Today we are going to finish the garment by hemming, adding buttons to the Flaps and sewing on the snaps. We thank everyone who has joined us through this Stafford Sew Along, and remember, if you didn't have the time to actually sew along with us, you can go back and reference these posts whenever you are ready to make your own Stafford. Let's get sewing! 

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Stafford Sew Along Part Seven: Sewing the Sleeves

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 Welcome to the Stafford Sew Along part seven - today we are going to attach the sleeves. If you are just joining us, be sure to look back to the previous the Stafford Sew Along posts. If you have been sewing with us this whole time, then you are almost finished! We will have one more post, and then you can wear your fabulous new spring jacket. Let's get sewing!

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Stafford Sew Along Part Six: Sewing the Collar

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Welcome back to the Stafford Sew Along! In this post we will walk through how to attach the collar. If you are just joining us, be sure to check out Part One: Cutting and Marking, Part Two: Topstitching Tips, Part Three: Sewing the Front, Part Four: Sewing the Pocket, and Part Five: Sewing the Back. Now let's get sewing! 

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Stafford Sew Along Part Five: Sewing the Back

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​Welcome to the Stafford Sew Along Part Five. Today we will be working on sewing with the Back, Side Back and Back Yoke pieces. If you are just joining us, be sure to read through Part One: Cutting and Marking, Part Two: Topstitching Tips, Part Three: Sewing the Front, and Part 4: Sewing the Pockets. Let's get sewing!

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Stafford Sew Along Part 4: Sewing the Pocket

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Welcome to the Stafford Sew Along Part 4. Today we will be inserting the pockets. If you are just joining us, be sure to checkout Part 1: Cutting and Marking, Part 2: Topstitching Techniques, and Part 3: Sewing the Front. Let's start sewing!

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Stafford Sew Along Part Two: Topstitching Tips

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​Today on the Stafford Sew Along we want to discuss tips for topstitching success. The Stafford Jacket features decorative topstitching along most of the seams. It is important to spend time before you start on your project testing your fabric and perfecting your topstitching. Not only does this make your garment look more professional, but it will also save you the time of seam ripping. Let's get started. 

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Stafford Sew Along Part Three: Sewing the Front

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Welcome to the Stafford Sew Along Part Three! Today we will be sewing the front of the jacket. Be sure to read through parts one and two of the Sew Along, where we discuss cutting and marking, as well as topstitching tips. If you have already done so, then let's get sewing!  

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Stafford Sew Along Part One: Cutting and Marking

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 Welcome to the Stafford Sew Along. Today we are going to discuss the materials you will need for this project, as well as cutting, marking and some of our signature techniques. Let's get sewing! 

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Topstitching Tips for the Stafford Jacket

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Our new Stafford Jacket was inspired by that most classic of garments, the jean jacket. Who doesn't have a jean jacket (even I have one and I don't own any actual jeans!). There is just something so right about the slouchy denim jacket. It is comfortable, functional and always looks good. Thinking about the Stafford, we combined the archetypal jean jacket with a cropped swing shape. The most unique feature of a jean jacket is the wonderful topstitching featured on the front, a detail we incorporated into the Stafford. Good topstitching is the hallmark of a professional looking garment, but can be tricky to perfect. Read on for some suggestions on making your topstitching clean and professional.

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Frankie Sew Along Part Seven: Hems & Buttonholes

Frankie Sew Along Part Seven: Hems & Buttonholes

Welcome back to the Frankie Sew Along. Today we finish the Frankie by hemming the bottom and adding the buttonholes and buttons. Soon you'll be able to pop on your Frankie and wear it about town. Let's get started! 

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Frankie Sew Along Part Six: Sleeves

Frankie Sew Along Part Six: Sleeves

Welcome back to the Frankie Sew Along. In this post we are going to tackle the sleeves, which feature an asymmetrical vent. Let's get going!

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Frankie Sew Along Part Five: Shoulders and Collar

Frankie Sew Along Part Five: Shoulders and Collar

Welcome back to the Frankie Sew Along. In our last post we constructed the back of the garment and started attaching the back to the Front/Side. Today we will finish connecting the two pieces and attach the Collar. 

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The Frankie Sew Along Part Three: Sewing the Front

The Frankie Sew Along Part Three: Sewing the Front

​Today we start sewing the Frankie Shirt! If you are just joining in on the Sew Along, check out our previous post with cutting, marking and technique tips for the project. If you have already read through the post, let's get started by making the front of the shirt. 

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Frankie Sew Along Part Four: Sewing the Back

Frankie Sew Along Part Four: Sewing the Back

Welcome back to the Frankie Sew Along. Today we are going to create the pleat in the back of the garment and attach the Back to the Side/Front pieces. Let's get started! 

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Frankie Sew Along Part One: Measuring and Adjustments

Frankie Sew Along Part One: Measuring and Adjustments

Before you cut into your pattern, it is important to determine your correct size, and make any needed adjustments. In this post you will learn how to measure, how to make a narrow shoulder adjustment, and how to lengthen and shorten the sleeve. 

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The Frankie Sew-Along

The Frankie Sew-Along

​With the release of our newest pattern, the Frankie Shirt, we felt like it was a perfect time to start another sew-along. Join us here on the blog starting November 12th for a series of posts that will take you through the Frankie construction process step-by-step. I will also share with you our favorite tips and techniques that aren't included in the pattern! We hope you join us on our sewing journey as we work our way through this fun shirt. 

If you can't sew-along with us right now, no worries. The posts will live on the blog forever, so you can always come back to them when you are ready to make the Frankie. We have created a special Sew-Along Facebook Group which I hope you will join, where you can share questions and project pictures as we work together. It is a perfect place to share your progress and get to know one another. Join the Facebook group here.

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Sewing Coated Fabrics

Sewing Coated Fabrics

We've created limited edition Boulder Duffle kits in luxe gold and silver metallic fabric. And while we are all in agreement that the bags are fabulous (who doesn't want bling-y bag?), we are also in agreement that sewing fabrics that have a coating on them such as faux leather, oilcloth, and laminated fabrics can be tricky. Sometimes the fabric doesn't move through the sewing machine well because the fabric is sticky so the stitch lengths are uneven and skipped. Most times, they are almost impossible to press without melting or crinkling the surface. And if you make a mistake and need to remove stitches, holes appear, so you want to try to get it right the first time. Because we want you to have your kit and make it too, we've pulled some of our fabric sewing tricks from our Sewing Faux Fashion Leather Sew Confident! tutorial to help you create your own metallic Boulder Duffle

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Frankie Sew Along Part Two: Cutting and Marking

Frankie Sew Along Part Two: Cutting and Marking

​Welcome to the Frankie Sew Along! Today we are going to cover all the prep work you need to do before you can start sewing. Cutting, marking, gathering your notions, and perfecting your finishing techniques. Taking a little time up front to start your project the right way will pay off in the end. Let's get sewing!

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Introducing the Frankie Shirt!

Introducing the Frankie Shirt!

​We would like you to meet our newest pattern, Frankie – we think you two are really going to hit it off. Whether you are going to the office or out for the night, Frankie will make sure that you are dressed just right. Her simple style will make sure you are seen in the most flattering light, and her uncomplicated construction process makes it easy to add to your wardrobe in no time!

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Bells & Whistles

Bells & Whistles

We are so excited to welcome back an old friend, the Bells & Whistles pattern, to our collection. Over the years, we have had many requests to bring this style back. Finally, this summer after seeing a customer wear her Bells Shirt at a Sew Kansas event, we realized that the design is timeless. Bells & Whistles is not just a duo of boring old button-down shirts. For this pattern we have taken classic designs and redefined them with a twist. Both shirts feature unusual closure bands that add an avant garde look to a archetypal shape. The architectural elements add sophistication to the design. Dress them up with silk or go casual with cotton. Either way, Bells & Whistles will become a staple in your closet and your pattern collection.

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When To Use A Backer Button

When To Use A Backer Button

Not every button has to be the same on a garment. After looking at the over-the-top mixed looks this season of Etro, Gucci and Dolce and Gabbana, I decided to shake it up a little bit on my "Burberry" silk charmeuse and pebble textured knit Liberty/MixIt Shirt. You can find the tutorial to combine these two patterns in our August 2017 Sew Confident! tutorial, The Liberty MixIt Fusion. In this tutorial Linda combined the general shape of the Liberty with the neckline of the MixIt. She also teaches you how to shorten the sleeves, create a new self-facing, and create perfect mitered corners. 

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Underlining the Valencia Pants

Underlining the Valencia Pants

When you love a fabric, but it's not quite the right weight for the piece that you want to make, what do you do? This is what happened to me recently. I fell in love with this printed handkerchief linen fabric and couldn't get past the idea of making pants. But the fabric was too sheer for a bottom weight.

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A Summer Chateau Jacket

A Summer Chateau Jacket

A few weeks ago our friend Sally sent us a picture of a wonderful version of the Chateau Coat pattern that she had made. Sally made her shortened version using a soft knit stripe, which she bound around the edges. It's such a lovely, casual summer jacket. Of course, we now wanted to create a version of our own. I decided to take it a step farther though, and use black and white stripe rayon crepe which I lined with a zingy hot pink polyester.

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Trend Alert! Combination Tees

Trend Alert! Combination Tees

​I've been seeing a new trend in t-shirts popping up recently. Stores like Anthropologie and Modcloth are updating the classic top by combining different prints and fabrics. This isn't a totally new concept, but it can be tricky to sew a woven and a knit together. Luckily, Linda has us covered. She created a tutorial for this very trend last year - she is so on top of it! Check out some of the ready-made shirts I've seen in stores below, as well as the Eureka tutorial. I'm re-publishing the original post so you can make your own combination top with the Eureka pattern!

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Zayn Sew-Along Recap!

Zayn Sew-Along Recap!

This summer we hosted our very first Sew-Along for our newest pattern, the Zayn Top. Our goal was to break down the instructions with step-by-step photographs to make sewing the Zayn even easier. We also wanted to include some of our favorite techniques – things that we can't fit in our regular pattern instructions. The best part, by far, has been our Sew-Along Facebook Group where everyone who is making a Zayn can ask questions and share their projects. We have had a few finished Zayn's pop-up on Facebook so far, which we wanted to share with you. We hope you keep the pictures coming. We want to see your finished projects! 

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Zayn Sew-Along Steps 25 - 28 – Let's finish this!

Zayn Sew-Along Steps 25 - 28 – Let's finish this!

​One of the great things about our Sew-Along Facebook Group is that we are able to hear your questions about the pattern. We noticed that many of you wanted to adjust the dropped shoulder that we have designed into the Zayn, and were unsure of how to go about it. So before we attach the sleeve, we are going to share with you our technique for armscye adjustment to use on your next Zayn – or any other pattern! Then we will go through the process of actually attaching the sleeve and you will have a finished top. So let's get started!

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Get the Look: Barn Jacket

Get the Look: Barn Jacket
Living in the Midwest, it isn't unusual to see men and women dressed in what are historically agricultural work clothes. Brands like Carhartt and LL Bean are ubiquitous, their boxy canvas shapes echoing the farms that dot the landscape. Today, bib overalls and fleece-lined barn jackets have walked off the fields and into high fashion. Starting in the mid-1990's, the workwear look started to infiltrate street fashion, and today, proletarian style abandoned the farms and factories to move to New York's 5th Avenue.
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The barn jacket is a classic style whose relaxed lines and comfortable shape have made it a favorite for decades. Our Chicago Jacket has a similar stylistic feel though we have incorporated a number of refined details, including a curved waist seam and diagonal darted seams that continue into the pockets. The minutiae of design elements work together to create a truly sophisticated style.

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Knit Florence Tunic Sew Confident!

Knit Florence Tunic Sew Confident!

We love the look of our Florence Shirt. It combines all the classic elements of a button-down shirt with unexpected twists like a draped front tuck and a back band with button details. Though not hard to make, a garment pattern this detailed does take some time. And sometimes, you just want to knock out a new project. Something simple that you can cut, sew and wear in just a day. With that in mind, Erin came up with a variation on the Florence. It has the same great look, but made from a knit and it goes together in no time!

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The Little White eTee

The Little White eTee

What is the one wardrobe staple that you should have hanging in your closet, right next to your little black dress? The little white t-shirt of course! Or might we suggest adding the little white eTee to your closet? Ever since Marlon Brando donned a fitted white t-shirt in The Wild One, this unassuming garment has become a mainstay in both men and women's wardrobes. As the heat of the summer kicks in, nothing feels or looks cooler than a simple tee paired with a flowing skirt or cropped jeans. This is why the eTee is our featured pattern kit for July. 

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Zayn Sew-Along: Steps 23 - 24: Neck Binding

Zayn Sew-Along: Steps 23 - 24: Neck Binding

​The neck binding is really the only part of the Zayn instructions that are radically different for the woven and the knit versions. I'm going to show the woven steps first. If you are making a knit, scroll down to that section. 

WOVEN Step 23: Press your Neck Binding piece lengthwise with the wrong sides together. Before you start pinning, we recommend you prepare your neck binding. Start by laying the folded strip in a curve (with the folded edge on the outside) on a pressing surface. Then, preshape the strip by steaming the curved bias. This reduces some of the extra fullness along the raw edges, and allows the bias to lie flatter.

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Zayn Sew-Along Steps 19 - 22

Zayn Sew-Along Steps 19 - 22

Welcome back to the Zayn Sew-Along! I hope you are all ready for today, we are sewing our sides together and hemming the bottom edge! Get ready to sew...

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Zayn Sew-Along Steps 13 - 18

Zayn Sew-Along Steps 13 - 18

Welcome back to the Zayn Sew-Along! Today we will be finishing the side and bottom of the drape and making mitered corners. That may sound intimidating to some of you newer sewists, but once you get the hang of it, it is pretty simple. Let's get sewing...

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Zayn Sew-Along Steps 1 - 5

Zayn Sew-Along Steps 1 - 5

​Are you ready to start sewing your Zayn top? Hopefully you have already downloaded and assembled the pattern, and cut out the fabric. Now we are ready to breeze through steps 1-5 of the pattern! A few notes: I will be making the Zayn in both a woven and a knit version. Most of the instructions are applicable for both substrates so the bulk of my images will be using woven material. However, if there is a step that is knit-only or woven-only then I will show images of the knit. Look for Woven or Knit in front of specific instructions. Also, don't forget to join us on our Sew-Along Facebook Group. It is a great place to share your project, ask questions and keep up with what everyone else is working on. 

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Zayn Sew-Along Steps 6 - 12

Zayn Sew-Along Steps 6 - 12

​Are you ready for the next phase of the Zayn Sew-Along? Remember, you can join any time – these posts won't be taken down, so even if you are just following along now, you can sew when it is over. Also, have you joined our Sew-Along Facebook Group? It is a great place to meet new online sewing friends and get help when you need it. And we would love to see photos of your Zayn progress, so don't be shy, post them on the group!

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Zayn Sew-Along – Cutting and Marking

Zayn Sew-Along – Cutting and Marking

​Welcome back to the Zayn Sew-Along! The last time we met I told you how to assemble your digital pattern. Now we need to talk about preparing your fabric, cutting out the pattern and marking. Now, for many this is the most dreaded part of any project. I must admit, it's not my favorite part but it can make or break a project. A well cut out pattern is key to a successful garment. 

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Zayn Sew-Along! Constructing Your Digital Pattern

Zayn Sew-Along! Constructing Your Digital Pattern

Welcome to our first ever Sewing Workshop Sew-Along – I'm so excited to sew with you! Through the next few weeks I'll be sharing our favorite tips and tricks for making both the woven and knit versions of our Zayn Shirt. Before we can start sewing, however, we need to make the actual pattern. For those of you who have never used a digital pattern before, read along for instructions on how to use a download pattern. 

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The Zayn Sew-Along!

The Zayn Sew-Along!

We are so excited to announce that we are going to host our very first sew-along, featuring our new Zayn pattern! We hope you join us on our sewing journey as we work our way through this fun shirt - making both the woven and the knit versions. Over the next few weeks we will explore the pattern instructions step-by-step, and I will share with you our favorite tips and techniques. 

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Breton Stripe eTee Dress

Breton Stripe eTee Dress

Since being introduced by Coco Chanel in her 1917 Nautical Collection, the Breton striped shirt – originally designed as a French naval uniform – has held a firm place in fashion's favor. The jaunty stripe is casual yet chic and gives its wearer a splash of insta-cool. You can find the Breton in shirts, dresses, scarfs and sweaters. This ubiquitous stripe has found itself made into every garment under the sun, though it is most popular in a classic t-shirt. 

As the days are getting warmer, I've been thinking about easy summer clothes that take no time to make, but are stylish enough to wear for work or play. Inspired by some dresses I saw online, I decided to make myself a Breton stripe t-shirt dress. Luckily, I had our classic eTee pattern at hand...

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Today's Outfit: Get Alex's Look

Today's Outfit: Get Alex's Look

Alex took the new Memphis Dress pattern to the next level, making it her very own. Be inspired and get this look today.

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Today's Outfit: Get Alex's Look

Today's Outfit: Get Alex's Look

Alex spent some time in Eureka Springs, Arkansas for our Sewing Workshop retreat this past week where she whipped up a great version of the Alex Top. Be inspired and get this look today. 


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Introducing The Memphis Dress!

Introducing The Memphis Dress!

You may have noticed that our last few patterns have been named after some of our favorite cities – San Diego, Madrid and Barcelona. Well, today we want to introduce you to the Memphis Dress. And, like it's namesake city, the dress is cool, comfortable and just a bit quirky. 

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Meet Zayn

Meet Zayn

Here it is, the one you've been waiting for...The Zayn Shirt. This split personality top is perfect for those who want to be classic and modern, all in the same garment. The short sleeve garment drapes from its flattering high, curved neckline and plunges into a gorgeous drape on the left side. And, this is a garment you don't have to take sides on  – it is suited for both wovens and knits!

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Spring Trends: Wide-Leg Cropped Pants

Spring Trends: Wide-Leg Cropped Pants

Recently, while watching the utterly magnificent Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2017 Couture show (which you can see here, and which I highly recommend watching), I realized something – the models were wearing our West End Pants! Well, the Dior version anyway. Later that same day I received an email from Anthropologie and their models were also wearing our West End style. It was official: wide-leg cropped pants are the pant for this spring. Luckily, I have just the pattern to make them. 

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Memory Vest Project

Memory Vest Project

Years ago, my friend Susan asked me to accompany her to help select a mother-of-the-groom ensemble. We drove to Kansas City where she chose a vintage kimono fabric which was custom-made into a beautiful jacket.

She wore the jacket to her son's wedding and to other occasions as well. The custom house had used the wrong side of the kimono fabric for its striped effect, but these stripes had floating yarns which made the fabric more delicate. Eventually, the silk started to break down, fray and even shred in places. Susan didn't want to give up on the precious jacket so she asked us at The Sewing Workshop if we had any ideas about how to salvage the fabric.

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San Diego Neckline Tips

San Diego Neckline Tips

The San Diego pattern has a very unique way of making the facing and collar. The process isn't difficult but requires precise stitching to get a clean, sharp look. We have made a lot of San Diego samples and have found, through trial and error, several tricks for more accurate stitching. To help you make your best San Diego, we have put together a little tutorial on sewing the neckline, complete with tips that we have found make the process easier. Enjoy!

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Introducing: The Chateau Coat!

Introducing: The Chateau Coat!

Simple and elegant. A dash of Audrey Hepburn with a sprinkle of Jackie O. – that is the Chateau Coat. Whether you make it in a bold Missoni knit or classic black Scuba, this is the jacket that people will stop you on the street to ask about. "Where did you get that fabulous coat?" The answer? "Well, I made it of course!"

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Sequin Skirt Inspiration

Sequin Skirt Inspiration

Sequins. It's the perfect festive addition to your wardrobe and we've got the perfect pairing for you!


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Sewing with Velvet

Sewing with Velvet

​Velvet is the ultimate luxury fabric. For many, the deep, rich qualities of velvet bring to mind everything from sumptuous royal gowns to memories of special occasion holiday dresses worn as a child. As this holiday season approaches – and the holiday party invitations start trickling in – I have found myself thinking of creating new velvet pieces for my wardrobe. But I don't want these garments to be worn just for special occasion, I want to be able to bask in the luxury of velvet after the party season ends. 

Erin is wearing our Stella top and Valencia pants. The dark purple velvet of the Stella top has a subtle print that makes the color even richer. The Stella top is a great choice for this fabric because it really shows off the drape of the velvet fabric. While the Stella on its own is a loose fitting garment, it isn't so blousy that you can't tuck it in. A trendy wide belt is the perfect accessory to pull the outfit together, while accentuating your waist line. 

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January Sew Confident! The San Diego Bomber

January Sew Confident! The San Diego Bomber

​It's here! The first Sew Confident! tutorial of 2017, the San Diego Bomber. If you haven't used our Sew Confident! tutorials before, they are our monthly digital tutorials that can be subscribed to by the year, or bought individually as they are released (a first for 2017!). This year our theme is Variations With Verve and each month we will be sharing techniques for customizing patterns for your unique style, To kick off the year, Erin demonstrates how she transformed our San Diego pattern into this on-trend bomber jacket. 

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Introducing the San Diego!

Introducing the San Diego!

We are so excited about our new San Diego pattern. We love the flattering style -  this loose-fitting tunic has a faced overlapping front placket that extends into a deep front pleat, forward shoulders, angled hem and elbow-length sleeves with deep stitched hems. This tunic is perfect for wearing with a slim pant and boots, or it can also be made as a hip-length top which would look incredibly elegant with a wide-leg trouser. This pattern also has a great backstory. It is a modern interpretation of a jacket style that we released in 1999. Because we are approaching our 25th anniversary (!!) we wanted to look back at some of our classic patterns and modernize our favorites as we embark on the next 25 years of The Sewing Workshop! As a nod to our past we are including the original San Diego jacket pattern with our new San Diego top and tunic. I think you'll find that the jacket is as stylish today as it was then. A classic look!

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The Sewing Workshop Celebrates 25 Years

The Sewing Workshop Celebrates 25 Years
In 1991, I purchased The Sewing Workshop sewing school in San Francisco. Little did I know that 25 years later, we would still be going strong.

It took the entire 25th year to realize we had actually been in business that long. So here it is, the end of our anniversary year, and I am in a reflective mood.

When I bought the school, I assumed that entity alone would survive and grow. I soon realized that we needed a product to sell in order to lure people to the west coast to take classes. Thus, the pattern collection was born.

Now the pattern collection is our heart and soul. But sewing education is where we are enjoying most of our growth, this time in the form of online tutorials and classes. The stand-alone sewing school in the Richmond district of San Francisco is gone, but sewing education is our future.

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Eileen Fisher Inspired Ikina Jacket

Eileen Fisher Inspired Ikina Jacket

Have you seen a version of a beautiful oversized red jacket flying around the inter-webs? Well, according to Melissa Greene and friends, it's all over the place and she just had to make a version of it, and, well . . . we love it.

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eTee Conversion to Cap Sleeve

eTee Conversion to Cap Sleeve

Carol Scott attended Sew Kansas this summer and wore a really cute variation of the eTee that resulted from her running out of fabric! We asked her to share her process.

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Linen Gauze Bristol Top

Linen Gauze Bristol Top

​This is the perfect look to transition from summer to fall weather. I'm starting to layer, but still want lightweight options. This has quickly become one of my favorite ensembles!

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Eureka Top Variation

Eureka Top Variation

Here's a take on a pieced variation of the staple pattern, the Eureka Top.

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Liberty Shirt Garment Measurements

Liberty Shirt Garment Measurements

​We get a lot of questions regarding the finished garment measurements for the Liberty Shirt. Here is the chart for easy reference.

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Introducing the Madrid Top & Pants!

Introducing the Madrid Top & Pants!

We are so excited to debut our newest pattern...the Madrid! This relaxed fit, hip-length top has a unique diagonal button front, which curves into a funnel collar. The flattering tapered sleeves and Asymmetric hemlines will look great on many body types and, depending on your fabric choice, the Madrid top can be worn as a shirt or a jacket. The pants are fitted with a contour waistband that sits just below your waist. 

As we have been developing the pattern, we have enjoyed experimenting with a variety of fabrics. It is fun to see how one jacket style can look so different, just because of a new fabric choice. Check out some of our favorite looks below...

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Long Mimosa Vest

Long Mimosa Vest

I love the look of long vests and sleeveless blazers. Our Mimosa Top has a lovely shape and crossover neckline that gives it that perfect structured look. 

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Tremont Vest Variations

Tremont Vest Variations

Our customer Nancy Means has used the Tremont Jacket pattern to make some fantastic vests. She is our guest blogger for this post. Whether you like sleeveless for summer, or layering vests for the cooler months ahead, we think you'll like these ideas.

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Add Walking Ease to Jackets and Coats

Add Walking Ease to Jackets and Coats

In the December 16, 2015 blog post called French Terry Topper, I described the process of lengthening the Chicago Jacket to make a longer version in French terry. The coat looks and feels great, but I noticed after it was made that it wants to fly open at the bottom a bit, even when just hanging on a hanger.

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Japanese Painted Grass Liberty Shirt

Japanese Painted Grass Liberty Shirt

At our latest Sew Kansas workshop, Jan selected this stunning Japanese print cotton to make a Liberty Shirt.

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Short Sleeve Barcelona Top

Short Sleeve Barcelona Top

​Have you seen the Barcelona Top? Our brand new pattern is perfect for summer with one easy modification - shorten the sleeves. See how easy it is to make your Barcelona comfortable for the heat wave! 

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Introducing the Barcelona Top!

Introducing the Barcelona Top!

​We love pattern debuts around here at the Sewing Workshop! We finally get to spread the love about what we've been working on over recent weeks or months. The Barcelona Top has had many forms during it's design process. Through trial and tribulations, we're so happy with the result. A year round garment, depending on your fabric choice, the Barcelona looks great in lightweight knit gauze with short sleeves for spring and summer or try it in a medium-weight, stable knit for fall and winter, like this Houndstooth Print Pique. Here are a few of our favorite fabric choices.

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Evolving Peony with Hand Stitch

Evolving Peony with Hand Stitch

Martha Myers is a wonderful customer and Sew Kansas participant. She writes about many of her projects on her own blog. She made this amazing variation of a Peony Vest so we asked her to share the story as our guest blogger for this post. Enjoy and prepare to be inspired!

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Lantern-Leg Trio Pants

Lantern-Leg Trio Pants

Pants silhouettes are ever-changing, but one constant in the last few seasons is that pants tend to have interesting shapes and details on the lower portion of the legs.

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Plaza Vest

Plaza Vest

Every time I fly to Chicago, I always make time to walk through Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue to see the Eskandar line of clothing.The pieces are simple. The designer basically turns out the same designs every season and simply changes up the fabrications and perhaps a length or two.

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Working with a Border Print

Working with a Border Print

I've known Ellen March, editor of Sew News magazine, for a long time. I wrote articles for her and even fielded questions in the Q&A department for years. When she called me and asked if I would be a guest on her Sew It All TV show, I couldn't resist an opportunity to work with her in another format — on camera!

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Stretch Denim Bristol Top and my Inspiration Emancipation

Stretch Denim Bristol Top and my Inspiration Emancipation

So, I had this brilliant idea for a stretch denim top that ended up looking awful...

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Introducing the Fillmore Duster!

Introducing the Fillmore Duster!

We are excited to launch our new pattern, the Fillmore Duster! 

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Zona Jacket Adaptation

Zona Jacket Adaptation

The inspiration for this jacket came from an OSKA advertisement. It was a yellow felled-wool jacket that had all the "bones" of our Zona Jacket. I love to create garments with boucle nylon and wool fabric using lapped seams and raw edge techniques.

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Party eJacket

Party eJacket

I can attribute my re-entry into sewing in 1986 to my friend and tennis partner, Hildegard McManus.

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Plaid Flannel Florence Shirt

Plaid Flannel Florence Shirt

One of the pleasures of having my daughter home for Christmas is to get to sew for her. This year's request was for a plaid shirt.

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Not Too Floral Ivy

Not Too Floral Ivy

When my sister wanted a tunic to match her new leggings, I chose a combo with a floral print. Since some people really dislike florals, I made sure to check with her first. She agreed it would be acceptable in small doses and not near her face!

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Chicago Jacket French Terry Topper

Chicago Jacket French Terry Topper

French terry is a type of jersey knit fabric that has vertical ribs on one side of the fabric and fine loops on the other side, unlike terrycloth, which has loops on both sides. It has entered the fashion scene once again and is used by designers for all kinds of ready-to-wear including coats and toppers.

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Metallic Terry Vest

Metallic Terry Vest

This Metallic Terry Knit is very unique. Soft and warm with the perfect amount of sparkle. A traditional sweatshirt or jacket just wouldn't do. The new Tremont Jacket pattern has a great fit. So why not try a vest?

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Hand-Stitched Leaf Stencil eTee

eTee ACMusclesWEB, Alabama Chanin, eTee, handstitching

After my wonderful retreats at Alabama Chanin in Florence, Alabama last summer and again this summer, my obsession with AC-style stitching is unrelenting—not driven, but truly relaxing and satisfying.

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Now Spring Dress

NowDress SilkYellowWEB

The tulips and irises are blooming. The toes are painted and sandals are out. It's spring! Wearing dresses is a simple way to get dressed in the morning, year round. But it's essential in the spring and summer to stay cool. In an effort to make every pattern into a tunic or dress, I tackled the Now Shirt.

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Bristol Pattern Debut

We love preparing for the Spring 2015 Tradeshows - starting with the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA. This year we had a big pattern debut the first day of the show - the Bristol Dress & Top. We love showing off our new designs in different fabric combinations so customers can really see how creative you can get with just one pattern!

BristolTop StripeComboWEB2

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Random Ruffle eTee

Random Ruffle eTee

And the stitching goes on! Using the new eTee download pattern and the Alabama Chanin organic cotton knit in Dark Grey, Kathy created this darling t-shirt that she claims is "girly", but we love it anyway for its creativity and charm.

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Classics Promo

 Fall in love with The Classics all over again! We've unlocked our pattern vault and reimagined these popular styles wth modern fabrics for a fresh new look. Don't miss out on sewing these fun patterns! Buy & download yours today. Just $12 each! Check out the Peony Vest, Era Jacket and the Fuji Mt Top.

Bristol Dress & Top

EmailUpdates2015 BristolIntro

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Introducing the eTee!

Blog Emma eTee

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Knotted Scarf Tutorial

KnottedScarf-Finished3WEB-crop

Scarves are definitely an accessory trend that isn't going away. A scarf can update and perk up any outfit! When wearing an ordinary tee and jeans, add a scarf and you instantly look polished.

After moving on from making pieced infintiy scarves, I decided to try a NO-SEW option. Perfect for a lazy night craft. Only one problem, once you start making them, you can't stop.

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Everything You Need to Know about e-Patterns

eDressSkirt-PinkStripeTankShrugWEB

If you're perusing the newstand this weekend, check out the latest Sew News magazine. All your ePattern questions are answered in Linda Lee's newest article All About e-Patterns.

 

 

 

We love the simplicity of our ePatterns! We can't get enough of the eShrug, eVest, eSkirt and eDress.

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How Do You Wear the Eureka?

Eureka-KathyDotStripeWEB
Eureka-KathyVeronaWEB
EurekaSkirt-ZonaJacketWEB
EurekaSkirt-PlaidKathyWEB
Eureka-ErinLaceHudsonWEB
EurekaTop-RedStripeErin1WEB
EurekaSkirt-UrbanStripeWEB

Sometimes the best garments are simple, easy to wear and comfortable. Clothing that will take you to work and to the park on the weekends.

Introducing the Eureka Top & Skirt. A pattern all about simplicity with a few creative details.

Here's a look into Kathy's way of wearing the Eureka.

"Pieced Eureka Top: I saw a short boxy sweatshirt in one of the fashion magazines that was pieced in several different fabrics.  I found several knits on our shelves and gave the piecing a try.   The skirt is a black knit. (Also shown with the Verona Jacket)

    

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