How to Add a Pocket to the Side of Leggings

Adding a pocket onto the side of a pair of leggings is a great way to make them more functional. Stick your house key, a cell phone, and some cash in and you’re good to go whether it’s for a jog or for a night out on the town. The Citrus Leggings are a great pattern for adding in an extra pocket because they have a side panel. You can extend your pocket sides into the side panel seams making them extra sturdy. Rather than making a pattern piece, you can cut a rectangle the height you want your finished pocket to be + 1/2″ for seam allowances and wider than the width of View C side where you will be placing the pockets (since you can trim it down after basting it in place). If you’re making Views A or B, you’ll want to sew your Side Front to …

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Leopard Print Infinity Dress

I had previously relegated Infinity Dresses to the category of “bridesmaid dress” in my mental catalog, but I’ve definitely changed my own mind about that with this dress! The pattern is the Knit Infinity Dress that I just launched with Lisa Kievits on Maternity Sewing. We developed it because we wanted a dress that could be worn pregnant or not pregnant (I am most decidedly NOT pregnant, guys) and in the process of developing the pattern I’ve totally become a convert. Go check out our blog post about the release for all of the details on what makes our pattern unique and worth buying, even though there are other infinity dress patterns and tutorials out there (we put a lot of thought into how to make it as awesome as possible). I’m really digging that I can style this dress anywhere from sexy to vintage elegant depending upon how I …

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How to Sew Hidden Wide Waistband Elastic

Wide Elastic Waisted Citrus Leggings by Tuesday Stitches

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through how to sew wide waistband elastic (or plush waistband elastic) in the inside of a garment waist instead of a casing. We’ve put this tutorial together as a fun hack for the Citrus Leggings, but you can apply it to just about any skirt or pants that uses an elastic waistband. No need to use an elastic the same width as your pattern since we don’t use a casing. Start by cutting a piece of wide waistband elastic to length. Abut the ends and use a wide zig-zag to sew them together. (I used a contrasting thread so you could see what I was doing, but you’ll probably want to use a matching thread as this stitching is visible in the finished garment). This elastic is 2″ wide. You can use anything in the 1-2″ range for this treatment. “Plush back” elastics are …

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Wool Trousers

I originally planned on making this pattern as a pair of jeans but after I made a muslin and went to go cut these pants out of my denim I discovered that I just barely didn’t have enough of the right weight of denim, despite having 3 different suitable denims in my stash. So I decided to make them out of a stashed wool instead. And then when I started cutting the wool I discovered that I had inadvertently traced one stovepipe leg and one extra wide leg for my final modified pattern and that’s why they weren’t fitting on my denim. Oops. But I’m really glad that my silly mistake led to these wool trousers! The pattern is vintage McCalls 5559 from 1977. I was drawn to the unique pockets – an opening between waistband and leg is the top of the interior patch pocket. I was thinking that …

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V8813 Marcy Tilton Silk Dress

Any time someone special in your life gets married, it’s an excuse to sew an outfit, right? Well, this summer my brother got married so I had grand plans for a rehearsal dinner outfit and a wedding outfit for myself. “Plans” are the operative word this time around.The first thing that got in the way of my “grand plans” is that Trevor asked my daughter Evelyn to be his flower girl. So I got to sew her a dress (more on that in a future blog post). My mom has some health complications and this summer she needed her legs to be covered. She didn’t have anything nice in her closet that fit this bill so I offered to make her a dress for the rehearsal dinner and some silk trousers she could wear with a nice tunic she already had for the wedding. I was happy to sew for …

How to Sew a Wide Waistband on Any Leggings

wide waistband onto citrus leggings by Tuesday Stitches

Pull up some tracing paper and a pen because we’re going to do a little bit of pattern drafting! In this tutorial I’ll show you how to turn any leggings pattern into one with a wide waistband. I’ll be using our Citrus Leggings pattern as an example, but this will work for just about any leggings pattern you have. I’ll also explain THREE different ways to sew the waistband – with hidden elastic, with an elastic channel, and without elastic. 1. Sew and trace Front & Back. Start by sewing the Front and Back separately. We’re sewing and then measuring off of the garment instead of doing all our shaping on the pattern because it means a lot less cutting and pasting and worrying about seam allowances if you have multiples seams in your leggings. (You can use the same principles to work directly from your pattern pieces if you’d rather, …

Introducing the Ultraviolet Tee Sleeve Expansion Pack

Ultraviolet Tee Sleeve Expansion Pack by Tuesday Stitches

We’re excited to introduce a sleeve expansion pack for our Ultraviolet Tee pattern! If you’ve already got the Ultraviolet Tee, buy just the sleeve pack. Or buy them together and save! The idea for a sleeve expansion started with a sweatshirt hack I made for myself. (The tutorial for drafting the sleeve yourself is still available here.) I wear this sweatshirt all the time. It inspired me to think of different kinds of sleeves that could be added to the Ultraviolet Tee that complemented the simplicity and oversized shape of the tee. If you’re wanting to keep the same lightweight vibe as the original tee but just want a bit more interest, you can add on a short sleeve (which brings it to about elbow length), a cuffed sleeve, or a cuffed sleeve with a tab. You can add some sun coverage with lightweight fabrics by making a straight, tapered, …

Sewing the Side Seams of the Citrus Leggings

Sewing the side seams of View A and View B can seem a bit tricky because of the weird pattern piece shapes, but no need to fear! It’s not actually hard to sew them. Here are some photos and extra information to help you through the process. View A: When you sew the Side Front and Side Back together, the pieces will be curved around (even if you sew them to the Front/Back as pictured above (this is a different construction order than suggested in the instructions because I was doing a pattern hack that I’ll show off next week. If you’re following the instructions you’ll just have Side Front & Side Back at this point. It doesn’t make it any different)). If you were to finish the leggings and wear them without adding any elastic to the side they would actually wear just fine. We add in the elastic to …

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How to Sew the Electron Layette in Wovens

While the cardigan and pants in the Electron Layette pattern are intended for knits, it’s pretty simple to sew them with wovens instead which opens up a whole other world of fabric options, like these beautiful fabrics from Shannon Fabrics. I’ll detail how to sew Electron Layette pants and cardigan with wovens so you can do the same! To sew the Electron Layette pants in a woven fabric you’ll want to add a bit of extra width to the waist and the ankle but keep the length the same – the woven won’t stretch like the knit so you need the extra width to make it easy to pull on and off. I recommend tracing your pattern up a size but keeping the original length. While you’re tracing, you’ll want to remove a little bit of the taper at the ankle. The red lines in the diagram show what it …

Fabric Selection for the Citrus Leggings

Erin in Citrus Leggings by Tuesday Stitches - View A

The Citrus Leggings are designed for a stretch knit with 40% horizontal stretch and some vertical stretch. That means that a piece of fabric that is 5″ wide will easily stretch from side to side until it is 7″ wide and when you pull it from top to bottom it will have a little stretch as well. Vertical stretch isn’t strictly necessary, but it does make it more comfortable to have the leggings snug through the crotch since it gives them a bit of movement. Here are a few suggestions of different fabrics that fit this category and what to consider when sewing with them. Stretch velvets are an on-trend fabric right now that work really well. You do need to pay attention to nap when cutting, though the cutting diagrams are laid out assuming your fabric has directionality so you can just follow the cutting diagram. You’ll find that …

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Revitalizing a Leather Purse

Revitalized leather purse from Tuesday Stitches

I bought this worn leather purse at the thrift store thinking I would cannibalize it for the pretty hardware. And when I got it cleaned I noticed that the inside had crafty pocket construction so I set it aside thinking I’d wait to cut it apart until I could take some time exploring how the pockets were constructed. And after it had sat in my WIP pile long enough I decided that it was worth seeing if I could perk the leather back up and give it a second life as is. I think she’s looking good and ready to live her second life! I’m certainly no expert, but I did do a fair bit of reading to figure out the best approach to bring old leather back to life and the following was my approach. Clean the bag. I had already given the purse a thorough cleaning with soap …

Size Selection and Fit for the Citrus Leggings

For the Citrus Leggings, we recommend that you select your size based on your hip measurement and make any necessary changes from there. Every person’s body is unique and every person has different fit preferences and these are all affected by the particular fabric you use. Additionally, these leggings are quite forgiving in fit because they are sewn from 40% stretch fabric with a reasonable amount of negative ease so you may comfortably fit into a range of sizes or you may not feel you need adjustments despite having measurements that differ from our size chart. That being said, we have some general recommendations for getting the best fit out of your Citrus Leggings. You’re always welcome to get in touch with specific questions about your own personal fit! NOTE: Rather than just tracing between sizes, you’ll need to use a bit of common sense when grading these pattern pieces …

Couch Pillows and Needlepoint Intestines

There’s only so  much time and energy in a day, and doing things around the house feels like it takes FOREVER because there always seems to be a domino effect. We can’t decorate the TV room until we get a credenza for the TV but we can’t get a credenza for the TV until we have the floors redone but we can’t get the floors redone until there’s pavers down in front of the basement doors so they can get supplies in and the pavers can’t go in until… Oh my. Well, enough dominos have fallen at this point that we have new “luxury vinyl” floors (instead of really nasty carpet) in the basement and I’m saying to heck with everything else because I don’t want to begrudge how unfinished the room is every time we snuggle up for a movie in here (and, honestly, every day since I have …

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Passover/Easter/Birthday Dresses

Vintage floral mother daughter dresses on Tuesday Stitches

I suppose now that Fall has well and truly set in that it’s about time I get a blog post up about my favorite Spring and Summer outfits! I made my dress in time for Passover/Easter this year and finished Evelyn’s matching dress in time for us both to wear them for her birthday the next month. Words cannot describe how much I love our outfits! This dress is seriously everything I love in a dress – pattern clashing, bright colors, bold florals, empire waist, sundress and apparently even ruffles (a trend I was very late to jump onto but I seem to have embraced wholeheartedly). For Evelyn’s dress I used Simplicity 6184 from 1983 (though it could easily be from any number of decades). Since I cut and sewed my dress fist, Evie’s dress fabric choices were constrained by what I could fit on the scraps I had left …

Citrus Leggings Pattern Testers

Wendy in Citrus Leggings by Tuesday Stitches

The Citrus Leggings were a looooong time in the making (more on that in their introductory post) so I had a LOT of pattern testers. This is just a sampling of the many awesome folks who helped me along the way. I’m appreciative of the help I received from every single tester and I hope you’ll enjoy seeing a sampling of the fun leggings and reading some thoughts about the pattern. If you look closely you’ll see a mix of View A (gathers along the side), View B (gathers along the front/back), and View C (plain side). A number of testers got creative with color blocking. Make sure you look for the leggings made with a striped fabric to see the very cool effect you get on the side of the leg! (Click here to read more about pattern testing for Tuesday stitches and sign up to be notified of …

Introducing the Citrus Leggings!

Barbara in Citrus Leggings View B by Tuesday Stitches

I am so gosh darn golly gee excited to finally be able to introduce you to the Citrus Leggings! The Citrus Leggings are a high-waisted, fitted leggings pattern meant for everyday wear under tunics or dresses (but we won’t tell if you wear them as pants). They can also be sewn out of exercise material for a workout pant with personality. Citrus Leggings are available with a plain side panel (View C) or a side panel with unique gathers that can be placed along either the side seam with a smooth Front/Back (View A) or along the Front/Back with a smooth side seam (View B). The pattern includes 3 separate inseams (26” (66 cm), 29” ( 74 cm) or 32” (81 cm)) for an ankle length pant on short, average, or tall women and comes in our standard size range of 0-26 (hip 35″-55″). They can be sewn in any …

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Carpet Bag Knitting Bag

Carpet bag style purse handmade from vintage needlepoint chair seats

You know those projects where you have a great idea and the bits and pieces for sitting around for, oh, say, several years before you get around to sewing them? And then you’re like “that took me one evening why the heck did I wait so long?” Yeah, this is exactly that kind of project. Many years ago my great grandmother Roseada gave me a carpetbag that was hers that I adored and used to carry my knitting. I can’t actually remember when I lost it but I do remember being sad that it got lost. Since then I’ve carried my knitting around in various little zippered pouches which is great for lace and socks, but bigger knits really deserve something prettier than the ziploc bags they end up in when they outgrow my zippered pouches! My mom found these pretty vintage needlepoint chair seats in an antique store and bought …

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Aladdin Sane Shirt

Aladdin Sane vintage WilliWear shirt by Tuesday Stitches

Generally, my style philosophy is “go big or go home.” I designed this fabric with that philosophy in mind but it has sat on my shelf for a few years as I never quite seem to figure out how to pair it with a pattern that does it justice. I had thought of a fitted shirtdress when I designed it but it turned out a little too large scale. And then, while digging through my men’s pattern collection while looking for something else entirely, I found McCall’s 9628 by Willi Smith for WilliWear from 1985. And a lightbulb went off. I find androgyny really sexy on other people, but it’s not a style that I’m very comfortable in myself, despite (or perhaps because of) having a body type that suits androgyny. I tried to style this shirt femme. I tried it with a little skirt. I tried it with a big …

Sewing the Bralette in the Tropo Camisole

The optional built-in bralette in the Tropo Camisole does make it a bit harder to sew the camisole, but I think it’s totally worth it. Personally, I wear my Tropos all the time and only wear them with bralettes because I don’t need a lot of bust support and I love the fact that I don’t have to worry about bra straps showing under the camisole. If you’d like to sew a bralette into your Tropo Camisole but want a little extra hand-holding, read on! You can sew the bralette out of a variety of fabrics. (See the Tropo Camisole Fabric post and the Tropo Camisole Bralette Fabric post for more info). This example is using a sport lycra. Depending on your bust size and shape, desired level of support, and the fabric you are using, you may wish to change the shape of the bralette. I shaved off about …

How to Sew the Straps on the Tropo Camisole

Sometimes it’s nice to have some extra hand-holding through a tricky sewing step, isn’t it? This blog post will walk you through how to to sew all of the versions of the straps on the Tropo Camisole with an emphasis on the V-strap version since it can be a little intimidating. My favorite version is the V-strap on both front and back since it’s super fun and a little bit sexy and, hopefully, if you were worried about it being too hard, this post will convince you that you can do it!. (And if it’s not you’re thing, that’s cool too. Read along for the other strap configurations too!). If you’re using a bralette, make sure that it’s done and basted to the camisole all along the top – neckline and underarm both. Finish the neckline of both the front and back of the Tropo Camisole with fold-over elastic. (Read all about …

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Tropo Camisole Bralette Fabric and Elastic Selection

For the bralette of the Tropo Camisole, you can use any fabric that you use for body, but you also have other options. In this post we’ll talk about the pros and cons of the various fabric options. Before delving into bralette fabric, read the post on selecting fabric for the Tropo Camisole. The choices you make for your bralette fabric will greatly depend on how much support and coverage you want. Fabric Options: The easiest choice for your bralette is to use the same fabric as the body of your camisole. Similar to when you’re choosing the main fabric, you’ll want to consider weight, stretch, and recovery. I’ve made the bralette for many of my Tropo Camisoles with interlock knit and I think it’s a great choice for me because it’s thick enough to offer some nipple coverage and it has recovery (I’ve found most all interlock knits to …

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Vintage Simplicity 9722 Toddler Jumper

When you ask my toddler to smile, this is what you get. I have no idea why she thinks this is smiling, but we’re just gonna run with it because, while it may not be smiling, it’s certainly cute. I also have no idea why she thinks a dryer ball makes a good photoshoot prop, but she insisted on it being included. So this is my toddler “smiling” while holding a dryer ball. #parentlife When I bought the notions for my railroad stripe overalls I bought the overall buckles in a couple different sizes. I went with the larger for my overalls and decided to use the smaller to make Evelyn this vintage Simplicity 9722 overall dress from 1980. It’s a pretty timeless pattern, other than the fact that I used glaringly 70’s ditsy floral twill that I found at the thrift store. #noregrets. (Okay, one regret – that it …

Size Selection and Grading for the Laminaria Swimsuit

Grading the Laminaria Swimsuit by Tuesday Stitches

Just like ready-to-wear clothes don’t fit most bodies straight off the shelf (that’s one of the reasons you sew, right!?), sewing patterns often won’t fit you perfectly without some adjustments as well. Here I’ll show you how to grade and make fit adjustments specifically for the Laminaria Swimsuit. Pop over and read “Choosing a Size for a Swimsuit Pattern” before delving further here. If you need to shorten or lengthen your Laminaria, read that tutorial here. All of these adjustments are shown for the plain view. You can use the same principles to adjust the view with the inset, carrying your adjustments across both the main and the contrast fabrics. Sewing a “muslin”: It may be kind of funny to call it a muslin since you most definitely can’t sew this pattern out of actual muslin, but it’s always a good principle to sew a draft of something before cutting …

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Baseball Outfit

I’m not sure why Evelyn likes my Baseball Staple Dress so much. Maybe because she knows her Nana and Baba like baseball a lot? Regardless of the reason, when I was sorting through my scrap bin to sew her some summer clothes, I knew that the last beloved bits of this silly fabric needed to be sewn up for her. I used vintage Simplicity 9238 from 1971 for the dress and bloomers. There wasn’t quite enough fabric to fit the flare of the dress pattern piece so I inset a contrast strip at the side. The bloomers are oddly long but they ride up her legs into one giant puff which may not look cute on an adult but frankly anything is cute on a 2-year-old so I’m not going to try and fix it. I did make one gaff when sewing the dress – somehow I lost the collar …

Fabric Choices for the Tropo Camisole

tropo camisole with sexy v straps by Tuesday Stitches

Like any sewing pattern, the Tropo Camisole can be made from a variety of fabrics. We recommend knits with 40% stretch, though you can use a slightly less/more stretchy fabric (though you may want to go up/down a size, more on that below). Jersey is the most obvious choice though you can also use interlock, thermal, ribbing, sport lycra, and others. Below, we share examples of Tropo Camisoles made in different fabrics so we can highlight the good and bad in the subtly different fabrics (and so you can see what they might look like). The things you’ll want to pay attention to: weight, drape, stretch, and recovery. Weight & Drape: This grey Tropo is made from the most lightweight of the fabrics we’ve used. It’s a jersey with some rayon content and 40% stretch. I love this one as a base layer for layering (it was my go-to all …

Introducing Maternity Patterns and MaternitySewing.com!

MaternitySewing.com

If you’ve ever noticed things being a little quiet here behind the scenes in the last year, chances are it was because I was working on Maternity Sewing. I’m pretty darn stoked to say that our launch date is finally here and I don’t have to be quiet any more. Hooray! MaternitySewing.com is your source for maternity, nursing, and postpartum friendly sewing patterns. More than just being a curated sewing pattern shop, we want to be a community resource so we have plans for blog content and a podcast featuring maternity/nursing/postpartum sewing tutorials and inspiration and body positivity through all of the changes your body undergoes. We want to be a part of a community of women who have “been there” or are “there” right now to provide you both sewing and emotional support through what’s likely to be the biggest changes your body and your life will undergo. Even …

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How to Hide the Join of Wide Elastic Straps on a Swimsuit

How to Hide the Join of Wide Elastic Straps on a Swimsuit

One of the easiest ways to make a swimsuit more supportive for larger busts is to sew wider straps. It’s also a cute way to make your suit sportier, regardless of your need for support. Check out our tutorial here for a couple different ways to sew wider straps. In this example I used a wide plush-back waistband elastic for my straps which is lots of fun, but the join between elastic and swimsuit isn’t as pretty as with a narrower strap so I wanted a creative way to cover the join. The Laminaria Swimsuit normally uses a small facing to neatly join the narrow strap to the top of the front, but that same technique doesn’t work well with the wide elastic. It looks okay, but I wanted to figure out a simple way to make the join look even better than okay. Cut a little rectangle of fabric …

Ribbon Wrap Shawl

ribbon wrap shawl knit by Tuesday Stitches

It’s friggin gorgeous here right now. There’s something simply amazing about Pacific Northwest summers. Sunshine and warmth (that’s not stupidly hot) and lush greenery everywhere thanks to the rain we get the rest of the year. And I’m not wishing it away. I swear. But if there were to be an unexpected middle-of-summer cold spell, I would wrap myself up in my new Ribbon Wrap shawl. Because it’s so fabulously me and I just finished knitting it and I don’t want to wait months to wear it! I like knitting that is complicated and takes a while so generally you’ll find me knitting myself lace or cabled or colorwork sweaters. But there are certainly exceptions to every rule and this shawl is one of them. I tried to knit a sweater. I had some gorgeous hand spun off-white wool that I bought in Australia picked out for it. And then …

Alternative Construction Order for the Tropo Camisole

The Tropo Camisole instructions are written so that you can sew them on a basic sewing machine without any extra fancy attachments. But what if you want to use a coverstitch machine and/or a binding attacher? No problem! You just have to change the order of construction a bit and we’ll talk you through how to do that. Why didn’t we include this method in the instructions? It has a number of drawbacks that you should note: this construction order is not compatible with the built-in bralette. This method also uses more fold-over elastic (FOE) than the normal method. You also can’t baste on your straps to make sure they’re the right length before sewing them on so you’ll have to rely on the suggested lengths in the pattern or sew a test camisole (using the same FOE as FOE stretchiness can vary) first. We’re not going to talk through …

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Mila Overalls in Railroad Stripe

Some people, when they have kids, dress their children to look like them. I’ve always kind of dressed myself like an overgrown toddler so instead, now that I have a kid, I get to dress myself to look like her. She’s had this adorable little pair of OshKosh B’Gosh railroad stripe overalls for quite a while. And now I have a pair of overalls to match! When my friend Kate at The Confident Stitch offered to send me some denim, all sorts of ideas ran through my head, but I just kept coming back to this beautiful Robert Kaufman reversible stretch denim. I kept thinking that to do it justice I needed to find a way to show off the fact that it is reversible, but you can see that I ended up going grown-up toddler instead. I used Tilly and the Buttons Mila dungaree pattern. I wanted the fitted …