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Full-On Monet Vintage Vogue 8551 Caftan

This caftan is a full-on Monet. (For those of you that don’t immediately know the Clueless reference, it’s something that’s beautiful from far away but up close, well…). Rather than pick apart what’s wrong with it (and why it went wrong and what I’d do different next time around) as is my tendency, I’m going to just take a step (or two) back. We went to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago and a side effect of trying to get a toddler to make a 3 hour time zone change is some pretty dang early mornings. But taking a step back from early-morning crankiness, it sure made for a pretty photoshoot! I felt to exotic and luxurious in my beautiful caftan watching a beautiful sunrise. I used vintage Vogue 8551 from 1973. I found it at the thrift store on the same day as the pink fabric and it seemed …

All About Fold-Over-Elastic (FOE) and How to Sew It

In developing our Tropo Camisole pattern it feels like we’ve sewn enough fold-over elastic (FOE) to reach to the moon and back! We’ve assembled here everything we’ve learned about FOE along the way to help you get started with sewing your own FOE! What is FOE? FOE stands for Fold-Over-Elastic. It is a lightweight elastic that has a crease down the middle of it. It often has one shiny side (usually considered the right side) and one matte side (usually considered the wrong side) and can be found in a variety of colors and a variety of patterns. The crease allows you to fold the elastic perfectly in half. FOE can be found in a variety of qualities and you may find some are soft while some are scratchy (particularly metallic colors). Some FOEs have better recovery than others (recovery is how well it springs back after you stretch it). …

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Tropo Camisole Hack: Knit Ribbing for Straps

We have a ton of really helpful sewalong blog posts planned for the Tropo Camisole. But I’m jumping right in with a pattern hack. Why? Because I’m wearing this finished camisole today so it felt fitting! If you live somewhere where it’s hard to get fold-over elastic (FOE) or if you have very sensitive skin that doesn’t tolerate FOE or if you’re just wanting to further increase what you can do with your Tropo Camisole pattern, this is a great hack for you. To start you’ll need ribbing or even just a length of any lightweight, stretchy knit. I happened to have 1 3/4″  wide strips of baby rib already, but you can cut  strips yourself. It’s up to you how wide you want the strips to be – I suggest reading through all of the tutorial first as it talks you through a few different considerations you’ll need to …

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Tropo Camisole Pattern Testers

The most satisfying and inspiring part of any pattern release is seeing it made up by other people! It is so fun to see a collection of different size and shape bodies using different fabric and making different design decisions, all from the same pattern. I was fortunate to have an amazing, inspiring, creative group that tested the Tropo Camisole. Here are the gorgeous creations of those testers that were happy to have their pictures shared. Ani says “I really love the strappy details! It’s something I’ve been seeing around and they don’t really make things in my size with those details. I didn’t realize what a simple addition they were and now I can add them to anything! (Also, the size-inclusive cup sizes!!!)” Find her on Instagram. *Ani is one of our cover models!* Berangere says “I sure will recommend this pattern to others. It is extremely easy to make …

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Introducing the Tropo Camisole!

The Tropo Camisole is named for the troposphere – the bottom layer of the earth’s atmosphere – since the camisole is great on its own but also perfectly suited for layering. This fitted camisole has an optional interior shelf bralette that can be sewn out of fashion fabric, power mesh, or fashion fabric and power mesh together for lightweight bust support. The Tropo Camisole also has pattern pieces and instructions so that all views can be sewn as a nursing camisole. The Tropo Camisole comes in 3 cup size options: A/B, C/D and E/F. C/D and E/F cups are darted to accomodate a larger bust while mainting a sleek shape. View A is straight across the front, View B has a gentle scoop, View C has a sweetheart shape, and View D spices up the sweetheart with a sexy V strap. All views are useable for Front or Back for …

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Welcome to Tuesday Stitches!

Whoever you are, you’re welcome here! Why the rebranding? My nickname has been SeamstressErin since college and I used it for blogging for years before starting to publish patterns. When I started publishing patterns I used the name SeamstressErin Designs because it was the easiest thing to do. I’ve reached the point in running my business where I decided to step back and ask “Why am I doing this?” The answer is that I do think I can change the world, one sewing pattern at at time. I can inspire and encourage inclusivity, representation, self-love, and self-expression through sewing. In order to do that I’m changing my business name away from something that’s about “me” to something that’s about everyone. Why Tuesday Stitches? Tuesday is the most everyday of days since it’s not particularly known for anything. Tuesday Stitches are for Every Day Dress Up. It’s up to you what …

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Toddler Electron Layette

The question that I get the most about my Electron Layette pattern is “can a toddler climb around in it?” People are worried that a toddler’s movement might be restricted by the drop crotch of the pant and Evelyn is here to show you conclusively that she’s able to be as much of a climbing-jumping-running-flopping maniac in these pants as any others! Of course I didn’t manage to get any great action shots since she’s always moving too fast! (Though I did just buy a new lens for my camera so indoor action shots should be easier from here on out). So hopefully you’ll believe me :) This set is sewn in size 2 yrs though Evelyn is somewhere between 18 months and 2 yrs in sizing so she has a bit of room to grow. She’s no longer interested in wearing the hat that is a part of the …

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Plaid Flannel Pajama Set – Vintage Butterick 5744 and Simplicity 6664

Every year on Christmas Eve I would get to open one present before going to bed. Somehow it took me something like 15 years to figure out that that one present was always new pajamas. I want to keep the tradition going for my own daughter (and time will tell if she’s quicker on the uptake than I am). Last year (her first Christmas) I bought pajamas for the family but this year I felt like I had the time and bandwidth to make them. I don’t want to give myself pressure to make them every year, but, instead, celebrate the years I do get to make them. My friend Marissa recently brought me a stack of fabric that she had inherited – she picked out everything loud and/or pink to give to me (she knows me well). I’ve been wanting some pajamas for myself that are cozy but still …

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All About Bias Tape (and How to Make Your Own)

It’s true that it’s generally easier to just buy a package of pre-made bias tape, but we don’t sew our own clothes because it’s easy, do we? I like to make my own bias tape most of the time because I can get a perfect color match and I can match the weight, hand, and fiber content of the main fabric. Pre-packaged bias tape is generally a cotton-poly blend and is pretty stiff. That might be just fine if you’re putting a Hong Kong finish on the seams of a denim jacket, but if you have a cotton voile or a silk crepe de chine blouse, it’s going to add a stiffness that you won’t want. What is bias tape? Bias tape is simply a strip of fabric that is cut on a 45 degree angle (for a “true bias” because it has the most mechanical stretch). If you’re used …

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Black Velvet Babydoll Top

There comes a time in every person’s life when the fashions of their youth are on trend again. Folks, that time for me is now. The thing about revisiting fashions from the past is that I’m now old enough and self-confident enough that I can put my own spin them. I can take the elements I remember fondly, mix them up with other things that speak to me now, and rock a version that is totally uniquely me. Growing up in Seattle, the 90’s were all about grunge. This black velvet babydoll (self-drafted off my tee shirt block) and black leather boots are a little bit 90’s Courtney Love (and so is my hair right now) as I was always drawn to the femme side of grunge (other than 7th grade in which I wore a lot of dumpy jeans, t-shirts, and oversized button front shirts). Styled with cheery geometric-print …

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Purple Ruby Joggers

Even though it’s highly tempting, since I work from my office in the basement of our house, I don’t actually spend every day in sweatpants. However, I do pretty much always end up in sweatpants at some point every day, whether it’s first thing in the morning when I pull something cozy on while I get Buglet up and get my morning tea or at the end of the day when I curl up on the couch to watch some TV with my partner. That being said, it’s kinda nice to have more than one pair of sweatpants. I sewed up a pair of Paprika Patterns Ruby Joggers. If you don’t already have a favorite jogger pattern (or if you’re willing to cheat on your favorite), the Ruby Joggers are worth checking out. I know they’re a bit late to the jogger game (like me), but they’re unique from other …

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Picture Books to Give Kids of Knitters

Since I’ve been on a quest to find all the sewing picture books in existence, I figured I should find all the knitting picture books too! Maybe you have a munchkin of your own and want ideas for books to get from the library or maybe you’re looking for gift ideas for the kiddos of your friends and family. These are all books about knitting that I’ve found and would recommend! (Want even more ideas for kids of textile lovers? Check out my list of sewing picture books!) Noodle’s Knitting is a cute tale of a mouse who gets so into her knitting that she end ups knitting a scarf long enough to make a winter nest for her and her friends frog, hedgehog, and squirrel. Best part: The pages are flocked so all the yarn is a little fuzzy! Annie Hoot and the Knitting Extravaganza follows a lovable owl …

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Stag Head Pullover

I have accomplished what I didn’t think could be accomplished! I picked out a seasonally appropriate pattern, started knitting it, and finished it all in that same season!! And how ridiculous is it that I now kinda wish that we hadn’t upgrade our furnace to a heat pump this winter because our house is actually a comfortable temperature and I don’t need to bundle up in sweaters every day so I can’t just wear this sweater all day every day all winter long. Not that I’m complaining that our house isn’t freezing in the winter any more or anything, I just want more excuses to wear this gorgeous sweater. The pattern is Stag Head Pullover by Norah Gaughan. The pattern was written well, the charts easy to follow. And of course it’s a totally awesome design, unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere. Norah Gaughan is a master of cables! And I …

Pink Retro Undies Set

I love the fact that this bra, while 70’s inspired on its own, looks like it could be decades older when paired with the high waist panties. The panties themselves are a Sew Lovely pattern from 1969. I’ve had an itch to try the (what we think of now as “granny panty”) pattern since finding it at the thrift store (last year?). And I’m glad I finally tried it, though I must admit they probably won’t get much wear (though they’re comfy as all get-out, so maybe I’ll just wear them when husband is out of town). Speaking of, my dear partner is the most wonderfully supportive person and always praises my creations and how I look in them (and out of them too ;) That being said, he took one look at these and said “hmmmm, I’m having a hard time imagining what you’d have to do to those …

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Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

As we ring in the New Year (spent uproariously in our home with a bottle of apple cider, When Harry Met Sally, and asleep by 11pm ;) I like to look back on the year through the eyes of my blog. 2017 has been a mixed bag for the world, our family, and my business and frankly, I’m glad for it to be done and excited about what 2018 will hold. That being said, there have certainly been some great things that I’ve been able to share here. SeamstressErin Designs launched 3 patterns year: Electron Baby Layette was how I eased myself out of maternity leave and back into work. I started with a baby pattern because my body still felt so foreign after pregnancy that I didn’t want to sew for it. Fortunately, over the course of 2017 I’ve found a new level of comfort in my new body. …

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Floral Scuba Trapeze Dress

It’s probably a good thing that I don’t go into a daily office job right now because then there would be people (other than my husband) to notice that I’m wearing this dress a lot this winter. Like, a lot a lot. It’s comfortable as all get-out, it’s warm, it’s my exact winter palette, it works great with leggings (I’m working on a leggings pattern and I’ve gotta make sure the samples are comfortable to wear!), and did I mention how comfortable it is? I drafted the pattern myself off of my t-shirt block (all it takes is a few vertical slits from hem to bust that are spread evenly) but the Closet Case Patterns Ebony is obviously pretty similar if you don’t want to do any drafting yourself. I wanted to have a swoopy hem with some interesting shape to it, but the underside of the scuba is white …

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Evelyn’s Winter Playsuit (Ottobre 7. Marsupial Autumn 4/2017)

Last year (Evie’s first winter) we had this great quilted suit for her that we bundled her up in every time we went outside (which was at least a couple times a day for our regular walks). I wanted to repeat the idea this winter but it needed to have more mobility since she’s no longer a cute little blob that sits patiently in our arms or stroller or carrying pack (that is admittedly a bit of a revisionist history as she’s never been patient), she’s a full blown toddler, still very cute but o.m.g. all over the place. When it started to turn to fall I started sewing a small stack of fall/winter clothes for Evie. I picked out “7. Marsupial” from Ottobre Autumn 4/2017 and went up a size since it was meant to be a sweatsuit and I knew she’d need some more ease to fit over …

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Picture Books to Give to Kids of Sewing Lovers

It’s no secret that I’m sewing obsessed and probably no surprise that I’d love for my daughter to grow up the same. I also love to read and am so excited that my biscuit loves our reading time too (in her own little reading corner in her own little room). I’ve started collecting picture books for her that have to do with sewing to combine the two loves. One awesome thing about picture books is that they entertain kids for many, many years – from being read to to reading themselves. Maybe you have a munchkin of your own and want ideas for books to get from the library or maybe you’re looking for gift ideas for the kiddos of your friends and family. These are all books about sewing that I’ve found and would recommend! (Want even more ideas for kids of textile lovers? Check out my list of …

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Fall/Winter Sewing Plans

It’s hard for me to plan out too much of what I’m going to sew as I’m often distracted by shiny objects. And there’s always way more ideas (and fabric and patterns) than time. But I thought that perhaps this year I would assemble a short list of things I would like to sew and wear this fall/winter so that I can retain a bit of focus and flesh out some gaps, knowing that I’ll interject shiny objects in between. High on the list is another pair of jeans. I’m finding I much prefer to wear mid to high waist pants in my post-baby body rather than the low-rise I preferred before which leaves me a grand total of 1 pair of jeans in my closet that I like. I have quite a collection of 70’s jeans patterns which all have the rise I’m looking for but these seemed like …

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Katie’s Vintage Inspired Wedding Dress

This summer I had the pleasure of making Katie’s wedding dress. I don’t do a lot of custom sewing these days and I generally avoid wedding dresses because drama, stress, and drama. But I made an exception for Katie and I’m so very glad I did. My step-mom is friends with Katie’s mom. My step-mom told me that the daughter of a friend was a lovely, laid-back woman who was planning a small garden wedding and wanted to use part of her grandmother’s wedding dress to elevate a ready-to-wear dress she had already purchased. She wanted a dress that had a bit of vintage flair that would flatter her tall frame. How could I say no? We were working on a pretty short timescale (less than 2 months!) so I didn’t have time to construct a whole dress. Fortunately, Katie had found a ready-to-wear dress that fit her. It was …

Thankfulness Sale! 20% Off Patterns Through Monday

I have some mixed feelings about this weekend. The stories we tell over Thanksgiving are often a glorified re-imagining of our country’s history. The frenzied shopping that happens can overshadow what Thanksgiving can and should be about – giving thanks. What I don’t have any mixed feelings about is how thankful I am. I’m thankful for friends, family, health, happiness, comfort, creativity. I’m thankful for sewing. I’m thankful for you, my sewing friends and community. And at its core, Thanksgiving is about being thankful. And I really truly am. To express my appreciation for you, SeamstressErin Designs has all patterns on sale this long weekend (today through Monday) 20% off. Use the code “Thanksgiving”.

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Handmade Gift Ideas for Sewists

For those of us that are sewing obsessed, it’s pretty easy for family, friends, and significant others to know that something sewing themed is the way to go for a holiday gift. But sometimes a little more guidance than that is necessary – you don’t want to end up being gifted a shade of fabric you’ll never wear or a pattern that’s just not your style, even if it comes with the best intentions. I’ve put together a selection of sewing themed gift ideas that you’ll love no matter what your style is! All the images will take you to handmade versions on Etsy (affiliate links) so you can support makers just like yourself! Tailor’s ham: Tailor’s hams are an essential tool for every garment sewist. I seem to collect them (how can I pass up pretty vintage hams at the thrift store!?!) and am always happy to add another …

Wasabi Rose Socks

Sock yarn is something I often buy as a souvenir. And then it typically sits in my yarn stash for a very long time before I decide to use it. That wasn’t actually true for this yarn. I bought it this summer at the Sheep Dog Trials on our island (a national competition and a lot of fun to watch!) and started to knit it pretty quickly thereafter. I like to have a very portable project on my needles (I do generally prefer to knit sweaters so I always have several projects going at once). I’m finally finding the time to knit such portable projects as my toddler has reached a stage in development where I can plop in one place and let her run in circles around me while I knit, at least for short stretches of time :) I chose the pattern because I had it in my …

Pink & Black Sporty Watson Bra

You know what I find really interesting? My current desire to wear unstructured bras. Before pregnancy I mostly wore foam-cup bras that helped to give the illusion of curves to my torso, to balance and soften my otherwise angular and hippy body. While pregnant and shortly after I only wore soft cup bralettes since my boobs were huge (to me) and my body was so covered in curve that no extra curve was necessary. But now that I’m back down in cup and body size I’m no longer as interested in the foam cups I once felt necessary. I’m more drawn to soft cup bras. I don’t really know how to unpack this new desire. Is it because my post-baby body is softer even at the same weight as before so I don’t need to add more softness? Is it because I’m more comfortable in my own body than ever …

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Folkwear Afghan Nomad Dress

This dress needed to be sewn. I don’t know why. I have so much plenty of other fabric calling my name. I have a giant list of sewing projects that range from very necessary (it would be really nice to have more than 2 long sleeve shirts now that cold weather is here) to completely impractical (though I actually take offense at myself for saying this because I do wear every weird thing I sew so therefore it’s not really impractical is it? I digress). This was not on my list. Until I woke up one morning and needed to make it. I don’t actually know why but it had to happen. So this dress is what I sewed over the last couple of weeks. The pattern is Afghani Nomad Dress (now called Afghan Nomad Dress to be in keeping with modern terminology) from Folkwear patterns and oddly enough I’ve …

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Ultraviolet Sweatshirt Hack

Fall is most definitely here. I adore fall. I love putting on rain boots and stomping through puddles. I love apple cakes and spiced cider. I love cuddly sweatshirts. Though I do have one cuddly-but-also-fashionable sweatshirt, there is certainly room in my closet for more. This Ultraviolet Tee hacked into a sweatshirt is a welcome addition! It’s pretty easy to draft your own sleeves to add on to the Ultraviolet Tee to make your own long-sleeve shirt or sweatshirt. Since the tee pattern has a short cut-on sleeve already, it’s really simple to just add length to the bottom. Since the shirt is a boxy style, boxy (i.e. easy!) sleeves are a well suited addition. This is what my sleeve looks like. You can make the wrist narrower or wider, depending on your style preference. It’s likely you’ll want them to be shorter (as I have very long arms). Remember …

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How to Sew French Seams

Haven’t sewn French seams before? You might be wondering: What is a French seam? A French seam is a seam finish that makes a narrow seam that fully encloses the seam allowance in the seam. Why use a French seam? It’s a great seam to use on woven fabrics that are sheer, delicate, or prone to fraying. It’s subtle, unlike a serged seam. Can you sew a French seam on a curve? Yes! Though you will find that the narrower your finished seam is the less it will pull on the curve and that the softer your curve is the easier it is to sew the French seam. How wide is a French seam allowance? A French seam is sewn in two steps and involves trimming of the seam allowance so you can start with whatever seam allowance you want and finish with a French seam of whatever size you …

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Denim Shorts with Patch Pockets

I’ve never really been a shorts kinda gal. I’d rather rock a miniskirt. But as I get used to sewing for my post-baby crotch, shorts seemed like a good place to start. No, this isn’t the start of an overshare, but rather a discussion of the bane of many sewists existence – the dreaded crotch curve. Pre-baby I had quite a flat stomach and a full (though low) derrière but eventually worked out a pretty good fitted pants block that accounted for my body’s unique shape. And then I had a baby. And now I have no butt and a definite curve to my belly. So it’s back to the drawing board on crotch fitting. I figured shorts would waste less fabric if it was a flop. And of course it’s been summer so shorts seem fitting (haha, that’s a pun). I didn’t make these shorts skin tight as I …

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Susan Khalje Couture Sewing School Review

Last month I attended Susan Khalje’s Couture Sewing School. I first heard about Susan’s classes when Melanie (a.k.a. Poppykettle) took her classes and blogged about them back in 2013. I’ve been fantasizing about taking one ever since. Though Susan is perhaps best know for her French Jacket classes (where each person sews a Chanel style jacket), her Couture Sewing School is a much more flexible class where each sewist brings her own, unique project and works on it over the course of the week. Since the description of the class is pretty much “show up and sew something” I thought it might interest others to hear a personal account of what the week was like. The first day we all had our muslins fit. It was quite interesting to see as each woman brought a very different project though a bit hard to learn by observing since there were so …

5 Tips for Sewing a Lace Back Shirt

If you’re wondering how to sew a shirt with lace fabric in the back (like this example) or really any garment that uses lace for part of the garment, then I’ve got a few tips for you! This example is an Ultraviolet Tee sewn out of a lightweight knit front with a loosely woven lace back, but you can use these same tips to combine lace and woven or knit fabric in so many different creative ways. 1. Consider your pattern. You’ll find it easiest to sew and get the cleanest results if you select a pattern that has the fewest seamlines in the section that you would like to be lace. Each seamline is a place where you need to finish or hide the edges of the lace (since you can see through the lace to see the seam allowance on the inside) so the fewer times you need …