Tropo Camisole with Stretch Lace Straps

Tropo Camisole by Tuesday Stitches. Camisole sewing pattern.

I think I had even more fun coming up with hacks for the Tropo Camisole that I did for the pattern itself. And this might be my favorite hack! Replacing the fold-over-elastic with stretch lace is easy to do but it really glams up the camisole. (For another alternative to FOE, see our Tropo Camisole with ribbing hack). This example uses stretch lace that is 1″ wide and shows the full width across front and back but uses 1/2 width across the straps. You can use narrower or wider lace but do make sure that it is stretch lace as it will need to be able to stretch with the knit camisole on your body. If desired, start by finishing the neckline on the front and back of your camisole. I opted to serge the top of this fabric for a clean edge as I wanted it to look visually finished, …

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70’s Leopard Print Wrap Dress – Vintage Vogue 7705

Vintage Vogue 7705 - 1970's leopard print wrap dress. Sewn by Erin of Tuesday Stitches.

I like to sew a new dress every year to wear for winter events. This year I got this dress done just in the knick of time to wear to a secret surprise date night I planned for Adam in December. We dropped Biscuit off with her grandparents, got a hotel room in the city for the night so we wouldn’t have to rush to catch a ferry home, went out to a fancy dinner, and went to see Elf: The Musical. For the years that Adam and I were dating, my mom would always let him pick the Christmas movie that we would watch as a family when we were home for the holidays. Every year he picks Elf. So it has kind of become a running joke between us and it seemed the perfect, silly, fun thing to surprise him with. I did make a quick muslin of …

How to Sew Wide Swimsuit Straps

Our Laminaria Swimsuit was designed with spaghetti straps. One of the questions we get, particularly from those with larger busts looking for more support, is if it is possible to sew the Laminaria Swimsuit with wide straps. Yes! Below, we describe 3 different ways to sew wide swimsuit straps that can be substituted on the Laminaria Swimsuit or any other swimsuit with narrow straps that you want to increase the width. The 3 different methods are from fabric, from fabric covered elastic, and from decorative elastic. (Shown above is our Laminaria Swimsuit with contrast covered edges, wide decorative elastic straps (described below), hidden elastic join (tutorial coming soon), and raised leg (tutorial coming soon)). Fabric Straps: A simple way to increase the width of your straps is to sew fabric tubes. Cut four strips of fabric your desired length and 1/2″ wider than your desired width. Sew the fabric right …

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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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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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 …

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 …

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 …

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A Very Me Garment: Denim Mini Skirt

This blog post isn’t really about showing off my awesome sewing since the denim miniskirt I hacked out of an old pair of my husband’s worn out jeans took me less than an hour to sew. But I do think it’s worth sharing since the skirt feels so very me. I’ve been trying to re-figure out what exactly my style is for quite a while now. I feel like my strong sense of self identity was eroded away as my self-confidence and happiness were eroded away over too many years in graduate school. And then I started to figure some things out but then I had a baby which meant dramatic changes to my body. So I’m (mostly) back to a place of feeling self-confident and comfortable in my body, but my wardrobe hasn’t caught up. I went through the curated closet and I now have a much more cohesive …

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How to Sew a Neckline with Bias Tape

Bias tape is a lovely way to cleanly finished necklines on woven garments. They aren’t hard to sew, they just require some attention to detail and I’ll walk you through those details step by step! These same instructions can be used to finish any garment opening so if you are wondering how to sew an armhole with bias tape or how to sew a hem with bias tape, keep reading! If the pattern you are using doesn’t have a template for your bias strip or instructions on how long to cut the bias tape, carefully measure the opening on your garment. Remember to measure on your seamline (which in this case will be 1/4″ in from the edge of the fabric) and not on the edge of your fabric. Use the very edge of your tape measure to measure the distance instead of laying it flat. Cut your fabric the …

Boho Kimono (Ultraviolet Tee Hack)

The era of my life where summers were all about music festivals is over, but I hope I’ll never be too old to enjoy setting up some portable speakers and having a private dance party in my garden. Of course one must dress for the occasion (even if it’s a rather small affair), so I whipped up this little kimono style topper using a hack of my Ultraviolet Tee pattern. I used a lightweight floral print poly that I originally intended to be for purse linings (and has actually lined a few Presidio Purses I’ve made) but it was the lightest floatiest thing I had in my stash and it just seemed to fit the bill. I figured it wouldn’t get too sweaty since the topper is so loose and open. To hack your own, take the Front pattern piece and draw a line straight from the edge of the …

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Simple Summer Linen Dress

Isn’t it delightful when a few different long-percolating ideas can come together? I’ve had this lovely embroidered linen in my stash for a bit. It was a gift from a friend who bought it for me at Mood when she was in New York last year (or the year before?). She was texting me photos while she was there and I thought it was just to share the excitement but much to my delight one of the cuts of fabric made it my way! I knew that it needed to be a simple garment since pattern matching was not going to be possible given the irregularity of the embroidery and the amount of fabric I had. After releasing my Ultraviolet Tee I brainstormed a list of ways I could hack the pattern and turning it into a dress was definitely on the list. I browsed through my wall of fabric …

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My Sewing Room

My sewing room. My office. My studio. Whatever I call it, here she is. It’s so nice to have my own space and now, two years since we moved here, I think it’s pretty close to done. Of course I’m always adding new bits and bobs and shuffling small things around, but the bones are in place I feel really good about my own little corner of our home. I though it would be fun to show it off! Starting with facing my sewing table. I often have another machine (or two) up on the table but you’ll almost always find the Pfaff I bought in high school and my old serger. Both are due for an upgrade, but they still work. I was pretty excited about finding this drawer set at the thrift store. A quick coat of yellow spray paint and it’s good to go and great for …

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Workout Clothes for Boxing

I’ve taken up boxing. This winter was a dark time for me and starting in early spring I knew I needed to do what I could to help myself get out of it. One of the things that I know helps me when I’m struggling with depression is to be more physically active. Of course the worse I’m feeling the less I want to exercise, so I knew I needed to find an exercise class that I would enjoy to help give me that extra push since I just didn’t see getting into a routine again on my own. There aren’t a whole lot of options since I live on an island, but I knew there was a small studio I liked since I had enjoyed classes there before I got pregnant. There was one class that wasn’t full and was scheduled when I regularly have childcare so I decided …

Lengthening the Ultraviolet Tee (High Drama Option 2)

With just a little bit more work (than the standard easy way to lengthen the Ultraviolet Tee) you can have a shirt that is high drama. By keeping the side the same length but lengthening the scoop on the front and back, you get belly and bum coverage with quite a bit of sexy sass. To make the high-drama lengthening, draw a new lengthen line through the middle of the curve at the bottom (instead of using the one that is included with the pattern) (Step 1). Cut the Front and Back pieces through the line and separate them your desired length (the example shown is 2-3″) (Step 2). Redraw the curve by gently connecting the point an inch above the cut to an inch below the cut (Step 3). Remember that you use the circle to match the side seams and you want the center front of your shirt to …

Lengthening the Ultraviolet Tee (option 1)

If you’re not keen on the “slightly cropped” aspect of View A of the Ultraviolet Tee (or if you have a particularly long torso) but you want to keep the gentle curve on the front and back and the scoop on the side, this is how you go about lengthening your pattern pieces. This is also the same process for lengthening View B. Since the pattern pieces are essentially straight at the sides, it’s just about as easy as can be to make the pattern longer. 1 – Cut the pattern along the lengthen/shorten line on both the Front and Back. 2 – Separate the pattern pieces the amount you would like to lengthen the shirt. 2-3 inches will bring the shirt down to a non-cropped length (like the sample shirt pictured in this post). 3 – Connect the pattern pieces and fill in the gap.

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Ultraviolet Tee Testers

The most satisfying and inspiring part of any pattern release is seeing it made up by other women! It is so fun to see a collection of different women using different fabric and making different design decisions, all from the same pattern. I was fortunate to have an amazing, inspiring, creative assortment of women that tested the Ultraviolet Tee and I’m honored to share some of their gorgeous creations and their thoughts on the pattern! (Extra special thanks to the first three ladies below for being my cover models!) “Love this pattern and it’s a welcome addition to my wardrobe! Oversized crop top that I can throw on with some jeans and still look put together and a bit sexy.” (Find Martha on Instagram) “I would make this again! It is relatively quick and easy, so I would definitely recommend it.” (Mary) “The mold is simple, minimalist but the result …

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Introducing the Ultraviolet Tee

The Ultraviolet Tee will be an everday staple of your summer like the UV rays from summer sunshine. Oversized with short cut-on sleeves, the shirt can be sewn from knits or wovens. View A is slightly cropped and has a curved hem that meets sharp and high on the side and has a subtle high-low shape from front to back. Wear over a camisole, with high-waisted shorts, or enjoy showing a little peek of skin as you move around. View B is standard shirt length and has a straight hem. Available in 2 cup size options: A-C (dartless) or D-F (darted/gathered) and with an optional pocket. Fully illustrated step-by-step instructions provide separate construction information for wovens and knits. What features make the Ultraviolet Tee special? Size range from 0-24 (high bust of 32″-52″) Two separate cup size ranges (A-C or D-F) Two different hem options (curved or straight) Separate pattern …