Posts Tagged: garment-making

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Garment 100: Pattern Basics

Want to sign up for a garment class at Pintuck & Purl? This is where you will start! In this class we will show you how to choose your size and trace your pattern, and we will discuss PDF patterns, common terminology, and sewing ease. You will have time at the end to trace your pattern. Free roll of tracing paper included!!

Skills Needed:  None!
Supplies You Provide:  Your sewing pattern for upcoming pattern class
Instructor:  Maggie
(2 hours total)

Please show up to class 10–15 minutes early to set up. By registering for this class, you are agreeing to abide by our class policies.

Give Me Liberty! Club

Liberty of London Tana Lawn is one of my favorite fabrics. It is lovely to touch and lovely to sew with. One of the drawbacks of Liberty is the high price tag of $34/yard, which makes some people hesitate before pulling that trigger. However, once you have sewn with it, I think you’ll find it’s a price that is worth the quality of the goods. We wanted a way to let people dip their toes into the beautiful pool of Liberty fabric, so we created a new club called Give Me Liberty! I mean, obviously I wasn’t going to let this club naming opportunity pass me by. 😉

In this club you will receive a beautifully wrapped bundle of four Liberty fat eighths, which will be a half yard for each bundle. The shipments will go out on the 15th of every other month, starting in December (and then the following months of February, April, June, August, and October). If you sign up for the whole year at once, you will get a discount on each bundle. If you just want to sample a few months, you can sign up for the deliveries of those particular months, but won’t receive the full-year membership benefits. We will also have a few other gifts for the full-year members, including a free quilt pattern at the end of the club that you can use your entire Liberty stash for. That full stash will be THREE YARDS OF LIBERTY, in 24 different prints. These will be perfect for machine piecing or hand work, or use them for fun bits of color in your sewn wardrobe.

Here is the pricing breakdown:

Full-Year Member

$90 for 6-month subscription ($15 per bundle)
+ 6 Bundles of 4 Fat Eights of Liberty of London (24 total=3 yards!)
+ Pintuck & Purl’s “Give Me Liberty! Quilt” Pattern (released in September 2018)
+ Exclusive deals for club members
+ Special member swag

Monthly/Single Month

$17 Bundle Purchase
+ 1 Bundle of 4 Fat Eights of Liberty of London (4 total = 1/2 yard)

So, what are you waiting for?!?! Sign up today over in the online shop!!



Grainline Lark Tee in Striped Rayon Jersey

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

Have you ever had a pattern turn out so good that after the first time you make it, you want to immediately make it again  with every fabric in your stash? Something that you can whip up in no time and still impress everyone with your talents? It’s kind of like finding your favorite go-to recipe. If you don’t have one, and you’re in the market for a knit top pattern, you should check out Grainline’s Lark Tee. I know, I know, a knit t-shirt isn’t the most exciting thing to sew, but, at least for me, it’s a pretty essential part of my wardrobe. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to continue to support Old Navy and the Gap, with their sub-par fabrics and sometimes strange fit issues by buying my knit tops there. Besides,  once you make one of your own, you realize just how easy it is to fill your closet with them. Trust me, I know.

One of the nicest parts of this pattern is the ability to mix and match. There are four necklines and four sleeve options, so you really can make more than a dozen shirts, each one different from the other. When you factor in the higher cost of indie patterns (although WELL worth it!) it makes this pattern a no-brainer for your collection.

I have made this top a few times already (you will see them slowly being blogged about, but BLOGGED nonetheless!) and love, love, LOVE every version.  This was the first one I did and I did it straight out of the envelope. The length is the only thing I would tweak. That being said, that is super minor in the grand scheme of things. I traced the size 0 for the whole pattern, which normally I would grade out to a 2 at the hips. I like the way it fits (besides the aforementioned length) and wouldn’t change it.

The pattern is drafted well, which is no surprise, and the instructions are well written, with a little hand holding if you are new to knits. Cutting took just a smidgen longer since I was matching stripes. I was able to squeeze this version out of just under a yard of this 60″ wide fabric, and could have even done less if I had shortened the length. So consider before you toss those random knit scraps… you might be able to get the short sleeve version out of it. You will see this put in action in one my upcoming Larks (in LIBERTY KNIT!!).  The shirt is constructed with the sleeve set in flat, and the neckband (used in three of the versions) is put on in the round and either stitched or twin-needled down. I used my regular sewing machine with a walking foot for all of the construction to aid in stripe matching and I think it really made a difference.  I chose to use the twin needle for finishing and the end results look very RTW (ready to wear) and professional. No Home-ecky Becky here!

I used a soft rayon jersey (unfortunately gone from the shop) that is like wearing butter. Well…I mean, it is super soft and comfortable. I am not sure if actually wearing butter would be comfortable, but you know what I mean! The knit you choose (either more drapey or slightly more stable) will determine how the final top looks. Again, I think you could make this top a gazillion times with different fabric/view combinations and still have them look different enough to not necessarily know that you used the same pattern. I think this is a big win!


If you are scared of jumping into the pool of sewing knits and want to wade in slowly from the shallow end, we have a class for the Lark! Check our schedule, sign up and let us guide you into this fantastic stretchy world!

Liberty Sureau

I know it is just after Christmas, and the temperature here in New Hampshire is nowhere near being able to wear this now, but I am still posting this today. Let’s say it will bring us back to the warm, yet crisp days of fall before we settle in for the dark winter. This is the Deer and Doe Sureau. It is a two piece dress with a faux placket and the options for sleeves or not. I choose not. It has been awhile since this pattern’s heyday, but I have to say, I understand why it enjoyed such popularity when it was first released. Because of the faux placket and simple construction, once I had worked out my own fitting tweaks (and jumped over the pocket hurdle), this dress was a pretty quick and satisfying make.

The skirt is gathered, which normally I am not a huge fan of, but figured I would give it a go. Looking at the photos, maybe I need to give gathered waists another chance! I am quite smitten with this dress on me. Who knew?!?!

Liberty Sureau by Pintuck & Purl

As far as fitting, I did some research before embarking on this pattern. I had seen around the interwebs that people had trouble with a gaping neckline. I whipped up a quick muslin of the bodice after performing my usual sba (small bust adjustment—since D&D is drafted for a C-cup) and sway back adjustment, and tried it on. After seeing the results I took a 1/4″ wedge out of the front neckline tapering to nothing at the waist. It seemed to work well enough. I might have been able to take out more, but I didn’t want to go overboard.

The only other thing that I didn’t personally love was the neckline facing. I am usually not on Team Facing, ever. I would prefer binding or lining my garments. Since this was the first time making this I figured I would play by the rules. The facing extends around the whole neckline, which is then topstitched down. Once I attached the facing, I wanted a cleaner look so I handstitched it down. Even with the handstitching, I find that it is still a bit fussy. Apparently I will never join Team Facing. I find them fiddly and annoying. Give me bias binding any day.

Liberty Sureau by Pintuck & Purl

The one other thing I did was add pockets. Actually, let me rephrase that. I added “a pocket”. This dress has a side zipper. I had every intention of cutting the dress so that I could move the zipper to the back, but absolutely forgot when cutting. I figured that I could just add them into the side seam. If you have been reading this blog, or know me  at all, you know that most of my makes are right before a particular deadline. This dress was no different, trying to get it done for Maker’s Days in September. Since I was in a time crunch, I did not think through my construction of the zipper-sided pocket. Needless to say, when I sewed it up, I only had one functioning pocket. Yes. I had sewn the other one shut while attaching the invisible zipper. I decided then and there that I only needed one pocket. And that was that.

For this dress, since it was to be for a special occasion (Maker’s Days was our one year anniversary celebration!) I decided to go big for the fabric. What is the top of the line for me? Liberty of London. If you have never heard of this company, you should get to know it. It is an old-school London based store-front (it’s an actual department store) that has (and has had for over 125 years) their own line of fabric. Their style is tight florals or designs that lean on a vintage-nouveau feel. Sometimes even a Where’s Waldo look, in a really cool and pretty way. Their Tana Lawn (which is what I used here) is a beautifully soft cotton that is a dream to sew with and to wear. It is not an inexpensive fabric, but worth every penny.

Liberty Sureau by Pintuck & Purl

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

Should I make this again, and I really want to try the sleeved version, I have a few things that I would change. I would move the zipper to the back and add two pockets, and change the facing to bias binding or line the bodice instead. Anything to keep me away from those facings.

Deer and Doe Sureau

The pattern itself is well drafted and I do love the look of the dress. This is only the second Deer & Doe pattern that I have sewn, but I love the fit and style of my Belladone dress, so I am assuming that we are a pretty good match. I will tell you that the pattern directions are still a bit on the sparse side (similar to the Belladone), but there is enough there to get you to a new dress. I would suggested this to a beginner who has at least one other garment pattern under their belt. If you are looking to start your first dress in 2017, this would be a great pattern!

Have you sewn the Sureau? Are you on Team Facing or with me on Team Never-Facings? Do you have big sewing plans for 2017?? Come on, tell us!

National Sewing Month: Question #4 Round 2

National Sewing Month with Pintuck & Purl

Round two! Ding! Ding! Are you ready to hear what today’s panel has to say? (If you missed Monday’s post you can check it out here.) Are they ready to rumble with the likes of silks, velvets or bound buttonholes? Or do they need a bit more time training for that big project? Let’s find out!

Is there any technique/fabric/type of project that still terrifies you?

Kim, Late Night Stitchery: Nothing really terrifies me in the sewing world anymore!  I like a challenge.  I am trying to get into quilting, but sometimes the thought of making a large quilt overwhelms me.  I guess that is because most of the garments I make can be sewn in a day or two.  I have two young children and so my sewing time is limited.  I like to make something and have that item done somewhat quickly.  That’s one of my favorite things about garment sewing; you make it and wear it in a short amount of time.  I have started working on a quilt and it involves lots of scraps so it is going to take time.  (Perhaps if I picked an easy quilt that would be better?   See answer to question 3.  I like a challenge, haha.)

Allie, AllieJ: I have been amping myself up to make a tailored blazer for basically a whole year now. I want to do it right, with hand padstitching and everything, which is something I’ve never done even a little bit of. I hope to actually get down to it this year. Wish me luck! Also, any time you have to cut into a nearly-completed garment, like for a welt pocket, always gives me pause.

Autumn, Colette Patterns, Sample Seamstress: I wouldn’t say terrified but I definitely have much to learn about couture techniques.

Morgan, Thread Theory: Up until just a few weeks ago, draping on a dress form rather intimidated me!  I had done it once in school for a very simple project but had never practiced again and instead relied entirely on paper and computer-based pattern drafting.  My husband’s cousin asked me to sew a wedding dress from chiffon that features a gathered draped bodice.  I’ve been putting it off for months now because I couldn’t find any resources on draping the bodice style online or at the library.  I finally dove in though and had so much fun making it up as I went.  I have no idea if I did things the ‘correct’ way but I am so pleased with how the bodice is turning out!

Heather, Closet Case Files: I refuse to be terrified by sewing. Sewing is my retreat from the things in the world that are really scary, so I try to approach each new challenge with curiosity and openness. That said, I’m not exactly champing at the bit to make a couture chiffon gown, but I’d be super excited to have the time and space to do so.

Mary, See Mary Quilt: I don’t know if I’d say a project terrifies me, but I do know things I should avoid. Like complex garments that take more than a day to make, I know I’ll probably not like it enough to be worth that amount of work.  I’ll still do it, but there will be a lot of grumbling.

Meg, Colette Patterns, Communications Manager: I’m still not a fan of collars.

I agree with Heather, a chiffon gown is nowhere on my radar at this point, but maybe someday. Well, folks there you have it! Thanks again to our panel for this week and for participating the whole month. We hope you have enjoyed their time here as well. Did you relate with anyone’s fears today? Or do you have your own? Let us know in the comments!

We have another set of bonus questions as we come closer to the end of this series. Today we hear from Allie who has a fabulous blog. If you haven’t checked it out, now is the time to do so. She shines in vintage patterns and her taste is impeccable. She is one of those bloggers that makes me want to dig through my vintage stash and see what gems I have in there. Her favorite make is a knock-out–and her wedding dress to boot. Simply stunning.

AllieJ National Sewing Month

What is your favorite thing you have ever made?

Allie, AllieJ: I usually think whatever I’ve made most recently is the best thing I’ve ever made, because my skills are improving all the time. But some of my favorites are my recent seersucker raglan-sleeved dress, my black Wednesday Addams dress and of course, my wedding dress! All three were made from patterns from the 1960s and totally reflect my modern-meets-vintage, slightly preppy aesthetic, which I like to call “Modern Mid-century” style as a play on the term “Mid-century Modern.”

Thanks again for reading! We have one more post to celebrate National Sewing Month. Can you believe it?!?! We also have a fun giveaway for all of our readers tomorrow (Thursday!) on Instagram and Facebook, so keep an eye on our little corner there. Happy sewing!!