Pattern Storage Idea

I have been looked for an efficient way to store Patterns.  I needed something that would not take up too much room in my my small atelier.  There are many methods to store Patterns but my husband had a brilliant idea.  Why not use a shoe organizer ?!  You can put it pretty much anywhere, it is suspendable and it’s large enough so that you don’t have to fold your patterns up too small. 

I used a shoe organizer from IKEA. It is plastic and has 3 boxes that you can separate and install where you want.  I used poster paper to make dividers.  All you have to do is install the boxes in your space, create your dividers, and finally decide how you want to sort your patterns.

I chose to separate & suspend one of the boxes 


I don’t have as many patterns as I have space to store them, but I’m definitely prepared πŸ˜€

Feeding the bees for the Winter

Winter is settling in, although it’s been warmer in the Ardeche mountains than in the valley the past week.  Today we put some sugar feed paste into the feeders of the hives. The feed paste doesn’t freeze in cold weather and will provide food for the bees during the coldest winter months.

We make an opening in the pack and then place it over the opening in the feeder, so that the bees can get at it easily. 

We will check on their consumption of the feed over the next months. The colder it is, the more they will consume for energy to keep the hive and the queen warm, so we will add more feed depending on the weather.

Claudie Pierlot Inspired Top

The inspiration: a Claudie Pierlot top from the 2016 F/W collection.

My version is a little different however.  I decided to go with a bordeaux viscose (rayon) main fabric and black dotted tulle for the 3/4 sleeves.  I used the Sorbetto pattern from Colette Patterns as my base and adjusted the neckline to a boat neck, rather than a ruffled scoop neck. For the sleeve, I used a pattern by The Sew Weekly.

What you will need (for a size 4 Sorbetto):

  • 1m main fabric
  • 50 cm dotted tulle fabric
  • Thread (in this case, bordeaux and black)
  • French curve (to adjust your pattern to a boat neck)
  • Pencil & craft paper, if you are tracing a new pattern, which I did.

I traced my pattern onto craft paper and re-designed the neckline to a boat neck using my French curve. The Sorbetto and sleeve Patterns include seam allowances. The Sorbetto pattern calls for bias tape hem, but instead I created interfacing for the neckline.

For the neckline interfacing, I traced the neckline that I created on the shirt pattern for the curve and made it as wide as the shoulder seams.  Be sure to add a seam allowance at both ends (I put a 1cm or 1/2in.)   You’ll need 2 of your fabric.

Once you have your pattern pieces, and have traced it onto your folded fabric (be sure to mark your bust darts on the fabric) you can cut out your main fabric pieces. Here, I already sewed the darts. 

Sew the shoulder seams and the side seams. I used the the same seam allowance as the Sorbetto pattern, 5/8″in.  Finish your seams. I zig zag stitched the seams and trimmed the excess fabric.

On to the neckline. Sew the ends of your interfacing together. I used a 1cm (1/2in.) seam allowance.  I had intended to use fusible Interfacing on the neckline pieces, but it wouldn’t stick, so I gave up and did a simple zigzag stitch to prevent fraying. Then right sides together, align the interfacing along the neck line and pin. Sew in place. I used a 1/4″ seam allowance, so as not to change the shape of the neck line too much.

Fold right side out and press.  Top stitch so that it lays flat.

Tack the interfacing to the shoulder so that it stays put, by sewing a couple of stitches  and couple back stitches.

Now, it’s time to sew in the sleeves.  You should have 2 sleeves of your tulle fabric.  Fold your fabric, right side together and sew the arm seam (5/8″in seam allowance).  Finish your hem with a zig-zag stitch and trim the excess fabric.

Place right side of the sleeve to the right side of your top, putting the sleeve inside the armcye, aligning the fabrics and pin. Be sure to align the sleeve seam and your side seam. 

Straight stitch in place, then finish your seams and trim the excess fabric.

Turn back to right side and topstich along the edge of the seam.

Hem the sleeves at the length you prefer.  I folded over the hem a 1/4 in. twice, pin and stitch closest to the fold.  Sew a second seam close to the end of the sleeve, so that the hem lays flat and  shoulder seam.

And voila ! My version of the Claudie Pierlot top.

Hemlock Sweatshirt

The past couple of weeks have been hectic between travelling for work and then catching up because you were traveling.  Granted my training was in Paris, but alas the workdays are so long that you never have any time to go out and actually enjoy where you are (i.e. Go fabric shopping πŸ˜‰  Next trip, I will definitely go fabric shopping in Paris and write a post.

I did manage to sew a sweatshirt this week  after work.  The pattern is a free Grainline Studio pattern, the Hemlock. Jen from Grainline Studio put together a tutorial for this pattern. It’s a large long sleeve t-shirt pattern, that I figured would work as a pattern to copy a boxy sweater I have.  I actually only shortened the pattern.  It’s an easy and quick pattern to sew up.  

I used a black, white and gray sweatshirt fabric, and black jersey for the trim.  The jersey trim maybe was not the right choice…I’m still having difficulty choosing the right fabric for the pattern and adjusting it based on my fabric.  I usually start from the fabric, and look for the pattern. I’m still in the learning process, so it’s trial and error πŸ˜‰


Pyjama Pants for Everyone !

Winter is coming ! β˜ƒοΈ Pyjama pants for everyone  ! In our case,  that’s means for my husband and I πŸ˜‰

A while back I made some sleep shorts for both of us (the post is here), and I am going to use the shorts pattern to create a Pj pant pattern, simply by lengthening the leg. Below are the fabrics. I am going to use this sheep print cotton fabric for my husband.

We are going to start by tracing the shorts pattern onto a piece of craft paper. If you already have your inseam measurement, mark the length. If you don’t, measure your inseam (crotch to floor measurement).  You can also create a pattern from one of your favorite pyjama pants as shown in the tutorial at Melly Sews

My 1cm (3/8 inch) seam allowance is included in the pattern.

Once you marked the length, you can draw a straight line to create you  pant leg.  I decided to taper the pant leg, since I don’t like the pant leg riding up when I sleep (I get cold).

Now you have to cut out your pattern and cut out your fabric, buy folding it right sides together.  I made a front pattern and a back pattern.  You’ll need two of each.  I’m not sure if you have to make a front & back given that the pants are usually very large.  

If you intend to have a color block hem, be sure to fold your pattern at the length you want.  For the color block hem, you’ll need 4 pieces.  I folded my pattern where I wanted the color block to start & created a pattern.  

Next sew the color block hems to each leg & finish your seams.  I use a simple zig zag stitch to finish the seams since I don’t have a serger.  Press each leg so the pieces lay nice and flat.

To assemble your pants, place a pant front & back panel right sides together, sew the inseam & then finish your seams.  I trimed the excess fabric so that it looks neat.  Repeat for the other leg and press the seams.

Place each pair of legs right sides together, aligning & pinning the crotch.  Sew & finish the seams, trim excess fabric.  (I used a pic from my pair since I forgot to take a picture of my husband’s pair.  I must have got caught up in the sewing action 😜)

Sew the pant side seams together.  

Once I was done, the pants seemed a little small, so before finishing the seams I had my husband try them on, and sure enough they were too small.  I also made the legs too tight around the ankles, too tapered 😬 Oops!  I was thinking about starting over, but didn’t have enough fabric, so instead I cut off the side seams, added a 10cm piece of the black fabric I used on the hem to each side, in order to make them larger. 

The second fitting was more successful 😊  I finished the seams once I knew they fit. All that was left to do now were the hems and the waistband.

For the waistband, I measured the waist of the pants and cut out 2 strips of 10cm wide black fabric. I wanted a 4cm wide waist band, so my width includes 1cm of seam allowance on each side.  Sew the ends of your 2 strips together and press.  Then fold in half and press, and fold over another cm & press (this will make it easier when you flip the pant to finish the waistband on the right side).


Unfold your waist band and pin it to the wrong side of the pant. 

Sew in place. Press your waistband flat & flip the pant to the right side. Trim the excess fabric that will be inside the band, to lessen bulk.

Pin the waistband in place on the right side. 

Be sure that the band slightly overlaps your initial stitching and top stitch the waistband.  Be sure start & end your stitching leaving  a 4cm space so that you can insert the 3cm wide elastic band in the waistband. 

Once the elastic is in place sew the ends of together & insert the remains elastic and then sew the opening closed. Finished your pant hems & you’re done !

My hubby loves them 😊 (even if they didn’t turn out as I initially planned).  I did go back and adjust my pattern for the next time. 

For myself, I used an owl print fabric and a hot pink trim. This time around the pattern was accurate.  I used the same process as above, except that I decided to add white piping between the main fabric and the pink hem on the legs. This the first time I have tried to add piping to a project. On this kind of a project it is simple. I sewed in the piping before adding the pink hem. 

To add you piping you’ll need a zipper foot.  I cut strips of white piping the with of my pant leg adding 1cm on each side. Align the hem of your piping along the right side of you pant hem and baste in place. I stitched it in place.

Then take your hem and place it on top right side down cause you’re going to fold it back and press it.  So, it should be a sandwich of main fabric right side, piping and hem wrong side. Sew them together.

 Fold back to the right side and press. Then top stitch for a nice finish.

One thing that I probably should have done with the piping, to reduce bulk on the side seams, is trim the piping to the edge of the seam allowance, which may have improved the alignment on the piping, but I’m happy with the result for a first experience with piping.  If you do more elaborate overlapped piping, this is probably a good idea.  There is a good tutorial on this at Closet Case files.

The rest of the assembly is the same as the first pair. 

And you’re done 😊