Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Attach the Collar to our Footed Pajama (3244)

Our footed pajama pattern is available as a PDF pattern and as a printed pattern. It includes 29 sizes, from 12 months to Plus Sizes.You only need one pattern for the whole family!

Since the pattern was released, we received a few emails from people who were puzzled when reading the collar attachment instructions. Here are some photos that show every step of this great technique:

Mark half (center back) and center of point (center front) on the collar piece:

Here we mark the sewing line and fold line to help later on (you do not need to add those marks):

Make sure you clip excess zipper before attaching the collar:

Pin open collar band to right side of neckline, with the edge of the zipper matching the point center mark (6 mm (1/4") from the point edge):

From wrong side

From right side - see how it stops at the center of the point

 Sew from the point center mark to the notch WITHOUT STRETCHING the band:

Now that the ends are attached, pin the center of the collar (mark you made previously) to the center back and stitch, stretching the band between the stitch and the pin, as you sew.

One edge of your collar is now attached to the neckline and should look like this: 

Fold collar right sides together, matching notches to sandwich the center front edges inside the collar piece:

Sew from the tip of the point to the notch (6 mm (1/4") from edge, as always). You will have to be careful not to catch folded fabric in the stitch. As you can see, you are sewing over the first stitch (when you attached the first side to the neckline:

Turn right side out and admire the neat finish! We pinned the seam allowance so you can see what will have to be folded under:

Carefully pin the folded edges along the neckline/collar attachment seam, making sure everything stays nice and straight - you do not want a crooked collar:

All you have left to do is hand stitch to attach the folded edge with the neckline seam! No visible seam allowance!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

4 Tips when Buying Digital Patterns

Ordering digital patterns can be a little intimidating for many people who are used to paper patterns and who are not 100% comfortable handling files on a computer. Here are a few tips I often send to customers who are new to PDF patterns:

1 - Make sure you choose the right format

Paper and PDF patterns are listed in separate categories on our website, but when adding and removing items from the cart, you do have to pay attention to make sure you keep the right pattern version.

How do I tell if I have a paper or PDF pattern in my shopping cart?

  1. If you see PDF in the product name, it's a digital pattern.
    If you do not see PDF, it's a paper pattern.
  2. If you see a shipping charge at checkout, it means that you have a paper pattern in your cart. Digital patterns are not mailed, so you should not see any shipping charges.
Please note that our quantity discount promotion applies to digital AND paper patterns. You can combine both types of patterns to get a bigger discount without paying more in shipping!

2 - Access all your purchases directly on our website

If you accidentally closed your browser after checkout, deleted your order confirmation email or can't find it because it went to your junk mail folder, no worries!

Simply click "my downloadable patterns" on our website (in the orange bar) to access your PDFs at any time:

3 - Save the pattern to your computer

Some companies won't let you save PDFs on your hard drive. We do. This prevents timeouts, error messages or other bugs that you may get when opening a big file through your browser.

I'm not good with computers,  how to I save something when I only see a link?

Right-click on the download link and select "save target as...", "save linked file" or "save link as..." 

Once the pattern is saved, you can open and print it as many times as you want.

4 - Make sure you are using the latest version of Acrobat

Click the icon below to download the latest version of Acrobat Reader. Please note that our PDFs are for print only, you cannot open the files in editing software like Illustrator.

When you are ready to print, take a look at the "How to Assemble a PDF Pattern" document to print and put the digital pattern pages together.

If you have any questions about the process or have any trouble with downloading, printing or assembling any of our PDF patterns, do not hesitate to contact us. We are only an email away!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

3350 Photo Tutorial - Part 6 - HOW TO APPLY ELASTIC TO LEG OPENINGS

Now that you have completed the open back and sweetheart neckline, you ready to apply elastic to the leg openings.

This technique can be used for leg openings or any closed, round opening (neck, ankle, wrist...).

Overlap the elastic ends and stitch. We like sewing a little square like this. Then, fold the elastic in half (at the seam) to mark the half and join the half marks to find quarters.

Your elastic is now divided into fourths (seam + 3 marks). Now divide your leg opening into fourths, starting at the side seam (find the half first, then join the marks to find quarters).

Pin the elastic to the wrong side of the opening, matching marks. The elastic seam (0) should be at the half (1/2) mark of the opening (crotch lining). 4 pins, that's it!

Sew a first zigzag along the EDGE of the elastic (not down the middle). Always "zig" on the elastic, "zag" in the air (off the fabric). This creates a much cleaner look, with no raw edge showing. You will have to stretch the elastic between the pins so it lays flat against the fabric. DO NOT stretch the fabric.

Fold the elastic to the wrong side (the edge of the elastic should be against the crease) and sew with another zigzag or topstitch with your cover stitch. Stretch the elastic so the fabric is nice and flat (not stretched out) as you sew.

Easy, isn't it? If you are still not 100% confident, take a look at our video tutorial "How to Sew Elastics" on YouTube.

3350 Photo Tutorial - Part 5 - FINISHING UP VIEW A (NECKLINE AND BACK)

You can now put the front and back aside while you work on the bust pieces.

Bust Lining

Cut two of the bust linings as shown below. This will create an opening for shapers/cups insertion. We like to finish the edge with the serger to give it a bit more body.

Pin the wrong side of the cut pieces on the right side of the full pieces and baste with a zigzag. Pin the lining pocket to the wrong side of the Bust piece (A) and baste all around. Make sure you line up all the notches.

Once both lining pockets are sewn to the but pieces, pin them together at center front.

Strap and neckline

Using your elastic as a guide, trace a along center front, from the notch to the bottom edge. Stitch on the line, starting at the bottom. When you reach the end of the line (notch), keep your needle down, pivot, stitch downwards. This will make the end of your stitch much stronger (you want the bust pieces to stay together!).

Pin the shiny (finished) side of your strap to the right side of the bust piece. Stitch across (a few times, you don't want them to fly off!) and flip them up like this so the seam allowance is folded against the lining:

Pin the neckline elastic under the strap seam allowance and to the wrong side of center front seam allowance (be careful to pin only one bust piece, not both). Baste along the edge of the elastic ("zig" on the elastic, "zag" in the air).

Baste the elastic to the other bust piece.

Fold the elastic to the wrong side and topstitch. Make sure you fold the elastic over the strap so the strap edge is as close as possible to the crease (not far away from the folded edge).

Sew a "square-U-shaped" gathering stitch at the bottom of the bust pieces, between the notches.

The "square U technique:
  1. Pull some thread out (so it is easier to pull later)
  2. Start at one notch, sew long straight stitches up to the second notch very close to the edge. 
  3. Needle down
  4. Pivot and sew two stitches upwards
  5. Pivot again and go back towards the first notch, sewing about 1/8" away from the stitch 
With this technique way the gathers will remain very tight at the end of the stitch and you will have more control than if the two rows were open at both ends. Pull the bobbin thread to gather (we will adjust it later).

Contrast band

Fold the band wrong sides together and baste the raw edges together. Pin the basted band to the top of the front, matching centers and notches.

Now you are ready to sew the bust pieces to the front.

Pin the notches together and adjust your gathers evenly between the notches. Pull the bobbin threads until the gathers fit the band like this:

Sew the underbust seam 1 cm (3/8") from edge, from one side seam to the other. We like to finish this seam on the serger afterwards.

Bring the seam allowance towards the front and topstitch.

Put the contrast band back into place, pin and baste at side seam.

Pin front to back at side seams, matching all the notches, and stitch.


Pin the armhole/back elastic to the wrong side of the fabric, under the strap seam allowance and at center back.

Sew you first zigzag, fold the elastic to the wrong side and sew another zigzag. Notice how the strap is covered by the elastic at the tip of the bust piece.

Fold center back (RIGHT) to the wrong side by 1 cm and sew back and forth to create a loop. Insert the LEFT end in the hook and stitch.

Locate the strap placement mark / clip on the upper back seam allowance, pin the end of the strap (adjust) and sew on the elastic. Go back and forth a few times to make sure the strap won't go anywhere :)

Insert swim shapers/cups through the bust lining openings

Apply the elastics to the leg openings (separate post) and head to the beach to show off your new swimsuit!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

3350 Photo Tutorial - Part 4 - SEWING THE OPEN BACK (VIEW A)

For the first step, we will show you the technique for the regular sewing machine. On all other steps, we will use a serger whenever it's possible.

Center Back Seam

Pin Lower Back pieces (G) together at center back seam, matching the double notch. Then sew with a zigzag along the edge ("zig" on the fabric, "zag" in the air) WITHOUT stretching the fabric:

Sew with a straight stitch, 6 mm (1/4") from edge, stretching your fabric gently. Sew another straight stitch.

Now you have a sturdy, stretchy center back seam!

Back Elastics

Upper Back

Place the Upper Back pieces (F) as shown, with the notch towards the bottom to identify the correct location for the elastic. Pin the elastic (at both ends) and sew a first zigzag (medium-large), stretching the elastic so it lays against the flat fabric (do not stretch the fabric).

Turn the elastic to the wrong side (the elastic nice and snug against the crease - you don't was any space between the elastic and fabric) and sew a slightly smaller zigzag (or use your cover stitch) for a nice finish on the right side.

Lower Back

Fold the lower back elastic in half and mark its center. Pin the elastic to the wrong side of the lower back curve, at ends and center (matched with center back seam).

When sewing your elastic, remember to pull just enough to have the elastic against the flat fabric. Do not stretch the fabric. If you do, the sewn elastic will not fully recover and the piece will not be flat when you are done.

After your first zigzag, fold the elastic and topstitch.

Pin Upper Back (F) over Lower Back (G), matching the side seam notch and baste together with a zigzag stitch.

Sewing the front to the back

Pin right side of Front (E) to right side of Lower Back (G) at crotch seam, matching centers, and baste with a zigzag.

Pin right side of Front lining to wrong side of Back and stitch. We always baste with a zigzag before sewing on the serger. It keeps the layers together and is much easier to undo if the layers slip.

IF YOU ARE MAKING A GATHERED FRONT (we will add illustrations in view B post): 
  • Sew gathering stitches within the side seam allowances on your front main fabric pieces, starting and stopping about one inch (2,5 to 3 cm) from top and bottom corners.
  • Gather the side seams so they become the same length as the lining piece.

Flip the lining to the wrong side of the front and pin the layers together, matching center fronts and notches.

Baste with a zigzag all around.

Congratulations! You are now ready to work on the bust pieces.