Monday, July 17, 2017

NICO - Boys Want Raglan Tees Too!

Henri wearing kids size M (9)
Forest Origami knit printfrom L'Oiseau Fabrics
We received many requests from customers asking for a men's raglan tee. It is such a great staple garment that we had to include one in the lot :) So here is the NICO raglan t-shirt pattern for boys and men!

Not too fitted, no too loose... just enough ease to be forgiving and work with most knits. Short, 3/4 or long sleeve, curved or straight hem. The pocket on the photo is a last-minute improvisation (we drew the shape on a piece of paper 10 minutes before the photo shoot!). If you have our 3137 in your pattern stash, you could use that pocket. The statement pocket trend is big here thanks to Poches & Fils. You can find lots of inspirations on their website :)

There are a few tutorials online too if you don't feel 100% confident about adding the pocket :):

Rashguards for Boys and Men

Thanks to our small grading increments, you can easily go up or down a few size for a more fitted look (for a very fitted rashguard). If your fabric has 70% stretch across the grain and in the length, you can go down 3 sizes for a look like this:

We would like to thank L'Oiseau Fabrics and Funki Fabrics (the link shows all the fabrics we used) for the beautiful fabrics that we used for our prototypes and cover photos!

Who is Nico?

I took a skydiving course in 2015 and convinced Jeanne to try a tandem jump that summer. She said yes! That is when she met Nicolas, her friendly cameraman:

During the off-season, he helped us shooting and editing a few video tutorials. He became a dear friend of the Jalie family and was there when we drafted the pattern. Nico is stylish and opinionated (he can't help it, he's French :P). We tweaked the pattern until he was 100% happy with it. He liked it so much that he accepted to be our model for the photoshoot and that we named the pattern after him (since we are not ready yet for a skydiving jumpsuit pattern yet).

Don't wait any longer! Grab your downloadable or paper pattern, a funky printed knit, and have fun making a Nico Raglan!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sewing Outside The Box - Swimsuit Edition Blog Tour

We are really happy to join the Lulu & Celeste + Sprouting Jujube Productions tour: Swimsuit Edition. Thank you for stopping by :)

***Voyez la version française de cette publication ici:  Maillots de bain été 2017 avec Jalie *** 

When I suggested this idea to Jeanne and Émilie we thought it would be fun to have my twins and Éléonore model matching outfits. They said yes immediately!

Choosing the patterns

Jalie has a lot of swimwear patterns, but we took this blog tour as an opportunity to "sew outside the box". We brainstormed on the types of suits and features we were looking for and chose patterns that fit the bill. We are THRILLED with the results!

Open-back one-piece swimsuit

I used the Violeta dress/leotard pattern as is. The dance leotard has the perfect leg cut and a nice open back for a cute swimsuit with great coverage in the front, but the open back everyone loves.


I picked the LOULOUXE skort that makes an amazing beachwear item because of it's attached shorts that can be worn without underwear (they have a lined crotch panel). This is a wonderful beachwear skirt, but to go in the water I think the 3023 skirtini or 2796 multi-sport skort would be options that dry a little quicker :)

For the top, I used the PIKA sport bra. I love the look of the rounded yoke/strap in the front.

Springsuit (aka wetsuit without legs)

I wanted some sun protection (long sleeves), a one-piece (not a rashguard with separate bottoms), but my girly girl did not want a wetsuit look with long legs. I used skating dress pattern 2800 because it had everything on my list.

Skating dresses are made of spandex, are very fitted and have attached briefs. If you remove the skirt, it opens up a whoooole world of swimwear sewing opportunities! Jalie has tons of skating dress patterns so make sure you take a look at them for your next out-of-the-box swimsuit project :)

I left off the mandarin collar and I looked at the VALERIE rash guard instructions for the zipper and make a neck band and added a zip guard. Also, because my fabric print was way too pretty to put a princess seam there, I taped the front pieces to remove that seam.

Most important: The girls loved their swimsuits. It was so much fun to see how each outfit really matched their personalities. They get along so well that we call them the triplets :P 

Blog Tour Bonus Information and Giveaway

Today's giveaway: 

Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a Jalie $20.00 (CAD) gift card + Imagine Gnats $40(USD) gift card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand Prize:
Two ways to enter: Enter the Grand Prize Rafflecopter, and/or post a swimwear item you’ve sewn on Instagram. Readers can enter more than once on Instagram but must use a different photo/different sewn swim item per entry. (Ie. multiple photos of the same outfit only count as one entry). Items allowed: swimsuits and swim coverups for the entire family (women, men, children). To enter on IG: Post your photo and use the hashtag #TheSwimsuitEditionTour and tag @luluandceleste and @debzaleski in your post. Items can only have been sewn since the beginning of June 2017. Closes July 2nd 11:59pm EDT.

Prize: Phat Quarters $25(USD) gift card + Boo Designs $100(AUD) gift card + Sewing by Ti -$20(USD) gift card + Made by Jack's Mum - swim pdf pattern bundle

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow our friends along the tour! 

Monday, June 26
Tuesday, June 27
Wednesday, June 28
Thursday, June 29
Friday, June 30

Happy sewing! 
Mel Henry

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MARIE-CLAUDE - Because One Raglan is Not Enough

As most of you know, our 3245 raglan top is very popular and you probably have it in your pattern stash already. Over the last years, many people have been asking how to raise the neckline over the years. It's not impossible to do... but it's not a fun alteration so we decided to rake care of it :)

It was 100% clear that we would not to create an "add-on" package or do a copy/paste of the previous pattern. We started from scratch and kept one word in mind: versatility!


The Pattern

The new MARIE-CLAUDE (dear francophiles, you can listen to the pronounciation here) includes, a draping turtleneck, a hood (with an optional hole for the ponytail), a regular neck band. You have the choice between a regular cuff or a fun cuff with thumbholes.

This top is great for lounging, running, as a thermal layer. It is a top that you feel comfortable in, no matter what you are doing :) The curved hem provides a little more coverage without "cutting your silhouette in half".

It is less fitted than our Valerie Rashguard pattern. It skims the body without clinging. There is some ease in the sleeve, without having fabric bunching under the arm (which is often the case in loser-fitting raglan tops).

Hacks and Inspiration

For last year holidays, I lengthened the top and turned it into a lovely polka dot raglan dress. I used a oh-so-soft hacci knit and wore it over tights. Sorry... I forgot to take photos :/ 

I would love to try turning it into a sleeveless or cold-shoulder top this summer! I can't wait to see what people share in the Gallery!

Here is a Pinterest Board with ideas for fabric, color and styling:

Who is Marie-Claude?

Henri changed school two years ago and this past Christmas, he told be he would love to see his physical education teacher from his old school because he missed her too much.

I managed to get in touch with her and she surprised him at his tennis class. He was delighted to spend an hour with her to chit chat and I was very grateful that she took the time to come see him. A generous and kind gesture that we will both remember forever!

Miss Marie-Claude is a wonderful teacher who always goes the extra mile to make her students happy and enjoy sports as much as she does. This pattern is my way to thank her for making a difference in Henri's life :)

After our long chat filled with fun memories of the two years Henri spent with her, I thought her name would be the perfect pick for a versatile pattern for women who love to move. From running top to thermal underwear for skiing on Quebec hills, this pattern has got you covered!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Vanessa Jogger Shorts // Pattern Hack (Jalie 3676)

You own (or are eying) the Vanessa Fluid Pants pattern and think "pants can wait, it will be summer soon (at least in Canada)"? We've got news for you! After reading this hack you will be able to wear this pattern year round as you will have anything you need to make great pants AND stylish, comfortable shorts!

First off, sizing. I go back to the Jalie Measurement Chart each time I make a garment, even if I made something the week before. Our measurements change all the time and my kids sizes change even more quickly.

Juju's measurements (as of today) are 28" waist, 37 1/2'' hips. Her waist corresponds to size S and  hips are between sizes S and T. The hips measurements is the most important when picking a size for pants.

I would normally go with size T, but I will use S for this project because:

  • Today's hack will add ease 
  • I will use a knit that stretches across the grain


Pattern Preparation

  1. Print / Trace the pattern (I am using the PDF pattern for this hack - the pattern is also available in paper (printed) format.

    If you are using the PDF format, remember that you can print one size at a time! Take a look at our tutorial How to print and assemble a PDF if you are not familiar with downloadable patterns and want to learn more about them.

  2. Cut the pattern pieces making sure all marking and notches are visible. They are very important and will make assembly much easier.

    In the following picture, I cut the notches flush with the cut line and trace the triangles inside. I usually clip the fabric instead of cutting the outward triangles that you see on the original pattern. However, I strongly recommend you keep the triangles outside, as you see them on the pattern, especially if you are working with a fabric that frays. This way you will make sure you can all see them.

  3. Measure approximately 4'' (10 cm) inseam (black line) on the front and back pieces.
  4. Measure approximately 5'' (12,5 cm) below the side seam notch (red line) on front and back pieces. 
  5. Trace from inseam to side seam to create a "temporary hem line". 

Pattern Alteration

Back Piece

  1. Cut or retrace your new short pieces.
  2. Draw the seam allowances (1 cm / 3/8'') from edge to visualize the actual seam lines.
  3. Divide in 4 sections, with lines parallel to center back

Front Piece

  1. Place the pocket bottom (D) piece under the front piece, lining up notches, to see the complete front waist and divide into fourths as shown.

Let's Have Fun! 

  1. Cut along the lines, leaving the top attached. Fan out to add about 2 cm (3/4'') between each section. If you want more ease, open up a little more. You can go up to 5 cm (2'') for a "culotte" look.

  2. Place a sheet of paper under your pattern and tape the sections in place.
  3. Trace a new hem line, square or curved, as you feel it. Follow your inspiration!
    You can see here that the dart is cut. I moved the point towards to the left to align it with the  "opening"

  4. On your front piece, start a line, square with your inseam.

  5. Use the front piece as a template for the back hem curve . When putting the pieces one on top of the other, always align the notches to keep everything straight and in this case, make sure you have identical side seams lengths.

  6. Cut your front hem along the line.


  7. Now it is important to check the pocket placement because you don't want pockets sticking out at the bottom! You simply have to lay the pocket and pocket facing pieces on top of the front piece and trim them if you need to. We decided to remove about 1'' (2,5 cm) since our pockets will be made of knit and therefore stretch downwards a little when Juju puts her hand in them.


  8. Trim the pocket (D) and pocket facing (C)


Time to Sew

  1. Cut 1 1/2'' (4 cm) wide strips on the bias (45 degree angle with selvage) for the shorts binding. 
  2. Overlap ends as shown and stitch at 45 degrees (diagonal). 
  3. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4'' (6 mm).

  4. Press seam allowances open. 
  5. Assemble the shorts, following the pattern instructions (you can read them on the Jalie website before buying your pattern!), but leave a section of the side seam open.

  6. Pin right side of bias to wrong side of shorts and stitch 1/4'' (6 mm) from edge.


  7. Bring the seam allowance upwards, on right side of shorts. 
  8. Fold bias wrong sides together, by 1/2'' (1,25 cm), its raw edge against the seam.

  9. Fold bias again onto the right side of the shorts.
  10. Pin binding generously.


  11. Topstitch binding 1/8'' (3 mm) from top edge.


  12. Finish the side seam (right sides together).

Finished shorts - wrong side out

How to wear them?

Wear your new shorts with a Pika Tank 3679, a french terry sweatshirt 3355 or a sleeveless 2805!


Here is a Pinterest inspiration board with fabric, color and outfit ideas for your Vanessa shorts:

You like this tutorial? 

Pin the Pinterest-friendly image to one of your Pinterest board!

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