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The Knit & Stitch Show!

 

We had so much fun meeting all of you lovely sewing people at the Sewing Bee Live Show, we’re doing all again next week at the Knit & Stitch Show at Alexandra Palace!

And we are taking lots of our delicious paper patterns with us.MAVEN_PATTERNS_PAPER_PATTERNS

Oh, my!

Currently, that is the only way to get hold of one of our beautiful patterns.

Yes, I know I may be a tad biased…but I’m not wrong, they really are quite lovely!

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Each pattern is presented in a reusable wallet that closes with a velcro spot. No more ripped envelopes or pattern pieces slipping out and escaping when you’re not looking.MAVEN_PATTERNS_PAPER_PATTERNS

Inside the wallet, you’ll find the pattern and the Maker Instruction Booklet.

As always, you get a professionally graded pattern in either UK sizes 8 – 18 or UK S – XL (our Maria Apron and Wendy Smock PDF patterns currently go up to UK size large, but we will be updating them in the future to include the XL size). All the seam allowances are included and clearly marked on the pattern and in the Maker Instructions Booklet.

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The Maker Instructions

I love these little booklets…16 pages of clear and concise guidance so you can be your own Maven and make your perfect dress, top or apron!MAVEN_PATTERNS_PAPER_PATTERNS

We’d love to meet you and chat sewing. Don’t be shy, pop by and say “Hi!”

We will be on stand G3

The Knit & Stitch Show

Alexandra Palace, London

 

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Curved Hem Tutorial – The Rochester Sewing Pattern

THE CURVED HEM TUTORIAL_MAVEN PATTERNS

The Rochester Sewing Pattern_MAVEN PATTERNS

The Curved Hem Tutorial | The Rochester

The Rochester sewing pattern has a lovely curved hem detail with side splits and a topstitched facing. It’s one of my favourite things I’ve designed. But, because of the shape of the curve, you can’t just whip around the facing in one go, the facing needs to be stitched to the hem in stages. Also, you need to do the hem and facing step BEFORE you close the Centre Back seam or the back pleat won’t be a happy bunny. It’s not as tricky as it looks or sounds, just follow the Curved Hem Tutorial and take it step by step!

Side note: If you are not in charge of doing a tutorial you’re going to want to use matching thread and transfer your pattern marking with a water soluble fabric pen or chalk – not a fluorescent pink pen.

METHOD | The Curved Hem Tutorial

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  1. With the right sides of fabric together (RST) close the side seams of the body panels and the hem facing. Stitch from the underarm to the DOT.

2. Make sure to stitch TO THE DOT, not past the dot. Yep, that’s the one I marked in fluorescent pink just for you.

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3. Overlock (or neaten with your usual method) the body side seams and stop just past the dot, where the seam allowance (S/A) changes. Press the side seams OPEN.

Don’t overlock the facing side seams, they will be enclosed so it’s not necessary, but do overlock the outside edge. Take extra care on the curved bit – it can be a smidge tricky if you go too fast!

TIP: I just had a thought, you could bind the outside edge of that facing. It would look delightful!

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4. Place RST and pin the facing to the body, line up at the side seams and notches.

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5. Push all of the S/A out of the way….

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7. Take a 6mm S/A. Start stitching from the CENTRE BACK towards the side seam, STOP at the marker dot.

curved hem tutorial MAVEN PATTERNS8. Now this side is a bit more fiddly. Again push all the S/A out of the way. It is easier to stitch UP to the dot, rather than away from the dot. Start stitching about 2.5cm (1″) below the dot and stitch towards it.

STOP at the dot, leave the machine needle in your garment, lift the machine foot and PIVOT your garment around a full 180°.

curved hem tutorial MAVEN PATTERNS

9. Drop your foot and stitch back in the right direction ON TOP of your stitchline. Continue around to the front hem and repeat at the other split/side seam.

10. When the facing is all attached, press the stitchline.

TIP! If you find you have got a teeny weeny hole at the junction of your seams DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT! Do check from the right side, but I bet when everything is in its right place you won’t notice. This one didn’t show at all from the right side once finished.

11. Understitch the facing, stopping below the apex of the split. Press again.

Tack down the outside edge of the facing to hold in place, line up the side seams.MAVEN_PATTERNS_CURVED_HEM_TUTORIAL

12. Grab your hem template pattern pieces. To make a template of anything take the original pattern piece trace on to card/heavy paper and cut away all S/A. Templates are a great way to ensure consistency for topstitching or pressing patch pockets.13. You’ll need to flip the template over to mark one side of your garment. Line up the edge of the template with the hem of garment, and the arrow on the template with top of split. Use a fabric marker pen and draw in a guide line to show you where to top stitch. The template is for the curved areas of your hem, use a ruler / tape measure to fill the gap in between.the arrow on template with top of split, and

14. And then just follow your guide for some jolly nice topstitching! Remove your tacking thread, give it a press and marvel at what a wondrous job you’ve done.

Now go finish the rest of it!

 

 

 

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PATTERN HACK…How to make an Off the Shoulder Top!

Off The Shoulder Tops…

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…they’re everywhere this summer, aren’t they? I’m not one to usually bother with fashion trends. I’m not a big fan of buying or especially making clothes unless it’s something I really love and will wear loads. I do, however, like to get the maximum mileage out of a pattern, fabric and mostly out of my time. I thought about this trend for a while and came to the conclusion the off the shoulder top, or The ‘Bardot’ Top (or as my eldest called it Bar-Dot, worth writing a tutorial just for that!), could actually become a holiday summer basic.

I started with The Wendy Artisan Smock pattern and thought this would be a great little pattern hack to share. It does make the most perfect beach cover-up, just lengthen your pattern to get the leg coverage you are after. It would also make a delightful holiday dress with a little tie belt at the waist too. I’ve made it in an embroidered spot voile. Beautiful fabric – but be warned, it is quite sheer in the white if you are going down the dress route!

And I thought I should probably share it now as in England we’ve had more than 3 days of glorious sunshine this summer, and it’s now 50/50 (yes, I know that’s being optimistic) for the rest of August wether we get any more sunshine.

OFF THE SHOULDER TOP TUTORIAL_MAVEN PATTERNS

| SUPPLIES |

Wendy Artisan Top Pattern, Tape measure, Scissors, 1 metre (approx) of 2.5cm wide Elastic, Safety Pin

I recommend, as always, making a toile: it’s a test run in calico or a cheap fabric – you don’t want to waste your favourite fabric on a less the perfect top!

  1. Cut out your pattern using VERSION B (with no centre front neck opening) and don’t cut the binding pattern.
  2. NECKBAND: cut one long rectangle 7.5cm wide  x  SMALL: 123cm long / MEDIUM: 128.5 cm long / LARGE: 134cm long. It can be cut along the selvedge or across the fabric width on the straight grain. 

OFF THE SHOULDER TOP TUTORIAL_MAVEN PATTERNS

Make up your top, following the instructions in the pattern: Attach pockets and sleeves, close side seams.

Cut neckline down by 4cm. Of course you could trim down your pattern pieces before cutting out your garment.

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Press the neckband in half length wise

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Join with a 1cm seam allowance to make the neck band into a loop, press the seam open

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| Attach the band |

Pin neckband to RIGHT SIDE of the body. Depending on your fabric your neckline may ‘grow’ as it’s on the bias grain in places, just ease your garment onto the neckband.

OFF THE SHOULDER TOP TUTORIAL_MAVEN PATTERNS

Stitch your band to the body with a 1cm seam allowance. Leave a gap of about 5cm to thread your elastic through.

To get your elastic length: wrap elastic around shoulders where you want your top to sit, pulling slightly so it stretches, and mark. It needs to be tight enough to stay up but not so tight it cuts off the circulation and if it’s too tight it will ride up, too loose and it’ll drop down! Everyone’s measurement will vary as it depends on a lot of outside factors how stretchy is your elastic/ how tight are you comfortable with etc?

OFF THE SHOULDER TOP TUTORIAL_MAVEN PATTERNS

| Thread the elastic |

(This is the same process as the sleeve hem for the Smock) Attach a safety pin to your elastic to help thread it through the neckband channel. Once threaded lay the elastic with the ends flat on top of each other and stitch where you marked it earlier. Try your smock on and see how that elastic feels, now is the time to adjust if you need to. Once you are happy, make sure that elastic is stitched securely, and trim away excess elastic.

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Then just stitch the gap closed, and neaten the raw seam allowance.

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Now just enjoy the sun in your off the shoulder top, like the fashionista you are!