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#MAVENMAKERS – a jersey surprise!

#MAVENPATTERNS_jersey surprise-36

#MAVENMAKERS – A Jersey Surprise!

I had a Facebook message from a very lovely lady called Elfi from Germany, asking if I had ever made the French Dart Shift in Jersey.

No, I replied, I’d thought about it, but wasn’t sure about the darts. In actual fact I had bought a gorgeous Olive striped cotton jersey with that very intention last November and then made something else because of my stripe/jersey/dart dilemma.

I’m regretting that now – Elfi’s has turned out so beautifully!!!


The collar looks great in jersey, but if you’re intending to try this at home, remember to cut it on the straight grain rather than on the bias. The straight grain follows the same direction as the body, so cut your collar out with the shortest length running parallel with the selvedge of your cloth. If you look at Elfi’s you can see the pattern on the collar and body all runs in the same direction. The neck will still need taping of course, to prevent it stretching out of shape. Depending on the fit you want, you may also need to skim in the body a little to make use of the stretch. I’m thinking of making a short version (hip length) to wear more as a semi-fitted sweatshirt sort of feel, with a comfort/cosy factor, rather than a very fitted t-shirt look. But you know the rules, ladies..TOILE FIRST!!!!

UPDATE: If you love the jersey used for this dress, I have some good news…..Elfi has a fabric shop! It’s full of lovely, lovely prints! 

The  BIGGEST of thank you’s to Elfi for sharing her very inspiring French Dart Shift




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How to add a Lining Tutorial


A Dress Lining Tutorial

I wasn’t planning to do a lining tutorial at all, but happily finding 2 metres of the perfectly coloured gold lining in my stash to match this beautiful Barkcloth, set me off on a path….and I thought it might be useful! So, let’s add a lining to The French Dart Shift pattern


You will need The French Dart Shift Pattern (or similar style dress pattern) and the fabric and haberdashery listed plus

  • 1mt lining
  • paper to make a lining pattern (if you don’t have pattern paper, improvise…wallpaper, newspaper, A4 sheets taped together)



Firstly, you need to make a lining pattern. Yep, really you do. You could cheat and just cut the body of the dress in the lining but as lining fabric doesn’t ‘give’ and you may well find that it all gets a little tight across the back. Sometimes you can add a pleat at the back (like inside a jacket, go on take a quick look at one, I’ll wait) but ideally, you don’t want any extra bulk at the back of a dress, just a little extra ease for movement.

So here’s what you do…The finished lining pattern will be WIDER and SHORTER than the main body pattern, and the sleeve is going to stay unlined, so no sleeve lining pattern needed!


Trace off the front and back body pattern, marking all the notches and darts. Extend the shoulder seam by 3mm and mark with a cross.

Next, mark a point half way down the armhole and 5mm OUT from the pattern and again 5mm OUT at the underarm.

Draw a GRADE LINE on the lining pattern 5mm away and parallel to the Centre Front Line (CF).


Redraw the armhole: using your original pattern piece as a template to join the points you just marked together.

The side seam needs to move OUT 5mm as well: Take the main pattern and lay on top of the lining pattern. Line up at the underarm (U/A), remember to use the new U/A point on the lining pattern, and the CF with the GRADE LINE (keep the patterns parallel with each other) and re-draw the side seam and bust dart.


Make the lining pattern 3cm shorter (which is the hem allowance of the dress) than the main pattern. The lining pattern will have a 1.5cm hem allowance so it will finish 1.5cm higher than the dress hem because you don’t want your lining on display when you strut your stuff!

Repeat all the above for the back pattern.

Check your lining patterns against your originals…line them up at the C/F’s and C/B’s, are the lining patterns wider and shorter?

Do the front and back lining patterns fit together at the side seam? Yes? Good! Label them as your lining pattern, the size, and to cut them on the fold.

Now cut them out in lining.


Make the body of your dress as described in your Maker Instructions. (Tape the neckline, make front and back darts, shoulders, pockets and side seams and hem.)

Make and hem the sleeves and put them to one side.


MAKE THE COLLAR: close the centre back (CB) seam and press open, fold collar in half and pin so raw edges are together. Be sure to line up all notches so the collar is not twisted.


With right sides together (RST) pin the folded collar into the neckline of the dress, align notches to prevent the collar from twisting. Tack in 6mm seam allowance (S/A) to hold.


MAKE THE LINING: Stitch and neaten bust darts, make back darts, close and overlock side seams together. Close shoulder seams and overlock open.


Double turn hem lining: Press up the hem 1.5cm, and then fold up the hem again so raw edge meets your pressed line, and press in a second line. Re-fold the hem along the pressed lines so the raw edge is enclosed and top stitch the hem.


ATTACH LINING AT NECKLINE: With RST, place the lining body inside the main body, align notches and pin. The collar is now sandwiched between the body and lining. Stitch the neckline with a 6mm S/A. Press neckline, with the S/A down and pressed AWAY from the collar. Understitch the lining around the neckline.


Pin armhole of body and lining together, aligning all the notches. Tack to hold.

Follow the Maker Instructions and set in the sleeves.

Overlock armhole together to neaten, treating all layers (sleeve/body/lining) as one. Give it a press.

That’s it, you’re done…wear and enjoy!


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How to make patch pockets perfectly – every time!

 | How to make patch pockets perfectly EVERY time! |

One of the tricks I learnt after first leaving college (when I was still just a lowly Design Room assistant) was how to make patch pockets perfectly EVERY time – even when they have curved bottoms! I worked with some great sample machinists, who showed me this little trick. Of course, they let me do it wrong a few times before revealing the easiest way in the world.

If you have downloaded The Maria Wrap Apron PDF pattern, or the as-yet-soon-to-be-released Wendy Artisan Smock Pattern (exciting…more to be revealed later!) you will already have seen the pattern piece labelled POCKET FORMER with the instruction to cut in card only – this is the same shape as your patch pocket pattern piece but WITHOUT THE SEAM ALLOWANCE and ladies that is the trick – just press your pocket AROUND a piece of card cut to the correct shape!

If you are using a pattern from another designer and don’t have a pocket former pattern piece – fear not! Just trace off your patch pocket pattern piece (or print an extra – oh, the joys of PDF patterns) and cut off ALL the seam allowances to follow along, but do remember to keep the original pocket pattern.

A MRS MAVEN TOP TIP: This is the same method that I used to ‘card’ my design patterns ready to send off to the factories for mass production. So feel free to card the whole pattern if it’s one you use a lot, it’ll last forever!! 


If you are looking for a little help to make and stitch your pockets on The Maria Apron or The Wendy Smock, we have another patch pocket tutorial here.

To make a pocket former template in card you will need:

  • One patch pocket FORMER pattern piece (or a pattern WITHOUT seam allowances)
  • A piece of card bigger than the pattern piece, a cereal box is good.
  • Stapler ( and a stapler extractor is useful)
  • Ruler, paper scissors and pencil

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven PatternsTake your POCKET FORMER PATTERN PIECE and fold in half. Take your piece of card and fold in half scoring the fold flat – I use the handle of my scissors.

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven Patterns

Place together, make sure the folded edges of both are aligning or your card template will be the wrong size later! Staple to hold in place.

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven Patterns

Use the ruler and trace around the outside edge, taking care that you make a right angle at that centre fold line or you’ll get an odd pointy shape in the centre when you cut out the template.Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven PatternsCut out carefully. Because you are cutting it out while folded you know both side are going to be symmetrical.

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven Patterns

Un-staple and remember to write which pattern it belongs to!

So now what do you do with it?

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven Patterns

Lay your card pocket former template on your pocket and press the seam allowance all the way around. You’ll get a smooth matching curve on EVERY pocket you make.

Patch Pocket Tutorial - Maven Patterns

Oh Look they match…how delightful!! Now all you need to do is stitch them on!

Need a little help bagging out your pocket corner, or doing the reinforcement stitch? Check out our other PATCH POCKET TUTORIAL here.

Happy Sewing!

Mrs M x

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The How to Understitch Tutorial

The How to Understitch Tutorial.

I thought I’d do a little tutorial on UNDERSTITCHING, I’m sure most people know all about, but it’s something I love to do, so it will be appearing quite a bit in the instructions of Maven Patterns.

“But why Mrs M?” I hear you ask, “why such love of understitching?”

Well for a start, I feel a little sorry for it, understitching is an often neglected little process because when you’re rushing to finish a garment for yourself in between tea time and the next domestic disaster, it’s an easy thing to skip and do you know why I don’t skip it …because I’m lazy! This secretive, functional little stitch is the easiest way to make your facings, bindings and under collars (or under straps if you are making the Maria Wrap Apron) sit to the inside where they should be, without them rolling to the front.  Once you get the hang of it you’ll understitch everywhere!

Here’s how…



1. First, sew your seam. Make sure you take the right seam allowance, MAVEN PATTERNS will only have a 6mm seam allowance for bagging out facings and collars, if you have a bigger seam allowance you may need to trim it down a bit if you are stitching on a curved edge. Press all the seam allowance towards the facing.


2. With the right side of the garment up, edgestitch ON THE FACING through ALL the layers, take care not to stretch the garment as you stitch. If you are stitching on an under collar or into a shoulder, just stitch as far as you can with your machine and then stop.


3.  This is what the reverse side looks like, all the seam allowances are held flat to the facing with that edgestitch.


4. Now press it so the facing lays flat on the inside of the garment, it will naturally want to roll into place.


5. On the right side of the get a nice sharp edge and a flat facing that stays put!

There you see, so easy!