How to finish a neckline with bias binding

Posted on November 17, 2015

In yesterday's post in The Rushcutter sew-along, I showed you how to make your own bias tape, and today I am going to show you how to attach  the binding to the neckline. This method will also work if you are using store-bought binding, and will work on other sewing patterns that ask for a bound neckline and have a centre-back opening.

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How to make your own bias binding (the low tech way)

November 16, 2015

I love home made bias binding. It is a bit more extra work than using the shop-bought stuff, but it is a great way to bust scraps and you can get a really beautiful finish. Making your own also allows you to use whatever fabric you like, as the stuff in store is pretty limited! You can consider using a contrast binding, or just making it from the fabric you have used for the main body of the piece, or using something lighter to minimise bulk in the seam you are binding.

There are bias binding makers out there, but I tend to do things the old school way, so I cut and fold the binding my hand. So that is what I am going to show you in today's post. As we are up to the point that they need some binding for our Rushcutters. 

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How to : Draft a waistband

Posted on June 10, 2016

In the last couple of weeks I've been showing you how to draft a skirt block to your own measurements, as part of The Skirt Series. In today's post I am going to show you how to draft a waistband for the skirt. If you have just made the skirt block and need to make a toile to see how it fits, I wouldn't bother making a waistband. You are better off whizzing up a quick toile, checking how it fits, and then once you are happy with it, making the waistband.

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Assembling The Rushcutter (view A)

Posted on November 11, 2015

Yesterday I showed you how to sew the darts on the raglan sleeve, in The Rushcutter sew-along, so today it's time to assemble the sleeves and get the sleeves and dress sections connected. By the end of this post, it will really start looking like a dress!

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How to sew shoulder darts in a raglan sleeve

Posted on November 10, 2015

Yesterday we finally started sewing our Rushcutters! We assembled the lower part of the dress, but before we can go any further, we need to get our sleeves started.

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The Rushcutter sew-along : How to sew the pockets (view A)

Posted on November 9, 2015

Welcome back to The Rushcutter sew-along.

Yay! After all that preparation, it is finally time to start sewing. 

In today's post, I'll be guiding you through the first few steps of The Rushcutter (View A). We'll be preparing our pockets, stitching them to the side panels, and then attaching our front and back.

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Throwback Thursday: How to use the cut + spread technique to draft an A-line skirt

Posted on November 5, 2015

After a few days of Rushcutter pattern alterations, it is time to get back to our skirt blocks, as it is, after all,Throwback Thursday! So Welcome back to The Skirt Series! Now that the pattern is pretty much complete (we just need to create a waistband pattern - which I will cover in tomorrow's post) I think we should have a play around with our new pattern blocks.

Once you have a skirt block that fits you well, there is just so much that can be done with it, and over the next few weeks I plan to show you some of the techniques you will need to know to transform your block into a skirt. 

One of the techniques I use the most when I am flat pattern-making, is relocating darts. So I think that is a good place for us to start! Once you know how to do it, you will be able to use this technique on any pattern that has darts.

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The Rushcutter Sew-along: Cutting your fabric

Posted on November 4, 2015

So it's finally time to cut out our Rushcutters!

If you are sewing a long with me, by this stage you should have gathered your suppliespicked your size,  printed your pattern, made a toile and made any necessary adjustments. Now that much of the hard work is done, it's time for the fun(ner) stuff!


The Rushcutter sew-along: more pattern alterations

Posted on November 3, 2015 

In yesterday's post, I showed you a few alterations that you may want to make to The Rushcutter: lower the neckline, add or removing volume, shortening and lengthening the pattern.

Today I have a follow on post for you, as I was worried I might intimidate you if I put all the alterations in the one post!

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Transferring pattern changes from toile to pattern

Posted on November 2, 2015

Last week I showed you how to make a toile, and what you should be looking for when fitting. In today's post, I will show you how to transfer changes from toile to pattern.


Adding pattern markings to your patterns

Posted on October 30, 2015

For those of you have been following along with The Skirt Series, we have almost finished our blocks! We have drafted the patternadded shaping to the dartsadded seam allowance, and today we are going to finish it all off by adding pattern markings. 


Throwback Thursday: How to add seam allowance to a sewing pattern

Posted on October 29, 2015

Last week, I showed you how to draft a skirt block from your own measurements, and then how to add shaping to the darts at the waistline, as part of The Skirt Series.

Before going ahead and making a toile to see how it fits, you will need to add seam allowance and pattern markings (which will be in tomorrow's post). 


How to (and why) make a toile

Posted on October 28, 2015

At this point in the Rushcutter sew-along, I thought it would be a good time to talk about toiling.

A toile (also known as a ‘muslin’) is basically a draft version of a garment. A toile is normally made from a cheaper fabric, so that you can test the fit of a particular garment before cutting into your real (and normally more expensive) fabric. 

It is best to choose a fabric to toile in, that is similar to what you plan to make the actual garment in. If you are using a lovely sandwashed silk, then you will need something with a similar handle and drape as the silk, so you can get a good idea of what the final garment will look like. Making a winter coat? Choose something with a similar thickness and drape.


How to grade between sizes

Posted on October 27, 2015

For many women, your measurements will range across several sizes, and you will need to grade between sizes after you print your pattern. The Rushcutter pattern has a lot of ease in it, and I have said already that you should really check the finished measurements before deciding you need to grade up a size at the waist or hip. But, this technique is one you can use on all nested patterns, to grade between sizes, and after saying all this, you may still feel you would like to grade between sizes for your Rushcutter!


How to print and assemble your PDF sewing pattern

Posted on October 26, 2015

Today in the Rushcutter sew-along, it's time to print out our PDF pattern!

Some of you may already have the printing, trimming and cutting of PDF patterns down to a fine art, but for those of you who hear the phrase 'PDF pattern' and shudder, I'm going to show you that it's not too bad at all!


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 I’m Emily and welcome to my little corner of the internet, where I share my passion for the art of pattern making and sewing. Sit down with a cup of tea, and enjoy!


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A tutorial: How to add dart shaping

Posted on October 23, 2015

Welcome back to my latest addition to the blog: The Skirt Series. In yesterday's tutorial, I showed you how to draft a skirt block.

At this stage the pattern is drafted, but it is not yet complete. There are still two things to do before we can go ahead and make a toile - we need to add dart shaping and then add seam allowance. I will cover dart shaping in today's post and then next week I'll get to adding seam allowance.


Throwback Thursday : Drafting a skirt block

Posted on October 22, 2015

As I mentioned last week, I will be diving into the Em Makes Patterns archives every Thursday to bring you some juicy pattern making goodness. 

For this weeks Throwback Thursday post, I thought it was worth starting right at the very beginning. If you are thinking about learning to your own patterns, then the best place to start is by drafting a skirt block. 


The Rushcutter Sew-along: Selecting your size

Posted on October 21, 2015

So now that we are all feeling inspired (hopefully) and have chosen our fabric, it is time to think about sizing. The Rushcutter sewing pattern is available in sizes A - K (approximately equivalent to AU size 6-24).

To select the appropriate size, first take your measurements.

It is best to take your measurements while wearing only underwear, or otherwise very tight clothing, so that you can get true measurements. Get someone to help you, if you can. Otherwise take your measurements in front of the mirror, so that you can check that your tape measure remains parallel to the floor, and is not twisted. 

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The Rushcutter Sew-Along : Gathering supplies

Posted on October 20, 2015

I hope that yesterday's post in the Rushcutter sew-along inspired you! I know it sure did inspire me. Now that you (hopefully) know what fabric you would like to use, let's talk supplies.

Below is a list of ideal supplies, but before I go on, I must say that I  am an advocate of using whatever you've got at home (within reason, of course) for your sewing projects. So if you've got a zip that's a little too long or a little too short, then use it! Buttons a little bigger or small than required? Use them! If you don't have an invisible zip around, then consider using a standard zip. As well as this, consider cutting your fabric flat, rather than on the fold, you'll be able to squeeze your pieces on way less fabric (I will talk about that more when we get to cutting fabric). 


The Rushcutter Sew-Along : Finding inspiration

Posted on October 19, 2015

Yay! It's the first day of my very first sew-along, and I couldn't be more excited to get started.

For those of you who are just joining us, in the last post I introduced you to my brand new sewing pattern, the Rushcutter! If you missed the memo, you can check out all the details here.

I thought the best place to start the Rushcutter sew-along would be with some inspiration.

I had the most amazing group of women volunteer to test the pattern for me (thanks again ladies!) and they really did an incredible job of showing how different this dress can look, depending on your fabric choice. They each really made the dress their own.


Introducing the Rushcutter

Posted on October 14, 2015

Yipee!!! I am so pleased to introduce you to my very first sewing pattern! Her name is The Rushcutter and I think she's a bit of a beauty.

She is a relaxed knee length A-line dress, which is flattering to pretty much all figure shapes. My main mission when designing the Rushcutter was to create a dress that is comfortable, wearable, effortlessly cool, and would fit comfortable into many different women's existing wardrobes. She can easily be dressed up and down, and is perfect for all seasons.

She comes in two variations, which means she is perfect for all you people in the northern hemisphere too!


Throwback Thursday: Tools for patternmaking

Posted on October 8, 2015

Welcome to the very first post in my 'Throwback Thursday' blog series. In this series I will go back to some of my most popular blog posts from my previous blog, Em Makes Patterns. 

For today's post, I thought it would be good to start with a post about pattern making tools. If you are keen to start making adjustments to your store bought patterns, or want to start drafting from scratch, there are a few things you are going to need!

There are probably a million different gizmos and gadgets that you could buy to help you with your patterns, but I like to keep things simple, so this post will guide you through just the most useful tools.


Welcome to 'In the Folds'

Posted on October 7, 2015

I'm Emily, and I'd say most of you will know me from my other website / blog Em Makes Patterns. 

As some of you may already know, I recently decided to take the plunge and start my own business. I had somewhat idealistically imagined spending each day working on a new task - one day making a pattern, the next sewing, the day after that working on my website and social media. But I have found out very quickly, that it is not like that at all. Things that I had imagined would take a few days, take weeks (hello grading a pattern into 10 sizes - I'm talking to you!). So a pattern that I had thought I would launch two months ago, is only now, ready to go. But I am learning to enjoy the process, and to respect and appreciate the time that it takes to make something beautiful. As it's all about the journey, right? (yes, year 10 English taught me something!)

I thought that a good way of starting my new blog, would be in a Q & A format - getting a few of the questions out of the way that I am sure some of you may have, before we get onto more exciting things (like the release of my first ever sewing pattern! Yay!)