Tag Archives: Brightside shrug

Win A Brightside Shrug Making Kit In This Month’s Love Sewing Magazine

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The month’s Love Sewing magazine is the 2nd birthday issue. Two years already, doesn’t it feel like it’s always been around?

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To celebrate, you can win one of my Brightside Shrug Making Kits which includes gorgeous grey marl lightweight cotton loopback sweatshirt fabric, matching thread and pattern. The perfect garment for this time of year when it can still be a bit chilly, but you don’t want a big bulky jumper or cardi.

You can enter the giveaway online here.  Good luck!

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Once you’ve done that, settle down with your copy of the mag and a brew and read my Q&A; this month “Do I really Need To Tack?” Erm, what do you think my answer was?! I’m also answering questions on ease and when’s a good time to start having a go at pattern cutting.

It’s issue 26, it’s £5.99 and it’s out now.

Brightside Shrug to Longline Cardi Hack

When Portia who hosts the fabulous Makery blog asked if I’d be up for her having a go at a hack idea she had in mind for the Brightside Shrug I jumped at the chance. Portia and I seem to have very similar tastes (always a pleasure to find an kindred aesthetic spirit) and I was really intrigued to see what she would come up with. I’m not precious about people altering my patterns, in fact I love to see the clever and creative ways my patterns are interpreted by different makers. So, over to Portia….


I have an irresistible urge when I see a pattern, to mess with it. For some reason when I look at a sewing pattern I start imagining variations of it. A tweak here. A tweak there. And you can change the look and feel of a pattern. Basically pattern hackery is fun and what’s more, using an existing pattern as a jumping off point means the hard work of drafting is basically done for you. Playing with a pattern to create different variations can give you more bang for your buck when you buy a pattern too; and who doesn’t love that?!

Image 1 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK (2)

What I’ve often wondered though is whether designers mind when you mess with their patterns? After all, they’ve spent all that time and skill creating a pattern and along you come and start changing it! I mean, isn’t it a bit like having someone cook you a gourmet meal, then covering it in salt or pepper before you’ve even tasted it? (For the record….I absolutely do not do that!) Well I needn’t have worried. Methinks Wendy is a passionate explorer of ideas because when I tentatively mentioned to her that I’d been pondering a “longline” hack on her MIY Brightside Shrug, I could almost hear her clapping her hands together with delight. And when she asked if I could turn it into a guest post for her blog, well, honoured, right?

image 2 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK image 3 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK

So here is the starting point. Beautifully modelled by Wendy. It really is a great little pattern. Especially for beginners. I especially think it’s a great project to cut your teeth on a serger with. I really do love the style of this. So neat and compact and perfect to throw over a tee. But the beauty of being able to sew your own clothes is adapting them to suit you. Now I’m a bit self-conscious when it comes to my waistline. So it’s a matter of feeling comfy to me to have my midriff covered; and I generally prefer my cardigans to be at the hip or lower.

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Much lower in this case, because I hacked it so it was knee length!

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It’s a very simple hack. I tested the idea out in miniature first. When you buy the pattern in pdf there’s a layplan for the pdf tiles and I simply cut the whole pattern piece from that and messed around with it on paper first. I even cut a miniature in fabric and sewed it up but forgot to take a pic of that! You can see the basic idea here. I’ve extended the bottom section of the pattern to make it longer following and extending the angle of the side seam…

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Here it is drawn directly onto fabric…

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Construction is exactly the same as the pattern. Except of course, when you’ve finished sewing the underarm/side seam sections, you’ll have the extended bottom section, well, extending. Which actually looks a bit weird as you sew because essentially it’s at right angles to the top section. But thanks to the nature of knit fabric (this is French Terry from Girl Charlee) as soon as you put it on it will automatically stretch out a little and drop down and hang vertically

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Now of course changing the length of the back section means the existing pattern piece for the band that goes around the entire shrug, is basically redundant. It’ll be too short. Simply measure the new circumference of the shrug opening and cut a longer band to fit. (Same length as the circumference plus a little SA)

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Apply the band as per the pattern instructions. Pressing the seam allowance to the inside and top stitching down. When you reach the section at the side seam where the back is longer than the front, simply ease/gently stretch the seam so it’s straight. Much in the way you would treat a curved seam on a serger.

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Ok, ignore the fact that I had to piece my neck/hem band together because I accidentally cut through my only continuous strip of fabric. Don’t judge. We’ve all been there 😉 In any case, when you look at the underarm/side seam you can see that the bottom section (the one that I extended and was essentially at a right angle) now hangs more or less vertically with a light curve. That my friends is the magic of sewing with knits. They will forgive you pretty much anything. Including turning a 90 degree angle into a 180 degree angle!

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And hey presto! A longline Brightside Shrug. Simple!


Massive thank you to Portia for a brilliant post. I love this version of the Brightside shrug and would never have imagined that this was what she would come up with. And that little tip of trying out pattern adaptations on the miniature pattern pieces – stroke of genius Portia!! I obviously will have to be trying one of these versions for myself now too. What do you think? Inspired to have a go?

You can get your copy of the pattern in printed paper form here or as a pdf download here and to encourage you to get hacking your own version, enter the code “makerybrightsidehack” when you checkout to get 15% off your order until Tuesday 29th March.

Happy hacking!!

The Brightside Shrug Reviewed by Kylie of InleDesigns

Don’t you think Kylie of Inledesigns looks cute in her version of the Brightside shrug? She’s made it look so ladylike by teaming it with her Kim dress.

inledesigns-brightside2Photo © Inledesigns

It’s one of the things that this pattern is great for: a non-bulky, grown-up, chic alternative to a cardi when you just need that little extra layer over the top of your frock!

inledesigns-brightsidePhoto © Inledesigns

But even better, although Kylie made it for a special occasion it’s becoming a wardrobe staple.  I just love that!

If you’re inspired to make your own, you can get the Brightside as a printed paper pattern, pdf download pattern or as a complete making kit.

The Brightside Shrug Reviewed by SoZo

You may know Zoe Edwards as author of the popular SoZo What do You Know blog and creator of the annual MeMadeMay sewing extravaganza. MIY Workshop students will also know her as the teacher of my Saturday classes.

When Zoe started teaching at MIY Workshop she asked if she could make the Brightside shrug and write a review of it. Obviously I was more than happy to let her loose on my patterns! Here’s her oh-so-wearable end result:

Brightside shrug by sozowhatdoyouknowPhoto © Zoe Edwards

Read her full review of the pattern here and like me, be super impressed at Zoe’s thriftiness…..

If you’re inspired by Zoe to have a go yourself, the Brightside Shrug is available in print, as a PDF pattern and a complete making kit in the MIY Collection shop.

Brightside Shrug – Now Available as a Complete Making Kit!

Shrug Sewing Kit

Just in time for last posting for Christmas I’ve got the Brightside Shrug Kit online and available to buy at MIY Collection.

The complete making kit comes with a paper copy of the Brightside pattern, enough beautiful quality lightweight sweatshirt fabric in a choice of colours to make one shrug and matching thread all for £45. It comes gift boxed and delivered to your door for free (in the UK)!!

Perfect for impatient stitchers who don’t want to worry about fabric shopping for the right fabric or a great gift for new dressmakers. I’ve had students at MIY Workshop make these in a 2 hour class!!

Last posting date for Christmas delivery is Monday 21st.

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Two New MIY Collection Patterns & Kits

Well overdue, I finally launched 2 new MIY Collection patterns at last week’s Knitting & Stitching show and they’re now also available online from the MIY Collection Pattern Shop.

The first is the Kelham, the ultimate A-line skirt pattern.

kelham ultimate aline skirt sewing pattern

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t suit an a-line skirt shape and the Kelham includes:

  • 7 sizes (based on body measurements not confusing dress sizes)
  • 2 different ways to finish the waist (waistband or waist facing)
  • 2 length options marked on the pattern
  • 3 style variations (completely plain, with pockets or with a CF pleat).

There’s so much you can do with an a-line skirt pattern and it will look great in a range of fabrics from cotton poplin, linen, denim, corduroy or lightweight wool.

Get your copy here.

The second pattern is the Wisewood cowl neck dress and top.

wisewood dress

wisewood top

I love a draped cowl neck, they’re so flattering and easy to wear and this pattern went down a storm at the Knitting & Stitching show.

Both top and dress versions are included in the pattern as well as:

  • 8 sizes (based on body measurements not confusing dress sizes)
  • 2 depths of cowl
  • 2 different ways to finish the deeper cowl
  • sleeved and sleeveless versions.

This one is a pattern for stretch knits and works in a wide variety; a viscose jersey will give you a beautifully draped lightweight version – great for tops, a good quality ponte roma (try and find one with viscose rather than polyester) will result in a dramatic sculptural effect in a gorgeous cosy dress.

Get your copy here.

MIY Collection Kits

miy collection dressmaking kits

Another exciting launch at the show was MIY Collection Kits. Including a pattern, carefully selected beautiful quality fabric appropriate for the pattern in a quantity to allow for shrinkage in pre-washing and matching colour thread. Kits are available for the following patterns:

They will be available online just as soon as I’ve photographed them!

A New PDF Pattern & Some Changes to MIY Collection Sewing Patterns

My MIY Collection shrug pattern is now available as a PDF instant download from my shop.

miy brightside shrug sewing pattern

A perfect summer sew – quick, a good stash buster if you make contrasting bands, it’s just enough to keep the chill off your shoulders and folds down small enough to stick in your bag!

I know PDF patterns aren’t for everyone (you can buy a print version of the Brightside here), but with this one I’ve introduced a few changes to my patterns:

  • you’ll notice it has a name – the Brightside Shrug
  • it uses a new size labelling system which refers directly to body measurements rather than some oblique numbering system
  • as well as a tiled version of the pattern to print onto A4 sheets and tape together at home, a full size untiled version is included which can be printed at professional copy shops.

I will be gradually making these changes to all my existing and new patterns and you can read about why I decided to do it here.

I’d love to know what you think?