Tag Archives: pdf sewing patterns

MIY Collection Longley Cardi Pattern Reviewed by Very Kerry Berry

MIY Longley Cardi Review by Very Kerry Berry

I’ve known the lovely Kerry Green for a while in the virtual world and she most recently interviewed me for her column in Sewing World magazine. Kerry does a lot of patchwork and quilting, but also makes most of her own clothes and blogs about both at http://verykerryberry.blogspot.co.uk

I asked Kerry if she would be up for reviewing one of my patterns and was thrilled when she agreed (she’s a busy woman and I’m not quite sure how she fits it all in!). Kerry chose the Longley cardi and has written a really detailed review of the pattern in this blog post. She also includes a little tutorial on how to finish the back neck of the cardi with binding. Have a look, it’s such a nice detail.

If you’re inspired to have a go at making your own, the pattern is available in print for £15 and as a PDF download for £9.

If you need a bit of fabric inspiration, Ditto has a great range of excellent quality knits.

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!

Read Kylie’s full write-up of what she thought of the pattern here.

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 Longley Cardigan Sewing Pattern: Recent Blogger Reviews

There have been some great reviews of the Longley cardigan recently. I guess January is cardigan time of year for a lot of the world and what could be better than a cosy, stylish, easy to wear, quick to make cardi?!

Rae Hoekstra, the US designer behind Made by Rae sewing patterns made this gorgeous version:

longley cardi by madebyraePhoto © Rae Hoekstra

….and wrote a glowing review of the pattern! Read it here.

Published on the same day was a review by Anne who blogs as Compulsive Seamstress and has so far made 2 Longley cardigans:

Photos © Compulsive Seamstress

Read Anne’s review of the pattern here.

I love that both these bloggers aren’t stopping at just one cardi, Anne is onto her 3rd and Rae has lots more planned. Surely the sign of a great pattern?!

Inspired? The Longley cardigan pattern is available in print and now as a PDF digital pattern from the MIY Collection shop.

Who Drafted Your Sewing Pattern? (or How to Choose a Sewing Pattern)

whodraftedyoursewingpattern-web

The world of Indie Sewing Patterns expands by the day, which is good news! Being able to use patterns from independent designers is great, but with so much choice out there, how much do you really know about them?

This is a blog post I’ve been meaning to write for months and as it’s now Sew Indie Month and I’m a part of that amazing project, I thought it was the perfect time!

It’s a subject which has been touched on recently by Abby Glassenberg in this post about an accreditation system, with some interesting discussions in the comments. Although it initially sounds like a good idea which does appeal to to me, I personally don’t think any kind of accreditation system could work; it would be too cumbersome and inevitably result in some sort of subscription or membership fee being due which would push up the price of patterns.

Other options are review sites and curated sites. Of the review sites there’s really only one main one; Pattern Review, it’s thorough, it’s well-used (I think, have you ever used it?), but couldn’t it just do with a bit of an image overhaul? In dressmaking we are sadly lacking a Ravelry equivalent. For all you non-knitters, Ravelry is like Facebook for knitters! Of the knitters I know it seems to be well-used and well-loved.

Of the curated sites, there’s Kollabora and Indiesew. Kollabora has a huge choice, but it doesn’t just stop at dressmaking and includes other crafts. Indiesew focusses just on dressmaking, but it doesn’t stock some key designers. My main reservation about sites like these is that well, didn’t we all think that one of the many great reasons for buying from indie designers is that you know exactly where all of your £$ is going?? Indiesew and Kollabora are both predominantly market places and they take their cut.

Then there are organised events and PDF pattern bundle sales like Sew Indie Month and what was Perfect Pattern Parcel, where patterns are bundled together from reputable indie designers with the proceeds going direct to the designers and also a proportion going to charity.

So really, the best way to check out the credentials of an indie pattern designer, or find one that shares your dressmaking vision, is going to be recommendations from stitchy friends and doing your own research.

Start by asking these questions:

  • Do they have relevant training?
  • Have they worked in the fashion industry with garment-making experience?
  • Do they teach? (Teachers understand how to write clear jargon-free instructions and know the problems that learners will encounter.)
  • Have they drafted the pattern themselves? If not, why?  Is it because they can’t pattern cut? Someone who doesn’t draft their own patterns might not be able to help with any technical questions you might have about using the pattern. It’s one thing to come up with a nice design, quite another to be able to draft a technically correct pattern for it and really understand how it’s put together so that people using the pattern will be able to do the same.
  • Do they have a blog/website where you can find additional technical sewing help and advice?
  • Can you see versions that real people have made using the pattern as well as just the designer on their website?

Lots of indie designers do everything themselves and don’t have a massive budget to splash out on fancy graphics, brand designers, web designers, etc so don’t rush to judge a book by its cover: beautiful, professionally designed packaging of a pattern doesn’t necessarily tell you the quality of what’s inside.

Here are some excellent blog posts about what’s involved in developing a new pattern. I did consider writing a post like this myself, but as these two designers have explained it so well, why not read theirs. They’ll also shed light on why indie patterns cost more than the big traditional pattern companies:

http://so-sew-easy.com/sewing-pattern-born/

http://marillawalker.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/being-independant-designer.html

Happy indie pattern sewing!

Introducing the Walkley Vest Dress

MIYwalkley

My straight neck vest and dress pattern is now the Walkley Vest Dress.

I’ve just updated the PDF version of the pattern and as well as the new name it uses my new sizing system based on body measurements and a full scale untiled version of the pattern if you prefer to print patterns at a copy shop rather than on A4 sheets to join together at home.

If you prefer a paper pattern, it’s still available here and will be updated soon with the new name and size labelling.

This pattern is a great summer project – the vest and dress are both really easy to wear – a loose-ish fit, but with some shaping at the waist so it’s not a completely boxy shape. It’s easy to add custom seams to your pattern (fully explained in the instructions) so you can mix and match fabrics and use up some of that stash!!

Lots of my beginner students have happily used this pattern and if you’ve done a bit of sewing before, get creative with those seams and make yourself a completely unique version. I love seeing what people make with my patterns so don’t forget to tag your makes #miywalkley or email me your pictures.

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?

Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking T-shirt in Making Magazine

The simple t-shirt from my book “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking” is featured in the current Making Magazine (issue 61 – June 15). June15-makingmagazine-tshirt-web It’s the perfect project for this time of year – it’s quick to make, you can mix and match different knit fabrics making it a great stash buster and you can’t really have too many t-shirts, can you? Just click on the image above to download your pdf copy of the pattern. If you fancy a t-shirt dress, the pattern lengthens easily into a great little dress for layering over leggings or chucking on over your bikini on holiday….. t-shirt-dresshack-charlotte