Tag Archives: sewing indie month

Sewing Indie Month 2015 Happenings

Blimey, being involved in a project like Sewing Indie Month is one way to get your September off to a flying start and blow away the summer holiday cobwebs!! There’s been loads going on. Here’s a little round-up of what I’ve been involved with….

** A little heads-up before I start – the PDF pattern bundle sale (which my Walkley vest and dress pattern is included in) has been extended for 2 more days!! You now have until Saturday 12th September to get 10 fabulous indie sewing patterns for just $38 (approx. £25!!!) with 20% of the proceeds going to Women for Women – a charity helping women who are facing violence, marginalisation and poverty because of war and conflict. If that’s not enough, you’ll also get a coupon for 15% off at Grey’s Fabric and Notions!! **

So, back to what’s been happening so far….

My Interview!

interview with wendy ward of MIY collection on SBCC

I was interviewed by Betsy of Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick patterns for her blog. Betsy is a brilliant interviewer and came up with some really thoughtful questions which I enjoyed sitting down to think about. Have a read here.

Blog Reviews of my MIY Walkley Sewing Pattern

There have been some fabulous blogger reviews of my MIY Collection Walkley vest and dress sewing pattern, with some excellent advice on hacks and workarounds for various style and fit requirements:

MIY Walkley review on Cation Designs

First up 2 gorgeous versions from Cation Designs in stripe and plain. Read her review for an excellent lesson in how knit fabrics are not all the same!

MIY Walkley review on Magpie Makery

Next, a cute floral version with a clever workaround for anyone who thinks a boat neck won’t work for them by Magpie Makery.

MIY Walkley review on Paprika Patterns

And another stripey version of the dress by Lisa at Paprika Patterns. Lisa has chosen a different way to finish the neck and used an ingenious method for eliminating excess fabric at the back of the dress for a novel sway back adjustment, which I have to say I love!

MIY Walkley by scruffy badger time

And I love this striped version by Winnie at Scruffy Badger Time. Read her thoughts on deliberate stripe matching and mis-matching, quick sews and making a super versatile top.

So, that’s it for now lovely readers, there will be more goings on here and on all the other participating designers’ blogs over the month of September, but in the meantime – get your bundle of 10 amazing PDF patterns now before it’s too late!

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


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:



Happy indie pattern sewing!

Sewing Indie Month 2015

As is my way, not content with being involved in one big international online project this summer (The Refashioners 2015), I’m also taking part in Sewing Indie Month which this year is in September!

Sewing Indie Month 2015

It’s organised by Mari of Seamster Patterns and again includes an amazing line-up of indie pattern designers from around the world and I was very flattered to be asked to take part.

The month-long project involves interviews, guest tutorial blog posts and two fabulous value pdf pattern bundles with patterns from all of the indie designers involved in the project.  One of my MIY Collection patterns will be included in the second bundle which is yet to be released, but you can now get the first bundle and just look at what you get!!


Nine great patterns, including two new releases:

Even better 20% of all proceeds from the pattern sales will be going to charity.

Get the bundle here!

During September there will be some of the best known sewing bloggers also taking part by stitching up patterns from the bundles. I know, this just gets better and better doesn’t it?!  Here they are:

I’m a bit worn out just thinking about it all, it’s going to be AMAZING folks!! So get your pattern bundle and keep ’em peeled for those interviews and guest tutorials…