Sew Many Sales, Sew Little Time // Black Friday Pattern Sales 2014 Part II

Following on from the my post earlier this week, here’s a quick update on some NEW Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales that have just popped up yesterday and today!

Colette Patterns 

30% off ALL patterns, ending TONIGHT, Friday Midnight PST!

Colette Patterns needs no introduction in the indie sewing sphere; from the Myrtle to the Laurel and their new Dahlia pattern, they’ve had sewists across the blogosphere raving about their easy-to-follow, beginner-friendly patterns and instructions.

Despite the great reviews, I only own one Colette pattern, the Dahlia, which I bought on impulse during their 15% off introductory sale. The thing is… Colette patterns are really quite expensive (U.P. US$14 or $12 for a PDF pattern), and that’s put me off buying any more of their patterns so far. If you’re budget-conscious like me (it sounds so much better than “cheapskate” doesn’t it), THIS IS YOUR MOMENT! CARPE DIEM!

As for me, I’ll be taking this chance to snap up copies of the Laurel and Iris (pictured above) patterns, both of which have been on my wishlist for a long, long time.

Megan Nielsen

20% off all PDF Patterns throughout this weekend!

 

Now to my knowledge Megan doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving (her being in Australia and all that) so I was thrilled to find out she was throwing a Black Friday sale anyway! Megan’s patterns were the very first few patterns I bought when I was just starting out, and I would highly recommend them to anyone who likes her style. (She’s also incredibly responsive on instagram, which is so encouraging for anyone who is just starting to discover the wonder that is the online sewing community! Thanks Megan!)

I currently own her Breakwater Collection pattern pack (pictured directly above) which is a set of 4 patterns sold for the price of 3. A great bargain, if you ask me! I’ve sewed up the Eucalypt Tank and Dress and found them incredibly easy to grade between sizes and a quick make (instant gratification ftw). I also have plans to sew up the popular Tania Culottes (two circle skirts that make up a single pair of shorts how ingenious is that?!) and the Cascade skirt before Christmas, so be sure to pop back by this space if you’d like to see how those turn out! I also happen to think her Darling Ranges dress (first picture above) is adorable and have seen many cute versions on instagram so be sure to check that out too.

True Bias

20% off patterns from Friday through to Monday midnight (EST) using the code THANKS20!

Now strangely enough, this offer hasn’t been advertised on True Bias’ official blog / website (as far as I can tell), but it was posted on Kelli’s instagram page, which is official enough for me!

I haven’t made up either the Hudson pants or Sutton blouse as they don’t really fit into my style profile, but I’ve seen numerous makes across the blogosphere and they look awesome! For one, I’m really loving Heather Lou of Closet Case File‘s rendition of the Hudson pants (below) – how on earth these bloggers manage to make a pair of lounge pants look like acceptable daywear, I will never know.

If you’ve been looking for a comfy pyjama pants pattern, or if you want to get into the track pants trend, then you might want to check the Hudson pants out.

Sew Caroline

Sew Caroline has sales from Black Friday through to Cyber Monday, with a different sale category on offer for each day!

Friday: 50% off PDF patterns
Saturday: 30% off apparel and accessories
Sunday: 40% off printed patterns
Monday: 25% off EVERYTHING!

I’ve been eyeing the Out and About Dress for a while now, simply because I have a RTW dress that looks almost identical to the pattern and is a dream to wear! I may or may not be adding this to my shopping cart today…

If you follow Sew Caroline on instagram, you would have seen this gorgeous tote (below) posted earlier this week. You guys, if shipping from US / Canada was not insane I would be snapping this baby up in a heartbeat. If you like sewing and a good pun, THIS TOTE IS FOR YOU. (Bonus points if you like Iggy Azalea!)

See Kate Sew

All kids patterns $5, all women’s patterns $10, all paper patterns $15 and all tees and totes going for $15 each!

 

They’ve also got special bundles / packages going for a real steal, so if you’ve been eyeing anything from their store be sure to get over there and check it out!

I personally won’t be picking up anything from the store (student budget woes), but if I had the spare cash, or a kid, I would definitely be grabbing a hold of the children’s patterns or a tote (or two!)

Indie Sew

20% off ALL patterns on Monday, 1 December 2014 from 6am to 10pm MST!

I’ve never shopped from Indie Sew before but have spent many an afternoon poking around their site admiring the collection of pretty patterns for sale. In case you’re not familiar with the site, Indie Sew is a platform that aims to bring together the sewing community and promote the work of independent designers. So if your favourite indie designer isn’t hosting a Black Friday sale this year, fret not! Pop by Indie Sew and fingers crossed, they may have your desired pattern in stock.

I’ve been wanting to pick up Delia CreatesPleated Pencil Skirt pattern for a long time now, so I was really excited to find it available in the Indie Sew shop at a really good price. Time to get cracking on that work-appropriate wardrobe for next year!

McCall’s, Vogue, Butterick & Kwik Sew

And last but certainly not least, the McCall’s company is having a sale on ALL lines through Monday, 1 December 2014! Butterick & McCall’s patterns are going for $3.99 apiece, Vogue patterns are selling at $5.99 each and all Kwik Sew patterns are priced at $6.99 each.

I know shops in the US run sales on Big 4 patterns all the time, but as an international customer it simply isn’t worth the money to ship patterns from a single line (eg. Butterick) as and when these sales come out. Having all these lines on sale at once means that I can bulk purchase and ship them back at a lower cost!

I may or may not have already put in an order for 7 patterns this morning… which may or may not be the following:

Vogue V8784 – a wrap dress for woven fabric

Butterick 6129 – an off-shoulder dress

Butterick 6090 (above) – a pleated button-down dress

McCall’s 6696 – a shirt dress that EVERYBODY seems to be making at the moment

McCall’s 6505 – a lace shift dress

McCall’s 6028 – a sheath dress with raglan sleeves and contrast panel

Kwik Sew 3614 – a structure shorts pattern with fly front (I opted for this instead of B6061 as I heard Kwik Sew has a better crotch curve than Butterick. I’m not too sure how accurate this information is as I’ve never sewed pants… EVER, but I sure am excited to find out!)

And that’s all I have for now! I may update if new sales pop up over the weekend, but in the meantime, GO FORTH AND SPEND YOUR MONEY! MAY THE BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING LUCK BE WITH YOU.

 

Sew Many Sales, Sew Little Time // Black Friday Pattern Sales 2014

This being my first Black Friday after picking up sewing (and generally being clueless about Thanksgiving sales given that I live on the other side of the planet), I was overjoyed by the sudden wave of sales being announced by a whole bunch of indie pattern designers. 20% off storewide here, 50% off paper patterns there – I felt like a crazed shopaholic in a luxury outlet shopping mall with Burberry trenches and Prada Saffianos circling my head.

In a (futile) attempt to rein in my wild spendthrift tendencies, I made a list of sales currently being offered and the patterns I’m eyeing at the moment:

Tilly & the Buttons

15% off all patterns and workshops at Tilly Towers (you lucky lucky buggers living in London!)

Hurry though as this sale ends today (Tuesday 25 November 2014)!

This would be a great time to snap up the new Francoise 60s shift dress pattern or an autographed version of Tilly’s book – Love at First Stitch. I’ve already got her book as well as the Coco and Mathilde patterns (and may or may not have just ordered the Francoise… whoops!), and I highly recommend them all, especially for beginners.

 

Sewaholic Patterns 

20% off your order, ending Sunday 30 November 2014!

As a pear-shaped lady I’ve always taken a special interest in Tasia’s patterns, especially since they’re all so beautifully designed. I’m ashamed to admit though that I’ve only ever bought one of her patterns, the Hollyburn skirt, and have yet to sew it up… Never fear, this situation will soon be a thing of the past as I am even now loading the Renfrew top and Gabriola skirt patterns into my shopping cart!

I’m dying to get the Thurlow trousers pattern though Tasia has not yet made that into a pdf pattern. (I mean if there’s a pattern made for pear-shaped women that we ladies ought to buy it’s a pants pattern amirite?) The only thing stopping me is that shipping costs are a real pain when you live on the opposite side of the globe. Still, with 20% off it may be worth considering hmm…

 

Grainline Studios

20% off all patterns from 29 December 2014 to 1 December 2014!

It wasn’t until a month or two ago that I started following Grainline Studios, but I have seen their now iconic Archer Shirt and Alder Shirtdress popping up all over the sew-cial media (see what I did there?) since earlier this year. I’ve also read some rave reviews about their latest offering, the Linden sweatshirt, and it seems even the ladies over at the ever amusing GOMI thread have given Jen’s drafting skills their stamp of approval, so I’m guessing the patterns are pretty legit.

I’m not a big fan of the Alder shirtdress as I prefer less flare in such a blouse-y garment (also, it looks a tiny bit like maternity wear, don’t you think? No? Just me? Ok) but I have been eyeing their Maritime shorts, Scout Tee and Archer shirt so I may pick one (or all) of those up later this week.

 

Oliver + S Patterns

50% off paper patterns until 29 November 2014!

This one is for all your mummies out there! Unfortunately the discount only applies to Oliver + S and Straight Stitch Society patterns, really disappointing given that I was eyeing the Girl Friday Culottes from Liesl + Co, but great news for you ladies who actually have kids to sew for! (The only relations I have below the age of 20 are 2 days and 2 months old respectively, bummer)

 

Butterick 

Not an indie pattern company, but still a sale nonetheless, all Butterick Patterns are going for $3.99 on the McCall’s website till tonight, 25 November 2014!

I decided to pass on this one (what great self-restraint I have), mostly because the shipping would have cost more than the combined price of both the patterns I wanted. If you live in a more geographically favourable location than me, then this sale is well worth checking out! For the record, the patterns I was considering were: B6129, an off-shoulder dress with a yoke variation and B6090, a shirt dress.

Not forgetting of course, the Marianne Dress 15% launch discount and Caroline’s Blackbird Fabrics 20% discount both of which ended yesterday.

Well, that’s all I have for now! (I have a problem don’t I? I know, I know, I’m getting financial counselling from my boyfriend.)

Have you guys picked up anything from the sales yet? And if I’ve missed out any sales, please do let me know below! This is one shopaholic who likes (read: NEEDS) to keep tabs on simply everything!

Pattern Hacking // Bow V-backed Sabrina Crop Top

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In case you haven’t realised, I may be slightly obsessed with the By Hand London Sabrina dress pattern. I also seem to be riding a severe crop top kick (though I have neither the figure nor desire to be bearing my un-toned midriff in them).

Enter this new franken-garment and my second entry for the By Hand London #Patternhackathon competition: a bow V-backed Sabrina crop top, also affectionately known as the “Sabine top” because it makes me feel like a leggy Eastern European model who walks for Chanel. (Of course I look the exact opposite, but the gorgeous sunset in the background is meant to distract you from my awkward posing.)

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This top was made from a white bamboo knit that I snagged at Chinatown, and is a mash-up of the Sabrina dress bodice, a large V-shaped hole and the Tilly & the Buttons Brigitte Scarf attached as a sash for the tie back bow! On hindsight, I should have taken in the princess seams a little or gone down half a size, given that the back was to be left open and I was using knit fabric this time round… I still think it looks fab though and I’m mighty pleased with the result!

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Hurray for the Pattern Hackathon and I can’t wait to see all the lovely entries by other talented sewists out there!

Sewing // Skirt-Making Lessons at The Workroom

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Picking up sewing on your own is far from easy. I could make pyjama pants (thanks Grandma!), but when it came to things like attaching bias tape and inserting invisible zippers, I was lost. Add to that terminology like “stitching in the ditch”, “interfacing” and “french seams” and it can truly be a mind-boggling affair.

After a disastrous experience trying to pick up drafting from an old school tailoring shop (with a tutor that conversed mostly in mandarin, what was I thinking??), I decided to get myself to a basic sewing class that would familiarise myself with the sewing machine and simple dress-making terminology.  A couple of weeks later, I signed myself up for a 5 week skirt making class at The Workroom and included a field trip to Singapore’s fabric market in Chinatown.

Credits to bukurama.wordpress.com
Credits to ronald-tan.com

I’ll let you in on a secret… the main attraction of the class for me was the field trip. There is nothing in sewing (and I really mean nothing) that terrifies me more than a trip to the fabric shops at Chinatown where the shopkeepers all seem to view me as a youngster who knows nothing about fabrics (which is kind of true actually…). Here’s what a regular exchange with a shopkeeper auntie sounds like:

“What are you looking for?”

“Cotton twill”

“What do you want it for?”

“I’m sewing a skirt” (shows the shopkeeper a picture)

“Cotton twill make this type of skirt not nice one, you must use this kind.”

“But my pattern says cotton twill….”

“I tell you not nice one la, this one better” (At this point my ego has just shrunk 10 sizes and slinked away)

(In a small voice) “Ok… I take that one then”

Credits to bukurama.wordpress.com

You can see why the prospect of following someone with lots of experience to the fabric shops and learning how they choose their fabrics and interact with the shopkeepers would be IMMENSELY attractive to me. And our field trip was everything I expected and more. There’s nothing quite like having someone show you the difference between a light and medium weight fabric, how to identify a denim from a chambray, what cotton gauze vs a lawn or a voile feel like, and what considerations to take into account when buying a border print fabric. I can safely say I learnt a whole lot of things on that one Saturday afternoon that I could not have picked up myself from the world wide web.

Skirt-making with Fiona LeeEnquiries: info@theworkroom.sg

Posted by The Workroom on Sunday, August 31, 2014

Skirt-making with Fiona LeeEnquiries: info@theworkroom.sg

Posted by The Workroom on Sunday, August 17, 2014

So began my journey in dress-making. The classes (and field trip) were conducted by seamstress Fiona Lee (she blogs about her makes here!) and were a joy to attend. We sewed two skirts, the Wiksten Skirt and Libby A-line skirt. I was mostly behind because I missed a couple of lessons due to an overseas trip and a bout of flu, but Ruth from The Workroom very graciously opened up her studio for my use in her free time and helped me catch up with the rest of the class! Fiona’s instructions and demonstrations were also clear and very helpful, plus she spent quite a bit of time helping me out with fitting (I had cut out the wrong size of the Libby skirt whoops).

After just over 5 weeks, this was the result: two very wearable self-made skirts and one very much more confident sewist!

Photo credits: The Workroom
Photo credits: The Workroom

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If you’re interested in learning dress-making and are based in Singapore, I would highly recommend taking one (or more!) sewing classes at The Workroom. They also run other craft lessons like book binding and calligraphy so look out for those too!

Skirt-making with Fiona LeeEnquiries: info@theworkroom.sg

Posted by The Workroom on Sunday, August 31, 2014

DIY // Adding Side Panels and Width to a Crop Top

The one bad (and pretty major) thing about buying clothes that you haven’t tried on is that all too often the fit is a little off. As a result, I have a whole cupboard full of clothing that I’ve been meaning to refashion or resize. In particular is this ADORABLE little gold and white striped crop top from A for Arcade which I scored on sale. The only problem: it was way too small around the waist – I couldn’t even button it up! (Sadly it had no problems going round my bust but waist was another story #workouttime #smallbustwoes )

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I’m an incredibly lazy shopper. I don’t like loitering around pointlessly in malls looking at clothes I can’t afford, I hate queuing for the changing room, and I feel stressed when making others wait for me when I shop in a group. (Yet I feel stressed making decisions without a second opinion!!! Anyone else have this infuriating problem?) It’s not surprising that I do most of my shopping online instead – ASOS, Zalora, blogshops – my own virtual shopping heaven from the comfort of my bed.

The one bad (and pretty major) thing about buying clothes that you haven’t tried on is that all too often the fit is a little off. As a result of this I have a whole cupboard full of clothing that I’ve been meaning to refashion or resize. In particular is this ADORABLE little gold and white striped crop top from A for Arcade which I scored on sale:

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I envisioned it paired with pencil skirts and denim high waisted skinnies, but was disappointed when I received my order and found it way too small around the waist – I couldn’t even button it up! (it’s telling that it fit round my bust but not my waist #workouttime #smallbustwoes )

I looked around for an online tutorial on how to add width to crop tops but came up empty, so I did a bit of freestyle fiddling and this was the result:

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Pretty good for a beginner attempt I think! Keep on reading to see how I did it-

TUTORIAL: ADDING SIDE PANELS / WIDTH TO A CROP TOP

Materials and tools needed:

A crop top to resize

Unpicker & Scissors

Fabric for the side panels and matching thread (I used white bamboo knit, it’s slightly lighter than double knit but a whole lot more stable than jersey)

Sewing machine

Pinking shears (or an overlocker if you have one!)

Steps:

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1. Pick apart the side seams of the crop top.

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2. Cut a piece of fabric as tall as the height of your crop top plus seam allowances (I used 1 inch) and as wide as you estimate you will need to extend one side by. (I estimated the width needed and just snipped off the excess after!)

3. With right sides together, sew the fabric to your crop top along the side seam. Because I was using a knit, I used a tight zig-zag stitch.

4. Hem the top of your fabric to match the height of your crop top.

5. Put on the crop top and facing a mirror (or enlisting the help of a significant other / sewing buddy) pin out the excess fabric along the side seam. Do the same on the other side.

Because my crop top had darts in the front already, this was a matter of just pinching out the excess along the contour of my body and pinning it.

At this point, take off the crop top and check that it looks like this:

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Also check that the side panels on either side are roughly equal (mine are off by about a cm but it’s not very noticeable!)

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6. Stitch up the side seams right sides together, using a zig-zag stitch if you’re using a stretchy fabric.

7. Hem the bottom of the side panel to match the rest of the bottom hem of the crop top.

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8. Finish the seams any way you like – I pinked mine because I figured the knit wouldn’t fray much.

9. And don’t forget to press your seams! Mine looked awful till I did.

Voila! You’re done! Your formerly too-small-to-breathe-in crop top now fits perfectly.

And you guys I’m so in love with mine. I’m already planning all the outfits I can wear it with! (Sadly there is a dearth of high-waisted fitted skirts in my closet – I will have to rectify that ASAP!)

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Anybody else have suggestions on how to resize too-tight tops? (ooh checkout my alliteration)

Pattern Hacking // By Hand London Sabrina Dress Crop Top

I love the boat neck collar and that it’s not overly tight (though it does pull a little, I haven’t figured that bit out yet) and major love for it being completely work appropriate with a high-waisted pencil skirt! I also put in a slightly curved hemline to mimic the (inverse?) dip hem that’s been so popular on crop tops recently. Plus I totally intended to put in that peek-a-boo slit at the back… or maybe the only zipper I had on hand was a couple too inches too short… you will never know 😉

Sabrina Crop Top wide

Given my choice of career that has me spending 9 hours a day behind a desk in a (rather formal) office, you would think that my closet included more business-friendly attire – it doesn’t. My dress rack is full of prints and lace, skirts that toe the line between casual and business and t-shirts. Lots and lots of t-shirts.

Enter the Sabrina Dress. By Hand London’s new offering is a modest, princess seam dress targeted at beginners that (hallelujah!) is of a completely work appropriate length and style. My wearable muslin is also mighty comfortable but I have yet to experience what an actual make will be like.

I did make up a muslin of this dress but sadly it was too long in the bodice and wide on the sides (I lopped it all off but am now wondering if I should have done an SBA instead…) so I made the necessary alterations to it and sadly, it looks nothing like the dress is supposed to look anymore. It is wearable though! And I absolutely love it. Still, I think I’ll wait for the Sabrina sew-along to start proper before I give the dress another go…

In the meantime, spurred on by the ongoing #PatternHackathon, I hacked myself a nifty Sabrina crop top instead!

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I love the boat neck collar and that it’s not overly tight (though it does pull a little, I haven’t figured that bit out yet) plus this top gets major love for being completely work appropriate with a high-waisted pencil skirt! I also put in a slightly curved hemline to mimic the (inverse?) dip hem that’s been so popular on crop tops recently. Oh and I totally intended to put in that peek-a-boo slit at the back… or maybe the only zipper I had on hand was a couple of inches too short… you will never know 😉

I was so enamoured by the top when I first made it that I put it to the ultimate comfort test – taking my crazed dog for a walk. If I could walk my dog in that top and it didn’t fall apart, then I could do anything! Pigs could fly, spiders could tap dance!

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I’m glad to say it passed the test. Naturally, we celebrated with cake and coffee.

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I’m looking forward to making more of these beauties, maybe the next one in double knit? I’m pretty sure it will be a closet staple for quite some time to come. Have any of you guys tried the Sabrina dress pattern? Any tips on getting it to fit right?