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Sewing Blog

How to: Sew a Shirt Yoke

It's one of those techniques where at first you might think it won't work and then it does! Gotta love that about sewing :) Your shirt might be slightly different but this technique will be useful for most shirts with a yoke.

Below is an excerpt of the instruction booklet for the Garçonne shirt / dress  it explains how to sew a yoke on a shirt.

1. Sew two rows of basting stitches, above and below the stitch line, between the notches on the back piece. Leave the tails. the gathers are specific to the Garçonne shirt / dress, but your shirt might have a small pleat, you need to secure with basting stitches.

how to sew a shirt yoke tutorial

2. Match the notches of the back piece and the yoke and the yoke facing (the second yoke piece that you cut). Pull the tails of the basting stitches to gather and use pins to secure the gathered back piece to the yoke and yoke facing. Stitch the three layers together, sandwiching the back pannel between the right sides of the yoke pices. Grade the seam to reduce bulk. Remove basting stitches.

how to sew a shirt yoke tutorial
3. Press yoke and yoke facing up and topstitch close to the seam line

how to sew a shirt yoke tutorial
4. Fold the yoke facing down. Align the shoulder seams, right sides together, of the front and yoke and pin.

how to sew a shirt yoke tutorial

5. Roll up the front and the back panels.


how to sew a shirt yoke tutorial
how to sew a shirt yoke tutorial

6. Fold the yoke facing over the rolled up fabric. Align the yoke facing, the yoke and shoulder seam and pinning as you go. Stitch, grade the seam allowance and turn.

how to sew a shirt yoke tutorial

7. Press the shoulder seams and topstitch close to the seam line. Baste stitch yoke at the neckline and the armscye inside the seam allowance at ca. 0.5 cm ( 1/4” ) from the edge. This step helps keep the layers in place when you insert the sleeve.

how to sew a shirt yoke tutorial

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New Pattern: Elskan Dress & Top

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Elskan is a batwing style dress or top and it has a short and long sleeve option. The Elskan pattern is a great addition to your handmade wardrobe if youlike to wear drapey tops and tight skirts, the dress combines both. The shape of the pattern might surprise you, but it's actually quite an easy garment to make. 

Fun fact: Elskan means sweetie in Icelandic and if you use the code sweetie at checkout you'll receive 25% until monday 23.59 cet. Sew your Elskan

You might be wondering what this dress looks like in different materials and how the different versions look like. Well take a look at some of the tops and dresses the pattern testers made.

Diana [ instagram]

Elskan dress pdf sewing pattern

Diana (by_mooglii)

Dana [instagram] [blog]

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan
Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Henna [blog]

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Jessie [instagram] [blog]

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Lien [instagram] [blog]

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Maria [instagram] [blog]

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte KanBatwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan
Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Melyana [instagram]

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Sylvie [instagram]

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

Tinne [instagram] [blog] [facebook]

Batwing Dress Sewing PDF Pattern by Charlotte Kan

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Book Review: Grading Techniques for Modern Design

Book review: Grading Techniques for Modern Design, Jeanne Price & Bernard Zamkoff

Grading Techniques for Modern Design -  Jeanne Price & Bernard Zamkoff

Compared to Concepts of Fashion Grading this book feels more like a quick reference guide. Which Is a good thing! This book doesn't over complicate the proces, but still has enough substance to get you going.

Grading Techniques for Modern Design, Zamkoff & Price

The book covers woven women's garments for junior and misses sizes. There is a 1" and 1 1/2" for the junior sizes and for the misses sizes they also offer a 2" grading chart. All the examples are graded in 1 1/2" and you use the grading chart to adapt the distribution charts.

There is a basic explaination of what grading is, what to consider when defining a sizechart, but mostly it's a collection of distribution diagrams and a step by step instruction for manual grading cover a lot of different styles as well as the basics.

Grading Techniques for Modern Design, Zamkoff & Price

The basics they cover are the bodice, skirt, pants, set-in sleeve and a collar. Amongst the more complex garments are a princess bodice, shawl collar, kimono raglan sleeve, a gusset sleeve, a set-in raglan sleeve. These distribution charts are all acompanied by instructions for manual grading.

Grading Techniques for Modern Design, Zamkoff & Price

In conclusion they added a spread with 12 additional grade distribution charts for a bodice with multiple darts, a cape, a two-piece sleeve and more. 

Grading Techniques for Modern Design, Zamkoff & Price
If you are looking to grade menswear, childrenswear or stretch garments you would have to look elsewhere since there are no examples in this book.

Where to buy it: Amazon
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Introducing: Kitsune Strapless Dress

Kitsune is an easy to sew strapless summer dress. With only three pattern pieces it´s a quick sewing project with maximum effect. Perfect for the beach or the city when dressed up with heels and a cropped blazer. Kitsune (Japanese for fox) got it's name because I feel foxy wearing it ;)

PS: To celebrate the introduction use code foxy at checkout and receive 25% off of your purchase until monday 23:59 CET quick sewing project: strapless summer dress, only three pattern pieces! Kitsune Strapless Dress PDF Sewing Pattern by Charlotte Kan
  • DIFFICULTY
    Beginner

    PATTERN FEATURES
    - Seam allowance is included
    - Layered sizes, print only the size you need
    - Lengthen / shorten lines
    - Clear and easy to follow instructions
    - Copyshop Files included

    FABRIC SUGGESTION
    Use lightweigth woven fabrics with lots of drape, such as Tencel, double gauze, silk, rayon challis, cotton voile, modal or linen.

    Width 150CM/60”
    All sizes > 160 cm / 2 yrds

    Width 135CM/54”
    All sizes > 160 cm / 2 yrds

    Width 115CM/45”
    All sizes > 310 cm / 3 yrds

    * Please note that if you use a patterned fabric you might need more fabric than suggested.

    NOTIONS
    - Thread
    - 1" wide elastic

    TECHNIQUES
    - Curved seams
    - Top stitching
    - Encased elastic band

    TOOLS
    - Sewing machine
    - Universal needle
    - Iron & ironing board
    - Pins
    - Measuring tape
    - Fabric scissors
    - Serger (optional)
    - Tailor's chalk

    ZIP FILE INCLUDES FOLLOWING PDF FILES

    - Instruction booklet - 10 pages
    - Print at home pattern - 20 pages suitable for A4 and Letter
    - Copyshop 36"- 1 Page
    - Copyshop A0 - 2 Pages

    *the files are all PDF files and come packaged as a zipfile


  • Charlotte Kan Sizechart
  • PHOTO/VIDEO TUTORIALS
    - How to fold and sew mitered corners
    - Quick Tip: Sewing corners

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Tutorial: Sew a Curved Hem 4x

How to sew a curved hem tutorial

How to sew a curved hem? Well it depends! I've made a few videos explaining different techniques for sewing around curves

Sew a curved hem using a stitched guideline
works well on the more narrow hems, so you might need to trim the seam allowance.

Sew a curved hem using a basting stitch
This is a great technique for the wider curved hems. The basting stitch helps to gather and ease the exces fabric.

Sew a curved hem the quick an dirty method
"F*** this round hem business I'm going home" a.k.a serge and fold over round hem method. Use this technique on thicker fabrics and knits



But wait there's more!

Another option is using bias binding to finish a curved hem. You can find photo tutorial right here on the blog

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0543/0621/files/how-to-sew-curved-hem-easy-method.jpg?2012059907784712933
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0543/0621/files/how-to-sew-a-curved-hem-tutorial-using-serger.jpg?13085412039326549582

Tester Call: Kitsune Strapless Dress

Kitsune Strapless Dress PDF Sewing Pattern

[update: Kitsune is ready for the beach. Use the code foxy at checkout for a 25% discount on the Kitsune PDF pattern. Valid until monday 23:59 CET]

The Kitsune dress is almost ready for testing and I would love your feedback on the pattern, the fit and the instructions! The Kitsune strapless dress is almost ready for testing and I would love your feedback! The dress looks chic but is simple to make, only three pattern pieces! Perfect for hot and sunny days on the beach or for the city combined with a cropped blazer. And because I feel foxy when I wear it, the name is Kitsune which means fox in Japanese.

Testing starts Friday and the deadline for your feedback and photos is 31th if may.

Click here and sign up to test

If you are selected to test you will receive the pattern on Friday.


 

PS: Yes! It's inspired by the Tie Dress, but has a different construction and slightly different fit (even less shaping ;), but if you have some pattern cutting inspiration you could hack your Tie Dress into the Kitsune

Introducing Garçonne Shirt | Dress Sewing Pattern

digital sewing pattern for women, garçonne shirt | dress
Bonjour! La Garçonne has arrived and is ready for your handmade wardrobe. It's a great pattern for you if you like a boxy fit and a dropped shoulder.The shirt | dress features back gathers, a back yoke, minimal button band (optional topstitching), no bust darts and hardly any waitshaping and plenty of ease at the hips.

 

  • DIFFICULTY
    Intermediate

    PATTERN FEATURES
    - Seam allowance is included
    - Layered sizes, print only the size you need
    - Lengthen / shorten lines
    - Clear and easy to follow instructions
    - Copyshop Files included

    FABRIC SUGGESTION
    Use lightweigth woven fabrics such as poplin, cotton voile, chambray, lightweight denims, modal or linen. Look for fabrics with a tight weave and and a little bit of drape or soft handle.

    Width 150CM/60”
    Shirt 150 CM / 1 3/4 yrd (All sizes)
    Dress 190 CM / 2 yrd (All sizes) 
     
    Width 135CM/54”
    Shirt 190 CM / 2 yrd (All sizes)
    Dress 250 CM / 2 3/4 yrd (All sizes) 

    Width 115CM/45”
    Shirt 230cm/2 1/2 yrd (All sizes)
    Dress 300 CM / 3 1/4 (All sizes) 

    * Please note that if you use a patterned fabric you might need more fabric than suggested.

    NOTIONS
    - Thread
    - Buttons
    - Fusible interfacing

    TECHNIQUES
    - Curved seams
    - Pleats
    - Top stitching
    - Sewing buttonholes & uttons
    - Using fusible interfacing

    TOOLS
    - Sewing machine
    - Universal needle
    - Iron & ironing board
    - Pins
    - Measuring tape
    - Fabric scissors
    - Serger (optional)
    - Tailor's chalk

    ZIP FILE INCLUDES FOLLOWING PDF FILES

    - Instruction booklet - 17 pages
    - Print at home pattern - 41 pages suitable for A4 and Letter
    - Copyshop 36"- 1 Page
    - Copyshop A0 - 2 Pages

    *the files are all PDF files and come packaged as a zipfile


  • Charlotte Kan Sizechart
  • PHOTO/VIDEO TUTORIALS  Coming soon!

HEAR ABOUT FUTURE PATTERN RELEASES > Sign up for newsletter


PDF sewing pattern for women shirt | dress Garçonne
PDF Pattern minimal shirt dress


 

Check out some of the tester results on instagram #ckgarconne

 

 

Sewing Tools The Good The Bad & The Ugly

Through the years, I've aqcuired quite the collection of sewing tools and they range from, can't do without, to useless, to some not actual sewing tools. Some are cheap, some a expensive...I guess it's all very personal, but here's a list of some of my favourite (an not so favourite) sewing tools. 

Steam Iron 
must have sewing tools
I can remember the first time I used a steam iron and it was such an eye-opener! Press all seams open or to the side before you sew the next step and it will give you better end results. Using steam will make it even easier. Trust me on this one...sewing and pressing go hand in hand. Sewing is pressing. I own a simple iron a model similar to this one by tefal

Fabric scissors / Paper Scissors / Thread Nipper
must have sewing tools
Fabric scissors, paper scissors and thread nippers...you want them all. I don't have a fancy pair of scissors. I buy cheap fabrics scissors and I have a little tool to sharpen them, to prolong their fabric cutting life. Thread nippers or fabric snips (like the one in the image) are great for snipping threads and notching fabric and they reduce the risk of snipping where you don't want to snip becuase of the short blades.

Rotary Cutter
my favourite sewing tools: rotary cutter
Rotary cutters I´ve used them mostly for cutting a lot of bias binding, fabric strips and (button band) interfacing, they are perfect for that. Sometimes I use it to cut pattern pieces from fabric, but takes practise and a big cutting mat. The big advantage is that it's faster and more precise than a pair of scissors, because you don't lift up the fabric to cut. Works best on thin fabrics like, knits, silk, modal, etc.

Tape Measure
Must-have sewing tools list - tape measure
When I started sewing I loved the look of the tape measure around my neck, but it's also very handy to have the tape with you without noticing it ;) 

Metal Ruleres, Set Triangle & Other Rulers
Must-have sewing tools list - metal ruler
You'll collect a few along the way, but here are the ones I use a lot. Plain metal ruler for cutting PDF patterns and drawing straight lines. A tiny ruler to draw seam allowances on patterns. My favorite for when I trace patterns is the set triangle. I use it to guide my pen on straight and curved edges, and I also use it as a guide when pressing seams.

Tailors Chalk & Snap Off Knife
must-have sewing tools list: tailor's chalk
I use tailor chalk that I sharpen with a snap off knife (I like this one by OLFA). It helps to get crisp and precise lines and I love crisp and precise lines. I've tried chalk pens, but I don't like it. The chalk core break easily when you drop the pen so I've ended up with lots of small pieces.

Seam Ripper
must have sewing tools list: Seam ripper
Use it to rip seams or to open up a button hole. When you use it for a button hole, make sure it's sharp and use a pin at the end to prevent ripping past the button hole. You'll know when to replace once you see thread pulls in the fabric next to the button hole.


Magnetic Pin Cushion
Favorite sewing tools list: magnetic pin cushion
If you have ever dropped a case of pins you know how handy these magnetic pincushions are :) Or picking up stray pins after sweeping the floor. But the real joy is just throwing your pins at the magnet instead of pinning them into a cushion while you try to keep sewing.

Pins / Glass Head Pins / Stuffed Toy Polar Bear
basic sewing tools: pin cushion
Pins...You want them plenty, thin and sharp. Sorry Polar bear! I know they are endangered, but it does such a great job at organizing my pins and hand sewing needles.

Hand Sewing Needles
must have sewing tools: hand sewing needles
There will always be a bit of hand sewing involved in most projects, whether you want to baste something before stitching or add sew on snap buttons. You want different sizes / lengths. I've always used cheap needles that come in sets with different sizes.

Strap Turner
Oh my! Turning straps or loops can be such a pain. This thing is a sanity saver if you have to do more than 50 bag straps, which I have done in the past. Note to self: If you only have to do a few there is a SUPER COOL trick and I did a video tutorial! 

Ironing Board / Sleeve Ironing Board / Old Towel
my favorite sewing tools: Ironing board
When I started fashion school I didn't have the budget or the space for a big ironing board, so I started with this mini / budget board from Ikea. Sleeve ironing boards are great for sleeves and pant legs. And one day I will make my own pressing hams, but for now I use an old towel that i roll up.

Extra Bobbins & Bobbin Holder
This ring a.k.a bobbin saver makes sure the bobbins don't unravel and roll away. One of my first purchases after buying my sewing machine were extra bobbins.

Pattern weights
Mine are (ugly) paper weights from a Chinese gift shop, but I've used books, cans and just about anything that will do the trick. No need to buy special weights. You can use them to hold your pattern in place instead of pins, but I hardly only use the weights. I like to pins the corners for more precise results.

The Narrow Hem Foot
This is a tool I can do without. I have tried to use it on many occassions and I can't get it to work for me even after watching and reading countless tutorials and demonstrations. I would return it if I could.

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Tester Call: Garçonne Shirt / Dress

The Garçonne shirt / dress is almost ready for testing and I would love to hear your feedback on the pattern, the fit and the instructions! The Garçonne is based on a men's shirt, has mandarin collar, a boxy fit and the option to make a shirt or a dress. The sizing has been changed and expanded slightly on both ends.

Testing starts after the weekend and the deadline for your feedback and photos is 18th of April.

Click here and sign up to test (testing is closed, but you can sign up for futures tests).

If you are selected to test you will receive the pattern after this weekend.

[UPDATE: Garçonne has arrived, use the code ohboy at checkout for 25% off until monday May 9th ]

PDF Pattern shirt dress

PDF Pattern Shirt Dress

Quick Tip: Turn a Strap Inside Out Without a Safety Pin

 

Turn a fabric strap without a safety pin

Did you know you can turn a strap without a tool like a safety pin? Well here's how:

 1. Pull out the threads from the bobbin and the needle, make sure the threads are a bit longer than your strap

2. Fold the strap in half and sew.

3. Use the threads hanging out of the bottom opening to carefully turn you strap.

4. pat yourself on the back ;)

5. Check out some of my other tutorials on bias binding, mitered corners, sewing corners on a narrow hem

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