Sunday, July 12, 2015

Venus Kimono pattern release

Last month I blogged about the Venus Kimono which I had drafted and sewn. I had a lot of requests for a pattern  for it so voila here it is.
The pattern is only $6 AUD as a PDF download and is yours for a lifetime!

Buy Venus Kimono Relaxed

Buy Venus Kimono Oversize

My original pattern is a relaxed fit with pleats at the shoulder and a nicely shaped curved hem. It has French seams and a rolled hem which are both really easy sewing techniques and give your Kimono a professional finish. I also drafted up an oversize pattern for those wishing to have a little more  "swish" and  is designed to hang generously over the body.

I made the oversize Kimono up in a camouflage printed lightweight cotton. I whipped it up in about 3 hours total from start to finish. Kimono's are a great addition to any girls wardrobe. Great for covering up when the evenings get a little cooler or if you just want to cover your shoulders when the sun is beating. They look super stylish too!

You can download your pattern at our pattern shop. Don't forget to hashtag #sewthispattern so we can see your awesome creation and share it on our website.

Annie x

Monday, June 8, 2015

Venus Kimono

Kimono's have been trending for a while and I've probably missed the boat but I still love them and had the perfect silk blend fabric to make one with so why not?

Last weekend was my birthday weekend so we headed down to Venus Bay to celebrate. Of course I had to pack a few sewing bibs and bobs just incase I had time! As it turned out I had about an hour free and I quickly drafted up a pattern using an old kimono I bought a few years ago as a rough guide. I added some pleats in the shoulder area for a bit of interest. 

The fabric is "Three sided tears" from Tessuti and is a cotton/silk blend voile. It's a beautiful fabric and fairly easy to work with although I made sure I trace threaded all of my seam lines and tailor tacked the pleats for accuracy. The fabric also frayed a little and I didn't want to add bulky serging to the seams as it just wouldn't do it justice so I chose french seams which worked perfectly.

Here is a great article from Threads on how to finish seams on silk fabrics.

It worked out pretty well although I think a higher percentage of silk would have been better as the higher percentage of cotton probably doesn't let it hang as well as I'd like.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

How to shorten a metal zipper.

If you want to add some interesting details to a design one of the easiest ways is to add an interesting zip. I love metal zippers, they just instantly change your garment from dull to fabulous! 

The Pin Pegs mini skirt looks fabulous with a metal zipper.
The only problem is they are very hard to find in the right size or colour, unless you want to go online and buy about 50 in a bulk lot!  Also, unlike nylon zippers you can't just sew over the teeth without breaking your needles. I have found the best way to get the correct length is to shorten a longer zipper. The longer metal teeth zippers seem to be more readily available.
Metal zippers can be shortened by removing the metal teeth so that you can cut the extra length before sewing into your garment. Once you get the length right you don't have to worry about breaking needles when sewing across the zipper. All you really need to do this is a set of pliers and some patience, but totally worth it to get that funky look.
Here is how I shorten a metal zipper.
Measure the zipper to the length you require and mark the zipper tape. It is tempting to cut the zipper to this point so you don't have to remove so many teeth but believe me it will be a lot more work. I tried it once and ended up with the tape fraying and a compete mess!!

Remove  the zipper stops with your pliers. 

Be very careful not to cut through them completely as you will be putting these back on. You just want to slightly open the stops and then gently remove from the zipper.
Now remove the zipper teeth one tooth at a time. Don't be too rough otherwise you'll end up with a frayed zipper tape. Remove one or two teeth just below your marked line.

Using your pliers, put your stops back on just above the teeth. If you are having difficulty putting the stops back on you may have to pry them apart a little bit more. Just be careful here you don't want to cut through them completely otherwise you'll be off to the shops to buys some stops. You will squeeze gently to crimp them back on.

There you go!  Pretty easy really and you can make the length exactly as short or long as you want and be much more flexible with your design.