Category Archives: New pattern!

Anyone for Margaritas? New free pattern!

We’re taking our summer break soon, so there will be a break from pattern-making until the end of the summer… but we’re not leaving you at a loss for your next sewing project! While we’re away, we hope you will enjoy our latest free pattern, Margarita!

Margarita is a skirt for women, designed as always for knit/ jersey fabrics. As a summer skirt, a cotton jersey Margarita is the easiest thing to wear with a t-shirt, and for the cooler seasons you can sew it up in ponte or scuba to wear with tights.

Margarita came about because earlier this summer I mentioned to Rich that I’d love a quarter-circle skirt with a wide waistband, and later that day I found him sticking together PDF pages because he’d just drafted me one! It was a perfect fit and such a quick and simple sew, that we decided to grade it into a proper Valentine & Stitch pattern so you could all enjoy it!

Action shot! (If “walking” counts as an action)

I’ve made a few of these skirts now: the summer version is in cotton jersey, and as you can see it pairs very well with a tucked-in Dune top! It’s comfy but still looks put together, and will keep you nice and cool on warmer days! The cooler weather version is made up here in scuba. You may remember an earlier outing for this fabric, in my much-admired but rarely worn McCalls dress. I loved the fabric but wasn’t sure I was comfortable in it as one solid block on the dress… but I had just enough left over to try a Margarita! And I’m so unbelievably happy with this skirt – I feel much more comfortable with this bold fabric being used for a separate, and it works really well with a plain black t-shirt. It will be perfect for a smart winter wardrobe.

I’ve also tried adding elastic into the waistband of the lighter jersey version, to give a bit more support over the tummy. This is a super-simple method detailed in the instruction booklet, and it ends up looking like this on the inside:

You can see it in action here in my beloved Paparounes fabric!

(Weird body-pop angle in the first pose. Clearly solved by bending forwards for the next one.)

Plus this one matches the Daisy skirt I made for my daughter, so it gets the thumbs up from her too.

I’ll be checking in on Instagram over the next few weeks to keep up with Sleevefest, and we have some more sleeve hack tutorials prepared to post while we’re off – in the meantime, hope you all have a wonderful summer, doing lots of whatever makes you happy!

Introducing Daisy!

Our new pattern for girls is here! Daisy is a girls’ skirt for knit fabrics with four different options: you can make it as a half circle skirt or a quarter circle skirt, at mini length or midi length. And my favourite part about Daisy is that it is compatible with our free Loulou shorties, so you can combine it with those to make a skort!

Daisy comes in two different age ranges: 2-10 and 7-14. There is a deliberate overlap so that whichever you purchase, you can get several years’ use out of it! You can also buy both sizes together as a bundle at a discounted price.

All the Daisy skirts I have made so far have been summer ones, as that’s the season we’re currently in at the moment in the UK – so all of mine have the shorties underneath. I love the peace of mind that comes with putting my daughter in shorties, and when you can attach them to the skirt you just have one waistband, reducing bulk! Daisy would also look good in a thicker fabric with tights for the winter, and if you don’t need to include the shorties then it’s about as quick a sew as you can possibly make!

The half circle skirt version is floaty and full of movement: make it in the midi length and it’s a cute, sophisticated separate. I so badly wish I’d bought more of this fabric as it’s now out of stock!

The mini length is lots of fun for your little lady, and makes a stylish alternative to shorts in the summer. I made this one in a supersoft baroque style cotton jersey from Girl Charlee – their Bolt range is a little more expensive, but comes pre-washed so is perfect for a quick sew!

The quarter circle skirt has a lovely silhouette in the midi length, and still offers plenty of room for running around, as you can see from these photos! The fabric is my beloved Paparounes by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics.

And the mini length quarter circle skirt reminds me of tennis skirts, especially with the shorties underneath! Very practical but still feminine. This one is in another Girl Charlee fabric, a soft mint gingham (and sorry I don’t have any photos of this version in action – my daughter loves her floral skirt the best and that’s the one she keeps asking for!)

Like all our patterns, we have tiled Daisy carefully by hand to ensure it takes up the fewest possible number of pages. You will need 12 A4 sheets for all 4 skirts in ages 2-10, and 17 A4 sheets for all 4 skirts in age 7-14. A print layout is included in the instruction booklet.

We hope you will love Daisy for the little girl in your life, and use this pattern again and again!

 

 

 

Dune top and maxi dress

Dune is here! And I’m even writing the blog post to accompany it on the day of the actual launch. That’s a first 😉

If you read my recent blog post about drafting Dune, you’ll know that we were heading towards the 6th version and I thought that would be the final one. Nope. It was the 9th. At least, I think it was, we made so many of them over the course of that fortnight that there might have been more! We weren’t making big changes: it was the combination of getting the kick hem exactly right and making sure there was the right amount of fabric in the back (not pulling across the lower back, but still fitted). We’re talking a few millimetres difference in each draft, but the 6th, 7th and 8th drafts came and went and it still wasn’t perfect. You know what they say, the ninth’s a charm 😉

We were still on the 8th version when we made the dress option. Happily, all the modifications we’d already made to the top came into their own and that one was just as we imagined it straight away! The only issue was that it was the perfect length unhemmed, and so we went back and added an inch to the length to take the seam allowance into account.

So, Dune is a maxi dress! I was so excited and nervous about that. I have never worn a maxi dress before, I always feel swamped in them, and find they just hang down from the hips and make me look the width of my hips all the way to the floor. So what we wanted from this was for it to be fitted to the waist, then gently flow to the ankles without being too voluminous. I tried this on and couldn’t believe how good I felt in it. And then the reaction from the lovely IG sewing community when I posted a toile was just amazing, so it felt like the right decision! This one was made from a lovely soft cotton jersey from Girl Charlee. Here are some shots of maxi Dune in action, so you can see the swishiness of the dress:

Because it’s important to get the length just right on a maxi dress, Rich has written a tutorial for you to make sure that your Dune maxi is just perfect for you: Look for ‘Maxi dress length’ under the ‘Tutorials’ tab in the ‘Patterns’ section of the menu bar; do have a look if you’re planning to make the maxi version!

Of course the basic version of Dune is a summer tank top. As you might know from my last post and the pics I’ve posted on Instagram, we wanted to create a sleeveless summer top that would be flattering and fitted while still leaving enough room to have an ice cream or two! Dune has a subtle cutaway at the shoulder to flatter the top line, but will still cover bra straps. It has both a higher neck option and a scoop neck variation, and a pretty kick hem that has a slimming effect on the legs.

We recommend that you choose a fairly lightweight fabric for Dune, to keep that floatiness over the hips in the top and over the legs in the dress. It will work in a heavier or stiffer fabric, though the effect at the hem will be more structured (but hey, you may prefer that!) You can see in the green floral version above that I used a more stable fabric (polycotton blend, again from Girl Charlee) and it still has some drape, but is slightly more structured at the hem.

Practising my “looking off into the distance” pose 😉

The finishings of the neck and arms are done with bands, which you can either sew up as invisible bands or exposed/ contrasting ones. The method in the instruction booklet makes the bands up into a circle first and then attaches them to the neckline/ arm hole, but if you are a beginner and want a slightly easier method, check out the second tutorial we’ve created, ‘Alternative binding method’ (also under ‘Patterns’ then ‘Tutorials’ on the website), for an alternative way to do the finishings!

The instruction booklet now has a new feature too: a print layout, and a clear indication of how many sheets of paper you will need. We will be doing this for all our patterns from now on!

We hope you will love Dune this summer. And, just in case you wondered why the co-host of Sleevefest is releasing a sleeveless pattern… we will be offering a free sleeve bonus download that you can customise any way you like, PLUS tutorials for how to hack it to create different looks! So watch out for those…

So I’ll leave you with a gallery of different angles. We hope you’ll love Dune as much as we do! Till next time, thanks for reading!

 

Angelina is here!

Excitement has been at full pitch here with the release of our new pattern for women, Angelina! Angelina has SIX different versions: you can make it as a top or a dress with three different sleeve options for each. It’s incredibly versatile, and has already become the staple of my Spring/ Summer wardrobe. Here’s a look at the different versions, and ideas of how to style Angelina:

The simplest version of Angelina is the sleeveless one. It can be made casual, like this t-shirt in Art Gallery Fabrics jersey, or smarter like my polka dot dress that I’ve worn for work a few times already.

The sleeveless dress also looks good with leggings and a cardigan, so can be adapted for cooler weather. I can’t stop making this version! I did a black and white one which has been perfect for work, and then earlier this week I made this grey floral version, which is a little more casual for the lovely sun we’ve been having in the UK lately.

I was also asked for a back view, so this is what the sleeveless version looks like from the back:

It’s harder than I thought to take pictures of your own back

 

 

 

The wavy dress hem isn’t part of the pattern. My fabric didn’t wash well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next option is short flutter sleeves. This works well to make a simple t-shirt a bit more eye-catching, like this rose polka dot version. I also made it in this pretty teal viscose for a stylish more formal dress, and I think this is my most elegant Angelina so far:

 

The third option is elbow-length flutter sleeves. This makes Angelina more dressy, as you can see from the floral dress which was the first one I previewed on Instagram:

Handle of a child’s wheelbarrow bottom left. Just keepin’ it real folks 😉

The sleeves are so swishy and fun! This last one I’m showing you is a definite sewing fail, but I thought you might like the idea behind it:

 

I did a lace overlay with lace sleeves. I disliked it almost instantly, even though I loved the idea! I think it’s just because the colour does nothing for me – it looked cream on the website I ordered from (though in fairness the colour was called ‘latte’ – it does look like a milky coffee, but I assumed it meant latte as in milky coloured!!) This one ended up being a bit of an experiment – since I wasn’t keen on the lace, I thought it didn’t matter if I didn’t like the end result, so I tried just hemming all the edges with a narrow overlocker stitch (the white thread was what was in my overlocker and I’d already given up on this garment being wearable to pick out the white fabric underneath the bodice). I still don’t like the colour of this top, but I’m glad to have tried something new!

 

And since I don’t want to leave it on a low note, here is a montage of my favourite Angelina shots – including some bloopers!

Don’t forget that you can buy Angelina for 30% off with the code INSTA30 until midnight tonight (BST)!