69: Free Patterns

This month’s sponsors:

Fibr&Cloth: Free Iris zero waste shirt pattern

Warp&Weft Textiles: $100 gift certificate

Jennifer Lauren Handmade:  Free pdf pattern (ISLA pronounced EYE-la perhaps?)

Catch Up


I’ve done more dyeing than sewing since we last met, and this morning I took a “how to paint on fabric” class offered by TopStitchAtl and Katie Kortman – and it was grant.  My results will appear in the show notes – we basically played around with paint, thick and think, and learned about mixing colors, using water to create soft edges, and such.  Very fun!

Painted fabric hanging on a fence to dry.
Fabric tied up and held together with rubber bands, placed in a cardboard box.
Woman wearing dress with blue and purple tie-dye, some parts of the dress are white.  Woman is facing away.

I did make a DragonFruit dress from b&w Ankara fabric with some white with black polka dots scraps as part of the double ruffle sleeves.  I’ve started tagging those sleeves as #KatieKortmanSleeves – it seemed fitting.


Want to mention some independent fabric stores that I have recently purchased from.  I bought some linen viscose noil and Merchant and Mills ribbing from Harts Fabric.  

I also purchased some Merchant and Mills linen from Fancy Tiger crafts. They don’t have any more of the blue/purple color I got but have many others.  Mine is going to become a Cris Wood Sews Daydream dress, after i make one in a less expensive linen to test out the fit.

Working on a super-secret project that will be revealed by the time this goes on the air so I can talk about it.  

I got this beautiful fabric at Mood – cotton voile, black base, giraffes, peacocks, snakes, grecian ladies, flowers – you know- SUBTLE.  I’m making a shirt for Jim. It has a camp-style collar and pockets on each side.  I matched the pockets but not the pocket closures (too hard!).  I am making it short sleeved for summer.  This is an anniversary present. 3 years!

BEVERLY – OMG – I ordered this earlier this week.  LOL!  That’s hilarious – now I’ll be able to match you or Jim.  

I am super excited about the #pfScrappy theme.  I am planning a dress made with linen scraps pieced together to make an abstract version of the view where Jim and I got engaged.  Inspired by 

New Patterns

True Bias Emerson has had a size expansion up to 60” waist, 64.5” hip

Small sizes

Not sure if it’s a new pattern, but I wanted to call attention to the June bonus pattern for Style Arc.  It’s the Eileen Dress, and they have added some size diversity in models.  I wanted to mention it because we have noted their lack of size diversity previously.

  • Shirring detail on sleeve
  • Gathered side waist
  • Round neck
  • In-seam pockets
  • Centre back split,loop and button for woven version

Can be made in knit or woven fabrics (shown in knit on left, woven on right in photo).

New pattern:

Rivlin Ruffle Dress:  Max 64” hip

Line drawings of dress pattern in short, medium and maxi lengths

THisis a new to me designer. I shared the pattern on Insta, and the designer offered me a copy to try out.  I’ve already ordered the printed pattern from friend of the show ThePlottedPattern and can’t wait to sew this one up.  I think I’ll do knee length with tiny neck and armhole ruffles first…

New & Free pattern: 

Belt from CrisWoodSews – Cinch Belt

Person wearing lime green belt around tan colored dress.

Free Patterns

Free Pattern Database with Max sizes!

Making and Books Free Patterns Database

Buy a coffee for Making and Books

I did the math for you: 105 free patterns, 45 up to standard of show, 15 that will fit Jenny. Clearly there is a need for more free patterns in larger sizes.  I fit into all but 1 of the patterns.

Some of our favorites:


Deer and Doe Plantain shirt (up to max 58/50/60)

Small sizes

Large sizes

Person wearing maroon 3/4 length tee shirt with black jeans
Person wearing blue and white striped 3/4 length sleeve tee shirt.

Fibremood Frances shirt – haven’t made yet, but really want to!  

Person wearing white shirt with elastic gathered grown on sleeves.

Rebecca Page Toronto Tee – my favorite t-shirt pattern – max size 54/50/57

Person wearing blue tee shirt with red stripes and small pocket

Sew House Seven Elemental Skirt – max size 57” waist 65” hip

Person wearing navy blue tee shirt with heathered grey skirt.

Hey June Handmade Allspice Apron – I made these as gifts for my mom and Jim not last Christmas but year before.  Great opportunity for scraps!  I like this apron because there are no ties.  Max measurements 60” hip.  

Jenny:  I don’t really have many free pattern favorites – because mostly there just aren’t many choices in the types of garments I like to make.

Amy Nicole Studios – Krissa Top is a super cute cropped shell top with a split back. Easy and free to download from Amy’s site. Bust measurement: 30in-56.5in bust. 

 I haven’t made this yet – but it’s pretty cute, and now is on my radar. 

Sarah Kirsten – Morning Glory top is a cute open backed top with tie detail designed for woven fabrics, sent to you for free if you enter your email address. This is more of a template for how to make the top to your own measurements so there is no size range – you calculate the size of the pieces to fit you!

 I have made this a few times; my favorite version adds on a gathered shirt with elastic back, inspired by HandmadeMandy on Instagram.   

Overall, free patterns aren’t that exciting for me – I’m fortunate that I can afford to buy most any pattern I’m interested in.  While only about 15% of the list is accessible to me from a max hip perspective, that’s still better than in previous years.  And honestly, the last time I did the math, only about 30% of patterns in most data bases were accessible for me – so 15% of free patterns doesn’t sound so bad comparatively.  

I find that sizing is hit or miss on the upper end of commercial patterns, and that seems to hold true for free patterns.  

I’ll look forward to the news being better next year on the free (and paid!) pattern front for people with outsized measurements!

Favorites not on that list:

Mood sewciety – I wonder if the Plotted Pattern would offer a service to take these letter size and make into A0?

On the home page of their patterns, they have categories such as gender free and adaptive along with cosplay, basics, swimwear, etc. The patterns are crosslinked by key words. So if you find a dress and it is adaptive, you can click and get all the adaptive patterns, or zero waste or whatever category it falls in.  

The Cadia Shirt is one I think Jenny mighty like as a starting point based on sleeve style.  It is a zero waste pattern so you wouldn’t probably have to cut and paste!

Mannequins wearing three versions of the same top.  One grey with navy belt.  One blue and green plaid and one brown.  All versions have large gathered sleeves

You should also take a look at Frugalisima’s YouTube channel.  She often mentions free patterns and gives the maximum measurements so you don’t have to waste time with patterns that won’t fit you. In the Free Patterns Playlist she has 96 videos with free patterns – some will have only been free when she released the video, but many are evergreen.


B sides 2: Jim Doran- Joie de Vivre

JIm’s Website
Altoid tin with papercut black and white diorama. "Anatomy of a Crime Scene"
Click here to purchase
Brood X Animation about life of two special cicadas

Jutta Neumann New York


68 Intro to #pfScrappy


Fibr & Cloth Studio Iris Pattern

Warp and Weft Textiles $100 gift card

Jennifer Lauren Handmade Any pdf pattern

Catch up:

Ashton Top Helen’s Closet

Estella Curve Paper Cut Patterns

DragonFruit Caramiya Maui

Dharma Trading Company Procion Fiber Reactive Dyes


I’ve done some sewing!!!  This week I made a slightly more A-line Ashton top using Pierre Cardin floral fabric from Mood Fabrics.  I added an inch to the hem and made a straight line.  It came out really nice!

Next I made a Caramiya Dragonfruit! Also from Mood.  I love it!  The fabric is the same that I sent to Jenny.  Did you get it yet?  If not, I won’t talk about it.  I totally did!! 

Finally I made an Ashton dress!  I did it just like you said – cut at cropped top length, and add a gathered skirt.  My fabric was about 52 inches after removing selvedge, so I used 2x that width and gathered it.  So many compliments! Yesterday at work a woman asked me, “Where on earth do you shop? You’ve got the best clothes!”  

New patterns:

Elbe Textiles Weiland tank: cropped tank – max measurements 58.5 chest and 50” waist – love to see a C/D cup in a tank.  I am interested in making the Caladium Jumpsuit by Caramiya and I think this would be a great thing to wear under it.

Plus size woman facing forward wearing a black tank top and black bottoms, hands at sides.

Itch to Stitch Sentosa Tank: I don’t usually go for things like this, but I like it.  It is a loose-fitting tank with an asymmetrical pleated neckline.  It is designed for knit fabric but several examples appeared to be woven.  Lots of examples on the website.

Cashmerette Kineton Dress. 

Line drawings of a dress with a deep v neck front and a shallower v neck back.  Gathered at waist, with center seams front and back.  Set in sleeves with a gathering at the top of the sleeve, and elastic at the cuffs.  Second set of images show the same dress but with short gathered sleeves.

Made for mermaids Ruthie Dress: max 64” hip

Colorful image with 8 variations of a garment.  The first four are variations on the tank top including a gathered keyhole neckline & gathered front center. These are show in both cropped and full length tank tops.  The four dresses are the same four variations on the bodice, with full circle skirts that are knee length or above the knee length.

So what’s our topic this month?  We’re taking a cue from our listeners, and this month we’re looking at all things scrappy.  The hashtag is #pfScrappy.  We asked you all to give us ideas for this year’s episodes and MargieMakes, FatThighsAndMermaidPants, and Sara.Fornia all suggested scrap busting, using up what you have, or color blocking – and that’s great for this month’s theme.  

MargiemakesFrugal challenge, like use what you have? Or a pattern you’ve been putting of?
fatThightsAndMermaidPantsScrap buster, but with ideas for fat sewists
SaraForniaScrap buster
SaraForniaColor blocking

Examples might include:

Illustrations of high waisted underwear with the front & back as single pieces of fabric, or as front, back, and sides.  One pair is edged with lace.

Underwear: it’s easy to use up knit scraps here; before I realized I just like my Cacique ready to wear undies, I used my knit scraps to cut fronts, backs, and linings so I’d be ready to make u dies any time. Fav pattern is the Muna & broad Kapunda undies. Up to a 71.5” hip

Line drawings of a shirt with a high round collar that ties in the back.  The sleeves are very fully with gathering at the shoulder, and elastic at the short sleeve hem.  The shirt has a yoke; in the front the yoke has a gathered trim inserted.
Photo of two women wearing a woven shirt that hits at mid-hip.  The seated woman is wearing a white shirt with horizontal tucks in the long sleeves that have elastic at the wrists.  The neckline is a keyhole with ties joined at the center.  The standing woman is wearing the same shirt in a burgundy fabric, with the keyhole neckline ties left open.

Dresses: I love a dress with a yoke for color blocking. I’ve used Friday Pattern Company Sagebrush (max 60” chest), Cashmerette Alton (62” max chest) this way – making the yoke in a solid & the rest of the dress in a coordinating solid, or print. CrisWoodSews Envelope Dress

Isabelle_sews – and if you don’t follow her, you SHOULD!- has posted a few dresses with pieced bodices and I am so inspired.  She mentions in her posts that she was inspired by mabelmade and pettypopcornmakes.  I went to their Instagram pages and OMG!  So much good stuff for this challenge.

Make your own fabric: here you can piece together a quilt pattern & use it to cut out a garment, or strip piece fabrics together to the same end. I have several plans along these lines already. 

Illustration of a very gathered pair of pants; these are so full they might be mistaken for a floor length skirt if you didn't know they were pants.  THere's a seam line below the knee where fabric was joined to make up the length of the pants.

Pants: Tauko Panel pants are designed for color blocking.  Max 53” waist (finished fitted measurement).  

Do you have a treasured fabric? Consider following DivineDita (Nandita) & using it as an accent. 

An instagram profile for divinedita with images of Nandita wearing colorful dresses appear.

Make a garment where you cut each piece out of a different fabric. 

And instagram profile for renegadeseamstres where images are shown of colorful color blocked dresses.

Pdxsquared made this beautiful quilt out of largish pieces of leftover linen – smaller than you’d generally use for a pattern piece, but larger than quilt pieces often are.  

A pieced quilt with very large solid pieces and some smaller pieces.  Random size and colors.

Here’s RenegadeSeamstres to share more ideas on how to make use of scraps in your sewing this month! 


67. #pfSewNatural reveal

Clue for next month’s theme – this one is tough! Hint: the clue is in the chorus, not the title.

Catch up:


I made a really fabulous CaramiyaMaui Dragonfruit Dress from fabric from Julia Allison Cost Gallery.  I added sleeves from the Montrose Top by Cashmerette & it’s really lovely.  

I also made a Dragonfruit from Libery of London Tana Lawn in blue leaf print.  I added sleeves inspired by Katie Kortman, a Gilmore circle skirt, and a lantern-esque border inspired by Marilla Walker.

Made for Mermaids: Aaronica from fabric from Hello Friend Fabrics

Also: I made a cake.

Pink cake with yellow and pink decorations
Jenny’s homemade cake

Now I’ve started to cut out so many things:  I have the upcoming Cashmerette Club new bonus pattern ready to sew up soon – pictures will come when it’s released on 1 June.  In addition, I’ve cut out a linen version of the Ashton top with Katie Kortman inspired ruffled sleeves and a gathered skirt to make a dress.  Finally, I’ve also cut out another Jennifer Lauren Handmade Isla Wrap Dress – in a mid weight canvas black and pink buffalo check.  

I’ve started planning my makes for the TopStitchAtl retreat in June.  So far I know I’m taking fabric for a Blanca flight suit jumpsuit, and for several more Aaronica dresses by Made for Mermaids.  I’m wondering if I could do any ice dyeing there during free time – running out to get ice, and then having a grand old time dyeing things… What do you think?  Over the top?

Beverly: I did my first toile (one leg) using the top down center out system.  Pattern is Eve Trousers by Merchant and Mills (small sizes) (large sizes).  I kind of messed up because toile was out of actual muslin but pants are out of stretch twill (very cheap – wearable toile).  Found a few things out that may make my life easier:  I can grade to a larger size at the waist or I can leave the darts out.  Also, I may not need the zip to pull them up.  I never take the zip down on my jeans. I figure I could leave about an inch or so unclosed at the top and just use the button to make it a little tighter.  Not quite sure how this will work.  

Mood fabrics last weekend!  Posted the fabric I got on my feed. 

Also went to Gray Lines Linen and got some white linen with retro looking shiny white cord couching on it, some embroidered linen (do we still call it broderie anglaise if it’s not cotton?) and some beautiful yarn dyed blue/black linen.  

White fabric with shiny cording sewn into a curvy design
Couched Linen fabric for Beverly’s curtains

I’m in the mood to make cool summer tops and floaty dresses.  

Interview with Michelle from Warp and Weft

We talk about natural dying.

Book: A Dyer’s Garden

Great supplier for natural dyes: Maiwa

New Patterns:

Marilla Walker Anning 

Two women wearing different version of the same dress pattern, standing in front of a white wall
Marilla Walker’s Anning Dress

Size expansion on Closet Core Ginger Jeans – this is exciting to me because I’ve been dying to make them but refused to purchase before.  I immediately bought the pattern and went to Core Fabrics to buy denim and other stuff because $150 for free shipping.  

Style arc Mary Woven Shift dress

Update – new size range and more detailed instructions

#pfSewNatural call outs!

How did we do?  

I mean, I used natural fibers…. But that’s not really a stretch for me.  I had hopes of making an art garment inspired by nature but work and life had other plans this month.  I can still do it though!  Did you get your natural dying done with the stuff you got from Botanical colors? Turmeric?  

Jenny: I used natural fibers, and bought dye to do natural dyeing – but haven’t yet taken time to do it as of today’s recording.  There’s still almost a week left so it’s possible!


Robe in blue and green fabric with birds and trees printed on it
Woman wearing red striped top
Woman wearing blue top


Woman holding camera and wearing khaki colored top with flowers on it

Betsey_karl on instagram

Woman outside in lush green environment wearing blue floral print skirt

JamillaSinger on Instagram

Person wearing olive green pants

Sewnotapro on instagram


66: All About Linen

Topic: All About Linen 


3/10/2022StyleArcFree pattern – any monthMay
1/10/2022CaramiyaMauiFree pattern – any monthMay

Catch up:

I’ve been on a tear with the Isla Wrap dress by Jennifer Lauren Handmade.  I tested this dress is a lovely midweight navy linen, and then made another in a black-and-white windowpane cotton, followed by one from a quilting cotton printed with canned veggies.  I also made one more Dragonfruit dress by CaramiyaMaui  from a voile I bought at Mulberry Silks in Carrboro, NC.


I finally finished something!!! I made the Seamwork Marlow in navy blue linen from  

I started my Merchant and Mills Eve Trousers toile.  Real toile!  Using muslin (calico) fabric all marked up with sharpie! I am using the Top-down-center-out method of fitting created by @ithacamaven

Let’s do a deep dive in to one of our favorite fibers:  Linen.  Right of the bat, let’s be clear that we’re not experts.  We’re linen-lovers, but that doesn’t mean we’re where you should come for you eduction about linen.  For that, please go to Love to Sews episode about linen & their podcast all about different fabrics.

Tomkat Stitchery new episode: Top 10 Patterns for Linen

Is your linen scratchy?  Whitney suggests soaking in 50% coke, 50% water. She thinks the acid does the trick.  Perhaps a citric acid wash would do well too.  Ooo!  So you could try Mountain Dew, too!

So why do we love linen?

I have Beverly to thank for my love of linen.  This is a fiber I just thought of as too expensive for me to sew with – even though, most of the linen I buy is about the same price as high quality quilting cotton (but wider!) & nice rayons (same width).  While I do mostly source from, here are some other great places to get linens:

Where to buy:

Mulberry Silks:  Sign up for their newsletter, call them and ask for help with their linens, or if you’re lucky enough to be in the area, go visit them in NC.  Everything about this varies wildly – price, width, texture.  

Mood Fabrics: I want to call out specifically their Mood exclusive Linen & Rayon blend fabrics. These are 53” wide, and 55% linen/45% viscose rayon.  They wash up and feel like a silk noil to me – and I’m here for it.  I love the drape, the hand, the smell, everything about these.  About $18/yard.

Domesticity:  This is the Baltimore shop we met podcast listeners at a in February.  They carry the Merchant & Mills linens which are as delightful as their very high price tag would imply.  I’ve got one on my cutting table now for the new Jennifer Lauren Handmade Isla wrap dress.

The Fabric Store in New Zealand

What to make:

StyleArc Hope Dress

Line drawing of a raglan dress with long sleeves gathered at the wrist.  Skirt is also gathered and extends to tunic or midi length.

Made by Rae Trillium Dress & Made by Rae Ruby Dress

  • Change the sleeves
  • Add a tie
  • Use a casing for the elastic
  • Add piping
  • Change amount of gathers/pleats
A headless body wears an orange dress with pleated skirt.  Neckline is round and scooped.  Bodice has cap sleeves.
Image of a dress with a dark above check yoke, to which is attached a gathered skirt made from orange fabric printed with white intricately drawn feathers.


This sweet dress or top features a cut-out scoop neckline, pockets, and shirring in the back for an easy, comfortable fit. Choose from two lengths (dress or top), scoop or cutout neckline, and sleeveless or cap sleeves to create a number of different styles. No zippers or closures are needed, making this a wonderful project for the confident beginner or intermediate sewist!


Ruby is a great, basic beginner’s dress or top for woven fabrics!

Ruby features a contrast yoke and gathers for a comfortable and flattering fit without the need for bust darts, zippers, or closures. Armholes and neckline are bias-bound for an easy finish. Two lengths, dress (above the knee) and top (hip length) are included.

Anything by Muna & Broad

This image features two images from a sewing website.  In both a plus size asian woman is modeling a garment.  In image 1, she is smiling & wearing a denim jacket with large pockets on the front at the waist & chest.  In image 2, she is not smiling and is wearing a black shirt with collar, pockets, and long sleeves.
Image 1: a white plus size person stands turned 2/3 of the way to the back, wearing a gold tank top tucked int o dark, slim legged pants.  In image 2, a white plus size person is facing the camera, wearing a white printed top with long sleeves, and bright pink pants with wide legs.
A white plus sized person is standing facing the camera, but looking off camera, in bright pink pants with wide legs, and a boxy top in a garnet color.

Alton Blouse by Cashmerette Club / Montrose Top by Cashmerette


Boho is in full bloom with the Alton Blouse! The Alton features striking pleated sleeves with elastic cuffs or straight long sleeves and a faced keyhole neckline that can be worn open or tied. Sew yours up in a silk or voile for an ethereal blouse you’ll love to wear, or mix and match the Alton with the Montrose Top’s necklines, yoke, and sleeves for even more options!


This timeless pattern features two variations: View A is a scoop neck blouse with short sleeves and curved back yoke, while View B shows off lace fabrics with a jewel neck, elbow length sleeves, and keyhole back. 

A plus sized person with dark hair is wearing a white swiss dot top with a keyhole neckline that is tied closed at the top; the shirt has long sleeves with tucks in it at the bicep and near the wrist.  The wrist is  gathered.  This person is also wearing jeans which can be seem slightly at the bottom of the image.
A black and white line drawing of two shirt.  Shirt 1 is short sleeved, with bust darts on the front; the back has a yoke with a gathered skirt back attached.  The shirt is hip length.  Shirt 2 is boat necked, with elbow length sleeves, and is made from a lacy fabric.

Belemnite Dress by Marilla Walker

A line drawing of the front of a pattern envelope for the Marilla Walker Beleminte dress 101.  The dress is shown with two sleeve varieties, one is grown on long sleeves with a gathered wrist; the other is a short grown on sleeve with a wide ruffle attached.  The dress is princess seamed with waist ties that extend from the front princess seams to a bow in the back.  The skirt is gored and ends with a lantern hem.


View A – Easy fitting, fit and flare dress with long gathered sleeves and an A-line, lantern shaped skirt. There are self-fabric ties at the waist, a back-zip closure and the v-neckline is finished with a facing.

View B – Easy fitting, fit and flare shirt style dress with grown on sleeves, ruffle cuff and an A-line lantern shaped skirt. There are self-fabric ties at the waist, button front closure and the neckline is finished with a facing.

BONUS SLEEVE – View A with extra sleeve volume.

All of the patterns by Elizabeth Suzann

Helen’s closet Gilbert

An image of a fat person wearing a purple dyed button front top with a camp collar & ties at the waist.  The sleeves are short with a cuff.  The person is standing in front of greenery and trees, with their hand in their hair.

Sew House Seven Free Range Slacks

A black and white line drawing of pants with an elastic waist & deep front pockets.  In one version, the legs are tapered and a back patch pocket is added; in the second version, there is no back pocket and the pants are wide legged.  Both pairs of pants have a panel extending from waistband to cuff at both sides.

Merchant and Mills: Shirtdress, Factory Dress, Florence

Planning to try a linen scrap quilt, similar to this striped quilt pattern from Gathered.

This is an image of a quilt hanging on a wall.  It is made up of horizontal striped pieces.  Every other stripe is a single fabric, and the alternate strip is pieced from several different fabrics.  The fabrics are generally pastel prints, with a few bright orange & red fabrics used in the piecing.

Please check out our PunkFrockers Patreon.


Episode 65: Sewing Getaways


3/10/2022StyleArcFree pattern – any monthMay
1/10/2022CaramiyaFree pattern – any monthMay

Catch up: Beverly

News from my house – new blinds!!!  Love them so much. Need to make sheerish curtains. What do you think of the white IL020?

Got a package from Jenny!  Hand-dyed fabric (ice dyed) Is this the IL020? Beautiful blue green color.  I think I am going to make another Elizabeth Suzann Georgia tee and use the scrap of your purple dyed piece as an accent.  Or should I use a solid one that matches? Like this:

Two pieces of fabric, iced-dyed blue green on the left, purple/red on the right.
Woman taking a mirror selfie wearing a tan shirt with a bold and colorful stripe down one side.

I hope I have finished my Seamwork Marlow top by the time we record.  My next big plan is to make some Merchant and Mills Eve trousers  (larger size band here).  I am going to use the “top down, center out” method of pants fitting that was created by Ruth @ithacamaven.  I follow Stacey @thecrookethem, which is where I heard of this technique.  Stacey is a fantastic pattern “analyst” – she frequently shows how you can tell if patterns are balanced or not, how two patterns are different in different areas, stuff like that.  She also recently showed how to make a shoulder sloper and I was fascinated.  I like it because she puts more math in sewing.


By Hand London Anna Dress: I’ve made an Anna using the bodice only, and a very full skirt from a Madra plaid.  I love the Anna dress, but it’s been so long I forgot that the V-neck is too low on me – lol.  I’ll have to add a modesty triangle, or otherwise fix the neckline to really get much use out of this.  It did remind me of how much I love a Madras plaid though!  The bodice on this one uses pleated/gathered cups to add space for chestal appendages.

New test patterns:  I’m not allowed to talk about these yet, but I’m so happy that these are expanding.  It’ll be up to a 70” hip, too!  

Unleashed Embrace Dress:  Tested this, will discuss later in this episode.

Closet Core Blanca Flight Suit: Bought material to try too-down-center-out to see if that helps me get a good fit on my first boiler suit / flight suit.  My concerns are how quickly my hips become wider than my waist.  On every woven jumpsuit style I’ve made, there’s not been enough ease for me to sit down, or quickly remove if I need to use the bathroom even.  I have an upholstery canvas in bright blue with oranges all over it (my first alma mater’s colors) to try for this one.

Top Down Center out in brief: We’ve linked to it in the show notes, but basically, you fit the waist band separately first, then fit one leg (cut with extra ease in the side seam).  Once you’ve got both working as intended, you finish the second leg and >poof< you have pants that fit.

New patterns and updates:

Tilly and the Buttons has updated the Coco top and dress! It is now available for sizes up to 60/53/61.  It is an A-line knit dress, quirky 60’s look and it was one of the first things I made when I started sewing.  Very quick and easy sew.  Two different necklines to choose from, boatneck or funnel.  

The full size range is available as a pdf or as a paper pattern.

JH: I keep seeing this one everywhere and am interested in it.  I love the funnel neck in theory – but not always in practice.

Poppy Top from Pattern Scout – the top is a floaty, raglan sleeved top with a peplum on the bottom.  


The Poppy Blouse is a raglan peasant style blouse with three-quarter length bishop sleeves, a ruffle collar, and optional ruffle hem. It has an oversized silhouette, perfect for light, airy fabrics with a fluid drape.


Lightweight fabrics with a fluid drape, such as rayon, viscose, crepe de chine, and silk chiffon. Lightweight fabrics with a less fluid drape, such as cotton lawn, cotton gauze, and tissue linen are also suitable and will create a more voluminous silhouette.

Sew Liberated Studio Tunic – The Studio Tunic is a pinafore-style tunic that takes layering to a whole new level.

Lots of photos with knitting projects in pockets.  

Like a dress/apron.  Really need to wear over something.

StyleArc Millicent Wrap Dress:  This is a wrap bodice with a ¾ circle skirt & tie closure.  I love the sleeves which are full but not gathered (this is your sleeve style, right Beverly?).  I’m pretty sure that this is drafted for a much taller body than I have so I’d need to adjust as usual at the waist and skirt for length.

Unleashed patterns: Embrace dress:  This is a knit dress.  There are so many options here:  cross over bodice, high scoop neck; three sleeves (waterfall, set in, flutter), two skirts (pencil, pencil with flutter).

Up to 84” hip.  I made the size 26 from top to bottom, so check out my pictures for how that looked.  I love the flutter on the skirt.  Other notes: testing is always a fun process.  The first tests, the flutter fell about 2” from the side seam – so on my size, it was a side flutter (the images provided showed it where it is on me in the final images).  You’ll want to consider where you want the flutter to go based on what you’d like for you – on smaller sizes, this may mean adjusting the pattern pieces.

Dragonfruit Dress: this CaramiyaMau dress is finally out. 

Sewing events or other crafty events where you go away for the weekend or longer and sew/knit/etc.  Also included are Frocktails events.  Shopping getaways?

TopStitchAtl: June retreat.  This one is sold out.  It was $1,800 for an individual queen bed cabin (no AC, but a fan) in the mountains in Georgia, USA.  The schedule looks amazing.  Highlights (I’m attending this one!) include – there’s also 5 hours on Thurs, Fri, Sat, for working on making your own jeans (if you paid extra for the Jean’s workshop, I didn’t).


June 8th


  • 5-6pm – Greetings, collect your goodie bag and settle in
  • 8-9pm – S’mores at the Farmhouse Firepit
    June 9th


  • 9-10am – Morning Skills Demo with Nikki – seam finishing skills
  • 3-4pm – Nature walk around the Farmhouse Property
  • 8-9pm – Night swim or hot tub time

June 10th


  • 9-10am – Morning Skills Demo with Nikki – zipper skills
  • 12-1pm – Lunch at the Farmhouse
  • 3-4pm – Natural Dyeing Demo Part 1 with Brittani

June 11th


  • 9-10am – Morning Skills Demo with Nikki – pressing skills
  • 3-4pm – Natural Dyeing Demo Part 2 with Brittani
  • 8-9:30pm – Undies making party with Nikki
  • 9:30pm – Hot tub or pool time for a last dip!

June 12th


  • 9-10am – Pack and say farewell
  • 10am – Check out – feel free to continue exploring nearby for the day!

TopStitchAtl: Color weekend with Katie Kortman  : June 4 – 5 online.  Tickets are $149 & include Katie’s Wear Happy Color e-book and Wear Happy Color course, as well as the TopStitch Essential Shirt Pattern.  There are going to be live sessions, and recorded sessions available.  I’m attending this one pretty much entirely for the How to Paint Fabric session that will be live!

Here’s what we have planned for the weekend with you! 

Four main live sessions:

1. Fabric Painting Workshop: hand paint your very own fabric design

2. Sleeve Hacking Workshop: learn to hack a basic sleeve pattern three ways

3: Drafting Collars Workshop: learn how to draft a collar for an existing pattern or to stand alone

4. Live Q&A Session: ask Katie all about her experience on Project Runway!

Five video demonstrations recorded exclusively for this event:

1. Video demo: create your own buttons from scratch

2. Video demo: learn to jazz up your existing buttons with painted details

3. Video demo: learn to use embroidery to add fun detail to pockets, collars, and more

4. Video demo: learn how to add trim detail to a piece and how to make your own trim

5. Video demo: colorblocking a pattern 

The Sewing Weekender, May 21 – 22.  This is online only.  Tickets are about $25 US.  

Saturday Lineup

  • Jenny from Cashmerette shares her top 5 fitting tips. Everything from measuring yourself correctly to why bust cup options are a must.
  • Statement pockets: Juliet Uzor is here to show you how to customize your next make with a statement pocket or two!
  • DIY Skirt Tutorial: DIY Daisy is going to show you how to cut the incredible Sophie skirt from her new book ‘Sew it Yourself’. If you love a curved seam, then this is going to be right up your street.
  • Zips 101: Lisa from the Avid Seamstress is sharing how to insert different zips into your garments.
  • Geri from Geri in Stitches will show you how to get started with marble dying
  • Behind the Scenes: Meg from fabric shop Pigeon Wishes is sharing how she’s pivoted her business to serve indie fashion brands.
  • The Making of a Magazine: Have you ever wondered what goes into making a sewing pattern magazine? The lovely team at Fibre Mood are here to show us what’s involved.
  • Sustainable Fabrics: Harriet from Sew Me Sunshine is talking about what to look for when shopping sustainably for fabric.
  • Maria from Sew Organised Style is creating an exclusive podcast episode for the Weekender.
  • Sandy & Judith from #sewover50 are talking about sewing for changing body shapes.

Chatty Videos:

  • Tugba from @i.of.the.needle
  • Riccardo from @rifallo
  • Ele from @sewnbyele
  • Emily from @emilynatsai
  • Sara from @yoursara_k
  • Michelle from @michelle.a.sews

Sunday Lineup

  • Make Trousers that Fit with Alison Smith. Alison will talk us through some of the most common pattern alterations so you can achieve the perfect fit for your next trouser project.
  •  Alice and Co are back this year! ‘Sew you think you can’t draw?’ They are showing you that putting your design ideas down on paper makes them easier to realise.
  • Quilted Jacket Tutorial: Sam from Purple Sewing Cloud is here to show you how to add quilting techniques into your handmade wardrobe, by hacking a jacket pattern to add a quilted element. It will make you look at all your sewing patterns in a new way.
  • Adding Hand Embroidery into your Next Make. Alexis from Fibr and Cloth Studio is demonstrating some classic embroidery stitches and how you can apply these to your clothing.
  • Behind the Scenes: Grace who runs Beyond Measure gives us a sneak peak of her beautiful studio, how she works with artisans to create new products and gives us a tour of her new growing space where she is creating a garden for dying fabric.
  • Bust Adjustments: Mandi from Make With Mandi is here to show you how to do small and full bust adjustments on patterns.
  • Using your Sewing Wins to Plan your Future Makes with Jess from Muna and Broad
  • Styling your handmade Wardrobe: So you’ve made a load of stuff but how do you wear it together? Marie from Marie Stitched Up is here to talk about how she does it.
  • Charlotte from Charlotte Emma Patterns will be teaching you how to cut a sew a baseball cap with a downloadable PDF pattern.

Chatty Videos:

  • Mijke from @sewitcurly
  • Atia from @thebrightblooms
  • Georgie from @heysewgeorgie
  • Corrie from @corriesfancygoods
  • Jacinta from @pinkmimosabyjacinta
  • Jenny from @johassler

Ideas: travel to a class & stay overnight, shop meet others.  

I did this recently in the Raleigh Durham, NC area.  I met up with several sewists & we ate, went shopping (Mulberry Silks, Freeman’s Creative, Craft Habit Raleigh).  It was lots of fun!

  • Pick an area with several shops if possible (some cities have a garment district which can make this easy: Philadelia, NYC, LA, Atlanta)
  • Choose a local lunch place with good seating
  • Go out of town for a class, and bring friends along!
  • Connect with local sewists
    • Tag your plans with local sewing tags (example: CarrboroSews, AshevilleSews)
    • Reach out to community members you already know are from near that area
    • Plan a road trip with local to you sewists
    • Just introduce yourself while shopping and see who wants to join you for lunch

DC Frocktails was last night.  I was scheduled to go but couldn’t make it.  These events are good for folks that would like to get together with other sewists, but don’t want to make an overnight commitment.  They are events where people dress up a bit, there’s dancing, prizes, and meeting up with lots of other sewists. 

The weekend before last I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool, which is a huge festival of mostly hand-dyed gorgeous yarn.  I wish sewing had a similar thing.  I guess it would be much harder to do, as yarn is already bundled for purchase, but I would love it.  It’s an opportunity to go see lots of beautiful yarn that you normally don’t get to feel in person, and be around other fiber folks, but not really have to talk to them.  I go with a group of friends that I met through scrapbooking in 2007.  (I met them at a weekend event in Detroit!)

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64: Me Made May

Catch up:

Beverly – Well, since last we spoke, I didn’t sew much, but I did get engaged and went on a beautiful Puerto Rico vacation! If you are interested in this trip, please look at my instagram grid from Sunday, May 1 through Monday, May 2.  

I did make one thing.  Remember when I needed a plain, flowy top to go with the heavily patterned Closet Core Pietra Shorts I made? I remembered a #pfTNT pattern, the Style Arc Selina Woven top.  I have made three versions of that top now and I love it.  I am including a photo in the show notes of the top with those shorts.  It is a flowy top with ruffled sleeves and ruffle at the hem.  I made it in lightweight black broderie anglaise.  


I’ve made 5 Trillium Dress by Made by Rae since we last spoke I believe – two from Alison Glass yarn dyed woven cottons from Seams Fabric (citrus and pink/purple), one from a STOF quilting cotton (but a wide fabric) from by way of Amazon, one from a Tana Lawn by Liberty from, another check from (wide), and finally the one I’m wearing while we record tonight: a linen hand dyed from my dyeing session in early April. IC 64

I also finished my wearable toile of the Ashton Top from a cotton woven (source unremembered).  I like it – but the next one I’ll make a size smaller since the most important fit point seems to be my upper chest.

Oh, and I finished up my Calder pants – and didn’t wear them for my volunteer activity.  I need to make a top to match, and then I can wear them out and about.

Me Made May: NEW PATTERN collection from Deer and Doe!

What is Me Made May?  What is it for?  Really good blog post from Zoe Edwards (@sozoblog on Instagram) – creator of #MeMadeMay

Sew Liberated – Got an email from Meg McElwee, the founder and designer for Sew Liberated saying that this year she’s breaking up with sustainable sewing.  Here’s a great blog post explaining why.


#MeMadeMayFat #MeMadeMePlus ❤️ first things first: @sozoblog has a series of posts describing the purpose of the Me Made May challenge 🧡 my likely imperfect summary is that the goal is examine the place of #MeMadeClothjng in your wardrobe 💛 it’s a self reflective opportunity regarding your wardrobe, sustainability, and you 💚 it’s not specifically a making challenge 💙 I spent the last week or so going through the main hashtag a

nd finding very little of the body diversity I look for in a challenge 💙 I spent the last week or so going through the main hashtag and finding very little of the body diversity I look for in a challenge 💜 I felt overlooked in the same ways I did last year, the year before 🖤 I couldn’t find an endorsement of tags to help fat sewists be more visible 🤍 I won’t be following the main tag because I’m not feeling great about my feed being overrun by designs I can’t access because of my #BodaciousHips ❤️ I’ll be tagging my posts when appropriate so that I can be part of the what makes the fatness more visible 🧡 and I’ll follow the #fat and #plus versions of the tag to see what’s out there that was designed for me 

After posting this, I heard from dozens of other fat sewists who felt similarly.  Things that came up again and again were feelings of being left out, disappointment in the number of shared items were sizing wasn’t easy to find, but in the end, sizing also wasn’t inclusive, that the originating posts don’t in any way call in fat sewists (it always feels like we’re supposed to accept that since we make our own clothing, there’s no need for us to see ourselves represented – we can represent for ourselves if we just use our imaginations, or something).

Sewing for the Weekend natural dye episode

Dyeing with Turmeric

Another one – cold turmeric dyeing


Episode 63: #pfSewNatural Intro


StyleArc – pattern

CaramiuyaMaui – pattern

Catch up:


I’ve picked my fabric for my #pfTNT Ashton by Helen’s Closet – I’ll be using a fabric printed with sewing pattern pieces & suchlike.

I’ve sewn up another Gilmore Skirt by Cashmerette.  This one is in a denim and the fabric is so wonderful in this pattern – great body & flow.  I’m sure I’ll make another in a different color denim.

I’m in the middle of a pair of Calder pants by Cashmerette from some canvas that I had printed.  These will be bold & fun – I hope i like them!

I also made the WILDEST Dragonfruit dress by CaramiyaMaui (not released) from a bright, large print, Ankara fabric.  I added pompoms in case it wasn’t bold enough.  I’m not sure I’m bold enough for it!

Coming up:  A Trillium by Made by Rae – with a full circle skirt!

Oh, oh!  And I made five pillow cases from 1.5 yards of cotton quilting fabric each.  Very basic – just measured a pillow, added some length, and went for it!


Made by Rae Trillium – I made my #pfTNT of Jenny’s tnt.  I chose Black Brussels Washer linen.  I tried to use elastic in the bobbin and it was a fail.  Came out flat, didn’t gather.  Watched a few YouTube videos, called in #Jennyfixitforme, no avail.  Decided to zigzag in some ⅛” elastic. Did 4 rows of this and it looked very nice.  This part took me half the day to work out.  Then I made the dress pretty quickly.  I tried it on and the elastic irritated the hell out of me.  As I raise my arms, the dress naturally goes up a bit and then the elastic keeps it up so I have to pull it down.  Ugh.  Not for me.  Took the elastic out and I really love it.  I love how the capped sleeves look, but not how they keep my arms down.  

Beverly in her black trillium dress before removing the elastic in the back. The dress fits ok, but she’s not comfortable with the elastic. Removing it made it perfect!

Max tee by Chalk and Notch – this is a “muscle tee” and has both armhole and hemline facings.  It took me a while to make (2 hrs) and I worried I wouldn’t like it but I do!  Nice and roomy, comfy tee.

Reynolds dress by Helen’s Closet – so delighted with my second one!!!  This one is made in blue/grey linen (IL019) from  I widened the straps – added about 1.5” total, so half that for the strap width.  I took out the curve and seam in the back, cut on the fold.  I love it!  I also needed to change the under arm area.  I washed the first one and found it was still a bit gaped, so I cut out a wedge that was 1” at the armpit down to 0 about 6” down.  The pattern actually seems to have a triangle on the back at the armpit so it easy to change going forward.

Sew Liberated Nocturne Pajamas – I made my first version – the top as a nighty, using some Liberty Cotton Poplin that I got for ½ price several months ago.  I always planned it for sleepwear and this pattern is perfect.  I am so pleased with the fit of the shoulders but plan to alter back to top size and make shorts to match.  Not enough fabric for the shorts, but will accent with it so they match.  


Our theme for May is NATURE! So excited to see how folks interpret this theme. 

Natural fibers

Naturally dyed fabrics

Naturally Dyed Fabrics – Loom and Stars

Dying fabric at home with natural dyes  This is what I plan to do!  Pillow cases!  So many pillowcases!

Fabrics with leaves/flowers/etc printed

Embroidered natural elements

Inspired by nature: color or shapes or silhouettes

New Patterns: 

Max Tee by Chalk and Notch: Do I need another tee pattern? It seems I do.  I don’t even know if I’m going to like it.  It’s a self-proclaimed muscle tee!  The version I have cut out is the hip length + 1 inch.  I lowered the neckline a bit and went for the typical tee neck binding.  It has a hem facing and also facing around the arm holes.  They call for tricot interfacing, but I have to draw the line somewhere.  

The Saguaro Set from Friday Pattern company



62. #pfTNT Reveal

Next Month’s clue

Catch Up: 


Since we have last spoken, I haven’t actually sewed anything. BUT – I have three things cut out:

Helen’s Closet Reynold’s dress in blue/grey linen

MAde by Rae Trillium dress in Brussels Washer linen – black

The new tee-shirt from Chalk and Notch – Max tee – in burgundy modal/cotton/lycra blend from Stylemaker fabric.

I am drooling over this version of the Sew Liberated Nocturne PJ set:


  • My trillium from Seams fabric should be complete by now!  I hope!!
  • Finally got photos of my CrisWoodSews Daydream dress, and I’m making plans for a second one with a longer skirt, higher waist
  • Cut out my Ashton top with ruggle
  • Working on Fibr&Cloth Iris ZW shirt – but as a dress of course
  • Cut out a Sugar Maple skirt from Patterns 4 Pirates from fabric by JuliaCost (jersey knit)

New Patterns:


Can we talk ZW patterns? Low waste?

  • Self-draft a pleated skirt (pleat of any size to size of waist, add waistband, zipper. 

#pfTNT Call outs:


Madrabbitsociety – an old favorite made many times

Sew.suse – a new TNT

Bumblebunched: a new to me Instagram account.  I highly recommend their feed, linked here.

“I’m Vickie, a #sewist with a devil-may-care attitude to pressing seams! Follow 4 #plussizesewing #patternreviews & #diyweddingtips B:48 | W:45 | H:56”


Sara.fornia:  Using TNT Trillium to draft a dress for herself – it’s so TNT she’s using it as a block!

Criadera.creates:  Hope dress is a big, bold print as a maxi

SuperKaos6:  Billie dress! Love the contrast pocket linings


Episode 61: TNT Fabric Stores

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Helen’s Closet Code for a pattern

Elbe Textiles Free pattern

ThePlottedPattern Printing pattern & instructions

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Catch up:


Sorrento Bucket Hat, Elbe Textiles. From linen, lined with RBG quilting cotton

Photinia by Fibr & Cloth. Shirting fabric. Grey white stripes. My hack with 10” elastic front & back, starting 3” down from shoulder seams. 

Started my Trillium in fabric from Seams Fabric. 

Bias front bodice, skirt will have hem band cut cross grain. Adding sleeves from Sagebrush. 

DragonFruit, from naked lady fabric from Caramiya.  Shirt, ruffled hem.  Hell, yeah.

I’ve printed my Ashton. Planning a shirt with a ruffle, or a dress hack. Fabric still undecided. 


Closet Core Kalle Shirtdress – I made a second one using fabric I purchased from my local fabric store, Domesticity – which goes by @createdomesticity on Instagram.  It was the galaxy print from Ruby Star society.  This one I made 4 inches longer and it could actually be a little bit longer even (still above knees).  The only thing weird is that quilting cotton tends to grab anything under it that is also cotton.  

Pietra Shorts – made another pair of Pietra shorts, which is definitely a #pfTNT pattern for me.  I have now made 2 pairs of shorts and 3 pairs of the pants at least.  Nice folded pocket on them.  I used fabric from Mood for these, stretch cotton poplin.

Helen’s Closet Reynold’s Dress – I actually made a true toile of this one!  In fabric I don’t really like but was super cheap (discount shirting) and I didn’t do the interfacing or any seam finishes.  So quick!  The real version was made in IL019 softened biking red linen.  Love this pattern!  I already cut out another version in a blue/grey version of the same fabric.  Changes: Made the straps wider and changed the fit on the back. 

Got my printed Trillium Dress by Made by Rae in the mail, so I am all set to do Jenny’s TNT! Plan to use Brussels washer linen.


What counts as a local/global store?  Only tiny shops like Domesticity or also Mood? Anything not big box?

I crowdsourced a list of stores – DM me & I can add to it. 

I made a commitment to buy locally-globally in January. I thought this would be a good time to update on my progress. 

I’ve done a really great job of spreading out my buys across smaller, locally owned companies. I’m not actually directly tracking my buys – but am charting the source of my makes. I’ve used about 200 yards of fabric so far this year, from about 25 different sources. I’m slowing down my buys until I sew through my stash (likely for the next three or so months). I’ve found some favorites, of course. 

French terry: So sew English – ssefabrics

Silk noil: SaltLakeSewciety

Linen: Fabrics-store IL020

Quirky prints: Simplifi & Hello Friend Fabrics

Yarn dyed fabrics: Seams Fabric

Weird stuff: Warp & Weft Textiles, Letoffe fabrics 

High quality quilting: CreateDomesticity


I love my local Domesticity of course, but there are other local/global fabric stores that I like too.  Of course everyone who has listened to a couple of episodes knows that I love Stylemaker fabrics.  I have also purchased from Surge Fabrics – I’ve only purchased Merchant and Mills ribbing from them, but I have been very tempted by emails from them. 

I purchased beautiful Japanese fabrics from Nekoneko – located in Singapore. Shipping to the USA is 18 SGD, which is about $13 US.  Same for Europe and 19 for Australia/NZ. They have the most gorgeous Nani Iro, many japanese brands, Atelier Brunette, and Nerida Hansen.  

Blackbird fabrics is a Canadian small fabric store, owned by Caroline Somos. – Fabrics for “something special”

Seamwork’s list of the best fabric stores around the world .