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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