Sewing Indie Month

Contest Closed: Time to Vote!


The Sewing Indie Month contests have come to a close: So many people entered, so many amazing projects, so much sewing (I spent a lovely afternoon looking at all of the entries). It is was so enjoyable to see all of the things that people made and now you can vote for the winners! The 4 categories and links to voting are below:



An Indie Love Affair hosted by Sown Brooklyn

Everyday Casual hosted by Cashmerette

Dressed to the Nines hosted by Lilacs & Lace

Pattern Hacking hosted by Rhonda’s Creative Life


Wrapping up Sewing Indie Month!

Yesterday was the last day for Sewing Indie Month blog events (the contests are still running for just a little bit longer). I was lamenting the fact that I did not find time to read many of the posts, so I decided to take a moment and find a few great blog posts from Sewing Indie Month collaborators to highlight here (and then back to schoolwork):

This post from SBCC Patterns: Zero Waste done by Soma Patterns”

A really cool concept that I know takes a lot of time to get just right. When making a garment fabric usage is so important, saving the consumer money, saving the world from waste, a worthwhile challenge for sure. 

Tutorial for Maria Denmark Pattern by Pauline Alice: “Sewing Leather: The Paula Pleat Skirt”

This post surprised me in that these concepts definitely apply to the tricky fabrics that I am trying to bond with currently, outerwear fabrics that puncture easily, and quilt lines that sometimes need to be taped in the seam allowances to encourage them to stop unraveling already! Also I think that this is a very timely post; it’s exciting the varieties of real and faux leather available right now. So many colors, weights, and awesome embossed varieties. I remember when it was just very authentic (too authentic in some cases) and not the fun fashion leather I am loving right now. 

By Hand London: “An interview with the Garmenter” 

I love reading these companies individual blog posts so I’m glad the two were paired up to do an interview! Julia of the Garmenter always has the perfect print for what she is sewing. As someone who loves prints and loves metallics but wears a mix of solid black and grey every day–I can totally relate to her comments.


Sewing Indie Update

–Yesterday I had the opportunity to post a tutorial created by Amity of Lolita Patterns! Scroll down to view–I am going to have to try out her innovative shirring method for future summer dresses when I have some time. It is an understatement to say I am overwhelmed my upcoming graduation. My first garment made it through the grading process so moving forward!

–That aside, the next exciting Sewing Indie Month event: Rhonda from Rhonda’s Creative Life used our Paper Bag Pant pattern for a “pattern hack” posted on her blog.

She chose to add this awesome zipper detail (pattern originally called for patch pockets)

But my favorite “hacked” element is the cuff detail (rather than a regular cuff or the elastic option) she added a band of fabric and a drawstring. This is great with the linen-look fabric she used (and the shoes!)

Rhonda gives info as to how she added these details on her blog.

(the last 2 pictures used are from Rhonda’s Creative Life)

Here is info regarding the Pattern Hacking Contest on Rhonda’s blog as part of Sewing Indie Month (there are 3 other contests to enter on other blogs as well). Participants have until June 4th to get entries in so you still have time–and the prizes are kind of amazing!

–Ok, last but not least: the upcoming blog events for Sewing Indie Month (more tutorials! more interviews!) can be found on the official calendar here! All the Sewn Square One events are completed 😦 but of course the month still holds 2 more weeks of amazing events on the other blogs!

Sewing Indie Month continues with a Tutorial from Lolita Patterns!

I’m so excited to be posting this tutorial created by Amity of Lolita Patterns as part of Sewing Indie Month! Amity has a knack for clear, concise, and useful tutorials! The tutorial below teaches a great technique for adding shirring details to a woven garment! The possibilities are endless!


Shirring with Elastic Thread Using a Chainstitch On Your Serger

Hi all! My name is Amity Gleason and I am the owner of Lolita Patterns. I’m so excited to be sharing a tutorial over here at Sewn Square One! I learned about this company through Sewing Indie month and am so glad I got the chance to be partnered with them. I’ve been really into shirring with elastic thread lately and when I shared this with Elizabeth and how I was using a method different than the traditional elastic thread in the bobbin technique, we thought it would be a great tutorial to share for Sewing Indie Month. This method of shirring uses the chainstitch on your coverstitch machine. Some sergers do have chainstitch capability even though they do not do coverstitch. So as long as you can chainstitch, you can use this method! The first thing is to mark your fabric. With this method, you have to mark the fabric on the right side. This is no problem for me as I always use Frixion pens which disappear with the heat of the iron and come out in the wash. Choose your method of marking carefully. I chose to do a line of shirring every 3/8”. This is also my seam allowance. So I started s ¾” from the top (3/8” + 3/8”). Then each additional line is 3/8” from the last until I reach the bottom where I also left ¾”.


Next thread your machine for a chainstitch using the elastic thread in the chain looper and a regular thread in the needle. I used a contrasting thread in the needle so you could see the difference. I usually use a matching thread but I kind of like the look of the stitching on the outside so I may use contrasting thread in the future. It may be a little difficult to thread the elastic thread through the looper since it is so springy. To help with this, I used a long loop of regular thread, threaded the looper, then tied the elastic thread through the end of the loop and pulled it through.



Once the machine is threaded, it is time to test, test, and test some more on some scraps! You have to get the tension just right. My machine is a Babylock Evolve (the older version of their Evolution) and has automatic tensions, however, with elastic thread, it was way too much. So I had to skip some of the threading paths so there would be less tension on the thread so it would feed evenly. Another problem you run into with elastic thread is that as it starts unwinding, it jumps and springs off and starts to pool at the bottom. (The pictures show an example with regular thread as my elastic thread spool is too gigantic to use well as an example)


To help avoid this, you can use the nets that came with your serger, or cut an old pair of pantyhose and wrap it around the thread. This way the thread still feeds out the top but does not spring off and pool at the bottom.


After you have the tensions exactly right, you are ready to begin stitching. One important thing I realized was to make sure you have enough elastic thread pulled when you are finished with a line of stitching and that it has no tension on it, otherwise is snaps back and unthreads itself from the looper…and then you get to go all the way through the threading again!


Stitch exactly on the lines which can start to get a little tricky the more lines of shirring you have so just do your best. One thing to note about chainstitching: It unravels extremely easily so make sure you tie off each line of stitching. When you attach it to other pieces, that seam will also help secure the stitching from unraveling.


When you finish your lines of stitching, the back of your piece will look something like this. (I only had two lines when I took this picture, you would keep going until your piece is finished)


Next you want to make sure to get rid of your marks from the front. If using a Frixion pen, use a hot, dry iron. (I find steam does not work as well for removing the pen marks)


Then turn your piece over and turn the steam on high and hover the iron above the piece and steam well. The steam helps the elastic thread shrink up and shirr.


This method of shirring has worked wonderfully for me since I’m not a huge fan of hand winding bobbins. The more lines of stitching, the more your piece will shirr. This technique is a fantastic way of making woven fabrics work somewhat like a knit. It makes woven garments much more forgiving. Something I will definitely need in the coming months.


I love using this on cuffs, neckbands, bottom waistbands, etc. It’s a cute stretchy addition that looks like a fantastic ready to wear detail. There is also a way to do elastic thread shirring on a regular sewing machine by winding bobbins with elastic thread. The best tip for using this method is to get a second bobbin case since you will have to loosen the tension so much. You don’t want to mess up the tension on your main bobbin case! I hope this helped show you a new way of using a fun and useful technique. I love using my serger/coverstitch as much as possible so I am always using it to do things most people use their sewing machines for. I hope to show you more unique ways or using your serger coming up in future tutorials.

Thanks again to Sewn Square One for partnering with me for Sewing Indie Month!


Thank you Amity!

Check out more tutorials and all things Lolita Patterns here:

Lolita Patterns

twitter: @lolitapatterns

instagram: LolitaPatterns




Pleated Patch Pocket Tutorial on Dixie DIY

Sewing Indie Month continues and Sewn Square One had the fun assignment of creating a tutorial with PDF pattern for Dixie DIY! I love the tutorials that Dixie does for her blog (and the one she recently did on SewCaroline’s blog: here) and was excited to have the opportunity to contribute! I hope that you enjoy this tutorial as much I as enjoyed putting it together (and creating a great skirt to wear this spring!) Find the Pleated Patch Pocket Tutorial here!



Interview with Yuki of Waffle Patterns!


I am so happy that as part of Sewing Indie Month I was able to do an interview with Yuki, the creator of Waffle Patterns. Yuki has a gift for creating beautiful content (she created the Sewing Indie Month button graphics you are seeing all over!) and apparel designs. I love her commitment to personalized design and one of a kind garments. Make sure to check out the Waffle Patterns blog to see her designs, along with tutorials and sewing projects. She generously offers many free patterns as well!


On to the interview, where we talk about moving to different cities, favorite patterns, and sweet treats!

Q: What inspired you to start Waffle Patterns?

A: I just wanted to share with everyone the great feeling of how happy I was when I finished my 1st jacket! I’m not really confident talking with people unfortunately, but I found the things I have made or designed communicate very well without speaking. Since I found this out, to support self-expression through the art and craft is my passion.

I worked on mass production design for a long time. It was great but I want to feel I’m special with my original garment–we are so happy to get the only one.

Q: You have a background in graphic and product design (and it shows—your website is beautiful!). How does this translate to your work with pattern creation?

A: Design is a kind of technique for making a message by shapes and colours without words. All shapes, lines or colours are chosen with reason and tell us their story. So, for example, when I design a dress pattern I’m considering what is the dress’s message is or what I want to express via the dress, same as the designing a product logotype.

I also like Japanese traditional designs, and it is a big inspiration for me. They are very simple, functional yet not boring, and there is remaining room for everyone to make some personal touch (imagine Origami, Ikebana or Japanese table settings). I’m trying to make my patterns also like that.

Q: Are you a self-taught pattern drafter?

A: Basically yes. My mother was a professional and taught me a lot about sewing.

Q: What inspires you when creating a new pattern?  Do you have a specific design process or does it come organically?

 A: My design process is so boring like “Design 101” in text!

Information Gathering  >>  Concept Board and Key Word  >> Basic Design Idea >> Application Design >> Test Production >>> Back to the 1st step.

I repeat and repeat, trial and error many times in this circle, keep asking myself “is this shape beautiful?” That is super basic, but it’s actually works, and I love every step!

Q: What Waffle pattern would you suggest for a new sewer just starting out?

A: How about gather tunic blouse? There are no difficult points like cuffs and a good PJ to learn basic technique.


(Tunic Blouse pattern here)

Also, if you like hats, enjoy a free news boy hat pattern on my blog. It is easy to sew!

Q: You mentioned that you moved from Japan to Amsterdam. That must have been quite a change! In your opinion how does the creative/craft scene differ between these places?

A: I feel Japan is “new trend” oriented, Europe is more identity orientated.

In Tokyo, everything is changing quickly and newness or younger things lead the economy. I feel in Europe people trust a more stable identity and their own style, and get more of an investment.

Q: If you have a moment of free time what do you love to do outside of designing and making patterns?

A: I’m a sweet freak, love to go on a trip and have some local sweets!!

Q: How would you describe your personal style? What is your favorite garment that you have made?

A: I like simple and functional style like mod 60s. It is also suitable for my personal body type; short and boyish. I cannot choose only one fave, but if I do from my patterns, it would be zipper blouson. I’m wearing literally every day!



(Zipper Blouson pattern here)

Q: What does the future hold for Waffle Patterns?

A: There are many items on my to-do list, currently I’m working on a coat for winter.

Thank you Yuki for taking the time to chat with me!


Check out everything Waffle Patterns here:

Find freebees and more @ Shop blog –>
http://wafflepatterns.tumblr.comPattern shop Etsy–>


Sewn Square One Interviewed by SewCaroline

Sewing Indie Month

As part of Sewing Indie Month I was interviewed by SewCaroline! I love reading Caroline’s blog–it’s beautiful and her “handmade fashion” and “diy project” categories provide great sewing inspiration–so it was an incredible honor to be introduced to her amazing readers. Thank you Caroline!

Read SewCaroline’s post here

It also gave me the perfect chance to debut some of the new sample pictures taken over Spring Break a few weeks ago (many more to come):

pant closeup

(this is a close-up of the patch pocket on the Paper Bag Pant)


(Skirt Smarts View 3 for Spring!)

Photographs by Melody at Storytelling Photography