This tutorial was created for Patterns for Pirates.

Knowing how to properly sew curves makes a huge difference in giving your garments a more professional finish! There are different techniques, whether you are sewing a convex or concave curve… think neckline versus bust. At the core, the key is all about eliminating bulk and resistance so your curves can lay as designed.

Clip The Seams

The first technique works for curves, like necklines, that require the fabric to spread in an array. It’s simple!

Once you have your pattern pieces stitched together, clip into the seam allowance every half inch or so. Take good care not to snip through your seam!

You’ll notice that the fabric relaxes because the tension in the curve is gone!

To demonstrate, I’ve added a facing to the neckline of the Brunch Blouse. After stitching together and clipping my seams, I turned the facing to the inside of the shirt and gave it a good pressing.

Look at that result!

Grab Those Pinking Shears

Pinking shears can pretty much do it all… they can reduce bulk and relieve tension in your curves. Even more, they stop fabric from fraying!

To demonstrate, I’ve stitched up the front bodice of the So Classic Sundress. This gorgeous pattern features princess seams. You definitely want to reduce the bulk in those princess seams that run right along the front of your bust!

After stitching my pieces together, I trimmed the seam allowance with pinking shears and pressed the seam open.

Here’s the result!

Your Serger is Magic

Once I learned how to gather on my serger, I wanted all the ruffles! It turns out that you can also make small adjustments that will help you to achieve the perfect curved hem on knits.

All you need to know… turn up that differential dial! You’ll want to test on a few scraps to determine how much to adjust the dial.

In this instance, tension is your friend! You want to create slight tension along the raw edge of your hem. That will cause the hem to naturally turn inward and help you to maintain that beautiful curved edge without fighting fabric folds. All you have to do is pin and stitch!

My fabric was a heavier knit so I adjust the differential feed all the way up. A lighter knit wouldn’t require the same adjustment.

Again, once I learned this trick, it changed my relationship with curves! I love it.

I hope you find these techniques helpful! 

Oh! And here's the finished result of the Brunch Blouse that I was working on in the first step.

Happy sewing!

Over the past year, I've been writing a lot of tutorials for pattern hacking.

Pattern hacking? Whether you call it by this term or another, if you sew, you've likely made changes to a pattern to express your own unique style. You've hacked a pattern!

I personally love these assignments because they really help to stretch my imagination and creativity.

Do I fail? You betcha! Do I succeed? Heck yeah. 

Am I a better maker because of it all? Ab-so-freakin'-lutely.

I have all of this content that I've been creating for independent designers and I realized I should be sharing it here, too. So, I'm on a mission to catch things up a bit.

Starting with the new Patterns for Pirates Vintage Jumper.

Believe me when I say I have NEEDED a reason to make a cute pair of overalls. It's been on my "to make" list for at least the past 3 years. So, I jumped at the chance to work these up.

Holy moly, they are so cute!!

For the Vintage Jumper, you’ll need 1 ¼” buckles. I ordered mine from WAWAK and they came within 2 days, but you can also order from Amazon or pick them up in your local fabric store.

For this pattern hack, I added buckles, rather than the buttons that the pattern calls for. Here's the how-to:

Prefer written instructions? Happy to help!

Mark your button placement on the bib with tailor’s chalk, 1” from the top and side edge of the bib.

Take your button post and push it through the backside of your bib, at your chalk mark, going through all layers of your fabric.

Protecting the front side of your button (as I’ve done here with a simple cloth bag), hammer the button post into the button.

Thread your straps through the buckles, starting with the top…

Running through the bottom…

Back through the middle…

And behind the front of the strap, back through the top loop.

Give yourself plenty of play in your straps to make fit adjustments.

Adjust the straps to your preference and you’re done!

I have always loved overalls! I am so glad to have this updated pair in my wardrobe. As with all Patterns for Pirates makes, you can’t stop with one. I already have the fabric ready to make another pair soon.

I sure have miss you, friends! It feels good to be writing again.

Sending you much love and good sewing juju!

Every now and then, I indulge in a brain dump here on the blog. This is one such moment...

I was recently interviewed for a publication. The magazine wanted to know more about my original sewing inspiration. Without hesitation, I responded, "Betty & Veronica!"

I remember the moment as clearly as though it happened yesterday... it was the mid-80's... I was reading an Archie's Girls comic and Veronica was showing off her latest {expensive} designer outfit. Fast-forward two frames, Betty is showing off her designer copycat outfit that she made herself.

That one frame stopped me in my tracks... as a child!

It was the first time it had ever occurred to me that someone could make their own clothes and possibly have them mistaken for designer or ready-to-wear clothing. I had to learn how to sew! And sew, I did.

And I haven't stopped since... as you can well read in the pages of this blog!

Imagine my surprise to have these beauties pop up in my social feeds shortly after that interview!

You can't tell me that our devices aren't listening!

I mean, really... what are the odds?! Keds totally gets me!!

So, of course, I had to snatch them up!! They were made for me.

I have been seeking that particular issue of Archie's Girls for years and have found similar issues, but not the exact one that sparked my desire to sew. I'm sure I'll find it eventually. I'll have those pages framed and hang them in my studio.

In the meantime, I'll be rocking these Keds every chance I can get. All I have to do is look down for a little creative inspiration!

This post contains affiliate links which mean I received a product and/or financial remuneration for adding the links.

Confession time…

My guilty pleasure is 90’s alt/grunge music. I know it’s mostly angst-filled, immature, and largely out-of-tune, but it is totally my jam!!

So, when my sweet guy texted me to ask if I’d like to go to a Bush + Live concert, those giddy, teenage girly butterflies filled my stomach and I turned the music up a little bit louder!!

Naturally, I’ve been thinking about what to wear. What does a middle-aged-woman-who-wants-to-relive-her-glory-days-without-being-inapproropriate wear to a high-octane concert??

Thank goodness that Made For Mermaids totally had me in mind when they released the Clueless Collection last fall. I’m sure it’s because they knew I would need a retro-tastic bodysuit, right?

As always, the Women's Tai is a bodysuit pattern loaded with sleeve and neckline options. You can even make a top if the bodysuit doesn’t appeal to you.

I’ve made a couple of bodysuits in the past year and I still can’t seem to get the snaps quite right. However, the Women’s Tai is the perfect bodysuit pattern! You just step in, pull it up, and go. No snaps required!

This pattern comes together very quickly and would be a great primer for anyone who might be scared to make lingerie or swimwear. All-in-all, it took me about 1 ½ hours to make... but I’m slow and easily distracted.

I used a perfect camo tri-blend from Surge Fabrics and finished the leg openings with a picot elastic trim, also from Surge. You could just as easily use regular knit elastic or even use a band to finish the legs. I’m sure I’ll make another and will likely experiment with leg bands next time. I’m interested to see how different it feels during wear.

This pretty will get a lot of use this summer! The best thing about modern fashion is that anything goes, really. While this bodysuit is 90’s-inspired, it is completely on-trend today.

And now… I’m ready to rock... at an outdoor concert... in the July heat!
I didn't expect to totally fall in love with Patterns for Pirates latest release, the Women's Loggers, but P4P knocked it out of the park again with a design loaded with options.

{ICYMI, Loggers are the love child of leggings and joggers...}

After making a pair of loungewear shorties and a pair of full-length pants from the pattern, I couldn't shake the vision of swim shorts for paddle-boarding.

I had a load of swim fabric on hand already. My pattern was already assembled from my previous makes. An opportune hour of free time smiled my way. Before I knew it, I had these adorable new shorties in my life.

{No cats were harmed in the making of these Loggers.}

I wasn't prepared for the overwhelming reception by the amazing P4P community of sewists. Many asked for the pattern hack.

So, here we go! Let's make swim shorties!
  1. Cut the pattern pieces per the pattern instructions.

  1. Cut two additional strips of fabric, 1.5" x 36". These will be your side ties.
  2. Sew together each of your center seams, leaving the outside leg seams open.

  1. Fold and press your leg bindings in half and attach to bottom of leg openings. Be sure to match your center points on the binding and legs. The center point of each will not line up at the center seam.

  1. With right sides together, sew a 5/8" seam along the outside leg seams and press open. Do not use a serger for this step. You are creating casings for your side ties.

I chose to finish my raw edges with a serger, but this is not required.
  1. Create a casing on each side of each outside leg seam by sewing a 1/2" seam. This will secure the edges and provide a new home for your side ties.

  1. Create your ties by sewing the right sides of your fabric strips together. Turn to the right side with your favorite turning tool. Cut each strip in half so that you have four ties.

  1. Insert one tie into each casing and secure the top edges in place with a basting stitch.

  1. Attach your choice of Logger's waistband options per pattern instructions.
  2. Once you try on and ruche or gather the edges to your preferences, tie a pretty side bow and cut the tie length to your liking!

And you're ready to have the cutest booty on the lake!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. I'll be happy to help.

One last note... if you post your makes to social media using the hashtag, #loggers, be prepared for a rash of unusual new followers who cut down trees for a living.

True story.