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Philippa pattern charity donation November 07 2016 1 Comment

Hello everyone!

Firstly - an apology for this post being so extremely late. :-( But finally, here it is!

And with good news, too.

Philippa dress pattern

Remember the Philippa pattern, that we launched back in late April? As with all new Muse pattern releases, we donated the money from the first sales to a charity. The first week of sales for the Philippa pattern were donated in full (less bank fees) to the Cancer Society of New Zealand - a charity chosen by the muse who inspired the pattern design.

And we're happy to say - we donated a total of $204 USD (which worked out to $279 NZD when converted).

So a huge thank-you to everyone who purchased the Philippa pattern during it's first week!

Philippa dress pattern


Introducing Philippa! The new Muse pattern April 28 2016 2 Comments

Today I'm very excited to introduce the latest Muse pattern - Philippa!

Philippa takes inspiration from the late 1960's mod styles - a time of fashion that perfectly suits the muse the pattern was inspired by. 60's mod influences can be seen in the front and back princess seams, the fitted shift dress style, the mini length skirt option, and the wide, flat collar.

Philippa features princess seams at front and back, both originating from the arm scye and curving down to the hip, where they angle in to meet at the side seams. The resultant panels give a great option for colourblocking, like we've done in our sample garments.

Plus, those front panels hide a secret! Optional in-seam pockets are hidden in the diagonal seams at the bottom of the panel on the skirt and dress variations.

As with all Muse patterns, Philippa is wonderfully versatile. Make it as a dress, top or skirt. Choose from two skirt lengths (mini or knee length), two necklines (scoop or jewel), an optional collar, and sleeveless or with cap sleeves extending from the arm scye princess seams.

You could choose to keep the 1960's influence by using colour blocking on the side panels, and sewing up the mini skirt length, the collar variation, and the sleeveless view.

Or make a dress suitable for the office with the scoop neckline, cap sleeves, and knee-length skirt.

Use the top variation to make a cute top for pairing with jeans for a dinner out.

Or make the skirt in a denim or corduroy for a casual weekend wardrobe staple.

Whichever your style, Philippa's got you covered!

Curious about what our models are wearing?

Alison is wearing the Philippa dress with the mini length skirt, slightly cut-away shoulders, pockets, and flat collar. It's made up in a mid-weight synthetic blend, with a lightweight cotton drill for the contrast panels and collar. Alison is wearing a size 34 and is 5'8" tall.

NIcola is wearing both the Philippa top and skirt. The skirt is made up in a lightweight denim, in the knee-length variation with pockets. The top is made in a rayon and a rayon crepe, with the scoop neckline and cap sleeves. Nicola is wearing a size 44, and is 5'10" tall.

As with all Muse pattern releases, we'll be donating the full sale price (less bank fees) for the first week to charity. For the Philippa pattern, the charity chosen by the muse who inspired the design is the Cancer Society - a fantastic charity who support people living with cancer and research into treatment.

Plus, from now until Monday 2 May, you can get 15% off the Philippa pattern! Enter the code 'HELLOPHILIPPA' at check-out.

Why not go and have a look at Philippa now?


Meet the Maker - Andie March 04 2016

Second in our meet the maker series, we're catching up with Andie - a lovely stitcher, improver, and Star Trek fan who blogs over at Sew Pretty In Pink. Read on to find out more about Andie, her style, and her experiences with Muse patterns....!

 

Hi Andie! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Toronto, Canada, the biggest city in Canada and have lived there for 7 years now. I moved here for love! My husband and I met through facebook and then 6 months later I moved in with him. This is the longest I've ever lived in one location in my life. We just got married last July (Andie made her wedding dress!) and I have two wonderful teenage stepkids.

 

I've been creative my entire life and was always known for my handmade Christmas gifts to my Nana and other family members. I've had lots of creative pursuits: embroidery, needlepoint, cross stitch, knitting, crochet, drawing, sculpting, painting, performance arts (dancing, burlesque, improv comedy, dramatic plays, musicals), set painting, prop creation, dollhouse & miniatures, etc. The list is really long. Currently, though, my focus is on sewing and improv comedy, with some prop creation and costuming mixed in for my shows.

 

Andie wearing one of her Jenna cardis
Andie wearing one of her 6 Jenna cardis

 

How long have you been sewing for?
I've been handsewing since I was very young. I sewed little Barbie outfits or pillows and things for my dollhouse. I have only been sewing on a machine since 2008. My mother put a sewing machine needle through her finger twice in front of me at a young age and it gave me a fear of sewing machines. I did briefly use a sewing machine in my home economics class and liked the more modern machine, but was still pretty afraid.

 

I got into sewing because of burlesque dancing. I needed a costume and, since I was a student at the time, I needed something that wasn't $100s of dollars. This is incidentally also the reason for my first conversation with my husband. I had just added him on facebook because of a mutual friend and we talked about Halloween costume dilemmas. I bought a cheap little pink Kenmore sewing machine and never looked back. I really got even more into sewing in 2013 when I started my blog. The online sewing community really fuels my creativity and inspires me so much. 

 

I find it amusing that I've been sewing as long as I've known my husband. My sewiversary is the same as the time I met my husband. How cute!

 

 
Tell us about your style. What do you like to make and wear?
I love wearing skirts with blazers or cardigans and mixing and matching prints with solids. I like pencil skirts, dirndl skirts, and circle skirts. For tops, I either go really elaborate with sequins and ruffles and lace or just wear a plain top. I love layers and often wear leggings even in the middle of summer. They are just so comfortable!

 

I very much like retro and vintage styles and am inspired by vibrant prints and colours. 

 

Andie wearing her Melissa dress
Andie's Melissa dress

 

Which Muse pattern(s) have you tried so far?
I've made them all! Except for the Tahi shrug, but it's on my list since I love shrugs. 

 

I've been a Muse Pattern tester since the Gillian Wrap Dress was released and have loved all my Muse Patterns creations. Unfortunately, my Natalie dress never made it because of a poor choice of fabric, but I want to make another someday because the style is very flattering on any bust. It's really refreshing that Muse can design patterns that are pretty flattering on any body type.

 

 

Detail on one of Andie's Jenna cardis

 

Which is your favourite Muse pattern, and why?
My favourite is the Jenna cardi, because it is so versatile and has so many different options for styling it and mixing fabrics. The gathered version has a gorgeous vintage appeal and looks very flattering. It's also incredibly easy to sew up and I can make it in about an hour (minus hand sewing the buttons on). 

 

It fits me so well, too. Since I am a frequent wearer of cardigans, it's definitely top of my list. 

 

The runner up is the Melissa dress, because it has such great details (those V pockets and back v!) and beautiful lines with the princess seams. I can't seem to find time to make another, though, but want to make a mint floral one for the summer with a lace back v to copy Kat's version. I also want to make the top version since it would make a great addition for separates.

 

Which of your Muse creations do you like the most? Tell us about it!
My favourite is hands down my Gryffindor cardigan made with the Sophie cardi pattern. I love it so much and get compliments every time I wear it from fellow nerdy people. A close friend got super excited when she saw it and I had to make her a twin. I made her one for her birthday, which also happens to be Christmas day. I also sent her a Hogwart's letter and the Marauder's Map, because that's what best friends do!

 

The Gryffendor cardigan
The Gryffindor cardigan! (Worn with a Tahi skirt)

 

What's one of your goals this year?
A big goal of mine is to focus on sewing pants and blazers. 

 

I made my first pair of pants last year and really love them. I've not worn pants in several years, because they just aren't comfortable in RTW for me. Making my own means I can make them comfortable and they will reflect my own style. 

 

I have two RTW blazers that are slowly coming to the end of their life because I wear them so frequently. I'm surprised it's taken me so long to sew a blazer, but I've not been a slow sewer in the past and tend to gravitate toward quick projects. Since making a coat in 2014, I have been wanting to try out a blazer pattern. I'm starting with a  simpler pattern and then will work myself up to the couture Vogue 8333 pattern with lots of ridiculous pad stitching and beautiful details. I have tons of wool suiting stashed and it screams to be made into a million blazers every day. 

 

2016 is the year of pants and blazers for me!

 

Andie's Gillian wrap top

 

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat Andie! I absolutely love your creations, and I'm looking forward to seeing your pants and blazers this year! :-)

 

Like Andie's style? Why not go and check out her blog at Sew Pretty In Pink!

 

 


Meet the Maker - Nikki January 26 2016

We're kicking off 2016 with a new series - meeting some of the sewing people who have made Muse patterns, and finding out more about them!

Today we're meeting Nikki - a lovely stitcher, librarian, and Brit-turned-Kiwi.

Hi Nikki! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Wellington, New Zealand. I'm originally from the UK, but have been here for four years – almost exactly! I trained years ago as a maths teacher, but moved across to libraries pretty soon after qualifying. I worked in libraries for about 20 years and now work in library sales, selling books and other services to public libraries throughout NZ. I get to travel the length and breadth of NZ – which is fun, but tiring!

Mum taught me to sew. I can't remember when, I just remember wanting to know what she was doing and sitting there watching and listening to her Singer hand crank machine and playing with the reels of thread in her sewing box. I would say I've probably been sewing for easily 30 years. I don't consider myself advanced, I'm too slapdash for that and it's only in the last few years I've really thought about fit.

Other than sewing, I've dabbled in knitting, cross-stitch, patchwork and some embroidery. I blog over at Nikkis Stitches I also have recently created a Tumblr with an outfit of the day.

Tell us a little bit about your style. What do you like to make and wear?

My style has changed a bit in the last year, I started my current job and instead of going to work in an office everyday, I'm either working at home, or I'm going out to see customers, wearing smarter clothes than I did. During the winter, when I'm at home I like to wear comfy warm knits (my Gillian dress springs to mind), but when I go out to a customer, I'll be in smart skirt and a jacket. In the summer, I'm still pretty much wearing dresses, but I do find myself wearing slightly more restrained elegant (non-pretty) when I'm out visiting customers.

I love wearing 50s style dresses, fitted bodices and full skirts, but I've been branching out recently and have tried a number of different styles and shapes. I'll try most things once and if I like it, I'll try it again! I'm not much of a trousers/pants person. I wear them so rarely that most people stand in shock or faint if they see me in them!

Which Muse patterns have you tried so far?

I've tried lots! I've been lucky enough to be a tester for a couple too. I was tester for the Jenna cardigan, I made the hip length with long sleeves. It was a great cardi, until I discovered that the fabric just didn't recover, even after being washed. Ever since then the cardigan has languished in my sewing room in the naughty corner. I think I'll be better to take the buttons off and chuck it. :-(

Next I made up the Gillian wrap dress. I love this dress, it's warm and cosy and bright and cheerful. To wear this on a gloomy winter day is great. It doesn't gape and it's a great fit.

The Natalie dress was a bit of an eye opener for me. I wasn't sure the shape was really me, but I tried on one of the tester versions – a maxi version. I was in love, the shape was so different from the norm, but I love it.

Then I got to test the Tahi pattern, I made up both the skirt and shrug. The skirt gets a lot of wear. I made the skirt from a beige coloured fabric and it's always being warn casual and it's great for winter and summer. The shrug, I really must make another. My shrug is made from a fluffy knit and so I don't tend to use it for everyday wear. It's fantastic for evenings and going out though.

Finally I made up the Melissa pattern. I made up the blouse version in a blue and white elephant print. I love elephants! The pattern has really made me think about my size and shape. The double princess seam really makes you think about how your body is shaped, etc. I also love the design elements which Kat has included – the contrasts on the front pockets and on the back.

I have plans for more – three are currently in the planning stages, or is that four? You'll need to check out my blog to see what comes next...

Which is your favourite Muse pattern, and why?

Do I really have to choose one? I've got a couple which I think are my favourites.

I really like the Melissa pattern. I can certainly see a dress version and possibly another blouse in my wardrobe. With the contrast elements it makes it stand out from other shirt dresses and the double princess seam is great for ensuring the fit is perfect.

I also really like the new extension pack for the Jenna cardigan. Stupidly, I've only just realised how versatile that pattern actually is (how long has that taken me?) It can easily changed into a jumper, there's now a cute collar which can be added, there are so many sleeve options too.  I need to get making more and completely forget that one which has gone in the naughty corner due to the fabric. I suggest you check it out.

Which of your Muse creations do you like the most? Tell us about it!

My favourite make so far however, is my Natalie dress. I feel great in it. The fabric choice was perfect and I just love it. I get loads of great compliments when I wear it and best of all it's made from a fabric from an NZ company, so with an NZ pattern made up in fabric from Levana in Levin, NZ. I have even worn it a couple of times for customer visits, it looks smart enough for that.

What's one of your goals this year? 

I always have loads of things I'd like to accomplish in the year, I don't always achieve them all, and have this feeling I've failed, I think I need to shorten my list slightly!

The main thing I really want to accomplish is actually for work and my professional needs. The registration for my professional association is due for renewal. I can decide not to bother, but I'm not going to let it. I'm proud of being a professionally registered librarian, and even if I work in library sales now, I still need to keep in touch with the profession as a whole. It's also important, I feel, to show that I am still committed to the profession and if I don't stay for ever in sales I can go back to libraries.

Thank you so much for talking to us Nikki!

If you'd like to see what else Nikki makes, be sure to go and check out her blog at Nikki's Stitches!


Jenna expansion pack charity donation January 23 2016 3 Comments

Wow, what a fantastic response there has been to the Jenna expansion pack! A huge thank-you to everyone who purchased a copy, especially during our first week fundraiser.

And we're excited to say that (after those pesky bank fees have been deducted) we raised $166.20 USD for the Wellington branch of the SPCA! That converts to $258.30 in NZ dollars, which was donated today.

I hope you all enjoy the Jenna expansion pack, and all the other variations you can now make with the Jenna pattern. We'd love to see what you make with it - email us hello@sewingmuse.com so we can add your creation to the 'Made By You' page. :-)

Happy sewing!


It's here - the Jenna cardi expansion pack! January 11 2016

Happy 2016! We hope your sewing year is going fantastically so far. ;-)

At Muse, we thought we'd kick off the new year with a new mini pattern - an expansion pack for the popular Jenna cardi.

Many of you have asked for a vee neck variation for the Jenna and now, here it is. Plus, there's also a variation for a narrow Peter Pan style collar. Mix and match the expansion pack with all of the original Jenna options for a total of 36 different styles!

Like vee necklines? This pack contains all you need to make your Jenna cardigan with a vee neckline. New front bodice pieces are included for both the plain-shouldered Jenna, and the shoulder yokes variation. All-in-one button and neck bands (and interfacing templates!) are included for both waist length and hip length styles.

Want to add a touch of 1950’s retro to your Jenna? Add a collar! A narrow Peter Pan style collar frames the neckline and gives plenty of options for mixing and matching fabrics to make a cardigan anywhere from casual to glam. Add a lace collar for a sweet vintage touch. Or a faux fur collar for extra cosiness in winter. You could even play around with beading or embroidery. Pattern pieces are included for the collar, and button bands for both waist and hip length Jenna variations.

As with all Muse pattern releases, we'll donate the full purchase price (less bank fees) from the first week of sales to charity. This time, the chosen charity is the Wellington branch of the SPCA. All purchases of the Jenna cardi expansion pack between now and end of day 17 Jan (NZ time) will be donated.

Plus, we have a discount for you! From now until end of day 17 Jan (NZ time) you can get 15% off the Jenna cardi expansion pack with the code JENNAPACK2016.


Jenna cardi pattern on the Curvy Sewing Collective January 06 2016 1 Comment

Hello everyone, and welcome to 2016!

Muse started the new year with some rather exciting news - the Jenna cardi pattern was the runner-up for the cardigan pattern of the year on the Curvy Sewing Collective (CSC) blog. 25% of CSC readers voted it as their favourite cardigan pattern - which we think is pretty good, since Muse is still quite young!

A huge thank-you to the CSC and to everyone who loved the Jenna enough to vote for it. :-)

Have you made a Jenna cardi? We'd love to see it! Email us (hello@sewingmuse.com) to tell us about it, and we'll add it to the Made By You page so everyone can see your creation.


Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day winner December 19 2015

A huge thank-you to everyone who entered the Sew Mama Sew giveaway! It was great reading your comments, and hearing why you'd choose particular patterns. And especially thanks to everyone who told us what you'd like to see from Muse in the future - so much fun hearing your ideas!

And now, it's time to draw the winners.... 

The first name drawn is... Mary, who chose the Jenna cardi.

And the second winner is... Karen B, who chose the Tahi skirt.

Congratulatons Mary and Karen B! We'll be in touch very soon with your prize. Happy sewing everyone!

 


Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day December 11 2015 56 Comments

Twice a year, Sew Mama Sew hosts a Giveaway Day, where a whole lot of people give away craft related things. It's a lot of fun, and Muse Patterns is taking part this time too! :-)

We're giving away two prizes - two people will each win one Muse pattern of their choice.

The giveway is open until 5pm PST on Sunday December 13th. We'll draw the two prize winners and annouce them here on Wednesday 16 December.

Want to be in to win? It's easy! Simply comment below and tell us which Muse pattern you'd chose if you won, and what other patterns you'd like us to make.


And the winners are.... December 10 2015 1 Comment

Firstly, a huge thank-you to everyone who entered the Muse Loves Merino contest! It was so much fun seeing what everyone made (and I'll admit it - there were quite a few pieces I want to add to my own wardrobe, haha!) It was hard to choose the winners - I wish we could have given all of you a prize, but sadly there were only three lengths of merino to give out this time....

And now for the big question - who won?

The Dresses prize

The winner of the Dresses prize (a lovely length of dark teal blue merino with matching thread) is....

Jenny!

Who made a gorgeous version of the Natalie dress. Such lovely styling, it gives the dress a 1930's feel.

 

The Skirts prize

The winner of the Skirts prize (a pretty length of forest green merino with matching thread) is....

Meg!

Who made the Melissa skirt in a chocolate brown. It looks great in this shade and fabric, and so versatile!

 

 

The Knit Tops prize

The winner of the Knit Tops prize (a gorgeous length of bright blue merino with matching thread) is...

Andie!

Who made the Sophie cardigan. Because let's face it - a Gryffindor (Harry Potter) inspired cardigan is pretty awesome. ;-)

 

Thanks again to everyone who took part - I hope you are all enjoying your new creations!


Thank you everyone! November 27 2015

A huge 'thank-you!' to all of you for supporting the Muse journey so far. You are all fabulous, and Muse wouldn't be here without you!

To say thanks, you can get 20% off all Muse patterns from now until end of day Sunday 29 November. Just use the code 'THANKS15' at checkout.

(Also, there's a few days left to enter the Muse Loves Merino sewing contest - be in to win some gorgeous New Zealand merino wool!)


Announcing the Muse Loves Merino sewing contest November 05 2015 6 Comments

When looking for fabric for the website samples of the Tahi pattern, several gorgeous lengths of jewel-coloured New Zealand merino leapt out, demanding to be stroked and loved. And since merino deserves to be shared, we then started thinking - how best to share this with the wonderful Muse customers?

And right then and there, in the middle of the fabric store, the idea of a sewing contest formed. Three generous lengths of top-quality merino knit were purchased, along with matching thread, for three sewing contest prizes. And now, it's your chance to win a length of that lovely, snuggly, gorgeously soft New Zealand merino!

Yes, that's right. We're running a sewing contest, from now until the end of November.

There are three categories:

  • Knit tops
  • Dresses
  • Skirts

Each category has a prize of a generous length of gorgeous merino knit, plus matching thread, shipped to the winner anywhere in the world. Here's the colours that can be won.

Knit tops contest: the winner will receive a 2m length of bright blue merino wool and matching thread:

 

Dresses contest: the winner will receive a 1.9m length of extra-wide merino in a dark teal blue shade, with matching thread:

 

Skirts contest: the winner will receive a 2m length of forest green merino and matching thread (this one is more green than in the photo. Sadly the colour refused to cooperate with the camera!):

 

Aren't they gorgeous?! It was a lot of fun choosing which colours to give away as prizes!

And now, let's talk about how to enter!

All you have to do is sew up a Muse pattern during November 2015. You can keep it simple with the original pattern, or modify it however much you like! Then show it to us in one of the following ways:

  • Instagram it with the hashtag #muselovesmerino
  • Email us a photo or a link to a blog post showing your creation

We'll round all the entries up onto a page on the Muse website, and choose a winner for each category at the start of December.

You can enter as many times as you like, as long as each entry meets these three simple rules:

  • The garment was created using a Muse pattern, 
  • It was sewn during November 2015,
  • You show it to us before 1 December via Instagram or email

Easy! 

Keen to join in? To kick things off, you can get 10% off any Muse patterns between now and 8 November with the code 'MUSEMERINO'.


Tahi donation November 03 2015

Hi everyone! Thank you all so much for supporting the first week of the Tahi pattern.

As promised, the first week's sales (less bank fees) were donated to the Neonatal Trust - a great charity that helps premature and unwell babies and their families. We've just made the donation for USD $259.19, which with current exchange rates converted to NZD $374.49. Yay!

Thanks again everyone, for helping support this great charity. We hope you enjoy your new Tahi pattern


Meet Tahi - one pattern, two garments October 25 2015

Muse Patterns is now one year old!

And to celebrate, we’ve created a special pattern - Tahi. Just like all Muse patterns, Tahi contains multiple variations, so you can create several different garment styles from the one pattern purchase. Only this time, we’ve added in a little bonus - Tahi contains two completely different garments! A woven skirt, and a knit shrug.

The Tahi skirt and shrug are designed to complement one another, as well as working great on their own. Both take inspiration from the 1940’s and the 1970’s. And both have options that work well for winter or for summer.

The Tahi skirt features asymmetric angled panels on the front, a lapped zipper at the centre back, and a slim waistband that sits at the natural waist and fastens at the centre back with a button. Options include a slim A-line cut, or you can choose flared panels on one side for added asymmetric drape detail. Prefer simple skirts? There’s a basic slim A-line version of the Tahi skirt to make as well. All three versions can be made in knee-length or maxi-length, and either lined or unlined.

The Tahi shrug features an open front, curved front and back hems, and set-in sleeves. There are four sleeve variations to choose from - a short sleeve that puffs out slightly then gathers into a wide band, or a classic slim sleeve with a lightly-gathered sleeve head that can be made in short, 3/4 or full length. A narrow band around the hem of the Tahi shrug gives an easy, tidy finish. With it’s slim fit and shaped side seams, the Tahi shrug is designed to sit well over dresses, blouses and close-fitting tops. A wonderfully versatile garment!

Tahi is suitable for all seasons. Here we’ve made the knee-length skirt with asymmetric flared panels in a wool blend with lining, and the shrug with long sleeves in a merino wool for a winter outfit. Or use a cotton or rayon for the skirt and a lace knit for a short-sleeved version of the shrug for summer. Have fun playing with different colours or pattern direction on the asymmetric panels.

As with other Muse patterns, Tahi is a PDF pattern with both print-at-home and print-at-copyshop options, delivered straight away to your inbox on purchase. The skirt and shrug have separate pattern files and instruction files, so you can choose to print both or only one style at a time. The Tahi print-at-home pattern comes with a layers feature, making it easy for you to print the size (or sizes) you want.

Plus, since it’s our birthday, we’d like to give you a present! As well as getting two patterns in one, we’ve got a special discount code to thank you for supporting us during the first Muse year. From now until 27 October you can get 50% off the Tahi pattern - simply enter the code ‘HELLOTAHI’ at checkout.

And just with all other Muse patterns, the first full weeks sale price (less bank fees) will be donated to charity. Since it's Muse's first birthday pattern, we're going to be donating to a charity that helps young babies and their families - the Neonatal Trust.

Thanks for supporting Muse so far - we couldn’t have done it without you!

 


Tutorial: How to sew a hidden button stand for the Melissa dress September 22 2015

I'm super excited to welcome a special guest to the Muse blog today - Yuki, the talented designer behind indie pattern label Waffle Patterns, is here with a tutorial on how to make a hidden button stand for the Melissa dress!

Waffle Patterns is one of the sponsors for Sewing Indie Month - a month-long celebration of indie pattern designers. With her Waffle Patterns label, Yuki blends together European and Japanese style and vintage inspiration to create unique and fun patterns. (I'm especially a fan of her coats - check out the pockets on the Pepernoot coat!)

Yuki made the Muse Melissa pattern up as a coat dress by lining it and lengthening the sleeves. She also changed the button placket into a hidden one, with a fold of fabric over the top. (I may have to copy her - I think I need a coat like this in my life! Or perhaps the blouse length Melissa in denim with long sleeves... Hmmm....)

Welcome Yuki! And over to you....

 

Hello, Kat and Muse Patterns’ fans. I’m so happy to join here! I recently tried Kat’s Melissa pattern. The pattern is made very cleverly, so you can sew shirt, skirt or dress from the one pattern. I modified some details and made it as a dress coat (check it on my blog).

Making as a dress coat, I changed the some details like sleeve length or lining. The biggest alteration is the front closure, I changed it to fly front (hidden button stand) type. This is not difficult at all, besides, adds clean and neat jacket-ish look. Here I want to share how to make it. Of course you can apply the same way to other garments!

 

 

First, we adjust the Centre Front pattern piece, apply it only the right side of the bodice. This side will be the over-wrap side. Keep the Left side as the original.

Draw a vertical line along the front edge 3cm (1 1/4”) outside from the front edge (original fold line), and mirror copy the neckline curve and connect the line like the left side pic. This newly added edge will be the fold line on the right side piece.  The original fold line remains as the front edge line as finishing shape. So, don’t forget mark these on the fabric. The added 3cm (1 1/4”)  will be the width of the placket. I took 3cm, but you can choose any width as your preference.

Cut the fabric. you can see the Right side of the Centre Front pieces is wider than the Left side.

 

 

 

Put interfacing on the facing side same as the original instruction.

 

#2 Fold and crease the front edge

 

 

Fold and crease the right side front before sewing.

First, fold in half lengthwise the wrong side out, then fold the both side of the front edge line (3cm from the edge) right side out as finishing shape. It will turn like rotated “M” shape.



#3 Sew the under layer of the fold line

 

 

 

Fold along the front edge line on the facing side, sew the centre line. The right side area from the stitching line will be the under layer of the placket.

 

#4 Attach the collar

 

 

 

For attaching the collar, proceed the steps of the original instruction. (In this pic you can see the lining, but it's optional.)

 

 

 

Turn it to the right side and you'll see the upper front side is now doubled.

 

#5 Make button holes on the under layer

 

 

Make button holes on the under layer of the placket. I followed the original instruction for the placement. Put buttons on the under-wrap side of the bodice.

 

#6 Fix the upper and under placket

 

 

The upper layer is still flapping and looks not great. Fix the upper and under placket with blind stitches. Make some short length stitches like the pic (about 3mm - 1/8”). Put this between all button holes.  

 

#7 Finishing

 

 

Here are small additional options. I put a pair of loop and button on the front upper edge and fix the front hem with topstitching. Apply them as your preference and you’re done!

Again I’m so happy to see Kat and many sewers here! I hope everyone enjoy the Sewing Indie Month!

 

Thank you so much Yuki! I love your Melissa coat, and I'm going to be using your tutorial to make myself one too. ;-)

If you're not familiar with Yuki's patterns, you should go and have a look - there are a lot of gorgeous designs.

Have you sewn the Melissa pattern? Will you be trying out the hidden button stand that Yuki used on her one?


Sewing Indie Month and an interview with Kati from Kate & Rose September 09 2015

Did you know that September is National Sewing Month over in the United States? (Isn't that a wonderful idea? An entire month to celebrate sewing!) September is also when Sewing Indie Month is being held - a month-long celebration of indie patterns. There are lots of events happening as part of Sewing Indie Month - interviews with designers, tutorials and pattern "hacks", and a trio of contests. You can find out all the details over on the Sew Independant website.

Along with 20 other designers, Muse is taking part in Sewing Indie Month. Kat has been interviewed by the lovely team over at Sew Over It on their blog (which you can read about here, and get a hint about what the next Muse pattern may be!). And now it's our turn to interview another designer - Kati from Kate & Rose!

Hi Kati! Welcome! First up, introductions. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you for having me over at Muse Patterns! About me - I was born in Hungary but now live in New York City, in the Flower District. My little pattern design company is the start of my second career that I began when I had two little children at home. What I love about it is that it lets me unite my passion for sewing (I learned from my grandmother when I was 14) with learning new things, old with new, tradition with contemporary, daily life.

You produce a line of patterns called Kate & Rose - how would you describe your designs and aesthetic?
I'm very inspired by folk art and folk wear, from everywhere in the world. I love the way folk artists have always found ways to create complicated embellishments with simple materials and tools, like embroidering just with needle and thread on homespun linen. These were things every household in Central Europe would have had for hundreds of years. I love the way you can make the most mundane garment, like a simple top, personal by hand-stitching on it. To me, hand-stitching is a reminder that everything we wear daily was made by living hands. I want to recall some of this sense with my designs. I encourage - and love - hand-embroidery also because when I look at a finished piece it recalls to me my life, my family, and the things going on while I was working on it.


I see you've just released a new pattern this month, the Kinga skirt. What's the story behind this pattern? Where did you get the inspiration from?
The Northern part of Hungary is home to a group of villages that have some of my favorite Hungarian embroidery, with stylized flowers that are also shaped a bit life peacock feathers, and wildly colorful designs. I have two embroidery pattern sets based on these styles: the Faraway Garden and the Cabbage Rose Fancy sets. The outfits traditionally worn by women in this region have a long narrowish skirt with ribbon embellishments and a ruffle at the bottom. The Kinga skirt pattern was inspired by this skirt. I also talk about this in my tutorial for Lolita Patterns, where I show you how to make Lolita's Olive blouse in a way that completes the outfit.


A lot of your patterns are based on Eastern European folk costumes. What do you love the most about these garments and styles?
I love how exuberant and hopeful the colors and shapes are. While I don't believe most of the styles could actually be worn today, I'm fascinated by the idea of translating basic design features into contemporary garments.

Which is your favourite pattern that you've created so far? And why is it your favourite?
I have two favorite sewing patterns so far: the Giselle dress and the Zsálya top & dress pattern. I've seen so many different people, with different body types and personal styles make them and look beautiful wearing them, which is just so wonderful. I've also found a several different ways to make them, for a couple years now, and I find I keep wearing them over and over. 


What's your favourite part of creating a new pattern?
When it's done! I wish I could make that happen more often... But in all seriousness: when the pattern finally gets into a groove, and not just my samples but testers' samples come back working out and looking good.
 
What plans do you have for Kate & Rose over the next year?
The past year was more work family-wise than I'd anticipated and I've had to postpone several things I planned. Right now I'm a bit gun-shy committing to plans but, well, more patterns! I am also rebranding my embroidery patterns, with new packaging that includes color guides and an updated and improved stitch guide. I want to focus more on how embroidery can be incorporated into clothing, which is something that I'm keeping in mind with all plans for new sewing patterns.


You've just been on holiday over to Hungary - what's your favourite place to visit over there?
I love Budapest. It's a beautiful city and probably the easiest place to be in Hungary for foreigners these days. Right now, my family is completely taken with the Budapest Zoo and the area around the zoo, with the recreation castles, the art museums and the Hero's Plaza.

If we went to Hungary, what's one must-try food we should have?
Definitely have some palacsinta! These are the Hungarian version of crepes. The most elaborate kind is perhaps the Gundel palacsinta, which is made with a cream and walnut filling and chocolate sauce.


And finally, what's on your sewing table at the moment?
Oh dear, too many things. A Kinga skirt using Alison Glass Handcrafted fabric in a border print. A peasant blouse I plan to use a polka dot fabric for. Another peasant blouse with Anna Maria Horner's Loominous fabrics. All sewing I should have done weeks ago!


Thanks so much, Kati! It's always great to hear from designers about their businesses and their inspiration. Love the new skirt pattern! I think I'll be adding one of those to my sewing queue for this summer. ;-)
If you'd like to find out more about Kati and Kate & Rose patterns, here's where you can find her blog, and her online shop.

Tutorial - how to use the layers option on a print-at-home pattern August 09 2015 6 Comments

Do you have a print-at-home pattern that has the 'layers' function? Are you a bit unsure about how it all works? Here's a quick guide on how to use layers!

Firstly, what is this 'layers' thing, and why should you be interested?

Layers in a pattern are a way to pick and choose which size you want to print. Each size is printed on a different layer in the pdf file, and you can then choose which layers to show and which to hide. Then, when you go to print your pattern, only the visible layers are printed. In other words - if you're going to make up a size 42 (or any other size), you can choose to print only that size. No more trying to find which line is the right one for your size!

Layers work on Adobe Reader (otherwise known as Adobe Acrobat Reader). This is a free program used to open pdf files.

Here's how to use layers (we'll be using the Sophie pattern in this example).

First, open your pattern file in Adobe Reader. You'll see a narrow menu down the left-hand side of the screen, with three icons. The one at the bottom, with two squares on top of each other, is the one that you'll be using to choose which layers to show. Here's where you'll find it:

 

And here's a closer look at what it looks like:

 

Now, to access the different layers, click on that icon with the two squares. A menu will come out from it, with each layer listed. 

 

Next to each layer you'll see a small image of an eye. Here's what that menu looks like a bit closer - see the eye on the left of each layers name? You'll also see that each layer has a name that tells you what it's for - e.g. size 44, size 32, etc. There are three layers at the bottom of the list that you need to leave on so that you can piece your pattern together correctly - the grid lines, tile markers, and page numbers.

 

To turn the layers on or off, click on the eye images. The layers with the 'eye' visible will be shown, while the others will be hidden. Here, we've hidden all the size layers except for size 42. (The grid lines tile makers and page numbers are also visible.) As you can see, all of the pattern lines except for the size 42 one have vanished.

Now, when you print your pattern, only the lines shown will be printed. And it'll be a lot easier to cut out or trace - yay!


Sewing Indie Month is coming up (and we're taking part!) August 08 2015

In September, there's going to be great event celebrating indie pattern designers. Called Sewing Indie Month (SIM), it's where a group of indie designers have come together for month of tutorials, interviews, sewing contests, and (best of all!) some great pattern deals.

(And we're taking part! Yay!)

To kick things off, there's a pattern bundle sale happening right now. Starting from the super low price of only $25, you can pick how much you pay and in return get anywhere from 5 - 10 patterns. It's a great way to build your pattern collection, try out designs from indie brands you haven't used before, and get a bit of a feel-good factor in as well, with 20% of the pattern bundle sales going to charity.

So, what's in this bundle? 

20% of the bundle proceeds will be donated to the International Folk Art Alliance, which provides education and exhibition opportunities to folk artists from around the world. Just a few examples of what the International Folk Art Alliance has been able to accomplish by helping artists create stable, year-round livelihoods includes helping shelter women from domestic violence in Ecuador, building a school for children in Pakistan, empowering women in repressive cultures around the world, and feeding villages in Niger.

Interested? Have a look at the pattern bundle for sale over here. (Better be quick though - at that price, it's only available until 12 August!)


Sophie cardigan charity donation August 02 2015

A huge thank-you to everyone who purchased the new Sophie cardi during it's first week on sale!

As promised, the full sale price (less those inevitable bank fees) has been donated to the St John ambulance and emergency services - a charity chosen by the muse who inspired the pattern.

And we're excited to say that we donated a total of US $359.83, which worked out to NZ $530.17 at current exchange rates. Yay!

Thank you all so much for your support. We hope you enjoy your new pattern, and would love to see what you make with it!


A line up of Sophies July 24 2015 3 Comments

Before a new Muse pattern gets released, a bunch of lovely, talented ladies test it out. They give all sorts of extremely useful feedback, particularly on the instructions and how clear they are. They're all amazing people! And they make amazing things, too. ;-)

Here's a few of the Sophie cardigans made by some of the pattern testers. Several of them have blogs - why not go through and see what other fun things they make? 

(We'd love to see what you make with the Sophie pattern too - if you make a Muse pattern, let us know so we can add it to the 'Made By You' page. hello@sewingmuse.com ) 

 

Round neck button up variation with circular pockets by Ruby Dust.

 

 

Floral Sophie with a v neck, zip front and patch pockets, by Silly Billy Sewing.

 

 

Lightweight blue Sophie with a v neck and button front, made by Thanks I Made This Myself.

 

 

A round neck, button up Sophie in a ponte knit by Melissa B.

 

 

Space Invaders!!! A v neck, zip up variation with circular pockets by Flossie FT.

 

 

A Sophie made of upcycled tshirts! The collared button-up variation with circular pockets, by HeidiMonkey.

 

 

A v-neck, button up variation with circular pockets and snap fasteners, by Sewist Stitch.


Sophie is here! July 20 2015

We're rather excited to introduce the latest Muse pattern - the Sophie cardigan!

Sophie is a cute, sporty cardigan, perfect for wearing with skirts, dresses or trousers. A fitted style, which curves gently in at the waist and flares out again over your hips. The cardigan sits at the high hip, making Sophie work just as well with trousers as with dresses.

Inspired by the gorgeous Sophie-Lee (who blogs over at Two Random Words), the Sophie cardigan can look dressy, classic, or casual, depending on the fabric and style mix that you make up. (Plus, it has a v neck option, which Sophie-Lee has been asking me for for a while now. Finally, here's your pattern, Sophie-Lee! ;-)

There are three different neckline options to choose from  - a classic round neck, a v neck, and a collar to give a touch of 1940's landgirl styling. There are two pocket options to play with as well - you can add patch pockets or side seam pockets with semi-circular openings. The raglan sleeves give fun options to use contrast fabrics. Plus, for the v neck and collar variations, you can choose between zip-up or button-up fronts. Lots of options for mixing and matching to make Sophie in your own style!

We've tried something new with the Sophie pattern as well - based on a suggestion from one of you, the Sophie print-at-home pattern comes with a 'layers' option. This means you can choose to print all sizes at once, or just the size (or two) you want - making it so much easier to trace or cut along the lines for your size.

As with all Muse pattern releases, for the first week it's on sale, all of the sale price (less those pesky bank fees) will be donated to a charity chosen by the muse behind the pattern - in this case, the St John ambulance and emergency service.

And as a gift for you, you can get 15% off the Sophie pattern with the code 'HELLOSOPHIE', valid until 27 July.


Charity donation from the Knit Sleeve Pack May 19 2015

Hello everyone!

Remember when the Knit Sleeve Pack was launched, we promised the full sale price (less bank fees) for the first week of sales was going to be donated to Kids Can, a charity chosen by one of our Muses? Well, we're pleased to say that we've just tallied up how much that was and made a donation on behalf of you all!

Want to know how much it was? We just donated USD $54 (which works out to NZD $72.80) to Kids Can. Yay! 

A big thank-you to everyone who purchased a pack in that first week, and contributed to the donation. You all rock! :-)

(PS have you made anything using the Knit Sleeve Pack yet? We'd love to see it! Why not send through a picture to hello@sewingmuse.com?)


Mix and match with new sleeve designs April 22 2015 6 Comments

Here at Muse, we love to make patterns as versatile as possible. Giving you lots of options so there are several ways to make each design, meaning you can pick the elements that you like best and get the most value from your patterns by making them multiple times in multiple different ways. 

Since we love versatility, here's a new idea we've been playing with - mini pattern packs to mix-and-match with existing patterns!

This is the first mini pattern pack - a set of sleeve designs that can work with any of the Muse knit patterns with set-in sleeves. (Currently they'll work with the Jenna, Natalie and Gillian patterns. They'll work with other patterns we release in the future as well.) With four sleeve styles (including three brand new ones) you can mix and match to create many more looks from your Muse patterns.

Style one is a sweet, vintage-inspired petal sleeve. With a curved hem and an overlap at the top of the sleeve cap, it adds a summery touch. 

Style two has a gently gathered sleeve cap, and options for short, 3/4 or long sleeve length with a classic narrow sleeve. 

Style three is a fun and feminine flutter sleeve. With soft folds and a narrow or rolled hem, it's great fun to wear.

Style four is the classic narrow sleeve found in the Gillian and Natalie patterns. It has three length options - short, 3/4 or long.

Wondering how to use them? Why not make a Natalie top with flutter sleeves? Or a Gillian dress with a gathered sleeve? The Jenna would look cute in a light weight knit and a petal sleeve for a cardigan for spring and summer. Or if you prefer classic knit sleeves (rather than the straight sleeve design that comes with the Jenna) you can use the narrow sleeve. Play around and find combinations that work for you! 

(Curious what we paired the sample sleeves with? The first three tops are made using the Jenna pattern, and our tutorial for turning the Jenna cardi into a tshirt or pullover. The fourth is the Natalie.)

You can buy the knit sleeve pack now, for only $3 for the set of four sleeve designs! Plus for the first week the knit sleeve pack is on sale (from now until midnight on 29 April) the full sale price (less trasaction fees) will be donated to Kids Can - a charity chosen by the Muse who inspired the Jenna cardi pattern. Kids Can is a charity who provides food,clothing and basic healthcare needs to disadvantaged children.

What do you think of the idea of mini pattern packs like this? Would you use them? Should we do more? We'd love to hear what you think!


Charity donation from the Melissa pattern April 07 2015

A big thank-you to everyone who supported the first week of the Melissa dress, skirt and blouse pattern.

As promised, the full sale price (less bank fees) of all sales of the Melissa pattern during that first week are being donated to the Life Flight air ambulance and air rescue, a charity chosen by the muse who inspired the Melissa pattern.

And we're happy to say $275 was raised for Life Flight! (Which translates to $365 in New Zealand dollars.) We're making that donation right now. :-)

We hope you all enjoy your Melissa pattern, and we're looking forward to seeing what people make with it!