pattern

Colette’s 1780s First Communion Dress

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I have no experience with historical sewing, so I make no claims that the lace or anything else on this dress is period-correct 🙂 When I had trouble finding a modest and elegant pattern for my daughter’s first communion dress, I turned to period patterns and found this lovely website, and I am delighted with […] Read more…

Pattern Edits in the Works…

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Over the past 13 years, I’ve revisited patterns many times to make changes, correct errors, or add something to the instructions or illustrations. Most of these changes have come from suggestions made by my wonderful customers, and I always appreciate the feedback. As I’ve sewed for my growing daughters, I’ve started making notes on what needs tweaking, so there are some needed changes afoot! Read more…

Girls’ 1780s Portrait Dress Pattern

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I have long loved the beautiful, pastoral portraits of the late Georgian Era. Family groupings set in fields and beneath trees painted by artists like Thomas Gainsborough marked a departure from the stiffer, more formal portraits of a generation before. Children in these paintings gradually made an amazing transition from miniature adults to playful, happy youngsters in relaxed poses. Some of my favorite paintings are by George Romney and Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun. Inspired by these lovely, classic portraits, I decided to create this pattern for my own girls, who adore the full skirts and wide sashes of the time.

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“So how do you do all this anyway?

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You have more little ones than I do and not only do you find time to sew, but to design beautiful new patterns. Can you share a little about how you make time to do it all?

This question was recently posted to the S&S Facebook page, and it’s one I get from time to time via email as well. I’ve posted in my FAQs about the “do-it-all” myth, but I thought it might be time to just blog about this topic, since it’s near and dear to my heart. 🙂 Read more…

Georgian Era patterns in the works!

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If you’ve followed S&S Patterns over on Facebook, then you’ve probably seen this coming for a while, as I took a poll to see which fashion era people would like to see in patterns next. The 1780s won out, hands-down, though the 1930s came in a close second. Funny how this works out, but a […] Read more…

Why Doesn’t This Look Like The Pattern Cover? (Pattern Fitting Tips Galore!)

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So, you’ve made your first outfit from one of my patterns. It went together without a hitch…until you put it on and stepped in front of a mirror. “Wait a minute!” you exclaimed. “This waistline is way too high! This sleeve just doesn’t hit me where I thought it would! How am I supposed to be comfortable in this?” All of us are built differently. Even if we fit into a standard “size” on the pattern chart, we may find that the final results are less than flattering because we failed to take into account one or more unique features of our own body type. This page is here to help you identify those features and modify any pattern to better suit your figure type. Read more…

How to Resize a Pattern

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No matter how well designed a pattern may be, it cannot fit each individual perfectly. Each human body has its own quirks, and each person has different fitting needs. You may find that you need to enlarge a pattern beyond the sizes available on the sheet, or you might need to shrink it. Perhaps you would like to reduce a woman’s pattern to fit a little girl. Or maybe you found an out-of-print pattern you’d love to make … but the sizes are too small for you. Anything is possible once you know how to resize a pattern! Read more…

Modifying Your Regency Gown Bodice

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There are so many fun ways you can alter your gown bodice to make it uniquely your style! Below I’ve illustrated two additional ways to change the look of your gown. The first method creates a fitted bodice with darts under the bustline. The second gives you a more “fan”-shaped bodice with the gathers in the center. I strongly recommend that you play around with a muslin bodice or two first until you achieve the exact fit and look you want. You might want to try different neckline treatments while you are at it (I’ve done a bodice with a “V” neckline and darts). Read more…