Saturday, April 19, 2014

Make A Shirtdress From An Oversized Shirt

Use an oversized denim shirt to make a dress! Add an embroidery detail for a super girly effect.


1 oversized denim button-up shirt
embroidered fabric to add on (or you can use decorative stitches on your machine to create your own design)
piece of lace trim (for collar detail)
½” wide elastic (length of your waist + 1”)
seam ripper
marking pencil


Armholes & Sleeves: Since the shirt is oversized, check if the armholes need to be brought up to sit on your shoulders properly and if the sleeves need to be taken in. If so, using a seam ripper, take apart the sleeves from the armholes and adjust the armholes to your measurements. Take in the sleeves, adjust (if need be), and then sew back into the armholes.

Mark the waistline on the wrong side of the shirt using the marking pencil.

Place the elastic on top of the waist marking. Slightly pull the elastic as you stitch along each edge.

Place the embroidery detail fabric on your shirt, pin, and then edge stitch along each piece. 
* To create an embroidery design instead of using fabric, use the decorative stitch options on your machine.

Pin the right side of the lace trim to the wrong side of the collar edge, then edge stitch. 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Organize Your Wardrobe

Getting ready to go out? But dread the idea of having to pick out an outfit from your closet because it’s an absolute catastrophe? Have no fear! I am going to share with you a few simple organizing tips.

If you didn’t already know, besides being a sewing instructor, I am a personal wardrobe stylist. In addition to creating new looks and mapping out a plan for achieving particular styles, I help ladies and gents organize their closet spaces while teaching them how to easily put together outfits. Over the years, I have noticed a similar issue with clients: a wardrobe with many impressive pieces that lacks consistency, simplicity, and order. This can be easily fixed with these 3 rules:


To stay organized; create a system that will work for you in order to keep your wardrobe from going back to a state of disaster. Try grouping all tops together; tanks, T-shirts, long sleeved shirts, buttons-ups, and jackets. Do the same for bottoms: pants, trousers, shorts, and skirts. And finally, keep dresses and rompers side-by-side.


Once you have sorted your clothing by type, go through each group and place all the clothes in the same color families together. This way, when you are looking for a red top, you will know exactly where to find it.


Some people can dress up in the spur of the moment by diving into their wardrobes and putting on whatever feels right at the time. If this does not sound like you, try planning outfits ahead of time from clothes to accessories. This way, all you have to do is take the outfit off the hanger, throw it on, and you can be on your way.
Now that your wardrobe is on its way to being in tip-top shape, you will no longer need to dread the idea of choosing an outfit. And you won’t miss those delicious hors d’oeuvres because you’ll actually get to the party on time!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Quick Start Your Way Into The Sewing World

So, you want to learn how to sew, right? You’ve been thinking about signing up for a sewing course to get the basics down pat. Or maybe you haven’t sewn in awhile and want to get back into it. You want to join a sewing class to build your confidence on the sewing machine. Sound about right? What you need in your life is a Quick Start sewing class at The Sewing Studio!

If you are unable to fit an 8-week Introductory Sewing course into your schedule, not to worry – you can register for a Quick Start class which is half the duration and just as fun! In this 4-week course, you will get an in-depth lesson on machine functions, you’ll learn new stitches, sew buttonholes and buttons that won’t budge, and make projects which will be useful but also act as steppingstones if you would like to venture out into making more difficult ones. Pretty awesome or what?
This course is also great for those who are unsure about sewing and just want to try it out. Quick Start is a great way to test out your love for sewing. Or if you’ve completed Introductory Sewing and are on the fence about taking an intermediate course next, Quick Start is a great way to get more machine time and perfect your sewing skills since it is a project-based class.
Two hours every week for four weeks to learn all of that? Yes, it’s that easy. Register today!

Published in LoveSewing Magazine on February 27, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Make It Yourself: Faux Fur Vest

Use an old throw to make a warm and stylish faux fur vest which will resemble the Nordstrom one shown below. You’ll stay super cozy and PETA definitely won’t be chasing you!


1 old throw
hand sewing needle


Cut out pieces for the vest: back (1) and front (2).

*TIP: To get the perfect edge when cutting faux fur, do not cut pile right on the designated cutting line. This will leave an abrupt edge. The pile is attached to another fabric (usually a woven). Use the tips of your scissors to cut only the root of the woven fabric without disrupting the pile. Brush off any excess fur pile before sewing. To prevent bulkiness and create a clean (furry) edge, ensure the pile is tucked in between the two pieces of fabric that will be getting sewn together.


Cut lining pieces - same as Step 1: back (1) and front (2).


With right sides together, attach the front and back shoulder seams using a 5/8" seam allowance. 


Repeat Step 3 for lining.


To attach the lining to the vest, with right sides together, pin: around the collar, down center front, around armholes, the hem, and one side seam. Exclude the second side seam. Sew at 5/8" seam allowance. 


Clip round edges (collar, armholes, and bottom of front pieces).


Next, pull the vest through the side seam opening to expose the right sides.


On the side seam that has been left open, pin the outer edges of fabric with right sides together. Sew at 5/8" seam allowance without catching the lining.


Tuck in the lining of the side seam and edge stitch the opening. You also have the option of hand sewing the opening using the hand sewing needle and thread.


Published in LoveSewing Magazine on February 17, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Make It Yourself: Cropped Sweatshirt

Reconstruct your old sweatshirts into cropped tops with a twist! Use contrast fabric to make the sleeves and sweater details stand out. One-of-a-kind for sure!


  • 3 old sweatshirts
  • Seam ripper
  • Pins
  • Scissors


Carefully remove the collar binding (1), hem (2), and sleeve cuffs (3) from one sweater using a seam ripper. Then remove the sleeves (4) from the second sweater. Lastly, remove all of the above (1-4) from the third sweater (this will be the final sweater body).

Pin one sleeve to the armhole and then serge around to attach. Repeat this step for the second sleeve. TIP: To prevent jersey fabric from stretching out, carefully feed it into the serger and avoid pulling or tugging on the fabric.

Pin collar binding to collar and serge around.

Pin one sleeve cuff to the sleeve hem and serge to attach, and then repeat for the second sleeve.

*Mix and match the leftover sweatshirt pieces to compete two more tops. Keep them for yourself or gift to friends!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DIY: Copy Your Clothes

Making patterns from scratch might, at first, seem daunting and time-consuming. It certainly does take awhile to perfect, but, in the end, having the ability to create a pattern suited specifically and only for your body is a great reward and a highly-coveted skill. And like anything else, once you’ve made a few (patterns), you will find your groove and actually look forward to making more.

Before diving into scratch-making patterns, though, try making patterns from an existing garment you own as a warm-up for the real thing. Register for a Copy Your Clothes course at The Sewing Studio and learn to create a pattern from two existing garments. You will get to recreate your favourite item(s) and learn the basics of pattern making. The clothing you choose to copy will stay perfectly intact and what’s even better – the pattern you draft will be reusable. Woot! So if you want to make that black pencil skirt out of a cheetah print fabric, the same fabric as the one you own, or even a Valentine’s Day version (with printed hearts and roses, of course), the choice is yours, Cupid.

Copy Your Clothes is an intermediate course and runs for four weeks. Each week, you will attend a two-hour class filled with drafting paper, straight and curved rulers, the sharpest pencils you have ever seen, and a few other like-minded individuals who are probably there for the same reasons you are. Your instructor will most likely be totally awesome. Hey, I’m just speaking from experience. You’ll have to go and see for yourself.

Knowing how to make patterns gives you the freedom to choose fabrics according to your style and, more importantly, to create clothing which will suit your body shape. Total customization!  


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wardrobe Planning

For me, dressing up for any occasion is fun. Stepping into my wardrobe and picking out an outfit allows me to immerse myself fully into a character that I wish to play that day. I can use a piece of clothing to convey a message or display how I’m feeling at the time. And I usually feel like a rocker from the 80’s.  With pin-up girl hair, tribal accessories, and a modern bohemian street style. But then again, I might feel like sporting a casual chic outfit with sneakers. Just depends on my mood. Even though my wardrobe does not have one particular style, I am able to incorporate the pieces I have to create a style that’s all my own. This is simply because I put a little extra thought into new clothes I make for myself or purchase from a retailer.

If you plan on sewing a few new clothing items, choose patterns that you will be able to wear together in an outfit. Or make something which will contribute to the clothing you already have. Add essentials when needed and try not to overcrowd the space in your closet. Your goal is to form a comprehensive wardrobe which suits your everyday life. Just how a designer creates a collection, think of how you can mix and match new clothing you plan to make or buy.

Think ahead to create a “collection” of pieces to form your wardrobe. You will have more options in the long run. More options = a happy you!

                                                                             Published in LoveSewing Magazine on January 17, 2014