Thursday, September 24, 2015

Misty Jeans Sewalong...Dimensions for the Added Sizes

Hello, friends!  I received a response from Style Arc this morning about sizing on the added sizes.  Chloe and the girls at Style Arc are super busy (have you seen the amount of patterns they have been producing of late?) so let's be understanding that it took a minute to get this information.

These are the finished measurements for the respective pattern sizes:


34   142cm / 56"
36   148cm / 58.5"
38   154cm / 61.75"


34   160cm /  63"
36   166cm / 65.5"
38   172cm /  67.75"

Now, before you get your knickers in a twist, let's look at these finished measurements a little closer.  This pattern is made to be used with stretch denim.  There is going to be negative ease.  

Style Arc designs the pattern with two inches of negative ease built in.  Now girls, we all know that as you add more cloth, there will be more ease.  Let's say that you bought a stretch denim that has 10% stretch.  (Do you know how to figure this out?)  For every ten inches of that denim you are going to get an inch of stretch.  Everyone following me so far?  So, in the case of the size 38 jeans, your 67.75 inch finished garment is going to have an additional 6.75 (rounded of course) inches of ease.  Hence, it should accommodate up to 74.5 inches in the hips.  However, you want some ease for sitting.  That is why I say that the 38 will accommodate up to 72 inch hips.  Is this making sense to everyone?  One of the pair of Misty's I will be making is from a denim look knit that has considerably more stretch, but I will sew it as if it has 25% stretch to keep from getting pull lines.  I would NEVER assume more than 25% stretch, because as you stretch on the x axis, the y axis may shorten (shorter crotch, shorter legs, pockets doing weird things).

Now, let's take a look at those waist sizes.  If you are like me, you are looking at those waist sizes going whoa, that is pretty big.  During the sewalong, I will be addressing ways to better fit your waist, but I want you to know that the waist sizes shown are actually the measure at the top of the fabric where you will be attaching your elastic.  So this would be the measurement an inch below your natural waist.  But, don't worry too much about waist size.  We want to make sure that the pants will fit your hips.  That said, if you have less than seven inches difference between your hips and your waist, order by your waist size.

If there is still some confusion in my clear as mud offering here, I suggest two other ways to pick your pattern size.  For those of us that already have a jegging or pull-on jean that fits, check to see that your fabric you intend to use has the same-ish amount of stretch, and order based on the finished measurement of the jeans you already own, when they are laying flat and unstretched.

You can also wrap your fabric around yourself at the hips, stretching it to the tightness that you would be comfortable with in your jeans.  Mark the fabric and then lay it flat and unstretched, and measure the distance between your markings.  Then order your pattern based on that size.

Most importantly, don't stress.  Stretchy material is very forgiving.  We will work through all of this and get it figured out.  I picked this very pattern because it is going to be easy to work with and adjust if needed.

Hit me with any questions and I will try to answer them as best I can.  I hope I didn't make this too confusing!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How the Blog Was Named and a Path to Vintage Patterns

Friends, quite a few times over the past few months I have been asked,  "Where did the name Pandora Sews come from?"  So today I am going to fill you in.

The pin that started it all

I have an Etsy shop.  It is not something that I have mentioned on the blog before, because I didn't want to seem like I was blogging to drive traffic to the shop.  Truth is, the shop is kind of something that I dabble at to put a little extra coin in the coffers from time to time.  The name of the shop is Pandora's Vault Vintage.  When the shop first opened, I was selling vintage jewelry.  One of the pieces I had was a P monogram pin.  So I decided that the shop needed to start with a P so that I could use the pin in the logo and banner.  We brainstormed for a few minutes and decided that Pandora's Vault Vintage was a good name, and the rest is history.

When I decided to start blogging my sewing creations, it seemed like a natural fit to use the Pandora name for the sewing blog as well.  I hope that you all know that my actual name is Alicia.  If you didn't before, I guess you do now!

So, why am I telling you all about this?  I know that some of my followers are vintage pattern aficionados.  I have a few really special patterns up in the shop right now, and I didn't want any of you to miss out if they are your thing.

Here are the lovely vintage sewing patterns that are up in the shop right now.

Vintage Sewing Pattern:  Vogue Paris Original Jacques Griffe 1019

This Coat from Jacques Griffe is one of the most desirable of the bunch.  Unfortunately, it has some damage, but the whole pattern is there.  It is a little on the fragile side.

Vintage Sewing Pattern:  Vogue Paris Original Guy Laroche 1160

Vintage Sewing Pattern:  Vogue Paris Original Guy Laroche 1293

These two Guy Laroche patterns are in really good condition.  I would love to see a sleeveless version of 1160 made up.

Vintage Sewing Pattern:  Vogue Couturier Design Alberto Fabiabi 1306

This Alberto Fabiani suit is a classic Jackie O style pattern.  This one is also in great condition.

Vintage Sewing Pattern:  Vogue Couturier Design Irene Galitzine 2159

I particularly love this pattern by Irene Galitzine.  The silhouette is popular now, and it would be easy to make a modern take on this classic design.

Which pattern is your favorite?  What decade do you like to sew from?

All these vintage patterns came to me recently by way of an estate sale.  The little old lady selling them had phenomenal taste in patterns.  She only sewed Vogue.  She was meticulous about keeping the tags with the patterns.  I could have spent hundreds of dollars on patterns that day, because she had hundreds of patterns.  But, in the end I showed restraint and only picked out the ones I thought would be good for my shop.  There may have been some fabric that made it's way in to the stash too.  All work and no play makes me sad, afterall.

If any of you are interested in any of these patterns, I want to offer you a special discount code only for my blog readers.  Use code: SEWINGFRIENDSROCK at checkout to get 20% off of your order through September 30, 2015.

Friends, I hope that this post doesn't offend any of you.  I promise that unless something really special comes along like these patterns, I will not be posting updates about anything that is in the shop.

Monday, September 14, 2015

And the Winner Is...

Hello, Friends.  Thanks for all the Blogiversary Love!  Just a quick note to let you know that the winner of the Blogiversary Giveaway is:


Anna was chosen by a random number generator of the 36 individual entries in to the giveaway.

Anna will have until 9:00 EDT on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 to get back in touch with me.  Congratulations!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Happy Blogiversary! And a Giveaway!!!

Friends, can you believe that it has been a year since this little blog claimed it place in the blogosphere?  In some ways it feels like it was just yesterday, and in others I can't help but have that feeling of, "Has it really only been a year?"

Instead of recapping all my makes and sharing blog analytics (which have already surpassed anything I would have been hoping for), I want the theme of this post to be gratitude.

So, here are a few of the things that I am thankful for (in no certain order):

1.  My supportive family.  These two fellas make my sewing habit an easy one.  My little guy is happy to sit in the sewing room and do homework while I am sewing away.  He is always complimentary of my makes.  Nothing melts my heart more than when he pretends to wolf whistle and tells me how pretty an item makes me look.

My sweet husband never complains about the piles of fabric that have taken over what used to be the office in our home.  He is always more than happy to take photos for the blog, and he genuinely likes the clothes that I sew.  I can't remember ever making something that he said he didn't like.  He affords me the ability to stay home, pursue my passions, and live the life I want to live without any guilt or resentment, just total support.  I love this man more than I ever imagined was possible.

2.  Finally having clothes that fit.  The main reason that I started to sew again was because I was tired of t-shirts that clung to my hips yet had shoulders intended to fit the broadest of linebackers.  My wardrobe is still a work in progress (but then won't it always be?).  It has been very empowering to sew not only clothes that fit, but clothes that inspire me.  It is amazing to not be held to the restraints of a boxy version of whatever is trending.

3.  Other sewing bloggers.  The very first blog that I started to follow was Diary of a Sewing Fanatic.  I am inspired not only by the clothes that Carolyn makes, but also by her back story.  She is easy to relate to.  I have found a Sew Sister in Andie of Sew Pretty in Pink.  There are so many things we have in common both in sewing and in our back stories.  I have to admit that I am quite jealous of the improv group she and her husband have.  I need that kind of creative outlet in my life!  Oonabaloona always amazes me with her wit and humor.  Her makes are absolutely fabulous, and I wonder if one day we might see the likes of House of Oona.  Last but not least, the ladies of the Curvy Sewing Collective, both on the collective and their respective blogs, are a constant source of inspiration and comradery.  Sometimes I think people don't realize that these ladies aren't just a bunch of pretty dresses.  They have real pedigrees, are well educated, and are so much more than the fabric running through their machines.

4.  The Etta James station on Pandora.  I know this may seem a little strange, but this is what I listen to when I am creating.  Right now Whatever Lola Wants by Sarah Vaughan is playing.  The music on this station is bluesy, sensual, at times seductive.  It is just the thing to get me in the sew that is.

5.  Then of course there is you all.  You have no idea how grateful I am to have reached so many other members of the creative community.  I am thankful for each and every comment you post.  I am thankful for every Instagram like.  There are days when those little hellos from the blogosphere and social media are what get me through some otherwise stressful situations.  Thank you, thank you.  Friends, really and truly a million times thank you.

Because I think that you all are so absolutely wonderful, I wanted to celebrate the Blogiversary with a little giveaway.  That's right, it's swag time.  In celebration of a year of blogging adventure, I have a great little prize package for you.  What's up for grabs?  A few little somethings to help you prepare for the Style Arc Misty Jeans Sewalong.

Pic from

First, a download of the Style Arc Misty Pull On Jeans pattern (Thank you to Style Arc for providing this gratis).

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Second, a $50 Mood Fabrics gift card so you can get your stretch denim fabric on (or whatever your heart desires).

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Third, an assortment of Gutermann Specialty Thread for jean sewing.  This stuff is amazing for sewing jeans.  The color match with these variegated threads are phenomenal.

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Last, an assortment of Schmetz Needles for all your sewing projects.  There are universal needles, a twin needle, stretch needles, and jeans needles.  That's everything you need in one convenient pack!

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite color denim is.  This giveaway is open to anyone anywhere.  Winner will be chosen on Monday, September 14th by random number generator.  If you don't leave an email to contact you or there isn't contact information in your profile, be sure to check back on Monday to see if you are the winner.  You will have two days to get back in touch with me.  If I haven't heard from you by 9:00 a.m. EDT a new winner will be drawn.  Good luck!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Short and Sweet - Animated Fashion Design

Hello, Friends!  I will keep this short and sweet, because a big happy post is coming your way tomorrow.  When I logged on to Google this morning there was a link to: Create, code, shine. Design a Fashion Week dress Made with Code.  Hello, Yes, and Thank You!

Here is my feeble attempt:

LED Dress designed on Made with Code

I think that I am going to call it Rain on the Horizon!  Or maybe No Cloud on a Sunny Day.  Ha!

You should go check out Made with Code, as there are other projects there that look super fun.  Let me know if you design something, because I would LOVE to see it.