Like I mentioned before, I will not be doing a full sewalong for the Mini Southport Dress. Most of the steps are the same or similar to those in the adult sized Southport Dress so check those out if you want a little more help.

I did, however, want to do this one tutorial for the armhole binding technique that I used. When creating the pattern for the Mini Southport Dress it became clear to me that it was extremely difficult to attach the bias binding to the armholes in the round because the armhole curves were so tight on the smallest sizes. When looking for an alternate technique I found this one used on some of my daughter’s ready to wear dresses. It makes it much easier to get a nice finish on your armholes. Because the bodice on this dress has quite a lot of ease it is the perfect solution. I would not, however, recommend using this technique on a more fitted garment as it does add a bit of extra bulk to the underarm seam that may be uncomfortable if close to the body.

The following steps coordinate with those in the instructions of the Mini Southport Dress:

Step 9 – Before continuing, finish the seam allowance of the front and back side seams separately. I used my serger to do this, but you could also using pinking shears or zigzag stitch the allowances.

Get your bias tape again, and open one of the folded sides just like you did for the neckline. Starting at the underarm seam, with about 1” of bias tape hanging off the front side seam edge, pin the long, open edge of your bias tape around the armhole so that it is flush with the edge , right sides touching.  Stitch at 1/4” seam allowance.

Here is how it looks once it’s done. Notice how there is a tail about 1″ long left over on the front armhole edge only.

Step 10 – Just like you did on the neckline, press the bias tape up and away from the bodice and over the seam allowance. Do this on a curved surface such as a tailors ham or rolled up towel to help support the curve of the armhole.

Understitch but stitching through the seam allowance and bias tape about 1/6″ -1/8″ inside of the bias tape.

Turn the bias tape to the inside of the bodice while rolling the seam slightly to the inside. Press on a curved surface. Steam is your friend here to help the bias tape make the curves without causing any puckering. Pin.

Edgestitch along the open side of the bias facing securing it to the armhole. Leave the 1” tail free on the bodice front.

Step 11 – With right sides together, pin the side seams. Stitch at 1/2″ seam allowance.

Step 12 – Take the 1” tail of the bias tape left over on the front bodice seam allowance and fold it over the back seam allowance so that the end touches the stitch line on the back bodice. You may need to trim it to fit snugly.

Press this, along with the side seam allowances, towards the back and pin at the top.

Step 13 – On the right side of  your bodice, stitch for about 3/4” down through all layers to secure the seam allowances and bias tape to the back bodice. Here is what the right side of the armhole should look like.

And here is what the inside should look like.

All done with the armholes.  Give them a nice press and proceed to the next part of the instructions!

I hope you guys liked the tutorial and that it helped with any of you who wanted a visual for these steps. If you would like to purchase the Mini Southport Dress pdf sewing pattern you can do it here.  Also, the fabric that I used for this dress is some cotton lawn from Robert Kaufman which you can find here.


I am so excited to introduce my second children’s sized pattern today – the Mini Southport Dress. Just like the Mini Hudson Pant, the Mini Southport is patterned after the women’s sized Southport Dress, but has been simplified and adjusted to be age appropriate for children and ranges in sizes from 2T – 10.

The Mini Southport is designed with a button opening at the center front of the bodice and the armholes and neckline are finished with single fold bias tape. For extra comfort and ease the waist is cinched in with a combination elastic and faux drawstring.

To keep this dress child appropriate, it was designed to work best with fabrics that are sturdier, easier to sew, and easier to wash / take care of.  The recommended fabrics are quilting cotton, cotton voile, linen, and double gauze. My samples are sewn up in Nani Iro double gauze and Robert Kaufman artisan batik quilting cotton.

Because of the simplifications made and the easier fabric suggestions, I think that an advanced beginner could definitely tackle it. The more difficult sewing techniques that you will use with this pattern include bias binding and buttons / buttonholes.

I will not be doing a sewalong with this pattern because so much of it has already been covered in the adult sized Southport Dress Sewalong. I will, however, be covering a couple of the new steps in a post in a few days to help out.

You can get $2 off the pattern price until Friday July 3rd at midnight EST with the code LAUNCHWEEK. To purchase the pattern or learn more about it, head on over to my shop here or click on the Mini Southport Image in the sidebar.


There is definitely something wonderful about shopping for fabric in person. I can spend hours touching, comparing, and dreaming up all of the fabric possibilities. But, the reality of my current situation of having two young kids, no car, and living in NYC city makes that a rare occasion. I do make it down to the garment district once every few months when a friend is visiting though. That’s always fun and you can see my favorite garment store picks here.

By far, most of my fabric and notion shopping is done online though. I have a bit of a system now of what I get where, and since “Where do you buy fabric?” is one of my most frequently asked questions, I thought I would make a little list for you all today of where I shop online.

I am only going to list places that I have personally ordered from, but please know that there are ton of other great shops out there too.


Etsy shops:

Felinus Fabrics – I recently ordered a bunch of fabric from them. I havn’t finished the projects so I don’t have anything to show you, but I was so impressed with their customer service. I needed a private listing and they emailed me back within minutes. The package was sent the next day and the shipping was less than expected so they refunded me the difference! All that aside they have some great fabrics for apparel sewing. I also grabbed some buttons and lace yokes. Lots of great stuff here.

Stevie Saint Fabrics – They carry a lot of rayons and crepes, especially with a bohemian vibe. I used some of their fabric for my southport dress sewalong and loved the fabric. They have tons of great prints and seem to update often. Also, great customer service and fast shipping.

PeggySueAlso Leather – This is my go to leather store. I love that they have so many bright colors and that they offer the option of small scraps for smaller projects. I have found that their 12 x 12 inch Divine Cowhide is the perfect amount and weight of leather for a pair of moccassins for a baby shower gift.

Independantly Owned Shops:

Blackbird Fabrics – Caroline is not only a great person, but she has amazing taste. I love that she took the leap and opened up her shop. She went to school for, and then worked, in the fashion and textile industry so she really knows how to choose her products. I used here fabric for both this kim dress, and this white and black linden sweatshirt.

Imagine Ghats – I was recently on the hunt for some Nani Iro fabric that was in short supply in her shop.  After contacting her she was able to look through some extra stock and find me just enough for my project.  I feel like that is the best thing about independent shops – a person to talk to. She also has started carrying some other great apparel fabrics such as rayon challis and swimwear fabric.

Girl Charlee – They are especially known for their knits but they also carry a lot of woven fabrics too. Their prices are really cheap so this is a good place to start for those who are wanting to try out knits for the first time or play around with some flowy wovens such as crepe or challis.

Hawthorne Threads – If I am looking for some quilting cotton or similar fabric for something for my kids they almost always have the new stuff and tons of options.  They also carry a wide range of Robert Kaufman which is a go to for me.  I just bought some of their rayon chambray through them which I am pretty excited about.

Wanderlust Fabrics – Another small, curated shop with good taste. Whether it be knits, wovens, or pom pom trim, the shop seems to reflect the style that the owner is feeling at the time. Couple that with fast shipping and friendly help, it makes for a great little shop that I check out often. I used her fabric for my hudson pant sewalong, and my mandy boat tees.

Michael Levine – I recently tried this shop for the first time when I was on the search for the perfect ikat for my Alice dress and found it here.  After browsing around a bit more I saw that they have tons of other great apparel options too.

Larger Retail Stores: – I shop here a lot. It’s easy, usually very affordable, and they accept returns! Which is huge since sometimes things appear different online than in person. If you are new to sewing, this is a great place to start.

Jo-Ann Fabric – Let’s face it, they’ve got great sales. I just had a 50 yd bolt of muslin delivered to my door from here using one of their 60% off coupons. A couple of times a year during their big sales I stock up on stuff like muslin and fusible interfacing. And of coarse if I am ever out of the city I try to drop in and see if they are having one of their pattern sales.

Wawak – This is the best / cheapest way that I have found to buy notions. Especially when I am working on a new pattern so I know that I will need a ton of one thing like buttons, elastic, or bias tape, I buy it here in bulk at a fraction of the cost. I have also bought all of my patternmaking rulers and supplies for school here for much cheaper than the schools bookstore. I like to stock up on their large spools of Gutterman thread too as I seem to always be running out of black and white.


OK, that’s it.  As I mentioned before, there are tons of other great fabric sources out there. Feel free to add your favorites below in the comments. Hope this helps those of you who are looking for more online options.


After making the Alice dress a month or so ago, I knew that I wanted to try the pattern (by Tessuit Fabrics) again, this time with some eyelet. It’s one of my favorite trends this summer. I love this eyelet because it is more geometric and less flowery like most that I find. I got it from my favorite linen store, Gray line Linens, in the NYC garment district. I wanted to keep the bottom half lightweight and flowy so I went with some black rayon challis from

After some debate I decided to make this one a top instead of a dress length because I figured that the eyelet might make the garment feel a little more dressed up, and the dress length even more so. I went with the top so it might feel a bit more everyday wearable.

I had to make a few changes to accomodate the eyelet. The yoke is supposed to be double to create a facing which I obviously couldn’t do without ruining the affect. So I made the yoke one layer and used black 1/2″ single fold bias tape to finish the neckline. There are probably better ways to do this, but it worked well for me. I think that if top was not black then this finish might end up looking a bit messy and you might be better off using a double fold bias tape and enclosing the neckline within it.

I also had to shorten the yoke on both the front and back so that it didn’t show too much cleavage. It normally hits about an inch lower than you are seeing in my pictures which with wearing a nude bra looked pretty crazy. I also had to adjust the armholes accordingly.

One last adjustment that I made was raising the depth of the armhole by almost an inch. On my last version you could see my bra when I raised my arms. An inch up was perfect for me.

Love my new blouse!

Outfit Details:

Blouse : Made by me (pattern is Alice Top by Tessuti)

Pants : Old Navy

Shoes : Lotta Clog




I have been reading Suzannah Hamlin Stanley’s blog (currently called Create / Enjoy, but I remember it as Adventures in Dressmaking) for a really long time. In fact she may be one of the first sewing related blogs that I started reading and am still reading to this day. She has an amazing abilty to repurpose just about anything and make it stunning. And now she totally upped her game and wrote a book. The title of her brand new book is DIY Wardrobe Makeovers : Alter, Refresh & Refashion Your Clothes Step-by-Step Sewing Tutorials and as the name implies, it is all about taking things from your closet or the thrift store and changing them in a way to bring new life to them. I have seen the book and it is really well done, helpful, and of coarse beauitifully photographed just like her blog is. I am super excited for Suzannah and all that she has achieved and so happy to be sharing it with you guys today.

I always love getting a chance to pick other bloggers brains and so I jumped on the opportunity to do an interview Suzannah in conjunction with her book release. I hope you enjoy getting to know Suzannah a bit better.

Me – Please tell us a little about how you started sewing and blogging.

Suzannah – Two very different journeys! My mom taught me to sew when I was a kid, and I made my first garments for myself at 10 or 12, but I really started it as a habit on one of my summers home from college. I made myself a couple cute sundresses and was hooked!
I started blogging in fall 2009, shortly after I finished grad school and moved in with my then-boyfriend to our first real apartment. I was underemployed and looking for jobs in my field but had time on my hands and started reading blogs, making and remaking things for the apartment from the craft store and thrift stores, and sewing in my first very own sewing room!

Me – Can you tell us a little about how your book became a reality – was it your idea and you pitched it, or were you approached with the opportunity?

Suzannah – Writing a book has been a goal of mine since not long after I started blogging. I keep a working list of book ideas, but this one was the most fleshed-out. I had contacted some publishers on my own with no luck, but I was able to get an agent (referred from another craft blogger I know), and she helped me write my proposal. She sent it off to quite a few publishers for me.

Me – Who do you think that your target audience is for your book?

Suzannah – I think it’s a very wide audience! Similar to my blog readership, mostly women, ranging in age from teenagers to retired folks sewing for their grandkids. I’ve helped and advised several of my friends (and even my professional seamstress mom!) on repairing or remaking their clothes, and of course I’ve done it for countless garments in my mending/makeover pile, so I know some store-bought garment issues are universal. The book is divided into fit fixes (such as hemming, taking in various types of garments, etc.) and DIY style projects. Even the style projects are pretty classic for the most part, though–I can see a lot of women wanting to trim, remake, or restyle their versions of the garments!

Me – I know from reading your blog that you have gone through a lot of health / diet changes over the last couple of years. I know that writing a book is super demanding. How has your health played a role in the process and being able to balance it all?

Suzannah – Thanks for reading for so long! It’s a good question–I started the book proposal and writing process when I was raw vegan, not working out much, and working a day job that bored me. I was pretty stressed out most of the time when I was getting the proposal done and starting the projects, and my hormones, energy, and sleep were not great. I remember a lot of frustration on evenings and weekends for a solid few months there. Now I eat cooked food, locally sourced meat, and lots of healthy fats, and my brain and body function so much better. I’m calmer in general, which really helped with final book edits, packing for and doing an intensive 2-day photo shoot around Portland, and doing book promotion. Working a day job I love and fitting in regular strength training workouts 3 days/week, plus regular hikes with my husband, has also made me a happier person. I’m so happy with how the book turned out and excited to continue promoting it!

Me – I am always curious about those who make all or part of their living doing creative pursuits and blogging.  Can you tell us a bit about how you you have made it work?

Suzannah – I’ve been blogging for almost 6 years now, so I’ve got a good routine down and am usually able to balance my projects, computer time, and local blogger events with my full-time day job in another field. I’ve scaled back my blog and related paid projects from what I used to have time for. I find I enjoy it more when it’s a hobby than my all-day, everyday pursuit with the pressure of making an income–although I admire people who can do both!

Me – When you have no demands on your creative time, what is your favorite thing to sew and create?

Suzannah – It’s funny, I started this whole hobby because I liked sewing dresses. (The blog was originally called Adventures in Dressmaking.) I’ve broadened my skills and interests to home decor, DIY body products, cooking high quality food, and other things that make me feel creatively refreshed… but really, I still love sewing dresses! I have one waiting to be cut out a few feet from me as I write this, actually! I don’t have a ton of places to wear them anymore since my style has simplified a lot, but occasionally I do and then I feel so much better wearing something I made than something store-bought! 



A big thank you to Suzannah for indulging my questions and a huge congrats to her on releasing her first book. Suzannah has offered to give away one copy of her new book, DIY Wardrobe Makeovers, to one of you.  To enter just leave a comment below (US residents only, sorry).


This is the method that I use when I want to sew up a really easy and fast skirt for my daughter.  I havn’t tried it for myself yet, but I think that the same basic tutorial would work for a women’s skirt too. This one is for a size 5T although you can adjust the sizing according to your needs. I have a few things that I really like in a gathered skirt – lots of gathering, elastic waist (no buttons or zippers), pockets, and a large hem. This skirt has them all and is really simple to sew up.

Step 1

Measurements (adjust the measurements in parenthesis for your sizing needs):

width of the skirt (25″) + 1/2″ seam allowance on each side = 26″

height of the skirt (13″) + 2 1/4″ hem + 1 1/2″ waistband = 16 3/4″

Cut out two pieces of fabric that are 26″ wide and 16 3/4″ tall. If you want to add pockets then cut two pieces of fabric that are 6 1/2″ wide and 7 1/2″ tall.

You will also want some 1″ elastic for the waistband. It should be long enough to wrap around the waist comfortably, but snug, with 1/2″ overlap.

Step 2

With your two skirt pieces on top of one another and right sides together, sew the two sides together at 1/2″ seam allowance.  I sewed mine using french seams, but you can use any finishing technique that you choose.

Step 3

Fold the top of the skirt and the bottom of the skirt at 1/4″ towards the wrong side of the skirt. Press.

Step 4

Fold the top of the skirt down by another 1 1/4″ and press. Fold the bottom of the skirt up by another 2″ and press. Pin in place.

Step 5

Sew the hem at a scant 2″ from the bottom and then again at 1/8″ from the bottom edge. I love wide hems like this because it stays crisp (less ironing after washing) and the weight of the large hem gives more substance to a gathered skirt that in my opinion makes it look more expensive.

Step 6

At the top of the skirt, sew along the folded edge, at about 1 1/8″ from the top. Leave about an 3″ opening to insert the elastic.

Step 7

If you havn’t done it alreay, cut your elastic to the desired length adding about 1/2″ for overlap. Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the waistband casing. Overlap the two ends by about 1/2″ and sew together.

Step 8

Stitch the opening in the waistband casing shut. While stretching the elastic so that the waistband has little to no gathering, stitch through all layers of the waistband and elastic along the middle of the waistband. I know this sounds confusing, but it will keep your elastic from turning and keeps the gathering flat.

Step 9

If you want to add pockets, Fold the tops down by 1/4″ and then another 3/4″.  Press and stitch it at a scant 3/4″. Fold the other three edges towards the back by 1/4″ and press.

Step 10

Pin each pocket on top of the side seams of the skirt just above the hem and slightly towards the front of the skirt.

Step 11

Stitch around the sides and bottom of the pockets to secure at 1/8″.

Step 12

Give it a final press and you are done.


I have been working on a few projects for my 5 year old daughter lately and wanted to share them with you. First off, I was recently sent this book, Girly Style Wardrobe by Yoshiko Tsukiori and was instantly drawn to this simple easy blouse for her. I love the ease and effortless style that these Japanese sewing books have (I also have my eye on this one) and this blouse was no different.

I made the top according to the instructions except that I added a bit of length to the ruffle just for personal preference. My daughter and I both love the way that it turned out. I sewed it up in some simple red gingham because I thought it fit the classic, feminine style, plus the fabric is really cheap and I wanted this to be a bit of a trial run before using nicer fabrics.  No need though because the fit is super forgiving and fits great. I think I want to make a white one up next, maybe in some eyelet.

I paired the blouse with a simple chambray skirt that I actually have a tutorial for which will be posted later this week.  It’s the easiest skirt to make with leftover fabric and my daughter loves that it has some serious twirl factor. Which makes up both happy.  It’s my go to little girl skirt.

I was also recently sent a kit to make up this kitten stuffie from Take&Make. It’s not the sort of thing that I normally make or blog about (not sure that I have ever successfully made a toy before) but I have been longing for projects that I can do with my daughter as she has started to ask to participate, and I thought this might be the perfect first run. Honestly, I was completely ignorant about making stuffies and it is so much more involved than I ever thought.  I have new found respect for all of your ladies making toys and stuffed animals. My embroidery skills are laughable and who knew that there is a science to using stuffing?! My kitty kinda looks like it has cellulite. Haha! Lesson learned.

All that begin said, my daughter LOVES her new toy and the process was really fun. I am new to the company Take&Make, but I was so impressed by the quality of the product. The kit came so beautifully packaged and the quality of the items chosen for the package made it feel more like a present than anything else.

I kept thinking that this was the exact kind of thing that I would have loved to get as a gift when I was younger. I am a project oriented person so getting like this would have been right up my alley.  In fact, I am going to keep my eye all of their new kits as it gets closer to the holidays as I think that this would be the coolest gift to give to a crafty inclined person. I especially have my eye on this book binding one.  I can think of so many women who would love this.

Check back on Thursday if you are interested in the tutorial for the skirt.


I have been hoarding this gorgeous silk crepe de chine for about a year now waiting for the perfect project. I didn’t have a lot, and I knew I would need extra for patternmatching, so I finally decided that a tank top would be perfect. Instead of buying a new pattern I decided to give the Southport Dress a little hack and took pictures along the way in case any of you wanted to give it a try too. It’s a really simple hack with just a few steps.


Step 1 – Take your pattern piece and cut it along the lengthen / shorten line. Put some paper behind it and separate the top and bottom by the desired amount. For me it was 8 1/2″. I am a little short so you might want to add a bit more if you are tall or long waisted. Just compare it to some ready to wear tops you have and see what you like. Tape the pattern pieces to the additional paper so that it is separated by that desired amount.


Step 2 – The width of the top should already be wide enough to fit over your hips, but since you will probably be wearing this top over jeans or other pants, I think that it’s a good idea to add a bit more width at the bottom. Make a small mark 1/4″ out from the original side seam. This will be added to the front as well making a total of 1″ of extra ease at the hips once sewn. Connect this small mark with the top section creating a nice fluid line.


Step 3 – Cut along this new line to create your new side seam.


Step 4 – This is optional, but I like my hem to be a bit shorter at the sides than at the front. To do this, mark about 1″ up from the current bottom on the side seam and make a nice curved line to connect to the original bottom a few inches out. Harder to explain than do, so just make it look like the picture below. Cut the new hemline. That’s all for the back!


Step 5 – Do the same exact steps to the front so that it looks like this.


Step  6 – Also lengthen the interfacing and the button / buttonhole guide. Mark a few more buttons and buttonholes the same distance apart as the first ones.


Step 7 – You are going to sew up your tank in the exact same way as the pattern instructs, except that you should hem the tank top by turning up 1/4″ and then another 1/4″ and then topstitching at a scant 1/4″.

Give it a good press and you are done! I am pretty pleased with how this turned out. I want to make a chambray one next.



Art Gallery Fabrics contacted me a few weeks ago about trying out some of their brand new solids knit collection for a project. I used some of their knits last year when making a dress for my daughter and making pjs for my kids and I am a fan.  Of all of the 4 summer dresses that I made her the AGF one is the only dress that didn’t shrink so much after multiple times in the dryer that it still fits this summer. So of coarse I said yes and quickly settled on their marigold colored knit called Sahara Sun. I wasn’t disappointed.  The color is beautiful and the fabric is that perfect in between knit with enough structure to hold it’s shape and not show every little ripple and underwear line, but still very soft and easy to work with. They were also kind enough to send me an extra yard to give away to one of you (details at the bottom of the post).

I have had this hack in mind for a long time and was excited for this excuse to go ahead and put it together. I used the Mini Hudson pattern for the tutorial, but you could certainly use the women’s sized Hudson Pant for the exact same effect.  In fact, I really want to make myself one now.

OK, let’s get started. Gather your pattern pieces together.  I am using a size 5T here. You need all of your pieces except for your ankle and calf bands.

Take your front pant pattern piece and put it on top of a plain piece of paper. Trace the top and side and about 1″ down from the center front top edge. Also copy the grainline and notches.

Move your center front edge to the left by 3/8″ (eliminating the seam allowance) and make a mark. From here draw a line down parallel to the grainline to create your new center front fold line.

Decide how long you want your skirt length and then add 1 inch for the hem and 3/8″ for the top seam allowance. I wanted a skirt that was 9″ long so the total length is 10 3/8″. Mark the bottom of your skirt perpindicular to the center front fold line.

And now to finish the side seam, draw a line parallel to the center front and perpindicular to the bottom, up to meet the side notch. That’s it for the front.

Now take your back pattern piece and just like the front, trace the top, side, and center back corner of your pattern. Copy the notches and grainline.

Make your new center back fold line 3/8″ to the right of the original center back cut line. Draw the new CB line parallel to the grainline.

Flip this page upside down and put it on top of your new skirt front patten piece. Line up the front and back side notches on top of one another and make sure the your center front and center back grainlines are parallel to one another. Copy the side below the notch and the bottom line from the front to the back pattern piece. Flip the back skirt piece over and trace the lines onto the front of the pattern.

That’s it. Your pattern pieces should look like this now:

You are going to go ahead and cut out your front and back skirt pattern pieces on the fold and also cut out your waistband, and all pocket pieces. Attach the pockets to your front skirt piece in the same way as described in the instructions.

Sew the front and back skirt pieces together at the side seams.

Attach the waistband and drawstring according to your pattern instructions.

Turn the bottom of the skirt to the wrong side by 1 inch and press. Stitch in place with a stretch stitch, zigzag stitch, or double needle.

That’s it! All done.

Like I mentioned above, AGF gave me and extra yard of this Sahara Sun knit fabric to give to one of my readers (U.S. only sorry). To enter, just leave a comment below. Make sure that there is a way to contact you through your profile. I will announce the winner via instagram on Sunday. Good luck!

*disclosure – I received the fabric for this post free of charge, but all opinions and reviews are honest and my own.


I am a big fan of Jen at Workroom Social and all of the amazing projects she creates.  She is the force behind Camp Workroom Social which happens this fall and has a beautiful studio in Brooklyn where she teaches sewing and printmaking among other things. Such a talented lady. And, she has done it again. She teamed up with McCalls to create a series of quirky and interesting videos that help you customize their patterns and add your own personality to them. I think that McCalls has come out with some really cool patterns lately and videos like this can really help you look past the styling or fabric choice of the envelope that may be good for someone else, but make it more suitable for you own tastes.



So far she has talked about bias tape and sheer fabrics, both of which were full of fun ideas and inspiration, but today I get to share her video about creating your own quilted fabrics to add interest to your clothing. Quilted clothing is really big right now and I have had such a hard time sourcing fabric that was already quilted. Jen’s tutorial makes it simple and precise to create your own. I love the idea of quilting only small areas of an item for interest such as a yoke or pocket. I hope you enjoy it!