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September 2, 2016

Welcome to Day 3 of the Emerson Sewalong. I am excited to simply finish up the waistband and hem today. It won’t take long. Let’s get started.

Step 16 – Keeping the waistband folded, pin the bottom of the waistband to the top edge of the shorts / pants with the right side of the outer waistband touching the right side of the shorts / pants. Match notches. Keep in mind that the front of the waistband is the one with the interfacing attached to it.

Step 17 – Starting at one large dot, stitch around the back of the shorts / pants until you reach the second dot. Leave the front part of the waistband unattached. Back stitch at both ends to secure.

Step 18 – Attach a safety pin to one side of your elastic (cut to specified length). Insert into the waistband at one dot, through the back part of the waistband, and out at the other dot. Be careful not to let the back end of the elastic slip into the waistband where you can’t access it. (I know this too well from experience.)

Step 19 – Adjust your elastic so that it starts and ends at each dot within the waistband. Pin securely in place.

(Tip – This is a good time to try on your shorts / pants and see if you need to adjust the length of your elastic. After the next step it will be a huge pain to do so.)

Step 20 – Finish stitching the front section of the waistband to the shorts / pants, leaving in the pins that are holding the elastic in place.

Step 21 – Press the seam allowance down and away from the waistband to keep it out of the way. On the front of the waistband, stitch in the ditch through all layers where the back and front waistbands meet, catching the elastic inside of the waistband so that it’s secure. Backstitch a few times to make sure it is secure. If you do it carefully, you will not even be able to see the stitching as it will hide in the seam.

Finish the seam allowance of your waistband in your desired manner and press down.

Edgestich just below the waistband to keep the seam allowance down and flat. This is an optional step but it helps to keep things tidy on the inside of the garment.

Step 22 – Hem the shorts / pants by folding the bottom up (wrong sides touching) by 1/4” and pressing.

Fold up again by 1“ for the shorts or 2” for the pants. Press and pin.

Edgestitch along the fold to finish the hem.

All done! I will post pictures of me wearing my Emersons once I can get some photos. Please tag your photos #emersoncroppants or #emersonshorts if you make and post them as I would love to see your versions.



September 1, 2016

Today is day 2 of the Emerson short and crop pant sewalong.  We are going to assemble the majority of the pants  and shorts and prep the waistband for tomorrow. Let’s dive in.

Step 8 – Pin one of the front shorts / pants to its coordinating back, right sides touching, along the outside and inner legs. Stitch.

Finish seam allowance in desired manner. I serged the seam allowances. Repeat for other leg. Press seam allowances open for inner leg (or to one side if you serged like I did) and to the back for the outer leg.

Step 9 – Put one leg (right side out) inside the other leg (wrong side out), lining up the crotch seams and notches. Pin and stitch.

Step 10 – Finish the crotch seam allowance in your desired manner, press seam allowance to one side.

Edgestitch the crotch seam on the right side of your shorts, catching the seam allowance underneath. This will keep the crotch seam out of the way and much more comfortable.

Step 11 – Make a bartack through all layers at the stress point where the bottom of the pocket meets the side seam. Here are my sewing machine settings for the stitch, but your preference may be a bit wider or longer zigzag.

The bartack should be about 1/2” long with 1/8” extending towards the back leg and the rest towards the front.

Step 12 – Take one front waistband and sew each narrow side to the narrow sides of one back waistband, right sides touching and matching notches, to form a ring.

Trim seam allowances to about 1/4” to reduce bulk and press open. Repeat with other waistband pieces.

Step 13 – With right sides touching, pin the tops (unnotched edge) of each ring together, matching seams.

Stitch. Trim seam allowance to about 1/4” to reduce bulk.

Step 14 – Press the seam allowance towards the inner waistband (the one without interfacing).

 Understitch by stitching through the seam allowance and inner waistband about 1/8” from the seam. Although this is not a necessary step, it really helps keep the inner waistband front peaking out.

Step 15 – Fold the inner waistband towards the outer waistband, wrong sides touching. Match up the notches on the bottom edges of the waistband. Press the fold.

That is it for today. Now the waistband is ready to attach to the pants or shorts tomorrow and we finish them up. Can’t wait. Let me know if you have any questions.

You can find the pattern here.



August 31, 2016

Welcome to day one of the Emerson short and pant sewalong. I am going to be sewing up one pair of crop pants in this great lightweight denim, and a pair of the shorts in some navy striped linen that I am really excited about .

All of the directions are the same for both except for the hem width so I will be jumping back and forth between the two depending on which one shows better in pictures. We will do the whole sewalong in three days. It’s an easy sew, so it will go quick. I won’t be going over printing your pattern or assembling / cutting it out, so go ahead and do that first and come back when you are ready to get sewing.

Step 1 – Before starting, make sure that you have transferred all notches and symbols from your pattern pieces to your fabric. I used a few different techniques this time around, but use whatever is easiest for you. I like to just snip the notches. Just be sure to make a small snip (about 1/4″) so that it stays within the 1/2″ seam allowance.

I use a disappearing fabric pen for the dots and then my chacco pen (my favorite!) for the pleat lines. The pleat lines are about 2 1/4″ long for reference and make sure that you mark them on the right side of the fabric.

Next, fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of one front waistband and the edge of each pocket piece.

Step 2 – Take one front shorts / pants piece and pull the pleat line closest to center front towards the next line, in the direction of the side seam (with the right side of your fabric facing up). Repeat for second pleat. Pin in place and press. I like to place a pin at the end of the pleat line so that when I am stitching the pleat in the next step, I have an easy visual of where to stop.

Step 3 – Edgestitch along the fold of each pleat for the length indicated on the pattern and backstitch at the end. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for other front shorts / pants pattern piece.

Step 4 – With right sides touching, pin the unnotched side of one pocket (the edge with the interfacing) to the coordinating pocket area of the front short / pant.

Stitch at your normal 1/2″ seam allowance.

Trim seam allowance to about 1/4” to reduce bulk.

Step 5 – Press the whole pocket piece over the seam allowance and away from center front.

Understitch by stitching through the seam allowance and pocket, close to the seam edge. This will help the pocket to stay on the inside of the shorts and not peak out.

Step 6 – With right sides touching, fold the pocket in half along the two middle notches. Pin.

Keeping the front shorts / pants out of the way, stitch the bottom of the pocket together. Finish seam allowance in your desired manner. I chose to simply serge the seam allowance, but you could also zigzag stitch or use pinking shears to finish it.

Step 7 – Flip the whole pocket towards the inside of the front shorts / pants and press the fold of the pocket flat. Line up along the top and sides and pin.

Baste along the top and sides at 3/8” seam allowance to keep the pocket in place for future steps.

Repeat steps 4 through 8 for the other pocket and front shorts / pants.

Your pants and shorts should look like this now.

That is it for today. Let me know if you have any questions.  If you want to get the pattern you can purchase it here.



May 6, 2016

I am so obsessed with shibori right now. Just another layer of being creative and making my own clothing. I recently tried a new technique for the Mini Colfax Dress above and photographed along the way so that I could show you.

As for materials, I used a linen rayon blend from JoAnn fabrics. It’s on the lighter weight side, and would be slightly see through in white, but the added dye makes it perfect for everyday wear.

For dye I just used RIT dye in navy. I also recently bought some black to try and I am also intrigued by the cobalt. The navy tends to lean a little purple in the lighter areas so be warned but I like how dark it gets.

I did two different shibori techniques, since the Mini Colfax view B calls for contrasting fabrics. For this first one you are going to need a marking tool (such as chalk or a disappearing marker), a ruler, thick string such as embroidery thread or yarn, and a bunch of little round objects. I used beads that I found in my daughters art bin, but you could also use pennies or marbles or anything else that will hold it’s shape in the water.

First, lay your fabric out and mark a repeating pattern for every place you want to tie up a bead. How close they are is completely up to you, but I just did a 4 x 4 inch grid to keep it simple. Use your marker to mark every spot.

Now you are going to take a bead (or whatever you are using) and place it on a dot.

Now take a piece of string (about 8 inches long) and wrap it tightly around the end of the bead. Tye in a tight knot so it doesn’t come undone.

Repeat for every dot. This is going to take longer than you think, so plan on doing the part when you are watching a movie at night. It’s not hard, just time consuming.

Now it’s ready to dye. Let me show you the other technique.

This one is super simple and will create a boho stripe look. You are just going to need your fabric and a bunch of rubberbands.

First you need to fold your fabric. You are going to do this accordian style. So take one end and fold it at about 1 inch and then fold back the other way at another inch. Just like the fans you would make out of paper as a kid.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, just do your best. If you have a ton of fabric it might be easier to rip your fabric into pieces and do it in chunks. I was doing about a yard here which was fine. Continue until the whole thing is folded.

Once it’s folded, use some weights or something to keep it from coming undone. At one end, wrap the whole thing with a rubberband several times so that it’s pretty tight at about 1 inch in. Continue to do this every inch. You can of coarse do whatever distance you want. Each rubberband will create a wobbly white stripe once dyed.

Continue for the entire length of fabric.

Once all of the rubberbands are on you are ready to dye both of your fabrics. There are lots of different methods for dying and these will be included on your dye packaging so I won’t go into the details, but I like the stove method as you can see in the pic below.

Once everything is done make sure to clip the string and and rubberbands. Be super careful when doing so to make sure that you don’t clip your fabric as well and create a hole. Rinse the fabric thoroughly and wash it separately from your other clothing the first few times to prevent any bleeding.

I have to admit that I am obsessed with the way that these turned out. Really quite simple to do too. I have plans to do some more for me and some pillowcovers shortly.

If you want to see some other shibori tutorials that I have done in the past, check them out here and here.



November 19, 2015

I recently discovered that a thrifted adult sized sweatshirt is the perfect item to upcycle into Mini Hudson pants and I had to share it with you. In the end, the sweatshirt provided everything that I needed except the elastic, which makes for a pretty successful upcycle in my book. Now I am addicted and am on the hunt for old sweatshirts to use. I have a few tips that I learned along the way, as well as some pictures that I hope help.

When looking for a sweatshirt to use, whether from your own closet, or a thrift store, there are few things that you want to look for. Depending on what size pant you are making, you want to probably find the biggest sweatshirt that you can. I was making a size 2T and a mens large was good for me, but bigger would be better. That being said, this tutorial is best suited for the smaller sized pants such as sizes 2T- 4T, or the cropped version of the larger sizes.

You also want a sweatshirt with at least a little stretch in it. A lot of sweatshirts, especially the cheaper ones, don’t have any stretch which wouldn’t be suitable for this pattern. You definitely want a sweatshirt with both wrist and waist ribbing as you use those for your pants and an added bonus is a hooded sweatshirt with a drawstring as you can use the drawstring on your pants as well. Here is what I ended up with.

The first thing that you need to do is cut and separate your sweatshirt into large swatches of fabric. Since my sweatshirt had writing and a pocket on the front, my usable fabric came from the arms and back. Also carefully cut off the ribbing on the wrists and waist to use, as well as the necktie if your sweatshirt is hooded.

Cut out your waistband, pocket detail, and ankle bands from the ribbing.

Cut out the pocket pieces and the front and back pants with the main sweatshirt fabric. Do your best to pay attention to grainlines and assuring that the greatest amount of stretch pulls widthwise.

Sew up your pants according to the instructions.

If your sweatshirt had a hood with a drawstring, use that for the drawstring on the pants.

I love the way these turned out. He seems to like them too.