I run, I craft, I write, and I make your favorite clothes.

I have written books about sewing for children and adults and I'm the indie designer’s patternmaking secret weapon. I've taught video and in-person classes to anyone who would listen since 2008. I believe that sewing clothes is a radical act of self-love that increases your sense of self-worth. I'm basically your sewing fairy godmother.

another design “by ella”

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She chose the fabric, and I chose a shirred style so I could participate in a shirring sewalong.  Again, we have Anna Maria Horner fabric.  This time Ella chose “Social Climber” in Olive from the Garden Party line and “Cathedral” in Azalea from the Good Folks Line.


The first three pictures were taken at the Plymouth Coffee Bean, where we went for coffee and smoothies while Peter was at therapy (of course we brought him a smoothie, too!)  I really, really want a chair like this.  I guess I’m going to have to start garage/estate sale shopping.

climbing-roses-ellaellaatcoffeeshop climbing-roses-dressPCB1 climbing-roses-dress   climbing-roses-dress_sit  climbing-roses-dress_side

The bottom three photos were taken in the basement.  three of about 300, because the girl will not sit still….I think we were better off outside.  We’ll go back out next time, that’s for sure.

I tried two different techniques for shirring. 

For the sleeves, I used a tiny zigzag over the elastic thread before I close the side seam.  I kept it aligned by threading the elastic underneath my pintuck foot as I went along.  Here’s a photo of the underside:


For the neckline, I wound the bobbin with elastic thread and lengthened my stitch length to 4.  I went around 6 times in a continuous line after I stitched the whole neckline up. Since my iron is broken (ugh) I couldn’t really get that “blast of steam” to shrink it up really tight, but I’m sure a turn through the dryer will fix that.  Here again, is the underside:


I tried something new for the hem.  I used a shiny rayon thread and a very wide and short 3-thread overlock. I’m not sure how it will wash, but I love how it looks like a ribbon.  We’ll see how it washes:

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Leave a Comment

  • teri June 27, 2009, 12:28 pm

    that hem treatment is very, very pretty!

  • Jennifer June 28, 2009, 7:39 pm

    How beautiful! Your work just keeps getting more and more gorgeous (and so does Ella)!

  • karenlepage June 29, 2009, 9:38 pm

    I’m blushing, friends! Thank you so much.

    Jen, I need to hold your babies again soon. I mean SOON.


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