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.

I promised a tutorial

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…and since it has taken me so long, I hope you like it.  I think it’s a good one.  I’ve spent time this week putting the finishing touches on the Beach Bum Hoodie and Board Shorts pattern so Shelly can take over and get the printing done for you to have your own copies. 


This tutorial is actually the basis for instructions for the side seams of the shorts.  This finish is more time-consuming than a standard “overlock and go” construction, but if you have kids who are ultra-sensitive to anything not completely flat inside their clothing (tags, “itchy” threads, pockets flapping or “wrinkly” (Ella calls them “crunchy”) or lumpy side seams, etc.), it’s well worth the effort.  Bonus: they are very durable and attractive.


To get the most out of the slide show tutorial, please view in full screen and select “show info” for instructions.  Should you prefer to view in a traditional flickr-y style, you can catch the full set here.

I welcome your feedback.  If any steps are unclear or if you have a more streamlined way to achieve a similar result, please share!

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Leave a Comment

  • Shelster March 6, 2010, 12:39 am

    I am so blessed to have you as a partner and friend!!

  • Rebecca March 6, 2010, 10:34 am

    Are you still planning to do a tutorial on the “technique for sewing raglan t-shirts with the seams on the outside for a completely smooth interior” like you mentioned in the Feb 23 “Boys are Sensitive” post? I’ve been really looking forward to seeing that! Even a short explanation would be fine…I’ve been making t-shirts lately and would love to try this!

  • Millie March 7, 2010, 4:52 am

    Thanks for this. This does look very durable, like you say, and with the added bonus that you don’t get pockets that bunch up in a ball in the wash. Aside from being great for sensitive kids, of course.
    Maybe I didn’t read it all properly, but I don’t know if you explained whether or how you sew down the side seams after you fold them over each other.

  • karenlepage March 7, 2010, 5:38 pm

    Rebecca, you bet I am! Shelly has me under the thumb for the directions, though, so since I had to get this done first, I thought I’d share. I made a raw-edged raglan for my ella today and photographed along the way, but I failed to use a knit with good recovery (cheap-o baby-rib 1×1 knit), so I had to rip out the neckline and start that part over before I can post the finished product. It’s coming. I’ll also be making an instructable for it with photos.

  • Shelster March 7, 2010, 7:03 pm

    Yes Rebecca I have dibs on Karen right now :)
    I’ll release her to the public after the 15th.

  • karenlepage March 7, 2010, 8:42 pm

    Millie, Thanks for your question.

    The folded side seam is stitched down in step 8c… I have added another photo to try to demonstrate more clearly the direction of the stitching lines. Does that help explain?

  • Rebecca March 7, 2010, 10:35 pm

    Thanks! I have you on my google reader so I’ll be sure to see it when you post it!
    I’m excited to use it, and also can’t wait to get the shorts and hoodie pattern, which I’ve already ordered…
    : )

  • Millie March 8, 2010, 3:11 am

    Sorry Karen, I see it now. The directional arrows are great though. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial and I look foward to the next one. I have so much to learn and it’s great that people with a talent like yours are willing to share with everyone.


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