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A Bow Peep Variation

I do love making the Bow Peep dress as per the pattern but every now and then a customers fabric choices mean a variation is called for.


For this dress my friend wanted to use a stripey fabric for the sash.  One of the main features of the Bow Peep dress is the loops at the front that the sash threads through, but for this dress it wasn’t really necessary as the fabric choice gave that effect anyway.
We decided to sew the sash into the side-seams so that it was no longer removable as well.

Steps to make the sash of your Bow Peep dress internal.

To make a dress like this you’ll need to make a couple of small changes to your Bow Peep pattern/tutorial:
1. You won’t need the loops for the front or to cut the front sash panel pieces.
2. Skip step 2, 3, 4
3.  After step 7.  Do step 49-52.
4. Then gather the sashes to match the width of the bottom of the front bodice panel (it’ll be about 1-2″ or 3-5cm wide depending on the size you’re making).
5.  Baste the sashes to the side seam.
6.  Continue with step 8-48
7. Skip step 49-59
8.  Complete step 60 – 63

Picture You can purchase my pattern for the Bow Peep Dress as a single pattern HERE
Purchase Issue 1 which contains this pattern
or visit my website to find out more about my other patterns.

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Mem Rose Pattern Hack

With the Mem Rose Skirt I really wanted to experiment with a different way to do the elastic at the back.  During testing I found that some people loved the way I did it in the pattern but some people preferred to have a regular elastic back on their Mem Rose Skirt.  I decided the solution was to do a Blog article explaining how you can change the back over rather than trying to include both options in the e-zine!

This blog post will give you a quick rundown on the steps you’ll need to change in order to put a regular elastic back on your Mem Rose Skirt.  If you have any questions please get in touch.


Steps to swap your Mem Rose Skirt to a regular elastic back

To change the elastic back you’ll need to make a couple of changes to your Mem Rose Skirt pattern/tutorial.  You can purchase the Mem Rose Skirt Pattern as part of Issue 4 or as a separate PDF.

Follow the tutorial making the following changes.
A. Use 2.5cm (1″) wide elastic.  Cut one length of elastic.  Cut 2x back yoke pieces (one from your main fabric and one from your lining fabric).  The back yoke pieces are rectangles.  You’ll find the measurements for the back yoke and the elastic in the “Additional Pieces to cut out table”.
B. Follow step 1-5 from the e-zine tutorial.
C. Skip step 6 from the e-zine tutorial.
D. Follow step 7-9 from the e-zine tutorial.
E. Repeat step 9 for the back yoke main and back yoke lining.
F. Follow step 10 from the e-zine tutorial.
G.  Skip step 11-15 from the e-zine tutorial.
H.  Follow step 16 and 17 from the e-zine tutorial.  Repeat step 16 and 17 for the back yoke.
I.  Follow step 18 from the e-zine tutorial.
J.  Skip step 19-23.  (Complete step K-Q before referring back to the e-zine tutorial.)
K.  Match the front and back skirt at the side-seams and sew the sideseams.  Overlock (or otherwise finish) the sideseams and iron the sideseams towards the back.
L. Fold the yoke linings back down to the inside.
M. Pin (or sewline glue) the back and front lining in place on the inside.  The yoke lining should just cover the seam allowance when you pin or glue it in place because you folded up the bottom of the yoke linings in step 17.  Leave a gap, unpinned or glued, about 2.5cm (1″) long at each sideseam.
N. Turn your skirt out the right way.  Working from the right side of your skirt topstitch the back and front yoke main, along the bottom, where it meets the skirt.  Make sure to catch the bottom of the yoke linings (which you pinned or glued in place in step M) when you topstitch along the bottom of the yokes.  Leave a gap, unstitched, about 2.5cm (1″) long at each sideseam.
O. Topstitch the tops of the yokes.
P.  Attach a safety pin and thread the elastic through the back casing.  Position your elastic near the top of the back casing.  Sew the ends of the elastic in place – taking care that your elastic is not twisted.  The elastic is just threaded through the back not the front.  The Mem Rose Skirt has a “flat front”.
Q.  Topstitch the gaps you left in the topstitching at the bottom of the yoke at the side seam closed.
R.  Complete step 24 and 25.
S.  Skip step 26 & 27.

Mem Rose Skirt PDF Sewing Pattern Cover You can purchase Jen’s pattern for the Mem Rose Skirt as a single pattern HERE
Purchase Issue 4 which contains this pattern
or visit Jen’s website to find out more about her other patterns.
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Interview with Kate from Pattern Emporium

One of the best bits of working on One Thimble has got to be working with inspirational women like Kate from Pattern Emporium.  Kate has been such a supportive role model to me and I was so so pleased that she agreed to make a pattern for the second Issue of One Thimble.  Today she’s taken the time to answer some of my questions about her design process. 


Kate has a Bachelor of Arts in
Fashion from RMIT and has been working in the fashion industry since 1989. She has extensive experience in all areas of design and pattern making as well as with her own indie labels.  Today Kate designs & sells her sewing patterns under the Pattern Emporium label, making her experience and skills accessible to home sewing enthusiasts.  Kate has patterns for infants, children & women available through her website

What’s the best bit about designing for your own business rather than working for another company as a designer?

My stress levels. Now that I have kids, working for myself with my own timetable, my own workspace, my own routine (or lack of one if I feel like it) & my own deadlines is just so much less stress on so many levels. It means I can be home when the kids get home from school and, let’s face it, teenagers need just as much supervision as our little ones. We feel very blessed that I can work from home.

Do you draw/paint/sketch or design directly on the computer?

I draw, sketch & design wherever & whenever the urge finds me. I have folders on my computer, tablet, phone & bookshelf for each style I have done or am thinking about doing. I have a notebook in each of my handbags just in case an idea hits while I’m out & sitting on my desk you’ll find the backs of envelopes covered in little ideas or new thoughts on how to sew something or explain something in a tutorial. I have an ideas collage board & design book & another book just for notes on each style as I write a tutorial. It sounds all over the place when I write it down but it’s pretty organised…. in a creative kind of way.

What/Who/Where inspires you?

I’m a visual person. Every single thing I see inspires me. Constantly. Anything new is exciting. I love change. I live for change & it inspires me. Love and happiness inspire me. If I’m happy, I’m inspired. After being a designer in Melbourne for many years, and all the stress that goes along with the industry, the job and the city, now that I live by the beach on the southern end of the Gold Coast, I’m actually where everyone goes to be inspired. That, in itself, is inspiring.

What’s your favourite item you’ve designed?
They all have their good points. It’s a job that I simply love to do and consider myself so fortunate to do what I love. When I was an underwear designer, I got to design some gorgeous ranges exclusively for Myer & David Jones. Given free reign like that by our MD was a wonderful experience.

Do your kids come to you with things they want you to make for them – party dresses, casual gear?

No. LOL. My kids are teenagers. They like me to buy them things. They do bring me their mending, which sits by my desk unfinished while I pretend it’s not there. But there have been moments when they have wanted to learn my skills that have blown my mind. A few years ago my 2nd youngest son, then about 12, was home alone for the school holidays and decided he wanted to sew something. I showed him how to straight stitch and he practised that for half an hour then decided to make a little cushion, quickly followed by a tiny teddy bear. The next day he came to me with a picture of a penguin and asked to make that. I helped a little with explaining how to do the pattern. He blew me away with the results. It was an exact replica of the picture he’d shown me.

Visit Kate’s website to find out more about her other patterns.  Kate also has patterns for the Harem pants in infants, child and adult sizes over at her website!
OR Purchase Issue 2 which contains this pattern

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Interview with Toni from Make it Perfect

One of the most exciting things for me about One Thimble Issue 3 was including our first ladies-wear pattern – the Daisy Chain Pattern by Toni from Make it Perfect.  I find it so satisfying and liberating to make clothing for myself and it felt like a massive leap forward to have such a fabulous ladies dress pattern in One Thimble!

Picture Toni Coward has been sewing for over 20 years and started her business, Make It Perfect in 2008.Her aim is to create hip, fresh and funky sewing patterns which are geared towards the new generation of younger sewers and stylish fabrics on the market today.

Toni contributed the Daisy Chain Dress Pattern to Issue 3.  Be sure to visit her website & blog for lots more Make It Perfect goodness!

What, where or who inspires you?
I usually find inspiration when I am not looking for it! And then it comes in waves…because of our technological world I am always inspired by things I see online, but I’m loving Instagram at the moment, and all of the wonderfully creative people I meet there. Things usually have to be quiet and orderly for me to feel inspiration, I don’t work very well in a messy, crazy environment.

What is your favourite haby item?
As much as I detest using it, I would have to say my stitch unpicker! It’s never good when you have to use it but trying to unpick stitches without an unpicker is not fun!

Do you have a  favourite pattern you have created? If so which and why?
Ooh, this one is tricky because I’m always saying that “this” pattern is my favourite!! My favourite women’s pattern at the moment is the Poppy Tunic. It is so comfortable to wear and great for layering. I like it because I feel dressed up without having to think too hard about it! My favourite girl’s patterns are Sprout and Zip-It. And for boys, the Hero Vest and Long Boards – I have 3 boys and these are the two patterns that get used over and over again.

Do you have any tips for balancing family life, building a new home with business?
It always takes a lot of thought, effort and reassessing to achieve a good balance. I have always made a point of making sure that family always comes first. Because of this, most of my Make It Perfect work happens during day time naps and when the kids are in bed at night – resulting in lots of late nights!! My Make It Perfect “work” doesn’t actually feel like work though, so designing, sewing and writing patterns is actually my reward at the end of the day! As soon as Make It Perfect starts to feel like a chore, I set it aside and do something else. I try really hard to keep it fun and enjoyable or else I lose motivation and I don’t don’t I could  write a pattern well without enjoying myself.  I am also lucky to have a supportive husband who works from home so it’s always helpful to have another adult around. It writing, it sounds like it all happens easily, but it really is a juggling act and something that I am continually trying to get my head around every day. As for building the new house – lucky again that my husband is an architect so he does most of the hard/stressful jobs that come with building a house and I just get to focus on the fun design aspects!!

Picture Tell me about “Make it Perfect” the book
I was approached by Penguin Publishing in the beginning of 2009 and offered a book contract. It was something that I hadn’t even thought about doing previously and was really shocked by the phone call (and all I could think about as we were talking was that the stir-fry I was cooking for dinner was going to go soggy!) It was a long process – about 18 months from that first phone call until the book was released for sale, and in that time I gave birth to my third (thankfully super happy) baby and managed to put together 21 patterns for women’s and children’s clothing. It was a busy 18 months, and a lot more involved than I thought it would be but I’m grateful for the opportunity, and hey – I can say I’ve published a book now! The book is starting to become hard to come by because it was released almost 4 years ago, but you can still find it at some craft and book stores and I sell signed copies online here.

Make it Perfect Daisy Chain Ladies Dress Pattern from One Thimble Sewing e-zine Issue 3 You can purchase Toni’s pattern for the Daisy Chain Dress as a single pattern or visit Toni’s website to find out more about her other patterns HERE
or Purchase Issue 3 which contains this pattern
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Teaching your Children to Sew

Today we have a guest Blogger.  Paisley Hansen who you can find here talks about teaching your children to sew!  Issue 4 of One Thimble includes a pattern by Jody from Jody’s Craft Creations which is an excellent project for teaching your kids to sew!

Best Ways to Teach Children to Sew

If sewing happens to be one of your very favorite pastimes, chances are nothing would make you happier than if your children also made a hobby out of sewing. Whether your child is already interested, or you think he or she would be interested, teaching him or her will be easier than you think if you employ these tips.

Buy Some Supplies
Before you start teaching you kids how to sew, you’re going to want to purchase some supplies first. Your focus should be on getting a good pattern book. Ideally, the pattern book should be appropriate for your child’s age, but any pattern book should do as long as the patterns are easy. Choose pattern books that are likely to entice your child. For example, your daughter might love the idea of sewing a slip-on dress.

After you’ve chosen the pattern book, you can purchase thread and fabric. Since your child’s first few creations aren’t likely to be very good, don’t waste your money on expensive material. Instead, opt for the cheap fleece fabric.

Purchase the rest of the required notions, such as elastic, fasteners, and Velcro. Try to go for ribbon ties, snaps, and Velcro instead of buttons and zippers, which tend to be difficult to deal with for beginners. If the pattern your child wants to do calls for plastic, it would be best to buy a little more plastic than required to make room for most likely inevitable mistakes.

The Sewing Machine
Believe it or not, but there is no need to purchase a special sewing machine just for your child. This should be music to your ears, because you won’t have had wasted much money if your child turns out not to like sewing, or he or she grows tired of it in the future.

All you need to do is make the sewing machine accessible to your child. Place the sewing machine on a table that stands low enough that it will allow your child’s feet to reach the pedal. Once your child is comfortably seated in front of the sewing machine, run thorough the basics with him on operating the sewing machine.

The Sewing Process
Some things you want to make sure you explain are that he or she should thread the bobbin with a thread that is the same color as the top threat. Take the time to show your child how to thread needles and the best position for their hands while they’re sewing. Tell them which stitch and tension is best for the job and why.

Have your child cut his or her own material once you’ve explained why the fabric and material have to be bigger than the clothes to allow room to sew. Allow your child to iron the fabric flat, which will make the process of ironing easier for your child.

Finally, show your child how to sew one section, and then let him or her take over once you think he or she has gotten the hang of it. Check your child’s progress every few minutes.

Once your child is finished with their product, go over the mistakes he or she made and tell her how to fix it. Of course, be gentle when discussing these mistakes, especially if your child tends to have a very negative response to criticism. Be very supportive of your child’s mistakes and help him or her learn from it. Don’t forget to highlight the things he or she did well.

As you can see, teaching your children how to sew isn’t even close to as difficult as it may sound. Just keep your child’s age in mind when purchasing patterns and materials, and your child should be well on his or her way to becoming a very successful sewer. While your child most likely won’t be very good at first, don’t let that frustrate you or your child, as he or she will see improvements soon enough.

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