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Elastic Keyhole Closure

I’m Ajaire from Designs by Call Ajaire (DbCA) and I have two things to share with you One Thimble fans this week.  The first is a favorite of mine!  Today, let me show you how to make the optional Elastic Keyhole Closure from my Crossover Flounce Dress available in Issue 11.

My girl is forever getting her hair caught in the button on the back of her dresses.  I love a good button, but right there at the back neckline her hair always gets caught.  Thus I came up with this buttonless keyhole closure.  All you need is a little bit of 1/4″ (6mm) elastic and you can use this technique on pretty much any keyhole-type closure in lieu of a button and loop.

To begin, cut a small keyhole opening at the main and lining center back pieces.  Be sure to think about seam allowance if you’re making your own keyhole.  Fortunately, the Crossover Flounce Dress has this pattern piece included so you don’t have to make one yourself.

Stitch the shoulder seams of the main and the shoulder seams of the lining and press well according to the pattern.

Place the main neckline over the lining neckline with right sides together and pin all the way around the keyhole.

Stitch all the way around the main neckline.  Skip 3/8″ (1cm) down the keyhole, start stitching from the edge until you reach the end of the 3/8″ (1cm) seam allowance, pivot the stitching 90 degrees, and continue stitching around the keyhole, stopping 3/8″ (1cm) from the neckline stitches on the other side, pivoting the stitches to run through the seam allowance at 90 degrees.  This step is creating a channel through which the elastic will run.

Trim the seam allowance except for the 3/8″ (1cm) area around the channel, clipping to the stitching at the 90 degree corners of the keyhole.

Turn the necklines so they are wrong sides together and press well.  Take care not to push the channel out of the openings on either side of the keyhole, but do use a point turner or similar tool to help point the shape of the keyhole.

In the above pic you can see that there is an opening which will fit this flat turning tool.

Take your piece of coordinating 1/4″ (6mm) elastic and attach a safety pin to one end.

Insert the safety pin through one side of the neckline channel.

Pin the elastic in place once the safety pin is pulled through enough to clear the pin.

Once the elastic is pinned you can reach between the layers to remove the safety pin.

Then attach the safety pin to the other end of the elastic.

Run the safety pin through the channel on the other side of the neckline and pull through, leaving as much give on the elastic as necessary to comfortably get the child’s head through.  Pin the elastic in place and remove the safety pin from between the layers.

Topstitch around the keyhole using 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance and backstitching over the elastic.  Be sure to use coordinating thread for the bobbin if you are making the Crossover Flounce Dress so it can still be reversible.

And now your neckline is complete and you can stretch the opening to fit over the head with ease!  I hope you enjoy this new neckline closure option as much as we do!

Ajaire Parello
Call Ajaire

Cross Over Flounce Dress Stand Alone Cover

Don’t forget to check out the interview with Ajaire from Monday HERE.

You can purchase Ajaire’s pattern for Crossover Flounce Dress as a single PDF HERE or visit her website to see more of her work HERE or purchase Issue 11 which contains this pattern HERE.

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Interview with Ajaire from Designs by Call Ajaire

Ajaire - Designs by Call Ajaire Ajaire has been an avid sewist and crafter for over 25 years. When her daughter was born in 2011 she found an outlet for all her creative ideas and the focus of Call Ajaire shifted to sewing and fashion inspiration for young girls. Though most known for Call Ajaire’s Monthly MashUp series, in 2015 she finally launched her children’s clothing patterns under Designs by Call Ajaire (DbCA). Ajaire has contributed the Crossover flounce dress to Issue 11.

Tell me a little about your business and how you got into designing/sewing.

I’ve always loved making.  I started cross stitching at an early age and hand sewing quickly came next.  I taught myself how to use my mother’s sewing machine in my teens and I never turned back.  In college I learned to knit and crochet, but there’s something about sewing that keeps calling to me.  When my daughter was born I was filled with inspiration which prompted my foray into design.  I spent her early baby years (she just turned five) learning everything I could about fashion design and pattern development.  My blog Call Ajaire has been around since the beginning, but I finally released my first pattern with Designs by Call Ajaire (DbCA) a year ago.  Being a stay at home mother to my girl there isn’t an abundance of time for design so things have trudged along slowly with my first few patterns.  With her going to kindergarten in September I’ll be able to concentrate on DbCA and look forward to seeing the direction it takes.

What/where/who inspires you?

Call Ajaire's Bean

As I mentioned above, my girl is my biggest inspiration.  I make all of her clothes, even down to the boring bits like underwear and socks, and somedays is feels like a blank slate just waiting to be filled in.  Now that she’s getting a little older, it’s so cool to have her feedback and see parts of her style come together in the things I make for her.  I look ahead to what’s available to tweens and teens in the stores these days and I’m thankful to be able to sew for her.  She’ll be able to have modest pieces that are in style, yet age appropriate.  I can see myself concentrating on the pre-teen scene these next few years.

What’s something people might not know about you?

How to pronounce Ajaire, haha.  You can check out this somewhat old (painful for me to watch!) video in which I pronounce my name in the first few seconds.

What’s your best tip for people getting started with sewing?

Be kind to yourself.  Sewing is a skill that can be honed just like anything else.  You can produce something beautiful the first time, but if you don’t make sure you keep trying.  If you picked up the guitar and couldn’t play it perfectly the first time would you be surprised?  Everything takes practice in order to improve.  People often say that they can’t sew or that they wish they could sew as quickly or well as I do when they see my girl’s clothes.  But sewing is something I do almost every single morning.  Imagine what you could do if you practiced something at least an hour each day.

What’s your favorite pattern/thing you have sewn? What are you working on now?

Call Ajaire Make Your Own Fabric main

My favorite thing is probably this dress I made with fabric I created myself for Project Run & Play season 9.  Look out for an article in OT Issue 12 on how to create fabric like this with scraps.

DbCA Classic Maillot sneak peek

Right now I’m working on a swimsuit pattern which should be available the first week of July.  I love swimsuit sewing and can’t wait to for you guys to get your hands on it.  Join the Designs by Call Ajaire facebook group  for more sneak peeks and info when it’s release.

Cross Over Flounce Dress Stand Alone Cover You can purchase Ajaire’s pattern for Crossover Flounce Dress as a single PDF HERE or visit her website to see more of her work HERE or purchase Issue 11 which contains this pattern HERE.

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Crafty Mamas Fabrics and One Thimble – Design an outfit competition

I’m so excited to have joined with Crafty Mamas Fabric for a super fun design competition.  Get your thinking caps on and your creative juices flowing for your chance to win one of three prizes from Crafty Mamas Fabrics and One Thimble.

To enter all you need to do is show, or tell us, your dream outfit using a One Thimble pattern and a Crafty Mamas Fabrics fabric.

One Thimble and Crafty Mamas Design Competition Flyer-01

The Prizes:

First Prize:
$100 Happy Happy Joy Joy fabric pack from Crafty Mamas Fabrics AND a 12 month subscription to One Thimble.

Second Prize:
$100 Happy Happy Joy Joy fabric pack from Crafty Mamas Fabrics.

Third Prize:
6 month subscription to One Thimble.

The Fine Print:

  1. Entry only open to Australian residents.
  2. Your entry must include a pattern from any issue of One Thimble and a fabric stocked by Crafty Mamas Fabrics.
  3. You can choose to “show” (eg draw / collage / be creative) or “tell” (eg write a story / poem / describe) us which pattern (from One Thimble) and which fabric (from Crafty Mamas Fabrics) you’d use in your dream outfit.
  4. Your entry must be your own original work.
  5. You may enter as many times as you like.
  6. Email your entry (Attach a photograph or include text in the email body) to by 8am QLD time 24th June 2016.
  7. Entries will be displayed in an album on the One Thimble facebook page.  They may also be shared on other social media platforms by One Thimble and Crafty Mamas Fabrics.  By entering you give permission for your entry to be shared.
  8. The winner will be chosen by a judging panel.  The most creative entry as chosen by the judging panel will win.  The judging panel’s decision is final.  Chance plays no part in this competition.
  9. The winners will be advised by email by 27th June 2016.


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How to add ribbing to your Marty Hoodie

Here in North Queensland we don’t really get a winter.  I’ve heard our seasons described as hot and damn hot.  I am not a fan of cold weather so this works out perfect for me, but it does mean that sometimes I end up designing winter wear that’s not super practical in colder areas.

The Marty Hoodie is the perfect weight for winter weather here in Cairns, but if you’re from further south (or further North in you’re in the Northern Hemisphere) you might be wishing that the cuffs and hem were ribbed to help keep the cold weather out.

Today’s blog post will show you how to add ribbing to the cuffs and hem of your Marty Hoodie.

Adding ribbing cuffs and hem to your marty hoodie

With special thanks to Lina from Frokenhandig for letting me use images of her hoodie in this post.

How to add ribbing to your Marty Hoodie.

Step 1 – Adjust the pattern pieces

First up you’re going to need to adjust your sleeve, front and back pattern pieces to allow for the ribbing.  You’ll need to take some length off these pieces to account for the ribbing length.  To figure out how much to take off you should first decide how long you’re going to make your ribbing.  I used the ribbing measurements from the Bonfire Jacket as my starting point.

  • For size 1-2 I would like my ribbing to be 4cm (1 5/8″) long.
  • For size 3-5 I would like my ribbing to be 5cm (2″) long
  • For size 6-8 I would like my ribbing to be 6cm ( 2 3/8″) long
  • For size 9-12 I would like my ribbing to be 7cm ( 2 3/4″) long

I will therefore take this amount + 0.6cm (1/4) for seam allowance off the bottom of my sleeve pattern pieces, and from my back and front pieces.  If you’d like the ribbing on your cuffs and your hem to be different lengths that is fine, you’ll just need to work out what amount to take off the cuffs and off the front/back pieces.  The Marty sleeves are quite long so you might choose to take more or less off depending on the look you’re looking for.  example for size 8 I will take 6.6cm off the length of my arm pieces

Step 2 – Work out how much ribbing to use.

The ribbing is folded in half when attached to the hoodie and you need to include a seam allowance on each side of the ribbing.  Therefore using the example above for a size 8 I will cut my ribbing 13.2cm (5 1/8″) long.  This will give me a 6cm (2 3/8″) ribbing cuff/hem when attached.

Figuring out the ribbing width is going to take a bit of fiddling to get right.  Depending on the stretchiness of your ribbing and the stretchiness of your main fabric you might need to cut your ribbing longer or shorter than me.  As a general rule you want your ribbing to be about 3/4 to 2/3 of the length of the hem you’re sewing it to.  Measure your pattern piece hem, take out the seam allowance and go from there.

Step 3 – Attach your ribbing to your hoodie

Sew the short ends of the ribbing together to make a circle.

Fold your ribbing in half widthwise, right sides together and sew the sides together so that you have a ribbing circle.

Fold the raw edges together

Fold in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, matching raw edges, with the overlocking on the inside.

Quarter your cuff and hem

Pin in quarters your ribbing and the hem.

Place the ribbing on the outside of the hoodie with raw edges aligned

Match the raw edges with the ribbing on the outside.

Sew the ribbing to the hoodie

Sew together, right sides together with the ribbing on top, stretching the ribbing so that the quarter marks match. If you find this tricky or are worried about pins near your overlocker, baste on your sewing machine first.

Fold the ribbing downwards.  Press the seam upwards.

Optionally you can topstitch the seam in place with your stitches on the hoodie using a twin needle.

Step 4 – Repeat 

Repeat step 3 for the second cuff and the hem.

Your hoodie with ribbing is complete!

If you add ribbing to your Marty Hoodie I’d love to see!  Come show me in the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts group on Facebook or tag me on Instagram or comment below.  I love to see what you create!


Marty Hoody Stand Alone Cover .You can purchase the pattern for The Marty Hoodie as a single PDF HERE or purchase Issue 11 which contains this pattern HERE.


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Make a Marty Hoodie dress with kanga panel pocket

The Marty Hoodie pattern comes with a fun kanga panel pocket.  But when I drafted it, I made the pattern piece for the kanga panel pocket to just fit the tunic version not the hoodie dress.  Since release we’ve had quite a few people asking how to add a kanga pocket panel option to the dress length.

So today I’m going to show you how to alter the kanga pocket panel pattern piece so you can make your Marty Hoodie dress with a kanga panel pocket.

Adding a kanga pocket panel to your marty hoodie dress

How to adjust the pieces for your Marty Hoodie Dress  Kanga Pocket. . .

Original Pattern pieces for kanga pocket hack

Begin with your front piece and your kanga pocket panel piece.

Work out how much longer the dress length is than the tunic length

Step 1: Measure the difference between the tunic and dress lengths.

Lengthen the kanga panel pocket piece

Step 2: Add the length you calculated in step 1 to the bottom of the kanga pocket panel piece and draw your new pattern piece.

Final Pattern pieces for kanga pocket hack

Step 3: Your new kanga pocket panel pattern piece is now complete.  Remember to use the Marty Hoodie Kanga Top Front Panel Tunic piece (unaltered) instead of the Marty Hoodie Front Piece.

From here on it’s simply a matter of following the pattern instructions for making a tunic with kanga pocket panel option.  Don’t forget to lay your front and back panels beside each other after you’ve attached the kanga pocket to ensure they’re the same length before going on.

Marty Hoodie tunic and dress with Kanga panel pockets sewn by Number 92

These terrific versions of the Marty Hoodie were sewn by Danielle from Number 92.

Marty Hoodies sewn by Number 92

If you sew a Marty Hoodie Dress with a kanga pocket I’d love to see!  Come show me in the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts group on Facebook or tag me on Instagram or comment below.  I love to see what you create!


Marty Hoody Stand Alone Cover You can purchase the pattern for The Marty Hoodie as a single PDF HERE or purchase Issue 11 which contains this pattern HERE.

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