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Stardust Dress variation

One of my favourite things is seeing the multitude of ways that people can take the same pattern and put their own spin on it!  I feel so inspired by the creativity of those who sew, experiment and put a little bit of themselves into everything they make!

Bug & Miss Stardust Pattern Hack One Thimble Issue 3

Bug and Miss Pattern Hack Stardust One Thimble Issue 3 Wee Wander Sarah Jane fabric

This is Brooke from Bug & Miss‘s take on the Stardust dress (pattern by Laura from Ellie Inspired in Issue 3).  She has shortened the length, omitted the sash and used less fabric for the skirt.

I would never have thought of doing this to the Stardust dress but I think this makes it into a really quirky, fun tunic!


This is Cathy from Missy Bug Boutique’s Stardust dress.  She did lace sleeves on her version, which gives this dress such a heirloom look!



Katy from My China Doll did a lace overlay on the skirt of her Stardust dress.  Every time I look at this dress I think what a gorgeous Flower girl dress it would make.

Have you put your own spin on a One Thimble pattern?  If so be sure to show me – it makes me feel so happy seeing these patterns used & adapted to be what you want them to be!

The Stardust Single PDF pattern can be purchased HERE in regular or slim fit.
It is also included in Issue 3 of One Thimble Sewing PDF e-zine, which can be purchased from HERE.

To see more of Laura’s patterns check out

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Interview with Laura from Ellie Inspired

When I first met Mr Fox he was working as an international tour guide for an American company.  I really enjoyed meeting his travellers and found it fascinating discovering the ways we were similar as well as the ways we were different.  I was excited and nervous in equal measures to have Laura on board for Issue 3 and expected it to be a similar learning experience.  Turns out I was wrong.  Working with Laura was a delight from beginning to end.  Sewing really is an international language!


Laura Johnson is the owner/designer behind Ellie Inspired sewing patterns.  She started Ellie Inspired in the beginning of 2010 with a vision to create classic clothing sewing patterns.  They are designed for children who love to giggle with their friends, dress up for tea parties, and also climb trees and soak up the sun.  The style is classic and timeless.  The patterns will allow you to create fashionable clothing while celebrating the innocence and joy of childhood.

Laura resides in Illinois, USA with her husband and four children.  She has created over 150 patterns and has a passion for teaching others to create a legacy for future generations.  She has completed many self-courses in pattern drafting and design and is currently finishing her degree in Fashion Merchandising.  Her patterns are available world-wide.  More information available at

Who/what/where inspires you?
Classic clothing is what I love!  I probably am most influenced by styles from the 1940’s and 1950’s.  In America, this was when some of our biggest style icons emerged like Chanel, Christian Dior, and Anne Klein with their classic, elegant lines.  I grew up watching movies from that era and just adore their style.

Do you have a  favourite pattern? If so which and why?
My FAVORITE pattern of ones that I have created is Nantucket Girl.

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The front can be smocked or shirred.  I just love the collar on this one!!

Do you have a favourite sewing notion or gadget that you couldn’t live without?
My most loved sewing notion are my Wonderclips!!  I never use pins anymore.  My husband wishes I had discovered these amazing things many years ago.  I tried to be careful when I was sewing but he usually stepped on the pin I missed shortly after getting home from work!

Do you have any tips for juggling motherhood, business and study?
Oh man – tips for juggling business, motherhood, and schooling.  I’m still trying to figure that out I think!  I don’t sleep much but you can quickly become burned out and sick when you push yourself too hard.  In order to get everything done, I live by my lists and calendars!  I took a typical week and added in all my kids’ activities.  Then, I added in any community and church obligations.  Then, since I’m finishing up my degree, I added in what nights I need to devote to which subjects so I wasn’t spending the weekend cramming.  This was the first year that all four of my kids were in school all day so that helped a great deal too.  I try to devote one day a week to sewing, two – three days to writing/drafting, one to marketing and paperwork, and one to photoshoots or research.  But, since I LOVE everything I do, duties can easily spill into other days.  It’s hard finding a balance.  The thing I neglect…is me.  Working out, eating right…those kinds of things and I’m trying to figure out how to schedule that in as well.  My kids and husband also help out a lot around the house too which I’m so thankful for!

Tell me how you got into smocking.

I got into smocking shortly after Ellie was born.  I had three boys and then was surprised to find out I was pregnant again.  Most people thought I would be thrilled when I found out it was a girl – but I was actually panicked!  I had NOTHING for a girl!  So, I started sewing up a storm!  A friend of mine introduced me to an online sewing forum and it was a fun place to share pictures of projects.  From there, some woman saw something in me and asked me to be part of a private group with some of the most amazing seamstresses I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting.  I met ladies who designed clothing for heirloom sewing magazines, owned heirloom shops, and sewed for royalty.  I was amazed at the level of quality I didn’t even know was possible.  They took me under their wing and taught me how to smock and construct clothing with such attention to detail and professional finishes.  I am so thankful for those few years of studying their techniques and getting to know them.  It set me on a quest of my own studying and learning.


You can purchase Laura’s pattern for the Stardust Dress as a single pattern for regular fit HERE
or for slim fit HERE
Purchase Issue 3 which contains this pattern
or visit Laura’s website to find out more about her other patterns.

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Using a Rolled Hem Foot

Rolled Hem Foot featured in One Thimble Sewing E-zine

The Rolled Hem Foot was the foot featured in the Footloose article in the first Issue of One Thimble Sewing e-zine.

I’m revisiting this foot as I’ve finally gotten around to doing a video tute of using this foot.  Apologies for my croaky flu voice.

I’ve included the written tute excerpt from the e-zine below the video for those who find written tutes easier than video tutes to follow.

The rolled hem foot is definitely one of my favourite feet for my sewing machine.  Rolled hems are a really nice way to finish the edges of frills.  Alternatives to using a rolled hem foot on your sewing machine are doing a rolled hem by hand or using the rolled hem settings on your overlocker.
The main difficulties people have with using a rolled hem foot is getting the fabric onto the foot.  Sometimes the thickness of the fabric can be an issue to.  I have two different widths of rolled hem foot one for fine fabrics and one for thicker fabrics.  I have used a rolled hem foot to do rolled hems on corduroy and denim but I find thicker fabrics have a tendency to come undone.

Tutorial excerpt from Issue 1 – One Thimble Sewing E-zine


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sizing for success

Picture Consistency with sizing is really important for your handmade brand.  You want customers to be confident when they buy from you, that the size they’re purchasing will fit.  Including finished garment measurements in your listings is one way to help customers out, but trying to ensure consistency across your range is also important.  This can be difficult to do when the patterns you’re using are made by different brands working off different measurement charts, BUT just because you make a size 2 from a particular pattern doesn’t mean you have to sell it as a size 2.

I still remember how sick I felt the first time I received an email from a customer telling me a dress I had sold her was way too big.  It hadn’t occurred to me before then, that re-interpreting the fabric and styling of a pattern would change the fit people would be expecting.  I had been making a dress, that was intended by the pattern designer to be layered and made from winterish fabrics, from light cottons and styling it as a summer dress instead.  After that I realized I couldn’t always label items with the size the pattern had on it and I started comparing finished garment measurements to “my standard” and labeling accordingly.  The trick can come about if a popular pattern you’re selling items made from, has different sizing to your standard.  In this situation I’d consider putting both sizings in your listings, if you have customers who might be more familiar with the pattern sizing, than your sizing.

Unfortunately, there is no one standard measurement table that all designers follow, however within a particular brand the sizing should be consistent.  You might be a size 8 in one shop and a size 12 in another shop, but you would hope you’d be the same size within the one shop.  This is not always the case however, as another important factor that can effect sizing is fit and ease.  I have some tops that are labelled as size small from a shop where I’m generally a size large and at first I was mystified as to how they could ever be considered small and assumed it was a labeling error until I realised that the designer and brand and current fashion trends intended them to be loose fit, whereas I prefer to wear them as tighter fitting tops.

In simple terms ease is how much roomier the outfit is than the body that goes into it – it is influenced by comfort and style.  So you would expect a caftan would have more “ease” than a cocktail gown.  If you tried on a caftan which was as tight as a cocktail gown you’d probably go up a size or three!  Certain outfits require more ease so that you’re able to comfortably wear them.  Outfits with sleeves, certain openings, for wear by people of different ages or gender or made from different fabrics or many other circumstances will require different amounts of ease or fullness.  Sometimes ease can also be influenced by personal preference and fashion trends.  You might like to wear your dresses looser and more flowy than someone else (or the current fashion) and so you might choose a different size to wear than another person with the same body measurements as you.  A good way to gauge the ease a pattern designer has included in a pattern is to compare finished outfit measurements to the body measurements of a size or to look at a PR picture for that item.  If you look at pictures I use for PR for the Bow Peep dress you will see that it’s a fitted dress on slim/average sized girls, if you’re wanting it to be a looser fitting dress you would be advised to make a bigger size for models of the same size.
Picture One Thimble does not have staff designers, so one of the early decisions I made was to encourage contributing designers to stick to the same layout and sizing that they usually use, when submitting patterns to One Thimble.  The only thing I ask them to change is to condense their tutorials to fit the e-zine layout.  The reasoning behind this decision was I want readers to be able to “try out” designers when they buy One Thimble.  If you discover a new favourite designer through One Thimble you can then “follow” them back to their store to find more of their work without worrying that their other work might be very different to what they’ve contributed to One Thimble.  I see this as one of the strengths of One Thimble, that in each issue you’ll discover the work of different designers and get to experience what their brands are about.

Here are a few examples from issue 3 where you might choose to adjust sizing for brand consistency.  With the Stardust pattern, Laura from Ellie Inspired, provides two versions of the pattern.  The slim fit version is closer to the sizing I generally use for my party dresses and the regular fit version is her standard sizing.  If you generally use similar sizing to my Ainslee Fox patterns you’d probably follow the slim fit sizing, if you find there’s not enough ease for your brand and styling in my usual party dresses, you’d probably choose to follow Laura’s regular fit sizing.  For the BT Tunic I designed it to be a looser fitting style tunic and added more ease to it than I have in my party dresses, but if you’re looking for a slimmer fit tunic or choosing to style it without a skivvy underneath, you might decide to mix a smaller bodice with the usual body panels or change the sizing completely so my size 3 will become your size 4 etc.

The key is to make the patterns work for your brand even if that means changing the sizing to be consistent across your brand.  One Thimble aims to give you a “library”of patterns to use and adapt for your handmade business.  Don’t feel constrained by our styling, sizing or fit – One Thimble is here to help your sewing soar no matter what stage you’re at!

You might also be interested in this earlier blog on blending sizes

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Contributor call-out for issue 4!


The last few days have zoomed by in a whirlwind of excitement.  Issue 3 was released on Friday and has been our most successful release to date!  Seeing creations made with Issue 3 patterns already popping up has been extremely exciting and we’re looking forward to seeing many more over the next few months.

Crazy as it might sound planning for Issue 4 & 5 has already started!  We want each issue of One Thimble to introduce our readers to pattern designers & article writers they might not have come across before, which means ………….. we need you!

* Are you a pattern designer with an established business looking for new marketing opportunities?
* Are you a new pattern designer looking to introduce your work to the pattern loving public?
* Are you a sewing enthusiast with a desire to share your knowledge and passion with the world?
* Are you a sewing or handmade business blogger who’d like to connect with new readers?

YES! –  Then we’d love to have you be part of One Thimble Issue 4!

One Thimble aims to inspire enthusiastic home sewists whether they’re sewing purely for pleasure or to make money.  One Thimble aspires to be the “go to” resource for todays sewing enthusiast, a resource that will help them discover new and new to them pattern designers, bloggers, teachers and business owners.

For more information on contributing to One Thimble see the contribute tab on our website or email

I look forward to working with you to make Issue 4 our best Issue yet!


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