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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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Sewing 101 – Hack your way to better projects

Today we have a guest Blogger.  Paisley Hansen who you can find here talks about some tricks to improve your sewing!

Sewing 101: Hack Your Way to Better Projects

Sewing, like any skill, requires practice to master. Although you may not be able to jump in and create fashions ready for the runway on your first day, there are some tricks that can make even your novice projects something to be proud of.

Choosing Fabric
Cotton and fleece fabrics are some of the easiest to work with. Cotton comes in light-, medium- and heavy-weights so you can use it for everything from a light summer dress to a simple quilt. Fleece doesn’t unravel and works well for blankets, jackets, scarves and anything else requiring a heavy but soft fabric.

  • Pull a few feet of fabric off the bolt and feel the texture and check the drape to ensure it will work well for the project you have in mind.
  • When buying fleece by the yard, verify that the color reaches all the way to the selvage and the dye is consistent throughout the yardage.
  • Beware pattern fabric if you are piecing together a more complicated item. It can be difficult to match up pattern lines when you are first starting out. Instead, choose a solid color or a non-repetitive pattern, such as flowers, and skip the fancy chevrons and stripes for now.

Getting Started Tips and Tricks

You have your fabric but you aren’t quite ready to sew, yet. The fabric and your machine need a little TLC so they both perform smoothly. Taking the time to prepare both helps you avoid some of the common frustrations that plague the novice.

  •  Getting the thread on the needle sometimes poses the greatest challenge to any sewing project. If you don’t have a nifty needle threader available, try spritzing the end of the thread with hairspray. It stiffens the thread so it’s easier to stab it through the tiny needle hole.
  • Pins are a vital part of any sewing project because they keep your fabric in place until it passes through the machine. Insert the pins perpendicular to the fabric edge instead of placing them parallel. Your sewing machine needle easily passes over them instead of hitting and bending the pin, or worse, breaking the needle.
  • Prepare your fabric ahead of time! Most new nonsynthetic fabrics require washing and preshrinking, otherwise your project will come out of it’s first wash smaller and misshapen. Run a simple basting stitch around the edges so it doesn’t unravel first. After washing, iron it well so wrinkles don’t mess with your measurements.

Notions, Trims and Extras
A bit of bias tape that provides a clean edge without a hem, or some decorative stitching to add pizazz can make your beginner projects look like the work of a seasoned pro. A few tips can help you pull off these maneuvers without ruining your project.

  • Unfold your bias tape and line it up so the edge of the fabric is even with the center fold of the tape. Sew the tape in place and then fold it over the edge before topstitching it completely in place. Any uneven stitches end up on the back side of the project, and your clean stitches are on the front.
  • Button holes can frustrate the beginner, and it doesn’t help that each machine performs this task differently. Read the directions and practice on scrap fabric before making the real thing. If buttonholes still seam out of your league for now, use a hook-and-loop tape closure and sew decorative buttons on by hand.
  • Don’t forget interfacing. This thin material goes on the inside of the fabric to give it some weight. A bit of interfacing can keep your buttons from sagging on a thin cotton fabric, or help stabilize a bit of embroidery or applique.
  • Avoid going overboard with the decorative stitches. Once again, practice all the stitches on your machine on scrap fabric first. Each stitch may require a tension adjustment before it looks correct, so practice on the same weight and type of fabric so you can verify the tension is right.


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Bowtrim Variation

I always find it interesting how ideas develop over time.  The Bow Trim Dress and BT Tunic as they appeared in Issue 3 are completely different to the ideas I started with!  I’ve got to admit I do tend to get a little frantic when things “aren’t working” but when an idea comes together – well that’s got to be one of the greatest feelings ever!

Picture Picture
Picture Picture

I love that you guys take the One Thimble patterns in new directions too.  I find it so inspiring to see how with the same pattern you can get totally different looks!



It’s brilliant to see people take the Bow Trim and use it elsewhere too!  Melynda from Melynda Made used the Bow Trim to decorate her Posey Dress (pattern from Issue 2) and Suzie from Applegail used it to decorate a shirt!


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 Bow Trim Single PDF pattern & the BT Tunic Single PDF pattern can be purchased HERE.
They are also included in Issue 3 of One Thimble Sewing PDF e-zine, which can be purchased from HERE.

To see more of my patterns check out

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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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Picture This photo is of my little Kt . . . well of my little Kt a couple of years ago.  I can’t believe how much she’s grown up since it was taken.  It is so much fun watching her grow, learn, discover and become her own person.  As every parent knows parenthood isn’t all roses, but boy oh boy do I love it.  BK (before Kt) seems like a lifetime ago.  I was a different person back then – for one thing I hadn’t discovered the joy of sewing and I hadn’t learned

“What the mind can conceive and
it can achieve.”
-Napoleon Hill

Surviving parenthood (though its touch and go some days!), has given me the confidence to realise that I really can achieve amazing things if I set my mind to them.  Even if today’s amazing thing is simply surviving the school pick up!

My dream for Kt is that she will grow up feeling strong and confident and happy with who she is.  That she will believe she can achieve anything if she sets her mind to it and is prepared to work hard for her dreams.   Kt’s been needing some help with her confidence as she negotiates the bumpy road that school can be & it makes my chest feel tight seeing her struggle.  It’s so tricky being a parent and trying to prepare your kids for the big wide world and then letting go enough, to let them venture out into it!

Confidence is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. 

I want One Thimble to help people feel more confident with their sewing.  When I choose patterns and articles for One Thimble I think about whether they’ll inspire confidence in readers.  If you are confident, you can achieve amazing things, things you never believed possible.  With confidence you can chase your dreams and
“Live the life you imagine.”
– Henry David Thoreau

As you have probably figured out, I am a HUGE FAN of quotes.  I love it when I read something and it clicks in my head and clarifies the way I’ve been feeling but haven’t had the right words to express.
If you have some favourite quotes about confidence be sure to let me know – I’d love to add them to my growing list!   I really believe that confidence is the key to living a happy life.

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