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Episode 116

How to Do More With Your Favorite Patterns

In this episode, Sarai and Haley share tips for making the most of your favorite sewing patterns, with pattern hacks, extra notions to add flair, and fun ways to transform your tried and true patterns into the dynamic wardrobe of your dreams.

Podcast Transcript

Sarai
I’m Sarai.

Haley
And I’m Haley.

Sarai

And this is Seamwork Radio.

Hello, and welcome back to Seamwork Radio, where we share practical ideas for building a creative process so you can sew with intention and joy.

And today we’re talking about how to get the most from your favorite sewing patterns. So we’re going to cover some creative ideas for reimagining your tried and true patterns so that you can have more sewing wins in your life.

Alright, so we’re going to start with our ice breaker for today, and this one comes from Kathy, and Kathy says, “describe your typical sewing session. When, where, how long, soundtrack, snack, drinks, beginning or ending rituals or anything else—or alternatively, describe your dream sewing session.” Well, that’s a great question, Kathy.

What about you, Haley? Do you have any rituals or what’s your sewing session like? Typically?

Haley
Okay. I actually had a pretty good sewing session last night, and I think it kind of encapsulates my typical, and that is I sneak upstairs after dinner to get away from my toddler and let my husband deal with the dishes. I cook. He does the dishes, and I like to put on like, a YouTube show or something to drown out any distracting things going on in my household. So I put on some YouTube that I can kind of like, halfmindedly watch and then I just sew. I’m really lately into short sewing sessions, like, nothing over 2 hours because I feel like it’s just enough time for me to feel like I’ve accomplished something, but also not so much time that I’m like I should be doing other things. I just spent so much time sewing, and I have a million other things on my to do list. There’s a point where kind of too much sewing time, it probably shouldn’t make me feel this way, but it starts to make me feel a little bit anxious.

So, yeah, to wrap everything up, I always like to do like, a little ten minute clean of my sewing space, so usually it ends in Charley coming upstairs and telling me that it’s bath time and I need to stop sewing now.

And then I clean-up while she kind of like, parades around and plays with stuff ribbon or whatever I happen to be have lying around, you know?

Sarai
Yes, I think 2 hours is just the optimal amount of time to have a sewing session. I’ve been getting into this idea of scheduling a couple hours every week as like, my creative time where I can do whatever I want with it, whether that’s sewing or writing or drawing, whatever it is. And I feel like 2 hours is just the perfect amount of time because it’s enough time to get things done, but it’s not so much time that you can’t spare it on a weekend, necessarily, and sometimes you can’t, but I often can. So I really love that idea for me, I think.

I’m trying to think of rituals that I always have when I’m sewing. So I usually try to split up my sewing and my cutting. I try not to do those on the same day. What I really like to do is cut out a couple patterns at a time and sew one at a time after that so that I always have things cut out and ready to go. And that helps to eliminate the block of getting everything out, getting out the cutting mat, getting out all the stuff at once.

So that’s one of my I don’t know if you call that a ritual, but that’s one thing. And I think that sort of delineates the two sessions because they’re a little bit different, of whether I’m cutting or whether I’m sewing. Sewing requires a little bit more concentration, I think. But for a soundtrack, I often listen to podcasts. I usually listen to podcasts when I sew. Sometimes I will listen to music, but mostly I listen to podcasts. And I like all kinds of podcasts, but I especially like storytelling type podcasts. When I’m sewing something that’s more of a long-form story over a season, I really enjoy that. It keeps me going. I don’t usually have snacks with me. I usually have some tea, though. I like to have tea around when I sew.

The only other ritual, I don’t know when you’re talking about Charley, it just reminded me, is dealing with the cats, because they go insane when I sew. When I cut, I usually just take all the little scraps of paper after cutting and I just throw them on the floor and then I pick them up afterwards and they go nuts. They love that.

They just go crazy. They love the crinkling. So there’s usually like a big fight at some point between the two of them and then a fight between me and them trying to get them out, and then they come back in. And there’s a lot of cat drama when I’m sewing. I had an incident where Rusty jumped on my ironing board and surfed it down and knocked it into a picture frame and broke the picture frame.

Haley
Oh, jeez.

Sarai
I try to keep them out when I have things that can cause problems like that. But when I’m cutting, they’re usually going insane. So that’s my ritual. Total chaos. Thank you for asking.

Haley
A good a ritual as any.

Sarai
Yeah, we all deal with some chaos in our lives, and I think having your creative time and carving that out in spite of all that chaos is kind of the name of the game, what we’re trying to do.

So thanks for asking about that, Kathy. That was a great icebreaker. And if you have one for us for a future episode, if you’re a Seamwork member, you can go to Seamwork.com/go/icebreakers and leave it there for us. And we’ll probably use it on a future episode. So thanks again, Kathy.

Alright, and today what we’re talking about is how to do more with your favorite patterns. So when you find a pattern that works well for you, it fits you well, or maybe you’ve just spent time getting it to fit you well. You want to get the most from it. You want to make sure that all the time you’ve already invested is time well spent. And you can use this pattern over and over again, but at the same time you don’t want to have what Haley called a Flintstones wardrobe. Do you want to explain what that means, Haley?

Haley
Yeah, I guess you can insert any like, cartoon character name here, but you know, they’re always wearing the exact same thing. I can’t take full credit for this. I think it was my friend Rebecca who used to say this and I just like, it tickled me. I thought it was so hilarious and true because at the time I was very obsessed with making a particular pattern. She’s like, careful, you don’t want to have one of those Flintstones wardrobe.

Sarai
I don’t know if I would mind that. I think it would be kind of liberating to wear the same thing every single day, right? But most of us, we love clothes, right? That’s why, that’s a big reason why we sew. So we want to have fun with it. So that’s kind of what we’re talking about today. And it can just be frustrating to sew something new and have it not work out. And having those tried and true patterns kind of gives you a break from that. It gives you something to sew that you know is going to work out and that just helps you to feel more motivated and more productive, I think. Especially when you’re just starting out. When you’re a beginner, this is really, really helpful thing to have in your back pocket to keep you motivated, because it gives you those small wins that you really need to keep going. And I think that’s especially important when you’re maybe a little bit new to sewing. But I think it’s helpful for everybody and it’s just nice to have that.

But at the same time, we need challenges too. And it can be boring to just keep making the same thing over and over again. So we’re going to talk about ways that we can address that and find that balance between the two. So Haley, do you have any tried and true sewing patterns yourself?

Haley
Definitely, I have a few. I think there’s this one Kwik Sew pattern, I’m like completely spacing on the number. It’s probably out of print at this point, but it was, like, this very fitted, kind of classic bodice, pretty similar to a sloper, honestly. And then a gathered kind of Dirndl skirt and I would just like hack that into pieces and make all sorts of different colors and embellishments and variations and I probably made like 20 different versions of this dress. It’s not so dissimilar from the Christine Haynes Emery dress. So if you’re wanting a similar style, you can check out that pattern. But that was like, definitely my most made pattern of all time. Now I really like the Joss pants. I’ve made those quite a few times. Bo. I love Bo, can’t get enough of it. Those are probably like some top threes for me. What about you?

Sarai
I definitely have a few. I think the one that comes to mind first, because I just made it again is the Lenny dress, the Seamwork Lenny, which is a knit turtleneck dress. I really like to wear sweater dresses in the fall, so I’ve just made that one first. I made it as a top and I also made it as a dress that I shortened. We’ll talk a little bit about using some pattern hacks and methods like that to get more from your patterns in a minute. I really like that pattern. It fits me really well. I feel really good in it. It’s very comfortable, it’s really easy to throw on and it’s a quick sew. And those are all, I think, really good characteristics of a tried and true pattern for me. So that’s something that I make, I’ve made quite a few times. I’ve also made the Jill coatigan a couple times. And that one, that’s a good tried and true pattern. Any time I come across a really beautiful sweater knit, that’s the pattern that is kind of like my go-to in my mind.

Haley
Is there a pattern that you made that you definitely want to repeat at some point?

Sarai
I would like to make the Madhu top again. I made it into a dress, and we just shared a YouTube video about that and I really, really enjoyed it. And making a top, which is how the pattern is intended, I hacked it into a dress. Making it as a top, I think it would be just really, really cute. For me, it’s a little out of season right now cause it’s, you know, short sleeved crop top, but I would love to make that again in the summer. What about you?

Haley
I mean, there’s so many things that I’d love to make again right now. What’s kind of top of mind, because I’m planning one, is an Astoria sweater. I’ve made one before and it didn’t quite turn out how I wanted. I had to make some pattern adjustments and then I never got around to making it again. And I have some knits in my stash that I think would be perfect for it. And now that it’s a little colder, I’m like ready, I’m ready to do it.

Sarai
Yeah. Oh, I have one more tried and true pattern I want to mention, which is the Margo skirt. You guys, this pattern is so simple. It is so easy to sew. It is just like a couple. Do you know how many pieces it is, Hailey. I think it’s just four pieces, maybe.

Haley
Yeah, I think it is.

Sarai
I don’t know. And it’s knit. It’s just a really quick sew and I just think it looks really nice. It goes with a lot of things. It’s sort of a knit pencil skirt style with slits so you can move around in it. I really like wearing that with tights in the fall. It’s a great pattern that’s really easy to sew.

Haley
It’s a great blank canvas.

Sarai
Yeah. Which is, I think, a great characteristic for a tried and true pattern. I think we’ll talk a lot.

Haley
Yeah, totally. I agree. So we’re going to get into some of these tips. We’re going to share three different ways that you can get more use from your favorite patterns. So let’s hop on into it.

So the first way which maybe might feel most obvious is pattern hacks. I love a pattern hack. I can hardly make something without changing it in some way or another. And I think sometimes people kind of get in their head about pattern hacks that they don’t know pattern making. They can’t do pattern hacks, and that’s totally not true at all. Pattern hacks can be as simple as lengthening or shortening an aspect of the garment. That could be the skirt, that can be the sleeve. Something as simple as that can really change the silhouette.

Another hack that’s really simple, really low entry level, is to make a dress into a top or vice versa. Sarai mentioned earlier that she hacks Lenny into a top and I think that this is a really awesome idea. You can do this with a bunch of things. I mean, you could turn a dress into a skirt, you could turn a jumpsuit into pants and add like a simple waistband to it, or really get creative and think about how you can deconstruct elements to create kind of different types of garments from them.

Another way that I really like to change up a pattern is to just change the neckline of it. A neckline is such a focal point because it’s so close to your face that this can completely change the garment and ready to wear. I mean, this is like kind of the bread and butter of so many different designs. They have like a tried and true T-shirt or a sweater that they push season after season and they just put it out in a new color and they maybe change up the neckline. So take a tip from ready to wear and maybe give that a try.

We also have a free class that I teach that teaches you how to change up necklines well, taking into consideration different shaping elements that you need to take into consideration when you’re carving away the neckline or even adding to it. The next suggestion that I have is to add a new design element, like a dramatic sleeve, a collar or a placket. This is kind of getting into those details a little bit. I love a sleeve because it really changes the silhouette of something. Taking a really fitted sleeve and adding some gathers or increasing the sweep to make a bell sleeve can just totally change the garment.

I like thinking of—I do this when I’m working on designs as well—I think of what is the focal point of this garment. And so it can be kind of an interesting question to ask yourself when you’re looking at a garment that you’d like to hack. Think of what the focal point is and you can either eliminate that particular focal point or you can create a new one. I think that’s kind of a good way to frame it when you’re really trying to change the look of something, especially if you’re trying to make it look nothing like what you had originally made from the pattern.

Sarai
Yeah, I feel like sleeves are a particularly easy way to really change up look. I have this dress that I was just wearing the other day that has these huge dramatic sleeves and I was thinking I don’t really feel comfortable in them just because they’re so huge. And my plan is to shorten them so that’s like a shorter puffy sleeves, there’s a lot less fabric to it and I feel like it’s going to give a completely different look to the entire garment. So even when a garment is done, this is something that you can sometimes change up little details like this.

Haley
My next tip is removing an element from a garment that maybe is that, like, focal point, like the sleeves that you’re talking about. You can remove them, you can reduce them by shortening them. Just think about where your eye is going when you’re looking at the garment and how you can kind of change that up.

The next tip I have for pattern hacks is to get creative with fullness. And shaping this can feel a little bit intimidating, but it can really be as simple as turning pleats into gathers. We have a lot of good videos on our YouTube channel about pattern hacking and a lot of them use the slashing and spreading pattern making technique to add fullness in various places. So that could be adding additional fullness to a pant leg or a skirt or a sleeve, either by just making it more flared, more A-line, or by adding width throughout and creating something like gathers.

And my next pattern making tip, which is probably my favorite, I like to call it Franken-pattern. And that is when you mash up two or more different patterns to kind of create something entirely different.

I do, like. have to, like—the pattern maker that lives inside of me has to say proceed with caution. I think that as long as you go about it with an open mindset and treating it like an experiment. Things aren’t going to line up totally perfectly, but that’s kind of the fun of it. I love a good Franken-pattern. It’s a good time. So I think that, like, mashing up two different dresses and putting the bodice of one dress onto another substituting in sleeves. I think that these are all really fun ways to get more out of not just one pattern, but two patterns at a time.

So I know I’m listing a lot of different things and we’re going to have a mega list of resources in the show notes so you can check those out if any of these are really piquing your interest.

Sarai
Yeah, we have so many tutorials on this kind of thing for individual hacks that you can do and the whole process. So we’ll link to all that stuff and give you a lot of ideas.

Haley
And one more note I want to add about pattern hacks is if you’re feeling a little bit stuck on what to do with a particular pattern, it can always be really helpful to go either onto whatever online social media platform that you like to use, that could be Instagram or even the Seamwork Community, and checking out what other people make. And you may find inspiration for a pattern hack that you might want to replicate on your own. And I suppose that goes for kind of the rest of the tips that we’re going to give.

So the third way of changing up a pattern that—or the second way—the second way of changing up a pattern that I’m going to suggest is using surface design and embellishments. I think that this is something that often goes overlooked when it comes to adding details to your garments, wouldn’t you say, Sarai?

Sarai
I think so. I think when I first started out sewing, this is something that I was actually pretty experimental with because I couldn’t do that much in terms of creating different types of garments. So I played around a lot with trims and I think as I’ve gotten more experienced with sewing over the years, that has kind of come and gone. But I think there’s just so much you can do with trims to change the whole look of your garment and add different like you were saying earlier, different focal points.

Haley
Definitely. I think that it is a really easy thing to just neglect to think about. I love taking a trip down the trim isle of a fabric store and seeing what they have. So this is just really like and this is something that you can do to an existing garment even if you wanted to change it up a bit. So surface design ideas include adding trim like we’ve just been talking about. There’s a lot of possibilities here. You could use piping, you can do lace insertion. You could do, I don’t know, ricrac, pom poms, ladder trim, there’s so many different things that you can do here. Really, the sky’s the limit.

The next idea is to do some kind of applique. We have article on modern applique for different ideas on how you can do this without like, looking to taking too much style inspiration from your grandma, which, you know, if that’s your vibe, then I encourage you to do that because I think that could be very cool too. You could also use something as simple as some pretty bias tape to bind an edge instead of facing it. You don’t really have to overthink trims.

It can be something as simple as bias tape that you make out of your favorite scrap of fabric that you have laying around. I think all of us have a pretty fabric that’s like, I don’t know, half yard remnant that you’ve been hoarding and you don’t know what you’re going to do with it. Turn it into bias tape and add it to a garment. You’ll probably love it. We also just made a video on all sorts of different—we’re doing lots of new YouTube videos—and we just made a video on doing a shell tuck hem. And I think that it is just such a pretty dainty detail that you can add to something, especially if it’s like a very I think it’s particularly beautiful on something that’s very streamlined and simple. Just adding that simple little texture to the hem or a neckline is really lovely.

And then my last suggestion is to add some buttons to it. If you’re like me, you probably have a drawer full of buttons that you love and have not as much occasion to use as you would like. Combine my previous tip of pattern hacking and my surface design and embellishment tip and draft a little plaque it and create your own opportunity to use some of those buttons.

I think that that can be, again, a really great way to add a focal point that is different.

Sarai
Yeah. And I mentioned earlier the Madhu dress that I made recently, I hacked from the top into a long maxi dress. And we have a YouTube video on that as well about adding lace insertion. I use lace insertion to add make a tiered skirt for it. And that one’s on YouTube as well. You should be able to find it there now. So if you want to check out our YouTube channel—in other words, if you’re looking for some ideas on details you can add and things you can do with your patterns. We’re making more and more videos like that. So I think you’ll really enjoy it if you haven’t checked it out yet.

So that brings us to the third way. So Haley talked about a couple of ways. She talked about hacking your patterns and she talked about adding surface design and embellishment to make your patterns go a little further.

So the third one we wanted to talk about is fabric. So, first of all, obviously you can just use a totally different fabric than you’ve used before for the garment and that will give it a completely different look. But if you think about how the different weights and bodies are going to lend a different look to the garment, you can really make a very dramatic change to the final project just based on what fabric you choose.

You could go from having a very light and flowy garment to having something a lot more structured just by changing up the fabric. You could also use a more unexpected fabric, like something like leather or organza, something that you typically wouldn’t see, and that’s going to give it a totally different look and make a statement all on its own. So just think about how the fabric could really become the focal point of the garment. So that’s one way that fabric can be used to change up the look.

Another thing you could think about is switching out knits and wovens. And I know that sounds a little bit maybe advanced if you haven’t done that before, but oftentimes it’s actually not that hard. And we have an article from Christine Haynes called Fabric Chameleon, and we’ll link to it in the show notes and that can guide you through how and when you can switch out knits and wovens and what you need to do to make that work. And I really like doing that from time to time. I think it can really change up the look. And if you really enjoy wearing one or the other, if you really enjoy wearing knits I really like wearing knits day to day.

They’re so comfy, and I find that’s what I reach for in my wardrobe. So I’ll oftentimes switch out a knit for a woven fabric. And if you’re not too confident about doing this, one thing to think about is using a really stable knit, like a ponte, because that can be sewn pretty much, just like a woven fabric is sewn. So if you’re kind of easing into this, that’s a really good place to start. If you have a pattern that you really like that’s made with a woven fabric and you want to try and knit, a ponte can usually be substituted for a lot of woven fabric. So you can give that a try and it just adds a little bit of comfort and stretch that you might not have in a woven fabric. So that’s another great thing you can do with fabric.

Another thing you can do is to use prints in a creative way. So, for example, playing with directionality of stripes or of plaids, I actually did this. So I mentioned that I made two Lennys. I made a top and I made a dress. And for the top, I had very little fabric. I didn’t have enough fabric to make the pattern as it was supposed to be cut, so I ended up cutting the turtleneck part—it was a black and white striped fabric that I grabbed from when we were cleaning out our studio. We had a bunch of old fabric we were getting rid of, and I nabbed this one, and it’s like a black and white stripe with even stripes—and I didn’t have enough fabric to finish it, so I cut the neck piece (the neck band of the turtleneck) going the opposite direction, and it just gave it a really cool look. A very different look from how it would appear otherwise if you just cut it the way it was supposed to be cut. So that’s something to consider as well.

Of course, you have to consider with it was a knit fabric. So with that, you have to consider the stretch and make sure that it has stretch in both directions. If you’re using a knit fabric, make sure it’s going to work and consider things like the grain and all of that. But oftentimes you can very easily just switch up the directionality of the stripes with plaids if you have details on your garment.

I often like to cut plaids on the bias, which adds a little bit more interest and also makes it so that you don’t have to worry about matching up your plaids quite as much. And I think if you look at most plaid shirts, for example, like, if you were to buy a flannel shirt at the store, you’ll notice that a lot of times things like pockets are cut on the bias, and that’s pretty common. And it makes the pockets stand out, and it makes it so you don’t have to worry about matching stripes. Although matching stripes can also be a fun thing to do if you want to do that. And that can also give it a really different look.

So just think about the prints and the different ways that you can use prints, but especially stripes and plaids, to give your garment a totally different look. And another thing you can do in a similar vein is use color blocking. So this is a great thing to do if you don’t have enough fabric to complete your garment. Or maybe you have some scraps that you want to get rid of and you can put them all together and make a color-blocked garment.

And I mean, I think this can look really cool. You could even do, like, kind of a patchwork effect if you wanted to. You could kind of almost make your own fabric, sort of like, you know, the quilted coats have become a big deal in recent years, and I think they look amazing and they’re so beautiful. And you could easily do something like that with fabric that you already have.

And then lastly, one thing you can do is with fabric to change up the look is just add a fun lining. So if your garment already has a lining, you could switch up the fabric. That you use for the lining. And if it doesn’t have a lining, it’s something that you could add in. I really like this for things like skirts where the lining can kind of peek out a little bit. It can really give your garment a slightly different look. And it’s also, again, a good way to use fabric that you might have already. Since linings are often something that you can really play around with, it’s not visible all the time on the outside of the garment. And I think a fun lining is just like a cool way to add a little personal touch to something without feeling like you’re going over the top or you won’t be able to wear it with other clothing that you already have.

So those are just some things to think about, some ways that you can use fabric to totally transform the look of one of your tried and true patterns.

And then I have a bonus tip for you, which is a little bit less tactical and a little bit more maybe strategic. So the bonus tip is to keep some notes on your favorite patterns. And this is just going to make it a lot easier for you to reuse them and have fun with them in different ways. So keep a list of what your favorites are, what your favorite patterns are. Another thing you can do is write up a little project diary for the patterns you’re making. We have a section in our community for posting your projects and it’s a great place to keep notes on what you did, what fabric you used, what changes you made, what size you cut. You can kind of put all your notes in one place and you end up with sort of a little diary of all of your projects over the years, which I have found really, really helpful. And it makes it so much easier to go back to them, see what you did before, get some ideas for future incarnations of that pattern.

But you could also keep a journal. Just a physical journal is another thing you do. I’ve tried doing this. I end up preferring something that’s more digital. I actually was just looking. I had this notebook, it’s sitting right next to me, that I was going to use for that purpose. And I wrote one page of it and then it’s been sitting on my shelf for like six months. So just yesterday I took it and tore out that page and decided to repurpose the notebook. So if you’re an analog person (I’m an analog person in some ways. In some ways not.) that might be a good choice for you. You might really enjoy having a physical journal. If you’re more of a person who wants to just keep hyper organized, or you prefer digital tools, or it’s just easier for you to keep up with, then you could choose that. But the idea is basically to have a place to keep some notes and just note if you want to make the pattern again. Any tips for your future self when sewing. It’s a really great way just to keep track of what you did in the past so you can have more success with it in the future as well.

And then transfer your tried and true patterns to a sturdy paper or to something like oil cloth. And that’s going to make it just so much easier for you to reuse them in the future if they’re on a paper that’s really sturdy. This is especially true if you’re using tissue paper patterns. So if you’re using a pattern that you bought at a store like Joanne, and it’s on tissue paper, that’s really easy to tear or to lose pieces of for some reason, I just find that always happens with tissue paper patterns. I lose some tiny little facing piece. Probably my cats get to it. Who knows where it goes from there. So transferring your patterns onto something that’s going to last longer is a great way to remind yourself to use it again in the future and just hold on to a few of those real tried and true patterns. And we actually have an article in this too called how to Make Your Paper Patterns last Longer. So we’ll link that in the show notes as well. So those are just my bonus tips for making sure that you reuse those patterns that you already love so that you have more sewing wins in your life.
I love that. I’m going to just do a quick little recap because there’s so much good information here. So today we covered three different ways. Three plus really different ways to get more out of your favorite sewing patterns. The first way is pattern hacks. And with this it can be something as simple as lengthening or shortening, making a dress into a top, changing up a neckline. And then it can also be as—you can make it as complicated as you want to. You can add a new design element like a dramatic sleeve or a collar. Or you can even remove an element of a garment to change up that focal point. Get creative with some fullness—and some shaping can, you know, add cluster darts or turn pleats into gathers. And you can also mash up two different patterns to create a Franken-pattern.

Our second suggestion is to use surface design and embellishments to change up the look. You can add trim like piping, lace, ladder trim. The possibilities are really endless here. You can also use applique to create a cool design on your fabric. You can even use a pretty biased tape to bind an edge.

Or you can try out a new surface design technique, like adding shell tucks or pin tucks. Or there’s various kinds of ways you can change up and add texture to the surface of a pattern. And lastly, it can be as simple as adding some buttons. I know you have some in your stash that you want to use. Stop saving them and go use them.

And then the third idea is to change up the fabric. Obviously, this can be just as simple as just using a different fabric than you used last time, but you can also think about fabric in terms of the weight and the body and how that’s going to change up the silhouette and the look of your garment. Or you can try an unexpected fabric like leather or organza. You can even switch out, you can use a woven pattern to create a knit garment. We have a really great article on this written by Christine Haynes. It’s called Fabric Chameleon. You can use prints in a creative way, like playing with the directionality of stripes or plaids. Try some color blocking or add a fun lining in series.

Special bonus tip is to make sure you’re keeping notes on your favorites. Keep a list of your projects, kind of a project diary, where you can write the size you made, the adjustments that you made. And having a place where you store all of this information on your favorite garments is going to help you to reach for those tried and true patterns more frequently when you really need that little sewing win.

And don’t forget to handle those patterns with extra care. We have a great article on how to make your paper patterns last a bit longer so that you can reuse them time and time again without them just disintegrating on you, especially if you’re using tissue patterns.

Man, we’ve covered a lot of ground today. I think that my big takeaway from this episode is that when it comes to changing up a pattern, you don’t need to over complicate it, you don’t need to overthink it. But a lot of times a really simple change might be just as effective as spending hours on creating a whole new pattern, using pattern hacking, or adding a million design elements. Really, you have a huge array of possibilities by just doing simple little tweaks to a pattern. What is your takeaway, Sarai?

Sarai
I think my big takeaway is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to sewing. You don’t need to do something new every single time you sew. And I think having these things in your back pocket that are just quick wins for you and that are just fun can really enhance the enjoyment you get from sewing, and that will enhance the motivation you have to keep sewing. So I think it’s a really powerful tool that you can use.

Haley
Beautifully said. So if you want to learn more about this I know that we mentioned so many different resources in this episode and we will note all of those in the show notes, but we have a ton of articles and a ton of videos. So I really encourage you to check out Seamwork.com or visit our YouTube channel where you can find so many different tutorials and just general inspiration for your sewing. But some of the articles and videos that we mentioned directly include the video on lace insertion. We also have an article on that. We have an article in a video on how to do a shell hem. You can check out our article called Fabric Chameleon by Christine Haynes on how to adapt woven patterns for knits. We have an article on how to make your paper patterns last longer, so you can really get the most out of those tried and true patterns.

And we also mentioned keeping track of your projects in the Seamwork community, which is a really great feature that you have access to if you are a Seamwork member. So definitely check that out. I think that the project diary aspect of the community is really great, not just for your own cataloging of your projects, but also to check out other people’s projects, because that’s really fun. I don’t get tired of that.

And if you want even more Seamwork, you can check out our Fit Journal. Our Fit Journal is a really great resource and can help you accumulate more of those sewing wins, because it really walks you through a great process for fitting. And it’s really simple and streamlined and it just helps kind of demystify getting the fit that you want. It includes worksheets for taking and comparing measurements, choosing your size and making adjustments. And the cool thing is that when you use it over time, it really helps you to find your fit, so you can have more of those sewing wins.

And it is available for free at seamwork.com/go/fitjournal. So that is seamwork.com/go/fitjournal.

And if you liked this episode, we would just love if you would leave us a review. You can do that by just leaving us some stars if you found it fun, or if you leave us a review, it really helps us to know what you are liking about this podcast and also helps other people like you to find us. And we just we read all of them. Sometimes we even read them on the podcast here, and we just really appreciate it.

You can also follow us on YouTube at Seamwork video on Instagram at Seamwork. And if you’d like to join Seamwork and become part of our private community, plus get access to hundreds of sewing patterns and dozens of sew along classes, podcast listeners get 50% off when they join at seamwork.com/go/podcast-50. That’s a lifetime discount. So hop on over to Seamwork.com/go/podcast-50. Alright.

Sarai
And that does it for us this week. I’m Sarai.

Haley
And I’m Haley.

Sarai
And this is Seamwork Radio.

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