For some reason I've been really interested in loungewear recently. Perhaps that's because I've been doing a lot of lounging! For a long time I've been thinking about pajamas and other loungey clothing that can be comfortable and sexy, as well as modest. Here in Vermont it gets chilly and, during the winter months, it can begin to feel like you're bundled up a llll the time. I want to design loungewear that keeps you warm but also looks flattering. At the same time, during the warmer months, I like to lounge about in not much at all. A different problem crops up wherein I want to lounge and let it all hang out, but not so much that, if someone were to show up at the door or see me through the window, they would see more than I intended.
I also wanted to design a robe that was more light weight than the two I currently have, which are long and very thick. This led me to create this simple, organic cotton jersey robe which I am practically living in now. In fact, it caused someone to comment that I was getting a lot of use out of it and should maybe consider doing another color (I think this was a nice way of inquiring whether I had washed it at all after wearing it about six days in a row).
I also love wearing slips around the house, AND was interested in doing a camisole type top foundation. I'm really happy with the result minus a couple of changes that don't have to do with the pattern itself but with my sewing (lengthen the straps, and don't use clear elastic all along the cup seam, just on the gathers).
Now I'm just undecided whether I should release these as sewing patterns or sell them made to order? The bathrobe pattern is very simple and rewarding to sew which would make it a fun beginner's project as well as a quick thing for a more advanced sewer. As for the slip, I think that market may be saturated after a recent pattern release by Gertie Hirsch. What do you think?
As you may have noticed, some of my items are listed as custom--in the sense that you pick your own fabric. I love doing it this way because I get to see what the customer picks out for a print and it's often something I never would have considered, but end up loving!
I wish I could just buy up every single print that I like and have large quantities of it, but I think we all know that is an addictive tendency, and further more, when I have actually done that in the past, I've found that customers often don't love the same prints I do (which is why I have two bolts of a print that I bought three years ago in my mother's garage).
Here are some cute prints available at this time (but could be gone tomorrow)--just a sampling of a few that I love from my usual supplier. I'd love an excuse to whip up this dress as a customer order in one of these! These are the ITY knits--slinky, never wrinkle, soft and excellent drape.
I'm also hatching plans to make a shirt version of this dress as well as a more fall/winter friendly dress with longer sleeves that will also be available as custom fabric orders.
I've been thinking about this pattern all summer but didn't get around to making it until about a month ago, and finally sewed it a couple of weeks ago (and photographed it today). Unfortunately my timing sucks because I won't get to wear it much more!
I used my old favorite, ITY knit, and this was a perfect choice. It drapes well, feels great on (slinky), and doesn't wrinkle. Perfect for a full, gathered skirt. This particular print was left over from a custom order and I love the yellow color.
This is based off of a general slip/camisole pattern I made that I will post about shortly. The gathers are all under the cup and the cups round up to the very low v-neck. It's paired with my customary waist band and, in this case, full skirt. I love it!
I've been quiet but busy lately. I've designed and sewn a halter top, camisole, bathrobe plus the empire dress that I haven't listed yet. I wore my new halter dress on my beach trip to Delaware but didn't take any pictures except one that is really unflattering.
Tonight I riffed on the halter/cami bodice to make a fall/winter friendly dress that I'll sew soon. It is similar to my orange forties style dress but with all gathering at the bottom of the boob cup and will be with half sleeves. I promise to photograph and post soon! I'm excited both about adding to my collection of easy but special work friendly dresses and blouses, but also delving into this kind of sexy yet practical lounge wear realm.
Also, I really want to get the final version of Dolores Pocket Skirt out, but had to purchase some computer upgrades and still need to get some software that will enable me to make the changes required before official release. Since my current financial state involves considering buying ramen noodles off of amazon with gift cards, this has to wait just a bit longer.
There are so many cute prints available to execute my custom forties style knit dress, I can't wait to fulfill a few more of those orders and have an excuse to get some more prints in stock!!!!
Hi everyone! Greetings from Vermont. I'm enjoying some earl grey with local honey before I head to work.
Just wanted to give an update on my PDF pattern release. My testers did an amazing job and my focus right now is acquiring Adobe In Design so that I can format the PDF better before releasing the pattern for sale. My computer is about 8 years old and I have no money for a new one. In design is not available in the older version for free, so I have to get the newer version which is offered at a conveniently monthly or one time charge. But to do THAT, I had to upgrade my operating system to at least osx 10.7. So I've done that and just waiting to get the funds for the software. Pretty resourceful if I do say myself! I'll get what I need for about $200 and a little extra time versus waiting a lot more time to just get a new computer.
So I am hoping to officially release this baby soon! It's been about a year coming as I learned how to draft point by point on adobe illustrator. I'm hoping my next pattern release goes more quickly.
My favorite part of dressmaking is making a new pattern and whipping up a test version! Since I napped for two hours after work today I had lots of energy to work on this tonight!
I always hope that the first version will be perfect and, actually, this was one pretty darn close. Go me! But I still need to make some changes.
This is a slip/ nightie pattern designed to be made with a stretch knit. I have been eyeing everyone's lingerie projects and really itching to do some of my own. It's also a great way to use up scraps of the beautiful organic cotton that I use often.
The cups came out perfectly but I need to work on the back and make the waist and skirt areas less tight.
Uuuhhhhhh I love how these two colors go together. I'm cutting out pieces of my sleeveless shirred wrap shirt in two colors. I love this grey and orange combination, and strangely enough I want to make lingerie and baby boy clothes out of it at the same time. I love swimming in fabric and getting excited about the possibilities. The only problem of course is time to execute all those great ideas.
To test out a sleeveless gathered neck bodice I went ahead and tested my maxi pattern at the same time! It's so comfortable and, per usual, I'm wearing it around the house unfinished (haven't bound off the neck or armholes yet or hemmed it) and will inevitably procrastinate on those things until I can't stand leaving home without it!!!
Things are definitely busy up in here!'
One of my biggest challenges is that I get bored easily. Once I develop a new design for a pattern and sew it, I'm ready to move onto the next project. Sometimes I don't stop to think how I could use an existing pattern to make new designs. This is why I enjoy interacting with customers. They often ask for certain versions of a design which prompts me to consider using a pattern in a way that I haven't bothered to before.
For example a returning customer has placed her third order with Ready Ruthie and asked if my puff sleeved blouse with the shirred neck could be made sleeveless. This is not a radical idea and just requires a simple pattern alteration, which I started pinning in the picture, working from my own blouse.
However just this simple suggestion got me thinking about all kinds of other ideas. I have been wanting to make a maxi dress and kept thinking about a halter top. However I felt that, for many women, this would not be something they could wear in an every day setting. The shirred neck, sleeveless, perhaps with a shortened waistband, could go great with a longer skirt and provides modest coverage.
By the way, if you are wondering why I need to make a separate pattern for a sleeveless top, it is because you cannot simply remove the sleeve from a bodice and wear it sleeveless. The armhole will usually gape and it is not as simple as just cutting the armhole wider. I have done a sleeveless alteration enough times that I felt I could just mark where I would cut and take in excess, then trace a new pattern.
First of all, I want to express my thanks to all of the sewers who offered up their time to test out my sewing pattern, the Dolores Pocket Skirt. I was completely floored by the response I got, and I actually had to turn some people down! This is, as they say, a good problem to have!
I would be lying if I said this didn't make me feel like I was part of the cool people club, and I would also be lying if I denied that being part of the cool club has been my goal basically forever. Well, cool people club by MY definition, and the handmade community is definitely that. Seriously, what's cooler than a community of people who make things with their own hands and share ideas, tips and tricks with each other??
This really boils down to being one more way for me to share my creations with the world. The cool thing about the idea of releasing a pattern of mine is that others can take that foundation and do infinitely cool and interesting things with it that I never would have thought of. So excited.
In other news, I feel pulled in many different directions design wise. You see, I just enjoy designing too many different things. As someone who primarily sells made-to-order clothing to women, and even as someone who wants to release patterns to sewers, I feel some pressure to have a consistent aesthetic. But the reality is that I love designing fanciful dresses. I love designing more casual clothing that I want to wear at home on a Saturday. I love designing smart clothing that I can wear to work. I love it all.
So right now I'm torn between drafting a casual button up shirt, sewing up a sweetheart neckline dress in a retro floral lawn, and drafting up an empire waist maxi dress to do in knit jersey.
At night time I often feel like I have been waiting all day just to be home again where I can make things. I want so badly to capture all the free time and do something important with it, that I sometimes get "analysis paralysis." I guess this is also a good problem to have.
Alright, so I've been talking FOREVER about releasing the sewing pattern for this skirt, the Dolores Pocket Skirt. I have FINALLY finished the PDF pattern and reeeeally want some pattern testers to help me smooth out any possible kinks in the instructions, etc.
I am looking for good, honest feedback about how the pattern goes together, whether it makes sense and comments on fit. It would be best if your measurements are close to the sizing chart so that I can accurately assess the fit. Once I release it for sale, I plan to offer tutorials on how to adjust the pattern for those of you who do not line up exactly with the sizes shown.
SIZING CHART--in US Inches
SIZE Bust Waist Hip
0 32” 24.5” 36.5”
2 33” 25.5” 37.5”
4 34” 26.5" 38.5”
6 35” 27.5" 39.5”
8 36” 28.5" 40.5”
10 37.5” 30" 42”
12 39” 31.5" 43.5”
14 40.5” 33" 45”
16 42.5” 35” 47”
I'm really excited about all of the possibilities for this skirt. The pattern includes the style shown as well as the option of having no pockets. You can use the pattern with a variety of fabrics and can play around with piping or no piping, contrast pocket fabric and lots of other things!
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be a tester! The only requirements are:
1) You have basic knowledge of sewing and putting together PDF patterns
2) Your hip and waist measurements are identical or very close to one of the sizes above, at least to the extent that no alterations are needed.
3) You are willing to provide me thoughtful feedback about using this pattern within about one month's time.
Can't wait! Upon agreeing to be a tester I will email you the PDF pattern that you print, piece together and cut out, and a PDF of the written instructions including photos.