I love multi-function and time-saving shortcuts – and pattern books that offer variations on a single pattern are right up my alley. I was thrilled to receive a copy of The Magic Pattern Book: Sew 6 Patterns into 36 Different Styles! by Amy Barickman to review for my blog.
As the founder and designer of the pattern company Indygo Junction by Amy Barickman, Amy is a skilled patternmaker and has sold over 2 million patterns over the past 20 years (!). Amy’s new book is an indispensable guide to sewing an entire wardrobe and its accessories, based on only 6 patterns. It’s a unique DIY spin on sewing basics, which is perfect for what I do all the time!
The book has a detailed introduction that has a great discussion of basic sewing tools, sizing reference, and tips and techniques. (The section on Alterations is worth its weight in gold for a DIY’er since the ability to alter garments and patterns will allow you to work from any raw materials you may come across!)
The 6 patterns included in the book and accompany CD-ROM are a U-neck Tank Top, an A-line Skirt, a gathered-neck pull-on Dress, a collarless Cardigan, a standing neck lapped-front Coat, and an Accessory (3 hat styles, 1 scarf, and 2 drawstring bags. For each pattern, 6 variations (named after women) are included, that may lengthen or shorten the pattern, add design details, or alter the silhouette slightly.
The instructions are illustrated with step-by-step hand-drawn illustrations. The alterations are quite simple and easy to follow – and just a small variation can create a totally different look in the finished piece!
The book also includes a CD-ROM with patterns and templates for all the projects as well as a how to use the included patterns guide. This means you can start right away with your making!
There are also notations for when you can used repurposed items or fabrics for the projects, as well as suggested fabrics for each design.
The level of the book seems geared to a less-experienced sewist, as there is a great deal of explanation and hand-holding along the way. (GREAT for those who are just graduating from beginning sewing to looking for more of a challenge!)
However, I personally am not a fan of the suggested fabrics or the model styling; though the photography is beautiful the styling choices seem somewhat dated. The fabric choices also leave something to be desired, but it does provide a starting point for your own ideas and choices – and highlights the versatility of a single pattern.
If you like multi-purpose patterns and adding and removing elements for the ultimate DIY take on your sewing, definitely try out the patterns in this book! The Magic Pattern Book is available on Amazon.com and major booksellers.
FTC Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the above book from Workman Publishing for review purposes. I have not been compensated for this post. The above opinions are my own. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.
Review, The Magic Pattern Book
Autumn is now in full swing, and sometimes I need a little inspiration of some color combinations in my outfits that veer away from a standard plaid, maroon, mustard, brown, and dark rinse denim. (Fall I feel is always a rut for me. Just sayin’.) Just because it’s not Spring doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate brights, pastels, or other patterns! Here are 6 unexpected color combos to breathe life into your wardrobe for Fall:
1. Gold brocade/Navy
2. Pink/Red/Tan Leopard
3. Cobalt Blue/Neon Yellow/Black-and-White Leopard
4. Pale Blue/Sunny Yellow Croc/Red/Denim
5. Navy/Pale Pink/Green Sequin
6. Mint Green/Tan Check/Cream
What color combinations have you tried that surprised you with how well they worked?
Source1, Source2, Source3, Source4, Source5, Source6
color combinations, Street Style
What’s a MUST for a spooky, scary, FUN Halloween project? Anything that GLOWS in the dark – and Tulip glow paint is the perfect product to make your DIY Halloween projects light up! (more…)
Clothing, Holidays, My DIYs, Press Releases, Tops
fabric painting, glow in the dark, Halloween, ILovetoCreate, skull, Tulip
Welcome to another installment of Chic for the Week
, where I share a couple shopping picks that have been on my mind lately.
Autumn is now fully upon us, and I’m thinking cozy with fuzzy jackets, perfect ankle booties, and warm tights. My part-time position with Studio 3 is requiring more hours lately as I grow their social media channels and do SEO analyses of their website, so I’m also thinking warm with a dash of ladylike and a hint of office-appropriateness. Here are a couple items I’m having a craving for:
1. BB Dakota Liezel Sky Blue Coat – so mod with the center zip, made of a mohair-style wool blend (but without the itch factor since I’m terribly allergic). It would look fab with a white scarf or some dangly earrings, zipped-up for an evening soiree.
2. Love the pull-on design of these New Look Wide Fit Capital Heeled Chelsea Boots- the heel is low enough that they won’t hurt after a long day, but still high enough to make your calves look gorgeous. (Plus they look great with blue jeans!)
3. Every Now and Gem Necklace in Noir is such a statement necklace, and the perfect piece-de-resistance to a simple work outfit. I’m thinking over a pastel-hued sweater on my off days.
4. A unique reincarnation of the ubiquitous striped dress, this Chalk of the Town Dress in Streamers works both for the office, and for an after-hours office party. (The pockets are an excellently useful touch.)
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and a great Columbus Day!
Chic For the Week, Wishlist Items
Yes, folks, I have been cleaning out my closet like a madwoman. (And no, it’s not that Spring Cleaning time of year yet!
I’ve experienced an unexpected and significant change in my family’s circumstances – which has thrown my son Lil Tot and I into dire financial straits. (I have not been able to share exact details yet, but I will when the time is right.)
I’ve been selling off what I can to make ends meet. Above are some items from my closet I currently have listed on Ebay…more to come soon. If you’re interested, please check them out! (Under Ebay seller name seashellcarly)
Thanks for looking!
Ebay, for sale
All CK Underwear is 25% off at Shopbop from now until October 13. Stock up now while you can!
Announcements, Deals & Giveaways
Hello wonderful readers! I am so excited to announce the top-secret project I’ve been working on since August: my new blog consulting, troubleshooting, and design company:
It’s been awhile in the making, and I’ve just launched the website at the Portland Bloggers Back to School: Blog Design event. I have three sections of offerings right now:
ReadyAimMedic: where I offer technical troubleshooting for even the smallest issues for your blog. Have a problem? A nagging functionality quirk? Need it fixed ASAP? Get in touch using the contact form for a quote for fixing, starting at $20.
Blog Consultations: where I offer a 30-minute Blog Consultation, to define your blogging goals, audience, and strategy; and a 1-hour Design Consultation, where I advise on optimizing the design of your blog, pulling together disparate elements, and converting your visitors into repeat customers. Reach out using either of the contact forms on the page to book your Consultation. (Booking form coming soon!)
ReadyAimStyle: here I plan to add downloadable blog logos, customize-able social media icons, and blog graphics packages, as well as fully custom blog designs. I’ve been working on the content for this section, so stay tuned!
I also plan to add a blog (of course!) and tons of resources, tips, and help for any and all bloggers. Right now you can snag a free downloadable Style Guide template for your blog’s style!
For technical help, I specialize in blogs on either self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org), self-hosted Blogger, or Blogspot.com blogs. Other blogs or inquiries please drop me a line!
I am so excited to be able to put my 7 years of blogging and online marketing to good use, and help others who are on their way. Thanks so much for reading and may this be the start of a wonderful blog journey for all!
Check Out ReadyAimBlog Here
About Me, Announcements, Blogs
Last Saturday, the Portland Bloggers group met for our annual Back to School Event at Portland Community College. With a schoolhouse theme (cue 2B yellow pencils, lined paper, gold spray-painted clipboards, and polished red apples), the event focused on blog design and unifying the look and feel of your online presence.
After a short meet-and-greet and welcome from Portland Bloggers founder Jenni Bost from A Well-Crafted Party, Suzannah Hamlin-Stanley from Create/Enjoy spoke to the group about what branding actually is. (Hint: it’s different from marketing and is a more subtle pull of your audience, rather than an overt push, of your message.)
With a background in advertising and years running the successful blog Adventures in Dressmaking, Suzannah helped impart a better understanding of how branding impacts your blog.
Left: Portland Bloggers’ founder Jenni from A Well Crafted Party, Right: Suzannah from Create/Enjoy working the camera for our “class” photos.
Designer Sze Wa Cheung then spoke about blog design, segmenting current blog design trends into 2 major ones: the Infinite Scroll design (think Pinterest) vs. the Category Showcase design, and offering notes about good design (like effective use of font, white space, thinking about the readability of your blog, your post-dividers, and your color palette).
After a short break I then took the podium and presented my talk on How to Create a Style Guide for Your Blog. I also announced the top secret project I’ve been working on for awhile! (I’ll be sharing the full announcement here tomorrow!!)
We then had a final wrap-up with a number of questions from our fellow bloggers: where to find technical help resources online (Answer: Google is best for a specific question, and the Help/Forums for your specific platform, but W3Schools is always helpful for coding!), whether to start on Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, or Squarespace (Answer: keep your end goal in mind; if you want to turn it into a money-making business and are okay with a learning curve in the beginning, I’d recommend WordPress, but if you’re blogging as a hobby or want the simplest interface, choose Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, or Wix), ways to add text to images or edit graphics (Photoshop, PicMonkey), where to get on-brand social media icons (the answer to that TOMORROW!), how to ensure color consistency when printing your logo vs. how your logo looks online (choose CMYK color profile in creating your for-print logos/branding; try to choose PANTONE colors whenever possible).
All the slides that were presented at the event will soon be available to view.
Thanks so much to everyone who came out for the event – it was wonderful to meet all of you and get to know some fellow Portland Bloggers better!
Hope to see you at the next event!
blogging, Portland Blogger Meetup, Portland Bloggers, Portland events