Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Hester Skirt pattern release on Saturday

page 3 of the Hester Skirt instructions showing all the options for surface embellishment

The Hester Skirt is within a few days of being ready for publication. I'm biased of course(!), but this style is such a great basic staple for the wardrobe. Not only is it super comfortable to wear but the drop waist basque feature puts the fullness of the circle skirt below the natural waist and makes the design very flattering to wear if you're an "apple" or "pear" type figure, as the great fullness of the skirt is below the knee and the fabric swirls as you move.

I had a lot of fun coming up with 6 ways to embellish the skirt to give it all sorts of interesting alternatives that add texture and surface interest...I had to stop myself at 6 options!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Hester pattern to be published in a week!

Alls going well with writing up the new pattern....touching wood...

I hope it'll ready to publish in 7-10 days, then I'll get back to finishing and publishing the Scarlett tunic and jacket and that will be released to the wild hopefully by mid September. Heres some more pictures of samples

Hester Skirt with "popcorn". In my fabric print "Palimpsest in Grey"

Hester Skirt with Willara top, both in "Palimpsest in Grey" jersey knit

Scarlett tunic (over a teeshirt) and Hester skirt with dangling tape details

side view of Scarlett tunic, worn over Hester Skirt
If you love it and want it I have a special offer to make to the first 5 people who email me to pre-order the pattern. You can have the Hester pattern plus any other of my patterns that you choose, BOTH for $10.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

the pattern factory

I finished the pattern making and made this sample for the Scarlett Jacket

....that was a week ago...

then I got all enthused and side tracked to work on this skirt pattern.

The "Hester" skirt is circle skirt on a basque with elastic waistband that has 5 options to decorate the surface. Heres pictures of 3 and I have some more samples to complete.

Hester skirt with tapes

Hester skirt with appliqued spots

close up of spots appliqued with hand stitching

Hester skirt with elastications

close up of elastic casings on the Hester skirt
So I have some busy weeks ahead to write up and publish 2 patterns by the end of September

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Samples for the new pattern

I'm about a week into starting a new pattern design. This one is called "Scarlett" and will be a tunic and a zip fronted sleeveless jacket. Here's some pictures of the first makes....

The tunic is made in one of my fabric designs called Lime Leopard and this soft knit jersey drapes very nicely for this design.

More pictures to come soon....

Scarlett, zip fronted tunic

Scarlett has feature pockets with zips

Scarlett, tunic version

Add caption

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


After 3 weeks of full on work  running around like a headless chook this afternoon I pulled the big lever (with some trepidation) to deliver the inaugural issue of the "Get Stitched" newsletter.

About 10 minutes later I was delighted to get this gracious acknowledgement back from Florida..

"Thank you so much for your first newsletter. It is fabulous, well-done, and very informative."
President, Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild

Heres some pictures of projects featured in Get Stitched

neckline embellishment with novelty yarn

Play with peplums

another elaborate peplum option

adding zippers as embellishment

Friday, 31 July 2015

Patchwork Polly tutorial part 2


Making the vest

The pattern for the vest can be found at this link, it is a free download

Make the Back vest from plain fabric. For this a square of fabric measuring at least 80cm x 90cm(32x36”) will be needed.

Patchwork Polly
10 - 12
14 - 16 - 18
20 - 22

12 - 14
16 – 18 - 20
22 - 24
40 - 44
44 - 46
46 - 48
85 - 98
98 -108
108 - 120
33 – 38”
38 – 43”
43 – 47”

Cut the pattern pieces

After taping the PDF pattern together cut out the size you require. If you want separate patterns for the Front and Back print the PDF twice and cut out each.

·          Back, cut I on fold
if you only want to print the pattern once, mark and cut out the Back from the fabric with the pattern  folded back along the fold line where the pattern piece for the Front extends beyond.
·          Front, cut 1 on fold
if re-using the single pattern piece cut off the Front neckline along the line indicated for your size, mark and cut out from the patchwork textile folded in half
·         Facings
cut out from the remaining scraps of the patchwork textile, 1 Front neck facing on fold, 1 Back neck facing on fold and 2 pair of armhole facings (mirror pattern by turning over)

Sewing Instructions

1.      Right sides together fold and sew the tuck at the centre front 3cm(1 ¼”). Spread and stay stitch close to the top edge into the “V” neck

2.      Wrong sides together (with the serging stitch on the outside of the garment) match Front to Back and sew the shoulder seams with 1cm(3/8”) seam, serge the seams.

3.      Wrong sides together match and sew the side seams of the Front and Back with 1cm(3/8”) seam allowance, serge the seams.

4.       Wrong sides together match and sew the Front and Back facings at the shoulder seams and the armhole facing at the shoulder seams and underarms, serge the seam joins, then the outside edge of the facings.

5.      Match the right side of the neck facing to the inside of the vest neckline, matching shoulder seams and sew with 5mm(1/4”) seam allowance. Do the same with the armhole facings.

6.      Turn the facings to the right side of the garment and iron.

7.      Sew the facings down by stitching through the middle of the serging stitch. Take care to match the tip of the neck facing to the centre join of the CF tuck when going around the neckline.

8.      Finish the hem by serging, starting and driving off at each side seam.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Patchwork Polly tutorial part one

Patchwork Polly Vest- Making a Patchwork Textile


Your tutor today is Pearl Red Moon who is an Australian textile artist and independent pattern

My art has always been influenced by Asian textile traditions and this fabric embellishment
tutorial comes from my admiration for the traditional Korean technique of patching clothing,
known as pojagi or bojagi.

The tutorial will be split into 2 parts. Today I’ll give the step by step instructions for making a 
piece of patched textile that will become the front of the vest. The second part of the tutorial on 
July 29th will be the instructions for making up the garment and a link will be given for the vest
pattern as shown above.

All the patchwork in these lessons will be done with a serger, though there are other alternatives. 
For example you could use a wide zigzag stitch on your sewing machine or french seams. 
Traditional pojagi was done with french seams.

The patchwork can be done with all the same the fabric or with up to 7 different ones combined.
You can use knits, mesh or woven fabrics and even combine different types together in the one 
piece. The pictures below show a vest made all in a black fine mesh and another made in olive 
stretch knit with contrasting red serged seams. The 2 pictures at the top are vests made with 7 
different fabrics mixed.

The serging stitch is going to be on the outside of the garment and become a decorative element,
 so remember to serge on the right sides of the fabric when joining the patches and strips.


* For the front vest: knit or woven fabric, 1 colour or up to 7 different fabrics, these are cut into
 rectangles 15cm wide x 85cm(6”x34”)

* Back vest: make in a solid colour, you’ll need a piece of fabric of minimum dimensions
 80cm x 90cm(32” x36”)

* Thread for serger, in a complimentary or contrast colour for your fabrics

* use a ball point sewing machine needle if you’re using knit fabrics

The most efficient way to measure and cut the rectangles is to make a paper pattern piece 
measuring 15cm x 85cm (6” x 34”) or you could just mark these dimensions directly onto the 
fabric. Mark and cut out 7 pieces of fabric Stack each rectangle on top of each other as they’re cut,
matching the cut edges as closely as possible. If your fabric stack is too thick to cut through 
easily, just do 2 stacks with less layers

Section and cut through all the layers to make the patchwork pieces as shown in the diagram

Keeping the pieces in rows mix all the pieces randomly so that different fabrics are placed next to
each other. Each row will still have the 3 sections of different size in it. Wrong sides together put
in a single pin to join the 3 sections in each strip and join by serging them together. Do all the
strips, the wide and the narrow. The serging stitch will be on the right sides of the fabric.

Now lay all the 14 strips out on your work table and arrange them so that the fabrics next to each
other are different, as much as possible. The strips can be turned around so that the sections
that were 25/10cm(10/4”) start at opposite ends. Wide strips and narrow strips can be placed 
together as you wish, the rows don’t have to be thick/thin/thick/thin.

When the arrangement is satisfactory pin with a single pin to join the sets of strips together at
one end only. Do this with wrong sides of the fabric together, so the serging will be on the outside of the finished garment. Line up the beginning of each strip along one side only.

When the strips are arranged pin wrong sides together,
matching along one side only. Serge the strips together
beginning at the same side every row.

Serge the strips together. Start each row from the side where they were lined up and pinned. 
You cannot go up and down as its possible the strips won’t all be exactly the same length, 
especially if a combination of knit and woven fabrics was used. It won’t be a problem if one side
is uneven with long and short strips.

Steam iron the piece of fabric from the back, setting the heat no higher than what is
recommended for the most delicate of the fabrics used. Its possible your piece of textile may be 
a little warped or uneven but this won’t be a problem.

The patchwork fabric is now ready to have the pattern piece cut from it.

Join me on the July 29th for the garment tutorial! 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

updates from Kangastan

I realised the dates I gave for the publication of my various blog posts in the USA were wrong! We down under (living in the southern hemisphere) are a day AHEAD of the top dwellers...therefore let me correct the dates

*** "I Love Lagenlook" on the Curvy Sewing Collective - going to air on 23rd July in Australia and New Zealand, otherwise being lived as the 22nd of July in the Northern Hemisphere

*** part 1 of fabric embellishment tutorial for "Patchwork Polly" on the Swhetty Betties blog appears on the 22nd July in Kangastan(Australia) and 21st July up there.

All this number stuff and trying to visualise hard concepts like backwards/forwards, before/after, ahead/behind is very challenging for a dyslexic.

Heres some more pictures I took to include in the Patchwork Polly tutorial. I developed this method of making patchwork for wearable garments out of my admiration for the traditional Korean art of patching fabric called either pojagi or bojagi

a patchwork garment made in knit with contrast red serging

In the tutorial you'll learn my method for cutting and patching together the textile. While its a respectful nod at the pojagi aesthetic this textile is serged together with the overlocker stitching on the outside of the garment becoming a decorative element. Traditional pojagi would have been french seamed together....I envy you if you have the time!

vest made in Pearls "Patchwork Polly" method, with multiple prints

Patchwork Polly vest made in mesh, all one colour

black mesh Patchwork Polly vest over one of my dress designs 
In the second part of the tutorial, to be published on July 30th for the down unders and July 29th for the upside! I'll give a link for this FREE vest pattern and give the steps for making it.

Friday, 17 July 2015

learned something new!

The new pattern "Ellice Skirt and Trousers" has been published. Its in the shop for $15, or you might like to sign up for the Boho Banjo newsletter due out at the end of this month to get the 25% off discount voucher...?
Cover of pdf sewing pattern "Ellice Skirt and Trousers"

If you're too impatient to wait for the $3.75 discount the store link is on the right side bar next to this sentence...

I was doing one of my favourite relaxations last night and pinning to my Pinterest boards - https://www.pinterest.com/pearlredmoon/clothing-by-pearl-red-moon-art-to-wear/ - when I discovered that the style of "trousers" I designed for the Ellice pattern is called a "sarouel"! Honestly I didn't know that, though I've been a patternmaker for over 30 years.....wow! still something new to learn every day! Sarouel trousers don't have the conventional crotch seam join of western style pants. I hope the technical illustration I put on the cover illustrates this sufficiently...otherwise, I'm wondering whether I should re-publish the instructions including the word "sarouel" in the description? But on the other hand how many people know that word and know what it means, anyway? until last night I'd been blissfully ignorant of it for 55 years....any thoughts on that dear readers?

Ellice "sarouel" style trousers, technical drawing

Apart from starting to write up the articles for the inaugural issue of Boho Banjo art to wear newsletter some other little projects are coming to fruition soon too...

Watch out for my blog post contribution over at the Curvy Sewing Collective to be published on July 21st, or 22nd if you're in the Southern Hemisphere. Its called "I love Lagenlook" and I don't think that needs too much more explanation!

The day before that on July 20th, or the 21st if you'e up the top of the globe, will be part 1 of a free tutorial on Once upon a sewing machine for this pojagi inspired vest I created. Pojagi is a traditional Korean style of patchwork. The second part of the tutorial and pattern will happen on the 29th. I've got pictures of more versions to show in the next few days.

"Patchwork Polly vest" is a free online tutorial class in 2 parts, starting July 21st at
the blog onceuponasewingmachine

I'll have to blog again soon as there is more news to tell  and pictures to show yet.....meantime I'm off to treadle away in my one woman sweatshop...haha - though its Winter and below zero temperature today and actually snowing on the high ridges around Murrurundi, which only happens here about every 2-3 decades

Saturday, 27 June 2015

please like my new FB page!

Hi everybody, I just created a Facebook page for Boho Banjo art to wear. This little baby has to learn to walk and talk yet, but I invite you to tickle the baby and give it a kiss!

Boho Banjo Facebook page logo

I would really rather be finishing the Ellice pattern at this time than being engaged in the mortal hand to hand combat with the interwebs that setting up these new systems requires....

The Ellice pattern should hopefully be ready to publish in the first week of July and immediately after that I want to set up a bi-monthly newsletter showcasing new pattern releases and creative sewing ideas . One of the main reasons to set up the FB page is so that a subscription link can be promoted through that.

I'll keep you updated with the baby steps of FB Boho Banjo....