Boho Banjo

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BOHO BANJO - art to wear

Original and unique womens pdf sewing patterns and textile prints by Pearl Red Moon

To purchase fabric designs email Pearl Red Moon with your order -

Visit my online store to purchase patterns and clothing HERE

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 - - 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! 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....

Sunday, 14 June 2015

A "pair" of what...?

I've started work on a new pattern - the Ellice Skirt and Trouser (or shall I call them "Pants"?... what is the difference!.., does anyone know and can it be explained? And carrying on in that vein of questioning....why, OH WHY!? is it a "pair" of pants of trousers? This has vexed me forever!)

The A line skirt is a staple of my wardrobe.

Ellice A line skirt

I'll outline the 5 main reasons why I love the A line skirt....

1. It is a flattering shape to any figure and especially to a wide midriff.

2. The most basic type of pattern for an A line skirt can require only 2 pieces - a front and a back - and is therefore a quick and easy sew

3. Ultra comfortable to wear

4. Easy maintenance, you can iron this garment in a minute and either hang it on a clip hanger or fold to store in a drawer and slip it on in seconds.

BIG #5 - the A line skirt is the perfect under garment to complement the "Lagenlook" or "Layered look". You don't want too much fabric bunched around the waist when putting over those outer layers of shirts, dresses or tunics and the A line is the perfect solution....

elasticated waistband of the Ellice skirt

The Ellice skirt is attached to a narrow basque and I used this design feature to add an exciting option by adding a long and draping peplum into that seam.

Ellice skirt with jersey knit peplum (Palimpsest in Mauve form my fabric range) over ponte knit underskirt

Ellice skirt with light under layer and bengaline peplum

Then....I made these fabulous wide leg trousers with a further twist to the pattern

Ellice trousers, worn with Willara top

the waistband of the Ellice trousers
I have a few more design twists to add...but do you think the Ellice pattern is already looking pretty fabulous?! I hope so!

I'd love to hear readers thoughts about the Ellice Skirt and Trousers

Monday, 1 June 2015

What pattern next?

I love pattern making. Every time I go into the studio I'm enthused to make a new pattern. However the reality is it takes weeks/months to develop a new design from prototype garment sample to finished pattern with graded sizes and written and illustrated instructions. The first pattern I published 10 months ago - the "Zelda" Top - took about 3 months from start to finish because I was also learning how to use the programs Adobe Illustrator and Indesign for publishing in digital format. Each pattern since then has taken less and less time as my skills improved.

But I still have at least 30 unpublished patterns in my workroom and have to fend off the desire to make a new one every day....

As I build up a catalogue of pdf patterns I'm not sure if I should plan to offer a variety of styles - dresses, separates, pants, jackets, coats, etc...? I'm aware as a designer I have a strong personal preference for dresses and tunics. I find trousers the least exciting thing to design.

So considering what to choose for the next pattern to publish I'm torn between what I'm drawn to and the theory of keeping a "balanced variety" of designs in the catalogue.....

Here's pictures of a top (Emerald) and a tunic (Scarlet) which are the designs I'd like to start working on...

"Emerald" top  front on the left side falls to a point

Emerald back, nicely draping to each side
Emerald top, showing that looping drape on the right side

Or how about this tunic called "Scarlet" - this example made in one of textile designs

Scarlet, the front

Scarlet, from the side, the back is a block colour

What I think I should do for "balance" in the catalogue is this skirt called "Ellice". There is only this one sample at the moment and this isn't a great picture for showing the fabulous way it drapes...

The "Ellice" skirt

So do people look for a wide variety of styles in designer catalogues?  Do you go to your favourite indie designers wanting a wide variety of styles? Would readers like to encourage me to do any of the designs above for the next publication?

I took these pictures in front of "Stone and Co" which is a marvellous shop just one door away from my shop studio on the New England Highway. It is chock full of glorious vintage homewares and beautifully restored furniture,

Friday, 29 May 2015

Free Willara pattern is a hotcake!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

BTW, that piece of goobledy-gook at the beginning of this post is because I've been alerted I need to "claim" my blog on Bloglovin and that is part of the process.

Oh Boy! theres been such an amazing response to the Willara pdf pattern giveaway in just half a day - get em while they're HOT gals!

Nearly a 100 snatched off the shelf already!

I'll be cocking my ear to the wind and expecting to hear the hum of sewing machines all around the world this weekend.

To give some added incentive to get treadling I'll give the first person to send me a picture of themself wearing a finished Willara top or dress the choice of another free pattern from my other 3 designs.

....and whoever is first to post a review with pictures on their blog will be gifted all 3 patterns!

Who plans to make a Willara this weekend?

Willara top from the free pattern. This fabric is "Palimpsest in Grey" and for sale in the online Boho Banjo Cloth shop

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Willara pattern published

I've had a terrific response from so many readers wanting to get the Willara pattern.

You are all very welcome!

I would love to see what people create so please send me pictures and I'll share them. Also feel welcome to write a  review of your opinion/experience using the pattern and publish on your own blog if you wish - not forgetting to let me know so I can benefit from your feedback and enjoy the pictures too.

The pattern will be a free download for one month - until the end of June 2015, then it'll revert to being for sale in my online shop for US$10.

At the moment all you need to do to get it is click on either of the icons on the top right side of the blog sidebar - just next to where you're reading this. Either link will take you to one of my 2 online shops (Shopify and Kollabora) where you'll see the 3 other patterns I've created - Zelda, Judith Suite and Adeline.

Find the Willara feature page and select the download button and the zipped file could take up to a minute to be downloaded into your computer. When the Adobe file is opened there's a selection to print any of these separately - the cover page, the 13 page making instructions, the 40 tile pdf pattern or the 2xAO page files.

The pdf pattern will print at home on 40 pages that'll then need to be trimmed and taped together. Alternately there is a file for printing the actual size pattern on AO pages (approx 120 x180cm) To do this transfer the files to a memory stick and take to a copy shop for printing. In Australia Officeworks  does this at $4 a page. As there are 2 pages the total cost will be $8. The files can also be emailed to your nearest Officeworks store from their website dedicated to this service and picked up for no extra cost. I wouldn't recommend getting them mailed as the one time I did it cost over $30 as they are rolled in a large mailing tube!

I do hope everyone will enjoy making up the garment and I look forward to getting feedback - please!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

new pattern Willara

Very close to finishing the Willara pattern for publication, definitely by this weekend..This is the cover page just finished a moment ago. 

Cover page of Willara pattern

It will be a free download for one month then is for sale at $10.