Intro to Sewing Video Series: Using Patterns from Books

book pattern

This week we will complete the sewing patterns series by focusing on patterns one can create from books.  Once I began delving into this type of pattern creation and design, my sewing really began to flourish!  While it may seem daunting and a little confusing at first, with a little time, patience, and some discount fabric, pattern creation from books can be extremely rewarding!

In today’s video I will cover:

  • The differences between patterns from a book versus a ready made pattern
  • My favorite historical fashion books ( list and links will be under the video)
  • How to create and store your patterns
  • Pros and Cons of sewing from books
Alright, let’s get started!

My Favorite Historical Pattern Books

17th Century Women’s Dress Patterns Volume 2

Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion Series

The Voice of Fashion: 79 Turn of the Century Patterns

The One Hour Dress – My Post on a Mockup of the One Hour Dress

Dress Cutting – 1930’s Patterns

Aimee’s Vintage Armoire: 1940-1950

Oh and those hooks I couldn’t think of….I meant Command hooks! 🙂


I hope you have enjoyed learning more about pattern drafting from books!
Feel free to share with me any creations you have or plan to make from any these books!  I would love to see them! 🙂


Intro to Sewing Video Series: Intro to PDF Patterns

pdf patterns

Today’s topic may either instill excitement or dread: print-out-your-own PDF patterns!  Perhaps you have never tried, or perhaps you have had limited luck, or perhaps you are one of those lucky few who have had nothing but success.  Either way, today is all about helping you understand this wonderful sewing pattern option.

In today’s video I will discuss the following topics:

  • What are PDF or downloadable patterns
  • How to store these patterns
  • Digital patterns
  • Pros and Cons of PDF patterns

And just like last week, I will list out my favorite PDF/Digital pattern companies and their links below this video.


My Favorite PDF/Digital Pattern Companies

Sensibility Patterns

Mrs. Depew

E Vintage Patterns

Wearing History E-Patterns

Aimee’s Victorian Armoire

Please remember to read out all the instructions of how to create the patterns BEFORE purchasing.  That way you can try to avoid an unhappy experience.

My Tricks of the Trade on How to Assemble and Work with PDF Patterns

  1. Read all instructions BEFORE printing out the pattern.
  2. Make sure you have plenty of ink and paper in your printer…..I am ashamed to say I have been surprised too many times by not properly checking the paper tray of my printer.
  3. Make sure all symbols or shapes line up before you tape!
  4. Use small pieces of tape first before you use larger pieces.  Sometimes using too large of a piece can cause the paper to twist or move.
  5. Recycle any papers that do not have a pattern shape on it.  Sometimes I can have 8-10 blank pieces and so I simply reuse them on the next pattern project.
  6. Fit the paper pattern to a dress form to check for fit and accuracy.
  7. Understand (and accept) that at least one mockup will be required to work out any kinks.
  8. Relax, have fun, and enjoy the extra savings!!! 🙂

While creating with PDF patterns can have their negative moments, they are such a wonderful, affordable, and instant way to increase your sewing and historical/vintage wardrobe.

Happy Sewing!


Next Week: Intro to Creating Patterns from Books

Intro to Sewing Video Series: Paper Patterns


Hello my friends!

Today we start the first part of a three part series focusing on the many ways to find, create, understand, and store sewing patterns.  In this ten minute video, I will focus on the following topics:

  • How to read the back of commercial sewing patterns
  • How to care for and store commercial sewing patterns
  • How to read and store historical sewing patterns from specialized pattern companies
  • Tips to remember when working with vintage patterns
  • The Pros and Cons for purchasing, working with, and storing paper patterns

My favorite paper pattern companies are listed below this video!

Commercial Patterns

Simplicity Patterns

McCalls Patterns

Butterick Patterns

Vogue Patterns

Historical Sewing Patterns

Period Impressions

Past Patterns

Sense and Sensibility Patterns

Laughing Moon Mercantile

I hope this has helped you understand the major differences and similarities of paper patterns, along with a few different ways to keep track of everything! 🙂

Next Friday’s video, will focus on downloadable PDF sewing patterns!

Have a wonderful day!


Introduction to Tucks: Part Two

Last time we discussed the basic two types of tucks along with several examples.  Now for my favorite type: the shell tuck.

I came across this particular tuck in one of my 1940’s sewing books.  I had personally never seen it before, nor was I able to find any examples of this tuck in use.  However, I was so enchanted by the design, and the relative easiness of the process, I had to include it!

Let’s bring back the shell tuck!!

Shell tuck Tutorial

Now, go and tuck!  🙂


Introduction to Tucks: Part One

I love the look of tucks on a dress.  I find the look to be so sweet and elegant, and are surprisingly very easy to create.  All you need is a steady hand and a little bit of patience.  The most common types of tucks are the basic tuck, the corded tuck, and the lesser known shell tuck.

Here are a few examples:

Tuck Examples

This week we will learn how to make a basic tuck and a corded tuck, starting with a basic tuck.

The basic tuck can be created either vertically or horizontally to add interest or take up extra length on a skirt.  This tuck can be used on any year of historical sewing.

The corded tuck adds some weight to garments and is often found on petticoats.

The only rule of thumb for any type of tuck is to make sure you add in extra fabric when you cut out your pattern to accommodate the tucks.

Basic Tuck and Corded Tuck Tutorial

Next post: Making a Shell Tuck

Introduction to Darts: Part Two

Now that we have learned the basic way to make a dart, here are two more advanced, yet very common types of darts: the body dart and the tuck dart.

The body dart is most often used for one piece dresses, as well as fitted jackets. Instead of have a triangle shape like the basic dart, the body dart has a diamond shape.  I find that I use this dart the most with historical sewing.

The tuck dart, or inverted tuck, is a basic dart turned upside down.  This creates more fullness at the top and is most often seen in vintage sewing (1930’s-1950’s) right below the bust line.

Here are the steps to create these two darts, starting with the body dart.

Body and Tuck Darts Tutorial

Here again are several examples of darts on historical clothing…

Dart Examples

There are so many types of darts to learn, but these will definitely get you on the right path to a better fit!

Happy Weekend!


Next month: Introduction to Tucks

Introduction to Darts: Part One

Darts have to be my most favorite sewing technique hands down.  It has saved many a bodice from being a disaster with it’s ability to curve and alter the design.  Darts can be used to take in extra fullness at the waist, the shoulder, the elbow, and even over the hips.

Here are some examples:

Dart Examples

This week, I have provided a visual tutorial for the basic dart.  This is great for the tops of skirts, or bodices.

With a little practice, you will soon be darting everything in sight!

Basic Dart Tutorial

Next time, I will show you how to create body darts as well as the dart tuck or inverted dart.

Have a wonderful weekend!