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Been sewing lately?

Photo by innaThewall wearing her version of the Easy Kimono Dress

I started the Pattern Runway Group on flickr long before I even had any patterns to sell and had totally forgotten about it! I just checked it the other day and got such a surprise to see some gorgeous sewing has been going on there! Thank you to all who have all ready contributed, and if you would like to share, COME and join in and show and tell what you’ve been making, we so love to see and admire, xxx

{How to:} Sew an Exposed Zipper (with a seam)


Lately we have been experimenting with our existing patterns, ironing out any quirks and bumps and generally making things better. One thing that came to our attention is the method for sewing the exposed zipper in our “Relaxed Shift Dress” pattern, as it stands, it’s a little on the fiddly side and one thing that sewing should never be is fiddly! Sewing needs to just flow from one step to another without too much fuss and bother. So here is a much easier tutorial for setting in the exposed zipper without the fuss and fiddle.

See below images for written instructions.



How To:
  1. Stabilise: Fuse a 2.5cm / 1” wide strip of suitable weight fusing to each side of the zipper opening (apply to the wrong side of the fabric). Fusing should be slightly shorter that the length of the zipper (including top and bottom tapes).
  2. Marking: If your pattern doesn’t already have the end of the zipper marked or notched, notch or mark the end of the zip.
  3. Staystitching: The opening of the zipper should be wide enough to expose just the zipper teeth plus a little extra for room around the teeth to prevent any fabric from getting caught. Staystitch each side of the zipper opening 6mm plus the seam allowance (1cm for our patterns) from the raw edge, pivoting 90º at the end of zipper mark/notch. Repeat for both sides.
  4. Sew the Seam: With rights sides together, sew the seam (1cm seam allowance for our patterns) from the base of the zipper mark/notch, to the end.
  5. Clipping: Clip into the seam allowances on a diagonal to the zipper base, just to, but not through the staystitching. You may find it easier to cut each seam allowance separately.
  6. Pressing: Press seams open and neaten each edge. Fold and press over the allowance of the zip opening on the staystitching line.
  7. Stitch the lower edge: Working from the right side of the garment, fold back the top of the work to the start of the centre back seam to expose the ‘triangles’ of the clipped seam allowance, align the metal base of the zipper with the centre seam, (zipper should be facing downwards and right sides together) and position it just past the stay stitching. Pin.
  8. With a zipper foot attached to your machine. Stitch across zipper tape and triangles, back tacking at either end.
  9. Stitch the zipper sides: Flip zipper up right way round, tucking the zipper tape and triangles to the inside, Align the pressed and folded edge along the zipper tape and pin.
  10. Pinning: Turn back one side of the dress back to expose the seam allowance and zipper tape, re-pin seam allowance to zipper tape only and remove pins from the front. Repeat for other side.
  11. Sew Sides: Starting from the base of the zip, stitch along the staystitching line. Repeat for other side of zipper. Press with a pressing cloth.
For all our customers who have previously purchased the Relaxed Shift Dress Pattern and would like to be emailed the updated instructions, please contact us and include the order/etsy invoice number and we will be sure to email you the updated instructions.



With eyes wide Open…

Dear friends, I wanted to tell you about an experience I had that has changed my life forever. Its a bit of a serious issue but one that needs much much more attention.

In 2010 I attended my first ever Colour Conference and had my eyes opened to another world. A world where people are commodities and bought and sold like nothing more that a used car. 27 million people are currently victims of Human Slavery. 1.39 million woman, currently enslaved as sex salves in Europe alone. As the stories were told, the statistics delivered and the horror and enormity of the situation unfolded, I sobbed in my seat, sick to my stomach and eventually was able to lift my jaw off the floor. The emotion was part the realisation to my blindness of this huge injustice and the horror that for some girls, this is their reality. Every number a name, a family and future. Someones sister, daughter, best friend. While the statistics are numbing and devastating, hope and determination filled the room as stories were told of amazing rescues and an opportunity offered, that yes we can make a difference and yes we can be the change.

“What took you so long?”, a passionate, even angry statement uttered by a recent rescued victim, is as fresh in my mind now in 2012 as when I first heard it in 2010. Bold and frank, this statement hit me like a slap in the face. The realisation dawning that She is waiting on us and her future is in our hands.

The idea for Pattern Runway was conceived shortly after the conference with the hope that just maybe I could contribute somehow in making a difference, however small or seemingly insignificant, just might help one day in rescuing someone and changing her future for ever. Although I am aware that it has taken me 2 years to take action, of that I am rather ashamed and I am asking myself “What took me so long?”.

January 12 2012, was Human Trafficking Awareness day and the A21 campaign are setting aside 10 days, January 11- 21 with 21 ways that you can make a difference. I encourage you to check it out, open your heart, listen to the stories and if nothing else, be aware of the huge injustice that exists and let hope rise in your heart that you can make a difference.

Thanks for reading this post, if you were like me and didn’t realize this injustice, I hope you haven’t minded learning a little bit about it, and I encourage you to check out the links to the A21 campaign. To those of you who are already aware, my question to you is what are we going to do about it? Together I’m sure we can do something, love to hear any ideas or thoughts.

with love…