Giveaway Reminder + New Craftsy Posts

March 2, 2015

 how to sew lined curtains on craftsy by christine haynes

Thanks so much to everyone that has entered the giveaway to win a copy of my new book, Skirts & Dresses for First Time Sewers! Because the form is sent directly to me, you all can't see how many entries have been submitted, but as of now we are between 250–300 entries! WOW! You can enter to win by filling out the form on this post by end of day tomorrow. Best of luck!

I also have a couple of new posts up on the Craftsy site that you might be interested in reading. First is a step-by-step tutorial on how to sew fully lined curtains. People think this is so hard, but it's really quite simple as long as you know a couple of key tips. Find the post here and then make them up for yourself!

 how to do a burn test for fiber content on craftsy by christine haynes

In addition I wrote a post on how to do a fiber burn test to see what the fibers of your fabric are made of. Read all about how to do this safely and what the results will tell you at the post here.

And of course, you can also find loads more tutorials at my tutorial page!

Giveaway: Win a Signed Copy Of My New Book, Skirts & Dresses For First Time Sewers! (GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED)

February 27, 2015

Thank you so much for the overwhelmingly positive response to yesterday's announcement of my newest book, Skirts & Dresses for First Time Sewers! I'm so pleased that it is being well received and that people are excited to give it a try!

So, want to win a signed copy from me? I am giving away a copy of the US version right here on my blog, and I will ship it to anyone anywhere in the world!

To win, simply fill out the form below between now and end of day next week Tuesday and I will announce the winner here next week Wednesday! Good luck!!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Small print terms:
One entry per person.
Winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
The book will be sent from me to the winner anywhere in the world.
The winner will be emailed to the email entered in the form.
Giveaway runs from 12:00pm Friday, February 27– 11:59pm Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Pacific Standard Time.
If no contact has been made by the winner after one week, a new winner will be chosen.

Introducing My New Book – Skirts & Dresses For First Time Sewers!

February 26, 2015

I am so happy to announce my newest book, Skirts & Dresses for First Time Sewers! This project-based book is full of classic shapes for beginner-level sewers to get you excited about making your own handmade wardrobe. Though of course, experienced sewers can make them up too!

There are 15 projects in the book, all with downloadable PDF patterns that you access via a website link or QR Code printed on the project's page. The projects included are:
  • A-line skirt
  • Tiered maxi skirt
  • Tunic dress 
  • Smocked sundress
  • Baby doll dress
  • Upcycled T-shirt dress
  • Sleeveless sheath dress
  • Circle skirt
  • Slip dress
  • Wrap dress
  • Shift dress (this dress you've seen on me a million times!)
  • Pleated skirt
  • Pencil skirt
  • Upcycled men's shirt skirt
  • Wrap skirt

Also included in the book are quick lessons on basic techniques, like an invisible zipper, darts, gathering, and pleats. There are also sections on adding embellishments and pockets, lists of resources, pattern layout guides, and a tutorial on how to use the book and choose your correct size.

Each project opens with photos of finished ready to wear versions of the shape for inspiration (so a range of tunic dresses or pleated skirts, not just the one you're going to make), and a break down of the hows and whys of that shape, what kind of body it's best suited for, the type of fabric to use, and more.

After the project opening, there is an illustration of my pattern for that style, a few helpful tips, the link to the pattern and a list of the pattern pieces to use, followed by illustrated steps to complete the garment. At the end of each project are two alternate examples of how to change up the original design with embellishment, or simple alterations so customize it for your own personal style.

The book is currently available in the United States, in the UK, in France, and in Germany. There might be more versions along the way, but so far these are the only ones I know of. Signed copies of the US version are available on my site and unsigned versions are on Amazon. UK versions are available on the UK Amazon site; the German version on the Germany Amazon site; and the French version is on the France Amazon site.

Because we knew the book was going to be released in multiple languages around the world, that proved a real challenge for the patternmaking and pattern downloading side of things. I wasn't allowed to include any letters or words on the PDFs so that they can be universally downloaded from the same hub from anywhere in the world.

The sizing is just like my regular line of patterns, though two sizes are grouped together into one. For example, the patterns in the book come in sizes 1–5. Size 1 in the book is equal to sizes 0 and 2 in my patterns; size 2 is the range of sizes 4 and 6, and so on. In case there are any questions, below is a breakdown of the sizing:

  • Size 1– Bust: 31–32" Waist: 23–24" Hip: 33–34"
  • Size 2– Bust: 33–34.5" Waist: 25–26.5" Hip: 35–36.5"
  • Size 3– Bust: 36–37.5" Waist: 28–29.5" Hip: 38–39.5"
  • Size 4– Bust: 39–41" Waist: 31–33" Hip: 41–43"
  • Size 5– Bust: 43–45" Waist: 35–37" Hip: 45–47"

From there the patterns are made just exactly the same way my line of PDF patterns are designed, and they can just be downloaded, printed, assembled, and cut out like any other PDF pattern.

Because there is only one review on the US Amazon site so far and it is an angry all caps 1-star review, I would like to address it here, and how it pertains to the links in the book. The book features a link that you must type into your toolbar. Once you type it in, there is an image of the first page of the PDF pattern that allows you to download the whole PDF pattern locally to your computer. It won't say much on the image because again, I wasn't allowed to include any letters or words so that everyone can use them anywhere in the world.

The download links are written clearly, however, there are some capital letters and some numbers in each link, so they need to be typed into the toolbar exactly as they are written in the book. It can be very easy to confuse a capital letter I with a lower case letter L, or a number 9 with a lower case letter G. So if you enter it incorrectly, it will take you to the link that corresponds with the link you actually typed in, and not the pattern.

Both I and the publishers have checked each and every link multiple times, and yes, they do work just fine if you type the link in correctly. If you find you are having troubles, please contact me! Both the publishers and I have tried to contact Amazon user "All things sewing" who left this negative review and have had no luck. If this is you, please email me so I can actually help you! That is more productive than an angry all-caps comment. But that's just me.

So long story short, type the links in right, or they won't work! I think this is common sense, but clearly it's worth saying.

Still with me? Awesome! I am super excited about this book and it's been years since I've written a project-based book, so that was a fun challenge. And watching it pop up in other countries is pretty incredible. I am making it my mission to find the French version on the streets of Paris on our upcoming trip. And thanks to my French lessons, I might actually be able to read it! Ha!

Tomorrow I will host a giveaway for the book, so come back to enter to win! And thanks as always for being so supportive! Love you guys and I hope you love the new book!!!

Marianne Dress & Emery Dress Class Reminders!

February 24, 2015

 marianne dress class christine haynes sew LA

Just a reminder that I have workshops coming up at Sew L.A. for both my Marianne Dress and my Emery Dress! As of now, there are 5 spots left in the Marianne Dress class and 1 spot left in the Emery Dress class, so if you're interested, jump on it! I hope to see you there!

 emery dress class christine haynes sew LA

Building a Travel Wardrobe, Part Two

February 20, 2015

The easy part of building my travel wardrobe are all the basics that I wrote about yesterday–the outerwear, shoes, bags, and the things I'm likely to buy instead of make. The harder things to figure out are all the items I want to sew. There's never enough time in the day! I want to sew it all!

I've learned over the years to keep the to-sew list to a reasonable handful of items, consisting of many things I've made before, for guaranteed success. Below is this year's list of handmade things to take, a couple of which are already done and ready to go. Though many still need to be made, I know that they are very achievable. 

One consistency you will notice below is that almost everything to wear out of the house has a free-form waist. I have learned that most days when I leave the apartment I really want something flowy and not too terribly fitted. Though I do like tailored details, so nothing is as casual as a t-shirt, but they are just as comfy, and clearly more Paris-appropriate. 

1. Grainline Studio Alder Dress + Carolyn Friedlander Doe
I've been wanting to make up the Alder Dress and have just been waiting for the right fabric. When I saw this navy bias grid print from Carolyn Friedlander, I knew it was a match made in heaven. It's classic, a little bit preppy, and a perfect print for any occasion while traveling. This dress sews up well in quilt weight and I know that this will be a great staple for the trip. 

2. Closet Case Files Carolyn Pajamas + Amy Butler Voile
Let's be real, we do a lot of lounging on our vacation. I mean, it is vacation after all, right? And as I mentioned yesterday, I long for fun vintage floral prints after a long day of wearing neutrals. So to have some crazy adorable Carolyn Pajamas made in this gorgeous Amy Butler vintage floral voile to wear in the apartment will just be the cherry on top of each and every day. 

3. Fancy Tiger Sailor Top (turned maxi) + Bari J Voile
I originally bought the Amy Butler voile pictured above to make a maxi dress after seeing her wearing one at last year's Quilt Market, but once I got this Bari J Voile, I really wanted to switch it up. And I'm glad I did, because I think Amy's voile is best suited for the pj's, and this voile is just perfect for turning the Fancy Tiger Sailor Top into a maxi dress muumuu. This is already made up and getting worn a lot!

4. Shift Dress from Skirts & Dresses for First Time Sewers + Cotton + Steel Lawns & Rayons
This Shift Dress is my favorite garment from my new book, Skirts & Dresses for First Time Sewers, and last year it's pretty much the only thing I wore on the trip, every damn day. It's chic and looks pulled together, but it's loose and flowing. It's the thing in my wardrobe that I love wearing over and over again. Also, because there's basically no bulk and the dress takes no space in my luggage at all, I feel at liberty to make and bring as many as I want! I plan to make at least two in the luscious new Cotton + Steel rayons and a couple of their soft cotton lawns as well. 
5. Emery Dress + Cotton + Steel Quilt Cotton
This dress is also already made up, and though I don't like taking many fit and flare dresses with me on my holiday, I do like having one on hand in case the mood strikes me. And as I love this fun but neutral print from Alexia Abegg for Cotton + Steel, I think this is the perfect Emery Dress to take with me!

6. Marianne Dress + Blackbird Fabrics Quilted Knit
Every year I make a specific dress to wear on the plane there and back. And really, is there anything more comfortable than a knit shift dress? I think not. It's a long flight, and since I really hate flying, I think I should at least feel like I'm traveling in my jammies. This year my plane dress is my Marianne Dress made in the softest quilted knit from Blackbird Fabrics. Because of the bulk that the quilting adds, this is not a good luggage dress, so it is coming along specifically to wear en route, and I think it will do a perfect job. It won't even wrinkle!

7. Colette Patterns Laurel Dress + Carolyn Friedlander Doe
Another favorite shift dress is the Colette Patterns Laurel Dress, and it's nice to have a slightly more tailored shift in my bag. My book shift and my Marianne Dress are both lovely, but a wee sloppy compared to the Laurel, so I like to have it as part of the group. And really, who doesn't love having another reason to use more of the Carolyn Friedlander Doe collection! Love it. 

8. Robe (Pattern TBD) + Leah Duncan Voile
To go along with my muumuu and pajamas, I think a new robe is in order. But, as much as I love plushy fluffy robes, there's simply no room in my bag for that kind of space. So if I can't have fluffy, I at least want light and soft, and there's little as light and soft as voile. I haven't picked the robe pattern yet, but I'm leaning toward something classic, as pictured above, and without question I will be splurging and buying loads of the gorgeous Leah Duncan voile. Ahhh, I want this immediately!