REMINDER: PDF Sale Ends Tomorrow!

May 2, 2015

In case you forgot to pick up a PDF pattern during my sale this week, remember that the 25% off sale ends tomorrow! So hop to it and download yourself something new to make this summer!

Huge thanks to everyone that already picked up a pattern! So many new dresses!!!

Chelsea Dress and Derby Dress Patterns Now Available as PDF - and All PDF Patterns on SALE!

April 28, 2015

I am so excited that my entire catalog of patterns are now available as PDF patterns! My first two patterns, the Chelsea Dress and the Derby Dress, have just been released as PDF print-at-home patterns, so that finishes the whole group!

And to celebrate, all my PDF patterns - which now includes ALL my patterns - are 25% OFF through end of day Sunday! That includes my popular Marianne Dress and Emery Dress patterns too!

If you were exposed to my brand with the launch of the Emery Dress or the Marianne Dress pattern, you might not be as familiar with the Chelsea and Derby patterns, so let me introduce them to you!

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The Derby Dress

The Derby Dress is a fun swingy a-line sundress. Both versions pull on, feature princess seams in the front, and have four panels in the back.

View A has a contrast Peter Pan collar and a gathered ruffle at the hem that hits above the knee.

View B has a bias-cut gathered ruffle at the neck, a tie belt at the waist, and hits just above the knee.

The Chelsea Dress

The Chelsea Dress is a sweet and modern baby doll dress. Both versions pull on, feature raglan sleeves, and dress that gathers into the upper yoke.

View A has a contrast yoke, Peter Pan collar with a 3-button closure, short sleeves, and hits above the knee.

View B has a V-neck collar with bias cut bow, 3/4 length sleeves, and band at the hem that hits at the knee.

Like all my patterns, both the Derby Dress and Chelsea Dress patterns are sized from 0–18 and all sizes are included in the PDF file. Both of these patterns have a difficulty rating of "two spools" which is perfect for an advanced beginner sewer!

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PDF patterns are a huge source of debate - some people love them, some people loathe them - but everyone can agree that there is instant gratification involved with a PDF pattern, making it a great choice for someone that doesn't want to wait for a printed version to be mailed to them. 

It's a lovely choice for people that are far away, as shipping to Europe, Asia, and down under can take weeks to arrive. As a PDF pattern, it arrives instantly in your email in box, so not only are PDF patterns cheaper to buy, there is no downtime, and *bonus* there are no shipping costs either! 

If you are not a fan of PDF patterns, never fear, I will continue to print my printed versions for as long as I can see. I know some companies have gone back and forth on this, but until my catalog is huge and I have a real storage issue, patterns will always be available printed. That is my first love, and it's important to me to keep them in a print format.

I hope you love sewing these dresses up and adding them to your spring and summer wardrobe. They are perfect for the upcoming warm months and can easily go from a casual picnic to a springtime wedding. And of course, if you make them up, remember to share them on Instagram with the hashtags #DerbyDress #ChelseaDress and my tags, #ChristineHaynesPatterns or #ChristineHaynes. This way I will see it and everyone else making the same dresses will see yours too! It's not very active, but there is also a Christine Haynes Patterns Flickr group, if you still have an account over there!

Thanks as always for everyone's support and I can't wait to see what you make!

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*sale fine print - Sale runs through Sunday, May 3, 2015, 11:59pm Pacific Time. Discount on new orders only. Thanks!*

News From My Studio and Beyond...

April 25, 2015

Things are still rather quiet here on the blog, which means that things are far from quiet in the studio! Here is some news from me and some goodies I've found out there on the web!

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New Pattern Coming!!!

Yes! There is a new pattern coming to the shop this spring! I am busy wrapping up all the details in an effort to release the pattern before I skip town for my annual spring holiday. I can tell you that she is called Sylvie and that she is a dress meant for woven fabrics. But that's all you're getting out of me at this point. I love her and I hope you will too!

More PDFs Patterns

I mentioned this previously, but I can say that it's really happening next week- Derby Dress and Chelsea Dress are coming as PDF patterns! And... there might be a sale to go with them, so if I were you, I'd check back here next week! Remember you can also find out about sales and new releases by signing up on my mailing list! (Find the sign up form at the bottom of my home page!) I really only email about once a month, so I promise no excessive spam.

Spring Vacation Book and Pattern Shipping Schedule

If you have been following my shop for a few years, you know that each spring when we go away for vacation, the shipping schedule changes a bit. But I'm happy to say that this year, nothing will change with the schedule at all! Thanks to my lovely friend Haley, patterns will ship as usual, within three business days from when you placed your order. Remember that weekends and US postal holidays are not business days, so plan accordingly! So if you buy a pattern at 6pm on a Thursday, Friday is the first business day, which means it might not go out until Monday or Tuesday, which are the second and third business day. We like to have evenings and weekends off too!

Since I sign all my books to order, and I will be away, this means that I cannot sign them from afar. So all book orders will be on hold from early June until late July. I will announce firm dates as they grow closer, but know that there will be a nearly two month window where books will not be shipping from me. You can always find them on Amazon and beyond, but if you want a signed copy from me, best order sooner rather than later! Find all four of my books here!

Upcoming Classes and Out-of-Town Workshops

In May I am teaching only a few beginner classes locally at Sew L.A., but when I return I will be back in full force for all kinds of fun classes, so stay tuned for news on that! Just as a reminder to those of you out of the Los Angeles area, I am also teaching at the upcoming Camp Stitchalot in May (which I think is sold out), and Camp Workroom Social (which has plenty of spots left in my class). So I hope to see you in a class!

Quilt Market Book Signing

If you will are attending Quilt Market in Minneapolis this May, you will see me there too! C&T, the publisher of my newest book, How to Speak Fluent Sewing, has arranged a book signing in their booth on Saturday afternoon, as well as a Schoolhouse presentation on Thursday. I'm a tad nervous so I hope people come and enjoy themselves! I will announce the official dates and times for both of these events as I know the information.

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Jackalope Art Fair

This weekend in Pasadena is the Jackalope Art Fair, which I helped curate! I hope you pop by if you are local, as the offerings are pretty amazing. My fellow curators and I had hundreds to go through and I was so impressed at how great most of them were. If you are looking to pick up a little something for yourself or for a gift, (hello, mother's day!) this is the place to do it. Support handmade artists and skip the mall!!!

Make Boss

I've enjoyed getting to know Heather from Closet Case Files, both on her blog and via personal emails, and I look forward to finally meeting face-to-face when we're both teachers at Camp Workroom Social this fall. She just started a series called Make Boss on her blog where she talks about starting your own business. Her first post just went up and it's all about things to consider when quitting your day job. It's so spot on, it's like I wrote it myself. I have almost nothing to add to this well thought out post, it's really perfect. So if you are considering quitting your day job to pursue your passion (craft or otherwise) I highly suggest reading this post!

Treat Yo Self

I recently picked up some handmade mugs for my morning tea, and wow are they gorgeous. First, I got four mugs from Dahl Haus, all big and beautifully handmade in Vancouver by artist Heather Braun-Dahl. You won't be disappointed! I also have a mug from my BFF Jenifer Lake, which I like to call my Mowl (mug/bowl) because it is large and wonderful. She has other goodies on her site, like the adorable hand-formed face bowls pictured above. You know you need those. And buying these directly supports real living artists! This is a win-win.

Fashion Revolution

Yesterday was Fashion Revolution Day, in honor of the two year anniversary of the tragic Rana Plaza factory building collapse, which killed 1,129 and injured over 2,500 people. I posted about this on my Instagram feed and it is an incredibly important reminder that we all need to put a face to the things we buy. These items don't just appear at the local mall, someone somewhere made that. I once had a conversation with a grown man who honestly thought that clothes were made by robots. Seriously. Nope, someone made that thing on your back with their own two hands. Yes, all clothing is "hand made" and it's key to remember that. The Fashion Revolution group is doing a good job of planning events and keeping attention on this year round, and the upcoming film The True Cost is hopefully going to further the awareness to what is happening in the factories where the people make our goods. Yes, there are some companies where the workers are paid a living wage, but there is a long way to go. Educate yourself and those around you. 

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Well, I think that's about enough news for today! I hope you all have a lovely weekend and we'll see you here next week for some PDF pattern goodness!

My Favorite Non-Sewing Studio Tools

April 15, 2015

Sometimes the best tool for the job isn't actually a sewing tool, rather a completely random item that just performs the task at hand better than anything else. Here are my eight favorite non-sewing tools that help me out everyday in my studio!

Tool 1: Computer Brush
Above is a newer addition to my collection, and was a gift from an awesome student and friend. This tool is meant to be used to dust off your computer and other electronics, but it is ideal for brushing off the dust and fluff from your sewing machines too. It is so awesome and come on, it's hot pink! This was purchased locally at Daiso, but if you check office supply stores near you, you might find something similar.   

Tool 2: Jelly Jars
I love jam, so it's natural that I have a small army of jelly jars in the house. Truth be told, I only keep these cute Bonne Maman jars because of the adorable gingham lids, but of course, any similar jar would be helpful. I do like these though because of the wide mouth openings and jars with narrower openings wouldn't be as useful. I use these for my spare machine feet, pins, needles, hooks & eyes, and more. And because of their wide lids they stack nicely too!

Tool 3: Metal Knitting Needle
I love a good point turner and use them all the time for poking out corners and angles, but sometimes the shape of a point turner is far too wide to get into the item. Think about a narrow strap, belt loop, or anything narrower than the width of a point turner. This is when the knitting needle comes to help! I prefer the narrow and long metal needles since they are sturdy I can just pop them into my tool drawers along with all my other tools without fear of them getting damaged.

Tool 4: Small Containers
I like having all my tools, pens, and scissors nearby to grab when I need them, but I really don't care for the cold feeling of most organizational systems. When I wanted to organize my tools for my desk I just turned to my kitchen and found a small vintage creamer, metal tea tins, and other similar ceramic and metal containers. They are much more personal, they vary in size for my needs, and of course they are way cuter than anything I could get at the office supply store. 

Tool 5: Pliers and Screwdriver
Every time I need to take my sewing machine needle out of my conventional machine, I need to grab my screwdriver, so it's something I'm using nearly every day. I like this little short and squat screwdriver as it allows me to get close to the screw without the typical long shape of most screwdrivers. And pliers are perfect for removing teeth from metal zippers and grabbing items just out of reach, like when threading my serger. Even if you don't have a whole tool box of stuff, these are good ones to have on hand.

Tool 6: Tape Dispenser
If you put together PDF patterns, I don't have to tell you that tape is something you use in excess. But taking it to the next level and getting a weighted tape dispenser is so insanely helpful as it stays in place each time you grab for a piece of tape! 

Tool 7: Washi Tape
Okay, so we all know that washi tape is cute and great for decorating things, sealing up envelopes, and sticking on everything. But in addition to being decorative, washi tape is also really helpful for marking seam allowances on your machine, labeling tools, and loads more. Think beyond just decorative uses for your pretty collection of tape!

Tool 8: Water Sprayer
The water in my apartment here in Los Angeles is the hardest water I've ever had to endure. It is so full of minerals and just jams up my iron like crazy. And yet I just cannot justify buying purified water for my iron because I use it so much that it'd cost me a small fortune. (And I've tried using a filter, but that doesn't help either by the way!) So instead of filling my iron with water, I instead bought a simple water sprayer at the grocery store to use when I'm ironing. The water isn't ever heated, but if I need to press something with steam, I just dampen it with the sprayer (a light mist or a soaking, depending on what I need) and then press with my dry iron. Saves the day every time!

Introducing My New Book - How to Speak Fluent Sewing!

April 7, 2015

I know, it feels like I just introduced a book, but another one is already out! I'd like you to meet my new book, How to Speak Fluent Sewing! Signed copies are available in my shop, and digital eBook versions are for purchase at my publisher's site.

I suspect you're not supposed to have favorites with things like books, and that I should love them all equally, but truth be told, this is quite possibly my favorite book I've written yet. Well, maybe it's tied with The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction, but either way, it's a close race. I am a total junky for reference books, so having the chance to write two, one essentially like an encyclopedia, and this one which is like a dictionary, has been a highlight of my career.

How to Speak Fluent Sewing is a small-ish handy reference book, and is published by the fine folks at C&T/Stash Books. It just feels so so good, and is chocked full of over 300 terms for your reference.

In the book you will find the following chapters, each with loads of sub-sections:

  • Tools
  • Needle Terms
  • Machine Terms
  • Stitch Terms
  • Fabric Terms
  • Pattern & Garment Terms
  • Techniques & Processes

Under each chapter and sub-section, you will find the item with a cute, yet clear, illustration, and the explanation of What it is, What it does, and Why use it. That way you can not only know what the tool or technique does, but the real "why" as well so you can apply it to your own sewing. 

As a teacher, the "why" is hugely important to me, as I know that when I learn I understand the bigger picture better when I know what it's going to be used for and when I might want to use it. All the information gets pooled together and utilized for your craft. 

I am completely in love with how the illustrations turned out–you can only imagine the amount of back and forth that has to take place between me, the editors, and the illustrators, for over 300 terms. Thank heavens for private Pinterest boards! In the end every drawing turned out exactly as had hoped and I am so grateful to the illustrators and my team at RotoVision for making it all turn out perfectly.

I wrote most of this book when I was in Paris last spring, and it truly holds a dear spot in my heart. I adore it so much and hope you all love it too! If you'd like to read a little Q&A my publishers did with me in honor of the book launch, read that on their blog here.

Pick up your signed copy of How to Speak Fluent Sewing in my shop today!