Costume 101 – The Tabard

I’ve made some pretty fancy costumes over the years.  (They don’t call me Mother of Dragons for nothing!)  But sometimes that’s not what is called for. Sometimes you need something simple.  I love making costumes, but I don’t love dressing up.  So every year my friends try to come up with a theme that I can live with.  My favorite was Clue.  They all dressed up as Professor Plum and Miss Scarlett, et al. I put a toe tag and a black plastic bag on and went as the dead body.  No fuss, no muss.  You may need a little more than that.  In comes the Tabard.

The Tabard isn’t just for Knights you know.  It is the perfect piece of fabric that can turn anyone into a pumpkin, a greek philosopher, a robot, or even a furry little animal.  Most costumes just need to create the illusion of your character.  These can be just as convincing and creative as the perfect Elsa or Batman you buy at the store.  Plus, they allow for more freedom.  And, they are the perfect project for your first foray into costume making.

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Sew Your Hart Out September Final Week Garment Parade!


windham-colette-janomeThis is it you guys! Sew Your Hart Out September 2015 has come to an end! We have had so much fun this month! There have been an incredible amount of project photos that have been shared with us, thank you all so much! Be sure to check out all of the customer project photos over on our Facebook page!

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Colette Patterns 101


windham-colette-janomeColette Patterns is the powerhouse of the indie pattern community. Started by Sarai Mitnick in 2009, whose previous jobs include working for giants YouTube and Google, both Colette’s blog and patterns have become massively popular. Currently based in Portland, Oregon, the creative minds behind Colette are constantly expanding their business ventures, including the recently added Seamwork Magazine and a brand spanking new sewing podcast!

colette-hawthorn-dress-patternColette’s Hawthorn
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Akita Pattern Hack From Haley at Colette Patterns



beauty-04I love patterns. This is a statement that is probably not a surprise coming from a sewing enthusiast, but it is true. Vintage and modern alike, some of my favorite things in my stash are patterns. I think this can be attributed to the fact that I learned to sew and make patterns simultaneously. I had been sewing for almost 5 years before I ever used a sewing pattern.

The day I first used a commercial sewing pattern the clouds parted and angels sang. Since then I have been hooked. I like to think of commercial sewing patterns as a really great pre-made template. I love choosing a silhouette or style that I like, and then making small adjustments until it feels crafted just for me. My favorite adjustment to make to any top is lengthening into a dress. It’s like I am getting two patterns for the price of one. When I laid eyes on the first sample of Seamwork’s Akita I knew instantly that an Akita Dress was in my near future.

The best part is, Akita is a one piece pattern, this makes it seriously easy to whip up in one hour. No joke, I made this sample in less than 60 minutes.

Here is what you’ll need: Continue Reading →

Windham Fabrics 101


windham-colette-janomeBaum textile mills, the mother company of Windham fabrics, has been a family run business since 1955. As a producer of the finest quality fabrics for the home sewing industry, Baum has built their reputation for producing some of the finest fleeces and flannels on the market.

In the mid 1990s, after recognizing a need for more quality quilting and crafting fabrics, Baum decided to add quilting cottons to its collections and watched as they became immensely popular! In response to this growing market, Baum decided to focus its efforts on the needs of the independent quilt shops and introduced a new division, Windham Fabrics!

flora kelly ventura

Quilt made from fabrics from Kelly Ventura’s Flora collection.

Working extensively with quilt historians, industry experts, an in-house design studio, and well-known designers, including Harts Fabric favorites Lotta Jansdotter and Heather Ross, Windham Fabrics has become a staple in the quality fabrics marketplace. Known for its authentic reproductions of antique fabrics, Windham also offers florals, textures, retro and many more fabric collections!


Quilt made from Heather Ross’ Tiger Lily collection.

IMG_5518A picture from 2015’s Quilt Market featuring more Tiger Lily from Heather Ross!

I always love visiting the Heather Ross booth at Quilt Market! Heather has been a favorite designer and friend of Harts Fabric for years! Heather has even visited the store for events and collection releases! Her booth is always so cute and inspirational! We recently received our shipment of her new collection Tiger Lily, and we just adore it!

lottaLotta Jansdotter’s Lucky Collection 


More of the Lucky collection!

Lotta Jansdotter is a Scandinavian designer known for her modern and clean designs. Her works have graced all sorts of items from dishware, rugs, home decor and, you guessed it, fabric! We at Harts really love her new Stella collection! With its soft pastel colors and sweet prints, it really lends itself well to baby and nursery projects!


Projects made from Carrie Bloomston’s Story collection!

In addition to all these wonderful fabric collections from both up-and-coming and established designers, Windham also offers free patterns for projects such as quilts and pillows on their website!

Happy Sewing!


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“Laurel Hack” with buttons all down the back!


This was a fun and simple hack I would love to share with you!  As you can see from my “jazz hands” in the pic above I was excited about how it turned out and it didn’t take too long to finish either!  Everyone knows that I LOVE buttons so any chance I get to add buttons on anything is a bonus for me!

Ok, let’s get started…


-Colette’s Laurel Pattern (I made the shirt version 4, but this idea would be cute on the dress versions too!)

-Fabric of your choice (I picked a Lotta Jansdotter fabric from her new Lucky collection.  Remember yardage depends on version choice and your size!)

-Buttons of choice (I used 5 large buttons for the top.  If you pick smaller buttons you may need more.)

-1/4 yard Iron on Shape-Flex Interfacing (My Favorite!  It’s made out of cotton instead of paper.)

Sewing machine with a buttonhole foot.

-You will also need all the sewing essentials such as thread, scissors, a seam ripper, marking pencil, pins and, of course, chocolate!

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Sew Your Hart Out September FINAL WEEK!!



Wow! Is it just me or has this month just flown by! Now we are all thinking about Halloween costumes and all of the fun fall flannel shirts we are going to make… but before we can even get into that we need to have our grand finally of September sponsored by Windham Fabric and Colette Patterns! So excited!! So here’s whats happening this week:

Tuesday: Amy is going to show us a fun pattern hack for the Laurel pattern from Colette Patterns. She added a fun button placket to the back of the top version giving it a fun new look! Great tutorial so be on the look out for that.




tuesday giveawayPlus a Give Away! Tuesday we are giving away 3 Colette patterns, 2 fat quarter packs from Lotta Jansdotter, One 10 pack of Aurifil thread and a lawn charm pack from Heather Ross’s Tiger Lily collection. (And a partridge in a pear treeeee… haha)




Image result for windham fabrics lotta jansdotter  Wednesday: We are going to give you a virtual tour of Windham Fabrics and tell you about their designers and how   they make their fabrics. Great post on the inside workings of a large fabrics manufacturer. 


beauty-05Thursday: We are so excited to share with you a pattern hack and tutorial directly from Haley at Colette Patterns. She will be showing you how to alter the  Akita from September’s issue of Seamwork into a cute dress! (A photo of the dress is on our homepage right now if you want a sneak peak!!)




thursday giveawayPlus a Give Away!! Thursday we are giving away 3 Colette patterns, 2 fat quarter packs from Lotta Jansdotter, One 10 pack of Aurifil thread and a lawn charm pack from Heather Ross’s Tiger Lily collection AND a 6 month subscription to Seamwork!! (That’s like 12 additional patterns!!)





Friday: On the blog there will be an awesome post about Colette Patterns, and basically why you need every one of their patterns in your wardrobe 😉




sew-your-hart-out-3Friday: We will give away a $200 Gift Card to the store and….. we will also be giving away the serger and the sewing machine from Janome today!! The drawing will happen at 3pm and the winners will be announced on our Facebook page!


customer-projectsSaturday: Our last Project Parade!! Be sure to check out all of the awesome projects that came through all September long! You can see them all on our Facebook page too!!




And That’s All FOLKS!! We hoped you enjoyed Sew Your Hart Out September, congratulations to the winners!!

-Dani X<3

dani clean

Grainline Studio Patterns

copy-grainline_logojenGrainline Studios began as the personal sewing and project blog of Jen Beeman, designer and patternmaker behind the company. Having studied fashion design at Columbia College where she focused on patternmaking and technical design, Jen enjoyed inspiring people with her projects and sharing tips and tricks she learned from school, and friends. People began responding very positively to the clothing that Jen was drafting for herself and they began requesting the patterns. Jen made PDF downloads of her patterns available online and with their popularity, the rest was history!

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Altering the Grainline Studio Archer Shirt with Rochelle from Lucky Lucille



Hello! I’m Rochelle, here from LuckyLucille, and today I have a shirt dress modification to share using the Archer Button Up pattern by Grainline Studio. I’ve seen a lot of cute shirt dresses at Anthropologie lately, and when I saw their Tela Shirtdress in particular, I knew I had to recreate a similar dress.
Please note this is a pretty “lite” tutorial since the sewing construction will follow nearly the same steps as the original instructions. You’re basically just changing a few pattern pieces before you begin, and then sewing a cute ruffled skirt to the bottom of your shirt at the end. I’m here to help you through those pattern changes :)
The pattern pieces we’ll be modifying for this tutorial are the Front, the Back, the Button Band, and the Sleeve, plus we’ll be drafting our own pattern piece for the skirt. (Also note: my illustrations are for reference only and are not drawn to scale.


Pattern Used: Grainline Studio ArcherButton Up
Fabric Used: Robert Kaufman 4.5oz LightIndigo Chambray
Seam Allowances: 1/2” throughout as instructed by pattern, 2” on sleeve, and 4” on skirt hem.

Pattern Preparation Steps:
First we’re going to chop off a bit of length from the front, back, and button band. If you’d prefer not to re-trace and/or cut or pattern pieces, you can fold up the extra length to make your modifications. This shirt dress has a drop-waist, so I simply squared off the bottom at the point where the hip curve starts. Make sure your button band ends up the same length as your front, and your front and back pieces are the same length along the side seams from the armhole down.
Next we’re going to modify the sleeves. For the length of my sleeves I measured 10” down from the sleeve head and made my cut. You’ll need to add a bit of width to the sides to allow you to fold up your hem evenly. Cutting at this length will give you a 2” seam allowance, but if you prefer more or less you can cut accordingly.
Finally we’re going to draft our skirt pieces, which is essentially just a rectangle cut on the fold. A good rule of the thumb for the width is to measure the width of the bottom of your Back pattern piece, then add 6 inches (so that’s a total of 12” extra when unfolded). The length is all about personal preference. For my dress I cut a length of 16 inches, which includes a nice thick hem allowance of 4 inches. Remember this is a drop-waist style dress so your skirt piece will seem quite mini at first!
For reference, my final skirt piece measured 16.5 inches wide (on the fold) by 16 inches long (including a 4” hem allowance).
You will need to cut two skirt pieces.
Sewing Construction Steps:
(Again, this is a “lite” tutorial…) To construct your Archer Shirtdress, follow the original Archer pattern instructions as you assemble the front, back, collar, and sleeves. The shortened sleeves will be much quicker to sew because there are no plackets or cuffs! For a two inch sleeve hem like mine, simply fold up one inch, press, and then fold over one inch again.
Skip step 21 of the original instructions because we’ll be attaching a skirt instead of hemming the shirt.
You’ll probably find it easier to sew your buttonholes and buttons before attaching the skirt portion. I chose to save my buttonholes for the very last step after the skirt was attached and because of that, my bottom button has no actual buttonhole! I couldn’t maneuver my buttonhole foot around the button band with the skirt attached, so just be weary of that.
To assemble your skirt, sew the side seams and finish the raw edges inside. You can hem the skirt now if you choose. It took me just a bit longer to press around all the gathers after the skirt was attached since I was using a whopping 4” hem. For speedier pressing/pinning on a wide hem, consider doing that step first before you gather the skirt to attach it to the dress.
To gather the skirt I used two rows of basting stitches (one at 3/8ths and one at 5/8ths), leaving my long thread tails open at one of the side seams. I then aligned the side seams of my skirt piece with my shirt piece and gathered the front and back separately to fit.
Remember to match right sides together when attaching your skirt, and sew your final row of stitches with a 1/2” seam allowance.
Well that’s about it for that. I hope you found this post helpful for recreating your very own Archer Shirtdress!
Thanks for reading :)