Sewing Pattern Series: Sew House Seven


The #modernseamstress is a term I use to describe today’s sewist.  She most likely can re-create patterns from existing garments on last year’s wrapping paper, and loves redesigning clothing into fashion-forward looks.  The cut and sew type of person knows the project will somehow work out…usually,  although he or she may have a hard time with sewing patterns. I’m pretty much describing today’s seamstress.  We’ve shunned traditional sewing patterns because of the unnecessarily difficult instructions and outdated looks, using sewing terms you’ve never heard of and you cringe at the thought of nylon paper exploding from the envelope.  Now don’t be turned off just yet.  There are many modern sewing patterns that are created for today’s seamstresses in mind.  They offer fashion-forward looks with simplified instructions.  They also come in digital or PDF files you can simply print at home!  All you have to do is download, print, and tile the patterns.  Learning to create garments from sewing patterns is actually a breeze.  It’s also a necessary skill that as a seamstress you should know.  The finished results will be better fitting garments and professional finishes that will enhance your sewing and design skills.  If you plan to work in the garment industry, pattern making and construction is a necessary skill you’ll want to master.  This new series, that I’ll be introducing you to, will use a few of my go-to sewing patterns.

The first sewing pattern I’m starting off with is Sew House Seven’s Bridgetown Backless Dress & Tunic.  The pattern is easy to follow with clear instructions.  The design is a simple silhouette with modern features like the open draped back and kimono style sleeves. It’s a versatile look for all occasions.  Go with a semi-sheer cotton gauze for a swim cover up, a cotton knit tunic for casual, or/and a silk sateen for special occasions.  Once you master this pattern you will zip through them and want one in every color and fabric.
I chose Navy Bohemian Print in Wool Dobby from Stylish Fabric and couldn’t resist a ultra soft and drapey knit jersey in teal here.

Steps of the process and tips on using PDF patterns below:

Begin by downloading the pattern.  When printing make sure to print “Actual Size,” full scale, 100%.”  Print the first page that contains a square prior to printing the whole pattern.  Measure to make sure it’s correct.  If so then proceed to print the remaining pages.  If not, check your printer settings, make any changes, and print another test page…
Cut the left and top lines of each inner tile piece.
Like a puzzle, match the marks and pattern lines up with tape. Make sure to tape through any cutting lines that go through the page edges and where the four corners meet.
Once everything is taped, cut the pattern pieces out.  You can then trace the pattern onto pattern paper. This is a good option if you want to make the pattern in different sizes as well.  I prefer to use the printed pattern for time efficiency.
Pick the fabric that is suggested in the pattern instructions.
To store your patterns use hangers with clips used for pants/shorts.  When I’m done using them for awhile I like to fold them up along the cut lines and place them in plastic storage bags.
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Laura's creativity and eye for design is what sets Trash to Couture apart from any other. Laura started sewing and designing her own clothing as a young girl. She even made her Prom and High School Dance dresses. Her sewing teacher created a class for her senior year so she could continue her advanced sewing curriculum. She'd finish the class projects so quickly she had to start bringing clothing from home to use for fabric. After college Laura ran a successful handmade, sustainable clothing brand specializing in custom bridal designs. After having 2 babies back to back she decided to take a break from running the company solo and focus on raising her boys. Realizing sewing and designing were something she missed dearly, she decided to start Trash to Couture. Trash to Couture was created in 2010 to inspire a less wasteful approach to the mass-produced fashion mainstream through DIY tutorials and repurposed fashions. Laura not only is the seamstress, she specializes in designing original content with craft brands. She contributes and designs content for many top craft brands and publications: BERNINA, Altered Couture, Sulky,, Burda Style, to name a few.

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