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Today we’ll see how to make a Full Bust Adjustment on the princess seam of the Alameda dress pattern. But first, you might be wondering: How do I know if I need a FBA?
Well, it’s not that difficult. The first clue is that you have more than a B bra cup (sorry to all the ladies with bosom, as the patterns are drafted by a small chested girl – me! – this fitted design will need a FBA to get fit on you). You also want to make a FBA if:
  • compared to all your measurements, your bust measurements is one (or more) size bigger.
  • when you made your muslin, you went for a bigger size for the bust but have now some extra fabric at the armscye.
  • the waistline is pulling up at the front.
Let’s take an example: Maria’s measurements are bust 92 cm (36″), waist 70 cm (27 1/2″) and hips 95 cm (37 1/4″). For the waist and hips, she should cut a size 38 but her bust belongs to size 40. The problem if she cuts size 40 for the bust and 38 for the waist and hips is that the armscye and shoulder lines will also belong to size 40, which will be too big for her and most likely there will be some extra fabric where the princess seam starts and at the shoulder seams. The solution is to cut the pattern pieces in 38 and add extra volume only in the bust area.
And of course make a muslin before to check the fit and correct the adjustments!
Let’s see how to make the Full Bust Adjustment:
1Let’s take Maria’s measurements again: her bust measurement is 92 cm (36″) when the one corresponding to her size 38 is 88 cm (34 1/2″), there is a 4 cm (1 1/2″) difference. She’ll cut the pattern in size 38 and add 2 cm (3/4″) at each bust seam to make the full bust adjustment, without increasing the waistline or the neckline.

1. Take your pattern bodice front and bodice side front pieces. Draw the seam allowances and all the marks (notches, grainline…).On the bodice side front, we’re going to draw 3 lines:

  •    1: from the waistline to the fullest part of the bust.
  •    2: from 1/3 of the armhole (remember that the armhole is made of the the front and side front bodice pieces) to the fullest part of the bust.
  •   3: from the fullest part of the bust, draw a diagonal line toward the side seam allowance, like a dart.
32. Cut lines 1 and 2 and stop when you reach the seam allowance.
3. Cut the seam allowance but make sure it’s still attached.
4. Cut line 3 and stop just before you reach the fullest part of the bust.
5. Tape the princess seam to a piece of paper and pivot the pattern along lines 1, 2 and 3 so that the opening at line 1 measures the  2 cm (3/4″) increase we need. Make sure the 2 cm (3/4″) increase is even all the way down line 1. Tape the pattern in place on the paper.
6. As you can see, the waistline is not even. Draw a line parallel to the waistline on the princess seam part.
7. Cut along the line and place the small piece on the continuity of the waistline, 2 cm (3/4″) from line 1. Tape.
8. Cut roughly around the new pattern piece.
9. Draw a line extending line 3 to the princess seam.
10. Cut along line 3 until you reach the first pivot. Close the “dart” and tape.
11. Cut the line 3 from the princess seam to the pivot. Place a piece of paper under the spread “dart” and tape.
12. We need to take 2 cm (3/4″) in at the side seam to keep the waistline the original width (this is the measurement we added at the bust). Draw a new side seam starting from line 3 and ending 2 cm (3/4″) from the waistline edge.
13. Now we need to add the increases we made to the side front piece to the front. Trace 2 lines at the same level you made the increases.
14. Measure how much you added to the side front piece and report that on the front piece. For the bust, measure the seam allowance line, not the cutting line.
15. Here you go: your new pattern pieces!  We have increased the bust area without touching to the waistline, armhole or neckline.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.
Are you going to make a FBA?


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After choosing your fabric for the Alameda dress, let’s see some style inspiration to help you decide how to combine the colours, patterns or different fabrics to get the perfect dress!

You can use contrasting piping (buy it already made or make your own following this tutorial), contrasting panels, mix and match the skirt and top fabrics, go for a day version or a party look… there are so many options!


source: 1, 2, 3

Use different colours or patterned and plain fabrics on the different pattern pieces. For example dark colours on the outside will make you waist appear smaller (great visual trick!). And what about making the flounce in leather? With maybe leather piping? Perfect for the rock’n roll chicks.

source: 1, 2, 3

Prints are great! For a nautical look, go for stripes. Want to emulate the Dolce & Gabbana spanish look, polka dots will be your friends. And for the more romantics, florals can never go wrong.

source: 1, 2, 3
The Alameda dress can go from day to night in no time: just choose the right fabric. How about a brocade? And lace would look amazing as well (remember to underline the dress) for a wedding. Bright colours are a favourite of mine. Leave the piping out and add a big bow for fun.
source: 1, 2, 3
Last but not least, a Fall/Winter version in tweed is really elegant. Worn with a cardigan and tights, the Alameda will make a cute dress for work and for going out on the week-end.
I hope this has given you a lot of ideas for your
Alameda. If you have any questions, let me know here in the comments.


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How do you feel about a Sew-Along?
You’ve been asking for one for the new pattern, the Alameda dress, so I thought I would repeat the experience and prepare some videos for you like for the Carme blouse (you seemed to like it, no?).
The Alameda dress is not difficult, it’s an intermediate seamstress level, but I think a beginner with good bases would be more than ready to make it. The more complex steps are adding the piping to the princess seams, stitch the lining and the invisible zipper. And with the help of a Sew-Along, no need to fear these techniques.
Let’s see what we’ll cover in the first week:
  • Choose the right fabric and lining for your Alameda
  • Make the ajustements (FBA and SBA, shortening or lengthening, join different sizes)
Then we’ll start with the video tutorials:
  • Stitch the piping
  • Make the bodice and bodice lining
  • Sew the skirt (with pocket option)
  • Attach the zipper
  • Finish (fellsticth and hem)
Grab your Alameda Sew-Along button, prepare your hastags #AlamedaSewAlong, get the pattern if you don’t have it (Alameda Dress pattern) and #paulinealice and start thinking about your fabric. We’ll talk about that on Monday, July 21st for the official start of the Alameda Sew-Along!



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I’ve always wanted to make a saharienne inspired dress out of the Carme blouse pattern and I woke on Saturday morning with an urge to sew it Now! So I drank my morning tea and headed to the sewing room and I got out for lunch with this Safari Carme Dress.


As you can see, it’s still missing some closure on the front placket, I’m planning to make some kind of lace-up closure with eyelets like the Yves Saint Laurent original saharienne. But I was missing a hammer so I’ll finish it later…I used a natural linen, it’s so comfortable for the summer… I think it would also look great in light cotton or chambray. The fabric is from the Fabrics-store, they have an amazing linen selection (they sent me this fabric to make a tutorial of the Carme blouse and I had just enough left for the dress).


Here you can see the loose shape gathered at the waist by the belt and the other details I changed on the original Carme blouse pattern: I shortened the sleeves, added a breast pocket, lengthened the placket, added belt loops and lengthened the length of the pattern. These are very easy changes. Let’s see them on a diagram in case you want to make a Carme dress:


In red are the original pattern pieces and in blue the new ones, in black the pieces and marks that you don’t need to change:
  •  You can keep the pleated yoke if you wish but I wanted a simpler look so I joined the yoke (4) and the front (1) together and drew the new bodice front. I lengthen it by about 30 cm on the side (careful, the hem is curved).
  • I lengthened the back bodice by 30 cm as well (this measurement will depend on your height of course, I’m small so I don’t need to add a lot but you might want to add more or less length) and I made a more pronounced and longer curve at the back (I think the back is about 8 cm longer than the front).
  • I lengthened the front placket (5), it’s about 40 cm now.
  • You can use the same collar pieces (6).
  • I shortened the sleeves (3) right on the “shorten or lengthen here” mark and raised the new square mark about 12 cm under the top of the sleeve head. I used the same sleeve tab pieces (7).
  • I added 4 belt loops at waist level (2 on the front and 2 on the back) to wear a belt and give some shape to the dress. They are made of self fabric bias strips. These could also be place at hips level for a different look.
  • I added a breast pocket with flap. I made a box pleat pocket for an utilitarian look.
  • The only thing you would have to be careful about is the hip measurements: be sure to add enough room for your hips as the original pattern hits just above them. With following the lines and opening them just a little bit, my dress is very confortable and loose, but if you are pear shaped, that’s something I’d keep in mind when drawing the new pattern lines.
That’s it! Quite easy, no? I hope some of you will be tempted by this Safari Carme variation and if you have any question, feel free to contact me.



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As part of the Sewing Indie month, I wrote a tutorial for Maria from Maria Denmark Patterns (find the original on her blog). She kindly sent me her Paula skirt pattern, a great basic pattern and I asked her if I could write a tutorial for sewing it with leather. I’m no expert, it was the first garment I made in leather (actually, it’s faux-leather) but I had this great fabric and I thought we could all learn from what I could come up with.


So here we go:

And just so you know, the Paula skirt pattern is on sale (15% discount)!



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Summer is here and I am in need of cute yet confortable clothes! I think that I can live an entire summer out of dresses but sometimes I feel more like wearing pants, shorts or even overalls… but still feel dressed up and cute.
And here comes the Scalloped Hem Shorts pattern by Pattern Runway, perfect for these summer days when you need to look smart but cool at the same time. I love the hem (of course!), the classic look of the slash and welt pockets, the front seam… Very sassy! It could easily go from a day at the beach to a meeting in the city and finish to a party or drinks on the evening.
Of course, in order to wear them all day long, you might want to stay away from linen! What can I say? I had this waxed linen for about a year and I love its leathery look, I think it adds a nice touch to the pattern but it wrinkles like crazy. I was seated for 15 minutes before taking the pictures and the front looks aweful (I saw that only after taking the pictures ;).
5The sizing of the pattern is good but I found it a little big. According to the measurements, I cut a size XS (and didn’t make a muslin, silly me) but when I tried it on, it was large both at the hips and at the waist (it’s supposed to sit at the natural waist). I remember reading reviews saying the same. I stitched 1,5 cm seam allowances all over instead of the 1 cm included in the pattern. But I think I’ll just cut the XXS size next time as it’s still a little big (it’s the first time I’ve entered into such a small size haha). I would also make them a little bit shorter, but that’s a personal preference. But these are such easy changes that I can only say the best about this pattern (and it’s really my fault as I could have avoided that by making a muslin).
4The instructions are clear (the welt pocket lining could be easier, if you have never made one, take your time and check their online tutorial). I made false welt pockets as I didn’t want to add bulk to the back and I knew I wouldn’t use these pockets anyway.
What about you, do you have a favourite shorts pattern?


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I’m so happy to present this tutorial by Betsy from SBCC patterns (Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick, love the name!), specialized in sewing patterns for petite women.

And you know what? I am a petite woman! 5 ft 1 (1, 53 m).

Betsy has made the Malvarosa dress for herself and proposed to share some tips on Petites alterations.

So please welcome Betsy who’s going to show you how to alter very easily the Malvarosa pattern so you can rock the low waist trend this summer! See for yourself her beautiful version, very Gatsby and Roaring 20’s fabulosity if you ask me!

Hi, I’m Betsy from Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Patterns. I am happy to meet and work with Pauline Alice. Sewing Indie month has brought us together and I am thrilled to have found her patterns that are classic, feminine- oh yeah, and a breeze to sew together!

I make petite patterns, for women 5’4” and under. Believe it or not, 70% of the female population is actually petite in torso length, leg length, or both. It is easy to make petite pattern alterations and Pauline Alice was a good sport about letting me make a petite version of her Malvarosa Dress.

I am always drawn to drop-waist dresses. Maybe I was a tall, 1920’s Flapper in a previous life, sporting the chic elongated looks that hit gracefully at the hip level. Well, in this lifetime, Flapper I am not with my 5 ft 1″/1.55m petite stature. Waistlines that hit below the natural waist tend to be hard to pull of for petites- it takes the right proportions.

The Malvarosa dress had me hook, line, and sinker. I knew I had to make it, as it is a silhouette that I gravitate towards lately and also an easy style to modify for petites. With the right heels I could pull it off as is, but I like my flats and needed to make some petite modifications.

I always start out with a muslin to get a baseline idea of what changes I may need to make. I made up the first version as per Pauline’s original dress. It turned out really cute, but a touch too long for me. So then I made the second muslin with the following alterations:
  • I shortened the bottom skirt 3″/7,5cm. Since drop waists elongate the torso my philosophy is that it is best for petites to keep the hem above the knee so short legs don’t look shorter.
    (I went a little too short on the 2nd muslin and it was a full on show when I bent over- whoa!). Revised the skirt again and only reduced 2”/5cm in length which was a bit more modest.
  • Then I reduced the bodice length 1″/2.5 cm at the armhole, both front and back to bring the armhole up.
  • I shortened the midsection of the bodice 1/2″/1,25 cm.
  • The sleeves were a touch too long for my narrow shoulders so I shaved off 1/4″/3mm.
  • Now this one is just personal preference, but I raised the neckline 1/4″/3mm in the front and reduced the total neck width 1/2″/1,25cm. For me this kept the proportions of the Malvarosa same as the original, but just a bit smaller.
Alright, enough with the muslins! I cut into a printed silk that I picked up in Paris and have been saving for the perfect project, such as this.  The Malvarosa dress is a great style for trim and embellishment, so I did a little beading and lace at the neck and lace at the waist seam. Voila! I have a new summer dress that I can’t wait to wear!
Regardless of your height this is an easy to sew summer dress that you can whip up in no time! If you are a taller gal and worried that the regular length will be short, you can use the same modifications as illustrated, just in reverse by adding instead of reducing. 
Thanks so much for this tutorial Betsy! You look absolutely gorgeous in your Malvarosa dress (definitely going for that flapper style!) and you’ve given us great advices on how to alter a simple pattern for Petites.
Be sure to check Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick patterns for amazing patterns especially for petite frames (I have my eyes on the Manhattan trousers, they look so smart!)



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Piping! That’s such a great detail to add to any design and so easy to make as well.
I’ve been playing with piping lately and eventhough you can find quite a lot of colours at the store, wouldn’t it be great to make piping in your favourite fabric?
Let’s see how to do it!
1. This is some store-bought piping. You can see how it’s made: a cord is sandwiched between a bias strip of fabric and there is a stitching line very close to that cord. The strip of fabric beeing cut on the bias allows for a lot of flexibility in the piping, making it great to outline any curve seam line.
3 2. Cut a square piece of fabric. I made mine 25 cm x 25 cm (10″ x 10″) but you can make it as big or small as you want. With this size, I was able to make a 2,4 m strip of bias (2 1/4 yards).
3. Cut the square in half diagonally. This will give the bias.
4. With right sides together, stitch the sides together (the straight ones, not the diagonal ones!) very close to the edge. 6
 5. Press the seam allowances open with the tip of the iron.
7 6. Draw parallel
lines every 2,5 cm (1″) starting at the top (along the bias) on the wrong side of the fabric. The last line might be slighty smaller (mine’s 2,2 cm), that’s because my seam allowances were a little bit too deep.



7. That’s the tricky part, at least for me. With right sides together, bring the edges together and match the lines along the seam line. The first row of each side should be offset, like on the picture. Pin together and stitch very close to the edge.

98. After the tricky part, the fun one! Now that you have a tube, start cutting the first offset row following the continuous line until the end.

109. Now you have the strip of fabric cut on the bias and you need your cord.

1110. Place the cord on the wrong side on the bias, fold the bias in half to sandwich the cord and secure it in place with pins.

1211. With a zipper foot, stitch as close as possible to the cord (possibly with a matching thread! I’m using a constrating one so you see it better).

1312. There you go! You made your own piping! Now use it in some great outfits!
Here are some ideas: here and here.
Do you use piping often? And do you buy it or make it yourself?


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The pin tucks… they might seem difficult to make and get those nice and parallel little folds might seem tricky but it’s not!
When I was designing the Carme blouse, I wanted to incorporate pin tucks because I find they add a romantic detail without beeing to “frilly”. So I tried different approach to pleat the yoke and the one we’re using is by far the easiest I could find (if you have any other method, please let us know).
We’ll make the pin tucks on a big enough piece of fabric and then cut the yoke out of it. So if you’re not happy with your pin tucks, you can make more before cutting the final yoke.
And don’t worry, folding the pin tucks is not as time consuming as you think… just need a little bit of patience.



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I’m very happy to make a Sew-Along for the Carme blouse, and with videos! How great is that? I think it’s going to be really cool and easy for you to follow (and you won’t have to read a 10 km long post everyday other day, hehe). The other good thing is that all the videos will be available indefinitely, so even if you can’t join right now, you’ll be able to access them here on the blog or through Youtube.Let’s talk about the schedule. As you might want to buy fabric (and maybe make a muslin), I’ll give you more than a full week to gather the tools and material for the Carme blouse. Here is the schedule:

Monday, March 3rd: inspiration and variation
Monday, March 10th: Cut the fabric
Wednesday, March 12th: Pin tucks
Friday, March 14th: Yoke and placket
Monday, March 17th: French seams
Wednesday, March 19th: Sleeves
Friday, March 21st: Collar
Monday, March 24th: Hem
Wendesday, March 26th: Buttonholes
Monday, April 7th: Your Carme Party!!!

You can start collecting your material right now, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lightweight woven fabric such as cotton voile, lawn, batiste,dotted swiss, chiffon, linen, chambray…
  • Fabric (150 cm wide): 1,7 m  (60″ wide: 1,9 yard)
  • Fabric (115 cm wide): 2 m   (45″ wide: 2 1/4 yards)
  • 10 small buttons
  • matching thread
  • optional: fusible interfacing for the collar if your fabric is too light on its own (20 x 50 cm or 19,7″ x 7,9″)

And here is the Sew-Along button (Click right on the image to save it):

So let me know if you’re going to join and don’t hesitate to ask me anything in the comment section so that everybody can share. I also created a flickr group so you can post pictures of your Carme blouse.
I’m really looking forward to start sewing with you!
Have a wonderful weekend!



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Hello! Are you ready for the last Ninot jacket Tutorial?
I remind you that we saw previously how to make a bound buttonhole, the buttonhole opening on the facing and the welt pocket (click on the link to see the tutorial). Let’s start!
 1.Apply interfacing to the under collar piece (here I have interfaced both to give more strength to my fabric, but you should interface only the undercollar with both interfacing pieces). Cut a piece of interfacing to form the collar roll, it should look like the bottom collar piece in the picture. This become your under collar and the other piece is then the upper collar.


ninot-tutorial-collar-facing-sewing-pattern-22.Take the under collar piece and trim about 2 – 3 mm (2/16″ – 1/8″) from the outer edge. This will account for the turn of cloth and keep the stitching line from showing.
ninot-tutorial-collar-facing-sewing-pattern-3ninot-tutorial-collar-facing-sewing-pattern-43.Shape the under collar around your dress form if you have one (if you don’t you can use a folded towel about the size of your neck). Fold gently around the collar roll and pin in place. Steam the collar and leave it cool down at least a few hours (a full night is better).
ninot-tutorial-collar-facing-sewing-pattern-5ninot-tutorial-collar-facing-sewing-pattern-64.After the under collar is completely dry, pin it to the jacket shell matching center back and front marks. Stitch. Trim and clip the seam allowances to reduce bulk.
5.Take the front and back facing pieces and interface them. Match the shoulder seams, pin and stitch together. Press the seam allowances open.
ninot-tutorial-collar-facing-sewing-pattern-96.Pin the upper collar to facing, matching center back and front marking. Stitch. Trim and clip the seam allowances to reduce bulk
7.Pin the facing to the jacket like you would do for a normal jacket, pinning also the collars together. The under collar is slightly smaller than the upper collar because we trimmed it, so you will have to ease it a little bit while pinning them together. Start stitching from the center of the collar and stitch down to the collar end. Repeat on the other side. Then stitch the facings corners.
Clip and trim the seam allowances to reduce excessive bulk, especially where the collar meets the jacket.
8.Here is the turn of cloth: see how the stitching line is kept under the collar? Press it flat nicely.
9.The finished collar! And as the facing is stitched to the jacket, now is the moment to finish your buttonholes and handstitch the opening to the buttonhole.
I hope the tutorials were useful for the confection of the Ninot jacket or any other jacket by the way.
Have a wonderful week end!
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Let’s make some Welt Pockets today! After making the bound buttonholes and the buttonholes opening for our Ninot jacket, you’ll see some similarities so it will look so much easier…


1.If you are making the lined version A of the Ninot jacket, your front piece is already fully interfaced. If you are making unlined version B, apply interfacing on the pocket opening (you can make the interfacing rectangle a little bigger than the pocket opening).

2.Baste around the pocket opening.

ninot-tutorial-welt-pockets-sewing-pattern-4ninot-tutorial-welt-pockets-sewing-pattern-53.Fold the welt piece in two with wrong sides together. Baste it at 1,5 cm (5/8″) from the outer edge.


4.Place the welt over the bottom line of the pocket opening, matching the basted lines. The folded edge is facing down. Stitch over the basted line, starting and ending about 1,5 cm (5/8″) from the edges.


5.Pin the pocket (cut in lining fabric) and the pocket facing with the right sides together. Stitch. Press the seam allowances open. Baste at 1,5 cm (5/8″) from the upper edge.
ninot-tutorial-welt-pockets-sewing-pattern-126.With right side facing down (and the pocket upside down), pin the pocket facing to the pocket opening matching the basted lines. Stitch over the basted line, starting and ending 1,5 cm (5/8″) from the edges.


7.Cut the pocket opening, cutting diagonally into the corner in a V shape the closest possible to the stitches. Be careful and remove the seam allowances from the welt and pocket facing from the other side before cutting.


8.Pass the welt and the pocket facing throught the opening. Fold the little triangles like in the picture and press lightly to keep in place.
9.Take the other pocket piece in lining fabric and place it over the welt pocket, matching the outer edge. Pin together and stitch at 1,5 cm (5/8″) (it’s easier if you use a zipper foot). Press open.


 10.Place the welt first and then the facing over it. Press lightly. Pin the pocket edges together.


11.Stitch the little triangle to the pocket welt and facing, the closest possible to the triangle base, using a short stitch length.

ninot-tutorial-welt-pockets-sewing-pattern-22 12.Now stitch the pocket edges together. If you are making version B, finish the edge with bias binding.

13.Here is the welt pocket from the right side: pretty, no? Remove the basting, make the second pocket and you’re done!
On Friday, we’ll see the last Ninot jacket tutorial: the collar and facing. See you then…




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