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Seamwork 13: The Appreciation Issue


The December issue of Seamwork is up and ready for you to read!

In this issue:

Holiday Gift Guide: Find the perfect gift for every budget, by Kris Blackmore.

Taking Stock: How sewing can help us slow down and improve our lives, by Jessica Yen.

Behind the Seams: Take a look behind the seams of a stunning midcentury cocktail dress.

Under Construction: A Guide to Underlining, by Brooks Ann Camper.

Intricately Wound: A glimpse into the last remaining lace factory in England, by Charlotte Powell.

A Closet Tour with Gretchen Jones: Take a look inside the Project Runway Winner’s Closet, by Heather Lewenza.

Nelly Don: Self Made in America: The early pioneer revolutionized the apparel industry and introduced practices that are still relevant today, by Betsy Blodgett.

Know Your Stitches: Five hand stitches that should be in every sewist’s repertoire, by Tasha Miller Griffith.

Seamwork Style: Mix and match patterns for a unique me-made wardrobe.

Moments of Precision: Using sewing as a tool to maintain focus, by Jeannette Bedard.

The Seamworker’s Guide to British Columbia: Explore Vancouver with Heather Ross.

Block, Paper, Scissors: Create a flared gored skirt using basic flat patternmaking.

Handmade Beauty: Marigold and Green Tea Toner Pebbles: Treat yourself or a friend to this luxurious at-home facial, by Kat Siddle.

Dress Up Your Gifts: Get a free downloadable every month

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“Optimistically thinking I’d soon have new shirts, I rounded up supplies and started sewing. Eight ill-fitting versions made out of old bedsheets later I nearly tossed the sewing machine out the window. But along the way I’ve made an important discovery.” –Moments of Precision, by Jeannette Bedard

“My favorite couture sewing technique is underlining, and there is no reason why a beginner can’t master this skill. In fact, I think underlining makes everything about the rest of the sewing process easier, while creating longer lasting and more professional looking results. Win-win!” –Under Construction, by Brooks Ann Camper

“Nell Donnelly was a self-made woman who abandoned both the societal role and wardrobe of a housewife in order to design and sell clothing that women would find comfortable, utilitarian, and stylish. Her approach to design, construction, and the treatment of workers, all contain valuable lessons that are still important to this day.” –Nelly Donn: Self Made in America, by Betsy Blodgett

And here are the two new quick-to-sew patterns in this issue:


The York top is one of those wonderful patterns that can be adapted to any occasion. York features 3/4 length sleeves that finish with a modern split cuff, and a subtle center back inseam keyhole. The bias bound neckline extends beyond the center back keyhole creating a sweet tie detail. Bust darts offer shape to this York’s effortless silhouette.

Try making York in a luxurious silk for an evening out, or a gauzy cotton to wear with your favorite jeans.

Our model this month, Ching Ching, appears courtesy of NW Dance Project. Go check out her beautiful dance moves!

Who doesn’t love versatility of a great skirt? The Brooklyn skirt is a half circle shirt with a generous front pleat. With a waistband that rests at the natural waist and a full hemline, Brooklyn offers vintage charm with a modern touch.

Try sewing Brooklyn in a luscious wool for the perfect holiday skirt. Or try a light weight denim for a casual skirt, perfect for pairing with your favorite boots.

You can visit to read the issue, download it from the current issue page, or subscribe to get the patterns.

Meg Stively

Communications Manager

Meg is here to help you. She's the smiling face behind our customer service and social media. Keeping in touch with our family of stockists, and shipping your orders all across the world, she loves seeing what you're making with our patterns.



December 1, 2015 #

As usual, the models are lovely. And I’m thrilled to see that Ms. Wong is part of the NW Dance project. (I took up dance a year ago and am infatuated with it.)

Lovely issue!


December 1, 2015 #

Not trying to be negative, but bust darts on York top are way way to low.
Also, Gretchen Jones won season eight, not season ten. Wasn’t her fan back then, even less so now, but that’s just my opinion. I’m a Mondo girl all around :)


December 1, 2015 #

Thanks for that Project Runway correction, I’ve updated the article.

Apologies also for the poor choice of York photos. That original one doesn’t do a good job showing off the top so we’ve replaced it with a better one.


December 2, 2015 #

I saw the original photo, and I think the problem lay more with the sample garment itself than the picture…
I’d appreciate it if someone could explain the issue with the dart in that sample (the gold satin) – is it actually supposed to be that low? (It’s kind of hard to see where it is in the black/white top).


December 2, 2015 #

No, the dart is not supposed to be that low, and it is in the correct placement on the pattern. Our model (Who is amazing! Seriously, did you check out her dance moves?) is quite petite, and unfortunately we overlooked some fit details on her sample. Sorry for any confusion over the sample. Hope this helps.


December 3, 2015 #

thanks for the clarification on the dart placement. yes, the model is quite “perky”. i, however, am not and it is probably a better placement for someone like “ahem” me.

i do love seamwork!


December 2, 2015 #

I was a Mondo fan too. I tried, but just can’t get into droopy tan garments. I like me some color and design elements! It is always nice to see what the various Project Runway people are doing though.


December 3, 2015 #

Agree, Team Mondo here. I also found the amount of dead animals in that photo shoot kind of appalling, and I’m not even a PETA person.


December 3, 2015 #

Yeah, that cheetah coat threw me completly off the board. And she even talks about how the vendor let her know that exotic animal fur is illegal – are you for real?! That’s what you wanna share with me, how you go around and collect coats made of endangered wild species?! Vintage does NOT make it ethical.
Honestly, I didn’t want to rant about this topic here because I don’t think this is the place for it, but when you already mentioned it I had to.

Betty Jordan Wester

December 3, 2015 #

Yeah, that was super gross.

I understand if you inherit something like that from a relative, but something about the way she presented it turned me off.


December 1, 2015 #

I love that skirt! Been looking for a pattern like this! It’s amazing to see how Seamwork fills the holes in my wardrobe :)


December 1, 2015 #

Oooh, that top is gorgeous, it has a 1960s vibe about it. Wouldn’t it look nice with a loop and button closure too? The York has just bumped itself to the top of my sewing queue! Love the skirt too.


December 2, 2015 #

I adore the two patterns this month and love love love the samples. The red with the Cotton and Steel lawn is especially darling. I love the exuberance of the model, too.


December 2, 2015 #

Super excited about the Gretchen episode of seamwork radio. When I was watching I was Mondo all the way but it is Gretchen’s pieces and final show that has stuck in my head after all that time. Can barely remember what Mondo made.


December 2, 2015 #

Fantastic issue! My favorite articles were Intricately Wound and the piece on Nelly Don.


December 2, 2015 #

I love this issue! I really loved the articles about Nelly Don, Gretchen Jones and the Cluny Lace Factory. I would love to sit and look through those gorgeous old sample books!


December 3, 2015 #

I’d love to know where the model’s necklace is from (gold balls). Do you know?


December 3, 2015 #

I just sewed up the York top and I had an issue with the sleeves-the sleeve cap was much longer than the armhole, and the notches did not line up for me. I double checked that I had cut the right size, and I’m pretty sure that I did. I ended up gathering the sleeve to make it fit. I also noticed that the pattern has a lot of ease on the model, especially through the armpits. I don’t have particularly big arms, but I found that the arms were actually quite tight. Is the model wearing the size that corresponds to her measurements, or did she go up a size? I absolutely love the tie-back detail and the cuffs, so I want to make this pattern work for me! Thanks :)


December 4, 2015 #

Thanks for letting us know, Mariah. You do need to ease the sleeves to match the edges of the armholes, so you did the right thing. Sorry that was a little unclear in the instructions, but they are updated now. The sample on the model was made for her size, but it did end up a little bigger than we intended. If you have more questions about the sleeves, feel free to shoot me an email!

Betty Jordan Wester

December 3, 2015 #

I love the York and the Brooklyn! The lookbook was really lovely too.

Betty Jordan Wester

December 3, 2015 #

Also, the Constellation Quilt in the gift guide is amazing- but even better, they have a pattern for making your own. I may finally have to take up quilting.


December 6, 2015 #

I love this issue of Seamwork ! I can’t wait to wear my new outfit to Church. Thank you

Francesca a

December 7, 2015 #

This was one of the best issues of Seamwork, thank you. I especially loved Tasha Miller Griffith’s article, fell in love with her thimble, and hunted it down (embedded link doesn’t work, by the way) stat – I had basically ignored the menswear issue…
I’ve never watched project runway even though I can see it on fox. Soooo glad I never bothered. Who is this winner who thinks viscose and rayon are different fabrics? Right. British and american names for the same manmade, definitely not synthetic fabric….. ahem. Oh well, to be expected from real fur buyers.


December 7, 2015 #

Can you give details of where to get the black and white striped fabric used in the top? Maybe you have listed it somewhere else, but haven’t found it yet. Or maybe it is unavailable. Thanks!


December 7, 2015 #

My favorite part of Seamwork is the patterns and my biggest barrier in sewing things I am satisfied with is finding fabric. Every time I see a sample piece I always want to know where I can purchase the fabric. Even if it is sold out (as in the gorgeous black and white paola pique print used to make the Mesa dress) I still want to know. I can try for an alternative print of the same fabric or I can watch to see if it is restocked in the future. Sometimes you give sources for your fabrics and sometimes not. If you do mention the fabrics used, it seems to be in different places each time. Or am I missing it? Just a suggestion, but I would love it if in the sources section at the back of the magazine you could cite the fabrics used in the sample pieces and where you purchased them. Thank you, I love the magazine!!


December 7, 2015 #

Just found where they all are!!! “Swatch Service” is perfect! Everything I could ask for!! Thank you!


December 30, 2015 #

I left a comment when this issue was first released regarding a few significant oversights that should have been picked up during proofreading. My comment was deleted, yet the corrections have been made. A thank you would have been nice, since I was being so helpful, and also because I have been a loyal customer.