Panty Party Part Duex

The Panty Party last week was more than a little awesome! I honestly don’t know where the time went, but one minute we were altering my Lacey Thong pattern to have full-cheek coverage, and the next minute the clock read 10pm!

I was joined by Michelle, Debbie, and Amy up at the Thriftystitcher studio in Stoke Newington (North London – an easy walk from Canonbury Overground) where they all got to pick through a huge pile of laces, fabric, and elastics, and learned how to best cut lace, deal with two different types of lingerie elastics, and how to do that cool “burrito method” of concealing seams.

They even got their first taste of the overlockers (sergers), and I could tell by their eyes that they’re hooked!

If you’re sad you missed out, then rejoice! Because the next Panty Party has been announced for Friday 28 March! Again, if you’re not into wearing thongs, that’s not a problem, we’ll have a couple of different styles of patterns to choose from and you’ll get to learn the techniques to make your own panties at home. All the ladies were amazed at how easy and fun it was!

Book tickets for the next Panty Party on 28 March HERE!

I will also be teaching teeshirt and leggings classes in the next few weeks so stay tuned for those dates! (hint: keep your Sundays free!)

PS: If you live too far away and want a mere taste of the “in person” me, have a watch of my latest #ExtraMile video for London Marathon, where I explain my reasons for running in less than 3 minutes!

Diary of an indie patternmaker, part two

Read Part One here!

While I was in the States visiting family, I also took the brave step of contacting a few other activewear-sewing ladies and asking them if they’d be interested in pattern testing for me. I knew that I wanted to keep the testing pool small, but also use sewists who I knew had sewn their own exercise gear before, both so that they were comfortable with the basic techniques, knew what they liked, and also could potentially go out an exercise in my patterns for some useful on-the-road feedback. I was utterly delighted when every single one of them said yes, and this really started the timeline towards Launch Day, which I knew I wanted to be before the usual New Years resolutions exercise explosion. Since I started the XYT Workout Top first and it was further ahead in the patternmaking process, I’d give the testers two weeks to test that, a short break, then hopefully I’d be finished with the PB Jam Leggings by that point so they could have two weeks to test that before I’d get their feedback and finish up everything for Launch Day.

The XYT Workout Top pattern pieces were pretty much ready for testing, but I knew I’d have to create the tech drawings as well as all the illustrated instructions at some point, and, while I used to be a semi-decent drawer, I am totally crap at drawing anything digitally. Like, comically crap. So my first attempts at the tech drawing were done by my sketching them out on paper, scanning it in, then tracing over top with (yes, you guessed it) The Pen Tool in Illustrator before cleaning it all up, mirroring to make things symmetrical, etc.

The instruction illustrations were all done by myself, too, but I did all of those without the hand-sketching step, sometimes using the pattern pieces themselves as a starting point (since I already had those digitally, I just had to shrink down the scale!), and sometimes just referring to photos I’d taken during construction. I never quite appreciated exactly how long illustrated instructions take to create, but my god, they took a LONG TIME. The step-by-step illustrations were easily the most time consuming piece of the entire patternmaking process, EASILY. I totally understand now why some indie designers skip the illustrations entirely, because it would be SO tempting to, and it’d make the process to Launch Day so much quicker. But in the end, I’m glad I did do them, as I think they make the instructions a lot clearer, especially for non-native English speakers.

Another thing I wasn’t really expecting was how the pattern testing process would really work. I guess I kinda thought that I’d send them out, some testers would have some fit issues, others might not think the mesh bra worked for them, I’d get some feedback, and maybe catch a typo or two. Ha! I’m so, so glad I have the amazing pattern testers I did, because both of my patterns needed major revisions thanks to my testers. Yes, it hurts at the time, but I’d much, much rather resolve these issues before release than have paying customers go through them later!

Londoners – Come sew with me! Panty Party 13th Feb!

Remember around this time last year when I released my free Lacey Thong pattern and had that big Lingerie Sewing Week extravaganza?! Well, in the intervening year I’ve of course sewed way more lingerie and released more patterns, but I still love my little ‘Thongs and wear mine all the time, so I thought I’d share the love and have a full-on PANTY PARTY!

It’s in the evening of Thursday 13 February, so you can de-stress after a long day at work by playing with frilly lace…

That’s right – come and sew with me and we’ll make Lacey Thongs til we run out of free tea and biscuits and/or start wearing panties on our heads. I’ll cover all the basics of lace placement, attaching lingerie elastic, that cool “burrito method” of enclosing the crotch seams, and you’ll get to go home with some saucy little panties just in time for Valentine’s Day. Or a Me Party, whatever floats your boat.

The panty party venue is at the Thrifty Stitcher’s studio up in Stoke Newington (a quick walk from Canonbury overground, or there’s plentiful buses), and all materials will be provided, including the aforementioned coffee, tea, and bickies.