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Filtering by Category: Tutorial

Tutorial: Women's Sorrento Invisible Zipper Hack

Niina Kivelä

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Blogger: Jenn Meitin Williams

Women’s Sorrento with an Invisible Zipper

Hi!! I’m super excited to share this hack, because I know it has been asked for several times.  As I’m sure you are aware, cute nursing clothes are hard to come by, so anytime I can modify a pattern to make it work for nursing, I jump on that opportunity.  Because of the way the Women’s Sorrento Dress bodice has a nice “V” shape, I thought it would be perfect for a front invisible zipper.  So let’s jump in!!  

First, cut out four front bodice pieces (a left and right front main, and a left and right front lining).  None of the front pieces will be cut on the fold.  Modify your front bodice and front lining piece to add a 5/8” seam allowance.  

Follow the original tutorial for the shoulder strap construction, and sew the left front main and lining pieces together at the neckline, shoulder, and arm opening.  Repeat for the right front bodice.

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Turn right side out and press. (Please note, the shoulder straps are not shown in the following photos but should be sewn in by this point.)

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From this point forward, I will be following the video tutorial that is provided on the LLK website. It may help you to have the video pulled up and follow along so that you have better visuals, as pictures are sometimes hard to see what is going on.  

Pull the lining away from the main and serge or zigzag the long raw edge of the bodice. Serge/zigzag from the bottom of the bodice main and up through the neck seam and to the bottom of the lining.

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Line up the zipper with the raw edge of the bodice main, right sides together.  Make sure the top zipper stop (see black arrow below) is just below the neckline seam.

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Locate the zipper foot and put it on your sewing machine.  There is also an invisible zipper foot that that makes installing an invisible zipper a little easier. If you have never installed an invisible zipper you may want to practice first. The zipper teeth have to be pulled away so that you can stitch super close to the teeth. This is what makes the zipper invisible. If you don’t pull the teeth away as you sew, your zipper will be visible.  

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Stitch the zipper to the bodice. Your zipper will most likely be longer than you need so you can trim the bottom of it at this point. I just made mine the same length as the lining. Start stitching at the neck seam, and finish as close to the bottom of the zipper as you can. You won’t be able to go all the way to the bottom because of the zipper pull. 

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This is what you will have so far.

Place the other side of the bodice right sides together with the other side of the zipper and stitch it the same way as the first side.

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Turn the bodice right side out and zip up the zipper. Make sure the neckline lines up properly and is even. If it is not, seam rip one side and try to get it aligned better so that the neckline looks clean.

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From the back you should have this.

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Unzip the zipper (but don’t unzip it all the way that your zipper comes off – that would be sad). Fold the top of your zipper tape down and then bring the lining around and over so that it is right sides facing with the main.  Using your zipper foot, stitch the lining to the zipper. You will be sewing through the lining, zipper, and main. Repeat with the other side.

Turn right side out and your zipper should be fully installed! Now we have to finish the bottom of the bodice.  

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Pull the lining out of the way. Place the front bodice main pieces right sides together. Stitch with a 5/8” seam allowance from the bottom of the bodice to a point just beyond the zipper stitching.   In the photo below, the red line should be where you stitched the zipper and the black line will be what you are sewing now.  Be sure to backstitch to lock the stitches.

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Once that last little piece is sewn, press your seam allowance open. The front bodice construction is complete. This is what it should look like from the inside.

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You can now complete your dress following the pattern tutorial!

Fabric: Cape Town Gardens in rayon Hawthorne Threads Supply Co.

Tutorial: Strappy Back Laguna Swim Top

Jane REuter

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Blogger: Jane Reuter

Strappy Back Laguna Swim Top

Strappy back swimsuit tops are all the rage this summer, so my daughter and I made a few simple modification to the Laguna swim top to create the same look. Surprisingly, it was rather simple.

To begin, print the Laguna “Binding” pattern piece for the front top only. Use the bikini cut line. Measure the child just under the chest to determine how big of a back opening is desired and how wide the front swim piece will need to be to wrap around the sides of the body. My daughter wanted hers to just come around the sides of her body and have a larger opening in the back, so we settled on a measurement of 21.5” total width for the entire bodice piece.

The front Laguna bodice piece will need width added to draw the extended width. Tape a piece of paper to the original front bodice piece to give some drawing room. Line up the bottom straight edges.

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The pattern piece needs to become half of the measurement you came up with. For example, we wanted the bodice 21.5” wide, so the pattern piece needed to be 10.75” wide since it is cut on the fold. The size 14 front bodice piece was already 8” on the fold, so we simply measured 2.75” out from the edge of the bodice and made a mark. Draw a vertical line at this point. The height of this line will determine the height of the bodice edge. The top and bottom will lose 3/8” seam allowance when elastic is added later, so keep that in mind. Our vertical line was 2” tall.

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Draw a curved, smooth line to connect the points. Please note that the tip of the original curve will be cut off. Cut out the new pattern piece.

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If lining the suit cut a main and 1 lining. Baste the lining to the wrong side of the main. Follow the directions (starting on the bottom of page 31) in the original tutorial for adding the front center binding.

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The binding for the side curves of the bodice will be done the same way as the tutorial, but the length will need to be adjusted. For size 14 years, we deducted 17” from the length of the circumference binding. However, in the original tutorial only 1 circumference binding is cut. For the strappy back version we will need 2. Same thing for the elastic. For size 14 years, we cut the binding and elastic 38”. Follow the instructions on page 35 through the top of page 36 to attach the elastic to the binding.

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Attach the binding to the swimsuit as instructed in the Laguna tutorial. However, begin attaching the binding at the edge of the bodice.

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When finished, it will look like this. Repeat on the other side.

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Measure the bottom raw edge of the swimsuit. Cut a piece of 3/8” swim elastic 90 percent of the measurement. Slightly stretch the elastic across the wrong side of the bottom raw edge of the swim suit. Clip in place and sew to attach with a zig zag stitch.

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Using the same technique in the tutorial, fold the elastic over one time, to the wrong side of the fabric. Clip in place. Sew to secure from main side of the suit using a zig zag stitch. Trim the edges of the suit at a slight angle. When the elastic is thread through the casings, this will give the bottom edge a slightly tighter pull to keep the suit fitted across the body.

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Fold the short raw, side edges over 1/2”, keeping the newly cut angle. Sew to attach. Thread the straps through the back casings so they criss cross. Fold the raw ends of each strap back and tack them in place.

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The Laguna strappy swim top is now ready to wear and is swim tested and approved!!

Tutorial: Delray with Enclosed Front Bodice

Niina Kivelä

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Blogger: Heather Chisolm

Delray with an Enclosed Front Bodice

There is truly nothing cuter, in my opinion, than an adorable outfit that is handmade with love. Delray is a perfect summertime design for handmade sews! Today we will show you how to omit the keyhole cut-out in order to make Delray with full tummy coverage. Whether for modesty purposes or school dress code, it is super easy to make Delray with a closed-front bodice!

Select the layer for the size being sewn, and print two copies of the front bodice pattern pieces. It does not matter if the small or large opening front bodice piece is used. Tape an extra blank piece of paper to the bottom of the printed pages. The paper will provide extra length for drawing room when extending the bodice.

Creating the Lining Pattern Piece: Using a ruler, draw a line extending the bottom of the bodice and center fold line, so that they meet at a 90 degree angle. Cut out the new lining pattern piece following these lines.

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Creating the Main Front Bodice Piece: Using a ruler, extend the bodice side seam, (underarm) to the measurement listed in the chart below. For example, on a size 4, the pattern piece measures 5 1/2’’. This piece will be extended to a total length of 9 5/8.

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Using a ruler, extend the center fold line to match the new length of the side seam. Join the two lines horizontally, making sure the pattern piece is squared at the bottom of the bodice. In the below photo, the edge of the ruler is lined up straight against the underarm line and the bottom of the ruler is on the 9 5/8” mark. Cut the front bodice pattern piece out.

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Taaa-daaa!!!! The new front bodice main pattern piece is now ready! Cut the fabric according to the cutting instructions in the pattern.

Follow the tutorial through attaching the straps. After attaching the front bodice straps, use a fabric pen or pin to mark ½” down from each underarm and 1/2” up from the bottom edge of the bodice. Do not gather this section, as this is the seam allowance. Sew two rows of gathering stitches on each bodice side using a 1/4 and 3/8” seam allowance. Do not gather this yet.  

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After sewing the main and lining together per the pattern instructions, we need to create the center gather. This can be done two ways, either with ¼” elastic or with two rows of gathering stitches. The method used is a personal preference, both methods are explained below.  

Elastic: The elastic will be attached to the wrong side of the main front bodice piece only, not the lining. Using the method detailed in the tutorial to attach the elastic. Refer to the chart above for the elastic lengths required for the closed bodice.

Gathering Stitches: In lieu of elastic, gathering stitches can be used. Simply draw a line down the center front using a removable sewing marker. Sew a row of gathering stitches 1/4’’ to the left and right of the center line of the front bodice main only. Gather the front main bodice to the same height as the lining. Sew straight down the center line to attach it to the lining. Remove the gathering stitches.

In the below photo, the center is gathered but edges are not. Turn the bodice right side out.

Gather each side seam of the front main bodice to match the match the height of the lining side seams. Follow the pattern instructions to attach the straps to the back bodice, through attaching the back bodice side seams to the front bodice side seams. The gathered section of the front bodice main will be pinned to the back bodice main.

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That’s it!! Wasn’t it easy?! So there you have it! You’ve made an adorable enclosed front bodice Delray perfect for lazy summer days or back to school.

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