Why, hello there! Remember me? I have to tell you all that it feels like ages since I was here. Like, physically and mentally here. Those posts back in April, May, June, July and August – sure I wrote them. But to say that I was all there and into it and feeling it? Nah. Friends (and don’t you dare say you aren’t friends because I need friends) its been a journey these past few months. A journey to get to the present. Wow. Did I just say that? Don’t take me too seriously now, but I will say that I’m here today. Right here, in this moment. Feels good.

My parents recently bequeathed me an iphone. I’m going out on a limb here to tell you that I haven’t had a cell phone for a few years now. How ever did I manage? I tease, but hello Instagram. Its like my new favorite thing to do. I have a fun sewing project to share more in depth next week, but here’s some gramming from this week.


This is serious people. I’ve actually finished a project! A coat no less and I would like to add that I finished it in pretty record time. I mean, at the rate I’ve been going with stuff these days, this was nothing less than miraculous. Excuse me while I give myself a pat on the back.

Hope you’re about to have a great weekend. Three cheers for TGIF!


  • Nakisha - SUNNI! We’ve missed you! Will be following you on IG.

    Now, how in the holy heck did you last years with no cell phone?!?!

    Love the coat and hope to see you more around here. More importantly, hope everything is going nice and smoothly!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Cell phoning is pretty fun! Surprisingly though, I did last a few years without one. When Mr. AFS and I decided to get rid of them we both had pretty simple lives that just didn’t require them. I don’t know. It was an interesting lifestyle and makes it so that I can enjoy having a cell phone now but that its not a replacement for the individual whose right in front of me. Goodness, that has happened to me more times than I care to admit. “Cell Phone Zombies” – that’s what my mister and I call those!ReplyCancel

  • Doris - Here is another pat on the back for you from me! I love your newsletters! I so admire your personality, your so cute remarks, perfection in your sewing projects! Keep up the good and funny at times, stuff! So refreshing. Ta Ta to you too. DorisReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you Doris! You always leave such sweet comments – means so much!ReplyCancel

  • Becky - Can’t wait to see your new coat! You have been missed, but I know life has been challenging for you since you took on the store. I completely understand about not having a cell phone. I have one, but I don’t use it much. I’m here to tell everyone that not only is it possible to go through a day without yakking on your cell phone, it is really quite nice! People all over the world get along without having a phone to their ear all day. Just sayin.ReplyCancel

    • Nakisha - OWNING a cell phone doesn’t mean you spend “all day with it on your ear” or that you’re “yakking”.

      “just sayin”ReplyCancel

      • Sunni - Thank you Becky & Nakisha! I do think cell phones are nice and convenient. Just in the few weeks of having mine I have noticed that it is somewhat easier to run my business. But I will say that it is possible to run a business without having one – even in today’s world. Ha ha!

        I think cell phones can be great tools, but I do find that all too often they replace personal contact with people. And I don’t even mean the person you’re talking to on the phone. I mean the person you’re talking/texting on the phone whilst trying to have a conversation with the live person right in front of you. That’s happened to me more times than I care to admit and I’m always left with the sad feeling that I didn’t matter enough to have their full attention!ReplyCancel

  • mary - I don’t have an iphone nor know what instagram is…I do have a cell phone that I try to keep some minutes on though.
    Love the jacket…It looks warm and cozy! :)ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - mary, I have to say that I didn’t really either until a few weeks ago! Iphone scmiphone. And instagram is really just another way to waste one’s time – though fun! Ha ha!
      And the coat it so warm and cozy. Truly I can’t wait for its first outing!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - Dear Sunni great to hear from you. I’m sure that the break from the pressure of constant filing of your newsletters will have done you good, and I hope that you are able to continue on where you were this time last year, plus, of course, the bricks and mortar shop!
    Believe it or not I am writing this on my iPad while on holidays in Canada, (I’m from Ireland) but I never use what we call my mobile phone. I find that it ties me down too much and is a time waster. However they are great toys — just like this one!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh gosh, I hope I can get to where I was last year too! You know, I was just thinking about that. Sigh….I’m going to get back to that or my name will be mud! Yes!ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - so nice to see you back here, i look forward to reading more about this coat!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thanks lisa g! I look forward to being back! Now off to catch up on what you’ve been making – love what you make. A girl after my own heart!ReplyCancel

  • Zynthia - Was the wool from your store, can we order off line???ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Hi Zynthia (awesome name!)
      The wool is from my store. I don’t know that there is enough left to make another coat, but it will be in the shop soon enough. Yay! We’re actually off to photograph wool coatings to put in the shop today, so expect my full stock of wool coating to be in the shop sometime this week.ReplyCancel

  • Miss J - Hi Sunni

    Good to see your post!
    I’m liking that plaid skirt you’ve posted there.
    Have you got a little more info on that. I assume it’s one of your creations?
    PS. Your skirt vent lining tutorial was just the best, and it helped me with something that at the same seemed like a magical, impossible,unattainable art. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • belinda - I read your posts and relate to them, so much. My husband and I opened a restaurant shortly after we were married – he’s a chef, and a very talented one, but my goodness. The stress that owning a business caused both of us – and I wasn’t even that involved, compared with him. It’s been a long, hard road… and we’re one of the lucky ones, we’re doing really well and are thriving. It’s caused a lot of a toll on both of us emotionally, however, and we’ve just split up as a result of the pressure that it caused on our relationship.

    I don’t know if you’re in the same boat, but I can hear in your tone the same notes that mine had during the most stressful times of that period. I might be missing the mark, but I just wanted to give you a virtual hug. I feel like you could use one right about now. I don’t really have any words of advice, but man. I know how hard running a business is. You don’t know me from Adam, I don’t think I’ve ever even commented here before, I’m a long time reader though, but I think I understand a little (but not all) of how stressful things must have been for you this past year or so.

  • Amy W - That yellow plaid skirt is great! Love the coat too! Both will be so great for the colder weather.ReplyCancel

  • Gail - I’ve missed your posts, but have been ‘off blog’ myself. Love your work in plaid. You’ve made me look very closely at anyone wearing plaid to see if their checks are properly lined up!ReplyCancel


Mr. AFS and myself had this grand idea of going camping this summer. This is not to say that we’ve never been camping, but going and leaving the shop is/was a big deal. I thought it would be all the more grand if I made camp shirts for the occasion. And only give myself a week to do this. Keep in mind we had muslins, fitting, alterations and plaid matching to do here, to say nothing of sewing the shirt and all that that entails. But If there was ever a call for flannel, its camping. If there was ever a call for plaid, camping is just the ticket. The awesome thing in all of this is that the mister here abhores plaid. Can you believe this? Can you believe that this man is married to a woman with a slight fetish for plaid and he hates it? I told Mr. AFS that it was possible that I could get some houndstooth flannel instead and he nearly had a heart attack. Would not stand for “houndstooth.” Heavens no! Now it was plaid or go home. So we went with plaid. Sheesh!



Well after all that emotional turmoil, I picked out some plaid cotton flannel, a sewing pattern for me and for him and went about sewing these things up. His is Simplicity 1544 and this pattern is a winner. Not too many troubles really. I made a muslin and found that the armpit was little high for Mr. AFS and he needed a bit more room in the upper back. Shortened the sleeve by a few inches too and then we hit gold. For myself, I used McCall’s 6649. This pattern actually came with a Craftsy class that I am working my way through and loving! I thought that in the process of fitting this pattern and getting all the kinks out, I would go ahead and make it up a few times. This is the first make and I still have a few kinks to go. Interestingly enough, I don’t usually get all the kinks out until about the 3rd time. That’s really just the way it goes. I mean, I don’t know if that is the way for everyone, but I tinker until I’m perfectly happy and then I make a permanent copy and blah blah blah. Someday I’ll bore you with that process. For now, you should know about this Craftsy class though. The idea is that you take this pattern, fit it and then reverse engineer it so that it is put back in sloper form! From there you create all these different tops/blouses. So much fun! Definitely recommend. To anyone.


OK, so enough of that. I had the same beefs with my pattern as my mister did with his. I increased the upper back width, though I’m going to do a little more as I don’t think I did enough and then goodness gracious, I had to take like 3 inches off the sleeve length. I feel I may have overdone this part a bit, but when my arm is at rest the sleeve hangs precisely where it’s supposed to. There are more kinks to work out here, but I’ll save those for next round’s roundup.


Being on a timetable for these shirts and as any good procrastinator would, I put these off until the last minute. The night before we left on the camping trip I was still doing buttonholes and attaching buttons. So these felt a bit rushed. Barring that, I’m surprised they turned out as well as they did. The plaids are matched pretty well and I feel I did a pretty good job with navigating the bias pieces too. Overall these were pretty successful. Mr. AFS wore his and loved it! He’s never worn or owned a plaid shirt in his life, so this is serious people. Mine turned out pretty good too. I did manage to cut a hole in mine. Don’t ask me how that worked or even how I did it because I have no idea. But I patched/mended it and now my shirt has character if nothing else. Sigh….


The idea was to get pictures of us actually camping in the shirts. But wouldn’t you know, it rained. And it rained. And it rained. We cut the trip short because of all this rain. I know. All the work of making these shirts and we weren’t able to get j.crew perfect pics of the event. Such is my luck! Ha!

At least there’s flannel for the next camping trip, or possibly some romantic getaway in the near possible future. I almost went matching plaid shirts. We might still have to do that. With some line dancing and cowboy boots for fall. Plaid flannel = true love!

  • sew Amy sew - Oooh, these are so great! I want a plaid flannel shirt now. I especially love the yellows in his version. Nicely done.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Holes are okay in camp wear! Both shirts look great, and must be so cozy! I ran into JoAnn for some thread the other day, and saw a whole shelf full of soft plaid flannels. If cutting there weren’t such an ordeal I’d have a copycat shirt in the works!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Yes, this is where I got the flannel. Unfortunately, we don’t carry a lot of flannels (or any really….) at my shop, so I had to go to Joann for this. These were surprisingly, very nice and lofty. They make for a toasty warm flannel shirt, that’s for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Peter - Those look fantastic! I especially love the plaid you used for the Mister’s shirt — such a great color combo.ReplyCancel

  • lisa g. - well i hope the mister has come to appreciate how awesome plaid is, because i’m having a hard time wrapping my head around someone not liking plaid! what?! but seriously, these shirts turned out great. bummer that your vacation was washed out though!ReplyCancel

  • Jet Set Sewing - Wow, so gorgeous 70s preppy. And I mean that as a compliment! Great job on construction. You two should be in a J. Crew catalog.ReplyCancel

  • Graca - You two are adorable in your camp shirts photo shoot! I like the contrast fabric matched up with the plaids.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - Awesome sauce! You both look so cool!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - Fabulous camping wear and I cannot believe the Mr. does not like plaid. Sorry it rained on your trip but I am sure you two were the best dressed campers there.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - These both look amazing! You two look so cute together. :)ReplyCancel

  • Holly - Love them!! Such an awesome looking couple too. Are those elephants on yours?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Yes! Elephants! Actually its a vintage rayon scrap that I still have a little bit left of. I use it from time to time for little pieces like what you see on the shirts here. Oh my goodness – elephants! I love this fabric so much!ReplyCancel

  • crab&bee - Looking good! And wow, two plaid shirts in a week? I’m such a sucker for coordinated outfits… I say go for matching next time now that the mister is a plaid convert!ReplyCancel

  • Chloe - You and your shirts look great! That last photo really captures some well deserved shirt making pride. Glad to hear you took a little break, sorry it rained, though!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer O. - Your shirts look great! I think button-down shirts are particularly satisfying to sew for some reason. I love plaid now but I did have a plaid recovery period after wearing a kilt as part of my Catholic school uniform.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh I think that’s a perfect reason for plaid recovery. Glad to hear you’re coming back to the school of plaid though! Yay!ReplyCancel

  • Tempest - These are so cool. I love that you’ve made them together and that photo of you two holding hands….so lovely. If you haven’t printed that out to frame you really should. Lovely…erm, sorry I’m being soppy…sewing, right, yes – LOVE the pockets on both shirts, that boxy pleat thing on them on the yellow and the flap and perfect top line on the blue. So glad all that work was appreciated despite being plaid :) (I love plaid, I wear plaid on plaid like people wear double denim)ReplyCancel

  • Juliette Lanvers - My mister hates plaid too, equally would never happen! Love the little facing details to bits! and my sympathy for the accidental hole, those happen to me all the time, alas!ReplyCancel

  • Helen // Grosgrain Green - Love these! Some day I will get round to making a similar shirt for my husband. Some day…ReplyCancel

  • David Coffin - Love ’em! Especially with you letting out your inner patchworker on the stands and plackets and all, something I can’t resist either. Really blasts these shirts out of LLBean/Cabela’s country without revoking the hunting/fishing/camping license:)

    Funny how “camp” shirts don’t nec. have “camp” collars, isn’t it? I saw the post title and got all prepared for some convertible-collared shirts… Different camps, I guess. Nice!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Ah yes, you are right. I actually had completely forgotten about camp shirt collars. Those actually probably would have fared a bit better than the collar/collar band with this thick flannel.ReplyCancel

      • David Coffin - Quite a different look, though… Yours seem to have fared pretty well! More pieces=More fun with colors:)ReplyCancel

  • French Toast Tasha - That last pic is great. I love both of your expressions. You know you are making some cool shirts if David Coffin comments on your blog—seriously!ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - I had a hankering for a plaid flannel shirt last year and have a bear of a time finding any ready made for my long arms and torso. I Picked out two surprisingly nice cotton flannels from Joanns (a black watch and another with creams, red & black). I got the shirt 75% done and after a tussle with setting in the sleeves, buried it in my chair of sewing projects and completely forgot about it! I cleaned off the chair last month (realizing i should use chairs for sitting, not storing fabric and notions) and was bewildered by this mangy scrap of green/blue flannel. Now that it’s almost fall, I need to finish my flannel shirt finally. I’m disappointed in my plaid matching. I cut in a single layer but wasn’t super careful and it’s off a little under the arms.

    I love that Simplicity pattern. I want to try out some non-selfish sewing sometime. For myself, I hunted down a vintage McCalls to make a plaid 49er. I’ve owned the real thing in the past, but they don’t work well with long arms so custom is the way to go. I even went so far as buying some Pendleton wool plaid from their ebay store…Fall 2014 goal: Finish some plaid!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Cook - I have just one word …

    A D O R A B L E

    (in a good way, of course!)ReplyCancel

  • Mainelydad - Does anything say “I love you!” like a shirt? This is just the sweetest. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • sue - These are called “flannos” in Australia and I make them almost on a production line basis for son and husband (and even me) to wear glamping (too old for camping). Mine aren’t quite as beautiful as yours though. Happy camping!!ReplyCancel

  • Lesley - Oh, Sunni, I bought that Craftsy class too. I keep meaning to ask the teacher something… Is she related to you? Does she come from somewhere close to you? I haven’t watched your zipper tutes for a while but when I’m not looking at the screen, I swear it’s you speaking! But then what do I know, I’m Aussie!!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - She’s not related to me (well that I know of ) but its very possible that she might be from Utah – we seem to have our own “accent” here!ReplyCancel

  • BeckyLeeSews - A+++ on plaid matching!!! I love the Y on his upper back to down the center of the shirt. And you’ve even got the plaid horizontally to match across the body and both sleeves. Wow. You NEVER find that in RTW! You did an amazing job and bravo on the placket and collar stand alternative fabric choices. So chic! I’m enrolled in like nearly 30 Craftsy classes (seriously) and I’ve skipped over that one because I’ve never, ever successfully made a shirt so I’m intimidated.

    BTW…what is a “sloper”? I keep hearing/reading the term and I don’t know what it is.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Ah, a sloper is a basic pattern. Quite literally I think it means a pattern that “matches the natural slopes of the body.” It’s basically what a fitting shell looks like but without seam allowances. And it’s a basis from which other patterns are made in flat pattern drafting. Hopefully that gives you a starting point!ReplyCancel

  • liza jane - Oh my gosh, these are fantastic! I love the contrast on the sleeve placket and the collar stand. Y’all are looking awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Anna - I bought that craftsy class too! I haven’t watched the whole thing yet and I’m still waiting on my pattern but I’m really disappointed that she didn’t spend even a few minutes explaining how to fit your muslin and just references other craftsy classes. Especially when the description says that fitting is covered.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh really! I didn’t read that. To be honest Anna, fitting is such an overwhelming topic that the class would have been way too long to include such information. Also, I just looked at the class description on Craftsy and I didn’t seen anything about fitting mentioned for the class. I’m not trying to single you out, I’m just trying to say that the class is actually really good for what it is and that’s a pattern drafting class, not a fitting class.ReplyCancel

      • Anna - It’s in the description for lesson 1, it talks about testing the fit with a muslin. I agree that fitting is a huge topic, but it seems like a waste of a lesson to explain how to make a muslin without spending a few minutes on how to recognize a good fit. I’m not asking how to fix the fit but just things to look for I guess. It seems like a good class otherwise (so far, I’m only through the second lesson).ReplyCancel

  • Gail - A romance plaid in heaven!ReplyCancel

  • RebeccaR - Very cute and excellent attention to detail… Matching plaids… Balanced patterns… Fun fabric on inside of neck bands… Camp in the living room if it rains too much in the mountains. Enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • Monica - I love a good plaid shirt! Can’t beleive he’s never actually worn one before :O these look really great, and now I wanna make my own plaid/flannel top!ReplyCancel

  • Kate mcivor - Great shirts, great plaid matching and great photo shoot!ReplyCancel

  • Kaci - This is actually a comment in relation to your indie shop post (I couldn’t figure out how to post there) but I’m wondering if you’re considered leveraging your online shop to sell your fabric inventory. Whenever Colette or Sewaholic or Gertie package a pattern, notions and appropriate yardage, they sell like hotcakes. Maybe you could feature a finished item of yours with a sewalong and kit? Your online presence is probably reaching deeper than your local customers.ReplyCancel

  • 3 blogposts die je moet lezen • Dat maak ik zelf!Dat maak ik zelf! - […] His and hers camp shirts – A fashionable stitch […]ReplyCancel

  • seamsoddlouise - I love these, but they were nice and cozy with all that rain. I rather love a plaid flannel shirt. I had a RTW one that I literally wore until it fell to bits. Perhaps I should think about copying your idea!ReplyCancel

  • Judi Short - These are fabulous shirts!! I have made many plaid shirts, but it has been a long time ago, when it was the Beach Boys era and we lived at the beach, and my baby brother was too narrow in the shoulders for a cool shirt, so I bet I made him a dozen, 2 were wool. And never for myself, interesting… Now I should think about making them for my hubby. With the muslin first. The only things I have made for him so far were failures in terms of fit. Should have made a muslin….ReplyCancel

  • Katie - These are fantastic and I love the pics!

  • Corrine - Very nice! You did a wonderful job matching the print at center front!ReplyCancel

  • Kelli - ok, you guys are just the cutest couple. love these. now go camping!
    ps, my family is in utah so i am out there about once a year. i gotta come to the shop and meet you next time im i town.ReplyCancel


Ain’t that the truth? Serger threading is nothing less that absolutely, positively mind bending. You get bent out of shape just thinking about it! I know sewing people who’ve actually purchased two sergers so they don’t have to change out thread colors. They keep them threaded in black or white. Yeah. This is the bain of a sewist’s/sergerist’s/overlockist’s existence. I thought that once and for all, it was time for me to give a little insight into the easier tie off version of threading your already threaded serger. In my sometimes sewing teacher life, I teach a very basic class on getting to know your serger. We thread the hard way and then I show you this way once you’ve got a threaded serger. Every time I teach the class, I’ll have you know, everyone always says that they’ve tried the “knot off/tie off” way of rethreading their serger and it never works. Let me tell you something – it never worked for me either until I figured out how I could do it without ending up in a pool of my own tears by the end of it all. Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Babylock. Just so happens that’s the serger I’m tutorializing on today. Also, for those of you who have those fancy schmancy self-threading sergers, you can take your smug serger self and walk on cuz I may or may not be a little green with envy, this isn’t for you, obviously. So the following is Sunni’s method for re-threading a threaded serger:


Start by clipping the threads off your serger cones. Keep your threads long enough to tie a knot in them easily. Key words here – “long” & “easily.” Ask me how I know how to do this the hard way and I’ll give you a dissertation. For some sergers/overlockers, its easier to clip the threads before they go into the thread guides (that contraption that goes up and down, you know). Do whichever is easier for your machine.

Continue reading “Kill Me Now! I Have to Change out the Thread Color on My Serger!” »

  • Janet - I love the title of this post. :) thank you for the tip!ReplyCancel

  • patsijean - I do this all the time and it works very well, although I often do the needles last. One thing to remember, do not cut all of the threads at once to avoid getting the threads tangled.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - A great tip! Getting threads tangled is such an unhappy moment.ReplyCancel

  • Evie - Oh. My. God. Thank you, Sunni!!ReplyCancel

  • Sewing Princess - Thanks for these tips! Believe it or not I am one of those who actually prefers re-threading. Every time I tried tried otherwise I was never successful or just found it more fiddly. Might need to give it another try ;o)ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Totally understand. As with most things in sewing, sometimes it really is just about finding what works for you and sticking with it. I find that with a lot of things.ReplyCancel

  • Doris - Sunni girl . . . I couldn’t have said it any better myself! You are just so perfectly correct and funny at your instructions in this tutorial! I had a good laugh, “needed that!” reading your threading the serger thing. It is such a great description, I felt the agony myself while reading it! ha ha Too funny and so on the mark! Love you and keep these coming!ReplyCancel

  • Corinne - As one who has experienced every debacle related to serger threading I humbly admit I am one of those who bought a second serger, one is threaded off white one black. I know, I know, pathetic. But there you have it. The new one, a top of the line, super duper perfect stitch and can’t be beat serger is the biggest PIA in the world. Thus I kept the trusty older unit and quite frankly use it much more than the new one. Both have given me fits with the knot re-thread method but I will try again…one of these days. Thanks Sunni!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh so not pathetic. Actually, I have seriously considered doing the same thing and did! Ha ha! But, my old serger is now the “shop” serger and so I can’t keep it at home anymore. Sigh.ReplyCancel

  • Katie M - This is exactly why I dream of one day owning one of those Babylock’s with the jet-air threading. Changing threads on a serger really sucks. I use a similar method to yours. I just do one thread at a time, instead of cutting all four at once.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - Ahh, thanks! After having a meltdown on twitter the last time I had to rethread my serger, someone asked why I didn’t try the tie-off method. To be honest, I didn’t realize I needed to do more than just tie it on haha! Thanks for a great, informative guide. Maybe next time rethreading my serger will be less painful. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Luus - So maybe I’m the weird one here, or my serger is just wonderful? But I don’t have trouble threading it, al the little ‘go under here and through there bits’ are coloured such that you know which way to go and there’s a clear picture inside the flap bit. My manual also shows the tie off method but instructs me to lower all the tension discs to 0 before I pull the thread through. I forgot that once, and that made it a hell of a lot worse, so I was suprised you didn’t mention that. It does seem like your solution works for everyone who thinks the innards of their serger are like a maze from hell, so thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I’ve read about lowering the tension discs to 0 and have done it that way too. I’ll admit, I’m very lay when it comes to writing down my thread tensions (oh my goodness I can’t even believe that I just admitted that) so I just do it without messing with the tension. I know on some sergers though it just doesn’t work unless you lower the thread tensions. I’ll update this tutorial with that info shortly.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy n - One thing I always have to remind myself–IT KNOWS WHEN YOURE IN A HURRY. So try to do the re thread some time when it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Hmmm. Yeah. Right.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - So true. It really does know when you’re in a hurry. Unless all your stars are aligned, none of this works. Ha ha!ReplyCancel

  • Monica - Duh! I’m pretty sure I had seen this somewhere before, but completely forgot about it.. Thank you for reminding me!ReplyCancel

  • eline - Ha! Just what I needed! The Sewing Gods are merciful today :-)ReplyCancel

  • BeckyLeeSews - Great photos in this tute Sunni. I admire your industriousness, (is that a word?) but I go the lazy route. Like you, I tie off the looper threads first. But then, I drop the tension discs to zero so they are fully open. Then I put in a piece of scrap fabric and slowly serge until the looper threads have pulled through. Once I have two colors of threads in my serge chain, I switch out the needle threads. Works like a charm!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh going to have to try just serging to get the loopers through. Ha ha! Goodness, I think that would make it even easier!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - I do this for my looper threads, and it’s great. My Bernina overlocker has a little thingy that rethreads the needles, and it actually works! I don’t hestitate to change colours, so I now have a lot of cones lying around, need a rack really.ReplyCancel

  • Alessa - I always do it that way too, and I can even pull the knots through the lower needles (which are a lot harder to thread anyway) because thankfully, those eyes are big enough! I had problems with the knots giving out a few times in the beginning, until I remembered the way you do a surgical knot: first do a half a knot with thread A over thread B, then do the second (half) knot looping thread B over thread A, and repeat step 1 for a third half knot. (And I think it’s very funny that I could use some stuff from my medical studies for sewing…)ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Awesome tip! Thanks Alessa! Yes, I’ve had my knots give out more times than I care to admit. It’s true tragedy.ReplyCancel

  • phyllis - to sew.princess and others. turn your tension disks to zero. the needle thread is done w/a sailor knot as described by Alessa. than your needle thread will come thru w/a little nudge. dont forget to put tensions back to where they were. the rest of the directions are fine.ReplyCancel

  • Camme - I was taught to tie the needle threads in a square knot when doing the tie off method of rethreading. I think it makes a smaller knot that goes through the needles easier. The looper threads you can just do a loop knot. 9 out of 10 times the will go through the needles on my serger (Juki MO 654-DE).ReplyCancel

  • Jill - Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful tutorials, pictures and explanations! They are really helpful when you are fighting a fitting problem, and especially when are learning how to navigate a serger. Even your subscribers have great ideas. Love your sense of humor AND your red hair.ReplyCancel

  • Joen - Yes the tie off method is the only way to go! Learned that little tip for some of the ladies in my ASG neighborhood group. I try to stick with white thread for summer and black for fall and winter this seems to work for any seam finish uses I need. If its for a project I do solely on the serger then I exact match the thread color.ReplyCancel

  • Charlotte Tilley - Thank you so much. I have successfully changed thread for the first time ever!ReplyCancel

  • Vicki - I cut and tie off and then feed them through while serving. When the knot gets to just above the needle, I cut the knot out and just rethread the needle and then continue. I will definitely be checking out your way to see which I preferReplyCancel

    • Vicki - That was went to say serging not serving, silly auto correctReplyCancel

I know, I know. Hiatus is a fairly lax word for what I’ve been on lately. Sheesh. Rather than apologize and tell you all that its going to change, here’s a swimming suit that I made a couple of years ago and just got to wear this week. I know, pretty weird, but that’s my life. It’s really crazy how satisfying swimwear can be to sew. I highly recommend.


This is my second Burda Style Alison and I’m happy to say that I’m completely satisfied with this make. Oh I love it so much I could cry! It’s absolutely perfect! Ha ha! I’ve been waiting my entire life for this swimming suit and yet, it took me two years to wear it. Sigh…. Yes. Anyway, now that I’ve all made you seriously green with envy (that pun is sooooo totally intended too) let’s talk shop about this pattern.


My previous version of this pattern was still too short in the torso. When I did my previous version I added 1 1/2″ length to the crotch depth. For this version, I raised the bra shelf 1 whole inch and that friends is pretty wicked. In total there is 2 1/2 inches added to the front (I wanted to keep the back where it was, so I only raised the portion above where the back of the suit connects to the front at the side seams). I’ve never had to add that much length to a sewing pattern before. I mean, I thought I was long waisted but now that I really think about it, I’m more convinced that this pattern is very short in the torso and I’m even more convinced of this having gone through several of the photos on BurdaStyle of this suit. It’s even rather short in the torso on the original model.


For this version, I reincarnated the neck strap. I got rid of the back strap across the middle of the back and instead cut 2 of the neck straps, stitched them together and added a really really long strap to the neckline area. From there I tried on the suit, criss-crossed the strap in the back and attached the strap ends where the original horizontal back strap would have been. In my opinion, this is so much more comfortable than having that neck strap around my neck – I HATE that because it just digs into the back of my neck the whole day long. The strap also gives the perfect amount of support to that bustline now too. In addition to this change, I added regular old 1″ braided elastic to the entire strap. I found on my previous make of this pattern that the strap really lacked…..something and it really needed stability of some sort. Since you can’t really interface a knit that is supposed to stretch like this, the next best thing, I felt, was something that would support the stretch of the knit while at the same time stretching itself. Elastic. It works like magic in this suit and makes it so that the polka dots don’t look all warped in the strap section, plus I think it will really make the suit last for a quite a long time.


Last, but certainly not least, I went for more padding in the bust. When you’re a small busted lass its nice to add a little oomph whenever possible, dontcha think? I cut up an old push up bra that I’d been saving for just such an occasion and voila! now I haz something to write home about! It’s a marvelous feeling! He he!


I think that just about does it for this year’s outing of my swim suit. Since two years ago, there’s quite a wonderful sampling of swim suit patterns coming out the market. Totally recommended from me for a sweet ending to this year’s hot summer. Yay! Happy Summer People!

  • Janet - The suit is beautiful. I love the green on a ginger!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - You look fabulous in this suit! 😀ReplyCancel

  • lisa g. - this is so cute! love the polka dot fabric, and the fit is amazing! i like how you modified it for a crossover strap, that would be way more comfortable. i’m with you on hating suits that tie behind the neck!ReplyCancel

  • Nakisha - It’s SO pretty!

    Hope all is good in the sewing-shop-owner world!ReplyCancel

  • Maris Olsen - Really stinkin’ cute!ReplyCancel

  • liza jane - You are a total babe! :) Love you in that emerald green.ReplyCancel

  • Carla - Oh wow that suit is so adorable, the color compliments you very well! =DReplyCancel

  • Measure Twice Cut Once - Oh it’s so pretty! You look marvelous in it and I hope it’s not another 2 years before it gets an outing?

    Also *high five* on those straps! they look amazing and so much nicer than having them dig into you all day.ReplyCancel

  • Honora - I made this last summer for my cousin. She had the same issue with the torso as well. I’ll have to retry!ReplyCancel

  • Kat Skinner - The swim suit looks absolutely amazing on you.
    I find it so hard to find a swim suit that fits me. I especially love what you did with the back straps.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - Yeah, I know there are heaps more bathers/ swim suit patterns around these days, but this one is still an oldie but a goodie, I reckon. I love your ‘latest’ (!) version- the fabric is super cute and I much prefer your cross back to the original ties. Very nice, indeed :)ReplyCancel

  • BeckyLeeSews - I love the name, “Mint Julip”. Perfect! I too am long waisted and abhor the pulling of a neck strap. In fact, I’ve skipped over this pattern just because of that. I like a bandeau-type top though because of the coverage, and being a full C cup I also prefer a halter style so I might just have to re-think this pattern. The bust gathers are symmetrical, lots of coverage on the chibbers, and your customizations have really worked out. The suit looks amazing on you. Great job!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Williams - if you offered a class on making that suit, lots of women would come to your shop, buy the fabric, and sign up it. Then we would all look lovely, and you would have money to go on vacation and enjoy your mint julep again :) Classes are where it’s at if you own a fabric shop. Teach and inspire!ReplyCancel

  • Gail - A new swimsuit is on my must sew list for summer. I love your pattern and version of a very very flattering suit. Someone above said you are a ‘total babe’ – while I would normally steer away from potentially creepy comments…I totally agree!ReplyCancel

  • sallie - I love this on you Sunni!! The green polka dots are SO flattering and the adjustments you made to the fit are dead on! Just gorgeous! Enjoy your summer!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Oh, this is fantastic! I love the way you crossed the straps at the back. And, the fit looks completely perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - This is ADORABLE. I’ve definitely never had a RTW swimsuit that fit and flattered like this. And thanks for the idea to use elastic in the straps- such a great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - It’s wonderful! And I really love that you look happy :)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - I’m so glad you posted about this suit, because I totally love it! I have this pattern tucked away for when I finally get the nerve to a) make a swimsuit and b) wear one LOL. Yours is adorable, and you have some great ideas on adjustments, especially the straps and adding bust cups – FYI, us bustier gals need bra cups in swimwear too, or else it just looks obscene hahaReplyCancel

  • Maddie - Now you have me green with envy! Great job, Sunni!ReplyCancel

  • Linda P - I’m envious that you made a beautiful swimsuit. I think i would be afraid of not getting the right fabric/lining and it’s not so much fabric I’d be scared of wasting but my time!
    Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough! Love those spotsReplyCancel

  • Melissa Bowdren - You’re a hottie!!! And so, so talented!!!ReplyCancel

  • Alessa - It’S an amazing swimsuit, I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Monica - Such a cute swim suit! You look great!ReplyCancel

Thanks everyone for your lovely thoughts in my last post about this jacket and my need for a bit of a catharsis through the making of it. I’m plugging away and since several of you wanted behind the scenes, here I am giving you some. I opted to use my rub-off jacket pattern from this particular jacket. I just love that jacket pattern so much! So glad I finally made a pattern from this favorite jacket and forced myself to make it already (remember that green number?)! I haven’t really changed anything this time around but I’m planning on adding an extra detail that I haven’t tried before and that’s piping around the lapels, down the front and around the collar. I’m also planning on welt pockets with a flap this time around too.


Originally I had picked a different jacket pattern to sew, but I was woefully unimpressed with the muslin, so here I am back in “tried and true” territory and with this lovely lovely fabric, I feel really good about that. I opted for fusible tailoring (this means I’m using a fusible interfacing) and I’m feeling pretty good about this decision too. Granted I could have gone the hand route with this fabric and all, but I just wasn’t feeling like it.


You can see here that the jacket fronts have been interfaced (it’s this rather fantastic weft from my shop) and I’ve taped the roll lines and edges and gone ahead and done bound buttonholes. I opted to use the leftover scraps from these wool pants for the buttonhole lips and am planning on using it in a couple other places too. It’s a lightweight navy wool broadcloth and is working out perfectly with what I have in mind for this jacket.


Also to give you an idea, since the jacket back piece of this jacket is shaped with a center back seam, this is how I do a “back stay” if you will with fusible interfacing. The important part here is that across the back and in the armscye, these areas are reinforced with interfacing. And then I also do a fusible interfacing in the hem area.


Hopefully this gives you some ideas for tailoring a jacket. Personally, I am a fan of fusible interfacings, but you definitely have to have the right interfacing for the job here. These professional grade interfacings really are wonderful and I’ve been terribly happy with using them in the past. They also make the jacket process a little faster, and sometimes I go for that and sometimes I don’t. It does depend on the fabric choice too. All in all, this a nerd-tacular post, but I hope it gives you a little peek into the behind the scenes of me tailoring a jacket. I’ll give you a few more peeks in the ensuing days ahead. Enjoy!

  • Annette Tirette - That is going to be an amazing jacket, and I’m seriously pining for that fabric. Is there any way to get my greedy paws on it?ReplyCancel

  • Sabine - I’m intrigued… ‘taping the roll lines’ – why and how do you do this? I’ve never heard of this technique before, so I’d be grateful if you could shed some ligght on this! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Jeanne Marie - Love this “nerd-tacular” post. I’m hoping to venture into tailoring this year and have been considering going full-on traditional. But I know fusible is an option as well, so I’m interested to see the process in action. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Lacey - Love the jacket Sunni! BTW, just re-watched your zipper tutorial on Craftsy for a refresher. Readers, if you haven’t enrolled in her FREE zipper class, it is a great one! Very worth your time!ReplyCancel

  • pauline alice - Oh my! this is looking amazing! And that fabric is so pretty! I can’t wait to see the result…ReplyCancel

  • maddie - Wow! Sunni, so impressive, but not surprising!ReplyCancel

  • Ally - Design Rewind Fashions - Wonderful post and jacket! I’m also a big fan of your zipper class on Craftsy! I’ve watched it a number of times :)ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - Wow, this is going to be awesome! I haven’t done any serious jacket tailoring with fusibles, so this is really informative. I’d like to try this out- love the idea of a fusible back stay!ReplyCancel

  • Maris Olsen - I love nerd-tacular posts. Best kind! Your jacket looks great – can’t wait for the finished project!!ReplyCancel

  • Judi Short - This jacket will be fabulous! Nice to see the innards before you cover them over with lining. I can’t wait to investigate your weft!ReplyCancel

  • Gail - I am completely wild about your fabric. Can’t wait to see the finished garment.ReplyCancel

  • Fickle Sense - The jacket is going to look awesome. Really love the fabric choice. Looking forward to seeing the finished product!ReplyCancel

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  • Elizabeth - As usual I always learn something from whatever you happen to be working on. Thanks so much for the inspiration!ReplyCancel