Sewing Tips and Tricks: Stretch Velvet

Friday, January 05, 2018

Just before the holidays I sewed the Modkid Aubrey in stretch velvet fabric. Since stretch velvet is hot, hot, hot this season, I thought I would pass on a few tips that I learned.

Many instruct you to dry clean only. I had no issues with pre-washing the fabric on cold and tumble drying on low. I plan to wash the finished garment on cold and hang to dry for longevity.

Use patterns that do not require a lot of topstitching and keep the thickness of your fabric in mind. Tight gathers will result in very thick seams. Stretch velvet can be dressed up in the case of this Modkid Aubrey, or it can take on a more casual look such as with the Modkid Tessa jogger set or Modkid Annika.

Even though you may not notice a nap (The fibers on a fabric like velvet or corduroy lie in a particular direction, known as “nap”.) visually, you can determine a velvet nap by touch. Running your hand down the length of the fabric in one direction will feel very smooth while the other direction will have more friction. Traditionally, the pile should run down the garment, so when you run your hand from top to bottom, the velvet will feel smooth. It is key to cut all pattern pieces in the same direction just as you would with a directional print.
I found this tip after I had cut my pattern pieces, and it makes a lot of sense. Folding the fabric with right sides together will allow the nap to "grab" onto itself and reduce fabric slippage. If you opt to cut the fabric wrong sides together, use LOTS of pattern weights.

Steam is your best friend! Gently finger press seams, then apply lots and lots of steam on the wrong side of the fabric. You may not even need to touch the iron to the fabric.
To protect the right side of your fabric from getting crushed while pressing the wrong side, try placing a scrap of your velvet with the pile facing up on your ironing board. Alternately, try using a towel or piece of terry cloth on the surface.

I use the same practices I would for sewing knits when sewing velvet. You can find our Tips for Sewing with Knits here. Sewing stretch velvet should not be intimidating!! When sewing seams, the fabric nap grabs onto itself, so the fabric does not slip around as you might think. The only additional suggestions, I would include is to use binding clips in lieu of pins as they are easier to use with thicker fabrics and to increase your typical stitch length.

If possible, as I did in the Aubrey, increase your hem allowance and use a blind hem stitch by hand or machine. Another option is to finish the raw edge, turn under, and use a long stretch stitch. If the garment is not form fitting at the hem, a long straight stitch will do just fine.

For notes on the slight additions I made to the Aubrey pattern, check out the post at Sweeter Than Cupcakes

Modkid Modified // Colorblocked Perfect Tee

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Now that we have the blank canvas that is the Modkid Perfect Tee in girl's and teen sizing, it is time to play!! Today, I'm expanding on our original color blocking tutorial to include the sleeves. 

It is best to start with your fully assembled pattern.

You can select any location to add color blocking, but a simple choice would be where each piece meets at the underarm seam. Here, I drew a horizontal orange line across the front bodice, back bodice and sleeve. After marking the seam location, cut the pattern apart along the line.

Add seam allowances on each side of the cut. You may use any seam allowance you prefer as long as you keep track of it.

Assemble the pattern pieces with the seam allowance you selected. Now, you are set to proceed with the original pattern instructions! Don't stop with only this scenario; the possibilities are endless!!

Modkid Mara Inspiration

Monday, November 27, 2017

Did you know we have a Modkid Pinterest Board for filled with inspiration for our existing patterns? I keep seeing images pop up that may get you brainstorming all the Modkid Mara skirts you can sew!! I'm sharing a few today. Do not be afraid to add a scalloped hem or switch the snap placket to a zipper. Challenge yourself and get creative!! We love to see what you make! Today is the last day to enjoy the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. Use code BLACKFRIDAY35 for 35% off! Don't forget the Mara Skirt comes in both girl's and tween/teen sizing. They are also available as a bundle.

Introducing Modkid Mara Skirt, Perfect Tee, and New Website

Thursday, November 16, 2017

We have two new patterns in both girl's and teen sizing plus a new website to roll out today!!

The Mara Mini Skirt oozes modern chic style. It is cut short with a high banded waistline in an A-line silhouette featuring a snap front, contrast stitch detailing, belt loops, and extra large side pockets to fit her treasures. Check out our matching patterns for Girl's and Tweens/Teens, perfect for sister sets.

As part of our MODKID Basics series, which also includes the Perfect Leggings pattern (sold separately), our Perfect Tee is just as the name describes... perfect! It has a slim fit and comes with two cutting lines for the sleeves (short and long) and two cutting lines for the bodice (cropped and regular). This easy-to-sew pattern will be a go-to all year round. Available in Girl's and Tween/Teen sizing. 

Be sure to grab the coupon code above and shop the new site. All of your favorite Modkid products are now in one location!!

Flit & Bloom Quilting Blog Tour

Sunday, November 05, 2017

When Riley Blake and I were discussing how to handle the blog tour for my latest fabric collection, Flit & Bloom, we decided that since this line lends itself so well for pretty much anything from garments to bags to quilts, it would be wise to do two blog tours, one for garment designers and one for quilters. Last month, you saw a wonderful parade of garment designers showcasing their Flit & Bloom creations. This week, we will feature top quilting experts showing some pretty amazing creations with Flit & Bloom.

Here is the schedule:

Links to their blogs are below:

Monday, Nov. 6th - Night Quilter -
Tuesday, Nov. 7th - Winging It!/Hummingbird Highway -
Wednesday, Nov. 8th - Blue Nickel Studios -
Friday, Nov. 10th - The Sewing Loft -
Saturday, Nov. 11th - The Cloth Parcel -

Some of these blogs will have giveaway, contests and freebies, so you'll want to check out each and every spot to see what they're offering!


Introducing Mini-Dakota

Friday, October 20, 2017

Our first PDF pattern for 18" Dolls is here: The Mini-Dakota pattern comes with bonus Mini-Sophie Pants or Bermuda Shorts. 

Mini-Dakota is a swing top pattern for 18" dolls with three sleeve options. Make it sleeveless for the Summer months or with sleeves for the cooler months. Use your favorite designer cottons or knits for a casual look, or dress it up with fancier fabrics. The bonus Mini-Sophie pants or Bermuda shorts complete the set. See our matching girl-sized Dakota pattern for a "Just Like Me" look.

Get it in the next 24 hours with the 40% off coupon code DOLL2017. Not into doll patterns? No problem! The code is valid for any purchase on our Etsy store, so this is your chance to stock up on Fall/Winter sewing patterns! We have SEW MANY!

Here are some lovely samples from our testers:

Courtney Davis

Janice Harris

Rachel Ring

Sarah Ebbert

Halloween Retrospective

Monday, October 16, 2017

This is the first year since my two daughters were born that they are not wearing a mama-made costume. I've been dreading this day. Halloween is a favorite holiday around the Young household and I've always truly enjoyed not only the designing and sewing of costumes, but the photoshoot and editing that comes with it. I've been lucky that up until now, my girls have gotten as much into it as I have, indulging me with all my crazy over-the-top ideas. So, since I'm feeling a bit nostalgic, I thought I'd share some of my favorite creations through the years... (I'll include links to patterns for those that used them).


Sophie was a witch. I used the Penny pattern (or what would eventually become the Penny pattern, as it had not been released yet), lengthened to the floor and roughly cut the bottom hem into peaks. All other accessories were purchased.

Sydney was a fairy. I used what eventually because the Bubble Dress from Sewing MODKID Style and added a faux corseted panel in the front (the ribbons were just sewn onto the fabric in a criss-cross fashion). Wings and other accessories were purchased.


Sydney was Wednesday Addams. I used the Avery pattern for her dress and I modified it as shown at the bottom of this post. I made a Potty Girl from my Playdate collection and a matching dress, free printable pattern found here. Sydney and I went to two local cemeteries to shoot these pictures. One of them had graves as old as the 1700's. See more photos and details here.

Sophie was a zombie. I used the Melanie Misses pattern to make her dress. Lots of details including the fabrics are found here. We shot these pictures just down the street from our house in front of an abandoned barn.

We even did a little movie to celebrate the occasion...


Sophie was the most perfect "Dorothy" from Wizard of Oz along with her own "Toto" (er... our Miniature Schnauzer, Duke). I used the Avery pattern for the blouse and the pinafore dress was self-drafted. But if you want to learn all the details, look here.

Sydney was a "Broken Little Red Riding Hood Doll" (her own costume mash-up idea after not being able to decide between "Broken Doll" and "Little Red Riding Hood").  I used the Charlotte pattern for her dress. The Hooded Cape tutorial can be found in my newest book, Patternless Sewing Mod Style. If you're interested in learning how we did the make-up (including full product details), check out this post.


Sydney was "Eleven" from the Netflix series "Stranger Things". I used the Elle pattern for the dress. We used tempera paints to paint in the green and yellow stripes on plain white crew socks because we could not find the right color combination anywhere! All other accessories were purchased. Read all the details here.

Sophie did not want to dress up in 2016, so I got in the game and dressed up as Joyce Byers to go along with the Stranger Things theme. Sydney and I attended a costume contest at a local Record Store and we won! :)

I hope these have provided some inspiration for upcoming costumes. I am still hopeful that at least one of them will ask me to make something for them between now and then... I have been known to pull all-nighters before for a great costume!

Flit & Bloom Blog Tour [and a GIVEAWAY!]

Monday, October 09, 2017

I recently reflected back on my fabric designing journey, and realized that Flit & Bloom is the 20th fabric line I've designed since I started doing this 10 years ago. That's pretty big! We are celebrating this momentous accomplishment by having not one but TWO blog tours! Since we felt Flit & Bloom worked well for both apparel AND quilting, we decided to have a blog tour for each, showcasing some of the most amazing work by very talented designers! But first, a little bit about Flit & Bloom...

Flit & Bloom, as the name suggests, is a sweet fabric line that merges birds and flower imagery in a "cool" color palette with lots of soft grays, navys, teals and greens with a splash of hot pink added for good measure. This is my 4th line with Riley Blake, and it is printed in premium quality quilting cotton. There are 7 designs in 3 color ways... you can view the entire line here.

Here's some sewing inspiration. This is the Paige Spring Jacket sewn in Peacock Paisley Teal with a Blossom Teal lining and accents.

We always reprint covers of at least one or two paper patterns when I have a new fabric line coming out. This time, we chose two of our most popular patterns, Kyoko and Claudia (both available on our website).


Enter our giveaway for a half-yard bundle (7 pieces) of one of the colorways in Flit & Bloom! This means there are 3 bundles to give away and so many ways to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Last but certainly not least, please visit the following 6 stops on our Flit & Bloom Blog Tour which begins today and give these lovely designers some much deserved love. Each an every one of their creations is so special!

Monday, Oct. 9th - Coffee + Thread
Tuesday, Oct. 10th - Lily Shine Creates
Wednesday, Oct. 11th - The Eli Monster
Thursday, Oct. 12th - Tye Dye Diva Patterns
Friday, Oct. 13th - Pattern Revolution
Saturday, Oct. 14th - Idle Sunshine
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