Kate's A-line 60s dress - draft your own! February 16 2019

Kate's kelly green 60s style A-line dress has a gorgeous dart configuration and interesting pocket detail. Here's a quick tutorial to draft your own version.

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Swan Shirt: Bellini collar adaptation October 05 2015

It's been a little while since I spotted this swan collar by RED Valentino. (It's unclear to me whether Diane Kruger is wearing hers with a trench over, or whether they made a swan trench at some point, because I couldn't find any evidence of one online).

Here's a picture of the dress I think she's wearing, but I can't be sure.


Anyway, I thought the swan collar looked like a lot of fun, so of course I decided to try making my own version using my own Capital Chic Bellini shirt pattern, which already has several collar options which are ideal for embellishment. 

Based on the scallop shaped collar, I drew a swan head shape. (If you already have the Bellini pattern - you can download my swan collar pattern here if you want to try it).

It was a tricky shape to cut with a rotary cutter but I managed!


Champagne Hack: Go mad with trims! January 22 2015

Here's another quick and easy idea for hacking the Champagne skirt into something different: trims!


Champagne Hack: Sporty Scuba Skirt! January 16 2015

Happy new year, sewists! I'm back after a short pause with a quick idea for hacking the Champagne skirt into something a bit sportier.

All I did was to shorten the skirt front and back pieces. This changes the proportions of the skirt significantly.

I actually shortened mine all the way to where the lengthen/shorten line is marked on the pattern pieces. That made it pretty short! I would say this is about as short as you'd want to go (for the sake of decency!), but who am I to dictate? Go as short as you dare!


Bellini Sewalong: Guest post on grading up from Another Little Crafty Creation! September 12 2014

Today we have a guest post from Alison over at Another Little Crafty Creation. Alison is going to show us how she graded up her Bellini blouse beyond the size range shown in the size chart.

You can see Alison's beautiful Bellini blouse with lace collar (and Champagne skirt!) here.

Take it away, Alison!


You'll need: Printed pattern, measurements, ruler/curves, pens/pencils, tissue paper.


Bellini Sewalong: Guest post on the full bust adjustment from Kadiddlehopper! September 11 2014

Howdy, y'all! Katie from Kadiddlehopper here and I am so pleased to be guest posting here on the Capital Chic blog! Sally's patterns are truly inspired and I am honored to be just a small part of this project. I'm here today to show you all how to do a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) on your Capital Chic Bellini top. If you found that your Bellini was a bit too snug for your girls, then this post is for you! Read more...

Bellini Sewalong: Determining your size, and some common pattern alterations September 10 2014

Determining your size should be relatively straightforward. The first thing you have to do is measure yourself.

Measuring is an important step and I recommend doing this every time you make a pattern, in case of any weight fluctuations you may not be aware of. Different pattern companies also use vastly different sizing, and give the sizes different numbers (which are also completely different from the high street sizes) so definitely, definitely measure yourself and pick your size based on that and nothing else.

Ideally, you should ask a friend to measure you when you’re wearing the underwear you plan to wear with the finished garment. Stand up straight and breathe in. Place the measuring tape around the body so that it’s parallel to the floor. Don’t stretch the tape or squeeze it too tightly around yourself. The bust measurement is taken at the fullest point of the bust, the waist measurement at the narrowest part of the torso, and the hip at the fullest part of the hip. Make a note of the measurements and compare them to the size chart to determine your size.

Pick the size that is closest to your measurements. If in doubt, choose the larger size – while it’s possible to take garments in, it’s much harder to let them out if it comes out too small.


Weaving Destination Contest Entry: Part 2 August 23 2014

Today I’m going to share a little bit about how I constructed a pattern for my entry for the Weaving Destination fashion contest. This is part 2 of a 3-part series; if you missed the first part, you can read it here.

The dress itself is based on one of my own patterns, the Martini dress, with some modifications influenced by both Indian and Scottish traditional dress.

Here’s the technical drawing of the Martini dress for reference.