True Bias Hudson Pants

Well, this is probably my favorite Pattern Parcel so far! The Hudson Pants have been on my list of things to sew since I started seeing them this summer. Now they are part of Pattern Parcel #6 and I have the chance to try the pattern and share my thoughts with you! How can you not love a pair of stylish sweatpants?

True Bias Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

The pattern designer, Kelly, has been sewing and blogging for years. This is her first pattern, but her experience is obvious. The pattern instructions are clean and modern looking. They include all of the vital information, plus some great tips, without looking cluttered. Her illustrations are clear and accurate, and her written instructions are easy to understand.

If you’ve been hesitant to try sewing pants, this is a great first pattern. You’ll learn the basic process for assembling pants, but you won’t have to worry too much about alterations and fitting. Just use a fabric with a good amount of stretch and read through all of Kelly’s helpful tips for choosing a size.

I made my Hudson Pants with navy sweatshirt fleece from Girl Charlee. I thought about making them with a fun geometric print, but my classic pieces always get more wear. A wild print would have been fun around the house, but I think I’d feel funny wearing them out.

True Bias Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

The Girl Charlee fleece is a nice fabric for the price. You can make a pair of Hudson Pants for about the same price you’d pay at Old Navy, which isn’t usually the case. (Sewing is an expensive hobby if you love quality fabrics!) For the waistband, pocket details, and ankle cuffs, I used a double knit remnant that I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics. Sweatshirt fleece isn’t very stretchy, so for the waistband and ankle cuffs I thought it would better to use something a bit more elastic.

As per Kelly’s suggestion, I went up one size because my fabric didn’t stretch as much as recommended. (I always debate about whether or not to include sizes, but I always find it helpful to know and compare when I see the sizes other people made. It helps to know whether the pattern runs big or small.) I made a size 6, which fit perfectly. The pattern is also drafted for women around 5’5″ (which is my height). I almost added some length after measuring the pattern, but decided against it since I trusted Kelly’s measuring and pattern testing. The length ended up being perfect as well. In the end, I didn’t make any alterations and ended up with a great fitting pair of pants…which makes me happy!

I tried to take photos inside, but this little goober kept photobombing…

True Bias Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

(and please ignore the variety of toys under the shelf…)

If you’ve been following me long, you probably understand how Pattern Parcel works now. You choose your price, support indie pattern designers, and the rest goes to and educational charity called donors choose. If you choose $32 or more, you receive the bonus pattern (the Odette dress). Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we’ve raised over $12,000 for classrooms in need!

The patterns included in this parcel are:

Syrah Skirt by Lauren Dahl (exclusive release!)
Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren
Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations
Hudson Pant by True Bias
Zsalya Dress by Kate and Rose

BONUS PATTERN: Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win
You can just click over to the Pattern Parcel site for more details.

Email to someoneShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter

How to Alter the Waist on Men’s Pants

One area of my sewing knowledge that I would like to work on is tailoring men’s clothes. A while back, one of my husband’s friends said something like, “Your wife sews. Can’t she just make you a suit?” Umm…no. At least, not yet. Traditional dressmaking and tailoring are two very different skill sets.

I’ve been sewing patches on uniforms and hemming trousers for years. I became frustrated that the military tailoring service machine-stitched things that should have been hand-stitched. Then I ventured to take apart a suit coat sleeve to add a uniform stripe to the end of the sleeve. Taking them apart, I realized that men’s clothes are easier in many ways (more boxy, more straight stitching…). As long as you remember the order that you took out the stitches, putting them back together is pretty simple.

Alter the Waist of Mens Pants Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

A few months ago, I let out a pair of trousers from an old suit. Dress pants are typically easier to alter because they are made with a seam in the back waistband specifically for that purpose. They also have extra seam allowances in the back rise so that the pants can be let out by 2 inches. Finally, the dress pants I have worked with typically don’t have a belt loop at the center back seam. You can see below where the old stitching lines were compared to the new line of stitching.

Alter the Waist of Mens Pants | Radiant Home Studio

Today, I took in the waist on some casual pants. Ready-to-wear, casual pants won’t have extra seam allowances to let out the waist, but you can easily make them a couple of inches smaller.

Though this tutorial shows you how I made the waist smaller in casual pants, you can follow the same process for letting out the waist in proper trousers as well.

I recommend that you have successfully sewn a couple of garments before trying this alteration. You’ll need a basic understanding of garment pieces and construction, as well as basic knowledge of your sewing machine and stitches.

How to Alter the Waist on Mens Pants:

Alter the Waist of Mens Pants | Radiant Home Studio

First, start picking out the seam along the waistband. You’ll need to take out the stitching about 4 in. on each side of the center seam.

Alter the Waist of Mens Pants | Radiant Home Studio

If you have a belt loop in the way, remove that. If you want to remove the tag, do that too.

Alter the Waist of Mens Pants | Radiant Home Studio

[Read more...]

Email to someoneShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter

Free Tablet Bag Tutorial at Sew Mama Sew

Two exciting things to share today! I spent a lot of my summer writing sewing patterns for publication. After a few months of keeping secrets, I can finally share some of them!

Today I have a free tablet bag tutorial on Sew Mama Sew. This is a beginner level bag—no zippers or complicated pockets—just the right size for carrying a tablet or e-reader. And you can use up some of your favorite scraps. Please head over to the Sew Mama Sew blog for the full tablet bag tutorial!

Sew a Tablet Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Second, I’m excited to share that I have a bag pattern available in the Winter 2015 issue of Stitch magazine! (affiliate link) The digital edition is now available, and the print issues are available for pre-order. I haven’t seen the finished photos yet, so I’m in suspense as I wait for my issue to arrive in the mail. Stitch is available by subscription, or you can find the single issues at your local craft store. It’s a bit more expensive than a typical fashion magazine, but you worth it when you consider that you are  getting 30 sewing patterns with it! (The pattern I used for the men’s waxed canvas messenger bag was originally published in Stitch…) This issue looks like it has a great variety of projects and tutorials.

Stitch Winter 2015 Cover and Contents  | Radiant Home Studio

Don’t forget that today is the last day to get Perfect Pattern Parcel #5!

Finally, if you would like to keep up with my latest patterns and projects, please…

Email to someoneShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter

Embroidered Autumn Leaves Garland

The temperatures are finally dropping here, and we’re enjoying the beginning of fall. Normally, it’s November before I dig out the autumn crafts. This year, I’m a whole month ahead!

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

My mother-in-law encouraged me to do some seasonal crafts with the kids on Thanksgiving day a few years ago. While the adults are busy catching up with family (or watching football, if that’s your tradition…), the kids have something to occupy them. We started these embroidered autumn leaves 3 years ago. I intended to make them into a garland. Last year, we finally had enough…just in time to put up the Christmas decorations.

My children have been able to make these leaves as early as age 5. Just make sure you teach them to use the needle correctly, and stay nearby until you are confident that they can use it safely.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

I’ve created a autumn leaves template that you can download and use to make your own leaves! There are 5 different leaf shapes, each with 2 sizes. You can use them for this embroidered autumn leaves project, paper crafts, or anything else you can think of! You are welcome to share the link and sell items you make using the pattern, but please direct people back to my site for the download.


Embroidered Autumn Leaves Garland Tutorial:


Wool felt in several autumn colors (usually found on a bolt, not in the kids craft section of the store)

Embroidery floss in 3 or more colors

Embroidery needles

1/8″ ribbon (or string)

Printable leaf template


1) First, print the leaf template pages and cut them out. You can print 2 copies of each page, or cut the larger sizes first and them trim down the pattern pieces to the smaller size.

2) Lay out your leaves with contrasting colors of felt and thread. They look best if you mix up the colors and highlight the stitching with high contrast thread colors.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

3) Starting with the knot at the back, stitch the layers of felt together using a simple running stitch. Stitch around the edge, with a line up the middle. Or be creative and stitch the veins from the center to the points. You can stitch quickly, or take time to focus on the details.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

We have a wide variety of stitching styles among our leaves, but the colors tie them all together in the end.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

You can use loose leaves to decorate the mantle or table.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

4) When you have collected enough leaves, make the garland. I used a 1/8″ satin ribbon, threaded through the embroidery needle. I made one stitch through each stem allowing them to slide back and forth. You can adjust the spacing after you hang the ends.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

You can find more fall inspired projects at The Hankful House link -up.

Email to someoneShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter

With Thanks to Colette Patterns

I’m happy to tell you that the staff at Colette Patterns responded positively to constructive criticism of the digital Myrtle Dress pattern. I’d like to publicly thank them for eliminating 12 pages from the PDF file, making it a more manageable 40 pages to print.

They said they take great care to layout the patterns efficiently and that the Myrtle dress was an unfortunate exception. The staff member that I communicated with also assured me that she would review all of the recent digital pattern files to make sure that they were up to standard. They will be uploading the new files as soon as possible.

Teal Colette Myrtle Dress | Radiant Home Studio

I am now able to recommend the Myrtle dress without reserve! And I’m looking forward to trying more of their patterns in the future. I hope that you will also thank Colette patterns for their immediate response to my concerns.

Small companies are learning and growing. I find that they almost always have high standards of customer service. They want to build loyal customers that return and tell their friends. I love what Colette Patterns is doing for the indie sewing pattern world, and I wanted to be able to recommend their patterns wholeheartedly. A letter can make a difference, so please contact businesses with your concerns and thank them when they have given more than you expected.

Thank you to the staff at Colette patterns! We appreciate your desire to serve your customers and your immediate positive response!

Email to someoneShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter