More Conversation about our patterns - tips and hints!

Do you want to know a bit more about a specific pattern? Maybe looking for a special tip or short cut?  Maybe a correction? - check this list. This is the place where patterns will have some more conversation when something comes up!! Scroll down to the pattern number you are looking for:

132 -- Four Corners Apron --  the pocket,
a great suggestion from a VH sewer!
I absolutely love the suggestion from a sewer of Vanilla House patterns. She suggested angling the pocket parallel with the trim instead of vertically. It is so much easier to put your hand in the pocket. When the apron is on, the angled pocket does look really great!

Four Corners apron -- angled pocket instead of vertical -- looks great!

P136 -- Klassy Kitchen
We just discovered the bag topper in the pattern got mis-aligned somewhere along time and does not work. We have developed a new one but it is not in the print process yet. Call us if you need help and we can send you one. 

In this new bag topper, we have left off the chocolate chips in the ingredient list on the topper so that you can put the one cup of chocolate chips in the mix instead. Don't know why we didn't do it this way to begin with! The new label is have a trendier font - looks great!

P160 -- Covered Up! The yoke piece measurement!
I love this laptop satchel but it is one of my harder patterns. That being said, they sure have been a lot of sewers that have completed this project. One customer mentioned some fine tuning on the pattern. On page 2, it says to cut the 'yoke piece' at 7" by 16 1/4". Make that 6" by 16 1/4". Though it can work at 7", it is just a bit too much fabric. 

 P181 -- Diva Babies! -- The yoke attachment!
We have a pdf document available for more information on attaching the yoke on a Diva Baby bib.
Email Barbara at to receive this document. Ask for 181_yoke_moreinfo.pdf

P189 -- Dude Babies! -- The collar! 
See blog post under Labels>Bibs -- scroll down to August 21, 2013. 

P203 Pretty in Bibs - The Floweret

P216 ---Boho 4 Corners! -- Sizing!
First of all, Boho 4 Corners is suppose to be 'one size fits all'. But just in case you would like it bigger, you can make the square bigger to do so. Just note that you can not make a square larger than 29" if you cut it on the diagonal (or on point) using a one-way print (like strips). If you would like it larger than 29", you have to choose a print that is not vertical or one-way! 

Second, the pattern suggests the neck strap length depend on the size of your head, since the neck strap is sewn in one piece with the apron. Heads larger than 23" heads need to add inch for inch. I might also suggest that longer or larger torsos might add some inches to the neck strap too. I think it would fit better. 

P217 --- Ergo Mitts! --- Bias Trim Length!
Just had a customer point out the instructions do not mention the actual length of the bias trim that goes around the edges of the oven mitts. I do say to cut two strips from a third yard and seam together. This will make about 33" of trim that can bind both the large and small oven mitt. The actual length of trim needed for the large is about 28" and the small about 26".

218 Wall Buckets -- Two Loops
I wish I would have put two loops on Wall Buckets instead of one. One loop looks good but two loops are needed in order to keep it balanced and level on the wall. I photo-shopped the cover image so you can see the difference between one loop and two.

218 Wall Buckets - two loops contrasted.

P219 -- Zip Folios! -- Pockets, right side up!
Twice, while making Zip Folios, I sewed the linings panels to the zipper, only to find out that I sewed the wrong edge of the panel to the zipper, thus the pockets are upside down inside the Folio! Must be easy to do so concentrate at that step and save yourself some time fixing that oops!

P221 -- Fabric Caddies! -- Buying the right pipe!
Here's a picture of the pipe used in the pattern. I didn't want to use the word 'sewer' (oooo!) pipe on the back of the pattern but maybe we can handle that word here. There is a thinner and a thicker [of the wall of the pipe] version, be sure to get the thinner walled version.

Update: So today, I went to Home Depot for pvc pipe for some Fabric Caddies, only to find the pipe in the top picture was not there but subbed by the pipe in the second picture. I bought it, though noticed that even though it was in the $6.47 slot, the price rang up at 13.98. I complained, and she gave it to me for 6.47. It is also a little thicker. So I checked it out with the pattern measurements and it still works fine. You might have to decrease the size of the bottom round ever so slightly to make it fit right. So if you have a choice, buy the pvc pipe in the top picture. I think the top pipe might be a bit easier to cut! Remember, still do not get the really thick walled pipe (1/4") -- it will not work.

P221 -- Fabric Caddies! -- Threading the Buttons!
Some of the caddy versions have buttons (maybe as many as five) on the top trim for embellishment. Looks cute, right!?! But sewing on the buttons, each one by hand, especially if making several caddies, is a nightmare. 
Well, I don't! I pre-thread them and hot glue them on -- so much easier. 
I had one suggestion to use your machine button attach option. Sew each button to a spare piece of fabric, cut the buttons off the fabric, and hot glue them then. But the little swatch of fabric on the back of the button in this process gets in the way of hot gluing the button thoroughly. 
So below are pics of my process:  
Really cute to have buttons on the top -- but it would be a nightmare sewing them all on by hand!

Make a group of threads, maybe ten strands thick and thread your first button.

Tie a knot on the back as shown. The end of the thread is only 2" long or less -- don't waste your thread here.

Cut off the thread right at the knot. You can use your ten-strand thread thing to knot several buttons. The whole process goes pretty fast. Then hot glue the buttons to the trim of each caddy.

P231 -- Cookies and Cream apron.

A sweet customer caught this oops! Thank you Irene James.
Placement of the scallop template could be confusing. First the paper pattern version. The instructions, page 7, second row, first image. The image should be mirrored, or in other words, flip the fabric over on the fold with the point on the left side. If you don't do this, the template has the center scallop on the wrong end --  if the text is showing. OR You could also just flip the template over. On the template page, the small graphic example should also be mirrored. Hope that makes sense.
On the epattern version, the text is correct. But the template page still has those small graphics needing  to be mirrored. 
So early versions, you will find these errors. We have the ability to correct mistakes, so later version may be correct.

P234 -- Santa Four Corners apron! 

I have learned one thing for sure -- never get too anxious to release a pattern -- even in time for Christmas. It's a recipe for oopsies! 
With Christmas in a few days, Santa Four Corners was only released a week ago. I really didn't think there would be any time for sales but several of you jumped on buying this cute pattern. 
I have been making this apron myself and along with finding a few oops, I have also decided to make a few constructional changes too. The original instructions work but I think I would change two things. 
First or foremost, I would change the way the trim is attached. Originally, I have you pin it in place with lots of pins. I have changed current instructions to cut a piece of fusible web and attach the trim with fusible web instead of pins.

The other change is about the seam on the neck strap. Original pictures show the seam on neck strap on the outside when installed. I have changed the illustrations to have the seamed edge on the inside. This leaves less bulk when inverting the neck flap.

Mistakes I caught are just stupid:
Forgot to add buttons to the supply list - 7 to 9 one-inch buttons. And since the change above, add two sheets of fusible web -- I like Soft Fuse Premium.
The template didn't make sense with the seam line on the trim piece. The seam line is actually the trace line. 
One spot, when pressing the seam allowances on the neck flap, it says press the seam allowances 'up down'. That means down!
And one more, sew the buckle with the two pieces rst (right sides together) not wst (wrong sides together). I was using batik but still!?!

After all this, this apron is so cute! It has had a huge response - as it will for you when you wear it or give it as a gift!


  1. It sure would be nice if on the back of your pattern you would at least give the dimensions for the PVC pipe or call it "thin-walled" drainage pipe ... many stores may have this but it's apparently used primarily by contractors so can't always be found on the retail floor. I bought the wrong stuff, can't be returned of course because it was cut in half. "Sewer/drainage pipe" doesn't sound all that bad to me if it saves me a 30 mile round trip and $18!

    1. Maybe the following post will help clarify the pipe size.

  2. I was looking for tips and hints for the pattern 'cat's play'

  3. The haven't been any tips or anything for this pattern yet.