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It’s Time to Celebrate!

Best Sewing Patterns - Rosita Jacket

Our Rosita Jacket sewing pattern is a winner in this year’s “Best Sewing Patterns of 2018” PatternReview.com contest.

Have you seen her lately?

Rosita jackets are being made all over the world and in beautiful, creative fabrics.

Do you know where our designer, Christine Groom’s, inspiration for the Rosita Jacket came from?

Her inspiration came from two things; a piece of kantha cloth she had been holding onto for just the right pattern, and, Rosita, a wonderful woman who owned a shop in Anchorage. Rosita’s boutique is always full of exciting garments from independent designers. Visiting the boutique is eye candy for Christine, sending her home each year with a sketchbook full of new pattern ideas. It was an easy choice to design this jacket as our first pattern, and so we honor Rosita, who is no longer with us, by giving the Rosita Jacket her name. We positively enjoy seeing everyone’s creations! Through creative design, this jacket is reversible and can be made with woven or knit fabrics.  We’ve seen her made as a silk blouse, from reversible knits, jacquards and home dec, from quilts and shearlings, and from kantha cloth, of course.  

Thank you everyone!

We want to thank everyone who voted for the Rosita Jacket as one of the best sewing patterns of 2018 and especially those who wrote reviews on PatternReview.com. Your comments and feedback mean so much and are instrumental in making our pattern design company better. We read every one and, as a result, implement change with your invaluable input. Be sure to check out our blog on how to write a review!

ZigZag Designs Patterns

We hope you find all our patterns are the best sewing patterns, like a collection of good friends. Some are flirty and some are serious, some are loose and easy-going, while others are sleek and slim. Most importantly they are all so stylish!!

You can purchase the Rosita Jacket Pattern in our Etsy shop here.

Rosita Gallery

You can find a gallery of Rositas made by people just like you with these links: Pinterest  Website  

Follow Us

There are a lot of exciting things in store for ZigZag Desgins in 2019. Three new patterns are being released this year! Make sure you follow our blog and subscribe to our newsletter to be notified of tips and tricks, new patterns and special offers, so you don’t miss a thing.

Thank you!
Christine Groom

ZigZag Designs strives to create patterns for young at heart, middle-aged women, with a goal of providing designs having unique style, an easy fit and provide for a creative use of fabrics.

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Continuous Bias Tape – made easy

The Rosita Jacket provides for multiple seam finish options. Binding them with a custom made bias tape is one of many very nice ways to make a statement with this pattern.  When considering bias tape as an option, we’d like to encourage you not to settle for the standard package varieties.  For a truly designer jacket, consider making your own instead.  The continuous bias tape making method is easy and worth the effort.  Full disclosure, we didn’t invent this technique and if you search for it online, you will find many resources telling you how it’s done.  We reviewed several online references before creating our own tutorial.

Instructions:

  • Tear or cut your fabric into an on-grain square
  • Draw a diagonal line from one set of corners
  • Mark an ‘X’ at the top and bottom of the square, exactly in the middle
  • Mark an ‘O’ at each side of the square, exactly in the middle
  • Cut the square in half along the diagonal line drawn earlier
  • Match and pin the two edges marked with the ‘X’ right sides together
    • be sure the ‘X’s are aligned and if a small tip of each end hangs over the edge, be sure the amounts are the same
    • using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the two pieces together
  • Press the seam open – you now have a parallelogram – be carful not to distort it by accidental stretching
  • Beginning on the right side of the fabric and on one of the long ends of the parallelogram, use a see through 2” ruler to start marking lines 2” apart
    • be very exact in your ruler placement in this step
      • I like to place my see through ruler so that the 1st line is positioned just inside the 2” line. Doing this accounts for the thickness of my marker ensuring an exact 2” line.
      • Use a removable marker that you can see clearly. I am using a sharpie for demonstration purposes only
    • repeat until you have marked all the lines possible on your fabric
    • if you end up with an irregular amount left over go ahead and trim it off
Ruler placed on edge of fabric to begin drawing the 1st line
Image showing offset of ruler placement to account for marker thickness
All lines possible drawn on parellegram
Trim off any excess edge at the end
  • Now, with your fabric still right side up, fold the two short ends in towards the center.
    • keep the short sides even so that the drawn lines line up.
Look carefully at this image to see the lines are matching through the overlay of the fabric
Close up image showing lines lining up
  • Now, offset the lines by one line.
    • do this by shifting the corners in opposing directions
Image showing shifting of corners
  • Keeping the offset in place, pin the short ends together.
    • this step is a little difficult as you have to force the edges to meet up with each other
    • the drawn lines will cross about ¼” apart
    • stitch 1/4′ seam
Image showing how lines cross at 1/4″ (for demonstration purposes, I used a marker to demonstrate where the line is on the right side of the fabric)
Image shows the ends will cross the last line in the same way
Pinned in place – ready to stitch
The finished seam
  • Press the seam open over a pressing seam roll
  • Turn the fabric tube right side out
  • Beginning at one end start cutting along the drawn line
    • keep cutting until you reach the other end
    • you now have one long, continuous strip of bias fabric
  • Feed one end of the bias strip into a clover #25, 2” bias making tool
    • Being careful not to stretch the tape, press the single folded strip with an iron as you pull the entire length through
    • watch the video for a demonstration of how to use the clover #25 bias making tool

Video Tutorial: How To Insert Your Bias Strip Into Clover #25 Bias Making Tool
  • Beginning at one of the single folded ends, fold the tape in half again and press the entire length.   
  • Now you have your one of a kind designer bias tape for your Rosita Jacket.  Time for a happy dance!!!

Notes:

  • Be sure to clean your ruler afterwards along all edges to remove any marker residue
  • Be sure to always work with a square when following this technique
  • An 18.5” square, as shown in this example, produces 4 ¼ yards of bias tape
  • A 32” square will produce 14 yards of bias tape, however; working with smaller squares may be easier
  • These instructions are for creating 1/2″ double fold bias tape, if you want to make a different width tape you will need to change the width of your lines to something other then 2″.

We hope you have fun with this technique for your Rosita Jacket and many of your other future projects.  A smallish square yields a good amount of bias tape.  We encourage you to look to your fabric stash for interesting bits of charmeuse, linen, chambray, rayon, or any lightweight woven, to add designer interest to your creations.

We look forward to your sharing your ZigZag Designs with us.   We love to see your creations and with your permission, we would like to share them online.

Send us an email at Christine@zigzagdesigns.biz

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Happy Sewing!!

Christine Groom
Owner/Designer
ZigZag Designs

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Meet ZigZag Designs Owner/Designer, Christine Groom at Artistry in Fashion!

We are very excited to announce that ZigZag Designs is a proud vendor at this year’s Artistry in Fashion on Saturday, September 29, 2018.

This fabulous event is held only once a year at Canada College: 4200 Farm Hill Blvd, Redwood City, CA. Over 60 independent designers will be showcasing and selling their fashions, jewelry, and accessories in the amphitheater and common area of the college. It is a fantastic venue!

You will find ZigZag Designs inside the theater building, Building #3, just outside the fashion department. We will be selling pre-printed copies of both the Rosita Jacket and Tammy Top patterns at a special discount during this event. Christine has just finished prototyping our next pattern and promises to have a surprise offer for those who are interested in a challenge!

Please come, bring a friend (or 2 or 3!), shop, have some lunch from one of the delicious gourmet food trucks, and certainly come by our table and say “Hello”. We would love to meet you!

Purchase the Tammy Top pattern at Artistry in Fashion for only $15.
Offer valid 9/29/18-10/6/18 with show code.

 

Purchase the Rosita Jacket pattern at Artistry in Fashion for only $20.
Offer valid 9/29/18-10/6/18 with show code.

 

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Quick Tip: How to Mark a Dart – Quickly, Easily, Accurately

As I sit and sew alone, like most of you do, too, I find that I have so many things I want to share with the sewing community. Some of them you may already be familiar with, but if not, they may be game changers for you, so I have to share! I hope you enjoy this quick tip on how to easily and accurately mark darts.

Step 1

Put a 12” x 12” corkboard underneath the dart to be marked, with the pattern still in place and attached. Insert pins through all thicknesses at the dart tip, midway through the dart legs, and at the dart leg/seam allowance intersections. Here is a quick video demonstrating the process.

This is what the marks should look like after completing Step 1.

Step 2

On the wrong side of the fabric, line up a see-through ruler along one dart leg’s marking points and draw a line with your removable marker. Repeat for the other dart leg.

Use a ruler as a guide to mark the line.

 

Both dart legs drawn in.

That’s it!!! Easy, right?

Happy Sewing!

Christine Groom
Owner/Designer, ZigZag Designs

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PDF Sewing Patterns: An Environmentally Friendly Solution and “How To” Tutorial

I’m encouraged by how passionate people are about their sewing patterns; not just the style and fit of them, but how they are packaged as well. Before venturing into the pattern making business, I gave considerable thought to what my product was going to look and feel like. I chose to go the way of electronic PDF files for a few reasons. 

Primarily, I chose this method for environmental concerns. I hate the paper waste of pre-printed patterns. As a user of commercial patterns, for many years before I became a pattern maker, I have purchased my fair share of them, most of which have never been opened. I have accumulated quite a collection which created a storage problem. So, I bought containers to store them in, and then the containers needed to be stored, etc. I think you see where I am going with this!  I find that PDF patterns are easier to file and sort electronically, making for better record keeping of what I own. I keep my files in “cloud” storage (I use Dropbox). 

Having them electronically filed keeps me from buying duplicates, as I can quickly search and find out if I already own a particular pattern. Additionally, it provides for easier and more savvy fabric shopping. I can call up my folder for dresses, for example, on my electronic device, pick a pattern and review it’s yardage requirements while I’m in the store. No more guessing what I might need! If I had decided to go the way of printed patterns, I feel I would have been contributing to the problem, as I see it, of paper collections.  There is a lot of waste in that.

Let’s take a minute to think about the waste: the ink and paper that would be used to print patterns, the cost of producing, shipping, selling and storing them in multiple fabric store venues and in my studio, and then the time and money it would take to put the patterns into more paper, envelopes, and mail them to the end user. And, lets not forget the unlikely possibility that they might not sell (tongue and cheek here!) and end up in the landfill.  But this decision is not met without adversity; however, there are those who have not yet tried to print and assemble the home printer ‘tiles’, some who have and are just not fond of the process, and others have not yet found an economical way to have the large format PDF file printed for them. Today, I’d like to address of few of those concerns.

I produce two types of electronic files. Both are included with your pattern purchase. One of them is in a large format, intended to be printed at your local printing company, and the other is formatted in 8 1/2 x 11 inch “tiles”.  These “tiles” are intended to be printed on your home printer, and assembling them should be easy after you ensure your print set-up is correct. So, here we go with the tutorial portion of this blog!

Large Format: What You Need To Know

  1. Unfortunately, not all printing companies are priced the same. Be sure to shop around and find the most economical solution for your needs. The file you receive from me is a 36” wide PDF.  (The length will vary pattern to pattern depending on the number of pieces in the pattern.) You should be able to email the PDF file you receive from me to your printing company and ask for pricing before committing to the job. In doing this, you will be able to shop around from the comfort of your home and not only save yourself a bunch of time but also from any costly surprises at the time of checkout.  In seeking out business printers, don’t forget to ask your local blueprint and banner printing companies too! Often I find they have much better pricing.
  2. Ask for black and white, not color printing. There is no need to pay the extra expense unless you want to. The file you receive from me comes as a nested, multi-sized set. The sizes are broken out in color and in different line styles.  The line styles are different enough so that you will easily be able to identify your desired cutting line when you get it home.

Home Printer Tiles: A Step-By-Step Tutorial

Follow the steps in the order provided below, and you should be on your way to easily printing out your tiled PDF pattern!

Printing
  1. Open the PDF file with Adobe Acrobat and find the page containing the 4 x 4 inch test square.
  2. The 4 x 4 inch test square is located within the pattern. You can easily find what page it is on by looking at the included pattern layout map first. (In the example below, the test square is on page 14 of the pattern tile layout map.)
  3. Scroll to the page containing the test square and then select File > Print from the task bar.
  4. When the print dialog box appears, select the “Current Page” checkbox. In the “Page Scaling” checkbox, select “None”, or, if you see the “Page Sizing & Handling” section, select “Actual Size”. 
  5. Print out the test square page only.
  6. Using a ruler, check to ensure the printed square measures 4 x 4 inches. It’s important to get the test square printing out the right size before printing out the rest of the pattern tiles. 
  7. If the square printed out 4 x 4 inches, do a little happy dance and then go ahead and print out the entire document at this time. 
  8. If the square did not print out 4 x 4 inches, you will need to refer to your printer user manual to see if your printer has a preference that my be over-ridding your print dialog box.
  9. If the idea of getting any more technically involved at this point is irritating you, like it does for me, then may I suggest this is a good time to go visit with a friend and use her printer instead 🙂
Assembling the Tiles
  1. Prepare your assembly space and put on your favorite TV show, Podcast or music selection. This will take about 30 minutes to complete.
  2. On a large surface area, and using your pattern layout map as a reference, layout the first row of tiles in the order they need to be assembled.
  3. For the first row, you only need to trim the left sides of each tile. When trimming, do not cut off the guideline.  Hint: It’s easier to align properly when you align and stack the guidelines on top of each other before taping in place. 
  4. For the remaining rows you need to trim the left and top sides of each tile. Again, be careful not to cut off the guidelines.
  5. While keeping the tiles in the correct order, trim them all before beginning beginning assembly. 
  6. Once all of the pages are trimmed, continue referring to the pattern layout map as your guide and begin at the top. Then, in a left to right motion, align and tape the tiles together. You do not need to use a lot of tape for this assembly. You just need to secure the squares together with a small piece of tape in each corner and one in the middle of each guideline. 
  7. When you reach the last tile and have it secured, I recommend you trace the pattern pieces with your favorite tracing paper. The taped-together home printer paper pattern tiles are a little tough to deal with on fabric.
  8. And now you are done! Another happy dance at this point is entirely appropriate here. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I am always happy to hear feedback and help in whatever way I can. You can email me at any time at zigzagbychristine@gmail.com. And, you can view and purchase all of my digital patterns, including my newest release, the Tammy Top, at my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ZigZagPatterns.

Happy Sewing!!
Christine
Owner/Designer, ZigZag Designs