Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Sew-A-Long Roundup

Welcome to 2014! Well almost anyway, you still have a few hours to do those last minute 2013 things. 

I don’t think I have ever been so excited for the new year and have soooo much sewing planned.  

One thing I plan on doing is documenting my completed projects better. The other day someone ask me what I had sewn and aside from a few recent items I could hardly think of anything! Craziness.  So, I plan on documenting my stitching endeavors much better this year. I have already gotten started with this free sewing journal available from SewMammaSew. To get things started I am putting my last few 2013 items in the journal.

In between my sewing time I have been browsing around the internet researching 2014 sew –a-longs (SAL) in the hopes of finding something interesting! Well there is plenty of interesting THAT IS FOR SURE. The harder part of this search has been deciding what I am going to attempt to tackle.

FACT. There are many quilting SALs out there for 2014 and from previous years. So if you LOVE to quilt you will be very happy with a simple google search of Quilt Sew-a-Longs!

FACT. There are many garment SALs from prior years still available and they ALL look awesome.

FACT. This post is about early 2014 SALS and these are the ones I plan on participating.  All the SAL's that I am going to mention have buttons on the right that will take you to those pages. Here goes:

First off….the Garment of the Month hosted by Sarah Liz. This really was the thing that got my garment sewing jump started and I joined up in October right after taking a Craftsy workshop to sew a knit dress. The challenge of making a garment for myself once a month was really intriguing and what I truly wanted to do so I joined! If you contact Sarah Liz, she can get you signed up. There are some very friendly folks associated with this group and a lot of sewing knowledge.

2. A Challenging Sew free Marfy pattern SAL. For ages now, I have been wanting to sew a Marfy pattern but have had serious “Marfy fear”.  But recently Marfy posted three free patterns on their website and Leisa is hosting a three month SAL to sew up those patterns. The patterns are for a blouse, skirt and jacket. My girl is a debater so this is for her!

3. Amity at Lolita Patterns is hosting two back to back SALS, one for the Gunmetal dress to begin Jan. 6th and one for the Spearmint Coat that starts up in Feb. I am pretty excited about these especially the coat because I purchased an amazing stretch twill from EmmaOneSock to sew up a spring coat for my daughter.

4. Sewing with Squeaks is hosting a 12 month SAL based on Sara Lawson’s new book Big City Bags.  There are 12 bags in the book. Didn’t that work out perfectly?

5. Craftytwinmommy is also hosting a 12 month SAL except participates can use any crafting/sewing book they have languishing in their sewing room. I particularly am enthralled with this SAL because A.) I am going to use it get all my Christmas “shopping” done for 2014 and B.) I hate hate hate having books laying around with super doper good information and projects in them and NEVER picking them up and using them.  Oh and C.) I have gone on a fabric buying fast and want to sew through my stash. This fits very nicely!

6.  LAST BUT NOT LEAST. I have been wanting  to sew a quilt for a particular friend from long ago. The thing is this friend and I are polar opposites now that we are adults and there has been much tension between us mainly over politics. Ugh. Hate that. I am hoping the quilt will be therapy for me (haha) and a balm between us. I found Terry from Terry’s Treasures in Ohio who is hosting a Goodnight Irene SAL.  Terry is so sweet. Love her already and I know this is weird but I thought this Quilt SAL is the one because my friend also lives in Ohio. Terry is starting things up Jan. 1st or so.

Whew…I am getting tired just thinking about all this. There is no doubt some good organization is in order here. I have been working on that as well. Maybe a post in the future!

For now, Sew on Friends, Sew on!


P.S. There are also a bunch of contest at Pattern Review.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December GAM just under the wire! The Classic Tailored Skirt from the book entitled "Dressmaking" by Alison Smith.

The skirt was actually finished late late last night (or early this morning...depending on how one looks at it)! It was an easy sew; just matching up the plaid took some time when cutting out and I had to rip out one of the side seams a couple of times.

The fabric is from my stash. SSSShhhh....don't tell anyone but this is actually made with upholstery fabric and is my wearable muslin for the pattern! I can't decide, does it look like it??? It is a pretty heavy wool on the outside and is self lined so I didn't have to line it!! Yipee!!

Really happy with the way the skirt turned out! Everything all matched up. :) Found the blouse at the local resale shop for $4. It pains me so to buy ready to wear but this is not a color I have in my closet. Ugh.

Great pics, very easy to follow. BUT, did not do a good job of explaining the finished kick pleat!
So I had to turn to my old standby...old issues of Threads magazine to see the proper way to get them done. 
Love, Love, Love everything about Threads!
Kick pleat is not quite right but since this is a wearable muslin I am not going to worry about it.
Invisible zipper! 
Contrast waistband made with some scrap Kona cotton.
Yes, another photo bomb by Citrus!

Whew...feel like the last few days have been a whirlwind. I will be posting a list of some great 2014 sew-a-longs that I have found tonight or tomorrow. Also, will be putting up a tutorial on making the Boston Common table runner in the next couple of days!

Happy Sewing Everyone!


Friday, December 27, 2013

"Flannel" Shirt is Finished!

Hope you all had a simply marvelous Christmas season. It was a great time of joy and fellowship for our family with many blessings given and received by all!

I am very excited about 2014 and sewing. In the next couple of days I will be posting a list of some Sew A Longs that I have found. I just love these as an avenue to boost one's sewing skills and knowledge. It is so much fun to do these and get to know other sewers and see their work. It was exciting to see my Cooper Bag made the final round of voting over at coletterie.com. Wowsa....the bags those ladies made blew my socks off. There are some really talented folks at there.

A few updates: The "Flannel" Shirt for my husband is finished! The day before Christmas Eve I was sewing on the buttons. He absolutely loved it. Now this is real joy, friends. To make something for a loved one and they don't ever want to take it off! Love.

The funny thing about the fabric used for his shirt is he chose it simply by feel. I had 4 or 5 choices and he hardly even looked at the design of the fabric. He just started touching and ultimately chose this linen blend from Robert Kaufman which is currently selling for $6.48 per yard at Fabric.com. I actually thought it was not that great of a choice but he thought it would sew up to be the softest and most comfortable! It sewed up so easily and beautifully. In the end, I was glad he picked it!

Perfect fit! 
This was THE best Sew A Long (SAL). Put simply, I learned a ton and Kelly is just great! She is knowledgeable and very willing to help and answer questions. She has kept all the links and information up on her SAL so anyone can hop over there anytime and take advantage of her wealth of knowledge. I highly recommend you do so if you are wanting to sew tailored shirts.

Very proud of how well the collar turned out. Please excuse the tailor tacks!

Back yoke and collar. Although it wasn't necessary with this fabric, I went ahead and cut my outside yoke and collar on the bias  for experience and to see the effect. 
French Side Seams

Kelly is now offering to help those who are enrolled in Kenneth Cole's  fly front coat class on Craftsy. If you have been thinking of taking this class, now would be a great time to do so and to have Kelly help you if you need it.

And finally I just have to share this wonderful gift I received... my very sweet Christmas present from a very sweet family. A used Viking Designer SE!! Oh my gosh, I have been sewing the dickens out of this beauty. I have never had a machine so nice and that does so much. Sooooo grateful.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cooper Bag is Finished!

Cooper Bag Version 3, The Satchel

The Cooper Bag is finished!! I should have finished the bag last night. It's just that when I went into my sewing room, which also happens to be the room where our TV is, the whole family was piled together on the sofa watching an episode of Season 1 of Grimm. So it was only natural to jump on the sofa with them and spend the next hour with my eyes covered while "watching" one of the freakiest prime time shows I have ever seen. Confession: I am a scaredy cat so I spend most of my family Grimm watching time with my eyes shut. But I digress.

As of last night all that was left of the Cooper Bag was the flap and lining. That went together pretty quick this morning. There are a few variations from the pattern such as these pockets on both sides of the lining. The lining is nylon ripstop. Very slippery but sewed up easily with lots of pins. I especially liked the directions for sewing up the pockets. Simple.

Lining. Pockets on both sides. Next time I would probably put in a zippered pocket.
Another variation was this contrast band at the top edge. The bag looked good with out it as well. Another option I just thought of is a biased tape finished edge. Might try that next time.

Love the front pockets!
Here is the back of the bag. Another easy variation that could be added is one long continuous strap that actually goes under the bag bottom. The pattern called for the accent fabric as the bottom gusset but I thought that would be too flimsy so I used vinyl and added bag feet. This greatly added to the stability of the bag.

The bag finishes very generous in size!
Overall this is a good beginners project except I would not recommend a beginner try the bag with leather or vinyl. I never could get a good press on the vinyl seams which I had to work around when sewing on the bottom vinyl gusset. Other than that and with the help of the Cooper Companion Book anyone should be able to complete the bag.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A New Sew-A-Long to go with the Old Sew-A-Long

Well, I am a glutton for punishment. Or something like that.

Just after finishing up my November GOM

It is not too late to join us!
and whilst in the midst of the Cooper Bag SAL, I joined another SAL today.

BUT, I do have an excuse. Or something like that.

This SAL is NOT for me because it is horrid (hehe) how I have been selfish sewing these days. This SAL is for my dear husband who, aside from the occasional pillowcase, I really don't sew for....ever. He has been asking me for ages to make him a padded laptop bag so I decided to make him a flannel shirt!

Confession: I am not being entirely SELFLESS here. There is the most outstanding pattern languishing in my sewing patterns for a women's classic tailored shirt. But, I fear it. It looks hard and there is not as much fudging with woven's like you can with knits. It pretty much has to be perfect or it looks, well you know, "homemade" in the bad sense. Plus my recent passion with bepoke garments and a propensity for perfection means I want to get it right.

Kelly, the hostess of the Flannel Shirt SAL appears to have what I call SSSS or the 4 s's. Some Serious Sewing Skill. And she has graciously made herself available for helping those who get themselves in a jam. 

In preparation all the cotton or wool flannel fabric in my stash was hauled out. The problem though, I never really bought any of that fabric for a guy shirt so my husband wasn't all that excited about it. Besides that he told me, he finds flannel shirts to be pretty warm unless he is outside working or hiking and this shirt is for the inside. So, back to the stash I went a few times resisting the urge to purchase shirting from somewhere. Then I happened upon this old post from SewMamaSew discussing possible fabric sources for a man's shirt and Eureka! I remembered a nice neutral linen I purchased earlier this year.

This passed Hubby inspection! Yay!!!
So, today we are off to our "flannel" shirt SAL! It is a quick one so at the end of 2 short weeks or so, I hope to have a nice gift for my husband to put under the tree...or something like that. Wish me luck!

BTW...Art Gallery Fabrics is giving away a fat quarter bundle. Check it out!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Garment of the Month is Finished!!

So excited to be posting my November Garment of the Month! Because of SarahLiz and her Challenge,

I have made more time to sew for myself than ever before. Thank you SarahLiz for administering this great group of sewers and the Challenge. It is a real treat to go and read other's blogs and see what they have been up to!

For my November garment I went back and forth between an Ottobre Design Magazine or a Vogue dress pattern. I ultimately settled on the Ottobre sheath type dress because I thought it would sew up quicker. Well the dress did sew up quick, with the help of my Serger, but tracing the pattern and grading between pattern sizes proved to be a bit of a hassle. There are soooo many patterns on one sheet it got a bit confusing and I ended up starting over a few times. It wasn't really a HUGE deal but when I have limited sewing time I want things to go as smoothly as possible. Here is what one side of a pattern sheet looks like:

A lot to process for my brain!
I had bought some really nice stretch brocade for this months project but got nervous about cutting it up when I changed my pattern so bought some less expensive heavy stretch knit from Joanne's. With a good coupon, I paid about $6 a yard for it. I thought it would not be the end of the world if I messed it up!!

So, here is my November completed garment! I am really pleased with the way it turned out and have worn it numerous times already. It is very comfortable and because the knit is heavier weight, plenty warm for our cooler late fall days here in southern Indiana.

I made a fabric belt and shortened the sleeves to break up the pattern a bit. 

Neck got a little wonky due to lots of stretch but all and all turned out okay.

Citrus photobombing (again!)
I will probably use this pattern again but might try adjusting the neckline to be a cowl.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Cooper Bag Sew A Long - Day 1

Today the Cooper Bag Sew A Long (SAL) began.

Since I am on eastern time and the SAL peeps at Colette are on pacific time, I started without them. Here it can be 11 am or after when the west coast folks wake up and get going and since I had the entire house to myself  during that time, I didn't want to waste it. When I purchased my pattern for the bag I also purchased a booklet which was described as an "... in-depth guide to bag making" and in which also gave me the assurance that I'd be "walk[ed through]...from start to finish." 

The Cooper Companion booklet was a pdf document that was able to be instantly downloaded.

The Cooper Companion
I actually sent mine to UPS and had them print it up. Because it was color printing and 134 pages it ended up being a bit more than I wanted to spend. But today as I started construction of the bag, I was glad for the quality print job and the color photos. The Companion provides the same information as the actual pattern  PLUS a lot more. There are tons of photos (400 according to Colette) of each step and lots of good explanations. The Companion also gives tips here and there on various bag construction subjects such as working with leather and vinyl. It cost $9 (plus my printing costs).

Pattern comes with a comb binding.
The Cooper Bag pattern itself cost $16. That is if you want an actual paper pattern that is real fancy.
Pattern sheets are printed on quality paper. 

I think that is pretty steep for a bag pattern but figure over time it
will pay for itself since contained are 3 different bag variations and I loved all three. I could have gotten the pdf version for $12 but frankly that isn't a big discount when you factor in your printing costs. Besides that, I have been using a lot of pdf patterns lately and am tired of them.

Finally, I ordered the Version 3 hardware kit for an additional $6. It came in a sweet little box. Again, somewhat pricey but convenient to have all one needs in a box ready to use.

Hardware Kit for Bag Version 3. Cute but probably wouldn't order this accessory again.
In my last post I mentioned all the fabric needed for the bag, except for the vinyl, came from my stash. You don't have to make the bag from water repellent fabrics but I chose to. The outside will be vinyl and a nice sturdy blue outdoor fabric.

I am pretty hard on my bags so wanted to beef this one up. Amazingly, while searching through my stash, I found some ripstop nylon in blue for the lining. I seriously have no clue where the nylon came from, what I bought it for or what grand sewing plan prompted it's purchase. It looks like it may be a thrift find. However it came to be in my stash is just fine because I didn't have to buy it.

I was a bit surprised but guess it is good that the SAL instructions posted today are exactly what is in the Companion Book. This is the first SAL that I have actively participated in so don't really know what to expect. Because the SAL instructions are the same as the Companion I probably will forge ahead instead of waiting for the next post. I was a bit timid about the vinyl but it sews up beautifully and easily. Leather sewing machine needles and those clippy things definitely make the job easier. Today I was able to get the front bag piece pockets sewn and the straps completed. The finished SAL bag submission is due Dec. 13th and there is a little contest to go along and already there are gorgeous bags submitted!!!

Today's Progress.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Great Big Sewing Community and A Bag Sew-A-Long.

One great thing about sewing these days is how one can be, if they choose, a part of a much larger sewing community than just close sewing friends next door or the great and talented folks at the local Sewing Guild. The possibilities for learning new skills, meeting new people, and seeing their work through pictures, is really limitless due to the Internet.

10 years ago or so it was hard to find a decent sewing pattern online, especially for garments, or to know much about like minded sewists who may live all the way on the other side of the world. Now, as you all know, there are literally thousands of avenues and areas and interests to pursue in the sewing world as well as a world of free patterns and thousands again of patterns for a few dollars or more. A world that can connect you with any number of sewing aficionados in an instant. A world that can set you up with others who share your passion. And it is a lovely world that should be delved in to and pursued by the home sewists!

There are any number of blogs about any number of sewing subjects. There are youtube videos (and other videos at other sites), entire pdf books and patterns ready to be instantaneously downloaded, linky parties (which link up blogs where the bloggers then discuss and share their similar sewing projects). There are professional designers such as Angela Kane, or Nancy Zieman with websites and memberships (free or not). There are the big three pattern company(ies) with their own sewing videos, affiliated sites such as Sew4home or Professor Pincushion with tutorials and communities as well as independent pattern shops producing custom designs from all over the world and doing sew-a-longs to promote their products. There are weekly giveaways and contests at any number of blogs and online fabric shops. There are opportunities to be pattern testers. There are Blocks of the Month and Garments of the Month.

While I am sure to have forgotten some other way to pursue sewing online I think you get the idea. There are countless opportunities out there.

Really, there are as many contests or as much education, help and assistance with any sewing issue or problem that anyone could need or want. I once bought a book on couture sewing and had a question regarding one of the techniques shown.

The Author was very friendly and quickly answered my question!

Why, I just emailed the author and received a very nice, detailed answer. The information, techniques and how-tos are just there waiting to be tapped, most likely free and usually pretty darn good. Take Sew-A-Longs (SAL). Here is a way to meet other sewers, brush up or learn new skills, and have a cool sewn item at the end!

A couple of weeks ago on a whim I googled "2013 sew a alongs". While things from earlier in the year popped up so did a few in progress or coming up.The Cooper Bag Sew A Long at Colette Patterns really caught my interest and I decided to take on the challenge.


The Cooper Bag does not seem all that complicated and the pattern is rated for beginners but the recommended fabric used for the bag is leather, vinyl, wax canvas or the like. In order to expand my experience with these fabrics, and I also happen to really LOVE messenger bags and their next of kin, backpacks and satchels, I put it on my newly developed SAL excel sheet and ordered the pattern. I did have to purchase the vinyl but the rest of the supplies I already had in my stash so it hasn't cost me a great deal to get involved.

The Cooper Bag SAL begins on Monday and runs until Dec. 13th. I am really looking forward to "working" and sewing along side other Cooper Bag sewers, seeing their finished product and learning some new skills along the way. All that and more in the comfort of my own home.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Some Seriously Good Thrift Finds and a New Knit Blouse.....

These days due to my work schedule I have not been able to do my normal amount of thrifting. I freely admit that I am a serious "thrifter".  One thing I have found and an important component of serious thrifting is to be well...not very serious when setting out and to keep your options open. An open mind is essential when entering the world of thrift. 

I hardly ever pass up a suit like this because of the buttons!

That bright green double knit suit from the early 70's that looks remarkably like what your Mother wore (maybe it WAS your Mothers, who knows?) could surely be turned in to a new wallet, a wine holder, a very durable pot holder and if nothing else, take it home for the buttons!!

Buttons from my day of thrifting!
All those funky sheets could be rag rugs or tents for the young'ens when they play outside, those 90's upscale place mats...why there are numerous patterns for place mat purses out there.  When I enter a thrift store I am prepare to give anything a chance.

Disassemble and add thingys to a cool backpack? And oh my, look at all those straps and buckles!!

Over time my thrifting has allowed me to acquired a substantial amount of heavy 100% wool sweaters and heavy wool coats but there is always a chance things won't turn out like you expect. Sometimes things from the past, like some things now, are just shoddily made. This coat is an example. Dud.

A recent find...but this one didn't turn out to be so good.
In the back of my mind is this awesome idea for a cozy dog bed that would require LOTS of wool scraps... but it has yet to come to fruition. Someday soon. In the meantime, my stash of wool keeps growing.

Use to be one could walk in to any thrift store and buy a boatload of these sweaters and coats but, as crafty types have started to rule the world and snap these up for various projects that they later sell at the local art show, the wool is getting harder to find in my town. And in fact, in reality there are only so many of Gramdma's sweaters and fancy woolen coats around. There is an end to the supply of vintage stuff such as wool sweaters.

Another thrifted textile that has accumulated is quite a supply of vintage type fabrics. Just recently for a couple of bucks, I picked up three heavier weight fabrics. One was a nice green flecked 100% linen. I am a sucker for linen, even though I hardly ever sew with it! I keep envisioning these designer type tailored suits for my 17 year old. She is still waiting.

This is a serious linen...Might have a bit of silk as well. Very chic!
 The other two were home dec types.

I'm thinking floor pillow or pouf  in our "green room"
One was a vintage Waverly. Just cool to own.

Kentucky Belle by Waverly

Most of my thrifted fabric finds are for garment sewing. I don't think quilters readily give up their stash. I find a lot of knits. Some great, some not so great. I guess they are less expensive to buy to begin with but sometimes harder to sew so that great garment is given up on. I have scored entire bolts of muslin, yards and yards of upholstery type fabrics and many fleeces. I did make this sweet top with a sweater knit. The fabric cost me exactly $0.49! Yes, that is forty nine cents! Who says it doesn't pay to sew your own clothes?

Super easy knit top made by me. Photo bomb by Citrus. :)
On Tuesday, I am headed over to the thrift store again. The sweet lady who works there said she had a stack to show me. Who knows what I will find.

Sew On Friends, Sew On!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Read this book and ditch your ready to wear!

The other day while visiting Gorgeous Fabrics I discovered Ann (the owner) has a blog! I love Gorgeous Fabrics and have ordered lots of fabric from them over the past year. She has a wide selection of quality knits, some outstanding woolens and an abundance of designer type fabrics.

While scrolling through her blog I came across a recent entry about a book she was reading. The book entitled, "The Coat Route: Craft, Luxury & Obsession on the Trail of a $50,000 coat" immediately became of interest. Over the years one thing I have discovered is, it is important to me that I become the best seamstress, sewer, textile artist, couture student that I possibly can within the time, resource and opportunities I have available. This means I subscribe to many teaching type website such as Threads
and have a dozen or so subscribed Youtube channels about sewing and sometimes even purchase memberships to designers websites such as Angela Kane. BTW, if you haven't watched Angela Kane's free videos you need to. They are super easy to follow, clear and can definitely help one improve their sewing techniques! Here is a link to a sample. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZzCsI_zRno

Along the path of this self improvement goal I have noticed a serious lack of quality in store bought clothing. Things are just made so darn cheap these days. They look cheap, they feel cheap, they wear out quickly and frankly I don't like buying them. So I haven't been. I am gradually changing over my wardrobe to clothing I have made myself with fabric that I love and believe to be of good quality and in each piece I try to put some fancy technique in its construction. No, everything doesn't turn out perfect. I have discarded things. No it isn't easy. And, no, it is NOT less expensive than purchasing from the local outlet mall. But, it feels so good. Literally it feels good when I put on that skirt with the hong kong finish or the knit dress that fits me perfectly or the silk chiffon scarf with ruffles which looks and feels soooo high dollar.

Which is why when I read Ann's blog about the book I immediately bought it.

I want to know about the $50,000 coat. Not because I will ever own one, I won't. But because I want to know the exacting process that makes the coat so special. Every detail. I have not been disappointed. It is a page turner. :) No really. Not like a Stephen King but if you love craftsmanship and textiles you won't be disappointed. The book has inspired me to keep trying and moving forward in my sewing. I hope it does the same for you too!

Gieves & Hawkes on No. 1 Savile Row
(from Wikipedia)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Quick Way to Organize Your PDF Patterns!

This past weekend Deby over at So Sew Easy sent out a call for pattern testers. I had found Deby several months ago when I downloaded a wrap dress pattern she has listed for free on Craftsy. While I haven't had the opportunity to put together the wrap dress, I am very excited to be one of her pattern testers and am looking forward to giving her new patterns a review.

In the meantime, the projects have been building up and I started feeling a bit overwhelmed by the downloads from the past couple of days. I had downloaded my two bag patterns from Emmaline Bags, a sweet chiffon maxi dress pattern and then today, one from Deby, the Amelia Bag.
Essential Supplies
So with some time off  I decided to get organized! I don't know about you but as I have gotten older and busier, there is not much spare time in my life and I hate to waste it. Sure, I would much rather be sewing  right now! But, I have found that if my sewing and sewing room are not organized not much happens. I simply can't sew. I sit in my sewing chair, look around and wonder what to do next.

To help keep my area tidy several months ago I began keeping my downloaded patterns in spiral notebooks. This has worked really well, is economical, the notebooks are reusable and easy to store and label.

The patterns are organized by the order they will be sewn. The printed instructions are placed in the notebook, followed by the pattern themselves in plastic protective sheets. I take the time to cut out and tape the pieces together as I place them in the notebook. When it is time to sew, I don't want to be putting the pattern together!

It is a good idea to test the scale of the pattern as you are organizing. Your PDF downloadable pattern should come with a test square and the designer will give you the dimensions. This was a 2" test square so it is good to go!

Next comes the tedious and sometimes frustrating part. Piecing the pattern together. The Weekender Knit Dress was a PDF pattern with 30 something pages and required a fair amount of space to assemble. The thing is, if you are off just a tad at the start of your piecing the error grows and grows as you go along and could possibly be off by 1/4 to 1/2 inch by the last piece.. My hubby suggested starting from the middle and working out which I haven't tried yet but plan to. One very nice thing about the Emmaline Bags patterns is a nice gray shaded area for matching pieces that she places on the edges of her patterns. This is by far the most user friendly way of matching up pieces  I have used.

Pattern pieces awaiting fabric!
Once cut and pieced they go into their plastic sheets. Don't worry if you need to fold your pieces a bit to fit them in the plastic protective sheets. A light touch with your iron will smooth them back out when you are ready to use them.

The last step in organizing the patterns is a good sticky tab for dividing patterns and for ease in flipping through your book!
My notebook of current patterns in use is placed near my machine. When I am done with the pattern if I don't like it, I give it away or recycle the paper. I never hang on to a pattern I don't like or will never use again. There are too many patterns I do/will like and they need space!