the inside out neckline finish

April 25th, 2015

The inside out neckline finish // Megan Nielsen

One of the many things i love about stretch fabrics is that you can break the rules a bit. You can skip the hemming! You can skip seam finishes! It’s pretty liberating. And sometimes, i just like experimenting a doing things a little differently for fun. Which is how i ended up with this neckline finish!

I love that it’s a little rough looking. A little unfinished. A little edgy. I really want to try this on some different styles like perhaps a terry jersey Briar sweatshirt. (You can tell it’s getting cold i Perth because my mind is all about sweaters! )

Ok so, if you’d like to try out my Inside Out Neckline, here we go!

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rebranding + patterns in print!

April 18th, 2015

You guys! I’m so excited to tell you about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes over the last few months (not this hehe).

Our patterns are going back into print! We’ve redesigned our branding and made our patterns even better! can you see me dancing! ALL CAPS EXCITEMENT

There’s a lot i want to tell you, but here’s the most important part: we will have paper patterns in May! You will be able to buy them through our store directly and also through local retailers (sidebar: if there is a store near you that you want to see our patterns in, tell them about us, and tell us about them! And if you’re a store reading this, email my right hand babe Sarah). As always we will announce the patterns to our newsletter subscribers first, so if you’d like to know as soon as patterns are available, make sure you sign up!

Ready to dig in to details?

Last year we decided to jump back into selling printed patterns again. I’m really glad i took a break from print patterns during my pregnancy and baby time, it was important and valuable. But I’ve missed paper, and i know you have too! As i alluded to before, during my maternity leave we used the time to assess our patterns and how everyone uses them. Which led us to putting a lot of time into finding a better way to print our patterns and a better way to get them to you. I feel like i know more about you, my amazing friends and customers, and myself since i launched my sewing patterns way back in 2010. So instead of doing things exactly the same as we had before, i decided to hit reset. Use everything we’ve learnt and create an even better brand, and an even better sewing experience. Though it’s been stressful at times, I’ve really enjoyed the process of rethinking our brand and what i want it to look like right now.

When we decided to go back into print, i knew i wanted to rebrand/redesign our packaging. I have absolutely loved my branding, but it was time for a fresh look. I worked with the incredibly talented Yvette of YB Creative, and i absolutely love the clean minimalist design she created for us. Working with Yvette was such a pleasure, i feel like she really understood what i wanted, and added so many special elements. We spent a (very) long time going over every single detail of our pattern instructions and cover packaging to make sure all the info you could ever need was covered. They’re simple to use, and if you ask me, gorgeous. That matters to me, i really enjoy using beautiful things and i’m sure you do too. These are some little peeks at the proofs, and i’m really thrilled with them!

Artwork wise, i made the big move to creating my own cover art. Sketching is one of my favourite elements of design, and for years Chris has been pushing me to do my own cover art. I’m so grateful for his nagging encouragement. Sometimes he knows me better than i do. It was such a rewarding and enjoyable process to work on my own cover art, and it feels so good to look at my pattern covers and feel like they are truly a reflection of me. This has also allowed me to show more variations than i have before which i’m really thrilled about!

We have also moved to a manufacturer that can handle the large print runs we require (i talk a little bit about our old production house in this post if you are interested). I’m really excited about this move, because aside from the fact that we can now order patterns in larger quantities than we ever did before, our new printer uses a larger print plate. Which I am seriously geeking out over, because it means i can offer more and larger pattern pieces that i have previously. In the past i’ve been held back by the size of our print plate, and haven’t been able to produce patterns with very large pieces, or large number of pieces. It was frustrating. But now, we can do more! Which means i’ve been able to update some of my patterns to include more pattern pieces and more variations. YES.

Our first print run will include the Darling Ranges dress, Tania culottes and our newest design the Brumby skirt. And the rest of my pattern catalog will follow.

The Darling Ranges was the first pattern i released, and has continued to be one of my favourites, and one of my most popular patterns. Since i now have a larger print plate to work with, for this release i’ve added new pattern pieces so that the dartless variations are easier to achieve! You can make the gathered waist dress, dartless dress and dartless blouse as before, except with full size pattern pieces. YES.

The Tania culottes are one of my favourite designs ever. I remember when i originally released it two years ago i was so nervous about how it would be received. It was so different to everything else! Little did i know culottes would soon have their moment, YAY! Since then i’ve had a lot of requests for longer culottes, so in this print run i’ve added two new variations to the pattern, and new pattern pattern pieces. Knee length culottes and midi culottes! Culottes for everyone! hehe

And here is our newest design! The Brumby skirt! I feel like i’ve made you guys wait so long for this one – I’m sorry – at least now you know why! This one will include three variations, as above. It’s one of my favourite designs from my 2010 winter collection (check out the full lookbook here), and it will be awesome to finally share it with you!

The last thing we’ve changed is where we store our patterns. As much as i loved having local storage in Perth, and as much as i love Australia, our shipping costs are insane. I couldn’t make it work. I suppose thats the downside of being a gorgeous island in the middle of the ocean hehe. Though you probably didn’t realise it before, i heavily subsidised all the shipping rates in the past in order to reduce them, and i still couldn’t bring them down to what most people would consider a reasonable level. sigh. So from now on all of our patterns will be stored in the USA and ship from the USA. This will mean lower shipping prices and shorter transit times for everyone. And if you live in Australia and are worried about what this will mean for you, we’ve done some extensive testing and found that the transit times to Aust and (shipping costs) are not too dissimilar to when i ship from Perth, so i’m hoping you shouldn’t notice much of a change at all.

Ok that’s it! What do you think?!

[Actually that’s not the last thing, i still have one surprise up my sleeve that i can’t reveal yet. I’m also winking but you can’t see that through the internet]

cropped crescent blouse

April 13th, 2015

I’ve been meaning to make myself a cropped Crescent blouse for ages – i have been living in crop tops this summer and i knew that this would be a really easy pattern variation.

Since the pattern already has a waist seam, it was as simple as leaving off the included hem options and doing a rolled hem.

I love a quick project!  I can see myself making another of these – though admittedly the whether is getting cooler in Perth from now on, so i may need to save my next crop top for a few months.

And apparently i live in my midi culottes at the moment! Sorry not sorry!! hehehe i love my Tania culottes

Also don’t forget – if you’re a bit worried about what bra to wear with your Crescent blouse, check this post out  (Not to get all TMI on you, but i was wearing a nursing bra in all these snaps and you can’t tell. *scandal* )[Make this look]

Crop top: Megan Nielsen Crescent blouse // Pattern + how to sew a rolled hem
Culottes: Megan Nielsen Tania culottes // Pattern + tutorial for midi length
Shoes: Madewell
Necklace: Thrifted
Bag: Vintage Coach 

How to make fabric scrap yarn

April 9th, 2015

I go through a lot of fabric and have a huge pile of scraps, so in the pursuit of less waste, i’ve been trying to get into the habit of taking scraps and making them into fabric scrap “yarn”. I used it for my scrubby kitchen cloths and mostly for making storage baskets (which if you follow me on instragram you’ve probably seen some, but i don’t think i’ve blogged about them yet).

Here’s how i do it!

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Tutorial // How to make a straight hem briar tshirt

April 6th, 2015

People often ask me how to alter the Briar pattern to look more like a regular tee – well guess what. IT IS SO EASY!

I’ve made myself two straight hem Briar crop tops this summer, but the exact same pattern alteration is required for a standard length tshirt.

Here’s what you do

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Maker tees // local shipping for the USA!

April 4th, 2015

Hey lovelies, great news for our US customers – our newest stock drop of Maker tees has arrived, and we’ve split our stock between our US and Australian warehouses – which means we can now offer local shipping to all of our US customers too! This will mean lower shipping costs and faster shipping times.

YAY! so excited!! Head on over to the store to check it out.

I’m also really thrilled to share with you the other look from our Maker tee photo shoot a few weeks ago! This time paired with the midi Tania culottes (pattern + tutorial)

If you live outside the USA/Australia never fear, when our next drop of stock arrives it will be available to ship anywhere in the world.

Again, thanks so much to everyone for your support of this project! I’m hoping to begin work on a new tshirt design, as well as tote bags. excited!

PURCHASE A MAKER TEE AT MEGANNIELSEN.COM

[Credits]

Artwork: Jasmine Dowling
Model: Megan Crosby // Megan Crosby MUA

Hair & makeup: Megan Crosby // Megan Crosby MUA 
Photography & Styling: Megan Nielsen