Around the world blog hop button

Around the World Blog Hop

Last week I was nominated by Rachael from Sew Today, Clean Tomorrow (who is about to host her second  Beginner Quilt Along if you’re interested) to join the Around the World Blog Hop and was pretty excited as it’s my first. It’s a great way to discover new clever crafty people and learn more about why they write and what they do. I don’t think anyone knows where the hop originated – if you know please share!

So onto my responses to the questions –

1. What am I working on?  For the past 7 weeks I’ve been learning how to draft and grade sewing patterns in Adobe Illustrator with the Digital Pattern Drafting course with Burda Style. Taught by Lauren Dahl from Pattern Workshop, it shows how to use the Winifred Aldrich books to draft pattern blocks (slopers in the US) directly in Illustrator. Then you can manipulate the shapes to create any sewing pattern you like – it’s pretty fantastic and I’m learning a lot.

I’m also about to start my first quilting blog hop hosted by Linen from Vine Lines Quilting. Feeling a bit anxious about this project as I’ve only just decided to sew quilts, and so I’m expecting a HUGE learning curve coming my way.


Learning to grade my patterns with Illustrator is going to be a HUGE time saver!

2. How does my blog differ from others of its genre?  I’d like to think that Stitching Rules differs from other sewing blogs by showing beyond beginner level techniques. There are plenty of sites you can visit for learning to sew basics, but I noticed there wasn’t much on offer for beyond that – things you only learn while working in the sewing industry – particularly the fashion and soft furnishings industries. I know lately I’ve been playing with different challenges and collaborative projects, but my heart is with sharing knowledge to people who’d like to sell their creations. There are plans for writing about altering commercial and indie patterns so you can sell at the markets or online, and I’d love to write a series about planning a range from scratch ready to open your own online store.

creating a sewing plan for bulk sewing

3. Why do I write what I do? Because I’m passionate about sewing!  I’m of the opinion that if you’re planning on sewing something to sell, then you’d better be prepared to make it the best it can be – and better quality than mass produced items. I’d like to raise the standards of sewing to a level where “handmade” is no longer thought of as a quick, cheaper option.

I understand some people may not agree – that any effort to make for yourself should be celebrated. And that is true – but if you want to SELL those items – it needs to be better!

Martha Stewart 1

4. How does my creating process work? Ideas are percolating in my head most of the time, but once I’ve got an idea for a design, be it clothing, a bag or accessory, I sketch out the idea and start calculating measurements and dimensions. I have a hard cover notebook and write each new idea on a separate page – this enables me to stick samples of fabric and write pattern making  notes. If anything needs tweaking later I add those details too.

If I decide the design is a winner, I either write it up as a tutorial for the blog or develop it into a pattern to be sold as a PDF download for the Etsy shop. This brings us back to the reason for doing the digital pattern drafting course as I’ll be able to produce a more professional looking pattern.

Sketching - always sketching.

Sketching – always sketching.

So there you have it – I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about what I do and how I do it. Feel free to ask any further questions about my process because you can be sure that if you’re wondering, someone else will be too.

Next week I’d like you to visit two special sewing bloggers – Jen and Claire.

Claire Bear Quilts is going to share her responses to the blog hop questions and you’ll see the fabulous work she does with her quilting. Claire was one of the lovely people I met in the Aussie Handmade Birthday Club on Instagram and if you missed it you can see what she made in this post here.

Jen is the dedicated writer behind the One Thimble digital sewing magazine and is always creating new children’s patterns for her label Ainslee Fox Handmade. Click here to visit One Thimble.


6 thoughts on “Around the World Blog Hop

  1. Lilybett

    I’m so impressed with your Illustrator skills. I’m still shaking my head at In-Design, trying to figure it out, but there’s always such satisfaction when it clicks together.

    Although I’m still at the beginner phase of sewing (and need to put my big girl knickers on and learn to use a sewing machine), I’m going to pass on your blog details to a friend of mine – I think she’ll appreciate your ‘creating a plan for bulk sewing’ ideas.

    1. Debra Verrall Post author

      Thanks so much Lilybett. Yes it can feel like you’ve won a marathon when you can do something new in Illustrator – still scared of Indesign though. Thanks for sharing the blog love.

  2. Ravhael

    Love it! You have a great, unique approach. It definitely has a different focus to other pages. I’m really looking forward to seeing where the future takes you 🙂


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