In Complete Stitches


Planetary Release Giveaway!

The Planetary Backpack pattern is now available to purchase in my Etsy Shop! Hooray!!

To get the ball rolling you can get the pattern at 30% off until the 19th July using the code BLASTOFF30 and in celebration there will be a whole load of fab giveaways happening over on Instagram this coming week!!

A gang of the talented women who tested the pattern will be hosting giveaways of copies of the pattern along with other fun goodies to find. So check out my Instagram feed for all of the details!

I was so excited when my wonderful team of testers started making their backpacks, see their work here, but it really has been amazing to already see Planetary Backpacks appearing in my Instagram and Facebook feeds from those who got the pattern through Issue 24 of One Thimble. I thought I’d take the chance to share a few with you.

The wonderful Nicola Brown (@clasheen over on Insta) made two stunning bags using beautifully eco-dyed locally sourced fabrics. I think the colours and textures are simply beautiful.

Nicola makes fine art textiles inspired by nature and the Irish landscape. She runs workshops on many textile related techniques including felting and eco-dying. You can find her website here! I must say it is really gratifying to see someone take a leap of faith and use your pattern for the first time, but even more gratifying when you see them produce another so soon after. Here’s what Nicola had to say:

“It’s the first published pattern by Sarah Jolley of @incompletestitches and as soon as I saw one on her Instagram feed I knew that I’d have to make it. To say I’m delighted with the result is a major understatement!!!!! The pattern is wonderfully easy to follow and although there are a lot of pieces to prepare (it’s fully lined and has pockets!) the construction is a joy!”

Jessica Fowler (aka @sewjessfowler) was the first person, other than the testers, to sew up my pattern and I was so excited to see it.

“Made the Planetary Backpack, it’s the first backpack I’ve ever made and I love it! Sewing it was a dream, the instructions were so clear. I can’t wait to make more!”

She made such a fun job of all her bags and yes, she did make more – she has made 5 of them so far!! Here are the first three! (I think the red beetle one is my favourite… mental note to give some free motion embroidery a go.)

The Planetary Backpack is a relaxed drawstring backpack with a top cover flap and an easy access outer front pocket. A midsized backpack (approximate finished internal dimensions: 370mm (14 ½ inches) tall x 420mm (16 ½ inches) wide) perfect for a trip to the park or to carry all the essentials needed for your little one’s first trip to outer space!

The pattern comes with a comprehensive, detailed, illustrated tutorial and comes with in A4/Letter format for home printing along with an A0 file for copy shop printing and a layered projector file also!

Feel like making one yourself now? Well head over to Etsy to grab your copy and don’t forget to use the discount code BLASTOFF30.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting the pattern to this stage and can’t wait to see what else people make with it. I’d love to hear what you think of the pattern!

You can find more planetary inspo by looking for #planetarybackpack and #incompletestitches in social media.

Stay tuned for details of the next pattern I’ve been working on. It got side tracked by the Corona Virus a bit but I’m getting there slowly but surely… Fancy a sneak peek of how it’s coming along…

If you would like to keep in touch and hear about future pattern releases, testing opportunities and grand plans here at In Complete Stitches please sign up to my newsletter or follow me over on Instagram and Facebook! xx Sarah.

Planetary Backpack is in Orbit!

Such an exciting day for me to be able announce that my first PDF pattern is about to be released! I had been working away on another pattern when the opportunity to submit a pattern to be published in the upcoming issue of One Thimble Digital Sewing Magazine arose. With an “INTERGALACTIC” theme to Issue 24 the “Planetary Backpack” jumped the pattern development queue!

In my mind’s eye the bag is an alien planet landscape with mountain (turn pocket) and moon filled sky. A perfect backpack for all budding astronauts, and pretty handy as a day to day bag for those in command too.

Not long after signing up to develop the pattern for the Issue 24 deadline the Corona Virus turned our own world upside down. Normally I’m an architect by morning, herding the children by afternoon and a late night sewing addict. Like the rest of the planet our daily routine was thrown into disarray. I was no longer sure if getting this pattern ready for the issue deadline was going to be achievable but I decided to give it my best shot.

When I had the pattern prepared to a point where I could call for testers I knew that I would be asking for a short testing timeframe. I hoped that there might be some people out there who would be interested in testing and crazy enough to take it on during these already challenging times. I am so grateful to everyone who applied and even more grateful to the team of testers who put me and the pattern through our paces over the course of an intense couple of weeks.

After only a few days of testing I was thrilled to see all the test backpacks appearing within the testing group. It is quite incredible to see other people’s take on your design, bringing their own style and imagination to the pattern. I am so privileged to have such a great team test my first pattern. Have a peek at some of their amazing Planetary Backpacks and click to check out more of their amazing work!

It was unanimously agreed within the testing group the pattern is a Confident/Advanced Beginner level; a few challenges in there – mainly due to having to handle multiple layers of fabric/strapping – but nothing you can’t handle! It is my hope that the comprehensive pattern tutorial will provide enough guidance to anyone with a bit of sewing experience behind them to feel confident in tackling this project. See an extract from the tutorial below:

The Planetary Backpack is a relaxed drawstring backpack with a top cover flap and an easy access outer front pocket. A midsized backpack (approximate finished internal dimensions: 370mm (14 ½ inches) tall x 420mm (16 ½ inches) wide) perfect for a trip to the park or to carry all the essentials needed for your little one’s first trip to outer space!

The pattern comes in A4/Letter format for home printing along with an A0 file for copy shop printing and a layered projector file also!

To celebrate the release of the pattern on 16th May in Issue 24 of One Thimble I will soon be hosting some exciting giveaways over on Facebook and Instagram, so be sure to follow to be in with the chance to win some planetary goodies!

Creating this first pattern was a steep learning curve, a lot of work but a true labour of love. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it and look forward to getting my next pattern up and running!

One Thimble has exclusive rights to the pattern for the next month or so, after that it will be available to purchase as a stand alone pattern through my ETSY shop The In Complete Stitch – where all my future patterns will also be found!

If you would like to keep in touch and hear about future pattern releases, testing opportunities and grand plans here at In Complete Stitches please sign up to my newsletter or follow me over on Instagram and Facebook! xx Sarah.

Ruffle to the MAX!

I think it must be nearly two years ago now that I hacked a Misusu Patterns Max Tee (A free pattern if you get the code from their Sew & Tell Group on Facebook!!) for my littlest sweetheart. I added some gathers to the back, a puff shoulder and some simple embroidery to the bib.

Max Tee with embellished bib .

A few months back I was a little overwhelmed with sewing and one evening sat down on the couch to do some embroidery and I decided to do revisit this pattern, but this time taking the hacking a little further.

I really enjoyed taking my time in coming up with a layout for the embroidery and took two nights (one night each side) using simple stitches (French Knots and Outline Stitch) finish it.

I have been wanting to add some ruffles to a garment for my littlest for a while so thought it would be interesting to make the signature square bib of the Max Tee into a rounded one and add some very un-Misusu ruffles!!

I have always admired the work of Mijke over at Sew It Curly so I asked her for a little advice on the ruffles. I asked how much longer she makes the piece of fabric to get the gathering right (x1.5) and she also gave me some ideas on how best to finish the edge. I chose to double over the fabric so that there was no hem or raw finish at the edge of the ruffle and I think this was the right choice for a fairly loose weave linen.

Having posted a few progress pics on Instagram Elles from Misusu asked if I could document the process and write a blog so I did! If you would like to read how to round out the bib and add the ruffle go check out the blog post here!

Who would have thought that a Misusu Pattern could become an 18th Century costume?! Perhaps it has something to do with having watched Little Women before starting this project?

Writing up this post has made me want to get back to doing some embroidery. I’ve been working away for the past few weeks on my first bag pattern and could do with a quieter, gentler process.

Thank you so much for reading! If you’d like to stay in touch and be notified of my latest posts you can subscribe so that you get an email notifying you when they are released! If you feel like it please do leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you! xx Sarah.

This is happening!!!

I’ve been working away here quietly and late into the night for a while now, and have a lot left to do, but shortly I will be putting a call out for pattern testers for my very own backpack pattern!!!

As an architect I’ve been designing buildings for over 20 years but get so much satisfaction from the physical process of making that it feels entirely natural to keep exploring the this process and combine my two passions.

Inspired by my littlest and her need for a little bag for her “big girl pre-school” lunches I made this colour blocked oversized backpack for her.

I’ve made a few adjustments to the size since along with fine tuning the proportions and details and I’m now nearly ready to put out a tester call!

I’d love to hear from you if you are interested – keep an eye on my Instagram and facebook page for the call! How very exciting !!

I was a little nervous that the reflective denim would look/feel a bit weird with the addition of the reflective threads, but it is super soft and a gorgeous shade of dark blue.

I was gifted this most super cool night reflective denim from Fabric Romance and made a super road safety version for my middle boy! Yellow baby cord (from my last visit to an open day in Dress Fabrics) for day time visibility combined with the fab reflective denim for those dark/dull winter mornings and evening trips back from GAA training. Perfect combo!!

I couldn’t believe how well the reflective threads worked!!

I had been jealously browsing the Fabric Romance website for ages, but I’ve been trying my very best not to buy myself any more fabric so when she asked if I’d be interested in writing a blog post in return for something to play with I knew straight away what would make a great “As Yet Unnamed” Backpack.

shhh… No.3 gets to use it for her gymnastic gear when her brother isn’t watching…

So… Here’s the plan…

The pattern is to have two sizes… this “oversized” children’s version. But also an “oversized” adults version too! Mainly because I was getting so jealous of the children’s cool bags and wanted a giant backpack all of my own!! I also reckon the smaller version would make a great crossbody purse… so maybe that might happen??

Mamma bag and baby bag…

I had been given a Merchant and Mills gift voucher by the gorgeous Elles of Misusu Patterns and knew I wanted to make myself something using this voucher. I was dying to get my hands on some of their expedition weight oilskin and when I saw that rust colour I knew what my gift would purchase! Thank you Elles!!

Now I’ve to get myself back to the pool!!

This big size feels like a Mary Poppins bottomless carpet bag as you can just fit more and more into it… It would make a super overnight bag, a great sports gear bag, a trip to the zoo with the kids?

Next Step??

Pretty soon (in about a week or so) I’ll put out a call for testers to help me fine tune the pattern and check I’m on the right track with all my instructions! A couple of weeks later we’ll start the testing and all gin well a few weeks later I’ll release the pattern!!

Wish me luck!!

I’m off to sew, sew, sew, draw, draw, draw, sew, sew, sew…

Snug as a Bug in a HUG!!

You know at this stage that I love a bit of pattern testing and these days I’m finding it hard to squeeze in some sewing for myself so when a pattern that seemed to have been designed for ME was in need of testing my hand went up straight away!!

Beep Beep! One Thimble!

A couple of months ago One Thimble Digital Sewing Magazine put out a call for sewists/bloggers to contribute to their Issue 22 (out tomorrow, 13th November) in the form of tutorials/hacks. I thought I’d give it a shot and applied, and here we are! Well, it would be more correct to say over there we are…

Another sewing addiction… Uh oh!

It appears that I have developed not one but two new addictions. The “quilt as you go” technique is so easy and satisfying, resulting in a beautifully textured piece of fabric. A wonderful way to use up scraps and to play with colours and textures.