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Blog + Tips




Filtering by Category: Tips & How-to

Sewing a Princess Wrap Tunic

Christine Jonson Patterns

Princess Wrap Tunic

Alteration to Princess Wrap Top #426

by Christine Jonson


The Princess Top is one of my most loved patterns. It has been reviewed on  many times with glowing reviews! I have been asked about making a longer version and/or a dress pattern from it many times.  Auria our InStudio samplemaker came up with this wonderful asymmetrical version and wrote the instruction for it on our website. (View Asymmetrical Princess Wrap)

I used Tencel/Wool/LYCRA knit for my top. This featherweight knit is perfect for all seasons, even summer. What beautiful fabric it is to work with. Very stable and cooperative. I thought the ziz-zag topstitching gave it a nice "dressmaker" look. I raised the neckline an inch of so by brining the shoulderline closer to the neck. (Wrap Neckline Alteration [PDF])

I love the way this fabric gathers at the waistline. The underwrap is flat so there is no bunching of fabric underneath to add fullness. On the contrary, this detail is very slimming. Be sure this area has a bit of negative ease so the gathers are stretched a bit horizontally. This center panel is constructed first before being sewn to the princess seams, hold it to your body and check the fit of the gathers so you can take it in a bit before sewing it to the side seams.

I love the corner stitching here and the angle of the hem. The length is very important to the slimming/flattering line of this asymmetrical top. I made this one for myself to end at my knuckles (almost where it is on the mannequin) and the angle of the hem covers my thighs!!!! Bonus detail :)

The instructions will work great for an even longer version dress. I would add a bit more ease and a little a-line to the side seams for a dress. This version is super cute in a print and looks great with pants and skirts.

Sewing a Tie-Back Knit Dress

Christine Jonson Patterns

Tie Back Dress

Alteration to Tie Back Top #107

by Christine Jonson


I had fun making this dress version of the Tie Back Top pattern #107using the plum and cream print from the current collection. Not only do I love this print, but the weight and drape of this lightweight jersey is perfect for Tie Back Top turned Dress and the summertime weather and events!

I spent about an hour and a half one evening laying the pattern out, chalking the new length and getting it cut out. It was ready to sew when I arrived at t he studio the next morning. Nice!

It had been a while since I used the Tie Back Top pattern and I was impressed with how well it went together and the instructions! I know that must sound strange since I did the pattern making, wrote and illustrated the instructions (with the help of my friends Jan and Cathy)!) I did read and follow the instructions step-by-step. Why reinvent the wheel !!?

I did not make many changes to the pattern, most notably, it was lengthened. I decided on my finished length and hem width then simply laid my long straight ruler on the cutting line of the widest part of the hip and matched it with the new hem length and width mark and drew an new side seam and hem. I did also shorten the sleeves to below the elbow.

I thought about eliminating the ties in the back by shortening and tucking the ends into the side seam and sewing them in but I thought for summer it would be fun to have the tie back. I am planning on making a sleeveless version that can be reversible ( two dresses in one!) using one of the prints and an ITY solid coordinate. The dress took me 2 hours of sewing time. So that is 3.5 hours beginning to end.

Keep in mind that the dress is self-lined to hip-length and some fabrics could be too bulky or heavy. This fabric is lightweight with excellent drape and a comfy "slide-on" feeling!

Have fun sewing one of these fun summer dresses for yourself!



Here's a sewist tutorial on that tie back top, thanks Diane!



Sewing a V-Neck Tunic

Christine Jonson Patterns

V-Neck Dress

Alteration to the V-Neck Tee #714

by Christine Jonson Patterns


When I first saw this graphic print fabric I thought of Diane Von Furstenburg and was excited to make a garment with her in mind. I really like how it came out and I think she would also!

At first, I cut out the center front panel in the print fabric then thought how great it would look with a solid panel. I looked through the current collection of fabrics and decided on the turquoise (ITY1030). The weight, color and drape were a good match for the lightweight sweater knit (PRT1045). This lightweight, stable sweater knit is a dream to work with and does not stick or cling at all.

I was recently asked (thank you for the question!!) if this tee pattern would make a good dress. I had my reservations about how the center vertical panel seams would hang at dress length so I had to give it a try! I think it drapes very well by simply lengthening the pattern from the hem (not the lengthen/shorten line). To give a bit of extra hip and hem width I added a few inches of a-line on each side seam.

 I love the simplicity of this neckline construction. It could not be easier or more fun to realize for the first time how it sews together! I lowered the V  1.5 inch for a more summery effect. This is as simple as sewing 1.5 inches down from the large dot given. Isn't that a beautiful back and shoulder neckline? Super quick and instant gratification sewing!

Sewing a Keyhole Tunic

Christine Jonson Patterns

Keyhole Tunic

Alteration to the Keyhole Top #1010

by Christine Jonson


The Keyhole Top pattern is great at hip length, fingertip length and dress length. It has a close fitting armhole and waistline shaping. To achieve the slight a-line shaping seen here I laid a straight ruler at the widest hip point and angled it 2 inches.

I love this stable, sweatery-knit fabric for a variety of reasons. First of all, the black flower-ish design is "very" black and secondly the graphic print is uniquely feminine. Third, it is very lightweight and incredibly soft to the touch.

The pattern for the Keyhole Top is self-lined.The self lining takes the sometimes problematic top stitching issue out of play, and makes a nice neckline finish. The sleeveless version can be made reversible using two compatible fabrics. The neckline can be cut without the slit for a beautifully shaped boat neckline. Instead of self lining the entire garment I simply lined the bodice.

I LOVE the coordinating black sleeves and fold over neckline. They serve to highlight both the print and design. This top is equally great in all types of knits both prints and solids. The print is S1048 and the black is 9oz. ITY 671.

Stitching the keyhole closed at the top of the neckline gives it a distinct and "sexy" look. The curve of the armhole is highlighted by the coordinating sleeve. The mannequin has very broad (and hard!) shoulders! I promise these "fabric pulls" at the armhole area will not happen on a real girl :)





Sewing a Ruffled Tuxedo Tee

Christine Jonson Patterns

Tuxedo Tee

Alteration to #1025 BaseWear Two: Top w/options.

By Auria Nascimento


We created this look using pattern #1025 BaseWear Two (Top with options). 


The ruffle strips were cut lengthwise along the grain of the fabric (1 ½ X 25) using a rotary cutter to assure a clean cut edge. 

Next, fold the strips in half lengthwise and press.

Use the crease as a guide when creating the double row of basting stitches on either side of this crease.

Click on each image below to zoom in and enlarge it for detail:

Determine and mark the placement of the ruffles.  Use a measuring gauge and a washable fabric marker.

Gather each strip down to 12 inches.

Around the neckline, make sure the place the strips a little beyond the raw edge. You want to be sure that the edge of the ruffle will be completely enclosed in the band to be added later. 

The angle created at the bottom of the ruffles is exaggerated by placing the strip further past the neck line and trimming away the excess.  Double check the ruffles for symmetry on both sides before sewing into place. 

As you can see in the picture to the left, we did some last minute editing and decided to eliminate two rows of the ruffles on either side and space the rows a little further apart for the final garment. 

Pin the ruffles into place and sew.


Measure the neckline and armhole. Add seam allowance to the measurement then subtract 1 ½ inches. 

Example: If your measurement is 16”, 16” + 5/8” + 5/8” – 1 ½” will equal the length of the strip. 

The width of the strip for the band is 2 inches along the grain on the fabric.

Sew band together, fold and press in half and edge serge the raw edge at the bottom.

Stretch the bands to fit the neckline and armholes and use single needle sewing machine to stitch into place. 

Trim seams and press towards the body of the garment and topstitch.