July 1, 2019

Hello Sewing and Quilting Friends!

With summer fully upon us, I'm sure many of you are headed outdoors for gardening, local events or vacations. Will you make any time for summer sewing? I always find time to do that favorite and most creative pastime as it brings me such satisfaction and joy. My latest and greatest accomplishment in a long time has been the completion of a well-fitted pant block that I can use as a pattern for any style of pant or a reference for altering any commercial pant pattern to fit my weird bottom half! My top half is pretty normal, making it fairly easy to fit most jacket, blouse and other above-the-waist patterns. The bottom is a challenging different story; I have very short legs, heavy thighs and hips and a flat bottom, resulting in unsightly wrinkles on the backs of my legs under my bottom. Ready to wear pants and jeans also ALWAYS require a major alteration of removing the waist band, bringing in the waist about 3 inches off the pant size that fits around my hips and then sewing the shortened waistband back on. This all led to the quest for a pant pattern that really fits and is as flattering as possible for my shape!

After many attempts, the answer came from a friend who recommended Connie Crawford's book, Fashion Your Own Pants the Simple Way. First published in 1991, it has undergone three revisions and is currently in its 4th edition, published in 2006. Although the illustrations are outdated, the methods are still successful. One is instructed clearly and concisely to take a set of specific measurements and then draft your own block based on those measurements. The leg width is variable (it took me three changes to get the leg width to look the best for me) and design variables for the top of the pants are also included. I finally have a pant block that actually fits me -- at least until my weight and shape changes! If that happens, I'll just do it again!

Patterns of the Month

For the next two months, I'm featuring three patterns at a 25% price reduction!

Class Act Ensemble from Lorraine Torrence Designs, is a simple cardigan shape in two lengths, two sleeve lengths and two design options: curves covered with bias tape or pieced squares. Of course, you can cut it from one fabric as a plain jacket or use the simple shape to decorate as you wish.
Buy Class Act Ensemble
Crossroads Jacket from Grainline Gear, designed by Ruth Vincent, is an Asian-inspired jacket with the option of two or three asymmetrical cross-over panels and a three- or four-fabric design option.
Buy Crossroads Jacket
Mini-Quilt Curves Series: Sunrise
Mini-Quilt Curves Series: High Seas
Mini-Quilt Curves Series: Tropical Paradise
Mini-Quilt Curves Series: Cruise Ship
Any of these four Collage Curves Mini Quilts: Sunrise, High Seas, Tropical Paradise or Cruise Ship.

The Collage Curves Mini Quilt patterns are make-in-a-day 15" square small quilts which include ray-edged curvy lines covered with self made bias tape.  These were designed in 2002 for a Caribbean Cruise teaching trip which required a small, one-day project which could be kitted and reflected the Caribbean destination. Choose the patterns to make in your own fabric.

Also available (but, sorry, not discounted as they are time consuming to put together) are kits designed to look as close as possible to the photos on the pattern covers.

Click the images above or links below to buy:

(Better-Late-than-Never) Pattern Contest!

As promised in April, I'm bringing a pattern contest to Lorraine Torrence Designs! Choose one of the Panel Play patterns - Panel Play Vest, Panel Play Tunic or Panel Play Jacket - at a 25% price reduction and make it up in any fabrication you wish.

These patterns were designed with a front asymmetrical panel and a back yoke panel perfect for filling with your favorite technique! Send in a picture of you wearing your creation by October 1, 2019 and a panel of judges will choose the winners.
  • 1st prize - $50 gift certificate from my website
  • 2nd prize - $25 gift certificate
  • 3rd prize - $15 gift certificate
I will post photos on the homepage of my website, so everyone can enjoy your creativity!

Click the links below to buy:

Upcoming Events

Motion Cord Couching

@ Mill House Quilts

100 Baker Street, Waunakee, WI


Friday, July 12: 9:30-11:00am

This is a lecture/demo in which I will show samples of items embellished with free motion cord couching and demonstrate using the cord couching foot that makes it quick and easy.
Sign up

Improving the Checkerboard

@ Mill House Quilts

100 Baker Street, Waunakee, WI


Saturday, July 20: 9:30am-3:30pm

Learn how to make, and then manipulate, the age-old checkerboard design by doing several exercises, including inserting a rogue square into a two-color checkerboard, making a perspective checkerboard and joining two same size but differently colored checker- boards with a curved seam while maintaining the continuing checkerboard. Learn to use your exercises with a demo on how to design your own wall quilt at home using the color coordinated exercises.
Sign up
I look forward to seeing you at these summer classes!
I wish you all a great summer of gardening, outdoor activities and traveling…..and hopefully some creating sewing!


Lorraine Torrence Designs offers patterns, fabric, books, ideas and more to help, teach, and inspire you in your quilting making and creative Garment making. Join me for learning, fabric lust, and love of everything fiber!

Copyright © 2019 Lorraine Torrence Designs, All rights reserved.

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