Sewing Pattern FAQ

Pavelka Design sewing patterns
Do patterns have seam allowance (SA) already marked?

Yes, on ALL garments. On some with optional strip-piecing, SA needs to be added ONLY where areas are split up for strip-piecing. You pick how many strips will be used & add SA to these joins only. The pattern shows SA around ALL outside pattern edges.

Are all sizes included in the one pattern?

Yes. You pick the size, usually by bust size closest to your own and start from there. If you like a smaller fit, do the next size down. It is all explained in the pattern.

How much sewing experience do I need?

Okay, I am assuming you know how to run your machine & this is not your very first project. We include lots of extra help, sewing tips & try as hard as we can to ensure that you achieve success with the pattern. You need only general sewing skills. Please bear in mind that every project builds confidence, on technique & even on fabric selection. Over the years, not every item from your workshop will be a masterpiece. We all have a few that were later cut up into pillows or quilts or used to line the puppy's bed.

Where do you get so many different fabrics?

This is obvious- I am a fabric magpie & have built up my "fabric wall" over many years. I buy good quality quilting cottons but also just about anything else; rayon, silk, swimwear, corduroy, velour, etc. I keep reasonable scraps & offcuts, buy things at thrift stores of fabric that grabs me & sometimes friends give me stuff. I wash it ALL before it sits on my shelf.

How do you store & organize your fabrics & where do you get them?

As I use mainly smaller pieces of many fabrics, I keep them in open wire organizing baskets on 12" open shelves. They are sorted by color family as most are cottons or by fiber content like silk, velour, velvet, metallic. Big garment pieces lie flat on shelves above so I can see the whole wall of color at once... just about. I buy at independent quilting stores for best selection of beautiful harmonious cotton prints, regular fabric stores for rayons, jersey, etc and often at thrift stores for leather or oddball prints. My fabric wall has grown over many years, some pieces waiting more than 10 years to find a place in a piece.

I lack confidence to choose 5 or 6 fabrics to work together. What can I do?

Get help from a fabric store assistant who looks like they know how to put colors together. Buy fabrics within the same print family. Stick to only 1 or 2 highlights and make the rest about the same value level. Too many diverse colors will be jarring and jumpy while 1 or 2 add just the right punchy note to a general harmony.

Will it fit me?

We take you through general fitting tips, stages to try it on & check certain things. As usual, if you do no measuring or checking along the way, it may not fit perfectly. Good news is that these are casual style lines that look pretty good just about any size except too small.

I got the wrong tissue inside!

[/one-third][two-third last]Yikes! This has happened once or twice. PLEASE take a look at tissue shapes & instructions. Make sure they look like the same thing! We will gladly replace your tissue with the correct one but sorry, not the fabric once it is cut out wrongly.

What does copyright mean? Can I make jackets for my friends? Can I sell the finished garments?

These patterns are meant for your own use. You may make up several items to sell personally to the public (like at craft fairs). You may not sell them wholesale or sell in higher quantities. If you intend to make something similar in large resale numbers, please go & style up something of your own. Why would I hand the pattern lines to you for free? Vogue, Butterick, etc all say the same thing in their patterns. We would be glad to work with a company on a royalty or design fee basis but please do not just steal them. Thanks.

How can I improve my sewing skills?

Join a good class, read Threads magazine & Sew News, join a fabric guild of some kind. Practice with cheap fabric. Pyjama shirt & elastic waist pants are great starter project out of inexpensive stuff. Leave difficult & expensive fabric for later! Get an alterations specialist do the buttonholes if yours are pathetic. This is a weak point on my machine, too but reading the manual & practice, practice practice sure help.

My old pattern now includes more styles. Can I update it?

Yes, for 3 styles only. If you have an old PV40, NY Swing, PV44 Quartet, or PV39 Treasure, send in instructions only. They will be exchanged for full instructions of PV41, PV26 or PV37.

What fusible webbing do you use for applique?

My favorite is Handler's Trans-Web but really, there are tons on the market. It has the slightest, supplest hand & is very easy to use. Buy more than you need of this & interfacings & get straight to projects next time without thinking about buying new interfacings.

Do you sell wholesale?

Yes, Pavelka Design patterns are available at independent fabric stores throughout North America. Please contact Jane.