Lola Top, Victory Patterns

Winter top sewn in the summer!!!!

I really do know it is the start of summer, so why am I sewing a winter top, you ask?  Well, it is because I always have more to do than time, and I am a teeny bit behind on some projects I wanted to accomplish.  I found the Lola top while I was perusing the website. I fell in love with this top as I really like casual clothes with design lines to flatter the figure. I am 5'2". Any way, I received the Lola Victory pattern and couldn't wait to test  it out.

I made a mockup (or prototype) of the new pattern to see how it fits. The only pattern alteration I made to start out was shortening the bottom portion of the pattern. I omitted the pockets also. I usually test out a pattern by making alterations in length to see how the rest of the pattern fits me. The first Lola top I made I found the neckline really wide, and I needed to make an adjustment to the neckline. Here is a picture of the neckline after alteration. 

 Neckline after alteration.

Neckline after alteration.

So the second Lola top I sewed, I used a fabric from Hancock fabrics. It was sort of a pontine fabric. The hand was nice, and it draped well. I took the neckline in. Now the neckline felt right, not too wide, and is comfortable for me. This is the only pattern alteration I made to the pattern besides taking off the band around the bottom. After wearing the top a bunch of times in my sewing classes, the top around the abdomen rubbed up against the cutting table and left pills across the front of the top. Major bummer.

I really liked the color combination of grey and cream which Lladybird used, and so my third top is the gray and cream. I did leave off the pockets this time just for a different look. The fabric came from I believe Nature's Fabric. Since I bought the fabric over a year ago, I can't remember where I bought it, but I know Natures's Fabric has wonderful fabrics, so I think it was from their online store. The neckline and wrist binding were purchased from Hancock Fabrics. I will wear this top a lot starting in the fall. My husband even likes it! 

After taking pictures of the top, I noticed the back is way too long for me. See how there is excess fabric.  Oh man, I didn't notice that.  It is amazing what a picture will show.  So the next top I make I will be making an alteration to the back bodice by shortening it by the excess amount. 

 The back of the top is way too long for my upper body. See all the wrinkles. I need to adjust the pattern (take some of the length out), and the top will fit better in the back.

The back of the top is way too long for my upper body. See all the wrinkles. I need to adjust the pattern (take some of the length out), and the top will fit better in the back.

The Lola top is incredibly easy to sew. I used my serger for the seams and I used a stretch twin needle for the hems and top stitching. It is entirely possible to sew the entire top on a sewing machine. 

I want to make this top again and again. Now that I have some of the pattern alterations figured out, I can't wait to make this pattern again.  Next time I will shorten the bodice back and maybe put the band on the bottom and add the pockets. I am hunting for fabric as we speak and can't wait to get this top to fit me perfectly!

Take care and sew long,

Sandi Knutie



10 Basic Tools Every Sewist Needs

Hello!  We all need tools when we sew, and there are a few key tools you will absolutely need to get started with sewing.  As you increase your skills, you will be adding to your collection of sewing tools.

1. Pincushion. A must to hold all the pins in one spot.  Why not sew a cute pincushion to use?

2. Pins.  For my Seams Sew Cool classes, I like the long pins with colorful tops.  They are easy to see, as it is not-so-good idea to sew over pins....and they are easy to handle for little or big hands.  Available at your local fabric or craft store.

3. Point Turner.  This tool is great for pushing out corners and making them perfectly square.  Available at your local fabric store.

4. Seam Gauge. Oh yes, we do measure in sewing class, and we do use this tool a lot. It is a very awesome tool for precise measuring. Available at your local fabric store.

5. Seam ripper.  This tool is used to rip out those pesky seams that didn't turn out right.  Available at your local fabric store.

6. Water Soluble Marking Pencil.  This tool is used for marking lines or dots on your fabric, and comes in a range of colors for light or dark fabrics.  The marks wash away once the project is washed.  Available at your local fabric store or EZ Quilt online store.

7. Chakoner.  This is a real find, and one of my favorite tools.  Use this sweet little marker to create distinct, ultra-fine chalk lines on your fabric (which washes out with the first wash). This tool is hard to find in the fabric store, but you can pick one up at Sew Maris on Etsy.

8. Small Scissors.  A pair of rounded kid scissors is great for cutting threads at the sewing machine.  You can find them at any craft store.

9. Dressmaker shears.  Use these for cutting out your pattern and fabric.  There are scissors for right and left hands.  Available at your local fabric store.

10. Clear ruler.  I use this in conjunction with the Chakoner to draw straight, ultra-fine lines on the fabric.  This one is found at EQ quilt online.

There are many, many more tools, but these are just the basics to get started sewing.  I hope this helps you in your quest to start sewing. 




A GUIDE TO STARTING a Business Teaching Kids to Sew

 A Sampling of the Seam Sew Cool Sewing Projects in the 100 Series

A Sampling of the Seam Sew Cool Sewing Projects in the 100 Series


Hello! It sure feels like spring in northern Minnesota doesn't spring just make you feel good?  I have been teaching kids to sew now for 5 years and have been asked by many people if I had a program to buy so they could start a business teaching kids to sew.  Well, after many, many months of writing and perfecting everything and taping videos, my sewing program is finally ready.  I hate to say it but I am not tech savvy, and I am having a hard time setting up the checkout part of my shop, and because people want this program, I am going to put the information here until I can get the checkout portion figured out. 

If you want to buy the program, please send me an email at, and I will send you a Paypal invoice. After you have purchased the program, I will send you all the information via email.

Here is the information regarding the program. Please contact me if you have questions.

How to Start a Business Teaching Kids to Sew

Love sewing? Love to teach kids? Love to make money? Turn your passion for sewing into a
stream of income with the Seams Sew Cool Program. I created this program 5 years ago and
have successfully taught hundreds of kids to sew in my home sewing studio. Learning to sew is
sweeping the country, and parents want their kids to learn to sew.

A Guide to Starting a Business Teaching Kids to Sew features a 45 page e-book walking you
through how to set up your area and start teaching kids to sew, 13 patterns and written
instructions from the sewing 100 series program to use in the classroom, and 30+ videos to teach you how I teach the Seams Sew Cool Program. New techniques are introduced with each
project so you can teach skills and help the student feel confident one project at a time. The
Series 100 patterns are for you to use over and over in your need to keep
purchasing patterns for new students!!!

In the Sewing 100 series (pattern kits 101, 102, 103), there are lessons to teach the student for 7 to 9 months (2-hour lesson every other week). Once the 100 series has been completed, the student will move on to the next series.

Some of the items we will also cover in the ebook are:
How Many Students Per Class?
What Days To Teach And For How Long?
What Should I Charge?
Teaching The Seams Sew Cool Program
Sewing 101, 102, and 103 Kits
Yay, Someone Signed Up....Now What Do I Do?

Forms and Information To Send To Parents, Either PDF or Snail Mail
Information And Policies
List of Sewing Studio Equipment
Hold Harmless Form
Website Form
Student Information Page
Sewing 101, 102 and 103 Kit Sheet

There are videos for you to learn how to teach the students how to sew each of the 13 projects. Plus there are videos on how to wind a bobbin and thread the machine, how to change the sewing machine needle and clean the sewing machine correctly, sewing tools and safety, how to whipstitch, how to correctly stuff a project, how to use a seam ripper, how to attach fusible interfacing, how to lock your stitch and bury your thread, etc.

There are many aspiring sewists just waiting for a teacher to teach them sewing! Why not let it be you?!

The Cost of the Seams Sew Cool Series 100 Program is $118 and includes:
30+ high quality videos
13 patterns with written instructions (copy as many as you wish to use in your classroom, no need to purchase patterns for each student)
45-page E-Book with all the information to get you started with your business

Because of the nature of this product, there are no refunds. Please do not sell or distribute patterns, instructions, or videos.  The patterns and instructions are for you and your students. The videos are for your use.

Once your purchase has gone through, you will receive the E-Book as a download right away.
Within 24-hours I will email you a PDF of the pattern files with instructions and the passwords for the video files.

Coming in the future....

TEACHERS' SEWING CIRCLE $9.95 a month which includes:

• Your business listed on my website
• Ongoing support
• Newsletters which will include:
• Ideas for running your business
• Downloadable patterns
• Video instruction on new patterns
• Discounts on patterns
• Instructor facebook page

Take care and sew long!

Sandi Knutie