Author Archives: mariadenmark

Polka dot pouches

This week (and the next couple of weeks) I’m lucky enough to teach some young people (most in their early twenties) who need to get more confidence, so that they can continue on to get an education, how to sew.

They are complete beginners and I’ve prepared a lesson-plan which should start them on sewing clothes, doing zippers and everything.

So I’ve made preparations, and started out by making these pouches, which I’ve made very detailed instructions for.

But today we started out with threading the machines, learning how to trace and add seam allowances, cut fabric on grain and finally sew the fleece socks. They loved them. And it was great teaching this group! They were so happy and interested and very very nice.

 Dot fleece socks made by one of my happy beginner sewist students!

Tomorrow we are going to make the oilcloth pouch, and maybe even start on the fabric one, that is lined…

P.S. A very important notice:

I’m in the process of redesigning my webshop. You can’t see anything yet, but what this means for you is kind of important – so please read this if you ever bought a pattern from the MariaDenmark | site:

I’m moving my shop to a completely new (and much better and prettier) platform. Unfortunately this means that I can’t  transfer the user accounts or the order histories.

This means that you need to make sure that you have downloaded all the patterns (or instructions for Onion/Minikrea patterns) you have bought from me before March 29th!

Here’s how you can re-download any patterns/instructions you have purchased:

  1. Go to the MariaDenmark | ShopONION site and log in using your username and password.
  2. Click on Account (right side of screen, just under the header)
  3. Scroll down a bit and just under Pattern of the Month, find Personal Info and click on that. Scroll down a bit and make sure the e-mail address is correct!!
  4. Find My Digital Products and click on that.
  5. Now you’ll see a list of all the e-book patterns (or instructions for hard copy patterns) you’ve purchased.
  6. Next to each pattern/instruction is a SEND NOW button.
  7. Click on each of them (one by one) to get those instructions e-mailed to you.
  8. They should land in your e-mail inbox within minutes. If you don’t see them, check your unwanted mail folder!

I am so excited to get this new shop finished (but sorry for your inconvenience!) – I can’t wait to show you!


How to make your clothes look high street cool #2


Hello hello – I’m still obsessed with t-shirts here. Maybe it has something to do with me teaching so many of my T-shirt fitting workshops at the moment.
It’s funny – I have taught this workshop more than 30 times. And still. I taught one on Saturday, and there was a new kind of alteration. Isn’t it amazing?

Well, I’ll get back to that on a later time (I’m sort of thinking about how I could turn this workshop into a book or an online course..) for today is about getting my t-shirt to be cool enough that my non-sewing friends would want to steal it from me!

MariaDenmark tute: How to use heat transfer 1

What you need: A t-shirt, a motife, heat transfer, scissors and a pencil

What is heat transfer vinyl, you ask?

Well, it’s the kind of vinyl-thing, that t-shirt printers use with a heat press to add designs to t-shirts for the industry and for companies who want prints on t-shirts.

In the last couple of years it’s been a trend among some bloggers to buy this vinyl wholesale and use it – and even sometimes resell it for all of our benefit. And recently it’s also hit the fabric stores (here in Denmark, anyway) and you can also get it on Amazon.

Let’s get going:

First: Gather you supplies.

You need the heat transfer, something to print on (I’m using an old, ragged Birgitte Basic Tee, that could do with a touch-up), a design (I’m using the same cat outline that I used for the stencilling), pen and scissors.

Now: Get your heat transfer ready.

MariaDenmark Heat transfer tutorial

Trace and cut your design from the heat transfer

Cut out the design, trace it onto the wrong side (the glue side) of the heat transfer (remember to mirror the design – especially if you are making letters) – and cut the heat transfer.

Pre-heat your t-shirt by ironing it for about 10 seconds (check the heat settings on your iron!), then place the heat transfer on the t-shirt.

Cover the t-shirt with a pressing cloth (I’m using silk organza, but it could also be thin cotton), and press the heat transfer on by pressing for 30 seconds (check the package, it might vary). If it’s a large design, you might have to move the iron and press each segment for 30 seconds.

MariaDenmark Heat transfer tutorial

Place the design on the t-shirt and press it on (covering with a pressing cloth)

Carefully turn the t-shirt right side out, and press the heat transfer from the wrong side another 30 seconds.

Leave the t-shirt to cool completely, then carefully peel off the plastic cover.

MariaDenmark heat trasfer tutorial

Carefully peel off the plastic cover!

And you are done! heat transfer tutorial

All done! Except I think I want to add some paw prints on the back!

P.S. You could totally create a design in more parts – for instance, if I wanted  the cat to be pawing a ball, I could have added that…





Stuff I sewed …

So you think I’m not sewing.

You are actually right. You’d think that being a sewing pattern designer and teacher would mean that you got to sew all the time. But in reality, most days are spend at the computer, writing, doing taxes, editing, preparing for workshops etc.. And then of course I sew samples and muslins of my future patterns.

But every once in a while I find a slot of time (and energy. Let’s be honest. Most days, it’s not time, that is the biggest concern. If I have time to watch tv or re-read yet another crime novel, I’d have time to sew) and get a bit of sewing for me done.

Anyway. Here are a couple of things I sewed over the last weeks:

First: Another Olivia Oversize Tee.

Olivia Oversize tee in slightly over-the-top animal print

Olivia Oversize tee in slightly over-the-top animal print

I love to wear my Olivias. They are soft and comfortable and look great. Love them, I say!

The fabric: I got this zebra/leo/black/white print a while ago (August, I think?)  when I was just popping into the local fabric store to get something completely different. This just had to come with me, but I didn’t get muck fabric (It was less than a meter) – I think I had thought it wanted to be a Day to Night top.

But  as you know, plans change, and I had just enough to make a short sleeved version of the Olivia, only I had to make the narrow sleeve ribbing instead of the wide.


Second: Dress trousers.

Notice the left inseam at the thigh. I really need to get the ripper out

The pattern is one I drafted for my trouser-fitting workshop. They are simple slacks with back darts, straight legs and a zipper at either centre back or the side seam.

The fabric is a lovely grey-ish rayon/wool blend. It ravels all over the place and is very fluid, but drapes nicely.

The story: I wanted to tissue fit and pin fit these trousers (instead of just using my already fitted pattern to create the trousers I wanted) to practice and to remember how hard it can be to fit  sometimes.

See - it's even worse from the back. But you know.. Ripping! Hate it!

See – it’s even worse from the back. But you know.. Ripping! Hate it!

I followed the method I talk about in the trouser fitting series and had the pattern tissue fitted. Then I cut it with plenty of seam allowance, sewed the centre front and centre back seam (including the invisible zipper) and pin fitted. As you can see, I slacked a little when I sewed it up, though, the lines on the left back leg is probably because I accidentally kind of lifted up the back inseam at that side. Well. It’s close enough. I should rip it and redo it, but really. I’ve had enough for now:-) Maybe next week…

What am I sewing-for-me next, you wonder? I think I’m going for a batch of new Birgitte tees. And I have a Burda blazer ready to cut as well. And maaaaayyyyyybe just one more Olivia!



How to make your t-shirts (etc..) look High Street cool!

Do you ever feel that your handmade garments are looking a bit too, well, handmade?

So the other day I was wearing the Olivia Tee I’m wearing on the picture on the right.januar_14-20

My 18 year old bonus-daughter (who is a fashion addict) said: “That’s a cool t-shirt! New? Where did you get it?” (well, obviously she said it in Danish, but it translates into something like that…)

So i asked her what she liked about it and obviously it’s the shape (which I love too) and the way top is flattering – but she also likes the print – and we figured out that the print really is what makes this kind of boring dark grey tee stand out.

So I wrote a newsletter about it – but then I thought I would share it on the blog as well – so here it is:


Here we go, taking great care into fitting and sewing our new top/dress/skirt.
We make sure to press and everything, but still it seems like the final garments lack something.
What is it? I find that it’s often the little details that does it. Or the bigger details.
And quite often it’s some sort of print on the front or back, that makes all the difference!
So today I’m going to show you how you make that print using fabric paint and either screen print or stencils!

You will need:supplies

  • Something to print on (like a t-shirt)
  • Fabric paint (sometimes called fabric ink)
  • Stencils (which you can easily make yourself)
  • OR Screen print templates (that you buy from hobby shops)
  • OR Screen + stencils (also easily made)
  • An iron, some newspapers and a sponge

Screen Printing

Screen printing gives the most detailed and often most professional results.
Also you can use your screen print many times.I get my screen printing templates (which includes mesh) at the fabric store or hobby store. But you can easily make your own screen print frame (using mesh fabric stretched over an old picture frame or an embroidery hoop) + stencils and – for the very detiled print – decoupage glue.The process of creating a screen printing design can be seen in these tutorials [link][link] and [link] which I found via a small google-ing session (the methods are a little different, but I like them all – and especially like the simpleness of the first one)For the store bought template I’m using below, I don’t need the frame as the mesh is already included.

PicMonkey Collage

1. Place your t-shirt (I used a Birgitte Basic Tee in rayon jersey) in front of you. Put a newspaper or some cardboard inside the t-shirt – to prevent the paint from bleeding through.
2. The fabric paint I used was a little thick, so I watered it down a bit for it to be able to go through the mesh. Pour the paint onto your screen and drag it using a piece of plastic or cardboard to distribute it evenly all over the design.
3. Lift off the screen and let the paint dry (it says on the bottle that my paint should dry for 24 hours).
4. Iron the motive through a pressing cloth. On my paint it says to iron for 5 minutes. It depends on the paint  – read the label!


Stencils are templates which you can buy pre-made or cut out from paper, vinyl or cardboard.The one I’m using today, is a free design I found by doing a search for free printable stencils. I found it [here].
I printed it, cut it out using an excacto knife – and then I was ready to go.stencil

1. Cut your stencil and place it on a t-shirt (this one is a kimono tee) that already has a newspaper inside it (as explained above). Tack it down with some tape or temporary fabric glue (like patchworkers use). I didn’t use the glue this time (I couldn’t find it ;-)), but it works really well!
2. Use your sponge (or a brush) to paint inside the motive. Use an up-and-down motion so you don’t accidentally smear paint under the stencil.
3. Lift off the stencil (and throw it away if it was made from paper). let the fabric and paint dry for as long as it says on the paint bottle.
4. Iron the t-shirt through a pressing cloth for as long as it says on your bottle.

P.S. Did you know that I have released 2 new patterns this month? It’s the Olivia Oversize Tee (the one I’m wearing in the pic) and the Pernille Pencil Dress. I have a special offer going on until March 1st, (you save 35%) if you want them both - it’s right here

I’m designer of the month – you can win fabric!

Hello hello!

I would have done a short video here, but I have the worse cold! All though it is improving a bit, my nose is still red, my cough is tearing my throat apart and my voice sounds like I’m having cigarettes and rum all day long. Which I’m not. I’m really not!

So the big news:



So how do you get the fabric, you ask?

Well you actually don’t just get a chance to win fabric. You can win patterns, too!

Hop over to this blog post to get the details, but basicly what you do is this:

  1. Sew up a MariaDenmark pattern.
  2. Write a review on Patternreview of the pattern (or write a review of a MariaDenmark pattern you already sewed up)
  3. Link to that review in the comments of this Patternreview blog Post
  4. For extra chances to win, also tweet the link to the review (and mention @patternreview and @mariadenmark), link to it on the MariaDenmark Facebook Page and the Patternreview Facebook page

The two prices consists of lovely jersey fabric you can use for any of my knit patterns + 2 MariaDenmark patterns.

You have until February 28th to post review and links. Good luck!

I can’t wait to see what you make!

Time Flies!

Yes, time flies when you are having fun!

I am very busy teaching, writing new patterns, drafting – and even occasionally sewing.

And I’ve started my new year by planning a very exciting 2014 – and getting new logo, new pattern layout and professional photos done. In other words – I’m getting ready to rock!:-)

My new logo. Get ready to see it everywhere!

My new logo. Get ready to see it everywhere!

My plan is, that 2014 will be the year that I can make a living working for my self full time – i.e. no fabric store, no teaching IT and English. Just patterns, workshops and other things to do with sewing that I can’t speak of yet…

So. Since I always seem to be too busy to sit down and write a proper blog post (and take pictures etc)  – I made a video for you. Here’s what I look like and how my English sounds. Don’t judge me too hard:-)

The video was recorded a while ago – but that’s just my life at the moment for you:-)

What do you think of this format? Do you enjoy watching videos? Should I make more? I was thinking of recording something where I show you different techniques as well as just blabbering……

P.S. I’ve started implementing the new logo and pattern layout into the older patterns, but it’s going to take me a while. However – I did already finish the update of the Birgitte Basic Tee – and also updated the pattern itself (it has a much better side seam line now) and graded it up to 4XL!
If you already own it, you can redownload it (go to your account and find it under ‘digital products’. If not – you can buy it – I highly recommend it :-)

Paula Pleat Skirt – Pretty Popular!

So many weeks ago, I released my newest pattern: The MariaDenmark Paula Pleat Skirt. And what a great welcome it has gotten, I am so happy!

Ashley from Craft Sanctuary likes it as well, and I love her houndstooth version!

For some reason I thought I had published this post – about the release – at the same time, but obviously I hadn’t. Well. What can I say.:-)

So anyway… You’ve probably seen it by now – but this is my latest pattern:

Like it? Well, scroll down – there is a special offer just for you!

I really really like my Paula Pleat skirts! And I’ve been wearing them a lot!

I always loved the wide skirts ’50’s look on others, but since I have no shape (well, not much waist, anyway) and am short waisted, I don’t really look good in skirts like that (full skirt, tiny waist, that is).

But I figured out how to wear them, anyway:

Instead of wearing the skirts at my natural waist, I’ve lowered the waistline on this pattern some (3.5 cm /1.5″) (so if you should be lucky enough to have a pear or hourglass shape, raise the waistline by the same amount ( – just add to the top of the pattern, lengthening the darts and moving the pleats straight up – or go down a size) and then, whenever I tuck my tops (which need to be somewhat close fitting for this look to work), I wear a buttoned cardigan or blazer jacket with waist shaping on top.

See? It almost looks like I have a waist…

Do you want to make your own skirt?

Joanne and Ashley already did – and I want their versions, too!

So, since I was an idiot (did you known that the origin of the word “idiot” is ancient Greek, and that it was used to refer to a person who didn’t vote(i.e. didn’t take part in society)? Well I do vote – I’m not that kind of idiot:-)) and didn’t post this when the pattern was released, and therefore didn’t give you the intro offer – I’ve made a special offer, just for you:

Follow THIS link to get the MariaDenmark Paula Pleat Skirt at 20% off! This special offer is valid until November 30th 2013…

Hurry up! This offer ends on November 30th 2013!

The Great London Trip!

It’s been almost two weeks since I was in London, already – Now I better tell you something about it!

First of all – I had a fabulous trip! I stayed at an airbnb which allowed me to live at Portobello Road for a forth of what it would have been had I stayed in a hotel – and also, it was a great experience, staying with locals! I highly recommend!

Portobello Green

Saturday I met up with Karin from Sweden. We’ve known each other for a long time and met at the first Patternreview European meet-up. We had coffee and then walked through Portobello Road looking at all the great stalls and shops. (My host later told me that there is a really good fabric vendor there (close to the Portobello Green) who has his stall up on Fridays! He apparently buys fabric from design houses in France and sells cuts at a really good price. Next time I’m going to go there on a Friday!!!) And we stumbled across yarnbombing at Portobello Green! We had to hug the trees!

Then we went to Islington (Angel tube station). What a lovely area! We walked around a bit and browsed the shops and stalls and suddenly we were right in front of the Loop yarn store! We had to go in, of course – having heard so much about it – and we might also have shopped a tiny bit…

Next up was Ray-Stitch. Great shop – and I got some pins etc and was very tempted to get some liberty jersey. I didn’t though, and now I so regret it. It was lovely and in greenish and teal toner. Would have been absolutely perfect for me!

Anyway.. I was there to meet Stephanie from Starcross Sewing for an interview. She is doing this thing where she sews from a new indie pattern company each month and then interview and review the products. Go visit her – she is having a give-away of one of my patterns!

Stephanie and me

The rest of the evening was spend with wine and dinner and when I returned home to my room, my host and her friends invited me to have cheese and wine with them. That was really interesting and they were very kind. I went to bed soon though because Sunday was the big Patternreview meet-up!

First of course I had to figure out what to wear:
prday outfit
Words can not really convey what a Patternreview meet-up is like. And neither can pictures, I’m afraid. It’s like being with your bests of friends and you just talk and talk and talk and have a great time. We started out talking about sewing but eventually we were covering other subjects such as husbands, driving, politics and pubic hair (yes, really, but that was a lot later and after a Gin & Tonic or two…)..


But before that, we were at the V&A and spend some lovely hours sitting outside in the sun and having lunch and just talking sewing. Later we went to Liberty’s (yes, I bought a piece of souvenir fabric) and after that some of us went to a pub for some drinks (and this is where the talking evolved somehow).. You can hear about the V&A – and my interview with Deepika from Patternreview in the latest episode of the twinneedle podcast.


I am so happy I finally got to meet Deepika – founder of We’ve known each other and talked via e-mails and on Skype for ages, and strangely it didn’t feel like we were strangers at all. It felt like we were friends, who had just seen each other last week, and will see each other again in a couple of weeks.

More wine and dinner on Sunday evening (a great Turkish restaurent in Lamberth!) and Monday I spend walking around London (I love doing the London Walks!) and then met up with Karin again for a lovely afternoon tea, before I caught the flight back home.

tea time

Can you tell I had a great time? I only wish I had been able to meet Rachel (House of Pinheiro) and Karen (Did you Make That) and Winnie (Scruffy Badger) and other bloggers as well. Well, I’m hoping to come back to London in January. See you then?

Oh, by the way… I’m in London!

I just realized that I have not told you about the plans for this week-end..


Well. I’m in London to be at the meet-up at the V&A Sunday. (Oh, if you can – you should totally come! It’s going to be awesome!!!)

I am staying here until Monday evening, meeting up with friends and bloggers and maybe also doing some of the fabulous London walks!

Will I see you here?