Category Archives: Sewing

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!



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!

Sunday was Sewing-For-Fun day!

Sunday I squeezed in some sewing for fun. I just had to use the leftovers of the fantastic (but maybe slightly over the top) animal print fabric – the one I also used for the drape skirt.

So I made a quick Kirsten Kimono Tee.

Fun Sunday sewing: A v-neck kimono Tee (I just changed the neckline) - oversized by adding about 1.5cm to each side seam.. Made from the last scrap of the OTT animal print. Love it!

Alterations: I changed the neckline into a very deep V – and also added about 1.5 cm to each side seam to get the oversized look. I thought this drapey and thin viscose (rayon) jersey was perfect for an oversized tee.

It’s a little on the short side, but works fine. No one is home to help me take pictures these days – and I couldn’t be bothered with the tripod (or with doing hair and make-up), so this Iphone thing will have to do… (I found out that if I’m waiting for the perfect time and for the perfect pictures, I never get around to blog. Big surprise…)

P.S. If you want the Kirsten Kimono Tee pattern and don’t see it popping up in the right corner of the screen (it doesn’t work well on phones, for instance) – just go and subscribe to my newsletter via this link instead. Does the same thing:-)

The Draped Skirt Tute

Great news: It turn out that the draped skirt works well with tights for winter too! I wore the grey one all day yesterday around the house – and it’s very comfortable. Yay!

Do you want to make one now? – It’ll take you less than an hour!

Here’s how:

1. Cut a piece of nice jersey (not too heavy, ponte knits won’t work) the width of your hips + seam allowances and twice the length you want the skirt to be + twice the seam allowances (if you are making a casing instead of adding ribbing, remember to add something for the casing as well.)
For me that was 96 cm wide (I folded the fabric and measured out 48 cm) and 102 cm long.

2. Snip mark the fabric at the fold (opposite of where the seam is going to be) at each end.


3. Sew the seam (using a stretchy seam), right sides together and press. You now have a long tube.

4. Fold the tube into a double layer, wrong sides together. The folded edge is your hem.
5. Now we turn the outer layer of the skirt half way around the inner layer. This is where we need the snip marks. You simple turn the outer layer so that each snip mark aligns with a seam. Pin or baste or both:-)


6. We now have a messy twisted blob instead of a simple tube:


7. Finish the waist by either sewing a casing and inserting elastic or by adding ribbing (with or with out elastic). I added ribbing by cutting ribbing 14 cm high and about 10% less than the waist wide, sewed the centre back seam of the ribbing, folded and pressed it wrong sides together and sewed it on with a 5 cm wide elastic in between the ribbing layers.

8. You are done. :-) Yay! Wear the skirt with sandals or ballet flats in summer and with tights and boots in winter.

drape skirt collage

Happy Sewing! :-)

The Last Skirts of Summer!

How are you? It’s been some time, but teaching season has begun here – and I’ve been lucky enough to get quite a few classes and workshops at the community college. Besides teaching a bit of fitting, sewing and knitting, I’m teaching English and IT for senior citizens, and I love being able to wear my teaching wardrobe (with high heels!) again!

So I have been sewing a tiny bit for fun (and I didn’t take any decent pictures because I just wanted to sew!) – and just before summer ended (it ended last week, FYI), I decided I needed some new summer skirts. You know – the very last minute kind.
skirts by MariaDenmark

First up: The drape skirts.

You have seen these. They were all over the place last year, and I’ve seen some in stores this season as well. I like the drape – and when I finally figured out how to make them, I had to make a couple. Seriously – They took like 30 minutes each to make.

The first one ended up a little on the short side. I hadn’t taken into consideration that the drape actually takes up some of the length… As much as I love that one, I’m not really able to wear it outside the house – and especially not at the fabric store where I bend over a lot:-)

I really like the grey one with the ribbing (the others I just make a casing with elastic), and will try it out wearing it with tights – I don’t know if it will work or if it will get stuck. But anyway – I’ll let you know, and it’s great for wearing when it’s really warm!

As I said – really simple to make… Do you want a tutorial Tutorial HERE :-)


Secondly: The 50’s skirt muslin

I’ve had this pattern in my head for some time and had made the first draft of the pattern. I hadn’t had time to work much on my own patterns this summer, so I decided to see if I could make a wearable muslin from it. The aqua twill was perfect – even though it wrinkles somewhat easily.

I’ve made some alterations to the pattern and now I’m ready to try a winter version – in a herringbone wool with a satin lining.It would also be brilliant in a fake leather, don’t you think???



Here’s Edith: (you could win fabric!)


After months of drawing, drafting, cutting, printing, sewing, muslining, correcting, sewing and finally grading and writing (and you guys waiting), Edith is ready!

I was first inspired to draft and sew the Edith blouse, when I was looking through a photo album with pictures of my paternal grandmother (“Farmor” in Danish) from the mid 50s. So I named it after her.

This is one of the few pics I have at home of my grandmother Edith in the mid 50s. She's on the left with my uncle standing and my father in the stroller. It's her sister wearing a dress with a rounded lapel and collar on the right.

This is one of the few pics I have at home of my grandmother Edith in the mid 50s. She’s on the left with my uncle standing and my father in the stroller. It’s her sister wearing a dress with a rounded lapel and collar on the right.

Unlike what you see in tv series and movies, the dresses my farmor and her sisters wore were not as moviestar elegant and had much less width in the skirts. But the rounded collar and lapel details were really flattering and was just what I wanted. I didn’t intend then to make a pattern to sell, but when the people on twitter said they wanted one, I decided to give it a go.


Relaxing after the photo shoot. That’s my bathroom window behind me – with shampoo bottles etc.. ahem…

And here she is, finally!

So what is she like? Why should you make your own Edith?

Well, she is an absolutely timeless blouse or shirtdress, with softly rounded collar and lapels and is very flattering to all body shapes. She gently skims the curves, and you can wear her anywhere for any occasion – with out ever getting tired of her company.

Wear the blouse with skinny jeans or trousers for work or play and the knee length dress for a night out or for shopping, depending on your fabric choice. Put on a close fitting  cardigan to match the style in the autumn and winter. For hourglass or pear body shapes: Wear a belt with the dress to emphasise your tiny waist.

So how can you get this lovely pattern? As always, it’s available on MariaDenmark |, on and on

Oh, and I promised that you can win fabric!

That’s right! If you like the blouse I’m wearing at the picture above, you can win enough of the exact same fabric (95 cm of red polka dot cotton poplin) to make your own + some extras!


Here’s how: Talk about this pattern and/or share this blog post link (you can use the buttons at the end of this post) on Twitter, Facebook or on your blog and leave a comment telling me you did so before midnight CET August 10th 2013, and I’ll draw a winner randomly next Sunday..

It’s Just a Tank Top…

What do I see over there

{In the midlle of my kitchen garden}

{In the middle of my kitchen garden}


Let’s get closer

(and ignore all the mess. My garden is for eating, and sometimes I don't get to move things out of the way...)

(and ignore all the mess. My garden is for eating, and sometimes I don’t get to move things out of the way…)

And closer

There it is

There it is

Yes. It’s Just a Tank Top – The newest of my patterns:

I struggled to find a name for this top - and kept saying: It's just a tank top. So that's what it's called

I struggled to find a name for this top – and kept saying: It’s just a tank top. So that’s what it’s called

While I call it “just a tank top” it’s a brilliant basics that you can wear for any occasion. Sometimes the simplest is the best!

And this pattern is perhaps the most versatile basics of all!

A tank top of any colour or pattern can be worn with jeans or shorts for casual wear, a plain coloured or subtle print tank can be layered with a thin cardigan or blazer jacket for office wear and you could make one in a glittery jersey – or animal print – to wear with skinny jeans and heels for a night out.

Have fun using any kind of print – including kid’s jerseys – and use matching or contrasting ribbing to finish the armholes and the neckline.

Want to get a great offer for this pattern? It’s included in the latest version of my newsletter! (remember to subscribe if you’d like more articles, news and offers from me!)

Or you can go find the pattern on Craftsy:


Talk to you soon! (I want to tell you about the humongous sewing project I’m doing for my parents. Humongous – I tell you. But that’s the least I can do…)


Me made May 6th – and a modification of the lounge trousers

Monday (MMM day 6) saw me wearing my favourite pair of Laura Lounge Trousers. I haven’t shown them on the blog before – so it’s about time. Especially since these still very comfortable lounge trousers can actually be worn outside the house (For grocery shopping – and they were perfect when I wore them on the plane) – and they are very easy to copy.


I made these trousers in a grey sweatshirt fabric with dark grey ribbing. In short what I did was that I added patch pockets with zippers on top of the side seams, and added cuffs to the hem.

Here’s how:

I used MariaDenmark Laura Lounge Trousers and cut it per the pattern – except I shortened each leg by 3 cm.


For the pockets I cut 2 pieces of 16 cm x 13 cm (converter to imperial can be found here) and 2 pieces of 16 cm x 6 cm (to have two sets for two pockets). I pressed 1 cm under at the top of the large piece and the bottom of the smaller piece so that they now measured 16 cm x 12 cm and 16 cm x 5 cm. I then stitched the zippers in place. (not very straight, though. I considered pretending to you guys that I had had some child help me with the stitching – but really: It was just me in a rush to get these finished and I didn’t even notice until later..)

Then I overlocked (serged) around the edge of each pocket.

I had already sewn the side seam of each leg, but not the inseams. I placed the pockets where I wanted them (I just held up the trousers and decided and then pinned the pockets in place). I made sure the placement was the same on both legs, then I stitched just on top of the overlock seam.


Then I just did as the pattern says – inseam, crotch seam, waistband.

For the cuffs I cut 2 pieces of ribbing 25 cm x 15 cm, stitched the seam and folded and pressed it wrong sides together (just like the waistband).


I then sewed to rows of gathering stitches (long stitch length and loose needle thread tension) to the hem of each leg and gathered each hem to fit a cuff. I made sure to align the cuff seam with the inseam and to match the raw edges. I then stitched the cuffs to the hems, pressed the seam allowances up, and voila!


Monday was work-at-Mariadenmark-day so I was at the computer doing patternmaking stuff all morning, then at the post office and then had lunch with my husband at a café. Then I went home and the sun was out and it was lovely (20 degrees C (68 F)) so I went to work in the garden. I had planned to do some sewing later, but instead we made a bonfire to get rid of all the twigs and ended up cooking dinner on the bonfire.