Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung


Working on free sewing patterns

SewingJean ChungComment

Free patterns are great. As a maker, it's a great resource to experiment with a project in mind, and manipulate without worrying about ruining an expensive pattern. As a designer, making free patterns may be counterintuitive but it helps putting your name out there, drive traffic to your blog or designer page, etc. It's also a great way to practice making patterns to sell later.

I have never sold a sewing pattern before. I draft sewing patterns and use it for baby's clothes or accessories but I am still learning about grading for different sizes on sewing (especially with woven fabric) so I don't feel quite ready to publish sewing patterns yet.

But I wanted to share some of my creations with other makers. So I'm experimenting with making some accessories patterns to be shared as free patterns later. For example, I drafted this bib pattern for Logan. We are doing baby-led weaning with him, which mean MESS MESS and more MESS. I got some plastic bibs for him but he hates the texture and just gets distracted and starts chewing on the bib instead of focusing on the food. His other bibs are more of drool bibs, so they soak up stains super easily and not quite big enough to cover his body. So I decided to make some with busy pattern to hide the stains but soft enough for him. I hope these work because he LOVES blueberries, and yogurt. And it is PAIN to remove stain. 

I will keep you posted!


Free Pattern: Quick Moss Hat

Original PatternsJean ChungComment

Free Pattern for a Quick Hat

Yarn: Di.Ve Autunno in Brown. (Note: This yarn is noted as "bulky" weight yarn, the single-“ply” and the soft merino drape make it much more lightweight. US 8/5.0mm was just perfect for the job, and I treated it just like any other worsted weight yarn)

Needles: US 8/5.0mm throughout the whole project for a very slouchy, loose hat.

Gauge: 16 sts and 20 rows in 4" square (Moss Stitch)

Moss Stitch (even # of sts):
Round 1  *K1, p1; rep to the end of the round.
Round 2 *P1, k1; rep to the end of the round.

CO 74sts, in Tubular Long-Tail CO. Join in the round. Work 1x1 ribbing for 7 rounds.
Then continue working for about 2" in moss stitch in the round.
Eyelet Round to the Left: *yo, k2tog; repeat to the end. Work moss stitch 2 rounds.
Eyelet to the Right: *Ssk, yo; repeat to the end; work moss stitch 2 rounds.
Eyelet to the Left 1 round.

Continue working moss stitch until the hat measures 8" from the CO edge. 

*k2tog, work in patt 14 sts, ssk, pm, k2tog, work in patt 15 sts, ssk, pm; rep once more.
Work 1 round evenly.
Continue decreasing by working a decrease round (1 st before and after the markers), then working 1 round evenly, 3 more times.

Cut a yarn tail about 15" long, and thread the end through the tapestry needle. Run it through all the stitch in the round, then tighten and weave in the ends.

Attach a pompom (optional, but important!)

Review: Knitter's Pride Magma Pattern Holder

ReviewsJean ChungComment
Knitting away on my Aidez using the pattern holder. I don't know how I lived without it until now.

Knitting away on my Aidez using the pattern holder. I don't know how I lived without it until now.

You can start learning to knit with relatively small investment (cheap yarn and appropriately sized needles), but once you start getting into it, you realize there are a lot of places to spend your money on. 

And I'm not just talking about fancy needles or super expensive yarn, but even with accessories like yarn bowls, needle holders, bags, row counters... the possibilities are endless!

Out of the packaging. Nice and shiny.

Out of the packaging. Nice and shiny.

A couple of weeks ago during the Black Friday sales, I ordered this Knitter's Pride Magma Pattern Holder, after wanting one of these for ages. There are several other options, like Knit Picks, or more handmade ones from Etsy, but I wasn't sure how much I would actually get to use a chart holder, so I wanted to get a relatively low-end cost one first. After all, I lasted all these years with just post-it notes and pens. 


When opened, the pattern holder is pretty simple. It has 3 small magnets and 1 long magnet strip, along with a pen. The three metal magnets are super strong, and they can hold through pages and pages of patterns pretty well.

Strap can be useful if you're using the chart holder in the upright position.

Strap can be useful if you're using the chart holder in the upright position.

If I decide to order another one, I'm going to look for a bigger chart holder. Considering most charts are printed in the portrait format, I found the most comfortable way to use it was to lay it down on the table instead of propping it up in the upright position. I first thought that the pattern holder will stay up by itself, but as time went by it slowly flattened. I figured out a quick fix by propping it up with a big eraser behind the holder. 


I started on this Aidez cardigan project a couple of days ago, and this pattern holder has been a lifesaver! Aidez has a repeating cable pattern, and although it is pretty intuitive after a while, it definitely helps to mark where I am in the chart. Stopping in the middle of the pattern repeat and coming back to it after a break has been NO PROBLEM because the magnet strip does not budge. I have used post-it notes before but they lose their stickiness after a while and tend to fall away if I wasn't careful. But this way I know I can let the project hibernate for few days without forgetting where I was in the pattern repeat.

The complimentary pen.

The complimentary pen.

Oh and the pen! You might think it's weird for me to do a review on a complimentary pen, but I was really surprised when I first used it. I was in a coffee shop when I realized I forgot to bring a pen to make notes on my pattern. Then I spotted this pen in the pattern holder and thought, what the heck, better than nothing. But this pen has very thin tip, which I LOVE, and it's a gel ink type that writes really really smoothly. The outside appearance looks a little cheap but don't be fooled by its cover!



I paid about $16 ($19.99 on Handsome Fibers, with Black Friday special coupon) which was very reasonable. I hope you give it a try if you've been thinking about getting one like me, or need something to give to your favorite knitter friend. :)

Disclaimer: I personally purchased this product myself. I was not paid, compensated, contracted, or otherwise obligated to write this review.