Monday, May 30, 2016

Calling all Paradiso Passionate Sewists.......

 Paradiso Passionate Sewist No. 1...........

Yep, starting something new here @ PD
I am celebrating the people that have used my sewing patterns!
I am celebrating the people 
that love to sew/create as much as I do!!

One of my goals with Paradiso Sewing Patterns 
is to open sewists up to different kinds of sewing....
where they can take command and have fun with my designs,
AND make it their own!!
Be inspired to try new things out.
And it is fun to see what kind of sewing is going on 
out there in the big wild world! have sewing in the bag!!

The first profile........BIANCA

is passionate!!

As life would have it I met Bianca at 
The International Quilt Festival.
She stopped to shop at my booth, and I loved her dress that she was wearing, that she of course made.
You know when you meet someone that has the same drive as you do to sew and create......and you could talk forever about your "passion"?
All I can say is incredible wife, mom (yep 2 kids), 
maker and business woman

Check-out this cool bias tape dress she made.
After seeing that...I knew Bianca had sewing super powers to say the least!!

Bianca jumped into using my Boho Frock and Boho Fock Diversion/Hack Pattern Duo (buy them here) to create a one of a kind dress.
I love when we can reuse/repurpose materials.
I was so blown away by what Bianca was very unexpected.  Here is her Paradiso Boho Frock story:

There was a beautiful table cloth....all on its own!

And the it became a Boho Frock, but then so much more....

This is the result.......

Bianca decided to hit the dye bath one more time to achieve the look she was looking for....
I believe she did it!!

Did you notice Bianca's style....the gladiator sandals, the jewelry, the hair....all boho chic! 

I was impressed by the pattern piece fussy-cutting on the table cloth to achieve this precise lace placement.  Look at those sleeves...

And here is a closeup of the hem....

I had Bianca fill-out the Paradiso Passionate Sewist Quiz.
You can learn about her process of sewing/creating right here:

How long have you been sewing?
I have been exposed to sewing all of my life and sewed necessary items such as uniforms, costumes for school and home décor items. I did not begin sewing for fun until about seven years ago when I had my first child. I wanted unique clothes for her and did not want to spend the high cost of buying them.

What was the first thing you sewed with your own hands?
The first thing I sewed with my own hands was harlequin clown costume. I was in a clown troupe in high school that performed in schools, churches and at parties. As we gained popularity, I wanted another costume to change up my character’s personality. It had a poet shirt and polka dot pants with a ruffle hem. 

When did you realize that you are passionate about sewing, and please describe that particular event of when you knew?
I knew I was passionate about sewing when I saw my daughter proudly wear the first dress I made her. She was excited to watch the dress-making process and was thrilled to wear her one of a kind dress. She looked so happy and proud of me!

What is your very favorite kind of fabric to work with?
I really enjoy working with vintage or repurposed fabrics. I like the idea of giving new life to materials that are no longer current or useful. A benefit of sewing is knowing that I never fall victim to wearing what another person is wearing. Using out of print fabric or transforming fabric in some way, further ensures against this. When I cannot find those, I often choose fabric with a bold, vibrant prints. I often shop in the home décor section looking for them. In addition to the print selection, the weight gives added structure to the Mod shift dresses I love.

What is your machine & serger that you sew on?
I use a Brother brand sewing machine and serger on a daily basis. I have a heavy duty Singer backup machine and a Sailrite machine that I use for leather sewing.

Do you have a dedicated sewing space (which means the sewing machine never ever gets put away)?
I have a sewing room in my home. It used to be a guest bedroom, but our overnight quests usually visit 3-4 times per year.  It did not make sense to make a permeant decision for a temporary situation. When I decided to sew more frequently, we converted the room for me. My sewing volume and quality greatly improved once I had a place dedicated to it.

What do you enjoy sewing most?
I enjoy the creative beginnings of a sewing project. I like imagining the possibilities of what a pattern or fabric will become. I enjoy fabric manipulation, playing with textures, reimagining one thing into another. I am a sewing gambler. I like to take risks, try new things and hope for the best. I love the moment before pulling the zipper closed on a completed garment. I love the moment of taking fabric out of the dyebath and cutting the rubber bands away anticipation of what it will be. I enjoy most of all when a gamble pays off. 

How do you make time to sew?
I make time to sew by setting realistic expectations and breaking the tasks into manageable parts. I would love to make a garment in one sitting, but when that is not possible, I tackle one thing at a time and return to it when I can. I also include my kids in sewing tasks. My 7-year old cuts out my pattern papers and chooses her fabrics. My 4-year old likes to “drive” the machine with the foot pedal. Both are developing a passion for sewing and enjoy spending time with me that way.  

Do you follow patterns OR do you tweak the design to suit you?
I do a bit of both depending on the complexity of the pattern and material I am working with.

What other kinds of crafty goodness do you employ to be on your list of crafty ways?  
And do they intersect with your sewing endeavors? I have dabbled in metal-smith jewelry-making and hand-built ceramic making. In both of those crafty ways, I played with texture, experimentation and the addition of unexpected materials. Because of the time commitment required, they do not intercept with sewing much. Sewing allows me to be creative in my home in a clean, nonhazardous, kid-friendly environment. At their root, they all possess the same promise; transforming a potentially mundane raw materials into something marvelous. 

What Paradiso Sewing Pattern did you sew and how did it turn out?  Please tell us of any changes you made.
I made the Boho Frock + the Boho Frock Diversion/Hack Patterns and it turned out as wonderful as expected. I used a vintage cotton and lace tablecloth as my fabric and I colored the constructed dress with fabric dye. I made the dress in size small without diversion. I am a typical “big 4” pattern company sewist. I like that I know what to expect and there is no learning curve. I rarely buy independent patterns because of the learning and fit curve. My vintage and current pattern collection is vast decreasing my willingness to try independent pattern companies.
When I saw the Boho Frock pattern, I loved the uniqueness of the sizing, variations on length and versatility of accented details.  I suspended all my lazy person prohibitions to independent pattern companies in making this dress and I am glad I did. The learning and fit curve is very low and this dress was a delight to make.

What is your next project that you will be working on? 
We have wedding to attend in 5 days. Maybe, I can make a dress for my daughter and a pair of pants for my son. We will see…

Bianca lives in Houston and she does fabulous custom work, visit her blog to contact her to create something wonderful for you!!

This link will take you to her Etsy store to shop her creations:

I am looking for other passionate sewists to share their stories.
If you are interested and would like to join
please contact me @
(trying to advoid the bots)

Happy Memorial Day;
To all of those that have served our citizens of the country & the great US of A.

Peace out, xo, cheryl

Sunday, May 29, 2016

with a goal in mind....

It has hit me squarely in the face that I introduce my sewing patterns
 or how will you know about them?
Or how else are you going to learn why I design and publish them.
The really funny thing here is that I have a college degree in Marketing.
And now I finally figured out to use it!!

It was brought to my attention to explain a few things....I am in the midst of
many awesome changes here at Paradiso Designs.  I am working towards having as much info available about the patterns, and an easy way to order them.
I do currently have a website:
Where I have a majority of my pattterns, pleather and hardware kits available
 to order from this store,
But not all the newest patterns are up because it involves the old style
 of code writing to create new listings.  I am having a new website designed,
but it is still a few months away.
I decided to set up a new Etsy Store
 (and I could not use my old store, but I had many sales...)
 and where it is much easier to list everything.  I will be building it day by day.
If you have any questions I encourage you to
reach out to me via email: service@paradisodesigns (dot)com
I love working with you!!  So do not be shy!
Ok...on to the Boho Frock!!

In 2010 I designed the Boho it is in all its glory.

The Boho Frock Formula is a dress that can be made into three lengths, mini, midi and maxi.
I wanted to offer a cool frock that could use lace embellishment to give it a vintage vibe.
I used the kind of packaged lace that is used to hem garments, but better yet for those that may live in small towns where it might be hard to find lace trim.
And I loved this frock for the varied hemline....I crave different when I have the opportunity to create for myself

I did not want to grade this pattern because I wanted it to work for everyone and all sizes.
Typically when a pattern is graded, it becomes bigger everywhere, and I believe that contributes towards many patterns being difficult to fit, especially for anyone that is "petite or petite plus".

The truth about patterns.....
*Why is it thought that if you get taller then you also get wider...evenly?

*Why is it impossible to let sewists know what their options are?

*Why does the sewing industry adhere to sewing techniques that really do not work?

These truths drive me crazy, because it leads sewists down this road where they learn to believe how sewing is done in only one way, and it takes away their ability to sew with an open mind.

I made the Boho Frock  to adjust according to your measurements
That means that one pattern can be used for all sizes....after you have cut it out.
This is also true for any Paradiso Sewing Pattern that has the word Formula in the title.  
That means it works for everyone, even Petite and Petite Plus gals.
(FYI....if a pattern is graded out, it is almost impossible to fit these mentioned sizes)

This is what the Boho Frock looks like with lace overlaying silk

The aubergine (think dark brown with a hint of purple overtone) lace overlays a sage green silk.  The sleeves and the second skirt tier are just lace!
It was the cool bodice with the varied hemline, there was this whole idea of the layers.....
And the coolest thing is to use the bodice pattern + utilizing strip cutting to create the other pieces,
but then......

 I started making tops....

This is double guaze from Nano Iro with lots of cool trims added.  Only the bodice piece was used to creat this Boho Top.  I was super surprized when my friend Paul Gallo told me that he thought that Lame' fabric (metallic and shiny woven fabric) could not be used to make bias trim.....that is until he saw this top.  He finished his sentence with "but I guess you have proven that  thought wrong"
That sums up my life + my passion for sewing.
I like to try many techniques out....and work at making then my own.
My patterns are packed with all kind of sewing tips like that.
I think the reason I could make the bias Lame' work is that I do not iron the bias before I sew it in/on.
Ironing stretches the bias, making it even harder to sew it on...
I think about how can I allow the fabric to lay where it likes to lay...... 
AND get it to do what I want it to do.

The bias neck trim will be a tutorial for another day when I post the sew-along of the Boho Frock!!  Which I am working on now.  

So...there I am playing with the Boho Frock Pattern...making it do many is one of my favorites...

A cool inversion of the pattern will create a hi-low hemline, with no gathering of the sleeves.
I bought this lace at a very fun fabric shop here in Seattle (Stitches).
And this was the perfect project to use it on...the Boho lace music festival dress!

Here is another new favorite......

I used Cotton and Steel Double Gauze here...
I lengthen the Bodice length to create a tunic and
then attached a bias (6") trim for the hem of the dress,
and bias metallic linen trim for the hem of the sleeve.

ANYWAY....i get bored and must play..
.over time people kept asking me if the Boho Frock pattern had the instructions
 to make all these variations (including a hi-low version) ...and sadly I would say no.  
But, I wanted to be able to offer such instructions.

Now..... the Boho Frock Diversion/Hack Sewing Pattern is live.....

The Boho Frock Diversion will also instruct you how to make the Boho Frock Pattern pieces into more stable pieces that will enable you to create for the different sizes.
I am also hoping that some of the techniques will be new to you to use for all types of sewing construction!

This is where you can buy the Boho Frock Pattern Duo.
This pattern duo is 20% off for the month of June for the Paradiso Pattern of the month!!
Between the 2 patterns there are 30+ pages of instructions
and 30+ pages of illustrations to guide you in your Boho Frock making......,
even how to cut bias for the neck and hemlines

This is not the end of the Boho Frock educational story......

On May 30th I will have my 
first ever Paradiso Passionate Sewist Profile
to share!! 
Also on the near horizon is the Boho Frock Sew-a-long.  
I will be using thrift-ed or fabric from my own stash to "make" my own fabric.
The sew-a-long will also have a technique that is not included in the pattern!!

If you would like to see the stuff I work on almost daily,
follow me on Instagram @cheryofparadiso.

I love your comments that tell me what else you would like to see!!
Thanks for hanging out!!
xo, cheryl

Monday, February 8, 2016

this is the day after......

This is my zoo!!
This is my bed.
My kitty Bobbin & my pup Jackx are my faithful companions.

They stay pretty close to me regardless if I am sewing or sick in bed.
 Have you ever had a little nasty cold with high temps, and every cell of your body aches.
There is NO comfortable.
You are cold with chills
You are hot with sweat.
You just want to die quickly.
You want & pray it will end.
For 3 very long days.
But then the day after happens.......

Today is the day after.
I now know I will live.
And I can get on with all the work ahead of me  because Sew Expo is a few weeks away!

I thought I would give a preview of my new bag called 
"The 4Way Tote".
Here is Look No. 3

It is made with hand-dyed wool, some Paradiso Pleather for the bottom and the adjustable strap.  Check out the new Paradiso Hardware, buckles for 1" straps

Here is another view of The 4Way Tote,
This is Look No. 1.

Notice that this Look No. 1 has 2 straps and each adjusts with the buckle.

I always worry that many of my handbag patterns are intense.  I wanted to offer with a bag pattern that is mid size so that anyone could use it, and they had choices too!!

I truly hope that you will like it.

And did I mention........
yep there will be a sew a long, right here on this blog!!
It will happen in March!!

Thanks for hanging out & reading!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sew Expo 2016....come say hi!!

Happy New Year...can I still get away with saying that?

Sew Expo is coming!!!!!
This is my home event, and I am very proud to be in it once again!!!!

I will be teaching 8 classes.

One 2 Needle Class
about handbag get to see me is pretty cool.....

Four 1 Needle Seminars
Dynamic Easy Totes will be 2 
learn how to make 4 different looks from one pattern!!

Pattern Hacking
Learn how to make a blouse top, a tunic, a dress, & a bohemian lace frock from one pattern......& bonus, that pattern fits ALL sizes!!

then there are the make & takes...3 of em'
 mod embroidery with metallic threads & beads...oh my!!
    For more information click on the events tab at the top of this page, and the links will take you directly to registration for class.
Thanks to all my sewing loves.....cannot wait to see you & say hi!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How to Make a Stuffy that stands up!!

I promised
Now I deliver!!

Are they pretty cute?
I think so, gonna get started.

Making character stuffy/ pillows/plushies is really fun and simple to do.  And if the fabric is as cute as this “Little Red” by Cori Dantini for Blend Fabrics, then these pillows will steal your heart!!
As a designer I hope to be able to show you a few tips that will enhance your maker/sewist skills!
To get started, here is a list of materials that you will need.
Materials needed:
-One Blend fabric panel of Little Red Characters
-Matching fabrics to complement the character, 1/3 Yard per Character
-Muslin. 1/3 Yard for 1-3 characters
-Fiber Fill, I recommend Silky Soft Ultra Plush Fiber Fill
-White Thread
Here is little Red, as you can see I included the fun blue flowers!
I first traced, and then cut out Little Red with a ½ seam allowance.  And I included the beautiful blue flowers in the scene with Red which I loved.  After I cut out Red, then I laid her onto her backing fabric on the wrong side to cut out the same shape.

Then I cut a muslin to match the front and the back of the stuffy.  the muslin acts like a stabilizer, and the stuffy feels super soft & strong at the same time!
Measure the bottom edge of the puppet, multiply that number by 2, and that is the amount the diameter of the bottom needs to equal.  In the next step I will show you how to do that.
Find a object with a round bottom, I used this wooden spool that is about 2.5” wide.  I used the spool to draw a half circle.  I measure the perimeter of the half circle, and double that.  Going back to step Three, I have the measurement of the bottom; it needs to equal the perimeter of the bottom piece. 
If the stuffy bottom equals 10”, and 2 x the half circle= 6”, then 4” must be added to get the correct bottom piece size.  Now trace the half circle.  From the center top and bottom of the half circle draw 2 straight lines 2” long (2 x 2 = 4), and then draw the other side of the half circle to complete the bottom piece which will be cut out of the backing fabric along with a muslin backing.  I used this spool to make all the bottom pieces for each stuffy.  It was perfect because when I had all the stuffy characters finished, they could all stand on their own!!
With all the pieces layered (character & back, right sides together, then sandwiched with the muslin on both sides so that there is 4 layers) pin around the sides and the tops!
Then starting at the bottom of a side, sew around the edge up to the top and back down the other side, but leave an opening so that the stuffy can be stuffed.  If you look at this picture closely you can see where the opening will be on the left side  Do not sew across the bottom because we need to add the bottom and need it to be open.  Next trim the edges down to 1/8-1/4”, clip to the corners, and around the round edges!!
 On the bottom piece the sides are pinned to keep them from shifting.

In this picture you can see the opening on the left side.  Now pin the bottom to the bottom edges, start with matching the centers of the front & the back to the centers of the straight sides of the bottom piece.  Then match the side seams to the center of the curved sides.
Make sure to pin from the bottom.  Pinning in this manner will allow the sewing machine to sew on top of the front & bottom edges easily as done in the picture below.


And this is what is meant by sewing on the top of the front & the back.  As seen in the picture, by pinning up through the bottom, the top can be sewn, otherwise the pins would be in the way if it was pinned from the top.  If there are little tucks & pleats caught when sewing a circular item to 2 sides, it is okay because it will help the stuffy to stand up.
Time to Stuff!!
This is the fiber I love to use for stuffing.  It is so soft and really makes a difference in how the stuffy feels!!  Make sure to stuff the little corners and points first, before filling it to the brim…we want all parts of the stuffy to be full and not at all flat!

I like to leave one side flat, and then fold only one edge in.  This is another tip on easy pinning.  Hands sew the opening closed….and this character stuffy is done!!

I think the sweet wolfie is my favorite!!

my And here is the whole gang!!
Thanks for reading,
Sewing hugs for the new year!!,