The Janet Cosplay – Free Sewing Pattern

Any place or thing in the universe can be up to 104% perfect. That’s how we got this newest free sewing pattern based on Janet’s iconic outfit from NBC’s The Good Place. Envelop yourself in Janet’s sunshiny personality as well has her adorable vest and skirt with this cosplay and be sure to visit our Onella Blouse post for details on her shirt and screen accurate fabric!

Purchase Materials Used Below:

Note: This post features pattern and instructions for Janet’s vest and skirt. For details on the shirt and screen accurate fabric, visit our Onella Blouse pattern!

Alternative Recommended Fabrics:


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All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.

Mood Sewing Pattern Size Chart

Note, this downloadable pattern features printable pieces for Janet’s vest only. Her skirt was made using the 1/4 and Midi options on Mood’s Circle Skirt Calculator. For a printable pattern of her shirt, visit our Onella Blouse!

Before you start sewing, I recommend interfacing all of your main vest pieces. This will make them a bit more crisp and clean when your vest is complete!

Begin sewing your vest by adding your darts, making sure to follow the guidelines on your pattern.

Sew your vest lining as you sew your main vest layer.

Connect your vest pieces at the vertical seams, starting at the center back and working your way to the side and subsequent princess seams. These should be sewn as regular seams with fabric faces together.

When complete, clip your seam allowance at the curves, like you see above, and press your seams open and repeat with your lining layer.

Insert your welt pockets into the main layer of your vest, following the marks on your pattern. If you’re unfamiliar with how to sew a welt pocket, visit this tutorial!

Next, sew the front and back of your vest together at the shoulder seams, like you see above. Clip the seam allowance in the corner at a 45 degree angle toward your stitching. Repeat with your lining.

Like you see below, sew along the center back seam of your vest lapel and then press your seam open. Align the lapel seam with the center back seam of your vest and sew along the neckline, meeting your shoulder seams at either end. Repeat with your lining again.

To complete your vest, pin your lining to the main layer with the faces together. Sew around the outside of your garment, leaving a few inches open near the back to pull it right-side-out. Press, slip-stitch your opening closed, and edge-stitch around the entirety of the vest.

Add on your buttons and corresponding buttonholes and your new costume is ready to wear!

The post The Janet Cosplay – Free Sewing Pattern appeared first on Mood Sewciety.


I’ve spent A LOT of time in my studio lately…I’m listening to “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara, short-listed for both the Man Booker and National Book Award for Fiction. It is a long, long, sad and dark book…but the writing is so
luminous, and I love the characters so much that I am hooked. I have come to love listening to Audible Books while I’m sewing; it encourages me to do a lot more hand sewing (good). When I come to a tricky bit in my sewing, I turn the book off, then start up again when I am ready. (I don’t multi-task very well)

My first item was part of an ongoing attempt to find a very high scrunch turtleneck that doesn’t collapse. I’ll post about that later (it’s pretty, and I’ll wear it, but the neck isn’t what I’m looking for).

Then, I made long OOP V8192, as a vest; I learned why there are only two reviews of this pattern on Pattern Review, both somewhat negative.

So, I was well-warned. I love the collar and decided to try it anyway. The main problem is that, in order to hang properly, I needed to add SIX sets of snaps to the interior. The top is essentially a double breasted vest without the necessary “buttons”.

Here it is in my studio, as I figure out where to place the double-welt pockets.

And here it is, on me (with background of emerging wisteria) The fabric is a 
wonderful rayon-blend two-sided crinkle woven from Marcy Tilton which I love.

I like it, although I’m not sure it was worth all the bother…it’s lightweight and drapey, perfect for my climate.


Next, as I was rummaging around in my studio, I found an almost completed knit top which I had totally forgotten about. It’s B5954, adjusted somewhat to take advantage of a paneled knit with a border from Emma One Sock. So I added a neck finish, hemmed the sleeves and bottom, and voila!

A women’s group I’ve belonged to for more than 30 years had a meeting this month in the studio of Seyburn Zorthian. We have two paintings of hers which I’ve written about before.

I’ve known Seyburn for a long time, but I was still fascinated by her telling us of the history of her painting…

and I found a new painting to love…

As a parting shot, check out my new polka-dot cat eye specs!

I’m heading over to Patti’s site, Not Dead Yet Style, to join the Visible Women. Come  see what we’ve been up to!



As I’ve mentioned before, I am going to Paris in November with Marcy and Kathrine Tilton (squeal!)My friend Shams is going, and possibly my friend Joan.
As you and I know full well, I could simply use the wardrobe from my recent trip  to Portugal…it worked well, I loved it, it was fall-in-Europe, etc. 


I would miss out on one of my favorite parts of travel…MAKING A NEW

so here is the first key element of the wardrobe…it’s the Minoru Jacket by Sewaholic which I auditioned here 6 weeks ago. You will notice I am changing
my color scheme a little   by using a claret red. I fell in love with this French
Jacquard from Emma One Sock

Linda didn’t have quite enough for my jacket, but my dear friend Shams had
bought the last yard on the bolt and generously let me have it! THANKS, SHAMS!

Isn’t that a gorgeous color? The fabric was quite light weight, so I interfaced the whole thing with a medium weight fusible from Fashion Sewing Supply. I will still need a heavier coat/jacket but this was the fabric that sparked my creativity.

I also made the turtleneck top, a modification of V 8691,an OOP pattern by Katherine Tilton. The fabric is a silky double knit from JoAnns.

(showing off my roses and wisteria a little…)

I wore the jacket to a funeral yesterday so that I could assess its wearability…

It got an A+!

We have been blessed here in our valley with a really superb year for wildflowers…the first in several years. Friday, Dave, Paddy and I took a
picnic up our local mountain, 10 miles from our house, and enjoyed the beauty.

This is known locally as “Grass Mountain” and right now, it’s glowing neon orange from the poppies (and lupines, which you can’t distinguish here)

Such a beautiful place…Dave and I spent the New Millennium Eve here,
toasting the end of the century with a bottle of champagne.

HOWEVER, there is no gain without pain, or something like that…and we have both been suffering from horrendous allergies all week. Luckily I recovered by
the weekend, as my eyes had been looking just like my friend from Papua New
Guinea, here…

Here’s a photo of Paddy, me and the roses (and the sunspots)….


I will be hopping over to Visible Monday at Patti’s Not Dead Yet Style in a few hours…come on over!


What are the most popular international train routes?

The Øresund Bridge is definitely busy, but is it the world’s busiest international railway? Image: Richard Dennis/Wikimedia Commons.

The answer to this question is harder to find than you think. In most countries, international train traffic is an insignificantly tiny part of total rail traffic, and even where it is important it’s often mostly freight. No-one really cares about international passenger travel, and when they do publish data it can be really bad quality.

But CityMetric cares about international train travel, damn it, and after hours of poring over terribly formatted spreadsheets and reports, we’ve calculated what are (probably) the most popular international trains in the world.

The EU collects a lot of data about international rail travel, making it a good place for us to start. Unfortunately the data comes from each individual member state, and they sometimes contradict each other (Belgium and the UK disagree by nearly a million about how many people travelled between them in 2011) or just don’t bother filling it in (France haven’t updated their stats since about 2009).

Still, we can fill those holes in with old data and by assuming the same number of people cross the border both ways, and we can find the most used international journeys in the EU:

Click to expand.

The most popular by a long way appears to be the UK-France connection through the Channel Tunnel, which sees over 16 million passengers a year – not even counting the nearly 3 million more going between the UK and Belgium.

But… Only about half of that is Eurostar. It looks like the official data counts also counts people using Le Shuttle – the trains that run and back forth carrying motor vehicles under the Channel. If you’re sitting inside a car that’s inside a train, are you a train passenger or just a motorist? That’s a philosophical question we can’t answer, but if you want to exclude Le Shuttle, there were 10.3 million Eurostar passengers in 2017 and roughly 7.5 million of them were going to or from France, bumping it down to third place.

Next is another international sea link: Denmark-Sweden over the Øresund Bridge (made famous by Scandi noir detective series The Bridge). As well as long-distance trains, the bridge also has a busy commuter service between Copenhagen and the nearby Swedish city of Malmö. Running every 10 minutes each way at peak times, it must be the most frequent international rail service on the planet.

France-Belgium isn’t a single rail connection – instead, it’s a half a dozen or so lines ranging from high-speed TGV to tiny local services. In these statistics, the two are counted equally, so each passenger could be a diplomat zipping first class from Paris to Brussels, or it could be a worker in Kortrijk commuting to their job in Lille in the morning.

For Germany-Switzerland, most of those 6 million are definitely commuters. The Swiss city of Basel, the French city of Saint-Louis, and the German city of Lörrach all lie right next to each other and form an urban area called the “Trinational Eurodistrict”. These share a suburban train network that crosses the German-Swiss border three times and the French-Swiss border once. 25 million people use this Trinational S-Bahn every year, with about 10 million of those using the international sections. Not everyone on those sections will have crossed into Switzerland (some will just gone from one German or French station to another) but it will still be responsible for a big part of the total passenger count for Switzerland.

A commuter train from Basel, Switzerland to Zell, Germany. Not all international voyages are glamorous. Photo: Wladyslaw Sojka/Wikimedia Commons

Rounding out the top five is France-Luxembourg. With 4.3 million passengers a year, this pairing is twice as busy as France-Germany – how, when Luxembourg only has half a million residents total?

Yet again, commuters are to blame. Luxembourg is a very expensive place to live, but its capital city is only a few kilometres from the border. Why not get a house in French Thionville and take the train to work every day instead? If just 10,000 people did that, in a year they’d cross the border 5 million times.

This is the secret to racking up a really high passenger count. You don’t need that many people crossing the border as long as they do it every day. International train journeys aren’t always glamorous long-distance adventures – a lot of them are regular commutes. Compared to an Øresund train every 10 minutes or a Le Shuttle every 15 minutes, intercity trains that only run once every couple of hours have little impact on the total passenger count.

Passenger trains that cross borders are overwhelmingly a European thing – it’s only in the European Union that you get the combination of small countries, wealthy economies and open borders that makes international rail travel possible. There won’t be many non-EU routes that can compete.

France-Monaco is one. Like Luxembourg, Monaco is tiny and extremely expensive, so a lot of people commute in from France. Train travel in Monaco (not technically an EU member state) is kind of weird, since it only has one station (operated by the French SNCF). There were 7.2 million people using Monaco-Monte Carlo station in 2017, and every single one was an international passenger.

Not all of them will have been French travellers – there are regular trains to Italy and occasional trains all the way to Russia – but a bit of maths says there must still be well over 6 million people going between Monaco and France, putting it safely in fourth place.

Belarus-Russia might deserve a place on this graph. OSJD (the railway authority for Eastern Europe and Asia) has published data saying that 3.7 million passengers travelled by train internationally in Belarus in 2017, but annoyingly it didn’t release where they were going. Belarus borders five different countries, three of which are EU members.

We know from the EU data that about 500,000 passengers went between Belarus and Latvia, Lithuania or Poland, which leaves 3.2 million to split between Russia and Ukraine. Most of these probably went to Russia, but exactly how many is impossible to say. (Please get in touch if you know otherwise.)

Russia and Ukraine would also have made it easily a few years ago – 5.1 million took the train between them in 2013 – but passenger numbers have crashed in the wake of the occupation of Crimea.

This is all still inside Europe though. Are there any international train connections on the other continents that can compete?

South America has a broken-up rail network with very few border crossings. Africa has the remnants of a colonial network more focused on transporting minerals and fruit than people. Australia doesn’t have any borders to cross.

North America? Although freight trains run between the US and Mexico, the US-Canada border is the only one on the continent crossed by passenger services. The US counts every single person who crosses its borders and – assuming the same number of people also went the opposite way – that adds up to 0.57 million passengers crossing by train.


The busiest US/Canada railway border crossing was at Skagway which saw about 190,000 passengers. You’ve probably never heard of Skagway because it’s a tiny village in Alaska. But it’s also got a cruise ship port and a narrow gauge heritage railway that goes into Canada, which authorities consider a border crossing. Yes, a tiny tourist train in Alaska had more passengers than any main-line international service in North America. That’s pretty sad.

(In case you care: the busiest proper railway was the Seattle-Vancouver line, with about 180,000 passengers crossing the border.)

The busiest international railway line in North America. This photo was taken in 2018. This is not a joke. Photo: Explore1940/Wikimedia Commons

That leaves Asia. There are some very rail-heavy countries in Asia, but international trains are hard to find.

Japan and Taiwan are both islands, so they’re out. North and South Korea are divided by the DMZ. Political tensions mean there are very few services running from India to Bangladesh or Pakistan. China’s population is focused on its east coast, a long way from its borders, and it’s ringed by deserts, mountains and tundra. True, millions of people take the train between Mainland China and Hong Kong every year (a staggering 112 million in 2017), but that’s not a proper international border.

No, for a busy international railway there’s only one place to look: Singapore. Singapore demolished most of its international tracks a few years ago, but a small stub remains linking the island to the Malaysian city of Johor Bahru. A shuttle service runs back and forth over the causeway, and in 2018 it had 2.74 million passengers – as many as all trains between Czechia and Slovakia or Belgium and the Netherlands put together.

If we update our graph (making some fairly rough estimates about France-Monaco and Belarus-Russia passengers) then we get:


European railways in blue, Asian ones in red.

So there you have it. The busiest international railway connection is France-UK, unless it’s Denmark-Sweden or Hong Kong-Mainland China. They’re almost all in Europe – and definitely not in North America.

Stephen Jorgenson-Murray tweets lots of this kind of nonsense at @stejormur.

Latest Sewing Projects

Wow! I haven’t posted in more than a year!?! I was surprised (just now) when I realized that.

Since I am active on Facebook and Instagram, even though I haven’t been sewing a lot, I don’t feel disconnected from the sewing community.

So, here we go!


  • Style Arc Denim Jacket featuring Dash
  • Boobie Pajama Bottoms
  • Misc
  • Style Arc Denim Jacket

    If you have been following me, you know that I have an obsession with Dash, the stuffie I produced as the mascot for the Dart programming language. Well, Dash’s popularity has taken off and she’s also become beloved by folks who use the Flutter framework. (I used to document Dart, and I now document Flutter.) Dash even has an Instagram account!

    When I attended the Flutter Live event in London last December (where we launched Flutter 1.0), I got it into my head that I needed a denim jacket featuring Dash on the back. A product manager on the team further suggested that I add the text “Born to Hot Reload.” (Hot reload is a Flutter feature.)

    At Flutter Live, we brought in a claw machine and filled it with Dashes.
    The machine was insanely popular with a massive line until we (sadly) ran out of Dashes. I wore a chiffon scarf I made featuring Dash (fabric printed by Spoonflower)

    Thus began my obsessive relationship with Spoonflower.

    I took a stab, by myself, at creating the image I wanted for the denim jacket, but I am no Photoshop expert. Enter Jeff D, a friend from my Sun/Oracle days. He manages software engineers by day, but he’s a master of Photoshop and all things digital. Jeff graciously created the design that I envisioned. I gave him the hex code of the denim color that I wanted, and asked him to make the denim look textured, like an actual denim fabric. (Though I had no suggestions on how one might accomplish that.) And, of course, I asked him to include a large Dash graphic surrounded with the “Born to Hot Reload” text. Jeff’s final design was perfection! I printed it on Spoonflower’s Dogwood Denim fabric (a non-stretch, heavy-ish denim that begins as a white fabric).

    For the pattern, I chose Style Arc’s Stevie Jean Jacket. It had the features that I wanted and wasn’t overly fitted.

    I received the pattern and the fabric just before my first sewing retreat last March. On the retreat, I traced off the pattern, increasing the seam allowances to 5/8″. Since the jacket is unlined, I wanted to finish the seams with a Hong Kong finish, and 3/8″ is not enough seam allowance for that. I made a muslin and my sewing pals on the retreat helped me fit the jacket. I think I made 2 muslins, in the end, before transferring the changes back to the pattern.

    On my second sewing retreat, last April, I cut out and started sewing the denim. Topstitching and finishing every seam with home-made bias binding slowed the project. I can’t remember ever making welt pockets in denim before—not a very forgiving fabric. Also, I devised the pockets such that there are two entrances. You can enter on the front via the welt, or on the inside, you can enter a different pocket pouch from the top. For the pocket pouches, I used a quilting cotton I had made that also features Dash.

    I really should have pressed the jacket before taking pics!

    I wanted to wear the jacket at Google I/O, the big Google developer event held this year on May 7th-9th. I sewed every evening and finally finished it the night before. Well, I sorta finished it. I used Dash lapel pins to mimic buttons, so I never made buttonholes. I still haven’t, and I probably won’t. 🙂

    I decorated the jacket with lapel pins I had been collecting representing different facets of Flutter’s ecosystem. The jacket was a lot of fun to wear and I was stopped many times and asked to pose for photos.

    A colleague (hi, kevmoo!) took this photo at the end of the conference, after I’d been wearing the jacket for 5 days straight

    I was very happy with the jacket and I plan to use this pattern again!

    Boobie Pajama Bottoms

    I have fallen in love with some of the whimsical designs on Spoonflower. Case in point: I had to have some of this boobie fabric: I ordered two yards of this design on their cotton spandex jersey, which is quite nice. I used it to make some pajama bottoms: For the pattern, I used Butterick 6348, a now out-of-print See & Sew pattern. This pant has no side seams and this style is sometimes referred to as a “one seam pant.” Therefore, the legs are straight, as it’s hard (nay, impossible) to taper a pant that has no side seams. I added a bit of length to the longer view and omitted the casing and tie, but otherwise, I made a standard Medium.


    What have I been up to in the last year? Well…

    • Last month, I turned 60! (I never thought I’d live that long…)
    • I’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with Spoonflower, which started with the Dash project. I don’t wear many prints, so what the heck is up with that? I have spent hours pouring over designs, creating collections, and chatting with some of the designers, asking them to tweak their designs to my specifications.
    • Less travel: I decided to cut back on travel in 2019. I am only taking work-related trips and I’m even passing on some of those opportunities.
    • Health related stuff, including two colonoscopies within 3 months since the first one found a 3cm polyp with cancerous cells that (thankfully) hadn’t migrated yet. Lots of other health stuff, too, and I’m not done yet. I’ve acquired many new specialist doctors and all the pharmacy technicians know me by name at CVS (where I’ve been told that I’m an “interesting dresser”). Oh, and I unexpectedly spent 3 days in the hospital last January getting a blood transfusion, after a couple weeks of heavy nose bleeds. Fun times.
    • Continued focus on work. It’s still (mostly) fun, and my team is (entirely) awesome. This summer, I’ve been training up an intern and (with another colleague), a new-ish full time writer. I love my team.
    • Trying not to sink into a full-on depression (with varying success). It’s a grim time to be alive. I read that, in the U.S., the suicide rate is up by 30%, and that does not surprise me one bit.
    • Decluttering. I have more to do on this front, but I’ve been #kondoized. (I’ve never read her books, but I’ve watched her series on Netflix and the concept is pretty basic.)

    I have already finished another project but don’t have photos yet. I am *so* out of practice taking project photos! I had to buy a new device to upload my photos, as the old device didn’t work on my new-ish laptop. Also, I couldn’t find my camera remote and had to order more. (I got spares…) And I’m still sewing *slowly*. 😀

    I don’t know who to attribute for this image, but it amuses me!

    Which London borough has the worst pubs? An important CityMetric investigation

    Mmmmmm beer. Image: Getty.

    There are countless ways of ranking different parts of London from best to worst: transport links, crime rates, does it have a Wimpy, etc. But only one truly matters: are the pubs crap or not?

    To start this investigation, we need a list of all the pubs in London – and the Greater London Authority helpfully keeps a list of all 4000+ of the city’s pubs as part of its ‘Cultural Infrastructure map’, curated by the Campaign for Real Ale (well, just the pubs bit of it, I assume). The list doesn’t appear to be 100 per cent up-to-date, but to be fair, keeping up with pub closures and name changes would probably be a full-time job. But does allow us to get a reasonably representative view of how London’s pubs are distributed. For example:

    Which borough has the most pubs?

    Colour scale of ‘head’ to ‘beer’ where head indicates not many pubs and ‘beer’ indicates lots of pubs.

    If raw numbers are what matters to you, Westminster is where it’s at, with more than 10 per cent of London’s pubs. Barking & Dagenham has the fewest, with just 29 to serve an entire borough.

    Which borough has the most pubs per square mile?

    Number represents the number of pubs per square mile in the borough.

    If you break it down by area, The City – yes okay, not technically a borough, have a sweetie – stands out way ahead of everywhere else, packing over 200 pubs into The Square Mile. (It’s actually slightly larger than one square mile, explaining the slight discrepancy between the count and the count per square mile.)

    Which borough has the most pubs per person? Or 10,000 people, for the purposes of this map?

    Number represents the number of pubs per 10,000 people who live in the borough.

    The City also wins on pubs per 10,000 residents, because only about four people live there. The inner London boroughs do much better here, and being in West London and on the river seems to help sustain a greater number of pubs.

    Boroughs not specific enough?

    Here’s the city broken up into square mile chunks that are coloured according to how many pubs in each one. Looking at this, the Thames also seems to help in southeast London to an extent – Greenwich’s pubs certainly seem to have clustered along the river.

    (Note: this map is slightly unfair on places on the fringes of London where, plausibly, you might e.g. have several excellent locals that are in, for example, Essex. Well, some pubs, at least.)

    But where are London’s shittest pubs?

    Ah, some kind of “connoisseur” who doesn’t measure pubs by weight, is it? Taking the GLA’s list of pubs and matching as many of them as possible to reviews on Google and TripAdvisor, here is the average rating (out of 5) per pub in each borough.

    Sorry, Barking & Dagenham, but you officially have the shittest pubs in London, at least according to the sort of people who review pubs online – 3.64 out of 5 on average.

    To be fair, this doesn’t include the future shipping crate-based bars promised by the pictures on the website for the Barking Riverside development, which could turn out to be London’s most highly regarded drinking establishments, what with their excellent views of… erm, Thamesmead and Crossness Sewage works.

    Lewisham, on the other hand, is the king of the boroughs when it comes to pubs, with 4.18 out of 5 on average. Although there’s always the possibility that people who go drinking in Lewisham just have really low standards.

    Except, hmm. Because if we look at just the 1 star reviews, sure, Barking & Dagenham does have the highest proportion (15.7 per cent), and Lewisham has one of the lowest (7.7 per cent)

    Numbers represent the percentage of 1 star reviews for pubs in the borough.

    But there are a higher proportion of 5 star reviews to be found in boroughs other than Lewisham (46.1 per cent) – notably Bromley and Haringey which are both near the 60 per cent mark.

    Numbers represent the percentage of 5 star reviews for pubs in the borough.

    And B&D has far from the lowest proportion of 5 star scores, beating Newham, Enfield, Croydon, Hounslow and Havering.

    So while you’re more likely to have a bad time in a Barking & Dagenham pub than anywhere else in London, you will have a higher chance of having a really good time than in say, Croydon.

    They should put that on the “Welcome to our borough” signs.


    Fall 2019 Sewing Pattern Roundup

    As the air turns a bit more crisp and days begin to shorten, it’s officially time to start thinking about your transitional wardrobe. With Mood’s infinitely growing library of free sewing patterns, it’s easy for your autumn threads to start falling into place.  From jacquard jackets to fluid velour dresses, your handmade fashions are about to be unbeleafable.

    For this outfit above, we used one of Mood’s newest patterns – the Lyonia Shirt. Originally made in a gorgeous lace, we made a more casual option here with a dotted chambray and decided to nix the lower sleeves.

    The overlaying trench vest is a hacked version of the Caladium Trench. Typically meant for a winter coat option, we chose to skip the sleeves on this one as well to transition it effortlessly into fall. Since the original is unlined and meant for a thicker fabric, I opted to self line this new version.

    The skirt is an unaltered version of the Cassia Skirt. How adorable is it in an all-pastel version?

    Let’s take a look at some more sewing patterns that are sure to elevate your fall looks!

    We’re seeing pleated pants more and more both on the runway and off. From classic suiting to unconventional faux leather, the Aster Pants would look stunning in all sorts of fall fabrics. Check out how we used Mood’s luscious new prints from their Exclusive Collections!

    Paperbag waistlines are back in a major way and we’re loving this trend for fall. Stay traditional with a pair of our Primrose Pants in a soft and breathable linen, or transition into the cooler months with a supple crepe or lightweight twill.

    The Aster Pants

    The Aster Pants

    Showcasing a high waist, accentuated by two pleats, our Aster Pants are so adorably chic, they’re wearable for both business and pleasure! Download them here!

    The Primrose Pants

    The Primrose Pants

    I’m in love with the over-sized patch pockets, and the back faux welt pockets add such a stylish detail. Download them here!

    Transition-friendly tops are wardrobe essentials during fall. Try the Alder Top in one of Mood’s new silk prints or the Azara in a luscious velour. The Felicia Sweater and Davallia Bodysuit would both look stunning in a simple, yet elegant rib knit!

    The Alder Top

    The Alder Top

    The Alder top is a simple project that can be easily made in a short amount of time, yet still make you look like you stepped straight off the catwalk. Download it here!

    The Davallia Bodysuit

    The Davallia Bodysuit

    Our Davallia Bodysuit free sewing pattern allows you to step out in a striking mutton sleeve to stay on trend, with a large back cut-out to help you stay cool and comfortable from summer into fall.  Download it here!

    The Azara Top

    The Azara Top

    The Azara top has beautiful full bell sleeves, a slim button placket, and a striking pointed collar. Download it here!

    The Felicia Sweater

    The Felicia Sweater

    The Felicia Sweater can be made from a number of Mood’s stunning fabrics, but for an extra comfy touch, I strongly recommend their bamboo knits and their rayon rib knitsDownload it here!

    Dresses and skirts are both great options for the transitional months. Try leaning towards heavier fabric options, such as a velour or suiting for the Xeranthemum or Nyssa Dress. Want something a little more lightweight? Opt for the Cypress or Shirley Dress in a twill or sateen for year-round versatility!

    If skirts are more your vibe, try getting into the faux trend with a suede version of the Cassia or Cress Skirt!

    The Cypress Dress

    The Cypress Dress

    From the crisp shawl collar and self-covered buttons, this stunning A-line dress is flattering as both the children’s and women’s version. Download it here!

    The Cassia Skirt

    The Cassia Skirt

    The Cassia Skirt Free Sewing Pattern is loaded with chic details like the contrasting faux leather waistband and over-sized pockets! Download it here!

    The Cress Skirt

    The Cress Skirt

    Conservative enough to wear to the office while easy and breezy enough to throw over a swimsuit, our Cress Skirt free sewing pattern is as versatile as it is cute. Download it here!

    The Nyssa Dress

    The Nyssa Dress

    What’s better for versatility than a gorgeous and classic wrap dress? Download it here!

    The Shirley Dress

    The Shirley Dress

    This dress sewing pattern features a pleated skirt that’s just begging to be paired with a border printDownload it here!

    The Xeranthemum Dress

    The Xeranthemum Dress

    This pattern’s super flattering shape and easy-to-sew design will make this your key fall wardrobe piece. Download it here!

    Stay prepared for drastic weather changes in a chic blazer made from one of our luscious suitings or twills! Try the Zea Blazer for a wardrobe staple, or go with the bolder Gladiolus Blazer that lends itself well to trims and applique embellishments!

    The Zea Blazer

    The Zea Blazer

    The Zea Blazer was designed specifically to be the perfect high-end addition to any wardrobe at a fraction of the creation time. Download it here!

    The Gladiolus Blazer

    The Gladiolus Blazer

    The Gladiolus Blazer free sewing pattern gives you nothing less than Haute Couture vibes minus all the meticulous work. Download it here!

    Find a silhouette that suits you with one of our suit or jumpsuit patterns! Show off your favorite cotton twill or linen print as the Poplar Overalls, or mix and match some separates with the Ercilla Suit. Stay comfy and chic with a bamboo jersey or stretch velour with our Bergenia or Darmera patterns!

    The Bergenia Jumpsuit

    The Bergenia Jumpsuit

    The Bergenia jumpsuit is here to create the perfect balance between comfortable and sexy. Download it here!

    The Ercilla Suit

    The Ercilla Suit

    Whether you want to stand out at your holiday party or play it a little more classic, The Ercilla Suit delivers. Download it here!

    The Darmera Jumpsuit

    The Darmera Jumpsuit

    With no finicky closures or constricting fabric, the Darmera Jumpsuit is the perfect project for one of Mood’s lush crushed veloursDownload it here!

    The Poplar Overalls

    The Poplar Overalls

    The Poplar Overalls are not your basic overalls. Download them here!

    The post Fall 2019 Sewing Pattern Roundup appeared first on Mood Sewciety.

    Here’s why you should ignore liveable cities rankings

    Oh look, a city. Image: Getty.

    At last count, there were over 500 rankings that pit cities around the world against each other: from the most intricately measured quality of life indices, to infographics of how often postal workers get attacked by dogs.

    As cities look to compete globally, the business of ranking cities has grown. In much the same way that sports clubs will pay eye-watering sums for star players to win the top prize, urban managers will buy in “starchitects”, global consultancy firms and PR companies, to help them climb these city league tables.

    Yet the only prize for reaching the top appears to be rocketing prices for housing, services, transport and food. Indeed, many cities at the top of the tables experience pronounced inequality. Frankfurt, for example, is ranked seventh in the Mercer Quality of Life rankings, while also scoring high for inequality.

    Though some efforts are being made to address the flaws in city rankings, they continue to be touted as a viable means of urban analysis. But as someone who scrutinises cities closely and researches the people who live in them, I think it’s time to ignore city rankings because they do more harm than good.

    For one thing, only 1 per cent of these rankings are conducted by city governments – the rest are run by private companies. As such, there’s a risk that focus and funding can be diverted from the issues that matter to citizens, as city authorities aim to appease the rankings criteria and promote themselves on the global stage.

    For example, while austerity continues to bite in the UK, the Greater London Authority’s communications budget has doubled since 2009. All the while, rankings only ever identify a potential problem, never offer ways to address it, placing the burden on public institutions.

    Data domination

    The growing use of data-gathering technology in cities is giving authorities unprecedented amounts of information on citizens, housing, health care, transport systems, the built environment and more. As well as driving the global rise of smart cities – in all their different shapes and forms – these technologies are integral to city rankings.

    But as with any use of big data and AI, there’s a significant risk that the biases of those who operate them are transposed into the results – as with technologies used by police and the criminal justice system, which were critiqued for reinforcing prejudice against minorities.

    Data can be prejudiced, too. Image: ssoosay/Flickr/creative commons.

    City rankings reinforce a fixation with data. But if authorities focus on bumping certain metrics up or down to climb these league tables, at best, they risk overlooking the complex nature of many urban issues, such as homelessness. At worst, they could entrench discrimination against their own citizens. Clearly, ethical checks need to be placed at the core of data-gathering developments in cities.

    Missing the point

    On a more fundamental level, ranking different cities against each other according to specific criteria destroys the essence of that city as a whole. A city is far more than a collection of how many museums it has, or how efficient its transportation system is, or how clean its water is, or how many people die in bike accidents at rush hour – or whatever other metric is used.

    Shanghai is a world away from Sheffield, yet rankings seek to compare them using specific minute criteria with no consideration of their social, political, economic, ecological and historical context.

    Ever since Walter Benjamin walked the streets of Paris, trying to analyse the social complexity of the contemporary metropolis, urban scholars have been at pains to articulate the inarticulable: what makes a city the intense, immersive and deeply emotional experience it is.

    Cities can’t be ranked by homeliness or by the thrill we experience when viewing the sparkling nightscape from a rooftop. No measure of the rate of knife crime can help to address the deep political, cultural and domestic life histories of those who perpetrate it. These experiences are deeply contextual, tacit and subjective, but it doesn’t make them any less important.

    City rankings seek to carve the urban environment up into pockets of data, to be captured, analysed and ordered. In doing so, they’re actually doing damage to the fabric of urban life that holds the city together. It’s time to experience and manage the lived reality of cities, not the ranking of them.

    Oli Mould, Lecturer in Human Geography, Royal Holloway.

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

    Made by a Fabricista: Fun with Stripes

    Happy September! I’m definitely ready for cooler weather and I am starting my fall sewing with this little striped top in an unusual color combo of black, cream, clay and mint green.  I used this Milly fabric.

    I really love working with stripes.  There are so many fun things that you can do.  For example, I decided to put the lower back on the bias, the yoke on the straight grain, and the collar on the cross grain for this top.   Because this is an uneven stripe, it was a little tricky to get this bias chevron effect.  How I did it was this:
    1.  Cut my yardage into two pieces.
    2.  Lay one piece right side up, single layer.
    3.  Turn the other piece 180 degrees and wrong side down, so that the stripes match when you put them together.  Check your stripes all the way across- they can be together at the selvedges, but shift on you in the middle! 
    4.  Place the grainline on the pattern piece at a 45 degree angle and pin to your fabric.

     Here’s the back- I love how it moves:

    Apparently Milly likes having fun with stripes too- take a look at some of the images I found online of Milly’s designs:

    Pretty awesome, right?  I couldn’t find this particular fabric made up into apparel online.  Let me know if you can find it anywhere.  I’d love to see what Milly made with it.

    For my pattern, I chose McCall’s 7985- I believe it came out in the summer releases. It’s a Khaliah Ali pattern, and I always love her styles- very dramatic and great for us tall gals.  I did do a slight full bust adjustment- I should have done my regular, but the finished bust measurements on the envelope indicated that it had plenty of ease.  That ease must have all been in the back, as the front ended up a little on the snug side!  The other thing about it was the neckband ended up way too big for my neck.  That might have been the fabric, as it is pretty loosely woven, but I will definitely check that against a neckband that fits before I make it again.   I did not add any length (I’m 5’9″ for reference), and wouldn’t have wanted it any longer.  So, if you are average height or shorter than average, you will need to shorten it.

    I had enough fabric to make the longest version, so I went for it.  The high low hemline contrast is quite pronounced, which won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.  But I really enjoy wearing something that’s out of the ordinary, and don’t mind it at all.

    I had saved some of my favorite clothes from my youth, in case I ever had daughters that would get a kick out of them, and my all time favorite top when I was a teenager was this one with the mint green, peach and beige stripes.  Surprisingly, none of my daughters found this old, pilly sweatshirt attractive!  But, look how similar the stripes are to my new top-  no wonder I couldn’t resist this fabric!

    You can see here that the front and back skirt sections are open at the sides, so you can put your hands in your pockets, and sit down without the skirt pulling down, which is great.  I dyed cording instead of making a fabric drawstring for the waist tie.

    After taking these photos, I experimented with taking the drawstring out of the underbust seam, and I think it looks better- less poufy in the front.  I will probably just wear the drawstring inserted through the side openings and around the back, not the front.  It gives less of a ruffle effect and de-emphasizes the bust.  I’m not sure- which way do you think looks best?  Without the drawstring under the bust:

    Or with the drawstring under the bust?

    The fabric was really lovely to work with, as I’ve come to expect from the Milly fabrics!  I wish that they had it in some different colorways!  How about you?  Do you enjoy working with stripes?  Do you notice that you still like color combinations that were your favorites as a child?

    Happy Sewing!


    12 hours in sheffield

    i ventured over the peaks by train to sheffield last month with very few preconceptions, other than the assertion from a number of my friends that the city was ‘pretty cool’.

    it was a beautifully sunny day, early in springtime, and proved to be a perfect time for a visit. known the world over for it’s industrial revolution heyday as the city of steel, the sheffield i glimpsed as the train rolled into the station seemed a million miles from the typecast of a city still stuck in it’s former glory days. exiting the station you’re greeted by a majestic 300 feet long stainless steel sculpture and waterfall that winds its way along the main walkway towards the city. more than just a striking work of art, it’s a nod to sheffield’s industrial past that instead of looking back in wonder, seems to look forward in hope and prosperity.

    i had no formal plan of attack traversing the city streets, aside from a few choice recommendations for coffee stops from the ever-reliable matthew spade, and a desire to visit the lush botanical gardens that frequently grace the instagram grid of local couple haarkon. so, come a take a little wonder with me – and shout if you’ve any recommendations for my next trip; i’m sure i will be back!


    my first port of call as i arrived in the city was ambulo, an all-day café located within sheffield’s millenium gallery, a short walk from the train station. inspired by “culture, travel and the best produce from near and far”, the café is a symphony of concrete and glass designed by london architects pringle richards sharratt, creating a light airy space that oozes unexpectedly californian-style charm, especially on a bright sunny day. this place was the first of a few coffee shop recommendations from mr. spade, and most assuredly did not disappoint.  offering all-day dining, speciality coffee, wine and cocktails, this space definitely feels like somewhere i’d hang out frequently if i lived in the city, if only to gorge on the incredible chilli bacon jam breakfast buns. seriously, they were out of this world!

    ambulo, millennium gallery, 48 arundel gate, sheffield s1 


    as much as i would have loved to explore the art, craft and design on offer at millennium gallery, the glorious sunshine outside was calling to me and, all fired up on coffee and pastries, i headed back out to explore on foot, weaving up and down the sloping side streets taking in the sights. there’s a lot of work going on in the centre just now, with numerous cranes towering around many corners, but there was still plenty to discover. i stopped awhile in the peace gardens by the gothic town hall, created as part of the heart of the city project by sheffield city council, which saw major redevelopment and the creation of 12 official quarters in the city centre. close by, i stumbled upon devonshire quarter, with many fantastic independent stores selling vintage clothing, records, jewellery and more, alongside many quirky pubs and bars that reminded me somewhat of manchester’s northern quarter, albeit on a far smaller scale.

    peace gardens, 50 pinstone street, sheffield s1


    i can’t believe i hadn’t heard of collard manson before my visit, but as soon as i passed by and saw their window displays laden with stylish bohemian finds i knew it was a store for me. housed within a old city centre property in the devonshire quarter, the space is kept stripped back and industrial in style with exposed brickwork and bare wooden floorboards – all the better to display the eclectic selection of home and fashion accessories sourced by married owners, zara and tim collard. everywhere you look there is a new corner upon which to feast your eyes with curated rustic, boho and artisanal designs, from unique ceramic tableware and mouth-blown glass, to hand-poured candles and organic linens, sourced the world over. i couldn’t help but add another coffee cup to my ever-growing collection, as well as stocking up on a few nomad society scented soy wax candles which i’d been looking to track down for a while, but next time i’m in town i’ll be sure to have a suitcase in tow to fully stock up!

    collard manson, 123-125 devonshire street, sheffield s3 


    all that walking and shopping meant another coffee stop was in order, and i stumbled across ink & water quite by accident as i wandered down a side street in the midst of a new-build development seeking shade from the (ridiculously warm for february) midday sun. i was attracted by the café’s simple styling and minimal branding, so it wasn’t a surprise to later discover that ink & water is a design agency as well, offering graphic and web design, branding, photography and video production. in this day and age, it certainly pays to be diverse – as well as being well versed in the art of great coffee! their beans hail from local roastery, forge coffee, while bread and pastries are also supplied daily by local artisan bakers. they also produce their own quarterly magazine, fresh ink, covering everything in the world of design and coffee, making it the perfect paper to flick through whilst sipping your beautifully crafted cappuccino.

    ink & water, 8 fitzwilliam street, west one, sheffield s1 


    re-caffeinated and raring to go, it was time to take a route out of the city centre, past the university, and down towards sheffield’s popular botanical gardens. opened in 1836, the gardens cover 19 acres on a south-west sloping site and were laid out by the illustrious horticulturalist and landscape designer robert marnock, in the gardenesque style that was all the rage in victorian britain. the spectacular glass pavilions, listed by english heritage as a grade 2 site of special historic and architectural interest, were designed by b.b. taylor and opened in the same year, and now house a wonderful collection of plants from the temperate regions of asia, the himalayas, the mediterranean, australia, new zealand, and southern africa. it’s the perfect escape from the hustle of the city centre, even if the lawns do become packed with people picnicking on warm, sunny days – even in february! inside the pavilions though, the outside world seems a long way away, the air is still and the only sound the low hum of water filtration trickling through the system.

    sheffield botanical gardens,  clarkehouse road, sheffield s10

    POM kitchen

    after all that walking it was safe to safe i was pretty ravenous, and as i continued my suburban explorations i came across a charming selection of shops along sharrow vale road, and the delightfully named pom kitchen. an australian inspired all day veggie and vegan eatery, the menu is dedicated to vibrant plant-powered dishes that can be enjoyed any time of the day, from supercharged power salads and smoothies to bejewelled open sandwiches and the ubiquitous smashed avocado on toast. i opted for the jazzily named ‘jaffle‘ which was basically an aussie take on a grilled (vegan) cheese sandwich, laden with pesto and sundried tomato. the rest of sharrow vale road held plenty to behold as well, from pom‘s sister fashion & accessory shop a few storefronts down to eve, a coffee shop famous for it’s fresh handmade doughnuts – even if i was too full to give one a try. they did smell amazing though!

    pom kitchen, 388 sharrow vale road, sheffield s11


    i meandered by way back to the  city centre and naturally needed a final caffeine fix before hopping aboard the train back to manchester. tamper coffee was another recommendation from matthew spade, bringing the best of kiwi café culture to the city. there are two outposts; one open-plan venue housed in a white-washed 19th century former silversmiths in the heart of sheffield’s cultural industries quarter, and a more intimate coffee house on westfield terrace that matt suggested i would prefer. i took his recommendation, and settled myself into a cosy corner at the back of the café, armed with my book, an espresso and large slab of coffee cake to fuel me for my journey home. both were delicious, as was the book incidentally – flâneuse by lauren elkin, celebrating all the wonderful women who wandered cities before me.

    tamper coffee, 9 westfield terrace, sheffield s1


    now of course i’ve barely scratched the surface of what sheffield has to offer but what i have seen tells me i’ll definitely be making a trip back again soon. what have i missed? let me know your favourite sheffield haunts in the comments below!

     all photography © fabricofmylife

    The post 12 hours in sheffield appeared first on fabric of my life | UK interior design, lifestyle & travel blog.