Yesterday marked the start of Selfish Sewing Week hosted by Imagine Gnats (Make for yourself! All week!) and I was so excited to be asked to participate as a featured maker. I got to choose a pattern from the collection of giveaway patterns and I picked the Olivia bag pattern from Chris W Designs. I am so dorkishly happy with my new bag! Oh man, look at this crazy bag. Vespas! Teal! Stripes! It’s pure love. The pattern includes all manner of crazy pockets and places for keeping all the stuff organized…and I mean all the stuff. I’m not joking, the pattern includes two exposed pockets on the outside, two different zipper pockets, side-of-the-bag pockets & patch pockets on the inside. I seriously paired this puppy down. I love pockets but living near New York City has taught me to avoid any and all pockets on the outside of a bag (mostly because things fall out of outside pockets and get lost in the melee) so I skipped them with the exception of one zippered pocket. Plus, I really wanted to show off this fantastic vespa print and pockets would have only interrupted the amazingness going on with all of those teal blue vespas and berry stripes (the fabric is from Echino, I got it at my favorite fabric shop Rock Paper Scissors). I mean, how much do we love the Echino fabric? With vespas? I couldn’t stop myself from buying this! Oh Echino, what you do to me! I played around with lots of details. The fabric itself has the great panel of stripes and I tried to line them up as well as possible. It was harder than it looks to get that zipper placket as close as I did! I kept the handle stripes and zipper placket stripes on the same side. I wanted to have stripes on both sides of the bag but to do that my vespas would have been upside down so the back of the bag doesn’t have stripes on it. Inside the bag is also wild, with bits of leftover Kokka designed by Ellen Lucket Baker of The Long Thread. I used bit of leather for the strap attachments and I like how it looks..just a bit of neutral in the sea of bright colors. Can you spot the wee bit of Echino selvedge there at the end of the strap? Even their selvedge is so fantastic I had to use it. This week is filling up with all kinds of crazy already with upcoming travel plans, a birthday and tons of classes to prepare for. So, I’m really going to have to squeeze in my selfish sewing but my hope is to finish a wall quilt. Don’t you know that the walls of my home, outside of my studio, have all kinds of artwork but none of my own? How silly is that? This week I’m working on a quilt to change that. It’s going up on the wall for everyone to see. Guess I will have selfish sewing to thank for that courageous act. *beam* Be sure to check out all of the other amazing sewists joining in with Selfish Sewing Week: milkybeer · Behind the Hedgerow · jm_subrn · Sew What, Sherlock? Lladybird · sew Amy sew · the Brodrick Design Studio · adirondack inspired The Crooked Banana · Sewbon · Idle Fancy · girl like the sea oona aloona · Lauren Dahl · verypurpleperson · la inglesita Groovybaby…and mama · Buzzmills · La Pantigana · sew a straight line Dandelion Drift · JustMeJay · B Yazoo · Disaster In A Dress the quirky peach · Fishsticks Designs · Seamstress Erin · a happy stitch Casa Crafty · Sarah Jane Sews · YoSaMi · Call Ajaire · miss matatabi And, do not forget to enter the giveaway Rafflecopter giveaway If you are sewing along with Selfish Sewing Week be sure to share what you are making on Kollabura, and use the hashtags #selfishsewing, #ssw or #selfishsewingweek. Have fun! Sewing for yourself isn’t really selfish, of course, but it’s a great excuse to just own it, take a week and indulge in making something that makes you happy.
Archive of ‘pattern’ category
Prepare yourself for some serious cuteness. Honestly, hold onto your ovaries ladies because scrumptious baby cheeks, huge baby eyes and tiny little hands in an adorable sleep sack are about to come barreling straight at you!
All of this cuteness is courtesy of Ana from StraightGrain and her amazing new Lua Sleep Sack pattern.
I was thrilled when Ana asked me to pattern test for her (me along with 39 other people…this is one well-tested pattern) because two friends of mine had babies recently and I hadn’t really done much for them. Plus, I love all of the Straight Grain patterns but never have the chance to use them as they are for girl clothing. Straight Grain does have an adorable (& free!) baby/toddler bean bag pattern that I’ve been eager to try out.
Of course, two babies meant I had to pull together two sleep sacks, which I thought was going to be a big job. It turned out to be no big deal because the pattern comes together so easily.
As luck would have it, one of the babies fell asleep right away. Those silly unpredictable babies missing out on their modeling opportunities! So, I had lots of time to get pictures of the sleep sacks on this lovely lady. Look at how adorably snuggly this sleep sack is (and, yes, the baby too)!
This pattern is fantastic. It comes with the option to add piping and a contrast color at the top. I added piping to both sleep sacks because I love piping and think it made the sleep sacks instantly more ’boutique’ looking. It has a side, invisible zipper and buttons at the top. I was a bit nervous about the buttons, to be honest, but Ana’s pattern instructions include the most thorough and thoughtful way to securely attach buttons. In fact, she cautions against using snaps in case they come loose. I’ve never had a problem with loose snaps but apparently Ana has. Long story short, these buttons aren’t going anywhere as they are secured three different times in the most secure method I’ve seen! Most importantly, this sleep sack comes together easily, more easily than I expected and I learned a lot from making it. I love when that happens.
I made the second sleep sack in this lovely gold and mint chevron from Michael Miller Fabrics. Aren’t you impressed with how well my chevrons lined up around that piping?! I was pumping my fist in the air after that success, let me tell you.
As you can see, modeling is hard work and my model started to fall asleep.
Yup. She totally FELL ASLEEP in the SLEEP SACK. I cannot guarantee that result every time but it was pretty fortuitous, don’t you think?
And, right about the time she nodded off, this guy woke up bright and lively as ever! Hello little man! Meet the camera. 🙂
The pattern is for sale in Ana’s shop for only $6 but if you use the code: LUALAUNCH you get $1 off.
At $6 this pattern is a bargain but at $5 it’s a steal. Especially if you have any babies in your world, I plan on making lots of these for baby showers and new baby gifts. It’s perfect and a faster gift than a baby quilt.
p.s. Yes! I’m back from Sew Down Nashville and I have so much to share with you. Just haven’t fully gathered all of my thoughts yet.
I cannot stop making clothing for myself. It’s taken over my life, guys. Every waking moment is spent dreaming about my current project. I am not exaggerating. I open my eyes in the morning and think about things like fitting sleeves in armholes and how to attach bias binding. It’s insane. I love it.
When I showed a student of mine my first Wiksten Tova dress she commented, “I love this dress. I could make seven of these for a whole week’s worth.” And just like that I entertained just that idea. A whole week of Tovas! I’m not there yet but this is my second Wiksten Tova dress and it’s a wonderful lightweight voile fabric & fully lined, once again.
The fabric is from Mood in NYC. It had no designer or fabric manufacturer information on it. It’s lightweight and breezy & that is about as much as I know.
By the way, I feel like Mood Fabrics has this almost mythical-like reputation but in real-life it is kind of insane. Fabric stacked on fabric in a dusty window-less space. Sometimes you have to get on your knees on the crappy carpeted floor just to SEE the fabric. There are banged-up file cabinets just laying around the place. It’s all part of the charm but I get overwhelmed in a matter of minutes when I’m there. Just so you know.
The cuffs and front bib area have a contrasting fabric, also from Mood with no identifying information. It’s a sweet, lightweight, subtle fabric. If you follow me on instragram you know that I accidentally washed these two fabrics together and the contrast fabric is a bit pinker as a result. Doh! Such a rookie mistake. I was so frustrated but everyone reassured me that it looked ok & I do like the end result.
Once again I am impressed with the fit and shape of this Wiksten. Making it a second time it came together so quickly. My only concern is that with such lightweight, drapy fabric it’s a little short and I’d be nervous wearing it without leggings or jeans in case of an outfit mishap. Other than that, I’m thrilled to have another everyday dress in my ever-expanding handmade closet.
I took one of those Buzzfeed quizzes they other day. It told me I was Bjork and I balked. I’m not quite that quirky! No offense to Bjork but, seriously, her & me…just not that similar. And then I remembered that I was making a swan dress and I had to laugh at myself. So I suppose this is technically my Bjork moment because check out my swan dress!
The fabric is from Michael Miller, it’s called swan dive, and similar to the coral dot fabric of this dress, it’s ‘hi-density’ which gives it just a little more drape and makes it more amenable to garment sewing than standard quilting cotton.
I’ll be honest, I was really nervous that I might end up hating this dress. I’m not normally into using a novelty print for my clothes. My friend Kait at Michael Miller (otherwise known as “the fabric dealer keeping this junkie hooked”) assured me it was going to be great when I hesitantly told her, “I might be nuts but I just really want to make a swan dress!”.
Kait was right. It is great. I love my swan dress! The pattern repeat is small enough that it works. (Perhaps I need more novelty print dresses? Not sure. Anybody else use novelty prints in your own clothing? What’s your philosophy on that one? )
The pattern is from the amazing deer & doe pattern company. They are out of France and I’m in love with everything they are putting out these days. The patterns are simple and clear. This dress has a fake front button placket and a side zipper.
As happens with many fitted dresses, I had to scale out from the bust to the waist and hips to different sizes because my body is different sizes at those places. It was a fairly straightforward adjustment. Next time, I need to further adjust the bust area and take in a bit of the hip. Otherwise, the fit is great and it’s cute and comfortable. I’m also eager to try out a few different collars. Wouldn’t this be cute with a peter pan collar? Or a tie-front collar? I’m searching for a soft, simple chambray for the next one…more of an everyday wear kind of dress.
Are you starting to feel spring coming on? Is it influencing what you want to sew? I can’t stop making summer clothing despite steady rain and nippy weather. Get here already spring! I’ve got a swan dress to flaunt.
disclosure: I was given the opportunity to choose this fabric from Michael Miller without any additional compensation or stipulation. My opinions about it are my own.
I got a little fancy pants, y’all!
It was the least I could do after being invited to be involved in the wonderful launch of the Perfect Pattern Parcel.
If you haven’t already heard, the Perfect Pattern Parcel is this crazy great pattern sale brought to life by the wonderful minds of Jill at Made with Moxie and Rachael at Imagine Gnats.
Here is how it works: you buy a package of patterns supporting indie designers, at a price of your choosing (yep, you pick the price), and that money is divided between the designers AND a charity that helps teachers. I know, it’s a lot of amazing-ness to take in. At the end of the day you get a slew of great patterns, indie designers get support/love, and teachers get cash to build better learning environments.
Hello! That is worth getting fancy for. The sale is for a limited time and it ends tomorrow. So, get on it.
The patterns included in this sweet little package are:
Accordion Bag by Sew Sweetness
Summer Concert Tee by Dixie DIY
Ava by Victory Patterns
The Skater Dress by Kitschycoo
Dandelion Dress & Top by Disparate Disciplines
I jumped at the chance to make the Ava Top. It looked like a challenge and I’ve been eager to challenge myself lately. I stitched it up with a lovely swiss dot-like sheer fabric I had on hand and Art Gallery Sweet Nostalgia fabric on the bottom portion.
The Ava Top is really fun, it felt very satisfying to successfully make something fancy & outside of the norm for my extremely casual wardrobe. It had some tricky bits as well…a side zipper and fitted bodice. I was looking for a top to wear out for drinks with my girlfriends and this top fits the bill.
That sweetheart neckline up there. Oh yeah, that intimidated the heck out of me. But it worked! The pattern is clear and straightforward and it made those intimidating things easy to accomplish.
That said, I don’t fit into this top very well. I’ll need to make some adjustments next time around. What is that you said? I should probably have made a muslin to tweak for fit before cutting into the good stuff? Well, yes, I should have. Thank you for that lecture.
The main issue is that my (ahem) bust doesn’t fill out this top and it gapes a bit at the armholes as a result. It’s also got a bit of fun flounce to it but a bit too much for a girl with hips like mine. I think it would be perfect in a knit…kind of like this Wonder Woman mash-up by Kitschy Coo or this one from Crafterhours! It’s not that I won’t wear it, I just wish it fit perfectly, you know?
Want to know more? You will find tons of details over here at Jill’s blog and enter the humonguous giveaway here (with over $250 in prizes!).
Be sure to check out all of the incredible things made by all the bloggers participating in the Perfect Pattern Parcel launch:
One Little Minute
One Girl Circus
the quirky peach
the Brodrick blog
sew a straight line
Adventures in Dressmaking
Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts
Diary of a Chainstitcher
four square walls
mingo & grace
Froo & Boo
Disaster in a Dress
Things for Boys
mama says sew
sew Amy sew
Sew Busy Lizzy
Made With Moxie
Disclosure: I was given this parcel of patterns and agreed to make one of my choice and discuss it here. All of my opinions about this fantastic support of indie pattern designers are my own.
I’ve been feeling a little bad about how all of my sewing has been for myself lately. I mean, it has been one thing after another for me, me, me around here. What’s up with that? Aren’t sewing mama’s supposed to be all giving and whatnot?
Then it hit me…the boys aren’t excited when I sew for them lately. And, my husband, bless his Irish heart but with him it’s mostly understood that anything I make for him I do for the fun of making it not because he wanted it.
The things these people NEED are frankly a little boring to make and can be purchased at a used clothing shop for $2.50 each. Bam. My closet just got happier & more carefree.
This breezy, pleated tank top is a particularly happy one. It’s made using a free pattern, the famous Sorbetto from Collette Patterns and I got the fabric for a steal at a yard sale. Considering how expensive sewing can get sometimes, this feels good. The Sorbetto is such a basic pattern that it’s really easy to alter and indeed, I played around with the pattern a little.
For starters, I used bias tape (as the pattern calls for) on the neck and shoulders but moved it inside the top thereby narrowing the shoulder straps and exaggerating the scoop neck a little. I also inverted the front pleat to make it less obvious than the in the pattern and I didn’t enclose the pleat at the bottom because I wanted a more a-line, flow-y look. It’s kind of a hippy, summer love shirt. For me.
Has this we-don’t-need-you-to-sew-for-us thing happened to any other sewists out there? Is it because I have boys? Does your family love when you make things for them or is it sometime a labor of (your) love? All the bloggy pictures out there seem to be filled with happy recipients.
I’m not going to be able to participate in the upcoming KCW because I will be away and I’m sad because I haven’t missed one in a long time but also need some time to brainstorm something fun to sew that the boys will love. A dapper hat, maybe? Might be time to get more inventive with t-shirt stencils. I’m open to any ideas. Of course, I will be here (yay!) so I’m not all that sad to miss KCW.
This is the pattern company whose name I hear echoing in the wide, open spaces of every fabric shop…Wiksten…W i k s t e n…. W i k s t e n. As a skeptic, I wondered what all the fuss was about for patterns in the $20 range. I mean, that just feels pricy.
It’s undeniable, however, that everything I came across made from a Wiksten pattern was somehow simply amazing. Not flashy or complicated but just seemed to fit right and look great in an easy-breezy, perfect kind of way. So, when I discovered the digital pattern for $10, I bought it. I really, really hate piecing together pattern pieces. Like full-on despise it. When it means I save almost $15, however, I will slap a smile on my face and happily piece together a digital pattern. I guess I can be bought. 🙂
I love my Wiksten Tova dress, it is as good as they say. The fabric is from my stash, the very, very special section of my stash of Pendleton Wool. My great-grandmother worked for Pendleton, the Omaha branch, and she and my grandmother had tons of their lightweight wool. When my grandma moved into a smaller apartment I was given all of her Pendleton. I know. Amazing. Trust me, I know how lucky I am.
I really like this dress. The wool is perfect, it keeps me warm and it has enough weight that this tunic-like length doesn’t feel like something someone my age shouldn’t wear. I did line it with a thin red polyester fabric because otherwise the wool would stick to my leggings and the lining keeps it from being a dress I have to fuss with. I also altered the neck facing. The pattern calls for a neckband twice the size of what I made. I just wanted a simpler neckband.
As you can see the side seams don’t line up AT ALL, which made me a little self-conscious at first. I decided I’m going to focus on how well the front bodice seams do line up instead of worry about the side seams. Ok, those aren’t PERFECT either but I’m not one to worry about perfection.
I’m happy with the dress and psyched about the pattern.
For whatever reason, though, I have the hardest time picking fabric for this dress. With uber-plain fabric it seems so boring (although lots of people are rocking it with the plain but sophisticated look) but with bold fabric it’s a bit like fancy scrubs. Example A is my version of the top in some long-hoarded Lotta Jandotter fabric:
Oops. If you’ve got any tips for picking fabric for my next one, I am all ears! Especially tips on how to mix and match fabric for the bib and main dress body! I’m terrified of doing that but really want to!
It’s the first day of Kid’s Clothes Week, the winter edition! I’m posting about this little Oliver + S outfit to kick things off. It’s the playtime dress and leggings pattern combination and it’s painfully adorable. Especially on my beautiful little friend here. Isn’t she the cutest? I can’t even handle it.
I got to make this dress and leggings as a sample for my upcoming class at Rock Paper Scissors. I can’t wait to teach this one. Leggings, my friends, are so darn easy to make! If I had girls I would make so many leggings! I’m going to attempt to make some for myself for sure.
The dress comes together easily and the instructions are clear and professional. This was my first time using an actual Oliver + S pattern, though I’ve sewn things from their book Little Things to Sew. Liesl, the pattern maker behind Oliver + S is a true pro and it shows in this pattern. She writes a straightforward, clear pattern with little details that take the dress beyond plain jane and make it look store-bought in the good way.
I’m not sure what the fabric is, unfortunately. Both the pattern and the fabric were shipped to me for the purposes of making the sample so I didn’t catch the name of the adorable bike fabric. Edited to add: the fabric is Bike it, it comes from Jan Cyn Designs for Birch Organic Fabrics.
It is a knit fabric but a sturdy knit so it sews easily and makes for a warmer dress. The pattern is written for either woven or knit fabric, which makes it really versatile.
I’ve been making a lot more out of knit fabrics these days and I have to say that learning to sew (mostly) confidently with knits has been the most useful expansion of my sewing skills ever! It’s what the boys want to wear, which mean I can stitch up everyday clothes for them! Ok, one more photo of J and the cuteness that is his best buddy.
Now that you are distracted by all those cute pictures, it’s time for the confession.
There are great downsides associated with being the child of a sewing mama. The biggest downside, of course, is that by virtue of the fact that your mama CAN make you things like pants and winter hats you don’t actually HAVE any of those things because they are buried on sewing mama’s To-Do list.
My poor ragamuffin children. C is literally wearing sweatpants with knee holes in them every single day and both boys have hats with holes big enough that their hair pokes out. Did I mention we are in the midst of a polar vortex in these parts? Oh yeah, it’s really, really cold in these parts. Way too cold for them to have aerated clothing.
Kid’s Clothes Week to the rescue. KCW, one hour of sewing for kids every day all week, is always my best motivator for ticking things off the old To-Do list.
Do I actually have a list you are asking? No, not yet. Do I have patterns ready and fabric set aside? I do not. None of those things. I have a will. That’s what I got.
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