Posts Tagged ‘cotton + steel’

Summer Showcase :: The Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae

I am over-the-moon excited to be a part of the Cleo Skirt Summer Showcase today. This simple skirt pattern from Made by Rae is certainly worthy of its own horn-tooting parade.  So much so, I had to make two skirts.Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy Stitch

The first is a swishy, fire-engine red floral rayon from the Rifle Paper and Cotton + Steel collaboration in view b. The second version is in a Loominious woven print from Anna Maria Horner in view a.   Both are pretty fabulous but with such different personalities.  It’s a bit of a study in fabric behavior.

Cleo Summer Showcase

Listen, I want to talk about my Cleo skirts. I do.  But before I get into that, I have to wave some kermit arms of enthusiasm. See, I’m the type of person who is only vaguely aware of celebrities.  Don’t get me wrong, I watch TV and love (albeit mostly indy) movies but when I pick up a People magazine at the doctor’s office I usually think to myself “who are these people? Is that a Kardashian?”.  When I see a celebrity on the street, as happens on the occasional trip into NYC, I usually just stare and try to remember where I know them from. High school? No. Did I take a Mommy and Me class with them? Hmm..who knows?

The real celebrities in my life are fabric and pattern designers. No doubt. My celebrities are the people in the sewing world that have been around since the beginning and have been rocking it ever since. I stumble over my words in front of Christine Haynes and Amy Butler , (both of whom I have met and both were lovely and gracious about my awkwardness).  Rae falls solidly in my celebrity category.  She designs gorgeous fabric, makes fantastic patterns; is funny and quirky and immensely talented.  Swoon!  So, when she messaged me I did a double take, looked for a fainting couch and then out came the kermit arms.  Wahoo!!Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy StitchOf course, the Cleo Skirt is fantastic and is infused with all that awesome Rae-ness.  My red rayon version is fabulous and eye-stopping.  It has side seam pockets and I shortened it to just above the knee. Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy Stitch

Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy Stitch

The number one thing I love about Made by Rae patterns is they are designed with good fit in mind.  The Washi dress, which I consider a garment sewing standard, has an elasticized back bodice so the front fits perfectly tight without being uncomfortable or needing a zipper.  Genius!  The Cleo skirt is designed with the same ideas in mind. It’s adorable and fits well because the back waistband is elastic.  It means it’s cute, comfortable and fits well on a variety of bodies. Boom!

Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy StitchI don’t often wear skirts with a lot of volume at the waist nor do I usually tuck in my shirts, which is why I tried this skirt in rayon.  I was curious if the weight of the fabric and the heavy drape would give it a slimmer look. I would call it a success. On top of that, I love how it moves.

Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy Stitch
Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy StitchSummer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy StitchFor my second skirt, in Loominous, I made it in view A with a contrasting band at the hem.  View A also has open pockets at the waistband, which are easier to access and better for mom wear in my opinion.  There is a bit more volume to this skirt and I’m surprised at just how much I like that.  It’s spring-y and cute but not fussy. Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy StitchSummer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy StitchI had one hell of a time matching stripes on this one! But, I really like how it looks with the stripes turned horizontal. I’ve been hanging onto this fabric for such a long time and I’m so glad I used it on this skirt. It’s so lovely and inventive and I love that it is yarn-dyed.  I think this version is the perfect farmer’s market skirt. Don’t you agree?Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy StitchSummer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy StitchSummer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy StitchBe sure to check out the whole tour!There are loads of amazing Cleo skirts on parade for this summer showcase, like these and this one. Be sure to catch them all. I love catching a glimpse of how different sewists pull together totally different looks with the same pattern.

july 31
vicky / @sewvee /
erin / @hungiegungie /
natalie / @sewhungryhippie / hungryhippie sews
teri / @teridodds1 / fa sew la

august 1
tori / @thedoingthingsblog /
lindsay / @lindsayinstitches
meredith / @thefooshe /
kate / @kate.english

august 2
melissa / @ahappystitch /
julie / @nursebean82 /
lauren / @laurenddesign /

august 3
fleurine / @mariefleurine /
bettina / @stahlarbeit /
allie / @indie_sew /
darci / @darcialexis /
emily / @mycraftylittleself /

august 4
whitney / @whitneydeal /
sienna  /@notaprimarycolor
amy nicole / @amynicolestudio /
kim / @pitykitty
kten / @jinxandgunner /

Selfish Sewing :: The Parision Top in Triplicate because it’s about time I just go overboard already

the parisian top | part of Selfish Sewing Week made by a happy stitch

Yes, I did. I made three of the same top.  Three versions of The Parisian Top from Pattern Anthology. I’m taking the whole Selfish Sewing Week thing quite seriously this time around.  But, ah, this is probably no big surprise because It’s really not news that I love sewing clothes for myself. (more…)

Summer of No Pants :: Inspired Novelty Prints for Dresses and Skirts


Oh friends! I’m so excited!  It’s a full cup of awesome being served here this morning for three great reasons: 1) It is my turn on the Summer of No Pants tour hosted by Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! and I’ve committed to wearing skirts or dresses at least three times a week this summer as a part of the challenge, 2) I’m highlighting my favorite novelty fabric choices for skirts AND dresses and generally drumming up great enthusiasm for busting out some awesome novelty prints for yourself to wear and 3) I’m completely geeking out about being involved in this tour! I love Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! and I’m sort of in awe of that fact that Marigold wanted me to be involved.

I realize #3 is a lot like #1 but I really needed to communicate how fan-girl, crazy honored I am.  Plus, tee hee, this graphic is so clever.  That Marigold, I tell you.


Now that we’ve established a high excitement level, let’s talk novelty prints!

With so many great places to get fabric from these days, such as Spoonflower where you can find all things novelty, and so many emerging designers with an eye for whimsical, playful design paired with sophisticated colors it seems like there has never been a better time to make amazing, grown-up clothing with novelty prints.  I got the novelty fabric bug after I made this Washi dress and my swan dress.  Thing is, I love flowers and everything but the world had lots and lots of flower dresses and striped dresses and solid colored dresses and just not as many playful novelty print dresses.  You know what I mean? It’s time to liven it up.

On top of that, so many modern novelty prints have an almost geometric-like quality that makes them far too interesting for just quilts or dresses for little girls or boys clothing.  They deserve bigger landscapes and worthier showcasing. Finally, the colors being used on many of the better novelty prints work beautifully for women’s clothing…they are more sophisticated and unusual making a dress or skirt interesting instead of cutesy or goofy.

I pulled together a Pinterest board of inspiration here including some great things others have already made like this, this and this.  But, here are the fabric picks that I think are the absolute best and are screaming out to live their lives as dresses and skirts.

For Skirts I picked larger scale prints that would look stunning with a simple black tee and boots or strappy summer sandals (maybe with a mojito in hand):


From Left to Right & Top to Bottom: Frolic Coral from Cotton + Steel; Flamingo Blue of Lulu Magnolia collection from Quilted Fish; Mustang from Cotton + Steel; Mexico Springtime from Sammy K; Elephant and Umbrella from Holli Zollinger; The Fleet in Grey from Michele Brummer Everett (Cloud 9); Slate Grey by Andrea Lauren; Charley Harper Knit from Birch Fabrics; Hot Pink Zebras from Alexander Henry

For Dresses I chose smaller scale prints but I think all of these prints would work for both:


From Top to Bottom and Left to Right: Kitty Dream in Grass from Lizzy House; Fly Aweigh Lobster Red from Riley Blake; August Hide + Seek from Cotton + Steel;  Red Umbrella from New Mom Design; Hopping Along Lotus Pond from Cloud 9 fabrics; Canning party in White from 1canoe2; Anchors in Navy from Dear Stella; Meadowlark from Heather Bailey; Red Balloons from Cloud 9

P.S. I tried, where I could, to link to the best place to highlight these fabrics but I can’t always get direct links.  And, I have to emphasize local fabrics shops as a great source too!

P.P.S. I’ve actually already made a dress in the Red Umbrella fabric up there but I’ve already covered lots of ground, I promise to share it soon!

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