May 10, 2015

Spring 2015 Collection: Smell the Roses!

 
Stitched on white linen with pearl 5 cotton from Weeks Dye Works and DMC

Cottage Roses is the last design in the new spring collection. It is part of my new stitchery series for applique and hand embroidery along with Birds in Flight. I thought it would be great to offer a lower priced set of stitchery patterns to you that you can use on anything you want......these designs lend themselves so well to clothing, bags, quilts, pillows, or a lovely stand alone piece of artwork. There is such a quiet peace in sitting and stitching! I do love that time. In this world of nonstop everything, doing handwork is very grounding and there is something so nice about something you can take with you anywhere and work on it a bit at a time at your whim, using stitches, thread and colors of your own choosing and creating something truly unique.

The pattern includes some tips on technique and how to complete the applique as well as hand embroidery, everything from tracing to stitches that I used. I also add a few embroidery details so that you can use some of my ideas if you want. I fully encourage you to go your own way and make these designs your own, though!

I chose a variety materials for these designs to show their versatility. The main photo is stitched on white linen with pearl 5 threads from Weeks Dye Works and DMC. This particular piece is now stretched and inside an oval frame...perfect for hanging on the wall. There is so much lovely thread on the market! Choose your favorite and enjoy your stitching.

I also used wool from Weeks Dye Works to complete the applique shown in the photos. I particularly love the texture of the pearl 5 on top of the fabric. The details really pop, especially when using a thread that has a lovely variegation.

I offer these designs in a variety of sizes and filled the pattern with as many roses as I could fit, then I give you the option to enlarge or reduce these on a copier to satisfy your own creative desires. I love how versatile these flowers can be, depending on how you want to interpret them with fabric and thread.

I fully plan on adding some of these lovelies to a skirt for the summer. I will love completing the stitching and then getting to wear it during the hot summer days.

Below is our Aspen Tunic with the roses added. You can really see the stitching detail on the close ups of the front and back yokes.

 
 
 
Our Aspen Tunic pattern with Cottage Roses added to the front and back yokes
 
Next up is our Lola Gypsy bag pattern with the roses added. This is the non-ruffled variation of the bag and I think it is the perfect canvas for showing off these pretty blooms!


Our Lola Gypsy bag pattern with Cottage Roses added to the side
 
 

This pattern is available for purchase on our website. Thanks for taking a look and let me know what you think!


Happy Sewing!

May 9, 2015

Spring 2015 Collection: Meet the Birds!

 
Stitched on white linen with pearl 5 thread from Weeks Dye Works


Next up in the spring collection is a new pattern for stitchery or applique, Birds in Flight. It seems that everything comes around in cycles, and applique as well as hand embroidery are enjoying popularity once again. When I was playing around with this idea a few months ago, I originally played around with doing hand embroidery only, but as I thought about it more, there was so much more I could contribute to the design if I expanded it to the realm of applique. For those of you who have been following me the past few years, you may not know that I started out almost exclusively in applique with touches of embroidery. That seems like almost a lifetime ago! It is amazing to look back over the past 14 years to see how my work has evolved. I am forever grateful to the success of those early applique patterns...they fueled my company for many years until the transition to full tissue garments was complete.

I thought it would be great to offer a lower priced set of stitchery patterns to you that you can use on anything you want......these designs lend themselves so well to clothing, bags, quilts, pillows, or a lovely stand alone piece of artwork. There is such a quiet peace in sitting and stitching! I do love that time. In this world of nonstop everything, doing handwork is very grounding and there is something so nice about something you can take with you anywhere and work on it a bit at a time at your whim, using stitches, thread and colors of your own choosing and creating something truly unique.

The pattern includes some tips on technique and how to complete the applique as well as hand embroidery, everything from tracing to stitches that I used. I also add a few embroidery details so that you can use some of my ideas if you want. I fully encourage you to go your own way and make these designs your own, though!

I chose a variety materials for these designs to show their versatility. The main photo is stitched on white linen with pearl 5 threads from Weeks Dye Works. This particular piece is now stretched and inside an oval frame...perfect for hanging on the wall. Weeks has such beautiful thread! It is truly a pleasure to peruse all the wonderful colors!! The only trouble I have is choosing the one I want to stitch with. I also used some of their wool crewel embroidery thread....just wonderful texture!

My personal preference on some of these variations is to do fusible applique and then add some hand embroidered detailing, such as for the flap of our Madison Wallet Bag, shown here. This is the sample I used the wool crewel embroidery thread. It is amazing how just a few simple stitches with a few colors brings an otherwise flat applique piece to life.

 
Fusible machine applique, shown on our Madison Wallet Bag. Fabric featured is Canyon by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics


On another variation, I chose to use fusible machine applique and finish it off with metallic thread on the machine. If you have been following my posts over the last couple of days, you have already gotten a sneak peek of this one. It is our new Ava Sundress with the birds in varying sizes flowing up from the hem of the dress. I used cotton voile for the applique as I wanted a bit of a translucent quality and finished it off with Sulky metallic thread for the detailing. I just used a simple straight stitch for this work and my handy frixion pen for drawing in the details before stitching. Note that the birds go from really large to really small on this variation. In the pattern, I give you several sizes, but also grant permission for you to enlarge or reduce the size of the birds as you see fit on a copier.

 
Close up of the stitching detail on the applique on the Ava Sundress
 
 
Fusible machine applique in cotton voile onto stretch chambray on our Ava Sundress pattern. Stitching detail on the birds was completed with a straight machine stitch in metallic thread.
 
On this chambray dress, I again used the wool crewel embroidery thread for the hand embroidery. You'll be amazed at how fast this work goes. I usually complete the embroidery as I am in the middle of constructing a garment. For this one, I stitched the yoke together, added the embroidery, then finished the construction of the dress. It is easier to get access to the area you want to embellish if you do it this way.

 
Close up of hand embroidery work on front yoke of our Aspen Tunic pattern. Stitching completed with wool crewel thread from Weeks Dye Works.
 
 
Close up of hand embroidery work on back yoke of our Aspen Tunic pattern. Stitching completed with wool crewel thread from Weeks Dye Works.
 
 
I have really piqued my appetite for the work I used to do all the time. It is nice to revisit an old skill and see how it can be made new again. I hope I have inspired you to get out your needles, thread, and fusible products so you can get started with this again! I would love to bring more of these designs to you....my brain is on fire with ideas now!

This pattern is now available for purchase on our website. Thanks for taking a look and let me know what you think!

Happy Sewing!

May 8, 2015

Spring 2015 Collection: Meet Ava!

 
Mid-calf length with contrasting yoke and hemband, made with Hello Darling by Bonnie and Camille for Moda Fabrics

The next design in the spring collection is a throwback to the 70's! Meet the Ava Sundress! I had an old pattern from 1975 in my stash that was calling to me, so I got it out and began looking at the elements I liked. Amazingly, it had great lines but needed a bit of tweaking, so I got to work!

This is a wonderful flowy dress without being too loose. It still has shape while being comfortable to wear. It lends itself to so many different options in fabric! I made several from quilting cotton, but then I branched out and made one from stretch chambray and rayon. It would be fantastic in linen, silk, or even a heavier handed cotton lawn. You might have to line it if made from cotton lawn, depending on the sheerness of the fabric chosen. This dress works incredibly well with border prints as you will see in the photos, so consider using one when making this dress.

This dress is sleeveless. I know a lot of you love sleeves, but this dress would look sort of weird with sleeves, at least in my opinion! If you like the look of the dress but want sleeves, try wearing it with a cropped cardigan. Then you have the sleeves and a cute layered lok without having to alter the pattern.

Design features for this dress include a raised sweetheart neckline that is an easy fit. The yoke is fully lined, so the only facings are very small at the lower armhole openings. The dress itself is darted at the bust for a nice fit. There are princess darts at the front and back waistline as well. The front waistline darts are optional, depending on the fabrics you choose as well as the fit you want. For the rayon version of this dress, I left out the front waistline darts as the fabric was so flowy, it didn't need them. There are three options for the length: knee, mid-calf, and maxi. There is a zipper down the center back. For those of you who hate zippers, this really is an easy one to install, especially if you use MY tutorial for the installation! What are you waiting for?

Additional details for this dress include the options to make the yoke and hemband from a contrasting fabric, or adding machine applique. Note the chambray dress with the bird applique....those birds are a new stitchery pattern that I will be talking about tomorrow!

As mentioned before, these new patterns will go on sale this weekend so stay tuned!

It's time for the photos to do their magic....here's Ava!



Maxi length made from stretch chambray by Robert Kaufman. Note the applique birds here....from our new stitchery pattern, Birds in Flight! Birds were cut from white cotton voile, fused, and stitched with metallic thread on the machine.
 
 
 
Knee length with contrasting ruffle hem, featuring a border print that flows across the dress. Fabric featured here is a floral from Michael Miller Fabrics.
 
 
Maxi length, made from rayon by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit Fabrics.
 
 
Knee length with contrasting yoke and hemband, made from Purebred by Erin Michaels for Moda Fabrics.
 
 
Maxi length with contrasting hemband, made from a border print: Raindot by Michael Miller Fabrics.
 
This pattern is available for purchase on our website now! Go get yours today!!
 
Happy Sewing!!
 
 
 


May 7, 2015

Spring 2015 Collection: Meet Aspen!


 
Long sleeve dress version with border batik print from Alison Glass for Andover fabrics

Hey Everyone! It's that time again! Sorry it has taken me so long to post about the new collection, but preparing for market in Minneapolis next week sort of took all my time like a large hungry beast! The boxes have finally shipped...as of yesterday afternoon and I am finally sighing a tiny bit of relief. So what better time than to share the new stuff with you?

Meet Aspen! I was inspired to create this design because of the Sundance catalog. Have any of you ever heard of it? That catalog is packed with inspiration for design. I simply love the style of what they sell, just not the price! I love turning the pages and dreaming about new designs. Even their jewelry has inspired me! A friend of mine and I coin their look as "Aspen Cowgirl"....a little bit country, with a whole lot of sass.

Aspen is an easy to sew design that can be worn as a tunic or dress. This style is very versatile and stitches up great in a variety of fabrics. I have chosen some interesting ones and will detail my choices with each photo.

This is a pull-over design, so you don't have to worry about a zipper. The waist is elastic, making it easy to customize to however loose or fitted you would like. The yoke is offered with a button or snap closure, or you can opt to cut it on the fold and skip that part entirely. You don't need to unfasten the yoke to pull it over your head! I have offered two sleeve lengths, short and three-quarter, for those of you who like to have a little more length on your sleeve. Of course, the length of the tunic itself is completely customizable to your personal tastes. You will see in the photos that I have played around a bit with a narrow hem as well as a wide or narrow ruffle.

As for design details, you will see some embroidery and applique on a few of the samples....hold tight! Those are offered as a separate pattern that I worked up for you to use on any sort of project. Those will be shown in the coming days, so consider this your sneak peek into those!

Here is the gallery for Aspen:

 
Short sleeve dress version with a layered skirt and narrow ruffle trim, made from Sentimental Studio's Regent Street cotton lawn for Moda Fabrics
 
 
Long sleeve tunic version made from Amy Butler's Hapi cotton voile for Westminster Fabrics
 
 
Long sleeve dress version with wide ruffle hem and hand embroidered yoke (from a new pattern!!), made with Union Chambray from Robert Kaufman Fabrics
 
 
Short sleeve tunic length with yoke cut on the fold, made from Urban Chik's Nomad for Moda Fabrics
 
 
Long sleeve dress length version made from the Whisper collection by Michael Miller Fabrics. Note the hand embroidered details added to the fabric design....I can really find ways to make a project take a long time!!
 
 
Short sleeve tunic version with a narrow ruffle hem, made from clipdot fabric by Michael Miller Fabrics. Note the wool applique roses with hand embroidered details....new pattern coming for that!
 
I hope you have enjoyed looking at Aspen! This pattern is available for purchase on our website.
 
Happy Sewing!
 
 
 


October 12, 2014

Fall 2014 Collection: Meet Rhiannon!

 
regular hem, plain sleeve finish
Art Gallery Winged cotton voile featured

The last design in the fall collection is the Rhiannon shirt. Yes, I named this after the famous Fleetwood Mac song! This shirt is SO EASY to make! With only three main pattern pieces and a folded front facing, it stitches up so fast you will need more than one. Inspired by an expensive shirt that I saw in a catalog, I immediately thought to myself, "There's nothing to this design! I can get that whipped up in no time!" So that's what I did.

It has raglan sleeves, a very relaxed neckline that you customize to fit you, options for the length, and a simple elastic casing at the sleeve. You can opt to embroider the neckline as I have shown in one of the variations. I did not include any embroidery designs with the pattern as I made up what I did based on the contrasting fabric that is sewn to the bottom of the shirt. You could easily do the same or even use some machine embroidery on the design to make it fast and easy.

I like the look of the shirt either tucked in or belted, but feel free to wear it however you like. I think it is great with leggings as a tunic or with a cute pair of jeans. Let your imagination run wild!

Recommended fabrics for this design are: cotton lawn or voile, rayon, lightweight eyelet, or silk. I do not recommend regular quilting cotton for this design as it needs more drape. If you find a really silky cotton (like what Art Gallery offers), then it would probably work well.

The stock for this pattern will be here NEXT WEEK (week of Oct. 13), so we'll be busy getting the new designs listed on the website for your ordering convenience.

Here are the variations for the shirt along with fabric information.

 
Regular hem with ruffle added to lower edge, regular sleeve finish
Art Gallery Emmy Grace by Bari J. cotton voile featured
 
 
shirttail variation with tiny ruffled edge, regular sleeve finish
Liberty of London cotton lawn fabric featured
 
 
regular length with wide lace trim added, regular sleeve finish
lightweight eyelet fabric featured
 
 
regular length, folded ruffle option on sleeve
Westminster Amy Butler's Alchemy rayon fabric featured
 
 
regular length with contrasting ruffle added, regular sleeve finish, with hand embroidery embellishment at the neckline
Westminster solid cotton voile with Art Gallery Indelible cotton voile contrast
 
Happy Sewing!
 
 
 
 





October 11, 2014

Fall 2014 Collection: Meet Dakota!



 
knee length, folded collar, back button tab, with silk embroidery embellishment
charcoal Matka silk (available from www.bblackandsons.com)


The second design for the fall collection is the Dakota Duster. This is an unlined jacket that stitches up quickly. Design features include princess seaming, set in sleeves, and the option of making it fingertip or knee length. The princess seaming is flattering and at the same time really lends a flowing quality to this jacket that I love and the weight of it is perfect for cool days when a couple of layers are excellent.

I gave you a couple of options for the neckline. You can choose a small folded collar or a Mandarin collar that stands up nicely. There are also options to add in-seam pockets to the side fronts as well as button tabs, scalloped back yoke, and layered ruffles to the center back. You also have the option to add contrasting fabric to accent different parts of the jacket, an option to add ruffles to the sleeves, and a sweet ruffled flower for the front.

The construction is very straightforward and you'll be glad to know that the facing is incorporated into the center front so that it is folded around to the wrong side. That means no separate facing to worry about! I think it leaves a more professional finish and is quicker to stitch as well. I chose to serge the seams and press them open throughout the instructions. This is great for smooth seams and optional topstitching, as was completed for the faux suede jacket.

The recommendations for fabric are many! I would highly recommend Matka silk, linen, faux suede, twill, velveteen, corduroy, lightweight wool, and denim to name a few. Simply the choice of fabric with your personal preference on design details guarantees that you'll have a one of a kind jacket that suits your style. Don't forget to raid the vintage button box! This jacket is a perfect place to flaunt a set of beautiful buttons!

Here are the details regarding the samples you will see in the pattern along with the fabric information (as I have it).

We are expecting the stock to be in NEXT WEEK, (week of Oct. 13), so we'll be busy getting the new designs listed to the website for your ordering convenience.

 
knee length, folded collar, front in-seam pockets, back yoke and button tab
Shannon fabrics cuddle faux suede featured
I LOVE this fabric! It is so easy to stitch and the result is really like suede. You won't believe it!
 
 
Front View of faux suede jacket
 
 
fingertip length, Mandarin collar, 3/4 length sleeves, back button tab
Westminster Amy Butler Alchemy linen featured
 
 
fingertip length, folded collar, center back ruffles and button tab, ruffle trim on sleeves, & ruffle flower on jacket front featured in gray linen
 
 
Back View of linen jacket
 
 
knee length, folded collar, in-seam pockets, button tab
contrast fabric used on collar, pockets, button tab and sleeve edges
Moda Mixologie linen fabric featured
 
 
fingertip length, Mandarin collar, in-seam pockets, scalloped back yoke with purchased sew-on applique embellishment in cream linen
 
 
Back View
 
 
knee length, Mandarin collar, in-seam pockets, and center back ruffles
Moda enzyme washed linen
 
 
Back View
 
 
Happy Sewing!

October 10, 2014

Fall 2014 Collection: Meet Isabella!


 
knee length, short sleeves, sweetheart neckline
Moda Gardenvale fabric featured

It's that time of year again! I am not sure where summer went, but it was full of activity and fun. Now the light outside is beginning to change and the leaves are falling. Hopefully, the temps in Texas will be too, soon. It is October, after all!

I have been hard at work getting the fall designs together and today I reveal the first of three designs, the Isabella Dress! A version of this dress has been floating around in my brain for a while and it was finally time to get it into fabric. It is a VERY retro shirtdress design with a curved waistline, gathered bodice, and princess seaming in the skirt. I decided to provide a couple of neckline options: V-neck or sweetheart. The front bodice of either works beautifully with the rest of the pattern pieces, so there is only one facing and front to worry about changing out to switch the look. There are also two different length set-in sleeves and a variety of skirt lengths to suit whatever look you are after.

I found that this dress is a fantastic companion piece for a jacket, as its slim silhouette works well underneath. Depending on the design details and fabric you choose, you can have a wonderful casual tunic to wear with leggings or an elegant dress with heels, and really anything in between. I would say that my favorite length for this dress is the knee length, but I really like the way it stitched up in every length.

Even though this design is rather slim, the A-line princess seaming in the skirt and elevated waistline are truly flattering. You won't believe how skinny this dress can make you look!

You will see that the waistline is accented with tiny piping. If you haven't ever made or sewn with piping, it is really easy, so don't let that distract you. All you will need is a zipper foot and some cording and you'll be good to go! You also have the option to finish out the front with buttons or snaps. I added snaps to the butterfly fabric tunic and they were so easy to install. I love the look and ease of wear with snaps. I think I'll definitely be using more of them in the future!

If you have never worked with snaps, I highly recommend that you check out Snap Source. They have wonderful snaps and their tool is THE BEST, hands down. No clumsy pliers that only work about half the time....check them out! You won't be sorry.

This dress works well in a variety of fabrics. I suggest cotton, cotton lawn or voile, rayon, silk, or lightweight linen. There are other wovens that I am sure I am not thinking of now that would also work well, but this is a good starting list for fabrics to consider for the design.

So, here are some variations of the new dress along with design details and fabric info.

The new stock should be here NEXT WEEK (week of Oct. 13), so we'll be working to get the new designs up on the website for you to order.

 
below knee length, short sleeves, V-neck
Riley Blake The Cottage Garden fabric featured
 
 
tunic length, elbow length sleeve, V-neck (snap closure)
Art Gallery Winged fabric featured
 
 
knee length, short sleeve, V-neck
Free Spirit Fabric Dowry by Anna Maria Horner featured
 
 
above knee length, short sleeves, V-neck
Moda Color Theory fabric featured
 
 
above knee length, short sleeve, sweetheart neckline
Moda Regent Street cotton lawn fabric featured
 
 
below knee length, elbow length sleeve, sweetheart neckline
Michael Miller Emma's Garden fabric featured
 
 
knee length, short sleeve, V-neck
Windham Cascade fabric featured
 
 
Back View
 
 
Happy Sewing!