October 15, 2015

Fall 2015 Collection: Meet Kaylee!



Priory Square cotton voile by Art Gallery Fabrics
tunic length, high-low hem, drawstring waist

And last but certainly not least, our final reveal of the Fall Collection: The Kaylee Tunic! I wanted to design a tunic that could also be a shirt or dress that would be flowy and fun to wear. The Kaylee has an adjustable waistline that you can either finish out with elastic or a drawstring tie that has been so popular in the Claire Cami, Diane Kimono, and Tara Tank dress patterns. This is a great pattern for sewers who are just getting into garment making. Since there is no zipper, the construction is a snap!

Shannon Fabrics Embrace double gauze with lace yoke, lower sleeve, & skirt
shirt length with elastic waist
 

Shannon Fabrics double gauze with lace yoke and overlays on lower sleeve and skirt
tunic length with elastic waist
 

The Kaylee features a lined yoke (unless you are making the lace or knit version), slightly raised waistband, and a skirt with the option of a regular or high-low hem. The sleeve is three quarter length and features a slightly gathered sleeve cap and lower sleeve.

Cotton lawn print
dress length with tiny ruffle detail on hem, elastic waist

Design options include a lace yoke and lower sleeves/skirt, using 2 or more fabrics, using a silk ribbon for the tie, adding applique & embroidery to the yoke, or adding a tiny ruffle to the hemline.

Shannon Fabrics Embrace double gauze featuring applique from our Birds in Flight stitchery pattern and hand embroidery.
dress length with high-low hemline and silk ribbon tie waist

I think the best fabric options are lightweight and flowy, so that the tunic has nice drape. Recommended fabrics are: double gauze, cotton lawn, cotton voile, rayon, silk, or lightweight linen.

Amy Butler rayon border print for Westminster Fabrics
dress length with regular hem and drawstring waist

The pattern instructions include details for how to make the lace yokes as well as the faux insertion lace sections on the lower skirt and sleeves. Tissue sheets are included for 7 sizes.

Idle Wild knit for Riley Blake Fabrics
tunic length with contrasting yokes and hembands, elastic waist
 

Cotton lawn prints
shirt length, contrasting yoke, waistband, and hembands, drawstring waist
 

We expect the pattern stock to arrive late this week. We'll be adding this design to the website and everything should be ready to ship by Friday!

Happy Sewing!

October 14, 2015

Fall 2015 Collection: Meet Corinne!

Glitz Metallic Confetti border print (black and silver) from Michael Miller fabrics
caftan length, three quarter length sleeves

The first clothing reveal for the Fall Collection is the Corinne Caftan. I was inspired by the caftans of days past to create a design that flatters everyone and is comfortable to wear. This design can be worn as tunic length to wear with skinny jeans or leggings, or as caftan length to wear as a dress. The longer length also looks great with leggings. Dress up the look with some tall boots or go casual with flats. The possibilities are endless!

Melody Miller's Mustang border print for Cotton + Steel by RJR Fabrics,
accented with Amy Butler True Colors print
tunic length, elbow length sleeve, waistband and yoke contrast



Design options are a cap, elbow, three quarter, or full length sleeve with or without contrasting hem, contrasting front waistband, deep front and back yokes, yoke contrast trim, and a tie belt.

Alison Glass' Handcrafted 2 Plume Batik border print for Andover Fabrics

The caftan has a side zipper and princess seaming, which will allow for you to flow from one size to another for a great custom fit.

Chandelier Metallic by Studio M for Moda Fabrics with Moda Bella Solid contrast
Caftan length, full length sleeves with wide contrast, tie belt, & yoke contrast
Note that the solid portions have had a decorative machine stitch in gold metallic thread.

The caftan lends itself well to the use of coordinating fabrics, as you can choose to accent different parts of the design. Be sure to consider border prints, as several of the samples shown were sewn with these types of fabrics. Working with a border print takes a little extra time to plan the cutting, but the results are fantastic!

Rashida Coleman Hale's Good Fortune for Cotton + Steel by RJR Fabrics
tunic length, cap sleeves, tie belt, and yoke trim contrast
Note that this sample was worn with leggings, boots, and a long sleeved lace shirt underneath

I think the yokes would be great with some embroidery added, so keep that in mind when you are creating your own special look.

Chatsworth by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake
caftan length, elbow length sleeves, yoke trim contrast, and tie belt

All of our clothing patterns are featured on tissue in 7 sizes with full explanation of all the variations seen in the photos.

Amy Butler's Violette for Westminster Fabrics, accented with Joel Dewberry Hexagons and Jennifer Paganelli cuff link prints
caftan length, cap sleeve, tie belt, and front contrasting yoke

We expect our stock to arrive by the end of this week. We'll be adding this design to our website and we'll keep you updated on when they are ready to go out the door.

Happy Sewing!

October 13, 2015

Fall 2015 Collection: Meet Margo!


The second reveal of the Fall 2015 Collection is the Margo Wallet Bag. I decided to create another wallet style pattern since Madison has been such a hit. We are currently waiting on the reprint of Madison so we can start shipping her out again. The new stock and reprints should arrive by the end of this week.

Alison Glass' Ex Libris prints for Andover Fabrics

Margo is a great little bag, and you will see that the card pocket panel is stashed underneath the flap on the front exterior. This makes your cards accessible without having to dig around on the inside of the bag for anything. The flap has a turn lock to keep everything secure, yet easy to access. I also added a zippered pocket to the back exterior for a phone or other small accessories.

Shannon Fabrics Cuddle (Faux) Suede with Riley Blake Parisian pockets and lining

The interior of the bag features another zippered pocket and large patch pockets to help keep you organized. This bag is small but mighty! It will amaze you how much you can carry around in it for its size. The strap is adjustable so you can wear it cross body or over one shoulder.

Fog City Kitty by Pam Kitty Morning for Lakehouse Fabrics with contrasting lower exterior

You can use a wide variety of fabrics for this bag, such as quilting cotton, faux suede, linen, lightweight denim, chambray, batiks, lightweight corduroy, lightweight wool, etc. Be mindful of the weight of the fabric as really heavy fabrics would overwhelm this design as well as make it difficult to handle during construction.

Exterior of faux suede bag with flap closed

I used a combination of stabilizers for this bag. After making several prototypes, I concluded that making the entire exterior from Pellon's Deco-Fuse 520 would be too difficult, so I swapped out for a foam stabilizer (Pellon's new Flex Foam one sided fusible) as the base for the exterior. I still wanted a sturdy base for the bag, so I added the Deco-Fuse 520 to the base of the lining. It worked out great and made the bag so much easier to stitch together, while still lending the needed structure.

Mama Said Sew, Volume II by Sweetwater for Moda with contrasting lower exterior

Lastly, I get all my hardware from The Buckle Guy. If you have not checked out their website, I highly recommend that you do. Their hardware comes in a variety of metal finishes and has nice sturdy construction. I have never had any hardware from them that I didn't love. You need to check them out!

Zombie Love by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake Fabrics
 
We expect the stock of this new bag to arrive by the end of this week. We are working to get these posted to the website and will send out notice when they are up for sale and ready to ship out!
 
Happy Sewing!

October 12, 2015

Fall 2015 Collection: Meet Cheyenne!

Kaufman Newcastle denim with batik lining,
featuring hand embroidery from our Cottage Roses Stitchery pattern

Well, it's that time of year again! I have been hard at work designing the fall collection. I have four new designs to share with you for the fall. It has been a while since I released any new bags, so there are two new ones in this collection for you to enjoy!

The Cheyenne Rope Bag is the first reveal of the fall collection. I have been wanting to design a backpack, but didn't really want two straps. I guess it is because a lot of us never use both straps and then the one that isn't being used just sort of dangles there looking unloved! When I researched sling style backpacks, I discovered the rope bag. I had never heard of one before. That tells you how much I know about rock climbing (I definitely don't climb rocks!). For those of you who are also unfamiliar with a rope bag, rock climbers use them when climbing to hold their extra ropes and supplies. The bag is held on with one strap and zips along one side for easy access to the contents. Of course, most of the commercially made bags are hideously ugly and very utilitarian, but I could see the beauty in the design and got to work.

Shannon Cuddle Suede (faux suede) with faux suede fringe on the pocket flap
and a quilting cotton lining

Initially, I thought about having a separate piece to create the depth of the bag like a usual backpack design, but I wanted to branch out and do something REALLY different. I let my brain work on it a bit and then the idea dawned on me...what if I could make the bag from only TWO main pieces? I got busy experimenting and before long I had an idea that worked. This bag really IS made from only TWO main bag pieces! I was able to get the three dimensional depth by darting the front piece before it is added to the back. I LOVE the shape and easy access to the contents. I also love that it is EASY to sew!

Riley Blake Elements, Equations, and basic fabrics. I call this one my Breaking Bad bag!

Once the "bones" of the bag were in place, I added some good solid details, like a front darted pocket and a zip pocket on the back exterior for a phone or other small items. The wide strap is adjustable and works well over one shoulder or cross body. Adding the lower tab along one side of the bag makes it really hug your back during cross body wear. It is a bag that would be great for a guy in really masculine fabrics, for a kid in fun themed fabrics, or for anyone else with whatever fabrics tickle your fancy.

Laundry Basket's Color Daze linen Fabric from Moda, featuring faux suede fringe on the pocket flap.

The design lends itself very well to a variety of fabrics, as you will see in the photos. Feel free to choose just about any fabric except knit or something really heavy like stiff canvas. It would work in canvas, but the seams will get thick and turning it right side out might be a challenge. I recommend the following fabrics: quilting cotton, twill, linen, faux suede, home decorating weight fabrics, corduroy, lightweight wool, velveteen, heavy silk, or lightweight denim, to name a few. A lining from quilting weight cotton is recommended.

Feel free to add your own special details as well. I added faux suede fringe to two of the bags and hand embroidery to the denim one. I mainly stick with sport zippers for this bag, but you can use metal zippers if that is your preference. If you choose metal, seek out the 7" length, or you will have to contend with shortening the zipper so you don't have to sew across the metal teeth.

A word about the stabilizer for this bag: FOAM! I experimented with several brands for this bag and with fusible VS. non-fusible. I can tell you that fusible is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Because of the way the zipper openings are constructed, it is important for the layers of fabric and stabilizer to be very attached to one another. Otherwise, you may have a wonky opening, and no one wants that.

My absolute favorite stabilizer for this bag is Pellon's new Flex Foam one sided fusible. I can't say enough good things about this foam! It has a great adhesive on one side that fuses quickly and effortlessly to the fabric and does NOT crinkle when you turn the bag right side out. It holds its shape well, is easy to sew through, lightweight, and looks great when the bag is finished. What more could you ask for?

Flying Colors linen by MoMo for Moda with a quilting cotton lining

Lastly, I get all my hardware from The Buckle Guy. If you have not checked out their website, I highly recommend that you do. Their hardware comes in a variety of metal finishes and has nice sturdy construction. I have never had any hardware from them that I didn't love. You need to check them out!

Passport by 3 Sisters for Moda
 (This was the prototype bag when I was experimenting with different foam stabilizers. If you look closely, you can see the crinkling in the foam and fabric from the fusible.
This is NOT the Pellon product.)

We expect to have the stock for these patterns in a few days. We'll be adding them to our website for easy ordering and posting to Facebook as soon as they are ready to go out the door.

Happy Sewing!

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!!