May 3, 2014

Spring 2014 Collection: Meet Jade!


 
Knee Length, Layered Lower Jacket with ruffled cuffs
Made from black slub linen

And last, but certainly not least is the third new design for the spring collection, the Jade Jacket! I know I have said this before but really, THIS ONE is so EASY you won't even believe it! There are only 4 pattern pieces in the whole pattern and only the bolero length is lined. That means there are 6 whole seams in any version you choose! There are NO FACINGS, as the edge is finished with a lining for the bolero length or with a bias binding for the longer lengths.


Bolero Length with Lower Back Detailing
Made from Textured Matka Silk (purchase at www.bblackandsons.com)
 
 

There are a variety of variations with an optional collar, back detailing, cuffs, and edge finishing. I even went back to my old roots of applique and had some fun with wool felt and hand applique with Pearl 5 cotton thread! (this is for those of you who feel adventurous!). All of the instructions and pieces for completing the applique are included.

 
Knee Length with Three Quarter Length Sleeves and Raw Bias Binding on Edges
Applique completed by hand featuring Wool Felt for pieces in assorted colors, stitched with Pearl 5
Made from Textured Matka Silk (purchase from www.bblackandsons.com)
 


I chose a variety of fabrics to make this jacket from, as you will see. Everything from linen to silk to faux fur to KNIT was used to create these jackets! With so many options, you can make this jacket several times and none of them will resemble each other.

 
Fingertip Length with Ruffle Detail on edge and ruched sleeves
Made from lightweight knit
Shown here with the new Tara Tank Dress
 
 
Bolero Length with Turned Cuffs, bodice was cut on the bias for a chevron effect
Made from Chinchilla faux fur by Shannon Fabrics
Shown here with the Marilyn Dress, available on our website.
 



This jacket is designed to be worn open with the option of belting it. You can also easily alter the length of the sleeves by adding or subtracting from the ends of the bodice pieces. With dolman sleeves, the fit is easy and comfortable.

Fingertip Length with Lace detail added between upper and lower jacket sections,
 narrow collar and cuffs
Moda Mochi Linen Dot by Moda Fabrics
 
The new patterns are now in stock! Go to our website to place your order today!
 
Happy Sewing!

May 1, 2014

Spring 2014 Collection: Meet Willow!


Tunic Length & Three Quarter Length Sleeves
Moda Bella Solid (color: feather) and Moda coordinate
 
 
Close-up of the embroidery work on the bodice....designs courtesy of Alison Glass...see the link to her website below!
 

It is time for the second reveal of the spring collection! Today I would like to introduce the Willow Tunic. This design is a semi-fitted sheath with princess seaming on the front and back. There's a zipper incorporated into the left side seam so that the back has a nice uninterrupted flow to it.

There are no facings, as the yokes are self lined, and you have a choice of either a cap or three quarter length sleeve. You can also choose to make a tunic or dress length. I wanted to design this so that there was enough ease through the hips to wear skinny jeans or leggings underneath without fitting too closely so that you are fussing with your clothes all day. I hate that feeling! It is nicely fitted without being too loose or tight....resulting in a rather nice silhouette!

As you will see throughout the photos, I have offered several variations for the design. I even got ambitious and embroidered one on the bodice and sleeves. For the embroidery, I used 2-3 strands of DMC floss in a variety of colors and stitches...whatever suited my fancy at the time! I chose to feature the fabulous designs in Alison Glass's embroidery patterns for the stitching. Her patterns are great! If you don't know about Alison, she is a wonderful fabric designer for Andover. She designs quilts and embroidery designs that are based off her graphic art. You can see more of her work and order her patterns over at www.alisonglass.com. I used motifs from Clover Sunshine Animals and Flowers.

So without further ado....here are the variations for Willow, with fabric and design details listed with each.

 
 
Dress Length & Three Quarter Length Sleeves
Anna Maria Horner's Pretty Potent from Free Spirit Fabrics
 
 
Tunic Length & Cap Sleeves
Michael Miller Fabrics: faux patchwork and coordinate
Renaissance decorative ribbon featured on the yoke and hemband
 
 
Dress Length & Cap Sleeves
Modern Eclectic by Blend Fabrics
Side Fronts, Backs and Yokes were cut on the bias
 
 
Tunic Length & Three Quarter Length Sleeves
Maisie by Blend Fabrics
 
 
Dress Length & Cap Sleeves
Damask, Dot, and Houndstooth by Riley Blake Fabrics
 

The new designs are now available for sale! Go to our website and order yours today!!
 
Happy Sewing!

April 29, 2014

Spring 2014 Collection: Meet Tara!


 
Fabric: Lula Magnolia by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Fabrics


Hello Everyone!

Well, it's that time of year again....I have been super busy working through the new designs, which entails a lot of drafting, then sewing, photography, and writing! I am excited to share the first of the new designs with you today, The Tara Tank Dress!

This is a wonderful dress design for any time of year. Perfect by itself during the spring, summer, and early fall, pair it with a cute jacket or cardigan, maybe some skinny jeans or leggings, and you can keep wearing it through the rest of the fall and into winter. I have provided a variety of skirt lengths so you can make anything from a tunic length to a maxi.

 
Fabric: Beauty Queen by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit Fabrics
 
 


Fabric: Botanique by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit Fabrics
 

This is a super quick design to sew as there is no closure to worry about! Simply pull it over your head and pull up the drawstring and that's it! I opted to do a bias binding on the neckline and armholes, so there aren't any facings to mess with, either. This is a perfect beginner dress or something super fast and fun for the experienced sewer.

Of course I have added in all sorts of variations for you, as you will see in the photographs. For the gray eyelet version, there is some hand embroidery around some of the openings of the fabric. I include the different stitches I chose to use for that part.


Fabric: Grey Eyelet and coordinating Cotton Couture Solid by Michael Miller Fabrics
 
 
Fabric: Weeds by Me & My Sister for Moda Fabrics
 

The bodice of the design has 6 pleats centered on the front. These are so easy to do! Simply fold, press, and stitch 1/4" away from the fold, and then press again...it's a snap! This dress can be made from regular cottons, eyelet, cotton lawn, or voile. If you are using a really sheer fabric or the eyelet, be sure to line the bodice and skirt. This is easy to do, as I have included a front bodice piece without the pleating to make a lining. Simply add the lining to the bodice before binding and that's it!

The skirt has the option of being slightly gathered (if you would like a bit more room through the hips) or plain (still plenty roomy!). You can also choose to center the drawstring or place it over to the left front.

 
Fabric: Color Me Happy by V & Co. for Moda Fabrics
 
 


 
Fabric: Roses by Martha Negley for Westminster Fabrics, paired with the NEW Jade Jacket!
 
 

Note that I am also including the different fabrics used for each variation. I was lucky enough to use some brand new fabric that isn't out quite yet, but keep your eyes peeled, as it will be out soon!

The new patterns are now available for sale on our website!
Go place your order today!

 
Fabric: Sweet as Honey by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics
 
 

 
Fabric: Confetti Border Print with coordinating Cotton Couture solid by Michael Miller Fabrics
 
 

Thanks so much, and as always....HAPPY SEWING!



February 5, 2014

Mystery Sew Red Sew-along!

 
Hello Everyone!
I am so excited to be a part of the Mystery Sew Red Sew-along that is being hosted by Jimmy Bean's! If you are not already participating in this project, you can click on the link above to get the scoop!!
 
This is block #5 for the series. This block measures 10 1/2" square. I used a square from a layer cake of precut fabrics for the background but any fabric you have lying around that meets the size requirement will work. The best part about this block is that you can use up little scraps you may have left from another project! 
 
Materials Needed:
For the applique: 5 assorted fabrics, at least 8"x 2" (note the bird fabric is wider)
Background: 1 - 10 1/2" square
1 - 12" square non fusible lightweight interfacing
temporary adhesive spray, such as Sulky KK2000
rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
matching thread
1 piece of 8.5 x 11 paper
pencil or marker
scissors
fabric marking pencil

Start by folding the paper in half so that it measures 5.75 x 5.5. Now is the time to use your mad skills from when you were a kid cutting out paper hearts for Valentine's day....draw and cut out a heart approximately the size shown below. IMPORTANT!! Save the outer portion that you cut the heart from as you will use this in a later step.


Lay out your fabrics in an order that is pleasing to you.


Notice how I cut out this line of birds to showcase it through the heart. I made sure to allow my 1/4" seam allowance plus a little extra above and below the birds.


For the remaining 4 fabrics, I cut strips that were 2" wide. Since I was again working with leftover squares from a layer cake, these measure 10 1/2" wide, but you won't need more than about 8".


Stitch the strips right sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance.


Press the seam allowances open.


Using the outer portion of the paper from earlier, lay it over the fabric strip unit. Move it around until you are happy with the placement. Keep in mind that the edge of the heart is the stitching line, so the seam allowances will be OUTSIDE of this area. I liked the strips going horizontally, but you could do a vertical or diagonal placement as well. Once you have the heart shape placed where you like, use a fabric marking pen to mark the edge of the heart shape.


Here is the fabric unit with the heart shape.


Next, place the non fusible interfacing on top of the RIGHT SIDE of the fabric unit. I didn't have any non fusible lying around, so I used some pattern tracing cloth. It is important to use something that is semi-transparent so that you can see the outline of the heart in order to stitch.


Stitch on top of the marking all the way around, backstitching at the beginning and ending of stitching.


Here is the stitching completed.


Cut away the excess fabric, 1/4" away from the stitching line.


Trim off the fabric close to the point.



Clip to the inner point of the heart. Be careful not to clip through your stitching.


Clip the curves of the heart.


Pull the interfacing away from the heart and clip an opening.


Turn the heart through the opening. This is what it will look like from the wrong side.


Here is what it looks like before pressing. Be sure to fully turn out the curved sections as well as inner and outer points.


Here is the heart after pressing.


Center the heart on the background fabric. Mine measured approximately 1 3/4" from the side edges. Use temporary adhesive spray or pins to secure the heart and prepare it for stitching.


Complete the heart by stitching around the outside edge. I used a wide blanket stitch on my machine.


Your block is complete!

October 18, 2013

Fall 2013 Collection: Zip to it! Accessories

Moda Fabrics: Honeysweet by Fig Tree & Co.

This is the final reveal of the fall collection. Zip to it is a fun booklet with 4 different accessories in it. I developed a really neat ruching technique that uses pre-cut 2 1/2" wide strips. It is a great way to showcase lots of prints in a collection. I also used some yardage from the collection to make up the rest of the fabrics needed to complete the projects.

In addition to the ruching technique, I also wanted each project to have a zipper in one way or another. I know a lot of you out there hate the idea of putting in a zipper, but really, these are EASY to do! The booklet comes complete with a pull out center page that features full sized pattern templates. You will need to trace then onto freezer paper, but there is no enlarging to be done.

The accessories are very versatile. While I had specific uses in mind, certainly you will think of many ways they can be used.

First up is the Hexie Pouch. I designed this one for keeping your earbuds secure while out and about, but I can see how this little pouch would be perfect for loose change or other small items. I designed it to work with the pre-cut hexagons, so feel free to use those if you like.



Next is the Tablet Sleeve. I designed this one to fit the ever popular tablet computers. Specifically, it works well for the Microsoft Surface and iPad, but I am sure it would work for most without having to resize it. Its overall measurements are 8 1/2" x 12". It features two exterior pockets of varying depth that are separate from one another so that you can stash different items like keys, a phone, glasses, etc. in those while keeping the innermost pocket free for your tablet. The tablet section is lined with a super soft flannel so your computer will not get scratched. I think this is a perfect cover for your tablet just to carry around or to put into a larger bag.



The Triangle Bag is the next project. This is where the ruching really shines. This is a perfect little bag for stashing art or sewing supplies. It would make a great little toy stash for kids as well.



The last accessory is the Project Portfolio. It looks like a bag from the outside, but when opened, it features two clear pockets that are zipped shut. These are perfect for holding a small needlework project. I love the depth of each pocket. These really will hold items without a problem. I think this would also make a great makeup bag since the pockets are made of vinyl. If I were using it for that purpose, I think I would also make the interior from a laminate so that the entire inside of the pocket could be wiped clean if need be.

 
 
 
 
Well, that's it for the fall collection! I hope I have inspired you to get busy in your sewing room!

Happy Sewing!!