May 23, 2016

Spring 2016 Collection: Meet Heidi!

Our second design for the spring is the Heidi Dress. Patterned after our most popular pattern to date, the Diane Kimono dress, this new design has the same great fit and construction. With bias bound armholes and neckline, there is no need to worry with any facings! This is a pullover design so there is no zipper to worry with, either.

I have provided an option to split the bodice into a contrasting center front and back, so you can feature several prints from a collection. The skirt can be cut on the fold as a slim line or gathered, to give you more room through the hips. The dolman sleeve is one that provides a bit of sleeve for those of you who like to have a little bit extending onto your arms.

The waistband is featured with a drawstring, but can be easily altered to insert elastic instead if this is your preference. There are several hemlines featured, from tunic length all the way to maxi length.

This dress works well in a variety of fabrics. Quilting cotton is always a great choice, but if you would like to try something different, here are some suggestions: double gauze, rayon, lightweight linen, cotton lawn or voile, and silk. This design works well with border prints as well.

Here are the details about the samples:

Mid-calf length in border print.
Blooming Border by Michael Miller Fabrics
Maxi length dress with contrasting center front and back bodice,
 and contrasting wide border at lower edge of skirt.
Wander by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit Fabrics
Maxi length dress in border print with contrasting fabric
Lavish by Katarina Rocella for Art Gallery Fabrics
Knee length with contrasting layered and ruffle hem.
Olive's Flower Market by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics
Mid-calf length in rayon
Amy Butler for Free Spirit Fabrics
Knee length in layered double gauze (skirt) with lower ruffle hem
Shannon Fabrics
Maxi length with 2 contrasting fabrics
Grand Canal by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics
Knee length in one fabric with direction of fabric changed for side front and back bodice
Studio Stash by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Heidi is available NOW on our website, so go pick up your pattern today.
Happy Sewing!

Spring 2016 Collection: Meet Mia!

Hey Everyone! Now that the stock has arrived, it is time to introduce the new designs for spring! I have two new dresses, both of which are a snap to make and a dream to wear. First up is the Mia Shift Dress. Truly, there are only TWO pattern pieces for this dress, simple darts at the bust line and back waist, with bias bound armholes and neckline. Choose your favorite fabrics and start sewing!

This design is great in so many different fabrics. It works perfectly in quilting cottons as do all of my patterns but if you want to use other substrates, here are some suggestions: double gauze, voile or lawn, lightweight linen, knit, rayon, or silk. Some of my personal favorites are border prints and these work well with this design, so keep your eye out for those as well.

Here are the details about each of the samples:

Maxi length dress with two contrasting fabrics
 Handmade by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics
Knee length dress with contrasting fabric
Celestial by Amy Butler and True Colors by Anna Maria Horner; Free Spirit Fabrics
Knee length layered cotton lawn with ruffle trim on both layers at hemline
Print by Sarah Watson for Cloud 9 Fabrics
Mid-calf length with 2 contrasting fabrics, layered hem with ruffle
Strawberry Moon by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller Fabrics
Knee length with contrasting fabric and hand embroidery embellishment at the neckline. The motif of the fabric was followed to create the embroidery. I used pearl cotton size 8 for the needlework.
Close-up of the embroidery work
Maxi length using a collection of batik prints. The fabric is pieced before the pattern pieces are cut. Instructions in the pattern detail how to do this if you want to recreate the look.
Latitude batiks by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics
Mid-calf length with contrasting fabric
Sketchbook and True Colors by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics
Mid-calf length with ruffle at hemline, layered double gauze
Shannon Fabrics
Above Knee length with 2 contrasting fabrics and pieced ruffle hemline.
Border print from Michael Miller Fabrics

Tunic length in rayon fabric
Cotton + Steel Fabrics
Hop on over to our website and pick up your very own Mia Shift Dress pattern today!
And as always, Happy Sewing!

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!