October 14, 2012

New Patterns for Sale!

Just thought I would let everyone know that the new patterns are now available at our website! Go purchase yours today!! The product pages for the new designs and many of the others now include a dowloadable supply list.

October 11, 2012

New Fall Collection: Meet Juliet Nouveau!

Juliet Nouveau is the last design in the new fall collection. This one may look familiar to some of you as it is the new version of the Juliet Tunic pattern that I introduced to the line in 2008. I have printed that pattern many times as it has been a popular one for the company. When it came time to make a decision about whether to print it again, I decided that there were a few things I wanted to do to the pattern pieces so I opted not to print the original pattern again and present a refined fit with some new design options.

Kaffe Fassett fabric for Westminster, trimmed with Riley Blake fabrics
Cross-tie belt featured

Juliet Nouveau has the same great lines as Juliet, but I added a bit of length and a little more fullness in the bust, refined the fit of the bodice by adding darts to the back, and made the skirt just the tiniest bit fuller at the lower edge. I am offering new ways to piece the skirt and added a maxi length to the mix. I kept the hip length cutting line for those of you who would like to make this design as a top, but we didn't show any of this length in the photos. I just wanted you to have that option if you want it!

Jennifer Paganelli Crazy Love Fabric for Free Spirit

The back darts that were added to the bodice and skirt are really a way to pull the design in a bit and give it a little more definition. If you would rather have a looser fit, you can always leave the darts out. You would just ignore them by not marking or stitching them in place. The rest of the construction remains the same. This design features a center back zipper.

Art Gallery Fabrics with wide ruffle variation and tie belt

On the variations, I feature the above knee, below knee, and maxi lengths. This design would look great with leggings and some cute boots for the fall season. This pattern pairs up well with a jacket or cropped cardigan because the skirt does not have too much fullness to it. I have worn it with both long and short jackets, so it is a great versatile garment to have in your wardrobe.

Lily Ashbury Trade Winds fabric for Moda, trimmed with Michael Miller print, maxi length

I have provided instructions for how to make the belt that crosses in front and ties in the back, adding a ruffle or hemband to the lower edge, making the skirt tiered, and you also have options on adding a contrasting trim between seams as you like.

Three Sisters Martinique fabric for Moda, pre-pieced fabric by the yard featured for skirt, tie belt

Juliet Nouveau looks great made up in cotton, heavy silk, rayon, lightweight wool, or linen. I am sure there are other fabrics that would work equally well, but those are some of my suggestions to get the ball rolling. I am really pleased with the myriad of looks that this pattern provides. I hope you are too!

Michael Miller fabrics, wide hemband with contrast featured

We plan on listing ALL of the new fall patterns over the weekend and we'll post here as well as on our Facebook fan page when they are up for sale.

Happy Sewing!

October 9, 2012

New Fall Collection: Meet Lola!

The Lola Gypsy bag is the third design of the new fall collection. I was inspired to make this bag after seeing a woman in a restaurant with a very similar bag. I was so taken with the billowy nature of the ruffles and just the overall carefree look that I had to try designing one myself!

Valori Wells fabrics for Free Spirit, Cocoon (cotton voiles), mixed with quilting cottons
and Vicki Payne home dec fabric on ends and handles.

I chose to make the ruffles from cotton voile and cotton lawn, but they would also be lovely from an iridescent silk. This bag has loop handles upon which the bag is gathered onto during construction. The interior boasts a large zippered pocket on one side with two sizes of patch pockets on the other and a magnetic snap. Since the bag is large on the inside, these additional storage compartments will help keep you organized.

Innocent Crush cotton voile by Anna Maria Horner and Curious Nature by Parson Grey

Liberty of London cotton lawn ruffles and scarf with
Robert Kaufmann printed linen for main bag exterior

Since I know that ruffles are not everyone's cup of tea, I have offered two other variations for this bag. One is a solid piece side where you can choose to really showcase the motif of a fabric. I like to make this one from heavier weight fabric, such as home dec.

Amy Butler home dec fabric with cotton voile scarf from Amy's cameo line

The other variation offered is a patchwork made from 5" squares. It takes 31 squares to make the exterior of the bag. This is great for using up scraps or leftover charm squares from your stash.

Charm squares from Little Black Dress by BasicGrey for Moda fabrics

For this design, I decided to use a stabilizer called Roc-Lon Multipurpose cloth. This is also known as "black-out". You can find it online by the yard or you may find it in the home decorating section of fabric stores. Here is a link I found where you can purchase it at Fabric Depot. I personally used the 36" width, but you can choose to purchase a different width. This will affect the amount of yardage (you would need less of a wider width). The reason I chose this stabilizer is because of its supple nature. It feels a lot like canvas, but because it does have some synthetic components, it is resistant to wrinkling and holds its shape quite well. Plus, it is a breeze to stitch through! It is well worth seeking this product out!

The pattern includes full size pattern pieces and complete instructions for all of the variations, including the scarf.

This pattern will be available in a few days....the stock just came and we have to get the patterns listed online first, then you can purchase it!

Happy Sewing!!

October 5, 2012

New Fall Collection: Meet Madison!

The Madison wallet bag is the next new design in the fall collection that I would like to share with you today. While I was on the dreaded crutches with the Great Toe Incident, I needed a cute bag that held all of the essentials without the hassle of trying to carry it around. Designing the bag was just the distraction I needed while I was healing! I love this bag so much that I am still using it, even though my toe is healed! It is perfect for quick errands and has a place for everything, including a zippered outside pocket for your phone.

The front of the bag has a wallet flap to hold your ID and credit/debit cards so that they are at a fingertip's reach. This flap is held secure with a magnetic snap so you don't have to worry about it coming loose if you need something from the inside of the bag. The interior is roomy for a small bag, with a zippered pocket on the inside to keep other items organized.

Michael Miller fabric, houndstooth. Other fabrics are Millie's Closet from Riley Blake.

Moda Fabrics, Simply Color

I know that some of you cringe when you think about installing a zipper. I PROMISE...these zippers are a cinch to install and you will love the professional finish once they are part of the bag. Give it a try!

I designed the handle to be adjustable with a double loop slider, one of my favorite pieces of hardware. This enables you to lengthen or shorten the handle at will so that the bag can be comfortably be worn cross-body or over the shoulder.

I know that many of you are always looking for good bag hardware, so I am including two of my favorites here. www.buckleguy.com is my number one favorite. I visit this site first when looking for my hardware. If for some reason you can't find what you are looking for, take a look at www.strapworks.com. They have some great stuff also.

The overall dimensions of the bag are 8" wide x 6" tall x 2" deep. I have offered several variations to mix up the look. You can choose several coordinating fabrics or just a few of your favorites. I have included a variation to use leftover 2 1/2" wide strips that you might have lying around for the main exterior flap and body of the bag with a few matching coordinates. You can even opt to add a collage style applique to the exterior of the bag. This was influenced by the decorating I did to my cast. You just never know where inspiration will come from!

Michael Miller Fabric, tiny houndstooth.
 I added motifs from other scraps I had to make the collage style applique.

This little bag is easy to stitch together. I used a new Pellon product for the stabilizer in this bag and am super pleased with the result. It is Pellon 520 Deco-Fuse. It is fusible on one side and is about as thick as construction paper. Don't let its thin nature fool you. This stabilizer has a nice firmness to it. Other benefits are that it is easy to sew through multiple layers and it does NOT crinkle when you are turning pieces right side out! I highly recommend this stabilizer. I think you will love it once you give it a try!

I know that some of you will notice the adorable zipper pull I have added to the exterior zipper of the bag. These are made by Inazuma. You can purchase some at http://store.atelierdehappa.com/zipper-pull.html. There are also sellers on Etsy who are selling them. Just put Inazuma zipper pull in your search and you will find them.

The two bags in the foreground are Moda fabrics. The one on the left is Noteworthy by Sweetwater (not yet released) and Mama Said Sew, also by Sweetwater.
This pattern will be available mid-October for purchase.
Until next week my friends, Happy Sewing!

October 3, 2012

New Fall Collection: Meet Zoe!

I'd like to introduce the first design of the fall collection today, the Zoe Dress! I have to admit that I am a big fan of Zooey Deschanel's style. She has such a great way of combining a vintage look with a fresh twist. This dress is the result of her influence!

Riley Black tonal chevron fabric
(notice that I changed the direction of the chevron as a contrast of sorts)

The dress has a fitted bodice featuring a rounded neckline with darts at the sides and below the bust. The sleeves have one box pleat at the sleeve cap so that the sleeves can be a bit roomier and more comfortable to wear. I designed the sleeve to rest below the elbow with a contrasting cuff. These can be easily lengthened or shortened depending on your personal preference.

Michael Miller fabrics

The waistband has a high curve along the center front and is rather wide. The lower edge of the waistband falls right at the natural waistline. It is roomy enough to be comfortable, yet still has shape to define the waistline. I think this part of the design makes it look especially vintage and I love that!

Anna Maria Horner fabrics (her new line, Field Study)

The skirt is one of my favorite parts of this dress. It features deep box pleats and is so full and fun to wear! Pleats are lovely in so many ways. They are easy to make, adding fullness to a skirt without the bulk of gathering, and the skirt just hangs so nicely! I chose to bring in the contrast once more here to match the sleeve cuffs. You'll also notice that some of the variations have an added contrast trim at the waist, cuffs, and hemband, just to bring in another color.

Dress made from Matka Silk and trimmed with dupioni silk on the bias
(Matka purchased from www.bblackandsons.com)

The dress zips up the center back. I would recommend making the bodice and waistband from muslin or just some fabric you have lying around to perfect the fit for your individual needs, then make your dream dress! I think that just about anyone could make this dress, from advanced beginner on up. The pieces sew together so quickly that you will be surprised how fast your dress will be made and ready to wear.

Moda fabrics (Little Black Dress by BasicGrey)
This dress features a contrasting ruffle trim at the sleeves, waist, and hem)

This one is perfect for those crisp fall days, even the cool winter days too with a pair of great boots. It would even be perfect for a nice spring day as well. Oh, there are so many fabrics it would look great with too! I used cotton and matka silk for these samples, but it would be equally lovely in linen, a lightweight wool, or rayon. If you need sources for fabrics, take a look at my Wonderful Websites on the right hand side and see where I shop!

This pattern will be available for sale as soon as our stock arrives, which should be mid-October....not long from now!

Happy Sewing!

September 28, 2012

What a Summer!

I know it has been FOREVER.....but it was quite a summer. For those of you who follow my Facebook page, you already know all about the "toe" incident. If for some reason you missed it, I broke my left baby toe on July 17th. Now, I know what you are thinking...a broken toe? Well, that's not that big of a deal, but apparently I have a talent for these things!

We were getting ready for bed and I was racing around in my usual reckless fashion in the bathroom when I hit my toe on the corner baseboard. It hurt, but not unlike the thousand other times I have hit my toes on something. There was one difference though, the audible snap that both my husband and I heard. I couldn't believe it when I looked down and saw that my poor toe was sticking out SIDEWAYS from the rest of my toe/foot. "This can't be good", I thought to myself! It immediately began to swell, but didn't bruise all that much. We couldn't decide if I had broken or dislocated it. I decided to ice it, take some Advil, go on to bed, and find a doc in the morning.


The next day, I scheduled an appointment with an orthopedist. I was able to walk without too much trouble (with flipflops) and everyone who laid eyes on the toe were horrified! The x-ray confirmed that it was indeed broken, and badly. I was fully prepared that he would just tape it up and tell me to deal with it, but that wasn't good enough.

Being someone that has been lucky to never have had a stitch much less surgery, I was not prepared for him to tell me that he needed to put a pin into the toe to shish kabob the bones back together! What? My mind was racing as I realized that my reckless move the night before was going to require SURGERY! So, the next day he straightened out my poor toe and I was sent home in a splint with a pin sticking out of the end of it! I know it sounds terribly painful, but it wasn't anything that some Tylenol or Advil couldn't handle. I was told NOT to put weight on it and went home on crutches (double yuck on that).

If you or a loved one ever find yourselves on the dreaded crutches, do yourself a favor and purchase some cool covers over at crutcheze. These are padded with high density foam and make life so much more comfortable. I also purchased the little bag that is held on with velcro to carry a water bottle or insulated cup. These items were life savers for me!

After a couple of weeks, I went back and the doc put on a cast so that I would be a bit more mobile. The splint did not offer a lot of protection for my crazy hopping around since it was all soft bandaging. I know it sounds crazy, but the cast was a LOT better than that silly splint. For one thing, it was shorter, which meant that I could bend my leg a lot better, and it also meant that I could decorate it! I went nuts with fabric scraps, mod podge, and some bling. It was the snazziest cast, ever. My doc even took a photo of the cast and said that he had never seen anything like it before. I highly recommend this if you ever have to have a cast. It does wonders to lift your spirits!

In the meantime, I began thinking about how on earth I was going to work on the fall line in this condition. It was major just to get across a room and I can tell you that I got super good at hopping, not to mention manuvering crutches around. We did a bit of creative rearranging in the studio so that the iron/ironing board would be closer and I would not have to hop around as much. Hopping is exhausting!

I was in the cast for FOUR LONG WEEKS! Two weeks into the cast phase, he pulled out the pin in the office. It didn't hurt, but it felt REALLY WEIRD....let's just leave it at that! For the entire six weeks, I was not allowed to put any weight on that leg. My doc was afraid that the bones would break again and the last thing I wanted was MORE surgery. I was a good girl and managed to make it through that time. The weekend before Labor Day, the cast came off and I walked out of the doctor's office carrying the crutches! What a feeling!! My foot and leg were super sore from six weeks of non use, but it gradually got better day by day. I was fortunate that I did not have to wear a silly walking boot.

Four weeks post cast, I am now running around without any trouble again and I can say that after all of this, I have learned that walking is a wonderful thing. It is certainly an activity that I will not take for granted, ever again. I learned some lessons in patience and to let some things go, even if it seemed like it would kill me.

Overall, it was a valuable experience. I don't recommend it, but I think every experience we have in our lives is for a reason. Needless to say, I watch where I am going a bit more these days. The best news of all is that the fall line is finished and at the printer now! I will be blogging about it next week with teaser photos of the designs. I think that my adventure through "Toe Land" did influence my designs in a couple of ways (in unexpected good ways). But I'll go into detail on all that next week as applicable.

So, there's my summer in a not-so-small nutshell. I trust that yours was much less dramatic and that you have had lots of time to sew.

Until next week.....Happy Sewing!

June 3, 2012

Sew it Up Grand Opening Recap and a WINNER!

We had such a great time yesterday at the grand opening for Lorene's new space at Sew it Up Studio in Hurst! The place was packed most of the day with excited customers who were buying up patterns, books, and the luscious fabric that Lorene stocks in the shop. Thanks to everyone who came out and made it such a successful day. The shop is just AMAZING! If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, this shop is worth the trip. Lorene stocks all sorts of wonderful fabrics for clothing and quilting. Her wools, silks, and other specialty fabrics are to die for, not to mention all the fabulous trims, buttons, ribbon, patterns, kits, etc. You name it, she probably has it! The space is bright, roomy, and happy. I can't say enough about how lovely it is. Her employees are super helpful and friendly and the customers are great too. It was such a pleasure to meet so many people that are enthusiastic about making clothing and quilts! Below are some photos of our day:

Me and Lorene, the owner. Look! She is wearing a Diane Kimono Dress and I am in the Paige Pillowcase dress from Fashion Formula Dresses. Sorry, but the fabric my dress is made from won't be out until October (I know! Why so long?). Watch for it from Moda in a line called Simply Color.

Here are some photos of the goodies to be found in the shop. See how spacious and bright it is? You simply must visit! You can get the details on her hours and location here.

And now, what you have all been waiting for.....the winner of the new patterns (via www.random.org)......is.......

#13: Shelley in CT who said,

"Those are all fantastic looking patterns. Would love to try one this summer!"
Posted May 29, 2012 2:10 PM

Hey Shelley, send me a message here with your address and I will get your patterns out ASAP. Congratulations and hope you enjoy your patterns!

Well, I plan on spending part of this day working on some sewing....excited about it!

Happy Sewing, everyone!

May 29, 2012

Market Recap, Purse Palooza, AND a Giveaway!

Well, I don't know how it happens, but summertime comes around a little quicker with every passing year. This one is no exception! I always find myself wondering what happened to January-most of May?? I guess it means I have been super busy!

Just going to share a bit of market recap with you. For most of you who follow on Facebook, you have already seen the booth and what I wore each day, so this will be brief! We had a great time at market as usual. It is so nice to play catch up with friends we only see twice a year and have a laugh or two. We get to meet new people too. One such person is Sara Lawson....she is an absolute doll! We have been talking back and forth through Facebook for over a year now, so getting to meet in person was a real treat!

In case you don't know who Sara is, she is a super talented sewist who can make anything she sets her mind to. She has mad skills and designs the most lovely bags. She currently creates free sewing tutorials for Pellon as well as shares her sewing adventures over at her blog, Sew Sweetness. If you haven't seen her work, hop on over NOW and go see her stuff. She has quite the sense of humor too! I wish we lived closer to one another....that TX to Chicago thing is a real bummer!

Here we are at market together. She made Monique dresses to wear at the show and looked absolutely fabulous the whole time! She added the best circular skirt to the bodice. I love how it looks!

The next person I was fortunate to finally meet in person was Heidi Boyd. She is just a lovely person, inside and out...what a pleasure it was to talk face to face! She has written some fantastic craft books...more than a dozen (yes, I wrote dozen, people) books on all sorts of great stuff. We exchanged books at market, so I have my own personal copy of her most current book, Stitched Whimsy. It is ADORABLE! I simply must make time to sew up some of her designs....they are just to die for! I need to make these friends closer to home, though...Heidi lives all the way up in Maine! Go visit her blog at Heidi Boyd.

Here's me and Heidi at market:

Now, for Purse Palooza......this is Sara's event that she is doing on her blog. She will be hosting all sorts of great designers during the month of June on her blog. There will be pattern reviews, tutorials, and giveaways galore....you DON'T want to miss it! There's a link over on the sidebar to navigate you to the schedule so you can follow along. I will be posting at the end of June about double loop sliders, so don't miss it! Plus, Sara will be giving away an autographed copy of my bag book!

Now....if you have followed along this far, it is GIVEAWAY TIME!! Just leave a comment here and I will be giving away one each of my new patterns/booklets (includes: Fashion Formula Dresses, Artful Bags & Accessories, The Bebe Dress, and The Sally Shirtdress) to
chosen at random. PLEASE enter only once (duplicate entries will be deleted to keep it fair and square for everyone!). The giveaway ends on Friday, June 1 at 11:59PM central daylight time. This giveaway is open to everyone....US and international, so what are you waiting for? Leave a comment today!

And as always....Happy Sewing!

May 11, 2012

New Designs in the House!

Just a quick post to let you know (in case you are not following us on Facebook), that the new patterns are here and orders are shipping! They are selling like hot cakes, so if you ordered yet, get on over here and place your order today!!

Happy Sewing!

May 7, 2012

New Spring Collection: Artful Bags & Accessories

Here is the final reveal of the spring collection, Artful Bags & Accessories! This collection of designs will be contained in a small booklet, 8.5 x 5.5 and 24 pages. There are no pattern pieces, as all of the components are cut using your rotary cutter, ruler, & mat. These are perfect for the crafty adult or creative kid. All of these designs were sewn up using a new line of fabric from Moda called Oh Deer! by Momo. It will be available in shops nationwide in the coming weeks.

First up is the Artist Portfolio. This one is really easy to put together and is perfect for showcasing a large scale fabric. I love the vinyl pocket on the interior because not only can you see your supplies at a glance, but your fabric choice shines through as well. This piece holds an ample amount of supplies as well as up to a 100 page sketch pad, 11 x 14 in size. With the convenient handles, it is a cinch to fold up and carry with you. Just think how great this would be for the artist on the go or that creative young one who likes to travel with drawing supplies!

Next is the Crafty Carry-All. This is a nice size (not too small or large) tote bag that has lots of room to hold all sorts of supplies. There are interior and exterior pockets as well as an interior loop to hook your keys to. It is constructed with Peltex, so it stands well on its own. This is the perfect tote for running errands or going to a crafty workshop. The straps are attached all along the bottom and sides of the bag, making it extra sturdy. The trapezoid shape makes it just a bit narrower at the top than the base so it is comfortable to carry over the shoulder.

Last is the Arts & Crafts Caddy. This one is loaded with pockets for all sorts of creative supplies like crayons, colored pencils, markers, pencils, brushes, paints, etc. There are two large interior pockets that are perfectly sized for 9 x 12 drawing pads, leaving the inside of the bag free for stashing anything else you need. This is the perfect accessory for a busy creative space as it keeps all of your drawing and painting supplies well organized without taking up a lot of room. Because the handles are short and on the narrow sides, this would also be a great addition to the back seat of a car or SUV between the seats to keep art supplies organized on a long road trip!

We will be listing the new patterns (ALL OF THEM!) sometime this week. We will be sure to keep you posted when that happens.

Happy Sewing!