Results tagged “Amy Butler” from Fabric.com Blog
Going off to college is not just books and comforter sets, it is also doing a lot of grown up stuff that you previously shared responsibility with your whole family, but now doing it all on your own. This involves grocery shopping and general errands that can't be passed off to other family member that are in that neck of the woods. It is on you now. So you need a good bag that can keep up and be used for all your new trials and the Betty Shopper by Amy Butler is that bag. Available in 2 sizes with the smallest being pretty dang sizable, you can get all your groceries in one while saving plastic bags, or tote all your vintage scores from the local thrift stores or pack snacks for all your pals for the game or spirit rally. This bag can hold it all or can be modified for more specific needs. You can insulate it for cold foods or tailgating. You can make the handles longer or short to suit your size. Pockets can easily be added and it can be made from just about any material to fit your style. Try corduroy with bright piping for fall or a wool tweed with bold pattern handles. From quilting cotton to home dec to medium weight woven apparel, this bag is a must have for all semesters.
I made mine from 2 different prints, one a Free Spirit Print and the lining is Amy Butler. The Betty Shopper went together very easily and quickly for its size. My Betty is jazzed up a bit with some embroidery which you can customize for you or if giving a gift for your loved one. Try a monogram, favorite mascot or nickname. I am working on a second to give as a Christmas gift made from Dwell Studio and I will embroider it with a row of pies and cake along the top and fill it with a picnic blanket and linen napkins. This bag is great for any gift giver since it can be used for anything from yard sale booty to bake sale supplies.
Add another one to my "Love" column; Oliver + S's Sunday Brunch Jacket is a must have for your kid's wardrobe. #1 (and you readers know that this is always #1 for me) It was a fast project. As adorable and fabulous as this jacket looks on the envelope, one would think it would be difficult or time consuming at the least. Neither is true. This is an easy pattern and really took half as long as I originally banked. There are not that many pattern pieces (this equals limited cutting) and the instructions were pie. I really loved this pattern.
I also love how casually dressy (AKA- comfy fancy) it is. My daughter has plenty of the typical toddler jackets which are mostly cotton or a cotton/poly blend in generic primary colors or uber-girl colors with a hood and zipper. They are great for play (especially with her affinity for puddles) but I can't throw one of those jackets one over a cute dress for a birthday party, holiday dinner or anywhere nice we need to go. And sometimes I just do want something nicer than the norm but still comfy for her. My 2 yr old shouldn't know the difference between a regular jacket and a nice jacket and luckily with this pattern all of the above it true. I can make this pattern in just about any fabric and it is still nice but still washable and comfy for her.
Now for the Mods: I limited my modifications for this pattern today since I was focusing on the use of Home Dec fabric for the jacket. This Amy Butler Love print is so bright and fun that I thought it was perfect for a kid's jacket. It doesn't hurt that now she and I can match, should we choose. The 100% Cotton has a soft hand and forgiving pattern. I did not add cuffs since I made the 3T size and I wanted to make it easy to let out the sleeves when the time comes. I also did not interface since I was using a heavier weight fabric. I would suggest finishing the seams with bias tape as you go not when the instructions call for it. If you follow the instructions you will be adding bias tape to seams that have already been edge stitched and that is tricky. I suggest finishing with bias tape first then edge stitching. Also, I suggest the Riley Blake buttons since they are CUTE and perfect for this jacket.
I can't wait to make the skirt but I will opt for a navy solid or navy with mini dots instead of matching it to the jacket. This jacket will make its debut Sunday on Mother's day. I can't wait to button those buttons and escort her around in her new jacket! I also recommend trying the jacket in Denim, Linen or Seersucker.
Duvets are the perfect way to change up your room for spring, to disguise your winter linens and brighten up your room if you are running on a tight budget which doesn't allow for a new comforter. Plus, you can Mix n' Match your favorite designer fabrics to work with your bedroom that no other store can offer. If you have a duvet that you are coveting but it's out of your range, challenge yourself to recreate it with your own fabric. Making a duvet is easy but a time invest is involved. The payout is worth it.
I choose to make my duvet from contrasting fabrics so I can totally change the look of my room with just a flip of my covers. I have been a big fan of Amy Butler's and Anna Maria Horner's fabric for a long time but could not find the right project to use my favorite prints. I said to myself "why match- take a chance!" and it really worked out. The assembly was almost as much fun as the fabric shopping. Here's how I made my king-sized duvet.
6 yds of Fabric A (Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit) 60in. wide Home Dec
6.5 yds of Fabric B (Amy Butler for Rowan) 60 in. wide Home Dec
Duvet-Measure out 2 lengths of 3yds each from Fabric A and B. You will have 4 sections of 3yds each. With right sides together stitch the 2 sections of Fabric A together along the selvedges. Repeat with Fabric B. Press seams open. Double turn a 1 in. hem along the top of Fabric A and stitch. Set aside.
Button band- Measure and cut 2 pieces of Fabric B 8 in. by 60 in. Stitch these 2 pieces together along the selvedges and press seams open. With right side facing out, fold this piece in half and press. Pin this to the right side top of Fabric B duvet and stitch in place. Press seam to the wrong side of the duvet. With Right sides facing stitch duvet A to duvet B at the sides and along the bottom. Clip corners and turn right side out.
Buttons- Measure 2 in. in from each edge and then at 10 in. increments for your buttons and button holes. Double check to determine that your buttons and button holes match up. Place your button holes on the button band and your buttons on the inside of your top hem on duvet A. Your buttons will be tucked inside your duvet cover, not seen and will not poke you in your sleep.
Place your quilt or comforter inside your new, styling duvet and enjoy your new room! You can see how well both sides blend with my pillow covers (for instructions click here)
I have long been in love with Heather Bailey's Marlo Bloom Bag pattern and have been itching to make it for some time. However, I really had no excuse to make it for the blog since my 'thing' is to review patterns but also to make them in a slightly different way so as to give new ideas and inspiration. The Marlo Bag did not look like it could be modified at all so that left it out of contention. However, I soon discovered these awesome Turquoise Bag Handles and the light bulb went off. Not every bag shape can accommodate this pair of U shaped handles but the Marlo's wide body and delicate gathers look great with the rigid shape of the handles. The color is slightly variegated, like real turquoise and is a very soft color. The Turquoise Handles worked really well with my dark blue canvas and turquoise/aqua quilting cotton print. Let me get off my chest now before I continue my love tirade for this bag: This project was not the piece of cake I had envisioned.
I followed Heather's instructions and read the pattern before commencing. It looked pretty easy. I had a game plan. I would alter the pattern assembly just a little by leaving a turning gap in the bottom of the lining and then assemble the top as instructed but with wrong sides out. Then I would turn the bag right side out and hand sew up the lining. Next, I would simply rip 4 small holes in the top for the handle straps. Topstitching around the top would seal these holes closed and DONE!
I don't recommend this assembly. The gathers make it difficult to press seams open, turn and press again, and topstitch over these gathers, phew! Ripping into the gathers also is not a good idea but I tried it anyway because at that point I was committed. I was able to save the gathers and keep them in place but it was all shooting from the hip and I don't think I could adequately put it into words. It just goes to show that you can read ahead, plan ahead but seeing all the contingencies ahead is another story. However, once finished the bag looked so good with the handles that I was determined to come up with a new idea. From where I sat the problems were 2: turning the gathers (it was just easier to leave the instructions as is, as though you were going to use the pattern handles) and ripping into the gathers. Bias tape is the solution. You can make it to match the exterior of your bag. Follow the pattern instructions as written but instead of sewing the pattern handles in place, sew bias tape on instead. Then you can slip the handle straps under the bias tape and DONE (but much easier).
To attach the handles I cut a 12 in. long by 3 in. wide piece from my dark blue Canvas. I then folded it in half and pressed. I opened the strap and then pressed the long sides over to meet at the center press line (this is a common Amy Butler technique). Then I folded the strap in half again and pressed a final time and stitched up the strap with 2 lines of stitching. I cut this piece into 4 pieces 3 in. long. I would recommend altering these instructions to cut a strap 16 in. long to give an extra 1 in. for each of the 4 pieces for tucking under the bias tape.
This is a great and fun modification for taking chic hand bag pattern to a stylish shoulder bag. The size of the bag lends it well to carrying knitting, crochet, embroidery, as well as a transitional diaper bag (when you don't need to haul the entire nursery just a diaper or 2).
Today I am reviewing some of my favorite patterns, perfect for the upcoming spring. These patterns are versatile and fun. They work with a multitude of fabrics from Quilting cotton, linen, voile and silk. There is also a bounty of these patterns in different finishes throughout blogland should you need inspiration. I, myself, cannot wait to try modifications to really fill out my spring wardrobe.
The first pattern is Favorite Things Prairie Girl Pattern. I made the top version and it was really easy as far as tops go. The fit is semi fitted with some ease through the bust and the hips. I nixed the modesty panel in favor of mixing my different color tank tops underneath. I also went with the capped sleeves instead of the fluttery sleeves. I love the ties and the v-neck, which really needs something underneath but is complimentary to any bust. One of my favorite things about this great neck line is that it begs for a necklace and I love a good necklace. Next time I am planning to cut the skirt a few sizes bigger and add in gathers. I also want to make the ties twice as long and in a contrasting color so I can wrap them around and add definition to the waist. I am also considered doing the flutter sleeve but layering 2, one in the main print and the second (cut 1 size bigger) in the same contrasting fabric as the ties.
Next is the Apron Overlay by Amy Butler, Barcelona Skirts. It was fun and really easy to make too. I love the weight of the two layers of cotton coupled with the gathers; it really adds structure. Next time, I will not sew up the bottom but sew both sides to the waist band, turn it out and topstitch the bottom. If my stitches are going to not be perfect, I would rather it be on the hem than the waist. When I make this overlay again I will not use so many prints but couple prints and solids together. I think so many prints, or rather the prints that I used, compete with each other. I would pick one solid and a print for each side and perhaps a smaller print with less business. I am also looking forward to trying different fabric with this, maybe a light-weight linen or silk coupled with a shorter length to wear with tunics & leggings. Another idea bouncing around is to leave the contrast stripe down the center but join the 2 panels so there is no split down the center. This will give more of an apron look but more of a skirt feel.
or you can get the inside scoop on my projects, see their progress and get extra tips and tricks by following me@tdangermiller
Designer Dog gear is all the rage now. Everyone wants to look good; the same goes for your dog. Even should your dog care less, you care- a lot. If you are like me, my dogs were my kids before I had a kid and they still hold a special place in the household, often with more benefits than the child. Some dog owners get a thrill from dressing their dogs but my dogs are too rough and tumble to go for that. I get my kicks from chic dog collars. The selection at my local pet store is sorely lacking (we are talking webbing in a wide selection of colors including red, blue and black). So once again, the chore has fallen into my hands to create something more appropriate for my hounds. Making dogs collars is easy, though figuring out how to install the adjuster is no fun. It is a frustrating mess unless you have a good tutorial: Behold!
I started by measuring my dogs necks and adding 6 inches (for adjusting and extra for hems and securing). My Border Collie's (Murphy) neck is 16 in + 6 in. = 22 in. My American Bulldog's (Maggie) neck is 22 in + 6 in. = 28 in. We will work from Murphy's measurements.
¼ yd of designer quilting cotton
1 Center Release Buckle 1 in.
1 Adjuster 1 in.
1 set of D rings 1 in.
Next, cut a 1 in. by 22 in. from heavy interfacing or canvas and a 3 in. by 23 in. from Modern Meadow Picnic Plaid. Maggie's collar is Modern Meadow Dogwood Bloom. To make the straps, cut a 1 in. by 23 in. piece of heavy interfacing or canvas and set aside. Fold and press the 3 in. wide piece of your designer fabric (as instructed above) in thirds (you will have 2 folds but 3 three sections each 1 in. wide). Lay your interfacing piece in the center of your designer fabric and fold one side of the designer fabric over the top of the interfacing. Stitch this in place using a 1/4 in. seam. Fold over the designer fabric on the other side while turning under 1/2 in. to make a finished edge. Stitch again with a 1/4 in. seam.
To assemble the strap into a collar, I took a series of pictures to best describe how to assemble all the collar parts. I used a double turn ½ in. hem to finish and secure each end of the collar.
The bonus of making your own collars out of interfacing and quilting cotton as opposed to webbing is there is no need to melt the end, you can use any fabric you desire and these collars are washable. They are simple to make and fast to assemble that you can make them for any season, holiday or as great gifts.
On the heels of my Kimono Dress from Monday, I wanted to follow up on bias tape. It reminds me of the purple car phenomenon: you never notice how many purples cars there are until someone points it out and then you see them everywhere. The same can be said of bias tape. You never notice how useful it is until you start using it, making it or finding a new way to use it. Bias tape has so many applications that a blog posting was definitely in order. Not only can it be used for the standard of finishing off seams such as necklines and sleeves but also as ties, straps, belts, and cording. Bias tape is an excellent way to use up and store your fabric scraps. As well as a great way to add a bit of color or contrast to a project. Bias tape is forgiving given its stretchy nature so you can use it on parts of clothing where you might lack confidence in the recommend technique, such as 1/8 in. double turn on the neckline. Bias tape can be purchased readymade but with several different sizes of bias tape makers, the options are endless and perfectly coordinated to your needs. I have surfed blog land and some of my favorite sites to come up with some great tips and tutorials for bias tape creations.
One of our favorite pattern companies (especially close to Shannon's heart), Colette Patterns shows us how to make a continuous bias tape. This cuts down on the amount of sewing to join your bias tape together. I particularly love it because I never know how exactly to line up my bias tape to make it match up. This tute eliminates that and all my bias tape strips are perfect every time. Thank you!
Craftzine features a great tute for hemming jeans with denim bias tape. This is a great finish for too long jeans or a great way to add your favorite color to your favorite jeans. A pal found that by adding some dino fabric to her son's jeans that he broke off the habit of wearing the same camo pants every day.
One of our featured blogs of the month- Adventures in Dressmaking- has another great tute for changing a boring sweater in to a vintage-inspired letter sweater using bias tape. It is super cute and can be changed into a Laverne and Shirley style monogram sweater without too much thought.
Prudent Baby offers a free pattern for a bias tape bag that is uber cool and reversible. By adjusting the scale of the pattern, this bag can be modified to be large enough for a diaper bag, knitting bag or smaller for an evening out/date purse. Very versatile.
My own Mom (who taught me to sew) made a delightful flannel kimono-seen above-, from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones, for my baby complete with flannel bias tape edging. It is so soft and cozy that often there is a battle to remove it in the morning and get into play clothes. More kimonos made from quilting cotton, linen and sleeveless are planned to ease the morning transition.
We all know where I stand when it comes to Amy Butler's patterns so I shall spare us all another romantic tale. No love though is perfect (not even Ms. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy). So I submit to you the flaw in my love for AB's patterns: Wide Leg Lounge Pants from In Stitches. We will begin with the good as all star-crossed love stories do. This pattern was super cute in the photo and just as super fast to make. While there was more cutting than was expected because I had to piece together pattern pieces and then create my own to add length to the legs, after that it was all downhill. 4 pattern pieces (double that if you add the contrast cuff like moi) and as many seams. I could see the impending doom as soon as I joined the front pieces to the back...these pants were going to be HUGE. I opted to the medium size because across the board, I am a medium sized girl. If my closet where a bell curve, the majority of my wardrobe would fall well into the medium range. So I added the requisite width to accommodate the medium size when cutting out my pants pieces (3/4 in. on each piece). Once the pants were done it can be safely said that these pants could do without 4-5 in. in width (2 to 2.5 each piece) and still be considered Wide Leg. The length was also an issue. I will need to rip off the cuffs and trim about 2 in. from the length as well. I also had a problem with the waist line. While I definitely fall into the "Mom" category, it is a daily goal to not dress as a mom (mom jeans, etc) so when I pulled these disastrous (but comfy) lounge pants up and up and up and up all the way past my waist I sighed a sigh of defeat. This would never due.
The waist as well needed to lose at LEAST 2-3 inches. The whole project would have to be ripped back, recut and resewn. These pants were so big in fact that I am forced to wonder, "How could Amy Butler not know that these pants were so big!" They fit nothing like the picture. Even the small with its 1 ½ in. difference would not have given me the cute fit of the photo. I am also sure that I am not the only one to have encountered this fitting issue but the only errata for In Stitches Wide Leg Lounge Pants to be found on AB's site is an improvement on step 6 for a clearer way of applying trim. I was really hoping for a great pair of PJ pants in line with the wonderful bags and tops that Amy has produced. Take my advice and measure a pair of PJ's pants you already own at the leg opening, length and waist height and adjust Amy's Lounge Pants pattern to those sizes before cutting your fabric. I opted for an elastic waist instead of the draw string because anything dangly can and will be seized and used as a leash by my almost 2 yr old daughter. Plus I need to dress or undress rapidly in order to shower or look decent so fiddling with a suddenly double knotted pair of PJs was not on the menu.
Now, the fabric on the other hand, Claire Bella Flannel is dreamy. SO Soft, wonderful drape, comfy inside and out. The colors were grown up enough that should I be caught outside picking up the newspaper, I would not have to hide my face but fun enough to make PJ pants, well, fun. The diagonal circles give a nice line which makes it more forgiving to piece than vertical or horizontal. But the hand was delicious. I slept in my pants last night and they were so soft that going to bed was even more joyous than usual. Plus I was warm enough with my pants that I didn't need the long sleeve t-shirt and socks that I usually don before sleep. I recommend this flannel for robes and blankets as well. It is simply dreamy! The cuffs of the lounge pants were created by doubled quilting cotton from Amy Butler's Belle Line. I would have gone for her new Soul Blossom line but I didn't realize that I wanted a contrast cuff till 2 days ago. The next pair will have some Soul Blossom, for sure!You can follow us on Twitter! Get the scoop on Fabric.com Deals by following @fabricdotcom
or you can get the inside scoop on my projects, see their progress and get extra tips and tricks by following me@tdangermiller
I heart Amy Butler's books, all of them. Originally hooked when I was a newborn knitter looking for a great knitting bag, I stumbled upon her patterns while cruising blog land. I had to have it, though it had been sometime since I had sewn anything substantial. A new blog friend helped me with the pattern (Chelsea Bag) and walked me through it via email. My voracious appetite was whetted and I have since sewn just about every Amy Butler bag I got my hands on, even little known Amy Butler bags. So.... When I heard from a little bird called Momma, that Amy had a new, purse only book coming out (Amy Butler's Style Stitches), I quietly, with dignity, jumped up and down, ran down the sidewalk shouting at the top of my lungs with excitement. Once the book debuted and Fabric.com received it in stock, my plotting (err... planning) began. First I set aside a week for careful dreaming, perusing and drooling over the new book then I got to work. I decided since my general theme on this blog is to take a new approach that I could not just create one of the 26 patterns in some super cool fabric (tempting though that was) but that I would make a combo of 2 patterns to make a super bag, if you will, to tempt fabric.com blog readers. I decided that the Perfectly Pleated Clutch was not perfect enough and the Origami Bag was just what I needed to expand my knitting carrier collection. To combine the two, I borrowed the pleats from the clutch with the shape and instructions of the Origami. The new Dwell fabric was the perfect complement to this hybrid bag and lined with some awesome retro & mod quilting cotton.
I started by following the pleating instructions and pleated enough fabric to cut 2 pieces for the exterior to matching the Medium lining pieces (I used the lining piece measurements since I would not be piecing). I basted the pleats in place being careful to baste twice so that once I cut the fabric, there would be basting on each piece to keep the pleats in place. Once the pleating was complete I cut my exterior pieces and also the interfacing. Opting for sew-in interfacing so the pleating would not be distorted due to the possible misplacement of the iron or misalignment of the interfacing, this interfacing would allow the pleating to behave as pleating should and not stay frozen in place. I basted the interfacing onto the pleated fabric following the direction of the pleats. I followed the remaining Origami instructions leaving the pleat basting in place until the bag was complete. Amy's instructions concerning the insertion and sewing of the zipper leave a very nicely finished product. Once finished, I removed the pleat basting stitches and was super pleased with the finished bag. I think it is a perfect combination of the 2 patterns and a great expansion to the book's compilation of bags. Try your own combination of Amy Butler's bags from Style Stitches and don't forget to include a link on our Facebook page!
You can follow
us on Twitter! Get the scoop on Fabric.com Deals by following @fabricdotcom
or you can get the inside scoop on my projects, see their progress and get extra tips and tricks by following me@tdangermiller
I have always been blown away by Amy Butler color choices; it is characteristic that really set her above the crowd. The color palette was the aspect I was most excited about when I first heard about her Belle for Rowan yarn line. I was not disappointed. I am also pleased with its organic quality. I knew her line would be amazing simply because it is produced by Rowan and...it...is! The blend of cotton and wool is quite deceiving and intriguing. At first you can just feel the cotton, but then you notice the plush quality of the wool. It is easy to work with and stays together like cotton. It knits slower like cotton but it doesn't have the dry feeling of cotton but the soft trait of wool. It is stretchy like wool but it is not as fuzzy. It has all the best features of both fibers.
The stitch definition is above par lending it well to cables, color work, and tricky textures. Given the softness of wool and the smoothness of cotton, this yarn works well for wearing close to the skin: hats, sweaters, leg warmers, and hand warmers. There is no irritation so you know it will also be a great gift for babies and small, sensitive children. I am planning on using Amy Butler's Belle in my November Free Pattern Download but with some many possibilities I am having trouble narrowing it down. The swatch shown is actually one of my attempts to narrow down a design for November (you are looking at swatch number 4). Usually, I pick the yarn first and the project just follows but there are simply so many directions to go with Belle that I am happily frustrated.
Of all the knitting bags I have made (it might be JUST short of 100), Amy Butler's Stash N Dash is one of the top 3. It is perfect for knitting on the go (which I do a lot), small projects (my current obsession), socks and gifts. I made the biggest, Toiletry Bag, and it is perfect. I have decided I can use it as a project bag- in which I only have to pull out my needle, zip it and knit. It holds my yarn, tangle free and keeps it from rolling all over. This is also perfect when just knitting on the couch (keeps my yarn from little fingers) or at the Doctor's office. The strap hangs from your wrist so you can wear your yarn and quickly stash it away. The toiletry bag is also great for notions, wristlet for quick shopping trips, or a treasure bag for a little lady or man to tote their polished rocks, shiny coins or red marbles around. Oh and the bag is more spacious inside than it looks on the outside.
The Stash N Dash is quick to cut and sew up. I used a combo of quilting cotton (strap and top of bag) and home dec (lining and bottom of the bag) so I just interfaced the quilting cotton. Some more bags are definitely coming up and I am thinking of adding the straps or a little loop to hook a strap onto the smaller bags. These bags are a great option for Christmas presents because you can create a set in any fabric to match the recipient: dupioni silk for my sister in law, funky cotton for my mom and solids for my mother-in-law. These are also great teacher gifts, neighbors and the friend who has everything.
The perfect beginning to the fall fashion season is a good jacket and in my eyes there is no better jacket than the Midtown Trench by Indygo Junction. This was a surprisingly quick project. With all the details and beautiful flares in this pattern (large cuff, box pleats, and portrait collar) I would have thought that this was a time investment but the opposite was the case. The pattern was very well written and it seemed everything lined up and was excellently illustrated. The only trouble I had was with the hem. I ended up doing a 2.5 in. double turn hem as opposed to what was written. Also my auto buttonhole foot did not accommodate 1.25 in. buttons so I had to free hand it. I have learned that button holes are not my forte. Now buttons, I rocked those. No one sews on a button like Tara Miller. I kept the hand sewing to a minimum by doing the double turn hem and I stitched in the ditch to tack down the facings at the shoulders. That worked well. I would recommend any of our designer prints for this or smooth sateen or twill fabric. I used a size 14 needle and all purpose thread. You will need a large space to layout and cut your fabric; some of the pattern pieces are large. The fabric is Love by Amy Butler and it was great fun to work with as well. Not a big hit with the husband but all my girlfriends and mom loved it.
The top stitching incorporated in the pattern adds a lovely and professional finished. The back box pleats really add some extra swing to this jacket. The ¾ length sleeves, large cuffs and wide portrait collar are really 'on trend' but are still classics to last years. The fact that this jacket is so quick makes it easy to make several in different patterns and colors. There are 2 different versions included in the pattern. I made the shorter version without patch pockets. You can make the short for a fall jacket in some of our designer prints and the longer in laminated cotton as a great rain coat. The jacket called for 3 3/8 yd of 60 in. fabric and 3 7/8 yd of 45 in. fabric, 1/8 yd of interfacing and five 1 to 1 1/4 in. buttons. I used 5 of our ceramic buttons in a herringbone pattern. They look incredible with this print; the buttons match perfectly.
We all seem to be in a continual state of home redecoration. This is no more so than with me, though I do not really consider it REdecoration as much as decoration. You see we purchased our first house a few years ago and that coupled with our first child has not allowed me much of a decoration budget (good thing I can sew!). So I do a little here and there as I can. The priority now is our bedroom with bed linens being chief. I purchased some Waverly and Amy Butler that I think will go wonderfully with the yellow Dupioni silk drapes I made a few months ago. I am starting with the pillow shams. I choose to start with them because they are quick and will give me a good visual for the rest of the fabrics needed for the room. Once the shams are done, I will be able to see if the bed linens I choose will work for my vision of the room (if you want me to label my vision I guess I will call it regency with milder colors, mostly black, grey, white, yellow and some unknown accent color). I have made beds thousands of times so a pattern wasn't needed to complete my shams. Though I wanted to add a flange that did not work out due to poor planning and math. But in the end I managed to convince myself that I did not really want a flange anyway. Perhaps on some throw pillows, I told myself.
I measured my pillows' width and length and added a 1 in.for a ½ in. seam allowance for 2 front pieces. Next I added 6 in. to the length for 2 back pieces which I then cut in half. This left me with 4 pieces half the length of the front but with an extra 3 in. each for a 2 in. over lap and a ½ in. double turn hem.
Pinning the back pieces to the front (right sides together) overlapping the back pieces (after you complete the double turn hem) and stitch all the way around with a ½ in. seam. Clip the corners and turn right side out with a turning tool for the corners. Insert your pillow and done. Don't forget to prewash your fabric and press thoroughly beforehand. This is very important for pillows since you don't want them to shrink in the wash and they will need plenty of washing.
Once I placed my shams on my bed and placed my yet-to-be-made duvet fabric underneath, I was smiling from ear to ear. They looked great with my drapes and with the duvet fabric. My days of a miss-matched bedroom are slowly coming to an end and I cannot wait to see what it looks like in the end. I hope to add an upholstered chair, a repainted dresser or two and some new nightstands.
Whether Back to School means getting the kids stocked up and ready to go or preparing for a slower pace for yourself, Back to School sewing is an important event.
If you are on the 'Stock up the Kids' side of the fence, start with measuring your youngsters. They have grown since the end of the school year. The first day of school outfit is make-or-break, as everyone knows, so pick a pattern that will wow! For Girls, I love the Bananafana Gumdrop or Mod Girls Julia. Both call for several patterns that are bright and fun, try Arianna or Pretty Bird by Michael Miller. For Boys, Oliver + S Sandbox outfit is fun with lots of personality. The Kwik Sew Hoody pattern is a simple project perfect for the first day of school once you add a Sublime Stitches Pirate.
For kiddos heading off to their very first day of school, SewBaby's Backpack pattern is perfect for art projects, crayons and notes home. Pair this pattern with some of the bright, fun prints in the Retro & Mod section.
If you are gearing up to slow down once the school bell rings, you had better start your project list, because you are going to need a new bag, jacket, bed spread and more! Now you have the time to spare, why not spend it on yourself; you need a break! Check out this to die for purse pattern from Indygo Junction. The button placement and buckle are so different but also classic. You will be the envy of ladies everywhere. The Victory bag is begging for woolen fabric with complimentary retro buttons. I am going for a plaid version with buttons!
To go with your hot new bag, you need a hot new jacket. Perfect for early morning coffee runs, soccer games in the park and waiting for the bus, the Midtown Trench features bracelet length sleeves, a wide portrait collar, back pleating for swing and 2 lengths. I am dying to create one in Waverly Geometric or Amy Butler's Love.
Finish off your project list with some Gumdrop pillows to seat extra guesst for coffee, book club or kids afterschool on rainy days. These pillows are also great for piling on for family movie night or just diving into followed by plenty of kiddy giggles. Choose a fabric that is washable and blends in with your décor. Or make some for the kids play room and let each kid pick their favorite print.
Whether you are sewing for you or for others, Back to School is different for everyone. Pick and choose which projects work for you and you are sure to find plenty to fill your time and dress your family.
When the weather gets warmer, the sun hotter and the grass turns green, there are few things more inspiring than a day at the flea market. You begin planning an escape to the beach or pool. And you dare to dream of a picnic. Summer projects are the most fun because it is an excuse to be bold and bright. Christmas has a hold on traditional, Easter is home to pastels and fall is decked out in jewel tones. Summer is for letting loose. Summer is for new bags, swimsuits and fun, light fabrics is bright colors and daring patterns. For example my summer project list consists of knit dresses, seersucker for my toddler, a new knitting bag in a vibrant pattern and maybe, just maybe I will attempt a swimsuit (With plenty of advice my pal Stacy). Of course, I am partial to fickleness so my list will change. I have been perusing the creativity Headquarters much of late and the Cookout Couture has really caught my eye. My picnic table out back is sorely in need of a dose of summer. So much so that it is more often used for potting plants than eating corn on the cob. I am thinking this Burda pattern for chair cushions (I love to knit out there but am only comfy for about 15 min) with this fabric. I love the texture of burlap and the terracotta color is bright without being neon. Next I need some placemats, napkins and this crazy chicken is a beachy print. I think this Robert Allen print (please refer to my Dad's day article for more ideas) would look so chic on the chicken and placemats, very PB. I could also go for them in this fabric by Premier Prints; the black and white reminds me of the Hamptons (I say that as if I have been there). I also want plenty of pillows for the porch swing, lounge chairs and for reading books in the grass.
My bag list is LONG but earmarked as 'must-makes' for this summer are1) Sophia Bag in this fabric (it looks very retro knitting bag, doesn't it)
2) Swing Bag (I have wanted on for years) in Linen
3) Favorite Things Billfold. I know not technically a bag but I really need a new wallet so it's in. Made from oilcloth for 2 reasons a) diaper bag proof b) I love the retro prints.
Now should I attempt to make a swimsuit it will definitely be from this fabric but I haven't narrowed down a pattern yet. That is due in large part to the fact that I am still talking myself into make one. I will let you know how the internal argument turns out.
Fabric.com's Facebook page has been lighting up with great summertime projects. I want to highlight some of our customer projects. Thanks for making out Facebook page so summery!
(Picture Above) Jenn Teer was caught by the sock monkey bug. Check out her great summer bag
Theresa Geer-Whitman used Amy Butler Laminated Cotton to create this inspiring apron
Vanessa York Piccorossi's summer bag is so darn colorful!
If you knit, sooner or later you do so outside of your home. I call it knitting on the go (KoG for short). I would venture a guess that I knit outside my home about 50-60% of the time. I knit in the car, waiting for meetings, DMV, Doctor's office...you get the picture. KoG is awesome. I repeat: KoG is AWESOME.
But, preparation is everything in the KoG game. You will need a bag, dare I say it, a knitting bag. Wait! Before you stop reading right now and imagine old ladies with needlepoint floral carpet bags that more than hint at moth balls, you need to realize that is a myth created and exploited by Hollywood fat cats. It holds no basis in truth. Ok, that is a lie-- but you can choose your own knitting bag. One will not be assigned to you. There are some really cool ones out there. The "Cool Stuff" feature at Knitty.com is always a great place to check--they are featuring a super bag in this edition called the Swift. Jondana Paige is force to be reckoned with among knitting bags. Don't forget you can sew up the perfect bag from one of the many patterns at Fabric.com. Choose the fabric, trim, pocket placement and handle length. I have made all of my knitting bags. My current favorite is the Betty Shopper because I am making several sweaters.
Next, taming the yarn. Depending on your style there are different options. You can toss your skeins in individual zip-top plastic bags, allowing a tail to slip out. This will keep your yarn tangle free and prevent the gummy bears stuck to the floor mats from depositing sugary goo on your merino. If you "don't do" plastic then there are some other options. This one here is a really cool drawstring yarn ball bag made by Funtific. If you prefer to make your own, let me suggest the Amy Butler Stash & Dash bags in any size. With their zip top you can leave a hole open for your yarn but there is plenty of space inside for your ball to roll around unhindered. Plus they are pretty cute too.
Third, you will need some travel tools. If you would be so kind as to refer back to my previous post on notions and the included pouch pattern, that would sum up this section. However, those with a tendancy to misplace items like to have multiple sets of tools, this kit is perfect for KoG (look how shiny!)
Last, take your pattern. I would recommend either printing an extra copy or photocopying if needed. This chart keeper is great for keeping your place in a chart or for holding any knitting pattern while on the go.
I hope all of these tools and tips help. Your first trip out with your knitting may not go as planned but you will soon learn what works for you. Good luck and feel free to leave a comment adding your recommended tools and suggestions for KoG!