Recently in Patterns Category
February 28, 2014
I am anxious for spring and found my daughter's upcoming picture day to be a great excuse to make the first spring dress of 2014 (side note: did you know that there are two pictures days now!) I decided on Oliver + S Ice Cream dress for two reasons:
1) It seemed like a comfy, no frills, limited fasteners and with pockets that my daughter requires (her rules, not necessarily mine)
2) It is my favorite dress pattern. I just love the look and styling and knew she would love wearing it.
I let her pick the fabric. She decided on gray quilting cotton with dogs playing on it. Gray seems to be one of her favorite colors and I loved that it was an easily matched fabric. Since she got bored after picking the main fabric I got to have my fun picking out the second fabric. But I actually went with two fabrics for the top and border. I layered an eyelet fabric with a colorful polka fabric for a fabulous peek-a-boo effect that toned down the brightness of the polka dot allowing the main fabric to shine and gave some more visual interest to the white eyelet. This is the same eyelet I used for my square top variation. I used the polka dot as the lining and the eyelet as the exterior fabric however instead of having the lining's right side face out towards the inside of the dress, I reversed it having the right side of the lining fabric face towards the eyelet and the outside of the dress so the dots would show through the eyelet. The effect is beautiful and delicious. You can play around with this effect with many different fabrics. Try pairing different fabrics over a bright patterned quilting cotton like sheer fabric, lace fabric, sweater knit or even tulle.
My daughter loves her dress and so do I. She is a big leggings and t-shirts girl but she really does love this dress. I hypothesize that it is the loose overall fit and comfortable neckline. She is always asking to wear it and I can't wait for picture day. I just hope it is not washed thin before then.
February 19, 2014
We are constantly getting new, beautiful fabric and yarn stock in at fabric.com so I wanted to take this opportunity to reintroduce you to our free knitting pattern downloads by pairing them up with some of our newest stock of yarn. Since most you are still in winter's grips it is nice to explore something new if you have cabin fever. For those of us getting a taste for spring's rapid approach (it was in the 70's in Atlanta the other day), we have a taste for brighter colors. So new is needed all around; check it out with me.
Autumn Stars Sock Pattern: more like Spring Stars so let's knit these socks up in brighter hues and sequins.
Beach Pillow Knitting Pattern: Spring Break is coming and many of you will head to the beach. Coordinate this pillow to match your beach blanket or swimsuit in Cotton yarn.
Belle Handwarmers: Who needs handwarmers in spring? Anyone who works in an office, early mornings or night shift. But knit them up in a softer shade and some pima cotton and alpaca.
September Shawl: This is my favorite of the free pattern downloads I've designed for fabric.com. I have made it as teacher presents and gifted it to friends. I love working it in different yarns, fibers, and sheens. This cotton metallic yarn works up with a soft hand and nice drape, espcially if you go up one needle size. The metallic sheen means you can wear this to glam up your tunic and jeans or over a little black dress for a night out.
January 29, 2014
For Christmas my oldest daughter received a very special quilt from her Bestemor (Norwegian for Grandmother), a Very Hungry Caterpillar Quilt. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to share it on the blog. Typically this is a forum where I share my creations but this quilt was too delightful not to tell the world and since Fabric.com has all the Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric in stock it seemed meant to be.
My daughter is over the moon with her quilt; can't spend a night without it. My mother-in-law did an amazing job in creating it. She uses a machine to piece her quilt tops but always hand quilts the quilt sandwich and hand stitches the binding which just makes my heart melt. Beste (pronouced Besta- short for Bestemor) used the Fons & Porter Very Hungry Caterpillar Quilt Pattern but there are several beautiful Hungry Caterpillar quilts using the multi-color transformation panel fabric (which is my favorite) and many of the coordinating fabrics in different configurations. You can get some great ideas just by googling your favorite fabric plus quilt and searching by images. Here is my search results for Very Hungry Caterpillar Quilt Pattern. You can find all our Very Hungry Caterpillar Fabrics here. Beste worked on this over several months with her quilting group who helped her along the way. The quilt top is hand quilted with buterflies but hearts, leaves and apples can also be used and be very cute.
Butterfly hand quilting
You can also find the Very Hungry Caterpillar Coloring Panel. It is a great addition for older artist kids or a way to commemorate art from a certain age. I would love to add the multi-color panel to the quilt top and the coloring panel to the back so you can have something you made on one side and the child's contribution on the other. I imagine my daughter will have this quilt for many, many years as I still have the quilt my grandmother made for me. I hope Beste has already started on a second for my youngest daughter who would love her own caterpillar quilt just as much as this one is loved.
More Very Hungry Caterpillar Quilt Patterns here
January 3, 2014
I think it is a universal acknowledgment that yoga pants are awesome. I see them everywhere and I know that they are a favorite of every age. My daughters have always had yoga pants from as early as 3 mo (when I first discovered them). I can attest that I have had a pair since yoga hit the scene big. However, my only complaint is yoga pants seem to exist in black only. Black has it place and its reasoning for yoga pants is sound (its slimming) however it should not make up 90% of yoga pants produced with the other 10% being black with a colorful band. Yoga pants should be in a rainbow of colors. The only solution is to make our own.
I decided on a combo of a Favorite Things Sleep Well Pajama Pant pattern and the band from our own Nancy Dress Free Pattern Download. I used 2 yds of Stretch Jersey Knit Fabric in Royal Blue. First I cut out my pants pattern pieces 2 sizes smaller than I would normally use. This is because the pattern is designed for a woven fabric so you need extra room for ease and movement. When using a woven pattern for a knit fabric than you need to cut it smaller since you want a knit to be fitted especially yoga pants. This will ensure that the pants move with you when you get into different positions. Next cut the band from the Nancy dress the correct size for your measurements. This pattern is designed for knits so don't go smaller.
Finally, assemble the pants according to the pattern until you get to the elastic/drawstring waist then stitch on the assembled Nancy band instead. These wonderful pants fit like a dream and the waist band is fitted enough to hold the pants in place while also holding in and smoothing any trouble areas.
December 22, 2013
Lace is all over my favorite stores right now so it inspired me to recreate the look for a holiday party dress. I love all the scallop edge laces we have in stock right now; it creates a great look and saves time on hemming. I chose an easy pattern, Butterick 5181, to modify with a lace overlay by basically making the dress twice. First, I stitched up a grey dress from broadcloth as the lining then I stitched up the lace overlay but I changed it up a bit.
After I cut out all of my pattern pieces (more on the skirt pieces in a bit) I trimmed off the remaining scallop edge at 1.5'' to use on the armholes and the neckline. I stitched them all scallop edges together using a french seam and then I added it to the raw edges of the arms and neckline. After I stitched the scallop edge to the neckline and armhole I finger pressed the seam allowance towards the scallop and topstitched it in place.
When I cut the skirt I placed the pattern piece bottom on the scallop edge but added 2'' to the bottom so it would hang longer than the grey lining and create a peek-a-boo effect.
Once the dresses were complete except for the zipper, I layered the lace overlay on top of the grey dress and carefully pinned the waist bands together and topstitched the overlay to the lining to complete the dress. I then inserted a colorful invisible zipper just for a little hint of color and fun. The teal zipper pull looks like a little bit of jewelry at the back neck.
This lace was a pleasure to work with and looks amazing. The mechanical stretch means that this lovely dress will not be overly stiff and uncomfortable. This is perfect for holiday parties, New Year's Eve, dates or with colorful leggings and a cardi it makes a great girls night out ensemble. Make it your own with your choice of lace and lining.
December 13, 2013
If you are like me I am still trying to get everyone on my list a little something homemade. Luckily, my family all knows how much I love them everyday so they are at the bottom of my list and my daughter's teachers are at the top. Even though I tell them all the time how much I adore them I also know how much they give and sacrifice to give my daughter a great education so I place them at the top of my "homemade list".Also at the top are all my hostess friends who work so hard to make my holiday season festive. Everyone's list is long so the only way to get it all done is to pick great gifts that pack a punch. I love tote bags, cowls and sweet little details for those really special givers in our lives.
For my teacher/hostess gifts I chose to make a chic but simple cowl, a quick but so cute tote bag and a super sweet little girl's dress. The cowl makes the perfect hostess gift because you can wrap it around a bottle of wine and its use goes beyond the party. I learned to make this cowl from Craftsy's Beginner Serging class but it is basically two 60'' wide fabric pieces serged together. It is so easy but so lux. There is knit on the inside and twill print on the outside.
For a teacher gift I made the Pleated Shoulder Bag from Amy Carol's Bend the Rules Sewing. This is a great book for quick, creative gifts. I had previous cased out my teacher's handbag to determine her style but I wasn't sure I had the time to take on a really great handbag project. I opted for a super great tote bag instead; something every teacher can use. This bag came together with 1/2 yd of each fabric: Organic Cotton in Gray and Denyse Schmidt Cotton Print. This tote carries a lot and looks great doing it. It goes together pretty fast and it is easy to customize. The large gussets help it to accomodate lots of books, games or tasty treats.
Finally for my daughter's head teacher I made something for her own daughter. She has a 2 yr old who is very dear to her and I wanted to make something special since she is always admiring my little one's dresses. I casually asked about her daughter's favorite colors and when I found this pink dog print I knew I had struck gold. I modified the back for a zipper for ease and added a tie to the back so there would be a big pink bow on the back for cutness. You can't go wrong with an Oliver + S pattern.
For those of you still scrambling or looking for more quick gifts check out our other great gifts blog posts here.
December 10, 2013
Around the office, we are buzzing about all the really cool fabrics for kids of all ages we have in stock right now. We are dreaming up quick gift ideas, and the one that keeps coming up is to make pillowcases with a theme. Sew4Home has a great Sleepover Pillowcase project that's quick and easy. Here are just a few of the really cool prints we have: Peanuts, Star Trek, Star Wars, Marvel Comics, Family Guy, Angry Birds, Strawberry Shortcake, Sesame Street, The Big Bang Theory and Hello Kitty. Check out the Famous Character Cotton Print fabrics if you want to see all the great prints of characters you know and love.
December 8, 2013
It's time for another bucket list sewing project!
I have always loved the idea of my own tuxedo, but with very limited reasons to wear one, it seemed like an impractical endeavor. With New Year's Eve approaching, it's the perfect time, but what about after the ball drops? I have a space issue as-is, so I can't really justify a one-time-use project to squeeze into the already cluttered closet.
I remember when I was in high school, I found an old tux jacket at the thrift store and wore that thing constantly, until it was threadbare and the textiles were breaking down. That got me thinking about the idea of a more casual tuxedo -- a trouser and jacket that could be worn together or as separates. Pieces that would go great with a T-shirt or a dressier option, that could mix and match with the rest of my wardrobe.
November 28, 2013
It's officially time to churn out some gifts, especially if you like to keep a few around. (I also like to make a few small things for myself while I work on gift projects.) And one of the projects I'm making this year is a simple little travel roll for keeping makeup brushes organized when you're going glam on the road.
This one makes use of a free pattern download from our friends at Hot Patterns! It uses the outer section piece from the Bijoux Baby Jewelry Roll pattern. For my makeup brush roll, I untaped this piece at the join and retaped it so it's not as long, but if you or the person you're making this project for has a lot of makeup brushes, you might want it wider than mine.
November 13, 2013
If you sew and you have not heard of Burda Style then it must be because you are new (then you would have discovered Burda shortly), live under a rock (in this case you probably don't read this blog either) or don't own a computer (see previous). It is, quite simply, an awesome resource for sewing. And when I use the word "awesome" I mean it literally- it inspires awe. I have not written about it before because I have been referencing Burda Style for so long that I guess I have taken it for granted. It is my go-to resource for techniques, fashion/project inspiration and general time-filling while I have an idle minute.
I recommend checking out all the sections of the Burda Style blog which are listed below. I have a few favorites myself which are the Fashion & Trends and Guest Columns.
- Editors' Pick
- Fashion & Trends
- Backstage Report
- Web Seminars
- DIY to Try
- Mandie's Picks
- Denise's Desk
- Meg's Magazine Mash Up!
- Featured Member
- Guest Columns
- Comment to Win
- Monthly Memo
- BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern
- Sewing Techniques
If you don't use Burda for the sewing resourses, tutorials, videos or inside tips then use it for the Fashion & Trends. Oh, the fashion! There are many free and purchase patterns available through Burda Style's blog but there are also tons of pictures, modifications and fabric ideas to be had. This is especially true around fashion week when you can expect a slurry of posts referencing your favorite designers and some Burda Pattern recomendations. I love this and always have it open along with a Fabric.com window so I can match fabric as well.
Another of my frenquented spots on Burda Style blog is definitely the Guest Column section. It is like a fresh take on Burda Style. Not that Burda Style is stale but it is all the style you expect from Burda but in a different voice and with a different spin. I liken it to discovering that your favorite author's best friend is also an author in the same genre. Double Jackpot! I enjoy the different voices and viewpoints and love the modifications on my favorite patterns.