Thursday, October 30, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Emily

Today, Suz and I have only one guest in our I [heart] Marcel Marlier series, but she's far from the least! Emily is an American who lives in Hong Kong with her husband and two sons. She blogs over at Naptime Creations, often about sewing but also about other crafts, cooking, and life with her kids. As the sneak peek below already suggests, she creates beautiful and bright clothes. I just love the color combination in her Marcel Marlier dress. Make sure to visit Emily's blog to find out more, and to take another chance at those amazing prizes in our $300 prize pool!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sew + Show #2

When I put up the first Sew + Show link party last week, I had one big fear: that there would hardly be anyone uploading their creations. One week later, the link party has over 100 entries. Thank you so much partying along, and also for all the encouraging responses I received!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Off topic: Our favorite children's book author

I don't often blog about other things than sewing. But once in a while, I feel like sharing something different which I think might interest you.

Today, I'd like to write a bit about my (and Norah's) favorite book author. Christopher Wormell is his name, and he has written and illustrated 14 books so far. And let me tell you: they are divine! I first heard about him when Mr. StraightGrain brought the Dutch translation of Ferocious Wild Beasts ('Een Bos Vol Enge Wilde Beesten') from the library.


Monday, October 27, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Jess and Esther

Happy Monday everyone! I'm so excited today to show you two stunning creations in our I [heart] Marcel Marlier series.

The picture on the left shows a creation by Jess from The Sewing Rabbit. It's hard to paint a concise picture of who Jess is, because Jess is just... so much! Blogger at MeSewCrazy. Co-founding editor of the superb STYLO magazine. Founder of SewSet. Organizer of the Girl's Night Out Dinners. Designer of gorgeous patterns, like the Stepford Dress. And an incredibly funny lady (check out her recent Manslation meme). We're so thrilled to have you in our series, Jess! Check out her creation here.

The dress on the right was created by a Dutch blogger who you just HAVE to discover if you haven't already. Suz is introducing her here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Hayley and Heidi

We're over halfway in our I [heart] Marcel Marlier series, but Suz and I are not through our stock of amazing guests yet! Quite on the contrary...

The picture on the left shows a gorgeous creation from Hayley from Welcome to the MouseHouse. You all know Hayley from her super sweet patterns (the Julia cardigan! the Norah dress!), her great tutorials, and of course her extremely cute and photogenic kids Ainsley and Ethan. In the past months I've had the pleasure to get to know Hayley better online, and I learned that she's one of the funniest and sweetest bloggers out there. Make sure to go follow her blog, because she's going to surprise you with some amazing news in the time to come! But in the mean time, read more about her classic Marcel Marlier style dress and coat here.


The picture on the right shows another stunning creation - for a boy! Read the introduction to Heidi over at Suz's.

   

And don't forget to sew along! This week you can upload your Marcel Marlier creations both here and over at Kids' Clothes Week ;-)


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lancering Nederlandse Lua (+GIVE-AWAY)

Nederlandse versie: zie lager
When I launched my Lua sleep sack pattern six months ago, I didn't really have high expectations. A simple pattern in three sizes was simply all I was capable of creating with a high maintenance newborn to care for (in combination with a job in a different country). 

Six months on, Lua is a best-selling pattern, and the enthusiastic responses have exceeded my expectations by far. Thank you so much for all your support! I received many requests for a translation to Dutch, and with the help of my friend Regina (from Twee Emmerkes Water), I finally managed to get the translation ready.


For obvious reasons, the remainder of this blog post will be in Dutch. But first, a few more words in English about the new Lua I stitched up for the occasion. The fabric is designed for Cloud 9 by one of my favorite designers, Eloise Renouf. I made this dress in it a few weeks ago, and I couldn't get enough of it, so I got some more from Den Depot to make a sleep sack as well. It is called Spring Sampler and also comes in a pink palette.

---
Allez, en nu in 't Nederlands! Toen ik een half jaar geleden mijn Lua-patroon lanceerde, had ik niet echt hoge verwachtingen. Een eenvoudig patroon in 3 maten was simpelweg het enige waar ik als kersverse werkende moeder van een heel veeleisende baby toe in staat was.

Zes maanden later is het patroon een onverwachte bestseller, en hebben de enthousiaste reacties mijn verwachtingen ver overtroffen. Nogmaals dank aan iedereen die het Engelstalige patroon al aankocht! De aanvragen voor een Nederlandse versie bleven echter maar komen, en na lang uitstellen heb ik de hulp van de geweldige Regina (van Twee Emmerkes Water) ingeroepen om het patroon te vertalen.


Add to Cart

Het patroon is vanaf vandaag dus ook beschikbaar in het Nederlands. Klik op het winkelkarretje hierboven, en je kan het betalen via een kredietkaart of Paypal, en vervolgens onmiddellijk downloaden. Betaal je liever via overschrijving? Stuur een mailtje naar straightgrainblog@gmail.com, en we brengen dat snel in orde!

Het patroon kost normaal $7 of €5.50, maar als je de code LANCERING gebruikt, krijg je 20% korting. Hoera! De code is geldig tot 27 oktober.

Voor wie het patroon nog niet kent: het gaat om een pdf-patroon, dat je zelf afprint en aan elkaar kleeft. De Lua telt drie maten tussen 0 en 2 jaar. Hij sluit met twee knopen aan de schouders, en een rits aan de zijkant. Aan de voorkant zit een mooi paspeldetail, maar dat kan ook worden weggelaten. De instructies zijn uitgebreid en voorzien van duidelijke foto's, zodat ook beginners de slaapzak kunnen maken. Daarenboven bevat het patroon heldere instructies voor het veilig aanbrengen van de knopen. De Lua kan gemaakt worden in een winterversie (met tussenvoering) of in een zomerversie.

Nederlandstaligen die het Engelstalige patroon kochten krijgen de Nederlandse versie trouwens gratis toegemaild. Ik probeer dat tegen maandag in orde te hebben - stuur me gerust een mailtje als je de komende dagen niets van me hoort.

De give-away
Om de lancering te vieren maakte ik zelf nog eens een Lua. De prachtige stof is van Eloise Renouf voor Cloud 9, en werd me toegestuurd door Sophie van de stoffenwinkel Den Depot.

Kennen jullie Den Depot/Het Machien al? Samen met haar zus Chris verkoopt Sophie zowel online als in een fysieke winkel stoffen van onder meer Cloud 9, Birch, Riley Blake, Michael Miller, Kokka, Lillestoff, Timeless Treasures, en Robert Kaufman. Maar je kan er ook terecht voor grossierstofkes, fournituren, en patronen. Daarnaast geven de zussen 's avonds en in het weekend ook workshops voor beginners en meer ervaren naaisters.


Ik vind het verhaal achter Den Depot/Het Machien echt heerlijk. Het begon allemaal met een online oproep van Sophie om een naaigroep op te richten in Heist. Op de blogpost kwam echter geen enkele respons... Of dat dàcht Sofie, want toen ze de oproep teleurgesteld wou deleten en de mailbox van de blog opende, bleek die bomvol enthousiaste reacties te zitten.
Sophie trommelde haar zus op, en samen kochten ze enkele naaimachines en begonnen ze workshops te geven, die al snel bomvol zaten. Ze begonnen ook stoffen mee te brengen, en zo ontstond de nood aan een grotere ruimte. Ondertussen zijn de zussen een nieuw pand en enkele verbouwingen rijker, en is Den Depot/Het Machien een begrip tot ver buiten Heist.


Sophie is niet alleen heel ondernemende, maar ook een supergulle dame. Ze wil twee StraightGrain lezers blij maken met waardebons voor Den Depot. Ik gooi zelf nog vijf Lua-patronen in de prijzenpot. Deelnemen kan via onderstaande Rafflecopter. (Wie het patroon aankoopt en het vervolgens wint, krijgt het trouwens terugbetaald.) Veel succes!

Click here to enter the give-away

Sew + Show #1 (A new link party!)

Starting today, I will be hosting a new, weekly link party, called Sew + Show. This means that each Wednesday, you will have an opportunity to upload whatever you have sewn in the past week. New people will be able to discover your blog (if you have one), and you will be able to discover new blogs too.


Why a link party?
Link parties have been important to me as a beginning blogger. For instance, when my blog was just a few weeks old, I was being featured a few times in the link party which was then organized over at Shwin & Shwin. It was a huge boost for my traffic: for the first time, I had over 100 page views in one day. I was exctatic: one hundred page views!! Pretty funny, looking back at it. :-)

As my own blog has been growing strongly in the past two years, I feel like it is time to 'give back' (oh that sounds cheesy!) and try to help other young blogs grow their popularity too.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Celina and Ana Sofia

It's Kids' Clothes Week, yaaay! The theme this season is 'Storybook': clothes inspired by children's books. When Suz and I started working on our I [heart] Marcel Marlier series, we had no idea that it would overlap with the KCW theme.
The message for you is, of course: if you are sewing along with our series this week, don't forget to also upload your creation to KCW (as well as to our own sew along link party).

Our guests today come from two countries where Marcel Marlier's books have turned out to be very popular: Canada and Portugal. On the left is the breath-taking creation of Canadian blogger and über-pinner Celina (Petit à Petit & Family). That's right: you're not looking at a pic from an expensive clothing brand catalogue - this is actually a picture Celina took of a home-sewn garment, worn by her beautiful daughter. To most of you, Celina does not need to be introduced. Her creations are not only gorgeous, but they are always so original, and so different from what you will found on other blogs. Petit à Petit is one of those blogs you just have to follow if you love children's clothes!

For the introduction to the equally stunning creation on the right, visit Suz.



Thursday, October 16, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Caro and Marta

While our sew-along link party is steadily growing, today we have two new guests in our I [heart] Marcel Marlier series.

The gorgeous outfit on the left was sewn by Caro of the French blog La Cabane d'Elilou. Caro sews gorgeous garments for her two kids Eliette and Louis (Eli & Lou, I presume :-)). She uses very bright and fun colors, which suit her kids beautifully. Caro is also a very talented knitter (check out this cardigan!) and crocheter (swoon at these presents!). In other words, she's a super versatile creative talent, and I'm just smitten with the color combination and the special collar of her Marcel Marlier creation. Read all about it here.

If you would like to learn more about the stunning dresses on the right, visit Suz for the intro and link!






Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mommy and Me totes: Tutorial (+ GIVE-AWAY)

Norah is crazy about the whole concept of 'twins'. She loves being dressed in similar clothes than Ava's ('We're just like twins!") and can be ecstatic about having things which are (remotely) similar to mine. ("We're both wearing leather boots today! We're practically twins!". Yes dear, we are. Apart from the 29 years which separate us, we totally are.)


And so in the past months, the idea of "Mommy & me" bags started to grow: a simple tote bag in an adult and a kid's size. They are really fast and easy to make, pretty sturdy (as they are lined), and very economical in fabric use. The instructions for the bags are below.




The give-away
I used a fabric from my stash which I bought months ago at Miss Matatabi. This fabric is one my favorite designs ever. I love the color combo, and I love how, from afar, the print looks like triangles, but then when you get closer, you see that some of the triangles are actually polar bears. A truly original and creative fabric! Frances still has it available in double gauze (in pink and blue).


I probably don't need to introduce Miss Matatabi anymore. As you might have noticed on this blog, Miss Matatabi sells an ever growing range of fabrics produced in Japan. Her selection includes household names like Kokka, Nani Iro, Cotton + Steel, Yuwa, Lecien and more, but also a great range of fabrics which you can only find in her store (and which tend to be very affordable too!). Here are some of my own favorites:



Frances is giving away a $40 voucher to one StraightGrain reader. If you'd like to win it, you simply have to use the Rafflecopter widget below to give us some social media love. Good luck!

Monday, October 13, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Isabelle and Stéphanie

Bonjour everyone! Today we have two great guests in our Marcel Marlier series, both hailing from the French speaking region.

The picture on the left is a sneak peak from Isabelle of Le Labo d'Isa. Isabelle is from the French-speaking part of Belgium, just like... Marcel Marlier himself! Isabelle blogs in French, but please don't let that keep you from visiting her blog. Le Labo has been one of my favorite sewing blogs for years now. Isa makes such fresh and modern garments and home decor objects, and takes such beautiful pictures of them, that you can enjoy her blog without reading a single letter of what she writes. As you can probably already tell from the sneak peek, her Marcel Marlier creation is no exception to this. Read all about it here.

For the introduction to our other guest, Stéphanie, please visit Suz!

  


Friday, October 10, 2014

Tutorial: Napkin rings with a cut-out

Sometimes, I get ideas in my head which I have to give a try, just to see if they are technically possible.
A recent one is a napkin ring with a cut-out. Don't ask me why. I never use napkin rings. Like, never ever.



But maybe some of you do... so here is a tutorial. The tutorial uses a star as an example, but of course you can use whichever shape you prefer. Why not use a fish, for when you're eating fish? (Or celebrating World Fish Migration Day? Partaaaaaay!) Or a heart, for a romantic dinner (as we all know, few things turn a man on more than some home-sewn napkin rings!).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Teresa and Anneliese

Today, we have two more gorgeous Marcel Marlier creations for you! The picture on the left is from the lovely Teresa from Dandelion Drift. When I received her teaser I got really excited, as I'm a huge fan of colorblocking myself too. Teresa makes stunning garments for her two kids and herself, and always manages to find the perfect fabrics for them. She had never heard of Marcel Marlier's books before the series, but managed to translate his style just beautifully. Check it out here!

If you'd like to learn more about the picture on the right, make sure to visit Suz for an introduction to Anneliese's creation. And don't forget that both our guests will give you new chances to win one of the prizes in our $300 prize pool!


 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

And the award for the most special fabric I ever worked with goes to...

... this double-sided ponte knit from Miss Matatabi. Read all about it (and check out the close-up!) in my new Miss Matatabi Makers post, here.

 


Monday, October 6, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Natalie and Maria

It's Monday, it's Marcel Marlier day! Yay! We're in the third week of our series, and it looks like many of you have already started to sew along. Some even already finished their garments and uploaded them in our Sew Along Link Party! Make sure to check it out, because there is some amazing stuff there.

As usual, we have two talented guests. The terribly cute picture on the left was taken by Natalie of the blog La Gang à Nat. Don't let the name of this blog mislead you - bilingual Natalie writes in English, not French. I'm so thrilled to have Natalie as a guest in our series. Not just because she is Canadian (one of the countries where Marcel Marlier's books are very popular), or because she is incredibly kind and funny and witty, but mostly because she makes the most beautiful things for her three daughters. As the sneak peak below shows, her Marcel Marlier garment is no exception to this. If you would like to see more, head this way.

  

Our other guest, Maria, has also stitched up a gorgeous tribute to Marcel Marlier (picture on the right). Visit Suz to see more.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Rachel and Marte

Today Suz and I can present two new guests in our I [heart] Marcel Marlier series. 

On the left we have an outfit by Rachel. Her blog, Stitched Together, is an incredible source of inspiration for me. Rachel does not only have an impeccable taste in children's clothing, she is also an amazing photographer! Make sure to check out her blog, and swoon over the breathtaking pictures she takes of her five children. I'm in awe not only of Rachel's creative talents, but also of her ability to sew and blog so regularly despite having a newborn (the sweet Hazel) in the house. Thank you so much, Rachel, for taking to time to sew for our series!

I bet you're also curious about the picture on the right! Don't forget to visit Suz for the introduction.

  


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tutorial: Colorblocked sleeves

Last week, I showed my dress for the I [heart] Marcel Marlier series. Since then, requests to explain how I created the color blocked sleeves have been pouring in by the dozens*. So here is my Colorblocked Sleeves Tutorial.


Monday, September 29, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Sara and Ines

Today Suz and I are introducing the first two guests of our I [heart] Marcel Marlier series. And it'll be all about Anita rather than Tiny or Debbie, as our guests are both Portuguese!

Make sure to read all about the creation on the left, by visiting Ines' blog, La Folie Sewing Booth. This talented former architect makes gorgeous clothes for her two beautiful daughters (and sometimes for herself), and I'm completely smitten with the outfit she created for the series. And of course, she's also offering you an additional chance to win that $150 fabric voucher or one of the other 5 prizes!

Visit Suz if you would like to learn more about the creation on the right :-)

    


Friday, September 26, 2014

Join the I [heart] Marcel Marlier Sew Along!

Two days ago, Suz and announced our sewing series I [heart] Marcel Marlier. We've been overwhelmed with the enthusiastic responses, and couldn't help but notice how many of you wanted to sew along.

So by popular demand, we're launching the I [heart] Marcel Marlier Sew Along! Sewing along is really simple: just upload your finished creations via the link party below. The party ends on November 11 (noon Brussels time) and on the 12th we will do a wrap up post. If you're planning to join us, you can include the button below in your sidebar (but this is not an obligation).


Are you sharing pictures of your plans, creations, or maybe of your stack of Martine/Tiny/Debbie/Anita books via Instagram or Facebook? If you use the hashtag #iheartmarcelmarlier other sew-alongers will more easily find you.


We're really looking forward to all your creations. Have fun!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Modern Tiny (+ give-away)

Today, our series I [heart] Marcel Marlier kicks off for real, starting with Suz' and my own creations. We've been planning this series for months, and I knew from the beginning which type of dress I wanted to make: a classic, vintage style semi-knock off from one of my Marcel Marlier books.

However, as I was flipping through them, I started to realise that so many of my previous creations over the past years had been influenced by Tiny's dress code, and that I would have a hard time to come up with something new. I already made the striped dresses (here and here), the vintage flower frocks, the solids-with-piping-details, the classic coats, and pretty much everything else which drew my attention in the books.