Friday, September 19, 2014

Win Echino (sateens!) and Birch fabrics (GIVE-AWAY)

Let's start the weekend with a great give-away! The Hong Kong-based fabric webshop Modes4u is generously offering another pack of fabrics to StraightGrain readers.

After the previous give-aways we hosted together, I probably don't have to introduce Modes4u to you anymore. They sell some of my favorite fabric brands (Kokka, Cloud 9, Birch, Monaluna ...) and are known for their excellent service.

As usual, Maggie and I tried to selected a collection of fabrics which caters to the taste of the average StraightGrain reader. The give-away is slightly Christmas-themed, but we tried to think outside of the stereotypical Santa-Clause-and-Christmas-trees-fabrics box by offering some of the most stylish fabrics available.

The give-away includes 3 meters in total. One lucky winner will receive two deer fabrics (1/2 meter of Echino Buck canvas and 1/2 meter of Birch's deer stag fabric) AND two gorgeous fabrics from Echino's new sateen line (1 meter of each). From what I've heard, these sateens feel amazing! 

Winning is easy. Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to leave a comment, and you can get some additional entries via Modes4u's and my own social media. Good luck!

Enter the giveaway here

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Three is (not really) the charm

Today, I'm blogging a dress which I finished weeks ago already. So why only write about it now?

Let's just say that my two previous attempts at taking pictures were not entirely successful. As in: they were a disaster. Ava has become incredibly difficult to photograph. Not only can she not sit, stand or lie still for a second...

... she also refuses to wear a bandana or clip which tame her wild curls into an acceptable hairdo.

This third attempt yielded a full three more or less acceptable pictures. That is three more than the previous two attempts.

Anyway, let's talk about the dress. It's another version of my one-day-to-be-launched Akiko pattern, this time with elasticized sleeves (which need to be lengthened a bit, I learned). 


The fabric is from one of my favorite designers: Eloise Renouf for Cloud 9. It is called Spring Sampler and is part of her Shape of Spring line. I love the colors and the print. It is fun, but not childish. I bought it at Noeks. The contrasting strip is Cotton Couture Solids in Gold. 

Now I have just 2 more finished dresses for Ava which I still have to take pictures of. So that means ... six more photoshoots?

Monday, September 8, 2014

The skirt formerly known as dance skirt

For some reason, both of my daughters love dancing. Ava is the most extreme case (I'll get to that later in this post) but Norah too has a severe and chronic case of dancing fever. And from this year on, she'll be taking dance classes every week. A dance skirt was due, and of course, it had to be a circle skirt. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

High-low gift baskets, and a question

A new month, a new Miss Matatabi Makers post! Today, you can find me over at Miss M's place with two creations in a cute Lecien fabric. Click here to see more.

A question for you: if I were to turn this into a free pattern one day, would any of you be making it, or would it be pearls before swine? :-p. Please be honest!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mary Darling collar: Free tutorial and awesome GIVE-AWAY

If there is one thing I cannot deny, it is that I have soft spot for peter pan collars. Last week I've been experimenting a bit, and stitched up a little variation on the peter pan collar.

The collar is made from 3 different pieces, and it disappears into the shoulder seams. If you scroll down, you can find detailed instructions for drawing such a collar.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pears, farts, and Christmas trees

Today, you can find me over at the blog Naeh Connection. Annika has been organising a great series called 'Sew Fantastic', in which she is interviewing sewing bloggers. Today is my turn, so if you would like to find out more about the relationship between sewing and Christmas trees, between pears and farts, and between sewing and abdominal injuries, click here.

Make sure to also explore Annika's blog further! She's a super nice lady who makes really pretty things, so she's definitely worth a visit.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Matryoshka bins: Free patterns

A few weeks ago, I made this bread basket for my MMM post. It was ridiculously oversized, but precisely that sparked some new ideas. 'It would also make a nice project bag for knitters and crocheters', reader Marjolijn commented. And I thought: yes, or for storing diapers! Or toys! Or to be used as a gift bag! And a smaller version could be used as a pen holder! Or a flower pot!

Well, long story short: here are the pdf-patterns for the baskets in 3 sizes. They are really quick and easy to make, and a nice reason to hold onto fabric left-overs in all sizes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Something old, something new, something blue

A friend of mine is due to have a baby any day now, so it was time to stitch up a little present. My first idea was to make a Lua sleep sack, but I'm not sure she uses sleep sacks. Then I thought, maybe a dress? But she sews herself, and if she's anything like me, she's pretty picky when it comes to kids' clothes.

Finally I decided to go for bibs. Everyone uses them, and even if you think they are plain ugly, at least they are still useful. And you simply cannot have too many of them.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Saudade Sundress: FREE pattern release and GIVE-AWAY

Do you remember this little dress? In the past few weeks, I've been working hard on drawing a free pattern in sizes 1-10 years for this dress. Today, it is finally online, more specifically over at Sew Mama Sew.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stitched together for Rachel: A moon

With some bloggers you talk about more than just sewing. Rachel from Stitched Together is one such blogger. Motherhood, education, politics, religion, just life in general; there is not topic on which you can not have an interesting conversation with Rachel.
When she told me she was pregnant, I was really excited for her. She has such a beautiful family already, and it is great that she'll be welcoming another little member.

So when Victoria invited me together with a bunch of Rachel's other blogging friends to create something for her newborn, I didn't hesitate to say yes. Victoria's idea was that she would create a mobile for the baby, and each one of us would stitch up something to hang in it. You can see Victoria's beautiful mobile here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fabric bread basket

I hope you're all having a great Kid's Clothes Week? I'm enjoying a vacation in sunny Malta at the moment, so no sewing for me this week. And to say that I am a sponsor of this edition of Kid's Clothes Week!

What's worse: the only committed post I have this week is about a non-garment. Timing is not my biggest strength, it turns out. Nevertheless, I hope you will enjoy reading about the bread basket I made for this month's Miss Matatabi Makers, here!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bohemian Babydoll Tour (+ fabric GIVE-AWAY)

Today, I'm part of the Bohemian Babydoll Tour. When Heidi from Elegance and Elephants asked me to participate, I didn't hesitate. I know that Heidi makes great patterns - the E&E Ruffle Top I made for Norah over a year ago is still one of my all-time favorite creations. In addition, the Bohemian Babydoll dress has a great vintage touch to it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A simple quilt (and a question)

Time to blog another project which I finished weeks ago, but didn't have the time to blog about yet.

When I saw Cherie's super soft Lua sleep sack a few weeks ago, I fell in love with the triple gauze fabric she used. I bought a meter of it to make a soft blanket for Ava, and then the question came: what fabric to use for the back? I looked in my stash, and stumbled upon a gorgeous piece of pink nani IRO fabric which I bought a while back at Monday's Milk - as far as I knew the only place where it was (and still is) available. Mint and pink - what better combination is there?

Monday, July 7, 2014

And the winners are...

Thank you so much to all of you who votes in our Secret Squirrel contests! Suz and I are happy to finally be able to show the winners.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cotton + Steel + Hanami + Pleating

When Kim Kight announced nine months ago that she would shut down her fabulous fabric blog TrueUp, I was really shocked and sad. It was such a great source of information on fabric, sneak peeks of upcoming collections, and tips about sales and promotions...

I was really excited, though, when two months later she announced that she stopped the blog because she was starting a new fabric brand together with, among others, two of my favorite designers: Rashida Coleman-Hale and Melody Miller.

Many many people, including myself, were eagerly awaiting the upcoming launch of Cotton + Steel, not in the least because of the promising video teaser they posted online. Finally, in May, they showed off their designs at Quilt Market (where they were the sensation, judging by all the excitement on Instagram).

One fabric which immediately caught me eye was Rashida Coleman-Hale's fabric Gnome Pants (how awesome a name for a fabric is that!?) It reminded me a lot of one of my all time favorite fabrics: her It's a Plus fabric for Cloud 9. And it was lawn. Lawn!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Secret Squirrel comes home

After traveling the world for a year, Secret Squirrel returned to Antwerp with the assignment to create a children's garment based on the 5 acorns given by the Shaffer Sisters.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Nani Iro leggings

Have you been enjoying Miss Matatabi's nani IRO month? I know I have! So many gorgeous creations in Naomi Ito's beautiful designs... Every month should be nani IRO month :-)

Today I'm showing my second contribution to nani IRO month, with what is by far the fastest garment I ever made. I traced these baby leggings off a store-bought pair. One pattern piece, cut twice, and an elastic in the waist - that's all.

Excuse the bad photography... Last minute photoshoot with baby on the move.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Currently, my favorite color is mint green, preferably in combination with soft pink and mustard yellow. No need to explain that I had been drooling over April Rhodes' Arizona line weeks before it was released. 

These are some of the most anticipated fabrics of the year (and, arguably, in human history). I bought a bunch of them at Finch Sewing Studio to make a play quilt for Ava. They were so pretty, however, that I couldn't resist making a dress in them too. And then another one. And the third is in the making (does anyone know of a treatment for Arizonaddiction?) Let me just show you the first one today

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It's Nani Iro month!

As many of you might have already read somewhere, June is Nani Iro Month over at Miss Matatabi. This means not only that all four Miss Matatabi Makers are sewing with Nani Iro; it also means that a number of amazing bloggers are joining us this month!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Free pattern and tutorial: Baby and kids' bandana

I really love bandana's. I bought two of them when Norah was a baby, and used them a million times since.  One of them got lost, unfortunately, and now that Ava is wearing them too, I was really keen on using some of the beautiful knits in my stash to make a few myself.

The bandana shown here was made of a double knit from Nani Iro's newest line, which I bought at Miss Matatabi. It was the first time I used double knit, and it is heavenly! I have just enough left to make a nice Summer top for Norah.