Thursday, December 18, 2014

Little chef

A few days ago, I found a bit of time to sew something quick. Rather than making half a dress, I went for making a full apron. When I drew my adult apron pattern on my computer, I also drew a kiddie version, but I hadn't given it a test drive yet.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sew + Show #9 (with a prize!)

Thank you so much for linking up to Sew + Show last week!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ready for Spring!

When Lieselot from the Belgian webshop Bambiblauw asked me if she could send me some fabric from Bambiblauw's first self-designed fabric line, I didn't hesitate to say yes. Even if I didn't know, at that point, what the fabrics would look like. I just knew they were going to be good.

And I was right! The line consists of 6 panels (each 70 x 140 cm) with a photoprint - the type of prints which have been so popular in Belgium in the past years. It was difficult to pick a favorite, but eventually I went for the Bambi print.

After I chose the fabric came an even harder task: deciding what to make with it. Normally, this would have been an easy job: this fabric is perfect for a ridiculously cute Lua sleep sack! But the kind people of Bambiblauw already made a Lua themselves to promote this fabric, so I had to come up with something different.

Because of the light colors of the fabric, I decided to go for a dress for next Spring. A simple high waist model, so that on the skirt, there would be enough room for Bambi. For the pattern, I started from a size 5 from my Hanami pattern (Norah turns 5 in a month) but I'm afraid that it will still be too big by next Spring. As you can see in the pictures, the bodice wrinkles up in the front because it is too wide.

For the back, I used the top half of the panel, which features dozens of little Bambis.

The back closes with one of my favorite wooden buttons. I bought 30 of these on Etsy a few months ago, and I use them whenever I can. Wood really combines with everything.

Do I need to tell you that Norah loves this dress? I hardly ever use pink fabrics, so she feels like a princess in this dress. While I call this dress her Bambi Dress, she refers to it as her Princess Dress, "because deer don't wear dresses, but princesses do". Can't argue with that.

I couldn't resist also buying another panel of the line: the corn flowers. I love the colors, and have a soft spot for border prints.

Make sure to check out the creations of other bloggers who used Bambiblauw's photo print fabrics! Esther made a stunning Bambi crib sheet, Eva some cool Lion cushions, Griet a fun Giraffe sweater, Deborah a a sweet Cornflowers dress, and Mlle Belle too many things to list ;-)

Most of the fabrics are currently sold out, but you can pre-order them. A new shipment is arriving this week, and another one in January.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sew + Show #8

Thank you so much for linking up to Sew + Show last week!

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Monday, December 8, 2014

A double give-away (finished sleep sack + fabrics)

Remember that Lua sleepsack I made a while ago? This week, you can win it. No, not the pattern, but the actual finished sleep sack. Ava has been refusing to wear a sleep sacks for months, so this sleep sack has not been used, and likely will never be if I don't give it away.

The sleep sack is a size 1Y, made from my Lua pattern. It is batted with 100% wool (Quilters' Dream), and closes with a blind zipper in the side. The main fabric is from Cloud 9's Shape of Spring line, designed by Eloise Renouf, and 100% certified organic cotton.

Sew Mama Sew's Give-away Day looks like the perfect occasion to give it away. If you would like to win, all you need to do is leave a comment, saying why you would like to win it. The winner will be chosen purely randomly.

As I am in a give-away mood, I would also like to do a little more de-stashing. Let's call it early New Year's resolutions (though I should probably vow to less fabric buying, rather than more de-stashing).

One winner will receive the following fabric pack:
- 1 yard of Playing Koi in Cream, from Birch's Eiko line
- 1 yard of Of A Feather in Indigo, designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud 9
- 1 yard of Nest, designed by Valori Wells for Westminster fabrics

(Nope, the basket and scissors are not included in the prize package.)

You can take your chance by using the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bling in the kitchen (Miss Matatabi Makers)

For my December Miss Matatabi Makers post, I picked some Cotton + Steel fabrics to make a kitchen apron with adjustable straps. You can read more about it here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sew + Show #7

Thank you so much for linking up to Sew + Show last week!

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Mission Uninspired Garment accomplished!

So as you might remember, my first attempt to just make a really quick dress to fill Norah's Winter wardrobe failed miserably, as I ended up with an experiment and a tutorial on top of it.

My second attempt, however, was successful. The key was to pick a gorgeous fabric with a big print - the kind of fabric which just screams from a minimalist approach. I had this Anna Maria Horner linen in my stash for about a year. When I saw Olga's beautiful Ghost Wing dress a few weeks ago, my desire to use it finally won from my fear of putting my scissors into this stunning cloth.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Of the fluffiest fluffiness

Even before I started cutting the mint green fabric of my flipped pea coat, I knew that the coat wouldn't live long if I would have Norah go to school with it. The school's playground is, for the most part, a giant sandbox, filled not with white bright private-beach-on-Aruba type of sand, but rather with brown is-this-a-sand-box-or-a-construction-site kind of sand. The yellow coat I made last year, never really got perfectly clean after being worn for a week.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Flip That Pattern: Voting has opened

Remember the Winter coat I made for the Flip This Pattern contest? Well, voting had opened! I'm up against three incredibly strong co-contestants, so choosing will be tough...

You can vote for your favorite here, today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday). Below is my full post again.

Let me start off with expressing my love for the Trendy Unisex Pea Coat pattern. The fit is perfect, the instructions very clear, and it's a great project for beginning seamstresses. The simple design also makes it the perfect flip project: you can easily make changes or add details without things getting too complicated.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sew + Show #6

Thank you so much for linking up to Sew + Show last week!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Flip This Pattern: Mint & Mustangs

Several months ago, I was asked by the lovely Ashley and Emily of FrancesSuzanne to be a contestant in their Flip This Pattern challenge. I really love that contest, so I didn't hesitate to say yes.

I finished this coat a few weeks ago (Norah really needed a warm coat) and I'm so glad to finally be able to show it. If you head over to FrancesSuzanne, you can see the complete coat.

Make sure to also check out the entries of my super talented co-contestants, Laura (yesterday), Angie (tomorrow), and Chelise (Thursday). On Friday and Saturday, you can vote for your favorite flip.


Monday, November 24, 2014

New features of StraightGrain patterns (layers! swiping! A0!) and a GIVE-AWAY

The past months have been incredibly busy. There are many reasons for this: classes to teach, papers to grade (ugh), sewing book contributions to write, an hyperactive toddler to mind, and so on. Since a week or two, my teaching and grading had ended for a while, and so I'm finally focusing on developing new patterns again.

At the same time, however, I'm also making a few changes to my four existing patterns. To name a few:
- the Tinny and Bubble dress will get more sizes
- all patterns will get layers (which means you will be able to print just 1 size, if you like)
- all patterns will come in A0 format, so you can have them printed on big sheets in your local print shop.
- all patterns will include a list with creative ideas for making your garment unique. The list will also include a number of links to inspiring examples.
- all patterns will include a special 'swipeable' version of the instructions for those of you who, like me, do not print the instructions, but read them of a mobile device like an iPad.

I'm especially giddy about the last feature. Each pattern will come with a complementary pdf file which you can open in your pdf reader (e.g., iBooks). It will generally contain just one step per 'page', and so you will be able to "swipe" your way through the instructions, rather than having to scroll. I have been planning this addition for over a year now, and I'm so happy to have finally found the time to give it a try. As far as I know of (?), there are no other pattern designers who offer it.

This feature is not only very convenient; it also adds to my continuous efforts to make sewing with my patterns as eco-friendly as possible. My patterns already came with a printing table, so that you only print those pages which you will actually use. And they already came with very precise yardage tables (using 1/8" and 10 cm increments) so that you only buy the fabric you need. With the additional swipeable pdf, I hope to make not printing the instructions more attractive.

The new Lua
I started with updating the English version of the Lua pattern. Nothing changed to the patterns or sizing themselves, but the new version also includes the A0 version, a separate file with instructions for your mobile device, and a list with creative ideas for making your Lua sleep sack truly unique. Those of you who already bought the English pattern will get the updated version in your mailboxes soon.

In the coming months, I'll also be releasing new versions of my other patterns, one at a time.

The discount code
You can now buy the new Lua pattern with a 20% discount with the code SWIPE. It expires on Dec 1.

The give-away
I'm so happy to finally have a bit more time to sew and make new (versions of) patterns. Let's celebrate with a give-away... and do some de-stashing at the same time! I need to slim down my stash, and get rid of some fabrics I know I won't be using.

Three winners will receive the new version of the English Lua pattern, and one of them will also receive 3 yards of designer fabrics from my stash (one from Lotta Jansdotter, one from Amy Butler, and one from Art Gallery Fabrics). Just use the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

Enter the giveaway

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Luafication (+ tutorial)

Norah has been growing strongly in the past months, and desperately needs some new clothes for the coming Winter. So I set out to make some quick dresses for her: just a pretty fabric, and a super simple bodice + gathered skirt design. No pleating, no peter pan collars, no sleeves, no experiments, no nothing.

That was the plan. As I was going through my stash, however, new ideas quickly started bubbling up, and before I knew it, I got carried away by another experiment.

Sew + Show #5 (+ prize)

Thank you so much for linking up to Sew + Show last week!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sew + Show #4

Thank you to everyone who participated in the third Sew + Show link party!

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Monday, November 10, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Wrap-up and winners!

Today Suz and I are presenting you with our giveaway announcement, Sew Along overview, and a wrap up post of the amazing outfits created for our I (heart) Marcel Marlier sewing series. The creations were all so beautiful and we hope you have enjoyed seeing the sweet vintage inspired outfits. If you have missed any of the posts or would like to take another look, just click on the photo  below, and it will take you to the blog post. 

(In order of appearance: left to right), a big thank you to Sara, Ines, Marte, Rachel, Maria, Nat, Anneliese, Teresa, Stephanie, Isa, Marta, Caro, Ana Sofia, Celina, Heidi, Hayley, Esther, Jess, Emily, Griet and Mie! You made this series so enjoyable to present!

And, if you have not yet seen all the amazing outfits entered in our sew-along, have a look at the link party below....Thank you so much to everyone who sewed along - we hope you had fun!

And now on to the GIVEAWAY WINNERS!  This series was kindly supported by Pink Chalk Fabrics and the Fat Quarter Shop.  

Thank you so much for your generous prizes!

The winners of our giveaway are below:

1st prize: $150 in fabric vouchers ($75 Pink Chalk Fabrics + $75 Fat Quarter Shop).  Winner: Sabine H. from France
2nd prize: $50 fabric voucher from Fat Quarter Shop.  Winner: Leentje P. from Belgium
3rd prize: $50 fabric voucher from Pink Chalk Fabrics.  Winner:  Flavia P. G. from Portugal
4th prize: $ 25 fabric voucher from Fat Quarter Shop.  Winner: Karen R. P. from the US
5th prize: $ 25 fabric voucher from Pink Chalk Fabrics.  Winner: Ivy J. from Belgium
6th prize: 3 vintage Marcel Marlier books (in Dutch).  Winner: Kelly J. from Belgium

Winners: Congratulations! We will be in touch within the next day or two with details of your prizes.

Thank you everyone and we hope you have enjoyed our series: I (heart) Marcel Marlier!
Suz & An.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I wish you a washi Christmas

Today, I'm part of book tour which covers a set of Christmas craft books from StitchCraftCreate. The obvious choice would have been to pick a sewing book, but my attention was immediately drawn by the beautiful cover of a book with washi tape projects. How sweet wouldn't it be to translate a washi project to a sewing project?

Washi Tape Christmas by Kami Bigler is filled with cute washi projects like Christmas cards, garlands, wreaths, table decorations, and tree ornaments. You can find the book in a paper and a digital version in the handmade Christmas section of the publisher.