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 Birch, 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!

<a href="http://www.straight-grain.com/" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NijT-OGp2h8/VFDgF5er8HI/AAAAAAAAGOc/EbM9UMiGq00/s1600/link%2Bparty%2B200px.png" /></a>

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sew + Show #4

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

<a href="http://www.straight-grain.com/" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NijT-OGp2h8/VFDgF5er8HI/AAAAAAAAGOc/EbM9UMiGq00/s1600/link%2Bparty%2B200px.png" /></a>

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. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mad Men dress + semi-circle skirt TUTORIAL

Today, you can find me over here for my monthly Miss Matatabi Makers post. I used another stunning fabric from Frances' shop to create a Mad Men style dress for Norah. You can read all about it here.

As you'll see, I made a dress with a semi-circle skirt. Below, I'm sharing a tutorial for how to draw the perfect pattern for such a semi-circle skirt.

Sew + Show #3 (with a prize!)

Thank you so much for massively linking up to last week's Sew + Show link party!

<a href="http://www.straight-grain.com/" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NijT-OGp2h8/VFDgF5er8HI/AAAAAAAAGOc/EbM9UMiGq00/s1600/link%2Bparty%2B200px.png" /></a>

Monday, November 3, 2014

I [heart] Marcel Marlier: Mie and Griet

I can hardly believe that Suz and I are already announcing the final two guests in our I [heart] Marcel Marlier series! We've seen so many gorgeous creations in the past week, and today, we're closing off with two more superb bloggers.

I have the pleasure of announcing my friend Mie from Sewing Like Mad. Mie is Danish but has been living in the United States for several years now. She is a formally trained seamstress, who even used to own her own clothing label! And it shows. If you were lucky enough to have Mie as a tester for your patterns (like I was), you know how skilled she is. But most of all, Mie makes such beautiful garments. We share a love for color blocking and interesting fabric combinations, so I'm a huge fan of Mie's work. Check out here stunning Marlier creation here.

The picture on the right shows a breath-taking creation by Belgium's most popular sewing blogger, Griet. Visit Suz for the introduction and link. And don't forget that Mie and Griet will be offering the final opportunities to win prizes from our $300 prize pool! We will be announcing the winners next Monday. Eek!

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 kan afprinten en aan elkaar kleven. Maar je krijgt het patroon ook in A0-formaat, zodat je het kan laten afprinten in een copy center op één grote bladzijde (dus geen plakwerk). 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