Monday, March 21, 2016

Naples Dress and Tunic Pattern by Jennuine Design

After sewing for this girl for eight years now I've gotten used to her being pretty ho-hum about what I make her. There is usually something that she complains about or I have to convince her how amazing it is. I've actually started sewing less for her and more for my two-year-old because the two-year-old in this instance doesn't cause me as much grief.

So I was pretty shocked when she tried on this Naples Tunic I made and was in love with it. She actually asked me if I could wash it that night so she could wear it again the next day. I guess the loose and flowy feel of it agrees with her princess skin :). The pattern is by Jennuine Design and let me tell you, her patterns are impeccable. There are quite a few options for the neckline, sleeves, as well as dress or tunic length. For my tunic I made the butterfly sleeves and adjusted the bottom for a hi-low hem. I made it with this Anna Maria Horner challis fabric that gives it a beautiful drape.

Scroll down for more pics and to see who else is on the Naples Dress Tour! Also scroll down for a discount code and an awesome giveaway!

You can use code NAPLESTOUR for 25% off any Jennuine Design patterns now through Sunday 3/27.

Also, enter the giveaway for fabric and patterns! Art Gallery Fabrics is giving away a fat quarter bundle of their new Essentials II line and you will also get your choice of any three patterns from Jennuine Design! Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Make the Crayons

Two of our family's favorite books of all time are The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. These are books that are just as fun to read aloud (imagine lots of character voices) as they are to listen to. In fact, my kids still laugh out loud at their favorite parts and we've read the books hundreds of times.

Since I don't sew very much for Nash, I had an idea to make him Red Crayon, his most favorite color. From there things got a little out of hand in the solid fabric aisle as I grabbed every color I could think of. (I'm still looking for a neon red solid somewhere because Neon Red Crayon can not be missing from our collection.)

Here is the crew so far. I say "so far" because my kids have requested more colors and I have a crayon sewing problem.

Red is the original, while orange still has attitude about being the color of the sun.

Glow in the Dark Crayon actually glows in the dark! Seriously! I bought some green glow in the dark fabric paint and painted his whole wrapper with it. He's a little stiffer than the other guys but he is pretty fun to sleep with at night! And Esteban the Magnificent is a favorite for any super-hero-loving boy like mine.

Um, please don't look. Peach crayon lost his wrapper and is super embarrassed. How would you like to be on the internet naked?!?

And little stubby blue can't even see over the railing of the crayon box any more.

Do you want to make some of your own crayons?

Crayons Pattern and Tutorial

1. First open the template file  below to get the pattern pieces.

2. Cut out your fabric pieces according to the template. You will use the main color of the crayon for all the pieces except the lighter wrapper color for the two long rectangle pieces. Shorten the wrapper rectangle pieces if you'd like to get a stubby crayon like Blue Crayon.

3. Next you will sew together the front and back of your crayon like in the diagram below. Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance. When you sew the curved crayon top piece to the next rectangle piece, it helps to sew slowly and align your pieces as you go.
4. Press open the seams. Now is a good time to paint on the face and triangle border. I used a black soft fabric paint for this. I also used fabric markers to write the names of the crayons on the wrappers. Read the directions of your paint, but you usually need to apply some heat to set in the design after it dries.

5. Now is a good time to get the most painful part of the project out of the way. The arms and legs are so skinny and cute, but they sure are a pain to turn and stuff. Put two arm pieces together and sew around three sides leaving the tiny opening. Turn the arm right side out using a skinny dowel then stuff with stuffing also using the dowel. Repeat with the other arm and legs. When finished with this step your pieces should look like the diagram below. (Except paint the triangle border on the back piece as well.)
6. Next, sew the arms and legs to the front of your crayon.
7. Now you will sew your front to the back by putting the right sides together and keeping those arms and legs out of the way of your stitches and stuffed inside. Sew along the sides and top of the crayon, leaving the bottom open.
8. Now you will sew your bottom circle about halfway around the bottom opening of your crayon. Make sure you attach it to the front of the crayon where the legs are already sewed on, sewing slowly and aligning the edges around the circle as you go. Leave the opening in the back of the crayon to turn and stuff it.
9. Turn your crayon right side out and stuff it really full. It will probably get used as a weapon like mine do and will need lots of stuffing to keep its shape.

10. Sew the hole closed using a ladder stitch (here is a nice tutorial for a ladder stitch). Since you are attaching it to a circular bottom piece, you will get some gathers in the straight piece as you attach. It makes a cute crayon bottom.

You're Done!!!

Now try to stop yourself from making every darn color in the 64-count crayon box.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ishi Dress

The lovely An from Straight Grain just came out with her newest pattern, the Ishi dress. Because it is a great design and because she is having a contest with some amazing prizes, I decided to make my own Ishi.

I wanted to model it after this crazy stripe dress I drafted for Drew a couple years ago, which still gets worn all the time.

All I needed to do was make a few extra cuts in the Ishi pattern and cut out my stripes in the different directions. These seersucker stripes are a lot more subtle then the neon orange I used in Drew's dress, but if you look closely you can see all the different stripey directions.

I love the color green on my little redhead.

Straight Grain patterns are meticulous and so nice to sew up. Thanks for checking out my stripey Ishi!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fringe and Swans...with Willow and Co

The new collection of patterns from Willow and Co have been making the internet rounds for a while now. These patterns are good, guys. Not only do the ladies of Willow and Co put out top notch patterns and directions, but they've got a unique modern aesthetic to their designs that stands out above most of the PDF pattern world (in my opinion :). Today I am sharing how I used fringe and swans to make the Antalya Dress (mines actually a tunic) and the London Backpack from their newest collection.

First up is the Antalya Dress pattern. I paired a very lightweight tencel denim chambray with some fringe trim to make this adorable top. It is airy and perfect for summer. I ended up cutting open the back and installing an invisible zip instead of the normal closure options.

Drew's shorts are these from Old Navy.

And now... the London Backpack! And swans!

I don't make many bags. In fact the only other bag I've made was Drew's first backpack for Kindergarten (see here). Making this backpack was such a fun challenge for me. It was challenging because I was using techniques I don't normally use, but it was not frustrating because the illustrations and directions are very clear and understandable. It was like, "I'm going to follow these directions exactly and hope it all turns out but I have no idea if it will." And of course it did!

So I couldn't just pick from the thousands of adorable fabric options out there already. I had to go and design what I was visioning in my head and get it printed out from Spoonflower. I bought some high-res swan images and created the black swans in a row print and paired it with the larger swan image. The back pack is lined with light blue with pops of neon yellow zippers.

I should also mention that I enlarged this bag from the original size. It is meant to be a medium sized bag, but I wanted her to be able to use it for school and be able to fit all her junk in it. so I added 3 inches of height and 1 inch to the width and just adjusted all the pieces accordingly.

And that's it!

Is it bad that summer has just begun and I am ready to load up that backpack already with fresh new school supplies and send her along to second grade? Kidding... sort of.

Thanks so much for having me as part of the tour, Willow and Co!