Posts Tagged ‘blog tour’

Today I’m joining the It’s a Small World (blog tour) After All to show you a little bit of Rae‘s new fabric line for Cloud 9, Small World. It’s here, it’s great, and it’s corduroy!

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Corduroy makes such a wonderful garment fabric, but the selection of prints has always been pretty dismal. Until now! It’s so exciting to see these bold, bright, Boden-esque prints on super soft, baby wale, organic corduroy. Rae did a beautiful job with these, and I really hope this substrate starts popping up more often.

small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-2I think skirts are a great place to use a bold print (this one is City Streets), and I knew right away it had to be the Compagnie M Lotta skirt, which I’ve wanted to try for the longest time. Marte of Compagnie M designs some really cool and unique patterns, and they always seem to catch my eye.

small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-2The Lotta is a simple gathered skirt with a flat front waistband and invisible zipper back closure, and the cutest little fold-over pockets you ever did see. The Lotta skirt comes in women’s sizes, too, and there’s also a Lotta dress for girls.

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I made the skirt in a size 5 (lengthened to 6) and added the optional adjustable waistband in the back. I ended up having to cinch it up quite a bit, so the waistband ended up a little bunchy – I think that’s just what happens when you put .75 inch elastic in a 1.75 inch waistband. It’s not a huge deal since her shirt covers it up, but next time I might just size down in the waist so that it fits correctly without any adjustment, or else scrap the zipper entirely and just elasticize the whole back waistband (like the Hopscotch Skirt, for example).

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The corduroy worked really nicely for the skirt, though – it’s a perfect weight for apparel and is light enough to gather beautifully.

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For more inspiration, check out Kristin and Tara and Rae‘s delightful Small World creations, and there’s more to come in the tour as the week goes on!


Small World is available around town and online, and Jones & Vandermeer has the whole collection in stock if you’re looking. Speaking of which, thanks for all who entered last week’s giveaway! The winner of the Jones & Vandermeer gift certificate is commenter #20, Sarah M. Congrats!!

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Behold! A knit dress.

little joey in squares -- probably actually

It seems the selection of good quality/well designed knits has been growing by leaps and bounds lately. Especially at Art Gallery – I’ve wanted to try one of theirs for awhile now, and my opportunity arrived when Toni of Make it Perfect asked if I’d like to sew up her new pattern, the Joey Dress. I love the style and knew Lila would be into a comfy dress like this.

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This print is called Threaded Shreds Mamey from Katarina Roccella’s Indelible line, which includes several knits (this one is really cool, too). The fabric is so super soft, and has 5% Lycra for a nice stretch. I’d hoped to use a solid for the bindings (like Kristin’s – so cute), but I couldn’t find a good match (coordinating solid knits, please, Art Gallery!) so I used the print for everything. You can definitely go either way with this pattern – I especially love Toni’s solid blue version.

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My main complaint about knits is that my finished product is never quite up to my quality standards. Each one acts a little differently depending on its makeup, and while I’ve tried every sewing-with-knits tip known to man, I still haven’t cracked the code. Because of that there are some problems with this dress, but nothing too tragic – I think I stretched the neckband a little too much, and a few of the seams are a little wavy.

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I love the dress though, I mean I really love it. How it feels, how it looks, how it fits, the sleeves, the pocket, everything. Well, everything except the fact that she looks so grown up in it. Five going on 15.

a little joey in squares -- probably actually-2I live in fear of things coming out too short, so after reading Sanae’s Big Joey post, I added 1.5 inches to the size 5, just to be on the safe side. I hemmed it before she tried it on, and it’s too long – I think I prefer it just above the knee like Toni’s. Maybe I’ll hem it up another inch or so, or maybe I’ll leave it alone and she can wear it until she’s seven. I’m even semi-happy with how the hem came out – I used twin needles for the first time and it really did help to combat the waves.

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Anyway, yet another great Make it Perfect pattern – I want to make a bunch of Joeys! Thanks to Toni for the pattern and to Linh for the beautiful knit! Good stuff, all around.

NEWS FLASH :: Toni just announced that Make it Perfect PDF patterns are 50% off for two days!

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first day dress in origami oasis -- probably actually

I first discovered Tamara Kate‘s fabric last winter when I stumbled upon her Gem print – it’s an all-time favorite of mine, and I used a little bit to make a Roller Skate dress for Lila. Not long after, I received a very sweet email from Tamara saying she’d seen the dress and asking if I’d like to sew something from her new line, Origami Oasis.

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I was immediately drawn to Mountain & Valley – I love a good colorful, geometric print like this, and Tamara designs them so well.

first day dress in origami oasis -- probably actually-5The diamonds reminded me of kites, so I picked Dana’s “kite dress”, which is the A-line version of her First Day Dress pattern.

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The pattern was a new one for me – I’ve had my eye on it for awhile and talked myself out of buying it several times (how many patterns can one girl need??), but I’m glad I finally caved! It went together quickly and easily. There were a couple places (pinning the sleeves and sewing the back keyhole opening) where I longed for some markings to make things just a little more precise – years of Oliver + S sewing is certainly to blame/thank for this. But I really liked the pattern overall – the PDF went together perfectly, which always makes me happy. And the directions were thorough and well organized – there are several different options to choose from (blouse length, swing dress, peplum top, faux placket) but it’s easy to follow along and find what you’re looking for. The A-line version is fully lined, and the lining is hidden in the hem, which is a nice touch.

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Lila’s body measurements matched up with a size 4, but when I looked at the finished measurement chart and compared it to a few other patterns that fit her well, I realized the 4 would’ve been too small on her. I made a 5 instead, which fits well, although on the slim side – I’d advise sizing up with this one if you’re in doubt. Also, the A-line version is designed to hit way above the knee, but it’s very easy to add length to the bottom if you want it longer – I lengthened the size 5 to a size 9 here.

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The lining is Michael Miller Cotton Couture in some shade of pink that I can’t recall. Obviously there was no shortage of lining colors to choose from to go with this print!

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You can check out Tamara’s blog for more Origami Oasis inspiration – there’s even a fabulous Jump Rope dress in the mix, and you know I’m partial to the Jump Rope dress 🙂

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 Happy Friday!

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lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually-2

As you may have heard, Rae‘s lovely new line for Cloud 9 Fabrics, Lotus Pond, is now available in all its glory!

LotusPond-600-wideThe prints and colors are so happy and summery, and I had (and still have!) so many ideas for what to make. But in the end I couldn’t get the bucket hats out of my head. I mean, picture a kid down by the pond on a summer day, catching butterflies and snails and frogs, and try to tell me you don’t see a bucket hat on that kid’s head. Right? Anyway, there was that, and the fact that both of my kids happened to need new summer hats. So there you go.

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The weight and feel of this fabric is perfect, and Cloud 9 prints on organic cotton which makes me feel all happy inside. I chose two of the larger scale prints, which I like for hats because you don’t have to worry about anything matching up at the side seams or the print looking straight along the curved brim. And I love those blues together.

There are some fabulous boy-friendly prints in this line. I went with Lily Pond for Oscar.

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And Lila’s is Meadow Blossoms in Blue.

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The pattern comes from Liesl Gibson’s Little Things to Sew book, but it’s also available as a free download on the Oliver + S website. I’ve made it year after year (Lila’s hat from two years ago still fits, but a new one was in order) – it’s quick and easy and fits well. I widened the brim on Lila’s, same as last time, by one inch all around – inspired by none other than Jessica of A Little Gray. More sun coverage and more big sunhat floppiness. And I’m a big fan of avoiding hand sewing whenever possible, so I used the “look, no hand stitching!” technique (Jessica again!) to construct both hats. A pleasure to sew, even two in a row!

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Another nice thing about the pattern is its reversible-ness. Lila’s hat reverses to Andover chambray in Mustard (same stuff I used for her Hide-and-Seek dress), and Oscar’s to good old Essex yard-dyed in Denim. I love that you get two hats in one with this pattern – one fun print, and one neutral solid.

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lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually

And Oscar is wearing Lila’s first pair of Sailboat pants – finally a usable hand-me-down!

Okay, visit Made by Rae this week for lots of Lotus Pond inspiration – there’s a Lotus Pond Extravaganza in the works! Thanks to Rae and Cloud 9 for having me along!


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If you haven’t seen these fuzzy little foxes yet, they’re part of Cloud9’s new Fanfare line by the fabulous Rae (of Made by Rae) – the prints are so sweet, and it’s the the softest, plushest flannel I’ve ever felt – no lie. Over the next week or so, Rae is having a little blog tour to show off some Fanfare creations, and I’m kicking it off today along with Deborah from Whipstitch!


It’s most definitely flannel season around here (lots of that non-stop pouring rain we’re famous for), and Oscar is very cozy in his foxy new Fanfare duds.


I’ve made lots of these little sets – the pants are from the Oliver + S Bedtime Story pattern, and the top is a store-bought tee with an appliquéd patch. It makes a cute little outfit, and the whole thing takes well under an hour to complete. Easiest lounge wear ever.

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I chose the gold foxes and paired them with a gray crosshatch from Architextures.

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And a cozy flannel crib sheet was also in order – in the gold Bunting print, to match. I’m a sucker for those triangles.

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I used the super simple MADE tutorial (same as my last crib sheets) – the directions say your rectangle should be 45 inches across, and after washing the flannel it was about 41 inches wide, but the finished sheet still (snugly) fits our mattress. You could also use a crib sheet pattern with side panels (Amy Butler’s book Little Stitches for Little Ones has one, I know), if you want to add a little extra width.

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And I love using organic fabric for crib sheets – I figure he spends a good 15 hours a day with his face pressed against that sheet…it’s probably a good thing. 🙂


Thanks to Cloud9 for the fabric, and to Rae for letting me in on the fun! If you’re on the hunt for Fanfare, Rae has compiled a list of retailers here. And stay tuned for the rest of her blog tour for more Fanfare projects!

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