I have a great diaper bag. The only problem with it is that it is full of diapers. And crayons. And a couple of snacks. And hand sanitizer. And a baby sling.
But lately, with my youngest now two years old, I have begun to imagine a magical, mythical future where my bag has things like lipstick (I think I still have some somewhere), money (I wish I still had some) and empty space (I want some!).
Do I decided to sew an anti-diaper bag. It will not be waterproof to keep the messes in. It will not be black so that I can ask my husband to carry it for me. It will not attach conveniently to my stroller. It will be small and pretty and not have room to carry a menagerie of toy animals.
I would rate the pattern as intermediate to advanced. Nothing is particularly difficult, but it’s a very detailed pattern. This pattern uses 11 pattern pieces for the exterior, 7 for the lining, 15 of interfacing, plus hardware. There are 15 pages of really great instructions.
I also think that to do a really good job, you need a quarter-inch presser foot, a stitch-in-the-ditch foot and a good quilting ruler. These are all basic quilting tools, but not necessarily what an apparel sewist might have on hand. Everything needs to be done in a very precise manner to get good results, and these tools help a lot.
This is not a quick project, but the results are so, so great. I will definitely be making another (probably without birds).
Pattern Review:Two Zip Hipster by Dog Under My Desk. Fabric: Swallow Study in Lavender, Empress in Grassland, and Stripes in Lavender from the Bungalow collection by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit, courtesy Warp & Weft (now closed). Finished size: 11” tall, 9” wide, 1.5” deep. Cost: Pattern: 12$. Project Sewing Level: Intermediate to advanced. Modifications: None. Results: Great.
The air is crisp and the leaves are falling. So it’s the perfect time for a fall blog hop.
The Warp & Weft Sewing Society have all pitched in to showcase the latest fabric collection by Canadian surface designer Elizabeth Owen. The collection is called Wildwood, and it’s a really quite pretty. The inspiration for the collection was the wild woods of story books, so I was excited to see what would be in my Warp & Weft delivery.
I decided to start with the story of Hansel and Gretel for inspiration, and so I made an outfit for my own “Gretel”, Kid No 1.
I made a simple panel skirt in Essex linen. The pattern is from Collection privée filles & garçons by Atsuko Maruyama and Noriko Onoda (a French translation of the Japanese pattern book シンプル＆デサイン おんなの子服 おとこの子服 ). The book contains 27 patterns available in sizes 90-140 cm. I made the “#12 Jupe à panneaux” (panel skirt) in size 120. Then I used the Wildwood print to make a matching blouse, McCall’s 6388, using some blue solid for contrast.
And of course Gretel needs a bag to carry her breadcrumbs, so I added a small satchel, the “#7 Sac tube” (tube bag), also from Collection privée filles & garçons. The bag is made in linen and lined with the Wildwood print.
That meant that only one thing was missing – birds! I couldn’t count on the local wildlife to pop in for my photo shoot, so I made three little birds using the pattern from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, and the leftover scraps from the other pieces.
Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to visit the other amazing sewists on our blog hop!
Blouse: McCall’s 6388 available in sizes 2-8, but now out-of-print. I made the size 6.
Skirt and bag: From Collection privée filles & garçons by Atsuko Maruyama and Noriko Onoda (a French translation of the Japanese pattern book シンプル＆デサイン おんなの子服 おとこの子服 ). The book contains 27 patterns available in sizes 90-140 cm. I made the “#12 Jupe à panneaux” (panel skirt) in size 120, and the “#7 Sac tube” (tube bag).
This time around, I made the dress with the view B faux cap sleeves, but with a gathered skirt. I made two changes. I added red piping at the waist, and I added in-seam pockets.
This dress was made for Kid No 3, and is a huge hit. She loves ladybugs and the colour red, and recently asked me why she doesn’t have “a dress that twirls”. The pockets are hidden in the gathers of the skirt, and she loves the “secret pockets” too.
This was a lot of fun to sew. The pattern makes a really pretty dress that’s lined and nicely finished on the inside. But the sewing was quick and problem-free.
Warp & Weft Sewing Society
This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. We are a group of talented sewists and quilters creating beautiful projects inspired by the fabrics from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.
I wasn’t sure if I could do the whole pants purple koi (maybe a bit too rock ‘n roll), but a tuxedo stripe sounded fun.
I used the After-School Pants pattern by Oliver + S. It was a breeze to sew. I made size 6 and 7 in a medium-weight twill, with koi accents, of course. I had originally planned to use quilting cotton, but after patching yet another pair of pants, decided on something just a little tougher.
The only changes I made to the pants were to add a bit of extra top stitching, to make them look a bit more like jeans, and to use the koi print for the side stripes, interlined with the same twill. I though quilting cotton alone might not hold its shape well enough, when combined with the twill.
I originally had not planned to make anything else. Fish pants seemed pretty distinctive. But while the pants took four long stripes of fish, but there was still a little fabric left over. And of course, it’s gorgeous, so I had to do something fabulous with it. I only had one yard of the Don’t Be Koi print, but I still managed to get four garments out of it.
So I made up the Roller Skate Tunic by Oliver + S (view C), which I’ve made once before. I cannot tell you how much I love this pattern. When it first came out, I wasn’t sure I liked it, but it definitely grows on you. It is a really quick, easy sew, and there are so few seams to finish, which is always a bonus. I used some more koi, and some white shirting that has been in my stash for ages and ages. It’s actually older than my oldest daughter (so embarrassing!). The tunic is lined in soft cotton batiste. I made no modifications, beyond colour blocking the tunic.
For my son, I used the Prepster Pullover by Blank Slate Patterns. I first thought about making a button-down shirt, but my son is not a fan of those. So many buttons for little hands! This shirt is easier to get into, so he gave it the thumbs up before I got started.
I used contrasting fabric for the placket and collar, modified the pocket to add some extra koi, and lengthened the hem on the sleeves. I also changed the construction order. The pattern has you put in the collar at the end, after you’ve sewn in the sleeves and attached the sides, but it is much easier to do earlier on. There’s a cool article on the difference between the two construction methods here.
Unfortunately, the Koi collection is almost gone, but you could get a similar effect with the Charley Harper collection or the Beyond The Backyard collection. Anything bright, with some good contrast would work well.
Beige twill, white shirting (poplin?) from my stash, and Don’t Be Koi from the Koi collection by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud9 Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft.
Sizes: 6 (pants and pullover) and 7 (pants and tunic).
Sewing Level: Pants and tunic: advanced beginner. Pullover: intermediate.
Modifications: I colour blocked the tunic. I interlined the side stripes with twill and added some top stitching to the pants. For the shirt, I used contrasting fabric for the collar and placket, changed the pocket, lengthened the sleeve hem, and changed the construction order.
Everyone got a different bundle and you can see what mine looked like below. The fabric is so pretty! And perfect for spring.
Unfortunately, mother nature has been taking her time delivering spring, at least where I live. So I decided to do something a little different.
Instead of sewing something that celebrates the joyous bursting forth of spring with flowers and vibrant colours, I created something that celebrates the moment before – the time where spring appears to be still on it’s way. There are no visible signs of spring – yet! – but everything is slowly building underground. It’s the part of spring when you have to have faith – that spring will come, the flowers will bloom, the birds will return and the cycle of like repeat once more.
I made a baby quit, using just two fat quarters and a grey background. It’s a bit monochromatic for spring, but that’s what spring looks like here right now.
So that left me with four fat quarters. Actually that left me with three fat quarters, because I cut one up for the quilt and then changed my mind. We all make mistakes sometimes, right?
So I took the two coral fat quarters and made a tunic for my littlest. This is the Roller Skate Tunic by Oliver + S. It was a dream to sew. I think I finished the whole thing in just over two hours, including the cutting.
Pattern: my own.
Fabric: Trassel in Mist from the MorMor collection, and White sufi from the Sylvia collection, both by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics.
Size: 36″ by 36″.
Pattern : Roller Skate Dress and Tunic by Oliver + S.
Fabric: Little Blomster in coral, and solid coral from the MorMor collection by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics.
You may have seen that the Pantone colour of the year, for 2014, is Radiant Orchid. I was so excited when I saw the colour, because for the last couple of years, the colour of the year has been just a little outside of my colour palette, and finally, this year, it isn’t.
But what to sew?
I have been hoarding this beautiful piece of Bromley voile from Warp & Weft, in just the right shade of purple. It’s really pretty and very soft.
I had just the pattern in mind. This summer, Jeni Baker of In Color Order was one of the stops on The Staple Dress Blog Hop. It featured The Staple Dress by April Rhodes and I was lucky enough to win their giveaway.
The Staple Dress, is a super simple, whip-up-in-a-day, pattern. There are only a few pattern pieces, no darts, little fitting, no closures and no fussy details. I made the version with the straight hem and with pockets. (Who wouldn’t add the pockets?)
The toughest part was adding the elastic thread shirring. I’ve used thistechnique before and it was a breeze.
I received the paper pattern, but you can also get the pattern as a PDF. I prefer paper, since I don’t have to tape things together and the instructions come in a handy booklet.
I found the instructions very easy to follow and extremely thorough. This is definitely a good project for a beginner. It’s hard to go wrong.
I made the large, though the finished measurements said it might be snug. I wanted to be sure that the dress wasn’t too blousy, especially with a fabric that doesn’t have too much drape, and the unstructured design of the Staple Dress. In the end there was plenty of room.
The only problem I had was that the waist is really high (by design). The high (but not empire) waist ended up being very unflattering on a curvy, long-waisted girl like me. So I had to undo the shirring and move it all down, and I moved the pockets down as well by three inches.
The only other thing I changed was to make the dress a bit shorter. I’m 5’5″, and I ended up shortening the dress by 2 inches. I also made the dress hem a wide one, instead of the recommended narrow one, in case I change my mind about that shorter skirt later on.
Would I make this again? Yes. It’s super easy to sew. Though I think next time I would either use a draper fabric, maybe even a knit (you can see some examples here and here) in a smaller size, or add darts, for a bit more shaping. But overall, I’m pretty happy with the results. It’s a nice, simple, comfortable dress, that I can just throw on, and that fits well with my lifestyle. And of course, it’s the perfect colour for 2014.
Modifications: I lowered the pockets by 3 inches, lowered the waist shirring, shortened the dress by 2 inches, and used a wide hem.
Results: A quick and easy project that would be great for a beginner.
C’est orchidée la couleur Pantone de 2014, alors voici une petite robe très simple pour commencer la nouvelle année. Le patron est ‘The Staple Dress’, un projet à fabriquer dans un après-midi, et apte pour même les débutants.
I am super excited to announce my very first custom fabric bundle! Come look!
It’s called Snow Day and it’s available now (and is even on sale!) from Warp &Weft.
This is the really fabulous copy: “A cool and contemporary selection of aquas, reds, greys and crispy whites hand-picked by Shannon Smith of The Finished Garment exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles”. Oh my!
When Esmari of Warp & Weft contacted me and asked me to create a custom bundle for her first anniversary, using fabrics from her shop, I was so just so thrilled. The tough part (ok, the really, really fun part) was narrowing down the choices.
I wanted something fun, and something with some sort of theme. And winter is coming (which really it always is, unless it is already winter). And of course what does Montreal have a lot of? Winter! (Gotta represent!) So a snow theme just sounded perfect.
I am really happy about how it tuned out. Can’t you just see these in a quilt with a lot of white for the snow?
You should take a look at the other guest bundles too. Each of the members of the Warp & Weft Sewing Society contributed their own bundle. Carla’s is called Candy Floss and Cynthia’s is called On Rosamund Street. Aren’t they beautiful? And so different, like each one of us.
Anyway, enough gushing. I feel like I’ve already used up my quota of exclamation marks writing this post.
If you order any of the three bundles in the next week, they are also 10% off! Yay!
Happy Anniversary Warp & Weft! Thanks for inviting me to the party!
This year I did quite a bit of back-to-school sewing. With two kids in school there is just so much to buy, so it’s nice to be able to make something as well.
I started off with six fat quarters from the Seven Seas collection by Michéle Brummer Everett for Cloud9 Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. The prints I chose are Laddies Poppets, Sea Critters, and The Fleet in Grey. These are just so darn cute! When my little boy saw them he was over the moon. These are really fun prints and the fabric is organic, which is always nice.
This is a free online tutorial (with a super convenient PDF download). The directions are very clear and easy to follow.
The tutorial makes a lined drawstring bag that is kid-sized. It’s a little big on my 5-year-old but not so big it looks silly. Just big enough that it will last a while though.
I used white cording for the drawstring, but you could also use ribbon, homemade bias binding stitched closed, etc.
There is plenty of room inside for sneakers and a change of clothes.
The toughest part of the pattern was installing grommets (which really were not that hard to install). Much easier than eyelets, if you’ve ever had to use those, because the grommets are so much larger and more stable when you whack them with a hammer. You do need a special grommet tool though.
My son really likes the sea creatures and the colours. It’s really hard to find fabric for boys that isn’t too babyish, or too serious, or too dark. These prints are bright and fun and and the bag was a big hit.
I’m really happy with this bag. It’s just so much cuter than anything I could buy in the store. And it was super quick to make. In case, ahem, you have to make one the day before school starts because your summer was just too crazy (just saying).
There is one little person who has been missing out of the handmade sewing this year, and that is my smallest. As kid number four, she has a huge selection of hand-me-downs, but it’s still nice to have something new once in a while.
As soon as I saw this fabric I knew it would be perfect for a summer dress and I knew just the right pattern – the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae.
I bought this pattern way back in January, so it was about time to actually make it.
This is a great pattern. It’s cute, quick, easy to sew and comes with some nice variations for sleeves, neckline and pockets. You can also make it as a top. And it’s easy to add a personal touch with piping, rickrack and other trim.
I chose the simple curved neckline and flutter sleeves. The pattern calls for the sleeves to be finished with a zigzag stitch, which sounded a bit odd to me. I saw some versions of the flutter sleeves online which were lined, but they looked really stiff. So I stuck with the directions and I’m happy with the results.
The bodice is lined and I used a very soft cotton batiste. If I were to make the dress again, the only thing I would do differently is to understitch the lining to better hide it. I thought about it as I was sewing, but I wanted to keep the inside nice and soft- as if a couple extra lines of stitching would suddenly make the inside unbearably itchy for my baby. The things mothers do for their little ones…
The sizing was really good. I made the 12-18 months size and it fits well, but will also probably last through to spring. I have a new walker, sometimes crawler here, so she sometimes finds the length a bit annoying, but I think it looks adorable.
The pattern calls for 1 1/3 yards of fabric for the 12-18 months size. Even though the print I used is directional, I still had a lot left over. I was even going to make a matching diaper cover, but my printer ran out of cyan ink – because you need that to print in black and white. I hate it when that happens.
This is possibly my favourite sewing project. I love the results. Super cute!
This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. We are a group of talented sewists and quilters creating beautiful projects inspired by the fabrics from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. You can find the fabric used in this project, Floral Meadow from the Storybook Lane collection, online in the Warp & Weft shop.