Camera Cuteness

There have been a few instances when I’ve seen a fabric that led me to beg Sarah to order it for her shop. Honest-to-goodness begging. Which led directly to making this:

IJ suitcase-style purse

Funky, retro cameras? If ever there were a fabric that screamed “buy me NOW!” it is this fabric. It’s such a cool print that I didn’t want to chop it up so I scoured the shop for a pattern that would really show it off. The Indygo Junction In-Style Suitcase Bag seemed to fill the order, so off I went homeward with fabric, pattern and some cool Echino strapping in hand.

The pattern calls for polyester foam, which I do not have. I didn’t want to hunt it down (and kind of wanted to use what I had on hand) so I substituted double-sided fusible Peltex.

This was an excruciatingly bad idea. The next time I make this bag (and I guarantee I will), I will either hunt down the appropriate foam or use multiple layers of fusible fleece with Decor Bond fused to the lining.

Other than that little misguided notion, the bag came together fairly well. It may have come together a bit easier had I read the instructions, but who reads that stuff anyway? (Tip from me: Read the instructions. Seriously.) I love how the style shows off the swoon-worthy fabric and the bag is roomy enough for everything I own and tote on a daily basis.

Now to figure out what else I can make with that camera fabric…

Petal Pretty

Among the folks I met at Market this year was this amazingly sweet gal, Violet. We got to hang out a bit at Schoolhouse (and possibly irritate someone with our whispering), have lunch with a group of friends and even won door prizes from the equally sweet Elizabeth. Unfortunately, she had to leave Market early so we didn’t get to hang out as much as I’d have liked, so now I just get to stalk her on the Internet.


Violet was carrying the cutest purse and of course I had to ask her about it. Of course, she’d made it. And there’s a pattern for it! From Indygo Junction! Woooooo! Lucky me picked up my very own pattern at sample spree, brought it home, started it and…OK, it took me three weeks to get back to it but I had a craft show and Thanksgiving thrown in there, too. Obviously not my fault. Right?

But now it’s done and I love it. Love. It!

I used a really rich purple fine wale cord from Robert Kaufman for the exterior, an aqua Ta Dot from Michael Miller for the lining, various scraps from my scrap bins for the petals and some strapping from Echino. The pattern calls for 1-1/2″ strapping but I used 1″ since that’s what I found at the shop. I also used a parachute buckle instead of D rings because I had it on hand (and really wanted to sew instead of running out to the store for purse hardware). Along the same lines, I substituted sew-in magnetic disks for the pronged magnetic purse clasp since it was in my magic sewing box.

I’m not a quilter and I think some of the challenges I had with the bag were directly related to that. My echo quilting is kind of messed up and I have some puckers in the quilting, too. Not enough of a bother for me to rip out and re do, since it’s for me, but I definitely would have fixed it were I gifting it. If I had to do it over again, I would cut the front purse piece and fusible fleece maybe 2″ bigger on each side, quilt, then trim to the right dimensions and square it up, which would fix the weird shifty mess I made as a result of the quilting.

It’s a nice, roomy bag and I love all the pockets, especially the hidden pocket on the back of the bag. It’s an ingenious touch and will be perfect for tucking in my keys or iPhone. The purse is so bright and pretty, and I can’t wait to start showing it off!


You want this shawl. Really.

I’ve written about Indygo Junction patterns a time or two, so it’s probably no surprise that I’ve sewn another of the company’s patterns. This is my first time sewing one with knit fabric (the gorgeous stripe is from Michael Miller) and I’m thrilled with the results.

The pattern is the Simple Sleeved Shawl and the whole thing — tracing to hemming — took about 2 1/2 hours. The shawl is unlined, which is why I chose the striped knit, since it’s yarn dyed and looks the same on both sides. The shawl comes in two lengths; this is the longer of the two and sized M/L. I think most people could wear that size, actually. When I took it to the shop (it’s on display there as a sample), it fit everyone who tried it on, all of us different body shapes and sizes.

I opted for the long vs. short because I wanted to make sure it was right for me, proportionally. I think I might go just a little bit shorter the next time I make it (yes, I will make it again!) because I did not go as deep with the hem as the pattern instructed. The extra length gives you some play to pin the front to the opposite shoulder (see photo above right), or just to wrap it around yourself for a little extra huggability.

I’m so eager for the weather to turn cool enough to wear this shawl! (Hear that? Yes, I could be tired of our unseasonable warm weather *cough*12 degrees above normal*cough*) I can just see pairing it with jeans or maybe a cute cord skirt, tights and boots.

Like I said, you want this shawl.

Houston Round-Up: Patterns

I intended to blog from Houston but technical difficulties prevented that. So I guess I’ll just try to muddle through and remember all the details from three jam-packed days of fabric, patterns and friends.

I’ve tried to do a chronological Market round-up the past two visits but I think I’m going to try a thematic approach this time. First up: Patterns!

Because I sew clothing, I’m always on the lookout for cool, new patterns to try and there were plenty to choose from at this fall’s International Quilt Market. If you follow Patty Young’s blog, you already know she’s got some new patterns on the way. I loved seeing them in person and have really enjoyed sewing her patterns, so the new ones definitely will be added to my collection.

Fellow Michael Miller fabric designers Paula Prass and Sandi Henderson also have new patterns on the way. I loved Paula’s new bag pattern but the jacket and dress patterns really caught my eye. Just a really great aesthetic, kind of an updated retro vibe. I’m pretty excited that Sandi’s adding some adult patterns to her repertoire. The wrap skirt looks so pretty and romantic and I think the ruffled pants for women will be well received, too (although I’m not sure I have what it takes to pull them off LOL). She’s also got a new pattern for boys with her own little guy modeling.

Chelsea of Pink Fig showed off her new patterns and I can already guess the Nie Nie Skirt is going to be huge. The story behind it is so touching and Chelsea’s donating a percentage of the pattern’s proceeds to the Nie Nie fund.

Her aunt Lucy debuted her new pattern line, Hot Scott, which should make those moms of boys happy. Yes — a line of patterns for boys! Lucy is such a sweetie and I’m so excited to see her Market debut. The patterns are cute and I saw a lot of traffic at her booth.

Speaking of new pattern line debuts … My beautiful friend Sheree had her first booth at Market for her new pattern line, Sheree’s Alchemy, which will be out in November. I have always loved her aesthetic and can’t wait until these patterns come out. The girls’ clothing ones are kind of “classic contemporary,” very refined and age appropriate. And her home sewing patterns are just as cool as she is. I totally understand why she had a steady stream of visitors to her booth!

Kay Whitt at Serendipity Studio never ceases to amaze me with her designs. This Market was no exception with six new patterns, including a sweet, modern tunic/dress pattern that I had to snatch up on the spot. Seriously. I’m planning to hit the shop this week to buy some fabric for it; I love it that much. The new bag and skirt patterns are also really cool and I’m sure they’ll end up in my collection before too long.

Is there anyone on the planet who is not aware of my love of all things Melly & Me? Melly and Rosie are just so incredibly sweet and talented, and it’s impossible for me not to love everything they do. Which probably explains why I walked away from their booth with a new Rosalie Quinlan Design’s quilt pattern, two new bag patterns and Melly’s first book, Kaleidoscope. I probably would have bought more except I already own most of it! LOL!

The talented Amy Butler has a couple of gorgeous new patterns coming out, including a shirt dress and a coat. I want them both but after seeing the dress on Amy, I’m not sure if it’s going to fit my curvier self. Of course, I’ll probably give it a try anyway! LOL!

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Indygo Junction patterns. The fit of the women’s clothing patterns is sometimes a little boxy but I keep buying and sewing them because I do like them. I think the new Bell Sleeve Blouse is going to change my opinion for the better. I checked out the samples and the darts and cut seem to be much more figure flattering. They didn’t have any available at Market or else I’d have grabbed one to try. However, I know Sarah ordered it so I’ll be buying it as soon as it’s in.

Dress Me Up

One of the coolest things to me about experiencing Quilt Market was seeing sewn and modeled samples of so many patterns. Which is probably why I came home with so many patterns in hand or on my wishlist! LOL!

This Indygo Junction pattern was one of them. It’s the Day Shift Dress and I thought it would be a great one to make for wearing instead of my usual tee-and-jeans or tee-and-skirt.

I picked out some brighter fabrics than the examples I saw (some of Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern) and got to work. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the pattern is sized pretty generously. I traced and sewed the Medium but I might have been able to go down to a Small — and I wear a size 12.

It’s a pull-over dress so there are no zippers or button plackets to deal with. The downside? It’s not a close-fitting style and I’m not sure how flattering it is on me. No, seriously; I’m not fishing for compliments here. Even Josh (who took my picture) said, “It makes you look wide but you’re not wide.” I’m afraid he may have a point.

The dress also runs short. Like, above-my-knees short. Can’t-lean-over short. I’ll probably add a faux layered hem panel to give myself a few more inches to work with because I think wearing it over jeans adds to the wide-and-bulky look I’d like to avoid.

Overall, the pattern was pretty easy to sew and I still like the look of it, even if it’s not super flattering on me.

Feels Sew Good

I have been indulging in a bit of recreational sewing lately, vs. sewing for hire. It has been a nice change of pace after being so busy the past few months (not that I’m complaining!) and I’m really loving (mostly) what I’ve been working on.

My love for Sugar Snap by Melissa Averinos knows no bounds. I don’t remember the last time I was in love with an entire line of fabric and wanted to sew with every piece — and it’s not hard to do with this line since there are only 15 prints. (BTW, if you’re in the Atlanta area, Sarah has the entire line in stock at Intown Quilters.) It is just so fun and I love the colors. The bag on the left is Sandi Henderson‘s Market Bag pattern. It’s the first time I’ve made it and I really messed up where the straps connect, so it’s good that you can’t see it. I think if I make the bag again, I’ll try home dec fabric and skip the canvas interfacing. It was just really bulky to work with in some spots. Plus? I’m lazy and would rather not spend time basting canvas to fabric if I could be putting something together.

The dress on the right is too darned cute for words. It’s from a Japanese sewing book and I thought it was a great match for the print. I like that it can be layered over long sleeves or worn without when the weather warms up. Actually, that’s why I cut out the size 4 instead of the 3 (Miss L’s usual size) — I’m hoping she won’t have outgrown it by the time spring rolls around. Oh, and it’s also for the Trendy Textiles launch on Etsy next week, which is all about Sugar Snap. (Yep, that means it’ll be in my shop, as a custom-sized item.)

Continue reading “Feels Sew Good”

Recovering My Mojo

I have a little confession to make. I haven’t been feeling the sewing love lately.

It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed sewing; it’s just that it’s felt a little forced to get to my machine and make something. And that’s bothered me. Sewing has been such a release for me and having it feel like a chore is just not an option.

So I wrapped up a few things and spent a couple of days doing nothing sewing related. No pattern browsing, no fabric fondling (oh, you know you do it, too), no sewing. And suddenly, I reached the point that I missed it. I could see projects in my head and itched to make them happen. Sewing again feels like a creative outlet and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

Of course, with this kind of feeling, I can’t help but spend every available moment sewing. Ready for the onslaught?

Another Feliz, this one in a pair of fabrics I bought last year at Joann’s. Island something-or-other, IIRC. I made the modifications I thought would make for a better fit for Miss L, since this one was made for a niece’s birthday present and she’s a wee bit smaller than my girl. Perfect fit. It’s actually stretched a bit to fit on my dress form. I can’t wait to make some fall versions of this dress!

Have you seen the new Lila Tueller patterns? There are all these great, funky patterns for kids but not so much for moms (or teens). And her comes Lila with her Funked Out Peasant Blouse. The pattern out now is only three sizes (8, 10 and 12) but she’s planning more sizes. Her blog has info on the pattern sizing and also corrections to the pattern (some don’t list a 14-inch zipper among the needed notions).

I grabbed the pattern as soon as I saw it at Intown Quilters. Had to have it. And then when I was talking to the class coordinator a few days later, she told me the owner wanted me to know it was in. I guess they know me well over there. LOL!

I had little bits and pieces of these Amy Butler fabrics on hand and I think they worked well together. I’m finding it a bit difficult to sew for myself out of my stash. I tend to buy just a yard at a time and so many things take more yardage. This top works nicely because it’s just a bit here and there — just enough to pull together a cute, one-of-a-kind top. This one is now hanging up as a sample at the shop.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t paying attention the day I bought this pattern. The Cardiff pants by Studio Tantrum remind me of some of the funky pants you might find at Hot Topic in much bigger sizes. That’s probably why I couldn’t resist buying them.

Had I really read the store listing, I would have realized the instructions were in German before the envelope arrived. I still would have bought it, though. I’m just now getting around to sewing them because they start at a size 98 and that little tyke of mine is just really fitting in that size.

So, no translation to work from but I didn’t find it to be much of a problem. The only thing that gave me issues were the pleats. I couldn’t get the panels small enough to fit where they were supposed to. I ended up doing the aprons twice. Definitely worth it. They are seriously fun! That little nut of mine kept spinning around to make the panels flare out. I’ve seen some variations of these with little dangly detachable pouches and the like but decided against it since she’s so young and likely to get them caught on things. I can’t wait for the boys to come home and see these — they’ve been so eager for me to sew them up!

Last but not least … my first playing with Heather Bailey‘s Pop Garden fabrics. Can I tell you how much I am loving these prints? (When they first arrived at IQ, I threatened to pile them on the floor and just roll around in the yardage!) I swear, I will end up owning every piece before too long. They are just delicious! I decided to make some things that coordinated so both L and I could enjoy them.

Her dress is another of the Miss Madeline style by Samantha at The Handmade Dress. It is just so bright and fun; definitely suits that girl of mine!

My tunic is by Indygo Junction. I have to be honest here. I’ve probably seen the pattern in the box at the shop a hundred times or more and never given it a second glance. The samples on the envelope looked a little frumpy to me, just totally not my style. But something about it caught my eye this time. It’s shape reminded me of one Jennifer Paganelli has shown on her blog, made with some of the fab Bell Bottoms fabrics. And in that instant, I was able to visualize the top in bolder, more colorful fabrics. I’m glad I gave the pattern a chance because I’m really happy with the finished product. This one is hanging up as a sample at the shop right now, but that’s only because it’s so darned hot outside. I’ll definitely be wearing this one out and about just as soon as the weather allows!