The Hostesses with the Mostesses

Me with Bari and Jona at International Quilt Market, Houston, October 2010

Before I wrote a book, I had no idea what it really entailed. The blood, sweat, tears and lack of sleep? No clue. I also didn’t know it would connect me with some amazing people, some I already knew but others I’ve met along the way. When it was time to pull together this little thing they call a blog book tour, I hoped some of those fun sewing friends would say “yes” — and I’m delighted they did. I think you’ll enjoy these introductions and maybe learn a little more about some of the cool folks who are part of my world.

  • Lisa aka The Domestic Diva is one of my favorite friends. I actually had the good fortune to meet her on her turf a couple of years ago and was delighted to find her just as bold, fun and loving in real life as she has been on the phone and Internet. Her blog is an indispensable sewing resource, covering everything from sewing room organization to tutorials for handmade gifts.
  • When Susan introduced herself to me in Houston, I was tickled to bits. And then I came home and looked at her blog and realized the amazing talent she is. She’s an author, a columnist for Quilting Arts magazine and a ridiculously talented fiber artist. Check out her blog post about Snow Squall and you’ll see what I mean (and then go download the free snowflake design and try your hand at it).
  • I met Jessica in Pittsburgh about 18 months ago where she was shopping around the designs for what would become her first fabric line, Timber. I think I must have been the last person who knew her blog and, boy, was I missing out! That girl does it all and makes it look so easy, too. She even makes camping look appealing!
  • It never ceases to amaze me how small this sewing/crafty world is. My dear friend Sheree (who also happens to be friends with Lisa) introduced me to Penny at Fall Market. Well, any friend of Sheree’s is a friend of mine — and she’s a curly girl, too, so I knew I’d just love her. She’s so sweet and down to earth, and I had no idea she was this super awesome quilty/outdoorsy girl. I can’t wait to try my hand at making some of these wonky star blocks.
  • In the boutique sewing world there’s really one source for what’s hot and that’s Boutique Cafe. Founder/host Daria is a tireless promoter of mompreneurs, mom of five (happy birthday, Lola!) and one of the kindest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. Go to your iTunes and subscribe to the free Boutique Cafe podcast — you won’t be disappointed.
  • I started stalking Rashida soon after I found out she’s also a C&T author. A C&T author who lives near me. Woooo! It’s like finding a cousin you never knew you had. In the real world, she’s too cool to hang out with the likes of me (she’s an author AND a fabric designer). But she’s still pretty new to the area and doesn’t know any better yet, so I’ll continue to drag her to lunch until she catches on.
  • Back in the day when I was still pretty new to this whole blogging thing, Sew, Mama, Sew gave me the opportunity to review a pattern for Children’s Clothing Month. Less than a year later, I was back and writing about sewing a muslin (a post that was picked up by Craft and made my head swell about 100 times!). When this book was still just an idea, I read Susanne’s interview on Sew, Mama, Sew and finally got up the courage to prepare my proposal for C&T. And, well, I think we all know how that ended.
  • Jona was one of the first folks I met at my first Quilt Market in Houston two years ago and I’m so happy to be able to call her my friend. I am perpetually in awe of all she accomplishes. She’s also a genuine, generous person who shares her time and talents with so many. Check out her great skirt mod tutorial and get a taste of what I’m talking about. Also? She has the stinkin’ cutest chiweenie on the planet and is lucky I don’t live closer because I’d have to take him home with me.
  • If you love fabric you have to be reading True Up. Kim’s site is THE resource for everything fabric related and is one of my must reads. Watching her in action at Market is nothing compared to reading her coverage of the event. She’s also a really fun person to hang out with, even when I’m being a total dork!
  • Bari and I brushed shoulders at my first Market. Both of us did some sewing for the then-wounded Paula Prass and happened to be at Paula’s booth at the same time. I recognized Bari right away but was too intimidated to say anything to her because ZOMGIT’SBARIJ! I finally had the chance to meet her in Pittsburgh (where she debuted her first line of fabric) and was still pretty awed because ZOMGSHE’SBARIJ! And then…we both ended up part of the Stash/C&T family, going through the whole process of writing a book at pretty much the same time. Bari was one of the few people I could talk to about the book and it made the experience even better to have her ear. And her friendship.

Be sure to visit each blog during the course of the book tour and enter to win a copy of Little Girls, Big Style. They’re an awesome group of women and I’m so thankful each one is taking part in this!

Farbenmix & Fledge Fashion Show

As much fun as I’ve had with the red plaid Cardiff pants, I was itching to do a less conservative pair. I think I accomplished that with these pants.

Both fabrics are from Joann’s and part of the fall juvenile apparel line. They are a heavier weight cotton, more of a twill than a quilting cotton but not quite that heavy. They’re just the right weight, though, to hold those pleats nice and crisp.

I made these before my minor sewing meltdown, although they’re not without problems. I’d wanted them a little longer than the red plaid pair, so I added a squint to the seam allowances here and there. Silly me added the length in the wrong place! For some crazy reason, I added to the yoke/saddle, which makes the rise longer. I should have added to the upper pants leg where it meets the pleated leg panels (and probably a touch of length to those panels, too). *sigh* They’re still cute and they fit, even if I know they’re not quite right.

I’ve got quite a few ideas in mind for this pattern and can’t wait to make some more. I think I’ll even make a pair for one of my nieces, who’s a bit of a rock-and-roll princess.

I’ve had the Farbenmix Kim pants pattern forever but never got around to sewing it. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I have a ridiculous number of patterns and a “to sew” list that grows by the hour. Part of it may also had to do with the fact that I get twitchy about sewing pants with lots of parts. No particular reason why; I just do. And there are quite a few pieces to this pattern. Oh, but look how fabulous they are! The fabric is again from Joann’s (seriously, there is such cuteness there, I can’t stand it) and definitely a pants-appropriate weight. I don’t mind using quilting cotton for pants but I think it really is better to use a heavier weight fabric, especially for fall and winter.

These pants run slim, which is great for my girl. I do think I need to trim the rise just a touch. It’s a little full for my potty trained Miss L. But other than that, they’re awesome.

The shirt, on the other hand, is a mess and a half. It’s the Zoe raglan tee, also from Farbenmix, and I really should have trusted my instincts when I was working on it. I did lengthen the shirt about an inch and a half, which was the right decision. So why I didn’t cut the ribbing for the neckline differently is beyond me. (For the record, I sewed this top around the time when all of my sewing disasters were happening.) I followed the pattern instructions for the ribbing size and sewing, in spite of the fact that I *knew* the ribbing was too long for the neckline and that I always get better results serging the neckline in the round than in the flat. And that’s how I ended up with a strange funnel neck look to the shirt. Kind of makes you wonder why I didn’t rip it off, cut a new one and fix it, doesn’t it? I’ve got no answer. What I do know is that I’m going to remake the shirt before the weather changes so my daughter doesn’t have to wear that hot mess out of the house. (I think I’ll repurpose this one for a pair — or three — of the That Darn Kat panties. She can wear them under the pants.)