I fell in love with Rosie‘s fabrics for Lecien when I saw them in Houston last October. I’ve never made my love for all things Melly & Rosie a secret, so it’s likely not a surprise that I could not wait to get my grubby, needs-a-manicure hands on some of this yummy fabric.

Which is why it’s taken me three months to finally buy some.

OK, not really. The real reason is that 1) I’ve been incredibly wrapped up in The Project to the point that I’ve had no time — or interest — for personal sewing and 2) I try to know what I’m going to make with a fabric before I buy it because my tendency is to collect and I try to keep that from happening.


After a nearly three-month break from sewing (with only a couple of exceptions), I finally regained my focus and was ready to dive into Grandmother’s Flower Garden. Luckily for me, Sarah had recently received a shipment of the new ModKid sewing patterns. In no time at all, I’d grabbed the Isabel, a couple of bolts of fabric and was picturing the results in my head.

The two main prints I used are from Rosie’s line (or range, as those Aussies call it) but I pulled a great polka dot from Henry Glass to accent. Polka dots just make me happy and I love using them with anything and everything!

Miss L was a little skeptical about the dress when I showed her the pattern and fabrics but she quickly came around after it was sewn. I did make a couple of goofs while sewing but nothing I can’t live with. When you take a crack at it, make sure you really pay attention to sewing around the straps so they come out nice and even, with pretty points. And look at the stitching diagram of the pocket before you sew it so the little swoop at the bottom retains its shape. Patty does such a great job of making sure the instructions are clear and complete, so I really have no one but myself to blame.

I’m loaning the dress to the shop until the weather warms up, so you can check it out in person if you’re in the Atlanta area. And I’ve got some more Grandmother’s Flower Garden sewing on the agenda next week with a quilt that also is destined for the shop. First, though, I need to finish sketching it out and making sure I have all the measurements right before I cut it.

Houston Round-Up: Fabrics

You can’t turn around at Quilt Market in Houston without seeing new fabric. It is everywhere. Hanging from rods as decoration in booths, cut and pieced for quilts, worn as dresses, tops and skirts by the designers. If it can be covered or sewn with fabric, it’s there for you to see and touch.

It wasn’t until I attended my first Market last year that I had even an inkling of how much fabric is produced for the retail market. Sarah carries such a huge volume at her shop and that inventory is a teeny tiny fraction of what’s out there.

I know everyone follows the big name fabric designers and has already seen and heard all about their new fabrics by now, so instead I’m going to hit on a few you may not know — but I think you should.

I met Jenean Morrison in Houston last year and thought she was just one of the sweetest Southern girls I’ve ever met. And so talented! Her next line is California Dreamin’ and it is just a joy. One of my favorite things about it, though, is that the colors and prints work so well with her current line, Picnic Parade. It’s like giving a little extra boost. Also? Jenean made the dress she’s wearing, which tickles me to no end because my first sewing project certainly did not turn out so nicely. Super, super cute and she wears it so well!

Given my happiness with expanding fabric options, it’s not surprising that I was excited to see Quilt Soup‘s new line (Simply Sweet) coordinates so nicely with Bubblegum Basics. I really loved the colors and prints in the first line and can’t wait to play with the new prints.

I’m completely in love with Rosie‘s upcoming line for Japanese fabric company Lecien. Grandmother’s Flower Garden is so sweet and feminine and very reflective of her style. The line also includes some of the prettiest laminated cotton I’ve ever seen. *swoon*

Have you heard of Riley Blake Designs? I fell in love with this year’s Christmas line — Be Merry — as soon as I laid eyes on it and my visit to their booth was just as fun. Next year’s Christmas and Halloween make me just as happy, and the non-holiday lines between now and then are just as cute.

The Windham Fabrics booth has become a must visit for me. How could I not want to see gals as cool as Genevieve Gail, Bari J. and Jessica Levitt and their respective fabric lines? Loved the skirt Jessica made from her debut line, too. I’m so glad she was a willing model because I think she’ll like this picture better than one I would have snuck from behind. LOL!

There was one line of fabric all four of us in the IQ group loved: The Gerta Collection by Marcia Derse for Troy. Seriously. Photos do not do it justice. It was just so cool and different and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was great to have the chance to talk with Marcia about her fabric and design process, too.

Note: My apologies for the total lack of pictures. I had a major camera malfunction on Saturday. As in, the lens I just had repaired before Spring Market died again. So all the pictures I was planning to take? Didn’t happen. Grrrrrr. And whiiiiinnneeeee.

Caramel Town Apple

What do you get when you cross a Melly & Me pattern with some cute Japanese fabric? My new purse!

I think everyone knows my love of Melly & Me by now, so it’s probably no surprise that I made yet another purse. This one was actually out of necessity; I literally wore out the Little Red Riding Hood purse I made last year and the bags I used in the interim just weren’t big enough for my daily needs.

Out came the pattern boxes and I decided to give the Toffee Apple pattern a whirl. I’m really trying to sew from my stash these days and these fun Lecien Caramel Town fabrics were just the thing. I contrasted with some gingham I picked up at the shop, plus some more Lecien — this time a Minny Miu apple print — for the drawstring casing and purse lining. The brown bias binding is some of the good stuff I won from the Michael Miller blog last year.

I. Love. This. Purse.

It’s such a great size for me and has two exterior pockets that are perfect for holding my Palm Centro and iPod Touch. Everything else just sort of floats inside the bag. This might not work for everyone but it does for me.

I used some yellow ribbon for the drawstrings, because I had it on hand, but I think I’m actually going to use some elastic and twill tape whenever I get around to replacing them.

Sewing Japanese

There are times when I pick up a fabric and just know what it wants to be. This gorgeous cotton sateen from Lecien (Atelier Akiko) was just begging to be made into something from one of my Japanese sewing books. Something feminine, with clean lines that would really showcase the fabric.

Now that it’s done, I look at the dress and know my instincts were right on.

The pattern was from this book, which I’ve sewn from before but it’s been a while. I forgot to add a seam allowance to the straps of the bodice, which made turning it right-side out a little challenging. At one point, I seriously feared that I’d ripped the fabric. Fortunately, I was mistaken but I was holding my breath for a few minutes there.

I could not find the skirt bottom or the pocket on the pattern sheet, but based on the instructions I was pretty certain both pieces were supposed to be sort of self drafted. I fussy-cut some of the border print near the selvage for the top of the pocket (which is hard to see in the picture — my model was not being super cooperative that day). You’ll just have to take my word for it that there’s a sweet little hand-drawn bow near the top edge of the pocket.

Now to wait for spring so this sweet little dress can get some use!