ModKid meets Alexander Henry

I’m not lying when I say that I love Patty‘s patterns. The styles are so fun and hip, and the clothes sew up so nicely. I’m never disappointed by the results and Miss L always loves wearing them.

About a year ago, I tried to bring home Patty’s prototype for the Sydney hooded tunic but was foiled. Lucky for me that I can now make one whenever I want — and I’m expecting there to be plenty in L’s closet before too long.

Now, this particular Sydney was made as a sample for the shop but I did let my sweetie wear it before I dropped it off. The two main fabrics are by Alexander Henry and I have to say that I love them just as much now as I did when Sarah ordered them at Market in May. Bright, fun, bold — all the things I love. The green dot is actually one of Paula‘s from Summer Soiree. A few of those prints actually look really good with the AH line but the dots won out for me. Why? Because I have a polka dot fixation. (The green corduroy pants, BTW, were a Carter’s purchase and a perfect match.)

I did make one change to the construction of the tunic and that was sewing the front facing over the hood so that the front edge of the hood ends up between the facing and the tunic. I think it makes for a nice, clean line in the front of the tunic and no serged seams to show if the neckline flips open. If you want to try this yourself, follow the directions for attaching and turning the facing but skip topstitching the opening as well as basting the facing to the neckline. Then when you attach the hood, pin the facing so the hood is between it and the tunic, with the wrong side of the facing on the outside of the shirt. Clip the corner and turn the facing back to the inside of the top before topstitching around the hood and the shirt’s V.

I don’t think it took me more than two or three hours to sew it up, and part of that was because I got caught up in the TV show I had on while I was sewing. (Shhh! I have an unhealthy addiction to the SoapNet’s repeats of Beverly Hills, 90210!)

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.

Buy Handmade

One day while driving down Main Street in the city where my kids attend school, I noticed a new shop’s sign on a long-empty storefront. An artists’ market. I was so excited, it took everything I had to not pull over and peer through the window. Of course, it was 6:30 a.m. and nothing was open, and I really needed to get home so my husband could get to work. I made a mental note to check back later.

It was about two weeks before I could stick my head in the door and scope things out at Leasa: Life’s Work. And what I saw made me a bit giddy. Cool handmade goods. Some other neat gift-y things. A cool workspace for classes. Best of all was Leasa, the owner, who’s been making and selling handmade cards forever. I loved hearing about her work and her vision for her new shop. I think it’s a great thing for our area and I can’t wait to support it and the craftsmen who are selling their wares there.

I’m also excited to be offering some of my things there. I’ve already taken three Miss Madeline dresses adn a couple of wristlet bags.

Miss L watched me take the dresses into the shop and was so sad to see them go. Of course, they’re all too small for her and it’s not like I can’t sew her others. (In fact, I’ve already made her a different dress with the Heather Bailey and Dena Designs fabrics, so I’m not sure what the deal is.) And I always love sewing with Paula’s Flights of Fancy. It always makes me smile!

The wristlets are my own design and feature embroidery from Urban Threads of two lovebirds. I thought it added some interest to the little bags and I especially love the repetition of the Park Slope fabric with all those cute little birds.

Camp Goodies

Can I brag on my campers one more time? They were such awesome girls and I had so much fun with them last week. They also were amazingly prolific during the course of camp. Clothes, bags, quilt blocks. You name it, I threw it at them and they knocked it out. Out of the park, even! LOL!

Friday was our last day and they came in that morning and whipped up their fourth A-line skirt before tackling the big final project: crazy log cabin blocks. Because I only had two girls in the camp, I could let them work on different projects so one girl chose to make a little bag and the other a pillow.

They used 7″x7″ pieces of muslin for the blocks and I had them foundation piece their log cabins. Why? Well, I think it’s easier to keep the shape — especially when using different sizes of strips — if there’s a little something to help guide the block formation.

The girls kept me busy cutting strips. One decided to use only the fabrics she’d sewn with all week for her blocks while the other was willing to dip into my stash for hers. Of course, she also wanted to use her favorite fabric — Paula‘s Par Avion from Flights of Fancy — for the centers of all her blocks, so I spent some extra time fussy cutting them.

I could not be more proud of their finished projects and they were so happy with them, too. And they promised me they were going to wear and use everything they made (in fact that’s why one pair of PJ pants is missing – they were worn the night before at a sleepover!). Also missing from the photos are the gifts they made their moms as a thank-you for enrolling them in summer camp: another wristlet and a tote-style purse with pre-made handles (which I hear were much appreciated).

Pssst! Live in Atlanta? I’ve got a second week of sewing summer camp in August.

Handmade’s Last Hurrah?

I decided to take part in the Boutique Felony launch on Ebay this week. While the name is a little tongue-in-cheek, the topic is really anything but lighthearted. I’m sure everyone has been reading about CPSIA and the requirements placed on makers of children’s goods.

As the Feb. 10 deadline approaches, it’s looking more and more likely that the custom children’s items I’ve bought (and sold) will start disappearing from sites like Ebay, Etsy and Hyenacart. I know that I won’t be able to meet the requirements for lead testing and expect to no longer be sewing and selling children’s clothing if things don’t change.

My biggest regret involves my web site. I shipped this week what likely will be my last tutu orders. Four years of playing with tulle and making little girls’ dreams come to life is ending and that makes me a bit sad.

But I can’t stay sad for long when I look at my daughter wearing the outfit I’ve listed on Ebay. It’s made with Paula Prass’ Flights of Fancy fabrics (Michael Miller) and it really does make me smile. This is the outfit Paula asked me to sew for her booth in Houston, at the International Quilt Market. A photograph of it was included in her brochure promoting the fabric line, and there was a beautiful modeled picture of it up in her booth. I’m optimistic that it will find a fabulous new home where it will be worn and loved.

More From Market

Saturday and Sunday at Market were full of appointments with vendors, as well as some time meeting people and just chatting. I can’t tell you how cool and intimidating it was to meet some of the people whose blogs I read, patterns I buy and/or fabric I’ve adored.

Lucy, me, Lila and Chelsea at the Pink Fig Patterns booth. What a fun and talented group to hang out with! And, seriously, what a talented family, too. (Lucy and Lila are sisters; Chelsea is their niece!)

I was so excited to get to meet Melly and Rosie from Melly & Me. We’ve been bloggy pals for a bit and they have always been so encouraging and supportive. I’m a huge, HUGE fan of their work and getting to meet them was just amazing beyond words. They are beautiful inside and out. Plus? Way cool accents! LOL! I could listen to those Aussie’s all day long. Every time I went by their booth (which was simply gorgeous), it was absolutely packed with people, snapping up their patterns.

(Above left) Me with Paula Prass in her beautiful booth; I still can’t get over how sweet she and her daughter Jennifer were. Maybe you recognize the jacket. Or maybe not, since you’ve only seen the inside of it. It was so cool to see her wearing the jacket I made, as well as the sample outfit I sewed hanging in her booth alongside the creations of some incredibly talented designers. I also was quite tickled to see a picture of it in her brochure (you can see a small bit of it in the center photo on the row above our heads; the full enchilada is here). In fact — and this is embarrassing to admit — I was sitting in her schoolhouse Friday night, opened to brochure, turned to the complete stranger sitting next to me and squealed, “I made that!” Yes, I am a complete dork!

(Above right) Daria and her sister-in-law Elizabeth were such a blast to hang out with. Daria has the most mellifluous voice I think I’ve ever heard. It was so fun to see her in action, too, interviewing designers on the floor and during her live podcast from the press room. And Elizabeth! Man, that woman is an amazing quilter and a photographer, to boot. Seeing her quilt in Patty’s stunning booth just left me awestruck.

On Wednesday: More namedropping plus cool things you’re going to want. For real.

Taking Flight

Just a little peek at what flew in and out of my sewing room this weekend. I had the pleasure yesterday of playing with some beautiful fabrics, delivered into my hands courtesy of Paula Prass.

Paula is amazingly talented and will be debuting her first line of fabric, Flights of Fancy, at Quilt Market later this month. It was an absolute delight to lend a helping hand with her preparations for Market and create an outfit for her booth and promotional materials.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t intimidating. Oh my word! “Nervous” doesn’t cover it! I had only a limited amount of fabric and could not afford to mess it up. It’s not like I could run to the quilt shop and buy more! Fortunately, everything went smoothly and I even managed to leave some nice, big pieces to send back to Paula with the outfit.

A big, big “thank you” to Paula for letting me be a part of her big Michael Miller debut. I know everyone is going to be crazy about your fabrics! And many thanks to Patty, as well, for connecting me with Paula so all of this could happen.

I can’t wait to see Paula’s modeled shots with the outfit, as well as seeing the sample on the floor at Houston later this month! (Yes, I am attending Market!)