Kawaii Kyoko

I’ve got to ‘fess up: Patty‘s Kyoko pattern is the one of hers I was most looking forward to getting my hands on. I just love Asian-inspired clothing and the cross-over bodice combined with stripwork skirt made this pattern a must-have-NOW sort of thing.

I knew right away what fabric I was going to use (Robert Kaufman’s Kawaii Asian). What I did not know until Patty sent me an email after she dropped everything in the mail was that the pattern called for five yards of binding.

Say what?

Yeah, not huge on sewing on binding. I think my response to Patty was something along the lines of “I hope you know how much I must like you to be willing to sew on five yards of binding.”  As you can see, it was totally worth the effort.

And, honestly, sewing on all that binding was really not that bad (I used some of the Michael Miller red pindot and it sews like a dream). Patty’s pattern has you do it a certain way that actually made it easier than I’ve done it in the past and the final product is just so pretty that I really do think it’s worth the (minimal) effort. That’s not to say I may not try to do it without some time, but I’m not in a huge hurry to try.

I think this pattern will work with a lot of fabrics but I really like how these came together. I think you can tell from looking at my past sewing that I really enjoy working with vibrant colors and prints and you really can’t get much more vibrant than these. I’m itching to make another one and am already toying with a few fabric combos in my head (like Sugar Snap!).

The dress pulls over the head and is nice and loose without the obi but I really like how the sash just cinches it so nicely and changes the profile. L prefers it without the obi so it’s nice and twirly (big surprise there).

I probably could have sized down on the dress and cut a longer length for a slimmer fit but I’m also hoping she’ll get lots of wear out of this in the next few months, so I don’t mind it being a bit roomy. Patty shows a shorter tunic version on the pattern cover with her Sophie Three-Way Pants, so I’m already planning ahead and thinking how cute a fall version would be with a long-sleeved top and pants.

Now if I could just talk Patty into designing a grown-up version of this for me women …

Sewing the Mother Load

I’ve sewn the Mother Load and lived to tell the tale.

No, that’s not a typo; it’s a reference to a bag pattern by Seams & Dreams. I first learned about it at Quilt Market last fall, when I accosted some poor unsuspecting soul to compliment her fabulous, roomy bag. She was happy to share the name and I, in turn, passed it on to Sarah, who ordered it for the shop.

This is most definitely the bag for the gal who needs to carry everything wherever she goes. Now that I think about it, it’s likely the perfect bag for my BFF, who appears to live out of her purse. The photo just doesn’t give you an adequate sense of scale, so let me try to explain. The bag on the left, the Extra Large, is standing up thanks to to the two throw pillows from my couch that I shoved in there — and there’s room to spare. The other day I went to the shop with the Large bag (on the right) and fit two quilt tops, the Sleep-Away quilt, some fabric and a Funked-Out Peasant Blouse. Room to spare in that one, too.

The pattern construction seemed a little odd when I first read through the directions, yet it came together quite smoothly and easily. There’s a good amount of topstitching near the top of the bag and I wish I’d thought to trim the fusible fleece about an inch down from the top to reduce some of the bulk up there.

I’ve gotta tell ya, the positive comments on these bags have just blown me away. I think some of it is the bold fabric choices. The Large bag was made with a fat quarter stack from Robert Kaufman that I picked at Market. Total impulse buy that made zero sense for me because a fat quarter is really not much fabric for a girl who sews mostly children’s clothing. The Extra Large was a wrap skirt in a previous life. No, really! One of the moms at Miss L’s preschool sent it home in our school bag one day. She’d done a closet purge and thought I might be able to repurpose it. I toyed with the idea of turning it into pants for the Bunny but I think I’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of it’s new form.