Thursday, June 26, 2014

Oh Sew Baby! guest post - bib pocket tutorial

Today I'm guest posting at Fort Worth Fabric Studio as part of her Oh Sew Baby! series.  Head on over for a tutorial for adding a catch all pocket to my free bib pattern!  Before you go, here's a little sneak peek:

There have been several new babies in my family over the last year, and I find myself making bibs as that perfect little extra something to add to any gift.  This particular bib even has a cute little romper to match :)

Romper/Bib Bias Trim - Free Spirit David Walker Robots in Teal
Romper Lining/Bib Pocket - Riley Blake Alphabet Soup Argyle in Orange
Bib - Free Spirit David Walker Planets in Ivory
Bib Backing - Heavyweight Bamboo Fleece from Nature's Fabrics
Snaps - Kamsnaps

Thursday, June 19, 2014

piepie designs cherry pie skirt blog tour

I love sewing clothes that my kids actually wear ... I know I'm weird that way, but I can't seem to help myself :)  Anyway, when Lisa from PiePie Designs asked for testers for the Cherry Pie skirt, I was quick to volunteer because it looked like a great basic pattern.  And I was right!  I made two versions while testing and whipped up a third skirt as part of the blog tour.  My girls love the skirts, and I'm sure they will get lots and lots of wear this summer!  You can get your own copy of the pattern for only $5 until June 27th (after that the price will be $7) from either Craftsy or Etsy.  Or you can scroll down to the end of this post and enter the giveaway to win a free copy of the pattern :)

 photo tour_image_zpsfa53f77f.jpg

I can't wait to see all the other versions of the Cherry Pie skirt from this great group of bloggers.  The possibilities with this pattern are pretty much endless!

Originally I was going to sew a skirt for each of the girls, but I realized Mae really does need new clothes, and not just individual pieces, but entire outfits.  This is pretty much unheard of in my house since I tend to shop end-of-season sales to stock up on relatively cheap clothes.  Otherwise, clothing six kids can get pretty expensive :)  But last year I decided I should sew more everyday clothing, so for the first time in her life, Mae actually needs clothes!

The Cherry Pie skirt is a great starting point for building a basic wardrobe. It's practical, it's quick, and it's adorable!  I chose to use chambray because it's durable and goes with pretty much anything. I don't usually make things in earth tones like this, but I really like that it goes with pretty much anything without being black or grey.  The only thing I don't like about chambray is that is takes about 3 seconds to be wrinkled mess :)  I promise I ironed it before taking these pictures!

Mae really likes her new skirt!  It's easy to move around in and even works great for riding a bike!  I kind of wish it didn't work so well because she's getting to be a fast pedaler and I have to run to keep up :)

I have to be honest and say that I have no idea why my daughter is hugging the deck post with so much joy, but I suppose she's happy and that's all that matters!  I have to remind myself often that she's two, and two year old's are just plain weird sometimes :)

The Cherry Pie skirt is a really quick sew.  It only took about an hour from cutting to finish (assembling the pattern only took a few minutes extra) and I used french seams and bias binding for the hem, so I think a basic version would take even less time.  I feel that the pattern runs pretty true to size.  Mae currently wears anywhere between an 18 months and a size three in pdf patterns and the size two Cherry Pie skirt fit well with a bit of room to grow.  I can see myself making more of these for all of my girls in the future.  In fact, I'm already planning a corduroy version for my oldest for this fall :)

Skirt - Robert Kaufman Interweave Chambray in Oregano
Trim - Crocheted cotton
Skirt Pattern - Cherry Pie Skirt by PiePie Designs
Shirt - Riley Blake Little Red Riding Hood Little Mushrooms
Shirt pattern - Mara blouse by Compagnie M. with several modifications

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 7, 2014

pdf pattern designers - (mostly) comprehensive list

I learned how to sew from traditional paper patterns along with a lot of help from books, fellow sewers and good old-fashioned trial and error :)  I was lucky to have teachers who were well versed with heirloom sewing techniques and generously shared that knowledge with me.  But in the last ten years or so since pdf sewing patterns first appeared on the market, the industry has experienced a significant shift away from traditional paper patterns and traditional sewing methods.  And it's no wonder when a few quick searches (via Facebook, Etsy and Craftsy) turned up 257 pdf pattern designers and a whole lot (obviously not an exact number!) of blogs dedicated to sewing.

I know many people feel that these resources (blogs and pdf patterns) don't teach proper sewing skills, and while that may be true of some of them, I don't know that it really matters.  The way I see it, sewing, like any form of art, is simply something you should love doing.  And if you really love it, you will seek out the proper methods as you learn.

Obviously there is a great amount of variability as to skill and style among pattern designers.  some pdf pattern designers are professionally trained and other may not be, some may just be naturally gifted, and honestly, some are just guessing.  It's also possible that some patterns may fit a particular body type well, or a designer will teach in a way you can easily understand, so don't automatically discount a designer if you hear a negative review.  And on the flip side, don't assume a pattern will work for you simply because it worked well for someone else :)  The results you achieve with a pdf pattern will vary greatly from one designer to the next and one sewer to the next, but that is true of paper patterns as well.  The only way to truly know if a designer's patterns work for you is to sew one :)

I have tried several of the pdf pattern designers in this list (some are reviewed on my Pattern Reviews page) and others I just learned about in the last few days, so I am choosing to not express an opinion on any of them :)  However, I figured since I took the time to link to all these designers, I might as well share the list here :)  So if you have a few hours to kill, have fun!

5 Berries * 7 Days of Sewing * Abby Glassenburg Designs * A Happy Stitch
Aila and Frankie *  Ainslee Fox Handmade * Aivilo Charlotte Designs * Ali's Cottage
Amelie and Henri Studio * Amelie Clothing *  Apple & Fig * April Rhodes
Around the Bobbin * Artsy Crafty Babe * A Vision to Remember *  Bebelambs
Bellabebeco * Bellamie Boo Couture * Betz White * Birdful Stitches
Birdsong * Blank Slate Patterns * Blissful Sewing * bluegingerdoll
Bobkin Designs * Boo! Designs * Brindlle and Twig * Brownie-Goose Designs
BusyGirlCreates * Butter Beans & Chic Peas * Cake Patterns * CaliFaye Collection
Candy Castle Patterns * Charming Doodle * Charming-Ollie * Childrens Fashion Workshop
Chopstix * ChrisW Designs * Climbing the Willow * Closet Case Files
The Cloth Parcel * Cole's Creations * Colette Patterns * Compagnie M.
The Cottage Mama * Cozy Nest Design * Craftiness Is Not Optional * Create Kids Couture
daila mama patterns * Dandelions N Dungarees * Deer & Doe * Delia Creates
Dixie DIY * DoGuincho * Dollhouse Designs * Dolls and Daydreams
E & M Patterns * E-Beth Designs * Elegance & Elephants * EllieInspired
Elsewhen Pattern Store * Elysium * Emmaline Bags * Erin's Designs
 EYMM * Fairytale Pattern Designs * Fancy Schmancy * Felicity Sewing Patterns
 FemiKids Couture * Figgy's * Filles a Maman * Fishsticks Designs
 Five and Ten Designs * Flosstyle * Foo Foo Threads * Footloose & Fancy Free
 Fresh Patterns & Designs * Frog Legs and Ponytails * Fuddie Duddie Patterns * Funktional Threads
 Funky Friends * Gaila Designs * Genniewren * Gingercake
 Ginger Baby Patterns * Go To Patterns * Golden Rippy * Gracious Threads
 Grainline Studio * Greenstyle Creations * GYCT Patterns * Haily Bug's Closet
 The Handmade Dress * Handmade Therapy * Handmade Therapy Kids * Handmaidens Cottage
Harding Hill Designs * Haute Diggity * Heidi & Finn * HeyJuneHey There Threads
 Hold it Right There * I Heart to Sew * Imagine Gnats * Indygo Junction
in-house * Izzy & Ivy * Jenna Brand * Jennuine Design
 Jocole * Joy 2 Sew * Jona G Pattern Co * Jubilee Junction Patterns
 Kitschy Koo * Kotton Kandy Doll Fashions * Ladybug Bend * LBG Studio
Lee and Pearl * Liberty JaneLiesl & Co * Lilac Lane Patterns
 Lily Bird Studio * LilyPig Designs * Liola Patterns * Lippy Anne Designs
Lisette * Little Black DuckLittleKiwisCloset * Little Lizard King
 Little Owl Patterns * Little Hibou ShopLKG Patterns * LouBeeClothing
 Love Notions * Mack and Lily  * MADE * Made by Jack's Mum
Made by Rae * Made for Mermaids* Made it Patterns * Made it Perfect
 Mama Can Do It * Mandy K Designs* Marinda Creations * Me Sew Crazy
 Millie Rose Patterns * Modkid* Molly Blossom Design * Monkeysbug Patterns
 Morrissey Dolls * Mountain Ash Designs* Mouse House Creations * Mud Puddles and Ruffles
Muffinhead Patterns * Muse of the Morning * My Childhood Treasures * My FunnyBuddy
 My Little Plumcake * My Taylor Made* My Treasured Heirlooms * Named Patterns
 Nanoo Designs * NimblePhish Creations* Noodle Head * Olabelhe
 Olive Ann Designs * Oliver and S * On the Cutting Floor * One Thimble
 Opulent Monsters * Originals by Lauren * Paisley Roots * The Patchsmith
 Pattern Emporium * Pattern Play * Patterns for Pirates * Peek A Boo Patterns
 PetitBebe * petit boo * Petite Kids Boutique * Pickle Pudding
 Pineapple Penelope Patterns * Pink Fig * Pink Poodle Bows * Plucky Butterfly
 Popolok * Puperita * Quirky Artist Loft * Rabbit Rabbit Creations
 Red Label Patterns * Ruby and Jack Patterns * Ruby Jean's Closet * Sara Norris LTD
 Saucepans and Stickytape * Scientific Seamstress * Seamster * See Kate Sew
 Seemingly Smitten * Selvage Designs * Serger Pepper * Sew Can She
Sew Fearless * Sew Like My Mom * Sew Much Ado * SewPony
 Sew Sweet Patterns * Sew Sweetness * Sewing Geek * Sewing in No Man's Land
The Sewing Loft * Sewing Mama RaeAnna * Sewing Patterns by Mrs H * Sewlosophey
 Sewplicity * Shwin Designs * SIGnature Creations * Sis Boom
 Sivjegoose * Small Dreams Factory * Sofilantje's * So Sew Easy
 Snazzie Drawers * Squiggly Twigs Designs * Stitchwerx * Straight Grain
 Straight Line Designs * Suburbia Soup * Sumo's Sweet Stuff * Sunday Girl Designs
 Susie D Designs * Sweet Briar Sisters * Swoon Patterns * Teach Me Fashion
 Tenderfeet Stitches * Terra's Treasures * ThreadCouture * Thread Theory
 Tikatuly * Tie Dye Diva Patterns * Tinman Patterns * Titchy Threads
 Too Sweet Pattern * Tulips & Edelweiss * Tutorial Girl * Very Shannon
 Victory Patterns * The Vintage Clothespin * Vintage to New * Viola Lee Pattern
Violette Field Threads * Waffle Patterns * Wee Muses * Whimsy Couture
Whimsy Woo Stables * Wild Lily & Lace * Willow & Co * Zaaberry * Zonen 09

I'm sure this isn't a complete list, so please leave a comment or email me if you know any more pdf pattern designers and I will get them added :)