Boy talk first! We wanted to make sure you knew about the forthcoming book, Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to create a Handmade Wardrobe by Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage. As you know, Shelly is one of the fantastic teachers down at MD and (along with Karen) puts out great patterns under the name Patterns by Figgy's. Their book is being published by Wiley and will be out later this Summer! You can see their announcement along with some gorgeous photos from their book over at their blog.
Today we are all about the girls. Carefree Clothes for Girls by Junko Okawa was first published in Japan in 2007 and then republished in English by Trumpeter in 2009. It contains 20 patterns for girls sized 4-7, by season. The instructions and diagrams are thorough and easy to read and the patterns are easy to trace off of the full-sized pull out pattern sheet.
I have favorites, but honestly I love this whole book. Like so many Japanese Craft books, the beautiful photo styling makes it an equally lovely look book as it does a collection of useful patterns. Hannah put together this sample smock (pictured on the front cover of the book) using a linen blend and quilters cotton. She included some hand-stitching along the bottoms and through the pockets, and could have just as easily embellished it with ribbons, stencils or buttons. It would also be adorable in a mid weight novelty print and double as an apron for your aspiring artist or baker.
There are also patterns for pants, several more dresses/tops, a hat and instructions for a hand knit scarf.
It is pouring rain here today, which means it's a perfect day to get cozy with the sewing machine and scheme up some Spring apparel. April just did that on our retreat to Astoria. In just a few hours she cut and sewed her version of the Belle Skirt from Favorite Things. This is a great project for those of you still gaining confidence in sewing for yourself-- there are no zippers or buttons and the style is flattering for loads of body types. It's a great pattern for using some of the gorgeous, floral, quilt weight cottons we are getting in.
A couple of tips:
*When deciding on your size, pay attention to whether a pattern is listing "finished measurements" (like the Proper Attire Skirt) or if it is listing "body measurements". In this case, you're looking for body measurements. This is a skirt that sits low. Don't be tempted to measure around where you want it to sit for your waist. Your "waist" measurement is always going to be around the bottom of your rib cage-- typically the smallest part of your torso. The hip measurement should be taken around the fullest part of your hips.
*If you are smaller in stature, you might consider decreasing the width of the waistband instead of shortening the skirt during hemming. Measure the width of the waist band pattern piece (taking into account the channel for the elastic) and compare it where it will hit you above and below your hip. Taking 1-3" away in the width will result in a more flattering fit.
We've decided to keep the Fat Quarter Sale going through Saturday! If you're at a loss at sorts of project you might be able to put together using as assortment of fabric sized (approximately) 18" by 22", let us suggest a few: Continuous bias tap (tutorial from Colette Patterns), a nice throw-sized quilt (loads of beautiful quilts really), oven mitts, drawstring bags, zipper pouches... you get the idea!
You might even use them for your next hostess gift. April put together this sweet embellished tea towel for the store using fat quarter strips, a little embroidery, and a blank tea towel.
And speaking of tea towels-- the super popular Oregon and Washington tea towels by Moda are back in stock. They are great as is but you might consider sewing them together to create a pillow cover or table runner. We've been out of them for a while, so get them before we run out again!