With the arrival of new voile (and more on the way from Denyse Schmidt) and Colette's relatively new Crepe pattern, it was clear that at least one new sample was needed for the store. The floaty voile might not seem weather appropriate at the moment, but pair it with tights/long slouchy socks, heels and a cardigan, and you have a dress that moves from season to season.
The pattern is designed for folks gaining confidence in apparel sewing. It's a wrap dress that comes together in the back, creating a polished neckline in the front and some interest from behind. There are no set in sleeves and the pockets are quick and easy to insert. I made the most straight forward version, in a size 10 with no modifications, opting for the scoop neck and non-contrasting ties. I was hoping the fabric would provide all the visual oompf I needed. A friend and I were just discussing how we don't have very many reasons to dress up, and how dressing down seems far more normal even at nicer events in Portland. The word "schlumpy" was bandied about. I think this pattern hits it right in the middle, making it the perfect party dress for someone like me.
The Anna Maria Innocent Crush voile has such a silky hand that it's hard to believe it's 100% cotton. I was looking around the store today and imagined this dress in that grey hemp blend, batiked cotton lawn, or straight up silk. There are plenty of very helpful tips and sewing how-tos from the folks at Colette here, and their flickr group is a great place to see what other folks are up to. I'm pretty excited about the new pattern Negroni-- we don't have it in the store yet, but I will let you know as soon as we do!
***edited: Gertie is hosting a Crepe Sew-Along! It's not too late to come and get your pattern and get started!
We are anticipating some bustling weeks ahead, and we have shelves full of new prints to keep you inspired. We also received Bill and Weeks Ringle's new book, Quilts Made Modern. This husband and wife team have inspired a lot of quilters over the years with their emphasis on color theory, original quilt patterns, and no-fail technique guides. You can see samples from their book over at Craft Nectar.
We'll be back this week with a party dress (fingers crossed!), more gifts to make, and a kit or two.
My sister said that my 4 1/2 year-old nephew is getting a little crafty lately and to act accordingly when gift giving. It probably goes without saying that this news warmed me to the very depths of my soul. He is the oldest of three and I wanted to give him a "big boy" craft to do during his siblings nap time. But it had to be something he could do independently so that my sister could catch a little break to.
I decided to put together a Draw-Your-Own Tote and T-shirt kit using some great textile markers and pastels I picked up at Collage, a handmade tote bag, and a blank T-shirt.
For the Tote bag you'll need light coloured cotton canvas and a liner print (you could do without the liner, and just finish your interior seams). We have a little of the Oasis canvas left and we also carry larger widths of organic canvas from Kaufman, which is what I used. I slapped my hand away from the "On the Road" line (also from Kaufman) and used an older coordinating print from my piles. There's no reason you shouldn't get some of the newer Alexander Henry prints or a bit of Momo. The bag measures about 11" by 14", so a half yard of each fabric will give you plenty. The finished dimensions on the straps are 2" by 24". I'm going to refer you to two fantastic tote tutorials (among the hundreds): Tote Bags 101 and Simple Totebag. Once you've got the basics down, you can modify these patterns to suit your needs!
Tee Juice makes great markers for textiles, but I also included some Pentel Fabric Fun Pastels that will be easy for my nephew to get a handle on. Again, both of those items came from just up at the street. I threw in a T-shirt for him and a blank onesie for his little brother-- just in case he's feeling generous. I started messing around with the Fine Line Tee Juice marker in black this afternoon and half considered throwing in some blank pillowcases and napkins, too. Grandparents gifts, anyone? Oh, I think so.