Happy Friday! You made it! The Weekend is here!
Some of you may have seen in my Instagram feed a while back
Some of you may have seen in my Instagram feed a while back
Spring is in the air and it’s time to celebrate all the things – sunshine, flowers, that something about the season that makes us all want to get moving/cleaning/creating – and also, for the purposes of this post, Puperita Patterns!
A few months ago, some lovely blogger friends thought it would be fun to celebrate one of our favorite PDF pattern designers, Annalisa of Puperita Patterns for no other reason than to showcase her wonderful patterns and tell the world how kind and wonderful she is to work with!
(Don’t you just love the creative blogger community!?!)
My first time using a Puperita pattern was for a customer years ago who found my card at the local fabric store. She wanted to surprise a friend who had been through some hard times with a cow-print romper, complete with star (they were in Texas) for her new bundle of joy. The catch was, she had a deadline – a ONE WEEK deadline! I was new to the PDF world but I knew that would be the way to go in such a time crunch. After searching Etsy for romper patterns, I settled on the Teddy’s Romper by Puperita.
Sadly, that is the only picture I took! The only cow-print available to me locally was a close-to-real-life cow print. I wish I could have found a more baby-friendly print, but the customer was very happy with it and hopefully the mom she gifted it to was too.
The thing that impressed me most about my first encounter with Puperita Patterns was Annalisa herself! Soon after my purchase, she sent a sweet thank you for purchasing her pattern over Etsy Convo . She was very helpful and kind in her communication. When I finished the cow romper, I sent the above picture to show her what I had made. She promptly asked if it would be OK with me to share on her Facebook Page with a link to my Etsy shop! Who doesn’t love that!? Every purchase I’ve made in her shop brings the same delightful experience. This is much of the reason we all wanted to surprise her today with a tribute to her creativity and to show our appreciation for her as a person.
I love Puperita’s Teddy’s Romper pattern because it is such a classic design – it will never go out of style and I can only imagine it’s super comfy to wear! In just over two weeks I will be a vendor at a local Spring Crafter’s Market (I hope you’ll come see me if you’re in the area! See the Facebook Page here or the Instagram feed here). When I was considering what to make to fill my booth, I returned to the Teddy’s Romper.
I have been hoarding this Robert Kaufman Fox & the Houndstooth print since it came out and thought this would be a great chance to use it. I love that the Teddy’s Romper calls for woven fabrics because the design leaves plenty of room for the fabric to shine.
The closures are snaps (I used Kam Snaps) so getting the romper off and on is super simple – it is very diaper-change friendly!
All the raw edges are enclosed in bias tape, which you can either make or purchase. If you’ve not used pre-made Bias Tape before, you should definitely not be intimidated by it! One side of the tape is folded in ever so slightly more than the other side. As per the instructions in the pattern, you sew the tape on the right side of the fabric, turn it to the back and stitch down from the front. If you put that thinner edge on the outer/right side of the garment, when you flip the bias under to the wrong side, it is just a hair wider so you have no problem catching it underneath even while stitching somewhat blindly on the top side!
The other great thing about this pattern in particular is that there is an alternate sleeve to make it a bit more girly!
(YES those are heart snaps and I got them at KamSnaps.com!)
Aren’t those sleeves adorable?! And the edge is still finished with bias tape so no seams to bother baby.
Such a simple, yet lovely detail!
Another Puperita pattern I recently fell in love with is the Sweet Bee Dress. I found this to-die-for print at QuiltCon in February – it’s from a new-to-me company, Adorn It! (I keep meaning to write a QuiltCon wrap up post!) They started as a scrapbooking company and have added fabrics. I think that’s so smart since many people do both, but if not, the prints can so easily work for paper and fabric.
This is the BEE version of the dress with a wrapped bodice, high waistline and a full skirt.
The Pattern also includes the SWEET version, which features a rounded bodice highlighted with an optional bias or piping, high waistline and a full skirt. But I loved the wrapped bodice so much that I ended up making it in all 6 sizes using this Priory Square Print by Art Gallery Fabrics.
Annalisa puts lots of work and information into her patterns. You’ll find body measurement charts, finished measurements, a pattern diagram (for how to compile the printed pattern), cutting layouts, notions lists, suggested fabrics, and clear instructions with plenty of photographs to show you how it’s done.
Puperita Patterns has quite a design portfolio too! Whether you’re looking for patterns for your boutique or just something sweet & classic to sew up for gifts, I would definitely recommend starting with Annalisa’s Etsy Shop. And here are a few other people who would agree. Be sure to click on through the other posts to get an idea of all the wonderful Puperita designs!
In this life, everything has it’s good points and bad points. The upside to working for for oneself is the freedom & creativity to live the life you design. The downside is the taxes and inventory. And that’s where I was for the whole of January. But I am emerging from that fog with lots of plans for 2016 and new systems in place to make tax and inventory time next year a breeze! (I’m pretty sure I say that every year!) If you are in business for yourself, be sure to check out this book I reviewed last year – a LIFESAVER!
Meanwhile, in social media land, I volunteered to be co-admin of the Sew Your (Pattern) Stash group on Facebook! All of us with pattern addictions meet up to encourage each other to use the patterns we have already purchased. There’s no shame there, no requirement not to purchase anything else. Just a fun place to remember why we bought those patterns in the first place and discover the pleasure of actually sewing them up! We’re sharing organization tips & sharing what we make.
Just for fun, Merial and I have come up with Monthly Challenges to keep the creative juices flowing – none of them are a requirement, but they do provide some direction and encouragement. So if you’re looking for a place to hang out online and be encouraged to sew your pattern stash, come join the group! This month’s challenge is:
And if you’re on Instagram, be sure to add the #sewyourpatternstash hashtag to your photos! Come, let’s bust through our pattern stash in 2016!
Happy New Year Everyone! Thanks for stopping by my stop on the Strong Is The New Skinny Blog Tour!
I love the fresh start offered by the new year – the chance to evaluate last year and make plans for this one. I had a few goals in mind for 2016, but when I saw Becca’s call for the Strong is the New Skinny blog tour, I knew it fit in perfectly with how I’ve been thinking recently about my personal health & fitness. I also had some fitness projects in my sewing stash I was hoping to finish for January so hopping on the tour was a given!
I didn’t love running in Jr. High. I did a kind of walk run that was mostly walking. Later in high school I took a weight lifting class. I cried after the first class because a cheer leader could effortlessly lift more than I could. In college, I joined a gym after gaining my Freshmen 15, but didn’t really know what I was doing there. After school & newly married, I reminisced about a handful of cardio kickboxing classes I took briefly at the end of High School and remembered having a good time, so I grabbed a used copy of Tae Bo to do at home between gym sessions with my husband. And that is what I stuck with for YEARS. I mean, I could probably do the original Tae Bo series in my sleep! (How’s that for a hidden talent?!) After I had my son I took up running and ran my first 5k, but I’ve pretty much kept up either with running or some version of cardio kickboxing for the last 10 years.
I had also tried out various ways of changing my eating habits. I tried low carb, a vegan/gluten free/dairy free three week cleanse, added green smoothies to my diet, etc. And of course, there was the negative body image we all struggle with in one way or another – a problem area here that plagued me, the doing too much then getting burned out and doing nothing.
Early in 2015 I was ready for a change. I found it more and more difficult to be excited about the same old videos and keeping up with extreme meal plans was exhausting. Plus there’s #momlife and leftovers that need to be eaten. I started to crave a more balanced approach.
As a teenager, I started to think maybe I’d like to try ballet. I loved Audrey Hepburn, who was a ballet dancer before she became an actress, and I was drawn to the beauty and delicacy portrayed by ballerinas. I’ve talked about it off an on for several years, but this past year, I finally found the courage to find an adult beginner ballet class and took the plunge. I am so thrilled that I did.
When I talked to the instructor at one of our local studios, she let me know the best time to start would be in 2 months time, since they were currently in the throws of choreography for the upcoming show. I was like a little kid, counting down the days and gathering the appropriate ballet-wear. It only took one class to confirm that ballet was everything I had hoped for, but what wasn’t completely evident to me was the strength required to look that effortless! I fell in love with the new challenge, with the idea that ballet couldn’t be memorized on a video and repeated ad nauseum, with the guidance and instant feedback from the instructor and the experience and camaraderie of a live, group class.
Ballet has also given me a positive goal for my fitness. Whereas before I was focusing a lot on how I looked, now I find myself wanting to be strong so I can dance better! This is a huge shift in my thinking.
Last spring while I was dreaming of starting ballet, I purchased this pattern, Kwik Sew 3671. It is out of print but you can still find it on the Kwik Sew website and uncut copies on etsy & ebay.
In sewing for ballet or dance, lycra is king! If you haven’t sewn with stretch fabrics before, do not fear! Just make sure you have a ball point or stretch needle to use with your machine. You will be using a stretch straight stitch or narrow zigzag stitch on your home machine or your serger.
I had made swimsuits before so I felt comfortable with the fabrics and techniques, but I wanted to feel the fabrics for this project, their weight and stretch. So I headed to my local store, F&M Fabrics (online as thefabricmarket.com). There are several local theaters in town between the high schools and the melodrama, not to mention the dance studios, and everyone knows F&M Fabrics has the best stretch fabrics for costumes & dance. I was lucky enough to grab a few yards of this black spandex as the bolt was taken off the delivery truck that day, as it is difficult for them to keep it in stock!
I also grabbed a thinner pink fabric to make a skirt. I started a ballet pinterest board as soon as I knew I would be taking classes and pulled up this tutorial. It went SO FAST – I mean if you cut straight, you don’t even have to hem it. There are no side seams, just cut, attach the waistband and you’re done!
This particular leotard is so comfy to wear and I love the simple elegance. The one I purchased above for my first class just doesn’t fit well – it’s too short in the torso and I don’t feel great wearing it. I actually broke the Kwik Sew rules and blended sizes to get the perfect fit (it actually says in bold letters not to blend sizes – I now REBEL!).
Since I’ve started ballet class, several of my friends have expressed their long held desire to be a ballerina. I cannot stress this enough – if this is something you’ve been thinking about, find a class and GO FOR IT! You will be re-inspired, learn something new, make new friends and have lots and lots of fun along the way.
A photo posted by Jaime Johnson (@madebyjaime) on
I hope you are inspired and if you want more inspiration and fitness sewing tips, check out the entire tour!
I feel silly even needing to state this disclaimer, but “better safe than sorry,” they say. The talented women participating in this tour are NOT trained physicians (unless they state otherwise). I hope you find their testimony encouraging and motivating – but they are NOT adequate substitutes for the advice of your own doctor, trainer, or other health professional. Please consult an expert before adjusting or creating your own fitness regimen.
(scroll to the bottom to enter to win!)
Hey everyone! I’m back again on the blog with another Pattern Designer celebration! Don’t you love a good celebration?! As you can see, there is a great giveaway – daily as well as a grand prize so you’ll want to check back with Itch to Stitch* every day of the blog tour, today through October 14th, and scroll to the bottom of this post to enter!
Last year, I enrolled in The Pattern Workshop* class by Lauren Dahl of Baste + Gather. Upon enrollment, I was added to a facebook group with all the other students. It was there I met Kennis of Itch to Stitch Designs and, soon thereafter, tested her first pattern, the Marbella Dress (love this dress!!). Kennis has released 9 additional patterns this year – shorts, tops and dresses – and since I had just finished a dress, I thought a top would be a nice change of pace. Thinking on to my fall wardrobe, I chose to hack the Paulina* pattern.
The Paulina top is for you, “If you want comfort and style at the same time…Pair it with leggings and boots, skinny jeans and heels, or capri pants and flats…” The original design includes
In order to “hack” the pattern, I decided to switch the shirt layers so the knit was underneath and the woven was on top. The woven is a chiffon diamond print I chose from my stash, but I originally bought it at F&M Fabrics, online at TheFabricMarket.com. You can find it here (at $3.99/yd!) and they also have it in a black and cream here.
Additionally, I omitted the peekaboo cut outs below armholes. The original Paulina has a very classic style, but I think the swapping of fabrics gives it a sporty element.
This top was a quick sew and everything went together perfectly. For personal preference, I will definitely be adding length to my next Paulina, but it is for sure a style I see myself wearing all fall and winter. Cozy but definitely not frumpy, which is great for a busy mom!
Thanks for stopping by! BUT WAIT – did I mention that during the tour, all of the Itch to Stitch Patterns* are on sale!? Get 20% off one pattern (code: 20off), 30% off two patterns (code: 30off), 40% off three or more patterns (code: 40off)!! And why not refill that cup of coffee and check out the other stops on the tour? Don’t forget to keep scrolling to enter the giveaway at the bottom. Best of luck!!
*Any link with an asterisk indicates an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through any of these links, I earn a small commission. Thank you for your support! See more on the Disclosures tab.
Follow these blogs to see their awesome creations from Itch to Stitch patterns:
Scruffy Badger Time | Call Ajaire | Wally and Grace | Sew Wrong | Bella Sunshine Designs
Seaside Notions | Made by Jaime | Sweet Little Chickadee | Inspinration | Friends Stitched Together
Stoney Sews | Just Keep Sewing | My Little Sewing Dreams | Allie J. | Creative Counselor
Love, Lucie | Girls in the Garden | FABulous Home Sewn | Goddess of Sewing | Rebel & Malice
The Telltale Tasha | House of Estrela | Made by Sara | Sew Shelly Sew | Red Knits
Be sure to scroll to the bottom for your chance to win great prizes by these sponsors:
The Fabric Store – $100 Gift certificate
Elliott Berman Textiles – Fabric bundle from France & Italy
Craftsy – three online classes of your choice
Girl Charlee Fabrics – $25 Gift certificate
Indie Sew – $25 Gift certificate
UpCraft Club – $25 Gift certificate
Quarto Publishing Group USA – the SHIRTMAKING WORKBOOK by David Page Coffin
The featured designer of the day will give away 2 patterns to a lucky winner:
Follow Itch to Stitch’s blog closely to win these patterns!
Hi there! I’m Jaime of MadeByJaime and I’m so glad you’ve stopped by! I’m up today on the Remix The Stitch Anniversary Tour & Giveaway with my twist on Straight Stitch Designs‘ Capitol Hill. Just for reference, here’s Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs rockin the original version of the Capitol Hill:
Kimberly describes it this way: “CAPITOL HILL is style meets comfort with a scoop neck, double pleat detail at the front and 3 skirt options. Make the Capitol Hill as either a dress or a tunic with elbow or long sleeves. You can go for classic with a gathered skirt in both knit and woven or mix it up with a half or full circle skirt. You can also band the sleeves or just do a simple hem.”
About a week before really thinking through what I was going to do to remix the Capitol Hill, my local fabric store posted this glitter chiffon fabric as a part of their weekly Create This Look. I couldn’t get this fabric out of my mind so when I had a kidless hour, I ran down to F&M Fabrics (online at TheFabricMarket.com) and picked up 3 yards. You guys…it’s 3.99 A YARD and comes in 3 color ways! I also found a really stable mid-heavyweight knit and got several yards of that for the bodice and underskirt and got to work.
I cut the bodice and waistband first. I had a remnant of a bright pink knit but it was much thinner than the black knit I was using for the bodice and I was concerned it wouldn’t hold up the layers of the skirt I was planning. So I also cut the waistband in the black knit and layered them together as one fabric. I must stop here to say Kimberly has included a short video on how to appropriately fold the front bodice pleats so if the instructions are confusing for you in any way, the video clarifies everything!
Once I tried that on and knew it fit, I moved on to the skirt. Because the knit’s thickness, I was concerned that a half circle skirt would be a little much so I used this tutorial to cut an a-line skirt from it. In this episode of True Sewing Confessions, I must tell you, I did not appropriately account for my hip measurement and it turned out quite snug. At first I liked how it felt – kind of like built-in spanx! But I realized, after getting it all together, that it would start to ride up and affect the drape of the bodice. I fixed it after the fact by opening up the side seams and adding gussets (triangle pieces of fabric) from just above my hip to the hem. This allowed for better movement and overall drape of the dress.
After cutting the under layer, I used the half circle skirt pattern piece included in the Capitol Hill file to cut the chiffon. I just opened up the chiffon and folded the 3 yards in half and instead of cutting on the hem line included, which is knee length, I just continued cutting to the fabric edge. I used a measuring tape to find out how far beyond the pattern that took me (22.5″ if I remember correctly) and just marked that distance across the entire bottom edge with chalk. I used that as my cutting line and the length was generous enough to have some room to work with, but not wasteful (for reference, I’m 5′ 7″).
I knew I wanted to do something different with the sleeve to continue to mix it up, but I didn’t have it nailed down at the outset. I briefly thought about making the neckline and/or sleeves from the chiffon, but it quickly went from nod to the 70’s to over-the-top so I used the black knit for the neckline and decided to use the Capitol Hill Sleeve pattern to draft a tulip sleeve.
I used this tutorial but drew 2″ down from the under arm seam, instead of 1″ as instructed. I also added 1/2″ seam allowance to the bottom edge only after drafting, as the sleeve cap and side seams already included seam allowance.
The black is such a strong color, I worried the elbow length or long sleeves would overpower the dress. I absolutely love how the tulip sleeve turned out – I think it adds some subtle femininity in line with the flowy floral.
I hadn’t made the Capitol Hill before so I had fun exploring it’s possibilities and remixing it as I went. The pattern itself offers so many options without remixing, but it is definitely a pattern you can add your own flair and style to.
Don’t forget, Kimberly is offering 50% off all Straight Stitch Designs patterns* (PDF and paper) and 40% off her Stitch Kits now through September 20th and you can see it all here*. See all the other Remix the Stitch styles here:
And now for the Giveaway! Here’s a reminder of the lovely prize package being offered (To enter, see the rafflecopter widget below)
*Any links with an asterisk indicate an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through that link, I earn a small percentage. Thank you for your support! I also was given a pattern by Straight Stitch Designs as a thank you for participating in this bloggy celebration. Please see my *Disclosure tab above for details.
The sewing blogosphere is such a fun community to be a part of and I’ve so enjoyed making new friends and getting to know some new independent PDF pattern designers over the last year. One of them is Kimberly at Straight Stitch Designs!* Kimberly is the designer of the Bellevue Top & Ballard Top, which I’ve helped in the testing phase, but honestly, I think I own every one of her patterns! Her style is classic with an interesting twist and I’m so happy she’s done well this past year!
This month marks the Straight Stitch Designs’ 1 year anniversary and when Kimberly put the call out for bloggers to help her celebrate, I jumped at the chance! Kimberly has asked us to “Remix the Stitch” – take one of her patterns and put our own twist on it, mash it with another pattern or otherwise have fun with it. It’s a great way to celebrate, I think, and I can’t wait to see everyone’s style!
During the Remix the Stitch Blog Tour, Kimberly will be offering 50% off all of her patterns*, both pdf and paper! She also sells Stitch Kits and they will be marked 40% off. This sale will run from September 7th until September 20th. No code necessary.
There is also an incredible giveaway including fabrics and PDF patterns, so you want to be sure to come back to enter!
So I’ll see you next Monday for my stop on the blog tour – can’t wait to show you what I’ve come up with!
*All links with an asterisk are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this link, I earn a percentage of the sale. I appreciate your support!
It’s back to school time and today we’re entering our 4th week of 2nd grade and Pre-K! It has been quite an adjustment for me! Every year I forget how big of a step up it is between the previous grade and the new grade. Every. Year. But I think we’ve fallen into a good groove. I’ve been able to cut out a few Necessary Clutch Wallets orders and have been working on them as I find time. But before I started, I used a Saturday afternoon nap time session to make my daughter a Duffle for her new dance class!
This new (to us) class is a combo class with 20 minutes of Tap, 20 minutes of Ballet, then 20 minutes of gymnastics. Of course, this requires at least two pairs of shoes! I looked around at different bag patterns and tutorials, but I landed on this simple Duffle Bag Tutorial by Weekend Designer. My daughter chose this Robert Kaufman Girl Friends print from Quilt Taffy on Etsy. I wanted the bag to have some body so I used some of the baby pink quilted jacket lining I used on her duffle coat last year.
The tutorial provides instructions for just a basic bag, but I knew I wanted to add pockets to separate the shoes and have a spot for a bottle of water.
For each side I cut a trapezoid the length of the bag on one end and as long as I could fit on the fabric I had left over from cutting the body on the other end. It was very scientific. I made a casing in the longer end and threaded in some elastic. This was the top. I turned the other long edge in 3/8″ and sewed it in place where I felt looked right. Then, I basted the side seams even with the edges of the bag center and continued sewing the bag as usual. One side I sewed down the middle to divide the pocket into two smaller. The other I left the width of the bag.
You can see there’s plenty of room inside for everything…and eventually those shoes will get bigger. There is also no heating unit in the building where we go to class so in winter, it will need to house all the layers she sheds as she gets warmed up.
The duffle bag tutorial includes instructions for adding the D-Ring at each end of the zipper, thought I must admit, I initially left this off. I wasn’t planning to make a long strap for the bag, but I found the D-Rings aid in zipping the bag open and shut so I went back and added them.
There is also an outside pocket at one end. To make this I just cut another end piece and cut a few inches off to make it lower and hemmed the top edge.
I finished the bag just before she woke up had it on the counter in our hallway, outside her bedroom. She woke up minutes later and came into the living room with a big smile. “I saw my new dance bag you made me!” So then we were both happy with the result! I’m tempted to make myself a bag, as I’ve also started taking ballet – a long time dream of mine! And brother could use one for his soccer gear…there are 1000 uses!
A few month’s back I was asked to make two dresses for a local high school opera production. When I got the text of the pattern I’d be using to make the dresses, I was immediately ecstatic. Simplicity 1715 is an Edwardian style dress that reminded me of Downton Abbey. My husband and I had just caught up with the series and I couldn’t wait to re-create one of Lady Mary’s styles.
The fabric had already been purchased for the blue Lady Mary dress, but a second dress required black and red satin so I headed to F&M Fabrics (TheFabricMarket.com) for those supplies and they had everything I needed.
This dress pattern was…interesting, to say the least. I am not a true costumer, per se, and this pattern was written specifically for costume. The construction methods seemed very unorthodox for someone whose training is in clothing construction and bridal.
The base of the outfit is this corset. It is unlined, but made with boning applied to the seam allowances. The top edge is finished with bias tape and the bottom with piping. The pattern called for every closure to be hook and eye but since this was not to be used for many girls, just the one I was sewing for, I decided on zippers.
After the corset was made, you start to construct the outer garments. Here is a close up of the bodice overlay. It was intended to be loose & drapey with gathers on either side front and a crossover V in the back.
The skirt and skirt overlay are then constructed as individual pieces and then the finished satin skirt, with waistband and everything, is placed on top of the corset piece and just stitched on! They could have easily made it a dress, in my opinion, but instead it was this strange two piece thing sewn together. I also replaced the hook and eye closure with a zipper again, then attached the skirt overlay. The belt was constructed separately and placed at the waistline where the skirt was sewn to the corset.
The second outfit used the same corset from the Simplicity pattern with added trim at the top and a tulle ruffle at the bottom. The skirt was made using a handwritten tutorial and photos and included 3 layers of circle skirts, a built in petticoat and elastic waistband.
It was fun to delve into some more elaborate patterns again. I truly enjoyed learning about costuming techniques throughout the process and it’s such a joy to see the dresses in action. This is the same customer I was altering dresses for last week for her next level in Jr. Miss. This beautiful young lady is going places!
Have I warned you that once you start making NCWs, you just can’t stop? Well my mother in law’s birthday is in May, the same month as Mother’s Day. We had her over for dinner at her request for her Mother’s Day present and she did that thing that mom’s sometimes do and told us not to get her anything for her birthday. Well, I already had this NCW fabric ordered and in the plans, so we did that thing that kids sometimes do and said, “Sure mom!”
She likes to collect Campbell’s Soup paraphernalia and she is married to a Campbell so I thought this fabric would be fun. I actually made this before the Tula Pink NCW, it was my first attempt in lining up a print to match on the body and the flap. I am happy with the results!
I also fussy cut the inside flap to feature another label from the fabric panel. Each time I make the NCW, I play a little with the interfacing in the flap. This time around I interfaced each piece with Pellon SF-101, then I put the decorative piece of Peltex inside the flap instead of wrapping it in fabric and stitching it to the top. Then I Stitched close to it to give some dimension. I think my favorite combination will be Pellon 808 and decorative piece of Peltex inside. I have a few orders already so we’ll see if I stick with it or not!
I just love how fun these wallets are to put together and how practical they are! If you haven’t made one yet, head on over to Emmaline Bags to grab your pattern and hardware (she has the best hardware, in my opinion).