Friday 20 December 2013


Holiday Sewing: Simple Leather Christmas Ornaments Tutorial

I'm bringing Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom's Holiday Sewing Series to a close today with a super speedy tutorial: simple leather ornaments covers
I know, right? So easy I actually feel pretty guilty about posting it but but BUT I did some googling when I had the idea and surprisingly there wasn't anything too similar.  The tree and stars are complete no-sew, but the baubles require a tiny bit of sewing (although you could omit the detail and just use the outline).  You can download the templates for the three shapes here, but there are a tonne of Christmas clip art templates if you want to add more shapes... Reindeer? Stockings? Snowflakes? Candy canes? Leather ornament all the things!

1 leather ornaments trace shapes

Cut out your shapes and trace them on your leather.  Using sharp scissors, carefully cut around the outlines.  If you're going to sew the zigzag detail on the baubles, cut the zigzag from a second colour.  Use a glue stick to position the zigzag on the bauble.

2 leather ornament sew bauble

After the glue is dry, put a heavy duty needle in your machine (specific leather needles are best but general heavy duty needles are fine too). To stop the leather from waving / distorting, I use a slightly longer stitch length of 2.8.  Start sewing close to the edge, stopping at the corners and with the needle in the down position, and pivoting to continue sewing around all the edges until you get back to where you started.

3 leather ornaments makes holes

Use an awl or craft knife to make a hole at the top for hanging.  If you have the hardware, grommets would be pretty nifty too.

4 leather ornaments hang up

I used leather cording with a simple knot at the top for hanging.

5 leather ornaments all hung

And that's it!  They took me fourteen times longer to photograph than make and our tree looks (marginally) more classy so that's a result by all accounts.

Make sure that you check out the series for lots of Christmas sewing ideas, including yesterday's tutorial from Jamie herself with reversible holiday placemats.  There will be a linky party on Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom tomorrow for everyone to link up their recent holiday sewing, and there's a even a giveaway for a Brother 1034d serger closing tomorrow!

Wednesday 18 December 2013


The Mini Penny Pinafore sewing pattern is go!

Mini Penny Collage 

You've maybe already seen the announcement on other social media outlets that weren't being jerks last night but let's smack it down here for posterity's sake too.  Please, Blogger?  The Mini Penny is also finished and available in my shop!  Let me show you two that I made eons ago and never blogged...

Short Sleeve Mini Penny

I needed to make a short sleeve one for photographic proof that short sleeves were a possibilty so it was lucky that we were going to Spain the next day for some heat.

Short Sleeve Mini Penny backdrop

Prettiest photographic location to date.

Short Sleeve Mini Penny

MOST DIFFICULT TO ACTUALLY PHOTOGRAPH.  Seriously, blinding white hot light.

Mini Penny tunic

Back to darker / colder / more familiar territory (ie our back garden), here's a tunic length version I did in ye olde French terry from the stash.

blue euro Mini Penny

The fabric has around 10% stretch so this pattern is definitely doable in winter-weight knits.

blue euro Mini Penny pockets

Like most of my other Mini Pennys, this one has pockets.  I made the executive decision not to include the pockets in the pattern as with 12 sizes in two lengths each the pattern pieces are very crowded without pocket placement lines but I'll be offering them on the blog in the new year as a free add on.

Mini Penny Testers Collage

And here's a selection of the testers' Mini Pennys!

Penny Pinafore x2

Katie even made a matching Penny and Mini Penny for her and her daughter!  Based on this picture alone, I'm going to have to try this to improve my relationship with Maia. I have never seen two people more delighted to be in each other's company wearing matching clothes.  If mini doppelgangers are your bag too, from now until Christmas Day you can use PENNY at checkout for 20% off two or more patterns.  It's good for any of my patterns, it doesn't specifically have to be the Pennys.  If you have bought two or more patterns since Monday, expect a refund!


Monday 16 December 2013


The Penny Pinafore Sewing Pattern is go!

Release the hounds, release the kracken, release what you have at hand but The Penny Pinafore is finally available in my shop!  If you haven't heard me talking about nothing else for the last month, here's a description of the pattern:
This striking knit dress has shapely princess seams, a scooped banded neckline, a gently curved a-line shape in three different lengths (tunic / mini / knee length), and options for banded cap sleeves, ¾ length sleeves or long sleeves. It's designed to flatter the figure with a close fit through the bust, subtle waistline shaping through the natural waist, and then gently skimming over the lower waist and hips. The separate panels and princess seams give ample opportunity for fitting to individual shapes and adjusting to preferred ease. In a single colour or overall print the dress lends itself to a casual wardrobe staple that's cute thrown over leggings or tights, or use a contrasting print or colour in the centre panels for an striking hourglass shape. There are eight sizes included in the pattern, ranging from a 30” to 44” high bust, and a 24” to 38” high waist. Due to the slightly challenging nature of sewing princess seams and easing different curves into each other, I would class this an intermediate pattern but essentially it's a very quick sew.
And just to cleanse the internet's visual palette of only me wearing the Penny Pinafore round these parts, here's a fraction of the makes my awesome testers made.  I think they made nearly twenty between them, they are the absolute best.  And my mum tested for me this time so I am nearly a family business.

Also the best is my digitiser, Susan, from Crafterhours.  If you're looking for a digitiser she's a joy and a pleasure.  Better comb your hair, though, as she really likes Facetime.

Want to wear coordinating Penny Pinafores with your little doppelganger?  The Mini Penny will be released tomorrow!

I released this pattern specifically for the Designer's Challenge (initiated by the awesome Andrea from The Train To Crazy), where designers were challenged to come up with the unique 'original' pattern.  It's being going strong for over a month now, there's some fun patterns!  You can check them all out on Pattern Revolution.

Saturday 14 December 2013


This just in: a new retailer and lots and lots of prints

New Hilco Collage

I'm absolutely delighted to introduce Hilco from Germany as a new retailer!  You might recognise the designer, Hamburger Liebe, from the Simply Apples and Supahero that I have stocked in the past but she has now teamed up with Hilco and it's every more exciting to have her great designs on sweatshirting and woven babycord.  You heard me correctly, sweatshirting.   You're lucky I'm not saving all of these for me.  The three on the left are 95% cotton / 5% elastane sweatshirting and the three on the right are 100% cotton babycord.  They are slightly narrower than some of my other fabrics, coming in 145 cm / 55" width, but as they're not directional you can make the absolute most of your cut.

New Lillestoff Collage

Also arriving yesterday was a huuuuge box from Lillestoff!  I've restocked deep turquoise plain jersey (which is just as well as I recently sold out of the very-close-shade petrol plain jersey) and the popular Light Blue Scandiflower, but also added another six prints.  We've got the top two AMAZING feather prints (my favourites), two apt-for-British-winter Rain themed prints, the gorgeous Christmassy Fall birds with holly berries, and a glorious Woodland fabric with bears, deer, rabbits, hedgehogs and squirrels.  The rabbits are giving the side-eye, guys, so despite the fact I sold out of the brown side-eye foxes this week the cosmic balance of judgmental animals is maintained.  Somebody really needs to write Phd thesis on the use of the side-eye in Scandinavian fabric design.

Monday 9 December 2013


It's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Today is the biannual Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day and I'm offering one metre of your choice to the winner, international entries welcome!  The giveaway closes on Friday 13 Dec at 5pm PST / 8pm EST / 1am GMT. Check out my shop for all the fabrics I have in stock and leave your entries below.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday 2 December 2013


The Amazing Technicolour Paneled Pinafore

dotties paneled pinafore full 

As I got towards the end of the bolt of this Tulipa Dotties I selfishly took it out of the shop and reserved it for me. Yes, it's a bit garish and riotous, and the just-over-a-metre cut mean it's also super mini but I regret nothing.  I think I have tights to match at least half of these colours.  The resident / reluctant photographer didn't notice that there was a random shaft of light coming around the side of the building so there's a weird streak across the dress in all the pictures.

Meh, whatever.  I'm in love with this dress and nothing can taint that.

dotties paneled pinafore back

Not even my roots situation or derp feet.

dotties paneled pinafore close

Testing is going awesome and I'm getting pretty excited about this pattern.  All I need to do is settle on a name.  I like the Little and Lady play on the Skater and would like something similar for this.  Any ideas?

Saturday 30 November 2013


Black Friday to Cyber Monday: Save 20%

There are still two full days left to save 20% off everything in my shop using the code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout!  It's been manic so far, and some of my favourite fabrics are running low.  *sob*

Speaking of favourite fabrics, I've finally decided to part company with my wovens.  Due to my current focus on knits, my poor sad wovens weren't getting much action and I also desperately need the shelf space.  As my friend Kym pointed out yesterday, sorting and listing my wovens was like a trip down memory lane- each one of these fabrics has featured in blog posts and makes allllll the way back to 2007.  When looking them up prior to listing I found that a huge amount are Out Of Print / Rare, which made my inner hoarder want to keep them even more.  Or sell them by the FQ on Etsy and and retire to Malta.  For sake of ease they're bundled by colour or theme.

And finally, I've listed quite a few random one-size-only clothing items that have been hanging in my sewing room since last year.  They're already made so ready to ship!

Monday 25 November 2013


The Mod Dress

mod dress full

In case you missed it on Instagram or Facebook, I'm working on drafting the Paneled Pinafore in ladies' sizes.  This is version three and I'm just about happy with everything.  Version One is all in a grey ponte and it's trickier to see the seam lines so for this one I used a big fat striped ponte for the centre panels so you could see those princess seams.

mod dress close

The front has a more dramatic curve that nips in at the waist for an at-a-glance hourglass shape.  As the seams are more of a decorative feature than a shaping feature, the hourglass is somewhat of an optical illusion but princess seams are the perfect seams for adjusting fit to your individual body.

mod dress side

From the side you can see that there is a looser, drapier fit than it looks from the front.  There is negative ease through the bust but not through the waist because I think this pattern will be good to throw over jeans or trousers (in tunic length) or tights in mini / knee length. 

mod dress back

The back has less dramatic curves and also pesky thumbs causing pooling.

mod dress action

If you're waiting for an action shot to show you different things you can do while wearing this dress, the style clearly lends itself well to giving The Eyebrow to your son's friend who is spying on your photoshoot from around the side of the building.

Sunday 17 November 2013


This just in: Herzblatt, Girli Elephants, Rocketboy and Frogprince

Lillestoff Collage

Four new prints in the shop!  Herzblatt translates to either 'heart leaf' or 'adorable' but in this case I say both.  I can see this fabric being used for a lot of Christmas makes with the gorgeous greens and red!  Girli Elephant is a reprint of a fabric that sold out in it first run before I got a chance to stock it, it's a lovely large-scale print in pinks, browns and orange.  Rocketboy is another large scale print, this time with flying rockets, planets and stars in four unusual shades of blue.  And finally Frogprince, another riotous fairytale print in greens, yellow, orange and deepest chocolate brown.  The smiling lightening clouds are my favourite bit.

Saturday 16 November 2013


Pattern Anthology Winter Collection: Johnny B Good Remix

pattern anthology kitschy coo cover 2

The ladies behind Pattern Anthology (Andrea from Go To Patterns, Kate from See Kate Sew, Melissa from Blank Slate Patterns, and Shauna from Shwin Designs) have just released their second collaborative pattern pack 'Winter Wonderland' with eight patterns being sold in bundled form for a two week period:

I was invited to take part in the Winter Wonderland Tour in the Pattern Remix Section and decided to have a play about with Shwin Designs's Johnny B Good Hoodie.
This pattern is in the 'Boy' mini-collection (as well as the full eight-pattern collection), and it features a button-down front, optional shoulder patches, a back yoke, and either a collar or hood.  My mission: to keep the most distinctive design features but bring the Johnny B Good over to the girly side.

pattern anthology shoulder

Shoulder patches, check.

pattern anthology yoke

Back yoke, check.

pattern anthology collar

Collar, check.  But as you can see, there's no button front!  I removed the placket allowance, cut the front piece on the fold, and drafted a facing to go all the way around the neckline to allow me to cut into a v-neck (and also to enclose all of the collar seam allowance bulk).

pattern anthology full 3

The body was lengthened to tunic length, and given an a-line shape and curved hem.  My fabric is a ponte knit (that was intended for me I might add) so using a stretch fabric coupled with a more feminine silhouette meant I made some non-design-feature changes to the pattern*.

pattern anthology kitschy coo cover 1

It came out super-cute if I do say so myself! I love the sharp collar and neckline, the shoulder patches and yoke fancy it up beyond a basic top, and the bonus multi-colour dotties will make the tunic coordinate with a tonne of leggings.

Thanks for having me, Pattern Anthology, and make sure to check out the collection that will only be available as a discounted bundle until the 18th November.  Individual patterns will be sold by the specific designers thereafter.

*After making a muslin, I Frankensized to get the fit I wanted.  The shoulder width, shoulder patches, armholes, and chest width are size 2.  The neckline and collar are size 6. I also added 3" to the size 6 sleeve length.

Thursday 14 November 2013


Scandinavian Style Series: Jegsuit Jeggeralls

Scandinavian Style Series Kitschy Coo 

When Stacey from Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy Crafts asked me if I wanted to participate in her Scandinavian Style Series, of course I wanted in considering that I source and sell Scandi fabrics, and sew probably at least 95% of my makes in (what I would consider) a Scandi-influenced style.  Bright colours, easy-to-wear-comfort, and print mixing are just one facet of Scandi Style; there is a whole 'nother aesthetic to Scandi fashion that is a lot more subtle.  So for this challenge I wanted to step away from the Loud and Proud Scandi Style and work with a more neutral look.

scandi series full

Can a full-on jeggings jumpsuit be considered neutral?  Who knows.  Let's just go with it.  A lot of the Scandi sewing blogs I read use a predominantly neutral palette (grey, black, navy, white) but with a pop of colour for high contrast.

scandi series zipper detail

Sunflower yellow is almost the opposite of the colour wheel as denim blue so it's the perfect 'pop'.  I sourced the sunflower metal zip, and found a coordinating yellow for a plain long sleeve tee.  Guys, so hard not to use a print for the tee, so hard.

scandi series hat

But I let myself use a print sparingly for the slouchy beanie hat.  The Sweetcones print sticks to the neutral palette but has the subtle graphic design that sneaks into Scandi fabrics all the time.

scandi series back

For added visual interest I stitched in some wide elastic in the back.

scandi series full 1

The piece of jeggings fabric I had wasn't tall enough to make the jumpsuit a seamless affair so I had to give it a waist seam.

Sorry, Maia, I clearly should've used that seam to add pockets.

Thanks for having me, Stacey! Click on the button to see the awesome stuff everyone else has made.