Wednesday 31 July 2013


Prefontaine World Tour: Calling at Kitschy Coo

prefontaine teaser

I'm beyond excited today to reveal my contribution to the Prefontaine World Tour!  Seriously, I fell in love with these shorts as soon as I saw testing pics pop up and I harangued Jill until they were released. 'AretheyreadyyetAretheyreadyyetAretheyreadyyet....'

Her approximation of Steve Prefontaine running, obviously

Because my jet-lagged brain failed at reading comprehension, I got confused with the sizing and erroneously believed that my kids were above the size range when they weren't.  So I did grade up a bit, adding 1" total at centre back, 3/8" to the rise and 3/8" to the inseam but actually a straight-up Size 5 probably would've been fine.  When I make another pair in a woven the extra width and rise may be beneficial as Maia's hips are close to 30"!  Jamie was atypically (for him) jealous of his sister's new shorts so I see some Prefontaines in his future too.

prefontaine detail

The star fabric is my newest acquisition, a nice and stable cotton lycra blend in awesome neon colours.  For the pocket edging I used a polkadot double-fold bias tape in lime green that has a sweet woven picot edge.  If you're sewing a woven binding onto a knit I suggest going slow and pressing the bejesus out of it.  The front pockets are a coordinating orange knit, and the overall edges are bound in red polkadot binding.  The only omission I made to the pattern was not adding the back patch pocket, which had zero to do with my love of the pocket (which is intense) and everything to do with my inability to decide which fabric it should've been made from.

prefontaine side

The construction of the shorts is different from any other bottoms I've made to facilitate sewing on the binding as easily as possible.  I am in love with the overlapping sides and the flash of thigh.

prefontaines full 2

Overall, awesome pattern and awesome shorts!  Anything that can persuade Maia to take pictures in the rain must be a winner.

Make sure to check out all the other awesome Prefontaines popping up in the tour (it's my girl Sarah tomorrow!) and you can snag the pattern here.

Sunday 28 July 2013


This just in: Cerise Stars

We're safely home in the UK and the shop is now reopen for fabric orders!  I had a package waiting for me with this lovely bright star print so there's one new choice for you :)

Because Big Cartel is a pain in the bum and doesn't allow batch editing I had to go through every single listing to set it back to live so I also took the opportunity to add more functionality to the shop- you can now filter on not only Fabric Type (which you could do before) but also by Supplier (new function).  This means that if you have previously ordered a fabric that you love the composition of, it's now easier to find the same composition.  I've had some exciting emails during my holiday so hopefully I'll be adding even more suppliers over the remainder of the year!

Monday 22 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Lladybird

It's the last day of the of the Lady Skater Tour and we're going out with a bang with Lauren from Lladybird! Holy sh*t, right??  I've been the biggest fangirl of hers (which is no doubt a claim that many will contest) for such a long time- her makes, her fabrics, her writing style (the Vogue Pattern snarks alone are legendary)... everything ad infinitum.  All these Thurlows (and her associated Thurlow sew-along) actually make me want to sew some trousers, which is no mean feat.   I had to pull on my bravest big girl pants to ask her on the tour and I couldn't believe my luck when she agreed.

A kinda funny creepy story: last year Lauren posted a picture of some awesome tiger shoes she'd scored on pretty the same day as I got my tiger fabric.  I almost sent her some as a wee thank you (she mentioned my shop in her Conquering Knits post and is the second highest referrer to my shop after myself- ha!) but I chickened out lest I seem (accurately) a creeper.  I ran out of the tiger fabric, but then when I summoned the courage to ask her on the tour I received another bolt from my supplier on pretty much the same day again!  The universe wanted her to have those tigers... and now she does in Skater form.

Sunday 21 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Sew Chibi

We're in the home stretch with only two Lady Skaters to go and today we have the incomparable Kat from Sew Chibi!  Hand on heart, I don't think there is anyone quite like Kat (and I genuinely mean that with the highests praise).  I have the honour of being one of a group of people that Kat bounces ideas off about what she's making and although I don't necessarily immediately understand what she's planning, I know it'll be epic.  We've partaken in quite a few of the same tours (and she's participated in tours  I've incongruously not been asked to do been too busy to do ) and there is never an occasion when she doesn't do something so unique and awesome that I don't gasp.  I'm not even joking, these cats are slide-able up and down that panel and she hand-stamped and painted the fabric.  If my mum wasn't knitting me a Wonder Woman sweater I'd seriously consider asking Kat to be my mum as I can't even imagine the glee I'd feel to have something like this as a kid (kidding not kidding , mum!).  One of the best sewing projects I've ever seen was how she turned a painting by her father into fabric via Spoonflower and made her daughter a dress with it; not a straight-up dress using the fabric alone but a fusion dress with a skirt in his painting with her own beautiful inspired bodice, sash, and self-made buttons.  She's one in a million / billion / seven point one billion.
Here's a sneaky peak of what Kat made... Click on through!

Saturday 20 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Max California

Today the Lady Skater Tour is heading back over to Australia again with Ari from Max California! It hasn't been that long since Ari was last on my blog with her Baby Skater, but since then she's done heaps of tours and guest posts and even started her own Sew Geeky series with Sew Chibi (tomorrow's tour-ee).  Ari has the unique distinction of being a babe, a sweetheart, and a geek; here's a round-up of most of her Star Wars projects alone.  Although I find it suspicious how adorable her family are, I will give her the benefit of the doubt provided she continues to post many pictures of them.

So... Does anyone want to see a zippered mini-Skater with coordinating Steampunk shorts on a BAMF? Of course you do.

Friday 19 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Imagine Gnats

Today I'm delighted to have Rachael from Imagine Gnats on the Lady Skater tour!  Most recently Rachael was co-hosting the fab series Shorts on the Line for everybody's summer shorts needs, but you might also recognise her from the fab Cammy Pack Camera Strap guest post she did for Pellon. I tell no lies when I say that I'd definitely rather sport a robust be-pocketed Cammy Pack over a pair of trousers with lots of pockets any day of the week.  Rachael has embarked on a 'living the dream' initiative this year, releasing her first two patterns (Roly Poly Pinafore and Tumble Tee Tank) and she's shortly opening an online fabric shop specialising in double gauze and  cotton lawns.

Rachael was one of my initial testers for the Skater Dress so for this version she stripped it back to the bare bones for a simple a-line dress! Click on through for more information.

Thursday 18 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Emmyloubeedoo

Today we're very close to my current location with Sarah from EmmyLouBeeDoo... In fact, so close to my current location that we're meeting up in real life this weekend! And Sarah and I (and my Maia and her Emmy) will all wear our skaters and have a Skater Pool Party and it won't be embarrassing at all. Since the last time Sarah was on this blog in the Little Skater Pattern Tour she's added another pattern to her shop, the lovely Doli Tank (that I made for Maia in Shattered Glass Voile here) and her trouser pattern, the Hosh Pants (that I made in rose-print sateen here), have rightfully taken the internet by storm.  Last month they were named by Imagine Gnats as her 'Best of Summer Sewing' pattern on Caila's Best of Summer Sewing series!  While there are many, many compelling reasons to be friends with Sarah in real life, one of the best things is having an inside line to which patterns she has in the pipeline and let me just say they're exciting.
Sarah was one of my testers for the Lady Skater so I knew that her next version would be awesome but I wasn't expecting chiffon shoulder inserts!  How cool is that??  Heaps, I tell thee.

Wednesday 17 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: That Moxie Girl

I'm really excited to have my friend Jill from Made by Moxie on the Lady Skater Tour today!  I became obsessed with her earlier this year when the very bestest shorts started popping up all over Instagram and I've held her close to my bosom ever since.  Can you believe that the Prefontaine Shorts are her very first pattern? They fill me with glee and I can't wait for my spot on the upcoming tour.

As a fellow geek I love her costumes and fabric choices, she's a dab hand at sewing for herself, and her blog is chock-a-block with helpful stuff like this tutorial for men's boxer shorts or this one for a girl's fat quarter skirt.
So here's Jill's Lady Skater iteration... tunic length!  Click on through!

Tuesday 16 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Kadiddlehopper

We're back Stateside today with one of my favorite people, Katie from Kadiddlehopper.  As well as being a hugely knowledgeable and super-prolific sewer for her entire family, she's also a qualified paediatrician so she gets bombarded with my 'OMG Armhole' and 'Name That Rash' questions.  If she minds she hides it well, but I'm pretty sure she has heroic levels of kindness and helpfulness.  She recently co-hosted the Swim-Along series, which is the go-to place for all things swimwear- fabric and notion resources, pattern round-ups and loads and loads of process tutorials.  Katie is also blogging about her Big Four Experiment, posting the results of sewing the Big 4 pattern companies based on their own size guidelines and instructions versus the results of by choosing a size based on high bust and sewing as per her own best-practise.  I'm not being facetious when I say it's fascinating.
It will surprise no one that Katie knocked it completely out of the park with this one...  A hot pink, maxi-length, godeted goddess.  The force compels you to click through.

Monday 15 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Cirque Du Bebe

Today we're getting our very first cold weather Lady Skater as it's Australian winter for Sophie from Cirque Du Bebe! I've been a long time fangirl of Sophie ever since her I spied her adorable makes popping up in the Kids Clothes Weeks of yore.  Her kids' clothes are so stylish / unique / playful / flawless, that it was natural to feel a bit jealous of her eye for detail and repurposing nous.  And then Sophie unleashed herself onto the internet and we all collectively thought, 'Is this really fair?' The white graphic Wiggle Dress alone prompted me to print out her pictures to practice my kissing*.

Winner of the first season of Project Sewn and legitimate lovely lady, here's a sneaky peak of what Sophie made...  Click on through for the full post!

*Just kidding, Sophie! I haven't actually done this. Yet.

Sunday 14 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: La Inglesita

From yesterday's stop in the UK, today the Lady Skater Pattern Tour is hopping over to Spain to visit Maria from La Inglesita!  You might remember Maria from the awesome colour-blocked little skater she did in my previous tour, the beautiful eyelet Roly-Poly she did in for Imagine Gnat's tour, the lovely floral button down top she made her son for the Kids Clothes Belgian Style series.... I think you can sense a theme: everyone wants Maria on their tours and in their series! And for good reason; her fabric choices and detailing are impeccable and always unique.  If you haven't visited her blog, you should post haste.  Although Maria blogs in Spanish, she also translates into English and her posts are full of very helpful information like Things I Learned About Laminates and How to Sew a Perfect Patch Pocket.

So here's a sneak peak of Maria's Skater... a boat neck, full sleeves and a hidden shelf bra!  Click on through for lots more pictures and a lovely, lovely review.

Saturday 13 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Craftstorming

Today the Lady Skater Pattern Tour is traveling back to the UK to Laura from Craftstorming! This is particularly exciting as Laura is an elusive creature and photographic evidence of her existence is sparse. One of the things I really admire about Laura is her attention to detail, whether it's print matching over a seam (those penguins are matched not just horizontally but also vertically!), adding funky embellishments while sewing, or even baking treasures inside cakes and cookies.  You really need to check her her inspired series Sew Yummy and I cannot wait to try out her tutorial for printing onto elastic.  She launched her first pattern for the Fancy Pants Leggings recently and if I was to dig deep to find a criticism of Laura, it's that she hasn't made them in large enough sizes for my kids. Or me.

Here's a sneaky peak of the VERY FIRST thing Laura has even sewn for herself!  Click on through to heap praise on her.

Friday 12 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Siestas and Sewing

Today I'm delighted to have Cindy from Siestas and Sewing on the Lady Skater Pattern Tour!  The eagle-eyed amongst you might spot below that Cindy has already made numerous Skaters both for herself and her oldest daughter as I was lucky enough to have her as a tester.  She is one of the most prolific and knowledgeable sewers I know, making endless clothes for her four children on top of her full-time job of making me seethe with hair envy.  I would also like to state for the record that Cindy is particularly susceptible to my own brand of pestering... I bombarded her on several fronts for a tutorial for the Woven Tee and she only went and posted one!  Guess who hasn't made one yet?  This is obviously proof of her kindness (more than my annoyingness) as she was also super-generous in contributing a free Sandbridge shorts and top pattern for my Make in the Metre Series.  She's just an all-around lovely lady that I'm lucky to call a friend.

Without further ado, a sneaky peak... It's sleeveless!  Click on through for the full post :)

Thursday 11 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Sew Sweetness

Next stop on the Lady Skater Pattern Tour is the dynamo Sara from Sew Sweetness!  I first crossed paths with Sara when she tested and reviewed my kids' reversible hoodie pattern in 2010 (!) and I've been hooked on her blog ever since.  Despite not being more than a recreational bag or quilt maker, Sara is always worth a read because she is so generous with her knowledge (her interfacing posts for Pellon in particular are a thing of beauty) and ridiculously talented.  And she has the distinction of making the best dress ever made in the Typewriter Dress.  Bag designer, quilter extraordinaire, garment maker, is there nothing Sara can't master?! Methinks not.

I'm so honoured that Sara took time out of her extremely busy schedule to partake in the tour.

Click on through for the full post!

Wednesday 10 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Alida Makes

Third day of the Lady Skater pattern tour and we have a belter of a blogger- Alida from Alida Makes! Another participant from my Little Girls' Skater Tour with her stamped, sharpied and be-pocketed beauty, of course I had to invite her back for the lady Skater Tour because obviously. And not just that, she was a tester for the pattern and rocked this bow-print skater:

The sign is my contribution but the universe's sentiment. Alida is so beautiful inside and out, makes the most unique and vibrant clothes for her four kids, and she's my partner in an upcoming fabric design swap (in which I'm entirely unworthy of her design talents).

Here's a sneaky peak of what Alida made, and while you're there make sure you read and share her How To Lose a Friend who Sews in 5 Steps too. Truer words never written.

Tuesday 9 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Sew A Straight Line

Today we welcome Sabra from Sew a Straight Line back into our loving skater-y arms.  You might remember that a few short months ago she was part of the original Girls' Skater Dress Pattern Tour, where she made no less than three skater dresses for her daughter.  Now, you might expect that Sabra would rest on her laurels and take it easy after such prodigious skater-making but instead she made all four of her kids' Easter outfits, partook in the first series of Project Sewn (she made skinny jeans, people), contributed a rather fancy-looking sundress tutorial for 30 Days of Sundresses, and I dunno, guys... It kinda looks like dressing Ivy as cutely as possible has become a full time job?  I approve.

Obviously, it's clear that Sabra was going to do something awesome with the Lady Skater. Something like this:

Click on through for the full post!

Monday 8 July 2013


Lady Skater Pattern Tour: One Girl Circus

We're kicking off the Lady Skater Pattern tour with a bang, welcoming Karen from One Girl Circus!  Karen is well known for her generous spirit whether that be sharing tutorials on her blog, teaching classes on garment-making and sewing in her home state of Michigan, sharing her expertise as part of Skillshare and as a sewing Dear Abby for The Handmade Companion, and even volunteering to teach her daughter's art class.  Oh, and she makes bespoke garments, she's one half of the original Patterns By Figgy's line, and the co-author of Sewing For Boys. And the designer behind the Goodship Dress. You know, just your garden variety badass.

 I'm beyond honoured that Karen agreed to participate, so go check her post out for this beautiful paisley skater!

Monday 1 July 2013


Coming soon to an internet near you: The Lady Skater Pattern Tour

You know that old adage 'When the cat's away the Lady Skaters make awesome dresses and take over the internet'? It's true! In a couple of days we'll be Stateside, and there's a bunch of badass sewists who'll be picking up my slack.  That's quite an illustrious line up, eh?  I can't wait to see what everyone makes.

If you want to join in the fun and festivities, make sure to add your Lady Skaters to the Flickr group!