Friday 30 August 2013


The Two Tone iPhone

iphone cover with text

Hark, Rejoice! It's Friend Sarah's birthday!  But what to you make the girl who has already been the recipient of everything that's in my powers to make has everything?  Although I had my suspicions that a ten+ year friendship with yours truly was gift enough, I thought I should cover my back.

iphone cover open

And her phone.  Coincidentally matching wrapping paper for the win!

iphone cover chevrons 2

I picked up both of these leather pelts at Edinburgh Fabrics earlier this year (forgetting that I already had royal blue at home) because my memory is short and orange and blue are irresistable together.  I played around with a lot of shapes for the design on the back and almost made a variegated triangle design  before settling on a chevron effect. So 2012, I know.

iphone cover reinforced back flap

Both of the pelts are thin and supple but the orange proved almost too much so- it was almost stretchy.  So I made a last minute call to reinforce the strap with another layer of blue for stability.

iphone cover strap detail 2

And another triangular layer of orange to catch on the strap if it starts to distort and grow. Although Sarah has a long and illustrious career as a phone cover loser, I don't want her to also be a phone loser.

Thursday 29 August 2013


This just in: Happy Elephants are even happier, Gourds more gorgeous than imagined

Two new fabrics arrived yesterday in a stunning plum / mustard / petrol / green / dark brown / white that only the most dyed-in-the-wool-purple-haters could dislike. The rest of us are immune to their guiles.
New Znok Collage

Did you admire the cheerful nature of cherry red Happy Elephants? Now the Elephants have even more reason to be happy with a bang-on-trend folklore pattern on their backs.  For the coordinating fabric to the right, I admit I had to look up 'Kurbits' for an English translation...  Would you believe that it means 'Gourds'?!  Never has a vegetable of the Cucurbitaceae persuasion looked so appealing in fabric form.  Both have been listed in the shop for those inclined.

Wednesday 28 August 2013


The Stone Cold Fox Dress

mum tribal skater 1

It would've been humanly impossible to be more excited than I was on Saturday when none other than my own mum sent me pictures of her wearing her own Lady Skater.   After urgently seeking permission to share her picture (permission granted), I posted it on Instagram to universal fanfare, even garnering her the accolade of 'stone cold fox' from the hilarious but tells-no-lies Laura. Of course her tribal print is bang on trend as well. 

pretzel lady skater 1

Meanwhile, 3600 miles away I was at that very moment wearing my own new Lady Skater in pretzels because pretzels are delicious and always appropriate.  I'm not even going to play the 'Who Wore It Better- Gene Pool edition' because the answer is obvious (and not me).  Thanks for making my day / life, mum!


Friday 23 August 2013


Happy Elephant Yoga Shorts hit Cape Cod Bay

cape cod bay 1

In preparation for our holidays I made a dramatic departure from my expected routine of only making Skaters, Tanks and Dolmans and rustled up a new pattern for shorts.  As I've mentioned since time immemorial, Maia is wovens-averse. And elastic-averse.

cape cod bay

And in the genetic lottery, the recipient of not only her share of rear-end but the whole family's.  That makes for tricky trouser / shorts fittings and rules out almost all store-bought bottoms without alterations.  It took three muslins with adjustments to the back width and rise before I was happy with the fit.  In comparison, my sylph-hipped niece:


rainbowphant shorts 2

Perfect fit right off my original draft!  Poor Isla had her heart set on a Rainbowphant dress (haven't we all?) but only a small piece in the stash meant it had to be shorts.  I love how little fabric shorts require and wish we lived in a climate where we could wear All The Shorts.


CC bay collage
Shorts and tanks and dolmans and skaters were donned for our nature walk in Cape Cod Bay.  We saw lots of creatures and even some hot, hot horseshoe crab loving.

cape cod bay 5

There was much flailing and splashing to cool down.

cape cod bay 3

And even a mid-expedition Roly-Poly switcheroo from Elephant side to Sakura side for reasons I can't remember.

cape cod bay 2

Jamie schooled his young cousin in the art of brooding.

Nailed it.


Monday 19 August 2013


To the Power of Four


In today's installment of Things That Happened A Month Ago, here are some pictures of our family trip to Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.

isla 4

The only new make in the kids' sartorial expedition was this butterfly skater for my niece. We love wearing butterfly dresses to the butterfly house in this family.  Their brightly coloured clothes did cause a bit of butterfly commotion.

Maia and Isla

The girls are close in age and just a tiny bit different in height but I officially graduated Isla into the 7/8 so she can still wear it next summer.  Maia is wearing her Summer Forest skater in 5/6 from last year.

Calvin jumping

My nephew's tank top is also one of my last-summer makes.  For my tank tops I use my sleeveless skater bodice lengthened and it's good to go.  So quick to make, which is lucky as I do all my pre-holiday sewing the night before we leave.

jamie and isla 1

Last but not least, Jamie is sporting last year's Dolman.  It was pretty slouchy on him last year but now it's a perfect fit.

way to zoo

Of course, the approach to the zoo (and all of the great play equipment inside) were just as much fun as seeing the animals.  If not more.  Kids, amirite?

Saturday 17 August 2013


This just in: Everything your heart desires

Another big box through the door and it contained extreme majesty. I've restocked Pretzels, Butterfly, and bright orange plain jersey, added five new prints, and two new colours of plain jersey. I've uploaded them all to the shop, but I'll tell you a bit about them too!
New Lillestoff Collage

Air Balloons is down-right adorable.  It features rows of stripey air balloons with a variety of animal passengers- rabbits, pigs, foxes, and squirrels- in a bright turquoise sky with clouds, rainbows, and robins.

Happy Girls is my favourite.  It features a riotous scene with a variety of (you guessed it) happy girls, prancing speckled horses, squirrels in fedoras, and butterflies amidst apple trees, flowers and houses. I KNOW, TOO MUCH ADORABLENESS. Those horses, I die.

Missing Duck has some retro-style going on.  It features a meandering river scene of ducks, frogs, and fish with retro style suns and flowers.  I get almost as much pleasure from the names of fabrics as from the fabrics themselves.  I'm assuming they refer fairy tales outside my frame of reference but I enjoy them.  Which leads us neatly to...

Jack and Frog Friends.  Do you like your frogs with a side of hipster?  Then this is the fabric for you: a smattering of googly-eyed frogs catching flies from their lily-pads while wearing a variety of hipster glasses. Fantastic.

Last of the prints, Lemondot!  This is a large-scale citrus print in blue and green on a bright lime green background. From a distance they resemble polkadots but up close they're clearly sliced citrus.

Finally, I have a yellow plain jersey. This one is sunflower coloured to coordinate with a lot of the new prints.  For reasons unknown to me, this is a 100% organic cotton rather than a blend with elastane.  That means it's not as heavy as the other jerseys, but it has a softer handle and a really beautiful drape.  It's also 180 cm wide!

Last but not least, a jeans jersey! It has a woven texture that makes it feel a heavier weight than the plain 95% cotton / 5% elastane jerseys despite having the same fabric content. The reverse of the fabric is a soft off-white.  Can you say jeggings?

Tuesday 13 August 2013


The Electric Tumble Tee

tumble tee; kitschy coo

The Imagine Gnats's Tumble Tee Tour is stopping by this humble blog today with my 80's-inspired neon creation.  Rachael's pattern is for an easy fitting knit tee with cut-on sleeves, a gentle a-line shape, dress and shirt lengths, and lots of options for seaming / colour-blocking.

tumble tee; kitschy coo 

It's offered in sizes 6m all the way through to 10 years (I made a true-to-age size 6 for reference) and it has a flattering sleek fit for my larger than average girl.

tumble tee; kitschy coo

Guess who took their time making sure their stripes match?  This girl.  I love the way they meet on the shoulders. Rather than hem the sleeves, I added a band in a coordinating yellow fine rib.

tumble tee; kitschy coo

I used the same fine rib to make a small chest pocket.  That's right, fine rib for a fiddly little pocket. Not the cleverest choice but lots of extreme pressing and using thin strips of Heat N' Bond to hold the folds and positioning on the shirt without pins meant that I was able to tame the beast.

tumble tee; kitschy coo

Rather than hem the neckline or leave it raw, I scooped out the original neckline and added a band to tie all the yellow edges together.

tumble tee; kitschy coo

But what 80's inspired project is complete without a nod to the ubiquitous mullet?  I lengthened the front by an inch and the back by  two inches and added a side vent.  And then gave the same yellow band treatment to the hem as I am nothing if not predictable.

tumble tee blooper reel

Make sure you check out my co-touree, Susan from Crafterhours, for her take on the Tumble Tee, it's awesome!

Thursday 8 August 2013


Peacocks in Americana

peacock 3

I find it so hard to get back into the blog after a lengthy holiday; jet-lag, lack of childcare, the inevitable crushing post-family-time black dog.  I make too many things.  We do too much.  I take too many pictures.  Having a camera and a brain that simultaneously synchronise and (occasionally) take reasonable pictures is of course a joy, having a new camera that takes eight frames per second and a trigger finger means that I have thirty six hundred pictures from our trip.  Obviously at least 3500 of them are blurry.  Anyway, the conclusion to this very sad tale is that I'm hoping to blog them in bite size chunks as-and-when I find the time. 

peacock 2

So.  Cousins, amirite? Always wanting coordinating peacock skaters to stand on stumps. And who am I to deny them?

peacocks 4

Purple trim to match the new purple sunglasses!  Or purple sandals if you're that way inclined... 

peacock 1

These pictures were taken at the playground behind the library in my parents' town. Just because I don't think I have before, I thought I'd share some pictures of the town where I grew up!
Norfolk Collage 2
For those outside the US, a slice of small-town New England Americana.  For those inside the US, a chance to say 'Meh, no big deal.'

peacocks 5

And finally, in Things That Are Meta: Maia bought a Farmer doll at the Farmers' Market. 

Tuesday 6 August 2013


This just in: Smila Roses, Neons stripes, Scandifly, solid jerseys, and ribbing

New Lillestoff Collage; lillestoff; scandifly; neon stripes; smila roses

Another giant box of fabric recently arrived and I've wrested the computer away from the kids long enough to add them to the shop!  Three new prints include a lovely ditsy rose print, an awesome fat neon stripe, and a bright Scandi butterfly print.  I've replenished most of my plain organic jersey solids, added bright red (to replace the sold-out dark red), and introduced black and cappuccino colourways in the ribbing section.

Friday 2 August 2013


Casual in America

Blue flower Casual Lady by Kitschy Coo

In my typical day-before-holiday sewing rush, the lions' share was (as always) lots of children-makes but I did manage to rustle up another two Casual Lady Tops for me.  They're so quick to make!  Like my previous Casual Lady, I skipped the facings and bound the neck and sleeve edges and to speed it up even further I repeated the same back and front identical trick.

Butterfly Casual Lady by Kitschy Coo

Which means that when it's been folded in your suitcase and wrinkled on badly on one side you can flip it right round to reveal the (minutely) less wrinkled side. Did I tell you a have a shiny new camera? Alas, still not photogenic.

Blue flower Casual Lady by Kitschy Coo

Both of the fabrics were Ebay purchases; it's incongruous to have a fabric shop and buy additional fabric but I wanted something lighter and drapier for the heat.  And by lighter and drapier I mean nastier and synthetic. That'll totally not teach me. 

Blue flower Casual Lady by Kitschy Coo

Still, fit for the purpose and wearable. Casually giving my kids my best 'ORLY?' side-eye.