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I started what will be “my quilt” just around Christmas.  With time constraints what they are for everyone, I thought it would be reasonable to have it done within 9 months. That’s the goal anyway.  :)  It’s very hard to find time to sew as we all know.  As long as I’m not working on a deadline and keeping my expectations realistic, it’s really not that bad knowing that I’m chipping away at something that will be so gratifying in the end.  I really don’t enjoy the process like some claim. Picking out the fabric and looking at it when it’s done is good enough for me. :)  Before this quilt I had never sewn triangles, so on the first ones you will notice I lost a lot of my points, but I am learning and getting better so that’s a win.

The quilt pattern booklet apparently wasn’t well-tested as there are quite a few mistakes and unlabelled or mislabeled diagrams, some acknowledged and corrected, some not.  In the Gypsy Wife Quilt-Along on flickr there is a great errata sheet, and @craktpot on Instagram gives really good tips. However, I’m told that that’s how most old-school quilt patterns are written like this; I guess I’m used to bloggers taking pictures and holding your hand, maybe?  But really, this quilt pattern is amazing, and the process has been so fun even though I’m essentially learning as I go!  I really recommend the pattern as the major error has been corrected on Jen Kingwell’s site (one strip missing) and all of the issues are pretty minor.

I have a few more copies of the Gypsy Wife pattern by Jen Kingwell for sale in the shop. Once they’re gone I am not re-stocking, but they should be floating around for sale for a while.

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I’ve been sewing a lot for my daughter lately.  She’s 2 1/2, and can reliably walk, run, and play while wearing dresses and skirts now.  Plus, she’ll be wearing the same size more than a few months.  In the past, she’s flatly refused to wear anything I make her. She also won’t wear any of the dresses from the Tea Collection (she must suspect I made it).  She must sense the desperation in my eyes when I’m like “wear it, mommy needs to take a picture to show her friends!!”)  When she saw this dress, she immediately said, “I don’t want it.”  I said, that’s ok, I’m making it for your friend.  Nooo! It’s mine! Mine! And now she loves her new “princess dress.”  Hey, kid, it’s nani freakin’ iro!

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The pattern is Tinny from An at Straight-Grain.com. I’ve been a huge fan of An and her blog straight-grain.com for a few years now. When I worked at the law office, I subscribed to a a handful sewing blogs via e-mail and they always made my day, and hers was one of the first.  She’s pretty spectacular, and really famous.  So, the Tinny had been on my bucket list for a while, but I was intimidated by the collars and the notched sleeves, both of which I had never done.   I also detest printing and taping .pdfs, but with a child-sized pattern, pages that were actually numbered and diagrammed, and a little chart telling you which pages to print, made it much more palatable.  BUT I finally stopped crying and made a Tinny.  Because I sew fearlessly.

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Seriously, it was A BREEZE.  I think I was intimidated from making impressive-looking clothing like this because a) I’m self-taught and b) commercial patterns are not meant to be instructional (unfortunately) and c) I’m constantly expecting failure. But, good indie patterns like Straight Grain include color photos, step by stop information and advice, which really help me.  I did not have a single problem making this dress!  (Bonus, for me: no buttons. I hate buttons. Invisible zippers are the way to go).

Another contributor to the smooth process was the fabric, Bird’s Eye by Nani Iro.  It’s a brushed cotton (aka flannel but without all the cheap pilling).  It’s imported from Japan, so it’s not cheap.  But honestly, if I’m spending my time to make her a fancy dress, she’s getting a fancy dress.  It’s going to be nice.  She’s wearing it to picture day and for Easter.  I would pay a lot more for this at the store.  The fabric is dreamy, and it was a dream to sew with because it’s so much thicker than quilting cotton yet has a wonderful drape. I used Michael Miller’s cotton couture solids in spa for the collar/cuffs. Both fabrics are in my shop now.

photo(7)   Isn’t this pattern sweet?  Well, I’m giving away a downloadable copy of all the StraightGrain patterns!

You have a chance to win by leaving a comment on this post.  Additional comments allowed if you follow me on Facebook and Instagram.  The giveaway ends Sunday, March 9, at 21:00 Central Standard time.  I’m also taking entries on Instragram at my account @patterncrushfabrics (there are separate rules detailed there).

I may have neglected my blog in favor of Instagram a teeny-tinsy-tiny-teeny-weenie bit but I’m whipping it back into shape.  You’ll also be able to shop for my fabric and paper patterns by the end of the month on this site as well as Etsy.

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Hi everyone!  I’m making some big changes to my blog/website.  Soon, there will be a store integrated, but this blog is and always will be my personal blog.  While I like to talk about my shop, it’s not meant to be a big ad (I do have a newsletter if that’s what you’re looking for–sales, new arrivals, etc.).  I’m still trying to figure out how to balance talking about my work and talking about new products, but hopefully I’ll arrive at a conclusion.

I recently made a quilt for Doll Quilt Swap 14.

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I don’t know why that looks so fish-eyed, I must have had a strange camera setting.  The pattern is Swedish Blooms-Time by Ayumi Takahashi in Patchwork, Please!  The birds in the center and the petals are both available in my shop.

The swap was fun, though it’s hard doing them because, well, you have to give it away and you feel bummed since you want to keep it.  And then there’s all those “I like it, but I don’t think it’s for me because it’s too _______ (fill in the blank).” Thankfully my partner didn’t do that, but geez, I would have been crushed if one of them was my partner, so that’s a little weird.  It’s helpful if you’re in the planning stages, but not after the quilt is already made and you can’t really go back.  And then what if you get a partner that is totally silent you just hope and pray they like it. But THEN you receive your package in the mail, and it’s the best day EVER.  My partner Chelsea spoiled me.  Finally, your partner says thanks, I love it, and you feel glad because you really want them to be satisfied and you did your best.

If you ever get the opportunity to participate in DQS 15, go for it! The swap mamas are awesome, and really, everyone is so talented it hurts.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED!

Elizabeth H., you’re my winner!

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THANK YOU SO MUCH for everyone who entered.  Your answers were so helpful.  I won’t be able to reply to everyone due to the overwhelming response, but your comments were all read and appreciated.  Happy Holidays!

PS – If you’re bummed you didn’t win, you can take 10% off your order in my shop through the end of the year with code “SMSGIVE” – I have the bundle set at a great price right now.

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As you probably know from clicking, it’s Sew Mama Sew’s annual giveaway day!

ImageI own a modern fabric shop on Etsy called Pattern Crush.  I’m pretty active on Instagram (@patterncrush and @patterncrushfabrics) and I love to quilt and sew.

Here’s a sample of the pretty things you can find in my shop:

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The Giveaway!

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What are you waiting for?  Leave a comment telling me which fabric lines you’re looking forward to next year, and if you really have no idea, what you would love to see in a fabric line.  You don’t have to subscribe or jump through any hoops, though you’re welcome to!  EXTRA ENTRY for Facebook Followers.  Leave a comment indicating that you are one.  There’s a”like” link on the right of the page for convenience.

International customers are welcome (a huge portion of my customers are international!).  I hope you can favorite my shop on Etsy to visit later.  In return, I’ll pick one random winner for the Acacia bundle!  Giveaway closes December 13th at 5pm PST.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED!

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ImageKinda hard to give this little quilt up!  I love it, and I still don’t have any quilts for me in existence.  I’m just not there yet–there’s always an event, a commission, something for the kids….  So it was kinda hard to give this away. :)  I made this mini for the Schnitzel & Boo quilt swap (discovered on Instagram) for a partner who lives in a snowy place.

I decided to play with ColorLovers.com and use a palette.  I love print & pattern,and can really go wild,  so I wanted to restrain myself since I don’t know my partner’s tastes very well.  I tend to choose colors and value intuitively instead of stopping to think about textbook art advice.

ImageI only used one piece of blue in the quilt, and I think it looks great.  So technically I did use the palette… but just the first, third, and fourth color (ok, and I added a B&W scrap).  The quilt may have just been too small for that range. Kinda fun, I think I’ll go back to colorlovers in the future for inspiration.

I used Leah of Greenleaf Goods’ Wonky Pinwheel tutorial – something I pinned almost a year ago!

The border is a linen blend, and I don’t think I’ll use anything that thick again because it doesn’t lay well with the rest of the fabric, at least for now.  There’s probably a learning curve there.  This is the last thing I will have ever quilted on my Kenmore freearm (which cannot support an even feed foot and sucks at any kind of layering) since my Juki comes Friday.  Maybe I’ll have better results with the Juki next time, but it’s still not so bad… just not perfect.

ImageAnyway, looking forward to Friday and my new Juki!! Thank you Emily & Penny for the recommendation!  I have been saving up for so long, I’m so glad to upgrade.

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The Molly jacket pattern by Violette Fields was one I bought a whole bunch of for the shop because, well, I wanted one for me (makes sense, right??).  It’s simply adorable, and would look great in a bold solid fabric.

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However, my toddler loves ladybugs, and when I saw these, I couldn’t resist.  The age where one does not wear ladybugs can’t be very high.  The fabric is a Robert Kaufman corduroy and I lined it with the ubiquitous Ikea numbers fabric.

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I have an old vintage Kenmore and I’m still terrified to try the buttonhole (I’m holding out for a new machine… still).  Some days, I’m not even 100% that stitch key is actually a buttonhole function as it looks nothing the my first machine.  One day I’ll dig out the manual.  Anyway, so no buttons, and I don’t have a snap tool either, so we added a little hook and eye.

No closure at all was an option, but I made her a 3T/4T and it was way too big for that.  However, the pattern’s only other smaller size option was a 12month/2T…. How could a 12 month and 2T be the same size?  A toddler is like, 100% bigger than a baby, I’m sure.  I’m skeptical.  But, no separate grade for 2T, so I opted to go up.  (Note:  I could be totally wrong and the difference between 12mo. and 2T, especially in a jacket is just a sliver.)

It turned out pretty nice!  I pinnned the bejezeezus out of the sleeves and they are perfect.

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Let’s hope she actually wears it!  When  mommy has a gleam in her eye when after she made something and really wants you to wear it, the standard response is her say “Nooooo” and throw it on the floor, and forever associate it with something she does not want.

All in all, I rate this pattern as easy.  Anyone could do it.  It’s fully lined, which is not only nice, but a time saver.  I didn’t even break out the serger.  There was an option to make it reversible, which I did not do (who wants corduroy touching their skin? Not me).  I only wish that it had a separate size for 2T since I considered just drawing a line right in the middle and using that.  (No way I’m making a muslin for this project).

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This is the first time I’ve been early for holiday sewing… and actually made something I pinned.

I fell in love with Blend Fabric’s Spooktacular line, but wasn’t sure what exactly to make since it was so large-scale.  My default large-scale fabric project is clothes, or maybe a quilt backing.  When I saw Ellison Lane’s tutorial for trick-or-treat bags using this fabric, I knew that’s what I wanted to make for my kids before they got too old.  I’ve also had my heart set on a Halloween spiderweb block quilt since seeing Sunny In Cal’s amazing one.

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Toddler sized!

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Reverse – the large scale prints doing their thing!

If you want to make some, check out Ellison Lane’s fabulous tutorial!

Speaking of Halloween, Dem Bones by Sarah Watson for Cloud 9 Organic Fabric has arrived and is in stock.

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My little girl turned 2 last month!  We happened to be in Warrens, WI at Jellystone and decided to do her birthday then.  With every birthday of hers, I reflect back on my son’s birthday at this age and compare them.  He’s growing up so fast and starting 1st grade and public school in a few weeks!  Not quite ready for that, but I am so thankful that I’m working from home and will be close by.  Anyway, I remember the big deal on Dylan’s 2nd birthday was his first haircut.  Audrey’s hair has just grown to be ponytail length (barely), so they are about even comparison-wise.

Though July was an insanely busy month, I decided I needed to make her something handmade to wear for her birthday (you know, or I fail at motherhood).  I found this generic Vintage Circus fabric at Hobby Lobby for about $6.99 a yard, and it felt like good quality!  Soft and more drape-y than other off-brand quilting fabric.  Well done, Hobby Lobby!

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The pattern is Oliver + S’s Ice Cream Social.  I like it because it only requires 3/4 yd. in her size, I’ve made it before, and large scale prints look nice.   The headband was made with the coordinating print in this line.

Happy birthday, Audrey!  My fearless, strong-willed sweetheart!Image

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So overwhelming.

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On another note, I think our family is into archery now!  It was really fun and we all did pretty well our first try.My darling husband:

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And my son:

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GIVEAWAY CLOSED -  SALLY & CHERIE, YOU’RE MY WINNERS!

I made a Washi.

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I’m not going to post a bunch of photos because my U is crooked by a 1/4 inch and I’m a little self-conscious about that.   However, this is my very first garment for a grown-up, ever, so I’m going to say who cares and post it, and wear it, because I’m proud that I finished it!  The shirring was a little tricky to learn at first.  I have a vintage Kenmore with a drop-in bobbin.  Winding the elastic thread loosely did not work for me.  What worked: using the appropriate size needle (80) and tightly wound elastic thread.  This is no pattern review, but I can say that the most difficult part of this was cutting the thing out and taping it together.  Sewing it together was pretty easy.  With experience, I would have made sure the U was more symmetrical and would have matched my bodice to the skirt paying careful attention to where the centers line up first, not the seams.  It’s a medium and I think I’m going to go large next time because the skirts ends right at the bottom of my bra and it’d be nice to have that lowered an inch.  But, now I know.  There’s a learning curve, so again, I’m not beating myself up and I hope you won’t either! :)   The print is by Lizzy House from Hello Pilgrim.

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I’ve been following Sarah Beth of LouLouBee Clothing on Instagram and was inspired to make her pattern, the Doli Tank, for Audrey!  I used cotton poplin from the Lisette line at JoAnn’s.   I chickened out on the rayon I purchased… maybe next time.

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My cat was excited.

Despite it being my first time adding rib binding, it turned out pretty well.  I mean, it was EASY.  I don’t have a lot of experience sewing clothing besides the same simple dresses I make over and over, but this was a breeze.  I followed the directions and made sure that the rib binding was the perfect length over the arm and neckhole, and that went right the first time.  However, I didn’t bother making sure I had a consistent seam allowance, and the band didn’t match up exactly when I sewed the shoulders, so I ripped and did it again.  No big deal, lesson learned.  I also had a little bit of puckering on the back center under the neckline, and I’m not sure if I needed to hold the fabric tighter or it’s because of my fabric choice (please tell me).

We wore it to Brookfield Zoo!

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Wrinkly from it being so hot and sticky outside!

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