Saturday, January 24, 2015

Next up, the infinity cardigan

I should call it the infinigan sweater. I have 2 lovely models waiting for their sweaters made of 2 lovely fabrics I bought at Girl Charlie, but I thought I should make another one for myself first to solidify the pattern. I am glad I did. This is vastly different from my free tutorial version. The tutorial gives you an idea of how my thought process works, but the pattern will be a fully realized sewing pattern that has pattern pieces and instructions and sizes.
This infinigan fits me, so it's pretty baggy on my model sized dress form.
The 3 fabrics shown came in a bundle from Marcy Tilton. It's the Chloe bundle. There is enough fabric left over for me to make a tank top for under the infinigan in the sleeve fabric. When I get that done, I will model it for you. Watch for the pattern release as soon as I can coordinate with my models - I am shooting for the end of this month.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Still Organizing after all these years

I have been designing and sewing as a business since 2006. You would think I was organized by now. But it is a never ending process. I feel like I am finally finding what will work for me. You will be glad to know that my fabric library was free for me to make, it just takes time. For quite a while I kept all of my fabric in bins, organized by color. That required digging for fabric, and it was usually a bit of a mess, but at least I knew it was there. I used what I had sometimes and only ordered something I already had a few times. When I moved the studio out of the house, I took the fabric out of the bins and had it in color arranged piles on a rack. I used what I had more frequently, never re-ordered what I did not need, but it would still get messy.  Now that I am back in the house, I dedicated a small office (10 feet square) to fabric and supplies. Since I have so much fabric, It is my goal to use more than I buy this year. For the last week, I have been getting empty bolts from JoAnn's, cutting them in half and wrapping my fabrics onto them. Mom came for a visit and helped me get started - it really does help me a lot to have a helper. Looking for an intern right now. This is how I want to keep it, always. So far, I have not bought any new fabric to make multiple versions of my newest pattern and I love every one of them. I am carrying the purple one now.  So I did buy new fabric Ari picked some up at IKEA for me and I got in some oil cloth (waxed cotton) to make my new sling back pack bag in a mens version - but the finished bags, 4 of them so far and 2 more on the table, are all done with fabrics I already had. One of the oil cloths is truly purple and that is going to be fantastic. This one shown with the bag face and a flap over the phone pocket is supposed to be red. I can see that it is going to get more red as it ages, so that is going to be cool. I may have to break-in the waxed canvas versions by using them some before I sell them. I cannot tell you how much I love this new bag, it is my favorite casual bag ever. I am moving out of my tablet wristlet in favor of this sling bag. The pattern is up at Etsy and Craftsy. I usually carry it on my shoulder, like a regular shoulder bag. Honestly, a lot of the time, just by the top handle too. It is nice to have the cross body option for having it on a hike or while traveling. Some of my favorite sewists have already got the pattern and I am looking forward to seeing what they do with it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Project Quilting Season 6 First Challenge Prizes

I love sponsoring Project Quilting. I love seeing all of the creativity and beauty created for each challenge. Even if I don't take the time to compete, it inspires me and I like to be involved in it. To launch the new season, I offered a free pattern for each person who entered the first challenge. There were 72 entries! See them all here.
Dining Chair Covers
To make it a little easier on myself and a little easier to choose too, I am limiting the prizes to one of these 10 choices. If you like home decor sewing, I can help you tackle slip covers.
Task Chair Covers
Sewing for travel? The best bags are here.
Departure Satchel

Trolley Sleeved Carry-on Duffle
Sewing for yourself - I personally love my skirts and aprons.
Bell Skirt Sizing for Hips 34" - 46"
Peter Pan Collar Apron also comes with Reversible Apron 
Honeycomb Coasters
Need to squeeze in a tiny project that makes amazing gifts? Coasters or Table Runner are fun for that.

Table Runner
Warp and Weft Quilt
If you have been wanting to make a manly quilt but have not found the right pattern, I think you will love making my Warp and Weft Quilt.

 Lastly, if there is a baby in your life, you have to make the Changing Pad Bag.
Changing Pad Bag
There is a 2 step process to claim your prize:
1. Please comment on this post with a link to your project quilting entry (your own blog post preferably or just the link at PQ) This way my readers get to see your entries and get to know you too.
and with your choice from this list of 10 patterns.
If for some reason you cannot post a comment here, do just email me with a photo of your entry and which pattern you choose.

Your choices, pictured above are: Dining Chair Covers Tutorial, Task Chair Cover Pattern, Departure Satchel Pattern, Carry-on Sized Duffle Pattern, Bell Skirt Pattern, 2 in 1 Pattern for Aprons, Honeycomb Coasters Pattern, Table Runner Pattern, Warp and Weft Quilt Pattern, Changing Pad Bag Pattern.

Congratulations to all who entered the first challenge for season 6 of Project Quilting. You are amazing. I can't wait to get a free pattern into your hands.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Wingback Slipcovering Class on Video

There is nothing more elegant than a slipcovered wingback chair. Traditionally, you will see these in linen which is gorgeous. For this class, we chose to use Mattelasse, which is super thick and cozy, like you will want for your couch. We did it this way to give you all the skills you need to do all of the slipcovering projects you have. Here is how we make a Craftsy class:
1. (Usually a couple months before the actual shoot) At my studio, I prepare the lessons and talk on the phone with my producer a lot. Meanwhile in Denver, my producer envisions every camera angle and necessary detail, making copious notes.
2. (Usually the week before the shoot) I send all of the teaching materials to Denver, so they will be there for me when I arrive.
In the case of this class, I flew to Denver a couple of days early and made 2 and a half slip covers for the Craigslist chair shown in the class. One complete cover and one with lots of extra pieces for teaching.
3. We spend 3 days shooting the class with a professional producer, professional photographer, and professional switcher, not to mention the always helpful and professional production assistant. Needless to say, production values are very high and we take the time to capture every relevant detail.
4. After I have gone home, Craftsy does their post production magic to make the class work seamlessly in the amazing platform they have created. You can ask me questions as you go along and watch the class as many times as you like whenever you like. You can send me photos and we can talk through the particulars of your project.
This class is so good, you are guaranteed to love it! For my blog readers, here is the half price link:
Wingback Slipcover Class.
Big thanks and much love to my amazing professional crew: Lorie Hirose, Brandon Cox, Caleb Shives, and Katie (not pictured)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ironing Board Cover Free Tutorial

I know there are other free tutorials out there for this project. As usual, I have not looked at any of them, but I would bet mine is better. : ) It is not a cat perch, but an ironing board cover. Here is the link to the ironing board cover tutorial. Let me know if you have questions and do share your fun photos at Flickr.
That is a corner of my new home sewing studio. I love it. It lets me be more available to the kids. I didn't realize how much they missed me in the 6 months I had my studio out of the house. It takes the entire family room and the office, so it's a commitment for all of us. There go my plans for downsizing in order to save for travel. I will just have to up my productivity instead. My goals include a really big trip for me and my 3 kids by this time next year.
Have you written your sewing manifesto? Mine is posted on my bulletin board above my computer. It keeps me motivated. Feel free to save or print mine and use it yourself. If you want to share, please share the link to this blog.
The front pack is what I am sewing and writing up right now. If you are an email update subscriber, you got this news yesterday. Email subscription is just to the right toward the top of the blog.
Tomorrow is the launch of my new Craftsy class - Custom-Fit Slipcovers: the Wingback Chair. It was fun to make and I think it is really concise and fun to take at the same time. I will post about it again after the launch.