By way of Craft magazine, Threadbanger has this excellent video on how to make an easy shirred summer dress. If you’ve ever felt–like I did–that surely it couldn’t be as easy as it sounded to create shirring with elastic thread, view on! On video, it sure looks that way!
You could "generously ink" a fish in order to make a fish-printed garment like this one from Martha Stewart. Or you could save your fish for the grill and just Spoonflower! I'm just sayin'….
I seldom have time for cranking out the sewing projects these days with Spoonflower, young'uns, and gardening season taking up nearly every second of free time in my day. So it is with great relief–and perhaps a bit of surprise that it really is done–that I show you all my new Lollychops pear dress, finished at last! As Lolly herself well knows from the gushy email I sent her when I first laid eyes on her printed pears, I love this design and was delighted to be able to own some myself when it won the fabric-of-the-week contest a few weeks back. I've made a few little girl dresses from Spoonflower fabric, but these pears were for me!
For the clothing sewers among you, this was made from New Look 6586, and my review of this pattern is here.
Busy fabric-printing mamas sometimes get behind on their blog reading and blog posting, which is why I'm only just now finding a spare minute to post about Diane Gilleland's tutorial on mending a shirt with reverse appliqued scraps of fabric. The effect is so pretty on her polo pictured, and doesn't use much fabric at all. Perhaps you've got a lonely Spoonflower swatch and a garment in need of some patchy love lying around? Diane's tutorial was part of Craft magazine's March Mending Month which–ahem–I confess that I learned about far too late because of aforementioned fabric-printing madness around here lately. There's still one more day of March left though, right? Right? Sigh. We'll be caught up and current around here again one of these days, I just know it!
Speaking of things being current–or not–many of you no doubt noticed that the fabric of the week contest announcement was mysteriously absent last week. I'll save the official announcement of the winning design for Stephen, himself a very busy fabric-printing papa. But we had a whole lot of votes and, I think, a whole lot of excitement about last week's contenders. I hope you're all as excited about the week's winner as I am!
When I’m cutting row after row of swatches at our cutting table, the thrifty part of me sometimes wonders what people do with their swatches once they’ve made sure that their design prints the way they want. I imagine that the professional designers do something…professional with them. Put them in a swatch book or tack them on a bulletin board with a bunch of other swatches or something. Personally, I’ve felt a bit guilty chucking mine into the scrap basket, though it’s true that my daughters use them heavily for tiny doll blankets, makeshift doll clothes (tied on with skinny scraps), etc.
Enter Rae, “professional home executive” of Made by Rae. Rae figured out a very virtuous and extremely cute and practical way to use up a swatch if you’ve got loose ones lying around. Her toy bag is pictured left and she’s posted a tutorial on her blog. It’s intended for her son’s loose toy train bits, but who’s to say you couldn’t turn it into a little jewelry or lingerie bag for traveling? Thanks, Rae!
And Stephen? You can now refer to me as our “professional home
executive” when you’re not referring to me as Spoonflower’s
Last week at the cutting table, I totally fell in love with a dainty little pear design done by Lolly Chops. She did three colorways of these sweet fruit, but my favorite was the "Gumbo" colorway, pictured left. Imagine my surprise and delight, then, when I saw this morning that in his weekly contest email Stephen had linked to a project made up with this fabric in our Flickr pool. It's a bento box bag made by Rachael at La Fuji Mama, and I totally want to start packing little Japanese-style lunches all of a sudden! (As if I needed another thing Japanese to obsess over. I recently picked up a copy of Zakka Sewing and can't stop thinking about it….)
By the way, Lolly tells me that Rachael is in the hospital as I write this, bringing Baby Number Two into the world. Good luck, Rachael! Best wishes to a talented mama for a safe and happy baby birthday!
And here was his present–a French press cozy made from a pattern I found on CraftStylish. This one was made almost entirely of Spoonflower fabrics with a couple of scrap basket strips thrown in to tie the colors together. See Stephen's merman print there? Our press plus the one-inch seam allowance was just the height of an 8-inch swatch, so perhaps your Spoonflower swatches could be used this way, too. It was a super-fast project.
Oh, and being of modest Scottish stock, Stephen would never admit that he'd love some birthday wishes today. But if anyone feels like wishing him a happy birthday, I promise you he'd be very, very pleased.
Happy birthday, hon!
NC is finally having a bit of what passes for winter weather around here–temps in the low 40's and dreary gray skies. It's definitely indoor weather for me, and I find myself wanting to do things to up the home coziness factor and combat the winter blahs. Building fires, making mugs of hot cocoa with marshmallows for the girls, baking cookies, and sewing. Always sewing. Big, cushy pillows like Rachel Galloway's, maybe? Or a sweet quilt (shown left) like Emmanuelle's at Alice and Co., made from Spoonflower swatches to curl up under when the girls and I are on the sofa reading the newest batch of library books?
Coming to you live from Spoonflower headquarters today where I am dressed in something other than pajamas and am snarfing some leftover Chinese food for early lunch! I'm taking a little break from all the mad fabric cutting and packaging I've been doing lately as we try valiantly, mightily to keep up with the flood of orders we've had lately. If the economy is in recession, you can't tell that to crafters. Or maybe everyone's just making and buying handmade these days, supporting those who are still keeping it real rather than forking over hard-won cash for anonymous chain store merchandise. I know I'm making and buying handmade this holiday!
Speaking of which, when I haven't been cutting and shipping your orders lately, I've been at home trying to squeeze in my own sewing projects between help emails, not to mention feeding, entertaining, and supervising my brood of little girls. I have most definitely not been blogging. My apologies for that, and I want to assure everyone that this is a temporary state of blog neglect on my part. Even if orders don't lighten up–and I hope they don't!–the Christmas sewing certainly will. Then I'll just be rolling in free time with which to blog. (Riiiiiight.)
In the meantime, Jan diCintio of Daisy Janie has put up a handy tutorial on how to make your own swatch book. It can be found here and the results look super professional–perhaps for sending to prospective clients or to have on the table at your next craft or trade show? Thanks for sharing, Jan!
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I intend to spend tonight glued to the sofa, watching the election results unfold. A hand-sewing project comes in awfully handy at times like these, doesn’t it? Here you can see the progress I’ve made so far on the quilt/wall hanging I posted about awhile back, starting with the help of some good friends on our annual beach trip. It’s coming along much slower than if I’d decided to piece it by machine, but I’m really enjoying the slow pace and the portability. Especially tonight, as I’m going to need something to keep me from biting my nails down any further!