2011 May

Archive for May, 2011

31 May 2011

Charlotte’s Pinteresting Finds – v1.1

1 Comment Charlotte's Pinteresting Finds, Inspiration

After much cajoling, Charlotte, our resident fashion muse, cruise director and clever fox, has agreed to provide us with a little window into her crafty and colorful life. What’s Charlotte liking this week? Find out each Tuesday as she spots trends and captures a little slice of goodness from Pinterest, one of the most powerful tools for organizing internet inspiration out there. So, let’s not waste another minute. What’s Charlotte liking this week?
Greetings, everyone!

What is the universal symbol for party these days? Why, bunting, of course!  Whether it adorns your bedroom, your birthday cake or yourself, bunting adds instantaneous fun to any occasion. Hang it up for a few days or leave it up as a more permanent installation, bunting is a great way to chase away whatever ails you.  Give it a try!

Pinteresting Finds, Week of May 31, 2011

Sources: /one/ mimis circus found via /two/ emma lamb found via various /three/ greenweddingshoes.com found via /four/ sparklepower found via

Want to see even more of what Charlotte is looking at this week?

27 May 2011

Have a Nice Weekend

Comments Off In the Workroom

With the long weekend ahead of us, I wanted to start it off by sharing some lovely vintage finds I came home with earlier today.  Within this small stash of goodies are several projects swirling around in my head that I look forward to bringing you in the next few weeks.

What do you have on your weekend to-do list? Any crafting?? We are going away with family and bringing the sewing machine along isn’t an option. But never fear, I have a few more portable projects to take with me.

In other news…

With much cajoling on our part, we have finally convinced our own Charlotte to take to the computer screen and share with us some inspiration in a newly weekly feature.  Look for that on Tuesday, plus another tutorial or two.

Have a nice weekend and happy sewing!

26 May 2011

Summer Pattern Giveaway Winner

Comments Off Shop News

Well, that was fun!  Thanks so much for the great feedback on our new pattern collection.  It appears everyone was evenly split between the four summer looks!  Along the way, I also discovered a few great blogs from among our entrants.  The creativity that’s within all of us is something pretty great, don’t you think?

For those of you who didn’t win, we are currently offering free shipping on all our patterns until June 15th.  I hope you are all inspired to sew up a summer look or two for the little ones in your lives!

Now for our winner, and folks, I couldn’t make this up if I tried!  Sadie Fox, commenter #89, is our lucky winner! A sewing Fox, you say??  I wonder if she’s a relative of Charlotte?? Congratulations, Sadie, who will receive the lovely Wren Dress.  We hope you’ll come back to share with us what you sew up!

Thanks again to Sew Mama Sew! for sponsoring this great giveaway day.

26 May 2011

Finch Top Tutorial

Comments Off Finch Shorts & Top, Tutorials
Finch Top Tutorial

Finch Top

The Finch Top is cut as a racerback tank for comfort and style. It is extremely easy to sew, especially since all edges except the hem are finished by flipping the garment inside out.  Follow these steps and pictures along with your printed pattern to quickly create a top your little girl will love wearing.  (To help you with this, I’ve cross-referenced the steps by number from the written instructions.)  Also, we’ve previously covered the Finch bow in a separate tutorial, so be sure to check that out.

First, a disclaimer: Despite sewing for over 15 years, I still make lots of mistakes.  Trying to rush, I forgot to flip the Back pattern piece for the lining to create a mirror image of the main Back piece. Whoops!  If you are using  a fabric that has a definite wrong side to it, make sure that you flip the pattern piece for the lining!  Luckily I had enough extra lining fabric to re-cut the piece. For the Top in this tutorial, I have chosen a floral print for the main fabric and a tic-tac-toe print for the lining.

So, Away We Go…

After cutting out the Front and Back pieces from the main and lining fabrics and interfacing the left shoulder area, as described in the written pattern instructions, we are ready to start sewing.  First, with right sides together, sew the Front main to Back main and Front lining to Back lining at the right shoulder seams.  (Step 4A)

Step 4A

From here, place the lining on top of the main fabric, right sides together.  Start by aligning the shoulder seams you just sewed and work your way around the neck hole and arm holes. (Step 4B)

Finch Top Tutorial

Step 4B

Sew the Front/Back main to the Front/Back lining where you pinned around both armholes and neck hole. Then trim the seam allowance to approximately 1/8”.  (Step 4C)

Finch Top Tutorial

Step 4C

Now reach between the main and lining fabrics and pull the back through the right shoulder seam as shown. Take your time working the fabric through the right shoulder.  The thicker the fabric, the longer it may take to turn the Top to the right side. (Step 5A)

Finch Top Tutorial

Step 5A, Getting ready to turn inside out

Finch Top Tutorial

Step 5A, Turning

Finch Top Tutorial

Step 5A, Still Turning

Once turned right side out, press the edges of the garment and topstitch. (Step 5A-C)

Finch Top Tutorial7

Step 5A, Much better

Now it’s time to sew the side seams. Open the lining from the main fabric and match the right sides of the main Front to main Back and the lining Front to lining Back.  At this point, you will be able to sew the side seams for the lining and the main fabric in one single seam, pivoting slightly where the main and lining join under the arm. Once sewn, press these side seams open. (Step 6A)

Finch Top Tutoria

Step 6A

After you are through sewing, turn the main fabric down to the right side.

Now you are ready to sew the bias strip hem:  Finish the main fabric hem by sewing a bias strip, right sides together, to the main fabric hem. (Step 7C)

Finch Top Tutoria

Step 7C

Turn the bias strip toward the inside of the garment wrong side of the fabric and sew along hem.  (Step 7D) To finish the garment, follow the remaining instructions in the Finch pattern.

Finch Top Tutoral

Step 7D

Another completed garment to add to your little girl’s collection! Send us pictures of your finished Finch Tops… we’d love to add them to our project gallery to inspire others.  Happy Sewing!

22 May 2011

Summer Pattern Giveaway!

131 Comments Patterns, Shop News

Sandpiper Capri Pants and Top Sewing PatternWelcome!  If you are joining us from Sew Mama Sew’s May Giveaway Day, we are happy to have you and to showcase our brand-new Spring/Summer Pattern girls sewing pattern collection.

Each of our patterns is for girls, sizes 2T-8. We’ve written the instructions with the advanced beginner sewer in mind.  To help sewers of all skill levels, we offer tutorials, inspiration, and pattern variations for all of our patterns right here on our blog. Finch Top and Shorts Sewing Pattern

In our shop you will also find the fabrics and notions featured on our pattern covers so that you can recreate our looks at home.  To make getting started even easier, consider one of our companion One-Click Sewing Kits designed for each of our patterns.  In each Kit you will receive everything you’ll need to complete a look with a simple click of your mouse–from the fabrics tWren Dress Sewing Patterno the interfacing, thread and other notions, all in just the right amounts. You choose the fabrics, we’ll do the rest!

Please take a look around our shop and blog, but first, be sure to enter our giveaway!

Giveaway Details:

We are happy to be offering one lucky winner Starling Dress Sewing Pattern 1 of our new sewing patterns. Enter below by leaving a comment in the Reply box. Make sure to tell us in your comment which of our 4 looks you would like to win: Finch Shorts & Top, Sandpiper Capri & Top, Starling Dress & Shirt or Wren Dress!

Other Giveaway Notes: U.S.+Canada mailing addresses only.  You must submit your comment by 11:59 pm EST, May 25th. The winner will be selected from all eligible comments by random number generator & will be announced here on Thursday, May 26th.

21 May 2011

Finch Top Tutorial: The Basic Bow

Comments Off Finch Shorts & Top, Tutorials

Bow assembly complete

We have styled the cover look for the Finch Top with a slightly-oversized bow on the left shoulder to hide the hook and loop (i.e. “Velcro”) closing.  Here are some tips and photos for putting the bow together.  You should read this post along with the full written instructions that accompany the pattern.  Look for another post next week discussing some embellishments you could make to the bow and some other alternatives.

For this tutorial, I have chosen a pink paisley on a white background for the main fabric and a mauve cotton lawn for the contrasting middle band.

For the bow itself, I have cut out the two bow pattern pieces and matched them with right sides together.  Before I sew, I like to measure out 1/2″ from each of the pivot points, or corners, of the bow (of which there are several) and mark each of those points with a water-soluble pen.  This helps me to know exactly where to pivot my sewing machine needle.  Without this step, I found the two sides could end up looking a little lopsided because I didn’t always pivot at the exactly the same point at each turn.

The next step is to sew around the perimeter of the two pieces, leaving a 2″ (or so) opening along a side edge near one of the wider ends of the bow.

Another trick I have learned when making the bow, especially with heavier weight fabric, is to clip into the seam allowance at each pivot point (being careful to not clip into the stitched line).  This helps the bow lie flat after you turn it.

Once you have sewed the bow, turn the fabric through the opening, press and sew along the opening close to the edge.

Now it is time to fold the bow.  Pinch the points marked “A” on the Bow pattern piece, then fold the Bow back on itself toward the end of the bow.

Pinch the fabric at the points marked "A" on the pattern piece, then fold toward the wide end of the bow.

Do the same on the other side.  Notice the bottom folded edges come together on the underside of the bow.

Folding the opposite end

Here’s what it looks like from the underside after you have the bow folded.

View from the underside

Finally, sew two stitch lines on either side of that center line where the two folds come together in order to hold the two folded edges in place.  Again, this picture shows the underside of the bow.

Sew two parallel lines to secure the underside folds

Now let’s focus on the bow center.  Fold the bow center in half with right sides together and sew along the long edge.

Sew along the long edge

Turn the Bow Center right sides out and press it flat so that the seam just sewn goes right down the middle.  With the seam facing out, fold the Bow Center in half again so that the short edges come together.  Stitch the short edge closed  to form a loop.

Sew the short end closed with the original seam running down the middle on the outside of the loop.

While not totally necessary, I chose to pink the edges of this short seam since they looked like they may start to unravel. Now turn the bow again so that both seams are on the inside of the loop.

Here you see the two seams on the outside of the loop. Turn the loop so that both seams are on the inside of the loop, hidden from view.

All that is left to do now is assemble the bow and fasten it to the Top, as directed in the instructions.

Happy Sewing!