2012 March

Archive for March, 2012

27 Mar 2012

Where’s Charlotte, You Ask?

5 Comments Community, In the Workroom, Patterns

The Short Answer:

Here, there, somewhere and everywhere!

Sandpiper Top by Traci of Stolen Moments

The Long Answer:

Thanks to you, dear readers, Charlotte’s showing up all around the globe–Maine, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, Australia.  Today we’re featuring some of the wonderful things you’ve sewn up the last few months but you can always see more in our Flickr group.   A big thank you to all of you!

Flutter Top and Raven Pants by Cindy of Siestas and Sewing

Secondly, a number of you have been asking when we’ll be introducing our next set of patterns.  We’d love to tell you that Charlotte’s been busy preparing the final details on a spring/summer collection.  But the truth is, we took a little break after the 2011 Fall/Winter collection came out.  But I am happy to tell you that we are deep in the throes of putting together our 2012 Fall/Winter collection & we have a lot of great ideas percolating.  We also are hoping to have it go live much earlier than last year (Aug vs. Oct).

Sandpiper Top by Peta

Carla & I  are very committed to introducing modern, trendy looks that appeal to your older children as well as the younger ones and we know you won’t be disappointed come August.

In the meantime…

Charlotte wants to hear from you!

Because we value your opinions and we want desperately for our collection to stay relevant to you, Charlotte has put together a short (anonymous) survey that she hopes you all will see as an opportunity to tell us what you’d like to see/what you think is missing in the pattern world (such as specific types of looks, more patterns for knits, for boys, digital patterns, etc).  

The survey is just 7 questions and should take only 3-4 minutes to complete.  The link to the survey is below, and we’ll be posting it on the sidebar of the blog for a while so you can easily find it.  To get the most out of the survey, we’d like your help to pass the word on to your friends and family who sew asking for their input–the more, the merrier!

Take the Survey

Of course, we’d like to hear from you anytime, so you should always feel free to send us an email with ideas and suggestions for us.

Chickadee Blouse & Skirt by Nicole of Five and Counting

Happy Sewing!

~ Erin

22 Mar 2012

Little Bunny Foo Foo

5 Comments In the Workroom

Call it spring fever, I went a little lace crazy with this one!  Little Bunny Frou Frou is more like it.  I had this idea to applique a simple silhouette of a rabbit with a lace overlay and contrasting grosgrain bow on a T-shirt for Miss N. The idea snowballed from there to include this skirt to complete the uber-girly outfit.

Anyways, I am loving the modern, fresh contrast of pink + persimmon these days, and the gray underlayer on the skirt tempers the sweetness of the color combination a bit.

The cuteness of the applique is underserved by the cheap shirt I picked up at Target on clearance a while back for a different project–it was much too thin and flimsy to applique properly.  I won’t make that mistake the next time. The sleeves are also quite a bit long for Nora,  so I found a solution that was both practical and a nifty design element–the little button tabs at each wrist loop around from inside the sleeves to hold the folded up cuffs in place.  The loops are just short enough you don’t see them if unbuttoned and the sleeves extended fully. Clever, right?

I am already working on another T-shirt idea so I can do a proper tutorial of the lace applique for you next week. (Update: find the tutorial here.)  In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Happy Sewing!

~ Erin

PS Remember Little Bunny Foo Foo from summer camp? Those poor field mice didn’t stand a chance.

20 Mar 2012

Portrait By a Young Artist

5 Comments In the Workroom, Patterns

Since last summer, Erin and I have been talking about reworking the Starling Dress into a sleeveless version.  Inspired by a family portrait created by my 4-yr old, I took up the challenge last week.

Evelyn brought home a picture of our family the other day and I melted.  ”Daddy is the one with the really long legs.  [Baby sister] Wren is lying in the grass.  Those are clouds in the sky.”   So dang cute.

Apologies in advance for not documenting the process step by step in photos, but I began modifications by adding a scalloped hem to the original pattern pieces. First, with right sides together, I sewed the outer linen fabric to the muslin lining at the hem, leaving the back seam open.  I approximated the scallops to be roughly the same size. To get perfectly spaced scallops, I would have measured the total distance and evenly divided that to ensure the scallops aligned precisely at the center back seam.  But who has that kind of time?  

After the scallops were sewn, I trimmed the seam to 1/8″, clipping the curves slightly where needed. I turned the garment to the right side and pressed the hem.  This created a nice finish between the outer linen and the muslin lining of the dress. 

 Once at this stage, I began the process of embroidering Evie’s original design (while drinking wine at Erin’s house).  Don’t compare the original drawing to the embroidery too closely… I got distracted (by wine) and mismatched some of the colors.

Full disclaimer:  I am fairly new to hand embroidery so I figured taking on a child’s drawing would be simple.  I stuck with a chain stitch and back stitch which really are not too difficult to master.

A self portrait of the artist herself.

After finishing the embroidery, I modified the original single yoke piece by separating it into two back yoke pieces that overlap the center front yoke piece at the shoulders. The new back yoke pieces are secured by a faux button closure and some hand stitching on the underside.  If crunched for time, stick with the single yoke piece– it is not necessary for the sleeveless look.  FYI, the new yoke pieces are lined with muslin.

Obviously I omitted the original raglan sleeve pieces.  Looking back, I’d probably take out some of the ease under the arm.  As it is now, the armhole is a bit too big for wear without an undershirt, but with the dress length, there’s ample room to grow!

Evelyn off to create her next masterpiece.


15 Mar 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

3 Comments Chickadee Blouse & Skirt, Eider Tunic, Finch Shorts & Top, Raven Hoodie & Pants

We thought it would be fun to show some mix and match looks using our patterns from multiple seasons in spring colors.  It is so much fun approaching a project like this with a view to creating an entire wardrobe.  I think this shows off the versatility of individual pieces so fabulously.

We’ve already shown you this season’s Kestrel Coat, lined in the same fabric shown here for the Chickadee Blouse.

Of course we couldn’t leave well enough alone–the temptation was just too great to not throw in a few changes here and there.  Like the ruffle on the front of the Chickadee Skirt.   Or the short sleeves on the Eider Tunic, above (we kept the pintucks on the sleeves).  We also opted for a purchased belt to close the Tunic, rather than the cinched waist tie provided for in the pattern.

Or the fun, oversized cuffs on the Raven Pants (again, front pintucks intact)?

Lastly, for the Raven Hoodie–if you can still call it that since we dropped the hood just for fun–we used a contrasting thread color for a decorative touch, added a front pocket flap, sewed the waist ties into the side seams so that the ties could be tied off center (and allowing the front opening to overlap slightly) and left the outer edges exposed and frayed for, well, an edgier look (pun intended).


Happy Spring Sewing!


13 Mar 2012

New Kestrel Spring Collar — Free Download & Discount Are Here!

2 Comments Kestrel Coat

Last week we announced a new collar for the Kestrel Coat, which we are calling the Spring Collar, to be used along with our original Kestrel Coat pattern.  I am happy to announce the pattern piece* and instructions are now ready for free download.  Print it at home onto 8.5×11″ printer paper–no piecing together necessary!  Just click on the button below to access it.

What’s that you say? You don’t yet have the original Kestrel pattern?  Well, now’s your chance to get it at 10% off–it’s on sale in our shop now through the end of the month!


*Note: The graded pattern piece is for the solid pink collar piece pictured above.  We’ve gone the extra step in this version to add a 1/2″ ruffle to the stand-up collar by sandwiching the ruffle in between the main and lining collar pieces when sewing those together.  Let us know in the commnents if you’d like to see a short tutorial on this added embellishment!

07 Mar 2012

In Time for Spring: A New Kestrel Collar

7 Comments In the Workroom, Kestrel Coat

It is March, and we are thinking spring around these parts!  Today we are announcing the upcoming release of a free new pattern piece for our existing Kestrel Coat pattern–a new collar piece perfect for milder days ahead.  The Spring Collar pattern piece can replace the pointed collar in our original Kestrel design (seen here). For added fun, we’ve styled it here with a little 1/2″ ruffle.  

For the coat shown here, we have used a cotton pique in coral pink (similar to this), and a colorful polka dot polyester lining and vintage buttons from our archives. We’ve also styled this look without the gathered, two-part sleeve, just for something a little different.  Remember when Kristin showed us how to do that?

But don’t worry, we’ve left that beautiful back untouched:

The new pattern piece and modified instructions will be are now available for free PDF download in the next week or so, so be sure to check back soon.  Click Here. 

Happy Sewing!