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This Week on American Patchwork & Quilting Radio!

In case you’re not busy this afternoon …. I’ll be joining Pat Sloan for her live weekly radio show. You can listen live right here: American Patchwork & Quilting Radio. The show airs at 4 p.m. eastern/3 p.m. central. I’m the third of today’s four guests. Don’t worry if you miss the live show, though! You can listen to the podcast any time by clicking on the above link to listen on your computer or by subscribing on iTunes (just search American Patchwork & Quilting).

The Sew in Style Book Tour, Giveaway & a Dolly Tardis Dress!

My youngest daughter and I get to share a new book with you today, and it’s a great one for those of you who have girls learning to sew! Samantha and I met Erin Hentzel at Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh while we were setting up our booth, and we enjoyed chatting with her about sewing and the sewing industry and her newly released book!Sew in Style – Make Your Own Doll Clothes was written to teach girls to sew for their own 18″ dolls, and it does a beautiful job of doing just that. At 16, Samantha is probably a little older than the target audience, but she gladly pulled her well-loved American Girl Samantha Doll out of storage and started planning as soon as she saw the book. (Her Samantha Doll is not making an appearance here because when I say “well loved” I mean she looks like she slept with a little girl who loved her very much for many, many years! Instead, we opened up an AG Doll that we picked up on sale a few years ago and kept for some special little girl that we have yet to meet. Is that a little odd? I just know that we’ll meet someone someday who will just be overjoyed with this doll.) C&T Publishing sent us an eBook copy of the book for this review. This was my first time using one of their eBooks, and I really appreciated the layout. It’s super easy to find what you need, and all of the full-size patterns are included in easy-to-print-and-tape-together format. Samantha scrolled through the book on the computer, and then we printed just the pages she needed.My favorite thing about this book is that I just handed it all over to Samantha and let her go with it. The beginning of the book teaches basic sewing skills with plenty of tips and guidance. Really, the only thing I helped with was brainstorming how to turn the book’s Party Dress into a Tardis Party Dress!Things have been a little bit Doctor Who crazy around here lately. We started watching the Doctor a few months ago as a family, and I feel like I’m raising a houseful of Whovians at the moment. My two little guys run around the house now battling invisible Daleks and opening things with imaginary sonic screwdrivers, and my teenagers amuse themselves by turning pieces of furniture into police boxes:


Samantha’s idea for designing a dolly Tardis dress did not surprise me at all!To make this dress, Samantha chose the closest-to-Tardis blue Kona cotton that she could find and black ribbon. She used a white paint pen to inscribe the words “Police Public Call Box” on the ribbon, and she used Wonder Under to iron on the white window patches. I think it turned out really well! What do you think? (We even think that if this particular doll had red hair, she could pass as Amy Pond, and the irony of this whole thing is amusing since Doctor Who is a British series and this is an American Girl Doll.)Do you know a little girl who would enjoy sewing clothes for her own doll? Well, C&T Publishing is letting me give away an eBook copy of Sew in Style to one of my lucky readers! Just leave a comment here to be entered. If you would like a question to answer, tell me how old you were when you first started sewing!

Giveaway ends July 27th, 2014 at 8:00 PM EST. Giveaway is open to U.S and international residents who are 18 years of age or older. One entry per person. Winner will be selected by Random.org. Winner will be announced using the winner’s public username on or before 12:00 PM EST on August 1st, 2014. Prize will be emailed to the winner who must be contactable via email. Email addresses will never be shared.

Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour, too!

July 14      Stash Books
July 15      www.sewmamasew.com/
July 17      www.probablycrafting.com/
July 21      http://www.craftbuds.com/

July 22      www.sameliasmum.com/

July 25     http://www.fishsticksdesigns.com/blog/

Katie’s Cowgirl Dress & Third Birthday Party

Our granddaughter, Katie, turned three this month, and we celebrated last weekend with a Sheriff Callie-inspired birthday party. It’s sort of a given that I’ll get to sew her party dress (YAY!), and I had so much fun with this one!Katie’s momma shared with me ahead of time that they were planning for her to wear pink boots and a pink hat, so pink was definitely the color. I took Charlie with me to shop for fabric and buttons a couple of weeks ago. I was picturing a pink gingham and chambray mix, so I was thrilled to run across this Riley Blake bias-print gingham fabric at The Quilt Place.Charlie picked out the white star buttons at Hancock Fabrics, and the chambray fabric was a Joann Fabrics purchase. (We really did drive all over town for all of the supplies! Charlie was sort of done after finding the buttons, but the promise of a cake pop and chocolate milk got us through our last stop without a tantrum. Four-year-olds need something to look forward to! Actually, we all do — I enjoyed the coffee break, too.)I used the top from my in-progress shirtdress pattern (It’s with my testers right now!), and combined it with a gathered two-layer skirt. (Adding a gathered skirt to a top is easy-peasy stuff. Just measure the width of the bottom of your top, cut your skirt about 1 1/2 times that width by whatever length you want, gather and attach it. That makes sense, right? Maybe I’ll do a tutorial later.)We all had to laugh a little because we put a lot of planning into Katie’s party last year with decorations and pretty food: Katie’s 2nd Birthday. I got a notice a few weeks ago that I’d been given a PartyPail.com award for Best Decorations!

Pretty cool, huh?

This year, our party was a little less Pinterest-worthy and a bit more let’s-just-have-fun! Of course, there’s nothing at all wrong with doing things either way. Both definitely have their advantages.

Katie’s friends enjoyed bouncing in the bounce house that was so kindly provided by a close family friend.There was a slight misunderstanding, though. Our friend thought that the party was for one of our boys, so the bounce house was a monster truck! Hahahaha! Thankfully, Katie loved it!We kept the snacks simple and served iced water with fruit to drink. (It was really, really hot, so we all drank tons of water!)Katie was thrilled with the simple printable Sheriff Callie cupcake toppers that we found at EasyPartyPrintables.And, of course, she had a blast opening presents …… and eating cake!I’d say it was a pretty successful party! Happy birthday, Katie! I pray that your next year is full of lots of love, loads of fun and plenty of new discoveries.I was planning to link up with Challenge Create: Geometric Week at Skirt Fixation, but I totally missed the deadline! Next week, I am planning ahead better so I can join in for Knit Week.  You should, too! You can still pop over to Skirt Fixation and vote for your favorite contestant and your favorite sew-along entry: Challenge Create: Geometric Week. Oh, and a quick huge, “Thank you!” to all of you who voted for my winning Custom Linen Handbag last week!

Also, Kids Clothes Week starts on Monday! Are you joining in? I have a few things planned!

Introducing the Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts and Skate Pants!

I can’t wait for you guys to read all about my latest pattern release! This one has already become a wardrobe staple for my two little guys, and I hope it will do the same for you! Allow me to introduce the Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts and Skate Pants pattern! (As you go through, be sure to click on the images for larger pop-up versions.)You can sew this pattern in both pants length and boardshort length. The boardshorts are designed to fall just below the knee, and the front of the leg is done in two parts for a stylish, modern look.Both the boardshorts and the skate pants feature an abundance of detailing provided by topstitching! It’s like ruffles and rick rack, only for boys! When you’re sewing for boys, it’s those little details that give your sewing that beautifully finished look. Don’t be worried that it’s hard, though. I’ll walk you through each step. (If you need a little extra help using a twin needle, be sure to check out my tutorial here: Using a Twin Needle.)This pattern has a slimmer fit through the hips than traditional elastic-waist pants for a more updated look. The fit is slightly wider than a skinny jean fit but narrower than a straight jean. A measurement chart and multiple suggestions are included to help you choose the perfect size!The skate pants include a double-knee panel which is great for making pants more durable for little boys.The pants pattern has two leg-width options.While both are straight legs, the narrower option tapers in slightly at the thigh for a closer fit through the leg, and the the wider option falls straight down through the thigh and the leg for a looser fit in the leg. These pants and shorts have a whole list of mix-and-match features so that you can customize them just the way you like, and so that you can sew the pattern over and over, getting a different look each time. For the waistband, you can choose belt loops and a faux snap or a drawstring pulled through buttonholes or eyelets.The unique one-piece cargo pocket can be used for back pockets ……or placed on the side seam.For even more interest, you can mix and match fabrics or try cutting the knee panel across the grain.Finally, the flat front/elastic-back waistband gives these bottoms a clean look and a comfortable fit.Where will your little guy wear his Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts or Skate Pants first? Will he spend the day on the beach or perhaps take off to the local skate park? Maybe, like my little guys, he’ll hang out in the trees or spend the day exploring his own backyard. You can grab your own copy of the PDF pattern right here: The Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts and Skate Pants or visit your local quilt shop for the paper version of the pattern!

Challenge Create – The Linen Edition


It’s been quiet around here lately, hasn’t it? I’ve been busy working on testing new patterns and finishing up some projects around my home, but today, I am thrilled to be a contestant in Challenge Create: Fabric Swap Edition at Skirt Fixation. Each week of this four-week contest is focused on a different type of fabric. I’m participating in Linen Week! (You can join in the fun, too, by sewing and adding your photos to the sew-along post each week. There are some great prizes! And, be sure to pop back over to Skirt Fixation on Friday to vote for your favorite entry from this week.)

This Challenge Create is called the Fabric Swap Edition because the contestants each received fabric from another contestant to use for their entry. Janice from So-Cal Sewing Mom sent me these great linen solids in one of my favorite color combinations:She packaged them up beautifully and tied them with a bow, too. Isn’t it fun to get pretty mail?

I knew as soon as I received the fabric, that I wanted to make it into a new handbag for me, but it took me way too long to decide how exactly I was going to do that. (I seem to be the queen of the last minute dash to the finish!) Thankfully, once inspiration struck, the bag came together just the way I imagined. I started by turning the sewing machine logo that I designed for my website into a paper pieced “quilt” block. I used the same freezer paper method that I demonstrated in the My House is a Little Wonky quilt block tutorial. Watching these blocks come together is so much fun!Once, my sewing machine was ready, I sort of made up the bag pattern as I went along. I love having a zippered pocket in my bags. This pocket stretches the width of the back of the bag for plenty of storage space.Since it was really last minute, and I didn’t have a zipper the right color on hand, I upcycled one from an old laptop bag. My re-used zipper has the advantage of having the perfect shape for decorative fabric pull. I lined the I added a zippered pocket with white linen to make it easy to find little things that might sink down to the bottom. I’ve used these little loops for tie-on straps before, and I just couldn’t resist adding them to this bag. They add a unique detail, and they make the straps adjustable. They also allow the straps to be easily changed when you just want something a little different.Inside, I hid two cell-phone sized pockets and two pen/pencil pockets in a whimsical print. (There’s a magnetic snap in there, too.)When I first started sewing seriously a number of years ago, I joined an online sewing community that became like a second family to me. There was a running joke on the board about goats eating posts (sometimes on purpose and sometimes just in random website glitches) — when I ran across this linen-cotton blend fabric covered with sewing goats, I knew I had to have it. I’m sure it will make me smile every time I peek inside. Isn’t it perfect?A huge thank you to the Skirt Fixation team for inviting me to join in the competition … and the fun! Thank you, too, to Janice for the perfect linen fabric for my new bag — I LOVE it!


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