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Kids Clothes Week April 2014: The Second Half

My spare sewing time ran really short over the weekend, so I cheated a bit and wrapped up my Kids Clothes Week sewing this morning! Shhhh … I didn’t do the Easter sewing that I mentioned in my last post. Instead, I opted for two really quick Charlie Ringer Tees! I finished shorts for my two little guys to go with these a few weeks ago, but since the shorts are from a not-yet-released pattern, modeled pictures will have to wait just a little bit.The Ringer Tee from the Charlie pattern is my go-to when I’m in a hurry. Because I serge most of it, it’s so fast! I only pop over to my sewing machine to hem the bottom of the front and back and topstitch the neckline. Everything else is done on the serger. (Of course, you don’t have to have a serger to sew this pattern. You can totally make it using your regular sewing machine!)Kids Clothes Week netted us five pairs of boxer briefs and two tees. That’s not too bad for seven-ish hours of work, is it?

Kids Clothes Week April 2014: Tuesday & Wednesday

I’m squeezing in time this week for Kids Clothes Week! Usually, when I join in, I plan what I want to sew and just do it, but this time, I’m working on new patterns and prepping for Quilt Market so I’m really just doing the suggested hour a day. I’m excited, too, to see how much I can do in just that much time! Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s hours combined were enough time for me to sew up all five pairs of the Undercover Bottoms Boxer Briefs that I cut out on Monday.

I had a little company this morning while I was working. I posted this picture on Instagram of Charlie and his “guys” hanging out on my sewing table:My kids don’t just have to be in the same room with me. They need to be as close as possible to me! It’s a good thing that it’s a big table.

I used the plain front option without a fly opening on these. It’s not as cute, but it’s faster and my boys don’t use the opening anyway. I also did the no-elastic waistband following the instructions that I added when I updated this pattern last month. Basically, you use a cotton/spandex blend fabric and cut the waistband a size smaller, then just stretch it to fit when you attach it. Voila! Super comfy undies that stay put – easy peasy!I was going to do a couple of tees for the boys with my remaining time, but since Easter is in less than two weeks, I think I might change my mind and sew up some Easter clothes instead!

Kids Clothes Week April 2014: Monday’s Prep Work

Kids Clothes Week starts today! Are you sewing along? There’s a theme this time, but you don’t have to follow the theme. My creative juices are all tied up in new pattern work right now, so my boys are getting some handmade basics this week, starting with Undercover Bottoms Boxer Briefs for Jamie. My first KCW hour was spent cutting out five new pairs!

If you’ve followed me for a little bit, you’ll probably recognize these fabrics from PJs and tank tops. I love how easily underwear uses up all those little knit pieces in my scrap pile!

Huge PDF Pattern Updates are on the Way!

Some huge Fishsticks Designs PDF pattern updates are on the way! If you already love your Fishsticks Designs patterns, though, don’t worry! I’m not taking away anything that you’re already using. I’m just adding a list of things that I think will add to your enjoyment and do away with some frustrations.

I’ll be working through all of my patterns over the next six weeks or so. (It’s a really involved process, and I still need to work on new patterns, so it’s going to take a bit of time!) If you’ve already purchased the pattern, you will receive a free update. If you purchased through the main Fishsticks Designs Pattern Store, Fishsticks on Etsy or Fishsticks at Craftsy, you’ll receive your updated pattern automatically. If you purchased from another retailer, you may have to email us with your proof of purchase, but I’m hoping to be able to work with each of them to get you the update automatically, too. You’ll be able to find a regularly-updated list of all the completed patterns, as well as details about when you can expect your pattern right here: Fishsticks Designs PDF Pattern Updates.

On to the changes! I’ve been listening to your feedback, and I hope that you appreciate everything that I’ve done.The first thing that you’ll likely notice is that while I didn’t change the instruction layout for my patterns, I did add a simple line separating the columns. Many first-time users told me that the layout was a bit confusing because they weren’t sure whether they were supposed to go up and down the columns or across. This little change helps your eye to fall exactly where it should as you go through each step.

Also, in the directions section, just before the sewing instructions, you’ll find a note that directs you to the page that contains your printing instructions.
And, once you flip to that page, here’s what you’ll see:Here’s where you’ll find the biggest change! First, you’ll see that you still have the option of printing all of the sizes nested on 8 1/2″ x 11″ (or A4) pages which you’ll continue to assemble and cut out according to my directions page: How to Assemble a Fishsticks Designs PDF Pattern.There are two changes that you’ll see in the nested patterns. First is that I’ve added color-coding to the original coding which uses dots and dashes. The dots and dashes are still there, though, so that you can choose to print in color or in black and white.The second change is that I’ve increased the size of that original 1″ test block to 2 1/2″. This gives you a more consistent measurement, and it’s easier to find!The next printing option is where my testers have been most excited — individual sizes! Here, you’ll find the page numbers that you need to print for just the size that you want to sew.These patterns print black and white with a series of dots and dashes, and go together in the same manner as the nested pattern. In some cases, when a pattern contains multiple designs, those will be separated out, as well.To make it simple for you to double-check that you have the right pages, each pattern page has a header at the top which contains the pattern name, the size you’re printing, and the design within that pattern, if applicable.You’ll also find that each of the pattern pieces in the individual sizes have the name of the pattern and the size printed on them — a really good thing for when pieces get mixed up or misplaced!The final printing option (and the last big change) is one that will allow you to take the file to a local print shop and print the whole pattern sheet, just like the one that you would receive if you ordered a paper pattern.This option is great for those of you who hate cutting and taping, especially for those of you overseas who don’t want to have to wait for a paper pattern! At the top of the full-size pattern, you’ll find permission to print individual copies, along with basic printing instructions. Several of my testers volunteered to take The Tank pattern to local print shops in their area last week, and they all had a really easy time when they were armed with a little bit of information. First, it’s best to download the whole pattern to a flash drive, take it into the print shop and ask them to print the page number that you need. Be sure to let them know the finished size, ask for it to be black and white and be emphatic about printing the file 100% or actual size. Also, double-check that 2 1/2″ block before you leave the print shop, just in case. The cost for most patterns should run between $3 and $7, based on the size. Everyone who tested it out was able to have their pattern printed while they waited. Good choices for printing included Staples, Office Depot, Fedex-Kinkos and local blueprint printers.Whew! I think that’s all for right now. I can’t wait to hear what you think of all the updates! I want you to continue loving my patterns, and I want to do everything I can to help you sew beautiful, practical things for you and your children, whether you’re brand new to sewing or have a lifetime of experience!

The Updated FREE Tank & The Red Carpet Awards!

I’m nearly bubbling over with excitement here! I have several new things to share with you over the next week or so, and I can’t wait to hear what you think about each of them! Today brings the first two announcements on the list: the re-release of the FREE Fishsticks Designs The Tank pattern (now in sizes 12 months to 14) and two nominations for Fishsticks patterns in the PDF Pattern Designers Red Carpet Awards!

If you’ve never joined the PDF Pattern Promotion and Sales Group on Facebook, I encourage you to take a few minutes to head over right now and check it out. You’ll find over 10,000 sewists who are devoted to supporting independent pattern designers and encouraging each other in their sewing endeavors. Many of your favorite designers are there, too, joining in the discussion, sharing their latest patterns, promoting their sales, helping out with questions and more! This week, the group moderators have announced nominees for the first ever PDF Pattern Designers Red Carpet Awards in conjunction with a HUGE giveaway, and all you have to do to have a chance of winning is go vote!

Two of my patterns were nominated: the Charlie Tee & Hoodie and the Runaround Pants, and I’d love if you’d vote for them! To read more about the giveaway and to vote, just click the banner below:
As my little way of joining in the celebration, I’ve revised my free The Tank pattern, adding big kid sizes and incorporating a big change that is coming soon to all of my PDF patterns.The Tank pattern is designed to be sewn with cotton and cotton blend knits — jersey, interlock or ribbed knits in the body and interlock or ribbing for the neckband and armholes.The fit is narrower and longer than a standard tee, making it great for layering, but still perfect for wearing on its own. It also makes a great PJ top when paired with woven or knit lounge pants. (If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the appliqued tanks that I made for my seven-year-old last month!) Or, you can match it up with Undercover Bottoms Boxer Briefs for the perfect little boys’ undies set.A little aside from the pattern itself, isn’t that the cutest fabric? My boys LOVE it! It came from a custom fabric group that you can find right here: Fabric Stache. If you’re looking for great knits with prints that you can’t find just anywhere, go visit! (They’re doing sew-alongs every other week right now with my knit patterns, too.)Back to the subject at hand, to download the pattern, just click right here: The Tank Pattern. I’ll be back tomorrow with my next announcement, but if you’re already familiar with my PDF patterns, you’ll figure it out really quickly by scrolling through The Tank pattern!

I just have one, no, two last pictures to share before I wrap up this post. Because we live in Florida, tanks work well for us almost year-round. My little Florida babies, though, thought that they were going to freeze to death when I dragged them out to take pictures last week . . . in 65 degree weather!The “freezing cold” weather, however, did not stop them from insisting that I follow through with the promise of frozen yogurt after our photo session!

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