Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pastel Pearl Snaps

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Jeanine Twigg- owner of The Snap Source, is our guest blogger today with an exciting new product line!


The Snap Source, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of the Size 16 Pearl snaps in 2010. SewBaby will exclusively host these new additions that are a cute as can be in never before seen Pastel Pink, Pastel Blue, Mint Green and Pale Yellow colors. These new snaps are perfect for any type of fabric, but especially precious for your little ones in SewBaby's fabrics of choice -- such as the pink and blue gingham flannel, blocks/bear anti-pill fleece or any of the wonderful knit baby prints. Use these snaps with the new Size 16 Pearl Tool Adapter with the size 16 SnapSetter tool to set the snaps to any one of SewBaby's wonderful snappy patterns or Fleece Easy Baby Wardrobe pattern, their wonderful Wonder Jacket or even the adorably cute Petal Dress. Any one of the SewBaby patterns works great with the Snap Source snaps especially these cute new Size 16 Pearl Snaps.

Why the need for the a Size 16 Pearl Tool Adapter? The delicate pearl snap top! The Size 16 SnapSetter tool base has a flattened radius where the snap goes for the open and capped prong ring snap. For the higher dome of the pearl and to protect the delicate nature of the insert, I developed a tool adapter to work with the SnapSetter. The cost is $3.25 and it will protect the pearl from cracking when being set.

Enjoy these cute little pearls and let us know how you like them on your projects!

Jeanine Twigg
Owner/Founder
The Snap Source, Inc.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's Snowing Again, Time to Think Spring SWAP!

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If you could see what I'm seeing- grey skies, snow blowing horizontally, and the thermometer dropping, then you would understand.  I've got to start thinking Spring!

I started doing SWAPs (Sewing with a Plan) last year from seeing what the wonderful women on Patternreview.com had created for their contest entries.  Basically, you choose a color theme, and then plan several coordinating pieces so that when they are all made, you'll have instantly gorgeous outfits that you can pull out of your closet at a moments notice.

I completed my first swap just in November with my Green Goddess Wardrobe entry.   I can't tell you how much I have LOVED this wardrobe.  It is so wonderful.  I wear something from it every other day.  But, I want to switch out of the greens for Spring, and have settled on a very traditional combination of Navy, White and Dove Grey.  Since these colors are all neutrals, I'll pep it up with accessories in chartreuse and bright fuschia.

My last wardrobe was very flowy- lots of chiffony tunics.  This one is going to be more classic- button front shirts, pencil skirts, knit tops, and jackets.  The center piece of the wardrobe will be a beautiful white and navy ribboned boucle from Vera Wang's Lavender Label collection.  I'm going to make a simple jacket from it using  Butterick 5429.

I've got the other fabrics and patterns picked out.  I noticed that the last time I did this, I wasted an enormous amount of time changing my mind before I cut anything out.  So, this time, my plan of action will be to cut three items out at once that can all be sewn from the same color thread.  This way, I won't waste as much time waffling back and forth about what to make, and changing my serger thread.  The very worst case scenario is I end up with a couple of UFO's (unfinished objects).

So, I'll keep you posted as I progress.  There is not a contest for this at Patternreview this Spring, so I don't have a deadline to meet.  Except of course, to get it made before the weather turns hot for summer, which here isn't until June.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Really, Kwik Sew?

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Kwik Sew just released a new pattern for a casserole carrier.  Here's a link to their pattern.


Something about it looks SO familiar... oh yes... SewBaby has an almost identical casserole carrier pattern that has been out since 2000!  It's been in all of the major quilting catalogs, and is currently sold nationwide at Joann.  Here is our pattern:

Ours is better!  Let's compare- theirs- $11.99, ours- $8.95.  Theirs makes you sew bias binding on the straps, which is really tedious, and ours doesn't. 
Plus, you get the bonus that ours doesn't come with the not so fashionable apron!
This is just bad business.  We have been a Kwik Sew dealer for 14 years, but no more.  You've lost a supporter and ally.  Shame on you, Kwik Sew!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Little Lambs patterns

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I always like to know more about the designers of the patterns that we offer, and thought that our blog is the perfect way to introduce them to you.  Today,  I've asked Kristen from Little Lambs to do a guest blog post.  Kristen has designed some great patterns that are easy to sew and practical- what every new Mom needs!   This is Kristen and her adorable son and here is Kristen's guest blog post:


I would like to thank Ann for inviting me to be a part of her blog. Sadly, I am embarrassed to admit that this is my first time to blog about anything! My name is Kristen and I am a stay at home mom and the owner/designer of Little Lambs, sewing pattern designs aimed mainly at babies and toddlers. I have been in business now for about a year and a half and absolutely love what I do!! I never envisioned myself doing something like this- I used to be a high school science teacher- but I grew up sewing and creating all kinds of things and have always loved being “crafty.”  I guess it just goes to show that you never know what opportunities life may bring.

As always, I have lots of project ideas in mind that I would love to accomplish soon. Unfortunately, as a mom of two active little boys, that doesn’t always happen as quickly as I would like! Right now, I am currently finishing up a pattern I was invited to design for Kona Bay’s Asian Fabric Magazine. It is a kimono-style shirt that begins with a simple knit turtleneck and two cotton fabric prints. I am also currently working on several baby room d├ęcor items and high chair and play yard accessories using plush fabrics. I hope to have all of these patterns ready for sale by late spring.

So whether I am in the middle of changing a stinky diaper, playing super heroes with my oldest, or designing a new pattern, there is one thing I know for sure. I am so blessed to have such a great job!!

Try one of Kristen's patterns at 10% off until the end of January!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Deer Print Hoodie

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This hoodie was a Christmas present for my daughter.  I used a Burda Magazine pattern and this deer print sweatshirt fleece from SewBaby to make it.  Here is a back view.  One unusual detail in this pattern is the exposed seams.  You sew the pieces wrong sides together so that the seams show on the right side.  Then you topstitch each side down.  With fleece, it gives a nice kind of fuzzy feel to the seams.  Here is a close-up so you can see what I mean:


She has worn it several times since getting it for Christmas, which means it has passed the ultimate test- her opinion!

I may make this pattern again for myself.  There is an activewear contest going on at Patternreview.com for January that I'm thinking about entering.  Maybe I'll use this fleece for me!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Making your own Coat:: Part 3

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Just to recap- what I've done so far:  interface the pieces, serge the edges, sew the outer fabric shell, sew the details like the pockets and collar, turn up the hem, sew the lining shell, and put them together.  Now, you turn the coat, right side out, and voila!  It's magic!  All of the raveling edges and interfacing is long forgotten.  Here is what the inside looks like:

Here is the back:






All that is left is the buttons and a little handstitching to whipstitch the openings in the lining closed.  For the buttonholes, I thought about doing bound buttonholes, but my fabric is so thick, that I decided bound buttonholes would just add to the bulk, so I did a regular machine stitched buttonhole and used Fray-Check on the buttonhole before I cut it open to try to prevent excessive ravelling.   Here is a close-up of the buttons that I used.  Note that they are buttons with a shank.  On a thick coat fabric, you either need to start with a shank button, or make a thread shank that will bring the button up by the thickness of the front and front facing together.  Otherwise, your buttons will be stressed by the thickness of the fabric, and are more likely to pop.


Making coats is really a lot of fun, and not difficult once you know the process. Although I"m not an expert by any means, please feel free to ask me any questions that you might have and I'll gladly give you my 2 cents worth.  For more information on my process, see Making Your Own Coat, Part 1

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Making your own Coat:: Part 2

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It started out at -1 degree Fahrenheit this morning, so what better to do today than keep warm working on my coat!  First I constructed the pockets.  This particular pocket is cut on the bias, so that you don't have to match the plaid, but the flap part is cut on the straight grain, so that you do need to match.  I hadn't thought about that when cutting, but with an amazing bit of luck, my flaps lined up just perfectly.   I pinned the pockets in place and tried on the coat.  The placement was too high for my comfort, so I lowered them 3 inches so that my hand could go in easily.  I also opted to not put a buttonhole in the flap.  I couldn't see trying to unbutton my pocket everytime I wanted to put something in them.


Next was the back tab.  The back tab is also cut on the bias and gets inserted in the seams between the back, and the side back.  I originally placed them where it was marked, but the placement was way too high for me.  I had to lower it by 2 inchees to get it to hit my waist.  This pattern also has sleeve tabs which are pretty much the same as the back tab, so I won't go into them here.


The last feature is the collar.  This pattern was nice in that it had both a under collar pattern and an upper collar pattern.  They are slightly different shapes so that the collar will lay better.  However, they were both cut on the straight grain, and in one piece.  From my experience, an undercollar cut in two pieces on the bias will lay much, much nicer.  So, I added a center back seam and layed it on the bias for cutting.  The picture shows you the undercollar already sewn to the upper collar, trimmed and ready for turning.


Next, the collar is sewn on, the hem is pressed up and handstitched 1/2" from the edge.  The hem at the facing is just pressed up, not sewn in place, as this will get stitched when the lining is added.  So, this is what the inside of the coat looks like.  Not a pretty site, but we're not far from finished at this point!

Now, it's time to cut and sew the lining. I cut all of the lining pieces 1 inch shorter than the outer fabric pieces.  I use the "bagging" technique, and ignore the pattern instructions at this point.  To "bag a lining", you basically are using your sewing machine to attach the lining, rather than tedious handsewing.  The front facings are sewn to the side fronts, but are left open for the bottom 3 inches.  Then a hole is left in one of the side seams- at least 6 inches- so that you can turn the lining inside out.  Search for "bagging a lining" for all of the specific details on this method, as there are some good tutorials online, and the sleeve hems are particularly tricky.

Once your lining is complete, you can sew the outershell to the lining, reach in through the hole, and turn it all inside out.  This is my favorite part.  All of the loose threads, and interfacing are now completely hidden.  All that needs to be done at this point is a little handstitching, buttons, and pressing.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Sewing Resolutions

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Happy New Year!  I'm only going to make one New Year's resolution this year, and that is to keep a record of my completed sewing projects and how many yards of fabric I use.  Hopefully that will give me an idea of realistically how much fabric I "should" be purchasing.  I'm not sure if I'm going to go the low-tech way by keeping a scrapbook which includes a swatch of the fabric used and a illustration of the pattern, or some high-tech way to keep track of the same things, but digitally.  I'll have to ask around and see if anyone knows of any good software that could be used for such a purpose.  If you know of anything, please let me know!
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