Thursday, August 27, 2009


I have a confession. Since this will soon be leaked out to the press, I wanted to tell my loyal fans first. As you may or may not have already suspected, I have to admit that I am, and have been for awhile, an agent in the FIA (Fabric Intelligence Agency). In case you don’t know about the FIA, it is a covert agency, started in the 60s during the Cold War when the Communist regime in Russia threatened to make all fabric gray and only gray. Thanks to the efforts of this small and secret group, the war on fabric was won and color restored to fabrics throughout the world. The FIA is determined to protect fabric and never allow this threat to happen again.

More recently, a new threat arose from the Textile Mafia, a criminal faction that has been methodically stopping print production on the most popular fabric lines (think Heather Ross Lightning Bugs and Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy). Fabric designers who stepped in to stop the mafia were shot (with textile inks, very messy and permanent) and manufacturers were threatened by ink wielding thugs who threatened to replace all colored ink with you guessed it, Cold War Gray. Although not general public knowledge, FIA agents throughout the world have been working to stop this new insurgence of evil.

And finally, you may have heard in the news that with the new regime change in Washington, the old regime is being investigated and the FIA has not escaped scrutiny. We are being investigated for fraud and extortion. Allegations include; bribing popular fabric designers to produce so many fabric lines per year that consumers are going broke, purchasing Munki Munki pajamas on the black market and reselling for exorbitant prices on eBay and the lowest blow of all, FIA agents have allegedly participated in the ‘fabric mortgage business’, taking cuts from the bank who has loaned money to fabric buyers who clearly cannot afford it, thus driving up the prices of fabric and creating a fabric bubble!!

Of course, these are only allegations. I cannot believe any of my fellow FIA agents would participate in any such crimes but we are also human. Overall, I am confident that justice will prevail and the FIA will be seen in a positive light once more.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Apron Pattern

Patchwork Harlequin Apron

Patchwork Harlequin Apron

I have finally finished the updates to the pattern and it's on it's way to print! Here is the Sheri Berry Holiday version of the apron, I just love these fabrics, even if they aren't the traditional colors of Christmas, they just look like a big basket of decorated cookies to me, yum.

Harlequin Apron Pattern - cover

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Harlequin Holiday Apron Tutorial

A little change in plans. I will still provide a pictorial tutorial here but I'm also prepared a PDF version of the more detailed instructions that will be for sale in my Etsy shop I will also be selling kits with pre-cut fabric (Sheri Berry holiday fabric!) I will start the tutorial tomorrow! (UPDATE: Argh, as usual life gets in the way of my blog! Tutorial soon...)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Harlequin Holiday Apron Tutorial

I'm starting a tutorial here to make a harlequin apron for the holidays! Here is an example of a harlequin apron that I made with Amy Butler Belle fabrics last year and have been really wanting to do another one. This is a great way to use up some fabric scraps as well.

I will be posting this within the next week or two with full instructions. For now, I will let you know that you will need 8 different fabrics cut into 5" squares plus about a 1/2 yard of fabric for a waistband and ties which could be the same fabric as one of the squares or something different. You will need less than a fat quarter (18 x 22 inches) of the other 8 fabrics. In addition, I like to line mine on the back so you would need about 1/2 yard of white muslin for that. And to add rick rack to the edges, you will need 4 yards of coordinating rick rack.

I really love some of the new holiday fabrics out right now, my two favorites are Have a Sheri Berry Holiday which I've seen now on Etsy (shops: spiceberry, quilttaffy and pinkpolkadotstudio), Pink Chalk and Fat Quarter Shop, and Michael Miller's Funky Christmas line. Oddly, pink and pastels are big in holiday fabrics right now.

I am using Michael Miller fabrics that I have from last year and possibly older.

Check back for the start of the tutorial soon!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Linen Gingham


I found this wonderful 100% linen in a gingham pattern today, one in small black and white check and one in larger orange and white, love it!

So to show you just how obsessed I am, I went to my fabric closet and was amazed at how many fabrics coordinated with the orange and white check! Here are some of them...

What I first thought of in the store was a combination with goldfish..
with HR fish

or gnomes...
with HR gnomes

Little did I know that it would also look great with senorita!
with AH Senorita

and Lizzy Dish!
with lizzy dish

and my beloved Freshcut!
with Freshcut

and funky summer in the city
with Summer in the City

with Lush Paint by Number

alright, deep breaths, calming down...

and lastly, this sweet Japanese canvas:
with Japanese canvas

I only bought a yard though. Anyway... someday I will stop photographing fabric and SEW. YAY.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lizzy House - Red Letter Day Quilt

Red Letter Day Lizzy House fabric

So I saw this quilt on Flickr and gasped at the fun and funky fabric by Elizabeth (Lizzy) House! There is even an entire Flickr group for this particular fabric.

I'm making this quilt using a pattern that I thought I saw somewhere but can't find it again so I'm making it up. It's pretty simple as you can see. Strips are 2.25" wide by 6.5" long. I thought that would make them square when I sewed three long edges together but I have had to cut almost .5" off so don't follow my directions!

Red Letter Day Layout

The squares seem really small to me so I'm pretty sure I will use sashing between them. The green and blue stripe yardage will be used for that, though I kind of like all the squares right next to each other, really makes your eyeballs work. We'll see how it goes.

RLD Stripes

(Aha! I just found the source of my inspiration for this quilt! I knew I had seen it somewhere, though mine only uses three strips of fabric per square.)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Enchanted Makeovers

I received a thank you note today from the founder of Enchanted Makeovers: "Enchanted Makeovers is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that transforms shelters for women and children into places of peace and possibilities—not just where basic needs are met, but spiritual needs for hope and beauty also."

I donated some aprons to the event and here is a sweet little movie about the event, which was for the girls of Myriam House, a transitional housing program for unaccompanied homeless women in Baton Rouge, LA. The founder of Enchanted Makeovers is shown in the video below wearing one of my aprons! Anyway, it was very touching to see the young girls in the video wearing all different aprons from various Etsy sellers.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pattern Review: Amy Butler Mini Dress, Tunic & Tops

Amy Butler Mini Dress, Tunic and Top

PATTERN NAME, COMPANY: Amy Butler, Midwest Modern Sewing Patterns, Mini Dress, Tunic & Tops.

Amy Butler Mini Dress, Tunic and Top
SIZING: Pattern includes Girl’s size 7-12 dress, tunic or top and Women’s size 2-22 dress, tunic, long top or short top

Womens’ size medium (10-12) long top

(from cutting fabric to completion): Approximately 4 hours

Amy Butler Mini - Long Top


This is available in a lot of shops online, regular retail price is around $16, here are a few bargains I found:

Fabrics to Sew Etsy Shop: $12.50:
Fabricsupplies Etsy shop: $13.95:
Above all Fabric: $12.28:

Great idea, this Canadian shop sells the pattern alone or with the fabric, also has some alternate model views of the dress unseen in the pattern:
Kit 1
Kit 2

Here are some other blog reviews of this pattern:


And here are some photos I found of others who made this:

+Eva+ on Flickr

Fancy Tiger Craft Shop on Facebook

And this looks fun, a sew-along on the ‘Monkey Foot Designs and Stacy Sews Sew-Along’ Flickr group featuring this pattern or the new Field Bag/Tote! Sew-Along

AB Mini
Back to the review...

FABRIC: I used an Irish linen that I already had, handkerchief weight, and the lining is a cotton quilt weight Amy Butler fabric from the Lotus line. You can use any light-medium weight fabric.

PATTERN: The pattern is printed on regular tan sewing pattern tissue paper and includes three size groups: girls XS to L (7-12), women’s XS, S, M (2-12) and women’s L, XL, XXL and XXXL (14-22).

Very true! Use the bust measurement.

Since I used linen and not cotton it looked different from the photo on the pattern cover. Also, I think I should have made it a little larger. I “forgot” my bust size was larger than what I thought! (my mother told me that when you get older, your nose, feet and bust grow, what the??? It’s true though, sigh)

INSTRUCTIONS: Instructions were excellent. I thought I found a mistake but upon re-reading it, I was wrong. : )

Nothing really. I've made other Amy Butler patterns and this was probably the best experience so far. I especially like that it's comfy to wear.

Amy Butler Mini Dress, Tunic and Top
I did not put a zipper in, I can slip it over my head though it is a teeny snug when doing that. I just wanted a more simple top.

For the same reason, I did not add the pockets. When I was wearing the top, I kind of wished I had put in the pockets.

Not really a change but I sewed all exposed seams using the French seam method.

Amy Butler Mini Dress, Tunic and Top
Would I sew it again? YES, already planning on making the dress.

I definitely recommend this to anyone with basic sewing skills up to advanced. If you are a beginner, the zipper could be tricky but the instructions are very clear. It would be super cute to make a mother-daughter version since all sizes are included! Also, it is super comfortable and cute.

Amy Butler Mini Dress, Tunic and Top