Month: August 2007

Free Fabric Friday

Happy Friday!  I hope you all have a fun weekend lined up.  It has been a great summer, but I’m looking forward to settling in to a fall routine, aren’t you?  (Much more time for sewing!) Let me show you something new in the shop.  The brilliant Lauren is making these lovely fabric necklaces.  They are double-sided, hang long, come in a cute little tin, are very affordable, and would make a wonderful gift! I hope you didn’t miss Beth’s terrific interview with Jennifer McMullen.  She is such an inspiration!  We also featured two talented Flickr group contributors, Cherie and Sarah.   Take...

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Flickr Feature ~ Jimmy Pickles

Cosmetic Purse by Cherie, Jimmy Pickles Cherie left the corporate world several years ago and is now home with her two year old son James. She uses some of our favorite fabrics to create beautiful and functional pieces like this Michael Miller cosmetic purse. Cherie writes: I made my first Wristlet Keychain earlier this year. After using it for just few days I just loved it. I knew others would really enjoy it too. So I went through my fabric collection and made a bunch and added them to my Etsy shop. They did very well and I continue to add new styles every week. Recently, I have begun making coin purses and cosmetic bags. I am addicted to creating new items. When I get new fabric I can’t wait to turn it into something fun. Cherie’s Amy Butler wristlet keychain gift set below is just one example of her bright and graphic designs, classic styling and creative products. Cherie showcases her work on her Flickr site and sells items in her Etsy shop. Visit the Sew, Mama, Sew Flickr group for more fun creations, add in your own photos and, while you’re at it, hop on over to the Sew, Mama, Sew Kids’ Clothes Month Flickr group and join on in! There are already a lot of great items to...

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Flickr Feature ~ cloth.paper.string

Zippered pouch by Sarah, cloth.paper.string We love the combination of Gocco printing with linen in Sarah’s zippered pouch. She writes: I’m Sarah. I make my home on the shore of Lake Superior with my partner and our feisty toddler. As far as crafting goes, you could say I dabble in sewing, knitting, bookbinding and gocco printing, teaching myself along the way. I find inspiration both in the craft-blog-wonderland and out in the natural world. The zip pouch is a good example of where these meet — a gocco print of a rubbing of a cottonwood leaf from the bank of the Mississippi River finding its way onto a pouch that I learned to sew from a book discovered on a craft blog, with fabric from a friend met through my blog. Sarah’s blog cloth.paper.string reflects this same mix of inspiration. Her beautiful photography highlights outdoor moments with her darling daughter and some crafty goodness too (like this recently completed cardigan). Enjoy Sarah’s blog and her photos on Flickr. Add your work to the Sew, Mama, Sew Flickr group...

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Interview ~ Jennifer McMullen, Dishy Duds

We continue our series of inspiring women with Jennifer McMullen, owner and designer of Dishy Duds Designs. Jennifer’s company is full of things that make you smile. In addition to some amazing baby, boy and girl product designs, Jennifer makes one-of-a-kind handbags too. Her fun, creative and open approach to life, family and art shows in each of the products she sells. Dishy Duds also donates clothing and money to many organizations; most recently Jennifer has worked with Mercy Corps to donate a percentage of profits to efforts in Sudan and she started her Darfur awareness campaign in March of 2006. As Dishy Duds grows Jennifer has learned a lot about developing a business you love and finding balance as you do it; she shares some of her insight here with us. Her unique background and flexible approach to business (accepting a certain level of things you cannot control) has made Jennifer a success with her work and family life, and a model for us all to aspire to. Save the Planet Dress designed by Jennifer, Dishy Duds Jennifer started out with… Biomedical Engineering? Jennifer has a degree in biomedical engineering and went to school to design artificial joints and human organs. She writes, “My senior project was to design an artificial liver using pig cells. This sounds funny to me now that I type it out, but it’s...

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FFF Winners and New Flickr Pool

Our Free Fabric Friday winners are Tammi, Lorraine, Karen, Cleleste and Beth. We enjoyed all of the great tips and links you mentioned, and hope to feature some of them during Kids’ Clothes Month. As you gear up for September, don’t forget to check out other recent tips for inspiring kid-related clothes, tutorials and shops in these previous comments too. Have you already started some kids’ clothes? Join our new Sew, Mama, Sew Kids’ Clothes Month Flickr group. Add in a photo, bookmark the page and return...

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Free Fabric Friday

Happy Friday, everyone!  This week there are several ways to enter yourself into the pool from which we’ll randomly select 5 winners to win one yard of fabric of their choice ($9.10 or less) from the store: When I announced our September theme, I mentioned that we’d love to feature and link to your tutorials.  If you have written a tutorial for a baby jacket, little girl dress, reversible pants or anything else related to kids clothes, we want to know about it!  Please comment here with the link and we’ll email you next week. If you know of a...

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Flickr Feature ~ Three Fun Projects

Aren’t you impressed with the quality of work (and inspiration) on the Sew, Mama, Sew Flickr group? It’s (quite frankly) getting difficult to keep up with it all! We have a few fun projects to highlight this week, all so accessible, fun and beautiful: Patchwork Belt by Keri, Yellow Owl Keri started this belt with a tutorial from Creative Little Daisy but wanted it reversible. She writes, “I changed it up a little… One side has patterned fabric, the other solid fabric.” Keri shares all of the things she changes up a little on her blog, Yellow Owl, and sells items in her Etsy shop too (belts and more!). Don’t forget to visit her Flickr site as well. Aprons by Barbara and her friends, Fuzzy Mitten Barbara and her friends modified a pattern from MaryJanesFarm for these smart aprons. They all wanted different pockets and felt a double-sided apron is “both easier and more practical.” For an excellent selection of apron designs (if we do say so ourselves!), check out these patterns. Barbara taught herself to knit four years ago and now writes patterns for many of the toys she creates. Visit her site, Fuzzy Mitten, for a gateway to her blog, shop and toys. Barbara’s Flickr site gives you more glimpses into her crafty world. Pincushion by Eva Eva lives in San Sebastian (in northern Spain). She works...

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FFF Winners and Theme Months

Apparently you have to say something like “it’s been quiet out there” to get a record-breaking number of people to comment 😉  Welcome, to all you first-time visitors!  And to those of you who have been sharing your sewing aspirations with us for weeks or months, we want you to know that you’ve been heard.  We’ve already revealed our September theme, but you should know that we’ve begun planning other themes based on your feedback, so here is the schedule through the Spring: September–Kids’ Clothes November/December–Gifts to Sew February–Quilts of all Sizes April–Women’s Clothes We hope you’ll join in the...

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Free Fabric Friday

It’s been quiet out there.  I hope you’re enjoying the rest of your summer.   We have some beautiful new fabric in stock.  Some new and some classic designs from Kaufman… the latest from Kaffe Fassett… more Barefoot Roses… and Nigella in new colors. This week we’ll give away 1 yard of fabric ($9.10 or less) to 5 people.  Tell us about a sewing goal you have.  Want to learn how to line a jacket?  Draft your own patterns?  Make all new pillows for the sofa?  Whatever it is, we want to hear about it.  All comments here will put...

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Flickr Feature ~ Catching Up

As we focused on bags recently with our Flickr Features, the Sew, Mama, Sew Flickr Group has been growing with some really fantastic photos of your work. We have some catching up to do! Here are several creations (from Jean, Jana and Jen!) we’ve noticed lately: Owl Dress by Jean Jean keeps busy with three children, ages three and under! She just started sewing this past year and made this dress from a Simplicity pattern (3808) for her 10 month old daughter. The dress utilizes a great combination of Hooty Owls on Blue by Robert Kaufman and Alexander Henry’s City Park. Jean has more big sewing plans in the works just as soon as the family makes their big move from Florida to Indiana in three weeks! Check out more of Jean’s work on her Flickr site (like this great Sis Boom bag from the infamous tiny happy tutorial). Pillow by Jana, Jana’s Radical Weblog 2 This Mod Girls pillow caught our eye and it turns out Jana won this fabric from Sew, Mama, Sew! She made this pillow for her daughter Britta’s room, and the ribbon was a “happy accident.” We think it works! Visit Jana’s Radical Weblog 2 and her Flickr site for more. Dress by Jen, Chrysanthemum This darling dress (outshined only by the darling girl) is also from a Simplicity pattern (5118) and some of...

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FFF Winners

  Hey, thanks for all the great sources of inspiration for kids’ clothes!  So many of you mentioned lack of patterns and coolness for little boys, so I want to let you know that we’ll try to cover boys and girls equally during Kids’ Clothes Month.  Also, do you know Knuckleheads?  I wish I had a boy just so I could get these Grease Monkey Coveralls!  I love all the clothes on that site.  The winners of one yard of fabric are Mandy, Jessi, Dawn, Amber, Sarah and Korie. Congratulations! Check your email...

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SMS Shopping Directory and Free Fabric Friday

Occasionally we get emails from people who don’t sew, but love the fabric we carry. They want to know where they can buy things that are made with our beautiful prints. I’ve pointed them to shops that I know, but it would be so much better to have a list of stores they could visit. That’s why we’re starting the SMS Shopping Directory. It will have a prominent place on our blog and our store side navigation. If you are a customer of SMS and you make and sell things with the fabric you buy from us, send and email...

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Craft Slink ~ Joel Dewberry’s Aviary

We wanted to feature so many of Joel Dewberry’s newest fabrics but got sidetracked with the Aviary line. Dewberry is Westminster Fibers’ newest, rising designer. His fabric designs are intricate, harmonious and timeless. Don’t miss Manzanita in the shop, and enjoy these slinks of Aviary in action. These beautiful, delicate fabrics are showing up everywhere. Here are some of our latest favorites: Bag by Jennalou, Blog, Jenna Lou Loves You, Shop, Jennalou.com Artsy Clutch by Ashley, Dogged. Upholstered Chairs by Amanda, SouleMama Ready for some of your own Dewberry sewing action? We’d love to see what you do with some of that Manzanita too. Tag your Flickr photos in the Sew, Mama, Sew Flickr Pool with the fabric name or drop us a line (beth@sewmamasew.com); we’ll stop by to “Ooh” and “Aah!” Note from Kristin:  Psst.  Dewberry even shows up in our September theme...

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September Theme

  Our readers had so many wonderful ideas for blog themes ! We went over all the suggestions and came up with a rough plan for the next year. We’re pleased to announce that the September theme is Kids’ Clothes! For a variety of reasons (back-to-school, a change in the seasons, and lightning-fast growth), little wardrobes are at the forefront of our sewing plans. We hope you’ll sew along with us!  We’re still in the early planning stages, but if you’re interested in participating, here are a few things you can do: Pattern Reviewers It goes without saying that we’ll have pattern reviews, right? If you’d like to review a pattern, send an email to beth@sewmamasew.com. (Edited.  This said kristin@, but we changed it.  If you sent it to Kristin, that is fine.  I’ve forwarded to Beth.) Please include this information: Your name The age of your child(ren) The kind of thing you’d like to sew (dress for older girl, baby pants, etc.) Your blog address (if any) We usually have many more volunteers than we have patterns to review, so please understand that we’ll be trying to find a good balance of projects for kids of a variety of ages. EDITED  Thank you!  We have plenty of reviewers!  Tutorials Rather than post just two or three tutorials on our blog, we’re going to put together a directory of tutorials...

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FFF Winners

Wow!  So many new visitors!  Welcome, everyone.  Thank you all for your kind words about the blog, my vacation and Bag Month.  For those of you on the edge of your computer chairs, anxiously awaiting the announcement of our next theme, we’ll be announcing this week.   It’s going to be a lot of fun. The winners of one yard of fabric are Jessica D, Cici, Kathy, Meredith and Julia.  Check your email. ...

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Free Fabric Friday

Before we get into the free fabric, I have to publicly thank Beth and Lauren for allowing me to go on vacation.  If you are a small business owner, or know one, you will understand that sometimes vacations just aren’t worth the stress.  You have to prepare to be gone, you worry while you’re away, and you put out fires when you get back.  Well, for the first time in 4 years, none of that!  Beth did an amazing job of handling the blog, including the awesome challenge of coordinating the Bag Month Contest.  Tallying the votes, notifying the contestants,...

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Bag Month Contest Winners: Shoulder Bag Category

How can Bag Month be… over? Our Shoulder Bag winner announcement marks the end of a fun and inspiring month full of the best bags on the block. September will be another big theme month, but in the meantime we have lots of features, interviews and fun to come. We’d like to take this one last opportunity to thank our wonderful judges, Carrie, Jennifer, Linda, Liesl and Sara. Enjoy our Shoulder Bag winners, and congrats to all! Grand Prize Winner Laced Up Linen by Lisa, Pink Lemonade Boutique Many of you fell in love with Lisa’s bag, and our judges did too. Lisa writes: Vital Stats: 16″ accross 10.5″ high and 3.5 deep at widest point, Materials: Cotton quilting fabric, Linen, dupioni silk, grommets, plastic “rings, Body and gusset are quilted, contrast binding. This bag to me is all about proportion, and interplay of pattern and materials. I love the look of the lush floral with the strong punctuation of the black and cream polka dot fabric. I’m currently fixated on linen right now (as are many people, I suppose it’s the Japanese design influence) but I know I had to include it. I felt the addition of the linen keeps the look a little more sober and not so over the top feminine, and the contrast piping highlights the curves and design of the bag. I liked the...

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Bag Month Contest Winners: ‘Other’ Category

The impressive bags keep coming and coming! You did see our winners in the Tote and Handbag categories, right? Here we have our innovative “Other” category which included messenger, backpack, makeup bags, etc. (along with wristlets and travel bags!). Our judges, as in every category, looked for the following criteria as they made their difficult decisions: Design Creativity, Fantastic Use of Fabric specific to Design, Overall Appeal/Aesthetics, Utility/Practicality and an Interesting/Good Discussion about the Bag in the Entry. There’s just one more category winner announcement to go tomorrow! Here are today’s winners: Grand Prize Winner Wizard of Oz Bag by Hope, Going Sew Crazy Hope made this travel bag for herself, learning a few things in the process. She writes: The bag pattern is my own, made from my need for a travel case for my anniversary trip. The fabric is Japanese and I fell in love with it because of the sweet characters and the fact that I love the Wizard of Oz, as do my girls. I had thought this bag up, drafted it, and then I decided to add piping to it. It was my first time doing piping and was much easier than I thought it would be. The construction was just a little tricky since I had to think through each step the first time, but I came out of it with a very...

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Bag Month Contest Winners: Handbag Category

The Handbag Category featured so many really lovely, well-made bags. There was stiff competition and our judges had to make some tough choices. The winning handbags just happen to feature some of our favorite fabric collections! We have more category announcements to come, so enjoy the handbags then check back soon! Grand Prize Winner Dotty Bag by Randi, i have to say… Our judges loved the bright, cheerful fabrics paired with classic lines in Randi’s bag. Randi writes: This handbag is made with Katie Jump Robe fabric using my own pattern. This would be perfect for a shopping trip or just a fun day out. There is a large pocket inside with a smaller side pocket that would hold a water bottle or a baby bottle, so it could be used as a diaper bag as well. I used a tutorial found in a Martha Stewart magazine to make the bias tape that I used around the curved top edges. This bag is on it’s way to a craft show this weekend where, hopefully, it will find a wonderful, new home! From the judges: Our judges loved the deliberate design in Randi’s bag and the clean look. Liesl echoed the other judges with her comment of, “Great work!” Randi wins: A $50 Gift Certificate to Sew,Mama,Sew! To see where how the Dotty Bag did at the craft show (or...

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