Feb 10, 2016

A Color-Blocking Tutorial with Lucky Dragons & the Eclair Blouse

We hope that you have been enjoying all the stops on our Minshan Fabric Tour this week. This is such a fun line to work with! You have to see what Maegen from Mae & K has created her fabrics! The are a hanging work of art! It is so great to see all our friends make such fun projects to share with you all!

Today I am going to share with you one of the prints that I was not super excited about until I finally got a chance to see it, feel it, and work with it- Lucky Dragons. It comes in 3 color ways:
Dragons are not really my thing but, I thought that they would be fun for my boys and I knew that the coloration of the print would be beautiful. I was right about all of these. My boys are in love with the dragons, the print is stunning, and dragons still really are not my thing. Yet, with that being said, my middle daughter fell in love these Lucky Dragons and begged me for a new shirt. I have been wanting to color block the Eclair Blouse by Gracious Threads since it came out and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to do that. So from Lucky Dragons to Lucky you! Here is a simple tutorial on how to color block the Eclair Blouse.

Color Blocking Gracious Thread's Eclair Blouse

Eclair Blouse by Gracious Threads
Amazing Fabrics like the ones found in our SHOP!
A quilting ruler or long straight edge

So the first step is to purchase this awesome pattern from gracious Threads, download, print, tile and cut out all your pattern pieces. Once this is done you can set all the pieces aside except for the front bodice piece. I wanted to make sure that my zipper would extend through both of my color blocks, so I chose to make my cut 6.5" off the base of the armscye. Please keep in mind that I am making the size 10 length. You might need to increase or decrease this measurement depending on the size you are making. I would suggest doing such in 1/4" - 1/2" increments. Once you are happy with the size of your two color blocks - use your ruler and pencil to draw a straight cut line. Then cut along the line and write the words "must add seam allowance" on the edges of your two new pieces.
Now you can cut. I would start with the top pattern block piece, lay it on your totally amazing Lucky Dragon on Turquoise print and using your quilting ruler be sure to add your seam allowance off the bottom edge of your new pattern piece. I like 1/2" seam allowances, so that is what I used. Cut your fabric out along this line and then continue around the perimeter of your pattern piece.
 Now we need to make sure that our Lucky Dragons are also Happy Dragons.I probably pay too close attention to details that are visual. For me I needed my dragons to line up as close to perfection as possible after the pieces are sewn together. To do this you need to line up your dragons while accounting for your seam allowance. Lay the top fabric block on the bottom fabric and match up your prints- laying the top block over the bottom block. Then carefully move your top fabric up 1/2" (or your desired seam allowance. Using your ruler mark your cut lines.
 You could take the extra step of basting the two blocks together at this point before cutting along your line, to check if the dragons lineup. Or...you can just cut your line and the rest of the pattern and go for it!
 Now place the right sides of the fabrics together, pin, and stitch. Press your seams. Due to the need to run a zipper down the front of this bodice you will want your seams to be thin as possible. To do this I would suggest that you pink the raw edges then press your seams open. Lastly you will top stitch on both sides of your seam for a clean finished look.
You should now have a front bodice piece that is beautifully color-blocked and ready to become a blouse! To complete your blouse you will just follow the rest of Jessica's tutorial.

Look at those dragons! Can you see the shading in this print that creates the beautiful details of these dragons!?! It is stunning the way Lewis & Irene paid attention to little details like this to really bring this fabric to life.
Dragons may still not be my thing, but a happy daughter is at the top of my list! 
I hope that you have been inspired by my tutorial today. 
We would love to see your next color blocking project or Eclair Blouse.
 Be sure to like us on Facebook and head over to our hop to pick out your new prints!

Feb 8, 2016

Lewis & Irene Minshan Fabric Blog Tour

Hello world!  It's Leah & I am here to chat about some yummy new fabric that arrived just in time for the Chinese New Year. Minshan fabric from Lewis & Irene has arrived in our shop.  Giant pandas, Red Pandas, colorful paper lanterns, Asian Temples, bright dragons, and lush lotus flowers adorn this inspiring line created by Lewis & Irene.  Haven't heard of them?  Lewis & Irene is a small British family run fabric company that launched in 2014.  We have enjoyed the many beautiful lines they have released so far and are especially excited for Minshan.  Not only for the lovely drape, smooth feel, and unique prints, but for the worthy cause they are supporting.

Lewis & Irene are donating part of the proceeds from this fabric line to Act for Wildlife, led by Chester Zoo in the UK to help protect Giant Pandas & Red Pandas in their natural habitat. Click on their logo below to learn more about the organization
We have invited several blogger friends to play with some Minshan fabric & share their amazing projects.  Be prepared to have your socks knocked off!  And just for fun, we're having a giveaway as well when we wrap up the tour at the end of the week!  So be sure to check out everyone on the blog tour each day & then return for several opportunities to win.
Today, it's my turn and Katie is sharing hers also at Simple Life Pattern Co.

Before I had this yummy fabric in my hands (I'm not the only one who pets new fabric, right?!), I was already scheming what I would create.  My imagination jumped right to the Ani-Mazing skirt by Little Lizard Kings.  It's a high-waisted suspender skirt with a playful animal face appliqued on the front waistband.  Little Lizard King kindly provided the pattern for the tour and I am so delighted that they did because the results are exactly what I had hoped for!
While there are several faces available as part of the pattern, a panda was not included.  So I  went to work creating my own little panda face.  I sketched an oval to add the signature panda bear eye patches.  The bear/mouse ears were used from the pattern with my own stitching detail added.  I also hand-stitched the little panda mouth under the nose button.
I used Panda Temple on Slate for the main portion of the skirt & Zen Chic textured black print from my stash for the straps, back waistband & face details.  The white fabric is solid white Kona cotton, also from my stash.

I made this skirt according to her measurements & the fit is just right.  The length is perfect, right at her knee. My daughter is in love and so am I!

Thanks for stopping by to see what I did with this great fabric! Now make like a Panda and head over over to  Simple Life Pattern Co. to see what Katie made! Her look is inspired by Disney Princess but, it's not Mulan! Then tomorrow, Karly's from Paisley Roots will be showing you some sweet little origami bags that she made. The best part is that she is letting one lucky reader pick one to keep! You do not miss all the fun we will be having this, so keep an eye out for more projects, more stunning fabric, and more inspiration for your next project! Look at this amazing line up!

Jan 31, 2016

Simple Life Pattern Company 1 Year Celebration

Have you heard that the ladies of Simple Life Pattern Company are celebrating a birthday! How fun is that! Katie and I have recently become friends and I am having so much fun sewing up her patterns! She is a delight to work with and her patterns are fresh, pretty, and simple to follow. Have you tried any yet? If you have, then you know what I am talking about. If you have not- you should!! Here are a few of the new patterns, that I made, that they just released for your sewing enjoyment...

First up is the Leah's Wrap Top. I love it and more importantly, so does my daughter. We choose to make the long sleeve version in Art Gallery's Coming Home Springs Voile from Bound by April Rhodes. The voile draped perfectly with the design of this wrap around. It took us a few tries to figure out how to wrap it, but it was well worth the efforts!

Then there is Braxton's Blazer. What girl does not want a great lightweight cover for Spring! This blazer has two options for the detailed back; Narrow Tulip or Wide Open. We chose the narrow tulip for this one. We also choose the option of front ruffles. Again I used AGF, Fringe Midnight and we also mixed in E-Studio's Peppered Cotton in Fog. One of the great features of this blazer is that you can wear it inside out or outside in. Yahoo for options!

With summer just around the corner you must add the Lexi's Strappy Back Dress to your To-Do List! When I saw the pleating in the skirt I knew that I wanted to play with some horizontal stripes! I had been hoarding these two fabrics as a pair for over a year and I was delighted to finally pull them out and cut them up!

I love how the pleating allowed me to create a band of color around the bottom of the skirt. And all the straps...how can you not love pretty straps. And did I mention that there are pockets, yahoo! This is going to be a summer staple and perfect for the beach!

Head over to Simple Life Pattern Company and help Katie and her team celebrate. Happy Birthday ladies!!! Congrats on a wonderful first year- I can not wait to see what is coming next!!!

Jan 22, 2016

The Denim Studio By Art Gallery: A Modern Classic

We're back and gushing some more about one of the hottest reveals at Fall Quilt Market: Art Gallery's Denim Studio.
I love love the looks that Gemia created with the Canyon Sunset textured denim.  Simply stunning, right?!
I am excited to share my experience with this amazing line but first, how about we announce the winners of the cuts of Canyon Sunset denim (before it's hits the stores!):
Lyn Marie & Kelie McWilliams, Congratulations!  Please contact us via Facebook to send your mailing information & we'll get your prizes sent off.
Denim has so many possibilities from home decor to trendy fashion, to rough and tumble clothes for kids.  This line does not fail to impress with the beautiful array of prints, textures, weights and widths.  You can truly "feel the difference" with the quality of Art Gallery Denim Studio fabrics and we cannot wait for them to arrive in our shop soon.
Who sees denim fabric and doesn't expect to see it transformed into the classic all American pant: jeans?
Of course, I am all for 'outside the box' sewing but once I saw the beautiful array of fabrics from Art Gallery's Denim Studio line, I was drawn to the Scarlet Brick textured denim.  Fortunately for me, my son picked the exact same fabric!
Perfectly named, the Scarlet Brick boasts delicious thread texture and unique varying shades of red with a hint of grey.  Sturdy, yet soft and comfortable, this heavier weight denim makes perfect jean pants.  Yet, it is still amazing to sew with.  For my skinny kid, the Small Fry Skinny Jeans from Titchy Threads made my hopes into reality for a modern pant with a pop of style.  I gussied up the look with a sleek vest made from another favorite Art Gallery print:  Prisma Elements Marble Shadow.  The metallic on grey print really takes the textured denim up a notch in the style department.
He is just as pleased with the stylish result as I am!
This blog post was sponsored by Art Gallery Fabrics, but all opinions are my own.  We are longtime fans of their amazing fabrics and showcase many in our shop.  Be sure to check back soon to get some of your own Denim Studio fabrics!  We love to host giveaways on our Facebook page, so be sure you're following us there as well. (hint hint!)
Be sure to check out how these other talented bloggers on the tour were inspired with the Denim Studio
 January 19 Paisley Roots
January 20 Gemia at Phat Quarters
January 21 Because Of Brenna
January 22 Leah at Phat Quarters
January 25 Handmade Boy
January 26 Petit a Petit
January 27 Titchy Threads

Jan 20, 2016

Art Gallery's Denim Studio -A Perfect Fit!

Whoot -Whoot! I am so thrilled to be a part of this tour hosted by Karly of Paisley Roots, and highlighting the amazing Art Gallery and their new AG Denim Studio fabrics! I love Art Gallery fabrics! You really can feel the difference when you run your hands across the smooth surface of their vibrant cottons or watch the graceful sway of voile as your little girl twirls on a warm summer day! You can not forget the comfort of the four-way stretch found in the plush knits or the richness of their canvas prints. AND NOW...they bring us DENIM! Who would not be excited about this addition to Art Gallery!! I know I am, so here we go...
Art Gallery Fabrics' new Denim is everything that you would expect it to be! I have been busting at the seams to show you what I have done with the new Canyon Sunset Textured Denim, available in our shop soon. I was so excited when I first felt this denim. The Textured Denims are 100% cotton and have a texture that is as visually pleasing as it is comfortable to wear. I decided to make my little lady a trendy pair of slim capris for our upcoming spring! I knew that the texture in the Canyon Sunset would give the pants the luxurious yet edgy style I was looking for. I could not have been more right. You can see so many blending colors in the denim that it is truly like looking out across a canyon and into the sunset!
The textured denim has a bit of stretch to it which allowed me to make a slim fitting pant that still holds structure. This was perfect for the extra panel that I wanted to add to the middle front of the capris. The combination of beauty and durability makes Art Gallery's Denim a perfect fit!
Another stellar quality of this new fabric is that it holds up to the vibrancy of color that I have come to know and love from Art Gallery. I had so much fun digging through my stash of AG fabrics and coordinating print after print. I got to sneak a peek at Leah's textured denim too, in Scarlet Brick, and the same could be said for it. It looked amazing with every print we pulled for it! Art Gallery has a color palette that allows you to mix and match different lines for beautiful looks that are unique and stunning. Here are four different combinations that I was able to create all based on the Capris made from the Textured Denim in Canyon Sunset.

This look was created with:

Shirt Pattern is Angelica by Jilly Atlanta
Slim Capris: Self Drafted

This look was created with:

Shirt Pattern is Finn Top by Blaverry
Slim Capris: Self Drafted

This look was created with:

Shirt Pattern is Leah's Wrap Top coming soon from Simple Life Pattern Company
Slim Capris: Self Drafted

This look was created with:

Jacket Pattern is Braxton's Blazer coming soon from Simple Life Pattern Company
Slim Capris: Self Drafted

My little lady is headed into the dreaded 'Tween' years and her moods and appearance change so often as she learns more about who she is becoming. I love that each outfit that I created for her has its own look and feel. They can stand alone in uniqueness and yet make a beautiful wardrobe for this little 'tween'. AGF Denim Studio is a perfect fit for us! I had so much fun participating in this tour! AGF Denim Studio prints will be shipping soon so bee sure to check in our SHOP for your favorite prints! Not sure how to decide which you want for your own? We have you covered. Head over to Paisley Roots each day this week to see who is sharing their creations next.

I want to thank Art Gallery Fabrics for sponsoring this tour and for allowing me to take part in it. While I was provided with denim for this blog post, all opinions and creations are mine. I also want to give a shout out to all my friends who spend hours making great patterns for us all! For some good news head over to our Facebook page today because there might just be some extra Denim that we are giving away so you can try it out too! See you there.
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