The wonderful Beverly from Flamingo Toes, an absolutely wonderful blog packed with creative inspiration for sewing, cooking, crafting, and home decor is giving away a copy of my book right now! Hurry on over to enter :)))
Just wanted to let you know about a few very informative reviews of Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time. These reviews really explain what the book is all about :))).
First is Elliesmom from Taking It Up a Notch. It's a really great blog full of useful tips from a very experienced sewer. She does a very thorough review of the book and she has already made a dress from it.
This is a video review from Kristin of the Yargasm podcast discussing her impressions of the book and what she wants to make from it. Her review starts at minute 30:29. I just found this podcast but it looks really fun!
This review is from the Knitmore girls podcast, an adorable mother daughter podcast about sewing and knitting, a really fun listen as well. They really explain well what the book is about, how it works and their impressions of the book. Their review begins at 47:12.
My new book is finally here available in bookstores including Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. My goal with this book stemmed from the same goal I have for all my work which is to offer sewers a good value for their money. It's why I love designing quilting fabric which is affordable compared to other fabrics and is also so very versatile as it can be used for so many things.
For this book I wanted to not simply offer sewers patterns and instructions for 5 or so dresses that I designed but instead give sewers a way to actually design their own dresses. The interchangeable bodice and skirt patterns in the book make that possible. 219 unique dresses can be made using the patterns and templates included in the book. Hundreds more can be made with the instructions for easy pattern design techniques. The book also includes a guide to fitting and altering the patterns to fit your figure.
I hope you like it :)
Free Spirit is giving away a copy right now on their fb page along with 5 yards of apparel fabric from Dena Designs. Just leave a comment there for a chance to win.
Another chance to win! I'm giving away a copy on the fb Sewing group. I think you have to be a member to leave a comment but it's a really great inspiring group so well worth joining, plus you might win a book :))
Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tanya.wendelken and the Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sewmanydresses?fref=ts find out when the next giveaway will be :)))
Just a few dresses from my new book Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time. You can create up to 219 unique dresses with the interchangeable patterns and templates included with the book. You can create hundreds more using the pattern modification techniques included in the book. Available June 16th, 2015. Available for pre order now!
This tutorial is for a gathered wrap skirt childrens size 2 to 16. It could be made to any size.
Use a 5/8" seam allowance for all sewing.
1. Measure the child’s full waist and measure from the waist to the desired length. Or use these measurements
size 2 waist 20” waist to knee 10”
size 3 waist 20.5” waist to knee 12”
size 4 waist 21” waist to knee 13”
size 5 waist 21.5” waist to knee 14”
size 6 waist 22” waist to knee 15”
size 7 waist 22.5” waist to knee 16”
size 8 waist 23” waist to knee 17”
size 9/10 waist 24” waist to knee 18”
size 11/12 waist 25” waist to knee 19”
size 13/14 waist 26” waist to knee 20”
size 15/16 waist 27” waist to knee 22”
2. Cut a width of fabric that is 3 times times the waist measurement plus 1 1/4" for the seam allowances by the length measurement plus 1 5/8".
Note: I used a long length of 45" wide fabric for this but if you have a fabric where the design is directional on the lengthwise grain then you will want to piece the skirt instead. It's best to make 3 panels (for the front back and overlap). Each panel will be the full waist measurement plus 1 1/4" for the seam allowances by the length measurement plus 1 5/8". Pin and sew the panels with right sides together and press the seam allowances open.
3. Cut a band that is 3 1/4" wide by 4 times the waist measurement (you may need to piece it if you don't have a long enough length of fabric) plus 1 1/4".
4. Press the raw edges of the sides of the skirt to the wrong side by 1/4" and again by 3/8". Pin and stitch close to the folded edge.
5. Sew two lines of basting stitches along the top of the skirt inside the 5/8" seam allowance. Do not backstitch at either end. Pull one thread to gather. If the thread breaks you'll have one more to work with. Gather the skirt until it is equal to 1 1/2 times the waist measurement. Distribute the gathers evenly.
click image to enlarge
6. Fold the band in half down its length, wrong sides together, and press a crease with your iron. Press both long raw edges to the wrong side by 5/8". Press the short ends to the wrong side by 5/8". With wrong sides together, align the raw edge of the band with the gathered edge of the skirt, with the skirt centered on the band. Pin and stitch in place.
click image to enlarge
7. Fold the band over the raw edge of the skirt. With the edges of the band folded to the wrong side, pin and stitch 1/8" from the folded edge down the length of the band on the wrong side of the skirt.
click image to enlarge
8. Measure from the side of the skirt across the waist the same measurement as the actual waist measurement. Make a 1" horizantal mark at that point, in the middle of the band, for the buttonhole.
If your machine comes with an automatic buttonhole function use that to make the buttonhole. If like my machine it doesn't here's how to make a buttonhole "manually". It's best to practice on scrap fabric first if you've never made a buttonhole before.
All basic machine button holes consist of the same thing no matter how they are achieved. Two rows of narrow tight stitching with bar tacks (stitches sewn back and forth without the fabric moving) at both ends. It’s sewn continuously without cutting the threads until the end.
You can do this without the automatic function or a special foot. Set your machine to the zig zag stitch. Set your stitch length to zero. Set your stitch width to 5. You may need to try a few different width settings to achieve the right one for your machine and the fabric your using. Make 5 or 6 bar tacks at one end of your button mark.Lift the needle. Change the stitch length to .5 and the width to 2. Start with the needle at one end of the bar tack and sew down the side of your button mark. Lift your needle and set the length back to zero and the width back to 5. Sew another 5 or 6 bar tacks. With the needle down and presser foot up turn the fabric around 180 degrees. Set the length back to .5 and the width back to 2 and sew up the other side of the mark.
Carefully cut open the fabric between the stitches with a seam ripper taking care not to cut the stitching.
9. Finish the skirt by folding and pressing the hem to the wrong side by 5/8" and again by 1". Pin and stitch close to the folded edge.
Had some fun photographing my new fabric collection Petal today. It'll be available in the fall some time. It's my first home dec collection for Free Spirit. Cotton sateen for upholstery, bedding, bags, etc. Works for structured clothing as well. These were just test shots so I wasn't paying too much attention to wrinkles and lumpy pillows but I really liked them and after all life comes with lumps and wrinkles and can still be beautiful. It's a bit more grown up then my recent fabric collections. It's for big girls I guess though I can still see some pretty holiday dresses and hats for little girls. I seem to always see a little girl somewhere in every collection. Crossing my fingers that you'll like it. Will put up some more pics soon with more of the designs.
I hate to be a pain and ask but shameless as I am I will...Would you mind terribly reviewing my book on Amazon? You don't have to have bought the book there, you can even have gotten it from the library, but if you've read the book, like it, feel like others might too and possibly have a couple minutes to review it, I just would be so extremely grateful, like seriously, totally, forever, grateful...
Even if you've just bought it and never get around to reviewing it, can I just say, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!
Everything I do, design, just "put out there", including this book, still feels like the first time I walked into that little shop in Monterey CA where I was living, with my baby girl wearing a little cloche hat I had made her, and asked in a stammering (and sweaty) way, "um, I make these hats, would you maybe want to buy them for your shop?". And every time someone says, "ok, I'll give that a try" I still feel the same way, which is to say, incredibly, sincerely just grateful...
My first fabric collection, Barefoot Roses, is back! The twelve most popular patterns and colors will be released in March. I must admit I've missed her! The fabric cycle moves so fast now and I don't get to spend as much sewing time with each collection now so it's fun to have this one back. Can't wait to sew with it which I did alot of when it was first released as you can see. Must say, it makes me nostalgic... My kids were so much smaller when it first came out. Anyway, I'm excited about it so....
-a comment letting me know you "shared" the Amazon link to my book (just click "share" under the shopping cart) on facebook, twitter, pinterest or your blog enters you 3 times (3 times greater chance). Friend me on facebook if you link there so I can confirm (you can de-friend me right after, I promise not to be upset!).
-a comment letting me know you "shared" the Amazon link to my book (just click "share" under the shopping cart) in 3 places (eg. facebook, twitter and your blog) enters you to win 10 times (ten times greater chance). Friend me on facebook if you link there so I can confirm (you can de-friend me right after, I promise not to be upset!).
-and don't forget about this "share" promotion where I'll email you a free bag pattern pdf for a link to the Amazon page for my book.Friend me on facebook if you link there so I can confirm (you can de-friend me right after, I promise not to be upset!).
The random number generator will determine the winner.
Many of you will already know Yvonne Eijkenduijn through her gorgeous blog Yvestown. She inspires so many with her perfect, spare, light, vibrant and pretty aesthetic as expressed through her decorating, home remodeling, gardening, craft and even her recipes. She has a really unique, immediately recognizable style that is completely her own, it's just Yvestown. I've been a huge fan of hers for years, and then I got the honor to work with her on my book! Many of the photos in the book were taken in her home, many by Yvonne herself. It was incredibly fun to work with her, just hang out with her and her wonderful husband Bo, and eat her seriously delicious food!! You can see more of Yvonne's inspirational style here. She's having a giveaway of my book and 2nd prize of a downloadable pattern. Just leave a comment on her blog to enter. Here's my little interview with Yvonne, questions I've been wanting to ask her for a long time, about her style, inspirations and tips...
Q. Your style is so recognizable Yvonne. Where did it come from? Has it evolved over time? How would you say it's changed over the years?
A. After reading an interview with the, then, infamous Cath Kidston I fell in love with how she used floral patterns on a fresh and modern canvas. I wanted that for my home so I made a colour scheme for myself and stuck to that. I only use white, blue, red, pink and green and it works. Even when I go shopping I stick to these colours so I instantly know what goes and what doesn't. As my house changed from a small cute home to a large scary home I had to mature my style a bit, robust and smooth lines have replaced the nursery cute.
Q. Is there a particular culture or mix of cultures that have influenced your style?
A. I love Sweden and England, both countries are largely present in my decorating style. I love the swedish philosophy of using a lot of white to let the sun in and I love all the charm of the English countryside. I try to mix that up.
Q. You mix modern, streamlined, and inexpensive Ikea pieces with older, more flea market pieces and floral patterns with such ease. It's a mix that feels so fresh and authentic. Do you have any tips for how others can make this blend work in their home?
A. I just have one rule; don't go for just cheap because eventually it will look cheap. Try to mix classic design furniture with antiques but don't go for anything heavy or frilly. As designer furniture and IKEA furniture are streamlined you'll have to streamline your antiques and flea market finds as well. Don't be scared to paint or recover anything as you can do it again if it doesn't feel right. Try to balance well and always, always customize your IKEA purchases.
Q. I love that your blogging for IKEA Live! Can you tell us a bit more about this?
A. I'm really excited about this writing opportunity as I'm a big IKEA fan and I feel strongly affiliated with their philosophy and designs. I like that I don't have to contribute a whole lot of contents as I don't want to neglect my blog. I love all the opportunities that are be given to me all thanks to me blog and the people who read it. It will always be my number one the place in the world.
Q. One thing that always amazes me about you is that you're totally unafraid to change something you've done to your home. Even when it's already gorgeous you go and change it to something gorgeous in a different way. It seems like you almost treat your home as a canvas...I really admire this as I tend to be afraid to change anything once I've got it looking pretty good. What's your philosophy about this?
A. I keep changing rooms until they are right and then I sell my home LOL. Well this seems to be my trend. I always feel I can improve a room and I will keep improving it until it's right and then I don't touch it again. In a way it's a blank canvas I can throw all my ideas and creativity at. My home is my art project.
Q. I always love your crochet designs so much. What role does crafting play in your life?
A. It's everything to me, if I haven't been making anything I get nervous. To me4 a day without craft is a day without sun.
Q. What is your favorite shade of white paint for a room?
A. All White by Farrow & Ball
Q. Best gardening tip?
A. Don't wear gardening gloves, feel the dirt.
Q. Do you have any projects coming up that you feel like sharing?
There are so many great things I'm going to do this year but I'm strictly forbidden to talk or write about them.
There are a couple of giveaways of Sew What You Love, Sugar Hill and a free project from the book I wanted to let you know about. Just leave a comment at Sewmamasew and Craft Gossip for a chance to win.
Sharing is nice, right? Share the book and receive a free bag pattern download!
Here's how. Go to Amazon.com, then click the share button on the right side of the Sew What You Love Amazon page to share it on your Facebook or Twitter account, or your blog or website. Then email firstname.lastname@example.org, let me know you shared, which pattern you'd like and your email and I'll send you the pattern download. Easy as that. The pattern choices are below.
Oh goodness, it seems a bit surreal that this thing is finally happening. It feels very weird to write that my book is actually available as of today. And, I just found out it's already been reviewed (there are a couple of other project pictures there), wow.
But as it actually is available today, despite my own disbelief, I wanted to tell you a bit about it and show some of the pictures that didn't make it into the book. The book contains almost 30 projects (the almost 30 sounds weird but depending on how you count them you could say there are 32 projects because some projects have variations that required a whole separate set of instructions. There are also some super quick and easy sidebar projects.)
The projects are divided into bags, home, children's projects including toys, bedding and clothing, and adult clothing. My goal was for the projects to simple enough for anyone to sew without being boring, to be pretty, versatile and to be really practical, in other words, projects you would really want to make and use in your every day life. There are lots of full size patterns in a nice envelope at the back of the book. I wanted the book to be really easy to use so nothing in the book needs to be enlarged.
This book was one of the most difficult and rewarding things I've ever done and at this point, out in the world as it is, all I can say is that I really, truly hope you like it...
I also just want to say thank you to my mother, Linda Whelan. She did all the technical illustrations in the book and supported me in every way possible during the writing process. I could not have done it without her. Boy, do I love my mom...
And, I really need to say thank you so much to every one who reads this blog, and those who buy my fabrics and patterns. None of this would have happened without you, and I'm very, very grateful to you every day. Thank you, like seriously, just thank you for the support and kindness you've given me in the last few years...
To celebrate the release of the book I'm giving away 3 downloadable patterns to anyone who buys the book in the next week. Scroll down to the bottom to see the patterns. I'll be explaining how this will work in the next post.
Below are pictures of some of the projects from the book. These pictures didn't work for one reason or another (I took like 3000 or something) but the projects are the same as in the book.
I love this picture of the Big Easy Sling project (a great big reversible bag, super easy to make) but it was too dark in the foreground, too light in the background and wouldn't have printed well.
I love this picture of the box ottoman taken in wonderful Yvonne's gorgeous house, the prettiest house I've ever seen (owned by one of the loveliest people I've ever met) and the setting for many of the pictures in the book. This is just a variation on a baby blocks project in the kids section of the book but I wanted to present a really easy method to make blocks to any size so they could be used as fun squishy seating for a kids room.
My little Ava girl wearing the Juliette blouse project that can be made with short or long sleeves, as dress, or with shirring at the bodice or any combination of these. I wanted to provide a simple pattern the could be used to make lots of variations. This picture was a bit dark and the shirt a bit too washed out to use for the book.
Ok, I know the dress is a bit short!! Goodness, it looks like an ice skating costume or something. It's the Chloe dress, super easy and versatile with a fitted front and shirred back to give a great fit that's also comfortable. Basically, I was rushing to try to catch the light (trying to catch light in Belgium in the winter is not easy and something I was constantly in a panic about while trying to take the pictures for this book) and instead of trying the dress on the model and then carefully pinning it to the correct length I just held it up to her, guestimated, cut and hemmed it. Um, oops. And, to make matters worse the skirt is wrinkled, ugh. We did use another version of this picture in the book, cropped above the hem...
That's a bit better, the skirt length that is. Same dress as above, the Chloe strapless. I do give instructions for straps though as an option. I think this is really classic, feminine silhouette and could be made, depending on the fabric for so many things from a picnic to holiday party. I had originally wanted to make each project in a variety of fabrics to show versatility but there just was not enough time darn it. So, I indulged in some silly and sloppy photoshopping this morning. I went sort of innocent sweet with my original grey dot fabric but I'd love to see this dress made in black with a big red rose at the waist....
This one is the Every Day Tunic. I didn't time it but it is extremely quick and easy to make. I really wanted to include some knit projects in the book because knit is so extremely practical and comfortable. I think this picture is quite lovely but there are a bunch of problems with lighting and focus, ugh again!! There's a good one in the book though.
This is a picture from the actual book of the Go-To Top or Dress. The reviewer I mentioned above had it up so figured why not share it here. Again, super simple to make!
And finally, these are the three downloadable patterns I'll be giving away to anyone who buys the book this week. More details on that in the next post.
My mother, Linda Whelan, makes the cutest Christmas things. Stockings, tags, ornaments all made with a combination of new and vintage fabrics. Check out her etsy store Xmas Muse if you're looking for sweet gifts or decorations for Christmas.
It's been a long while since I had a giveaway, too long. I just received the my actual book, bound and everything!!!, this week and have been over the moon. I wanted to celebrate with a giveaway of 24 fat quarters of my new fabric collection Sugar Hill and a signed copy of my book, Sew What You Love (which is, btw, available for pre-order). Both may take a while to get to you though since neither have yet been officially released. I think sometime in December the winner will be receiving them. Just leave a comment for a chance to win and celebrate with me!!!
I see a huge amount of traffic coming to this post from tumbler and I couldn't resist letting people know that in the next post I have a giveaway of my new fabric collection and new book going on right now. I'd love you to enter!! Just leave a comment in the next post for a chance to win. Thanks for stopping by!!
OK, here's the original skirt tutorial post:
Here's the tutorial I mentioned in the last post. This is another great and simple way to make a classic pleated skirt, this time a wrap. It's really just like making a very wide pleated apron. These are great for kids because the wrap detail means it will fit for a while. This tutorial shows how to make it to any size. Here goes:
tape measure or long string and ruler pencil iron pins use 1/4 inch seam allowances fabric amounts depend on measurements of the wearer
1. Figure the skirt width. Measure the wearers waist using a tape measure or long string and a ruler. Multiply that number by 2.66, round to the nearest half inch, and then add 8 (for a 6 inch overlap and 2 inch seam allowance). Add 8" to the waist measurement and then multiply by 2.66.
2. Figure the length of the waistband/ties by adding 21 inches to the final skirt width by 2.5" wide. If you need to, It's fine to piece two fabrics together along the short side to achieve the correct length though I wouldn't piece more then two fabrics because you'll get too many noticeable seams.
3. Figure the skirt length. Measure from waist to where you want the skirt to fall. Add 1.25" for hem and seam allowance.
4. Cut your fabric according to these measurements.
5. Make the pleats. First hem the short edges of the skirt. Fold the raw edges to the wrong side by 1/2", press, repeat and topstitch. Along the top raw edge of your fabric use a pencil to make marks 1.5" apart. Use an iron to press pleats in alternating directions at every 1.5" mark and pin in place.
6. Attach the skirt band/tie. With right sides facing place the band/tie, off center so that it will be about 8" longer on one side then the other, on top of the top (pleated) edge of the skirt aligning raw edges. Pin and sew the band/tie to the skirt. Press the raw edge of the band/tie to the wrong side by 1/4" down the entire length. Press the raw edges of the short sides of the ties to the wrong side by 1/2". Fold the band over so that the 1/4" pressed fold covers the raw edges of the seam on the wrong side of the skirt and pin. You are essentially using the band as you would seam binding. Starting in the middle of the skirt, topstitch very close to the folded edge of the the band on the wrong side of the skirt to the end of one tie. Repeat. Press the raw edge of the bottom of the skirt to the wrong side by 1/2". Repeat. Pin and sew to hem. Press the entire skirt to emphasize pleats and get a crisp edge on the top edge of the band.
There seems to be a theme emerging these last few posts. I've got pleats on the brain obvously. I love the design of this skirt because it's classic, versatile, super easy to make, can be made to any size and because it's a wrap skirt it will fit a little girl for a couple of years. I'll have a tutorial up soon for this and in addition to the clutch with the pleating detail, I have yet one more tutorial in my mind for a pleated skirt made from outgrown kids leggings. I think I'll give pleats a rest at that point, for a while anyway.
I recently made two wonderful discoveries when the lovely Natalie Osborn, an editor from Crafts Beautiful Magazine, www.crafts-beautiful.com contacted me to let me know she had used my fabric for a lampshade workshop at the beautiful crafting venue Homemade London and had featured the experience in an article for the magazine. I'm a fan of anything that encourages others to explore and express their creativity in new ways and Crafts Beautiful really does that with lots of ideas and inspiration for papercraft, sewing, and jewelry crafting to name a few. I'll be working with Crafts Beautiful on a couple of exciting things in the next few months which I'm thrilled about and as for Homemade London I love the idea of this place. A beautiful environment to learn and craft lots of different kinds of things in one space. I wonder if this is a trend?? I haven't seen anything like it up till now and I'm just loving the idea.
I'll have another tutorial up for a cute little clutch soon. I'm packed with creative energy lately. I'd felt a bit sapped of it for a few months after the book was finished. Suddenly though so many projects are coming to mind that I want to share...
Hi There! I'm Tanya. I blog here about my life and my work as an author, fabric, product and sewing pattern designer. My fabrics, scrap booking products, paper products and sewing patterns are available globally. My second book for Random House, Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time includes interchangeable patterns to create 219 unique dresses. It will be released June 16th, 2015. Thank you for coming by!