Monday, April 28, 2014

Kudzu Cargo Pants by willow & co

Oh, such a happy day today. The Kudzu Cargo Pants are ready and is now for sale in the willow & co shop. We have literally worked day and night (together with our amazing testers that turned into express testers - THANK YOU!) to get them ready, since we like a week before launch date decided to go in a different direction with the pattern. And we are soooo happy with the result and I will try to show you why in this post.

We decided to limit the fabric to woven with stretch. That way we could get the fit we wanted and not get different results depending on which fabric type was used. In certain more loose fitting garments it would not be a big deal to use one or the other but when you are talking tight fitting pants you kind of have to choose (.......we realized, ha. Sometimes you miss the obvious when you are as busy as we have been the last many months). Another lesson learned!

The Kudzu Cargo Pants come in a straight (but still slim fit) and a skinny version like you see above. Both versions can be made as shorts too.
It is designed with kids in mind and has no zippers or buttons. The waistband is a knit rib and easy to pull on and off.
It has front and back pockets plus a side cargo pocket. The long versions has knee pleats. And the pattern also has options for adding some cool diagonal seams that is screaming for some color blocking, he he.

The stretchy fabrics makes them soooo comfortable. Almost like jeggings (yikes, did I really use that word, ha). Don't get me wrong, I love jeggings but have a hard time with the actual word.

 Here you see the straight version made in the most soft and delicious stretch denim I bought at Mood Fabrics. I rolled up the hems to make them ready for spring.

The back pocket also have diagonal seam options and I could not handle the color block temptation anymore.
You can also see the rib knit in this photo. 
The pattern's tutorial shows you how to put elastic in the rib so they stay up. 

A close up of the cargo pocket. The pattern does not come with a color block option for that one so I guess you can say I did a bit of a pattern remix there.

And here you can see a full side view of these great pants.

I cannot not wait for fall so I can make them in sweatshirt fleece - YEAH!

I need these pants in your life and you are in luck because you can buy the pattern right HERE.

Please do not miss the aaaaaaamazing lookbook with all the willow & co patterns.

One last thing....don't forget that the Designer Tour starts today on willow & co's blog.
All the pattern designers present their pattern this week (two posts a day) and show their amazing testers' creations.

Thank you!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Calling All Kids!

Oh, I love this series and especially the story behind it. The lovely Alida who blogs over at Alida Makes has four kids and her youngest daughter Ellie is a bit of a cool cat (and a total cutie pie too - I have met her, oh yes I have!). She does not like ruffles, or pink or anything else very traditionally girly......aaaand a series is born. 
A series where the challenge is to make boys wear purple and pink (for example) and girls to not (okay that is the short version but I am sure you know what I mean, right!).

Since I totally prefer non pink, purple, ruffled stuff for girls this was not a hard challenge for me. THAT does not mean I did not have fun doing it. I mean who does not like to make the style they like the best. AND I still had one challenge - making something this lady would like to wear afterwards too. She can be convinced to other colors but pink and purple is probably on the top of her list. Luckily she is not as strong willed as my youngest one and was totally happy with this. Okay, the pants are a bit tight on her which is my fault completely (yeah, I guess measuring the child before sewing really is a good idea, ahem.) 

So what did I made? 
Oh, you know, I just made my BFF Olga's (Kid Approved) first pattern The Mulberry Tunic (with slight alterations) which is part of the new pattern collective Willow & Co that launches their first collection on next tuesday the 22nd of April. I knooooooooooow!!!!
AND not to forget my first pair of Titchy Thread's Small Fry Jeans. First, you might ask? Yes, well I did participate in the awesome blog tour but that was my second pair - ha, tricked ya'. Because as soon as I finished these ones I knew they were perfect for Calling All Kids and then I made another pair for the Small Fry Tour (see them HERE).

Alida Makes Presents: Calling All Kids

So what slight alterations did I do to the Mulberry Tunic? I added a bit of gathering to the lower front piece. The back already has a pleat, which I gathered instead, plus I added a bit of extra gathering. When I say 'added a bit of extra gathering' I really mean that I cut the fabric a bit wider, which I then gathered to make it fit the seam you are sewing it to. The pattern pieces are cut to fold and I simply moved it like  2.5 cm / 1 inch away from the folding line and cut.....and voila you have a slightly wider piece that can be gathered a bit more. And then I sewed two rows of elastic shirring in the sleeves to give them a bit of a feminine touch. I KNOW I was suppose to do the opposite but since this pattern is already quite masculine (but totally works for girls too) I wanted that little touch. Sooorry.

The fabric is this super thin cotton shirting (I guess?) with woven in stripes and I was planning all along for her to wear a tank top under.....or tater tot as she calls it (????)

The buttons were not my choice - and NOT because I do not love them....I mean they have red dots, what's not to love.....but I probably would have ended up with something different for this top and color.... but  Wilma comes in, sees them and well, the rest is history as they say.
Buttons from Lots of Buttons.

I love the narrow back yoke and show me a kid that does not like hoods. The pattern also have a hood-free case someone actually do have a kid to show me that does not like hoods.

I am not going to say a ton about the Small Fry Jeans except that it is an amazing pattern and you should totally go buy now! In case you actually do want to read more about them I have a post just for you right HERE.

I love this striped hmmm denim, twill...not quite sure. I bought it in Mood Fabrics during Fabric Weekend, LA. I have definitely been saving it for the right project and this was for sure it!

This is the shorts version with a little slit in the side seam.

And then little sister came by for a hug dressed in classic Evelyn attire. Some sorts of short sleeved t-short, ballet skirt and leggings (in winter we (okay, I) add (okay, insists on) a cardigan and replace the leggings with tights). She dresses herself and wear this 5 out of 7 days....the other days she wears one of the many knitted dresses I made her. NO pants. Yeah I knew she was not going to model for this series, phew that would have been an uphill project. BUT I am glad she made her way into this post anyway.

Yeah, I think we got it all covered, right!
The awesome hat is (of course) from Target and that has definitely also been saved as photo props for the right project...again...THIS was it.

Thank you SO much Alida for inviting me.

Make sure you do not miss the other amazing posts in this series. Today is last day and you can catch up on them all on Alida Makes.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cool Shoe Decorations - Tutorial.

I have been waiting to bring home this last post I did for the Sewing Rabbit back in December until spring started....choosing to do that on the longest winter ever is just bad luck I guess, ha. 
Well, it is April and officially it IS spring so here we go.

You might remember the golden wings that people put on their roller skates in the 70ies. Well, they are back and being produced by Shwings. I picked some up for Wilma at H&M who is always quick to copy trends, and I realized they are super easy to make.

I was determined to make something in this category that I have not seen before and one of the ideas I got was to use this ultra cool fluorescent vinyl. (You might remember THIS rain jacket from my participation in Project Run & Play.) You can buy the vinyl HERE.
And yes, that is star spangles I have put inside. Loose glitter would work too.
I have a mini tutorial further down for the version for velcro but the concept is the same. And most of you probably don't even need a tutorial. Pretty simple but great effect, right.

Here a pink heart version with big and small spangles inside.
Sorry, this pink vinyl is crazy hard to photograph. They are easier to see in real life.

I also made a version for shoes with velcro.
(sorry the dirty shoes but ahem no time to wash them before photo shoot).

Here comes a mini tutorial:

1) Here you can see the materials I use. I cannot draw at all so making the star was actually really hard for me, ha. Now I wonder why I did not just search for a free printable somewhere? Oh well. 
Cut two layers of vinyl, put the spangles in between and stitch the two layers together - using some sort of teflon foot (as you can see in photo 4) or rolling foot. I used a neon embroidery thread for the stitching but anything will do. You can even use normal thread and sew all the way around twice for a more visible stitch if you don't have any thicker thread on hand.
2) Now take the finished star and mark the hole for the velcro.
3) Stitch a square using the marks you just made.

I have no photo showing this but I used a sharp knife to cut out the square 1 mm from the stitch.
And you are DONE.

But this post is not done yet, woohoo.
Next up are letters.....

I chose to make my daughter's initials W and B as you can see above. But HI or YO or, well you name it! Or their age in a number on just one shoe...or on both for 10 years and up.
I used black pleather, gold eyelets and gold iron-on triangles (all supplies from Jo-Anns). And even though the iron-on triangles looks good it might not have been the best idea to put on pleather because they fall off easily because of the pleather's ultra smooth surface. Studs would have worked better! Or use some stronger glue since the pleather is not really happy to have a hot iron nearby for too long. BUT they made it through the photo shoot and here you can see the result and I am sure your head is already spinning with alternatives, right!

Last but not least I have made some pleather bows for you.

I purposely made them look sort of hand drawn and yes, one side is a bit bigger/crooked than the other for that reason. Or actually they ended up like that when I drew the bow and I decided not to correct it - what can I say, it seemed like a good idea at the time, ha. Luckily you are making your own pattern/stencil and can make them perfectly symmetrical if you prefer that, right! 

Mini tutorial below:

1) I used a textured silver and a smooth black pleather plus I added a layer of some thin batting to give the bow some structure and make it a bit more three-dimensional looking.
I simply sewed the black pleather directly on the silver and kept the seam raw (since it is pleather). The two black stitches symbolizing the knot is made by sewing with normal black thread like three times on top of each other to be more visible.

2) Sew the front and back side together - right against right. Leave an opening in the side. I made my pattern with 0.5 cm since most was going to be cut of anyway so no reason to waste material.

3) And here you can see how much I cut of the seam allowance to make sure the curves and corner are nice and smooth when I turn the bows inside out.

4) Finally I stitch all the way around the bow which both gives stability and also closes the opening in the side. And lastly the stitch works instead of an iron to flatten the seams.
Then you put four holes in...and no this crooked mess is not on purpose and should we just leave it at that, ahem. Luckily the tie bands will hide it, phew.

5) Add your preferred eyelets and you are done.

These can of course be added anywhere on the shoes, not necessary on the top the way I showed you. They would be super cute on the front of the shoe too.

Like I said...endless possibilities!

Have fun, thank you!