Posts Tagged ‘patterns’

A girl’s world design by a lovely girl

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

I have got in my own hands a beautiful book, full of pretty pictures, girly projects, a pocket filled with every pattern on the book and in every size, and lots of colours that guarantee to make you smile.  I have a signed copy of Jennifer Paganelli’s Girl’s World.

The cover and presentation of the book says it all!

I admire Jennifer for many reasons, she is an incredible designer (something that I keep repeating to the Free Spirit UK distributor), but she is a nice to the core lady.  I follow her on Facebook and Twitter, not like a weird stalker, but as a true admirer of her work.  I can’t really put a finger on why I like it so much, maybe it is because it really shows that she and her team do everything they do with love and professionalism and that always shows.

Wouldn't be great these pillows in all sizes, from tiny small pincushions to big ones?

The book has been out for a few months already, in the UK since May if I am not mistaken, but it is not specific for summer, some of the dresses can easily be made with thicker fabrics, like the Mary’s Fancy Sash Dress.  But it is not all dresses, you can find accessories and great ideas for the home too, and not all are sewing projects, Jennifer has thrown in a lampshade and a very motivational badge, so you trully can create a girl’s world with this book.

This must be THE dress

Like every good book, it has a very sweet introduction by the author and a section to help you get started, a bit of guidance with sizing, what you will need to make your life easier, and a glossary of techniques that you will find useful not only in this book with any other sewing project.

A cheeky apron.

I already have on my list 2 projects that I want to make, an apron and a puppy, the best bit about this last one is the puppy’s name is George.  I just want to make one to call it George, since I am not allowed to have another dog, but that’s another blog post altogether.

George, my new dog.

The only down side of this book is that I am too big for the girly dresses, so I will keep sourcing patterns from Sis Boom (Jennifer’s company) until one sunny day my luck changes.

Even this brooches are adorable :)

- Lizzet xo

Girl’s World by Jennifer Paganelli is published by Chronicle Books (ISBN 978-9-8118-7444-1

It’s not over ’till it’s over

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Just a quick reminder that the January Sale is still on. There are quite a few fabrics left but I have taken lots of empty bolts to the recycling bin in the last few days.

From top to bottom: Lilly in Pink, Cafe dot in Turquoise, Slim Dandy in Pink and Kona in Zucchini

So as my mum used to say, don’t leave  for tomorrow what you can do today. Have a quick peek at the fabrics and patterns for sale, because most of them, will go back to their regular price on the 1st of February.  And once you have taken the time to browse our lovely website, check our Coming Soon section, if you fancy anything make sure that you request a re-stock notification to be the first to know when the stock arrives.

I hope to see you soon :)

Style Stitches

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Amy Butler is a lady who needs little introduction, we all have seen her fantastic fabric designs, timeless patterns, books and now even wallpaper! For this post however I am only going to concentrate on her new book Style Stitches, mainly because if I don’t I could possibly break the Guinness World Record for the longest blog post ever (and if it doesn’t exist I would be setting a very high bench mark which would be difficult to beat).

I have used Amy Butler’s patterns before and her designs are simple and perfect lines that create beautiful things, and the instructions are easy and precise which means that you can make a garment or a bag with confidence. This book is not an exception and I fully recommend it.

It has a good variety of bags and purses, to suit most tastes and skills.  Most of them have variations, almost as if she had read our minds, so before you can finish saying  “I like the Cosmo Bag but short handles would be better” you will discover that there are instructions for that, or “If the Ruffled Handbag was larger I could carry all my gym stuff” yeap youv’e guessed it there are instructions on how to do that too, she has done all the adjustments so you don’t have to fiddle with the pattern and design.  How clever is that!

The bags vary from a simple tote (with a twist of course) to a pleated clutch, to the most fantastic Take Flight Handbag/Shoulder Bag.  This last one along with the Everything Wristlet have such a beautiful vintage look that they will make you feel like Grace Kelly.

The instructions in this book have not only been written to help you sew together a bag, but to efficiently use the material and your time like a pro.  When you look through the pages you get the impression that attention was paid to every single detail.  Not only on the designs and the instructions, but also on the diagrams, the spiral book format and photos, which by the way not only show the designs in the different alternatives, but in different fabrics to help us awaken our imagination on how to create a unique one of our own.

At times like this when sewing books are being released by the dozen, we have lots to choose from and we can be picky… but if you ask me, I would certainly pick this one as a ‘must have’ for your collection.

Amy Butler’s Style Stitches is published by Chronicle Books, £19.99 (ISBN 978-0-8118-6669-9)

Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts and….

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Almost everybody that knows me will know that I am a huge fan of Martha Stewart, so when this book arrived a few days ago I knew I was on a good start.

If you are familiar with Martha Stewart’s books, The Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts follows the same great formula.  This book has been well thought out and all of the information is very well organised and structured; so well in fact that this might be one of the best sewing reference books that you will find.  For me, what makes a good reference book is not just the photos, but how easy you can find what you are looking for, this book has both, lots of cool pictures and easy to follow layout.

The book is aimed at both the newcomer and seasoned crafter alike, starting from explaining the different types of fabrics, and moving on to tips on setting up a sewing area, through to basic techniques, including hand sewing, appliqué, different types of embroidery (yes, it also includes sashiko too!), quilting, patchwork, dyeing fabric, and even printing.  It comes with a CD that includes all the patterns and templates needed for the projects in the book.  So there is no need for guessing shapes, sizes or risk of damaging the book trying to get a photocopy of a pattern!

The projects are many and varied and to be honest quite a few of them you will find on Martha Stewart’s website; but if you are a little bit like me, I much prefer having all of those instructions, tips and photos in a beautiful hard cover book.

The projects are very creative and inspiring.  Reading through the book over last few evenings I found myself saying several times in my most affirmative and almost imperative tone “yes, I am going to make this bag, after this patchwork cushion cover, and these felt book cover are just perfect Christmas presents, but first I must make this pincushion too, I need it for all this sewing (by this moment my tone has changed and I sound a bit more like I am reading a letter to Santa), and our bathroom towels would definitely look nicer if I add this little touch…OMG Japanese sashiko patterns, I have always wanted to learn…”

Of the long list of pretty things that I want to make from this book, I might only get around to making a few, but I know that time and time again I will look to this book for some inspiration and a bit of guidance too.

Well I close for now, I must get started with one of those pincushions.

Lizzet xx

Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts is published by David and Charles click here to buy it.

Reviewing: Little “Wrap” Skirt

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

As you might already know I have added to our stock Patterns by Wink Designs.  They are pretty designs for girls and what’s great is, the patterns are downloadable, so you get them straight away.  As well being very pretty they are also very easy to make.  Originally, I wanted someonelse to review them and let you know that they are what the label says.  Unfortunately it was not possible and I almost gave up until my always supportive husband asked me “why don’t you make it yourself?”.  Firstly I didn’t want to do it, because I thought my review might sound a bit too much like an advert rather that that of a non-bias critic, but I guess I will leave it for you to judge.  So please have a read, even if you are not interested in children’s patterns you are welcome to join me in my sewing projects.

Wrap skirt made using Memento and Sun Spots from Amy Butler's Love Collection

Where were we? Ah yes, Wink’s patterns.  I decided to go for the Wrap Skirt for two main reasons: 1) it says it is an easy and quick project, 2) I personally love the design.

Choosing the fabrics was an easy task, not only because I have them in my own house, but because I wanted to make something with Memento in Midnight and Suns Spots in Mint they almost jumped off the shelves.   The skirt is more of a mock wrap-skirt, so even if your child is jumping up and down the skirt won’t fall down.

After printing the instructions, I put together the pattern.  There are 2 main pieces, each one of them is made up by putting together 4 A4 sheets of paper together (this would had been much easier if I had closed the windows, I hope nobody saw me chasing the pattern around the room each time a gust of wind blew through! but nothing to blame the designer for).  Cutting the fabric would had been easier had I not been on the phone with my nan, which resulted in cutting the piece of fabric that wraps the skirt the wrong way (again, no one to blame just my lack of multitasking skills).  Instead of cutting more fabric, I decided to use what I had already cut and make a few changes, so the skirt now mirrors the original design (instead of having to tie it to your left, this one ties to the right, no big deal right?).  Which I could say shows how forgiving the pattern is should a mistake be made by the not so experienced or, as in my case, distracted maker.

Before we pass on to the sewing part I want to clarify that I have not sewn any kind of garment for 3 years; ever since I have been moving my sewing machine from one part of  the house to another but not doing anything with it.  I would also say that I am a beginner with some rough sewing skills.  Having clarified that, I feel now more comfortable  saying that it was very easy to put the skirt together.

Back of the skirt but still so not less pretty than the front.

As always, it does help if you press the fabric to get a neat finish and use the right colour of thread.  I used two because I didn’t like the navy blue thread on the mint fabric.  More importantly, reading the instructions from start to end before you start it is always a must (OK I confess, I only read them after I cut everything, but didn’t go any further until I read all the remaining steps).  Reading the instructions will not only give you a better understanding of what are you going to do, but also the way Marina (the designer) has written them, it makes you feel like she is talking to you, something that you don’t often find with many commercial patterns.

Would I recommend this pattern?  Absolutely Yes!  It took me one afternoon to make it, if I hadn’t been on the phone (or chasing the pattern around the room!) I could have done it a bit quicker.  This is the first time I print and assemble a pattern, but because the skirt is made of simple lines and it is a small garment it is much easier than you think.  I didn’t put the pocket on because I love so much the Memento fabric that I didn’t want to put anything on top.  I also used the main fabric for the ties for the same reason.  The final result was a skirt that suits a little lady but the fun contrasting spotty fabric remind us that she is still a little child, don’t you think?

I must admit that making this skirt has filled me with confidence to try sewing other things, so if you don’t have a little girl to make it for, try it anyway, the satisfaction that comes from making something like this can’t be beaten!

New designer in the house

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

I am so excited to announce that at The Fabric Loft we have a wonderful new designer whose patterns we now have available in stock.  Her name is Marina and she is the brains behind Wink Designs.  She lives in sunny Australia and loves making things for children, andit really shows!  Why not take a quick look at her blog to find out more about her, I am sure it will make you feel like part of the family and hopefully inspire you to create something truly wonderful.

We are stocking two of her patterns and they are fantastic!

The first pattern that I would like to talk about is the Wrap-Up skirt pattern.  This pattern ticks all the boxes, have a look:

- Easy enough for beginners: tick

- A quick project for advanced seamstresses: tick

- Need very little fabric from your stash (or maybe from our shop!): tick

- You can embellish the skirt to make it unique: tick

- Easy to follow instructions and helpful images: tick tick tick!!!

This pattern is just calling for a bold fabric design as Happy Butterfly from Sandi Henderson

The Petal Power Dress is just a classic with a little extra, it also includes a pattern for a flower brooch.  This again is just such a sweet design that I don’t know where to start.  I guess what I like is that you can use busy fabric designs, plain solids, stripes, linen, add applique on the front or around the bottom of the dress, just about anything to make it even prettier and perfect that a little special girl.  The brooch, well, that it is good enough even for Mum!

Such a classic design that would let you use any fabric that you (or your little one) want

Another great thing about Wink Designs patterns is that they are PDF and will be available in you account to download immediately upon payment.  You don’teven have to wait for Mr Postman to deliver them, you can start sewing straight away.  To view the PDF patterns you will need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer.  If you don’t have it, Adobe Reader can be installed for free by clicking here.

Take a look at  Wink Designs patterns and let us know what you think :)

Spring Sale!

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

We are so excited about our new shop and the weather has been fantastic that we thought we should have a sale.

We were sure to include some of your favourite designers, so you will find fabric and patterns from Amy Butler, Liberty, Patty Young, Sandi Henderson, and Tanya Whelan among others.  All of the fabrics on sale are very versatile and can be use for small or larger projects.  They can also be matched with other fabrics that we have in stock and create many adorable things.

The sale will last until end of May.  If you want to be the first to know when we have a sale subscribe to our newsletter and you will enjoy discounts only available to subscribers!