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One Thimble E-Magazine Review

I have been a long-distance admirer of the One Thimble e-zine for a while. I loved the look of the Time Traveller Vest and Ranger Shorts from Issue 2. They are both in my cart as wanted items. What I love about it is the eclectic nature of patterns that show up in each issue. There are patterns for buntings, softies, adorable pants and dresses, appliques, bags and I believe the current issue also includes a woman’s skirt pattern. The magazine itself is laid out so beautifully, with bright colors and excellent photography.

When Pattern Revolution was looking around for bloggers for the One Thimble tour, I jumped at the opportunity. The current issue has an absolutely adorable pants pattern called scrappies, which I think is pure genius. I had attempted something like this before based on this tute and had completely messed up the pants. I hoard all my scraps and have long wanted a pattern like this to be a perfect blank slate for improvisation. The pros of this pattern is ofcourse the completely unique look you can get, the scraps rest against a strip along the side so the child does not feel itchy and most importantly, the waistband is a lovely knit one with options to foldover or have it lay flat. I needed to make my little guy some pajamas for winter and decided to make him a rather exotic looking one. It really does not take that long and ends up looking adorable and feels really comfy, with the slightly harem style of the crotch and the elastic waistband.

I have another 3 pairs cut out in flannel for the younger one and hope to have some special PJs for them in a couple of days.

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I also needed some lightweight jackets for those evenings when you need coverage but it does not need to be very restrictive or thick. The Bonfire jacket is simply perfect for this. I recycled some of Old Navy adult male t-shirts for this and chose a loose-fitting option for the cuff and waist hem band. Perfect for the little guy to be comfy and cosy but not excessively heavy or too warm. I turned the collar inwards so it does not bother his neck while he sleeps and we just love the result. Very Cambridge-y but all the comforts of home

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Hope you are excited about One Thimble? Do you just absolutely need to have it now? You can buy it here: One Thimble, or enter the rafflecopter below to try and win a copy free!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t miss any of the other tour stops!

Saturday 11/15: Handmade Boy
Sunday 11/16: Mimi’s Mom *rustic reindeer bunting*, Rebekah Sews
Tuesday 11/18: The Crazy Tailor, The Berry Bunch, Friends Stitched Together *bunting three ways*
Thursday 11/20: Gracious Threads *bonfire jacket*, Lady and the Gents, Shaffer Sisters *bells beach dress*

Click here to visit One Thimble.

Bundle Up Boy’s Sale

Woohoo! Guess who is on the Bundle Up blog tour? The blogger line-up on this tour reads like a veritable who’s who of the sewing world. And in the midst of all this greatness, is little old me. Grateful to have been selected and proud of the honor, I am here to present my version of two of the patterns from this incredibly versatile and eclectic bundle of patterns.

For those unaware of the Bundle Up sale, it is imperative you begin the migration from Eurasia now! The special features of this sale include well established pattern designers, 12 specifically in the current package,  who are offering their patterns at a highly discounted price. Following the sale which concludes on August 29th, the patterns can be purchased at regular price through the designer. However, you most certainly want to take advantage of this sale that enables you to build your customized bundle and save more than 50% off of the regular price, depending on the number of patterns in your bundle.

When Robin sent me the email saying that I had been selected to be part of this tour, I was at Office Depot printing out some documents towards my immigration process. Thus far, the sewing world has known me on the one hand, as someone who posts links to interesting and new patterns which are not getting the publicity they deserve. On the other hand, they are also very familiar with my late-night rants about sewing projects getting destroyed due to my overconfidence, being drunk or just overall, being completely confounded by a pattern. Thus is my space. So, imagine my surpirse when Robin actually had me join the likes of  (gasp!) Kelly Hogaboom (double gasp!) Adam West and (dying here!) CelinaKarly and Sabra. I whooped and jumped and now have all my printing privileges at Office Depot revoked.

Choosing the patterns I wanted to showcase was an incredibly difficult decision. I own patterns by most of these designers and I have loved them well and reused them. Did I need a pattern whose sheer coolness was superior or more of a basic wardrobe-building one? There are some stunners in this package that would make your boy look like Tom Cruise in Top Gun when he is on the motorbike and Kelly McGillis is waiting for him, looking smokin’ hot. And there are those that are perfect for cuddling in and reminding them that momma is and always will be their first love and then there are those, which are such great staple pieces and can be used in any weather and for any occasion. I went with the third option and boy, did I love my choices.

I picked the Greenstyle shawl collar pullover and Winter Wear Designs’ Aviator Pants. The fabric for the pullover is from the Purple Seamstress and the aviators’ fabric is from Wanderlust Fabrics.

The shawl pullover manages to look both elegant and boyish at the same time with the grownup collar being beautifully balanced out by the more boyish arm and waistbands. You can choose to use a different colored collar and really accentuate the look that way. The size range is from 2T – 16. You just cannot beat this amazing range – it is going to be something you will keep coming back to. I don’t see too many store-bought pullovers that offer this collar option for boys and I can tell you, Boys TOTALLY rock this look. I have seen this style being carried by the high-end stores at the mall and they typically tend to be expensive. Imagine, you can have this pattern for $4.50 or less and the sky is the limit. You can really dress it up if you wish. It comes with optional shoulder tabs and buttons which I omitted, but could be added to really jazz up the look. And lastly, it is Greenstyle – you know you will get a good quality final product with a great fit.

The Aviators – where do I start? They are a heaven send and the timing is simply perfect. My 3 yr old seems to be attracting all the bugs in our county and seriously, every morning, I find all kinds of bug bites all over his legs – this after checking him the previous night to make sure there are no bites, dusting his bed and covers and keeping the floors and cupboards immaculately clean. That child! Unless he is stowing away these bugs in his little pockets, there appears to be no other entry point for them in the house. So, while I try to figure out where they are coming from, I needed a pant pattern that would work both inside and outside the house. I was after sweats but did not want them to look like sweats or PJs. Enter the Aviators – they are comfy, keep bugs away and the coolness factor is incredibly high! Right from the adorable contrast triangle patches to the innovative 3D cargo pockets – I am not kidding – this is the coolest cargo pocket you will ever make, to the large and spacy front pockets and finally get this – WELT POCKETS, it is comfort and looks rolled into one – Yes, the Ryan Gosling of the pant world! Add to that, the size range is an awesome 18M – 14.

I am going to conclude with pictures as I always do

 

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Terra’s Treasures Offbeat Oxford

One of my goals when I started to sew 2 years back, was to make button-down shirts for my boys. I had some adorable ones from Old Navy, which even to this day amaze me with their level of detail. And my mom, who has an incredibly fine eye for design and color, had picked up some really cute button-down shirts and kurtas (indian shirts or tunics which might have a chinese collar or no collar at all) from this amazing store in India, FabIndia. The cuteness of button-downs on a 2-yr old toddler boy, in my opinion, is something that cannot be matched either with amazing t-shirts or rompers or any other style of top. My son wore them almost daily and wore them out in a matter of 8 months. Old Navy then stopped making those darling white button-downs with this amazing fabric that was so soft but earthy at the same time. And my mom was going broke sending me parcels from India with button-down shirts from FabIndia. So, I decided I needed to start making them myself.

The first shirt I attempted was the Sketchbook shirt from Oliver + S. People have often told me that I am an overconfident and impulsive boor and they were right on this count. The only other clothing I had stitched prior to this was the Scientific Seamstress’ Poofy Pants, which even with Carla’s impeccable instructions and diagrams, I had still managed to mess up slightly. Lets just say, that EVEN Liesl’s brilliant instructions and unambiguous techniques could not save me. That shirt still remains tucked in my large pile of to-do’s, stuck at the stage of making the burrito with the yoke and the shoulder seams, which had me horribly confused at that time. I then attempted the Bowling Shirt from the Scientific Seamstress and I am happy to say that Carla’s amazing illustrations actually enabled me to produce 2 beautifully lined bowling shirts, both of which my sons have used and neither shows any signs of wear or tear. I did end up attempting the Sketchbook shirt after this success, and am happy to say that I have since produced several beautifully made short-sleeved camp shirts which I have also gifted to some friends.

However, the long-sleeved button-down has always eluded me. I always got very confused with the placket and its placement and on the few occasions I have attempted a long-sleeved shirt, I ended up either placing the placket backwards or completely closing it altogether – this had altogether traumatized me to the extent, that I had resolved I would stick to short-sleeved shirts only. Till Terra’s Offbeat Oxford came along. Now, Terra is one of the clearest thinking designers I have come across. The way she designs her patterns and her method of explaining them is, in my opinion, among the best in the industry. I had my first experience of her patterns when I sewed up her Board shorts pattern, about 1.5 yrs back, and it is interesting that she devised that pattern that was so different and unique and ahead of its time – I have seen that particular design now become the rage among many boy-shorts pattern designers. She seems to have a certain vision of patterns that makes her come up with very unique and quirky designs. Couple that with very clear instructions and figures, and you have a designer whose patterns you keep returning to. I was actually successful in making my first long-sleeved version of a button-down shirt and now wrist plackets are no more a strange beast to me. Overall, the pattern is very well constructed, the design is unique and the instructions are again in the classic Terra-style of absolute clarity and simplicity.

The pattern itself is very unique in its offcenter button placket placement and the ability to really bring out interesting detail in the placket areas. I decided to make the body of the shirt black and accentuate certain areas of the shirt. What I ended up with was an adorable shirt, that was fairly formal and really brought out interesting features of the shirt that are normally hidden – such as the cuffs and the collar area.

10295713_10152597362451209_1927290190406355950_n 10463970_10152597362301209_5341118186855864714_n 10464224_10152597362361209_4266896253501866723_n 10470789_10152597362546209_8148420245026669754_n 10498216_10152597362226209_2745137444249613392_oI also attempted making this shirt in Madras fabric, a short-sleeved version with snaps instead of buttons, for a totally casual look and I have to say, I am completely smitten. It is adorable.

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Filles a Maman Marc shirt

It took me a while to figure out the shirt preferences for my boys. Actually, when I say boys, I really mean my 4.5 yr old. My 2.5 yr old does not really care for his shirts and will wear anything, as long as it has buttons somewhere: Think button-downs, henleys, polo shirts, etc. My 4.5 yr on the other hand, is very particular about the kind of fabric and style. It has to be minimalist without too many restrictive features, should be easy to put on and take off and hopefully, should include a cape somewhere..Now, the last requirement, I tolerate to a large extent, thanks to the excellent tutorial by Girl like the Sea. I love her innovative tutes and completely out of the box thinking. Another one of my absolute favorites by her is this tute for adding peekaboo pockets to any t-shirt.

Now, getting back to what I was saying, my 4.5 yr old has stringent requirements where his shirts are concerned. I have narrowed down his likes and overall aesthetic principle to the following: he likes to MOVE! Hence, he likes clothes that allow him the maximum potential to do that. Given this, I found that the Figgy’s Banyan tee was an excellent choice. I enhanced the t-shirt with all kinds of capes, peekaboo pockets, appliques, fabric painting, cowl neck and image transfers. For more on that, go here. I also loooove the Fishsticks Designs’  Tank Tee; It is a free pattern and as with anything from Fishsticks, has an excellent fit.

However, I am always on the lookout for new t-shirt patterns. Round necks can get a bit boring after a while. When I heard that Mel Henry of Filles a Maman was seeking testers for her new Marc pattern, I jumped at the chance. Now, I love Mel. She is just the kindest person I have met on the internet and I really like the European vibe her patterns offer. I have made her Agathe and Theo slouchies earlier and I liked how it was not your regular cargo, flat front, board-style pants/shorts. It had pleats in the front and a tapered fit near the ankles or wherever(you can also make it into capris) and best of all, they are beautifully slouchy. You can read more about it here. The only other style that came close to this was the Oliver + S  Sketchbook shorts which I have made a ton of. However, the sketchbook shorts are woven and I personally love knit shorts for the comfort it provides the boys and the speed at which I can whip one up.

Now, let me tell you when I started testing Marc, I was as usual over-confident and knowing Mel, sure that this would be an easy-to-follow pattern. I got completely drunk the night I started testing. For the uninformed, you might want to go to the FB group “PDF Pattern Sales and Promotions” and type “completely drunk” in the search field and check out my posting and tell me what you think. It sent shock waves through the sewing world and most serious testers knew I was nuts. And, I WAS……

I failed to look at the illustrations, I glossed over key markers that Mel had highlighted throughout the pattern and the craziest thing: I plowed through the entire pattern as clumsily as I could. EPIC FAILURE…..

I realized later, when I was sober, that the pattern had features that were new to me. As much as I have sewn plenty of button-downs and various styles of t-shirts, Mel had a very novel and quite a radical way of constructing her collar and placket and I was lost. I confessed to Mel that facings were my anathema and I would like to gracefully back out of the testing process. Mel agreed and things were fine. Till such time as I saw the tester pictures coming back of her new and improved design and I was amazed at how a simple t-shirt could really be taken up several notches. So, I decided to test again; This time, I drank coke and gave the babies some alcohol instead such that they would sleep through the night and not bother me (haha). And I followed her wording AND illustrations and the beautiful shirt started taking shape. When I was done, it was not with the usual “aah, that was a quick t-shirt” or “aah, wow, this t-shirt looks so cool with this reverse applique” sigh of completion that I normally experience upon sewing a t-shirt, but more like “wow, I just sewed a t-shirt which has some amazing detail and kind of looks formal like a button-down with the ease of knit”…..I simply loved the final look and I guarantee you, so will you.

The strongest aspect of this pattern has to be the very cool collar with a excellent facing construction. I have actually seen some instances of the girl version of this pattern, called Mimi, being made without the collar and with the facing on the outside for a really unique look. I see myself experimenting along those lines in the future when I would like to leave out the collar and place the facing on the outside. Speaking of which, the collar, facing and shoulder are all woven, including the hem facing – so you  can really mix and match different prints and get a shirt that is both unique and comfortable.

The Marc is on sale for the next couple of days and I would strongly encourage you to get it as soon as possible. As with all of Mel’s designs, it is not just a t-shirt or just a pair of slouchies – it is that, but with a distinctive European flair which makes you work a little, but is completely worth it.

I will leave you with some pictures. You can also look at this Flickr pool.

 

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Patterns for Pirates Jolly Roger Raglan Shirt

I recently tested a raglan shirt for an etsy seller, Patterns for Pirates.

I love everything raglan. The very first t-shirt I sewed for my son (2 years that that time) was the Sewing for Boys’ Short-sleeve Raglan Tee. I remember, even as a beginner seamstress who really struggled with knits and did not know the first thing about the stretch stitch or the ballpoint needle or the walking foot, I was still impressed with how the shirt ended up looking. It had exposed seams which really gave it a bit of an edge and the fit was slim (a little too slim; I had to go up 2 sizes for the subsequent shirts). It was simply gorgeous. I remember thinking that I needed to get this in larger sizes as even at the age of 2, I needed the 4/5 age option for my toddler. I then sewed up the Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan t-shirt, and while the fit was roomier and the construction was easy, I still preferred the exposed seams and the fitted look of the Sewing for Boys version. I think the raglan lends itself to being fitted and looks absolutely beautiful on a relatively slim and athletic child, which is how my 2 yr old was and continues to be – long and weedy. Figgys’  then came out with the Seraphic Raglan tee, which I have been ogling; the moment it goes on a sale, I will be sure to grab it. I think it is roomier than the Sewing for boys version but hey, it is Figgys’. Whats not to like?

Terra’s Treasures also has its own raglan pattern, the Streamline Tee. I own quite a few of Terra’s patterns and I know from experience, the fit is probably fantastic. I own this pattern but I am yet to make the tee. I like the look of See Kate Sew’s Recess Raglan, but then again, I am a devoted admirer of Kate’s sewing skills, so I am sure it is fabulous as well.

So, when Judy opened up her new store, Patterns for Pirates, I offered to test her raglan for my current toddler who is 2. The fit is slim, the tshirt has all kinds of cool options such as a little triangle patch at the neck, elbow pads, wrist and waist bands, 3 different sleeve lengths and the best part – goes all the way up to size 14. And Judy’s fit – it is absolutely spot on. I simply loved the look of it on my 2 yr old

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ButterBeans&ChicPeas Market Bag

I recently had the pleasure of testing the Market Bag by an Etsy seller, ButterBeans&ChicPeas. She was trying to get this tote out and I jumped at the chance because I loved its clean lines and simple construction. I am all about simple straight lines in a bag which really enable you to customize it any way you want. She wanted the bag interfaced with med-weight interfacing as also the straps. However, I opted to follow the Quilt as you go method by my hero, Elizabeth Hartman and do away with the interfacing altogether. I used duck cloth for the base and Warm and White batting and quilted the panels onto it for the front and the back. I then used an oatmeal linen for the sides (which I quilted again), base (to which I interfaced a sew-in Ultra-firm Peltex stabilizer) and interior and 1.5″ cotton webbing for the handles. I loved loved the results. The bag was sturdy without being too firm and the webbing gave the handles that casual look.

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Filles a Maman Agathe & Theo Slouchy Pants

Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with the fit on my children’s pants and shorts. Initially, I was at a loss to figure out if they were better suited for slim, fitted, skinny, baggy, etc. I personally loved the baggy cargo-style, but they were such skinny-bunnies that they were swimming in cargoes till recently. Towards this, my all time favorite shorts pattern would have to be the Oliver + S woven Sketchbook shorts. It just fits so great and the final look is always polished and refined. I think pleats work really well on my boys – it gives them the room to stretch at the waist and hip regions, but still keeps the thighs and leg regions slim (not skinny). I tried extending the Sketchbook shorts out to become pants, but was not too happy with what I had done. In that regard, I think the Figgys’ Banyan trousers with the pleated front and slim legs would be an excellent option too. My current loves in the slim-fitted pants department (no pleats) are the Blank Slate Patterns’ Clean Slate Pants and the Go To Patterns’ Tree Climber Trousers. Read my blog post about the last two here. Other great baggy options are the Oliver + S Field Trip Cargo pants, the Zonen 09 Jacob trousers, See Kate Sew’s Surfer slacks, Blank Slate’s Coastal Cargos and the soon-to-be released Kudzu Cargoes by the incredibly talented, Charming Doodle . A more formal trouser pattern that I own, but am yet to try is the Oliver + S Art Museum Trousers.

Last summer I went crazy trying to find shorts patterns that worked for these guys. I was keen on finding knit shorts patterns but not finding anything I liked, I stuck to woven and made a ton of Terra’s Treasures’ Long Beach board shorts. Theyare just the most adorable pair of shorts you will ever make. It is more work, what with the piping and the contrast panels, but so worth it in my opinion. I should have blogged about the 6 pairs I made; however, I had fallen off the blogging chart over the last year and this has not been documented. I also fell in love with Sophie’s (Cirque du Bebe) sarouels and I probably made a total of about 10 of these in both woven and knit. Since, I made those I have kind of fallen in love with the slouchy look. I might have overdone the Aladdin or harem look because at one point, my boys were wearing shorts where the crotch was at the same level as the hem line of the shorts – that was when I realized that maybe I needed a pattern that would fill this need.

I researched the whole harem/slouchy pants field quite thoroughly. I came across the Pattern Emporiums’ harem pants, Figgy’s Seraphic pants, Greenstyle’s Brassie pants, Rabbit Rabbit’s Harem pants, Fairytale Frocks and Lollipops’ harem pants and Filles Maman’s Agathe and Theo pants. I thought the Pattern Emporium was too girly, the Seraphics had not been tested on knit, the Brassies were awesome but I was not sure how long the children would like the cuffed capri look, the Rabbit Rabbit pants were excessively harem and the FF&L did not have enough of an age range and were kind of girlish. That left the Agathe and Theo pants, which I thought looked adorable but was not sure that it very suited for a boy. I wrote to Mel, the designer of the pattern, and was surprised at how amenable she was and how quick her responses. After a more thorough look at the Flickr pool of these pants, I was fully convinced that this was what I wanted and I went ahead and got it.

It might be the smartest purchase I ever made. These pants sew up like a dream and the coolest part – the pleats give it an European vibe which is an amazing blend of casual and formal. The pleats allow the pants to really stretch at the waist and the hips but still run slim along the thighs and legs. Perfect – and just what I like. These slouchies have that little bit of an extra oomph with their cleverly constructed pleats and pockets. What can I say – I love them and my overactive little 4 yr old doesn’t ever want to get out of them. The first pair I sewed up was in a cotton-polyester blend fabric on clearance. Even on that not so great fabric and in spite of my messing up the pockets and pleats, the fall is simply beautiful and is just sooooo comfortable. I mean, which 4 year old would want to get out of something as comfy as PJs? Thankfully, they don’t look like PJs, so I am fine with him wearing it to school and the park

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The second time I made them into capris and I kid you not, the 4 yr old would not take it off for 2 days

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I already have so many plans for them. A whole bunch of these as capris in soft jersey with dip-dyed Osnaburg tunics sewed in the Sailboat top pattern. I have long sought out a look like this – the casual look of the slouchies in understated soft knit coupled with the earthiness of a simple tunic in coarse  cotton or Khadi dyed in various deep colors such as rust, olive and indigo. A beautiful mesh of the European and Indian vibe. Thanks Mel, and keep the great patterns coming…

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