Art Gallery Rayon :: Cookie Blouson Jacket

I’m kicking things off with Art Gallery Fabric‘s Rayon Blog Hop today!  Rayon is their newest substrate and I can’t even tell you how much I luuuurve it.  I was lucky enough to get an advanced preview when April Rhodes release her Heritage Fabrics and I just am obsessed with the drape and feel of this fabric.  You can read more about it here.

When most people hear “Rayon,” they think of summery dresses or slippery nightgowns.  But in this blog hop, we were tasked to come up with other ways to use the fabric.  As fall was approaching and while I was looking through the fashion blogs, the maker light bulb went off when I started to see bomber jackets.  The 90s fashion trends are back (some I’d rather not relive…) and I thought a fun bomber made of rayon would be perfect to ride the satin and army green trends showing up on the streets right now.  Check out my Pinterest Board here to see my inspirations.

I’ve had my eye on the Cookie Blouson by Waffle Patterns for awhile now.  The design is a great feminine take  on a track jacket with the gathered sleeves and gathered body around the yokes.  Even though it’s a track style versus a bomber, I knew this pattern would give me the same feel…The only difference  is the collar.

I was in-between sizes per the measurements, but after reviewing the finished measurements, I decided to size down for a more fitted look.  With the fabric and bold pattern, this jacket would look great in heels as much as in sneakers :) I wanted to make sure it would be a great jacket to wear indoors and out.

For the right statement fabric, I chose Floret Sunkissed from the Blush fabrics collection by Dana Willard as the shell.  For the interior, I used Hex Rose from the same collection, but in quilting cotton.  AGF Solid Knit in Sahara Sun was a great complementary color to really make this jacket pop and add some fun!

While working through the jacket, it was very important to reinforce the high stress areas since rayon is so delicate.  I used Pellon 906F interfacing around all the metal zippers (due to their extra weight) and even on the exterior yokes to provide some additional structure as well.

These zipper pockets are such a great detail.  However, the pattern called for a 5″ zipper opening.  After taking 1/2″ allowance away for the zipper head and stopper, I would be left with a 4.5″ opening….which is pretty tight (and I have small hands!)  I increased the opening to 6″ for a little more room to maneuver because I HAVE to use pockets if they are there.

With the track collar, I wanted it to stand up when zipped, but it also needed to handle the weight of the metal zipper.  So I doubled up the layers of the Solid Knit jersey.  Not only does the collar stand up (mission accomplished,) but it keeps my neck extra warm!

For the construction of this jacket, I used Polyester thread throughout for the strength.  A jacket is going to experience a good bit of wear and this thread allows for a bit more give and movement.  However, I used matching Sulky Rayon Thread for all of the top-stitching to match the sheen of the fabric.  I’m pretty hooked on the look of rayon thread….it’s so beautiful!

The Cookie Blouson pattern itself, was not too difficult.  Even with the zippers, I would rate this as advanced beginner.  But then came the lining…   It was a free add-on via a few blog posts by Waffle Patterns.  The pattern designer’s first language is not English, so the translations were a bit rough.   I was pretty frustrated at some points, but made it work.  I would consider the lining at an intermediate level because you are essentially drafting your own pattern pieces.  If I would’ve known this beforehand, I probably would’ve skipped the pattern altogether because I needed a lining with a rayon shell.  But, of course, I love the final product :)


I’ve made a handful of Rayon garments, and have a few tips I’d like to share:

  • For accurate cuts, I cut on the floor for an even cutting surface…especially if you are pattern matching.  Any fabric hanging off the edge of a cutting table can pull and distort your cut.
  • Don’t be shy with fabric weights.  This points to the slippery and shifty nature of rayon.  You want an even and accurate cut.  Iron and smooth out your fabric with your fabric aligned and then set the weights down.
  • A small rotary cutter is great to cut out patterns because scissors can cause movement and shifts in your fabric as you cut.  (This doesn’t matter as much if you aren’t pattern matching.)
  • I use ultra fine pins (with the blue heads, shown above) for construction.  The traditional quilting pins (with the yellow heads) are a bit larger and can cause pulls in the fabric.  With the slippery rayon, I also use a lot more pins that I would with cotton – probably twice as many to keep my fabrics aligned together.

Project Summary:

  • Exterior Shell Fabric:  Floret Sunkissed Rayon by Dana Willard for Art Gallery Fabrics
  • Lining Fabric: Hex Rose Quilting Cotton by Dana Willard for Art Gallery Fabrics
  • Accent Knit: Sahara Sun Solid Knit by Art Gallery Fabrics
  • Pattern:  Cookie Blouson by Waffle Patterns
  • Piecing Thread:  Gutermann Polyester
  • Top-Stitching Thread: Sulky Rayon 50 wt
  • Zippers: YKK Brass separating and jeans zippers in Camel by Wawak Sewing Supplies

Don’t forget to stick around all this AND next week for the rest of the #AGFrayonbloghop.  I’m so excited to check out all of the projects alongside you!

Monday, October 9 – Cristy @loveyousew_ (you are here!)

Tuesday, October 10– Nicole @modernhandcraft

Wednesday, October 11 – Sarah @sariditty

Thursday, October 12 – Jesy @needle_ink_and_thread

Friday, October 13 – Danyella @madesewmodern

Monday, October 16 – Nichole @wildboho

Tuesday, October 17 – Cynthia @cnytz51

Wednesday, October 18 – Vicki @orchidowlquilts

Thursday, October 19 – Amanda @pinkmandarinhandmade

Friday, October 20 – Jenn @jennrossotti


I hope you have found some inspiration or just enjoy some fabric eye-candy!  Do you have a rayon project lined up or on the wishlist?  I’d love to hear what you would make.

 

Happy Sewing Friends!

Cristy

 

***This post was sponsored by Art Gallery Fabrics.  While the fabric was provided for the post, the ideas, execution and post are all my own work and words.  Please also note there are affiliate links which help run this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Feliz Pattern Blog Tour

I love Straightgrain patterns.  That’s it…’just gonna put it out there.  You know I can’t stop making girls’ dresses and An’s designs are always at the top of my list.  She creates children’s garment patterns with beautiful clean lines and they are just so chic!  You can read about my previous Nova dress here

Straightgrain patterns always includes several variations to give you a number of different styles and the Feliz is not different. You can choose from a PDF or paper pattern from her online store here.  With the pattern, you can make a tunic or dress with 6 different sleeve options, two different back closures, and two different skirts.  It’s great to get so much versatility out of one pattern and I think An’s are a great value for all which she provides.

Of course, I picked the dress version. I make all my dresses as gifts (since I’m a boy mom) and dresses count as a full outfit :) It makes me happy to work on a tiny garments (purely because of the cute factor) and my nieces are happy to get some custom clothes.

Did you see the flutter sleeve options?  SO cute!!! The soft waves are so feminine and really soften out this silhouette. It was hard for me to choose between the narrow and wide options. But I settled on the wider for just a little more arm coverage.

With the back of the Feliz dress, I knew I wanted to make a button closure. But instead of buttons, I used KAM snaps. I have quite a collection in my stash and they make for very quick dressing and undressing.


I happened to have Cotton and Steel’s yarn dyed gingham in Sky and was able to make this dress with just one yard of it!  There wasn’t enough left for lining, but Kona Snow worked in perfectly.  I’m so glad I saved the fabric from becoming a scarf (like I initially planned) because the Feliz is just the such a darling pattern and pairs well with this sweet fabric.

I think my model agrees! She would not take off this dress after our photo shoot.  Can you blame her at all?  I’m thinking I need some gingham love in my wardrobe soon…

The sizing is spot on with this pattern.  My model is a 3T for length, but is still pretty slim, so the 2T fit her well…and of course, I pre-washed all the fabric so there is no surprise shrinkage.  The dress hits her at just the right spot on the knees and is the perfect for some playtime!


I like the lift on the sleeves with a woven fabric.  It adds a little more drama :)  But if you used something lighter, like a double-gauze, it would be more draped.

I really love the versatility of this pattern and can’t wait to make a few more!  What combo would you make?

If you need even more Feliz eye-candy, please check out #felizpattern on social media and visit all the bloggers part of the blog tour:

Happy Sewing Friends!
Cristy

FREE Woodland Mushroom Quilt Block :: Fabric.com Fall Block Party

It’s Week #2 of the 9-week Fabric.com Fall Block Party and I’m ready to take you into the deep woods…  I just love this season with the air getting crisp, the foliage changing colors, and the weather is cool enough for a good long hike.  It’s so much fun to explore the wilderness, especially with my young boys.  We find so many little critters, unique leaves, and lots of different plant-life.  Our own discoveries made me think of the quintessential Woodland Mushroom.

For this design, I wanted a fun scrappy mushroom to go along with all the different colors and textures we see out in nature.  The 12.5″ x 12.5″ (unfinished) block is based mainly on half-square triangles and you will love how just a little rearraging can give your block a new look.

For the Woodland Mushroom, I stuck to the Kona party theme found here, but prints are my key to scrappiness :)  These are the fabrics I selected (from top to bottom):

As I was making the block I was thinking of all the ways I could the mushroom as decor….because my house need some help!  I thought of all the fabric signs we see in big box stores with witty sayings all bound together with living picture frames (just a piece of wood at the top and bottom.)  Then it dawned on me to use pant hangers!  I know a lot of you already use them to display blocks, but I thought I would turn it up a notch and refinish a few.

I found these two pant hangers for a total of $0.60 at my local thrift shops.  Both were blonde wood with the same nickel finish on the wire.  With a little fine sandpaper, I took the shine off the entire hanger and used materials I had around the house to refinish it.  A watered down brown acrylic craft paint gave me the “stain” and I happened to have this gorgeous hammered bronze spray paint leftover from another forgotten DIY project.  A few layers of clear coat topped it off to protect the fabric against any paint which may rub off.

The hanger makeover really makes the piece more modern with an industrial rustic feel.  It works well with this fall palette and displays my Woodland Mushroom mini perfectly!  It will be easy to change out mini’s over time and through the different seasons.

Here is the mini displayed with some upcycled “ribbon” cut from a burlap coffee bag and leftover lace from my sister’s wedding.  It is displayed on a mantle with a wreath hanger and helps to bring the random decor I had around the house together.

And if mantle or table-scapes aren’t your thing, the pant hanger make it easy to display a mini quilt on your front door.  I think quilts should be the “new” wreaths, don’t you think?  We should get on that movement!

I hope you enjoyed our walk in the woods!  To make your own Woodland Mushroom block, visit Fabric.com’s blog here.


Don’t forget to keep sewing along and follow the rest of these amazing designers and their Fall #fabricdotcomblock party patterns!

Sept 12 – Fall Geese

Kristi Schroeder – Initial K Studio – @initialkstudio

Sept 19 – Woodland Mushroom

Cristy Stuhldreher – Love You Sew – @loveyousew_ (You are here!)

Sept 26 – Mod Tartan

Jenn Rossotti – Ginger Peach Studio – @jennrossotti

Oct 3 – Time Lapse

Christopher Thompson – The Tattooed Quilter – @thetattooedquilter

Oct 10 – Double Windmill

Haley Anderson – Happiness in the Making – @happinessinthemaking

Oct 17 – Antlers

Lisa Hofmann-Maurer – Sew What You Love – @sewwhatyoulove

Oct 24 – Gather

Elise Baek – Elise & Emelie – @eliseandemelie

Oct 31 – Forest Floor

Sarah Thomas – Sariditty -@sariditty

Nov 7 – Flutter By

Nicole Young – Lillyella – @lillyellasworld

 

Happy Foraging!

Cristy

 

***This post was sponsored by Fabric.com and there are affiliate links.  The block design, instructions and post are my own original work with my own opinions.

Nova Pattern – Blog Tour

Sewing up little girls clothing is one of my favorite things to do.  I don’t have any girls of my own, but I love making them for my nieces and close friends. It’s such a nice change of pace from all the boy patterns I use and I do love “the twirl” when one of my recipients puts on her dress for the first time.  It just fills my heart!

When I make the plunge to purchase a girl’s garment pattern, it has to be versatile and timeless.  I don’t make them as often as other things and I need them to go with all different fabrics.  That’s exactly the style of Nova by Straightgrain Patterns.   It’s a beautiful no-fuss, clean design with lots of options.  The sizes go from 3m – 12 years too…Now that’s what I’m talking about!

The Nova pattern is available in both PDF and paper forms. I’m a paper person, myself, and love the color coded sizing. Many authors will give you color in the PDF but not the paper, so that was a nice surprise to find.  The pattern is also written in both English and Dutch (for any of my Danish friends out there!)

Nova consists of a classic A-line silhouette for woven fabrics.  You can change up the sleeves, the length, back closure, and even collar for a number of different looks. But what makes this pattern really special, are the pleating variations on the front and the back!  All the different pleats are just so amazing and I’m all about that extra texture!

When I received the pattern, I knew the double panel print from Magic! by Sarah Jane was going to be perfect. The parade of magical creatures is so whimsical and such a sweet look at childhood.  The simple solid pink background would really show off that honeycomb smocking.

Speaking of…can you believe this was my first time making the honeycombs?  I did have to read and re-read the instructions a few times to wrap my head around the concept.  But luckily, An had a number of great pictures AND a video tutorial to help this newbie.  I made sure to evenly mark my seams, sewed slowly for nice even pleats, and pressed well for a defined shape.  Gold thread really helped to highlight the technique and brings out the metallic details in the fabric.

With the honeycomb detail, I kept the sleeves simple with the cap option. It gives such a nice clean style and the dress can be put on and taken off easily too.

For the back, I opted for the ribbon closure. The fabric is just so sweet that only a bow could work IMO.  I was debating back and forth with ribbon color and settled on a shade that was darker than the body of the dress, but picked up in the print.  It gives the dress some balance and brings your eye up to that keyhole detail.

The Nova was SUCH a fun make. It helped to stretch my comfort level and I learned a new skill in the process…which wasn’t as hard as initially thought! This is another reason I enjoy making little girl dresses. It’s nice to work on my garment skills on a smaller scale…and for a less discriminating audience. Haha.

Project Details:

Make sure to also follow Straightgrain Patterns on Instagram for more inspiration and tutorials to help you along the way.  #novapattern #straightgrainpatterns


Check out the other participants in the Nova tour:

Sisko by MiekeBel’EtoileZowiewo Petrol & Mintsewpony Fairies, Bubbles & Co
Elizabeth LittleMaker Mountain FabricsBetter Dressed Child Just Add FabricMy Petite Sophie
Frances SuzanneI Sew BlancheLily & WoodyMy Minnie Mie
Love You Sew (you are here)- Thread Riding HoodAriane Blog


 

The Nova pattern was provided by Straightgrain Patterns as part of the blog tour.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and my very own.  

This post contains affiliate links under Project Details

Heritage and Arizona After Fabrics :: Portside Duffle

April Rhodes has done it again.  She has just dropped not one, but TWO new fabric collections with Art Gallery Fabrics.  Arizona After is a gorgeous extension of April’s inaugural Arizona line with some new prints and some recolored with soft dusty pink and blues along with some deep rust and mustard.  The color combos she puts together are always so striking.  Heritage fabrics consists of garment focused substrates…including the new RAYON.  With April’s clothing patterns, she has always been a designer who knows scale for the quilters and the garment sewist alike.  It’s the perfect collection for the me-made makers!

Beyond the fabrics, April’s inspiration for the collections is just so touching.  The way she talks about her family and memories of her father and grandmother is just pure love.  Truly awesome. I love how a lot of the designs were just a part of April’s everyday life and over time, have been permanently imprinted in her head.  To bring these images to life brings so much light to her eyes and it’s been amazing to witness it all. These fabrics are just gorgeous and I’m happy she’s shared them with all of us….because whoa, right?!?

When I was asked to make a bag for April’s Spring Quilt Market Booth, I (of course) agreed.  She has become a dear friend and I will always help her, as she has helped me in so many ways.  April asked me to make a larger duffle and suggested a quilt-as-you-go method for easy patchwork because with Market…comes some tight deadlines.  I got to immediate work, but quickly realized I had to Turn. It. Up.

All 14 quilt cottons in the Arizona After collection was used to make the Portside Duffle Bag by Grainline Studios.  It’s the perfect bag to showcase these fabrics with all that surface area.  I loved playing with all the color combos while mixing and even deconstructing, some of the prints.

Once I started to quilt with my walking-foot on the Soft and Stable, that texture just got me.  I knew I had to add more and more quilting…and change up the designs with each print. Then it dawned on me….ooooh, metallic thread would be A-mazing with this palette.  The gold really brings out the colors and I’m so happy with how it turned out. TIP: Cut a larger piece of soft and stable than the pattern requires. Quilt and then cut to size. Don’t forget to baste those edges!

Art Gallery’s textured denim in Canyon Sunset was the perfect complement to Arizona After and is a nice durable fabric for the bottom accent of the duffle bag.  On the inside, I used the Scattered Wood print and added an additional zip pocket…because we can always use some extra pockets.  I love the look of brass zippers and with the gold thread, this combo obviously had to happen.

For more texture and to turn this bag up another notch, I used hardware from ARmercantile combined with some leather from my sacred stash.  Guitar-inspired bag straps are popping up all-over the place and I just had to add that look to this duffle.  The added rivets bring out more of the brass and help round out the look.  Who says a quilted bag can’t be modern and on-trend?  I love being able to combine my love of quilting with my love of bag-making….and the gorgeous fabric definitely helps.  Thank you Arizona After for the inspo!

Make sure to check back on April’s blog and Instagram all throughout July for the up-to-date info on the Blog Tour.  Next up will be an Instagram loop on July 5th and I heard there maybe prizes involved ;)

Last, but not least, don’t forget to tag #heritagefabrics and #arizonaafterfabrics with all of your makes.  I can’t wait to see all of them!

Project Summary:

 

Fabric and pattern for the Arizona After + Heritage Blog Tour was provided.  There are affiliate links in the Project Summary.