Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kikoi Patterns Giveaway and Petite Kids Boutique Sale!


Just to give you all a heads up, our Kikoi Patterns Giveaway ends tomorrow, July 26th at midnight CST!  Make sure you've entered for your chance to win a sewing pattern of choice from one of our newest designers, Kikoi Patterns!  We'll choose five winners, and entries are low right now, so you're chances are looking good ;)  You can enter the giveaway here.
 

Also...

We have our entire collection of Petite Kids Boutique patterns on sale for 25% off until Sunday, July 28th.  No coupon code needed, prices are already marked down :)  Here are a few of our best sellers...
 
 
 
 
 Now go shopping, enter the giveaway, and sew something magical!!
 
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Crayon Art Folio

 
Let's start off your weekend right with a fun little project the kids will love!  This week we are featuring the Crayon Art Folio from Gingercake Patterns & Design.  You'll have plenty of time to stitch it up before school starts back (I know, I know.  I don't want to think about school either.) or your late-summer vacations! 
 
The pattern is designed to hold up to 12 crayons and a 5"x 8" note pad for doodling.  I like that this pattern includes a mini version of the Crayon Art Folio that is perfect for sticking in your diaper bag or purse when you need to keep the kids quiet on the go.  I think just about any kid would love to have one of these to tote around ;) 
 
Here's the super-duper awesome review from Nicole!
 


Hello! My name is Nicole Washburn, and I chose the Crayon Art Folio pattern from Gingercake Pattern & Design to review. I have been married for 18 years (yes, I was a child bride haha!), and we have a three energetic kiddos, 9, 6, and 3 years old. My 6 year old daughter loves to bring her art supplies everywhere she goes, so I knew this would be a hit with her (and all her friends…hello birthday gift)! I would call myself an intermediate sewist. I have been sewing for about 10 years and enjoy sewing goodies for my three children and their friends, as well as household items like pillowcases and curtains.

 



The crayonfolio took about an hour and 15 minutes to cut out and construct start to finish. For the main ‘body’ of the crayonfolio, there are measurements given as a guideline in the pattern instructions as well as a two page guide to print out. The same printed pattern guide is used to create the pockets (the paper is just folded to the correct size). The straps are created by using the measurements given and either fabric or ribbon can be used. Velcro is also required. All fabric pieces require fusible interfacing and a piece of thin batting is also used. Obviously basic sewing supplies like pins, scissors and/or a rotary cutter are needed, too. If you want to embellish the crayonfolio, additional supplies like rick rack, buttons, and ball fringe can also be used.

 



The pattern was very simple to follow, and I think a beginning sewist would have little trouble. The pictures are helpful and have writing on them as well so that you know which pieces are which as you sew. I found it very helpful to refer to her finished picture on the first page of the pattern while reading the instructions. The only tricky part of the entire process was turning the entire thing right side out and topstitching. It is quite thick at this point, but my sewing machine had no trouble getting through it.  

 



 I liked that the pattern includes more than one pocket. It includes a pocket for crayons (8 crayons are shown in her pattern picture but I was able to fit 16 easily albeit tightly), and two larger pockets for paper, note cards, flashcards, or stickers. The handles of the crayonfolio can be made of grosgrain ribbon or fabric but I thought the grosgrain would be pretty flimsy, so I chose the fabric. Two long Velcro pieces keep the crayonfolio together. My daughter has been carrying the one I made around for the past day and a half, and it shows no wear at all. Nothing has fallen out, and she loves it!



She includes a link to flickr so that you can see how others have embellished their crayonfolio. The first one I made I kept pretty simple, only adding rick rack to the outer edge. To the second one I made, I used more fabrics (mostly scraps that looked fun together!) and added lots of embellishments like rick rack trim to the inner pocket and the outside fabric and decorative buttons, and my daughter loved it even more! The second one took only 45 minutes to create.

This will become our go-to birthday gift for sure! It was fun to combine different fabrics from my fabric scraps to make a truly unique item.  
 

A bonus that, at first, I didn’t realize was included is a smaller, mini crayonfolio pattern. It is about half the size of the original and holds four crayons and small pad of paper. I imagine this would be a great party favor to make for a birthday party or as a ‘keep your kids busy while waiting for food in a restaurant’ item. When I noticed the smaller version was included, it got me thinking that it would probably not be very difficult to modify the pattern and make it larger. My daughter loves her art supplies, especially her sketch pad, markers, and colored pencils which are too big for the crayonfolio, so I think I will try to make a larger version next. To personalize it, I think I will add an appliqu├ęd initial to the outside as well.

Overall I am so glad I made this pattern. It was simple to construct, easy to follow, took very little fabric (great stash buster!), and was fun to embellish and personalize. I highly recommend it!
 


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Who feels the urge to make their kids a Crayon Art Folio now?  I know I do!  My kids are coloring maniacs!  Our church is meeting in a restaurant for the time being while our new building is being finished.  That means no nursery/children's classes to send them off to.  This would be perfect to keep them entertained while they are with me for the next few weeks!  If you want to purchase this pattern, you can find it on our website for 25% off for probably the next week or so!  We'd love for you to share pictures of your finished projects over on our Facebook page! 
 
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 Pair it up!

Since the thought of perfectly-pointed crayons always makes me think of the first day of school, let's check out a few patterns that are back-to-school worthy!!
 
 
First up, for the boys (and girls!) is The DrewB Blazer from Cali Faye Collection.  This pattern comes in sizes 2T- Child 10.  Totally adorable and a perfect "transition" piece to carry your little ones from summer to fall in style.  This was designed for boys, but looks super cute on girls, too!  The best part?  It's reversible!  I love when you can knock out two outfits in one project :) 
 
 
This is the Madeline Dress from Sew Sweet Patterns.  Makes your teeth hurt it's so sweet, right?  LOVE the Peter Pan collar and those fun buttons down the front.  This would be the cutest thing to put a little girl in for her first day of pre-school or kindergarten!  You can definitely pair this with leggings as the weather starts to turn cool, and I think a precious little cardigan on top would melt my heart.  This pattern comes in sizes 12m- Girls 8.  I just love it! 
 
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 Hope you all have a great weekend!  We have a giveaway going on until July 26th if you want to check it out!  We're giving away a few patterns from one of our newest designers to join Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops, Kikoi Patterns
 
Go sew something magical!!

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Kikoi Patterns Giveaway!

 
 
Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops is so excited to have Kikoi Patterns come aboard!  Designer Susan Yankowitz is a pattern-making superstar!  She is also the designer of another pattern line called Lilly La Manch that we are just as thrilled to offer to all of you!  Her patterns mainly focus on girls' clothing such as skirts, dresses, tops, and pants.  We love her fresh, modern designs and know you will, too!!   


In her own words, Susan says, "I consider myself to be extremely fortunate, because my job, such as it is, simply entails doing what I love.  I’m lucky enough to work with an amazing team of designers and developers on making and constructing sewing patterns.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the sewing."
 
 
 
Take a little peak at just a few of the gorgeous, unique designs that Kikoi Patterns has to offer!
 
 
 
 
So, you're probably thinking you want to try a pattern or two out yourselves, right?  Well, Kikoi Patterns feels so strongly that you'll be head over heals for these patterns, that they are letting us give 5 (yes FIVE!) patterns away!  Five lucky ladies will get to try out their favorite Kikoi Pattern for free! 
 
Here's how to enter:
 
1.)  Like Kikoi Patterns on Facebook.
2.)  Head over to the website and choose your favorite Kikoi Pattern from the collection.  Come back, and leave a comment right here on the blog letting us know which pattern is your favorite and that you "liked" their Facebook page!  Simple enough, right? 
3.)  And if you want an additional (and optional) entry, follow our blog and leave a separate comment telling us whether you are following via GFC or Bloglovin'. 
 
Make sure you leave your email address so we can contact you if you win!   
 
  We'll leave the giveaway open until Friday July 26th at midnight.  Winners will be contacted/announced by July 28th. 
 
Good luck!!
 
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Lula Maxi Dress


I'm so excited to be sharing with you our newest pattern review!  We love EVERYTHING that LilyGiggle has to offer, and with maxi dresses being so popular this summer, the Lula Maxi Dress is the perfect pattern to focus on this week!  Unlike most of LilyGiggle's other patterns, the Lula Maxi Dress is designed for using woven cottons.  If you've sewn with LilyGiggle patterns before, you know upcycling is a major theme in her work, and this pattern stays true to that!  You can search out thrift stores or your grandmother's sewing room to find buttons, lace, and other trims to repurpose and add to the vintage charm of this gorgeous dress! 


While looking over the pattern, I can tell you that Beth (the lovely designer) has spelled everything out.  She even tells you how to properly tape the pattern together- it's that detailed :)  The pattern runs from sizes 2- 6.  The actual pattern pieces are nested together with all sizes on the same page, but each size is a different color to make cutting a breeze.  There are plenty of clear, color photos to accompany each step in the tutorial.  You won't run into any surprises here, ladies! 

Let's hop right in and take a look at the awesome review sent in to us by Katy M.!

 
Hi all you fellow seam queens (and kings) out there!  My name is Katy, and I'm so excited to review this "groovy" retro-inspired dress by LilyGiggle.

First, a little about my sewing background.  Though I learned how to sew when I was 8, I would consider myself more of an intermediate seamstress.  I've been sewing for my 3 children for the past 6 years and have enjoyed every minute of it.  I'm a web designer by day, but I have a small sewing side business by night focusing mainly on baby items (hooded towels, diaper bags, pillowcase dresses, burp cloths, etc.).
 
I LOVE RUFFLES!  That is what first attracted me to the Lula Maxi Dress.  It's a very simple dress, which I appreciate (that and the ruffles).  Because it is simple, it is extremely easy to embellish, and the details can easily make you look like an expert.
 
 
You will have plenty of time to embellish this dress because it can be completed in just 3 hours.  LilyGiggle gives you clear instructions on how to lay out the pattern pages using color coded dots and lines to ensure you are matching the pieces correctly.  I would recommend printing these pages on a card-stock paper to get harder edges for matching, because some of the pattern pieces will be split and will need to be taped together.

The pattern's sewing instructions are very easy to follow as well.  The pictures and instructions are perfect for beginners, but the simplicity of the pattern allows more advanced sewers to implement their own techniques and tricks.

 
The most difficult skill required in the pattern is tackled first… attaching the bottom banding of the dress.  I usually sew banding onto the front and back pieces separately and then sew the "whole" front to the "whole" back.  But I decided to go ahead and sew the banding together first and then attach to the rest of the dress as was instructed. This can be tricky if all of your pieces are not cut to the exact same width.  Make sure to double check the width of the main dress piece with the banding pieces against each other to make sure they match in width before starting.

I chose to make a size 6 for my youngest daughter.  She wears a 5/6, and this dress fits her perfectly.  There is still a little room to grow because it is fitted with elastic.  And because it is a maxi dress, the length will be accommodating as she gets taller.  She will probably get 2 years, maybe more, of wear out it.  Also, the increments between sizes on this pattern are all equal so it would be easy for me to do some math and add dimensions to this pattern to make a size 8 for my older daughter.

 
Though the pattern is perfect as is, if I made it again I would love to add a thick ruffle to bottom instead of the banding to better mimic the 70's prom dress style.  I might also run ribbon through the waist band rather than elastic and tie it with a bow.  I can picture this dress as a beautiful beach picture dress if made with whites and creams.  Simple and "flowy"… it would be beautiful on a windy day.  It would also be lovely made out of lightweight whale corduroy for fall.

As for the dress I created, the only modification I made to the pattern of the dress was that I added 3 ruched flowers instead of creating the rolled flower as instructed in the pattern.  To create a ruched flower you will cut long rectangle (the length depends on how wide or big you want the flower), fold it in half and sew a loose seam along the long cut edges. Then you will pull the bottom thread like you are making a ruffle. Pull the thread until the fabric spirals.  Shape the flower by making a ruffled "swirl" and attach to the dress by hand. I  added some vintage buttons to the center to add some pizazz.  (My daughter likes to be fancy.)
 
 
For the trim around the collar, which is optional, I used a delicate crocheted lace.  Though I used a trim, this dress would be just as beautiful with out it.

I wanted to use a very retro-colored fabric to pay homage to the era responsible for this lovely design, so I chose Robert Kaufman's "London Calling Celebration" for the main fabric. This is a very soft lawn cotton so it's easy to iron and makes for a very light and comfortable summer dress.  The paisley I used is an off-brand, but Robert Kaufman has a very similar pattern called "London Calling Vintage".  I only chose two fabrics rather than 3 as instructed by the pattern.  I simply added the yardage required for the top ruffle to the yardage required for the main part of the dress to make sure I would have enough.

 
If I could provide a helpful hint to beginners attempting this pattern, it would be to iron, iron, iron. This is a step many people skip, but this dress is very square, so missing a measurement can cause it appear as if one side is longer than the other.  Ironing is very important for keeping your edges clean and equal length. It also makes pinning much easier… and there is A LOT of pinning on this dress.

I hope you all have as much fun with this pattern as I did!  Happy… I mean GROOVY sewing!

 
Is that not jaw-dropping?  The dress, the girl, the photography are ALL gorgeous!!  (And I'm not just saying that because the little cutie is my precious niece!)  I've always admired my sis-in-law's work, but she may have just outdone herself ;) 
 
Good news for all of you!  If you want to purchase your own copy of the Lula Maxi Dress pattern and whip up a groovy dress yourself, you can head over to the website and get it for 25% off for the next few days!  Please share your photos on our Facebook page- we love to see what you all create!
 
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I thought long and hard about what to showcase in our Pair it Up section today, and decided that since Foot Loose & Fancy Free and Whimsy Couture are on sale on our website for 25% off, I'd choose a few of my favorite "retro" patterns from them so that ALL of the patterns featured on the blog today can be 25% off!  That doesn't happen often, so enjoy! 
 
 
First up is the Foot Loose & Fancy Free Sew Vintage Sunsuit and Hat.  Both the hat and sunsuit can be made to fit babies sizes 3m- 24m.  I adore a full, bubble romper on a baby- especially when ruffle bums are involved!  This pattern has 3 rows of flouncy ruffles adorning the tush, as well as two rows of flouncy ruffles decorating the chest.  Directions are given for adding optional snaps to the crotch for easy diaper changes.  Your little one will look so sweet with those squishy baby thighs showing! 
 
 
I can't think of anything more retro than this romper!  It just screams the '70's!  This is the Retro Romper from Whimsy Couture.  It comes in sizes NB- Girls 10.  And like all of Whimsy Couture's patterns, there are tons of options!  You can make these as shorts, capris, or pants, so perfect for any season!  Directions are given for adding snap tap to the crotch, for adding a ruffle to the bottom hem, and for making the ties elasticized so older girls can dress themselves!  So comfy and fun, you'll have to sew up several of these! 
 
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Let's take a second to recap... the gorgeous Lula Maxi Dress and the entire collections from Whimsy Couture and Foot Loose & Fancy Free are all 25% off on the website for the next few days.  Head on over and browse the entire sale category.
 
Go sew something magical!!
 

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Ruby Bag

 
It's time for another Sew and Tell Review!  I always get so giddy whenever someone sends in their review!  I love reading them and looking at everyone's great work.  Our customers have some serious talent!  Plus, it's a wonderful way for me to decide what I want to sew next, haha!  With so many options on the website, I get overwhelmed!  So many patterns and so little time!  (Not a bad problem to have in all actuality!) 
 
Our review today is on the Ruby Bag from Artsy-Crafty Babe.  (And I think I'm going crazy, because every time I say Ruby Bag, I think "Ruby Jean," and then I start to sing Michael Jackson's Billy Jean.  Because that makes sense?!?)  But anyways, if you enjoy making bags or would like to try your hand at one, Artsy-Crafty Babe has a lovely collection of bag patterns.  Since the Ruby Bag is being reviewed today, it will be on sale for 25% off for the next few days, which would make it a great one to start with ;) 
 
This is a really nice sized bag.  The finished dimensions are 15” wide x 13” tall x 4” deep.  It would be perfect as a diaper bag (as we'll soon see!), roomy purse, or overnight bag for a quick trip where you don't need much.  Options are provided for both a front pocket or a center panel so you can change up the look if you make it multiple times.   
 
I'm going to hand it over to Melissa of The Cutest Thing You've Ever Seen!
 
Hi, my name is Melissa Jones.  I have been married to a Marine for 15 years, and we have 3 children ages 13, 12, and 10.  I was born and raised in Oklahoma and will always call Oklahoma home.  We move about every 3 years and have lived in Hawaii, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Oklahoma, and now, Illinois.  I love to redo old furniture, paint, make jewelry, scrapbook and sew... I would say I'm an intermediate sewer.  I love making bags and children's clothing!
 
This pattern is so easy and fun to make!  I think a beginner could definitely tackle this one!  The instructions are very easy to follow and well written.  The pattern pieces are included and have to be cut out and taped together... which took me no time at all.  They are labeled perfectly for easy assembly.  It took me about 2 hours to complete the entire bag... I could whip out several of these in a day!
The pattern includes instructions for 3 different styles.  I went with the Front Pocket style and decided to make it a diaper bag/child's bag because I found this adorable fabric at Hobby Lobby and HAD to have it!  It really turned out cute.  
I did tweak it a little and added the cute ruffle on the front pocket.  It is a simple alteration and so easy.  When you get to the step in the instructions for the front pocket, that is the time to add the ruffle.  I did this by cutting a piece of fabric 40” x 6 ½” to make a 3 inch wide ruffle. Fold the fabric in half length-wise, right sides facing each other, and sew up the long side (1/4 inch seam allowance).  Turn right side out and iron seam in center back of strip.  Sew a basting stitch up the middle of strip and gather to make your ruffle.  I attached the ruffle to the front of the pocket piece by pinning in place and stitching up the middle of ruffle, and then continued with regular instructions.  I also added a snap to the inside of the bag since I didn't do a flap.  I added a magnetic snap to the lining pieces after I cut them out.  Other than that, I went right along with the directions, and it was super easy and fun to make!!
I am donating this bag to an online auction on Facebook to help with the tornado relief efforts in Oklahoma.  Check it out at www.facebook.com/hopeforok.  Have fun and make one for yourself! :)

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Thanks so much Melissa!!  The ruffle down the front was a fun addition!  One of my favorite things to do with a new pattern is think up all the different ways I could embellish it to make it all my own.  Pockets, buttons, ruffles, maybe some piping... lots of ways to play up this pattern!
 
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Now let's play Pair it Up! 
 
 
Another really fun (and practical!) bag you can sew up is the Love Your Lunch Box pattern from Gingercake Patterns & Design!  A great way to personalize your child's lunchbox for school, daycare, road trips... wherever you need a meal on-the-go!  It has side pockets, a Velcro snap, and a bonus snack bag pattern included! 
 
 
All you photographers out there will appreciate this one!  Sew up your own Padded Camera Bag!  This pattern from Blank Slate Patterns is unique way to combine your two passions- photography and sewing!  Let your personality show with a fun camera bag that you create! 
 
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Alright all you (bag) ladies, don't forget that you can purchase the Ruby Bag for 25% off right now!  Browse through the enormous collection of bag patterns we have on the website- just type "bag" into the search bar and start shopping!
 
Go sew something magical!!
   

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