i seam stressed February 07 2014, 3 Comments
Happy Sewing - Shelly
imagine gnats February 06 2014, 1 Comment
Just recently Rachael informed me she is hosting a Indiegogo campaign to help raise funds to print her pattern line and I couldn't be more happy to see her patterns in print! Here is some more information from Rachel herself!
imagine gnats started as a little etsy shop, selling small sewn items to help support my family and also to give me a creative outlet in a corporate world. it's come a long way in just five years... from a hobby to a full-time job. my love of sewing and design has grown as well, and now my own sewing patterns help and inspire others to create. i am proud to have created patterns for garments that are easy to sew and easy to wear. imagine gnats patterns feature classic silhouettes with a modern twist that incorporate clever details and practical techniques currently, my patterns are all offered as printable pdfs. the money raised on indiegogo will help cover the costs of an initial run of paper patterns, which means sharing my designs with even more sewists and inspiring more people. for the cost of one pattern, you can help me reach my goal AND be one of the first to get the printed pattern of your choice. for a little bit more, you can get a full set of imagine gnats printed patterns. plus, early bird specials offer even better deals for the first contributors! my initial print run will include 500 each of my existing five garment patterns. all of the money raised will go directly to that effort. once patterns are printed, i begin the selling and distribution phase. i would love for you to tweet, share on facebook, email your friends and family... anything that will get the word out. every share helps and is so appreciated.
Tomorrow we'll be stopping by I Seam Stressed to see what Figgy fun she has in store for us!
Happy Sewing - Shelly
and so it begins!! February 04 2014, 94 Comments
26 talented bloggers & designers during the entire month of February are sewing a pattern from the Heavenly Collection! First up is the super creative and fun Sew Chibi! She's a local Portland gal with the biggest heart and two adorable little girls (and one on the way). Most recently you'll find her work in STYLO magazine featuring a tutorial on how to make a "Bumble Pocket Scarf". Thank you so much Kataryna!!
Each day stop at the next blog (just click on the blog name above) for a chance to win a Figgy's pattern!!
Here on the Figgy's Blog you can enter to win a grand prize!
A special thanks to the following prize donors!
So what's the big prize you ask?
Here's the list!
Fiskars Fabric Shears, Detail Scissors, Rotary Cutter and Extra Blades
Bernina Rolled Hem Foot & Buttonhole Cutter
$25 Gift Certifcate from Girl Charlee
A stack of gorgeous Fat Quarters from Alison Glass
Beautiful Eyelet yardage from Michael Miller
A lovely stack of Fat Quarters from Art Gallery Fabric
Susan Beal's new book "Easy Embellishment"
The Heavenly Bundle Collection from Figgy's
Well, what are you waiting for...ENTER TO WIN NOW!!
Winner will be announced March 3rd, 2014
Happy Sewing - shelly
tomorrow a feature from All Buttoned Up...a gal I adore and highly respect as a doer, giver & friend.
the heavenly tour begins February 03 2014, 2 Comments
I'm happy to announce the heavenly tour blogger list today and I can't wait to see what everyone has been making beginning tomorrow! During the tour they'll be giveaways on most if not all of the blogs and here at the Figgy's blog you can enter to win starting tomorrow for a big grand prize!!
The girl's got attitude - Figgy's winner tutorial September 28 2012, 3 Comments
Whow, this girl knows how to pose! And another 'whow' - it’s been a while but sometimes, good things just need their time! And this is a very special blog post: As you might know, the charming and talented Celina (mom of the cutie up there) of the blog petitapetitandfamily won our Figgy’s circle skirt design contest in July and with her cascade dress design. And with this win didn’t only come awesome prices – but also a feature tutorial for her winning design right here on our Figgy’s blog!
So, who is Celina? She's half British and half Moroccan, living, playing, working and raising two kids in Montreal, Quebec. She’s a childrenswear designer by trade (which certainly explains her exquisite aesthetic) who has worked in the industry before having her own kid’s label - Laila B. and her own children’s boutique – MossPink. Whow! As committed as she was to her business when she didn’t have kids, so committed she now is raising her two young children, designing, creating and blogging about her inspirations, life and projects. Hop on over to her blog and check out what she’s been up to lately. Click at the pattern sheet below to download instructions how to re-create this fashionable high-low dress.
Of course, we had a couple of questions to get to know her a little bit better:
Figgys: How long have you been sewing?
Celina: I took my first sewing class when I was 13... that was ummm 23 years ago and I've been sewing ever since!!!! But I graduated from Fashion Design in 2001 and really learned how to sew and make patterns then.
Figgy's: What are your favorite things to sew?
Celina: Anything I can upcycle is my favorite, it's always a brand new challenge getting all the pattern pieces to fit in.
Figgy's: Would you consider yourself an experimental sewer or perfectionist? And why?
Celina: Definitely a perfectionist, I think that the difference between a good piece and an amazing piece is all in the details, I pay a lot of attention to the little things and I usually spend a lot time on the finishing details.
Figgy's: What's your favorite fabric to sew with? Maybe a designer or Fabric line?
Celina: Usually I'm attracted to the color or the pattern first, then I usual go for natural fibers, whether it's woven or knit really depends on what the project is. Although, knit is always quicker and easier, I have no real preference.
Figgy's: Do you have a favorite tool that you don't want to sew without?
Celina: The seam ripper is by far my favorite tool, I guess it goes with being a perfectionist! Funny thing is I always seem to be looking for it. However, sharp scissors and an iron are a must.
Figgy's: And because we all need inspiration at the pots too - do you have a favorite go-to recipe you'd like to share?
Celina: Oh boy! Cooking is not my thing, it's not that I'm not good at it, it's just that I don't enjoy it. The one meal my whole family enjoys is my spinach quiche. Yes my kids eat spinach!
Daniela & Shelly
Sarah Jane goes Out To Sea September 18 2012, 1 Comment
Does the fabric choose the design or does design choose the fabric?
For this garment in particular there was no doubt, the fabric choose the design.
I was thrilled to have the chance to work with Sarah Jane's new line "Out to Sea" not only because I fell in love with the prints themselves but because of the wonderful fabric hand. The fabric arrived just in time for me to create something special for a very special girl "K". K's family was having a lifestyle photo shoot taken by the ever so talented local artist/photographer Tracey Freeman, so I jumped at the chance to have a few photos taken of K in her new dress.
I try not to recommend quilters cotton fabric for garments because they are "quilters" cotton and the drape can be a bit "stiff" for some garments but, in this case I say "Go For It"! The weight is light with lovely drape and the texture is so soft and perfect for little ones' delicate skin. For this dress I used the "Deep Sea Jewel" navy anchor fabric as the main fabric, the navy and white "Ahoy There" stripe for the bodice lining/skirt panels and a red ric rac under the front pleat. It is DARLING! I've been getting a lot of requests to start making ready made garments again and this is perfect line to start making again!
Happy Sewing! - Shelly
*all photos taken by Tracey Freeman of Tracey Freeman Photography
Only 2 more days left to support the Figgy's Kids Foundation. Please consider sharing the project, donating financially or donating goods. Thank you!
CRAFTSY! July 03 2012, 2 Comments
I am so very excited to announce the news about my course for Craftsy "Kids Romper Revamp". It was such a fun experience and I was able to work with some amazing and talented people. If you haven't heard about Craftsy yet then I have to say I'm a little shocked but also excited to be the one who gets to share this terrific site with you. My most favorite part about this site is that it offers all sewists who would love to take a class the chance to do so no matter where they live and also it's interactive. I get to chat with you as you take the class, I love that!
Here is a bit about my course.
During childhood, play is paramount. So whether it’s a hot summer day or a chilly winter afternoon, kid’s need to be comfy in their clothes. Like adults, kids should enjoy the way their clothes look, as well as how they fit and feel.
In Kid’s Romper Revamp, we’ll explore all kinds of useful sewing techniques, like how to properly measure a child, and adjust the pattern for a perfect custom fit. We’ll choose high-quality fabrics that are seasonally appropriate and fashionably fun, and cover the ins and outs of interfacing and how to apply it to the romper. I’ll go step-by-step through constructing the romper’s braided straps, gathering and assembling the yoke, sewing knit and woven fabrics together, and more. Then, we’ll move on to making the shorts, adding pockets, hem ties, and attaching the top and bottom to finish it off. Finally, I’ll discuss extending the romper into pants for the colder season, creating separates and making the romper into a sundress! Create 4 patterns from just 1.
In sewing for kids, I use comfortable fabrics as a platform to build from. For this class, I wanted a platform that’s as comfortable for teaching as the romper is for wearing. That’s why I chose Craftsy. With Craftsy, you have unlimited access to your classes so you can learn at your own pace, and you have the added comfort of being able to watch the lessons in brilliant high definition, rewind, make notes, ask questions, and get answers from me and your classmates. Plus, you can browse other people’s projects for inspiration, and upload pictures of your projects to get feedback and insight.
flickr round up June 26 2012, 2 Comments
elsie marley kcwc April 29 2012, 4 Comments
Have you been following along Elsie Marley's KCWC this week? I know we did! If you aren't familiar with KCWC, it is a week of committing to one hour a day of sewing just for your kiddos. I believe today was the last day but I think Meg will do this again in the Fall. It's really quite fun. The best part about KCWC for Daniela and myself was seeing all the little Figgy's garments pop up. Here are a few of our favorites:
I was able to participate a little this week and created a little Zephyr sun dress. For who else but Ofeliam of course. She was quite camera shy yesterday but she really loved it. My mom made her some purple linen bloomers (she calls them her spanx) to match. Super Cute! Fabric is a cotton lawn: London Calling by Vanessa Sorbet distributed by Robert Kaufman.
It was the perfect weight for a Spring sun dress.
Although KWCW is over for now we hope you will keep sewing a little bit everyday to create gorgeous garments for your little ones, and very soon with the new patterns too! Happy sewing!
spring & summer 2012 April 15 2012, 22 Comments
It is with great pleasure that we introduce you to our Figgy's Spring and Summer line.
Sizes: 18mo - 8/9yr
A Royal Navy term for a short period of rest and relaxation.
You have asked for boys and knit patterns and we delivered! This pattern
package is chock full of handsome and stylish staples that will easily take
you through any season and will work equally well for boys and girls!
What more could you ask for?
The pants are a modern design with a pleated flat front and our signature adjustable
back. You choose between a long leg length or a severely cute pair of
shorts. The pant is tapered through the legs and ends with a fold up that
just takes this style up a couple of notches! Pair it with this easy to make
tee or choose between a girls slim fit handkerchief hem or tunic length tee.
We promise to help elevate your sewing ability while we guide you step
by step through a professional fly zip installation and plenty of sewing
tips for wovens and knits!
The constellation of winds blowing hot air from Sahara into Europe.
As a child, growing up in Germany, Scirocco meant hot summer days and
nights. The scent of sunscreen, swimming pools, ice cream and barbecues.
It meant swimming in cool waters and hanging out with friends
along the waters edge. An incredible sense of self, freedom and a terribly
Celebrate your summer by sewing your girl(s) this beautiful airy summer
dress - with a fun and funky twist which surely will make your little one
feel extra special. We are sure she will always remember the summer
when she got this favorite dress! Opt for light weight fabrics and try it
in sophisticated solids with pretty lace accents along the front or play it
up with beautiful prints. The results will make you wish for hot summer
Mild winds blowing from the Pacific.
A pattern combo that surely fits the famous California lifestyle. Just think about your family strolling down the beach promenade in Venice Beach, your little girl skipping ahead, wearing this adorable romper or breezy sundress. Picking up a sea shell or twenty along the way. The sundress is a quick and simple sew, perfect for a beginning seamstress.
The romper however is a little more advanced as it is a little more time consuming especially using the recommended knit body/woven yoke combo. Yet with many trips and tricks sprinkled throughout the instructions, we are sure to help elevate your sewing experience.
(Please drag your mouse to the number 360p to enlarge to 720p HP, thank you)
I hope you enjoyed the little peak at our Spring & Summer line and please come back tomorrow as we begin our PRE-SALE event. Our pre-sale event includes 10% off any purchased pattern. We are scheduled to ship all patterns by May 10, 2012!!
Daniela & Shelly
binding ofelia and a giveaway! March 24 2012, 27 Comments
I promised Jen would be back with another wonderful tutorial for all of us and this time she's teaching us a wonderful way to add a gorgeous binding to the Ofelia. Pair this with her adorable tie and you have the perfect brother sister set!
The Ofelia pattern is my all time favorite little girl dress pattern. Its FOUR pieces, easy to sew, only takes a yard of fabric, is stylish and well, Amelia my daughter loves it. Which means she already has four hanging in her closest. But they are getting small and are ready to pass down. Since I've already made them with the cute ribbon down the front, I thought I’d try something new!
Digging into my scrap bins, I found the answer. Below I’ll show you how to create this super cute patchwork binding as well as how to attach it three different ways. This is also a great way to add length to a dress if you have a tall lanky girl like I do.
By no means am I the expert in binding the hem of a dress. I've learned by trial and error. The point of this tutorial and showing you three different ways is to get you motivated! To get you to sew! To look at these, and think “Hey that’s not so hard-I can do that!” Because really, that’s what it takes, a little motivation, a little confidence and a desire to try.
So do it.
Try something new today.
Make a cute dress for your little one and then make it your own with special little touches!
- An almost complete Ofelia Dress (You can win a PDF download of this!)
- Scraps of fabric measuring 1-4 inches by 5 inches
- Regular sewing materials (machine, thread, cutting mat, rotary cuter, ruler, etc)
The first method is what I most commonly see in today’s patterns. It’s great to use if you want the inside seam to be completely hidden and if you don’t have a serger.
Step One: Making the binding
- Measure the bottom of your dress to determine how long your binding should be and add ½ inch.
- With your scraps sew them together to make one long strip that equals the width of the dress (mine was around 40 inches)
Step Two: Press and Square Up
- Press your seams, which ever way suits you. (I press mine to the side-I like the texture it gives)
- Square up the binding using a ruler and a rotary cutter. I found that five inches wide on all of these worked best. I made the 6/7 size dress-adjust the binding according to the dress size and preference.
Step Three: Attach
- Press one side up a ¼ inch
- Pin the binding to the bottom of the dress raw edges together and right sides to right sides.
- Join the ends of the binding by sewing a ¼ inch seam and creating a circle. Press.
- Attach to the hem using a ¼ inch seam
Step Four: Finishing
- Press your seam down towards the binding
- Fold the biding in half so the pre pressed ¼ inch seam just covers your stitch line (photo 2)
- Pin in place and top stitch using a 1/8th inch seam allowance
This next method is my favorite and the one I call the “down and dirty”. It’s quick, easy and still looks neat and professional. I also totally thought I made it up-yeah I know, total dork…
Follow steps 1 and 2 above to make your binding.
Step One: Attaching the binding
- Create a circle by sewing your end seams together with a ¼ inch seam (do this by measuring your dress hem width and adding ½ inch)
- Fold the binding in half with wrong sides together. Press.
- Pin to the hem and stitch a ¼ seam
Step Two: Finishing
- Press the seam towards the bottom/binding
- Top stitch using an 1/8th inch seam
(Note: Some people press up and stitch above binding-do what you like best just make sure to catch the serged seam allowance in your stitch)
The last method is probably the most traditional. It’s a double fold and adds weight and some thickness to the hem. It would be good on a heavy weight fabric such as wool. It also creates a narrower hem.
Follow steps 1 and 2 in the first set of directions to create your binding.
Step One: Create the double fold and attach
- Fold the binding in half wrong sides together. Press
- Open the binding and fold one side all of the way to the center line. Press.
- Fold the other side towards the center but leave a ¼ inch gap.
- Fold in half and press. One side will be slightly wider than the other
Step Two: Attaching
- Open the binding. Pin the narrower side to the hem of the dress with right sides together matching the raw edges
- When you get to the ends, turn one end up a ¼ inch (photo 1 below)
- Place the other end on top to over lap (photo 2 below)
- Stitch in the fold line (photo 3 below)
Note: You can also create a circle by sewing the end seams together as shown in method 1 and 2
Step Three: Press and Pin
- Press the seam towards the bottom
- Fold up at center seam; this should naturally fall above the stitch line
- Press and pin in place
Step Four: Finishing
- Top stitch 1/8th inch on top of the binding on the right side of the dress
TIP: Increasing the stitch length to create a longer stitch will give the garment a more professional look
Bonus Head Band!
Remember the tie tutorial from the other day? Well, all you have to do is slip it on a headband and your little girl has a super cute bow headband. Depending on how thick the headband is, you might need to make the center tighter by sewing a ½ inch seam allowance instead of a ¼ inch.
You could also attach it to various clips! I would add a touch of hot glue to the top of the clip to secure it. Amelia only wanted them on the headband, so I just fed the clip through to demonstrate; which actually worked just fine in my hair!
Hopefully this tutorial has inspired you to sew something pretty for your little one! To get you started, Shelly & Daniela will be giving away a free PDF pattern of the Ofelia dress to one lucky winner!!! Perfect timing for this Holiday season.
Just leave a comment on this post to enter. It would be great to hear what you are working on now or what you’d like to work on soon! For an extra entry follow us on Facebook or Pintrest! Please also make sure your email is in the comment or is linked to your comment! A winner will be chosen by random on Monday!
ayashe sew along; day one February 07 2012, 4 Comments
Welcome to the first day of the sew along! If you are just now joining us please feel free to jump in at any time! Who knows, maybe you'll learn something new by just reading along? Today we are just going to cut and prepare our work for tomorrow's sewing, but first if you don't mind, I'd like to start by answering one frequently asked question.
Why is the pattern printed on both sides?
1. We print our patterns on both sides using recycled newsprint to save paper waste. Less paper also means lighter shipping which means less shipping cost for you! You can trace the pattern using tracing paper, freezer paper or any paper that is translucent.
2. Tracing the pattern allows you to use the pattern over and over again as your daughters or granddaughters grow, and they do grow fast. If you were to cut the pattern you would only get one size out of the pattern and that's not good for anyone.
3. Personal preference. Tissue paper patterns tend to rip easily and the print fades with time.
I hope this answers your question, but if you have more, please feel free to email us.
Let's get started!
For a larger view please click on the photos.
The very first thing you should do before anything else (if possible) is measure your child. Every designer and label has their own unique sizing, which means your daughter may measure to be a Figgy's size 3, but for another pattern she may be a 2. You'll find the sizing chart on the back of the pattern cover.
When preparing this sew along I noticed a tiny typo in the sizing chart. The Chest measurement for size 2/3 should read 21 - 21.5. We apologize for any confusion.
For this blouse you'll want to take a chest and waist measurement. If you have decided to make the long sleeve version, I would also measure from the shoulder to the wrist. What happens if your daughter is between sizes? I always recommend going bigger before going smaller, because tomorrow they'll probably awake .5" taller, and of course their bellies grow after every meal.
Gosh, I love it! For this blouse I chose to use a Japanese Lawn cloth by Yuwa because it's one of my favorite fabrics to work with. It will drape well and the fabric hand is perfect for my niece's sensitive skin.
Tracing the pattern.
A little lesson I learned from Sarai & Caitlin at Colette patterns is using colored pencils to trace. They really are perfect for the job. I use one color to trace the outer main pattern piece and another color for my markings.
So here we have traced all the pieces we need for our Ayashe of choice. As you can see I've decided to make the Ayashe with the Mandarin Collar and short sleeves. I am still undecided as to whether or not I'd like the drawstring or elastic at the hem. If you have already chosen to use the bias tape draw string you will need to cut bias tape from the fabric 1.5" x 35". If you have chosen the bias tape tie string collar option you will need to also cut bias tape from the fabric that is 1.5" x 30". Sarai also has one of the best bias tape tutorials I've seen so if you need a little help with the process please visit HERE.
You can use weights or pins to keep the pattern from shifting. Normally, I would use weights and my rotary cutter, but the blade broke and I had to use pins and scissors. The reason why I suggest the rotary cutter is with this lightweight of a fabric the pattern pieces can slip easily and the scissors may leave chomp like markings.
Before I begin cutting I like to snip out the triangles on the paper. It is important the you never snip in towards the seam allowance when cutting out the fabric pattern pieces. You don't want to accidently snip in too far.
Prepare the details.
Interface one of the collar pieces, this will become the Upper collar. Remember, the "bumpy" side of the interfacing faces the wrong side of the fabric. I use the fabric pattern piece I cut and not the paper piece, because I feel it gives a more accurate cut.
All cut and interfaced. I'm ready to go!
Notice I put my pattern pieces in a zip lock bag?
This is a great way to store your patterns. Just remember to label the bag then file it away.
Last step, gathers.
Sew two rows of *gathering stitches between the notches on both the back and the front pieces.
To create *gathering stitches you simply increase the stitch length to the longest length.
*To gather simply pull both bobbin threads and slide the fabric towards the opposite direction.
That's it for today!
See you tomorrow when we will stitch up the front and attach the shoulder panels and collar! Happy Sewing!