Saturday Pattern Sharing 4/16/11

Five years ago when pregnant with Big Girl, we never found out what we were having prior to delivery; the same was true with Baby Girl as well.  All of our nursery stuff from before was done in blue, green and yellow and was very gender neutral.  I had kept almost everything from the first baby to use with other children.  With having so much on hand I didn’t want to make a bunch of stuff that wouldn’t be used often.  I figured it would be better for me to wait and I could make stuff for the baby as he/she grew up.

There was only one baby-related sewing project that I completed before Baby Girl made her appearance.   A Heirloom Cut Chenille Baby Blanket, using the tutorial from Aesthetic Nest.

Here’s my version:

All in all, it was a fairly easy blanket to make.  I took longer than the 4 hours Anneliese said it took her to sew all the diagonal seams but I will admit that I don’t sew very quickly sometimes.  Especially when pregnant and needing to get up for frequent breaks.

Two tips though — spend the money on an Olfa Chenille Cutter if you can (it makes the project SO much simpler) and make sure to sew on a diagonal.  Or if you want to sew vertically or horizontally, make sure to turn the flannel so it’s on the bias or you’ll end up with shreds of fabric after washing.  A friend of mine learned this the hard way.

Happy Sewing!

Fabric Reference Cards

I was flipping through my latest copy of  Sew News the other day when I came across an ad that caught my eye.  It was for a handy set of reference cards to help you estimate how much fabric  to buy for patterns.  What a great idea!



  • Each plastic card is the size and thickness of a credit card. The set of 6 cards is held together with a spiral ring. There is a title card, and then separate cards for dresses, skirts, pants, jackets and tops.
  • The main table on the front of each card lists minimum, average and maximum fabric requirements, broken down by clothes size and fabric width. The minimum is the smallest amount of fabric that was called for by any of the hundreds of patterns that were used to build this table. The maximum is the largest amount of fabric that was called for by any of those patterns. And the average is the average amount of fabric. Aside from the choice between minimum, average and maximum, you use this table pretty much like the table on the back of any pattern envelope.
  • Also on the front of the card, the “Safety Margin” table helps you decide how much (if any) to round up from the average number printed in the main table. How safe do you want to be? To have enough fabric for about 75% of the pants patterns out there, you only need to add 1/4 of a yard to your average, but if you want to cover 75% of the dress patterns, you need to add 1/2 yard.
  • Finally, the sketches on the back of each card are designed to give you an idea of what type of outfit you could make with the minimum, average or maximum amount of fabric listed in the table. The 2 average sketches (and 2 mins on the pants card) are just different styles with the same amount of fabric. The 2 maximum sketches are different – one shows the largest outfit for narrower fabric and the other shows the largest outfit for wider fabric. The dotted lines represent shoulders, waist, hips and knees. Look for trade-offs between length and fullness.

Right now there are only 2 sets of reference cards available for purchase — Women’s Clothes and Plus Sizes.  I can’t wait until  the Children’s set is ready for sale!

In the Press

I mentioned that Baby Girl was born shortly after midnight on New Year’s (January 1st).  What I didn’t mention was that it made her the official New Year’s Baby for the area and a little more than 12 hours after an emergency c-section I was talking to a hospital room full of media people.  Yeah, that was LOTS of fun.

The news reporter from the local paper was talking to my husband and I about our professions as he gathered information for the article on Baby Girl.  It was brought up that I had made the transition –after being laid off– from working as a research scientist for the local University to running Stitch To Stitch and sewing children’s clothing.  He told us that the paper was interested in doing a story on local businesses that were started in response to economic downturn and asked if I’d be interested in being interviewed as part of the story.  I agreed and whole heartedly thought nothing would come of it.

Fast forward 2 weeks — my phone rings with a local number I didn’t recognize.  It was another reporter from the paper asking if I was still interested in talking to him about STS.  I agreed yet again (this time to being interviewed in the privacy of my home, after showering and dressing in something nicer than a hospital gown) and spent the next two nights frantically organizing the remaining chaos in my sewing room.  I had been in the midst of organizing when my water broke on New Year’s Eve and much of the newly painted room was still stacked in precarious piles.

After the interview, I was told the story *should* run in Sunday’s paper.  Little did I know what I had in store!  I stopped dead in my tracks that Sunday morning (January 23) when I saw this sitting on top of the stacks of papers…



It’s hard to see your face taking up that much space on the front page.  Even if you do *like* the picture.  😉

Favorite (Non-Etsy) Fabric Shops

Unfortunately, I live in a small(er) town and our selection of local fabric stores is incredibly limited.  So when searching for cute new fabrics to use for STS projects I turn to the internet.

Here are some of my favorite places to buy fabric from online.




And of course, I’m also scouring my favorite Etsy shops but I’ll post those in another post.  What are some of YOUR favorite online fabric stores?

Giveaway by Simple Jesstures on Etsy

One of my most fabulous IRL friends has combined her love of baking and photography into what is sure to be an awesome business adventure!

Welcome, Simple Jesstures, to the world of Etsy!

Her store is offering the following:

Cupcake Kits

The kit includes a gable box that holds 6 regular sized cupcakes, 12 coordinating greaseproof cupcake liners, 12 white cupcake liners, decorative thin cut parchment for the bottom and a recipe card. Two styles of large market trays (each holds 6 regular cupcakes) will be offered as well, in limited quantity.

Recipe Cards

Printed as a 5 x 7 greeting card, there are 6 different cards available at this time. (photo below, flavors can be seen on her blog of Etsy page) They will be offered as sets of 6 however, if you want to purchase a single card that can be worked out.

To celebrate her Grand Opening (today, July 6th!) she’s running a fantastic giveaway for a 6-pack of recipe cards. Head on over to her blog for giveaway details and make sure to enter!  Your tastebuds will thank you if you’re the lucky winner!