Wednesday, June 19, 2013
So I've been a bit absent lately but I've had a good excuse - it's not one I'm able to share quite yet, but it's an exciting new venture for me and I'll share when I'm able. But in addition to that, I've also been hard at work on my next pattern, designed for knit fabrics: The Lakeshore Halter Dress.
This pattern will be available in size 2T-8 within the next couple of weeks. A great team of testers will be getting the pattern within a few days. I can't wait to see what fabrics they choose for it! This dress is best made with lighter jersey knits (7-10 oz); knits that maybe aren't as suitable for tees or other applications - you know the ones...the ones you expected to be a little more substantial when you ordered them but then found out they were a bit light! But since the front bodice is lined and the dress needs to be light and drapey, it's perfect for those lighter fabrics.
In the meantime, for those of us in the U.S.....bring on summer!!
Monday, May 6, 2013
The website Sew, Mama, Sew is having a fantastic giveaway this week! And I'm giving a $30 gift certificate to my shop! The winner can choose from any of the patterns from the Birdsong Etsy shop.
You've known Birdsong for the past three years as a specialist in ribbon and fabric flower accessories. But Birdsong also has other accessories patterns, such as this tote pattern that can be used for many purposes, including for storing Barbie dolls and their clothes!:
And I've just released the first two new Birdsong children's clothing patterns: The Not-So-Basic Tee (with ruffle options) and the Comfy-Fit Leggings pattern, featuring full-length, capri and shorts lengths - along with tutorials on how to make boutique ruffles. Check them out in my Clothing PDF category in my Etsy shop! Fearing knits? No worries! These patterns include informational guides with step-by-step photographs on how to sew with knits.
If you can't wait to purchase before the giveaway is over - no worries! I'll refund your purchase up to $30.
Make sure you enter the other fantastic giveaways through Sew, Mama Sew while you're at it!
In the meantime, I'd love to see you over on the Birdsong Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/birdsongpatterns. Good luck!
Monday, April 15, 2013
Have you ever thoroughly enjoyed sharing hand-me-downs between your children? I love when I have boutique outfits and bows that our first daughter wore and we can share them with our younger daughter. They're five years apart so some styles are out-of-date and some clothes don't make it in storage for that long - they come out looking dingy and lifeless. But I remembered the turquoise and orange outfit from six years ago and thought it would now fit daughter #2, shown sitting on my husband's lap. This photo was taken in April 2007!
Turns out the outfit fit perfectly on our younger daughter - and the bows I made were nicely preserved as well! She was tickled to receive the outfit and loved modeling it for me, too. :)
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Love 'em or hate 'em, hems are a fact of life when sewing garments! Although most knit fabrics do not fray - and sometimes you won't want to or need to hem - there are also times when a design calls for a finished hem. Today we'll learn how to sew hems with knits.
If you haven't seen the other parts of the "How to Sew with Knits" series and want to get started sewing with knits, please see "Part I: Getting Started!" that teaches how to choose and lay out your knits and patterns, and "Part II: Sewing Seams with Knits", which will take you through the basics of sewing. If you'd like to practice your skills before getting to hemming, try out this free knit headband pattern.
You can read "Sewing Hems on Knit Fabrics" through the Google Viewer (photos are more clear once you've downloaded from the viewer) and get started practicing! If you have a garment ready to hem, practice on a scrap piece of the same fabric first, to be sure you'll get the results you want.
If your browser isn't compatible with the Google Viewer and you're having trouble retrieving "Sewing Hems on Knit Fabrics," feel free to download the tutorial from the Internet.
Friday, March 29, 2013
She also decided that as an added challenge, another person can swing the basket so it's harder to score a point. Crafty. The things kids come up with when left to their own devices, right?
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Today we'll learn how to sew seams on knit fabrics. There are tips for sewing with your regular sewing machine (as long as it has a zigzag option) and for your serger. You can read "Sewing Seams with Knit Fabrics" through the Google viewer (photos are more clear once you've downloaded from the viewer) and then get started finding out what works best for you. Remember that knits don't fray like wovens (most knits, anyway!) so you won't have to worry about seam finishes. Practice on a variety of knits, and even consider recording what settings work best with the different types of knits you try. In early April I'll post a free headband/flower tutorial for you to apply your new skills! And later I'll teach you how to sew perfect hems, work with clear elastic, and insert regular elastic for twist-free waistbands.
If the Google viewer version of "Sewing Seams with Knit Fabrics" isn't cooperating with your browser, you may also download the file from the Internet directly. So put your stretch needle on your sewing machine, load it with polyester thread, and have fun this week!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
My birthday was on Monday. Unlike when I was a kid, it wasn't the shiny day of excitement that it used to be - we had celebrated over the weekend, and it was pleasant to get well-wishes from family and friends and even watch my Facebook feed fill up with greetings. But I was reminded of a tradition I started when I was teenager. Back then, I used to write a letter to myself to be opened on my following birthday. I still have some of these old letters. I'd ask who my friends were and whether I had a boyfriend (lol!). One letter was obsessed with whether I had won the science fair that year (I did - and even went to state!). I'd answer those questions the following year, and ask more.
I continued with tradition until I got too busy in college to worry about it, and I haven't picked it back up since then. But on Monday I was looking through my latest Quilting Arts Magazine and thinking about what questions I'd have for my upcoming year. I always have several projects on my plate, in addition to spending time with my kids, my husband, and my friends. I asked myself: In a year, will I make time for more art? I enjoy working with ribbon, sewing clothes, and making quilts, but I don't always feel I leave enough time to play with color and design. Somehow I feel guilty when I sit down without producing something that I feel is "useful."
The last time I gave myself permission was, goodness, before our second daughter was born 7 years ago! I made this art quilt after coming back from the AQS quilt show in Paducah, Kentucky. I had taken a class from a quilt artist and loved it. I finished my wall quilt from that class at home:
While I feel my hair bows are small pieces of art, and that the clothing I design and sew (and sometimes hand-dye) is also artistic, I need to spend more time with an art journal, a sketch book, and some dyes, paints, organic cotton ribbon and fabrics that aren't necessarily going to become a specific, finished project. To do this, I'll have to give myself the time and permission to play.
So, me of this year to me of next year: Did you spend time developing your art? I'll have to tune in next year.