Holiday Sewing with Itch to Stitch

All this week we have been following along with the Itch to Stitch Holiday Blog Tour! A month or so ago Leslie (Threadbear Garments) and Fleurine (Sew Mariefleur) reached out to us to see if we wanted to participate in a special holiday themed sewing tour. The answer was “Yes, of course!” and after talking thru some ideas we decided to sponsor the event along side Itch to Stitch patterns! We were getting ready to launch our holiday fabric collection and this partnership was not only perfect timing but also a great fit!

After helping some of the participants find fabrics for their holiday looks, it was time for me to pick something for my own look. One of my favorite new trends this fall is all of the amazing brocades! Elegant and sophisticated, it is amazing to see this traditional fabric show up in everything from dresses and skirts to pants and jackets. Looking through Kennis’ patterns I thought the Salamanca Cropped Jacket would be a great choice to pair with one of the brocades we have in ths shop. I went with a more modern choice, the triangle mosaic brocade— I love the colors, texture and design on this one and it is incredibly light weight!

My first hurdle with this jacket was the sizing. In looking at my measurements and the finished garment measurements I settled on making a size 6B. I first printed out a size 8B (my typical size) but the finished measurements just seemed too large so I stuck to my true measurements and went with the smaller size.

Cutting all the pieces out and getting everything ready to sew went really quickly. I settled on a soft rayon challis for the lining— solid black, something that wouldn’t compete with the brocade. I know it probably won’t be seen but just in case… Construction was also really straight forward with Kennis’ easy to follow instructions. I love how it all came together— beautifully faced and it didn’t require some of those fussy steps that a lined jacket can call for. Probably the most time consuming step was tacking the hem and sleeve facings in place, but this was a great project to finish up on the couch watching TV.

Salamanaca Jacket in Geometric Brocade

I really like how these two fabrics paired together for this jacket. Both are nice and light weight making the finished jackets not too bulky, heavy or warm. The brocade also played beautifully with the pleats and gathers, giving the jacket a wonderful shape and body. The fit is great, the sleeves could be a little wider at the elbow (a normal problem for me), but over all this was a great size choice. I also really like the length but for another version I might make it hip length.

Closer Look at Salamanaca Sleeves and Front

For styling I headed to Pinterest for a few ideas. This jacket rides that line where it can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Most of my holiday get togethers are more casual so I settled on pairing it with a pair of dark skinny jeans, a grey tank and fun necklace. I can definitely see pairing this jacket with black pants and maybe a sequin top for a little bit dressier look. Lots of options!

Pinterest Inspiration for Holiday Style

Hopefully you have enjoyed following along with us this week! If you missed one of the stops, links to each one are included at the bottom of this post for easy reference. There are so many great looks perfect for your next holiday party you are sure to find one that suits your style! I know I added a few more projects to my ever growing list…

Styled Brocade Salamanaca Jacket

To help get you started on your own look Itch to Stitch is offering 16% off all patterns with code HOLIDAY16, valid only thru December 12th! As a special holiday treat we are offering $5 shipping on all US orders and discounted international shipping. Any order, any size ships for just $5! Shop this week and have your fabric in time to sew for Christmas!

ITCH TO STITCH HOLIDAY BLOG TOUR 2016

December 6th
December 9th
December 10th

Cozy Holiday Pajamas to Sew, Give and Enjoy

One of my favorite holiday traditions is spending all day Christmas day in my pajamas! For many years Christmas Day at our house has been off limits to visitors— is all about enjoying the day, munching/snacking and lounging in our pj’s watching movies or playing games that were under the tree. Since cozy lounge wear and pajamas plays such a key role this time of year, between Christmas and the cold winter days, I thought I would share one of my favorite patterns and a few tips for sewing your own this holiday season.

carolyn-pajamas-patter-cover

Pajamas and pillow cases are two of my favorite things to sew! Not only are they relatively easy, they also get used ALL the time and then normal wardrobe rules don’t apply. There are so many fun designs and colors that I would never wear out of the house but put them on an adorable set of pajama or a cute pillow case and I am in! Last Christmas I shared my go-to pillow case tutorial, so this year I thought I would sew up a couple new pajamas sets to help get you inspired. Since it’s release a couple of years ago, my favorite pj pattern is Closet Case’s Carolyn Pajamas— a modern take on a classic button-up pajama set. I love the fit and the kind of retro look and Heather makes construction a delight with her clear, detailed instructions. I sewed up my first set a while back in a soft cotton lawn and they are so comfy and cool, I wear them all the time! For this season’s set I decided to try a thick cotton jersey. I know the pattern doesn’t call for a knit but we recently got some left over fabrics from the Bedhead (RTW designer) so I thought I would create my own (less expensive) version of their adorable pajamas.

Finished Carolyn Pajamas in Bedhead Jersey Floral

Finished Carolyn Pajamas in Bedhead Jersey Floral

Even though I was using a knit, I decided to keep everything the same on the pattern. I didn’t size down or make any changes, I merely swapped out the fabric type. This plan worked perfectly! Construction I think may have been even easier as knits are a bit more forgiving with easing. My pajamas are the perfect fit, loose but still stylish and over the top comfortable! I highly recommend it! Oh my gosh it is like being wrapped in those cozy t-shirt sheets but even warmer!

Cozy Knit Carolyn Pajamas with the Official Blog Dog, Toby

Cozy Knit Carolyn Pajamas with the Official Blog Dog, Toby

I decided to pipe this set in a fun emerald rayon jersey to bring out the pop of color in the butterfly wings. Although I did cheat a little bit— I cut 1-1/2″ strips, folded them in half and included this in each seam. So much faster and didn’t add all the bulk the traditional piping can add. I questioned the color choice as first but it turned out to be the perfect complement.

Floral Jersey Carolyn Pajama Set

Floral Jersey Carolyn Pajama Set

I couldn’t stop at one new set of pajamas so I added another pair of Carolyn pants to my sewing list along with a matching jersey knit top. For this set I was mostly inspired by the fabric— these fun metallic starts were just too cute to pass up. I used some silver metallic for the piping accent as well as on the neckline on a basic black Hemlock tee. To tie things together I used the pocket pattern from the Carolyn top and added that to my black tee for an extra pop of the fun print. A really quick sew and almost as cute as my jersey floral Carolyn set!

Star Carolyn Pajama Pants and Matching Knit Top

Star Carolyn Pajama Pants and Matching Knit Top

Hopefully both of these have inspired you to sew your own pajamas this season, and not just for yourself! Pajamas and lounge wear make amazing gifts for the holidays. They are typically very forgiving with their relaxed fit and let’s face it, the comfier the better, right! You can also make each piece unique to the person you are gifting them to or make matching pjs for the whole family. The options are endless— with fun prints, bright colors and different fabrics types to choose from you can’t go wrong! For my next pair I’m thinking flannel

bedhead

Other Pajama Fabric Ideas – Find more HERE

There is still plenty of time to sew up a few pieces for the holidays and here are a couple of tips to make it fast and painless.

  • Assembly line sewing is your friend! Get everything cut out and then put the machines to work. This will save time reading directions between steps and let you get everything done in about the same amount of time it would have taken to sew one set.
  • Pick a neutral thread. Save yourself from changing threads by picking something neutral for both the machine and serger. Lucky for me black was a perfect choice!
  • Be sure to label all of your pieces with the size or who it is for. That way if you are sewing multiple garments in the same fabric you won’t get mixed up.
  • Want another time saver? Skip the piping and just hem the pants. This will save you a couple more fussy steps and they still look great!

In the shop we put together a fun collection of fabrics and patterns perfect for holiday lounge wear sewing! Be sure to check it out— lots of unusual knits, cozy French terry, sweatshirt fleece and a few other surprises. Take a look HERE.

Now time to get sewing! The holidays will be here before you know it!

~Michelle

Day 12: Wrap it Up

On the Twelfth Day of Sewing…

We made it to the last day! It has been a lot of creative sewing, late nights and tons of fun. Thank you to everyone who has been following along and making some of the projects along the way with us (Keep sharing your amazing makes!). We thought a great way to finish up 12 days of handmade gifts would be some handmade cards and tags to use when gift wrapping all your hard work!

Handmade holiday gift cards and tags.

Handmade holiday gift cards and tags.

There are so many great ideas out there for handmade cards. We thought we would try to integrate our sewing theme as much as possible into our cards. The easiest way to do that is with buttons! We all have that stash of mismatched buttons that could be put to good use. You can also pick up some of the fun novelty buttons at any craft supply store- they are a lot of fun to mix in with the more traditional ones. Mix in some baker’s twine, ribbon and a few stickers and your are set! Read more

Day 11: Travel Set

On the Eleventh Day of Sewing…

We are in the final stretch of the 12 Days of Sewing and we saved our favorite handmade gift for today! We love taking inspiration from fabric and for today’s project the fabric truly spoke to us. A little unconventional, it is a printed canvas panel from Japan with fun hipster items- a tote, eyeglasses, camera, shoes and headphones- in trendy colors. (Panel is also available in Aqua here)

Printed Hipster Panel in Plum and Grey

Printed Hipster Panel in Plum and Grey

We thought, how fun would it be to make the ultimate travel essentials using each of these pieces? What a fun way to organize all of those necessities for anything from an overnight to a trip overseas! Now keep in mind any of these items could be made in any durable woven fabric, we just wanted to have a little fun and really show off how cool this “hipster” panel is.

Complete travel set created using a Japanese fabric panel.

Complete travel set created using a Japanese fabric panel.

We started with two printed panels– so that we would have a piece for each side of our travel items. We then paired it with a fun cotton print for the linings and a solid black twill as needed. Our goal was to have everything coordinate and truly look like a set- something to consider when selecting fabric. Now, let’s go through each item- here are the dimensions and steps that we used to create each one.

Cut panel accessory pieces.

Cut panel accessory pieces.

Eyeglass/Sunglass Holder:

To start off these travel essentials we decided to start with one of the easiest projects- the eyeglass case. We cut out each eyeglass piece from the panels (8″ x 4-1/4″) and stitched them together giving us an 8″ square. Cut out matching squares from the lining fabric and some scrap batting and layer the pieces as follows- canvas and lining right sides together on top of the batting. Pick two matching corners to round and cut all the layers to match.

Then, stitch all the way around the square leaving a small opening for turning at the end opposite the rounded corners. Turn right side out and press. Topstitch across the end with the opening to close it, add an additional row of topstitching for an accent. Fold the holder in half and stitch along the long side and rounded end, backstiching at the beginning and end. Just like that the eyeglass holder is complete!

Finished eyeglass/sunglass holder.

Finished eyeglass/sunglass holder.

Note: You could also make a phone case using the same type of technique and the corresponding panel pieces. We chose to use the phone pieces as a pocket in our Carry-All Bag.

Camera & Headphone Pouches:

For these protective little totes we used the same technique as the zipper pouches for Day 2. Rather than run through all those steps again, here is a link to the instructions- Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Finished headphone and camera pouches.

Finished headphone and camera pouches.

Here are the dimensions of the fabric pieces we started with- each ended up being the perfect size for their matching accessory.

Headphones- Cut your fabric and batting pieces 9-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ square and we made the bottom gusset 2″ wide.

Camera- Cut your fabric and batting pieces to be 8″ x 4-1/2″ and we made the bottom gusset 1″ wide.

Note: You could also make a pencil pouch using the same technique and the corresponding panel pieces. We chose to use the “notes” pieces as a pocket in our Carry-All Bag.

Carry-All Bag:

For this handy on-the-go tote we based the pattern off of one of our favorite bag patterns, the Super Tote from Noodlehead. We simply adapted the pattern’s dimensions so that the printed purse panels could be used as the front and back. Other than that we used the same overall construction. Inside we added cell phone and note/pen pockets using those pieces from the panel as well. We also used the printed handles as one side of each handle with black twill on the other side. We highly recommend having this pattern in your arsenal of go-to patterns but if you have another favorite bag pattern you could similarly adapt that as well.

Completed carry-all bag.

Completed carry-all bag.

Our main goal when sewing up the bag was to not have any of the cream background of the canvas showing. We cut each bag panel piece out about 1/2″ larger than the outline and then went back to stitch a bit large seam allowance wherever needed to make sure no cream was showing. The result was well worth the extra time and steps.

Note: For the pockets, we cut the cell phone piece 7″ x 5″ and the “notes” piece 7″ x 7″. We then layered them on top of a matching piece of lining, right sides together, and stitched all the way around leaving an opening for turning. Turned them right side out, pressed and then topstitched them to one side of a bag lining piece.

Carry-all bag pockets.

Carry-all bag pockets.

Shoe Bag:

Time got the better of us on this project and we just didn’t get our dream shoe bag in time to post. Our thoughts are to create a simple drawstring bag to keep a pair of shoes in using the matching panel pieces. Perfect for a short trip when you want to throw everything in one bag and don’t want your shoes to get everything else dirty. We promise as soon as we get this done we will give you all an updates!

Complete Set:

Together all of these pieces make such a great travel set, modern but sophisticated and a little geeky all at the same time. We love the idea of the set as a whole- perfect to make out of any fabrics (or the panel if you like) and give to someone who loves to travel, loves to have everything in its place or just loves to have everything match!

The perfect handmade travel set to give this holiday season.

The perfect handmade travel set to give this holiday season.

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 11th Only! All jersey and ponte knits are 20% off. Also save on some of our favorite tools by buying them as a special bundle. Perfect to treat yourself or to give as a gift to a seamstress friend. Shop Here

Day 10: Pillowcases

On the Tenth Day of Sewing…

One of our favorite gifts to make throughout the year is pillowcases. If we have visitors from out of town, we make them their own pillowcases using some Washington themed quilting cotton and then let them take the cases home when the leave. A small keepsake of their trip to Seattle. We are also guilty of having a whole shelf in the linen closet full of pillowcases we have made over they years. There might even be one for every season/holiday but we would never actually confess to that… A custom pillowcase is something handmade that you can enjoy everyday. The pattern, the fabric, all of it just puts a smile on your face when you crawl into bed, especially after a long day.

Our Handmade Pillowcases

Our Handmade Pillowcases

This holiday season we are kicking our handmade pillowcases up a notch- trying some other fabrics besides just flat cotton. How about lawn, voile, double gauze or even some textured cottons? All of these fabrics would make amazing pillowcases to gift this holidays season- so soft and more unique than just your standard pillowcase.

Over the years we have the art of perfected pillowcase construction and we thought we would share our steps with you! Quick and easy, you can have a half dozen of them made in an evening.

Pillowcase Tutorial

1. Supplies & Cutting

  • Main Fabric – 3/4 yard (1-1/4 yards if the fabric is directional)
    • For Standard Pillowcase: Cut to 25″ x 40″
    • For King Pillowcases: Cut to 35″ x 40″
  • Cuff Fabric – just shy of 1/2 yard – Cut to 14″ x 40″
  • Accent Fabric – just a few inches – Cut to 2″ x 40″
  • Our fabric choices: Lawn Floral, Handcrafted cotton, stash fabric.
Cut fabric pieces for our pillowcase.

Cut fabric pieces for our pillowcase.

2. Preparing Pieces- Press the Cuff and the Accent pieces in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.

3. Attaching the pieces- With the Main Fabric wrong side up, layer the folded Cuff and then the folded Accent piece on top along one edge matching up all the raw edges and pin and place. Stitch along the pinned edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam toward the Main Fabric.

Layered and pinned fabrics.

Layered and pinned fabrics.

4. Finishing the Accent Piece- Press the Accent piece toward the main fabric, covering the seam from the previous step. Topstitch in place.

Topstitched accent fabric.

Topstitched accent fabric.

5. Sewing the Pillowcase- Fold the pillowcase in half widthwise, wrong sides together matching up the seams and pinning along the unfinished side. Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end. Press seam to one side.

6. French Seam- Turn the pillowcase right side in and stitch along the same edge, this time with a 1/2″ seam allowance and backstitching at the beginning and end.

7. Finishing- Stitch along the bottom edge of the pillowcase using a 1/2″ seam. Finish edge as desired. Turn the pillowcase right side out and press well. Finished!

Finished pillowcase.

Finished pillowcase.

How easy was that? Just 5 simple steps and only sewing straight lines!

We went ahead and made just one more out of some different fabrics. For this one we again used a lawn for the Main Fabric but paired it with a wonderful woven cotton for some added texture.

Finished pillowcases in different cotton fabrics.

Finished pillowcases in different cotton fabrics.

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 10th Only! Save 20% on Cotton Lawns, Shirtings and Double Gauze. Also one of our favorite secret weapon notions, Fuse ‘N Gather, is just $6 today only! Shop Here

Day Nine: Cozy Cowl

On the Ninth Day of Sewing…

We are in the home stretch of the 12 Days of Sewing. For today’s gift idea we thought about something extra toasty to keep you warm on a chill day- a cozy cowl. The question was… how do we want to construct it? Then we had the great idea to use the same technique that we used in for Day Three’s Infinity Scarves and they turned out perfect! So quick and easy to sew, these snuggly neck warmers are a great last minute gift. You could sew up a few of them in just an evening!

Cozy Cowls using Faux Fur and Shearling

Cozy Cowls using Faux Fur and Shearling

For our cozy cowl we chose two soft and warm fabrics, a cotton flannel and faux shearling. We cut our fabrics to be 12″ x 30″- for wide fabrics you get 2 cowls with just a 1/3 yard of each!

Cowl Supplies

Cowl Supplies

Layer the two pieces, right sides together, and pin along both long edges. Stitch each side using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Pinned layers of the cowl.

Pinned layers of the cowl.

Just like the infinity scarves, pull one end of the cowl up through the middle matching the raw edges of both ends. You will be matching up the like fabrics- flannel to flannel and shearling to shearling. Take care to match up both seams and pin securely.

Carefully stitch the layers together starting just before one of the seams. We started on the flannel side- we thought it would be easier to whip stitch the opening closed on the flannel than the plush shearling. Leave about a 3 to 4″ opening for turning when you get all the way around. Turn the cowl right side out and whip stitch the opening closed.

Remaining opening to whip stitch closed.

Remaining opening to whip stitch closed.

This shearling cowl went together so quickly we sewed up another one right away using faux fur and a coordinating woven. You can totally customize this project with any combination of fabrics. The shearling is a nice choice for one side since it is so plush and warm but it would be great paired with any knit or woven.

Here are our finished cowls- you can even wear them as a hood for even more warmth.

We also used the same technique of using two fabrics to make another infinity scarf, with the full width of the fabrics. We chose matching sweater knit dots– so that the two sides ended up being reversed. Another great project and gift!

Opposites attract- dot knit infinity scarf.

Opposites attract- dot knit infinity scarf.

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 9th Only! Save 20% on select warm and cozy fabrics and our Precision Stiletto is just $10! Shop Here

Day Eight: Guest Post with Girls in the Garden

On the Eighth Day of Sewing…

We are very excited to have a guest blogger for today’s 12 Days of Sewing post! Lori, writer and seamstress of the Girls in the Garden, is joining us today with her most recent Style Maker Fabrics creation, the Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork Magazine. Lori has been a Style Maker customer from nearly the beginning and we always love seeing the amazing garments she creates using our fabrics. Today, she took one of our plush new sweater knits and yet again turned it into an incredible creation!

Hop on over to the Girls in the Garden and check out Lori’s post for Day Eight. Here is just a little preview… isn’t it stunning! Read her post HERE.

Oslo Cardigan by Lori from Girls in the Garden

Oslo Cardigan by Lori from Girls in the Garden

The Oslo Cardigan is not only a perfect garment to make for yourself to enjoy in the cooler months or to wear to some of your holiday parties, but it is also a great pattern to make as a gift for others. It is loose fitting and flattering on all body types, making it a great choice due to the flexibility in the sizing and fit.

Until now, we have been sharing mostly accessory items that don’t necessarily have a size, they are more one size for all. If you want to go that next step and make more fitted garment to give this holiday season you do need to think about the sizing and fit. One option would be to have the recipient’s measurements or know their size exactly.

If you have more of a rough idea about their size, you probably want to stick to pieces like the Oslo Cardigan where the fit is more relaxed. That way if there is a little variation in the sizing, the garment should still fit nicely and all you hard work and love will not be wasted.

Here are a couple other great garment patterns with a more relaxed fit you also might want to consider for holiday gift sewing…

Links to the patterns shown above:

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 8th Only! Save 20% on Sweater Knits. Plus, save $3 on our Professional Pattern Notcher (a must have tool for garment sewers)! Shop Here

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