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How to Add Shorts to the Fat Quarter Skirt {featuring Birds & the Bees Fabric by Tamara Kate}

2015 July 2

Today I’m so pleased to be posting a project with Birds and the Bees fabric by Tamara Kate. It is her latest collection for Michael Miller and it’s just gorgeous! The multiple colours made great Fat Quarter Skirts for my girls – lots of pretty colour to match their summer t-shirts!

Birds & The Bees - Tamara Kate for Michael Miller Fabrics

I had already seen (and loved) this collection while I was following Quilt Market on Instagram, so I was happy to agree to use it when I got an email from Tamara not too long ago! When I had to decide which fabrics to use for my project, though, I had a really hard time - SO many colours and patterns!

My absolute favorite is the Love Bug print – the little hearts are “interrupted” by ladybugs every so often – and there are multiple colourways. I’d love to use the uni-directional “All the Wee Beasts” or “Honey, Honey” for a super-cute quilt back too. You will be seeing these skirts a lot on Instagram this summer! (Get the tutorial below.)

You can see lots more Birds and the Bees projects on the Tamara Kate website and Tamara’s blog.

This project was inspired by my Simple Fat Quarter Skirt tutorial, and the desire to use as many different prints from Birds and The Bees as possible. I had such a hard time picking my favorites! Since the tutorial uses 2 fat quarters per skirt, I was able to use 8 different prints. When they arrived it was so fun to mix and match them into these easy skirts my girls love to wear all summer.

I always regretted not adding shorts to last year’s batch of skirts, so this was the perfect opportunity to make some more. (A bit longer this time, since the girls are growing!) I am grateful that Lauren from Baste + Gather made a multi-sized free pattern for Summer Shorties. This free bike shorts pattern (sizes 12m-8) works perfectly as an add-in to the original skirt tutorial I wrote last year.

This project was extra fun because my mom helped me sew the skirts! Since my parents live quite far away, it is rare that we get to sew together. She finished the outside of each skirt and I worked on inserting the shorts – teamwork at it’s best!

How to Add Shorts to the Fat Quarter Skirt

Step 1: Follow the directions to make a Fat Quarter Skirt up to Step 4b. Also make a pair of Summer Shorties up to step 3. (It is recommended that you read through each tutorial so you are familiar with all the steps before beginning.)

Step 2: Use pins to mark the top edge of the Shorties and the bottom edge of the skirt casing in quarters. 

Step 3: Turn the skirt and the shorties inside out. Place the shorties inside the skirt, matching the backs and fronts. The wrong side of the shorties will be facing the right side of the skirt.

Step 4: Pin the top of the shorties to the bottom edge of the skirt casing at each quarter mark.

Step 5: Match and pin the top edge of the shorties, stretching to match the width of the skirt casing. Working in quarters, I used 2 or 3 pins per quarter marking.

Step 6: Serge or stitch the pinned edge with a 3/8″ seam allowance. You do not need to use a stretch stitch. Finish the edge with a zig-zag stitch if you have not used a serger.

Step 7: Turn everything right side out and fold the casing down into the skirt.

Step 8: Pin the casing to the skirt four times – again at each quarter mark – this will be the front/back shortie seam and the side skirt seams. Pin on the outside of the skirt to make sewing simpler. Pin carefully to make sure the casing will lay flat once it is sewn.

Step 9: Stretch the top of the shorties to match the width of the skirt. Pin around the bottom edge of the casing, 2 or 3 pins per quarter.

Step 10: Stitch around the skirt to make the casing, leaving a 2″ opening for the elastic. The seam allowance will be about 1 1/2″. Stretch each pinned section as you sew. Sew from the right side of the skirt. This will catch the bottom edge of the casing and possibly the top of the shorties, depending on how large and accurate your seam allowances were throughout.

Step 11: Finish the skirt top by inserting the elastic and closing the opening – Fat Quarter Skirt Steps 5 & 6. Hem the bottom of the shorties – Summer Shorties Step 5 (omit instructions for the elastic). Attach a piece of ribbon or a tag at the back, so your little one will know how to wear it.

Hooray, You’re finished! Enjoy – Go ahead and hit the playground in style.

Thread Riding Hood - Add Shorts Tutorial Final

Our Handmade Vacation {+ giveaway winners!}

2015 June 30

Hello again! I just realized I’ve taken an unintentional week off. My parents are visiting with us for a few weeks and we are so excited to have them. As a result, though, I haven’t been as eager to get on the computer! I do have a super summery project tutorial coming up later this week, and today I’m posting a bit about our vacation.

Before all that I realized that I have not as yet posted the winners of the last two giveaways. Shame on me… here they are:

Seam Allowance Fabrics gave away a $30 Shop Credit to Kathy D. I hope you are enjoying it Kathy! {interview here}

Fabric Please! gave away a Thread Riding Hood Blogger Bundle to Pam P. Amazingly, we sent Pam her congratulatory email on her actual birthday! What are the odds?! {interview here} You can purchase your own Blogger Bundle from Fabric Please! and you can still get 15% off your purchases with the code THREAD15 until July 1, 2015!

We recently got back from Florida after a much needed 10 days away from our home. I find that since we are all in our home all the time – save business meetings and school – that we go a bit home-crazy every once in a while. We were so fortunate to get away, even if we did work a bit while we were there.

I love that owning our own businesses allows my husband and I work from anywhere in the world – as long as we have wifi! A chance of scenery is so good for us and we come home ready to work again.

On the last leg of the 19 hour drive home, I realized that I was surrounded by handmade. Literally! I packed in it, my kids and I were dressed in it and we stored the stuff in our bags in it too! When we got home I tried to photograph every handmade item as we unpacked. I was curious and wanted to know how much we really had with us and what we used everything for.

Since  also love roundups of “things on white backgrounds” – here are the photographs. (Linked to their respective blog posts if applicable of course!) These are some of our most-used handmade items, since only the most useful things are deemed good enough to come on vacation with us! It is also fun to go through some of these older posts, the kids are so little, especially the pink and yellow Tennis Skort post below!

Diamond String Pillow {mini tutorial & product review}

2015 June 22

I love when a long, planned project is finally finished. These Diamond String quilt-as-you-go pillows have been on my to-do list for so long now. Amazingly, two great reasons came at the same time so I could justify making a new project!

First, I wanted to use my Fabric Please! blogger bundle to make something, because I love the colours together! Second, PillowCubes contacted me to see if I wanted to review their pillow inserts. (P.S. Enter for a chance to win the blogger bundle until June 23, 2015.)

So…. Pillow fabric + Pillow Insert = Obvious obligation (*wink*) to make the tutorial you’ve been dying to try!

I’ve got a mini tutorial later on with the measurements for making your own 12″ x 16″ Diamond String pillow, but first a word about PillowCubes. When I first looked at their site I wasn’t sure what to expect. A pillow insert is a pillow insert, is a pillow insert, right? For my sample, I checked the list and ordered an Eco-Friendly 12×16 insert. May as well save the environment as much as possible!

When my sample arrived in a Flat Rate envelope I was amazed it would fit in there – turns out they are vacuum sealed to save space. Once opened, the pillow puffs up to its normal size. I love that the pillow is:

  • made of good quality unbleached cotton (Less chemicals)
  • stitched and edge-finished on 3 edges, the 4th is folded
  • and the filling is distributed evenly and out to the corners
  • the recycled filler is soft, and fluffy, just like it should be!

All in all I’m really pleased with the insert and I’m especially happy that it is Eco-Friendly. Though, they do have Polyester Fill, 3 types of Down Fill and Synthetic Down, if you’d like more options.

I also really like that you can save quite a bit of money ordering by the “cube” – a box of pillow inserts! If you don’t think you’ll use that many inserts, share with a couple of friends. Or get a box and use your stash to gift throw pillows to everyone this year. (Get a discount below!)

PillowCubes are American Made and ship from the US, they also ship to Canada and Internationally. My order (to Canada) arrived in only 9 days!

Use the discount code: ThreadRidingHood10 to get 10% off your first PillowCubes order. This code never expires! Use the discount code to purchase a sample pillow, a pillow cube or a custom order!

I always dread sorting out the math in my quilty projects, so I thought I’d write out the measurements I used below in case you want to make one too. It perfectly fits a 12″x16″ PillowCube insert!

  1. Cut 4 pieces of low loft batting as your foundation pieces – 7 1/4″ x 9 1/4″ (these are purposely oversized)
  2. Create your quilt-as-you-go Diamond String blocks. This tutorial was really helpful, use the batting as your foundation instead of muslin.
  3. Trim the blocks to 6 3/4″ x 6 3/4″  and stitch them together with a 1/4″ seam.
  4. Cut 2 backing pieces – 13″ x 13″ – for the envelope back. Hem the inside edge of each piece.
  5. Layer the pillow front with the envelope backs aligned to each side (hems in the centre). Baste the layers together.
  6. Bind the edge using your favorite machine/hand stitched binding method. You will need about 70″ of 2 1/2″ wide binding.
Now, just add your PillowCubes insert! Here is the easiest way to place your pillow form into the cover:
Reader Feedback: What is your favorite pillow cover tutorial?

Thanks for reading. Follow along and join me for “thread ride”!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PillowCubes. I recieved a sample product and compensation for this post. I promise I will always write my own opinion and never review anything I don’t love myself. View our privacy policy.

Ava by Victory Patterns {pattern review, discount + giveaway!}

2015 June 18

I’m feeling especially patriotic today. It’s my turn to post on the Canadian Pattern Designer blog tour. I am super proud to be Canadian and connected with this group of designers. This tour is an amazing showcase of great patterns! (Discount below + lots of prizes to be won! Keep reading!)

Ula from Lulu and Celeste has organized a great bunch of bloggers over the past few months and each of us gets to showcase a different pattern from our selected Canadian Designer. I was so fortunate to get to play with Victory Patterns! Kristiann Boos is well known for her patterns and I was dying to make an Ava. I seem to keep collecting dressy tops when I am part of these blog hops – maybe that’s a sign I need to get out more?! 

 My general impression of the Ava pattern was that it is SO professionally put together! I happened to have about 4 pattens that I was putting together at the same time a few months ago and this pattern stood out way over and above the others. The way it is written, down to how it prints out and the directions and ease of finding what you need. I really enjoyed working with it.

I made this peplum top in voile, which I have never worked with before. It was easy to sew, I didn’t have any issues with the fabric at all. To make the top more modest (read: not see through!), I cut two layers of each pattern piece and then sewed everything pretending they were one piece. It worked really well, aside from the peplum skirt having a bit more body than I would like. It stands out from the top quite a bit and I could likely have only used one layer there.

Oh my goodness, can I say how proud I am? I survived attaching binding smoothly for the first time ever! Binding and me have a long standing mutual hate for each other, I was super afraid when I saw the neckline and sleeves were binding bound on this top. My tip is to go slow, really slow – and pin, a lot!

The neckline did give me a bit of trouble, but I found an amazing post on how to sew it on the DIY Fox. Her post about sewing the Ava Sweetheart Neckline was really helpful. I was nervous because quite a few bloggers were saying the two sides of the neckline weren’t even when they stitched it. Again – slow and steady wins the race. Mine isn’t perfect, but I only know that because I made it!

Just to add a bit to the list, the bust darts finish too high. It’s my own fault – I made them a bit wider to take in more fabric (a la small bust adjustment) and shouldn’t have added to the height. Argh. I could take them out and fix them – but I was on vacation while I was sewing it… so they stayed put, mostly because it still fit and didn’t show that much.

PATTERN REVIEW SUMMARY:  Ava, by Victory Patterns, Version 3

Fabric: Black Madonna Voile, unknown “French Chic” lining fabric (both from Fabricland)

Here are a few things I love about it:

  • Lots of proper notches and markings! This is a super professional pattern.
  • Cutting layouts and required fabric listing is super clear for all 3 versions.
  • The neckline! It’s so cute.
  • The sheer (or not) upper bodice. I’ve seen amazing versions with regular woven material in the top, as well as lace – so many options!

The fit & my alterations:

  • This pattern fits SO easily! This pattern fit the best (on my first muslin) out of any of the patterns I’ve made in the last few months.
  • To make it fit my non-average measurements I:
    •  took in a bit on the sides and widen the dart. (Basically a small bust adjustment)
    • extended the shoulder up to a size 10, graded back to a size 4 at the top of the bodice and graded to a size 8 at the bottom and through the peplum skirt
    • Since I am long-waisted, I added 1″ to the length of the bodice.
Things I changed from the original pattern:

  • Nothing save alterations to the fit.

Things I might change next time:

  • I really, really want to make one of these out of knit instead of woven – since I wear knits almost every day.
  • I’d love to try the sleeveless version as well.
  • I would not use a double-layer of voile in the peplum skirt, it gives it extra body which isn’t as flattering.

There are SO MANY prizes to be won along this blog hop! Enter for your chance to win a Victory Pattern below. Find out how to win the Grand Prize here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Victory Patterns is offering 15% off anything on their website using the discount code “CANADATOUR” from June 17 – 23, 2015. Thank you Kristiann!

Follow the Canadian Pattern Designer blog hop below. Link over to so much great Canadian information! 

June 1 – 3 Gracious Threads – Interview : Creative BugThe Wholesome Mamastitched by crystal

June 4 – 6 Jalie – InterviewShaffer SistersCall Ajairehibbadoray

June 8 – 10 Thread Theory – InterviewHandmade BoyRebel & MaliceSew Out of Control

June 11 – 13 Audrey & Tiffany – InterviewAll Things Katy!Not Sew FastConversas de Hermana

June 15 – 17 E+M Patterns – InterviewFrom-a-BoxMade by SaraClimbing the Willow

June 17 – 19 Victory Patterns – InterviewSwoodson SaysThread Riding Hood (that’s me!) – Sprouting JubeJube

June 18 – 20 FABulous Home Sewn – InterviewCreate3.5Calm and CarrionStitches by Laura

June 22 – 24 Filles a Maman – InterviewPattern RevolutionPhatQuarterssewstarlyHouse of Estrela

June 24 – 26 Closet Case Files – Interviewgloria juneRebel & MaliceSew Far North

June 25 – 27 Elegance & Elephants – InterviewSprouting JubeJubeAmandaRoseMae & K

June 29 – 30 Lulu & Celeste: new makes and a round up post

July 1st Last day to enter Giveaways and Final Round up Post!

Reader Feedback: Have you made any of the Victory Patterns? How did you like it?

Thanks for reading. Follow along and join me for “thread ride”!

And what is a good post without a tiny photo bomber and her “new rock”?!

Disclaimer: I received the Ava pattern from Victory Patterns in return for this post. My opinions are always my own and I do not promote things I don’t love. Thanks for reading!

Fabric Please! – a Canadian Online Fabric Store {+ discount & giveaway!}

2015 June 16

Hello to you! We are back and rested from our vacation so it’s time for another  Canadian Online Fabric Store series interview! I’m so pleased to introduce Rita, owner of online Canadian shop Fabric Please! today. She has a brand new shop with a not-so-new background. You may know Rita better as author of the blog Pin Pricked Fingers.

I had the pleasure of meeting Rita at the Spring Creativ Festival and it was so much fun to chat with her. Today she’s bringing you a discount and a bundle giveaway from her shop. She is based out of Ontario, Canada – and ships worldwide. (The giveaway is open internationally too!)

“I’m married, I have a 13 year old son and we have two of the goofiest Portuguese Water Dogs on the planet! My family keeps me grounded, fulfilled and laughing.  I’ve lived long enough to know it’s more important to enjoy your work so you can enjoy your life.  In a nut shell, that’s why I started Fabric Please!  I started the business in February 2015 and I’m loving every minute of it!” ~ Rita, owner of Fabric Please!

Alright – here are some of my favorites from her shop…. always the hardest and most fun part of these interviews. I get to drool over the whole shop (figuratively of course!) trying to choose which fabrics to feature.



Thread Riding Hood: Why did you decide to start Fabric Please!?

Rita: I’ve been in the alternative health field (registered massage therapist) for 25 years and I’ve been looking for another career that is a bit gentler on my body.  I’ve been a sewist most of my life and have had a love affair with fabric since I can remember.  It just seemed like a natural fit.

Thread Riding Hood: What is your favorite type of sewing project? Quilting, Apparel… ?

Rita: I prefer quilting and home decor projects.  I like the (almost) instant gratification from transforming a space with fabric.  I dabble in apparel but it’s not my forte.

Thread Riding Hood: What is something coming up in the near future that you are especially excited about?

Rita: I’m just so excited about all of it! It’s such a new business, I’m still in the honeymoon faze of it all!  If I had to narrow it down, I’m especially looking forward to the Fall Creativ Festival.  I love the interaction with my customers.  I love working with them to choose the perfect fabric for that special project they are working on or having them find something that sparks a new project idea.

Thread Riding Hood: Thanks Rita! 

One lucky reader will win the 9 fat quarter bundle pictured above! This giveaway is is extra fun for me, because I got to choose the bundle Rita is giving away! She offered to let me choose a blogger bundle from her shop just after she opened and we decided to pair it with this interview and giveaway. If you can’t wait to see if you won the bundle, you can also buy them in her shop!

I’m going to use my bundle to make a quilt-as-you go pillow or two. Something like this Maureen Cracknell Diamond Strings quilt I recently saw. I think these colours will be perfect for it! I can even use the yellow and green in the centre to create the middle diamond shape. (edited: I made the pillow!)

This giveaway is open to everyone, from today (June 16th) until midnight June 23, 2015. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email address. There’s a “click to enter”, no social media login entry too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We are super lucky because Rita has decided to also offer a discount along with her interview. Use the discount code “THREAD15″ to save 15% on your order at Fabric Please! until July 1, 2015! 

I couldn’t resist choosing a few more of my favorites. Have fun stashing! (P.S. All Fabric Please! shipping costs are flat rate – Canada $8, US $15, International $30!)


 Thanks for reading. Don’t miss a post – Follow along below! 

Disclosure and Privacy Policy: I asked Fabric Please! to be a part of this series.  I will never recommend or highlight a shop that I do not love, and my opinions will and have always been my own. Thanks for reading! 

Mustang First Day Top

2015 June 11

Sooooo… I’ve been hoarding this fabric since last summer, because, of course – it is the super popular Cotton + Steel Mustang fabric from last spring’s collection. (Of course!)

Lately, though, I have been thinking that hoarding gorgeous fabric just means it sits on my shelf. So I’ve been using it up instead. Now it’s a cute First Day top (and a sunglasses case) and I have some left over for something else. I’m thinking tiny shorts maybe?

This top is a wearable muslin for the Tula Pink Elizabeth First Day dress I made my youngest last month. She’s grown a bit since last summer’s First Day dress so it’s a good thing I made a muslin for this one! Turns out, since this version does not have an empire waist, that she needs a size 7 around and a size 4 length, neckline and shoulder. I love that this pattern is so well put together. It’s super easy to alter!

I hadn’t made a top from this pattern as yet and I can see making a lot more. The dress is already quick, and the top is a bit faster and uses less fabric. LOVE that I can fit these into the smaller pieces I have left over from my projects.

I bought this fabric from Fabric Spark last summer, so it is now out of stock – you can check out their current Cotton + Steel stock though. Watch out – you might need all of them!

Reader Feedback: What is your go-to girl’s dress pattern? Or little boy’s shirt, if that works better for you!

Thanks for reading. Follow along and don’t miss a post!

Vernazza Color-Block Top {pattern review}

2015 June 8

Inspiration from a 80′s rock band anyone?! This top is a first “wearable” muslin of the Vernazza Color-Block Top. It’s not perfect, but I like the front panel and colour-blocking so I decided to take photos anyhow! This pattern is from the book: Just for You, that I recieved as part of my Sewlebrity Sewalong post in January. I have finally gotten around to making another project from it, and finished just in time to be part of May’s Sewalong.

Since it was Made be Me May last month, I was looking for another top to sew for myself so I could round out the photos I was taking. It so happened that I read a post on Sew Can She’s blog and remembered that I could make this top. I had also just picked up a knit panel at the fabric store and was trying to find somewhere to use it.

Thoughts on the pattern:

  • It’s well laid out and written.
  • The photo instructions are very clear.
  • Includes tips to make your top look less handmade. (Which I failed to do because my knit hemming/top stitching skills need lots of practice!)

Here are a few things I love about it:

  • It’s really well thought out and explained pattern.
  • Comes in sizes XS-XL.
  • Uses proper techniques to finish seams etc.
  • The style of the top is different, I don’t know of many other top patterns that have side panels.

Thoughts on the fit:

  • LOVE that it fits pretty well. Especially on the front. The back is a bit large, but that could be because I altered the pattern quite a bit (see below).
  • I find that I generally should have made one size down from whatever I think I need on most patterns. Not sure if I am bad at measuring myself or if I tend to like a more fitted finished product.

Things I changed from the original pattern:

  • I removed the color blocking from the back to save a bit of time when sewing it. This probably altered the fit quite a bit since I had to curve the pieces a bit to fit them together properly.

Things I might change next time:

  • Use a more structured knit. This one was so thin it was hard to hem – as seen in the photos!
  • Use hem bands to omit the hemming all together and see how it looks.
  • If the hem bands don’t work I’m going to make the sleeves a bit smaller around.
  • Try one or two sizes down, or make alterations – this was a first muslin after all!

Reader Feedback: Do you have a favorite sewing book? What project from it do you like the most?

P.S. Hmmm… I wonder what we are doing on our vacation today?! Come over and find out! 

Thanks for reading! Follow along to get more great tutorials and posts:


#mmmay15 Recap

2015 June 4

We are on vacation! Hooray! As you read, my family is headed to Florida. A much needed break from “the usual” and some sun, beach and lazy days for the next week and a half. (Deep breath, Ahhhhhhh…..) While we are away I’ve scheduled a few posts, so it won’t look like I’m gone. If you want to follow us around I’m sure I’ll be posting pics on Instagram. So if you are curious, you can see what we’re up to!

On to normal business?! I decided to play along with Me Made May (#mmmay15) this year. The goal is to wear and post a handmade item every day. While I don’t have nearly enough handmade clothing items to post a photo every day, I at least have enough to give it a fair shot.

I have to say, that it’s a weird and undesirable thing to post selfies everyday when you rarely post selfies normally. Such a strange concept! I noticed lots of other people were saying the same thing, and even making up hashtags like #awkwardselfiemonth and saying “only 5 more days to go!” I wonder if this will affect how many people participate next year?

That said, here are all the days I posted, along with their respective blog post links (where applicable) if you’d like more details. 

Forest Glen Satchel (pattern available here)

High-Low Chevron Dress

Pattern Emporium Harem Pants

unblogged (Seafarer Review)


Alder Skirt

3/4 Sleeve Seafarer Top

Post coming June 8 (search Vernazza)

3/4 Sleeve Seafarer Top

Ella Top by Liola Patterns

Ella Top, Alder Skirt

Monthly Sparks… {and “How not to make a quilt!”}

2015 June 2

June is a good month! We are leaving to go on vacation tomorrow, school will be out at the end of the month – and it’s my month to pick the bundle for my sponsor Fabric Spark’s fabric subscription program!

This subscription features a bundle of 12 fat quarters from Maureen CracknellVery ShannonFresh LemonsBlue Elephant StitchesModern Sewciety + The Tattooed Quilter, and me! It was finally my month pick a bundle, and so mid-May I visited Daryl from Fabric Spark and spend a couple of hours choosing my bundle. Not an easy task with such an amazing collection! In the end this fun bundle (loaded with my favorites and lots of Cotton + Steel!) was born and I decided to make a quilt with the bundle she gave me.

If you follow the blog you know I’m not a quilter – but I was determined to make something with all of these fat quarters in it. Because I put them together, so they must remain together! I sorted them by colour (there are 3 of each) and started with a “Trip around the World” in mind. Here’s where I went wrong….

  1. The groups of colours were not all the same value – ie. 2 dark navy and 1 lighter – they didn’t produce the nice even diamond shape I was aiming for.
  2. The bicycle fabric ended up all on one side because I made another newbie mistake – I wanted all of the fabrics “right side up”. This meant I needed to make each block with the diagonal lines going in the correct direction, and I couldn’t change them later based on how everything looked.
  3. The backing is going to be a (most gorgeous ever) border print, but the quilt is a bit larger – so I need to add to it. And since the quilting was going to be in straight lines, I have no idea how to pull off making the quilt top and backing line up so the lines are not crooked on the back.
  4. I have a navy backing and multi colourful front fabrics – which colour do I quilt in without ruining one or the other by having the thread show up “too much”?
Thankfully my friend Lisa (from Lisa in Port Hope) was over for our Sewcial and gave me a few tips that I think will help.
  1. Unless a quilt is hanging for a show, you don’t have to have everything to be right side up. You can lie under it whichever way you’d like, so aim for the fabrics to be right-side-up from the centre out.
  2. If I had not made everything right-side-up I could have moved the blocks around so the fabrics were spread out more evenly.
  3. Quilt on the diagonal to avoid having straight lines that are not parallel to any lines on the back.
I am not certain that I have solved the quilting thread colour issue. It was suggested that I use gray, but I don’t know that I want it to show up that much?  Any suggestions?

Don’t get me wrong – I am not in any way sad or disillusioned about the quilt. I really LOVE the fabrics. It’s the picky details that are bugging me and I could have made it so much simpler by following the second list of “rules” above! (“Wasting” time gets on my nerves!)

I’m taking my machine and quilt(s) with me on vacation, hoping for a bit of down time during our 10 days off. If all goes well I’ll sort everything out and come back with a finished quilt! That would be fun!

Disclaimer: Fabric Spark is a sponsor of this blog. I was given this fat quarter bundle in return for this blog post. As always, my opinion is my own – thanks for reading!

Indiesew Summer Collection: Ella Top & Harem Pants {pattern reviews}

2015 May 28

So, you’re window shopping on a summer Saturday – or you’re headed to a sparkly roof-top party downtown?  No problem, the Indiesew Summer Collection has you covered. (Crazy hair colour not included!) 

This year I have been lots more successful in making more of my own clothes. I’m starting to sort out what fits and how to make it fit if it doesn’t. It’s a great feeling to actually be able to participate in #memademay15 - and not just watch everyone else doing it! Today I get to show you how I expanded my handmade wardrobe as part of the Indiesew Summer Collection Blog Tour. (and I am not just a little giddy that I am in a tour with all these talented bloggers!)

Indiesew has been creating seasonal collections for about a year now. I’m a huge supporter of bloggers, indie sewing patterns and online fabric shops (especially in Canada!). I love that the sewing community has grown up so much in the past few years.

Indiesew’s mission is to bring everyone together. They have amassed a large collection of the best indie patterns and you can purchase them, upload your photos and view others’ creations – loads of inspiration. Plus, sewing tips and tutorials on their blog. Their branding makes my designer’s heart super happy! (Yikes, didn’t mean to go on a long speech there – I really love the back story to their site!)

Speaking of supporting Canadian online fabric shops, I found the small-scale check shot cotton for my Ella Top at Flare Fabrics during Creativ Festival. I had been hoping to use a gray check or plaid and was happy to find it so easily!

It’s my attempt at a summery nod to the lumberjack shirt trend, and it’s super soft. Though it doesn’t have much drape, I was hoping for a bit of a boxy, long “crop tee” look anyhow. They also have an amazing oversized check and so many colours. Shot cotton, rayon challis and chambray are my new favorites for clothing!

PATTERN REVIEW: Ella Top, by Liola Patterns

Fabric: Gravel Peppered Check Shot Cotton (Flare Fabrics)

This top is the perfect summer project. It’s beginner friendly and uses just over a yard of fabric. (Less if you shorten it!)    I want to make more and live in them all summer.

Here are a few things I love about it:

  • The back yoke detail is fun to play with. You could use lace, bias or fussy-cut fabric!
  • The pattern only has 15 pages to assemble! Hooray!
  • It is fully constructed with french seams so there are no raw edges and no edge finishing to do.
  • Well written, illustrated instructions.

Thoughts on the fit & my alterations:

  • The fit is true to the given measurements.
  • I adjusted the sides of the top to fit size small at the top down to medium at the bottom. 
  • I also did a small bust adjustment and sway back adjustment like I usually do on #memade tops. (Don’t be scared, they are not hard and let you customize the fit to your body.)
  • Raised the neckline by 1″.
Things I changed from the original pattern:

  • I love the length of the original pattern – but it looked a bit long with the not-so-drapey fabric so I shortened it by almost 5″.
  • I used my favorite imagine gnats trick - using a knit instead of a woven to bind the edges, soooo much easier. Bias tape and I don’t play well together!

Things I might change next time:

  • Use a flowy fabric. I’d love to see one in rayon challis – the shot cotton is amazing, but does not drape really well.
  • Make on in the original length or longer, or make it into a tank dress.

PATTERN REVIEW: Ladies’ Harem & Lounge Pants, by Pattern Emporium

Fabric: Black Rayon Challis (Canadian Fabricland, no link)

Since I am not so much a trendy fashion follower on my own – I love having the Indiesew collections to help me out. I don’t think I ever would have made myself proper harem pants without a little push – and now I want them in every colour. (And floral… and ikat print!)

Here are a few things I love about it:

  • The MOST options ever. You can make these pants 9 different ways. If you mix and match the options are almost endless!
  • Well written and organized pdf instructions with clear photos.
  • Comfy, comfy, comfy!

Thoughts on the fit & my alterations:

  • The first pair I made were really baggy. I sized down 1 size for these even though the hip measurement is smaller than my measurement. I’m much happier with a more fitted pant.
  • The only alteration I made was to lower the front rise by 1″. They already sit low on your waist (love that!) and now they fit me perfectly.
Things I changed from the original pattern:

  • Nothing! Aside from my alterations to the fit.

Things I might change next time:

  • I’d love to try a pair in a knit fabric with contrasting hem and waist bands.
  • Also, maybe shorten them to 3/4 length.
  • I would love to re-visit these in the fall with a bit heavier fabric (maybe take in some excess from the elastic waist) and hem them using the lounge pant option.


Visit the links below for more Summer Collection inspiration:

Tuesday, May 19th: Rachel | House of Pinheiro
Thursday, May 21st: Katie | What Katie Sews
Monday, May 25th: Anna | Noodlehead
Tuesday, May 26th: Andrea | Knitty Bittes
Wednesday, May 27th: Erin | Sewbon
Thursday, May 28th: Sherri | Thread Riding Hood (Hi, That’s me!)

 Reader Feedback: What is your go-to clothing pattern to make for this summer?

Thanks for reading. Follow along and join me for “thread ride”!

Disclaimer: Indiesew provided the patterns used in this post free of charge as part of this blog tour. Flare Fabrics also provided a discount on their fabric in return for a mention in this post. As usual, thanks so much for reading! All opinions are always my own.

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