Paris Sew Social + GIVEAWAY

Paris group shot

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to join a sewing blogger weekend in Paris. You may be surprised to hear that when I was first invited I said no! I haven’t shared my news here yet but I am 6 months pregnant. When Annika and Jo initially asked me about the trip I was struggling with morning sickness and couldn’t imagine visiting the next town, let alone travelling to Paris. Fortunately, I was able to change my mind a few weeks later and I’m so glad I went. I got to meet so many lovely and talented ladies from all across Europe and to spend a whole weekend talking about sewing and fabric (amongst other things), with people who are just as excited about it as me.

Display at Anna Ka Bazaar

 Display at Anna Ka Bazaar

Paris Sew Social - me, Maartje and Nienke

 Nienke, me and Maartje

We all stayed at St. Christopher’s Inn by the Gare du Nord (which has such a convenient location) and were provided with packs with maps and other information from the Paris Office du Tourisme. Our sponsor Bernina offered an amazing voucher that allowed us to purchase some gorgeous Atelier Brunette fabric at Anna Ka Bazaar and a delicious meal in a little restaurant (les Quilles). The restaurant host was very entertaining and I’d thoroughly recommend this place.

I did take my DSLR with me but ended up not taking many photos. I was very happy just to absorb the atmosphere and enjoy the great company. We visited some amazing fabric shops but surprisingly I didn’t buy too much. Fortunately, we had some incredible sponsors so I still came back with a lot of fabric and other goodies.

Paris fabrics 1

Paris fabrics 2

Not a bad stash I think you’ll agree! Well, there is also a chance for three of you to win one of the packages of fabric and patterns listed below. The winners will also have the chance to participate in a blog tour in June/July for which we all will sew something using the wonderful fabrics and patterns that we got.

Paris Sew Social and this giveaway were made possible by our amazing sponsors, so thank you Bernina, Lillestoff, Cousette, Nosh, FabFab, Telaria, Alles für Selbermacher, Supercut, Imagine Gnats, Nutta, Mon Depot, Tuttle, Aurifil, Snaply, Joyfits, Ottobre, Compagnie M., Do Guincho, Titchy Threads, Made It, Kid Approved, Schneidermeistern, Delia Creates, Willow&Co, Mouse House Creations, Sofilantjes, Sewpony, LBG Studio, Loubee Clothing, Straightgrain, Elegance&Elephants, Hey June, Paisley Roots, St. Christopher’s Inns & Paris Office du Tourisme

Paris giveaway sponsors

 

Here’s what available to win….

prize1

1st prize:

The first prize includes jerseys from Lillestoff (the rose print sponsored by Lillestoff, the ABC print sponsored by joy fits), a Andrea Lauren bag filled with goodies from Alles für Selbermacher, an Ottobre magazin, a 15$ voucher for Imagine Gnats Shop and a sewing magazine from Stoffe.de.

prize2

2nd prize:

The second prize includes a jersey with roses from lillestoff, a fun dinosaur fabric sponsored by mon depot, some pink ribbing from Nosh, a lace zipper from Snaply, nice spools from Aurifil, a paper pattern by Compagnie M. and a sewing magazine from Stoffe.de.

prize3

3rd prize:

The third prize includes a flowery popeline from Lillestoff, white jersey from Nosh, blue stretch fabric with Cupcakes from mon depot, a paper pattern from Compagnie M., spools from Aurifil and a sewing magazine from stoffe.de.

The giveaway is open to international entries, void where prohibited by law. The giveaway runs until Monday May 11th 2015, 12am CET. To be in with a chance of winning just enter the rafflecopter below. The more of our social media channels you follow, the higher your chance to win one of the three prizes.The giveaway runs until Monday May 11th 2015, 12am CET. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Twisted Tuesdays Tour: Week 2

Welcome back to week two of the Twisted Tuesdays Tour. I have introduced tiered pricing on my site this week, so if you purchase a few full price patterns together you’ll get a bonus discount (buy 3 to get 10% off, buy 5 to get 15% off). This is applied automatically at checkout.

I am really excited about today’s guests. Both their blogs are fairly new to me but they’re the sort of blogs that once you discover them, you want to go back and read every single post.

First up is Toya from Made by Toya. She sews a wide variety of things but mostly for her two gorgeous daughters. As an artist / illustrator she often adds a creative twist or unusual details that really make the finished items special – just look at this incredible quilted jacket. Toya’s is also used to having to combine widths and lengths of patterns for her tall slim eldest girl, and her post today shows how good a fit you can get when you take the time for this. I also adore the jacket, which Toya made using the Rowan Tee pattern as a base.

Twisted Tuesday outfit from Made by Toya

My other guest is Carin from Art Bella, who sews amazing clothes for both her son and her daughter. I love how she is able to adapt the style she sews in for their different personalities and everything looks impeccably made. Did you know that Liberty make swimsuit fabric? Nor did I until I saw this stunning swimsuit. For this Twisted Tuesday both children got a pair of Twisted Trousers and the Twisted Tank (with a difference) and Rowan Tee feature in there too. Read more about the outfits here.

Twisted Tanks and Trousers by Art Bella

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Twisted Tuesdays Tour: Week 1

Hello! Today I am kicking off the Twisted Tuesdays Tour. Every Tuesday for the next 7 weeks I will have some of my favourite sewing bloggers sharing what they’ve made. Each person has made the Twisted Trousers or Twisted Tank (or both) and possibly a Rowan Tee as well.

I can also now share that all of these patterns have been professionally translated into Spanish. If you’ve bought from my site then you can select the language option in your ‘Downloads’. To celebrate I have several talented Spanish speaking bloggers joining the tour, so hopefully you might discover some new blogs to follow.  Everything I’ve seen so far has looked amazing so I won’t delay any longer.

The full line up is at the bottom of this post, but let me introduce today’s guests first.

First is Shelley from Bartacks and Singletrack, who I followed on Flickr before she started her blog. As her blog name suggests Shelley is a big cycling fan. One of the first projects I saw of hers was this incredible Evel Knievel costume. I love how she is always willing to accept a challenge – just check out this shirt she made recently. She was sent the cut pieces by someone else, with no pattern, no instructions and no idea of the seam allowance. Not only did she make an gorgeous shirt with French seams throughout, she then added some adorable embroidery. Today Shelley is sharing two different pairs of Twisted Trousers that she made for her son and daughter. Also, make sure you visit her blog again tomorrow to see how she turned the Twisted Trousers and Rowan Tee into some costume pyjamas that a lot of kids will be very jealous of.

Twisted Trousers by Bartacks and Singletrack

My other guest today is Naii from Diario de Naii, who makes a huge variety of beautiful clothes for both herself and her children. She has great taste in prints and will often use other methods to create one of a kind garments, like this fantastic origami dinosaur T-shirt. I also adore this top that she made for herself in a gorgeous grey. For today’s post Naii has made outfits from the Twisted Trousers and Twisted Tank for both her children. I love the way she’s played with different stripes on the tank and there’s a surprise detail on the front.

Twisted Tank and Twisted Trousers by Diario de Naii

I can’t wait to see what next week’s guests make. Here is the full line up.

Week 1: Bartacks and Singletrack / Diario de Naii

Week 2: Art Bella / Made by Toya / La Pantigana / Max California

Week 3: Handmade by Brienne / Ava’s Lookbook / Mamemimo / Our Family Four

Week 4: Behind the Hedgerow / Oon / My Cozy Co

Week 5: Hungie Gungie / Groovybaby and Mama / La Inglesita

Week 6: Sutures and Sandpaper / Maker*land / Cal Joan y Mas

Week 7: Petit a Petit and Family / La Folie Sewing Booth /

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Azur and Cloud 9 swim patterns are here

Hello! It’s almost a month since I last posted but I promise I have been very busy behind the scenes. I am really excited to share a double pattern release with you today.

About a year ago I started working on two swim patterns with my amazing friend Celina from Petit à Petit and Family. Little did we know that we’d still be working on them a whole year later. Today I am here to share the good news though – they are finally ready and available to buy! You can find the Cloud 9 swim shorts and tank here and the Azur reversible swimsuit here. For a limited time only you can buy both patterns to get a 25% discount (just add both to your cart on the Titchy Threads site).

We have put a huge amount of work into these patterns and we’re so pleased with the final results. It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve learned so much during the process. Both patterns are reversible with the option to colour block and are available in sizes 6-12 months to 12 years. I talk a little bit further down about my fabric source for the tank tops and next week I will return with a blog post covering a lot of great sources for swimsuit fabric. Here are all the details…

CLOUD 9 SWIM SHORTS AND TANK

Cloud 9 Swim Shorts and Tank Pattern by Titchy Threads and Petit a Petit and Family

This swim shorts and tank set can be worn together or as separates. The tank has a slim fit with slim shoulders and can be made with a regular hem or a cuffed hem. The shorts include options for layers regular or colour blocked. They can be made reversible or you can use the leg cuffs for a non-reversible pair. I love how the reversible ones come together, the last few steps still seem like magic.

It’s even been warm enough for my boys to wear theirs on a recent trip to the beach.

Cloud 9 swim shorts and tank - at the beach

Cloud 9 swim shorts and tank - at the beach

Cloud 9 swim shorts and tank - at the beach

The recommended fabric is swimsuit fabric with a nylon / lycra content and 4 way stretch (at least 50% in both directions). However, you could make the tank in a good quality cotton / lycra jersey.

You can find the Cloud 9 pattern here in the Titchy Threads shop.

Cloud 9 swim shorts and tank line drawings

To get the animal prints on the tanks I had the fabric custom printed at L&S Prints. They are the only custom print fabric company I’ve found that prints swimsuit fabric on a small scale basis.  Fortunately for me they are based in the UK. It isn’t cheap (£23 for one metre including shipping) and the upload process was a bit clunky. However, most custom print fabric is not cheap and once the company had received my image the fabric was printed and arrived really quickly (I think within 3 or 4 working days).

Cloud 9 swim shorts and tank - elephant panel

I only got a quick photo on my phone but this is what I managed to fit on 1 metre of fabric. It’s enough for 5 tank tops, 4 panels and one pair of shorts. I set up my design in Inksape and laid out the full sized pattern pieces initially, then placed the images I wanted to use on to, to make sure they would fit. The animal images are from Shutterstock and the monkey print is an old design based on Rowan’s favourite soft toy, which I wrote about here and here.

Fabric layout

AZUR SWIMSUIT

Azur Reversible Swimsuit - pdf pattern by Titchy Threads and Petit a Petit and Family

The Azur is a fully reversible swimsuit with a really unique design. You have two different shoulder straps (halterneck with clasp or cross over) as well as an optional extra back strap. Each layer can be made with a regular view or colour blocked. The pattern also includes optional bows. It’s a very versatile pattern and you can make sure each swimsuit you sew is truly one of a kind.

Azur Reversible Swimsuit with colour block, halter strap and back strap

Azur Reversible Swimsuit with halter strap - front view

Azur Reversible Swimsuit with halter strap, additional back strap and colour block panel

You can find the Azur pattern here in the Titchy Threads shop.

Azur Reversible Swimsuit - options

So there you go. Two very versatile patterns that will allow to to make a huge variety of swimwear for your children.

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Competition winners

The I ♥ Layers competition was a huge success with 303 entries! I have been overwhelmed by all the support and comments that I’ve received over the last week and a bit. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Frances of Miss Matatabi and Rachael from Imagine Gnats, who each offered a $40 voucher to their shops.

Miss Matatabi logo
square logo imagine gnats

They both have the most amazing selections in their shops, so not only do the winners get lots of new patterns to try but they will also have some lovely fabric to make them with. You can’t beat that.

So without further delay the winning comment numbers were 61 and 165, making Dana and Johanna the two lucky winners.

I ♥ layers competition winners

 

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I ♥ layers

I ♥ Layers competition from Titchy Threads

13 months ago today Titchy Threads was the first pattern company to include pattern layers as a feature of their patterns. If you haven’t come across layers before they basically allow you to switch on and off the different sizes within your pdf so you can print only the size or sizes you want to use. I will explain a bit more about them below but if you are already familiar with them then let me tell you about the competition first.

To celebrate the layers feature I am hosting a ‘I ♥ layers’ competition in my group. Two lucky winners will each receive all the patterns I’ve released so far AND all the patterns I that I release during the next 12 months. I promise there are many new Titchy Threads patterns in the works as well. The Azur reversible swimsuit and Cloud 9 reversible swim shorts and tank are both almost ready. I started working on them last year with the reversibility master Celina from Petit a Petit and Family and we’re just tweaking a few final details. I will also be releasing the Rise and Shine Raglan (including puppet sleeves and other options) in the next month or two, with a lot more patterns planned after that. All the details on how to enter can be found in my Titchy Threads pattern group on Facebook.

Azur reversible swimsuit by Titchy Threads and Petit a Petit and Family

 

shortscombined

So what are layers and how can I use them?

The pattern designer must have included layers in the pattern. It has definitely become very popular within the last year and lots of designers include this. Layers are generally added when patterns are created using Illustrator (fairly easily) or Inkscape. I use Inkscape and also sell a pdf generator tool with two levels. The professional level of the tool allows the user to include layers in their pdf.

To use layers you must open your pdf in Adobe reader. You then need to select to list the layers for all pages, since the layers only appear in the pattern pages and they are normally at the end of the document.

Layers in a pdf pattern by Titchy Threads

The pattern will default to showing all the layers, as you can see below.

All layers selected to print - pattern by Titchy Threads

You can then turn each layer on and off individually. Below only the 12-18 month layer is turned on and you can see that is the only size that is shown in the pattern pieces.

Only one layer selected to print - pattern by Titchy Threads

It’s as simple as that. Now when you print only the size 12-18 month pieces will print. This will save you ink and make it easier to see the lines if the various sizes overlap. It is also really useful if you want to blend the width of one size and the length of another – just print those two sizes and it’s easier to combine the two.

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Twisted Trousers Testers

I mentioned last week that I had an amazing group of testers for the Twisted Trousers and I really did. They hung in there for almost 3 weeks of testing, were so supportive and gave me valuable feedback to help improve the pattern. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Before I share their version I should remind you that there’s less than 6 hours left to take advantage of the sale. Anyone on my mailing list or in my Facebook group can get 25% off all my patterns  – valid until midnight GMT today. If you haven’t got the code and would like to take advantage of this offer then you can either sign up for the Titchy Threads newsletter here or request to join the Titchy Threads patterns Facebook group here.

I think you’ll see from the photos below that everyone’s Twisted Trousers turned out amazing. There is also so much variety – solids that will go well with everything, topstitched pairs, pairs with pops of bright piping, gorgeous florals, two tone pairs and fun prints.

Ages 2 to 5

Twisted Trousers Testers - ages 2 to 5

Row 1: Left and Right – Maartje from Huisje Boompje Boefjes , Centre – Candy

Row 2: Left – Audrey’s closet, Centre – Natalie from Sew Outnumbered, Right – Ines from La Folie Sewing Booth

Row 3: Left – Amy from Friends Stitched Together, Centre – Maria from My Cozy Co, Right – Ashley

Ages 6 to 12

Twisted Trousers Tester - ages 6 to 12

Row 1: Left – Diana from Miss Castelinhos, Centre – Carla from Rita Pirolita, Right – Bridget from bbsbeenbusy

Row 2: Left – Nadine Simard, Centre – Melissa of A Happy Stitch, Right – Karly from Paisley Roots

Row 3: Left – Karly from Paisley Roots (as for row 2), Centre and Right – Shelly from Sew Shelly Sew

Emily from My Craft Little Self made a batman inspired pair and then styled a whole outfit around them. I’m pretty sure her son will be wearing these all the time.

Twisted Trousers by Emily of MyCraftyLittleSelf

Melissa from A Happy Stitch made another couple of pairs in sweatshirt fleece for her sons. These look so comfy and I would definitely recommend it as a suitable fabric to use

Twisted Trousers in sweatshirt fleece by Melissa of A Happy Stitchand last but certainly not least, Mie from Sewing Like Mad made a whole twisted outfit, pairing the twisted trousers with the twisted tank. Mie also added an exposed elastic waistband, which works just as well as the knit waistband included in the pattern instructions.

Twisted Trousers and Twisted Tank by Mie of SewingLikeMad

So I think you’ll agree that all of these ladies did an incredible job. Huge thanks also go to my other testers Sara, Celina, Rita, Elsa, Alicia and Linda.

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Pattern release and sale: Twisted Trousers available now

Twisted Trousers by Titchy Threads

It’s been very quiet here recently but I have been working hard pattern testing and I am so excited to announce that the Twisted Trousers pattern is now available in my shop!. Unfortunately when I am testing a pattern I feel like it has to get my full focus. Testing on this pattern took quite a lot longer than I expected. Luckily, I had an amazing group of testers who worked with me to ensure the fit is just right and the instructions are clear and easy to understand. The adorable little girl in the image below is by one of those testers and I’ll be sharing more of their versions soon.

Twisted Trousers Cover

Twisted Trousers Illustrations, pattern by Titchy Threads

I also have a bonus release today. Initially I hoped to release the Twisted Trousers at the same time as the Twisted Tank. I haven’t quite managed that but the I am re-releasing the Twisted Tank with the added option of an untwisted tank (otherwise known as a regular tank, or just a tank). If you already purchased the pattern then the upgrade is available in your Titchy Threads account. I can’t wait to make several of these – twisted and regular – for my boys for spring. You can buy both twisted patterns for a reduced price – add both to your basket to get the Twisted Tank for half price (the discount will be applied at checkout, no need for a code).  Also, read to the bottom of the post to find out how you can get an even bigger discount.

Twisted Tank Cover, pattern by Titchy Threads

Back to the Twisted Trousers for now though. This is probably my favourite pattern I’ve designed so far and I’ve been working on it for a long time. I first shared them in my Sewing for Kindergarten post last year but the idea has been in my mind since before I started releasing patterns. I will share more details of two pairs shown in the top photo and the one below in a future blog post but they were inspired by a theme and the weather wasn’t warm enough to get photos of the T-shirts that go with them. If anyone can guess the theme I’ll be very impressed.

Star Twisted Trousers, pattern by Titchy Threads

The unusual feature of these trousers is that the side seams twist around to the front and the inseams twist to the back. I have become addicted to making all my pairs reversible. Even now it seems like it won’t work and then at the last minute you turn them out and have a completely reversible pair of trousers with no exposed seams. I think some of you will love that feature too. The front slant pocket design gives an opportunity for some surprise details. I love the one below, which was sewn by Mie from Sewing Like Mad.

Twisted Trousers front pocket, sewn by Mie of Sewing Like Mad

The bigger bonus of this pattern is that my boys love them and keep wanting to wear them. The fit is slim but not too tight, the waistband means they can easily dress themselves and they especially love the reversible pairs.

If you are on my mailing list or in my Facebook group then you will already know about today’s release and you will have also received a discount code of 25% off all my patterns that is valid for the next week (until midnight GMT on March 11th). If you haven’t got the code and would like to take advantage of this offer then you can either sign up for the Titchy Threads newsletter here or request to join the Titchy Threads patterns Facebook group here. Either way you’ll make sure you’re the first to find out any Titchy Threads news and the Facebook group is a great place to share things you’ve made with my patterns and ask questions as well.

 

 

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Sew In Tune: Step On

Watermelon Twisted Trousers by Craftstorming

I am joining in with the Sew in Tune series today, hosted by Stacey of Boy, oh Boy, oh Boy and Melissa of Melly Sews. If you haven’t heard of it before the idea is to sew up an outfit inspired by a song. This series has run a few times now but just before it was first announced I was getting ready to run a very similar series! After I heard about it I went with a completely different series idea (Sew Yummy) so I’m very excited to be sharing a song related outfit after all this time.

Watermelon Twisted Trousers - front pockets

The song I chose is called Step On and is by a band called the Happy Mondays, who were popular in the UK in the late 80s / early 90s. You can watch the song on here. They are not really one of my favourite bands but they were fairly influential in the British indie music scene. They also helped to pave the way for a lot of bands in the Britpop era. It is probably their most catchy, well known tune and I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head.

Watermelon Twisted Trousers

I first got the idea to make some watermelon trousers from Kristin’s fruit strip skirt tutorial. I wanted to try and find a way to make it work for boys and decided piping would be the best way to add the contrast colour. I followed Kristin’s suggestion to carve a seed stamp out of the eraser on the end of a pencil.

So what has Step Up got to do with watermelons? Well, the more memorable line from the song is “You’re twisting my melon, man”, which basically means “Hey, you’re really confusing me”. My Twisted Trousers pattern was the last piece of the puzzle and the piping on the side seam really highlights the twist and makes the watermelon more obvious.

Watermelon Twisted Trousers - back pockets

I had grander plans for the top but decided this T-shirt, with a subtle “Why?” on it, was a good balance to the vibrant trousers. I cheated a bit because I made this two years ago for Casper. Also, when I say “made” I actually mean I added a some vinyl to the front of a ready made T-shirt.

Why? T-shirt

I ended up making the trousers a bit too long for him because I wanted to make sure he could fold up the inside green layer as cuffs. Fortunately Rowan absolutely loves them and will be glad he can wear them for a long time! It does mean that they bunch up a bit too much and the front and back twists get hidden – you can see them better below. You can also see that they are fully reversible. I am addicted to doing this to trousers now and it’s included as an option in the pattern (currently in testing and due for release next week).

Watermelon Twisted Trousers - collage

Thank you so much for Stacey and Melissa for having me today. Don’t forget to visit their blogs to see what the other 3 guests have made today.

 

 

 

 

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365: Week 5

I find I am in the habit of taking a daily photo now but I was also editing daily and that has gone out the window for the time being. It didn’t help that I was getting the Twisted Trousers ready for testing but that is finished now and they should be ready for release in a week or so. I will be back on Wednesday sharing a pair for the ‘Sew in Tune’ series.

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