Miss Matatabi Makers and a Big Bow Washi Dress

It’s no secret that Miss Matatabi is one of my favorite online sources for fabric, especially Japanese fabrics like Nani Iro.  Frances always has an amazing selection of high quality fabrics and she’s a total sweetheart on top of all that.  So I am really excited to announce that I get to be one of the regular contributors on her site, sewing up a new project every month with some fabulous fabric from her shop, along with 3 suuuper awesome ladies!

We’re the Miss Matatabi Makers and you can read all about us here.

MissMatatabiMakers

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

My first project as an official MM Maker is up on the blog now!

I made a big bow Washi Dress in some gorgeous voile AND it has a secret modification to make it nursing-friendly!  Head over to Miss Matatabi for the full post with all the details and how I nearly ruined the whole dress with an accidental serger slice!

And while you’re over there, be sure to check out the other recent posts from Leslie, Angela, and An.  So much fun inspiration and gorgeous fabric!

Happy Monday :)

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Introducing mohr studio

Hey!  Anyone still need to do some Christmas shopping?  I hope I’m not the only one!  I’ve barely gotten started and I’m in denial about how quickly Christmas is creeping up on us!  At the start of the season I have the intention of making handmade gifts for everyone.  But a couple weeks out I realize that’s not going to happen, but still want to give special and meaningful handcrafted gifts.  Well in case you’re in my boat, I wanted to tell you about my friend’s Etsy shop, mohr studio.

Ashley, the creator behind mohr studio, blogs over at everything else we do where she shares the gorgeous sewing and knitting she does for herself and her cute kiddos.  She’s recently opened up shop and I absolutely adore everything she’s made!  She’s got stuff for babies, kids, women and the home.  Everything is made with such great skill and style.

Ashley reached out to me awhile back through email and since she lives not too far away, we’ve gotten to meet up a few times and do some of my favorite things together – fabric shop, talk about natural birth and drink beer.  :P  She’s such a sweet, funny and generous person!  Last time we met up she gave me this perfect little sweater for Kaya.  It’s honestly my favorite thing to put on her now.

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Anyways, go check out the shop.  How ridiculously cute is this sweater and dress?  Definitely wish this tunic and this hoodie came in my size.  And this or this would make perfect gifts for me some lucky lady in your life. :P

OH and I almost forgot, Ashley is offering a holiday deal of 10% off everything in her shop (code: MERRYMOHR)!  What other reason do you need?

Happy shopping!

Time to Vote!

Yesterday, my Sunki Flip for the Flip This Pattern series was revealed and today, you get a chance to vote for your favorite of the four pattern remixes!  You can check out all four and vote over at Frances Suzanne.  I have to say, my fellow competitors did a phenomenal job with their flips and coincidentally, we ALL decided to make jackets/outerwear!  I’m not entirely sure which one I like best – they are all so great!  :)

I decided to take the stylish Sunki dress and make a comfy knit hoodie for my toddler.  The original pattern is a beautiful dress with some really unique and fun elements like the very visual pockets, the overlapping shoulder seams, and the pleated sleeves at the shoulders.
I love the shape and style of the original Sunki Dress and those oh-so-identifiable pockets.  So I wanted to keep the general silhouette and modern feel from the pattern.  But my daughter really will only wear comfy knit clothing and with the weather getting colder, I thought a little zip up hoodie would be perfect!
To flip the original pattern into a zip up hoodie, I made the back one pattern piece and omitted the zipper.  In the front, I left the pockets exactly the same, but split the pattern into two pieces.  I added width to both the front and the back, since this was meant to be outerwear, I wanted to make sure it would be roomy enough to wear over layers.  I changed the shoulders from the overlapping pieces to a regular shoulder seam since I wanted to add the hood and omitted the facing pieces.
I left the sleeves pretty much the same except instead of pleating them at the shoulder, I did a slight gather.  The fabric I used is a thick and cozy sweatshirt knit, so it would have been too bulky to pleat.  But the gathers still give it that slightly poofed look.
I shortened both the sleeves and the body of the “dress” and added cuffs for a more casual and fitted look.
I chose an exposed zipper down the front for an added visual element.  It was my first time using an exposed zipper and I love it!
The oversized hood is lined with a warm flannel and is perfect for bundling up when it gets chilly!  I used one of my daughter’s store bought hoodies to draft the pattern for the hood.
I decided to sew up a pair of Sunki leggings to go with the hoodie, but stuck with the original pattern.  They were a really fast and easy project to make and I can see myself making a bunch more of these for my daughter!
And that’s my Sunki flip!  I really enjoyed sewing this hoodie and the leggings and I hope you like them too!
Thanks for letting me be a part of this fun project, Ashley and Emily!  And thank you to Shelly of Figgy’s for providing us with the Sunki pattern to flip.
Now, if you haven’t already, head on over to VOTE for your favorite Sunki flip!  Voting is open from now until Sunday, October 27th at 11pm (CST).  Happy Friday!
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She’s here!

She’s finally here! Our new little addition finally made her appearance one week ago on September 24th, 1:53am (at 41 weeks and 6 days)! She was 7 pounds 7 ounces at birth, 20 inches long and is perfectly wonderful.

Her name is Kaya . . .

Kaya1

Kaya2

three days old

We had a planned home birth and it was actually quite a looooong long labor. I had been going through waves of regular and irregular contractions for days – some mild, some really intense and by day 6 or so I was exhausted and discouraged and really considering heading to the hospital to be induced. Hideko and my awesome midwife kept me hopeful though, and I’m so glad they did because we were able to have the home birth that I had imagined and in the end all that hard work was totally worth it, of course.

Kaya_w1_5

Kaya_w1_1

six days old

I can’t get enough of all her little baby parts, her soft skin and yummy smell. I’m trying to spend as much time snuggling up with her as I recover and we get to know each other and bond and redefine our family to include one more.

Kaya_w1_2

But to be honest, this whole 2 kid thing is kinda kicking my butt. On one hand, I want to just get lost in goo-goo-ga-ga land with Kaya all day long, but I also want to be there for Yuki especially during this huge transition. Physically I just can’t keep up with a 3 year old right now, and she is also so emotionally needy. Poor Hideko is running around trying to take care of everybody – it’s going to take awhile for us to find our new family groove I guess.

Yuki meets Kaya

But Yuki is super sweet to her baby sister. The first time she met Kaya, she was scared – she told us so. She likes to gently touch her face and give her little kisses. But when Kaya starts crying, Yuki says, “can you put her back to sleep?” Haha!!

Yuki kisses Kaya

Kaya is very lucky to have such a fun, spunky and loving big sister. I can’t wait to see how they grow up together.

Kaya_w1_4

I’ll be blogging here and there, though not quite as often, I’m sure. I’ve got so many projects I want to sew and share, but we’ll have to see how that all fits in with family and life. Until next time . . . take care and happy sewing! And be well!

Announcing the Japanese Sewing Book Series!

JSBS_button500That’s right!  I’m hosting my very first series here on you & mie and we’re going to be talking all about Japanese sewing books!

(pictures from Sanae Ishida)

Shortly after I started following sewing blogs, I started to notice that some of my favorite seamstresses were sewing gorgeous clothes from Japanese pattern books.  I was drawn to the classic, simple and beautiful style and aesthetic, but I didn’t understand how people could construct such elaborate pieces without being able to read Japanese.  Since most of them seemed like they were able to figure it out using the diagrams, I thought I should give it a shot too.  So I picked up a couple of books (and trust me, this is one of the harder tasks when you start looking at all the adorable choices that are out there!) and as soon as I cracked them open, I felt completely overwhelmed and lost.

photo 3I picked a simple garment, one that I could do even without directions, but left and right, I was faced with questions – what size should I make?  How much fabric do I need and will I need other notions?  Where do I find the pattern pieces I need on this crazy puzzle of a pattern sheet?  (OK, they fit pattern pieces for like 20 garments on one piece of paper, it’s intense!)  I have to add my own seam allowance!?  And so on . . .

photo(27)I clumsily worked my way through the directions and ended up with the tank top in the top picture.  It was way too big.  But it was an accomplishment and (now that it actually fits her) is one of her most worn tops.  I just wished I had someone to walk me through the steps and answer all my questions as I tried to decode each piece of the pattern and directions.

So that’s where this series comes in!  Like I said, there are TONS of amazing Japanese sewing books out there and I feel like they are a largely untapped resource – intimidating and not accessible to many of us.  So I’ve invited 5 friends to help answer some of the most basic questions about sewing with Japanese patterns and basically walk you through the entire process!  Isn’t that sweet of them!?  I think you’ll be pleased with my line up . . . I know I am!  The lovely and talented ladies who will be joining us from March 25-29 are:

Kristin from skirt as top
Sanae from Sanae Ishida
Meg from elsie marley
Frances from miss matatabi
Robin from nested in stitches

Between the six of us, we represent a pretty wide range of experience with Japanese patterns, from total beginner (me) to super advanced pros (umm . . . some of these other ladies).  So no matter where you fall, I think this series will have something for you!  Not only will they be sharing their knowledge with us, but also some of their own handmade goodies from Japanese sewing books to provide us with PLENTY of inspiration.

And to get us started with some inspiration, I’ve started a Japanese Sewing Book Inspiration Board on Pinterest that the ladies have helped fill up with beauties for your viewing pleasure.

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 4.12.29 PMYou should also check out Sanae’s blog post about her amazing Japanese Pattern book collection.  After you finish drooling over her books maybe you can even order a book or two now so you can sew along with the series?  And this flickr pool has tons of kids clothing sewn from Japanese patterns!

Next week, I’ll start off with a little “pre-party” and share some of the things I’ve made from Japanese sewing books.  So until the series starts in 2 weeks, please go check out all the gorgeousness on my guests’ blogs and the pinterest board to whet your appetite.  And stay tuned, because I have a couple of giveaways coming up too!  You really aren’t going to want to miss any of it :)

So tell me,
- Do you sew with Japanese patterns?
- What big questions do you have about sewing from Japanese patterns?
- Do you have something you’ve sewn from a Japanese pattern that you want us to add to the pinterest board?  If so, leave a link in the comment section!

Please feel free to spread the word about the series.  I really hope that this can become a great resource for seamstresses everywhere.  I can’t wait!

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Sweetheart Dress Pattern Winners!

Thank you to all of you who entered the Sweetheart Dress Pattern Giveaway!

Sweetheart7Remember, if you didn’t win, you can still hop on over and buy the pattern now!  The awesome part about PDF patterns is you can download it, print it and start sewing immediately!  Just enough time to whip one up for your little Valentine for Valentine’s Day!

But THREE of you are lucky enough to receive the pattern for free from Shannon!

And the winners are . . .

replicatethendeviate
Lynn D in NC
huisei

Congrats!  I’ve sent your contact info to Shannon and she’ll be emailing you the pattern directly.  Have fun with your pattern and I’d love to see your finished dresses!

Sorry you can’t all be winners, but you CAN all sew this adorable Sweetheart Dress.  Click here to buy the pattern!

Happy sewing!

I am an affiliate of Go To Patterns.

A Very Go To Christmas (Pattern Tour)

Andrea, of The Train to Crazy and the Go To Pattern Shop, is hosting a blog tour of some of the fantastic Go To patterns available in her shop this week and I get to be a part of it!  These patterns come from amazing designers and are really great staples to have in your pattern collection.  The tour started on Thursday and will continue every day through next Friday so be sure to follow along to check out these awesome patterns perfect for sewing up some holiday outfits and gifts.  Not to mention a FANTASTIC giveaway!

http://thetraintocrazy.typepad.com/.a/6a00e55379bee88833017d3e53dd9b970c-800wi

Here’s the line up!

Handmade Therapy Nov. 29th
a pretty cool life. Nov 29th
Sew Much Ado Nov. 30th
Simple Simon and Co Dec. 1st
One Little Minute
Dec. 1st
The Cottage Home Dec. 2nd
Sew country chick Dec. 2nd
Nap Time Crafters Dec. 3rd
A Little Gray Dec. 3rd
skirt as top Dec. 4th
you & mie Dec. 5th
Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy! Dec. 5th
Me Sew crazy Dec. 6th
see kate sew Dec. 6th
Delia Creates Dec. 7th

The tour has already started so you can check out the first 5 blogs to see their Go To creations AND get in on the giveaway action :)

In related news, I’ve recently signed on as a Go To Patterns affiliate, which means that if you click on any of the links I have to the Go To Pattern shop AND make a purchase, I will receive a small commission.  I have used several of the patterns in the shop myself and have had great experiences with them.  I also adore and trust Andrea, who runs the shop, and I know that she has high standards of quality and great taste, which is why I am excited to be promoting Go To Patterns.  Take a look at some of the stuff they have to offer (you can click on any of the links I’ve provided here or the new button in the sidebar of my homepage under “Affiliate Links”) – you won’t be disappointed!

http://thetraintocrazy.typepad.com/.a/6a00e55379bee88833017d3e42715a970c-800wi

And be sure to stop back in on Wednesday, when I’ll be sharing my version of the Maggie Mae Tunic by Shwin & Shwin.  Here’s a sneak peek . . .

sneakpeek

Haha, I’m such a tease!  Have a great weekend!

Mollie Makes and a call for Totoros everywhere

Today, one of my old tutorials for a felt flower pin is posted on the Mollie Makes blogMollie Makes is a lifestyle and craft magazine for people who live and love handmade.  Their magazine is a BIG DEAL so I’m extremely excited to have my tutorial posted on their blog.

I’m also a little embarrassed because I made this tutorial a long time ago (you know, like a whole 8 months ago) and my tutorial photos are pretty bad (that polka dot background and horrible indoor nighttime lighting!?  Ugh!).  Anyways, hop on over to Mollie Makes to check out my tutorial if you haven’t seen it before, and definitely check out their Projects link for tons of inspiration for fall projects.

Also, with Halloween right around the corner, I know that a lot of people have been working on their own handmade Totoro costumes based off the one I made last year.

I feel bad because I said I would try to make a pattern for the costume by this Halloween and I never did.  I didn’t even do a tutorial for the costume, but people are giving it a shot anyways, and I’ve already received pictures of some really incredible Totoro costumes that readers have made!

If you’ve made a Totoro costume (or are making one right now), I would LOVE to see a picture of your finished costume!  Eventually I want to do a round up here on the blog sharing all of your Totoro inspired creations, so please email me your photos (or a link to the photo if you’ve posted it on your blog or in an online photo album).  When you send me your photo please let me know if I can share it here on the blog and any links you’d like me to include (if you have a blog or something).

Remember, you can always add pictures to the you & mie flickr group also!  I love to see what you guys have made using my tutorials or projects for inspiration.  It makes me so so happy! :)

In other announcements, there are a lot of exciting series coming up over the next few months that I get to be a part of.  Today, Jen of iCandy Handmade announced their upcoming series, Basic Bodice Design.

In this series, all of the guests are going to be taking a very basic dress bodice design and making adjustments to create totally different looks.  And there will be tons of tutorials showing you how!  There will also be linky parties so that you can share your creations too!  Go check out the announcement.  The series starts in mid-November and runs till mid-January.

How is your Halloween prep coming?  Are you making costumes?  I’d love to hear about what crafty projects or decorations you’re working on.  Hideko convinced me to make another costume for Yuki (since she doesn’t like the rain cloud one) but I’m really scared that she will refuse to wear this one too.  Here’s a little sneak peek though.

Thank you for stopping by!  :)

Nesting with Delia – my first guest post!

Good morning!!!  Guess where I am today!?  That’s right, I’m doing a guest post, and not just anywhere, but for Delia from Delia Creates!

I’m am so honored and thrilled to be an add-on to her fantastic Nesting series with my spin on fabric wall decals.  Delia’s blog is one of my absolute favorites and you’ll see why if you take a few minutes to browse around.  I guarantee, you’ll be hooked!

Check out the tutorial and you can download my first free pattern for this sweet hedgehog and mushroom decal set!

So what are you waiting for?  Come join me for some nesting with Delia!