KCW Spring 13: Something Tiny

One last project, for a little someone . . .


Someone new to make clothes for!  🙂

(pattern: Little Man Shoes by Shwin & Shwin with modifications)

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!

photo 6

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 . . .

Lynn D in NC

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!


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!


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 . . .


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!

OooOOooOoh my goodness!

My Boy-cycle outfit for Boys Week was chosen as one of the winners for the At-home-sew-along Contest for Project Run & Play!!  There was a tie!  I’m so excited and shocked and happy!  The other winner was Stephanie from Pinafores and Pinwheels and I’m so glad that they picked her design too, because I LOVE it.  Hers was a Sherlock Holmes inspired look that is so stylish and totally wearable too.

Something weird is going on where I can’t leave comments on some other people’s blogs (some work fine and other not at all!).  I’ve tried today and yesterday from 2 different browsers and it still won’t work.  At the risk of sounding like a cheesy acceptance speech, I DID want to publicly say thank you to the judges of the contest for picking my outfit!  And all the really supportive people who have left sweet and encouraging comments.  A huge thank you to the ladies at Simple Simon & Co. for hosting the fantastic Project Run & Play competition and allowing the opportunity for the sew-along!  I’ve been having so much fun!

Look out this week for a simple tutorial from the boy’s outfit and then my entry for this week’s PR&P challenge which is Sewing Through the Decades.  You can take a look at all the other sew-along entries at the PR&P Flickr Pool.  Most people will add their submissions starting from tomorrow and the deadline is Friday at 8am.  Hope I get mine done, photographed and uploaded by then!  Can you guess what decade I finally picked?

The Etsy Shop is now open!

It’s finally here!  The you & mie Etsy shop grand opening!  Well, it’s not that grand, but at least it’s an opening!  I had originally imagined I would create a stock of products and a whole line of children’s clothing, but I was being far too ambitious.  When the reality of just how much time I needed versus how much time I actually had sunk in, I decided to just post a few items at a time.

So I’m proud to finally share my first two products, the Custom Fabric Photo Book and the Fabric Color Book.  I’ve spent a lot of time developing these two books and I think they’ve come out really great.  They are definitely wonderful gifts for babies and young kids that will become treasured keepsakes.  I hope you take a look and like what you see!  If you know of anyone who might be interested, please pass on the links.  And remember, I will be adding a lot of other GREAT stuff soon, so check back often!