Jun 212014
 

Before we dig into The Rambo Project, I wanted to share a little surprise with you all! Yup, that’s me…sporting quite a baby bump for someone not due until November. This picture here is me and our little girl Clover Rose expected this November.

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

I know a lot of you already knew about my pregnancy because you were either with me while I was showing, or you were with me when I was trying to confirm that I was officially pregnant (I’m looking at you Trice, Lladybird, and Clare!) But now that we finally got to learn the gender (girl!) I figured it was time to share it with all my virtual sewing buddies.

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

So since I’ve known about this new addition for a little while, I had plenty of time to plan my Rambo project accordingly. Since it was hard to gauge what size I would be ahead of time, I thought I would make something more practical that I could  use everyday instead of only when I was 5 months pregnant. A baby sling!

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

You have probably heard about The Rambo Project by now from all the other talented ladies participating, but just in case you haven’t, I’ll give you the cliff notes version of the story. (Click here to see the full version) My girl Erin received a box of turbans that were used in the movie Rambo III! These turbans were actually used so they have rips and stains and are different colors, etc. She messaged some of us around the web to know if we wanted to make something out of them. Believe me when I say the answer was a unanimous yes!! Everyone wanted a piece of the Rambo action…and really, can you blame them/us?

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

I started searching around the web for how to make a baby sling. This is my first baby and I have no idea about these things yet. Turns out it is very simple. I bought some sturdy rings from Sling Rings and followed the instructions on their website. I did NOT believe this was going to hold anything. It seemed too simple! Of course my dogs are ginormous so I couldn’t test it out with them, but luckily my parents have a smaller dog and she was more than willing to help me test out my new baby sling. And look! No hands! It totally works and Nellie (the cute white dog) was completely comfortable just chilling in it. I’m excited to try it when Clover finally gets here!

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

Of course, me being me, I couldn’t just leave the baby sling the way it was. I had to embellish it, with neons, and pom pom balls, and variegated thread decorative stitches…and of course couch some of my new neon pearl crown rayon that I picked up in New York at Pacific Trimming. Here is a closeup of all the stitching.

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

neon pink hearts, green pom poms, neon orange and yellow spikey squiggle, couched neon variegated trim from NY, neon yellow and green squiggles and more green pom poms

In order to do decorative stitching on a fabric, especially if you are using wide stitches, you need to use a stabilizer on the back to keep the stitches from tunneling and pulling. I used a tear away/wash away stabilizer that tore cleanly. You just stitch with the stabilizer underneath and tear it off when you are done…easy presto!

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Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

Also, one easy trick I use when couching trim, or using binding is to put the roll on the knee lift lever and unwind it from there. Holds everything perfectly and works much better than trying to hold it on my lap when it constantly falls off and then the doggies try to play with it.

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

How about one last pic for the road?

Lolita Patterns | Surprise! and The Rambo Project

I hope to alter some Lolita Patterns into a version I can wear for maternity because I am seriously outgrowing my clothes way too fast. If I do, I will definitely post how I modify the pattern so you all can make them too!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

 

May 292014
 

Sewing Indie Month has almost come to an end…but not without one more post!  Today I am posting an interview with Sew Caroline. She recently released several modern and comfortable patterns that are super cute and I was so excited to get to connect with her and learn more about her philosophy and design style.  Now you can too! Here is our interview.

Sewing Indie Interview With Sew Caroline

  1. Which came first…love of sewing or desire to make your own styles prompting learning sewing?

I think my answer to this question is … both! BUT, I didn’t sew garments at first. When I first began my sewing journey I loved sewing small, easy to sew items such as zip pouches, bags, etc. but I wanted to create my own style of these items because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I began imagining the things I would create and shortly after finding a way to sew them.

  1. What started you sewing…what was the precipitating moment? DO you think of sewing all the time? What aspects do you dwell on mostly?

I begain sewing about four or five years ago when I received a sewing machine for Christmas. It was a magical day! I don’t remember much a bout the first few months of owning the machine, but I quickly learned how to use it and found myself staying up late watching youtube videos on how to sew things.. This is how I learned! I think of sewing and designing MUCH more often than I care to. I find myself awake in the middle of the night thinking of a new pattern that’s been in my head and having “aha!” moments of figuring out how those seams should go together. It’s really a problem! ha! I dwell on the design of things a lot. When I am out shopping and/or gathering inspiration, I tend to think deeply about how certain garments are put together, etc. I love learning new techniques!

  1. How would you describe what you sew? Is there a particular influence on your choice of design? When did you decide sewing your own clothes was important to you? When did you decide to share your ideas as patterns with others? What inspires or influences your style? Do your pattern plans come from dreaming up styles or from styles you see and want to modify to fit your ideas?

Because I know people live busy lives, I want my garment designs to be things women can sew in an afternoon. Quick and simple are important to me when sewing as well as designing. I love being creative, so when I first learned to read a pattern and began sewing my own clothes I did it because of the sense of pride I felt! NOW, I wear my own clothes proudly because I never have time to go shopping and prefer what I have sewn over other store bought things. When I began altering pattern so much that they no longer looked a bit like what the original pattern looked like, I knew it was time to start designing my own, from-scratch patterns. I love seeing ready to wear garments that look simple enough for me to sew. I gain a lot of inspiration from current trends and timeless staples.

  1. Describe your typical sewing/patterning daily routine.

Every day is different, BUT.. I typically get up in the mornings around 7, make my coffee and eat breakfast while checking Instagram, emails, etc. The emails that need responses immediately, I answer. The others wait until around mid-afternoon. After coffee, I head into my studio and decide what has priority. It may be a sewing project, some pattern drafting, a blog post, etc. I figure out what it is and do it right then. After this I eat a bite for lunch and typically go work out in the early afternoon. When I am back, I do some more emailing and computer work and then have a couple of hours in the late afternoon to do a bit more sewing. Sometimes this late afternoon time spot is used for a photo shoot. Like I said, though, everyday is different, so I kind of fly by the seat of my pants sometimes J

  1. You have released your first three patterns in such a short period of time! Are there more en route very soon? What have you learned from these patterns that will affect your future releases?

I have been working on these three patterns for about 8 months, so it seems like they all released in a very short amount of time, but in reality they’ve been in the works for quite some time! I have another pattern set to release in 4-5 weeks that I am really excited about. Every thing I’ve learned has been through trial and error and I have of course learned valuable things through each and every release!

  1. What helped you decide to start your own pattern company…what was your “aha” moment?

After I realized I was re designing so many patterns to where they no longer looked anything like the pattern I had purchased, I realized that was silly.. I should design my own! That was definitely my “aha” moment.. and it happened almost a year ago.

  1. What types of designs are your primary focus? Has designing your own fabric influenced the kind of patterns you design?

I love wearing dresses and easy to style tops and skirts. So these easy to sew staples are definitely my primary focus. Since my fabrics will be sold in quilt shops, I try to design clothing that will work well with quilting cottons (along with other apparel fabrics!)

  1. What influences your style?

I love classic, yet trendy styles. I love Anthopologie, J.Crew, ModCloth, etc. I find a lot of inspiration for my patern and fabric designs through ready to wear garments.

  1. What are you finding is the hardest part of having your own business?

Finding time to do everything!!!

       10. Will you be having sew-alongs? Why or why not?

I want to! I just haven’t found the time to get it all organized, yet! I think it is a fabulous way for people to connect while sewing the same patterns.

      11. How do you bring your sewing/pattern/designing day to an end…or do you?

My husband comes home and we have dinner together.. I try to stop working for a couple of hours to spend time with him, but inevitable I am always back at it for an hour or two before I go to bed.

      12. Do you still have time to sew for yourself using patterns by other designers?

Not much… but I try. I really enjoy this part of sewing! I am hoping to get to do more self-sewing this summer.

      13. Is there anything else you would like to say?

Thank you so much for having me here today! I’d love to connect with you on my blog  (SewCaroline.com), Instagram (@SewCaroline), or Facebook (fb.com/sewcarolineblog)!

It is so sad that Sewing Indie Month is almost over but I hope everyone enjoyed it and that you learned about some new indie pattern companies…I definitely did! Stay tuned for a new challenge I am participating in being announced in a few days :)

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

 

May 202014
 

Wow that title was a mouthful!  Sewing Indie continues with a tutorial I wrote up to share over on Sewn Square One’s blog. This tutorial shows you how to shirr fabric using elastic thread but by using your serger that has chainstitch capability. It is a wonderful time saving technique that keeps you from having to hand wind bobbins.

sneak peek photo from tutorial

For those of you that don’t know Sewn Square One, they are known for their modern and streamlined designs. I am currently crushing on this Skirt Smarts pattern! The ruching on the side is right up my alley!

click for source

Another awesome pattern I’m eyeing is the Go Anywhere dress. It looks extremely practical and cute for every day.

click for source

So go ahead and check out the tutorial and hopefully learn a new technique and a new pattern company at the same time!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

 

May 152014
 

Today I want to show you two gorgeous Olive’s made by testers. The first one started as view A but was converted into something completely different. This one was made by Handmade by Carolyn.

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The above photo shows the final version. She started out with view A making the cowl overlay and flounce which you can see below but decided it did not quite fit her style…so she adapted a button front view instead! You can see how on her blog post!

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Her Olive is made of a beautiful white linen and I love how the white tone on tone looks for Olive. Below you can see a closeup of her final version after modifications.

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She has a bunch more pictures and details of her modifications over on her blog post.

 

The second Olive I have to show you was made by Velosewer. And this version is made out of olive colored fabric!  This is so perfect. She made a spearmint colored Spearmint and now an olive colored Olive!

click for source

 

Her version is view B but she couldn’t resist adding the sleeve ruffles from view A. She also converted the neckline into a v-neck. Don’t worry, she will be doing a post on how to do that on your own Olive!

click for source

 

Here is a closeup of the sleeve ruffles.

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There are tons more pictures and info on her alterations over on her blog post. She even mentions another version of Olive coming up! Click on over to see the details.

I’ll be featuring more Olives as we go along. In the meantime, don’t forget about the coupon code sewing15indie to save 15% on all physical patterns through May 19th including Olive!

 

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

May 132014
 

I wanted to write a quick post to let you all know I am heading to NY again! I will be there next week and am looking forward to meeting up, fabric shopping, drinks/dinner…everything!  I had so much fun the last time I was there and I hope to see a lot of you again. I am around Tuesday the 20th, Wednesday the 21st, and on Thursday the 22nd I am going fabric shopping with Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic! Does anyone else have time to meet up? Send me a message!

NY dinner pic

picture from last NY trip in March!

Reminder: All physical patterns (including the newest release Olive) are 15% off through May 19th using the code sewing15indie!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

May 112014
 

Today we have our second Sewing Indie post. I partnered up with Soma Patterns by Sylvie P and she interviewed me about Lolita Patterns for her blog. Go ahead and click over to get the scoop on behind the scenes at Lolita Patterns!

Let’s talk about how cool Soma Patterns is for a minute. They make patterns with zero waste! The patterns are designed to use all the fabric so there are no unnecessary and wasteful scraps left behind. Not only is this such a great idea, the patterns are also very practical and fashionable!

Check out their new FloriAnn Skirt:

click for source

 

They even have a link to show you sneak peeks of their upcoming patterns.  Soma Patterns was a new company to me that I learned about while preparing for Sewing Indie Month and I am so glad I did! I love learning about new pattern companies.

I hope you are all enjoying Sewing Indie Month.  We still have some more posts coming up this month partnered with Sewn Square One and Sew Caroline!

Also don’t forget about the pattern sale going on to support Sewing Indie Month! Use code sewing15indie to save 15% off all physical patterns!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

 

May 072014
 

I’m sure you have all heard about Sewing Indie Month by now and seen all the great independent pattern companies that are participating. One of the great things that this month brings is the big sew-along that features over $1,000 in prizes! Check out Mari’s post to get all the details.

sewalongrule02

To make it easier for you to participate, we have a 15% off all physical patterns discount going on until 11:59 Pacific Time Zone on May 19th, 2014. And stay tuned, because there just might be a new pattern release hidden in those dates that will also be eligible for the discount! Just use discount code sewing15indie to save 15% on all physical patterns! Go ahead and take advantage of the discount at the shop and enter the first Sewing Indie contest!

I hope you are all enjoying Sewing Indie Month as much as I am! Good luck with the contest…I can’t wait to see all the fantastic garments you all make!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

May 012014
 

This month has a huge surprise for all of you…it is Sewing Indie Month!  This month will compile tons of interviews, tutorials, and special goodies from tons of independent pattern designers all put together by Mari from Seamster Patterns. To get all the details, check out her blog post here. Also, grab a Sewing Indie Month badge from the sidebar!

Twenty one different independent designers are participating! It has been incredible! There are also over $1,000 worth of prizes available. See the information about the prizes here.

banner_sewingindie

There will also be sew-alongs and prizes hosted by various bloggers around the web. Lolita Patterns is offering patterns in the prize pack for the Dressed to the Nines category put on by Laura from Lilacs and Lace.

Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Lolita, Pauline Alice; paper pattern of your choice from By Hand London, Christine Haynes

Sewing Indie Month designer prize pack: PDF pattern of your choice from Lolita Patterns, Pauline Alice; paper pattern of your choice from By Hand London, Christine Haynes

Hopefully this month will show you all the great independent pattern companies that are around and help you learn a little bit more about them. Today I am so excited to show you this fantastic tutorial put together by Stepalica. Stepalica makes wonderful more advanced patterns. Check out this Nougat Dress with the gorgeous spiral detailing. 

click for source

And the recently released Zlata skirt

click for source

Today Ana will show you how to convert a basic skirt pattern into this beautiful YSL inspired skirt. Her instructions are so detailed that anyone can follow along and end up with a high end designer skirt at a fraction of the cost!  Without further delay, here is her tutorial:

I am so thrilled to show you a lovely and unusual skirt I made. At first glance it looks like a basic pleated skirt, but take a closer look at it and you’ll notice it’s a skirt with a twist, or should I say – a twisted skirt. The knife pleats are slightly angled, thus making the twist effect.

I got an idea for this skirt from a commercial for a YSL bag. The bag itself didn’t impress me as much as the skirt from the photo did. Just look at lines of those pleats – such an ingenious design! My interpretation is slightly different, but I kept the basic design of it.

YSL-inspiration-photo

YSL advertisement that inspired this skirt tutorial

This kind of skirt is perfect for office and work environment, but it could look quite casual if made from denim, twill or cotton. It is suitable for plain fabrics or those with floral or abstract prints, but I’d advise you to avoid using plaid and striped fabrics, since those can be challenging for matching.

A pattern for this skirt is really easy to make, especially if you have a pattern for a basic pencil skirt – with just a few cuts you can transform it into this lovely and unusual skirt.

Jewelry made by Anya - Studio Artesania (http://studioartesania.blogspot.com/)

01_BasicSkirtPattern

1.

- Start with a basic skirt pattern that has waist darts.

- If you’re using a pencil skirt pattern that tapers towards the hemline, straighten the side seams so that they’re perpendicular to the hemline.

- Copy the panels to a new sheet of paper, transferring both left and right side of each of them.

- Join the front and back panels along the right side seam (the right side of the pattern will represent the right side of the fabric).

02_MarkPleatsDirection

2.

- Draw a set of parallel lines connecting the waistline with the hemline. The lines should be angled – you can use one of your waist darts to define the angle of the line (in the drawing, I used the back dart). There should be nine lines:

  • one for each dart,
  • one for the center front line,
  • one for the center back line,
  • one for the right side seam,
  • two for the left side seam, as shown on the picture.

- Each line (except for the ones that correspond to the center front and center back lines of the skirt) should be drawn so that it intersects with the apex of the corresponding waist dart, or with the point on the side seam where the front and back panels form a V shape.

- Measure the width of each waist dart. Optionally, you can copy the shape of each dart by making small triangles as guides for the next step.

03_RotateDarts 3. 

- Rotate each of the darts so that it’s width is equally spread to the left and right side of the angled line that corresponds to it. Make sure the apex of the dart remains in its original position.

- If you were using triangular templates as dart guides, fixe them in place. If not, redraw the darts on the pattern.

04_CutPanels

4. Cut the front and back skirt panels along the angled lines.

05_SpreadPanels

5. 

- Define how wide the pleat should be when folded. I’ll call this measurement the pleat width. In my case, the dart width was 1.5” (4.5 cm).

- Multiply the pleat width by 2, so in my case that’s  3” (9 cm) – this will be total pleat width.

- Spread the panels as shown on the picture. The distance between the two panels should be equal to the total dart width.

- Split the distance between the left and right panels in two, by drawing a line parallel to the panels.

- Also, draw two lines, one on each side of the pattern; each line should be distanced from the pattern by pleat width.

- Define the point on the skirt where the pleats should start and draw a line at that point, parallel to the hemline

06_RedrawShape

6. Transfer the shape of the skirt to a new sheet of paper as shown on the picture. Spread the front and back skirt panels.

07_SkirtPattern

7. This is how the final skirt pattern should look.

08_DraftLining

8.

- Take the panels gotten in the step 4 and lay them over a sheet of paper. Close the waist dart on both front and back skirt panel, by rotating the panels as shown on the picture. Fill the gap that’s been made by the dart rotation at the hemline.

- Smooth the hemline and the waistline so that they form nice curves. Redraw the shape to the paper.

09_LiningPattern

9. This is how the lining pattern should look.

Ready for some finished photos of the skirt?

stepalica-twisted-pleats-skirt-01 stepalica-twisted-pleats-skirt-04 stepalica-twisted-pleats-skirt-07 stepalica-twisted-pleats-skirt-10

I hope you all enjoyed this fantastic tutorial Ana from Stepalica put together. I adore this skirt and cannot wait to make one of my own. It is the perfect combination of stylish with interesting lines but still perfect for the office. I hope you enjoyed this first installment of Sewing Indie Month…don’t forget to check out Seamster Patterns for what else is in store coming up this month!

Apr 032014
 

Has everyone heard about this contest?

It features an amazing prize—a Babylock serger!!  The deadline is coming up on May 1st and it is definitely worth your while to enter. To check out the rules, visit www.patterncompanies.com. So grab some fabric, pick your pattern, and make your winning creation! These prizes are fantastic and the contest is definitely worth entering.

I know I only recently heard about the contest so I thought I would post it here to make sure everyone gets the chance to enter. Let’s help get the word out!

Party Like A Rock Star

 

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Mar 312014
 

Today’s feature is two gorgeous Sugar Plums, a mother and daughter combo!

click for source

Cbsyr has a blog where she details many of her sewing adventures and you can see her post specifically on her Sugar Plum by clicking here.

Both of these Sugar Plums look so comfortable! I don’t speak or read Swedish, but I used google translate and think I got the gist. Even if I could not understand any of it, you can tell by their smiling faces and beautiful dresses that they love this pattern as much as I do!

I love seeing that other countries have learned about Lolita Patterns and are able to make the patterns with the detailed illustrations instead of relying on the words in English. These are truly gorgeous and I can’t wait to feature more!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

 

 

Mar 262014
 

Did anyone notice Fabric Mart Fabrics amazing sale going on right now? They have 35% off their entire Sewing Room section!

lolitabanner

This section has patterns—and includes Lolita Patterns!  I just wanted to point it out to everyone because if you have ever been iffy about purchasing a pattern or were waiting for a sale, this is it. Thirty-five percent off is an amazing deal….the most we ever had was 31% and it was only for one day–my birthday. They carry lots of other patterns and many other items in their sewing room section that are all 35% off. Plus they have 40% off knits going on right now!

I don’t know how long the sale is going to last so pop over quick before they sell out of everything!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Mar 242014
 

I know March is almost over..that’s how far behind I am in getting my garments posted!  For those of you who don’t know, the Sewcialists choose a color every other month to theme sew and for February it was blue. This was fun for me because while I like blue, I never seem to gravitate towards it and have very few blue fabrics. This was good for me to break out and use the blue for once. I found this gorgeous navy fabric with light blue hearts all over it at Fabric Planet (the newer one across from Ace Sewing) in the Los Angeles garment district.

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

I don’t know how my eyes ended up half closed in all the outside photos I took…but I know you need to see the garment so I post it for you all anyway!

I have this extreme weakness for hearts..I have to buy all fabric with hearts on it..I just love them! (Side note: Some of the sewing gals I took shopping in the garment district this weekend picked up some of this fantastic fabric for themselves!)

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

I decided on Sewaholic’s Pendrell which I had been planning to make for some time. This fabric was a rayon challis and works perfectly for this pattern. I love how drapey it turned out.

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

Back story: When I made my Renfrew, I had to extend out at the underarms 1 1/4″ and then taper back in to size 0 for everywhere else because her patterns are designed for pear shapes which is tiny up top. While I am definitely tiny, my ribcage is very broad…especially in comparison to the rest of my body. My first Renfrew kept riding up trying to get room under my arms so now when I make any Renfrew variations, I extend under the underarm.

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

Now I had not yet made the Pendrell, and know it is a woven and not a knit, but thought it might also be tight on the underarm based on the build Sewaholic is drafted for. For this reason I extended under the arms out to a size 6 and tapered back in to a 0 everywhere else. Turns out it was unnecessary! The woven block Sewaholic drafts from seems to have the room I needed. So the extra room was unnecessary and I was able to sew in that extra excess under the arm and the blouse fits wonderfully!

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

The only other change I made was to shorten it by 2 inches and it is at the perfect length for me. Works well tucked into skirts and still looks great when worn with pants. I really like it and think the challis is a perfect fabric for it. I can’t wait to make another one!

I have some rainbow charmeuse that would be so beautiful as this blouse. Next time. :)

Lolita Patterns | Blue February Pendrell

Lastly lets talk about these shoes. They are one of the first pairs of expensive shoes I ever bought back in 2002 (which back then did not cost nearly as much as Charles David shoes do nowadays) and I love them so much still! They are real Charles Davids (this was before Charles by Charles David existed) and are extremely comfortable wedges and looks great with pants and skirts. I don’t wear nearly enough blue which is why these are still in such good condition…I obviously need to make more blue clothes to go with these shoes!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Mar 192014
 

By now you have probably already heard about Oona’s Drunken Fat Quarter Challenge. It was dreamed up in the midst a dark restaurant, loud laughing and talking, and plenty of margaritas. Oona was trying to convince us that fat quarters could not be used for garment sewing. What?!? Luckily for Carolyn, Devra, and myself….we did not agree. And trust me, Oona can be convincing. But we held our ground…and now Carolyn, Devra, Jennifer and I are all going to prove it to her!

picture of some of us at dinner taken by Carolyn

We each got a bundle of 9 fat quarters that we get to use to make a garment/outfit. You can see the rules over on Oona’s blog. There were four different styles but I didn’t even need to pick the kind I wanted. Oona already knew. In fact, she started off early in the evening asking me if I could do anything with zombie fabric. Me?!? Use zombie fabric?!? As I’m carrying around my orange and purple skull bag made especially for my New York visit. I practically leapt out of my seat exclaiming that I must have all the zombie fabric.

Lolita Patterns | Fat Quarter Challenge

So guess which bundle I got? The zombies!  But of course, we all know I love my rainbows and hearts and things so I begged Devra to let me trade one fabric for some rainbows and unicorns. In my world, rainbows, unicorns, and zombies go hand in hand. They needed to be together. Lucky me, she agreed! So I now get one piece of rainbow unicorn fabric to use as well.

I have all these ideas on what to do but I keep changing my mind! There is a deadline so I will have to make up my mind soon….off to my sketchbook!

I have to tell you all, I had such a wonderful time in New York! I got to see Clare again and spend time with Lauren and meet tons of new people! So much so that I plan on going back very soon. I didn’t get nearly enough fabric shopping in, there were so many other things to do!  Next time…..

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Mar 132014
 

Remember the Spearmint themed giveaway we did in honor of Sew Grateful Week? Well we have a winner!

First, let’s refresh ourselves on the prize:

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint Giveaway

We had 127 entries! It was so wonderful to see how excited everyone was about this themed giveaway. And the winner is:

spearmint random generator

Congrats Laura!

Laura is actually someone I had the pleasure of meeting in person last week!  She is so nice and very fun. We met up with another sewist, Joy, and went fabric shopping all over Los Angeles. She blogs over at A Make It Yourself Mom’s Diary. Hopefully I will get a chance to meet up with her again soon.

Right now I am blogging from my hotel room in New York!!  There are some epic meetups planned with a gaggle of people (Lladybird, Clare, Oona, Carolyn, Betsy, Sonja, Devra, Sown Brooklyn, and that’s just off the top of my head, there are more!)…dinner/drinks/fabric shopping so expect tons of instagram/twitter coming your way! And yes, I brought an empty suitcase with for the fabric I plan to buy…I did this in London and bought more than fit…hopefully I can stay within my one extra suitcase this time :)

Thanks for entering the giveaway. I’ll be back soon with New York news!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

 

Mar 092014
 

Edited to Add:  Apparently I never pressed publish so now this post is a little behind since Sew Grateful Week is over but I still love the Sew Grateful sentiment so I’m publishing anyway!

Sew Grateful Week continues! Today is the day to showcase a sewing project. This make combines several themes! It was made with a gifted pattern, Jalie 2921, and I also originally made it up to match with Project Sewn’s shoe inspiration challenge. But of course, I didn’t get it photographed in time so I figured it would be perfect for Sew Grateful!

Lolita Patterns | Jalie 2921

I was given this pattern quite some time ago and I loved it from long before then! I don’t know what took me so long..this is such a quick sew! It is only 4 pattern pieces. I made the smallest adult size, R, and extended under the arms out to size S. I have a broad ribcage and regularly add at the underarm on patterns. A quick check of the measurements showed that this would be a tiny bit too big, but since my fabric was only slightly stretchy, I figured it would work well. And it did….except for the sleeves. I couldn’t even get my arms in them! So I cut off the sleeves and re did them in the black trim fabric which is much stretchier. It is a black matte jersey that I buy in bulk and use all the time. My favorite!

Lolita Patterns | Jalie 2921

I had originally planned on doing all the hem bands and scarf collar in the black, but when I had to switch the sleeves to the black fabric, I switched the sleeve band to the yellow lace. It is a little itchy on my arm since the cuff is double layered and the lace rubs on my arm.

Lolita Patterns | Jalie 2921

Lolita Patterns | Jalie 2921

How great is this fabric?!? It matches my shoes absolutely perfectly! I have had these shoes for years, they are Colin Stuart from Victorias Secret. Yellow is my favorite color and I love lace (hello? Every single Gunmetal I’ve made!)  so the black lace yellow pumps were a no brainer!  When I was in London in November, I went to Walthamstow market with Simona and saw this fabric hanging in one of the stalls….I bought it immediately!

Lolita Patterns | Jalie 2921

I actually had another make I made for the Project Sewn Shoe Challenge that I didn’t get photographed. It involves shoes given to me by the awesome Leila!  I’ll post it soon. I also have my Sewcialist Blue February post to do…even though February is over. I’m slightly behind! I did post a sneak peek of my Blue February make over on my Instagram though so if you follow me there, you already caught a glimpse!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Mar 042014
 

How many of you have ordered from Fabric Mart Fabrics in the past? I’ve been on their email list for years and cannot resist all the amazing prices and sales they have! They even have a great discount code for your first order! When I realized they also carry a select amount of indie patterns, I knew I had to contact them about Lolita Patterns. Luckily, they tried out the patterns and wanted to carry them!  I think I have used a piece of fabric I bought from Fabric Mart in at least one of the samples for every pattern.

Fabric Mart now carries all Lolita Patterns!  The best part? When you order your fabric, you pay a flat rate for shipping…and that shipping stays the same even when you add patterns to your order! No extra shipping charges ordering a pattern from a separate website..you can get everything at once on Fabric Mart’s website!

lolitabanner

My favorite part is that Fabric Mart separates all their fabrics by category–and even makes their categories very detailed! For example, anything in the coating category would be perfect for Spearmint!  Their mesh category is ideal for Gunmetal…I love that they have a separate section for that. Their ponte section is exactly what you need for the skirt section of Sugar Plum. And any of the silkschiffon, or challis’ (not wool) work for the top portion.

I just wanted to give you all a heads up now that Fabric Mart carries Lolita Patterns so you can order both your fabric and pattern at the same time!  New vendors coming soon…stay tuned!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Feb 242014
 

Last year we participated in My Happy Sewing Place‘s Sew Grateful week where the sewing community can show their gratitude to everyone that supports us in our sewing endeavors. We had a great time participating last year and we saved our Spearmint themed Giveaway specifically for this years post!

This giveaway celebrates both Sew Grateful Week as well as the release of our Spearmint coat pattern back in December. This pattern has been really popular and there are many fantastic versions around the web. I have compiled many Spearmints from around the web on this Pinterest board here. They all look so gorgeous! This giveaway also coincides with the group sew-along we have going on right now. We are smack dab in the middle of sewing up Spearmint as a group on the blog. You can check out the sew-along page with all the links.

This not only goes with the Sew Grateful theme, it also goes along with our pattern themed giveaways! We have done one for every pattern we released and it is such a blast shopping for the color themed giveaways. Let’s see what the goodies are!

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint Giveaway

1. Spearmint colored buttons

2. Gorgeous gingham checked eyelet fabric

3. Fun stationery

4. Spearmint flavored Doublemint gum

5. Spearmint flavored Trident gum

6. Spearmint flavored Orbit gum

7. Sally Hansen nail polish in Mint Sorbet (not available if international winner since nail polish can only be shipped ground)

8. Spearmint colored ribbon with pink polka dots

9. Spearmint colored Coats and Clark thread

10. Spearmint colored Jordana eyeliner

11. Spearmint colored rose Amity Originals earrings

12. Spearmint colored Sharpie marker

13. The Spearmint pattern itself!

14. Sparkly spearmint colored fold over elastic

15. Shades of spearmint eyeshadow set

16. Spearmint Chapstick

17. Spearmint colored crepe knit fabric (awesome texture!)

18. Spearmint colored zipper

Whew! 18 pretty goodies!

To enter:

- Follow the blog (through wordpress or bloglovin’) and leave a comment on this post.

The following are optional (for more chances to win!):

- Like us on Facebook for an extra entry and let me know in the comments.

- Follow on Twitter for an extra entry and let me know in the comments.

- Follow on Pinterest for an extra entry and let me know in the comments.

- Follow on Instagram for an extra entry and let me know in the comments.

Here is the fine print: This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere! (One problem: If the winner is outside the continental U.S., I can’t include the nail polish because it has to be sent by ground shipping.) This giveaway will be open until midnight Pacific Time on March 3rd. Good luck!

Edited to add: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! THANK YOU FOR ENTERING!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Jan 282014
 

This post has been a long time coming! My Spearmint (which has been done for ages) never got a proper photo shoot or blog post! So now it has both. This Spearmint is made from Marc Jacobs novelty wool boucle I picked up at Mood in Los Angeles while shopping with Caroline (miss you!) from the blog Tigerfeet.  I don’t see this fabric on their website, but it also comes in bright orange and hot pink…which I definitely considered. But going into Mood, I had a vision in my mind of a white sparkly Spearmint so I got the white. It is a sheer wool boucle that is kind of a creamy white, with white yarn type stuff going in stripes all the way across. And then of course there are the sparkles…beautiful sparkles!

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

First, I block fused the entire yardage because it was kind of sheer and merely a suiting weight and a more hefty weight is better suited to this pattern. I fused the yardage with a fusible tricot. Worked perfectly.

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

Next, not paying attention when I bought it, in my head I assumed the stripes would be going lengthwise and it would be easy to match them up. Of course when I got home, I realized they went horizontal and I didn’t have enough fabric to go lengthwise. Begin cutting forever!! I matched up every single piece for the horizontal stripes…and Spearmint is a lot of pieces around the body to get great shaping.

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

After cutting, sewing up Spearmint is a breeze. It is all done by machine and goes quickly. I used hair canvas for the collar…which is the trick to getting it able to be shaped and molded to the cascades you see here. Also, let me tell you, for this version I used the hair canvas I sell to all of you…..sooo much better!  The last hair canvas I used for samples was bought at F & S and I am not sure what happened, but the fusible beads would fly off all over the place and it did not want to stick to the fabric at all. I was very careful to make sure and test and get great fusible hair canvas for you all after that fiasco. I am here to tell you that not all fusible hair canvas is the same!  But in any case, I was able to use both kinds, just this one worked much easier than the other :)

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

Here are a lot more pictures. Some closeups of the collar and the clean finish jump hem on the inside…no slip stitching needed!

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

Pretty houndstooth lining!

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

clean finish, no slipstitching

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

perfect jump hem

This coat looks wonderful opened or buttoned, and the pockets are nice and large. I am wearing Spearmint here with both my Leopard Gunmetal and my hot pink zebra Giorgio’s Top. I made my version 5 inches shorter than View A in the pattern and I made a size 2. I am very petite and I wanted a coat that would not dwarf me, plus I live in Los Angeles where it doesn’t get very cold, so I didn’t need the extra length. I am wearing it here with only the Gunmetal underneath it. This is how I designed this coat to be worn, as a topcoat. I wear it over dresses or blouses. As we have mentioned before, it is important to size up if you live in a cooler climate and want to wear layers underneath.

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

This is a closeup of the gorgeous sparkly beaded button I bought for it. The button is also from Mood. A bunch of you helped me pick the right button by letting me know on Instagram which one looked best.

Lolita Patterns | Spearmint

Have you seen all the amazing Spearmint’s around the web?  We have collected them all on our Spearmint Pinterest board.

Are you all ready for the Spearmint sew-along? It starts next week! Gather your supplies, grab the sew-along badge in the sidebar, and meet us back here on February 3rd. Still need the pattern? Both PDF and physical versions are available in the shop.

  amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Jan 252014
 

In the spirit of Jungle January last year, I made a Giorgio’s Top out of red leopard print. In the spirit of Jungle January this year, I made a Giorgio’s Top out of hot pink zebra fabric!

Lolita Patterns | Giogio's Top

see my matching shoes again??

I made this immediately following my Jungle January Gunmetal. I love the way my Gunmetal turned out and it looks awesome, but when I was sewing it, I was craving color so badly. So I grabbed my hot pink shiny zebra knit and went to town!  Giorgio’s Top is an incredibly quick sew. It is only four pieces, and made entirely on the serger except for those who want to hem on your regular machine. This is my fourth version of Giorgio’s Top.

Lolita Patterns | Giorgio's Top

My best version was my first, the sparkly orange one. The slinky knit just hugs the figure better than the other knits. I made the other three out of regular knits and while they are wearable, I am not as happy as I am when I put on the original version. So from now on, I will be making this pattern out of slinky knits. I think the heavier weight makes it hug the body better around the waist. I suppose I could just sew those seams larger around the waist but it’s already done and wearable…and will be good when I gain weight since it has extra room.

Lolita Patterns | Giorgio's Top

I always make the smallest size in Silhouette Patterns and sometimes is too big. Giorgio’s Top happens to be a tiny bit roomy but it always still looks great. The peplum doesn’t flare like the photo on the pattern through…at least not in any version I have made. I actually traced off the pattern and added a 1/4″ to each side of each piece which would have added 4 inches to the bottom circumference in an attempt to make the bottom flare more, but it just looked like way too much fabric so I just stick with the original. In any case, it is still such a quick and easy sew, fits well, and looks good so I keep making them!

This hot pink zebra was a stash fabric knit that came from Fabric.com, the same place my orange sparkly slinky knit (the first Giorgio’s Top) came from…same order actually! I didn’t bother trying to make the print match at all…the zebra stripes go in all different directions anyway so I wasn’t concerned about it. Plus I needed a break from the epic horizontal stripe matching that was my Spearmint…way  back in December. I’ll blog my Spearmint in the next post!  Those of you who follow me on Instagram have seen glimpses of my pretty Marc Jacobs fabric Spearmint.

That reminds me! Do you all know about the Showcase? If you tag your instagram photos with #lolitapatterns, your photo automatically shows up on the Showcase page!

Don’t forget that the Spearmint Sew-Along is starting February 3rd! Make sure you gather your supplies and grab your badge from the sidebar. This sew-along is going to have so many tips and photos and extras, you won’t want to miss it!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns

Jan 232014
 

I’m sure you all know about Jungle January hosted by Pretty Grievances. We sew up animal prints and wear them proudly! This is my first Jungle January make of this year. Last year I made a Giorgio’s Top out of red leopard print. You can see the post here.

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

This Gunmetal is a pretty different make from what I usually sew. The entire time I was so jealous of Leila’s Gunmetal. She used the same rose burnout leopard print lace with some very fun hot pink! I kept wanting to do the bright colors but I was inspired by one of my testers versions of Gunmetal. Kate from Sewing for Sanity made a gorgeous nude neutral Gunmetal that we featured in this blog and she featured on her own blog as well.

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

see my matching shoes?

Remembering how much I loved that version helped me stick to my guns with this one. I used a nude swimsuit lining underneath the leopard and used brown thread when doing the rolled hems. Everything is so very neutral! I know it is still leopard print but trust me, this is as neutral as it gets for me…and I’m glad I stuck to it…I love the way it turned out!

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

I used the nude lining under every part. On my previous Gunmetals, the center and side center panels were made without the overlay and so were the sleeves. For this one, I used the overlay on every single piece and the fashion fabric (nude swimsuit lining) on every single piece. That means the sleeves are lined, the center pieces are covered with leopard and the peplum is also lined. It turned out great! I also hemmed the sleeves with a rolled hem to keep the continuity from the ruffles..plus it is way easier than a traditional hem!

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

sleeve closeup

I think Gunmetal looks so different without the contrast pieces…I was surprised. Because I used the overlay on the center piece, I thought adding buttons would be too much. Usually the center piece is the solid underlay fabric and the buttons add the perfect touch..but I tried auditioning some and it just did not look right. So my Gunmetal is buttonless…just like Sew Busy Lizzy’s.

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

Here is a closeup picture of the ruffles and the ruching. On the left side, I pleated the ruching. On the right side, I gathered it just like the Gunmetal instructions. And guess what? They both looked the same! I was trying to see if it would give a different look but with this fabric combination, it turned out looking exactly the same.

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

I held the fabric up to the light with the lining behind it so you could see the pretty rose burnout effect. And leopard print. And lace! And only $2/yd in the Los Angeles garment district. It was a great find!

Lastly I want to talk about the lining. I chose not to line this version, but I am also not picky at all about how the insides look. I sewed a straight stitch while stretching the fabric and then serged them. There are also many pieces so there are a lot of seams inside. The seams are neat but they are still many. So if you like pretty insides, make sure to use the lining pieces. I did not want the extra layers because I wear a tank top/camisole under everything anyway. Yes, everything. So a lining would be too many layers. I am only pointing this out so you know that it can be made without a lining–but you do need to use the neck ruffle or other finishing method for the neckline if you are not going to use the lining.

Lolita Patterns | Leopard Gunmetal

That being said, my version that I made with a lining is beautiful inside! So it is all up to your preferences! Want to make Gunmetal yourself? You can pick up your own Gunmetal in the shop. We also just finished the Gunmetal sew-along so you can get extra help and photos when sewing it up! Also check out the Pinterest page of finished Gunmetals found in the wild.

What do you think? Have you joined in Jungle January?  I have another Jungle January make to show in my next post…love those animal prints…both Jungle January makes have been made completely from stash fabrics!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns