Wednesday, February 11, 2015

MCM Studio Designs Love Bird Dress


It's finally here!
The Love Bird Dress is available at Craftsy, Etsy and my Big Cartel shop.  Use coupon code RELEASE25 for a 25% discount at Etsy or my Big Cartel shop.  The price is reduced for a limited time at Craftsy.  Both sales go through Monday, February 16.

The Love Bird Dress is a beautiful choice. It can be made sleeveless or with petal or cap sleeves. Three skirt options in two different lengths, along with the addition of a separate apron that can be worn over the skirt, give this dress many possibilities. The features include an adorable heart shaped cut out in the back and a button closure. The luxurious cascade of either three or four ruffles down the back require no gathering. Applique templates are 
also included to help get your creativity rolling. 

Your girl would be stunning in this dress as a flowergirl in a wedding, or perhaps she would like to be the "Queen of Hearts" for Halloween. It would also be lovely for that special portrait you have planned or to attend a long 
awaited event. 

This pattern is listed at an intermediate level. Skills included are as follows:
Pivoting corners
Button holes
Continuous bound placket
Sewing curves
Lined bodice

Terms Of Use: This pattern is intended for personal use only. The contents of this pattern (including instructions, photos and illustrations) belong to MCM Studio Designs. No part of this pattern should be reproduced, resold or shared for free. If you intend to make this dress to sell, credit would be appreciated.

Until next time, Happy Sewing! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Popping in to say Hello!

Hello all!
I apologize for the lack of posting recently.  I have been up to my eyeballs in testing and revising my new pattern which I intend to release later this week.   I have devoted so very many hours to writing and testing and revising this pattern that it has pretty much consumed ALL of my free time during the last 2-3 weeks.  So much so that I didn't even realize that I had not even written the final post in the mixing and matching series until today.  It was supposed to go up a week ago today.  OOOPS!  I promise I will get that written and posted as soon as this pattern gets finished.

For now I will leave you with a few glimpses of the new pattern from some of the tester's photos.

 Alyssa Carrion

Karen Burke

Kimberly McQueen

Pawinee Dodson 

 Patsy Butterworth

Pawinee Dodson
Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Best Place to Learn Digital Pattern Drafting: Pattern Workshop


Often times I will hear the question, "How did you learn to make patterns?".  While having over 30 years of sewing experience played a big part into it, I still didn't have a way of doing it easily without paper.  Honestly, I hated drafting with paper that kept rolling up on me and two cats who think that they need to be my paperweights.



Welcome Pattern Workshop by Lauren Dahl! (affiliate link)  I discovered this class not quite a year ago and it has changed everything!  I signed up for the class unsure if it was going to be worth the price, which for my budget was a little steep.  It has been worth every. single. penny.  And then some.

Not only does the course take you through learning the basics of using a vector drawing program and how it is applied to pattern making, there are also lessons about the testing process and how and where to market your patterns.  In addition to that, there is a wonderful Facbook group for class members and alumni.  The Facebook group is a fantastic place to connect with others, ask questions and find encouragement and motivation.  I know that Facebook groups can sometimes be filled with all sorts of "drama" and nonsense, but I promise you, Pattern Workshop is NOT like that.



In the past year I have released two patterns, and I have the third in testing right now.  (Stay tuned for that,  the big release is coming soon!)  I have connected with several other designers and sewists alike and have begun to build a network of friends who have been vital to the success of my patterns.

If you are someone who is interested in pattern design, or maybe you have been on the fence about taking a class, then you are in luck!  Kids Clothes Week blog did a feature on Lauren and the course and for a limited time you can enter to win a spot in the class.  There is also a coupon code listed there if you can't wait and want to jump right in.

So what are you waiting for?

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Mix and Match Print Fabrics for Sewing: Part 4


Welcome back!  If you missed the first three parts of this series, you can go back and check them out
at the links below.
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Today we are going to look at fabric matches that don't work, and why they are not great choices.

First we will start with this brown fabric.



You can see that it has the right colors and it is a different scale from our base fabric.  So why doesn't it work?


As you can see the scale is VASTLY different. In my opinion, it is too much of a difference.  But, that is only the first thing that I find wrong with it.  The print in this fabric has these flourishes which are almost kind of a baroque thing.  It's much more of a classical feel to me and so that doesn't really fit with the vibe that our modern base fabric has to offer.

Then there is this pink houndstooth check.  Just wrong...


The check is, again, the right colors and the scale is better than the first example, but the feel is wrong, again.  When I think of houndstooth check, I am immediately thrown to the glamor gals of the 1960's era.  I specifically think of Jackie Kennedy for some reason.  So the retro essence of this fabric really doesn't match the modernness of the base fabric.

And our third example.  Once again the vibes of the fabric just don't go together.  I love this little aqua print, this fabric is totally me, but it doesn't go with our base fabric.  This print, while still modern, has a much more whimsical, childish feel to it than our base fabric.


So there you have it.  We have looked at choosing a base fabric, toning it down, livening it up, and what not to do.  Next week we will look at some practical suggestions as to how to gain some experience and get some practice with your fabric pairings.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Swhetty Betties Pattern Swap



A while back I joined a Facebook group called the Swhetty Betties.  It is a fun group of working designers who are really great at encouraging each other and supporting each other in our designing efforts. About a month or so ago, one of the "Betties" proposed that some of us do a pattern swap and post to our blogs about it.  I got paired with the very creative Lisa of Stubbornly Crafty  She made my Estherlyn's Jumper, and I made her Little Lamb Zippy Critters pattern.

Just look at how cute this little lamb zip pouch turned out!



I had a hard time deciding which fabrics to use as this would be very sweet in a multitude of fabrics.  It was simple to make so don't be afraid to try making one yourself.  I think this would be super adorable with a shoulder strap added for a little girl's purse for Easter.

Lisa has more patterns at her Etsy shop which are every bit as fantastic as this one so I encourage you to stop by and check them out.

Until next time,
Happy sewing!

Monday, January 19, 2015

How to Mix and Match Print Fabrics for Sewing : Part 3


Thanks for joining us here again for this fun series.  We are looking at mixing and matching print fabrics. If you missed the first two parts, you can find them at the links below and get up to speed with where we will pick up today.  


Making Choices for a More Bold Look

Today, lets look at some bolder pairings that will spice it up a bit.  For me, yellows, golds, oranges and hot pinks are very eye catching colors.  Using these colors will really punch up the look of your garment.   Notice that the swatch in the lower left corner once again echoes the centers of the dark pink flowers by using the orange and pink together.  Contrast between light values and dark values also add to the visual impact of these fabric combinations.  The gold dots in the center of the bottom row are really a medium value, but because it is an eye catching color, it really belongs with these bolder fabrics.  


Just so you can see that it really doesn't have to just be dots, here are some other pairings.  In these I picked up on the orange a little bit as well as the darker pink.   



So what if you really want to get crazy with it?  You could even do something like this.  The two prints on the ends are very similar in scale and feel and have many of the same colors, but they are broken up with this dot fabric in a color that appears in both prints.  Having a third print that is smaller in scale and more monochromatic gives the eye a place to land.  Without it, the two fabrics would compete for attention, but with it, the fabrics are drawn together and make sense. You will also notice that there are three different fabric values here, a light a medium and a dark.  This also helps transition from one fabric to the next.   


Bold pairings can sometimes present the biggest challenge, but they can also really pay off when done well. Don't be afraid to experiment and play with different sets of fabrics.  You might surprise yourself! 

Join us again next week when we explore some pairings that don't work and why they are not good choices.  

Until next time, Happy Sewing! 


Monday, January 12, 2015

How to Mix and Match Print Fabrics for Sewing : Part 2


Welcome back to our series on mixing and matching print fabrics!

If you missed Part 1, you can go back and get caught up.

In Part 1, we discussed choosing a "base" fabric.  We examined it closely and studied the scale, the colors and the "vibe" that the fabric gives off and also talked about choosing an appropriate print for  your particular project.

Choosing Fabrics for a Softer Look

This is quite a bold print, so let's look at ways to soften it.  If I were wanting to tone this fabric down with other fabrics, I would probably choose to match some of the lighter colors.  To start with, I usually will look at a geometric print of some sort. Keep in mind that dots and stripes don't have to just be polka dots or circus tent stripes, they can be a variation as you will see in some of the examples.

I do have to add a disclaimer... for children's clothing, which is my main area of sewing, I LOVE polka dots.  I just think they have a playful feel in general and they pair great with almost anything.  Michael Miller's "Ta Dots"fabrics are among my favorites.  There is a very wide range of color combinations to choose from and you are almost guaranteed to find something to match your print.  The scale also is a good size to complement a lot of different fabrics.

Here is a simple pairing with a couple of different polka dot fabrics. Notice that the scale of these dots is considerably smaller than the scale of the base fabric. In one, the dots are placed further apart which brings in more of the pink color.  The other is a slightly lighter color with the dots placed closer together which gives the fabric a lighter presence.  Either of these fabrics would be a great choice, especially for a little girl who loves pink. (Or a mom who loves pink, too)



Here are some examples of what could be done if you chose to go with the aqua color to tone it down. You can see that some of the dots are not traditional polka dots, there is a chevron and even a more hand drawn type of print in the lower left corner.  If you look at the detail in the aqua flowers, the same type of idea is echoed in that print.  Echoing something in your base fabric is also a good way to bring cohesiveness to your fabric pairings.  


Another way of toning this fabric down might be to choose to pair with the brown that is in it.  This would bring out the earthiness of this print. Again non-traditional dots work wonderfully as well as traditional with the brown being the dots instead of the background. The oval fabric at the bottom also kind of mimics the shape of the petals of the brown flower.  


So, there you have seen some ways to soften the look of this fabric.  Next time we will look at some bolder fabrics that will make a bit more of a statement when used with this base fabric.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!