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Mochi wall pocket hanging

This was written by Leslie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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I was super duper excited to be able to choose any of Cotton + Steel’s new collection for this month’s project. It was a really tough decision that took me days. There are so many lovely fabrics and Miss Matatabi’s shop carries all of them. Yay!

fabric

 

Making a wall pocket hanging for Anika’s room has been on my to do list for a long time now. I got the pattern from a Japanese pattern book that I bought years ago. I wanted to choose fabrics that Anika would like for many years. The scattered natural canvas from the Mochi Collection was a perfect choice as the main fabric. It’s a linen cotton blend with a perfect weight for projects like this. I love the simplicity of the design and it reminds me of rice, which is Anika’s favourite food.

full hanging

 

There were so many Cotton + Steel fabrics that would have worked for the lining. My first choice was the Overlookserape Turquoise from the Mesa Collection and it was Anika’s choice as well. The pattern and colours are a perfect combination!

pockets close up

 

I thought this wall pocket hanging would be trickier to sew but it wasn’t. It was just a bit time consuming.

more pockets

 

I asked Anika to fill up the pockets so I could get a photo. I had not anticipated this wall hanging turning into a home for all her My Little Ponies though. Oh well, Ani is in love with it and that is all that counts.

ani and ponies

 

I have dreams of Anika taking this with her when she moves out in fifteen years! And that is why I chose to use Cotton + Steel fabrics for this project. They are great quality with some timeless designs.

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Thank you, Leslie! Connect with Leslie on instagram, pinterest, and flickr.

 

Cookie Book Otedama

Y-san likes to sew by hand, and to celebrate the arrival of Cotton + Steel’s newest collection she chose Kim Kight’s Cookie Book Drops fabric to make Otedama beanbags. Otedama is a Japanese children’s game and the beanbags are used to either juggle or play a game similar to jacks. Kim’s fun Drops fabric adds the perfect playful element to these Otedama!

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Bespoke double gauze dress

This was written by An from StraightGrain for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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When Frances asked me which new Cotton + Steel fabrics I would like to use for this month’s Miss Matatabi Makers post, it didn’t take me very long to decide. Okay, the new collection is full of stunning fabrics, but at the same time, the beautiful video the C+S ladies made about their collaborative Bespoke collection had me long for their double gauze fabrics for weeks.

In the past months, I’ve been working on developing my October MMM dress into a pattern in sizes 1-10 years (together with a bunch of other projects, so forgive my tardiness). I made a few changes to my original idea: I added (long) sleeves, and put a zipper in the back so that the pattern can be used for woven fabrics.

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My starting point was the Ephemera Mustard fabric (which I used for the pockets), which I combined with Spark Mustard and an indigo green solid.

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As the dress was a present for Norah’s birthday, I also made a crown in the Ephemera fabric.

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Norah was thrilled with her dress. Two things stand out for her: the blue fabric of side panels (blue has been her favorite color for as long as I can remember), and the little drawing of a face on the pocket.

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I’m also happy. The fit of the dress is exactly how I wanted it (let’s hope this will apply to the other sizes as well). And the fabrics are amazing: super soft, a very sharp print, and bright colors. Not that I expected anything else from Cotton and Steel, of course.

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Thank you so much An! Connect with An on her blog, instagram, facebook, and pinterest.

Last year Brandon from Tuttle Publishing kindly sent me Sew Sweet Handmade Clothes for Girls by Yuki Araki for review. Yuki Araki is a much-loved pattern designer here in Japan so it was pretty exciting to see her work translated into English with the potential to reach many more people.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

Sew Sweet has 22 sewing patterns in sizes 1-8 years for dresses, skirts, tops, pants, a hat and bag, and also includes two patterns for adult-sized tops. Mother-daughter matching outfits? Why not! The pattern sheet is neatly stored in a pocket at the back of the book. As with most Japanese sewing patterns you will need to find the pattern for your garment on the pattern sheet and trace out the size you want to make but it really makes it quick and easy being able to do this in English.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

The patterns are quite classic and simple allowing you to create a good set of wardrobe basics for your girl, and I like that knit garments are represented well too. As well as photographs of each garment there are clear illustrations and sewing steps to walk you through the process. Sleeveless Dress J pattern has colour photographs and detailed instructions. Araki also includes four pages where she shares helpful sewing tips and notes.

Sew Sweet  : miss matatabi

Sew Sweet  : miss matatabi

The feature I love most about this book is an index page with photos of each garment listed by category. I see this sometimes in Japanese sewing books and magazines and I always look there to decide whether I’m going to purchase the book. It’s a great way to see the whole book at a glance.

Sew Sweet  : miss matatabi

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

My favourite garment in the book was Sleeveless Dress J (above) but that isn’t what I made this time. My daughter has devised a set of rules governing how she dresses each day that look a little like this – pants must be leggings, skirts can be woven but must have an elastic waist, tops must be knit. Dresses should be the Geranium Dress or, if she’s in the mood, her yet-to-be-photographed Elsa dress. She’s into comfort, familiarity, and routine and I can completely relate. We both love regular clothes as a uniform and hers is a skirt over leggings with a knit top or t-shirt. That means I have made a lot of elastic waist skirts and leggings for her over the past couple of years and I love doing that for her.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

This time I made her a version of Double-layered skirt C (above). The skirt has a ruched feature which is created by sewing ribbon channels through the top layer of the skirt. I imagined that the ribbon was going to bother my daughter if it came undone and she couldn’t re-tie it herself so I created the same effect by gathering a section of the top layer.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

The fabric (from my store) is Woodblock and Spirit Animal from the Mesa collection by Alexia Marcelle Abegg for Cotton + Steel.

Cotton + Steel Mesa : miss matatabi

The skirt waistband is not as wide as it should be because I wasn’t paying attention and forgot to add the seam allowance. Such a silly mistake but it’s fine.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

I’m pretty smitten with the Woodblock print. It’s a big call but I think this might be my favourite out of the entire C + S 2014 fall collection.

For more information about Sew Sweet, and to see other great Japanese pattern books, head on over to Tuttle Publishing.

Sew Sweet : miss matatabi

And if you make something from this book I would love to see it!

I received this book for review but all opinions are my own.

Shibori all the things!

This was written by Cherie from you & mie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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Hello and Happy New Year! You may be reading this in 2015, but I’m actually sharing some of my last couple of projects from 2014! But as usual, I’m just a tad bit late. Perhaps that should be my new year’s resolution ;)

Shibori Tote // you & mie

Anyways, when I was choosing my fabric for this month, Frances had suggested some white quadruple gauze (yes, you read that right – quadruple) and mentioned that she’d been dreaming of trying some shibori dyeing with it. So I basically decided to steal her idea and do the shibori dyeing myself! :P Recently, this Japanese form of dyeing fibers (similar to tie dyeing) has been gaining popularity. I’ve seen bloggers and seamstresses trying it out, as well as accessories and clothing featuring shibori dyed fabrics being sold in various places. I was a little on the fence about it at first. It looked like monochromatic tie dyeing! But I love the beautiful deep blue that is produced from indigo dye and it definitely reminds me of traditional Japanese fabrics that I’ve seen my whole life. And now that I’ve done it, I absolutely love it. I want to shibori dye ALL THE THINGS!

Shibori Dyeing // you & mie

Preparing the dye bath! No children were dyed during this process.

So I decided to try out a few different fabrics from the Miss Matatabi shop:

I also dyed a pair of knit baby leggings and some cloth napkins that I bought at Dharma Trading Co. along with the Indigo Dye Kits.

Shibori Dyeing // you & mie

Shibori comes from the Japanese word “shiboru” which means to squeeze, wring or press.

I won’t go into the whole process of shibori dyeing, or dyeing with indigo, because there are already so many great resources and tutorials out there. It really is a fascinating process, but it’s quite involved and I learned a few things that I thought I’d share with you in case you decide to try it out!

1. Plan ahead. The process takes time and quite a few materials. Make sure you read all the directions and gather all the things you will need and allow yourself enough time (it about half a day from start to finish).

2. Do it with a friend! Not only is it way more fun, but it’s definitely handy to have an extra set of hands to reference the directions or help stir while you’re all gloved up and opening containers of ingredients. Also, most dye kits will make a large amount of dye – enough for several people to use! I met up with my friend, Ashley (you can see her in the picture above with her two kids and one of mine), and it was so much fun!

Shibori Dyeing // you & mie

The fabric comes out of the dye bath a bright, almost neon green. Then it changes to a deep blue as it oxidizes! Photo by Ashley

3. You’ll need space, and you’ll need to protect it. The dye bath has a strong smell, so choose a space outside or a very well ventilated space and be sure to cover it with a tarp or drop cloth. It’s nice to have a large surface to work on and place your fabric and not have to worry about drips.

4. Try out all sorts of tying techniques and don’t worry about how it’s going to come out! This was hard for me. I got caught up in how I wanted to fold and tie my fabric and what it was going to look like. It’s really impossible to predict what it’s going to look like when it’s your first time, so just experiment with lots of different fabrics and methods and it’ll be soooo exciting to open up each fabric and see your original design! It was like Christmas morning, I swear. And now that I understand a little better how certain techniques will work out, I’m really excited to try it again!

Shibori Dyeing // you & mie

The small squares are the cloth napkins, folded like an accordion in one direction and then again in the other direction. You can see the ones near the top are blue because they came out of the dye bath first. The ones hear the bottom just came out of the dye bath and are still bright green. On the right is one of the napkins unfolded and the greenish parts will change to blue as they are exposed to oxygen.

Other than those tips, just read the directions of your dye kit thoroughly and visit online tutorials for other tips and tying ideas and have fun! I referenced these sites: Honestly WTF and Design Sponge.

Shibori Dyeing // you & mieOk, let’s move on to the projects I’m sharing here today! The fabric above is the nani IRO Jun Kan A. It’s white with a very subtle tree design in shimmery white ink. It is VERY subtle. Honestly, it’s hard to see at all when looking at the fabric in person. But I wanted to see if the ink on the fabric would resist the indigo dye and it did! It created a really unique layered look. The fabric is a cotton/linen blend. It’s beautiful and high quality like all nani IRO fabrics. It’s very easy to sew with and a nice medium weight. I decided to support it with interfacing to give it a little more structure for a foldover clutch that I made for my sister.

Shibori Clutch // you & mie

Shibori Clutch // you & mie

For the clutch, I used skirt as top’s Foldover Doily Clutch tutorial, but without the doily and with some color blocking. I love this tutorial. It’s so quick and simple, but so awesome and such a great gift! I chose one of my fabric parts of the dyed fabric and complimented it with some Kona cotton in a chartreuse color.

Shibori Clutch // you & mie

The inside is lined with Leah Duncan’s Terrain Slate.

Then I used all the same fabrics (plus some duck cloth) to make a tote bag for myself!

Shibori Tote // you & mie

Shibori Tote // you & mie

Can you see the subtle design that shines through where the fabric was dyed blue?

Shibori Tote // you & mie

I didn’t follow a particular pattern or tutorial for this bag, but I was inspired by this one and this one is helpful if you’ve never made a tote bag before (though instead of attaching the lining like Dana, I used the same method as in Kristin’s clutch tutorial).

Shibori Tote // you & mie

I wanted to add at least one zipper pocket for all the things I want to keep safe and added deep open pockets on the other side. I installed magnetic closures for the first time and though I was nervous, they were totally easy to put in and I like being able to close the bag so my stuff isn’t exposed and spilling out. The bag isn’t perfect and I’d probably tweak it a bit if I were to make another one, but I’m pretty pleased with how useful it is.

Shibori Tote // you & mie

Shibori Tote // you & mie

There’s something very cool about dyeing your own fabric and knowing that it is absolutely one-of-a-kind and that no one is walking around carrying the same bag as you :)

Shibori Dyeing // you & mie

Here’s a little peek of how some of the other things I dyed came out. I still have the double gauze and quadruple gauze waiting to be sewn up! If you follow me on Instagram (@youandmie) you can probably see those projects in the coming weeks. And I seriously want to go and dye EVERYTHING now! Don’t you?

Anyways, I hope that you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you a very very happy new year. I’m looking forward to an awesome 2015!

 

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Thank you, Cherie! Connect with Cherie on her blog, instagram, facebook, and pinterest.

How about a little Christmas fabric treat for yourself? I’m giving away a $50 gift certificate to my store and you have just 24 hours to enter!

50giftgold

Good luck and happy sewing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends at 6am December 19th 2014 PST. The winner will be announced here. Thank you!.

Saturday 20th – Thank you all very much for entering the giveaway. The winner is Emily S. Congratulations! I loved reading everyone’s comments and end-of-year and new year sewing goals. Happy Holidays to you all!

Linen polka dot dress

This was written by Leslie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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I have never sewn any clothes for my little girl but I have been wanting to forever. So I thought I would start off with something simple. A little dress with some cute details. Pockets and a little bow.

up close

 
The best part of the dress is that gorgeous 100% linen. It hangs so nicely and was easy to sew with. I was going to iron it after washing it but I didn’t. I loved the slightly wrinkled look so much.

pose 2

And she loves it too. Phew. She calls it her polka dot princess dress.

pose 1

That purple bow compliments the grey linen perfectly. Blurry photo and all.

bow

I thought for a minute that I was crazy sewing with 100% linen for a kid but I wasn’t. It is the perfect fabric. Luckily I have some leftover so I think I will sew a skirt next. Or a top. Sewing clothes for her could become addictive.

hop skotch

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Thank you, Leslie! Connect with Leslie on instagram, pinterest, and flickr.

 

Cotton + Steel apron

This was written by An from StraightGrain for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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Do you have them too? Those friends or family members whom it seems impossible to find or make a gift for?

I think that this year, I finally found a great Christmas gift for those kinds of people. It’s a kitchen apron with adjustable straps. Everyone cooks, right? And it’s practical, it’s pretty (if you pick pretty fabrics), and it’s even easy and fast to make. Jackpot!

cotton + steel apron by Straightgrain

For my first attempt, I picked some Cotton + Steel fabrics. I combined Hexies in Paprika (from Rashida Coleman Hale’s Moonlit line) with Netorious in Goldilocks (from their Basics line) for the pocket and the straps. I love those metallic silver lines!

cotton + steel apron by Straightgrain

The design of the apron is loosely based on a store-bought apron which I’ve had for over 10 years. It has one long strap which runs through two tunnels under the arms, and so it is really easy to adjust. Just pull the ends of the strap until the top of the apron is lifted high enough, and knot them in the back.

cotton + steel apron by Straightgrain

I made one stupid mistake somewhere, and so the top part of the apron is not as high as it should be (hence the minuscule seam allowance there). This will be adjusted in a next version. Would anyone be interested in a free downloadable pattern for this apron? Including one in a kid’s size?

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Thank you so much An! Connect with An on her blog, instagram, facebook, and pinterest.

Metallic knit Hudson pants

This was written by Cherie from you & mie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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Hello! I窶冦 back (finally) with another sewing project! After I spent a couple of weeks working on my kids窶 Halloween costumes, I was excited to get back to sewing for ME! The Hudson Pant Pattern by True Bias has been on my to make list for awhile and I already had some fabric picked out for my first pair. But when Frances showed me this Metallic French Terry fabric (which is on sale this weekend!!), I just couldn’t resist. In hindsight, I’m not sure why I thought it was a great idea to make metallic sweatpants, but it sounded fun and that’s what sewing is all about, right?

Metallic French Terry Hudson Pants by you & mie

Metallic French Terry Hudson Pants by you & mie

A few things about this fabric . . . It comes in two colorways, Latte and Oatmeal. It’s French Terry. It’s a knit fabric that is thick and cozy. It has a definite right and wrong side and it kinda frays a little! What? A knit fabric that frays!? Yes, I was baffled too, but apparently some knit fabric frays! It doesn’t fray a ton, but I would definitely recommend finishing your edges with your serger or a zig zag stitch. It has silver metallic fibers that give the fabric a nice and fancy shine! I didn’t get a great pic of the shine though . . .

Metallic French Terry Hudson Pants by you & mie

I used the Latte colorway for the main fabric and the Oatmeal for the waistband, cuffs and pocket details. I love how the two fabrics go together! For the cording/drawstring I used some nani IRO bias tape that I got from Miss Matatabi awhile back (but is no longer available, unfortunately). The fabric is nani IRO double gauze, Mountain Views B (in case you want to make your own :P). I love this bias tape so much and was a little sad to use so much when half of it can’t even be seen, that I ended up using some twill tape for the drawstring that’s inside the waistband and attaching the nani IRO bias tape to the ends! I’m frugal with my good fabric like that.

Metallic French Terry Hudson Pants by you & mie

Metallic French Terry Hudson Pants by you & mie

The Hudson Pant Pattern by True Bias is a great one! Casual and comfy, you will want to live in these pants! I love how you can make them super casual or dressy enough to wear out and about depending on what fabric you choose. I didn’t really intend to, but I ended up totally copying Kristin’s french terry Hudsons!!! Well, no real surprise – the girl’s got great style – I want to copy pretty much everything she makes :P

Metallic French Terry Hudson Pants by you & mie

I made a size 14 to accommodate my waist measurement, but they ended up being too loose in the calves, so I took them in some. I think they still ended up a little on the baggy side, which is fine for sweatpants, but I may try a smaller size for my next pair to see how that style suits me.

I love my new Hudson Pants, but I kinda wish that I had used this fabric to make a slouchy sweatshirt, maybe a Linden? Would it be ridiculous if I made a matching sweatshirt/sweatpants set!? Haha! This fabric would also make a great sweatshirt dress – comfortable, but dressy.

Metallic French Terry Hudson Pants and Mini Sweatpants by you & mie

After I cut out my pants pieces, I had enough fabric to make my two girls some pants too, so I HAD TO. Head over to my blog for more pictures and details about these mini sweatpants!

Metallic French Terry Mini Sweatpants by you & mie

Check out that sparkle! And don’t forget this awesome metallic french terry in the latte colorway is on sale this weekend.

Happy Sewing! 

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Thank you, Cherie! Connect with Cherie on her blog, instagram, facebook, and pinterest.

Poang chair cover

This was written by Leslie for the Miss Matatabi Makers series.

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I have been wanting to make a cover for the Ikea Poang chair I bought my little one awhile ago. I was just waiting for the perfect fabric and it didn’t take long for one to show up in Miss Matatabi’s shop. As soon as I saw this linen cotton blend with those vibrant colours I knew it was the one I needed for this project. It’s the perfect weight too – not too light and not too heavy.

Fabric

Like most of my projects I didn’t have a pattern for it. I took some measurements and sketched out a quick plan – and kept my fingers crossed. (This is where being a math teacher pays off!) After a bit of adjustments I had a cover that fit perfectly.

chair

I took off the cushion and covered it separately. I wanted some of those awesome colours in the fabric to pop so I found some solids in my stash that matched. I know my stars don’t lie super flat and that bothers me. I may go back and fix them but I am trying to learn to let things go.

cushion

Obviously my girl loves her newly covered chair. I love that she is sincere when she thanks me over and over again when I sew her something. I hope that never changes!

anika

I think this is my favourite Miss Matatabi Makers project so far. That gorgeous fabric gives the chair the simple and unique look I was looking for! Thanks, Frances, for choosing such beautiful and inspiring Japanese fabrics for your shop!

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Thank you, Leslie! Connect with Leslie on instagram, pinterest, and flickr.