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Fall knits

This was written by Angela from Sake Puppets for the Miss Matatabi Maker series.

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Sakテゥ Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers, in Moneta by Colette Patterns

Hello Matatabis!

Sometimes the stars align and the right fabric shows up on your doorstep the same week you order a new pattern, and you can窶冲 ignore the good fortune. I didn窶冲 plan this combination in advance. But there they were, together, and … poof! a dress was born!

Sakテゥ Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers, in Moneta by Colette Patterns

The pattern is Colette窶冱 Moneta dress for knits. I simplified it a lot 窶 I omitted the pockets, collar and sleeves so the pattern was only four easy pieces. I self-lined the bodice so my topside is hugged in a double layer of this quilted poly knit, making it super warm, even without sleeves! It was a windy day — please ignore the crazy bangs — but I was comfortable frolicking outside, in New York, in October. Miraculous! I also added three inches to the hem, and hand-stitched it for clean finish.

Sakテゥ Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers, in Moneta by Colette Patterns

Because I was winging-it and eager to finish, I didn窶冲 have all of the required supplies on hand. The pattern directions recommend using clear elastic to create the gathered waistline before attaching the skirt to the bodice. I didn窶冲 have any clear elastic, so instead I used thin regular waistband elastic that got bunchy and weird next to my serged seams. It窶冱 nothing a little belt can窶冲 fix, but I was irritated nonetheless.

Last month Frances chose this same fabric for a knit top she made for herself and gave it a thumbs up. I whole-heartedly agree. I thought the fabric was easy to work with, soft, and really warm. I have a feeling this dress will quickly become a staple of my winter work wardrobe. It is so cozy that I’ve scrabbled together all the scraps and plan to make myself some winter pjs – it’s so soft, I just can’t resist.

Sakテゥ Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers, in Moneta by Colette Patterns

Thanks for having me, Miss Matatabi! Happy fall, and see you all soon!
Thank you Angela! Connect with Angela on her blog, instagram, facebook, pinterest.

Leslie’s tulip bucket bag

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

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I let my three year old choose some fabric from Miss Matatabi’s shop and this tulip fabric is the one she chose. There are too many cute prints to choose from! I loved the colours in this fabric (and there are other colours too) and was happy to see that it is was mid weight cotton oxford fabric. It’s a perfect weight for loads of projects.

fabric

My original plan didn’t quite work out as I had planned so I needed a quick project to whip up at the last minute. Well, it’s no secret that my little one loves bags so I decided to make her a new one. This kind of fabric has the most lovely weight for a little bag – not too stiff and not too flimsy. Perfect!

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I’ve been making these bucket bags for years now. It’s such an easy bag to sketch a pattern for and sew up. Curved corners and darts give it a bit of character and extra room.

bag close

I used some older Japanese fabrics I had in my stash to add some more cuteness to the little bag. The tulips could have held their own but I thought it would be fun to have two different sides to the bag. You can find so many cute, cute, cute fabrics in the Miss Matatabi shop.

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I bribed my girl with a mini cupcake to come outside to take some photos with me today. She insisted on going to her room and filling her new bag before we left. Her little collection cracks me up. I hope her excitement over what I sew for her never goes away!!

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

 

 

Ponte knit dress

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

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Hi everyone! This is An from StraightGrain with another Miss Matatabi Makers post.

In the past weeks, I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with princess seams. More particularly, I’ve been thinking on ways to adapt them into something original and unique. The dress I’m showing you today is a first little experiment in this new obsession.

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I started off with a basic bodice design, which I lengthened to an A-line dress. In the front and back I added princess seams, which run all the way to the hem of the dress. I merged the back and front side pieces, so there are no side seams in the dress. I added big pockets which disappear into the princess seams.

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I’m pretty happy with the result. It’s not perfect yet – I’d like to add a bit more curve to the side seams in a next version – but I’ve had worse ‘first versions’ of new ideas ;-)

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Now, about the two fabrics I used. Yes, that is two, not three! The grey and striped fabrics are actually the two sides of one and the same fabric. This reversible Ponte Knit is by far the most special fabric I have ever worked with. It looks like two layers of knit which have been merged by millions of little… hairs! I took a close-up of the fabric so you can see what I mean:

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The result is a very soft, thick but stretchy knit. It is just a joy to work with! Not suitable for every project (I don’t think it would gather well, for instance) but oh so perfect for certain types of projects, such as garments with more boxy silhouettes. I think it would be great for a women’s A-line dress in Twiggy style, for instance. Myself, I hope to stitch a simple tote from the left-overs. How awesome would those stripes look combined with some brown leather?

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The mustard yellow fabric I used for the pockets comes from my stash. It is a Nani Iro wata double gauze, a left-over from this baby blanket. I think the color combines so well with the black and white stripes.

Come to think of it, I actually did use a third fabric. I lined the bodice with the thinnest knit fabric I could find in my stash… swimsuit fabric! I topstitched the neckline and armholes with a zigzag stitch so that the lining would stay in place.

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Norah was thrilled with her new dress. I think she immediately recognized how much junk those two big pockets would be able to carry. Less than 15 minutes after she put on the dress, I found an empty toilet roll, 15 ad cards, and a pen in them. The next day, she parked half her cars collection in them.

In the coming weeks I would like to give this dress a try in woven fabrics. Maybe something for a next MMM post?

straightgrain

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

Halloween party dress

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

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Hello! It’s Cherie here, back from a long MMM break. I’ve missed you guys! Hard to believe that it’s October already, but I’m here with quite the Halloween themed sewing project because it’s that time of year!

A little while back, I got a sneak peek at some awesome Halloween fabric (that are on sale right now!) that Frances had ordered for the shop. It’s such an unique print, but I wasn’t sure what it could be used for. Then when Frances gave us Makers our choices for fabric for the month, she listed the Halloween fabrics and challenged someone to make something with it. Well Frances, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Halloween Party Dress by you & mie

I decided to go all out and make myself a party dress! Why? Who knows! I honestly am not sure why I decided to make a dress or if I’ll get many chances to wear it, but it seemed fun and I’ve been wanting to try out April Rhodes’ Riding Peplum/Party Dress pattern for a little while.

Yoshiko Jinzenji Halloween Fabric from Miss Matatabi
Photos from Miss Matatabi

The fabric is designed by Yoshiko Jinzenji for Yuwa and is covered in awesome Halloween images – cats, bats, pumpkins, witches and stars. It comes in 4 colorways – black on orange, mint, and white and white on white. I chose mint because I thought it was beautiful and not a typical Halloween color. The fabric is a quilting cotton, but it is lightweight and works well for garment sewing, except that it wrinkles like most quilting cottons.

Halloween Party Dress by you & mie

The Riding Peplum/Party Dress is designed to be a suuuper quick and easy sew. I made this dress right after making the Alder Shirtdress and compared to that, this seemed like a breeze. Bodice front and back, skirt front and back, and that’s it! According to my measurements, I should have made size XL, but I wanted it to be more on the fitted side, so I made a muslin in size L to see if that would fit. It wasn’t too small, so I went with that. But after I had sewn together the dress, it still seemed way too baggy and not very flattering. I ended up taking both sides in by 1/2 an inch (which is a total of two inches off the bodice) and while I could wiggle into it without any closures, figured an invisible zip would be a wise thing to add. I’m curious how this bodice is supposed to fit – maybe more on the loose side, considering there are no closures. But with my body type, I felt like the extra fabric just didn’t do anything for me. I also added pockets, because . . . well, POCKETS!

Halloween Party Dress by you & mie

The pattern requires quite a bit of fabric, especially if you’re making the dress and your fabric is not super wide. I love the fullness of the skirt, but if your fabric isn’t 54″ wide, then you need to cut the skirt as 4 separate pieces and you end up with a seam down the middle of the front and back. Luckily it’s not too noticeable, but you can still see it and if you have a printed fabric, it may be tricky to line up the prints on that seam. I ended up with a cat/bat hybrid on my butt seam! Haha. Frances had sent me plenty of fabric and I was able to play around a little with the placement of the images, especially that strip of rectangles that I love so much. It was fun planning that part of the dress.

Halloween Party Dress by you & mie

Another thing to mention about this pattern is that the dress is SHORT! It’s got a high low hem and it’s meant to be short in the front, but if you’re not comfortable with a skirt a few inches above the knee, you may want to add some length. But the way the skirt moves is beautiful and I felt like a little girl in a circle skirt wanting to twirl all day! But then I’d show my unmentionables to everyone, so I mostly resisted :P

Halloween Party Dress by you & mie

I’m planning on using this dress as part of my Halloween costume, but I haven’t finished all the pieces yet, so stay tuned on my blog, you & mie, for that reveal later this month :P
Are you doing any Halloween sewing yet? If you’re looking for some fun Halloween fabric to get you started, I’d recommend this lovely Yuwa print. It’d be fun to make fun dresses, pants, a bag, blanket or quilt with! Next up for me? Halloween costumes!
Thanks for having me, Frances. See you all again later this month!

 

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

Joey dress blog tour

Toni from Make It Perfect recently released some new dress patterns, the Joey and Skippy dresses, and she generously asked if I would like to join her Skippy & Joey blog hop. I chose to make the Joey for my own little Joey.

Joey dress : miss matatabi

I love this dress and my little A does too! It’s a good staple for cooler weather and the puff sleeves and front pouch pocket are lovely details.

Joey dress : miss matatabi

The dress came together pretty quickly although I did have an issue with the pocket. The pocket openings are too small for A’s hands and I can’t figure out why. I may have missed a piece when I printed the pattern? The other Joey dresses I’ve seen don’t have this issue so I’m thinking I probably made a mistake when printing. Not to worry though, the smaller size pocket openings make storing little rocks, acorns, and other treasures all the more fun.

Joey dress : miss matatabi

The fabric is a quilted knit fabric from my store. The quilting gives it a bit of warmth and body and was a good choice for the Joey pattern. I have it in six colours and, as is my custom, I spent a ridiculous amount of time choosing which colour to use but of course, mustard won.

Quilted knit : miss matatabi

The pattern comes in sizes 0-5 and 6-10, has three sleeve-length options, and the option to make a cowl neck version. There are so many patterns out there that call for woven fabrics and they are lovely of course but for those of us who have kids who prefer to wear knits I’m always happy to see a pattern for functional and modern knit clothing. If you’re scared of sewing with knits, and I know many of you are, please don’t be. Really. Knits are your friend. And if you don’t have a serger don’t let that hold you back. I haven’t used a serger since an ill-fated t-shirt sewing incident in my first year of high-school that left me declaring, for way too many years after, “I can’t sew!”. That was silly. We can all sew. And you can sew knits, on a regular machine, with great results. Yes, you can.

Let’s dance!

Joey dress : miss matatabi

Joey dress : miss matatabi

If you think you would also like to make a Joey or Skippy or any of Toni’s wonderful patterns now is a good time. She is having a huge sale today and all PDF patterns are 50% off!

Thank you very much Toni for the pattern and for inviting me to be part of the tour!

Selfish Sewing Week is upon us again! Have you been making things for yourself? I hope so!

I chose to sew myself a little something with a pattern from the super sweet and adorable April Rhodes. I have both The Staple Dress and The Date Night Dress and this time I went with the pattern I already had printed and taped together. That’s right, laziness prevails! Not only that though, I had already made two Staple dresses and they are on regular rotation in my wardrobe so I have a lot of love for this pattern.

When I originally bought the pattern I knew the shirring around the waist was not going to work for my current situation (that’s code for muffin top, naturally) so for my first two Staples I went a size down, omitted the waist shirring, and rejoiced in my pretty new dresses.

This time I wanted something long-sleeved and I didn’t really need a new dress so for SSW I hacked that Staple baby and turned it into a casual pullover.

The Staple Pullover : miss matatabi

I thank sew Amy sew for the long sleeve inspiration. She made a beautiful knit version of the Staple Dress a few months ago and I love it! She also helpfully shows how she lengthened the sleeves. It’s a very easy modification so if you’re thinking of a cool-weather Staple dress I really recommend trying it out.

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I kept the high-low feature true to the pattern and just shortened it to a length I like. The fabric is from my store and I have it in three colorways. It’s a poly quilted knit and it is very comfortable to wear. I used to be completely anti-polyester but during my fabric sourcing adventures I’ve come across a few poly blends that I just cannot resist. It can’t really compete with the buttery, cotton, Japanese double knits we’ve all come to love but I’m giving this one the thumbs up. It has good stretch recovery, is not clingy, and is very easy to work with. Good job, poly knit. Good job.

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Hop on over to Kollabora and visit the other SSW featured sewers if you’d like to see what everyone else has been making. There is a great, big pattern giveaway happening too! And if you also do a Staple Dress hack someday I would love to see it!

Sew on, dudes!

City Blazer

This was written by Angela from Sake Puppets for the Miss Matatabi Maker series.

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Hi there, fellow Matatabis! I am very excited to share my latest project — a linen blazer for fall!

City Blazer, Sakテゥ Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers

In truth, my obsession with this blazer started last summer. I have a serious weakness for ByHandLondon patterns, and purchased the Victoria blazer immediately after it was released. And then, on my sewing table it sat, for months. I couldn’t find the right fabric. I searched high and low at shops here in NYC, but it wasn’t until I saw Miss Matatabi’s linens that inspiration struck.

Miss Matatabi

Words can’t express how much I love this blazer, which is problematic for someone who writes a blog! Japanese linen is some of the softest, most durable linen I’ve found and I am thrilled that Miss Matatabi carries it in her shop. I haven’t found anything as nice in New York at the same reasonable price-point.

City Blazer, Sakテゥ Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers

Linen is usually considered a summer fabric for its breathability, so to give my blazer a bit more heft for fall I lined it in nani IRO double gauze. Such a delightful combination! The blazer has weight but isn’t heavy, I love the casual look, and the natural cotton and linen fibers means it breathes and is ideally suited for the transition season. On Sunday I wore this blazer all day — bike riding through Brooklyn, on a ferry ride across the East River when the wind picked-up, and into evening for a classy dinner with friends. It served me well in all situations.

City Blazer, Sakテゥ Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers

Now I am ready to conquer fall with my new City Blazer. (^O^)シ

Thanks Miss Matatabi, and see you all next month!

City Blazer, Sakテゥ Puppets for Miss Matatabi Makers

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

Leslie’s reversible ginham apron

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

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I am back with a little project that has been on my sewing list for way too long – an apron for my girl.

I wanted to make an apron that was cute on both sides. So my original plan was to use a different fabric on each side. That is when Miss Matatabi suggested using this reversible gingham, which is a lovely linen and cotton blend. Brilliant idea! Gingham on one side and dots on the other! This fabric made this project quick and easy, which was just what I needed.

pink double sided

I pinned a tutorial ages ago for an adorable everyday apron (by Heidi / The Fabric Mutt) in an adult size and adapted it for a little person. Quick sewing projects are the perfect medicine for a busy week! I think it took me longer to get photos of my little one standing still than to make the apron.

front

My little one is in love with it. Sewing for her is so fun! She asked me where my new apron was. My sewing list keeps growing!

back

It’s no secret that linen and cotton blends are my favourites. I love the feel of them – and the weight. It’s perfect for a project like this. I am planning on making some tea towels out of the reversible black fabric below. If you want some of your own you can choose from ten different colours in the Miss Matatabi fabric shop.

black fabric

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

 

 

An’s Flapper e Pattern gift baskets

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

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Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great Summer.
You might remember that for my last Miss Matatabi Makers post two months ago, I made a ridiculously oversized bread basket. In the mean time, I turned the original idea into a free pattern for multi-purpose Matryoshka bins in three sizes. For my mother-in-laws birthday, I thought I’d make one as a gift basket, filling it up with all kinds of delicious goodies. However, I realized that such a basket doesn’t really present the goodies well, and that drawing a new pattern might be in order.

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And so, I drew these high-low gift baskets. They are a bit higher in the back, so that the bigger goodies do not tip over the edge. But in the front, I kept the basket low, so that you can have a good look at the smaller items. I think that in a next version, I might make the front even a bit lower.

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With the small basket, I made one mistake: I put the wrong side of the pattern on the fold, and so the unaesthetic seam is in the front of the basket instead of in the back. With the bigger size, I was more focused and did it the right way.

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I used the same fabric for the outside and inside, and reinforced both with heavy interfacing so the baskets stand up nice and straight. The fabric is called Flapper e Pattern, and designed by Koko Seki for Lecien. It is perfect for this kind of project: it’s heavier than the average quilting cotton, but softer than the average canvas.
It comes in a few different colorways too.

See you next month!

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

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

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Tote bags have been on my sewing list for awhile now. And when I saw these lovely Ellen Luckett Baker fabrics in Miss Matatabi’s shop I knew they were a perfect starting point. These fabrics are a nice medium weight cotton linen blend fabric – just what I love! I lined the bags with some pretty Japanese arrows fabric.

turquoise grey

 
My little one and I are off on our summer annual road trip tomorrow and this is why I needed new tote bags. One for Anika to fill up with her favourite things to bring along and one really big one that could fit everything needed for beach days. I used a couple of patterns from my collection of Japanese bag books. I ironed on a heavy weight interfacing to the outer fabrics and the combo is the perfect weight for tote bags.

two bags

 
One of my all time favourite tote bags had these neat hook closure things (I am sure there is a better word for it) that would help prevent things from falling out of your bag. So I added these to the pattern I was making – and am so happy I did.

top view

 
The beach tote bag is huge. I used one metre of each of the outer fabric and lining fabric -and a bit of denim on the bottom. For the smaller bag I was able to just use half a metre of each of the two fabrics.

 
ani in bag

 
The Ellen Luckett Baker collection of fabric is super lovely. And I think all of it is that perfect medium weight cotton linen blend. My favourite patterns are these crossed leaves but there are a lot of other great designs to choose from too. I might just have to make some grocery tote bags next – and you should join in on the fun too!!

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