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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.

SSW2

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.

SSW3

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.

Straightgrain

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.

Straightgrain

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.

Straightgrain

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.

I’m joiningツToni’s Make It Perfect Pattern Parade today and I’m excited! I love Toni’s sewing patterns so I was thrilled when invited me to take part and told me I could choose any pattern to sew for the parade. A thrill that led to days of indecision until I finally chose the wonderful Zip It dress.

Make it Perfect Zip It : miss matatabi

Make It Perfect Zip It : miss matatabi

Zip It is a lovely little dress featuring a front zipper, pockets, and options to use contrast fabric for the yoke and bias binding.

Make It Perfect Zip It : miss matatabi

After the typical amount of hand wringing over which fabric to use, I made the dress in some corduroy from my store. How great is this print? It’s reversible and has stripes on the back which are hiding on the inside of this dress. You can see this and the other reversible corduroy I have in the store here.

Make It Perfect Zip It : miss matatabi

I wanted a minimal look for this version of the dress so I omitted the pockets and did not use a contrast bias binding. I sewed the side seams with French seams and turned the armhole bias binding to the inside of the garment instead of having it show on the outside, so my construction steps were a little different than the pattern called for. Zip It is a really straightforward, quick sew though and if you’ve ever been afraid of sewing a zipper into a garment then worry no more. Toni walks you through an incredibly easy method of inserting the zipper that is stress-free and fun.

Make It Perfect Zip It : miss matatabi

Make It Perfect Zip It : miss matatabi

I made a size 4 for my daughter but I should have gone a size up as it fits her perfectly right now and I was hoping it would fit in winter too. No worries though, I can make another! I think Zip It is a great summer dress but would also look lovely layered in the cooler months with boots and a cardigan.

Make It Perfect Zip It : miss matatabi

I had a lot of fun making this dress and my daughter loves it too! Have you seen the other Make It Perfect patterns in action? There’s a great line-up of sewers making some gorgeous things. Thank you so much for inviting me on the Pattern Parade, Toni!

MIP Pattern Parade

The Make It Perfect Pattern Parade Virtual Catwalk introduces…

*I received the Zip It dress pattern from Toni but all opinions, as always, are my own.

Fabric bread basket

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 already my fifth post here at Miss Matatabi. Over the past months, I’ve increasingly been growing ashamed about the fact that so far, I have only been creating dresses for this series. Talk about a one trick pony! So for this month’s edition, I promised myself to make something else.

When I went out for breakfast with my family a few weeks ago here in Anwerp, bread was served in an original basket. It was bag made from a white, wrinkly, highly synthetic fabric. It immediately inspired me to make something similar, but in an even nicer fabric. And where else to find really nice fabrics than chez Miss Matatabi?

fabric basket : straightgrain

The fabric is a cotton dobby / barkcloth. It has a lot of structure to it, but to my surprise, it is not stiff at all. I had expected a canvas-like thickness, but this fabric is a lot thinner and more flexible. It would be perfect for a little dress, for instance (yes, I was tempted :-))

fabric basket : straightgrain

Making the bread basket is super simple. The bottom is a square with rounded corners, and the sides are rectangles. Main and lining are made from the same pattern pieces. I reinforced the bottom main and lining with a heavy interfacing. Of the sides, however, I only reinforced the main with a thin interfacing, because I really wanted the basked to have a bit of a ‘slouchy’ look.

In the coming weeks, I hope to have the pattern and instructions available. The next basket will be a bit smaller, though, as I completely overestimated how much space buns take up. I estimate that this first version is big enough for some 25 buns – not quite the quantities we digest at a regular breakfast at Casa StraightGrain.

fabric basket : straightgrain

For a next version, I’m thinking of going for a canvas from Cotton + Steel’s gorgeous debut collection.

So that’s it for this month! I hope your Summer has been fun so far, and I really look forward to next month!

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

Meg’s nani IRO bags

It may be July but nani IRO month isn’t quite over yet! Meg from Elsie Marley made two bags to see her through the summer and they are both gorgeous.

I don’t quite remember when I first came across Meg’s blog but I’m pretty sure the first time I heard of Elsie Marley was when I saw this patchwork digger she made. I thought it was brilliant and still do. She recently made another one for Stylo magazine and there may even be a pattern coming soon. Yes! As well as turning fabric into awesome stuff, Meg is really good at bringing people together and creating community. She started Kid’s Clothes Week as a challenge to herself to sew for one hour every night for a week, until it grew and grew and is now a thriving community of like-minded makers. She also recently launched sew-along CENTRAL which is a helpful monthly newsletter with info about upcoming sew-alongs. If you want to see what sewing events are going on before they’re over this is for you.

Ok, do you want to see the bags Meg made? Sure you do! Here they are.

nani IRO month : elsie marley

See you again soon!