Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Downton Duffle

Yesterday I mentioned that I just sewed the cutest coat ever. Here it is: the Downton Duffle
I was lucky enough to get to help pattern test this coat. I sewed it up in two days and it was a lot of fun. This pattern definitely challenged my sewing skills (toggles, separating zipper, and sewing with faux fur were all firsts for me) but not in a "throw the coat across the room" kind of way, more like a sewing class piece, where at the end of the pattern I was thinking "wow I can't believe I made that!"
I think Jacob looks adorable in his coat. I am in love with those elbow patches. I need to add elbow patches to all of his clothes!
I used a brown corduroy fabric, a green flannel for the lining, and this great faux fur for the hood lining. The fur was CRAZY to cut. whoa! if you sew with this stuff I recommend cutting the pattern pieces in your kitchen so you can sweep up the flurry. My kitchen looked like I killed a grizzly bear in there. Fake fur was everywhere. It's totally worth it though. I love it and want to sew more!!! I saw a giraffe print at the store that was calling my name.

Gah! I could just stare at it all day. I can't wait for it to get a little bit colder so he can wear his new coat!

Monday, November 4, 2013

How to make your own DIY toggles: a simple tutorial

Last week I helped pattern test Peek-a-Boo Patterns new coat the Downton Duffle (it's a fabulous coat btw, but more on that tomorrow)

The pattern called for two toggles. So I went to the only fabric store near my house, Hancock fabrics, and I asked the clerk where I could find the toggles. She stared at me blankly, "What is a toggle?" Oh dear.

This, my friends is a toggle
(from Nordstrom)
and Michael Kors says toggles are IN

Sadly, Hancock doesn't know this and did not have any in stock. BUT they did have toggle buttons. So I picked up a package sure I could figure something out. Let me tell you, I am so glad that they were out, because 1. pre-made toggles are so expensive and 2. making your own is so easy!

Here's how you can make your own
First you will need some toggle buttons. They are just little rods with two holes in them. These pretty ones above are from Anny May Craft Supplies etsy shop.
I picked up mine from Hancock and they were on the button wall. They were $3.46 but all the buttons were 50% that day (yes! I love when what I want to buy is on sale)
You will also need some sort of cording. I already had some of this deerskin lace (from Hobby Lobby in the leather section right next to the jewelry section-- you can buy it in smaller quantities for much cheaper and they always have 40% off coupons) but any type of cording (look in the ribbon and trim section) will work as long as it's thick and sturdy

Lastly, you will need a little bit of leather (or vinyl, faux leather, probably even felt would work as long as it's a bit sturdy and the edges won't fray) I chose leather because that's what I had on hand
Time to get to work

ONE: Cut your leather into your desired shape The job is to cover the ends of your cording, so you can be creative with this. I did a little research and found mostly triangles, rounded triangles, and half ovals used with toggles. Mine were 3/4" tall and 1" wide. (If you are making the Downton Duffle, Amy has added a pattern piece for this)

TWO: Cut two pieces of cording 4 1/2 inch long

THREE: loop one end of cording through one hole of the toggle, and back through the other hole
Now you are ready to attach the cording to the back side (ugly side that will not be seen). I chose to sew this on, but I would bet a little fabric glue would also work well for this step (just put the glue in the center, not on the edge where you will eventually sew your toggle down to your project)
Simply sew across the cording along the edge of the leather. I just used a regular needle on this, if your sewing machine is having a hard time try switching to a leather or denim needle)
 Repeat with the other cord, this time with out the toggle button
Flip it over, and your toggle is ready to be sewn to your project! Simply sew around the edges of the leather, try to sew exactly over your first row of stitches so they are not noticeable (or let me know how the glue goes. Or, I am thinking even a little piece of scotch tape would work to temporarily hold down those loops. hmmm I am going to have to go experiment!)
Happy toggle-making!

Come back tomorrow to see the cutest coat ever

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Favorites from KCW

I know you all probably thought I was going to go back into blogging hibernation again after KCW, but I think I might keep posting. Blogging is much more fun than doing the dishes.

I was so excited to see on Day Six the Kids Clothes Week blog featured my flashback skinny shirt! so fun!

Today I want to share some of my favorites from KCW. 
Elbow Patched Cardigan also by Amos El. I am in love with those elbow patches!
Imagine Gnats used Un Petit Design's free pattern/tutorial to make this adorable top
{lbg studio} made the Heidi and Finn Slouchy Cardigan pattern (added to my pattern wish list!)
and isn't the blue blouse underneath so pretty? it's made from the CaliFaye Voila Blouse pattern
Laughter House Mama made this shirt with adorable applique bear
this baby bonnet makes me wish I had a baby girl to sew for
I love this goat costume by "By Brienne" (she doesn't have a blog to link to sadly. She needs to start a blog, because you know it would be awesome) oh my! I wish there was a way to convince my princess lovin' girl to be a goat for Halloween next year.