Tag Archive for patterns

Imagine Gnats Sewing Patterns + Giveaway!

Every so often at Craft Buds, we like to feature an indie pattern designer who is working toward making their crafty dream a reality. When I met Rachael Gander, I immediately knew that she had both the talent and the drive to turn her hobbies of sewing, blogging and graphic design into an actual business.

It gives me great joy to share the news that Rachael is expanding her successful PDF pattern business into a run of print patterns! Read more below about how you can support Rachael’s handmade business while also scoring some great goodies for yourself.
Here’s what Rachael had to say about her indiegogo campaign!

Imagine gnats started as a little etsy shop, selling small sewn items to help support my family and also to give me a creative outlet in a corporate world. It’s come a long way in just five years… from a hobby to a full-time job. My love of sewing and design has grown as well, and now my own sewing patterns help and inspire others to create.

bess tops1

I am proud to have created patterns for garments that are easy to sew and easy to wear. Imagine gnats patterns feature classic silhouettes with a modern twist that incorporate clever details and practical techniques.

Currently, my patterns are all offered as printable PDFs. the money raised on indiegogo will help cover the costs of an initial run of paper patterns, which means sharing my designs with even more sewists and inspiring more people.

For the cost of one pattern, you can help me reach my goal AND be one of the first to get the printed pattern of your choice. for a little bit more, you can get a full set of imagine gnats printed patterns. plus, early bird specials offer even better deals for the first contributors!

meridian for kids imagine gnats

My initial print run will include 500 each of my existing five garment patterns. all of the money raised will go directly to that effort. once patterns are printed, i begin the selling and distribution phase.

I would love for you to tweet, share on Facebook, e-mail your friends and family… anything that will get the word out. Every share helps and is so appreciated.

i heart imagine gnats

Let’s rally around Rachael and make sure her handmade dreams come true!

 

Giveaway!

Would you like to win a set of 5 imagine gnats garment PDF patterns, including the Tumble Tee, Roly-Poly, Meridian for Kids, Meridian for Women, and Bess Top?

1. Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a complete set.

2. If you donate to Rachael’s campaign at any level, please leave a second comment for another chance to win!

International entries welcome, and we’ll choose one winner on February 28 (through the end of the fundraising campaign)!

Congrats to commenter #58, Dana!

Anna Maria’s Needleworks Notebook + Giveaway!

Today’s guest is none other than Anna Maria Horner, designer extraordinaire and author of the new book Anna Maria’s Needleworks Notebook (Wiley). The gorgeous hand-stitching book (I’ve seen it myself, and it is not to be missed!) releases mid-October, but you can pre-order now from Anna Maria or Amazon.

We’re excited to learn a little more about Anna Maria’s new book and her creative business! There’s also a giveaway at the end of this post.

Anna Maria Horner

Photo: Anna Maria Horner

Congrats on your third book release! Where did you find your inspiration for this project, and what do you love about hand stitching?

Thank you so much! I have been making embroidery and needlepoint since I was a little girl. The inspiration to collect projects for a book came about as I was just trying to figure out how I would want these disciplines presented to me as a reader/maker. It was important to me to make a book that could be just as inspiring for the novice as it is for the experienced needlecrafter. And doing that meant making sure there was lots of inspiration for the final usage of a worked piece, whether that be in a frame, a bag or a some fashionable application.

I love hand work. I love the slower pace and the connection that it has to drawing and painting. Simply said I know, but there are many crafts that I like, and only a few I love. Embroidery and other related needle crafts just happen to fall into the love category for me.

Is writing a book similar to designing a new fabric line?

Yes and not really. They are similar in the devotion I develop to each through out the process, but the language is all together different. The language of a fabric collection is almost entirely visual apart from the narrative style I attach to it with the collection name, then print and color names, and so on. I try to propel the story of the collection through those names. I think of a book as a literal conversation between myself and the reader, and in my category of sewing and how-to, it is of course also educational. The book as well has a visual element, which is in part the projects that I develop, but also the photography, how the pages feel, what the fonts look like, and all these things are speaking to the reader as well through the subconscious. So it’s important to me to get them right, so I am making my “story” unique and inspiring the reader.

Photo: Anna Maria Horner

Your designs and your career are inspiring to so many creative people. What lessons have you learned in your career that might help us?

I think having support is a huge bonus. If you have the luxury of not having to be the main bread winner in your house, then it might lighten your stress to take a few risks, or just spend a good amount of time developing your ideas. Then again, I have always found having to win a bit of bread can be pretty inspiring, too. We all work differently, so sometimes your productivity and creativity formulas are more or less a direct product of your environment. If you can, get to know what kind of conditions put you at your best and try to get there as often as possible. You might travel down a path the dries up after a while, but simply continuing to work on something will eventually bring you to what you were meant for, if you’re paying attention.

Photo: Anna Maria Horner

From reading your blog, it seems that you stay busy with family, design projects and teaching opportunities. Do you have any secrets to keeping a work/life balance?

It is not an easy balance, and I do get it wrong sometimes. The hardest thing for me to do is take time to take care of myself. Over this past summer though, I have demanded taking off on a run 3 to 4 times a week, which has left me feeling better than ever. Running has helped me keep my energy where it needs to be for work and for my family, even though it takes time out from both. But the payoff is much bigger than a couple of hours a week. I also find that saving slower-paced projects for evenings when I can work on them in the midst of my husband and kids is not only more enjoyable, but it lightens that daytime load.

Photos: Anna Maria Horner

Those are wise words! What’s next for you?

I always have a new fabric collection (or two) in the works as well as new sewing patterns. After the launch of the book, I will be introducing Field Study Rayons, Voiles and Velveteens, the Escape Artist bag pattern, the Flight Map quilt pattern and also some palettes of tapestry wool to continue growing my needleworks product. And there’s loads to look forward to next year, including some reprints of older fabric favorites and also linens!

Thanks for the sneak peek, Anna Maria! We can’t wait to make projects from your new book!

Giveaway!

Wiley Craft is generously giving away a copy of Anna Maria’s Needleworks Notebook. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below telling us one thing you’ve learned from our Q&A with Anna Maria. We’ll choose a random winner on 10/4/12.

Congrats to commenter #179, Lori!


Author Talk: Fat Quarter Shop + Giveaway!

Today we are thrilled to have the team at It’s Sew Emma Patterns and Fat Quarter Shop here to talk about their new book!

The book begins shipping today, and is called “Simply Fat Quarters.” With 10 quilt patterns that can each be made in four different sizes. Read on to learn more about the team’s self-published book and don’t forget to leave a comment at the end for your chance to win one of three copies!

It's Sew Emma (clockwise from top): Kim, Jocelyn, Sarah and Debbie

So many people have the bucket list dream to write a book, but not many realize what is involved in the process. Can you tell us a little bit about the book and your patterns business?

Here’s a little background about It’s Sew Emma! We are a dynamic team of four (Kimberly, Debbie, Jocelyn and Sarah) that design and publish patterns together. We each have different talents, tastes and specialties, which works really well. We have been publishing It’s Sew Emma patterns since 2011, which started out from one conversation in the back of a van during Quilt Market some years ago. Writing a book had always been on our minds, but it had to be the right time.

Is there a theme for the quilts/projects included in this book?

Simply Fat Quarters is geared towards using fat quarters to create quilts of all different styles and sizes. It seemed fitting to have our first book focus on fat quarters since our store is Fat Quarter Shop. There are 10 projects, and each can be made in four different sizes: crib, lap, twin and king. All are suitable for a confident beginner. Of course we think they appeal to all!

Did you work with a traditional publisher, or go the self-publishing route? What have you learned through the process?

We chose to self-publish mainly because we wanted to work on our own timeline and have complete creative control. Every step was a learning process. We researched copyrights, binding options, writing styles, distribution methods, you name it.

Establishing the pattern company while still running a fabric store did not leave much room for exploring the book idea, but we finally set a deadline for ourselves. It was a very fun and challenging process, and we like to do things fast. From idea to self-publishing, it all came together within nine months! After we decided to go the self-publishing route (very nerve-wracking to say the least), our concept, then we each submitted lots of designs to consider. After selecting our designs, we picked the fabrics for our samples, wrote instructions, did the photography, edited, tested, and edited some more. We have just finished the process, so it still feels like we’re in that dream!

Where do you find inspiration for writing new patterns? Do you have any ways to overcome the writer’s block that comes with creating designs from scratch?

Usually the inspiration for new patterns comes from fabric, a classic “chicken and the egg” situation! Sometimes you see one print that you know will be the starting point for a new quilt design, and then you take the seeds of design inspiration you’ve had sitting in your mind to do the rest. Some of us start with pencil and paper (or mouse and computer), and some start at the cutting table.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to write a craft book or design and sell patterns?

Research how the business works and invest in beautiful photos. A great book or pattern cover is paramount. Get together a team of great testers. Most importantly, set a deadline. You will mull over your options designs forever unless you stick to a date!

Giveaway!

Hot off the presses, Simply Fat Quarters has arrived in stock at Fat Quarter Shop, and they are generously giving away 3 copies of the new book!

Simply Fat Quarters

Leave a comment telling us something you’ve learned from this Q&A for your chance to win. We’ll choose 3 random winners on October 3, 2012. Good luck!

Congrats to our three winners, #19 Libby G., Diane and #90 Linda S.!

Giveaway! Bella and Liberty Fabrics

At Craft Buds, we believe in coming alongside crafters who want to start their own handmade business, and today I’d like to introduce you to Sara of Sew Sweetness! Yes, she made all of these amazing outfits. And she wants to write sewing patterns and teach you how to do the same with step-by-step, easy-to-follow patterns.

Sara has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help her raise the funds to start drafting sewing patterns for clothing. She also makes some of the best FREE bag and purse tutorials online. We want to support her in this new endeavor, so we’re giving away some lovely fabric in support of Sara’s new project. Sara says:

My Kickstarter goal minimum is to raise the money to buy a package of quality garment pattern drafting software, which will allow my patterns to be available in sizes XXS-XXL. I would like to produce my instructions as a PDF. All pattern pieces would be included, as well as full-color step-by-step photos and very detailed sewing instructions. The finished patterns would be available online as downloads.

I wish I could do this on my own, but I just can’t! I work at a pet store on the weekends so I can stay home with my kids during the week while my husband is at work, and I think this is a way that I can not only better myself, but help my kids learn about hard work and that it’s possible to do something that you love.

Giveaway!

To enter this giveaway, visit Sara’s Kickstarter campaign and make a donation of any amount ($1, $5, any amount!). Then come back here and leave a comment letting us know you’ve donated.

One randomly drawn winner will receive the soon-to-be-released, oh so cute Lotta Jansdotter Bella Fat Quarter Bundle! (image courtesy redpepperquilts.com)

 

One randomly drawn winner will get this gorgeous charm pack of Liberty Art Fabrics from Sara’s stash. (See more drool-worthy pics of this fabric from Sara’s Quilt Market post, here!)

Besides being one of the nicest, most generous sewists in blogland, Sara is a mom to two adorable kids and she is extremely passionate about teaching others to sew. Let’s help Sara kickstart her new handmade business! As a bonus, you can donate for one of the set amounts and can pre-order Sara’s dress patterns or get some other fun rewards once Sara meets her goal!

Sara’s Blog | Facebook | Twitter

 

So, if you’d like to enter to win one these prizes, just pop on over to Kickstarter, make a donation of any amount, and then leave us a comment to say you did! This giveaway is open worldwide and closes on Friday, August 10, 2012.

Update: Congrats to our winners, #40 Cassandra (Bella fat quarter bundle) and #7 Carlyn Jane (Liberty charms)! Thanks to all who donated, because it looks like Sara is going to beat her original fundraising goal!

Book Review + Giveaway: Sew What! Bags

Sew What! Bags cover

Sew What! Bags: 18 Pattern-Free Projects You Can Customize to Fit Your Needs is an older release from Storey Publishing. In the book, author Lexie Barnes teaches how to make a variety of bags, totes, and containers. Because the projects only require straight-line sewing and don’t require patterns, her technique is ideal for newbie sewists.

Sew What Bags chapter

The book is broken down into sewing basics including tools, understanding fabric, and getting to know your sewing machine. Color illustrations teach the reader how to sew straps, simple linings, and pockets.

Sew What Tote Bags

In the Warm-up Projects chapter, Barnes teaches readers to sew some of life’s simplest “bags,” like an eyeglass case, tissue pouch, and grocery bag tube. Her technique allows readers to measure their own belongings and create a custom-size bag to fit.

She also explains how the many projects are related to each other. For instance, once you’ve learned to sew the eyeglass case, you’ve essentially learned how to sew the five projects below: a diaper case, knitting wristlet, sandwich bag, business card case, and lip balm lanyard. Since all the projects use the same basic construction, they can be customized with an extra strap, drawstring, or flap to serve different purposes. Barnes empowers sewing through teaching basic techniques, so they aren’t limited to sewing with patterns already written.

Sew What Simple Bags

Beyond the beginner projects, this book covers totes, drawstring sacks, and messenger bags. Within each section are illustrated steps for several styles of bags in set sizes. But the reader is not limited to one style, because each project details how you can customize the bag with zippers, flaps, velcro, pockets, or a new size to fit your needs!

Sew What Messenger Bags

The final chapter dives into organizers like a tool apron or wall caddy, with neat-and-tidy pockets for kitchenware or even art supplies. Though advanced projects may initially scare away beginners, the book offers a progression of skills for the modern sewist. By the end, you, too could be customizing your bags and maybe even writing some patterns of your own.

I adore this book, from the variety of projects to the modern fabrics featured. I also love the streamlined look of the 18 projects. Without all the frills and fuss, it’s easy to learn the very basic of bag making from this book, and grow in your confidence as a sewist.

Giveaway!

Giveaway now closed. Congrats to #138, Julie!

Would you like to win a copy this book?

  1. Enter to win by leaving a comment on this post about your favorite type of bag.
  2. For an extra entry, “Like” Storey Publishing on Facebook and leave a second comment.

Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. Good luck! Giveaway ends Monday, Feb. 6.

Author Q&A: Sewing for Boys + Giveaway

Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage design children’s clothing for their company Patterns by Figgy’s and just released their first book, Sewing for Boys (Wiley). Today we’re excited to learn a little bit more about how these ladies decided to collaborate on a creative business and later a book. Shelly and Karen are living proof that dedication to your craft can lead to a very successful career in design.

I read on your website that you two met on Flickr and live across the country from each other. How did you decide to go into business together?

{S} We found one another in a group that shares a mutual love for fabric and design. Karen posted a photograph of a beautiful handmade pinafore, so I made a comment about how terrific I found her work and designs. That sparked a conversation, which then blossomed into friendship. As our friendship grew, we found that we had the same goals and aspirations, most importantly, the desire to write a beautiful book focused solely on BOYS. It was the desire to write this book together that sparked all the other collaboration we’ve done.

The Henry Shirt test

"The Henry Shirt" (Flickr / Shelly Figueroa)

I love the clean lines of your children’s clothing designs and the cute details. How you find inspiration for new patterns?

{K} We look to the past, because we both gravitate toward utility that is beautiful. We love the simple styles of the past, but we try to modernize them in a way that becomes a new classic. Of course, comfort is paramount, and because we focus on how a kid will feel in our clothes, we try to include details that are important to kids, like pockets and comfortable seams. Our aim is to always make a kid’s favorite garment.

{S} I am a lover of simple-to-sew projects and garments and I don’t like to make things more than once or twice, so it’s very important to me as a mother (because our time is precious) to make sure the designs have cute details and modern touches but won’t take all day to create.

Sewing For Boys book Do you have a favorite project in the new book?

{K} It’s so hard to choose! I love “Let’s Go Fishing Hat” for its simplicity and utility, but my very favorite is “The Henry Shirt.” I love to mix and match fabrics, and I love how this shirt can work through all the seasons. Its relaxed fit is a big bonus for fidgety little guys.

{S} Since Karen picked two, I will too. I love the “Kickin’ Back Sweats” because they are super quick to make and the fit is all about comfort but there are also a lot of options offered. They are designed so you don’t have to just choose knit fabric but also woven, you can use the pattern to make surf pants or shorts, optional faux fly and pockets are also offered. I also love the “Easy Linen Shirt” because once again it’s a quick sew but is still super stylish and laid back. The West Coast girl is coming out of me with these two.

How did your relationship with Wiley begin?

We engaged Stefanie Von Borstel from Full Circle Literary to represent us and our idea. Her enthusiasm and direction helped us clarify our vision which she then took to publishers to find a good fit. She brought us several offers to publish our book, including one from Wiley. We love the work they do, and some of our favorite designers have written books with Wiley, so we chose to accept their offer.

How would you compare the process of publishing your individual patterns with writing a sewing book? Any challenges or surprises you weren’t expecting?

The main difference was the ultra-tight schedule, really. When I think about it, it blows me away that we were able to put together 24 projects, patterns, illustrations and instructions in 12 weeks, whereas usually we give ourselves 3 months to put together a line of 3 patterns. There were A LOT of long nights. We were pleasantly surprised and can honestly say that the entire book was exactly how we pictured, and unfortunately not all authors get to say that. The entire team was a pleasure to work with at Wiley and they really listened to what our vision for this book was.

Sewing for Boys project

What’s next for you ladies?

During the Spring Quilt Market in Utah, we were able to meet a lot of the fabric shop owners that currently carry Patterns by Figgy’s patterns, and we also met a lot of fabric reps who asked if we would like to preview upcoming fabrics. This gave us the idea that it was time to offer “trunk shows” so that the shops will have a way to showcase not only the patterns but new fabrics. We love having that personal relationship with the fabric shops.

During the next few months we’ll be taking some time promoting and enjoying the fun part of publishing a book. We’re also teaching classes in our local areas (Portland and Detroit), and crafting as much as possible!

Giveaway!

Wiley Publishing is giving away a copy of Sewing for Boys to one lucky Craft Buds reader! If you’d like to win, leave one comment on this post telling us something you’ve learned about the authors or the book publishing process. This giveaway is now closed.

We’ll be back on Wednesday with a sneak peek of the book  Read the book review here and we’ll announce the winner of this book on Friday morning. For more chances to win, follow the rest of the blog tour:

September 5 Made by Rae
September 6 Sew, Mama, Sew
September 7 The Southern Institute & Film in the Fridge
September 8 Elsie Marley
September 9 Noodlehead & Oh, Fransson!
September 10 I Heart Linen
September 11 Anna Maria Horner
September 12 Craft Buds, Pink Chalk Fabric, Prudent Baby, Sew Much Ado
September 13 Very Purple Person, Quilt Story & Sew Sara
September 14 The Long Thread
September 15 Susan Beal
September 16 True Up
September 17 All Buttoned Up & Bolt Fabric Boutique
September 18 MADE & Wiley Craft

Spotlight on Dewberry Lane & Giveaway

I’m excited to share a little about Rachel, a new crafty business owner and the woman behind Dewberry Lane, an online shop for quilting notions and sewing supplies! She also blogs at Scrapendipity Designs if you’d like to say “hi.”

Rachel, welcome to Craft Buds! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I live in New Hampshire with my lovely husband and awesome son. I have many interests, including Revolutionary War Reenacting, but my favorite hobby is of course quilting!! I learned to quilt 12 years ago, but really started being passionate about it in the last 4 years or so. Quilting is a wonderful creative outlet for me, and I am slowly learning my own style. I am a quirky kind of girl, so that often comes out in my quilts. Like many others, my to-be-finished pile is much longer than my finished pile, because I have more ideas than time.

Quilt blocks by Rachel

Where did you get the name for your quilting notions shop, Dewberry Lane? How did you decide to get started?

Dewberry Lane was actually the name I thought of for another project. I was looking into starting a digital scrapbook store, and purchased the domain for that. The store never took off, but I kept renewing the domain anyway because I really liked it. When I purchased my longarm machine a year ago, my husband and I were talking about quilting and quilting as a business and I mentioned to him that I would love to own a quilt store. He asked me why I couldn’t, and that got me started down the path of opening the store. When it came time for the name, I knew Dewberry Lane was it. It was a perfect fir for the store, and I was glad I held on to it for all those years.

Quilt block from Rachel

If you were stranded on a desert island with your sewing machine, designer fabrics, and only 3 other quilting tools, what would they be?

A small hand needle, freezer paper, and scissors. (And I assume thread, too?) I would use a hot rock as a makeshift iron, and go to town with applique. Although I love all kinds of sewing and quilting. If I was going to be stuck for years on end, I would choose to do applique because there is just such a myriad of design choices. Plus it takes so dang long to do, when the rescuers come to get me, I might be asking them for just a little more time!!

Patterns at Dewberry Lane

What fabrics are you loving right now?

I am not always up on the latest fabrics; it’s just not my forte. I believe in specializing in what you know, and I know tools. I love patterns, books, thread, special rulers, fusibles . . . anything that can make my life easier when quilting. I leave the fabric choices to other stores that can do it so much better than me. I personally love scraps. If I could have a store filled with scraps, and people wanted to buy that, I would do that in a heartbeat (hmmmm maybe there is an idea there).

My favorite thing is to get scraps from other people because I rarely buy quantities of fabric, so this allows me to get small pieces of fabric I would have never thought to buy myself (anyone want to trade??). But if I had to choose a line, I would have to say that I am totally crushing on last year’s Dr. Seuss fabrics. This has been one of the very few lines of fabrics where I bought every single pattern in the line. I have already made a few tops with it and have plans for a few more.

Dr. Suess quilt

Giveaway!

Rachel is generously giving away a $30 gift certificate to her shop to one lucky reader! To enter:

  1. Leave a comment telling me one product you love from her shop. (one entry)
  2. Sign up for her newsletter (link in the left sidebar of this page), and leave a second comment. (one entry)

Rachel holds a free pattern drawing each month for newsletter subscribers! Giveaway is open worldwide, and we’ll choose one winner on Thursday, July 28th at 11:59pm. Thanks Rachel!

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