Posts tagged Children's Clothing
Prepping for Halloween


little mummy in the window

Halloween is just around the corner and we all know what that means...costumes! There are loads of great ideas and free patterns in countless blogs to help inspire you.

Tulle can create such an ethereal effect. This notoriously shifty fabric can be used for a simple and fun tutu, great for enhancing costumes like storybook characters or favorite animals and bugs. Or use some of our felt and shiny ribbon with tulle or netting and transform your little one into the cutest pumpkin!


Boning comes in handy for a number of costume ideas--think crazy vampire collars or Rocky Horror-style bodice shaping. Even this bat costume uses some with felt to create the wing shape!


Check out the various weights of interfacing including one of the heaviest, Timtex. The structure would help shape a hat, collar, bodice, or other design detail that stuck away from the body. And it's fusible!

timtex, heavy interfacing

Need a little shine for wings, dresses, and capes? In addition to these more subtle colors, we also have rayon lining fabric in a variety of shades. 


One of my favs--glitter rick-rack! Embellish any character with this flashy trim that's perfect for Halloween night. You can also add it to the tulle tutu for extra sparkle.

glitter rick rack

A superhero cape (courtesy of Ellen Luckett Baker, author of 1,2,3 Sew) would be fun for a night of trick or treating and for playing year 'round. Along with the fabric, don't forget the velcro. This easy closure is sold by the yard so you can get exactly how much you need.

velcro by the yard

Felt is a Halloween staple; it's easy to use, doesn't fray, and we have it by the yard. Pirates, monkeys, and bees--oh my!

felt by the yard

And don't forget a Trick or Treat bag! I have a tutorial over on the MD blog that would be easy to customize with applique, fabric markers, or just two awesome fabrics!

Read More
Sewing For Boys Giveaway!


Crafty mamas (and seamster papas) of little boys rejoice!  Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage of Patterns by Figgy's have delivered on their promise of a book to finally address a long-neglected niche in the sewing market.  Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe is the book I've been waiting for since my son Milo was born 6 1/2 years ago.  

Sewing for Boys

As soon as I brought my copy home, he poured over the gorgeous project photos (all conveniently together right up front!) and immediately started compiling a mental list of the ones he expected me to start cranking out for him.  Although he is topping out the size range for the book (0-6 months to 6/7 years, with some variation from pattern to pattern), I expect to get some years' use out of it yet.  Many of the patterns can be easily adjusted by lengthening sleeves or pant legs, and nearly 1/3 of the patterns are for accessories and gifts which do not depend on size.  The pattern pieces themselves are printed full-size on sturdy paper (no enlarging! no tissue!), making tracing and adjustment a breeze.

Shelly and Karen have designed a full range of garments, from a raw-edged onesie romper out of knit jersey (0-6 months to 12-18 months), to a reversible winter jacket (2/3 years to 6/7 years), each with thoughtful details and solid construction.  I'm slightly giddy about the thought of making the "Henry Shirt" for my son so that he and his papa can both step out in guayabera style! 

Henry Shirt

As for my little guy, he has requested the "Brick Bag Carry All" so that he can safely transport Lego creations in-progress when he has sleep-overs at Grandma's house, and the "To-Go Artist" for doodling and drawing while out and about. 

To Go Artist

I also have a feeling Santa will be whipping up the "Just-Like-Dad Flannel Robe" and leaving it under the Christmas tree this year.

Just like Dad robe

We just got in this gorgeous wool plaid that would be perfect for the robe. Love!

wool plaid

Garment patterns are arranged by season, and there is an additional section on re-using or re-purposing scraps and old garments.  The appendix has a glossary of basic sewing terms for beginners, and a couple of pages on seam finishes (flat fell or Hong Kong finishes, anyone?), which can really take your garment sewing to the next level.  And while the focus here is unapologetically on the boys, many (if not most) of these patterns could be easily interpreted for girls as well.  This book is an incredible value.  Thank you Shelly and Karen!

Leave a comment below (US residents only) and be entered to win a copy of Sewing for Boys! This is bound to be a wonderful addition to any craft library so we'll keep the drawing open until next Wednesday. Good luck!

The blog tour is almost over. Thanks for stopping by!

September 5    Wiley Craft & 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 & 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

Read More
Interview with Shelly of Patterns by Figgy's


Shelly Figueroa is one of the most awesome people I know. I spent most of the summer with her as we powered through the kids summer camps down at Modern Domestic. Mornings as I would be taking the garbage out, I would find her in her car blasting 80's gems and we would have a dance party on the sidewalk. She's kind and supportive of the kids and in return they just adore her. She typically brought baked goods which is always a thumbs up in my book. Her entire family is delightful, especially her mother and aunt whom I've had the great pleasure of meeting several times as they come and take classes at MD.

When she isn't teaching the next generation of sewists, she's busy developing, creating, and designing children's clothing patterns as Patterns by Figgy's. Bolt has been a long time supporter of her talent and are lucky to stock her diverse, beautiful collection. That's why we're thrilled she's written her first book, Sewing For Boys! As we gear up for its release, I thought everyone should get to know the Shelly I know and love.

Author & Pattern Designer, Shelly Figueroa

How did you get started designing patterns? 
4 years ago I had designed a little bubble skirt and took it into a local fabric shop to show the proprieter.  She said "You should make a pattern for that." and so I did. At first I was teaching the pattern at the fabric shop but then I thought about my Etsy shop where I was creating children's clothing and I found that most of the patterns I was purchasing didn't allow a home sewer to create garments and sell them. When I decided to make patterns for sale I knew that "sharing" the pattern with home sewers that have little shops was a must. I then began to focus on designing instead of making.

Tell me about the new fall collection of patterns? Inspirations, goals, etc?  
Currently I can't say too much about what's coming because it's in the "tweaking" stage but I can tell you that what is to come is definitely fashion forward.  After taking a small break this Summer I had a lot of choices to make and I had to really focus on what I love about having my own business and what I want for it's future.  Simply making the decision to do what naturally is to come, my goal was met. Now I'm setting new goals and my inspiration has been stemming from the amazing people here in Portland that have shown me so much support and love.

Figgy's Trunk Show

How did the book come about? Be much work is it to write a book, as opposed to stand alone patterns?  
A little over a year ago I had hired Karen LePage to work on graphic designs for Patterns by Figgy's and one day we started talking about how there were hardly any cool patterns for boys out in the world and we wished there were more. I said "Let's write a book that is just for boys" and she said "Sure". I had no idea what to expect. I honestly didn't think anyone would pick us up because we were basically no names. We put together a proposal and I sent it out to some agencys and shortly thereafter Stefanie von Borstel, co-founder of Full Circle Literary, picked us up. She sent it out to different publishers and within a month we had two offers. I was floored that it happened so fast. So fast that we weren't quite prepared for what was coming...deadlines. How much work is it? TONS and some more TONS. A stand alone pattern would normally take about a month or two but once we had signed the papers we had 25% of the book due in one month which was about 6 patterns. On top of designing patterns, we also graded, illustrated, styled, and instructed.  I'm still a little tired.

Shelly with Mustache

How rewarding is it to final hold a copy in your hands though?  
So worth it. My parents are amazing people that have given me so much love and support and writing this book was more for them than myself. I felt like I had accomplished something that they could be proud of. Amazing that I'm 37 years old and still want them to be proud of Plus, seeing my family in the book (sons, mom and husband) is such a blessing and special keepsake.  

Sewing for Boys!

What does the future hold for Patterns by Figgys? 
Oh so much! "Patterns by Figgy's" is about to journey into "Figgy's" with some exciting changes that I hope people will fall in love with. It's been an exciting ride watching the business evolve and grow and I feel like I'm about to enter into the company I've been imagining for a long time. 
Thanks Shelly!!
Modern Domestic will be hosting a book signing for Shelly and Sewing For Boys Friday September 16th in conjunction with the Friday Night Sewcial at 6:00 pm--what a great time to pick up a copy of the book and bring along some fabric to get started sewing for the boys in your life right away.
And follow the blog tour. September 17th it stops here with a giveaway!

September 5    Wiley Craft & 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 & 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


Read More
Back to School Backpack


On a recent visit with my dear friend, Mollie, we got to catch up on a lot of news. This family has been a part of my life for a while, having known them in NYC. I had not realized how soon it was until her daughter, Maggie, was starting Kindergarten. Like this week! Being one without kids keeps me oblivious to these things. We chatted about buying school supplies, a favorite activity of mine growing up, and that Maggie would need a backpack. Lightbulb! "Maggie, would you like me to make you a backpack?"

Needless to say, I got fairly explicit instructions that I was happy to oblige. It's something I know as a sewist I take for granted--getting to produce and wear or carry exactly what I would like. Now I'm on a mission to produce a purple backpack with a baby brown bunny holding a carrot and with Maggie's name in pink.

I had purple canvas in my stash but we've got neutrals and fun colors in stock. I do recommend something with a little more heft to it, like canvas or home dec.

Canvas Selection

These cars or trains would have been awesome. Maybe for her brother. But I'm under strict orders!

Echino options

First up, embroider or applique the bunny? Since time was a factor and I'm no Anna Joyce, I found a sweet little bunny over on Urban Threads. Embroider, check!

Embroidering bunny

Name in pink, check!

placement of embroidery on backpack pocket

Pattern time. I'd heard through the grapevine that Melissa's Not-So-Big Backpack (from the Fall 2010 Stitch Magazine) shape and size was good for all of Maggie's Kindergarten needs. But I definitely wanted it lined. I simply cut the front, back, and side & bottom panel pieces out of a lining as well. I also interfaced the panel pieces of the exterior.

Stitch, Fall 2010

Hardware. I think metal teeth zippers look awesome so I picked some of those up along with these backpack straps we are now carrying.

backpack straps available-quick and easy!

Easy enough to change length--simply shift the foam insert up and trim away the excess. Then slip it back down and trim the cover. There should be some cover that extends past the foam. I left approx 1/2". Nylon webbing for lower strap, check!

Altering backpack strap

The construction felt fairly straight forward. It was very similar to other bags I've made, namely Amy Butler's Weekender Bag (but without all the headache that one caused). The majority of the work was done in under 2 hours, plus strap fitting and hand finishing and machine embroidery.

I took a cue from Oliver & S's Little Things to Sew book for sewing in the lining. Here you can see the exterior and lining have been pinned together at the bottom seam. 

pinning lining to exterior along stitch lines

A trick I learned for being uber-accurate when lining up two seam lines (and I think works well for darts too) is to pin on top of the stitch line through both layers. That way you ensure no slippage and the seams match up.

pinning for accurate stitching

sewing lining to exterior

Once the bag is right side out with the lining inside, you simply hand stitch the zipper opening in the lining to the zipper tape. 

pinning lining around zipper

When using a metal or molded zipper, I always walk the machine's hand wheel over the needle. That way I can prevent needle breakage and reinforce the area with backstitching. This is definitely a stress point. No needles were harmed in the making of this backpack!

walk handwheel over metal teeth zippers

For the bottom panel, I subbed in a faux leather. I thought this would make it more durable. And attractive!

faux leather bottom

All set and ready for the first day of school, check!

Hanging-finished Front

Maybe you've already got a backpack ready to go but still want to send them to school with something handmade? Erica's offering an Insulated Lunch Bag class that's perfect for back to school. Take it a step further and join me in Embroidery DIY to personalize your project. I'm offering a free spot in the class, just leave a comment over on the MD blog!


Read More
What's new and Supportland "hookup"


We recently received part of Toomuchery from P & B Textiles.  A playful group of prints, modern colors, designed by Helen Dardik.  I can see all sorts of kids' clothing, aprons, quilts and possibly lampshades with these designs.  The smaller oval prints in the middle would be great as quilt binding, custom bias tape and for applique!  The last print on the right is a block print in a scale perfect for anysize quilt back, from crib size on up.

Another recent addition to our selection is from the Savannah line from Blue Hill Fabrics.  It's a soft palette of green and purple.  The grey-ish purple is one of my favorite colors lately.  The smaller prints are great blenders with their simple two-tone designs.  The zig zag boxes has a subtle variation to the print, making it look more hand drawn than computer generated, almost like a Japanese shibori.  Always a plus in my book!

Edited to include:

We just created this neat new "hookup" with Modern Domestic via Supportland.  Here's how it works: you spend $100 or more at Bolt (doesn't matter if things are discounted or full price) and you'll receive 20% off machine service at Modern Domestic (any brand of machine welcome)!  It is so super easy--you just bring your Supportland card with you when you're shopping at Bolt and we'll put the discount notice on the card, bring it down to MD with your machine and they'll take it off.  This "hookup" is running through October 15th and the discount is good for 6 months after it's put on your Supportland card.  Yay Supportland for making it easy!!

Read More
Girl's World Review and Giveaway!



I have never met a book put out by Chronicle books that I didn't like, and Jennifer Paganelli's, Girl's World: Twenty-One Sewing Projects to Make for Little Girls is no exception. Jennifer created a sewing book that is unapologetically girlie with patterns for dresses, dress up clothes and accessories to decorate with or to give away.

Girl's World

GIrl's World

When you look past Tim Geaney's beautiful photography, you'll find detailed sewing instructions and solid patterns suitable for those starting out, and those of us needing some fresh inspiration. The patterns are full sized and individually printed out on sturdy newsprint style paper (so no tracing, if you're in a hurry!). This is a book you'll be able to use for years and years thanks to sizing that ranges from XS (2) to XL (12-14). Jennifer has years of experience in the textile industry as the creator of Sis Boom fabric, and all the samples in the book feature her much loved fabric.

Mary's Fancy Sash Dress

I chose a cotton lawn from the Japanese company Yuwa to sew together Mary's Fancy Sash Dress pattern. Even though it might seem "fancy" it is suitable for a beginner and would work just as well as an every day dress if you leave off the sash and shorten it to suit active play. The back features a bit of elastic that makes the dress a snap to pull on and off, and the skirt is perfect for twirling. Of course, depending on your fabric choice, this would also make a simple but stunning flower girl or party dress. This pattern is the perfect use for a border print.

We should be getting more books in this week (we sold out of the first order!) and Chronicle has generously offered us a book to giveaway to one of our readers. Leave a comment (US addresses only please) before Saturday afternoon and we'll pull a winner! Check out all the entire blog tour for more photos and chances to win-- Susan will have a post up tomorrow!

Read More
Take an Extra Ten, Cheap Fleece, and New Things

We are throwing a Take an Extra 10% off already sale priced fabric, notions, and patterns party this coming Saturday and Sunday. We're throwing remnants into that pile as well. On top of that, we'll be marking all fleece down to 5 dollars a yard-- think camping/car blankets, kids ponchos and DIY Snuggies.

Suzy Ultman for Robert Kaufman

I did a little dance when I walked in and saw these brand new prints by Suzy Ultman for Robert Kaufman.

Kaufman prints

Also from Kaufman: two prints from the Good Life Collection by Wooster and Prince Papers (bottom), two more prints from Josephine Kimberling, and Oranges from Monaluna.

Class Picnic Blouse and Shorts

If you're a local knitter, you might know the multi-talented Leah who works and blogs for our neighbors, Close Knit. She just finished up her take on the Oliver+S pattern, Class Picnic Blouse and Shorts. If you're wondering how this pattern will finish up in a larger child size (this one is a size 8), definitely give Leah's sample a look next time you're in the store. The top is an especially great transitional piece of clothing with a flexible fit. Thank you, Leah!

Read More
Flickr Inspiration and a TWO Giveaways

If you have a minute, go ahead and upload your photos of finished Bolt projects to our Flickr Group! This is a super cute Oliver+S Jumprope dress from Mamatsopj (for details, click on the picture):

Oliver + S Jumprope Dress

Kristin made her first bed size quilt with fabric from Bolt-- congratulations!! It looks fantastic.

first quilt (front)

There is lots of great inspiration in the group, including more previews (by way of samples) of Figgy's new pattern line that is being released next month at Quilt Market.


What's that? A Giveaway? Of course. We've got one more Chinook Book left for a local reader (so indicate if you are one) and a charm pack of the entire line of Oliver+S City Weekend. Comment here, we'll pick a winner for each (US addresses, please) on Saturday, May 1st. What are you working on these days? Are you feeling the pull away from your sewing machine and into the garden? Let us know.


Read More
Little Things to Sew: Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood Cape


It is no surprise that Liesl Gibson's first book, Little Things to Sew was highly anticipated. It promised all the detail and clever styling that we have come to expect from her and her team at Oliver+S. Happily, they have made good on their promises! The book contains full pattern sheets for 20 toys and accessories for children. While some of the projects are skewed for very little people, there are many projects aimed at or adaptable for older children, too.

Red Riding Hood Cape

This is the Red Riding Cape the larger of the two sizes. This pattern pretty much takes care of costuming (fairy tales, dark and stormy super heroes) and fancy dressing (Easter! Tea parties!) for the foreseeable future. I used Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush Velveteen for the exterior and Kaffe shot cotton for the inside. Even though it is sized for a child, it could easily be modified to fit an adult by lengthening it slightly and by enlarging the armhole slits so they hang open all the way down to the hem. The pattern was straight-forward and quick to sew together once I had everything cut out. I made one small modification: I top stitched around the edge of the cape to ensure the velveteen stayed put. This would also be beautiful in wool with a super soft voile interior or a quilt weight cotton on the outside and a flannel on the inside.

If you're itching for further motivation to check out this book, Erica is teaching the Messenger Bag (in child or adult size) pattern from this book down at Modern Domestic!

Read More
Pattern Review: Oliver + S Sailboat Top, Skirt + Pants

Sailboat Top Sailboat Pants


I cannot resist the lure of the boat neck, so I was more than happy to give the Sailboat Top and Pants a go. The shirt pattern can be made up in either knit or woven and since I wanted an excuse to use some of this super soft french terry, I chose knit. I used lightweight denim for the pants-- but how cute would those be in seersucker? Very. I would like a top like that in my size, please.

Considering the number of pattern pieces and facings, both items went together pretty quickly. The one and only modification I made was to forgo button holes on the shirt. I only did this after checking that the knit neck hole would go over a 4 year-old head. If I were to make this in a woven, I would most certainly add the button holes. The pants have an elastic waist band in the back and the top buttons down as well. It's adorable, but in future I'll probably close the underside of the button flaps from the inside to create pockets.

Sailboat Top Buttons

This outfit has the potential for 8 button holes. It's a good idea to test your machine's button hole function on scraps before you start sewing them in. You could sub in snaps in a pinch, or if you're local, you could bring your project down to Modern Domestic and sign up for an hour of machine time. The button hole functions (that's right-- functions!) on the Bernina classroom machines are fantastic.

This is a unisex pattern that also includes a pattern pieces and instruction for a skirt/culotte. Sewing for small people is so satisfying. The fit is flexible, you don't need that much fabric, and the seams are so much shorter! We carry organic and non organic french terry options and we just received a tube of lightweight hemp denim that would be beautiful for pants.

Read More
Carefree Clothes for Girls

Boy talk first! We wanted to make sure you knew about the forthcoming book, Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to create a Handmade Wardrobe by Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage. As you know, Shelly is one of the fantastic teachers down at MD and (along with Karen) puts out great patterns under the name Patterns by Figgy's. Their book is being published by Wiley and will be out later this Summer! You can see their announcement along with some gorgeous photos from their book over at their blog.

Today we are all about the girls. Carefree Clothes for Girls by Junko Okawa was first published in Japan in 2007 and then republished in English by Trumpeter in 2009. It contains 20 patterns for girls sized 4-7, by season. The instructions and diagrams are thorough and easy to read and the patterns are easy to trace off of the full-sized pull out pattern sheet.

Carefree Clothes for Girls Smock

I have favorites, but honestly I love this whole book. Like so many Japanese Craft books, the beautiful photo styling makes it an equally lovely look book as it does a collection of useful patterns. Hannah put together this sample smock (pictured on the front cover of the book) using a linen blend and quilters cotton. She included some hand-stitching along the bottoms and through the pockets, and could have just as easily embellished it with ribbons, stencils or buttons. It would also be adorable in a mid weight novelty print and double as an apron for your aspiring artist or baker.

Carefree Clothes for Girls

There are also patterns for pants, several more dresses/tops, a hat and instructions for a hand knit scarf.

Read More