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Trying a new toy

Whew, what a beginning to the year! Between freelancing and a new pattern release for Figgy’s, a project contribution for Stitch Magazine in Fall this year, pink eye and severe coughs for Leona that turned into walking pneumonia in myself, I didn’t get to workout at all, sew for Leona or anything for myself. For the first time I can remember, I am sitting on unfinished projects:
- a duffle coat out of pendleton blanket wool with leather sleeves
- two quilts that only lack bindings (my final contribution for QfQ)
- two ballet bags, one for L the other one for her best friend Rose
- a tapestry cushion face (a birthday present from my husband. I initially joked it would take me until Christmas to finish it, then I moved the finish date to his birthday and more realistically I’ll finish next Christmas it’s so time consuming)

I felt completely irresponsible for not having an Easter dress for L sewn, when I remembered a half finished (at least I got that one crossed off the list) dress down in my sewing cave. It only lacked elastic in the neck tunnel. That Easter morning, I went downstairs and finished it in about 5 minutes.



Girls Style Book
Pattern: Dress A
Fabric: By Alexander Henry bought at Bolt

Oh, and what has that to do with a new toy? My brother just showed me how to use my iPad for blog publishing :) ))

Nituna – and how it all began

Sometime life works in mysterious ways.

This story begins with 1 yard of fabric, passed on to me by Susan, with a task attached: Create something really beautiful – anything you like – and once finished, it’ll be showcased at a particular store and I would have to teach a class on the item – then, the finished product would be mine.
It was a beautiful fabric.
And I knew exactly what I would want it to become.

At the same time, a warm and sunny September day, Shelly and I were meeting for lunch. I showed her the the fabric and told her what I’d like to make from it. Her eyes lit up and she responded … what if …
Then we put our heads together and started planning. It was a long lunch break and I don’t know if either of us ever expensed it ;) (tax time people – get ready!) but the outcome was a new pattern company and this:

First Nituna

Nituna in the Ochoco fabric I was given,
with brown suede tape and binding details.

and then this:


Nituna reversible Jacket

The Nituna reversible jacket pattern was actually the first jacket pattern in the new Figgy’s line. I love the simplicity of the design and the versatility of the pattern. And how it can showcase double faced fabrics beautifully without strange bits and bobs that you have to live with when making a reversible style. And made up in any of the many beautiful Pendleton fabrics – you’ll create a truely show-stopping piece.

“Wait a minute!” you might say “all of this sounds super nice but where I live, I can’t even get my hands on any Pendleton fabrics”

No need to be discouraged – Pendleton has a huge store here in Portland and the staff is very nice and extremely helpful. They post most of their fabrics including (sales) on their blog – and if you have laid eyes on a specific fabric, just call them toll free 866.865.9285  and they’ll ship out to you. All the ingredients for the jacket above can be purchased at their store and they also carry the Nituna pattern.

Didn’t I mention that the pattern is very versatile?
This version here  is made up in Loden (node to my bavarian upbringing) with a graphic quilting cotton as lining:

Nituna lined

And this guy here is out of a thick double face polar fleece with a sherpa like side (inside) and a flat micro fleece side (outside). I left the patch pockets unfinished with the raw edges showing which just underlines the rugged appeal of the fabric. I omitted the buttons at the front which makes for a nice, flattering drape effect.

nituna fleece

Last but not least: The class I talked about earlier.
Portlanders and all sewistas in the vicinity: I’ll be teaching a class on the Nituan patten at the Pendleton Wollen Mills Store end of January. The price of the class ($200 I believe) includes fabric, all trims, a label and the pattern. It’s rated an advanced class as handling blanket weight fabric requires somewhat experienced hands. It’s a two session class so there will be homework in between classes. The official list is not up yet. But like us on Facebook and stay up to date once the listing is up to secure your spot. All you need to bring is yourself and your trusty sewing machine. Everything else is provided. Here the details to pencil in:

1/28 & 2/4
10am – 12pm

Pendleton Woolen Mills Store
8500 SE McLoughlin Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97222
866.865.9285 toll free

Hope to see you all and
Cheers to 2012!!!




Sunki Love

Sunki for L Sunki for L

Pattern: Sunki by Figgy’s Patterns
Fabric: Rowan Baby wale corduroy

You know what the hardest part is in working on a childrens sewing pattern line? Having a daughter that’s completely out of the average size range. That means, every time I sew a prototype, and coax her into putting it on, I almost get a heart attack! Because everything always looks far too big for her. She’s 4 years old, yet her chest, waist and hip measurements are between an 18-24 month old. (And yes, I do indeed feed her) Figgy’s sample size is 4 year old. Thankfully she’s got friends who currently fit the size to a (4)T. so I always have to wait or plan for a play date and then coax her friend into putting on a prototype (below) – note, I usually make the first couple of prototypes in muslin, not in actual fabric, yet sometimes I get carried away!

So after all patterns have been trued and graded (and printed), I finally found the time to make a Sunki for her. For the top part of the dress, I followed the size 2 patterns pieces, yet elongated them to the size 4/5 length. Now, it fits her. And she loves it which means something for my little style obsessed daugther. The only thing she wants to wear these days are dresses anyways. Dresses, dresses, dresses. All day long.
Sunki Sunki

Where have you been?

Have you missed me lately? I surely missed my blog, yet I have very exciting news to share.

AyasheSunkiNitunaSweet femine shoulders & back zipper

Well – the reason why I was so blog absent is that I partnered up with Shelly Figueroa, the owner of Patterns by Figgy’s and together, we created: Figgy’s
We are specializing on creating simple to make, modern designs that won’t be out of style in a season or two. This is honestly fulfilling a dream I had pretty much since I started sewing again. Now I understand why I spend two years literally sewing myself through every sewing book and pattern company out there. When Shelly and I started talking about partnering up for a pattern company, we quickly realized that our visions in terms of design, graphics and pattern directions were identical. And then we pretty much got to work. It was a. lot. of. work. But worth it.

We launched the site yesterday and we are having a special pre-sale as well: Any pattern purchased from now until November 24th ships free (international orders ship for just $1.50). All orders will ship on or before December 1st.

I really hope you love the styles as much as we do!


Back from Yellowstone

Evening in Utah

On our trip to Utah, Wyoming and Yellowstone, we stopped at a camp ground near Logan, Utah. The sunset was amazing and dipped everything into a wonderful red hue. L. and I took a walk around the block to check out the area. Thankfully I had my camera with me and Leona was wearing one of her (many) favorite dresses. This one is the Oliver+S Tea Party dress. I made it about 2 years ago and because I still was in ignorance over the fact that US patterns always include the seam allowance, I added 3/8″ seam allowance in addition before I cut out the fabrics. This guy was actually the second garment I made after my 15 year long work induced abstinence from the sewing machine. And only now, L fits into it.

She loves it though and it’s very comfortable and she’s worn it a lot this summer.
Tea Party Dress

Surprise Bag Quilt and a Party!!!

QfQ surprise bag quilt

QfQ surprise bag quilt

Yes – it’s about yet another quilt today! For good reason – I finally tackled one for private purposes.
QfQ surprise bag quilt

For a long time, I wanted to make a quilt for L’s bedroom and once I saw the contents of the surprise bag I purchased at Modern Domestic, I knew that it would be for L.
QfQ - Grab bag sample contents

I ended up not using the center squares as L. requested the Owls to be the centers. And I added some more pink as per her request as well. She actually helped me cut them and piece the first couple of quilt blocks until she wanted to go on dis-assemble my work room.

I bought some off-white Kona Cotton to tone down the color scheme and get the needed length and width to accommodate her Ikea bed frame.
For the stippling, which i wanted to try for the longest time, I followed Elizabeth’s ueber-excellent tutorial. It’s pretty obvious that it’s the first time I tried the technique and I need a LOT more practice (and my bobbin needs adjusting too) – but it is also kind of addictive! So much that I cramped up my right shoulder because I simply couldn’t stop. I haven’t bound it yet – just didn’t find the time but am more then committed to get it done before my parents are coming for a visit next friday!

There is still one more thing! And we are very excited for this party tomorrow!!!

If you happen to be in Portland this weekend and would like to get your sewing fix in, Susan and I are hosting officially our last Quilts for Quakes Survivor sewing party. It starts at 4pm and from 6pm till 8pm, there will be BBQ and a babysitter for those of us who are bringing kids! And as a special treat, we’ll have Ale catering some yummie finger foods for all us hungry quilters!

And if you only know how to sew a straight line and think all this stuff is too advanced! You are exactly the one we need!

So, very hoping to see you there!

QfQ – Quilt sale

QfQ: Sea Glass - Quilt for Sale!
QfQ: Purple gone wild - quilt for sale!

These two gorgeous prints have just been sold! Seaglass by Petra and Purple gone wild.

Just a little update on our quilt sale fundraiser of beautiful community made quilts! We have extended the online sale for one more week through the lovely ladies at Modern Domestic here in Portland.There are still quite a few surprise grab bags of pre-cut quilting fabric strips available as well as $5 raffle tickets for this beauty here:
QfQ: Hello Gorgeous Squares! - Raffle Quilt
QfQ - Surprise Quilt Strip Bags QfQ: Surprise Bag - for sale!

Also, check our QfQ blog and Facebook page for announcements for our final thank you and sewing party coming up in August!

Visiting Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Yorkshire

Visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park today and it was a superb experience! Loved the Jaume Plensa exhibition of the curtain of poems (seen above) and the huge head sculptures in alabaster, metal and bronze. Unbelievable stuff.

Sewing for Boys – the BOOK


So – word is out: Shelly and Karen from Patterns by Figgy’s have written a book – Sewing for Boys – which will be out in August this year. I am not only excited for my friends but even more so, because I designed some of the printed fabrics that are showcased in the book.

I have gotten a peek preview of the book and can only say: It’s gorgeous.
The photography is beautiful, the layout clean, the projects spot on. There will be a sewing project for everyone, the sewbie and the sewing fluent. There are wardrobe staples like the tee, and funky pants and dressy jackets and shirts.

What’s extremely exciting for me right now however,  is the fact that I’ll be meeting up with the two gals tomorrow in Utah. It’s Quilt Market and I will dive into the quilting world. It’s kind of scary as I would have never considered myself a quilter – but after last month and all the QfQ sewing madness, I must have officially become one. And most of all, try to find a manufacturer who is interested in commercializing some of the prints featured in the book. If you want to see a couple of pics, you’ll have to hop over here.

Thanks to the awesome publisher (Wiley Publishing Inc.) who gave me access to all the beautiful photographs (shot by Studio Christie), I can present a polished little portfolio book. To the left a couple of handouts that I can leave with folks that are interested.

Wish me luck!

QfQ Updates

Finished or half finished Quilts

After our two sewing bees at Modern Domestic, we now have 5 quilts finished and ready to be sold. We are very excited to be partnering with Modern Domestic to sell all our goodies for the Benefit of Mercy Corps Japan Fund.

We actually have three different avenues now available to sell: Finished quilts, pre-cut fabric strip assortment Surprise Bags and raffle tickets for two stunning quilts. More to come about those soon.

QfQ - strip assortment day! QfQ - strip assortment day!

Susan and I took the time yesterday to get all of the strip donations out and sort them into pretty fabric selections (above how my table looked like – there were 36 little fabric stashes all over the house yesterday!) to sell Surprise quilt kits that yield a 12 block quilt top. Those will retail for $25.

QfQ - Surprise Quilt Strip Bags

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