Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Learn it Up, Yo! The Fall Class Schedule is Here!

Our new class schedule is out and there are a million new things to learn and make!

We have a huge line-up of crafty classes, including these brand new projects:

Brand New Fall Classes!
1) Free Motion Quilting with Claudia Miller
2) Needlefelted Mice (kids or adults) or Needlefelted Turkeys with Wynne Reynolds
3) The Staple Dress from April Rhodes taught by Krystal Thomas
4) The Heirloom Tunisian Cowl by Cat Stolzenbach
5) Sonya Philip of 100 Acts of Sewing will be coming to town to teach a 2 day Dress-making Workshop!
6) Patchwork Napkins with Amy Gibson
7) Dia de los Muertos Embroidery with Lalania Simone
8) Kids Elephant Stuffie with Christina Patzman
9) Pattern from Existing Garment with Christina Patzman

There are also plenty of our recurring favorites on the schedule, like My Favorite Sweater, Serger 201: Jersey Skirt, Colette Laurel, Crochet 201: Hat, Spinning 101: Drop Spindle--be sure to check out the full craft class line-up on our website!

Happy crafting!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Delicious Downy Rabbit Fluff Wrapped Around My Neck

I've been knitting a lot of awesome summer sweaters and lace projects lately so I decided to take a break and do some mindless knitting. I couldn't resist the fluffy and oh-so-soft awesomeness of a new yarn we just got in from Schulana - Angora Fashion Print. Angora Fashion Print is a dk weight blend of 80% angora and 20% nylon. This yarn rules for two reasons: fluffy, too-soft-to-handle, cloud-like, angora bunny-cuteness and the fact that it comes in four stunning colors. It was hard to choose, but I finally went with this acid-chartreuse green for my new angora cowl.

The nice people at Skacel were kind enough to write up a quick cowl pattern that uses 2 balls of this downy deliciousness. This cowl is a moebius cowl and it was my first time doing true moebius knitting. I used Cat Bordhi's Moebius Cast On to cast on 180 Moebius stitches on size 7 needles (this cast-on was mind blowing) and then it was just 2x2 ribbing until I was almost out of yarn. If you want to see this moebius cowl knit up in all the different yarns distributed by Skacel, click here!

My cowl is huge and luscious and wraps me in a protective, velvety layer of supple bunny fur. Angora is also a very warm fiber, so I won't be wearing this too much right now, but when winter comes, this feathery-light bunny-cloak is going to be my shield against the cold. You could make an equally delicate and cushy cowl with just one ball of Angora Fashion Print as each ball comes with 123 yards of creamy rabbit fluff.

angora + cauliflower = ♥

Trust me, once you touch this you are going to want to wrap your neck in some brightly-colored, mushy, angel-like bunny hair. Here are the amazing colors that you now must choose between...good luck!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Better Know A Fancy Tigress: Miranda Harp

Miranda is one of the crafty folks of Fancy Tiger, and when she is not here helping folks find the perfect craft supply, we are sure she must be crafting. Miranda is super prolific--you might know her from her million handmade dresses, or her recently published Army of Caterpillars knitting pattern. She just finished this pretty Marin shawl, a pattern by Ysolda Teague. We love it!

Miranda Harp

Tell us about your craft-tastic self.
I'm Miranda, assistant manager and professional tigress here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. My first craft was embroidery, then cross stitch, but these days I mostly sew clothes and knit. I also needle felt, spin and weave on occasion. I've just always been into making things. My mother is a master quilter who has always shown me what it is to be inspired and to turn those ideas into tangible objects. Recently, I've been focusing on designing knitting patterns, mostly for toys. My goal to help people create things that add more delight to the world.  

Tell us about knitting your shawl. 
This scarf is from the Marin pattern by Ysolda Teague. The yarn is Madelinetosh Merino Light in the Nostalgia colorway. Just one hank of this gorgeous tonal yarn made the entire thing. I really love Ysolda's designs, because she has a great understanding of what knitted fabric can do. The reversible ribbed cables flow in and out of the garter stitch sections in a fascinating organic way. Plus, that makes the finished project really easy to wear without fussing over it all the time.  

How did you pick up knitting?
I learned to knit from a book (who knows which one), although my mom showed me how to cast on and do the knit stitch. One summer in college, my shifts at my work study library job were spent guarding a door that no one ever passed through. I bought some yarn and needles and never looked back.  

What is your favorite animal?
Although I will always love the octopus most, insects are my favorite group of creatures. I just saw a lady praying mantis in my garden looking for a handsome gentleman mantis to love and then devour.  

Thanks Miranda! Happy knitting!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Jaime's Washi Blouse

The Washi Dress pattern by Made by Rae has been one of our most popular patterns, and I finally got around to stitching up my first one. It was everything I had hoped and dreamed it would be!

This Lecien Japanese lawn is lightweight and a great choice for summertime garments. I love the vintage feel of this tiny floral. The Washi Dress has several options - it can be a dress or a tunic, with or without tiny sleeves, and you can choose to make it with a cut-out neckline or straight scoop neckline. I chose to make a sleeved-tunic with the cut-out neckline.

This tunic sewed together nicely. The back has a shirred elastic waist which makes for a fitted top that is super flattering. The sleeves and armhole are finished with a bias binding, and the neck opening is faced for more structure and stability.

I am excited to try all the options - next up is a sleeveless top with regular scoop neck. There are still some warm months ahead to enjoy wearing some new Washis!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Heather Ross's Briar Rose!

Heather Ross's new Briar Rose collection has us swooning! This colorful, sweet collection of prints comes on both quilting cotton and soft cotton jersey and features friendly frogs, crickets and bees. This is Heather Ross's first collection for Windham fabrics which means all the amazing prints and colors that define Heather Ross's style at US fabric prices. Hooray!

Ok, this is too much! We can't even handle the adorableness of this momma bee knitting next to her basket o' baby bee! It's too cute!

We can't wait to see what you sew up!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Better Know A Fancy Tigress: Katy Osterwald

Katy is one crafty lady and one of the tigers of Fancy Tiger. She is our resident expert cross-stitcher as well as one fantastic knitter. She recently whipped up Brooklyn Tweed's Bolt shawl, designed by Veera Välimäki. We love its stripedy goodness!

Katy Osterwald

Tell us about your craft-tastic self.
I'm one of the fabulous Fancy Tigresses! I went to art school for fine art photography, and somehow stumbled my way into craft world post-graduation which I really love and want to be involved in forever. I've always been creative in one way or another, but crafting suits my tactile building side, and also lets me be a bit of a perfectionist. I've been knitting for ages, and cross stitching for longer, and since working at Fancy I've been getting into sewing and quilting, and have started my own Etsy business selling project bags for knitters (ModularModular). Soon I will be doing ALL THE CRAFTY THINGS!

Tell us about knitting your shawl. 
I just finished knitting this shawl and couldn't be happier with it! The pattern is Bolt by Veera Valimaki, and can be found in Brooklyn Tweed's Wool People Vol. 5. I used MadelineTosh Sock in Onyx and Nassau Blue, which is one of my favorite yarns ever. I did modify the pattern a bit, I really wanted to showcase the vibrant blue so I did my short row wedges a bit differently to make bolder stripes, and switched the colors around as I felt like it instead of following the main color and contrast color guidelines in the pattern. I've knitted many things over the years, but shawls are my favorite. I usually have at least 6 shawls on the needles at once!

How did you pick up knitting?
I learned to knit from my younger sister. She is an incredible professional costumer for movie and tv shows now, but when we were small and just learning things, she taught herself how to knit so she could make one thing for a costume. I was 15 or 16 at the time, and thought it looked fun, so I asked her to teach me. Fast-forward a dozen years, and I knit all the time and she hasn't touched knitting needles since. I repay her by making her lovely knit items for birthdays and holidays all the time.

What is your favorite animal?
Oh gosh, so hard to pick just one, I'm a bit of a science nerd and get really fascinated with weird animals at times. I think my current favorite is the Potoo, they're a bird from South America related to nightjars and frogmouths and have really funny and expressive huge yellow eyes. Besides unusual animals, I like ferrets, parakeets and dogs.

Thanks Katy! Happy knitting and stitching and all the crafty things!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Seven Year Celebration Funtimes!


The Fancy Staff ready for our big day

We had a blast at our seven anniversary party this past Saturday, and were blown away by how many folks came out to celebrate with us!

People came out early and by the time we opened the shop there was a line down to 1st Avenue and around the corner! What?!

Most impressive was all the hand-craftiness on display! Folks from near and far were proudly sporting their best made-by-hand items and we captured many of these beauties. We even had a few folks wearing hot-off-the-sewing-machine dresses made in the Laurel class that Sadie taught during the midst of the festivities on Saturday. Can you spot those who are wearing their brand new Laurels?

Check out the full size photos of our crafty customers here.

Jaime and I would just like to say how grateful we are to be a part of this fantastic and supportive handcrafting community. Many thanks to all of you who made it to our party, and to all our crafty customers for seven years of support, community and inspiration!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Shelter is here from Brooklyn Tweed!

New at the shop, we are super duper excited to welcome Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter to our store!

Shelter is a rustic, woolen spun 100% American worsted weight yarn that comes in 32 magical heathered Brooklyn Tweed colors! We are so inspired and can't wait to start knitting with this lovely yarn.

It's pretty perfect timing, as the newest collection from Brooklyn Tweed, BT Men, was just released! Check out the lookbook below! We also offer all of Brooklyn Tweed's other knitting patterns for purchase at the shop. Happy knitting!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fancy Tiger Crafts 7 Year Anniversary Tomorrow!

We are thrilled to be celebrating our seventh anniversary! Please join us in celebrating tomorrow:

Saturday, July 13th

Thanks for all the support over the years, dear customers and friends! Our anniversary is a day on which we like to share the love by making a little something special for you. This year we have:

  • Free mystery gift bag to the first 100 folks through the door! Thanks to our vendors!
  • Free Crafty Tips and Trick Illustrated Tote with $20 purchase!
  • Free Stickers for All!
  • A new limited edition Fancy Tiger T-Shirt design ($20)
Hand illustrated totes with crafty tips for knitting, crochet, embroidery, sewing & quilting!

Crafty to the max new Fancy Tiger Crafts t-shirt!

New sticker design! Show your fancy pride!

Gift madness! Giveaways for the first 100 folks to arrive!
We can't wait to see you all!
Amber, Jaime and the Fancy Tiger folks

Monday, July 08, 2013

The Staple Dress is Here!

We have been anxiously awaiting the release of the printed version of April Rhodes sewing pattern, The Staple Dress and it is here! The Staple Dress has been available through April Rhodes' website as a downloadable pdf for a while and it has reached near cult status in the online world of sewing bloggers. It is now available for the first time in print version and is available right here at Fancy Tiger Crafts.

Claudia, Caitlin and Jaime have each made a Staple Dress already!

The Staple Dress has become so popular for a few reasons. It is easy for beginner sewists to feel confident trying out, but experienced sewists can also enjoy the quick gratification of this dress. The easy, drapey style means fit is not such an issue and the shirred-elastic waist band can be placed where it will be most flattering on different body shapes. The pattern comes with two hem options, a straight hem, or a drop hem and both look adorable. This dress sews up quick with only two pattern pieces (plus pockets if you choose) and bias facing pieces to finish the arm and neck openings. April's awesome instructions guide you through using French seams so even though it is a beginner pattern, you can have a professionally finished garment.

We have been obsessed with this pattern for a while, so we have already made a few. The first one I made is out of our Brussels Washer - the beautiful, yarn-dyed, rayon/linen fabric from Robert Kaufman. This is the most comfortable dress I own and I want to live in it all summer long. I chose the dropped hem option to give the dress a little more flair. Because the weight of the fabric is a bit heavier (although still very drapey) I used a sewn-in 1/4" elastic for my waist band instead of doing the shirring.

Caitlin made her Staple dress out of the new Chambray Union fabric. This light weight dobby chambray is the perfect weight for the summer. She made the straight hem which looks great and accessorized the dress with a belt. Super cute!

Sewing instructor Claudia Miller also made a Staple Dress. She made hers out of Amy Butler's Rayon Challis. This fabric has excellent drape and flow, which looks amazing as a Staple Dress!

I loved my first Staple dress so much I decided to make a second one out of Liberty of London fabric. The Liberty lawn sewed up like a dream for this dress and I love it.

The Staple Dress is a great beginner pattern that looks flattering on many different people. We can't wait to see your versions of it. A lawn, voile, rayon, or linen is going to be the best for this pattern. We have tons of fabric options available, so please let us know if you need any recommendations next time you stop in.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Better Know A Crafter: Kate Gagnon Osborn & Courtney Kelley

We recently hosted Kate and Courtney of Kelbourne Woolens at Fancy Tiger for a lace shawl workshop and meet & greet. If you were able to attend and meet these ladies in person, you know that they are both a big ol' pile of funtimes. While they were here these ladies--who make a living from all things yarn and knitting related--took full advantage of our sewing classrooms and whipped up some new adorable garments. 

Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley of Kelbourne Woolens

What are your names?
Courtney Kelley and Kate Gagnon Osborn. Sometimes, we pretend to be one person named Kelly, but that is only when we’re trying to get out of doing something. “Oh, no, that’s Kelly’s job. And she’s not here today….” Courtney really wants her name to be Agnes, and pretends it’s her middle name as a consolation prize, but it’s not. Her middle name is Ashton, like Ashton Kutcher. And it fills her with RAGE. Kate’s mother named her Erin when she was born and then changed it to Catherine when she was six months old. Her reason? When Gagnon was mispronounced as “Gannin” it rhymed with “Erin” and she didn't like the way it sounded.

Tell us about your crafty self.
Our main job is as the owners of Kelbourne Woolens, distributors of The Fibre Company yarns. We design knitting patterns, write books, and teach. We both have weaving backgrounds and worked in yarn shops, which is also how we met. I (Courtney) was managing an LYS and hired Kate to work part time while she was in grad school at Philadelphia University studying textile design. We started working together designing knitting patterns for the shop and found we worked together very well. We both really like to knit, obviously, but we also are slightly obsessed with needlepoint at the moment. Kate is much more prolific, Courtney has a tendency to purchase projects and then not finish them.

What makes you want to be crafty?
Our wolf spirit. Obviously.

What types of crafts do you do?
We do ALL the crafts, but not scrapbooking. Definitely NOT scrapbooking. We like things with needles: knitting, crocheting (I guess that is a hook), sewing, needlepoint, counted cross stitch, embroidery. But we mostly knit and sew. And in our dream world, we’d have a warp ready to weave at all times. But you don’t need needles for that. So that and crochet are the exception. Courtney likes to garden, pickle and can things and is a good cook. She mostly refuses to post pictures of her dinner on Instagram, but there have been a couple exceptions. Kate doesn’t cook, instead she does the dishes, and also doesn’t post pictures of that on Instagram.

Tell us about what you made while you were in Denver.
Kate made the Reglisse Dress by French pattern designer, Deer & Doe. She used a really beautiful blue + white washer linen from Robert Kaufmann. Despite the kajillion yards of bias tape required, she really likes the finished dress! (Full disclosure, due to her crazy short waistedness, she did shorten the bodice after she got home, as she found the armholes to be too deep and the waist to hit her at an odd place. But that is the beauty of sewing, right? Customize, customize, customize.) Since coming home, she has almost completed a second version of the dress out of a striped cotton. And bias tape as hem = her new most favorite technique!

Courtney made a pair of velveteen cheetah shorts with a lovely pattern from Sarai of Colette Patterns called Iris. The pattern was pretty straightforward, but a bit tricky, as Courtney’s hips are like a size 4, and her waist an 8…but we worked it out. She has no waist…such a shame. The pattern was super easy to follow, even with the pockets and invisible zipper (which she initially forgot about and had to rip the side out and add it in at the last minute…). And she used tiger buttons for the pockets in honor of Fancy Tiger!

How did you learn to sew?
Kate learned to sew from her paternal grandmere, Yvette, and to knit from her maternal grandmother, Verna. 

Courtney learned both from her maternal grandmother Julia Ann. She learned to crochet from her paternal grandmother, Lucy. We were both kids when we learned.

What is your favorite animal?
Kate’s favorite animal is a shark-honey badger-dog, so I guess that’s a chimera? No…it’s really a dog.
Courtney’s favorite animal as a pet is a dog, in particular Queenie, Queen of Dogs, her corgi/sheltie mix. But she also likes pikas. They leap through the air with wildflowers in their mouths! Seriously.

Thanks Kate & Courtney! Happy sewing and knitting and everything else you do that is awesome!!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Better Know A Fancy Tigress: Nathalie Hall

You might recognize Nathalie as one of the tigers of Fancy Tiger Crafts. She is a real crafty lady who makes all kinds of things--she sews, knits, embroiders, quilts--and she just whipped up this cute Clara Dress from Sew Liberated. Nice work Nathalie!

Nathalie Hall

Tell us about why you are crafty?
I am a social worker who crafts for my sanity. In the past I have done a lot of papercrafts and jewelry-making, but I'm currently mostly knitting because it's so portable.

Tell us about your dress. 
This is the Clara dress pattern from Sew Liberated. I really wanted to make a retro-feel dress and this fabric seemed perfect. The geometric buttons are fun, too!

How did you learn to sew?
My parents and my grandma are very creative people who love making things from scratch. My mom taught me to sew when I was really young, and then gave me a knitting book when I was 8. I never looked back.

What is your favorite animal?
Elephants--they are both strong and gentle, and they have really strong family groups.

Thanks Nathalie! Happy crafting!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Hot Jersey!

Organic cotton and hemp jersey fabrics are here in prints and stripes--perfect for warm weather wardrobes! We've been stitching up tees, tanks and skirts for summertime comfort.

Here are a few of our favorite independent sewing patterns for stretch fabrics.

Happy summertime sewing!