Monday, March 31, 2014

Meet the Designer: Cal Patch!

Cal Patch is coming to town! 

Cal is one of our favorite garment sewists and teachers. She is the author of Design-It-Yourself Clothes, and we are thrilled to be hosting her for a class here in just a few weeks!

Cal is devoted to the handmade movement, and has been since she was a young girl. With her extensive knowledge in teaching, designing and creating she has mastered all things textile. She will be in town for the Makerie and is making a very special trip to Fancy Tiger Crafts to teach her Folk Dress. Sign up for both her workshops at the Makerie and at Fancy Tiger Crafts to receive a combined discount of $50! Call us to reserve your spot. In the meantime, lets meet Cal.

1) How did you get started in the crafting industry? What is your background?
I actually came to the craft world by way of the fashion industry. I've been a clothing designer for nearly 25 years, and the first decade of my adult life was spent working in that world in NYC. But the higher I advanced in my career, the less I got to be creative and actually MAKE things, so I escaped and opened my own boutique, which is where I first started teaching crochet and sewing.

2) You have a wide range of projects from crocheting to sewing - do you have a  favorite type of project to design? Or, what are you most excited about making right now?
Crochet and sewing are like my two babies, and I couldn't possibly ever choose between them. My favorite thing is to combine them, like with my crochet-yoked smock dresses. At the moment I'm super excited about my new 4-week online workshop on pattern drafting and sewing your own wardrobe, which happens to be debuting this week on Creativebug! I love showing people that it's really very do-able to draft and sew with their own patterns.

3) What influences you creatively? What is your creative process for coming up with new ideas? What inspires you?
I'm very practical, so I tend to just be inspired by daily life. I don't get excited when I see fancy red-carpet gowns or elaborate couture ensembles; I'm more likely to be daydreaming up dresses with big pockets that i can use for gathering eggs from the coop, or picking peas in the garden. Usually I design things to fill a niche that I see, or a void in my own wardrobe. I also am very inspired by materials, and try to find ones made with organic fibers, locally sourced or made by independent artisans.

4) What is your favorite mythological animal? 
If I could invent my own *spirit animal*, it'd be a cross between a tortoise (I'm very s-l-o-w) and a kangaroo (I like the idea of a built-in pouch).

5) If you could have any super power, what would it be?
That's easy: to make time stand still, except for in my house, so I can catch up!

If you aren't able to make her class here at Fancy Tiger, check out her 4 week long workshop over at Creative bug on pattern drafting!

Thanks Cal, we can't wait to create with you!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Jaime's Plaid Tova

Another day, another Tova. If you are a FTC blog reader, you are familiar with this pattern by Wiksten as this is the fifth one I've made. I just love this pattern. The fit is great and it is both cute and comfortable to wear. It's also perfect for spring time weather!

Pattern: Tova by Wiksten
Fabric: plaid cotton, 2 yards
Size and style made: Top style, size small
Alterations: added 2 buttons on bib for a more modest top

We have recently gotten in a ton of new, amazing fashion fabrics - shirtings, yarn-dyed plaids, chambrays, rayons, and even silk! Karyn of The Workroom in Toronto (an endless source of sewing inspiration) posted a picture of a checker Tova where she put the checker print on a diagonal for the bib. I loved it and have been wanting to make a plaid Tova like this ever since. This new bright coral and royal blue lightweight cotton plaid fit the bill perfectly.

I like to add buttons to my Tova's so I did this again here. I used some rectangle black corozo buttons (a vegetarian and natural substitute for horn). A bright pink thread adds even more color to my new top.

If you're looking for a new pattern for spring top, checkout the amazing Tova pattern, it will continue to be one of my favorites!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Amber's Mouse-tastic Laurel with Applique Collar Pattern

I'm a big fan of Colette's Laurel pattern. Simple to make and simple to wear, it has an easy, flattering silhouette. I've made a few Laurels, both the shirt and the dress version, and it is a perfect wardrobe staple. You can even whip one up in just a couple hours, so there's really no reason not to make a bunch!

Pattern: Laurel by Colette Sewing Patterns
Fabric: Lizzy House Catnap fabric, 1 7/8 yds + 2 yards of bias tape
Size and style made: Version 4, size 2 at bust & size 4 at waist
Alterations: appliqued collar (downloadable pattern below) & buttons

The Laurel is easy to embellish--I decided to amp up the cuteness of this mouse print from Lizzy House by adding a contrasting appliqued collar to mine, and three peach flower buttons. I was inspired by my dear friend Sara's adorable collared Laurels.

If you want to embellish your own Laurel with this cute collar, just click below for a PDF with easy collar instructions and pattern.

Click here to download the collar pattern

What could be more perfect than a springtime bike ride in my mice-on-bikes Laurel? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ty Pennington is back with Impressions 2014!

Geometric shapes and graphics are quite a popular trend so far in 2014. Ty Pennington's new spring collection is right in line! He is inspired daily with his surroundings; architecture, nature and travel. This collection is highlighting his love of vintage style with bold colors and strong shapes (including honeycombs!)

This arrow fabric is making us swoon - Three color ways, heck yes! 

Thanks for bringing us yet another fantastic collection Ty!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Jess and Jaime's Animal Pal Mitts!

Jaime Jennings

Pattern: Meow Mitts by Tiny Owl Knits
Yarn: Jamieson and Smith Shetland fingering 
Alterations: I knit the mitts in the round and did the kitty faces in duplicate stitch instead of intarsia

Stephanie Dosen of Tiny Owl Knits is one of my favorite designers. She designs magical patterns often inspired by animals and forests and this is the third pattern of hers I've knit. (Check out my Bear Sweater and Fox Stole for more animal magic). I've wanted to make these Meow Mitts since I first saw them years ago and I finally did it! The original Meow Mitts pattern is for an adorable pale gray kitty, but being a cat mom to two kitties, this was the perfect project to imitate their likeness. Amber used her photoshop skills to re-work the charts in my cats' colors. I wanted an easy knit so I decided to work the mitts in the round and then duplicate stitch the kitty faces. Duplicate stitch is so much harder than it seems. I would recommend it for a very small amount of colorwork, but for these guys, I would use intarsia next time. It ended up taking me a couple of months to get these tiny mitts done. I used the beautiful Jamieson and Smith Shetland fingering yarn. One 25 gram ball is the perfect amount for the mitts themselves with little leftover. The yarn is hardy and these mitts are going to hold up great which makes me happy after all that work went into them!

Lucy left and Looper right provide inspiration for Jaime's Meow Mitts

Jess Eaton

Pattern: Baby Lamb Cuffs by Tiny Owl Knits
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft and Jamieson and Smith Shetland fingering for duplicate stitching
Alterations: I made my mitts a little bigger for maximum cuteness! I also opted to not add a face to my baby lambs, I wanted something more simple and I love them!

This is a pattern that I have had in my stash for a looooooong time. When Tiny Owl Knits released the Woodsy Association my mind was blown! I Immediately fell in love with the wolf! I knew it was a project I needed to do.  I started making my mitts and finished within the next 24 hours! Such a quick knit! I didn't know what was up ahead. Duplicate stitch, that's what. This was my first time doing duplicate stitch, I figured because I am knowledgeable in and LOVE embroidery that this would be a breeze... boy, was I wrong. I fought with this piece a few times making an entire wolf only to start over TWICE and then I ended up making the sheep. Haha. This decision was mainly because the neutral wolf colors did not stick out enough to be able to see how much work went into the wolf face. The other reason is because I think they were meant to be sheep mitts! I learned so much with my determination to finish this project I actually found duplicate stitch kind of therapeutic by the end of it. I am so happy with the finished product! I LOVE SHEEP!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Japanese Selvedge Denim

Japanese Selvedge Denim
Denim plays a huge part in all of our wardrobes. We love seeing a wide range of it come through on bolts here at Fancy Tiger. The latest trend is Selvedge Denim. You may have heard the term Selvage denim or rather "Selvedge" denim before. The term comes from "self-edge" which reflects the edge of the denim and its clean finish. We currently have two beautiful bolts in stock! 

Naked and Famous selvedge jeans from Fancy Tiger Clothing
 showing off its coin pocket selvedge edge. 
The demand for production of denim in the mid to late 1900's forced mills to retire their looms and upgrade to more modern machinery for a faster more efficient production. The vintage looms have made a come back world wide with the production of Selvedge Denim. During the weaving process, the cross-thread is one continuous thread that goes back and forth, rather than using individual threads for each cross weave. This produces a clean edge that will not unravel and is used as the garments outside seam. 

Taking denim to a new level, Japan is the leader in selvedge denim production. Unlike modern looms, the vintage looms produce variations and many imperfections in the weave while making a more durable fabric. These characteristics are often what makes selvedge denim so desirable. Shuttle looms create a more narrow fabric and generally produce fabric that is only 32 inches wide. Quality denim is dyed using indigo loop dyeing machines, which are also rare. The deep blue color and the unique fade in the fabric over time, is due to the loop dyeing method. These characteristics are proof of its authenticity and gives you confidence in the quality of the product.

We have a few pattern recommendations for you and would love to see your finished projects! Please don't hesitate to share!
Jamie Jeans by Named
Simple Skinny Jeans by Sew Liberated
Our sister store, Fancy Tiger Clothing has provided a care guideline for your new denim! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

25 Bolts of the New Lotta Jansdotter!

Lotta Jansdotter's highly anticipated fourth collection has arrived at Fancy Tiger. Technically, this is two collections ! The first is Mormor, which is a fun vibrant print collection featuring her ever loved flower, leaves and organic prints. She has added some new colors to her pallet and we couldn't be more pleased. Check out that amazing eggplant purple! 

Sylvia, is the second collection and is her first release of an all black and white collection. We currently carry four of the nine designs from Sylvia. These fabrics are easily combined with the colorful prints from Mormor for ultimate adorableness.

This entire collection would make for the most beautiful quilt... More than a few of us here are scheming our next project out of it! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Yoked KAL: Success!

Early this year we announced our Second Annual Knit-Along: Yoked. We invited all of you lovely knitters out there to join us for an 11 week journey of sweater making! Our photo shoot was Tuesday and the results are blowing our minds! You all sure know how to make a beautiful sweater.

Check out the results:

Pattern: Knitbot Birdie Fair Isle Cardigan
Yarn Used and Color: Quince and Co. Owl in Acacia, Tawny, Canyon, Barred
What was your favorite thing about this KAL? Learning from other people's frustrations, and seeing the colors build into a complete piece. Also, hanging out with awesome knitters! 

What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? A llamacorn. A magiical llama with a crystal horn!


Kaye's Cardigan, but used chart from Tiny Owl Knits' Meow Mitts
Yarn Used and Color: Quince and Co. Owl in Bog & then I hand-dyed 42 colors for my seven cat faces.
What was your favorite thing about this KAL? I really loved dyeing the colors for my cat color work. Megan helped me & now I want to dye yarn all the time! 

What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? Well, an adorable cat of course! 

Bob Bosscher

Pattern: Basic Round- Yoke Unisex Pullover
Yarn Used and Color: Quince and Co. Owl in Hemlock
What was your favorite thing about this KAL? It was my first KAL, so getting to meet all of the fancy friends! 

What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? Like a hibernating black bear!

Caitlin R.

Pattern: Kaye's Cardigan
Yarn Used and Color: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter- Snowbound and Quince and Co. Owl in Cerulean and Canyon
What was your favorite thing about this KAL? How quick the sweater knit up! 

What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? A teddy bear!


Pattern: Kaye's Cardigan
Yarn Used and Color: Quince and Co. in Acacia, Cinnamon and Huckleberry
What was your favorite thing about this KAL? Lice Stitch. Also these colors are the colors that regulars at craft night (and many fellow KALers) voted as my "least likely" to knit so I took it as a challenge to step outside my box. I love the result! I love having the community of knitters to challenge me like that. 

Reverse twinsies! 
What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? A cheetah because I knit it in 13 days! (& it has spots)

Jessica Jeanne

Pattern: Kaye's Cardigan
Yarn Used and Color: Quince and Co. in Cinnamon, Acacia and Huckleberry
What was your favorite thing about this KAL?  The week before casting on for this, I had just finished making a Breckon Cardigan, which is fingering weight. It was so gratifying to see this knit up so fast! The KALers are so motivating and fun to knit with- this project was such a breeze =)

What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? Uh, a fox duh! Cause mostly that cinnamon giving me such a pretty coat.


Pattern: Willard Fair Isle Pullover
Yarn Used and Color: Madeline Tosh Pashmina in Antler & Edison Bulb
What was your favorite thing about this KAL? I restarted this sweater about 5 times & at one point I pulled out six inches. Needless to say this sweater & I were not friends. My favorite part was watching everyone else's sweaters form, which kicked me into gear so I was able to finish on time! 

What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? Obviously a Narwhal, duh.


Pattern: Basic Round- Yoke Unisex Pullover
Yarn Used and Color: Sleep Season- Night Light
What was your favorite thing about this KAL? Knitting it out of my own yarn! Thanks to the encouragement of Alsn! 

What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? A snow fox.

Miranda's "Almost- Sweater for Justin"

Pattern: Basic Round- Yoke Unisex Pullover
Yarn Used and Color:  Quince and Co. Owl 13 (!) skeins of Huckleberry
What was your favorite thing about this KAL? I never would have gotten even this far without friendly peer pressure.
What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? This much sweater would look perfect on a centaur.


Pattern: Birdie Fair Isle Cardigan 
Yarn Used and Color: Lett Lopi in Spring Green Heather, Sun Yellow, White and Grey
What was your favorite thing about this KAL? Using the happy green Lopi.

What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? A panda.

Sunne Meyer

Pattern: Basic Round- Yoke Unisex Pullover
Yarn Used and Color: O Wool Legacy (from the old days)
What was your favorite thing about this KAL? Using stash yarn in a color I love.

What animal does this new sweater make you feel like? A green robin.

Also pictured is Lily who made her own sweater with us, Cabeltta in Cascade 220!
Just look at these smiles!! Way to go everyone, such a fun Knit-a-long... 2014 will bring you more opportunities to knit-a-long with us, stay tuned and happy knitting!