Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Meet Florence & Buckhorn, Our Two Newest Patterns!

Two new Fancy Tiger Crafts patterns are here for our Heirloom Romney yarn!

Our new Buckhorn Cap is a rugged colorwork beanie, warm and woolly enough for any mountain man or explorer.

This design by Amber Corcoran is worked with two strands of our worsted weight Heirloom held together, for a chunky gauge that knits up super quick on size 11 needles.

It uses one skein each of two colors of Fancy Tiger Crafts Heirloom Romney, about 150 yards of the main color and about 80 yards of contrast color. Our sample above uses hand-dyed colors Fava Bean and Carrot, and the version below uses Elderberry and Tomato.

We tested our Buckhorn Cap for durability on an ice fishing expedition and are happy to say it kept our favorite fisherman alive and quite cozy!

Our newest shawl pattern, the Florence Shawl, was designed by Emily Platzer.

Designed for her grandmother, Florence, this generous shawl measures 84” long by 22” deep. On size 10.5 needles, it knits up in no time.

The elongated triangle shape is large enough to drape over your shoulders, or with a coat it can be worn wrapped like a scarf for extra warmth. The Florence Shawl uses one skein each of two colors of Fancy Tiger Crafts Heirloom Romney. Our sample is shown in colors Nettles and Fava Bean.

We hope you enjoy these new patterns! Follow the links above to instantly download a pdf copy or stop by the store to check these out in print. If you're going to TNNA, be sure to visit us in booth 655 with Elemental Affects yarn see these and samples of all our patterns in person.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Named Patterns are here from Finland!

We are so happy to be stocking a new line of sewing patterns fresh from Helsinki!

Named patterns are the creation of sisters, Saara and Laura, and feature clean, Scandinavian simplicity and interesting details.

Alpi Chinos & Chino Shorts

According to the sisters, "If dressing is a way to express oneself then self-made clothes are self-expression at its best." We couldn't agree more.

Kanerva Button Back Shirt & Peplum Blouse

Leini Dress

The two women want to inspire other fashion-loving folks to sew their own garments--as not only a way to express oneself, but also as a way to promote more eco-friendly fashion options in an industry that is increasingly becoming focused on disposable, "fast-fashion".

Sara Ankle Zip Leggings & Micro Shorts

Saara and Laura plan to release new patterns regularly and we can't wait to see what else they have in store for us!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Jaime's Horse Lovers Madeleine Skirt

Amber and I are slowly making our way through the Victory Patterns catalog of designs. My newest sew is the Madeleine Skirt. We actually suggested this very pattern and fabric combo on our blog on our Stock Show style trend report and I've been dreaming of making it ever since.

Pattern: Madeleine Skirt by Victory Patterns
Materials: 4 yards of 44" wide fabric and two buttons
Size Made: 6
Alterations: I had to cut the front skirt in two pieces and seam it together as the pattern piece doesn't fit onto 44" fabric (hence my 4 yards)

I love horses and absolutely love this all-over horse print from Ellen Luckett Baker's Folk Modern collection. A skirt seemed fitting for this heavier weight linen-cotton blend from Japan and I loved the over-sized pockets and overall straps of the Madeleine Skirt.

The large pockets of this skirt were surprisingly simple to sew and I love the top-stitching details on this skirt. I used a bright green thread for this that matched my corozo green buttons. The skirt is fitted on the waist with a zipper and button closure. Because of the volume of the skirt, I was able to make the size for my waist measurement only and be confident that it would fit elsewhere. The adorable suspenders are attached with buttons on both sides so they are easy to remove for a more casual look.

I did have to make a simple modification to make this skirt out of 44" fabric. The pattern is written for 60" fabric only and it is made for the front to be cut out in one piece and would only use 2 1/4 yards. I had to use this 44" wide horse print  which was not wide enough for the front skirt panel. I cut the front piece in half, added in a seam allowance, and matched the print to seam it in the middle.

Another win from Victory Patterns!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Jaime Made Another Sweater!

I love knitting sweaters, I just can't stop myself! This one came about when we had a Brooklyn Tweed trunk show here at Fancy Tiger Crafts and of course I tried everything on. I didn't think I needed this sweater, but as soon as I put the sample on, I knew it would be my next project. 

Pattern: Jules by Julie Hoover for Brooklyn Tweed Fall 2013
Materials: Shelter in Snowbound, 6 skeins
Size made: 42 3/4 and 46 1/2
Alterations: I graded the pattern from the size 46 1/2 on the bottom to size 42 3/4 on top. 

Like all Brooklyn Tweed patterns, this sweater by Julie Hoover was wonderfully written and interesting to knit, keeping my attention the whole way. It is knit bottom up and seamed. The subtle hi-lo hem is achieved with short row shaping. Once the sweater is seamed, the neck, arms, and bottom are picked up and finished with some ribbing. A simple cable pattern runs up either side on the front and back for an interesting touch and the sweater is worked with the reverse stockinette showing on the right side so the cable pattern pops.  

Even though I've made three items out of Loft, this is my first time working with Shelter, Loft's worsted weight big sister. It has the same soft, springy hand as Loft and great stitch definition. I obsessed over neutrals for a long time and finally picked Snowbound, a pale, heathered gray.

I'm not super comfortable with seaming and have only done it a few times, but this was the best seaming I've ever done! While I'd like to take all the credit, I'm pretty sure I owe most of it to Julie Hoover who included a one stitch selvedge edge worked on all seams. This little slipped stitch on the row ends made for easy-peasy and perfect seaming. The sweater is made to have the seams show on the outside so you can show off all that beautiful seaming work.

Look at those seams! 
This sweater is meant to be worn with tons of positive ease in the bust (well over 12"), but I was scared to have so much ease! I decided to combine the first two sizes, starting with size 46 1/2" on the bottom and grading up to the size 42" on the top. While the sweater fits and looks great, I think I could have just knit the size 46 1/2" throughout and been fine with the extra fabric. Overall, I love this sweater and am so glad we had the trunk show to convince me to make it.

Spring is the perfect time for a short-sleeved wool sweater. A cool spring day and this sweater will keep you cozy, but not too hot. Okay, now on to the next one...sweaters forever!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fancy Tiger's Week of Wonder!

Oh boy, do we have a very special week planned for you. You might consider bringing a tent and camping out in front of the shop this week so you can join us for all of them. We are not exaggerating when we say that. Three MAJOR fun events are happening in the next few days at Fancy Tiger and we can't wait to see you there. All of these events are free and open to the public.

Thread Theory Meet n' Greet and Trunk Show
Tuesday, April 22nd, 7 - 9pm

Thread Theory are the duo of Matthew and Morgan Meredith from British Columbia, Canada and they design classic men's sewing patterns. Matthew and Morgan are on a US tour this month and we are thrilled to be a part of their tour! Thread Theory will be bringing sewn samples of their designs to view and patterns will be available for purchase. Come meet the makers, hang out and have some fun!

April Rhodes Meet n' Greet and Trunk Show
Thursday, April 24th, 6 - 8pm

We ♥ April Rhodes and are so excited she will be coming to Denver! Ms. Rhodes' designs include the very popular Staple Dress, Date Night Dress, and Riding Peplum! We love them all. April will be bringing sewn samples of her patterns and we will have plenty of her patterns available for purchase. Stop by to meet this sweet, dynamic, young pattern designer in person at Fancy Tiger Crafts.

Anzula Trunk Show
Friday, April 25th, 3 - 6pm 

Sabrina and the ladies of Anzula will be stopping by Fancy Tiger Crafts to sell you their yarn! They will have their full line of luscious yarns which feature unique blends of fibers like camel, silk, cashmere, linen and merino, all hand-dyed in small batches by their expert team in Fresno, CA. One-off skeins, knit samples, and hundreds of unique yarns mean you won't want to miss this event!
Imbibe some yarn this Friday happy hour. :)

We will see you this week to soak up all the inspiration from these crafty folks from around the world!

Friday, April 18, 2014

We ♥ Colette's New Moneta Jersey Dress!

Miranda and I couldn't wait to make the brand new Moneta dress by Colette Patterns. We both whipped one up straight away, and boy, did they stitch up easy as pie. I can see us wearing these dresses all spring, summer and fall!

Amber's Moneta

Pattern: Moneta Dress version 3 by Colette Patterns
Fabric: Heavyweight Cotton Jersey
Size Made: S - 4/6
Alterations: None!

I made mine out of a beautiful heavyweight cotton knit stripe, making a classic dress that I want to wear every day. I love it so much!

My new favorite thing is the clear elastic used to gather the waistband (a product which we carry here at the shop now). It blew my mind and made putting this dress together a breeze.

The neckline confused me for a second as I put this together, because the back is lower than the front neckline, which is unusual. Then I told myself to trust Sarai. Sure enough, she is a genius and it's adorable! The low back shows just a little extra skin in this otherwise modest dress.

Next, I want to make Moneta in some of the organic solid french terry we have. I love the thicker stretch fabrics for an easy to wear, flattering dress. I imagine wearing these with all my favorite knit cardigans well into spring...

Miranda's Moneta

Pattern: Moneta Dress version 2 by Colette Patterns
Fabric: Floral Rayon Jersey
Size Made: L - 12/14
Alterations: None!

Purple, blurple (ultramarine?), red wine, peach, deep leafy greens - all my favorite colors are in this rayon knit fabric that came in! I'd say that it matches at least half the knits I've made, so I expect to have this in heavy rotation year-round. 

Next time, I'll cut a little more deeply in the back to show all of my sewing tattoo. I think it's better either hidden or on display. Either option would be easy to do when cutting the pattern pieces. 

I'm going to make so very many of these. There is even a free additional booklet that Colette Patterns has released with even more options!

We think you'll be seeing a lot more Moneta dresses popping up around here! ♥

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meet the Designer: Christine Haynes!

We are pleased to welcome Christine Haynes to Fancy Tiger Crafts! Christine Haynes designs vintage inspired patterns for modern women from her hometown of Los Angeles, where she also manages Sew LA. She will be in town next weekend to teach her ever popular Emery Dress. Her class filled up quick, but don't worry, we do have the pattern in stock if you'd like to make one on your own. Let's meet Christine!

1) How did you get started in the crafting industry? What is your background?
I've been artsy-crafty my whole life, taking painting and ballet classes at a very young age, so I knew the arts were in my future. After high school I earned my BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the department of Film, Video, & New Media, but I was always sewing and eventually that took over all of my time. Things really changed when I participated in the second Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago which launched my ready to wear line of clothing. I produced finished garments for boutiques around the world for many years, but that all changed with the collapse of the economy which was perfectly timed with my first book, Chic & Simple Sewing. At that time I closed up my garment district studio and focused on teaching and writing, which has now led to my own line of patterns! It's been a crazy ride and I'm so happy with where it's going!

2) Do you have a  favorite type of project to design? Or, what are you most excited about making right now?
I'm pretty much completely sewing-centric, but of course that can include other elements like fabric design, block printing, dying, embroidery, beading, and loads more embellishments. My favorite type of project to design are dresses, and they are my favorite thing to wear. They are so easy to toss on and go. No fuss at all! Right now I'm really excited about my next pattern which will be coming out in July! And spoiler alert: it's a dress! I'm also really excited about an upcoming long vacation to Paris and have already decided to bring a large embroidery project to keep my hands busy while I'm there. I take that time off of sewing completely, but it's nice to work on a related project.

3) What influences you creatively? What is your creative process for coming up with new ideas? What inspires you?
I am most inspired by real women and how they dress themselves everyday. I have no interest at all to design or make things that are only wearable for special occasions and not for everyday life. For instance, I have no desire to make red carpet gowns or wedding dresses or anything like that, but I love making women feel good on a random Thursday when perhaps they aren't having a good day. Hopefully they can put on the dress they made and make that average day a little bit better.

My creative process really starts with what I feel is missing in my life and in the market. I can't be overly influenced by the others that do the same thing that I do, and yet I also don't want to be redundant. So I'm not going to design something that exists in the same way by another indie designer. I think about what I am longing to wear and how that relates to the big picture. I have 100's of vintage patterns from the 20's-80's and try to pull in vintage elements into my designs to blend the retro with the new. I don't like wearing anything that looks like a costume, but I do love vintage detailing that is missing from most modern patterns. From there, it's a lot of sketching, muslin making, testing, and finally settling on the finished idea.

4) What is your favorite mythological animal?
I've always related to my zodiac animal. I am a Capricorn and most people think it's the goat, all bull headed and practical thinking in nature. But that's not true! The Capricorn is actually the sea goat; goat on the top and fish on the bottom. It's a pretty bad ass and wildly misunderstood animal, which I think works perfectly for Capricorns themselves. We are a misunderstood bunch! The sea goat constellation sits among the water bearers in the night sky and the Greeks associate the animal to be an embodiment of Pan, the god of nature, who was only half submerged in the Nile while helping Zeus fight. The lower half acclimated with the sea and the top half stayed intact. We are strong and resilient but not at all as cold as people think!

5) If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Oh, without question it would be teleportation! I'd love to just be beamed up from place to place at a moment's notice! I love traveling, but I hate flying and this would fix everything. Get on that someone!

Thanks Christine, see you soon!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Local Fiber Alert! MJ Yarns is Here

We love finding locally made yarns to carry here at Fancy Tiger! The most recent to join our shop is MJ Yarns, local fiber by dyer Jonathan Berner. Jonathan's passion for yarn naturally led him down this path. He has been unstoppable since learning how to dye fiber in our very own yarn dyeing class here at Fancy Tiger.

Jonathan and his hand dyed goods!

We now carry three of Jonathan's hand-dyed goodies in eight debut colorways.

Jonathan's hand-dyed MJ Roving is a dreamy blend of Merino and tussah silk.

MJ Yarns Rustic Fingering Weight is a 100% Blue Face Leicester wool. It is gently spun and so very lofty, giving handknits made from this yarn a rustic texture that is soft and easy to wear against the skin. Jonathan knit the Grouchy Geisha shawl in his colorway, Purple Dragon, using just one skein of Rustic Fingering.

MJ Sock is a hearty Corriedale wool with the added strength of a bit of nylon, for resilient handknitted socks that you won't be afraid to wear.

We hope you love Jonathan's yarn as much as we do. We can't wait to see what he dyes up next!