Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Recap

 It has been business as usual this past week at CKC -- which means that we are all having a totally great time sewing and designing and playing with fabric!  And we love to have you join in too! Let's take a look at what's new this week in case you might have missed anything.

New Releases

 Michael's Muscle Tee is now available for Tweens! Sized 7/8 to 15/16, this comfy muscle tee with optional chest stripe is rated Beginner and you can sew one up in no time. Michael's is perfect for wearing outdoors, around the house, to sports' practice, and even to bed! This design is tween boy approved -- my sons are asking for many more! 

 On Tuesday we released Adelaide's Ruffled Neck Top, Dress, and Maxi Dress pattern! This is perfect for school, with great shoulder coverage and it also looks great with an undershirt! Adelaide features a ruffle neck, attached sash, and a ruffle or band at the bottom of the skirt. 

We now offer Tyra's Ruffled Tank as part of our dancewear line! Tyra's features double ruffle sleeves and a bodice ruffle; you can choose to make the full version or the cropped version! There are also instructions for optional bows on the bodice. Tyra's is on sale for 30% off until 7 pm edt Friday! 

On the Blog

It's time for another Monthly Mash-up from Deborah Koch of Ma Cherie Kids, and this one is perfect for Back-to-School! It features two of our best selling new patterns so we know you're going to love it.

This week for How-to Tuesday, we showed you how simple it is to make perfectly mitered corners on napkins, tablecloths, little dress aprons, and anything else you can think of!

Have you ever needed to buy interfacing or stabilizer and found that there are SO many to choose from and you don't know which one to get?! On Wednesday's blog we showed how to choose exactly the right kind for your project.

Tosha Smith is our fabulous new dancewear designer at CKC and with the release of her second pattern yesterday, we wanted to help you get to know her better!  (You might even see some sneak peeks of her future designs!) 


We recently reached 50,000 fans on our Facebook Page and 10,000 fans in our Patterns Group! We are celebrating with a giveaway like no other! Facebook has been changing the rules about giveaways, so we changed how we are doing it. It's going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!! It's going to run from Sept 8-22. To make sure you don't miss out on the info, we are compiling email addresses and will send you an email when the giveaway becomes live! Just fill out this form ... and then wait patiently until you hear from us! 

It's back to school time and we want to see your cuties rocking their CKC First Day of School outfits!  Post a picture to our Facebook wall, label it "First Day of School," and tag us.  On September 3 we will draw five random people to win free patterns! We already have a lot of great entries like the one above - come see them in our special Back to School 2014 Album here and get inspired! 


 It's time to announce our Half-Off Friday patterns for today! First up is.... 

Lindsay's Sweet Twirly Skirt in Tweens, Women's, and Women's Plus sizes!  Lindsey's is one of my favorite skirts ever, with its comfy elastic waist, slim upper skirt, long lower ruffle, and then it finishes off with classy bias trim at the bottom. It's simple yet pretty and so fun to wear! Lindsay's is on sale in Tweens, Women's, and Women's plus for 50% off all day Friday!  

Sally's Fitted A-Line Dress is our Half-Off Friday pattern in girl sizes! Sally's is adorable for school or play and features a peter pan collar, contrast bib, and two sleeve lengths. Sally's has a zipper in back and even if you've never sewn one before, this is a great pattern to learn on because we will walk you through it step by step! You and your daughter will both love Sally's, and that's perfect because it is on sale for 50% off all day Friday!  

That's all for this week's releases, announcements, and sales! We hope you all have a wonderful weekend, whatever your plans may be.  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Introducing Tosha, Our New Dancewear Designer!

Did you see the release of our new dancewear pattern today?  Tyra's Ruffled Tank is super cute and I know your little dancer is going to love it!

We're really excited about our new designer for dancewear at CKC, Tosha Smith, and I thought it would be fun to tell you a little more about her today!  You may remember Tosha from her guest tutorials on using knit shirts on Poppy's bodice and on making a halter top using a tee. Tosha caught our eye again when she posted unique dance outfits she was making for her daughters using adapted CKC patterns. We knew immediately that we had to have her on board!  In just a short while Tosha has already wow'ed us with her new designs and you might even get to see a few sneak peeks today, ssshh!  But first, I asked Tosha a few questions so we can all get to know her better: 

Welcome, Tosha!  Please start off by telling us a little about yourself!  

"Hi!  Well, to start off I am a mommy of two beautiful and talented girls. I have been sewing ALMOST as long as I've been with my high school sweetheart…ten years! My husband is my rock and I could not be living my dream of sewing and creating without him, he supports me a hundred percent! I am a huge family person so when I'm not sewing I'm spending time with my them! We live way out in the country so we're always outside riding 4-wheelers, playing with the dogs, BBQ'ing and just making memories!"

I love that!  And how long have you been sewing?

"I started sewing right after my oldest daughter was born. My mother-in-law decided to make her first Halloween costume and after I walked into the fabric store for the first time in my life, helped her pick out fabric, and watched her create the most adorable circus monkey costume I've ever seen, I was hooked! I borrowed her sewing machine frequently to practice and the next Mother's Day she bought me my very own! I haven't quit since!"

What a great inspiration! I'm sure you've learned a lot along the way. What made you decide to start designing your own outfits? 

"Well let's face it, dancewear is just plain expensive... and there's not a huge variety. I just couldn't stand to pay as much money as I was, just to have my daughter walk into dance class and match half the other girls there. She likes to be different! And now that she can be, all of her friends want something made too! Yay for me... like I'm not busy enough, lol!"

I bet!  Where do you find your inspiration?

"My daughter helps me a lot. She know what all the "cool" stuff is!  We look at the things in the dance stores and she says 'Mom, you could so make me this!'" 

What is your favorite part about designing for CKC?

"My favorite part of designing so far is just seeing my creations come to life! I love to see the smiles on all of the little testers and think, 'Wow, that really is cute!'"

I can definitely relate to that!  Is there anything else you would like to add before we finish up today? 

"Yes! I have to say that I am so excited to expand the selection of CKC dancewear patterns. With my daughter's experience in ALL types of dance I'm sure to offer at least something for all types of dancers! She dances ten hours per week and is currently on two competitive dance teams, one them being break-dancing! She loves ballet and just mastered a triple turn on Tuesday night!  Although my 3-year-old is not officially registered yet, they both have a tremendous love and passion for dance. I tell people all the time, "Dancing with the feet is one thing but dancing with the heart is another!" I cannot wait for all of my fellow dance moms to see what I have in store for your little dancers!"

Thanks so much, Tosha!  You are very talented and we love having you on board at CKC. I'm sure our readers will agree!

Now that we're feeling inspired, let's all go get Tosha's new Tyra's Ruffled Tank pattern and make some cute dance wear for our little girls.

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Using the Best Interfacing or Stabilizer for the Job

If you have ever gone shopping for interfacing or stabilizer, you know that there are a whirlwind of options!  It can be daunting to know which one(s) you need to buy if you don't know exactly what you're looking for!  But shopping for these products is not quite as complex as it seems and with a little info today I'm sure we can make your experience a lot better! I actually enjoy shopping for it now that I know what I'm looking for. 

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First let's talk about the difference between interfacing and stabilizer. For the most part, interfacing is ironed and/or sewn into the garment permanently to give it stability and structure (such as around buttonholes and collars). Stabilizers, on the other hand, are usually used temporarily to give structure underneath (such as with embroidering designs) and then after sewing they are torn out or removed by washing.  There are some exceptions but that is generally the case. The best way to know whether you want interfacing or stabilizer is to buy what the pattern calls for!  If it tells you to buy interfacing, then you should buy interfacing.  If it tells you to buy stabilizer then you should buy stabilizer.  You *can* substitute them for each other but you won't get the same results. 

Image Source

Many of our CKC patterns call for "interfacing" without specifying which type. That is because it is often up to you! If your child likes a stiffer collar, you can use a heavier interfacing. If they like a softer collar, you can use a lighter interfacing. For me, it just depends on how much structure I want the interfacing to add.  I like to stock up on the packages above because they are easy to find (Walmart, etc.) and the packages are clearly marked with their type, weight, and best uses. This brand suggests the following:

Light: For Dresses and Blouses
Medium: For shirts, collars, and button holes
Heavy: For Jackets & Waistbands

That's pretty straight-forward info!  

If you want to buy larger sheets though, you can by interfacing and stabilizer by-the-yard at most fabric stores. It generally costs less that way too.  I do strongly recommend that you know what you're looking for before you get to the store! See if the pattern specifies exactly what you need and if it doesn't, have an idea of what you want before you go.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it need to be fusible on one side, both sides, or neither?
  • Do I want it to be light, medium, or heavy? 
  • Does it need to be white or black?
  • Are there any other special features it needs to have?

You want to at least jot down the answers for when you get to the store, but I also like to use them to look up the exact number online before I go!  Here are some of the kinds I use most often, straight from Pellon's website:

72F Peltex Two-Sided Fusible Extra Firm Stabilizer: I use this for a lot of craft projects such as our free Reversible Fabric Crown, free Tablet Cover, and the brim on Christopher's Newsboy Cap. (They all say it right in the pattern.)  

 987F Fusible Fleece: This is fusible on one side (not both) and adds softness and a little bulk and stability to many of our free patterns on the blog, such as the Reversible Easter Basket. It can come in higher lofts too so don't be afraid to browse the website (or the store) for the thickness you want. 

931TD Fusible Midweight: This is just a standard fusible medium-weight interfacing for collars etc, such as the one that I mentioned farther up that I buy in the small packages. 

360 E-Z Stitch Stabilizer: I use tear-away stabilizer when adding decorative stitching or applique to knit fabrics such as the stripe on Michael's muscle tee. It helps get the stitching on nicely without puckers and then it tears right off like magic. 

Those are just a few options, but they are the ones I use most often. Don't be afraid to use the search box on Pellon's website -- that's what I do!  (If you don't want to look it up and you're feeling adventurous you can ask for help in-store or browse the tags once you get there, but you could be there for awhile.)

 One last thing!  The very first time I went to buy interfacing by-the-yard I was afraid that I wouldn't remember what kind I bought or how to use it.  But if you look at the photo above, there is a label just like it which is folded up in the full length of the bolt, so every cut you get will provide you with a label to store with your interfacing.  I like to pin my label on before rolling up so I don't take the chance of getting them mixed up! 

So there you go!  That is really all you need to know about buying interfacing and stabilizer! Now that you're a little more familiar with the types, you can be excited (not scared) to go shopping for it and try out all kinds of new projects!  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How To Tuesday: Perfectly Mitered Corners

 At CKC as our library of patterns grows so does the desire to have many, many techniques in your kit and kaboodle as mom would say. Hi mom! So today we are going to tackle a simple technique that you can use with a variety of projects!

Perfectly mitered corners are used a lot in quilting, but can also be used to make napkins, placemats, cute pockets and even aprons to be sewn onto dresses. 

For this tutorial I used a piece of paper just to insure you could really see the fold lines. I even ran a pen over top of them so you can seeing them clearly. 

To start you want to press your edges in 1/4" and then again another 1/4". 

Unfold and then repeat this step with all your raw edges. 

Your corners will now have press lines that look like this. 

Now we are going to fold the corners down 3 times as shown below. 

 Next we are going to fold our edges in using the press lines we made in the 1st few steps.

And just like that you have your perfectly mitered edges! Now just pin them in place and topstitch 1/8" along the folded edges

Now you can go practice on some scraps so you'll be all ready and confident when it's time to do the real thing! It really is that easy. 

Happy Sewing Y'all, Morgan

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monthly Mash-up: Dahlia's and Lexie's

It's time for another Monthly Mash-up from Deborah Koch of Ma Cherie Kids, and this one is perfect for Back-to-School! Actually it is perfect for any time -- it's one of my favorite mashups ever!

Isn't it darling!?  The print is playful yet mature and I love the placement of the brightly colored chevron and polka dots!  Deborah used two of our best-selling new patterns and wow did they combine beautifully together! 

The patterns that Deborah mashed were Dahlia's Double Flutter Pocket Top and Dress (shown above) and...

Lexie's Retro Halter Dress (shown above). Each of these dresses are so fun on their own, and I love the vision that Deborah had to mix them together. Let's take a closer look at how she mashed the two patterns. 

First of all, she took the bodice of Dahlia's and did not make any alterations to it. Those flutter sleeves are so sweet in these colors! 

Here's the back view. Again, just so cute! 

Then Deborah used the skirt from Lexie's and kept it the same length as the dress pattern to create this adorable Top version, which is great for pairing with ruffled leggings for school. 

 If you want to make a top version like Deborah, guess what!  All of the CKC legging patterns are on sale for 25% off for today, 8/18/14!  You can see how adorable ruffled leggings are paired with a top like this and we have several styles to choose from.

Deborah recommends that if you want the mashup to be dress length, you can easily add a few inches to the top portion of the skirt when cutting. 

All of the fabric in today's mash-up came from Joann's, the necklace and bow are from Leopard Spots and Lizard Tails, and the adorable model, of course, is Deborah's own daughter. I think she is simply gorgeous.  Thank you again, Deborah, for another fantastic mashup! I think we will be having  a lot of our CKC friends try this one out. 

Let's Create!  ~ Kristen