Reminder: Little Dorrit & Co. Embroidery Pattern Discount Ends Tomorrow!

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I just wanted to make sure you all got a chance to grab a discount in our shop – 20% off with the code CHRISTMASINJULY when you checkout! Above is a little reminder of all of our Christmas patterns, including the two we released this month, which you can check out in the Christmas section in the shop – but you’re free to use the discount on any pattern(s) you like. The discount ends tomorrow, at the end of July!

Merry Christmas in July, everyone – thanks so much for joining us!

The Gingerbread Man – New Embroidery Pattern from Little Dorrit & Co.!

The Gingerbread Man - new embroidery pattern from Little Dorrit & Co.!

Introducing our second Christmas in July embroidery pattern – The Gingerbread Man! An adorable cookie man making his way through a colorful cookie forest, trying not to be eaten all up.

The Gingerbread Man - new embroidery pattern from Little Dorrit & Co.!

If you remember the story, the poor little Gingerbread Man meets a devious fox who offers to carry him across the river – but then gobbles him all up instead!

The Gingerbread Man - new embroidery pattern from Little Dorrit & Co.!

To be totally honest with you, I think the Gingerbread Man story is a little unfair. I think we’re supposed to think he’s smug, like the Hare, who is so overly confident that he manages to lose a race to a slow-ass tortoise*. But the Gingerbread Man just wants to not be chewed alive, which seems fair enough to me, you know?!

The Gingerbread Man - new embroidery pattern from Little Dorrit & Co.!

All the project stats are in listed on the product page. I might be biased, but I think this one is really fun to work up – we planned the stitching out to mimic gingerbread and icing!

Don’t forget to grab yourself a hearty 20% off in the Little Dorrit & Co. shop! Use the code CHRISTMASINJULY at checkout – this offer ends on August 1st, so just a few days left to take advantage!

*By the way, Little Dorrit & Co. has a Tortoise and the Hare embroidery pattern too. Just sayin’. :)

Quick Christmas Gifts + 20% Off Knitting Patterns

Little Dorrit & Co. will share another new Christmas-themed embroidery pattern with you next week (and it’s a darn cutie!) but until then, here’s a little reminder of my already-existing holiday-themed tutorials!

Whip up a few Liberty fabric heart ornaments – a very classy and quick gift!

Liberty Hearts Ornament Tutorial

Use up Christmas scraps (or just red and green bits, like I did) and make an adorable wreath ornament (this one’s my favorite!):

Scrappy Wreath Tutorial

And lastly, combine a little stitching and patchwork (why the heck not!) and make yourself a Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug. Or just use the provided 1960s-style embroidery pattern and stitch in on the holiday project of your choice!

Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug Tutorial!

Also, don’t forget to check out my knitting patterns via Ravelry, which make great gifts, if I do say so myself:

Knitting Pattern Sale for Christmas in July!

I’ve just added an automatic 20% off discount to all of the knitting patterns in my Ravelry shop, which will be applied at checkout! This discount will be good until the end of July – it didn’t seem fair to celebrate Christmas in July with only the embroiderers. :)

(And of course the embroidery discount is still going strong – 20% off Little Dorrit & Co. embroidery patterns with the code CHRISTMASINJULY at checkout!)

HO HO HO!

FQR Recap (aka Best Time EVER.)

Fat Quarterly Retreat Fun!

I still can’t quite get over the fact that I was able to go to the Fat Quarterly Retreat this year – I’d absolutely ruled it out because of other real-life stuff going on with my family, but some wonderful magic happened and it somehow worked out. I’ve never been before, but watched jealously in previous years as retreaters posted photos of all the fun they were having – while I was sobbing on the inside.

Fat Quarterly Retreat Fun!
Fat Quarterly Retreat Fun!

So huzzah! I was so excited to join in the fun – and although I’m normally a little nervous meeting new people, I knew these peeps would be good to me. Ain’t nobody so nice and welcoming as crafty peeps, am I right or am I right?!

Fat Quarterly Retreat Fun!

I don’t have tons of pictures, because seriously, I was too damn busy having an awesome time! I did manage some photos of my classwork, but at the end, I realized I hadn’t gotten any photos with my new friends or anything. D’oh! I don’t even have photos of my goodies – beautiful treats from Aurifil, Robert Kaufman, Dashwood Studios, Moda Fabrics, Oakshott, and I’m sure there were others that I’ve forgotten. Really, the sponsors were so awesome and generous – they rock the most!

Fat Quarterly Retreat Fun!
Fat Quarterly Retreat Fun!

Most of my workshops were non-machine based – I do tend to like hand-work more than machine-based sewing. I learned about hand-quilting with the very wise and kind Jen Kingwell, and learned about screenprinting and lampshade making (and foundation piecing!) with the always-lovely and inspiring Karen Lewis, and got nerdy about designing quilts in Touchdraw with Lynne Goldsworthy, whose quilt designs are always so ridiculously spectacular! Holy luckiness, Batman!

Fat Quarterly Retreat Fun!
Fat Quarterly Retreat Fun!

Honestly though, as amazing as the toys and classes were, for me, the whole weekend was about getting out and about amongst the people. It’s rare that I get to be around so many like-minded crafters, who all have such different and interesting perspectives on our mutual interest! I like to hand-stitch and embroider, old-school style, others are committed to modern quilt design, some are published authors, some are brand new to the craft altogether. But we’re all nerds, and we all love to share and learn new stuff, and what could possibly be better than hanging out with a bunch of us for a weekend?!

Fat Quarterly Retreat Fun!

Bring on 2015, yo!

(I’ll show you more about each of my FQR projects as I continue to work on them!)

Sew Together Bag FO

Eeeeep, how I love my Sew Together Bag so much!

Finished Sew Together Bag!

Here’s the basic stats:

- Sew Together Bag Pattern by Sew Demented, available via Craftsy.
- I English Paper Pieced the exterior using teensy pieces of Liberty Tana Lawn and Kona Navy. The squares are 1″ and the exterior is quilted with plain batting, no interfacing.
- The embroidery on the exterior is done in a perle cotton, size 16, and the design is from a 1930s embroidery transfer I bought on eBay!

Finished Sew Together Bag!

- Inside, I’ve got fabrics by Anna Maria Horner, Lizzy House, Cotton + Steel (neeeeeed mooooore Cotton + Steeeeeeel) and a few I don’t know the designers of – shout if you know!

Finished Sew Together Bag!

- I used Vilene woven interfacing G700 in only the places the pattern says to use interfacing and my bag is incredibly sturdy. I’ve talked before about how much I love this interfacing, it’s so perfect for bags and pouches. I’m never really sure what designers mean when they say ‘medium-weight interfacing’, ‘heavy sew-in interfacing’ – etc – in patterns, because most interfacing isn’t sold that way, or at least not that I’ve seen anyway. Many places simply list the product name (i.e., Vilene woven G700) or have interfacing on the bolt. Unless you already have good experience matching interfacing to projects, it feels like a bit of a crap-shoot. I’d love if more designers put a ‘such as’ in their pattern materials list, so you at least have something to go on. Meanwhile, I just noticed that Jaycotts here in the UK has more descriptive product titles than most shops, so check them out if you aren’t sure what to buy!
- I sewed everything but the steps with a zigzag stitch with my darling Bettie, my Singer Featherweight 221K. I thought she might have a hard time with all those layers and interfacing, but she’s such a champ, just stitched right through it without a complaint!

Finished Sew Together Bag!

I essentially followed the pattern to the letter, except for a few notes:
- I used longer zippers for the interior pockets, then trimmed them back once the three pockets were all together. This was simply because I had them lying around and didn’t want it to turn into a pricey project, but I’ll do it that way on purpose for the others I’ve been told I’m making for family members. :) If you have a longer zip, you can move the slider completely out the way and not have to worry about getting around it at all. Sure, you can stop halfway (with your needle down!) and slide it up, but if you have them handy or you aren’t paying more for the extra length, I’d go with a slightly longer zipper and skip the whole bother.

Finished Sew Together Bag!

- I hand-stitched my binding around the sides, just because it’s always neater for me that way. I had to do it by machine along the zipper length and that took me a couple of tries to get it looking as invisible as possible, but it worked out ok in the end.
- I did machine-attach the bag handles just as the pattern describes, but I’m not really that happy with how it came out. My Bettie did great, but it was so difficult to keep everything lined up nicely with so much to sew through. You can’t really see that stitching here, but I think it looks a little sloppy. I think I’d just do that section by hand next time – I might even rip out that 1″ of stitching one day and re-do it by hand on this one.

Finished Sew Together Bag!

But anyway, holy cow, how I loved this project! Even though I rushed it to be done for the Fat Quarterly Retreat and it could’ve been a more relaxing project, I still loved the hell out of it. It seems like it’s going to be tricky, but it’s such a fun and clever pattern and if you just do as you’re told, it will all work out in the end. I love my bag SO much!

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