Josephine Blouse with release tucks

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Sooooooo it turns out that not much of my extensive handmade wardrobe from BEFORE I had Hugo is fitting so great right now. Much of that clothing is either not nursing-friendly, or it’s just a wee bit tight around the armpits from the fact that I am ahem just a little more well-endowed than normal. This means I’ve had to make some new tops and dresses just to have more to choose from when I look into the closet in the morning. Fun fun!! (and um please pardon the phone pics…this sewing mama is finding the full shoot to be a bit challenging with a wee one right now)

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This Josephine blouse is super comfortable because it’s made with some nice flowy Field Study rayon (the same rayon as I used for the sleeved Ruby top I made in this post), AND because instead of sewing the pleats (ok technically “tucks”) all the way down the front, I only sewed them part-way to make the blouse more roomy around the waist and hem. I really recommend trying it this way if you have the pattern, because it’s such a fun way to mix it up a bit. Do you like it this way or do you prefer it with the pleats sewn all the way down?

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The other change I made was to use the bias binding at the neck to close the center front slit so that it’s a bit like a keyhole (just not rounded). I decided to do this after I noticed that when you use rayon, that front slit flops around a bit. Which can be a great look, I just thought this was kindof cute too.

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Josephine with sleeves is of course a great blouse for fall, but I like pairing the sleeveless versions I’ve made with sweaters to make it last even longer into the cool season. I bought this sweater for myself for my birthday a few weeks ago:

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You can see other fun versions of Josephine in our Josephine photo pool:

Josephine with partial tucksJosephine with partial tucksJosephine with partial tucksJosephine with partial tucksJosephine with partial tucksJosephine Blouse (sleeveless)

Or search for the #josephineblouse or #josephinepattern on Instagram!

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Hello!

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It feels like weeks since I posted. I’ve tried so many times to sit down at the computer to pound out a blog post, and it just hasn’t happened. Too many other things going on. For one, The Little Dude is getting more active every day. I’m going to have to either embrace a patchwork work schedule for the foreseeable future, or else figure out some childcare pretty soon. I realized the other day that by this age, I already had Clementine at a babysitter two mornings a week. It’s hard though…when you’re on your last baby, you want to soak up every moment. And as I typed out those words, I realized that was totally an insult to Clementine, like saying “hey, middle kid: not as important!! Go chill with the babysitter!!!” SORRY CLEMENTINE. Ack. Hee.

Anyway, you can see from these pictures that Hugo is growing like a little weed. Sitting in a high chair!?! Dropping toys!?!! It’s killing me.

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Another reason I haven’t been writing blog posts lately is that all my computer time has been spent working on my next fabric collection for Cloud9. YAY!!! I’m super excited about this one you guys. Not sure when I will be able to show you anything but I’ll be sure to dish as soon as I can! Before that I was working on launching a new shop for the sewing patterns (you’ll have to click over to see it if you haven’t already!) and if you’re here on the blog you can see some new colors and fonts and and we rearranged some stuff over here too so it’s nice and shiny and new. The blog has been buggy as hell since we launched but pretty soon I’ll give you the tour. And then there’s a secret sewing project I’m working on. Plus we just got proofs to review from the printer because I’m putting Geranium into print. OK, so I’m busy…I guess I have an excuse. But my blog…see, it seems to me like my blog is the machine that keeps everything else moving, and it’s the place online where I want to be present, more than any other, so to neglect it feels a little strange.

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And then: my grandmother passed away last week after a very long life (96 years), so my family gathered last weekend for her funeral and burial, to celebrate her life. It was sad to say goodbye to her, but I had a nice time with my family, reminiscing about Grandma and what a character she was. We lost my Grandpa just a year and a half ago — he was 99 — so it felt a bit like a replay. We were all just there, together, but this time it was for her, if that makes sense. I could write about Grandma for pages (and maybe sometime I will), but for now just processing the fact that she is gone seems like it’s enough.

OK, that’s the latest. Gotta go. xoxo

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Bianca Top with poms

I went on a pom-pom purchasing binge at Purl about a month ago and this is the first garment I have managed to emblazon with my newly-acquired trims since then. There will be more OH YES THERE WILL BE MORE. I love it, despite the obvious impracticalities (will the baby eat my shirt? how will I wash this?).

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I have always harbored a love of pom-poms. I would even argue I loved them BEFORE they made their recent resurgence in popularity *looks smug.* As evidence, see my pom-pom scarf, this bonsai bag, and this pom-pom cowl for Clementine. This is the first time I have experimented with pom-poms this large on a piece of clothing rather than an accessory, however.

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During this top’s construction, I solicited opinions via Instagram as to whether or not I should also add pom-poms to the armhole. Some felt it was very chic ala Frida Kahlo. Others mentioned a slight resemblance to a mariachi outfit. In the end, it seemed there was a pretty solid 50/50 division on opinions, so I decided against it.

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I made the top using my Bianca pattern (Bianca is available as a PDF sewing pattern here) and a lovely off-white swiss dot, which is fairly easy to find, so it’s a nice garment fabric if you usually have trouble finding solid fabrics for garments. It has a drape similar to the Free Spirit voiles, but is lighter and less silky, making it an incredibly comfortable top. I chose to use the elastic shirring rather than an elastic casing (the Bianca pattern has options for both), and attached the facings to the outside of the garment after basting the pom-poms to the edges.

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So. Would you wear pom-poms?

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Fanfare Flannels 2014 are here!

Fanfare 2014

I’m so happy to report that my line for Cloud9 Fabrics, Fanfare Flannels, has been reprinted this year! It’s already in stores, and folks are already making tons of adorable stuff out of it. This year’s edition features a few new colors in the same beloved foxes and elephants, plus some coordinating solids. All in scrumptiously soft organic flannel.

Now would you like to see some projects?

Deborah at Whipstitch made these adorable shirts for two of her kiddos.Love this photo and these precious Sketchbook Shirts by @whipstitchier!! #fanfareflannels @cloud9fabrics @oliverands Part of this week's Fanfare Extravaganza!!!

Here’s Jessica from A Little Gray with her daughter in their cozy City Gym Shorts (that’s a free pattern, people!):
How fun are these City Gym Shorts by @alittlegressica!? Made with #fanfareflannels @cloud9fabrics @purlsoho Part of this week's Fanfare Extravaganza!!!

Kristin over at Skirt As Top made her little boy a sleep sack:
Check out this adorable sleep sack by @skirtastop! Too cute! #fanfareflannels @cloud9fabrics Part of this week's Fanfare Extravaganza!!!

And Terri at Fa Sew La made her boys some super fun Parsley Pants to romp around in!
Check out Fa Sew La's adorable parlsey pants in Fanfare Flannels!

If you’ve made anything out of Fanfare, we’d love to see your projects in the Fanfare Photo Pool on Flickr. Meanwhile, we’ll keep posting some more links over the next few days for a little Fanfare 2014 Extravaganza!!

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