I recently finished two projects using Keyka Lou‘s patterns – the business card wallet and the passport sleeve. Both were very easy to make. I think the only thing I had a problem with on the passport sleeve was sewing in a straight line. Ack!
The wallet was a tad trickier, but the pattern and tutorial were great. My one point of confusion was the optional invisible lining. I chose to use it and didn’t feel like it was explained well enough where and when exactly it should be used. I figured it out though without too much trouble. I’m just the kind of person who likes EVERYTHING spelled out for me in a tutorial. I can’t think of too many tutorials that do that. This one comes pretty darn close! If I were going to do it again I’d probably place my velcro slightly lower, but that was my mistake, not Michelle’s (Keyka Lou’s designer).
I’m giving both of these as gifts. They are actually in the mail as I write this. A few months ago on Facebook I took the I will make you something challenge. Basically I agreed to post a note saying I’d make something for the first 5 people who responded so long as they were willing to do the same. It is like a pay it forward kind of thing. Anyway, this is what I did to fulfill two of my nifty giftys.
I ordered one of Amanda’s 4 Way Reversible Swing Top pattern and tutorials a couple of months ago from her Etsy shop Kitschy Coo Kids and finally found time to try it last week. The pattern was drawn on nice, thick butcher’s paper and although one of the pieces was mislabeled it was pretty easy to figure out what was what. Plus, Amanda was quick to answer any questions I had. I contacted her through Twitter, but I’m sure she’d be responsive through her shop or blog as well.
The tutorial is printed out on the front and back of 4 pieces of computer paper and has 17 process pictures. Most of the steps were easy to follow. Toward the middle, when it is explaining how to seam the sides of the shirt, things got a bit muddled for me. The pattern instructs to pin the inside fabric and to leave the outside fabric loose as you sew the side seam together. I found the mechanics of this hard to understand and the loose hanging fabric a sewing accident waiting to happen. I simply pinned inner fabric to inner fabric and outer to outer until I had a tube, then sewed it like a pant leg or shirt sleeve. Figuring this out was a bit frustrating for this beginning sewer at 11 pm in the almost pitch black hole I call a craft room. 🙂 I ended up leaving it for the night and coming back fresh the next afternoon during nap time. In the light of day it was a breeze.
My button holes ended up kind of funky as well. I should have looked more closely at the pictures online. When I made this top for Q I also made one for PZ, but the buttons ended up even stranger for that one and so I’m turning it into a double breasted top. I know it is going to look fabulous. *Don’t worry! I’ll post pictures as soon as I’m done. I hope during nap time today.
Even with those few kinks I must say I’m pretty happy with the final product. Amanda said she is hoping to start sending her patterns to get printed professionally which I think should really help. I’m planning on ordering more of her patterns soon. I like both her Tunic pattern and am excited for when the Smocky Top is written up. I think she is a great designer and I bet with a bit more tinkering her patterns and tutorials will reflect that.
When I purchased this top I also got the Double Breasted Reversible Coat pattern and tutorial which I’m very excited about for fall and I happened to have been a winner during one of her giveaways (Yay!) for her Boy’s Single Breasted Coat pattern and tutorial. So stay tuned! You’ll definitely be hearing more about Kitschy Coo patterns here in the future.
In case you are wondering about the fabric, I got the Matryoshka Dot fabric from Cool Cottons, (but you can get it at Superbuzzy)and the 30’s reproduction fabric is RJR’s 2006 Everything But the Kitchen Sink. I got it from Fabric Depot a couple of years ago. The buttons came from the button jar my mom sent me this winter. She’d been collecting them forever. PZ loves sorting through them. (Thanks Mom!) I should also send a shout out to Yancey who was a sweetheart and got me the early birthday present of a new ironing board. I’d been using one of those tiny table top numbers, but now I have a brand new baby. It is HUGE and adjustable, with a place for me to sit the iron and hang the clothes underneath. So cool!! Thanks Yancey!