Easy Kimono Dress from Pattern Runway

I just finished sewing up a new dress!  I chose the Easy Kimono Dress from Pattern Runway after searching around on Etsy, and I love that I'm supporting another independent pattern designer. 

Overall, I love this dress! I found a fun, silky print to sew it with, and I'm super happy with how it turned out.   It will pretty much match everything, and I can dress it up or down. I chose to sew it in a size medium, and apparently I underestimated the girth of my hips... cause it's a bit more snug down there than I would have liked.  It definitely won't influence how much I think I'll be wearing this dress since I just love it! I already have some fabric lined up to sew another dress, and I'll probably make the skirt portion just a wee bit larger.  

This dress took me 3 evenings to create, and the hardest part by far was cutting out the pieces because the fabric kept wanting to shift around! I haven't sewn with silky fabric like this before, but I used a new microtex sharp needle (size 70/10), pinned liberally, and it went just swimmingly.  It was hard to press, since the fabric didn't really want to crease.  I suppose that's good news, so I won't have to deal with wrinkles when I wear it!


tutorial: DIY fabric marker board / white board

Today I have an easy-peasy marker board tutorial to share!  This idea came about after I decided that I wanted a marker board in my office.  Well, a quick trip to Staples showed me that this was pretty much my only option (especially in my price range, which was like $3). I went ahead and took the liberty of adding my own flourishes to this photo.

This option just wasn't going to fly, and considering the previously mentioned budget, I decided upon an alternative.  Surprise!  This literally did cost me $3, and looks so SO much nicer than other commercially available marker boards.  In fact, I could just use it as artwork if for some reason I don't have anything to do.  Which is never.  So I'll keep it as a marker board.

I decided to use a piece of fabric that I designed and had printed at Spoonflower, so it's nice to display it in my creative space!

- thrift store or purchased frame (mine is a 12"x16" frame)
- fabric scrap
- spray mount adhesive (I've used Scotch and 3M brands with equal success)
- rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat (or scissors)

1. First, I pressed the fabric.  Then I removed the backing of the frame and used the paper insert as a guide so I knew what size fabric piece I should cut.  My rotary cutter and mat were nice tools to have, but obviously this could be done with regular fabric scissors.

 2. Spray the adhesive onto the particle board backer that comes with the frame.  Double sided tape could also work nicely if you don't have spray mount on hand.

3.  Pop the backer into the frame and hang on your wall!  I used those velcro 3M strips on my frame so that the frame doesn't wobble around while I'm trying to write on it.  Voila!  Done!

pleated tote photos

I thought I'd share some pictures of bags that I stumbled upon on Aimee's blog! The pattern featured is my Pleated Tote pattern.

She did such a great job mixing and matching fabrics, and I'm so impressed that she's already sewn 10 of this bag!  I think my favorite is the green one :)


a little policy announcement!

First, the announcement!

I am now allowing finished products made from my patterns to be sold!  

Now, the backstory...

I've had a ton of requests from fellow Etsy sellers who wanted to purchase my sewing patterns to create finished pieces to sell in their shops.  For a while, I decided against this -- mostly because I used to sell my own finished products, and didn't want to rule out that possibility again in the future.  Basically, if I decided to go back to making bags to sell in an online venue, I didn't want to have all that competition!

The truth of it is that I had a lot of success with my handmade bags.  I sold them at craft fairs, farmers' markets, on Etsy, to friends, in consignment shops, etc.  It was a great experience, and it kept me busy!  But, over time, I realized that I'm just not cut out for production sewing work.  It made me neglect my own personal sewing projects, and interfered with designing new patterns.  It just made me appreciate sewing less and less the longer I did it.  Well, I wanted to enjoy sewing again, so that in a nutshell is why I decided to forgo selling finished goods and concentrate on the patterns. 

.... and the details!

I would honored to be a part of your handmade small business!  Whether you choose one pattern to sew and sell, or five, it would be a privilege to be a part of your sewing venture.  There are only two things that I request:  

1. Please credit the pattern design to me. A link to www.jengiddens.com is always appreciated.  You may use wording such as: "This item was made using a Jen Giddens Pattern (www.jengiddens.com)."

2. All items for sale must be handmade by your.  This means that the bags can not be mass produced.

Of course, please contact me if you have any questions about this policy change!  I look forward to being a part of your handmade business :)