girl’s world June 22, 2011

I’m today’s stop on the Girl’s World blog tour, following Melissa‘s lovely giveaway post yesterday over at Bolt Neighborhood (look for a post at Everything Etsy tomorrow, too!). Jennifer Paganelli’s colorful, cheerful new sewing book Girl’s World includes 21 projects for girls, sized in a generous range from XS (2-3) to XL (12-14) – all made in her signature Sis Boom fabrics.

Girl's World!

I got a review copy from Chronicle about a month ago, and just a few days later, I met Dolin O’Shea, who works at the lovely Bobbin’s Nest Studio in the Bay Area. We were chatting during my Modern Log Cabin Quilting book event at the shop, and she mentioned that she collaborated with Jennifer to create all the graded patterns for Girl’s World! Taking another look at the nuts and bolts of the book after our conversation, I have to say that the patterns are so beautifully done and so professional – I was really impressed. An envelope at the front holds about a dozen sturdy folded sheets printed clearly and ready to cut or trace, with plenty of useful notes and markings.

Pattern sheet from Girl's World

Melissa made a striking Mary’s Fancy Sash Dress in a gorgeous fabric combination from Bolt (see her post yesterday for all the fabric details) that really shows the pattern itself off. There are plenty of photos of each design in the book, but they’re all in exuberant fabrics, modeled by excited little girls in colorful rooms, so I thought it was refreshing to see an understated take on one of these pretty dresses, too. (Photo by Melissa, thank you!)

Melissa's lovely Mary's Fancy Sash dress from Girl's World

I also thought about sewing a dress for Pearl (the Agnes Tunic is at the top of my list – I think she would like it the most of the collection, and it would definitely suit our cool, breezy PNW climate better than the cute strappy sundresses), but time is short around here for glory projects, so I made her a George the Puppy for now. He took me exactly one listening of Radiohead’s Kid A, from opening the book and cutting out the pattern to hand-sewing the last stitches on his little belly. I think he turned out super cute, but he was surprisingly hard to snap a good photo of.

George the Puppy

I have my Housetop Quilt on the guest room bed right now, which is also the room where I usually cut fabric… so when I was thinking about what patterns to pair for George, I ended up choosing two favorite cross-hatch prints in shades of brown that also appear in the quilt I made two years ago. What can I say, I guess I like what I like!

Mic-Mac hanging out in the front yard

You only need a quarter-yard of a main fabric and a remnant of a contrast one, and this project goes together very quickly and easily. Seam allowances are included in the patterns, and this one uses a 1/4″ seam (handy for me, I had a 1/4″ foot on my machine from my last piecing project so I didn’t even have to switch!). My only suggestion on what to watch is that I think clipping curves is a little challenging with such a narrow seam allowance (I’m used to doing it with garments that use a 1/2″ or 5/8″ SA). I think I’m going to be doing a few little hand-stitched repairs here and there where the clipping was more accidental nipping… but next time I’ll be a little more conservative with my Ginghers.

Mic-Mac - collar

My only variations were top-stitching the ears for a little more sturdiness and definition, and hand-sewing on a grosgrain ribbon collar. I so wanted to add button eyes, but not while the baby is still a baby. Maybe I’ll update this little dude when both kids are decidedly out of the button-in-the-mouth phase.

Mic-Mac - side view!

After snapping some quick photos, I handed George over to Pearl, who immediately renamed him Mic-Mac and spirited him away to her lair of stuffed animals. She has been organizing all her animals into families lately which is super cute, and it looks like he will have a very good home with some other prized buddies. She has already requested “so many more Mic-Macs,” so I think I’ll be revisiting this pattern again soon! So I’ve already picked out two cheerful red and yellow feedsack prints (which happen to be two of the 60 patterns in my Modern Crosses) for the next puppy…

Thank you to Chronicle for the book and the chance to review it on the tour! I’ll be posting as part of Alissa Haight Carlton’s Block Party tour on Sunday, too, another book I totally love. See you then if not before…

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