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Every once in a while I’ll pop over to etsy.com to see what people are making with Monaluna fabrics, and it always leaves me feeling happy and inspired. I love to see all the ideas and products that makers are coming up with, and I love it that our fabrics can help inspire such creativity. I hopped on there yesterday, and oh, my goodness the cuteness! So I decided to put together a little Monaluna/etsy gift guide for the holidays. If you’re looking for gifts that are organic and handmade, but don’t have time to make them yourself, (or if your gift list is longer than your available creative time, as is mine), check out some of these cuties!

 

Farm Animal Skirt

Farm Animal Skirt by Sweet Pea and Co.

 

Sweet Pea and Co., from St. Paul, MN, has adorable items for babies, including bibs & burp cloths, teethers, onesies, and these darling skirts and jumpers. Plus, a pretty cute model!

 

woodland reversible pinafore by Sweet Pea and Co.

woodland reversible pinafore by Sweet Pea and Co.

 

Needful Wishes from Portland makes cosmetic bags, kindle cases, totes and insulated lunch bags like this great one using Llama Love:

 

Llama Love insulated lunch bag by Needful Wishes

Llama Love insulated lunch bag by Needful Wishes

 

I love the playful switch plate covers at the Slightly Smitten Kitten shop, or SSKDesigns. They’d make a cute finishing touch to a room, especially if there’s a coordinating Monaluna quilt in it!

 

Octopus Light Switch Plate Cover by SSKDesigns

Octopus Light Switch Plate Cover by SSKDesigns

 

Little Lotus Organics makes handmade and organic baby clothes and accessories, like these baby girl peasant blouses, as well as lots of knit baby sets.

 

Baby Girl Organic Peasant Top by Little Lotus Organics

Baby Girl Organic Peasant Top by Little Lotus Organics

 

Organic Baby Girl Peasant Blouse by Little Lotus Organics

Organic Baby Girl Peasant Blouse by Little Lotus Organics

 

I love these Foxy organic pajama bottoms by Spools and Drool. Perfect for little boys.

 

Foxy Organic Jammie Jams by Spools and Drool

Foxy Organic Jammie Jams by Spools and Drool

 

They’d go great with this:

 

Organic Slouchy Knit Hat by Spools and Drool

Organic Slouchy Knit Hat by Spools and Drool

 

I’ve been lucky enough to score several dresses from Wild Things Dresses for my daughter, Anabelle, and they are truly wonderful. She wore this Toadstool Reversible Dress last Christmas, though now it’s more of a short top (they grow so fast…). I might need to get her a new one!  You should also check out the Fox and this one here.

 

Toadstool Reversible Dress by Wild Things Dresses

Toadstool Reversible Dress by Wild Things Dresses

 

I’m totally smitten by all the items at the Kimimila shop, including this flannel-lined dress:

 

Over the River dress by Kimimila New York

Over the River dress by Kimimila New York

All Day Hug set by Kimimila New York

All Day Hug set by Kimimila New York

Just Keep Swimming Two Layer Skirt by Kimimila New York

Just Keep Swimming Two Layer Skirt by Kimimila New York

Summer Playdate by Kimimila New York

Summer Playdate by Kimimila New York

 

The Seeds of 3 has lots of great handmade, organic cloths and accessories for baby and kids. I see a lot of cuteness on her Facebook Page, and there’s lot’s more on her etsy shop.

 

Organic Baby Onsie by The Seeds of 3

Organic Baby Onsie by The Seeds of 3

 

I love this Under the Sea travel pillow by Kel’s Cozy Corner – perfect for sleepovers!

 

Fox Hollow Organic Travel Pillow by Kel's Cozy Corner

Fox Hollow Organic Travel Pillow by Kel’s Cozy Corner

 

Everything that the Organic Quilt Companydoes is lovely, and I’m always so happy to see the items that incorporate Monaluna fabrics. There are tons of baby items and quilts on their site, including this one in Meadow:

 

Organic Baby Quilt by The Organic Quilt Company

Organic Baby Quilt by The Organic Quilt Company

Organic Burp Cloths by the Organic Quilt Company

Organic Burp Cloths by the Organic Quilt Company

 

I’m going to need a Tooth Fairy pillow like this one from Mini Maxwell Kids soon…

 

Organic Tooth Fairy Pillow by Mini Maxwell Kids

Organic Tooth Fairy Pillow by Mini Maxwell Kids

 

My Cozy Cub makes sweet baby accessories like this Teether in Haven:

 

Maple and Organic Cotton Teething Ring by My Cozy Cub

Maple and Organic Cotton Teething Ring by My Cozy Cub

 

There’s lots more than I can fit into this post, but here are some more links to great etsy shops, and you can see more by going to etsy.com and searching for Monaluna in Handmade. Happy shopping!

Graceful Threads

Paisley Pear Designs

Baby Dear

Modern Made Baby

 DMD Designs

 Bugsella

Little Things Boutique

Yellow Plum Blossoms

Brazen Face

Maxwell Designs

Dolce Dreams

 

It seems like FOREVER that I’ve been waiting for these collections! You too? Well, the new knits are here, in all their soft, stretchy glory! Our Marrakech and Meadow Knit collections are both printed on 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton interlock knit, and weigh in at 220-230 g/m, so they’re especially plush, and remarkably easy to sew. I sewed up a few samples for our Quilt Market booth (but actually, ahem, for me), and I’ve been loving the weight and quality. Look for some new knit tutorial on the blog soon!

 

Marrakech organic cotton knits by Monaluna

 

The palette and patterns of Marrakech lend themselves to both boys’ and girls’ clothing, and we used some of our favorites to sew up our Skater Shirt pattern, as well as a cool reversible pullover, all very boy-appropriate. They’re perfect for girls and women, too, though, and there are a few florals, too, for extra femininity. And how perfect are these prints for baby clothes? Pair them with our Little Bee Babysuit pattern for perfect infant wear or gifts.

 

Marrakech Organic Knits by Monaluna

Marrakech Organic Knits by Monaluna

Marrakech Organic Knits by Monaluna

Marrakech Organic Knits by Monaluna

 

The Meadow Knits feature some of the most popular prints from our Meadow Poplin collection. They have a warm, jewel-toned palette, lots of woodland animals and simple, Scandinavian-inspired patterns.

 

Meadow Organic Knits by Monaluna

 

I made Anabelle a reversible pullover with Folk Flowers and Vine, and she’s loving it! We also made several dresses using the Solstice Dress pattern, and they came out so cute. The weather was gorgeous the day we took these photos, so we didn’t need layers, but the dress is also adorable over a long sleeved tee-shirt for cooler weather. Next up: some pretty maxi skirts for me!

 

Meadow Organic Cotton Knits by Monaluna

Meadow Organic Cotton Knits by Monaluna

Meadow Organic Knit Fabric by Monaluna

And just like that, it’s November. Ever since I started this business, September and October have been a blur as we gear up for Quilt Market, and finally return, exhausted and inspired, just in time (usually) for Halloween. This year was no different, and when I look back on all that was created in the last two months, it’s pretty amazing! Shayla and Kristy at Sassafras Lane Designs whipped up their Wyncoop Court quilt and an adorable Daily Duffle using our new Westwood and Westwood Canvas. Vanessa at Punkin Patterns stitched up a Diamond Affair quilt in Westwood, and Karen at One Girl Circus and our local Jeanne Verrinder sewed some adorable apparel samples. Meanwhile, Amy and I stitched up the rest, organized our photo shoot, put together the catalog, and got everything sent off to Houston. Whew!

 

It all came together really nicely in the end, and we had a great show. It’s always so nice to see our regular customers and meet new ones, and get a chance to talk about this industry after hours.  Every Market I’m reminded of how much I like the people I get to work with – and along side – in this business. That’s a lucky and beautiful thing. Here are a few photos of the booth and the new fabrics in action. They’ll be here in just a couple weeks!

 

Monaluna Fall Quilt Market Booth

Monaluna Fall Quilt Market Booth - Westwood

Diamond Affair Quilt in Westwood by Monaluna

Westwood Organic Fabric by Monaluna

Meadow Knits by Monaluna

Marrakech Organic Knits by Monaluna

Monaluna Fall Quilt Market Booth 2014

Congratulations, Suzanne – you’ve won our giveaway! I will email you to get your mailing address, and will send out your copy of the Tatami Mat quilt by Lunden Designs, and all the printed Under the Sea fabric to make the quilt.

 

Thank you all for your kind comments about the fabric and the quilt. It was really nice to read your responses, and to see all that enthusiasm for the fabric and pattern! I wish I could send bundles to everyone who entered, but since I can’t do that, we’re putting Under the Sea on sale for 20% off through 9/9. You can also find the quilt pattern on the Lunden Design site here. Thanks again for entering!

 

under the sea by Monaluna

One of my favorite things about my job is being able to follow a little spark of creativity to produce something, that then can cause a little spark of creativity in someone else. I especially feel that way about our patterns. When I design a fabric collection, I often have some end product in mind: a skirt, a quilt, a bag – whatever! Usually, I just get to do a single sample for our show, or for my own use, but sometimes those ideas make their way to become our sewing patterns, which will hopefully inspire you to make something great. Here are our new ones:

 

The Ella Dress: a sweet, Euro-styled dress with patch pockets and a square neckline, this dress looks great with a smaller scale accent print. The bell sleeves work well for all seasons, and Anabelle pairs hers beautifully with leggings and her pink cowboy boots.

the Ella Dress sewing pattern by Monaluna

 

The Skater Shirtthis roomy, straight-hem shirt is great on it’s own for summer, but even cooler layered over a long sleeved T for fall. The pattern works perfectly with some of our more boyish organic prints.

The Skater Shirt sewing pattern by Monaluna

 

The Solstice Dress & Tank/short Set: Developed for our knits, the Solstice is a simple and versatile pattern for both boys and girls. The dress and tank can be worn over long sleeves for cooler months.

Solstice Dress and Short/tank Set pattern by Monaluna

 

Ella Dress and Skater Shirt patterns by Monaluna

 

Ella Dress

 

the Skater Shirt by Monaluna

A few weeks ago I was telling you about the inspiration for our upcoming fall collection, and how I had been inspired by a little owl on a bottle of beer. Once I have a starting point for my inspiration, I start making a mood board, pulling together images and sketches, color palettes, even words or phrases that help me to clarify where I’m going with a collection. Sometimes it has a clear and obvious effect, where you can plainly see the inspiration in the final collection. Other times (like this one), it’s a winding road from point A to point B, and there might just be a glimmer of the starting point.

 

The little beer owl had such a beautiful, rustic quality that it made me think of  Russian and Scandinavian wood-block prints in books that my dad had when I was a kid. He studied Folklore and Russian, and we always had these great books of folk tales and Russian literature with magical-looking scenes carved into block prints. Anyway, the owl had that going on, and so I started thinking about folktales and fairy stories, and sketching up images of geese with golden eggs, sly foxes and unicorns. It started to look something like this:

 

 

 

It was a far cry from the darling beer owl, but you can kind of see where I was going with it, right? The problem is, once I get going I just have to follow that lead. The rest of the designs diverted even farther from my inspiration board after this point, and it didn’t feel like a cohesive group anymore. It was time to rethink. I’ll show you the outcome in Part Three soon!

 

 

Tatami Mat Quilt Pattern and Under the Sea organic fabric

 

Have you seen the gorgeous Tatami Mat quilt by Lunden Designs that we’ve been showing made with our Under the Sea collection? We’ve had such a great response that we thought we’d offer it as a giveaway bundle: one quilt pattern (contributed by the talented Melissa Lunden of Lunden Designs,) and all the printed organic fabric you need to make the quilt (solid fabric and batting not included). To enter, leave a comment here, and for extra entries, “like” us on Facebook and share our post, or share on twitter. Entries will be taken for one week, and the giveaway will end on Wednesday August 20. Good luck!

 

 

Tatami Mat Quilt Pattern

 

Happy Friday, everyone! In honor of today’s 100-degree forecast, here’s Karen LePage from One Girl Circus with part 2 of the Little Bee tutorial: how to turn the yoga pants into shorts. Enjoy!

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Little Bee for Summer

Here’s part 2 to our tutorial to complete your Little Bee summer outfit. Today we’ll alter the Yoga Pants into little shorts to show off those baby legs. Photos in the tutorial use Monaluna’s upcoming Meadow Knits.

 

Tutorial: transform the pants into shorts.

Determine the desired length of your shorts by measuring the inseam of a pair you already have.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Meadow Knits - Little Bee for Summer

Use a dark marking to highlight the leg seams on your traced pattern.
Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Trace dark lines to highlight leg seams
Mark the shorts length on your sewing pattern.

 Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - mark new hem length

Fold along this line. Here you can see how the darkened tracing will help you with the following steps.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - fold along new hem

For the hem allowance, measure 3/4″ from the folded edge and draw a line to mark.

 Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Mark the Hem Allowance

Because the Little Bee Yoga Pants are flared and not straight, you will need to trace along the leg lines that you see through the folded page to mark the hem shape.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - mark new hem

Open out the fold and cut along the hem edge you just marked.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - new hem

Tip: you can use the grainline marking to align the print as you’re cutting out your new shorts.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - align your print

Now you can proceed with the directions in your pattern to complete a new adorable pair of shorts.

There’s a special treat on the blog this week: the fabulous Karen LePage of One Girl Circus is guest-blogging! Welcome, Karen!

 

Little Bee Summer Tutorial

We had a lot of interest in the sleeveless Little Bee Babysuit at Spring Quilt Market, so we thought it might be time to put together a tutorial to show you how simple it is to “summerfy” it yourself! Plus, we’ll show you how to apply the trim in a different way for super-fast construction using a serger.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Marrakech Knits - Little Bee for Summer

In a beautiful coincidence, Cherie wrote a tutorial to make a similar adjustment to a woven pattern earlier this year.  She did such a great job, we’ll just build on it here for our knit babysuit.

Make a sleeveless Babysuit.

For the Sleeveless Little Bee Babysuit, you’ll only need to trace 2 pieces: Front and Back. To adjust the arm openings for summer baby arms and not sleeves, let’s remove some of the shoulder width. I pulled in the shoulder on my sample by 1/2″ by measuring 1/2″ in from the armhole edge and marking, then re-drawing the curve for the top half of the armhole.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Use a Seam Gauge to measure easily

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Mark before you cut to adjust your pattern

Repeat the process for the back – or copy like I do, by lining up the pattern pieces and cutting both at the same time.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - cut together for a perfect match

Now you can cut out the pieces.  For the “binding” we are going to use a t-shirt style finish.  To simplify cutting, I usually cut a couple of strips across the entire width of the contrast fabric 1 3/4″ wide.  Press the binding fabric in half lengthwise right away so it’s ready to apply.  That way, you can avoid measuring and save time while still achieving a nice finish.

Construct the Babysuit.

Begin as in the pattern instructions, stitching the shoulder seams right sides together.  Press the seams open (if sewing on a regular machine) or toward the back (if using a serger to construct).

Next, measure the binding against the entire front of the baby suit neckline/wrap opening.  Cut the binding 1/2″ -1″ shorter than this total measurement. Repeat for the arm openings. (I already finished the arm openings in this photo).

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - measure twice, cut once

Find the center of the binding and clip or pin to the center back of the babysuit neckline, aligning all raw edges.  Stitch the binding in place, gently pulling the binding in place to match the neckline as you go. (Use a 3/8″ seam allowance, as in the original instructions. I like to use a 5-thread safety stitch for my serger construction stitch.)

Repeat for the arm openings, matching the center band to the shoulder seams.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - stitch on a serger if you like

Press the seam allowance under, exposing the folded edge.  You can topstitch in place, using a 3-step zigzag (as in the camel print top photo at the arm openings) or leave it as is.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - press with steam

Repeat to finish the armholes.  Continue construction at step 4.

Using this method is really fast, but there’s a bit of a downside (isn’t there always?) and that is a pretty bulky underarm seam.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Reduce Bulky Seams

 

I like to flatten that pileup of fabric with some strategic topstitching.  Press the side seam allowances toward the back, then, using your sewing machine, stitch a box to control hold those 6 layers flat.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - press bulky seams toward back

There, that’s better.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Stitch seams in place

 

Measure the bottom edge in the same way as for the neck/wrap and arm openings, but this time, you will sew the band into a circle. Find the opposite edge from this band seam and match to the center back of the bottom edge. Match the seam itself to the center front. (This will cover the seam when snapped, and distribute the binding evenly while attaching.

You’ll end up with a seam all around the bottom like this:

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Bottom seams

Which you will press like the top bindings to resemble this:

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Finished bottom

Now, attach the snaps and you’re done! Next time, we’ll help you transform the Little Bee Yoga Pants into summery shorts.

Monaluna Little Bee Summer Tutorial - Sewing with Knits - Summer Little Bee in Meadow Knits

Euclid Avenue in Haven Organic Fabric

 

I’ve been loving the Euclid Avenue quilt that Kristy and Shayla from Sassafras Lane Designs made for our Quilt Market booth in May, so I thought I’d give it it’s own post today. It was a huge hit at the show, and I think it really works well with the subtle, fresh palette of Haven. These two are such sweet and talented designers, and I love the style and spirit of their company. You can buy the quilt pattern here, and the fabric is available here.

Euclid Avenue in haven

 

I love the irregular linear quilting they used – it’s subtle, but gives the quilt a really nice texture and structure.

Euclid Avenue in Haven closeup

 

Here’s the quilt, paired with some pillows that also made an appearance at Quilt Market, sewn by Jeanne Verrinder, a local sewist.:

Euclid Avenue and Pillows in Haven

 

And on display in our Quilt Market booth in May. Thanks, Shayla and Kristy, for your beautiful work!

Haven at Quilt Market