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ELEGANCE & ELEPHANTS

create classic children's clothing

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Fabric Printing by Contrado

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Contrado Imaging has been a one stop production facility since 2003. They specialize in creating quality custom products on demand. Contrado also helps people build brands and find exceptionally well-made designer products.
I was so excited to start designing my unique fabric with Contrado. The process began when I received my swatch pack of over 95 different fabrics. Each swatch has the type of fabric and reference on it, so it's easy to identify which one you'd like to select. I decided that I wanted to make swimsuits for my children, so I chose the Digital Slinky Matte Lycra.



Next up, I designed two types of prints, as I wanted to created some contrast on the suits. First, I purchased a stock photo of tiled tropical fish in bright, vibrant colours. 
Then, using Picmonkey, I created a blue background and added a water effect to it.


After placing my order, the fabric arrived within a couple of days and I couldn't have been happier with the result! The lycra fabric is top quality and the print is clear, bright, and precise. I then used some patterns I had on hand to create my children's suits:

Tobias' Shorts: Ottobre #28, 3/2016
Anja's Top: modified Abby's Rashguard (Wolf & Tree)
Anja's Shorts: modified Abby's Rashguard (Wolf & Tree)



They have been asking for matching outfits for a long time, and I'm so thrilled to make their wish come true with these one-of-a-kind fabrics from Contrado! Then we headed off to the lake for some fun photos in their new swimwear. By the way, total strangers were complimenting them how much they loved their matching suits!














It goes without saying that I completely recommend Contrado's fabric printing services. Having seen samples of all the options, I would feel confident ordering any of their wide variety of available fabrics. The turnaround is so fast, you could design, order, and begin sewing with your custom fabric all within a few days. I look forward to creating designs in the future, and my children look forward to a summer of beach days in their unique, matching swimsuits!






Book Review: Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics

Friday, June 30, 2017

Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics is another wonderful title from Tuttle Publishing that I had the pleasure of reviewing. This book has twenty-five unique patterns with sixty variations with ideas for embellishments, appliqué, and more. The instructions and diagrams are very clear, so a beginner would have no problem creating the bags in this book. I would recommend to everyone, at all sewing skill levels. 

My son was in need of a new bag to carry his books in, so I made him the large sized shoulder bag, with a short strap, so he could hold it in his hand.


Using some IKEA fabric I had in my stash, here is the finished result:







He loves it!







Head over to Tuttle Publishing for more information on where you can purchase this fantastic book!

Book Review - 501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Today, I'm reviewing a delightful book from Tuttle Publishing entitled: 501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs. In the past, I've always been very impressed with their books, so it was a pleasure to once again have the opportunity to explore another one.

501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs is FULL of ideas for adding embroidery and cross-stitch to household items, embellish clothing, etc. with detailed instructions on the various stitches and techniques. This book is an excellent way to discover this skill if you're a complete beginner, or someone more experienced who is looking for new ideas.

As you can see in these sample pages, the photographs are beautiful, and the instructions are very clear.



Embroidery is something I have not really done much, so I was able to look at this book much like a beginner would. I have done cross-stitch in the past, but it has been many, many years, so I was excited to try something new. I decided to add embroidery to a new dress I wanted to sew for my daughter. After looking through the book together, she chose the two birds on a perch with the flowers and heart.



First, I sewed the dress (I modified a tank top pattern from the Spring 1/2013 issue of Ottobre magazine) and then transferred the design onto the front.





After a few hours of stitching, it was done!



It's so very special to be able to create something unique and one-of-a-kind, and I know Anja will enjoy wearing this all summer long!






I look forward to trying more designs from this excellent book! In my experience, you can't go wrong with the quality of a Tuttle book. To check out this, and other craft titles from Tuttle Publishing, head over to their website.

Frolic Fabric Blog Hop

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tamara Kate has done it again and designed another exquisite fabric collection for Michael Miller Fabrics. Frolic is a hand-painted, Mexican fiesta inspired garden full of whimsical creatures in bright, vibrant colours. You can even see some of the original paintings in this post on Tamara Kate's blog! There are more possibilities than ever with this collection because, for the first time, Tamara's designs are available in knit! How exciting is that?!

My daughter loved all the available prints as much as I did, which made it a lot of fun to choose which ones to pick for our projects. The Frolicking on Knit in raspberry was our final choice, and it is so perfect! This knit is top quality and the design is so lovely! I chose to use the Skola Dress pattern simply because the style seemed to suit this print so well. With a matching headband, Anja was ready to frolic down our main street! 









For the second outfit, I just had to include the highlight of the collection: the Frolic Border. I can't resist a beautiful border print, and that's exactly what this one is. It was a perfect fit for a new pattern I've got in the works, when paired with Summer Portrait. The floral hedgehogs just blew me away when I saw them and I had to make them the centrepiece of this dress. As with other Tamara Kate fabrics I've had the pleasure of sewing with, these are a perfect weight: light enough to have a beautiful drape without the necessity of a lining. I added a pair of capri leggings with my leftover Frolicking on Knit in raspberry to complete the outfit, and we were off to park to show it off!










Thank you, Tamara Kate, for the opportunity to create these pieces with your works of art! This collection is sure to be the must-have of the summer (and beyond!). For more Frolic inspiration, follow the updates on Tamara Kate's blogFrolic is shipping to stores on June 15.


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