Friday, November 30, 2012

Fancy Tiger's 5th Annual Holiday Handmade is HERE!!

It's that time of year again! We are pleased to announce Fancy Tiger Crafts 5th Annual Holiday Handmade Craft Fair is here! This is the best way for you to check out all of Denver's top crafters and shop local and handmade for your holiday gift-giving. This year's event will feature over 60 local crafters, including over 25 new vendors. Here are the important deets:

Friday, November 30th, 5 - 10pm
Saturday, December 1st, 10am - 4pm
Sherman Street Events Center 1770 Sherman Street
Cost = FREE!

Eager shoppers waiting in line in 2011
Every year we give away free swag bags to the first 50 people through the door each day. This year Denver Handmade Alliance has teamed up with Sewn to bring you the best swag bags ever! Each bag is handsewn by Jil at Sewn from a fun Fancy Tiger print fabric. They are filled with coupons and handmade goods from local crafters so be sure to get in line early!

Some images from 2012 vendors

Sugar Bakeshop and Humble Pie will be set up inside to provide you with sweet treats and drinks. Food trucks will be set up outside for savory meals and snacks. We can't wait to see you all there!

Download a pdf of the Holiday Handmade 2012 Vendor MapClick here for a list of 2012 Vendors

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fancy Tiger Folks' Crafty Holiday Gift Picks 2012! Part 2

Here is part two of our Fancy Tiger Folks 2012 Crafty Holiday Gift Picks!We think your crafty dears will love these as much as we do...

Hey! I'm Katy, and I'm the newest Tigress at Fancy Tiger Crafts! I've been a knitter for ages, and I adore cross stitching and embroidery. While the holidays are some of my favorite times of the year, I'm not a big fan of the weather, so I find I tend to knit winter wear in bright colors to chase away the winter blues. This year I'm hoping Santa brings me colorful MadelineTosh presents, particularly the graphic MadelineTosh Arrows Cowl pattern and Tosh DK, one of my favorite yarns ever! I think the cowl would be fantastic in yellow and purple, a classic color combo made even better with the neon amazingness of Edison Bulb and the deep purple tones of Iris!

As a garment seamstress, I'm always searching for wearable patterns for separates. I love dresses (as evidenced by my ever-growing pattern stash), but they aren't very versatile for my day-to-day wardrobe. I like tops that are simple, flattering and can be sewn with wovens. Wiksten's Tova fits the bill! The pattern itself is beautifully designed and executed, and would be adorable stitched up in one of our new polka-dotted Lecien lawns. These fabrics are super soft, drape beautifully and are classy without being too stuffy. I sure hope Santa is reading this wishlist!

Hi ya! My name is Erica. After years in the corporate world, I came to Fancy Tiger to learn to sew. Classes are great and I learned so much that two years later I retired my first sewing machine for a new one and sew my own clothes. There’s still much to learn and I’m always excited about it. My holiday pick is our Needlefelting Kits to make those cute little wool animals. My kids (ages eight and eleven) love them and have spent hours working on their little animals. They are easy to make. It’s never too early to start crafting!

Blacker Yarns is an amazing company founded in the UK. They support farmers and shepherds raising rare, endangered and sheep not normally used for wool by purchasing fleeces and producing single breed wool yarns. These single breed wool yarns each have such differing properties, some sproingy some drapey, some shiny some matte, some soft and some super hardy. Do you know how long I have been giving Blacker Yarns those longing looks? Too long! And now Sue Blacker has come out with an amazing book all about all those single breed yarns, Pure Wool. Reading this book is so informative about each of those breeds, both in character of wool and character of personality. You could pair this lovely book with any of these single breed yarns in any number and have a stunning elegant wool lover's gift. Here, I have chosen the lovely black Zwartbles yarn. This I would transform into a hardy, longwearing cardigan hoody sweater, along the lines of Roam perhaps?

I would love to make this flattering French dress from Deer & Doe out of any of Bari J.'s new Splendor 1920 fabrics from Art Gallery. Holy smokes, that would be hot! What a fantastic gift for any Francophile seamstress.

Branwyn here. Recently I have been really into changing up my collar style. Who wants to wear the same thing everyday, right? So my holiday gift pick would be the makings of a new collar. It was really hard to choose the right combination as there are so many great trims to choose from! But I finally settled on a lovely teal Echino wide webbing and a hot pink neon trim with a reflective stripe for maximum safety. Add a brass metal ring just in case you need to be more connected to your dearest and you are set!

P.S. If you come buy the store to shop for gifts, be sure to say hello. Treats are welcome.

We hope to see you soon! Happiest of holidays to you and yours!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fancy Tiger Folks' Crafty Holiday Gift Picks 2012! Part 1

Welcome to our Crafty Holiday Gift Picks for 2012!

We at Fancy Tiger Crafts spend the whole year surrounded by amazing craft supplies and inspiring customers. That means we spend a lot of time thinking up our dream projects. Here are some of the things we think would be a fantastic treat for your favorite crafter to find under the tree!

Hey! I'm Sarah, one of the new additions to the awesome Fancy Tiger staff. I love beautiful, simple Japanese sewing patterns and my most recent obsession is with 'I Am Cute Dresses'. All 25 patterns are super adorable and since they are a relaxed fit, there's no finicky fitting! Any of these designs would be lovely made from a Nani Iro double gauze, Lecien cotton or any other sweet Japanese print. I personally plan on making each one and wearing them with tights and boots all winter!

Sometimes I stray into the worlds of fabric and fiber, but knitting will always be my true love. After knitting, sewing and stitching like crazy for gifts, I always love to dream up a gift to make for myself. The Fightin' Words fingerless mitts from local designer Annie Watts fit the bill perfectly. Their bold, graphic motifs look both fun to knit and to wear. I would make them in our hearty Elemental Affects fingering-weight Shetland wool yarn, which is perfect for colorwork. Plus, after all my projects are done, I always feel like a real superhero. POW! Happy holidays, everyone: may your stitches be even and may your points always match!

Hello! I'm Erikia and I'm the manager here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. Last month, we got shot cotton fabric back in the shop and I'm totally in love with it! If you're not familiar with shot cotton, it is a woven fabric with two different colors, one for the weft and one for the weave. This effect creates subtle shifts in color and adds incredible depth to an otherwise solid fabric. It's completely amazing!

I've been using the shot cotton on pretty much everything I've been sewing lately and would love to try it with English paper piecing to make a pillow case. If Santa brought me a little kit for this project, say a fat quarter bundle of shot cottons, 1 1/2" hexagon paper pieces, thread, beeswax, and sewing needles, I'd be one happy girl!

Well hello everyone! Melissa here. Now I know that we recently did a blog post about the Soft Donegal from Ireland, but I am so in love with it I just had to choose it for my holiday gift pick. It's so soft and the colors are so beautiful. Plus, I'm really getting into learning more about my Irish heritage.
I think the natural pairing with this luscious yarn is the book Contemporary Irish Knits by Carol Feller. When Carol was here earlier this year I fell for the Killybegs cardigan from this book. Carol was so nice and wonderful I couldn't help loving all her designs. I have been daydreaming about making this sweater in the Berry colorway since we got the Donegal in. This yarn and book would make a lovely gift for the knitter in your life. After all she/he should have something to knit for themselves after all that holiday knitting they did!

I hope that Meg's Sleep Season yarn will be in my stocking this year. Her hand dyed and handspun yarn comes in 100% merino, Superwash Bluefaced Leicester and a blend of Merino Cashmere and Nylon. Each skein has the most amazing colors. They are all around 400 yards making them a perfect choice for a Norby hat by Gudrun Johnston (like Jaime did with her skein) or a Little Colonnade shawl by Stephen West. Plus she's local so you can feel good that you are supporting an awesome local spinner/dyer. Yay! Happy knitting.

Amber here! I love me some tweedy goodness and natural yarns. I have been dreaming of making the Burr Jacket by Veronik Avery for Brooklyn Tweed. How amazing it would be to spin my own tweedy yarn out of this undyed, multicolor roving from local alpaca farm, Ancient Treasures Alpaca Ranch. 18 ounces would give me enough to spin up the yarn for a this cozy-dorable shawl collar cardigan...and an extra plus would be plenty of relaxing spinning and knitting time.

Friday, November 23, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Guide!

The holidays will be here before we know it--so we've been thinking on some things that would be perfect for all the crafty folks on your gift list. Is there someone who spoils you with handmade things? Thank them with a special gift and let them know you appreciate their crafty time!

Great Gifts Under $20
We have some amazing goodies under $20! Our very own 1) Heirloom Yarn ($18) is U.S. raised and milled Romney wool, dyed in small batches. These 2) Liberty buttons ($8) are made right here at Fancy Tiger with Liberty of London Tana Lawn, and are a great way for sewists and knitters to lux up a garment, cardigan or bag. This 3) Alphabets ($13) booklet has all a plethora of old-time lettering for fancy stitchers. These "alphabets classiques and modernes" are perfect to personalize everything from lingerie to linens. Local fiber artist Megan of Sleep Season Goods is a magician in wool and color--these magical 4) Wool Batts ($12) are exciting for felters and handspinners. What are 5) StiPins ($18) you say? Only the most adorable accoutrement for your smartphone. These crossstitchable cuties fit into the headphone jack and broadcast crafty cuteness to all eyes that behold them. 6) Sashiko Coaster Kits ($14) come with everything to make two Japanese embroidered coasters, a quick and easy project for beginners. Perfect for knitting, crochet, embroidery and English paper piecing--crafters can never have to many 7) Fancy Tiger project bags! Made by Rae's 8) Washi Dress sewing pattern ($16) is here by popular demand and only available for a limited time! This adorable dress pattern is sure to please lady sewists!

Great Gifts Under $50
For your dear crafty folks who have been extra nice this year we have great gifts under $50. 1) Oh Suzanna Fibers' Colorado handspuns ($24-$42) are each unique and made from locally raised wool, camel and alpaca grown on small family farms. The 2) Snowy Owls in the Moonlight ($22) crewelwork kit includes all the materials to stitch up a nifty wallhanging. Every sewist dreams of sewing with classic 3) Liberty Tana Lawn ($46) fabric! Adorable 4) Fancy Tiger sewing kits ($26) are chock full of handy notions for mending and sewing. From one of our favorite series of sewing books, 5) Drape Drape 2 ($24.95) teaches modern Japanese garment construction for the crafty fashionista. Blue Sky Alpaca uses the softest and finest "royal" grade alpaca fiber for their  6) Blue Sky Royal Petites Knit Kits ($40), which includes one of a variety of adorable patterns for this cashmere-soft yarn. One of our favorite luxury yarns, 7) Maidenhair by Hand Maiden ($42) has an epic 330 yards of silk and kid mohair, enough for a special someone to make something special!

Extra Great Holiday Gifts!
For your favorite crafty person in this whole wide world, we have a selection of our favorite gifts of the season. Spud and Chloƫ's 1) Leaf Blanket Kit ($80) includes the yarn and pattern to make this sweet leaf-shaped swaddling blanket and is a great gift for crafty expecting mommies or knitting nanas-to-be. Local loom makers Schacht recently released the 2) 15" Cricket loom ($169), a great beginner loom that will have a novice weaver perfecting their cloth-making skills in no time. 3) Designs and Patterns from Muhu Island is one of the most beautiful book we've ever seen. This epic tome of Estonian needlecrafts will bring tears of joy and wonder to any textile enthusiast's eyes. Every knitter needs a set of 4) blocking tools! Blocking Mats ($30), Blocking Wires ($24), and Blocking Pins ($3) will have hand knits--especially lace--looking fantastic! Trust us, knitters need these. Your favorite sewist will squeal with glee to receive a 5)Colette Sewing Patterns 3-pack! Sandy Black's hefty book 6) Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft ($60) is an in-depth look at knitting, from the domestic handwork of days gone by to haute couture designs from world famous fashion houses.

Check back next week for our staff picks! Each of the Fancy Tiger folks has picked their own personal favorite crafty goodies for great gift ideas! Hint hint, Santa...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas Craft Crunch 2012! Handmade Gift Ideas for Last Minute Crafting

You might be in the midst of a Christmas Craft Crunch right now. Perhaps, you are so behind you haven't even thought of the handmade gifts you will make yet. Here are some ideas we have for quick gifts to make. It's not too late to have a handmade holiday!

Dew Drop Cowl
craft: knitting
time: 6 hours

I whipped up one of these in between bigger projects and it knit up fast and easy! I've been wanting to work with the luscious silk yarn Maiden Hair for a while and this pattern looked simple enough to show off the unique texture of this yarn. The Dew Drop Cowl pattern is available as a free download on Ravelry and one skein of Maiden Hair will make 2 of them - perfect!

Felted Wool Baby Jacket
craft: sewing
time: 2 hours

Emily just cranked this out for her niece! She used our 100% wool fabric and Nani Iro double gauze for the lining - that's going to be one cozy baby! This is a free pattern from the geniuses over at Purl Soho - get the pattern here.

Dandy Scarf
craft: knitting
time: 6 hours

Allison blew our minds the other day when she came in wearing her new Dandy Scarf made from the Madelinetosh Pashmina worsted in our favorite color - Edison Bulb. This neon scarf will brighten up anyone's holiday season. The pattern by Dull Roar is available here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. Knitting this pattern on a worsted weight yarn with larger needles means it will go faster! Craft Crunch!

Alfalfa Baby Hat
craft: knitting
time: 2 hours

Miranda made this baby hat the other day and it is so cute we couldn't even photograph it on a real baby because the cuteness factor would blow up this blog. A small project like this means you can splurge on a luxury yarn like Fibre Co. Terra because you only need 1 skein. The pattern is available here from the lovely ladies over at Kelbourne Woolens.

Okay, you should probably start crafting and stop reading blogs now if you're going to make all this...

Monday, November 19, 2012

French Sewing Patterns from Deer and Doe Sont Magnifique!

We couldn't resist ordering these beautiful and fashionable French sewing patterns from Deer and Doe. Yes, the patterns are in French and yes we are still going to make them all! It's time to whip our high school languages and let's sew some garments!

Here are some sewing terms to help out:
Sewing: Couture/Cousant
Pattern: Patron
Seam: Coudre
Top Stitch: Couture Apparente
Cut: Couper
Dress: Robe
Scissors: Ciseaux
Fabric: Tissu
Size: Tailles
Bust size: Tour de Poitrine
Waist size: Tour de Taille
Hip size: Tour des Hanches
Fusible Interfacing: Thermocollant

I like sewing: J'aime faire de la couture.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Emily's Leggings-palooza

Way back in the yesteryears of August, Our Own Angelique reported that we should make leggings out of our oodles and oodles of jersey. Cal Patch had, earlier in the year, published her Etsy Tutorial on drafting and sewing your own leggings. Whaaat? Make your own leggings??? Crazy talk. Less than a week later, I had leggings that ACTUALLY FIT. Yes, yes, jersey is forgiving and stretches. But isn't it better to start somewhere near your actual measurements? These leggings make me give dirty looks to all my other pants and leggings. Seriously!

After that first pair, I knew I needed to make some more. My second pair was made in French Terry for a bit of extra warmth on chilly days. The third and fourth pairs were made with a stretch knit denim, in indigo and black. It took me no time at all to put them together. Jeggings! It sounds silly, but I wear them all the time, especially under tunics. I'm wearing my super comfy indigo ones right now with my cute tunic from Sonya Phillip's 100 Acts of Sewing class!

The only change I have made to the pattern is the elastic waistband. Instead of the way Cat installs the waistband, I just sewed a channel to put the 3/4 elastic into. That way you can adjust the amount of elastic in there if you need to. Be sure to slightly stretch the jersey as you sew that waist; that area will need to stretch and give more than any other. Also, I like my two pairs made with a stretchy stitch on our regular machines more than the two pairs made on the serger... Regular machine is a *go* for this jersey pattern.

If you are intimidated by facings and lapped zippers, or just want to bust out (but not bust out OF) a pair of bottoms in no time at all, make these leggings! We are offering these leggings as a class, which walks you though drafting the pattern to your own measurements! It's super simple and you will be legging crazy just in time for legging season. I know I'll be making several more pair. Bring on the chill!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Earth and Skies the Limit!

Allison's Earth + Sky

I was obsessed with using Tosh Light in Maple Leaf, Onyx and Smokestack together in a project but wasn't quite sure what to do. I found the perfect solution in the Earth and Sky shawl. I started knitting it in the medium size about a month before Stephen West came to visit the shop but I made sure to have it finished and blocked for his arrival. It was a really fun shawl to knit and, of course, Madelinetosh is always a pleasure to work with. It is now one of my favorite shawls to wear.

Amber's Earth + Sky

When Stephen visited the shop I fell in love with many of his samples, but the one I wanted to steal away for my very own was his Earth and Sky shawl in luscious Road to China Light. I decided I must make it.

For my shawl I couldn't resist using the same exact yarn in the same exact colors as Stephen's version: Smoky Quartz, Aquamarine and Grey Pearl. I mean, it's such a hot combo! I made the size large and it's the coziest thing I've ever wrapped myself up in!

Next time Stephen visits we can be shawl twinsies!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Notting Hill from Joel Dewberry

Joel Dewberry's newest fabric is here!

We've just received Notting Hill--the entire epic collection of 36 stunning prints--and, gosh, it's pretty. Joel is a magician with color and pattern, and we love every single one. Some of these prints would be perfect for modern holiday style! We are thinking tree skirts in red and turquoise patchwork or stockings trimmed with teal and chartreuse plaid. We can't wait to see what you make with these!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Darling Ranges is Darling to the Max!

I love this dress!

The moment I saw this navy blue Liberty Lifestyle print I knew...I must make a dress for fall.

The pattern I've been dreaming of is this adorable Darling Ranges dress from Megan Nielsen. I love the juxtaposition of the modest elbow length sleeves and the saucy neckline. ...and I adore the parade of buttons for closure.

The dress came together quickly with just one little stumbling block. I made the size XS, and had trouble with the sleeve coming together. The sleeve was too small for the armhole, so I ended up letting out my sleeve seam allowance to a scant 1/4" to make it work.

Now the dress is one of my favorite ever! I read from other sewists about similar issues with the sleeve, so next time I'll add an inch to the sleeve when cutting.

When winter arrives I'll be keeping cozy and cute, wearing this dress with tall boots, jackets and cowls!