Friday, December 28, 2012

Miranda Made A Million Dresses

Miranda here, dress maven and reluctant fashionista.  Over the past six years of seriously sewing for myself, I now count 34 dresses in my closet.  That's when I embraced my inner Ms. Frizzle by making dresses out of whatever fabric I darn well wanted to: moths, birds, owls, sea creatures, horror movie characters, woodgrain, weird sparkly polyester blends.

The majority of the dresses I've made have been based on the dirndl dress pattern in Wendy Mullin's book Built By Wendy: Dresses. It's infinitely adjustable while remaining basic.  Recently, I've been experimenting with adding a waistband, pockets or a hood. A hood requires a side zipper, which isn't so scary once you know that you can alter your pattern easily. This book helped me learn what sewing rules to follow and what rules you can bend and break.

Other patterns I have used:
Colette Patterns - Truffle (from the Colette Sewing Handbook)
Colette Patterns - Macaron
Burda #6016 - "Heidi"
Burda #6066 - "Theresa"
Jamie Christina's Miz Mozelle pattern

Sewing my own clothes has allowed me to own my goofy, girly style and to become comfortable with my body.  When your clothes fit both your body and your personality well, it just feels good. If you've never made yourself a whole garment, I can tell you wholeheartedly that it is worth every stitch. You are worth every stitch.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Better Know A Crafter: Roxanne Miller

Roxanne came in to chat us up about a knitting program she's been working on, and we couldn't keep our eyes off her gorgeous new sweater! It is made with two weights of Madelintosh in the same colorway, for a very cool lacy stripe effect. It is stunning, Roxanne!

Roxanne Miller

What types of crafts do you do?
I like to make things. I knit, sew, draw, cook, decorate, garden--anything that pops into my head. I love creating things. I usually get inspired by everyday things. I'll see something someone is wearing or see something for sale in a store & instantly think, "I could make that!", then go home and try to figure it out.

What is the beautiful cardigan you are wearing?
I knitted this using Madelinetosh DK & Tosh Merino Light in the color Opaline. I used the Army Of Knitters pattern Cassiopeia.


How did you learn to knit?
I actually taught myself how to knit and crochet. I've been knitting for about three years and absolutely LOVE it.

What is your favorite animal?
My favorite animal is a liger, known for it's skills in magic.

Thanks Roxanne! Happy knitting!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Peace and Good Wool!

Happiest of holidays and warmest wishes to you and yours for a crafty New Year!

xoxo, Amber, Jaime & all the Fancy Tiger folks

Friday, December 21, 2012

Love Letter to Dull Roar's Alex Tinsley

Dear Alex Tinsley,

We love your patterns. I've been really into fringe and wanted to make a fringed shawl. Of course, you had already written the perfect pattern, the "Bad Oyster." 

We've made several of your patterns before like the Dandy Scarf and Phoncible Hat. They are always so witty in their construction and on-trend in their design. How do you do it? This shawl design blew my mind when I knit the whole thing in the round and then steeked and unraveled it to create the fringe. STEEKED FRINGE? It's like my two favorite things all wrapped up in one Stevie Nicks-inspired package.

Exciting Steeking (cutting of the finished knit piece) at Craft Night
I choose Madelinetosh Light in "Antique Lace" for this one...I'm a sucker for awesome color names. Anyway, I really love it and just wanted to let you know.

I know we've never met, but I'm pretty sure we'd be great friends. Hopefully we can hang out one day. In the meantime we will look forward to seeing what you design next.

Jaime and everyone at Fancy Tiger Crafts

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lettlopi Knit-Along!

Knit-along alert!

With all our holiday crafting behind us, we are ready to embark on a new sweater journey! What perfect timing--our favorite Icelander, Ragga Eiríksdóttir, just published Iðunn, a beautiful Lopi cardigan and a free pattern on

Jaime and I both can't wait to make this pretty Icelandic cardigan! Which means we're already dreaming of our colors...

Golden Heather  |  Stone Blue Heather

Bottle Green Heather  |  Glacier Blue Heather

We will be casting on our Lopi sweaters at the first Craft Night of 2013--Tuesday, January 8th.

If you want to make Iðunn or any other Lettlopi sweater, please join us and get 15% off your sweater's worth of Lopi purchase up until 1/8/2013.

To make sure we have your favorite Lopi color in stock, please let us know by Christmas Eve (email or stop by the store) which colors you would like to purchase and we will special order your sweater's worth of Lopi! Check for yarn requirements on the Iðunn pattern page.

We hope you will join us!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Amber's Donegal Tweed Peabody Sweater

I just finished knitting my first Brooklyn Tweed sweater! The Peabody Sweater by Leila Raabe is a quick knit in worsted weight yarn. I used Studio Donegal's Soft Donegal, a classic Irish tweed with a traditional rustic texture, but the softness of merino wool. 

I couldn't resist the bright green for my new sweater. It's a colorful warm thing to brighten up snowy days! The lace inserts kept my interest and had me loving charts. Our new highlighter tape is a chart knitter's best friend, by the way, to keep you on track when you have a large chart to follow.  

I did make a few mistakes in the lace, but thank goodness Miriam Felton shared her lace-fixing wizardry with me the last time she visited! Dropping down a lace panel several rows in your handknitting sure gives you the feeling you can do anything! Yes, there is a glass of wine in the background...

I am in love with my new Peabody sweater! Now I'm hooked--I have my eye on a couple more Brooklyn Tweed patterns...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Liberty Pillows for Fancy Folks!

Every year, Amber and I make a special gift for our hardworking staff here at Fancy Tiger Crafts. This year we again decided to use Liberty of London fabric - a staff favorite, but also a splurge. We created patchwork pillows for everyone out of Liberty of London fabric and they turned out great!

We used 5" strips of every Liberty print we currently carry (that's 20 different prints!). We cut these into 5" squares and sewed them together in strips of 4 using a 1/2" seam allowance. The fun part was putting these strips together so that each pillow is unique with all different prints.

We used the Essex linen in natural and charcoal to back these lux pillows. Ta da! Sweet gifts from us to all our our lovely staff. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Melody Miller and Echino Ni-co

Hot new fabrics are here from Etsuko Furaya and Melody Miller!

Etsuko's newest Echino Ni-co line features big, adorable polka-dots and transportation of all kinds, from buses to planes to bicycles. No one makes buses as cool as Etsuko!

Retro awesomeness + sparkle = Melody Miller's Ruby Star Sparkle fabrics! Roller skates, rotary phones, kitschy pyrex and old-school 110 cameras--add a touch of metallic and you get these magical prints! We have the full collection so you can make all of your glittery dreams come true.

Those hot pink roller skates want to be my newest Market Tote! What will you make?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jaime's Heirloom Forester Sweater

I recently finished a new sweater! This cold weather had me wanting a sweater out of our rustic Heirloom Romney yarn. The Forester pattern by Michele Wang for Brooklyn Tweed fit the bill perfectly.

The Forester gets its marled look by knitting with two strands of different colors held together. This creates a bulky yarn so this sweater knit up quick on a size 11 needle. The construction is my favorite style- top down raglan and seamless! Yay!

This sweater is meant to be over-sized and worn over leggings or skinny jeans so it is super cozy and warm. Our Heirloom Romney yarn is perfect for outerwear - this sweater is almost like a jacket and kept me warm in chilly fall temperatures for hours.

I obsessed over colors for days and finally decided on Natural, the un-dyed pale grey, with Elderberry, the deepest, darkest purple for my Forester.

I am thrilled with the results. The sweater is a simple design, but the marled yarns keep it interesting. Also, I love cowl necks so much! The cowl on this sweater was knit last by picking up stitches around the neckline and ribbing with even bigger size 13 needles for maximum cowl-coziness. Perfect!

Friday, December 07, 2012

New Yarn! Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca Lace is here!

Hooray for new Baby Silkpaca Lace from Malabrigo! We are excited to be carrying this pretty hand-dyed lace yarn, with it's silky sheen and soft, fuzzy warmth of baby alpaca.

Baby Silkpaca is super affordable and will make a stunning heirloom shawl!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Vintage Pattern Paper Stockings for All!

Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care. Now that we have a sweet fireplace in the shop we knew we needed stockings for all of our lovely Fancy Tiger Crafts staff. We were inspired by ones we saw in Country Living magazine and whipped these beauties up.

We found vintage sewing patterns at Boss Vintage Clothing, our neighbors down the street, and used our matte finish iron-on vinyl to stablize the fragile pattern paper. The stockings were then cut out using our stocking template (download our pdf here and tape the two pieces together to make your template). From your vinyled pattern paper, cut out one stocking front, flip the template and cut out one stocking back. Don't throw away the protective paper from the fusible vinyl yet.

We wanted to personalize our stockings so we used the monogram templates from this awesome vintage reproduction French book, Monogrammes. We love this book, and it is available here at Fancy Tiger if you need some letter templates of your own!

To make your own monogram start with wool felt and wonder-under fusible adhesive. Iron the wonder-under to the back of the wool felt. Trace and cut out each set of initials from the wonder under backed wool felt and iron the letters onto the fronts of the stockings, using the protective paper between your iron and the vinyl on your stocking.

We sewed the front and back together with wrong sides facing so that the stitching shows up on the edges. As you sew the top right of your stocking, insert a folded 3" piece of trim on one corner for hanging. Ta da!

Happy Holidays from all of us!

Monday, December 03, 2012

New Free Pattern! The Ice Skating Cap!

The newest Fancy Tiger Crafts Knitting Pattern is here! And for you, my dears, it's free!

We ♥ Knit Collage Pixie Dust Mini. A handspun chunky yarn with just the right amount of sparkle, it knits up in a pretty special way. We've developed our new Ice Skating Cap as a one skein pattern for this adorable yarn.

The little cap-lette uses just 55 yards of yarn! That means it knits up quick as can be--you can whip one up in about 2 hours and make plenty as gifts for friends in need of a cozy cap this winter!

A special skein of your own chunky handspun would be a great yarn substitute--the Ice Skating Cap makes the most of your yarn when you don’t have much, with short row earflaps to keep ears cozy and simple stitches to showcase pretty yarns!

We hope you enjoy our newest pattern. On Ravelry? We'd love to see what you make! Share your projects with us by linking your project to our Ice Skating Cap pattern on Ravelry.

Happy knitting!