Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A chef, a gardener, and a meteorologist....

Sewn Hats was designed to appeal to all ages, genders, and professions, and the latest stops on the blog tour are great examples of the diversity of styles you will get from this book!!!

Yesterday, Melissa Stramel (from Lilac Lane) posted about her darling Sweetie Pie Chef hat,  It is reversible, available in child and adult sizes, AND has a  comfortable stretchy knit band. As I've mentioned probably a gazillion times, my husband is a classically trained culinarian, and this hat really warmed his sub-zero iron-chef heart!  Go visit her blog to see some precious pictures of the prototypes.  Once you are there, leave a comment and win (then go check out the beautiful patterns in her etsy shop)!


In keeping with the super-sweet and delectable theme,  Joanna Figueroa posted about her adorable Summer Blossom hat on the Fig Tree Quilts Blog.  I have to admit...when I signed on to do this book, It was like winning the lottery to find out I was going to work with so many of my fabric designer heros on this project!!!   I about died when I found out Joanna amongst them!  She also has a beautiful new book out, entitled With Fabric and Thread.  For sewn hats,we collaborated to come up with the most perfect baby/toddler sunhat ever. Go on over to her stop on the blog tour for more details, a chance to win, and some absolutely darling photos!


The next hat is perfect for the weather we are having on the East Coast today.  The retro-inspired Raindrop Rain Hat is made out of laminated cotton, and is great for braving the weather in style.  It was contributed by Alexia Abegg of Green Bee Design & Patterns.  This lovely young woman has designed everything from quilts to totes to clothing (for kids and adults).  I have to say, her writing and illustrations are impeccable.  There are so many awesome designer laminates available, the possibilities are endless for a great rainhat.  In her stop on the blog tour, however, she mentions that she made test versions out of a variety of fabrics, and they all came out great. 







Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Popping my head up!

Such a great blog tour is going on for Sewn Hats, and here I am stuck painting and scouring :p .  Every now and then I'll wash my hands and hop on the computer, but then I have to jump up and sand or grout something.  Good news is, the house goes on the market tomorrow, and I can relax and ride along on the tour.

I just want to share some of the amazing stops we've had so far!!!

First up  is Patty Young of MODKID Boutique!  I so love her designs, and her techniques are impeccable.  Her own book, Sewing MODKID style, came out earlier this year, and it is loaded with wonderful patterns and techniques for working with knits. For this collaboration, She came up with a precious, easy-to-make sunhat for babies and little girls.


I love the ruffled brim and woven ribbon accent.  It has a cute covered button option at the tippy top, and it is reversible - 2 hats in 1!

Then we go on to visit Kaari Meng of French General fame!   Not only is she the owner of a fabulous shop in California, she is a wonderful entertainer (ask Martha Stewart), fabric designer, and a big name in the scrapbooking industry.  She has published several sewing books, and she had a very distinct vision with regards to her signature sunhat.  She provided me with the raw materials, and "voila" a beautiful hat was born!  You can read all about it here (as well as some wonderful comments from her readers).


Next, we travel up the West Coast to visit with Dolin O'Shea of Lulu Bliss.  She has a garment industry background, is amazingly talented in writing/editing sewing patterns and instructions for best-selling sewing books (she's worked with the likes of Jennifer Pagnelli and Amy Butler)!  She also has her own line of crochet and knitting patterns (available here on Craftsy).  Her Jackie Pillbox hat is so fabulous!


It is put together with perfect vintage couture construction (Dolin's specialty), but is so simple and straightforward to make.

Going even further up the West Coast, we stop off to see Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio.  Kathy is the owner of Pink Chalk Fabrics, and the author of a line of very popular sewing patterns.  Pink Chalk was the first big online fabric shop to venture out into downloadable patterns, and she has been such a great partner in getting the word out about Sis Boom and Scientific Seamstress patterns.  She is so precise, professional, and enthusiastic in both her writing and sewing.  So needless to say, I was thrilled to work with her on this project!   She put together the perfect visor for both adults and children.  It keeps the sun off the eyes, and the heat off the head.  So go over and read her post (still time to win a copy of the book from her)!






And I just have to mention, the model was my son's first grade math teacher.  She is beautiful inside and out, and I was so happy she could be the face of this great design.  Oh, and her mom works at our local quilt shop, so of course she has great taste in fabric :) .

Finally, head straight across the country to NYC!  Lisa Carroccio, of Domestic Diva's Distasters, is a perfectionist seamstress, self-proclaimed pattern snob, and one of the wittiest people I've ever met.  I've "known" her since the early days of eBay boutique.  She started out making one-of-a-kind doll clothes and then moved on to fancy girlie AND cool boy-centric designs (Lou owns one of her creations and he is not allowed to outgrow it).  Now she has transitioned to commercial production with her Downtown Joey line, and is still such a great support to all her designer friends from the boutique world who are moving into commercial production. 


One of the accessories in her line is an awesome skater/military hat, and she kindly contributed the pattern to the book.  Even though she originally designed it for little guys, it looks great on big boys too (as evidenced by the hot bearded guy on the cover ;) ).  I have to mention, she was also a great mentor for me during the writing and editing process.  She also contributed the awesome Spiderweb Rosette embellishment instructions to the book...you can get the free tutorial here

We've had some additional blog tour stop confirmations, too!!!  Please check out:

9/15 - figtreequilts.typepad.com - Joanna from Fig Tree Quilts
9/18 - prudentbaby.com - Jacinda and Jamie!!!!

Oh, and my winner for the Monday drawing (I'm so paint encrusted and technically inept to do a random drawing, so I literally covered my eyes and pointed)...is  Lainie!
she said...

"I am so excited for this book!!! I love the Newsboy in addition to MANY others. I'm definitely a hat girl ;)"  Lainie, you are the winner....please send me your mailing address and any inscription suggestions - info@scientificseamstress.com !




Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sewn Hats is here!



I am so excited to kick off the blog tour for my first book, Sewn Hats!   It is a collaborative effort that brings you patterns and instructions for a great variety of toppers.  For this project, I got to wear many "hats" (both figuratively and literally).  I was the collection curator, which means I worked with star contributors who provided their signature hat patterns.  My job was to represent their unique styles and highlight their specialized techniques.  As a contributor myself, I got to come up with designs to round out the collection, and also provide styles that were near and dear to my family and lifestyle.  Finally, as technical editor and illustrator, I gave a cohesive, step-by-step approach to construction each and every hat. I am thrilled with the end product, and am very grateful to my publisher, Wiley, and all of the contributors for bringing this to life.
 
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Shown above is a gallery view of the styles in the book.  There are all-season offerings for men, women, and children.  Most of the hats come in a wide range of sizes, so you can make them for lots of loved ones.

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The awesome contributors will be blogging about their own hats, so I just wanted to mention a few of my beloved hats.  Above is the Fantastic Fedora, and I was thrilled that they used a picture of my own little Lou to show it off.   He LOVES this hat.  He's also gotten a lot of wear out of a lightweight denim version.  This style is so in right now, and looks great on guys and gals alike.

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Here a little scan of some of the illustrations, just to show you how I infused the Scientific Seamstress style into the book.  If you have used my patterns before, you know I am very detail oriented.  The publisher and editors were great about keeping that high level of explanation, but in a concise and easy to read format.

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Another one of my favorites is the Hitch and Pitch Cap (shown above).  It is the perfect baseball/trucker hat!  The skill level is listed as advanced, but like all of the patterns in the book, could be made by a beginner with some time and patience.  
 
What I have shown you is just a smidgen of the great hats you can make from this book.  Throughout the next month, our fantastic contributors will be sharing their designs.  The schedule is as follows:

9/5 -  MODKID Boutique
9/11 -  LuluBliss.com
9/21 – Figgy's Patterns
9/26 – Bari J.
10/1 – Sew Mama Sew
10/2 – Aesthetic Nest
10/4 – Betz White
10/8 – Yummy Goods
10/10-  Wiley Craft

Each stop will include a giveaway, so make sure you visit them all!

Please leave me a comment about your favorite hat style, and you can win a signed copy from me!!!  The drawing will be held next Monday, September 10.

Back at the blog

I analyzed my posting habits, and I realized I just don't blog enough in the summer.  In the past, I've come up with all kinds of excuses - potential move, working on a book, etc.  The truth is, I am hot and I am lazy.  I spend far too much time outside in the a.m., battling evil weeds and nasty squash beetles.  Then I come inside, and have to feed and entertain my kid.  That means slapping together PB&Js and heading to the pool.  In between gardening and parenting, I sew and write about sewing.  I make it sound awful, but I of course love it.  Blogging gets shoved to the back burner, which is inherently wrong because I have so much to blog about!

Soooo...where to start?

BOOK!  
Last summer's excuse for not blogging is this summer's big news!  My first book, Sewn Hats was released on 8/28/12!  Here is the description from the publisher:

35 hat patterns for everyone!
Sewn Hats is a collaboration of hat designs from some of the industry's most-loved fabric designers, pattern designers, and bloggers. Expertly edited by top designer Carla Hegeman Crim, the patternmaker and blogger behind The Scientific Seamstress, Sewn Hats offers a collection of patterns that uses a wide variety of fabrics, from felt to silk, corduroy to cotton, and everything in between.
Sewn Hats is packed with beautiful photography, precise instructions, and detailed illustrations to make creating the hats a snap. You'll find an array of hats for every age, gender, occasion, and style. Most projects are sized from baby through men's sizes and inspiration for fabric selection and embellishments make each pattern even more versatile. All pattern pieces are conveniently located online. Simply click and print to get just the pattern pieces you need—no more tracing or keeping track of used pieces.
Whether you dig vintage or want to craft something cute for your kid, are looking to breathe new life into your own wardrobe or make a hat as a gift, Sewn Hats has everything you need to create something for everyone.



And how cool is this?  All the patterns are housed online in PDF format - no tracing, no folding and tracing...just click and print!

In fact, I'm kicking off the Blog Tour, right here - TODAY!  You'll have a chance to win a copy, so stay tuned. 

Texas!
I had an absolute ball presenting at Martha Pullen's Sewing Market in Arlington, Texas.  I was really nervous about telling my life story, but Martha had me dance the Hokey Pokey and Macarena with her on stage, and I was ready to rip!  I had my wonderful friend and tester Shannon by my side, and she was such an angel.  It was a treat to spend time with her, and she and her family were so much help getting "goodie bags" together.






 
Big Move!
Our family is up and moving from the Baltimore 'burbs to the Catskill Mountains in Upstate NY.  Chef Del got a dream job as the Director of Dining at SUNY-Delhi. So I am in serious "primp the house to sell" mode right now.  We love this big spacious home and the amazing gardens, but honestly, it is way more than we can properly manage at this point.  We are going to rent for a bit, then find a little dream home in the Village of Delhi. In the meantime, I hope to be doing lots more writing, patternmaking, and blogging!