The Retro Rucksack is here!

I’m so excited to release my new pattern today–the Retro Rucksack!

I’ve been testing and tweaking this bag for many weeks. My pattern testers were amazingly patient and helpful. I am very grateful for all of their questions and feedback. Nearly every question and suggestion they had made it into the final pattern, which will now benefit all of you!

Retro Rucksack Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

As a mom, I find the convertible straps on this bag to be extremely practical. I can carry two kids and my bag across a parking lot without worrying about dropping my bag or the kids! It’s also big enough to fit a few essentials, like diapers and wipes, without looking like a diaper bag.

Retro Rucksack Front | Radiant Home Studio

I carried my (faux) leather version on a trip to Europe and loved the different carrying options while navigating airports and train stations. With a recessed zipper and buckle closures, I knew my things were safe when I carried it on my back, even though it was out of my sight.

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For students and business women, I designed the bag to accommodate a 3-ring binder or folders filled with letter-sized paper. You can also fit your tablet in the reinforced interior patch pocket!

Rucksack Testers | Radiant Home Studio

Retro Car Rucksack by Amanda | Purple Rucksack by Jacqueline

I have labeled this pattern as “intermediate”, mostly due to the zippers and the number of layers that must be sewn through. However, I have provided thorough instructions and extra tips for beginners. A couple of my testers that did not consider themselves intermediate sewists yet, still produced lovely and functional bags! Confidence and persistence go a long way, so I encourage you to try it!

Rucksack Testers | Radiant Home Studio

Upcycled Overalls Rucksack by Anne

Retro Rucksack | Radiant Home Studio

Find more details here, or…

And when you finish your bag, please add it to my flickr group so others can be inspired by your creativity!

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A Caroline Party Dress in Seersucker

There were so many great patterns in Pattern Parcel #2. I made the Celestial Tee and Hosh Pants from from the pattern bundle, but I loved all of the beautiful dresses that I saw many of the other bloggers making from the Caroline Party Dress pattern.

Caroline Party Dress Front | Radiant Home Studio

My 7 year old daughter grew out of most of her dresses from last summer and now that the weather is warming up, she’s in need of a warm weather dress. The Caroline Party dress pattern includes sizes 6 months all the way up to a girls 12! I made a size 7 (without measuring her first, like a good rule-following seamstress). The sizes are right on though, and a size 7 fit perfectly with no adjustments!

(It was a little chilly outside today with no jacket…)

Caroline Party Dress | Radiant Home Studio

I only modified the front bodice. The pattern uses one whole front bodice piece. I split it in half and added center seam allowances. Then I cut the fabric on the bias to get the diagonal lines going down toward the middle. With bigger stripes, I may have sewn some fabric together first—to get the stripes lined up—then cut one piece from that. Either way, you have to think carefully about which way the stripes are going. (I say that from experience, since I managed to cut one with the stripes going the wrong direction…)

Caroline Party Dress Bias Bodice | Radiant Home Studio

Our favorite part of the dress is the hidden pockets. My little gift-giver always has little bracelets and things to give to her friends at church, so the pockets are perfect for stashing all her stuff.

Caroline Party Dress front | Pattern Parcel 2 | Radiant Home Studio

The directions were clear and easy to follow. The skirt pieces are large rectangles, so there are no paper pattern pieces. I found it a little difficult to manage cutting such large pieces accurately without a larger cutting mat. I ended up trimming the bottom skirt edges before hemming them to even up my messy cutting.

Finish Seams | Caroline Dress | Radiant Home Studio

I really appreciated the reminders to finish my seams throughout the pattern directions. The dress lining and interior seams look almost as nice as the exterior because of the detailed instructions.

The zipper instructions were easy to follow with helpful step-by-step photos and tips that could guide a beginner through the process.

Caroline Party Dress Back | Radiant Home Studio

Look how close I was to running out of serger thread! I thought those huge cones would never run out. I think these lasted 3 years and white is my most used color.

Serger Thread | Radiant Home Studio

Pattern Parcel #2 is available for 2 more days! Or you can find the Caroline Party Dress at MouseHouseCreations on Etsy.

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Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 (Celestial Tee and Hosh Pants)

Remember the post I wrote about independent pattern designers a couple of weeks ago? I mentioned a new project called Perfect Pattern Parcel that bundles and sells sewing patterns from indie designers. The pattern bundles are only available for a limited time and part of the proceeds go to an educational charity called Donors Choose.

Perfect Pattern Parcel 2 includes five stylish and modern sewing patterns for girls’ clothes.

Celestial Tee and Hosh Pants | Pattern Parcel #2 | Radiant Home Studio

I was asked to sew at least one of the patterns, but with so many great choices I ended up sewing 2 of them. And I’ll definitely be using the other patterns when I get a chance!

The patterns included in the sale are:

Hanami Top or Dress by Straight Grain
Hosh Pants by LoubeeClothing
Celestial Tee by Figgy’s
September Tunic & Dress by Too Sweets Patterns
Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations

BONUS pattern:
Prefontaine Shorts by Made With Moxie

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2

First, I sewed Figgy’s Celestial Tee for my 3 year old. (Maybe because it reminded me of Celestial Seasonings Tea…and I love a good cup of tea!) It was very quick and easy. I managed to finish the whole thing during naptime. And I loved that the printed pattern only used 5 sheets of paper…very little taping!

My girls really need some good neutral pieces to mix and match with their bright patterned little girl clothes, so I chose solid fabrics in basic colors.

Celestial Tee and Hosh Pants | Pattern Parcel #2 | Radiant Home Studio

The only thing I changed was the hemline. I added about an inch in the front and shortened it about an inch in the back. I like the hi-low hemline, but I prefer it to be a little more subtle.

I had plenty of fabric left over and decided to make another for my 7 year old. Since the first shirt came together so quickly, I decided to experiment and add a printed fabric to the upper back.

Celestial Tee  | Pattern Parcel #2 | Radiant Home Studio

The printed fabric is a sturdier knit and worked much better around the neckline. The tissue knit would have looked nicer if I had used a knit stabilizer (which was mentioned in the pattern, and I skipped because I didn’t have any…). I also stretched the second neckline a little tighter than the first. There is plenty of room for the tee to fit around a child’s head, so tightening up the neckline seemed to help keep the shape and structure.

Colorblocked Celestial Tee | Pattern Parcel #2 | Radiant Home Studio

I also decided to make some Hosh Pants by LouBee Clothing for my 3 year old. She really loves her stretch skinny jeans, and the Hosh Pants have a similar fit. I chose a gray stretch denim, which worked very well.

Celestial Tee and Hosh Pants | Pattern Parcel #2  | Radiant Home Studio

She’s between a size 3T and 4T in length, but has a tiny waist. I noticed some of the other finished pants looked loose in the seat, so I chose the smaller size. That was definitely the right call for her.

Her “frave-rite” skinny jeans have back pockets, so I added some little patch pockets as well.

Hosh Pants Pocket | Radiant Home Studio

This bundle is only available for a couple more days, until the 18th! (Individual patterns will still be available from the designers after that…)

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2

Be inspired by the many lovely clothes made from these patterns!

Shawnta Sews, P comme Plimplim, CailaMade, While she was sleeping, YoSaMi, stitched together, Sew Like My Mom, Marina Bebe, lexi.made, sewVery, Call Ajaire, I Married Superman, Girl like the sea, Stitched, Compagnie M., Buzzmills, floating world, fake it while you make it, Sewing Mama RaeAnna, Our Chez Nous, NeurosesGalore, Behind the Hedgerow, Needle and Ted, Kadiddlehopper, 2 little hooligans, Max-California.com, Siestas & Sewing, So Cal Sewing Mom, lauren dahl, La gang à Nat, Frances Suzanne, Modern Handmade, A Jennuine Life, It’s Always Autumn, lea & lars, I Seam Stressed, So, Zo… What do you know?, Andrea’s Notebook, Steph Skardal, Nutta!, Sewpony, Made With Moxie, imagine gnats, Inder Loves Folk Art, Pienkel

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Be Strong and Courageous Embroidery

A few months ago I stumbled upon Mollie Johanson’s blog, Wild Olive. It is full of fun little crafts and pretty embroidery patterns.

I saved my favorite project—an embroidery pattern for a Bible verse from Joshua. “Be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Be Strong and Courageous Embroidery | Pattern by WildOlive | Radiant Home Studio

I set it aside waiting for an opportunity to work on it, thinking that it would take too long. The Joshua pattern is free (thank you Mollie!) and you can also find ideas for transferring the pattern to your fabric.

Be Strong and Courageous Embroidery | Pattern by WildOlive | Radiant Home Studio

I decided to get my fabric and pattern out and start working on it yesterday. It turns out there are plenty of minutes during the day which can be filled with stitching! I finished it the same day.

I am not as practiced at embroidery as I am at machine sewing, so I stuck with simple backstitching. And I prefer a chunkier stitch, so I used all 6 threads instead of separating them.

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I’d like to do another one with the end of the verse— “for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”— and send it to a friend that needs encouragement!

What gifts do you make for friends that need encouragement?

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Sketchbook to Pattern {Leafy Lilies}

I always enjoy seeing design process photos, so I like to share mine when I get a chance.

Sketchbook to Pattern | Leafy Lilies | Radiant Home Studio

The inspiration for this design is the Spoonflower Lilies contest which will be going on next week. I really wanted to make something simple and clean, that also had some depth and texture, and that would be usable in a variety of projects. Leafy lilies is in my Spoonflower shop and will be for sale in a few weeks.

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