Tag Archives | sewing for kids

Sewing with Friedlander Lawn.

Friedlander Lawn Garments . Carolyn Friedlander

Sewing with Friedlander Lawn is an easy given. Lawn works really well for garments because of it’s fine-ness, softness and beautiful drape. Here are some things I’ve made (/been wearing constantly). Apologies in advance for throwing so many projects in to one post! I’m hoping it is handy to have many of the projects all in one place.

Friedlander Lawn Archer Popover . Carolyn Friedlander

Because of its weight and wearability, lawn is perfectly suited for blouses and tops, and the Archer by Grainline is one of my favorites. It’s awesome in just about every way. The directions are well-written, the pieces are well-drafted, and there is a ton of support for making it in terms of sew-alongs, etc. If you’ve never made a button-up (or even a garment), this is the way to go, because you’re in good hands with Grainline–they have your back!

Friedlander Lawn Archer Popover . Carolyn Friedlander

This is the popover variation, which does require a special pattern pack. The main difference between this one and the regular one is that the popover version doesn’t button all the way down. There’s also an alternate option for the sleeve plackets in this version too. I always like to learn new tricks and alternatives, which makes this route a fun one. If you’ve already made the regular Archer a few times, the popover version is a fun way to change things up.

Friedlander Lawn Archer Popover . Carolyn Friedlander

Friedlander Lawn Archer Popover . Carolyn Friedlander

One thing to note about the pieces in the Friedlander Lawn group is that there are no color-palette repeats with the quilting cotton group. I’m not one for redundancy, and so if the same designs will be used on a different substrate, I see that as an opportunity to explore more color options. And I did.

Friedlander Lawn Archer Popover . Carolyn Friedlander

Like I said, button-ups and lawn go hand-in-hand, so this Archer hasn’t been (and won’t be) the only button-up so far. I also tried out a new pattern by Named, their Helmi Trench Blouse. (Take note that this pattern also features a dress option. I’m totally into that too and plan to make one soon!)

Friedlander Lawn Helmi . Carolyn Friedlander

The detailing on this button-up is really interesting and what made me want to make it. There are front and back flaps reminiscent of a trench coat.

Friedlander Lawn Helmi . Carolyn Friedlander

Plus there is a rounded collar that is very adorable.

Friedlander Lawn Helmi . Carolyn Friedlander

There is also a gathered sleeve cuff, although I decided against that and instead went with a regular buttoned cuff and placket. Actually, I used the placket and cuff pieces from the Archer Popover, but narrowed the cuff because it felt like a more appropriate proportion for this style blouse. The split hem is also a nice touch.

Friedlander Lawn Helmi . Carolyn Friedlander

I wasn’t sure how the fit would work out, but it’s perfect for me without many adjustments. This was surprising, because the standard Named fit is for someone quite a bit taller than I am. I’m about 5’4″ and the only adjustment I made was to shorten the sleeves just a bit, which had to be done anyway with the changes I made to the cuff. I made no changes to the overall length or width otherwise.

Friedlander Lawn Helmi . Carolyn Friedlander

Next up is another button-up, yes, I’m really into lawn button-ups, it’s just too good of a fit for both the fabric and what I like wearing on a daily basis. This time it’s the Alder Shirtdress, another Grainline favorite.

Friedlander Lawn Alder Shirtdress . Carolyn Friedlander

A sleeveless shirtdress is a personal favorite because of how versatile it is. I’ve already worn this as-is, layered with tights and a sweater, over jeans and with a cardigan. Sweet stuff.

Friedlander Lawn Alder Shirtdress . Carolyn Friedlander

The only thing that I kick myself about is that I didn’t add side pockets. Note to self: on ALL future versions, there will be side pockets.

Friedlander Lawn Alder Shirtdress . Carolyn Friedlander

This print in the collection reminds me of old shirtings, which is why I was quick to make a shirt with it.

Friedlander Lawn Alder Shirtdress . Carolyn Friedlander

When I audition buttons, I always try out these gingham ones first. A friend gave me a bag of them in assorted colors, and I love when they work so well with a project.

The Ruffle-Front Blouse (from Happy Homemade: Sew Chic by Yoshiko Tsukiori) is one I’ve made before and wear often. My previous version was made out of quilting cotton, which wears well, but I knew a lawn version could be even better.

Friedlander Lawn Ruffle-Front Blouse . Carolyn Friedlander

By the way, this book is one of the Japanese sewing books that has been translated into English. If you’re wanting to dive into some Japanese sewing, a translated option is a great place to start.

Friedlander Lawn Ruffle-Front Blouse . Carolyn Friedlander

Friedlander Lawn Ruffle-Front Blouse . Carolyn Friedlander

From another Japanese sewing book–Check & Stripe, title otherwise unknown because this one isn’t translated into English (heads up!)–is this lovely dress that I’d been eyeing ever since getting the book. (It’s the project featured on the cover.)

Friedlander Lawn Check and Stripe Dress . Carolyn Friedlander

The detailing is so pretty between the rounded and split collar and then the pleated sleeve cuffs.

Friedlander Lawn Check and Stripe Dress . Carolyn Friedlander

Friedlander Lawn Check and Stripe Dress . Carolyn Friedlander

Plus, it does have pockets. Yay for that.

Friedlander Lawn Check and Stripe Dress . Carolyn Friedlander

Have you heard of Peppermint Magazine? I hadn’t until seeing someone post a finished garment from their free pattern collection. It turns out that Peppermint is a really thoughtful and well-done magazine out of Australia that conveniently (and generously) releases a free garment pattern with each issue. Win win. I have several of the patterns on my to-make list, but here’s the Peplum Top from Issue 31.

Friedlander Lawn Peplum Top . Carolyn Friedlander

Friedlander Lawn Peplum Top . Carolyn Friedlander

There’s a little spot at the shoulder where you can slip in a bit of another print, which I did.

Friedlander Lawn Peplum Top . Carolyn Friedlander

Alteration-wise, I did reduce some of the ruffle by not cutting the strip as long as it suggests. If I remember correctly, I think I made it short enough to work with the width of fabric, because that seemed like enough for me and an efficient way to cut it. In future versions, I’d add a little more length to the bodice as this one hits me just a smidge higher than I like. Easy future fix.

Friedlander Lawn Peplum Top . Carolyn Friedlander

There’s also Sointu Kimono Tee by Named. This pattern is intended for a knit, which I didn’t realize until I was about to make it. (Ha!) While a knit would be nice, I figured lawn would probably work pretty well too. I didn’t have to make any adjustments, because there was enough ease built-in to work with using a woven. (On a side note, if you’d like to read up on swapping out wovens for knits, Christine Haynes wrote a great article for Seamwork, here.)

Friedlander Lawn Sointu top . Carolyn Friedlander

Because I was using a woven instead of a knit I cut the sleeves on the bias to give them a little more softness and movement.

Friedlander Lawn Sointu top . Carolyn Friedlander

Friedlander Lawn Sointu top . Carolyn Friedlander

I think it also works without the belt.

Friedlander Lawn Sointu top . Carolyn Friedlander

Gotta love the versatility.

Friedlander Lawn Sointu top . Carolyn Friedlander

Ok, last up is a little tunic that I made for my niece. I have lots of kid stuff planned–including some button-ups for my nephews, but the Ryka tunic by Whitney Deal was too easy and cute to throw together. I need to get a picture of her in it!

Friedlander Lawn Ryka tunic . Carolyn Friedlander

Thanks for following along with me! I hope that you’re having fun with the lawn too!

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You Inspire Me to Quilt…Dinosaurs.

This was a really fun project.

dino patch_1_carolyn friedlander

When Cheryl approached me about participating in her next book, I didn’t hesitate too much, because a) I like Cheryl, and b) I was intrigued by the premise, which was to find someone to inspire you to make a quilt. My choice was easy–my 3-year-old (at the time, now 4 or “almost 5” when asked) nephew, Jacob.

Jake sews with me fairly often, and I knew it would be a creative challenge for me to be totally open to whatever his request would be. Coaching him into an answer wouldn’t have been interesting or a challenge, so there was no letting him in on the secret until we had our skype interview with Cheryl. At that point I asked Jacob what type of quilt he’d like me to make for him and without hesitation he said that he wanted a dinosaur quilt. Actually, I think he said Tyrannosaurus Rex, which seemed a little specific, but I was just glad he didn’t say something like the Green Lantern, which he’d ask me to draw a week prior to the interview. I had no clue who the Green Lantern was (still don’t really know now…), but my green stick figure wasn’t cutting it for him. Dinosaurs, we could handle.

So, we started off drawing and painting a couple of dinosaurs. It was a team effort.

drawing dinosaurs with Jacob_Carolyn Friedlander

Then I let him pick some fabric–orange and blue were speaking to him–which, whew! They speak to me too.

dino patch_fabrics_carolyn friedlander

It made me pretty happy that he was this eager for some Botanics

picking fabric with Jacob_Carolyn Friedlander

He helped me sew one of the blocks, but his attention span was wearing thin, so I took it from there.

But he (quite literally) jumped back in when it came time for the layout. (Or, quilt hopscotch?)

dino patch_block layout_carolyn friedlander

What I ended up doing was to take the couple of paintings and drawings that we created and use them as a starting point for some raw-edge appliqué. Originally, I had the idea that it would be a big dinosaur, single-motif kind of thing, but when we started drawing, I loved the idea of it becoming a collage of drawings–almost like a refrigerator gallery of blocks with plenty of personality, texture and color. (Not too different from my nephew or most kids…)

dino patch_4_carolyn friedlander

That entire process is outlined in Cheryl’s new book (found here), and this pattern would be very easy to adapt to any other motif. In fact, I would love to see other kids’ refrigerator drawings turned into some quilts.

Dino Patch quilt process_Carolyn Friedlander


You Inspire Me To Quilt_Cheryl Arkison

The downside to making a project for Jacob that would be in a book was that I knew it’d be tied up in the publishing process for at least a year before I could give it to him. I could only hope that he’d still be liking dinosaurs when I’d get it back.

I finally got the quilt back just before Quilt Market this year, and I decided to wait until after the show to give it to him. So last week I did. Jake was pretty excited about it, but mostly impressed that the quilt, he and I were in a book. (“How’d you do that?!” he asked.) The person who surprisingly showed more enthusiasm for the quilt by dancing on it before I could even fully unfold it, was Jake’s now 16-month-old brother, who was only an infant at the time of the first interview for the project. I guess I’ll be making one for him next…

dino patch_3_carolyn friedlander


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Sewing for my nephew: Legos, Mini Coopers, and the Jungle.


It’s fun having a little(ish) one to sew for. My oldest nephew just turned 4, and I’ve always loved figuring out things to sew for him. I mostly try to stick to things that he’ll enjoy wearing. Personally, I love a good button-up and didn’t realize that he’d be a good candidate for one until I noticed him wearing one recently. He lit up when I asked him about his shirt–the fabric was festive–and so I knew it was only a matter of time, before I’d be making one for him myself.


While at my local fabric shop a couple of weeks ago, I let him pick out some fabric.


Jacob shirt_jungle close up_Carolyn Friedlander


After only a little debate, this jungle fabric was his choice. I threw in a bit of architextures for contrast in the collar stand.


Then, I found this fabric at Bunny’s. I’ve had a long obsession with Mini Coopers, plus I love grids, and of course my nephew loves Legos–so it was perfect.



Jacob shirt_lego fabric_Carolyn Friedlander



Jacob shirt_lego on floor_Carolyn Friedlander


The pattern that I used is by Alexia Abegg and can be found in her book, Liberty Love: 25 Projects to Quilt & Sew Featuring Liberty of London Fabrics. It was fast and easy, and I’ll definitely be making it again. There’s also a men’s version, so if I really wanted to go for it, I could make a matching shirt for my brother. Some father/son coordination could be adorable.


Jacob shirt_lego collar_Carolyn Friedlander








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