Figgy's Blog

a sunki & a sale April 05 2013, 4 Comments

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of "meeting" Lou from "Wotsybaby", a blog about raising her daughter in a gentle and creative way.

 This super gal has allowed me to post about her recent creativity, making the Sunki with knit fabric.  I love it when sewists take patterns and made them their own and lucky for us she's sharing a "how to" with us!


Knit Sunki


From Lou:

When I decided I wanted to make this dress (Figgy’s Sunki! so lovely!) out of a non-woven fabric, I searched to see if anyone had done it before and had any tips. I didn’t come up with anything so thought I’d document what I did here to make it easier in case anyone else wanted to change it up!

 1. The first thing is to size down. I have made this dress before in a quilting-weight cotton for my average-sized almost 5 year old and it fits well. Just right in fact (so not much growing room). I thought if I made the knit version in the same size, then we’d get a bit more wear out of the garment. It’s quite loose now and she tells me it’s very soft, comfortable and slinky! I could have made it in a size down for it to fit perfectly now. The fabric is a bamboo jersey and was great to sew with. I used a jersey needle (important tip#1.1) and a stitch that looks like a little lightning bolt that has lots of stretch (zig zag setting with a 3.0 length and a 1.0 width). I used my serger for some of the edges but not all of them (the bits around the armholes seem softer if they’re not finished).

2. I eliminated the zipper by cutting the back piece on the fold.

3. I didn’t bother with the facings and instead cut 2 pieces of 2×2 rib knit (the grey pieces around the neckline). The back piece is 1 5/8″ x 13.5″ and the front piece is 1 5/8″ x 13″ (I probably should have made them slightly – 1/2″? – shorter. So next time I would make them 1 5/8 x 13 and 1 5/8 x 12.5). I put them on in the same way as the Envelope t-shirt in the book Growing Up Sew Liberated (which I’d just made a few weeks before (I’m paraphrasing from the book for this next bit, I couldn’t come up with this genius!): Sew one long edge of front binding to front with lightning bolt stitch and right sides together. Gently stretch binding to fit. Press binding away from the front and turn the binding edge to the wrong side, encircling seam allowances and press. The raw edge of the binding will extend just below the seam on the wrong side of the front, then zig zag stitch (small zigzag) on the right side of the front along the bottom edge of the binding, just above the previous seam. On the wrong wide, the raw edge of the binding will be caught in this seam, finishing the binding. Repeat the entire step for the back and the back binding.

4. Instead of using the fold guides for the sleeves, I measured and marked 3″ over from the centre fold line on each sleeve (so 6″ total on each sleeve) and sewed a basting stitch 1/4″ from the edge. I pulled the threads tight and it was a perfect fit for the armhole once I put the sleeve in. (I sewed the sides first and put the sleeves in in the round which is my preferred method. It was no problem!)

5. I decided that the dress would be cool if I changed up the side panels but didn’t use a different colour of fabric so I freezer-paper-stenciled the stars. It’s awesome! I used Pebeo shimmer opaque fabric paint in Silver. Amazing stuff.

That's It!

Things I would change for next time:

1. Use stay tape on the pocket fronts. The pockets stretched out quite a bit when I sewed them – a bit of stay tape around the curve where the pockets meet the front piece would help I think.

2. Make the pockets deeper. The pockets on this dress are not quite deep (I agree Lou) enough for a small lady’s hands or other trinkets. I think I will do this with any future Sunki dresses I make, knit or woven. With the knit fabric though, the pockets have a tendency to flop out if there’s vigorous movement (which is pretty much constantly!)

3. Put a bit of stay tape around the shoulders on the sides where the front and back overlap for about 3 inches. As Sylvie has worn this dress, one shoulder might flop off her shoulder (which she thinks is daringly grown-up and fancy but I don’t know if she needs an off-the-shoulder dress… hm). I think cutting the rib knit binding a little smaller (as mentioned above) would help to tighten it up a bit as well). Now that it’s been sewn up I think I’ll just do a few tacking stitches where the two pieces of gray rib meet at the shoulders.

It was a fun project and a very wearable dress. I think it might be one of her favourite garments I’ve made for the little miss!



Lightened Version so you can see more detail. :)


Thanks Lou for sharing!!!  If you followed along with this post and create your own knit Sunki we'd love to see!  Share in the Flickr group or on Facebook!

tny leaves

Now, on to the saleS, yep I said sales with an s.

First up a Figgy's sale!  In celebration of nothing but a little warmer weather here in Oregon I'm having a 15% off sale on all paper patterns from April 5th - 12th!  Please use code SPRING15 to receive the discount!

Next a Craftsy class special!~  If you haven't tried taking a class online via Craftsy then this is the perfect time to grab one.  I had a ball filming this class and the reviews coming in are all positive, woohoo!

Just click the banner below!!  The sale begins today and ends on April 8th!  So hurry before Monday and grab the class but then take the class whenever you like, it never expires!!

Craftsy Spring Sale: Select online classes up to 75% off. Sale ends Monday, April 8th, at midnight!



the happenings January 10 2013, 2 Comments

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!  Better late than never right?!

I've been receiving a lot of emails asking about future Figgy patterns.  To be honest I have been so in love (busy too) with teaching  sewing to kids of all ages that patterns have been pushed to the side.  Am I going to stop making patterns?  I'm not sure just yet.

 Instead of typing away at the computer and testing garment after garment these last 6 months I've spent time with my young boys and husband.  I've allowed life not to get away from me and wow what a gorgeous world I live in.   Before pattern designing 7 years ago I had dreamed of opening a little shop/sewing studio and it seems that was once just a dream may actually become reality.   In the meantime you'll continue to find Figgy's Happenings going on around town or online:

During the next two weeks  Mad Mim and One Little Minute are hosting "Stretch Yourself" a learn to sew knits blogarama.  On Thursday, January 17th there will be a Figgy’s Banyan Tee Review at One Little Minute + Mad Mim // Guest Projects at Anu*Miki + Paunnet.  So if you have felt intimidated by knits then this next week is perfect for you~

Love blog posts and helpful information online but feel like you need just a little more hand holding?  Lucky for you my class "Kid's Romper Revamp" on Craftsy may be just what you need.  The classes teaches you how to pick proper fabric, take proper measurements, work with knit fabrics and their is a bonus free pattern too!  Craftsy has a terrific interactive platform so if you have questions during class you just stop the lesson and type in your question.  It's my job to check in a few times a week to answer those questions.  Seeing some of the finished rompers & dresses has been so fun.

Love online classes but need just a little more hand holding than through the internets?  Do you live near Seattle?  GREAT!  Join me for a workshop at Dry Goods Design (make * do * mend) on February 16th from 10am - 4pm (lunch will be served, yum)!  I hope to see you there soon!

And for my fellow Portlanders, I have a new website where you'll find all the classes I'm currently teaching HERE!

Happy Sewing!


Kids Romper Revamp July 29 2012, 0 Comments

You may have heard me mention a little class called "Kids Romper Revamp"in the past but if you haven't yet, well you might see some bloggers posting about it in the next week or two.  I continue to be thrilled about this class mostly because of the great experience I had in Denver with the Craftsy crew and I love what Craftsy is all about.   Every single person made me feel welcome and comfortable.  Just like their site and you could tell they really love what they do.

(Please excuse the quality of my photos,  I hit a button when I pulled my camera out of the bag and didn't realize it :0 (bummer))

In June I packed my things and flew to Denver from Portland.

 It is always so neat to see all the mountains when flying over Oregon

It was only the second time  in 11 years I had been away from my husband and boys so I was really nervous about flying.  Flying into Denver if you haven't before is reeallly bumpy.  Thank goodness for Skype because every night I was still able to read the boys a bedtime story.

I loved this set.  They asked me to send them a few photos of my family and I threw in some shots of my parents, grandmothers and great-grandmothers.  I didn't know what they were going to use them for until I walked on set and saw that they had taken the photos and framed them as part of the scene.  I almost cried it was so touching.

A few of my favorite things about Craftsy:

  • You only pay for what you want, meaning no monthly fees to have access to shows you're not interested in.
  • The class is yours to view for the rest of your life.
  • You can start and stop whenever you want and make notes on the site.
  • Teacher/Student interaction.  Love it!  You can stop the video exactly where you have a question and type it in.  Part of our responsibility in being a teacher is to check in and answer any questions you have.
  • You can sew in your underoos and no one will know!

So this week stop by one or all of these blogs to find out what they all thought of Craftsy and the Kids Romper Revamp class!

July 31       All Buttoned Up
August 1    Sarah Jane
August 2    Luvinthemommyhood
August 4    Sew Much Ado
August 6    Noodlehead
August 7    Betty Crocker Ass
August 8    Imagine Gnats 
August 9    A Sewing Journal
August 10  Susan Beal
August 11  Such Designs
August 12  Kelly Hogaboom
August 13  Bolt Fabric

Happy Sewing!!

CRAFTSY! July 03 2012, 2 Comments


I am so very excited to announce the news about my course for Craftsy "Kids Romper Revamp".  It was such a fun experience and I was able to work with some amazing and talented people.  If you haven't heard about Craftsy yet then I have to say I'm a little shocked but also excited to be the one who gets to share this terrific site with you.  My most favorite part about this site is that it offers all sewists who would love to take a class the chance to do so no matter where they live and also it's interactive.  I get to chat with you as you take the class, I love that!

 Here is a bit about my course.

During childhood, play is paramount.  So whether it’s a hot summer day or a chilly winter afternoon, kid’s need to be comfy in their clothes.  Like adults, kids should enjoy the way their clothes look, as well as how they fit and feel.

In Kid’s Romper Revamp, we’ll explore all kinds of useful sewing techniques, like how to properly measure a child, and adjust the pattern for a perfect custom fit.  We’ll choose high-quality fabrics that are seasonally appropriate and fashionably fun, and cover the ins and outs of interfacing and how to apply it to the romper.  I’ll go step-by-step through constructing the romper’s braided straps, gathering and assembling the yoke, sewing knit and woven fabrics together, and more.  Then, we’ll move on to making the shorts, adding pockets, hem ties, and attaching the top and bottom to finish it off. Finally, I’ll discuss extending the romper into pants for the colder season, creating separates and making the romper into a sundress! Create 4 patterns from just 1.

   In sewing for kids, I use comfortable fabrics as a platform to build from.  For this class, I wanted a platform that’s as comfortable for teaching as the romper is for wearing.  That’s why I chose Craftsy.  With Craftsy, you have unlimited access to your classes so you can learn at your own pace, and you have the added comfort of being able to watch the lessons in brilliant high definition, rewind, make notes, ask questions, and get answers from me and your classmates.  Plus, you can browse other people’s projects for inspiration, and upload pictures of your projects to get feedback and insight.


Enroll in Kids Romper Revamp, and create a comfy, yet stylish, custom girl’s romper, learn new sewing skills, and have fun doing it!