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sarah cosper

kcw is next week!

A ZIP LINE DRESS & a giveaway

Aside from resting my iron on my designers curve ruler when I thought it was on the cradle and thinking as my sewing room smelled funny “that old iron of mine has finally bit the dust” (hint: it had, because I was, at that moment, melting a ruler with it) my daughter’s dress was a lot of fun to make.

zip line dress on kcw

I was given a Franklin Dress pattern by Brooklyn Pattern Company and asked to use the theme TOYS. That pattern is a sweet dress with lots of beautiful details. The dress isn’t typical but still has a familiar, cozy and roomy feel.


I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that my daughter loves zip lines and makes them for her toys. For this project I made a denim dress that has subtle polka dots, a colorful bias tape neckline, and a tiny stuffed animal zip line. I chose a simple comfy fabric, and a sleeve change to suit this daughter (though I have a fancier Franklin cut out for next week with the original adorable puff sleeve and pleated bodice to suit her sister). We have had these little stuffed animals for a while now. Using a silk cording and hook and eyes I created an interactive dress that allows her favorite tiny animals to zip line across the dress.


And now my sewing secret… The buttons are sewed on and nonfuctional at the moment, with snaps underneath. As my sewing machine instructor taught me when I got my new machine, I made practice buttonholes. I practiced on scraps and interfacing (thank goodness) but it chewed the fabric and almost wouldn’t spit it back out. That function on my machine hasn’t been quite right since I broke a needle a couple of weeks ago.


The pattern is a PDF and the pieces went together smoothly. The notches allow for accurate assembly. The instructions with the pattern are simple and clear, but if you are a beginner make sure to use Erin’s sew along! For more Franklin dress inspiration, here is a link to every post about the Franklin dress on Brooklyn Pattern’s blog. If I find a pattern I like I will make it more than once and in several ways. I am dreaming up new ways to make this pattern and love Erin’s flutter sleeve I spied on her Instagram. I am eager to sew more her other patterns too!

 After emailing with Erin I asked if she could share a bit about her self.

SC: Why do you sew?

EKP: I sew for a lot of reasons. For a career. For a hobby. For relaxation. I really love the feeling of a finished product in my hand. It’s a fantastic feeling to see a dress you made on stage or your daughter running wild in one of your creations. That feeling extends to all crafts so I find myself constantly trying new things to satisfy that love. I’m knitting more, taking pottery classes and delving into screen printing.

SC: What was the inspiration for the Franklin dress?

EKP: The Franklin dress is inspired by the streets of Brooklyn. The vibe in BK right now is really relaxed and anything goes. Simple, fun, classic. I wanted to design a dress that could move with kids and either dress up or dress down depending on the fabric. The Franklin should be able to grow with the child as her tastes and height changes.

SC: What is next for Brooklyn Pattern?

EKP: I’ve got my hands in a lot of things right now including freelancing in theatre again. I’m working on a women’s version of the Henry dress and a few children’s patterns for the summer and fall.

A woman’s version of Henry?! Yes please!


Comment on this post to win a pattern & fabric combo made in heaven: the Franklin dress by Brooklyn Patterns and one yard of fabric from Miss Matatabi. A Nani Iro Franklin dress would be drop dead gorgeous, but what about using Cotton & Steel? Or Kokka? That polka dot rabbit print would be pretty perfect for a spring dress….


1. cotton & steel zephr 2. nani iro fukkra 3. window pane check 4. kokka ranrara rabbit 

Enter by Wednesday Feb 24. This giveaway is open to international entries, void where prohibited by law. Winner will receive 1 digital patterns from Brooklyn Patterns and 1 yard of fabric from Miss Matatabi. THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! 

brooklyn patternsGood luck and Happy KCW! 


dressing like your toys: sarah from sarah cosper textiles


I jumped at the chance to talk about costumes for this season’s theme. You can read about my love  and angst for the creative process of costume-making. I love costumes. I love creating them. I have a stack of off-white gauze and crushed forest green velvet sitting next to my machine for this season. My fabric lady, cutting, said, “Do these go together?” “No, but Rey and Merida are favorite toys in my house,” I responded. She seemed to understand. Then I told her most everyone at my 8th grade dance wore crushed forest green velvet dresses except mine was forest green taffeta. And you could hear her blink. I am not she was even born when I went to my 8th grade dance. But she cut my fabric generously and straight. So…

Dressing up! Costumes!

You can go a few routes with dressing like your costumes which we will look at today!


Bounding is dressing in similar colors and styles of a toy or character. For example if you love Snow White you could wear a Navy shirt, yellow pants, a red headband and some apple earrings. Your clothes are inspired by Snow White, but you are not in full costume. Bounding is super popular on Pinterest and Disney characters and toys are often the focus.

Here are some subtle outfits I found that could be worn without screaming “costume”. Make a sweater with a thick collar to remind us of young Luke Skywalker.  This inspired Jedi look from my co-contributor, Karly is so fun.

KCW Bounding and Dress Up1

1. Shawl Collar  2. Jedi Inspired 

 Another idea is of a simple black vest and white shirt could also double for a Hans Solo look!


Then there are days where a full on costume is the right thing to do. My youngest can be spotted laying on the floor reading a book or building Munchkin land in her full on Glinda costume.  Or imagine Alice or Bilbo recreating their favorite stories as they build the world around them with favorite toys.

KCW Bounding and Dress Up3

1. Dorothy and Glinda 2. Bilbo 3. Alice in Wonderland


My little one asked for a fox for her birthday one year. I created the fox with a vintage pattern and took an outgrown outfit and cut it and sewed it into her favorite combination at the time, pink shirt and jeans to add to the sweet stuffed fox. Using pink knit and old denim leggings and some quick Velcro I made her new toy match her. Or you can sew an outfit to match your toy like this Miffy doll or a cute matching sweater.

KCW Bounding and Dress Up2

1. A girl and her Fox 2. Miffy 3. Cardigans Please!

There is also great inspiration for doll clothes and other toys. As always, Oliver + S has some great resources; try the Onstage Tutu Skirt or the Popover Sundress.

Are you gearing up? Have you set patterns and fabric aside? I need to clean and tidy so I can be prepared to sew.

Look at past years’ themes to help inspire as well. I thought of the seasons of Disguise, Wild Things and Storybook to aid in finding more ideas for dressing up as your favorite toys.

Which way do you lean? Are you the “subtle dress inspired by your favorite toy” parent or the “make a full cosplay costume and let my kids wear it everywhere until it is shredded” kind of parent?

KCW FEB 2016: toy fabric inspiration

MORE TOY FABRICS: by sarah from sarah cosper textiles

Hey Sewing world, Sarah here to talk more about fabrics printed with toys. Today we will look at building toys, games and toy characters based on books.

As Meg mentioned in the post last week, KCW has been a great inspiration to me and encouraged me to sew more than just a “one time wear” fancy dress or costume for my kids.  One year, KCW and the knit series on Made-by Rae encouraged me to try more kinds of everyday sewing and I hope this season we can inspire you to do the same!


Building Toys: Blocks, Legos, Teepees and Forts

One of my kids is a builder; Zip lines, forts, fairy houses and LEGOs are her thing.  Wouldn’t a Roller Skate Dress made in the Zip Line Rayon be a great everyday dress?


1. Brownstones  2. Interlocking Brick Wall   3. Zip Line   4. Best Fort Ever


Don’t forget the knits! Knits are a favorite of mine to sew because they are forgiving and comfy. Here are some toy themed knit fabrics that either slightly echo the idea of blocks or scream the idea of building. Make these into comfy stretch pajamas, t-shirts, skater dresses, hoodies and more.


1.  Green Modern Squares    2. Wildland TeePees   3. Mod Confetti Blue 



The sweet cherries remind me of Hi Ho Cherry O! What a lovely tunic that would make in the drapey Rayon! Parsley Pants made out of that card print for a kid that loves playing magic and card tricks would be kind of awesome.


 1. Cherries in Rayon  2. Black Playing Cards

Melody Miller and the Cotton and Steel team have so many great fabrics that lend to the toy theme. I encourage you to explore all of their fabrics, including the basics for all of beautiful colors you find in our favorite toys.

Melody’s Jacks and Viewfinder prints are so colorful and fun, they beg to be a detail on someone’s clothes. Imagine a coat made out of Anna Maria’s Baby in the Hood jacket with Viewfinder or Jacks as the pockets and some Wordfind as the main fabric or other details.  One in my size please.


1. Viewfinder   2.  Wordfind   3.  Jacks   

Video games

Meg’s amazing season banner with included the game controller and had me thinking of the days of being a little sister watching Super Mario and Zelda… eagerly waiting to have a turn (and as the youngest sibling, always a Luigi, never a Mario).


1. Super Mario Characters  2.  Zelda   3.  Super Mario Blue 

Toys based on Book Toys

Lastly I would be remiss not mention that there are many fabrics available now based on book characters – some of our kids’ first toy friends.  These fabrics make me all weepy and happy at the same time as I think of my kids growing up and growing out of these old friends. (You may have picked up that I am indeed, a sap).


1.  Knuflle Bunny    2. Polar Bear  3. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus  4. Paddington Bear 

So there you go for today.

You can do this! Make one garment or make ten! Remember, the sewing community is one of the most encouraging out there and our kids are THE BEST sewing audience. They think we create everything from nothing. They compliment us when that one part is all “twisty and cool like that” when you make a mistake. So start planning. I can’t wait to see what is to come!