Sir Ernest Bunnybottom Rides for Sprout Patterns

We figure you’ve made it when you have celebrities wear your clothing. Yes, beauties, we have sponsored a famous SKATEBOARDING CORGI named Sir Ernest Bunnybottom, who wears the Harley Dog Jacket from Mainsail Studio!


Ernie not only rides for Sprout, he’s also helping out those less fortunate than himself. His mom Edie has a young friend named Anika, who has Baraitser-Winter syndrome, which can cause her to have multiple seizures in a day. Ernie is helping Anika raise money for a seizure dog (they’re really expensive) to keep her safe and improve her quality of life. We at Sprout think this is an awesome idea and we’re helping as well!  If you would like to donate, you can do so here and we thank you in advance!

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Anika and Ernie enjoy a day at the park

So WHO is this magical dog, you ask? How did he learn to skateboard better than most of us ever did as children? Let’s start at the beginning:

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A black tri-colored corgi was born on the twenty-second of January 2013. At four months, Ernie had his first encounter with a skateboard, and he learned that such encounters brought many cookies. And so, a love affair was born. Ernie even received his Canine Good Citizen Award from the American Kennel Club at six months of age.

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He continues to practice his skateboarding and agility and occasionally, his owner, Edie, tries to capture some of the action on film.

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Ernie is ridiculously cute wearing his doggles, or this dinosaur costume, but we kind of think he’s at his most handsome wearing his Harley dog jackets that we made for him.

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Even though Ernie is a Welsh Pembroke Corgi, we were inspired by the Queen of England’s recent 90th birthday and gave a nod to Merry Old England with this Union Jack coat. Notice the super cute London icon bus taxi and telephone booth design by Littlesmilemakers on the collar and strap – AWESOME! Like this jacket for your fur baby? It’s on Sprout!

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Being multi-talented, Ernie also likes to herd sheep on occasion. What better way to celebrate this pastime than with a cute design by Andrea Lauren.  Field of Sheep – Moss Green is available at Spoonflower, and the jacket is on Sprout.

shelterdog.jpgRico and Prince – recently adopted from a shelter in North Carolina

Over at Sprout, our core of K9 models are all current or recent shelter dogs. And when you make a jacket for your pup, we donate 50% of the profits to the independent rescue group we’ve chosen for that month. June was dedicated to Los Angeles’ Downtown Dog Rescue, and for July we’ll be helping out New York’s Mr. Bones & Company.

Thank you for helping animals who can’t help themselves, and for helping Anika get her service dog – you are all wonderful!

 

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The Wedding Guest’s Dress to Impress: My Perfect Myrtle

Let’s be real, y’all: wedding season can be pretty stressful when the invitations start to pile up. If you’re anything like me, you spend forever searching for the perfect dress for each special day – the dress that you’ll feel beautiful in, but not “hey look at me instead of the bride” beautiful. I have never accomplished this. Not once. But this summer, I’ve got Sprout Patterns to help me out. I decided to make a Sprout dress for each of my three summer weddings, and they decided that all of you would love to hear about it.

Introducing, “The Wedding Guest’s Dress to Impress” blog series! My first project? The perfect Myrtle Dress.

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The first of my weddings was for my friends Katie and Greg. My boyfriend, Kenton, is one of Greg’s best friends and groomsmen. Their friendship was formed over a shared love of craft beer, the tv show “How I Met Your Mother”, and being generally decent human beings. Katie also has these things in common with Greg, so he decided to marry her.

Katie and Greg have one other important thing in common: they’re both Catholic. That’s actually how they were introduced to one another, and was the excuse Katie gave Greg to get his phone number – a fact we still tease her about to this day. Anyway, their ceremony was held at a lovely Catholic church in Greensboro, NC, with a reception at a nearby renovated mill. The wedding started at 2pm, which meant lots of time outside in the hot afternoon sun. For those of you who don’t know, North Carolina summer weather is akin to taking a very hot, very uncomfortable bath that starts in late May and continues well into September.

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Recap: I needed a dress that  would be fine to wear for the better part of the day (since Kenton is a groomsman, it meant arriving early and staying late), be conservative enough for me to be comfortable wearing it in a Catholic church, and be cool enough to keep me from melting in the middle of a hot June evening. My solution? The Myrtle Dress.

I decided Poly Crepe de Chine would be the perfect fabric for my Myrtle. It’s soft and sheer, great for comfort and combatting the weather, and drapes beautifully on the neckline of the dress. It also prints well – I love how bright colors always look on it.

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When it came to choosing a design, I had a tough time. Katie picked navy and magenta for her wedding colors, so that’s what Kenton wore. I like to coordinate with him when we go fancy places just so we don’t look crazy in photos, but I also didn’t want to be that girl and match the bridesmaids too well.

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My assistant, Oz, has to test everything I make for comfort and color coordination with his fur

It was tough, but I managed to find something that didn’t feature tacos, space, or cats – three of my go-to standards for Spoonflower fabric. Mjmstudio, one of the designers featured on Spoonflower’s fabric sample swatches, has lots of gorgeous watercolor patterns to choose from. It was a tough call, but I settled on Verve purple – I love the bright colors, and they went well with Kenton’s suit.

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We match! For once! Time for a selfie.

The Myrtle is a very popular choice among the ladies of Spoonflower, and after making mine, I totally understand why: it’s easy to put together, especially when you use this guide for installing the waistband from Colette Patterns, and it’s way too comfy for how fancy it looks. (Y’all. It even has pockets. That’s the dream.)

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If you love this dress as much as I do, it’s available as a project on Sprout. I called it Just Another Manic Myrtle.

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“Thanks, it has pockets!” is what every woman will say when you compliment her dress that has pockets.

The comfort of this dress was much appreciated at the reception when the music started. Kenton loves to dance, especially in public. As a classic introvert, this was pretty hard for me at first. But, I’ve gotten used to it, and he’s even taught me a few things. However, Kenton wasn’t my only dance partner that evening –

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Greg’s niece also loves to dance, and I had the pleasure of bouncing across the dancefloor with her several times. I told her that I liked her dress, and she told me she liked my eyeball. I’ll take it.

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One of my favorite things all day was responding to compliments on my dress with, “Thanks! I made it.” For me, there’s nothing better than the look of surprise, fascination, and a hint of jealousy you receive when someone learns that you created the garment they’re admiring.  And, it’s way more fun spending the afternoon hanging out with your cat, your sewing machine, and Leslie Knope than traversing the mall (and oh gosh, the parking lot) looking for something you probably won’t like very much anyway (and, it probably won’t have pockets, either.)

Like pretty much every other wedding I’ve attended, I cried during the couple’s vows, reluctantly danced in public, and ate way too much delicious food. But, unlike any other wedding I’ve attended, I am actually looking forward to seeing myself in the reception photos in a few months – for the first time ever, I had the perfect thing to wear.

Cheers!
Gina


gina.jpgGina is a printer operator at Spoonflower (or as she likes to call her position, “Slayer of Ink Beasts”) and a summer intern with Sprout. When she’s not having audible conversations with machinery, she can be found sharing facts about pigeons or Wonder Woman or old buildings with anyone who will listen. Her hobbies include fabric hoarding, wrestling her sewing projects away from her polydactyl cat Oz, and aimlessly wandering with coffee in one hand and her polaroid in the other.

Wearing Pajamas to Work: Father’s Day Edition

In honor of Father’s Day, we’d like to tell you a little bit about a Spoonflower employee and father of two girls, who wears pajamas to work.

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Meet Donnie Gulledge. A Dad who wears pajamas to work.

Don is a third shift printer at Spoonflower, and an awesome one at that – he won Employee of the Month in March this year for his amazing attitude and dedication to helping his team. He’s also a pretty cool dad—he and his two daughters produce their own podcast each week called “The Three in a Pod Show”. It’s funny, endearing, and an insightful glimpse into what it’s like to be the single dad of two teenage girls.

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Don and his daughters, Raquel and Victoria

As one of our favorite Dads, we asked Don to share some of this thoughts about fatherhood.

What’s the hardest thing about being a dad?
“The hardest thing about being a dad is knowing when to just listen and let go. It’s hard to NOT want to fix every problem your children have. A lot of times they just want someone to listen. If they need advice they’ll let you know but, most of the time they just need your ears. It’s a gradual process for me but, I’m getting there.”

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I’m sure there are a million things you’ve taught your girls. What’s the one thing you hope they remember as they get older?
“I tell my daughters all of the time to be leaders. I don’t say that in the sense of being a tyrant wanting to dominate and belittle people but, I say that to remind them that being considerate of others feelings and showing compassion automatically makes you a leader because you get to teach. The standards of today make people feel like they’re better than others. By being a compassionate person you indirectly teach compassion to others, and people respect you when you’re genuinely a good person. Being a teacher is being a leader.”

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In addition to making The Three in a Pod Show, what are you and your daughters’ favorite things to do together?
“My daughters and I love to travel and we dream of seeing the world together… well, maybe I dream of seeing the world with them. Outside of that, our lives are pretty basic. We like art, movies, music , and shopping.”

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Tell us more about the podcast:
“We just like having fun. I like to think that my daughters and I have a really interesting dynamic. We are extremely open and forward with each other no matter what the subject is. Our podcasts are basically short stories in audio format to document our daily interactions with each other, albeit they’re weekly. Sometimes things get serious and we have to figure it out together. Most of the time we’re just being random and crazy. We’re three completely different personalities but, we’re very similar.”

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Not only does Don make time each week to work full time in the Spoonflower print room, be a father to his girls,  run a podcast + blog, and ride his bike everywhere in Durham, but he also somehow found the time to model for Sprout! After he let us snap some photos of his Jasper Pajamas, we asked him if he’d be making any other projects anytime soon.

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You can also make a pair of these sweet lounge pants for the awesome dad (or anyone!) in your life. If you’re in love with this design, Don’s PJ’s are available as a project  Hanging Around), on Sprout Patterns and feature an amazing sloth design by Andrea Lauren. Perfect for any given Lazy Sunday.

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Sprout wishes a Happy (and comfy) Father’s Day to Don, and to all dads everywhere!

History, Home, and a Handmade Tote

“You can’t go home again”, made famous by Thomas Wolfe and repeated relentlessly in country music songs ever since, is meant to express the idea that once you’ve left home for bigger and better things, you can never return to your small hometown to recapture the same emotions it once instilled in you.

No disrespect to Thomas Wolfe, but you totally can. I do it all the time, and it’s awesome.

I’m lucky enough to have moved only about 90 miles away from my own small town to the big city – that “small town” being Winston-Salem, NC, and the “big city” being Durham, NC. I wasn’t born in Winston-Salem, but it’s the first place that ever felt like home to me. And while Durham isn’t a whole lot bigger than Winston, it certainly feels that way some days.

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Fun fact: The Reynolds Tobacco Building in Winston-Salem was used as a model for the Empire State Building. Don’t believe me? I’ve got the shirt to prove it.

I loved spending my teenage years and college summers in Winston-Salem, working nights at a small family fun park, galavanting around the streets of the city with my friends, and dancing the night away at a local venue to music that probably did serious damage to my eardrums, but, whatever.  I thought Winston was pretty cool back then, though I grew out of most of those activities (galavanting is still one of my favorite pastimes). Lucky for me, Winston’s done some growing up, too.

One of my favorite things about home is visiting in the Cobblestone Farmer’s Market, a weekly gathering of farmers and vendors in the heart of Old Salem. The market is based on a tradition that began in Salem in 1803, when a German Protestant community known as the Moravians built a Market House to purchase produce and meat from outlying farms. About 5 years ago, local farmers began to sell fresh meat and produce in the village once again, though there are significantly fewer hoop skirts and horses involved this time around.

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I accidentally stumbled upon the market on a walk to my favorite coffee shop, and I was so excited about it that I ended up impulse buying a jar of honey and a gorgeous bouquet of wildflowers that I then had to carry about a mile and a half back to my car while still juggling my coffee. Not the most fun I’ve ever had.

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Enter Sprout. I decided that if I’m going to be the type who frequents farmers markets, I ought to be prepared, right? Luckily, Sprout offers The Everyday Tote, the perfect bag for fresh produce lovers like me. While I have a slew of tote bags with various business logos on them already, I loved the idea of having something handmade for Saturdays at the market. The Moravians always chose handmade over store-bought, and that’s becoming my preference more and more lately too.

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My favorite thing about the market is the emphasis it places on locally grown produce, so I decided my bag needed that same vibe. However, I’m also kind of weird, so I settled on a print featuring plants that eat meat. I chose Venus flytrap – butter by thecalvarium, and I paired it with a bright, happy floral print (Blooms Tropical Flowers Floral by caja_design) for some balance. I wanted Linen-Cotton Canvas for my base fabric because it’s a natural cotton with some nice texture. I also wanted something that could hold some weight since I plan on using my bag at the boring old grocery store, too. You can order the same one if you’d like- I call it Carnivorous Garden. Bonus: The tote is reversible for days I feel more floral and less flesh-eating.

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Making my bag was super easy! It took me around an hour to complete, and most of that time was spent being in denial about having to turn the straps, wrestling them away from my cat, cursing myself for being so impatient, being in denial some more, and finally resorting to the safety pin method which worked great.

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All the trash cans in Old Salem are disguised as old barrels. So here’s my beautiful tote posing with some trash cans!

My sweet mom and I had a great time wandering the market with coffee from my favorite place (she’s hooked now, too). And, we were totally able to carry those coffees around unhindered by our purchases because of my awesome new tote bag. Wins all around.

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Hi Mom!

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She loved my bag so much that she asked me to order her one as soon as we got home. She’d never seen Sprout’s site before, and had a lot of fun mixing and matching patterns to create her tote. She opted for using Eco Canvas, a vibrant and sturdy fabric made partially from recycled plastic, and chose two floral patterns for hers as well – Botanical Bloom by Fizah_malik and Romance Poppies Ogee Green by Robinpickens. You can also buy the project she created, called Botanical Bonanza. She’s excited for me to sew it up for her!

I can’t wait to go back to the market with my mom the next time I’m home. We like to buy a little of what we need – honey, bread, and any veggies my dad isn’t already growing – and a little of what we don’t – fresh wildflowers from a local farm – while wandering among the buildings and the people of the city we call home. The market and its vendors embody the best-known mantra of the Moravian community that settled Old Salem, a sentiment I carry with me whether home or far away:

“In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love.”

Cheers, Gina


Time-lapse video of me cutting down my Everyday Tote


GinaGina is a printer operator at Spoonflower (or as she likes to call her position, “Slayer of Ink Beasts”) and a summer intern with Sprout. When she’s not having audible conversations with machinery, she can be found sharing facts about pigeons or Wonder Woman or old buildings with anyone who will listen. Her hobbies include fabric hoarding, wrestling her sewing projects away from her polydactyl cat Oz, and aimlessly wandering with coffee in one hand and her polaroid in the other.

 

White Glove Sewing Service is Here

For those of you who have wanted to use Sprout, but didn’t have the time or skills, we now have a White Glove Service to sew garments for you!

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We are excited and proud to announce a new collaboration with sewist Eloisa Rivera, as we expand Sprout to include garments sewn by Eloisa especially for you.

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Eloisa Rivera is a brilliant sewist coming from a family line of professional dressmakers going back to the early 1900s. Like her mother, Eloisa first learned to sew at home. She started with small hemming projects, and progressed to fabricating beautiful and unique pageant gowns for her and her sisters. Throughout the years, Eloisa has had the fortune to live in many Central and South American countries, where she applied her masterful skills to open a successful uniform manufacturing business that she owned for many years.

Why are we doing this?

Our aspiration was to create a service that benefits all of us. A way for customers to get garments sewn for them, while fairly paying the people doing the sewing. We consider sewing a skilled craft and want to make sure everyone involved takes joy and pride in their contribution. This pride is evident in the fine craftsmanship that you will see in the garments that you receive.

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How does it work?

At this time our White Glove Service is available on select patterns only. You can view these at the bottom of this page. The great part of this service is that you can add it to individual items in your order. Choose some items to be sewn for you by Eloisa, and sew the rest for yourself.

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If a pattern is eligible for White Glove Service, you’ll see it as an option where you choose your size and fabric. Once in the cart, you’ll see the added cost as well as a place to send a note to Eloisa about your order. If you have questions about the content and care of Spoonflower fabrics, you can find that information here.

Please keep in mind that this is a new service and we’re still fine-tuning it. Please send us your thoughts via our Contact Page. We love helping you design custom garments, and we’re excited to see what you create. Feel free to share on social media with #sproutpatterns or send us a photo of your Sprout Project!