Links for the Weekend

Yesterday I worked up at Easton’s school and somehow the day got away from me before I could post. Things wouldn’t be the same without a little Linky Thursday – so without further ado, here are some fabulous projects to work on this weekend:

If spring still hasn’t sprung where you  live, then there’s still plenty of time to sew up one of these drop shoulder tops.

The back on this t-shirt refashion is simply amazing.

Ditch the paper gift sacks and sew your own.

This pretty pleated squares table runner brings a lot of texture to your table.

Learn how to make an easy circle shirt that is quick to sew and looks beautiful on.

With Valentine’s Day behind us, it’s time to think ahead to the next holiday – Easter. These fabric eggs are perfect for the day and make a great scrapbusting project.

Win a bundle of Soiree from QT fabrics.

I’m a sucker for a cute mug rug – the glasses on this retro style is simply adorable.

Need to add a bit of drama to you wardrobe? This skirt tutorial uses LED (color changing) lights and that will make you glow!

Considering how many plastic bags we have under our sink, I should really make one of these holders.

I love bags that you can sling over your shoulder, but still look fashionable – like this beautiful faux leather drawstring tote.

Free Spirit

I think it’s probably safe to say that the sewing community was rather shocked yesterday when Free Spirit and Westminster fabrics announced that they were being shut down by their parent company, Coats & Clark due to lack of profitability. This effects big name designers such as Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry, Kaffe Fassett, and Tula Pink – just to name a few. The last day for operations is May 1 – so if there was a print that you’ve been after, this is the time to snag it.

Many of the designers have begun releasing statements on the issue through social media – it’s too soon to say where they will go next, but I’m sure many of them will not have any problems finding new homes. In the mean time, I’m sad that such a beautiful fabric resource is gone – I hope this isn’t a trend.

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Mama Bridgette

With the promise of spring right around the corner, I couldn’t resist trying out Made 4 Mermaid’s latest release, Mama Bridgette – a cute lacy bralette that is perfect for wearing under peek-a-boo tees and tank tops. Fortunately, I have a wonderful local shop (they do phone orders, too) that specializes in all things lingerie, Needle Nook Fabrics, so I was able to gather all the stretch lace and elastics that I needed to set to work immediately.

Let me start off by saying, for what seems like a simple bra, there are quite a few pieces to make it – that also means that sewing on this project takes quite awhile too (between cutting and sewing this bra probably took me most of the day – although I think next time it will go much faster now that I know what I’m doing). As for the sewing, I found the instructions to be quite clear (there are also lots of videos to watch relating to some of the trickier steps, but I never watched them so I can’t comment as to how they are), so even if you’ve never sewn anything like this before, you should come out with a great looking bralette. One thing I should mention is that I have a lot of extra material left over. I bought enough to make both the Bridgette and Victoria, but still have a yard left over after sewing both of them. I think some of it is just very conservative cutting, but just be aware if you decide to try this as some stretch laces can be quite expensive!

As for the fit, I actually think I could have gone up a cup size. I had carefully measured to make sure what size to cut, but after putting it on, I feel like “the girls” could easily pop out if I had to sprint… which is a shame because this set is really cute. I’m sure that I’ll still wear it, but I’ll just have to be careful when I do. I may give this pattern another go and try it in a different size to see what happens.

Tonal

Sometimes the ideas in my head don’t work out the way I had envisioned them. I think it’s always important to share the fails as much as the successes so here is my latest:

Let me start off by saying, while the embroidery I worked on looks nice in the photo, on the project, it’s very blah. Tonal can be a beautiful thing, but this just didn’t work out the way I thought it would. Maybe the project just needs more emboridery to make this work – at least that may be something to play around with.

Links for the Weekend

Have an Instant Pot, but want to keep it covered when you’re not using it? Check out this tutorial to make it a custom cozy.

This tutorial not only teaches you how to make your own faux chenille, but learn how to transform it into a cute Valentine heart pillow.

No more throwing wet towels over your shoulder while you’re working in the kitchen. This towel scarf is a similar concept, but sounds less messy.

One of these days I’m going to break down and make one of the upcycled rag rugs. Maybe I should just shoot smaller and start with these trivets.

Have an embroidery machine and want to be able to digitize your own sayings? Enter to win this contest and you’ll receive digitizing software and 5 free font bundles!

Sewing underwear sounds much harder than what it really is. Give it a try yourself with this free pattern.

Love llamas? Even if they’re not quite your thing, I think you’ll still want to make this Llama Love Garland for Valentines.

This is no ordinary pincushion, it’s a caddy too.

Probably one of the cutest ways to carry your keys: the puppy key pouch.

Show off your love of sewing with this fun tape measure bracelet.

Victoria

As I sat down to write Linky Thursday today, I got a phone call from school saying that Easton is sick. Once again the dreaded stomach bug has struck, so instead of my usual post, I present to you my latest make, Made 4 Mermaids Mama Victoria. I bought this as part of a bundle because I was very interested in making their Bridgette Bralette pattern and figured I’d go ahead and give this a whirl.

Let me start off by saying the Victoria “cheekie” is incredibly similar to Jalie’s 2561 – except the crotch lining is different and the Victoria version has an option for making this one up in a knit with lace trim – which is what I started with. There are cutting videos available (which I didn’t watch) so I wasn’t really sure if I should go with the 6″ or 8″ cut line so I wound up splitting the difference and just making it 7″. The instructions are ok, although there aren’t that much to making these, but I was left with lots of questions (what size do I cut the fabric? I’m guessing that is a personal choice, but adding lace lengthens it some so do you allot for that? Should you add the lace along the edge or place the lace further in and trim off the excess fabric? Same idea goes for the waistband). I also really didn’t care for the lining on this one as it is very large (about a pantyliner size) and would be very obvious where you sewed it in.

Overall the Victoria is a fine pattern, but with having the Jalie already in my stash (with more options and a better lining), I think I could have skipped buying this one.

Valentine’s

I don’t know about you, but when we have in service days at school, my time seems to be filled with lots of appointments and\or school projects. Yesterday was no different as we spent some of our day working on Easton’s Valentine’s Day box for his very last party, ever. This year Easton had set in his mind to make a heart eye emoji container (I tried to tell him this robot was cool, but he had his heart set)

We wound up painting with a round paper mache box yellow, added a mouth (which now that it’s attached, looks weird), hearts for eyes, and emoji themed paper around the bottom. Actually, once we had all the supplies together it was easy – it took longer for the paint to dry than to put this together. To top it off, he’s a very happy boy.

A Better Way?

My husband recently sent me this link about an Easier Way to Thread a Needle. I have to admit, I got a little excited – like what sort of magic is this? Then I tried it (this video shows you how)… and had a big ‘ole fail.

I think it may be because they used a thicker cotton thread (I used a “standard” spool) or that I was rubbing too aggressively – my thread behaving nothing like that in the video. Consequently, I’ve decided I’m ok with doing it the poking the thread through the eye – I pretty consistently get it on the first try and this technique wouldn’t work with inserting thread through a sewing machine needle anyway.

So has anyone gotten this to work?

Ravenwood Messenger

If you’re a member of the Bag of the Month Club then chances are you saw the new pattern release yesterday for the Ravenwood Messenger. I had a great opportunity to test out this bag for Betz White and I’m thrilled that I can finally show you my version!

Let me start off by saying that this may be one of my absolute favorite bags that I’ve made. It has a ton of great features: pleated front pockets that close with fun clasps, a great tech pocket (which includes a zippered mesh pocket as well as cord\cable holders- shown below on the right), padded slip pockets, zippered closure, grab handles, and detachable strap…. when you put them all together, you wind up with a very professional looking messenger. I also love that this messenger isn’t, boxy. Instead it has angled sides to give it a bit different look than what’s already out there.

As for construction, it’s pretty easy (I know with all those components you would think it’s more difficult) – I would rate it advanced beginner to intermediate. You have several zippers (5) to contend with and the bias edges that may give new bag makers some pause. Honestly, though, mine came together without a hitch – I didn’t even find it bulky to sew. Plus it had tons of topstitching (which I love to do). I even decided to go bold on this bag and use a very contrasting (red) thread. I think that the end result looks pretty good (I have found that some bags have so much bulk or weird shapes that when it comes to topstitching, my stitches don’t look straight or smooth).

Can you tell I’m gushing? I really did love sewing this one up and if I need another bag, I’m definitely making this one again. If you’re interested in making this up, there’s still an opportunity to join the Bag of the Month Club to get this (and 5 more bags released this year) or you can wait until this one is released by Betz in her shop after this round of BOMC has come to a close (sometime in July).

Linky Thursday

Sewing Life is a new, monthly digital sewing magazine and you can get the first issue and pattern FREE!

Enter to win a $30 gift certificate to the Fabric Fairy! Need more contests to enter? Check out this one for a cute Valentine’s Day pouch filled with Sulky thread.

Still cold where you are? Keep cozy with a fleecy face warmer or a blipper blanket (a footed blanket).

Summer will be here before you know it which means portable first aid kits are needed (think scraped knees, splinters, and more) – this one is an easy roll-up version.

With a few of Taylor’s friends getting married this year, I’ve been seeing lots more formal wear dresses and I was surprised to see the Infinity Dress making a comeback. Want to make this one for yourself, here’s a free tutorial.

If you’re looking for a new way to carry your tablet, look no further than this mini messenger.

Kitchen linens don’t have to be boring. This tutorial uses your favorite scraps to spruce up kitchen towels.

With a 3rd installment of How to Train Your Dragon announced, it seems only appropriate to make a cute Toothless plush, right?

Who needs plain tank tops when you can trim one is pretty (woven) bias binding. Find out how (and get the free pattern) here.

I’m not going to lie, I sort of want to sew this fuzzy bean bag chair (actually, the dog probably wants me to sew it more).

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a good apron tutorial floating around. This one isn’t just cute, it looks like it sew up fast too.