Linky Thursday

This sweet Mommy and Me apron set is perfect for gifting this Valentine’s Day.

There is a look for everyone in this Buttercup Sweatshirt Collection.

Create your little one a gorgeous heart shaped backpack for Valentine’s Day (or modify the straps and make an epic purse for yourself). Looking for something less time intensive? How about this heart shaped zippered pouch?

Need new loungewear? This sweatpants pattern is free AND has pockets! Need a complementary piece to go with it? How about this zip up hoodie?

I love the look of these mini-oven mitts (although in reality, I need much, much more coverage when I work with hot things).

These farmhouse pillows are a pretty and quick way to spruce up your living space.

If you’ve been looking for a good excuse to sew with vinyl, this Retro Diner Bucket Bag may be your answer.

This otter plush is always a Valentine’s favorite to sew.

If you’re looking to expand your stash, be sure to enter to win this HUGE bundle of linen-esque fabrics.

New Patterns

I had no intention on going crazy with pattern purchases, but here I am with a new stack to prep for sewing.

Initially, it started with Style Arc’s Kennedy Hooded Top – I figured I would just pick it up in the spring (because it looks like a great layering piece for soccer games), but then they announced a sale. So, that one pattern snowballed into 5 (one is the free pattern of the month which also works with the sale, too!).

Then, Petite Stitchery announced 3 new patterns and I couldn’t resist those moto style leggings (or the cute bralette). If I wouldn’t have already purchased those other patterns, I might have gotten the Remy Sweater too, but I’m really on the fence as to how I like those thick ties at the waist, especially when they dangle down.

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me. As I look at this pile, though, I am seriously considering buying a projector for cutting. Initially I didn’t want something that mounted to the ceiling, but I’ve seen people attaching boom arms to the walls (to attach the projector to) and now I’m almost on board. It would mean that things would have to shift slightly in my sewing room, but it would be worth it to reduce the cutting\taping of sewing patterns, and reduce the amount of space they take up when I’m done. With that said, who uses a projector for cutting? Pros, cons, favorite equipment?

Harper

Confession: I’m a sucker for color blocking.

While I love color blocking, I don’t always love to modify patterns to get the look I want. So, when a sewing pattern is released that has color blocking, I’m usually right on top of making it. My latest make? Sonia Estep’s Harper (affl. link).

I honestly can’t gush enough about how much I love this pattern. What’s to love? First off, it’s not a “normal” (so vertical lines) color block – so it’s nothing like what I already own and with that diagonal line across your body, it looks very flattering on (it is also semi-fitted through the bust and hips as well). The pieces also come together perfectly so that the sleeve and front\back of the shirts align perfectly. I also like that this pattern is designed for fabrics with 20% stretch, so you can use heavier weight material and it still feel comfortable. Best of all, I love that you don’t need a lot of continuous yardage for this pattern – it’s great for using up scraps you may have on hand.

Let me be honest, though. There is a downside – there are a lot of pieces you need to cut out to achieve this look. Not only is it time consuming, but there isn’t a cutting guide in the instructions so you will need to be very planful as to how you arrange your pieces (as a side note, I used the overlapping pattern and found that the sleeve pieces were not labeled as right side of fabric, after finally diving into the edge-to-edge pattern, I saw that these pieces were labeled this way).

Overall this pattern was great to put together – the pieces went together well (and lined up perfectly) and the instructions were well written (except I would have loved a pattern layout illustration). But, I would definitely not recommend this project to a beginner. Between all the piecing (and lining things up to achieve the right look) AND the fact that you’re sewing on the bias so much, I think that some might not like or be frustrated by the end result. In fact, this is one of the few projects that I would recommend using a serger with (or definitely and even feed foot on a standard machine).

As for the fabrics, I had a very difficult time narrowing down what I wanted to use for this project- I had too many options and combinations that I just couldn’t decide on (it literally took me an entire day to finally decide). I finally went with a leopard loop terry (so the texture is on the outside of the fabric) and a black cotton brushed loop terry (which looks and feels like a “traditional” sweatshirt material. Both fabrics are pretty heavyweight and when put together extremely cozy.

Even though this pattern is pretty distinctive, I can definitely see making this again. Until then, you’re going to have to pry this version off of me to even wash it.

Linky Thursday

This fabric candy bowl is a cute idea to serve (or gift) goodies this Valentie’s Day. While you’re there, be sure to enter to win a great sewing giveaway (which includes both Tula Pink AND Kaffe Fassett swag) – but HURRY, this contest ends tonight!

Everyone loves a comfy pair of sweatpants (even if you’re not working out). Make your own with this free pattern.

Looking to try your hand at sewing plush? This is a great way to start – not only does she give you links to tips and tricks to sewing them, but also free embroidery designs and 8 animals.

There is something about the new year that makes people want to start quilting. Maybe it’s the cold or just the idea of tackling a big project, but I’ve found that some of these quilt projects, just take too long. Want to join in on the quiltmaking fun, but without the time commitment? This Big Patch Lap and 4 Patch Baby quilts are great ways to have a finished project over the weekend.

Once upon a time, I went on a casserole carrier sewing binge (like everyone I knew got one), so I’m always on a look out for new ones. This one caught my eye, but it really reminds me of a casserole tote more than an enclosed carrier.

Enter to win 3 plush patterns from DIY Fluffies.

Thinking about dressing up your table with a new tablecloth. This tutorial can help get your started on making your own.

Baby it’s cold outside! Learn how to make a cozy ear warmer for your little one.

Much like quilting, bag making seems to be very popular in January. Grab some free patterns and make your own, like this fabric wallet, a reversible Hobo (it’s like getting two purses for the price of one), or try your hand at a more structured bag like the Kennedy.

Fabric Binge

I spent a lot of last week putting the finishing touches on a Creative Machine Embroidery project, which worked out well because I’ve been waiting for a recent So Sew English fabric haul to arrive and probably didn’t need the distraction of new goodies when I’m trying to finish something important. I purchased this lot right before the new year – they were having 30% off all fabrics as well as 60% off ready cuts (2 yard precut fabrics) and I couldn’t resist picking up some things I’ve had my eye on. It also meant that they had a high volume of orders so I didn’t get my fabrics until yesterday (FedEx didn’t help expedite my shipment any faster, either). So, without further ado, here is my haul (and what I plan on doing with it):

TOP ROW:

  • 2 yards of Ivory\Pink Poppies Oakley Brushed Sweater Knit. This was just a fabric I couldn’t pass up – it’s so pretty and the Oakley sweater knit is easy to work with and feels great when you wear it. I thought the colors seems like they would make a great Valentine’s Day top, but we’ll see what it becomes in the end.
  • 2 yards of Eggplant\White Faux Glitter Ombre Peached Performance. This is a fabric I’ve had my eye on for awhile and since it was on sale, I found it in my cart. I can’t wait to make a pair of awesome leggings with it… and probably a matching sports bra too.
  • 2 yards of Black\Gray Tie Dye French Terry (sold out). I’m a sucker for tie dye! When I saw this, I thought it was perfect for making Easton a hoodie (he lives in hoodies throughout the fall and winter), but he wasn’t too excited about this fabric when it arrived. I plan on going ahead with making him one anyway, slapping a label on it and maying some graphics and telling him I got it from Hollister.
  • 2 yards of Taupe Leopard Right Side Loop French Terry (sold out). Apparently I’m also a sucker for animal prints, too. I’ve gotten the reversed loop French Terry before and love the weight (it heavier than most French Terry fabrics) and I love the interesting exterior texture. I was leaning toward Made for Mermaid’s Aspen Sweater, but we’ll see if the fabric weight might be too much for this pattern to look like how I hope.

BOTTOM ROW:

  • Newsprint Bundle: 2 yards Black Cotton Loop Terry and 2 yards of Black\White Newspaper Double Brushed Poly (sold out). Another style of design I can’t resist – newsprint. I’d love to make a fun dress out of the print with some sort of cardigan\cover up with the terry to go with it. Chances are, they’ll get broken up and I’ll use the terry for a sweatshirt and the print will become a future top.
  • 2 yards of Solid Navy Micro Viscose Cotton Spandex. The sole purpose of buying this fabric was because it matched the next one so well. I’ve seen this made into the Page Piko and liked the end result so I’m leaning heavily toward that pattern. I did order enough that I’ll probably have enough left over to make something else too.
  • 1 yard 80’s Jaguar Peached Performance (sold out). You guys, I wish you could have seen this on the site, it’s obnoxious, but fun… and will make a killer pair of leggings.
  • 1 yard Black Shimmer Foil Performance. Not only have I seen a lot of workout gear using a shimmer foil fabric, but holiday attire too. I am regretting only getting 1 yard, but we’ll see where this takes me.

WHEW, that’s a lot to keep me busy. Now to get my rear in gear and sew it all up!

Tee Shirt Recon

There are two things you need to know about my husband: 1) He’s really difficult to shop for. So around the holidays, I tend to buy him “themed” gifts… a lot of times that revolves swag from some of his favorite bands. 2) As much as he likes concert tees, he saves his favorites to wear for “special” occasions (concerts mostly). Consequently, he has a lot of t-shirts and sometimes I forget what he owns.

This is EXACTLY what happened at Christmas. I had purchased this particular tee twice (I think the last one was for Father’s Day and then again in December) – not only is it huge, but he still hasn’t worn the original one. So, I grabbed the extra and decided to reconstruct it into something for me.

One thing I took into consideration is how large the graphic is – I really wanted to preserve as much of it as possible. The second thing I decided is that I didn’t just want to shrink it down (and make a smaller sized tee) – I wanted a top that had more “style”. So, after searching the web, I decided to buy Made for Mermaid’s Corinne – a cut out style top that had lots of options. Before I get into detail about this project, let me show you the end result:

For this version, I opted for a shirt length and high bodice with short sleeves – doing this combination maximized the graphic (I only lost a teeny bit at the bottom) and allowed me to use all of the shirt for the front, bindings, and sleeves. Since I didn’t have enough for the back, I picked a cotton lycra print (The Styled Magnolia‘s Sanguine) that had the same “feel” as the screenprint (slightly different colors, but it still works, IMHO).

Unfortunately, the end result is TIGHT. I knew going in that the t-shirt probably had the bare minimum of stretch, so I thought that adding the cotton lycra would help… but I actually think the cotton print is the problem. This is the second time I’ve used this fabric and found that while it’s a beautiful custom (it has a great weight and the colors don’t bleed or fade), it just doesn’t stretch enough for most fitted projects. This top isn’t unwearable, but it is way more snug that what I wanted and I may or may not have to wear some spanx so that it looks smoother on. LOL I will also say that I am very happy I went with the higher bodice – my bust is a bit larger than my mannequin so the cut out sinks a bit lower than the photo…. I think I would have felt like I was going to have a “wardrobe malfunction” if I went any lower.

As for the pattern itself, it was very well written and easy to follow. I would definitely consider making this pattern again if I right occasion to wear it…. I’ll just make sure to make it is something wayyyy stretchier.

Linky Thursday

Very Peri is the Pantone’s color of the year – learn how to incorporate it into your wardrobe and grab a free shacket pattern too.

Give your bedroom a quick makeover with these easy to sew pillowcases (this is a fun way to use holiday and novelty prints).

If one of your resolutions was to tidy up rooms, these clear vinyl storage bags are a great way to stash loose items and still see what’s inside.

If one of your holiday gifts included a new iPad, here’s an easy backpack tutorial to take it on the go.

Looking for a quick hostess or bridal shower gift? This (half) apron and napkin set is quick to stitch since it uses hemmed toweling.

Enter to win 3 plush patterns from DIY Fluffies.

If your child, grandchild, or special little one got a new doll for Christmas, you’ll definitely want to look into stitching them a quit, pillow, and nightgown set.

Valentine’s Day is a month away. If you’re planning your projects now, you may want to start with these no-sew felt envelopes or some sweet lavender sachets.

Got cold feet? Here’s a free kids slipper pattern that looks to stitch up fast.

This Valentine’s Day Table Topper is a great way to make your dining area festive.

Learn how to create this soft and cuddly dragon toy.

Botanical Boho Crown

The other day I mentioned that I had a second project inside the latest issue of Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine… and here it is! A beautiful Botanical Boho Crown. This project is made by stitching out organdy roses and placing them on a braided hemp band with a faux greenery accents. When I created this project, I thought how perfect this look would be for a festival like Coachella, pairing it up with a tiered cotton dress (with boots), or even making one for a flower girls. The best thing about this project is that it is easily modified to fit any size head and the roses can be customized to any color.

This was a fun little project to create and those roses are GORGEOUS in every color I stitched. If you have an embroidery machine, I definitely recommend giving it a whirl – at least whipping up a few of these for Valentine’s decor!

Mesa Mobile

With all the excitement of the holidays, you may have missed the recent announcement of Creative Machine Embroidery‘s spring freebies release (and a peek at some of the projects inside the issue). While my projects aren’t included in the free files this time, my little llama\cactus project did make (part) of the cover – so I can finally show off my finished item: The Mesa Mobile!

This fun little project incorporates small stuffies that dangle from a hoop and can be strung up over your work area or baby room (but never within reach of the baby). The embroidery file for the llamas comes in a variety of sizes (you may remember that I first started on this project, I opted for the SMALLEST size – which was adorable, but way too tiny), so after you’re finished making this project, you can make more huggable sized versions as a coordinating gift (or in my case, pocket sized).

Be sure to grab you copy heading to newsstands now!

Linky Thursday

This hanging pocket is perfect for keeping items at your fingertips and so easy to move throughout the house.

Get your favorite room ready for Valentine’s Day with this Circle of Love quilt.

Got the sniffles? This keychain tissue holder is perfect for on the go.

The Avens Bodysuit is no ordinary top – it is definitely a head turner!

If you made the resolution to get more organized this year, this Divided Drawer project will help get you started on that journey.

Cold weather is here. Make sure the chill stays outside with this easy door draft stopper project.

Make nap time even cozier with this flannel nap mat project. This pillow bed is a similar concept, but may whip up just a bit faster (and uses actual pillows so that it’s extra fluffy).

Keep your hair out of your face and look trendy with this twisted headband tutorial.

Looking for a tote bag that has pockets and a zippered closure? The Lucy definitely fits the bill! Be sure to grab yours while the pattern is free.

Increase your sewing stash and enter to win this huge sewing bundle.

Baby it’s cold outside, but snuggling with this cute polar bear plush might just keep you warm.