Monthly Archives: April 2008

Still Here And Now With New Books

It’s now 4 days past my due date and I’m still here – I now believe I am no longer delivering a baby, but a toddler. Since I’m now reaching the point where I’m really uncomfortable, I decided to go ahead and get up early this morning and have some quiet time with the computer before everyone gets up. While reading my mail, I was so excited to see that Wendy Mullin from Built by Wendy is going to be the guest on Pattern Review‘s expert chat tonight! I normally have to miss PR’s expert chats because of Taylor’s evening activities, so I’m happy that I’ll be able to finally ‘attend’ one. Of course, that email also reminded me that she has a book out soon – when I looked it up on Amazon, I realized that they already have it in stock! Needless to say, I put Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics (because I loved Wendy’s last book and knits have now become one of my favorite materials to work with) as well as The Big-Ass Book of Crafts in my cart. Be prepared for lots of book reviews soon (I have 2 more books in addition to these as well as an instructional DVD to write up)!
What have you all been reading lately (sewing related or not)?

Adding Some Bling

Even though I had some problems with the jersey that I used for McCall 5586(you can read more about it in yesterday’s post When Good Fabrics Behave Badly), I really enjoyed making this top. My favorite part – adding the embellishments. After lots of searching around town for jewels, shells, and metal studs, I decided on some aurora borealis rhinestones in various sizes. The only downside to using this method was that everything had to be glued on – and I’m very messy with glue.
Instead of laying the tunic flat (as suggested by the instructions), I found it helpful to work with it directly on my dress form. This gave me the ability to glue something down, step back, and ‘check my work’. Here’s a close up of the finished neckline:

It’s a lot ‘flashier’ than what I would normally makewear, but everyone needs some fun bling in their wardrobe every now and then (especially after wearing maternity clothing for so long)! By the way, I’ve tried this on over my current (HUGE) pregnant belly and the top works as a maternity style too – just make sure you use a very stretchy material and it should work fine!

When Good Fabrics Behave Badly

When I started McCall 5586, I decided that I would skip the serger and try out some of the stretch stitches on my Bernina. Things were going very smoothly until I switched needles and started experiencing skipped stitches. You see, I decided to make a few modifications to this tunic – the first of which was eliminating the bias tape around the arm hole. Since I am using a jersey that wouldn’t ravel, I thought that I would just fold over the seam allowance and stitch with a double needle (for a ready to wear look). I figured that the needle was dull so I headed out to the store for a new one. When I came back and tested out the new needle, I still had some skipping – so I played with all the settings. Thank goodness this machine has lot of ways to adjust your tension, stitch length, pressure foot pressure, etc. because it took adjusting all of it before I got the everything to sew up ‘correctly’! I’m not sure what I would have done to fix this problem with my last machine – it didn’t have nearly the setting options as this one and my fabric (as much as I love the look, feel, and drape) was so temperamental. To keep me from experiencing later frustrations, I even wrote down all my settings so that when I work with the rest of the material (I have almost a yard left), I don’t have to try to figure out what to do all over again!
Now that all the sewing is complete, it’s time to embellish the neckline of this top. I’m anxious to get started this morning – I can’t wait to add some bling and bring this tunic to life!

Thursday’s Links

I know a lot of you are following my pregnancy progress. So before I start posting today’s fun links, let me give you all a bit of an update. I am now ‘officially’ over due! My doctor told me that he’s not sure if I’ll make it to my appointment next week (although, I’m not optimistic, he said the same thing last week too), but if I do, we’ll discuss ‘options’ (induction, no doubt). I have resorted to posting an eviction notice on my belly in order to coax the current occupant out!
Now onto the links!
If you’re starting to gather ideas for Mother’s Day, you might what to try making your mom some Eco Cosmetics (made from everyday products). I’m thinking this looks like a fun project for Taylor and I to do together!
Two of my favorite things, fashion and video games, are finally joining forces. Karl Lagerfeld will appear in the new Grand Theft Auto. [link via A Socialite’s Life]
Another great magazine has bit the dust – Adorn magazine is no more. [link via Bits and Bobbins]
I’m in trouble now, it looks like Amy Butler has a line of dishes coming out.
The girls at Stitch Lounge have created a gorgeous reusable tote bag that folds up and can be slipped into your purse – all from a recycled tank!
An interesting concept for a purse – turning a book into a handbag. It’s a good inspiration piece for Make it Mine’s purse challenge.
This purse gives new meaning to the name “Doggie Bag”.
I just took away a too small shirt from Taylor with a promise of making it into something else. I’m not contemplating making it into this t-shirt bag.

How to crochet and felt a felt pimp daddy fedora
. [link via Craftgossip]
I am completely amazed at this gorgeous quilt. I would love to make something like this someday.
If you’re looking for some crafty projects to work on with your kids, be sure to stop by The Crafty Crow. I love that they break down each each project by age.
Congratulations to a few of my favorite fabric sources on their recent write ups (ironically, they both have the same first name)! Ann of Needle Nook Fabrics appeared in our local paper and answered some fun questions and Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics had a tremendous write up in this month’s Vogue Patterns (you can read a blurb from the magazine on Ann’s personal site).
Have a new IPod or cell phone? Check out this tutorial for creating your own customized case.

New Romper

Awhile back, I started sewing up a second (smaller size) version of Kwik Sew 3090 and had disastrous results – I had traced and cut a shorts style for the front and a longer romper in the back (and didn’t notice until I started sewing)! I’ve had this material ‘staring’ at me ever since…. so the other day, I retraced the front (to the longer style) and re-cut the material to make this:

Although the pattern didn’t include a hat, I found one in an Ottobre magazine (4/2006) and used the leftover material to whip one up to make a ‘matching set’. One more project off my to-do list!
Up next – McCall 5586. I’ll be putting the fabric & cost information on the sidebar later on this afternoon.


Let me start off by saying, I’m amazed at how fast the Sewing Stars Elephant went together. I took a bit of time at first to trace off the pattern pieces (I didn’t want to lose any for future reference) and get everything initially cut (I was trying to keep the nap in the same direction, making sure I cut everything correctly since this was a kit and had a limited amount of fabric, etc.), but sewing it up went fairly quickly! I didn’t even mind the amount of hand sewing that I had to do with this project (attaching the arms and head)….. In fact, I liked it so much, I made this one twice – one for each of my kiddos…. the original went to Taylor and the second (for soon to be born, Easton) I made using leftover minky dot fabric (from yesterday’s blanket post) and scrap flannel from a burp cloth.
I think I’m now ready to concentrate on making some cute summer tops……any suggestions?

T-Shirt Shrink Down Now Available

Yesterday, I talked a bit about tutorials being added to the Sewing Republic website. I wound up subscribing to the RSS feed so I know when the site is updated and guess what popped up in my Bloglines last night? A new tutorial – mine! Up on the site now is a video tutorial of my project, the T-Shirt Shrink Down. There is also a PDF available so you can have the written directions in front of you as you work.
If you wind up using this tutorial to shrink down some of your oversized t-shirts, drop me an email and send me a picture. I’d love to see everyone’s new creations!

Free Tutorials and More Blankets

Before I start rambling on about what I’ve been up to, let me start off by saying – The Sewing Republic, a website I’m very proud to be a part of, has begun posting free project tutorials! Each week they will be listing a new tutorial (some of them will even be in a video format) – they even have an RSS feed available so you don’t miss anything. I’ll let you know when one of my projects is up, but in the mean time be sure to check out the cute Summer Serendipity Bag available for download now.
What have I been up to? Well, for one, making more baby items – this time, not (just) for me. Juliet from Chickpea Sewing and I met while working on tutorials for the Sewing Republic site. About a month ago, she had her adorable baby, Finn and I am just now sending off her gift. A minky blanket (backed with a snuggly flannel) and matching burp cloth:

Of course, I couldn’t just make one…. Fortunately, I had enough materials left over to sew up one for myself too (well, for our little guy)! I think I’m addicted to making baby blankets – too bad places like Etsy are over-run with these types of items, otherwise I’d make a bunch to put into my shop!
Up next, putting together my Sewing Stars Elephant. What are everyone else’s plans for sewing this weekend?

Belly Shots and New Fabrics

With 5 days to go now (crossing fingers), I felt like it was probably time to update everyone with a belly shot:

Just for reference, here’s what I looked like at 13 weeks. Yikes – look at the difference!
Seeing that I’m almost done with this pregnancy and the thought of wearing clothing that is tent-ish is looking very appealing, I decided to surf the web for new fabrics. Actually, I got the Gorgeous Fabrics email the other night and saw that she was offering fabric groupingscapsules and I couldn’t resist looking. I fell in love with her NavyCoral, but decided that I would ‘look around’ before I decided on anything. Well, that lead to me picking up several pieces that screamed spring instead…. this dainty floral jersey, two-tone reversible denim (this was a suggestion she made to go with the floral jersey and it looked so good in the photos together that I couldn’t help but pick it up), ‘it’s not easy being green’ jersey (because I don’t have any green in my wardrobe at the moment), and the groovy print in blue (I had purchased the red version last spring and love it so much, I couldn’t resist getting the print in another color). I have no idea what I’ll be making with these at the moment, but needless to say, I’ll be searching through my Burda magazines and stashed patterns for some ideas!
What have you bought recently and what are your plans with your new fabric(s)?