Monthly Archives: May 2008

Three Small Things

According to the doctor, Easton has a ‘mild’ case of reflux, so it only stands to reason that we go through several burp cloths a day. In an effort to keep from having to do so much laundry (who am I kidding, I do tons anyway), I decided to make a few new burp cloths – this round is inspired by Chickpea Sewing Studio’s diaper burp cloths.

Aside from the fun tattoo print, I made the center decorative panel out of flannel. I think it should be a bit more absorbent and softer to the touch too.

Sew Much Comfort

A segment aired on our local news the other night about a group of women who have been sewing and adapting clothing for wounded soldiers. The charity, Sew Much Comfort, has over 500 seamstresses that create custom clothing so the injured don’t have to wear hospital gowns as they recover. If you’re looking for a charitable organization to lend your skills to, you can request an information packet from Sew Much Comfort by filling out this form.

Thursday’s Links

Have a lot of remnants lying around? Then check out this cute scrap sack tutorial.
Everything you need to know about selecting a thimble.
Amy Butler has a new freebie – the Business Card Holder (click on Free Patterns for a popup window with the pattern listings)
An easy no pattern top by Threads Magazine – the Twist-It-Up Bandeau.
Because I’m a firm believer you can never have to many handbags…. “not a funeral” bag [link via Niki’s Ventures], messengerlaptop bag, and the Frounchess Bag.
Easton may be too young for this hat, but I’m keeping the Eddie Cap tutorial in mind for when he gets older.
If you have a little helper in your kitchen you may want to whip them up this retro apron. [link via Apron A Day]
Another t-shirt alteration. The style on this one reminds me of Jalie’s Sweetheart top. [link via Innovative Sewing]
If you use foreign pattern magazines and have had some difficulty translating the sewing terms, be sure to check out Monkeyroom’s links for a variety of sites with language translations.

Next Up

I’m finally to the point where I am ready to sew in the hem to my t-shirt. I was about ready to set the coverstitch on my serger when I decided that it might be best to hem a number of shirts at once (so I don’t keep having to switch back and forth between serging and coverstitch). Consequently, I’ve decided to start another top – this one, Jalie 965’s tanks. I’ve had this pattern since last summer, but never found the time to sew it up. I purchased quite a bit of the stripe material (the same one I’m using for the Jalie top) so I plan on using this for the tank as well. Now to trace of the pattern and find some time to sew!
In other news, I stopped by my local Walmart the other day and was sad to see that their fabric department is almost completely gone (and replaced by some very cheap fake flowers). Even though I didn’t buy a lot of material from there, occasionally you’d find a great bargain – not to mention the fact if you needed a notion late at night they were always open. For those of you who have already lost their fabric department, what did they do with their patterns? Did they mark them down or throw them out?

Adding Patterns To The Stash

I almost forgot that there were pattern and fabric sales over the holiday weekend. So, yesterday I made my way to Joann’s (I came home empty handed) and Hancock Fabrics (where McCall patterns were 88 cents!). Unfortunately, all but two patterns were sold out so I went next door to Hobby Lobby and paid the 99 cents and found everything. This time I took home 5 patterns: 5651 – the lingerie pattern (I’m a sucker for cute chemise sets), 5660 – Hillary Duff’s jumper (I’m really on the fence about this pattern and am anxious to see someone make this up before I sew it for myself), 5678 – the baby sling, 5585 – Hillary Duff’s top and tunics (if I can find the right fabric and notions, I may make this pattern up very soon), 5124 – the cart cover.
I wish I could say that I’ve made lots of progress on my new top, but instead of working on it, I wound up hemming a couple pairs of shorts for Bret.

I Finally Decided

The past two days I’ve really been struggling deciding what to sew up next. Yesterday, I finally settled on Jalie 2005 (that should tide me over until my new Jalie’s arrive). My next dilemma was selecting a size that will fit my current shape – previous versions I had sewn a size ‘T’ (here is my long sleeve crew neck, 3/4 v-neck, and short sleeved solid white tee), but my bust and midsection are nowhere near the pre-pregnancy measurements that I once was. Consequently, I’ve opted to try the size ‘W’ which will work for the bust, but may still be too small in the midsection. For my first version, I decided to use the yarn dyed stripe that I recently purchased from Needle Nook Fabrics – not only is it a cute material, but has lots of stretch just in case I’ve gone a bit too small in tracing out the pattern. Now my goal today is to cut the material and get to sewing!
Any sewing plans for your long holiday weekend?

Swimsuit Season

With Taylor on summer vacation, I’ve realized that it’s (almost) swimsuit season. Since nothing in my closet fits, I’m guessing that none of my swimsuits will either – consequently, I’ll probably be making another one this year. I did a little research on the internet today and came up with a few freebie tutorials:
BurdaStyle has this adorable bikini for download.
A Pinup inspired bathing suit.
A wardrobe refashion – a t-shirt to summer bikini.
Crochet a bikini.
It’s not a swimsuit, but I’ve always loved this tutorial for taking a pair of tightie whities and turning them into a great sports bra and undie set.
A no-sew bikini!
A variety of swimwear styles available from Pattern School.

Sew U Home Stretch: The Review & Giveaway

One of my favorite books that is on my sewing bookshelf is Sew U“ (you can read my review of Sew U here). Not only did I find it jam packed with lots of great information, but it was very inspiring as well – especially when it came to taking a basic pattern and altering it into something that looks completely different than the original design. So when I got my hands on Wendy’s newest book, Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics, I had HUGE expectations – and I wasn’t disappointed.
Once again, Wendy seems to understand what the novice seamstress needs to know about working with knits and writes in a way that anyone can understand. She devotes much of the book to the basics – what supplies you’ll need (by the way, a serger is recommended by not necessary for the projects in the book), identifying and selecting stretch fabrics, how to work with the patterns in the book (selecting the right size, pattern making basics), tips and tricks for knits, how to prepare your pattern and fabric for cutting (with important information like matching plaids and stripes, how to find the right side of the fabric, how to make and work with several styles of binding), and even a section on recycling your old tees. And no matter what your sewing level is, from beginner to advanced, you’ll find that there are instructions tailored to your skills – for example a beginner may opt to make a tee with a rolled hem while someone who has a bit more experience may try their hand at a shirt with a coverstitched hem.
Of course, my favorite part of this book are the designs. Included in Sew U Home Stretch are 3 full size patterns – a crewneck, raglan sleeved shirt, and a dressskirt. Each pattern has a section of the book with details how it can be morphed into 6 different looks. For example, the Crewneck can be changed into garments such as a tank, v-neck, boatneck, and even a dress; the Raglan into a hoodie, halter, or even a beach cover up; while the dress can be made into cute halter or even a pretty baby-doll. Now my biggest decision is what to make first!
In my opinion, Sew U Home Stretch is another ‘must have’ on your book shelf… and here’s your chance to put one on yours. I have one copy to give away to a lucky reader – just post a comment in this thread by midnight on Sunday. I’ll select a winner by random number generator on Monday morning and Wendy Mullin’s latest book will be all yours!

Thurday’s Links

It’s official, Taylor is finished with the school year and is on summer vacation. Besides all sorts of sports and swimming, I’m sure we’ll be doing some crafty projects – I plan on visiting the Crafty Crow for some fun kid friendly project ideas.
This week I posted on Threadbanger about loving the fabric Robert Downey Jr.’s man-purse was made from. This morning I came across this tutorial for a Map Purse…. I might substitute iron on vinyl for the contact paper, though. [link via Craft]
If you’ve got a t-shirt that you’re looking to alter, be sure to check out some of these great tutorials: T-shirt to kimono [link via Craft], making a bikini from old t-shirts, the t-shirt shrink down video, how to make a cute lacy tee.
DIY cheeky panties.
What a cute idea – using onsies and sleepers to make adorable pillows. My question is, I wonder where she got those cute sleepers (I love that material)? [link via Craft]
Spoonflower, the make your own fabric website, is now in beta testing – time to start thinking up your dream material!
The Sewing Republic‘s latest tutorial, reversible placemats.
I love Marmadaisy‘s Fat Quarter Friday tutorials! I should have made these toe separators and shoe freshners for Mother’s Day gifts.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post – I’ll be doing a great give-away!