Monthly Archives: January 2009

Spring Is In The Air


Spring is right around the corner and my recent fabric purchase reflects it – just look at all those pastels! I happened to stop by Fabric.com the other day and they had posted a number of french terry and doubleknit fabrics and I couldn’t resist. I picked up several yards of both pink and lime green french terry (I plan on making some hoodies with matching shorts andor pants), a heather blue rayon knit (which has a hit of teal in it in real life), light blue double knit (for a Boulevard Jacket this spring), and two I Love Lucy prints. Yes, I’m a Lucy fan. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them, but I’m taking suggestions, any ideas on what to make?

Linky Thursday on Friday

True Up is having a contest where you could wing Amy Bulter’s latest patterns.
A look into Parson’s Costume Shop.
Fortunately I have a stash of fat quarters because I’m thinking of making this fat quarter purse. [link via Craft]
Sew Forth Now’s latest podcast – lots of information on the new CPSIA law.
Another great reconstruction project (just one more day left to submit your refashion in PR’s latest contest) – how to restyle a t-shirt to a ruffly cardigan!
I’ve seen a lot of felt soaps being given during swaps and I’m still on the fence if I like them (they sound itchy). If you’re thinking of trying to make one for yourself, here’s a quick tutorial.
I’ve made eye pillows before, but never thought of hand warmers! I’m ready for the next freeze!
Cute and easy wand for your fairy princess. [link via Craft Gossip] or a sword and shield for your knight in shining armor.
You could win a free tunic pattern just by describing Jalie.
Don’t like Valentine’s? Then be sure to enter this year’s Black Heart Anti-Valentines Day Contest. If you’re into the holiday, be sure to try your hand at Craft’s Valentine’s Day Project Contest.
I’ve spent hours reading this blog. The Weekend Designer is my idol.
Still cold in your area? Whip up Betz White’s latest tutorial, Fast & Felted Scarflette.
I’ve been seeing this project posted for several days now. I think it’s a hint that I should try making a fabric bowl this year.
Need to learn how to do a full bust adjustment to your clothes. Here’s a quick tutorial on how you can alter your patterns for this adjustment. [link via Whip Up]

In The Mail

Between Bret being out of town all week (I’ve been playing taxi, teacher, nurse, etc.) and spending my free time catching up on sewing projects, I haven’t had the opportunity to sit in front of the computer much. Consequently, I’m holding off Linky Thursday until tomorrow when I have more time to put a fabulous list together. In the mean time here’s my latest goodies:
Woohoo! I won! Katrina had a contest on her site recently and I was lucky enough to have my name pulled. My package arrived the other day:

Inside was a beautiful tote – the photos don’t do it justice as it is very well sewn and the fabric and embellishments are wonderful. She also included a matching notebook and pens. I’m putting all of these to work this week – unless Taylor beats me to it!
My order from Gorgeous Fabrics also arrived the same day – I couldn’t resist her Inauguration Sale, especially after I spotted this quilted double knit.

Even though I had already selected a fabric for the Ottobre Designs (Women’s) zippered jacket, I changed my mind after I saw this material. Guess what will be next on my sewing list? I also picked up two other fabrics, a white cotton jersey and a smokey plum stripe. I had picked up a yard of the same material several months ago, but love it so much, I thought I would pick up more for a tunic for Taylor.

Dressmaker’s Technique Bible

For the past week and a half, I’ve been spending some of my free time reading my latest book, The Dressmaker’s Technique Bible. Not only does this book help you select styles that will flatter your shape, but also illustrates various techniques that will help you accomplish your look.
Like most sewing books, the “Getting Started” section of the book covers the basics needed before you start sewing – tools, a variety of scissors (and their uses), the styles of pins and thread (how and went to use both), and notions. The author also covers how to understand pattern markings, a brief introduction to adapting a pattern, and pattern selection. The best part of this book is the Body Shapes Guide which helps you identify your figure and suggests styles that will flatter your shape.
The rest of the book is devoted to garment construction and embellishment. Various techniques are discussed – everything from seam styles, darts, and tucks, to gathering sleeves, inserting different styles of zippers, and buttonholes. Each technique has numerous illustrations andor photographs of how to achieve the desired result as well as a brief description of the tools and materials needed.
So, what’s the bottom line? I really liked it. I thought it was a good reference tool that brought together a lot of techniques and good ideas. Although this is a book that beginners will find the most helpful, I’m keeping my close by my sewing table because the illustrations are so through you never know when you need to learn a new technique or bone up on a rusty one!

Up Next: Harajuku Lovers Knock-off Thermal

Right after Christmas, I picked up the last two yards of the Harajuku Lover’s Planet Girl thermal print from The Fabric Fairy. I was very surprised to see it, as this same print was still being used in this fallwinter’s designs. Needless to say, I’m very motivated to sew it up. Below is a photo of the Inspiration Shirt
(which is still available from Amazon for $53):

To re-create this look, I plan on using Jalie 2805 (view A), altering the sleeve slightly so that there is a ribbed cuff. I’ve already cut out the material for Taylor’s shirt and I think that there may be enough for me one too. If not, I plan on using the rest for a thermal tank. Now off to the sewing room to whip this one up!

Another Winner

Since the last Jalie shirt was so well received, I thought that I would keep the momentum going and make another ring neck for Taylor. This time I opted for the cap sleeved version and headphone printed fabric.

This one was immediately put on and worn out the same evening which definitely proves we have a winner! I neglected to put up a review of Jalie 2805 on Pattern Review, so I will be putting up a complete montage of all the shirts I have made shortly. By the way, if you’re interested in getting a hold of this print, I have two yards of this material up for sale – if I don’t sell it, you may be seeing a lot of headphone print gear in the coming months!

Thermal Hearts

I didn’t intend on making another Jalie top so quickly, but after spending so much time on the Boulevard Jacket, I was ready to work on an ‘instant gratification’ project. However, this time, the top wasn’t for me, it was for Taylor:

I had found this heart print thermal knit in the clearance section of Joann’s – not only did it scream Taylor’s name, but it was also an additional 50% off (apparently the thermal knits did not sell well because they shrunk up so much after washing)! Unfortunately they didn’t have quite enough of this print for the long sleeve tee so I improvised – I used a ribbed knit to make cuffs at the ends of the sleeves. I think this also gave the top a more ready-to-wear look, too. The most important thing is that she liked it, which says a lot, Taylor hasn’t let me sew anything for her in ages!
By the way, thank you all for the comments on the jacket! I’m glad it looks o.k. (the patterns aren’t so off that it’s obvious to everyone in the picture) to everyone – I’m wearing it with pride this weekend!

Jacket Complete

As you can tell from the look on my face, I’m not just happy that I’m finished with my jacket, but am pretty pleased with the way it turned out. While it’s not the best example of my sewing, it’s not the worst either.

So, my overall opinions? First off, I LOVE the pattern. It’s well designed and looks great on (either casual or dressy). There are a few minor errors that I spotted in the pattern and instructions (the faux pocket flap sizes are reversed on the pattern pieces, the sleeve flap is never sewn down before pressed to the side, and the picture of how you sew the collar doesn’t have you sewing enough of the collar before attaching it to the jacket) – however, they are pretty obvious mistakesomissions. Additionally, I do suggest that you have some jacket making experience before undertaking this pattern as the instructions, although clear in most parts, are not in depth. I also learned, fabric choice is also important! I would highly recommend using a solid material unless you are willing to spend the time pattern matching. I intend on using this pattern again once spring rolls around – can’t you see this jacket in a yummy pastel? I’ll be posting a full review of this pattern on Pattern Review later in the day (i.e. when Easton naps).

Linky Thursday

I absolutely love this bag tutorial – I’m putting it on my ‘must sew’ list. [link via Craft] This reversible patchwork bag is a close second. [link via Whip Up]
12 of the strangest purses ever made.
Refibered is doing a whole week of giveaways!
There’s still plenty of time to enter Singer & Craft’s Sewing With Nature contest.
Have trouble with interfacing? You SEW Girl’s tips may help you out!
A tutorial on how to stitch an apron from the author of A Is for Apron“>A is for Apron. [link via Apron A Day]. If you’re looking for a smaller version, check out Sew Liberated’s children’s apron.
Instructions on how to add a zipper to an existing tote bag.
How to turns socks into arm warmers.
Someone beat me to it, they took the box bag tutorial and made it better. [link via Craft Gossip]
5 free sock knitting patterns.
Fun for the kids – bank robber money bag.
Sigrid has a great set of tutorials on copying a pair of pants.
Keep your toddlers toes warm: turn your sweater to socks or turn socks into tights!
Make your own paperback wallet.
Tell CreateForLess what your new year’s resolutions are and you could win $100 gift certificate to their store.
Feel like you’ve steped back in time with a cassette tape cozy for your ipod. [link via Pimp Stitch]