Monthly Archives: July 2009

Road Trip

We’re headed west for a family reunion this weekend (where I get to wear my new maxi dress). Besides the fact that most of our time is filled with activities, I’ve found (from past experience) the internet connection at our hotel is horrible so I’ve decided to leave my laptop behind (I hope I don’t experience withdrawal symptoms). . Consequently, I won’t be posting until Monday or Tuesday.
I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Shhhh, It’s A Secret!


I have a new project up at The Sewing Republic today….. The Secret Pocket Pillow. Although this pillow looks like an ordinary couch or bed ‘decoration’ it has a hidden pocket on the inside that can be used to hide a journal, love letters, or even electronics! This one is perfect for someone going back to college this fall.
Hope you all enjoy this tutorial. Be sure to let me know what you think and send me some photos of your completed project!

An Announcement

Normally on Thursdays I post the fun tutorials, news, events, giveaways that I’ve come across during the week. However, seeing that tomorrow is the end of the month and what was to be the end of the Amy Butler TunicField Bag sew along, I thought I had better nix Linky Thursday and post an announcement.
Seeing that both Kris and I are both behind on getting our bags sewn up, we thought you all might be struggling to meet the deadline as well – so we’re extending it! Now you can turn in your completed project to the group by August 31 to be eligible to win our sewing prize! Plus we’re expanding what you can submit – not just Amy’s tunic (or Field Bag), but any top pattern of your choice!
I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with! Don’t forget to post your questions on the discussion board. Have fun and Happy Sewing!

My First Maxi Dress

Just in time for the weekend, my maxi dress is finally finished! Since I skipped inserting the zipper, the last few steps of gathering, attaching, and hemming the skirt was very easy. The only change I wish I would have made to this design is taking in the underarms a bit – I think there’s just a bit too much material there (I’m thinking that this is just a new alteration that I’m going to have to keep in mind, since this seems to be a problem in several patterns recently)
So, what are my thoughts on this dress? First off, it’s another winner from Burda – it’s stylish, the fit is good, and it came together easily. Secondly, I’m glad I skipped the zip…. it’s really not necessary if you use a fabric with enough stretch and recovery. However, I am being very careful when I put it on just to make sure that I don’t pop any stitches, just in case! Lastly, be sure to chose you fabric wisely. Thin cottons or jerseys will look best with this design – anything too hefty will bulk up in areas (remember there’s lots of gathers around the bust and waistlines) and won’t give a flattering drape.

Earth Friendly

During my Sunday sew-in, I had the opportunity to work on two new tutorials for The Sewing Republic. While I can’t show you exactly what I worked on, I can give you a sneak peek. My first tutorial is a fairly easy to create project, but since the ‘material’ can’t be pinned and is very slippery it was nice to have to have a hands-free lever! The end result is a fun, trendy, and very Earth friendly design. Look for this one sometime mid to late fall!

Making A Dent


It was so nice to be able to have some uninterrupted sewing time yesterday – sewing has got to be so much cheaper than therapy (wait, maybe it isn’t. I do have a rather large fabric ‘collection’).
While I didn’t get to everything that I would have liked, I did make a nice dent into my list…. I even made some progress on my Burda Maxi Dress! This is the bodice to the dress – as you can see, I’ve skipped the invisible zipper. I went to the mall with Taylor the other day and checked out several dresses with a similar design – none of which had zips. I slipped on one (if I wasn’t already in the process of making a dress, I would have just snatched up this one, it was adorable) and didn’t have any problems wrangling it on, so I thought I would skip it with my version. Consequently, I decided to eliminate some of the interfacing (like the back of the dress) so that it would retain more stretch. I’m not sure if all knit interfacings behave the same, but I’ve found that the kind I’ve been purchasing reduces some of the stretch.
So far, everything has gone together without a hitch – let’s hope it all continues that way! What did everyone do over their weekend?

The Great Sew-In

Aghh, the “Sewing Day”! As I take a break for lunch, I’m happy to report that I’m not only enjoying a day devoted to sewing, but I’ve already managed to complete one tutorial! I will say, I’m very happy that my Bernina has a ‘hands free’ lever that lowers the presser foot – it’s really helped since it isn’t a good idea to use pins with this project. (Photos will come later on in the week…. I’ve made sure to take plenty!)
Hope you all are enjoying your weekend and are getting a bit of sewing in yourself!

Summer Fun


Today’s post has absolutely nothing to do with sewing, but I thought the site needed a few more pictures. Above is just a few of the things we’ve been doing the past couple of weeks – catching bugs and frogs, eating GIANT hamburgers, playing outside, wearing dad’s shoes……

Sewing Preparation

Since Bret had a day devoted to fishing last week and is currently on a ‘work retreat’ (I put that in quotes because not only are they having meetings and seminars, but I believe there was mention of white water rafting as well?), I am gearing up for an entire day of sewing on Sunday. How do I prepare for a day devoted to needle arts?
First I clean the entire house – nothing is more distracting than knowing that there’s tons of other things that I should be doing.
Secondly, I get my projects lined up – tracing patterns, cutting fabrics, and writing instructions that I can ‘test sew’. I’m trying to be realistic about the number of things that I will accomplish in one day – I’ll be happy if I just get the Maxi Dress completed.
Lastly, I shut the door to my sewing room, unplug the computer, and turn off the phone. Otherwise, I’m too tempted to check my favorite blogs, play a ‘quick game’, or chat with a friend.
How do you prepare for your marathon sewing day?

Linky Thursday

All I can say is , “wow”, Jo Hamilton’s crochet portraits are amazing (my favorite is #9)! [link via Craft]
I love these little Sugar Skull Pincushions, but you’ll have to hurry for the download – they’re only available for 2 more days!
Another great tutorial from Adventures from the Sewing Studio – this time, turn a men’s dress shirt into a strapless, ruffled cami!
When we’re ready to convert Easton’s crib to the toddler bed, I’m keeping this canopy in mind – but maybe change it up to something more boyish…. ideas anyone?
Have a piece of furniture that you’d like to transform into something fabulous? Then American Lifestyle’s DIY contest may motivate you to get it started – the grand prize winner will receive $150 and have their creation featured in an upcoming issue.
Such a pretty way to use up fabric scraps, make your own fabric envelopes – no sewing involved!
This week is ‘T-Shirt Recon Week’ at Threadbager – check out this video tute from Megan Nicolay on how to create a sexy halter.
A new Sew Forth Now podcast is up focusing on Summer Sewing.
Melly & Me’s Bonbon Giveaway.
I absolutely love this d12 bag – not only is it eye catching, it would make a great gift for the gamer! [link via Craft]
Ever asked yourself the question, “How many pop tabs does it take to make a prom dress?” The answer 4,296.
A quick to whip up water bottle tote.