Monthly Archives: July 2009

Tie Die Results

I think Sunday’s tie dye party went well. All the girls that were able to come seemed to have a good time. Even though there were quite a few kits (8??) there just wasn’t quite enough dye to adequately cover all the shirts. Want to know how coverage can affect the outcome of your design? Read on….
Almost all the girls chose the “swirl” pattern (the second favorite was the Tri-Color). Here’s an example of 3 and how differently they turned out based on dye coverage:

The shirt on the right had the most dye (although a limited amount of colors) and you can see that the swirl (located on the side of the shirt) is much easier to see. I think if there had been more variety of colors left, this shirt could look very close to the sample provided by the package.
The second shirt is the same pattern, but as you can see, there really wasn’t much paint left to soak into the shirt. While the outside parts were covered well, the interior parts of the swirl is splotchier with a lot more white let over.
Believe it or not, the last shirt was meant to look like a swirl. This one is Taylor’s and she intentionally left a lot of white. After rubber banding her shirt together she alternated between soaking the shirt in color and leaving it white which gave the shirt a splotchy effect instead of the intended design (if you look really hard and squint your eyes you can sort of see it).
The moral here: If you want to get a result like the samples shown on the back of the tie dye box kits, be prepared to use a lot of dye – which means, buy more than one kit if you’re making several shirts! Thankfully, you can’t seem to mess up tie dye – no matter how it turns out, it always looks great!

In The News, Sew News

The AugustSeptember issue of Sew News hits the stands tomorrow and inside you will find an article written by me! The floral wrist pincushion that appears in this magazine was originally written for Sew Simple magazine – however, like so many magazines as of late, it is no longer in publication. Fortunately, it was picked up by Sew News and now, the rest is history!
The final article is a bit different than the original version – my concept was to make a cute pincushion that can be swapped out depending on your mood (or wardrobe). For those who have the magazine in hand, you can attach the flower to the wristlet with iron-on Velcro instead of hand sewing it to the cuff. Either way, it’s a fun way to keep your pins on hand!
Lately, I wanted to note that the tip found at the bottom on the article should read a bit differently. Whoever edited the article changed the meaning dramatically! It should read “For a more durable and softer pincushion, use wool felt” (on the exterior not as a replacement for fiberfill!).

Fighting For Fabric


I’m finally set to start sewing on my Burda Maxi Dress this week. I managed to cut out all the pieces… however, I had to fight for the fabric as our bird decided that it made a nice place to take a nap.
Now we’re off to today’s crafty activity – tie dying shirts for cheerleading camp. I’m actually excited to get to help…. I wonder if they’ll let me make my own?

Maxi Dress Road Map

As much as I love the patterns found in Burda, I really dread tracing the road map of pieces that are inside. So yesterday I put aside my dislike for tracing and started to work on the Maxi Dress. Since my seam tracer has gone missing (I believe it is the abyss that is called my sewing work table), I didn’t add seam allowances to the pattern pieces and have decided that I will ‘eyeball’ it when it comes time to cut the fabric…. I hope I don’t regret that decision later. I’m also heading out to get an invisible zipper for this dress too, after checking out the pattern pieces, I think that I’m not going to be able to skip this step even though I’m using a stretch.
Anyone else working on this at the moment? I’d love to hear your thoughts before I start sewing this up!

Mini Linky Thursday on Friday

Well, last night I finally got to see the new Harry Potter (I really liked it, although I’m a Harry Potter nut!) – by the time we got home, put Easton to bed, and sat down it was rather late. Consequently, I didn’t have enough time to put a post together last night so I’m taking advantage of the fact that Easton’s favorite program is on to write Linky Thursday (on Friday) which gives me approximately 15 minutes…. so today is Mini Linky Thursday:
There’s singing, dancing and a tutorial for the cutest Rockabilly swimsuit!
Turn your shank buttons into earrings.
It’s about time to get get back into knitting… Easton needs one of these hats.
Turn a man’s shirt into a peasant blouse – too cute!
To celebrate their 1 year anniversary, FabricWorm is having a HUGE giveaway!
This tank is simply adorable and it started as a tee that was much too big (the article has a link to the tutorial)!
Big bags are still in and if you still need one, Weekend Designer has a perfect Carpetbagger tutorial to help you make one for yourself.
Ever kind needs a set of blocks, but what could be better than a set made in fabric that nests?

Summer Disorganization and The Cure

I have come to the conclusion that I need more structure. While I make sure that Easton has a predictable routine, mine this summer is completely off-kilter. That’s why, I’m back to making lists. I’ve found that doing this helps keep me organized and accomplish more. What’s on my list for the upcoming week?

  • Post Linky Thursday…. on Friday!
  • Trace off the Burda Maxi dress and the cut material.
  • Continue working on the Field Bag and complete at least 1/2 of the instructions.

Of course, there’s several other things I would like to sneak into this list including writing up some new instructions for The Sewing Republic website, but I don’t want to feel like I’m overwhelming myself…. I will say, that I’ve been brainstorming some fun ideas for my next round and I’m very excited about it.
With that said….. I’m off to go see Harry Potter! How are you spending your day?

Rotary Cutting Machine

First off, I want to tell you all – if I have a link or photo that’s not working, please don’t be afraid to send me an email or leave a comment (I generally check my post after it’s up, but sometimes, if I’m in a hurry, I forget)! I noticed that my picture of my Field Bag zipper from yesterday’s post wasn’t showing up. I’ve fixed it now, but thought I would repost it here!

Last night, I made the yards of piping required for the Field Bag…. it gave the the perfect excuse to try out my Rotary Cutting Machine.

I usually dread making bias tapes or cording because I really dislike having to do all the cutting and measuring – it’s not that it’s difficult, but I really don’t like having to fiddle with all that material and making sure that it’s even, etc. I suppose I won’t have an excuse any longer, this is a cool little machine! After adjusting the pressure of the rotary cutter and the width the machine would cut the fabric, I slid my material through the guide (which helps keep your fabric cutting the same width each time) and the machine did the rest. I had enough bias strips to make my piping in just a minute!
The machine itself is lightweight and is pretty quiet considering it’s feeding the material through the machine and cutting it. It comes with two blades (one that produces a straight edge and another that is pinked), although I read that there will be more released in the coming months. Overall, it’s a fun machine to use (I love gadgets anyway) and makes the whole process of cutting strips of fabric a breeze. It’s not a necessary notion to have in your sewing room, but it sure is a handy one to have! By the way, Simplicity’s Rotary Cutter is available at Joann’s and it looks as if you can use your coupon with this machine.
Edited to add: It looks as if I did have a comment on the photo not working, but it appears that my notices for site comments are going into my ‘spam’ folder at the moment. I think I’ve fixed it, but if I haven’t sent you an email back, I apologize!

Zippered Panels

It took awhile, but all the pieces of my Field Bag are fused! I really love the fusible fleece, but find it tricky to get it to ‘stick’ without a lot of ironing – it’s well worth it though, I’d rather press, press, press than have to baste!
I also managed to start sewing the zipper section together. However, I’m a bit disappointed at how mine turned out. Since zipper tapes can come in a variety of sizes, you have to measure where the zipper is placed on the top panels…. apparently I was ‘off’ somewhere because there is more tape exposed on one side than the other. It bother’s me that it looks like this, but not enough that I want to start over – unless it effects construction later on.

How’s everybody else’s bag coming along?

Book Browsing

It seems to me as if there is a lull in sewing book releases lately. Since I can’t seem to get my ‘fix’ of new material, I decided to turn to the internet to start making a wish list of new material. Here’s some of my upcoming favorites:
I’ve always been a fan of Wenlan Chia’s knitting – her style is cute and trendy, but my skills with the sticks were lacking so I was never able to knit any of her designs up for myself. Which is why I got so excited to see Twinkle Sews is coming out this September! The book promises 25 full size designs on CD for you to print at home – let’s just hope that this book’s first release doesn’t have as many errors as what her knitting book did.
If you’re a longtime reader of this site, then you know that I’m a complete bag junkie. So when Christopher Nejman started posting videos of his upcoming book on CD, Celebrity Bags, I immediately knew I needed this ‘book’! Unfortunately, I have to wait until January of 2010 for this one to arrive. By the way, he’s publishing this one himself, so for the time being pre-orders can only be placed through is website.
Besides leaving college with a degree, I also collected an abundance of sweatshirts. While I still wear some of them during the winter, I would love to have a way to recycle some of the ‘lesser loved’ sweatshirts into something fabulous. Chic Sweats looks like it might give me some great ideas with inspiring 22 projects from sweatpants to skirts. Plus it’s from my favorite T-Shirt Makeover authors, Sistahs of Harlem, so it’s bound to be good!
Alright, so it’s not a book, but I am definitely picking up the Sewing: 2010 Day-to-Day Calendar. I’m always seeing knitting, scrapbooking, and even cooking themes in this line of calendars and for once, I’m not going to be short changed!
I’m totally addicted to Victoria Secret – heck, I even took out a VS credit card this year! While I love their lingerie, I can’t stand their prices – especially because I know that most of their merchandise can be made for under $15. I thought a book like Sweet Nothings inspire me do so more ‘unmentionable’ sewing of my own.
Bend the Rules with Fabric comes out next month, but I’m sorry to say, it’s not one that I’m super excited about. As much as I loved (and sewed up several projects from) Bend-the-Rules Sewing, I’m not thinking that I’ll be using this title as much. However, I will probably break down and buy it anyway – I’m a sucker for fun looking books (and it definitely has a fun cover)!
One yard of fabric with over 101 projects to transform it into – that’s One-Yard Wonders! I’ve been excited about this title ever since the authors did a call for submissions last year (maybe later?) and in just a few short months (October), I’ll be able to see what fun projects made it in!
I don’t generally have a lot of lonly socks to play with, but I live the ideas behind Stray Sock Sewing, Too. I’m also super pumped that more popular Japanese titles are being translated into English. I probably won’t immediately be picking this book up when its released, but I’m keeping it on my wishlist for when I need a ‘softie’ sewing fix.
What are some of your favorite upcoming sewing titles?