Monthly Archives: July 2010

Changing Pad and Pocket

I wish the latest project from the Sewing Republic had been released before our trip out of town – this Changing Pad and Pocket would have made the best gift for my friend! I’m going to attempt to remember this one for the next baby shower that I attend – this just seems like such a perfect gift, especially for a mom on the go!
Speaking of Sewing Republic…. I am attempting to put the finishing touches on my latest tutorials for the site. Unlike my previous projects, they are slightly more difficult and require a bit of pattern drafting on the part of the reader. Consequently, I may be asking for a few pattern testers that can check for clarity before I send them out….. stay tuned for more information in the coming week(s).

Next Up……

I managed to finish up a major project over the weekend so I decided to ‘reward’ myself with something fun. So I broke down and bought the Tommy Boxer pattern. After downloading it, I can say, I am definitely going to like this project – it has subtle finishes (like waistband stitching, a one piece seat design, and optional lettering) that I think sets this pattern apart from others that I currently have. By the way, if you intend on buying this pattern I suggest that you don’t print off the entire file – it’s an enormous amount of paper!
I looked into my stash closet and never found any suitable fabric – in fact, I noticed most of it consists of a variety of knits, denim and bottomweights, and flannel. So, I set out to the store to find something that might work…… and came home empty handed (I am now convinced that the stock at Joann’s and Hancock Fabric never changes). Even though I didn’t want to wait for shipping, I went ahead and shopped online and found several fabrics that would work – now it’s up to the postman to deliver my package so I can set to work! So now I’m in the process of deciding what to do next – what is everyone else working on? I need some ideas!

Sew Hip!

This weekend has gone by incredibly fast – I suppose going out of town will do that. Not only did we get to catch up with close friends, but we ate some great food, and took in a bit of shopping. While waiting to go to brunch the other day, we decided to pop into a bookstore across the street….. and am I ever glad we did – I found a Sew Hip! It’s been ages since I’ve seen one of these magazines from the UK so I decided that I needed to snag this issue.
Overall, this magazine still has the fresh, youthful vibe it started with and there are lots of photographseye candy inside. Besides the articles, blurbs, and advertising (does anyone else enjoy looking at these beside me?) there are always projects (with patterns!) included with each issue – most tend to cater to the beginner, but there are a few that are considered ‘intermediate’…. I am looking for an excuse to make the Nappy Bag from this issue and will definitely be trying out the Folding Festival Bag (although this bag uses a glue-in, curved metal frame – has anyone ever tried those? It sounds messy). Although it’s a fun magazine, I just can’t see myself subscribing (roughly $98 dollars a year) and getting a lot for my money – I think I’ll just keep it to single issues that I randomly stumble across in other cities!

Unexpected Finds

The other day I stopped by Needle Nook to drop off a Burda Magazine to Anne and came home with these:

It’s probably fortunate that I had Easton with me as he wasn’t the best helper shopping this time around – otherwise I probably would have come home with a few more pieces! I wound up finding a fun slinky panel with a great design on it – I’m seeing lots of possibilities with this one (I’m thinking t-shirt with placement of the circle on the side) and a (new to me fabric) stretch seersucker! This one just screamed summer so I snagged two yards. I don’t have a particular project in mind with this one (I’m open to suggestions), but I’m leaning toward a crossover, side-tie shirt, with maybe a small ruffle around the neckline…. now to find something that fits that description!
What sorts of fabulous finds have you come across this summer?

Bibs And A Basket

I usually don’t do a lot of early morning sewing, but I’ve found that we’re so off schedule (staying up late, sleeping in, no naps, days at the pool) that it might be the only way to get anything accomplished over the next month before school starts back up. I have to admit, it was blissfully quiet sewing – and I even took in a couple cups of coffee! To top it off, I finished four baby bibs.
I plan on packing these up in this fun little basket that I made years ago (I believe it was a McCalls pattern) – the friend I had made it for saved it after all these years and gave it to me at my baby shower for Easton (with the promise that I would return it to her when it was her turn, again). That shower was months ago and while cleaning out Easton’s room I found it safely stored in his closet – OOPS! So I plan on tucking all the bibs along with some other fun baby goodies inside to make up for my forgetfulness!

Linky Thursday

How well do you know your fabrics? Identify all the designers of the fabrics used in this sweet little top and you could win one for yourself (well, a little girl in your life).
Hot Patterns have a new, free pattern up at and just in time for the summer sun: The Sunny Side Up Sun Hat
Yesterday, our heat index was 115 – YIKES! If you have to be outside in the sweltering temperatures, make yourself one of these handmade neck coolers…. although with temperatures like this, I want mine much, much, much bigger!
I don’t have a little girl to sew for anymore, but the name of this pattern alone makes me want to win this contest (not to mention the adorable cover shot): Betty Be Bold Bloomer Bottoms for Adventurous Girls.
I thought Whip Up’s Refashion #4 had so many great ideas, I couldn’t just pick one – so stop by here to find out their entire list of ideas (I definitely plan on trying the shirt to toddler shorts).
Every year the contestants for Duck Tape’s Stuck At Prom Contest keep getting better and better. Vote your 2010 favorite here.
There are times that I really wish I could crochet. Seeing the Urban Jungle Beanie is one of them.
Summer surface design giveaway.
A new Sew Forth Podcast is up and it’s topic is one after my own heart….. Fabric stashes!
I’m always on a lookout for fun kid’s projects – Paper, Scissors Glue targets ages 3-10 (almost the perfect age range at our house)…. here’s your chance to win a copy.
Win a charm pack of Nancy Mim’s Free To Grow (for Robert Kaufman).

I’m A Gardener And Other Miscellaneous Stuff

I’m a gardener! Well, sort of. After the fiasco of growing strawberries, I was concerned that our tomatoes might be a wash as well, but I’m happy to report – we have fruit (as much as I would like to call it a vegetable, I know it’s not really)! It’s not a bumper crop and many of them stayed small, but they tasted delicious…. I guess I’ll be growing more next year!
In other news, Taylor got her braces off…. and her teeth look AMAZING! Now comes the bad part – a frenectomy on the upper portion of her lip. We had thought this would be a short, easy procedure, but when I talked with the oral surgeon they are considering putting her to sleep during the procedure since it may be ‘involved’. YIKES! I had never heard of a frenectomy before we started braces, but apparently a frenulum (that flap of skin that connects your lip and gum) that is too long is what contributes to a gap in your front teeth – so basically we have to have it done otherwise the braces were for not. I’ll keep you posted…. she has the procedure done on the 19th.
In the sewing department, I’m planning on whipping up another round of baby bibs. The friend that I had made the first round for loved them so much, she’s requested more. Let’s hope Easton naps just long enough that I can pick out some fabric and cut out a few!

Sew Serendipity

Kay Whitt has a certain style that makes her patterns so distinctive. I’ve long admired some of her bags and dresses, so when I saw she was writing a book, I put it on my Amazon wishlist. I’ve had several weeks to thumb through Sew Serendipity: Fresh and Pretty Designs to Make and Wear
and I have to say, I’m not disappointed.
The thing that impressed me most about this title is that there is an entire section devoted to “Custom Fitting”. While this area isn’t extensive, there are tips on how to do some basic adjustments (length of skirts, jackets, sleeves, bodice, as well as adjusting the neckline and shoulders and hipwaist) – something that seems to be missing from most books with similar projects. I think that this is an important section for books that deal with creating your own clothing, especially if the recipient is someone with limited experience in garment making. I will also add, there is a great, illustrated, step-by-step guide on installing invisible zippers which I found very helpful – I always seem to have a problem setting them in correctly.
The patterns themselves are adorable. Although I’ve got to admit, not all of them are quite my style – as much as I like the shabby chic look, I just don’t pull it off well. That’s not to say that I didn’t find several patterns that I intend on sewing up for myself (or maybe even Taylor): The Geometric Tunic Dress, Damask Tunic, the Classic Tailored Jacket, and yes, even the Multi-Fabric Skirt (as seen on the front cover of the book). All the patterns are neatly stored in a envelope in the back of the book and are all full size (I find this a very important feature as I absolutely despise having to enlarge my patterns), best of all, the book is spiral bound – so there’s no wrangling with the pages (or cracking the spine of the book, something that is a ‘no-no’ in our house) while you’re sewing! I’m looking forward to sewing one of these patterns up in the near future, but if you’ve already had a chance to do this, I’d love to hear about your experience with it!
The Bottom Line: Not only is Sew Serendipity a pretty book to look at, but it has great patterns and information included as well. A good book for beginner and advanced sewers alike that are looking for a title where they can create cute dresses, tunics, and jackets.

And The Winner Is……

If you stopped the site on Friday, you might have noticed that I asked for a bit of help (i.e. Pink or Beige?)… and I’m happy to report – I finally decided. And the winner is…… PINK! Even though I loved the way the beige looked with the lace, I think my mood (caffeinated and perky) had a lot to do with the fabric selection. While the beige looks classic, the pink definitely had a ‘fun vibe’ to it – more in tune with my mood (by the way, I find it amazing how color can not only be a reflection of how you’re feeling, but change the feel of your garment as well.) While I can’t exactly show you what I was working on, yet. I can say that you’ll be seeing it in the February 2011 issue of Sew News – also a factor in my color preference…. pink just seems to scream Valentines!
And now it’s back to the sewing room before everyone wakes up!

So Many Patterns (so little time)!

Someone stop me, I feel the urge to shop! I just received an email about Meg’s latest pattern, the Sunday Picnic Blouse and I’m very tempted to pick this one up – the only thing stopping me (besides the fact I have two new Hot Patterns sitting on my desk) is the giant bow on the side of the top…. anyone else have any thoughts on how it might look?
I’ve also been considering The Tommy Boxer pattern for quite some time. Both Taylor and I wear them to bed (and to lounge around in) this summer so I think that it should get a lot of use. Even though I’ve got a Kwik Sew version, I like the fact that the Sis Boom pattern has appliqued letters along with it (I’m think some Victoria Pink style) – not to mention they’re unisex!
Of course, there’s always Amy Butler’s latest – the Sandlewood Jacket. This one looks looks easy to sew up and perfect for fall – although with as hot as it is her today, I’m not sure I’m ready to start thinking ahead that far!
What patterns have you been eyeing? I think I need a bigger list!