Monthly Archives: August 2011


Today is the last day of August which means there are roughly 115 days until Christmas. Once again, I have vowed that I am making more gifts this year, and for once, I intend on sticking with it! While 115 days seems like a plenty of time to sewcraftcreate, I’m thinking that I had better get started now because in the end, I find myself scrambling to finish or just scrapping the whole idea of sewing and buying a present instead. Here’s some ideas I’m currently tossing around:

For the kids: Pajama Eaters (by the way, today is the last day to get this pattern for free) stuffed with a new pair of Christmas pajamas. Art supply organizers are also high on my list of ‘must sew’ items.

For the BFFs: I’m really leaning toward making them a travel and personal organizers (I am looking forward to getting a lot of mileage out of this pattern). I may even toss in a cloth pad or two as this seems to make all of us giggle.

For the guys: We have several ‘single’ guys in our family and it seems like every year we get them bar ware. This year I’m thinking box bags in leather.

For my mom: Probably one of my mom’s all time favorite things I’ve made her is the Tommy Boxer…. so I’m thinking she needs another pair! She is also a bag junkie like me, but I’m not narrowing down a pattern until it gets closer to the holidays.

The gifts that are tripping me up? Couples. What in the heck do you make a couple? I’m up for suggestions!

Sew Simple

It’s been quite some time since I’ve used a Simplicity pattern. A few years ago, I stopped wearing them (aside from costumes, I feel like Simplicity has more options) because they never did fit right without lots of alterations. More recently, Simplicity has come out with a ‘new’ line called Sew Simple – an easy to sew collection that has some ‘trendy’ looks, so I thought I would give one a try. I decided on 1972, a “peasant-style”, knit shirt with a tie belt and fun sleeve ‘detailing’. I think this design is a fun look that can be dressed up or down and a perfect style for fall. I searched my stash and decided on a pretty purple jersey that has wonderful drape – which is going to be important with this style so I don’t look like I’m ‘expecting’. I can’t wait to get started! Anyone else testing out this pattern line?

Project Details:

Pattern: Simplicity 1972

Purple cotton jersey from Sew Much

Materials & Cost:

Turkey Time?

Why is it the weekends go by so fast, but the week seems to drag on? Even though the past two days flew by, I have to admit, it was pretty productive. Not only did I finish up another tutorial for The Sewing Republic (think quick and easy and fun for the kids), but I cooked our traditional Thanksgiving in July August (I had a hard time doing this in July because it was just too hot, but we all really start craving turkey with all the fixings way before Thanksgiving) I think the Tryptophan is still making me groggy because I’m still having a hard time deciding on what to work on next… although, I’m leaning towards a new top!

One More

Yes it’s one more item for my Harry Potter swap – which also happens to be one more Candy Cauldron! I went with a fun plaid – not only does this compliment the black burlap, but plaid is also one of my partner’s prints and since Harry Potter fabric isn’t readily available this was going to have to do. It is a bit on the Halloween-ish side (color wise), but I figure she can use it to hand out treats to trick-or-treaters this year. Now it’s time to brainstorm one more item. I think I’ll work on some other projects and see what might inspire me in the mean time.

What is everyone else working on this weekend?

Linky Thursday

I have a large bag of ties just waiting for a projects just like this.

When I was a kid, I loved my lap desk. Now I can make a grown-up, stylish version for myself!

A truly amazing Victorian skirt tutorial.

I think my kids would love these for watching tv: The Triangle Floor Pillow.

Who says ruffle scarves just have to be frilly? Funk it up with a fabulous animal print and the Mamma Ruffle Scarf.

I’m not usually not one for small stuffies, but these tiny kittens in a box are so cute and detailed for being so little!

Transform a shirt into a baby romper.

Am I the last one to learn that Modge Podge may just be watered down white school glue?

What a cute way to store your pins – a baby turtle riding it’s mother’s back.

At first glance, this pouch looks like any other tutorial, until you notice the covered zipper ends. Nice!

Create a novelty pillowcase with two, contrasting fabrics. Speaking of pillows, how cute are these burlap versions?

Spoonflower Knits

I’m going to start off this entry by saying that I am not being payed to make any remarks, this is not an advertisement nor is it a sponsored post. You see last week, Spoonflower had their annual ‘free swatch’ day. While I know all about their cottons, I never have heard anyone really talking about their knit fabrics – so I thought I would give it a try and share my findings with you.

The first thing I wanted to do was check how the bold the prints were so I decided to go with something that had a lot of color – I went with a print called Watercolor Galaxy on their Organic Cotton Knit. My 8×8″ swatch arrived in the mail this week (speedy delivery) and I have to say it looked exactly like the image on my screen. The fabric itself has a beautiful sheen and a crosswise stretch that’s around 25% – so it will work with (almost) all your knit-wear patterns. The cotton interlock also a wonderful weight – it’s thin enough that has some drape to it, but beefy enough that you can’t see through the material. It also has great stretch & recovery so your clothing won’t stretch out of shape after wearing it for an hour!

What I consider the real test, however, is washing. I immediately popped it into a ‘regular’ cycle on my machine (cold wash, phosphate free detergent, and timed air dry cycle) to see how it would perform. After removing it from the dryer, the colors seem just as vibrant as when the swatch arrived and didn’t have any significant shrinkage!

Too good to be true? Pretty much, however, ordering this custom organic interlock does have it’s downside. First off is the price – $27/yard. Ouch. Secondly, the ‘base’ color for the fabric is off-white. You’ll have to keep this in mind if you’ve left “blank” areas to your design (you’ll need to ‘fill’ this in with white if that’s the look you’re going for).

With all that said, I can’t wait to try my hand at designing my own knit material…. of course, I need to win the lottery first. Good thing I bought a ticket to this week’s powerball drawing!


Yes, it’s another Harry Potter themed project! One requirement from this swap is to craft an item from your partner’s ‘class’ preference… my partner’s was potions. After tossing around several ideas, I came up with a (candy) cauldron and these potions vials. What to put in them? I’m leaving that up to my partner to decide. Since these have to be put into the mail, I’m not risking them breaking and ruining everything in the box. As for me, I am contemplating making a set (in colored glass) – I think they would make fabulous decorations for Halloween too. If you’re thinking about making a set for yourself too, here’s the ones I used, along with large and small Halloween drink labels.

Loony Luna

Instead of making progress on a new tutorial, I let myself get sidetracked by Harry Potter… a Harry Potter themed swap that is! Partners were announced Friday evening which gave me plenty of time to come up with ideas. One item that really stood out that she wanted was a pillow similar to this, but in Ravenclaw colors (blue and bronze) and with Luna Lovegood’s Spectrespecs. The photo on the right is what I came up with.

What surprised me about this particular project is how time consuming it really was. Between sewing fleece strips together and appliqueing the Spectrespecs to the pillow front, this became a ‘long afternoon’ design – I’m just thankful that I’m happy with the end result!

And The Winner Is…..

It’s Sunday, so that can only mean it’s time to announce the winner of Simplicity’s Fabric Guide (if you haven’t had a chance to look at it, you can read my review here)! The Random Number Generator selected #18 – Mama Violet! Congratulations (If you’ll send me your mailing address, I’ll happily shoot it your way)! For those who didn’t win – thanks for participating and be sure to check back soon for more freebies & giveaways!

Test Run

I love creating my own patternstutorials for sites like the Sewing Republic. Not only do I enjoy all the planning involved (and yes, even the math), but I really get a kick out of seeing my idea(s) come to life. The down side to all this? Pattern Testing (I actually don’t mind pattern testing when it all works out the first time, LOL). That’s the stage that I’m at now (trial #1 is pictured on the right) and am in the process of redrafting things so the finished product ‘looks right’. Guess what I’ll be working on this weekend?

Speaking of the Sewing Republic, if you haven’t already heard, there’s some exciting changes taking place. Later this month they will be combining the best of their website with a newly designed We All Sew blog. This means you’ll not only have fantastic projects (if I do say so myself), but tips, fresh ideas, great links, sewing videos, and engaging conversations with like-minded sewers all in one place!