Monthly Archives: January 2012

New To The Stash

After a successful Jalie hoodie, I thought that I would do some shopping to (potentially) find fabric to make a solid, short sleeved version. Instead, I came home with 3 prints – none of which are intended to make a hoodie! The first fabric is a fun stripe material (black to white stripe repeat) from Needle Nook Fabrics – I can see making this one into a shirt, but would like to avoid long sleeves so I don’t have to do a lot of matching of stripes. The other two fabrics are from Sew Much. The blue Jennifer Paganelli print will eventually become a pair of Tommy Boxers, while the purplewhiteblack swirl has a spring dress vibe to it.

I also received (and shopped) my gift certificate that I won to Shabby Fabrics. I used it to buy a gorgeous quilt pattern called Meg’s Garden (from my current favorite designer), but after reading over the directions, I might not be prepared to stitch this one up soon. While the applique is pretty straightforward, the stipplingmeandering stitch my be a little more ‘advanced’. I think I’m going to have to spend some time practicing with my BSR stitch regulator before I work on something so large.

Hello, Kitty!

With my husband traveling in Alaska last week, it was almost impossible to get any sewing done. So, this weekend, I spent time in the sewing room and finished a Jalie Hoodie! I was inspired by the fabric I used – it reminded me of something you might see at Hot Topic (which is a good thing when you have a teen)… and fortunately, Taylor loved it! Once again, the fit is spot on (she’s even wearing a tank top and shirt under the finished hoodie) and the construction was great (although more time consuming that what I anticipated). I’m anxious to sew up my striped version now!

Half Way There

I was really hoping that I would be much further along in my second version of Jalie 3132, but I haven’t had much time to devote to sewing this week so, the photo on the left is all that I have to show for now. It still need all the hems set and a hood before it’s complete – right now it looks a lot like a scrub top with a kangaroo pocket. I’m hoping that adding the hood (also black) will tone down all that print… it’s really pink and very Hello Kitty at the moment.

A few things I discovered sewing this version:
If you use a small enough adult pattern size (this one was a ‘T’), you can squeeze this top (short sleeves, hip length) out with 1 yard of fabric so long as you use a contrast for the pocket and hood… it does take some planning, so be prepared to ‘map’ everything out before you cut.

The kangaroo pocket takes longer than you expect to assemble. While the sides are completed with self fabric, there’s still lots of pressing, folding and placement to deal with. This may just be ‘me’, though because I seemed to spend a great deal of time measuring everything to make sure it was even.

Linky Thursday

Ruffles are still hot in ready-to-wear, why not put a few on you bag. This awesome (Anthro knock-off) bag will teach you how.

Speaking of ruffles, learn how to make an Asymmetrical Ruffle party dress using pre-made ruffles.

This skirt has some very interesting details to it. Use just the right fabrics and this one could be a show stopper.

This Australian quilt designer may be my favorite artist at the moment. Check out her work for yourself and learn how to sew up this fabulous Rocket Ship Pillow for the boys or Flower Garden version for the girls.

I love this mini-pocketbook – especially the pen holder… I can never find one when I need it!

If you have a stroller with a removable canopy, you can learn how to make a new one. What a great way to give a new look to baby gear (especially after multiple kids)!

Need some Good Fortune this year (the fabric line, not luck!)? Learn how to win a bundle for yourself!

I think I’m partial to ‘hobo’ style bags because I had a really awesome purple mesh one in the ’80’s. I may have to put this one on my must sew list. (I may have had a notebook like this as well).

Headbands seem to be super popular at my daughter’s school. Why pay $10 a pop when you can make one in 10 minutes and for around $1? (No sewing is required, but you can definitely replace the glue with needle and thread)

Did your daughter get a baby this Christmas? Has she been asking for new diapers to change her? Skip the store and make your own!

This apron may be designed with the holidays in mind, but I could totally see it made is some adorable Valentine fabrics!

I don’t know why I never thought of making some of these fabulous DIY Leather Ring Bracelets (another no sew project), I seem to have everything on hand to make them…. plus they look very stylish!

Who said keeping your ears warm meant sacrificing style? Make a pair of fur earmuffs.

Sometimes you don’t want to have to carry a list – instead write it on you bag with this Trendy Chalkboard Tote.

More One Yard Wonders

I’ll admit it, my favorite type of sewing books are the ones packed with projects. So it’s probably no surprise that Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders was high on my wishlist. Since Santa didn’t put this in my stocking this year, I wound up ordering it after Christmas (note to self, it takes forever for items to arrive around the holidays) and was floored at how huge it was when it arrived! This book has over 100 projects that uses all sorts of fabrics – wools, flannels, cottons, laminatesoilcloth, knits, fleece and more…. I think I may have picked a project from each category to try out! Some of my favorites include: The Organizer Wallet, Kid’s Comfy Chair (I am amazed that you can make a chair with one yard of fabric), umbrella redo (this can be seen on the cover of the book), and the Pig & Piglets (this is from the same pattern designer). Although there aren’t difficult ratings for these projects, I would say most are geared toward the beginner to intermediate sewers (even the umbrella seems pretty straightforward and easy to sew). There’s also a handy reference at the beginning of each section that gives tips and trick on how to cut, sew, and care for each fabric type.

Although this book seems ‘perfect’ there is one big drawback. There are lots of projects geared toward children. If you don’t have any young ones in your house (or intend on sewing for some), this greatly diminishes the useable number of items you can sew up in this book. This book is also heavy on bagstoteswalletsorganizers so if this isn’t something you care to sew up either, you may want to rethink this title.

The Bottom Line: A good title to have on your bookshelf especially if you have young children in the house. Perfect for beginner sewers who are looking to expand their project range to items that are not just made of cottonswovens.

Silver Tunic?

Since I had ‘just the right’ thread in my serger, I decided to start with the silver knit Jalie tunic first. I was a bit leery about working with this material because I’ve had problems sewing some beefy rib knits in the past, but I was pleasantly surprised working with this one – it sewed up beautifully, although it did sound rough going through the serger (all those ribs are pretty tall). The instructions were easy to follow and the instructions for the neckline produced a perfect, pointed ‘V’. My only complaint is that the tunic is way too long (at least for my short body) and looks more like a dress than a top. The photo on the left is the (unhemmed, so you’ll have to envision it 2 inches shorter) tunic while the photo on the right has the excess material removed (and hemmed):

Overall, another winner, but I’ll probably just stay away from the longer tunic length unless I’m looking for a short dress this summer.

Jalie 3132

I loved the fit and look of my last project so much that I went out and bought a new Jalie pattern – 3132. It arrived over the weekend and I couldn’t wait to get to work. I picked several fabrics to give this pattern a test run: two jerseys and a silver cablerib knit that I picked up years ago. I also started tracing off both styles, the hoodie and ‘regular’ style as well as both lengths and sleeve styles. First up, a tunic length, 3/4 sleeve style top in the silver knit fabric. I can’t wait to get sewing!

Project Details:

Pattern: Jalie 3132

Silver cable knit from

Plum stripe butter jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics

Hello kitty jersey from

Materials & Cost:

Mystery Project

After a Christmas sewing marathon then a 2 1/2 week ‘vacation’, I thought I would have a hard time getting back into the swing of tutorial writing (i.e. my brain felt as if it had turned to ‘mush’). Thankfully, I’ve been very motivated by a new project I’ve been developing for WeAllSew, so getting back into gear wasn’t difficult at all – in fact I’ve spent the past few days creating prototypes (the picture on the right is a little sneak peek)! I’m thinking this one will be a big hit since even my kids liked the finished product…. I wonder what it could be?

In other news, I finally got my copy of Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders yesterday…. and it’s HUGE! I’m hoping to have a full review up by next week, but I think it’s safe to say that this is definitely a great project based book to have on your bookshelf. I have a feeling I’ll get a lot of mileage out of it!

Linky Thursday

I need a top just like this – I’m thinking it would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Made a resolution to keep organized? Try making one of these 9-Pocket Door Caddy to stash your stuff!

Sew up a boutique baby style bib – perfect for baby showers.

Perfect for storing little trinkets or just for carrying around: Lined Drawstring Bag.

A nice little wristlet that’s perfect for a girls night out.

If one of your Christmas gifts included a camera, you’ll definitely want to stitch yup one of these camera bag inserts.

No animals were hurt in the making of this trophy head.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day – a fabric mailbox (perfect for stuffing full of cards).
A few Christmas’ ago, we got a bouncy ball kit (some sort of beads that glummed together when you soaked it in water). This tutorial to make your own sounds so much more fun. I think this might be our ‘rainy day’ activity.

Get more sleep this year – you can start by making a sleep mask.

A cake you don’t have to feel guilty about! (wouldn’t it make a cute pincushion?)

It’s bright and cheery and screams ‘make me’. This Modern Halves Quilt not only showcases some fabulous fabric, but looks simple enough to piece together – even for a beginner quilter!

Pressing Matters

Proper pressing is one of the most important aspects of any sewing project… it can make the difference between creating something professional and it looking “Becky Home Ec-y”. Even the most inexpensive pressing ham can cost you around $12, but if you have some scraps on hand, you can make your own (plus it’s fun to coordinate your sewing roomtools)! Intrigued? Then you’ll definitely want to check out my latest article in Sew News (FebMarch 2012). I will give you a heads up, this is a very messy project as it uses sawdust as a filler so be prepared to move your work outside for stuffing. Speaking of sawdust, where can you get yours? If your spouse isn’t into woodworking, then you can try your hand at askingbegging at your local home improvement center. The man who helped me was reluctant to part with it since it’s ‘company policy’ that what’s inside the ‘vacuum’ is owned by the store… after he saw we had a cart full of other items, he was more willing to part with it. You can always substitute with fiberfill, but you’ll want to pack very firmly and smooth out any lumps and bumps.

Have questions about this article? Like to share your finished project? Post your links or comments here!