Monthly Archives: March 2012

Those Who Can’t Sew….

Those who can’t sew…. shop! At least that’s how I tackle my inability to make it into the sewing room consistently this week (apparently the week after spring break has to be one of the busiest of the year). Since there’s been a definite lack of sewing books released recently, I decided to browse Amazon to see what they had to offer. I put Jennifer Paganelli’s Happy Home into my cart along with a non-related sewing book, but ‘must-read’ (in my humble opinion): Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) (for those of you who don’t know the author Jenny Lawson, I highly recommend her website The Blogess – it’s a hilarious read). Even though I don’t normally go for home dec. books, I am making an exception because I’ve seen the images from Girl’s World and I would LOVE to make everything from that book even though I don’t have a little girl!

I’ve also found a number of fabrics I wouldn’t mind adding to my stash…. although I’m saving that for if I win the Mega Millions tonight. Good luck to everyone playing – half a billion dollars could really go a long way!

Linky Thursday

If Coco Chanel carried a tote bag, this would be it (Learn how to make one for yourself).

This kids to-do list might make crossing work of their list fun. Now do they have a teenager themed one?

Bring a little spring into your sewing room with this sweet birdy pincushion.

The weather is gorgeous outside – perfect for gardening. Start off your outside work with a new apron.

Transform your favorite stuffed animal into a backpack!

Have 4 squares of fabric? Then you can make a new top in no time flat!

Making napkins for your holiday table? Learn how to fold them into little bunnies.

I love this heart bag – I never would have guessed that it was puff paint!

Learn how to make a full, gathered skirt – perfect for spring (or twirling).

Looking for a great basket stuffer? How about an art caddy?

Even though Easton hasn’t seen all the movie, he’s really into Star Wars. I wonder how he’d feel about a Lightsaber Bolster in his room?

There’s no sewing involved. In fact there’s not even any fabric, but I can’t help but share this fun idea: Glow in the dark Easter Eggs.

A great pair of shorts for boys with front and back pockets – these look just like something you’d find at Old Navy!

Rouched

I’ll blame the very mild temperatures and the sunburn I received this weekend for making me start thinking about swimwear. I have a very strong desire to make one… right now. I rummaged through my patterns and surfed websites for new ones and keep coming back to McCall 6569 (Ottobre Woman has a nice swimsuit that is a strong second right now). I love the rouching on the sides – not only is it on trend (in fact it looks exactly like Juicy Couture’s Ruffle Skirted Swimsuit), but it should be extremely flatteringslimming because the gathering around the midriff. The drawback? Notions. This is the first swimsuit that I would have to deal with boning and polylaminate foam (for making custom bra inserts) – neither of which I’m wild about having to do.

This of course leads me to my next questions: Does anyone know when Kwik Sew or Jalie (both of which release great swimsuit patterns) release their new pattern lines? Besides eBay, are there other sites that sell polylaminate foam (or any brick and mortar stores) in smaller quantities? And is anyone interested in a swimsuit sew-along in a few weeks?

Prototypes

This morning I’ll be cutting into these gorgeous prints from Free Spirit for an upcoming article for Sew It All (and the good news is, you’ll be able to make the same project too!). Even though I’m excited to make my final ______, I think I’ll stitch out one more prototype to make sure everything is perfect. What are you all up this week?

Quick Crafting For Opening Weekend

I am a big fan of the Hunger Game series. Needless to say, I was very excited when my husband got us tickets for an opening weekend sho – so much so that I had to make a craft to celebrate! I used the stencil from this tutorial to make a freezer paper stencil for the back of my shirt. I also went along with her idea to use spray paint instead of a product like Simply Spray and was pleasantly surprised at the results. I’ve worked with the Simply Spray and found that it’s very easy to overspray your shirt (mostly splatter which might not look bad with this design either) and it takes a bit longer to dry than the spray paint. Of course, the real test will be washing – I’ve found Simply Spray holds nicely… I’m just not sure what to expect from spay paint!

Simple Sewing

Taylor had a friend’s birthday the other day and since we didn’t find anything ‘fun’ while we were gone, I was left to figure out a gift when we got back home. That’s when I decided on a great standby… the box bag. This is just one of those gifts that work for just about anyone: you can change it up with different fabrics, fill it with goodies, and personalize it for the person you’re giving it to. For this version, I used a El Dia De Los Muertos Alexander Henry print, a chunky zipper, and added some pretty lotion on the inside. I think it’s perfect for the teenage girl!

Linky Thursday

Last year I made quite a few of these Marshmallow Bunny Peeps. This year I may make a few of these pocket-sized versions. Not into stuffies? Stencil a cute peep shirt instead.

I never know what to do with jelly rolls… until now – Moda Bakeshop’s Strippy Pillow.

Whether you’ve got a tablet or cell phone, you can protect it with these custom cases.

Who says shrink plastic is just for kids? This bracelet is a great example of a trendy adult accessory.

Turn your baby’s playmat into a purse.

I seem to be into ombre this season. Now I want to dip dye some shoes this spring.

Sewing a swimsuit can be easier than you think. Start off small with this little girl’s one piece suit.

A perfect skirt for spring – it’s flirty, has ruffles and easy to sew.

Show Amy Butler your stash and you could be one of 3 winners that takes home some re-released Gypsy Caravan.

I love the look of draped tops – this tutorial teaches you how to create a beautiful draped cowl that’s perfect for spring.

A cute little girl’s dress (I think the sleeves sold me on this one) using a tee as a base for your pattern: Let’s Go Fly a Kite Sundress.

Believe it or not, it’s STILL raining here. Yesterday I mentioned recovering an umbrella and just happened across a free tutorial here. Now I’m thinking I may just skip the umbrella and just build a boat.

Fun & Rain

It’s spring break and kids are off of school. We thought this might be a perfect time to get out of town for a few days… little did we know that it would rain the entire time we were gone. Unfortunately, that sort of messed up some of the activities we would have like to have done, but we did take in a bit of shopping and some game playing at Dave & Busters (Easton made us all ride the roller coaster simulator with him – multiple times). Now that we’re home, it’s I’m debating on my next project – it might just have to be the umbrella from Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, because guess what? We’re home and we’re supposed to get rain most of this week! Sigh, so much for spring break fun!

Smock

The night before our neighbor’s birthday party for their daughter, I decided that maybe a pillow wasn’t quite enough. So with the 1/2 yard of material that I had left over, I decided to find something else that might make a good present. I sifted though all my books and decided on an art smock from (the original) One-Yard Wonders. Since I was in a timefabric crunch I had to make a few modifications to the finished design. First off, I was several inches shy of being able to make the front pocket so I wound up omitting it (I decided putting a contrasting pocket just didn’t work with this material). I also omitted the bias binding – I just didn’t have any on hand and didn’t want to have to go to the store to pick some up. Instead, I serged the edges and folded them down. I think it worked! The last change I made was adding a closure to the smock. The directions doesn’t have you adding any and after test fitting it on Easton, I found that it kept wanting to fly open when he leaned over or made too big of arm movements. Consequently, I added two sets of ties: one around the neckline, the other halfway down. Overall, a quick to sew up pattern, but I have to admit, it really is designed for 4T and under – although it fits width wise, it’s a bit short on length…. which might not work well if you’re working on a messy project!

A Bit of Whimsy

Nothing can make you feel more accomplished like a quick and easy sewing project – and that’s exactly what I did this weekend… quick and easy sewing! I was recently contacted by a new pattern company, Whimsy Couture about testing out one of their patterns. They have quite a few e-patterns to chose from: children’s wear, accessories, women’s and even one for your pet! I have to admit, I was torn between the Lady’s Lounge Pants and the (unisex) Hooded Jacket, but finally settled on one that will get the most mileage, The Terrific Tee. This is a unisex pattern sized 12 months-14 years and has three sleeve variations: short sleeved for girls & boys and long sleeved. I decided on a 4T (which is the size Easton is currently entering into) and boy’s short sleeved version.

So what makes this tee different that others? No inserted neckband! That’s right, the neckline of this shirt is simply folded over – so it’s perfect when you’re looking to make a ‘dressier’ knit top (there’s something about a contrasting or ribbed neckband that looks casual) or if you have a color or print that’s hard to match. Plus no neckband also makes this easier to sew, definitely making this a great beginner pattern (the instructions are easy to follow and there are lots of photographs to help you along the way also making it great for beginners). The best part? The fit of this one is spot on. Easton is just entering the 4T sizes and I think the width & length as well as the sleeve length is perfect – plus it fits over his head without tugging (which seems to be a problem with some patterns). Overall, this is a winner of a shirt!

Interested in trying out a Whimsy Couture pattern for yourself? They are offering a 30% discount to their pattern shop, just enter the code SAVE30 at checkout.