Nothing. Absolutely nothing to report (sewing wise)! I’ve been working so diligently on this project, that I haven’t had any spare time for any other projects. However, as of yesterday, I am happy to report that my article sample is finished! Not only am I feeling a great sense of relief that it’s ‘in the can’, but I now have a bit of spare time to work on a few other projects that have been begging for my attention. Let’s hope that I can find a few spare minutes during the kid’s spring break (next week) to work on a few of them! Any tips on hiding in your sewing room without anyone noticing?
A pincushion so pretty, I’m not sure I could use it.
Get ready for spring with this pretty chevron skirt (you’ll have to scroll down for the tutorial).
I’ve been seeing lots of t-shirt refashions lately and this one is a favorite (I don’t think you could tell that this is a refashion): Ruffles and Roses.
Take the chill off in the evenings with a custom hoodie.
I’m all about texture this season. Which is probably why I love the braided fabric handles for this bag.
A sweet doll tutorial. I could see making a bunch of these for an adorable (girl’s birthday) bunting.
It’s getting warm around here which means one thing – it’s flip flop season. Jazz up a pair of store bought shoes with this ruffle flip flop tutorial.
I have vowed that I’m going to wear more dresses this season. I may start with this vintage maxi dress.
Recycle children’s clothing into a fun kid’s busy book. I think Easton may need this.
An easy way to customize a tank. I’ve seen lots of ‘prints’ like this in stores – who knew it could be this easy?
For the past several days I’ve been working on a project for a magazine. I envisioned how I would construct this and so far it’s going exactly as planned except one thing -how long it’s taking. Apparently I sew much faster in my mind! I will say, I’m feeling very Project Runway because I’ve been spending a lot of time with my dress form… I can’t wait to show you the finished design!
My neighbor’s daughter is St. Patty’s Day baby. This year they’re having a big party and going with a ‘shamrock’ theme. I mulled over the list of possible presents, but what do you give a girl who has just about everything? Something handmade. I stumbled across some adorable sparkly, rainbow, shamrock fabric (and a sparkly, white background material) and knew that it had to be a Personalized Name Pillow. This was my first appliqued project with my new machine and was blown away at how open the toe of the applique foot is (you can see it in action on the right)! I was surprised at how just a little bit larger opening really allows you to applique more accurately. Consequently, this pillow went together without a hitch (and relatively fast too).
Just a few changes I made to this design: First off, I used the same fabric throughout the pillow. I originally cut a variety of rainbow material to use with this to make it “patchy”, but it really took away from the shamrock feel of this pillow. I also increased the border size. After making this pattern several times, I think adding a 1/2″ really makes the pillow feel more substantial.
Believe it or now, I still have 1/2 yard of this fabric left so I’m going to try to squeeze out one more project before the party this weekend. Easton seems to think she needs an apron (he’s like his mom, he likes aprons) so I might be on the hunt for a really cute half apron that can be quickly sewn!
I spent the weekend getting familiar with my new machine. Not only did I finish a project, but also managed to add some embroidery to it also. This was my first (solo) attempt at doing some custom lettering using the internal alphabet in the machine and was floored at how easy it was (rotating, changing hoop sizes, lengthening, and even creating arches all within the touch screen menu)…. I think I’m in love! Needless to say my mind is wheeling with endless design possibilities – like creating something fabulous with this fabric and some matching embroidery! But first, it’s back to finishing some projects with a deadline (until then, I’ll daydream).
I am happy to say that my Jessica dress is almost finished! From test fitting this garment, I can say that it does look nice on (so I think that I picked the right pattern size for me), although the hem length needs to be modified a bit because it is way too long on my short little body. Before I can do that, though I really need to get rid of the static cling that is in this fabric because it’s really hard to see how well it’s fitting in certain areas because it’s wrapping itself around my body so much! Aren’t there products out there that you can spray that helps with this (I’ve never really had this problem with my fabric until this year)?
Have a tablet and want to make the most of it on trips? This tutorial teaches you to make a ‘sling’ for the back of your car seat.
I am always amazed at some accessories and how they are made. This Popsicle stick bracelet is so cute, I’m not sure anyone would know that it’s DIY.
Apparently winter isn’t done because (amazingly) we got snow this morning! There’s still time to keep your baby snuggly warm while in there carseat with this hooded carseat blanket.
As I grow out my hair, I keep thinking of ways I can stylishly pull it back. I liked this tutorial for a ruffled headband.
If you’re struggling as to what you can make this Easter for you little one, why not stitch up this adorable Bunny Blankie?
If you don’t have pockets and aren’t carrying a purse what should you do with your phone? This tutorial is a cute way to carry your (i)Phone plus a few small items.
They may be labeled for Valentine’s Day, but this tutorial for using cookie cutters as a pincushion could easily be adapted for anything!
It may have nothing to do with sewing, but I just love this soda lantern tutorial – what a fun way to keep the outdoors lit up in the evenings.
An art caddy is a perfect way to keep a kid busy when you’re on the go, but I’m thinking that, in the right fabrics, this one would make a nice gift for the adult who likes to sketch.
Spring Knitty is up and with lots of free projects to make!
On Monday I added something new to my sewing room – the very sleek Bernina 580… in fact, when they pulled it out of the box, the first words out of my mouth were, “It’s so pretty!” But besides the great exterior, the real awesomeness of this machine is all the features: tons of stitches (that you can combine together, mirror, stretch, flip, etc.), the ability to modify the size (even the interior width) of your buttonholes, an ‘internal’ manual so you don’t have to go back to your book while you’re working on your machine, a guide within the machine that suggests needle size and thread depending on the material you’re working with, and best of all, embroidery! The good part about working with a dealer is that you’re eligible for guide classes – not only does this get you familiar with your machine (how to operate, maintain, etc.), but it really helps unlock the potential that your machine can offer. On Monday I took mine and have to say that not only do I feel more comfortable with the machine, but I’m totally inspired by what it can do – in fact, ever since I’ve been playing with the combimode (where you can combine decorative stitches, change their length & width to come up with new designs) and embroidery functions and dreaming of all the possibilities for this year!
The 580 is my first experience with a fully computerized machine and I have to say, I may never go back to manual or electronic again! Although this machine still has some knobs and buttons, a majority of your functions are managed through the touch screen (if you have any electronic device like a tablet, iPod touch, smartphone with a touch screen this will be a very easy transition to scroll through the menu systems) which I think makes working the machine easier and more fun. The other thing that surprised me is how quiet it is. When sewing, it makes very little noise and is very ‘smooth’. The embroidery function is sightly louder (probably because I’ve sped the machine up) but much less than my previous experience with other machines….. this of course means I can probably take in some late night sewing without waking the family up!
Now it’s time to head back into the sewing room and try my hand at my first project that deals with some embroidery. I’m very excited to take my creations to a new, personalized level this year and sharing some tips and tricks along the way!
I tried several times this morning to get a good photo of the Jessica Dress progress, but right now, it looks like a jumbled mess of fabric. So, instead, I thought I would share some thoughts of Style Arc because I know so many of you are interest in what they’re like, etc.
There are two types of patterns you can purchase from Style Arc, “white paper patterns” which you must cut out & pin to your fabri and “brown paper patterns” which are a heavy, precut card stock type pattern that you use patterns weights with. I purchased the white paper pattern (although I can see springing for the brown if you intend on making a lot of the same design) and the weight is fabulous: think a firm, butcher paper. I didn’t have any problems pinning the pattern to the fabric nor did I experience any rips or tears in the paper while working with it. The pieces for this design are also ‘full sized’ I didn’t have to fold the fabric in half, etc. which made it nice if you intend on fussy cuttingpattern matching your material.
The instructions are minimal, so it’s important to have some background in sewing because individual instructions are not ‘stepped out’ like you see with “The Big 4” patterns – they assume you have an understanding of construction, pattern layout, sewing terms, etc. Additionally, there are not illustrations on each step – however, on the more difficult parts of this pattern, there are some drawings which I found very helpful.
Also keep in mind the difficulty rating of the pattern you select. This one is rated “Challenging”, no doubt because of the twist in the front bodice…. even though I’ve made twist tops before, I still put this one together wrong (twice) until I went back and re-read the directions! I suspect that the easy patterns really are easy to put together though and might be a great way to introduce yourself to this brand.
In my sewing room, winter is over! It’s time to move onto spring and nothing said it like a fabric that I recently picked up at my local brick and mortar store, Sew Much: a fun purple, black and white swirl polyester jersey. I decided to pair this up with Style Arc’s Jessica Dress which has been sitting on my ‘must sew’ pile since fall. Not only am I excited to start my first spring project, but I’m antsy to test out Style Arc to see how it stitches up and to see how the size I selected works for me. Here’s all the details: