Monthly Archives: April 2012


After a week of softball games, a very sick toddler, tornadoes, doctor appointments and a spouse traveling, I was happy not only to receive my (recent) pattern purchases (and Burda) in the mail, but also to engage in some ‘retail therapy’. Included in this lot are a new-to-me line of patterns called Imagewear. This is a Neatherland company that puts out a pattern magazine (I have never found it here in the US) and that has now branched out to paper patterns. I decided to try out a dress with ruching on the side and a fun neckline – stay tuned for the results in the next month or so. Also in the mail? HotPattern’s Weekender Boyfriend Jean and the Simple Boxy Bowling Bag (by the way, if you’re interested in these, all HotPatterns are on sale until the end of the month). It was a toss up as to which one I would start first, but I managed to find a fun silver crocodile print while shopping yesterday and now I am determined to work on the bag first! In addition to several McCall patterns (now on sale for .99 at Joann’s) I also picked up Famous Frocks: Patterns and Instructions for Recreating Fabulous Iconic Dresses, I looked through it briefly last night, but will put up a full review later on in the week.

WHEW! You would think that this would tide me over, but I intend on visiting two local, independent fabric stores today. I was sad to learn that one is closing it’s doors at the end of the month and I’d like to visit one last time before they are gone. How about everyone else? How was your week, what did you sew, and did anyone else go crazy shopping?

Maxi Skirt Tutorial

Once again, Maxi Skirts are hot this season. Why spend money at a department store on one when you can try out my latest tutorial at WeAllSew! Making your own maxi skirt is remarkably easy – you just need a few quick measurements, a couple yards of material, and an hour of your time and in the end you get a skirt that fits you like a glove!

Just a few comments about this tutorial: This skirt is designed so that you do not need elastic around the waistband (that way if you have a shirt you want to wear tucked into it, you still have a pretty waistline), but you could easily add some during construction if you so desire. Because of the lack of elastic, it’s very important to take precise measurements so enlist the help of a friendspousesignificant other when you take yours. It’s ok if you’re a bit too small on your measurement (because the fabric stretches it will still fit you well), but going ‘too big’ will make this skirt fall off you you while you’re wearing it. The fabric you choose is also important – look for a light-weight (too beefy will create a bulky looking skirt) knit that has good stretch and recovery (when you stretch the fabric to quickly bounces back into it’s original position). For those of you wondering where I got this fabric: Joann‘s (they had a great selection of jersey in a wide assortment of colors – this seemed to have the ‘springiest’ vibe)

Have other questions, comments, etc? Be sure to let me know!

Linky Thursday

I am in love with this adorable lunchbento bag. Too bad I never have a place to take my lunch to (maybe this could double as a purse?).

Have a few scarves lying around? Why not turn them into something fabulous like a new top, a pair of shorts, or even some accent pillows?

A fun and simple clutch made from 3 fat quarters.

Enter to win some gorgeous Heather Ross fabric and Crafty Chloe – a children’s book she’s illustrated.

This project may be labeled for ‘moms-to-be’, but the same ruched look can be made for any ready-to-wear toptunic.

Love a t-shirt’s fabric, but the style is too dated? Turn it into a pretty pencil skirt.

This project has nothing to do with sewing or the springlike weather, but it’s so fun and ‘geeky’ I just couldn’t pass up sharing it: Star Wars Snowflakes (complete with all the templates you need to make your own). But if you’re needing something to wear, just pick out one of these ‘nerd shoes’ tutorials and you’ll be set!

Because everyone has a button down shirt in their closet that is much too large: (strapless) Shirt Dress.

Keep your hair out of your face this summer while still looking stylish. Stitch up one of these reversible headbands!

This bag is called “Grab & Go” (I think it’s perfect look for going to the beach or pool this summer).

Fun With Towels

In keeping with my ‘nothing is safe from embroidery’ week, I decided to work on a totally different media: towels. This is a bit ‘trickier’ because not only are you contending with the potential for stretching (depending on the style you’re work with), but the embroidery thread can easily be buried into the plush of the material. One important thing I’ve learned? Stabilizers can make or break your project. Just like interfacing for clothing, don’t skimp on the stabelizer for embroidery (I’ve been using OESD’s line and this handy chart to help me decide which one would work best for my project). In this project, I used a heavy cutaway for the backing and a wash away for the ‘topper’ so that the threads would lay on the top of the towel (this particular towel was waffled with a ‘plush’ strip running through it) and I have to say I’m extremely pleased with the results – no bobbin threads pulled through and the design wasn’t lost in the towel. Now I’m thinking I may have to try my hand at monogramming some towels for wedding presents this summer!

Bad Attitude Bunny

I’ve been bitten by the embroidery bug! There’s no stopping me – ‘plain’ clothing is no longer safe! Actually, I was itching to do a bit more embroidery work, but since Easton is sick, going to the store for ‘blanks’ just wasn’t an option. That’s why I raided closets and came up with a few shirts that looked like they needed a little ‘something’. This design is Urban Thread’s (large) Hardcore Bunny, although I did make a few, small changes (I changed the shirt color on the bunny & omitted the saying at the bottom since it just didn’t fit in with the shirt style). Overall, this one came together FABULOUSLY although it took about an hour to stitch out. I’m anxious to try out a very large, intricate design on something like a jacket or bag, but now I can’t imagine how long something that it will take to embroider! But first, I may have to try one of those, “in the hoop” projects… those look like fun!

Weekend Fun

This weekend kind of went as expected for a holiday: We did egg hunts, dyed eggs, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and ate way too much food candy. Best of all, I spent some time working on a few projects that really needed my attention. While I can’t show you the finished project just yet, I can say I think you’ll really enjoy it. This was something that really made me think about design and even forced me to make numerous prototypes to test interfacing, shape, size, etc. before cutting into the final fabric.

With some of of my deadlined projects finished, I’m ready to make something just for me. I think I’m feeling a new shirt or bag (or both) should be next!

Happy Easter

I couldn’t help myself – I had to make something for Easter. This year I decided to give Retro Mama’s Fabric Easter Egg a whirl. Overall, these are super easy to whip up, but the key to a good looking egg is all in the stuffing – it’s important to stuff VERY firmly and then ‘smoosh’ it until it takes the right shape (mine really need to be molded a bit more because a couple still look lopsided and almost football shaped to me). The other key? Keep them solid or use a muted color palate when you’re mixing prints – my vivid, rainbow egg looks a bit wild!

**You’ll have to forgive today’s photo – I decided to play with because I was giddy that it’s released for droid phones. Now that I see it on the blog, I’ve decided it just doesn’t fit with the rest of the blog. I’ll save the vintage images for something else!

Linky Thursday

I don’t make a lot of jewelry, but I’m totally considering this Prada inspired set.

Grab a t-shirt because you’ll want to make one of these ruffled bags.

Just in time for Easter weekend: a beautiful Heirloom Table Topper.

Spring has sprung which means it’s perfect skirt weather so you’ll definitely want to try out HotPatterns Tropicana Maxi Skirt.

The chevron pattern is really beginning to be a hot item. Learn how to create this look for yourself and turn it into a purse.

Looking for a project that will used up some of those old ties? This wreath is labeled Christmas, but would really work any time of year.

It may be a bit late for the Final Four, but this game day dress would still be a fun project using your favorite team’s tee.

My daughter love Toms. Too bad we don’t have a dog so I could recycle their shoe bags into a dog shirt.

If you’re like me, you have a ton of reusable shopping bags at your house (because I keep forgetting to take them to the store with me). Learn how to transform one of those bags into a cute apron.

Have a gamer in your house? Chances are they’d love a Sackboy (this is the first non amigurumi pattern that I’ve seen).

Copyright Issues

Copyright is a ‘hot topic’ at the moment. Many, many years ago (although, it still pops up here and there today) there was a lot of controversy about using images that were not your own on websitesblogs. This brought about numerous discussions on what constitutes ‘fair use’ (as well as numerous cease and desist letters for many of us). While that dust has settled, new sites and issues have popped up that surround copyright issues. Most recently? Pinterest who changed some of their policies on ‘pinning’ photoswebsitesworksetc. and the Kate Spain and C&T Publishing quilt bookeco tote bag issue. Both parties weigh in on the issue and other designers have shared their thoughts and further cleared up the topic of what is ‘fair use’ in the fabricsewing community. Of course, no one address the fair use of ‘copyrighted fabric’ (a good example would be Disney or collegiate prints) – I am guessing because they don’t have any knowledge about this area.

So what are your thoughts about fabric copyright?

My Cuppa

As much as I love to sew, I think I can say that I am equally in love with embroidery. I’ve spent a little bit of time playing with my machine, but I haven’t really worked on a lot of ‘finished projects’. Last night I completed one – Urban Thread’s Cuppa Tea teatowel. I picked this one for several reasons: 1) I really wanted to use a design that wasn’t in the machine so I could try uploading designs from a flash drive, 2) I’ve never used an Urban Threads design and really wanted to see how they stitched up (this one was free), and 3) I wanted something large (come to find out the 4.83″w x 6.33″h design still doesn’t fill up the hoop – that’s one big hoop!) with several colors that I could ‘swap’ out from the original.

Overall, things went very smoothly and I’m really pleased with the end result! Not only did the Urban Threads design stitch out beautifully, but I totally appreciate the automatic thread cutter on the machine. Now, what can I embellish next?