Monthly Archives: August 2012

Guess What?

Since the prototype sewing went so well, I finally decided to cut into the fabric that I had selected for the final version. I was a bit hesitant to even give try sewing with it because it lacks one important quality…. good stretch. While the samples I was using had adequate stretch, this material is a bit denser and tighter weave – while it stretches pretty well, it’s not as significant as what I was testing with (but it has such a great print). So I held my breath, cut into it….. and it works! It does fit snugly, but I think it ought to look great for a photo shoot. Now, any guesses what it is?

Linky Thursday

Make an impression on the first day back to school with this fun (and almost twirl) circle skirt.

Ever say your bag never has enough pockets? This Urban Tote is the perfect solution.

Celebrate the Nerdy Sewist blog-o-versary and you could win awesome prizes: books, fabric, and classes are up for grabs!

When I see cute supplies like this knitting roll tutorial, I’m jealous that I’m not better at this craft. Of course, if you want to keep your roll sewing related, don’t forget about this supply case!

Turn a tablecloth (or any square of fabric) into a smart jacket.

Grab a t-shirt, tiered skirt, and a bit of fabric to make this Poppy Fields Maxi Dress.

Halloween is only 76 days away so it’s not too late to start crafting! Make a cute treat bucket or cake stand with a bit of paint, ribbon, and some old boots.

Give your kitchen a facelift with these DIY seat covers for your wooden chair set and sweet breakfast mats for your table.

Transform a man’s button down shirt into a sweet ruffle tank.

A great resource for everything you need to know about sewing swim or dance wear.

An impressive Four Leaves Pillow project perfect for beginners.

Learn how to make a Ruffled Wrap and enter to win a copy of Improv Sewing.

Last of the Distractions

My last distraction this weekendweek has been….. prototype sewing (I would put up a photo, but I’ve been using the last of the white crown fabric from this project)! The prototypes are for a future WeAllSew project – it’s really developed from a very simple idea into something a bit more complex, but still easy to sew and darn cute! If all goes well, by Friday I’ll have a sneak peek of a finished design up on the site. What has everyone else’s distractions been lately? Please tell me I’m not the only one with Sewing ADHD! (By the way, my other, other distraction has been ogling “Jennifer’s Casual Look” pattern set at Style Arc and daydreaming what fabrics I would use to make it. I believe that I may have talked myself into getting them).

Lesson Learned

My second distraction this weekend came when I decided that I needed a new shirt that would take me into fall. Originally, I thought I wanted to use Jalie 3132 and a solid ‘fall’ or even (wait for it……) neon-ish color for the entire shirt, but never found anything that interested me. I finally decided on a solid bright pink from Hobby Lobby and some of the remnant crown print left over from this tank. Once again this is another fabulous designed top that went together really easy. My only complaint is that the pink interlock is very thin and not very friendly to work with – in fact, my needle snagged a thread of the material while sewing and created a tiny hole right by the neckline (I wound up having to mend it so it wouldn’t eventually get larger), plus I never could get my serger to properly stitch on it. Lesson learned, while Hobby Lobby knits looks great, they might not be the most ideal for my project.

Sequin Tank

I’ll admit it, sometimes I have sewing ADHD. My most recent distraction(s) were caused by two things: 1) a trip to the fabric store to buy notions and 2) A pattern purge (my area was getting so messy and overflowing with patterns I couldn’t see what I owned). The first lead me to discover some of the new ‘fall’ fabrics that were out. I couldn’t resist a few, including a fabulous animal print, sequin mesh. Originally I had thought I would make a simple “t-shirt style” top, but after bringing it home and comparing it to my intended patterns, I discovered I just didn’t have enough material. Then I remembered all the patterns that had been pushed into the back of my stash that I cleared out and decided to make a tank instead – Kwik Sew 3497. According to the pattern envelope, I should have had plenty for the faux wrap style design, but given the width of the fabric and the direction of the stretch, I didn’t have nearly enough – so I settled on the simpler version…. and I love the finished product! This was a great distraction… now I think I need more of that fabric.

Faux Leather Backpack

It’s almost back to school here so my mind is starting to switch-off from summer sewing and is slowly moving into fall. What says fall more than an awesome backpack? Jackie Clark Designs has a new (downloadable) pattern out called the Justified Backpack and I’m giddy to get started on it. Because I intend on using this backpack more of a ‘purse’ than a functional backpack, I’ve decided on making a few changes: First I decided that I would eliminate the foam battinginterfacing and replace it with something ‘stiffer’ – I thought that the softness of the finished bag might not look right with the faux ostrich-like leather material that I’ve selected for the exterior, so I’m thinking that I may just replace it with a firm interfacing to give this bag some body. I also decided to eliminate the exterior water bottle pocket – partly because it’s not a feature that you would find on a purse, but also because when the bottle sweats, it’s going to discolor andor ruin the material that it’s resting on. Now that I’ve decided what I want to do, it’s time to find just the right notions (interfacing, zips, etc.) and set to work… I need a new bag!

Linky Thursday

Planning a vacation soon? Set your luggage apart from everyone else with these felt luggage tags.

If you think that the only material your machine can sew on is fabric, think again. This tutorial not only shows you how to stitch on wood, but transforms it into jewelry, too.

I almost want to get an iPhone, just so I can make one of these awesome phone (or iPod Touch) stands.

This bikini top isn’t just easy to make, it has several options to wear it so you can change up your look.

Don’t show up to your next dinner party with just a bottle of wine, dress it up with a charming wine gift bag.

If you love cardigans, you’ll want to sew up one of these for every day of the week!

Transform a bland vanity into a coordinated laminated table set.

Need a low back bra, but don’t want to go out and buy one? This is a quick 5 minute fix to standard bras – who needs Victoria’s Secret?

This is definitely one of my favorite bag styles – it’s a bit like a tote, but also like a purse…. the Hobo!

Sexy and fun, The High-Low Dress is perfect for a weekend date night.

Have a potluck in your future? You’ll definitely want to sew up one of these casserole carriers to bring along your side dish.

If you love the idea of a t-shirt quilt, but don’t have the time to put one together, this T-shirt Rag Quilt Pillow is a great way to keep the memories alive.

Get two aprons in one with this sweet Revrsible Hostess (half) apron.

Wee Little Chair

Need a project that will make you go, “Awwww”? The comfy chair from One-Yard Wonders will make you do just that – it’s just so tiny (if you look at the photo on the right, you can see how my 4 year old tried to squeeze into the finished chair)! Overall, things came together fairly well – the only real issue is areas that had fabric left hanging (so that they could be attached to other segments of the chair, for example you sew down the arm, but leave 1/2″ open so you can attach the outer arm of the chair) didn’t come together as neatly as I had hoped so I found myself sewing over the joined areas after I was finished. I am pretty sure that this is a ‘me issue’ (not sewing as precisely as I needed) and not a pattern issue. One other important aspect to this pattern is tufting. I hadn’t planned on doing any tufting (originally, I thought I could skip this part), but it really is necessary, otherwise you’ll have created what looks like a misshaped, mini-bean bag chair. Since I didn’t want to do that much tufting, I really did the bare minimum – shaping the arms up. Even though I just used about 12 tucks, this is still quite the process – probably more frustrating (I gave myself a wicked backache and several poked fingers) than making the chair itself, but the end result was worth it. Now I’m anxious to see how it holds up under some rough-and-tumble little guys!

Killer Slippers

Every few months I’ll spend an evening looking through Amazon’s listing of upcoming books. One that had really intrigued me was a title called Killer Slippers: And How to Make Them – I mean, just check out those awesome tugboats on the cover! Since the author doesn’t have more information about them on Amazon, I did a bit of a Google search and discovered that Killer Slippers is, in fact, a reprint….. and there were several reasonable copies on eBay! I didn’t have to wait until December’s release for my copy! Since my book has arrived and I’ve had a chance to read it, I thought I would give everyone a bit of a review!

First, if you’re shying a way from getting this book because of the thought of having to make your own shoes, relax. Killer Slippers is about recovering purchased slippers not starting from scratch. The beginning section of the book discusses how to make a pattern piece for each style of slipper you may need plus information on how to recover them when the time comes. The rest of the book is devoted to making 15 unique and fun slipper designs: koi fish, circus elephants, giant flies, swans, and cute little cars are just a few of the ways you can keep your feet cozy this winter. The instructions seem pretty straight-forward and the patterns you need to complete the look are included (full size) inside the book. Now I can’t wait to get my hands on some slippers this fall and try my hand at making my own fun looks – now which one should I go for first?

A Comfy Chair

What do you give a one year old that has everything on their birthday (well, who has 3 older brothers with lots of toys)? A custom comfy chair! When I first saw the Kid’s Comfy Chair from the latest One-Yard Wonders book, I knew this was something that I would eventually want to make (I’m guessing Easton is way too big for this seat). Instead of using the suggested corduroy, I’ve decided to use a heavyweight denim on the seat, sides and back of the chair and a patchwork cotton for the arm, just to break up all that blue. Best of all, I’m personalizing the back! I went ahead and used one of my my machine‘s built in embroidery fonts (and modified by arching it all in my machine – so easy) and some variegated thread that matched a lot of the colors of the patchwork material. Now that the name is embroidered, I plan on centering it on the front pattern piece, then cut the pieces from the fabric (this way I make sure I like it’s placement). Let’s hope this sews up quickly, though – I have until the weekend to get it done!