Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sweatshop?

08-project For many of us that live in the US, we can expect to spend this long, holiday weekend, relaxing, BBQing, and and taking in the outdoors. For me, I am looking forward to lots of fabric, zippers, and sewing time (I’ve already done a bit of fabric sale shopping)!

My husband often calls my sewing room a sweatshop – this time he might be correct as I embark on a very large, but exciting venture. While I can’t show you exactly what I’m doing yet, I’ll be sharing some very exciting news in the near future! With that said, I hope everyone has a safe holiday and enjoys a bit of their favorite activities this weekend. I look forward to hearing about what you’ve been up to!

Linky Thursday

Messengers too masculine? Make yours girly with this pretty ruffled version.

If school lunches have already become mundane, send them to school with something different – a bento box with it’s own pretty carrier.

It doesn’t matter what age you are, everyone loves Mario. Learn how to make a fire power plush for you Nintendo gamer! Speaking of Nintendo, how about a Kirby?

If your holiday plans include spending time in the sun. You’ll definitely want to make one of these floppy hats.

Winter is right around the corner. Keep your tot cozy while still looking cool with this funky hat (the site is not in English, but the photo tutorial should be enough to help you to make this project).

Transform an old necktie into a pretty bracelet.

I’m not usually one for phone cozies, but I might make an exception for this minion version.

Have your little girl take in the last bit of summer rays when they don this cute Tahiti Halter.

Keep a little slice of summer in your sewing room with this watermelon pincushion.

Halloween is 63 days away. If you have plans on making a sexy skirt for the holiday, you’ll definitely want to check out this Burlesque Bustle Skirt.

I’m not usually a fan of exposed elastic on skirts, but I think it totally works with this high-waisted tutorial.

A lot of times I think a DIY version turns out better than the inspired piece. Like this Phillip Lim inspired word shirt.

Even new babies need pretty shoes: Forget-Me-Knot shoe pattern.

Colorful Zippers

So far, this week, I have been making a few of these little guys (and experimenting with various interfacings):

08-zippers

The best part of this particular project is that I get to use fun fabrics and pretty zippers! Next up, more of the same!

Drop Pocket Cardi

08-cardi Way back in May I had plans to make Jalie’s Drop Pocket Cardigan, but ran out of time before we went on vacation and then the weather turned hot. Now that we’re beginning to see cooler temperatures, I thought it was time to revisit this pattern… and am I ever glad I did. Wow, I love it!

I will admit that this pattern is much different than any other cardigan that I’ve sewn, so I found myself carefully reading the directions several times before taking off with it (I was also very thankful that the illustrations were great at clarifying some of the steps). While I really liked the pattern, I found myself wrestling with the fabric (a cotton spandex from Girl Charlee) to keep it from curling while I was sewing – it was very frustrating. I know that any material can do this, but I think I’ll stick with a more ‘quality’ material that I know isn’t as prone to do this next time I work on this pattern. So, without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty of this pattern!:

Likes: First off, I love the style – it’s quite different that what I have in my wardrobe and the pockets add a nice touch (they drape really nicely when you don’t put your hands in them). As usual with Jalie patterns, the fit is wonderful and I like the fact that there’s so many sizes (and now color coded so they are easy to trace) included in one envelope. I also like that finishing techniques (for the hem and neckband) look more ready-to-wear that what most sewing patterns call for. This makes for a more professional looking garment, but, because the technique is different, may give you a bit of a pause in your sewing while you figure out how to perform that particular step.

Dislikes: Honestly, I can’t think of anything I disliked about this pattern – it sewed up well, stitch up quickly (I was able to finish in a day), and it looks great on. I can definitely see me making this cardigan again. In fact, my daughter liked this one so much she’s asked me to make two more in the future (one gray, one drab green)! My only word of caution is to chose your material wisely: I really didn’t like working with mine (see curling above) and found that I never could get the seams to press neatly so my finished garment looks a bit sloppy. Lesson learned.

New Favorites

I think everyone has their favorite tools, but this weekend, I found two new treasured notions:

08-pressing

A (Dritz Ezy) Hem Gauge and portable pressing mat. I had quite a bit of hemmingpressing to do and this hem gauge was a huge time saver – just fold up the material to the desired width and iron in place! The pressing mat was from my husband’s late grandmother’s sewing room and lately, I’ve been finding myself using it a lot. In this case, I was able to put it on a table and watch a program while I worked! So, this leads me to my question, “What are some of your favorite tools?”

What time is it?

It’s back to school!

08-school

08-laurie This week, my two have started the new school year (junior year and kindergarten) which means the house gets much quieter and I have a few hours each day to work on projects! I will also admit that this is the first year that I haven’t really sewn anything up for either one of them to go back to school in – both are very difficult to find patterns & fabric that they approve of (and for very different reasons). In fact, I went to the fabric store the other day specifically looking for ‘manly material’ and really struggled to come up with a few prints. I think I’m going to have to stop visiting brick-and-mortar and just shop online….

But enough about shopping and school – it’s Friday which means it’s almost the weekend. I’m crossing my fingers that I find a bit of time to sew and have been contemplating trying out a new pattern company called Named. Specifically, the Laurie top – it’s simple, cute, and would be great with skinny jeans. In fact, I think THIS is a pattern my daughter might approve of!

Linky Thursday

Still searching for a fun scarf to wear this fall? Transform you old t-shirts into a hot accessory.

Every woman needs a simple elegant dress that she can wear day or night. This vintage inspired boxy dress tutorial transforms a simple tee into just that. Then pair it up with a simple clutch.

Even the pre-K kids need new school supplies. This toddler backpack is just their size and is beyond adorable!

Bandeau bras are a great way to cover your assets, but be pretty at the same time. Learn how to make your own with this video tutorial.

Is your little girl disappointed she can’t take her dollhouse with her traveling? Now she can.

A bag can never have too many compartments. This gray and orange pocket bag is a perfect way to tote everything you need for the day and still be organized!

Have you stopped by Heather Bailey’s blog lately for her month of daily giveaways? There’s party supplies, patterns, and more up for grabs!

Give new life to an old sweater by turning it into a cardigan.

Turn your fabric scraps into baby toys with this fabric block tutorial.

I tend to think of my pajama pants as ‘loungewear’ because if they’re comfortable enough, I want to wear them all day. I’m thinking Noodlehead’s tutorial definitely fits as loungewear!

After seeing this post on how to make an origami dress out of money, I am convinced it’s easier just to sew one.

Quilted

08-quilting This weekend I had the opportunity to work on a project that required quilting – something I don’t get to do very often… and I have to admit, I really enjoyed the whole process this time. Part was the fact that I was able to make a nice ‘quilt sandwich’ without any puckers and the other part was due to the fabric I used: Lotta Jandotter’s Golden Rod. It has a nice ‘free form’ feel to it and I think it made me feel more comfortable with the quilting itself – like preciseness didn’t matter. All-in-all, it was a nice way to spend an afternoon!

Party Shirts

Sewing for the bride or bridesmaids is fairly common for a wedding, but it’s not very often that you read about something being made for the rest of the wedding party. During one couple’s wedding reception, the groomgroomsmen took off their jackets to reveal…. “Party Shirts” – a ‘business in the front, party in the back’ style of tuxedo shirt with the guy’s favorite moviefabricthemeteam on the back and sleeves of the shirt – and it’s totally awesome! I hope the individual who made them steps forward and writes about how were made. I can see a lot more party shirts in people’s future!

Elle Pant

08-pants Over the weekend I had the opportunity to work on my Elle Pants… I’m not sure I could have worked on an easier pair (in fact it may have taken me more time to cut the pattern and material than what it did actual sewing)! It’s difficult to see in the photo (apparently, gray is my color of choice lately because I hadn’t realized I was wearing a top with a similar color until after the photo was taken), but the fit is pretty spot on. However, they are a bit snug in the upper thigh area – I find this a common problem with lots of patterns so I don’t think it is anything specific to this particular one. I am also fairly certain it would wouldn’t be quite as tight in this area if the material had a bit more stretch to it (mine didn’t have quite as much as the sample provided in the pattern) so I’ll be sure to add more ease in the thighs if I use a similar stretch fabric in future versions.

I’m thinking about pairing this pant up with a fun, but ‘dressy casual’ style top – something like McCall 6702 (view A). I love the back detail on this top and it’s something that can be dressed up or down depending on how you work it. I’ll show the final look and a better picture of the completed pants once it’s all finished!