Monthly Archives: August 2013

On The Cutting Table

08-elle I was thrilled when I opened my mailbox the other day and found that my StyleArc patterns had arrived! This time around I decided on the Elle Pant, Lorie Jacket, Heidi Hooded Cardi, and Brenda Blouse. Even though there are a ton of ‘to dos’ on my list, I think I need to squeeze in at least one of these patterns soon…. so I’ve settled on the Elle Pant. I raided my stash and found a nice stretch, gray suiting material that I’m pretty sure I got from a bundle at Fabric Mart (ages ago). I’m so excited to get started!

Linky Thursday

Getting ready for school usually means new bags for the kids. This sweatshirt makes an awesome upcycled drawstring backpack! Then make some personalized bag tags for lunch boxes (or just for fun).

One of the hottest accessories this season is a scarf. Learn how to make this cowl and you’ll never find yourself arranging it’s placement all day! Then when you’re finally finished wearing it, transform it into a pillow.

I’ve been on a Dolman Sleeve kick recently – so this tutorial definitely caught my eye: How to draft and sew your own dolman sleeved tee.

Everyone needs a LBD – this one has a beautiful neckline and subtle details…. and is simply stunning.

This western purse is all sorts of amazing. Now I wish I had a pair of pretty boots to recycle.

Cloth napkins dress up a table, no matter what the occasion. Learn how to master mitered corners with these napkins AND make a pretty (napkin) ring too.

This has (almost) been the wettest August on record for our city. My new favorite companion has become my umbrella. I may give it a facelift with this tutorial.

When elastic comes in fancy patterns, it’s fashionable to show it off! Learn how to make a boho shoulder bag and trim it with great looking elastic.

Send your little girl back to school in this pretty, Paris skirt.

Who needs wicker baskets for their picnics when you can weave your own fabric one?

What a cute way to welcome kids back to school – personalized packs with pencils, crayons and scissors.


08-patterns It’s hard to resist a pattern sale, but when the patterns are the lowest you’ve ever seen, it’s REALLY hard. Consequently, I stopped by Joann’s and picked up several McCall’s that I didn’t already have – with the intention that I WILL SEW THEM ALL (soon). When I came home, I was excited to see the Kawaii Superhero fabric that I had pre-ordered several months ago finally arrived. I honestly have no idea how I’m going to use this material, but I think I’ll keep my eye out for a fresh knit shirt design that would work with this design.

In the mean time, I’m gearing up to write a new tutorial for WeAllSew and do a major assembly line sewing project (and if you ask my daughter there’s a hobo bag thrown in there too). What is everyone else working on?

Slinky Jumper

08-jumper Remember that jumpsuit I was talking about last week? I finally settled on material for McCall 6083 and set to work over the weekend. Because I had paid $11 for this pattern (I was anxious to sew it up and didn’t have time to wait for a sale), I decided that I would raid my stash for fabric. After mulling it over, I went against my better judgement and decided on a black slinky.

While the material and the pattern sewed up wonderfully, the material I selected was way too bulky and heavy for this pattern and I can feel it pulling itself downward, plus the gathering at the shoulders makes an awkward bulge (like I have horns growing through)… in the back of my mind, I knew it would do this. Consequently, I didn’t wear it this weekend… in fact, I didn’t even bother to hem it. Yep, it’s a wadder.

With that said, I would definitely make this pattern again – in a different material. I would also highly recommend the pattern, not just because it’s easy to sew, but I can see it being very flattering on a variety of body types. However, if you chose to make the view that I did, I would suggest tacking the crossover top in place because it has a tendency to gape very wide open and would definitely cause a ‘wardrobe malfunction’. If you’re interested in sewing this one up for yourself, hurry over to your closest Joann’s – they have McCall’s on sale right now for 70 cents!

Good Machines

This weekend was filled with a bit of sewing, travel, shopping, and family – so you know it has to have been good! Consequently, I haven’t taken photos of my latest project (that will have to wait until tomorrow). Instead, I’m sharing with you a funny little article that I stumbled across: “When Bad Things Happen to Good Machines (And Tables)“…. yes, it’s exactly what you think it is, machines turned into lamps, tractors, etc.

Speaking of good machines, I think it’s about time to take care of mine: cleaning, oiling, etc. They’ve been getting a nice workout recently and it’s time to pamper them a bit!

Jumpsuit Inspiration

I’ve been inspired.

08-jumpsuit You see, this weekend, my husband and I get to become the godparents to our adorable little nephew. Since my pants have not worked out (I’m still debating on what to do with them, thank you everyone for the comments and suggestions!), I’ve decided that maybe I should just move onto a new project. That’s when I saw MsKRS’ McCall jumper. Not only does it look cute & comfortable, but it’s gotten great reviews on Pattern Review! Unfortunately, the only view that I really like is the strapless version, but since this is a church event I thought that I had better go with view E.

Now that I have the pattern in hand (believe it or not, I got the thing not on sale, which doesn’t happen very often) and am now on a search through my stash (preferably) to try to whip this up in the next two days. Cross your fingers that this works otherwise I see some late night shopping going on Saturday night!

Linky Thursday

Who said you have to sacrifice comfort for fashion? Sew yourself up a pair of pretty knit pants and don’t just look good, feel it!

Transform an old shirt into a cute, braided belt. I love this one!

Get ready for back to school with this messenger bag tutorial, backpack, andor lunch sack tutorials.

Make a fun, boxy top with the free Hemlock Tee pattern. Then learn how to change it up and make a fabulous color blocked version.

Stitch up an easy to wear dress for your little one, complete with a cute pocket for storing summer finds and freezer paper stencils.

Boys don’t get enough patterns just for them – even babies. Now there’s one just for the little guys.

Superheros don’t just have to be for the boys. Skip the cape and make it a super skirt instead.

Speaking of skirts, how about one just for us that you don’t have to hem?

If you’re like me, you collect a lot of change. Make one of these mini wallets and keep them handy (instead of loose in your purse!).

I have become a person who loves big jewelry. Learn how to make your own statement necklace here.

Add a bit of whimsy to your next sewing project by adding a felt dahlia to it.

Capri Fail

08-capri Sometimes the idea in my head doesn’t play out as well when I stitch it up. You see, for the longest time I’ve been thinking I wanted a pair of printed capris (using a pretty stretch twill that I picked up ages ago from Emma One Sock) and decided this was the weekend that I was going to do it! So, I snagged up Vogue 8913 and went to work.

My measurements put me in the “medium” pattern size and I hesitated cutting it because my experience with so many of the Big 4 is that they run a bit large. I went ahead a cut the medium, but I should have listened to my gut – my initial fitting was HUGE. So large, in fact, I wound up taking in 1/2″ on all the seams – what a baggy mess! Consequently, I have some unusual ‘lines’ going on in the crotch area -although I blame this partially on where the waistband sits on me as well. You see, the waistband is also way too high – it’s well above my belly button (and I had even lowered it some from the original pattern). Worst of all, when I put these on, my daughter asked me if they were pajama pants – definitely not the look I was going for!

Consequently, I can easily say, I’m not in love with this pattern or the finished pants, but at least I’ve made bottoms which is something that I haven’t done for myself in ages.

Gradient Maxi

08-maxi Last week I mentioned that I was going to start a Gradient Stripe Maxi dress… and now it’s finished! This is another new sewing pattern by Jalie and it’s a quick to sew, wardrobe builder type of pattern (especially since maxi dresses are here to stay for awhile). Once again, this pattern was put together without a hitch and I was able to make it without any modifications (not even adjusting the hem!).

Originally, this dress was going to be mine, but Taylor loved the look so much that she decided it would be perfect to wear back to school – the straps are even wide enough that she doesn’t need a jacket or sweater to cover her shoulders (they have a rule that the straps on a tank must be at least 2 fingers wide not to have to be covered up). Consequently, I’m skipping the bolero jacket with this one – however, I’m dying to make a black dress with a lace shrug like the one on the pattern cover at some point.

Thanksgiving Weekend?

Do you have an unusual family traditions? This weekend, we ‘celebrated’ ours: Thanksgiving in July (we were a few days late).


Since a turkey spread once a year is too long for us, we have a feast half way through the year to tide us over! I also managed to use a fun ‘state’ print for a travel themed project, made a StyleArc order (I couldn’t resist trying out the Lorie, but also picked up the Elle pant), fabric shopped (and realized that I love my favorite online retailers), and a ton of zippers. It was a very productive weekend! How was yours?