Monthly Archives: September 2013

Selfish Stash Sew-down Set

09-three This weekend I made not one. Not two. But five samples for an article (you can see a little preview on the right)… Alright, one was not what I wanted and I scrapped it and another I saved for myself, but my little machine and I were on fire! You know what that means? All my large projects are finally complete and it’s SELFISH SEWING all month long in October! I am also going to attempt to sew down the stash as well (although first, I need at least one yard of black, french terry) – who’s with me on a stash sew down?

Meet My ‘Assistant’

09-dressform Want to know a great way to kick off the weekend? Have your new dress form arrive on your doorstep! I call my ‘new sewing assistant’, Sheila (I like to say it in an Australian accent) and she is a ‘half body’ form (with a removable arm) from Roxy.

As much as I have used my Dritz model, she is not just working for me anymore – she’s looking a bit rough (there’s some wear and tear around the shoulder(s) and she’s not very pinnable. You see, quite some time ago, I bought Crafty’s Fashion Draping class. Even though he suggested that you could still make a garment with the Dritz style (the kind that has a ‘seam’ in the middle where the adjustment wheel is housed), I realized there was no way I could even push a pin through it to make the muslin work for me. So after quite a bit of research, I settled on the Roxy brand – it’s very close to the PGM brand (like the ones on Project Runway), but not quite the expense.

While I haven’t had the opportunity to really play with Sheila yet, I can say she’s so much squishier (padded) than my last form and her body is very close to mine in size (alright, she needs a bit more fluff in the tummy area – I’m sure my wickedly sinful brownie last night didn’t help). The setup is very easy…. once you watch the video. I love the fact that she’s on wheels (although she’d be much easier to move if she wasn’t housed on carpet), is ridiculously easy to adjust height, and is stable (one thing about my former model is that she’s really lightweight and would tip if you were trying to dressfit her too much). With all the good points of this dress form, I have to admit, the arm is a bit disappointing – it’s just a ‘sling’ that you tie around the neck and let hang. I’m not really sure how much I’m going to use it, but it was ‘free’ (I chose the arm over the tools because I had several of the supplies already on hand) so I’m not going to complain that much.

On a completely different note, don’t forget that today is the last day to enter the Bigger on the Inside Drawstring Backpack giveaway!

Linky Thursday

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of the Bigger on the Inside Drawstring Backpack!

Is last years worn out backpack still in your house? Learn how to transform it into a memory pillow.

Halloween is a little over a month away. If you’re still searching for a costume, check out this awesome, spiderweb cape. While you’re at it, don’t forget to whip up a few Halloween Trick-or-Treat bags (regular and mini sized).

Download the Frill Seaker skirt and while you’re at it, enter to win a copy of the book, Skirt-a-Day Sewing.

If I traveled internationally, I’d definitely want to make this passport clutch.

Keeping hydrated never looked so stylish with this water bottle sling. I like that it has an absorbent liner and fancy, free monograms for your machine!

Learn how to copy your favorite t-shirt.

Have a favorite maxi skirt, but tired of the same, plain design? Change it up with a bit of stripes and a few interesting cuts.

You may have seen on my Facebook post (don’t forget to follow) that my wallet broke. Now I keep seeing all sorts of patterns for new ones that I could have sewn.

Learn how to create a felt wreath (that works especially well with Holiday Stitch Along Ornaments).

I’ve see lots of fabric basketsbuckets, but this patchwork version may be one of the prettiest.

Transform a men’s dress shirt into a sexy pencil skirt.

I know I’ve posted this before, but on days like today, when I look at my daughter’s car, I know I need to make one of these trash bags for her.

Bigger On The Inside

09-bag1 Today’s the day, folks – it’s my turn at Dog Under My Desk’s Blog Hop! If you’re visiting for the first time today, Welcome! and for those who have been here before, Thanks for coming back!

When Erin announced that she was hosting a blog hop in honor of National Sewing Month, I jumped at the chance – not only is she a great online friend, but her patterns are fantastic too! I selected the Bigger on the Inside Drawstring Backpack… and as you can see, it really is (if you click on the photo below, it will enlarge so you can see how much you can fit inside):

09-bagbig What sets this bag apart from other drawstring patterns is the oval bottom – it allows you to put bulky items inside (sweatshirtshoodies, shoes, or in my son’s case, miscellaneous toys) without overfilling it. Plus it has a nice size interior pocket that’s perfect for stashing items that you need to find quickly (I added slots for penspencils so they’re always handy).

09-bag3 The exterior of the bag has a large, zippered pocket – so it’s ideal for storing your phone, keys, etc. (or in my son’s case, those things he finds outside on his way to school) AND has the option of self-fabric or cording for the straps (I made them out of the same material as the exterior fabric) that can be adjusted for the wearer when you’re stitching up the bag (for example, my son needs much smaller straps so that the bag doesn’t fall off of his shoulders or fall past his knees when he wears it). As you can see, my son loves his new bag and even has a new shirt that matches the material I used. But the best part of all is that I was able to stitch this pattern up over a weekend – instant gratification!

Want to win a Bigger on the Inside Drawstring Backpack for yourself? Just leave a comment in this thread by Midnight (CST), September 27, 2013, Good Luck! For more chances to win, don’t forget to visit the other blogs participating and enter Erin’s big giveaway as well!

Hobo Love

09-hobo All summer long, my daughter asked for a hobo style bag. I agreed, with the stipulation that she baby sit her younger brother (you know, do all the things a 5 year old little boy wants to do for 4 hours….). Being the typical teenager (never homehanging out with friendssleeping inavoiding the little brotheretc.), she never held up her end of the deal. This weekend, she mentioned it again and look what’s finished?

For this purse, I used Flamingo Toe’s 4-Hour Slouchy Summer Hobo Bag tutorial and a tealwhite chevron print. I found that the material (from Hobby Lobby) was extremely thin and very see-through so my only option for a lining was a white material (unfortunately, all I had on hand was muslin). Because both fabrics are extremely flimsy, I opted to interface the lining – this made for a much stiffer bag than what is pictured in the tutorial, but I think should hold up better over time and should slouch more when it’s full. I also used a much longer zipper (36″ instead of 22″) so that it reaches the bag tabs. Overall, the instructions were easy to follow, but I did find the part for the zipper a bit confusing initially (then realized I do the same technique all the time when I’m making box bags) and came together much quicker than the 4 hours listed. Best of all, Taylor loves the bag – although she requested that the strap be a bit longer (back to the store for more webbing) so that she can wear this purse cross-body.

Tiny Top Hat

09-tophat You know that ‘selfish sewing’ I mention on Friday. Yeah, it really didn’t happen. Although I did finish Urban Threads Tiny Lace Top-Hat. This little guy was a lot more work that what I had anticipated overall – stitch out time for the design, soakingdrying the solvy, hand stitching, then embellishing. So, if you’re planning on whipping this out for a last minute costume, you may want to try consider something else or get started early! It is fun, though and I think will look great when attached to a headband this Halloween!

Selfish Sewing

09-wig It’s Friday, I have 3/4 of my very large projects finished (and one extremely large box to ship off), and it’s my birthday weekend (I will not reveal how old I will be, though). That means only one thing – Selfish Sewing.

I actually started my selfish sewing yesterday. I even took a photo of what I’m working on (I’m stitching out Urban Thread’s Lace Top Hat that I plan on embellishing), but I have to admit, it’s rather uninteresting at the moment (so you get a picture of me in a crazy wig instead). I am also tossing around the idea of making another Drop Pocket Cardigan, an Ariadne Tunic, a Football Jersey recon, or the Laurie striped tee. Almost all of them depend on if I can find ‘the right fabric’, so I suppose I had better hit up a few stores this weekend as well!

Linky Thursday

Get two looks in one with this reversible skirt tutorial!

Look fashionable and only spend an afternoon creating it! These slouchy tops will look great dressed up or down.

With school back in session, chances are the weekends will be spent with friends. Learn how to make them a sleeping bag just for the occasion!

Do you have that child that wakes when you barely shut the door? This door jammer will keep those noisy latches quiet while baby is sleeping!

Quilted vests have hit the stores. Skip buying one this year for your child and make one yourself.

I think I’m in the mood to make bags. Not only did I go crazy shopping for notions, but I kept finding cute tote projects for today’s post. Like this Whim of Trim bag (I think the handles make it), this diaper bag that I could very easily carry as a purse, a 2 hour bag and an adorable quilted duffel.

Read a great tutorial on piping, then enter to win material from Fabricworm.

Aches and pains getting you down? Cold weather chilling your hands? Make a few of these microwave heat pads in fun, micro size shapes.

If you’re in need of a new machine cover, this version gives it a twist by adding a cute, little pleated skirt at the end.

Get ready for Halloween. Learn how to make monarch butterfly wings.

Even if Halloween isn’t your favorite holiday, you’ll definitely want to stitch up several of these fabric pumpkins for fall.

It’s A Blog Hop!

09-bloghop I’m pretty sure that we all love patterns, giveaways, and meeting new bloggers, right? Put them all together and you’ve got one thing – a Blog Hop! Erin from Dog Under My Desk kicked hers off this week and I’m thrilled to be a part of it (you’ll have to come back next week to see what I made). To top it off, not only can you win the pattern featured on each blog, but Erin is doing a great giveaway of her own. Be sure to check out all the great blogs and see the fantastic bags that everyone whipped up!

September 16th – Make Me Up Before You Go-Go – KD Quilts
September 17th – Daytripper – Bird and Bicycle
September 18th – Quick Zip Lunch Bag – knit ‘n lit
September 19th – Essential Wristlet – Custom Style
September 20th – Notepad Organizers – Houseful of Nicholes
September 23rd – Zip & Go – St. Louis Folk Victorian
September 24th – Sammy Bag – Ohh Leela!
September 25th – Bigger on the Inside Drawstring Backpack – me!
September 26th – Two Zip – Three Dresses Project
September 30th – Dog Under My Desk Giveaway Winners!

What I’ve Been Working On

09-project For a little over a month, I’ve mentioned, but haven’t revealed, some major project(s) that I’ve been working on (which would explain why there’s been very little ‘selfish sewing’). So, what’s been going on? I am VERY excited to announce that in just a few weeks I’ll be headed to Denver to tape two episodes of Sew It All!

In addition to writing up the projects, I’ve been working on samples (the photo on the right may not look like much, but it’s a big stack of examples for the show) for each step and making items to display. It’s been a lot of hard work, but I am thrilled (and a little nervous) about my new adventure! I am hoping to have everything wrapped up by the end of the week, get my house back in order, and then make a few items… just for me!