Monthly Archives: January 2014

Up Next

It’s still January which means it’s not too late to start another “Jungle January” project, right? As I was sifting through my fabric stash last night, I stumbled across a fun, animal print ITY that I had purchased last year. My intention was to make a maxi dress out of it last spring, but never got around to sewing it up… so instead, it’s going to become a Lolita top! I still have all the cutting to do on this one, but am hoping to finish this one up over the weekend. My only fear? That the design of the top will get lost in the fabric print. I guess we’ll just have to see when it’s all said and done.  Here’s the details of this project:

Pattern: Style ARC Lolita Knit top


Fabric: Animal print montage from Needle Nook Fabric


Total Cost:


Linky Thursday

Groundhog Day is just a few days away. Celebrate it (or just create your own enactment) by stitching up a Punxsutawney Phil plush. I’m guessing most of us are going to skip him seeing his shadow!

Is it time to start carrying a new handbag? This slouch bag is super cute and easy to make!

There’s another great box tutorial out this week that will help keep you organized. This one stands nice and tall when using, but  folds flat when you’re not.

Outgrown your favorite shirt? Does it have a stain and you just can’t wear it any more? Don’t hide it, transform it into an apron! This tutorial is perfect for t-shirts, while this one is made for button-downs.

This may be my favorite Valentine’s Day project that I’ve seen – If my kids didn’t already have a ton of pillowsstuffed animals, I’d make them these fabulous Ladybug Pillow Pals.

This winter has been freezing for most of the country, so how about a snuggie like blanket that’s made for two?

Chances are if you’re traveling, you’re taking several electronic devices with you. Keep all those cords, attachments, and plugs organized with this pocket tutorial.

If winter weather has you stuck at home, looking for a project you can whip up and wear tomorrow – this kimono jacket is a great place to start!

Creatively giving gift cards is tough. If you’re planning on giving away some this Valentine’s, why not whip up a few of these Heart-to-Heart pouches to stash them in?

I have to admit, turtlenecks for boys isn’t something that you see that often in patterns. That’s why I love this tutorial and their take on embellishing it (elbow patches) for little guys!


I Wasn’t Kidding

01-modifiedundieI was really serious when I said that 2014 will be the year of underwear…. I just can’t seem to stop making them! Yesterday I decided to modify Kwik Sew 3881 so that I could add a contrasting band along the front (perfect for when you just don’t have quite enough fabric, want to add a hint of lace, or just change up the look).  I’m fairly pleased with the finished design, but I really think that the contrast needs to be larger so for the next pair, I’ll be adjusting that area some.

Care to do this modification for yourself? The steps are easy:

  1. Trace the front panty design in your desired size.  Decide how long you want your contrasting side to be and draw a line (I drew my line at an angle because I liked the way it looked).
  2. Add a 1/4″ seam allowance to the contrast and underwear front at the line you just drew (you may want to re-trace your pattern pieces being sure to indicate where the contrast attaches to the panty front and back so they don’t get confused!).
  3. Sew the contrasting sides to the underwear front, then follow the directions included in your pattern for the panty construction.

Yes, More Underwear

01-thong2Apparently, 2014 is the “year of the underwear” because I’m still sewing them!  This time I bought the Gia Thong Panties from OhhhLulu. I liked this pair, not so much because it’s a thong, but because I love the contrasting sides (why I never thought to modify a pair to look this way is beyond me). The great thing about thongs is that is takes tiny, tiny pieces of fabric to make them – so for my first version I used a Hello Kitty jersey scrap that had been stashed because it was too cute to throw out (I barely had enough to eeek this pair out, too). Overall the fit is good and is mostly comfortable, although you could shave just a hair off the back and it would be perfect. Now I’m anxious to modify some patterns and give the contrasting sides a shot with those!

Navajo Print Leggings

01-legging2This Christmas I purchased a pair of funky, tribal print leggings for Taylor – unfortunately they wound up running too small and other sizes were back ordered until February. After some some searching I was thrilled to find an Navajo print from Girl Charlee that had the same vibe as the Victoria Secret pair and snagged up some yardage. Once again, I used Jalie’s legging pattern, but opted to go up one size from my previous version since I found my original pair were a bit snug in the upper thighs.  Additionally, I added an 1″ to the length to the pattern since I felt like the lengthwise stretch (this material has 4-way stretch) just wasn’t quite enough and was afraid it would wind up being too shortcropped. The end result? Absolutely perfect!

I was looking forward to making a second pair this week using a blackgray cheetah print that I picked up at the same time as the Navajo. Sadly, after washing the material I found my yard shrunk to a measly 33″ – way too short to cut another pair. Boo, there goes my next “Jungle January” project.

The Sunny

01-sunnyAfter mulling over my new patterns and sorting though my stash, I finally decided to sew up StyleARC’s Sunny Top. I settled on drapey gray (possibly rayon) jersey that had just a hit of sheen to it. Unfortunately, I never marked down where I purchased it from (or how much I paid), but I am fairly certain that it came from because I found a yard of the same material elsewhere that was labeled from 3 years ago!

After cutting everything out, I was able to sew this one up in a morning – there’s nothing better than an instant gratification project! The instructions were good, except that the back is in two pieces and I found that the step that joined them together (it probably should have been #1) was omitted. Otherwise, everything came together very well! The fit is looser than what I had expected, so I’m glad that I chose such a thin, drapey material to start with – anything bulkier and it would have pulled away from my body too much – giving a really frumpy appearance (I’m afraid that I wouldn’t like the end result as much that way either). I do find that the drop shoulder sleeves are a big tight on me at the seam so if I make this again, I’ll have to make a slight adjustment there.

The Bottom Line: Easy to sew, trendy top that would look great with leggings or skinny pants, but stick with thin, drapey fabrics for best results.

Linky Thursday

Everyone could use more storage, but this clever little box folds up neatly when you’re done with it (not to mention it would make a great gift basket).

Sometimes the basics are the best types of sewing. The Sammy Cami is a great place to start!

Need a quick gift in time for Valentine’s Day? Whip up a pretty petal tote!

Transform your favorite title (hardbound book) into a fun, zippered clutch.

Keep all your essential right at your fingertips with this organizer wallet.

Decorate your home in time for February 14 with a few of these feminine Banded Bow Pillows.

Leggings aren’t just great to wear under your favorite tunic and skirts, but they’re perfect for workout gear as well. Learn how to make your own with this Mimi G tute (scroll to bottom of post for the video tutorial).

Baby shower in your future?  Here’s a tutorial for two different styles of baby beanies – pair them up with a matching blanket and you’ve got a fantastic gift!

If you love to embellish garments, bags, home decor, etc. by hand, you’ll definitely want to try winning a copy of Indygo Junction’s latest book, Stitched Style.

Receive a free kid’s superhero cape when you sign up for the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop’s newsletter.

I thought these studded bracelets were awfully trendy for Martha’s brand… I sort of want to make some!

Baby sleeping bags -I’m not sure how safe or practical these are. Thoughts?


StyleARC Sew Along Coming Soon!

I was very excited when I opened my mailbox and saw that my latest StyleARC patterns had arrived…. I am going to be a top making fool before too long!  For this round I settled on the latest shirt patterns: The Lolita, Sunny, Maggie, and Rosie.


01-ziggiWhile we’re on the topic of StyleARC (and because I can’t quite make up my mind which top I want to start first), let’s talk a little bit about the upcoming Sew Along featuring…. The Ziggi Jacket. That’s right, we’re teaming up with the fabulous Sew Maris for this great jacket stitch up!

If you plan on joining  and you don’t already own this pattern, you’ll want to order very soon. Even though this Sew Along isn’t slated to start until late February (24th) the companydesigner is located in Australia, it takes several weeks for your order to be processed, shipped, and in your mailbox.  Ordering now give you plenty of time to check out the pattern, ordershop for fabric and notions, and prep your materials before we start!

If you’ve never ordered from StyleARC before, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The patterns are not multi-sized. You’ll need to take your measurements to determine which size works best for you. I have found that they run very true to their measurements and fit very well. StyleARC has great customer service so if you’re not sure which one you should order or have questions, be sure to contact their team and they can help you.
  • Directions to their patterns are limited (think BurdaStyle magazine). While they are well written and there are some illustrations included, most patterns have all the information included on one page. There are no pattern layout guides or in-depth descriptions of techniquessteps. Of course, we’ll cover some of that as we work on our Sew Along so have no fear if something is new to you!
  • The Ziggi is labeled as ‘Experienced’. My guess is that it’s marked this way for several reasons: The fabric (leather will be more difficult than a wool or denim), the number of pieces (you can see from the line drawing that there is a lot of construction involved), the addition of zippers (sleeves, pockets, and front), as well as the optional stitching along the shoulders and arms. Changing the material you work with (opting for wool or denim instead of leather which can leave permanent holes if you need to rip out stitches) and eliminating ‘extra’ details can make this one a bit easier. Of course, the nice thing about a sew along is that we’ll be talking, sharing, and discussing how we’re working with this pattern as we go along – which also makes this one easier to sew as well!
  • Don’t forget your freebie! Every month StyleARC includes a free pattern that you can include in your order – this month it’s the Rosie Top. Do not add this to your cart, instead put in the comments the size you’d like them to send you.

Once you order your pattern, the real decision happens: What material(s) are you going to sew your pattern in?


Mystery Bundle Revealed

01-bundleAfter my lingerie sewing last week, I decided that I needed more (new) underwear in my life… so I ordered a 1/4 yard mystery bundle from Girl Charlee fabrics. No one I knew had ever ordered one before so I’m posting a photo (on the right) so you can see what sort of material wound up in my box. All but 2 pieces were cotton jerseys (the other two were sweatshirt prints) and most were right around 1/4 yard – just barely enough to eek out a pair of underwear…. a few, however, may be destined for thongs because they shrunk after washing and I am certain there is not enough there to fit the pattern pieces.  Speaking of pattern pieces:

Since the Jalie panty will be used for fabrics with lycraspandex (or at least material with a good 4-way stretch), I figured I needed to find a pattern that would work with cottons. I pulled Kwik Sew 3881 out of my stash (I had originally purchased it for view A – which would make a great Wonder Woman bottom) and tried out view B:


And ta-da, I have two new pairs! I am anxious to try out some of the new fabric from my mystery bundle, but I think it’s probably time to work on something different for awhile (although I am finally getting really good at inserting elastic without overstretching it).

Cami Set

01-camisetAfter looking back at past projects, I noticed a trend: The first of the year I seem to want to sew up undergarments. Consequently, I have deemed the past few posts as “Lingerie Week” and undoubtedly will have another like this next year!. Yes, that’s right, I’ve made more!

This time I sewed up Ohh Lulu’s  Clara camisole pattern (and paired it up with another ruched back panty). I used a mesh print that has been sitting in my stash for years and am really pleased with my results! The cami pattern was extremely easy to sew – all the raw edges are bound with fold-over-elastic so there is nothing to hem. That does mean the the bottom hem is left raw – which works with the mesh, but you may not want this look if you work with other fabrics (If you do add a hem, I would suggest adding some additional length to the bottom as well since the current length skims the bottom edge of the panty).

The fit is a bit big on me and I am guessing I could probably go down a size and would have slightly better results. The cups are about right as well as the lower half of the camisole, but I have found there is just a bit too much material in the back and underarsm so it gapes a bit in these areas. If I make this camisole up again in another super-stretchy material (this print has incredible stretch and recovery) I think I’ll go down a size otherwise, I may stick with what I’ve worked (something with less stretch may not perform the same way).

Overall a fun and easy pattern to sew up and when paired with a cute panty pattern, it makes a great set! I will say that the strapping material was difficult to find – I suggest buying online or give the ladies at Needle Nook a call (I used a 3/8″ white bra strapping for this set).