Monthly Archives: March 2014

It’s Not You, It’s Me

03-crownsI know I have a ton of work to do on other projects, but sometimes, I get sidelined by new, awesome patterns. I was so excited to work on Hot Pattern’s Weekender Hoodie that I dropped everything this weekend, shopped my stash, and went to work. My first mistake? Shopping my stash. You see, I went with a Juicy Couture crown French terry print that I picked up several years ago (apparently  when I was in my ‘pink phase’).  It is very pink and and has bits of glitter throughout the design – while I knew it was a bit ‘much’, I’m not one to shy away from prints so I went ahead and cut into it anyway.

Construction of my hoodie went well until I stood back and realized…. “I’m not sure this fabric is working with this jacket”. I forged ahead for awhile, until I decided to put my work up to myself and thought, “I look like I’ve been shopping at Justice” (girlstween clothing store)…. my daughter thought the print was way too much, even for her! I don’t care if it’s ‘designer fabric’, it’s bad. So bad that I had to say, “I can’t sew this one up any more.” So, why not just use it as a muslin? Even though it’s French Terry, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have as much stretch as what was intended for this pattern (I had to really stretch the material to get the pocket facing to fit) and I can honestly say, I think all that pink would turn me off to noticing how it fit in the end anyway. Consequently, this project is a wadder – not because of the pattern, but because the fabric just didn’t work – yep, it’s not you (Weekender Hoodie), it’s me (and my poor fabric choice).

Bottle Cap Necklaces

03-legonecklaceIn preparation of Easton’s upcoming 6th birthday party, I started making a few ‘treat bag’ items. In keeping with the Lego theme, I decided to make some bottle cap necklaces. If you look online, these little guys can get quite expensive – but making them is a snap (and much more cost efficient)! I wound up ordering a bottle cap necklace kit from etsy which includes everything you need: flattened caps with a split ring attached, epoxy stickers (so there’s no resin involved) and ball chains. I used 1″, round images (I purchased a Lego Movie themed party kit that had all sorts of great printables) and affixed the epoxy sticker to the ones I wanted. From there I cut out the image and glued it to the inside of the bottle cap – EASY! I was able to crank out 12 of them in well under an hour… I love easy, impressive crafts!

Linky Thursday

Love making box bags? Need a few for your cosmetics, gifts, or a shaving kit for men? Check out my tutorial at SewItAll, then catch my episode next month on PBS!

Need a quick dress? Check out this Kimono A-Line dress from Sew Daily.

Get ready for spring (eventually it will happen!) with this pretty maxi dress tutorial.

When I see this quilt, I want to break out into the song “We Are the World”.

Spa gifts are always well received – this wrap is perfect for college kids, Mother’s Day, and just because.

Don’t keep spring cleaning confined just to your house, do it to your machine as well! Then keep you area neat and tidy with this handy pincushion thread catcher.

Who needs Victoria Secret when you can make your own pretty panties.

Need a cute and easy baby gift to sew? How about this sweet teething toy.

Have a Duck Dynasty fan? Learn how to to sew up a fun DD themed apron with this video tutorial.

If you’re stumped for basket filler ideas, check out this cute carrot Easter egg tutorial. What a cute decoration!

More of an ‘inspiration’ than a tutorial, this storage bag and car mat is too cute for kids!

Draft your own dresstunic and make with just a 1 1/2 yards of fabric.

My Ensis Tee

03-ensisI figured before Mother Nature decides that it might actually be time to produce spring-like weather, I had better hurry and finish any long sleeved projects (so I can wear them at least once or twice before the heat hits). That’s right. I fired up the serger and went to work on my Ensis Tee… and I’m in love with my finished top. It’s fun, trendy, and has a casual fit – I also like the fact it’s not tunic length (if you’re interested in similar style, but longer in length, I’d suggest Vogue 8950).  It’s nice to sew something that fits on the hip for a change!

So, a bit about this project: I sewed up the size small, Variation 1 and found that it fits nicely in my shoulders (which are fairly broad) and hips and the sleeve length works great for me as well (I was concerned that the sleeve cuffs looked a bit small when I sewed them, especially since my material was not overly stretchy, but they worked out just fine). I will admit that I did not read the instructions for this one – it’s a very straightforward design and everything matched up easily. I can definitely see making this shirt again – I may even play around with the sleeve length to make this one wearable during the summer, too!  Now that I’ve sampled a Papercut Pattern, I think I can easily say, “I’m hooked!”  Can you say, Rigel Bomber next?


The Ziggi Sleeves

03-sleeveToday, we transform what looks like a Ziggi vest into a Ziggi jacket! If you haven’t yet cut out the sleeves, I highly recommend muslining this area as StyleARC patterns tend to have slender arms (some have also noted that they are short as well) – once you begin sewing the sleeves, there’s no turning back so be sure everything fits well before you begin. Also, if you were unable to find 6″ zippers (I could only find 7 & 9), you’ll want to shorten them with this handy tutorial before you start (you will undoubtedly find that the notches on your jacket pattern call for a 5-5 1/2″ zipper as well).

03-sleeveheadFor this section, you’ll be using the three remaining pieces: sleeve head (which you may have quilted), lower top, and under sleeve. As always, be sure to transfer all your markings and make note of which is the back and front of the sleeve – this will make the construction process go much faster (see photo on the right, the back of each pattern piece has been highlighted)! First, attach your sleeve head to the lower top, matching markings. Press your seam allowance toward the lower sleeve and topstitch through all the thickness if desired (see photo on left).

03-sleeve2Now comes decision time: Do you want to follow the directions for the sleeve as prescribed in the instructions (you will find that the zipper pull will hang below the sleeve hem using this method) or create a ‘welt’window and gusset that will have the pull even with the hemline? If you intend on following the instructions zipper insertion (which is put in when you bag out the lining), all you need to do is is sew the back sleeve headlower front to the back under sleeve until the ‘first’ zipper notch (see photo on right), then sew the front seam in it’s entirety. If you chose the gusset zipper method, I recommend Communing With Fabric’s post – she developed the welt pocket tutorial we used earlier and this one is just as brilliant ( you will find this is a very similar construction to the pocket and should be much easier to put together this time around)!

03-sleevepinNo matter which zipper method you select, the next step is attaching the sleeve head to the jacket (make note of which is the front and back of the sleeve – inserting them correctly will radically change the way the sleeve will feel if not done correctly)! If you are using any material other than leather, you should create a row of gathering stitches on your sleeve head to ease in the fullness in this area. For leather, you will have to ease in fullness yourself: clip sleevejacket at markings and midway between each marking so you can visually gauge how much ease you need to create when sewing (most leather has some natural stretch to work with, just be patient!). I would suggest that you first baste your sleeve before permanently setting your stitches to make sure you don’t have puckers, etc. Repeat for your second sleeve and admire how awesome your jacket is looking!


Lego Themed Crayons

03-crayolaI would love to say that our spring break was a ‘stay-cation’ filled with fun activities, sewing, and movies, but sady most of it was spent with the youngest (and then later the rest of us) sick. Boo.

We did however nail down some plans for Easton’s birthday party next month. The theme? Lego. The surprising thing is, there’s hardly any items out there with Lego on them (for parties)… In fact the minifigures (which is what Easton wanted to do for gift bags) are even sold out right now! Consequently, I brainstormed some items to make and will be sharing them throughout the month. The first item – crayons! I purchased a silicone mold of minifigures and bricks (you can also find them on eBay for slightly less with shipping) and started peeling crayons while watching tv (an activity that even my kids liked).

If you’ve melted crayons before you know the rules: remove the paper, bake in a 250 degree oven until melted (the minifigures took about 7-10 minutes, the bricks 15), cool in a freezer (10-15 minutes) and remove from the mold. I found that running the mold under hot water helps release the crayons easier.  Voilá! You’ve got a fun new way to color!

Pretty Papercut Packaging

03-papercutNot only has this week been spring break for both my kids, but the youngest has been sick the entire time – consequently, my sewing machine may be growing cobwebs! However, I did buy several patterns recently and one of the prettiest packaged ones arrived in the mail: Papercut Patterns’ Ensis Tee. The envelope is so cleverly designed, even my 5 year old was impressed!

I searched my stash and decided that my first version will be a black cotton jersey and Michael Miller’s Dalmatian Stripe knit. Hopefully I’ll find a few hours this weekend to give this one a try. What is everyone else stitching up?

Linky Thursday

Help Bernina decide which designer face plate will appear on their special edition 350 machine and you’ll be entered to win their machine! You can find the contest on their Facebook Page under the title “Faceplate Face-off”.

Ikat Bag has some of the cutest, unique stuffies on the web. This week she’s sharing her Spring Bunny pattern, just in time for Easter!

I really hope hats come back into fashion, because I love wearing them. I may even try my hand at this Newsboy Style and make it myself!

Pretty tops for little girls don’t have to be made from knits. If you prefer sewing with wovens, check out this tutorial for The Fallen Top.

Ring in spring with a new, leather bottomed tote.

Have an hour? You can make a car seat cover up  or a set of crib sheets in about that time! Either one would make a great baby show gift!

Make beautiful jewelry from a leather bracelet, rhinestone trim, and glass pearl beads.

Share you spring inspired fashions and you could win a Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 25 and a Gorgeous Fabrics gift card!

Change up the look of your favorite legging design with this fun pattern hack!

Minkey can be used for so much more than just blankets – like this cute stuffed alligator! He looks perfect to snuggle with!

Transform 2 shirts in the perfect color blocked tee.

Spring may be here, but it’s still not too late to make one last scarf.

Make your little man trendier this Easter with this color blocked tie.

Beautiful coasters don’t have to be made from wood, cork or tile. Make yours in fabric.



Congratulations to MaLora from Bird and Bicycle for winning the copy of More Felt Friends from Japan! If you didn’t win, you can purchase your own copy from Amazon … and stay tuned for more giveaways, prizes, and contests through out the year on this site!

In the mean time, you can see me make a few fun projects from this book very soon! Who doesn’t love a cute stuffy with matching accessories?


Yokes & Collar

03-yokeIf you’re working on the Ziggi, you’ll be happy to read that today’s post is very straightforward and easy to construct: today, we’ll be adding the yokes and the collar! If you’ve decided to quilt the upper sleeve and yokes, be sure to do so prior to attaching them to your jacket (and be sure to transfer all your markings from the pattern as they are extremely useful for lining everything up). The yoke pattern pieces are labeled so you can easily identify the neck edge, front and back. Attach the the front of the jacket to the front yoke, lining up the markings (if you’re top stitching, press do so on the jacket front). Repeat for your jacket back.

Now you can properly try on your jacket (although it looks more like a vest at this point) and check out how good you look in it!

Next up, the collar. Use the placement marks to line up your collar to your jacket seams and markings. I’d suggest initially basting your collar to your jacket at this point, just in case you encounter puckering or have any difficulties during sewing.