Monthly Archives: November 2015

Arrrr, It’s The Recess Raglan

11-pirate3Talk like a pirate day may be in September, but it’s never too late to “Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen” – especially when you new “piratey” shirt also glows in the dark!

For this month’s GoToPatterns (affiliate link) Brand Ambassador post I decided to mix things up and sew a children’s pattern – See Kate Sew’s Recess Raglan. This is a unisex pattern that ranges in size from 18 months to 8 years and has a variety of sleeve options (short, 3/4, long, and an optional button tab). Since winter is right around the corner, I chose to sew up a long sleeved version in a size 7. I have been hording the remnants of this great skull-and-crossbones glow-in-the-dark print for ages and I thought this shirt was the perfect excuse to use it. The downside to the fabric? Even though this material is a knit, it has very limited stretch. So, I opted to use the skull fabric in the 11-pirate4front only and used the black and white stripe contrast (which has plenty of stretch) for the back piece.

Sewing the Recess Raglan was quick (even with matching stripes!) and easy. The instructions were clear and there were plenty of photos included to help you through each step. This pattern is rated “advanced beginner” and I would definitely agree with that – this pattern will definitely produce great results no matter what your skill level!

As for the fit: it’s spot on! Even though I lost a bit of ease by using a less stretchy material for the front, the shirt isn’t snug and is comfortable to wear. I also like the finished length of this shirt – it hits Easton about mid hip 11-pirate1(which seems to be the length of most RTW tees in his size) so it’s no too long for a boy, but at the same time, when he lifts his arms you never see an exposed belly! The sleeves are also a perfect fit – he’s not tugging on them to pull them up and they aren’t too short either.

Overall, the Recess Raglan is a winner in my book. It’s a fast sew (so you can easily make one in a day), it’s easy to stitch, and had a great fit. Best of all, Easton LOVES this shirt. So, you can definitely count on seeing more of these in the coming months.

By the way, we tried photographing him wearing this in the dark to show you how the material glows but they just came out a blurry mess (or didn’t show up on the camera at all). I can assure you that the end result is very cool – now I wish I could find more knits like this!

Furiously Happy

11-blogessSometimes I branch away from sewing because a need arises than only crafting can fulfill. This weekend I had the opportunity to see one of my all time favorite bloggers-turned-author, Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess, and I decided that I needed something special for the book reading\signing… a Rory necklace (you can even sort of see him in the photo on the left). Rory is the stuffed raccoon that is on the cover of her latest book, Furiously Happy (if you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly recommend it – I liked it even more than Let’s Pretend This Never Happened). While the necklace is just like the others I’ve made in the past, I wound up having to make the chain myself because the ‘charm’ already had a bail attached that only very thin chains would fit through. Even though I had a chain that would work, they didn’t have clasps attached – which means I built the necklace from scratch! That’s a first and I have to admit, it didn’t look bad in the end.


Bristol Update

11-bristol2Progress on the Bristol Button-up is slowly progressing. I am currently at the point in sewing where I am able to test the fit and have noticed some changes need to be made before I can move on:

First off the tunic length is way too long on me – in fact, it could almost pass as a dress. I wouldn’t mind that look (I could even wear a belt with it), but the flannel is very beefy and wold never look right. Consequently, I’m going to first shave off 2″ and see what it looks like. If it still looks too long, I’ll take it back up to the ‘shirt’ length (4″ shorter).

The other modification I need to make is taking in the sides. While stitching up the medium was great for my shoulders\back area (I have wider shoulders and this size fits perfectly in those areas), it isn’t as fitted as I would like in the midriff (right now it looks sort of sloppy). I’m waiting to take this area in after I settle the length issue to see how that effects the overall look (maybe taking up the length will make it look less sloppy).

The last issue? Snaps. I really wanted to use my cute pearl snaps with this project, but after briefly messing around with the snaps in the placket area, it looks like the material might be to thick. I’ll have to revisit that later, but I may be shopping for buttons after all.


Linky Thursday

If you’re looking for quick Christmas gifts\stocking stuffers to sew be sure to check out these pretty quilted circle coasters. Need something that sews up even quicker? Then try this (non-patchwork) square version instead.

Enter to win a copy of the Free Motion Quilting Idea Book.

Learn how to create a stick horse for your little cowboy or cowgirl.

Looking for a low-sew plaid shirt with lots of interest? This patched version is a great look for fall.

Sew up vintage style tea towels for your kitchen or whip up a bunch for holiday gift giving!

Not only will this tutorial teach you how to create a sock reindeer…. the reindeer is wearing an awesome chenille onesie.

Enter to win Sara Lawson’s Building Better Bags class on Craftsy! In the mean time, you can get her Caliti Convertible clutch pattern for free.

Turn an old pair of jeans into a tablet stand.

Learn how to transform a t-shirt into a cute tote with this video tutorial.

Win a copy of Heather Jones’ latest book, Quilt Local.

Don’t have time to wait for potatoes to bake in the oven? Whip up a few of these potato bags and cook them in the microwave instead!

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fashion – make a quick and easy sweater dress!

I never thought that bedbugs could be cuddly until I saw this pattern for a stuffed version. (Actually, I’m not going to lie, I find this guy a little creepy, but he would definitely make a fun gift to give to the bug enthusiast).

It Glows

20151104_100335I admit it. I am a sucker for novel fabrics. In addition to the Bristol Button Up I mentioned yesterday, I couldn’t help by start another project – this one involving a glow-in-the dark knit print for Easton. Why aren’t there more fabrics like this? (seriously, if you know of more glow-in-the-dark knits, let me know!). I can totally see making a whole array of glow-in-the-dark pajamas and underwear for the holidays! The only downside to this particular fabric is that even though it is a knit, it doesn’t have much stretch. Instead of going up one size so that the finished garment would fit, I opted only to use this material on the front side of the shirt I am making. More on that soon!

Bristol Button-up Update

I haven’t had a great deal of time to work on my latest pattern purchase, the Bristol Button-up. So far, I’ve managed to assemble the PDF, cut the size, and cut the fabric.

As far as the size is concerned, I wound up cutting a medium – since I’m really on the cusp of small\medium I thought this top might be better if it was sized up. Just by looking at the tester photo, this top looks to run a bit tight in the bust and if I ever plan on wearing (another) shirt underneath this one, I certainly don’t want it to be too tight.

Now for the fabric. Since the flannel I am using was originally intended for another project, I did not have enough as what was required in the instructions (I had about 1 1/2 yards – don’t quote me on that, I didn’t measure before I cut, though), but still managed to have enough to cut out all the required pieces with some very careful and creative cutting (my material was also 54″ wide instead of 45″ which also helped). Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky for the hood piece. The pattern pieces says to only cut 2, but later found out that I needed 4…. and I’m about 1/4″+ short in cutting another set out. I haven’t quite figured out what I’m going to do about that yet – I may have to break down and buy extra fabric.

Here’s the cost breakdown for this project. After looking a it, I’m really hoping this works out because it came out a lot higher than what I expected… plus I bought new boots yesterday and I think they would look really good with this top!

Pattern: Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop’s Brisol Button-Up

Plaid Flannel from Joann‘s

Total Cost:

Pattern….. $8.50
Fabric……. $19.40
Notions…. $10.63

Total $38.53

Always Use Good Stabilizers

Somehow October kicks of the start of a crazy, busy end of the year. I was fortunate enough not to have to sew up any costumes this year, but had numerous other deadlines this time instead…. one of them being a new project for Creative Machine Embroidery that will come out sometime next year. While I was busy embroidering, I decided I would keep the momentum going and stitch up a couple of items for the kids:


I used Urban Threads (free in October) I Heart Zombies design on a shirt for Easton to wear after his classroom party at school. I had run out of the stabilizer that I would normally use for this project and used a ‘mystery style’ instead. THAT was a huge mistake. Not only did the bobbin thread pull through to the front, the dense stitching crated puckers in the shirt… and I can only imagine what shape it will be in after I wash it. It is super cute and Easton loved it (as well as a lot of kids!), but lesson learned: Use a good stabilizer for all your embroidery projects. I took my own advice for my second project and used a much better stabilizer – a Greek letter applique sweatshirt for Taylor and had much better results. By the way, the mystery stablizer is now in the trash.