Monthly Archives: April 2016

A Spoonful of Sugar

04-spoonfulI’ve been a longtime reader of Lisa Cox’s blog, A Spoonful of Sugar, so I was thrilled to find out that she had released a book under the same title as her blog, A Spoonful of Sugar!…. to make it even better, it’s all about Zakka Style.

For those that aren’t familiar with Zakka, this is a Japanese design style that focuses on handmade projects for the home and fashion accessories. The lines are simple so that the embellishments and fabrics are the focal point of the item. Many times you’ll see patchwork, applique, and quilt-like piecing (and lots of hexies) in the projects…. and sometimes all 3 in one!

04-zakkaIn Lisa’s book, she uses the Zakka style to create 20 gorgeous projects that are simple to make, but pack a design punch. Each section of the book has items for each room of the house: retro pillows and a kitchy paris doorstop for any room of the house; sachets and jewelry wraps for the bedroom; cafe aprons and pot holders for the kitchen; and gift baskets and beautiful pincushions for your craft room. There’s even something to make for the kids including an adorable ladybug beanbag game, a fun panda purse, and boutique style baby bibs.

All the templates are included on a CD in the back of the book – so you only print what you need (yay, no copying or tracing patterns!). I found that the directions were easy to follow and well written. There aren’t illustrations for each step, but there are plenty of pictures to help you through the parts that may need more description. I had hoped to have a finished project from the book (the entire Craft Room section of the book is calling me) to show you, unfortunately this dreaded stomach bug has kept me from my machine. However, you can expect to see me make something from A Spoonful of Sugar soon as I really can’t resist Zakka style anything!

Linky Thursday

Needing a new shirt to wear this weekend? Be sure to check out Melly Sew’s latest (free) pattern, Blanc.

Keep all your car essentials in one handy place with this Car Diddy Bag.

Get ready to stitch on the go with this fun travel sewing kit.

Learn how to sew a mini duffel (perfect for little athletes and dancers) PLUS enter to win a fabric bundle!

Looking for a new summer dress? Be sure to check out the Tricia.

Nothing says spring like flowers so bring a bit of it into your living space with these fun, flower shaped pillows.

Make your mom something pretty this Mother’s Day by whipping up a Diamond Girl Apron.

Reduce that counter and desk clutter by whipping up one of these handy wall pocket organizers.

Well Hello Sailor! Whip up your little girl an adorable pair of nautical shorts with this free pattern (Tutorial part 1 is here, the second part is here).

If you’re in need of a fun little purse, you’ll definitely want to stop by Living DIY Style for their clutch with garland applique.

One of the cutest pretend gardens I’ve ever seen (and the only way I would be able to keep vegetables alive). Get part 1 and part 2 of the tutorial and lean how to make your own.

It’s a towel. It’s a bag. It’s both! Learn how to whip up a sunbathing companion.

Warm weather is (almost?) here which means it’s time to ditch the pajama pants and switch to something cooler to lounge in…. like a pair of comfy women’s boxers.

Sneak Peek

04-sampeAfter a weekend of birthday celebrations (Easton turned 8) and soccer games, our week started with a terrible stomach bug (once again, Easton). Consequently, the blog has been quiet for the past several days and not much sewing has been going on. Now that things are ‘back to normal’ (cross your fingers no one else gets that virus), I can give you a sneak peek of a pattern that I’ve been testing out!

This is a soon to be released Peek-a-boo Patterns design. While I can’t give you all the details yet, I can say:

  • This item sews up pretty quickly and easily and only has a few pieces to cut out. I was able to sew this one up in a (full) morning.
  • It’s a figure flattering design and I adore “the back”.
  • I am unsure of the official release date, but my guess will be in the next two weeks.

I’ll be sure to let you know when this pattern is available and give you the full review (and more photos) then. In the mean time, I’m hoping to get back to the Sanibel as this has been a slow moving project.

Sanibel Bodice

04-bodiceAfter realizing that I neglected to cut and fuse interfacing to my pattern pieces, I finally started sewing my Sanibel Romper…. and now I have bodice!

I suspect this will probably be the most difficult part of the pattern, but it went together easily and looks really good…. except I did the button placket backwards, darn it! The button holes should be on the opposite side. I’m sure no one will notice (except me) so I’m not too worried about it. On the bright side, at least the button holes are nice and even!

Linky Thursday

When spring weather hits, I get the sudden urge to redecorate. Give new life to a room by sewing up a new duvet cover…. then use this tutorial to learn how to easily insert the comforter into your new cover! 

Believe it or not, I have very curly hair. Keeping it from getting frizzy (especially in the summer) is always a challenge, so I’m excited to give this Plopping Towel a try when I decide to ‘go natural’.

In an effort to make tax day less painful, Sew4Home is giving away 2 bags stuffed with fabrics! Hurry you have 9 more days to enter this one!

Have a makeup loving friend? Whip up one of these adorable Zip Your Lip bags – they’re perfect for gift giving!

I get really excited when I see one of my projects floating around Pinterest. This morning, I stumbled across an oldie, but goodie – my tutorial for a Sewing Supply Case Roll. This is a great project to make for yourself or for gift giving this Mother’s Day!

Teeny Tiny Pouches. Enough said.

With the weather turning warmer, I feel the urge to start getting ready for summer. If you’re headed to the beach, you’ll definitely want to check out this great mesh beach bag.

What could be cuter than a stuffed elephant? How about 3 of them? Learn how to make these adorable pachyderm decorations in 3 different sizes.

Foxes are still a popular theme in fabrics and home decor. Learn how to make this fun fox pillow and add a bit of it to your home!

I don’t have a cat, but if I did, I would definitely want to make this cat shaped bed.

Wearing a belt can do more than just keep your pants up. Learn how to make your own version that can make an outfit pop or coordinate your look.

I wind up re-using my plastic grocery bags for a variety of different things. Consequently, I have a GIANT stash of them under the sink in my kitchen. I should probably make one of these grocery bag sleeves to make it look nicer (plus this one is fat quarter friendly).

April Knit Fix Reveal

04-aprilknitfixI know I don’t need more fabric, but when I saw the preview for Girl Charlee‘s April Knit Fix bag, I couldn’t resist…. anchors? splatter paint? cool scorpions? I was in. I normally don’t make requests (you can make them and Girl Charlee does a pretty good job honoring them from what I understand), but I really wanted those anchors for Taylor (her sorority’s symbol is the anchor) so it was worth a shot.

My bag arrived yesterday and here’s what was inside (the colors look a bit ‘off’ to me in the photo, we’ve been having rain and cloudy weather so I never could get a great picture):

  • White dot on black cotton spandex knit – lovely knit with good stretch and recovery.
  • Black anchors on coral pink jersey rayon spandex knit – Yay! Exactly what I wanted. It also has wonderful drape and stretch. It is the same print, but different color way as this teal version.
  • Teal heather solid cotton spandex knit – I’m probably in the minority when I saw this, but I am excited to see solids in my bag. I have very little solid fabric in my stash, but realize that there are occasions that I need to sew with them, so it’s nice to have something on hand when the occasion calls. This is a great color too, unfortunately it looks more blue than teal in the photo.
  • Royal fuchsia Navajo brushed cotton jersey blend knit – Probably my least favorite fabric in this bag, but the first fabric that I’ve decided what I’m going to do with! Girl Charlee is holding a contest to sew for your ‘little one’ using fabrics from this bag. Seeing that this is the only material that isn’t ‘girly’, I’m planning on using it for Easton…. I’m thinking a pair of funky shorts!
  • Small roses on black jersey rayon blend knit – Another really pretty floral that has wound up in my knit fix. I’m going to guess this print will be highly sought after in the buy\sell\trade group.
  • Black burnout cotton jersey knit – Is it just me or does anyone else hate working with burnout? I like the way it looks, but it’s not a friendly fabric to work with. With that said, I’ve got ‘plans’ for this material as well (I think a simple tee with a layered tank underneath and maybe a new Comino Dress using this as the upper bodice) – I’m glad it wound up in my bag, but expect grumblings as I sew it.


Up Next: Sanibel Romper

04-sanibel2While I’m normally not one for rompers, I recently saw one so cute that I couldn’t pass up the chance to sew it. Hey June’s Sanibel Romper. This was featured on the latest Indie Sew capsule and everything about it just looked like ‘me’. So I snagged the pattern and contemplated the fabric (until I saw the price 3 yards came to then decided maybe I had better look elsewhere).

I immediately printed off the pattern and was shocked at how LARGE it was (I didn’t even look to see that it was 98 pages!)….. so I set it aside, and contemplated taking it to the copy shop. After sitting on this pattern for over a month, I finally decided that I wasted enough ink doing it at home (plus I figured that the copy shop might be very expensive considering this pattern’s size) so I grabbed my tape and and went to work…. it took me all afternoon to piece it together….. then another afternoon to cut the material (by the way, I settled on a really nice Robert Kaufman chambray from  In hindsight, I really, really wish that I would have taken this into the copy shop – an entire day to prep this pattern was personally too long. Oh well, live and learn! Now to get sewing on this project. I’m excited to see how this turns out. Details on this one are below!

Pattern: Hey June‘s Sanibel Romper

Kaufman Chambray in Union Indigo from

Total Cost:

Pattern….. $12.00
Fabric……. $23.94
Notions…. stash

Total $35.94

Even More Hang Time

04-shortsClearly Easton is in need of new clothes because I have been on a sewing frenzy to make him some. Since I have a tremendous amount of leftover fabric from my last short\shirt combo, I decided to make another pair – because you can never have too many pairs around here (we go through athletic shorts like crazy – Easton wears them to play in, practice sports, and even as pajamas sometimes)!

Once again, I used the Hang Time Basketball shorts (this may wind up being my most used pattern of the year at this rate), with the orange material and remnants from the Fishouflage shirt for the side stripe…. too bad the fish are so large that you can’t see them in the stripe. Even though I still have fabric left over (like I said, I bought way too much), I think I’ll put this pattern aside and work on something else for awhile. I have a ton of projects brewing in my mind, I just need to settle on which one to stitch up first! What is everyone else working on this week?

Marvel Hoodie pt. 2

04-highfivehoodieJust in time for tonight’s show, the Marvel Hoodie project is complete!

Considering this is a jacket, it sewed up fairly quickly and I really, really like the end results. I wound up using a lot more black than what I anticipated because the print is so busy and it just needed something to brake it up (in fact, I originally had cut out the sleeves in this print and changed my mind because it was just too much, even for me). However, like a lot of projects, there were a few grumblings along the way. My chief complaints were:

  • Putting the zipper in a (very) stretchy knit is never fun. One thing the instructions never tell you to do is stabilize the zipper area…. and I never thought of it until after I inserted the zipper. So keep this in mind if you make this project. I also noticed the instructions tell you to baste the zipper, but I never saw it mention to actually sew it down until the topstitching section.
  • The waist and sleeve bands are very small. So small, that there is a lot of stretching required to get it to fit. While it isn’t too tight or uncomfortable to wear, it is a pain to insert and you wind up getting some “gathers” where it’s drawing the hem up when it’s not being worn. I would suggest adding a bit of length to these to make it look a little better and a whole lot easier to sew!

Otherwise this was a pretty straightforward garment to sew, just be sure to allot enough time to work on it so you don’t have to burn the midnight oil to finish it, like me!

Linky Thursday

If you love hexies, but don’t want to have to sew them, try this now-sew, faux version instead and use it to make a ‘quilted’ hobo.

Love to crochet and adore cute projects? Enter to win Twinkie Chan’s latest book!

If you still haven’t sewn the Coachella Shorts, then now is your chance to pick up a free “knock-off” version by Grosgrain, the Wild Flower Pinwheel Shorts.

Remember last week when I mentioned Joann’s Personalized Fabric? (By the way, it’s working now) Here’s a project that’s designed to go with it – The Toaster Lunch Box.

This pleated, crossover top is perfect for springy weather and looks to sew up fast, too (site will need to be translated).

Learn how to sew a strapless dress that sports a fun, wrapped bodice.

If you love the smell of the outdoors and are looking to save energy this spring\summer, then hanging your laundry outside is the way to go. Learn how to sew a clothespin bag that’s perfect for your line.

Tired of your foot pedal always moving while you sew? Then stitch up this non-skid foot pad to keep it in place.

From everything I’ve seen so far, Boho is back. Learn how to make a ribbon & fringe bag that’s perfect for the trend. Looking for something smaller and less Bohemian? Check out this phone wristlet or framed accordion wallet instead (no written instructions, just photos).

I love Love Sewing magazine. Unfortunately it’s hard to find here, but I still love to download their freebies. Here’s this month’s collection.