Monthly Archives: June 2016

Harry Potter Box Bag

06-boxbagTomorrow is my mom’s birthday. This year I put together a Harry Potter themed package that included a pair of Gryffindor socks, cookies from a local bakery, a Marauder’s Map morphing mug (and a case of coffee), and this little box bag filled with her favorite bath goodies.

My original intent was to sew up The Gabby Bag using a custom print (also the Marauder’s Map) from Affordable Fabrics, but unfortunately it wasn’t printed in time to make it. Consequently, I went to plan B….. It’s been ages since I’ve made a box bag (you can find the instructions here), but sewing one is like riding a bike…. you just never forget what to do! For this one, I used Harry Potter themed fabric that I found at Joann’s – not nearly as cool at the print I ordered, but it will do.

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Happy National Sewing Machine Day, everyone! Today I plan on celebrating by hopping on my BERNINA and working on several pressing projects:

  • First off, I have a new tutorial for WeAllSew that I’m putting the finishing touches on. While I can’t show you exactly what I’m working on, I can say it’s an easy upcycle project that should whip up in about an hour.
  • In our family, June is birthday month. Not only does Taylor celebrate hers, but my mom, 2 nephews, and a niece. This means that I have several handmade projects to work on…. and of course, they all need to be finished before the weekend!
  • This week we’ll hit our first 100 degree days….. which means, we’re spending lots of time at the pool. This year I decided that I wanted to make more of my own suits so up next is the Siren Swim Top (I am still undecided what I want the bottoms to look like).
  • Easton also wants the theme of his room changed and I purchased the perfect fabric to make a few throw pillows for his bed.

Whew, that is a list! I don’t fully expect to finish everything this week, but I’m going to try my hardest to get them all done. How are you planning on spending this ‘holiday’?

Layton Complete

06-;ayton2I managed to finish up my Layton the other day, just in time to wear out to the ball field that evening. Not only was it breezy to wear, but it was comfortable and cute too boot!

Overall, I’m very pleased with how the romper tuned out. However, I would not suggest using a stripe with this project – there is lots of pattern matching needed and I guarantee it will drive you crazy! I found that my Layton took me a bit longer to sew up than the two hours listed, but I think that is because I had to line all the stripes up (and recut the pocket because it was horribly ‘off’).

As for the fit on this one, I am a bit disappointed. In my past experience, Seamwork patterns seem to work really well without a lot of modifications. However, this one is very large in the armsythe so I find myself constantly arranging the positioning of my romper so that the band of my bra doesn’t show. I am also not crazy about my (elastic) waistline. The pattern calls for 1/4″ elastic to be sewn along the seam line – I found that my elastic became over stretched and really didn’t want to go back into shape (and actually started ‘curling’). I think most of my problem is crappy elastic and not the pattern, but it still isn’t pretty. I wound up adding a firmer elastic in a wider width over top of the original elastic (ripping out the existing elastic created holes in the fabric) and may have made matters worse….. At least it’s made to be bloused and no one can see the crazy waistband I created!

Linky Thursday

Grab your sheer top and vest pattern and make yourself a trendy new top.

A beautiful way to stay cool this summer…. sew up a linen sundress.

This year Easton discovered that there is unlimited book checkouts at the library. I suppose we’ll be needing one of these library totes next.

Sew4Home designs some of my favorite duffle patterns and their latest, the Safari Duffle, is no exception. This one would also make a great Father’s Day gift as well!

Whip up a racerback dress for you little girl (up to size 8) and stay cool this summer.

Hit the beach (or pool) with a new bag this weekend.

Personalize your luggage for your next weekend getaway, learn how to make this Travel Ensemble (must be a SewDaily member to download the free pattern).

Looking for something handmade that you can give dad this Father’s Day? Why not a photo tie?

A sweet mini dress that’s just for women. Check out the free pattern for the Carkeek Dress by Straight Stitch Designs and have a new look by evening!

A great way for your kids to spend time outside and still stay in the shade: Make them a TeePee.

If you like to take your sewing to the living room while you watch tv, then you’ll definitely want to whip up this armchair pincushion (with storage pockets too!).  Need something that’s a bit more decorative, instead? Check out this adorable, Little Birdie version instead.

How do you keep your iPad dry at the pool? By making one of these great splash proof cases!

Little girls look adorable in skirts, but they aren’t always practical for playing. Learn how to make a quick and easy skirt that has built in shorts.

Got (old) jeans? Turn them into a cute bunting!

Layton On The Machine

06-laytonNow that the Sanibel project is complete, why not start another romper and compare? I mentioned that I had cut out the Layton, last week, so now I’m ready to get this one sewn! I did make the ‘mistake’ of using a noticeable fabric design with this with the Layton (if you look carefully, there are side seams to both the front bodice and shorts), so I’m crossing my fingers that I did a decent job pattern matching. I also managed to use the same material for the lining so I’m doubly crossing my fingers because there isn’t much fabric left to recut pieces.

After reading through the instructions, I’ve decided to skip any serging too – my intent is to do this project entirely on my standard machine. I can’t wait for this to be finished too – it’s really starting to heat up here and I’m definitely needing more pieces to my summer wardrobe!

FINALLY Sanibel Romper is Complete!

06-sanibelEven though the weekend was extraordinarily busy, I was determined to finish the Sanibel Romper project. So I burned the midnight oil and finally got it done (I was surprised at how much I hand left to finish on this one)…. just in time for the weather to really heat up making this project way to warm to wear right now (long sleeves and blazing sun don’t mix well – even if you roll the sleeves up).

Now that it’s complete, here are my overall impressions of this project:

  • This project is much “larger” that what it seems. From the PDF itself (98 pages) and it’s assembly\cutting material (which takes almost an entire day) to the actual sewing, this project takes quite a bit of time to finish.
  • There are lots of great details to this project (which is why it takes awhile to sew) that makes it look very ready-to-wear.
  • Considering there are so many pieces, the pattern comes together beautifully. The instructions are also great and very clear. Overall, the Sanibel Romper is very well designed. In fact, the instructions are so good that I think a beginner could tackle this project so long a they were willing to learn lots of new techniques.
  • I know that it’s a romper and is designed for a looser fit, but IMHO, this project runs big. I fall somewhere between a small\medium and opted to go with the smaller size. It still fits nicely in the arms and bust without being too tight. You may want to keep this in mind if you opt to try this out for yourself.
  • Sew this one up in a material that is very lightweight. I used a chambray for mine and feel like it’s still too stiff and bulky (if I had to do it all over again, I think I would opt for a challis instead even though it’s horrible to sew with). Plus all that chambry also makes me feel as if I am wearing coveralls or that I should be an engineer on a train somewhere.
  • I am not fond of how I look in this romper. For being a short person, I am fairly long-waisted, but this romper makes me look squatty. If I pull the “shorts” down, the crotch hangs too low and if I pull it up, I look like I have no waist at all. It took quite a bit of finagling to get it to look the way it does in the photo and honestly, I think it looks horrible on. And let’s not talk about how it looks from the back….. because it is a romper and the chambray is stiff and bulky I look very large from behind. If I was at a department store, I’m not sure that I would buy it off the rack.

Will I wear this? Yes, when it’s not so hot out (so my guess, this fall). I devoted a lot of time to this project and it’s not completely horrible on, but I’m just not in love with it. Would I recommend it? Probably. It’s well designed and could look adorable in a different material or even a different body type.




06-sundressingA few years ago (5 to be exact!), Melissa Mora of Melly Sews started a wildly popular segment on her blog called “30 Days of Sundresses”. These tutorials ran daily every June and featured fun designs for both little girls and women. The styles were often quick to sew and even easier to wear. So, it seems only fitting that this June, Melissa not only features this segment on her blog this month, but she is releasing a book about it as well!

Sundressing contains 21 “easy, breezy dresses” for both women and girls for a variety of occasions including everyday, trendy\stylish designs, ‘outdoorsy’ (think dresses that are perfect for picnics and days at the lake), and party wear. Included in this book are 10 dresses for women with sizes ranging from 0-22 and 11 frocks for little girls, sizes 2T-12 with all the necessary pattern pieces in an envelope in the back of the book. If you’ve ever sewn one of Melissa’s PDF patterns from Blank Slate, you know that here instructions are clear and easy to follow (the book also has lots of illustrations as well).

06-oasisOne thing I’ve always liked about Melissa’s patterns (and tutorials) is the consistent fit that I get when I sew one of her designs. While I can’t speak for the patterns in this book yet (although my goal is to sew one or two before this month is over), I can’t imagine that they would be any different. However, if you find you need to make alterations, there is a great section in Sundressing that tackles fitting – including a full and small bust adjustments (something you don’t see discussed very often in pattern books). My only disappointment is that the Oasis Dress (show on left) only goes to a size 12, children’s (although admittedly, it probably would make me look ‘fluffy’ and not as adorable as the model). However, keep your eyes peeled for a fun little number I want to make called the Pennybacker dress.

If you’re looking for a project book to keep you busy this summer, Sundressing will definitely keep you busy (and looking great)!

Linky Thursday

A touch of summer on your wrist, whip up an adorable lemon clutch to tote your goodies.  Looking for something more traditional? Check out this seersuckeer & leather clutch.

Dress up your coffee cup with this fun, Call Me Maybe mug rug.

After our long car trips last week, I have determined that we could have used this car caddy to keep our stuff organized.

Perfect for dressing up this summer, wrap scarf shorts.

Bring a bit of summer into your home with this pretty mason jar vase pillow. Once you’re done, give these Anthropologie knock-off pillows a try.

The perfect printable for every sewing room.

A fun way to stash your stuff, the hungry bunny bag.

The maxi skirt that’s simple to make and comfortable enough to wear all summer. Need a dress instead? Try this new tutorial from Thriftanista in the City.

Look stylish on the beach this summer with this pleated beach dress.

Never get your bags mixed up at the airport with this easy luggage handle wrap tutorial.

Need a quick project that only takes 1 yard of fabric to complete? Check out this Magic Messenger tutorial.

Hold the remote…. with these cute owl pillows.

Learn how to create beautiful Cath Kidston oven gloves.

I love the look of rustic and colorful pannier. This tutorial will teach you how to make your own rope style basket.

Have scraps you just can part with? Turn them into adorable strawberry pincushions.

Up Next

06-laytonToday is the first of the month which means the new patterns are out for Seamwork Magazine…. and here I am finally starting one from last month!

Yesterday, I printed off the Layton, taped it together, and cut out the size I needed. I decided that I would use the blue green tie-dye ethnic cotton jersey blend knit from May’s Knit Fix for this one since it has a fun, summery vibe to it and am crossing my fingers I have enough material to cut out the lining from it as well.

I’m excited to get started sewing on this one – I think it will fun and comfortable to wear this summer. Now to just find those 2 hours that I need to sew this one up!