Monthly Archives: January 2017

Steampunk Cold Shoulder

This weekend I’m attending a Red Hot Chili Peppers  concert (cross your fingers that the ice storm doesn’t change those plans) and I realized that I didn’t have anything to wear for the event. I thought this was the perfect excuse to get back to the Anniversary Top that I said I was going to work on last month.

For this top, I went up one size (as you can see this totally eliminated the puckers in the bust that I saw in my previous version) and use the long sleeve, low neck version of this tee. I used RP Custom Fabrics Steampunk panel for the front of the shirt and their solid black for the back, sleeve and bindings. While the shirt went together without a hitch, I had some issues with the panel size and the placement of the design – it was so far up on the panel that I had to raise up the neckline some so that the image wouldn’t be cut off or be so close to the neckline binding that it looked odd. The panel was also shorter than the pattern itself so I took up the length 1 1/2″-2″ (which was fine because I thought the size was too long last time and took about that much off last time anyway).

As for the fit, it’s much better. However, the fabric is substantially different than what I used last time so it feels snug, but is not overstretched. In fact, it looks pretty slimming when I put it on (I’m guessing some of that is that it’s black)…. it might be one of my favorite tops that I’ve made recently! Here’s the breakdown of the cost for this shirt, in case you’re interested:

Pattern….. stash
Fabric……. $18.00
Notions…. stash

Total $18.00

Linky Thursday

Is the ice storm headed your way this weekend? Keep yourself cozy with this fur-lined tartan poncho and a pair of lined mittens (or recycle an old sweater to make your mittens).

This pillow is great for relaxing in bed with a good book or knitting. On the go? Try this travel pillow instead.

Win a fat quarter bundle from Monaluna.

This travel cosmetic case folds\rolls into a cute little boxy shape (the site will probably need to be translated).

Cleaning your windows this winter can be so much warmer when you make yourself a hand warmer ice scraper.

Got a new phone for the holidays? Then whip yourself up a new wristlet case to protect it!

Learn how to fussy cut your fabric to get just the right design inserted into your project.

I love to wear slouchy hats in the winter. This free pattern can show you how to make one.

I can’t resist anything Harry Potter, like this fabulous activity cube for babies and toddlers.

Being TSA compliant doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice having something nices (not to mention sturdy) to hold your belongings. Whip up this clear vinyl bag for the next time you travel!

These pretty round pillows make the perfect seating while lounging in front of the fireplace or tv.

Another Oslo

Call it procrastination, but yesterday I worked on a completely different project than what I had in mind. In a few weeks I have an article due for an upcoming issue of Sew News. While I can’t share all the details of what it’s about I figured I could show you the finished product since it isn’t an original design…. plus I love how it turned out so much.

For this project I used Seamwork’s Oslo – one of my favorite patterns that they have come out with so far (this is at least the third one I’ve made, too). As for the fabric, I couldn’t resist getting the Nicole Miller Lacy Sweater Knit that I found at Joann’s. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about pattern matching when I picked this material and found myself spending a great deal of time making sure everything lined up correctly when I cut this one out. The only change I made to this one is omitting the buttons. I really think that it looked best ‘less coat-like’ and more as a cozy cardigan. Now I am wishing I could wear it and not have to send it off…. I can see myself wearing this over the weekend with a pair of leggings an some big boots!

On the Cutting Table

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I have a love\hate relationship with bags.” I tend to make a lot of them and overall enjoy sewing them, but I hate working with bulk (which with most professional looking bags, is inevitable). But what I hate most is seeing what I spent on the project. I realize what I am making is typically one of a kind and the end result is fabulous, but it’s always shocking to see the total (it’s also a great reminder that handmade doesn’t mean ‘cheap’).

My latest project is January’s Bag of the Month Club pattern, The Clover Convertible Bag. This is by a new designer to the group, Blue Calla Patterns, so I’m excited to give her patterns a try. As for fabrics, I decided that I would finally break down and use the Harry Potter custom fabric I ordered a while ago and then went in search of some other wizarding world fabric I could use for the lining (which I found at Joann’s). Fortunately, I had on hand some black pleather on hand which means that I didn’t have to order it and can start this one right away. Here’s the details (and shocking cost) of this project. If you’re interested in the hardware kit for this one, you can find it here.

Pattern: Bag of the Month Club’s Clover Convertible Bag

Harry Potter Newsprint fabric from KNITorious Fabric

Harry Potter Face print from Joann Fabrics

Black Pleather from Spandex House

Pattern….. subscription
Fabric……. $49.98
Notions…. $53.41

Total $103.39


It comes with great sadness that I have to write that our dear little Jynx passed away last week. She suddenly became sick and after a late night visit to an emergency vet, we discovered that she was exposed to parvo prior to us adopting her and that she didn’t have enough immunity from her shots yet to ward it off. Even though she was only with us for a short time, she already was part of our family and we’re all very broken hearted without her. This week, everyone is back to work and school, which seems like a good thing because a bit of ‘normalcy’ tends to mend hearts and helps to get your mind off things. I plan of burying myself into some sewing.

A lot of people have asked, “Are you going to get another dog?” so I figure I’ll talk about that here as well. The answer is “yes, eventually.” Unfortunately the parvo virus is very hearty – it is active in our house for 1-2 months and in the yard for 6 months+ (we kept Jynx in the front yard only, which gets a lot of sun so it is likely that this area will kill off the virus more quickly than shaded areas). Consequently, we don’t want to introduce a puppy (or even a dog) into this environment until we know that it’s ‘safe’ and even then, we may look to adopt a dog that is somewhat older and fully immunized. So, chances are we’ll wait until the fall and start searching for the right fit into our family.


Linky Thursday

Take good care of you machine this year by keeping the dust off when not in use. You can make this pretty scrap busting cover (with handy storage pockets). Don’t need a new cover, but love the handy storage? Try this sewing machine pad instead.

Head back to school this new year in style with one of these fun recycled jean composition folders.

Start off the year with a new bag, like the Rocky Mountain Satchel.

Ditch the mitten tutorials and sew yourself gloves instead. This one is easy and look so cozy, too.

If you have a budding photographer then you’ll definitely want to check out adorable camera plush toy.

If one of your goals for the new year is to get organized, then you’ll want to check out this handy custom planner organizer.

Denim is one of my favorite materials to work with and these cute little bags definitely caught my eye (pattern included with photo instructions only).

This easy kimono robe is perfect excuse to use that beautiful fabric that may be sitting in your stash or try your hand at this pretty robe made from sheets.

Tag toys are so popular with babies. This version a different take by making the toy an easy to hold ring.

Have a Pokemon lover? Whip them up an adorable Eevee plush.

Use up some of those stashed scraps by making some of these mini wallets.

Keep toasty warm when you nestle under these beautiful blankets.

Tiny Sweater

It turns out the the first project for 2017 wasn’t ‘selfish’ at all, in fact, I made my first pet project for Jynx. The weather took a very cold turn this week. Since she doesn’t tolerate the cold well she was in need of a sweater. Unfortunately, most stores don’t carry gear for XXS dogs (or was backordered until later this month). However, the internet is a great resource and I easily found a pattern for exactly what I needed.

I stumbled across the Sofia & Friends Etsy store which specializes in dog clothes ranging from XXS-5XL and bought the plain ‘ole dog sweater (rather ordinary in comparison to other offerings on the site). I used some of the (very heavy) sweater-like fleece that I used last year for myself and a bit of blue knit remnant that I found in my stash. The whole project came together very quickly and easily – in fact this project was so straightforward, I didn’t even use the instructions.

As for the fit, it’s still a bit big. I didn’t measure Jynx before I started sewing and after slipping it on her, realized she definitely falls into the smaller range of this XXS pattern (I did take off the length by about an 1″ before putting on the bottom band so the length hits her well).

Overall, I really like this pattern. It’s a great basic that fits her really well – especially because her size is so difficult to find. Eventually, I’ll do a proper measuring and make one that fits even better!

Cozy Toes

Since my last project of 2016 happened over the weekend, I still haven’t had a chance to blog about it. So, I present to you the close out to last year’s sewing, the Cozy Toes Socks.

For my trial pair, I used a remnant from my Comic Girls legging project, which unfortunately, make the details of the sock difficult to see.  I didn’t have enough material left over to do anything larger than the ankle style (surprisingly, socks use a lot more fabric than what I anticipated).  The sewing on this pattern was very easy, but be sure that you label which is the toe, heel, etc. because I didn’t find it that obvious and it’ll save you some time trying to figure out what part to sew up next.

As for the fit, I was really in between sizes so I went with the larger of the two because I was afraid that they would be uncomfortably tight….. I really should have gone with the smaller of the two (it could be due to the fact that I also have very narrow feet as well). Otherwise, I love the way they feel.

So what’s the bottom line with this pattern? I love it! They feel and fit like a purchase sock (the previous pattern I used to make socks felt more like a tube with a gusset at the bottom) and they give me the ability to use some funky fabrics to make my own look. I love crazy socks, so why not be able to make my own?


Happy New Year!

Each year I keep a journal of projects that I’ve worked on throughout the year. This year, I kept track of one more element, the amount of fabric that I used. My intent was to try to sew more from my stash. While I think I did pretty good initially, I found as the year went on I purchased a lot of new material – in all fairness some of it was “unavoidable” as some patterns or articles have a certain material requirement that I just don’t have on hand… but a lot of time time I just fell in love with something awesome. So, without further ado, here is my breakdown of 2016:

I worked on 95 sewing projects. A majority of them were my own design (32), but there were a lot of ‘prototypes’ within that number that skews the number a bit.

As for favorite patterns companies – those remained fairly consistent. Jalie remains my overall favorite with 18 projects being sewn with their patterns followed by Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop with 15. Other favorites include Betz White, Seamwork Magazine, and Dolls and Daydreams.

While a majority of the patterns that I worked with were this year were independent designers, I did sew with one “Big 4” pattern company, McCalls. I also work with a few Burda Style (magazine) designs as well.

In total I sewed up 120.92 yards of fabric: 38.875 yards were from my stash while the rest (82.045 yards) was new. I also upcycled 9 different items to make projects as well.

So what do I have in mind for 2017? Apparently lots of dog loving (as you can see from the picture, Jynx loves to snuggle), I have several fun projects in upcoming issues of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, lots of bag making (this time I have vowed that I will stay on top of sewing the bag of the month purses), and of course a plethora of clothing.

I hope that everyone had a very happy new year and is ready to do great things in 2017!