Monthly Archives: December 2017


Last month I made another order from So Sew English fabrics that included a fushia double brushed poly plaid fabric. I had no intentions on sewing up a pair of leggings with them, but I realized that, after cutting out a shirt (which I haven’t sewn yet), I had plenty enough left over to make a pair.

So I went back to my favorite legging pattern and whipped up a pair. Unfortunately, this fabric is not quite like the rest of the double brushed poly that I’ve been getting. Apparently, it doesn’t have nearly the same amount of stretch (I never checked it before I cut into it) and is much thinner. Consequently, this pair is much tighter on me than the rest and is also is quite see-through in some areas (being overstretched doesn’t help). To top it off, those checks make my legs look larger so they probably aren’t the most flattering, either. What does all this mean? This pair of leggings are for around the house only!



I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas yesterday. I know that the day went way too fast and today we’ve reached the holiday crash! Even though the festivities are over, I managed to sneak in one more project before the big day (although not sewing related). I had been seeing quite a few Santa plaques\signs around the internet and wanted to give it a whirl and here is my attempt.

I took an inexpensive board and stained it (I think it might look good white, too), trimmed a gift bag to find the boards, then mod podged them on. After everything was dry, I used a sander to buff the edges to give and worn, vintage look. I liked the end result, but think that I could have buffed the edges a bit more. Unfortunately, I wore the sanding pad out too much and didn’t have a replacement so I settled for this! Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to do this again next year for gift giving – I feel like I’ve learned what to do a bit better and things may go much smoother… this was my second attempt, my first went into the trash!

Tea Towels

For the past several years, I’ve done the fun Spoonflower Calendar Tea Towels. They make great gifts and really don’t take that long to make…. I just have to get my rear in gear and do it because the sewing isn’t fun, IMHO. With Christmas just a few days away, I finally sat down and make this years:

I wound up not sewing one, completely…. this Vintage Dress Calendar. I was very excited when I ordered it, but whoever designed it did a horrible job – the image is blurry (I am guessing from blowing up the cover of a pattern) and is just overall disappointing so I couldn’t bring myself to actually put it together right now. The rest? Adorable. I also got a few Prohibition Cocktails tea towels as well – I thought they made great “guy” gifts (I paired this up with a mixed drink recipe party glass). NOW I’m ready for Christmas!

Linky Thursday

Join the Striped Swallow Facebook group to get a code to get the new Cloud 9 pattern for free!

Easton has “lip licker syndrome” and could definitely use one of these lip balm mini case.

This stuffed bird is beautiful for your tree or just as a pretty decoration. Looking for something more fun? Then try out this stuffed unicorn (head) or lama and cactus set instead.

Need a quick holiday gift? Doodles the bear is simply adorable (and I love his little socks).

Can’t get enough of Stranger Things? Make a fun ornament for your tree! (and now I need to step up my hand sewing game)

Have a camera lover in your life? This Say Cheese quilt pattern would make the perfect gift. While you’re there be sure to enter to win a bundle of fabrics that were used to make the quilt.

Oven mitts make great hostess gifts for the holidays, like this easy pinch grip version.

Use your sewing machine to make beautiful Christmas cards.

Stuffed gnomes are everywhere this season and now you can make your own.

Last Minute Gifts

With Christmas less than a week away and the last days of school for the year up ahead, it was time to sit down and do some last minute gifts for teachers. This year, I tried out “floating ornaments” – basically an embellished (or printed) piece of acetate that sits inside an clear glass ornament.


While I thought that they were super cool last year, now that I’ve made them and seen them in person I’m not as impressed. I wound up with 2 (I screwed up one and then realized that I didn’t have enough ornaments in that size after that) and couldn’t decide if I like them “filled” or not so I did one with and one without. I think that the filled version is easier to see while it’s hanging, but the unfilled version looks better on the tree. Fortunately, I had a few other items on hand to do as gifts so all is not lost. Next year, I’ve told myself to start crafting sooner!

Crown Royal Shorts

Last week I mentioned that I was working on a project using Crown bags…. today I get to show you the finished product!

Taylor’s roommate asked if I could make her these to give to her fiance after he sent her a photo of shorts made of Crown Royal bags that he had found on the internet. Fortunately, she works at an Old Chicago and one of the bartenders had been keeping all the bags that they used so I had plenty to work with. I wound up making up piece of fabric from the fronts of 36 bags… basically I laid a seam front over top of an another front (with the seam trimmed off to reduce bulk) and stitched it in place to create a finished look. Once I had finished a “row” I created a finished (folded) edge and laid it on top of the previous row (I attempted to stagger it to, again, reduce bulk) and stitched it in place. Once I was finished, I used the Walk the Plank Pajama Shorts (which is a free pattern for anyone that is interested) for the pattern and attempted to line everything up so the crown wasn’t cut off in too many areas.

The actual sewing of the shorts went very quickly and are pretty straightforward. Since these are supposed to be a Christmas present, I have no idea how they fit, but they seem to have plenty of ease so I’m thinking they will be fine.

So now a little bit of info about these shorts if you’re thinking of trying these for yourself. First off, get plenty of bags. I attempted to use the bare minimum (36 for a size medium in the Walk the Plank version), but you’ll definitely need more for larger sizes or depending on how your bag is created (I noticed that not all bags fronts are the same size – some are dramatically smaller than others)…. also be prepared for some carpel tunnel after all that cutting and trimming. Secondly, these shorts are not for people with a sensitivity to seams – there are seams all over this thing and as much as I tried to keep the bulk to a minimum it’s still there. Lastly, I recommend hand washing your finished shorts and definitely by themselves. The Crown Royal bags are made from felt and weren’t meant to be worn so I have no idea if they would shrink, distort, fall apart, bleed etc. in the wash… so don’t let all your hard work unravel and just slip them into the sink to soak.

With all that said, these are pretty epic – I am sure they will be worn at the next collage party!

Stroopwafel & Crown

I was so wrong. I really thought today that I would be posting a Linky Thursday, but instead, I am still sitting in my pajamas, drinking coffee and eating Stroopwafels. Bret has been traveling a lot lately, so while he was gone he was nice enough to stop by a Trader Joes for some seasonal goodies.

Even though the links won’t happen this week (I promise I’ll be more on the ball next week), I will show you a part of my latest project which involves Crown Royal bags. I am currently cutting them up and turning them into a whole piece of fabric to make a pair of shorts for Taylor’s roommate’s fiancee. Beware, this project will give you neck pain and carpel tunnel:


Holiday Leggings

Normally I would be posting about Linky Thursday, but I got way toofar behind this morning and decided to skip it today (stay tuned for Linky Goodness tomorrow instead). Instead, I bring you my latest sewing creations: Holiday Leggings.

Originally, I had planned on picking up a few pairs of LuLaRoe (I know, I can easily make them myself for half the cost, but I have a weakness for some of their prints), but there wasn’t a lot of designs that called to me (and the ones that did got snagged up very quickly). So, I wound up buying a few, fun fabrics from SoSewEnglish and paired it up with Jalie 2920 (by the way, this pattern will soon be discontinued so if you don’t have a paper copy and want one, this may be you last chance). Taylor claimed the reindeer\snowman stripe and the trees are all mine. Now I just need to find some good shirts to wear with these!

More Ornaments

Apparently this is the week of ornaments…. my latest is a Rae Dunn inspired set. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know who Rae Dunn was, but a lot of folks on Facebook groups were making these (and apparently Etsy is going crazy with them too) and I thought they were too adorable to not try myself.

To make these, it seems as if most people use the The Skinny font, upload it to Inkscape, and then import it into the Cricut software. I’m not very familiar with that program and couldn’t ever get it to look quite right when I moved it to Cricut so I just scrapped the whole idea and used a font that was already on Cricut. To get the “skinny” look I just unlocked the sizing ration and pulled it down until I liked the way it looked – it was a whole lot easier, in my opinion, and the font is a bit thicker and easier to work with.

Making the lettering was the easy part, applying the lettering was not. I discovered that putting a rectangular item on a round object is not fun. I made some snips into the transfer tape that seemed to help, but overall it seemed to be a lot of work that took much longer than what I expected. I added a bow to the top of each ornament, and put them all into a bucket that I embellished and called it good! I have no idea what I am doing with these (they may become a teacher gift), but I felt compelled to give this project a try…. next year I may just buy the original because it’s a lot less stress.

Unicorn Ornaments

I had no intention on making a bunch of ornaments this year, but one of the Facebook groups I belong to posted some fun ideas and somehow I couldn’t resist the urge to make them. The first of the bunch? Unicorns.

I sort of took the easy way out on this one – I used white bulbs (a lot of people glitter the inside of clear bulbs) and purchased paper mini flowers) to create my version. You know what wasn’t easy? Gluing everything down. I am guessing most people used hot glue, but I was afraid that over time it just wouldn’t hold well so I decided to use E6000. While this glue has fantastic long-term hold, everything just wanted to slide right off until it dried enough that it was tacky. Needless to say, it was a bit messy, but the end results are worth it. Aside from the one I kept myself and one that I’m giving to my niece, I have no idea who’s getting the rest of these, but I suppose I have them on hand for some quick gift giving!