Monthly Archives: January 2019

Linky Thursday

Looking for a great way to preserve family recipes? These vintage style potholders and tea towels make great gifts and keep your favorites at your fingertips.

Enter to win a $30 gift certificate to The Fabric Fairy. While you’re visiting the site, be sure to check out their tutorial for the Perfect DIY Wallet (it even has straps!).

Keep your tootsies warm with this free slipper pattern.

Learn how to transform a placemat into a cute, zippered pouch.

These Valentine’s Drawstring Bonnet Baskets are a great way to give gifts this holiday or just to keep around for storage.

Getting tired of hauling out the ironing board every time you sew? This mobile pressing station is a great alternative!

Create a one-of-a-kind pet collar with this easy tutorial.

Shying away from slippery fabrics? These tips will get you motivated to start sewing with them!

Breathe new life into an old sweater by transforming it into a cardigan.

You can always see what’s inside your bag if you make one of these Wide Open Pouches (or this Windowed Zip Bag!)

Keep your Kitchen Aid covered with this easy tutorial.

I’ve seen a lot of pet tee pees recently. I’m not sure if my dog would like it, but I’m pretty sure my son would.

Up Next

Yesterday I saw a lot of posts for Ellie & Mac’s new release, (Women’s) Lucky Girl.

This is a pattern company that I hadn’t tried before so I was a bit hesitant on buying this, but after seeing it promoted throughout the day, I caved. I figured it was only $3.85, so what did I have to lose… plus those sleeves (which is very reminiscent of the Mimosa, but with a different hemline and raglan sleeves).

Now to figure out what in the world I’m using for fabric and make this one up. It’s supposed to warm up this weekend and I’m thinking that this might be a great top to wear out!

Baby Gear

I had (briefly) mentioned that my brother-in-law was going to have a baby this spring. I figured with a shower coming up soon, I had better get started planning on what I was going to make. Up first? A knotted hat and matching burp cloth.

Top Knot Hat and matching burp cloth

When I went through my stash earlier this month, I had pulled several fabrics that I thought might make fun baby gifts. My first selection was a “hipster baby” print… then after looking at it, realized it probably doesn’t fit my brother-in-law’s style very well (he’s pretty anti-hipster and prefers to identify himself with the punk subculture), so I moved onto a white, tonal giraffe print. After starting to cut and work with this fabric for awhile, I scrapped it as well (it was in a knit bundle) because it was just too thin (and sheer… that’s not going to hold up in baby wear). Lastly I pulled out my final option, the Ooga Booga print. I had always loved this print (also from a knit bundle), but never found the right project for it… until now.

So, I set out to make the Top Knot hat from Pretty Prudent and a matching burp cloth. While the hat turned out great, I don’t really recommend making a decorative strip in knit for a burp rag (cloth diaper) as it just doesn’t behave very well. I had also planned on making a coordinating blanket, but the fabric I selected clashed terribly. I am trying to make this print look a bit more feminine\gender neutral, and in doing so, I picked a flannel backing that had too much pink in it. While the other colors matched well, that pink looked horrible with the red on the front. So, it’s back to the drawing board on what to use on that front.

Sweatery Sweatshirt

With a bit of finagling and some creative placement, I decided that I had just enough sweater knit left to squeeze out a long sleeve top. I opted to go with Jalie 3355 – even though it’s designed to be a sweatshirt, I’ve seen plenty of sweatery tops in this style lately that I was confident it would work out alright. And here you have it, the Sweatery Sweatshirt:

Jalie 3355 in a floral sweater knit from SoSewEnglish Fabrics

The only modification that I had to make with this is cutting the hem band in two pieces (leaving a seam allowance at each end). Otherwise, I sewed this one straight out of the package and wore it out last night (with a pair of jeans and some fuzzy boots). I’m pretty pleased with the end result – it’s definitely different than anything else I own, which is a nice change of pace!

Linky Thursday

Looking for a cute housewarming gift? These quilted mini house trivets aren’t just adorable, they look like a great scrap busting project too!

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to make it to the gym more often, then you’ll definitely want to sew up one of these great gym totes. Workouts not your thing? This yoga mat bag is perfect to take to classes instead!

Speaking of workouts, this woman’s tank would also make great gym attire or just cute to wear when the weather warms up.

Who doesn’t love a great hoodie (pattern)?

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, scrunchies are making a comeback – learn how to make your own with this easy tutorial.

Make a sweater without ever picking up a pair of knitting needles (FYI, this tutorial does require you to draft your own pattern from an existing shirt, but in the end you’ll have a great fitting garment that you can make over and over again).

Win a pastel fabric bundle (it’s perfect for spring!).

If you’re like me, I don’t sew enough for the men in my life, so when I spot a tutorial just for the guys, I like to point it out. Like this video for making a custom men’s tee.

I’m still seeing a ton of kimonos in stores. If you’re looking to jump on this trend, this tutorial should only take you 30 minutes.

Up Next

With the sewing room overhaul complete, I can finally get back to sewing… or a least prepping for sewing. Since my next project is a test garment, I can’t really show you what I’m working on, but I can show you the fabric.

Floral Sweater Knit from SoSewEnglish

The lighting is terrible, but the background of this sweater knit is actually a navy blue and the floral is pretty vibrant. I had originally purchased this material sometime last year because I thought I wanted to make a Mama Darcey Duster, but sometime between ordering this fabric and it arriving, I changed my mind about the project (probably because I realized I would rarely wear a duster). This fabric sat for quite awhile, just waiting for the right pattern… and I’m so thrilled to have finally found one. Now that the pattern pieces are cut, I’m hoping I have enough left to make some sort of sweatery top out of it, but looking at what I have left, I’m pretty sure I won’t (and I have vowed I am not keeping the remnant – I’m not getting that started again after the big closet clean out).


For the past week I’ve been talking about my sewing room overhaul and (thankfully) over the weekend I am done. The only thing I can say is that this looks like a complete transformation. I’d like to say that it hasn’t looked this good since we’ve moved into this house (11 years ago), but I’m pretty sure that it didn’t looks this good even then!

I wouldn’t be any fun if I just talked about it and didn’t show you the end results… so here’s some before\after photos of what it looks like now.

Before\After Bookshelf Overhaul

I started with the easiest first, the bookshelf. I took the photo after I had already removed all the Burda (Ottobre, Knip Mode, etc.) pattern magazines (I had about 200!), but you get the idea. I also removed some books that I no longer use or needed.

Before\After Rack Cleanup

This rack was the second easiest cleanup. It had a number of magazines and patterns that I use regularly as well as buttons and toys.

Before\After Sewing Table

With the thread on the wall and out of the way, this left a lot of room to organize my sewing table. I removed some extra pincushions that I never move and cleaned up the WIPs that I had piled on the table.

Before\After Sewing Stash

This, by far was the hardest part to go through in my sewing room. Part of it was the sheer volume of what I was working with, but also because it seems as if all my fabrics told a story (I talked a bit about this on Friday). But once I got started, it was easier to let go and what I have kept are the things that I will use at some point. I even had enough room in there to store accessories for my Cricut, rolls of fabric, and put a few of the bulkier materials on bolts. I’m calling this an impressive feat, if I do say so myself.

Before\After Cutting Table

Last, but not least is the “Cutting Table,” but I’m not sure that it’s actually been used as a cutting table in YEARS. It became a warehouse for WIPS, fabrics, projects… you name it. I also found myself stashing more fabrics in a basket underneath…. it was just a mess. After going through the fabrics, clearing up the projects and removing the clutter, I now have a workable table again.

And there you have it. This took longer than any sewing project that I’ve tackled in recent years, but the reward is huge. I’m vowing that I will not add any fabrics for several months (unless they will be used immediately), I will keep the room clean, and I will never let it get this out of control again! With that said, it’s time to get back sewing – it’s so much more fun to do when you have a workable space!

I’m Doing It

I figured I have procrastinated enough…. I have finally started tackling the sewing room. After going through YEARS of Burda and Ottobre (with a few KnipMode, Patrones, and Japanese pattern magazines thrown in), I decided to tackle the hardest part – the stash.

The fabric extends past the doors and up the wall, too, which the photo doesn’t really show.. don’t judge. LOL I decided to tackle this by making piles: “Definitely Keep”, “What Was I Thinking”, “Scraps”, and “Maybe”. Of course, it’s now too late to turn back because I’ve started making a HUGE mess.

The most recent fabric purchases made it into the “definitely keep” along with fabrics that have been earmarked for particular projects, good “basic” fabrics, and prints that I just love. I also sorted them into knits and quilting\home decor cottons (which aren’t shown above).

The bulk of “What Was I Thinking” seemed to be bundle purchases. You know how Fabric Mart does those fantastic deals for suitings, denim, fashion knits, where you got 10+ yards of material for a great price? Yeah, I loaded up…. then didn’t make a dent into sewing them. Other pieces were largely fabrics that were either impulse buys or designs that just look dated now. I also went through a “silky print” phase because I had YARDS AND YARDS of that kind of material.

I keep a lot of remnants. If it’s a quilting cotton, I kept it because there are sometimes little projects that call for contrasts or a fun print (or maybe some day I WILL make that scrappy quilt).. or sometimes I’m just testing out a pattern and need something on hand to see if my measurements were correct. I also tend to keep knits as well with the idea in mind that I can make a fun pair of underwear, some contrast sleeves, etc. With that said, my “Scrap” pile was out of control. I wound up with 2 trash bags full of cotton scraps that I donated to a friend that is taking them to the quilting ladies at her church (I hope I see some of those pieces in something some day). As for the knits – if it was around a yard, I decided to donate it. I will say that I kept a handful (about 5 or 6) prints because I still have ideas, but otherwise the bulk is gone.

The “maybe” pile was a lot smaller than what I expected. I really went in with the idea that I either love it or hate it. Most of what went into the “maybes” I didn’t wind up keeping.

I’m still not quite done with this. All the fabric is either in bags (a few have been donated – I’m sure they think someone died because there was quite a bit I took in) or still on the floor, not to mention the fact I still have an entire cutting table to sort through. But the hardest part is done. I’m not going to lie, this was a struggle – not just because of the sheer volume I dealt with, but because there is some sort of ‘sentimental attachment’ to some of these materials. As I unearthed fabrics and scraps, I reminisced about what I made with each (I even unearthed material that I had used for a Christmas dress for Taylor when she was 3… she’s 21 now!), so it was a fun journey through sewing time. Now I’m anxious to get things back into place this weekend and start fresh!

As a side note, if you live in Wichita and need some Burda magazines, let me know… I have numerous years worth that you can sort through before I drop them off.

Linky Thursday

I just found out that I’m going to be an aunt again! So of course, I’m on the hunt for great baby items to make. This braided headband is an adorable start, but I’m also thinking I’ll need to make a coordinating knotted beanie, bib, and blanket too!

Wearing layers is the easiest way to keep warm this winter, but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice being fashionable either! This Kalinda cardigan isn’t just cute, it has a number of way it can be worn. Need something warm and fuzzy instead? She also has a great Teddy Bear Jacket (for free) on Craftster.

Keep the cold out of your house by whipping up a few of the draft dodgers for your door.

Looking to make a few handmade items for Valentine’s this year? Bernina’s We All Sew has a great roundup of projects including my Valentine’s Treat Bag.

Fleece Fun always has a number of hat projects, but this version is different because they’ve added ear flaps.

If one of your resolutions was to stay more organized, don’t forget about your purse! This tutorial uses a placemat to create an easy-to-sew organizer.

Speaking of organizing, how about the car, too? This divided fabric basket is perfect!

Sometimes I carry so much change it just doesn’t fit into my wallet. Maybe I should carry around one of these adorable puffy coin purses too.


While I can’t share with you (yet) the project I finished yesterday, I can share with you the awesome welt that I made in it!

Welt Pocket in Fleece

I was seriously giddy when I made this welt because it wasn’t just easy to create, it turned out perfect on the first try… In fleece even! Speaking of fleece, it’s been YEARS since I’ve worked with this fabric and now I sort of remember why I stopped…. oh the bulk! But the end results were totally worth it because the finished project is adorable (and warm). I can’t wait to share with you soon!