Monthly Archives: February 2020

The Rachel

When I first saw this “cat phone” print at Girl Charlee, I knew I had to have it – it’s quirky and fun, just the way I like it! I didn’t have a project in mind when I bought it, so I picked up 2 yards and stashed it until the right pattern came along. That pattern? Jalie’s Rachel.

First off, let me say this pattern looks way more complicated than what it really is to sew. I thought that this project would take all day to make, but I was able to finish it in just a few hours – I honestly think it took longer to tape the pattern together and cut it out. The instructions and illustrations were good (I found the illustrations very helpful for creating the drape) and everything came together nicely. As for the fit, I LOVE it! I was a bit concerned how a thicker cotton fabric would work with this look, but it’s extremely flattering – and if you’re worried about a bit of tummy showing, the drape\gathers hit you in just right spot. I would definitely make this pattern again!

As for the fabric, I’m really hoping that Girl Charlee has more prints available from this designer. The material has a good thickness, it has very nice stretch and recovery, and overall sews very well (speaking from experience, I know that some Girl Charlee prints are not always this way).

Linky Thursday

If you’re planning on storing those bulky sweaters, jackets, and pants once winter is over, then you’ll definitely want to check out this great tutorial on packing cubes (in 3 sizes).

If you need more pocket space in your apron, check out this wrap around version from Sew4Home.

It’s currently snowing outside as I type this, so it’s hard to envision weather warm enough to fish in, but if you’re planning ahead, this backpack is a great idea (plus it’s huge and is shaped like a fish).

This coffee cozy is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. If I use it, does this mean I can make it an Irish Coffee?

Give new life to your favorite sweatshirt pattern by using this button collar hack.

Upcycling jeans into a skirt is always a popular look when the weather turns warm. Want to change it up? Learn how to modify it to have a full, front zip.

This fabric covered basket is perfect for keeping breads and rolls warm. While you’re checking out the tutorial, did you enter to win an industrial Juki?

As the Coronavirus spreads world wide, I’m venturing to guess you’ll see a lot more face masks in the wild. If you’re interested in making your own, here’s an easy tutorial to start with.

Enter to win a Hatch Embroidery Digitizer.

Up Next?

Are “knot tops” still “in”? I’ve been thinking about making one for awhile now, but wasn’t sure how on trend this style was anymore – I’ve seen a few online, but not nearly as much as I used to. Even though I’m questioning this look, I’m giving serious consideration to making another Selja – I really love the fit and style of this pattern and I think it needs to be made in leopard.

Jalie’s Rachel has also been in the back of my mind as well. Although I may skip the long sleeve version and go straight to the sleeveless – I have a rather bold print in mind for this pattern and I think sleeves might look “too much”. Plus, I’m already getting tired of sewing for winter.

High Contrast

You guys, I did a thing this weekend. It wasn’t sewing related, but I’m super proud of myself because this is not normally the type of project I like doing. What could be so exciting? I painted a wall…. black.

For starters, I really don’t like painting. I find it nerve wracking (because much like sewing, I know where the “mistakes” are) and I’m messy. Secondly, I’ve opted for black – which seems like the most anxiety ridden paint because its not just the messiest, it’s also such a high contrast to the white that any mistakes could be glaring. But I figured it was just one wall and I really wanted to tackle the laundry room – I’m still working out of boxes in there and everything is just in a pile… it’s an area I hate to go into.

Now that it’s dry, I can order the shelving that will help organize everything, put up some decorations, and finally call that area good. In the mean time, it’s back to sewing!

Linky Thursday

Why buy fabric weights when you can make some cool ones instead? These are filled with rice so I’m thinking they could double as hand warmers too.

Enter to win a Juki industrial sewing machine!

I’ve been seeing a lot of beach\nautical themed rooms lately. This pillow would make a great accent piece for this trend.

Ever have the zipper on your favorite jeans go kaput? Learn how to fix it with this tutorial.

Learn how to sew a drawstring cowl sweatshirt.

Enter to win a 20 piece Sweet Caroline fat quarter bundle.

It’s still cold out side so there’s plenty of time to stitch up those bowl and mug cozies!

Are you lucky enough to head to a quilt conference? This Call Me case is perfect for holding you phone and badge and is worn around your neck.

Tea towels make a great housewarming gift and so easy to sew. Especially when you use fat quarters.

Sherbet Stripe

I think I ‘m getting tired of sewing for winter and am ready to move onto a new season because when I saw a Sherbet Stripe Bundle (2 yards of an Oakley brushed single knit stripe and 2 yards of a coral rayon spandex) on SoSewEnglish’s website (currently sold out), I grabbed it without thinking. Not only did it scream spring, but it gave me a chance to sew up the Oakley fabric everyone has been talking about and create a top similar to this one that I fell in love with.

For my version, I used Hey June Handmade’s Union St. Tee with long sleeves.

Check out that stripe matching!

Since I had plenty of material to work with, I was very careful to cut it so that the stripes with perfectly matched across the body and sleeves. And I can honestly say, this turned out so much better than what I expected. Maybe it’s because it’s a nice break from drab winter colors or because it goes perfectly with my “Bacon & Egg” flats, but I can’t wait to wear this top.

As for the Oakley fabric, it is quite lovely to wear – it’s very soft, has a nice drape (perfect for tees), and sewed up nicely, but I’m disappointed in the (current) selection of prints. Between that and the fact that it feels like a sweater knit, I can’t see myself buying a lot more of it going to summer, but I’d keep it in mind for next year. In the mean time, I’ll be wearing the heck out of this top!

Teen Spirit 2

After falling in love with my last Teen Spirit top, I though I would make a second version – this time in black. I didn’t want to wait for an online order so I opted to got to Joann’s for their stretch French terry. That’s where I made my mistake.

So, what went wrong? For starters, the stretch French terry isn’t soft – even after washing it. The underside is scratchy and it doesn’t sew up very well either. Secondly, it has a lot more body than my original version so it hangs much differently – almost unflattering. And lastly, the hood is too wide for my taste. While I liked the standard neckline, this one just seems too big. Needless to say, this top is not love this time around. Before I consider this a wadder, I think I’m going to toss it in the wash again to see if I can’t get it to soften some. Then, I may shorten it to a more cropped version to see if I like it better.

Henri Joggers

Apparently middle school boys don’t like to wear jeans because Easton owns a lot of athletic pants. In an effort to keep up with this trend, I decided that I finally needed to break down and buy Jalie’s Henri Jogger (and Shorts) pattern and see if I can’t sew some up that he approves of.

My first issue that I had was what size to cut (and if I should grade, etc.). He’s sort of all over the place in measurements – little waist, more pronounced bum, large thighs. After waffling back and forth for days, I finally decided to cut a straight size “P” (I thought about cutting the length to an “O” but held a pair of pants up to the pattern and he had a pair that was similar in length) – I figured that I could see what needed to be done from there after they’re made.

As for the fabric, I settled on a cotton French terry from So Sew English (now sold out). I had originally purchased this to make sweatshirts for him, but once the fabric arrived, it didn’t look like something he would wear. One thing about this fabric is that it’s very “soft” for a French terry – almost sweater like, so I opted to omit the drawstring because I thought it would never behave in making it (plus I managed to eeek out this pattern with only ONE YARD and really didn’t have enough for that piece, anyway).

Now for the review! Everything came together beautifully and didn’t have any issues with construction. I did change the waistband slightly as I didn’t have 2″ elastic (in the end, I used 1 1/2 and just inserted it through the waistband) and even though it makes for a very plain front, I like the way it went together. As for the fit – it’s really good… although a bit too long. It seems as if I could have made the “O” length after all. The fabric? Well, it’s way too “soft” for this pattern – I think a french terry with a bit more body or a beefier performance knit would have looked more ready to wear. Instead, it sort of looks like he’s wearing lounge pants… but according to Easton, it’s the comfiest pair of pants he owns, so it’s still a win!

Linky Thursday

These heart pillows are perfect for Valentine’s Day, but they’re also needed year round for breast cancer patients. Grab your free pattern and learn more about it here.

I love this little Heart Box – it’s perfect for Valentine’s gift giving, but would make a pretty notions box in my sewing room.

Add some interest to a solid color tee by adding color blocked sleeves.

This Peek-a-boo top is easy to sew and perfect for spring.

If you keep your Instant Pot out for easy use (or space, because let’s face it, they are kind of big), then you’ll want to check out this quick cover made by stitch up placemats.

Speaking of quick covers, this pinafore style cover for your sewing machine keeps the dust off and keeps your organized.

Say Cheese is an adorable quilt block (with hearts, which is also perfect for tomorrow) that’s perfect for novelty prints.

Have a cutting machine? Then you’ll want to grab this free Unicorn Face SVG and while you’re at it, learn how to make a cute little bag to put it on.

Learn how to add thumbhole cuffs to your next project.

Enter to win a fat quarter bundle with 20 fabrics from the Sweet Caroline collection.

Teen Spirit

When I had hear about George and Ginger’s new Grunge collection, I really thought this was a group of patterns that I would skip out on. Then she released them and I thought, “Well, there’s a few patterns that I could use” – which turned into, “I need that whole collection because I have plans for most of these!”…. and that’s how I bought all of them.

Originally, I didn’t think I would ever wear something like the Teen Spirit Top. I’m usually not into oversized clothing, let alone something cropped, but after looking at the pattern, I realized that it was perfect for the hot pink crackle French terry that I had picked up in December. I envisioned pairing it up with a pair of black leggings for a sort of sporty, trendy workout look. And I wasn’t wrong. I really love my finished top.

I wound up going with a full length, hi-low version of this pattern with a standard neckline (the neckline is oversized, like a large scoop neck design). Everything went together easily and quickly, so I had a new top by the end of the day. As for the fit, I like it! Although I did decide to go down one size when I cut this pattern out which may have helped. I don’t see myself making a ton of these, but I would definitely consider making another one if the right fabric came along (especially because I’d love to make a cropped version with a hood that can be worn with a high waist pant).