Monthly Archives: April 2020

Linky Thursday

Tired of plain face masks? These cute versions from Fluffmonger include shark, corgi, otter faces and more – plus they have a removable filter pocket and wire around the nose.

If you have any extra fat quarters lying around, you can transform them into this cute tote.

Everyone loves leggings and this version for little girls is free!

If you’ve added sewing to your child’s online schooling, then you’ll want to checkout this beginner key fob project or Popsicle holder.

Make yourself a self care gift, like this 30 minute therapeutic neck pillow.

Unless you’ve decided to give yourself a haircut, chances are your locks are out of control. Keep them out of your face with a new headband.

These expandable storage bags aren’t just practical, they look fun to sew too.

Enter to win 20 fat quarters from the Sweet Caroline line of fabrics.

Yes, More Masks

I know I said that I was burned out on masks, but I found a resource for face mask elastic and it changed everything!

The one thing that I disliked about mask sewing is the massive amounts of binding I was making for straps. However, I saw that a local manufacturing company had started making face mask elastic – the soft, super stretchy kind that you find on actual surgical masks and I decided to give it a try:

The good: mask production has greatly increased and are actually fun to sew. Plus I found a “standard” measurement for the elastic that works for everyone!

The bad: The fit is now off. I think that the ties do two things: For one, you’re are generally tying them higher on your head than what the elastic sits so when tying, you don’t get as much sagging or gaps. Two, when you’re tying, you’re able to fit the mask perfectly to your face… a custom fit, so to speak.

After playing with the pattern and elastic some, I came up with a couple of solutions. First off, wire helps a bunch and the longer the better. Right now I’ve been working with roughly a 4″ piece. Secondly, I make a pleat. This seems to pull the mask tighter around your face, eliminating some of the gaping. Lastly, I cut my elastic 5 1/2″ – large enough for my husband’s head, but fits me as well.

I may do a bit more tweaking after I wear this around to shop, but overall I like the ability to slap this one without needing to tie.

Boho Baby

Yesterday I showed you the place mat project included in the Summer 2020 issue of CME, so are you ready for another?

Let me start off by saying that I LOVE this top so much – it reminds me of one of those cute tops the Pioneer Woman wears while she’s doing one of her shows. Even though I’m not normally one for the boho style, I can totally see myself wearing this top a lot this summer. For this project, I used an embroidery design and transformed it into a reverse applique, then applied it to Hey June Handmade’s Phoenix blouse. It was definitely a fun little top to work on!

Summer CME

The summer issue of Creative Machine Embroidery is hitting your mailbox (and eventually newsstands) so I can finally show you some of the projects I’ve been working on. First up: These festive place mats AND matching napkins.

I fell in love with this Fiesta Stripe material and these succulent designs just gave the whole project a fun southwest feel – perfect for outdoor entertaining! To give this set even more variety, each place mat has a different color base and has a self binding napkin that coordinates (or not, your choice).

Grab your copy and you’ll have plenty of time to whip this up for your Cinco de Mayo (or Quarantine de Mayo) meal.

Explosion Cake

Yesterday was Easton’s birthday so we celebrated it “quarantine style”. Since so many bakeries are closed right now, I decided I would take on making a cake myself… I also decided it probably should be something pretty spectacular so I decided to undertake an explosion cake.

Let me start off by saying, I am a much better sewist than what I am a cake maker – why in the world I thought I could easily do this is beyond me, but once I bought all the pans (you need 6″ pans), food coloring, etc. I felt like I was pretty much committed. Thankfully, this looks much more complicated than what it really is. It is time consuming (mostly because I baked my cakes in batches because I didn’t have 6 pans) and I used A LOT of icing, but the end result is pretty impressive (and distracted everyone from my horrible outer decorating (although I learned, if you use enough sprinkles, no once can tell that much anyway). However, with that said, I would still attempt this project again… just not anytime soon. LOL

Brooklyn v1

You would think that I would have learned by now that I shouldn’t cut projects while distracted…. I always make mistakes. This is my latest.

You see, I had planned on making a short sleeved, non-tie, straight hem Brooklyn from a pretty floral fabric and a sleeveless, tie version made from a cool tye die print…. and this is what I wound up with: A short sleeved, non-tie shirt with a very confused hem (It is straight, but I cut out both the curves on the front and back of the pattern pieces ). This is what I get for talking on the phone while cutting out the pattern.

The end result is not love – I’m sure it’s because this is not what I had envisioned for this project, but also because that hem looks horrible! Since I had done some crazy stuff with the sides, I wound up having to skip the hem facing, at the same time it also has such a severe curve that creating a hem looks very uneven. I’ll chalk this one up to learning…. fortunately, I think I have enough of this material left over to do what I had originally intended for this project.


I finally got to sit down in front of my machine to make something other than masks and happy to report that I came out with the cutest tee (now if I only had someplace to wear it). For this project, I decided to dive into a new pattern developer, Sonia Estep. I started with the Magnolia Tee (free if you use the code found in her Facebook group) and used the Sloane print from SoSewEnglish that I received in a bundle.

Since this is a new company, I always like to touch on the pattern and directions. Both of which seem very good! The pattern went together easily – the pattern not only printed well, but the pieces came together during construction without a hitch. As for the directions, I have to admit, I didn’t refer to them much for this particular pattern, but glancing over it, they look very straightforward.

The fit? As you can tell, this is a very fitted tee – its snug, but not too tight (it’s not difficult to put on, it doesn’t seem to make weird lumps and bumps) and overall looks very flattering. I was a bit concerned about the neckline – I’m usually not a fan of a scoopneck, but I found that this neckline isn’t too deep so it seems to stay in place and is a nice change of pace from my usual style of tops. I also liked the length – not too short, but not starting to look tunic length either. I’ll have to keep this in my rotation of patterns for this summer.

Happy Friday

I have to admit, since we’ve been on our stay-at-home order (and homeschooling), I haven’t been as organized (or motivated) and what I usually am. In fact, I’ve found some projects floating around that I had finished, but neglected to share. One of them, a “Wine with DeWine” tee. Since early March, at 2 o’clock, our governor (Mike DeWine) has a press conference – some people jokingly started calling it “Wine with DeWine” (or Snackin’ with Acton – for our director for the department of health)… and it stuck. I had seen some shirts online, but decided to make one myself with this adorable SVG.

I’m also attempting to get my mojo back by stitching up a fun little tee. I’ve decided to stitch up Sonia Estep’s Magnolia Tee (which is free, if you join her Facebook group and look at the announcements) and using the Sloane print (currently out of stock) that I had picked up in a bundle. I’m anxious to give this pattern a whirl – I have purchased a few patterns by this designer, but still haven’t had a chance to sew them up.

What’s on your sewing table this weekend?

Linky Thursday

With the constant need to wear masks in hospitals, nurses are beginning to wear headbands with buttons attached. I found that my nonslip headband tutorial at WeAllSew started getting a lot of comments and questions, so to help, I made a quick video (many thanks to my son who helped, but I hope to have a better video sometime in the future). This post has several other options as well – several of them are even no sew.

Looking for a scrub hat instead? There are a couple of new tutorials available include this one from WeAllSew and this version from Sweet Red Poppy.

They say “April showers bring May flowers”, so this adorable little pillow is perfect for this month!

I always loved Japanese sewing magazines and books – their projects are so simple, yet beautiful. This tote project channels that same energy.

If parks are still open in your area (and you’re not getting those rogue spring snow storms), a picnic may be in order. This picnic mat is the perfect project for the day!

Joann has LOTS of mask projects: from basic to chevron to Cricut Maker designs. Fleece Fun has also come out with their own version as well.

Yes, More Masks

With the CDC recommending wearing masks (and some cities requiring them), I’ve been a busy lady. The latest round is for friends who continue to work and requested protection and for Bret’s family:

While the pattern itself sews up fairly quickly, I’ve found making straps have been the most time consuming. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of elastic (I wasn’t a fan of what I purchased as I couldn’t ever find a standard measurement that worked for everyone) and pre-made bias tape and I’m staying away from ribbon because it isn’t recommended (probably because it doesn’t wash well or hold up over time), so this has become my only option. I made yards and yards of bias tape for this batch alone (roughly 50!) .While finding my bias tape maker has helped, it’s still a long process… but I am now a master at bias tape!

With that said, I think I need a break from sewing masks. I’m definitely burned out, but feel better knowing that I’ve provided some protection for a lot of people. For now, I’m going to do a bit of selfish sewing, maybe try a new pattern, and reset my sewing mojo.