Category Archives: Featured

Coastal Cuiser

With the decorations down, house cleaned, and laundry washed & folded, I was finally able to sit down in the sewing room and work on my first project of 2013: the Coastal Cruiser. This project took a bit more time that what I anticipated – I didn’t account for all the cutting and ‘quilting’ of the pillow itself, but it was well worth it because I love the end result.

The PDF was very straightforward – a good set of instructions even for a beginner although they do assume that you have some sewing background. I decided to use an applique stitch on my machine instead of straight stitching because I thought it looked neater and will keep the fabric from fraying so badly over time. However, when it came to quilting I did sew 1/2″ lines across the front and back of the pillow (I used the seam guide attachment to keep everything even, it’s a handy tool to have for your machine!), although I did not quilt over the applique design itself. I’ve decided that if I wind up making a second pillow, I’m going to have to use the BSR attachment for the background areas – it’s a perfect excuse to perfect my free motion quilting! The only complaint that I had with this project is a possible error that I found in the cutting directions: The instructions calls for the background and backing fabrics to be cut one side, but they are later referred to 1″ shorter. The fusible fleece has a similar problem (one is cut 18 x 8″), but it actually need to be 18 x 10″.

Overall, a great (free) pattern, beginner friendly, and perfect excuse to test out some quilting skills. I see more of these in my future (mostly because both kids have ‘claimed’ it as theirs)!

Pizza Roll Pillow

What’s the best part about sewing? Being able to make just about anything you can dream up! My daughter had an idea for a Christmas gift for her boyfriend, a pizza roll pillow (apparently, he eats a lot of pizza rolls), but never found anything remotely similar to what she was looking for…. so she asked me to make one. The photo on the left is what I came up with. The lettering and banners have all been created and fused with Wonder Under and the pizza roll images were made by enlarging the actual photos from the box, printing them on a t-shirt transfer (made for darks so that the fabric doesn’t bleed through the photo), and ironing them directly onto the pillow. I think it turned out well, but if I ever make one again, I think I’ll add more ‘details’ like nutritional information from the back and the description of the pizza roll flavor (that appears under the combination banner), just to make it look even more ‘realistic’.

This was definitely one of the most fun (and wacky) projects that I worked on for Christmas. What have you enjoyed sewing up this holiday? Anything off the wall?

Wild Woman

Just in time for the weekend, my ‘wildwoman’ tunic is finished! I was a bit concerned how wide the neckline would turn out, but went ahead and sewed it ‘as is’ and was presently surprised that it didn’t slide off my shoulders as many people had stated on Pattern Review (I may have had a better fit than most because my shoulders are rather broad). I love the ruching along the left side seam (and the shoulder seam), but I believe that the print of the fabric hides most of this detail. The fit is good, although a bit on the snug side, so if you’re looking for something with a bit more ease, I’d recommend going up one side on the lower portion of the shirt. Overall, I’m thrilled with my new tunic – it’s time to pair it up with some leggings and a great pair of boots!

Simple Gifts Giveaway

The holidays are all about giving so today’s post is….. a contest! You could win a copy of Simple Gifts to Stitch – a book filled with 30 different projects for all the people in your life, perfect for all those last minute Christmas gifts!

To enter, leave a comment in this post by midnight (CST) Wednesday, December 12. Get a second entry by being a fan of StacySews on Facebook – just leave an additional comment that you like the page. I’ll announce the winner on December 13. Have fun, good luck, and Happy Holidays!

Be A Fan

Can’t get enough of Linky Thursdays? Want to find out about more great projects and contests that don’t always make it on the site? Then become a StacySews Facebook Fan! That’s right, I’ve (finally) launched a Facebook page for StacySews – not can you keep up with posts, but you can read about contests, links, and DIY everyday. Help me to reach 250 fans and I’ll launch a contest exclusive to Facebook!

It’s A Zombie Bear Apocalypse

When I started out this week, I had a mental plan in my mind as to what I thought I could accomplish – little did I know that I would spend all my time creating two stuffed bears. This project was definitely more time consuming than what I expected, but I think that the end results are worth it:

After appliqueing all the details to various sections of the bear, I sewed up the muzzle, tail, and belly parts – the only change that I made to these parts is that I hand stitched the open hems of the belly so the stitches wouldn’t show. As for the bear body, I had to make a few changes out of necessity: since I forgot to add seam allowances, I wound up making my seams a scat 1/8″. Yes, that’s right 1/8″! I figured anything larger would distort the final shape (i.e. making them look tubular) of the arms, legs and ears. The other change I made is that I sewed up the left side of the bear, attached the green patchwork and stitches applique and sewed them down and then finished sewing the rest of the bear’s body together. The muzzle, belly, and tail were later hand sewn onto the bear, giving it a dimensional appearance.

The Bottom Line: While this bear took quite a bit of time to construct, the final product is professional, cute, and will definitely be well received. The dimensional (muzzle, tail, belly) and interactive (removing the intestines from the belly) portions of this animal definitely make it unique and look like something you might see in a store (but better, of course). The instructions are not as detailed as commercial patterns, but if you’ve had some sewing experience (especially with sewing stuffies) you’ll be able to work your way through this project without any problems. Overall, a fun, but time consuming project!

It’s A Giveaway!

Things have been a little slow around here on the blog so it’s time to give it a little kick in the pants. I don’t know better way to jump start StacySews than by doing a little giveaway! Up for grabs is a Dritz Project Bag (shown on the right) – it’s just the right size to tote all the necessities to your next sewing class or sew-in (plus it’s made in a cute sewing-themed print). In order to be eligible for this prize, all you have to do is comment on in this thread and tell me how you’d put this tote to good use. Contest ends at midnight (CST) on Sunday, August 25 and is open to everyone – yes everyone, including those that may live outside the US.

Flounce Sundress Tutorial

It’s tutorial time! If you were interested in stitching up the Flounce Sundress here’s your chance to make one for yourself! Let me start off by saying this design is adapted from Mimi G’s maxi dress so if you’d had experience sewing up that look, you’ll breeze through construction on this one. If not, have no fear, this dress is quick and easy to sew up.

1 1/2-2 yards of knitstretch fabric
1 package of 1″ elastic
1 package double fold bias tape
1 package of 1/2″ elastic
Measuring tape
Water soluble markertailer’s chalk

1. Fold fabric in half lengthwise (the most amount of stretch is running horizontal). Measure the upper part of your bust. Add 16″ to this measurement and divide by 2. From the fold, draw a line across your fabric to your finished number. Measure from your upper bust to your desired length (I had mine at knee length). Add 4″ to this number. Starting from the line you just drew, make a line vertically on your fabric to your desired length. Remove the rectangle from the fabric – this will be the dress. Now measure from your chest to your belly button and add 3″ to this measurement. On the wrong side of your dress, measure down to your belly button length and mark. Continue making marks across the fabric until you have a continuous line across your fabric (this will be your placement line for your bias tape casing).

2. To cut the ruffle, fold fabric in half lengthwise, again. From the fold draw a line across your fabric to your finished upper bust measurement. Measure down 7″ (if you have a very large bust I suggest this number be increased by an inch or so) and remove rectangle from fabric.

3. With right sides together, sew side seam of dress. Sew short ends of ruffle together, forming a continuous loop.

4. If desired, finish one long edge of ruffle. This can be done by using a rolled hem or small zig-zag stitch along the edged of the fabric. Since we are using a knit material, this step can also be skipped since a majority of these fabrics do not ravel.

5. Place right side of ruffle on the right side of dress matching unfinished edges and seams. Baste in place.

6. Fold over 2 1/4″ on top edge of dress and sew, catching both the bottom edge of the dress and the ruffle in your stitching. Leave a 3″ opening for inserting elastic.

7. Cut your 1″ elastic to your exact (your original number) upper bust measurement and thread it through the casing. Overlap the ends 1/4″ and zig-zag stitch across the elastic. Push the elastic loop through the casing and finish off the casing stitches of your dress. Distribute fullness evenly. (When worn, the ruffle will cover the elastic casing).
*I found that my elastic (even though it said it was non-roll) rolled horribly. If this happens to you, divide your dress into fourths and mark. Then stitch over the casing in these areas to keep your elastic from rolling inside. This is also an ideal way to keep your ruffle in place since the ruffle can be sewn to the casing at these points.

8. Open up your bias tape (press open the crease) and place along the belly button line you drew on your dress earlier and stitch. Overlap the ends by 1/4″ and fold over raw edge (to make a finished edge). Stitch along bottom edge of casing. Measure your waist, cut 1/2″ elastic to this length and insert through the waist casing. Overlap the ends 1/4″ and zig-zag stitch across the elastic. Push the elastic loop though the casing and distribute the fullness evenly.

9. On bottom edge of dress, fold up 1 1/4″ to wrong side and stitch hem in place.

Zippered V-Neck

I just can’t work on a project if I’m not ‘feeling it’. As much as I want a fabulous new purse, I just couldn’t get into the mindset of working on a bag this weekend. So instead, I scoured my patterns and decided on a new top: Jalie 2682. Not only did I want to make this perfect for summer, but I wanted it to look and feel sporty – so I decided to use some wicking material that I picked up from Needle Nook last year. I think the ‘details’ of this top are lost in the photo because it’s so dark, but I have to say – I LOVE this shirt. Even though I’ve made this style before, I think this particular one is the most comfortable (probably because of the material) and I think it will look perfect with a pair of athletic shorts. In fact, I love it so much, I’m thinking buying more interspanwicking material and making a two-tone version with a matching skort sometime soon!

Project Details:

Pattern: Jalie 2682, View A

Black Interspan from Needle Nook Fabrics

Materials & Cost:

Maxi Skirt Tutorial

Once again, Maxi Skirts are hot this season. Why spend money at a department store on one when you can try out my latest tutorial at WeAllSew! Making your own maxi skirt is remarkably easy – you just need a few quick measurements, a couple yards of material, and an hour of your time and in the end you get a skirt that fits you like a glove!

Just a few comments about this tutorial: This skirt is designed so that you do not need elastic around the waistband (that way if you have a shirt you want to wear tucked into it, you still have a pretty waistline), but you could easily add some during construction if you so desire. Because of the lack of elastic, it’s very important to take precise measurements so enlist the help of a friendspousesignificant other when you take yours. It’s ok if you’re a bit too small on your measurement (because the fabric stretches it will still fit you well), but going ‘too big’ will make this skirt fall off you you while you’re wearing it. The fabric you choose is also important – look for a light-weight (too beefy will create a bulky looking skirt) knit that has good stretch and recovery (when you stretch the fabric to quickly bounces back into it’s original position). For those of you wondering where I got this fabric: Joann‘s (they had a great selection of jersey in a wide assortment of colors – this seemed to have the ‘springiest’ vibe)

Have other questions, comments, etc? Be sure to let me know!