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Beachcomber Pt. 2

One of most talked about styles from the Royal Wedding this weekend had to be Pippa’s dress, which looks very similar to a can of Arizona tea. I thought this was a funny comparison… until I walked into my sewing room on Saturday to finish my romper and thought that my latest project look even more like a can of Arizona tea that what Pippa’s dress did. So here you have it – the Arizona Tea Romper.

But enough about the fabric, how about the pattern? Overall, I really like it. I am not a huge fan of the sleeve bands (next time I would go for a slightly larger sleeve, omit the band, and just hem it), but the fit is good (it’s fitted enough that it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a sac and has just enough blouse at the waistline) and it’s easy to wear. I was pleasantly surprised that my fabric had enough stretch that I didn’t need to add the keyhole to the neckline (I contemplated adding snaps along the crotch if a keyhole looked like it was necessary). I’ll definitely be making this one again, but in a completely different material…. one that doesn’t resemble a beverage or food.

Beachcomber Part 1

Woohoo, it’s the first official day of summer vacation! How to I plan on spending it? Hopefully sewing up the Beachcomber! In an effort to get ready to sew, I went ahead an put the pattern together yesterday and had a lot of thoughts about it already.

First off, there’s a ton of options. It’s a top, it’s a dress, it’s a romper with a skirt, it’s a romper with shorts, it has a variety of sleeve sizes, it has (somewhat optional) keyhole neck… it’s sort of overwhelming. It wouldn’t be so overwhelming if the instructions were better laid out – basically the instructions cover 3 style options; if you want to stray from that configuration that you’ll have to find where it appears in the directions and work it into your design (I think it would have been a better flow if the instructions were broken down into independent sections; say for example how to sew the dress, each of the sleeves sleeves, how to make the rompers, etc.) . Secondly, the print guide is on the pattern itself so I wound up printing the entire pattern before I noticed which pages I really needed. Lastly, I found that it’s very important to read the instructions and the information on the pattern pieces themselves before cutting: there are several cutting lines for each size and it’s confusing which ones you need to use if you’re not reading ahead of time.

With that said, I have managed to cut my pattern out and it’s ready to go. I opted to make the Romper with low rise shorts (and no pockets; this wasn’t an option in the instructions, but easy enough to skip over that part of the pattern), the extra short sleeve, and possibly sans keyhole (the keyhole is needed if your fabric doesn’t have enough stretch so that you’re able to get in and out of the roper itself).  As for the fabric, I think I have settled on this teal floral print that I picked up from Knitpop last year – the only thing keeping me back from using it is the fact that the stretch(iest) part of this fabric goes in the opposite direction of the flowers (the print looks best with the floral going up and down, but the greatest amount of stretch is also in that direction)

Linky Thursday

Who says little bags have to be boring? This cupcake wristlet is anything but boring and the sparkly fabric totally makes the look.

Get ready for summer vacations with this Perfect Travel Bag tutorial.

When I saw this Narwhal softie, I immediately starting singing the song… and now it’s stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

Ring in summer weather with this fun ice cream door hanger.

Today is our last day of school, so this post comes a bit late. However, if you’re still in session and need teacher’s gift ideas (and tags) this is a great place to start.

Does your little girl love dresses? Then you’ll definitely want to sew up several of these Play All Day dresses – it even comes in 6 different sizes!

The lace up look is certainly popular these days – while this sweatshirt tutorial may be a bit too hot for some areas right now. You could certainly apply it to other shirt styles.

Have pretty (stretch) lace scraps lying around? Turn them into Rosy Ladyshorts.

This simple tote bag pattern is perfect for day trips this summer with the kids… and it’s easy enough for them to make themselves, too!

Mother’s Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean the spa day has to end. Whip up these easy lavender eye pillows and pamper yourself at home every day.

I thought Swoon only did bag patterns, but I stumbled across a few designs for women like this trendy Scarf Neck Cardigan pattern.

Have a budding chef? Make them a BBQ apron (with pockets) from a dish towel.

Postcard Pillow

This is the last week of school before summer vacation – you would think that I would be tackling my to-do list, but instead, I’m distracted by other fun projects that pop up on the web. Yesterday, it was Mark Montano’s Postcard Pillows. I had everything in my had everything in my stash to make these, so I decided to give this project a whirl.

The first thing I have to say about this is that the overall size is pretty small. The largest you can print is 8 1/2 x 11 – so your finished pillow will roughly be that size unless you add a boarder…. which is exactly what I did. I had some remnant fabric that had Kansas towns in all sorts of fonts that I used around the photo (and the backing). I thought that by adding a 1″ boarder that it would make the image more readable after it was stuffed… I honestly think it may detract from the picture though. Otherwise, this was a cute little pillow to toss in my sewing room.

Last Day Shirts

Next Thursday is our last day of school. In an effort to not rush to do some last minute designing, I decided that I would go ahead and make shirts now. It’s a good thing I did because what I had intended to do is use the design I bought last year (it had this year’s date) to make an autograph shirt for Easton… but somehow I never could get the image to load correctly (after messing with it for what seemed like hours). So I wound up buying an image from Etsy (this is Easton’s last year in elementary school, so I thought this was appropriate). Honestly, I think this image would have looked better on the back of the shirt, but doing that didn’t leave a lot of room for autographs so I opted for the front.  Let’s hope he wears it!

While I was at it, I made a shirt for Easton’s teacher as well. I used the same fun design as what I made for teacher appreciation gifts last year, but used a rainbow holograph vinyl this time…. and I loved it so much I decided not to weed out the thumbs – because rainbow! I’m pairing this one up with a pair of message socks and a mug for an end of year gift.

Now that I’m ahead of the game and have everything made for the end of the year, let’s bring on all the activities, festivities, and celebrations that the last days bring!

Linky Thursday

Next week is out last week of school! If you’re like me, you’re looking for a graphic to make an autograph shirt. This one is a cute and free option (but requires your email for a newsletter), but this one is free with no information needed.

Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Sticker You and get yourself some custom patches!

This drawstring bag is the perfect project for beginners, but more advanced sewers will love this quick to sew project.

I love this velvet lip pillow is so much fun!

GYCT is a new-to-me pattern company, but if their woman’s patterns are anything like their free Hattie Hi-Low top for girls, then I’m definitely going to have to try them out!

Backpacks are one of my favorite styles of purses to carry (I love hands free). This one looks big enough to carry all the essentials, but fashionable to carry all the time.

Reverse applique is a fun way to add a pop of color to your favorite garment or accessory. Try out this technique with this blanket scarf tutorial or with your next t-shirt refashion.

Is your little girl’s shirt too short? Give it new life by transforming it into a cute dress. This skater dress (for girls and women) uses the same principal, but a tank as the base (and it only takes 10 minutes!).

If your mom is a tea lover, she would love this fun cozy for Mother’s Day.

Keep toys organized, but always know what’s inside when you make these cute peek-a-boo bags.

Summer is right around the corner and if a road trip is in your future, you’ll definitely want to sew your little one a Pillow Bag.

Mystery Bundle

I’m a sucker for a mystery bundle. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the challenge of sewing with fabrics you may not otherwise buy or maybe just it’s just because it’s like Christmas when you open the package – you just never know what’s inside. Either way, I recently purchased So Sew English‘s last mystery bundle which promised 4 yards of coordinating fabrics.

And here it is… I have to say, I’m underwhelmed. While everything does coordinate well, I’m not sure how I would use these. I think I’ll sit on them for awhile until something comes to me, but I’m open to suggestions now!

Dress Express

Sometimes, I head to the fabric store for one thing and come home with a bag full of goodies…. last week was one of those weeks. One of the (impulse) items that I picked up? A pre-cut dress kit.  Not only was it a great “basic black”, the fabric seemed lovely (it had a wonderful feel and what seemed like would be a good drape), and everything was cut for you (for me, cutting is the worst part of sewing). To top it off, these kits were on sale (I figured the price of the kit would roughly be what I would have spent on fabric to sew a dress anyway), so I couldn’t pass trying this out, right?

Yesterday I wound up putting everything together, which roughly took about 90 minutes to complete. There are instructions (no illustrations, though) on the underside of the label, but this is pretty straightforward as to how to put this together. So, how about that fit? Actually, it’s pretty good! The fabric is very comfortable and super stretchy (so the fit is very forgiving), but I think it tends to hug just the right places. My only complaint is that the neckline is HUGE. If I actually wore it where it should be (seams directly on the shoulders), a large section of my bra would be showing. I did take off about 1″ along the hemline as well since the finished garment hit me at a weird spot around my knees – I think if you were taller (I’m about 5′ 4″), this would sit at just the right spot.

Overall, not a bad purchase: I love the idea that everything is cut and ready to go and this was a very quick sew (so I have a new dress for Mother’s Day). Plus, aside from the over-sized neckline, I think this is pretty flattering on. There were other prints available in these so I would consider making another one if I found a design I liked and I hit another sale. For those that are interested, these kits are available at Joann’s (but they don’t appear online).

Star Wars Day

“May the 4th Be With You”

Yesterday I woke up and was determined to be productive – tackling projects with deadlines, putting together some patterns, sewing up the projects I’ve already cut. Somehow, from time time that I woke up and and 10:00 am, I was already off track. Why? Because I have crafting ADHD.

The other day, while I was at the store, I decided that I would pick up some Star Wars themed (knit) fabric and whip up something for Star Wars Day (May 4th)…. which lead me to looking for related images that I could put on shirts…. which lead me to buying a Cricut (digital) cartridge and shopping for vinyl and skipping sewing all together. But look at these cool shirts!

With that said, I learned a lot with these shirts. My first attempt was Luke. I applied too much heat to the vinyl layers and managed to shrink it enough that the black doesn’t line up (I think it’s stylized enough that it isn’t too obvious, but still that white line at the top will forever bother me).  At that point, I decided that subsequent shirts should be the color of the desired background so that I would limit shrinkage with my next attempt being the Trooper shirt. This attempt went much better, but I discovered that the stretch heat transfer vinyl requires a bit more press time for it to release so I still had more shrinkage than what I would have liked. This attempt turned out so much better though with only a bit of white peeking out under the shoulder area. My last attempt was Leia, but this time I discovered there was an alternate cutting pattern that probably would work better for vinyl (It would also conserve the amount used too). Between the new cutting lines and extremely short press time for the layers, this version went together without a hitch.

I learned a lot working on these, but today I have to be productive… unless I get distracted.

Linky Thursday

Quilting doesn’t have to be for blankets any more. Transform yours into hanging wall art! Learn how to wrap fabric on a frame with this tutorial.

Get ready for summer by sewing up new tees.

If you love the sequin mermaid fabric that are in shops, but don’t want to make clothing – why not give decorative pillows a try? Have a Cricut? Make you pillow even more special by adding a 2-sided design when you move the sequins.

Get ready for summer with this this free swim cover tutorial.

Just a rectangle of fabric and a bit of trim can easily be transformed into a professional chef (half) apron! Looking for something larger? Here’s a full sized adjustable version.

Transform sentimental shirts into a decorative pillow.

Homemade cards are always the best. This Mother’s Day tutorial uses fabric scraps to make pretty flowers! While you’re visiting the site, be sure to enter this week’s SewCanShe’s giveaway, a 1/4 yard bundle of Penelope fabric.

Speaking of flowers, this tutorial will teach you to make a tulip bouquet.

Yesterday my post was all about rompers and if this piqued you interest, now you can make one too – for free!

This baby blanket isn’t just easy to make, it’s self-binding too.