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I don’t know about you, but when we have in service days at school, my time seems to be filled with lots of appointments and\or school projects. Yesterday was no different as we spent some of our day working on Easton’s Valentine’s Day box for his very last party, ever. This year Easton had set in his mind to make a heart eye emoji container (I tried to tell him this robot was cool, but he had his heart set)

We wound up painting with a round paper mache box yellow, added a mouth (which now that it’s attached, looks weird), hearts for eyes, and emoji themed paper around the bottom. Actually, once we had all the supplies together it was easy – it took longer for the paint to dry than to put this together. To top it off, he’s a very happy boy.

A Better Way?

My husband recently sent me this link about an Easier Way to Thread a Needle. I have to admit, I got a little excited – like what sort of magic is this? Then I tried it (this video shows you how)… and had a big ‘ole fail.

I think it may be because they used a thicker cotton thread (I used a “standard” spool) or that I was rubbing too aggressively – my thread behaving nothing like that in the video. Consequently, I’ve decided I’m ok with doing it the poking the thread through the eye – I pretty consistently get it on the first try and this technique wouldn’t work with inserting thread through a sewing machine needle anyway.

So has anyone gotten this to work?

Ravenwood Messenger

If you’re a member of the Bag of the Month Club then chances are you saw the new pattern release yesterday for the Ravenwood Messenger. I had a great opportunity to test out this bag for Betz White and I’m thrilled that I can finally show you my version!

Let me start off by saying that this may be one of my absolute favorite bags that I’ve made. It has a ton of great features: pleated front pockets that close with fun clasps, a great tech pocket (which includes a zippered mesh pocket as well as cord\cable holders- shown below on the right), padded slip pockets, zippered closure, grab handles, and detachable strap…. when you put them all together, you wind up with a very professional looking messenger. I also love that this messenger isn’t, boxy. Instead it has angled sides to give it a bit different look than what’s already out there.

As for construction, it’s pretty easy (I know with all those components you would think it’s more difficult) – I would rate it advanced beginner to intermediate. You have several zippers (5) to contend with and the bias edges that may give new bag makers some pause. Honestly, though, mine came together without a hitch – I didn’t even find it bulky to sew. Plus it had tons of topstitching (which I love to do). I even decided to go bold on this bag and use a very contrasting (red) thread. I think that the end result looks pretty good (I have found that some bags have so much bulk or weird shapes that when it comes to topstitching, my stitches don’t look straight or smooth).

Can you tell I’m gushing? I really did love sewing this one up and if I need another bag, I’m definitely making this one again. If you’re interested in making this up, there’s still an opportunity to join the Bag of the Month Club to get this (and 5 more bags released this year) or you can wait until this one is released by Betz in her shop after this round of BOMC has come to a close (sometime in July).

Linky Thursday

Sewing Life is a new, monthly digital sewing magazine and you can get the first issue and pattern FREE!

Enter to win a $30 gift certificate to the Fabric Fairy! Need more contests to enter? Check out this one for a cute Valentine’s Day pouch filled with Sulky thread.

Still cold where you are? Keep cozy with a fleecy face warmer or a blipper blanket (a footed blanket).

Summer will be here before you know it which means portable first aid kits are needed (think scraped knees, splinters, and more) – this one is an easy roll-up version.

With a few of Taylor’s friends getting married this year, I’ve been seeing lots more formal wear dresses and I was surprised to see the Infinity Dress making a comeback. Want to make this one for yourself, here’s a free tutorial.

If you’re looking for a new way to carry your tablet, look no further than this mini messenger.

Kitchen linens don’t have to be boring. This tutorial uses your favorite scraps to spruce up kitchen towels.

With a 3rd installment of How to Train Your Dragon announced, it seems only appropriate to make a cute Toothless plush, right?

Who needs plain tank tops when you can trim one is pretty (woven) bias binding. Find out how (and get the free pattern) here.

I’m not going to lie, I sort of want to sew this fuzzy bean bag chair (actually, the dog probably wants me to sew it more).

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a good apron tutorial floating around. This one isn’t just cute, it looks like it sew up fast too.

A Bundle Breakdown

After doing pretty good about not buying fabric for the past several months, I broke down yesterday and bought a So Sew English bundle. In all fairness, it was a print that I had my eye on (an it’s cotton spandex, so it’s a lot more versatile) and it was on sale (with code BBB20), so how could I pass it up? Although full admission, I already have a different tattoo print in my stash – I just thought this version looked more masculine and maybe could be used for Easton at some point.

I also broke down and bought a new pattern: Made 4 Mermaid’s Bridgette and Victoria Bundle. I couldn’t resist the cute bralette and figured that I may as well give the cheekies a whirl too – although they remind me a lot of Jalie 2568 (I guess I can compare the two and see which I like better). That also means that a trip to Needle Nook is in order so that I can pick up some stretch lace to work on these!

Sweatshirt Knock-off

Apparently, my (current) favorite pattern is Jalie’s sweatshirt (3355), because I have managed to make it again…. this time in Easton’s size. Event though this is predominantly a women’s pattern, it is also listed for boys so I figured I would give it a whirl. I gathered up some French Terry that I had purchased last year at Joann’s and traced off a size O – this is one size up from what he generally wears, but he likes his sweatshirts “roomy” and I figured this would last him another year unless he goes through a big growth spurt.

Since I opted to sew this sweatshirt entirely in the French Terry, I wound up lengthening the cuff, hem, and neck bands to accommodate the fabric’s limited stretch. While this fabric does have quite a bit of stretch over all (although not as much as a rib knit), the recovery is so-so and I figured stretching it that much would make the final shirt look terrible.

Once I was finished with construction I added an adidas logo with my Cricut (a quick Google search will give you vector logos for a lot of brands that can then be added to Design Space) and a flocked vinyl. This was my first time trying out the flocked HTV and I am pretty sure I did it all wrong. For one, I cut too deep so I couldn’t weed out any of the excess…. it just popped out! Consequently, I wound up having to transfer the design to a transfer tape, flip it over and then use a second transfer tape to attach it to the shirt. Once it was pressed, it did adhere and peel nicely, though. My only disappointment is that the vinyl isn’t more “plush”.





I’ve spent much of January doing various pattern testings – which means I can’t show you an entire project just yet. However, I can give you a little peek to part of a pattern that will be released this week.

Let me just say that this project has so many great details, but was still easy to sew. You can snag the hardware kit for this one at Emmaline Bags (this is what I used for mine), but need to be a member of the Bag of the Month Club to pick up the pattern on February 1 (the pattern will be released later in the year if you’re not interested in joining the club). More details on this project on Friday!

Links for the Weekend

Germs have invaded our house – not only do we have some sort of gastro-virus circulating (think the bathroom scene from Santa Clarita Diet), but Taylor has been diagnosed with Influenza B (even after getting the flu shot… twice). Needless to say, sewing\blogging\etc. has been on the back burner. But I can’t leave you without a few good sewing links to tide you over until next week. So without further ado, a belated Linky Thursday!

Speaking of germs, if you’re feeling under the weather, chances are you’ll need some supplies to carry around like this travel tissue holder, hot water bottle cozy, or this face mask (so you can look fashionable when you have the flu).

This Valentine’s Day Pillow kit is the perfect way to add a bit of the holiday’s to your home… and you can win it here!

This sleep shirt is so easy to make, you’ll have it finished in time for bed tonight.

This band is perfect for keeping hair out of your face, as a neck cozy\scarf, and yes even around your face to keep germs at bay (I’m all about the germs today if you can’t tell).

These felt envelopes can be used for all sorts of fun Valentine projects, but I love how they’re incorporated into a fun wall hanging.

Are you a Sherlock Holmes fan? Then you’ll definitely want to grab this women’s version of his famous trench.

Keeping your pins handy while sewing will be as easy as pie when you stitch up this fun Cutie Pie pincushion.

Get ready for Valentine’s Day and whip yourself up a fun, peek-a-boo window treat bag.

A Second Hideaway

We have a concert to go to this weekend and I was looking to make something to wear for it. I’ve been itching to make the short-sleeved version of the Hideaway and thought that this was the perfect excuse to try it out.

While I love the original sweater that I made from this pattern, this version is sort of “meh”. For starters, the short sleeved version has you using a completely different body style (the only way you can make the short sleeve is to use view B  “a relaxed flowy fit through the lower waist/hip and less fabric through the upper arms, with a high-low hemline”) which doesn’t look as flattering, in my humble opinion. My second issue is that the fabric seems “stiff” so it doesn’t have the drape that I was hoping for: I’m not sure if it’s just the weight of the panel or if it just needs a few washings to soften up. I plan on tossing this in the wash (maybe on hot to shrink it some too) and see what happens.

In the mean time, I’m on the fence as to if I’ll wear this. I’m toying with the idea of making a Rebel Choker in a fabulous tattoo print to wear instead (or just wear one of the versions I’ve made before), but we’ll see what kind of time I have to do that.