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Portlander Shorts

I’ve tried the pants. I’ve tried the shorts. Now I can say that I’m officially over the Portlander‘s pattern.

While this version looks adorable, I have to say that these can’t come out of the house. The fabric is on the thin side and fit is a lot “clingier” than what I expected them to be – which is fine for sleeping, but I was hoping I would end up with something more wearable (which is a shame because the stripe matching was perfect). Consequently, I’ll be on the hunt for a new pattern that works great for French Terry – I’m open to suggestions!

I should probably add that I did make a few changes to this pattern. The biggest one is that I shaved of 2″ on the waistband (if you’re adding grommets, you’ll need to adjust the placement). This really helped thin out the overall look and comfort of the waistband, but I think I could have taken off another 1″ and still been fine. I also used French Terry for the waistband which is not necessarily something I would recommend. My fabric had a pretty good amount of stretch, but it’s probably at the bare minimum, so it was a bit more tricky to work with and definitely has a snugger feel around the waist.

Linky Thursday

Keep your sewing room tidy with this easy to sew hanging organizer. After you check out the tutorial, be sure to enter their giveaway for 6 Jennifer Jangles patterns.

Get pool ready by sewing up a pair of bikini bottoms (don’t worry, the top will be posted next week).

Who says snakes can’t be snuggly? This project is perfect for working on with your kids this summer.

Mother’s Day may be over, but it’s never too late to sew mom up a pretty apron, like this heart and ruffle version.

Cool summer nights call for a pair of wide leg palazzo pants.

There’s no better way than to preserve memories and add interest to your bedroom than by sewing a cozy t-shirt quilt.

There’s not a pattern (more of a diagram) for this 1930’s top, but it’s so cute (an only an hour of sewing time), it might be worth the effort to give it a try.

Looking for a no-sew shirt option for summer? Here’s 5 options from WabiSobi.

This cross back tank is cute not matter if your working out or just a casual summer look.

Love a good mystery? Enter to win this mystery box chock full of fabric, notions, tools, and more.

My favorite style of purse is the backpack and this City Backpack is free. Looking to make a mini-backpack? This one is an adorable version.

Up Next

I am starting to accumulate rather large chunks of French terry remnants. They’re not really big enough to do pants or a shirt, but I’m fairly confident that I could squeeze out some shorts with them. I asked around what everyone’s favorite pattern was to use with French Terry and got a pretty overwhelming response: Portlanders.

Admittedly, after my first attempt at this pattern, I threw everything away – I just didn’t see myself making this again (I do wear the lounge pants I made quite often around the house – even though I’m not a fan of the waistband, I do love the fit and feel of them . However, after such an overwhelming response from everyone about it and because I’m opting to make the shorts instead of the pants, I’ve decided to give this one another go. I went ahead and printed everything off again (and left the waistband unmodified, although I may shave off some of the width before I start sewing) and have mentally prepared myself that the directions aren’t that useful.

Dolman Blank

With the long weekend here in the US, I found that I had a bit of extra time in the sewing room. On a whim, I decided that I needed a trendy graphic tee to wear, but not like any kind of tee, more along the lines of the ones in boutiques. This time I set out to make a dolman style shirt with a high-low hemline… and Jalie’s Dolman seemed perfect for this venture.

I’ve made this top several times and I always love the results and this time was no exception. I wound up using a remnant that I found in my stash –  a super soft gray cotton knit. It feels wonderful to wear and looks great the way it does… so now I’m having second thoughts about adding anything to it. I may just wear this out a few times “as is” and then embellish it later on down the road if it still feels like it needs something.

When Life Gives You Lemons

If you follow enough online fabric groups you start noticing a trend in popular themes. I’m pretty sure this summer it’s fruit – mostly lemons and pineapples. I can’t say that I’m immune to it either because what I’ve been seeing has been pretty darn cute…. and yes, I finally snagged some.

This bundle (the lemons are double brushed poly and the solid is a rayon blend) appeared on SoSewEnglish’s website last weekend and I was fortunate enough to snag one. Now I have no idea how I want to use either of them, but I know it needs to be soon so that I can channel their summery vibe.

Linky Thursday

Looking forward to summer days, lounging by the pool in a wide brimmed hat? Start making it a reality when you sew up this free Set Sail Hat. While you’re at it, be sure to check out this ultimate pool bag, too!

If you’re looking for a fun hack, be sure to check out It’s Always Autumn’s latest tutorial on how to use her (free) raglan pattern to make a halter dress. Looking for something that doesn’t require a pattern? This lace, yoke back, t-shirt dress looks like the perfect alternative.

Ready to transform a lost sock into something fun for summer? Then look no further than this Sock Shark. Adorable!

Enter to win this OVO travel iron – perfect for taking to classes or just having on hand for small projects.

Keep your jewelry organized, tangle free, and in one place when you’re on the go with this DIY travel jewelry organizer.

Father’s Day will soon be approaching and if you looking to sew something up for dad, how about this Money Clip Wallet? Don’t need a wallet and dad is more of a fisherman? Then sew him up a denim and wool fish pillow instead!

Customize your Converse by covering your Chucks with fabric.

This is no ordinary nursing cover. This version has a “secret pocket” so you can easily stash wipe, nursing pads, you name it!

Picnics in the park just got more comfortable with this quilted, waterproof blanket.

Distressed Camo Hoodie

This year, I’m trying my best to make sure that I don’t leave any projects unfinished…. so before I got distracted by new projects, I thought that I would finally tackle that Ottobre hoodie that I had mentioned back in March.

Let me start off by saying, once the fabric was cut and the materials were prepped (setting the grommets for the hood and adding interfacing for the zipper), I set this everything aside for the day because I just wasn’t feeling this project. Then I forced myself to finish the next day… and I glad I did because I actually had fun sewing it. Everything came together well and even the zipper worked out the first time (which I was dreading inserting on a knit). Plus the fabric in this one is lightweight enough to wear during chilly summer nights and the fit is perfect.

Now that it’s finished, here’s a few notes about this pattern if you decide to try it for yourself: First off, the grommet size seems a bit small – 6mm (or 1/4″) looks great on the hoodie, but I struggled to get my drawstring through it. The drawstring is a pretty cool concept though – instead of having cords dangling, it lays flat and is sewn into the seam. Secondly, the pocket is supposed to be attached with a flatlock seam on a serger (so it has that unfinished, finished look). I really didn’t have threads that looked good enough to be shown on the outside of the jacket, so I skipped this part and finished the edges (I also skipped flatlocking the shoulder seams as well, although it would have looked very cool with this material). Lastly, I attached the bindings, cuffs, and bottom band differently than outlined in the directions (I just folded in half, sewed it to the edge, and pressed upwards) – this was easier especially since I was skipping flatlocking the edges.

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.