Ziggi: The Final Look

04-ziggi1If you’ve been following the Ziggi Sew along you’ve seen a few yards of leather begin it’s transformation into a pretty awesome looking jacket… and today is it’s ‘big reveal’! For my final steps, I topstitched all the way around my jacket: starting from the shoulder yoke down the facings, around the bottom edge, all the way to opposite yoke (this not only tamed my thicker seams\hems, but also kept with the continuity of all my other topstitching throughout the jacket) and omitted the snap (I just didn’t see myself needing it).

Before I get into my review of this pattern, I thought I would send out a reminder to make sure that you are posting your photos in the gallery (I have been very bad about doing this and promise to have mine in there over the weekend). Completed jackets need to be uploaded by April 17 so that prizes provided by Style ARC and Fabric.com  can be drawn. Please let me know if you have any questions. If you’re still working on your jacket, I’ll be providing links at the bottom of this post for all of our Ziggi Sew Along topics so that they can easily be referenced.

04-ziggi3Final Thoughts: From the moment I saw the Ziggi pattern, I knew that I had to sew this one up – it had fantastic lines, an edgy\trendy look, and Style ARC always fits me well – what a great combination! Going in, I knew that this would be a ‘commitment’ (i.e. it was not an instant gratification project), but was willing to work through it for the sake of fashion. Style ARCs directions are pretty sparse and the Ziggi is no exception (although our posts listed at the bottom hopefully helped) – I was particularly disappointed in her description of the pocket bags\side seam zip which seemed to omit most of the directions all together. With that said, the jacket came together beautifully – the notches lined up nicely and the fit is perfect for me. It was a lot of effort, but in the end, it was worth it! This particular pattern is not for the beginner - not only are there a ton of pieces to contend with (which leaves more room for problems), but there are enough techniques that may be new to a beginning sewist that this project could become frustrating very quickly. However, I think that an intermediate sewist (especially if you’ve made a jacket before – with a lining is even better) could make this look, especially when following the bulk of our sew-along discussions.

While actions shots are always awesome, there’s nothing like checking out the lines of a jacket not in motions. So, here’s a closer look at the front and the back of my completed jacket as it sat on my dressform:


Missed a post? Need to review a few tips\tricks? Just want to join along? Here’s all the posts all in one place!:



Linky Thursday

This Easter Basket Tote is exactly what I’ve been thinking of doing this year for the kids. Looking for something that you don’t have to sew? This version is a good alternative! Once you’re done, sew up a few fabric eggs, just for fun!

Hot Patterns has a new tutorial on the Fabric.com website for a cute (stable knit) cardigan. This looks like a perfect transitional wardrobe piece!

Learn how to create your own “Simple Skirt”.

I recently read in a fashion magazine that ‘bucket bags’ are the hot new purse for this season. Get a jump start on the trend and make your own.

You can tell it’s spring because lots of dress tutorials have been popping up around the internet. This pretty wrap dress and this ’50s Flashback design caught my eye.

Everyone could use a bit more storage. Make a stackable scrap bucket and tidy up your sewing room!

Show off your favorite fabrics (and make a new purse, too) with this tutorial for the Fylerion Bag (plus there’s a video, too)!

Learn how to create two new style tops from one tee (you’ll need to become a Thread’s Insider to get the tutorial).

Give new life to (old?) socks with this adorable Lop Eared Sock Bunny.

Who needs to buy Kate Spade when you can make your own Knock-off Tote?

Midtown Messenger

04-messenger2If you’re a bag junkie and love sewing then the idea of a ‘bag of the month club‘ is super appealing. This month’s bag is Betz White’s Midtown Messenger - which I had the privilege of testing for her before she released it to the club. Because we were in the midst of a snow storm (again) when I made this, I chose to make my version out of springy home decor weight cottons and pretty hardware from Emmaline Bags (thumb clasps, sliders, and I even got the cute ‘handmade’ stamped zipper pulls). I lined the inside with a lightweight cotton print and used a fusible fleece for the tablet pocket. My favorite part?  The zipper (the front panel with the faux strap look is a close second)!



I love how it’s constructed and that there’s just a hint of it peeking out from the bag. I’m going to have to remember this technique for future projects!

All in all, this was a fun project to sew up and came together really quickly. I’d love to say that I’m getting a lot of use out of this bag, but my daughter took over on it immediately after it was photographed…. so it looks as if I’ll be making another one soon!

Line Those Ziggis

04-liningToday may be April Fool’s Day, but it’s no joke that we’re at the last step in our Ziggi Sew Along. That’s right, we’re ready to insert the lining! If you haven’t already read Maris’ post about bagging out your lining, be sure to head on over for some helpful tips and tricks (also if you decided to skip the gusset zipper in the sleeve she’ll also address inserting it now).

You may recall at the beginning of our sew along, I selected a red plaid (almost woolish) fabric for my lining – yes, I’m channeling the ’90s. On the right is a shot of my lining before it’s inserted into my jacket. As much of a perfectionist that I am, you’ll notice one thing about my plaid… they don’t match. I didn’t even bother to try. With as many pieces as what this jacket had, I figured that I would go crazy trying to get them lined up correctly (plus I’m pretty sure a ready to wear jacket wouldn’t bother either…. most companies can’t bother to line up patterns on the outside of garments!). Plus, it’s the lining, who’s really going to look? With that said, I have to admit, I love the lining almost as much as the exterior of my jacket… they just kind of fit together!

Next up this week in our Ziggi sew along: My completed look, final thoughts on the pattern, and more information about our giveaways!

It’s Not You, It’s Me

03-crownsI know I have a ton of work to do on other projects, but sometimes, I get sidelined by new, awesome patterns. I was so excited to work on Hot Pattern’s Weekender Hoodie that I dropped everything this weekend, shopped my stash, and went to work. My first mistake? Shopping my stash. You see, I went with a Juicy Couture crown French terry print that I picked up several years ago (apparently  when I was in my ‘pink phase’).  It is very pink and and has bits of glitter throughout the design – while I knew it was a bit ‘much’, I’m not one to shy away from prints so I went ahead and cut into it anyway.

Construction of my hoodie went well until I stood back and realized…. “I’m not sure this fabric is working with this jacket”. I forged ahead for awhile, until I decided to put my work up to myself and thought, “I look like I’ve been shopping at Justice” (girls\tween clothing store)…. my daughter thought the print was way too much, even for her! I don’t care if it’s ‘designer fabric’, it’s bad. So bad that I had to say, “I can’t sew this one up any more.” So, why not just use it as a muslin? Even though it’s French Terry, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have as much stretch as what was intended for this pattern (I had to really stretch the material to get the pocket facing to fit) and I can honestly say, I think all that pink would turn me off to noticing how it fit in the end anyway. Consequently, this project is a wadder – not because of the pattern, but because the fabric just didn’t work – yep, it’s not you (Weekender Hoodie), it’s me (and my poor fabric choice).

Bottle Cap Necklaces

03-legonecklaceIn preparation of Easton’s upcoming 6th birthday party, I started making a few ‘treat bag’ items. In keeping with the Lego theme, I decided to make some bottle cap necklaces. If you look online, these little guys can get quite expensive – but making them is a snap (and much more cost efficient)! I wound up ordering a bottle cap necklace kit from etsy which includes everything you need: flattened caps with a split ring attached, epoxy stickers (so there’s no resin involved) and ball chains. I used 1″, round images (I purchased a Lego Movie themed party kit that had all sorts of great printables) and affixed the epoxy sticker to the ones I wanted. From there I cut out the image and glued it to the inside of the bottle cap – EASY! I was able to crank out 12 of them in well under an hour… I love easy, impressive crafts!

Linky Thursday

Love making box bags? Need a few for your cosmetics, gifts, or a shaving kit for men? Check out my tutorial at SewItAll, then catch my episode next month on PBS!

Need a quick dress? Check out this Kimono A-Line dress from Sew Daily.

Get ready for spring (eventually it will happen!) with this pretty maxi dress tutorial.

When I see this quilt, I want to break out into the song “We Are the World”.

Spa gifts are always well received – this wrap is perfect for college kids, Mother’s Day, and just because.

Don’t keep spring cleaning confined just to your house, do it to your machine as well! Then keep you area neat and tidy with this handy pincushion thread catcher.

Who needs Victoria Secret when you can make your own pretty panties.

Need a cute and easy baby gift to sew? How about this sweet teething toy.

Have a Duck Dynasty fan? Learn how to to sew up a fun DD themed apron with this video tutorial.

If you’re stumped for basket filler ideas, check out this cute carrot Easter egg tutorial. What a cute decoration!

More of an ‘inspiration’ than a tutorial, this storage bag and car mat is too cute for kids!

Draft your own dress\tunic and make with just a 1 1/2 yards of fabric.

My Ensis Tee

03-ensisI figured before Mother Nature decides that it might actually be time to produce spring-like weather, I had better hurry and finish any long sleeved projects (so I can wear them at least once or twice before the heat hits). That’s right. I fired up the serger and went to work on my Ensis Tee… and I’m in love with my finished top. It’s fun, trendy, and has a casual fit – I also like the fact it’s not tunic length (if you’re interested in similar style, but longer in length, I’d suggest Vogue 8950).  It’s nice to sew something that fits on the hip for a change!

So, a bit about this project: I sewed up the size small, Variation 1 and found that it fits nicely in my shoulders (which are fairly broad) and hips and the sleeve length works great for me as well (I was concerned that the sleeve cuffs looked a bit small when I sewed them, especially since my material was not overly stretchy, but they worked out just fine). I will admit that I did not read the instructions for this one – it’s a very straightforward design and everything matched up easily. I can definitely see making this shirt again – I may even play around with the sleeve length to make this one wearable during the summer, too!  Now that I’ve sampled a Papercut Pattern, I think I can easily say, “I’m hooked!”  Can you say, Rigel Bomber next?


The Ziggi Sleeves

03-sleeveToday, we transform what looks like a Ziggi vest into a Ziggi jacket! If you haven’t yet cut out the sleeves, I highly recommend muslining this area as StyleARC patterns tend to have slender arms (some have also noted that they are short as well) – once you begin sewing the sleeves, there’s no turning back so be sure everything fits well before you begin. Also, if you were unable to find 6″ zippers (I could only find 7 & 9), you’ll want to shorten them with this handy tutorial before you start (you will undoubtedly find that the notches on your jacket pattern call for a 5-5 1/2″ zipper as well).

03-sleeveheadFor this section, you’ll be using the three remaining pieces: sleeve head (which you may have quilted), lower top, and under sleeve. As always, be sure to transfer all your markings and make note of which is the back and front of the sleeve – this will make the construction process go much faster (see photo on the right, the back of each pattern piece has been highlighted)! First, attach your sleeve head to the lower top, matching markings. Press your seam allowance toward the lower sleeve and topstitch through all the thickness if desired (see photo on left).

03-sleeve2Now comes decision time: Do you want to follow the directions for the sleeve as prescribed in the instructions (you will find that the zipper pull will hang below the sleeve hem using this method) or create a ‘welt’\window and gusset that will have the pull even with the hemline? If you intend on following the instructions zipper insertion (which is put in when you bag out the lining), all you need to do is is sew the back sleeve head\lower front to the back under sleeve until the ‘first’ zipper notch (see photo on right), then sew the front seam in it’s entirety. If you chose the gusset zipper method, I recommend Communing With Fabric’s post – she developed the welt pocket tutorial we used earlier and this one is just as brilliant ( you will find this is a very similar construction to the pocket and should be much easier to put together this time around)!

03-sleevepinNo matter which zipper method you select, the next step is attaching the sleeve head to the jacket (make note of which is the front and back of the sleeve – inserting them correctly will radically change the way the sleeve will feel if not done correctly)! If you are using any material other than leather, you should create a row of gathering stitches on your sleeve head to ease in the fullness in this area. For leather, you will have to ease in fullness yourself: clip sleeve\jacket at markings and midway between each marking so you can visually gauge how much ease you need to create when sewing (most leather has some natural stretch to work with, just be patient!). I would suggest that you first baste your sleeve before permanently setting your stitches to make sure you don’t have puckers, etc. Repeat for your second sleeve and admire how awesome your jacket is looking!


Lego Themed Crayons

03-crayolaI would love to say that our spring break was a ‘stay-cation’ filled with fun activities, sewing, and movies, but sady most of it was spent with the youngest (and then later the rest of us) sick. Boo.

We did however nail down some plans for Easton’s birthday party next month. The theme? Lego. The surprising thing is, there’s hardly any items out there with Lego on them (for parties)… In fact the minifigures (which is what Easton wanted to do for gift bags) are even sold out right now! Consequently, I brainstormed some items to make and will be sharing them throughout the month. The first item – crayons! I purchased a silicone mold of minifigures and bricks (you can also find them on eBay for slightly less with shipping) and started peeling crayons while watching tv (an activity that even my kids liked).

If you’ve melted crayons before you know the rules: remove the paper, bake in a 250 degree oven until melted (the minifigures took about 7-10 minutes, the bricks 15), cool in a freezer (10-15 minutes) and remove from the mold. I found that running the mold under hot water helps release the crayons easier.  Voilá! You’ve got a fun new way to color!