Freestanding

01-laceWith all the sickness going on around here, I haven’t accomplished much sewing, but I did finally have a chance to finish an embroidery project… a bit of freestanding lace.

I am always fascinated with how these turn out using a machine – I really need to find more uses for this type of design! Now to put this one to work… you’ll be seeing this very soon in an upcoming tutorial!

Linky Thursday

Frozen was one of the hottest themed toys this Christmas. If your little one still hasn’t had enough, here’s 4 movie themed plush you can sew yourself!

Get ready for Valentine’s Day in your kitchen by sewing up a pair of these fun, heart-shaped oven mitts or a heart hotpad.

Show them you’ve been hit by Cupid’s arrow this Valentine’s Day by whipping up this fun pillow.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to expand your sewing knowledge, then you’ll definitely want to check out this tutorial on how to insert an invisible zipper into French seams.

Your little one is sure to keep their mittens on when they’re in fun, sea animal shapes.

Who needs Toms when you can make your own adorable shoes! Now where’s the adult version?

If you got cosmetics this holiday, chances are you’ll need a new bag to put them in. This video tutorial shows you how to sew up a pretty, pleated pouch (try saying that 5 times real fast!).

Stop stepping on Legos (or other toys) in the middle of the night! Stitch up one of these playmats and cinch them up before bed.

These purse sized first-aid kits are a great way to keep bandages neat and clean and always at your fingertips!

Baby, it’s cold outside! So why not make a detachable fur collar to add to your coat?

Got buttons? This tote tutorial shows you how to put a rainbow of colors to use and how to quickly stitch them up using your machine.

After seeing this tutorial for sewing a hippo shaped plush (you’ll probably need to have the site translated), I can’t get the “Hungry, Hungry Hippos” jingle out of my head!

Germs

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This is what’s been floating around my house since the day after Christmas… The Flu. One by one, he’s been picking off family members and it’s been nasty. With Easton (almost) on the mend and now Bret down (Taylor bounced back quickly), I haven’t been able to tackle many projects – although I did attempt to work on a design for WeAllSew yesterday only to discover that I had run out of supplies.

Two things I discovered:

  • If I drive really fast, I can make it to my nearest Joann’s in under 15 minutes. Perfect for when you realize you need something and the store closes in 25.
  • 4 layers of Sulky Solvy is not the same as 1 layer of Sulky Ultra Solvy.

01-magazineAs for sewing, I think I just need to tackle some of the quick & easy, TNT (tried and true) patterns that I have materials for… not only will I be scratching a few of those off my ‘to do list’, I can feel like I’m accomplishing something even though I don’t have a lot of time to sew. I’m also going to see about getting the current issue of Kotiliesi Käsityö – Named posted a few photos on Facebook of the patterns that they have in this issue and I’m pretty sure that I need to make all the casual wear. 

Back to the Drawing Board

01-trifectaRecently, my daughter made a request for me to make a shirt: a long sleeved, raglan style tee with camo fabric for the body, “leather sleeves”, and a tiny pocket. No problem, right? I purchased a yard of camouflage kit and figured that I would use the remnant stretch pleather from my Wallis pant for the rest. As for the pattern, Kitchycoo’s Trifecta Top seemed like a perfect match (and it gave me the perfect excuse to finally try it out).

After taping everything together, tracing off the pieces I need, and making a few adjustments, I discovered….. I don’t have enough pleather for the sleeves. Boo. I am trying to avoid spending a small fortune on a piece of stretch pleather because I am fairly certain she’s only going to wear this a few times and am leaning toward this one from Girl Charlee – anyone have any experience with it? Speaking of Girl Charlee, did anyone get a December Bundle from them? I was so very tempted and would love to see what everyone got!

The Oslo

01-oslodoneSewing for 2015 is officially underway with the completion of my first project of the year – The Oslo Cardigan! This was a great way to start – not only was it a fun and easy sew, the fit is great and the fabric was fabulous to work with.

This was my first experience with a pattern from Seamwork Magazine and I have to say, I’m totally impressed. All the patterns are geared toward the beginner (there’s not a lot of pieces to work with, predominately straight seams, and detailed instructions\illustrations to help with each step) and can be sewn in two hours or less but still with fashionable results. Keep in mind that these projects take 2 hours or less to sew – that doesn’t include putting the PDF together – which probably took me as long or longer than the actual cardigan construction.

Speaking of construction, I did make a few changes. First off, I skipped the buttons . The material I chose is fairly lightweight and somewhat ‘airy’ so I didn’t think that it would support them well. It doesn’t call for it in the instructions, but if you do decide to add buttons to your cardigan, I would recommend adding a bit of interfacing to the wrong side of the material before you attach the collar piece to give the fabric a bit more support and keep the buttonhole from stretching out of shape. Secondly, I waited to sew down the hem until I attached the collar piece to the jacket: When sewing the collar, I folded up the hem (covering the collar), stitched, then folded back the hem and stitched it in place. This made a very smooth, professional looking finish to the cardigan – the tip is very much appreciated Melissa!

First Project of 2015

Last month, Colette Patterns released their premiere issue of Seamwork - a digital magazine with articles, tips, and downloadable patterns. I was very excited about the first issue because the PDFs in this issue were totally my style. Of course, the holidays and gift sewing got me totally behind and I wasn’t able to make anything…. until now. My first project of the year? The Oslo Cardigan (I think it should pair up nicely with this month’s Manila leggings).

As a side note, I must like to kick off the year by making cardigans because last year, my first project was the Heidi…. oddly enough, I’m using the original material I selected for this project!

Pattern: Oslo Cardigan by Seamwork Magazine
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Fabric: Glitterati Sweater Knit in plum from Gorgeous Fabrics
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Total Cost:

Pattern….. $6.00
Fabric……. $32.00
Notions…. stash

Total $38.00

2014 Year In Review

12-bookWith 2014 on it’s way out, I like to look back on the projects that I’ve completed throughout the year. I’ve found the best way to do this is to keep a “Project Diary” next to my sewing machine…. Here’s what I discovered about the past 365 days:

  • I completed 128 total projects – roughly 1 item every 2.5-3 days or 2-3 finished projects per week.
  • 2014 was the year of the “Independent Pattern” designer. 67% of the projects I completed were not from “traditional” pattern companies. Of those companies, I only used Kwik Sew and New Look (I did start a McCall, but it’s still in the WIP pile).
  • Of those Independent Designers, Jalie was once the most sewn followed by Style ARC, Papercut Patterns, GoToPatterns, Ohhh Lulu, and Peek-a-boo Patterns.
  • 31% of the patterns sewn were self-drafted.

I found narrowing down my favorite project(s) of the year was a very difficult process. If I had to pick a top 5 I would go with:

  • StyleArc’s Ziggi Jacket. Not only was there a fun sew-along that went with this jacket, I love the end result and the fit was spot on.
  • The Get Carded Wallet. I found myself making this cute little wallet by Dog Under My Desk several times throughout the year and had numerous requests to make this item. It was a fun sew, it stitched up in about a day, and the results were beautiful.
  • The Pattern Anthology Make Believe Collection (includes the Imagine Jacket, Explorer Hoodie, Adventure Tee, and Bookworm Button-up). Alright, I know this is a collection, but it counts as one, right? Not only did we pattern test for this collection, but I was able to stitch something up for my son – which I rarely get to do. Not only was he thoroughly excited about the prospect of having me make something, he helped ‘design’ his clothing, took some great photos, and loved wearing everything.
  • The Comino Cap. This Kitschy Coo design sewed up quickly and the end result is just, ‘wow’. I’m on the hunt for material to make one in cotton.
  • Midtown Messenger – This was another one of those patterns that I liked so much, I made it several times…. and my daughter took them all. You may see at least one more of these patterns in 2015 just so I can keep one for myself!

Quick Slouch Hat

I have wanted a slouch hat ever since I saw Tatiana Maslany wear one in the first season of Orphan Black (if you haven’t had a chance to check out this show, I highly recommend it)…. so when winter gear came out this season I snagged the first cute beanie that I found. Not exactly what I wanted, but close. Then I saw this tutorial a few weeks ago and decided that Easton needed one too – beanies for everyone! For my first hat, I decided to upcycle an old sweater – I didn’t see myself ever wearing this style again and the ‘material’ screamed hat (or boot socks): 12-hatsEaston wasn’t as impressed with this hat as much as the one I whipped up yesterday so I tried it on myself and was happy to find that it fits me, too! The sweater knit is pretty stretchy (and I used smaller seams) so it’s not too surprising that it fits me as well. As for the sewing, it may have taken me an entire 10 minutes to make this – I did skip the band and used the finished ribbing at the bottom edge of the sweater which made it go even faster.

It snowed today – guess what I’ll be sporting when I venture outside?

Get Your Finn Hat On!

12-finnhatThe Cartoon Network has a clever way of marketing their Adventure Time products to kids – a catchy little song comes on about 5 minutes before the show starts (you can view it in the link) where every popular character from their channel is wears a Finn Hat. Right before Christmas, Easton started asking me to make one, but because I was still sewing for the holidays, I never got around to it…. until this weekend. In comes my Adventure Time Crafts book to the rescue (you might remember this title from the cool little pearler bead coasters Easton and I made)!

My only chief complaint about this project is that you have to enlarge (250%) the pattern pieces…. I hate using a photocopier to try to blow everything up – I generally waste tons of paper trying to maneuver the book around to get all the pieces oriented in the right direction. After about 20 minutes of fiddling with everything I was ready to cut into my fabric. I used 3/8 of a yard of microfleece for the exterior and 3/8 of premium felt (it is much thicker and looked less likely to pop a hole during repeated wear) for the lining and found that I could get two Finn hats from this yardage (you might need a bit more for the Fionnas since her ears are much larger).

I did make a few changes in sewing this one up. First off, I left an opening in the back lining for turning – I thought it would be less conspicuous than leaving an opening in the back. I also machine stitched the ears (this was definitely a bit tight and more difficult to do, but I thought it would look nicer since my hand stitching is awful and be a bit sturdier over time) and the Velcro (why in the world would you want to hot glue it?). The instructions did not give a seam allowance for this projects that I could find, so I went with 1/4″.

As you can see, Easton’s new Finn hat is a hit (and for a total cost of $3.80!)…. Now he’s asking for a backpack. Good thing I have instructions for that too!

 

Early Linky Thursday

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the fact that Christmas falls on a Thursday, I thought that this week’s installment of Linky Thursday should come early… That way you can sneak away from all the hustle and bustle and enjoy this week’s projects. Happy Holidays everyone!:

Believe it or not, here’s still time to make your little girl a Christmas dress (and don’t forget the boys – here’s a tutorial for a Quick-and-Easy bow tie)!

Looking for a way to keep your kids snugly warm Christmas morning? Stitch up a minky-lined robe.

Need a last minute outfit? This party shrug is put together in a flash! Pair it up with this 20 minute pencil skirt and you’ve got a complete look in about an hour!

The exact excuse I needed to eat a box of Oreos…. I needed the wrapper to create a bag!

Need a quick ornament to give to a fellow sewist? This zipper version is absolutely adorable!

Have a hard time getting your child to bundle up? They won’t refuse a fun, faux-fur hood like these or grab an old sweater and upcycle it to make one of these pixie hats!

For the crazy cat ladies in your life – a tree decorated just for them!

If I had the room, I would have made these giant floor pillows for the kids instead of breaking down and buying bean bags.

Decorate your table or tree with these beautiful German paper stars (this might be a good craft to keep the older kids occupied while waiting to unwrap presents).

Dress up your holiday table in no time when you add this 30 minute table runner to your buffet or counter.

The start of the new year is a great way to get your house organized. Get a head start and whip up a few of these mesh laundry bags.

Looking for a super quick stocking stuffer? Grab a potholder and a few plastic baggies and make a quick caddie.