Furiously Happy

11-blogessSometimes I branch away from sewing because a need arises than only crafting can fulfill. This weekend I had the opportunity to see one of my all time favorite bloggers-turned-author, Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess, and I decided that I needed something special for the book reading\signing… a Rory necklace (you can even sort of see him in the photo on the left). Rory is the stuffed raccoon that is on the cover of her latest book, Furiously Happy (if you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly recommend it – I liked it even more than Let’s Pretend This Never Happened). While the necklace is just like the others I’ve made in the past, I wound up having to make the chain myself because the ‘charm’ already had a bail attached that only very thin chains would fit through. Even though I had a chain that would work, they didn’t have clasps attached – which means I built the necklace from scratch! That’s a first and I have to admit, it didn’t look bad in the end.


Bristol Update

11-bristol2Progress on the Bristol Button-up is slowly progressing. I am currently at the point in sewing where I am able to test the fit and have noticed some changes need to be made before I can move on:

First off the tunic length is way too long on me – in fact, it could almost pass as a dress. I wouldn’t mind that look (I could even wear a belt with it), but the flannel is very beefy and wold never look right. Consequently, I’m going to first shave off 2″ and see what it looks like. If it still looks too long, I’ll take it back up to the ‘shirt’ length (4″ shorter).

The other modification I need to make is taking in the sides. While stitching up the medium was great for my shoulders\back area (I have wider shoulders and this size fits perfectly in those areas), it isn’t as fitted as I would like in the midriff (right now it looks sort of sloppy). I’m waiting to take this area in after I settle the length issue to see how that effects the overall look (maybe taking up the length will make it look less sloppy).

The last issue? Snaps. I really wanted to use my cute pearl snaps with this project, but after briefly messing around with the snaps in the placket area, it looks like the material might be to thick. I’ll have to revisit that later, but I may be shopping for buttons after all.


Linky Thursday

If you’re looking for quick Christmas gifts\stocking stuffers to sew be sure to check out these pretty quilted circle coasters. Need something that sews up even quicker? Then try this (non-patchwork) square version instead.

Enter to win a copy of the Free Motion Quilting Idea Book.

Learn how to create a stick horse for your little cowboy or cowgirl.

Looking for a low-sew plaid shirt with lots of interest? This patched version is a great look for fall.

Sew up vintage style tea towels for your kitchen or whip up a bunch for holiday gift giving!

Not only will this tutorial teach you how to create a sock reindeer…. the reindeer is wearing an awesome chenille onesie.

Enter to win Sara Lawson’s Building Better Bags class on Craftsy! In the mean time, you can get her Caliti Convertible clutch pattern for free.

Turn an old pair of jeans into a tablet stand.

Learn how to transform a t-shirt into a cute tote with this video tutorial.

Win a copy of Heather Jones’ latest book, Quilt Local.

Don’t have time to wait for potatoes to bake in the oven? Whip up a few of these potato bags and cook them in the microwave instead!

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fashion – make a quick and easy sweater dress!

I never thought that bedbugs could be cuddly until I saw this pattern for a stuffed version. (Actually, I’m not going to lie, I find this guy a little creepy, but he would definitely make a fun gift to give to the bug enthusiast).

It Glows

20151104_100335I admit it. I am a sucker for novel fabrics. In addition to the Bristol Button Up I mentioned yesterday, I couldn’t help by start another project – this one involving a glow-in-the dark knit print for Easton. Why aren’t there more fabrics like this? (seriously, if you know of more glow-in-the-dark knits, let me know!). I can totally see making a whole array of glow-in-the-dark pajamas and underwear for the holidays! The only downside to this particular fabric is that even though it is a knit, it doesn’t have much stretch. Instead of going up one size so that the finished garment would fit, I opted only to use this material on the front side of the shirt I am making. More on that soon!

Bristol Button-up Update

I haven’t had a great deal of time to work on my latest pattern purchase, the Bristol Button-up. So far, I’ve managed to assemble the PDF, cut the size, and cut the fabric.

As far as the size is concerned, I wound up cutting a medium – since I’m really on the cusp of small\medium I thought this top might be better if it was sized up. Just by looking at the tester photo, this top looks to run a bit tight in the bust and if I ever plan on wearing (another) shirt underneath this one, I certainly don’t want it to be too tight.

Now for the fabric. Since the flannel I am using was originally intended for another project, I did not have enough as what was required in the instructions (I had about 1 1/2 yards – don’t quote me on that, I didn’t measure before I cut, though), but still managed to have enough to cut out all the required pieces with some very careful and creative cutting (my material was also 54″ wide instead of 45″ which also helped). Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky for the hood piece. The pattern pieces says to only cut 2, but later found out that I needed 4…. and I’m about 1/4″+ short in cutting another set out. I haven’t quite figured out what I’m going to do about that yet – I may have to break down and buy extra fabric.

Here’s the cost breakdown for this project. After looking a it, I’m really hoping this works out because it came out a lot higher than what I expected… plus I bought new boots yesterday and I think they would look really good with this top!

Pattern: Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop’s Brisol Button-Up

Plaid Flannel from Joann‘s

Total Cost:

Pattern….. $8.50
Fabric……. $19.40
Notions…. $10.63

Total $38.53

Always Use Good Stabilizers

Somehow October kicks of the start of a crazy, busy end of the year. I was fortunate enough not to have to sew up any costumes this year, but had numerous other deadlines this time instead…. one of them being a new project for Creative Machine Embroidery that will come out sometime next year. While I was busy embroidering, I decided I would keep the momentum going and stitch up a couple of items for the kids:


I used Urban Threads (free in October) I Heart Zombies design on a shirt for Easton to wear after his classroom party at school. I had run out of the stabilizer that I would normally use for this project and used a ‘mystery style’ instead. THAT was a huge mistake. Not only did the bobbin thread pull through to the front, the dense stitching crated puckers in the shirt… and I can only imagine what shape it will be in after I wash it. It is super cute and Easton loved it (as well as a lot of kids!), but lesson learned: Use a good stabilizer for all your embroidery projects. I took my own advice for my second project and used a much better stabilizer – a Greek letter applique sweatshirt for Taylor and had much better results. By the way, the mystery stablizer is now in the trash.

Linky Thursday

Tired of boring tees? Change up your shirts by simple color blocking or this draped version.

The latest trend in sweatshirts and active wear is to have them with a cozy, cowl style neck. Learn how to make one for yourself with this free pattern.

Infinity scarves are still a hot accessory this fall\winter. Learn how to sew up a quick single loop version and have it ready by tomorrow!

Messenger style bags are one of my favorites to sew and carry. The Malibu Satchel is a great style that can showcase your fun fabrics.

Speaking of bags, enter to win an entire Serendipity Studio purse prize pack.

Don’t throw out those old jackets – upcycle them into pretty skirts instead!

There’s still plenty of days left before Halloween. Why not sew up a matching (or fun print) Trick-or-Treat bag? Have a bit more time on your hands to sew? This version has compartments for kids who like to hide sort their candy ahead of time.

Two different colors of faux leather are used to make this pretty (and easy to sew) fold-over clutch.

If you love aprons, you won’t want to miss this giveaway of the Flirty Dozen Apron pattern.

Make gloomy a little more fun when you stitch up a raindrop plush.

A pencil case that not only carries more than pencils, it rolls up too (plus it has a fun patchwork technique too)! Need something a bit bigger? Try this busy bag tutorial instead!

It may be (finally) chilly here, but I’m not sure that will stop me from sewing this pretty, loose top (which really looks more like a tank. Site will need to be translated).

Sprout Sidekick Sling

10-slingBe sure to head over to Betz White’s blog this morning and check out my latest project – the Sidekick Sling!

What sets this project apart from others that I’ve worked on? It uses Spoonflower’s print on demand service, Sprout! This is a ‘cut & sew’ style project that takes out the need for paper patterns and measuring (in fact, this particular project didn’t even use interfacing)! This bag was quick and easy to sew with fantastic results – you can read all about how to select your fabrics and create your own Sidekick Sling here.

On the Cutting Table: Bristol Button-Up

10-bristolAs much as I love beautiful dresses and classy ‘business wear’, my lifestyle is pretty casual so I’m always on the lookout for patterns that I can either sew several times or at least make a garment that I’ll wear a lot. Last week, Peek-a-boo Pattern shop released the Bristol Button-Up and I immediately snagged it – I can totally see wearing this look with a pair of skinny jeans and some fantastic boots (note to self, I need new boots now).

I’ve printed off the pattern (but have yet to put it together, that’s today’s job) and pulled fabric from my stash…. yes, I actually have everything on hand to whip this one up (full disclosure, I had purchased flannel last year because I thought I was going to make Easton a Lumberjack Shirt and that just never happened). I’m leaning toward the tunic length and am crossing my fingers that I have enough material to pull it off! I am also contemplating using snaps instead of buttons since I have quite a few from the Adelaide project that just didn’t work out.

Movie Replica Mask

I got off easy this year. This year, I didn’t have to make any Halloween costumes. Sort of.

Easton has decided that from now on, he will only be ‘scary’ characters for Halloween. Consequently, his costume of choice this year is… Jason Voorhees. He’s really only familiar with this character because Jason appeared in this year’s Mortal Kombat X game (plus it’s a pretty iconic mask), but he’s attempting to go for complete authenticity because he wants everything to look exactly as it appears in the game (he has even asked that I use makeup to make his face look just like Jason’s – I had to break it to him that special effect makeup was beyond my skill set). I was able to find a jacket that was similar to Jason’s as well as work boots to complete the look, but the mask was disappointing. In fact, Easton disliked it so much that he begged me to paint it:


The photo on the left is the original, glow-in-the-dark mask and the photo on the right is after I painted it up. It took a bit of trial and error to get the right look, but in the end, the best technique was lots of paint mixing and dabbing with paper towels (forget the brushes and sponges, they just streak and smear on the plastic). I guess I can put “movie replica costumer: to my resume now.