Linky Thursday

Looking for a quick serger project to get you more comfortable with your machine? This eyeglass case is a great start!

It’s back to school season! If you’re looking for a quick project to kick off your year, check out one of these great pencil pouch tutorials by Noodlehead, Crazy Little Projects, or Sew Can She.

I recently saw a tutorial for folded fabric Christmas ornaments. I keep telling myself I’m going to try it – maybe this is the year.

This fabric storage basket is perfect for college dorms or just to keep your home organized – plus the divider is removable which is handy too!

This reading pillow is easy to sew and I love that it has a handle too!

Enter to win a 20 piece fat quarter bundle of Sweet Caroline fabrics.

This double layer chiffon blouse looks so easy to wear in hot weather. Learn how to draft one for yourself and get the perfect fit!

It’s never too early to think about Halloween, especially when it comes to sewing themed costumes. Here are some easy pincushion, scissors, and a spool of thread ideas.

Full disclosure, I bought fabric pumpkins at the store the other day. They looked just like these and I’m pretty sure it would have whipped up quickly and inexpensively, too!

Bookmarks

I find that I tend to make things in “batches”. It might be home decor, clothes, quilt blocks, or in this case, bookmarks. I recently purchased a few machine embroidery bookmarks and couldn’t wait to start stitching them up. First off, there’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I was a huge fan of the comic book before it became a Netflix series, so I couldn’t pass up this iconic shadow style straight from one of the original covers.

I set out to make a fun library card bookmark, but ran into lots of problems. At first, I attributed my issues to the fact that I changed stablizers. Then I thought it might be the vinyl (it was pretty soft). But with lots and lots of ongoing problems, I wondered if it was just the design. Turns out, it was a dirty machine. After a wicked jam, I took my machine apart and pulled out a bunch of thread that was hiding wayyyyy in the back – it was somehow working it’s way to the bobbin casing as it was sewing and causing lots of issues. Moral of the story? Maybe it’s time to deep clean your machine! I haven’t come back to this one as I’m waiting on more white vinyl, but check out all that thread!

Lastly, I decided to make a profanity laden bookmark – I though it might be a funny surprise for my (adult) daughter who’s finally taken up reading now that she’s not in school. I used a pretty glitter vinyl for the exterior (because profanity seems less offensive if it’s sparkly) and I LOVE the end result. I’m going to need more of this vinyl in my future.

Pop Art #2

I think it’s time for another Pop Art Block! This time I worked on the second block – which combines two separate, but smaller embroidery designs to make one larger block.

I changed up quite a few things from the original: I used a bright batik for the background (in hindsight, I think it takes away the boldness of the glasses, it probably would have just been better to use this material for smaller spots), I used a different hair and skin tone fabrics, and completely changed the glasses (because I really wanted pink). My only complaint about this design is that the hair highlights (blue, in my version) are in the same stops are the bold, black outlines. So, in order to have the highlights a different color (and not be lost), I had to watch for the stops to create them. It was a bit more work, but worth it in the end because I like the way they pop in this block. I’ll have to look more carefully at the stops in other designs to see if I have to do this frequently.

Cabo Maxi

I had the fun opportunity to test out SoSewEnglish‘s latest pattern, the Cabo Maxi. It released last night so I can finally show you my results:

For my version, I wound up using a poly/rayon/spandex tie dye print that I got in a mystery bundle awhile ago and sewed the tie back version of this dress – it’s definitely a show stopper! (Don’t worry, the skirt crosses over so the slit isn’t that noticeable)

Now for the amazing part – I eeked this dress out with only 2 yards of fabric. Fortunately, my material had 4-way stretch so I was able to cut this pattern differently than recommended – it took a lot of planning and creative cutting, but I’m thrilled I was able to do it because I really wanted to use this print (it just screamed maxi dress to me). As for the sewing, it’s went surprisingly fast and was pretty easy to put together. However, there are a few more steps you may want to take if you use a rayon material (like adding some clear elastic in various parts of this dress), so if you’re a beginner, I would recommend trying a different material first.

You can pick this pattern up on sale for $7.99 or get it for free with a $50 fabric purchase (just be sure to add the pattern to your cart before you check out). And many thanks to Easton who took pictures for me – he even got all creative with some of his shots.

Linky Thursday

Looking for some easy back to school projects to kick off the new school year? You can find a round up of ideas from So Sew Easy as well as Bernina’s We All Sew website – including my reading pillow tutorial (we still use this today!).

2020 has created an ton of interesting projects – the new hot item? Mask cases! He are three new tutorials to get you started: A pleated zipper pouch, a basic face mask wallet with strap, and this version with a key ring option.

Keep you ear buds tidy (or your change handy) with this small zippered pouch. Here is similar oldie, but goodie tutorial for a circled zippered pouch. Not sure about the size differences between the two, though.

I stumbled across this great sling bag pattern (not free, but it’s only $2.99) and while browsing the site noticed a few free pattern tutorials, like these easy to sew scrunchies.

Speaking of bags, this one is free AND reversible!

Enter to win a 20 piece fat quarter bundle of Sweet Caroline fabrics.

Spooky Tidings

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays around our house, so when the temperatures start cooling off, I’m ready to start decorating! Now is a great time to start your Halloween projects, like my “Spooky Tidings” project in latest issues of Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine!

This bunting combines fabric pumpkins with “floating” freestanding lace designs that’s perfect for a mantel, door, or entryway. Best of all, this whole project can be made in a (long) day. A little tip – try invisible fishing wire to make your designs “float” – I found the thickness was a little easier to work with than invisible thread.

Block #1

Today I kick off with the first block from the Anita Goodesign Pop Art collection:

My version didn’t stray too much from the original color layout – the only deviation is a change of background (they used a solid blue, I used a ombre stripe), lip color, a gold batik fabric for the hair instead of a solid yellow. Overall this block went together well, although I did find that my machine found it too large for my 5 x 7″ oval so I wound up reducing it to 95%. I’ll have to do this with the rest of the designs to make sure that they all square up when I turn them into quilt blocks.

Phones

I have a tendency to second guess my fabric choices a lot – especially when I happen to be using more than one fabric together (especially with quilts). This block is a prime example.

While I was waiting for my flesh tone fabric to arrive, I though I would tackle blocks that don’t involve people – like this phone. I started with the block on the left, but after finishing it, decided that it looked very murky. The batik I used just doesn’t seem to fit with some of the bright colors that I picked out for the rest of the blocks. So, I remade it. I opted to use a more neutral background and reversed the colors in an attempt to brighten it up (I also thought that I could use the dark blue in a block later and it not be so obvious it’s a repeat). Not sure if I’m still happy with it, but I’m going to try to not make this again and just “go with it.”

I also decided that I should probably just do the blocks in the order that I plan to sew them together. Since I’m changing them up from the original (different colors, different skin tones, etc.), I think this might help me from second guessing my color scheme because I can see what it looks like put together in “real time”.

Linky Thursday

I stumbled across this neat idea for making easy curtains – drapery tabs.

I saw that pumpkin flavored drinks are back (at least at Dunkin’ Donuts) so it’s time to crack out the fall gear, right? Here’s some cute pumpkin pillows to get you started.

Last weeks fanny packs got you thinking about sewing one up? Here’s another pattern to add to your collection.

Give new life to an old tee with this lace hem tutorial. This works great for kids clothes as well – it’s the perfect way to add more length and extend the wearability a favorite shirt.

As a lot of cities are requiring masks in public, face mask wallets are growing in popularity too. Learn how to make some for yourself and always have a clean facial covering handy.

Speaking of masks, have you been looking for a style that keeps the covering off your face? Then these “3D masks” are just for you!

Get two different looks from one bag with this reversible fabric tote. While you’re checking that tutorial out, be sure to grab her Ultimate Sports Bra pattern as well.

This Maneki Neko coin purse is one of the cutest ways to carry your change.

If you’ve found the perfect fabric for a bag, but it’s only in a knit, don’t despair. This tutorial will teach you how to make a backpack using stretch material!

Hey Lucy…

With September only a few weeks away, I’m finding myself in the last minute push to finish sewing summery clothes – like this fun swing halter from Sonia Estep Designs called Lucy.

Full disclosure: I hadn’t originally intended on picking this pattern up. I’m not normally a fan of swing tops, but I really loved the shape of the upper portion of this top so I thought I would give it a try. After sewing it, I’m not entirely sold on this look for myself, but it’s not unflattering on either so I’m going to wear it out and see how I feel after.

As for the sewing – this top is very easy to put together. It has a lot of bindings to attach, but they are fairly simple to sew and the directions are very clear. I definitely think a beginner could sew this one up and have good results. The Lucy is worth a look if you’re into this style, needing a change in your wardrobe, or still trying to beat the heat!