Sew All The Things

07-sewallthethingsWhy is it when you are at your busiest, you’re also the most creative? With a bunch of deadlines approaching the next few weeks, I find myself with lots of ideas (a.k.a. sew all the things).  It started when Deepika posted her review of Burda Style Magazine’s “Cold Shoulder Top”…. and I decided I had to sew it. So far, I have only gotten to the tracing part, which was a good reminder why I stopped using these patterns… so much tracing and adding seam\hem allowances that it sucks the fun out of the project for me. However, tracing the Burda pattern prompted me to print off the Desert Breeze (another off-the-shoulder look), a pattern that I purchased this summer, so I can compare the two styles.

07-coldshoulderSeeing that I may be sewing up two new tops soon, I decided that I needed a new purse too…. so I went through all my purse patterns and narrowed it down to a few that I need to sew (included in the mix was Swoon’s latest purse from the Bag of the Month Club, Emmaline Handbag’s Gabby, and Swoon’s Brooklyn Handbag (I am itching to use glitter vinyl and my new rivet hole punch and setter)….. did I mention that I have the Necessary Clutch Wallet cut out and ready to sew too? Somewhere along in there, I also discovered that I didn’t own Jalie 3024 and decided I needed it to make a few dresses before summer is over and that I still have the Agility Tank Swimsuit to make before the pool closes down for the summer (mid-August when the kids go back to school)!

The moral of the story? If you ever feel like you are in a creative slump, just start creating deadlines for yourself and you’ll find that you’re starting to burst with ideas!

Linky Thursday

Keep cool and look stylish – make one of these adorable swing dresses. Need something a little dressier? Be sure to check out this free date night pattern, instead.

This school house box is an adorable way to hold sticky notes.

These lacy trimmed shorts are perfect for a summer beach look.

A quilt that’s perfect for road trips…. check out this impressive Map Quilt.

These little bags have clear windows, making them ideal for holding small notions.

This wristlet has plenty of pockets and zippered pockets to stash your belongings while you’re on the go.

Another pretty look for the summer in a trendy boho design. While you’re on the site, be sure to check out this fun beach dress made by the same designer.

This summer sling bag is a great way to carry all your belongings while traveling or just as your next everyday look.

Don’t leave for the farmer’s market or grocery store without sewing up a few of these produce bags.

Bring back the art of writing letters by giving one of these patchwork Stationary Kits.

Protest your shades with this simple sunglass case.

Another fun kimono pattern that’s great to wear with just about everything.

 

Fabric Disappointment

cuttingThis past week, I worked diligently on  project that will appear on WeAllSew very soon. This is something that I’ve been knocking around in my brain for awhile now, so it is fun to see it finally come to life.

In the mean time, some of the fabrics I had on order also arrived and proved that sometimes material can look better on the internet than what they do in real life. While the Paris In White Panel is awesome, the Faux Glitter Swim is a huge disappointment. This digital print looks ‘bright’ and golden in the photo, but in real life looks like a Minecraft Sand Block…. even Easton asked what it was supposed to be. I think that this material is going in the stash and will eventually wind up being a muslin fabric – I can’t think of anything else to do with it at the moment.

‘Merica

I honestly had no intention on sewing anything for the 4th of July holiday. However, between seeing a slew of people sewing cute shirts with stars and stripe sleeves and having a few hours for some selfish sewing, I decided that maybe I might join in on all the fun…. and believe it or not, I actually had most of the fabrics on hand!

07-tees

The first thing I did was sift through my mountains of raglan patterns and snagged the first one on the pile: Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop’s Rainier Raglan. I also decided that my tee was going to need some pockets so I pulled the pocket pattern from Cake Pattern’s The Tee (BTW, it’s a free download!)

Both the star material (which was a remnant from the Wonder Woman Legging project) and the red\white stripe (which I purchased last year with the intent on sewing something patriotic) came from Girl Charlee. I realized that I didn’t have enough material for the body of the shirt and wound up having to purchase some gray material…. once I came home, I decided that I would make two shirts (because I knew Taylor would take one) – so I used a solid white for a front and more stripe in the back.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with the way both shirts turned out – my only regret is that I didn’t place the pockets further away from the seam, but the fit is spot on and it was a fun look for the holiday. It’s a shame I can’t wear this more often (although I feel like if I lived in Texas I might be able to get away with it because the shirts remind me of their state flag)!

Comparing Jalie Swim Bottoms

You may have seen earlier in the week that I finished my Siren Swim top…. now all I needed was the bottoms. I really wasn’t keen on making the high-waisted Hello Sailor Swim bottoms – especially in this print. So, I turned to my Jalie pattern stash for help. Today I’m comparing the two bikini patterns, Jalie 2477 (which appears to be no longer in print, but you can pick it up at Pattern Review’s store) and Jalie 2446, and showing you my results (please ignore the odd, ballpark mom tan lines):

07-jalie2447I started off with the higher waisted of the two patterns – Jalie 2447 (shown on the left). After measuring myself, I cut my pattern and went to work. This bottom went together VERY quickly (definitely under an hour, but more like 30 minutes), but I wasn’t thrilled with the end result…. this bottom really is better matched with the takini style top that it’s paired with on the cover. I feel like this bottom just cuts me in the wrong place and paired with this top, you can see a bit of muffin top (even though it’s lower cut, it hits me right in my squishy midsection, plus I think it brings more attention to my scar because of were it sits). Part of the issue is that the elastic is tight for me on this bottom and I could have gone up one size for a more sleek look.

07-jalie2446Next, I decided to try Jalie 2446 – going up one size than what my measurements called for. The construction for this bottom is exactly the same as 2447, so this bikini went together extremely quickly and the results were perfect. The increase in size reduced the tightness around the midsection and thighs thus eliminating the muffin top. I also think that the lower waist was a lot more flattering overall. In fact, I already put this set to the test and wore it to the pool the other day!

I have some fun, faux gold glitter swim material coming in next week and have decided that it may just have to become a 2446 set… because who doesn’t want to wear a gold bikini to the pool?

Linky Thursday

There’s 4 day’s left until the 4th of July, which means there’s still plenty of time to decorate you home with this fun Sparkler Table Runner project.

Everyone needs a cute, little black dress. This one is perfect for summer…. and free!

Turn one yard of fabric into a new (full-size) apron.

A dress that can be sewn in 30 minutes? I’m in! Download your Housewife Dress here.

Love retro styles? Enter to win a copy of Vintage Notions book and a one year subscription to the Vintage Monthly magazine.

Whip up your little girl an easy to wear (and easier to sew) pair of pajamas for the summer. Check out the Coconut Pajama Summer Set.

Need a quick handmade gift for a new mom? Learn how to sew a Moby Wrap Baby Carrier with this easy tutorial.

What sets this pool tote apart from the others? Lots and lots of pockets so it’s easy to find everything you need. Need something that’s just for the kids? Be sure to check out this Beach Toy Zipper Pouch tutorial, instead.

There may be no sewing involved in WobiSobi tutorials, but the end results are always impressive tees. Check out her latest tutorial, the Shoulder Tied Tee.

3 Dresses. 1 Pattern. Download yours here.

No more dragging the towels on the ground after a day at the pool. Learn how to transform beach towels into robes.

Remember the weird unicorn hair trend? Now you don’t have to style your hair, just wear a unicorn headband instead.

Check It Out

06-cmeThe newest issue of Creative Machine Embroidery is hitting newstands (July\August 2016) and inside you’ll find one of my latest projects…..  an embellished burlap memo board.

The best part? You don’t have to have an embroidery machine to whip up this project (embroidery can be optional). You don’t even need “special equipment” or even a picture frame to finish your look…. just a bit of foam core, burlap, duct tape (yes, duct tape!), and nail heads! The end result is an elegant shabby chic memory board to pin all your favorite summer moments. Want to make it even more ‘shabby chic’? I added a fun ‘rosette’ project to the sidebar – it’s great for embellishing this project and more!

The Siren Swim Top

06-sirenAfter buying several yards of swimsuit material this spring, I claimed, I would make all my own swimwear this year. It’s almost July and I’ve only managed to make one set…. until this weekend when I finally finished a new top – The Siren Swim Top.

I’ve only had experience with this pattern company one other time and the results were less than stellar (in short the bust was too tight and the top looked very ‘maternity’), but I really really wanted The Siren to work because I loved the style and everyone who had been posting about it look fabulous in it. My results? Fabulous.

There are several options for this pattern, but I wound up selecting the straight flounce (with back flounce) with straight straps and no cups. Because I was skeptical about my results, I opted to make a muslin in a tropical print that’s been sitting in my stash for quite some time…. now I wish I had more of it!

As for the pattern, the PDF pieces went together easily – I love that there is no trimming necessary… just tape and go! Plus, the pattern pieces went together easily when sewing and I didn’t run into any snags. Overall, it was very easy to sew – in fact, I am pretty sure a beginner could do it without too many issues. As for the fit, it’s pretty close – I think that the bands at the shoulder could be longer and, of course, the sports bra portion of the top could be longer (see above).

The instructions, though, are not great. I know that you are supposed to read the directions before you sew, but with this pattern, it’s a must. First off there is the size determination. While there is a size chart, there is also supposed to be fitting for cup sizes which I could never figure out until after the fact (basically the sports bra style tank under the flounce is lengthened) so I went with the smallest one (now that it’s finished, I should have lengthened it to the third line). I also felt that the directions don’t ‘flow’ very well into each other and you’re left bouncing around the instructions trying to figure out what you’re doing next.

With all that said, I’d still recommend this pattern. I also purchased the Hello Sailor Swim Bottoms as well, but I just don’t have quite enough material to make that pattern….. so now I’m on the hunt for something else that might work with what I have.

Dutch Treat Hipster

06-metroLast week Betz White announced her new fabric collection, Dutch Treat and today I’m thrilled to show you what I made with these fabrics…. an adorable Metro Hipster! This is one of my favorite style of bags, not only because it’s a cross-body style (I like the fact I can be hands-free while I shop, etc.), but it’s the perfect carrying size for me (as much as I love the look of big bags, I hate the weight and I feel like Mary Poppins toting them around).

For my version, I wound up using the Dutch Wreath (gray) for the main bag body and the Dutch Floral (blue) for the contrasts. Because the pattern calls for heavier weight material (canvas or mid-weight fabrics) than quilting cottons, I added a bit of woven interfacing to all the exterior pieces which gave it a bit more firmness and helps the bag retain it’s shape nicely. I also skipped the nylon webbing and made my own strapping (from the Dutch Floral)… I never could find a blue I liked as much as this print. For the interior of the bag I used the Dutch Medallion (gray)…. I have to admit, I still haven’t figured out how to capture the inside of a bag well, but I really like the way it turned out:

06-metroinside

In fact, I love this fabric so much, I wish I had gotten more – it’s so cute and fun, like a stylized egg print!

Since this isn’t my first time putting together this pattern, I’ll skip over the full review, but I will say it went together nicely (and I love that there’s not lots of bulk to contend with) – although I wish I would have sewn the pocket with the blue medallion lower so that you could see it in between the lobster clasp\d-ring area and not be hidden by the pocket (so the blue color would pop more in the front). Next up…. a matching wallet! I’ve been very ‘matchy-matchy’ lately and have been itching to make a wallet that coordinates with the bag I’m carrying. Hopefully with all the (predicted) rain we’re supposed to have this weekend, I can hole up in my sewing room and sew until it’s finished!

Linky Thursday

Keep all your small items neatly stashed in one of these easy to make Peek-a-boo pouches.

Make a perfect fit & flare dress…. without a pattern!

Not the most practical set, but this Bralette and string panty set look just like the kinds you see in Victoria Secret catalogs. Looking for something ‘more wearable’? Try this video tutorial to make your own VS inspired bralette instead.

Recycle those old jeans into cute hot pads just in time for you next BBQ or pot luck! Looking for something patriotic to throw in the mix? Check out this stars and stripes potholder tutorial, too.

Ditch the paper gift bags and go for pretty fabric pouches instead.

Bye, bye boo-boos. Make one of these ouchie packs that’s perfect for summer scrapes.

Balloon animals that never run out of air? Make you own fabric versions and they’ll always keep their shape.

These mesh sport bags are perfect for holding your belongings while sitting on the beach.

Since I have lots of plans to make my own swimwear this summer, I’ve been doing lots of DIY swimsuit reading, I thought this foam bra tutorial very helpful.

Transform your old tees into cute new skirts.