Just a Peek

08-mauradersThis past week I have been working on a top secret sewing project. While I can’t show you the entire item, I can give you a glimpse at the Marauder’s Map fabric and pleather I used….

While the Marauder’s Map was beautiful to sew on, the pleather, not so much. I had a difficult time finding a leather look that worked with this color scheme so I settled on a pleather\vinyl that was in the costume section of the store. It had a good hand and a nice texture on the front, but when it came to sewing, it was a mixed bag of problems. What sort of issues? Well, you couldn’t finger press and crease the seam and ironing (even on a low temp with a press cloth) was a bit dangerous because you could feel\see it melting. No matter what size\type needle you used, the pleather wanted to scrape off around the thread when sewing (so the white backing would try to pop through or the vinyl coating would just scrape off). Since pinning would leave permanent marks, I opted to used Wonder Clips, but those too left permanent pressure marks on the material (very quick and careful ironing melted them off). Needless to say, I did find some strategies to work around the issues, but it was a curse-laden sewing session to get them figured out. The moral of the story? Skip the cheap costume pleather and go for the good stuff!

 

Epic Cosplay Costumes

08-cosplayGetting dressed up as your favorite superhero or gaming character isn’t just for kids on Halloween any more. With the growing popularity of comic book conventions (or ‘cons’), cosplay has become a big business. However, sewing a costume doesn’t have to be difficult. I received Epic Cosplay Costumes in the mail the other day and discovered, it can be downright easy.

Inside are 17 different elements found in many popular character costumes and the instructions on how to complete them (and even modify them for a slightly different look). These include: capes, armor, corsets, gloves, and boot covers. For a majority of these projects, you’ll be expected to draft your own pieces as patterns are not included. There are also ideas for pulling your look together (i.e. how to look like Sailor Moon or Link from Legend of Zelda), how to buy, style, and wear wigs, and what to expect at a Con (I love the tip on making sure to shower daily to avoid Con Funk – THIS is important for some folks!). As for me, I am anxious to try my hand at making the gloves and boot covers.

Overall this is a good book that introduces you to creating your own Cosplay look. Do not expect them to be elaborate designs like the ones featured on the SDCC website. However it is a good starting point for embellishment and customization of your character. Most of all, have fun with it – that’s what cosplay is all about!

Goodbye Material Girls

08-amybutlerIt’s always sad to lose a favorite fabric resource – especially when it’s local (and especially when they carry all your favorite designers). As one of my go-to quilting stores closes it’s doors this weekend, I thought that I would stop by one last time and see what they had left. While there were only a handful of bolts on the shelves, I was shocked to see that there were still a few Amy Butler prints…. so, I snagged a couple that I thought might make pretty bags.

7 yards of fabric, 4 spools of thread, and $25 later (yes, you read that right, all that for $25), I left the store forever. I’m sort of kicking myself for not buying more considering how much I spent, but I think I have plenty to keep me busy for awhile. Goodbye Material Girls, you will be missed.

Linky Thursday

Create an eye-catching purse when you sew up this fun, canteen style bag.

Whether you dress it up or down, this swing dress is easy to wear and looks great.

Early morning sun waking you up? Get a bit more shuteye with a pretty sleep mask.

Ever go to IKEA and fall in love with a set of napkins or a placemat, but don’t want to used them for dinner? Learn how to take those pretties and transform them into pillows. Tired of making pillows? Use those napkins (and a belt) to make a cute tote instead.

Even preschoolers need school supplies! Sew up a cute, toddler-sized backpack or this version that looks just like big brother\sister’s just in time for school to start.

Sew up a classic tee (currently only in a size large) just in time for weekend lounging.

Those long summer bike rides may be coming to an end, but it’s not too late to whip up one of these cute bike buckets to hold all their goodies.

Keep your jewelry in order and tangle free with this hanging jewelry organizer. (this might also work as a travel organizer, too).

Know a college student that will live in the dorm? This shower caddy will make a perfect gift before they head back to school.

There’s still plenty of time to get in those summer BBQs. These insulated koozies are the perfect way to personalize everyone’s drink and keep it cold.

Make road trips with the little ones more comfortable with one of these padded seat belt covers.

The perfect look for summer evenings, a linen, off-the-shoulder dress.

The contest for free fabric may be over, but you can still learn how to make a pencil skirt in any size (for yourself or your daughter)! Want one with pockets? Be sure to read this tutorial instead.

Wet bags are great to have over the summer to stash those wet bathing suits, but can be expensive to make. Instead of springing for the PUL, try a shower curtain instead. Want a zippered version of the bag, instead? Be sure to check out my tutorial at WeAllSew.

The cutest way to carry your back-to-school lunch money: Zippered Apple Pouches.

This video will teach you how to create your own sun visor. Now why didn’t I find this soon this summer?

When I was pregnant with Easton, I purchased a pregnancy pillow at was very expensive (around $70), but gave me the best night’s sleep. Now you can make the same pillow at home (and probably for a lot less).

Tunic to Dress to Tee

I had mentioned on Monday that I was entering a few of my June KnitFix projects into a contest (to win more fabric). I had just enough time to squeeze in one more entry – Jalie 3245. This pattern has lots of options, but I settled on a 3/4 sleeved raglan tunic (lengthened enough to make a dress). My idea was that I would make a comfy, casual dress with the neon green stripe. What I wound up with reminded me of my grandma’s housedresses (by the way, I did wind up shortening the sleeve to a cap because I had determined that there was way too much stripe going on here).

08-tunic

After mulling it over, I decided to rip out the pockets (you can’t see them well in the photo, but they are my favorite part, I just love their shape) and shorten it back up to a tee length. While this is a ton better, I’m still not in love with it and I’ve decided it’s just the fabric that doesn’t work for me (I’m not sure if it’s the tiny stripe or the color, or something else).

As a side note, I did win the contest and have a 1-yard Girl Charlee Bolt bundle coming my way sometime next week (I even got to select the fabrics!)! I’ll be sure to post about that when it arrives.

Magical News

08-potterleggingsMy inner geek is screaming for joy because “I have Harry Potter leggings!”

I pre-ordered this “Magical News” print some time ago (from KNITorious Fabric) and immediately popped it into the wash as soon as it arrived. While there are a billion different ideas swimming around in my head as to what I could do with it, I decided that I would most like to make…. a pair of leggings. Out of all the patterns I own, I figured that I would get the most use out of this style because not only do I adore wearing leggings in the winter to lounge around it, I occasional commit the fashion no-no of wearing “leggings as pants” when I am running errands (I figure if I’m going to wear them out, they may as well be fun).  For those that are interested, I used Jalie 2920 for this version (my favorite legging pattern because they fit perfectly, have one pattern piece, and sew up super quick).

Beautiful Boatneck

08-jaliestripeI don’t normally make requests when it comes to ordering a Girl Charlee KnitFix – I sort of love the element of surprise. However, when I saw the mint pink multi-strip in July’s preview, I knew I had to have it. Thankfully, they do a good job honoring requests and that is exactly what I received in my bag.

This weekend, I put it to good use and made and oldie, but goodie, Jalie 2005. I felt like this top had a nautical feel and needed to become a boatneck style…. And I love the results!

A few things about this top:

  • The fabric is pretty sheer in the oatmeal stripe sections – it’s very much like a burnout in these areas.
  • I cut the sleeves twice to get the stripes to match up. I just couldn’t handle them being ‘off’. I am extremely happy with the end result even if I wound up having to use more fabric than what I anticipated.
  • The material must also have a very high rayon content because I almost melted it with my iron!
  • The arms in this top are pretty tight. I think I could have easily gone up a size and not had it look too big on me at all. I also should have lengthened the hem some as well, it is pretty short in comparison to other tops right now.
  • I entered this into a contest to win…. more fabric. I had hoped to make a few more (I did make one more, but more on that tomorrow) to increase my chances, but never had the time to work on them all.

 

Summer Distractions

08-summerAs far as productivity goes…. I’ve been slacking. Between Easton’s activities and lots of distractions (we’ve been binge watching Stranger Things, reading The Cursed Child, and we all have been hunting Pokemon and making ‘family gyms’ where we all have a spot in them), I just don’t seem to have the time and energy to make a lot of stuff (or apparently blog regularly as evidence of the spotty posts the past month).

With that said, school starts back up in 12 days (seriously, where did the summer go?) and I see a return to a clean(er) house, catching up on laundry, and lots and lots of sewing. In the meantime, I managed to cut out a new top using the mint pink multi-stripe from my July Knitfix and a Jalie classic, 2005. I couldn’t resist making a cute, ‘modern nautical’ boatneck top using this print!

Zippered Binder Pouch

08-binderpouchNot only is my latest tutorial for WeAllSew live, it will help you get ready for back-to-school! This Zipper Binder Pencil Pouch is quick to sew, large enough to hold all the essentials, and has a clear window so you always know what’s stashed inside. Best of all, you can customize it to you child’s interests or just coordinate it with all their back to school gear.

No kids to send back to school? No problem! This pouch is perfect for organizing sewing notions or for taking your accessories on the go (and if you make more than one, you don’t even need a binder for storage, just use a handy metal binder\book ring to keep them all together).

Give Them the Cold Shoulder

08-coldWhen it came to trendy tops this season, I really only had in mind making one peek-a-boo shoulder style top. That is until I saw Deepika’s review of Burda Style’s Cold Shoulder Top…. then I knew I had to make another.

It’s been ages since I’ve sewn with Burda’s magazine and working with this pattern reminded me why…. I hate tracing\adding seam allowances and the instructions are horrible. How horrible? I just winged the neckline because I was in a hurry and didn’t want to decypher what they were trying to get you to do (in hindsight, I think my ‘method’ – sewing the band to the neckline then folding under the seam allowances on the shoulder\’open parts’, then topstitching – worked just as well and was much easier than what Burda Style was asking you to do).

08-colddressThe fit on this one is spot on…. except (like many other reviewers have noted) it comes out way too long. How long you ask? This top almost became a dress. In fact, I really liked it as a dress. Unfortunately, it would be too short to wear after adding a hem so I opted to add a 3″ band at the bottom. The end result was cute, but it was still just a tad too short – when I raised my arms up over my head, I risked flashing everyone my underwear. Plus, I figured I would get a lot more use out of a shirt before I would the dress – so I chopped off the band, took 2″ off the shirt and added a wide, 1″ hem. The finished result is still longer than most shirts that I own, but it is more figure flattering than the dress (you can see how the weight of the fabric pulls the dress down making it ‘blousier’, but the shirt shows off your curves a bit more.

Would I sew this again? Maybe. Although I’m not sure how many off-the-shoulder style tops I need in my closet. I may consider lengthening the pattern some to make a dress sometime in the future, though. Would I recommend it? Yes, but beware of those instructions!