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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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!