Auditioning

07-jacket4I may or may not have done something crazy…. I decided to ‘audition’ for Project Run and Play season 10. For those that aren’t familiar with the site, this blog hosts Project Runway style challenges each week to competitors who design their own clothing items for children. The garments are then judged by a panel and then voting is open up to the public. It’s a fun process to watch, but I’ve never decided to take the plunge until now…. I’m thinking that because Easton will be in school full time, I’ll have a more time for something this big.

In just a few short hours, the finalists will be announced and voting will begin as to who the next competitor will be… I hope you’ll bop over there at 10 (MST) and see if you see my name and give me a vote – we’ve got to represent some boys clothes in this competition! (If you’re curious what garment I submitted, I went with the Imagine Jacket. While this isn’t my own pattern, it is a good representation of my sewing, it’s very recent, and has decent photography).

Linky Thursday

Need a quick checkbook cover makeover? This is the tutorial for you!

Could your sewing room\area use a cutting table? Here’s how to make the greatest one of all time.

Are leg warmers going to be in again this year?

Every once and awhile, I get the urge to make a quilt. Since I’m not really a ‘quilter’ I just never know how to use some of the precuts – The latest pattern from Fat Quarter Shop uses a fat quarter bundle to make a gorgeous quilt (and has a video tutorial, too)!

The name for this little girl’s dress tutorial is called The Paper Bag…. it looks nothing like one, it’s just simply adorable!

When I was pregnant with my youngest, I invested in a GIANT body pillow that looked a lot like the one in this tutorial. If you know someone who is pregnant or are pregnant yourself, I highly recommend making one for yourself!

Everyone needs a great back for traveling. This one can be worn cross-body style and has lots of wrap around pockets for storage.

Have a student getting ready to go to college? Make them a laundry bag (with pockets for storing change for the machines) to send them off to school.

PomPoms are a very trendy ‘accessory’ right now, learn how to make fruit shaped ones with this tutorial.

Everyone loves easy-to-sew projects. Here’s a tutorial on how to whip up a skirt in 30 minutes. Or, spend a few extra minutes sewing an make a fun eyelet skirt that makes a great transitional piece for fall.

Polka Dot Peplum

08-peplumDo you ever have one of those weeks where your projects never quite turn out quite as you expected? This week I had intended to sew up some new fall garments for myself, but so far, they haven’t worked for me, but fortunately, work great for my daughter. Today’s garment is Jocole’s Peplum Top.

I had purchased this pattern in the last Pattern Revolution bundle sale and had intentions to pair this top up with the Skinny Pant pattern (but in black, not this print!). I used a cute polka dot print that I had purchased eons ago at Needle Nook Fabrics and set to work. The pattern itself goes together quickly, fits well, and is easy to sew.

While it looks totally adorable on my daughter, it doesn’t look quite right on me… I think I would like it better in a solid color because this print just doesn’t work for me. I also don’t care where the seam hits me (this is the same issue had with the Lady Skater as well) and the polka dots just draw attention to that area. With that said, I’m not giving up on this pattern, I’ll just rethink my material choice next time.

Another Work-in-Progress (Almost) Complete

08-hotpatternContinuing on my mission to “tackle the WIPs (works in progress) on my sewing table”, I decided to finally get back to the Hot Patterns Fast & Fabulous tee. This was originally a sew-along, but I got sidetracked by deadlines and never finished….

For this top, I selected a pink and navy stripe jersey (from Hancock Fabrics) and used the Tricot Mesh from Gorgeous Fabrics (the same mesh that I used for this Comino Top) for the backside. So far, things have gone together well, but…… I test fitted this shirt and stopped – it’s just not me. I have come to realize that while blousy style tops look great on a lot of people, they look weird on me (even my daughter agrees).

With that said, this style is totally my daughter. She tried it on and liked it (yeah, another first week of school garment), but with a few modifications to the hem. So, I’ll be eventually finishing this one up just for her and will work on more fitted garments the next time around.

FINALLY Finished

08-teeI know what you’re thinking: “This is a pretty boring shirt”. However, I felt the need to share it because it’s been sitting in an ‘unfinished’ pile for over 6 months waiting for hems. I had originally started this project back in February to go with the cute leopard leggings I had made and became disenchanted with it after having to rework the neckline (I tried to lighten the photo some so you could see it better, but it just doesn’t work with black well, does it?).

With summer coming to a close, I thought it was time to finally tackle all those projects waiting for me to finish. I’m happy that I did this one too, because the material on this shirt is butter soft so it’s comfy to wear and it’s a very nice length as well…. I still hate the pattern though.

Linky Thursday

Can’t get enough Style ARC and need a new pattern? Always wanted to try one, but didn’t know how they would work for you? Here’s your chance to get the Barb Pant…. FREE. Just sign up for their newsletter and you’ll have the pattern sent to your email address (you’ll also get the pattern in 2 other sizes, just in case!).

If you’re getting your little one ready for (pre) school, you’ll definitely want to check out this free Day Camp Set (shorts & a shirt!).

Keep you ear buds close at hand and tangle free with this key chain pouch.

Loved my Prefontaine Shorts this week and are looking for a similar pattern to make your own? The City Gym Shorts are a close match (minus all the pockets).

You don’t have to play tennis to wear this adorable tennis skirt (and best of all, you don’t need a pattern to sew it either).

Put all you “bed time equipment” (or at least that’s what I like to call it!) right at your fingertips with a handy bed pocket.

Easy to wear. Easy to sew. With this girl’s basic flexible waist skirt, you’ll be able to create lots of looks in no time!

Whip up a Fun Summer Tee that will quickly become a wardrobe staple (only sized to a women’s Medium).

Knock one back-to-school item off you list: Seat Sacks.

A water bottle sling re-invented to become an insulated baby bottle carrier! Looking for something just for the grown-ups? Try my can\bottle wrap tutorial!

Tutus are not just for little girls. Looking for something sexier? Try this knit pencil skirt.

Let It Glow

07-halloween2You don’t have to wait for the latest issue of Creative Machine Embroidery to come out to see my latest project…. you can download it for free right now and get two free letters to create the “Boo” banner that’s seen on the front cover!

Even if you don’t own an embroidery machine, you may want to check out the article for tips on working with glow-in-the-dark thread as it will work with you standing sewing machine as well (it definitely gives you finished work a surprise element!). It’s also great timing to come out if you do have embroidery capabilities because Urban Threads is still having their Halloween in July sale going on!

Prefontaine Board Shorts

07-shortsAfter making my first pair of Prefontaine Shorts this summer, I knew that this would quickly become a favorite pattern… so far, I haven’t been wrong. In fact it’s everyone one’s favorite shorts – my mom wears the original pair that I sewed up!

With summer just about over, I thought it was time to make a few more pairs (one for me, one for Taylor), this time I used the remnant board short material from the failed Cowabunga Board Shorts project. I went down one size (it fits great), added a back pocket, and used a purchased bias tape to trim the legs\pockets (I opted not to use more board short material as bias tape not only because it ravels like mad, it’s fairly bulky too). I love the end result (they also fit much better than my original pair) and can’t wait to see how well they work in water!

It’s All In The Stretch

07-comino2I liked my first Comino Top so much, I was anxious to make another. This time, I opted to make a shirt that did not have the contrasting pieces – just a solid print shirt with cap sleeves.  For the material, I used a Girl Charlee bird print that I had picked up this spring – my oldest says that it looks like an American Eagle logo…. I’m not sure if that makes it a good or bad thing?

The one thing about this finished top versus the first one is the fit… and it’s not because of the pattern – it’s all in the material. Because the bird fabric has less stretch (as I have found with a lot of the ‘custom’ Girl Charlee fabrics), it definitely fits snugger (any less stretch and the sleeves would be cutting off the circulation in my arms, LOL) and consequently pulls a bit more across the bust line (I find this humorous only because I have never, ever said, “I might need a FBA on this shirt”!).

So, once again, another cute top, but be careful of the fabrics you use – if there’s not enough stretch you’ll definitely want to consider going up one size for a better fit.

*FYI – for those that are curious about the stretch of the bird material, the website says that it is 30%, but after washing I’ve got to say that it is much less (I haven’t measured, but it has to be around 20%?). By comparison, the cotton jersey on my first shirt has at least 50% stretch.

Cheater Pants

Gaposis: [gap - oh - sis]
noun Facetious.
a noticeable gap or series of gaps

07-skinnies07-pants2The worst part about pants – whether I buy them or make them is gaposis. I haven’t come across many that didn’t have this issue so it came as no surprise that the Jocole Skinny pants had the same issue.

When I left you several days ago, I had made a 3rd mock up of the skinny pants (in a very, very distracting stripe) and was finally comfortable with the changes I had made: going up one size, making a large ‘dart’ in the back of the pants, and just slightly increasing the seam allowance of the legs to make them a bit more form fitting (I also discovered that the petite sizing is the absolutely perfect length for me).

For the ‘real’ version, I used a stretch woven print that I had purchased several years ago from Gorgeous Fabrics. The material was slightly stiffer than my muslin material so I think that the fit, once again, looks a bit different than what I had anticipated. While it looks great in the front, I think there might be a bit too much excess material in the buttocks area (I am beginning to think it may be due to the shape of the crotch curve?)… I’m hesitant to make changes to this area because I have a feeling it may look different (again) when I use another material.

Even though I’m not completely satisfied with the backside, I’m pretty happy with the finished pants and plan on making a pair of black capris next. The thing that I like best about this pattern is that these aren’t just easy, they are super quick to sew up (I think I could make a pair in about an hour), comfortable to wear, and you can use any material (stretch or non-stretch). In fact, they are so easy I call them cheater pants because they aren’t like sewing up pants at all.