Not Quite A Hoodie

03-hoodie1Taylor and Easton were on spring break last week – a week filled with colds, a stomach bug, horrendous allergies, pink eye, doctor’s appointments (for said illnesses), a tooth extraction (for a baby tooth that would never fall out), basketball games, and meetings for college….. needless to say, I really didn’t sew much. Needless to say, the Hampton Hoodie project looks about like this (photo on the left). Boo.

I’m looking for something a bit more instant gratification (like done in a few hours), so I may put this aside and work on something else this afternoon…. I have so many projects on cue that it probably would be hard to find one that might fit the bill!

What is on your sewing table this afternoon?

My Work Space

If you’re like me, you love to see people’s creative spaces – it’s fun to glimpse into where everyone spends their free time, how they decorate, and come up with storage ideas. Ever wondered where I work and play? Well, here’s your chance – my area was featured in Cut Out & Keeps sewing room tour!

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Not only will you see my space at it’s cleanest, but I will reveal my entire room…. yes, even the hideous condition of my fabric stash (it may not look it, but I actually know where everything is in there). So stop by and take a look and if you have any hints for a more organized space, be sure to let me know – I’m always up for ideas!

The Little Flyer Cap

flyer1Earlier this month I had mentioned that I had joined the Sewing Collective –  group of sewing bloggers that stitch some of our favorite projects from Betz White‘s books and patterns and show how we put our own spin on them. Guess what? Today my first post is live!

Be sure to check out my project, The Little Flyer Cap on Betz’ blog this morning. This hat was a special request from my son who wanted new headgear to wear when he out and played in the snow. Not only was I able to make Easton something that kept him warm and toasty, but this project came together in under 2 hours! Plus I had one thrilled kid when I handed his new hat over to him (he even wore it inside until it was time to go out).

 

Linky Thursday

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of The Paper Pieced Home. A fun way to bring a bit of patchwork into every room!

I am in awe of these beautiful fabric purse handles – I may have to try making them for myself the next time I sew a purse.

The cutest, fluffiest Easter skirt you’ll want your little girl to wear.

Mix and match your denim to make an essential denim dress.

I’ve been seeing lots of jumpsuits in stores lately and I’m tempted to buy one…. but who wants to buy one when you can stitch it up yourself? This tutorial morphs two patterns to make your own.

Ever wondered what my sewing room looks like, clean? Here’s a peek into where I work (more on this next week).

Making vests cool to wear when it’s not time to dress up – The Punk Vest for boys (if your child is not a size 5, you’ll need to resize this pattern).

This isn’t any ordinary cosmetic bag. This one has an attachment for your brushes too!

Looking for a great gift card holder? This little pouch is the perfect ‘bag’. Looking for something that sews a little faster? It can’t get any quicker than these 5-minute gift card holders!

On spring break? Looking for a new bag to bring back to work\school? This Foldover Tote can carry all your essentials and then some.

If you love Tula Pink’s new line of fabrics, then you’ll definitely want to put them to good use with this free tote pattern.

Want to cover your shoulders a bit more when wearing your new spring dress? Try sewing a pretty lace bolo.

These sweet little fabric Easter baskets are perfect for stashing candy, but would make a great storage container after your done too.

I have always loved Topsy Turvy dolls (who wouldn’t love two dolls in one?) – Learn how to make one here.

Paper Pieced Home Giveaway

03-bookSeveral years ago I decided to expand my sewing horizon and learned paper piecing. I had long admired this technique because, unlike some applique, I produces beautiful images but with finished edges. While they look complicated, they’re actually quite easy to sew and the results can be quite dramatic. That’s why when I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing The Paper-Pieced Home, I jumped at the chance. This book features 40 paper pieced blocks  (everything from kitschy Chinese takeout containers to retro Viewfinder Toys and dresses) and 10 inspiration projects that you can use them on including a gardening apron, grocery tote, and bath mat. The CD in the back of the book contains the template patterns necessary – so there’s no photocopying necessary!

But what if you don’t know how to paper piece, yet? No worries! There’s a section in the book just for you that covers the necessary supplies, how to read the pattern, cut and sew the fabrics together, and trim and finish the blocks. There’s even a section on how to ‘fussy cut’ fabrics so you can get the design elements you want, where you want them. Also included are tips on embroidery sitches, how to add a finished applique pieces, rubber stamping, and more. It’s a fun way to add personal touches to your favorite projects or gifts for others. I know that I intend on refreshing my memory on this technique and trying a few myself very soon.

What to try out some of these fabulous projects for yourself? Why not try to win a copy of this book? Just enter the Rafflecopter contest below. I’ll chose a winner, Monday, March 23. This contest is only open to US residents (I’ll be sure to run one open to International entrants soon). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paper Flowers

03-flowerWhew, it’s only day 2 of spring break and it’s already been full….. of sickness! No kidding, so far we’ve had it all: colds, stomach viruses, pink eye, and even a tooth extraction. Consequently, a lot of sewing has been put on hold, but we have been ‘planning’ for Taylor’s graduation party. Apparently, paper flowers are quite trendy for decorations (you can purchase them premade in craft stores, but I discovered they are pricey and are limited in sizes and colors). Consequently, I decided to give them a go by myself… and they were easy (yet a bit time consuming). Basically, I cut two strips of 2 1/2″ wide paper, folded them accordion style, glued the ends together, and pushed them into a circular shape. Then I covered them with decorative punches and hot glued it all together.

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I used a bulk of the flowers to make decorative bags to be placed on tables – hopefully they will coordinate with the rest of the party decorations! Overall, they were easy to make, look pretty, and are on trend for decorations…. just time consuming to make – so don’t put making these off until the last minute!

Yoga Crop

03-yogacapriI’ll be the first to admit, the photo on the right isn’t that exciting… But what is exciting is that I made another pair of yoga pants (I’m going to live in these things)! This time around I made the capri version.

I went around and around in my mind as to how I wanted the legs to fit – a lot of the yoga pants that I see in stores labeled, “capris” have a tapered\fitted leg which is what I thought I wanted. However after doing some quick fitting\pinning I decided I all the extra material I was intending on taking out made strange ‘pulls’ in the pants so I just took 2 1/2″ off the bottom (they were way too long on me to be considered capri length) and hemmed. I’m not sure I like this version as much as the full length or the shorts, but they are definitely comfortable and perfect to wear in the weather we’ve been having. Now if I could just find some different colors I’d make more…..

Yoga Shorts

With the temperatures feeling a lot like spring this week, I was motivated to work on a garment that wasn’t meant to keep you warm…. so I whipped back out the yoga mom pattern and decided to make the shorts.

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From start to finish (cutting time included), these shorts took about an hour to stitch up – they would have taken a bit less time, but the material I used for the waistband (remnant from the Navajo Print Leggings I made) was thin and ‘fiddly to work with’. But that’s not the best part. The best part is that they look (and fit) exactly like Victoria Secret’s Most-loved Yoga Shorts, but for a fraction of the cost (mine cost $5 in materials, while the VS cost $30 in stores)! With all the money I’m saving sewing these up, I can afford to buy more fabric!

Linky Thursday

Keeping the kids busy at meal time can be challenging. Keeping them occupied can be so much easier with a chalkboard placemat. This version has a thin binding and large pocket, while my tutorial has a wide boarder and built in pocket.

Without a doubt, these are probably the coolest floor pillows\cushions I have seen – perfect for reading corners or a library: Giant Quilted Book Cushions.

This Floppy Bunny may be my favorite so far of the season (It reminds me of a Wee Wonderfuls design).

A t-shirt you can live in: The Slouchy Tee.

Love totes, but can’t ever find anything in them? This Easy DIY Pocket Tote is the perfect solution – everything will have a place!

Because boys can never have enough t-shirts….

A pretty way to stash you stuff: A jumbo storage tote (I could use about 10 of these).

Wear some of the most comfortable pants around (plus it makes me feel ‘sporty’ when I put them on) – yoga pants.

Who needs Easter baskets when you can give cute, bunny face bags instead?

There’s no sewing involved (unless you want to stitch up your own shirt), but this is a great tutorial on creating a shamrock tee so you don’t get pinched on St. Patty’s Day!

With the days getting warmer, you’ll want to skip cooking with the over for hours. Now you can make perfect potatoes in the microwave with one of these easy potato bags (they would make a fun gift if you use some of this potato fabric).

No need to go out and buy supplies for an Easter basket stuffie. Just recycle a shirt and make a bunny instead.

Before you know it, summer will be here and you’ll want a new cover up to wear to the pool\beach. This pompom version looks fun and easy to make.

Most kids love ‘tiny toys’. This year hide those little gems inside a secret pocket Easter Egg.

Need something free to make other than a tee? This draped blouse not only dresses you up, but will be flattering on almost everyone (you will need to translate the page – word of warning: it won’t translate well because I’m pretty sure “effect of smell” doesn’t fit in the title well).

Skip the shorts and make a cute skirt for your little girl with this easy Boardwalk Skirt pattern and stitch up a simple T-shirt dress.

High Five Hoodie

03-gunslinger backEaston has told me on several occasions that his favorite type of jacket has the ‘fur’ (sherpa) lining on the inside. Typically for boys, this means a lined hoodie. That’s why when I saw a pattern that matched his description, I had to jump on the chance to make one: In comes the High Five Hoodie. This was a project that took forever to make – not only did I have difficulty finding sweatshirting that looked boyish (and not white, I did eventually find a nice gray from Girl Charlee), once I did select something I had a booger of a time finding a ribbing\knit that would match the jacket enough to make the waistband and sleeves (earlier in the year I finally found a matching knit from Girl Charlie).

Since ‘plain’ coats are so ‘boring’, I decided to ‘spice up’ my material by adding a bit of embroidery to the back of the jacket. I wound up using the Western Steampunk Gunslinger design from Urban Threads. One thing you may notice in the photos below is that the image is not centered on the back of the jacket – I did this intentionally so that when the hood is down (I am guessing this is how he’ll be wearing it most of the time), you can still see the entire design. I figure if you spend that much time stitching out your work, everyone should be able to see it all the time!

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03-hoodieAs for the sewing, a word of caution: There is a lot of bulk going on here. In fact it was so bulky that I not only broke a serger blade (alright, that may have been because I accidentally stitched over a pin that buried itself in the sherpa pile), but I had to skip all the topstitching because it never did look right. The jacket construction was also much different than what I’ve sewn before – not good, not bad, just different (although it does make for a nicely finished and lined look). The High Five Hoodie sewed up fairly quickly, I didn’t have any issues (aside from the bulk), and the instructions were clear with lots of photos to help along the way… however, I would still categorize this as an intermediate skill level pattern because of the fabrics, bulk that you’ll have to contend with, and because you’ll need to insert (and possibly shorten) a zipper. My only dislike about this pattern is that the waistband and the cuffs are so ‘tight’ that they create some puckering (you may be able to see some in the photos above). Next time I’d add a bit of length to them so that they are still snug, but not so tight that it gathers the sweatshirting.

At the moment, I can’t quite attest to the fit. I intentionally sewed a size larger than what Easton wears so that he can wear it again next year. One thing I can say, even though this is a hoodie, it feels like it has a good bit of warmth to it. I think that when we get chilly again, he’s going to get a good bit of use out of this!