Craft It Now

07-scarfIt’s been a very exciting few weeks as several projects of mine have finally been revealed in magazines and books. The latest is my Hidden Pocket Scarf that can be found in Craft It Now: 75+ Simple Handmade Projects. This project isn’t just simple to sew (all the projects in the book can be made in 6 steps or less), but it’s perfect stashing your important belongings or keeping your hands warm during the winter months (inserting pocket warmers would keep them extra cozy).

Craft It Now has a little something for everyone – jewelry, sewing, knitting, embroidery and more and everything can be completed in a weekend…. or less! Want to win a copy for yourself? Enter below for your chance and be sure to come back every day to earn an extra entry. This contest will run until July 10 and is open to everyone. Good luck!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Pressing Matters

07-pressThe easiest way to set apart a professional looking garment from one that looks ‘Becky Home-ecky’ is good pressing techniques. Not only can you get a free e-book on proper pressing, but you’ll get my pattern to make your own tailor’s ham! It’s easy to sew and will make a huge difference in the way your finished clothing items look. Plus, it’s much easier than you think to make!

Note: There appears to be a formatting issue with the instructions and “7″s appear before all the supplies – disregard that number – there’s no way you need 7 1/4 yards of fabric for this project!

A Bit of Embroidery

Apparently, it’ a Monday – so today’s post is a bit late (note to self: start writing posts the day before)… on the plus side, I did remember to post on Monday this week! I’ve been very busy in my sewing room the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I can’t show you just yet what I’ve been working on, but I can give you a bit of a sneak peek:

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I am normally an Urban Threads girl, but I really love these stacking dishes from Embroidery Library. I brightened up the colors some so they really seem to ‘pop’ on the fabric (and made sure that I used a water soluble topper so they threads don’t sink into the terry)…. I’m going to have to find more things to use this design on, it’s just too cute!

 

 

Jorna Dress

06-jornaI’ll admit it, I don’t make (or wear) enough dresses. This spring I vowed that I would (attempt to) sew more. First up, the Jorna Tank Dress! This pattern appeared in the latest Perfect Pattern Parcel and I loved the fact that it looked easy to sew and comfortable and flattering to wear – plus it had an interesting hemline!

I searched my stash for the perfect knit and had a bit of problem finding one that I liked in the ‘correct’ yardage. I wound up using a beefy, cotton knit that I had picked up from The Fabric Fairy quite a few years ago, but had never used because it’s EXTREMELY thick and has very little\no drape. Consequently, I wound up having to make a few design changes to the pattern – mainly eliminating the facings, trimming the seam allowance down in the neckline\arm areas, and top stitching them in place (instead of using the self facing), as well as shortening the length just a bit. The end result is a very cute dress (don’t mind my scrunched up face in the picture, the sun is in my eyes) that is easy to wear.

Linky Thursday

Have an over-sized t-shirt and 45 minutes to spare? Then you can whip out this cute Hippitee-Do-Dah bag!

Making your own underwear is easier than you think. This tutorial not only teaches you how, but it’s a great way to use up some of those knit scraps you might have lying around.

Transform a beach towel into a woman’s cover up!

Sewing the Recital Dress couldn’t be easier – just a few measurements and rectangles and you’re on your way to a beautiful girl’s dress.

Not sure what to do with those old cowboy boots? Why not make them into a purse?

If it wasn’t for the fact that I live in one of the windiest states, I’d seriously consider making one of these Hammock Chairs to put outside.

Recycle your old jeans into a fabulous weekender bag.

Inspired by a Jimmy Choo design, the City Chic Handbag is a perfect summer accessory.

Make carrying your make-up even prettier with this bow pouch.

I don’t just love the name of the Paulie Pocket top, I love the kangaroo pouch that goes with it!

Make a skirt so fabulous, you can wear it twice in a row…. because it’s reversible!

Cake: The Tee

06-pocketsLike many of you, I’m a sucker for great details. It might be an interesting back to a top, great lines in a pant, or in this case, tiny little micro pockets on a shirt. What am I talking about? Sewing Cake’s latest (and free!) pattern, The Tee!

Not only does this pattern have some great features and tips (I’ll talk about those in a second), but it’s easy to sew making it a great beginner project…. plus, did I mention it has tiny pockets?

06-caketeeProbably the one thing that sets this tee pattern apart from others is that it’s ‘customized’ to your measurements before you even cut into you size. Basically you’re taking your measurements, plugging them into the pattern pieces, then ‘drafting’ the shape\size of your top (I use the term drafting loosely as it’s set up to just connect the dots to the size\length needed). The other feature that I loved (obviously) are those tiny pockets! I didn’t just like how they’re stacked together perfectly, I LOVED how they were constructed: There’s a template for ironing, folks! Brilliant! More patterns should do this because it really makes for crisp clean pocket folds (she also has a great tip for keeping your pockets from stretching out of shape when sewing – skip the pins and spray baste).

I have to say that I love my finished tee. I did make it a smidge too long (I thought I wanted longer until I was finished), but I tend to scrunch it up when I wear it so it works out well. The fit is perfect and I think that the fabrics give it a fun, retro vibe (unfortunately, my photos are a bit on the dark side today). I can definitely see making this one again (and again, and again)!

New Baby

06-babyWith all the family that was born in June, it only stands to reason that the newest member of the family should be born this month as well! My brother-in-law’s son was delivered a few days ago, so I thought that my brother-in-law needed some baby gear that he wasn’t ashamed to be seen with. In addition to the burp rags that I had made several weeks ago, I whipped up a Ramones onesie and a Prudent Baby one knot hat (in a cool tribal flame print).  I have to admit, baby gifts are one of my favorite things to make – I can’t wait to see our new little guy modeling these goodies!

Mani Pouches

When I first posted about the Snappy Mani Pouch a few weeks ago, I knew this was going to be something that I would eventually make for a gift. Little did I know I would like it so much, I would sew it twice!

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06-mani2Initially, I thought this project would be rather time consuming so I only set out to make one – I was surprised to find that I could easily complete a pouch in just over an hour! The great thing about sewing these up is that they are great for using remnants from other projects and I had all of the notions on hand (I also went with a Velcro closure instead of a snap).

The instructions were easy to follow and all the pieces came together without a hitch. Best of all the end result looked very professional so I’m definitely keeping this project in mind the next time I need to make gifts (I’m thinking this might be perfect for Christmas). I loaded my finished mani-pouches with pretty toe separators, polish, a mini emery board, and clippers plus a mini book on nail art ideas.

The Bottom Line: I highly recommend this pattern! It’s easy to sew, even for beginners and the end result looks as good as what you would buy in any store. Best of all? It’s FREE!

Linky Thursday

Get your kids to carry their own towel to the beach\pool and wear it home with this fun Hooded Beach Towel Backpack.

What’s better than a cute box tote? Making it reversible so it’s two bags in one!

Did you see my latest tutorial at WeAllSew? Don’t miss the instructions to make your own Double Oven Mitts!

I don’t normally decorate for the 4th of July, but I’m thinking that I definitely needing a Chevron Flag Pillow Cover.

I’m not just attracted to the stripes on this top, but I love the style as well (you may need to translate for the full instructions).

Pillowcase dresses are not just for little girls any more.

Let your little one’s tooth sail away with this tooth fairy pillow.

Perfect for holiday photos or just getting your little girl dressed for the 4th of July – The Star Spangled Skort.

Love the idea of 30 days of sundresses? Your (grand)daughter can participate too – start off by sewing this adorable sewVery Sunny Dress.

Make your little one a cute new romper (currently for 6 mo. sizing). Looking for a knit romper with a bit more size range? This free pattern goes up 12 months.

Sewing a skirt couldn’t be easier. This tutorial shows you how… without a pattern!

Turn your free Colette Pattern’s Sobretto tank into a stylish top with this tutorial and free sleeve pattern.

Sign up for The Pattern Studio’s mailing list and you’ll receive a free skirt pattern.

This swimsuit cover up is just for girls (but I secretly want one for me).

Stacking Ring Toy Showdown

My nephew turned one this month. In addition to a matching\shirt bib set, I decided that I wanted to make him a special toy. Originally, I had set out to make Heather Bailey’s Happy Stacker. I had made this particular pattern almost 6 years ago and was thrilled with my end results. However after pulling fabrics for the Happy Stacker and then re-reading the instructions, I remembered how long it took me to make this toy and I realized I just didn’t have the time to finish it it before the party.  Still wanting a stacking toy, I set out to look for an alternative pattern and came up with this Ring Stacker Soft Toy from YouCanMakeThis. That’s right it’s a stacking toy showdown! (For reference the photo on the left is the Happy Stacker, the photo on the right is the Ring Stacker Soft Toy):

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This particular pattern was much easier to sew. In fact, I was able to have a completed toy from start to finish in just a long afternoon. However, it’s no Happy Stacker. The most noticeable difference is the finished size of the toy – the Happy Stacker was almost as big as Easton at 5 months, while the Stacker Toy is substantially smaller. This also means that the ring size is also smaller, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since I think that they are probably a little easier for smaller hands to hold. The Happy Stacker also has options for embellishments (such as ‘taggie’ type ribbons that hang off the rings), where the Stacker Toy does not (although, I think that you could easily add them to the pattern if you wanted to). The biggest difference (in my opinion)? The ‘quality’ of your finished product. I think that the Happy Stacker looks very professional – something that you could easily find in a baby boutique. The Ring Stacking toy, while looks fine, just doesn’t look as ‘polished’ – it’s not to say that I wouldn’t sew it up again, it’s just doesn’t have the same ‘wow’ factor as the Happy Stacker.

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