Monthly Archives: January 2014

Linky Thursday

Before I start in on this week’s Linky Thursday post, I thought I would let everyone know that there’s going to be a little ‘sew along’ for Style ARCs Ziggi Jacket coming up (late) next month. More details will be coming soon, but if you’re interested, you may want to place your pattern order now so it’s here in time for the fun!

Not only is this lumberjack hat the cutest, the fabric is fabulous too. Need a little something for yourself? Why not sew up a faux fur hat?

If you’ve ever sewn a Japanese pattern, you know they run small. Make a pair of pj pants in your size by making these adjustments.

If your son needs a peacoat (currently int he size 7 range), stop by and pick up this version – it’s awesome (a full will be available later).

This ultimate wallet looks fun to make and looks very functional (several zippers and card holders!

Who needs boring bibs when you can make them monsters?

I LOVE this hobo bag with a recessed zipper. The site will need to be translated and there are no real instructions, but there is a pattern included. Hmmm, I may have to think about sewing this one!

Accessorize you wardrobe with a few wool felt, braided cuffs.

Your child may be the most stylish kindergartner if they carry around this bag (page may need to be translated)…. I’m thinking I could just make it for myself instead.

Looking for something different to carry around your change (or odds and ends)? This double snap purse frame is definitely eye catching!

Don’t go to a party empty handed. Bring your favorite food item in style with this one-size-fits-all carrier. 

My Bad

02-jalie2You know how fabric can make all the difference in the world to a pattern? Jalie 3242 would be a great example of how a small change in material can alter fit. After seeing my problems in yesterday’s post, Emilie suggested that I try a 4-way (cotton) lycra (I will admit that I missed the fabric suggestion on the pattern instructions that says to use a 4 way stretch) – which is what is recommended. Although Girl Charlee prints are seriously cute, they don’t have enough stretch (that goes for leggings as well) which is why I kept having go up numerous sizes and still not having them fit correctly. So last night, I dug around in my stash and found a 4-way leopard stretch, pulled out my Jalie pattern (I opted to go one size up from my typical pattern, just in case), and set to work…. and you know what? They fit! Perfectly! (I also used a slightly stretchier knit elastic this time as well – I stopped by Needle Nook Fabrics which specializes in lingerie fabrics and notions). I was so excited after a test fit that I had to snap a picture to share – the photo on the right is the underwear prior to inserting the left leg elastic… and as you can see, it’s another Jungle January pair!

Thanks so much to Emilie for helping me make this pattern work! It’s great customer service (not to mention fabulous patterns) that keeps me coming back to Jalie.

Still Too Small

01-jalieundiesWhoever said “the third time’s a charm” obviously wasn’t talking about my weekend with Jalie 3242.  You see, after making such a cute ‘Jungle January (ruched back) panty’, I was excited to make more undies. Last year I sewed up a pair from the new Jalie pattern, discovered they were too tight, then got distracted by other projects and never went back to adjustresize them.  This time, I started with one size larger than what I would normally sew… and discovered they were still too tight (even for my daughter). So I sewed the next size up from that (now 2 sizes larger than what I would normally wear) and it was still snug (think muffin top with underwear)! The third time around I went up 2 more sizes (now 4 sizes larger than what I would normally sew) only to discover they still fit a bit tight – even for my teen. Either I’m an underwear snob and have to have them fit ‘just so’ or this pattern isn’t going to work for me.

The photo on the left is two of the test pairs I stitched up – it’s a shame they didn’t work out because they look darn cute and I have totally mastered inserting elastic without overstretching it! Sadly, I’ve used up a lot of my cute, scrap knit prints…. so I decided to order a 1/4 yard mystery mix from Girl Charlee in hopes they are large enough to eek out some cute pairs…. except this time, I’m using a different pattern.

My WhimseyBox

01-whismey1The idea of WhimseyBox has always intrigued me – a ‘craft-of-the-month’ type subscription (although you can purchase individual months)  where you receive projects that are typically completed in a day and exposes you to new techniques and materials as well.  When they recently put out a call for ‘blogger boxes’, I jumped at the chance to see what they were all about. My box arrived at the beginning of the new year and I was thrilled to start off my holiday by engaging in some crafting.

01-whimsey2When I opened up the box, I was surprised to see how pretty everything was packaged. I have to be honest, I thought that supplies would just be loaded in, but never expected it to look so nice (and tied up in a satin ribbon, too)! Inside were all the supplies, tools and instructions needed to complete this month’s project (a textured clay dish) along with an inspirational, crafty calendar and a fun button to show off your newly mastered technique… this month it’s air dry clay.

01-whimsey3From my understanding, every WhimseyBox is designed for the beginner. However, additional or more advanced techniques for each month’s project can be found on their blog. The instructions were easy to follow and photographs were available for each step so you knew exactly what to expect. After making my first bowl, I thought I would branch out a bit and try other textures (buttons, lacy trims, pins, feathers, etc.) but never had as much success as what I did with the lace doily that was provided in the kit so I stuck with that.

01-bowlIn total, I made 3 bowls – one for myself, one for my daughter, and one for my mom… and I still had plenty of materials left over to make several more if I wanted! Considering this was my first experience with air dry clay, I was really happy with my end results. The photo on the left is my favorite… so I kept if for myself. LOL

Overall, I had a really fun experience with my WhimseyBox and I can see making a purchase sometime in the future – I liked the exposure to a new craft in a low-pressure way (the project wasn’t too difficult for a beginner and the instructions were easy to follow) and the end result looks (almost) as good as the instruction photo!

Jungle January Panty

01-jungleMuch like a bird, I am attracted to ‘shiny, new’ things… like pretty patterns. Apparently, this week I decided I needed to sew undergarments – just in time for Ohhh Lulu’s new shop and patterns to open! I settled on the  Gisselle Rouched Back Scrunch panty (once upon a time, I had a favorite pair of underwear from Victoria Secret (in mesh) that was very similar to this style and loved it) and decided that it would make a perfect “Jungle January” project. I wound up using a snakeskin print cotton remnant from a project that I sewed up last year – I had just enough to make one pair. The top view is the front, the bottom is the back – unfortunately, the ruching gets lost in the pattern when you look at it in the photo (it’s definitely noticeable when wearing it, but I’m not modeling this one!).

Since this is a new to me pattern and company, I thought I would do a bit more detailed review. Here’s my thoughts:

Instructions: The pattern instructions are fairly straightforward and each step is accompanied by a photo to help you along. Even if you’ve never made a pair of underwear, I think you would wind up with a nice finished product (beginners will also like the glossary section of the pattern that helps you along with sewing terms, etc. listed in the instructions). My only complaint is that there isn’t an elastic length guide so you’re pretty much left to measure and figure it out yourself (I know, I’m spoiled by other pattern companies who give this to you). I’m guessing after you make one pair, you’ll have a good idea as to how long each piece should be – but I’m not usually one who likes trial-and-error.

Fit: For me, the fit of these underwear is spot on – not too big, not too small. However, it is important to point out that this particular pattern is low cut and the backside does not provide ‘full coverage’ (think ‘cheeky’ cut from Victoria Secret) – they’re really made to be a fun, flirty style…. I also think they look flattering on.

Bottom Line: If someone saw you with this underwear on, they wouldn’t believe that you sewed them yourself – they’re flirty, cute, flattering, and lend themselves to lots of embellishments and fabric fun. The instructions are clear enough for the beginner and uses just enough material that you can use up your fabric scraps. I say ‘give this pattern a try’!



Linky Thursday

Almost everything is cute in miniature – this back pack coin pursekey chain is a great example.

Looking for a shirt with interesting detail? This gathered front top is a great place to start.

Don’t leave anything behind when you leave the house with this handy scrapbuster doorknob project. Of course, I like this version a bit better.

Need a scarf and a little extra pocket space? This fun fleece version has a zippered pocket on one side.

I am a sucker for an adorable pin cushion. Now I think I’ll have to add this cactus version to my list of ‘must sew’.

Valentine’s Day is coming. Whip up some sweet little envelopes and tuck treats inside or hand them out as party favors for a class.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, this mini tote has a great heart theme and is reversible – making it perfect for the holiday and beyond.

Learn how to create an eye catching clutch by creating a textured surface (using a ‘bubble technique’).

Is your new year’s workout making you sore? Relax those muscles with a hotcold rice bag.

Add a little something extra to your little girl’s sewing projects with this big bow tutorial.

One of the easiest make-up rolls you’ll ever sew… all you need is a napkin!

Keep the dust off your sewing machine(s) with this quick-to-make cover. Best of all, it should fit (almost) any machine!

I know this little stuffy is labeled as a “Christmas bird”, but with that little heart at it’s tummy, I can totally see this as a Valentine’s gift, too.

Leggings for 2014

01-leggingIt is quite apparent that the legging trend is going nowhere. After my mediocre experience with the McCall legging, I decided that I needed to skip the bargain patterns and go with a company that I know works for me.  Right after New Years I went out and purchased Jalie’s version and finally had a chance to sew them up. I used a ‘jegging knit’ print (it’s a faux denim jersey 4-way that I had purchased at Hancock Fabrics) to test this pattern out and was thrilled at the results…. I didn’t have to go back and shave down the legs to make them fit! I did find hat I need to go up a size the next time I trace this off, though. Even though they fit in the calves, my upper thighs are much larger than what was intended (you might be able to see it in the photo) so the fabric is really over stretched in this area – I know that if I use a material that’s not quite as stretchy I’m going to pop some seams!

Overall, I’m thrilled with this pattern – it was nice having such a good fit right out of the package! Now, if I could only find some fun (not too over the top) prints that are in a 4-way stretch I’d be set. Does anyone have any favorite places to shop for fabric like this?

The Hooded Cardi


With such a snowy (and cold) start to the week, I’m glad that I’ve finished my hooded cardigan! It’s snuggly, warm, and fits great – (even though my fabric is thicker than intended (think of a fleece that has a sweater knit attached to it).  Best of all, this may be one of the easiest ‘jackets’ that I’ve ever worked on (definitely a good beginner project). What makes this project so easy? No hemming (all the edges are finished off with bands that are folded over then attached to the edges of the jacket)!

I stitched this one up entirely on the serger so I opted to skip the (optional) hood facing. I also omitted the front pockets because I knew there would be too much bulk to contend with and it would wind up looking sloppy in the end and nixed the button for similar reasons. Sewing was a breeze (my serger did not like sewing the bulky seams, however) and everything came together perfectly – be sure to mark you notches on this one and you shouldn’t have any difficulties. I’m also surprised (and pleased) at the fit. Even though I opted to use a heavier weight material, it still looks flattering on – not at all bulky. It seems to have just enough ‘fit’ so that you don’t wind up looking like a box while wearing it. Now I’m anxious to stitch this one up in a lighter weight sweater knit for when it ‘warms up’ a bit (yikes, is anyone else bitterly cold)!

The bottom line: Even though this pattern is labeled on the Style Arc site as ‘medium’, depending on your fabric choice, it would be a good beginner pattern as you get to skip all the hemming on a knit! Plus the end result is a great looking jacket that comes together nicely.

It’s Back!

I was going to start off the week with a project, but instead, I have better news – all the older content from my site has been restored! You can now browse the archives all the way back to 2006 when StacySews first started or check out individual projects under ‘categories’. Over the next few week’s we’ll be restoring the site back to it’s ‘normal’ appearance so it won’t look as ‘blank’ as it does at the moment.

In the mean time, I hope everyone is staying warm and has a few projects they can tackle while they’re hunkered down riding this winter storm out! Tomorrow I’ll be showing off my new hooded cardigan – with the way it feels out there, I’ll definitely be getting some use out of it this season!

Linky Thursday on Friday

Darn it – the holiday threw me off again and I forgot what day of the week it was… Consequently, it’s Linky Thursday on Friday!

Winter break is over and it’s time to head back to school. If your little guy or gal get to naprest during the day, you won’t want to miss this cute nap mat…. wait, maybe we should all make one adult size!

Eventually, the snow will melt and temps will turn warm again. Protect your little ones head and get twice the use with this reversible sun hat pattern.

Did you get a new laptop for Christmas? Slip it into a leather trimmed case to take it on the go. Need something bigger? This messenger would be a great alternative.

Baby it’s cold outside. Keep warm and look cool with a hooded cowl: the howl.

If I knew how to crochet, I’d totally make this sewing machine

Keep your jewelry organized when you travel, store, or just to keep organized with this jewelry roll tutorial.

If part of new year’s resolutions is to keep organized, this divided organizer bucked would be a great start… I think my daughter may need one for her car! Need something that goes together quicker? Try this 10 minute felt box version, instead!

Need a new machine (or know someone who does)? Husqvarna Viking is giving away a machine just for telling them the most unusual thing you’ve sewn or place you’ve sew in (you’ll have to like their Facebook page first to enter).

Everyone needs a place to retreat or a quiet place to read. This fort table cover would make a great kid’s version that can be thrown over a table and stored when not in use.