Week 6: Sew Something to Make Sewing Easier

So last week I didnt post my week 5 make, may be I will get around to blogging it later (I did sew something, I just want feeling blogging about it🤷‍♀️.)

This week over at the 52 Week Sewing Challenge was to sew something to make sewing easier. And while I really wanted to do a sewing apron for me, time ticked down quickly on me and I couldn’t decide on a fabric from the ones I had at home. So I decided a crafting project to make Hubby’s life easier was both more functional AND less time consuming😂

A while ago I made a Flosstyle Hip Aid for a swap gift and my husband had commented that it would be a great thing for him to have for drill and router bits, screws and nails that he often goes back and forth to to his work bench for.

But he of course wanted several changes to meet his needs better. No zipper because that pocket is useless for his needs and he didn’t care for the small pockets being differing sizes. So I set about making the small changes he asked for.

I went digging through my fabric to find a suitable choice for him. This fabric was gifted for an apron (which I am sewing later) and I knew had plenty extra to make the hip aid.

I had a complicated time picking thread. But ended on the bottom color above.

I think it turned out great! The first time I made this project it was a long and slow process, this time it was a project that cutting to handing over to husband took 45 minutes total (I imagine adding the zippered pockets would have added maybe 15 minutes). So that makes my list of quick gift items list.

What are your 1hr and under gifts you like to make?

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ReSEWlutions Sewing: Placket

OOOHHH what a busy out of sorts month it has been! Finally my husband got to go back to work which means I end up with me time again. But then we had the polar vortex that happened and so my kids were out a school or had late starts to the day several times. And Sweet Pea has been sick off and on. But now that things are getting back to normal its time for my first blog tour of the year.

Suzanne Winter with Winter Wear Designs decided that this month she would focus her tour on plackets, I was very nervous about timing of taking on plackets because trying to sew in such chaos is complicated at best. I chose Hepburn Henley because I tend to wear lots of tunic length tops and as a mom, I have a tendency to buy and make for the kids over making for me.

I had never made a placket for a ladies top (I have installed many on skirts and made 1 henley for Baby Bear), but I am always happy to try something new with Suzanne’s patterns because they have such great instructions. This was my first time using this kind of rib knit too so this sew was an adventure all the way around.

Doesn’t that placket look pretty. I went with a tunic length with a v-neckline and 3/4 sleeve. As always, Suzanne did not disappoint on the instructions- there are multiple views for the actual placket installation, which I found very helpful. I really love how the top feels on and will be making more for me because this henley makes a perfect everyday top!

Week 4: Sew Something Red

Week 4 already! This week I had to really think on what to make this week. The man cub was in need of undies, the girl child needed something to wear for Valentine’s day, plus princess dresses for her and her friend from school for her birthday tea party in about 5 weeks, I also need to make pillowcases and chair book bags for each of the kids to keep track of library books. Sooo much sewing so little time and with the shut down continuing on, I have very little me time!

In the end, I went with a sample sew of the ABC Chair bag from Flosstyle Patterns because I knew I needed a stress free sew that would be simple and functional.

There are 2 sizes you can sew the Junior (up to 30″) and Senior (up to 34″). I knew I needed to see how it would actually fit on the chair to determine which one to make so I was stuck doing a muslin. I started with the Junior size thinking that our dining room chairs are fairly narrow since they are Shaker style. Unfortunately, that size was just a hair too small to work on the dining room chairs (each child has their own chair and thus figured it would be easiest for their chair bags to be in a general area for easy access). So I was on the hunt for other chairs we have in the house. Finally settling on this rainbow Ikea chair for these photos.

The Junior size is a tad big on this Ikea chair but it does look cute. Sweet pea chose that moment to let me know she hates it because there is no green in it and she doesn’t want it for her little chair. I promised I would make a new one for her to fit on the dining room chair that has lots of green.

The 52 Week Sewing Challenge theme was sewing with red, and I had gotten this fabric last year around this time last year from Kimmy Snabric and though it would be so pretty as a chair bag. It is adorable even if Sweet Pea isn’t a huge fan of it.

The cherry hearts are bright and cheery.

Long story short, I will make more of these. It was quick to assemble, the pattern is free and tutorial style so no pattern pieces. If you are looking for a quick gift or sew, this is a great one to go with!

Week 3: Sew a Pattern You Own But Have Never Sewn

This week started off with so many small projects! All of which were tutorial or self drafted patterns because my husband had asked for stuff specifically around the house. A tutorial I am currently working on for a remote control holder, will be posted in the next few weeks on Kimmy Snabric. Plus made Sweet Pea a cute purse (that still isn’t finished since she ran off with it before I could complete it😂.)

For the 52 Week Sewing Challenge, I decided my entry would be a cute little scissor/thread nipper pouch. We Sew All had a cute tutorial for Bernina early December. I printed the free pattern but realized it was way too big for thread nippers and more for the size of children’s scissors. Because of this I ended up sizing the pattern at about 88% and found that it fit my thread nippers well.

I AM NOT A QUILTER. So when stuff requires quilting, I usually hard pass but this actually wasn’t terrible.

I will say, I did not draw on the piece I quilted (I couldn’t find my water soluble pen) and for a first time, its fine. But in the future, I will be drawing guides so everything is evenly spaced. (The only saving grace is it will be folded and sewn so some of the unevenness won’t be noticed.)

I love how this smaller size fits my scissors.

And I think this size will make a fun gift for any crafters in your life (as will larger versions.) Since I am going to a dressmaking class in September, I will need to make a full size one just for me to travel with!

What are some fun travel sewing items you have made?

Week 2: sew an UFO (Unfinished Object)

So here we are rumbling into the 2nd week of the 52 Week Sewing Challenge and this week has been rough. The shutdown lumbers on making it hard for me to be motivated, and now we are at the point where financial stress is making it hard on me.

But I looked through my stack of unfinished stuff and found this skirt from a pattern test that I never used. I may have run out of time with a sick kiddo😂

It is the skirt from the Tammy from Eunoia Patterns. Since Joseph still hasn’t gone back to work, I couldn’t reprint the top to finish it. So many cute options with this fully woven dress. I think this was supposed to be the tunic length skirt. (Isn’t that fabric adorable!)

After thinking most of the week on how I would finish it, I decided to sew one of Sweet Pea’s favorite tshirt patterns the Loxie Eagans from Rain City Patterns since I have it printed and ready to go.

I love how the fit of this is slimmer and works well with Sweet Pea’s narrow little body. I ended up sizing up for her so she will get lots of wear out of this dress.

In the end I feel like it turned out pretty cute!

Some day soon I will take professional photos of Sweet Pea in it but for now these will have to do.

Sewing Forward While Looking Back at 2018

Last year saw lots of changes for me. I started off really strong with the 52 Week Sewing Challenge but I ended with 21 posts not getting published (I sewed every week within the challenge suggested guideline but just didn’t feel the urge to actually blog or even enter my sewing into the weekly contests). I dealt with depression and anxiety issues, a government move to a different state, getting the kids settled at new schools, setting up completely different IEPs, all while trying some days to keep my head above water.

I am actually quite happy I only missed publishing 21 posts (maybe I will go back and publish them later) but I had a few extra posts as I joined blog tours (17 of them and only a few met the 52 week sewing challenge criteria to count as included posts.)

This year, I will say, is off to a tad bit of a rough start with the government shutdown of 2019 being in it’s 9th day already but this coming year I am endeavoring to still similtaneously work on the 52 Week Sewing Challenge while trying to focus on sewing for me, Joseph and for items needed for the house. I spent a bulk of last year’s challenge sewing for my children, which is fine but I really want to learn new techniques and how to sew for my tall, plus sized body.

I joined an amazing group of women who blog about the glorious curves they have, check out House of Curves for curvy and plus sized sewing hacks, tips and tours. I am super excited because sewing for a good fit is complicated for a body that isn’t in ASTM standards or having patterns being well drafted for plus sized bodies are slim picking. I was tickled to be added to the collaboration and cannot wait to jump in on the tours (though the first will be this month and with the government shut down, I am not sure about participating since having Hubs home with me means it’s hard to get away to sew since he is finding all those small projects we need to complete- he needs to go back to work😂.)

I also was gifted a series of books throughout the year from my loving partner that I am excited about jumping into. Plus my husband encouraged me to take a sewing class with the books’ author Gretchen Hirsch. Unfortunately, it won’t be until September, but can you imagine 3 full days of working in a class of 5 with Gretchen and not a child of mine in sight😱. I am soo excited.

I have to arrive with a completed muslin bodice for individual fitting advice, so now to decide if I want to work on a dress from one of the books I have:

  1. Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 40s and 50s
  2. Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Vintage Techniques
  3. Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book: A Modern Guide to Sewing Fabulous Vintage Style

Or the new book coming out in April

Or if maybe I need one of the new Charmed patterns like the Night and Day Dress with all its amazing options.

Decisions, decisions….

But anyway, I digress. This year I’ll also be working on learning to sew tailored dress shirts for the Hubs so we can make him lovely custom shirts and maybe if there is time, I’ll tackle dress pants!

This year I will also try to participate in the 100 Item Challenge on Facebook. Last year I did complete 100 items but fell way short of posting in the group. I think I posted well for the first 3 months so I am hoping to follow through with posting all 100 this year!

So it’s going to be a fun and busy sewing year. With that said Welcome to Week 1 of the 52 Week Sewing Challenge! First up- organize your sewing space 😱🤦‍♀️

Organizing is not my strong suit😂 but let’s see where this takes us!

I’ll check back in with (maybe a before and) an after progress pic but until then Happy 1st day of the New Year, happy crafting and Make it Sew!

******update here is the completion of my 52 Week Sewing Challenge entry!

Holiday Wear with Winter Wear Designs

I love getting ready for the holidays. Sweet Pea is the lucky one, she ends up with several fun holiday looks. Last year’s official Holiday and Visiting Santa look was a fun non-traditional frock.

This year Sweet Pea asked us for a fancy dress to see Santa this year. I had been eyeing the Winter Wear Designs Bateau Garden Dress and Bateau Bolero and knew it was the best dress to make.

What I love about the patterns is that both come with Suzanne’s wonderful instructions and great sizing. The additional features for the dress include a side zipper, 2 different back options and a fun petiskirt. The Bolero will add a nice touch to add a little something to the dress by allowing me to create a basic garment with beautiful fabric and change it up with adding a cute cover up. Because I live in New England I am going to hack the bolero to be a full sleeve to give my daughter that little added warmth.

I have some beautiful raw Japanese silk I would have preferred to use for me, but because I had a scant 2 yards, I was limited in its usage. But first to alter the Bolero to be longer in the sleeves, I took the pattern piece and taped an additional piece of paper to the pattern. I held the pattern up to Sweet Pea so I could figure out how much longer the sleeve needed to be. In the ended we decided she would be happiest with a 3/4 length sleeve. I extended out the sleeve length with a straight edge to create a longer line on the sleeve, giving Sweet Pea the coverage she needs to go without a jacket in the cooler air.

Next it was off to get into fabric cutting and sewing. I really love the pleats of the Bateau skirt. It creates a beautiful shape for the dress. I really love the under-stitching technique used on the neckline. It is one I feel does not often get used enough to keep the lining in place.

 

The finished dress and bolero are adorable! I cannot wait to go see Santa with this pretty dress! I love that the bolero is also reversible. I used the silk on one side and a pretty hacci on the other. I look forward to the weather being a tad less damp and getting a few pretty photos of my girl wearing her new “fancy dress” as she likes to call it.

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Check out the #thankyousale, running through the 26th!

• Save 35% off single patterns and pattern bundles Site Wide* (*excludes WW Wardrobe Builders) use code: THANKYOU2018
• BOGO Free – buy any* pattern get one of equal or lesser value free (*excludes WW Wardrobe Builders) code: BOGO2018

And get inspired to deck your own closet with all these inspirational posts!!!
11/19
11/20
Livia of Liviality
11/21
Meriel of Elli and Nels
Ilse of Sew Sew Ilse
11/22
11/23

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Sew Thankful

It’s the month where people begin to get together with their families. They start posting on the first all the things they are thankful for; and I am always running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off🐔because the month known for Thanksgiving is the month I became the thing I am most grateful for- a mom! Today, is actually his birthday- Happy Birthday to my Baby Bear🎂🎉.

It’s my favorite time of the year with all the get togethers, the potential for snow AND lots of inspiration for hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. It’s also a time that I participate in a craft swap and get to look for lots of smaller projects to create the perfect gift!

In November, we always plan teacher gifts too. Because we are so thankful for the contributions that teachers make to my children and their growth, we try veru hard to come up with something that shows how much we appreciate them.

My son prefers handmades for the teachers which means we have to plan the gifts to be quick and eazy plus not require a ton of fabric (since he can have up to 6 plus my daughter has several teachers; there have been years I have made 15 gifts). My son was looking through my pinterest boards and wasn’t overly inspired by the gift ideas and came across bowl cozies and decided that would be the gift of the holiday!

 

 

Have you even seen them? They are microwavable and provide the perfect layer to protect hands from hot (and cold) food items.

So off we went to the store to find 100% cotton batting. Most tutorials say specifically to use wrap and zap but we could not find it locally so I went with 100% natural unbleached cotton batting. The other important thing about making something that can be microwaved is to use all cotton thread (also hard for me to source locally).

The tutorial I used can be found here. It was a fast sew (it took me 30 minutes cutting fabric to snipping the last thread on my first pair.) Which is vital when sewing a pair for each teacher on the list- I’ll be making 11 pairs total for teachers this year.

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I love a simple project that takes small amounts of fabric and works up quickly. I love that they are reversible too!

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Now its off to find soup mix recipes that we can make to put in mason jars, then sew 10 more sets. I think my son did a great job finding a cozy gift that really will make our educators feel like we appreciate them!

There are a few more days left on the Sew Thankful blog tour hosted by Sewing by Ti, check out the entire tour below:

Week of November 6th:

Week of November 11th:
Week of November 18th:
Week of November 25th:

All About the Outerwear Blog Tour

I love fall! It’s absolutely one of my favorite times of year. The unfortunate thing is that I am always cold. Especially since I live in New England. I virtually live in cardigans and wool socks from October until March each year. Which is why I was very excited about a blog tour all about outerwear.

I love Suzanne over at Winter Wear Designs and I love discovering how each pattern that I make for both Sweet Pea and me turns out to be a good fit for us. This time I decided to go with the Twin Peaks Cardigan for me for the tour instead of something for Sweet Pea.

twin peaks

The pattern has a semi fitted drafting being fitted in the bust and flowing out over the hips. Sizing goes from 00-24 and the sleeve is not cut on the fold so the armscye fits really nicely. It has the option for several different blocking back styles which means I get a pattern with multiple looks- that’s a huge win.

I also decided it was the perfect time to use some brand new hacci sweater knit I got from Honeydew Kisses Custom Fabric . I love buffalo plaid and while I have never sewn hacci knit before I was excited to receive this just in time for the tour.

I opted for the pointed back color blocking detail in stretch leather that I picked up in a destash. While Suzanne’s instructions are fabulous as always, I struggled with the point on the back detail but even though its not as pointy as it should be, it was still a pretty quick sew. I even decided to pull out my recently purchased coverstitch and have it join in on the fun.

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I love how my kids have picked out rainbow thread this last time I got thread because now I have hidden rainbows in all my seams. But even more I love that this is a cardigan made from a fabric print, I have always wanted to own and that even better it has pockets.20181024_0857154872038959980941867.jpg

Working with hacci is like working with any other knit fabric. It was lighter in hand than I expected and has a beautiful drape, however my serger did need a cleaning afterward because it had lots of fuzz. The stretch leather had nice movement but is a bit stiffer and why I opted for only using it for blocking (I had originally planned on using it for the neckband as well.) I really love that the two fabrics together give you just a bit of edginess while still being school errand friendly.

My husband is out of town this week and there goes my usual photographer but I am so happy with how this turned out I have a feeling I will have a ton of photos to update this post with once he gets home next week.

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I love, love, love this so much and am going to get so much use out of this new cardigan and already have a second out on the cutting table (I am thinking about hacking it with cuffs because I love thumbhole cuffs too)! Check in with the rest of the bloggers and see all their awesome outdoor makes below!

 

Fall in love with every stop on the tour:

October 22
Ilse of Sew Sew Ilse
October 23
October 24
October 25
Meriel of Elli and Nels
Jessica of Jot Designs USA
October 26
Livia of Liviality

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