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!

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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

———————

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

Monster Tour!

It’s one of my favorite times of the year.

Costume making time.

My children start figuring out what they want to be in June because sometimes they want more than one costume. Costuming and cosplay allows my children to display their creativity in play and allows me to stretch myself with new patterns and pattern hacking to get the looks I want. This year, I was a tad bit sad when Baby Bear picked a store bought costume this year (his first one since grandma bought him his Thor costume when he was 3). Buuuttt Sweet Pea will keep me busy since she gave me a tall order of 3 costumes😂

The priority costume is her Trick or Treat costume. We go Trick or Treating at malls and Trunk or Treat events rather than going house to house, so there are no limits on how ornate the costumes are (except whatever the children choose, they have to be able to wear thermals or base layers if needed because Halloween can be very cold here in New England).

She decided for it she would have me make her an Elena of Avalor costume. First, we had to figure out if we wanted Elena’s ballgown or every day look. She decided that she would go with the every day dress.

I was kind of hoping she’d go for the ballgown because that would have been a HUGE stretch for me.

I am a big fan of hacking and mashing patterns as well as using patterns I already own, so I knew I already had the perfect patterns to create the perfect Elena look.

To get the look, I had to mash 2 different patterns and I wanted to stay with only one pattern company. I wanted to use Eunoia Patterns since I knew they had a skirt with flounces, The Paradise Wrap. That would be the outer skirt to create the Elena look.

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And the Kaleo for the base skirt and top.

I decided to do a separate skirt rather than creating an actual dress so that Sweet Pea can wear the top if she wanted and I really love the fact the Kaleo came with a top as well.

I started with the skirts. Using the Kaleo pattern, I followed the pattern as written until I got to adding elastic to the waistband. And constructed the Paradise as written to the waistband, as well. It was lots of gathering but I love the ruffle on the Paradise Wrap Skirt. Initally, I put a waistband on the Kaleo (sometimes all those gathers can break a needle and at that point I hadn’t started the Paradise yet to know if there would be gathers, plus I needed to check the length on my petite child) but in the end I created a binding with the original waistband so that there would be less bulk at the band. I made another Kaleo waistband and attached it to the Paradise with the binding of the Kaleo skirt.

Next up was creating the top. I used the Kaleo top but made a few modifications to it. Its a snug fitting fully lined top but since I was adding the flounce along the neckline, I had to rethink that construction. In the end, I decided that I would bind the top, and that allowed me to get rid of the lining as well. Also the top is designed to use a band, I just added the additional length a band would add to the top.

To create the flounce, I used the width of the ruffle on the Paradise top. After measuring the neckline, I multiplied that measurement by 1.5 so that the flounce would be ruffled but not so heavy with gathers it would make the binding thick.

 

Once I got to this point Sweet Pea decided she needed a “pocket” for the Elena sword Daddy got her for her costume. That would have come in handy prior to attaching the waistband, but since it was an after thought I had to figure out a solution. Enter a sash!

I made a simple sash that could tie around the waist and attached FOE (I just got this pretty sparkly FOE in and Sweet Pea was adamant I use it rather than the red I picked out) 6 inches from the center so she can have her sword attached for both Trick or Treating and for play and she isn’t limited to which side it’s on).

I love how the whole thing came out! And I cannot wait to get pretty outdoor photos in the next couple of days (they will get added to the post once taken).

The little princess squealed and immediately asked to put it on. I saw thats a win 😉

This post is part of the My Monsters Blog Tour hosted by Tibecca Yao of Sewing by Ti. Come join us on a journey into a world full of costumes and Halloween inspired outfits!

Monday, October 1st- Sewing By Ti (intro)

2nd- Tales from a Southern Mom

3rd- Shalini’s Sewing Space

4th- Tenille’s Thread

5th- Sewing By Ti

Monday, October 8th- Back 40 Life

9th- Family of Makers

10th- Made for Little Gents

11th- Big Fly Notions

Sunday, October 14th- The Fairy Dust Bin

17th- Sewing With D

18th- 52 Week Sewing Challenge

19th- Auschick Sews

20th- Sew Cute Couture by Kathy

Sunday, October 21st- The Bear and the Pear Atelier

22nd- Seams Like Style

23rd- Seams Sew Lo

24th- My Heart Will Sew On

25th- JOT Designs USA

26th- My Sewing Roots

27th- Manning the Machine

Monday, October 29th- Frulle Mieke

30th- Sew Like a Sloth

31st- Sewing By Ti

Week 42: Halloween Blog Tour

Happy October! Today I get to be lucky enough to be a part of the DIY Halloween Sewing tour.

This year I decided out of the couple of tours I am participating that I was going to make me a priority and actually dress up. I’m not sure if I have seriously dressed up since I was pregant with Baby Bear.

So I asked my children what should I be for Halloween, Baby Bear said a princess and Sweet Pea said a purple witch (go figure 😂).

After look through and discarding tons of ideas, I had a testing opportunity that helped me make the decision!

When the All Hallows Eve Hat from Eunoia Patterns (formerly Karrington Paige Patterns) came across my app, I knew it was fate for me to finally be the witch I always wanted to be.

About the pattern maker and pattern itself, is offered free on the Eunoia Patterns page. Eunoia means beautiful thinking, and I love Shannon coined the phrase “Sewing patterns to inspire your beautiful thinking.” Shannon has an amazing design team working with her to create a beautiful catalog for a variety of styles. As for the All Hallows Eve Hat- it comes with sizing for toddler to adult, comes with a 26 page instruction book, plus mouse ear and bow instructions and svg files to make your ultimate witch hat.

Off I went to Joann fabrics to find the perfect accessories.

I may have gone a tad overboard but hey go big or go home, right?

The instructions were easy to follow and the only place I really struggled was with the clamping off the metal wire at the end AND figuring out how to place my accoutrement😂

After I got to this point, I stuffed the hat so I could figure out the other placement of accessories. I will say next time I am going to accessorize before putting the wire in and stitching the bias tape closed.

I hand stitched everything and I probably should have hot glued some of the accessories on but honestly I couldn’t find my glue gun.

I went through my closet found a coat I held on to from my club kid days and off I went to cast some spells.

I can’t wait to wear my costume for Halloween!

Are you ready to see all of the new Halloween costumes on the DIY Sewing Pattern Blog Tour? Me too!! Go ahead and follow along with us!

Have you downloaded the new Seams Sew Lo Sewing App yet??? It is available on Apple and Android! Find and Rate all of your favorite indie sewing pattern designers and fabric companies. Plus find all of their latest sewing deals! Download the App NOW:

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