Week 13: Use a Pattern You Own But Never Sewn

Part of the busy-ness of the last 3-4 weeks also inclided a husband that travelled for a few days. Getting him out the door provided quite the chaotic monkey wrench when dealing with sick kids, especially when he decided fairly last minute he needed a bag for his travel. Not a simple bag either😂. Handily enough I was able to make the bag fit the sewing theme for the 52 Week Sewing Challenge for week 13 Use a Pattern You Own but Have Never Sewn. So for me that meant sewing up Sew Sweetness’ Amethyst Project Bag with just a few modifications.

I have to give major praise to Zipit Etsy Shop. I went to 3 different shops around town looking for a 42 inch zipper and couldn’t find one. My friend Jacky from Leader Seaming Reusables sent me to them because they have quick shipping. But not only that, they sent a fun little zipper pull and wooden buttons with their package. Check them out below or on my YouTube Channel here.

Aren’t they adorable?

Ok so back to the project at hand. Hubby decided he needed a travel technology bag so I modified the bag just a bit from having a pencil holder to having larger spacing for cords and got rid of the elastic and buckle in the main storage part. I also added pockets on thr front for him to slip is ipod and phone into for easy access. For a test run on a bag I am fairly happy with it.

Now that he is back from his trip Big Daddy had one comment to make about the bag, that he’d like a smaller one for just his tablet, phone and ipod as well and that the pockets in front need a bit of modification. No biggie on the pockets because those werent included in the pattern pieces and I kinda winged that part but he got several compliments on his fun new bag. And I know what to do next time to make a much better bag😊

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Week 12: Something with Felt

I am so far behind sick kiddos and a surgery for the yougest one will totally do that for you! So I am playing catch up with a couple of quick posts for what I have sewn then back to the regular blogging schedule.

In the 52 Week Sewing Challenge, week 12 was sew something with Felt. Normally, I would pick a lovely hand sewn project but with mu kids being ill and running from doctor office to doctor office trying to determine what to eek out, I decided I would make a dolly my son had been asking for. Barnacle Buddies are a freebie offered by the Made for Mermaids team and its super adorable. Baby Bear has been asking for one since the pattern came out at Christmas time, so off I went to sew for him.

He picked a pirate boy with purple hair and a blue peg leg (the hair and pegleg will be felt). I have never made an actual dolly so this is challenging me a bit. I wanted to hand embroider the face in but ended up with a time constraint and ended up painting the face on and likewise did not get as many photos as I normally do😖.

For the pattern itself, the dolly turned out bigger than I thought. I ended up cutting 2 out, one for the boy and one for the girl child (I have yet to sew hers). I downloaded the pattern pieces then used the online tutorial. I found it easy to follow and aside from my usual gripes of having to turn small-ish pieces the stuffie goes together fairly easily amd quickly.

I did struggle with the construction with putting the whole dolly together for my son but I assume it is because I over stuffed the body and legs or because I put the turn hole in the wrong spot but I will figure it out on the next one and report back here with an edit😊.

All in all it wasnt a terrible experience and I will happily make one for my daughter and even make a couple for friend’s children if they would like.

He may not be the cutest dolly in the world but Baby Bear is happy to have a doll made especially for him. Up next are some shirts and his pirate hat and to figure out how to make the eyepatch removable but that’s a project for another day😊

Week 11: Breaking Ground with Something with Green

This week in the 52 Week Sewing Challenge Group we are tasked with sewing something green. I also signed up for a blog tour called the Breaking Ground Tour which is tour about working with something ground breaking for you. I opted to combine these two challenges in sewing not only something completely out of the wheel house for me but also making something for my husband and daughter to share. Stick with the entire post for a contest at the very end!

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Flosstyle Patterns was amazing enough to offer patterns to bloggers for free and I chose the Kanga Carrier because I have never made a Flosstyle pattern or an actual baby carrier before (I have however made soft structured carriers for dollies).

I love babywearing, it has strengthened the bond I have with my child plus allowed me to have freedom while shopping, provide a safe space for my child when she is overwhelmed and made it so much easier in high-paced, crowded spaces. I personally have never been much of an actual soft structured carrier fan, preferring to use woven wraps and staying away from waistbands because I have an incredibly short waist, however my Sweet Pea had far outgrown the Ergo carrier that my husband uses on the rare occasion that he wears her. So rather than buying a new carrier, I figured this was the opportunity to really stretch myself and break new ground with both a new designer and pattern style (see what I did there).

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So off to find supplies for the carrier I went. First, I allowed my daughter to pick out her fabrics and she chose a vintage inspired science themed fabric that had been in my stash for quite some time and green duck fabric since green is her favorite color. Finding webbing and buckles was a bit more challenging (as is finding foam for the structured part of the carrier). I opted for using a yoga mat because they are readily available and super easy to find then ordered my webbing and buckles from Allielane in Abbyville which has kits that have all the supplies you need for making your carrier.

Once I got into the actual project sewing, as intimidated as I was, I found it to be very smooth with the instructions from Flosstyle. It took me roughly 5 hours start to finish and found the most complicated and frustrating part of sewing the carrier to be getting the padding into the straps. Incidentally, I found the tip of using pantyhose to help with making the padding slide in easier incredibly helpful. I feel like if anyone wants to make the leap to making carriers for themselves this is a great pattern to start with that is very easy to follow and confident beginner friendly.

Now you ask how do I like the carrier? Surprisingly for not being a fan of soft structured carriers I find it very comfortable. I feel like using the yoga mat was huge in helping with my personal comfort level as it is flexible and mold-able without feeling stiff. It also meant that I had thinner straps which I found infinitely more comfortable. Unfortunately, my husband wasn’t able to try it out prior to this post going live but I think he is going to love it (and I’ll get pics of him and Sweet Pea in it and add them to this post once I can)!

I loved the experience of making the carrier and look forward to when the day arrives that I need the preschool sized one, I will be confident in my sewing ability to make one then!

 

***this post includes affliate links and the Kanga pattern was provided for free becauseI participated in this tour.

Welcome to the Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2018. This week over 20 bloggers are joining together to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, try new techniques, new styles, or whatever way they want to push themselves.

The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:

Monday March 12- mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Sewing A La Carte, Little Heart Threads, The Sewing Scientist

Tuesday March 13- Musings of A Seamstress, A Custom Clothier, Octaves of Color, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sew Altered Style

Wednesday March 14- Flaxfield Sewing, Chook n Duck, Tales of a Tester, Sewing By Ti, Sewing Vortex, Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Thursday March 15- Very Blissful, Manning the Machine, Sew and Tell Project, Musings of a Seamstress, Stitches by Laura

Friday March 16- Lulu & Celeste, Tenille’s Thread, Sewing A La Carte, The Bear and Pea Atelier, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sprouting Jube Jube, Kathy’s Kwilts and More

To make the tour even more fun, our Breaking Ground blog team member, Gail is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop Flosstyle to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!

***

 

 

 

 

Week 10: Something with Colorblocking

I love color blocking. It is an amazing way to use up scraps of fabric plus offer a pop of color. This time I decided I would use a retiring pattern from Pickle Toes Patterns called the Acute Tee Pi. From now until April 1st you can get either the baby size or childrens size for $1.00. And while you are there, pick up copies of the other retiring patterns (each$2) Leia and Adorabelle. It is the perfect shirt for the 52 Week Sewing Challenge and to complete the Spring Into Color Sewing By Ti Blog Tour for March.

In this month’s tour we are using the 2018 Pantone color Report and my Sweet Pea chose Cherry Tomato and picked out some solid cotton lycra from Central TX Fabrics and a fun dinobones scrap fromFlying Pig Fabrics on Facebook that I had been saving for a fun smallish project.

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It has been a really long time since I had made the Acute Tee Pi. It was one of the first couple of pattern tests I had ever done and it held a very special place in my heart because of that. I was extremely intimidated during that test because all the color blocking, so revisiting it for this tour I realized how far I have come with my own sewing because it took me literally 20 minutes for complete construction. Mostly because I used a serger for the entire construction of it and I have never done that before😊.

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I have had my new to me serger for about a month and had yet to use a serger start to finish on a project. I hate bands however I will definitely be using more bands to avoid hemming in the future😂😂😂.

Look at that happy kiddo

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She was literally itching to get it put on immediately and to go pick out hair bows. I love how easy this shirt was to construct and will be so sad when its finally gone. And I adore how bright the cherry tomato color is, its perfect for playing in the lingering snow.

Check out the rest of the Spring into Color Tour Here:

Thursday, March 1st: Sewing By Ti- Intro.

2nd: Tenille’s Thread

Monday, March 5th: Confessions of the Pink Obsessed

6th: Sewn By Lone

7th: Sewing By Ti, Stylin Stacy

8th: EYMM

9th: Stitched by Jennie

10th: Elli and Nels

Sunday, March 11th: Make it Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier You are here😊

12th: Very Blissful

13th: My Heart Will Sew On

14th: Sewing Blue

15th: Seams Like Style

16th: Kate Will Knit

17th: Twinado Alley

Sunday March 18th: Mermaids Den

19th: My Sewing Roots

20th: Our Play Palace

21st: Kathys Kwilts and More

22nd: The Fairy Dust Bin

23rd: Oak Blue Designs

24th: Aurora Designs Fabrics

Sunday March 25th: Flaxfield Sewing

26th: Seams Sew Lo

27th: Ma Moose

28th: Back 40 Life

29th: Auschick Sews

30th: Manning the Machine

31st: Mermaids Den

Tl:dr

Challenge: accepted

Pattern: Acute Tee Pi from Pickle Toes Patterns

Fabric: plain cotton lycra Central TX Fabrics and Dino Bones Flying Pig Fabrics

***This post contains affliate links.

Week 9: Something with Buttons

I love buttons! This week makes me so happy that it’s sew buttons during the 52 week sewing challenge. I love sewing buttons because I have a machine with an automatic buttonhole foot but I would have enjoyed the challenge even without it. Buttons add a lovely charm and detail to patterns. I love how the type of buttons you use can totally change the look of an outfit. Plus I received a large box of vintage bone colored buttons with tons of variety and I love combing through my button boxes to find the right ones for a project.

One of the biggest issues for me with buttons in the past was ensuring that the alignment was correct. One of my favorite gifts I ever received was a Simflex Expanding Button Gauge. I first heard about one of these during a contest in the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook Group. I ended up winning a prize for an Easter dress (I used the Juliet Dress with Zelda fabric) and ended up having a very tough time deciding between the bias tape maker and the gauge. I ended up with the bias tape maker because at the time I was using tons of binding but the gauge went on my list of items I give people that want to know what I would like for a gift. My friend Jennifer ended up getting it for me, and it is by far my favorite tool that I am not sure what I did before I got it. The gauge helps with alignment based on how many buttons or snaps you would like to do. You literally put your fabric pen in the indention and just mark along and it works wonderfully for making sure my button holes have perfect alignment. So I say all of this to tell you I am excited about button week because I get to use my gauge.

I went with one of my favorite pattern brands of all time Bella Sunshine Designs because I love the classic beautiful lines and finishing that their patterns offer. I decided on the Sweet Lily Pintuck Dress because it has buttons in the front and back plus sweet ruffles every where- on the sleeves, the bodice and on the skirt itself. I sewed the top version which actually could be a vintage or babydoll length dress when paired with some bloomers or pairs nicely with the Sansa Pants I made (in denim cut on the bias) previously. Check out the wonderful sale going on for 30% off (no code necessary) and head over to the group linked above for a special 3yr anniversary freebie (mommy and me Eden leggings) code.

I  love this little top. Sweet Pea came home from school sick but was thrilled with the little faeries and the ruffles, It is another sweet pattern from BSD and will be on our list to make again soon!

 

TL:DR

Pattern: Bella Sunshine Designs Sweet Lily Pintuck Dress in the top length

Fabric: Michael Miller’s Pink Petal Flower Faeries, white islet purchased on a destash page and green kona cotton

Size: 18mo width 2t length

Misc info: BSD is celebrating their 3 yr anniversary with a site wide 30% off plus free code for the new Eden leggings

****This post contains affiliate links

Week 8: Upcycle something

This week’s challenge was upcycle something. And the perfect week to finally alter this shirt my mom got Sweet Pea in Ireland. When I asked her what she wanted a shirt or dress she opted for Bella Sunshine Designs Maggie top and dress in the tunic length. Sweet Pea then picked a fun floral with varying shades of green and blue and insisted on it being included in her new top.

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I got to work cutting carefully along each of the seams to cut apart the neckband and sleeves then finally the side seams.

I cut the sleeves out on the sleeves of the tshirt, using the hem so I wouldn’t have to hem them. Then opted for a pop of color blocking just above the hemline creating a fun cuff look.

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Next, I cut the bodice piece under the armscye and added a 1/4 inch seam allowance to the new top and bottom pieces and cut my fabric. I sewed the top and bottom pieces together then continued with construction as directed from there. I reused the same neckband from the original shirt because it was a fabulous tubular knit.

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I love how it turned out and I am pretty sure that Sweet Pea likes it too since she just had to wear it to see the Trolls movie.

Week 5: Something from a Newly Purchased Pattern

Sew something from a newly purchased pattern is on the schedule for this week and quite honestly I have so many patterns that I had quite the time trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to make. I rarely buy patterns for myself but had received a couple from a good friend. So off to figure out what I wanted to make. I ended up settling on the Cozy Wrap Cardigan from Halla Patterns.

I opted for this pattern over a stack of others 1) because I live in Vermont and I am always cold, 2) I recently lost 40lbs and I need new cardigans and warm layering items because most of my stuff is 2 or 3 sizes too big now.

So next it was off to pick fabrics. I opted for a cozy wool blend lycra I got from Central TX Fabrics (hi Brehan and Justina) that I had been hoarding from one of my first purchases with Central TX. It is lightweight yet cozy and the most brilliant shade of green. For the cuffs, waistband and collar, I chose to use a fabulous print that I was lucky enough to win, called Unicorntopia from MK Designs.

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I jumped right in, without making a muslin and it was a HUGE mistake. Completing the first version of this top took maybe 30 minutes of sewing time since I was using a serger.  The adjustments I had to make to the top however took quite a bit of time and unpicking bleeping serger stitches.

In the end I started with the size 20 based on the measurement chart provided but it was so big and sloppy. Typically, I have to do a full bust adjustment but with where my measurements fell according to the chart I should have been fine. I unfortunately was not. I won’t say that this is a pattern issue because had I done a muslin; I would have known that the size 20 is way too big and that I would ultimately change the depth of the armscye as well as the shoulder width and take in the waist and hips. I also found that the band was way too long initially causing rippling and for the band to poke out in a strange way (I really wish I had taken photos and not a video since I cant post a video here). In the end I probably need to go down two sizes (and that was with the fabric I was using having two way stretch), but I made the adjustments so the fit is good for me and I am very happy in the end with the finished product. So how did I fix it, I took apart all the seams and basically started over. I did leave the neckband on but I think in the future I will fold over the neck cowl rather than gathering it because I found the neckline to be a bit floppy rather than laying neatly. I cut the depth I needed for a narrower shoulder and using the pattern as a base was able to use my new armscye to create a longer piece (I added approximately 2 inches to the height of the armscye over all). I took away close to 3 inches in the waist and almost 4 in the hips. In the end the overall result has me quite happy. What do you think?

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I finally did it, I am done!

Week 3: Sew Something to Make Sewing Easier

 

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This week is week 3 and the challenge this week seems to leave some confused on what to make. I was lucky, I was gifted the Sew Together Bag by Sew Demented from and I knew that if I accepted the challenge, I would be sewing it up since I had amassed a collection of hexie making supplies in the attempt to have a portable craft to take with me places.

This bag is a bit intimidating partially because it is a bag and partially because there are so many zippers and pockets in the bag. I have sewn my fair share single zip pouches and bags, I even have a lovely oversized camera bag started (lets see if I ever finish it), but this smaller bag with all of its pieces is really scary to me.

So this bag is not designed with the beginner in mind. If you have worked with zippers before you should be good; however if you are a visual learner you will need to go in search of some videos to help with the instructions as there are very few images in the instructions.

 

After some frustration on trying to figure out how to piece things together, a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of Quilt Barn Sew Along which offers some good step by step help for those that are more visual like me!

In the end I finished this project in about 3hrs, not terrible for a first time with a bag that has instructions I found very hard because of the lack of images. Additionally, I found the steps for the binding very hard to follow (it could be how the instructions actually read or it could be the lack of images), I even involved my husband to see if I was just not getting it and he was wrong too. He was stumped as well and as someone that builds furniture, often his instructions do not have pretty detailed pictures so if he struggles with it, it is not just me- thank god. It is not a cheap project however, I adore the copious amounts of storage and my husband, the bugger, ended up taking the bag to store cords in temporarily so I am off to cut out another version to see if it gets easier as you go.

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[Image: Open Sew Together bag where you can see the lining of one of the pockets.]

 

 

Post at a glance:

Pattern: Sew Together Bag from Sew Demented

Fabric: gifted fabric

Sewing level: Intermediate/Advanced (being familiar with zipper instillation is helpful but not necessary, knowledge of how to install binding is helpful but not required.)

Time start to finish 3.5hrs (this includes cutting and interfacing timing, plus having to stop twice for my toddler).

Recommend pattern: Yes but not without including the Quilt Barn Sew Along link above. Had I not already made several bags, this project could have ended in tears and an UFO. I watched the sew along at the very end of bag completion, so it is not absolutely necessary to have it, however if someone is a novice sewist or bag maker it would be very helpful to have this information before beginning to sew.

Week 2: The Last Fabric I Bought…

So here we are getting close to finishing up Week 2 of the 52 Week Sewing Challenge and this time its all about using your fabric up. Specifically the last fabric you purchased, which for me happened to be a set of strike off fabrics from K’s Closet Hillsborough. Challenge Accepted!

 

Aren’t these just the cutest!

Sweet Pea is all about unicorns and llamacorns so I knew she would be super excited about getting these in. #hippocorns are super fun!

About the fabric itself, this was my first time purchasing from K’s Closet. The cotton lycra has a nice in hand weight, and the colors look like the water colored design the artist was going for. After washing there was a bit of shrinking but not anything that is out of the realm of normal for a custom printed fabric. Take a minute to check them out, they are running a fantastic sale right now for $5 off current retail. Check out their K’s Closet Facebook Group here.

I decided I was going to go with the Sofilantjes Regem shirt (I have made this for my big but never the littlest one) because I felt like the colorblocking would look amazing with the rainbow and hippo coordinates. And I believe that I was not disappointed. Sofilantjes is an International pattern designer but she offers patterns in English. Her stuff comes together beautifully and she offers a large variety of sizing (my preteen is even able to still wear this shirt and he straddles children and adult sizing). Don’t be afraid to take the leap to do color blocking because the instructions are thorough and the results are lovely.

Additionally, since the designer of  Rad Patterns is a big fan of unicorns and a hippocorn is her favorite critter, I made our very favorite lounge pants from her line- The Long John Jammers. I did perform a bit of a hack for them and added a skirt because my daughter is into all things roller derby and was insistent upon a tutu added to them. In this case compromising with an almost 4 year old allowed me to get away with just adding the skirt. I love this pattern because the legs have a relaxed rather than tight fit; fitting more like a jogger than traditional legging, which allows for lots of running, playing and exploring which is important to Baby O.

The hack of this pattern was super simple, I took Sweet Pea’s waist measurement divided by 4 for the waist part. I then measured how long from her waist to the point I wanted her skirt to stop. I transferred that measurement (in this case 8 inches) to each side of the waist measuring down in several spots along the waist. After that I filled in the lines and cut out the skirt. When attaching it, I sandwiched the skirt between the pants and waistband when attaching.

I had no idea that Sweet Pea would love this outfit so much but she said that she is a Roller Derby Queen in it and I couldn’t agree more!

 

And a few more just because I am super tickled with how adorable this fabric is.

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