Sunday, August 21, 2016

Eveylyn Jane Reversible Skirt --- Pattern Review.

If you're looking for a cute skirt, that is super fast to sew together, Check out the Evelyn Jane Reversible Skirt Pattern.   This is a great pattern for beginners, it is very easy, and has wonderful step by step photo instructions. 


One of my favorite features is the flat front, elastic back.  I love an easy elastic skirt, really grows with your child, but I find that sometimes full elastic, if there is no drop waist, looks a bit full or young.  The flat front is the perfect solution and gives a more grown up look to any skirt or pant.


The best part is that you get TWO skirts in one.  Since it's reversible, all of your seams are inside, and completely hidden, so no need to use a serger, or zigzag.  It comes together very quickly, even if you add the contrast band at the bottom. 


On my next one I want to add some piping or ricrac to change it up a bit.   I find it's a great way to make a holiday skirt, that can still be warn year round.  Pop on over to Heidi's page today and check out this and other patterns.  Her Cecily Rose dress is one of my absolute favorite patterns.  Pollywoggles Patterns


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Tic-Tac-Toe Mini Quilt Set.



Sewing items for boys has always put me at a loss.  It's hard for me to come up with new ideas, and keep a stock of cute fabric around that they would like.  My friend Reece over at Happy Okapi posted this idea a few days ago.  I thought they were so cute, and would be fun.   (Check out her blog to find out more about how she made them, and where she got that adorable pirate fabric.)



I made the one side with the scrap of Paw Patrol fabric i had left, and the other side with the StarWars for his big brother.  Now they can play tic-tac-toe, and always have their own sides.  I made a mini duffle bag and it looks pretty manly, if I do say so myself, and just the right size to keep everything together.  My daughter keeps wanting to play with it.












 

The squares I used were 3" to start with, using a 1/4" SA. When I finished the quilt, I found them too big, so went back and sewed inside another 1/4".  So if you plan on using the same measurements for the quilt, then you want them to finish at 2" square.   Of course you can make them any size you want.  It would be super fun with a mini charm pack.




 Reece used poly pellets, but I used rice, since I had a huge bag on hand.  You can fill them with pretty much anything you like.  You could also put a small magnet inside, and then a small cookie sheet with washi tape to make a travel board. 





 
For the tic-tac-toe board I made a mini quilt.   I used some of my charm pack I had laying around.  I cut each 5" piece into 2.5" squares.  I sewed on 1/2" of black fabric to the right hand side of the first two squares in each row (I chain pieced them).  I then sewed on the last square in each row.  With all three rows nicely pressed, I sewed two 1/2" pieces down the middles.  I used some double sided fusible interfacing, black fabric on the back, and black binding.  

The bag is just a simple zipper pouch, that I boxed the corners on, and added some straps made out of webbing.  I nice bright lining makes it easy to find everything.


Both the Paw Patrol and Star Wars fabric were purchased from Funky Monkey Fabrics

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Draft Your Own Pattern--Simple A-line Knit Skirt

"You are not wearing that skirt outside!!!!"



I thought I'd have at least until her teen years before I caught myself saying that hahaha.  If your child is anything like mine, they usually have some favorite item of clothing!  As they grow bigger, it's really hard for them to accept the fact that they can no longer wear it.......this skirt is a prime example.  She has loved this skirt for several years, but it is just WAY too short, and that is a hard concept for a kid to understand.  So I decided to make a new version of it, that has a decent length.

She wanted it out of a similar color, and fabric.  This fabric is even softer, and super thin, so will be fine for all types of weather.  Being so thin makes it a bit more difficult to work with, but I have some tips I've come across that really help.  So how did we do this????

I'll show you how easy this is, and you don't need any special tools.  We used paper off our IKEA craft roll.  It's come in handy a number of times,  you can also tape paper together, use some cardboard, freezer paper, or parchment paper, whatever is handy.  


 

I didn't take photos as I made the pattern, but this is what I did.  I laid the skirt along the edge of the paper as neatly as I could.  I then traced around it, starting at the seam on the waistband and down to the hem.  I then traced the band, with seam allowances added for both pieces.  I held the paper up on her, to see where I wanted the finished length.  I then added some seam allowance to do a nice hem. 


Now that I had my two pattern pieces I cut them out of my fabric.  I shortened the width of the  waistband pattern piece by 1/2".  The waistband is folded in half on the top, and then cut on the fold on the side.  You then open it up, and sew the sides together, then fold in half wrong sides together, super simple, and comfy waistband.  I tried the waistband pieces on first before I went any further to make sure it fit nicely.  

 After cutting out my skirt pieces I lightly starched with 'Fresh Press' and ironed on some hem tape.  Then I sewed the side seams, and serged them.  I also serged the bottom hem at this point as well.

I can't tell you how important these two
tips are. Since knit loves to roll at the
edges it can be a pain for seams. If you
use the 'Fresh Press', it keeps the
edges flat and a wee bit stiff, so they're
super easy to sew.

The hem tape adds some weight to the
bottom hem, and also makes it easy to
press the hem. Trying to press super
thin knits without it is very tricky, it just
doesn't want to hold.





It was then time to sew the waistband into the skirt.  Sew them right sides together, pin the seams on each side, and then put one pin in the middle, then slightly stretch the waistband to fit the skirt.  Press the waistband down, and iron your hem in place. Then using a twin needle I did the hem, and top-stitched below the band for a finished look. 

Wait did I say "Twin Needle"????  Um ya!!! I finally conquered my fear of the double needle.  I tried it once before and it was a disaster...not sure what went wrong...but I gave up and put my needle back in it's case, and there she has sat for over a year now.  What changed my mind....well Sherri posted this Thread Riding Hood--Sewing With Knits. They are all great tips, but she made the
double needle look so easy. I asked her about it, and she's like ya it's really great....so I figured I had
to try it again. 

It had been so long since I'd tried last time, and hadn't gone well I decided to look for some online advice.  I found this great video over at So Sew Easy.  (all her tutorials are awesome btw!!!!). How to use a Twin Needle Video Tutorial  She showed the proper way to thread twin needle, and some other tips for using knits like the hem tape. So I gave it another go and WOW it was super easy (I'm rather embarrassed how long I put it off), and it looks so much more professional. I can't wait to play around with some other stitches and thread colors.


If you've been scared of working with knits or a double needle I hope you'll give them both a go.
Make sure to check out both links I posted above and practice.  The great thing about kids clothes is
you don't wast a lot of fabric and time, if you mess up, doll clothes are great for this too....just not Barbie clothes...that's nuts. :D

Please comment below if you have any more tips on drafting or sewing with knits. Have you ever
used a twin needle? Were you happy with the results????  Please share.










Monday, July 18, 2016

Happy Okapi Cup Cozy---Velcro edition



My lovely friend Reece finally came out with a pattern for her famous cup cozies.  I really wanted to try one, but alas I do not have Kam snaps.....I know I just never jumped on the band wagon....trust me I have plenty of other hardware though.

I asked her if I could use reg snaps, and she said "well you can, but then it won't be reversible..."  Doh!!! ok, point taken.  So then I figured Velcro should work.  So I gave it a try, and I'm very happy to report that Velcro works wonderfully.   Here's how I went about it. 

On the holiday cup cozy, I put the Velcro on AFTER I finished stitching, and I used the same placement as in the original pattern, but just on the left hand side, on both sides.

Pros:  You can choose the exact placement of the Velcro to fit a particular cup.

Cons: If using contrasting thread, it can be tricky to not have it show on the other side.  even if you get your tension working perfectly, you will still see the box outline on the other side.  If this doesn't bother you (I think it looks just fine), then no worries.  If your using the same thread for both sides then it's easy peasy.

 As you can see here I marked on the pattern where to put the Velcro.  I crossed out the circles on the right, just ignore them.  All you need is the Velcro on the left on both pieces. 

 This one I sewed the Velcro to each piece first. 



Pro's:  *if using different thread for each piece, it's a lot easier to do it this way, and not worry about your threads bleeding through. 
          *It's easier on your machine then going through multiple layers
*You won't see the stitching on the back side. 



Cons:  It's harder to find the proper placement....I used the same marks as well, but forgot about the seam allowance.   That put the Velcro farther out, making the cup holder larger.  So you might need to adjust it depending on the cup you plan on using. but will have to figure that out prior to sewing it. 



My final tip is when sewing your end closed, make sure to press and topstich from the plain side, not the side with velcro, as this is how it'll sit when in use and will look neater.






Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bra ????


After discovering my love of lingerie making....I decided I really needed a better way to store my bra's.  I put so much time and work into them I no longer was ok with letting them hang from the door handle, since it'll stretch out the elastic and cup.  Since they're mainly foam, I can't flip one cup inside the other...what to do???

I read the amazing book  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up.  And was inspired to give my whole room, closet and drawers a complete overhaul.  I was still left trying to figure out how to store my bra's but decided I wanted to be able to have them handy, and since I'd used such lovely fabrics, I might as well enjoy seeing them.  I looked all over the internet/pinterest for a fabric box to store them in.  Now there are a few places you can order plain ones, but I really wanted to use this lovely fabric I've been hording from Country Clothesline, for 2 years....I figured using it in my closet where I get to see it every day is a great idea.  I plan to make more things for my closet with it.




Here's what I did.  I started with Anna's adorable Berry Basket pattern.  It's a free pattern for a small fabric basket, but it was the depth height I wanted, and I could see how I could save on fabric easily.   I just had to play around with the dimensions. 

If you use a solid piece of fabric for the outside and the lining, it is pretty simple to do.  I of course had to make things difficult, but I really didn't want to waste my lovely fabric for the bottom and sides of the box that I won't see.  If you plan on using my dimensions or your own, read through the tutorial first so get a feel for the pattern, then start drawing up your own.  It would be nice to have a pdf of some different sizes. 


First thing I had to do was decide the dimensions I wanted.  I measured my bras and found that 16" width would fit them nicely.  My shelf isn't very big, so I only wanted it to be about " deep.  I decided on a side wall of 5" so I could easily see what was in there.  As you can see they fit perfectly, so if your planning on doing this for your bra's as well you might as well just use my dimensions.  

So you take your piece of fabric and fold it in half one way, and then in half again.  Measure from the folded sides only.  If you want it to be 16", you then add 10 (5" on each side) and then divide in half since it's folded, so cut the one side at 13".  The other side is (12+10)/2=11, so cut that one 11".  

 






 If your using too solid pieces of fabric then cut off the top corner 5"x5".  Make sure to cut the corner that has no folded sides. in this case that would be the one at the very top.   As you can see I pieced my outside but left the lining whole, I cut it off after I sewed it, but you see the 5 x 5" square easily. 




 

Since I was piecing my outside one, I had to do some more math.  I cut my bottom piece at 16.5" x 12.5" the side pieces 2 at 16.5x5" and 2 at 12 x 5"(don't add the other half inch or you won't get a proper corner. do the longer pieces first and just center the sides in the middle, it'll all work out when you sew them together.). I used some med interfacing on the outer fabric, and then I sewed them together with a 1/4 inch seam, and pressed flat 





After sewing them together, following the Berry Basket tutorial, this is how it should look.  


I wanted a nice soft feel to it, so decided to use some batting.  I'm low on fusible fleece so just used some med loft batting, I attached it with my trusty Elmer's glue stick.  You can skip this step or use your preferred batting.




To add some rigidity I used this cross stitch plastic I got at the dollar store you can use what ever you like.  I also used some pieces of cardboard in the sides, to keep them up since they're quite long.  Since I used the cardboard the binding had to be hand sewn for the most part, so keep that in mind when working on it.  Some heavier interfacing might have been just fine.  It really depends on the side and how supportive you want it to be.  Since mine is sitting on the shelf, it doesn't need to be firm on the bottom, but if you do want to add something there, just do it before you do the top stitching, and you can slide it in the side easily.

Then just add your binding, and your done!!!!!

  Yay it fits perfectly on my self!!!

 I guess I need to make some more bra's now in order to fill it up



Monday, May 30, 2016

My blogging Inspirations!!!

My online Inspirations, a few blogs that really stand out.  I hope you'll check them out too, and share some of your favorite blogs with me below. 

Happy Okapi 

My Iris bag, I made using her sew along.
As I was making my foray into girls dresses and homegoods, my good friend Reece, was becoming bag obsessed.  She was turning out some fantastic bags, I was so impressed with them.   She has a lot of beautiful items, some for sale even.  If you're interested in making a bag, check out some of her sew-alongs as well.   In fact I made my Blue Calla, 'Iris' bag, using Reece's sew along, it really made it fun and easy.  I'm a very visual learner.

And it gave me the boost I needed to give it a try myself.  And wow bags are so fun to make.  They are much more involved then they look, so many pieces, that all need to have interfacing and batting.  Lovely hardware makes the bags for sure, but also ads up.  It is not a cheap hobby ahhaha.  It makes girls dresses look easy ahahaha.  Check out her bags, and blog http://www.happyokapi.ca/.

Carla's Creations 


My Hexi Tree
Carla, of Carla's creations, impressed me with her precision, and stunning fabric choices.  Once I saw all her adorable hexi's I had to give them a try.  Now I'm hooked, I find it relaxing, and something I can do while watching the kids play, or on road trips.

Her patchwork is always spot on, I'm always amazed at how prolific she is as well, she is a machine and really whips those lovely items out. 







Check out her blog  and Half Dozen Daily (aka Carla's Creations) and her FIRST ever PDF pattern.  Here's my affiliate link to her Ruffled Wristlet PDF



 




Thread Riding Hood 

rocking her super hero cape
I started reading Sherri's blog when I was first starting out.  She had a few simple and cute tutorials, one for a fat quarter skirt, and a cape!!! Ohh how my daughter loved her superhero cape.  She made sewing seem so fun, and easy.  It was always enjoyable to see her love for sewing, and outfits her daughters.




She has lots of great freebies and tutorials for fun projects.  I made these as teacher gifts last year, she even includes the printables.

I finally got to meet her at the Creativ Festival when she was presenting, for Janome.  I was surprised when she went through her trunk show, and I saw how many of her tutorials I had tried myself over the years.  Ohh and she's just as fun in person as she is online! 



Noodle Head



Thanks to the tutorial from Noodlehead, I learned how to do zippers, and have a lovely lined zipper pouch.  These were my frist ever zipper pouches.  I always check out her site, to see what patterns are available.  Open Wide Zippered Pouch Tutorial.





 


Her Gathered Clutch tutorial is very well written and easy to follow.  It leaves you with a lovely little clutch, or you can add a wrist-strap.  I made a few of these for teacher gifts as well.



 

My mystery box



I'm also working on my own version of her Fabric Berry basket  
Mine is larger and specifically designed to hold something.....but I'll blog about that once I'm finished.  









Fairy Bra Maker

Beverly of Bra Maker's supply is a world renowned instructor and pattern designer for bra's, and other lingerie.  I have read through her blog, and learned so very much. I decided to give bra making a try after struggling for years to find affordable, comfortable supportive bras.  Her Craftsy classes are amazing, she has a great selection of fabrics and findings as well.  If you're lucky enough to live near Hamilton Ontario, go check out her store in person. If you're super lucky Beverly will be in the shop and fit you herself, so you get the perfect fit.  She even fits the wires to you....I was amazed.
So if you're interested in giving bra making a go, check out her blog, and website.  Then head on over and check out her Craftsy class.  Here's my affiliate link Craftsy Bra Making, sewing and construction.

Please take the time to check out these blogs, you can also follow these ladies on FB and IG.  Please leave me a comment and let me know about the blogs you follow, that inspire you.




Saturday, May 28, 2016

Behind the Threads.


I always love finding out why people sew....when they started, what inspired them, or still does.  I've had a few people ask me so I figured it would be easiest to include it in my blog.  My first time sewing was back in Home Ec, in 7th grade.  I don't remember everything I made, but there was a duffle bag, and a sweatshirt, I remember using the serger, and praying it wouldn't break a thread and I'd have to re-thread the thing.  I also remember how excited I was when the seam on the cuff lined up perfectly with the seam on the sleeve hahaa, oh the simple things.  I still get excited when everything lines up!!!  I made one quick sundress when I was about 19, just traced a simple tank dress I liked, on to some fabric, cut, sewed and hemmed......that was it for another 10 years or so. 

When I got married I started decorating my own home.  I made a couple of throw pillows, nothing exciting, and I was using an old machine that was pretty touchy.  Then my daughter was born.....ohh my so many cute things to sew for a little girl.  I started out with hand sewing felt food.  It was all the rage at the time, and I had some friends that were making them, and they were all so adorable, I couldn't resist. 

When my daughter was about 18 months a friend of mine posted a picture of her daughter in a 'pillowcase dress'.  I fell in love with it, googled a pattern and gave it a try.  There was no going back....once I had a taste of making clothes for her, I wanted to make more and more.  I made several for her and for birthday gifts.





Sew Ninja's Trella Twirly Skirt pattern
Then I tried new patterns, some pretty simple, others more elaborate. I even was able to be a pattern tester for Pollywoggles Patterns, and Sew Ninja.   I had a few friends that were sewing as well, and it kept it all fun and fresh to have people to share it with.  I had blogged about my sewing during this time, but that blog is no longer online.



Polly Woggles's Cecily Rose   is my favorite sundress pattern.  And it's reversible...so two dresses in one. 






I joined 'The Canadian Sewing Group' on Facebook, and well the rest is history.  I got inspired to 'Sew All The Things!!!'.  The first project I remember was the mug rugs.  They were huge at the time, and everyone was doing it.  If you've been living under a rock, then I'll let you know a Mugrug is a big fabric coaster, that will hold a mug and a snack, like a mini place-mat.  They're usually pieced and use a lot of quilting techniques.  They're a great quick project to try out something new on.



After that I went to table runners, oven mitts, and some zipper pouches.  I learned it all from Youtube, Pinterest,  Online tutorials, a few pdf patterns, and the amazing online sewing communities.



 I have to really give them all credit, they're so willing to help and share their tips and techniques, I don't know where I would be without them.


I moved on to sewing some clothes for me, and discovered the 'Fairy Bra Mother'.  I watched her Craftsy class, "Sewing Bra's, construction and fit".  bought a pattern and a kit, and have made several bras.  The first few I had some fit issues, but that is to be expected, but I have a couple that I wear all the time.  I need to get some more supplies, because I want to replace all of mine, and make a swimsuit.  Here is an affiliate link to her class Craftsy-Sewing Bra's Class

Here's a few other random items I've made.






Now that my daughter is in school, and I'm back to work full time, it's really cut into my sewing time.  I still plan on making time to sew, but I won't be able to make as many items as I have in the past.  I have to make my time worthwhile...Check back for second installment.  My blog inspirations.......and another one of my obsessions....BAGSSSS make all the bags!!!!

If you enjoyed reading about my background here are some others you can peruse.  I'll be adding them here as they are giving to me.

Seam of My Pants--Bio