Category Archives: Sewing

Persistent Tunic Perfected

From time to time, I carve out some time to do a little selfish sewing. Usually something I need, and ALWAYS comfortable.

I have a pretty limited wardrobe. I wear things that look like jammies because, well I have realized all these years that I like to feel comfy in my clothing. I don’t like to pull or tug or adjust things too much when I move around, and I move a lot. I also have a large chest area to cover, so if it is too low or fitted, I tend to fall out. And that is definitely not the look I am going for.

My outfits consist of a tunic, yoga pants, and if it is chilly (which it almost always is) I throw a fleece sweatshirt on top and fuzzy slipper socks on my feet (yes I wear these out with shoes too). I told you… comfy.

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I usually make my tunics, because not a whole lot of stores carry them, and the ones that do cost way more than I want to spend on myself. I have this one tunic that I made a while ago that I have worn out. It was time for another. Only, I didn’t make a pattern for it. Sheesh.

So I have tried a few times since then to reproduce it, and came close, but not the same.

Yesterday, I was determined to make one that I like! I went about tracing the original dress, and adding darts to the front, and then sewed it up and…it just wasn’t right.

I put it down, and walked away, and thought. What I came up with was to seam-rip the sides, and add a triangle strip of fabric to each side, along with pockets.

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Yup. That did the trick!

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The hardest part of sewing any outfit for myself, though, by far is taking the photos afterward. I cannot NOT be a goof.

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My poor girls. They both photographed me for this one.

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I used a red-linen blend fabric that I bought with this in mind, a few months back. It has taken me this long to actually cut into it!

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I love this one. Red is so sassy, don’t you think?

What do you like to make for yourself?

Covering the seatbelts

We recently traded our old beat up second car for…

and even OLDER beat up (but safe) second car. Ha!

It serves it’s purpose, and will be great for our oldest to learn how to drive on.

YiKES. I can’t believe I just said that.

Anyhow, with every older car, comes seat belts that have seen the sweat of many a year. So I made these:

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They couldn’t be simpler to make, really.

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I measured the width of the seat belt, then cut out a rectangle the length I wanted plus extra inches on each side for folding the width. Then folded each side once and hemmed. Then added a strip of velcro. One on the top and one on the opposite side (reverse side).

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You can see it when you fold the side up.

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Then fold the other side on top and press them together to close.

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Did you ever notice that when even simple projects are explained in detail, they seem complicated?

I assure you, this one is super simple despite my explaining!

Have you ever tried these?

What have YOU made today?

oliver+s tutorial: bringing it home

::I originally wrote this tutorial for the Oliver+s blog. Today I am bringing it home for you!::

I love the Oliver + S icecream dress, but have always wanted to make one completely lined. The biggest challenge with that was the added bulk under the armpit where the yoke connects with the gathered skirt. With just a few very simple changes, I managed to keep the one piece yoke, remove the bulk, and line the entire dress!

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Grab your pattern and let’s go!

You start with tracing the size you need of the yoke piece. I traced a size 6.

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Then line it up on top of the curved part of the pattern piece for the gathered skirt and extend the curve and a few inches beyond it. Repeat for the three other sides. Remember to extend the same amount on all sides.

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Now cut 2 out of fabric (one outer and one lining)

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I decided the back closure would have two buttons with elastic loops. So I inserted the elastic loops and clipped in place.

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Now, sew around the inner circle and down the back, but stop about 4 inches from the bottom, on both sides. Also sew down the flat outer edge (sleeves).

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Do not sew outer curves (sides of bodice), yet.

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 Turn whole yoke right side out and press flat.

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Put together the curved sides by matching front outer piece to back outer piece, and lining front to lining back. Do this on both sides to put the bodice together.

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Flip to the back.

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Remember when we stopped sewing 4 inches from the bottom? Well, now we are going to close it up.

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This can be a little tricky. Take the outer pieces and with right sides together, sew them to close up the back.

Then do the same thing for the lining.

Now you are ready to make the skirt part. I didn’t follow the pattern for these. Instead I cut out two rectangles (one outer fabric and one slightly longer lining). I like using the entire width of the fabric so it gathers up fuller. Feel free to make yours as full (or not) as you want! Also, you can choose at this point to make your lining shorter that the outer fabric. I liked the tiered effect, though.

Sew sides to form your skirt tube, and then gather top. Attach the outer skirt (right sides together) to the outer bodice.

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Repeat for the lining, although to keep the seams from showing, I connect the wrong side of the bodice lining with the right side of the skirt lining.

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Hem both skirt pieces. Sew on your buttons, opposite the loops.

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Admire the new version of this sweet dress.

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I also decided that one wasn’t enough, and sewed up a slightly different version. I made this one with the loops, but then decided I liked them as decoration and used snaps to close it up!

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So many possibilities.

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All very yummy.

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I made this one too!

Thanks so much for having me today! I had a lot of fun with this pattern.

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Another Pretty in Peplum

Remember the pattern I tested? I made another because it is THAT GOOD.

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Oh my goodness. Firstly, I must tell you about this fabric. I received it from Rachel of Imagine Gnats. This woman is full of awesome. I had a won a pattern bundle from her, and spotted this fabric that I fell in love with in her shop. Yadda yadda yadda, I asked and she did.

AND IT IS GORGEOUS.

I highly recommend a little visit over to her online shop to see all the incredible fabrics and patterns there are! And BTW: she didn’t ask me to promote her products at all. I just am cause she is lovely and her fabric is incredible. And I love to share wonderful things.

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OK I am finished swooning over Rachel. Now I am going to fawn over Abby some more.

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I did the short-sleeved version upon request of my Falafel.

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This time I finished the peplum part differently. I used FOE (fold over elastic) and sewed it on around. It gives the dress a bit of a Jane Jetson feel. Makes it bounce out a bit. I only wish I had grey. White works, though. I love how ruffly it looks.

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The Bee told her to put her glasses in her mouth, and this was, apparently. hilarious. She is suppressing a giggle in this one.

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Oh her teeth. The one next to the holes in front is now loose! I told her to go slowly pulling this one out, or I will have to blend all her food into liquid.

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Such a goof.

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Anyhow, I know this isn’t the last you have seen of this pattern here. It is fairly quick, and wears well. You can’t really ask for more than that!

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What have YOU made today?

Pretty in Peplum Dress Review

I recently had the honor of testing a stinkin’ cute pattern by Sew Much Ado called the Pretty in Peplum Dress.

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This is a knit dress pattern that comes with many options. Short, mid-length, and long sleeves. You can make it a shirt, too.

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This one is the dress with 3/4 length sleeves. I sewed up a size 6 for my petite nut, and it fits her perfectly!

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Falafel and I both love it! So comfortable while being very stylish.

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Abby walks you through working with knits, and the facing, and the construction thoroughly. Really not too difficult a sew. The only thing I think could be tricky for someone who hasn’t sewn with knits before, was hemming the peplum part because it is circular. But there are a number of ways you could finish it. This one was hemmed, but come back tomorrow to see another option. Cause you know I sewed up two. IT IS THAT FABULOUS.

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I only wish she had this pattern available in MY size! What do you say, Abby? Maybe Pretty Parents in Peplum, perhaps?

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Thanks for choosing me to test another one of your brilliant patterns!

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What have YOU made today??

Bear in the Square outtakes

When I photograph my girls, I always have tons that don’t make it into the posts (you’re welcome).

Most don’t make the cut for technical reasons (like a hair out of place, or the place I want focused, isn’t). But sometimes there are some fine photos that there just isn’t room for.

So I am sharing some fun ones today with you, that didn’t make the cut, yesterday.

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Have you entered the giveaway, yet? Click here to enter!

Good Luck!

Sew Many Books: and a Giveaway!

If you are hopping over from Nap-Time Creations, WELCOME!

Today is my turn to share my creation for:

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Sew many books is a series where you sew kids clothing inspired by books!

When I was thinking of books we love, my mind wandered to the early years when our children were small. There were so very many beautiful picture books that we treasured and read over and over and over. And even though our girls are 8 and 14, and we read many many wonderful books now, I couldn’t shake the nostalgia I was feeling for all of those books that came before. The ones that reeled us in to reading in the first place. Our foundation books.

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Bear in a Square by Stella Blackstone is one of those books. It is happy and colorful. Everything I have always thought childhood should be.

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I was a little hesitant to put my 8 year old in this vibrant outfit, but she LOVES it. It seems to fit her personality rather well. She insists on wearing the pants and tunic together, but she could mix it up (and tone down the circus vibe) by wearing them separately if she wanted. I don’t think that will happen though.

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Details: I did a lot of embellishing with this one. The front was made with basic shapes (just like the book). I thought the red outline with the two-triangle collar looked like a little house. The neckline is squared (get it? bear in a SQUARE). I used the Noelle Party Dress as a base (by Peek-a-boo pattern shop) and made my changes.

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I added snaps to the back and stripey pieces to the shoulders.

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And cut out shapes on the pockets. I used the same method I did for this pouch and this bag. One circle…

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and one square.

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This past year, I actually made this chair. As you can see, it is embedded in me. Subconsciously, this combination of colors came bubbling to the surface.

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I have to tell you, this whole outfit was made using Riley Blake Fabrics (even the polka dotted lining!) that they generously supplied me with. HOW AWESOME IS THAT??!!

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If you would like to enter the giveaway, you can do so on the Rafflecopter below!

Thanks so much, Emily, for including me in this series!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Refashioned Adult Jeans into Kid Overalls

My husband wears his jeans until they are scraps. Literally.

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So when he handed me these two holey pairs, I knew I wanted to make something for Falafel, but just wasn’t sure there was enough whole material to do so.

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Guess what? There was! I had to cut them strategically, and the legs are actually pieced together. I used my favorite overall pattern by Peek-a-boo pattern shop (like these and these).

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I had enough to make a pocket on the leg and two on the back.

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The only original top-stitching I could save was the side pocket which I made into the bib.

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I used some scraps to make bias tape for the leg hems, because the seams were too thick to double up and hem.

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I used actual denim top stitching thread for these. I had never used it before, and I really love the effect. There is less of it on each spool, though, so I went through 3 spools making this pair. overallclimbm

These overalls are sturdy for my girl who likes to really play…and pick apples.

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What have YOU made today?

Pinwheel barrettes

I found another gem of a craft out there on the interwebs, and whipped up some just in time for the girls going back to school.

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Little Button Diaries has a tutorial for these, and of course, I did them slightly different. But only slightly, because these are really simple to make!

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Firstly, I didn’t glue down the two layers of felt. I am lazy, what can I say? I did, however, hand sew all the points to the middle and the button on top.

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Then I took some of that crazy strong E6000 and secured the clip onto the back.

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Then repeated those steps a few hundred times.

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And in no time, my girl has a few fancy hair thingies to wear.

Have you made these? What are you making this week?

Penguin overalls

I whipped up another pair of Okey Dokey Overalls for my girl (upon her request). This time she chose this fabric from my stash.

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Corduroy PENGUINS !!

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This time, I made her a size 7, so she could grow into it (crossing fingers). Right now she is swimming in it, but that doesn’t seem to bother her. I think they look adorable, too.

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This pattern is fabulous. Lots and lots of beautiful little details. Not a quick sew by any means, but well worth the effort.

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Do you see the purple strip at the top? I had one of those sewing moments. You know the ones where you know you should stop sewing, but you keep on doing it anyway, and you accidentally put button holes where they absolutely should not be? Yup. That.

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“Mom, take my photos and then put them all together to spell YMCA“.

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OK.

We start back to school this week. Eeeeee.

When do your kids go back? Are they back already?

I think Falafel has a pretty good start to her wardrobe, at least. Not sure anyone is actually ready for this transition, but when are we? Here we go!