Category Archives: Sewing

My very first swimsuit

I sewed up my very first swimsuit, The Coco Cay Color block Tankini by Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop.

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*affiliate link*

I am still getting to know The Contessa. I make myself sew all knits on her because she has some awesome knit stitches. BUT I am very much still learning it all. With that said, this suit did not come out perfect. And that is OK. I am showing you anyway. Why not share the learning process?

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It is most definitely wearable, but there are places that I could have been more consistent. I also didn’t hem it. I want to master the double needle (which I have never used) before I tackle that. Good thing this swimwear will not fray, so no rush.

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You can see here where I didn’t pull the elastic tight enough in the shoulders, and a little too tight around her shoulder blades.

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Overall, though, it is very similar to sewing a unitard (which I have sewn here and here).

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She does love it in all it’s sparkly purpleness.

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I do love Amy’s patterns. They are so easy to follow and she has so very many to choose from. I will be sewing this one up again.

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Have you ever sewn a swimsuit before?

The Boho Trouser pattern test

Recently, I tested a pattern for Heidi from Elegance & Elephants.

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The Boho Trouser (and shorts) pattern!

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Firstly, Heidi’s patterns are beautiful to look at. Seriously. I even showed it to my husband and said “Look at how pretty!”. Her photos are really well done, and each one is very informative. I am such a visual gal, so I require photos that help me for each step. This one does not disappoint.

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I learned a few new techniques from this pattern, as well. The pockets go together in a way that is new to me. I have also never used bartacks before! And how cool is that elastic waistband??!! When I learn something from a pattern, I consider it to be well worth having.

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I happened to have this sparkly striped weird fabric (really no idea what it is) in my stash. It appears to have some kind of metallic thread in it, and reminds me of Richard Simmons. Of course, my girl loves them.

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There is a pants option that I cannot wait to try, too. For now, these will be a great wardrobe addition for the Summer (if it ever warms up again!).

What do you look for in a pattern?

Testing the Timmy Top

I recently tested a fun pattern for a friend of mine, Amy of Friends Stitched Together, and Crafting con, and now….Mama Quail Patterns! And now I get to share it with you.

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The Timmy Top!

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This pattern is not a quick sew, but it has so many fun little details, and the yokes go together in a really unique (to me) way. I always say that if I learn a new method or technique from a pattern, it’s a good one.

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I let Falafel choose the fabric for this shirt, from my stash. Who knew that paperclips and foxes went so well together?

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I sewed up a size 6 for my petite nut and it fit perfectly.

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There are so many variations you can make of this shirt. Really your imagination is the limit! Even though it technically is for boys, as you can see, it works for girls too. BTW: I want to turn those pocket flaps into eyes so badly. Maybe the next one.

If you would like to purchase your own copy of this pattern, it is 30% off right now using the coupon code: TIMMYTOP  here.

Easy and satisfying

I have seen these around the web-o-sphere for some time now, and have been itching to make one. My wish list and to-do lists are equally long. And sometimes I find myself needing to create, but not having a whole lot of time to do so. That wish list is always more fun.

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In steps frivolous sewing! It really was so simple to figure out how to make. And even quicker to put together.

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Just and embroidery hoop, some fabric, and minimal sewing on the pocket. I think it is just what my sewing space (and I) needed!

What easy projects have you done lately?

Kitchen Linen Challenge

Sew Mama Sew is hosting a Kitchen Linens challenge given to a few sewists by Spoonflower. I was one of the lucky 6 people chosen to participate!

I had to choose 2 different fabrics to use for my kitchen project. Most of you know Spoonflower for being a great place to design your own fabric, but they also have fabric from individual designers that you can purchase. Let me tell you, putting the words “Kitchen” into the search brought up so many fabrics my head was spinning. SO many fabulous choices. It took a while to narrow it down.

As I was browsing the selection, I came across this cookie print (and if you know me, you know I LOVE food fabric) and it hit me…

COOKIES AND MILK!

I searched for milk themed fabrics and fell in love with this retro milk bottle print. And a beautiful match was made.

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I decided to do 2 different types of oven mitts. The one in the photo above was made by tracing one that we already have.

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For the other, I followed a tutorial (loosely) by Miss Mary Sewing Classes. I actually winged the shape, and top stitched (and she didn’t), but the idea is the same. There is a liner and Insul-Bright (*affiliate link*) in each one to make them heat resistant.

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Something about the combination of the cookies and milk theme, and that retro fabric makes me think of a classic Vintage housewife a la Lucille Ball.

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*BTW: That apron was my Mom’s and I wore it my High School production of Bye-Bye Birdie when I played Mrs. Macafee (about about 25 years ago-yikes!). Now my oldest is wearing it.

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There you go! As simple as, well…cookies and milk.

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It was hard to restrain herself from eating these until the end.

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Be sure to check out the other challengers’ posts this week!

Sherri from Rebecca Mae Designs: http://www.rebeccamaedesigns.com/

Trina from Will Cook for Shoes: http://www.willcookforshoes.ca/

Daisy from Ants to Sugar: http://antstosugar.com

Alicia from Two Kids and a Blog: http://twokidsandablog.com

Mary from See Mary Quilt: http://www.seemaryquilt.com/

The Contessa sews a Unitard

You read that right. My new machine finally has a name.

The Contessa (thanks to my friend Kirsten). She is certainly royalty around here.

I sewed my first garment with this beautiful machine. We are still getting to know each other. I managed to break two needles, and cause her to put up a message “the machine needs to rest for a moment“.

Oh Contessa. I hope I did not offend.

We sewed up a favorite pattern of mine: The Casey Unitard Biketard pattern

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My girl requested another, but slightly larger. She likes her gymnastics outfits a little looser. I know. I know. But that is my girl.

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I only had FOE on hand, so the straps came out a little too narrow for my taste. She is allergic to elastic touching her skin (I have the same allergy. It is actually the chemical that makes elastic stretchy), so I couldn’t use the fold over elastic the way it was intended. I had to cut it in half, and then fold the fabric around it twice. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that one through and compensate when cutting out the pattern. Live and learn.

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My Falafel loves it, regardless.

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Besides making it a little roomier, her only request was that it have the silver sparkle fabric on top (and luckily, I had enough for one panel).

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I think for our first time sewing together, the Contessa and I did rather well.

I love sewing with knits. I bet this suit would be equally fun in stretch velvet!

Have you named your machine? What have you two sewn up lately?

Pillowcase dress assignment

My oldest daughter is taking a fashion design class, and one of their assignments is to make a pillowcase dress to donate to a charity for girls in Africa. So The Bee asked me if I would be able to whip a few up to contribute.

YES. Pillowcase dresses are one of the easiest things to sew up, and all you need is a pillowcase, elastic, and some bias tape. I didn’t even use a pattern.

I just happened to have two pillowcases in my stash, you know, for emergency sewing purposes.

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I had my Falafel try them on and model them for me.

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This one came out a bit longer. I love that these will fit a variety of different sized girls.

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As The Bee was making some bias tape for hers, I actually had her watch Dana’s brilliant Bias Tape making video. Because it is always better coming from someone other than “Mom”. Right Moms?

 Have you made pillowcase dresses? Do you make your own bias tape?

May Witch

I was commissioned by my beautiful friend to make her a hat.

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This was such a fun project. I finished it in one night (I was that excited!). I always dreamed of being a witch as a kid. I think it started with the TV show “Bewitched“.  Elizabeth Montgomery made it look so easy. I never did understand why she chose Dick York as a husband, though. He was kind of a dork.

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Anyway, I drafted this pointy hat, and made it from felt and velvet with wire in the brim. She gave me all of these beautiful things to work with. The tulle and the peacock feathers, and shell button. Gorgeous.

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Point up or down, I think she looks fantastic! Maybe we all should wear witch hats. I think we can start a new trend.

Celebrating 10 years with some friends

Sew Mama Sew hits 10 years this month. I absolutely love visiting their blog. I always go away with some helpful nugget of information. They are always full of the best kind of creative awesome.

And to help them celebrate, I chose to sew up one of their (700+) free tutorials.

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The Adelaide Tank out of plum colored linen.

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I made a few changes, of course. Firstly, I made it tunic-length.

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And added teal cotton pockets.

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I also folded and sewed this little shoulder detail. It looks like a gift.

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This is the same pattern I sewed up here for Sew the Show, only I sewed up a large. That version came out a little tight across my bust area, so I thought I would sew up an XL this time. It was slightly too big, but easily fixed with folding up the straps. Either way, it is a great flexible pattern. Did I mention that it was FREE??!

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I paired it with some of my self-drafted yoga pants. This is my kind of outfit. Just a step above pajamas… and so comfy!

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Happy Anniversary, Sew Mama Sew! I am SEW happy for you, and wish you another successful 10 years (at least). Thank you for all the wonderful sewing resources and the opportunity to sew along with you.

You are not seeing double

I was a little frustrated at how the Anna coronation dress came out. So I did what any self respecting sewist would do….

I took it apart, and made some changes!

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I shortened the bodice, slightly. Then I took a few inches out of the skirt-portion of the dress lining. I also angled the pleats a little more severely.

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I hemmed both the lining and outer skirts.

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I feel much better about sending it to my niece, now.

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My girl decided to reenact the scene where the princess falls cause she thinks it is funny.

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Luckily, she stayed on her feet.

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Here’s what the dress looked like before, and then after I made changes.

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Much better!

What have YOU made today?