2.24.2017

beards, mustaches, glasses, OH MY!

Most of my sewing projects and posts so far have been geared towards either myself or my daughter. So, lots of skirts, dresses, and girly fabrics.

Today, we are going to look at something a little different and a piece that I love so much!

This little vest makes me so happy!


Let's talk about the fabric first! The fabrics for this project are all from Hawthorne Threads. They sent me this fun little gift of fabrics from a few collections by Dear Stella

As soon as I saw this fabric, I knew I wanted to make a fun little piece of clothing for a boy. At first I thought about doing a bow tie, but I knew that wouldn't be big enough to show off all these great beards!

I settled on a vest after a few days of thinking and decided to try out this Boy's Vest Pattern from Jessica Rabbit at Me Sew Crazy. The pattern calls for an exterior fabric and an interior fabric. I actually ended up using four different fabrics. 

I used the beards for the front exterior fabric, and I used a plain white cotton for the back interior fabric. This white cotton was fabric from my stash. 


I didn't get a picture of the back of the vest, but the material that I used on the pockets is the same material I used for the exterior back. It's called Net in Smoke from the Net collection by Dear Stella


I used this fabric for the front, interior lining. It's called Dress Stripe in Orange from the Dress Stripe Collection by Dear Stella.


I really like the pop of color on the inside lining. I wanted to bring that to the outside as well, which is why I went with the orange buttons. 



One of my favorite details on the pattern are these little front exterior pockets! I had never sewn pockets like this, so I spent a lot of time making sure I got it right. I'm pretty sure that pockets elevate any outfit for me. 


This vest obviously wasn't made for Addison, but she did have a fun time trying it on. 


I actually made this vest for Addison's friend Cole. He's the cutest and one of the few boys (actually the only boy) in Addison's nursery class at Church. I wanted to see how it looked once it was done so I made sure to make it in his size and gave it to his Momma. I can't wait to see him in it! 

I've got a few more projects coming up including some things I've been sewing more myself, as well as Addison's Easter outfit, so stay tuned!






2.08.2017

knit fabrics are just like toddlers

A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and bought some knit fabric. I had run up to Hobby Lobby real quick to get some black thread to mend a bag and while I was there, I saw they had some jersey knit on sale. I had been thinking about getting some jersey because several of my sewing goals for 2017 involve sewing up knit garments. I decided to get 3 yards in order to have a bit to practice on before cutting one of my projects.

I knew I wanted to practice with something small, because I've heard that sewing with knits can be tricky. However, I also wanted something cute and fun, so I decided to use this free peplum pattern from Sew Much Ado. It's a really cute pattern and it makes a fun and functional top for a toddler (read: there are no buttons or zippers and since it's a knit, it's super comfy!)


It was during this project that I discovered that sewing with knit fabrics is very similar to parenting a toddler. If you have a toddler or have raised one or even spent an hour with one, you'll know that it's not as easy as it looks. Here's a few examples:

First, knit fabrics never sit still. Just like my toddler is constantly moving around, even when she's sitting down, knit fabrics move easily. The plus side of this is they can make great flowy garments. The down side, however, is it gets difficult when it comes to cutting out your pattern and keeping them together when you take it to the sewing machine. So, here's some tips:

1. Use pattern weights. I think there are projects and fabrics that you can get away with cutting your pattern without using weights (as I've done with all my previous projects), but I have also decided that knits need help. So you can purchase pattern weights, or you could also just go get some large washers from your husband's tool kit or local home depot and use them to weigh down your pattern pieces and keep your fabric still while cutting.

2. Always pin, and pin, and pin. Since I've mostly been doing small projects with woven fabrics, I sometimes skip pinning (gasp), but on this project, I used almost every pin I could find. I pinned. And then I would go back and see that somehow my pieces still weren't lined up. So I pinned again!


Second, they are hard to hold on to. I don't know about your toddlers, but mine is all over the place. She asks to be picked up and then immediately she's jumping back out of my arms. She really doesn't like holding my hand and walking with me. She marches to the beat of her own drum. At times, it's adorable, but when we're in a parking lot or trying to get somewhere, it can be trying. My knit fabric was just as trying at times. I would pick it up and it would drape the wrong way. I would fold it and it would go in exactly the opposite direction I wanted. I experienced most of this while I was cutting my initial pattern pieces. I had three yards of fabric that I was dealing with, and trying to get an accurate pattern cut was difficult. It got better once I was just working with my pattern pieces, but man, I almost quit before I even got the pattern cut!


Third, when it's all said and done, you love it anyway, and you just want more!! I know you've all had those days when you thought your patience couldn't be tried anymore, and then as soon as you lay down your baby and they fall asleep, you just stare at them and realize that you couldn't love anything more and all of the troubles from earlier seem so small and trivial. Well, that's what I felt when I finished this little knit top. It was the most difficult project I've made so far, but once I was done, I had this adorable, flowy little peplum top that I knew was going to be easy to get on my busy toddler and super comfy for her to wear. And I knew that no matter how difficult knit fabric was, I wanted to find more patterns for knit fabrics and make them all!


Thanks for reading! 

Leave a comment and let me know either (a) your favorite toddler activity, or (b) your favorite knit sewing pattern/project! 

I hope you (and your toddlers) have a great day!





1.20.2017

my 2017 sewing goals



So, back a couple weeks ago, when everyone was making their resolutions and goals, I decided to write out some sewing goals for 2017. I mostly did it to keep myself focused and give me some direction when I am buying fabrics and notions. 


This was my original list. Over the past few weeks, as I have sewn a few more things and been discovering new patterns, I made a few tweaks to the list and wanted to share it. I am hoping that this list will help me continue to learn and grow my skills as well as continue to hone in on what I really enjoy sewing the most. I decided to keep it at 10 so I could try to do 1 project each month, and if I needed to, skip a month. The 11th one isn't a specific project, but I want to take 2 sewing classes to help me understand techniques I will need to use in some of these projects. 

So, here they are, in no particular order. I've linked up to the patterns for these in case anyone else wants to sew any of these projects! 

I hope to blog about each of these as I complete them and do a review of the patterns and how they turned out!






6. Quilt - Any Size

7. Make something for someone else (if you want to be that someone, let me know what you want!)




11. Take two sewing classes (Still deciding on the two I want to take. I'll update you when I decide)


top 5 sewing tutorials for beginners

Hey guys! While I am in between projects (aka on vacation!) I thought I would share a post with some links that were helpful for me as I started learning to sew.

I am going to share with you the top 5 blog posts that were helpful for me as a beginner sewer and that I think everyone should check out when they are first starting.


1. First, I'm sharing Dana Willard's post "How to Sew". This is one of the first videos I watched and it was very helpful. I knew some of the information before, but if you're a total beginner, you need to watch this video! After you watch it, be sure to check out her other videos. Once you get familiar with your machine, you're going to want to sew everything she shows you!


2. Next, I think you should just sew something! The best way to get the hang of it and gain confidence is to make something. I would recommend going to Melanie Ham's blog and going through her tutorial for an infinity scarf. It's super simple, requires minimal fabric and it's something you can always use! 

3. If you started sewing because you have some really practical things you need to do, like make your clothes fit better, check out Melly Sews. Something I think we can all agree on is that we'd like our clothes to fit us! I recently read through her tutorial on hemming jeans and it helped me with my recent project to make all my jeans fit the way I wanted. Check out this post to find out how to keep your hem looking like the original!


4. If you're wanting to sew for your new baby, hop on over to Sew Much Ado and check out her tutorial for a Peplum top. It's really cute and it doesn't involve zippers or buttons or anything so it's a great beginner project. Plus, it's in a knit fabric which makes it great for getting it on and off easily. She has a free pattern available in 12-18 month size! 


5. Lastly, for those of you who want to sew for your home in order to get the exact look your going for, try this tutorial for an envelope pillow cover from Delia Creates. I love making these because you can easily make "seasonal" pillow covers by getting the fabric you want and slipping these on and off all of your throw pillows throughout the year!


There you have it! 5 beginner tutorials for whatever kind of sewing you want to do! Be sure to browse all of these sites for more great tutorials. These are definitely ones that I visit over and over when I need help with something!