Tuesday, August 14, 2018

One Thimble Issue 20: Fun in the sun (and sand!)

I've been sewing in circles! One Thimble Issue 20 is out, and two of the 10 excellent patterns involve large circles, and I was lucky enough to try out both of them to share with you today.

First off we have the Piccolo Beach Mat from Piccolo Studio. I wanted to try and make my shares with as little shopping as possible, so I found some crinkly muslin-y fabric is my stash and a remnant of terry cloth. The crinkly fabric was rather narrow, but I managed to stretch it out enough to match the size of my terry cloth! I cut the biggest circle I could manage, and came up with a little mat just perfect for the baby to sit in the sand (or on the rather rocky beach at our favorite lake spot - which we haven't been to at all this summer! :( )

I simplified some Urban Threads embroidery designs so I could add a few fun details to my beach mat. A sea monster, treasure map, compass, and a whale! They add some color which is always a bonus for babies - gives them something to look at. Even my three year old likes it - "Look Mom! X marks the spot!"

The pattern also has instructions to quilt strips together to make a more detailed mat, and calls for larger pieces of fabric so it's satisfactory for a larger child as well. 

The second thing I get to share are the Noble Cubs Rock Pool Creatures, with a pattern for a magnetized fishing pole to catch them with! I loved sewing these little guys and their rock pool home. (The rock pool bag itself was a bonus tutorial with a preorder.) 

The creatures do take a little time, but none of them are difficult - and it's so fun to pick the different fabrics, find yarns and trims and things to accent them...and see them suddenly appear. Pop in a washer, and suddenly you have a little octopus, or starfish, or goby, ready to pick up with your fishing pole and play with!

My preschooler loves his fishing game, and I love that he can pack it all up in the neat drawstring bag and set it away when he's finished!

If you've made it this far, make sure you enter the giveaway below - Jen is generously giving away a $50 credit to One Thimble!! Wow! Which magazines are you missing from your collection?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading! Check out the rest of the posts on this tour - featuring all 10 of the amazing patterns in this issue of One Thimble! I can't wait to sew a few more (or all of them!)





Monday, July 16, 2018

Poolside with Winter Wear Designs' Coquette

Summer is here and we're loving the sun! Living in the middle of a prairie, a beach isn't exactly readily available, so the kids "make do" - with their favorite summer toy, the kiddie pool!

Sam was having fun hamming it up for the camera! We've had some really hot days, so the pool has been in constant use. For the tour, I chose to sew Coquette, but turn it into a swim cover - although Sam is pretty sure it's also an everyday dress. (Versatility! ;) )

I used a comfy baby French terry from a case pack I bought (too long ago!) from LA Finch Fabrics, and a stretch mesh from Pretty Posh Prints. This was my first time sewing with stretch mesh. I knew I wanted something really lightweight and breathable, and the print is so pretty! It compliments the pale pink of the French terry so well.

I love the contrast options on Coquette. The yokes are perfect spots to use little bits of special fabrics, or fussy cuts if you want a specific detail. There are instructions to layer sheer fabrics on the back. There's a drawstring option, but for simplicity's sake I gathered the skirt with clear elastic. 

There are tunic, dress, and maxi options, and 11 sizes from 1-14y. I love Coquette for a quick simple swim cover - comfy enough to wear all day, warm and cozy when she comes out of the cold water, and easy to slip on and off!

Make sure you visit the Winter Wear Designs Fun Facebook group for a chance to win 2 patterns from WWD, as well as a $50 gift card to Boho Fabrics!

Pull up a lounge chair and a cold drink, and don't miss a single stop on the Poolside Blog Tour:

Jackie Burney for Winter Wear Designs
Meriel of Elli and Nels



Diane of Sewing With D

Livia of Liviality
Patricia of Sew Far North

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sewing Blue Blog Tours: Change Up the Tee!

Kicking Off The Changing Up The Tee Blog Tour
What a fun tour this is! Sewing for boys has always seemed trickier to me; the designs and details just don't seem to be as varied! But it just forces you to think creative, and there are tons of options for dressing up basics to make them fun and unique. Even a small change can take a simple tee to the "next level".

I am a big fan of welt pockets, and I love the look of zipper pockets. I decided to put one on the chest of the GYCT Designs' Primary Tee (provided to bloggers for the purpose of this tour). Welt pockets using knits isn't one of the easiest things I've ever done, but I think it turned out pretty well. And I must have been paying attention somewhere, because I did this one off the top of my head! ;)

This little guy is such a patient model for me. He loves his new tee - "It's GOLD, mom!" - and I love how it looks on him. I made him a size 4 (he's a 3-4 RTW) and it fits perfectly. Pockets are always the perfect addition to children's clothing (and adults, too, let's face it!). A zipper adds interest, both visual and tactile. Try mixing it up and placing a kangaroo pocket, or add them to the side seams.

The Primary Tee & Dress is a unisex pattern in 11 sizes from 12 months to 12 years, so you can use it for a long time. It's a great basic wardrobe builder, and Chelsea has a great free Knit So Scary ecourse on her blog, so with that and this pattern, a beginner has the perfect base to start - and an experienced sewist can make up a whole wardrobe in no time!

Tee Pattern: Primary Tee (GYCT Designs)
Tee Fabric: Zicca Fabrics Quilt Illusion (other colorways available here)
Shorts Pattern: Olli Summer Shorts (Misusu Patterns)
Shorts Fabric: Shetland Flannel from LA Finch Fabrics


Thanks for reading! Check out what other bloggers are doing and come up with ideas for changing up the tee by following along with the blog tour below: 

Mon. July 2 Family of Makers 
Tues. July 3 Made for Little Gents 
Wed. July 4 Frullemieke 
Thurs. July 5 Made by Laura! 
Fri. July 6 Auschick Sews 
Thurs. July 12 My Sewing Roots | Elli and Nels 

The pattern is on sale until the 15th, so you still have a few more days to grab it for $2 off! Use code SEWBLUE in the shop!

 Ready for the giveaway to GYCT Designs Shop? Here you go! Good luck!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Sew Americana: Day 3

It's Sew Americana time again, hosted by Katy at Wild + Wanderful! Last year I sewed up matching outfits for my boys - they still wear them! - but this year Katy from Sly Fox Fabrics offered fabric from their Sew Americana collection, and I couldn't pass up the chance to pick out a fabric for myself!

I recently picked up the Tabor V Neck (Sew House Seven) and sewed myself the curved hem version with an overlapped neck binding. I think the overlap gives it a slightly more casual feel than a mitered neckband, as well as the cuffed sleeves. I lengthened it by a few inches; long tops are a personal preference. Sly Fox has a beautiful triblend jersey, and I'm in love with this "Tabasco". Red is my favorite, favorite color (perfect for this time of year!!) and I have a weird recent love for orange/rust tones - this color is the best of both worlds.

The shorts are the Tess Tulip Shorts by Bella Sunshine Designs. I just have to point out something here. I have not worn a pair of shorts in YEARS. Not even when I lived in Phoenix. I don't know what happened, but when I started thinking of what to sew, I suddenly had to make myself a pair of shorts! And - I love them. I'm still working on "the perfect fit", but these are darn good, and I have actually worn them - on purpose - in public twice now! So yay me! And yay Melissa from BSD, because you accomplished the impossible and now I won't be spending another whole summer in jeans. Thank you!

I'm really loving having such great summer clothes in my wardrobe. The fact that I make them myself is such a bonus! What's your favorite thing to sew for summer? I am not stopping at one pair of shorts! I got this star print stretch twill from Denver Fabrics, and I've made SO much with the 4 yards I started with. I'm only sorry it was a clearance fabric and I may not be able to find it again!

There's so much Americana inspiration celebrating our red, white, and blue with handmade beauties - links below! Don't miss a stop on the tour!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sewing Blue Blog Tours: Guys and Patriotic Vibes

Guys and Patriotic Vibes Blog Tour hosted by Made for Little Gents

I'm loving the Guys & Patriotic Vibes Blog Tour! Hosted by Made for Little Gents, with 11 bloggers, this tour celebrates America with fun inspired looks. And what's more American than a little football, while we're at it? ;)

Today I'm sharing my "patriotic vibes" with my best little model! He was so excited to have a new outfit, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. Just what I envisioned! This is my first reverse applique, and I don't know what took me so long. So quick and easy, and a great way to add detail.

My kids all need summer clothes (somehow they grew over the winter!) I created a coordinating outfit, but the pieces can stand alone as well. The striped French terry is one of my favorite fabrics ever (from Koshtex) - soft and cozy, perfect for comfy play shorts. The pattern is a modified Sprinkle Shorts from Puperita (I extended the outseam to make a straight hem rather than curved). A false drawstring adds the perfect touch.

For the Misusu Rowan Tee (and the contrast on the shorts) I used a denim cotton spandex from Purple Seamstress. I folded the sleeve hems and stitched them in place only on the shoulder, so they would twist to the armscye. The striped terry is the perfect applique detail. All together, it's a nod to our stars and stripes, without being overt holiday wear.

Celebrate America with the rest of us! Follow along with the Guys and Patriotic Vibes Blog Tour hosted by Made for Little Gents by viewing each blog contributor below. 

Mon. June 4 | Family of Makers 
Tues. June 5 | Made for Little Gents 
Wed. June 6 | Paisley Roots 
Thurs. June 7 | My Sewing Roots 
Fri. June 8 | EYMM 
Mon. June 11 | Elli & Nels in Stitches 
Tues. June 12 | Custom Made by Laura 
Wed. June 13 | Our Play Palace 
Thurs. June 14 | Sew Cute Couture by Kathy 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Day Dreamer

I'm back for another Winter Wear Designs tour - Romp On! It's all about the rompers, but I took a different spin on it. My girls are old enough now where wearing rompers isn't all that practical - especially when they're out and about, or at school. My preschooler goes through July, and needs clothes that she can manage herself, so we went with separates instead!

Day Dreamer is perfect for separates. With multiple top and bottom options, it's easy to pick and choose an outfit that looks beautiful in one piece or two. I made a sleeveless top that snaps easily up the front, with a simple drawstring waist for a little "design flair" (and in keeping with the romper pattern details). The bottom I kept very simple - it's a gathered skirt (which is a pattern option, but SO easy to put together on its own!) I cut the full width of the fabric for a lot more volume and "twirlability".

Even with creating my own bias tape, I used under a yard of rayon challis for this top. The skirt was one yard exactly, so this is a pretty fabric-economical outfit, even in the larger size range. Making bias tape with rayon challis is tricky, but I'm so glad I did it - self-binding is so polished. I love the pintucks in the bodice of Day Dreamer; one of my favorite design details in a top pattern.

She loves the outfit - kept it on all afternoon after photos, and wore the skirt again to church this morning with a different top. Making separates means twice as many outfit options, which is always a bonus for this girl!

Don't miss any of the spectacular rompers
 on the Romp On Tour!!!






Wednesday, May 16, 2018

One Thimble Issue 19: Playtime!

It's Playtime with One Thimble Issue 19! I sewed three patterns from this issue, and I'm showing you those today along with a review of the magazine. There is so much, I hardly know where to start!

My 3 year old is named Ethan, and somehow or other since he's been a baby this has morphed to Efan (Big Sis #1), Beefin (Big Sis #2), Beeps, and Beepin. I knew I had to make him a "Beep Beep Sweatshirt" from Made by Jack's Mum, and I have a special love for cool joggers with fun details, so the Alfie Sweatpants from Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns were perfect - with their quilted knee patches, faux drawstring, and *swoon* front welt pockets, how could I resist?

The third pattern I chose was the Take and Play activity wall hanging from Kaela's Patch - there are 12 activity blocks to choose from, and I chose nine to work with materials I had (and modified here and there!) It was such a fun sew - choosing fabrics, buttons, and I even enjoyed the quilting it all together!

The Beep Beep Sweatshirt comes in sizes Prem (Premature/Preemie baby) - 12 years. At it's base, it's a simple, comfy sweatshirt, with side panels and optional pockets for a loose, easy fit - and a little playful toy storage! Along with the pattern, you get an applique file for the "road" pieces, should you decide to make the sweatshirt as featured on the pattern cover. I used half of the road piece to go just over the front of my sweatshirt, and painted "bricks" on the Yellow Brick Road. I used a fun floral interlock for the side panels and pockets, imagining the fields of flowers covering The Land of Oz (or the poppy fields that the Cowardly Lion fell asleep in!) A bright green was perfect for the rest of the sweatshirt, and I was so glad to find a photo of some perler-bead characters while googling - finger puppets would have been fun, but I didn't think I'd have time to think up a design, pattern it, and hand stitch them! Good thing I got my photos with my bead pieces right away, because they've all been loved to death in the last week! I'll have to remember to melt them better next time.

I quilted the knee patches on my Alfies just one way, using fleece as my "batting" so it would still have some stretch to it. The more I sew welt pockets, the more I love them - while they are a bit trickier in knit fabrics, these pants went together so well and the end result is just amazing. I love mustard/grey as a color combo! I made the cuffs with twice the required height, so he'll be able to wear these for a while - the waist is actually a bit bigger than he needs right now, and he seems to be on a steady track of growing up faster than out! The Alfie Sweatpants include sizes 3-12y, and have 4 different views - so you'll never be bored making them!

Finally, the Take and Play. I decided not to trim down my blocks as much as suggested, and ended up with a slightly bigger mat - instead of finding a hanging rod, I went with a quilt style so it can be floor mat! I love the different activity squares included - you can make it geared toward curious bigger fingers, learning to lace and tie, or button or zip - or toward tiny fingers that just like to feel and pull. I did a sort of blend - the felt flowers, for example, do come off of their button centers, and the zippers all work - but instead of the ties, I secured the laces and slid buttons on them, for baby fingers to grasp at and slide back and forth. I also did one Velcro activity, and lots of ribbon, felt, and ric-rac for texture exploring.

The pattern is a great jumping off point for anything else you can think of - snaps, buckles, matching colors/shapes...the possibilities are really endless and whether you go with your imagination or the pattern, you know the end result will be fun and engaging every time.

I love the sewing scrapbusters tutorials included in Issue 19. You can make a "fancy" hair scrunchie, a toy wallet (my girls are all about Littlest Pet Shop right now, and those tiny things are hard to keep track of! But no more!), and a scrappy doll quilt. These little projects are not only great for keeping your "sewjo" going when you're spinning your wheels, but they're perfectly designed for kids who want to sew. I think I might carve out some time for my 7 year old to pull her little machine out again this week!

Mr Fox's article made me laugh - I'm sure my husband would echo his views! I have an unfortunate habit of purchasing fabric to make him "something" - only to get distracted, forget about it, use "his" fabric for something more "fun" - lather, rinse, repeat every few months. As a result he really never gets anything new, but the intentions are there! Never mind the mending...

Issue 19 is a great one for beginner sewists - and beginner business owners. Some articles for beginning sewists include Tips for Sewing with Knits, Kids Can Sew!: A Guide for Teaching Children the Sewing Basics, Sew Like a Pro: A Guide to Sewing Classes and Lessons, and Their First Sewing Machine. For the beginning business owner, there are articles on Facebook Analytics, and algorithms, by editor Jen Kennedy. There is also a wonderful checklist for a beginning business owner!

Lindsey Essary of Ellie & Mac Patterns wrote an article that I had a few thoughts on - it was about adding people to her team, instead of scrambling to be everything by herself. It's a great reminder that while you're helping yourself, you can help others too - you don't have to "do it all", and you're often more productive if you know your limits! I thought to myself - This is true not only from a business standpoint but also as a hobbyist. Sometimes you need to go support another business owner, and let someone else make you that new wallet or pair of slippers! It's really easy to start thinking "I can do that, I can learn that" - and get overwhelmed very quickly. Then you risk losing yourself and your own love of whichever craft you started with!

Issue 19: Playtime! also includes 7 more patterns - a fun variety, too! A plush chicken - traffic sign cushions - a pullover sweater with different neckline options - a dress, a pinafore with some surprising details, a bag, and a felt activity board. There is something for everyone here - all kinds of crafters, all ages, can enjoy Issue 19. If you need more inspiration and fun (and of course you do!) make sure you didn't miss any posts on this tour! Links below!