Tag Archives: Sewing

Sewing Days

Now that the busyness of the holidays is over, Jude is back in school, and life has resumed a nice easy pace; I’ve been able to do some long overdo sewing.  My sister-in-law Alli is due at the end of this month, and it’s going to be a little boy!  Alli’s good friend Theresa hosted a small baby shower for her last night and I wanted to make sure this baby had small selection of baby basics.

Often I will hand dye onesies before I embellish them, but I know Alli, and she loves her babies in white.

I also made a few bibs.

This fabric right here; I am particularly pleased with.  It is an out of print Michael Miller called “Fly a Kite”.  I bought a half a yard of it on Etsy about a year ago.  I loved it!  I used every square inch of that half yard.  It was the perfect, and oh-so elusive, gender neutral fabric.  When I went to try to find more on Etsy there was none to be found (I found a little on Ebay but it was more than I wanted to pay).  Last week at our local fabric store I strolled past the sale table and saw a whole bolt of it for half off!  I promptly bought 2 yards, and stopped every person from the cutting counter to the check out counter and told them about my excellent find.

I like using buttons to fasten the bibs.  It’s a little more work to put the bib on, but once it’s on it stays on!

I added a few burp rags too.

I made Eliza another  Polka Dot & Summer Dress (from Fig Tree Co)

The dress went so much smoother the second time around and I was able to improve upon some of the techniques I used the first time around.

The box pleats tuned out much better.

This is some darling trim I found at the fabric store.  I have no idea what I’m going to with it; I just had to have it!

Justin bought me this book as a Christmas present.  I have followed Meg’s blog for a long time, and was itching to get her latest book.

Quite a few of her projects involve sewing with knit.  I want to expand my sewing skills and I thought this simple infant tee,

or this pull-over bib would be great beginner projects.  Now that I have my serger I’m feeling more confident about sewing with knit.  The bib and the envelope tee apeal to me becuase they don’t use a lot of fabric.  Which is nice, because knit fabric can be a little pricey and if I make a mistake I haven’t blown a whole yard.

These are some of the knit fabric I’ve been eyeing on Etsy.
Oliver + S, City Weekends {image source}
And these Spoonflower prints. {image source}

I know it’s been ages since I’ve done a real “Show & Tell Wednesday” and I’m hoping to remedy that soon.  I have a few ideas I’m kicking around and I think you’ll like them!


Show & Tell Thursday?

I had this post planned for Show & Tell Wednesday, but a class field trip and sick kiddos put me a day behind.  So today I’m breaking out of the mold, going hog wild and doing Show & Tell on Thursday.  What can I say, I’m wild, I’m a rebel (not really… in fact I’m the complete opposite of that. I am rule follower, because after all that’s what they’re for.)

This is a little sneak peak at some things I’ve been working on for the last week.

I was invited to take part in Ladies Night Out next Thursday night.  Ladies Night Out is a fun event hosted at Jake’s Coffee in Ripon (CA).  Vendors set up tables with their wears, and people are able to shop while enjoying fresh coffee and delicious coffee-house treats.  It happens once a month, but this is my first time to participate and I am so excited!  I’ve been busy making hair clips, infant headbands, pins and even doing a little sewing.  I’m hoping to have some more Sunday-go-to-meetin’ bags done by Thursday as well.

Here’s some of the pieces I’ve made so far~

A wide variety of hair clips in lots of fresh, fun colors.  I really had fun this time experimenting with different techniques and materials.  I pulled out everything I had!  The sewing room was quite the site.

I also made some larger flowers with pins on the back.  I thought they would be really pretty on a scarf or jacket.

I made a few infant headbands, I might try to make a few more.

I didn’t want to leave you high and dry without any creative inspiration.  So, I thought i would show you how to make a basic flower rosette.

I think these are even easier than the folded rose tutorial I did a few months ago.  They’re fun little flowers that can be made to look dressy or playful.  You can use a variety of fabrics (cotton, silk, satin, linen) and you can add little trinkets to the center.

First step: The Supplies

You will also need a glue gun and a sewing machine.

The 2×32 inch measurement doesn’t need to be precise.  You don’t have to get your straight edge and measuring tape out (unless you like that sort of thing, then by all means have at it).  A strip this wide and long will make a rose that is about 3 inches in diameter.  Longer and wider will make bigger and fatter roses.

Now, fold your fabric in half and lay the netting on top of the fabric.  The fabric is folded over but the netting is not.

Set your machine to the longest stitch setting it has.  DO NOT backstitch! Leave a long tail string, you will need that to gather the material.  Stitch the length of the strip.  Sew closely to the unfinished edge of the material.  Once you get to the end of the strip, do not backstitch, and leave another long tail string.

Hold your fabric in one hand and pull on one of the threads.  Holding the thread tightly, carefully push and gather the layers of fabric with the other hand.

It will look like this when it’s all gathered up.

Now to make the rosette:

Start at one end and make a small tight spiral.  Place a dab of hot glue along the bottom of the spiral to secure it.

Keep spiraling the fabric around the center.  Place a bead of hot glue all along the bottom edge to hold the shape of the rose.

As you spiral gradually flatten the “petals” out.  This will take a little practice but you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

This is what it looks like from the back.

Keep going until you run out of fabric or you like the size of the flower.  Take the unfinished edge and glue it behind the rose.

Next, hot glue the felt circle to the back of the flower.  This hides the stitching and gathers, and gives you a flat, even place to glue the clip.

Using the super glue, glue the hair clip (or pin) to the center of the circle.

All finished!  I recommend making a bunch of roses, sticking them on everything in sight, and giving them to everyone you know.

Have fun playing around and experimenting!  ~April


Tutorial: Sunday-go-to-meetin’ Tote

To make a tote with braided handles and a regular pocket you will need the following pieces~

To make a tote with regular handles and a crayon pocket you will need the following pieces~

The first step is the fun part: embellishing your tote.  Anything you want to put on the bag needs to be done at this point.

You can add flowers, trim, appliques, monograms, whatever you like.

To add a some lace trim to the top edge of the bag simple place a straight edge ruler along the top of the bag (about an inch to and inch in a half from the top), pin lace in place and sew onto the fabric.  Repeat these steps to the other side of the outer material.

The next step in the process is to make the pockets for the totes.

First up is the crayon pocket.  Take your crayon pocket piece and fold it in half (right sides together). Iron it in place.

Stitch around the edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Next we need to make the markings for the crayon holders.

Using a light colored pencil or chalk mark 3/4 of an inch in from side seam.  Lightly draw a line.  Keep making 3/4 of an inch marks down the pocket until you get to the other edge.

Stitch along each marking being sure to back-stitch when you start and stop.  It should look like this~

Now we move onto the handles.

To make the braided handles, take three strips of fabric and stitch them together along the top side.

Once they are sewn at the top, braid the pieces together.  If you have a hook or coat rack, I found it was easiest to braid the pieces when you placed the end of the braid over a hook.  You can also have someone else hold one end while you braid.  You just need a little tension on the fabric strips in order to get even and tidy braids.

You want your braids to end up being 16 inches long.   If they are longer than that, simply un-braid them until they are the right length.

Sew the bottom edge of the braid together with your machine.

Next we will sew the lining and the outer part of the tote.  Take the two outer pieces, right sides together and pin them in place.

Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew all the way around the outer pieces.

Next, you are going to place the lining of the bag inside the outer bag.  Make sure that the lining is inside out and the outer bag is wrong side out (in other words, the lining and the outer bag need to be right sides together).

Using a ruler mark 2 inches in from the edge of the bag.  Do this on both sides of the bag.  Repeat this step on the other side of the bag as well (these markings will indicate where your handles will go).

In this picture I am using the regular handles but you do the same steps for the braided handles also.

Using a 1/2 an inch seam allowance, sew all the way around the top edge of the tote.

Stitch up the hole in the lining.  Push the lining down inside the tote,

Iron the top edge smooth.

For the last step you will topstich the top edge of the tote.

There you have it!  You now hold the keys to tote-making-heaven.  You can adjust the dimensions to make the bag bigger or smaller, you can use more sophisticated or funky prints to give to a girlfriend.  Or you can cut up an old pair of jeans and make one for your son.  The sky is the limit my friend

Have a great time making your own Sunday-go-to-meetin’ totes!  I’d love to see what you all come up with!

Also, if there is any part of this tutorial that seems unclear to you, please feel free to send me a private message and I will do my very best to walk you through the step.  I am usually pretty prompt about answering any questions regarding tutorials.

Thanks again, April

Show & Tell Wednesday

Normally for Show & Tell Wednesday I have a theme or a specific project planned, but this week it’s more of a, “What’s been happening in the sewing room” kind of Show & Tell.

I finally got around to making Eliza a little dress.  My sweet friend Beth invited us to her house so we could work on sewing projects.  The kids played together and we got down to business.  I had in mind a nice fall/winter jumper.  I had some ideas and inspirations tucked in the back of my mind and found a pattern that I could tweak to look the way I envisioned it in my head.  Here’s what I came up with~

I have been drooling over a certain line of girl’s clothing called Matilda Jane, and after seeing Rachel’s adorable photo shoot with her daughter wearing a darling “vintage” dress with a pinafore I knew I wanted this jumper to have one as well.

This pattern was such a breeze to make!  I finished it in one morning and only had to get my seam ripper out once (that’s a record for me).

I also gathered some fun accessories to go with the new dress.

(a.) A matching “Sunday-go-to-Meeting” bag, (b.)  jumper pattern- Simplicity 2875, the jumper is made out of a mossy green corduroy, the pinafore and lining is a piece from Denyse Schmidt’s new Joanne’s line, (c.) A vintage millinery flower pinned to the dress, (d.) cream knee socks from Target $4.00, and (e.) impossibly adorable ruffled ankle boots- Target $22.99.

Sorry, I felt compelled to show you the boots again… they’re my new favorite thing.

I finished two more bags and I have the “Sunday-go-to-Meeting” tutorial almost finished!

I also put together some little sets of hair clips. 

And because I don’t have enough unfinished projects {} I decided to add another one to the pile~

A quilt, just for the fun of it.

My mom came over one evening and helped me cut out and assemble 20 blocks so I only need about 20 or 60 more to finish it :)

And that’s all, unless you count the growing pile of patterns and fabric bundles sitting on the corner of my desk… but that’s not very interesting to look at (or talk about).

Have a great Wednesday!  ~April

Giveaway winner

Good morning!  I have so many things that I want to tell you about but that can wait.  First things first.

The winner of the “Sunday-go-to-Meetin’ Bag” giveaway is @Richgem.  Congratulations!  If you would please send me a personal message with your mailing information, and let me know which bag you would like, I will send the package off ASAP.  I don’t usually respond to comments left on my giveaway entries because it helps me keep better track of the names that have been entered.  But I want to assure you that I read, and enjoy every comment!  I appreciated all the feedback on the bags and pricing.  You were all so very helpful and kind, thank you!  It is always so difficult to chose just one name out of that bag.  Don’t be discouraged though, there is more to come :)

I have so many things I want to show you and tell you about, but unfortunately I am unable to.  My computer is down for the count right now (I’m typing this up on Justin’s computer).  My laptop battery has taken one to many hits to the ground and I have used up all the memory space on my computer.  My best tech guy is on the job but it could take awhile. So there won’t be any posts coming from me in the mean time.  Which is such a shame, for I have so much to talk about!  Sewing projects I’ve completed, the Sunday-go-to-meetin’ tote tutorial is all but ready to type up, we have pumpkins growing (lots!), home improvements, and little boys with exciting new toys.  But we will catch up soon, I promise   If you don’t see me around much don’t worry about it, I won’t have much access to a computer until mine is fixed.

Thanks again!  ~April

Show & Tell Wednesday

This giveaway is now closed.  The winner will be announced Wednesday September 21st.  Thank you for participating!

This week Show & Tell is all for little girls, because… it’s so much fun to sew for them   Lately Eliza has really gotten into packing her purse to take to church.  She has a small selection of little bags that she loads with a handful of small toys.  I thought a handmade church bag would be a nice little project.

Naturally I couldn’t just make one.  I made 4.  I’m just built that way.  It actually makes sense on a practical level, it only takes a little more time/effort to make 4 as it does to make 1.  Also making four gives me the chance to perfect the pattern and I get play around with 4 designs instead of just one.  Plus I tend to do things obsessively.  When I find a album I like, I will listen to it non-stop until I know every.single.word.

This little pattern is just a simple lined tote with handles.  I took it up a notch by using braided handles and adding little touches to the outside.

It’s about the size of a sheet of paper.  In fact I used a standard size sheet of paper for the pattern.

I also added pockets to the inside for putting important little girl things like, stickers, lip balm, and crayons.  The green floral bag has a crayon pocket but the rest of them have a single large pocket in the inside.

I made the green bag for Eliza. 

I used a little wonder-under and silk ribbon to personalize her bag.

There’s a small bird with hand stitching around it on the other side of the bag.  So far Eliza likes all of the bags except the one I made especially for her .

The solid colored bags are made from Joanne’s “linen look-alike” fabric.  It feels and looks just like linen but it’s a blend which means it can be washed; which is important when it comes to kiddos.

I really like the look of this sweet bag.  I used the natural colored linen and added a variety of cream and soft pink trims to the outside.

For the floral I wanted to keep the embellishments very simple.  One cotton knit rosette in the bottom corner and…

…  some crisp white trim at the top.

This mustard linen was a favorite too.  Very simple.  I like simple.

Since I made four of these little bags and I have no use for all of them, I thought I would give one away.  Of course a Sunday-go-to-meetin’ Bag wouldn’t be complete without some trinkets to put inside.

If your name is drawn for the giveaway you may choose any of the totes except the solid green bag (that one is Eliza’s, whether she likes it or not).  If you want to be entered into the drawing just leave a friendly comment on this post.  Now here’s were I ask you for a favor.  I was hoping to get some feedback from all my lovely readers about the bags.  I’m thinking about making some more to sell, and I was wondering which design you liked the best?  Are the color combinations working?  What do you think would be a reasonable price to charge for a handmade bag?  Your input would be greatly appreciated!  The giveaway will be closed Monday September 19th.

If you would be interested in step-by-step directions for the Sunday-go-to-meetin’ Bag please let me know.  I would be happy to write up a comprehensive tutorial.  It’s a very basic pattern that can be adapted to  different uses, sizes, and looks.

Thanks for stopping in again!  Take some time this week to enjoy yourself :)   ~April

Show & Tell Wednesday

Conversation I had with myself while cutting out banners for Susanna’s wedding:

“These fabric banners are so happy and fun!  Could they get any cuter?”

“Ooo, I know.  Teeny Tiny fabric banners!  Now that would be cute!”

“I wonder if any of those miniature Kit-Kat bars fell to the bottom of the snack basket?”

“What was thinking about?”

“Oh yeah… mini fabric banners.”

“Wouldn’t it be fun if you could by little fabric banners by the yard?  Think of all the cool stuff you could do with it.  But why buy what I can make?”.


I rounded up my fabric scraps.

Used my pinking sheers to cut lots of little triangles.  I like them all by themselves but their not real useful.

I also chose 1/4 inch double fold bias tape, to string the fabric pieces together.  I tucked the triangles in between the the fold of the bias tape and stitched across the top edge.

Happy little bundles ready to use anywhere you fancy!

Dress up a plain brown gift bag.

Drape across an old mirror, window or wreath (wouldn’t a Christmas mini garland be fantastic?).

Brighten up the edge of a book shelf.

Use a small strand to wrap around a present or…

…give the garland as a present to your crafty/creative friends… or your non-creative friends.  They’re people too (that was joke).

Alright now, go make some for yourself!  Seriously.  Fun, easy, happy… it doesn’t get any better than that. Well, maybe if there were Kit-Kats involved that would be better; but that can be arranged :)

Happy Wednesday!  It feels good to be back ~April