Zig Zag Forever.

I almost can’t wait for 20 years from now when I look at this quilt (or pictures of it) and think, “Oh my goodness…I was totally into that whole zig-zag craze.” But you know…I’m a sucker for it. Bring on the freaking zig-zag chevron goodness. Lately, quilts have been the specific object of my chevron obsession. The ones that are all bright and cozy and perfect. Gathering up a barrel of scrap fabric, I decided to undertake one for myself. IMG_5967 IMG_6528 IMG_6527 IMG_6539 IMG_6537IMG_6190 IMG_6517 IMG_6451 IMG_6444Beside the obvious fact that it was time consuming, the pattern is relatively simple. Rectangles 3 1/4″ X 6″, sewn together into blocks with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Alternate blocks to make your zig-zag pattern and sew rows together on the diagonal. Then sew the rows together and trim it all down to square. Bam.

Zig Zag Quilt

I used up my scraps for the patterned sections, with a higher quality white cotton for the rows between. I found an old king-sized sheet with a nice, subtle, blue pattern at a thrift store that has that perfect sheet feel. Ya know, crisp and soft at the same time? I used that for the backing and binding. It’s 17 blocks across and 24 blocks down (12 rows of pattern, 12 rows of white). I honestly can’t remember what the final measurements are and I’m too comfortable on my couch to get up and measure it right now. It would qualify as a slightly small full. I lay it out on my queen-sized bed regardless of it’s smaller size, and it’s perfect.

Go zig-zag.

Wallet fun.

Whoop whoop! I am so proud of this new creation. When I saw this wallet on another blog, I just knew I was going to have to try it.IMG_3785 IMG_3789 The pattern is: Straight Stitch Society – Have It All Wallet. I’ve never made anything this compact or with this many small little pockets. I thought it would be difficult. While the first wallet was slow going, taking me almost three hours, I slowly began to understand the pattern. By the third wallet, I was making it without looking at the instructions and in about half the time.

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The key to success here is to press really well and to turn the fabric nice and tight. If you are a confident beginner or intermediate sewer, give it a try! (Or head over to the shop to buy one) Happy sewing.

Bigger, badder, stronger.

I love making clutches. You can whip them out fast and add fancy detail. But I’ve been getting lots of requests for a bag that meets the everyday needs of a lady-on-the-go (It holds a ton of crap). So here it is! In the next few months I’ll have some different options available for those of you who are afraid of color and stripes.

These are surprisingly fun to make. It’s an adaptation to a Simplicity pattern I got eons ago.  I was hard pressed to reproduce it, since I didn’t write down my changes anywhere or indicate on the pattern what I did differently. I tend to do that kind of thing, which is one reason I avoided doing this earlier in the summer. But alas, I figured it out, and here it is.

Check it out in my shop.

Happy Thursday!

Pretty Things

Little dresses are quickly becoming one of my favorite things to whip out. “Whipping” a dress out usually takes about 3 hours, but that’s quick enough to still give me a sense of instant gratification. This pattern (See & Sew Dress B5629) was really easy to follow. I would suggest it for anyone who wants to try clothes-making for the first time. My advice no matter how easy the project: read slowly and thoroughly before you sew. Make sure you understand the concept.

This dress was made for a little one named Daphne. She is set to be born in September, and my hope is that she will be able to wear it next Spring.

The rose ribbon along the yoke wasn’t a part of the pattern, but I felt like the dress needed some pizzazz.

I made sure to use easy care apparel fabric and ribbon that was busy-family friendly. It’s designed to be tossed right into the washer and dryer.

I was sending up prayers for Daphne’s safe arrival while I was cutting and sewing this little number. I’m pretty confident that she’ll look adorable in it :)

Girly Things.

There is nothing I loved more than a cute dress when I was little. Before 3rd grade, which marks the age I dive bombed into tomboyhood, I was a girly girl. I loved purses and frilly things. I wore my mom’s heels around, loved pretending I was a princess and could whisk my hair off my shoulder like a pro. Happily, my niece is starting to develop a lot of the same tendencies. She holds little purses on her wrist, loves nail polish and wearing fun dresses.

So I couldn’t help myself. I had to make her a little dress.

I picked up this pattern (Burda Kids 9494 – style B) at JoAnn’s. It only required 1 yard of fabric but I grabbed 1 & 1/4 yard just to be safe. I have never made kids clothing before, so I was a bit unsure. This pattern was great though. It’s easy to follow and only took a few hours! 

The felt flower is a pin (adding a flower was my husband’s idea). The top is double yoked so the pin doesn’t actually stick through the whole top. And since it’s removable she can use the flower with other outfits.

The zipper installed fine, but the top of the zipper looked a little ragged and I could tell it would be scratchy. So I added some soft felt to finish it.

When asked if she liked the dress, Gianna (19 months old) approved loudly with her classic straight forward, over enunciated response, “Yesss!”.

So here’s to adorable little girls, for giving aunties like me a chance to make pretty things.

Baby Booties

One of the best things about having family with kids, is that you can make tons of kiddo stuff and it doesn’t matter if it’s perfect or not. My niece and nephews get a lot of “firsts”. And most the time they come with a disclaimer like, “I dunno, I just thought it looked cute. Tell me if it doesn’t work and I’ll make it better.” If it breaks, rips, is totally nonfunctional, I don’t feel bad. I would feel bad if I gave it to someone else as a gift for their kid and it disintegrated. My own family…meh, I’ll just make another one.

This is one such object.

I remember with my first nephew, my MIL and I experimented with baby booties. It was decided that the ones with elastic in the back works best, something to synch up the heel. I’ll need to add something like that to these.

I found this pattern online and it just looked so simple. It was simple, it just took a while to stitch because I was out of practice. But I can sit and watch Hercule Poirot while I stitch them up, so all is not lost.

Uncle Matt suggested I make some with little felt footballs on them. Maybe I can teach him to sew and we can assembly line it.

I’ll let you know when I’ve perfected them. After using my nephew as a guinea pig. :)

Welcome, Owen the Elephant.

 New nephew, new stuffed animal.

My niece and other nephew both have dinos with their names on it. So I figured I would give this little brother something different.

The pattern for this elephant and the dinos were both created by Melly & Me. They make simple, easy to follow patterns. I happened upon this one in a clearance bin at Fabric Depot and couldn’t pass it up.

He’ll be available for custom orders soon. Love him.

Ah Ha!

This is in contrast to my post, uh ho. from two days ago. I ended up dominating the dress-making dilemma. (Excuse the fuzzy pics…taking pictures isn’t my husband’s forte’.) For anyone interested this is a Burda 7514 A style pattern. I made the sash from scraps.

So for about $35, I made a custom, unique and lovely bridesmaids dress. I’m pumped up right now. I wish I could have found a darker zipper. There were also a couple of steps I skipped. I got confused and irritated, so I just started sewing stuff. Turned out okay though, so that’s what matters ;)

This is not the end of my clothes making.

This can get addicting huh?

uh oh.

What the h-e-double hockey sticks have I gotten myself into?

 I don’t make clothes often. But I am always mending, adding, and changing my existing clothes. I also think I’m a competent sewer or at least a confident one. I often start a project never having done anything like it and just going for it. Laying it all out in my mind, seeing the end result and most often, getting there just fine. Friends will ask, “Hey, can you make me a blah-bidi-blah?”. I almost always respond, “Totally. Yeah! How big do you want it?” Whilst in my head I am thinking, “Mmmhhh…can I make that? Yeah I think so…never done it before but it can’t be too hard.”

So I almost never use patterns for anything. Also because pattern language is not English. Honestly. I’m not a stupid person. But you need a doctorate in linguistics to understand that crap! It took me like 20 minutes of head rubbing to understand this sentence, “Lay front sides right side together with center front”. After I got it I couldn’t believe how long it had taken me…there HAS to be a better way to word that!

I keep wanting to veer off the patterned path and start following my sewing instincts, but I fear that will take me someplace that no dress-maker returns from. But this is why I don’t like patterns. They make people afraid to sew. People who are creative and possess all the skills needed to learn to sew, take one look at a pattern and run the other way.

I know, I know. I’ll get use to it, it takes practice, just pick up the lingo, etc. But I have a dream…that someday, people of all sewing levels, novice and pro, fearful and confident…will find solace in a simple, easy to follow pattern…and I’ll write that pattern. And I’ll shake my fist at the pattern world and say, “Ha! Take that! I believe in equal rights for all those who dare make a bridesmaids dress for that upcoming wedding! I believe in their abilities! I want to HELP them…not hinder them. So…HA again!”.

Happy sewing…hopefully.