Saturday, November 28, 2009

Simplicity 2474

Life is busy. Preparing for the two classes I teach once a week at a home school co-op and practicing my oboe take up much of my time. Add that to normal life, home schooling, household duties, kids' activities, being a wife and mother...and there's little time left for sewing. I love my life, my family, and the things we do that keep us busy. But I do miss the relaxation and enjoyment that comes from sewing.

Yes, my sewing time has been sporadic for the past several months. I almost feel like I don't remember how to sew anymore. So with that in mind, I chose this simple pattern to mark my hopeful return to more-frequent sewing.

The pattern is Simplicity 2474, and I made view A, the simple cardigan pictured in the center of the envelope front. I wish I could remember what type of knit fabric I used. I don't, but it has a soft drape and hand, and it came from Joann's. It is a double knit, but not as stiff or heavy as a ponte double knit. It may be Joann's "sew classic" line, but I'm not sure. Can anybody help me out here? :)

I lengthened the sleeves on the jacket, but kept the cuffs. I haven't decided if I like the cuffs on the full-length sleeves, and I may take them off. No other changes were made to the pattern. I sewed a size 10 (the smallest size the pattern comes) with no alterations. I'll post another picture of the cardigan after I wear it for the first time.

Sewing this easy jacket makes me want to sew more. Yay! Yesterday I also finished a little pleated skirt for Emily, and I cut out the pattern pieces for another jacket for me (Simplicity 2701). Did I practice my oboe? No. Did I do the laundry (2 hampers full!)? No. Did I prepare my lesson plans for next Monday? No. But, yes, I sewed! Happy day.

Ruth : )

Friday, November 27, 2009

Free Hot Patterns Slinky Shrug Pattern

Free to download from Slinky Shrug by Hot Patterns. Wouldn't this be great for the holidays??

There are a few more free downloads from HotPatterns HERE as well.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Funny Enny

Have you ever had a time when you saw some fabric on a bolt at the store and thought it was just gorgeous, but then when you got it home you wondered what in the world were you thinking?! Unfortunately, this happens to me, too.

When I saw these coordinating prints, I thought the fabric would make the perfect fall dress for Emily. After I cut out the dress, I had second thoughts. My 19 year old daughter didn't help matters when she said that the fabric looked like Thanksgiving and fall, all rolled together and then barfed up. :[

Due to lack of motivation, it took several weeks to finish the dress. When I showed the dress to Emily, she said, "I'm going to look ugly in this dress." I had to practically beg her to put on the dress so I could take pictures.

So..... I took the pictures, and you know, something happened. I decided that the dress really isn't that bad. Yes, it's busy. It's almost too "hippie" in style. But it started to grow on me as I took the pictures, and now I almost like it! I plan to make or buy a solid brown turtleneck top to be worn underneath the dress.

The pattern is design #20 from the 06/2009 issue of Ottobre, and is called the "Funny Enny" Tunic. (Such a funny name!) I lengthened the pattern to dress length and shortened the sleeves. I also added a ribbon tie to the dress to pull in the fullness, and I used elastic loops for the buttons instead of ribbon loops.

Hopefully this will get me in the mood to sew again. It's just not been happening....


Buttons Loops

Back of Dress

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A reader needs feedback for sewing organization design project:

Hey guys, can you take a moment and help out another reader with her design project?

Here's what she writes:

"My name is Yasmine R. Currently an Industrial Design senior at Columbus College of Art & Design, I am working on designing a product that will organize sewing accessories for those with very limited space such as room mate situations, small apartments, or just no sewing room. I want the product to be portable, ergonomic, and easily store.

I am trying to get information from a variety of sources, have set up my first survey, and was wondering if anyone could distribute the link or give me contacts for interviews. Because I am a college student, most of the people who sew are in the fashion department of our school and would give me skewed results. I need info from all age groups, incomes, and so on."

You can click right HERE to access her survey. I'm sure Yasmine would appreciate any comments or feedback in the comments as well. I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with!

Thanks for your help here!!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

One-Yard Wonders Book Review

A couple weeks ago I shared that Storey Publishing sent me the advance pages of their newest (and coolest!) sewing book, One-Yard Wonders, by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins, to review for you guys.

Most of the time, with these type of crafty project books I'm content to flip through them in the bookstore, not needing to buy, because seriously, most of the time the patterns either aren't things I will make, or are for simple crafts that I really don't need a pattern for (really, how hard is it to make a potholder!). I have to really, really like a book and KNOW that I will use more then one or two of the patterns before I will spend the money.

First off, this is a big book, 101 sewing patterns and projects in all...and each uses
just 1 yard of fabric. Sure a few of them might seem a bit cheesy, but there really is not a lot of fluff with these patterns. With projects to decorate your home, organize your crafts, give as baby gifts, update your wardrobe from head to toe, accessorize your little ones and entertain your kids, the list goes on and on. There is even a chapter with projects you can make for your pets!

Things I love about this book:

*Lots of fun gift ideas to sew up (101 to be exact!).

*Each project uses just 1 yard of fabric...what a great way to use up all those fun fabrics I hoard!

*The projects seem fairly fast and easy without being too simple. There is a range of sewing levels.

*This book would be great for projects to sew together with a friend.

*Finally, I really, really love how the publishers showcased lots of fun, modern fabrics in the projects and book design. Lots of gorgeous photos and lots of fabrics and designers that I recognize and love....Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt, Joel Dewberry, Erin McMorris, etc.

Below are three of my favorite projects from the book. Photos are by John Gruen and used with permission of Storey Publishing, LLC.

You can see a few more of the items from this book on facebook, HERE and HERE.

The Flouncy Bag blew me away. Seriously, my jaw dropped when I turned the page and saw this one. I have to make one!! There is quite a nice selection of different bags and purses, even a few kid sized ones. I wish I could show off them all!

Next, I thought this child's firefighter hat was too cute, and so original! I can see making these for birthday favors for a fireman-themed birthday party.

Finally, the Pleated Girly Skirt, made me smile. I can definitely see one of these in my little girl's wardrobe future. I love how it's got the tailored pleats, but still has the ease of an elastic waistband.
One-Yard Wonders was just released at the end of October and should be available in bookstores and online. It's only $14.07 on

Thanks for letting me share!

Play dates and sewing projects

About a year ago a special friend of mine moved to another state, and at that point I really had a hard time with her leaving...One of the reasons this girlfriend was so much fun was that she was a kindred crafty spirit...we'd gotten together and done some craft and sewing projects, and it was just so much fun.

I've missed's been somewhat hard to keep in touch when you can't just hit your favorite consignment stores together or get together to whip up cookies on a whim.

Anyway, the Lord is so good and I'm so thankful that in this last year He has brought another crafty friend into my life...someone I can talk about fabric with!! (among other things!)

Anyway, my friend Becca has Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross, and we've been working through a few of the projects together on our semi-regular play dates. I love this book...another one for my wish list!

First off, we made the baby bloomers pattern, Rudy's Bloomers. This was my first time to use elastic thread in the bobbin to make the leg gathers, and it was so easy. I can't wait to do something with elastic thread again. So simple!

Next we made the Everything Tote. These took 2 sessions...we can only sew so long with the kiddos!

We both plan to use them as library book bags. I go to the library almost every week and this bag is perfectly sized for bunches of books!
Note to anyone thinking about making this pattern. The instructions state that you need 1/2 yard of each fabric, outer and lining...WRONG! I am so glad we both had plenty of fabric because these babies took a lot more then 1/2 yard. The tote by itself is wider then 18 inches, the width of a 1/2 yard cut, and then you have to cut out the long handle pieces on the bias and that takes quite a bit of fabric. Just a warning on this one...otherwise, it is really cute!!

The kids always have lots of fun playing, fighting, sharing, eating and even crafting together too!


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Yesterday afternoon I had a bit of fun down time fooling around on Polyvore, a fashion website where you can mix and match items to get just the look you want. I created my first style board below.
A little bit glizy and a little bit cozy

I'd love this look for this holiday season...unfortunately it would cost me an arm and a leg to buy the entire outfit! I may just have to make do with what I have in my closet! Or sew something new up. =)

I did enter the outfit in a contest over at Sensibly Styled, a fun, modest fashion blog. If you get a chance, hop on over there and cast your vote! I'm number 13. (hint, hint!)


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Baby Pink Stuff

Mom, here's a picture of Marie wearing the "pink stuff" shirt you made...

I love her red hair. It's getting so long and messy now...