Where’s my sewjo?

Where’s my sewjo?

This past week I’ve been some kind of something. Pms at an all time high, plans for sewing were gonna put all my moodiness to ease! I mean what isn’t better than sewing time alone!! My hubs has been obsessed with the latest call of duty, and that’s perfect because it means minimal interruptions! 😂😂😂 Well despite the perfect set up for interruption free sewing, my sewjo must have also been pmsing, because well it fought me every step of the way.

I had originally planned to finish up some red pants I started a week or so ago but remember the @sewcialists of instagram had challenged followers to share sewing stripes. I conveniently had a Ballard Top by Straight Stitch designs already cut out and it was a lovely lightweight sweater knit in a brown and black stripe! Already cut out waiting for me to sew it up! Yes please! Perfect Friday night! Dun dun duuuuun…. or so I thought.

I chose the one piece back without the band option. I got the whole thing sewn up except the neckband. I was so excited about the hand of the fabric and how I changed up the stripe direction on the sleeve! New shirt coming up in 5 ya’ll! Now on to the neckband, super easy right? I’ve done a ton of knit neckbands in the past. I definitely got over confident.

Well first I didn’t cut my neckband in the direction of most stretch so that didn’t work. Follow directions, my teacher voice told me. Seam ripper, or as I like to call it, my BFF needed to spend some time. I recut and tried again. This time I totally screwed myself on the serger. I was going way too fast. This made my neckband width all different measurements . It did not look good. So me and my BFF were hanging again.

Remember when I said the sweater knit was thin and super soft? Well that ended up making the process worse. I cut a few tiny holes in the fabric and had to trim it down. As a result the neck opening became much larger than designed so I had to recut yet another neckband. This 3rd time was a charm! I was finally gonna finish this shirt! Got the 3rd neckband on where I was happy with it, only to notice that with all the removing and adding of 3 neckbands, my center neck gathers had shifted to the right. Once again I had to remove the neckband. By this point I had been sewing for 4 plus hours on a shirt that was already cut out and should have taken me an hour to sew. 😕 My sewjo must have been taking a nap. I chose to put it down and go to bed. But then I couldn’t even sleep, this shirt was haunting me and my sewjo in my dreams. Have you ever dreamt about a project? I was tossing and turning dreaming about that stupid shirt and it’s 3 neckbands. Saturday I didn’t sew at all. Sunday I woke up refreshed and wanted to sew so I said, screw the Ballard top, let’s make something different. I cut out 2 different shirts to sew.

After I got the shirts cut and ready to go, I sat down at my machine and that dern Ballard shirt kept taunting me. I have a really hard time starting new projects when others are not finished. So I picked it up to finally finished it. I ended up creating a much thicker neckband so I had more room for error, and because the neck opening was so much wider now, I ended up tweaking it a bit so it would lay flat. None the less, I finally finished it! I was ready to move on! Well Sunday afternoon and Monday evening sewing were also not cooperative. I’ve just been making the silliest mistakes sewing, tucks here, tucks there, me and my BFF have been spending too much time together. Just like in any relationship, sometimes you need a break. So maybe next week my sewjo will wake up and let me sew up some clothes the way I normally do! Hope everyone has a great week! Here’s my finished Ballard Top!

Fabric Store Review: Textile Fabrics, Nashville, Tn

Fabric Store Review: Textile Fabrics, Nashville, Tn

Man on Man do I love Fabric!! There is something about how it really speaks to me! The touch, the smell, the eye candy! Ahhhhh! I need to go fabric shopping like right now. In December, I went to Nashville for a work conference and I had a little time left on the last day,  so I did a little research and found “Textile Fabrics”- 471 Craighead St, Nashville, TN 37204. http://www.textilefabricstore.com/

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When looking up reviews, the main complaint was that it was really expensive but everyone said it was perfect for special occasions and the staff was fabulous. I figured I’d check it out anyway because I love to support local businesses and I’m sure my stash could use some more company in the closet!

Upon arriving I was just in ah! So much beauty before my eyes. I wanted to touch everything.

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But the reviews were correct, it was really expensive. Especially since I need more fabric like I need a hole in my head. I so wished I had been there shopping for something special because I am sure I would have found the perfect thing.

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They had all kinds of fabrics for clothing!! Thad stretch knits, they had corduroy, sequins, swim suit material, and the most gorgeous silks!  They also had a great selection of sewing notions! I absolutely loved the button selection!

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But Best of ALL~ the staff was truly AHMAAAAZINGG!!! They were helpful, friendly, and you could tell they really love their jobs and SEWING! It’s no wonder they have been in business for 40 years! It was such a treat to talk with them while I was there. OH and I almost missed a secret remnant room.  In the very back they had remnants of all kinds of fabrics and they were very affordable! I ended up leaving with one light weight toile fabric, 2 medium weight printed knits, and some fabulous emerald green Velveteen fabric that I can’t wait to use to make a winter skirt.

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Bottom Line: Great Fabric Shop, Great Service! Just go with a little extra money to spend!

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Here’s me with the staff after we chatted for 30 minutes! Happy Fabric Shopping Ya’ll!

Pattern Hack: Gathered Belle Sleeve Top

Pattern Hack: Gathered Belle Sleeve Top

Hey ALL! Happy New Year! I have been keeping to myself lately, and working on a new pattern but also doing some selfish sewing when my day job has allowed me. My Winter break was very refreshing, I got my closet cleaned out, did some deep cleaning, watched a lot of netflix, and got some selfish sewing in. What have you guys been up to?

 

Back in the beginning of December I kept seeing so many cute belle sleeve tops! I really wanted one but I also hate shopping so I was not really willing to go out and look for one. Plus, I feel like everytime I go out shopping for a specific thing I can never find anything. Does that ever happen to anyone else?  So in true #handmaderevolution fashion, I made my own. Here is how you can also make your own. It is really simple and I am sure there are other people out there who have blogged about this too if you go looking.  Also, I made this with only 1.5 yards of fabric!

Materials needed:

  •  any shirt pattern you love!
  • 1.5 Yards fabric of your choice- I used Cotton+Steel Raindrop Fabric
  • Bias tape
  1. Choose a shirt pattern that you really love! Make sure it is one you have made before so you know you like the fit.  I chose the Laurel Top by Colette Patterns.  This pattern actually has a little sleeve a variation but It was not exactly what I wanted.Image result for laurel shirt colette pattern
  2.  I wanted to make my sleeve longer so I added  4 inches by extending the sleeve pattern. I just use printer paper or old magazines when I am altering a pattern.  I usually tape it but this time I was super lazy so I pinned it this time. IMG_3570
  3.  Next, I cut out all my pattern pieces, So front, back, and sleeve. After cutting them out, I was left with this! This remaining fabric is what I used to make my flownsy sleeve!IMG_3571
  4. After cutting out all pieces, I sewed up the shirt per the provided sewing directions.
  5. After the shirt was sewn up, I worked on the flownsy cuff. I took the left over fabric which was about 10 inches wide and 36 inches long.  Matching the right sides together sew the short side together making a circle.  I then serged my seam allowance to finish the edges.IMG_3572
  6.  Now it’s time to sew your gathering stitches. Change your stitch length on your sewing machine to the highest length. Mine goes to 5! Line up the  raw edge of the fabric with the edge of your fabric and sew all the way around. Do not back stitch and make sure sure to leave tails at each end. Check out the above picture. IMG_3573
  7. Slightly pull one side of both of the strings to gather the sleeve.  You will gather the sleeve until it is the same measurement as the opening of the sleeve bottom. IMG_3574
  8. Now sew the sleeve right sides together to the opening of the main sleeve. IMG_3575
  9. After you have attached the sleeve cuff, all you need to do is hem it to your desired length. Then you are done!! Woo Hoo! Now you have a fun flownsy sleeve top. IMG_3613

Easy baby shower gift!

Easy baby shower gift!

I love it when people have babies because it gives me the chance to make cute little things!! I’m almost always excited because it’s hard for the stuff to not turn out so dern cute!

School has been crazy lately and having the holidays right around the corner I’ve been going nonstop. And guys, I’m exhausted! So time is lacking. I needed a quick cute baby shower gift for some friends and I decided to whip up some burp clothes! I’ve made these for some other folks and they always tell me they love these burp cloths the most! So since they are super easy and a crowd pleaser I decided to share with you guys in case you needed a quick gift! I think these burp cloths could be modified to be kitchen or enemy bathroom towels for the home as well. maybe even a great stocking stuffer!!

Materials:

1/4 yard of chosen cotton fabric- makes 2 clothes

1/4 yard cotton terry cloth- makes atleast 2 clothes

Thread

1/2 yard coordinating ribbon

Rotary cutter

Ruler

I chose to make 4 burp clothes so I just doubled all the above measurements. Isn’t this narwhal fabric absolutely adorable?

1. Cut your terry cloth and cotton fabric. They will both need to measure 9×19 inches for a finished measurement of 8×18 inches.

2. Cut your ribbon! I went with 6 inch long pieces. It’s a good length to hang on things and it adds a little more cuteness!

3. Fold your ribbon pieces in half. Make sure the raw edges are matched up with raw edges of the fabric and the loop is face down. Pin to one layer in your chosen location. Match one piece of terry cloth to one cotton printed fabric. We want to line them up with right sides together and pin them together. They aren’t super big so you don’t need too many pins. However, the terry cloth stretches so pins help keep it from shifting too much!

4. Sew around the rectangle with 1/4 seam allowances. You want to leave an opening that’s at least 2 inches wide.

5. Clip your corners off to minimize the bulkiness of the fabric. The terry cloth is just really thick and bulky. Flip your burp cloth inside out and press!

6. Oh em gee! They are already so cute! Now we need to do some top stitching, and then we will be done! I do an edge stitch all the way around the outside. You want to make sure that you close up the opening that you left when sewing the two pieces together.

7. Wa-laaaaah! You are all done!

My Cheeky Revolution!

My Cheeky Revolution!

So, a couple years ago, I discovered that I could make my own panties! I got a free pattern from online, and man, i was super excited. I carried them around in my purse to show everyone.

I mean I know how to make the craziest of things, why had I never thought to make my own underoos! It takes like 15 minutes! Everyone can do it! So now,  I created my own pattern to share with the world for FREEEEEEE! Why shouldn’t everyone be allowed  to make their own panties?  NO excuses …..here is my free panty pattern.  Click on the link to download the pdf pattern!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LNirN8JpDXdwnkfDFc8ewk_mlQnZzEgB/view?usp=sharing

These were intended to be a more cheeky bikini pattern, but the back is a little more full coverage. I am updating the back side to be a little  more cheeky and will update that when I have a chance.

For now, Here is the tutorial for the first run!

  1.  Print out your pdf pattern. I suggest stacking them up and cutting the right side and the bottom off with your rotary cutter.  Then tape them together as shown below. IMG-3401
  2.  Cut out which size you  need. I didn’t include a size chart. These are based off of a favorite Victoria Secret Pattern that I deconstructed. So  I wear Large in VS, so that’s what I cut out.
  3. Pin down your pattern pieces to fabric. You want to make sure you line your pattern pieces up with the grainline going in the direction of the most stretch. I used about a 1/4 a yard of some left over Cotton and Steel knit fabric. IM such a fan. of cotton and steel knits! If you havn’t tried them yet, please do. My only complaint is they are printed so the insides are white, depending on what you make, the white can be annoying.IMG-3402
  4. Once you have your pieces cut out,  We are going to take the back piece and two crotch inserts. Match at the center. One insert should be right sides together, the other, wrong sides together. You are creating a sandwich with  the inserts being the bread and the back piece being the meat!

5. I serged the whole pair of panties, but if you don’t have a serger, then you can zigzag with a wider zig zag.  Once you have sewn the inserts to the back piece, you want to fold them down like so:

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6. Now for the tricky part!  We are gonna add the front piece to the inserts. You want to pin the front piece to the front of the right side of the fabric. We are then going to burrito it by wrapping the other insert around the other pieces so that we have all 3 layers together again.  Then Serge!

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7.  Now you can pull it all out and it will look like this:

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8. We are almost done! See I told you these were so quick!  I decided to serge my leg openings, but since these are knit, they won’t ravel, so you can save even more time and skip this.  After you serge we want to match right side together at seams and serge!

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9.  Now comes the waist. There isn’t a waist band included in the pattern.  There are a couple different options. 1st- add your own stretchy lace waist band! This is what I did with my first pair.  If you don’t have any on hand, we are gonna create our own using the left over knit. You will want to use a tape measure and measure the circumference of  you panty opening. I chose to do a 1.5 inch wide band to attach. Once you have the circumference (A), you will need to  cut out a strip measuring  A x 1.5 inches. You can totally make this wider if you like.  Then serge the 2 ends together making  it a circle.

10. Fold the circle in half length wise, with wrong sides together and iron. This helps to keep in it place.  Now attach it to the panty bottoms with the fold facing down. Serge or sew all the way around connecting the waist band to the bottoms.

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11. Last step guys! You are almost done! Woohoo. We just need to finish the leg holes!  I chose to use a double needle for the leg holes. If you don’t have one on hand,  you can always use your handy dandy zig zag again. But be sure to use a stretch stitch. I folded the edges of the leg holes in by 1/4 inch then stitched all around! Wa– LAH! Here are my finished Cheeky Revolution Panties! Hope you enjoy!

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My Sewing Hero(es)

My Sewing Hero(es)

I love sewing now, but it wasn’t always that way.  When I  look at where I am now, sewing is such an integral part of my life. From creating new designs to relieving some stress, sewing is something that really completes me. lol. The other day, I was sewing and it got me thinking, where did my love of sewing actually begin? Who fostered that love? Fellow indie pattern designer Sew this Pattern recently started the social media hastag #Isewbecause so I figured I would continue the trend with the hastag #mysewing hero. I hope this will inspire all of you to share who fostered your love of sewing as well!

I have several sewing heroes, but first and foremost  it has to be my parents. My parents are not traditional, when I say parents, I mean my mom and my gramma. They both made such an impact raising me, since my father was not in the picture. These two strong ladies, were constantly creating when I was growing up. Between watching “Bold and the Beautiful” and watching them create, I knew by age 8, that I wanted to be a designer. I never really thought that sewing was part of that, I just knew I wanted to create. My mom and gramma would sew up the most elaborate costumes for Halloween, create completely unique bedroom bedding sets, and pair up the most unique fabrics you had ever seen. Unfortunately they never taught me to sew, but seeing them doing and creating definitely planted the seed for me. Here is a picture of us, just after I graduated college with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Fashion Design circa 2004!

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Since I was so interested in design, when I became a freshman in high school I learned about a fashion design program that was in my school. I couldn’t believe I could start learning skills for my future at the ripe age of 14.  I immediately enrolled in Fashion Design 1. This is where I met sewing hero #2- Mrs. Ren Jetton.  Almost instantly, I was hooked. Mrs. Jetton was so patient and relaxed. She taught us all the ins and outs of sewing, and most importantly she provided me with the tools I needed to be successful. I was a generally good student in advanced level classes, but I really didn’t like school much. As soon as I was old enough to drive, I would conveniently sleep in so I didn’t have to go to first period, but I always made it to Mrs. Jetton’s class. I always wanted to be in her classroom.  She is also part of the reason I chose to be a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher. I  hoped then and still do now that I could be as impactful to someone as she was for me.  In addition to teaching me a life long skill of sewing, she always listened to my random stories and rants and provided advice when needed.   In the picture below, you will see us together when I traveled back to Charlotte to do a fashion show. I believe it was around 2008 ish. (sorry for the crappy quality)

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Last but not least, I give you super hero #3! Super hero #3 is not a specific person but the league of sewcialist I follow on Instagram! There are so many talented individuals out there sharing their love for sewing and creating everyday online. Social media can often times be overwhelming with all the political posts and negativity,  but I find that there is a great community of makers out there that inspire me everyday! I know a lot about sewing and design but I don’t know everything. I love seeing different sewing techniques and people’s creativity. What is knowledge is you never share it?

Sew… there you have it! My sewing heroes! Who are yours? Please share online with the hastag #mysewinghero or comment below! Keep on sewing!

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Transform your oversized tee!

Transform your oversized tee!

I love going to nerd conventions like Comic Con and Dragoncon because they have so much great merch! Back in June, I went to Denver Comiccon and found this awesome Craft Goddess t-shirt! Well… since I love all things crafty, I had to get it. All the shirts were rolled up, so instead of having them open it up to check the size, I just looked at the brand. I am pretty good about knowing what brands fit me or not. I totally assumed it was a lady fit tee. I got an extra Large because I wanted some extra room for comfort. My mistake,  I guess I am sexist. Seriously though,  how many dudes do you know who call themselves a craft goddess?  Well…. Womp womp, I got it home only to realize it was a man’s fit shirt. That’s where my little blog post comes in! I wasn’t gonna let this XL tee become a night shirt! I had to use my craft goddess powers to make this into something more wearable.  Let me show you how I modify an oversized t-shirt to be more flattering and fashionable.

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As you can see, it’s basically a night gown!Continue reading to see how I made it so much cuter!

  1. Find a shirt that you love the fit. I have this red swing tank top from Target that I absolutely love. Turn the oversized shirt you plan to alter inside out.

IMG-2273.JPG2. Lay the top you love on top of your oversized tee, then trace the shape with a chalk pencil or other fabric tracing tool!       IMG-2276.JPGimg-2277-jpg.jpeg

2. Cut on the lines.

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4. Serge or zigzag your side seams to get the more fitted look.

5. Using your excess fabric from the sleeves, you will now cut out a new sleeve. I used a cap sleeve pattern from another pattern that I like. Don’t worry, I’ll scan a sample one in soon for you guys to use! Using your old sleeves and excess fabric, make sure your pattern piece is placed on the fold, as shown.

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6. Once you have both cap sleeves cut out, mark the center of the cap sleeve. Next you will go ahead and hem the straight edge of your sleeve. I just serged the edge and turned the edge in ½’ and sewed.

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7. Now that your cap sleeve is hemmed, match the center sleeve mark to the shoulder seam and pin the curved edge along the sleeve opening. The straight edge should be opposite of the arm hole opening.

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8. Once I attached my cap sleeves, I then folded in the seam allowance on the rest of the armhole inside and stitched it under.

9. Since the neckline was so high, I also cut a small slit in the center of the neck band to make it so that I could show a little more skin.

10. Finally, I serged around the bottom opening and folded up a ½ inch to finish the edge, but you could totally leave it raw since knits don’t tend to ravel!

Any who, now you are done!! There are so many great tutorials online for modifying oversized t-shirts, so go out and scavenge!

Overall, I am happy with my shirt modification, I probably would have made the shoulders a little bigger so I could have more of a cap sleeve, But all in all, I can’t wait to wear this shirt out! IMG-2491.JPG

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