Tribute Hoodie

As I clearly do not have enough on my plate, as is, I volunteered to test another pattern.  Luckily it was a quickie, and luckily the Boy got something out of the pattern testing this time!


This is the Tribute Hoodie by Little Finch Patterns.  It is very quick to put together, and the sizing was fairly good.  The Boy exceeded the height requirements for the size 16, so I added an extra 2″ to the body of the gray hoodie (made the blue one first).  She has also widened the arms on the final pattern.


The hoodie here is made out of gray and black fleece and a cotton lycra knit for the patterned fabric.  I was trying to use up some bits and pieces of fabric, so that is why there are many different ones on this pattern.  The black fleece is two different fabrics. 20151121-DSC_0009


This hoodie is made out of a blue fleece and a cotton lycra knit for the patterned fabric.

20151121-DSC_0022 20151121-DSC_0018

Just a few notes:

  • She widened the arms on the final pattern for the larger sizes, which was needed.  Unless I missed it no one tested the widened arms.  I looked at the final pieces and they look wider than the initial one, but just check to see if it looks reasonable against a shirt that you know fits.
  • The hood is basically the same depth for a 12-18 month size as the size 16.  Big, big hood on little ones.
  • On the placket attachment, it is squared off on the pattern piece, but she has you just go around the whole thing in one shot.  That rounds the edges. If you want it to look squared off like I did, cut a diagonal slit at the bottom of the square on the front piece.  Pin and serge one at a time, the bottom piece and then the rest of the way around.  Topstitch.

She wanted some girl tunic tests, too, so I made one for the Girl.  Again, the arms were too tight on the tester version.  Still, a cute hoodie and should be nice and warm.

20151122-DSC_0021 20151122-DSC_0024 20151122-DSC_0028

Now I need to focus on getting some gifts made and some dressy clothes for the Orchestra concert next week.  Lots of irons in the fire, as usual!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 😀

Car carrier tutorial

As part of a charity project for the kids at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, we had a specific challenge to get some boy gifts made up.  Since my son has a ton of little cars, this was the perfect gift.  I went through the big bin and picked out cars that looked new.

It wasn’t hard.  These are worse than bunnies with how frequently they procreate.


Here is a tutorial for a car carrier.

Cut out two pieces of 11″ x 14″

Cut out one piece 8″ x 20″

Cut out two pieces of elastic – 12″ long each

Cut two pieces of white ribbon – 11″ long each

  1.  With the one piece, fold it lengthwise and iron flat.


2.  Fold in half and then half again.  Press.  This gives you the spots to sew.


3.  Sew a channel 1/2″ wide along the folded edge.20151127-DSC_0033

4.  Fold the main body piece in half and then half again.  Press.  Match up the pieces along the edge where the folds meet.  Pleat them in the middle with the excess fabric.20151127-DSC_0034 20151127-DSC_0035 20151127-DSC_0036

5.  Sew up to the channel on each fold.  You will be threading the elastic through, so make sure you don’t sew over the channel.

20151127-DSC_0037 20151127-DSC_0038

6.  Thread the elastic through the channel, and then sew the edges down.

20151127-DSC_0039 20151127-DSC_0040 20151127-DSC_00417.  Lay out the ribbon on the opposite edge at 2″ and 6″ from the edge.  Sew them down on both sides to secure.

20151127-DSC_004320151127-DSC_0042 8.  Fold the other piece of elastic in half and lay down on one side of the ribbon.  Sew it down. 20151127-DSC_0045 20151127-DSC_0046

9.  Now lay the backside fabric over the top with right sides together.  Sew around the edge leaving an opening to turn it through.20151127-DSC_0047 20151127-DSC_0048 20151127-DSC_0050

10.  Turn it right sides out and iron it flat.  Topstitch around the edge.20151127-DSC_0051

11.  Take a piece of freezer paper and fold it over until it is small.  Then, cut a small square out of it with a scissors or exacto knife.20151127-DSC_0053 20151127-DSC_0054 20151127-DSC_0055

12.  Unfold the paper and center the stripes between the ribbon.  Iron it down onto the fabric.


13.  Stipple fabric paint in between the lines.  Apply as much as needed to create nice lines, and then pull off the paper right away.

20151127-DSC_0058 20151127-DSC_0059 20151127-DSC_0060 20151127-DSC_006114.  When dry, iron the fabric paint to set it.

All done!

Put the cars in the “garage” and fold up.

20151128-DSC_0001 20151128-DSC_0002 20151128-DSC_0003 20151128-DSC_0004 20151128-DSC_0005I made eight of these little guys.  I still have some cars left over even! (Surprising, I know. 😉 )

Shades of the Iris

Here is another designs I made.  This one is probably going to be worn the most!

Striped Flowers in Lavender – This is a mixture of Iris, Roses and Dahlias in the same shades.  This was printed on Satin, and scaled to print at 4″ x 4″.


The satin is a bit thin, so I like to use it for lined dresses or skirts.  It is also good for sleepwear, so I made my daughter some lounge pants out of it.  Luckily, I had some knit that matched for a top.

When you get the satin fabric, it is a little stiff.  After washing and drying it gets nice and pliable.


She loved them!

20151114-DSC_0011 20151114-DSC_0012

I have a few more designs yet to show, and I need to figure out what I want to make out of them.  They are in a similar color way.

I am STILL waiting on samples of the red/black/white designs I showed earlier.  She is not getting back to me, so I don’t know what her deal is, but I am starting to get frustrated.  It is pretty clear I won’t have them by Christmas, so I am hoping for February at this point.

When I get the chance…I also took pictures of the fall leaves.  I went around our yard and grabbed a bunch of different ones, photographing them on a white posterboard.  They will be much easier to cut out in Photoshop than these were in their natural element.  Something to work on this winter.

I have a never ending to do list right now, though.  Doesn’t everyone, though??

Flowers on fabric

The last few years our gardens have not been as happy as they once were when we actually had time to pull weeds.  When they were happy, I loved to plant pretty dahlias and Iris flowers.  Then, I took pictures of them!

I took some of the many pictures of my flowers (and some of my brother-in-law that likes to grow dahlias) and made them into fabric patterns.  First step was cutting out a bunch of flowers from their original pictures and cleaning up the edges.  I had to take pictures that had nearly perfect flowers without flaws.  On a few I had to clone out some bug munches, but otherwise the flowers are as nature made them.

Next, I grabbed colors from the flowers and created a design for each one.

Here are the results, and the fabric made into some pretties for my girl.  The actual printed fabric will always be less vibrant than the digital file.  I have learned this the hard way!


This is the first design – Peachy Dahlias and Roses.  I printed it on Modern Jersey, as I wanted to make some clothes for The Girl.  She really likes to have her clothes in knit.  I scaled the design to print it at 6″ x 6″.

4747585_rrpeachy_flowersAfter washing it on cold and drying it in the dryer, this is how long the one yard of fabric became:

20151114-DSC_0002As I had less than a yard of fabric to work with, and making a Saige dress from The Simple Life Pattern Company takes about 1.5 yards, I had to figure out something.  I decided to do a lace overlay on a fabric I had gotten free from  It is a type of polyester, that I had NO IDEA what I would use for anything.  It felt less like a gift and more like a, “No one wants this fabric, so we are just going to give it away”.  Luckily, it works great underneath the lace.

20151114-DSC_0003Another modification I had to make due to the fabric shortage, was on the arms.  I didn’t have the length I needed, so the arms were done in pieces.


The Modern Jersey is not overly thick, unfortunately.  I am glad the top of this dress is lined, as it was needed for the thickness of this fabric.

I also made a pair of leggings for her out of a stretch cotton.  It was a cute little outfit on her.

20151115-DSC_0020 20151115-DSC_0018 20151115-DSC_0031 20151115-DSC_0016

Now to make something with the rest of the fabrics!

Slouchy sweatshirt

I have another pattern test for you today.  This is the Slouchy Sweatshirt from Nap Time Creations.  It is a nice easy sew, and a fairly simple pattern.  I wanted to make some easy to wear tops like this, and the pattern test came up.  Perfect timing!  I made lots!

This first one here I made out of a black sweater knit, with a performance knit on the bands and neck binding.  I made a size L, which worked for a baggy sweatshirt for me.  I was between a M and L, so I went up.  I think it is a little too big, but I know I will still wear it a lot for both casual and work.

20151105-DSC_000320151105-DSC_0022Can’t go wrong with a plain black top.


Now this next one I made in a size M.  I reduced the neck band size down from 2.5″ wide on the black one to 2.0″ wide on this one.  I haven’t seen the final pattern, so not sure if she reduced the width or not.  It stuck up a bit on the black one.  That seemed to take away the excess on it.  I would suggest looking at the stretch on the binding.  You should have to stretch it while putting it on the shirt, and if there is not stretching, then it is too long.  I went an inch or so shorter on this one.


This is a tan velour-type fabric.  It has a nap, so I had to make sure to cut everything to make sure it was all going the same direction.  I love the little shine it has to it, and it has a bit of lycra in it.  Another good staple for the wardrobe that I can wear to work or just with some jeans, as I did here.


I did make one more, but didn’t have time to take pictures when I wore it.  Hopefully, I will get some pictures soon.  I also made the bone colored one I posted, previously.  They are definitely a wardrobe staple!

Cream squishy-ness

I just had to make another infinity scarf, since I love the first one so much.  This time I used a less dense yarn, so it took the entire two skeins (94 yards each) for this scarf.  It ended up at around 22″ wide.  In making these two different ones, it seems that the thickness of the yarn will determine how much you will need for your desired length.

This was Woolike Chunky in Beige.


This took me about 3 movies (or around 6 hours) to knit it on my loom.  It is pretty easy and mindless to do this in front of the tv.  There is no counting stitches or anything.  You just weave it on the loom and use your little tool.


Next up is the leather application.  I didn’t have quite enough to cut two pieces on the fold.  Instead out of the two different colors, I cut 4 pieces 2.5″ wide by 12.5″ long.  This was a thicker leather, so I didn’t interface them.


I wasn’t sure what color snaps to use for the bone color of the yarn.  I decided to go with just a silver colored snap.  I think the reason that Tandy’s snaps are so hard to use is that they are steel. Yeah.  A little hard to pound them down.  I will take a cheaper metal over the durability of the steel.


Then, I had the perfect fabric color to make a top to match!  I will have a review on this pattern next week in the pattern tour for the Slouchy Sweatshirt by Nap Time Creations.


Loomed infinity scarf

This is one of those projects that you can start and stop until you finally, finally, get the danged thing finished.  It takes a several hours to do the knitting on the scarf part.

I do actually like to have something to do when I am sitting on the couch watching TV.  Otherwise, I feel so unproductive.  I could be doing something.  Relaxing is not doing something.

Yes, I know, I have a problem.

Okay, so this is a SUPER CUTE loomed knitted, and then sewed up with leather, infinity scarf.


The loom I used is the green long loom by Knifty Knitter.  Here is a You Tube tutorial I found on how to do a scarf on it.  I actually used the end pegs, too, but this tutorial is the basic method (I also had to turn off the sound…not a fan of the music).  This loom gives you a nice, warm, plush scarf.

I used a little less than two skeins of yarn on the scarf part.  I just checked out how long I thought I wanted it, knowing it would be about an inch or so longer once I got the leather snapped ends on it.  Mine ended up at about 32″ long.

Once the scarf is done and off the loom, you need to cut two pieces of a soft leather that are 15″ long x 4″ wide.  This was a soft lambskin that I thought needed a little extra durability, so I added some fabric backed iron-on interfacing to the backside of the leather (use a press cloth when ironing on leather).

I sewed the leather to the knitted end,  right sides together.  You really need to go slow when sewing them together to make sure it is even, and that you catch the knitted part.  I also used lots of clover clips for this part, but you can also just use paper clips or even small binder clips.


Then, I made the mistake of ironing it flat.  I had it on the nice acrylic yarn a bit too much, and it flattened and melted it a little bit.  So…if you iron it make sure you just do it on the edge to get it flattened and not on the yarn part.  I turned the edge under on the other side of the leather and topstitched it down the sides and along the edge.  This left the sides raw.

Next, I added the lovely gold snaps from Tandy Leather that are a complete PITA to use.  I don’t know why I keep buying these, so I need to go get some other ones from Joann’s.  I mean…they are nice quality, but they are seriously hard to pound down and you have to be careful to not bend their extra long shafts.  I’d rather use the cheaper ones from Joann’s on something like this.  It would take me half the time to put them on, and less curse words.


But…turned out cute!

(Oh yeah, and I cut off and donated 10 inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths for wigs for cancer patients.  My third donation!)


Rustic leather laptop bag

I wanted a not-huge laptop bag, so I decided to use my tough cow-hide that I had purchased in the spring.  I had made a handbag for my Grandma with it, but it just about killed my machine.  I had to get it serviced after sewing up that bag.

I decided to hand stitch this bag, which is what I did when we went on vacation to our friend’s house in Ohio at the end of August.  It was a long car trip, so I had plenty of time to get some things done.

Yes, this has been in process for a little bit.

First, I cut one long rectangle that was  14.5″ wide by 26″ long.  This fits a Macbook Air (my laptop for work), a letter-sized pad of paper and a few not-thick folders.  The strap measures 1.75″ by 36.5″.  The other straps for the D-rings and rectangles on the straps were just cut to size.

20151020-DSC_0017Next, I took my little hole puncher tool (bought at Tandy Leather), and used it to hammer the sewing holes into the leather.  I put the two sides together and tried to go through both layers at once, so the holes would match up.  It sort of worked.  Sometimes, the holes were not really all the way through, so I had to use my needle to punch through the rest of the way.

20151020-DSC_0015I used a waxed nylon thread and leather needles to sew up the edges.

The shoulder strap is just one layer of leather, but the lacing should help to keep it from stretching out.  It is a thick leather, so I figured one layer would work fine.

20151020-DSC_0009The closure here is a bone button I found at Joann’s Fabric Store.  I didn’t make the loop quite long enough, so it is tough to get it on and off the button.  It should stretch out with some usage, though.

20151020-DSC_0019The decorative layer on the back you can use for just a handhold.  I decorated it with some rivets.

20151020-DSC_0012This one was a lot of hand stitching, but I like how it all turned out.


Saige Dress

We have another tester pattern for Simple Life Pattern Company.  It was released today, and you can find it here.

This is the Saige Dress, and I rather like how it was put together.  It is a knit, with a lined bodice, so you can use some thinner knits on it.  If you do use a thinner knit on the top, you probably will need something under the skirt portion.  Leggings are a good option here.


I did the bib version with a drawstring at the waist.  The bib is Perfection Fused Leather, so it is sort of leather-ish.

The iron-on vinyl appliqué was a little difficult to get it to stick.  I had to iron it for at least twice as long as normal.  I got the art from a Google image search, cut it out with my Silhouette and forgot to mirror it.  One of these years I will remember to mirror words and numbers the first time.


I made it in a 8W, 12L for her measurements.  Her waist is still a few sizes smaller, but this is meant to be pulled in anyways.  On the drawstring I added beads for a bit of fun.  You need the beads with the really large opening.  Luckily, there is a plethora of craft supplies on hand in my house.  Hard to believe, I know. 😉  The beads also keep the cording from easily going into the buttonholes and pulling out.  I frayed the edges of the cording after I put the beads on it.


The back:


I got this fabric at a now defunct fabric store about 5 years ago.  It has Supergirl comics on it.  Just right for my little super girl!  She loves it and got tons of compliments on it when she wore it to school.


Here is the second test of the pattern.  This time I used a stretch poly for the main fabric, a white knit for the bodice lining, and lambskin leather for the yoke and waistband.

I added another vinyl appliqué, but it discolored the leather.  After washing it in water, I figured it would all get a bit discolored and aged looking, which was fine.  These pictures it doesn’t look too bad, since I Photoshopped the bad parts out for the tester pictures.




The leggings I made her out of a very nice thick ponte material that I was saving for me.  So much for that…another piece of fabric sacrificed for my daughters wardrobe!  I actually bought both of these for me, but she is getting more “sophisticated” taste so the cutesy stuff doesn’t interest her anymore.  She chose this fabric for her dress, so I guess I need to get rid of some of the younger looking stuff.  Or use them for jammies.  Or sew them up for some charity projects.  Either way I need to clear out some of my fabric that won’t be getting used.

Then I can buy more, since right now the shelves are stuffed full!


A plethora of leather baby shoes

My niece gave birth to an adorable little baby boy in March, and I sewed up a few things for him at the time.  Today there was a Sip and See for everyone to meet the little guy, since they moved back up north from Tennessee.  Yay!

My Sister-in-law (the grandma) gave me some pieces of leather that she bought at a garage sale.  They were selling bags of scrap leather in different colors, so she bought a few bags and let me pick through them.  I knew I wanted to make some leather shoes for the little man.  I loved the Robeez shoes that I bought for my daughter when she was a baby.  They give them some traction while trying to get on their feet and also just with crawling and getting to a standing position.

I have lots of pieces of leather to make cute little baby shoes.


When sewing leather, I try to get out my Singer 401A…it’s a big, old, metal, heavy sucker and it sews through leather easier than my other machines.  I keep a leather needle on it, and pretty much only use it for heavy weight projects.


There are a whole bunch of free patterns out there in the ether, so I combed through a few of them.  I ended up using a few patterns.  This first one is from this pattern, but instructions basically like these from here.  If you use that pattern, the vamp needs an extra inch.  The one from the instructions looks good, though.


That was the first pair that I made, and the vamp is a little short on it.  I cut out little pieces of the leather and made feathers?  leaves? to decorate the vamp.  Remember that you have to leave enough thread to pull through to the back and tie off.

The next pair is from this pattern, though I shortened it a little bit.



I drew the horsehead and hand-sewed it onto the vamp.  It is hard to sew around all of those small pieces with a sewing machine.


A little add that I did was to put some cotton batting on the bottom between the leather and the lining.  Just give him a little cushion on his feet.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the soles of the shoes, I used the suede side of the leather.  That gives it better traction.


The last pair is from this free pattern at Shwin & Shwin.  It was a little more difficult with more layers of leather.  The burgundy leather pieces were patent, so they weren’t very flexible.

20151017-DSC_0124 20151017-DSC_0133I didn’t think a buttonhole would work for it, so I added velcro instead.

20151017-DSC_0132Three cute pairs of baby shoes for one adorable little boy!