Leather pouch for the win

At the sewing retreat I attended a few weeks ago, there was a gift exchange similar to the white elephant game. You were supposed to have something new, and not used, but otherwise it followed the rules of the game.

Namely, you could steal the gift.

The lady that ended up opening my gift really wanted to keep it, but alas, it got stolen from her.¬† Perhaps in the future we will do an exchange, as she has an embroidery machine and I have lots of leather. ūüėÄ

So, this is just a simple pouch (no real pattern), and I did a cutout on the front with one of my drawings.


The handle is just a turned under leather stitched down.

20150716-DSC_0024I also added a homemade tassle out of the accent leather to the zipper pull.

20150716-DSC_0022I was pretty happy with how it turned out, and I got it done just. in. time.  The night before, of course.

At least it was done!


Off she goes

This morning I sent the girl off for an overnight horse camp.  She went with one of her friends that moved away last year, so hugs ensued when they saw each other.

In preparation for the camp, I *needed* to make her a few things.

Of course, I did.

Some of the girls wear leggings when riding (cooler, I guess), so I made her a few pair with matching tank tops. ¬† The leggings were Oliver + S Playtime Leggings, which are a bit too high in the front. ¬†I dropped the front waist rise by about 1″.


I actually made two of the horse leggings.  The extra pair was for her friend.  She is a little taller and bigger in the waist than my girl, so I adjusted them for those fitting issues.  I had enough for both, and have had the fabric for at least 5 years.  Use up that stash!  I love how quick and easy leggings are to make, so it was simple to just do two of them.


The tank top was the basic bodice block I drafted for her, with a longer back to cover her bum. ¬†The rodeo rider on the front was a weird “appliqu√©” I purchased several years back at Michaels. ¬†It is a “color transfer”. ¬†You place it on the fabric and iron it for a minute and then it seems to dye it a shade or so darker. ¬†It also moves as you are ironing it, as you are just placing the paper on the fabric. ¬†It was a bit of a pain, so I wouldn’t recommend it. ¬†It does have a cool faded, aged look to it, though.


I made one extra camo tank top that will go with jeans.


Then, she needed a laundry bag, which I made with the last of this $1 yard cotton horse fabric. ¬†Glad I got that used up! ¬†For the drawstring, I used one of my odds and ends. ¬†I am not sure where I got the tassled cording. ¬†I had to cut one end off, as it wouldn’t fit through the casing. ¬†It will serve it’s purpose.


She also needed some summer jammies.  The girl like to wear the ones I made her last winter (long sleeved shirts, flannel pants).  Not sure why, since its not like we keep our house particularly cold with the air conditioning.  She wanted a shorts set, so I drafted a top, and then just took and redrafted the Oliver + S Playtime Leggings into shorts with a lower front rise.  The top is another quick draft off her basic bodice block.


I am certain she will have a wonderful time this next week, but I will definitely miss my little munchkin!

Retreat sewing

Last weekend I went to a local sewing retreat, so I had a chance to sit down and get some sewing done!¬† I didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but it was nice to sew with other ladies that “get it”.

We all had a great time and I got two shirts, a jacket and blackout curtains made.¬† The curtains were pretty simple with quilting cotton that matched the girl’s room, backed with blackout fabric.¬† She has a hard time sleeping when it is light out, so I am hoping this will keep her from camping out on our floor now.

*crossing fingers*  Not working so much, but she has spent a few nights in her bed.

The jacket is Burda 7296 and I think I cut out a size 12 (I am 38″ chest and 31″ waist).¬† I cut it out last winter at some point, so this really gave me an impetus to get the dang thing done!¬† I did a few things differently on it (like normal), but mostly kept to the pattern.¬† It is roomy, but once it gets cool I will likely be wearing a sweater.¬† It will be fine for that.


I forgot the instructions when I went to the retreat, so I “used the Force”.¬† It turned out fairly well.


The fabric is a fur-backed embossed velveteen.¬† It isn’t a super heavy jacket, but will keep the wind off of me and give me a little warmth.¬† I love the fur collar and cuffs.¬† As I did not line the jacket, I sewed down the seam allowances to lay flat.

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This next item is a simple tank in a sweater knit.  A simple draft.

I jazzed it up with an applique I had acquired a few years back.¬† It didn’t fit across the whole back, so I had to tack down the edges.¬† I only sewed the top¬† of it, left the bottom unsewed.


It worked best that way, as it was on the knit.  It is a little see through, so I need to wear a tank underneath.


I will get a picture of the other top when I wear it.  The one above was after work, and it wore very well.  Hardly a wrinkle!

Red, white and blue

This was a pattern test for SLPCo’s Bella. ¬†The girl *needed* a 4th of July outfit, so I opted to make her a patriotic dress with all the patriotic material I had just sitting there in my fabric closet.

20150701_1692 20150701_1700In case you were unaware…that is a tweenager look

Basically, it was the only fabric I had enough of to make a maxi dress. ¬†I wasn’t sure how thrilled she would be in wearing a maxi dress in July, but it seemed to go over alright. ¬†She got lots of compliments at the 4th of July parade.

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I made this dress 8W and 12L. ¬†The last maxi dress I did in a 10L was a little short of being maxi length, in my opinion, so I made this one longer. ¬†They only have chest and waist measurements for the older girls to choose a size, so it was guesswork on what to choose for the length (she’s 56″ tall). ¬†She wears a 12 for RTW jeans, so I think that is likely the size I need to use.

The dress pattern doesn’t come with a band at the bottom. ¬†I mistakenly cut a 10, so I added the band to get it to the right length.

The back has some great straps, and I made an overlay of a little thinner ribbon.

20150701_1694Overall, she looks pretty dang cute in it.




This is another shirt that I drafted from a pin on Pinterest. ¬†It is actually a Burda pattern that I saw at one point last year. ¬†It was a pretty simple pattern, so it wasn’t like I needed to buy it. ¬†It is just a big boxy shirt.


So…not sure about it. ¬†It is really big (about 27.5″ wide and 21″ long). ¬†I think it would be much better in a fabric that has more drape to it, or to cut it on the bias. ¬†I probably could have cut it on the bias (had enough fabric), but I thought that it would drape well.

It didn’t.

I think the shirt is pretty in the mint green satin, but it doesn’t look all that great on me.


I did spend some time on it to make it look nice, though.


I bias bound the arms to finish them.

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I under stitched the facing at the collar to give it a clean line.


Oh well…you win some and you lose some. ¬†I imagine that these types of disasters are what clothing designers go through with their samples. ¬†Determining what type of fabric works best with their designs is a pretty important step. ¬†Experience is always a good teacher.

If I make this design again, I will likely cut it on the bias.  It definitely needs to drape down or else it just sticks out too much.


Two more swimsuits

I got two more swimsuits finished up this week for the little miss.  She goes to a day camp during the summer, and they usually go swimming a few times a week.  Most of her old swimsuits were a little too small, so luckily I have a lot of swimsuit fabric.

<<Fabric Hoarder>>

Yes, that is me.¬† ūüėČ


This first one is another bikini, and it was a pretty simple one.¬† I made the top a slip on, instead of having a back fastening.¬† She needs to have help with a back fastening, and that doesn’t always work at the day camp.

The top is lined, but the bottoms are not.  It was a pretty thick fabric, so I only lined the crotch area.

20150625-DSC_0023I would have used the turquoise FOE on the whole thing, but I ran out of it.¬† I used the fabric to bind the rest of the top where I didn’t have enough.¬† I turned the fabric like double-fold binding tape and stitched it down with a zigzag stitch.

20150625-DSC_0027This next suit is modified from a Kwik Sew leotard pattern.  I did a lot of modifying.

The front of the suit is lined with the plain pink fabric.

20150625-DSC_0033This fabric is really thin, so you can’t really use it for much.¬† It is hard to sew, which you can probably see a lot of imperfections in using it as binding.¬† I sewed elastic in the binding, as it wasn’t sturdy enough to use it solo.


It worked well as the flounce, though.

20150625-DSC_0031I think that is all she needs for swimsuits, so onward to other things.  I have a pattern test I have to sew up next week, and I really need more summer shirts that fit.

I am hoping to spend some time today sewing.  I have spent plenty of time outdoors lately with the kids in softball and baseball, so time to sequester myself in the basement!

A mis-shapen thing

I was trying to figure out what I wanted to sew on a Sunday night, since I finally had some free time.  We are in the midst of softball, baseball and yardwork.

It must be springtime.

I decided to try to draft a new pattern from one of my pins on Pinterest.  This is the one I chose to draft.

I think I drafted it correctly, though it was too small. ¬†I used a fabric that was a polyester lycra, and had a decent amount of stretch to it. ¬†If I lose weight, it will fit, but for now…not so much. ūüėČ

So, I added some width and length to the main pattern piece, and to the bands on the arms and waist.  I just added an inch or so to everything.
Basic measurements on the pieces for me (37″ chest, 31″ waist):

This is the second version of the top:


I really like this watercolor jersey fabric.  It has more give to it than the first fabric and is such a pretty springtime color.


I have some fabric that matches the blush color in it, and I am thinking of making a pair of wide legged slacks to wear with it.  I have a pattern that was donated as a prize, so I am going to give that a go.  Hope it fits!

A new swimsuit for summer

It is time for my annual “makin’ swimsuits” for the little miss. ¬†I haven’t bought her a swimsuit since she was probably a toddler. ¬†Generally, I have drafted them all myself using her underwear as a base for the bottoms and measurements for the top.


The same was true in this case. ¬†I used a top pattern I drafted last year – just adding some extra fabric to the side. ¬†The bottoms were drafted off a pair of underwear that fits pretty well. ¬†I used swimsuit lining for the crotch, but otherwise didn’t line the bottoms as this fabric is thick enough.¬† The bottoms have swimwear elastic at the waist. ¬†The legs are folded over swimsuit material that I serged onto the legs and then topstitched the seams flat.

(forgive the brown leather stain on my cutting pad – couldn’t get it off)

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The top is fully lined, since it is just easier to make it that way.

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I added fringe that I cut with my rotary cutter and a ruler to get the straight lines.  There are two layers of fringe.  I sewed the fringe onto the top before attaching the (a little too wide) binding to the top.


The back is just a hook closure and it ties at the neck.  I made the binding long enough to do straps to attach to the back, but she wanted it to tie at the neck.


I had finished it up at around 10:30 one night, and had her try it on the next morning for fitting the back of the top.  I quick sewed the hook and the loop closed and she was ready to take it to camp that day!


She said she wants a one piece swimsuit now, so that is next on the list!


My crafting space

I figured I would pull this post from my other blog and put it over here in case anyone was interested.

This was my craftroom in the basement before we took the unfinished basement space and made it fabulous. ¬†It was totally open to bugs and the like…and really messy:


Totally hard to believe I wanted something nicer, eh? ūüėČ

When we were planning the basement, we knew we needed a guestroom down there.¬† We have a 4 bedroom house, but one is rather small and wouldn’t fit our queen guest bed.¬† That room had been the Girl’s room, but she was growing out of the small room, so we turned it into an office and moved her into the larger guest room. ¬†It had barely held a full size bed and the closet was¬†tiny.

I also wanted a craftroom down in the basement.¬† It became apparent that the guestroom and craftroom needed to take up the same space.¬† What to do?¬† A murphy bed, of course!¬† We don’t have guests very often, so on the rare occasion we have an overnight guest I get it all cleaned up and put right and the pins swept off the floor.¬† It took awhile to find one that will take a pillow-top mattress.¬† They are tons of varieties out there and I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a bed that will only need to take occasional use.¬† I found one through Versare, which is of decent quality (apparently they don’t sell them anymore, though).¬† There are some issues, but overall I like it.¬† The bed is one solid piece that comes down and not the bi fold doors that many of them have.¬†¬† We had some issues with it staying closed, and had to put on some extra hardware.¬† It is probably because we have a pillow-top and most beds are made to fit a regular mattress.¬† At least it fits good enough.

I originally envisioned a big wall-length counter with storage for my crafting.¬† Well, that didn’t pan out, so it needed to be on the same wall as the bed.¬† It has enough room for my sewing machine and serger – almost 5 feet of space.¬† A lot of the storage is now in the closet.¬† As you can see in the photo above, I had a lot of fabric to store.¬† ūüėÄ


The closet just has some kit shelves by Closetmaid.¬† I have plenty of storage for fabrics,¬†and have somehow managed to fill it up!¬† (Another note on screwups…when I ordered the doors this was the only one that didn’t come with a jam and casing.¬† Do you think the salesguy told me that??¬† NO!¬† Of course, not!¬† The guys made the jam up themselves and stained as close as they could.¬† I ordered the casing unfinished, which was delivered the next day¬†(I think they knew I was pissed)¬†and they were able to get it stained and up before they were done with their last week of work.

The floor is cork.  It is warm and nice to walk on.  I think it looks a bit like leather.

The window you see here is that big egress window we had dug and put in the space.  It took a bit but they finally figured out how to deal with the standing water issues we had.  They ended up having to drill into the foundation to the drain tile underneath for the water to find a spot to go.  We think there are underground springs around here and there is probably one pretty close to this window.  The water was coming in pretty steadily apparently.

The dresser is a temporary fix right now.¬† It is an “antique” in the sense that it has been well used in hubby’s¬†family.¬† We’ve had it for a while and it’s missing a few of the handles, the drawers stick, the stain is quite worn in places and the mirror has age spots on it (which is why it isn’t being used!).¬† Apparently it is worth a whopping $200, because I saw one in an antique store in Jamestown, CA a few years back.¬† Only that one apparently was never used and in good condition.¬† Ah well, nothing that some decorative runners and well placed accessories can’t dress up a bit. :)


I didn’t really want an expensive stone countertop and those laminate ones weren’t really floating my boat either.¬† I wanted it to look more like furniture, so I bought a 60″ wood dining table at a furniture clearance store.¬† It had a big crack down the middle of it, so I filled that with silicone and then painted it to match the other cabinets.¬† The guys cut one end off of it so it was desk depth, and¬†attached it to the wall.

The artwork in the space was stolen from the Girl’s¬†old nursery.¬† Being the pink obsessed little girl that she is, they didn’t¬†match the new color scheme in her room.¬† They match perfectly down here, and I just love Amy Brown’s fairies.¬† These were prints taken from an expired¬†calendar.¬† I simply cut them out and put them into matted frames I bought at Michael’s.¬† Very budget conscious artwork.

Some of my storage.¬† The snap storage jars was an old spice rack that I had.¬† It was a stained wood, so I primed and painted it cream.¬† It needs another coat, but it’s fine for now.¬† The hardest part was getting the spice labels off the caps.¬† It does it’s job very well!


You can’t see it here, but there are French doors coming into the room, and they let in extra light.

I really like how it turned out.¬† I had definitely met my “wants” for the space, and it gets well used! :)

The Megan summer top

Here another test top I made a few weeks ago.  It is two overlapping triangles on the front and the back, and turned out to be a pretty cute summer top.


I think I will make a few more of these…they look really cute with jean shorts! ¬†I added a snap just under where the V starts.¬† It was a bit breezy this day, and it was popping open a little bit. ¬†Better safe than sorry.


Yep, she’s a cutie.¬† A little teenager just waiting to happen.

The back is the same shape as the front.


To get the best fit on this top, you need to check it on your kid. ¬†Her waist is about 3″ less than her chest, so I¬†had to make sure the overlap was enough so there was no gaping. ¬†The first test I had the overlap at about 8.5″, which was 2″ more than the pattern. ¬†She redid the pattern and the suggested overlap still didn’t hit in the right place for her. ¬†It worked on the other testers, so it is likely just her body type. ¬†I didn’t try the last version of the pattern, so maybe that would have fit. ¬†She had an 8″ overlap on that one for the larger sizes and I think that would have worked on her.

Unfortunately, I put in the buttons before I tried the second top on her.  I will have to either put on a new waistband or the buttons will be off center.  The colors of the top are very pretty, so hopefully she wears this out and about when I fix it.

Right now it is in a “to be ripped apart” pile.

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On the second test of the pattern it ended up a little shorter in the top, so not sure which one I like more.  I still added a snap to it.  It only takes a few minutes to add it, and just feel it is a bit more modest to have it there.  Just in case.

It is a pretty cute top!