Dragon boardshorts

Is this not awesome fabric for swimming trunks?

I picked it up on pre-order last year, and she has it in stock again on her retail site (click on the picture of it to go to the listing).  Since she had it in stock again, it gave me the impetus to finally get this sewed up!

The biggest hurdle in all of this is finding a boardshort pattern that has the mesh insert.  Hardly any of them have it.  I ended up going with the Jalie boardshort pattern.  I was going to draft an insert (which I did), but I ended up not adding it in.  The fly is real and is velcro.  I asked the dude if he was alright not having it, and he said it was fine.  I told him if he needed it later, I could figure something out.He fit in the size U in their weird sizing scale.  I also kind of hate that they don’t always have layered patterns.  I thought I heard that some were layered, but none that I have purchased have been.  It is really hard to follow some of the lines in cutting it out.  The do have nice thorough patterns, though.  The main seams are all triple stitched.

Unfortunately I didn’t have any contrasting fabric, so I ended up taping the side panel together and just using the main fabric for all of it.

I did use a too small pair for the facings and key pocket.  I wouldn’t have had enough of it for any of the panels.

I also stole the tie tabs with the grommets from another pair of shorts.  I left the remaining shorts intact so I could at least give them away.  They were Mario Kart or something like that.  I think he is done with the character prints on his swimming trunks now.  😉

I also put in the card pocket, though not sure it is quite functional.  It needs to be a little wider, I think.  I didn’t have grommets, so I just did a circle with a satin stitch for the water release.

Overall, I am very happy with how these turned out and he was pretty thrilled, too.  I have another print with space images on it, but I want to find some contrasting boardshort fabric before making another pair.

Sorry for the cell phone pictures…it’s been busy here, and I didn’t quite have time to get some nicer pictures.e


New shoes for the girl

For my daughter’s birthday, she wanted a new pair of shoes like I bought for myself last summer.  These are not cheap shoes.

Zazzle is a website where you can put designs, art and a miriad of sayings on just about anything.  Last year I discovered that they could put tiled designs on shoes, and bought myself a pair:

She liked them so much, she wanted a pair for herself.  She wanted a blue design, and I knew she liked the colors in the sky.  I pulled up a sky photo I took and started color sampling it with the different designs I drew.

I have a lot of designs saved as brushes in Photoshop now.  I will sometimes just sit at my computer while watching tv with the family, draw something up and create a new brush to use in my tiled designs.  They are all a little different. 🙂

So, here is the sky picture I used:

Here is the tiled print:

Here is the shoe mock-up.

They should come in a few weeks in plenty time for her birthday this spring.  Now to make several things to match them!

I’m thinking of setting up a Zazzle shop for the things I draw.  I have to look into the file types needed and most importantly…figure out a name for it!  If I get it done, I may even have a contest to giveaway one item to get some word of mouth advertisement.

Stay tuned…

Sugar Skull outfit

I might be a bit macabre, but I do love the look of sugar skulls.

Fabric: Affordable Fabrics and More (retail is closed right now, as pre-ordered fabric arrives)

Sugar skulls, called calaveras, are made to honor dead relatives on Dia de Muertos, or All Soul’s Day.  This tradition can be traced back to the Aztecs.  The calaveras are usually made with cane sugar and are decorated with items such as colored foil, icing, beads, and feathers.

I am sure this will still fit her on November 1 next year, as I could not wait to use this fabric.  As such…I made the leggings extra long.

First, I needed a HTV skull for my vision of this top.  I found  a sugar skull coloring page online, and traced it off in the Silhouette software.  I pulled out different pieces to cut in different colors.  The trace worked pretty well, and there was only one part I had to change when weeding it.  I’m not well versed in the software, so I generally wing it and get lucky.

After layering and ironing it all on, it was time to sew!

I drafted this pattern with a lot of curves.  The arms have a big dip in the middle, and the seams are the same depth as the side seam.  It looks like a gradual curve across the arms, from side to side.


After putting these all together and ironing them, I noticed the front bodice was messed up.  I cut it totally wrong.  After ripping out the serged seam, I used what smidgen of fabric I had left to cut out a new top.  The front top is not necessarily on grain, but it works.

The skirt on this is a full circle.

The leggings are the 5 out of 4 Shenanigans skort leggings, only I used a different waistband that is shaped to fit her better.  This was a french terry fabric with some stretch to it.

I made this last night and could not wait to have her wear it.  She really liked it when I showed it to her this morning.  This is after a day of wearing it, so the leggings are a little bit baggy.

Now…what to make next??

Fancy towels for a swap

I have belonged to the online sewing forum, Sewing Mamas, for many, many years. This is one place where sewing peeps used to post their lovelies, pre-Facebook and Instagram. Now it is down to just a few die hards. They are having a dish towel swap, so I decided to join in on it. I generally don’t do swaps, since I am usually so behind in making all the things I want to make! This one seemed pretty easy to do, though. I just needed to make a set of dish towels. I signed up for two sets.

I tend to really like those towels that attach to the stove, so I decided to make them for my project. I had some terry cloth fabrics that I bought to use for bibs once upon a time. I could have gone out and bought towels to fancy up, but I had this already.

Here is my little tutorial on how I made these:

Pattern piece for the top – Cut 2 of fabric and one of interfacing
– 1 piece of terry cloth – 14″ x 18″
Ribbons 18+” wide

1. Iron the interfacing onto one side of the top piece. Fold the bottom edge up 0.5″. Sew the two pieces together, right sides together. Clip the edges of the bottom, and clip the top curve. Turn right sides out and iron flat.

2. Hem the bottom edge of the towel, along the 18″ long side. I turned 0.25″ and 0.25″. You could also serge all the edges and just turn under once to hem.

3. Take your ribbon and place along the bottom. Heat seal the edges first. I went up about 0.5″ to next to the hem. Stitch down both sides.

4. Turn the side edges under and hem.

5. Pleat the top edge. I made one inch pleats starting from the middle and this seemed to be good. Place the top edge in the top piece. Top stitch in place, making sure to catch the bottom edge. I did two rows of stitching.

6. Make a buttonhole 1″ from the edge of the curve. (Alternatively, you can do a snap, as well.)

7. Sew on button, and done!

Feeling elvish

Nothing like a long-awaited fabric delivery to de-rail your sewing plans! I’m a big fan of The Lord of the Rings (even read that massive tome…and The Hobbit, too), so when a pre-order came up for different LOTR fabrics I pounced on it.


After waiting the required several months for the order to close and then get delivered it finally arrived last weekend.  It had been a long few days away from the family, in setting up and putting on the charity benefit for Deb, so it was a fun sight to be greeted by that box when I got back home.  Into the washer the fabric went!

Of course, I didn’t have the right color coordinates, so I had to make a stop at the fabric store.  I hadn’t been there since before Christmas, so OF COURSE I bought way more than I intended.  I am all ready for sewing up some LOTR, and some summer stuff now.

I started easy with the fabric, and made a Bram Raglan from Wardrobe by Me for my son.  Seriously, this was the main reason I pulled the trigger on this fabric.  Fits him perfectly.


I just wish these fabric designers would make extra fabric that matches the panel.  I hate having to find matching fabric.  I used a solid chocolate colored cotton-lycra for the back, and a jersey/lycra for the arms.

Onward to what I wanted to make for me!

This was the initial drawing for it:

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I’m using my Sneha hack for this, with the front overlay.  Yes, again.

The front fat-half panel ended up at about 33″, so it shrunk 3″ in the wash. 🙁  This meant I wasn’t able to cut it out at the length I wanted, so I ended up doing a high-low hemline.  I kept the hem to a minimum, too.

The back was an overlay that I matched to the front overlay on the side seams.  I wanted it to have some extra volume in it, almost like a short cape, so I pulled it out from the fold line about 6″ and went down to mid-back for the curve.  I decided I wanted a downward curve after the initial draft I drew.

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The hood is a shortened version of the hood pattern I shared here.  I just took about 6″ off the bottom, and added a band to the edge that was a little bit narrower than the opening. I also lined the hood with the rib knit, since it was white on the backside of the green fabric.

Ribbing tends to stretch a bit more than most, so I wish I would have decreased the length on ALL the bands I used.  .

The hood is a little tight on the neck, so if I make another one, I will increase the width of the hood and scoop out the neckband a bit more.  So if you make your own version, take note.

I was indecisive about the arms.  Initially, I was thinking of adding the faux lacing on the arms like I did for my daughter’s dress.  I was having issues putting eyelets into the knit, since my eyelet setter was broke and the kittens ran off with the parts. >:(

I decided to add pieces that looked like the Elvish leaves vambraces.


Just in knit.  I didn’t want them to overlap the whole way, since it would add a lot of bulk.  I just overlapped the seams and called it good.  I hand-stitched them on, so it had a more authentic look.

Here are the pattern pieces if you want to use them.  There is about a 1″ overlap.

I used the Ninja leggings pattern from 5 out of 4 Patterns for the leggings.  I cut up the pattern, and added seam allowances when I cut the pieces.  I serged and top stitched one piece wrong, so they are a little wonky.  Oh well.  I fixed it well enough, and they are a bit patchwork so it is hard to tell.

Retail will be up on Wednesday this week, I believe.  Site: Moonbeam Textiles

I couldn’t resist, and had to a Shire composite (New Zealand).

Background came from Trey Ratcliff.  He had this on his Flickr account under Creative Commons usage (non-commercial).  He does some impressive photography.

Goals for February

Since January flew by in a blink of an eye, I am going to write down what I plan on making for this month.

#1 – Purse #2 for the charity auction.  It is cut out and in process. DONE


#2 – Possibly a new hip purse for when I am working at the charity auction.  I have a feeling this won’t get completed, but maybe I will have time… Not done – this one will have to wait

#3 – I want to do a Pinterest project a month, so two projects if I can.  I am thinking about these two as possibilities:

cardigan Not sure on the color of the cardigan yet, though.  This will also fit into the Self Love Sewing for February.

#4 – I have signed up to make an upcycled item for a blog tour.  I know what I want to make, so I just need to get it done!  DONE

#5 – I want to make a pair of red ponte leggings with a black leather tuxedo strip down the side. DONE

#6 – To match the leggings above I want to make a black top like this one, only with long sleeves, maybe a different hem line.  It will be longer, since this isn’t quite long enough to cover the bum: DONE20160227-DSC_0076#7 – Charity – I want to get through some fabrics I probably won’t use.  I have a stack of fleece pieces that would make great hats, scarves or cowls.  I could also make some baby sleep sacks.  Sewing for charity and reducing the stash of unused fabric would be a real win.  After the fleece is gone, I am going to start on making skirts or dresses for girls on the Pine Ridge Reservation with the woven fabrics I have.

So…that is the plan so far for this month.  Lofty goals, but hopefully I can reach them!



Go Pack, Go!

Here is the first bag for the benefit auction in a few weeks.  This is my bag pattern that I have been using to make most of my purses.  I should maybe make a tutorial or something on it, huh?


This one is made of the following:

  • Green pigskin leather
  • Gold lambskin leather
  • Green Bay Packers licensed woven
  • 2 zippers
  • Fusible Fleece to lining, iron on interfacing for pockets, and Peltex on base
  • Gold hardware – ring, swivel snaps, rivets and feet

I purchased the leather and interfacings locally, but I think I got most of the hardware from Pacific Trimmings.


I also made a tassel that I attached to the zipper, but it is just clipped on so whomever wins the auction can use it elsewhere.

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Now onto the next bag!

Upping the twirl factor

This week we are going to a funeral of someone that I grew up with as a part of my life.  Her kids asked me to do the eulogy, so I am a bit stressed about that.  I don’t enjoy public speaking, though I can generally do a good job at it.  Just don’t look at my hands, because they are shaking.

Sewing is my stress reliever, plus the girl needed something to wear.  She wanted something to wear with the blue leaves necklace that we bought for her at the comic con.  It was her birthday present and she didn’t think she had anything that would go with it (She did…jeans and a black top would go with it!).


The dress is self-drafted.  I wanted this to have some interest on it, so I added the faux leather accents.  The neckline and the arms have black faux leather.  I put Heat n’ Bond on the backside of the one with grommets.  That way it adhered to the fabric, and will be more stable.


The skirt is a full circle skirt on the front and a full circle on the back.  I didn’t have quite enough fabric, so I had to piece it.  I like how the black works in with the faux leather accents.

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The black is a ponte with an animal print, and the blue is a brushed poly with lycra.  It is a nice heavier weight, so it handles the skirt pretty well.


She will wear it with black leggings and boots for the funeral, then I am sure it will get worn much to school.  It is a very comfortable and suits her well.



Leather gifts

We are at a point in our familial gift giving, that many just want to exchange for the kids and not do anything else.  We are getting some gifting back, but for the most part the adults are not interested.  I miss it.

I do have a cousin in California that always sends something nice and thoughtful to us.  This year I finally had time to be thoughtful, too.  I made a little clutch for her that could go over her saddle horn, if she wanted a place to store her keys and phone while riding.  I made her hubs a wallet, which was a first for me.  I would make some changes.  It is narrower than I would like and the inside card pocket needed some more room on it, too.  Next one.

These are a mixture of an oiled cowhide and lambskin leathers.  The cowhide is VERY oiled.  The other leathers were starting to darken up from the oil in the main leather.  Oh well.  It still looked nice. 🙂

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I put together a tutorial on how to do a reverse applique on leather.  This is the process I use for each one that I make.

Leather reverse applique tutorial

First, I cut out a piece of Heat n’ Bond that will be a little larger than my design.  Next, I draw my design on half of it.  Options for designs if drawing is not a skill you possess – trace out an image from an image search of tattoo designs, clip art, coloring book pages, etc.  It just can’t be too intricate, since you have to anchor it with stitching.  It is hard to do that if they have a lot of small pieces.


Cut out the design.  You can also do this when it is on the leather, but I like to do it beforehand, so I can cut the leather cleaner.  Your choice. 🙂

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Now, find the mid-point on the leather for applying the applique.

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Now, iron it onto the leather.  Make sure that it is placed evenly on each side before ironing it.  Ask me how I know to do this??  Use a press cloth, or else your iron will stick, and possibly sear, the leather.


Now time to cut it out!  I use a combination of exacto knife, small scissors, big scissors and rotary cutter.  I try to get the big, longer cuts first and then do the smaller intricate ones last.

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Peel off the backing, and cut out another piece of leather that will cover the hole.  Iron this on, using the press cloth.

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To secure it, sew it on the sewing machine.  To sew this, I have a leather needle and use a long stitch.  I have to walk it around some of the areas, so you really have to go slow to make sure it looks nice in the end.


Don’t cut the threads, but pull to the back and tie off.


I have a full tutorial on this No Hardware Clutch here.

Year in review

It is that time of year to look back at alllllllll I accomplished throughout 2016.  I started the year off strong, then came travel softball and baseball for the kids, so summer was mostly a wash.  My time eased up by fall, so I finished the year off strong.

Here is a synopsis of a sort.  I didn’t get everything photographed, so the pictures below are not all of it.  I tried to keep track of my sewing, and it looks like I sewed up around 160 yards of fabric this year.

Yeah.  You can totally NOT tell by looking at my overstuffed fabric closet.  I have a problem, yo.


Reds/Blacks/Greys + Random colors

Purses/clutches/random leather stuffs


Boy Sewing

Girl Sewing

I still need to get a few things photographed, yet.  I’ll add them in when I do.  Some will probably never make it to the blog, but I do tend to put most things on Instagram at least (there’s a button over to the side to my account).  They may not see more than a 11:59pm post-sewing camera phone shot, though.  I try to get things on the blog, and explain any pattern modifications, or HOW I made the pattern, or at least SHOW the pattern I made.  There will be some belated postings that made it to Instagram months ago.  I’m hoping to get them written up and photographed over my Christmas -> New Year’s break.   Then my job will get super busy again, and time will be harder to come by.  *SIGH*

Never enough hours in the day.