Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

Whelp, I really am hard at work with my very own personal SewWhatYouGot challenge. In fact, tonight, I’m going to cut out the fabric for this fabulous little number:

vogue bow dress

Don’t you just LOVE this!!! I squealed when I saw this on top of the pile. Jonathan and I are headed to a fancy concert next Thursday… SCORE!

But before then, I just couldn’t get my mind off a couple of garments I’ve been seeing all over the magazines for Spring. I pull out all sorts of magazine pages when I see something I like…and I decided that it really might be more fun to SEW them than to just STARE at them. Weird. I know!

Here’s what I’ve had my eye on from InStyle Magazine, People Style Watch and others…

Wide Leg Cropped Pants. Did you see that one of these pairs is about $3000!

Wide Leg Cropped Pants. Did you see that one of these pairs is about $3000!

BoxyEyelet Tops! These are SO perfect for Texas summers .. and do you see that one listed for $228!?!

BoxyEyelet Tops! These are SO perfect for Texas summers .. and do you see that one listed for $228!?!

SEW…in addition to my pattern sewing challenge, I want to also do a little regular “column” so to speak about how to make runway styles for WAAAAAY cheaper and using simple patterns. That’s the way I roll, right??!!!

Here’s what I came up with for my own version of this outfit:

I love the long boxy top and the simple go-with-anything cropped pants. Can we make this for cheap but still look expensive??? Insert Jeopardy theme music...

I love the long boxy top and the simple go-with-anything cropped pants. Can we make this for cheap but still look expensive??? Insert Jeopardy theme music…

I personally think so!

I personally think so!

Please keep in mind that I’m a horrible photographer… objects seen are WAY cuter than they appear!!! (Or at least my very biased opinion thinks so!)

photo 1

photo 5-2

photo 4

For the Boxy Eyelet top, I used Butterick 5463 view D. Because it’s eyelet, I was okay having sleeves. As you can see, I simply shortened the length of the front panel. I chose not to go as drastic as the runway length because I decided I like being stared at in  good ways not weirdo ways.

photo 1-1

photo 2-1


and now for the pants…

photo 5

For the wide leg cropped pants, I chose an old Stitch and Save pattern #3077. If those aren’t around anymore (this is one of the first patterns I sewed back in 2002!)… just choose a loose fitting pajama pattern – making sure to make the length hit about 1 or 2 inches above your knee.

I just really LOVE this look. I wish I was a better model because I’m convinced you’ll like it too!

photo 2

Sooooo… trust me, you can So Sew this!!!


Time: The shirt took me about 25 minutes (yep!) and the pants took exactly 38 minutes! (I don’t lie y’all!)

Cost: The shirt cost about $16 because eyelet fabric is expensive…even with a coupon! The pants cost about the same. So total for my outfit:

a whopping $32!!!

So y’all …. SEW THIS!!!


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Y’all, I sort of feel like I’ve been winning at poker…I’ve successfully completed TWO dresses in four days. Insert a squeal the height of my 7 year old!

Thanks to my “Sew What You Got” Challenge, I’m somehow ridiculously motivated to sew through every one of my gajillion patterns. And so far, I’m loving the results!

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about another fun idea I’m working on, but for tonight, here’s proof that I’m sewin’ what I’m sayin’.


The bodice started like this. While I LOVE this Amy Butler print, it was just missing a little something...

The bodice started like this. While I LOVE this Amy Butler print, it was just missing a little something…

So I went to my grandmother's stash of vintage lace!

So I went to my grandmother’s stash of vintage lace!

…and decided the bodice would look much better a little something like this!

…and decided the bodice would look much better a little something like this!

Finished garment looks a little something like this… LOVE!

Finished garment looks a little something like this… LOVE!

I really really love how it turned out. I sold this one but I've got more fabric… feeling like I need one too!

I really really love how it turned out. I sold this one but I’ve got more fabric… feeling like I need one too!

I really enjoyed making this pattern.

It was simple, fast and nothing was unexpected. I especially loved their pocket insertion directions… WAY easier and faster than most. I will definitely make this pattern again. Probably tomorrow!

Time: about 2.5 hours

Cost: about $9


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Happy Monday y’all!!!

Some of you may have noticed that my Etsy shop is looking more like a poor pitiful shop than an actual clothing store.  OH WELL!!!  I’m having such a great time getting my house in order that I don’t even miss creating new dresses…yet.

This weekend, I began the process of transforming my son’s room into something noteworthy.  In our last home, we kept adding kids so the rooms never quite became anything worth anything.  A quote from the first realtor to visit our old home and tour the kids’ room:  “Oh my.  Hmmmm.  This will have to change.”

Well – I am now determined for that to change!!!  Owen’s room is slated to have matching bedding, a curtained reading nook, curtains for his closet, and actually worthwhile things on his walls. (not that last time he had mis-matched girlie things on his wall, right!?  cough cough)


Above is what I finished this weekend…. AAAAAHHH… it was SO fun!!  My son is only 7 years old so I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction to something as useless to him as fabric on his bed.  WRONG!!!  I was downstairs when he first saw it… I heard something that sounded like Super Bowl screaming coming from his room.  Then I heard, “MOOOOOM!!!  This is the Best Day Ever!!”  Be.  Still.  My.  Heart!  SEW worth it, right!?!

This has brought me such joy, I thought I’d spend the next few blog posts sharing with you how I upped the wow factor in his room.  I’ll share tutorials on easy pillowcases, easy coverlets, and easy fabric curtain panels.  I’m hoping that some of you will find these helpful!

Let’s start with the pillowcase… mostly because it’s fewer photos and that’s all I had time to download today.  (Apparently, the kids’ school thinks they need to be wearing “official” uniforms and not chevron fabric, so laundry has to be done.  UGH!)


If you google “how to make a pillow case”, you’re gonna find all kinds of crazy patterns that take about 14 or 15 steps. Seriously!?! It’s a pillow case. It’s gonna get drool and vomit on it. Why spend a whole day making one!!! Here’s I do it: Grab a pillow case that you already own. lay it on top of the fabric that you want to use. You can see here that my fabric is narrower than the pillowcase I’m using for my pattern, but it’s okay. It’s okay because it’s close enough. If it were much narrower, I probably wouldn’t use it, but since it’s close – bam. I’m using that baby! (also worth noting: I’m able to keep the selvege edges as they are. There is no need to hem them on this fabric. If you need to hem up the opening edges, you’ll need a little bit more fabric than I’m using.)


Be sure you match the folded edges together and the open edges together.


Then cut out your fabric just a bit larger on the sides than your pillowcase pattern. We’re going to do a French Seam, so you’ll want to cut your fabric about 1/4″ or so bigger than you usually would … but just eyeball it. Pillowcases are very forgiving!


A french seam is a seam that enclosed – meaning you can’t see the edges on the inside. It will make sense in a minute. I like to use this seam on pillowcases because they get a lot of laundering. The French Seams keep the inside of the cases nice and tidy. To do it – sew up the sides of the pillow case WRONG SIDE TOGETHER, I know, weird, and use a very narrow seam allowance.


Now, turn your pillow case inside out and press those sides.


Now you will do another seam down the sides. Be sure that your seam allowance it enough to fully encase the seam on the inside. If you do too small of a seam allowance, you’ll have fabric sticking out when you turn it back right side out. Now you have a French Seam Pillow Case.


Since I’m not hemming the selvedge edges (aka: leaving the opening unhemmed), I needed to be sure to reverse stitch my seams extra well and clip those tails very well.


This is kind of a whompy photo – but I wanted to show the inside so you can see the french seam. (at this point, I’m wondering why sometimes I capitalize French Seam and sometimes I don’t. Are you wondering that too?) Anyway, you can see the enclosed french seam on the right.


When you turn it right side out and press the side seams – Here’s what you get!!! I love it. It was super fast … that makes me so happy!


Coming next – how to make that easy coverlet! And I do mean easy!

There you have it y’all… how to make a very fast and easy pillow case!


Time: I think this took me 15 minutes…and that was with taking pictures.  You CAN DO THIS!!!

Cost: pretty darn cheap.  I used leftover fabric from the coverlet … but lets’ see… I think I used about 1/2 yard of fabric, so for me – $3.50.  YAAAAAAY!

I hope you’ll make a million of these.  Be sure to invite someone over to spend the night just so you can offer them a brand spanking new pillowcase!

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On mother’s day, I had a sick child and a sick husband.  So I spend the morning cleaning the house, doing laundry, and cooking.  Dreamy, right!?!  WRONG!

It was also our 12th wedding anniversary, so Jonathan was working as hard as he could to get better by the evening.  We had a date planned, and he really hates missing out on babysitting.  Lucky me!

Soooo, while he napped in the afternoon, I have no shame in announcing that I put my children in front of the television so that I could enjoy some ME time.  Yes, this is also known as “sewing time” around the rest of the world.  Don’t worry, I’m sure the television program was completely educational and changed their life in a millions ways for the better.

I knew I only had about an hour or two, so I hurriedly shuffled through my pattern stash to see what I could come up with in time for our date.  I wanted a dress pattern, of course.  It had to be casual, fast and festive.  Also, in honor of my 95 year old Memaw passing away this week, I wanted to use a fun vintage-inspired floral print for the fabric.

I chose Very Easy Vogue 8684. I have been dreaming of that awesome drop-waist silhouette since I first saw it on the runways a few months ago.

As luck would have it, this was the only day ever in the history of me having children that they did NOT want to watch television!!!  Curses.  Why can’t I have one great day of bad mothering???  Anyhoo, I somehow managed to whip out the dress, and this was with a 6 year old standing on my fabric asking me questions every two minutes, and with a 5 year old pulling out all my fabric from my fabric armoire.  Happy Mother’s Day to me – I really WILL miss these days, right!?

I bought the pattern for the modernized drop-waist … but I love how just by using a vintagey floral, the dress transformed into a very vintage vogue!

I really love these easy breezy sleeves – can you see the slight gathering there? I also LOVE that the pattern calls for bias binding along the neckline instead of a neck facing. I loathe facings so I almost always make that substitution myself, so it’s nice to see it actually called-for in the instructions. I chose to use a bright binding so it will stand out. (PS: my husband commented on how much he liked the bias binding – SCORE! )

Here you can see the drop-waist … have I mentioned that about this pattern yet?! You can also see how simple the sleeve hem is – I just serged and sewed up a very narrow hem.

And here it is on a living, breathing person. Super simple and easy to wear. I wore it that night with some oxford shoes (Fitting for our anniversary because that’s my Maiden name!). I am wearing it again today with some two-toned shoes that are brown linen with blue toes. I also wore it part of the day with wellies. SOOOO fun!

So, now for the little “review” part of the post – How do I feel about this pattern?

I really LOVE it.  It’s super easy and fast.  It only takes just a little bit over 2 yards of fabric.  The look of the dress can easily be transformed by whichever fabric/print you choose.  In fact, I’m looking forward to making this again in a solid so that I can have a more modern representation.

NOTE: the dress has a 22″ zipper in the back.  Don’t let this scare you – you can do it!!  I would really recommend this pattern for someone who wants to up their skills with zippers because the rest of the construction is so easy.  You can really focus your attention on the zipper and not get worried about the rest of the dress.  GO FOR IT!

Here’s the lowdown:

TIME: This took me somewhere between 1 and 2 hours.  Since I had those lovely distractions, I can’t really say the true time frame.  I know I started at 3pm and was finished/wearing it by 5pm.  For those of you who are newer to sewing, I think you can really  make this dress in under 3 hours, including cutting out the pattern.  Let me know if you try it!

COST: This dress cost me…. $5.50!  I found the fabric for $1.50/yd at Walmart, and I needed about 2.5 yards.  Then I needed a zipper.  That’s it.  I had the thread on hand.  Oh, I suppose I should add $3.99 for the pattern that I got onsale at Joann’s.

This is me saying to you – MAKE THIS DRESS AND SEND ME A PHOTO!!! please, ma’ams.

Okay y’all – continuing my desire to be more generous in 2012 …. I will send everyone who sends me a photo of your own version of this pattern a set of embellished bobby pins!  (tutorial coming tomorrow!)

…(sorry, I have to have a cutoff date, so free bobby pin offer expires in one month – June 15th.  Send me your address along with your photo … I’ll compile the photos and do a blog post, how fun, right!?! )

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I’m really getting worried about myself.  I use Exclamation Points like they’re evaporating!  I really really do!!!

Anyway – I digress.  Enough about me.  Let’s talk houndstooth.

I seriously have an addiction.

In my fabric stash, I have about 20 yards of various shades and weights – green and ivory for a dress for Rosamund, pink and ivory for Ellie, navy and green, gray and white, brown and white, and of course black and white.  Most recently, I added mock canopies to Owen’s and Ellie’s bed using extra large black and white. I’m even getting texts of houndstooth fabric photos from my friends when they’re out at fabric stores!

Sooo, the other night when I was just oh-s0-tired of sewing for THE OTHERS, I reached for none other than houndstooth to create a dress for my Rosamund (now 11 months already!!!) (uh, more exclamation points!).  She is outgrowing everything everyday, and I needed to make her something to wear the next day!

Here is what I came up with. I just LOVE this combination of fabrics!

I used this VERY EASY pattern. It’s McCall’s 6015. If you have this pattern, for Rosamund’s dress I used bodice E and skirt C. The pattern calls for a zipper, FYI.

I think I could have my entire wardrobe out of soley these colors!

I'm not happy with the zipper completion - I was lazy and sewed it up in a u-turn direction (rather than sewing down one side and then going all the way back to the top and sewing down the other side). Hence, the two sides do not align at the top. boo hiss.

In the end, despite the zipper dilemma, I love it!!! (I wanted to give the dress a tiny bit of flare, so I made a ruffle and sewed it from shoulder to shoulder to give the effect of a necklace.)

The result: PERFECTION! (I feel like this photo could be labeled, "If you give a baby a strawberry...")

Again, this is an easy breezy pattern.  It’s just about fool proof, so please make one for some lucky baby!

Here are the details:

Time: I am guessing anywhere from 45 minutes/1hour to 2 hours – it all depends upon how comfortable you are with a zipper.

Cost: about $5.  $1 for the pattern, $2 for the zipper, and I got the fabric 50% off of $4.99 a yard.  I used about 3/4 yard total.  (but of course, in reality, I used scraps!)

There you go…a project idea.  I’d LOVE to see what you’re making!

Oh…and I thought you might like to see the canopies…there they are:

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I can’t even believe this is true – but it’s December 2nd, and my Christmas tree has yet to be put up.  Gasp!!!!  Not only that, but I have not put out a single Christmas decoration yet.  Moan.  Insert frowning emoticon here.

HOWEVER, I have managed to begin the process of sewing Christmas “things” (aka. clothing!) for my kids.  Sometime this weekend I’ll show pictures of the kids’ family photo outfits … but for tonight, I wanted to show you my most recent project for Rosamund.  A Baby SMOCK!  Yes, it’s what you’re picturing in your head.  A sort of apron-like top…sort of a like a pinafore.  I found a pattern.  I used it.  I love it.  I will make more!

I started with View C of Butterick 5625.

You have to use your imagination when choosing these patterns because their photos/renderings are often quite hideous outdated.  I knew I would be using a Christmas plaid for the outer fabric, and I decided to use a polka dot for the lining to keep the vintagey feel to the piece.

Here is how my (first) version ended up.

You can see the polka dots peeking through in the back.

I also chose to add rick rack to the back section only. I will pretend that this was on purpose because I am very happy with the outcome. (The truth is that I ran out and didn't have enough for the front. Some mistakes are well worth making!)

I am just all smiles looking at this - Gosh - I hope I'm not becoming a stage mom!

I followed the pattern almost exactly as written...EXCEPT, I added this cute little yoyo pocket - be sure to apply BEFORE sewing the two sides together...

..and I added the rick rick. As with the pocket, be sure to add the rick rack to one side first, then sew the two sides together along the rick rack stitching line.

This project really is very simple – especially if you leave off any embellishments.  I can even see a bazillion options for boys as well.

Time: I’d say anywhere from 1 to 2 hours depending upon what embellishments you add.

Cost: $6.50….Pattern-$1.  Fabric – 2 fabrics, about 1/4 yard each so approximately $2.50 for fabric, $1 for buttons, $2 for rick rack.

I hope you’ll send me photos of what YOU come up with!!!

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Now that it’s almost December, I’ve decided to begin preparations for cold weather.  Sorry Jeana, but there’s just no need to do this any sooner here in Texas.

I found this darling pattern at TooSweets on Etsy and couldn’t resist.  It’s ridiculously affordable and your pattern arrives in your inbox!

Here is what I have made (SO FAR!) from this pattern…although, I am quite certain there are more versions on the horizon!

Keep in mind - it's more than just a little difficult to photograph babies and silly 4 year olds!

Rosamund's jacket is made from Joel Dewberry fabric and lined with a yellow linen-look fabric.

Sadly, Rosamund was more impressed with her $1 Store cow than she was with her made-with-love bolero!

For the record - the "lovely" securiy blanket is NOT one of my projects!

I am learning the importance of a hidden camera! Ellie's bolero was made from a Moda print and lined using a small portion of duvet cover I found in the As-Is bin at Ikea.

Here is the breakdown for this project:

Cost: about $20.  The pattern is $5.95 but you only have to buy 1 because it’s good for sizes 12m – 7yr!  I made a 12m & a size 6, neither required more than a yard for each fabric.  So, for about $10 per jacket, you’ve got yourself a GREAT jacket!

Time: This a harder one to calculate.  The pattern is easy to read and easy to follow – but for the new sewer, you might get hung up a bit around the neckline.  I found that the pattern pieces didn’t form a circle for the neckline, so you have to cut up some of the fabric.  This doesn’t take long, but if you’re not experienced with this, it might add a bit of time for you.  Soooo, I’m going to say that this pattern will take you about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

This is a darling pattern and I really happy with the results!  (I promise I’m not getting paid to say this – I just bought the pattern and made the jackets…so I thought you might like to know about it!  Plus, Etsy sellers enjoy promoting other Etsy sellers!)

See you tomorrow, I hope, with details of Thanksgiving!

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