Posts Tagged ‘sewing for adults’

11060_FrontCover_FullSize-2 Anyone with a love for making things has probably fielded the comment “You should sell that!” at least once or twice or a hundred times. In general I just scoff at this suggestion, but the truth is, I’ve thought about it plenty. About what I might sell, how much I’d charge, how I’d set it apart from the handmade masses, whether I could really make it profitable, and so on. So when Virginia (of Gingercake) released her new book, Sewing to Sell, I was eager to read it, and to share it here. Sewing to Sell is an amazing resource if you’ve ever considered turning your sewing hobby into a business and could use a little guidance about how it’s done. Virginia walks you through the entire process – finding your own style, knowing your audience, gathering the right equipment, photographing, packaging, and displaying your work, preparing for a craft show or online sales, pricing your goods, and so much more. She also interviews of some talented crafters about their styles and their businesses. AND, she has generously included 16 patterns (complete with helpful price points) that you have permission to make and sell. I tried the simple iPad sleeve – it’s cute and useful, and took minimal time and fabric – in other words, the perfect type of item to sell. Or to make for yourself, of course! ipad sleeve 2 -- probably actually-1-2 ipad sleeve -- probably actually-1-2 ipad sleeve 2 -- probably actually-1 For more details, check out Sewing to Sell and the rest of the tour! Blog Tour If you think this book might be up your alley and want a chance to win a copy (and live in the U.S.), just leave a comment on this post to be entered in the giveaway. It’s open through this Friday, January 16th!

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emmeline apron -- probably actually-5

More birds! More clouds! More chambray!

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Yep, all my favorites, in one reversible Emmeline Apron from Sew Liberated. The pattern is an oldie but goodie. I was drawn to the apron right away when Kristin posted her version (vintage skirt as top post alert!) – and now, almost three years later, it made its way on to my project list. I made mine for my sister, too, but my neighbor was kind enough to model for me and keep me out of the photos, which was very much appreciated. I owe you some baked goods, neighbor!

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The pattern has some nice, feminine features – a gathered bodice, a skirt with darts, and nice long ties that you can wear in the front or back. And reversible is always a plus in my book – especially for something that’s bound to get pretty dirty.

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This was an easy sew – maybe a little time consuming since you’re essentially making two aprons, and there is a good amount of bias cutting for the straps, but it was fun to put together. I skipped hand-sewing the bias binding for the straps, but if you want it to look extra neat and tidy, you should take the time to do it by hand. The only tricky part for me was positioning the ties between the two skirt pieces – they need to be placed just so to extend out straight and just below the waistband piece, and it took me a bit of trial and error to get there. Luckily that spot is pretty hidden once the apron is tied on, so if it doesn’t line up exactly, no one will be the wiser.
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The print is Fly by Night from Bonnie Christine’s Sweet as Honey line from Art Gallery Fabrics. There are a few prints in this line that really tempted me – I especially love the little deer. But I ended up with the birds (as I often do), and paired them with another Andover chambray (Espresso this time). The bands and ties are a yellow crosshatch (Bluebird Park Linen Texture in Sunrise). You need quite a bit (1.75 yards) of the contrast fabric to accommodate those long ties, but you’ll have a lot of it left over.

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I’m kind of enjoying the thought that this won’t be outgrown in a few months like almost everything else I make. Perhaps more sewing for grown-ups is in order…

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up,up, & away organizers -- probably actually-2028

Last month some beautiful fat quarters from Cloud 9 Fabrics arrived in my mailbox. I’ve had my eye on Up, Up & Away for the longest time – the colors, the clouds, the tiny dots – it’s such a gorgeous line. And I know it’s Portlandia of me, but what can I say, I still love a good bird print. With Skinny laMinx behind it all, you can’t go wrong.

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I’m usually in a clothing mindset, so coming up with smaller scale projects that use fat quarters is sometimes a challenge for me. But I had the perfect pattern fresh in my mind, one I used a few weeks back which has now become a favorite – the Gingercake On the Go Organizer.

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My first two organizers were made with teacher gifts in mind, but there were a few minor imperfections in that round – nothing serious, just your run-of-the-mill-getting-used-to-a-pattern stuff. They’re completely suitable for home use (Lila has claimed one and filled it with her scented markers, and I’ll happily be using the other) but I couldn’t let those little flaws out of the house. Besides, I needed three. And so, enter Up, Up & Away.

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We filled them with pens and chocolate bars and notebooks – I bought the plain 5×8 kraft paper variety and let Lila watercolor the covers, a task she took very seriously.

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There you have it, three completed teacher gifts with 11 days to spare! It’ll never happen again.

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Thanks to Cloud 9 for the fat quarters…and if you’re looking for Up, Up & Away, LiMa Sews just listed the whole collection! And an update :: as part of Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, LiMa Sews is giving away a fat quarter bundle of Up, Up & Away – visit their beautiful new blog and leave a comment by 12/13 for a chance to win!

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gingercake organizer -- probably actually-1441

Today I’m joining in on the Gingercake Holiday Gifts Sewing Series with a couple of On the Go Organizers! I’d already sewn two great Gingercake patterns (Love Your Lunchbox the Traveling Changing Pad) – both are well used and loved around here, so I was happy to be part of this series and choose another Gingercake pattern to try.

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I went with the organizer thinking it might make a nice teacher gift, and I must say, the thought of actually having a Christmas gift sewn in mid-November was both novel and appealing.

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The design is simple and clean, and I especially love how the front cover is pieced with linen to look like a bound book. Heavyweight interfacing and batting give it a sturdy, substantial feel, and after you get everything interfaced it’s quick and straightforward to put together. The multiple layers do get thick, so I used my walking foot in the final stages.

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It’s fun to choose fabric for projects like this because they just take little bits and pieces – it’s perfect for fat quarters and scraps, and so much fun to choose coordinating prints.

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I picked up some fat quarters of Leah Duncan’s Tule line from Lima Sews specifically with this project in mind, but then I couldn’t wait to dive into them, so some of these (the two cover prints – Mojave Illuminated and Windmarks Arid) might already look familiar from recent posts. Lately I’ve become a little bit obsessed with Leah Duncan and her beautiful designs – I love the entire Tule line (as well as her upcoming line, Meadow), and especially how the prints work together. It’s some of the most beautiful stuff out there, in my humble opinion.

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The inside pockets are just right for filling with notepads (here’s the one I’d want in mine, just FYI), cards, stamps, a pen, and anything else you can think of. And if you’re giving it away and wanted to add a little something extra, those small front pockets would be a perfect home for a gift card.

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If you’d like to win a copy of the On the Go Organizer pattern and knock out a few holiday gifts of your own, just leave a comment on this post. The giveaway will be open through Friday, November 22nd, and Virginia will email the pattern off to the winner shortly thereafter. Good luck!

((giveaway is now closed!))

Gingercake Gifts Series

And speaking of winners, one’s been chosen for the Llama Fabrics fabric giveaway! Max (#79), enjoy your four-yard bounty!

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liesl & co every day skirt -- probably actually-0006

When I made Lila’s Oliver + S Swingset Bridgetown skirt back in August, my sister declared it her all-time favorite and requested a matching skirt for her birthday. I’d been searching around for a good grown-up skirt pattern when I got Liesl’s email with her new line of women’s patterns, which included the Everyday Skirt. The timing was perfect. The pattern was perfect. A twin Bridgetown skirt was immediately underway.

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Liesl likens this pattern to a grown-up version of the tried-and-true Lazy Days skirt – it’s quick and simple to sew, comfortable to wear, and one you’ll make over and over again. The Everyday Skirt has some really nice, sophisticated details, like front pockets, smooth side panels, and a flat front waistband – there’s some gathering, but no added bulk, so the fit is relaxed and flattering at the same time. It can be made up in lots of different fabrics, and while the samples were wool and chambray in solids and neutrals, it’s also a perfect candidate for cotton prints.

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Sewing from this pattern was so comfortable and familiar – it’s written and formatted in the exact same style as Oliver + S patterns, which for me are the absolute gold standard. Over the years I’ve developed such a trust in Liesl’s patterns, and I’m so excited about this new women’s line. I’ve always shied away from adult sewing, but who knows, that could all change now…

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Anyway, Lila was so completely thrilled to be skirt-twins with her aunt – no cajoling necessary during this photo shoot!

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You can check out all the new Liesl & Co patterns here – they’re available as PDFs which means either sending them off to be printed in one big sheet or printing and piecing your patterns at home – I’ve only attempted the latter, and while it’s no one’s favorite activity, I will say that I’ve put together my share of PDF patterns, and these come together exceptionally well.

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This pattern was provided to me at no cost, but I’ve been gushing about Liesl’s patterns for years now, so it goes without saying that my opinions are my own! Thanks to Liesl for letting me try out the new line, and for making sewing so much fun!

Pattern :: Everyday Skirt by Liesl & Co.

Fabric :: Bridgetown in Starfruit from Violet Craft’s Waterfront Park line for Michael Miller

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Surprise, surprise, I’ve sewn up another Oliver + S pattern! It’s been two years since I made the Hopscotch skirt – Lila had her own special sense of fashion when I first tried the pattern, and those two weren’t worn much at all. But skirts are a safe bet now, and it’s another pattern she’s going to size out of soon. So I had to get on it.

hopscotch skirt in spots -- probably actually

This skirt has so many great details – the takeout food container inspired pockets, the front button placket, a flat front waistband, and lots of top stitching (which doesn’t really show up on the navy, but it would be fun to highlight it on a solid colored skirt).

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And those origami pockets…they were trickier than I remember!

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I wasn’t happy with my first few attempts and spent some serious time trying to get those suckers just right. My advice would be to transfer the markings with extreme precision and be very exact when you press the pleats – make sure you only press to the bottom dots. I even drew in the 1/2 seam allowance all the way around the pocket (it’s marked on the pattern piece), which helped a lot.

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The fabric is called Spots (in Park) from Rebecca Bischoff’s Blythe line for Robert Kaufman, and I love it so. I used it as the facings on this summer’s Class Picnic Shorts, (modeled with the same shirt, yes). And I originally bought it for a Washi dress, which I made in July. The dress wasn’t quite right on me, so I chopped it up to make this skirt. Just for the sake of posterity, I’ll show you a photo. I don’t know what Lila was doing back there, don’t ask.

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The Washi pattern was truly excellent, and a pleasure to sew. I lined the bodice using Rae’s video, and had a unexpectedly successful first experience with shirring. I love the design of the dress, and it looks so good on so many people, I just didn’t happen to be one of them. And if you saw the rest of this photo shoot, believe me, you’d agree. To borrow from one of Sanae’s recent posts, my dress had a bit of a “sister-wife-on-the-compound” vibe to it (though her dress totally doesn’t!). The fabric didn’t drape well and the fit was off and it just looked….homemade. Which of course is the kiss of death, especially for adult clothing. I just have a difficult shape (or lack of shape?) to sew for, and very little experience sewing for myself or tweaking patterns. And when you combine all of that, you end up with…well…a kid’s skirt.

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But that’s okay. Cutting into a finished garment like that felt weird, but it seemed pointless to leave it hanging in the closet, and now it’s been transformed it into something that may actually be worn. And I think it will.

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And look!

chambray hopscotch :: probably actually

Two-year-old Lila wore the same boots in the original Hopscotch photoshoot. They fit now though…

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There’s a new Noodlehead pattern on the scene!

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Anna just released her Super Tote pattern, and let me be the first to tell you, this thing really is super. It’s a roomy tote bag with a recessed zipper, big front pocket, elasticized interior pockets, and space for just about everything. And like all her patterns, it’s superbly designed and full of professional details.

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I love that Anna lets me test her patterns because it means I have an excuse to do some selfish sewing, which would never happen otherwise. And as I mentioned in my Instagram feed, there was no way I was wasting this gorgeous fabric on my kid.

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And about this fabric – I fell in love with Anna Maria Horner’s Ghost Wing linen the moment I saw it online, but when I actually went to purchase it at Bolt, it was even more beautiful than I could’ve imagined. Seriously, photos don’t do this stuff justice. The colors are divine and the linen has a gorgeous drape (not all that relevant when you’re interfacing the hell out it for a bag, but still, it’s amazing). I think it might be one of my all time favorite fabrics to date.

Oh, and speaking of interfacing – since the fabric was lightweight, I used both types of interfacing that Anna suggests (Pellon SF 101 and Craft Fuse 808), and it came out plenty sturdy.

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I have a tendency to make all my bags gray, but I loved Anna’s Melody Miller version so much that I had to use linen for the gusset. And now I can’t bring myself to use it because I don’t want it to get dirty! I knew there was a reason for all those gray bags. Oh well, for now I’m okay with just watching it hang on the wall.

And for anyone thinking of using this as a diaper bag, it would be perfect. I emptied my current one inside just to see how things fit and there’s still plenty of space to spare!

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Check out Anna’s gorgeous versions of the bag and pick up your copy of the pattern here. Then try to keep your kid’s paws off your new bag!

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I somehow got lucky enough to test another Noodlehead bag pattern!

This is Anna’s new Sidekick Tote – she’ll be releasing the pattern sometime this week, so stay tuned! I love Anna’s blog, and she’s the queen of fabulously written and designed bag patterns. I’ve been carrying my Go Anywhere bag for over a year now and it’s starting to look a little worse for wear – emptying out the cracker crumbs might be helpful, but making myself a new bag seemed like way more fun.

And it seems I can’t stop making gray bags. This is the third bag I’ve made for myself, and they’ve all been the same color. I think it’s because I know how dirty it’s going to get, so a dark color seems safest. And I do love gray. One fun thing about Anna’s patterns is that there’s so much room to play around with coordinating fabrics.

I picked a basic main fabric (Essex yarn dyed linen in black – neutral but with a great texture), then added two fabrics from the Cloud 9’s Simpatico line, and a tiny gray chevron print called “Sally’s Skirt” from Moda’s Reunion Collection. All purchased at my lovely local fabric shop, Cool Cottons.

Linings, pockets, pocket linings, two-sided straps…the hardest part was deciding which fabric should go where.

I love how the strap can be made from two different fabrics. And yes, I coordinated my shirt to match the bag for these photos, but truth be told, I have two shirts that fit me right now, so it wasn’t that difficult a choice 🙂

This bag is secure – an adjustable strap means you can wear it across your chest, so no slipping off your shoulder.

It zips shut, so nothing’s falling out.

Even the front pocket is secure.

And let’s get back to that recessed zipper (fancy, right?). This is my first time making a bag with a zipper, and I really prefer this closure method for keeping things put. And I love how the zipper is hidden in the bag – it’s genius. Fun to be able to choose another hidden fabric for that part of the lining, too. Plus, look at that cute little zipper-end-cover-thingy.

Wish I could’ve found a local source for the cool rectangular strap adjusters Anna used on her bag – she gives you info about ordering online, but I was too excited about making this thing to wait for them to ship! So I ended up with D-rings instead.

There’s another front pocket option that you can check out in Anna’s sneak peak post – it’s pleated and finished with bias tape and I’ll definitely be trying that one next time.  The bag comes in two size options, and I went with the larger – with another baby on the way I figure my days of toting around a bunch of stuff are still plentiful. But I’m already scheming about fabric options for a smaller sized bag for when the time comes…

Thanks to Anna for letting me test this great pattern!

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More pattern testing!

This is the new envelope clutch pattern due out very soon from Noodlehead. I was thrilled to be able to test again for Anna – her patterns are so easy to follow, with lots of photos and detailed directions, and they result in great looking finished products, too! The clutch pattern has lots of great options – you can choose from two sizes, a flat or pointed flap, and there’s an optional zipper pocket and card slots inside. You can also add a wrist strap or a skinny shoulder strap if you’re so inclined. The flap shuts with a magnetic snap (which I first learned how to use when I made Anna’s Go Anywhere bag) – they take some brute force to install, but they’re easy to use and a make for a nice secure closure.

As it turns out, I don’t actually go anywhere that would necessitate carrying a cute little clutch like this, so I decided to use it to organize all my fabric store coupons, which have a tendency to overtake my bag (especially when Joanns sends out pages and pages of them – Coupon Commotion!). I made the small clutch – the card slots are holding my fabric store gift cards and punch cards, and I’ve got the coupons and a little pen and notebook (I’m a list maker) in the main compartment. I pretty excited that I don’t have to dig around for these things anymore!

I almost always pick grays and greens and blues, but I went with bright springy colors this time – Lizzy House’s Pearl Bracelet for the exterior, lined with a Secret Garden solid from Sandi Henderson, and some Anna Maria Horner Fortune scraps for the card slots and pocket lining.

I’m a total zipper novice, and I almost chickened out when it came to putting in the optional zipper pocket. I’m so glad I didn’t – it was simple! I wasn’t able to find a 5-inch zipper, so I used a 7-incher and trimmed the excess off at the pull end. And my machine handled the layers (the exterior is basted to canvas, and the interior is interfaced) just fine without a walking foot or a bigger needle.

The clutch sewed up quickly and easily, and there are so many ways you can make it your own – yet another fabulous Noodlehead pattern!

Update: the pattern is now for sale – click here to get sewing on a clutch of your own!

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fabric trays

I realized pretty early on that I wouldn’t be making much of a dent in my project list for Christmas this year. It’s okay, it was a little ambitious. Most of my ideas were gifts for Lila, so I’m hoping to work through the list at a leisurely pace and end up with a few handmade goodies to give for Valentine’s Day and her birthday. But I did manage to do some grown-up gift sewing last night and make a few fabric trays, which have been on my list since I pinned them back in October.

These little trays from Anna’s tutorial were so much fun. Once I tracked down all the materials (I didn’t have fusible fleece or the heavy weight Peltex on hand) and got started, they were really quick and easy. Maybe 30 minutes each, and the fabric is all scraps. I ended up making two sets to give away.

The fabrics from top to bottom (below) are Heather Ross fishes from Mendocino, a random spotty Michael Miller scrap, Lizzy House’s Pearl Bracelet, and some Heather Bailey Nicey Jane. I copied Anna and used linen for the outside of the trays.

I made the small “pencil holder” size and the medium “spare change” size, and immediately envisioned both sizes holding sewing tools and supplies. Because I have a one track mind like that.

The bigger tray can also keep you organized while you catch up on your correspondence.

Especially during Christmas card season.

Which is actually New Year’s card season around here – I always end up choosing a New Year’s design due to the off chance they’ll still look like they’re on time when I don’t get them out until a week or two after Christmas.

Of course Lila immediately thought the trays were for her babies. She has a one track mind, too.

They also work well for serving bonbons and tea to stuffed friends.

So yeah, lots of options!

I hope the recipients find something fun to put inside. And if either of you happen to look at my blog in the next couple days…sorry. Just act surprised. 🙂

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