Friday, April 10, 2015

Soho Blouse by See Kate Sew


I haven't sewn an item for myself in a very long time.  One reason is lack of time, but the main reason is I'm not really at the "size" I'd like to be right now.  I gained a lot of weight in the fall rapidly on some meds I took for an allergy - then went back to some old eating habits that have been fun, but not good for health.  I've been working on getting back to what I'm used to and saving all my pretty fabric stash for later, which I know is silly.  

Then Kate of See Kate Sew came out with the perfect pattern for me that I had to try - the Soho Blouse!  The top has a light and airy bohemian style that has the comfort of a tee shirt, but is much more put together.  The V neckline compliments the bust line while the V bodice creates the illusion of a taller silhouette.  The V angle is also seen in the sleeves that can be rouched or not - I went with not.  

Of course I love the gathered skirt - which can be made with a straight or angled hem.  I chose the angled hem because I love it with the other V's in the bodice.  BTW - the bodice fabric is crepe de chine and the skirt is rayon challis, both from JoAnn stores a few months back.  The top drapes the best in light weight fabrics.


I feel so comfortable in this shirt!  My kids love it too and want replicas, which they can have since Kate also makes a mini me pattern (the Manhattan top).  


Breaking my selfish sewing fast has made me excited to sew more items for me.  Some things on my list include finally sewing a Washi dress and Ruby top.  time to get to it!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Peanut Butter Eggs

With Easter coming up, I've been making one particular thing in the kitchen that everyone can't get enough of...peanut butter eggs of course!  I was so excited to share that this isn't a thought out post with pinterest worthy pictures (iPhone pics only) - but it is pin worthy, believe me.


These DIY ones are very similar in taste to the store-bought Reeses eggs because of a secret ingredient.  Crackers!  The crackers add texture to the eggs that Reeses creates with ground peanuts.  I've made them with both Ritz crackers and graham crackers and either work great!  We did a family taste test and think that the eggs made with graham crackers taste more like store bought eggs, but the ones made with Ritz add a touch of salt that makes them addicting.  You could use half and half too.

So, to make these eggs, here's what you'll need from your pantry to get started:


  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 cup of crushed crackers (either ritz or graham)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 bag of dark chocolate
  • tbsp of vegetable shortening


  1. Mix the melted butter, crackers, powdered sugar, and peanut butter in a bowl.  
  2. Form mixture into small egg shapes with hands.  If the mixture is sticky, add a dash more powdered sugar.
  3. Place eggs on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and freeze for 30 minutes.
  4. Melt chocolate and add shortening to it.  The shortening is optional - I skip it, but the chocolate is less stable (more melty) at room temperature without it.
  5. Dip the pb eggs in the chocolate and then place them back on the cookie sheet and into the freezer for another 10 minutes to let the chocolate set.
  6. Enjoy!  and try not to eat them all at once :)
The recipe makes about 16 eggs...if you don't indulge too much in the pb mixture like we do.  This is a really great recipe to make with kids, since there are no eggs involved and they can eat as much of the pb mixture as they want.  They also get to mold the mixture into different shapes - they don't all have to be egg shaped.  So go check out your pantry and get to making some pb eggs!



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bubble Tunic


Project Run & Play is back again and with a new format!  For the next year, they're doing a monthly sew-along instead of the quick four week seasons.  The best part is that their themes are going to be based on free sewing patterns.  You can sew up the pattern as is, or change it to your style.  

This month's pattern is Alida Make's Bubble Dress Tutorial.  I wasn't sure if I had time to participate this month, but I got it together just in time.  My idea was to sew up a tunic using the bubble dress tutorial and mashing it with another free tutorial - the Pear Picking Tunic.  The ruffled top of the bubble dress reminded me of the neckline of the pear picking tunic.


To make my tunic, I followed the directions of the bubble dress tutorial to get the bottom hem.  The lining fabric is knit (same as the leggings shown - they were made during KCW).  I could have just cut the knit shorter in width and stretched it while sewing it to the plaid to get the bubble effect, but I decided to stick with using the shirring method.  


The waist is also shirred - you can kinda see it in the pic above where the ribbon belt fell down a bit.  The belt is a very fun and quick accessory to make btw.  It's just some ribbon with a felt flower.  The flower is a bunch of felt circles pinched and then hot glued together.

I also shirred the neckline at first, but couldn't get it to shrink up enough.  So I cut a 17" piece of 1/4" elastic and stretched it as I sewed a small zig-zag stitch around - this made the neckline cinch up to a more modest neckline width.  


It was a bit cold outside while taking pictures, but this girl still was having a little too much fun striking poses she thought were cute.  Ha, and all I needed her to do was stand still for 2 seconds.  


Hopefully I can keep participating in Project Run & Play - once a month isn't too difficult!  I'm also trying to sew only from fabric I have on hand.  Lets save some money this year :)  I feel like I'm on a fabric diet.  It's going to be tough, but so far I've managed!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Catching Up


It's been a while since I last blogged.  I've had bits of time here or there but no motivation.  I've been sewing every day, but wasn't feeling like continuing the constant cycle of photographing and editing, then typing up something worth reading.  I also found that I wasn't focusing on family or enjoying daily life like I want to because I was always slightly stressed out about some projects I wanted to get started.  I think the solution isn't to sew or blog less (but I probably will), rather than to be more organized.  So better organization (of everything!) is what I am striving for this new year.

On to catching up!  Back in November our family took our biggest road trip yet to Horse Pens 40, Alabama to camp and do lots of climbing.  Before we went I noticed the girls were lacking in warm fall jackets, so of course I sewed some up instead of buying them.  I used the High Five Hoodie pattern and let the girls pick out fleece from JoAnns.  One is How to Train Your Dragon fabric (of course) and the other is Marie fabric (from the movie the Aristocats).


The pattern isn't as complicated as I imagined a jacket would be.   The steps were broken down well.  I didn't even need the directions to sew the second jacket after doing it once.  I love the fit of the pattern - roomy and a little long, but yet just right.  They should be able to wear these next year.  


I lined the insides, including the sleeves, with faux fur.  A layer of nylon ripstop is sandwiched between the fleece and the fur in the bodice, to help provide some wind protection.  It kept them pretty warm!

The climbing part of the vacation went incredibly well!  We've been waiting for the day that the girls were ready to go bouldering without getting too bored or walking off the edge of a boulder.  


They love climbing a little too well - we couldn't keep them off the rock.  That meant I did a lot more spotting and a lot less climbing, but it's worth it to see them excited.




I even made them their own chalk bags before we left.  Chalk bags are incredibly easy to make (used this tutorial)!  I'm never buying one again.


The last thing I have to share about are some crocheted hats.  I worked on the Toothless hat every night while sitting by the camp fire.  The hat was made by combining free patterns for pig, cow, and cat hat patterns.  The eyes aren't quite right, but it works.  After I completed that hat, a paw patrol inspired hat was requested - below is a Chase hat.  


They also had me make a Skye and Rubble hat.  We received so many compliments on them that I started selling them in the Etsy shop.  Keeping up with hat orders for Christmas delivery took up a lot of my spare time in December.  I'm so grateful!  I also started selling a Ryder (from paw patrol) inspired vest after my girls loved one I made for them.  Orders for the vest have been keeping me pretty busy sewing every night lately.  

As I squeeze in some selfish sewing projects in between Etsy sewing, I plan to continue to blog about them.  So you may hear from me very frequently or not at all for a month, depending on life circumstances.  I'm going to try to relax and not stress about sewing every idea I have right away - we'll see how that works out as I try to find some balance and also organize!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Stormfly Tank


Yesterday I showed you a flipped Everyday Tank to hooded fur vest, today I wanted to share a regular version.  Well, a "regular version" as in I followed the pattern instructions to make a tank.  A Stormfly themed one!  This girl asked me to make all her clothes to be dragon themed.  Her fall wardrobe is slowly getting there.  


I love the color blocking ability of the pattern.  The shirt colors are the main ones on the dragon Stormfly's tail.  I used some yellow ruffle knit on the side panels and the effect is pretty fun!  The girls think the tank looks like a fish with the ruffles, which works because dragons love fish.  



This is another bleached tee I attempted to make with a freezer paper stencil, but didn't turn out exactly how I planned.  The blue knit took to the sprayed on bleach a little too well, which is why the bleached area is all white instead of speckles of white.  BTW, the stencil was hand drawn and cut to be a side profile of the dragon.  I used one of their toys as a model when designing it.

She loves it, and was pretending to be a dragon in most of the pics, even giving me some dragon calls :)  Be warned, this is not the last dragon themed sewn item I will share.  I can't help but indulge this obsession, it really is a good collection of movies/tv episodes!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Everyday Tank Blog Tour - Hooded Fur Vest Tutorial


Today I get to show you a fun way to use a very versatile pattern from Serger Pepper - the Everyday Tank!  The pattern tour is going on right now and is full of great ideas.


The pattern itself includes directions on how to make a tank top, tank dress, or maxi dress.  The pattern is constructed with a back, front, and side panel pieces, which allows different fabrics to be mixed together to get a unique look. When I first tried out the pattern I sewed up a tank, which I'll show tomorrow.  But then I realized the pattern would be perfect for some vests I had been planning to make the girls for fall!


The vest are made with super soft swirly faux fur from JoAnn Fabrics.  Best part - they are reversible!  The purple one I made extra warm with a purple fleece lining.  There are no closures to the vest because she didn't want any.  She must feel super hip in it, because every pic I got from her in it was like this...


The other vest for her sis is lined with quilting cotton and has snap closures down the front.  I love the rainbow print she picked.


So...want to make one too?


Here's a quick tutorial on how to sew it up using the Everyday Tank pattern.  It's a little different to construct than other vests because it's cut out as one outer piece and one lining piece - no side seams (see here for the usual way to sew a vest up with side seams, plus some tips for sewing with fur).

Start out first by lining up the pattern pieces side by side on the fabric fold.  First the back piece, then the middle, then the front.  Do not overlap them.  Cut out the pattern piece like below (see pink line) with a 1/2" seam allowance on the front line and the necklines, but not in the armholes.  This allows for some ease there.  BTW, if using a thick fur or thick fleece lining, place the back piece from the fold a 1/2" to get some extra wiggle room in the vest.


 Now you'll have one solid piece that looks like this:


Cut it out for the lining also, along with the hood pieces.  I got my hood pattern piece from the Hangout Hoodie pattern.  If you don't have a pattern, cut out two pieces about 9"x 13", then trim one corner on a curve to fit the head.



Now to assemble:
  1. Sew the back seam of the hood pattern pieces with fabric right sides together (RST) leaving the neck and face openings alone.
  2. Sew the shoulder seams of the vest pieces RST.  You now have a two vests.
  3. Sew the fur hood neckline along the neckline of the fur vest. (fabric RST)  Do the same for the lining hood and vest.
  4. Place the lining vest RST to the fur vest.  Sew them together along along the front openings, from one corner to the next, including the hood.  
  5. This is where is gets tricky, stay with me.  Pull the lining back out of the fur.
  6. Match one fur arm hole to it's matching lining arm hole.  Do this by pinching each arm hole at the shoulder seams, then slowly matching and pining them RST.
  7. When you're finished pinning, it should look like this.  (It kinda reminds me of a Chinese finger trap.)  Sew around the circle.  Repeat for the other side.
  8. Turn the vest right side out and you'll have this.



Last but not least, turn the vest inside out again.  Then sew the bottom together, leaving an opening in the middle big enough to get your hand in to turn it right side out again.  Hand stitch the opening closed.


For the rainbow vest, I overlapped the front and added white snaps to finish it off.




These goof balls want to let you know that there is a coupon code BLOGTOUR40 (for 40% off, expiring on Sunday, November 9th). It works for both the Serger Pepper shop (http://sergerpepper.com/shop) and Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/SergerPepperShop).

There's also a giveaway going on during the tour - make sure to enter!  If you decide to buy the pattern during the tour using the coupon code BLOGTOUR40 and win the pattern, you'll have the choice between having another pattern by Serger Pepper now or a $10 coupon code for a future purchase (expiring by the end of the next year 2015).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also don't forget to check out the other versions of the Everyday Tank~

Monday, 3rd

Veronica @ Sew Very†- Karly @ Paisley Roots†-

Tuesday, 4th

Scary/Al @ Shaffer Sisters†- Amy @ Sews N Bows†- Melissa @ Rebel and Malice
Deanna @ Sew Mc Cool†- Lisa @ Cucicucicoo
Wednesday, 5th
Terra @ Mama Says Sew††- Nichole @ Bluebird and the Boy†- Ajaire @ Call Ajaire
Sara @ Made By Sara†- Annemieke @ Sofilantjes

Thursday, 6th

Bethany @ Two Novembers†- Joy @ xoxo Grandma†- Courtney @ Sweeter Than Cupcakes

Friday, 7th

Becka @ Probably Crafting††- Nienke @ Pienkel†- Renee @ Two Many
Shelly @ Coral and Co.†- Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

Saturday, 8th

- Bethany @ Wildflower Child Create†- Jennifer @ Diary of a MadMama†- Sabra @ Sew a Straight Line
Daniela @ On The Cutting Floor†- Suzanne @ Winter Wonderings

Sunday, 9th

Magda @ House of Estrela†- Shino @ Nutta†- Jonie @ Knot Sew Normal - Kara @ Sweeter Than It Seams

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Betty Skirt Tour - Pleather and Faux Leather


Today I have the pleasure of participating in the the tour of the Shaffer Sisters first and newly revamped pattern, the Betty Skirt!  I had previously posted a version of the skirt when I had tested the pattern for them.  The Shaffer Sisters are some of the nicest and most supportive women out in blogland - along with hard working!  Over the past few months they have perfected the pattern and updated it with more sizes (newborn - 16x), including a doll size.

The pattern has several options - gathered, gathered with placket, small pleats, large pleats - all with very detailed instructions and templates.  Having several options of something puts me into a tailspin...I have to try it all.  And I will make each version of the skirt, eventually.  But for the tour I made three skirts to show some of the ways to use the pattern.  I had only intended to make two (one for each girl), but the other one snuck in.


My favorite part in sewing the Betty is the yoke.  I make a lot of skirts and loathe threading the elastic.  So it's really a fun change to sandwich the elastic between the yoke pieces instead.  The other great thing about this skirt is that its design is perfect for showing off fun fabrics!

Every time I've walked through JoAnns this past summer and saw this bronze pleather and faux leather in the costume section, I've wanted a reason to use it.  I pretty much stopped and stared at these fabrics once a week.  And then it hit me - they would be the perfect fabrics paired with this pattern to make the girls some fall skirts for school picture day.


Get set for picture overload...first the skirts paired with Little Zippy Tops (their picture day outfit) in gorgeous Heather Ross fabric.


The bronze pleather was really much easier to sew with than I had expected.  I chose to do the gathered version of the skirt to let the fabric shine, and it does!


But for the faux leather, I had a different idea.  It's kinda thin, so I figured I could try and pleat it with lots of clips instead of an iron (thinking it was un-ironable).  Turns out it IS able to be ironed at a low heat setting and pleated just fine.  And because of the amazing detail that the Shaffer Sisters put into the pleating guide, I had absolutely no problems with the process (couldn't believe it!)  I stitched each pleat down about an inch to keep the pleat looking sharp.  My girl loves how the pleated option twirls, as she did several times, which is why the skirt looks a little disheveled in the pics :)


The skirts also looked great with these knit shirts (Eleanor Tops) so I had to share pics of those too...


BTW, this outfit was inspired by another Betty Tour look by Modern Handmade.  My girl asked for a scarf made with the horse fabric and I thought it looked perfect paired with a navy Eleanor top and the bronze skirt!


Last (but not least!), the third skirt I made is a different use of the faux leather with the gathered skirt version.  When I bought the other two fabrics, I fell in love with this Native American style embroidered fabric.  


I think the combo of the two fabrics are perfect for fall.  Like I said, this pattern is great for featuring fabric - especially one that you've been saving forever or that you only have a little bit left to use.



Be sure to check out all the other versions that are being showcased during the pattern tour!  Also, if you've been considering this pattern, now is the time to snatch it up - there is a coupon code to use during the tour for 30% off the pattern!  
Code BETTYTOUR