Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I heart Joel Dewberry


I got my copy of Big City Bags by Sara Lawson last week and knew that I wanted to make this Piccadilly Circus Bag ASAP. I am usually not a floral girl but I am yet to find a Joel Dewberry print that I don't adore, throw in some polka dots and I heart this combo. I've been a fan of Sara's bag patterns (they are amazing) and was stoked to get this book. The steps aren't as specific as the patterns in her shop but it was still super easy to follow, also she has a section on some common techniques used in bag making: adding zip pockets, zipper tops, and thank goodness also installing adjustable straps (these things are deceptive I swear, they are not hard to install but my brain ALWAYS gets confused about what goes where without blatant step by step instructions....EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.)

The pattern was seriously easy to follow and came together in less than a night. It did require some hand stitching on the interior of the bag, as I couldn't find a way to get the bottom of the zipper panel attached to the bottom of the lining by machine. (I tried it and it resulted in a lot of cursing and some quality time with my seam ripper.)


I also got to play with some of the decorative stitches on my machine, these leaves seemed perfect for this bag. 

You can see them much better on the top stitching on the interior pockets

I don't have a fabric "budget" (although I should), I tend to order stuff when I find a good sale, and I often buy half yard cuts, but I am a fastidious fabric cutter (waste not, want not right?) so I try and see how much I can squeeze out of these cuts. This usually means I use a third fabric on the lining (often a matching solid). This bag was pretty forgiving and I was able to not only get a bag out of my main prints, but I had enough left over to match a matching Necessary Clutch Wallet (another fave pattern). I just used a matching yellow solid on the interior for both since. 

My only complain is that I feel like I didn't interface the zipper panel enough, it's not as stiff as I would like (that's why it looks wonky in the center panel). It calls for one layer of the deco fuse, but I've normally used two and gotten better results.

Overall I'm in love with the bag and wallet, I heart Joel Dewberry, polka dots and this color combo. This fabric reminds me of retro textiles in a very good way. This bag is actually really big, and I love the zipper top! If you haven't already go and order this book!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

An expensive mistake

See that? That my friends is a 30 dollar skein of beautiful hand dyed wool yarn that was supposed to be a honey cowl. What is it now? A horrific, giant, ugly 30 dollar knot that took about 2 weeks to make. I could cry.


It started off simple enough, I was going to make the short version of the honey cowl and simply make it wider. The yarn has a lovely drape and I adore the color so I was super excited about it. After a few rows I realized that I had it twisted, but I thought "no biggie, it can just be a honey mobius". After finishing it and casting off, I realized that it was not only twisted once, but easily three times.  

Was it still wearable? Yes, I could have easily adjusted it and it would have been fine since I made it so wide. But, after spending the money on it (30 dollars can buy a lot of different things as far as I'm concerned), I thought I would just pull it out and start over, having learned , my lesson to be more careful (I'm still very much a novice when it comes to knitting). About 30 seconds in the whole plan went to hell quickly...apparently I do not know how to unravel a cowl. It ended up a giant mess, horrifically knotted and I'm fairly sure not salvageable. 

You live you learn. Since this debacle I did some more Googling about how to keep the rows from twisting in the round. Hopefully I will avoid this mistake again. Sometimes you have to laugh I suppose :) 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

For the boys blog hop

I am so excited to be joining in on the for the boys blog hop sponsored by sew we quilt. I have a four year old who is 110% boy. As we mamas of boys know, there are fewer patterns and projects for our little guys. My husband assures me this theme will be repeated throughout his life (hello mens' vs womens' sections in stores). Thankfully though, there are still some pretty awesome patterns and projects out there for our boys.

With weather definitely cooling down around here, it was time to start on some autumn clothes for my little man. I picked a couple of my faves (which are actually pretty unisex) and set off to work.




First up, I put together these "skeleton pants", using an awesome pattern called Nowhere Man Pants by Shwin Designs. I picked up this pattern a while back on sale and it is absolutely one of my fave pant patterns. The fit is perfection and it's a very quick sew (I finished this pair from cutting to hemming in about 2 hours). I snuck some of my Halloween fabrics in on the pocket and belt loops and my little guy loves what he has dubbed the "skeleton pants". The main fabric is a lightweight denim chambray that was left over from a bag project I finished (yay for using all scraps!).

To go with the pants, I pulled out my Olivia and Oliver Pea Coat pattern by Peek a boo Patterns. I made one of these last year and it was my first 'real' garment I made. It's a very beginner friendly pattern and like the pants, goes together quickly. Even setting the sleeves in this one is a breeze. The scariest part (for me) was putting in the button holes.

Unfortunately the Universe was not cooperating with me getting these photographed, and it had to be done at night in my kitchen...oops! He still turned on the cheese for the camera :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!!! Please check out the other awesome bloggers sharing their projects today:

November 8th

Round up of boys projects


In honor of the For the Boys Blog Hop, I'd like to share some of my favorite tutorials and free patterns I have come across. My turn on the hop is tomorrow, so come back to see what I put together for the occasion. In the meantime here are a few fantastic projects for the little guys in our life.

Max California has put together an awesome list of 76 free pants and shorts patterns/tutorials for boys of all ages. It's the proverbial gold mine of pants patterns!!

Martha Stewart.com has a printable pattern and instructions for these adorable mittens. 

Vanilla Joy has this awesome tutorial for making ties in both boys and toddler sizes. This would be a great scrap buster and would be super adorable to use to make coordinating ties for family photos!

2Little Hooligans has an amazing tutorial on how to make a "real" tool belt for your little handy man!

Ok, so technically this could be for a girl or boy, but this tutorial by Me Sew Crazy is a fantastic way to recycle your old or thrifted sweaters into a cardigan fit for a boy.

Cozy Car Caddy by Homemade by Jill. This is the perfect solution to placating a car obsessed little boy during dinners out and in waiting rooms. 

Check out this oh, so amazing and frugal tutorial by Shwin & Shwin on how to re-size an adult'd polo to fit a child. This is an awesome way to re-use old clothes or alter some thrift store finds that were too goo to pass up.

What boy doesn't want to be just like his daddy? Noodlehead has a great tutorial on how to make a quick and simple wallet.

Just Another Day in Paradise offers a quick and easy belt pattern that requires very little effort for a fun accessory. 

Another great tutorial from Noodlehead on how to reuse old pants to make a drawstring bag, perfect for toting around cars, superheroes and army men.

These are just a few of the incredible projects you can find to make for the boy in your life. We all know there are so many dresses, ruffles and tutus patterns everywhere for the girls but there are still so many amazing projects that you can find for boys. 

I hope you will stop back tomorrow to see my project for the For the Boys blog hop.

Happy Thursday!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

For the Boys Blog Hop Schedule

I'm stoked to be participating in the For The Boys Blog Hop sponsored by SewWeQuilt! The boys seem to always get the short end of the stick in the sewing world, so I'm so excited to see all the awesome projects that are shared.

Check out this awesome line up:

November 6th

November 7th

November 8th

 November 11th
November 12th

November 13th
November 14th
November 15th 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Park West Bag

I am a complete sucker for bags, and I jump at any chance I can to try something new so I was stoked to be able to test yet another bag for Sara of SewSweetness. Her latest bag was the Park West Bag and it is seriously an awesome, awesome pattern.

First off the size of this bag is what gives it rock star status in my book. As it is, it's a very generously sized bag, with a few modifications it would make a stellar diaper bag or tote. I love the side pockets, they are perfect for stashing your keys and cell phone!

I love the overall design of the bag, the accent pieces, as well as the addition of elements like purse feet and the shape of the handle tabs make it such a unique pattern. I chose to do this one with a print from the line Type as well as a lightweight denim chambray as the accent fabric. I really like how they look together.

This bag was a lot easier to put together than it looks, I think I completed the whole thing in about three hours. Gotta love instant gratification projects!!!