Category Archives: Uncategorized

#QuiltsforPulse #OHCraft

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for local guilds to make blocks and quilts for the survivors and families of the horrible Pulse Nightclub shooting earlier this year. The response has been astounding – over 1,000 quilts! Here is one more to add to the mix.

The Group #OHCraft is a crafting community that includes people from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.  Volunteers from the group made the blocks, Lorna put them together, and I quilted the finished project.

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P4P Sunshine Dress Lined Bodice Tutorial

I have a favorite hiking dress made by Eddie Bauer, which I have outlined my quest to re-create here (using the Colette Wren) and here (using the Patterns for Pirates Sunshine Dress)

I loved the Sunshine Dress but wanted to have the bodice lined, so I experimented a bit and came up with the method below. My first two dresses I made using this pattern are really low cut – due to some bad adjustments I made, but I am happy to layer them I know I’ll wear them all the time.

Adding the lining takes a while longer, especially the first time, but I am really happy with the finished result!

Step 1. Buy the pattern here

Tip – if you are using a slippery swim knit or lining you might try wash away wonder tape by Dritz to hold your layers together. It has made a big difference in the quality of my seams!

Ok, let’s get started!

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My Quest for the Perfect Wrap Dress Part 2: P4P Sunshine Dress

IMG_0221I have detailed the first part of my quest for the Perfect wrap dress using Colette Wren Pattern – which I liked but didn’t love – especially the neckline which wasn’t what I was looking for. For reference, this is my favorite dress that I was trying to copy.

So when the Patterns for Pirates Sunshine dress came out I bought it immediately! I then immediately made a dress in the wrong size. Ooopsies! Measure twice cut once, right?

Patterns for Pirates patterns always have a lot of options and they make a lot of special adjustments to make their patterns more user-friendly for pdf printing. I highly recommend them for beginner sewists!

About the Sunshine pattern: This pattern has a super flattering wrap style neckline (and a million other neckline options!).  The neckline is finished with neck bands, which is a very nice and handy way to finish a dress with your serger (generally my preference). However when I made my muslin, I didn’t love the look of the neckband (possibly because it was a size too small!).  So I decided to do a lined bodice) (like my fave dress pictured!)
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My Quest for the Perfect Wrap Dress Part 1: Colette Wren

I have a favorite dress, which I call my hiking dress. I got it at an Eddie Bauer warehouse sale about 4 years ago for $4.  How do I love it? Let me count the ways! It’s easy, flattering, doesn’t wrinkle, and you can nurse in it. I wear it hiking, to weddings, and chase toddlers in 90 degree heat at the zoo.

Though I have been gifted the perfect dress, perfection is never enough. I want more. I have been on a quest to copy the dress ever since I had a vision of it made with this fabric from Peek a Boo Fabric Shop. I immediately ordered the fabric (it was on sale!) but then I was on the hunt for a pattern. (To see the dress I made with that fabric look here)

P4P Sunshine Dress Lined Bodice

I looked at about every wrap dress on the internet, but none were really doing it for me.

Finally I tried the Colette Wren pattern.  I made a “first draft” in this knit that I got for $1.50 a yard from the bargain bin at Girl Charlee. (PS feel free to use my referral link if you’ve never shopped there and are setting up a new account!)

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Toddler Party Dresses! Playgroup, Snapdragon, and Bonny Leggings!

I have been making some little party dresses for my animal loving toddler.

First up, the Fox dress! The pattern is the Playgroup Dress by Fresh Stitch Patterns. I like this simple pattern, which uses woven fabrics (like quilting cottons) with a fully lined bodice and an option for a cute decorative panel. My only complaint is it doesn’t come with a print guide (that I saw – I have been known to miss things) so I had to manually go through the pattern pages to see which I needed to print. Either that or print out the larger sizes which go all the way up to 10 years – and that’s not really necessary for a size 18 month!

It is a little tricky (as a total beginner to garment sewing) to figure out the lined bodice, but the directions are great – once you do it once, it’s super easy!

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Giant Star Improv Quilt

Improv Star Quilt

I don’t even know how to talk about this quilt. It was a headache from the first second – I changed my design about 10,000 times. They say improv is harder than traditional piecing – because you’re waiting for the quilt to speak to you instead of having a pattern to follow.

I used Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv book – the floating squares pattern. I copied the quilting from one of the quilts in the book.

Improv Star Quilt
I loved the dreamy watercolor style fabric, but I couldn’t get it to mix right with the others. I just kept adding more and more white until I liked it.

#memademay #biscayneblouse

It’s the last day of May, so I’m going to talk about #memademay which is a project where people document themselves wearing clothing they’ve made.  I love the idea, and since none of my clothes fit right after the baby, it’s good timing for me to get into garment sewing anyway.  I think I might be *gasp* a little bored with quilting!?! I’m sure it will come back to me. I think I was just ready for a new challenge, and I got a little bit obsessed! I made some shirts, skirts, and more skirts.

I tested a new blouse pattern, the Biscayne Blouse by Adrianne Appl at Hey June Handmade. It was my first time testing a pattern, and made me realize HOLY COW pattern designing must be so incredibly difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I always feel like anyone who is designing bag and garment patterns must be basically magical because things that seem impossible to me just fly together like magic when I actually read and follow the instructions.

But it was really fun to be a little bit on the inside of the process and really increased my respect for people who have the ability to clearly explain complicated sewing techniques. This blouse is not hard  per se, but it definitely uses sophisticated techniques that I had no experience with. It’s super wrinkly here, but, you know, real life happens.

IMG_3798

This is a blousy blouse, it is gorgeous in silkier, flowier fabrics than what I used, and a little poofy in the cotton/spandex blend and vintage polyester I used in my two versions – but I still like them both and will definitely wear them.

It is loose fitting and a lot of the testers went down a size, but I made my based on the recommended size for my measurements. I think the finished shirt looks professional despite my sloppy approach and inexperience. All the seams are enclosed, which I would have thought would be intimidating, but she explains everything so well!

As a fabric choice warning, I will say I had more issues with the placket on the white shirt. Because it was heavier fabric, I didn’t fully interface it, and it didn’t make very crisp lines when I ironed it. I kind of lost track of my folds and chaos ensued. But I’m sure after a few washes the little flaws will disappear.
#biscayneblouse

I like the loose fit, partly because it’s more comfortable and very easy to pull up for nursing. I’m a fan of the “wear two shirts and pull up the top shirt to nurse” team vs. the “wear a shirt that opens and pull it down to expose the breast” team. I think mainly because I had a winter baby and exposing any extra skin was not a good idea.  But  ANYWAY, whichever camp you’re in, this shirt works great because the button placket could definitely be pulled open for nursing.

#biscayneblouse

I had a ton of fun working on these shirts. And the navy fabric was free from some trash pile years ago and the white fabric was $3 so yay! Don’t judge the pattern based on my sloppy shirts here, by the way~ I’m such a beginner to garment sewing. This is a fun pattern and it looked great on all the testers with many different body sizes – I totally recommend it!

I’m looking at the Hey June Evergreen Jacket now. Doesn’t it look cool? I like the idea of doing it some novelty fabric like this girly heart stuff.

Also Hey June has this adorable free pattern for a girl’s knit dress.

Knit Challenge: Charley Harper Knit Syrah Skirt and Layer Me Up Tank

Phew, I finished my Fabricworm Knit Challenge in time.  It was a great chance to tackle the terrifying beast that is knit fabric.

I was so happy to have the opportunity to play with this beautiful fabric! I experimented with two patterns. First up: the skirt!

Charley Harper Barn Swallows Knit Fabric
I covered my first two rounds with the Syrah Skirt pattern here. It’s a great basic skirt pattern and it can be used as a maxi skirt or a shorter version. I looked at about a million patterns before choosing it, but it’s probably going to become a serious percentage of my summer wardrobe.

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Selvage Giveaway

Selvage Giveaway!
So, selvages aren’t much to some people, but to the right person, they are worth their weight in gold. I saved my selvages for years thinking I would start getting excited about selvages. After all, I love scrap quilting! But I am having to get real about the 10,000 projects waiting in the wings. I have more fabric than I think I can use in my lifetime, and umm, I’m in my thirties.

So, I’ve been destashing like crazy, and decided to give away my selvages as a thank you to all the awesome folks on instagram who make destashing possible and profitable. It’s so much easier sending off a beloved piece of fabric to a “good home.” And making a little money in the process, even if i don’t always get my costs back, it’s better than the pretty fabric moldering on the shelf? I don’t know. But it’s getting easier to find what I want when I do get time to sew with a new (and apparently teething, yikes!) baby, so I’m seeing some success for my efforts.

Anyway, if you are a selvage person (you know who you are!) Head on over to @DanaWaterPenny on instagram.