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Sewing Room Overhaul

7 Jan


I’m working on reorganizing my (very tiny) sewing room! This is the very beginning, and I have so much more to do.
So far I have moved the tables around to create a better workflow. The ironing board next to the sewing table and the cutting table on the other side!

I am loving how it’s coming together.


Birthday Tank

18 Jun

After a major break in sewing, I gave myself a birthday present and made myself a shirt! I used this lovely tutorial I found on pinterest:


I am thrilled with how this top turned out, I used some stretch cotton polly blend I had in my stash and I was able to whip it up in a couple hours. I am currently obsessed with the petal look, and this shirt is no exception. I love it paired with a skinny jean. Nothing fancy, just comfortable and a quick project!


Fabric Organization

24 Jan

I sat down to finish a project tonight {and I finished it! YAY… pictures to come!} and I realized that my fabric is a giant mound of craziness. CRAZINESS. I have gotten a few hand me down boxes from grandmothers and mothers, and each time I have just thrown it in the sewing area. Then I’m excited to get started on something random, and I rummage through such boxes, spilling them, throwing the random pieces about. There are so many tiny pre-cut quilt squares all over my sewing area, I just simply felt overwhelmed every time I thought about organizing it.


Anyway, tonight, I thought of it, and decided I should get started. I did! I started it, but about half way through I realized I really just realized I don’t know the best way to organize fabric as a clothing sewer. Quilters organize their beautiful quilting cottons (perfectly squarely cut) into color stories. Just like The Cottage Home, she makes children’s clothing, but uses mainly cottons.

But what does great fabric organization look like when it’s not just cotton. When it’s jersey knits, poly blends, cottons, cotton blends, and the mysterious fabrics that come along with inheriting other people’s fabric stashes?

I would love to know how people organize their fashion fabrics! Please give me some pointers, links etc to help me get the ideas flowing! I need inspiration!

Under Pants

11 Jan

Love has eczema. Severe eczema. And you know what? It’s awful. Awful for her mostly, but for us as well {her parents}. She itches something mean 24 hours a day and if she can ever barely see the skin on her legs, she scratches down to the bone. It’s heart breaking to watch her go through this, and I am always looking for an answer. A way out. A way for her to experience life without the constant irritation of painful, itchy skin, or scabby legs.

We are trying two things right now {we’ve been trying things her whole life, so this is actually normal around here}.

1. only 100% cotton clothing {but mainly on her legs, because that’s where her skin is effected the most}

2. no wheat {I can’t even begin to explain the crazy links I have read about, linking everything to the cause of eczema, so we give each one a try}

So far the wheat is working ok, it’s not been long enough for me to tell if she is itchy or not. But Keith and I both noticed she had been in a better mood since we stopped buying grocery bread. We haven’t officially transitioned fully to no gluten, she still has some snacks. So time will tell with that one.

What is working is the 100% cotton. She is still itchy, but the cotton doesn’t irritate her skin, and as long as she doesn’t have access to scratch, her legs look close to normal {!!!} However, it’s actually difficult to find clothing for kids that is 100% cotton, especially pants! And top that off with it’s actually IMPOSSIBLE to find socks that doesn’t have a “filler” we were running into a problem with her being able to get at her legs to scratch them to pieces. So, mama, the sewer came up with these bad boys:

Under Pants! Made from 100% cotton 🙂

They are working like a charm, and I couldn’t be happier. Now if only I could figure out the root of the eczema so she doesn’t have to feel the urge to scratch, we’d all breathe a little easier!

P.S. I drafted the pattern myself. And I’m proud of it. Woo!

2012 in review

31 Dec

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Don’t Sew with Wine

11 Dec


I am unintentionally dying my bobbin wine colored. Not exactly the start of the evening I was hoping for! Think it will dry on its own without me unwinding it?

Sewing a T-shirt V-Neck Band {Tutorial}

1 Nov

I am making a billion {8} knit pajama tops for Christmas gifts this year, and I have gone from feeling intimidated by neckbands, to feeling pretty comfortable with them. I thought I would share my step by step with you, just in case someone out there might need some second reference. I am using a walking foot, and crazy old leftover jersey sheets. This is a 4T sized neckband, so don’t be alarmed at its size:) I mainly use the lighting bolt looking stretch stitch on my Bernina, and a stretch needle. I wish I had a ballpoint needle {you’ll see why later}.

Overlap your neckband. Right over left, or left over right, do what you please.


Baste the ends of the neckband together along seam lines {I did 5/8in}, though all thicknesses.


Basting the second side, forming an X.


Then Baste up the center, to make a star {*}


It will look this when you are finished. I also reinforced the center front of the shirt. I was careful not to stretch the fabric, and I used a normal stretch stitch. Then I snipped the V right to the dot, being careful not to snip my stitches that I just sewed.


Next up, I made sure to complete the neck hole, by joining the sleeves right sides together. No I’m ready to put the band in!


It’s really hard to show this in pictures, but I did my best, so here goes.

With right sides together, pin the neckband to the neck edge, matching center back notches, and aligning the shoulder seams with the dots that match. Match the center front dot on the shirt front with the center of your star, and pin.


Here you can see how I pinned the V. {There will be a lot of extra fabric in the V on the other side, I made sure the head of the pin was lined up in the center of the star and went all the way through the center dot to match them up, then the rest of the pin goes through to keep the pin in, not to hold the gobs of fabric in place}


On the wrong side, start sewing at center back, adjusting the fabric as you go to match notches, and dots accordingly. {The band is slightly smaller on purpose! That ensures it to lay flat when finished.} When you get close to the V, take the needle that is matching the star and center front dot out half way. Keep the needle poking out so it still keeps the matches together, but doesn’t direct the rest of the loose fabric. {Watch out! It’s pokey}


Sew along the 5/8in {or whatever your seam allowance is}. Keep the raw edges together, you will still be sewing a straight line, and the shirt front will be flat against the band, where you are sewing {but not on the other side of the V}. Sew until you hit the center of the V, which is also the center of the star, keep your needle down and get ready to pivot. {I can not say the word pivot without screaming it in my head like Ross from Friends}


Needle down still, lift your presser foot up. Rotate the neck so that your now facing the rest of the V. You’ll want to adjust the excess fabric so that this side now lays flat and the raw edges align. Lower the foot, and sew the rest of the neck, all the way around, easing in the shirt to the band and continuing to match dots and notches.


This is what it will look like. {hopefully} Sometimes I mess it up, and I rip it out and do it over. Or, I call it a feature, convince myself I like it better than the normal and leave it. It happens, we’re human.


Then I sew another reinforcing line just inside the original line.


Rip out the basting seams. There are three, and go carefully. You do not want to rip out the ones you just worked so hard to get right. I will actually pull out the baste  seams when I can, grabbing one of the ends and pull slightly, sometimes they pull right out, sometimes they need the seam ripper.


Then you have this beautiful V. {I was using a stretch need but it’s not ballpoint. I recommend a ballpoint if you are worried about the basted lines showing}


Here’s what it looks like on the other side.


I pressed it.


Then serged it. If you don’t have a serger, you don’t need one. Just go straight to the top stitching.


And the other other side’s view.


Topstitch. Use a fun stitch that has a stretch to it, this one is slightly thicker of a stitch. I start at the center V and just go around if I am using a crazy stitch and just overlap them at the end. I like the look and it’s easier than trying to guess when the needle is going to be going forward or backwards. If your using a regular stretch stitch or zig zag, you can get fancy, start at the center back and then keep your need down when you get to the point of the V, rotate and have a lovely finished V.


I saw that some of my foundation stitches showed through here, so I ripped them out, and used some water to erase my water soluble ink dot.


And here it is!


I Won!

12 Sep

I was over on Sew, Mama, Sew the other day and fell in love with the fabrics they were highlighting! and a couple patterns, Too! Lucky me, they were having a giveaway, and even luckier me, I won! A yard of my fabric-of-choice! it’s been so long since I have actually gotten to pick out a fabric that I like! Normally I just get hand-me-downs and make due in order to bust my stash! I am SO excited!

Winners. {That’s my winning announcement!}



Help! Which one should I chose? 

Sewing Everything and Nothing at Once.

5 Sep

Here I am mid Sewaholic muslin, and I start to talk to my sister about sewing knitwear. I have always wanted to learn how t do it well {I know the basics, but I don’t know many of the finishing detail tricks of the trade} and I realized, that I should really lean in that direction because that’s what I wear most!. I’m a stay at home mom, and my children also wear knitwear most. It’s more versatile, comfortable, casual, and the patterns are easier as well. 

So I am putting my pants on hold:( But I am really excited because I signed up for the online sewing knits class on Craftsy. I have watch the two introductory videos, and I am already learning so much! I feel closer to being prepared for tackling all of the kids gifts I am going to make for Christmas {and birthdays}. Not to mention Halloween, and a September birthday thrown in.

Plus look at all those beautiful patterns that come with the class! Completely customizable, and tweakable. I feel really good about this turn of events, and while I am still extremely excited about my pants, I’m going to work on them little by little. Maybe in between projects when I need a change of pace. 

Anyone else taking this online class?

Get excited!

24 Aug


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