Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One of My Favorite Patterns

A few months back, I picked up this Chelsea Andersen pattern (M6062) put out by McCall's.  I had just started sewing again and wanted an easy peasant style shirt/dress pattern to make my daughter something cute. First of all, the two little girls on the cover are adorable, and the fabrics I thought were so cute in pink and green.

And although it doesn't have Easy written on the front of the pattern, it really is easy to make.  As you can image, there are no complicated steps required to put together a peasant top or dress, but for someone new to sewing, this pattern clearly outlines what you need to do.  Very simple instructions to follow.  Love it!

Since it was approaching fall, I decided to make my dear daughter top A in cotton quilting fabric I had picked up at Joann's. I had a remnant in the perfect teal green corduroy to match the top, so I whipped up some pants, too.  I think I didn't have quite enough of the corduroy to do two rows of ruffles on the pants, so I just opted for one.  I also extended the sleeve length a few inches to be a 3/4 length.

And I had been wanting to learn how to make a fabric flower, so I searched online for some tutorials.  Of course I came across a ton, and now I don't even remember which ones I used, but I made a couple of fabric flowers--one I turned into a big barrette and the other a pin to attach to the top or a purse.

Here is the fabric flower pin.  Sometimes she wears it on the waistband on the side or the middle, but most often she doesn't wear it.  I still think it is cute.  I had thought she could also pin it to this cute brown corduroy purse I made her, but she hasn't let me do that yet.


To date, of all the outfits I have made for Ella, this is the one that I favor most.  Apparently, so does everyone else!  Whenever she wears this, people go out of their way to stop us and tell us how pretty she looks or how cute her outfit is.  That is such a good feeling.  I can't believe I haven't made any pictures of her wearing it though!  Ugh!

Because this first attempt at McCall's Pattern M6062 was such a success, I decided to make Ella's Christmas nightgown from the same top but with some modifications. First of all, I went with a full length sleeve, then I left of the elastic waistband, and I made the overall top longer so it would be more like a dress.  This is the best picture of her in it that I could find.  She had just woken up Christmas morning!

Again, this pattern produced a winner!  She loved the gown, which I made using some vintage holiday themed fabric from my mom's stash.  I even had enough to make Ella a matching pillowcase.

Even though it is way past Christmas, she still likes wearing the gown and using the pillowcase!

Around the same time I made the Christmas gown, I purchased some designer fabrics from a local store.  I thought they were so cute.  Owls seem to be so popular right now, and the light blue color was a nice departure from the mostly pink/purple wardrobe Ella has.  I made another outfit--top and pants--just like the first very popular outfit, but to my disappointment, Ella is not as fond of the fabric as I am.  She has worn it maybe three times since I made it, and it always takes some coaxing on my part to get her into it.  Oh, well.

I even matched up the plaids!   I can't understand why she doesn't like it! Aren't owls cute?

And finally, I made her another nightgown like the Christmas one.  In fact, it was the very first thing I ever blogged about here.  The Valentine gown.  The fabric is so fun and playful, and of course, pink!  She loves this gown and wears it often.  

So, if you are in the market for a great peasant top/gown/dress pattern, I highly recommend the McCall's M6062 by Chelsea Andersen.  I've yet to make Dress B on the pattern, but that is on my to do list for this spring.  I have a feeling Ella is going to love it, too.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My First Zippered Pouch

I woke up early this morning to help my husband pack for a business trip, and since it was Saturday, the kids were sleeping late.  Once we finished the packing, I had no reason not to tackle the zippered pouch and tissue holder that I already had cut out.

As you can imagine, the tissue holder was a breeze and took no more than 5 minutes to finish.

The zippered pouch took me a little longer.  Maybe an hour.  You see, I have never sewn a zipper into anything before.  The whole idea just scared me, that is, until I actually tried it.

I had used a Simplicity pattern I purchased recently for a $1 at Hobby Lobby, but it was not until I got home and read the instructions that I realized the pouch was not lined.  I couldn't believe it!  Why would someone need a pouch that wasn't lined?  Just seemed really weird to me, so I decided to make mine lined and figure out how to put it all together with a zipper as I went along.

It ended up being much easier than I thought it might be.  You see, the instructions for the unlined pouch called for hemming the top of the pouch and then just sewing the zipper to the inside.  So that is what I did.  I just sewed the outer pouch and lining together first, then hemmed it, then sewed the zipper in.

But the first time, I somehow didn't get the ends of the zipper lined up with the end seams of the pouch, so I had to pick it out and try again.  The second time, I was much more careful to notice where everything lined up, and it went in with no problems!  What a relief!

Now I have this adorable ensemble to use with my matching Pam's Purse! I've already organized my coupons and loaded them up in the pouch.  The inside of my purse is so neat and tidy!  Yeah!

And now I am no longer scared of zippers!  Mission accomplished!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pam's Purse: A Talbot's Knock-Off

I haven't sewn much the past couple of weeks, but last Saturday, I devoted my day to making a purse pattern and then the purse.  I've had this black leather Talbot's purse that has become pretty worn from years of use, but I love the bag and can't seem to part with it.  So, I decided to just make a new one.

You see, I inherited this purse from my late mother, Pam, who passed away unexpectedly five years ago.  Her favorite things were accessories--shoes, belts, and purses--and from time to time, she would let me borrow some of her things.  I had borrowed this once and then returned it, but after she died, I carried this Talbot's purse for well over a year!  It's large enough to hold all my stuff and the opening is big so I don't have to remove everything to find something that may have fallen to the bottom.  The handles are long enough, too, that I can wear it on my shoulder or just hang it on my arm.  For me, it's just an ideal purse!

With all that use, the bag has started showing considerable wear, especially on the bottom corners on the piping as well as a few marks that won't wash off.  It's made of leather, so it has been very durable, and I'm sure I'll continue to use it.

I've been wanting to make a pattern of this purse for a couple of months now, and Saturday morning I decided it was time.  I had this black and white hounds tooth wool blend fabric that I bought as a remnant months ago, and since my mom loved black and white hounds tooth, I knew I had to use this fabric for this bag.  And to top it off, I added this beautiful rhinestone heart pin that my mom gave me on Valentine's day when I turned 12.  All that said, it was obvious that my version of this Talbot's bag had to be named Pam's Purse after my mom! I'm sure she would have had me make her one, too.

I didn't have any fabric I really liked for the lining, so after a quick trip to the store, I picked out this medallion fabric with black, white, red, and olive green.  

The purse was pretty easy to sew together, but for some reason, the fusible interfacing didn't want to stay stuck onto the fabrics very well this time.  For all my bags, I've been using Pellon 809 decor bond for the linings and Pellon 71f fusible fleece for the outer bag.  I've never used the sew-in kind of interfacing or fleece, but I'm thinking that that may have worked better on this purse considering the type of fabric I used.  If you make purses, please leave me a comment or send me an email telling me what interfacing and fleece you use and why.  I would really appreciate it!

The handles were store-bought at Joann's and are made of a synthetic fabric. I haven't been able to find any leather or faux leather handles locally.  I like these though, especially since they do have a little decorative braid on the ends.

Pam's Purse also has a magnetic snap closure just like the original; however, because my version is made of all fabric and not leather, I've got some issues with the top edge of the bag due to the weight of the tab for the snap.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to correct this on my current bag or for future bags that I make?

I've been using Pam's Purse all week, and I really love it.  I've got a matching tissue holder and zippered pouch all cut out, but sadly, they are still sitting in my sewing room waiting to be put together.  My goal for tomorrow is to get those made so I will have a complete ensemble!  I need the zippered pouch to organize all my coupons and receipts!

So, there you have it.  Pam's Purse.  I hope I made my moma proud!  I miss her so much!

My moma--Pam

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wow! What a Deal Wednesday - Week 2

Well, it has been a while since I've been to the thrift store, but one day last week, I had a few minutes when I was out and child free. So I decided to head over to the Goodwill Outlet store to dig up a bargain.

Here's what I found in about a half hour.

I didn't find as many interesting clothes as on my first trip here, but what I did find this time was for me and not the kids.  The Tommy Hilfiger sweater was flawless and is very comfortable to wear.  You might recognize it in my photo from the other day with my Infinity Scarf from Imagine Gnats.

The Lei shirt was actually something I bought because I liked the fabric, and at first, I thought I'd probably end up repurposing it into something for Ella. However, after I tried it on, I decided it fit me pretty good.  If I don't end up wearing it, I can still use it to make her something adorable.  She was disappointed I was keeping it for myself because she liked the beautiful flower fabric so much!

The Old Navy corduroy pants were in excellent condition, so I took a chance that they might fit.  The size was correct on the label, but when I tried them on at home, they were too small.  Not a loss though.  I'll end up using the fabric for something eventually.

I dug through a bin of books and came up with these four for the kiddos.  The three larger books were essentially brand new.  One is even a lift the flap book with no tears or blemishes!  The snowman book is from the 1970's and just screamed for me to save it.  I love the illustrations and the story, although the last couple of pages are missing. :(

I found these two lovely pieces of vintage lace.  The white piece is a little over a half yard, while the green is almost two yards.  I have no idea what to do with lace, so they are for a future project yet to be determined.

Finally, I found a very tacky purse with these bamboo handles.  I decided to salvage the handles, zipper, magnetic closure, and a couple of small D-rings from it to use on future projects.  The handles alone are worth over $4 new!

At the Goodwill Outlet, all items are paid for by the pound.  So, here's what I spent:

Plus Sales Tax of $0.11

Wow!  What a deal!  All that for only $4.17!

I definitely want to head back to the Goodwill Outlet soon to search for more goodies, but it's not a place I like to visit with my kids.  I get a little paranoid about germs in there although it doesn't appear any dirtier than the retail Goodwill store, just a lot messier.  I guess it's because everything is just thrown into these large bins/tables for people to rummage through.  I've even seen some people wear surgical masks and gloves!  

Well, I'm off to fill up my Purell bottle!  See you next time!

And the Winner Is...

Eilah!  Please email me back your address within the next 24 hours, and I'll get the Cute Little Wallet in the mail to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered my contest by becoming a follower of my blog (or letting me know you were already one) and leaving me comments about your favorite fabric collection.  I've enjoyed checking out everyone's profile and/or blogs as well as looking up those fabulous fabrics you love.  This has been so much fun!  Let's do it again soon.

And for the record, I counted 17 comments that weren't from me or actual entries in the contest. did the rest!  Here's the proof!

Again, congratulations to Eilah!  Hope you enjoy the little wallet!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Last Day to Enter the Little Wallet Giveaway!

There's still time for you to enter my contest to win this adorable Little Wallet made using Joel Dewberry's Heirloom fabric.

The contest ends tonight (Tuesday, February 21st) at midnight CST.  The winner will be announced on Wednesday!

I'd love for you to enter the giveaway, so please go here for the details! Thanks!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Infinity Scarf from Imagine Gnats!

I've been meaning to share with everyone a picture of the beautiful scarf I won from my new friend, Rachael, over at Imagine Gnats a few weeks ago, but I didn't have a decent picture of me wearing it.  Here it is!

I won the scarf and some other goodies over at See Kate Sew in a contest she was hosting.  You can read about it here

It's an Infinity Scarf made from voile fabric.  Rachael mailed me this lovely one in shades of pink, green, and yellows.  The funny thing is, it is the one I would have chosen!  I've been wearing it every chance I get.  It is so soft and not too heavy, so it is perfect to wear around the house or out on errands on days when it is a little chilly.

So, what are you waiting for?!  Get on over to Imagine Gnats' shop and order one for yourself.  She's got some new infinity scarves made with fabric from Rashida Coleman-Hale's Washi collection.  Plus, check out all her other really cool stuff! You won't regret it!

button 180 x 200

I don't know where Rachael finds all the time, but she is also hosting a mystery gift exchange called the Covert Robin.  You can read all about it and sign up for it here.  I signed up a few days ago.  I've never done anything like this before, but it sounds like a lot of fun!  I'll get to exchange a homemade gift with someone and make a guest post on their blog.  Can't wait to find out who it will be!

the covert robin button

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Third Sweet Pea Tote--The Big One!

This Sweet Pea Tote was just featured on Shwin & Shwin!  Please check out their blog and their link up party for more crafty inspiration!  

I finally finished my third Sweet Pea Tote today, and it's the Big One!  This bag was made using Simplicity Pattern 0387 or 2396 View C or D.  Again, I can't say enough good things about these Sweet Pea Tote patterns.  They have all been so easy to cut out and put together.  The instructions are super simple.

The only reason this one took me so long to finish is that I could not find the 1 1/2" O-rings called for to attach the handles!  I tried Michael's and Wal-mart first, only because they are very near my house, and then I had to go to two different Joann's to finally find them!  If I decide to make more of these, I will definitely order the rings online.  I've already found a shop on Etsy that sells them for a fraction of what I paid!

I'm glad I waited to get the O-rings to finish it instead of improvising with something else.  I think they really add a professional touch to the overall appearance of the bag.

Again, I used Joel Dewberry's Heirloom collection of fabrics for the construction of this bag.  I knew the coordinating fabrics would be perfect for the six panels on the front and back.  The Joel Dewberry fabrics I used are as follows:  Rose Bouquet in Sky, Tile Flourish in Garnet, Rose Bouquet in Sky, Opal in Fuchsia, Paisley in Amethyst, and Opal in Fuchsia.  The handles are made with more of the Tile Flourish in Garnet.

I used some solid fuchsia cotton to make the lining and the bias tape trimming.

The inside has a very large pocket and a magnetic closure to keep it shut. The overall measurements of this tote are 12" high x 15" wide at the top and almost 20" wide at the bottom.  Like I said, it's the Big One! 

Now I just need to figure out what to do with all these bags!  I guess I'll try to sell them.  While I love the fabric and the overall bags themselves, I prefer to use basic black or brown purses myself.  I'm just boring that way.  Maybe I'll change my mind and decide to keep at least one of these pretty Sweet Pea Totes.

Here's the trio!  I think I like the one in the middle best.  A lot of other people must really like it, too.  It's been pinned like 27 times already!

I know.  I really need to find a better place to take pictures!

Don't forget to enter my contest for the Cute Little Wallet I made.

Enter the contest here if you haven't already!

Monday, February 13, 2012

sewVery Inaugural Giveaway Contest

Hi, everyone!  I'm still fairly new to the blogging community, but in January I was fortunate to win four separate contests for some pretty awesome prizes. So it's time I give back and host my very first giveaway contest right here on sewVery!

Included in one of my prize packages was a Valori Wells pattern card for a Little Wallet.  I immediately tried out the pattern and whipped up this adorable version made with Joel Dewberry's Opal in Fuchsia and Tile Flourish in Garnet fabrics.

Today, I am giving away this Little Wallet that I made (pattern card is not included).  

The Rules:

All you have to do to enter the contest is become a follower of my blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so (or that you are already a follower).  For an additional entry, leave a comment telling me your favorite fabric collection.  Plus, please include your email in each comment so I'll definitely be able to contact you if you win.

Entries will be received through Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 and the winner will be drawn using and announced on Wednesday, February 22nd.  I look forward to reading your comments and having you follow along on my sewing adventure!  

Good luck!

The contest is now closed.  The winner was chosen using and is comment 10 from Eilah who said, "Very cute!! I am a new follower :)" Congratulations, Eilah!  

When counting the number of comments, I did not count my responses or those responses from followers that were not entries into the contest.  

Thank you to everyone for entering my contest and following along on my blog!  I'm having so much fun meeting you all.  Make sure to stop back by often and leave me a message!