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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Uptown Hobo Bag & Giveaway

In the past week, I have officially tested out four new patterns for different designers!  What fun I've had!

One pattern is the Uptown Hobo Bag from Rose at the blog Rose Is A Rose.  The Uptown Hobo Bag is her first purse pattern up for sale, and I am so honored to be able to help her out with testing.

Rose did a wonderful job of creating a stylish, spacious, and very functional bag.  It's roughly 14" wide, 11" tall, and 4" thick.  Believe me.  You can put a lot of stuff inside this bag, and the large flap helps keep it all safe and sound.  I've been using mine for the last several days now and I absolutely love it!

The pattern pieces are simple and clearly marked, making it a cinch to cut out all the fabric and interfacing required.  Rose then guides you through each step of constructing the bag, including installation of either a magnetic snap or turn lock for the closure, with detailed written instructions and labeled photos.  She really did an excellent job putting the whole package together!

For my Uptown Hobo Bag, I used quilting cotton for the exterior and reinforced it with a layer of Shape Flex interfacing and fusible fleece.  The lining is made of duck cloth with no additional interfacing added to it.  I've used duck cloth as the lining of the last two bags I've made, and I love how it holds up!

For the purse strap, I used some marine vinyl fabric that I purchased as a remnant at Joann's.  It's very supple and looks and feels like real leather.  This was my first experience in sewing with vinyl, and I can definitely attest that it was a challenge.  Rose's pattern does not call for leather or vinyl to be used, so you won't find any tips or tricks on how to sew it in there!  I just searched the web and  used some advice offered up in another bag pattern I tested at the same time (that I'll share with you soon).  I think the vinyl was a nice addition to my version of the bag, and I would use it again for a bag strap like this one.

On the interior of the bag, I kept things simple and only included a slip pocket for my phone and mints.  I debated whether or not to add a zippered pocket to the exterior that I could keep my phone or keys in for quick access, but opted to just stick to the pattern this time!  However, Rose does offer up full instructions for how to install an optional zipper pocket to the interior of the bag.

Overall, the Uptown Hobo Bag was a simple, straightforward purse project that offered up instant gratification.  I was able to complete this bag start to finish in one afternoon.  It's definitely a project suitable for a novice purse sewer or an intermediate beginner.

Would you like to try making your own Uptown Hobo Bag?  Then either hop on over to Rose's blog to purchase your own copy of the new pattern, or enter my contest below for a chance to win a copy.  Thanks for stopping by!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This bag has been featured on the following blog parties:


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bunny Day Outfits

Easter is quickly approaching, and I have been a busy bee at the sewing machine all week! Today I have three little projects to share with you--two tops and a pair of ruffle bottom jeans. All were fairly simple, so you could still get one or all three of these done for your precious little girl before Bunny Day next weekend.

Up first is this adorable purple gingham swing top I made using an adapted version of the Evelyn Dress Pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  I've used this pattern tons to make swing tops and a-line dresses that I then machine embroider.  I'm pretty sure I could make this version of the pattern in my sleep by now.  It's a great base pattern to use.  I highly recommend it!

I appliqued this Bunny Alpha design from Planet Applique onto the front of the top using some super-duper soft minky fabric.

The letter is suppose to be a bunny face with ear, but the fabric is so fluffy, the eyes, nose, and whiskers of the bunny are nearly lost in all the fluff.  I trimmed quite a bit off, but it obviously didn't help a that much.  Ella doesn't mind though.  She loves to pet it!

I didn't make this particular swing top reversible like I have some others seen here and here.  I was in a hurry and wanted to keep things simple.  I did fully line it with white muslin though.

To complete Bunny Day Outfit No. 1, I added these cute banded ruffles to the bottom of some jeans that fit Ella everywhere but in length.

Destri over at The Mother Huddle had blogged about this idea earlier this year, and I quickly pinned it.  When I was cleaning out Ella's closet and found these jeans, I knew her tutorial for Banded Ruffle Cuff Pants would be a perfect way to salvage these jeans for a few weeks more use!

Instead of adding a bow like the one used in the original tutorial, I used some crocheted trim to cover up the center seam.  There are a lot of ways you could add extra detail to this, and now I can't wait to for her to need another pair so I can play around with the finishing touches more!

For Bunny Day Outfit No. 2, I used this cute 3/4 sleeve raglan tee with 3 bunnies appliqued on the front. The t-shirt is from Kavio and the embroidery design is from Planet Applique (and it's on sale right now for just 50 cents). I used some gingham in blue, pink, and purple for the appliqued bunnies. I just love gingham fabric!  Can't you tell?

And to make the applique fabric stay nice and smooth wash after wash, I used Heat-n-Bond Lite to fuse the applique fabric to the shirt before I satin stitched around each one. I also used Pellon #40 cut away stabilizer on the back.

This is my favorite little embroidery project yet.  Ella has received so many compliments the couple of times she has worn it already.  Paired up with this cute little bunny barrette that my friend from Sewing Mama RaeAnna made, and she's ready for some Easter egg hunting!

To complete the Bunny Day Outfit No. 2, Ella just wears the same ruffle bottom jeans that I made for Outfit No. 1!  I love it when separates can be mixed and matched with other pieces!

Hope you've found something on my sewVery blog to inspire you today!  Oh, and I thought I share a few other pictures from our day out at the agricultural park.  Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Zipper Pouches for She's Worth It

A few weeks ago, I read about the She's Worth It Campaign over at The Train to Crazy.  Andrea was asking her readers to contribute to this cause in an effort to fight human trafficking and slavery, specifically girls and women trapped in sexual slavery/sex trafficking/and forced prostitution.

You can read all about the campaign and how you, too, can help over at The Train to Crazy.

While I can't contribute as much as I'd like monetarily, I was able to sew together four zipper pouches which will be handed out to women and girls who are recovering from enslavement.    These pouches will help show these women that other women care about them and pray for their healing.

I cannot imagine what these women and children have endured, and it is my hope that they will continue to know a better, loving life that is free of abuse.

There's still time to contribute to the cause!  If you'd like to make a monetary donation, you can do so here.  Every little bit helps fund a safe house in Cambodia for at risk children and a sewing project in India for rehabilitating mothers and children.

If you'd like to make a zipper pouch to donate instead, there are tons of free tutorials on the web, or you can use a commercial pattern like I did.  Read more about the pattern and fabric I used here.    Be sure to sign up by following Andrea's instructions.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shamrock Circle Skirt

As some of you may know, I purchased an embroidery machine a few months ago.  At first, I thought I could recoup some of the cost of the machine by making reversible a-line embroidered dresses and t-shirts for sale, and while I have sold a few, the orders aren't pouring in.  I can only make my daughter so many embroidered t-shirts and reversible dresses of her own, so I decided to embroider a shamrock onto a circle skirt for St. Patrick's Day instead.

This was my first time making a circle skirt.  It was super easy!  I used this popular tutorial over at Made. First, I took Ella's measurements and followed the formulas for computing the radii of the inner and outer circles, then using my fabric pencil, marked the fabric accordingly.

For a circle skirt this small, you can cut out the entire skirt and have absolutely no seams to sew!  All I had to do was finish the raw edges at the top and bottom, sew on the elastic, and hem the skirt.

I only had a piece of 3/4" wide elastic on hand instead of the 2" wide elastic recommended in the tutorial, but I was pleased with how it worked out for Ella's skirt.  However, the waistband was much too big, so I ended up cutting about 2" off the length to make it tight enough to stay up on Ella's waist.  The trickiest part of making this skirt is sewing the elastic waistband on!  Glad when I was done with that step.

Since I wanted this to be a cute skirt for St. Patrick's Day, I used my Brother PE770 embroidery machine to stitch a shabby four leaf clover onto the bottom of the skirt.

The embroidery design is from Planet Applique.  I used the exact same design on a t-shirt I made Ella.  Read about it and the ruffle bottom pants I made to go with it here.

This embroidery design took literally less than 10 minutes to stitch out.  Since it is a shabby design, I opted to use a piece of white flannel under both the pink and green fabrics to help give the shabby edges more fluff once they are clipped.  I've used white muslin or white cotton fabric in lieu of the flannel before, but I much prefer how the flannel added both stability to the overall design as well as more shabbiness to the edges!

With the four leaf clover design stitched in place, I felt like the skirt needed a little more pop of color to complete the look.  I found some bubblegum pink ric rac in my stash and proceeded to stitching it onto the edge.  This made hemming the bottom of the circle skirt a cinch!

I used my little sewVery label folded in half to cover up the ugly seam where the ric rac ends connected.  I barely had enough of it to finish the skirt!

Circle skirts are so much fun to twirl in, but I think I need to make her a pair of bloomers to wear under it now!  At full twirl, you definitely see her underwear, and that's why you don't see a picture of her twirling in it!

Now we just need to find a St. Patrick's Day sock hop for Ella and Connor to attend!  Don't they look cute all dressed up?

And in case you are wondering, I made my son's pants and vest, too.  They are the Little Gentlemans Pants and Vest Pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  Read all about them here.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bag Blog Hop

Do you love to make bags and purses?  Then join this Bag Blog Hop for inspiration and to find others who share your passion!  The Bag Blog Hop was started by ChrisWDesigns and is easy to join.  Find the instructions straight from the source here.

What do you have to do?  It's simple.

1. Add your blog link below by clicking on the "Click here to Enter" link and follow the easy steps to add your blog.

2. Click on the "Get the Code Here" link shown to grab your copy of the code and add it to your blog!  Please include these instructions so new members will know what to do.

3. Grab this button:  (Right Click and Save)


and pop it in your sidebar linking to your Bag Lovin Blog Hop post so that we can leave this blog hop open and people can keep finding it and hopping on.

After all 3 steps ahve been completed, your link will be approved by ChrisWDesigns and added to the blog hop.

That's it!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sewing for My Son & Pattern Giveaway

Sewing for my son is not easy for me.  He is difficult to please, and I get easily frustrated if he doesn't want to wear something that I have spent hours making for him.

But I love him very much, and he desperately needs some new dress clothes for Easter.  So when Amy from Nap Time Crafters asked me to participate in her Spring Pattern Shop Tour for her Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop, I jumped at the chance to sew up the Little Gentleman Pants and Vest Pattern for my son.

Doesn't he look handsome?

The Little Gentleman Pants and Vest were pretty simple to make and definitely appropriate for an intermediate beginner who has buttonhole making skills.  The pattern is for sizes 3 months to 12 years, so you can get years of use out of it!  Always a win in my book.

The pants have inseam and welt pockets, a flat front with a faux fly, and elastic waistband in the back.  I sewed on a button and belt loops (not a part of the pattern) to the pants to make them look a little dressier since my son will wear them to church.

My favorite part of the pants--the functional welt pockets on the back!

Amy's pattern instructions show you a super simple way to make welt pockets!  I've read other tutorials on how to make them, but her method involves just one piece of fabric.  The trick is all in the folding! Genius!  

These pockets definitely dress up these slacks and give them that store bought feel.  Don't you agree?

I made both the pants and the vest using the size 8, but the pants were a little long.  Instead of trimming off the excess length, I cuffed the bottom edge of the pants.  These pants should last a while since I can always let out the hem when he grows taller!

I'm not sure about other 8 year olds, but my son enjoys wearing a vest.  He has another one that is more casual and has a guitar applique on the back shoulder, so he was most excited about me making him a new vest.

Ella was jealous of all the camera time Connor was receiving!
When I bought the khaki twill fabric for the pants and vest, I didn't think about buying any fabric for the lining.  My fabric stash at home is rather limited when it comes to male acceptable prints and colors, but luckily, Connor was pretty satisfied with this navy blue and green print that I had.  Whew!

The vest is reversible if you sew buttons on both sides, and the pattern instruction pictures are great at showing you how to sew it together with no exposed seams.

I'm so pleased with the ensemble; however, I did not make the shirt.  It's a Polo that I picked up at a consignment sale last week for $3!  Can't beat that deal!

If you have a little boy who needs some new dress clothes like mine did, then I hope you'll try out the Little Gentleman Pants and Vest Pattern, too.  Or, if you need to make your little girl an Easter outfit, then maybe you'll consider the Evelyn Dress Pattern.  I remixed it to make Ella a Christmas dress last year, and I use the same pattern all the time to make reversible A-line dresses and swing tops to applique (in fact, I used it to make Ella an Easter swing top I'll be blogging about soon).

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in the Pattern Shop Tour.  I can't wait to see what else everyone is making!  Just click the blog names below to be taken directly to their blogs.

nap time crafters welcome  to the mouse house imagine gnats running with scissors sewing mama raeanna sew country chick elegance & elephants sewvery boy, oh boy, oh boy! cailamade peek-a-boo pattern shop

Want a chance to win all the patterns showcased in the tour?  Then be sure to enter below.  I'd really appreciate you following sewVery if you don't already! Two winners will be announced after the contest ends on March 16th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And for Thursday only, Amy is offering up her Elaina Pintuck Party Dress pattern for only $4!  This would be great for a little girl's Easter dress!

Image of Elaina Pintuck Party Dress

Linking up at these great parties and others shown here.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Shirt & Ruffle Pants

Well, another holiday is almost here, and it's the perfect excuse for me to use my embroidery machine to stitch up a cute design for a t-shirt for Ella.  Oh, and of course, she needs some new ruffle bottom pants to go with the shirt.  Right?  I'm sure my daughter is in no need of new clothing, but I just love sewing and making fun things for her to wear.  You know what?  She really loves it, too!

Anyway, I stitched up this shabby four leaf clover from Planet Applique in 10 minutes using my Brother PE770 embroidery machine.  I think this is the simplest embroidery project I've done yet!  The only thing I wish I had done differently is position the design a little higher up on the shirt, but oh, well!  It's still adorable and perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

I used medium weight (Pellon No. 40) cut away stabilizer on the back, plus I doubled my fabric by using a piece of white flannel behind each print to give the edges more fluff when they were snipped.  I've tried using other fabrics like white cotton or muslin, but so far, I prefer to use the flannel.

Now it's been forever since I've made Ella a pair of ruffle bottom pants, so I took this opportunity to whip her up a new pair to match the St. Patrick's Day shirt.  I used McCall's M6530 pattern, View D.

These pants were made using the size 4T length and the size 5T width and stride measurements.  I also added a second ruffle by cutting it out 1" shorter than the pattern ruffle measurement and in the same pink fabric I used on the t-shirt.

Finally, I hemmed the ruffles using the rolled hem settings on my serger.  Stitch a label on there and call it done!

These were super easy and fun to sew together, so I know I'll be using this McCall's pattern again and again.  Ella loves these pants and already wants another pair!  Great!  More sewing for me!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Linking up at the parties shown below as well as others listed here.


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