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Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Reversible Echino Purse

A couple of days ago, I showed you the beautiful new purse and zipper pouch I made for myself using Japanese Echino Fabrics.  Of course, as soon as I finished my new ensemble, my daughter, Ella, asked if it was for her!  Since I had two more prints from the cute fabric shop, Modes4U, I decided to make her a reversible Echino purse of her own!

Side one was made with Echino canvas fabric Buck Stag with Glasses in Blue.

While Side Two was made using forest hart owl turquoise Echino canvas fabric.  I love the patchwork designs on this fabric!

Friday, March 21, 2014

A New Echino Purse and Zipper Pouch for Me!

With Spring in the air, I decided it was time to swap out my purse for something new and fresh! I've been dying to try out some of the gorgeous Japanese Echino Fabrics, and making a new purse with them seemed like the perfect project to do just that!

I received four pieces of Echino fabric from this cute fabric shop, Modes4U.  They have one of the largest selections of Echino and other Japanese fabrics that I have ever seen, and it was extremely difficult narrowing my choices down to these four!

Disclaimer:  I was provided with the fabrics and the purse lock in exchange for my honest opinion about these products.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A sewVery Simple Reversible Placemat Tutorial

Have you heard?  March is National Craft Month, which gives me a great excuse to head to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for a little shopping!  I was inspired by their Spring crafting inspiration website as well as the warmer weather to create some bright, cheerful, floral sewVery Simple Reversible Placemats, and I was able to use this $5 off a $25 or more purchase coupon to buy all the supplies.

The following review is part of the Jo-Ann Fabric And Craft Stores National Craft Month campaign.  I received compensation for this review; however, this is my personal, honest opinion based on my experience.

These placemats are super quick and easy to sew and are perfect for brightening up your dinner table or to give as a gift to a friend or new neighbor.  Plus, they are fairly inexpensive to make when you use a coupon from Jo-Ann!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pattern Anthology Parisian Top

My friends at Pattern Anthology have outdone themselves this time, and I was lucky enough to be a tester for one of the designs--the Parisian Top!

The Parisian Top pattern is a design creation from Andrea at Go To Patterns.  She is one of the four fabulous designers behind Pattern Anthology, and this time, the ladies developed a set of patterns just for women!  It's called Just Add Jeans, and the collection was just released for sale a couple of days ago.

The collection of 4 women's top patterns will be available at a discounted price for just 2 weeks before the designers sell them individually at the pattern's full retail price.  To learn all about the Just Add Jeans collection, be sure to visit the Pattern Anthology website.

Testing for the Parisian Top was a few weeks ago, so I have been enjoying my stylish new top for a while now.  So glad I can finally share it with you all!

This top is made using a sweater knit remnant I bought forever ago at Joann Fabric and Craft Stores, and the collar is sewn from black ponte knit with no interfacing.  The fabrics are so soft and comfy that this has become one of my favorite tops to wear.

The Parisian is so on trend with the peter pan collar, 3/4 length banded sleeves, and loose banded waist. Oh, and it has a few gathers at the top of the sleeve which give it the most perfect feminine touch.

I honestly believe a beginner could sew this with no problems, especially since the Go To Pattern instructions include tons of tips for sewing with knit including how to test the stretch and recovery of your knit fabric.  Also, the diagrams and sketches show you step-by-step how to assemble the top.  Using my serger for almost all of the sewing, I think I finished the top in just over an hour!

It's usually hard for me to finally sew a piece of clothing for myself, but because I'm so happy with the fit of the Parisian, I'll definitely be making a few more for Spring.

Be sure to check out the Pattern Anthology Just Add Jeans collection where you can get the Parisian Top plus 3 other terrific women's top patterns for a steal!

And if you haven't already, be sure to enter my sewVery 1,500+ Facebook Likes--Thank You Giveaway that ends this coming Saturday, March 15th, at midnight!

Have fun sewing!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tote Bags for Charity + Giveaway

Recently, a friend of mine, Melissa at Sew Like My Mom, blogged about a post she recently read that really moved her.   The post was about a breast cancer survivor who is wanting to help make a difference to others dealing with the disease.  

While I have never walked this path myself or had a close relationship with someone who has, I've had to go for follow up mammograms with the fear that my life could change in an instant.  I've also had relatives who have endured this disease--some have conquered it and others have not.  

So if I can help one survivor brighten the lives of a few more brave women who are battling breast cancer, then I will try! 

image from www.clipartsmart.com
The woman in the post that Melissa shared is named MJ, and her story and mission is to help at least 100 other women (wow!  that sounds like such a big number, but in reality, I know it's not) begin their battle with something given out of love, hope, and support.  

MJ is asking for people to help her cause by donating 100 hand sewn tote bags by Mother's Day, and Melissa has offered to donate one of her patterns from Sew Like My Mom to those of you who make 5 bags and then send her picture proof.  

To read all about MJ's mission, click HERE.

To read how Melissa is encouraging everyone in the sewing community to help, click HERE.

I was touched by not only MJ's story, but also by Melissa's willingness to help a stranger achieve her goal, too.  

I've made my 5 bags using a fat quarter bundle and some scraps of Joel Dewberry's True Colors collection by Free Spirit Fabrics.  If you know me, then you know Joel Dewberry is one of my favorite fabric designers, and I hope that these beautiful prints and bright colors will bring a smile and a sense of hope to women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

MJ only asked for bags to be donated, but I've decided I want to include a small note in each bag to let those women know that I am praying for them and that I care, too.  I cannot imagine what they are about to endure, and quite honestly, I hope I never have to.

I also asked that Melissa please pass the pattern on to one of my followers instead of giving it to me.  She generously offered up a total of three patterns from her shop that are now up for grabs as part of a Thank You giveaway I am hosting.  To read the details of the giveaway and to enter, click HERE.

I hope you'll consider making a few bags and helping out this brave woman, MJ.

Have fun sewing!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A sewVery Simple Non-Slip Machine Mat Tutorial

For today's project, I'm pairing up with Craft Buds and Anna Griffin to share with you A sewVery Simple tutorial for making a Non-Slip Machine Mat with pocket storage and a detachable pin cushion.

For a while now, I've been wanting to make myself a new mat to use under my serger.  The old one I have is small, made of fabric that just isn't my style, and doesn't have a place for a pin cushion.  So, when Lindsay (my friend from Craft Buds) asked me if I wanted to make something using these cheerful and bright Maisie by Maude Asbury fabrics from Anna Griffin, I knew just what to make!

Disclosure:  The quilting fabrics used for this post were provided free of charge, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Want to make your own non-slip machine mat with a matching pin cushion?  Here's how!


2 fat quarters of quilting cotton
1 - 12 1/4" x 18" piece of grip stop fabric (I purchased mine at Joann's)
1 - 4" long piece of 1" wide velcro
1 yard of light weight Pellon interfacing (I used Pellon P44F, but Pellon 911F would work great).
Batting or Fiber Fill
Scissors, Ruler, Marking Pen, Pins, Iron, Thread, Sewing Machine


From one fat quarter:
3 - 5" x 18" pieces (1 is the pocket front, 1 is the pocket back, and 1 is part of the mat back)
2 - 3" x 4" pieces (for the pin cushion)

From interfacing:
1 - 18" x 18" piece
1 - 5" x 18" piece
2 - 3" x 4" pieces


Start by fusing the 18" x 18" piece of interfacing to the wrong side of the remaining fat quarter. Next, fuse the 5" x 18" piece of interfacing to the wrong side of the pocket front.

To assemble the non-slip machine mat, follow the instructions in the photographs below:

To construct the pin cushion:

And there you have it!  A sewVery Simple Non-Slip Machine Mat!  I wish I made a new one sooner. The non-slip backing is perfect for keeping the mat in place and preventing the machine from vibrating close to the edge.  Plus, the pockets are ideal for storing my scissors, cleaning brush, extra needles, and the allen wrench I use to unscrew the needles from my machine.

The narrow pin cushion with velcro on the bottom keeps the pin cushion in place while I sew instead of it vibrating off the table.  Plus, I have the option to remove it and take it to the ironing board or to my cutting mat when I need it.

I have very limited space in my sewing room, so my sewing machine and serger both sit on the same table but at right angles to one another.

My sewing machine has a knee peddle for raising the sewing machine foot, plus, my table has a drawer right under the machine.  Also, my sewing machine is made of all metal and very heavy, so it does not slip and slid around on the table like my serger, making the non-slip mat unnecessary. But all my sewing gadgets and tools seem to pile up to the right of my sewing machine (which is just left of my serger) making it cluttered and messy and sometimes difficult to find things or sew on the serger.

This is the first glimpse into my sewing space that I have ever posted!

So, I decided to make a smaller companion non-slip mat to sit to the right of my sewing machine. It also has a detachable pin cushion and two rows of pockets.

Since this smaller mat does not have a heavy machine to sit on it to keep it secure, I decided to hand stitch it to the edge of the non-slip serger mat where the edges meet.

I'm so excited to now have such pretty organization mats to use at my sewing table.  Now I think I'll make a couple of machine covers to match using the Maisie by Maude Asbury fabrics from Anna Griffin.

Here are the fabric details and links for the prints I used to make these sewVery Simple Non-Slip Machine Mats!

Front Pocket, Back Piece, one side of Pin Cushion:  Ma Maisie Stitch Grape
Back Pocket and one side of Pin Cushion: Ma Maisie Clover Grape
Fabric Collection:  Maisie by Maude Asbury

Want to win some of your own Maisie fabrics plus some other fun sewing stuff?  Then be sure to enter my 1,500+ Facebook Fans Giveaway going on now HERE!  

Also, be sure to visit my friend, Lindsay, at Craft Buds to check out all of her amazing projects and tutorials and to see the Pretty Petals Pillow she made with her Anna Griffin fabrics!  

Have fun sewing!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

sewVery 1,500+ Facebook Fans Giveaway!

Thanks to all of you--my wonderful fans, friends, and supporters--my sewVery Facebook page has recently exceeded 1,500 Likes!  Whoo!  Hoo!  That's definitely cause for celebration.

And as a big Thank You, I've decided to have a giveaway!

I've been putting together a variety of fabric, books, magazines, notions, trims, and other goodies, plus several of my friends have contributed pdf patterns!  I'm giving everyone (both US and international fans) the chance to earn 8 entries using the Rafflecopter widgets below.  The contest will run through Saturday, March 15th, and the winners will be selected and announced here the following day.  Keep reading below to see the exact prizes and how the giveaway will work!

So what am I giving away?  Two prizes actually.  One prize for US sewVery fans and another prize for International sewVery fans!  Everyone will have a chance to win!

Here's how the giveaway will work:

If you live in the United States, you may enter the giveaway for Prize Pack #1 full of fabrics, magazines, notions, and whatever else I decide to throw in the box!  Your gift will be mailed out to you as soon as the winner emails me back with her/his address!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you live outside of the United States, then you may enter the International giveaway for a chance to win Prize Pack #2 which includes pdf sewing patterns from my friends at

Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link)

Once the international winner has emailed me back to confirm their email address, I'll forward the digital pdf patterns on to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope that this style of giveaway will make all of my fans sewVery happy!  I value the support and friendships I have made from my many faithful followers all over the globe, and I want to make sure that all of you have the opportunity to win something in my sewVery 1,500+ Facebook Likes Thank You Giveaway.

Plus, I greatly appreciate the support and generosity of my talented pattern designer friends who have provided prizes for this giveaway!  Thanks, too, to Free Spirit Fabrics and Anna Griffin for supplying the fabrics.

This has been a great journey for me so far, and in the next few months, I think it is going to get even better!

Be sure to keep following sewVery for more pattern reviews, sewVery Simple Tutorials, and some exciting new adventures I'll be taking!

Sign up to follow by email (in the sidebar), Bloglovin', Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

Thanks again to all of you, and most importantly,

Have fun sewing!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Philomena Fox Mini-Pillow

Unless you live in a bubble, then you know foxes are all the craze right now.  I'm always so slow at hopping on board such fun trends, but I've finally done it.

Virginia at Gingercake recently asked me if I'd like to try out her re-released Max the Owl pattern which now includes Philomena the Fox!  I knew this was my opportunity to contribute to the fox fad!

Disclosure:  I was provided this pattern and fabric for free in exchange for my honest review.  As always, all opinions in this post are my own.

For my version of Philomena Fox, I decided to print the pattern out at 50% of its original size to make a mini-pillow.  Like me, my children love things in miniature, plus I knew I had enough of this Anna Griffin Maisie by Maude Asbury fabric left over from another project to make a tiny version.  

First, I cut out the front and back pillow pieces using the Ma Maisie Stitch Grape, the face and pocket pieces in Ma Maisie Pearl Watermelon, and the eyes and nose in Ma Maisie Clover Grape.

I just love the colors used in this line of Anna Griffin fabric.  All three colorways are so bright and cheerful and make me want Spring to be here right now!

Instead of cutting out two more main pieces to make a lining, I decided to use some light weight Pellon 44F Fusible Apparel Interfacing to give the fabric a little more structure.  I also used Heat-n-Bond Lite to secure the face, eyes, and nose in place before stitching.

The pattern has simple and clear instructions and lots of tips on how to play around with the construction of the pattern to make it a unique item.  Plus, since the pattern has just been re-released, it now includes instructions for making both Max the Owl and Philomena the Fox!  

For my mini-pillow, I found some tiny vintage baby ric rac in my trim drawer and sewed it to the edges of the face.  I love the little extra detail and texture that the ric rac adds.  

And instead of sewing buttons on top of the eye pieces, I used the print from the fabric as the iris and highlighted the piece by zigzag stitching around it multiple times.

I chose to add the pocket to the back because I thought it could be used for two different things:

     1. to put cute little notes in it for my son and daughter as a game of "what does the fox say?"


     2.  to use it as a tooth fairy pillow (my daughter is now old enough to start loosing teeth)

I also thought about just keeping it for myself and using it as a pin cushion to match another project that I recently finished.  Here's a sneak peak of it.  But as you can tell, I already made a pin cushion (actually 2) to use with that yet to be blogged about project!

So, if you are looking for a fun, fast (took me only an hour to make this cute mini-pillow), well-written project, then I highly recommend you try out the Gingercake Max the Owl and Philomena Fox pdf sewing pattern.  

Have fun sewing!