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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas Present Placemats & Skirts

Some of my fondest memories are of times spent with my mom decorating our home for Christmas. Handmade decorations, a large fir tree, fresh holly and magnolia leaves from our yard, and the Statler Brother's Christmas on the stereo were essential to creating the festive mood in our home.

One thing we always had on our dining room and breakfast room tables were special, Christmas placemats that my mom had sewn. Several years ago, I decided to recreate her Christmas Present Placemats and even wrote a tutorial so others could make them, too. This tutorial continues to be one of my most popular tutorials and posts ever!

Since it has been a while since I made a set of these adorable Christmas Present Placemats, I thought it was time to make a few more using all quilting cottons instead of a double-sided quilted fabric. I'm so pleased with the results!

The quilting cotton prints in Blend Fabric's Even a Mouse collection by Maude Asbury were perfect for these new Christmas Present Placemats! I love the Snowball Fight print for the border and cloth napkin that makes the bow, and the Christmas Carolers snowglobe print in red is fun and festive for the main part of the mat. The back of the placemat is sewn with the Let It Snow print in light gray.
(Disclaimer: I was provided the fabrics used in this post in exchange for sharing a project I made with them. All opinions are my own.)

If you'd like to make your own set of Christmas Present Placemats, then click HERE for the full tutorial. Here's a picture of the original one I made years ago. For this one, I used a double-sided quilted fabric for the mat and quilting cotton for the napkin and binding.

If you choose to use quilting cottons instead of double-sided quilted fabric, then you will cut out 2 rectangles measuring 12" x 18" for the front and back of the placement. You will also need to cut out one piece of batting measuring 12" x 18". All other pieces remain the same from the tutorial.

Since I had a some fabric left over from the bundle of fabric from Blend Fabrics, I whipped up a couple of skirts using my Simple One Seam Skirt Tutorial.

For this size 4T skirt, I added a contrasting band to the bottom of the skirt.

For this size 6 skirt, I used the Stocking Stuffers in Grey fabric to make this animal lover's version. My daughter was sad that I didn't have enough fabric to make this one in her size! These are so quick and easy to sew and make gifts for little girls.

Have FUN sewing!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Janie Dress & Peplum Top

If you are looking for a quick, easy, and very rewarding sewing project, then look no further! The Janie Dress and Peplum Top Pattern from Mouse House Creations (affiliate links) is the answer.

After recently cleaning out my daughter's closet, I discovered she hardly had a long-sleeved shirt that fit anymore! I immediately thought I needed to sew her a Janie Peplum Top with long-sleeves and a cowl neck. She loves an oversized slouchy collar (remember the Bimma Top?) and anything that gives her an excuse to twirl.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sweetie Pie Baby Bib Pattern & Tutorial

Are you in need of a quick baby shower gift? Or do you have a baby or toddler who needs a stylish bib to protect their adorable handmade clothes? Either way, I've got you (and your baby) covered with my Sweetie Pie Baby Bib pattern and tutorial!

The round shape of the Sweetie Pie Baby Bib is just precious. The small bib size provides lots of coverage for a teething baby who needs help keeping moisture off his chest from drool while the large bib size is ideal for a self-feeding toddler. 

Sew the bibs with Ann Kelle's laminated cotton (slicker) fabric on the front and thick terry cloth fabric from Shannon Fabrics on the back to create the ideal barrier to protect your child's clothing. 

You can also use quilting cotton for the front, but please note that moisture will eventually wick through the cotton and terry cloth. Another alternative would be to use PUL fabric in a fun print or color for the front of the bib.

Let's get started!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Nora Dress by Children's Corner Store

Here's an adorable dress I sewed for Ella months ago--the Nora Dress Pattern from Children's Corner Store. While I tested this pattern in record time, I'm embarassed to say it has taken me wa-a-a-a-ay too long to finally share it on the blog! The Nora Dress is a drop-waist knit dress with short sleeves, but this exclusive tissue pattern also offers an A-line dress version and long sleeve options. 

The Children's Corner Store has a long reputation for outstanding tissue paper patterns that feature heirloom and smocking designs, but recently, the owners have been working to add new, trendier styles to their pattern offerings while maintaining the same high quality that their loyal customer-base expects. The Nora Dress Pattern does not disappoint!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Halloween Skirt & Tote Bags

For a few days, we had a taste of Fall weather with cool, crisp air and gentle breezes. It was just a tease though. After three days, it felt like summer again with temps in the high 80s! 

That didn't stop me and Ella from heading outdoors to enjoy a local park and dream of upcoming Fall festivals and pumpkins. In fact, I made her a few things to wear and carry with the Blend Fabric collection, Spooky Town by Cori Dantini, to put us in the Halloween spirit!

You'll be amazed at all the adorable things I was able to make with this half-yard bundle of fabric. 

Disclosure: I was provided the fabrics used in this post in exchange for sharing a project I made with them. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fun Flags Bunting Tutorial

Some weeks, I have the urge to sew but not a lot of time to do it. In order to satisfy my creative itch until I can devote more time to a challenging project, I like to make these cute, little strings of bunting flags using scraps of fun fabric prints. These are extremely easy to make, and you can, too, using my sewVery Fun Flags Bunting Tutorial below that includes the free pdf pattern piece!

The string of Fun Flags included in this tutorial happen to use a variety of Ann Kelle's Halloween themed prints as well as her Remix prints in black and white. Pretty much any print designed by Ann Kelle is ideal to make this tiny set of bunting. I have sets in different Remix prints that are ideal for a birthday party, Spring, or to celebrate the birth of a boy or girl! These always make me smile!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pumpkin Drawstring Pouch Tutorial

Is your house the one that all the children in your neighborhood love to trick-or-treat at because you give out amazing goodie bags? If not, then consider using my Pumpkin Drawstring Pouch Tutorial to sew up some fun halloween themed treat bags to fill with candy to give all the ghosts, monsters, princesses, and super heroes that stop by your house this year! They will love you for sure!

Not only are these little 6" x 6" drawstring pouches absolutely adorable sewn in halloween print fabrics designed by Ann Kelle, but they are quick and easy to sew. Plus, they are reusable and ideal for all sorts of other things besides candy. They make great jewelry pouches, organizers for sewing supplies, gift card bags, or even a little first aid kit to keep in the car.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ice Cream Cone Pillow Tutorial

Ice Cream, Ice Cream, we all scream for Ice Cream! Download my FREE Ice Cream Pillow pattern (link below) and sew up to four varieties of ice cream scoops for a pillow. Make it a drippy single or double scoop cone, or sew a smooth double or single scoop cone. Like the real thing, you'll find it difficult to stop at just one!

Each single or double scoop Ice Cream Cone Pillow can be made using one of the two methods shown in the tutorial below: Finished Seams Method or Raw Seams Method.

Fabrics used to make my pillows include Ann Kelle's Remix prints and Kona Cotton Solids all by Robert Kaufman.

Let's get started!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Popsicle Pillow Tutorial

Summer is almost over, but it's not too late to make some fun pillow accessories to remind us of cool treats and cooler days ahead. These fun Popsicle Pillows are quick to sew and will definitely brighten up any child's room when made with fun fabrics from Ann Kelle.

Download the FREE Popsicle Pillow pattern pieces (link below) and make up a freezer full of pillows in two variations. The tutorial shown below depicts a tri-colored popsicle pillow using three different fabrics pieced together to make the popsicle. A solid colored popsicle may be sewn by using the Solid Popsicle pattern piece in lieu of the Tri-Color Popsicle pattern pieces (Top, Middle, and Bottom).

Fabrics used to make my pillows include Ann Kelle's Remix prints and Kona Cotton Solids all by Robert Kaufman.

Let's get started!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Wonderland Blog Hop: Chair Pocket Tutorial

School is back in session which means tons of papers being sent home and lots of homework. In years' past, the completed worksheets, art work, and notes from school would pile up on the kitchen counter or dining room table, but this year, all those papers will be stored in this new chair pocket I made for my daughter's chair.

What's even better is that I created a matching double zipper pencil pouch that detaches from the chair pocket when she needs to sit at the table to work on a project. All of her pencils, crayons, scissors, and other supplies will be conveniently at hand and can be stored away when she is done with them.

Help organize your home when you make my Chair Pocket Tutorial with a detachable pencil pouch. It's easy to sew and your child will love it when you use fun fabrics like the Wonderland Collection by Josephine Kimberling for Blend Fabrics.

Disclosure: I was provided the fabrics used in this post in exchange for sharing a project I sewed with them. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How to Sew a Bucket Pocket

It's July which means it is time for Skirting the Issue with Simple Simon & Co. Last year, I shared my Simple One Seam Skirt Tutorial with you so you can create a basic girl's skirt using a single cut of fabric. This skirt is one of my favorites to sew, and since we donated all but one of the skirts I made last year, Ella has requested a few new ones.

While my original skirt tutorial does not include pockets, I'm sharing another fun and simple tutorial this year that shows you how to sew a Bucket Pocket to my Simple One Seam Skirt. You can use this pocket tutorial and add it to any other basic skirt or pair of shorts, too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

sewVery Simple All-Purpose Headband Tutorial

Now that I have grown my hair back out long, I'm finding that I wear it up in a ponytail fairly often or need to keep the front out of my face, especially when I go for a walk, sew, or do a lot of chores around the house. I have such thick, frizzy hair, that I desperately needed something to keep those kinky curls contained and under some control. Of course, the simplest solution was to sew up a few wide, knit headbands for me to keep it all under control!

These headbands were such a cinch to sew and are great for everyday casual wear or a workout, so naturally, I took a few pictures and created the sewVery Simple All-Purpose Headband Tutorial so you can sew some, too. 

You are going to love these so much that you'll make one to match all your new knit shirts and dresses since the all-purpose headbands don't take much fabric to create. I've even given you the cutting dimensions to make them for your little girl, too. My daughter loves wearing hers to gymnastics class or when she is running around outside playing. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Free Collar Pattern for the Sunny Dress

It's that time of year again when Melly Sews hosts the 30 Days of Sundresses series! If you aren't familiar with the series, then you'll definitely want to start following along and look back at all the previous posts so far to grab some great free patterns and tutorials for sewing sundresses.

Sundresses are one of my daughter's absolute favorite things to wear during the summer, and they are one of my favorite things to sew! This is my fourth year participating in the series, and this time, I've decided to create a FREE Collar Pattern piece and tutorial to go along with my Sunny Dress & Top Pattern. You are going to love the additional look you can create with both my FREE and PAID versions of the pattern.

Here's a look at the whole Sunny Dress with the collar add-on. Isn't it just perfect?!

Disclosure: I was provided some of the fabrics used in this post free of charge in exchange for use in a blog post. This post also contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How to Add Ruching to a T-Shirt Hem

Recently, I sewed Ella a new casual, summer outfit using the Vintage V-Neck pattern by Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate links) and the free Sycamore Shorts pattern by Sew Like My Mom. Both patterns were quick to sew and the end results made Ella (and me) very happy!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I am a Contributor to the blog, Melly Sews, and was provided the shirt pattern and compensated for writing a post about the pattern. I was also provided some fabrics for use in a project of my choosing. All opinions stated in this post are honest and my own.

Since summer is upon us, Ella really needed some new t-shirts. Personally, I'm not always a fan of a basic, boxy tee on girls, so I was excited to discover the Vintage V-Neck pattern.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Posey Tunic and Peony Leggings--Great New Patterns!

Last week, I participated in a pattern test for two new designs from Sew Like My Mom. If you follow my blog, then you already know I am a huge fan of Melissa's patterns. I was so excited to try out the Posey Tunic and Peony Leggings patterns, that I sewed despite some serious neck and shoulder pain that I had been experiencing for several days, and the results were well worth it!

Check out this adorable knit outfit!

Disclosure: I was provided the two patterns for free in exchange for my participation in the testing of the patterns. All opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Gymnastics Outfit with Thread Faction Patterns

If you are looking for some new, fun, modern, simple knit patterns to sew for spring and summer, then you definitely need to check out the latest pattern collection from Thread Faction Studios. In celebration of their latest designs, I'm participating in the Thread Faction SS2016 Blog Tour and sharing how I put together three patterns to make this terrific gymnastics outfit for my daughter.

Disclosure: The patterns and some fabric used in this post were provided to me free of charge in exchange for participation in the blog tour. All statements made in the post are my honest opinions.

Keep reading for more information on these patterns as well as how you can win some fabulous prizes!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

SLPCo Ayda Top & Emilya Pants Outfit

Hello? Anybody there? I know, I know. It's been a while since I've shared any new projects or tutorials with you lately. What can I say? Life is busier than ever. I've sewn quite a few things lately and even shot photos for some new tutorials, so please bear with me as I try and find time to put it all together for the blog.

Ella recently celebrated her 7th birthday, and a few weeks before her party, I sewed together this adorable and fun cupcake outfit using some new patterns I recently purchased from the Simple Life Pattern Company (SLPCo for short). This pattern designer is fairly new to me, but I've been seeing their patterns on several blogs I follow as well as all over my sewing Facebook groups. I knew I needed to give them a try!

Disclosure: The patterns used in this post were purchased by me; however, I was provided the fabric used for the top in exchange for sewing an item with it and sharing it on my blog. All opinions stated in the post are my own.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tips for Recycling Knit Shirts

For some time now, I've been holding on to a stack of long-sleeved knit turtleneck tees, mockneck tees, and fing guage sweaters that belonged to either me, my mom, or my husband--all with the intentions of someday recycling these shirts into refashioned tops for Ella. Why buy new, expensive knit fabrics when each of these old, gently worn shirts has all the fabric I need to sew my daughter a new top?

Today I'm here to give you some tips for how to recycle a gently used adult knit shirt into a new child's shirt using the Tee x 3 Pattern from Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link).

The first Tee x 3 I sewed Ella used only the front, back, and sleeve pieces of the pattern. I saved myself time sewing by reusing elements of the existing adult sized turtleneck shirt I recycled. Here's how!

This post contains affiliate links. Although I was provided the pattern at no cost in exchange for my review, all opinions given are my own.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A sewVery Simple Apron Tutorial

Love to cook, bake, paint, or work with clay? Then this sewVery Simple Apron Tutorial is for you! Protect your clothing from spills and splatters when you wear this one-size-fits-all apron design that is super fashionable when sewn in your favorite fabrics (like Ann Kelle's Remix Wide fabric).

Photo from Ann Kelle

Gather these supplies, and in no time, you'll be on your way to sewing up a brand new sewVery Simple Apron! Get the full tutorial below.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Handmade Yard Sale - Size 5 Lot

After much consideration, I've decided to finally part ways with many of the handmade items that I've sewn for Ella and myself and featured here on the blog. Whether or not to give away or sell these items has been a topic of discussion many times among my group of blogger friends, and I have chosen to try and sell them in hopes of earning enough money to pay for Ella's piano lessons this semester or at the very least more fabric!

Welcome to my Handmade Yard Sale! All the items listed in this post are Size 5. As time permits and depending on the success of this sale, I will post additional Handmade Yard Sale lots for specific sizes, accessories, or miscellaneous items.

If you wish to inquire about an item not listed here, please leave a comment with a link to the blog post along with your email address. I'll contact you with more information as soon as possible.

Here are a few bits of information in general about the items and the terms of the sale. If you have any questions, please let me know!

  1. Each item shown is a one-of-a-kind item available only in the size shown. See the blog post link for additional photos and info (like pattern used, fabric used, etc.).
  2. Items shown are in gently USED condition unless otherwise noted. Pictures are from the blog post when the item was originally made and therefore do not show the current condition. If the item has any excessive wear or damage, I will note it in the listing.
  3. All items were machine washed and hung to dry unless otherwise noted. Yes, I'm that crazy mom who actually hangs up her kids clothes to dry and then irons them!
  4. Price shown is for the item only. Shipping will be by USPS and will be determined based on the number of items purchased at one time and the size envelope or flat rate package that I can fit them all in. Shipping will appear on the payment invoice.
  5. To claim an item, post a comment with the item number and your paypal email address. 
  6. Payment must be received within 24 hours after the invoice is sent or the item(s) will be listed as available again.
  7. Items are sold as-is with no returns, refunds, or exchanges! All sales are final!
Let's get started!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

VFT Lavinia Blouse & Skirt

Wow! It's been a long time since I last posted on my own blog! While I've been busy writing and posting for all my contributor positions lately, I have neglected my own site. It's time to change that, don't you think?

I have sewn so many things lately--lots of pants, skirts, dresses, zipper pouches, and notebooks--so it's time I start sharing a few of these projects and (hopefully) some new tutorials with you soon. I appreciate your patience!

One of my favorite projects from the end of last year is this lovely blouse and skirt set using the Violette Field Threads Lavinia pattern. Ella wore this ensemble to her piano recital and played beautifully. As you can see, I had edited photos and intended to post them around Christmas time! Better late than never!