***Autumn Sewing - Stitch Fall 2013***

I've had an amazing summer!  Day trips around the Pacific NW, outdoor concerts and days at the outdoor pool to name a few amazing excursions!  My kids start school in less than two weeks so I thought this would be a good time to introduce my projects in Stitch Magazine's Fall 2013 issue!
I was inspired by smocking and how you can create such amazing detail with a simple method of hand stitching.  The bag is smocked across the top and has leather handles.  I also included instructions to make the removeable flower!

In keeping with the theme, I envisioned the smocking on a scarf as well and created a honeycomb smocked scarf.  This is an incredibly easy hand stitching project and so nice to work on during Autumn and Winter evenings!

This is a pic of the original sample which shows the smocking detail more clearly.

Keeping with the smocking theme of this post, I was down in my basement looking for some sewing notions and found this vintage pattern.  It looks like it is from the 1940's : )   I'm looking forward to trying some different smocking stitches!


Fabric Sale at Pink Castle Fabrics

Just wanted to let you know Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics has lots of great fabrics on sale for $6 yard including lots of prints from the Boho line by Urban Chiks.  Link Here.
She also has Alison Glass Sun Print Feathers in stock.  Love the line and waiting patiently for the text prints!

Happy Shopping
: )


Random Sunday

Wow - two posts in one day : )
I wanted to update those who are quilting along with me in the Vintage Block Quilt Along.  I am behind a few months now.  The latest block is in process - the pattern is done - I just need to make the block and write the tutorial.  Thank all for your patience and I will have it available very soon!

It has been a crazy but good month!  Still a contestant in the Super Online Sewing Match......and just got back from a much needed vacation to Hawaii!  It was pure heaven....lots of reading and relaxing!

I finished a bee block in the midst of making the Negroni shirt for the Super Online sewing match.  Marit's butterfly for the Ringo Pie bee.  This is a pattern I designed last year which can be found in my Etsy and Craftsy shops.  One more block and I will be caught up, yay!!!

Have a lovely evening!

Super Online Sewing Match, Round #4 Men's Negroni Shirt

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll be sharing my latest project for the Online Sewing Match - Colette Patterns Negroni Men's shirt.

I have made a few simple shirts for my boys in the past few years but haven't made a tailored men's shirt since  I was in design school over 20 years ago!  It was a challenging project but the pattern really has wonderful instructions and I would recommend it to anyone who is new at making a tailored shirt.  I especially love the packaging.  The instructions are in booklet form with a spot in the back for the pattern.  Very nicely designed!

Fabric shopping in Seattle was a bust so I ended up ordering the grey stripe fabric from Mood fabrics.  The contrast fabric that I used for the under collar, inside yoke, inside sleeve placket, inside cuff and pocket flap facing is from DS Quilts and I found it at JoAnn Fabrics.
The buttons are antique pewter.
We had two weeks for this challenge but I was on vacation for most of it so I made my shirt this weekend.  Nothing like a little pressure : )

I chose the long sleeve version and made tailored sleeve plackets.

I used a contrast print for the inside cuff and inside the sleeve placket.
The plackets were the most challenging part of this challenge for me.

I added the center box pleat on the pockets. 

The pocket flap facing is a contrast print.

I'm very happy with the collar and the way it lays so nicely!  I omitted the loop at the collar but added a loop to the CB yoke (in the next pic). 

Back yoke with loop and contrast under collar.
Shirt Back

I clean finished the front facing edge for a nice finish.

The armholes are finished with a felled seam and I used french seams for the undersleeve and side seams.  The pattern includes instructions for a cool way to clean finish the inside yoke!
All in all I'm really happy with the shirt - The best part of making this shirt was during the "photo shoot".  My hubs was looking at the cuff and said "Wow babe, this shirt is really well made!"
: )
OK, maybe he will get another one as long as I don't have to complete it in a weekend!

A Few Pattern Tips:

*  I followed the fabric requirements for the size XL, 60" wide fabric and had extra fabric.   If I make this pattern again, I would lay out the pattern and determine the fabric requirements.

* Measure your back yoke seam against the top upper back edge.  I found that the XL yoke pattern is larger than the top back shirt.  You can fix this by making your pleats smaller.  I made each pleat on the back shirt 1/4" smaller to accomodate the yoke.


It's a Cinch Tote + Custom Made Accessories ; ) Super Online Sewing Match Round #3

["It's a Cinch Tote" with custom straps]

[Front with Patch Pocket]

I'm soooo happy you stopped by to see my latest project in the "Super Online Sewing Match"!
The third challenge is to make Lisa Lam's "It's a Cinch" Tote Bag.  Looking at the pattern and its simplicity, I knew I wanted this project to be about the fabric, special pockets, and custom made accessories to go with the bag.  This bag is on the larger size, so I took the opportunity to add lots of pocket and personalize with the things I most want and often find lacking in a tote bag.
This will be my "go to" beach bag for the rest of this summer!!!
 I love to make bags so this was a particularly fun challenge for me.

[Outside bag with zipper pocket]

The pattern calls for one outside zipper pocket with a hidden pocket bag.  I decide to use Melody Miller's "Ruby Star"  print for the pockets and straps and thought it should be the star of the show.  The body of the bag is "Stamped" by Ellen Luckett Baker.  The pattern calls for one zip pocket with inside pocket bags but I opted for outside pockets on both sides of the bag.

Fusible fleece was applied to the wrong side of the outside panels and then the panels were quilted in a 2" diamond pattern to give the tote more dimension and stability.

[Outside pocket detail]

 One pocket is a patch pocket fussy cut to show off the print and finished with a bound edge.
[Outside Pocket with zipper]

The other side has a zipper pocket which showcases the print and  the fun fabric design. 
Both outside pockets fit my IPad Mini or my kid's Kindles!

The pattern calls for purchased straps but I decided to make the straps a design element and created my own from the same fabric. 

[Inside lining pocket detail]

This inside pocket is completely clean finished and has an elastic top casing.
 To make a similar pocket, check our my  tulip bag tutorial
I added a self fabric loop and swivel clasp to the outside of the pocket. 
It is perfect for attaching a change purse. 
The change purse combines Essex Linen and a new print by Melody Miller.  The change purse pattern can be found Here.

[Inside lining pocket detail]

The clasp is also perfect for attaching your keys. 
The cute leaf key fob pattern is by Leila of Where the Orchids Grow.

[Inside lining pocket detail]
On the other side of the lining I wanted to have enough pockets for sketch books,
pens and pencils as well as my phone. 
All the items that I like to have easy access to that often end up in the bottom of my bag!

[Custom accessories - matching coin purse and eyeglass case]

Besides the coin purse I also made an eyeglass case.  Another item I've been wanting to make for the longest time and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!
 I used the same Stamped fabric with a linen flap and self fabric covered button
 that matches the lining.
This fabulous pattern is also by Leila of Where the Orchids grow.
[Custom matching Clutch Purse]

I wanted to make sure I had a smaller purse for this tote.  I created this clutch purse which is the perfect size to hold all you essential including the coin purse!

[ Tote with adjustable messenger bag style strap]

Since this is such a large bag, I wanted the option to carry it cross body or messenger style.
I created a custom, adjustable strap (just add double D-Rings) that are easily attached to the swivel clasps at the top corners.

[Tote Bag cinched]

I'll have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of the cinching option - but I love it! 
The tote looks completely different when it is cinched. More like a modern box bag than a tote!

[Tote Bag cinched - side view]

The cinching on the corners creates a nice boxy shape!

[Zipper Detail]

A pic of the zipper per the judges request : )

And lastly, (thanks for hanging in there) an on body picture.

***Here is a recap of the custom details I added***
1. Quilted outside body panels.
2. Outside patch pockets - one zipper pocket and one patch pocket. Both are sized for an IPad mini or Kindle.
3. Custom made straps.
4. Self Fabric zipper pull.
5. Clean finished, extra large, inside lining pocket with gathered top and a loop and swivel clasp for attaching keys or a coin purse.
6.  Inside lining pocket to hold sketch books, pens and pencils and a cell phone.
7.  Matching clutch purse.
8.  Matching coin purse.
9.  Matching eyeglass case.
10. Custom adjustable strap to convert to a cross body or messenger bag.

A few tips when sewing this pattern:
1. Use a size 18 needle! Very important especially when you sew the "cinch tabs" to the corners of the bag. Also helpful when sewing the straps to the bag!
2. If you don't already have one, invest in a walking foot for your machine. I was able to sew through many layers thanks to my walking foot!  I honestly wouldn't attempt this bag on a home machine without one.  I love my walking foot!!!!!!!
3. Baste the cinch tabs in place. Super important! It is not fun stitching the corners to find you have to rip out the seam because the cinch tabs are not centered. Baste first and you won't have to rip!!!
 4. My local fabric store did not have rectange rings so I used D- rings which work just fine!

 Thanks for reading through and making it to the end.  And thank you Sew Mam Sew and Lisa Lam for a fabulous challenge and pattern!!!