The Magic Of A Two Piece Dress

When it comes to a mini capsule, you need your clothing pieces to be versatile. I decided to add a “two piece dress” to my mini capsule. I’d seen similar ideas used in travel clothing and thought even just having a coordinating top and bottom would be a good idea. I can wear them together…

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It’s still a thing

A few weeks ago, it was PWA‘s 30th anniversary. This is charity I hold near and dear to my heart, as you’ve probably gathered.  I sit on the steering committee, and I’ve ridden my bike from Toronto to Montreal several … Continue reading

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It’s still a thing

A few weeks ago, it was PWA‘s 30th anniversary. This is charity I hold near and dear to my heart, as you’ve probably gathered.  I sit on the steering committee, and I’ve ridden my bike from Toronto to Montreal several … Continue reading

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Make a Colorful Indoor Herb Garden

Fresh herbs are one of the easiest ways to take your cooking from boring to fine dining. But…

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Recycled Bottle Hummingbird Feeder

Teach kids the importance of recycling and spending time outdoors this summer by building a recycled bottle hummingbird feeder. As a kid, I loved spending time at my grandma’s house. Her backyard was filled with hummingbird feeders, and we loved sitting on the porch swing watching them. I always helped her prepare homemade hummingbird nectar…

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The post Recycled Bottle Hummingbird Feeder appeared first on Kids Activities Blog.

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Hot Patterns DISASTER – Weekender Cargo Pants

I don’t enjoy writing bad reviews. In fact, I would much rather just pretend nothing happened and never write about this. But then, I would feel bad about other people buying this pattern. I had such high hopes. I love the casual styling, I love the topstitching, the pockets are fun, I love the pockets that form the belt casing. It could have been a great pattern. I would have enjoyed the topstitching and the pockets. Alas, it was not meant to be.
HP_1217_WE_SKINNY_CARGO_PANTS

 

 

First, the crotch height is um, high. Like, the highest draft I’ve ever seen. This almost reached to the bottom of my bra. I don’t understand it. At all. How can the draft be this high? Can you see the faint white chalk marks where the rear pockets go? The pocket flap would start on my back!!
FullSizeRender (92)

 

Look, you can actually see the bottom of my black and white sports bra. The top of the pants go way above my ribs. And the seam allowances are 3/8” on this pattern. Even if you took that into account, the height on these is crazy.
FullSizeRender (89)

 

So then I had an ah-ha moment. Maybe it’s NOT the pattern. Maybe I need to make a larger size? And pull them down more?? Maybe my hips are not letting the fabric settle down where it should be? So I loosened the pins holding the CF together and ended up with the weirdest low, pointy crotch ever. No, it’s not me. It’s definitely the pattern. When it is pulled up to rib-ville, the crotch curve actually fits okay. At least, it really felt like that is where it is supposed to be.
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On the plus side, I used crappy muslin fabric and didn’t spend too much time on this.
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Anyone want to buy a pattern? I won’t be using it. I bought it because I love my Jalie Vanessa pants (which I’m wearing right now) and thought these might be similar. Hahahhahahahahhaa. Maybe, instead, I will add the details I like (the pieced and topstitched legs and the large pockets) to my Jalie pants instead. They never let me down. The Hot Patterns tally is 1 for 2 now. I have one more pattern to try out. Oh, and I did email Hot Patterns last week about the missing pattern piece on my HP t-shirt. No response. It’s been a week.

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Finished: Skógafjall Sweater!

Oh boy, this one was a queue-hopper! This pattern was released for Tolt Yarn and Wool‘s annual Icelandic Wool Month, and the second I saw it, I knew it would be next on my needles! I was busy finishing up my Bronwyn sweater during the month of March, so I was too late too join […]

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Random Threads # 27: retail snooping, denim and pattern thoughts

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon so what better time than to sit outside under the patio cover eating strawberries, watching the hummingbirds zip by and catch up with a random threads post. As usual my notebook has plenty of ideas scribbled down. Scribble being the operative word. I have famously bad handwriting – such that often I can’t decipher what I have written. You would think that would motivate me to go a little slower and try to make my notes clearer but no.

Which means I had one jotting that said “shopping online or in the store, mbnolpdd.sgubprdd. I have italicized the incomprehensible part of my note. What wisdom or pithy observation was included in that attempt at words we will never know but it probably had to do with the recent economic news about the not so slow decline of many retailers. It’s a mixed bag, supporting retail shops. I like to support local business, and it’s quite convenient for all of us when they have a web shop as well, so that no matter where you are you can buy from them. Plus I’m not the biggest fan of shopping as a pastime (actually it is so not my thing). I’m more of a strategic shopper – have a goal, find or don’t find and get out.

However I did wander into the Anthropologie store the other day – there is a new multi-level store nearby, which actually took over a spot where there previously was a Barnes and Noble bookstore – so take whatever commentary on society that provides. In any case, I wanted to tell the sales people that “hey – I wore so many of these styles when I was in high school” thus proving that everything comes back in style. They have a lot of cute stuff and actually are good for getting ideas, plus I saw so many things that to my sewing eyes leapt right out of the pattern books or indie pattern shops. (time for me to trot out my oft-repeated phrase – there are no new patterns!). I did see something that sparked my interest enough to snap an iPhone pic. It is a simple enough denim shift dress which has appliqués of other colors of denim. Super cute. It was right next to another one that also caught my eye, at a mere $545 check this one out. A mix of suede and denim pieces. And so easy to make. (File that in the one of these days I might get around to it category:)  This summer I have so many denim projects in the works – and I saw this video on the Refinery29 website the other day about how jeans are made, here’s the link to it. Including how they get all those holes and artfully placed slashes all over the jeans. I’ve always thought buying jeans with rips, holes and sanding seems ridiculous – perhaps my N. California bias is showing but I prefer original Levi’s jeans or something similar that you have to actually wear into what you want them to be. That’s what we did when I was 16 and some habits stay with you!

Anthro dress

Here’s my question for other stitchers this week: why don’t people try on things as they sew them? By that I mean in order to make adjustments before finishing. It seems like I saw a number of people sewing things up and then noting the fit problems – many of which seem like they could have been adjusted while the garment was being made. Particularly sleeves that are too long, or a skirt that is too wide. Straps that are in the wrong place. Waist seams that are too low. How about a wrap dress tie that is too long?  We can’t magically add fabric when something is too small or too short but a lot of thing sto do with “too much” can be adjusted as you go. I think once you move past introductory sewing patterns and start to tackle more complex things then the desire to complete the project (which is totally understandable!) can supersede the opposing desire to slow down, check the fit and adjust. I know, tweaking and adjusting the fit is not really the most fun, the achievement of a perfect placket or a crisp collar is so much more rewarding. But the investment of time and money in the garment merits a bit of double checking as you go to get a finished time that you will be happy with.

On that same point – basting is your friend. I think machine basting is a really good way to construct most any garment. Yesterday at Hello Stitch Studio in the skirt class I taught I was extolling the benefits of basting and hopefully convinced a few to try that for their next garment, at least for the crucial fit points.

Pattern talk: it’s no secret that I love a pattern with multiple views. Or multiple garments within one pattern. I’m kind of surprised that indie pattern designers don’t put out more (or any) of these patterns.  I wonder why?  Sometimes there is an expansion pack released later which is additional expense. Perhaps the logistics of creating a pattern and packaging/instructions is a lot to tackle but I perceive more value with a pattern with perhaps top, skirt, dress etc. is there. . Vogue patterns have a lot of this type, with multiple pieces or views, and so does Simplicity for that matter. Here are a couple examples.

New Look 6864 patternVogue 8787Vogue 1247 skirt and top pattern

For my skirt making class one of the patterns I suggested was this one, Butterick 6182. You can guess I’m not a fan of the color palette in the top and skirt but we all were really pleased with how cute the skirt is. I said I thought the top had possibilities and maybe even the dress. And after some sewing last week I can say it does – will post the finished version soon.
Butterick 6182 pattern env

So what do you think of this new Amazon Echo Look which they call a “hands free camera and Style Assistant”?  I think it sounds like a nightmare! I suppose there are people who want advice from a variety of sources including – dare I say – a robot. But aside from all the issues with a wi-fi enabled camera taking photos in your bedroom, it just sounds like more ways to dress like everyone else. Don’t do it, people! Get creative, unique and bold with your choices. That’s why we sew, right? So you don’t have to limit yourself to the ready-to-wear choices available.

Back to my actual sewing. A few weeks ago when I posted this McCalls pattern t-shirt  I showed how I lowered the front seaming so it was in the right place for me. Thus the upper part of the diagonal seaming didn’t match up but since it was a knit I could ease/stretch to make the side seams match. Someone noted that I should have also adjusted the back to make the front and back exactly the same – however the idea is to adjust only the front, and have no change in the back. I wanted to revisit that and show that the seaming matches up perfectly along the side, and is only off at the top near the sleeve where it will not show. This is intentional as that is the place where the space is needed. So if anyone was wondering about that pattern and not sure about that adjustment give it a try.

side seam match diagonal strip t-shirt

Do you feel the online sewing world is slightly fractured these days? A lot of people have noted that they find they are blogging less, or commenting less, and/or tilting towards Instagram to connect with other sewers. I do post on IG and get some great sewing inspiration by seeing what people are posting but I don’t like reading/commenting there so much. I bet like a lot of people, IG is something you look at on the run – so a quick glance and it doesn’t really penetrate into your thoughts, and it has something of the firehose effect, just a blast of photos passing by making it difficult to remember or go back to anything interesting. I wonder what the next development will be? I love reading so blogs are my preferred category. Once in a while I might click on someone’s video within their blog and I always think “get a move on”  If I see the length of the video is more than 2-3 minutes then nope – I could read multiple posts in that time. Just too slow for me. What about you – videos, do you watch?

Ok that’s plenty of my opinions and observations for one day. Sometimes I read over these Random Threads and hope that I don’t come off as a too cranky. There’s so much great online content for those of us who sew but it is kind of fun to see if the stuff that I notice is noticed by anyone else.

What have I been sewing? A few things for sewing clients which are notable enough to have a post soon. I am on a denim kick as I mentioned earlier so here’s a sneak peek of something I referred to above. If this fabric looks familiar its because I used it for a skirt for my friend Alice last summer and liked the fabric so much that I bought some for myself. This one has turned out to be a perfect match of unusual fabric with the pattern so I am HAPPY with this one.

Denim eyelet dress peek

Whew it is a hot one here in my corner of the Bay Area today. Like summer dress and sandals hot. Which is great for the tomato plants but a bit much in my sunny sewing room. Oh well, be careful what you wish for, right? I always want summer to be here but spring was so lovely…

Happy Sewing, Beth

How about this for today’s garden photo. Alice took this one with her professional camera and it really shows. What a gorgeous photo. Also – I didn’t plant this allium, it just appeared in the flower bed. Sometimes in a bag of bulbs there are some randoms but this was a lovely surprise. Might have to look for these next year.

allium v1

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Kiera Skirt- New pattern Designer Stitch

This is going to be my favorite item for the summer! The new Kiera Skirt from Designer Stitch! This is perfect for our summers.  Even if  I am not ( yet) a skirt person, I can totally see myself wearing maxi skirts all the summer.  

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Strawberry Picking

Strawberry picking…it’s an 18 month old’s paradise. Getting to actually put in their mouth and eat what they pick up from the ground outside!? Score! 😉 Piper definitely thought she hit the jackpot with this afternoon activity. It was so fun watching her figure out what to do..she caught on so fast! And this little […]

The post Strawberry Picking appeared first on Love Lola | A Life & Style Blog.

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Bra Making with Madalynne: A Star Event

Mimosas – that’s how the 17th Bra Making with Madalynne began. If you’ve been tuning into my Insta-stories recently, you’ve seen @abestinken pop up quite a bit. She’s my #wcw. My gal pal. My fellow gym rat. We met on a whim last winter when I walked into a yoga fusion class she was teaching. I consider myself a

The post Bra Making with Madalynne: A Star Event appeared first on Madalynne.

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Lenox Shirtdress Inspiration and Fabric

Hi all! Carrie here and we’re getting ready to launch into our Lenox Shirtdress sew along, so today I’m here to share some amazing shirtdress inspiration and fun fabric options! There are so many looks you can achieve with a shirtdress depending on your fabric choice and styling. Here are some looks that we love! 1//2//3 {…Continue Reading}

The post Lenox Shirtdress Inspiration and Fabric appeared first on Cashmerette.

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ask me: how to mix patterns

Liesl is here with another installment in her Ask Me series. This months it’s about mixing patterns and prints, and she shares her three rules of pattern mixing.

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Free Project – Lavender Crystal Soap

Free Project – Lavender Crystal Soap

Freshen up your bathroom with these conversation pieces. Download Now 

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Free Project – Sew Stinkin’ Cute Child’s Apron

Description My niece is always asking to help with my projects and I love her little helping hands. This would be the perfect apron for your little ones to hold supplies and help you sew! Download Now

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Free Sewing Pattern – Sewing Machine Cover PDF Pattern

Free Sewing Pattern – Sewing Machine Cover PDF Pattern

PATTERN DETAILS You will receive plenty of colourful pages with the pattern pieces and instructions with pictures. The pattern should fit most sewing machines, but you might have to adjust it, if necessary. The patterns are simple enough and suitable for beginners although some experience might be helpful. You may sell clothes you make from […]

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Free Project – Fortune Cookie Baby Booties

Free Project – Fortune Cookie Baby Booties

PATTERN DETAILS I had remembered a baby shower about two hours before I had to be there! No time for a blanket, but plenty time for some simple booties. I do mean simple! Too simple to give by themselves. I always have these “take out” boxes on hand at Christmas time. There you go… Instant […]

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Free Project – Book folding Pattern: HEART

Free Project – Book folding Pattern: HEART

PATTERN DETAILS The art of book folding combines the love of books with the love of paper crafting. The 3-dimensional sculpture that is created depends on the pattern that is chosen and the type of fold that is used. This pattern allows buyers to fold a HEART into a book (like the image). Instructions are […]

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Royal Rumble: Woven Shell Patterns (Sorbetto vs. Springfield)

For Mini Capsule Wardrobe Month we’re bring  you a Royal Rumble! Part Pattern Throwdown and part Same Pattern, Different Bodies. We came up with the idea for this post when we realized that both of us (Michelle and Jessica) were planning to do a side-by-side comparison of the Cashmerette Springfield and the new version of…

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Black on Black

The focal point of the design is the black lines with a clef and musical notes. While it would be easy to stitch everything using one thread, I want to clef and notes to stand out. Therefore I’ll be using two threads. Very Velvet will be used for the lines and something sparkly, probably Water […]

The post Black on Black appeared first on Nuts about Needlepoint.

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Monday Morning Inspiration

Happy Monday!I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was spent cleaning and clearing out. We had our neighborhood garage sale yesterday. Thankfully, the clouds parted and for the most part, we had a lovely day. Nothing I sold was of any grea…

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Daisy Statement Necklace

As a gal who does quite a few crafty projects, I often find myself with an abundance of…

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Now Available – Sew Sweetness Videos!

Sew Sweetness Videos are here!! Today is the day! I’ve been working really hard the last couple of months to get these videos out into the world, and Sew Sweetness Videos are finally here! I wanted EVERYONE to be able to sew my patterns, especially the visual learners out there, and I hope you will […]

The post Now Available – Sew Sweetness Videos! appeared first on Sew Sweetness.

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Easier than Silk

 Good morning and happy Monday! Excited to be partnering with Ministry of Supply again (remember this post here?) – and this time I’m in my favorite shades of gray. The blouse is super stretchy and so easy to move in. Better yet? It’s machine washable and wrinkle resistant too. One less thing to dry clean […]

The post Easier than Silk appeared first on 9to5Chic.

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How to Sew a Snappy Pouch & DiscountGlasses.com Review

Sew a Snappy Pouch - Genius! Use Metal Measuring Tape as a Pouch Closure - Glasses Case Tutorial by Melly SewsHey y’all – today I’m going to show you something so cool – how to make a snappy pouch using metal measuring tape for the closure. The first time I saw someone use this trick I knew I would eventually want to include it in a project. And when this post came along, it occurred Read the Rest…

The post How to Sew a Snappy Pouch & DiscountGlasses.com Review appeared first on Melly Sews.

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Green Patch Dress

If there is a stain to be made, my kids will find it / do it / make it. On one hand, it drives me absolutely crazy. But on the other, I know they are having fun and can’t quite bring myself to make a big deal out of it. This means I have to […]

The post Green Patch Dress appeared first on The Sewing Rabbit.

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My warm weather skin savers

My warm weather skin savers

When the seasons change, I take this as an opportunity to re-evaluate my skincare needs.  Every year I can guarantee what worked last year won’t work this year. Several years ago I was introduced to… View Post

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Couching Foot

What is Couching? In embroidery, couching and laid work are techniques in which yarn or other materials are laid across the surface of the ground fabric and fastened in place with small stitches of the same or a different yarn. The couching threads may be either the same color as the laid threads or a […]

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Sunday Night Reflections

This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at Rhonda’s Creative Life

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Knit Harem Pants, Style 17, and more

Contents:Knit Harem PantsStyle 17Luanne’s BagMother’s DayMisc Knit Harem Pants Hey, it’s another project made from a beautiful Britex fabric! For this project, my assignment was to choose a fabric from the Knitscategory. I quickly settled on this li…

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