Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Amy Butler Blue Sky Hats

It's been a very mild winter, but I'm still so excited about spring!  I love when the bulbs start to pop up, I adore leaving the house in the morning without a coat and it brightens my day to hear the birds singing outside my window... and I LOVE having an extra hour of daylight after work.  In honor of spring's arrival, I decided that it was time to make Amy Butler's Blue Sky Hat.  There's nothing better than sitting on the beach, with a good book and a great hat!

This pattern was a fun afternoon project.  The directions were very clear and easy to follow.  I used home decor fabric from Hancock Fabrics and one layer of cotton duck sandwiched between the home decor fabric.  The hat is simply triangles sewn together to make a skull cap and a wide brim.  Couldn't be simpler!

Ready for the beach any day now!  I'm pretty certain that every one of my female family members and friends will be receiving one of these hats as a present for some upcoming holiday... Just a warning!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Simplicity 2003 ... and my new "SewSimple" Obsession

For a long time, Walmart was the only place to satisfy my sewing retail therapy.  I found the "Sew Simple" patterns that they sell for 97 cents and went crazy... I must have at least 15 of them in my to-do bin.  They're quick, easy and great wardrobe staples.

Lately, I've been venturing to Hancock to buy fabric or ordering from, but I had some orange cotton in my stash and decided that it was time to use it up!  I thought that it was just perfect for Simplicity 2003.

This skirt was a blast to make.   I lined it because my material was thin and I omitted the tie in the front.  I prefer the way the softer, light weight material lays for this skirt.  It will be perfect for our hot South Carolina summer weather.

This was my first time lining anything and it took me a long time to get the zipper right.  I'm so pleased with the way that it turned out though.  I used the glue stick set method and it looks really clean and neat.

I definitely plan to make this skirt again!  Be sure to check the sizing... I generally wear a pattern size 6 in skirts and a 10 in this pattern fit me perfectly.  I love the length of this skirt.  I'm very tall and it's long enough to wear to work.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Valentine's Day PJs

I snagged the Simplicity 2771 pattern at Hancock's 5 for $5 sale last month and decided everyone needed a pair for Valentine's day (myself included)!  I just made bottoms because I usually just wear a tee or tank with my pajamas and I knew that my hubby would never wear a matching set.

I fell in love with this dog flannel from Walmart.  I bought pink for my niece Madeline and cream for me.  It isn't the nicest quality flannel, but the price was right and it is CUTE!

These PJ bottoms are extremely high-waisted, so I took about 3" off the top for mine and my husband's.  I cut Madeline's out as called for on the pattern.

I added a grosgrain ribben to the elastic wasteband.  It was a fun excuse to play with the automatic button hole on my new machine.  I was excited to use my iron on "made with love by" labels that I got for Christmas.

For Brad's, I ordered a moose print flannel from  The difference in quality is HUGE compared to the WalMart flannel.

I made the drawstring for his out of leftover flannel.  He seems to like them.  I caught him with the camera just as he got out of bed this morning:

This was such a fun project!  They're quick and easy to put together.  I think that I have enought moose flannel to made Lucy the dog PJs that are included with the pattern too.

Its a rainy, chilly Sunday in SC and we're both still lounging around in our PJ bottoms!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cynthia Rowley 2584 - As a Tunic

I'm not one of those girls who makes a pattern and packs it away, never to be used again.  Once I find one that I like ... I use it again and again.  Case in point - Cynthia Rowley 2584.  I have worn the heck out of the orange dress that I made with this pattern and decided to make a tunic too!

This pattern goes together so easily.  I used a bright quilting cotton and white dupioni silk - I have a huge appreciation for cotton - its so easy to sew with.

I made it exactly the same as the orange dress (but a size up) and obviously cut it a lot shorter.  I omitted the zipper which made it even easier and left the elastic out of the sleeves.

I definitely plan to make this as a dress at least one more time this spring!  One of my favorites!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Simplicity 2603 + Some Ruffles

I know that I am way behind the times, but I just couldn't wait to get started on my "cozy" cardigan.  Then I saw a ruffled cardigan at Belk that I just had to have... until I saw the price tag.  So I decided to take Simplicity 2603 and modify it to make my own Belk cardigan.

I used the back piece and sleeves exactly from the pattern, but took the front pieces and cut them down significantly, so they met in the front without any drape.  Then I cut a long piece of material 4 inches wide and 3x as long as the front of the cardigan (from the bottom on one side, around behind my neck and down to the bottom on the other side). 

For the actual assembly, I followed the pattern directions exactly.  It was extremely easy to put together and I love the way the sleeve ends finish with a cuff.  Then I finished the raw edges in the front with bias tape and sewed my ruffle on top.  I made a pink one last winter in a sweater knit and just finished a lavender one in a jersey knit.  This has turned out to be one of my favorite projects!

Out with my adorable husband...

I have some aqua knit in my stash and definitely plan to make an actual cozy cardigan this winter!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 2587 - Take Two

After I posted the blog entry on my Cynthia Rowley 2587, I was getting ready to head over to and I decided that I really didn't like it - so I went home and grabbed my seam ripper.

I didn't have a lot of the red material when I first started this project, so I skimped a little on the sleeves and cut a size 6.  It's taken a few blow ups to realize... pattern sizing does not equal retail sizing.  I definitely need a size 8 in the upper body/shoulder area.

So off came the sleeves and out went the zipper.  I decided to redo the whole project and make view A, but short.  I added a little extra fabric into the side seams reworked the entire top and added the zipper back in.  Then I sewed up the middle about an inch and half.  The end result is SO much better.  It is definitely not a conservative, church going dress, but it is so much more comfortable.

With my sweet helpers... could they be any cuter?

I'm so glad that I made these changes... there is nothing worse than spending the time to make something and then just letting it hang in your closet unworn.  I do think that I will make the long sleeved version in a soft, light cotton this summer as a beach cover up...  I just need a little warm weather!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Springtime Ruffles in January

Made by Rae is one of my favorite craft blogs.  Rae is amazing about sharing free tutorials and patterns.  I made her Buttercup Bag as a clutch for my sister a few months ago and was excited to find her "Spring Ruffle Top." 

The instructions are easy to follow and I finished my first shirt in an afternoon.  I definitely plan to make it again with better quality fabric this spring. 

I used an inexpensive cotton to make this shirt as a trial run:

And ended up rocking it out in Mexico:

This purple material was an interesting choice... I bought a ton of it at Hancock and looking back, I'm not sure what I was thinking...  but I'm always looking for purple and orange items for Clemson games so here's what we ended up with:

This weekend I had a ton of fun at the Hancock MLK sale.  I was able to get 5 Lisette patterns for $5, so I have lots of upcoming projects...  I also got an Amy Butler hat pattern online that I am SO excited about.  One of my 2012 goals is to not buy any new clothes - major inspiration to finish up some sewing projects!

My New Brother

For Christmas this year I finally upgraded to a new machine - the Brother SE 400!  My old one was dependable and perfectly functional, but I wanted one that had an embroidery function and decorative stitches!  This model seemed to offer everything that I wanted and the price was right!  Well in the last couple weeks I haven't been disappointed.  He is so quiet and so much easier to work with than "little brother" (my old machine). 

For my first attempt and monogramming, I personalized a duffle bag and binder from Pottery Barn Kids that I bought for my niece.  I used the instructional DVD to help me figure out the basics, but once I got started, I couldn't believe how easy the whole process was.

I'm completely obsessed... not one dish towel in my house has been spared!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas Quilt Mania

Every year the "Creative Crafters" in my neighborhood made fleece blankets, scarves and quilts for local nursing homes and CASA.  They meet while I'm at work, but my adorable neighbor was telling me all about their project and I thought that it sounded like the perfect excuse to start learning how to quilt.  With the help of my mom, I was able to finish two quilts!  I cheated a bit for time and just sandwiched the quilted part with fleece and then top stitched.  I was pretty pumped with the way that they came out.  I also made a blanket using a piece of gingerbread panel material that I already had and a fleece blanket with some leftover fleece.

 I didn't start the whole project until December 1, so it was a pretty busy month!

This was my first quilt.  A pretty basic pin wheel.  Mom taught me how to cut one 12"x12" square in my first material and then another 12"x12" square in a coordinating fabric and sew them together, right sides together.  Then I took my rotary cutter and cut diagonally across my block twice.  Once I opened them up and ironed them, I had a square with two triangles (one in each fabric). I put four of those squares together (carefully) and I suddenly had a pinwheel.   MAGIC! 

I have to confess- I love this quilt.  The colors are beautiful and it was my first quilt... so I kept it...

Onto quilt # 2.  We figure that a lot of people would make more feminine quilts (like my pinwheel), so I wanted to make sure that one of mine would be appropriate for a man.  I chose the "square within a square" pattern and used plaid material and dark green material.  I backed it with blue fleece and then top stitched around the outside of the small plaid squares.  The finished product reminded me a lot of LL Bean.  Keeping the holiday spirit in mind, I was actually able to part with this one!

I've been on a mission to use up a lot of the material that I have.  So, for the last two, I dug into my bins and found a gingerbread panel and a chunk of children's fleece and quickly put the following 2 blankets together.

Lucy- My little Christmas helper sleeping on the job!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cynthia Rowley 2587

A new year and a new committment to my crafty blog!  Happy 2012! 

I love Cynthia Rowley patterns and 2587 looked so pretty on the model, so I was so excited to get started.

I bought a nice quality red, patterned cotton a few months ago and was saving it for the perfect project.  I thought this one was it... The dress was quite easy to make.  The reviews on Pattern Review definitely indicated that it was low cut, but  I thought everyone was being too conservative... WRONG!  I suspect that I cut a size too small because not only is it extremely low cut, but also seems to create cleavage that I never knew I had.  The sleeves are also a bit tight.  I wore it the other day with a tank underneath it and it's definitely not one of my favorites...