Monday, May 17, 2010

Finally found my repurpose!

AHHHHHH--- after a few BUSY weeks, I finally got to sew again. I am in a much better mood...not sure if it's because the end of the college semester is over, or because I created something! Probably a bit of both!

Here are the baby bibs I made out of recycled jeans (see tutorial link in my previous post!) These were SUPER easy and fun to make...The baby I made these for has a Snoopy themed nursery, and when I saw this Snoopy flannel I couldn't resist. I originally planned to use it just for a taggy blanket (pic below), but stumbled upon the bib tutorial and realized I had enough leftover for them. I loved the whole "design" process  and it was fun to pick out the ribbon, etc and do the appliques.

In a nutshell- I just decorated/sewed the fronts, used the printed flannel for the back, added velcro closures, sewed right side together (left space to turn), and used a decorative topstitch to close the hole! FUN, and too cute if I do say so myself!!! :) See tutorial posted in earlier link for more details and the bib  pattern (FREE!)

                                                                             The front:
The back (or front, they really are reversible!):

Here is the taggy blanket! Together I think this makes a CUTE and FUN gift! :) I love giving handmade things, and wish I always had time to do's a goal though!

I LOVE making things for babies and new moms....I didn't sew when I had Kara, but hopefully can have a BLAST when it's time for #2...tick, tick, tick....;)

Thanks for reading! :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Repurposing with a purpose!

I turned some jeans into shorts the other day and was about to throw away the denim legs, when I thought STOP! I knEW I could do something with I googled and found this:

Those cute denim bibs are made from old jeans! (BTW: The tutorial is here: Denim Bib tutorial)

I MUST make these...especially since I have several friends with new babies and babies on the way!

I want to get better at using my sewing skills to repurpose. I like the idea of using Kara's outgrown clothes to produce new ones.....! I have one pair of her jeans that are too short in my project pile....I'm thinking shorts with maybe some ribbon or ric rac around the bottom? I have some shirts of MINE that are too short...but not sure what I can do with those? There's always Goodwill...but ...but....but....

What are your repurposing ideas?

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Have a Problem....

My name is Kristin and I have a problem.

A sewing problem.

My house is a mess. Threads and pins on the floor.
My dining room has been taken over my my sewing mess.
I am thankful for a loving and supportive husband who just moves my pattern pieces over when it's time to eat.

Everyday I am constantly thinking about my newest project, or the billion on the back-burner. And coming up with new ones.

I buy too much fabric. That is an understatement. Yes, I am turning into my mother ;)

My daughter recognized the "fabric store"  (Hancock) and Hobby Lobby...though it was cuter when she called it "Lobby Lobby"

The fabric store clerks noticed when I got a haircut.

When I'm out and about I am always looking at people's clothes and styles thinking...."I could make that!"

I have too many unfinished projects. When I get toward the end of a project and it is successful and the high is over, I often don't finish the buttons or seams. Or hems. I need to just have a UFO day- Unfinished Object Day! Anybody want to join in?

I feel guilty when I don't give a handmade birthday gift.

I dream of sewing for a living, though I fear it would take away the fun. I have a little sewing job right now that brings in a little $, and I think that's good for now! Not too much that it takes away from MY projects.

I am glad to have found the site, so I know I'm not alone.

My name is Kristin, but the truth is, I don't want to recover!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Velveteen musings

Yoyo, blog reading peeps!!!!! Well, my newest project is a lined chocolate brown velveteen blazer, also for a contest. I like the challenge and sewing along (virtually) with others- so fun! Completing short term projects with deadlines really feels good. Maybe I miss being in school after all! Ha!

Anyway, I am using Simplicity 2728. It was so hard to decide on a pattern, but this will help me learn a little about fitting a jacket, but still has some nice details.  I will be making the view to the right....but with full length sleeves with these adorable ruffles on the bottom of the sleeves.

When I wrote on the Patternreview message board that I was using velveteen, I got lots of advice and warnings about sewing this type of fabric. I did hesitate slightly and wonder if I am making a bad choice, but really, how will I learn if I don't try new things? If I fail, I fail, and I learn something. If I succeed, I will have a really cute blazer! :) I bought some gorgeous teal lining fabric that I think will be divine with the chocolate brown, but then I saw this charmeuse:

Sooooo not what I'd usually wear, but it sort of calls to me. I am WAY too shy to wear this on the outside, but it would be such a fun lining. We'll see. I REALLY need to stop spending $ on fabric! This is a problem. :) I feel like Julie on Julie and Julia...she bought food, I buy fabric. She cooked after a hard day, I sew. It DOES make it all better, and sewing is much less fattening ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I made these outfits!!!!!

So today Bill played "Olan Mills" and took some photos of me! I felt like a model- ha. Not. ever. Anyway, these are the 4 items (that make 4 outfits) I made for the Mini-Wardrobe contest over on I am super proud! Tell me what you think! :)

I may write more about these later, but for now I need to enter my outfits!!!!!! 
You can read my pattern reviews here:

Friday, April 9, 2010

To button or not to button?

Here is my finished jacket! Yay! I really love it! I decided on buttons buttons, everywhere buttons. I worry it is a little much, but it just seemed right when I was sewing them on! I definitely want the four down the front, but what about the pocket ones? Are they too much? I started with the bottom two pocket flap buttons, but it didn't seem balanced, so I added on the top ones.

I think it might be a little busy over the jersey dress (which is one of my outfits for the mini-wardrobe contest) but I do like how it looks over a solid color.

Thoughts?!  :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Almost done!

Whoohoo! I'm almost done with my jacket!!! This is Simplicity 2443. I love it so far, and don't really think the pic does it justice! The fabric is kinda hard to photograph as it has a little shine to it! All that's left is tacking down the inside neck facing, and adding on buttons. The pattern calls for ribbons, not buttons, but I am a fuddy duddy like that and I don't want ribbons. I bought some cool buttons though!!! See below!

I almost think it looks better on the hanger-ha! It'll probably look better on me -5 lbs from now!

Below are my buttons- I am definitely putting four big ones down the front...then possible little ones on either just the flaps of the bottom two pockets, or maybe on all four? I don't want to be too BLINGY, but it just might be cute. We'll see! :)What do you think? Just big? Big & little?

I LOVE the details of this jacket...the pockets, the fake pocket/placket thingy (the rectangle), and the sleeves...check out the sleeves:

I'm also pretty proud of myself for using French seams on most of the inside seams. This gives the inside such a nice look even though it's unlined(who sees it but me anyway, but hey!), AND it won't get all gross and ravel when I wash it. I love that this pattern had most of the inside facings enclose the raw seams also!

Check out my nice pretty jacket inside (the facing seams/side seams didn't line up right, but I didn't worry about it, because the outside did!):

Do you like my toes? I almost cropped them out, but then decided to share them with you ;)

When I'm done with the buttons, I'll post a final pic!!! Until then, let me know what you think about the buttons if anyone reads this and cares, hehehe!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jacket so far!

Here is my jacket front so far! I think it is going to be cute! I am using the tabs and buttons though, instead of the ribbons as the pattern calls for. It will have short sleeves and a band at the bottom. I LOVE this dress denim fabric- what a find at WALMART for 3.97/yard! :) I wish I'd bought more, though I HOPE to have enough leftover for a skirt, if I don't have any catastrophes with this jacket! :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

The one armed burlap

So the other day I made my first muslin of my jacket......(for my non-sewing friends- a muslin is like a practice run of a piece using either actual MUSLIN fabric, or just some cheap fabric, or even nasty fabric that may or may not have been given to you)...hehehe. So anyway, as you can see below, my muslin is nasty puke brown, and has one sleeve. It's really lovely. ;) There are going to be other details on this, and I fixed the fit, btw- that is the point of a muslin!!!!!! Anyway, I had Bill help me with taking pictures of myself in it, and he obliged, being the nice hubby he is (okay, he might have complained a little.) He didn't even ASK what I was making....he just goes about following my orders. I asked him if he knew what I was making and he says "what is that called, a burlap or something?" So from now on, I shall refer to a muslin as a "burlap" it!

Don't be scared. My jacket will be cute :)

PS: One should not be wearing sports bra when adjusting fit...DUH

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stretch Issues

It's funny....I've gotten so many "ooohs" and "ahhhs" because I've been sewing knits. Honestly, I never knew this was "no mans land" to so many! I just DID it, probably because I didn't know any better! I  used zig zag stitch, and bam- done! No need to finish the seams- LOVE IT. Fit is also easier with knits I think.  I really never had any problems until the recent ITY Stretch Jersey dress (see last post!)!
In hindsight, I do really love it, did kinda kick my butt.

Here's the nitty gritty, if you care. If not, see you next post ;)

I DID use Zig Zag stitch on the inside (see pic below) seams, since they wouldn't show, but didn't want to zig zag the hems, etc, since this pattern would show the seam and look ugly.

Since the ITY jersey is a lot thinner and stretchier than what I've sewn before, I read up on different stretch stitch options for the neckline and hems, and here's what I tried and the result:

1. Straight stitch (stretching fabrics I went)- This worked OKAY....and I was able to make it work for the sleeves, but it did pucker here and there (read, I ripped out the stitches and did them a few times) For some reason when I started on the longer seams, this method started giving me really uneven, wobbly stitches and then...EWWWWW- stitches got all gathered and puckery- yuck! I might just have been stretching too much or not enough, but I just couldn't figure it out. When I loosened the tension it was better, but the stitches didn't feel secure, so I got frustrated and tried something else.

2. Stretch stitches built into my machine- NOT GOOD. Got all bunched up, so I didn't even mess with them. Maybe I should read my sewing machine manual...he he he.

3. Double needle (after researching and taking a trip to the store to buy one!) : NOT BAD!!!!

To use the double needle, I put two spools of thread on my machine (both threads get threaded the same way, then one thread goes in one needle, the other thread in the other). It was daunting, but I got it right the first time! Whoohoo!

Here's how the stitches look....BUT- what do you notice? The raised ridge? Apparently this is called "tunneling" and boy did I get tunnels! They bug me! Who knows, I might have outfits in my closet with TUNNELS, but I didn't like them and don't want them!

I played with the tension and finally got it a little flatter...(oops, ignore the start, I had it on zig-zag!)

I also read to try some stabilizer underneath the stitch to keep the fabric from stretching, etc, and I did try this, but didn't notice much difference, so I stopped messing with it, and really, this dress has LOTS of LONG seams, and that just seemed like TOO MUCH WORK (have I mentioned I am a lazy sewer person) (I just can't call myself a seamstress)  Anyway, I just used the pin in kind of stabilizer and probably should have tried this a little more, but I didn't.

Sooooo- in a nutshell, I did end up using the double needle, and it isn't BAD, but the edges still want to roll a little. It's hard to see in a pic, but it's sort of annoying. When you wear a garment, it's annoying when the edges of the neckline keep rolling (where the wrong side of the hem is showing!) See pics below...

 ANYWAY- since finishing my dress, I've been reading about fusible hem tape and gotten some advice on different fusible tapes to try. I searched in my fabric store, but ended up ordering some off e-bay. So next time I sew ITY or stretch something or other,  I'll be ironing some fusible tape on the raw edges, THEN double stitching! I am hoping for a nice neat, non-stretched out hemline!
Stay tuned for that exciting post! :) :) :)

Thoughts? Tips? Ideas? 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mini Wardrobe Contest

I am currently participating in the "Mini Wardrobe" contest on The point of this contest is to make 4 pieces that can make 4 different outfits.  Here is my plan/storyboard (you are encouraged to make one, so don't think I did this all just out of my overflowing creativity or anything):

The contests DO get voted on for a "winner" but it is really also just for the experience, comments, challenge, etc.  I am trying to sew things right now that will be good transition pieces because I am TRYING to lose 10ish lbs. :) So I didn't want anything too fitted especially on the bottom. So far  I have made the black jersey skirt and the dress. Here's the skirt (easy!!!) I was wearing a sports bra in this pic, so I look kinda misshapen, but oh well! It's hard to see the details, but this actually has a low waistband, and 2 seams down the front- I think it will be a functional piece, and I needed a black skirt!

Next up, I made the dress. This was made out of ITY Jersey which is a soft 4-way stretch jersey. It was my first time sewing on this type of material and it presented it's challenges (ie I almost cut it all up out of frustration!). I will post more details about my adventures sewing on stretch fabric later!

You know, I had Bill take this picture of me after I had just exercised...what's up with that? I must feel extra skinny after I take a walk, but really, next time I think I'll try it when I am looking a little cuter ;) I will take more pics later with shoes, accessories, etc for the actual contest entry!

Now that the project is DONE, I do like this dress, but I had some major struggles with the hems/edges (getting them to look neat and not roll, especially the neck). I will document this in my next post for those who care! :) So what do you think? Is this print too crazy? I really love it actually. This was my first time TRYING to match up a pattern (as in the pattern on the material, not the actual garment pattern) and I think I did pretty good. I did end up making 3 sets of sleeves because I couldn't figure out which was the front, etc, hahaha. The back isn't matched up as well (ok, not really at all) but I don't know if I could have gotten it ALL to line up, unless I cut out more pieces than the dress pattern (the actual garment pattern) called for? The border at the bottom looks straight- so I am happy! :) If you care about any of the other changes I made in the pattern you can click and read my review here: Pattern Review

I'm working on a muslin (practice run) for the jacket right now! I don't want to mess up my's a really cool color, etc (and was SUPER cheap!) and I want it to fit right. There's also no more of it at Walmart :)

Thanks for reading :)

First sewing blog post!!!!

:) Well here it is! My first sewing blog post! I know it's thrilling ;) I've been a sewing maniac ever since my class last summer (thanks Emily!), and I decided I want to write and share my experiences. I know SOMEONE cares out there. Right?! Right?! :)

I plan on adding in photos of things I've made, as well as a link to the reviews I post on I also want to compile the links to sewing tutorials, etc, that I have found helpful.

Feel free to ask me questions, give me pointers, or just tell me something is pretty or ugly. Well, possibly refrain from the ugly comments unless I just want you to laugh with me. The new term I just learned last week is "wadder" (something that doesn't turn out right!) and hopefully I won't have too many of those. Sewing for Kara hasn't led to any wadders really (knock on wood) since I don't have to do much to fit her (she's 3 if you are a random person reading this blog!). If I do more sewing for me, I anticipate some wadders. For some reason the word wadder makes me think of cow udders. Hmmm.

Anyway! Thanks for reading, and I will be posting soon about my latest project and what I am working on now! :)