Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Why You Need to Learn how to Screenprint

Hello friends! A little sewing-adjacent content for you today. I am a die-hard t-shirt and jeans gal (okay, t-shirt and sweatpants) but when you sew your own shirts, it leaves you at the mercy of the prints and fabrics you can find to buy. I was getting tired of not having cool me-made graphic tees, but I found the answer! Screenprinting!

Why You Need to Learn How to Screenprint

There are many ways to put graphics onto t-shirts (heat transfer vinyl and applique come to mind) but my favorite is definitely screenprinting (time permitting...HTV is definitely the fastest!). If you have been sewing t-shirts for yourself or your loved ones, learning how to screenprint is going to take them to the next level. Here are some great reasons why you should learn how to do this (and trust me, you CAN learn it!):

tshirt screenprinting
Screen stencil created with vinyl

Create Unique Items

If you sew clothes for yourself or your kids, part of the fun is that your items are one of a kind. You can take that a step further with screenprinting. Going on a family vacation? Create a screen with your family name and an image and go to town! Nobody else will have the shirts you have.

handmade label svg
You can buy this design in my Etsy shop

Add Tags Easily

This is a fun one too! With a mini embroidery hoop and a vinyl decal of a handmade label, you can quickly add a "tag" to the inside of your shirts. If you happen to sell any of your items, you can also brand them in the same way. The best part, no scratchy tags!


If you sew for kiddos, it would be worth it to make a screen that allows you to put their names on things. Backpacks, Easter baskets, shirts, pillowcases, there are a ton of things that are fun to personalize with screenprinting.

Matchy Matchy

Re-using the same screen, you could make matching "sister" or "brother" shirts. Large family photos are fun with "cousin" or "grandkid" shirts. Girls trip to wine country? How about matching tote bags? 

wine bottle svg

Save a Ruined Item

We've all messed up sewing the neckband on a shirt, gotten spaghetti sauce on something white, you know the deal. Inject a little life back into a frustrating experience by adding some fun screenprinting. It won't fix a wonky seam but it can make you fall back in love with a garment.

I got started with screenprinting when I purchased this kit from Speedball:

It comes with the basic supplies and great directions. It's been a year or two since I bought it and the only additional supply I've needed is more of the screen fabric (which you can buy in a large quantity on Amazon, for much less than buying individually cut screens).

Some of my favorite follows for learning more about screenprinting are Bobbinhood and Pigskins and Pigtails. Check them out for more!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Paradise Patterns Smultron Dress

Ohhhhh boy! All the heart eyes for this one! 

Smultron Dress

My jaw dropped when I saw the Paradise Patterns Smultron Dress on IG for the first time. Much like the Hallon Dress, I thought it looked fun, flirty, and unique. When I found out my husband and I are going to Hawaii in May, I ordered a bunch of rayon wovens from LA Finch Fabrics, and the first one became this dress!

Smultron Dress

The Smultron has a straight or V-neck option, and a back elastic or back ties with slit option. They can be mixed and matched. There are also directions in the pattern for adding an additional tier to the bottom to make the dress longer. I made the V-neck option with the tie back, no extra length.

I previously made two Hallon Dresses in a size 4 and was happy with the fit (aside from the length) and I measured in a size 4 for the Smultron. I made a 4 as drafted and again, I'm happy with the fit! 

At first, I was going to make adjustable straps just like I did with the Hallon. The Hallon has wider straps, where as the Smultron is a spaghetti strap. The slides look silly and weren't effective anyway, so I removed them, but I left the rings.

I admit, I stopped following the directions when it came time to put the yoke onto the dress. Somehow I got mixed up on which piece was the facing and which was the outer. In a solid colored dress it wouldn't matter, but I preferred one cut of my print over the other. So, I abandoned whatever order the directions were giving me and did my own thing. 

I also opted not to topstitch around the entire yoke. I only topstitched in the places where I turned the facing under.

I resisted this pattern for a while because I was afraid of the bias cut, especially since I knew I wanted a drapey rayon. It turned out not to be that bad at all! The Hallon Dress was a PITA to cut because the pattern pieces were so long, but the Smultron is shorter and I could manage cutting on my smallish table. 

Another bonus to the Smultron is that the back is juuuuuuust high enough to hide a strapless bra. I was not expecting that and it was a pleasant surprise. The ties and the bow cover up the bra band; if you made the view without the ties I think the elastic would hold the back high enough.

This dress is SO floaty and amazing! I definitely will be wearing it with boy shorts underneath though. I'm 5'4" so if you're taller than me keep the length in mind.

Hawaii here I come!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Best Women's Swimwear Sewing Patterns

Today we're talking about one of my favorite things...sewing swimwear!! I know, I know, probably an intimidating topic for a lot of sewists, but I swear it can be learned! Anything is figure-out-able, I promise. If you need some help, there is a swim sewalong happening right now in the Fabric Fairy Facebook group. As part of the sewalong, I'm highlighting some of my favorite women's swimsuit patterns (I've made a lot!).

Cottesloe by Megan Nielsen

I normally don't gravitate to one-piece suits, but you can't beat the Cottesloe for a great, basic suit. And of course, there are bikini options too. If you've never made a swimsuit before, or if you've struggled with the correct length of elastic, I recommend this pattern. It gives exact lengths for everything. One word of warning that applies to all one-piece suits: make a quick mock up with your lining fabric. Torso length varies wildly!

The suit pictured above is actually reversible, and you can find more details here.

North Shore by Greenstyle Creations

Dare I make a wild statement and say I have a TNT swim pattern?? If I do, it's definitely the North Shore. There are TONS of options in this pattern to prevent you from getting bored. The bottoms can be made in different rises. The tops can have a variety of backs. So. Many Choices! But the directions are also great for beginners.

Butterfly suit, purple suit, stained glass suit.

Soma Swimsuit by Papercut Patterns

I'm sad to put this on the list, not because I don't love it, but because it appears to be out of print?! I'm including it anyway, on the off chance it gets reprinted soon (I hope!). I love swimwear with interesting lines, and the cute little triangles at the top of the bikini always get me. This pattern is a little more advanced but is fun to make and wear.

Edgewater Avenue

Okay so I'm cheating here. This is actually a pattern company, not a single pattern, but they only make swim patterns! I had totally forgotten about them, so I wanted to highlight them here. I love that they sell bikini tops and bottoms separately, so you can mix and match what you like. There are real life photos on all the listings so you can see the finished suits on many body types.

I'll admit, I've gotten a little addicted to these patterns! I've made a one piece and two bikinis in the last month. Yes, I am prepping for a trip to Hawaii, but that's still a lot of suits! I recommend watching their YouTube video on making a reversible suit before you dive in, as most of their patterns follow this method.

There you have it, a few of my favorite swimsuit sewing patterns! Don't be discouraged if you haven't found your swim BFF pattern yet. It takes a LOT of practice to get good at sewing swimsuits, but the flip side is that the stretch can make fit forgiving. Join us over in the Fabric Fairy Facebook group for more fun!

I am a member of the Fabric Fairy Promo Team and received some of this fabric for free in exchange for a review. Being on the promo team is an easy job because all the fabrics are fantastic! All opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

White Linen Wide Leg Pants

It's still not totally real to me, but unless something changes my husband and I will be going to Hawaii this summer! We have a friend who lives there who graciously invited us to stay with him. We'll be leaving the kids with their grandparents and taking a much needed couple vacation. And of course, this trip means BEACH SEWING!

White Linen Lola Pants

After the first batch of swimsuits, next on my trip sewing list was a pair of linen pants. I decided to try the wide leg, high waisted Lola Pants pattern from 5 Out of 4 Patterns. I wasn't 100% sure if I would like the high waist, it's not my fave style, but I'm SO glad I didn't alter anything. I LOVE these pants!

White Linen Lola Pants

Originally, I thought I'd make shorts, but I think the silhouette is better in the long version. The long version does require 2+ yards, and all I had on hand was this white linen. It's from Fabric, which is the most generic fakey name ever, but I promise it's a real website with awesome fabric. I bought my 3 yards in a bundle with printed patterns and just hadn't gotten to sewing them yet. I decided to use it for these pants, despite my nerves over white pants.

White Linen Lola Pants

Yes, I have four pets and three kids and live in the country. White pants don't typically have a spot in my life. As soon as I was done with these photos, I neatly folded up the pants and put them in a plastic bag! They will go in my suitcase and be safe and sound until Hawaii.

I made a size Small for my 38" hip and the fit is pretty spot on. I made no changes to the length and I'm a shorty at 5'4". The inseam measurement is listed in the pattern, so if you're tall I recommend checking on that before cutting.

White Linen Lola Pants

Construction is simple and the instructions are excellent. I omitted the pockets because I knew I'd see them through the fabric and it would drive me nuts. Without the pockets, these are a quick sew; the belt loops and waist tie are the most time consuming part. I don't think I would omit them though, they elevate the look for sure.

White Linen Lola Pants

I made a quick crop top using the Kila Tank and some stretch mesh from The Fabric Fairy. The swimsuit underneath is amazeballs, but you'll have to wait until next week to see it!

I received the Lola Pants pattern for free as part of the 5oo4 Ambassador team. All opinions are my own. Affiliates links have been used. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Friday Pattern Company Heather Blazer

 You guys. I'm in love with this project. And this isn't just I-love-it-because-I-just-finished-it love. It's real.

Forever ago, I saw this wool/linen jacquard deadstock woven on the Stonemountain and Daughter Instagram. Instant love. Combine that with the wool gauze from the same collection, and I couldn't hit "add to cart" fast enough. Once I got it, I knew it had to be a blazer. And when the fabric speaks, you listen. Somewhere after that I bought the Heather Blazer pattern. And then they sat. Christmas happened. We got covid. Blah blah. And finally I had a break in my making schedule. Bring on the blazer!!!

I previously made the Wilder Gown and the Patina Blouse from Friday, and in both cases I sized down from the chart and made an XS. Without paying too much attention to the chart, I did the same thing for the Heather. I knew it was designed to be oversized, but I wanted to avoid being swallowed. In retrospect, I probably should have stuck with the chart and made a small. It's a touch too small for easy movement, however I do love the way it looks. Additionally, it's worth noting that my lining fabric is pretty thick, and a thinner lining might have allowed more room.

Anyway. I had less than two yards of the leopard print and I just squeaked out the XS. The lining fabric is a deep purple flannel-backed satin. It's called "kasha satin" and it's from Vogue Fabrics. I ordered it as an option for my Oslo Coat, but ended up using something else. Normally, I would stay away from purple. It's my second least favorite color (yellow being my least favorite). But I knew it would work with this blazer, and if I didn't use it now I might never get it off my shelf.

In the end, I'm VERY happy with the lining. The jacquard was only juuuuust structured enough for a jacket, so the flannel backing on the satin definitely helped give the necessary body. It looks and feels luxe and somehow the purple works with the leopard print. I would 1000% order this exact fabric again for lining a coat.

This is not my first rodeo with a blazer, a notched collar, tailoring details, etc. and yet I was still impressed with the directions. The way they were written made all the steps seem completely possible. The lining is expertly drafted to fit into the shell. The diagram for sewing the sleeves together is the best I've ever seen (normally that step confuses the crap out of me). There is a video for finishing up the hem but I didn't even need it. The pattern uses woven interfacing, knit interfacing, bias cut pieces, a back stay, and hand tacking all over the place to give you a superb end result. Seriously, I cannot say enough good things!

I had a lot of fun playing dress up with and discovered that this blazer goes with way more of my wardrobe than I expected. If I want to follow trends, I guess I need some high waisted mom jeans and a crop top, but for now some Morgan jeans and an Ogden Cami will work fine.

Do you consider leopard print a neutral? It's the only print I can deal with easily. I love it so much!

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