Thursday, July 28, 2022

Rarely Idle Rectangle Tie Bag

I'm sure there is a limit on how many bags one person needs...I'll let you know if I find it. Today I want to chat about the ZW Rectangle Tie Bag from Rarely Idle!

Zero Waste Tie Bag

This is a free pattern/tutorial for a zero waste rectangular tie bag. You can also use it as fabric wrapping paper. All raw edges are contained, there are two sizes (mine is the bigger size) and directions for a custom size.

I used a cotton canvas that I bought in a giant quantity from Jo-Ann's for random projects, including my own wall banner pattern (get it for free when you sign up for my newsletter). The first place this bag went was on a field trip with my oldest daughter when her class visited a one room schoolhouse. She used it as her lunch sack. I also made the rest of her outfit using McCalls 7231.

McCalls 7231

I love this bag! Definitely the best part of it is how it's finished, so sturdy and secure. It does take more fabric than I expected, but it's roomy so that's fine. The tutorial was easy to follow as well. 

Zero Waste Tie Bag

I'm not sure I'd make a bunch of these for wrapping paper, but maybe I would if I had a lot of pretty scraps. There is a lot of topstitching and French seams to create all that sturdiness and I get tired of that kind of thing. I could see it as a project bag for knitting, or the mini size as a notions pouch. All by itself it would make a super cute gift as well as gift wrapping!

If you plan on having a handmade holiday, make sure to grab my new digital printable! It will keep you on track with detailed lists, calendars, and a goal tracker to ensure you're not scrambling to finish projects. Check it out in my Etsy shop here, and save 20% through the end of July!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Star Student Lunchbox

I've shared a time lapse Reel of my process creating a new lunchbox for my daughter, and since IG doesn't make it super easy to share details, I thought a quick post was in order!

Star Student Lunchbox

Pattern: Star Student Lunchbox from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop

Outer fabric: Cotton twill from Organic Cotton Plus

Lining: Ripstop nylon from Jo-Ann's

Insul-bright: On Amazon here

Zipper: Nylon jacket zipper from Jo-Ann's

Unicorn face: Siser Easy Weed HTV from Heat Transfer Warehouse

Unicorn face design: SVG from my shop

Press: Cricut Easy Press 2

This was such a fun project with great results! I'm glad I practiced sewing bags with rounded corners when I made my Sandhill Sling. I have another lunchbox partly cut, this time with a sloth face! 

This post contains affiliate links. I received the outer twill fabric for free from Organic Cotton Plus in 2017.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Elysian Bodysuit by Friday Pattern Company

This project will forever be known as "the Lisa Frank bodysuit". I didn't see the connection until other people pointed it out, but I do now! And as a kid who was born in the 80's and lived through the 90's, obviously I love the reference. Ten year old me is so happy right now.

Elysian Bodysuit

This is the Elysian Bodysuit from Friday Pattern Co. I made the whole bodysuit in one day, including pattern assembly. It's super fast and easy. I followed the size chart, making an XS in the bust and grading out to a M in the hips. The pattern is drafted for 5'6", I am 5'4", but I have a long torso. I made no changes to the length except that I shortened the crotch from the medium to the XS cut line. I also shortened the sleeve and didn't hem it.

Elysian Bodysuit

There is a seam under the bust so you can color block, but I accidentally pattern-matched so well that it's hard to tell! This fabric is actually swim, from The Fabric Fairy! I bought it for my daughters and made two swimsuits (one was heartily rejected and has since be rehomed), you can see the suit that was accepted here.

Elysian Bodysuit

Unlike other bodysuit's, the Elysian is meant to pull up and down through the neckline, so no tricky snap crotch to sew. Friday Pattern Co. does have a tutorial for that online if you want it though. If you don't have a bodysuit pattern in your arsenal yet, I can heartily recommend this one!

Elysian Bodysuit

Have you hopped on the bodysuit train yet? You can see my Anouk Bodysuit here and my Madalynne Fenix Bodysuit blog post here. Will I stop at three bodysuits? 

I received this fabric for free as part of the Fabric Fairy promo team.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Sandhill Sling Bag from Noodlehead

I'm definitely a garment sewist at heart, but every now and then I get a hankering to make a bag. Today I have an absolutely gorgeous Sandhill Sling bag, and matching wallet, to show you!

Noodlehead Sandhill Sling

This project started with the fabric. It's from See You at Six, which is a Belgian fabric company. They periodically release collections of prints that are available on multiple bases. I've drooled over them for years, but finally took the plunge when I saw a bag made up with the Foliage Song print. I ordered mine (the base is twill) from StyleMaker Fabrics.

I asked on Instagram which pattern I should make, and Michelle at StyleMaker messaged me to say they had some great Noodlehead patterns in stock. Of course! I was drawn to the Maker Backpack, but it's exactly like my every day bag I carry now lol. Instead, I went with the Sandhill Sling.

Noodlehead Sandhill Sling

I ordered one yard and it was plenty. I lined my bag with khaki cotton twill from my stash. The zips I already had on hand. The hardware is from Sallie Tomato and I got it from StyleMaker as well. The strap is a twill I had in my stash.

There were a few tricky bits to this bag. There is a video sew along, but I admit I didn't watch any of it, so your mileage may vary. I was never confused about the correct step, just physically unable to complete them!

Noodlehead Sandhill Sling

The rounded corners aren't fun to do neatly, and sadly you have to do 16 of them. Just one corner wouldn't be a big deal, but making all four of them meet correctly around one rectangle was frustrating. Make sure you don't start that part unless you're well-rested and well-caffeinated!

The lining is inserted with a drop-in method, meaning you need to sew the lining to the top zipper. You can do this by hand or machine, but either way, you're going to need to hand-baste the zipper first. Because it curves in two places, it's darn near impossible to sew it without hand basting (believe me, I tried, despite the directions warning me!).

Noodlehead Sandhill Sling

The drop-in lining means that the inside looks absolutely beautiful. There is no seam binding or whipstitching a secret hole closed. That said, I'm not sure I'd do a drop-in again. I think I would find a way to leave a hole and turn instead.

Noodlehead Sandhill Sling

I used a piece of leather for the zipper contrast on the front pocket. It's from a giant bag of leather scraps I got at a big box store. If you use fabric here, you're meant to fold it in half, but since leather doesn't fray I used a piece that was cut in half instead.

Noodlehead Sandhill Sling

To match my new bag, I also made a new wallet! I've been carrying a large wallet for more than a decade, and wanted something small to hold just cards. I already had the Everyday Essentials booklet from Noodlehead (used it once before for the tote bag), which contains patterns for the Minimalist Wallet and Mini Minimalist Wallet. I made the mini.

Noodlehead Mini Minimalist Wallet

This was a quick, easy sew! Again, I used leather as an accent, and lining fabrics and a zip I had on hand. It IS fairly bulky around the edges, next time I would use something lighter than a twill for the inside pockets. 

Noodlehead Mini Minimalist Wallet

You can kind of see in the photos how rounded and lumpy the edges are. This is even after I whacked them with a hammer to flatten them more. Don't suggest I add topstitching--I think it would kill my machine. Like I said, a lighter weight for the inners would help. Through the middle it's 8 layers of fabric plus a couple layers of interfacing.

Noodlehead Mini Minimalist Wallet

I'm so happy with this set! The sling bag stays in place better than a backpack, and the wallet is small enough to sneak into our pool bag. Do you stick to garment sewing, or do you also sew bags?

Monday, July 11, 2022

Make Your Own Embroidery Transfers with Digital Designs

This post contains affiliate links.

Hello everyone! I have an awesome trick for you today if you love hand embroidery. There are a ton of amazing digital designs out there, and now you're going to learn how to make that digital art into embroidery transfers!

Make Your Own Embroidery Transfers with Digital Designs

The Secret Sauce

Since I opened my Etsy shop I've had a few people ask me about using my digital artwork for embroidery. I told them that would be perfectly fine with me, I just didn't know how to do it! Recently, I ran across the solution--printable washaway paper!

printable washaway stabilizer

This product is called Sulky Stick N Stitch Stabilizer. I knew about washable stabilizer, and I knew about transfer paper that you can draw on, but the secret here is that it is PRINTABLE, washaway paper. I got mine on Amazon, in a pack of 12 sheets for about $1/sheet (although I see the price does fluctuate). 

Make Your Own Embroidery Transfers with Digital Designs

The directions are simple. The stabilizer has two parts, a fabric-like sheet stuck to a paper backing. Insert the whole thing into your printer like regular paper and print your design on to the fabric side. Tear away the paper backing and then stick the remaining fabric-like sheet to the fabric on which you will be embroidering. When you're done, wash it away.

A few caveats: the directions say the stabilizer works with ink jet printers. I have a laser printer and it worked anyway. The first attempt jammed my printer, the second attempt worked flawlessly.

Now that you know how the stabilizer works, how about getting your favorite digital designs on it?

How to Add Digital Designs

All of my designs come in SVG (for use in a Cricut), PNG (basic artwork file), and DXF (for use in a Silhouette). For this tutorial, you will need a PNG file. You will also need a program to open the PNG image that will allow you to print. I used Google Docs because it's easy and free! Another option would be Canva, though you will need to download a finished file (after doing the same steps below) and print from that.

Make Your Own Embroidery Transfers with Digital Designs

In Google Docs, go to "Insert" and then find the image file saved on your computer. Select it and it will be added to your page. Resize it to the final size you need. 

Make Your Own Embroidery Transfers with Digital Designs

Next, click on the image, then "Image Options". This will bring up a menu of choices for editing the image.

Make Your Own Embroidery Transfers with Digital Designs

Look for "Adjustments" and then "Transparency" and move the slider until it says "85". Reducing the transparency will print the image lightly and allow for easier embroidery. It also washes out better at the end.

Make sure to fill your page with any other ideas you might want in the future! Once you cut out one design, it's unlikely you'll be able to send the same sheet back through your printer again, so you might as well use up the whole 8 1/2" x 11" page.

Now it's time to print. Your printer settings will vary from mine--the important thing to note is which side you put in the stabilizer and how your printer pulls paper. You want it to print on the fabric-like side.

After printing, cut out the image you want to embroider. Peel off the paper backing.

Make Your Own Embroidery Transfers with Digital Designs

Stick the printed-on fabric stabilizer to your project. Embroider away!

Make Your Own Embroidery Transfers with Digital Designs

Clean Up

When you're done, run your project under water. I found it most effective to spray it with my sink sprayer and to rub it a bit (in other words, don't try this on wool or you will felt it!). At first nothing happened, but stick with it and it will all come off. Lay flat to dry.

Ta-da! Now I have a fun embroidered design using a digital file. This monstera leaf is in one of my most-popular leaf bundles, it would make a good starting point for your next embroidery craft, wall art, or Cricut project! Check out this post to see how I used it to make stickers!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Best Sewing Patterns for Back to School

My kids are now officially one month away from back to school. The summer has gone so quickly! If you enjoy sewing new clothes for the new school year, it's time to get to work. Read on to find the best kid's sewing patterns for back to school! Make sure not to miss the FREE printable planning worksheet!

Grand Slam Tee

A unisex raglan t-shirt? Sign me up! I bought this pattern ages ago, and it's great to have an easy go-to shirt or dress. Raglan sleeves are SO fast to sew. Bonus, you can mix and match leftover knits and have contrast sleeves!

Rebecca Page Brooklyn Joggers

Another pattern that works for girls or boys, the Brooklyn Joggers from Rebecca Page are the highest form of comfort. There are some days when my youngest kiddo refuses most pants, but I can almost always count on her to agree to joggers.

Rio Racerback

My kids start school in early August, so I know it's still going to be pretty hot for the first month. The Rio Racerback Tank and Dress from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop is super cute, and the swing hem makes it easy to fit. 

If you make the dress, it's going to fit forever as your child grows and it becomes a top. The two that I made for my girls when they were itty bitty are still going strong as stuffed animal clothes now.

Woodstock Swing Tee (free!)

Another swing style silhouette (can you tell what my kids like?), the Woodstock Swing Tee is more of the tween size range (6-16). The best part is that it's FREE! I often make myself a Union St. Tee (also from Hey June Handmade) and then use the leftover fabric for a Woodstock for my kids.

Oxford Button Up

In case you have a kiddo who likes to dress a little more fancy than t-shirts, you need the Oxford Button Up. With 100+ 5 star reviews you can't go wrong. You have to admit, kids look adorable with collared shirts, amiright? Even my middle daughter likes wearing a collared shirt, unbuttoned, on top of a tank top.

K2 Pullover

Look a little ahead for fall and whip up a K2 Pullover from 5 Out of 4 Patterns. A quarter zip and fleece combine for the perfect nicer-than-a-hoodie pullover. I made one of these this winter and we reached for it a lot for car rides, it's not as bulky as a lot of other outerwear.

The K2 Pullover can be colorblocked, plain, with pockets or without. Tons of options and another great scrap buster!

Rowan Tee (free!)

Another excellent free pattern, the Rowan Tee is even faster than the Woodstock if you omit the long sleeves. This is my go-to pattern for applying heat transfer vinyl, especially for those last-minute spirit days at school.

Do you have any favorite back to school sewing patterns? Don't forget to sign up for emails so you can access the FREE printable back to school planner!

Back to School printable

Friday, July 1, 2022

Linen Hey June Seaforth Pants

I love linen, I love elastic waist pants, and I love Hey June, but I was late to the Seaforth Pants game after its release. I had JUST hacked my way into a similar look with the Love Notions Allegro, but the Seaforth is definitely different. The Seaforth has that all-important back dart to reduce bulk in your elastic waistband. The leg isn't tight, but I wouldn't call it wide either. There's a view that includes an elasticized hem, and the front pockets are meant to have a welt zipper opening.

Hey June Seaforth Pants in linen

I've made two pairs of Seaforth Pants. The first is from Vintage Finish Linen in Maple, from The Fabric Store Online. This color is a chameleon. Sometimes it looks rust, sometimes brown. I've found it a little tricky to pair with other colors but I'm probably just in my head about it too much. I had the perfect matching drawstring in my stash, which was actually from an American Eagle hoodie I haven't worn since college.

I made a size 6 for my 38" hip and the fit is good, but I felt like they were a touch short. Or maybe I'm too much of a 90's girl and I expect all my pants to drag in puddles. Or maybe the linen continued shrinking after one wash. IDK. I'm not crazy about zips on pockets so I made a boring patch pocket, which I drafted myself, which is subsequently too small to put my hand inside. Whomp.

It took me a year to realize I could add an elasticized cuff to these pants and solve my too-short pants problem. I dug out my scraps and as part of #AdjustmentJuly (hashtag made up by me) I got those cuffs added. So much better!

The second pair of Seaforth Pants are from mid-weight black linen from Mood. I re-drafted my bad patch pocket opening and also added an inch of length at the hem. Instead of using 2" wide elastic in the waistband, I used 1 1/4", settled it in the bottom of the waistband, and topstitched above it to create a paperbag waist look. 

This pair is part of a faux jumpsuit. I made an Ogden Cami from the same fabric. I think it's a bit too stiff for an Ogden, but I'm hoping it relaxes over time. I do like the weight for pants.

As always, the instructions are wonderful. If you still haven't filled the elastic-waist hole in your life, the Seaforth Pants might just be for you!

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