Posts Tagged ‘patterns’

I’ve had this Harry Potter inspired project on the back-burner for the last few months, but with the new (and last!) movie coming out very soon I knew now was the time to tackle it.

And so, may I present, straight from my sewing room Madam Malkin’s: Robes for All Occasions: Gryffindor school robes!

I used this tutorial on BurdaSyle and although I found them a bit of a challenge to put them together, I am pretty happy with the results.

I used broadcloth for its affordability, and found the Gryffindor crest on Etsy.

If you are thinking of making some yourself, definitely read through all of the comments on the tutorial, as they were really helpful in drafting and cutting out the pattern.  Next time (oh yes, there will be a next time, I still have at least one more to make!) despite the extra fabric it will take, I think I will line the whole front, and not just 4 inches as the pattern calls for.  This was the first time I have used seam tape and I wasn’t really happy with it. 

I can’t wait to hand these robes over to their owner tomorrow! 

Harry Potter Fun!

Your robes are on and you are ready for a magical adventure.  Here are some magical ideas I’ve collected from around the web.  (Most of these I used to create a magical day at Hogwarts for my students, but the kitchen creations would be appreciated by fans of all ages.)

1.  Find or make yourself an owl and send letters by “owl post” in invisible ink.  (I was lucky enough to find a beautiful snowy owl stuffy at a yard sale, but several years ago I made a pompom owl for my mother as part of  Harry Potter-themed birthday present, that, of course, had to arrive by owl post.)  Or write letters in regular ink, or with calligraphy pens,  on “scrolls” (receipt or adding-machine tape works great for this!)

2.  Spend a day taking classes at Hogwarts! 

  • Herbology: create magical plants of your own with art supplies, or use your imagination and spend some time in the garden planting and caring for “magical” plants. 
  • Potions: think cooking or science experiments (magic mud is a favourite), or write your own
  • Transfiguration: play a game of charades
  • Charms: create your own spells
  • and if you have enough people, don’t forget to play a game of Quidditch (I have played a modified version with as few as seven people)

3.  Cook up some favourite Hogwarts treats by following some fun recipes on Heather Bailey’s site: Chocolate Wands, Butterbeer and mini broomsticks, Cockroach Clusters, and of course you could always make chocolate frogs or pretend any jelly beans are of the “Bertie Botts Every Flavoured” variety.   

Enjoy!   And remember: “Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus”

Read Full Post »

It’s that time of year again, when flowers and weddings are in full bloom.  I actually have attended very few weddings myself, which is perhaps why I found myself without anything suitable to wear for the wedding hubby and I are attending today. 

In a long story involving dresses that didn’t fit, and a very busy sewing room, I ended up being able to borrow a cute pink dress from a friend.  (Thank God for good friends.  What would we do without them?)   With the cool and rainy weather we were having I knew I might need a jacket to go over the dress, so I headed to the fabric store and purchased New Look 6935.  

I used an off-white linen I already had on hand with cotton lining.  I made a size 8, and said a little prayer as I cut it out as I didn’t have time for a test run.  Luckily, it fits beautifully!  And I was very thankful to have it on this cold and rainy day!

The pattern was very easy to follow, and I would definitely make one of these again.  I also hope to try the dress someday soon. 

I own two classy evening bags, but both are dark velvet and didn’t seem right with this light ensemble, so a quick online search found me this tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew. 

It was quite easy to make, and the only change I made was to make mine with fusible fleece, instead of the layers of interfacing sugeested in the tutorial.  It’s the perfect size, and looks nice with the pink dress.   

Now I’m dressed and ready to go! 

What have you been sewing lately? 


Read Full Post »

Still Alive at Week 5!

Looking for Giveaway Day?  Click here!

I was the winner again this week – yahoo!  Thank you to everyone who voted. 

With this pattern as the starting point, here is what I came up with:

A blue dress with added dark blue accents.

A floral print dress with a smaller flower on the top, two straps, and a matching bag.  The bag pattern (minus the flower, of course) is from the book, Sew Liberated. 

Then I really decided to mix things up and created tops from the pattern instead of dresses, in woven fabrics instead of knits.  I kept with the two shoulder straps and left the flowers off altogether.  Then I made some shorts to match for a complete outfit. The short are from an old Butterick pattern I have, and then I added a little trim to the bottom of the first pair. 

Now, since I don’t have any little ones at home, I decided to attempt some adult-sized outfits, too.

First, a knit skirt, created by lengthening and widening the pattern.  I added a ruffle on the bottom, too. 

And finally, a sundress.  Once again I lengthened the pattern and then added the two straps on the top. 

What a fun week!  I have never done any shirring before this and I am hooked!  It’s so easy and so much fun!  I’ll definitely be doing more of it in the future.  And…the best part is….after this week of sewing I was able to get rid of an entire box of fabric!!  One less box to trip over in the sewing room!  Hooray!

And now….on to the final challenge!  We have two weeks to work on this one – wish me luck!  I’m off to sew! 🙂

Read Full Post »

Sewing Challenge: Week 3!

I am having so much fun sewing for this challenge!  In three weeks I have used 36 yards of fabric!!  I think I might just be able to get rid of one of the boxes cluttering up my sewing room – hooray!

This week for Puddle Jumping I went beyond the traditional jumping in puddles definition and imagined that I would be flying on a “puddle jumper” (a very small plane that flies over bodies of water, often in remote areas).  Here is what I created:

A new skirt and blouse!  This New Look blouse pattern is one of the first I ever used when I was just learning to sew.  I always thought it didn’t fit quite right, but chalked it up to lack of experience.  Now that I have made a second one I realize that this pattern just wasn’t made for me.  Anyone with a bigger bust than mine looking for a cool summer blouse?  🙂

The skirt I created from guidelines for the fitted A-line skirt in Sew What Skirts.  I really enjoy this book but overall I find they recommend way too much ease in their patterns.  I have had much more success with making skirts from this book once I moved to adding the bare minimum.   This skirt has a zipper and lining!  I have never lined a skirt before but this fabric really needed it and I am so proud of the way it turned out!   The flapped patch pockets will be included in my pocket tutorial on Wednesday as part of the Summer of No Pants

I also created a poncho-style wrap for chilly spring days using this tutorial

I then decided that if I was  travelling, I was  going to need a bag for all of my things.  I was a little unsure of how to make a duffle-type bag, and without a pattern I went to bed dreaming about bag construction for a couple of nights before creating this one.  (I didn’t name my business “Dreams in Seams” arbitrarily!)

The bag I came up with is based on this tutorial but I made the whole thing smaller to accommodate the zipper I had on hand, then added a front pocket, a large clip-on strap with shoulder padding, and I used fusible fleece in between the decorator fabric and lining for stability.  I am really proud of this one!

Then Sew, Mama, Sew posted a tutorial for a mini tent this week!  It seemed perfect for the idea of camping in remote areas the puddle jumper might take me to so I whipped one up in an evening.  This is a great tutorial and a really fun project. 

Finally, I decided to make some much-needed spring PJs, because after a day of adventure you’re going to need a good sleep, right?   I have made several pairs of PJ pants for myself in the past but this is the first pair that I am 100 percent happy with.  They are made with Simplicity 5338 and the secret for me was to make the youth size (only longer), which took out a lot of the width and fullness at the hips which I don’t need.   Notice the ducks with umbrellas on the fabric, perfect for “puddle jumping” right?  The top was made from the Spring Ruffle Top tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew. 

Phew!  13 yards this week!  Plus a pocket tutorial (coming up on Wednesday)and one giant failed project.  I am hoping I might be able to resurrect it for next week but I’m not sure if it’s save-able.  We’ll see….  I once again used the most fabric this week so automatically move on to week 4.  This week’s theme: “Let’s Fly a Kite.”  Somehow that final scene from Mary Poppins has become permanently stuck in my head! 🙂

Read Full Post »

I am moving on to the next week in the Extreme Makeover: Fabric Edition challenge!  Thanks so much to all of you who voted! 

Here is what I made:  (did you guess correctly?)

The pants are from Ottobre Spring/Summer 2009.  It might have been a bit ambitious for me to use an Ottobre pattern when I am unfamiliar with making pants with a waistband and zipper.  (Ottobre instructions are minimal)  But, as I keep finding over and over again, the fit is so much better with Ottobre patterns, and worth the extra work of tracing patterns, adding seam allowances and figuring out what the instructions are trying to tell you.  I’ll definitely be making another pair of these again soon. 

You might have recognized the top from here.  The pattern is “Irene” from Ottobre Autumn/Winter 2010.  I absolutely love this top pattern.  It’s as fun to make as it is to wear.  This time I made it a little bit shorter. 

The knit top underneath is made from A BurdaStyle pattern.  The same one I used here.  The more I sew with knits, the easier it gets.  This one is definitely one of my best yet. 

This cute little bag is from Meg McElwee’s book Sew Liberated.  In the interest of using more fabric I made my own bias tape and then turned it into piping.  There was a bit of a panic when I realized I didn’t have any cord for the piping, but managed to make do with a couple of old shoelaces.  (Recycling at it’s best!)  I also added a pocket inside as I can’t imagine having a bag with only one pocket.   The flowers are simple yo-yos with button centers and wool felt stems. 

Not bad for one week of sewing, right?   Nothing like a little competition for motivation!  🙂

Read Full Post »

Don’t you love that feeling when you finish a big project?  Especially when you love the way everything looks when it is finished?

That’s the way I feel about this pretty in pink set. 

You might remember seeing this quilt in progress.  Here it is, all quilted and ready for its new home. 

The quilting is fairly simple, but I really wanted to showcase the applique and I think the simple outlining of the hexagons and then on the applique itself does that well.

And here is the matching doll quilt:

I worked on both quilts simultaneously,  just repeating everything in miniature after working on the big quilt.   Although it would have been possible to make the little quilt exactly the same, it also would have made for a very expensive little quilt, which its new doll-owner might not appreciate! 🙂  I think this one is close enough to be cute!

I also made matching curtains and a crib skirt, which (sorry!) aren’t really conducive to pictures until they are installed in their new homes. 

And then there were just a few scraps of fabric left…..and I couldn’t resist making just one more thing as a little gift to go with everything else….

She is made from the Molly Monkey pattern at Mmmcrafts, and has been on my “to make” list for years and years (but I have never had a reason to make one before.)  I know, I know, she’s not a monkey.  I really loved the idea of using the grey with the pink fabrics, but didn’t think grey was very “monkey-ish” so I decided to turn the monkey into a kitty (inspired by some of the photos on the Molly Monkey Flickr group).  I later discovered there is actually a pattern for the kitty on the Mmmcrafts Etsy shop, too. 

I’m sad to see all of this pink leave my sewing room… but….

on to the next project! 🙂

Read Full Post »

Dolls for Little Girls

Thank you to all of you who commented on my last post.  If you haven’t yet, there is still time to respond and be entered into the giveaway too! 

I wasn’t planning on being absent from the blog all week, but between having several projects on the go at the moment (including this one which is almost finished!!) and catching a terrible head cold, the week seemed to run away from me.

But despite the busyness and the stuffed sinuses I took time out yesterday to make a pair of dolls. 

Every year my woman’s group takes on the project of helping out families with young children in our city who are in need.  Usually we take a baby shower approach and gather up hundreds of items and package them into gift bags and let the early intervention workers decide who needs what and when.  This year the workers gave us lists specific to the families that they work with.

I was lucky enough to get to shop for books and toys for two little girls who have next to nothing.   On top of which we were told that these families rarely get gifts of any kind.

And what better gift is there than a handmade gift?

  Ruby Lou is for the older of the two girls.  You might remember her from here and her pattern can be found at Sew Much Ado.   I’ve always wanted to make another and this was the perfect opportunity.  I found it much easier this second time, helped by the-most-wonderful-tool-ever-known-to-doll- makers-that-I-wish-I-had-known-about-ages-ago tube turner (it deserves a post of its own).  I even made her a little flannel blankie in case her new playmate wants to tuck her in at night.

I still remember the flannel nightie my grandmother made me out of this same fabric when I was 11 years old!  I love that pretty yellow. 

For the toddler, I made this Black Apple Doll.  There are no little pieces or parts on this little lady so I thought she would do well in little hands (and maybe be a doll she can grow into.)  The Black Apple pattern was easy to follow, but I think next time I will make her arms and legs a bit fatter – if I add seam allowances to the current pattern pieces I think that will make it about right. 

I hope these little ladies get lots of loving in their new home!

For more doll inspiration check out the Black Apple website.  Just being there makes me wish I had more girls to sew for.

Read Full Post »

An Apron for a Teacher

“Take chances, make mistakes and get messy!”  Ms. Frizzle of “Magic School Bus” fame likes to say.  Although I don’t own a bus with magical powers, and I try to stay away from themed outfits, Ms. Frizzle and I share a very similar educational philosophy – children learn better when they are right in the thick of things, experiencing and learning for themselves.

And so, my classroom can be a messy place. 

I have a huge white lab coat that I often wear that has been splattered with a rainbow of colours and decorated with rainbow coloured buttons (ok…so maybe sometimes Ms Frizzle and I dress in a similar fashion), but it can be hot to wear and I don’t always need full-body coverage. 

So when Abby of Sew much Ado asked me to test her Mommy and Mia Apron Pattern, I knew exactly what I was going to make the apron for.

And I already had the perfect fabric.

Meet my new teaching apron!

And the cute bow at the back.

The pattern was really easy to follow and I am super-happy with the finished product!  She has so many diagrams and explains everything so clearly that a seasoned sewer could probably whip one up in a few hours and a confident beginner could probably tackle it too.  The pattern also includes girls sizes so that matching aprons can be made for moms and daughters – too cute!

The pattern is currently available in PDF format on the Sew Much Ado web-site and will soon be available as a paper pattern.  Abby also created the wonderful Ruby Lou doll pattern which I made last year.   

Now I think I need to come up with something wonderfully messy to do when my students come back to school next Monday…..  🙂

Read Full Post »

Boho Bag, Take Two

I finished another Sew Fun Boho Bag.  I have to say again how much I enjoyed this pattern and I can’t wait to show off my new bag!

I am absolutely in love with this fabric.  The light is “Honey Bush Blue” and the dark is “Dream Right Navy” both from the Tea Garden line by Dena Designs.   The dark is home dec. weight, which gives some nice strength to the bag. 

The bag is slightly smaller than the original pattern, but perfect for the things I take to work with me each day.  Except that I haven’t used it yet.  Because I am afraid to get it dirty.  And I know it will, because it is a rare thing to take anything to school (including myself!) and not get a little spot of something somewhere.  (and when I taught preschool I didn’t always want to know what that “something” was….sometimes it is better just not knowing these things….) 

Perhaps tomorrow will be the day it makes its debut….

Read Full Post »

Thank you all so much for your encouraging comments about my shop.  I feel blessed to know you all, even if it is only through the words we type on our screens.  Yesterday I even made my first sale!! 🙂  The shop has already opened some creative doors for me and started some projects that I am really excited about.  I can’t wait to see what will happen next!

I have also been squeezing in some time to work on a few more clothing items for myself.  I got really brave and attempted another Ottobre pattern in a knit.  This is the Lana dress from the Autumn/Winter 2010 issue, paired with a store-bought shirt.

Once again I found the extra work in the Ottobre patterns to be worth the effort.  I did have to look up an online tutorial for pintucks, and had the extra hurdle that none of my marking pens would write on this dark, stretchy fabric (I used pins to mark the tucks) but I am really pleased with how this turned out. 

I have also fallen in love with cotton voile.  I have been eyeing Anna Maria Horner’s voile fabrics for a while, but found them to be cost prohibitive until Sew, Mama, Sew had a big sale before Christmas.  I bought 1/2 yard of “Maybe Sixpense” from Anna Maria’s Innocent Crush line and made a scarf by folding the fabric in half and stitching around the edges (easy peasy).  I love this  fabric!  It is so soft and silky, and I think it is the perfect complement to this dress. 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »