Posts Tagged ‘patterns’

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…..  🙂


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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….

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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. 

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Ottobre Top

This is the “Irene” top from Ottobre Design Magazine’s Autumn/Winter 2010 issue.  

I wore it to work this week and got lots of compliments!  It is a little out of the norm for me in what I usually wear (I tend to be more on the subdued side of things) but I absolutely love this fabric and it’s nice to have something fun and stylish to wear once in a while. 

I have not made many Ottobre patterns (although I do love to look at the pictures and dream!).  They are a little more work intensive than your average pattern.  All the patterns are included full size, but you have to trace them out from this giant sheet with all the patterns printed on it in different colours.  And then you have to add seam allowances to the pattern, because they aren’t included.  It also helps if you’ve made clothing before as there are no diagrams accompanying the directions.  This really scared me at first but I actually surprised myself in being able to figure it all out.   There were many times when I was making this shirt that I wondered – is all this work going to be worth it?     The answer is a big YES!  The top is well-fitted, I didn’t have to make any dart adjustments like I usually do with the big name patterns, and in the one spot where I did make an adjustment, the pattern actually told me to try it on and check for fit!  (I love this because otherwise I would have just plowed right on…..)

I have two other Ottobre patterns cut out waiting to be sewn together and I hope they turn out as well as this one! 


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Learning to Sew With Knits

One of my sewing goals this year is to sew more with knits.  I have made one knit top in my entire sewing career (such that it is) and was firmly under the impression that I really needed a serger to make anything turn out well.

Not so, my friends.  (Although, I still think I might want a serger…)

I read somewhere that you could sew a knit with a regular machine, no problem.  So I did.  I made a pajama top.  And then when that top kept suffering from ripped seams I did some extensive research (hello, Google!) and read that a zigzag stitch is the best one to use when sewing on a regular machine with a stretchy knit.  So back to the machine I went  and zigzagged away,  and so far so good.

So I decided it was time to expand my knit horizons and try to create something that I would wear out in public. (Brave, I know.)

And here is my finished knit masterpiece:

I used this pattern from Burdastyle.com and for $1, it was really a great pattern.  (I do have to mention though, that unless you like piecing together large numbers of 8.5×11 sheets of paper like a giant puzzle it really is worth it to have it printed on a large printer.)  I had a little trouble with stretching at the neckline, but other than that I love this shirt and am definitely going to make more!    There are also lots of great variations of this top posted on the website.  I think next time I will make mine with a higher neckline and then maybe try one as a hoodie?

Anyone else out there sewing with knits?  Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

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I tucked myself away in the sewing room for as long as I could yesterday (if only cooking and eating didn’t take up so much time I’d have more time to sew!)  Sometimes I think my sewing room is a time warp.  I walked in there around 1:30 and couldn’t believe that it was 5:00 when I walked out.  I also discovered that I was hungry and thirsty once I left the room, but didn’t notice it at all when I was sewing, does this happen to you when you are being creative? 

I started by making this Small Satchel.  It is a Keyka Lou pattern.  It is the first of their patterns that I have tried and I love it.  It was super easy and the instructions were very well written.  I am really happy with the final result. 

I made the two-handle version because I like the way it looks with a bag of this size. 

I liked the pattern so well that I actually cut out 3 more to make right away.  I did, however, have to change it up a bit!   This second bag is made from a pair of corduroy pants.

Try as I might, I could not get the seam lines to be centered on the bag the way that I wanted (the seams on the pants weren’t straight to begin with….grr…)  Do you think it matters?  I was thinking maybe a fabric flower on the right would add a little pizzaz to the bag and help it not look so unbalanced.  Suggestions?

Instead of making the inside pocket from the pattern, I used one of the pants pockets.  I love the way it looks!

While in a recycling mood I decided to make another sweater friend.   I have always loved this grey sweater and thinks it looks great as a pig.  I added the contrasting ears and nose to this one just for something different. 

Oink, Oink!

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Casserole Carrier

I am so blessed to have such wonderful family.  Hubby and I spent thanksgiving with his brother and his wonderful wife.  While the two men spent their days playing video games, we worked on a few sewing projects together.  As I know very few people who sew,  it was really nice to spend time with someone else who shares an interest in sewing and we were both excited with what we were able to accomplish in a week-end. 

This casserole carrier from One Yard Wonders was definitely the star of our efforts:

Didn’t she pick out beautiful fabric?  I can’t believe how well it matches with her casserole dish.

I made a few adjustments to the pattern (of course!)  Her fabric store did not sell wide binding tape so on the inner circle we used the thinner tape with ribbon instead of cording without a problem.  However, I did not want to attempt sewing through several layers of batting and fabric around the whole outside with the narrow binding and hope that it held the weight of the heavy dish.  Instead I just put all the pieces right-sides together and sewed around with a 1/2″ seam.    We turned it right-side out and voila! a beautiful casserole carrier.  I think it looks fine without the extra binding around the outside.  If I make this again I would definitely do the same thing, whether I had the wide binding or not. 

 I must admit that this pattern was a little more complicated than it seemed at first glance.  About halfway into it we were both wondering what we had gotten ourselves into.  But now that I see the finished product, I definitely think I need one for my kitchen, too.  Perseverance pays off!

Can’t you imagine just how wonderful it would feel to bring this to your next pot-luck?

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