Monday, November 21, 2016

A Little Something Extra - The Vientiane Skirt

Turquoise Corduroy Vientiane Skirt

Do you Love garments with that Little Something Extra?

Well let me introduce you to the Vientiane Skirt by Itch to Stitch!

Love those Flounces!

Flounces! this is the biggest something extra!  They make a simple A- line skirt come alive with Playfulness and Femininity!

Pockets - Inseam or Patch! This something extra adds convenience and , with the patch pockets, Visual Interest to the Skirt.

Wide Contour Waistband! This something extra adds Comfort since it rest easily on the Waist!

Back View of Vientiane Skirt

 Invisible Back Zipper!  This something extra adds a Professional, Clean look to the Skirt Back!

Lined option!  This something extra brings Practicality and Wearing Ease to this garment!

All these Little Something Extra's, transform an regular A- line Skirt into Something Extra-Ordinary!

TheVientiane Skirt is Terrific in many Fabric Types.  Medium weight woven fabrics with or without stretch.

I absolutely Love my Corduroy Vientiane Skirt.  It will be getting plenty of wear this Fall and Winter.

Come Spring you'll find me stitching up a Summer Version!

What season will you stitch one up for?

Happy Sewing...

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Personal Style -A Little Bit Bohemian

Boho Chic, or Bohemian Style!

 I've always been drawn to elements of this style. But other parts of my personal style are Classic, and Sporty.  Can these styles work together? Definitely because personal style is just that, what personally feels comfortable and is an expression of You.

My outfit shown here has a 'little bit Bohemian' touch that I just love!

The outfit makes me feel Feminine, Upbeat, and Relaxed.

 What makes it just 'a little bit Bohemian?

According to  How to Have Bohemian Style? key elements are:

1. "Layer your clothing. You are trying to create a sort of relaxed gypsy look. This means that you will want to layer clothes over each other to get a truly bohemian look."

2. "Choose oversized, flowing pieces. The whole idea of bohemian style is free and flowing. Long maxi skirts or peasant skirts are good ideas, as well as tunics and light tops. Anything that makes you feel light and comfortable is a good choice."

3.   "Emphasize your flowing pieces with one or two fitted pieces. Though you can certainly wear everything loosely fitted, if you want to, you can also throw in a few fitted pieces"
My Outfit has Layers,  a Flowing, Fluid Skirt and a Fitted Sweater.

I didn't follow this 'checklist' when putting the Outfit together.  Rather, I went with what worked for me.  Curious about why it came out a bit Bohemian I went online to do research and and these are the results.  Interesting isn't?

Even my choice of Jewellry was spot on "Add a few pieces of jewelry. If your outfit is pretty subtle, you can add a few bold pieces of jewellery". Once again from

So, the moral of the story is....go with what feels good to you when it comes to style.  And Experiment with various ways of combining pieces in your existing wardrobe.

The jump off point for my Outfit was the Skirt.  I needed another skirt since I've lost some weight recently.  So I Stitched up my favorite, the Seville Skirt in a gorgeous floral print fabric I had.  The Fabric goes so well with the berry colored turtleneck sweater.  Then for fun I tried on the Cardigan with it and Wow did I love that. After that, I knew my Boots were the footwear of choice.  And the  Berry Colored tights were such a fun accent to add.  The necklace was the final piece added.

I had Great Fun putting this together.  And wearing it out and about was oh so Wonderful.

I'd love to know what various styles you combine for your Personal Style.....

Happy Sewing and Styling!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Use Those Decorative Stitches For Visual Interest!

Decorative Accent on Yoke of Arenal Top

Part of the enjoyment of Sewing your own Clothes is being able to add interesting touches to your Garments.

An easy way to add Visual Interest is using the Decorative and Other Stitches on your Sewing Machine!

I love the Visual Interest this added to the Arenal Top I recently made!

Even the most basic machine will have a few options.  Zig Zag Stitch alone could be really interesting just by varying the width and length of the Stitch, along with different thread colors.

Here are the various stitches my Janome machine has.  Some are purely Decorative. Others serve a specific purpose yet also look attractive enough to use in a Decorative way.

Stitch Options on My Janome

When sewing with Stretch Fabrics, use Stretch Stitches!  This will ensure the fabric will keep it's stretch factor.   If unsure which ones are, sew a sample on the fabric and give it a Stretch!

Have Fun by trying out different stitch lengths/widths and various threads on scraps of your fabric.  Soon one combination will catch your fancy!

Yokes with Decorative Stitches Sewn to the Front Piece

The Arenal Top by Itch to Stitch, has Yokes, which are the Perfect Place to add Visual Interest.

Once I had decided on a Stitch and Thread Combination, I added the Decorative sewing to a piece of fabric large enough to cut the yokes out of.  This way each side would match and it was easy to place the stitches exactly where I wanted them on the Yoke Piece.

It's amazing how a little of Visual Interest will take a garment from just OK to Terrific!

Using Decorative Stitches in this way also helps you save money!  Instead of buying a coordinating fabric to add visual interest You Make Your Own!!  And it helps use up leftover fabric too, since just by using various Thread Colors with a Decorative Stitch, one fabric can look great with many other fabrics!

So, start playing with the various Stitches on Your Machine! Be imaginative in where to add them! And Have fun adding Visual Interest to Your next Sew!

My Completed Arenal Top
Happy Sewing...

Monday, October 10, 2016

Making a Quilt Come Alive - The Citrus Spice Quilt!

Quilt Squares awaiting a Great Layout

I've had these Quilt Squares, from this Free Pattern put together for over a year or more now.  I really love the colors together but didn't like them put together as in the pattern.  I  never could find a Layout for them that Grabbed me and got me Excited.

Has that ever happened to you?

While searching through my fabrics looking for inspiration for a Baby Quilt, I came across these Quilt Squares again.  They were Gender Neutral colors like I wanted so I started playing with them.

A Diagonal Layout looked good but something else was needed to make this Quilt Pop!

I auditioned various sashing fabrics...ho hum ...and various cornerstones with the sashing...again ho hum results.

Just before giving up on using these Quilt Squares I reminded myself to try anything I remotely thought might work..... experience has taught me this!

And....Wow did I find a Winner!

 Some leftover Striped fabric Squares I had saved from a previous project as the cornerstones made everything come together in a exciting way!  While they had none of the focus colors in them they coordinated beautifully.  And That Stripe!  It added a needed Graphic Element!  Once I settled on these cornerstones the choice of sashing was easy!  Not pure white, nor cream but an off white like in the cornerstones!
Striped Cornerstones make it Pop!

Once again inspired and excited to put this vision together I quickly went to work.

The result pleases me endlessly!

This is why I Love making Quilts...the creative process is challenging ..yet with persistence, ingenuity and determination..such a beautiful, exciting creation results.

Two things were extremely helpful to me with this Quilt.

First was having a Design Wall to try out layout etc on.  Mine is just a white flannel sheet tacked to a wall in my Sewing Room.  Fabric sticks to it well most times.  When joined pieces get heavy and want to fall off, I just hold them in place with pins into the flannel, ( but not into the wall behind! though I'm sure some have managed to make their mark).
My Design Wall

The Second thing to help was taking pictures of the various layouts etc with my cell phone.  Things show up in pictures that you can miss just by gazing at the design wall.  And I can refer to the photos at anytime to compare things.

I had just enough of the stripe fabric left to add a flange or flap.

Stripe Fabric Flange Added

Attaching Binding over the Flange
 It adds the final element needed to bring this quilt to Glorious, Vibrant Life!

Here's the finished Quilt.  I call it the Citrus Spice Baby Quilt! Isn't it Great? I just Adore It!!
Citrus Spice Baby Quilt
 So, crafting a Quilt has once again brought me immense satisfaction and delight!

What is your Quilt Design Process like?  What things help you with the Process? I'd love to hear them.

Happy Sewing..
Quilting the Citrus Spice Baby Quilt

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Bonn Shirt and Dress - A Pattern with Flair!

Love these Flare Sleeves

Flair =  Elegance, Stylishness, Panache, Pizzazz, Class

All great words to describe the Bonn Shirt and Dress by Itch to Stitch!

And then there is Flare = A Gradual Widening

That too applies to the Bonn Shirt I stitched up!  It has Wonderful Flare Sleeves! Aren't they just Terrific?  I Love the Fun, Feminine, Dramatic touch.


Four Sleeve Options and Dress Option
If Flared Sleeves aren't your cup of tea, or you just want a optional style, the Bonn Shirt and Dress will still fit the bill.

Long Sleeves, 3/4 Sleeves, Short Sleeves or Flare Sleeves are all provided in this pattern.

Then there is the option to make a Dress instead of a Shirt.  What could be better than that?  From one Pattern you can Sew Up so Many Different Items!  Now that is Value!!

The Collar is really nice too.  A Modified Mandarin style that Lays Flat against your neck and enhances the gentle V shaped placket.  Very Flattering to everyone!
Flat Laying Modified Mandarin Collar

The Body of the Shirt is Easy Fitting.  Just the right amount of comfort factor yet still makes one look well put together!

Back View

Looks Great with a Skirt Too

Make it Dressy or Casual! See how well it Looks with a Skirt as well.

Either way you will be Totally in Love with it.

Now I'm off to Sew up another Bonn Shirt...or maybe the Bonn Dress this time...Give the Bonn Shirt and Dress a go yourself and add Flair to your Wardrobe!

Happy Sewing........

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Scrap of Inspiration

We all have them.  Those small scraps of a Favourite Fabric that we just can't bring ourselves to throw out!

Such a Sweet Fabric Scrap
The dilemma is how to use them best.

With a bit of brain-storming and pattern adjustments they can take on a whole new life!

This Precious Scrap of mine became the Inspiration for a Cute Baby Girl Romper!

A Precious Scrap Used for the Yoke
There was just enough room to cut out the Front Yoke from this Scrap.  (to learn how I added a Yoke to this Pattern see  this Blog Post  )

Digging through my fabrics I came up with  Sweet Grey Polka Dot Flannel that worked well with the Yoke Fabric.

Baby Girl Romper and Headband.

It still needed something else to my mind.  Something sweet and girly.  Ah, a Ruffle.  I chose a Black and White Stripe Fabric for the Ruffle.  To tie everything together a narrow ribbon of the Black and White Stripe Fabric was also added to the Bottom Cuffs.

As a Final Touch of Sweetness, I Crocheted an Adorable Headband to Go with the Romper.  I used these You Tube Tutorials for the Headband and the Three Layer Flower .
A Black Button is sewn in the Center of the one I made.

This Fun Little Romper and Headband is now on it's way to a New Little Baby Girl. Can't Wait to see Her in it, although I may have to wait just a bit as it is a Size 3-6 months.

So there you have it. A Precious Scrap became the Inspiraton behind a Lovely Little Romper!

What other ways can scraps be used?  How about Bow Ties?  See this Blog Post all about making them.

I'd love to hear how you use your Favorite Fabric Scraps. Leave a comment below!

Happy Sewing.....

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bow Tie Extravaganza - A Family Affair!

Who dosen't love Bow Ties?  Now Everyone, including Fido and the Girls in the Family, can dress up with one!

421 Meyers Design Studio has a Great Pattern.  See the various options I've crafted from it so far.

Teddy in his Bow Tie
First up is the Dog Bow Tie:

This is a quick and easy make.  It uses velcro to attach to the collar.  Instructions for making a Collar are also included.

 I modified the pattern by using regular velcro (the pattern calls for Velcro One Wrap) overlapped by 1/2 inch.  Applying it with the Soft Side towards the Bow Tie keeps the burr side away from the Dog.

Velcro Attachment

Bow Tie Bracelet
Now for the Girls in the Family:

Little girls will love the Bow Tie Bracelet!  And even Moms can have fun with this little charmer!

The wrist strap can be lengthened by adding more jump rings or by making the fabric piece longer.

 I used tiny D Rings to attach the Clasp to the Bracelet.

And Finally, Bow Ties for the Guys:

Dapper Little Guy

Even the smallest Guy in the family can have his own Bow Tie. Optional sizes are included from Newborn, Boys, Teens and Men.

Regular Bow Tie hardware can be used but I used D Rings and a loop on this one I made since it is for a Baby.  This allows the Bow Tie to be worn loosely without coming undone. Adjustable BowTie Hardware is Great for other Sizes.

As you can see, matching sets are fun too!

Baby Bow Tie and Matching Bracelet for Sister

Whether just for Fun, or for a Special Event these Bow Ties are a Hit!

Sew some up yourself .

Bow Tie Hardware Available to Purchase in the Seaside Fabricrafts Etsy Shop.

Happy Bow Tie Sewing.....

Friday, August 12, 2016

Fabulous Reversible Bucket Hat - Free Pattern By Lost in Paris

Have you ever had trouble finding a Hat that Fits?

A Friend of mine has real trouble finding hats that fit her since her hat size is larger than the average woman.

This Friend gets Sunstroke very easily so in the Hot Weather a Hat is a must.  She wets the hats to cool her head better!!

So, she asked me to help her make a Hat or Two in her size.

First we tried drafting our own pattern following instructions found on the internet but that didn't work as well as we'd hoped.  Too much room for error in the fitting.

A well-drafted pattern is a thing of beauty when it comes to sewing!  Most of the patterns I love and make time and again come from someone who knows how to fine tune a pattern. (Like Kennis Wong who is the Creative Force behind the Itch to Stitch Patterns)

In my search for a good bucket hat pattern I came across tons of kids patterns.  But only a few for women.  Thankfully, Alyssa from Lost in Paris has kindly posted a Free Pattern for a Bucket Hat.
Here is the link:

I love free patterns.  Especially when its a new to me item to sew.  That way I can gain experience sewing the item, learn the ins and outs of it.

As it turns out this Pattern is Terrific!  Makes up into a Lovely Bucket Hat! 

I chose a Twill fabric in light Turquoise  for One Side and a White and Black Damask print Cotton for the Reverse Side.  A Striking Combination don't you think?  The colors are light so they will not absorb the suns heat as much, yet still have a nice colorful touch.

This was a Fun, Fast, Easy Sew!

Now I'm off to Stitch Another One up for Myself since this one is going Home with my Friend!

I'd love to see the Hat You Make from this Pattern.

Happy Sewing.....

Thursday, August 11, 2016

"Through the Seasons" with the Seville Skirt

The Summer Season is slowly ebbing away in my part of the world.  Wardrobe Changes will soon be needed.

Can One Skirt span all the Seasons?

I decided to put my 'Pretty in Pink' Seville Skirt to the test!  Join me on this Fun Journey!

Let me begin by saying that I adore the combination of Pink and Black, along with hints of White or other colors!

First up is Spring:

This Sweet Short Sleeve Top is perfect as the weather warms up.

With a Lisbon Cardigan  along in case of a cool breeze my Spring Outfit is all set.

 On to Summer:

Wow, is it Hot out!

Change to a Breezy Vienna Tank, lose the nylons covering my legs and add Slide Sandles on my Feet!

That was Easy.  A Cool, Comfortable Summer Outfit!


Time to warm things up a notch with a Lightweight, 3/4 Sleeve, Rayon Knit Sweater.

Add some nylons to my legs  and Shoes with enclosed toes.

Top it all off with a Flowing Silk Scarf! Perfect....

And Now for Winter:

It's Cold Outside so First On Pull on Some Great Boots ( and also heavier tights if you want)!

Add a Warm Corduroy Jacket and snuggle up the neck with a Scarf  that has lots of wraps.

If more warmth is needed add a Hepburn Turtleneck under that Jacket and a Smart Hat and Gloves! All Snuggly Warm!

 And so the Journey through the Seasons is Complete!  One Skirt Can do it All.......

I'd love to see Your Seville Skirt Seasonal Outfits........Stitch one up if you haven't already and create your very own  "Through the Seasons" Fashion Show!

Have Fun With It.....I Sure Did!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Want Fabric Deals? - Don't Overlook the Thrift Shops

I love Fine Fabrics!  What Sewist dosen't?

In my area though, choices of Fabric Stores are very limited and the fabrics available in them is not the greatest.  No really Fine Fabrics.

Online Sources are Available but I can't Touch and Feel the Fabric, which really tells the story of it's Quality.

So what is a Girl to do in Her Fine Fabric Quest?

Check out Every Option where Fabric is Sold!!

Thrift Stores usually have fabric.  True, lots of it is junk but amongst the junk some real Jewels can be Hidden!

This Morning I discovered two Fabric Jewels in my local thrift shop.


First off, was 2 meters of a lovely Ivory colored Polyester Deluxe Chiffon.

While looking for a lining fabric my Hand Felt this Fabric and instantly knew it was a Fine Fabric.  A nice feeling lining really makes a garment a pleasure to wear don't you agree?

Only after examining the fabric closely, which is a must when purchasing fabric in a Thrift Shop ( it could be stained or something like that) did I see the Label.  I would have bought it anyway because of it's feel but the label confirmed it's Quality.

 The Price?  $1.99 marked down by 50%!  Into my Basket it Went!

The Next Treasure was 2.8 meters of this Rayon Challis.  Once again it was my Hand that told me it was a Fine Fabric first.

On the Cream Background are Sprigs of Leaves and Flowers in Brown and Grey.  I plan to bring some life to to this fabric by using a Black Rayon as an Accent either in a Yoke or Neck Binding or such. 

The Price?  $3.99!!!  Sold!

 I freely admit that my Local Thrift Store is my go to Fabric Source!  The Prices are Unbeatable.  The Thrill of the Hunt is Great Fun.  The Variety of Fabrics is more Stimulating than the average Fabric Store.

Not everytime do I find such Fine Fabric, sometimes it's Basic Fabric.  But Basic Fabric has it's uses and the Price is Right! 

So don't overlook Thrift Shops while hunting for Fabric Deals or Fine Fabrics.  Go on a Treasure Hunt! You may be surprised what you'll come away with!

Happy Treasure Hunting...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Terrific Pressing Tool - The Clapper

Clapper and Iron

The Clapper is an often overlooked Pressing Tool that can really help you achieve a polished finished product.

What's a Clapper?  How do I use it?  Is it worth using?

The Clapper is a made from a hardwood like Maple or Ash.  It is unfinished, meaning no varnish, wax or stain.  This is to allow the wood to absorb heat and steam.

The one I use is about 10 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide with a gently tapering shape.  The height is 1 3/4 inches. A groove on the sides makes it easy to pick up and use.

So just how does one use the Clapper? And for what purpose?

You just quickly steam the fabric with the iron and then place the Clapper on and apply pressure until the fabric cools.  The Clapper absorbs the heat and steam.  This results in a crisp press!

Use it for perfectly pressed seams, crisp pleats, pressing hems and other thick areas where you don't want 'show through' pressing lines. It is absolutely terrific for making Crisp Looking Straps and Handles for Bags and Totes!

Take a look at these Dog Bow Ties I recently made.  The whole shape is a result of pressing layers of interfaced fabric in a particular way.  By using the Clapper a Crisp Bow Tie is the result!

Using a Clapper makes the Bow Ties Crisp and Clean
The Clapper eliminates the need to keep the iron on the fabric a long time to achieve a crisp press.  This is especially helpful for delicate fabrics where the iron could damage the fabric if held on too long.

Is it worth using?  Yes!!  The more I use mine the better I like it. I use it for so many pressing areas!  If you haven't tried the Clapper you'll be surprised by how much it improves your sewing projects!

Where can you get one?  One place is  Seaside Fabricrafts Etsy Shop.  Other sewing supply stores may also carry it .

So what do you think?  Are you ready to improve your sewing projects?  Then go get yourself a Clapper.  You won't regret it!

Happy Sewing.....

Monday, August 1, 2016

Handbag Heaven - Even YOU Can Make One

Maisie Bowler Handbag I Made

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my Favorite Handbag Pattern Sources.

 Alicia Miller is the woman behind the Swoon Sewing Patterns.

 One of my Favorites is the Maisie Bowler Handbag

 Isn't that just the Cutest Handbag you've ever seen?

I bet you're thinking 'I could never make one of those'. 
Let me assure you that you can!

Alicia's instructions and illustrations are clear and understandable.  And if you need some help join her Swoon Patterns Facebook Group. There Alicia and other members will help you with any issue you may have.

 So what else can you find at Swoon Sewing Patterns?

The patterns include Interesting Totes and Hobos like the Sophia Beach Tote and the India Hobo Bag 

There are Wallets, Clutches and Wristlets like the Pearl Wallet Clutch and theMarianne Clutch and Wristlet.

How about the Blanche Barrel Bag  for a fun bag....

                      And there are some Free Patterns too.
                      A great way to try out a new designer!



The Satisfaction that creating such Terrific Bags gives is Fantastic!  You'll be so Amazed and Proud of Yourself and so will Your Friends.  In Fact, I bet they will start asking you to make one for them!

So, Believe in Yourself, and start Swooning..... as we say.....

Happy Sewing!