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Tuesdays are for Teaching – Kids Sewing Series Day 3

Hey all!!  I’m so sorry we missed everyone last week!  We had some family things come up out of town and were out for a few days.   Hope you don’t mind catching up today.

I left this week’s lesson up to Ryleigh.  She said she really wanted to learn how to sew curves better so that she can make some different shaped pillows so that is what we focused on.


I can’t remember if I mentioned before but i’m not a huge fan of stitching on paper.  It has a different feel going through the feed dogs and I think that learning and practicing on fabric is just a better use of her time.  So that being said, here’s how we practice.  I bought super inexpensive muslin ($1.99/yard plus 40% off)  and cut it into blocks.  Then with a permanent marker I draw lines or shapes.   This is a super easy way to incorporate lots of the techniques she’s learning.  She knows to back-stitch at the  beginning of each activity, clip her threads and I always add in some pivoting.


She thinks’s its fun to do the same shapes and test herself to see if she improves from one to the other and I love that its something she can do independently.   I’m going to start keeping a small stack of ready to use sheets with her stuff so that when she spends time at the studio with me she can practice anytime.

We also talked about threading her bobbin.  The Sparrow has a drop in bobbin so it’s pretty simple. And they have an amazing threading guide with arrows that makes it even easier to get it right each time.  A few times through and she had it down!

I do admit, I love when she can work independently, which is becoming more and more as she builds her confidence and skill on the machine.  It gives me time to work on some pattern testing among a few other projects (aka cleaning up my space lol)

While she worked on curves, I got to sew up these cute shorts that we were testing from Lil Luxe Collection.  The Papillon Shorties have an adorable scalloped yoke with optional piping and an elastic back and come in both a low and high rise waist.  I’ll share a few more pictures of these tomorrow!

Tutorial – Envelope Pouch

As promised, I wanted to share this quick tutorial with you all from Ryleigh’s lesson yesterday in Day 2 of our Kids Sewing Series.

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The dimensions you use can vary to give you a variety of sizes, making this super versatile.  We’ve used them for gift giving, books or gift cards are perfect in them!  They can store small toys and treasures or you can get fancy and use a laminated fabric to make re-usable sandwich/snack bags.  Really the possibilities are endless!

For this one I started with 2 rectangles cut 7″x 10.5″.
Fold one piece in half so the long sides match.
Using a ruler, lined up with the folded corner, measure down 3″ and cut.
Repeat with the second piece.


Starting at the bottom, sew around all edges, leaving a 3″ gap to turn it right side out.
Turn right side out, clip all corners (being careful not to go through your stitching) and then press.


Now, for a way to close our pouch.  You could do a button here if you’d like, or snaps, but for this one we are using velcro.  The best way i’ve found to be sure the closures line up is to fold it up as if it was finished.  Take a pen or something similar and press down in the location you want your closure.  As long as you press hard enough, you will see the indentions on both sides and can easily mark the spots.

Lastly, stitch across the shortest straight edge and then fold the bottom up as shown and top stitch from one corner all the way around to the other.


I’d love to hear your ideas on what else these could be used for!  And if you’ve made any please link up in the comments, I love seeing your projects!!

Here is another one Ry made, this one is storing Shopkins 🙂

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Tuesdays are for Teaching – Kids Sewing Series Day One

Well, here we are a new week.  Everyone surviving in the insane heat?  One thing I’ll never get used to in the midwest is the humidity, BUT we can always make the most of it and find some great indoor activities right?  Bet you can’t guess what I’m about to suggest?? Yep, you got it!   Sewing!

My 8 year old has been asking to learn for awhile now, and a few months ago, we started some very basic instruction to get her going but skipped a lot of the fundamentals.  We are going back to basics and starting fresh.  I’m going to be sharing along the way, so be sure to check on Tuesdays over the next few months.

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While I know not everyone can start with a new machine, Ry was SO excited when this box arrived for her.  I’d been in contact with the wonderful people at EverSewn and Brewer Sewing Supplies and they generously sent one of the new Sparrow 25 machines for her to work with.  We are going to talk all about the features this machine has to offer as she learns them, but if you just can’t wait, you can check out the details here.  I took some time to play with the machine a bit before we started and I have to say this machine has a lot to offer for a great price point.  I think she might have more features than the machine I sew on, haha!  I’ll come back to some of my thoughts another day, but for now lets get back to setting this bad boy up.

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EverSewn Sparrow 25
One of the most important things to start with is positioning.  We originally started setting up on one of my counters and it was just too high for her to reach properly.  By the time we lowered the chair to reach the pedal, the machine was at her shoulders.  We went out and found this little gem of a table at a local surplus store so right now it isn’t beautiful but its just the right height without being too small.  (we’ll be refinishing it but thats for another day too, haha)

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I think she’s set- feet touch the floor, she is high enough to see the machine easily and has enough room to feed fabric through the back.  Let’s move on to learning how to thread the machine.

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This is a necessity.  I really want her to come and hang out in the studio with me but its also important that she can be working independently.  While i’m happy to help I need to know that she can change thread to move through projects on her own.  Even that aside, it is something that she needs to be able to do.

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We practiced a few times and with the help of the guide arrows on the machine, she is flawlessly threading a new spool completely on her own.  Right down to using the automatic threader.   We also walked through how to load the bobbin.  With the drop in bobbin, she picked that up pretty quickly so I think we are ready to start moving to some fabric.

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Keeping our fingers out of the way! 
While she has done some sewing before I wanted to make sure she understood this machine and where things are since it’s a little different the one she worked on before.  We kept things simple this time:

  • Adjusting the speed to a place that is comfortable to her
  • Starting and stopping using the pedal (there is a start/stop button too but we will come back to that)
  • Backstitching
  • Hand positioning

 

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Raising and lowering the presser foot

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We only turn the dial TOWARDS us! 
Using some scraps we practiced just a straight line, backstitching at the beginning and end and pulling our fabric out.  She loves that it has a thread cutter on the side and insists on using that, even when there are scissors everywhere you turn!

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The thread cutter – its the little things in life, haha! 
We are going to work on a little pouch later this week with the skills from this lesson so check back to see how it turns out!  I will also be letting Ry take over my blog on Friday to share some of her thoughts about how things are going, I promise you won’t want to miss that!

 

Pattern Review | The Best of the Class Dress

Woo! We made it through another week!   I was thinking a good way to round this week out was a pattern review.  I usually get to do this over on the Pattern Revolution blog so i’m excited to be doing this one here.

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This pattern is still a relatively new pattern, releasing just a few months ago.  It’s the first pattern for Wei, also owner at One Red Blossom Fabrics.

The Best in the Class pattern is currently available in the One Red Blossom Craftsy Shop at the remarkable price of only $4.99!  This includes sizes 2T – 12, in regular and slim versions.

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One of the things I have to say that I appreciate about this pattern is the minimal amount of pages to print.  I don’t mind measuring to cut rectangles but i’m not a fan of taping huge pieces together when I can just measure.  I know this is a personal preference as some people don’t want to measure, or maybe still cut patterns with scissors but as someone who uses a rotary, its both a time and paper saver.

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The fit of the dress was spot on.  I made this for a neighbor and it could not have fit better.  with the 2 rows of elastic casing across the back and the adjustable ties, it can be tailored perfectly for any child.

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I also learned something new.  For as long as i’ve made ties, I can admit i’ve never done them this way and I actually am so glad to have learned the method that Wei shares to get the points nice and even.  I have always stitched right sides together and turned them but I think you will like the bias directions she uses.

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I would say it this is an ideal pattern from beginners to more seasoned sewists who can add their own style or flair to it.  The pieces all fit together nicely with no altering or changes needed.

 

I will make one suggestion, really more of a tip.  When I added the ruffle, I used 2 strips of Wondertape, one for each side of the strap before sandwiching the ruffle piece in.  This kept the ruffle from shifting while I sewed and attached the straps.  Wondertape is one of my favorite helpful notions and is something I always keep handy for jobs where its a littl harder to use pins or where you need to keep something extra secure while your stitching.

 

Lastly, I have to give a huge shout out to a few friends that always help accessories my outfits when I need them!!  Lisa from BellaLuPretties has been supplying us with bows for a few years now, they are always perfect and add just the right touch.  And Julie from Chestnut Street Duds makes the most gorgeous necklaces that are amazing for kids without being too juvenile, my daughter always loves them!

 

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** Please note, there are affiliate links used in this post.
I was given the pattern free of charge to try and provide an impartial review.  I was not compensated in any other way by any of the products/companies used in this review.

Blog Tour | Desert Bloom by Amanda Herring for Riley Blake

Imagine my excitement when an email popped up from designer Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish, inviting me to join in on this amazing blog tour of her newest fabric collection, Desert Bloom.

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It’s gorgeous, so of course I jumped at the chance.  Knits are really my favorite to sew with, so I was even more excited to see that of the 27 prints in this collection, six of them came in knit!   Knits from Riley Blake have always washed up so soft and have such beautiful colors, and these definitely did not disappoint.

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I chose the Main in Gray and the Stripe in Red.  I had initially thought about doing palazzo pants and a tank (since my model has such grown up tastes these days) but when the fabric arrived I knew it would make a gorgeous dress that would be casual enough for her to wear everyday, but sweet enough to work for nicer occasions as well.

One of the patterns that hasn’t left my cutting table lately is the Summer Surprise from Sofilantjes.  I decided to slim the bodice of the top a little and take inspiration from the Solis dress skirt.

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I just love the back bow from this pattern!

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I did adjust to make a 3/4 circle skirt instead of a full circle just to work with the amount of fabric I had.  Still nice and twirly though!!

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I had such a hard time narrowing down the photos for this shoot, so I apologize for the picture overload!  I just can’t resist sharing sometimes, she has such an awesome personality, I just love this girl <3

How about a few outtakes? haha!

I want to thank Amanda again for inviting me to join in.  And for the for the amazing gift she sent before we got started.  Isn’t this just the cutest box of all things Utah?  That taffy… omg so good!!  I can’t promise it lasted more than a few days haha 😉

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Want to follow along with more Desert Bloom inspiration?  Check out the other stops on our tour!
Blog Tour Schedule

 

One Thimble Issue 11 – The Marty Hoodie Meets Hood Creatures

Note: This post does include affiliate links.  Your clicks and purchases are greatly appreciated, and I promise never to share something I don’t love myself!

What a perfect combination to release in the new issue of One Thimble!  We are such hoodie fans at my house that when I got a preview of Issue 11, I knew exactly what I wanted to sew up and try out.

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The Marty Hoodie from Ainslee Fox is great!  It can be either tunic or dress length and has 2 pocket choices.

I chose the patch pockets but there is a kangaroo pocket as well that you can check out on Rachel’s review on Pattern Revolution.

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These cute little trolls were in a scrap pack I picked up from Dark Matter Fabrics and there was just enough to highlight them with a coordinating french terry.

Since we are just moving into summer here I decided to make it short sleeve.  This isn’t an option on the pattern but is a very easy modification that you can make on your own.

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StitchART released an adorable set of creatures plus a few extras like these glasses that I picked.  I can’t wait to try the others on something for Reid, they are right up his wild-side alley!

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These templates can be added to ANY hoodie, made or store bought.  They only require a few simple things to get started.  Most importantly you will want to be sure you have a free motion or darning foot for your machine, it should look something like this-

This lets the fabric move freely and you can control where the stitches go, rather than being fed through normally.
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Stopping to take a breath…

I know there’s lots of you out there that can understand and have likely felt the same way at one point… That point when great intentions also means I’ve overcommitted. 

Sometimes just a break from the things pulling in so many directions is just the ticket and that’s exactly what this weekend is.  It’s spring break for our kiddos so I’m looking forward to a long weekend of no work, no sewing, no studio… Just me, hubs, the kids and some great friends! 

  
I thought I’d use my time off to share a few of the things that I’ve had on my plate recently.  It’s all amazing, fantastic things, which is why I just can’t ever say no, haha! (Surely someone else has can’t-say-no syndrome right?! It’s a real thing, I say so)

The studio!! We’ve started our classes! It’s been several months in the works and after moving spaces in January we are finally moving forward with the plans we had laid out.  Your can read more about it here. Plus you can take a peek into the space I work in.     

  
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Our most recent class was a girls class for spring break.  We had such a fun time and the girls did a fabulous job!! 

 
  
I’ve also been working on lots of pattern and fabric testing.  Which leads to lots of photography. 

 

 
With the more time I’ve spent behind my camera, the more I’m feeling pretty confident in my skill.  This is giving me the opportunity to form some really great relationships with other designers and businesses.  Our studio neighbor is The Opposite of Far, if you haven’t checked her out before you need to, look how awesome her masks are!! 
   
 

I met the sweet ladies of Mama Said Tees while I was at MommyCon in Chicago a few weeks ago.   Love their shirts!! Stuff like this goes so well with stuff I make for the kids. 

 

Really I can never have too many shirts like this, so it’s a good thing my good friend Julie from Chestnut Street Duds has been coming up with some awesome designs of her own. 

 

So there you have it.. A wrap up of my time lately and what keeps me so busy.  Not to mention my full time job (gotta support my fabric budget somehow!) and just being a mom. But all that said, I wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t think I know how to function when I’m not running at 110%.  It’s just who I am.  ❤️

  

    

Hey June – The Camden Raglan

You have no idea how exciting this pattern is our household.  I might even call it life-changing, and that isn’t an exaggeration, haha!  As Ry has gotten older (because yes 8 is old, which apparently makes me ancient!)  it has been harder and harder for us to agree on clothing, both store bought and items i’m making.  Finding a pattern that we both love, and that fits her slim frame so perfectly is like hitting the jackpot!

 

Floral fabric is an upcoming release from The Fabric Geeks

Say hello to the Camden Raglan from Hey June.   I’m pretty sure this is the 4th one i’ve made so far and she loves every one of them.


This Lucky Sprinkle fabric was so perfect for St Patrick’s Day (and green day at school today)

I really love that all these tops came from the same pattern, but all have their own look.  From a banded bottom, to a curved hem, 3 different sleeve lengths, hooded or not;  its really awesome to get so many looks.


I also sent a few off to a friend, her daughter and Ry could be twins in another life.  They have the same attitude-filled opinions and have almost an identical build.  And generally if one designs an item, the other one wants the same thing, its uncanny how alike they are but they have never met in person.

 

Stitchkins fabric from Dark Matter Fabrics 


This one almost didn’t leave our house.  I only had enough of this amazing Stenzo dog and cat fabric for one top and Chey had picked it out.  (yes I’m already ordering more! and you can too… Mabel Madison has it available in both pink and white!)

 


Apparently digital designs like this are becoming increasingly popular.  The girls love them, I feel like the dog is staring at me… haha!!

 

Vintage Kitchen Blog Tour – Doll Apron Tutorial

Hey there friends!!  Today we’re talking about a gorgeous new fabric from Riley Blake that recently hit the shelves of your favorite fabric shop – Vintage Kitchen by Andrea Muller.

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I just LOVED the Kitchen Turnips for spring so I chose those and built around them!   Ry has been asking for an apron so I though making one for her and her doll would be the perfect project with these.

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She insisted on a mixing bowl for our outside pics… haha!!

How adorable is this Kitchen Cat ribbon??

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And we can’t leave out Lea!

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The doll apron is the perfect way to use up scraps!

You only need 3 pieces of fabric –
main apron panel – 4″x 13″
waist/tie  – 3″x 30″
ruffle – 2″ x 26″

First  you want to hem the ruffle.  You could either use a rolled hem, or press up 1/4″ and then again another 1/4″ and stitch.

Now gather the ruffle to match the main skirt piece and attach, then topstitch.

Fold in the side 1/4″ and press, then fold another 1/4″ and press, then stitch in place.  Do this on both sides to finish the side edges.

For some reason these pictures didn’t turn out well and I didnt notice until I was too far in, i’m sorry!!  I’ll add some soon for anyone that isnt following that.

Moving on to the tie – press wrong sides together matching up long edges.  Open up and fold each long edge in towards the center press line you just made and press again.  This is basically making a wide bias tape.

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Open this up again and fold RIGHT sides together and stitch 1/4 from the edge down the short side on each end.

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Fold back to wrong sides together, folding with the press lines to enclose the seam allowance you just made.

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Now mark the middle of both your skirt and waist tie and either pin or clip.

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Using the waist, enclose the top of the skirt and starting at one end, topstitch all the way around the waist tie.

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Voila!!

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Thank you so much for stopping by today!!    I’d love to see what you created with the tutorial, tag me on Instagram  – #beribeeblog or #beribeetutorial

And big thank you to Riley Blake and Andrea Muller for sending over the fabric and ribbon for me to play with!

Now don’t miss out on the rest of the blog tour!! I’ve listed the other stops for so you can see the rest of the Vintage Kitchen awesomeness –

3/7/2016 Julia – Riley Blake Designs www.rileyblakedesigns.com/blog
3/7/2016 Andrea – Jolijou www.jolijou.com
3/8/2016 Nina – Hedi www.hedinaeht.blogspot.de
3/8/2016 Anja – Nähkitz www.naehkitz.de
3/9/2016 Kati – Swafing Fabrics blog.swafing.de
3/9/2016 Carrie Beri Bee Designs www.beribeedesigns.com
3/10/2016 Karin- Herzenssachen http://linababedierste.blogspot.de
3/10/2016 Andrea – anlukaa www.anlukaa.blogspot.com
3/11/2016 Emma – Frühstück bei Emma www.fruehstueckbeiemma.blogspot.com
3/11/2016 einchen – doppelnaht doppelnaht.blogspot.com
3/14/2016 Anorina – Samelias Mum http://www.sameliasmum.com
3/14/2016 Bev – Flamingo Toes http://flamingotoes.com
3/15/2016 Amy – Diary of a Quilter www.diaryofaquilter.com
3/15/2016 Julia – lillesol & pelle www.lillesolundpelle.com
3/16/2016 Andy – A Bright Corner www.abrightcorner.com
3/16/2016 Sabine – farbenmix www.farbenmix.de/inspiration
3/17/2016 Simone – KaeptnStupsnase www.kaeptnstupsnase.com
3/17/2016 Sarah – Mädchenkram www.mein-maedchenkram.de
3/18/2016 Melissa Corry www.happyquiltingmelissa.com
3/18/2016 Tina www.onelittlepooh.net
3/21/2016 Jessica Stewart www.snickerdoodlestew.com
3/21/2016 Bine Guellich www.waseigenes.com
3/22/2016 Lindsay Wilkes www.thecottagemama.com
3/22/2016 Sandra – Flaupa www.flaupa.blogspot.com
3/23/2016 Amanda Niederhauser www.jedicraftgirl.com
3/23/2016 Ina – pattydoo www.pattydoo.de
3/24/2016 Ruth Sodl-Warter http://rogeruethsgarden.com/
3/24/2016 Marissa – Rae Gun Ramblings http://www.raegunramblings.com

Bonus Monday -Adding a Lace Inset

Lucky us, Leap Day is on a Monday!  Can we consider it a bonus day not an extra day.  Cause really, does anyone want an regular old extra Monday?! I know I don’t!   Since we get an extra day, I figured i’d celebrate with an extra look for a pattern.

I just finished up making this awesome See Kate Sew Dreamer top for Sew Yourself Some Love Month at Pattern Revolution (want to see my full look, check it out there!)   I am so in love with the modification I made I wanted to share with all of you too.

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This is so simple, and something you can easily adapt to other patterns in your file drawer.

To start, I cut out my front piece.  Just a tip, when a pattern uses the same piece for the front and back, cut along the neckline for the front but before you move that piece aside tape it back down.  Just one small piece of tape though.  It will allow you to flip it up and back to cut both pieces perfectly.

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Now for the inset, using a ruler, cut a straight line across the top of the bodice.  Really however much you want to be lace (or even just a contrasting fabric).

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After you have both back pieces cut out, you can lay these right sides together and connect them along that new cut.   This becomes your new back piece and you can return to your regular pattern instructions to finish.

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This little change, makes a completely different top!   I’d love to see your version if you tried this!  You can share on Instagram and use #beribeeblog