Tag Archives: gifts

Sewing Stuff Organizer

I made my sister Natalie a pretty sweet birthday gift – this Roadtrip case! The pattern is by Noodlehead and gives you instructions for customizing it for various purposes. I followed the sewing bag tips.  My sister does quilt retreats and I thought it would be handy. I also made her a coordinating ironing pad that fits inside this case. I thought I took photos of that but I can’t find them!

The fabric is all Cotton + Steel and is mostly the Rifle Paper Co Menagerie line with some blenders from other lines. The outside fabric is the linen canvas and all the other fabric is quilting cotton.

I put this tiger front and center! On the inside I used the smaller version of this print as the lining. Kam snaps were used to fasten the pockets.  You can fit a full sized rotary cutter in the larger ones.

I customized the pattern by embroidering my sister’s name on it. I also replaced the felt bits for pins with super magnets! Boom! Built in magnetic pincushions. Two of them!

The top pocket is made of vinyl so you can see all your stuff.  I ended up hand basting the binding on so I could sew it in one pass. On version I made myself I did not like how doing it in two steps turned out and once you sew it you have holes in the vinyl!

I brought my case to a workshop with Latifah Saafir and she admired it. It was definitely great to have my stuff more organized than just throwing it all in a bag. 🙂

Dad’s Birthday Shirt

Last October was my Dad’s 70th birthday.  He was going on a cruise with my mom and my sister (and her husband). So I decided he needed a nice shirt. I totally stole this idea from Oonaballoona.

This is McCall’s 6932 which is the same pattern I used to make the Diamond Anniversary Shirts for Vanessa and Jeremy. However this is a pure linen instead of a linen blend for extra wrinkleyness!


I have always wanted to play around with hemstitching, so I tracked down a winged needle. I went into a local sewing machine shop and asked for one and they had no idea what I was talking about. So I searched through the Schmentz needles until I found it and then explained what it was used for.


My machine has 4 built in hemstitches and I tried all of them before deciding on this simple one. After I cut out the piece, I drew in 3 straight lines with washable marker and used them as my guide. I also used a lightweight thread.


I actually bought white linen, but after I finished sewing the shirt I thought about my Dad and realized that white was going to be a terrible idea. So I tea dyed it! I steeped a bunch of Lipton tea bags in a big pot and threw in some salt and the shirt. Luckily I had used all cotton thread for my sewing and embroidery!  It took up dye very quickly.  I was intending to have it be a little lighter than this, but I like the way it turned out.

Tea dying has some meaning too as my metz mama (my dad’s mom) used to tea dye things and it makes me think of her. I sent the shirt to my sister and asked her to give it to my Dad, but in the craziness of the baptism she forgot and they sailed away without it.  So I don’t have any tropical photos of him wearing it but I’m sure he’ll get to wear it this summer!

Diamond Anniversary Shirts

My sister, Vanessa, and her husband, Jeremy, celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary last month. A couple of weeks before that I was in Joann’s looking for some linen when I spotted this diamond print linen blend fabric. Do you know what the symbol of the 10th anniversary is… diamonds! So I picked up a few yards. The bolt was slightly short of what the pattern needed for 2 shirts, but I knew I could make it work!diamondshirts-3

I used McCall’s 6932 which is a Palmer/Pletsch unisex camp shirt pattern. I actually bought it for myself to make a 49er jacket, but I’ve made 3 shirts out of it and none were 49ers and none were for me! I got my mom to ask them for their chest measurements so I could figure out what sizes to make. Thanks Mom!

My sister is petite so I made the smallest size and took 3 inches out of the body and 2 inches out of the sleeve length and used the side vents. I made Jeremy’s shirt with no alterations.


These shirts went together very quick and easy. I was very particular about keeping the pieces separate for each shirt. That is until I swapped out the yoke linings. Eek! I didn’t notice this until after I sewed one in completely and trimmed the collar seam.  I didn’t have enough fabric to cut new pieces, so I just had to make them work.


Making a camp shirt is definitely a bit different construction than a more classic shirt like Grainline Archer. There is no collar stand and it overall has a very relaxed look that definitely works with the linen fabric I used.  However it still has a back pleat and lined yoke so that everything inside looks nice.

One of the interesting things about making this shirt was that I didn’t do any basting to gather in the sleeves. I used a ton of pins and eased it in. There were a couple of spots that I had to rip out and resew but overall it was neat not having to do gathers!

I didn’t get these shirts done until the day of their anniversary but I stuck them in the mail and they got them a couple of days later. I didn’t mention I was making anything so they were totally surprised! They are off to a cruise to the Bahamas with my parents next week so I know they will get to be dorky and dress alike on the ship! Good news that they fit perfectly.:)


Cat Lady Sewing Challenge – Katmono!

Miss Crayola Creepy is hosting the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge for the month of October.  Yay..I get to embrace my catladyness!

Recently one of my good friends celebrated her 30th birthday and I thought she needed to up her loungewear game. So when I came across all these tutorials for kimono jackets, I knew it was perfect!  She is also a cat lover so I wanted some kitty fabric. I was thinking more cute kitty fabric but this is the best I could do on short notice.

Forgive the terrible photos as I only finished sewing 30 minutes before I had to leave for the party!  It looks rather Rrrrawrrrr! with the slip Bertha wears, right? It’s a Kat-mono…haha!


I based my pattern on the tutorial by Elle Apparel, but I constructed it differently as I wanted some nicer finishes on the inside of the garment. I plan to make one for myself too, and for that one I plan to draft facings as well.

catmono-2I purchased 1.5 yards of fabric and I could possibly have done with a little less, but I wanted to make sure the sleeve print went the right way.



Cut Chenille Baby Blanket

I’ve had Aesthetic Net’s Cut Chenille Baby Blanket tutorial pinned on Pinterest for AGES! I’ve made some other baby quilts in the meantime, biding my time for the right little munchkin to sew one up.  Then I find out my British bestie Alex is expecting a little girl.

cutchenille-3 The first thing I had to was find the perfect print fabric. Alexi is a graphic designer and has a love for cute animal prints.  I was at Fabric Depot during a 40% off sale and spotted this adorable animal forest print from Kokka.  Next up was finding 3 colors of flannel to use for the chenille. This was a bit harder since Fabric Depot didn’t have a wide color choice in flannel. I should have waited and gone to Joann’s, which I later noticed, stocks tons!


I followed the tutorial except for not rounding my corners and making my own bias tape.  One thing to note is that you should have  max of 1/2″ between your lines. Even using my walking foot it was hard to get perfectly straight lines and after washing the places where I was over 1/2″ didn’t look so great.


I would also change one more thing…in the places where the chenille is spaced further apart you can see the back of the print fabric. Just in case this happens again I think I would layer a piece of coordinating solid cotton wrong sides together with the print fabric and then do the flannel.

This is not a hard blanket to make but it takes time to do all the sewing an the cutting, so be sure to give your self a few sessions to get it done.

Good news is that Alex & Baby Evie love it!