Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Eastern Michigan State Fair 2017

One of the biggest obstacles I have to getting anything done is TIME. There's only so much time to do the plethora of projects I want to do, and my job sure cuts into that time!


This year, I set myself a goal to finish a quilt in time for the Eastern Michigan State Fair. Registration ended in June, so I went ahead and spend the $15 to register, effectively giving myself a deadline. And it worked! I actually entered 7 items (though I only actually brought 6).


First, I finally finished this!



Most people that have seen this have said WOW! And wow is right. This just hits you right in the eye. Photos truly don't do this justice, though this photo is better at capturing the colors than my cell phone was. You can't help but follow the colors, spinning your eyes around with the changes. There are over 200 fabrics in this quilt, so every time you look at it, you see something new!


Next, I finished my Toothless!




This is a modified Sitting Dragon from Sew Desu Ne?, with parts borrowed from the Jackalope pattern from the same designer, and some pieces I drew up and added. (This designer now has a really adorable FREE Night Fury pattern that you should really get!)


Next, I entered this bag I sewed up from the Everyday Attache pattern from StudioKat Designs.








This was one of the most intensely complicated bags I've ever made, but it went together so smoothly! It's a little smaller than I would carry regularly though, I'm more of a Wrapsody girl.


I also entered 3 photos I took on our family vacation this year.


So how did I do? Pretty well!



Best in Show!


Blue ribbons on Toothless and my Everyday Attache!
 

And a blue for my dolphin photo (top right), a red for my marine landscape photo (lower left), and a white for the photo of my boys while snuba diving (upper left).
 
Not too bad for the first time I ever entered! I'm going to try a different fair next year though. I have several more quilts to finish, so I'm going to check the open book this year and see what categories there are, and what projects I can finish for those categories. This won't be my last fair!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Pattern Test - Chai Shirt and Dress by Itch to Stitch

This week, I had the pleasure of testing a new pattern from Itch to Stitch, the Chai Shirt and Dress. And let me just tell you, this has got to be the cutest shirt I have ever made for myself! I have plans to make at least four more, and at least one will be a dress. I LOVE the shape and fit of it, it's super feminine. Even my husband likes it! I can't say enough good things about it! And it went together relatively quickly and smoothly (except for a couple finickey buttonholes, but I worked it out.)



This pattern is fit not only in the usual bust, waist and hips, but also for cup size. I had never done a pattern with cups taken into consideration, and I am so happy I tried this!


I had to shorten the bodice slightly (one inch), and graded to fit, but no real major adjustments. I do recommend doing a muslin for fit though, I did two before I stitched this one up.

There are buttonholes and buttons, a collar, seam trimming and grading (there's a tutorial linked if you don't know how to do this), hand stitching OR stitch in the ditch (your choice), darts, and gathers. I definitely wouldn't call this a beginner pattern, it's more like intermediate.


And how great is this collar? I have made a couple collared shirts before, but they never turn out this good! The instructions are very clear and well written, so you can sew up a professional looking collar.




You can get this pattern for yourself HERE, and you should because you'll look amazing in it!

📷 by Logan Maciejewski.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Quilt Pattern: Fat Quarter Festival!

Now that I am working full time again in a "real" job, finding time for pattern writing has been difficult. But today, I am releasing a new new pattern as part of the Aspiring Designer's Challenge!


Yup, I'm right there in the middle of some pretty amazing designers. Make sure you check them out as well.

Mae & K
Laela Jeyne Patterns
The Wolf and the Tree


Ok, back to my pattern! I went back to my quilting roots after my hat release this summer. Quilting really is my comfort, and keeps me sane in my world where there's no time! And with that, I will tell you about my new fat quarter pattern, Fat Quarter Festival!

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/fat-quarter-festival/175375

This is a really fun pattern if you like your quilts good and scrappy looking. It starts with fat quarters, and one cutting diagram. With those pieces, you can make 4 different blocks. I'm sure there's probably a few other ways you could stitch them up too, but my pattern includes 4 layouts. It's a very fast sew, so it's great for a quick gift. Just choose which block (or blocks) you want to make, cut your fat quarters (you could even stack a few of them to make it go even faster) and stitch them up!

Here's a couple more pictures of other quilts made from this pattern!




http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/fat-quarter-festival/175375

Many thanks to Heather T. and Jenn B. for testing my pattern and allowing me to use their photos!

Want to make one for yourself? Go grab the pattern here!

Or if you'd rather win a copy, you can enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 19, 2015

Look what made it's way home!

I can't believe it has made its way home! Anyone that has known me or followed me for a few years might know this story, but the ending only came on Friday.

Way back in 2012, I entered a contest at the American Sewing Expo (there is a post about it here.) Somehow, I won an honorable mention ribbon. I went to the expo on Saturday that year, so I wasn't there to pick up my entry after the close of the show.

Instead of sending my entry back to me, they upgraded my honorable mention to 6th place, and the contest sponsor took it on tour with them to trade shows for a year. I was so excited to have placed, and couldn't wait for the year to be up so I could have the ribbon. I had planned to put the letter, the ribbon, and my project into a shadowbox frame together.

But the following October, when the year tour period was over, I didn't get it back.

I watched the mail the whole month of October. When i didnt get it, I started emailing the expo in November, asking if they had gotten it back, or if they knew when I could expect it back. They poked around, and unfortunately, In December, I was informed that the sponsor couldn't find it. Nobody knew what had happened to it. The expo people apologized to me and gave me some seminar time for the following year, along with the ribbon I had won.

Fast forward two years later to now!

Friday, I was driving home after dropping my son off for a scouting event, and stopped at the mailbox. Nothing but little packages that day. But one was from the American Sewing Expo! I haven't entered a contest there since my entry was lost (an entry fee was added to the contest, and I didn't want to pay it hahaha), so the only thing it could be was the one thing I never expected to see again!

I pulled in and parked right at the end of the driveway, and opened it right there. And sure enough, it was found! No explanation in the letter as to what happened, but it doesn't matter!

I haven't gotten it into a shadowbox frame yet, but I was excited to finally get it back and I wanted to post a "post expo" photo. Here it is!



A little bit about it: This is a clutch purse I made from the Apropos Pack pattern from Studiokat Designs. I quilted the exterior fabric using three threads sent to me for the contest, in a diamond plaid pattern.

The stripe of blue (and the stripe of orange on the inside edge of the flap) were added when I realized the piece had shrunk due to the quilting, and it was too short to put the snap in! Oops!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Craftsy's October ALL-ACCESS Class Pass -- just $9.99!



You heard right! Craftsy is offering an All Access Class Pass, access to ALL THEIR CLASSES for the month of October -- for only $9.99! You can try them all, binge watch everything that you've been curious about.

What's the catch? Well, November 1, you won't have access to those classes anymore, only the ones you've paid for. But if there's a few classes you've been wanting to watch, and you have some free time this month, it's a great opportunity to watch them and see if you'd like to purchase them. If you have taken any class notes during October, they will still be there if you decide to purchase the class after the pass expires.

It's a hard deal to pass up! Less than $10 for access to EVERY Craftsy class? I know I'm signing up! But hurry, you can only get this deal through Midnight on October 6.


Friday, May 29, 2015

The Cote d'Azur Sun Hat pattern is now available!

Hi everyone! I've been away from pattern making for several months, but I'm back with a brand new pattern. I've been spreading my wings, so to speak, and I've stepped outside my normal quilted box to release my very first wearable design!

It's almost summer here on our side of the globe, and I'm a pale, pasty chick. I avoid the sun like a vampire. It doesn't take long for me to turn lobster red, and I've had more than my fair share of sunburns in my life, especially on my face, shoulders, and the back of my neck. To avoid raising my risk of skin cancer even more, I decided I needed a big hat. And why not? They're very fashionable these days, and much easier to put on than sunblock (which I'll still wear!) Most of the wide-brimmed hats I see are some kind of woven style, but I wanted a fabric one, so it's washable and keeps out ALL the sun's rays. And this is it! Introducing the Cote d'Azur Sun Hat from ShannonMac Designs!


I have designed this sun hat pattern to fit head circumferences of 16"-24", with brim options of 4", 5", and 6". With those options, it will fit most people 12 months and up!



And since you're making it yourself, you can make it truly fit you and your style! I used quilter's cotton, but you can feel free to use any fabric you like, as long as it's not stretchy and won't lose it's shape (knits and silkies are probably good to avoid).

I used Pellon 809 Decor Bond in the brim, but some of my testers tried other things, like thermofleece, buckram, and peltex. Other interfacings can result in different levels of stiffness in the brim, but if you like a floppier hat, just try a lighter interfacing.

Check out some of the photos that my testers submitted!
















Thank you so much to all my amazing testers!!

And now it's time for you to get the pattern, and make one for yourself! You can purchase the pattern in my Craftsy Shop, OR you can enter my rafflecopter drawing and win a copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 28, 2014

Omni Tempore by Sofilantjes Patterns

Hi there! Recently I had the opportunity to sew up the Omni Tempore pattern by Sofilantjes Patterns for my son (It's also available in adult sizes here! Or look for the bundle :) ) I usually sew clothes for my 6 year old because he's a better model hahaha, but I thought this would be a great pattern for my 11 year old. He likes hoods and pockets and fleece, so this was a great combination of all his favorites. So here it is!




He really loves this shirt! I made it out of black polar fleece, which is the same fabric I used to back his quilt last Christmas. So now he can wear this and feel like he's wrapped in his quilt. I made it in a size 13 so he can wear it for a while, and because he likes his clothes a little baggy (and we have long monkey arms in my family LOL). Now my 6 year old is jealous because he doesn't have one. Guess I'll be making one for him today!

And it really is fast enough that I can do that. I put the pattern together at a cub scout meeting, pinned and cut the pieces while watching tv with my family, and sewed it up in about 3 hours last night (and it only took that long because I don't have a serger, so I was using a mock serger stitch that took a long time to do on my DSM). There are several options to this shirt too, so I could have taken less time and done hemmed sleeves and bottom. But I did wrist and waist bands, which took a few extra minutes. So when I finish the second one, I'll post pictures here too.

This is a great, simple, unisex pattern that is easy enough for anyone to do! You can see some other great photos at the other blogs on this blog tour.


Monday, November 24th 

Tuesday, November 25th

Wednesday, November 26th

Thursday, November 27th

Friday, November 28th

Saturday, November 29th

So now that you've seen it, it's time to go make one yourself! You can buy the pattern at the link at the top of this post...Or you can win a copy by entering the Rafflecopter drawing! They will be drawing a winner at the end of the tour, so get your name in the hat while there's still time :) Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summer's over, so...it's time for a new pattern!

I can't believe it's September! I took the summer off pattern writing for the most part to be home with my kids. But now, the summer is winding down (not that it ever really got that warm here in Michigan!), and the kids are back to school. So, it's time to release my new pattern!

Now available is this adorable baby quilt pattern, which I call Balloons in the Park. I made this after visiting family and meeting their new son, who is just adorable! In his bedroom, there's a wall of hot air balloon decals, so I took that as inspiration and ran with it. And this is the result!


It's kind of a play on an I Spy quilt. I did some pretty heavy quilting, and the final quilt has puffy, rounded balloons. I love it!


I've never considered myself amazingly skilled with my long arm, but I'm very happy with the results, even if they aren't perfect. I'm getting better! I've never done quilting this intricate, most everything I've done was primarily quilting with loops or meanders, sometimes with stars mixed in. And knowing how long it takes me to decide how I want to do the quilting, I have included a quilting diagram so you can follow it if you choose.



I'm really happy that my cousin and his family love it as much as I loved making it. And now you can make one too. You can get it from my Craftsy Shop!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Check out the Offbeat Oxford shirt pattern by Terra's Treasures Designs!

Ok, so I normally don't sew clothes, at least not for myself. I'm no good at fitting myself since my dress form doesn't look anything like me. Luckily, my two boys are pretty true to size (at least on top!) so I can sew for them sometimes. But let's be honest, boys patterns are usually all the same things. Occasionally though, a good boys pattern comes out that isn't your typical t-shirt, jeans, or plain button up shirt. This is one of them!


Here's the Offbeat Oxford by Terra's Treasures Designs. It's a fun take on a boys button up shirt, but with some visual interest. The row of buttons curves off to one side, and the pocket flap is a little different too. There are instructions included for doing a professional finish on the seams too, but I didn't do them.


I decided to make the shirt gray. My 6 year old came to the store to pick out buttons with me, and insisted on red ("Come on mom, it's MY shirt!"), so I used red thread for the top stitching, and fit a small gray button in the center of each red button.



He was so excited to put it on when it was done! I see myself making a few more of these for him. I'll be more careful around the collar stand, which was my only real hang up (only because I'd only ever sewn one collar before this and it was 5 years ago.) The pattern was easy to follow with plenty of photos and diagrams. I'm really pleased with how this turned out, and I'm sure if I make another one, it will be even better! I may even give the professional seaming a try next time.


(He was such a good sport...it's not even 55 degrees here this morning!)

So if you're looking for patterns for your boys, pop over to Terra's Treasures today, where you can get this pattern for 25% off! I'll be bookmarking her site as well, knowing that I can go there for boys patterns that don't look like everything else!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Bettie's Designer Pattern Swap

Get Your Crap Together
A while back, I joined an amazing group of ladies on Facebook. This group is for aspiring pattern designers, who are looking to make a name for themselves in the wide world of PDF patterns. Most of them are children's clothing designers, but they welcomed me right in, even though I can't sew a stitch properly when it comes to clothing (unless you count the pj pants I sew for my boys!)

We recently swapped some patterns among us, and the pattern I got is the Strawberry Shortcake Purse, by Ruby and Jack. I don't have girls, but I LOVE to sew a purse, and this one is so cute and easy!


So one morning, I sat down and started cutting. I didn't have the ribbon the pattern called for to make the strap (as a quilter, I just don't use much of it, so I never buy it), so I sewed a strip of fabric into a ribbon instead. And about an hour after I started cutting, it was finished!


This is a quick easy project that can easily be done in a hurry. It would make an adorable gift bag for a little girl's birthday. Or for a springtime birthday party, you could make a bunch of these and use them as goodie bags!

It's cute little patterns like this that make me want a daughter! But alas, I don't have one, and neither of my boys would have stood with this on their arm for a photo! So, I got the next best thing. This bag is a little small for me to carry myself, so I gave it to my good friend's daughter, who's 5. She was quite happy to show it off for the camera too!

`

Want one for your own little ones? Head over to Ruby and Jack Sewing Patterns on Etsy. Or, you could enter the Bettie's Basket giveaway, and maybe win a copy, plus a copy of patterns from lots of other designers, including me! You can enter the giveaway right here. And be sure to visit the pages of the other designers and show them some love!