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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 11:00

Jacqui made a couple of the Kitschy Coo Trifecta Tops with long sleeves. The downloadable pattern is designed to be fitted through the bust with gentle side seam shaping through the high waist before skimming through the hips.

The pattern calls for a 60 inch wide knit fabric which Jacqui found in her stash. The sleeves require one yard for the full length. You could get away with less fabric for a shorter sleeve length. The raglan sleeve is very wide so it takes up a lot more fabric than you would think.

The body of the shirt uses about 3/4 of a yard, depending on how long you want the shirt. Jacqui had such fun mixing up stripes and solids. Love the lacy striped knit on the sleeve.

The neckline was attached with a serger then top stitched in the ditch. For the hem Jacqui used the cover stitch machine. Dahroool! The sleeve hem was finished with a stretch stitch on a regular sewing machine.

Everything about this shirt seemed to work well for both Jacqui and I (look here for Diana’s thrifted Trifecta Top). The fit is super flattering. We both love it and plan to make many more.

Four happy Trifecta Tops!

Happy sewing!
~Diana

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What Goes With What?"
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Date: Sunday, 13 Apr 2014 11:00

Spring inspiration is here. Jacqui made another Liberty of London Top using the Kwik Sew pattern #3308.

In size small and medium the pattern requires only one yard of Liberty of London Tana Lawn in Mitsi 1033-A.

Th only alteration to the pattern Jacqui made was making the neck band narrower.

To see Jacqui’s previous Liberty Top take a look at this blog post.

Happy spring sewing!
~Diana

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Friday, 11 Apr 2014 11:00

My new most comfortable t-shirt pattern is the downloadable Trifecta Top from Kitschy Coo. The Trifecta is great beginner pattern. The raglan sleeves make it a super fast and easy pattern.

I used 2 white men’s medium t-shirts found at Goodwill for my ‘muslin knit’. At 99 cents each for the shirts it was a good way to try the pattern. The sleeves are from an old t-shirt in my closet.

The front was cut out of one shirt and the back out of the other.  Make sure to line up the bottom edge of the pattern with the existing hem on the men’s shirt so your hemming is done for you.  Do the same on the sleeves so there is no hemming at all!

The sleeve length is dependent on the length of the shirt used.  My shirt was a woman’s large which was wide enough to cut one sleeve from the front and one from the back.

The Trifecta has a very flattering cut. It’s designed to have negative ease thru the bust. My measurements fall between the 7 and 8 sizes. I made the 8 to give myself a little more ease thru the bust. The pattern has many fun options including a v-neck, pocket, inset contrast for the shouders and neck line. The Grey and Pink Trifecta was made using an XL men’s shirt and a hot pink ladies t-shirt size Large.

A serger was used for all the seams except the neck line. I prefer using my sewing machine on the neck so I can sew at a slower pace. Set the machine at a small zig zag stitch. With this setting you could stitch up the whole shirt with great success. You do not need a serger to sew with knits.

Did I say I love the Trifecta Top? This is now my most favorite comfy t-shirt pattern.

Happy sewing!
~Diana

 

 

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "Sewing, What We're Making"
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Date: Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 11:00

Alicia made a cute spring apron for herself using the Master Chef Apron pattern from Modern Vintage Designs. The downloadable pattern is a great versatile pattern for Men and Women.

Of the three sizes available Alicia made the large size but shortened the apron considerably for her petite figure. By using the large size the apron wraps nicely around to fully cover the hips while cooking.

So fun how just a little trim adds so much to the design!

For more ideas on making the Master Chef apron look at Carrie’s and the one Alicia previous apron made for her husband.

Happy sewing!
~Diana

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Friday, 04 Apr 2014 11:00

Mara made the beautiful Belle Bow Blouse by In-House Patterns using the gorgeous Liberty of London Manuela Cotton Lawn. I’m so happy to see the Manuela made up into a lovely blouse. I have been dreaming of this fabric.

The Belle Bow Pattern is designed for a D cup. The busty girls thank you, In-House! Mara is 5’4″ tall and should be a 14 by the measurements. In ready to wear Mara is generally a 12.

Making a muslin first gave Mara the confidence to sew with Liberty. She was able to perfect the pattern to her body type then jump in with the Liberty to make the perfect blouse. Mara did a full one inch bust adjustment which gave her a bust dart. She simply rotated the dart up into the gathers at the shoulder. Kathy put together a Full Bust Adjustment blog post a while back. Check there for more info and some great links.

Mara shortened the blouse by 3 inches and made the pleats 3/4 inch smaller than called for in the pattern, giving a little more ease to the waist.

Well done Mara! Now, we are all dreaming of what fabric to make our Belle Bow Blouse out of. Wouldn’t it be perfect for spring!

Happy sewing!
~Diana

 

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "Sewing"
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Date: Saturday, 29 Mar 2014 11:00

 

I made a couple Runaround Bags from Lazy Girl Designs. The Fat Quarter friendly pattern was stitched up with fabrics from my stash.

My first zippers ever, were on this bag pattern. Easy peasy! If you have never done zippers before this is the bag for you. They come out perfect every time.

I love the size and versatility of this bag. It’s about 7″ x 9″ which is great for carrying just the essentials. Wouldn’t it make a great travel bag to keep the passport safe.

The back pocket is just the right size for a travel map or phone. Yes, I still use maps!

 

Happy travels!
~Diana

 

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 11:00

The Shooting Star Mini Quilt from Lee Heinrich at Freshly Pieced was started at the Portland MQG Sewdown. Lee’s class taught both paper-piecing and traditional piecing to create the mini quilt.

Being new to paper piecing I was amazed at how easy it was to line up all the points. I love how precise paper piecing can be. My points actually match!

The fabrics are Moda Bella Solids Graphite and Mustard. The flying geese are V & Co Ombre from my stash. Confetti Dot in Gold is on the binding.

On the back is another V & Co fabric from the Simply Style collection. The finished quilt measures about 20″ x 23 1/2″. Just right to hang on the wall in my sewing room.

Happy quilting!
~Diana

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Saturday, 22 Mar 2014 11:00

One of our new Chalkette’s Kristen made the downloadable Bedtime Story Pajamas by Oliver & S for Lewis. The kimono-style pajama top features a band collar, on-seam sleeves, and full-front crossover wrap with ties at the underarm. The pull-on pant features one-piece legs with a bound hem.

Lewis chose the Shark fabric on his first visit to Pink Chalk with Mom. The fabric is David Walker Sharks in Ocean with the binding and waist band made using Kona Cotton Citrus.

The pattern is well written with plenty of pictures and tips to make sewing the pajamas a great success. Kristen found the pattern to be true to size. Size 5 fits Lewis well with some room to grow.

As always, make sure your printer setting is on No Scaling or %100, for accurate sizing.

Kristen chose to serge the seams before sewing, knowing the jammies would see many washings. A good zig zag stitch would work just as well.

Lewis looks very happy in his new Shark PJ’s!

The sharks swam away but we have David Walker Garden Bunny & Carrots in Grass which would make cute Pajamas.

Happy sewing!
~Diana

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 11:00

I made another Archer! Actually this is my third Archer Button Up Shirt from Grainline Studio. The Studio RK London Calling 4 cotton lawn inspired the latest version. I’m working my way up to a Liberty of London print.

The Archer is almost finished. No buttons yet. I was so excited to wear such a springy blouse that I have yet to add the buttons. Not an issue since I rarely button a blouse. Changes made to the latest version include adding bust darts, lengthening the hem line, and the sleeves were graded down to a size 12 in the width. The armhole of the sleeve was left at the size of the shirt, size 16. I just tapered it down to a size 12 at the cuff. Remember if adding bust darts to add a bit of width and length to the fabric to compensate for the dart.

The underside of my collar is the light blue voile as well.  Test fold your collar before stitching to make sure your contrast fabrics end up with proper placement. I admit I had to rip out the collar attached to the collar stand the first time. One side was all blue and the other was all floral.

Here is the second Archer I made using Robert Kaufman Chambray Union in the Dark Indigo color with Rashida Coleman-Hale Koi It’s a Plus Grey accents.

The Denim goes with everything and washes beautifully.

For more details on the Archer pattern take a look at my previous blog post here.

I think I’m ready for a Liberty now!
Happy sewing!
~Diana

 

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 11:00

Megan stitched up the Perfect A-line Dress from Tie Dye Diva. The cute downloadable pattern is super fast and easy to make.

How adorable is that! Two dresses in one. Truly, the button holes are the hardest part. Take a little time to get to know your button hole attachment on your machine. They are more user friendly than they appear to be, so don’t be afraid. You can do it!!!

Most sewing manuals have great tutorials for Button Holes. Many machines even have videos these days.  Sew Mama Sew has a good tutorial on making perfect button holes. Good tips and pointers!

The fabrics are both Robert Kaufman Chambray Union in Anchors Black and Woven Dot Indigo. Megan recommends choosing 2 fabrics that have similar weight that are not see through.

Happy sewing!
~Diana

 

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 11:00

Diana knit up the Accelerating Stripes Fingerless Gloves designed by our very own Chalkette Alicia, a.k.a. aliciamarin on Ravelry. Alicia handles all of our downloadable patterns here and also works for Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. She has the best of both worlds!

I love this pattern. I’ve knit 2 pair so far and another pair is on my needles now. The first pair, on the left was knit using Regia Angora Merino in Gold and Isager 2 Alpaca Meriono yarn in Charcoal. The gold pair was knit as per the pattern instructions which are very well written and easy to follow. Watch for the thumb increases each time you change colors in the three-round stripes.

The second pair in Robins Egg and Greige was knit using the Regia Angora Merino yarn for both colors.  I decided to extend the thumb a bit. The thumb stitches were left live and placed on a stitch holder. Once the glove was complete, I picked up about 6 more stitches to complete the thumb circle. At this point I knit about 6 more rows before binding off the thumb.

Unfortunately the manufacturer has discontinued the Angora Merino so it’s getting very hard to find. Churchmouse now has two more yarns recommended for this pattern Regia 4 Ply and Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico.

The pattern includes excellent tips on knitting jogless stripes. I like to knit both colors together on the first stitch of a color change row. The color change gets a bit jumbled when you get down to the single knit rows.  For the most part I was able to keep my stripes pretty straight.

I love the slouchy wrist on the gloves! The coordinating fabrics used in this blog post are…

Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Natural
Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Chambray
Robert Kaufman Quilter’s Linen Stone

Look at those pretty nails!

The best part is that the color coordinates with the Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet Soakbox Nail colors!!!

Happy knitting!
~Diana

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Monday, 10 Mar 2014 11:00

Here is a fun little gifty from Cindy! She made the sweet pin cushion and needle case for someone special. The basic pattern for the pin cushion is from Heather Bailey’s Square Deal free download. The base fabric is Essex Linen from Robert Kaufman.

The pieced top and squirrel embroidery are pure Cindy creations. Love how she coordinated the squirrel fabric on the needle case.

Simply adorable!

Happy sewing!
~Diana

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Saturday, 08 Mar 2014 12:00

I’m feeling a little late to the game after seeing all those Noodlehead Divided Baskets online. The Noodlehead Divided Basket pattern is our number one downloadable pattern for 2013. Now I know why. It’s cute as can be and big enough to really be useful.

The finished size, including the handles, is about 14″ wide x 11″ tall x 6″ deep. A great size for any type of storage. Just think how organized my sewing room could be. One side could hold my quilt patterns and the other side apparel or bag patterns.

The fabric used is an organic canvas called GeoCentric from Michelle Engel Bencsko for Cloud9 Fabrics. Geocentric was combined with Essex Linen Medium Aqua and some fun Melody Miller from my stash. The instructions are very clear with just the right amount of pictures. The divider in the interior went together very easily. Using canvas and Essex gives good structure to the basket. Interfacing was used in the divider and the front and back panels only.

Now, I need one for my yarn stash, and one for the TV remotes, and one for… you get the picture. The list could go on for every room in the house. Needless to say I love this basket pattern and will be making many more.

Happy sewing!
~Diana

 

 

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Friday, 07 Mar 2014 15:56

The Essential Sewing Reference Tool: All-in-One Visual Guide by Carla Hegeman Crim captures in a single volume answers to our what-is-this and how-do-I-do-that questions we often ask ourselves while sewing. Whether you’re a veteran sewist or new to the craft, this handy all-in-one guide covers the nuts and bolts of sewing tools and techniques with easy to follow instructions, illustrations and photographs.

I was excited when Carla contacted me about the book she’d written. I knew she was the perfect person to author this type of reference guide. The first time I sewed a Sis Boom pattern (Carla authors the patterns and instructions for Jennifer Paganelli’s designs) I was really taken with the ease of construction and thoroughness of the illustrations. Carla has a knack for knowing where we’re most likely going to need a little visual assistance and there always seems to be the perfect illustration to explain it. The Essential Sewing Reference Tool is written with same quality curation for detail.

The book includes the following sections:

  • tools & supplies
  • stitches & seam treatments
  • ruffles & bias tape
  • zippers & buttonholes
  • sewn accessories
  • home dec
  • garment making
  • sizing charts for all ages

Within each of these sections are detailed visuals including charts, photographs and illustrations. What I like most is the level of detail Carla shares. Following is a great example. Whenever I use this method to create bias tape it’s a complete mystery to me how to determine the size of the fabric piece I need to begin with in order to create the quantity I’m going to need for the project. Generally, I create WAY TOO MUCH because there’s no way in heck I want to do it again and not have enough. This chart is genius!

The Home Decor section is fabulous. It includes detailed instructions for making the basics like pillows, pillow cases, a comforter, bed skirts, curtains and table linens. We don’t buy patterns for that kind of stuff and have to figure out the dimensions and material needed ourselves. Charts with sizes and yardage requirements are included. Again, brilliant! And I like math. I just don’t like making math mistakes and coming up short on this type of project.

Carla has written a thorough and well curated reference guide. Both sewing veterans and new sewists will appreciate the trusted and detailed content contained in the book. The Essential Sewing Reference Tool is sure to be a long-time friend on your sewing room book shelf.

Discover more about Carla on her blog The Scientific Seamstress.

Sis Boom and Scientific Seamstress downloadable patterns available in the shop.

***

Stash Books provided me with a review copy of this book and is also offering a copy for giveaway (international winners will receive an e-book).

Leave a comment sharing what sewing technique you’d like to understand better.

I’ll draw a winner next week.

Happy Sewing! Kathy

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Author: "Kathy" Tags: "Books"
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Date: Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 12:00

Becky’s at it again! The cuteness abounds in Children’s Undies from that*darn*kat. The downloadable pattern makes it easy to start sewing today!

The Undies don’t use any binding elastic bands. Cotton/Lycra rib knit banding was used on the waist and leg bands which can be found at any big box craft/fabric store.

The instructions in the downloadable pattern give great detail for sewing with or without a serger.

 

For more info take a look at our previous blog post on Children’s Undies.

We have some cute knits from Monaluna to make up more fabulous Undies!

Happy sewing!
~Diana

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "Sewing"
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Date: Friday, 28 Feb 2014 12:00

Carrie made this adorable apron for her daughter using the Master Chef Apron pattern from Modern Vintage Designs. The vintage ticking and feed sack were found in Carrie’s stash. With three sizes to chose from and a skill level of Easy the apron can be created in no time at all. Simply follow the directions to attach the pocket and sew the bias tape trim around the edges.

The embroidery design is from Aneela Hoey’s Little Stitches book. What a cute accent to stitch onto any sewing project!

Cards with Grandma’s hand written recipes were scanned into the computer then run through the printer to print onto fabric.

For more inspiration on the Master Chef Apron take a look at Alicia’s Apron here.

Happy sewing!
~Diana

 

 

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "What We're Making"
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Date: Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 12:00

Our number one pattern in the Top Ten Downloadable Patterns for the year 2013 – #1 Divided Basket by Noodlehead. The Divided Basket is great for storing all sorts of goodies. Use it for fabric, yarn, or diaper storage. Fill it with gifts and anything else you can dream up!

Top Left – Noodlehead, Top Right – Peas In A Pod, Center Left – Noodlehead, Center Right – Living With Punks, Lower Left – Sarah Quilts, Lower Right – Dear Stella.

Take a look at our Noodlehead Divided Basket Pinterest Board for more inspiration.

Happy sewing!
~Diana

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Author: "Diana" Tags: "Sewing, Top Ten"
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