throwback thursday {aurelia cardigan}

On Thursdays I “throwback” by pulling from my years of archives. Today I go back and look at the first thing I ever tackled with knits. Honestly It was probably the craziest thing to try and sew as a beginner project, but in the end I was super excited with it and it remains one of my favorite patterns ever. Here’s the final view of the project back from 2012.

I’m still stitching slowly on this cardigan by sew liberated.
Today I was able to sew on the sleeves and the skirt for the bottom.
This is the first time I’ve stitched sleeves onto a knit garment and whew…it was awesome! Love that you can just stretch to make it fit 🙂

aurelia cardigan WIP

I’ve still got to sew in some clear elastic onto the seam where the skirt joins the bodice and a few other finishing up issues. Not to mention all the basting threads I have to pull!

But over all, I’m pretty pleased with it!

And I tried it on and it fits!!

throwback thursday {halloween edition}

On Thursdays I pull from my archives of posts and today in honor of Halloween I share with you the easiest costume ever. If you are scrambling today, October 30, for a quick costume have no fear. Grab a black shirt, some felt and throw some wings and a mask together and voila! You have a bat. This is back from 2012 and was the last costume I made…until this year. 🙂

My daughter is insanely indecisive. Given a plate of food in front of her, she will struggle to figure out what to eat first (unless there is cake of course!) So when it is time to make decisions about things…themes for parties, what to wear and by all means what to be for Halloween she is enough to make you pull your hair out.

After looking online at a few costumes and listening to her hem and haw for weeks I finally told her she was going to be a bat. Thankfully she stuck with it.

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This is probably the easiest costume I have ever put together. Obviously I have huge felt reserves in my house, so the materials were all here and essentially free. The tutorial and pattern for the mask can be found here

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I did alter things a litle bit. The tutorial has you use fabric and then felt with boning stuck in for the wings. I used felt and then made seams for the bends in the wings. I used two layers of felt so the wings are fairly stiff, but not too much to make the shirt uncomfortable.

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The mask in the tutorial is made of paper and I knew that wouldn’t fly on my chick, so I used the same felt with some other scraps and sewed it together.

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I used a ribbon instead of elastic, again because I have crazy picky children and I knew she would hate that tightness on her face. (and we have a serious licking our lips issue going on…any tips?)

I was a little worried that Miss. Indecisive wouldn’t like it, but she loved it and threw it all on as soon as she came home from school yesterday. Score one for mom!

Now, if we can get Bilbo Baggins dressed, Hallween 2012 will be off to a great start!

Happy Halloween!!!

tipsy tuesday {pattern review: lane raglan & plantain tee)

I few months ago I traded in my old serger for a newer one. I had heard raves about Juki sergers and I finally broke down and bought one and honestly I’m beyond happy that I did. My original serger was Husqvarna Viking and not only was it insanely loud it was a bugger to thread. I know, what serger isn’t? But seriously, it was horrendous. The first time I was shown how to thread the Juki I was dying it was so much simpler. Since then I’ve been branching out and learning about sewing knits. I’m still very ignorant when it comes to the types of knits etc, but the more I sew the more I absolutely love it.

Deer and doe plantain tee

The first project I  delved into once I got my serger was the Plantain t-shirt by Deer and Doe. It’s a free pattern by this awesome french pattern company (don’t fret! It’s in English too!) and the knit was one that I had in my stash from way back. I’d been saving it to make a maxi dress or something and still haven’t gotten around to it. I have to say that this t-shirt came together like a dream. I had read a few reviews about the fit and sizing and the sewing angels were over me that day because it fits like a dream.
It’s sort of a scoop neck shirt, but it doesn’t come down too low and it will definitely be a standard t-shirt pattern in my repertoire

Lane Raglan Tee

My most recent knit garment was the Lane Raglan by Hey June patterns. I came across this fun knit at Hobby Lobby and restrained myself from purchasing it the first time I saw it. The second time I was in the store I realized that I had to get some. It feels divine! They have a couple of different color-ways and I had the hardest time figuring out which one to get, but decided the blue was the safest. I wasn’t sure what kind of shirt this would turn out to be, but in the end I really think it turned out super cute. I love, love, love this pattern so much. I’m a sucker for a great raglan t-shirt and this one comes together like a dream. No sewing machine needed: it’s all done on the serger from beginning to end and it’s super simple. My only struggle was with the fit. While I really feel like the overall fit is great, the arms are super long. I need to go back and cut them off a little, but honestly it’s an easy fix and something I know now. I’ve got a couple more yards of knit I’ve gotten my hands on and I’m hoping to make another one asap!

throwback thursday {of the garment sewing kind}

On most Thursdays I go back through my blog archives and pull an old post that is a little dusty and needs to be blown off and cleaned up a little. This Thursday’s post is back from 2008, back when I could sew and dress my chick in whatever I wanted…six years later that isn’t happening. This is a Children’s Corner pattern that I wish they made bigger because I think I would love to sew it again.

flower/gingham front

The past few days I’ve been trying to finish up this outfit. The baby has been sick since Sunday, so time for sewing (or really much of anything) has come hard to find.

flower/gingham shirt

I made the shirt on Saturday before the baby got sick and really had so much fun sewing it, although I made some pretty silly mistakes! I spent some found time yesterday fixing those mistakes and finishing it up. The shirt is Macy by Children’s Corner.

flower/gingham pants

Today I made these little pants to go with it. They are just simple gaucho pants and I added the trim around the bottom.

flower/gingham shirt

I absolutely LOVE this outfit and can’t wait for the baby to be well enough to take her out and show it off!!

tutorial {mini buckle mat}

One of my biggest sellers this year has been my preschool/toddler buckle mats. I’ve lost count on how many I’ve made, but it was all started via a request from a friend. Truly, people coming to me with their custom orders is why I love doing what I do.

Buckle matAt the zoo

While these larger mats are made to order, at one point I decided to make a smaller version to sell at markets. These are much quicker to put together and a great beginner project for learning how to make a great quiet activity for a child.

buckle tutorial cover

One of my goals in the next year is to start writing more tutorials and patterns…so here goes! A tutorial for making your own pint size buckle mat and I spy toy.

SUPPLIES

Mini buckle Mat tutorial

cotton fabric for the top
stiff felt for the middle (regular felt can also be used for softer mat or a thin cotton batting)
regular craft felt for the back
cotton scrap fabric for the straps
small piece of vinyl
1/8 cup of poly pellets (which I just discovered you can buy a small bag of at JoAnns)
small jewels, buttons and/or beads for the I Spy game
2 side release parachute buckles
a 4 inch circle template

Cutting directions

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Cut your cotton fabric, stiff felt and felt back into 6 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch squares.

For the straps, cut two of each coordinating fabric into 5 1/2 long by 4 inch wide strips.

Making the straps

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Take your strap pieces and lay them wrong side up on your ironing board.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Fold them in half, wrong sides facing and press.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Open them back up again, and fold each long end towards the middle and press.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Fold in half again and press and repeat with the remaining straps.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Take them to your machine and using a 1/4 inch seam, stitch down the long end of the strap.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Flip it over and repeat on the other side. Then repeat with the remaining 3.

Attaching the straps

Mini buckle Mat tutorialMini buckle Mat tutorial

Pin the straps in place onto the cotton piece and baste these to the sides of your square.

Making the I Spy Mat

Take your 4 inch circle template and cut out a piece of vinyl for the back. Just a hint…don’t put a pin through the pattern or the vinyl because it will put a hole in your vinyl. Just hold the pattern and do your best to cut around it.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Go to your machine and stitch around the circle with a 1/4 inch seam, being careful not to pull too tightly on the felt as you go around the circle.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Make sure to leave a roughly 2 inch opening to fill!!

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you are ready to fill with your poly pellets, charms, beads, sequins, buttons etc.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Go back to your machine and starting at the opening, stitch the opening closed and stitch a second time around the circle on top of your original seam. I like to do this for aesthetics and also because it gives an extra line of stitching for safety.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you want to baste your felt piece to the piece of stiff felt. If you are using batting or regular felt, I still suggest basting this piece, but it’s not as necessary.

Putting the square together

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you are ready to sew your squares together. Make a sandwich using the basted I spy mat and the cotton piece with wrong sides together. You want your I Spy mat and your straps facing out.

Mini buckle Mat tutorialMini buckle Mat tutorial

Sew a roughly 1/2 inch seam around the sides two times. Again, I like this extra line of stitching for looks, but also to give an extra measure of strength for the straps.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Because my squares never come out just perfect due to pulling etc, I take my rotary cutter and cut about 1/4 inch off on the sides to even them all out and straighten them up.

Adding the buckles

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you are ready to add the buckles. Make sure they are put together and slide the ends of the straps through the ends of the buckles. Pull the straps to make sure that the buckles are even in the center of your mat.

Mini buckle Mat tutorialMini buckle Mat tutorial

Fold the ends of the straps under and pin in place.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Open the buckles up and take it to your machine and sew in the middle of the fold. Make sure to do a lock stitch (stopping and starting at the beginning and end) or tie your threads before you snip them.

You Made It!!!

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Check to make sure all your loose threads are tied and snipped. Pass it to your nearest toddler and proclaim victory!

**please respect that this is my design and share only with a link to this original tutorial and please give credit where credit is due. Also remember that this is a toy with tiny parts and while even the best sewers will tie up all their loose ends, children who are at the age of putting things in their mouths do not need to play with this unattended.** Thanks!!! ~ aimee

tip-sy tuesday {trick for threading a needle}

Introducing a new goal for myself: tip-sy tuesday! On Tuesdays, I hope to offer a quick little tip that I’ve learned or use with sewing or maybe just in general life.

Today I’m going to show you a neat little trick for threading a needle; especially good to use with new little seamstresses. Last spring I was introduced to the Loran needle threaders. They are pretty neat and do a great job threading needles. I bought them for all my 7-14 year old sewing school students and it opened up a whole new world for them (and me…not having to chase back and forth re-threading needles).

loran needle threader

These little threaders are pretty inexpensive, at roughly $2 each, but having to buy a whole class set got pretty pricey. When I went to do my introductory class for using my new serger, my teacher there introduced me to floss threaders. While the Loran needle threaders are roughly $2 each, I can buy a pack of 50 of these floss threaders for less than that!

 

So here’s what you need:

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~ A pack of floss threaders (I found mine at Walmart for less than $1.50 for the pack of 50 and it came with a case!)
~ a needle (we use chenille size 22 needles in my sewing classes)
~ some thread (in class we use crochet thread…which is a little bit thicker but holds up better for stitching with and it’s way cheaper than buying embroidery floss)

And here’s how to do it!