Monthly Archives: September 2013

Slightly Selfless


Anyone who knows me would absolutely never use the word selfless to describe me, and I’m totally okay with that. However, occasionally I do feel compelled to use my newfound ‘skills’ for the greater good; and I have amassed a little arsenal of go-to quickie gift tutorials that I’m more than happy to share with you.

Six Pocket Bag


You’ve no doubt seen this puppy on Pinterest. Sadly, I’m very rarely on Pinterest (don’t have the bandwidth at work, don’t have the time at home), but even I have caught this little number and been enchanted by it. It’s FREE, kids, brought to you by the folks at Better Homes & Gardens. It’s easy, cute, perfect for two or three complementing and/or contrasting fabrics, easy to size up or down. Etc! The finished product made with the BHG dimensions is small-ish, but the six pockets are all big enough for an iDevice of your choice, as the photo advertises. I have made it in the original size through a decent beach/gym appropriate size, and a few sizes in between.

Here’s my most recent make, with a matching guitar for the photo because Lenny is awesome and thinks of everything.


Here’s a detail of the groovy fabrics.

And a totally accidental side seam pattern matching. Squee!

Here’s one I sized up for my cutie patootie aunt in Florida, made out of a quilting cotton with a print of the college from which we both graduated, our beloved Marshall University.


Here’s the first one I made, in April of 2012, along with a few other TNT crafty gifts, the Perfect Wallet and Sew Spoiled Cosmetic Case (oh yeah, and a tissue holder I learned to make in my introductory sewing class 🙂 )


Sew Spoiled Cosmetic Case


Thank you, Sew Mama Sew!! I have made a jillion of these. It’s a perfect scrap-buster!! There are two in the Pez photo, one out of each print, and I have also made it in–among other fabrics–fuchsia zebra-print satin and a cotton Hello Kitty print.

Click to access CosmeticCase.pdf

Perfect Wallet


This pattern from Pattern Pile covers all of the bases–large cash pockets, zippered coin compartment, and credit card slots. I just love it!

Click to access Perfect-Wallet-Tutorial.pdf

I'm even working on an Elvis one. 😉

Little Girl’s Shirred Dress Tutorial

This was a gift for my great-niece. I had some perfect fabric and wanted to teach myself shirring, and wasn’t sure she would love the romper I made her (I was right 😦 ). This took about two seconds to make, a credit to the wonderful Spoonflower blog and her highly descriptive tutorial. Also helped that the child in the tutorial is my niece’s size, so I didn’t even have to measure, just used the exact dimensions given in the tutorial.

She even wore it for a newspaper article featuring her mommy. Sorry, but I’m so proud of the first non-blog internet appearance of one of my items


Here she is when I first gave it to her, along with another go-to crafty gift, her Dora purse, aka the Simple Reversible Tote Bag, which you can just see in the background


Which leads me to

Simple Reversible Tote Bag

Last Christmas I found myself in a state of regret for not having produced more handmade goodies. Thank goodness I found this tutorial, and was able to crank out a few totes for the little girls in the family. I have virtually no finished product photos other than the 1/8 of a Dora purse in the shirred dress picture above, but it is a fun and simple prezzie, great for medium-sized scraps.

Oh here’s one of my favorite ballerina, Serena, with her new ballerina purse at Christmas. Oops, I should have put something in it.


Okay, that's enough for now. I truly hope that these tutorials are as helpful to you as they have been to me, especially with the holidays fast approaching. Happiest of sewing and giving to you! And PLEASE, feel free to share any CrafTNTs in comments below. I’m sure they’ll be greatly appreciated!!!


Sometimes the Boss is Right


My boss is too lenient. She sent me two patterns from which to choose in my Sew Bossy package (Unless I’m supposed to make both—uh oh…). One is McCall’s 6320, a one-shoulder number that I shied away from because I had very recently made a one-shoulder knit frock, McCall’s 6240 (post coming very soon), so part of my teeny mind was thinking been there, done that. I started to make the other pattern, McCall’s 6394 and just couldn’t get into it. Please don’t dock my pay, Anne.

Luckily I had only cut into the lining chosen for the 6394 and didn’t waste any of the fabric, which is utterly scrumptious and 100% me and my desired color palette, all soft with a smidge of give. Absolute fabric heaven.

Cue the angel harps


I finally revisited the 6320 and realized it’s quite a dreamy pattern. I was careful and did some actual fitting with my new best friend Swedish tracing paper (post pending), but then kept second guessing myself and cut the lining a bit larger than the paper muslin, and then the fashion fabric yet a pinch larger than that. Added to the fact that the fabric already has some stretch, this led to a slightly too large finished product. Yep, as always, even with an easy pattern and nice workable fabric, I am my own worst sewing enemy and made matters more difficult than they needed to be.

But just look at these pleats and pocket. Sigh (if I do sigh so myself)


I powered through my mistakes, and although it’s not exactly clingily form-fitting, I’m extremely happy with the comfort and look of this dress.

Here is my happily completed assignment, almost three months to the day after the lovely Anne finished hers. Definitely check our her gorgeousness. And while we’re at it, check out the adorable Kat over at Petticoats and Peplums, who absolutely slayed this pattern for Frocktails. She’s so cute I could squoosh her.



Feelin’ sassy from the back:


And one more. See how happy I am when I listen to my boss?

Hope all of you other Sew Bossy pairs are having a blast. This was certainly worth it for me. Big hugs and props to the ultimate blogoddess at Pretty Grievances!!!

See You In September


(Same post released the other day, but with a more accurate date and a few corrections. Thanks for your patience.)

Since it’s the end of August, I thought I’d do a timely post and write about … Me-Made-May. It was fun as always, but I think I overdid it and Flickr-ed myself out. Somewhere between MMM and this gorgeous summer I ended up taking a blog sabbatical, which frankly is a good thing sometimes. Now I’m almost ready to line up the sewing queue and blog and comment again.

This draft of a few previously unblogged MMM items has been sitting around forever, so I’m going to finally finish and release it!!

Day 2


I made this Vogue 8685 shortly after my second Jungle January creation, in something called onion skin knit from, but as it was yet another long-sleeved knit dress in vaguely the same color scheme, I didn’t feel it was notable enough to blog about. However, it does get a ton of compliments, I guess due to the interesting geometric print. Kind of like in karaoke you get cheers for a popular song even if you’re not that great of a singer. This is my ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ dress.

Day 5. Cinco de Mustache
I’m almost annoyed by how well this fits, because I have no earthly reason to wear this anywhere but a Mustache party, which fortunately Lenny’s nieces and nephews throw every May. Since it was my fourth Macaron, it was an easy project. I didn’t even put in the side zip. I just tuck my boobs under the waistband and it all sorts itself out.


I am ecstatic to have made my first bias tape, totally by hand. No measuring, no tools, nothin’. Just eyeballed it. I couldn’t find my little bias tape thing that I bought from Joann’s, but now I’m glad because I think it would have been more complicated than just winging it. I LOVE making my own bias tape, and how totally pro it looks.


I did win the best outfit prize at the party, so it was well worth the effort.

Day 9. The Disco Dress
Aka the Hot Mess Dress because there’s just a lot going on. It’s a Simplicity 2369, a really easy knit pattern that also includes a top option and some easy elastic waist pants. I whipped up a quick pair of the pants last year, but there’s too much dromedary appendage action going on so I’ll have to pair that with a seriously long tunic or sweater. ANYway, I adore this print and have worn the dress in public quite a bit, even to Gertie’s book-signing party last September, but I wish I had put it together with more care. I started stitching the eBay-found polyester knit with my older Husqvarna Lena that I had just bought (on eBay too!) without getting used to the machine or adjusting the tension settings much, or even switching to a ballpoint needle. I was in too big of a hurry to play with the machine and so excited to have a project for this fab fabric, so I’ll just chalk it up to my typical impatience. I’ll just post the one photo of it without incriminating close-ups of wonky stitching, and pretend that it’s awesome.20130718-165913.jpg
Classy bathroom selfie, at your service.

That’s it for now. Tales of selfless summer stitching to come soon, and hopefully a completed Sew Bossy dress. I have the best employee ever, by the way, and I am by far the worst. You MUST see Anne if by chance you live under a blog rock and somehow missed her gorgeousness.

Have a great Labor Day weekend, fellow ‘Muricans, and soak up some sun and fun. I’ll leave you with an Instagram photo of the view I’m blessed with every day that I’m motivated enough to get into work early and buzz down the shore. Love that NYC backdrop.