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The Weekend T-Shirt Blanket

You might have noticed I’ve slowed down a bit on the blogging. While I’m setting up Sly Fox Fabrics, I’ve been a bit busy and not sewing as much. But I have fit a few things in! If you’d like to follow that journey, check out my summary blog over on the Sly Fox Blog. Plus, I made a dress out of one of the new fabrics that I’m completely obsessed with! I used the Summer Haze in Navy on the 5 Out of 4 Patterns Lucy and just love the combo!! On top of that, I also filmed a new class for this month’s Sewing Summit, which is all about upcycling!!! So if you like salvaging, upcycling, and generally limiting some of environmental impact, be sure to check out the entire week of classes!

When Virginia and I were chatting about this Summit and what I might want to contribute, the one thing that jumped into focus was the BOXES of t-shirts we have stored. T-shirts from trips, from school, from activities. Just memories like crazy. I’ve been meaning to make some t-shirt quilts for a while, but the process is just so time consuming and I am severely lacking in time. Instead, I decided to tackle a much quicker project while using not only Virginia’s stored t-shirts, but also some scraps of her favorite fabrics! (Also entertainingly, she totally matched the blanket while we were working on it! I think she is in a color rut.)

This project was so, so fast. Even with filming, it only took a couple hours. Most time was spent on cutting out those squares. This makes it PERFECT for beginners. All straight seams. Simple techniques. And, thought slightly longer than a couple hours, it is definitely doable in a weekend. So there is low risk of starting, getting distracted, and walking away to let it gather dust in a corner. (Anyone else do this sometimes? No? Just me?)

Check out my class on the Sewing Summit for how to make this fun, cozy blanket. Plus, I couldn’t resist a few bonus options! Pillow covers are one of my favorite things because they’re quick, fun, and hella easy. Also, the envelope style cover makes it so easy to wash and change out the covers regularly! Making these out of knit fabrics made them even faster! Which was great! And, to add a little flair, I also show how to make these adorable knit tassels. This are great for pillows, keychains, cat toys, or even a festive string of garland!

Be sure to sign up for the FREE WEEK of classes starting 24 August 2020. And if you like the classes, or just want to be able to watch them after the week is up, you can grab an All Access Pass and watch them at your leisure. Plus keep an eye out here as I have more free time to keep rambling on while sharing my projects!

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Work It: Edition 6.2

I am so, so late with this post. But I have really good reasons. I don’t even think they count as excuses!! I did sew a couple old patterns in June, with the intention of sharing. Plus I made them to go over these cute-ass swimsuits. And I got to see a friend I haven’t seen since January!! Lots of really good stuff in June.

So, why am I late with this post? Well, it turns out a few weeks ago, I started rolling out a series of events that came to a head in the last couple weeks. When the amazing Katy announced she was closing my favorite Sly Fox Fabrics, I told my boss, Rebecca, about it, just in case we could do something. Well, Rebecca doesn’t do anything halfway, and she is one of the most supportive and encouraging people I have ever met. So, she and Katy struck up a deal and signed contracts and now I am going to manage SFF!!! So I’ve spent the last two weeks working to coordinate moving a whole bunch of stuff from Ohio to Georgia, learn how to order fabric, find somewhere here to actually put the stuff, etc. It is…a lot. It is thrilling, wonderful, exciting, scary, and completely fabulous. But a lot. Somewhere in the last two weeks, I forgot to write this post. I apologize for anyone who was looking for this and I hope you find it worth the wait!!

I’m sharing a mix of old and new patterns in this post because I am just completely obsessed with all of these pieces!! They are all from Rebecca Page Sewing, too!! Let’s start with the Laura. I know, I know, I made one in April. BUT! This time I made the dress in woven. You might recognize this fabric from a Work It post last year. Apparently I ordered enough for a whole extra piece! Virginia really loves how Laura fits and how easy it is as a swim cover up. And I love the end result of a woven dress that only takes about an hour to cut and sew.

Staying on Virginia, she is rocking the Two Piece Swim Set (ok, we all are!), in crop in this gorgeous green swim knit! SHE IS A MERMAID!!! Plus, we paired it with the swim bottoms, high waist, ruched front options. I did adjust for height and bust as needed and she is so comfy!! Perfect for some mix and match with her other swim pieces. And she loves the two piece that doesn’t really show extra skin! Isn’t she just gorgeous?

I’m also wearing the crop swim top, with the added zipper!! I love this touch. Makes it a little different and very much mine. I’m also rocking the high waisted bottoms, but no ruching for me. I added height as needed by comparing my rise to the finished measurement chart and I LOVE the fit of these. I am comfortable and feel supported. PERFECTION!

I paired my kick ass bikini with a sheer, stretch mesh high-low skirt. This mesh has been used for a few projects already, since I bought a ton of it from Fabric Mart. I love it. I completely hacked this from the Hayley High-Low skirt. Which is intended for wovens, has a waistband, and elastic at the back waist. BUT I LOVE IT!!! It feels exactly the right kind of ridiculous. I love that my suit shows through just a bit, especially the blue on blue. And how the white top looks with it! I definitely want to make this swim top out of non-swim fabric and rock some it as a crop!!!

Saving the best for last, this is my friend Lisa. I don’t think I’ve shared any photos of her on here before. We worked together for almost a decade before I left my last job. She has always been supportive and wonderful and happy to model tester pieces for me. This time, no tester pieces. I made pieces to her actual measurements and she is gorgeous in them!!! Starting with the swim…She is rocking the ruched tank option, along with the zipper. I really love the unique construction and built in support on this one. (I made Virginia a tester one early on and she wears it all the time. I clearly need one.) Lisa is rocking her tank with the ruched back, flat front, mid-rise swim bottoms. This swim patterns has so many interchangeable options!! I want to make an entire capsule of different suits out of this one.

Lisa is rocking my new favorite shorts. This are from the Sports Shorts and Leggings pattern. Another one with interchangeable options, you can make leggings of all lengths, shorts, or shorts with leggings. These are the shorts alone, but I fancied them up by putting a lacy fabric over some plain white. These came together so beautifully. They are effortless to wear, look fancy, but feel pajama-y. The perfect shorts.

Basically, it was so fun to make all nine of these pieces. Coordinate, mix and match. Just love it. The rest of this fabric is either scraps of unknown origin, or it is from the local Fine Fabrics. One of my favorite parts of sewing is digging through fabrics, mixing and matching til I find the right combo for my project. Which makes me extra excited for my new adventure with Katy and Sly Fox Fabrics.

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Work It: Edition 5.2

This month, I am so excited to be making more swimsuits!! We are lucky that our local pool as implemented a TON of safety features so they could open! We are going to be checking it out next week to see how safe it is, get some sun, some exercise, some water. We always need new suits! More suits! ALL THE SUITS!!!

Virginia’s favorite swim bottoms are the Bondi Swim Shorts from Rebecca Page Sewing! She loves the ease and comfort, plus coverage. She made her first two pair last year and has been asking for more in more colors. We also grabbed enough of this polka dot and stripe fabric from Fine Fabrics to make suits for both of us and that other sister who lives far away! So it just made sense to make her favorite bottoms in this fabulous fabric!

But for a top, that’s a whole different thing. I’ve been thinking about hacking a swim top for myself for…a year, at least. I doodled out my idea and showed it to Virginia. She immediately stole my idea and asked if I could add a skirt to it. Thief. But also, super cute addition to my desired top. So I can’t be mad.

I mashed two patterns together, and made up my own bits for this top. The bust is from the 5oo4 Escapade. (We both love this pattern actually!) I didn’t cut the back on the fold, and in fact shorted it by several inches. I also cut a 1.5 inch strip to make the loops and ties on the back. There is elastic in there for extra support. The loops are 3 inches long and next time the ties will be 30 inches because they’re a tiny bit shorter than I’d like them to be. Thankfully, she doesn’t actually need to untie this one to get it on. I evenly spaced the ties in between the seam allowance along the back and basted them in place. I also basted the ties and some elastic at the center V. Make sure the loops and ties are in between the layers, right sides facing, before sewing. But the elastic needs to be on the wrong side! Ask me why I’m so adamant about those placements…. I put elastic along all the edges of the top, after I sewed the seam. Keeping seam allowances as bulk free as possible.

Turn it right sides out and press. Yes, press. Pull the center elastic and zig-zag over the top to get some ruching. Really show off the decolletage. Then you can baste or serge the two layers together along the bottom edge if you want. I’m lazy and didn’t, but swim is slippery and you might prefer it.

For the skirt, I used the 5oo4 Laura peplum piece. I finished the scoop in the skirt just like in the tutorial, then attached it to the bottom of the bust pieces. It turned out the scoop was a bit wide for Virginia, so I was planning to just add a center seam and take it out. But when I clipped it to ask Virginia what was comfortable, she LOVED the pleat that I clipped out. So we went with it! It turned out so dang cute. She just loves the end result and I can’t wait for us to wear matching swimsuits. That’s going to happen.

I hope you’re all enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine, and staying safe and whatnot.

Stephanie xx

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RP Roxy: A Beginner’s Guide

Y’all have definitely seen the Roxy before, but I am here with a brand new perspective. Virginia’s.

Well…I am not the sewist in the family but I am also not completely inexperienced. Sewing up the Roxy was different from what I normally help Stephanie with. I usually get roped into sewing clothes (typically last minute finishing up of gifts). I also have little experience with woven fabrics, knits are so much easier. The Roxy Wristlet is not something I would have chosen. A Purse?!?! This seemed way to complicated and with too many parts which I could royally screw up. Zippers, card slots, key rings, soooo many different things I have never, ever done before.

To start, I had to pick fabric, which apparently requires more than just a single fabric. I do not understand why bacon fabric throughout is unacceptable. I mean, bacon! Stephanie found some great matching fabric for liners. Stephanie did not use a pattern, me however, I would need a pattern and maybe even a backup pattern. You never know what can happen to the first one (at least with me). At least Stephanie was there to walk me through everything because I may have ended up with a dress instead of a purse. (Note from Stephanie – If Virginia ever tries to sew a purse on her own, I will film it, just in case it becomes a dress.)

Have you ever seen the magic of how a purse comes together? We did not follow the steps of the pattern. Well at least according to Stephanie since there was no pattern for me to read (not that I could have read it anyways, but was she hiding it from me? I’ll never know). She knows how I like to see results. We started with the wristlet part. By the way, I will be using very technical terms throughout the blog so if you get confused I do apologize. So, the wristlet part. Basically you have a piece of fabric put a bunch of thread into, and then add a clip thingy so you can attach it to the purse part.

I am absolutely sure I am missing a few steps, but hey! There is a video so you can see what I missed. We then got to create the card slots. Interesting concept, which I completely made uneven. Have I mentioned I do not sew on the regular? It is impossible to tell since the slots are on the inside of the Roxy. I just hope when you put cards in they actually fit.

There was a bunch of ironing, so naturally I burned myself multiple times. Stupid steam. Note to all beginners, intermediate, and experienced sewists: Watch out for the iron. (Also, the cord. It gets tangled around legs and stuff.)

When you are sewing a purse (wristlet), you have to sew everything inside out. So the magic (I mentioned earlier) is after you are done sewing. You turn it inside out, you are going to want to remember to leave a spot do to this part, and VOILA a purse!!! I have a tendency to watch Stephanie sew because it is so fascinating to see how a piece of fabric becomes a something.

I am still not a sewist, but this was kinda fun. And hey! A BACON purse! Hope everyone enjoyed the video!!

-Virginia

So that is sewing up the Roxy Wristlet from the perspective of a reluctant sewist. We definitely did follow the pattern (which I would have given to her if I thought she would even pretend to read it) (note from Virginia-totally true!), just not in the same order. But really, you can watch how we sewed it up with the Sewing Summit! Our video is free for 24 hours, along with a whole lot of other wonderfully talented people. Or you can buy the All-Access pass to watch it whenever you want!

If you want to see more from Virginia, and make her step out of her comfort zone more often, comment nice things here. She is a sucker for nice comments.

Stephanie xx

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The Ultimate Table Accessories Tutorial

Stepping out of my usual sharing, I’m back to expand on my Personalized Towels post from a few months back! We have towels, napkins, napkin rings, and a table runner (plus a how-to on a table cloth!). As my closet is getting more and more full, I am thrilled to add sewing for my home instead of my closet!

This set was so damn fun to sew up! And I got to film the whole thing for the Sewing Summit!!! It is a week of free classes from tons of different speakers sharing how to make up different fabric crafts! All the projects are from free patterns, so you can participate completely free! If you want to access the classes after they expire, you can grab an all access pass.

Let’s dive into these fun projects!! Check out the towels I talked about over here, and just how personalizable they are! Then we can start off with the napkins! I learned so may things about napkins. There are different sizes for different occasions. Tea (12 x 12), lunch (14 x 14), dinner (18-20″ square), and formal (22-26″ square). So really, if you have fabric you love, whatever the size, you can probably make a napkin or four. Just add 2 inches to the size you want, press each edge in a scant half inch, twice, and topstitch. Check out the sewing summit for my tips and preferences on beautiful corners!

Now, we need napkin rings to go with them. Not because napkin rings are really a necessity, but more because there are always scraps leftover and they are really fun! The next paragraph is the quick instructions on sewing them up. Skip this if you aren’t sewing, already watched the video, or just don’t care about how to sew these cuties up.

Grab the pattern above and cut out two each of the backer, the loop, and one center, then one 4.5 inch strip of FOE for each napkin ring. Everything has a half inch seam allowance already included. Interface the backer and loop pieces. Sew the backer pieces together, right sides facing. Leave that gap for turning. Repeat for the loop pieces. Fold the center in half, right sides together, and stitch. turn everything right sides out and press the hell out of it. Topstitch around the backer and loop, closing the gaps. Line up both short edges of the loop with the center of the backer. Use a zig-zag stitch to stitch the loop to the backer. You might need to stitch halfway through, then turn and start again from the other side. This is now ready to be the bow! Align the short, raw edges of the center and stitch with 1/4 inch seam allowance. You can serge or overlock stitch the raw edges if you’d like. Slide the FOE inside to loop of the center piece, overlap the ends by 1/2 inch and zig-zag that elastic into a loop! Slide the center over the bow. Tweak to your heart’s content and you are done!!

Now let’s get into this table runner (or cloth, even though I didn’t sew one up!) First, you want to measure the top of your table. If you’re going to a full table cloth, you want to add 24 inches to each of those measurements. If you’re going for a runner, you want the 24 inches on the length and about 1/3 of the width. There is definite wiggle room there because, surprise, when you sew, you get to make shit exactly what you want!!! I decided I wanted to color block my table runner. If you want exactly mine, here are the cutting dimensions for the pieces: one blue and one green of each of the following, 19×2, 31×3, 43×6, and two stripes each of, 7×3, 7×7, 32×17. My table is 72×41. I used french seams to sew this beauty together and could not be happier with the end result!! My sister has already asked for one for each holiday, with coordinating napkins! And we have a running list of snarky phrases to personalize some towels!

I really hope these table accessories spark some creativity for you! These are fantastic beginner projects, and wonderful kickstarters for anyone lacking some sew-jo. Or if you just have a full closet and want to keep sewing your ass off. Be sure to check out the Sewing Summit! And since I’m completely crazy, also check out the other class(es) I participated in!!

Stephanie xx