Posted on 4 Comments

A Deal’s a Deal

Just over four years ago, my sister and I bought a house! A HOUSE!! Super exciting purchase, which is also super scary. We love most things about our house, the kitchen is so much bigger than in any apartment I’ve lived it, there’s a whole room for crafting, we have a fenced in yard, so we can get a puppy, the craft room rocks, no sharing walls with strangers, craft room. You know?  Good stuff. 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

There were also a few things we didn’t love about the house. Some of them we can change, like the faucets in the bathrooms and the hideous, baby diarrhea color on the walls. But, some of them were outside of our wheelhouse. Thankfully, we have a pretty handy dad! He has definitely helped us with a lot of projects around the house. (To be fair, he also taught us how to change out the faucet!)

There was one safety change that we were actually quite concerned about. Our water shutoff valve was way inside the crawlspace, on the outer wall, in a super dark area, with lots of dirt, and through some crazy narrow space. This is definitely not ideal positioning if we need to turn off the water FAST! You know, in emergency type situations…

This is for sure something Dad can help us with!! (Super Dad to the rescue!) He can install a new water shutoff valve near the door to the crawlspace, within easy reach, without any crawling at all. But…someone is going to have to crawl over to the valve, and either crawl back in when he is done, or chill there for half an hour while the Pops installs a new valve.

Here is where the deal comes in. Virginia and I agreed, she would do the dirty work if I sew her one shirt, one bottom, one pair of undies, and one bralette, with an option for one cardigan added in, if I was feeling it.

Since the valve fixing happened in March, while I was napping post-surgery, I have sewn exactly nothing off of this list. Every time the items made it to the top of the list, I either didn’t have the info on what options she wanted (lists got lost, ok?), or something prioritized higher and pushed it down the list.

But dammit, a deal is a deal! She held up her end, she deserves a whole damn outfit. (Yes, I have sewn MANY things for her between March and now. But, this is a special sew. Not a random sew. Not a test. SPECIAL, dammit.) Since I’ve spent the first part of this year getting myself organized and prioritizing my time and energy, I spent the end of last week making sure I had the list of what she patterns wanted and which options and fabrics she wanted used.

Then knocked out all five this weekend!!! BOOM!!! (She definitely deserved the cardi, as interest payment for the delay at the very least.) Now she is enjoying some super comfy new Rebecca Page Pippa Pants, a beautiful Halla Envelope Tee, Stitch Upon a Time Bunzies, Made for Mermaids Bridgette, AND a Rebecca Page Circle Cardi. Now, I think she has great taste, so I assume she doesn’t plan to wear most of these pieces together, but whatevs. She’ll be comfy as hell.

The moral of the story here is if you make a deal with me, it might take a little time, but I’ll come through. Promise. 😉

Stephanie xx

Posted on 8 Comments

2019 – Let’s Try

It is a new year and it has been a rough start so far. Typically, resolutions aren’t my thing, but new years and rough spots are always good times to evaluate and focus on what is important. So, that’s what I’ve been working on during my last few days off work. What do I want to accomplish this year? What priorities need to shift? What can I do to better myself for those around me?

I’m not jumping into all the details, but every goal starts with much better organization than I currently have. Keeping track of all the projects, responsibilities, side hustles, and just stuff in life is an ever present struggle. I think it is for most people.

I’m super lucky in that my family gave me this kick-ass calendar this year. Since it is bang on theme, it also has spots for projects, ideas, fabric swatches, all the good stuff for us sewists!! I splurged on some delightful new pens to go with it (they even match all the pretty colors inside!) and got started documenting my entire life.

Boy, did writing it all down really bring into focus just how much I cram into my days and weeks. (Totally not complaining! I love it!!) Just the act of writing stuff down has always helped me remember my list. And a friend of mine was just telling me about the benefits of writing stuff down, so this seems like the perfect start!

I’ve got my list of tasks for the month. Due dates for tests and strikes. Depositions for the day job. Even books I want to check out from the library written down and ready to go. I just really need to stay motivated throughout the year to build and KEEP these habits.

So, how in the world does this pertain to a sewing blog? Well, I’ve got a super cute sewing calendar and pretty pens, but I clearly need a little pouch to carry the pens with the calendar!! I used the Made for Mermaids Zip Up Pouch freebie, which is just perfect for the handful of pens I want to carry with me. Plus, my sister gave me this gorgeous vintage sewing machine fabric forever ago!

Being indecisive, I used a team of four amazing seamstresses and one very annoyed sister to help me choose a lining fabric (which I didn’t even take a picture of) and the right zipper. Then, halfway through sewing, I realized I really wanted to up the game on the little carry strap the tutorial shows you how to add. So, I added some hardware to a little loop and made myself another key fob to attach to it!!

I figured, they’re so easy, why not quick tell you guys how to make them too?! They are super simple and the only thing you might not have on hand is the hardware (which I ordered on Amazon super cheap). All you need is a bit of fabric, some interfacing, your machine, the hardware, and a hammer! (Yeah, a hammer. You also get to work out a little frustration with this project.)

Cut out a 3×12 inch piece of your fabric. I usually fussy-cut so that a particularly pretty bit is showing. Iron on interfacing to this piece (1). Fold each long edge in 1/2 inch and press (2). Then fold in half, matching folded edges, press, and pin (3a, 3b). Do whatever topstitching you want at this stage (4). I just did 1/8 inch from each long edge. But it is fun to get fancy with it!! Use your crazy stitches or extra pretty threads. Go nuts. Then just fold your fob in half, slide it into the hardware (5), and hammer in place!! Be sure to use a couple layers of your pressing cloth to protect the hardware from damage.

That’s it. You’re done. They’re crazy easy to personalize with embroidery or vinyl, and make wonderful (and fast) gifts! I’ve given away quite a few so far and they’ve always been well received.

So, let’s all be a little more organized and work toward our happiness a little bit more this year. And let’s support each other while doing it.

Thanks for being here. <3

Stephanie

Posted on 10 Comments

DIY Cord Roll

Gifting to guys is basically impossible.  I feel like we get my dad the same stuff year after year.  Mostly just something fun with that Packer G on it.  He always seems happy.  But it is even harder to MAKE something for guys.  I run into this problem with all the guys I gift to.  So, what to do?

I decided a cord roll would be super helpful!  Doodled out my idea and sewed up a practice one.  Instant love!!!  It took about an hour, while figuring out how to actually make it.  Plus it is an awesome scrap buster!  It has a great zipper pocket for plugs or what-have-you, and spots for 7 cords!!

Tweaked the pattern a little bit and sewed up a second one.  Pretty sure this is perfect.  Why don’t I write it up and share it with my favorite readers?!  (That’s you!!).  So you can totally download a PDF with instructions and dimensions here.  I’ve included a few different closure options and some photo step by step instructions.  

The personalization options are just endless on this! I’ve got three different closure options on these. The first is flannel with snaps, the second suede with cord elastic, and the last quilting cotton with a ribbon tie! The suede roll, I decided not to top stitch, but instead slip stitched to finish it off.

SUPPLIES:

INTERFACING – I have to admit to using featherweight interfacing for most project. It is light enough for most my apparel sewing needs, but provides just enough support for projects like these. Which means I can keep a lot of it on hand and not worry about not using it.

ZIPPERS – I like to buy all purpose zippers in bulk as well (are you sensing a theme here?). It is convenient to keep a bunch of different colors and lengths on hand for random projects. Then I never have to run to the craft store in the middle of a project to grab a quick zipper. One of the perks to this project is the ease with which you can shorten your zipper! That means if you have a 9 or even a 14 inch zipper on hand that is the right color, it is perfect! No need to fret about having exactly a 7 inch zip!!

Everything else you need are basic sewing supplies. Fabrics, scissors, your sewing machine and needles, of course. My favorite part of this project is that you don’t really need anything special!! Just grab stuff you have on hand and go to town!

If you want to make it extra special, you could add a little key chain loop and attach one of these key fobs that I show you how to make. Even easier, in that you can throw it on your wrist and just go, or pull it out of a full, busy bag quick and easy.

I can’t wait to make these for a bunch more people (and one for me!!). Please let me know if you have any questions!!  And share what you’ve made!  I’d love to see everyone’s versions. <3 

Stephanie

Posted on 7 Comments

5oo4 Camilla Cowl

Some days, I’m reminded just how lucky I am. I have fallen into this amazing world of PDF sewing where I’ve found passion, friendships, a job, an outlet. Basically everything I could want. Part of that is sewing up some promos for different designers. Whether I’ve applied for a position or the designer (or their team) reaches out to ask me to be a part of something, it gives me all the warm fuzzies to be chosen.

I get to try new things and recommend them to people. I do my best to write up my honest opinion of every test, promo, fabric, plain old sew, whatever it is I’m working on. And I have to say, this top does NOT get enough love!!! I don’t see it a lot on the 5oo4 fan page. I don’t see it in the PDF sewing groups. WHY?! I finally tried it and am COMPLETELY IN LOVE!!!

Cowl tops are one of my favorite styles. They are easy to wear. They don’t choke me with high necks while still allowing me some modesty. (These girls can be hard to hide!) So, I was super excited to try this Camilla Cowl. But to add to this lovely style, there are SO MANY OPTIONS!!! There are four lengths, 6 sleeve lengths with extra cuff options, pockets, ruching, and maternity options!! To go with that maternity option, I feel like it would be super easy for nursing!

With all of these options, it is also a really simple sew and so fast!! Once I picked out fabric and thread (thanks Vicki and Mom), it was finished in about an hour. Which is my favorite kind of project!

I chose to do a tunic length, with cuffed elbow sleeves (my favorite length for work!).  Then I added super light ruching.  Just enough to pull up the hem a bit and add a little, tiny, itsy bit of blousing over the tummy.

So, I’m highly recommending this one to every person! Pick up your copy and let me know how it goes!!

Take a moment for you today.
Stephanie xx

I was given this pattern for free to sew up for promotion.  The thoughts and evaluations are my own opinions.  I always appreciate free patterns, but I’m no liar.  🙂 

This post contains various affiliate links.  Purchasing patterns using these links does not cost my readers more, but the designer does provide me with a small commission from any sales.  This commission helps to fund my fabric addiction and is greatly appreciated.

Posted on 4 Comments

Sewcation, Mistakes, and Overbooking

This year has been full of ups and downs for me, as I’m sure it has been for most of you.  Between surgery, long weekends, a whole week off for the Fourth of July, and losing my Grandma, I have taken a lot of time away from the office this year.  Which is weird for me.  And to top it off, I’m using a TON of leave around the holidays this year.  Most of this is just for me.  We are flying my sister down after Christmas to spend some sister time and just hang out.  Though, she wants me to sew her an entire new wardrobe while she’s in town, so there will be lots of fabric time too.  But the two weeks I took off in between Veteran’s day and Thanksgiving were mine.  I really wanted a break.  A real break.  Time to sleep in, lounge around the house, sew whatever I wanted.  Hoped to have no deadlines to worry about.  

Yeah.  If you’ve ever met me, you know that was a laughable goal.  If I see a break in my schedule, I immediately fill it.  So, the 17 days away from my day job quickly filled to the brim.  I ended up stressing myself to the max and working tons of hours for my second job.  Does anyone else do this?  I stressed myself so much, I made a TON of sewing mistakes.  Real ones!  I picked up the recommended fabric for one project, plus an extra 1/2 yard, just in case.  Got home, washed it and realized it was 52″ wide instead of 60″ and I was WAY short.  Back to the warehouse for me and hopeful to find the same fabric (which is almost impossible).

This lining makes my heart happy.  🙂 

On the SAME PROJECT, I cut directional fabric upside down for half the damn pieces.  What am I even doing with my life?  Off I go, to a weird Joann’s, since I already cleaned out my Joann of this fabric.  I mean, the end result was WAY worth it.  This is the SUAT Riding Hood for a friend to keep her baby bump warm during the cold Philly winter.  I quilted the kick-ass Wonder Woman liner with some batting for more warmth, and it is so very soft.  A few extra minutes to add that layer really took this from comfy, cute to a cozy, effective winter jacket.  I love the designer’s self-welting pockets and the little sleeve ties.  Just a really nice layering piece with super cute little details.  Plus I made a cute little key fob to match!  (Which I forgot to take a pic of.)

Then I was working on some Christmas jammies and cut two left legs.  What am I even doing here?  I had just enough fabric left to cut a right leg and have the scraps left for the little projects we wanted to do.  But, damn.  I did use the Patterns for Pirates Walk the Plank pattern.  It is free and quite the quick sew.  Perfect for very beginners!  I’ll share pics laters. 🙂 

This isn’t to say I didn’t have great successes while I was on my sewcation.  I sewed all the pieces for the #comfytown blog tour early on.  Then lived in those pieces as soon as we took photos.  After making that super comfy Cora, I immediately made a second one.  (You’re getting craft room, jim-jam, 2 AM pics of this one!)  That’s definitely my new fav cardi pattern!!  Everyone needs a Cora in their life.  I also finished off a couple of pattern tests and a pre-test.  I forgot to blog about them, but you might have seen me sharing my Made for Mermaids Jamie Poncho and Hudson Hoodie.  If you need some comfy, warm, cute pieces, these are lovely choices!

A few Christmas presents were also sewn, which I obviously can’t share yet, as well as a few more pieces for my Philly friend (with another cutting mistake, ugh), including a little set of Cora cardis for her and her two little girls.  Totes can’t wait to see how she likes her box of goodies!  And I really need to figure out some cute guy gifts I can make.  I always feel bad leaving Dads out of these little matching sets.  Maybe I’ll ask Bruce what he would want.

Look at this TINY Cora!!!  It’s just so small.  <3 

I also managed to CLEAN the craft room.  Reorganize everything.  As well as finally tackling the scrap pile.  It was INSANE.  And now it is so neat and easy to find what I need and what is useful.  The only downside is that Gus Gus really liked sleeping on the pile.  Now she feels she has nowhere to be comfortable.  Despite the multiple cat beds and comfy places I’ve set up to keep the kittens happy.  They are too expected for this little mischievous bugger.  She’s been awkwardly moving about, trying new, ridiculous places to sleep.  Then STARING at me with disappointment in her eyes, clearly blaming me for her missing comfy spot.  

The to-do list didn’t really get any shorter, so I’m hoping to not pick up any other deadlines before the end of the year.  We’ll see how successful I can be with that goal.  But, I’ll try!  Even without a shortened to-do list, I am working through the projects.  Virginia is helping where she can.  A few more Christmas presents to sew first.  Gotta get those in the mail.  Then, a few promo patterns to sew up that I’m just really excited about!  I love trying new patterns and these should be fun, so I’m hoping to write up my experiences with them as well!  Keep an eye out! <3

Now we’ve made it to December.  I have a few weeks to prep some patterns for the sister, so we can power through some beautiful pieces while she’s in town.  She always gets the short end of the stick when it comes to my sewing time.  She doesn’t live with me, so it is harder to fit anything that isn’t knit and forgiving.  Plus, I haven’t found a designer that drafts just so, that matches her shape, like I have for Virginia and I.  This means a good bit of altering before I start cutting.  Which is a much bigger time commitment and since she isn’t sitting there with the sad eyes, making me feel guilty, her projects end up near the bottom of the to-do list.  I’m truly a terrible sister.  (LOVE YOU, VICKI! <3 <3)

Virginia helping.  Not being sarcastic.  She hung out even though she was tired. <3 

Here’s hoping the next few weeks can be a little calmer and a little more productive.  I really, really, REALLY want to have patterns prepped and ready to go, so as soon as Vicki walks in, she can just pick a project and we’ll start cutting!!!  Anyone want to come help? 😀

As the year wraps up (seriously, how is it December?!), it is great to look back at what we’ve done and what is still to come.  I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, but, I do like to evaluate goals and priorities moving forward.  So, I’d like to blog a little more, celebrate little things a little more, and sew a little bit more in the coming months.

Focus on you today.

stephanie xx

This post contains various affiliate links.  Purchasing patterns using these links does not cost my readers more, but the designer does provide me with a small commission from any sales.  This commission helps to fund my fabric addiction and is greatly appreciated.