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Reluctantly Crafting with My Sisters

Hi everyone!  It has been awhile since I have done a takeover of Stephanie’s blog but life got a little crazy in there. I graduated from my bachelors degree and I have the summer off (not counting two jobs) and thought with the sewing summit coming up, what a perfect time to do a takeover. 

So somehow I got roped into not one, but two videos for the sewing summit. One with each of my sisters. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sisters, but crafting is more their thing than mine. I don’t really have a hobby even. So, I got to hop into a hobby of each of theirs. One sewing and one using epoxy. Both were interesting projects and I got to create some pretty cool things (keeping it clean for the summit here).

With Stephanie I did a tutorial with how to sew the Roxy Wristlet and show it from a beginner’s point of view. Mostly you get to see how dummy proof it is. I even managed to actually make a purse. Wristlet…whatever. Thankfully she walked me through it and I wasn’t required to learn how to read a pattern. I only needed to learn one thing at a time. After all, I just finished school I have earned a break here.

I’m sure Stephanie got irritated with my lack of desire to even choose fabric for the project. Thankfully she picked out some great liners and saved the day. Now she just had to get me to commit to the filming. I, of course,  was available whenever she needed me (how does one type with sarcasm?).  Anywhos… 

I admit the end project coming together was really cool. You do a fliparoo and there is a Wristlet. Pretty snazzy. 

Now, I also got to do a video with out other sister, Vicki!  She, like Stephanie, does a bunch of different crafts. (Pretty sure they got all the crafty genes between the two of them).  Vicki and I did a really cool epoxy video. Definitely check out her blog and see what we did. It was really cool. I got to make my own tumbler!!!  And guess what?!  I used the same fabric as my Roxy. If you didn’t already figure it out, I do love bacon. 

It was a lot of fun to do a video with each of my sisters. Especially since Vicki lives like 1000 miles away. Thank goodness for graduation celebrations (or what consists of one during this thing called a pandemic) that bring family for a visit. 

Hope you guys enjoy BOTH of my Sewing Summit videos. They were a lot of fun to make. And since I am a super duper novice for both videos you know you can make both yourselves, easy peasy.

Virginia

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Angled Zip Clutch and The Sewing Summit

I am ridiculously excited to be sharing another free pattern with you today!! Nothing makes me happier than sharing something fun! This little clutch is just adorable. A little fun, a little sassy, super useful, and so very versatile!

It is such a quick sew, I can’t even believe it. Plus, the scrap busting options are endless. This could be really cute patchwork quilted to use even the tiniest of scraps! And most of us keep the supplies needed on hand. A zipper, some interfacing, and a bit of woven fabric. Boom and done!!

Now, the zipper is a bit longer than the ones I typically keep on hand (I buy 8″ zippers in bulk), but not so long that it will be hard to get your hands on. I really wanted to be able to get my phone in and out easily and still have room for whatever I want to carry. I made these versions out of quilting cottons, but this would be so fun and easy out of all kinds of woven fabrics. Accents in faux leather would be lovely, some great outdoor fabrics, suede. Endless options!!

I did my best to make these pattern pieces easy to make, while still having some unique features, so you should be able to trace and cut everything out of regular US computer paper, no glue needed, if you prefer to make pattern pieces, rather than cut fabric directly. This is definitely my preference if I’m planning to make more than one of anything. Measurements are quick and easy (and I hate gluing paper together), but for repeats, it’s just easier to have the pattern cut and ready to go.

Now I have even better news! I’m doing a sew along to show just how easy this pattern is to make up!! And to show a quick hack, if you’re scared of zippers or just don’t feel like adding one (the navy one with the periodic table lining). Check out The Sewing Summit! It is a week long event with some of the most amazing sewists, designers, and fabric experts sharing their knowledge with you. Free to attend live, or grab the videos forever at a reduced price ahead of the event. However you choose to participate, I’m sure you’ll be able to learn something new and exciting, and meet some new peeps in the sewing community!

Grab this free pattern right here, and be ready to sew it up with me! Don’t forget to tag me if you share anywhere, as I’d love to see your finished product!

Stephanie xx

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Personalized Tea Towels

I love picking out presents for people. Taking the time to find just the right thing that will bring a smile to someone’s face, or a tear to their eye. So, when a friend and her fiance bought a house, I knew I wanted to find just the right housewarming gift, to help them make this new house their home. The problem? I hadn’t been to their apartment, so I had no idea what their style/aesthetic is!!!

Thankfully, they’re planning a wedding and I LOVE weddings. The promise to choose a single person every day for the rest of their lives? It gets me every time. Plus, add in fun decor, gorgeous clothes, and hopefully fun music, hell yes. I’m all in. So, my excitement for weddings, and crafts in general, means I always hope friends share wedding plans as they happen! Seeing choices for flowers and centerpieces, cakes and favors, makes me so happy!! This was also a great way to get an idea for their style. That’s what I call a win/win!

A little more back story, this lovely friend loves shopping at TJ Maxx/Home Goods and completely adores the Rae Dunn line. Super cute and fun! (If we didn’t already collect Fiesta, I’d fall down this rabbit hole so fast!) She found this mug while out shopping and picked it up for me!! I love it! It is a fantastic addition to the craft room!! (Plus, we’ve picked up a few other Rae Dunn pieces since!) And this gives me another clue for what she/they like in their home. Off to Home Goods we go!!!

We found a super cute Rae Dunn dish and a lovely vase, but something stuck with me when she gave me that gorgeous mug. She “had to get it for me because [she’ll] never find one with her name on it”. Not cool. Everyone should be able to find kick ass personalized pieces!! So, I have to make something personalized for her (and her fiance, obvs). What better for a housewarming than a lovely set of tea towels?! Virginia and I picked up some beautiful, subtly striped fabric (which is impossible to photograph without getting a headache!) Gave it a thorough wash, so it doesn’t shrink with the vinyl attached, and got to work!! Virginia tried a bunch of pretty fonts while I cut towels out!

This is a wonderfully simple sewing project. I cut rectangles at 19 inches wide and 29 inches tall. Since my fabric didn’t really shrink, I was able to cut three towels across the width of the fabric!! Then I ironed each side edge in a scant 1/2 inch twice. Then ironed the short ends 5/8 inch twice. This gives a slightly deeper folded edge to the ends, which I think looks really nice. A quick topstitch close to the inside folded edge of the towels, and they are ready for vinyl!

If all my friends could settle down with someone who’s name is a similar length, this would be way easier. Hah! We played with font size, direction of text, angles and just decided to go for the same width, and let her name be larger than his. Then we went for a simple combo of initials for the third towel. Weeding went really quick, a solid press to the towels and they’re done. I think I spent more time doing a pre-press to make sure the towels folded in thirds beautifully before adding the vinyl, than the time I spent actually ironing it on. It was wonderful!

I think these are super cute! I can definitely see some fun snarky ones for my kitchen, and more names for friends and couples. Plus, I can break out the embroidery machine to go even fancier if I want!!

With how fun and quick this project was, I might have to prep some towels and set them aside in case I need a last minute holiday gift. (But, for my friends, I totally planned yours super far in advance.)

Stephanie xx

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Etched Mirrors

Sewing isn’t my only craft. I’ve always loved dabbling in various crafty type things. I took all the art classes in high school, a few in college. I’m not overly good at most of them, but I do thoroughly enjoy the time spent creating something. One of those art classes in high school taught us how to etch mirrors and glass. It is ridiculously easy, so something in our house gets fancied up with some contact paper and etching fluid every few years. (They can also make fun and unique gifts!)

This is the mirror I etched in high school. We got to design our own thing, etch it on the mirror, then solder on some beautiful stained glass. I’ve always loved geometric shapes (probably why I have a Frank Lloyd Wright tattoo!). I find them soothing and beautiful. It is so fascinating to watch basic shapes come together into something that is so much more. This has survived all my moves and hangs in my bedroom now. A great reminder to always enjoy the crafts, because they brighten up my life.

Anyway, we saw these hexagonal mirrors in the bullseye section of Target and I knew we needed to etch them!! Hexagons are my favorite shape (what, you don’t have a favorite shape?!) and the white framing is perfect for our style. When I picked them up off the shelf, I KNEW they had to be fancy swears. So ridiculous, yet so fun.

They sat FOREVER. Collecting dust, mocking me with their boring mirror faces. Until we had to break out the Silhouette for another project (for a present, so I can’t share yet! Keep an eye out.) If we’re going to pull it out and sit down with it, we might as well do the mirrors!!! Perfect!!

Now, mostly I ask Virginia to run the software while I prep or do other projects. I don’t know why, I’m not very good at describing what I’m visualizing, so we both usually end up frustrated (sorry, Sister). This was one of those projects. I said fancy, scroll-y font with flowers around it. How vague can I get?! Well, she left for work and I dove in to see if I could create what I was picturing. Sent her a snap of it for approval, since they’re planned to hang in shared space. Got the go and started to cut.

It turns out I do not have the patience to weed contact paper. Hell no. Never again. So, I tossed the first cut and used some permanent vinyl instead. WAY EASIER!!! I highly recommend the more sturdy, easy to transfer vinyl over contact paper. Got them both weeded and placed on the mirrors. Throw some etching fluid on there (safety is recommended here. Use a popsicle stick to spread, in a well ventilated place. Gloves are suggested. Blah, blah.) Let it sit. Wipe it off. Peel the vinyl. Then wash it off. Seriously the easiest process, once you’ve got your design stuck to the glass.

Of course, after I finished, I realized the mirror comes out of the frame and this could have been a way easier project. Oh well, it isn’t perfect, but, I LOVE how it turned out!! Subtle swears are my aesthetic. These now hang fantastically in the living room and I can’t wait to see reactions as visitors notice (for those that don’t know about them already, because I’ve told everyone!! Hah!!)

Next etching project, glassware. For sure.

Stephanie xx

(Y’all, its really hard to take photos of mirrors.)

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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