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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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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.

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#comfytown

My goal in life is to be comfortable always.  Comfortable with who I am.  Comfortable with who I give my time to.  Comfortable with my choices.  But, most importantly, comfortable in my clothes.  😀  If I could work in jim jams, I would.  They frown on that at my work.  You might have noticed that I do my best to make clothes that are comfortable, while still being work appropriate.  My lounge clothes are no different!  So this Rebecca Page Comfy Town Blog Tour is the PERFECT topic for me!!

Nothing is more comfortable than well-fitted, soft, cozy clothes.  Turning over the theme for this blog tour sparks so many options for living in #comfytown.  When I think of Rebecca Page Sewing, the patterns that pop in my head first are beautiful, classic, well-fitted pieces.  Mostly just work appropriate sews.  But, there are soooooo many choices for ridiculously comfortable clothes to be made from these patterns!

Now, I can’t make comfy outfits without including Virginia.  It is a goal in my life to help her feel the true college experience.  This includes studying for hours in your jammies.  You can’t focus on psychology without soft fabrics, cozy tops, and warmth!  So we started with Pippa Pants.  We both LOVE Pippa pants.  I used them to make our Christmas jams last year and I wear mine all the time!!  (I hacked them to shorts, so they’re perfect all year!)  We picked up the ever-coveted Harry Potter Fabric at Joann Fabrics when it finally hit our store (and our sister’s store).  It is the perfect weight cotton lycra for these pants!!  Plus, I made them a little long, so when she curls up with her textbooks, her feet have a bit of extra coverage!

We are doing our best to avoid buying fabric, so we were stash shopping for something for the top.  I found this great burgundy/maroon ish waffle knit that I ordered a while back from Fabric Mart.  Since I picked it up for me, I hope Virginia appreciates my sacrifice. 😀  (I really am kidding.  We have lots of fabric!  I much prefer using it for the perfect project, rather than having it sit around.)  This waffle knit is PERFECT for the Paris Party Top!  I cut the neckline a bit wide, then took no care not to stretch it out a bit while working with it.  The off-the-shoulder coziness was this delightful end result.  I did bind the neckline, rather than the traditional t-shirt neckband, and love the end result!

But, with an off the shoulder look, we couldn’t not use the Strappy Cami to make a coordinating tank!  Bonus – this black double brushed poly is a scrap from a bundle from So Sew English, that we already used to make a shirt!  That’s right y’all, a quick sew that also uses a tiny bit of fabric!  Crazy.

Virginia is now comfy and ready to study.  Or help decorate for the holidays.  You know, whichever is most important. 😉  Now for me!!  I also want Pippas.  Obviously.  But, I’m not much for pants, and we’re in the stage of our house where we are desperately trying to not turn on the furnace, so it is a bit too cold for shorts.  The 3/4 length is exactly what I need!  This french terry has gotten a lot of use in the last month, after sitting in the stash for at least a year.  I’m 90% sure we found it at Fine Fabrics.  (That’s how long it has been in our stash!  I just don’t remember.)

I knew I wanted to try the Strappy Cami with the ruched option.  So I dived into my stash and found this great black mystery knit from a scrap box I ordered FOREVER ago from So Sew English.  I’ve been meaning to make a tank out of it since the box arrived.  I am so very glad I waited!   This tank is PERFECTION!  It fits perfectly.  It is comfy.  It is more than just a layering tank.  With the ruching, I am more than happy to wear it out and about with a cute cardi!

So, obviously I need a new cardi.  I’ve had my eye on the Cora since it released.  So simple, but so beautiful.  The Moms bought this oatmeal sweater knit from her first visit to Fine Fabrics, the remnant section, which I didn’t know existed.  I was so excited about it and KNEW it needed to be a Cora.  I just hadn’t taken the time to print and glue the pattern.  Turns out it was less than an hour from a stack of pages to wearing this ridiculously comfortable cardigan.  I almost immediately made a second one.  And text all my friends to tell they everyone needed this cardi.  I knew it would be comfy, but had no idea that it would be cozy and warm, but cute and easy to wear.  Everyone really needs at least half a dozen of these.  EVERYONE.

Outfits complete, Virginia and I are ridiculously comfortable, but so cute, and ready to tackle anything.  Christmas decorating.  Target runs.  Movie marathons.  Plus we’ve added a few staple pieces that can mix into our regular work wardrobes as well.

If you want to be as comfy as we are, check out the other bloggers on the tour!

Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Comfy Town Blog Tour. Don’t forget to comment on the blogs each day and enter the giveaway posts in our Facebook group for a chance to win some prizes from Rebecca Page.

  1. Monday, November 26: Rebecca Page (Intro), bigflynotions, Stitched by Jennie
  2. Tuesday, November 27: Ropp OriginalsFlaxfield Sewing
  3. Wednesday, November 28: Simply KyraSeams Sew Lo
  4. Thursday, November 29: Seams Like StyleJot DesignsSixth Snow
  5. Friday, November 30: The Sewing UnicornPatchWitch
  6. Saturday, December 1: Sarcastic SewistBellephantPrincesse et Tresors
  7. Sunday, December 2: Liviality, Soul Fed on Thread, The Scatty Sewer

Make yourself comfortable today.

stephanie xx

PS – Even the cats wanted in on this photo shoot.  Keep scrolling for adorableness. <3

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.

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Fourth of July

Parades, fireworks, carnivals, Tilt-a-whirl, marching band competitions, sparklers, cookouts, and all things American flag. I have enjoyed some truly memorable Fourth of July Celebrations. My first away from home included a baseball game, a naturalization ceremony, and fireworks over the Mississippi River. All of these amazing events come together to make my absolute favorite holiday.

 

What better way to celebrate any holiday, let alone my favorite, than to make kick ass shirts? I’m the first to admit I would have hated the idea of matching shirts to my big sisters when I was a kid. Gah, mom, I’m not my sister!! Not that I can ever recall the parents trying. But, sisters in their 30s? Hell yes! Let’s match!!!

This year we started early. We kept an eye out for wonderful fabric (thank you So Sew English) and matched it to a bolt I picked up when Hancock was closing.

Then Virginia jumped in and worked the Silhouette while I made the shirts. (Moo Shoo helped me hem). And I think we knocked it out of the park!! These are fun, patriotic, and, if we’re being real with each other, I’ll wear this all damn year!

All three of these are Patterns for Pirates slim fit raglans. It’s a great basic raglan pattern that fits these hourglass ladies well. All three came together in just a few hours and I could not be happier with the result!

Happy Fourth, everyone. Enjoy the freedoms we have and thank the people who fight hard for them every day.

Stephanie <3 <3

PS – Photoshoots with sisters are really effing fun.