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Rebecca Page Beach Bag

The beach is my happy place. Well, the beach or a fabric store. But, the beach!! Virginia and I try to go somewhere beachy at least once per year. We don’t care if it is summer beach, winter beach, or somewhere in between. As long as we can walk along the shore and let the sound of waves wash away our stress. We are hella lucky to have some of our favorite humans living near Jacksonville, FL, quite literally 20 minutes from a beach. A gorgeous beach. One of our favorite beaches. So we get the advantage of visiting friends, and having sand and ocean nearby! Win-win!!

But we also love the pool. Since we’re too far from the beach for it to be a weekend, or daily, activity, our best alternative is the local pool. Again, we’re lucky to have a wonderful city pool. Reasonable price, not too crowded (even pre-covid), comfortable, and lovely. Eight minutes down the road means we can go almost daily, unless the weather doesn’t cooperate! That’s a life choice I am not mad at.

I tell you all of these because we ALWAYS end up carrying 2-3 bags each. Every. Damn. Time. It is exhausting. Making sure we’ve loaded each of them into the car. Then carried them to the pool or chosen spot in the sand. It is the only part of spending time near the water that sucks. Well, and having to leave. But now. This beach bag exists! This beach bag that can hold literally everything we need for an afternoon at the pool.

Right now, this bag has six beach towels, a 1 liter water bottle, two bags of snacks, a book, wallet, keys, sunscreen, two beers, three empty inside pockets, AND room for more. What else do I need at the pool? No really, tell me! I’ll pack it and take it with me.

While I KNOW Virginia is going to make me carry everything from now on, I’ll make her carry the fancy fold-up chairs (which are the one thing that doesn’t actually fit), and she can open doors and whatnot. And drive. Don’t tell her I said that. 😀

So, maybe you’re not as extra as I am. Maybe you only want to bring a towel or two, a book, and some water. I have good news. This pattern comes with a more reasonable size option. It’ll still hold all your needs. And be adorable. And so damn useful. I need to make one in that size just to have. For other uses. For when I go to the pool alone! That’s it. Now I have a reason to make it.

Either option will let you add inside pockets. 7 or 14 on the large, 4 or 8 for the small. I only put pockets on one side of this one because I ran out of the adorable flamingo fabric. But they are the perfect size for really holding everything. Stuff doesn’t tip out! And I’m pretty sure I could get a wine bottle in those pockets…

So what I’m saying here is…this pattern makes me happy. I can’t wait for some time by the water. (Goodness, any water.) And I hope y’all love it too!

Stephanie xx

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New Sewists

One of the questions I see most often is “How do I get started?” and it is one of the hardest questions to answer! There are so many different aspects of sewing that might interest different people that it is hard to answer that question without first asking a dozen opinion questions! Are you interested in sewing clothes? Quilts? Accessories? Home stuff? Do you like detailed projects or want quick and easy? Are you sewing for yourself, family, friends? Have you sewn anything before? What did you like/dislike about it? All of these questions allow me to formulate suggestions and paths that might most suit the asker. But, really, the generic answer is just do it. Just dive in and see what you like! Find a friend who sews (that’s me! I’m your friend. I sew. I want to sew with you.) and see if they want to get together to sew, even if it is a zoom hang! They might even let you borrow their machine for a quick lesson to see if it is something you want to actually invest in!

Then the next step is finding projects that you want to tackle, that won’t be so hard as to put you off sewing forever. I don’t think it matters if you start with a pillow cover, pajama pants, a tee, or a quilt. Just pick something that can be accomplished in a time frame that you won’t lose interest in. If you want something done in an afternoon, pick something that is quick. If you’re interested in a weekend project for the entire month, dive into something that is a little more. Listen to yourself, and your history of tackling projects, before choosing something.

If you prefer to start with a pattern (and unless you LOVE designing, I super recommend this), you can choose between the big brands that sell patterns at your local craft store, or independent designers, where you’ll find their patterns online. Now, I am biased on this, but I super prefer independent designers. I learned how to sew using paper patterns from the big four and … eh. The tissue paper isn’t my favorite thing. The fit tends to be intended to fit a wider variety of body types, so there is typically more necessary adjustments on clothing, and just fewer options for bags and accessories. Independent designers try to stay on top of and in front of trends (some big four patterns are doing decently well on this! I just mean in general.) Plus, they usually offer a group with access to help, suggestions, tips, and other people excitedly sharing their own makes! Also, independent means you’re supporting the small business. The start up. The work from home parents. People like me, because I work for one of these companies, hence the bias.

Try out a few different pattern companies. See what styles you like. Who has instructions you love and can follow. If you’re tackling clothes, who has the fit that needs the fewest adjustments for you? Most independent companies offer at least one free pattern and a lot of them are doing huge sales right now, so it is a great time to try out a few patterns, or just grab the ones you’ve been eyeing but didn’t have the money to pay for! Then, just get sewing.

Ask questions along the way. Take a class. Watch YouTube videos. Follow blogs (Hi! This is a sewing blog!). Find someone who sews things you like, or looks like you (for clothing) and follow them for inspiration. Get on Insta and find some people. Nothing is more motivating for me than seeing other amazing sewists making gorgeous things. And some of my best friends are people I’ve never met who live around the world, but who have shared this passion, and their lives, with me!

How do you get started sewing? There are many paths. None of them are wrong. The end result is joining an amazing, warm, welcoming community of creative, interesting people. Plus you get to make pretty things. I’d call that a win win!!

If you’d like my suggestions for independent pattern companies AND my sources for fabric, check out these posts here and here. I exclusively use Brother sewing machines, because I like them. But you’ll find a wide range of machines for different uses that appeal to different people. And I’m always happy to talk sewing! So if you want to have a sew-hang or sew-chat, let me know! 😉

Stephanie xx

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EAM – Around the Block Hoodie

Are you often the last person to discover something? Maybe you even picked it up, or saved a video, or whatever, forever ago, and finally get around to trying it YEARS later? Yeah. That’s me. Often. I see the thing that intrigues me. I make a note, mental or otherwise, to try/do/watch it. Then it slips lower and lower down the list, until I either forget about it, or so many other people are talking about it that I remember it and dive in.

That’s what happened here. I picked up the Around the Block Hoodie forever ago, when Ellie and Mac offered it on their Wacky Wednesday $1 sale. Because, it is a dollar. If the pattern is terrible, who cares? But if it is good, woohoo! They do these deals every week. Different patterns. Always $1. It is really a great way to try them out! And I am here to tell you, I’m mad I didn’t sew this one up sooner!!

This takes the guesswork and math out of colorblocking. The hoodie fits great! Was easy to cut and sew. And I love the faux strings! The way they are off to the side is different and fun. Using only partial strings here is a great way to not worry about them coming out in the wash. And less wasted string! Plus, I never have to worry about the strings not being the right length! One super long and hanging to the hem, while the other is all scrunched up in the hood. I might never do real strings again… At least for myself! The only thing that isn’t love about the pattern is the 1/4 inch seam allowance. I don’t know why that 1/8 inch makes such a huge difference for me, but when I’m serging, I just really want that 3/8 inch.

So let’s talk about this fabric! This is one of the Winter Temptation bundles available right now over at Sly Fox! It comes with two yards of the DBP print, one yard of the DBP ivory, and one yard of the red cotton spandex! Which was PLENTY to make this hoodie and have enough leftover for another project. Pretty sure Virginia is going to ask for the same hoodie…

This seems like the perfect cozy, comfy option for my holiday family zooms! I’ll be festive and comfy!! And if I announce that now, Virginia can choose to be matchy or not with her hoodie. That I already know I have to make. 😀

Go grab this pattern and your very own bundle (or make your own bundle!) and share your beautiful makes!!!

Stephanie xx

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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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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