Sew Americana Blog Tour

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The Sew Americana Blog Tour has been around a few years, but this is the first time I have gotten to join in! This tour has been put together by Katy over at Wild and Wanderful and it features more than 20 popular sewing bloggers. I just happen to be lucky enough to make the list! Today is the last day of the tour so make sure you read all the way to the bottom of my post and then check out all of the bloggers on the tour! You do not want to miss out on all the amazing sewing shares.

Nancy Raglan 4x SFF (1)

When I signed up for this blog tour, I actually had zero clue as to what I would be making. This is not uncommon for me. In the sewing world, I work best under pressure. I sewed both of the tunics up the night before our photos were due! In all fairness, Sly Fox Fabrics came on board in the last minute to offer of some fabric to us. Of course, I couldn’t resist their amazing fabrics. I selected the Hideaway Floral print in Blue in Single Brushed Poly. When I placed my order, I knew I planned to make the Nancy Raglan top. I also planned to make another awesome Momma Mia and Me set! I purchased two additional 1 yard cuts of fabric to pair with the 2 yards of the Hideway Floral in Blue. I ordered 1 yard of red and 1 yard of light slate DBP to make contrasting sleeves. I think the best park of making raglans is using a contrast fabric for the sleeves. I selected the Nancy Raglan because it has a bunch of options. I have already made myself one of these tops and Momma Mia has a couple dresses from this pattern.

Nancy Raglan XL-2X (1)

I followed the pattern as directed except I added an extra band of color around the bottom of the sleeves. Instead of adding the sleeve band after assembly I added it before sewing sleeves and side seams together. I folded a 3 inch strip of fabric wrong sides together and clipped it right sides together to the bottom of the sleeve. I cut the color band off evenly with the sides of the sleeve and the serged it together. Next, I sewed the side seam as usual. I was careful to line up the edge of the color band so as it didn’t have a noticeable shift between the sides. This really wasn’t a ‘time saver’ compared to just sewing bands on properly since lining the edges up perfectly was kind of a pain in the booty! Next time, I will just make the bands wider and assemble as usual.

Nancy Raglan 4x SFF (2)

I sewed my latest Nancy top in tunic length. Mine is size 4x graded to a 5x. This pattern doesn’t include a FBA was some of the newer 5oo4 patterns have, but it fits ok. I cut my neckline at the crew neck line. My sleeves are the short length plus the band. For my sleeves, I added an extra 1 inch to the bicep area. I used the slash and slide method.

Nancy Raglan XL-2X (2)

Momma Mia is wearing a XL graded to a 2X then back to a XL. She is also wearing a tunic length, with a crew neck line and ¾ length sleeves plus the color band.  I made no other adjustments for her tunic.

Nancy Raglan 4x SFF (4)

Here are all the options included with the Nancy pattern.

The Nancy Raglan includes:

  • 5 bodice styles: Shirt, Tunic, A-line Dress, Swing Dress, Layered Dress (A-line with a loose fit overlay)
  • 4 sleeve lengths: Short, 3/4, Long, Extra Long
  • 4 neckline options: Crew, V-neck, Hood, Cowl
  • 3 sleeve finishes: Hemmed, Cuffs, Thumbhole Cuffs
  • Nursing access via invisible zippers and including a modesty panel.  The nursing access is available on all styles except the layered dress.
  • Maternity with ruched sides.  The maternity option is included with all styles except the layered dress.
  • Other options include: side vents on the tunic, pockets on the swing dress, and a banded bottom for the shirt and tunic.

Nancy Raglan 4x SFF (6)

Should you be inclined to add this pattern to your collection, you can pick it up here with my Affiliate Link.

Nancy Raglan XL-2X (3)

If you love my fabric, Here is a link to Sly Fox Logo

Monday, June 24:
Wild & Wanderful · The Petite Sewist · That’s-Sew-Kari · Stitched by Jennie · Marvelous Auntie M

Tuesday, June 25:
Petite Stitchery · auschick sews · Sew Simple Home · Sewing Novice · Striped Swallow Designs

Wednesday, June 26:
(Swimming in a) Sea of Estrogen · The Eli Monster · 5 out of 4 Patterns · bigflynotions · Stitching and Making

Thursday, June 27:
Middle River Studio · It’s Liesel · Sewing with D · Kitty Makes It

Friday, June 28:
Boo + Lu · Sequoialynn Sews · Seams Sew Lo · Made By Jaime · SewSophieLynn

Nancy Raglan XL-2X (4)

Nancy Raglan 4x SFF (3)

Thanks to everyone who joined in, sponsored or supported the 2019 Sew Americana Blog Tour!

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Sewing a Wardrobe Capsule

So I am finally ready to start sharing the Business Causal Wardrobe Capsule I have been working on. Both of these items were made as part of the #GetawaywithALD capsule challenge. The object was to create several items of clothing that work together as part of a closet capsule collection for a summer getaway. I have no plans to get away this summer, so I am sewing for a business casual work setting. Typically, a capsule is for a minimalist. If you follow my blog you probably can assume I have an overly full closet…several closets, dressers, and a random clothing rack in the basement. It is a safe bet, I am not a minimalist by any means, but I really do like when I can mix and match outfits to extend my clothing options. My work wardrobe is always lacking in interchangeable garments. So let’s start with these two pieces.

ALD Capsule 2

My love for the Diane Joggers continues! This time, they aren’t part of my Copy Cat series. This time, I just wanted some fun floral print pants. I am so happy that I have finally dialed in my fit for these pants. Now I can just grab the pattern and start cutting. It takes me less than 2 hours to cut and sew these pants. Perfect for last minute wardrobe needs and instant gratification sewing! I think these get a little faster with each pair I make.

ALD Capsule 5

 

Again, I chose to make a 4x waist and graded down to a 3x leg. I love that now these pants stay up without elastic sewn into them. Properly fitting pants are so comfortable. It is pretty amazing what a difference proper fit makes in overall comfort of any clothing. I typically hate wearing dress pants, but these pants are so wearable. If you are wondering, I do consider amazing floral print pants to be dress pants! This Liverpool fabric called Blythe, is available here.

ALD Capsule

I decided to sew up a new tank top to wear with my floral pants. I used a light blue solid double brushed poly and the Virginia Tank pattern to make it happen. I have used this pattern a dozen times at this point. I am nearly certain I could sew it with my eyes clothes. It takes me about 40 minutes to cut, sew and finish. The most time consuming part is clipping and sewing the neck and arm bands in place. I love this pale blue color and it will pair up with so many things in my closet. I very rarely sew anything in solids, but sometimes they are necessary. I have now made several solid tanks! I love having tanks that fit me properly and in every color I need. As a plus size person, store bought tanks tend to be wider in the body, but the same length as smaller sizes. Let’s be real for a minute, “This girl” doesn’t wear crop tops. Honestly, I rarely wearing a shirt that is considered ‘top length.” I hate my stomach, I especially hate how it looks peeking out of the bottom of a shirt. We all have body issues and this is BY FAR my biggest one. When I make a tank top, I can customize the length for my exact preferences.

ALD Capsule 4

I ordered both of these fabric from Amelia Lane Designs. This floral print is called Blythe and it is Liverpool and so pretty. I love that Liverpool is a knit, but has some structure. By structure, I mean that it won’t hang limply over my body. I continue to be obsessed with floral print and I just don’t know if that will ever end! You can pick up this one or a lot of other Liverpool prints here.

The solid light blue is double brushed poly. I love DBP and make the majority of my clothes from it. It is nearly perfect for everything except waist bands and things that need structure! Amelia Lane Designs stocks several solid DBP’s and you can view them here.

ALD Capsule 3

Pattern Details Below

Here is the pattern link for The Diane Joggers  

Women’s Sizes XXS – 5X plus all these options

  • 3 rise heights (low/maternity, mid, and high)
  • Shorts, Capri, and Long cut lengths
  • 4 leg finishes – cuffed, hemmed, drawstring, or elastic
  • Information for both hemming and using bands (hello no hemming!)
  • 6 waistband options – Encased elastic, drawstring, Knit, Yoga Foldover, Contour, Maternity (underbelly)

 

Virginia Tank Pattern

  • Tank top with optional built-in bra
  • Separate full bust adjustment (FBA) pattern pieces for the tank and bra
  • Knee length or Maxi length skirt
  • Skirt can be made from woven or knit fabric
  • Tank top has two neckline options in the front and two neckline options in the back
  • Dress can be made with knit waistband or elastic casing
  • Maternity option
  • Pockets!
  • Sizes XXS-5XL
  • Matching girls’ option! Check out the Girls’ Virginia Tank & Maxiand get 10% off when you buy both patterns at once!

You can follow all of my sewing adventures through the links below!

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Guest Blogging and an amazing hack!

I occasionally write blog posts for a designer or a fabric companies. Today is one of those days. I wrote a blog post for Ellie and Mac this week. It was suppose to go live on Monday, but it came out early!
I hacked the South Shore Romper with my favorite dress pattern, Be Breezy Top from Ellie and Mac.

Sourth Shore Breezy Mashup (5)

I did a Rolled Hem on the bottom of my new dress and it only adds to the fluttery style of my dress. Have you checked out my video on doing a rolled hem with a sewing machine? You can view it here.

Sourth Shore Breezy Mashup (6)

I used this beautiful ITY (Interlock Twist Yarn) fabric that is newly released from Amelia Lane Designs. It is also on new release sale through Monday! This print is perfect for wearing to all summer events! The Red, White, and Blue floral is called Liberty and will look amazing for July Fourth picnics in the park! I was a little concerned when my fabric first arrived. I thought it would be too see thru to wear alone, but it is fine! It isn’t sheer when worn! If you have never worked with ITY, it is slinky and slick, but lightweight and cool. It has amazing drape as well! I find it kind of fiddly to work with and I use a load of clips to keep things together, but it was worth it because I love my new dress.

Check out this picture featuring Momma Mia’s latest quilt top. She finished it just in time for my photos! She did a great job and can’t wait to get it quilted.

Sourth Shore Breezy Mashup (2).JPG

 

If you would like to read my blog post on actually hacking just click the graphic below. 🙂 Enjoy!

ssr_breezy-01_720x

 

Monday Morning Dress

I haven’t tested too many Ellie and Mac patterns lately, even though I do love them. I  am so glad I signed up for this one. I love quick, fun, flirty dresses and this one is all three.Sequoia Ellie and Mac Monday Dress 4x graded to 5c (1) - Copy

The dress comes with two neckline options. High and Low. I chose to make the lower option. I also love that it features a slightly curved side hemline. I seem to be leaning towards hems that aren’t straight across lately. I think it is just an extra detail that dresses things up a bit. Also there are pockets! I don’t know why in the world that anyone who sews custom, doesn’t add pockets in every single garment they sew.

Sequoia Ellie and Mac Monday Dress 4x graded to 5c (2) - Copy

In true EAM style, this dress sews up quickly and is straight forward. I love that the tank style straps are wide and they cover my bra straps. That is important to me! Sometimes, the simplest details are what matters most! I also love how I can style this as a dress, though it is a little short or I can wear it over slim jeans or even leggings.

Sequoia Ellie and Mac Monday Dress 4x graded to 5c (3) - Copy

I did a FBA on my dress and shorted the length of the skirt by 2 inches for a height adjustment. I would have been more content to wear this without pants if I had left those 2 inches on the overall length of the skirt.

Sequoia Ellie and Mac Monday Dress 4x graded to 5c (4) - Copy

I picked this fabric up at Stitchin’ Pretties recently. Can you believe it was on clearance for only $3.50? I am so glad I ordered 4 yards total because I am going to need to make something else in this fabulous print. I admitted to Laura, owner of Stitchin’ Pretties, that I hadn’t given this print enough love on the website.  I am so thankful I ordered it “just to fill my box!”

Sequoia Ellie and Mac Monday Dress 4x graded to 5c (5) - Copy

OK here we go with the links.
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Edgy Top – Updated

So George and Ginger is a new name around here! I typically take a very hard stand against not supporting designers who aren’t designing in my size range. I now know that they are working pretty steadily at updating patterns in the larger size range, now going up to 5x. I tip toed over to the group because my cousin had requested a one shoulder top that resembled the way so many fabric companies drape their display mannequins. So I gave in, spent the money on a pattern that wasn’t in my size and sewed up the pattern she wanted.

She loved her new top and it was perfect for the Memorial Day festivities she planned to attend in DC. I bet this fabric looks familiar. This is Liberty Belle and it is a double brushed poly from Sly Fox Fabrics! I am linking you directly to Sly Fox Fabrics because this fabric is already sold out! Trust me, it is that fabulous! I used it recently to make my Easy Tee 5.0 when the fabric released! I also sewed up a Maxi Length Virginia for another customer out of the fabric! 

So about 2 days later, there was a tester call to update the pattern and extend the size range! I decided to step out of my comfort zone and sign up!

Edgy Top G&G 5x Sequoia Bond (15) - Copy

I choose to make the sleeveless version with the ruffle, which is the same style that I made above! The pattern sewed up quickly and easily both times. I used double brushed poly scraps to create this top and even though it was a test, it turned out 100% wearable! All the pattern pieces received an upgrade and update when the size range expanded. To me, most notable, is there is now a front and a back piece instead of it being the same. The Edgy Top included 4 different lengths of the single sleeve and you have the option to sew it with or without the ruffle! Let’s talk about the ruffle now!

Edgy Top G&G 5x Sequoia Bond (16) - Copy

On both tops, I chose to do a rolled hem! I knew I was most certainly not turning it under and hemming the edge, but I did want it finished. I decided the rolled hem was just the trick. I even made a quick Youtube video on how to do it. This was my first ever Youtube video, but I think it is helpful. Come check my channel out, follow me and give me some love! Here is the video.

Edgy Top G&G 5x Sequoia Bond (13) - Copy

 I sewed a 5x for this pattern, but blended from the bust curve to the hip to remove some of the hourglass like shape of the top. I knew I wouldn’t love it being super clingy to my rounded middle. I am now happy with the overall look. For both tops, I inserted a strip of elastic to help hold the top up. I love Brushed Poly, but strength isn’t its strongest suit! Just like when you use it to make bottoms, you have to support the waistband with something else.

Edgy Top G&G 5x Sequoia Bond (17) - Copy

Let’s talk about the fabric here. Both prints are double brushed poly and like said before I only used scraps! These dots are from Stitchin’ Pretties and no longer listed. The floral paisley fabric was a 1 cut piece from Sew Blessed also no longer available. Both of these companies have loads of other great brushed poly fabrics you could use. These two fabrics work together because the colors are a spot on match and the scale is different! #Breakallthedamnrules

Edgy Top G&G 5x Sequoia Bond (14) - Copy

As always thanks for stopping by my little spot in the cyber world. Stay up to date with me in all these places.

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Pocket Hack

I am going to walk you through a quick How To for changing patch pockets to inside pockets. I love the Diane Joggers from 5 out of 4 patterns, but sometimes I like to switch my pockets up a bit. I stole this idea from the Sarcastic Sewist when following her 12 Looks, 1 Pattern, No Repeats series. I will only be covering the pocket portion of this pattern.

Step 1 –  Cut two Patch Pockets the regular way. (looks like the paper pattern below)

Cut two Pockets that are squared off at the top. (looks like the gray fabric below)

1

Step 2-  Lay your Patch Pocket on top of your front pants fabric. These will be Right Sides Together. Repeat with the other side of the pants. 2

Step 3- Pin and Stitch along the curved edge of the Patch Pocket. I use a straight stitch with a length of 3.0 set for Stretch fabric on my machine. You could also zig zag  or lightening bolt stitch. Repeat with your other pocket.3

Step 4- Trim away the extra corner. I leave 1/4 inch or so for the seam allowance. If you are using this technique for a woven garment, I would snip into the seam allowance to help it lay flatter. Repeat with the other side.4

Step 5- Flip your Patch Pocket over to the wrong side (along the curve) of your front pants and pin in place. Repeat for both pockets.

5

Step 6- Stitch along the top edge of the curve. Again, I used a basic lengthened straight stitch. You could also play with some decorative stitching here. If needed, add interfacing to the backside of your patch pocket. Repeat for both pockets.6

Step 7- Align your Squared off Pocket on top of your patch pocket. You will be matching and pinning along the right and left edges as well as the bottom. Only pin through the two layers of pocket. Do NOT pin to the front pants piece. These will be right sides together. Repeat with both sides.7

Step 8- Stitch along the inside edge, around the curve, and across the bottom of the pocket. I used my serger, but you can use a sewing machine. Sorry I didn’t turn my photo before typing on it. Repeat with the other side.

8

Step 9- OPTIONAL I like to serge my outer pocket edge to my front pants piece. I think this helps me line things up better. You could also use a basting stitch. I just pin it in place and stitch.

9

Now assemble your pants as usual! You can see the finished shorts in my previous post here.

Here is a nice shot of this pocket technique in action! You can view this post here.

Sequoia ALD Camilla and Diane Joggers 5oo4 (7)

Have you enjoyed how verstle this pattern is? I know I love it. I sewed up yet another pair this weekend, so be on the look out!

Here are the pattern options and Aff. link to buy!

Women’s Sizes XXS – 5X plus all these options

  • 3 rise heights (low/maternity, mid, and high)
  • Shorts, Capri, and Long cut lengths
  • 4 leg finishes – cuffed, hemmed, drawstring, or elastic
  • Information for both hemming and using bands (hello no hemming!)
  • 6 waistband options – Encased elastic, drawstring, Knit, Yoga Foldover, Contour, Maternity (underbelly)

Do you need to have this pattern in your wardrobe RIGHT NOW?? Here is a link for that!

Here are some of my favorite photos of the Diane Joggers!

Also do you love the French Terry I used, You can pick it up here at Stitchin’ Pretties. Don’t forget to join the Facebook group for a code to save 30%!

Don’t forget my blog contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission when you purchase a pattern through my links. This does not change the price for you at all!

  • You can follow my blog by clicking the Follow button on the right side of my blog.
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Copy Cat – 12 looks, 1 pattern, no repeats – April

Can you believe we are already 6 months into this year? Time is zipping by way too quickly for me.  I am back with another round of the Copy Cat Series. In case you are just tuning in, I am copying Stephanie from The Sarcastic Sewist. She is using the Diane Jogger pattern from the 5 out of 4 pattern company and hacking it to make 12 different looks. I am totally copying her and blogging about the journey.

Copy Cat FT Diane Shorts (6) - Copy

For April, she made shorts! I think it was still snowing here in April, but now that June has arrived and it is toasty warm between the rain showers. I used the Diane Joggers which are now my most used pants pattern to make these shorts. I don’t wear shorts very often and if I do it is around the house. Maybe if I start making shorts as cute as these, I will start wearing them out and about.

Copy Cat FT Diane Shorts (4) - Copy

So this round, I used French Terry. You may notice this print looks a whole lot like the first pair of Diane’s I made in January! You would be correct. This is a different colorway and I honestly didn’t even notice until my shipment arrived on my doorstep! I was distracted by the awesome golden mustard shade of the fabric. It was pretty and soft and FT is super easy to sew. I picked this fabric up at Stitchin’ Pretties and it is called Maisie. I love that they are ninja fast on the shipping and run tons of great sales! Speaking of sales…30% off EVERYTHING right now. Join the Stitchin’ Pretties Facebook group for the code. Also Laura is celebrating the 1 year anniversary of the company so loads of good stuff coming!

Copy Cat FT Diane Shorts (7) - Copy

So for my shorts I made a size 4x in the waist and graded to a 3x.  I am finally super happy with my fit and do not require elastic in the band to keep them up. This is the first pair I made that I didn’t need to slim down the legs. I added 2 inches to length to give myself room to roll and hem. I folded my shorts to the inside which is opposite of what Stephanie did. Again, I added front inside pockets instead of the original patch pockets included with the pattern.

Copy Cat FT Diane Shorts (2) - Copy

I styled my new Diane Joggers with summer in mind. Tank top, sandals, flashy jewelry and a high pony tail! Kinda a fun look if you ask me!

 

Here are the details for the Diane Joggers. These are included, but don’t forget all the fun hacks!

Women’s Sizes XXS – 5X plus all these options

  • 3 rise heights (low/maternity, mid, and high)
  • Shorts, Capri, and Long cut lengths
  • 4 leg finishes – cuffed, hemmed, drawstring, or elastic
  • Information for both hemming and using bands (hello no hemming!)
  • 6 waistband options – Encased elastic, drawstring, Knit, Yoga Foldover, Contour, Maternity (underbelly)

Do you need to have this pattern in your wardrobe RIGHT NOW?? Here is a link for that!

Copy Cat FT Diane Shorts (5) - Copy

You have already seen this tank several times. I do love my Virginia Tanks!! Here is an entire collage of Momma Mia and I  wearing forms of the Virginia Pattern in the past year. I do love it very much!  Plus I just delivered a new one to Momma Mia Last night! Here is the link to buy it yourself!

 

Stay tuned right here because my next post is going to be a picture guide to making yourself some of these amazing pockets!

Don’t forget my blog contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission when you purchase a pattern through my links. This does not change the price for you at all!

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Peggy Pencil Skirt

Peggy Pencil Skirt and how to style it.

So I made this skirt last month, took photos, and hated them. Before taking the photos, I really did struggle with how to wear the two things together. The shirt I was wearing didn’t flatter my skirt at all. The proportion was wrong. My skirt was long, my shirt was long. I tried to tie it to one side, but there wasn’t enough fabric. I tried to fake tuck it by folding it up, but it looked bad.  A pencil skirt really isn’t overly flattering on my body. I have odd shape for a plus size gal. I have zero hip curve and zero booty. I am round especially from the side view. I am described very much an apple shape.

Peggy Pencil Skirt RP 4x (2) - Copy

According the Wiki, if you have an appleshaped body, then your body is “top heavy,” meaning you have a wide torso, broad shoulders, and a full bust, waist, and upper back. Appleshaped bodied women also tend to have thinner arms, legs, and hips, and tend to gain weight at their waistlines.

This sounds pretty accurate, except I also have large arms. Hence the Full Bicep Adjustment I am always harping about.

Peggy Pencil Skirt RP 4x (6) - Copy

Pencil skirts can be a little tricky to wear as an apple shape. I strongly feel that curvy hips make pencil skirts look way better. Also being a little taller helps, which I am not. At 5’1, wearing shoes, I am no where near being considered tall, but it is ok. I feel that sometimes you just have to do with it.

Peggy Pencil Skirt RP 4x (5) - Copy

So I ended up styling my pencil skirt with a tank top. By exposing my arms, this already feels way less stuffy. Here are two photos side by side. I am wearing the same skirt obviously, but with different styles of top. You will notice the blue top makes me look very rectangular. This isn’t a very good look for most people and definitely not the look I want. The pink tank top exposes my shoulders and arms and is also shorter in length. The shorter length helps to break my body up into proportions. Overall, the look of the tank top and pencil skirt appeals to me more. The lower neckline of the pink tank, draws attention upward, hopefully making me appear taller. Also notice where the skirt is hitting lengthwise in both photos. The blue top outfit, the skirt is landing at the widest part of my calves while in the pink top, I have hiked my skirt up a bit, exposing more leg. Again, creating the illusion of being taller. I think that also with the shorter tank top, I could also wear a longer cardigan because the tank top would still create a line of proportion and give my outfit balance.

So now that we have talked about how to wear a pencil shirt if you have an apple shape, let’s talk about this pattern. This is the Peggy Pencil Skirt from Rebecca Page. As always the size range is up to 5x. I am wearing 3x in a Liverpool fabric. There are two fit options for this skirt. I made the regular pencil skirt, but there is also a body con fit. I also made the back vent for easy when walking. There are 3 length options and I made the knee length version, not height adjusted.

Peggy Pencil Skirt RP 4x (3) - Copy

So if you love the Peggy Pencil Skirt, you can pick up the pattern here.

or

If you love all skirts, you can pick up the entire bundle of amazingness, by clicking here!

The Skirt Bundle includes all of these lovelies! I linked the ones I Have made for you. If you pick up the bundle you save 43%!!!

Hayley

Arabella

Stevie

Peggy- This post 🙂
Paige- I haven’t made this one yet!

Peggy Pencil Skirt RP 4x (4) - Copy

So let me know what you think of the Peggy Pencil skirt and be sure to tag me when you sew up your very own!

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RP Sew Free For Summer Tour – Pet Travel Bed Hack

The Sew Free For Summer Blog tour is winding down, but I am sharing one more pattern hack with you. I used the FREE Pillow Bed Sewing Pattern to create a Pocketed Travel Pet Bed. I am also going to walk you through inserting a zipper to create a pocket. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to find out how you can WIN so prizes!! 

RP Doggy Bed Hack (3)

I used the same size pieces that were give in the original directions, but only cut 4 backs instead of the 8 as directed. I also cut one additional piece which becomes the zipper placket. I cut it 4 inches by the 28.5 inches. I used a heavy quilting cotton for my project. Warning there are a lot of photos coming at ya! I often need a lot of pictures to help me when I am sewing something so I tried taking them step by step.

Step 1

Stitch front pieces together at the long edges to create one long piece. You can also finish the outer edges if you like. I wish I would have just for ease of not doing it later.

RP Doggy Bed Hack (4)

Step 2

You will need the extra placket piece you cut. I serged the edge to finish one side. This can 100% be done on a sewing machine with an overcast stitch or a zig zag. You can also double turn it and hem if you prefer not to see a stitched edge. I was lucky enough to find a 28 inch zipper in my stash and the color sort of matched so I went with it! Pin the zipper WRONG SIDE down to your unfinished fabric edge. This is a large zipper. With smaller zippers (on other projects) I recommend using wash away wonder tape to hold it down. Attach your zipper foot. My foot is double sided, but most are just one skinny foot. Stitch the zipper in place with a straight stitch. I butt the edge of my foot up against the actual zipper to keep my straight line. Sew slowly and it will be even. Also notice here, I have sewn over my pin. DON’T do it! It is dangerous and I have broken pins. I wanted to show you that I pinned it in place. Sew the entire length of the zipper down.

RP Doggy Bed Hack (5)

Step 3

Next flip your zipper over the fold, press and pin, then topstitch in place using a regular foot. I like to use this open toed foot when top stitching because I can run the outside edge along the zipper teeth or the inside of the ‘toe’ along the folded edge to give me something to use as my guide for straight lines. I often increase my stitch length to 3.0 when doing this. Also I usually use a thread that either blends in or complements the colors in the project. This is the same process I use for top stitching on garments also.

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Step 4

Now we will attach the zipper placket into our pillow bed. I folded my placket in half along the length of it and pressed to create a memory hem to use as my reference line. I then used that pressed line and pinned it in place along the seam line where the middle two front panels are sewn together. Your pieces will be laying right side of the placket to the wrong side of the front pieces. Pin in place then stitch along the memory line and middle seam line. I stitched from the outside, so I could stitch in the ditch.

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Step 5

Time to attached the second side of our zipper. Lay your project out so that the zipper placket is folded over as you will see it from the right side of your project. This will ‘point’ you to the side where you will attach the second side of the zipper. Fold that front panel piece over to your zipper half that is installed. You will now have two front panels laying right sides together. You should now see how the pocket is coming together. Lay your zipper right sides together along the edge of the front piece. Pin in place and use the zipper foot to stitch. When sewing zippers with a larger pull you may have to raise your presser foot and zip the zipper out of the way to finish stitching in place.

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Step 6

Flip and top stitch in place using regular open toed foot.

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You should now have a project that resembles this… Pocket (with open edges still) on the right with two unfinished pillows on the left.

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Step 7

I folded under my edges and top stitched. You could also open the zipper and fold it inside out and stitch around the edges. Then turn out again. Your choice. Be aware of your zipper. You CAN’T sew through a metal zipper! Sew up to it and stop. Then jump over the zipper and begin sewing again.

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STEP 8

Ok, Let’s sew the pillow backs. You basically follow the original directions here with the exception of I just top stitched my finished edges along the seam where the pocket is. I also sewed in one of my handles at this step. The other handle goes in the original place at the opposite side of the pillows. You pocket will hang freely on the front of your travel pet.

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STEP 9

You can now return to the original directions and finish your bed. TA-DA!!

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IN USE

When traveling, the pocket will hold toys, leashes, and treats. When laid out, it becomes a mat to set her food bowl on.

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At this point, Millie was 100% over me making her ‘stay’ and ‘sit.’ She promptly took a nap on her new bed!

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