38 Trips Around the Sun

Instead of being like a thousand other bloggers, I decided to write my New Years Blog Post for my Birthday! Yep, today I am 38. I am not usually one who gets crazy about turning a year older, except when I turned 25…”It was dark times Harry, Dark Times…” That was a rough one! When I think about the things I have done in the last year, I am pretty happy. I switched positions at my job, I bought my first brand new car, I realized it is ok to do fun things alone, upgraded to a new DSLR camera, took my first photography class and I even had time to sew some awesome clothes. I rediscovered my love for geocaching and hiking as well. Overall it was a good year, but I want to make this year even better.
I have spent several weeks/months really thinking of the direction I want to take my blog. I am just like every other blogger, I want to grow my audience and reach more people. I have noticed a lot of new faces following my social media accounts and for that, I am so grateful. It feels good to be noticed. I don’t know if the average person realizes how much work goes into being a sewing blogger. Pick a pattern, sew it up at least once (typically more), photos, photo edits, write blog posts, then share. 🙂 I do enjoy it though. I like knowing there is a record of my progress. I often look back at blog posts to remind myself of the changes I made to a garment and if I liked the fit or not. I love that other people will randomly find a blog post and leave me a message or pick up a pattern I haven’t mentioned in months. It makes me feel good knowing someone saw the joy in my blog. It also makes makes me feel good when I see kind comments from someone I don’t know.
Being a sewing blogger isn’t all sunshine and flowers though. Every single post is a risk. That seems a little odd, but it is true. Every post we make, every share we do, puts us up for being judged. Readers, I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t feel good to me. The comments people make shock me sometimes. For the dozens of good comments, there are always some bad ones. “Your shirt is too tight.” “You would look better with heels.” “You would look slimmer if…” “That color was a bold choice.” “Prints make you look bigger.” “Plus size can’t wear stripes.” and the list goes on…it is a long list. Note to crabby readers…your comments about me will never be harsher than my own thoughts. Why do people do this? Golden Rule, Folks. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. As a sewing blogger, I have gained some confidence though. Sometime,s I even dare to say my outfit looks cute or nice. Baby Steps.
So let’s talk about goals for the next 365 days.
*Do more quality sewing. I do a lot of quick sews, well in the past I did a lot. I have greatly reduced the number of tests I am doing. I want to sew things on my schedule for what I want to sew.
*Learn new things. Master my fit issues ehm… pants, bras, etc. Somethings scare me to sew…Bras…tried it once and quit! Pants are a work in progress. For me, I need to realize my body isn’t a normal feminine shape. Most patterns account for hips and booty and I lack in both. But I am making huge strides in preparing to sew my own jeans!!
*Write at least 5 blog posts for designers or for blog tours. Always on the look out for blog tours!! Tag me if you start one. I want in!
*Test less, Upcycle more. I have seen several mentions lately that plus size upcycling isn’t as popular as smaller sizes. I do agree with this in a way, but I have been upcycling for YEARS! When I began sewing, I started by thrifting for anything with great fabrics! I made some cool stuff, now I have more sewing skills I should be putting to use! As a bonus, we are saving a little space in the landfills!
*Continue to be a positive influence online. I shouldn’t need to explain this one.
*Learn to say No!
If I haven’t lost ya yet, thanks for sticking around! This is going to be an awesome year and I can’t wait to update this post on my next Birthday.  Don’t forget to give my blog a follow and leave me a comment! 🙂
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 As always this blog contains affiliate links, which is a small commission I earn when you make a purchase from my blog links. Thank you for helping to support my sewing.

Dotty Mini Purse – Last Day!

World’s Longest Sew Along!

Holy Cow, Gang! I have been sick. Day after day in bed, A few doctor visits, a couple medications, an allergic reaction to said medication, Ugg The cycle is never ending! Before this post was even posted I was blind sided by an awesome migraine in the middle of grocery shopping.

Anyhow, enough whining and back to our regularly scheduled sewing!

Video number 3. Let’s learn how to shorten a zipper, create and install the zipper placket and race towards a finish!

 

 I did figure out how to merge the two videos into one video and after doing so, the program wanted to charge me 50 bucks… ummm not today buddy!

Let’s bind those raw edges for a finish!

Be sure to check out my last two posts for info on picking up the pattern.

LET’S ANNOUNCE WINNER’S

Marie Biswell

Ashwini

Sobana

I will be emailing all three of our winner’s and getting them set up with their free pattern!! Thank you so much for everyone who hung in there while I was unable to sit up and sew. I will be back soon with another sew along in the not too distant future!

I hope you are all in great health and sewing along. Please share your makes with me!

Dotty Mini Purse Day 3

How are your purses coming along? They are pretty fun aren’t there?

Today’s video will show you how to finish up your outer bag assemble and basting in your lining! It is finally taking shape!

I have our third video up and running and you will want to check it out!

 

Have you picked up the pattern yet?

Here are those links. You can use either one.

Etsy Shop Link

Website Link

Did you know You can also follow along with the Sew Along and enter the raffles for a chance to win a free copy of the pattern! Just read to the bottom of this page and enter the rafflecopter. I have 3 PDF patterns to give away to my readers.

Now sign up to win a free pattern by clicking below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Dotty Mini Purse Sew Along Day 2

Welcome Back!

Today is the second day of sewing along with me. I will show you how to quilt your outer panels for your bag and attach the side panels. I also assembled the bag lining and cut bias binding for the finished top edge. Here is the video of today’s progress.

 

Here are those links. You can use either one.

Etsy Shop Link

Website Link

If you still need the day one video… Here is a link!

____________________________________________________________________________________________
And the RAFFLE— Keep Reading!

Did you know You can also follow along with the Sew Along and enter the raffles for a chance to win a free copy of the pattern! Just read to the bottom of this page and enter the rafflecopter. I have 3 PDF patterns to give away to my readers. If you already own the pattern and you become the winner, You can select any pattern from the Chezvies shop!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Chezvies Dotty Mini Purse Sew Along Day 1

Dottie Purse (4)

Welcome! Let’s get started with the Chezvies Dotty Mini Purse Sewalong.

I will be sharing the sew along here at my blog so give me a follow by clicking the follow button on the right hand side of your screen. I will also be sharing some Youtube videos to guide your through some of the parts, but you will still need to pick up a copy of the pattern. The pattern is currently 20% off. This works out to about $4.10 American. Don’t wait because the sale is ending soon. 🙂 Here are those links. You can use either one.

Etsy Shop Link

Website Link

Did you know You can also follow along with the Sew Along and enter the raffles for a chance to win a free copy of the pattern! Just read to the bottom of this page and enter the rafflecopter. I have 3 PDF patterns to give away to my readers.

Sew Along Day 1

Strip piece the outside squares for your bag. You can choose to follow along with how I am strip piecing my denim scraps, go for solid pieces, or make up your own rules! I love when a pattern is this versatile. Your bag will be one of a kind and I can’t wait to see it!

Here is my video showing you exactly how I am strip piecing my bag.

So for today – Finish the squares for the outside of your bag.

Now sign up to win a free pattern by clicking below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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 As always this blog contains affiliate links which is a small commission I earn when you make a purchase from my blog links. Thank you for helping to support my sewing.

 

Reagan Raglan

It has been awhile since I sewed up a Reagan Raglan for myself. This pattern was actually one of my very first sewing pattern tests. I had no idea what I was doing, but thankfully, the BSD team didn’t kick me out. They really helped me along. I have really learned so much since then. I love going back to my roots, so to speak, and sewing up some Bella Sunshine Designs. I love that their clothing always fits, the size range is consistent and all newer patterns include an FBA.

BSD Reagan Raglan 24 FBA, 28 (1)

Bella Sunshine Designs has a pattern range from kiddos to almost a 60 inch hip and bust. I am wearing a 24 bust with the included Full Bust Adjustment. My shirt is graded to a 28 at the waist and hip. I decided to make the tunic length shortened by one inch. I did a bicep adjustment of 1.5 inches for this pattern and this is a pretty standard adjustment for me. I used the scoop neckline, mostly because I stink at V necks, but I do like the scoop best.

BSD Reagan Raglan 24 FBA, 28 (4)

Let’s talk fabric. How fun is this black and white squiggle stripe? It is called Tabitha. I think it is fun and playful, but it is also slippery like swim wear….because it is SWIM FABRIC!! Yep, a super fun and squiggly printed swim fabric! Summer is winding down here in Ohio and really, I don’t do much swimming. This print was too fun to pass up though. I ordered it up from Stitchin’ Pretties and they still have some in stock! I only ordered 1 yard of it because I was actually going to make some fun underwear. I loved this fabric too much to hide it under my clothing though.

BSD Reagan Raglan 24 FBA, 28 (5)

If you sew many things for a plus size body, you will know it is hard to make anything bigger than a tank top and underwear with a single yard cut. I decided I would dig in my scrap bin (Yes, Again!) and see if I could find some scraps. I ended up finding this dark green which happens to also be from Stitchin’ Pretties. Remember when I used it to make a Jessie top? You can view that post here. I was happy to have a scrap large enough to cut some decent length raglan sleeves. In case you never thought about it, they take a lot more fabric than normal sleeves.

BSD Reagan Raglan 24 FBA, 28 (2)

I was able to just barely cut my front and back bodices from my 1 yard piece of fabric. I even had to dip into the selvage just a bit to make it work. I was mostly able to stay on track with my stripe matching although my stripes may be a little tilted. I didn’t even notice until I was sewing the bottom hem. Although when I was eeking by, I was willing to forego stripe matching if need be. I was going to get a raglan cut from this print if I had to do some kind of Harry Potter sorcery on it.

BSD Reagan Raglan 24 FBA, 28 (3)

Did I mention the Reagan Raglan is actually a FREE pattern? SCORE!!! You can pick this one up for free with the code available at the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group!

  • There is also a ton of stuff on sale at Stitchin’ Pretties!!!

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

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This blog contains affiliate links.

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.

RP Doggy Bed Hack (6)

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.

RP Doggy Bed Hack (10) RP Doggy Bed Hack (11)

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.

RP Doggy Bed Hack (8)

Step 6

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

RP Doggy Bed Hack (9)

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

RP Doggy Bed Hack (12)

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.

RP Doggy Bed Hack (13)

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.

RP Doggy Bed Hack (14)

STEP 9

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

RP Doggy Bed Hack (15)RP Doggy Bed Hack (16)RP Doggy Bed Hack (17)

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.

RP Doggy Bed Hack (1)

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

RP Doggy Bed Hack (2)

Don’t forget to pick up your free pattern here

Thanks for joining me on the on the Sew Free For Summer Blog Tour!  

More Inspiration

Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Sew Free for Summer Blog Tour for more great inspiration:

Prizes

We will be giving away a pattern bundle of choice each day PLUS an overall grand prize of a $50 pattern credit. To stand a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on each blog, each day so stay tuned to the Rebecca Page Sewing group for updates from our bloggers!

Unicorn Pillow

Today, I am sharing a little change of pace for my blog. Nothing to wear in the post, but an adorable pillow. This pattern is a free pattern courtesy of Rebecca Page.

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This pattern is a fun scrap buster. I used a variety of scrap prints, trims, and lace pieces. I used puffy fabric paint for the eye. A mini button from my scrapbooking days makes up the nose and heart accent necklace.

IMG_3884

I tacked the fringe of bangs down as they tended to stand up a bit more than I liked. I love how quickly this sewed together and how you can literally use ANYTHING to decorate it.

IMG_3883

This pillow measures 10 by 15 inches when finished and did I mention it is a free pattern!

Here is the link: Unicorn Pillow

 

St. Tropez Swing

Another make for Momma Mia! We are so ready for warmer weather and sunshine. Winter has been long here in Ohio. At least the sun is peeking out a little now, and the daffodils are climbing back to the surface of the ground. We are on our way. This is why we need to start our spring and summer sewing. This year, Momma Mia got the first dress of the season.

Sequoia Bond, St. Tropez Feb. BA Sew (8)

I love the look of this one, I love the little peek-a-boo cut out in the back. The way all the seams are neatly enclosed inside French Seams, really does make me happy. I wanted to do a quick test run of this dress before using an expensive print or even a chiffon. I had this wild, neon print in my stash for a long time. Years at least. I am sure it came in a yard sale find somewhere. I actually like the way it looks, but sadly, there wasn’t enough to make my top. Momma Mia lucked out on this one for sure! I also used vintage bias tape. I say vintage because it was like 15 cents or something crazy. I used 2 packs. I am sure these came from a yard sale at some point as well. I gave it a few stretches and it seemed to hold up fine. I used it confidently.

Sequoia Bond, St. Tropez Feb. BA Sew (1)

According to the size chart she would need a XXL bust, XXXL Waist, and a L in the hips. I ended up only grading back to an XXL at the hips. I should have gone farther in, but this is why we make a muslin. To see what works, what doesn’t, and how we can make it better. I also think I can shorten her back straps just a bit as they tend to gape slightly. Overall, she is happy with the look and feel of this top and that makes me very happy. Now that I have her muslin worked out, I would love to make her the sleeved version so she can wear it everywhere!

Sequoia Bond, St. Tropez Feb. BA Sew (9)

This is cut at the dress length, which make be a bit short for some folks preference. I agree, I couldn’t wear it out in public. As I have mentioned before, I just don’t know how to sit like a lady. J This would be a super easy adjustment to make though. You can simply add all the length you need at the Lengthen/ Shorten line which is marked on the pattern. Just slice along that line and insert some extra inches.

Sequoia Bond, St. Tropez Feb. BA Sew (7)

A helpful tip I have for you – This pattern calls for bias tape. I believe it is ¼ inch. I *may* have began with 1/8 inch around the back opening. This was a slight nightmare to sew and I suggest you follow the directions on this one! Notice the arms are a wider bias tape. This pattern wasn’t going to get me twice! Another tip- The pattern walks you through sewing French Seams for the sides of the woven version. Rebecca tells you to trim that seam allowance down after sewing right sides together. Again, Don’t ask questions and just do what she says. You will be thankful. Those little threads really do peek out and they really are annoying. No one wants hairy looking seams on their beautiful clothing.

Sequoia Bond, St. Tropez Feb. BA Sew (2)

So are you going to add the St. Tropez to your warm weather wardrobe?

Here is my Aff. Link. Please give it a click to visit the Rebecca Page website.

Sequoia Bond, St. Tropez Feb. BA Sew (10)

From the Rebecca Page Website

  • A chic ladies swing top pattern
  • Option of top or dress length
  • Cute cut out in the back
  • Optional sleeves and belt
  • Suitable for woven or knit fabrics
  • Perfect for beginner to intermediate sewistas
  • Pattern pieces and full tutorial with step-by-step instructions
  • Instant download PDF pattern
  • Ladies sizes XXS to 5XL

Sequoia Bond, St. Tropez Feb. BA Sew (5)

Link Up, Guest Blogging, and a Sale

I have a lot to cram into this post! So consider this your warning.

Quiltville Link Up

Good Fortune is the latest mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter and today begins the last link up! Momma Mia has finished her Good Fortune quilt top and has finally decided on a blue print for the backing. It will be sent to the long arm quilter soon. My quilt is still in 3,417,037 pieces, but they are beginning to get sewn into actual blocks. I am sew proud of Momma Mia for her hard work on her quilt top! I love this pattern!

GF momma mia2.jpg

Here is the link back to the Quiltville blog so you can see what else is happening in Bonnie’s world.

Guest Blogging

I was recently the guest blogger over at Ellie and Mac and I have shared another upcycle. This time I used lace curtains to make a top! I have also written a tutorial on dying fabric in your washing machine. Stop by the blog and let me know what you think. Here is the link. My_Post_2_large

New Release Pattern Sale

Red Apple Sewing has a new website which is much easier to navigate and now has some adorable graphics! This week the Apple Cider top is featured! Use code NEWRELEASE to get the discount.  It is a high lo tunic designed to use with your favorite knits. Don’t forget these are custom drafted patterns and will fit your exact measurements. Here is the link.

 

What are you working on today? It is cold and raining in Ohio this morning and I wish I could stay in and sew, but work will always call. 🙂

I have a few 5outof4 sharings coming up and a tutorial on sewing button holes as well. 🙂 Stay tuned!!