Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to School Tour

Hey guys! Are you ready for school yet? I know I'm still scrambling for some last minute things. One of the things we needed was a tote bag with some pockets. Thomas has added bass to his instrument skills this summer, and that means he really needs a better tote bag for carrying his music around this year. I did a quick pinterest scroll and couldn't find exactly what I wanted, so I designed my own! And guess what! I'm going to share with you how to make it!

Before I do, let's talk about this tour! Lulu and Celeste and Sprouting JubeJube are the awesome hosts. They just rock. This tour is fabulous and has a TON of sponsors and 30 bloggers participating! All the info is at the end of the post. Hint hint!! That means sale codes and a giveway also!!!You can also find info about the sewalong/link up (YES there is a sewalong!!) and the grand prize here.


This is a super easy basic lined tote bag. It has a pocket on the front for carrying his tuner and rosin and some spots for a couple of pencils. The inside is just one open pocket and it fits two standard 1" binders, plus a couple of music books. It's interfaced, so it stands up on it's own nicely as well.



It's perfect for lugging music to lessons, or it would make a great teacher's gift. Have you ever seen how much stuff teachers lug back and forth between school and home?!

Let's make this thing!


Supplies needed:
Fabric 1/2 yard each of main and lining and scraps of contrast for the pockets
Pellon 809 1/2 yard
SF101 1 yard
Nylon strapping 2" wide and 52" long (cut into 2 26" long lengths)
Basic sewing supplies

You will need to cut the following:
1 Front & 1 Back (main and lining) 14" x 12 1/2"
2 Sides (main and lining) 5" x 14"
1 Bottom (main and lining) 5" x 12 1/2"
1 Large Pocket (contrast 2) 7" x 8 1/2"
1 Small Pocket (contrast 1) 7" x 5"
If you want a sturdy bag, you will also need to cut the front/back, sides, and bottom from interfacing. To interface each MAIN piece with pellon 809 and interface each lining with SF101.

After you have cut out your pieces, iron your interfacing to all of your main and lining pieces.

Use 1/2" seam allowance unless otherwise stated.

1. Finish individual raw edges, if desired. Sew pocket pieces right sides together (RST) along one short side and press seam open. Topstitch along each side of the seam.


2. Press the top edge of  pocket to the wrong side 1/2". Fold down 1/2" again to enclose the raw edge and press again. Topstitch in place.


3. Place wrong side of pocket onto right side of front piece and baste in place along raw edges. Stitch in the ditch (topstitch in the seam) along pocket's seam and two inches to the right of the pocket seam to divide smaller pocket into two sections.


4. With RST attach bottom main piece to the front piece. Press seam up towards front piece.


5. RST, sew side pieces to front piece. Stop your stitching 1/2" from the bottom of the side piece. Be sure to backstitch here. Press seam allowance towards the side pieces. Press bottom of the side piece 1/2" towards wrong side.


6. RST, sew bottom of side pieces to the sides of the bottom piece. Go slow on this step and don't be afraid to drop your needle and lift your presser foot to rearrange the fabric as you go around the turn. I suggest starting an inch or so up the side piece and resewing along the corner for extra reinforcement. You the crease you pressed in step 5 as a guide for when to turn your work.


It's okay to have folds in the corners of your side piece.


7. Press bottom edge of back up 1/2" to the wrong side. RST, attach back piece to sides and bottom. Go slowly at the corners and use the pressed seam as a guide for when to turn your piece. Pop bag right side out and make sure your corners are secure.



8. Repeat steps 4-7 with the lining pieces. Be sure to leave a gap (approx 5") in one of the side seams for turning.


9. Attach the handles. Place the outside edge of the strapping 1" from the side seam. Stitch into place within the 1/2 seam allowance. I like to reinforce this with a couple of rows of stitching. Repeat with the other side.


10. Attach the lining to the main bag. With the bag wrong side out and the lining right side out, place the lining into the main bag with right sides together. Be sure the straps are tucked inside the bag between the main and lining bags!! Line up the top raw edges, matching up the side panels and seams. Sew together.


11. Turn right side out and press top edge. Be careful to not touch the straps with the iron! They will melt! Topstitch along top edge and sew the hole in the lining closed with a ladder stitch.


 That's it!! You have a quick reversible, self standing tote! Oh and it's reversible also. ;)


Thank you sponsors!!!! You can find info about the great sales below.

Fun discounts and coupon codes from our sponsors:
To make back to school a little easier on your budget our sponsors are offering some great discounts!
Designs by Call Ajaire: Get  20% off in their Etsy shop with code BTS2016. Code valid from August 22nd through August 27th.
E+M Patterns: Save 50% with the code backtoschool on their website or in their Etsy shop. Code valid until August 27th at 11:59pm PST.
MODKID: Get 25% off  your entire purchase in their Etsy shop with code BTS2016. Code valid from August 22nd through August 27th.
Love Notions*: Get 20% off all kids patterns with the code loveschool. Code valid from August 22nd through August 27th.
Sew Happily Ever After: Get the Nana’s totes pattern at 50% off with the code BACK2SCHOOL2016. Code good through August 31st.
Laela Jeyne Patterns30% off Any Single Pattern, No Code needed. From August 25-29th, 2016.
StitchARTWill be having a discount as well! From Aug 22nd – 28th, 2016. Info coming!
Gracious Threads: Buy 3 patterns and save 15% off the purchase price! Use code SAVE15ON3. No expiry
The Eli Monster: Save 20% with the code yayforfall. Code valid until August 29th, 2016. 
Filles à Maman*: Get 25% off with the code BTS2016. Can be used on their website* or in their Etsy shop. Code valid from August 24th through August 28th midnight EDT.
Whimsy Couture: Get 50% off, no code needed! End August 31st, 2016.
5 Out of 4 Patterns*: Save 20% with code BTS2016. Valid from August 22nd-28th midnight EDT. Cannot be used on fabric.
Snuggle My Baby PatternsWill be having a discount as well! Until August 31st, 2016. Info  coming!

Today's prize package includes:
1 PDF pattern from Love Notions and 1 PDF pattern from Sunday Girl Designs
*excludes bundles
Runs from August 23 12:00 am EDT  until August 24th at 11:59pm EDT.

Check out the rest of today's stops on the tour:

The ALL the bloggers!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Back to School with Made for Mermaids

It's definitely back to school time! And for some many families, that means new clothes! And while I don't create an entirely new wardrobe for the start of school, I do like to make sure my kids have a few new pieces to ensure they have SOMETHING that isn't stained or ratty for that first week back.

This year Kate is going to be a seventh grader. And even though she is a tween, I still enjoy making clothes for her and she still enjoys having unique pieces. The boutique look has never really been her thing. She prefers athletic wear and simple basics, jeans and tees.


So, that's what I made! Well, not the jeans. But I did make her this adorable tee shirt using Made for Mermaids' Mya Top upcycling a men's XXXL tee.


The tees in the girls department tend to be very, well bubble gum girly. So, we often pick up cheap tees from the men's department and use a cute girl cut tee pattern to make a unique look, but one that meshes well with the styles her friends wear so she doesn't feel uncool about wearing mom made clothes.


I used the top length a couple sizes up for Kate's chest size to give the tee a looser fit. I also added a bit of length and transferred the curve hem of the tunic to the tee.


Don't let the too cool for school look fool you. The girl was cracking up between frames.



Officially ready for junior high. She is my third kid at this school, so it's really not a big deal. She knows what she is in for. ;)


Made for Mermaids is having a rocking sale to celebrate back to school! Use the code M4MB2S for 20% Off (Excludes fabric). And if you go over to their blog, you can find some really great printables to keeping track of the ever changing measurements of your little (or not so little) one and enter to win a pretty fab giveaway. 

And be sure to check out the other amazing bloggers on the tour! So much talent to get inspiration from!!






Friday, July 22, 2016

Catch Me on CraftingCon

Hello!! Today you can find me on CraftingCon sharing a quick tutorial for making Link's Adventure Pouch. Hop over and find out how!!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Skirting the Issue

Hello! Today I have the honor of posting for Simple Simon's Skirting the Issue. My  11 year old isn't really a skirt girl. But, when I made her BLAVERRY's Nina, she fell in love with it. I decided it was perfect to share with you. If an opinionated tween calls it a win, it's a fabulous thing.


Nina is a simple skater skirt with so many great features that set it apart.


To achieve a fantastic fit, there is a tapered, 4 piece waistband. (Don't worry, it goes together quick!) The back piece is slightly longer than the front piece, which I LOVED! It gave me a nice even hem all the way around, without being concerned with the backside being too short.

Look how beautifully that fits her waist! 


I sewed a simple, black cotton lycra skirt. She needed a staple and this was it. I left it unhemmed and also opted to not topstitch the seam at the waist to keep it a bit more casual. And because Kate needs all the length she can get.

I love simple, classic looks that can go a long way. Because Kate lives in leggings, jeans and tee shirts, cute stylish stuff like this doesn't get a lot of use. But, she needs it in closet for those occasions when she has a concert sneak up on us or she has a presentation to give at school and must look nice. And while it waits to be needed, I love that I don't have to worry about this going out of style from one season to the next. (and it's so quick to sew up, I don't have to freak out if she outgrows it!)


She liked it so much, she said she would even wear it to school this fall! I think it would be adorable paired with a simple tee and these red Vans. (Here she has it paired with BLAVERRY's Ollie.) Even though the skirt looks short because of how long Kate's legs are, it is longer than her finger tips at her side.


I think this skirt would be darling with a little blouse also. Something with some sweet puff sleeves and a Peter Pan collar. Not that Kate would ever wear a blouse with a Peter Pan collar, but, I can dream up cute outfits. ;)


While we are at it, what about some sweater tights, some tall boots and a fitted sweater. Love a versatile piece of clothing!!


Hopefully I've inspired you to sew a skirt for even your most "not usually a skirt type" girl. I mean really, we can't wear leggings and jeans all the time. What better alternative than a spunky modern skirt? ;)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Love Notions Girls Tidal Pattern and a SALE

There is something about the challenge of sewing tween clothes that I love. Kate has a definite opinion on what she wants to wear. Nothing frilly. Nothing with crazy patterns. Nothing over the top. And while it sounds like it would be boring to sew things that meet those requirements, it's not! It's challenging! How can I make it stand out, yet blend in to the ready to wear clothes that her friends wear? The key is simple fabrics and trendy patterns.


This post contains affiliate links.

Today, she is sporting her new Tidal tank from Love Notions.

Kate is athletic. Therefor, she gravitates towards athletic fashions. So, it was only natural to use some poly/spandex athletic fabric I found at Joanns for this tank. I used some black cotton lycra for the trim.


To add some detailing to the shirt and show off those cool princess seams, I did a faux coverstitch look. To do this, I serged my seams wrong sides together and then topstitched the seam down so it would lay flat. I also left the shirt unhemmed, keeping the serged edge exposed. Two very simple steps that give an otherwise plain shirt, some interest.


 The Tidal provides good coverage in the front and the back so Kate can stay focused on her game and not worry about a wardrobe malfunction.


Kate's chest measures for a size 10. However, she is tall (62" or a size 14), and as you can see, has slightly broad shoulders. So, I had to do some custom sizing for her to get something that would fit properly. Sometimes, you have to do more than just add some length at the lengthen/shorten line in a pattern, especially when you are going between several sizes, like I did here. I'll be sharing a tutorial on Love Notions blog next week about how to adjust a pattern for a great length fit.


The girl's Tidal also comes in two dress lengths, knee and maxi. You can have sleeves, or two tank styles, a true tank like I made, or a sleeveless top, with wider shoulder seams. That one is perfect for dress codes with the "three finger rule." I finished the arm holes and necklines with bands, but there is a binding option as well. So many choices!!

The pattern features no trim pages, layers (meaning you print only the size you need) and has a huge size range, 2T-16.


So, the trendy patterns part is all taken care of! And, you can take advantage of a great sale right now so you can sew your tween all the cool things! Use code 'fireworks' for 25% off your purchase of $20. Tiered pricing is still in effect so you can get a really great deal. :) Sale runs through Monday the 4th www.lovenotions.com

Happy sewing!!!