Thursday, August 27, 2015

Silhouette Vinyl Projects

So, I've conquered the heat transfer vinyl cutting and heat pressing and all that good stuff, so I figured it was time to conquer a different kind of vinyl.

I was doing the dishes the other day and I broke a glass.  I'm notorious for that, and I'm the reason we don't have nice things.  I'm a glass/bowl/plate breaker.  No joke.  Turns out the glass I broke was one of my husband's favorite from college.  Perfect.

So, when we were grocery shopping the other day, I found these giant red "party cups" in the college dorm section (we live in a D1 college town) for only $.88.  I figured I'd use it for my first vinyl project and try to save face at the same time.

I had my kiddos write their names in black marker on a white sheet of computer paper, then I scanned the images in and traced them in the Silhouette Design Studio.  I created a cute "Best Daddy Ever" image and cut it all out with my machine.  Cleaned the cup with rubbing alcohol so it would be lint and dirt free and slapped it all on there.  Pretty easy!

I was feeling brave and decided to try a project for the house next.  I downloaded this arrow circle frame thing from the Design Store, and added the text and another arrow in the middle, and I put the whole thing on our front door.  It might be obnoxious, but hey, we're awesome AND obnoxious.

Now, I need to #vinylallthethings in my house!  What to do next....

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tutorial: Instagram Photo Wall

We all have it, a bare wall in the house we just haven't gotten around to decorating yet.  You know the one.  We've lived here over a year now and I'm still working on getting the house in order.  I have 3 kids that I homeschool, a husband that's frequently away from home between military duty and his full time job, and very little spare time.  So, I need things to be fast, easy, and effective.

I was online printing some pictures for our master bedroom when I saw that Walgreens had 50% off all prints and they also offered photo printing from Instagram.  Sweet.  I settled on 25 different pictures from my Instagram account and had them printed in the 4'' x 4'' size.  I had no clue what I was going to do with them, and no clue where to find 25 different 4'' x 4'' frames either.  So, here's what I did.

What you'll need:

  • 1 foam paintbrush
  • 1 small jar mod podge (I used the matte finish)
  • 1 or 2 sheets of black foam board (I got mine at Hobby Lobby at 40% off it was less than $2)
  • 4'' x 4'' pictures
  • Ruler
  • x-acto knife

1. First, I grabbed my foam board and cut it into 6'' x 6'' squares.  I used my ruler to mark out all my lines and then I cut them with my x-acto knife.  Like buttah.

2. Then, I grabbed my mod podge and my foam brush and slathered a little bit in the middle of one of my foam board squares.

3. You can measure this part but I'm a rebel and I just eyeballed it and centered my picture in the middle of my foam square.  Then, I painted another layer of Mod Podge right over the top of the picture and the entire square.  Make sure all your brush strokes are going in the same direction.  The glue will dry clear but you'll still be able to see the brush strokes from certain angles.

4. Once the glue turns from white to clear, it's dry.  It doesn't take long, maybe 30 min or so depending on how thick a layer you used.

5. Repeat as many times as needed!

I hung all my pictures up on a wall that borders the stairs.  I used small 3M tape strips cut in half (because I'm cheap and these foam squares are really light). I used the level app on my iPhone to make sure the first row of pictures were straight and then I just eyeballed it from there.  Start in the middle and work your way out to the left and then to the right and you'll be good to go.  Easy peasy!

P.S.  While I would love to be one of those bloggers that's fancy and sponsored by big companies, alas, I am not.   I received no compensation for this post.  But, if you're Walgreens and you want to send me free things, I accept. Thankyouverymuch

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summer Surprise Anniversary Tour: Pattern Hack & GIVEAWAY!

Hi and welcome to my stop on the Summer Surprise Tour! Happiest of anniversaries to Sofilantjes and Anne; we know we're going to see many many more awesome things from you this coming year.

A part of the anniversary goodness, Anne is re-releasing her Summer Surprise pattern with an all new layout.  The pattern now includes the layers feature which is so easy to use and saves ink and paper when printing all your patterns, it's really a fabulous addition to an already fabulous pattern.  Don't forget to download your update if you already own the pattern and if you don't, keep reading for a coupon code!

 My girl is a very slim 6 year old.  She has the chest measurement of a 3T and the height of a 6T.  Anne has drafted regular and slim sizes (both included in the same pattern download) so I chose to do a slim 3T on my girl.  Perfect fit!

As you may (or may not) know, I'm an upcycler by trade.  I take tee shirts and turn them into something else.  I've made dresses, pants, skirts, shorts, you name it.  So, I stayed true to form here and turned one of my girl's favorite Elsa tees into a dress for her.  Here's how I did it.

I started with my tee and my front pattern piece all assembled and ready to go. I also grabbed my sharpie (because I like to live dangerously), and scissors.

Cut the sleeves off the shirt and cut the front of the shirt away from the back.

Then, once I laid my pattern piece on top of my shirt, I realized I was going to need more fabric added to the panel to make it work.  I added an extra strip of solid blue to the top to give the shoulders some color. I just measured how much more fabric I'd need and, considering seam allowances, I rough cut piece from my scraps and serged it on.

Then, once my panel was large enough, I laid my pattern piece on top, traced it, and cut it out.  Easy peasy.  I did the same thing for the back as well, and I had myself a cute little color blocked dress.

I kept the curved hem of the tee in tact and used that as the hem of her dress.

Pair the dress with some mommy-made leggings and you've got a winner!

And now, for the good stuff!  Use the code "anniversary" to get 25% off the Summer Surprise Tunic & Top!  And enter the giveaway below!  There's a new one everyday so make sure you visit all the bloggy stops on the tour and enter them all :)  Happy sewing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Women's Bundle Up Blog Tour: Bottoms Edition

It's that time again.... time to Bundle Up!  You might have seen me blog about the Girls Bundle Up before, and now, it's time for the women to get in on the fun too!  There are eleven new, never seen before patterns that have been released as part of the bundle and the more you buy, the more you save!

•$4.50 each for 6-7 ($27-31.50 total)
•$4.25 each for 8-9 ($34-38.25 total)
•$4.00 each for 10 or more ($40- $44 total)

For my official stop on the tour, I was blessed to be able to sew the Filles à Maman Clemence Shorts and the Winter Wear Designs The Real Deal Jeans.  I'm in some serious need of shorts that fit me after losing about 35 pounds this past year, so I was super excited!

For the Clemence Shorts, I choose a grey twill fabric.  (That's what the fabric remnant said in the bin, but it feels kinda like a lighter, stiffer wool type thing).  I did the size 0 shorts with no adjustments to the sizing at all.

The pattern is very well written with tons of bells and whistles.  There are little camera icons included in some of the steps that, when clicked, take you to different parts of the file that have even more pictures to clarify the instructions.  There was absolutely no guess work or confusion for me on this pattern.

The zipper was easy to put in and you even sew it so there's a little flap that hides it completely so, even if you mess up, no one will see.

The darts in the back of the shorts give them a really fantastic shape, and make them very feminine.  There's an option for bermuda shorts built into the pattern as well.

I chose to put a single scallop on either side of my shorts front with a button on each.  There are other options for that trim or, you can leave it completely off to suit your tastes ans your body type.  This pattern is a winner for me.

Next up are the jean shorts I made from the Real Deal Jeans Pattern.  Never, in a million years, did I ever think I'd willingly sew jeans.  Denim needles, jean thread, the right weight fabric, forget it.  It was all over my head and I didn't care to think it through.  Then, this pattern came along, and though I tried to resist, after seeing some of the tester's photos I couldn't help but dive in.

This pattern includes cutting lines for full length jeans, capris, 5'' shorts and 3'' shorts (and it wouldn't be hard at all to make them any other length in between).  Mine 3'' shorts are a size 0.  I used a denim with about 20% stretch from Cali Fabrics.  (FYI, Cali Fabrics is now my favorite online fabric store.  They always have what I'm looking for and they ship lightning fast.  Highly recommend).

This is the denim I used.

So, I figured if I've got this awesome pattern and this awesome fabric and I'm going to finally take the plunge on jeans, I better step it up a notch.  Insert, lace.

I used used lace on one of the front panels, the key pocket, and both back pockets.  Why?  Because I can and I like to make more work for myself.


To do the lace, I just bought some cheap lace my local fabric store.  Then, using some Heat-n-Bond Lite, I traced the pattern pieces directly to the paper side of the Heat-n-Bond. I did this with all of my pattern pieces, the left front (as I'm wearing them), the key pocket, and two back pockets.  I also cut my lace out of the same pieces.

Then, I fused the Heat-n-Bond directly to the denim pieces that they matched (following the directions on the package).  Once that cooled, I carefully ironed the lace to the glue of the adhesive (Use a presser cloth so you don't melt the lace or get glue on your iron.  Don't ask me how I know).  Then, you'll sew the rest of your pattern up as normal, just take care when pressing any parts that have the lace on them.

*The adhesive and the lace will take some of the stretch out of the denim so plan ahead for this.  You might want to test this part in your muslin so you know you're going to get a good fit.

You've only got one more day to pick up the Women's Bundle.  So hop on over and treat yourself for Mother's Day!  Don't forget to see what everyone else sewed for themselves too!

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Pattern Exam Undies Review

This past few months I've been busy sewing a ton of stuff that's a secret.  Secret tops, secret bottoms and secret undies.  It kill me to not be able to share what I'm working on!!

Today, I get to share one thing with you all.  FINALLY!

I made 5 pairs of undies, each from a different girls' undies pattern.  They're all green in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day (I finished these in early March), and, in conjunction with a lot of other talented sewing bloggers, we reviewed them all and posted our thoughts in one collective spot!  You can see all our posts over at The Pattern Exam.  Do forget to go like us on Facebook to keep up with themes and make suggestions for patterns to review.  We'd love it if you followed us and used us as a pattern directory to make informed buying decisions.

Thanks for looking!! You can find my post and all the details here.

Monday, March 30, 2015

I'm Sew Fancy Silhouette Raglan

I'm sew excited to share this project with you! (See what I did there?)

A couple weeks back, Zulily had a sale on the Silhouette.  (There is actually another sale going on for 2 more days!)  I called the hubs, told him, and he gave me the green light to buy whatever model I wanted.  Say what?!  I got the smaller Silhouette Portrait for a fairly deep discount, added on some heat transfer vinyl, and I waited very impatiently for it to be delivered to my door.

Before it even got here, I knew what I wanted to do for my first project.  I've always wanted a shirt that professes my love for sewing in some awesome way.  I just never wanted to spend all that time hand cutting some freezer paper to make a stencil because I'm lazy and I need sewing projects with instant gratification.  Obviously.  Insert Silhouette.

First thing's first, I'm the realest.  Drop this and let the whole world feel it. 

My Silhouette came with a $25 gift card to the Design Store so I bought this sewing machine image for a whopping $.50 and designed this shirt in the Studio software.  It was superbly simple.  Then, I used the GreenStyle Centerfield Raglan pattern and cut out a panel for the front of the shirt. (I need to review this pattern soon, it's my absolute favorite fitting women's raglan).  I weeded out all my heat transfer vinyl, ironed it to my shirt and then I promptly realized I had no more white on hand for the back of my shirt.

Excuse the grainy cell phone pic.  It was the only progress pic I took.
So, I got a little crazy with the back and used this awesome Girl Charlee fabric from the March KnitFix.  Disclaimer: I didn't actually buy the KnitFix but when I saw everyone posting this fabric in the Facebook Group, I decided I needed it and bought if from someone else who didn't love it as much as I did.

It's a brushed cotton spandex knit that's super soft and super bright.  I LOVE it!  I also added a band to the bottom of my Raglan because I'm a rebel and I like to do things like that.  (And because I'm taller than the average woman so I usually have to add 2 inches to all my tops anyway.)

Are you dying over this shirt yet?  No?  Maybe it's just me.

Do you also have a fancy Silhouette?  Do you want to sew your own fancy shirt?  Click here to download the Silhouette graphic that I designed and you can make one too!  Happy sewing friends!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pattern Review: Brassie Joggers

If you know me then you know I'm a fake pants enthusiast. You know, yoga pants, leggings, lounge pants; pretty much anything but jeans.  Like a lot of other work/stay-at-home-mommies I live in lounge pants. I like to be comfy when I'm home cleaning, cooking, chasing kiddos, and doing other mom things.  So, in the spirit of super comfy and cute pants, I bring you the GreenStyle Creations Brassie Joggers.

This pattern has been out for a while and I've always admired it from afar, but with spring coming, I bought the pattern and whipped these bad boys up.  I needed some capris (you can make these in shorts, capri, and ankle length), and this is one of my favorite fabrics of all time.  The fabric I chose is a poly/rayon/lycra jersey (say that 5 times fast) with an amazing drape and a beautiful hand.  It's so soft and washes up perfectly.  I throw everything I make into the washer and dryer so I need my fabrics to be high quality.  I never hang dry or do any of that nonsense.  Ain't nobody got time fo dat.

You can find the fabric I used here, at Cali Fabrics.  While you're browsing, I'd also recommend these other fabrics for the Brassie Joggers too.  That black on green will totally match my running shoes and I'm digging all the modern florals that are really on trend right now.

L to R: Black on Green, Tonal Black Stripe,Colorful Feathers, Pink & Aqua Floral

I did the joggers in an XS based on my measurements and I did not have to adjust even one thing.  I just went with it as drafted and they fit perfectly.  The waistband is elastic and a drawstring so they are really comfortable and secure on the waist.  

My favorite part about these are the pockets!  The construction was super simple and I even got to whip out my coverstitch machine to give these an awesome detail.  You can, of course, make these without a coverstitch if you don't have one, I just like to kick things up a notch sometimes. :)

It's always nice to be rockin' a cute new pair of capris even when you're just at home cleaning in your mismatch socks.

Here are all the details:


Brassie Joggers

Pattern Designer

GreenStyle Creations

Sizes Included


Skill Level


# of Pattern Pages





A4 Printing


Fabric Requirements



Finished Measurements



Finishing Options



Labeled Pattern Pieces



Length Options



Line Drawings



Materials List



Nested Pattern Pieces



No Trim Pages



Pictures of Finished Garments



Print by Size (Layers)



Printing Guide



Rise Options



Size Chart



Suggested Fabrics



Table of Contents



Tips and Tricks




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