Sew Along Masterclass Poll, Help Find the Dream!

Planning this Sew Along Masterclass for next year. Now is your chance to give me your opinion on what you want to learn and  help me find the dream! 2018 Sew Along Masterclass I have been working behind the scenes for several months planning my blog content for the next year. It’s been a whirlwind battle, one that I have finally won and mastered. It hasn’t been an easy journey. At first I wasn’t even sure I would be blogging next year. Growth on the blog has been slow and I am frustrated with the way things have been going the last couple of years. The millions of followers that I expected to have when I began blogging 8 years ago just aren’t there despite the considerable time and effort that I put into this business. I even started looking for full time apparel design jobs, which I haven’t done since 1994. There were even full time job interviews. Several of them. However, in the long run I decided that I just can’t go back to working for a large corporation just yet. Finishing the Blogging Dream It’s hard to give up on a dream. This blogging dream isn’t finished yet. When I started this blog so long ago I always had the thought that I would go back to my fashion design roots at some point and become a fashion blogger. At the time I began writing in 2009, it seemed like growing my following through home decor would be the hard part, and becoming a fashion blogger at some…
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How to Make a Fleece Lounging Gown

Make a Fleece Lounging Gown to slip into after a long day at work or relax after a hectic day with the family. This gown is a great project for beginner seamstresses!  This fleece fabric caught my eye at the fabric store recently. Loved the soft color pallet!   Fleece Lounging is King Making anything with fleece is always a good idea. Fleece is inexpensive, easy to sew and comes in tons of great patterns and colors. Fleece is also stretchy and very forgiving for new sewers who aren’t exactly sure of them selves. This project is easy to whip up in a single afternoon without a lot of fuss. It’s been a while since I have sewn much for myself. However, I have stocked up on fabric and patterns for a major sewing project in the future! More to come on that soon! This pattern is Mc Calls 7061.(affiliate link) I am sure I will be making several more of these lounging gowns, perhaps even a couple of them for holiday gifts. Speaking of gifts, check out my pattern shop for more handmade gift ideas here. The robe features a hood and a “kangaroo” style pocket which I love for keeping my cell phone close by. You could also make some booties or leggings to keep your feet and legs warm (they are included in this pattern). The modesty of this piece was one of the things that attracted me to it. Love the coverage in this garment! It feels cozy enough that I could run to the grocery store…
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Warm and Fluffy Ragged Baby Quilt

Warm and fluffy quilts are loved by little ones, this ragged baby quilt is fairly simple to make and won’t break the bank! Ragged Baby Quilt Warm and fluffy blankets are always on my bed and furniture during the cold months. A soft flannel quilt is frequently fought over by all of our family members to cuddle with while watching tv. I made this darling baby quilt for our neighbors who just had a baby boy. It’s so cute, I was tempted to keep it. Not that it would cover even part of my generous sized body, but I just liked it. So soft and fuzzy! Ragged baby quilts are fun to make even if you are without a lot of quilting experience. You don’t need any fancy quilting machines or other supplies which is great. The pattern for this quilt is available for immediate download in my new pattern shop! Whoo, hoo! The shop has been a long time in coming, and I am very excited to have it put together! The Chambray Blues Sewing Patterns site is up and running! I am adding more patterns (crafts, quilting, apparel and home decor) as well as notions and fabrics each week so be sure to stop back if you don’t find what you are looking for. SHOP CHAMBRAY BLUES NOW If you need a pattern for something specific, I also make custom pdf sewing patterns. Send me your requests at Jessica@designerssweetspot.com and I will try to accommodate your needs. You can read about my compensation rates on the Hire Me…
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DIY Decorative Holiday Pillow Roundup

Decorative holiday pillows are one of the easiest ways to decorate your home for the holidays. However, pillows these days are costing an arm and a leg! Who wants to spend that much on something that will only be in use for 2 months of the year?  Here are some great ways to create a festive feel on a budget, and reuse some of the same pillows you use all year.Rebecca at The Crafted Sparrow created this fun pillow to add a little excitement to her neutral color scheme. This cozy cashmere pillow is perfect to usher in the winter season. It reminds me of cold nights sipping hot chocolate by a fire! Hello Little Home shares a great tutorial over on her blog. Everyone loves candy at Christmas! Sustain My Craft Habit shares some great tips on how to create these fun pillows on a budget, you don’t even have to know how to sew! While this pillow cover does require a bit of sewing, it’s so easy that even a beginner could do it in no time. Janice of Sawdust Sisters simply used these holiday covers on pillows she  uses year round to save some money. I SPY DIY shares an excellent tutorial on how to make two of these festive pillows. Another great option if you’re wanting to tone your decor down a bit this year. The possibilities for a tree like this are endless! You could add some embellishments to “decorate” the tree, or stick with a simple lace for a pillow that can stay in use all winter long. Work It, Mom! shares some of the…
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Easy DIY Idea for Wooden Painted Serving Tray

This easy painted project is quick to put together for last minute entertaining or a special handmade gift!  Easy DIY Painting Project I am always on the hunt for new things to paint! When I came across this wooden tray at Joann’s and immediately fell in love with it! It’s small enough that it can be used on a table for a pretty vignette, and it’s easy to store when it’s not needed. Love it in these neutral colors that will be a fun accent to any decor. Here’s how you can make your own polkadot tray! Post is sponsored by Deco Art and Joann’s Fabric and Crafts. Any opinions given are completely my own. Supplies Needed: • 14″ Wooden Serving Tray from Joann’s Product #8162174 •Americana Acrylic Paint in Lamp Black, and Titanium White •Americana Decor Metallics Paint in Champaign Gold •Paint brushes: I used #15 flat paint brush 3/4″ wide, #4 flat brush 1/4″ wide and a #2 round brush •Water, paper towels and painting pallet or paper plate Directions: Paint the tray with the Lampblack paint with the flat paint brush. (get it through my affiliate link here) I did not paint the back of the tray but you could if you choose. Paint the gold trim with the #4 brush. (buy thorough my affiliate link here.) The brush is just the right width to paint the edge of the top. You may need to give it two coats if needed. Paint the polkadots with the #2 round brush. (available through my affiliate link here.) Dip your…
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How to Make Budget Curtains for Any Room

Budget curtains can be hard to find if you pay retail price. Here are my best tips for making them yourself in just a few simple steps.  Here we are back again for week 3 of the One Room Challenge! This week our dining room renovation includes Window Treatments! Here’s what we have covered so far: Week 1: Design Plan Week 2: Paint Week 3: Ceiling Medallion Click on the links above to see the progress!  Curtains That Only Look Expensive New curtains have been on my to do list for this room for a while. I dread a large project like this because it’s expensive and time consuming. However, this one turned out to be less expensive than I anticipated. Here’s my story: Since I had my fabric picked out since week one, it was going to be easy to go and buy it at the store. Problem was they were sold out when I got there. Not good! The Fabric Deal After browsing the clearance rack of decor fabrics, I came up with two options. One was a lovely teal priced at $4.00 a yard. What a great deal! Option two was a lovely Waverly fabric floral print priced at $13.00 per yard. Not so cheap, but I really liked it. I took both bolts to the counter and asked the clerk why one was so much more than the other. Turns out the Waverly floral was incorrectly priced. It should have been marked 80% OFF!!! Calmly, I explained that I wanted to buy the entire bolt, before…
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20 DIY Kids Costumes for Halloween

Halloween and fall festivals are right around the corner.  Costumes are so fun, but they can get expensive fast.  Here are 20 of our favorite DIY kids costumes for this fall season.  Coordinating costumes can be so fun! However, they only last for so long. Pretty Plain Janes created these cute spider and spider web costumes for her children (plus, the tutorial is amazing). This costume is just too much! I don’t think anyone besides a cute little girl could get away with this one. Check out hello, Wonderful for all the details on this Cotton Candy costume. My Modern Met shares some great tips on how to transform your little guy (or girl) into a regal knight. Doc McStuffins is such an adorable costume. Bonus, you might even have everything you need for this costume already! Green and Gorgeous made one quick trip to Walmart to complete this look. Speaking of easy costumes, here’s another one! DIY Danielle decided to make this costume for her son who isn’t a huge fan of the whole costume thing. Great compromise! This costume is a cute one, and also looks incredibly comfortable! Head over to April Golightly for all the details (plus some free printables)! Dr. Seuss will always be a classic. Homemade for Elle made this easy (and I mean EASY) costume that will only take a few minutes to whip together. A Mad Scientist costume with an easy badge? Rays of Bliss did a great job on this fun look! Here’s another costume you may be able to create from things at home. This Magic Man look by DIY Candy might be one of the easiest…
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Three Things We Love About Winter Wreaths

Winter Wreaths make me smile every time I walk in and out the door. Here’s three things ideas for  beautiful wreaths that you will never forget. (And no, it’s not to early to think about it!) Winter Wreaths for All Seasons It’s great to have a different wreath for every month of the year. However, very few of us have room to store them all, much less remember to change them with the calendar. This Winter Wreath will last all season and keep you smiling every time you see it. The three little snowy owls on this wreath are from my faux winter bird collection. They remind me of my children.  Innocent and adorable, awkward and precious. They make me smile. When our kids were little we read a story about baby owls and they just loved it. We read that book over and over again. Now that the kids are grown I can look back and remember those times with these cute little decorations that will be fabulous all winter long. Ideas for a DIY Winter Wreath Reuse your old winter decor. Even if you live in a warm climate, you can DIY your winter decorations. Buy a few special things that you love each year, then reuse them. The fur on this wreath came from a Christmas Tree garland I used last year. You can repurpose last year’s tree decor for another season or two in some other way without having to break the bank. This is one of my best secrets, I often reuse my decor over…
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Adorable Kids Halloween Trick or Treat Bag

Kids love a special bag to capture all their loot from the big Halloween event. This simple bag is charming and not a bit scary to make. Halloween Trick or Treat Bag Remember going door to door as a kid? Each year we had a different bag, sometimes it was as simple as a homemade fabric bag. This adorable bag is easy to make with two different fabric scraps and a bit of leftover quilt binding. The bag has plenty of space for treats, plus it is easy to pull closed to keep all that good stuff from spilling out! The top of the bag is full of glow in the dark eyes, how fun for the littles to play with in the darkness! I used less than a 1/4 yard of fabric of each print for this project. These fabrics came from JoAnn’s. You can order them through my affiliate link here: Order the Cats Eye print Order the Fat Cat Print Order the Black Quilt Binding The secret to the bag, is that it has a plastic bottom that allows the bag to retain it’s shape. The plastic is nothing more than the bottom of a gallon milk jug. Bag Directions Cut out main fabric, two pieces, 11 ” wide by 15″ long. Stitch side seams with right sides together. Stitch 45 degree corners at lower edge of side seams. Turn right side out and press. Cut Cat’s Eye fabric to size (4 1/2″ wide x 11″ long), use pinking shears to trim lower raw edge. Sew right…
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Sew Yourself a Stunning Japanese Knot Bag

This Japanese Knot Bag is all the rage right now, make one in less than an hour and wear it out for the evening or take it shopping tomorrow!   Simple Japanese Knot Bag The Japanese have a way with beautiful design. This fabric handbag is no exception! It is simple and sleek in construction. It would be beautiful in any array of colors or fabrics. Wear it to the grocery store, take it to school, bring it to the theater or even the symphony. You will have compliments every where you go, I promise! I have joined a number of sewing groups on Facebook. Since I have been sewing for so long it’s easy for me to put projects together without really thinking a lot about it. Being in a group of people who are learning to sew has been good for me. It’s helped me see things in a different light. Most people like simple projects and want simple patterns and simple directions to go with them. This bag is no exception. Simple and beautiful. The floral fabric in this project is 100 percent cotton. It is none other than the Hoffman Challenge Print of the year. If you aren’t familiar with the Hoffman Challenge, it’s a sewing and design contest put on each year by Hoffman Fabrics of California. I have always dreamed of submitting a design for this challenge in quilting, apparel design or home decor creations. I missed the deadline yet again this year, but I still purchased the fabric as you can see. Maybe…
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