Handmade Butterfly T-shirt Project

Handmade t-shirts are a great project to keep the kids busy during summer break. Here’s how to make this cool butterfly t-shirt with Heat Transfer Vinyl.     I have been making t-shirts like crazy over here. So many shirts, so little time! Recently I spotted this aqua tank on clearance at Walmart for $5.00. I’ve been putting things together for our vacation, and it’s time to make something special for me to wear! This Art Nouveau style butterfly graphic is available on the Cricut website, free with standard access membership. To make the shirt, the design has been enlarged, simplified and recolored. Here’s what to do: Supplies Needed (affiliate links have been included for your convenience): Aqua t-shirt or tank top Heat transfer vinyl in black, light pink (variegated), teal, and aqua (with aqua pattern) Heat press or iron Cricut Ironing pad or ironing board Silicone mat (keeps the warm vinyl from sticking to the iron) Cricut Maker or other Cricut machine Standard grip cutting mat Weeding tool Scissors Directions: Download the free design from my file here: https://design.cricut.com/#/design/99788949 Cut all vinyl according to Cricut directions, placing shiny side of the HTV DOWN on the sticky mat. Weed out the design of each color vinyl before assembling. Trim away excess plastic as you work. Beginning with the variegated pink vinyl butterfly, use the heat press to iron the vinyl on the t-shirt. Place the center of the shirt on the Cricut heat mat. Center the design so it’s about 2″ up from the underarm seam of the top. (I…
Read More »

Sew Fabulous Mens Holiday Pajamas

Some families have a tradition of wearing matching pajamas for Christmas Eve. This pattern is great for making easy memorable pajamas!  Men’s Hoodie Pattern I loved this pattern the moment I saw it. Our adult children are way past the age of wearing matching pajamas, but this pattern seemed like it would work for all of them. It’s technically not for pajamas, but the casual style and trendy hoodie is something that they all love. The pattern calls for knit and woven fabric which is rather unusual. The front of the shirt, the placket, pockets and front pieces are all woven material. The sleeves, back and hood are a cotton knit. Soft woven cottons and jersey knits make great sleeping attire and I love them together in this pajama set. I haven’t made the pants yet, more on that soon! Hoffman Holiday Fabric Collection This Near and Deer holiday fabric collection from Hoffman Fabrics is perfect for guys. It’s not too cutesy, or outrageously colored. It even has manly deer and stripes. Our son was thrilled with my fabric choices for this project. You can’t go wrong with classic black and white! Sewing Pattern Adjustments The cotton fabric is 44″ wide, but since the only woven pieces are in the front cutting the narrow width wasn’t hard. I added 2″ to the length at the waist for this McCalls M747 pattern. My system is to cut the pattern apart and measure the gap for the amount needed. The pattern seemed to fit well overall and was very straight forward to sew…
Read More »

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…
Read More »

7 Easy Beginner Sewing Projects

It’s nearly the end of the week and I haven’t accomplished much of anything on my to do list. I have had a million distractions here. I am also working on some bigger projects, but can’t reveal those just yet. So, I decided to put together a few posts that you may have missed. These are easy sewing projects for the beginning sewer. They also happen to be some of my favorites! Sewing Project #1: DIY Dog Bed This is Maggie. She is one of my all time favorite pooches, and she was my model for this DIY Dog Bed project. Sewing Project #2: Cowl Blouse This simple blouse is great for warm summer days. It is flattering for any figure type and super easy to throw together for the weekend. Here’s how to sew a Cowl Blouse. Sewing Project #3: Fleece Robe Sewing a fleece robe is another easy project. Fleece is easy to work with because you don’t have to finish the seams. This robe is warm and fluffy, every girl should have one in her closet for those cool evenings at home. Pajama pants are another easy item to make. You can make them from fleece, flannel, cotton, etc. They also make a great gift! Project #4: DIY Apron I love reusing fabric from different sources, this DIY Apron is made from an old flannel shirt. I love it for those really messy DIY projects! Sewing Project #5: These pillows go back to my early blogging days, I still love them.  The photos aren’t my best but…
Read More »

Why You Need to Learn to Sew

You may have noticed that I love to sew. I have dozens of sewing projects in my blog repertoire, sewing is one of my favorite things to do. Here’s why:   Believe it or not, I can sew just about anything cheaper than I can buy it. The only exception is with specialty items like winter coats or sequined evening gowns. Most of us already own a coat and few of us actually wear evening gowns. I suspect most people today would like to learn to sew to save a few bucks here and there, alter the clothes they already own or just for their own knowledge. At any rate, learning to sew will save you MONEY. 2.  I can sew faster than I can order things online and have them sent through the mail. You would be amazed at how quickly you can make things at home that cost a considerable amount of money to buy in a retail store. I often go shopping and come home with nothing except photos in my phone of things I want to make, or ideas for those I can make cheaper than I can actually buy them. 3.  I can whip up gifts at a moments notice. This is a huge benefit of sewing. Once you have a stash of fabric and supplies built up, there is no stress in putting together a last minute gift that is unique and special because you made it just for them. 4. I can sew my own clothes or make clothes for others. Let’s face…
Read More »

Charmed Collections

  I thought I would build you up today. Somedays we all need some encouragement. You know the encouragement I mean, the kind that takes you by surprise when you least expect it, and fills you up so you can pick your pathetic self up, off the floor and do great things against all odds. Who doesn’t need something like that? Trouble is, it’s hard to find.   These beautiful jewelry items from Charmed Collections are just the ticket. They are meant to build you up, no matter what stage of life you are in. These pieces were a gift from the SNAP Conference that I attended recently. It’s amazing how much I have worn them. They fit very comfortably, which is rather unusual. Most costume jewelry that I find runs very small and is usually too tight around the neck in the necklaces, and too small around the bracelet to even get it on my arm. These pieces though, are different, they fit. I am even allergic to most costume jewelry (it turns my skin green), but these don’t bother me at all. It must be a SIGN.   In my mind I am afraid of so many things. Put on this necklace and suddenly…………….. I am fearless. I can do anything. I can take on the world and be successful even though I have no idea what I am doing. Sometimes I feel like I drag my feet all day long. I trudge through life, shuffling one foot at a time because I am in a time warp…
Read More »

How to Make a Flower Crown

    I have been dreaming about flowers lately. They find their way into my dreams, my shopping cart, my home and garden. I just can’t get enough of them. Recently, I attended a party at the SNAP Conference where we made Floral Crowns from faux flowers. They were nice, but I am a sucker for the real thing. I found these flowers at the market the other day and on a whim, I decided to give the Floral Crown a try. The flowers weren’t all that expensive, about $15.00 for all. I was not disappointed. Here’s how to make your own Floral Crown: Supplies: Floral Wire Floral Tape Wire Cutters Pruning sheers 1 bouquet Baby’s Breath or other small flowers 1 Mixed flower bouquet with Daisies and Chrysanthemums 6 spools 1/8″ craft ribbon in various colors (white, blue, pink, purple, magenta, green) scissors measuring tape   The first step, is to cut 20 pieces of wire, about 6″ long. I attached my measuring tape to the table with Scotch tape to make it easy to measure. I also cut 9 pieces of 3″ wire. Then I measured the circumference of my head, mine was 21″.   Starting with the small baby’s breath branches, I wired several of them together with the 6″ wire pieces. I trimmed the ends of the flowers to about 8″ in length. When they were firmly attached, I grabbed another spray of them and wired them to the stems first ones, making a chain. I continued this same process until my chain measured 23″. This was…
Read More »

Arm Knitted Scarf

  I admit defeat. I have given up on my 31 Days of Sewing Series from the month of October. If you want to read what I did accomplish during this series, click here. I will post more updates in the future. I was eager to finish another sewing project, but my sewing machine has broken and needs repairs. The last time I took it in for repair, it was a 3 month wait. Yup. Apparently, fixing sewing machines is a lost art. At least around here it is. Ridiculous. So, I admit that I have once again started something that I am not able to finish. Big surprise, right? I bet you have NEVER DONE THAT. My husband loves to remind me that I struggle in this area. In my defeat, I sat down in front of the TV to watch the Hallmark channel’s Christmas movie marathon and I conquered the Arm Knit Scarf that you see here. It’s super easy and only takes two balls of yarn. It is completely knit on your arms, no needles or hooks involved. If I can do it, so can you. It takes less than 30 minutes, even if you have never knitted in your life. I love how it turned out. Makes up for my lack of success in other areas.       I found this great video with step by step instructions. This gal has very clear pictures and it is easy to follow. I love that she calls it “Arm Knitting for the Clueless“. I definitely fit into that…
Read More »

Sewing with Lace: Part 2

    31 Days of Sewing: Day 11 This is the third day of working on this simple lace blouse, Vogue pattern #V8927. There is something about trying to finish a project on a deadline. I remember being up all night sewing when I had a design project due while in college. There were always uncontrollable factors. For example, thread getting caught in the machine that ruins a seam. It must be ripped out and re-sewn. Sometimes more than once. Unexplained mistakes were also a hazard, such as extra fabric getting caught in the seam on the wrong side, an iron that scorches your fabric, or even accidentally cutting a small hole in your finished work. This is the nature of sewing. There are only so many things you can control. The rest is left to the mercy of the universe. Sewing at home doesn’t give you as many outs as a design show room does. In the show room, it’s easy to just recut a garment and start over. At home, you can’t just recut a garment that is messed up, no one can afford to do that. When you sew for yourself you have to just go with the flow of things, and figure out how to minimize the damage. Like today, I was determined to finish this blouse. I had to run to the fabric store for more fabric (this would be the second time) because I forgot to cut two of the facing pieces. Fortunately, they still had the fabric I needed. I got home and…
Read More »

Sewing with Lace

31 Days of Sewing: Day 10 This sewing project has taken me more than 3 days. So much for my 31 day sewing goal. I think I need to rename this series 31 posts of sewing. Every time I think I am getting ahead, something comes up and I end up being behind again. My days revolve around doing our home school, making meals, doing laundry, dishes, etc. Then there are the trips to soccer practice, the grocery store, the post office. Not to mention trips to see colleges, going to church, and of course, the fabric store. After all that, it’s time to sit down and get some actual sewing done. First, I make a fire on the porch (my “studio”). Have I mentioned it’s cold out there? Then I can get down to the days work, cutting out the garment of the day. Sometimes I cut out two at a time. After making a cup of tea, I can sit and sew. By this time, it’s typically about 3:00pm. I have a working window of opportunity until about 4:30pm when it’s time to start dinner. By 6:00pm it’s too dark and cold to work on the porch any more. That means there is only about an hour or so of actual work time. Humm…..this could be why I am not accomplishing much these days. This pattern is Vogue #V8927. I loved it the minute I saw it. Something about the combination of the black lace and white crepe made me swoon. I also swooned when I found some…
Read More »