Monday, June 29, 2015

Sutton Blouse at the Beach, Round One Challenge

Front Facing of the Sutton Blouse
Wow! I still can't believe I am a contestant in the Sew Mama Sew, Super Online Sewing Match II. It has been so much fun! Day one, I printed the pattern out and put together the templates. I had a few yards of muslin fabric and made a test run to make sure the fitting would be right. 
Back Facing of the Sutton Blouse
Day two, I visited a small fabric store around the corner called Sew Happy Fabrics and shared with the owners about the contest. We talked about fabric choices and went with 3 yards of rayon challis, Flower Blossoms. That way I could make two Sutton Blouses, if I made a mistake. This fabric is so soft and moves easily with your body. I can see why women love to wear it. 
Side Facing and you can see the side seam.
The Sutton Blouse Pattern, created by Kelli at True Bias, is a simple top with only 4 panels to sew together. You might start to wonder, why does the pattern have a difficultly level of intermediate? The reason comes from the fabrics you use to achieve the right look, light weight woven fabrics, like the rayon challis! Fabrics that drape also shift and move a whole lot while you are cutting, pinning and sewing. This is very challenging. 
Side hem of the Sutton Blouse.
Day 3 and 4, I made the Sutton Blouse. Actually, I made it many times. I enjoyed creating the Sutton Blouse and got to know the fabric's characteristics. The pattern is well written and highly recommended. There are many techniques you will use, for instance; french seams, using bias tape, making an inverted pleat and hemming a garment with side slits that are uneven. I did not modify the pattern and stayed focused on making the fit right.  
Sewing the side slits of the Sutton Blouse.
Day 5, I found some cute props to add to the photoshoot. I made sure to incorporate the fabric, I made a scarf for my beach bag and embroidered my initial. Then, I took some scraps from the project and sewed a new band for the fedora hat.
Entire ensemble, please excuse the bare feet.
Day 6 We packed up and went to the beach!!! Of course, I brought everything I made and decided to take pictures on the shore line. I knew we were going to the beach, so my inspiration came from summer colors. My blouse is warm and flowing like a summers day. It is so relaxing here, no worries just fun! 

Day 7 We took a ton of pictures and wrote my post. My wonderful husband helped me take pictures. He is extremely supportive of my sewing habit. We had so much fun exploring the beach and playing in the surf. 
Well, that is it. I hope to make it on to the second round. I can not wait to see the other Sutton Blouses made during this challenge. What will Round 2's pattern be?? 
It could be anything! 
Best Wishes and tons of stitches!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Super Online Sewing Match II

I am so excited to announce, I am one of the ten contestants in the Super Online Sewing Match II!!!
Welcome to Sew Spoiled if you are new and coming from Sew Mama Sew take a look around and stay as long as you like. You will find sewing tutorials, inspiration and crafty goodness.
I made these cute shorts from Amy Butler, Harriet's Kitchen Sugar Fabric. The pattern is McCall's #6361. Once you find your correct fitting with this pattern you can make a skirt, shorts or pants from it. Wow, I had this in my stash forever. I always thought it would make a great wristlet. Now it is a pair of shorts. I love how fabric is so versatile. 
I still have not heard what the first challenge will be so I am biting my nails.
This contest is the best summer roller coaster out there!
Thank you Beth and Kristin from Sew Mama Sew for including me in this challenge.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Scalloped Hem, Navy Skirt

Today I created this cute little navy skirt. As I was cutting it out, I was thinking of different ways to make this plain navy skirt more exciting. I made peek a boo pockets and trimmed the top of the inside with fun fabric but the outside was plain. Then I remembered a Scallop Hem Tutorial by Coletterie I had seen, so I decided to give it a try. 
I serged the hem edge and flipped the bottom of the skirt up, right sides together. With a cup, I drew the scallop edge. After sewing the drawn scallop edge, I clipped the curves with my pinking shears. Very carefully, I flipped it right side out and ironed the hem. Finally, I used a straight stitch along the top of the scallop hem. 
You could also hand stitch. 
I should have taken more pictures of the process however I didn't know at the time if it really would work.
I love my skirt. It looks great with a denim button down top tucked in or fun graphic tee, so versatile. I can't wait to make more fun pieces for my wardrobe.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Recharge your Creativity!

Recently, I made a dress from a pattern I will not name here but it was so horrible that at the end of making it I decided to cut off the bodice and make it a skirt. I thought that I could make the pattern better. I read many reviews saying this pattern is not good and still I tried. I attempted to change the parts of the pattern that did not work, like the pockets. But after all of the fixing and trying, I gave up.

Has this ever happened to you?? It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It is really hard to recover from a bad project. It is even harder to start another sewing project. I think this is why sewing can be a challenging hobby for most people. In today's world we can buy most things made from fabric cheaper than we can buy just the fabric it took to make the project. Then you spend your time and effort and if the project doesn't turn out in the end, you feel worse because you could have bought the dress already made, for the amount you spent. Your sewing machine starts to collect dust and you begin to wonder if you shouldn't donate it or put it in the closet! STOP! Don't give up.

Here are some help tips to get you back into the fun of sewing again.

  1. Sew a project that you have made before. Go back to a tested, tried and true pattern that you love to make. The one that always turns out right.
  2. Take a field trip to the fabric store. Look through each print thinking of it's potential to be something gorgeous. 
  3. Sew a small gift for someone else. When you give something you have made to someone you care about, it makes you happier.
  4. Sew a project for charity. 
  5. Start a sewing group or join a group so you will have support while you sew.
  6. Get away from your smart phone, tablet and computer, and sew more. These are distractions and they will be there when you are finish sewing.
  7. Open up a window and let nature in. Or sew outside. I once saw a picture of a sewing group sewing in the middle of an old barn. It looked so peaceful.
  8. Slip those shoes off. I love to sew with my bare feet on the pedal of the machine. 
  9. Show someone else how to sew!
  10. Sew scraps together. 
  11. Dye your own fabric. 
  12. Make your own look. Be unique, innovative and experiment with different fibers.
  13. Get a new sewing book for inspiration.
  14. Play music as you sew.
  15. Clean your sewing space. If you are like me, you work best in a clean environment.
  16. Make some time just for you. If you have a job, family or friends, it can be hard to get away from everyone. Make time for you. It is health to have time to yourself. 
  17. Make your project in short spurts. Cut everything out on day one, iron everything day two and sew on day three.
  18. Go through your stash!
  19. Have a fabric stash share party with friends who sew. "One persons trash is another persons treasure."
  20. Make a project board of colors fabric swatches and patterns you would like to create.  
Never Give Up! You are awesome!

Sunday, June 7, 2015


I am back, I am sorry for not writing but life has been crazy. Many of you know, I am a teacher too and the months of May and June are always intense. It is the end of the year. There is always a big push to finish. We have testing, EOGs, performances, graduations and don't forget fun days with celebrations. I am sure those of you with kids have been going through the craziness, you might be going through it right now. 
I love this time of year because it makes me reflect on what I have accomplished within one year. In all of my 12 years of teaching this one has been my personal best. I received a $3,000 Bright Ideas Grant and bought 12 Orff instruments, 25 guitars and boomwhackers. Our fifth graders recorded "We Wish You Merry Christmas" and we were heard on the radio. Kindergarten through third grade played Orff Instruments, Fourth grade mastered recorder and Fifth grade learned guitar. The 6-8 grade band program doubled in instrumentation and in students. We had a total of eight performances K-12! I wrote two Donors Choose projects and both were completely funded. This was my first year at this school. It was also the first year my school had had a dedicated room for music. It was empty with only music text books and a big dream in August 2014. Now it is full! Not only with instruments and equipment, but student excitement and inspiration to share music with others.