What I’m Lovin’ in October

My very favorite month is coming to a close, but no hard feelings – we’re just closer to my favorite holiday: Christmas!

Keep reading for the short list of what I’ve been lovin’ this month…

october

1. This beautiful reminder…

october

What colors have you revealed this month?

2. Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream at Sweet Cream Company

Part of me didn’t want to share this in fear that they would run out of this delicious treat. My Mom, sister, both Hubses and I visited Sweet Cream after my birthday dinner {at my very favorite taco place, Cantina 76} to discover that they had Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream! It was the best thing I’ve tasted since the pumpkin spice cookies Kathy brought to our last sew-in.

ice-cream

L to R: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Coffee, and Black Sesame Ginger

Sweet Cream is a locally owned ice cream shop with the most interesting flavors imaginable. You can follow them on Instagram so you’re up-to-date on their latest flavors, but be warned: you will experience mouth-watering and serious cravings.

If you’re not local to Columbia, SC – they ship! But you should still experience the sweet shop in person so add the Sweet Cream Company to your “must try” list when you visit😉

3. Progress on my <> Quilt

Our office was closed for a few days as Hurricane Matthew approached and I got a serious craving to start a quilt {it’s hard to predict when it’s going to hit!😉 }

quilt-1

I dusted off my Handmade Style book {let’s be honest: there’s no dust on that book. It’s in constant rotation in my sewing room!} and picked out the <> Quilt. It’s made from big blocks which I thought would be a great idea so it would come together quickly {patience is not a virtue I have}.

I’m making it entirely from fabric I have on-hand so each set of “<>” will be different {you can peak at the pair for the middle row here}.

quilt

First set of <> down, 2 more to go!

4. Wrapping bird nest necklaces

It’s been a while since I’ve made a batch of the bird nest necklaces…I’d forgotten how soothing wire wrapping can be!

necklaces

I used to make the nests all the time {so often I sold my extras at the Soda City market for a while} until I started sewing heavily and got too exhausted from pedaling my handmade goods {shout-out to all my handmade hustlers out there: selling your goods is no.joke. – it’s far more stressful than most realize}.

A few weeks ago I got a request that energized me. An organization that is near and dear to my heart recently re-branded and their new logo is a nest. Thus, the bird nest necklaces were a great accessory for their team!

If you have mama birds on your holiday list and are in need of a necklace, let me know – I’d be happy to chat with you about a custom order.

5. Maker Style Podcast

I love listening to podcasts all.the.time – while I sew, while I cook, while I eat my lunch

I’ve shared a few of my favorites before, but the Maker Style podcast is my favorite as of late!

maker-style-podcast

{Click the image to read all the details about the podcast via The Wild Stich}

I discovered this podcast when Indie Sew posted about Allie’s interview on Instagram. I immediately found the Maker Style podcast in iTunes and started listening.

The interviews are great! I really appreciate that Rachel posts all the details in the show notes. If you hear about a new pattern you haven’t heard of yet or want to learn more about the sewing genius she’s interviewing, you can find it all linked on the website.

6. Blueberry Mascarpone French Toast at Drip on Main

This post is turning out to be more like #ConfessionsOfAFatKid…

french-toast

It’s no secret that I love Drip. Last weekend the Hubs and I wandered in for a quiet Sunday brunch to discover that the Blueberry Mascarpone French Toast was still on the menu. DELISH! But hurry in because the menu is changing soon {although I have yet to be let down by any of their menu changes}

7. Palmetto MQG Quilt Block Challenge

We just wrapped up Month #2 of the block challenge for the Palmetto Modern Quilter’s Guild. This month we made Plus blocks.

plus-block

See last month’s block in this post.

8. It’s my birthday month!

Hurricane Matthew’s approach caused our district to be shut down for 3 days prior to my birthday. He totally rained on my parade/plan to take my birthday off (#sewcation)! But no worries – I spent those 3 HURRICAtion days soaking up all that is wonderful: I spent a full day with my sister and spent the other two catching up on the blog (did you notice the extra posts this month?!) and sewing!

birthday-seams

Big thank you to everyone who took the time to reach out to me on my birthday. It meant the world to me!

Hope you are all enjoying beautiful fall weather and soaking up time with family and friends. Until next month❤ – Jordan

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

DIY Carpet Powder

Last year at Crafty Feast, I picked up the most amazing handmade carpet powder. It was lavender scented and even had pieces of dried lavender bud mixed in. It came in a 16 ounce jar which [unfortunately] only lasted me one application.

I may have ignored the “sprinkle lightly” instructions… {I have 3 dogs!}

Being frugal [and stocked with essential oils] I was determined to make my own.

I was quite surprised at how simple it was to make. Let me follow that with: I am not a professional carpet-powder-connoisseur. I am just a frugal gal who was in desperate need of help alleviating the affects of three dogs on rugs – and I think I found a pretty good solution!

carpet-powder

What you need

  • Glass jars with lids
  • Baking soda (1 pound will fill a 16-ounce jar)
  • Essential Oils (my favorite odor-busting combination is Young Living’s Thieves [10 drops] + Purification [20 drops])
  • Mixer or whisk 
  • Mixing bowl

To start, I gathered two 16-ounce jars. After realizing how easy this was to make, I would’ve made more if I had more jars available!

One of my jars was leftover from the carpet freshener I purchased at Crafty Feast. The other jar was a salsa jar that I cleaned and thoroughly air-dried. I found that running the jar through my dishwasher loosened the label enough for me to peel off, but if you do not have a dishwasher, you could soak the jar in hot, soapy water and use some lemon essential oil to remove it.jars

The purchased powder came with a super cute lid for sprinkling, but I have seen some at Hobby Lobby and also here on Amazon. Alternately, you could drill holes into the lid you have or just plan to sprinkle with the lid off.

lids

One two-pound box of baking soda will fill two 16-ounce jars. Any brand of baking soda is fine!

baking-soda

Gather your supplies. While I used my electric mixer, you could easily mix this with a whisk. The substance is light so you don’t need much power.

Some essential oils (mostly citrus-based) can break down plastic so I avoid using plastic kitchenware when mixing recipes with essential oils just in case. I found this metal mixing bowl at Target, but a glass bowl would also be fine.

supplies

You can either measure out two cups of baking soda or pour the baking soda into your jar until it fills the top then dump into your mixing bowl. The latter is probably best – I  found that when I measured out exactly two cups I ended up with a little spilling over my jar.

powder

The best recipe I have found incorporates 10 drops of Thieves Essential Oil and 20 drops of Purification Essential Oil. These are definitely two of my favorite, most used oils (second to lavender!). The fragrance of the Thieves oil reminds me of Christmas so the scent is really comforting. The Purification oil is great for cleansing the air and alleviating odors (also makes a great spray for your car).

Note: I use Young Living essential oils. I have a membership with them and have been very pleased with the quality. I have not tried this recipe with other brands of EO’s, but use whatever suits you best!

pet-oils

The Thieves + Purification combination is a heavy hitter for odors. It is a great combo if you have pets. Another combination I tried for a fresher scent was Grapefruit and Citrus Fresh (Orange could be a good substitute) – 7-8 drops of each oil.

citrus-oils

Whatever combination you choose, sprinkle the drops directly onto the baking soda dumped into your mixing bowl. Try to sprinkle them evenly – I found that the oils clump a bit in the baking soda so spreading them around is best.

oils-in-powder

Now mix it up! Again, you really don’t need much power since this is a light mixture. If you are using an electric mixer, use the lowest speed. You could also use a whisk.

If you do not have a funnel in your kitchen (I did not), grab a clean piece of paper and twist for a make-shift funnel. Use the funnel to help pour the mixture into your jar. This can still get quite messy so placing a tea towel under your jar might be a good idea😉

funnel

You  will want to let your mixture sit for at least 30 minutes for the oils to mingle with the baking soda. I let mine sit for a few days before use. Since these are so easy to make, it’s worth whipping up several at a time so they are ready for use when you need them. This would also make a great housewarming gift.

Be sure to label your jars – particularly if you are making multiple scent combinations so you will know which to grab depending on your needs. You can use washi tape across the top of the jar or on the side of your jar if you don’t have a label-maker (that’s on my wish list!). Alternately, you could use these chalkboard mason jar lid labels.

citrus-powder

I’m a heavy sprinkler so one jar typically lasts me one area rug. Depending on the odor you’re dealing with, you could very likely stretch it further. Since I know how easy it is to whip up, I’m less concerned with stretching it😉

Once you sprinkle on your carpet, let it sit for at least 30 minutes. I usually let it sit for a few hours or even overnight before vacuuming up.

pet-powder

And you’re done! Can you believe how easy that was?!

Turn this recipe into a room air freshener/odor absorber by cutting in half for an 8-ounce jar (like these) or quartering for a 4-ounce jar (like these). Just leave the lid off or add one of these pretty lids.

Roar Haus Gatsby Clutch

I met Amber last year when I joined the Palmetto Modern Quilter’s Guild (she’s the founder & President) and she has been blowing my mind with her bag-making skills ever since.

When she mentioned she wanted to design her own bag patterns, I almost leaped out of my seat! YES PLEASE. If you’ve ever seen the bags she makes, you know how thoughtfully designed they are (not to mention adorable – she really has an eye for pairing fabrics). I saw her call for testers and immediately jumped on the band wagon!

I am so proud of my sweet friend for launching the pattern design wing of Roar Haus!

I was chosen to test the pattern (which very well may be because I badgered Amber into letting me) and am SO excited to tell you all about the Gatsby Clutch!

gatsby

The Bag

The bag is a fold-over clutch with a top zipper and detachable cross-body strap.

gatsby-7

There is a tiny zipper pocket hidden when the bag is folded over. This sneaky little pouch is perfect for keeping your tiny items from getting lost in the bottom of the bag.

gatsby-2

The Pattern

The instructions are so easy to follow! The best part is that Amber took the time to photograph each step. It’s more like following a sew-along than a traditional pattern.

gatsby-pattern

Material

Fabric

All of the fabric I used for this bag came from my stash! I’m trying really hard lately to focus on utilizing the fabric I have {the stash is getting out.of.control.}.

I find it easier to use up scraps when making bags. Garments require so much yardage, but for all the bits and pieces of a bag, you can usually get away with using a variety of fabric so you can stash bust quite a few patterns in one project. You could even piece together scraps for a patchwork exterior if you were feeling adventurous!

For the exterior of my Gatsby Clutch, I used a vintage cotton print that I snagged from Butterfly Vintage. I used it for the Scarf Swap last year and have been holding onto the scraps for the perfect project.

What better project than testing your sewing bestie’s first bag pattern!

gatsby-1

For the strap, I used some green rayon I had leftover from a dress pattern I recently tested {Unfortunately, I couldn’t participate in the final round of testing so I didn’t finish my version, but it was the Auberley Dress from Blank Slate Patterns. I am hoping to make the final version soon because it looks amazing!}. The rayon lost its slinkiness but maintained the soft feel when fused with the SF101 so it worked perfectly.

I picked up the interfacing from my local JoAnn’s. I had fusible fleece in my stash already but picked up a little extra just in case. You really don’t need much so if you have scraps those will likely do. Additionally, you could probably substitute quilt batting if that’s what you have handy, but because Amber is the expert on interfacing, if you can use what she recommends – do it!

I noticed on Amber’s bags that she sews a few random straight lines across the exterior which I think is so cute! I copied her and added a few to my exterior after adding the fusible fleece. {If you have trouble sewing a straight line like myself, take a light colored permanent marker and draw straight lines onto the interfacing and follow those when you are stitching. I wouldn’t recommend a washable marker – you wouldn’t want it to bleed onto your fabric if it gets wet. You could also use a fabric pen or marker obviously 😉 }.

gatsby-3

This was my first time using SF101. I have used lightweight fusible interfacing before, but it was not woven like the SF101. I really loved the stability it added to the cotton – making it durable, but not too heavy. I might be hooked on the SF101!

For my main interior fabric, I used some purple cotton from my scrap bin.

gatsby-4

For the lining of the tiny pocket, I used a light blue gingham cotton scrap. This pocket interior is perfect for scraps – you only need two tiny pieces. The O-ring loops and zipper tabs are also a great place to use tiny scraps.

gatsby-6

Hardware

I had the larger zipper on hand, but have never used a 4 inch zipper (so tiny!) so I didn’t have any. Luckily Amber came to my rescue and let me borrow one. I have since ordered some from Zipit on Etsy (these!). I have ordered zippers from Zipit in the past and am always pleased with the quality. The donut pull metal zippers are my favorite!

gatsby-zipper

I had some D-rings in my stash, but none as small as what is recommended. I was determined to follow the pattern as closely as possible using the recommended material so I could provide valid feedback to Amber. I quickly ordered the O-rings, swivel clasps, and sliders from Bagmaker Supply on Etsy {a shop Amber recommended}.

gatsby-8

I really like the swivel clasps I ordered (these)! They have a little rhinestone in the corner which is just so fancy. I also ordered some of these plain swivel clasps for future bags. {You can find the sliders I ordered here and the o-rings here}.

Final Thoughts

I’m really excited for Amber to release this pattern! As soon as I started working on mine, I started seeing fold-over clutches everywhere – they must be in style right now {I’m usually out of the loop on that ;) }.

I have found in the past that it’s hard to get a fold-over clutch to lay right. Amber’s balance of the interfacing is a perfect match and allows the bag to fold over and lay perfectly.

gatsby-1a

Overall, the pattern is not incredibly difficult – even if you have never installed a zipper, Amber does a great job of walking through the process with instructions and photos. That being said, I think this bag could be completed by a beginner (especially one who is determined!).

Where to purchase the pattern

You can find the Gatsby Clutch Pattern at roarhaus.com.

** Disclaimer: As I’m sure you can very much tell, Amber has become a great friend of mine. I admittedly try to be the biggest cheerleader for my friends’ creative ventures, but I do hope you’ll trust me when I say: This pattern review is 100% truthful.

Fancy Tiger Crafts’ Fen Dress 1 and 2

I made the Fen Dress quite a while ago, but have been lazy about blogging it (so sorry!). It’s quickly becoming a favorite go-to pattern. So far I’ve made two and have plans for a few more.

fen-dress

The Pattern

I picked up a printed copy of the pattern when we detoured to Finch Knitting & Sewing Studio in Leesburg, Virginia on the way home from our Boston road trip.

fen-dress-pattern

The pattern is really easy to follow. It was the first time I have followed a Fancy Tiger Crafts pattern and I really liked it!

You can order the printed pattern from Fancy Tiger Crafts here.

Version 1

I made View B (dress) with a round neckline in woven fabric. I chose the slight drop hem (ever-so-slightly longer in the rear). I skipped the optional sleeves, but may try those for a fall/winter version later.

fen-dress-1a

Favorite Features

The pockets are amazing! They are at the perfect height and really easy to access. I don’t typically use pockets to carry things (other than lip balm), but I love using them for their original intention: to store my hands when they are wondering where to go in awkward social situations.

fen-dress-1e

See how the pockets fall exactly at my natural waist? Perfect!

There are no closures – the dress has a loose fit so, despite being sewn in woven material, you can still slip it overhead – no scary zipper installation.

fen-dress-1b

Fabric

For my first Fen Dress, I used Robert Kaufman chambray that I snagged from a friend’s destash on Instagram. Here is some similar fabric (perhaps the same?) in the Imagine Gnats shop.

I made this dress around the same time as my Parkside Shorts and was definitely on an accent pocket kick. I used some thin vintage cotton for the pocket linings (the fabric felt a bit like double gauze, but I’m not sure what it really is). I added an extra layer of chambray behind to stabilize it – fusible interfacing probably would have been a better long-term solution, but so far it’s holding up just fine.

fen-dress-1d

fen-dress-1c

I also used this fabric for the neckline. I’m did not follow the instructions for the neckline correctly. As you can see in the photo below, I wrapped the neckline fabric around to the front to expose it. In my second version, I attached the neckline more similar to what I have done with knit patterns. The first method created the best fit for the neckline (not that my 2nd attempt was how it’s supposed to be done either…)

fen-dress-neckline

Fit

With a petite frame, I often have to make adjustments to patterns. Usually with a waistline like this, I would have to shorten the bodice. I’m excited to say – I did not have to make any adjustments to “petite-ify” this pattern!

However, I did grade between sizes based on my measurements which was actually very easy to do with this pattern.

Construction

The skirt piece is not overwhelmingly wide so the gathers are easy to install.

I used french seams throughout which took a little longer than usual, but it’s really my favorite method to use for seams when working with woven material. I did not alter the pattern pieces to accommodate since the pattern has a pretty generous seam allowance. I just shrunk the width of the seam I was sewing.

Here is a great tutorial from Craftsy on how to sew french seams.

Version 2

When I picked the pattern out at Finch, I fell in love with this beautiful peach print fabric that I knew would make the perfect Fen Dress.

fen-dress-pair

The fabric is called “Peaches in Bright Pink” from Melody Miller’s “Fruit Dots” collection for Cotton + Steel in Fall 2015. You can find it for sale here from Hawthorne Threads.

fen-dress-2

After Version 1 proved that the fit was perfect, I whipped up Version 2 exactly the same. The only difference was the neckline. I flipped the neckband up after attaching and top-stitched like I have done with knit dresses in the past (again, pretty sure this was not correct).

fen-dress-2-neckline

This method caused the neckline to be much wider than I would’ve liked with a bit of gaping at the front center. I still wear the dress regularly because overall it is a great fit and I am too lazy to seam rip the neckband and start over😉

{Pretty sure you’re supposed to use bias binding for the neckline. Here is a tutorial that would’ve been helpful for me to follow if I had actually realized that…}

After finishing version 2, I had enough fabric left over to make my pup her own peach-themed scarf to match!

kimba

She loves it. #DivaDog

In case you’re wondering how to make your pup a matching scarf with your leftover material (it’s no-sew and ridiculously easy): grab your pinking shears (here are the ones I use) and cut a triangle. You want the longest edge (bottom edge if you are looking at it with the point at the top) to be the circumference of your dog’s neck plus a few extra inches to spare for knotting. Tie around your pup leaving enough room so that it can slip over the pup’s head but not so loose it will fall off (you do not want it too tight!).

If you wanted to get really fancy, you could use a second fabric scrap to make it reversible and even add velcro (which, admittedly by this overprotective-former-vet-tech, would be much safer if you are planning to leave it on your pup unattended [aka: a quick release in case it gets caught on something…sorry for dragging you into the world of a paranoid-fur-parent, but welcome!]).

Final Thoughts

This pattern is a definite favorite! It is the exact style that I love: cinched waist, pockets… perfection.

I would say this is definitely a pattern that is appropriate for a beginner. There are no closures (no zippers, no buttons), you can use woven material (no stretch=no stress for beginners!), and there are no set-in sleeves.

Have you made a Fen Dress? I’d love to see your version!

What I’m Lovin’ in September

Despite the fact that 80+ degree, humid temperatures are still lingering here in South Carolina, it’s finally [officially] fall! My favorite season.

I’ve got some great things to share with you this month! Read on to hear what I’ve been lovin’ in September…

september

1. Craft Fair Season

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you are probably well aware that my sister and I love nothing more than hopping around to the local craft fairs and markets to stock up on handmade goods and discover new local artisans. Fall brings more of these shopping opportunities with the holidays nearing.

We kicked off the season with one of our favorites: Martha’s Market (last year was our first time and we loved it – evidence here).

marthas-market

My sister & I heading to Martha’s Market. {PS: I’m wearing my Magnolia Shorts & Katie is wearing the Date Night Dress I made and hand-me-down’d to her}

Unfortunately it looks like we’re going to miss several of our favorites this year (or have to go separately #AllTheTears😦 ).

Upcoming local craft fairs we’re looking forward to:

2. My Magnolia Shorts

As evidence in the photo above {and in this photo from our weekend getaway to Charleston}, I have been wearing these shorts all around town! They are so comfortable and stylish. I may never take them off […until fall weather actually arrives].

style

My Magnolia Shorts styled here with a thrifted shirt and gemstone flops from Loft.

Can I make a confession about the photo above? I posted it as my “Signature Look” for the #SewPhotoHop. At the time of posting, I had never worn the outfit which made my husband laugh when I told him. As I confessed in the post, my true style is leggings and a t-shirt but that is so not Instagram-worthy!😉

Due to guilt, I wore the exact outfit the following week to Martha’s Market!😀

3. This rug:

rug

The Hubs and I bought a new house over the summer. There is not an inch of carpet anywhere which is great (because dogs), but my sewing room needs a floor with cushion. I spend a lot of time on the floor tracing patterns and cutting fabric (wish list: wall-mounted fold-down cutting table…). That being said, I was in desperate need of a rug for the room.

My friend Caroline shared with me that Hendley Rugs (a local no-frills shop…with no website) was having a retirement sale so I jumped on it. I got a serious deal on this rug (A TOTAL STEAL! So good that Scott Hendley himself said “you have to send me $1,000 in business to make my money back” – SO GO BUY A RUG from him please).

Isn’t it so gorgeous? I can’t get enough of it. Scott has these ahhh-mazing rug pads (they’re like an inch thick and they kind of velcro [almost] to the back of the rug and stick nicely to the floor so no sliding. A great investment if you’re the kind of person who straightens the crooked frames of pictures at your doctor’s office…).

Bottom line: If you’re local to the Columbia area (or driving distance), you should go visit Scott at Hendley Rugs to celebrate his retirement and stock up to make your cozy (the store is located at 1919 Taylor Street in downtown Columbia. Scott estimates he’ll be open for another 6 months).

4. Wallet from the Braiden Manor

braiden-manor-wallet

A friend in my sewing guild [who is ridiculously talented and teaches me new tricks at almost every sew-in] has an Etsy shop where she sells some of the amazing things she makes – like burp cloths, diaper clutches, and wallets.

I snagged this wristlet from her at Martha’s Market. It’s sewn up in the Rifle Paper Co. fabric and some pink sparkle fabric. The best part about the pink sparkle fabric is that it won’t leave you looking like a toddler who spilled the glitter in art class. Kristy tested the fabric before adorning the wallets to confirm that the sparkles won’t rub off all over your hands (yay!).

I immediately switched over all my essentials and have been carrying the wallet non-stop since the market and love it. You can browse all of Kristy’s beautiful wallets and wristlets HERE.

5. My New Seam Ripper & Stiletto

fave-tool

Another gem I found at Martha’s Market! I have been using the seam ripper that came with my machine so I was way past due for a new one. I didn’t realize how dull it had gotten until I got my hands on this one!

The best part about this little tool is that the seam ripper and stiletto tuck right into the ends so no accidental stabbings or losing of caps.

fave-tool-2

This spiffy tool is handmade by a guy named Chester whose shop is called Pens and Turnings (he specializes in pens). If you are local, you can find a list of upcoming events he will be selling at on his website. You can find several seam rippers on his website (here!) if you are interested in ordering online.

I recommend the double-ended and request a stiletto instead of the large ripper. I had no idea what a stiletto was until my friend Kristy told me after she bought her seam ripper and got the switch (so of course I had to go back and swap). Not sure what a stiletto is either? Here’s a video for ya.

6. Quilt Block Challenge

Last month, my quilt guild launched a monthly quilt block challenge. Each month we are given a quilt block pattern to construct and bring to the next month’s meeting in exchange for instructions for the next block. The blocks will be used to construct our guild charity quilts.

Our first block was the Churn Dash which I had ironically already been practicing (remember?)!

img_2549

My “modern” Churn Dash block for the Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild‘s monthly block challenge.

We get special handwritten instructions (which alone should motivate you to join our guild), but you can find a tutorial for the churn dash quilt block here if you want to make your own.

I’m really excited to build my quilting skills and even more excited for the accountability. I plan to stick with these (because I’m very excited about the charity we picked this year!) so stay tuned and I’ll post my blocks each month.

There is a lot going on lately and I have loads to share with you as soon as I get the time to write the quality posts you deserve😉 For now, you can follow the bread trail of my adventures on Instagram. I hope you’re all having the coziest of falls!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

Sewing Wish List: Fall 2016

This month I’ve been participating in House of Pinheiro’s SewPhotoHop on Instagram. I typically stray from the pressure of posting daily, but this has been a refreshing routine. I have really enjoyed following the hashtag and soaking up inspiration from the other sewists participating in the challenge.

Today’s theme is “Wish list” so I thought I’d share a little more detail of what’s on my “to make” list here on the blog!

sewing-wish-list

I have so very many things on my sewing wish list right now, but I’ve whittled it down to only patterns I have already purchased. {If you want to see all the other things I’m dreaming of making, you can browse my Sewing Garments Pinterest Board}

I would love love love to hear your vote on what you think I should make next! Leave your vote in the comments section. I’d also equally love if you share your advice or experience if you have made any of the patterns listed.🙂

Without further adieu, here is the [very shortened and in no particular order] list of sewing patterns in my queue…

1. Florence Bra | Seamwork Magazine

florence2

Top: Florence Bra, Bottom: Geneva Panties – both patterns available via Seamwork Magazine.

While on our roadtrip to Boston last spring break, I picked up this beautiful bra-making kit at Mercer’s Fabric. I’ve been dreaming of becoming brave enough to cut into it. I’ve even claimed the Florence bra pattern with my Seamwork Magazine credit. Since this will be my very first attempt at lingerie, I’d love to hear any tips or advice you may have!

2. Harrington Shorts | Seamwork Magazine

The Hubs is probably my most neglected loved one in the sewing room! I rarely make him much and I’ve only ever made him one finished garment {the Finlayson sweater – see it in this post}. He’s one of my biggest supporters (tied with my sister) and endures quite a bit of sewing chatter and frustration troubleshooting.

I think he’s in need of a treat!

The Harrington shorts are meant to be swim trunks, but I think he’ll get a lot of use out of an everyday pair. I really like the linen version [pictured above] by Seamwork.

Since the Hubs is a pretty tall guy (6’4″..), I plan to lengthen the inseam of these shorts. The pattern reminds me a lot of Chubbies (which are basically booty shorts on my long-legged guy).

I suspect that construction will be similar to my Parkside Shorts which came together pleasantly. We both have a deep love and appreciation for elastic waists so I know these would be a closet staple.

3. Out and About Dress | Sew Caroline

Are you tired of hearing about this pattern yet?! It’s a tried and true (proof: here & here). I’ve been really wanting to make a sleeveless version {pattern hack here} – which I know might sound a little late considering fall is approaching, but it’s quite warm here all year andloooove an excuse to toss on a cardigan!

sleeveless

Isn’t this sleeveless version by Caroline gorgeous?!

I’m also in love with the tulip sleeves on Dixie DIY‘s version {pattern hack here}:

tulip-sleeve

4. Dottie Angel Dress | Simplicity 1080

I just picked this pattern up from my local JoAnn’s a few weeks ago while the Simplicity patterns were on sale. I’ve never made a Simplicity pattern but my friend Shanika loves them!

I’ve been smitten with the Dottie dress for a while. I’m torn between Versions A & B – I’m worried version A will be too long on my short stature, but I’m also worried version B will be too short to qualify as a dress (tunics are often dresses on me😉 ). I may make a hybrid between the two lengths.

While I love big pockets, I think I will omit them from my version for the sake of making it a little less casual. My office isn’t super dressy (or at least I’m not super-dressy at work!) and I like to be able to wear the dresses I make to work since I do spend 5 out of 7 days there🙂

5. Peony | Colette

When I saw this dress on sale [an embarrassingly long time ago], I immediately asked my friend Addie if she thought it was a pattern I could handle. With her confirmation, I quickly ordered it.

Then it sat and gathered dust while I have become paralyzed by the fear of installing a zipper {I know, I know…get over it}. It’s one of my favorite dress silhouettes: fitted bodice, pleated waist, flowy bottom.

I also love the pleated shoulders {pattern hack here} in this version:

peony

6. Handmade Style Tunic | Noodlehead

Ever since I got my hands on Handmade Style by Anna Graham, I have had this tunic on my “to make” list! I even had my friend Amber teach me how to use my button hole foot at our last sew-in.

I had plans of following Anna’s sew-along for the tunic, but I fell off the wagon as soon as I selected my fabric (that’s as far as I got…).

noodlehead

Then I saw Anna’s finished version! It looks even more amazing than the gorgeous version in the book (possible?! Yes, Anna is that talented). It’s still on my list! I think I’d wear it quite often through the fall with leggings.

7. View Ridge | Straight Stitch Design

Terri of Blue House Joys (who was one of the testers) promised it the top wasn’t too hard to make so I jumped on ordering it while it was on sale with the release. I am totally smitten with the gathered ruffle in View A and the keyhole back! I have a bag of vintage buttons I am going to plunder in search of the perfect embellishment for mine.

8. Hazel | Victory Patterns

When I saw Sew Charleston’s version of the Hazel Dress I fell head-over-heels!

hazel2

Read all about Sew Charleston’s version here

My mother-in-law ordered this pattern for me from my wish list last Christmas. I even ordered the fabric to copy the cover version…

So which pattern gets your vote? What should I work on next?

I’d love to hear any tips you have if you’ve made any of these patterns. And tell me what’s on your sewing list! Clearly I’m always in search of more patterns to add to my stash😉

Sew Caroline’s Magnolia Shorts Pattern

Sew Caroline just released a new pattern and I was lucky enough to be a part of the group of gals who tested the pattern…and it’s so fabulous!

MagnoliaShorts-SquareCover

As you know, I love Sew Caroline’s patterns {proof 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7} so I always try to jump in when she’s in need of testers. I fell in love with the shorts when she first shared them here on Instagram.

Flowy, swingy shorts – yes please! {Also, you know my love of an elastic waist}

The construction of these shorts is even easier than the Parkside Shorts (which I still love). Rather than a separate front and back piece, there’s just one long piece that requires no side seam!

Less pattern pieces = less seams to sew = less time

shorts

Fabric

I used some vintage black crepe that had been passed on to me from someone’s attic {don’t you love when someone donates to your fabric stash and it’s just.what.you.needed?!}.

It was my first time working with crepe (I didn’t even know it was crepe until one of my fabulous quilty friends identified it for me at the last sew-in…sewing friends are the best!). I actually really enjoyed it! It’s got an amazing drape and wasn’t too slippery. It ironed like a beauty so hemming was a breeze.

Here’s a great post from IndieSew with tips about sewing and caring for crepe fabric. I confess that I did not read this article before constructing my shorts. Is anyone else guilty of always researching after the fact?! Anyhow, according to my post-sewing-research, it’s a good thing I already had thin pins (love them) and I probably should have used a walking foot (though I didn’t have any issues with snagging).

Size

I made a size small with no alterations and they fit perfectly.

The pattern calls for 1/4″ folds for the hem, but I have a hard time folding that tiny so I admit that my hem folds were closer to 1/2″. I don’t consider that a true alteration, but I like to be honest with you all so there ya go!😉

You’re cutting the elastic to your own preference like with the Parkside Shorts so with little fit issues to deal with, these would be great for beginners!

Jordan Slice-Metcalfe - Magnolia Shorts 1

Shorts? Skirt? It’s our little secret😉

Final Thoughts

With summer inching closer to an end {c’mon, Fall! I’m ready for you!}, why not make yourself one last summer wardrobe staple?! If you live in a climate that’s hot-and-humid all-year-long {y’all, one time I wore shorts on Christmas Day…CHRISTMAS DAY…in December}, these shorts are sure to make you feel fabulous despite the fact that you’re sweating in all sorts of unflattering places. And they’ll help you hate the heat a little less. Guaranteed.

Another fun feature if you live in fear of wearing flowy clothing on a windy day: there’s no chance of this beauty flying over your head and flashing everyone within eyesight. Win {unless you’re into the Marilyn Monroe thing}

Jordan Slice-Metcalfe - Magnolia Shorts 2

Bottom Line

Treat yo’self to the Magnolia Shorts pattern.

And keep an eye on Caroline’s blog – she’s going to post photos of the testers soon so you can see what the shorts look like on all shapes and sizes. For now, you can see her beautiful versions here.

*Update*

See how the Magnolia Shorts look on a variety of shapes and sizes in Caroline’s post of the pattern testers here.

You can also find more photos of my Magnolia Shorts in action in this post and in this photo on Instagram.