Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A New Year Resolution for my Fabric Hoard

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Here it is. My dreadful closet. Well, only ¼ of it. I would have to take a panoramic shot to get the whole closet in. Its wicked large.

Its black & white 
because I feel so dreary when I go in there for fabric . . . .

There is definitely no sewing magic in there that I can find when I need to.

If you're like me, you find yourself in the clearance section of Hobby Lobby after you've picked up too much fabric, ribbon and trims. Over the holidays, I made several trips to my local store (ok, both local stores, one south and one east). I came across packages of "Value Pack Matboard". Since I had put off (again) ordering the comic book backing boards from Amazon, I decided its time to actually buy something to get started on organizing my fabric hoard. I picked up two packs, on sale at $4.79 each, 35 pieces measuring 8"x10". 

Naturally, these two packs sat under my box of Christmas Fabric that I pull out every year. And now that I'm putting that box away, and happen to be prewashing a load of cotton fabric I found on sale at a local quilt/fabric shop, I felt forced (yes, forced) to make some magic happen. 



It would definitely be magical, like a dream, if I actually executed a fully organized effort to store my fabrics.
If you're in the same boat, go ahead and pick up whatever you can find in the store or online to start putting your fabric away, neatly, or at least in a fashion that would allow you to find it during the season its meant for. Like, say, these fabrics I bought the same day I bought the mat board at Hobby Lobby so I could make a quilt or something by Christmas . . . .

I'm blogging about this in hopes that I'll actually complete this goal. Feel free to encourage me with comments about your Fabric Hoard Organization.
I think we need to create an online support group, . . . . say "fabric hoarders anonymous" and create
12 steps to a dreamlike hoard . . . . I'll let that be your goal. I'm still wrapping fabric around these mat boards . . . .

The steps are simple, and its been blogged about time and time again. 
Here's what I did:

Haven't decided which way I want to position the fabric, but I've made progress toward my New Year Resolution. 

What would you do? How do you organize your fabrics?

I do believe that if I could just fold my arms and blink, 
I'd be one happy girl . . . .

Have a safe & happy New Year everyone, and, as always,

Happy Sewing!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A princess dress everyday with Made for Mermaids, plus a #giveaway

Made for Mermaids Everyday Princess Collection

When I started testing PDF patterns pre-release for pattern designers, I was thrilled to join Megan Gorman and her testing team to volunteer to test her clothing patterns for girls!  

I asked Megan if she would like to offer a chance to win a pattern (ANY pattern!) to my readers and she said "I'd love to! :)"   So, keep reading for your chance to win one pattern of your choice from Made for Mermaids!

If you're not already aware, PDF pattern designers depend on testing their actual design before its released to the public for purchase to verify that their brainchild actually panned out on paper.  That's right, you print your own pattern that you purchase digitally, store on your computer, your cloud, your jump drive - and print at will or preserve your original printing to trace off sizes for use over and over again.  Opportunities for testing for various designers can be found on their individual FaceBook group pages, the PDF Pattern Sales & Promotion FaceBook  page, and various other places on the internet, including blogs and business pages.  

Everytime I pretest a pattern for Megan, it is perfect from the first draft.  The product she produces is quality and thoughtful.  

The Everyday Princess Dress line is designed for use with cottons, broadcloth, satins, velours -- whatever your heart dreams of fabric-wise, the versatility of these patterns will please you!  You will also be getting more bang for your buck here because you can make the dresses without "princess" inspiration -- they can be made using any print or fabric type, pleasing your sewing experience with everyday dresses, special occasion dresses, costumes or play dresses.  It may be time for you to build an "imagination station" to hang all your daughter's (or grandaughter's) princess inspired dresses in the play room . . . .

Here are a few dresses I've created with patterns from Made for Mermaids over the last year or so (click on the title of each dress to purchase the pattern in her Craftsy shop):  

My vision of the The Belle Dress

Baby Katniss! (my favorite!)



You can also purchase her patterns on Etsy.  

(I personally prefer Craftsy as you can share photos of your creations on the site, view other customer creations, and if there are any updates to any patterns from any shop you've purchased through Craftsy, you will be notified and download them without delay.)  

Newest Release:

We just finished testing Megan's latest pattern, the Briar Rose Dress.  And my friend Whitney took photos of her daughters as soon as she got home from work!  Here are Fiona & Abby, ages 8 and 7, in the versions I created with the pattern:

Yep . . . you're right, my vision for Fiona is inspired by 
Ariel's day dress or "town dress". 

Abby's dress is inspired by "Briar Rose" 
a/k/a Aurora a/k/a Sleeping Beauty

You may have noticed the embroidery on most of the dresses I've been inspired to create. Having an embroidery machine has made so many things so much easier . . .I was doing applique by hand and sewing machine after our granddaughter was born . . . then I took the plunge and bought a Brother PE770.  That was a good decision!  

As with all of the dresses in the Everyday Princess Collection, you can make the dress as a costume, following the colors and embellishments of the princess it is inspired by; or use your imagination and design your own dress  . . . . these dresses can be anything you or your little girl dreams of . . . . 

Now, onto the GIVEAWAY!

One winner will receive one pattern of choice from Made for Mermaids PDF Pattern Collection.

Good Luck!

Happy Sewing!
gloria june

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A quick look at the Jocole Quick Dress/Top

The Jocole Quick Dress & Top

Hmmm . . . .
what to wear . . . 
I may go into town to shop today . . . 

I need something quick and easy . . . . 

Let's see what my sewing magic can do with the Quick Dress.

I have some Fashion Knit from Hancock Fabrics, a yard or so of Travel Knit from Hobby Lobby and the Quick Dress & Top pattern from Jocole. (The hyperlinks will take you to the pages for the fabrics at Hancock & Hobby Lobby -- but, there are lots more choices in the actual stores than online.)

Instead of making a facing for the top yoke portion, I simply cut 4 of the contrast yoke, attached each yoke at the shoulders, placed them on top of the other, right sides facing, and then stitched the neck opening only.  

Turned this right side out.

I cut a few strips of my Fashion Knit fabric, folded in half and pressed with the iron.  Placed the strips along the arm hole, right sides facing each other, then serged.  I did this on both sides.  

Looking good . . . .

A couple more strips sewn the same way on the 
arm opening of the remaining portion 
of the front and back of the dress . . . 

Attach the bottom of the dress to the yoke, sew up the sides, and voila, I have a new dress!

What sewing magic can you make with the Quick Dress & Top?

You can buy the pattern here:  Jocole Quick Dress & Top

Happy Sewing,

gloria june

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oh Mickey Cheerleading Uniform by Cole's Creations

Its Game Day Season, do you have your Cheer on?!?

Cole's Corner and Creations' newest pattern, Oh Mickey Cheerleading Uniform in sizes 1/2 - 12 years, is ready for your sewing magic!  You can purchase the pattern here:  Crafty Shop or  Etsy Shop 
or enter to win this pattern FREE!
Keep reading for your chance to enter . . . .

This is a PDF pattern, available to you in digital format, instantly downloaded from Cole's Corner and Creations Craftsy or Etsy shop (links above).  
  • Sizes included are 1/2 - 12 years with a sizing chart to help you choose which measurements suit the size you will sew;
  • A list of materials is provided, detailing which type of fabric to purchase and stores that carry same (listed under "helpful hints" in the instructions) and guides to choose trims;
  • The option of using either Cheerleading Braid Trim (also listed under "helpful hints"). You can find some here: Yarrington Mills or Malouf's Fabrics; or use ribbons in various sizes (as I did) to create the look you want;
  • Printable appliques are included if you don't have an embroidery machine, with detailed instructions to prepare and then place them on your garment;
  • Sewing terms used in the instructions are defined for you;
  • Lots of fantastic photos are included for each step; 
  • 21 pages to print in color; and
  • Bonus "Cheer Bow" instruction included.
  • You can also purchase the 15" and 18" Oh Mickey Doll Uniform pattern in her shops.  

I had a fabulous time making these cheerleading uniforms during the testing phase.  The parents of the two little girls I had in mind to model are life-long LSU TIGER FANS!!  (Louisiana State University).  And, of course, I am as well . . .so it was easy to decide which team to honor as I shopped for ponte fabric, the suggested and customary fabric used for this type of garment.  

I ended up going to both JoAnn and Hancock Fabrics.  One had the purple on the shelves and the white in the return/leftover discount bins, the other had gold in store.  I suggest purchasing online if you know what you want in advance to avoid disappointment when running out to the local shops to pick up the popular team colors for your area.  

And both sizes I made were a perfect fit at kick-off!  Fiona & Abby are modeling sizes 8 and 6x (yes! 6x is included!!!).  

I made the Cheer Bows (it was included in the testing phase) and decided to attach them to headbands.  Cute!!

Yep, this photo of Abby above is my favorite of the photo shoot.  Special thanks to their mom Whitney, who drove through the pouring rain for the LSU game in Texas, girls and test garments in tow, and took pictures as soon as they arrived.  THANK YOU so much!

I didn't order cheer braid; instead, I used whatever ribbons I could find in my stash.  I laid out the ribbons on the front bodice and moved them around until I found the look I was going for.  I used Heat and Bond tape to adhere the ribbons on before sewing them down.  It worked wonderfully.

I used Tacky Spray to temporarily stabilize the embroidered overlay to the front bodice. Heat and Bond tape and Wonder Under Tape (smallest strips) to stabilize my ribbon design.

I also made a dress with a lightweight corduroy from my stash.  I wanted to see if you could get more use out of this pattern than just the uniform.   

And, you CAN!  I like this as a jumper to wear over a turtleneck or not . . . it all depends on what the weather is like in your neck of the woods.  And leggings would be oh so cute too!

Join Cole's Corner and Creations fans in her FaceBook sewing pattern group here:  Cole's Corner and Creations (FaceBook).  There, you can ask questions, show off your cheer uniforms and other creations from her patterns.  

and . . . . Cole's Corner has graciously offered to give away one Oh Mickey Cheerleading Uniform PDF pattern to my readers . . . . 

Enter here!  Giveaway ends Monday, September 15, 2014.
Good Luck!

Happy Sewing,

gloria june

Friday, September 5, 2014

Muffin Head “A League Of Their Own” Inspired Sewing Pattern

I love vintage, don't you? 

I recently tested the "Peaches" PDF sewing pattern for ladies by Muffin Head Patterns. Frances Twining, owner/designer, has a hint of vintage in all of her patterns. Her business FaceBook page describes her specialty as " . . . pdf sewing with vintage appeal. Our clothes are modest and retro, you won't find a bare back or plunging neckline here". She approaches pattern making with the consensus of many moms who feel that modesty can still be fashionable! 
Muffin Head Patterns are made for comfort and style, focusing on creating clothing patterns for girls sizes 2 – 16 and women's xs – 5x. 

Take a look at her website here: Patterns for purchase, size charts, and a blog for your reading and sewing pleasure!

Keep reading for a chance to win this pattern! Details Below!

First up, my version of the "Peaches" sewing pattern based on the uniforms worn by the actresses in "A League of Their Own"

Welcome the beautiful Gabrielle "Gabby" Champion, (or my gabby as I lovingly refer to my future daughter-in-law!!!). This is Gabby's first time modeling for me . . . she is a professional photographer and has a really fantastic professional camera . . . she let me take pictures for this shoot with her camera!!! Isn't she fun!

The pattern is well written and contains great instructions to help you through each step. Also included are instructions for a full bust adjustment and sleeve lengthening (get ready for fall/winter) as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this pattern!

Gabby didn't fret when the chickens came around . . . My chickens love to pose as well. I bought the hat at Hobby Lobby and used an embroidery file purchased from SewAmykins. You can find the embroidery file here: SewAmykins

I needed the embroidery file to fit a 5x7 hoop to look right on a ladies' blouse. Using my Pacesetter Software from Brother, I cut & pasted the scales to a new file. Increased the size by 50%. Then, back at the original file, I chose "fit to hoop" for the remaining items in the circular moniker. I then pasted the re-sized scales onto this file and voila, the perfect size for the women's uniform!

My son Joey will be sporting an outfit based on Tom Hank's uniform from the movie and BAM! Halloween is done (well, for the adults in my life anyway!). I'll be using this pattern from Simplicity, View A:

Next, I made the dress option for ME!!

Totally in love with the possibilities of this version! I chose the gathered skirt, but you can certainly use the A-Line version from Gabby's above. And I had some fun sunglasses I purchased this summer. This dress is made with fabrics from Hobby Lobby. Love how the combination I chose works!

I love scrunchy belts! This dress was designed to fit over your chest without the need for a side zipper, so there's a little bit more room in the waist. The pattern includes instructions to make a belt, but I just love the look and ease of a scrunchy belt so there ya go! If you are an advanced seamstress, you can tighten the waist and add in a line of snaps (for a real vintage design) or a side zipper.
Love the collar on this one! I joked with some friends with a little song . . .

"Look at me . . . I'm not Sandra Dee . . .
 Just call me Rizzo!"


My fellow magical sewing mistresses, are you thinking Halloween costumes yet?! This could be your answer . . . and still have fabulous outfits for the rest of the year . . . 


. . . Like a Fabulous Coat! Rain Coat for me!!!

Got wind of another sale at Hancock Fabrics and picked up some wonderful laminated cotton/rain coat fabric at . . . . $2.97 a yard!!!! I think this is my favorite way (SO FAR) that I have magically made this pattern FOR ME! What do you think?

Looks great over my little black dress, don't you think?

So ends another great week of testing . . . and new friends in the sewing groups. Great inspiration and magic of their own!

For you moms out there that want a version for your little girls, here's a link to those patterns in the shop: Size 2 - 8 (Rockford Inspired Uniform) and Size 10 - 16 (Rockford Inspired Uniform) and Sizes NB, 6m, 12m, 18m (Rockford Inspired Uniform). These patterns include a vintage dress version (front opening bodice as shown in my "Rizzo" photos.)

For you moms that want to make your versions of my visions above, the patterns can be found here: XS-XL Bundle and here XL-3XL bundle.


And for your chance to win a copy of the Ladies Peaches pattern I've sewn up . . . . . start here! 

Good luck!
Giveaway Ends at Midnight, CST, September 9, 2014


Happy Sewing!

gloria june