I live in knits and dresses have quickly become my go-to for a quick, easy dressing choice. This dress, which is both made from a knit material and, obviously,a dress, just so happens to be one of my first successful clothing makes ever!
For the first projects in my capsule wardrobe experiment I wanted things that would be easy, functional, and versatile for my wardrobe. The cream knit fabric for this dress was purchased at my local Jo-Ann’s store and was meant to be used to make a wearable muslin version of this dress but it ended up turning out so well I have been wearing it as is! The pattern is a McCall’s “Learn to Sew for Fun” pattern, number m7313, and was specifically designed for the beginner clothes maker, making it perfect for me! I feel confident in my quilting and bag making skills but for some reason, making clothing has always challenged me, especially when it comes to getting the right fit.
I have been on a journey lately that I honestly thought that I never would be on. I have seen YouTube videos on minimalism, heard how AMAZING the Life Changing Magic Tidying Up is, and listened to friends rave all about how their life is so much more amazing now that they threw away all of their things but I honestly thought it was a load of crap, and part of me still does really, but I am coming around just the tiniest little bit. I am by no means a minimalist, and never intend to be, but I have been making a conscious effort to be much more intentional and frankly conscious about what I am allowing into my life and my home.
For me this journey started with letting go of certain people and relationships and removing a lot of the negativity in my life that way. This felt slightly isolating at first, I will admit, and at times it can still be hard but I think it is the best thing that I have ever done for my own health.
I think every one who loves to sew wishes they had more time to commit to it. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who creates anything really that doesn’t want more time to devote to their passion. For me obviously that passion is sewing but, as I have mentioned in about all of my previous posts, I have had really little time to dedicate to sewing lately.
When I do have time its really only in quick half-hour chunks or a quick few minutes in between all of the other things that I have to do on a daily basis. I shared a while back that I am in the process of making a quick, one block at a time, but repetition is never something that I have liked very much and I have found myself searching for other quick and easy projects that I can accomplish in a small amount of time. Five of these quick and easy projects have really stuck out to me and of course I just had to share them with you all as well! They are all projects that would be great for beginner as well so bonus points for that too!
A few weeks back I spent some time revisiting some of my favorite makes from back when I started sewing. I couldn’t help but think of a sampler quilt that was one of the first “large” products I made. Looking at it now, it really wasn’t very good (the points were off and the colors didn’t match) but I was so proud of it at the time. Nostalgia hit and I had the hankering to make another one so… I did. But smaller!
I followed this block- of-the-month pattern, using leftover HSTs from my quilt block machine cover. I loved the colors in that piece so much that I figured a little, matching quilt to hang on the wall in the sewing room that I will one day have couldn’t hurt.
The pattern is fairly simple and the whole thing took about two days to make and I love it just as much as I thought I would. Now to get working on that craft room!
Ever make a project that you are so pleased with that when it is done you just cant help but stare at it and smile? Because I just did! The project I am talking about of course is my new, beloved sewing machine cover for my always beloved sewing machine. It has slanted sides to fit snugly over the wide base of my Singer Curvy machine and the BEAUTIFUL (if I do say so myself..) quilting on the front just makes my heart happy every time I look at it.
The design of the cover is actually really simple, I mean it is just a lined, open, oddly shaped rectangle, but a sewing machine cover can do so much when it comes to streamlining the look of the space the machine occupies and protecting the machine. For me, my machine sits out on the desk directly across from the foot of my bed always. Living in a small apartment, there really is no other place for it and while I love the functionality of having it out and always ready to go, it doesn’t really fit with the polished, uncluttered feel I like to have in my living spaces.
A new year means that it is time for a new tutorial designed exclusively for Sew Uprising blog followers! Today’s tutorial is for one of my favorite quilt blocks to sew, a twisted four corner block. It is a very simple quilt block, using only HSTs and full squares in the design, and is quick and easy to piece. Put a bunch of them together, however, and I just love the clean, geometric pattern it creates!
I am a serious planner. I love developing a clear plan for what I am doing, where I am going, and how I am going to get there, no matter what my end goal is, whether it is a large scale project or my daily routine. It is a habit I have tried to kick before but now I am just embracing it as one of my many quirks. There is no use fighting who you really are right? So in the spirit of embracing my intense desire to over plan every aspect of my life, I sat down last week and planned the six sewing projects, some still rather vague and some very specific, that I want to accomplish most in 2017, and to help keep myself accountable I wanted to share them all with you too!
I am so excited for this new year and all of the projects it is going to bring! One of the big things on my to-do list this year was to make a sampler quilt and potentially even follow along with a block if the month type project in the process. I was going to wait until later in the year to accept to accomplish this but, being me, I was way too impatient and was itching to start working on it ASAP. I am forcing myself to know better than to commit to such a large project while I am still on the hunt for a new job. Instead I am commuting to a series of mini-projects, Mini Quilt’s of the Month!
When SewCanShe’s Mini Quilt of the Month post popped up on my Facebook feed I knew instantly that this would be a great compromise to my uncontrollable desire for a big project and my very real lack of of time. It helped that I had a stack of fat quarters that I had collected on my travels last summer sitting on the top of my stash, just begging to be worked into a project and it was breaking my heart to be letting them just sit there. I am hoping that I will have enough fabric to create most, if not all, of these little beauties throughout the year from that fabric so that I will end with a beautiful, matching set to display in the sewing room that I will one day possess.
With 2016 wrapping up, I am so grateful to have gotten back into sewing and to be able to share my love of sewing here on Sew Uprising. If you haven’t read my about page (Which you really should, click “get started” at the top to find it!!) you will know that through most of my time in college I was living in places that had no room for sewing or sewing supplies and I really didn’t even have the time to devote to sewing. Since moving away from my campus this last spring, however I now have a little more wriggle room and sewing room, although not still too much, and it took me no time at all to bring my sewing machine and all of my supplies up to my new home.
Throughout the last six months in my new apartment I have fallen in love with sewing all over again and I am truly excited to see where my sewing journey brings me in 2017! I didn’t even realize how much i missed creating until I was able to sew again. It really is a part of me and I have made so many amazing things in 2016. From bags, to quilts, dresses and home decor items I have had a very productive 2016 (which you will see more of in the upcoming months when I finally get around to photographing my projects.
There is something about a great tote bag that makes me unbelievably happy. I have a great love of carrying them, filling them, and even sewing them, although sewing a tote bag can sometimes be a process in and of itself. Life has been so crazy busy lately that when I was looking for a somewhat quick tote bag project to make, I immediately though of the Sew Sweetness Tudor bag, a pattern that has been on my sewing to-make list for quite a while.
I loved how classic the lines of this bag were, the relative easiness of the construction, and just how practical and versatile the finished bag could be. And now that the bag is done I love all of those things even more!
I chose to use the adjustable strap and zippered closure options in my bag but the pattern also has options for snap closures and many other features that make it truly easy to make a bug that what works for you. As for the fabric, the flowered printed fabric that I used for the bag accents is a replica of one of my most favorite Lilly Pulitzer patterns and was purchased at Hobby Lobby and the two grey prints are both from the Quilter’s Showcase line at Joann’s. They were all very inexpensive fabrics but I loved how they looked together and the finished feel they give the bag: light, happy, preppy, modern, and put together.