Supertote in Anna Maria’s Ghostwing

The Supertote by Noodlehead is as super as you’ve heard!!  This is my first time using one of her patterns, and it definitely lived up to the reputation – quite thorough with nice details that make the bag special and functional.  I actually made this bag as part of a class at a local shop – SEWN Studio.  It was nice to have dedicated sewing time, especially for an intricate project like this.  I learned some great tips along the way from our instructor and tried some new skills such as making piping and installing a recessed zipper.  


My main fabric is the gorgeous Ghost Wing print by Anna Maria Horner.  It is a linen-cotton blend and the colors are just amazing.  For the gusset, I used a dark denim from my stash. I have seen some nice versions of the Supertote using Ghost Wing and a natural linen, which i contemplated.  In the end i went with the darker denim so the bag could be a little less fussy (read:  not as prone to picking up dirt).  The dotty lining is from Kaffe Fassett and I found it locally at Silk Road Textiles.

I don’t really enjoy making straps and wanted something sturdy, so I picked up some jute webbing.  Because I was only a day or two away from the scheduled class, I found this at Hancock in the upholstery section.  Next time I will shop online where it is much, much less expensive.  

The denim gusset was actually a redo.  Initially, I used a light brown linen-blend and just didn’t love it.  I doubted it all along the way, and only decided to start over once the gusset was fully attached.  Of course…  I should have listened to my gut sooner.  I used one of the aforementioned tips learned during my class to rip the seams  – my husband’s hair clippers ripped the seam right out.  Have you tried this?  Amazing!  Fast! And he didn’t know the difference after I blew away the lint 😉

I followed the pattern closely, but added just a couple of variations.  I divided the inner pockets – one into two sections (large enough to fit diapers and wipes) and one into three sections (great for smaller items).  I added an additional hidden pocket to the large outside pocket.  It’s a small slip pocket near the top to hold my phone.  I’m so glad I did. This bag is so large, I would never find my phone!  I may add a clip for my keys for the same reason. 

Initially, due to its size, I didn’t anticipate carrying this bag as my main purse/tote, but I have.  It is large, yes, but not bulky at all.  And it holds everything I need – regular purse stuff, plus my water bottle, toddler supplies, book, mail, etc.  A magazine slips perfectly in the outside pocket.  

I’ve carried this bag for over a month and have been happy.  I will add a key clip as mentioned.  One thing I will pay closer attention to next time is slightly increasing the size of the lining (top to bottom dimension).  I seemed to have sewn it slightly smaller than the outer bag.  When the bag is loaded up, the top of the bag sort of pulls inward as you can hopefully see in the photo below.   Adding a little length should solve that issue.

Next up, I plan to make a slightly downsized Supertote with a cross-body strap for my 9-year old.  


Prefontaine Shorts for my girls

This summer, I made two pairs of Prefontaine Shorts by Made by Moxie. I bought this pattern as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel.   This is such an easy pattern to sew up, with big results.  Love these shorts.  The shorts are bound with strips of t-shirts. Genius!  Cutting and applying the binding was so easy.  I immediately starting thinking of other applications.

Girls Prefontaine shorts by Made by Moxie

 This floral pair is one of the Briar Rose prints from Heather Ross.  This is the smallest size and fit my almost 2-yr old perfectly.  The teal pair are for my oldest daughter.  The fabric is upcycled from an old summer dress of mine and is the softest cotton.  Both pairs received alot of wear this summer.

And the pockets are a hit with the toddler set!

Pea Pod Baby Carrier

How cute is this Pea Pod Baby Carrier that I made last fall?  It is a free pattern by Sascha Romeo featured on sewmamasew in 2010. The Pea Pod is designed to carry an older baby on the hip. This was easy to sew and a fast make – my favorite kind!
The fabrics are both home dec weight from IKEA. I’ve had that grey print since I first saw it popping up in bags and other makes on the interwebs a year or so ago. I love the burst of white and like the corner placement I chose on the carrier.
I didn’t have fusible fleece on hand so I just used some warm and natural batting and added the random quilting lines to secure it to the orange lining piece. The buckles were ordered online from Strapworks
This orange and grey combination makes me happy :-) . I haven’t used the colors together before but after i made this realized I have several things pinned with this combination. And I recall watching a Tennessee Vols football game recently and admiring their orange and grey uniforms. It’s what you notice when you watch football, isn’t it? Use of color and pattern and……
 My baby is 14 months in the photo. The fit is nice for her and comfortable for me.


BBB Pants in Giraffe Fleece

Earlier this year, I made another pair of Rae’s Big Butt Baby Pants. These are done in fleece from my stash. These are my third pair of BBBs. The pattern sews up quickly and is perfect for fun kid prints.

These were cut in the 12 month size, but in the spring they were too large for my nephew …and now that fall weather is approaching and the boy is growing, the pants are likely too small! In an attempt to make them still wearable, I cut off the bottom hems and added the 3 inch gray bands to the legs.

How cute is this giraffe??!

The Crepe

So. I didn’t quite adhere to Gertie’s Crepe Sewalong schedule. I started with Gertie in December….and finished nearly eight months later. I just didn’t want to rush things…or more accurately, I am a procrastinator who allowed the near-finished dress to hang on my dressform for months because I hate hemming. The pattern is the Crepe by Colette Patterns. My fashion fabric is a medium-weight cotton purchased from Denver Fabrics online (still available here). The navy and cream cross-hatch pattern is set on the diagonal and is incredibly flattering and wearable. I underlined the entire dress with a navy cotton batiste to add body and opaqueness to the dress.
Along the way, I made a few adjustments to the construction to make the dress my own and suit my personal style. The simplest alteration was adding length to the ties (about 6 inches) so that I could tie them in front rather than back. I knew that a back bow wasn’t my style necessarily and would not allow me to add a cardigan on top. I also removed the curve from the sweetheart neckline. Finally, I cut about 3 1/2 inches from the skirt length for a knee-length hem.
I hesitated adding the pockets concerned about adding bulk in the hip area, but they really are *essential* to making this a great dress. I love them…not that you can tell from my so-so expression in the picture!
Fitting the bodice of my Crepe was a long process. My first issue was that I just started with the wrong size. I cut my first bodice muslin as a 10 and quickly realized my mistake. Next I cut an 8 and still made many adjustments. Some of my adjustments were apparently lost during transfer to my pattern, because once the fashion fabric was cut and the bodice sewn, there were still significant fit issues to overcome. At that point, in my head, I heard Tim Gunn saying “make it work”… and that I did. I just started pinching and tucking the excess fabric and realized I could carry those tucks directly into the line of the sleeves (on both the bodice front and back) creating a more flattering sleeve shape in the process. An unorthodox method, but it somehow worked for me! With the busy fabric it is difficult to see what I did, so I will take some detailed pictures another day and show the adjustments.
The new sleeve shape and neckline is much more flattering for me.

I love the finished look that the underlining adds. This was my first time following the steps of a sewalong and I learned some great techniques, such as underlining and using silk organza to stabilize the neckline. Because I enjoyed Gertie’s instruction, I recently purchased her online Perfect Fit Bombshell Dress class on Craftsy.

Simple Skirt in Madras

A month or so ago, I whipped up a skirt for my daughter using Dana’s Simple Skirt tutorial. The fabric is a super-soft madras I scored on clearance at Hancock for $2/yard.

Elastic waist skirts are a nice instant-gratification project. And so easy for little girls to wear in summer.

I addded a 3 inch ruffle hem. Since I cut the fabric on the bias, I kept the edges raw so they would fray nicely after washing. Easy. Cute. Done.

A Simple Summer Top :: McCalls 5388

McCalls 5388 is my one entry in Rae’s Spring Top Sewalong for 2011. I had grand plans to put some of my fabric and patterns to use, but found no time for execution! The fabric is a cotton lawn I picked up in Joann’s red tag area for $1/yard a couple of years ago. It is quite light and soft and will make for a cool, breezy top in the summer heat.

The pattern is straightforward. I sewed View C but skipped the ruffles, so the top is really quite simple. For the back, I cut two pieces to allow for a swayback adjustment. (Sorry, no rearview pics; my 5 year old photographer only snapped a few at my request. Note, having a shorty take your photos is not flattering for the ol’ double chin….) If you are planning to sew one of these up, know that the neckline is as low as the pattern envelope photo shows. I cut a size 10 (and wear an 8 in RTW clothing), but once finished I realized I should have cut a smaller size since the front was falling foward and exposing quite a bit when bent over. Since I had already bound the armhole and shoulder seams in bias tape, I did not want to pick the seams apart. Instead, I took vertical tuck in the center of the front yoke. (Later, I will add a close-up photo to show this.) With the gathered bodice, the tuck blends right in. The final fit is much better with the small adjustment.