Month: July 2015 Sassy Southern Sewing Day 2

Sewing School: Day 2 with Trisha Smith

{Sassy Southern Sewing 2015}

Another day of Trisha Smith class at Sassy Southern Sewing School.  It was a day of learning new skills, sewing a dress in yummy fabric, enjoying delicious lunch and dinner, meeting more sewing ladies, filling my bag with swag, and shopping the vendors.  For its first year, this sewing conference has not disappointed.  While I am tired from concentrating on sewing all day, I am feeling good about my time here. Sassy Southern Sewing Day 2

In class today, we worked on the Peg Pocket Dress by Trisha Smith.  The dress has a buttoned double-breasted bodice, a buttoned back, gathered skirts, and the best pockets in the front for my girlie to fill with goodies.  The pockets are made by cutting open a half circle and then adding pleats to the sides to make the pockets puff out the front – just darling!  The fabric Trisha selected for the project is a bright and cheery print coordinated with a coral solid and the hot yellow gingham.  The dress offers so many new techniques for me including a back skirt placket, matching fabric prints, covered buttons, and corded piping.  Even though I didn’t complete sewing the dress today, I learned and practiced many skills. Sassy Southern Sewing School Sassy Southern Sewing Day 2 Sassy Southern Sewing Day 2

Same as Day 1, Trisha shared her wisdom with us.  Today I counted 8 new lessons from her – I am just saying that if you want to improve your sewing technique, take a class from a proven expert like Trisha.  There is so many tips and tricks that I have picked up in only 2 days that will advance my sewing overall.  Whether my project is a quick skirt or T-shirt that takes little expertise or a couture garment that requires hours of commitment, what I have learned here at Sassy Southern Sewing will improve my project.  But I digress….. I don’t want to share all of her ‘wizardry’ here (like her Perfectly-Puckerless-Placket) , but today’s best lessons from Trisha are:

1 – Use glue stick to adhere fabric to button cap before shoving in the rubber button maker… it holds the fabric in place to make smoother gather for sealing the button bottom on (my explanation is tough to follow – see the picture) Sassy Southern Sewing School

2 – Check the fold of the fabric from being on the bolt to know the front verses the back of the fabric… this is useful for solids that look the same on the front and back

3 – Hold up tissue paper patterns with removable tape, available in office supplies… the tape will not tear the tissue paper, will not damage window or walls, but will hold up those patterns for tracing and drawing – pure awesomeness!

Examples of clothes from Trisha’s Treasures patterns: Sassy Southern Sewing Day 2 Sassy Southern Sewing Day 2

Tomorrow we will be working on an heirloom dress.  This will be a first for me… can’t wait! Sassy Southern Sewing School

Sewing School: Day 1 with Trisha Smith

{Sassy Southern Sewing 2015}

Today I attended my first day of classes at Sassy Southern Sewing School.  This is their inaugural year, and it’s off to a fabulous start.  The team of ladies responsible for creating this week of sewing have invested their hearts into this event – and it shows.  They have worked out every detail to ensure that we make precious handmades and memories.  I am talking about every detail… the location and classrooms, the expert instructors, the luncheon and afternoon snacks, the first night reception with hors d’oeuvres & drinks, and the Sassy Southern Sewing ladies that have such charm.  Mrs. B expressed the passion that these ladies feel for what they are ‘building’ here in her heart-warming welcome to us all at lunch today. Sassy Southern Sewing School

I am sewing 3 heirloom dresses for my daughter this week with Trisha Smith – the Lilacs in Spring Dress, Peg Pocket Dress, and the Perfectly Puffed Heirloom Dress. Sassy Southern Sewing School

The sewing school day started early this morning, and lasted all day.  My class spent the morning tracing the pattern, cutting the pieces, and making baby piping.  After a lovely lunch hosted by the Sassy Southern Sewing ladies, we worked on stitching the bodice pieces together.  The class day ended with a rush of Trisha showing us how to complete the pleated and gathered skirt.  Wow, what a whirlwind of a day.  I was the first in the classroom this morning, and was the last to leave the room this afternoon.  I want to soak up every moment with Trisha and our sewing helper Lisa.  I can’t get enough of this opportunity this week.

(this is my classroom seat – prime location!) Sassy Southern Sewing School

If you have the chance to take a Trisha Smith class, take it!  Besides ‘building’ one of her dresses, we practiced sewing baby piping, straightening fabric to the grain line, constructing a round collar, assembling the “Cut, Fold, & Sew” skirt placket (invented by Trisha!), pleating a skirt, and ruching a sash.  Best of all, Trisha shared invaluable tips with us today.  In the 8-or-so hours spent with her today, I have these 6 sewing tips to take home with me.

1 – Press trim and piping with an iron in a curved shape before adding to a round edge… it sets the shape into the embellishment for easier placement… no more fighting on a curved collar

2 – Use the Groovin’ Piping Trim Tool to cut piping made from bias strips into the perfect trim… DANG! if you make your own piping trim, you need this!!! Sassy Southern Sewing School

3 – Use Roxanne Water Soluable Glue for perfect placement of trims and embellishment – I love my Wonder Tape (see HERE) but this glue stuff works even better in hard to place areas like the round collar we made today.

4 – Snip the corners of fabric before pre-washing to prevent most of the fraying… WHAT??? I don’t have to serger every cut edge first… ah, freedom 🙂

5 – Pull bias fabric strip gently to find the front from the back… I know, sounds odd, but the side that curls when pulled is the wrong side… this is perfect for those twills and ginghams that look the same on the front and back.

6 – Tip your sewing machine slightly forward with 1/2″ to 1″ with chair floor guards placed under the back to help see what you are sewing… this could solve my shoulder pains?

(this is how my baby piping got made) Sassy Southern Sewing School

It was just a great day today.  I met Trisha Smith, Mrs. B and the team of Sassy-Superstars.  I sewed on a fresh out of the box Janome (sewing school sponsor!).  I stitched up a dress for my girlie.  I learned many new tricks and skills.  AND I get to do it again tomorrow. Milk Money Pouch

Back to School Zipper Pouch

{S is for Sewing e-book, featuring the Milk Money Pouch}

I’m back with another goodie from the Sewing With Boys latest e-book.  This is a zippered pouch perfect for those boys to carry their milk money to school.  Or it could be used to carry notes for the teachers, or little erasers, or a pencil sharpener, or a bike lock key — so many options.  And you know how much the kids like a little pouch to carry their specials.  The pouch is sized 3″ by 4″, but can be made in any size really.  And is a super quick sew!  So quick, I timed myself making 5 pouches for all the little guys. Milk Money Pouch

The S is for Sewing e-book is available now HERE.  It features 4 full patterns (see the Quad T-Shirts for my little cousin HERE), plus plenty of extras.  One of the extras is the Milk Money Pouch.  It is a fully lined zippered pouch with options to customize with coordinating ribbons, bias, and multiple fabrics.  I followed the pattern instructions exactly and found them to be easy to follow such that I completed 5 pouches (except for stitching closed the inside bottom, because I forgot about that step) in less than 2 hours.

Working with a variety of fabrics sources, including my scrap drawer, a charm pack, and my overflowing stash closet, I selected coordinating fabrics for the 5 pouches. Milk Money Pouch

Milk Money Pouch #1 is from a charm pack that hasn’t made it to a quilt yet.  The zipper matched perfectly – it was meant to be.  While the charm pack size is larger than the pattern specified, it still worked just fine.  As long as you cut the 2 outside pieces and the 2 inside pieces the same size, you can make any size pouch following the pattern instructions. Milk Money Pouch

Next is a Milk Money Pouch is in scraps from my little cousin’s romper made last year.  Those cute frogs, monkeys, and puppies are adorable.  This little zippered pouch will be sent to him. Milk Money Pouch

It’s a Milk Money Pouch.  Or to my son, it’s a lunch money pouch to carry the check that we still write to fill his account for the lunch line.  He is going to be in the 5th grade.  Nothing says 5th grade boy better than chicken wings and Ritz crackers.  So this is his zippered pouch. Milk Money Pouch

The Milk Money Pouch pattern is from the creative team at Sewing With Boys, so I wanted to keep with the boy theme.  That means the next Milk Money Pouch is baseball! Milk Money Pouch

Taking clues from the Back to School e-book, I present the 5th Milk Money Pouch in  science fabrics inspired by a bright kid at the dance studio who likes all things science. Milk Money Pouch

Now… I am ready to cut the pieces for the pouches.  I completed in 31 minutes!  Yes, 5 zippered pouches cut in 31 minutes – including having to move the cat at least 3x off the fabric. Milk Money Pouch Milk Money Pouch Milk Money Pouch

For me, the most time consuming step making a zippered pouch (or a zippered anything for that matter) is installing the zipper.  My “Make It Easy” trick for installing a zipper is Wonder Tape.  I used to keep an emergency pacifier hidden in the cabinet when my kiddos were babies… now I keep an emergency roll of Wonder Tape.  I don’t ever want to run out of this stuff.  It makes sewing a zipper easy!!! Milk Money Pouch Milk Money Pouch

And to personalize the zippered pouches, I added my From-a-Box label to the lining fabric before assembling the edges. Milk Money Pouch

So, how long did it take my to sew all 5 Milk Money Pouches??? Milk Money Pouch

In total, 2 hours of work for 5 cute and gift’able zippered pouches.  I think that is pretty good especially when you look at the results!!!  It’s a great pattern, and definitely a pattern that will be used again.  I have 5 girls that each want a zippered pouch too. Milk Money Pouch

To see more about Sewing With Boys e-book called “S is for Sewing” and to see other items made from the patterns, visit the SWB site HERE. QuadTShirt

Quad T-Shirts for a Boy

{S is for Sewing e-book, featuring the Quadrilateral T-shirt}

The seamstresses at Sewing With Boys have released their second e-book that focuses on back to school – which thankfully for me is only a few weeks away.  The complete bundle is 4 full patterns, inspiring articles, and some extra goodies.  And best of all, it’s made for BOYS.  You know, those kids that don’t like the ruffles and bows and cutesy buttons that we like as embellishments on our handmades.  The Sewing With Boys’ speciality is making it fun to sew for our little guys, while making it fun for our little guys to wear what we make.  S is for Sewing is the latest e-book that does just that.  I stitched up 4 shirts for my 2 year old cousin using the Quadilateral T-shirt pattern that is one of 4 patterns available in the e-book bundle. QuadTShirt QuadTShirt QuadTShirt QuadTShirt

The t-shirt PDF pattern comes in sizes XXS-L (2/3-10/12).  It is made in knit fabrics with binding at the neck and the sleeves.  The special feature for our guys is the little pocket right in the front to hold their small treasures.  The casual fit and asymmetrical design works well for the boys.  And while I am here to promote sewing for the boys, this t-shirt would be just as awesome for our girls too! QuadTShirt QuadTShirt QuadTShirt

Because the t-shirt pattern is called the Quad T, I interpreted that to mean I should stitch up 4 shirts for my little cousin.  So, that is what I did stretching one of my favorite fabric lines to mix and match the prints with solids.  The print fabrics are organic knits from Serengeti by Birch Fabrics.  The elephants, birds, and giraffes are just TOO CUTE!  By mixing the prints and adding the solid knits, I think I still have enough for another project coming soon.

{See my Baby Mitts and Hats project in the Serengeti knit fabric by Birch HERE} QuadTShirt QuadTShirt QuadTShirt QuadTShirt

Also to mix up the 4 t-shirts, I made 2 shirts with sleeve bindings and 2 with hemmed sleeves.  And then 2 shirts with pockets and 2 shirts without pockets.  I wanted each shirt to be unique and show off the Quad Tee pattern at its best.  Which speaking of the pattern… I found the instructions to be well written and simple to follow with drawings, fitting explanations, and printing and assembling instructions.  The pattern suggests upcycling adult t-shirts for the Quad Tee.  I think that would make some great looking shirts for the little guys. QuadTShirt

For all the back to school inspiration (remember, it includes 4 full patterns), the S is for Sewing e-book is available HERE.  And see all of the awesome-ness, as well as share your own creations on the FB group at Sewing With Boys Fan Group. QuadTShirt Peasant Dress in 3 Ways

Peasant Dress in 3 Ways

Why not stitch up a favorite pattern in multiple styles?  Most patterns offer so many options to create different looks.  Change the length of the sleeves, lengthen or shorten the dress or top, make up shorts or pants, or even capris, add color blocking with fabrics, try various fabric weights – oh so many options from 1 pattern.

This month, Bethany of Sew-Not-Perfect blog, challenged us to use 1 pattern in 3 ways.  My answer to the challenge is a simple peasant dress in 3 ways.  I used the Portrait Peasant pattern by Scientific Seamstress.  After you check out my 1 Pattern in 3 Ways, you can join the challenge at the Link Up party HERE.  And like any good blog tour, there is a give away HERE.

Presenting, my Peasant Dresses… leave a comment to tell me which one is your fave. Peasant Dress in 3 Ways

First, a peasant dress with TONS of ruffles… I love ruffles!  This is the Rhumba Style from the Portrait Peasant pattern by Scientific Seamstress with ‘elbow’ sleeves and an extra wide ruffle on the cuff to match the dress ruffles.  I included the ruffles around the neckline as well. Peasant Dress in 3 Ways Peasant Dress in 3 Ways

Next is a traditional style peasant dress using FABULOUS coordinating fabrics.  This one is my girlie’s favorite of the 3 ways. Peasant Dress in 3 Ways Peasant Dress in 3 Ways Peasant Dress in 3 Ways

And last is my favorite.  Here I made a peasant top but color blocked a band at the bottom in the red plaid.  I LOVE everything about this outfit!  the fabric colors!  the peasant style!  the matching plaid shorts!  just everything… Peasant Dress in 3 Ways Peasant Dress in 3 Ways Peasant Dress in 3 Ways

Need more inspiration?  Check out the full blog tour at the following links – ENJOY!


July 14      Sew Starly
July 17      From-a-box
July 21      create 3.5
July 24      Rebel & Malice
July 28      Sew-Not-Perfect
July 31      Lulu & Celeste
Aug 04      Bee Quilted Beauties
Aug 07      Hattilu Handmade

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