Friday, May 29, 2015

Teacher Gifts - Tote Bags

With the end of the year quickly approaching, I wanted to find something I could give to my childrens' teachers to say "Thank you." Our teachers do so much for our children and I want them to know how much they are appreciated. I really wanted to give them something handmade, but also something they would use and love. I came across this lovely tutorial for tote bags from the Purl Bee - tutorial here. It's called the Forty-Minute Tote and that sounded good to me, since, of course, I waited until the last minute to decide to make these.  She has several awesome-looking tote bag tutorials on her site, but I liked the look of this one because it looked pretty easy and simple, but still had some nice details, like the boxed bottom, lining and inner pocket.

I had a lot of scraps of home decor fabric laying around and I never know what to do with these fabrics. I don't sew that much home decor and, anyway, half a yard of home dec fabric can only do so much. So this was a perfect project for those fabrics.

Well, I have done a lot of sewing, but I have never made a bag before, so this simple project was a great start for me. I love the way they turned out. I made three bags, one for each of the girl's two preschool teachers, and one for my son's teacher.

I made very few changes to the pattern from the tutorial. I did finish all my seams with the serger, even though they are inside the lining. Also, I added a box stitch for extra strength where the webbing straps attach to the lining. Also, by the time I made the third one, I decided to lengthen the straps by two inches. But I think that's just a personal preference. 

 And here is what the inside looks like:

 They were pretty true to there name. They probably took me just over forty minutes each. Considering I had never made a bag before, that's not bad at all.

I hope the teachers love them. I thought they were something I would love to have so I think it makes a lovely gift.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lindy Petal Skirt - Free Pattern from Itch to Stitch

There is a new pattern releasing today from Itch to Stitch and it's free! The Lindy Petal Skirt is a fitted, knit pencil skirt that sits at the natural waist with overlapping panels in the front to give that cute petal shape. I got to test this lovely knit skirt and I can tell you how good it is. Well, first of all, did I say it's FREE! It's a full, top quality pattern and the price doesn't get any better. 

The pattern is from Itch to Stitch (aff*), the same one that brought you the $1 Idyllwild Dress and Tee pattern that I loved and I talked about in this post. I have been really impressed with this designer. Her patterns are thorough and well fitting. This pattern, even though it's free, includes size charts and a complete chart of finished measurements, guides for adjusting fit, and layers feature for printing only your size. The pattern is complete and thorough with all appropriate markings, grainline, stretch direction, notches, and lengthen/shorten line.

The pattern is easy to put together and quick to sew. You could easily make one up in an hour. I made my skirt according to my regular size, XS. My hip measurement fell between the XXS and XS, so I went with the upper size and I really like the fit. I used a cotton lycra knit fabric that was very stretchy but fairly heavy weight and I like the structure it gives the skirt. You could also use a fabric with more drape for a little bit different look. I also shortened mine by 2 inches according to instructions in the pattern because I am pretty short, at 5'2.

I love that you can wear this skirt dressed up or dressed down. It would work great at the office or on the weekend. Since I don't work in an office, I expect to be wearing mine with a t-shirt and flats or sandals most of the time. But it still looks really cute and put together while being very comfy.

 Check it out and download for free at Itch to Stitch (aff*).

 *This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. All opinions remain entirely my own. Besides, this pattern is free anyway, so I am not making anything of this one. Thanks for reading and for supporting my blog.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Monkey Bar Skirt - Skater Style

I made my girl another Monkey Bar skirt this week, but this time I mixed it up a little. Check out my last one here.

This time I used the same pattern pieces for the waistband and shorts, but I decided to change up the skirt a little bit. I didn't want to do the gathers this time. Partly because I just didn't want to do the gathering, cause I am lazy like that. But also because I was envisioning a more a-line style for this one. And since I plan on making a whole bunch of these for her to wear all summer, they might as well be a little different. So this time, I used the skirt from my Kitschy Coo girl's Skater Dress (find it here). It worked perfectly. You could, of course, use any other skirt pattern you like. You could use another skater skirt pattern, or an aline skirt, or make your own circle skirt pattern. (Click here for a useful tutorial on making your own circle skirt from Dana at Made). I used Kitshy Coo Skater dress skirt pattern piece in the same size (2) and it worked perfectly. I did shorten it a little after measuring where I wanted it to hit on my daughter and you can see there is still plenty of length.

And this time I got a picture of the shorts, too.

I love this variation and I can't wait to come up with more ways to use this free pattern.

Get the free pattern for the Monkey Bar skirt here.
I also made her t-shirt from my trusty Jalie 2805 t-shirt pattern.