Valentine’s Day….you either love it or you hate it. As kids we give all our friends valentines and it’s really exciting. As an adult, it becomes more about a significant other. And then you become a mom…..
To me, it’s a day about love. Whether it’s your significant other, best friend, child, parent/s, or pet….it all comes down to love.There is nothing better than having someone show that they care. For the most part, we all love to feel “loved” and “wanted”.
I was going to write about HTV’s but honestly, y’all probably know more than me. I’m kind of late to the game. Any thought I have that I’d like to put out there, most likely isn’t appropriate. However, now I’m a mom, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon.
Phee Fabrics now has cutfiles on the site. This “Best Friends” cutfile is perfect!I’m so in love with our matching shirts. You can get it here https://pheefabrics.com/best-friends-valentine/ I used the cherry rayon spandex. Here’s the link https://pheefabrics.com/cherry-rayon-spandex/I’m also in love with the fabric. The color is gorgeous and the fabric is to die for. Soft, thick (13 oz), and it doesn’t stretch out as you wear it. Also, it’s made in the U.S.A.And it’s great for HTV! Go check out all the new amazing fabric, lace, notions, and cutfile listings! Phee has you covered with great supplies to make the best gifts for all your “valentines”.
While it’s a few weeks early, I’m celebrating all the amazing people I have in my life, especially this little firecracker here. She may look just like her daddy, she acts just like me!Happy Valentine’s everyone!!!
Another holiday season has come and gone and now the post holiday lull…but it always seems short lived. We are always rushing – to school, work, the gym, grocery store. Rushing to start a project and then rushing to finish. After December and what felt like non-stop rushing, I vowed to try and be more present. I admit, it’s not easy. We live in a fast paced world and we are constantly “on.” So when I realized that Valentine’s was just around the corner, I started to panic! “I need to make something!” “And something for Dante!” “And finish the other 9 projects from last month!”
So much for the lull! But I remembered my decision to slow down. And now was the exact moment. I did want to sew, but did not want to just make something for the sake of crossing off my list. I wanted to create something that I would enjoy making and wearing, without rushing!
My first thought was that I wanted something that made me feel “sexy” – it is Valentine’s Day after all and while it does not have to be lingerie, I want something that makes me feel great! So off to Pinterest I went (or even better, to my amazing Pinspiration finding friend, Whitney!) As soon as I saw this picture I knew I had to recreate it – comfy, a bit polished and super cute! Added bonus for me was that it didn’t scream “VALENTINE’S DAY!”
I also wanted comfort (I always want comfort in my clothes, lets be real!) – from fabric that felt good on my skin in a style I would enjoy wearing all the time. So of course I knew exactly the fabric, Phee Fabrics rayon spandex, easy to wear and washes up perfectly every time! There is a ton of rayon spandex out there, and I know I have written about it before, in my first blog post, but Phee’s is in a class all of its own! Let’s not forget all of the color options – right on trend, allowing me to build a wardrobe.
Full confession – I don’t really like raglans! GASP! BLASPHEMY! FOR SHAME! I’m not even really sure why I don’t like them, but I decided to try the Runway Raglan from Petite Stitchery & Co. since it has some insert detail at the shoulder and even a V shape color-block sleeve option (I will definitely try them out soon!) This is the Cherry Rayon Spandex with an inch added to the sleeves for my long arms.
For the joggers I wanted to use a more slim fit pattern and the Brassie Joggers from Greenstyle Creations were perfect. I added 3 inch elastic in the cuffs by serging it in the round (pictures below). This way I could push them down or pull the cuff up a little and they would stay put and keep the shape like some RTW I have seen. And guys, this is the first time I have ever used my coveted Phee rayon spandex for bottoms and I have no idea why!?! These pants are the definition of comfort!
For the cuff, I tried it first on my regular machine, but it is too structured to pass under the presser foot all the way for 3 inches. Instead, I created a center crease on the fabric by folding the long, wrong sides together of the cuff. I lined up one long edge of the elastic to the fold and turned the fabric and elastic into a tube, right sides of the fabric together and elastic wrapped around that. Next, I serged along the short end being sure to catch the elastic in the seam. Turn the fabric right side out encasing the elastic. The seam is a little bulky, but does not bother me when I am wearing them at all.
Thinking about being present and taking my time, both of these projects took me about 3 hours just to sew (plus time to cut patterns and fabric). Usually I would have sewn them both up in half the amount of time, but I wanted to go slow and be present. I used Stay tape on the pocket, wash away hem tape on the shirt, top stitching on the neck band, pressing seams as I sewed and adding in the wide elastic for the cuffs.
And then a little fun with vinyl from a free font I found (I just stretched it to fit and look as close to the Pinspiration)
All of these details took the outfit from “sweats and a raglan” to “feelin’ fierce!”
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Have you ever lost your “sewjo”? You know, where you have all the fabrics, all the patterns, even the time but nothing is feeling right and the harder you try to push forward to feel like you’ve accomplished even a simple, single task the harder the universe sits you flat on your ass and laughs? I’ve recently had some health issues and life/family/work continued to happen. I know, you totally want this to read like How Stella Got Her Groove back and maybe it does but without the First-Class vacay to Jamaica, way less sex and plenty of reminders about life/family/work responsibilities
I’ve had my eyes set on the Trish Newbery Beach Comber Tee for a while now and after feeling all of the Rayon Spandex I’ve had hoarded from Phee it all came together that these two needed to become one. So I went to order the pattern … the Universe laughed and for whatever reason my PayPal won’t let me purchase the pattern after multiple tries so I contact the designer. After contacting PP she has no answers but with the New Year holiday coming (and me wanting to make this shirt while I had the time) she send me the file and says to catch up with her after the holiday. (Awesome customer service and fast response!!!)
You would think at this point with my fabric carefully prepped and my pattern printed (large format even!) things would just happen. Nope – Universe laughs again. I have to have surgery to remove my Gallbladder. Afterwards I couldn’t even sit up in bed so cutting fabric on the floor or sitting at a sewing table was out of the question! And my serger was starting to show blade dulling! And my local shop was 2 weeks plus for a service! The disappointment and frustration had really built at this point. Tired and sore, I take my machine in and try not to feel complete defeat.
As I continued to heal I kept looking at my table, my pattern, my fabric and thinking, “Maybe if I clean and declutter here a bit I will feel better”. It worked! I was able to stand and cut my pattern and fabric before the mom and work duties called requiring me to set it all aside. I didn’t even have my machine back yet so I was fine walking away; it was kind of an aimless project at this point.
I think this was when Melissa asked for some vinyl application ideas for her fabrics and I stalked Pinterest for pocket embellishment. Since this was a tee with a pocket I couldn’t help but think how cute a pocket critter would be? Then I came across the most majestic cat I had ever seen. Well, you can see why; he might as well be my spirit animal! After all that had happened up to this moment, I feel he had the right attitude.
I FINISHED IT!!! But there’s even more to the story of this shirt. Yep, all sewn, hemmed, threads snipped, vinyl applied … and I feared I had scorched my fabric due to using my heat press with inexperience. I waited 48 hours and said a little prayer that the Universe wouldn’t laugh again. It did. After washing on gentle and tumble drying low, inside out, playing by all the rules, I pulled my shirt out of the dryer and with excitement the shine I was terrified was scorch was gone! Aaand my vinyl had peeled. After dialing both my temperature and time back on the press instead of following the vinyl guidelines I didn’t get a good stick. In case you ever need to know – you can REPRESS vinyl that peeled due to not enough heat or pressure and it will re-stick. You’re welcome! Things had finally come together and I felt confident enough to share this make with you.
I recently had a quote cross my feed and I really believe in this one: “The best way to get things done is to begin”. This shirt was a struggle from the get go and it was all in my head. I felt like everything was against me and once I stepped back, bit off smaller bites of what seemed like a daunting project, and let things flow together, it all worked out. I had come to a crafters’ block and letting this shirt guide me through such a hard time relaxed me and I feel like tackling a new project. It even challenged me to try my heat press! I know I like control (and a lot of it) but sometimes, it not what we need. Happy sewing!
Lately I have been obsessed with the Calvin Klein elastic branding on their briefs, their performance wear, well anything! I think it is because of all the 90’s trends going around. I have actually not been a fan of logo since Jessica Simpson and her colorful LV’s haha! So why not make my own?
With Melissa’s permission [Boss Lady at Phee Fabrics], I decided to start with a version inspired by Calvin’s print lettering, with Phee’s name. I have a lot of projects in mind to use a waistband like this on and settled on an athletic outfit for myself.
I wanted a very basic sports bra with a racer back. Something a little more masculine than the strappier version I am also dying to try. When I was searching the Jalie Pattern site I came across their Crop Tops and Gym Shorts Pattern. It was exactly what I had been looking for except the waistband was too skinny. [Yay! I love any excuse to hack and make a pattern my own.]
For the fabric I decided on Nylon Spandex. I love this fabric so much that I was inspired to make it reversible especially after I pre-read the instructions and realized how easy it would be to do with knit binding. Another bonus that comes with making this sports bra in Nylon Spandex is that it can double as swim. That is four tops in one, giving me two sports bras and two swim tops!
In addition to fashion fabrics I decided to add in the optional lining layer. For this the obvious choice was Powernet. I mean it is a sports bra and the purpose is support right? None of my sports bra’s ever goes without Powernet! I also chose Nude because the background of my print is White.
If you have not ever worked with Powernet I strongly suggest you purchase some to have on hand. It works for so many different things. Did you read Debora’s blog last week about her Greenstyle Sports Bra hack? Best Powernet trick ever!
Making the Crop Top Sports Bra Reversible
Once I cut out all my pieces I simply cut a second front and back in a different fashion fabric. Once the Powernet was basted on and the shoulder and side seams were sewn, I attached the two sports bras wrong sides together. Then basted the neck, arm and waist. Making this one solid piece by basting will make it much easier to work with.
The sports bra also called for fold over elastic to finish the neckline, arm and waistband. I personally always like to make my own out of coordinating fabrics and add elastic inside if needed. I did not add any elastic in this garment.
I chose the White Circular Knit as a coordinate because it matched both fashion fabrics and gave each side a totally different look. I cut the binding 1 6/8 inches wide by the length indicated on the “Elastics Length” Chart. This measurement gave me a finished 5/8 inch binding with 1/4 inch seam allowances. I then attached it with the same method you would attach fold over elastic or knit binding.
When top-stitching my binding I sewed as close as I could to the edge while still catching both sides of the fabrics. This can be very intimidating to execute beautifully on the underside but as long as you take the extra time to measure and pin it will all work out in the end.
Creating a wider waistband for the Crop Top Sports Bra
This was actually a very simple hack. I found the waistband on the shorts to be the exact width I was hoping for, so I cut two. Then I adjusted the length of the second waistband to the same length indicated on the “Elastics Length” chart.
Creating HTV Calvin inspired logo/ lettering
After I finished creating my waistbands I surged the small ends right sides together and then pressed the wrong sides together in preparation for attaching. I often do not press when making a waistband but because we are going to be adding wording this is very important for ensuring exact placement.
At this point I used a clear ruler and found that a 1 inch tall letter would have the scale and proportion I was looking for on my waistband. Then I decided on a font I felt resembled the overall feel of Calvin’s font. Both my waistbands would fit the wording 3x so I needed 6 in total. After that my Cricut took care of the rest!
I usually use normal HTV on my knits but the last time I purchased Black the new Stretch HTV was on sale so I had it on hand. It has a different look on the back. Instead of being flat, or all one even color it has a swirl pattern, but not anything you will see on your cut outs. It is on the underside.
Overall I really love the stuff and can see a difference in the way it stretches with my knits. But at the same time I would still use the regular too if it was what I had on hand because it also works really well on knits too. Just in case you have been wondering about the difference like I have 😁
I placed the first cut out perfectly centered on the front and then placed the other on the right and left so it was evenly spaced.TThe sports bra waistband is then attached with the same seam allowance and top-stitching as the binding.
Overall I am extremely happy with the way this worked out and love my version way more than any Calvin Klein original!
It’s that time of year again…a new year, a new start! I know that I’ve made resolutions in the past and started out gung-ho, only to burn out and quit by about mid-February or so. I have learned over the years to not be quite so ambitious. I think in my 20’s, my list of New Year’s resolutions looked something like this:
Lose 20 lbs
Run a marathon
Meditate 1 hour every day
Declutter my house and keep it clean every day
End world hunger
(you get the idea…)
Now that I’m in my 40’s, my list is a little more manageable:
Don’t gain more than 5 lbs
Don’t kill anyone
Whatever your resolutions may be, I know I always try to make staying active and eating healthy a priority. I work out 5-6 days a week, which usually involves 3 days of small group training, 1 day of 1-on-1 with my personal trainer, and the rest is for running.
(I don’t really like running, but my 81 year old father still does a 5K every month, and he likes to have someone come along to cheer for him when he wins his award. Seriously…he beats me every time…along with people 20+ years younger than him. #goals)
Anyway…I obviously need a LOT of workout clothes, and I just love that I can now make my own! I get all my athletic fabrics from Phee Fabrics. Not only are the prices excellent, the quality and customer service can’t be beat. (Check out this blog post to learn more about Phee and the testing process fabrics go through before they are even offered for sale.)
Some of my favorite fabrics are the Circular Knits. These are a nylon or poly and spandex blend that has 4-way stretch and is both moisture wicking and antimicrobial. Perfect for keeping you cool even during a really tough workout.
One of my favorite makes with circular knit is the SoLo Tank from Greenstyle Creations. I love this tank and the low armholes. I sometimes find tanks/tops can be restrictive in the armscye, but I don’t have to worry about any adjustments with this pattern. Also, I’ve featured this super fun cut file that shows my love of all things kettlebell!!
You can get the awesome Kettlebell Love cut file here.
If you have never worked with kettlebells, you can learn more about them at this site. Definitely start light! When I started, I used from 15-25lbs for everything, but I can now use the crazy big ones…in fact, my trainer had me swinging the 70 pounder the other day.
This is a workout from Women’s Health that I pinned ages ago, which is great for when I want to get in something quick and full-body.
A more in-depth version of this workout that includes video demonstrations of most of these moves can be found here.
So, what are your resolutions for the new year? Whether they are big or small (or none at all), I wish you well and hope you have a happy and healthy 2019!
Note: This blog post offers fitness information for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. The use of any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk.
A couple months ago I was on the mission for a new tank top for my son, while searching and trying a lot of different patterns I saw one similarity, bands! Yet every rtw one that I saw and liked didn’t have bands. Now, the twisted tank does have bands but I wondered how the fit would be if I left them off and that’s where I’m love affair with this quick sew blossomed. I have made tons in circular knit, rayon spandex and nylon spandex.
The tank top is pretty straight forward and I followed the instructions but when it came to bands, I just serged the neckline and armcye then folded under and topstitched. This one is made in white circular knit.
Easy breezy which leaves time to HTV!! So let’s discuss. I have stashed hologram HTV for a while and no clue what to use it for but I love it. The first image I cut was on regular pressure for iron-on vinyl, it wasn’t deep enough. Cut two, I used the glitter iron-on setting with high pressure, perfect! Remember that! I designed the image and started weeding. Most times I find myself cutting away the pieces as I’m peeling
This wedding tool is a life saver! I got it a while ago here
I apply after I cut the front shirt panel, use a layer of parchment paper, set up Cricut easy press at 350 for 30 seconds and do a cool peel. The easy press works great! My son is almost 4 and my biggest fear was him touching the huge heat press plates so when deciding on a heat press I chose this one. It has a base for it to rest on, easy to store and I don’t have to worry about any little fingers grabbing it.