Thursday, January 31, 2013

7 years ago today...

My wonderful, creative, feisty baby girl turns 7 years old today.  They grow up way too quickly!  She has been pampered and spoiled since birth.  She is a comedian and also knows exactly what she wants and how.  She is very particular, sometimes demanding, and always beautiful. 

Currently Miss K is the youngest; she has taught me so much about myself and about others.  She is extremely generous and super smart socially.  Miss K has a kind heart and is always thinking about others and their emotions.  She snuggled her way straight into my heart and is a carbon copy of her father. 

So here's to you sweet girl, I've enjoyed every moment of your life thus far and I can't wait to see what the future holds ~ I love you very much!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I'm Up to Wednesday

Not a whole lot going on this week.  School has taken over and I'm a bit overwhelmed with school work right now.  I did sew up another pair of pajama shorts from the 6/2011 Ottobre Pattern #37 "Green Check Shorts"

Zero problems this time.  They turned out very nice.  This fabric has a cute story to it in our house.  About 6 years ago Mr. T and I purchased it at Hancocks to use as curtains for his room.  They were his curtains for 3 years and then we bought our house that we have now.  I kept the fabric and actually just found it in a box a few weeks ago.  When I gave him the shorts his jaw dropped because he knew they were his old curtains!
100% quilters cotton.

The weather has been nuts this week as well, adding to my chaos!  Kids had 2 hour delays on Monday and Tuesday and then No school today.  Mr. Sunny didn't get to school Tuesday or today due to the weather.  I never seem to get any sewing done when they are around!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Friday, January 25, 2013

First Ottobre Sewn! 6/2011 issue ~ #37 "Green Check"

I wanted to make sure the very first Ottobre I sewed was super easy so I could get the hang of their patterns, fit, and instructions.  I choose to do the #37 "Green Check" shorts from the 6/2011 issue.

These shorts are really cute and have a mock fly.  I figured they would be really easy since they are just shorts right?  I was frustrated in a few spots and walked away yesterday to clear my head.  This morning I had to laugh at myself because I was over-thinking a step that was easy.

I choose a fabric from my stash:

Woven 1/4 Gingham Royal Blue
Woven 1/4 Gingham Royal Blue from (I picked this up March 2012).  Only $2.99 a yard right now! When I picked them up they were $2.87/yard with my coupon for 15% off; so I made these shorts for less than $3! I had only 1 yard and it was just a tad too small. I had to have one back leg panel sideways and not following the same grain as the others.  In the future I will know I need 1 1/2 to 2 yards.
This Gingham is 65% polyester and 35% cotton, very lightweight.  These shorts are intended to be sleepwear for Mr. T.  I must say I prefer my 100% cotton; these were slippery to work with and my serger didn't like how light they were.

I decided to use red thread to contrast the blue and white check pattern.  I like how the red pops off the shorts (even though it's hard to see from the pics).

I'm a pictures kind of gal so I struggled with directions that were just words. Read, look at fabric, re-read, sigh.  The mock fly part was fun and made my eyes cross, until I realized what they were asking me to do.  It was a light bulb moment (Like Gru on Despicable Me).

I did have an incident where my pinking shears got away from me on the right fly and made a hole in the crotch; however, the left side flap covered the hole so I decided to stitch up that side (I know I ruined the "mock" fly part - but at least I salvaged the shorts).

Also, I was lost on the sizing aspect.  Mr. T measures all over the map on Ottobre.  He is a 134 chest, 140 sleeve and height, and a 146 waist.  I cut a 140 and I think they fit just fine. Mr. T thinks they are awesome and comfy to lounge in.  Win for Mom!

Now that I have my first Ottobre pattern under my belt I feel more confident.  I must say that I prefer quilters cotton to gingham.  I will be making more of these cute shorts in the future ~ with some cotton.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Trapezoid Purse Tutorial ~ Link to complete pattern and template!

Back in August 2012 I shared the below Trapezoid Purse with you.  I've updated some things on the site to link you to the PDF version with great step by step directions and tons of pictures as well as the pattern template.  Both are now free and on Google docs.
If you download both files the images turn out awesome and clear but for some reason they look fuzzy in the google doc viewer.  Anyway, here are the two links and happy sewing!

Trapezoid Purse Tutorial ~ PDF file
Trapezoid Purse Pattern Template

Original Post from August 2012:
Hello Hello!  I'm very excited to show you my latest creation.  I've created a vintage throwback purse with a trapezoid shape to it.   Here are some of the pictures of the cutest purse ever!

 Purse is fully lined and no seams are showing.  Has a zippered pocket on one side and regular pocket on the other.

I had so much fun designing and making this purse! Miss K has already claimed it so I have to make another one for myself.

Interested in making your own?  Well you are in luck!
I have a very helpful PDF version of the tutorial with 34 amazing and detailed pictures every step of the way to help you with making the purse. Also provided are the pattern pieces allowing you to  get right to cutting!


~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I'm up to Wednesday

This morning I heard a rather disturbing announcement on the radio.  I was driving the kids to school, thankful that it is finally 10 degrees outside and not -21.... and the radio man said something about how "Women look their oldest at 3:30 pm on Wednesdays."  I was so disgusted I shut the radio off and Mr. T started laughing.  He knows my birthday is just around the corner and the last thing I want to hear is about women looking old!

So today at 3:30 I'm not going to look old.  I'm going to look fresh-faced and sunny!

What am I up to today you ask?

Still working on the elastic waist skirt ~ I had to walk away for a few days as I work out some kinks.

Still have the cloth "paper bag" idea in my head I'd like to get out onto paper and create.

Received issue 6/2011 of Ottobre (ordered off the internet because I couldn't wait for my subscription to begin!)  and I can't wait to get sewing on some of them!

anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Swedish tracing paper so I can get these Ottobre patterns traced out to cut!

Need to re-arrange my sewing room ~ it's getting a bit crazy in there

I'm midway through this class and It's getting intensive.

Also made Homemade Granola. YUM.

Let me share with you:

Homemade Granola
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
*Preheat oven to 375°. Mix all 3 of above in pan on stove, medium heat.  Stir often and carefully for 10 minutes.  Do not let it bubble.

In a separate bowl mix:
5 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup dry milk (milk powder/granules)
1 tsp cinnamon
** I add 1 cup shredded coconut but this is optional.  You can also add nuts here if you wish

Pour hot brown sugar/honey/oil mixture over oatmeal mixture and mix until moistened.  Spread onto a large baking pan. I used a 15x10x1.  Place in oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir around hot mixture on pan.  Let cool 10 minutes and stir again.  Let cool another 10 minutes and place into mason jars or a storage container   You can also add raisins, m&m's, or chocolate chips here.
This usually makes me 3 large mason jars full ~ however, everyone loves to eat it from Miss K all the way up to Mr. SunnySewing so I never get to fill 3 jars!


~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Fabric and a GREAT new magazine subscription! has a great coupon code right now!  By using "SNOW2013" you can get 20% off your ENTIRE order (over $40)!  Plus you also get free shipping!! I've been so good lately by not buying fabric that I needed to splurge a little.  We paid off my truck loan today and I just had to celebrate!

I picked up a few great fabrics that I'm super excited about.

Natural Graffiti Butterflies & Flowers Pink Natural Graffiti Butterflies & Flowers  (I think a cute spring top for Miss K)

Riley Blake Happy Ever After Princess Yellow  Riley Blake Happy Ever After Princess Yellow (I think a spring dress for Miss K)

Daydreams Dot Bouquets Light Blue  Daydreams Dot Bouquets Light Blue (another cute spring dress for Miss K)

Riley Blake Flutter Dream Blue Riley Blake Flutter Dream Blue (A Washi tunic for myself!)

These are the things I picked up today and I saved $12!!!

I also gifted myself something for my upcoming birthday and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for my first issue!

I decided to really splurge (to the tune of $84, YIKES) and purchase a year subscription to Ottobre.  Lately I've been uninspired by the patterns for children from the big 4 and I feel that Ottobre offers great patterns.  In each issue you get tons of patterns from baby size to teenagers.  I need "cool" patterns for my 10 year old boy, badly.  Plus, with my subscription I also get 2 women's editions!  I'm going to be sewing up a storm soon!

So head on over to and get yourself some new fabric.  It's a great way to jump you out of a sewing lag and get you inspired!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Having a bad day? Make some soft, fuzzy pjs!

Mr. T came home from school yesterday in a terrible mood.  Someone had swiped his new snow boots and he was very upset.

I wanted him to feel better and I know he loves soft and fuzzy things so I whipped up some new pajama pants for him.   When I was finished I had leftover fabric so I figured I'd whip up some for Miss K as well.

Now we really don't like to match in our house and the kids looked at each other kinda funny; I have to admit it is pretty funny and I can't wait for dad to come home so I can mess with him!

Anyway I used Simplicity 2290 for the pattern for each child  I didn't follow the instructions because they are super simple to make.  Also, since I already made this once before with the  sports fleece, I had both kids' exact fit drawn out on freezer paper.  To see what I had to alter check out the previous post here.  Total time from cutting to finished was only about 15 min each.

The fabric is a polyester faux fur on a knit backing so I serged it all but the hems and waistband.
We had picked up this fabric at Mill End Textiles back in August 2012 so I was happy to get it used up and out of my stash pile!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I'm Up To Wednesday!

It's Wednesday already again?  Wow!

Here's what I'm up to this week:

Working on my double skirt with elastic waist (A-Line).  It's going great... except that I made it 4 inches too wide! Yikes.  Need to fix that quick. lol.  Should be done with it today or Thursday depending on how much homework I decide to tackle.

What's up next?
I still have the shirt dress on the plate.  (I have to admit I'm a bit intimidated as I've only sewn 1 other dress for myself - ever!  I'm not really a dress person but I'm excited to try it).  A muslin will be first for sure!

I also need/want to make Mr. T a snack bag for school.  I'm tired of the brown paper bags ~ they are so wasteful.  So I'll be drawing up a tutorial for a Cloth "brown paper" bag out of this fabric:

What are you up to this week?

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Simplicity 2874.... hmm.

I've had this pattern on my to-do list since fall.  I had the fabric and everything; I just didn't seem to get to it.
I cut into it a week and a half ago and was in high spirits about it.  I had cute visions in my head.  I love the way the sleeves look and the construction went very smoothly.

I finished the top yesterday and I was so confused.  I choose the top (View A), not the tunic or dress.  I couldn't believe how LONG this "top" was.  It came down to Miss K's knees! She wasn't happy about it because she is in an anti-dress mood and I don't blame her since it's winter.

I re-read the pattern instructions, looked at the pattern pieces until my eyes dried out, and stared at the envelope picture.  Where did I go wrong?  Did I cut something to long?  Nope. The pattern is just VERY LONG.  The top makes a dress.  I'm sure the dress makes an almost floor length dress. Talk about disappointment.

I went back into the sewing room and proceeded to take SEVEN inches off in length (not including the hem which adds another 1.25 inches)! Holy cow! I hemmed it back up and Miss K isn't thrilled with it.  She doesn't hate it but I can tell it won't be a favorite. She is a super self conscious girl (wish I knew why) and she doesn't like the poofy-ness of it by the stomach.

The corduroy is too heavy of a fabric for any flowing.  The bottom part of the top poofs out funny because of that.  The sleeves are a bit tight on Miss K at the shoulders as well.

The directions on the pattern are great and the construction is easy.  However, if I sew this top again I'll be using a lighter weight fabric such as cotton.  I'll also make the sleeves bigger around at the shoulder and a little bit longer. I'll also know to cut 8.25 inches less off the length of the top (which they call the "skirt" portion; I think number 6 in the pattern pieces).  I grade the pattern with a B.  It has potential and now I know how to make it work better for Miss K.

Here are the sleeves that I really like.  It's hard to see from the corduroy but they are cinched in the middle there.

The fabric is a corduroy I picked up from Hancock over a year ago.  It is hot pink with cute apple designs on it.  They have a great winter sale going on right now with the corduroy on sale!

125x125 Winter Sale - Ends January 13th

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What I'm Up To Wednesday

Hello Hello!  And welcome middle of the week.  I'm glad you are finally here. We've had some crazy nasty germs running through our house since Thanksgiving and I sometimes feel like it will never end.  Now Miss K has strep and Mr. SunnySewing has a nasty stomach flu thing going on.  I haven't had my sewing room or the house to myself since.... forever! Boo.

I did start on a project this (and last) week with the intention of finishing it all last Thursday.  That didn't go as planned.  Here it sits in the room waiting for me.

I'm making the top you see second down on the left.  Hot pink is definitely Miss K's style.  So far I'm liking the pattern and construction so I'll keep you posted on the fit.

I also went shopping with my Mom for a few moments on Monday (after a doctor's visit). She spent her Hancock Bonus Bucks on me for Christmas! Thanks Mom.
I picked up the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G fabric for a shirt dress I'm making soon.
I'll be making View C and it will look great because the wonderful sewers over at say it turns out way better than the gals on the pattern.  I'm very pumped about this!

I also have that wonderful elastic waist funky skirt I'll be making next (before shirt dress and after hot pink top).  Here is a preview of the fabric for that skirt.

So I hope your week is going smoothly and you are contently plodding away at your projects as well.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A-Line Skirt with Fitted Waist ~ How To Get The Perfect Fit!

I've had a fascination with skirts ever since I was little. I don't know why or what it is about them but I just love skirts!  Most of them are super easy to make too, so that is a bonus!

I put a bit of time into getting this skirt to be just perfect.  I drew up the pattern to my exact measurements, pre-washed my fabrics, made a muslin and adjusted it, added darts and re-made a muslin and then finally cut into my fabric and sewed it up!  Guess what?  I'm over the moon with the results!  Let me show you how you can make your own A-Line skirt with a fitted waist to your exact measurements.

Alright here are the measurements you need to take:
Take your waist (or where you want your skirt to sit on your body) and then add 2 inches for seam allowance (SA) and 1 inch for ease.  My waist was 36 + 2 SA and 1 ease = 39.  Then you divide by 4.  I came to 9.75 inches.
Now measure your hip and add 2 for SA and 2 for ease; and then divide that number by 4.  I had 42 +2 +2 = 46/4= 11.5 inches.
Now figure out how far you waist is to your hip measurement and add 1 inch for SA. I had 6 + 1 = 7 inches.
Finally figure your length you want from waist to bottom of skirt and add 1 inch for SA and 1 for hem.  I had 24 + 1 + 1 for a total of 26 inches.

OK let's put the above numbers to a pattern.
Here is my lovely drawing.... :)
Trust me, this isn't going to be hard.  For dot number 1 just mark it on the paper near the top left side but leave enough room on top for another 2 inches.  After marking dot 1, mark dot 2 exactly 1 inch above dot 1.   Take a ruler across from dot 2 and mark dot 3 with your first measurement (the waist one, mine was 9.75 inches).  Draw a dotted line between dot 2 and 3.  Now you will make the curve from dot 1 to dot 3, not quite as drastic as my drawing but gradually curve up from dot 1 to dot 3 as shown in my blue line.
Dot 4 is your 3rd measurement from waist to hip.  Measure from dot 2 down to mark dot 4 with your measurement (mine was 7 inches).  Take a ruler and measure over from dot 4 to mark dot 5 with your 2nd measurement (the hip one, mine was 11.5 inches).  From dot 2 measure down to mark dot 6 (this is your length, mine was 26 inches. Finally, measure over with the curve from dot 1 to dot 3 with the ruler to mark a few spots of the length (this will help draw the bottom skirt curve).  Make the line from dot 3, through dot 5 to connect with the length curve on the bottom.

Your pattern is complete!  Be sure to cut the muslin first.  Cut two identical pieces for front and back with this pattern (you will insert a side zipper).  Also, I used a facing for mine (no lining) because I wear a slip. To cut a facing use the top 3 inches of the pattern and cut 2 pieces).

To sew:
1. Baste from waist down 7 inches on left side of skirt, then sew the rest of the side normally with 1/2 inch seam allowance. Insert zipper where basting is. (there are many great tutorials of inserting a zipper on the web)
2. Sew other side of skirt with right sides together.
3. Sew on facing.
4. Add pockets if you choose.  Put whatever type you would like onto the skirt.
5. Finish the hem.

Wa-La!  done!
 I love these pockets!

 The fabric is perfect for me!

Here is the facing.
Back View

Now that I have the pattern drawn up to my exact size I can make a variety of these skirts with endless options!  I'm super excited.  I think I'll be wearing this skirt all spring and summer. 

Fabric Info: 
Riley Blake The Simple Life Childrens Chores Aqua                                                                Sugar Blossom Ditsy Floral Red
The Simple Life Children's Chores in Aqua                            Sugar Blossom Ditsy Floral Red
100% Cotton ~ Riley Blake                                         (I used Black, White & Currant but it's unavailable)

Next I'll be using my pattern to make an elastic waist A-Line skirt in a funky way!  My excitement can't be contained here!!!

I hope you are able to use my instructions to make your own perfect A-Line skirt!  Let me know if you have any questions.  

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~