Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wrapped All Up In Happy

Ann at Designer Stitch has left me speechless this time around. The Indu Wrap Pants are my all time favorite, replacing yoga pants, leggings, and skinny jeans. The style with “wings” is also so very much fun and a great unique style to wear practically anywhere.

I made all three versions of these pants in a size 6. One pair with the wrap style, one is a slim leg, the last one is the slim leg with the wider calf, I am literally wearing this last version as I am typing this up. The Designer Stitch Pattern’s are always consistently well written and easy to follow. There is nothing new to talk about there so moving on to the pants.

 I wanted to create all three looks, I grabbed a basic stretch denim and ponte knit from Joann’s for both the slim leg versions. I wear both versions often. They are not leggings, but are my most comfortable pants that can be worn anytime. They are better than leggings.

My wrap version of these pants were made with a knit I picked up from KnitPop. I had been eyeballing it for a dress and when it arrived I had to order more just for these pants. I placed the buttons slightly off from the side seam on the waste band. I felt this gave me the most options on wearing the wrap or not. I can wear nearly endless variations, each and every one extremely comfortable.

The first night I wore them out, some of my friends were unsure.  Random strangers though kept coming up and asking me about my pants, genuinely intrigued and had lengthy conversations on how they could get the pattern or try to talk me into making them a pair. Eventually they grew on my friends when they could see how comfortable they were. Due to the cold weather, I had fleece lined leggings underneath, but you could not tell. I have a feeling come summer, these will be my go to pants.

One of the things I love the most about these pants are the waistband. The way it sits is incredibly flattering and the comfort cannot be measured. The soft elastic is barely noticeable and I have not one single issue with my pants falling in any of the three versions.

All three versions were a quick sew, actually they may have even been faster than the standard pants patterns I have tried in the past. I would definitely recommend these for a beginner. If you have made leggings, you can make any version of these. Get your copy below while it is on sale.

Also join the Designer Stitch group for all the latest info!

Indu Wrap Pants Sewing Pattern (PDF)



(AU/UK)     6 – 26
(US)          2 – 22
(EU)          34 – 54


The Indu is an easy wearing jersey pant offering 2 styles. Wear the Indu with its funky side extension, fastening either or both wraps to create an intriguing front drape.
Or tuck the drape into the legs to give the Indu a soft fluid look or alternatively cut the Indu with its tapered side seam to allow for a relaxed and easy wear pant.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, I will get paid a small portion of that purchase

Monday, February 5, 2018

Designer Stitch Release of Synthia

I have been away from my sewing machine for a little while, but to be honest, any time away is far too ling. What brought me back was the latest release from Ann at Designer Stitch, the Synthia Ruffle Top. Spring is on its way here in California, we are even getting a taste of the warmer weather this week so it was perfect timing.
I originally picked out a lovely satin like fabric that had been in my stash for several years, ok almost 10 years. It reminded me of another hobby of painting, but it did not look right with the ruffle because the wrong side was way to noticeable and I felt it took something away from the top. I removed the ruffle and kept this version to wear under a cardigan now, and on its own when the true warmer weather hits.
Attempt number two turned out way better. I found this lovely fabric from Joann's that literally jumped off the shelf while looking for something else. It's only downfall is it happens to be a stretch chiffon. Not too much stretch, but enough to forego the zipper on this version. I love changing patterns up a little bit, but prefer to make it as written first.
The directions for the Synthia are clearly written in typical Designer Stitch fashion. I did have an issue at first on the ruffle, but after a second good read I figured it out. Definitely a pattern for a confident beginner though, with the rounded hem and ruffle.
As for fit, I made a 5 with 6 at the hips for a little added room. Both versions fit perfectly. The only alterations made to the pattern itself was a swayback adjustment, and I need to take in the seam from mid back to the collar, this is done on all my patterns though.
If you are looking for a stylish top for warmer weather, I have not seen anything more on point. You will love how it pairs with the Designer Stitch  Tanner  Culotte or Alyse Pant for the whole look. It's so versatile that it really goes with anything. You can get your copy here, and you will not be disappointed. It is currently priced at $7.00 for a limited time.

Also join the Designer Stitch group for all the latest info!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, I will get paid a small portion of that purchase

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Red, White, and Pink Tour

February is known for the month of love and passion, so I took advantage of this theme to combine two things I am very passionate about, my love for sewing and my love for painting. My inspiration came from watching my Facebook feed which is loaded with post from both sides of the art world, and I started seeing more posts where people started making coin purses and such out of their paintings, and I had to try it at least once. I know I can print fabric from places like Spoonflower or similar sites, but I wanted to use an actual painting.

The moment I signed up for the tour I poured the paintings on two 16x20 Artist's Loft canvas that I purchased from Michael's. I used 2oz. of craft paint in each color  white, black, pink, red, silver, and teal for a bit of contrast, also purchased at Michael's. When attempting fluid art, you must add a pouring medium to make sure the paint flows properly. Normally I use Floetrol, which is not archival so I use it when practicing techniques, but in this case I wanted to make sure I started this right and used Liquitex Pouring Medium. I honestly didn't measure how much medium I used, but it was enough to make it the consistency of warm honey. I do not add water, but instead use a paint extender which is simialr to water but does not weaken the binders in the paint like water could.  The best tool I used in this process that helped most of all was a washable marker. I could mark directly on the canvas and it washed right off with the smallest bit of water.

In speaking with Canadian Artist, Lori Grondin of Creative Souls Canada, I should have used Golden's GAC900 instead, a fabric medium that can be heat set to maintain the integrity of the painting. Liquitex also makes a fabric medium too that does not require a heat set, but I am certain heat set is best. Now I know for next time. If you would like to check out some beautiful examples of what is possible in fluid art, and then some, please check out Lori's links. They are not affiliate links, but I want to share just what is possible and she has an amazing talent that must be shared.

With the paintings done a month in advance to make sure they cured prior to sewing, I needed to find a pattern that was simple enough for this challenge. I turned to my Pinterest collection and found a great little free lined tote pattern on Craftsy designed by The Inspired Wren. Renee from The Inspired Wren is found all throughout the sewing community, and she has an amazing pattern collection available all over. The size for this particular tote was perfect for the canvas I used in the paintings. The pattern itself is beautifully written with easy to follow instruction. I highly recommend this pattern if you are looking for a good tote pattern. I also loves that it was easy to change up a bit for little things like adding extra pockets inside the side pocket for example. I would have added another pocket to the inside but I wanted to keep this first version basic. 

For the construction of the bag, I followed the pattern instruction as they were written. I picked up some Duck Canvas Fabric in red for the pocket, straps, and bottom of the bag. I do recommend picking up a little more than the 1/2 yard to make sure you have enough for the straps as I almost ran out. I found a white basic cotton in the remnant bin that was perfect for the lining.  

My most difficult challenge with the pattern, and it was totally due to the use of the painted canvas and no fault of the pattern itself, was turning the bag. Sewing the painted canvas I expected to be a little hard on my machine, but it handled it like a champ. It took what seemed like 30 minutes of trying to turn the incredibly stiff fabric, most likely a result of using the incorrect medium. I had a few cracks and some small parts chipped off. Thankfully I was just able to cover those up with patches of paint so they are far less noticeable now. Once it was turned I had to add the lining, but knew I could not turn anything again so I had to alter the directions just for this part. I stitched they lining as directed, and then pressed the edges of the lining with my iron to form a clean edge. The canvas folded down easily without the use of heat. I matched up the edges and top-stitched around the entire bag, making sure not to sew the straps. It was a bit hard to keep it lined up since I could not pin the canvas as it does not heal like fabric would, and I did not have clips to use instead.

For those who paint and sew, I hope this inspires you to give it a try. Combining both my favorite arts has been a rewarding learning opportunity, one of which I intend to pursue further. These totes are perfect little gifts for anyone.This particular one is for my daughter who loves to read. I am not a professional painter, but I hope this helps answer some basic questions I have seen people have on the how to sew a painted canvas. My best advice is to just get some basic materials and test out what works best for you. Trial and error can sometimes be a great learning tool. 

Be sure to check out the amazing other bloggers on this tour. You can find the entire list below. 

Let's get inspired!
February 1st: Sewing By Ti (intro),  Mahlica Designs
2nd: Sewing With D
3rd: Sewing With Sarah
Sunday, February 4th: Tenille's Thread
5th: My Heart will Sew On
6th: Kathy Kwilts and More
7th: Stitched By Jennie
8th: EYMM
9th: With Love In Every Stitch
10th: The Bear and the Pea Atelier
Sunday, February 11th: Our Play Place
12th: My Sewing Roots
13th: Margarita on the Ross
14th: Very Blissful
15th: Seams Sew Lo
16th: Sew Sew Ilse
17th: Aurora Designs
Sunday, February 18th: Sewing Scientist
19th: Manning the Machine
20th: The Fairy Dust Bin
21st: Hazelnut Handmade
22nd: Kate Will Knit
23rd: Lulu & Celeste
24th: Flaxfield Sewing
Sunday, February 25th: Twinado Alley
26th: Ma Moose
27th: Auschick Sews
28th: Oak Blue Designs