Umbrella Prints & Necessity is the Mother of Invention!

One of my favorite blog reads is MikoDesigns.  I love her cute doll patterns and she blogs about the cutest food styling!  Recently, she made doll clothes with some Umbrella Prints 

Well.......I headed over to the Umbrella prints web side and I fell in love with the prints.  I ordered a scrap pack and couldn't resist the OASIS Floating Wild Grasses Print as well.  

I knew exactly what I wanted to make with the prints - my 12 patch pouch.  Well .....I started cutting away and did not realize I was short on fabric until it was too late - I did not have enough for the bottom row of the pouch.  Ugg!

The saying "Necessity is the mother of invention" is so true!!!
I have some suede skins and thought the prints would be perfect with a little suede trim.  
So I used suede for the bottom strip cut at 8 1/2" x 2 1/2".
I also added a removable wrist strap.
I love the way it turned out.
Not much fabric left from my Umbrella Prints Trimmings Package  :)
Umbrella prints is having a little competition.  The person with the most comments on their pinterest pic of their Umbrella Prints project wins a prize.  If you like my design,  You can find it [here]
Umbrella prints will be hosting all the projects at their Pinterest page [Here] starting May 30th.
You can vote until June 5th : )

Happy Sewing!


Work in Progress Wednesday

Happy Wednesday to you!  Hope the day is treating you well.

I have a few projects I have been working on today and a few I have completed.  

We have started Round Two of the Cocorico Bee!
This bee started my love of foundation paper piecing.
Melinda asked for farmer's market inspired blocks.  I have a pattern on my Etsy site that I tweaked a bit - Strawberries in a Basket!  I'm looking forward to sewing this block.

I have been working on a short sleeve version of my Anna Blouse.  The top pictured is made from a mystery fabric I found at a garage sale.  I was hoping it was rayon but turned out to be polyester.  If you have a mystery fabric, check out this fabric burn chart from Threads.  You can easily test for fiber type with a thin strip of fabric and a lighter or match.
The sleeves are just a wee bit tight around the hem so another muslin I will make  ; )

Deer and Doe is a French pattern company with adorable designs.  They recently released a free pattern for a t-shirt - The Plantain.  I gave it a try and am pretty happy with the results.  I made mine in a size 40 because I wanted a looser fit at the bottom.  I also shortened the cap sleeves to
4 3/4".   The top portion and shoulders are a bit large so I will make the top a 38 and leave the bottom as is - it has a slightly swingy effect!

Link up over at Freshly Pieced and share you works in progress!


Cotton + Steel at Pink Castle Fabrics available for pre-order

Cotton + Steel Mustang Collection

Just in case you haven't heard, The new Cotton + Steel line was just released at Quilt Market.
The fabric is designed by five talented artists lead by Melody Miller.  
The fabrics are fabulous and come in a variety of base cloths including cotton lawn and light weight canvas.

Detail from Modern Hexagon Bag by Charise Creates

Hexagon Handbag in Stitch Spring 2014 by Charise Creates 
I love Melody's fabric and have used them for bags and small quilting projects.
Sew Me a Song has some of her older fabrics {here}

Metallic Arrow in Coral

Metallic Sparkleflower in Multi

Palm Springs Lawn in Blue

Pink Castle Fabrics has the fabrics available for pre-order!  The link is [here] 
I am always on the look out for garment fabrics and the line has some lovely ones.
I've shared some of my favorite prints pictured above.

If you just can't wait ........
Jones and Vandermeer has a few FQ sets available for purchase now  : )

Happy Sewing


Sponsor News - Fat Quarter Shop 2014 MEGA QUILT MARKET SWEEPSTAKES

The Fat Quarter Shop is sponsoring a Quilt Market Sweepstakes!  The contest runs from May 23rd to June 30th.

The total value of the give away is over $6300 and is divided into twelve different prizes. The prizes range from fabric bundles and books to notions and many more quilting essentials. All of the prizes are shown in the Sweepstakes video on the Fat Quarter Shop YouTube channel, so be sure to watch!

Go to the link [HERE] for all the details!  Good Luck!!



My *Must Have* Dress Making Tools for Marking and Cutting

I have been working away on my Anna Blouse Pattern and am so excited to publish it!  It is coming soon!

While I have been sewing prototypes of the blouse I thought it would be a great time to share my *Must Have* dress making tools.  I started as a home seamstress sewing my own clothes starting in junior high school. (I actually started sewing at the age of 6 - hand sewn clothes for my dolls!)   In my early twenties I attended apparel design school where I learned about professional tools of the trade that I'm excited to share with you!  
These are the tools I use for marking and cutting.

* TAILOR'S CHALK ~ I  prefer to trace around my pattern pieces and to do this I use tailors chalk.  My favorite brand is from Clover.  You can find versions of this chalk at your local dress making fabric shop.  I keep a few different colors on hand - Red and Blue for light color fabrics and Yellow for dark fabrics.

* FABRIC SHEARS ~ You will also need a good pair of fabric scissors.  I have a couple pair of gingher shears that I just love.  I only use my fabric shears on fabric - cutting paper with them will dull them!

* MUSLIN ~ Invest in enough muslin to make a test fitting garment.  This can either be actual muslin or a less expensive fabric that is similar in weight and drape to the final fabric your garment will be sewn out of.
I always have a bolt of muslin on hand to sew up an initial garment for fit.  If you sew lots of garments it is worth it to make the investment.
I buy my bolts of muslin at JoAnn Fabrics when I have a 50% off coupon.

Making a test garment (or muslin as it is called in the apparel industry)  is so incredibly important.  Even if you follow the measurements on a pattern you may want to tweak the pattern a bit.
Don't make the mistake of cutting into that expensive final fabric without sewing a test garment first!

These tools are great to have if you sew lots of garments.  They are a bit of an investment but definitely worth it!

NOTCHER - I love this tool and learned about it in design school!  Use it to mark the notches on your patterns.  You can find one [here].
You can also use a pair of paper scissors to cut your notches if you are not quite ready to make the investment.

BUTTONHOLE CUTTING SET - These are great tools to have as well.  The circular cutter is for cutting keyhole buttonholes but I learned to use the circular cutter to mark the end of darts and tucks on my patterns.
You can see the holes at the bottom of the tucks pictured above.
If you cut the hole in the pattern you can mark the garment using chalk or a marking pen or pencil as pictured above.  You can find the buttonhole cutting set [Here]

Ok...off to work on the Anna Blouse.  Cannot wait to share the pattern with you!



Beautiful Bedrooms

About a year ago, I received a call for submissions for Stitch Magazine's Beautiful Bedrooms. The editor was looking for six new projects to add to the "best of" projects from Stitch Magazine past issues.  Fast forward a year later and you can find two of my projects in the book!

The Kimono Wrap is a feminine kimono style robe.  I designed it with an inside tie and elastic smocked waistline.  It is currently at Quilt Market but will hopefully be home soon.   I'm looking forward to wearing it this summer!

The second project I designed for the book is the Sweet Dreams Nightie.


This is an incredibly simple project with shirred elastic detail at the neck and shoulder ties.  

You can find the book in the Sew Daily shop [here].
It comes complete with a full size pattern insert and clear concise instruction and illustrations for each project.

Happy Sewing!



Work in Progress Wednesday

Happy Wednesday lovelies!  I hope you moms had a lovely mother's day.  
 I was treated to hand baked lavender lemon scones and then a trip to downtown Seattle and the Miro exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum.  All in all a very lovely day!

My dad's birthday is tomorrow and I decided to make him a basket for his drawing supplies.  I did a little snooping in his art studio and his pens and pencils were in a disposable plastic container! The horror : ) 
I remembered that Ayumi has a tutorial on her blog for a fabric tray and I had to give it a try.  The tutorial is great - super fast project and makes such a great gift!
I added interfacing to the outside fabric and some twill tape loops. I also used fusible fleece to give it a bit more body.  You can find the tutorial [here]  The tutorials are pictured on the right hand side of Ayumi's blog  ; )


I've been working a bit on my project for the RJR supreme solids blog hop.  I love the fabric quality and the colors are lovely.


I'm still working on my pack patch mini quilt along blocks.  
One of the themes was to make two blocks - one inspired by April and the other by May.
My May block was inspired by the beautiful red and yellow roses that bloom in my garden starting in May..
It was so much fun to pick the first bouquet from my garden and see that the blocks match my roses perfectly!



Twelve Patch Zipper Pouch Tutorial

I made this twelve patch pouch a few months ago, inspired to use up a mini charm pack of 2 1/2" squares.
It has a bound edge on the top of the pouch which adds a nice detail.

You can also use any panel of fabric that is 6 1/2" x 8 1/2".
This version pictured uses a "cheater print" which looks like patchwork but it a printed panel!
I added the appliqué fabric patches and cute strawberry button.

One can never have too many pouches, so a pouch I made! 
My best friend has the original and I wanted one for myself, too.
I have a Liberty fabric version in the works for my mom - just in time for Mother's Day.
It is a great gift item and fun to fill with goodies for a special someone. (That includes you!) 

Twelve Patch Zipper Pouch
a tutorial by Charise Creates


24 – 2 1/2” squares assorted print fabric - a mini charm pack works well
2 - 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" fabric rectangles
1/8 yard or large scraps print fabric for the zipper trim
1/4 yard  Print fabric for the lining Matching thread
1/4 yard muslin or solid cotton backing Pins
1/4 yard batting 9” coil zipper or 8" metal zipper
Zipper Foot Marking Pen,  pencil, or Hera Marker (for quilt marking)

2 - pieces of Batting 7” x 9”
2 strips 1 3/8” x 8 1/2” print fabric
2 pieces of muslin or other cotton (it will be hidden) 7” x 9”
2 strips 1 3/8” x 8 1/2” lightweight interfacing
24 – 2 1/2” squares assorted print fabric
2 rectangles lining 6 3/4” x 8 1/2"

~All seam allowances are 1/4" unless otherwise noted
Finished Size:
5 1/2" tall x 8" wide

***Skip to step #4 if you are using a 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" panel***

1) Arrange  the 12 print squares that make up the panel, in your desired design. 
For the pouch pictured, I added in a few of my favorite fabrics mixed in with the mini charm pack.

2)  Stitch each row together.  Press seam allowances to one side, each row in the opposite direction.
3) Stitch the top row to the center row.  Press the top/center to the bottom row. 
Press seams open.
Repeat for the other side side of the pouch.
4) Make a quilt sandwich:
Place the backing fabric wrong side up.  Place the batting square on top.  Place the top panel right side up at the very topPin or baste all layers together.  
5)  Quilt diagonal lines on the patchwork  panel.  The outside quilting lines should start 1/4” in from the edge. Your lines will be approximately 1 3/8” apart.
Trim the panel to 6 1/2” x 8 1/2”.  Repeat for the other side.
6) Fuse the strip 1 3/8” x 8 1/2” interfacing to the back of the print fabric strips following manufacturer directions. Repeat for the other side.

7) Place the printed fabric binding strip right sides together with the pouch panel matching top edges. 
Stitch the strip to the top of pouch panel with a 1/4" seam allowance.  
Press the fabric binding strip towards the top.

8) Fold back the strip to the wrong side so 1/2” is showing on the right side.  Press in place.  Repeat for the other side.

9) If you are using a coil zipper - Shorten the zipper to 8 1/2”.:
 Stitch over the end, 1/4" from the end of the zipper a few times if you cut off the zipper stop.  You will be stitching over the end of the zipper later on - this step will keep the zipper head from zipping off the zipper for now : )

Place the zipper right side to the right side of the fabric strip matching the edge of the zipper tape to the raw edge of the strip.
Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper to the pouch with a 1/4” stitch.
Repeat for the other side of the pouch.

10)  Place the lining right sides with the right side of the clutch panel.  The zipper will be sandwiched in between the Clutch Panel and the Lining.  Pin lining in place along top edge.

11)   Flip the panel over so the wrong side of the pouch panel is facing you. Using a zipper foot, stitch 1/4”  from top edge, following the previous stitching, back tacking at ends

12) Turn the lining over the zipper  Fold down the strip on the fold line you made 1/2” from the seam edge.  Edge stitch the zipper border stitching through all layers.  Repeat for the other side.

13)     Separate the lining from the outside pouch panels.  Place the outside panels right sides together, and the lining panel right sides together. Match seams and pin in place around the perimeter.  MAKE SURE THE ZIPPER IS OPEN so you can turn right side out at the end. The zipper teeth will face towards the lining.   The zipper tape will face towards the pouch panels.
Stitch 1/4” around the perimeter of the pouch.  Leave a 3” opening on the lining panel.

14) Create the bottom corners by placing the pouch corners right sides together matching the seams.  Press the seams open.  Mark 1" up from the corner.  Stitch on the marking.  Trim 1/4" beyond the stitching.  Repeat for the other side of the pouch and both lining corners.

15) Turn the pouch right side out and give it a good press. Slip stitch or machine edge stitch the opening in the lining closed.

Yoo hoo ~ you are awesome!!!  You now have a completed twelve patch zip pouch.  Enjoy!

Be sure to share your finished pouches over at my Flickr Group [here]. 
 I love to see what you make  :)



Mother's Day Gifts To Stitch!

Mothers day is just around the corner - May 11th to be exact : )
Which means you still have time to make a gift for your mom.
This post is dedicated to some lovely projects to make if you are in need of
some ideas for Mother's Day gift giving!  
All links are provided below.

Hot Pads are a useful and fun gift if your mom likes to cook.
I created the round potholder from a few block patterns in my Etsy shop but you can just as easily use an orphaned quilt block and reuse a project that has been in your stash!
You can find the tutorial [HERE].

The apple potholder is a fun gift.  It us a perfect project to use some favorite scraps.
It would also be lovely in Granny Apple Green, Pink Lady Pink or Golden Delicious Yellow!

A tote bag is always a fun and useful gift!  My tulip tote is perfect for this time of year!  You can find the pattern for the tulip block and tote bag [here].
If you are looking for a simpler tote bag to adorn with the tulip, you can find some free tutorials Here, Here and another Here.

Another simple and fun project is my Ruffled Clutch I designed for Liberty Craft Blog.
Wouldn't it be lovely in natural linen too?

A frame pouch is always a useful gift.  I made the apple pouch with my free apple paper pieced pattern you can find [here].  The tutorial for the frame pouch can be found [here].
Fill it with some sweets or sewing notions!

Or use the pattern to make coasters.....

or hot pads!

There is nothing as lovely as lavender sachets for your clothing bureau.  You can find the pattern for my house sachets here.

A pretty cushion is always a welcome gift.  I seem to not have enough in my house : )
This one is made with my Rose Dream pattern you can find [here].

And this one is made with the Crown of Thorns pattern you can find [here].

Happy Creating!