The Weekender Travel Bag

WeekenderToday is day three of Selfish Sewing Week and I am so excited to FINALLY be posting my Amy Butler Weekender Bag. I finished on Sunday night, after having started it, oh, 4 months ago! This bag can be used just as the title says, as a weekend getaway or overnight bag. But it also can fit a standard size Brother sewing machine and I used it last night to carry my machine over to my latest sewing class!

IMG_0685I started this bag back in May but was taking my precious time and being meticulous. Because of that, I did not get to finish during the 4 weeks of the class. My local fabric store Five Eighth Seams offers tons of different project classes and I was excited to finally get the chance to do something that wasn’t skirt, dress, pants, or shirt but because it was my first bag I wanted to really take my time. I have a done a few zipper pouches but never anything like this. The pattern is by Amy Butler and is pretty labor intensive. Not only do you need your home dec fabric and standard interfacing but also a sharp point jeans needle,  binder clips (since pinning just wont do the trick), thick heavy Peltex stabilizer, heavy duty template plastic, a heavyweight zipper, and 5 yards of cotton cording (or you can make your own to match/coordinate, like I did). If you want to be a rebel like me, you can opt out of the home dec fabric and use a quiliting cotton of your choice, just be mindful that you will need to add an extra layer (or two) of interfacing. I decided, since I love matching prints, to use 3-4 different fabrics all throughout the bag. I went with an all Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics design, incorporating fabrics from her Meadow collection and her Tule collection.  This was actually purely accidental. I knew I wanted  the Summer Grove by Day to by my main picket piece and as I walked around the fabric store picking other prints to match, I ended up with the majority all Leah Duncan designs! 
IMG_0687 IMG_0688My topstitching is not the best I have ever done but come on, I was sewing though 5 layers at this point. It was hard to keep a steady line! But in real life they don’t show up as much as they do in these photos.

IMG_0689 IMG_0690IMG_0686Enjoy your week and whether you sew or now, do something selfish for yourself today ! And if anyone asks, tell them I said it was ok. xxxoo Priscilla

 

How to Eat Sushi in Your New Kimono Sweater (a free pattern from SewCaroline.com)

kimonoI can’t tell you how much I love saving money. For those of you who follow my blog, you know that the two things rocking my life right now are my sewing and my fertility treatments. Both cost money. Both are expensive. Anyone who says that sewing is a “cheap” hobby sure ain’t doing what I am doing. No don’t get me wrong. I think that you definitively get what you put your money into. I could buy cheap walmart fabric and use only the box patterns from the clearance section of the fabric store, but that wouldn’t be very fashion forward no would it? Nice fabrics can be expensive but they feel better, drape better, last longer, and my machine likes them better (rewind to Halloween 2013 when I sewing a Miley Cyrus twerking costume with a the cheapest fabric I found from Hancocks…I still find pieces of that fabric wedged in cracks within my machine to this day.) But anyways, all that rambling leads into the point that I wanted to make: I LOVE FINDING FREE PATTERNS ON LINE! This Kimono pattern and tutorial was free from SewCaroline.com. Such a great find.  And it only requires 1.5 yards of fabric. I found this really fun light gray, light weight knit from Five Eighth Seams that was $8 a yards. The lace trim was $1 a yard and the pattern calls for 3 yards.  So in total I spent only $15 on this project. I think that’s a pretty good deal for a sweater that I will definitely wear again and again.

IMG_0663 IMG_0665It was getting dark early and this was a last minute photo shoot so the gray knit fabric does not show up as well against the white tank top, so I apologize for that. Also I wore this outfit on our way out to dinner and coincidentally we went to get sushi. Of course all of the waitresses were wearing black and red kimonos. I felt a little bit like a poser. I mean come on. Who wears a kimono to a go eat sushi. This girl does. Luckily no one was paying me any attention.

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Outfit  details

Tank Top: Forever 21  –   Kimono: Free Pattern and tutorial from Sew Caroline.com   –   Pants: Joe’s Jeans   –    Boots: Lucky outlets (similar ones here)   –   Necklace: Nordstroms

 Head on over to Sew Caroline’s website for this free pattern and tutorial. Took me on a few short hours and can be worn throughout this fall and even early next spring! I think it would also be fun to play around with different trims and different color matching.

Til next time, xxoo Priscilla

How to Makeover a Dumpster Chair

chair makeover

Hopefully the word garbage didn’t gross you out and you decided to stick around and read this post! I didn’t actually pull this chair out of the garbage. Not that I’m past it. But I did find him on the side of the road. This sad little suede covered, brown chair was just sitting there waiting for me to take him home. I love finding a way to turn someone else’s trash into treasure. I have also been really inspired lately by Virgina of Live Love DIY and what she has done to fix up old thrift store chairs. See some of her creations here, here, and here.  My sunroom has been a growing project of ours and now that my sewing area has taking over about half of it, it was time that I had a chair that was just for my sewing table, instead of me having to drag one over from the breakfast area. And I was excited to use some remnants I had of this lovely fabric from Arizona Collection by April Rhodes. I used this same fabric to make my Foxglove tank and needed only 1/2 yard to recover the chair.  Ok so now that you know the back story of how I got the chair and why I needed it, lets look at some before and after photos.

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How to redo the chair:

Step 1: Remove the old cushion. You might need a flat head screw driver to pull off the older staples and a philips head screw driver to remove the four screws from each corner.

Step 2: Add a backing to your chair, if yours doesn’t have one like mine. I had some old backing from another dumpster dive find that I was able to reattach with a staple gun.

Step 3: Prime the entire chair with spray paint primer. Allow that to dry.

Step 4: Spray paint your chair any color you like. I used A Semi-gloss white by Rust-Oleum. Allow time to dry and add a second coat if needed.

Step 5: Add new fabric to your cushion, using a staple gun to the back side, pulling tight and smoothing out all wrinkles as you go.

Step 6: Reattach your newly upholstered cushion.

Step 7: Enjoy!

IMG_0693 IMG_0694 IMG_0695 Legolas approves!

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It does have a little hole in the back meshing but I am ok with that considering that I spent only $8 on this project and that was the cost of spray paint. IMG_0698 Finding its new home in my very honest, very disorganized craft room!

See ya next time!! xxxoo Priscilla

Friday Finds: Four Coats That Think They Are Blankets

 Imagevia Desigual

Imagevia Ralph Lauren

leona wrap coatvia Tabitha for Anthropologie

BURBERRY-PRORSUM-Wool-and-cashmere-blend-wrap

via Burberry Prorsum

The weather here is not yet feeling like winter, or fall for that matter. No where close to be exact. But with New York Fashion week coming to an end, I decided to look back over the runway shows for Fall 2014 to get an idea of some trends for this fall. For outwear, I am seeing lots and lots of big fluffy, throw over your shoulder jackets. And I must say, I am loving it. Similar to the capes and ponchos I saw a lot of last fall, now I am seeing a big jackets with big sleeves, big collars, and tons of ways to keep me warm.  I kinda dig it.

Fall Fashion + Indiesew

fall fashion

My favorite time of year is upon us: fall!  I love decorating my house head to toe in burlap, planning my annual Halloween party, walking out of my front door without sweat dripping down my back, and catching back up with my television shows that took long breaks over the summer. I mean come on, will Emily Thorne finally get her revenge on the Grayson family? The first week of September is always my favorite week too because its Mercedes-Benz Fashion week in NYC, so I get to spend countless hours watching live-stream runway shows from all the big designers. Lots of inspiration right there for me and lots of torture for Will.  Also the first week of September is resturant week here in Charleston which is a great excuse to get dressed up and go out for a meal. But this year, thanks to the amazing team over at Indiesew, I am loving September even more! Last week, Indiesew.com launched a collection of six indie sewing patterns that all mix and match to create a fall wardrobe.  I have teamed up with Indiesew for this week’s blog hop and was given the opportunity to pick three patterns from the collection to create and style for the fall. Of course I couldn’t stop at just one of each and instead I have created 5 different pieces that I am excited to share with you today. All five of these pieces are from patterns within Indiesew’s Fall collection and can be purchased individually or as a bundle. For those of you who don’t know about Indiesew, let me give you the low down. So many great sewing patterns for sale, all made by indie designers, and all located in one spot. My favorite part about Indiesew is how other seamsters can upload their finished creations so you can see how the pattern looks in person. How would it look in a size small? Or with a print fabric? Or with a longer bodice? And so on and so on. This if their first time selling a collection as a bundle. As for the fall collection, let’s see what I did:

Outfit 1 –  Sunday funday brunch with my main squeeze wearing The Natalie Top and Sew Simple Leggings

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The Natalie Top is a long-sleeved top with a pleated front detail and rolled up sleeves with button tab. For my first look I went with my favorite color combination: chambray and black.  The chambray is from Robert Kaufman. The top took me three evenings to complete. The leggings took maybe an hour and a half. They really are “sew simple,” pun intended. For the Natalie Top, I followed the pattern without making any adjustments including leaving the length as is. I know there are a lot of haters out there who say one should never wear leggings as pants without a long tunic or dress to cover your rump. But I have never followed that rule. I like to live dangerously. Now do I think tights should be worn as pants? No. But can leggings? Sure. But only if done correctly. For these Sew Simple Leggings, I used a very nice black jersey knit fabric that was pretty thick. Plus paired with the high boots and the looseness of the Natalie top, I think the leggings work in this situation. What do you all think?

Outfit 1 details

Top: The Natalie Top by Liola Patterns   –      Pants: Sew Simple Leggings by So Sew Easy   –       Boots: Mossimo (similar ones here)     –      Bag: American Eagle (similar one here

Outfit 2 –  Dinner with the girls wearing a Natalie Top and a Commuter Cowl

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For my second outfit I decided I wanted to try the Natalie Top in a shorter sleeve. Here in Charleston it doesn’t get that hot in the fall, so sometimes just a thicker short sleeve shirt will do the trick. I found this cobalt blue fabric that is part poplin and part stretch knit. Not sure the exact material but it has a nice stretch to it, which worked out so well for this top since I went down a size to make it more form fitting.  In addition to this Natalie Top I added a black with gold polka dot scarf using the Commuter Cowl pattern, also part of the Indiesew collection. The fabric is from Camelot fabrics. I have made several infinity scarfs out of stretch knit before, but this was great to find such a well designed scarf pattern that calls for using cotton. I am not a quilter so I always have lots of large sized scraps of cotton fabric. Perfect for the commuter cowl. And I love how this pattern is so much more than an infinity scarf. At first glance, the twists and knots might seem overwhelming but the instructions and photos along the way made this pattern a breeze to finish in just one short evening.

Outfit 2 details

Top: The Natalie Top by Liola Patterns    –   Scarf: The Commuter Cowl by Very Shannon   –   Pants: Joe’s Jeans   –    Pumps: Nine West    –   Clutch: Hobo

Outfit 3 –  A trip to yoga class wearing the Sew Simple Leggings

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At first glance you might think that this last outfit was an afterthought but actually these pants were the first piece that I made for the fall collection. In my yoga classes lately, solid tops and loud bold print pants/shorts seem to be the go-to outfit for all my fellow yogis. And when I saw this fabric, I couldn’t resist. Sometimes I try to start trends…other times I just follow the pack, what can I say? What is so great about the Sew Simple Leggings pattern is you really can dress them up with a tunic or dress, or do as I have done here and where them as active wear to your yoga or pilates class. Or even as lounging around with a hot pumpkin spice latte if that’s your jam. That is the wonders of the fall season. You don’t have to exercise if you don’t want to. You have about 8 months until bathing suit season comes around again. Embrace it.  Eat a few donuts. Put on your new leggings and have an Orange is the New Black marathon. Do your thing. For these leggings, I used a ponte de roma knit. So even though they are not as stretchy as the black jersey knit that I used in my first outfit, they still have a good stretch to them as I move. And with the elastic waist band, it fits nice and snug on my waist as I moved and stretched. Again this project took me maybe an hour from start to finish. People are always asking me what would be a good first time project for new sewers. Well I think I found it. For all you newbies,  Deby from So Sew Easy has also made a video tutorial with step by step instructions on how and where to measure yourself to get the perfect leggings. Pick up the pattern from Indiesew.com and then head over to the video tutorial if you need an extra hand. You won’t fail. I promise.

Outfit Number 3 details

Pants: Sew Simple Leggings   –    Shoes: Nike (similar ones on sale here)    –   Bag: Jo’s Totes   –   Work out top: Target

If you haven’t stopped reading my blog by this point and rushed over to Indiesew.com then I highly recommend doing so now!  You can buy any of the three pattens seen above individually or you can buy the entire Fall Collection Bundle and save 10%!

Thanks for stopping by! xxxoo Priscilla

Disclaimer:

All fabric was purchased by me from a local fabric store, Five Eighth Seams in Charleston South Carolina. 

All three patterns were provided to me by Indie Sew as part of the Indiesew Fall Collection blog hop. But as always, all opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

Pink Dresses and Crab Traps

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Will and I love our evening trips down to the yacht club. And whats not to love. The beautiful sunset. The regular dolphin sightings. The $2 draft beer. The all you can eat popcorn machine. That’s what I call winning. And sometimes if the tide is just right, we can throw out a fishing pole or crab net and see what comes back. Well lately my nephew Gio has been coming along with us. If you have been following along my blog this summer, than you know we have been fortunate enough to have my sister and her kids in Charleston while they are working on closing on their new home in New Jersey. Gio has his own little “fishing net” and although the popcorn doesn’t entice him nearly as much as it does me, the crabs are always a big hit with him.

On this particular evening, I was wearing my pink Jorna dress. The fabric in the Ripples in rose from Bari J. for Art Gallery fabrics. I just love how soft their knits are! I have made this dress before (click here for a reminder). I love love love my first version and have worn it so many times that Will has even made that sarcastic “oh cool, that dress again” comment when I go to wear it. Ha. Whoops. So I was eager to make another. My first version was just a little short, so I decided to make it a little longer by adding two inches to the length line but did not change up anything else. Well…hmm.. maybe not such a good idea. The way the sides feel down on my hips I looked like I was carrying two saddle bags on my outer thighs. And not in the sexy Jennifer Lopez way. In the thunder thighs, we hope Jane Fonda workout tapes come back in style way. So I decided to redo the side seams in the skirt part which took out some of the extra fabric from the sides of the skirt. This seemed to fix the saddle bag situation. And whalla! you have it. A pink dress fit for catching crabs!

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Take Nothing to the Grave

I have had a lot of people be impressed shocked when they read my blog posts. “You really do put it all out there” was my sister’s comment. And she is right. I decided about a year ago that there was no point in keeping this infertility thing “a secret” that just Will and I had to keep locked away. I’ve always thought the more people who know about what we are going through, then the more prayers, more love, and more positive energy that can be sent our way. And more love is always better than less love. I have met a lot of great people online through other blogs, both “sewing” friends and also bloggers who are dealing with the same infertility woes that I am. And on top of that, its funny to find out that friends or people you have known for years went through the same things we have, but did so privately.

But lately all I’ve done on this blog is ramble about fabric selection, new sewing patterns, and the Charleston weather. I’ve been avoiding talking or writing about one big thing that happened to us this summer. To preface, let me just state that July 2014 effing sucked. My best friend’s father died and the weekend of his funeral, a weekend where I should of been there crying and reminiscing with one of my oldest friends, I was at home instead. I woke up that Saturday morning cramping and bleeding. I was 9 weeks, 2 days pregant. And I was having a miscarriage. He or she was the size of an olive. We had seen a heartbeat only one week prior. And after two years of trying, four IUIs, and thousands of dollars in fertility treatment, this little ray of light which had given us so much hope was gone in a day. It hit Will and me like a bolt of lightning. I had done everything right: limited my exercising, took my vitamins and progesterone pills daily, and gave up alcohol and all the foods on the “do not eat” list. But it still happened. There was nothing we did wrong. Nothing we could of done differently. But I still look back and question my every move. The Thursday evening before the miscarriage I colored my hair. The pregnancy had me bloated, my skin was breaking out like a teenager at a school dance, and my gray roots were popping out everywhere. So I thought a little makeover would look good. I had wavered about if I should do it or not. All the articles I’d read online said it was safe. I bought the organic ammonia free stuff and opened all the windows. At my follow up appointment, my doctor reassured me that me coloring my hair did not cause the miscarriage. “Some times during the fetus’s development, things go wrong,” the doctor told us. “The pregnancy wasn’t meant to go on.” This baby just wasn’t meant to go on. But I wondered, what if it had gone on? Would it of been a boy? Would he have grown up to cure cancer or be the first man to walk on Mars? Probably not. Would I color my hair the next time, if we’re lucky enough to get pregnant again? Probably not. But did I do anything wrong? I don’t think so.

So that’s my story for the month of July. Maybe by writing it down, by putting it in my blog, some one else out there is able to get something from my story. And if not at least I could get my last “secret” out into the world. A clean slate as we leave for our next big adventure this weekend.

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