Monday, January 9, 2017

Just for You Sewalong

Hello! It's January so Happy New Year!!! I'm so excited for this new year. I've had a couple of slow sewing years and I'm excited to sew more this year now that my baby is 2! He's 2 and I kind of can't believe it. My kids went back to school today so I'm back to blogging too.

Let's talk about New Year's re'sew'lutions. :)  Are YOU making any?

We are kicking off the yearly Just for You Sewalong this month and I wanted to pop in and make sure you knew all the details about it so you could join in the fun. Each month we will be sewing our way through pages of my book Just for You: Selfish Sewing with your Favorite SewCanShe Bloggers. (affliliate limk) We've rounded up amazing projects from some seriously talented contributors. The book is perfect for meeting all your sewing goals. It is organized into monthly chapters, with 2 projects to sew each month.  Choose to sew your favorite or go all out and make them all. Each project comes with an opportunity to learn a new skill or sew with a different type of fabric. Come show off your projects in our Just for You Sewalong Facebook Group. We have over 2000 members and would love to have you join us.  We love to cheer each other on.

In honor of our January kickoff you can purchase a signed copy from my Etsy shop for $18 plus Free Media Mail shipping. This price will be good through the end of January so get one while you can.

If you haven't had a chance to check out our book yet it has beautiful magazine like photos and helpful step by step photos that make the projects easy to sew. Check out what we are sewing in January.

 The Sweetly Gathered Round handbag is a lovely lightweight bag with no interfacing, a set in zipper pocket and comfortable flexible hoop handles you can sew yourself. The Chevron Shrug is cute and comfy and just perfect for throwing over your favorite t-shirt.  I'm working on gathering my fabrics for these projects and will be posting my fabric choices on the Sewalong FB page soon.

Come join us. Let's have some fun!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

New Pullover Bibs for the Toddler

Hi Sewing friends! I sewed something for my baby the other day...he is more like a toddler now and not so much like a baby. He had grown out of all his little bibs so it was high time I made him some new ones. Plus, I have a baby!! I should be sewing cute things for him!! (that's what I say to myself at least) I use my Pullover Baby Bib tutorial and changed it up a little to make them. Have a look.
Instead of using terry cloth I used a layer of minky fabric for the backing and a layer of printed cotton instead of an applique on the front.

I love how bright and colorful they are.  He loves that they have pictures he can recognize on them. The animal one is his favorite.

I keep them stuffed in the space between the chair and his booster seat so they are ready when he needs one.

I also used knit fabric for the neckband instead of ribbing. It didn't have quite as much stretch as the ribbing so I had to increase the length of the strip to 14'' instead of 11''. I'm hoping to write up a new tutorial soon.

He loves them all and reminds me to put one on him if I forget. To tell you the truth though, he didn't like them one bit at first. He kept trying to pull it off. 

Thank goodness he likes them now because they sure are cute, and so is he.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Rag Doll Baby Tutorial

I teach music at church for the 3-12 year olds. I'm always trying to figure out a way to make it fun. We needed a little baby prop for a song they were learning so I scoured Pinterest of course to see if I could find a little hanky baby tutorial, or something along those lines. NO luck. Then I called my Mom who happens to be a crafting genius. She dug around in her files and sent me a picture of a Rag Doll pattern that she drew long long ago. It is really so cute but a little more involved than I wanted it to be. So I used the same kind a of design and came up with a super simple baby shape.

Okay it also looks like a ghost, but it worked out perfectly for the little kids to rock their tiny babies as they sang the little lullaby they were learning. Just in case you are curious I'm going to show you how to make these little 6 inch rag doll babies.
I started with  a 12 inch square of Minky or "Cuddle" fabric. Of course you could make them larger if you wanted to, just start with a larger square. Pleat the fabric folding it like an accordion about every inch. Minky fabric has a plush side and a smooth side. You'll want to pleat the fabric so the plush side faces to the front.

Fold the pleated strip in half. Tie an 8 inch piece of yarn around it about 1 1/2 inches away from the fold to create the head. If you loop the yarn through twice as you are tying your first knot it will stay cinched better.

Make the arms by taking the outermost fold and tucking the end under the tie inside the fold as shown.

Wrap the tails of the yarn around to the back and under each arm to help hold them in place. You could also use a needle and thread to stitch the arms in place if you want them to be more secure.

Tie the strings into a bow in the front.

You could leave it like this or tie the bottom to finish it off like I did.

And there you have it a little bunch of babies to cuddle and rock.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Passport to Summer Toiletry Bag Tutorial

I made a fun project last weekend that I get to share with you today. It's a Toiletry Bag for Dad, just in time for some Father's Day sewing. I don't know about you but the Dad's in my life are hard to sew for, but this is the perfect gift. Manly on the outside, personalized and fun on the inside.

This project is part of the Passport to Summer Sewing Series on and you can find the Tutorial HERE.  I really love how it came together. You might not be able to see it too well but the fabric on the outside has metallic gold woven into it which makes it a little extra special. It's one of the Robert Kaufman Essex Dyed Linen Metallics.

I built it a little differently than I usually make a bag. The lining and the exterior fabric are layered together before sewing and the seams are all finished with bias binding on the inside.

I also used Molded Plastic zippers this time around.  I sure love how easy they are to slide open and close.

This project was a collaboration with and they sent me the supplies for it. Go checkout the tutorial and make your dad something special. As always, if you make one I'd love to see it. 

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The "Pokey Little Puppy" Retro Romper

Remember my post about how I just like to start projects and am less excited to actually finish them? Well, it's hereditary.  A few months ago my mom sent this cute Poky Little Puppy romper that she had almost finished for my oldest brother 45 years ago. LOL! Anyway it just happens to be the perfect size for Thomas right now.  It only needed buttons so I sewed them on for a quick finish one day.

Thomas loves his "doggy shirt".

I think I may have made the flaps fold forward when they should have been folded to the back. Ooops! I should have consulted with the designer.

I had a lot of fun taking these photos so I'm sharing a bunch of them.

This is his "Where?" look

If you are curious about the little applique, Mom said she had a Pokey Little Puppy toy that she used to trace around for the shape and then just improvised the applique pieces and used her sewing machine to embroider the face. She's always been super creative and resourceful. It would have been fun to read her blog if those existed way back when. If you want to see more of my mom's amazing talent you can visit her Doll Pattern shop where you can see her beautiful doll clothing designs.

Thanks for the cute romper, Mom. I've washed it a bit and that fabric doesn't look a bit different. I thought for sure that red fabric would bleed onto the white, but no!

Happy Sewing Y'all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Colorful Patchwork Bags and Baskets- Craftsy Class Review

Hi sewing friends. Today I'm posting as a part of the Colorful Patchwork Bags and Baskets blog hop at SewCanShe. My friend Caroline recently came up with the cutest pattern and got the chance to film her first *Craftsy class about it.
 Her class is called Colorful Patchwork Bags and Baskets and her patterns are super versatile. Have you ever taken a Craftsy class?  They are so fun and I always learn something new when I watch one. In Caroline's class, she teaches how to make tote bags, zipper pouches, and fabric baskets using a fun and fail proof patchwork technique.  Once you learn the techniques you can make any size bag or basket that you'd like.

Of course I chose to make a bag....of course.

This looks like your typical tote but it isn't. It has options. I chose to make the version that has pockets on the outside which are installed in a very clever way. They are big enough to slip in your favorite novel or anything else you need to keep right at your finger tips.

My favorite part about this pattern is that it uses gridded interfacing by Pellon that makes for super easy patchwork piecing. 

Here's a view of the inside where there are more pockets.

And the fabric on the handles is my favorite.

If you are curious about the fabrics I used:
Patchwork: Priory Square by Katy Jones.
Dot chambray: Robert Kaufman
Plain Denim from Joann

And if you are trying to recreate this very bag I started with 5'' charm squares.

 The tote bag is just one of the projects you can make in this class. Caroline also shows you how to make fabric baskets and zipper pouches in a variety of sizes. Isn't that little tiny pouch so cute?

 Want to checkout this class and see how these cute projects are made? You are in luck! Caroline is generously offering 50% discount to my readers (that means you!). To get the discount, and to watch a preview of the class, click HERE. Remember once you purchase the class you can watch it anytime, and you'll have indefinite access to it through your free Craftsy account.

Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog hop below. New links will appear as the week goes on with a new stop every day.

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*In full disclosure, this post contains Craftsy affiliate links. I was given a free link to take this class and supplied with some interfacing and supplies to make the cute tote you see above. But, I truly think this is a brilliant pattern and hope you'll try it out. If you do, let me know what you think. 

Happy Sewing!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Weekend WIPs

Hello friends! I thought it would be fun to check in with a little update of things here at Blue Susan headquarters.

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I took the opportunity to head on up to one of my favorite local fabric stores The Quilt Place and browse their amazing selection of quilting fabric. I was happy to find that they are now stocking most of the Cotton and Steel fabric lines. It is so fun to see all that beautiful fabric in real life and not just on Instagram. I came away with this small stack of fabric. treated myself to some new fabric to fill up my sewing closet of course.

 I'm currently reorganizing my sewing closet...again. I'm having a hard time remembering where I put everything so I thought it was time for a little reorganization. I'm finding that there are way more unfinished projects than I think I can handle. Here is the list of sewing projects that I found half done in my closet. There are a few more that I haven't added to the list, like my PLUS quilt.

I have a problem I think. I really just like to start projects. Finishing them is not really as fun as starting them. Actually I've been thinking and I don't think it's bad to just start projects and not finish them.  I like to sew and design for a creative outlet and to escape from everyday life from time to time. Just because I don't finish a project or never sew up the fabric that I buy it doesn't matter, it's the experience that I crave, not holding the finished item in my hand. So I made a list and if I get these projects finished, great!! If not, oh well. Does this make sense?

Anyhow, this little quilt is destined to become a wall hanging for my living room. I spent a bit of time on it on Mother's day treat to myself.  I have it all quilted and it just needs a binding. Yay!! Maybe that will be my treat to myself tomorrow.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!