stitch with style mag!


I'm in it!  I love this magazine.  This issue is filled with all sorts of goodies and many from bloggers you might already know.  Charise from Charise Creates and Sara from Sew Sweetness just to name a couple!  I feel really lucky that my project got accepted.  It feels like so long ago though, so it's good to be able to share it here!

My contribution is the Modern Grommet Clutch.  If you've been along with me on this crazy ride you know that I love grommets and throw it on a clutch, perfect!

I used a Robert Kaufman Chambray on the exterior and some Anna Maria Horner Pastry Line Voile for the front sash.  A print by Helen Dardik for the lining.  It's even got a cute little pocket inside for your library card or some lip balm.  I really like the quilted chambray, it's got such a great texture.

I gave myself a little pat on the back when I realized my outfit coordinated so well with the clutch today!

You can purchase your own copy of the magazine at Pink Chalk Fabrics, or try hunting it down at your favorite sewing shops!  It's even got full size sheets of pattern pieces for you (including pattern pieces for my clutch)!

Have a great weekend!

another scoop top


Scoop Top, it rocks.  I made another!  This time I had gotten a super soft knit from Girl Charlee.  It's dreamy.

Pretty much the same as last time.  I love how quick this shirt is to sew.  I kind of feel spoiled with knits. I finished this one morning and wore it the rest of the day, just like last time.  Now it's been washed and I'm ready to wear it again!

Instead of hemming the sleeves this time I just added another band, similar to how the neckline is finished.

Gotta love it!

Hope you had a great weekend.  It's been rain rain rain for days here, come on sun!

Tutorial: Scoop Top by Skirt as Top
Fabric: Girl Charlee

my leggings!


I'm so pumped about these leggings.  I followed Miranda's (One Little Minute) tutorial for self drafted leggings and made my very own pair. I had gotten this black'white print from a while back and figured I might as well cut into it.  I love them!

I did end up re-measuring myself though because apparently I didn't quite measure as accurately as I could the first time.  So this next round that I plan on making I adjusted the overall length and rise a bit.

If you're at all uncertain of knits this would be a great project to start with.  And if you're shopping for fabric, just check the material content of an existing pair of leggings you have (or even go check out what a pair at the store is made of).  I got a bunch of this Laguna Stretch Cotton Jersey (it's 95% cotton 5% Lycra, same content of the store bought ones I had).

I know it might seems ridiculous to sew a pair of leggings when they're only $10 or so at Target, but when you make them yourself, they'll be made to fit your body!  So if you have really long legs, or larger calves, or you like them to not feel like they're showing your butt when you bend over, this is your answer.

Have a great long weekend!!!

magnetic snap tutorial


I remember what it was like inserting my first magnetic snap.  I was sweating bullets!  It's one of those last steps when making a tote or bag or other project.  All I could think of was how was I going to fix it once I messed it up?!  But you know what, all the worry was really over nothing.  Anyway, I'll show you how to insert a magnetic snap, no sweat, promise.

+ Supplies +
  • sharp scissors
  • some kind of fabric marking tool (I used a water soluble pen)
  • scraps of fusible interfacing

+ Interfacing +
One of the little tricks I've come up with for myself is having those little scraps of fusible interfacing ready to go.  Whenever I'm cutting interfacing and I have a few smaller pieces, I'll take the time and cut them into little 2" squares.  I stuff those squares in a baggie with my magnetic snaps so the next time I'm ready to insert a snap - it's ready to go!  Most frequently I keep Pellon SF101 (a fusible woven) and Pellon 81F (a fusible fleece) and I use them in combination.

You'll have two pronged pieces and two washers per magnetic snap.

+ Size/Type +
Now I should mention that you'll want to make sure you have the appropriate size magnetic snap for your project.  Most patterns/tutorials call for a certain size.  I do like to use a smaller 15mm size snap for pockets.  Some even have a lighter magnetic strength which is nice if you're sick of trying to pry open a pocket for the millionth time.  I also really like working with a sew in magnet (which is sandwiched between exterior/lining layers), they seem to hold things together nicely, but at the same time are really easy to open.  I can save that for another post though if you're interested.

+ Where to Shop +
I prefer to order my magnetic snaps on Etsy.  I feel like I get a way better deal than the big box craft stores (yes, even with a coupon) and have more options for sizes and even magnetic strengths.  My favorite shop is BeingBags,  I've always had good luck and they have a great selection of bag hardware. Usually you'll need to buy more than you need for one project, but then I always like tucking in snaps when I'm sending sewing friends a package, share the love, right?!

So we'll start of with a little project in progress.  For this example I'm using a front pocket from my Super Tote.  I've assembled the pocket (pocket exterior, piping, and pocket lining).

You'll be inserting the magnetic snap between the exterior and lining pieces.  You won't want the back of these magnetic snaps to show. Below is a picture of the wrong sides of the exterior and lining pieces opened up and all set to go.

Step 1:
Mark snap placement. Using whatever marking tool you've got around.  a pencil works great too.  Make a mark in both of those little rectangles.

Step 2:
Cut slits where you marked to insert prongs. Make sure to use a sharp scissors!  And try to cut as small of a slit as possible.  I've also seen where people make small buttonholes where the prongs will go.  If you're worried about fraying you can always dab on a little Fray Check.

Step 3:
Insert snap.  Push prongs through the slits.  You can then take out the prongs and fuse on a layer of fusible interfacing.  It helps stabilize everything and holds up better for wear and tear.  I've fused on SF101 and then fusible fleece on top (gives the snap a little extra padding). You can either then push the prong back through the slits or snip through the interfacing carefully.

Push the prong back through.

Slide washer over prongs. Using the edge of your scissors blade, bend over the prongs.  I've seen where people bend them inwards too, I haven't noticed a difference either way, so I usually just bend them outwards.

Step 4:
Fuse on more interfacing.  Yep!  Go ahead and take another scrap of SF101 and lay it over the top of everything and give it a good iron.

Step 5:
Repeat steps 1-4 for installing remaining half of snap on project. Marking placement, cutting, inserting prongs, interface, bend over prongs, adding more interfacing and that's all!

You're all set!  I love to sit and open and close snaps (and zippers) when I'm done, it's so fun and feels like a pat on the back.  You did it!  And I should mention, if this kind of magnetic snap isn't your cup of tea, there are some really cute sew in style snaps that I definitely want to try.  They seem like they'd make a really nice handmade touch to a project.  Okay, if you have any additional tips feel free to leave them in the comments.  ♥

Super Tote Super Hearts


This Umbrella Prints fabric is one of the first I picked to make into a Super Tote.  I love this print, yeah, so what I have two chairs covered in the same print?!  I'll match my house at least.  I love this tote so much.  Orange is one of my many favorite colors.

I did make a different lining for this version, but when I fished it all up I didn't like it!  So I made a whole new lining.  Of course I saved the lining that I didn't use and will make a different exterior soonish.  I'm so happy I switched it though.

 I also fully lined the front pocket on this one (an option in the pattern - instead of using a pocket facing), definitely recommend going this route if you're just using quilting weight cottons.

I've been really excited to pop through the flickr group and find all sorts of finished pretties, you guys are always so productive!  Thank you so much for sharing.  Seriously, I get so distracted when I open up the group page, I love paging through what you made.

And I forgot to share this with the testers post, but my friend Carolyn made a Super Tote and was thoughtful enough to take time to send me her notes (even in the midst of all her Quilt Market preparing).  I love her version.  She included piping along her gusset which is so lovely.  ♥

Exterior: Chambray, Linen, Umbrella Prints
Lining: Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander, Julia Rothman for Windham Type (pockets)
Pattern: Super Tote

my quilt - 2


I had to make another 'my quilt' again after I spotted this lovely Anna Maria Horner Field Study fabric (Sinister Swarm in Flour).  These beautiful shot cottons immediately drew me in.  After all the Super Tote sewing I needed some quilting action, quick!

I love how it turned out.  The loopy quilting was so fun.  I always think of Jeni when I see loopy quilting!  She's the loop queen!  Plus I finished the whole quilt in just the weekend, not bad for a big one!

So this stack sat and waited patiently for me until I was ready.  I had the yellow (Coordinates in Saffron) fabric for another project, but I'm so glad that I used it for the backing.  I think mostly the back will be on display and maybe just the butterfly front when it's spring and summer - but who knows!

I'm also really really excited to finish my little side project of refinishing this Jenny Lind bed so I can use it!  It's only primed at this point.  I think it might just get painted white, but I might get a little crazy and paint it a coral or turquoise.  Open to suggestions!  ♥

Finished quilt measures: 72" wide x 86" long, perfect for the double bed
Little tutorial here.
Fabrics:  Anna Maria Horner Field Study, Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons (including binding)

Mall of America Trip


The opportunity to go to Mall of America® came in my inbox a while back.  I jumped at the chance!  I'm a small town kind of girl, but I do love going up to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area as much as I can.  Mostly for the shopping.  I love the variety and Mall of America is the queen of shopping centers.  If you've never been to Mall of America, you'll want to read on.  And if you've been there lots, maybe you'll find something new that you just have to try.

I remember way back, back when Mall of America first opened in 1992 - I was almost 12.  My mom and brother and I went up to do some before school shopping.  It's crazy how exciting it was then.  And it's still exciting.  I think it's even more so because my girls are at really fun ages where we can do more fun activities (they're 6 and 4).  Seeing them excited about being there just makes it so much cooler.

So anyway fast forward 21 years later. We got to stay at the new Radisson Blu Hotel that's directly attached to the Mall.  I hadn't heard of the hotel yet, but it had just opened in March.  And it's rad.  I love that fresh and modern feel it has. Everyone was so extremely nice there.  I've stayed at lots of hotels and this is one of the nicest and had the friendliest and most helpful staff.  Haha, I have to admit they were awesome about answering our questions as we got turned around or couldn't find the parking ramp.  I really liked that we could stay out pretty darn late (ahem, 10 pm) in the Mall and not have to worry about going to get our car and heading back home or driving to a different hotel.  It was awesome.  We even tested the saline pool (no chlorine!).  Natalie said she enjoyed the taste.

The room was really awesome, and Mall of America and some of its stores left us some really great things to try, including tickets to some really fun stuff (which I'll get to in a sec), but most importantly - cupcakes from the shop Cupcake!  I had the store written down as must visit, haha, cupcake sucker I am.  They were amazing, I scarfed down a Chocolate Espresso cupcake.

We threw our things in the room and didn't waste any time going to the first stop: SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium!  We had a ton of fun.  The girls loved seeing the sharks and jellyfish and even an octopus.  We all got to touch starfish for the first time - I know, where have I been?!  They're awesome.

After the Aquarium we checked out LEGO® and checked out the lines for the rides.  I'd definitely say that a Saturday afternoon is the busiest time, so if you can avoid that time and go another, definitely give it a shot.  We waited until Sunday morning to check out as many rides at Nickelodeon Universe® as possible.  Roller coasters (the Pepsi Orange Streak was our family fave), swings, Brain Surge, rides for little kids, plus things we didn't even have time for like the Moose Mountain adventure golf or the Ghostly Gangplank ropes course (I'm definitely going back to try the ropes course!).

We stopped half way and did some shopping at Archiver's (for me) and at the American Girl store for the girls.  They loved looking at all the American Girl craziness!  We also had to try our Build-A-Bear for the first time, it's something I think the girls will remember for a long time!  And afterwards, we ate at my favorite Panda Express (why oh why did our local mall have to close ours?!).  Then back to some more rides and then we pretty much passed out from all the excitement.

It went by so fast, but we had such a great time.  And we were totally wiped out on the way home we couldn't even talk for over an hour.  Happy kids make happy parents, so we were all set.

Thanks for reading about our adventures.  Visit Mall of America this summer!  It's a great place to shop and have fun, plus no sales tax on clothes!!  Bonus points!  Hey and I'm giving away a $100 MOA™ gift card too!

To enter for a chance to win, leave me a comment telling me what looks like the best thing for you and your family at MOA?:
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/13 - 6/9.
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