Month: March 2018

Sweet Mom and Me Apron Pattern Review

Sweet Mom and Me Apron Pattern Review

Every little girl wants matching Mom and me outfits. Some of us wait a long time to get them! This easy apron is a great project for a beginner sewer, make one for you and your child in a single day!

Mom and Me Aprons

I love aprons. I have at least 6 of them that I use all the time for cooking, crafting, or cleaning. Some of them have pockets, some don’t. A few of my aprons are for specific holidays or making Sunday dinner. I don’t have many that are prints, and I was smitten with these lovely fabrics from Cross Cut Sewing Company the minute I saw them.

This pattern is very easy, requires only a yard of each fabric and is reverse-able. I love the contrasting bit of fabric at the hem that gives you a hint of what’s on the other side. The pattern, fabric and trims come as a complete kit and are customize-able for children or adults. It’s easy to make a mother child combo, or you can make two adult size aprons as I did. You can choose your fabrics too, and I loved this combination of floral and chambray. Chambray is my favorite thing you know…..

Sweet Mom and Me Apron Pattern Review|ChambrayBluesblog|chambrayblues.com

The Cross Cut Sewing Company pattern directions were easy to follow. I didn’t change any of the construction, but I did add top stitching 1/4″ from the edge of the apron around the perimeter. Also, I applied Fray-Check to seal the raw edges of the twill tape after cutting. The twill tape is used for the neck band and waist ties. You could also melt the edges with a cigarette lighter to seal them, but this method will slightly discolor the edges where the Fray-Check is completely clear.

I also added a stitch in the ditch seam at the hem where the contrasting fabric band begins. To do this, just top stitch over the seam line, it will appear on both sides. This stitching helps keep the layered fabrics together and keeps things from shifting during washing.

 

The great thing about the pattern is the reverse-able nature of it. The apron is fast to cut out by layering the two fabric pieces before you cut with a rotary cutter. Just be sure the edges and folds match so you don’t end up with one piece that’s larger than the other.

The pattern kit came with D-rings for the neck band which were easy to stitch in place on the twill tape.

Sweet Mom and Me Apron Pattern Review|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Mom was more concerned about eating her breakfast before it got cold and putting her lipstick on before the photos. But, she likes her new apron. I caught her with it on while she was doing dishes this morning! Finally, we have a Mom and Me outfit. I always wanted one as a kid! You are never too old for this sort of thing, Mom is 87 and still going strong!

Thanks to Cross Cut Sewing Company for sponsoring this post!

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Sweet Mom and Me Apron Pattern Review|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

 

Try some of these other great ideas:

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

5 Step Easy Headband

How to Restyle a Boring Denim Jacket

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

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Why Self Care Makes for Better Sewing

Why Self Care Makes for Better Sewing

We have all been there: feeling, sore, tired, overwhelmed and unfocused. These things can disrupt your mindset and decrease your sewing productivity. Here’s why you should make self care a priority for better sewing.

 

Why Selfcare makes sewing better|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com
Taking care of yourself will make you a better sewer!

I sometimes think that as sewers, we are destined to take care of everyone else but ourselves. We spend long hours hunched over a sewing machine or cutting table, laboring away on the things we make out of love for everyone else. So often we end up with sore backs, wrists, dry cut hands and cut bleeding fingers from our efforts. Forgetting to take care of yourself actually disrupts and slows down your sewing production. Here’s how you can remedy your physical issues that keep you from being more productive in your sewing.

 

Why Selfcare makes sewing better|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

Take Time for Self Care

This post is sponsored by Love and Leche. I was compensated in some way for writing this post. Any opinions given are completely my own. See the disclosures page for more information.

Why Selfcare makes sewing better|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

Top Self Care Issues

  1. Cure dry chapped hands. Here in Wisconsin, our long cold winters attribute to dry skin and cracked hands. With all the cutting and sewing I do, I find that my hands are just a mess. Nothing seems to keep my hands from feeling chapped and sore. Sewing just makes the problem worse. Love and Leche sent me their natural lotion bar to try and it’s been a game changer. This bar is incredibly moisturizing, and it doesn’t leave a greasy residue on your hands. I love that it comes in this adorable bag, and has a mini-lotion tin for my handbag. This eco-friendly gift bag is made by Work + Shelter in New Delhi, India. Your purchase of this product (the gift bag) goes to help impoverished women giving them more control and dignity in their lives. It’s a win, win.
  2. Be sure your sewing table is at the correct height. Working on a table that is too low, or too high for long hours will cause back and shoulder pain. Your hands and wrists should be perpendicular to your machine while sewing to relieve stress in your neck, back and shoulders. If your table is not the correct height you are at risk for injury. Look for a lower table or adjust your machine height by setting it into the table top. A handy man can cut a hole in your table to set your machine down in it without too much trouble.
  3. Take frequent breaks while sewing. This may seam obvious, but it’s easy to get so involved in your project that you spend hours and hours without moving or changing position. You should get up and walk around at least every 20-30 minutes to relieve stress and relax your muscles.
  4. Cut out your project on a waist high surface. Many women who sew have lower back pain from leaning over their cutting surface. You will be amazed how much better you feel by raising your table up when you cut. Try using an inexpensive 8 foot plastic dining table raised up on concrete blocks for cutting. You can even put two tables together for a wider cutting surface. Look for inexpensive plastic risers to add to your own table at Walmart or Ikea for this purpose.
  5. Pace Yourself. It’s easy to over commit to your sewing projects. I have 5 cut projects waiting to be sewn as I write this post. As much as I love to sew, no one can sew 24 hours a day. Set a realistic deadline or goal for your sewing. I have a project scheduled on my calendar for each month. If I get it done before the month is over, I start another one. If not, then I have some time to squeeze it in during the next month. Sewing is ment to be an enjoyable hobby, it’s not enjoyable if you are stressed out trying to finish a project and make mistakes because of it. I limit my sewing to 2-3 hours per day. If I try to work longer hours, I end up making unnecessary mistakes in my work. Pace is important!
  6. Treat yourself to a massage. I am a firm believer in massage. Get one once a week or once a month to stay loose and limber for sewing. Massage releases toxins that build up in your muscles over time. The most effective massages are at least 60 minutes long, it takes that long to truly relax and enjoy the massage. It may cost a few dollars, but you will be more productive in your sewing if you feel good. This is particularly helpful if you sew for a living, or have a big stressful project your are working on such as a bridal gown or large quilt. You won’t regret it, I promise.
  7. Drink plenty of water. Headaches are the first sign of dehydration. Be sure to keep a bottle of water next to you as you work on your projects. It’s easy to forget that you need to keep hydrated as you work. Definitely will help you concentrate longer and get more done.

Why Selfcare makes sewing better|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

 

Thanks to Love and Leche for sponsoring this post! If you would like to try their products, they are offering a free mini-lotion for your first purchase as a special offer to my readers. Enter the code Chambrayblues at checkout. Offer is good until May 15, 2018.

You can also register to win a free lotion gift bag here.

Don’t forget to Pin this post!

Why Selfcare makes sewing better|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

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The Tale of the Seamstress

The Tale of the Seamstress

The latest episode of my podcast is now available! We will talk a bit about my childhood seamstress, blogging, sewing and how it all got started.

The Tale of the Seamstress|Chambray blues blog|www.chambrayblues.com

I am not very good about sharing personal stories. I love to read other people’s stories, but for some reason it always seems less important that I share my own story. In this episode of the Style Blues podcast, I talk a bit about how I learned to sew and what inspired me to go to design school. Perhaps listening my blog story will inspire someone else!

Show Notes:

Intro

Blogging history and story behind my lifestyle blog Designers Sweet Spot.

Your 10 Biggest Sewing Mistakes

  1. Not pre-washing your fabric first
  2. Not believing in yourself, it’s not rocket science
  3. Buying the wrong size pattern
  4. Not measuring correctly
  5. Not making pattern adjustments
  6. Not placing the grainline correctly
  7. Using the wrong type of fabric for the pattern.
  8. Using a machine that hasn’t been serviced
  9. Using the wrong needle
  10. Using the wrong thread

Don’t forget to Pin this for later!

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Step Easy Headband

5 Step Easy Headband

This headband is easy to make with the Cricut Maker! Just 5 steps to a finished project that will take less than 1/2 hour to make!

5 step easy headband|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

 

5 Step Easy Headband

It’s super easy to make a headband with the Cricut Maker! This project is already in the Cricut Design space so it doesn’t take long to download it and put it together. I made this headband from some fabric scraps leftover from my last project. You will need about 1/4 yard of cotton fabric for this project, and 6″ of 1/2″ narrow elastic.

 

What you need to know about the Cricut Maker|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
The Cricut Maker cuts fabric, HTV, paper, just about anything!

Directions:

Download the Simplicity Headband pattern to your Cricut Maker.

Apply your fabric to your pink fabric cutting mat. Cut the pieces with your Cricut machine. It’s really easy! Then you are ready to sew!

Sewing Directions:

5 Step easy headband|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

  1. Stitch along the long edges of the large rectangle with 1/4″ hem. Turn and stitch again over your first row of stitching.
  2. Gather the ends of the rectangle with a basting stitch, pull up threads.
  3. Make the elastic casing. I changed the construction slightly from the Simplicity directions, just fold the small rectangle into thirds with the elastic inside and zig zag stitch over the top. Easy Peasy!
  4. Attach large rectangle ends to ends of elastic piece with a single needle stitch 3.0.
  5. Fold the small square pieces into thirds, secure over the seam where the elastic is attached to the headband with a few more zig zag stitches.

5 step easy headband|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

That’s all there is to it! This project is perfect addition for your self care routine. Hold your hair back when you are washing your face, applying makeup, having a facial, etc. You can also wear it to the grocery store on those bad hair days! My Cricut blogger friends have gotten together to post about some other self care ideas that you can make with a Cricut. Click on the link below to see what else you can make to pamper yourself with your Cricut!

Don’t forget to Pin it!

Need more inspiration? Try these other projects:

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

001: Interview with Melissa Viscount of Silhouette School Blog

How to Restyle a Boring Denim Jacket

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

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3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

There are many ways to make a simple t-shirt into an updated style. This easy 3 step pattern hack will add style to any wardrobe!

3stepeasyt-shirt|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

 

 

I started this pattern hack by finding some adorable pink polkadot fabric from Walmart. It’s a woven fabric, and I loved the pretty colors. I decided it would be a perfect addition to my t-shirt pattern. My main fabric is a soft white jersey knit also from Walmart.

The pattern I used here is McCalls #7331. It’s just a basic t-shirt pattern, but I made 3 simple changes to it with the help of my Cricut Maker. First, cut out the t-shirt pattern in your size from your desired fabric (or you can use a couple of store bought t-shirts, directions for that are below.)

Add style to your t-shirt with this easy pattern hack!

 

3 Step Easy Pattern Hack:

1. Login to Cricut Design Space here.

2. Download my free 3 Step Easy T-Shirt Hack pattern file here.

3. Cut out the pieces with your Cricut Maker.

It’s really easy to sew and fast to assemble by cutting the pieces with your Cricut! This post is sponsored by Cricut. Any opinions given are completely my own.

Bell Sleeve detail|Chambraybluesblog|www.chambrayblues.com

 

Assembly Instructions:

1. Fold sleeve bands in half, right sides out. Stitch together with 5/8″ seam allowance on the long edge.

2. Cut your sleeve piece in half just above the elbow. Sew the contrasting rectangle piece underneath the raw edge of the sleeve with a narrow zig zag stitch 1.5 wide, overlapping the pieces by 1/2 inch.

THE RAW EDGE OF THE KNIT T-SHIRT IS SUPPOSED TO SHOW as in the photo above.

3. Gather the bottom part of the sleeve by stitching along the top edge with 5.0 basting stitch (I added 3″ in the sleeve width to my existing pattern to make the gathered ruffle). Pull up threads and gather the piece to fit the sleeve band (check the fit on your arm before you finish sewing). Overlap the gathered knit sleeve on top of the contrasting fabric by about 1/2″ (right sides up). Stitch in place with narrow zig zag stitch 1.5 wide. THE GATHERED RAW EDGE IS SUPPOSED TO SHOW as in photo.

4. Add lace trim to the bottom of the sleeve hem by stitching lace on with 1/4″ seam allowance using a narrow zig zag stitch.

5. Place the neck facing right side up on the front of the t-shirt neckline with the two pieces touching at center front. Pin in place. Stitch along the outside edge with a narrow zig zag stitch. Tack the facing with the zig zag stitch at center front 1″ from bottom to secure as in photo below.

 

6. Slash center front along the facing at center front to the bottom edge of the facing. Sew lace edging over raw edge with zig zag stitch, folding lace to miter at corners. Sew shoulder seams together. Add lace all around the neck edge, front and back with the same method, folding under ends at center front and tacking in place.

7. Add lace trim to outside of neck facing, stitching again over your first stitching with the same narrow zig zag stitch.

8. Finish shirt by stitching sleeves into armholes, and sewing underarm seam. Hem, press and enjoy! Share with your friends!

 

If you do not want to make an entire t-shirt, you can create this look with two old t-shirts:

1. Cut out contrasting pieces with your Cricut Maker as above.

2. Remove neck ribbing on old t-shirt.

3. Cut 7″ wide strip of fabric off the bottom of one of the t-shirts.

4. Gather fabric along top edge, as in step 3 above. Attach contrasting sleeve trim to existing sleeve edge and lace as described above.

5. Add contrasting fabric at neck as described in step 5 above.

 

Thanks to Cricut for sponsoring this post! If you want more pattern ideas, try these other posts:

How to Restyle a Boring Denim Jacket

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

How to Shorten Pattern Sleeves

How to Measure for Pattern Alterations

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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001: Interview with Melissa Viscount of Silhouette School Blog

001: Interview with Melissa Viscount of Silhouette School Blog


Download this episode here!

The Style Blues Podcast is finally here! The first episode is now live!

Chambrayblues.com/stylebluespodcast/episode001
Episode 001

Show Notes:

Interviews are Inspiring:

One of the things I wanted to accomplish with this podcast is to inspire you with interviews of people who have been successful in their sewing related businesses. As creative people, sometimes we think too narrow when it comes to business and making money from what we love.

Using a computer aided design tool is one great way to make your sewing business into something that will make you money. These computerized tools, such as the Silhouette machine are changing the industry in that you can now make quality custom appliques or other items from home with relatively little investment. When I first heard about the Silhouette a few years ago I had no idea what I could use something like that for. I had a blogger friend who told me about “Silhouette School” and I thought she was talking about an actual school in Chicago. Haha! Now, I see Silhouette projects all over the internet!

Just to be clear, “Silhouette School” is not an actual school or place, it’s the name of Melissa Viscount’s blog. Melissa has been very successful in teaching others how to use their Silhouette machines. When I was making a list of potential people with successful businesses to interview for this podcast, Melissa was at the very top of my list. She has really inspired me and I hope you will enjoy listening to how she built her online business around what she loves to do.

So without further ado, here’s the interview:

Talking with Melissa Viscount:

Thank you for joining me today Melissa!

Questions:

Did you ever imagine that your Silhouette machine would change your life?

  1. For those who are not familiar with the Silhouette machine, can you tell us a bit about How the Silhouette machine works? Can you design your own cuts/stencils?
  2. Are available designs copyrighted for home or commercial use?
  3. What are the file types for? Example SVG, DXF, PNG, and EPS
  4. Can designs be scaled for childrens, adult clothing?
  5. Quilting patterns?
  6. Cutting other materials besides vinyl or fabric, wood or metal?
  7. What other things do people use the machine for?

 

What are some of your favorite projects that people have created with Silhouette School?

I understand that your husband works with you full time, how does that work? Boss lady and Bob? Love your #bosslady hashtag!

Tell me about your Silhouette conference? Is it just in Atlanta or other areas?

Where can people find you online, social media?

www.silhouetteschoolblog.com (blog)

www.silhouetteu.com (membership site)

www.ultimatesilhouetteguide.com (books)

www.sofontsy.com (design and font market)

Inspiration for Your Business:

Wow, was she inspiring or what? I just loved hearing her story and I am so thrilled she shared it with us. The potential for having the ability to create your own customized designs is huge. There are unlimited ways to use computerized tools like this in a home based business. Not sure if you caught her mention the gal that paid off her house by designing custom wooden hanger labels for brides? Wow! That is so amazing!

It’s interesting to me that Melissa’s niche is really in education. She mentioned that she doesn’t really do project tutorials but rather focuses on teaching others how to use their Silhouette machines. I think education is so important, sharing your knowledge can make a world of difference to someone else that may be struggling. Melissa does such a great job of that. I also find it fascinating that she is successful on a global scale. People around the world have read her Ebooks and applied her knowledge their businesses wherever they may live.

That’s all for today, thank you so much for listening! I will have more interviews coming up in the next few weeks. I hope you are inspired by today’s episode, I know I certainly was.

Learn More About Melissa:

Melissa Viscount is a Full time blogger at Silhouette School Blog.com and her new site, So Fontsy. Melissa is a wife, mom and author of 10 books on using the Silhouette Machine.

Melissa Viscount launched Silhouette School exactly 4 years ago on a whim after receiving a Silhouette Portrait from her husband for Christmas 2013. Since then more than 35 Million readers have enjoyed her more than 1000 free tutorials on how to use the Silhouette cutting machines, Silhouette Studio software, and accessories, techniques, and tools.  Due to demand from her very loyal readers, Melissa released her first ebook, The Ultimate Silhouette Guide, three years – and now 11 books ago. More than 80,000 copies of her guides – covering topics from Silhouette for business owners to designing in and mastering Silhouette Studio – have been sold since. Many are now sold with the Silhouette machine bundles. In June 2016 – Melissa’s husband, Bob, left his full time job in pharmaceuticals to join her full-time and take over the business side of their quickly growing Silhouette School brand. Shortly after, they launched their premium membership website Silhouette U – which – as of today – has nearly 5,000 active members. Just last week, they expanded their business again with the launch of So Fontsy – a commercial use design and font marketplace geared toward die cut crafters.

It’s amazing that Melissa has not only enjoyed blogging about Silhouette, but her expertise in the crafting industry has made her a sought after Silhouette (and blogging) instructor – having taught hundreds of crafters and fellow bloggers nationwide. She’s also served as a consultant to well established brands and well known brands in this craft industry – or those trying to tap into it.

She has been honored to be the keynote speaker at multiple craft and Silhouette conferences across the country including being invited back multiple times to the All Things Silhouette Conferences.

You can find out even more about Melissa by clicking on the links below:

www.silhouetteschoolblog.com (blog)

www.silhouetteu.com (membership site)

www.ultimatesilhouetteguide.com (books)

www.sofontsy.com (design and font market)

Style Blues Podcast Ep.001|ChambrayBluesBlog|Chambrayblues.com

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If you have questions about this episode contact us at info@chambrayblues.com.

 

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