Author: Jessica

Apparel design and sewing instructor. Wife and Mom. Woman in mid-life and loving every minute of it!
Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut

These cute t-shirts are easy to make with your Cricut Maker. They are just the thing to go with a light sweater and a pair of your favorite handmade jeans!

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues blog|
The Cricut Flamingo T-Shirt Collection

T-Shirts made with the Cricut Maker

My Cricut has been getting quite a work out lately! These shirts are hot off the Easy Press and very simple to make. I’ve been designing t-shirts for Cricut on the side and I love how simple they are, they always turn out great! The Cricut HTV vinyl is a great product that is fun to use for just about any t-shirt design. I used purchased T-shirts for this collection, rather than sewing from scratch to speed up the process. You can still be creative and not have to sew all the time! (These projects are great to give yourself a break!)

The designs were easy to make with existing fonts and images in the Cricut Design Space. I like to start with a t-shirt template, then add the images. In this case I wanted Flamingos, so I searched for them in Design Space and had lots of designs to choose from. They have thousands of images available to you! After I chose my image, then I added text to go with it. Usually I use one or two fonts before choosing one that I like the best, in most cases I prefer fonts that are easy to read. The majority of my graphic designs have both a print font and a cursive one which gives the design more interest. Sometimes there will be a design all ready made (such as the “I don’t give a flock design”), then you just have to choose your colors for the vinyl. I like simplicity in my design, so I only use 2 colors of vinyl in each shirt to keep it simple. Occasionally the design has to be made larger, which is easy to do in design space with the click of your mouse.

Here’s what you will need to put together your own Flamingo T-shirt collection:

Flock of Flamingos T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues Blog|
This t-shirt uses Pink glitter vinyl and an Aquamarine printed vinyl.

This post is sponsored by Cricut, any opinions given are completely my own. For a complete list of disclosure rules, see the disclosure page.

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirt Supplies

•White or Grey T-shirt, I used XL T-shirt from Walmart

•Pink Glitter Lipstick HTV Vinyl and Aquamarine from the Patterned Iron on Sampler HTV Vinyl collection (order through my affiliate link here)

•Cricut Weeding tools

•Cricut Cutting Mat, cutting blade

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues Blog|
This design is great for adult or youth size t-shirts.

General Directions:

1. You can access this design on my Cricut page here. Download the design to your design space page.

2. Place your first color vinyl on the cutting mat according to the Cricut cutting directions. Be sure to use a roller (brayer) to adhere the vinyl to the mat securely before cutting. Place your vinyl with the shiny side DOWN on the mat.

3. Cut with the Cricut Maker, then weed out (remove the extra vinyl) from the outside area around the design.

4. Cut the remaining vinyl piece while you are weeding out the first one.

5. Cut apart the pieces and place them with the sticky side of the plastic down on the shirt. You can move them around a bit until they are centered from the top (I use 2-3 finger widths from the bottom of the neck as a guide). Be sure the design is also centered from left to right on the shirt (use the underarm seam as a visual guide for this).

6. After the design is in place, cover it with a press cloth or Cricut heat proof mat. Press with your Easy Press set to 320 degrees for 30 seconds. You can also use an iron on the hottest setting if you don’t have an easy press (be sure to iron all parts of the design equally).

7. Turn the shirt over, press again on the back for an additional 20 seconds. Turn shirt to the front, peel off the plastic vinyl backing while it’s still warm (you can tell if your vinyl isn’t set completely it will peel off with the backing. You may need to re-press if it’s not completely adhered to the shirt.)


Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues blog|
I am keeping these little children’s shirts for my future grandchildren!

Putting the vinyl on the shirts is more or less the same for each design. The Cricut Maker will tell you which colors to use for each step, just follow the general directions above.

I have already done all the design work, so all you have to do is press “Make It”.

How fun is that??

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues Blog|
Pair your t-shirt with your favorite jeans, a cute hat and fun earings!

It’s so much fun to whip up a new shirt to go with your favorite me-made jeans! More on the jeans later!



Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues blog|
This adorable design is perfect for toddler sizes.

For this children’s design, I used a 4-5T white shirt that I purchased from Walmart.

Vinyl colors in this shirt are Iron On Light Vinyl in Blush Pink and the Aquamarine from the Patterned Iron on Sampler. You can order them through my affiliate link here.

Your little ones will love wearing their flamingo shirts!

Download this design here!


This T-shirt is also an XL adult size, but you can use any adult sized shirt for this project.

The vinyl colors here are the same as above, Iron On Light Vinyl in Blush Pink and the Aquamarine Patterned Iron on Sampler. You can order them through my affiliate link here.

Download this design here for your Cricut Maker!

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

Flock of Flamingo T-Shirts with Cricut|Chambray Blues Blog|
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Thanks to Cricut for sponsoring this post!

Click on the links below for some other great Cricut project ideas:

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut-Part 1

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut Maker -Part 2

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut- Part 3

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

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Vintage Blouse Tutorial with Tulip Sleeves

Vintage Blouse Tutorial with Tulip Sleeves

This blouse is my go to vintage pattern! Easy to sew and fits great, from Gertie’s Butterick collection.

Vintage Blouse Tutorial with Tulip Sleeves|Chambray Blues Blog|
This vintage style blouse is an easy sew!

This post is sponsored by Michael Miller Fabrics, I was compensated in some way to make this post. For a complete list of disclosure rules see the disclosures page.

Vintage Blouse with Tulip Sleeves

I’ve been sewing vintage style lately, and I can’t say enough about how well this blouse turned out. This easy to make style is Butterick #b6217 from the Gertie pattern collection. It’s made with quilting cotton by Michael Miller Fabrics who sponsored this post. This lovely polkadot print is called Noir from Gertie’s new fabric collection.

The Butterick pattern is great, it has several options for sleeves, no sleeves, plus optional gathered details. It is generously sized and I love the simplicity of this style. I hacked the pattern a bit and added a solid color back to create a more slenderizing silhouette.

Vintage Blouse Tutorial with Tulip Sleeves|Chambray Blues Blog|
The tulip sleeves make this style unique.

Sewing Supplies Needed:

•Butterick pattern #b6217

• 2-3 yards of 45″ wide cotton fabric

•3/4 yard of black fabric, mine was a poly blend crepe

• 1/2 yard light fusible interfacing

•8 buttons, 1/2″ size

•Matching thread



Alterations and Fit Adjustments

This Butterick pattern doesn’t need a lot of fitting adjustments. The blouse has several long bodice darts and one bust dart, which is easy to let out or take in as needed for fit. I added some to width to the bodice, and I really didn’t need it. I should have made a muslin first, but I tend to just jump right into my projects head first. My only fit issue is around the neckline, I could have taken some of the fullness out, it gaps just a bit as you can see in the above photo. I am not sure if this is due to my neck interfacing being too stiff, but it seems like it’s over all a little too big. Recently, I have decided that I also have sloping shoulders, which could also be attributing to my neckline problem. Bodice length was also adjusted 2″ to compensate for my long torso. I will make more adjustments to this pattern the next time I sew this style.


Vintage Blouse with Tulip Sleeves|Chambray Blues Blog|
I found this knife pleated skirt in a thrift store, it’s a great piece to go with this vintage blouse.


The best part of this blouse is the tulip sleeves, such a pretty detail that makes any large arm look more slender and graceful. The sleeves are easy to sew with a narrow rolled hem at the bottom. The dark colored back gives me more of a shape, as the dark color automatically looks smaller than the front.

Thanks to Michael Miller for sponsoring this post!


Gertie Inspired Vintage Party Dress

Sew a Pocket Square in 3 Easy Steps

How to Sew a Sunny Raincoat

Re-cyled Jean Denim Vest

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

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Gertie Inspired Vintage Party Dress

Gertie Inspired Vintage Party Dress

I’ve had this Gertie inspired vintage style party dress one under wraps for a while, I am so excited to be able to show it to you! This is a classic silhouette you can wear for any occasion!


Vintage Style Party Dress|Chambray Blues Blog|
This vintage style dress is made with cotton fabric from Michael Miller Fabrics.

Vintage Style Party Dress

I love vintage style patterns, and have a number of them in my pattern collection. This vintage party dress is made from Butterick #b6590, from Gertie’s Charming pattern collection. The pattern has dresses in two styles a straight skirt, and a full skirt. I had a hard time deciding between the two because I loved them both so much! I finally, went with the straight skirt to see how I would like the slimmer silhouette. It is a rather generous fit, but I love that it seems proportioned for “real size” women like myself. The sewing is pretty basic, there is a lapped zipper application and a rather unique front neckline. It’s not as complicated as you would think, and is easy to sew. I really like the tab with the rhinestone button, simple styles like this can work great for day or night occasions. In fact, I like it so much I have decided to make the full skirt version for the upcoming holiday season. Stay tuned!

Gertie Vintage Style Party Dress|Chambray Blues Blog|

The floral fabric is from Michael Miller Fabrics, also part of the Gertie collection that they recently released. I can’t say enough about this fabric collection! The colors are so vibrant, you would never know it’s a cotton quilting print. Full of pinks and reds, the black back ground really makes the colors pop! It really looks great in this beautiful garden setting! Shout out to my photographer Alyssa Eidsness Photography who did a great job with this photo shoot!

This post is sponsored by Michael Miller Fabrics. Any opinions given are completely my own.

Vintage Style Party Dress Pattern Review

For the straight version of this dress, you will need 3 yards of 45″ wide material. If you decide to make the version with the full skirt it will take about 5 yards. The larger skirt is very full! The straight skirt worked great with this cotton quilting fabric from Michael Miller Fabrics because of the narrow 45″ width. If I had gone with the full skirt I would have definitely needed more fabric. The cotton is such a nice quality, refreshing to sew because it’s so well made. At first, I had planned to make a little polka dot jacket to go over the dress, but decided against it in the long run. The floral fabric is too pretty to cover up, and the front neckline just doesn’t lend it’s self to being worn with a jacket. The good news is that the polka dot will be a separate project (also a Gertie print and pattern), coming soon!

The 1950’s style pattern was very simple for this dress, even the unique front facing was not hard to put together. Cutting the facing was interesting, there is a left front and a right front facing (completely different shapes) so be careful when you cut them out as they are cut from a single layer of fabric and the print has to be right side up in order for it to work accurately. I adore the rhinestone button detail and found the perfect style button at Hobby Lobby.

Gertie Vintage Style Party Dress|Chambray Blues Blog|
I love the dolman sleeves on this dress!

Alterations and Pattern Adjustments

There were a few adjustments that I made to the pattern, but I could have done without them. The pattern is well sized and runs rather generous. I added a bit of fabric extra fabric to the bust and waist since these are my problem fit areas, which could have been eliminated. For this summer wardrobe version I decided not to take the side seams in, as I prefer a looser fit for hot summer days. When I make the next dress for the holidays, I will make it more fitted and plan to wear some proper shape wear underneath. I don’t care to wear Spanks when it’s hot and humid outside! Since I am long in the torso, the only other alteration I did was lengthening the bodice and waist yoke. This adjustment worked well and it hits my waist exactly where it should, it is very comfortable around the middle for this reason.

The back of the dress has a 22″ lapped zipper that extends all the way down to the high hip area. The zipper was not hard to install, but I always baste my zippers in place to be sure they stay put as I stitch them. I  used a regular zipper for this dress since the large print hides the zipper so well you don’t even know it’s there. Had I used a solid or smaller print, I may have used an invisible zipper and stitched it by hand instead.

Gertie Inspired Vintage Style Party Dress|Chambray Blues Blog|
The neckline has a v-neck with an unusual tab closure and decorative button.

The local vintage corner garden was the perfect place to photograph this dress. Thank you Alyssa Eidness Photography! This is the first time I have ever hired a photographer for my business. For years I have taken all my own photographs for all of my projects. I am finding that sometimes it’s very difficult to get a good shot of myself wearing some thing new with only the aid of the self timer. It’s practically impossible to capture specific details when I am wearing the garment. My family isn’t around much to help me out, and It’s not something I would do every day, but I will definitely use a photographer again in the future for these really special posts. I am glad I did, I think Alyssa really captured the essence of this dress and I love how it all came together in the photos.

Gertie Inspired Party Dress|chambray blues blog|

Hope you enjoyed this post, thanks to Michael Miller Fabrics for sponsoring!


For more inspiration, try some of these other posts:

Mens Thrifted Shirt Upcycle Hack in 7 Steps

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

How to Restyle a Boring Denim Jacket

Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace Tutorial


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Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut – Part 3

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut – Part 3

The big reveal is here, my Spinning Wheels Throw Quilt is finished! This project was a breeze by cutting all these lovely Riley Blake Fabrics on my Cricut Maker.


Spinning Wheels Throw Quilt|chambray blues blog|
The Finished Spinning Wheels Quilt


The big reveal is here! I am pleased to have finished this beautiful project! This Spinning Wheels throw quilt is made from a kit by Cricut and Riley Blake Designs. I can’t wait to cuddle with it on cool evenings out on the porch!

If you recall, I have done two other posts about this entire quilting process. You can read more about how this entire project came together:

Read post 1

Read post 2

Spinning Wheels Throw Quilt|Chambray Blues Blog|
Finished Quilt Size is 54″ x 70″

This post is sponsored by Riley Blake Designs and Cricut. Any opinions given are completely my own.

Spinning Wheels Throw Quilt|Chambraybluesblog|
Quilt top has 35 Spinning Wheel Blocks

The Spinning Wheels Quilt

This project is made from 4″ quilt blocks that are assembled into the Spinning Wheels design. The great thing about it is that the Cricut cuts all those little pieces so you don’t have to. You can read more about that in my original post. Cut the pieces and then it’s a step by step process of sewing them together two at a time. Each Spinning Wheels block has 4 small blocks to make the larger blocks.

I made a number of step by step videos for this project. Explaining this construction on video is so much easier. For this project, you can see a dozen new videos on my You Tube Channel. Here’s the basic block construction video:

If you have done any quilting before, you know how much easier it is to quilt when all the pieces are cut exactly the same. The Cricut Maker is such a great tool for quilting because all of the pieces are machine cut, they fit together with out a lot of fussing and trimming. Honestly, I would have never attempted this Spinning Wheels Quilt pattern on my own because I know how time consuming and physically draining it would be to cut all those little pieces by hand. With the Cricut cutting the pieces, the entire process is so much more enjoyable!

After the blocks are assembled the outside frame or boarders are added. Once it’s put together with the other layers, it’s time to quilt and then bind it. I enjoy hand stitching the outside boarder in place, it’s a great way to relax while watching tv in the evening.

Riley Blake Spinning Wheels Quilt|chambray blues blog|
The outside quilt boarder is hand finished.

Here are my top tips for stitching the blocks together and quilting:

5 Top Tips for the Spinning Wheels Quilt

1. Assemble the quilt blocks in small sections. Make all 4″ blocks, then go on to the larger ones. If you struggle matching the seams use small strips of fusible tape to hold them in place.

2. Press seam allowances toward the darker fabric on each square. This way the seam allowance doesn’t show behind the white pieces.

3. Starch the large blocks while pressing before assembling the rows. This makes joining seams easier and more accurate and will help the quilting process to go smoother.

4. Use a spray basting adhesive or large safety pins to make the quilt “sandwich” with the backing fabric and fiberfill before quilting.

5. Channel Quilt at 8″ intervals (stitching in the ditch of the seams) with a longer single needle stitch and a walking foot on your machine.

I cover many more tips in my videos, so be sure to check them out!


Riley Blake Quilting Kit|Chambray Blues Blog|

Remember what the kit looked like before? Such pretty fabrics!

Riley Blake Quilt Kit|Chambray Blues Blog|

Spinning Wheels Quilting Supply List

(affiliate links are included for your convenience)

Riley Blake Designs Daisey Days Throw Quilt Kit

Sewing Kit

Cutting Mat and Ruler

Rotary Cutting Tool

Cricut Maker with a Rotary Cutting Blade

This Daisey Days quilt kit can make any one of several different designs as you can see on the package. Some of my blogging friends made the other designs with the same kit! Be sure to check out their projects as well!

SookEe Designs

Sweet Red Poppy

Simple Life Pattern Company

Heather Handmade

Paisley Roots



Riley Blake and Cricut Quilting Kit|chambray blues blog|
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Thanks to Cricut and Riley Blake Designs for sponsoring this post!

Here are some other fun things you can make with a Cricut!

How to Make a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

Super Simplicity Bow Tie with Cricut Maker

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut-Part 1

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut Maker -Part 2

Make an Upcycled Denim Hat from Old Jeans

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

If you are a blogger and are interested in Cricut’s affiliate program, click here!

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

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Re-cyled Jean Denim Vest

Denim is an easy fabric to work with, this jean vest uses pairs of old jeans for a stylish layering piece!


Recycled jean Vest|Chambray Blues Blog|

Today’s project is easy to make from 3 pairs of old denim jeans. The Recycled Jean Vest pattern is super easy to follow, even if you have never sewn before you will have no troubles! You can purchase it from my affiliate link for Annie’s Catalogue here :

Recycled jean Vest|Chambray Blues Blog|

This is a PDF pattern download, what that means is you will have immediate access to download the sewing pattern. It comes in sizes small up to 3x, and has a rather generous fit. Once you purchase the pattern you will need to tape the pieces together and cut out as shown below before cutting from your fabric.

Recycled jean Vest|Chambray Blues Blog|

Vest Supplies Needed:

3 pairs similar colored denim jeans with little or no stretch

PDF sewing pattern for the Modern Silhouette Vest from Annie’s Catalogue

Sewing machine
Recycled jean Vest|Chambray Blues Blog|

Jean Vest Sewing Directions:

1. Layout the pattern pieces in order from left to right. Cut off the right and bottom side of each pattern piece along the marked line. Assemble the pattern from left to right matching the marked diamonds A1 matches piece A1, B1 matches B1 etc. Tape pieces together. Cut out your desired size on the marked lines.
2. Lay out the jeans as directed in the pattern. Placing your pattern pieces accordingly. Pin in place, cut out.
3. Sew the first panel with stay stitching 1/2” from the curved edge of the side front and side back pieces as directed in the pattern. This line of stitching keeps the pieces from stretching while you are working on it. Press.
4. Beginning with the front side panel and front panel, match the seam edges with WRONG side together. Stitch with 5/8” seam allowance keeping seam to the outside of the garment as shown in photo.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the back panels, keeping seam to the out side of garment. Press.
6. Top stitch seam allowances on front panels on either side of seam 1/4” away from center. Repeat for back panels. Press.
7. Sew shoulder seam and side seams together with right sides together. The seam allowance will not show on the outside of the garment for these seams. Press.
8. I did not finish the hem, neck or armhole seams. I prefer the raw edges to show. If you wish you can zig-zag stitch or serge the raw edges in these areas to finish them.
This project is quick to put together and sew. It’s a great way to get more use out of those old jeans that would otherwise be thrown away or be sent to the thrift store. You could also use recycled bits of fleece or wool for this project.
Like this post? Don’t forget to Pin it!
Recycled jean Vest|Chambray Blues Blog|
Here are some other fun recycled projects:

How to Make a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

Mens Thrifted Shirt Upcycle Hack in 7 Steps

Sew a Pocket Square in 3 Easy Steps

Northern Territory Ragged Baby Quilt Pattern

Make an Upcycled Denim Hat from Old Jeans

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

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Sewing for the Renassiance Faire

Episode 009

Sewing Costumes for the Renaissance Faire

Here ye, here ye, Lords and Ladies of the Faire! Gather around for this fascinating tale of adventure! If you are interested in cosplay, steampunk or historical costumes, this is for you!


Hi everyone, I am thrilled to be back again and talking about sewing costumes for the Renaissance Faire. This is one of my all time favorite things to do, I have been attending Ren Faires for more than 25 years. It’s huge event that many people love and enjoy. I was at the bank recently opening a new account when I had an interesting conversation with the banker. I was telling him about my blogging business and he asked a lot of questions. Then he went on to tell me that he spends his weekends doing Steampunk events! It was so unexpected, he is a very conservative gentleman with a bow tie and neatly trimmed beard, but he has a weekend passion for making costumes. Who would have guessed?


  1. What is the Renaissance Faire? When we were newly married about 28 years ago, a friend of mine suggested we attend the local Faire in Bristol, Wisconsin. The Faire is a theatrical event, with historically accurate costumes, music, games and food. Anything that is part of the Renaissance period from 1450-1650 is part of this festival. It is an outside event, usually in a big field, with period tents, store fronts, jousting arenas and makeshift theaters. The Faire is open each weekend for about 2 months during the summer. Professional actors are in costume as members of the Faire, and help set the stage for your experience at the event. Don’t be afraid to engage with them, it makes the experience so much fun! For example, you will learn very quickly what a “Privy” is!
  2. There are a number of very large fairs world wide, in the USA we have 4 major faires:


I have been to of the above but the Faire in California. Each faire is a bit different and you will find that it’s fun to travel and see what the other one’s are like. They are ADDICTIVE for those of us who love costumes and becoming someone else for a day.


  1. Do you have to wear a costume? The answer is no. However, you will have so much more fun if you go in costume. As a creative person, you will find so much to inspire you to sew more at the faire! Before you begin your costume, you need to decide what sort of character you would like to be. If you study history of the time (great thing to do with your kids) you will find there was a distinct difference in social classes that determined what sort of clothing they wore.


Peasant Class: Poor people with little or money to spend. Clothing was very simple, no prints or patterns other than an occasional tartan. No fancy buttons, trims or elastics. Clothes were made from light to mid weight woven cottons, linen, gauze, wool and burlap. Unfinished types of leather such as shearling or suede. Colors include off white, beige, light blue, dark blue, orange-red, russet, light browns, grey.


High Social Class: Members of the Nobility, Judges, Gentlemen and people of wealth. Clothing includes lavish textured or embroidered pieces, delicate laces and trims, silver or gold buttons, fine leather. Prints were lavish brocades, damask, finely woven linens, velvets, taffeta, silk and satins. Colors included shades of purple, red, black, white, dark brown, green.


Each color that was worn during this time period symbolized something about the social status of the person who was wearing it. For example, light blue was worn by marriageable young women, greens by youths, yellow by prostitutes etc. You can read more about Rennassiance color symbolism here.


  1. What should you wear? Let’s begin with what not to wear. Do not wear:
  • Tennis shoes
  • modern apparel and athletic wear
  • High heels
  • graphic t shirts, blue jeans
  • baseball caps
  • heavy winter clothing (it’s always the hottest day of the year at the faire)


  1. What can you sew for the event? What type of class you choose will determine some of what you make, but here are some ideas. Let’s start with the ladies:
  • long full skirts
  • cotton chemise (under dress) or blouse
  • corset
  • satchel (a simple drawstring purse)
  • snood (a net that is worn over long hair)
  • crescent shaped headpiece or veil
  • cape or wrap
  • blouse with ties on the front, with leg o’mutton sleeves
  • skinny pants or leggings with long boots and a big blouse (think Pirate costume)
  • loose fitting hat or bonnet


For the Men:

  • loose billowy under shirts with open necks and big sleeves
  • doublet or vests in leather or faux leather
  • jerkin or loose fitting top over the under shirt
  • loose fitting pants or cropped pants
  • leather breeches
  • tartan sash and kilt
  • cape
  • flamboyant flat style caps
  • garments with fur trim
  • pumpkin hose (balloon-ish style breeches covering the upper thigh)


Sewing and construction:

Garments during this time would have been custom made completely by hand. Fortunately, due to the popularity of the event there are a number of great historical patterns available. I chose a Simplicity Renaissance costume collection pattern that had both a peasant class design and a high class one.


It’s relatively easy to find plain cottons or linen. Look for brocades and fancier types of fabrics in the home decor department. The corset I made is made from gold brocade, perfect for this period.


When sewing, stick with simple stitches straight stitching or zig zag. I would not bother serging the seam allowances unless you plan on wearing your costume regularly.


General info on Corsets:

Not as hard to make as you think. The corset is the foundation garment worn over the chemise to support the bust and shape the waist. You will not want to wear a bra under this garment, although you may be tempted to do so. A corset is actually quite comfortable to wear provided it is not extremely tight and you can still breath and move in it.


Corsetry will require using boning. Boning during the Renaissance period was made from animal bones, today the choices are plastic or steel boning. I would suggest starting with plastic because it’s easy to use and rather forgiving to wear. Once you understand the construction of the garment, steel boning will be an easy transition. Essentially you are adding an interlining, an inner layer of material to the corset with vertical seams that contains the boning. Channels are stitched along the seam lines and then the boning is inserted. I discovered that the seam allowances are only ⅜” for this corset pattern not the usual ⅝”. That’s something to look out for. I really love my corset, it was easy to add the gromets in the front with the lace up ties. I am looking forward to making another one soon.


The chemise and skirt are easy to sew. I cheated and added elastic to my chemise, it’s not historically accurate but I don’t think anyone would ever know it was there. You can decide what works for you. I have seen a lot of different things at the Faire, unfinished hemlines are completely okay. It’s a costume, you can take it as far as you like, or just keep it simple.


You can read more of the sewing specifics on my lifestyle blog here:


I have a huge Renaissance Inspiration board on Pinterest if you need more costume ideas! Click here to join the board.

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How to Have a Sewing Portfolio: Interview with Candice Ayala

Do you have a place to host all your sewing projects, connect with other influencers and brand partners? Sewing Portfolios is exactly what you need to fill the void! In this episode we talk with Candice Ayala from Sewing

Interview with Candice Ayala|Chambraybluesblog|

Welcome back to the podcast! I have a treat for you today. My special guest is an amazing business woman. She has found a huge need in the marketplace for connecting influencers who sew with brand partners. Sewing Portfolios is a way to showcase your work and find connections for sponsored posts, collaborations and other sewing business related relationships.

Sewing Portfolios|chambraybluesblog|



  1. Tell us a bit about what inspired you to create Are you a sewer?
  2. Can you give us some examples of how Sewing Portfolios has worked with influencers who sew?
  3. What are some brand partners that you have worked with?
  4. How does one become a member of Sewing Portfolios?Do you work with specific types of influencers like bloggers, Instagrammers, You Tubers?
  5. What’s in the future for Sewing Portfolios? I just saw your new Look Book and it is great!
  6. I would love to see a conference where brands and influencers can connect, is that a possibility?
  7. How can people connect with you? What’s your favorite form of social media?

Thanks so much for being here and sharing your story! Here’s how you can connect with Candice:


Twitter @sewingportfolio

Instagram @sewing portfolios

Facebook: Sewing Portfolios

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Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut Maker -Part 2

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut Maker -Part 2

The Riley Blake Spinning Wheels Throw Quilt is well on its way, here are my tips for cutting quilt squares with the Cricut Maker.


Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut Maker|Chambray Blues Blog|
Cutting quilt squares is easy with the Cricut Maker.

Cutting out all the pieces of a quilt is often the most laborious part of the quilting process. Using the Cricut Maker, the cutting goes so much faster! It saves hours of bending over a low table, grasping that old rotary cutting blade! This post is sponsored by Cricut and Riley Blake Designs. I was compensated in some way for writing this post. Any opinions given are completely my own.

Riley Blake Quilting Kit|Chambray Blues Blog|

If you missed the first installment of this short series, be sure to check out part one here. 

Cutting Process:

Prepare the fabric by pressing all of the pieces in the Dailey Days Throw Quilt Kit. I used my Easy Press, but you can iron them instead. Set aside the yellow floral, pink polka dot and blue daisy prints for the boarder (We will cut those later). Cut the remaining fabrics into 12” pieces WOF (the width of the fabric), as directed by the Cricut pdf directions for this project.

Using a 12 x 24” cutting mat, press the white fabric right side down to the mat. Let any extra fabric hang off the edge of the mat. This is important to get the best utilization from the fabric. Do not cut off the extra fabric! Be sure you have installed the Rotary Cutting Blade in your Cricut for cutting fabric before you begin.

Place the mat into the Cricut and cut. While the machine is cutting, prepare the next mat. It is helpful to use two mats at once. While one mat is being cut, you can prepare the second mat. Remove the pieces as they are cut from the mat and sort them into piles of like fabrics. You will need to scrape off excess threads that stick to the mat in between cuts for the best adhesion. After 5-6 cuts, I clean the mat with a bit of dish soap and water. Rub off the damp threads, then pat the mat dry with a lint free towel. The mat should be as sticky as ever and ready to use again.

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut Maker|Chambray Blues Blog|

It is good to count how many triangles you need of each fabric for your design. I found that the Cricut is so efficient at cutting I had some extra pieces that I won’t need for the quilt. The final counts for this Spinning Wheels pattern are:

144 white triangles

20 grey

28 pink

20 dark blue

24 bright green multi color floral

24 bright green floral

15 light blue stripe

15 light blue floral

We will be making 35 blocks total for this quilt.

Here are the supplies needed for this project:

Get your pieces cut then we are ready to sew! I hope you enjoyed this post and hopefully learned a few handy tips! Be on the lookout for part 3 of this series where I will cover Quilt Assembly and wrap up this fun project.

If you like this post, try these other ideas:

Super Simplicity Bow Tie with Cricut Maker

How to Make a Recycled Denim Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

DIY Patriotic Holiday Family T-Shirts

Sew a Pocket Square in 3 Easy Steps

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut- Part 3

If you like this post don’t forget to Pin it!

Riley Blake Quilt with Cricut Part 2|Chambrayblues blog|


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




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Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut-Part 1

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut-Part 1

Quilting is a wonderful hobby, it’s made so much easier by using a Cricut Maker to cut the pieces! This adorable kit comes with everything you need to cut and make a beautiful throw quilt!


Riley Blake Quilt Kit|Chambray Blues Blog|

Quilting is one of my favorite hobbies. I often make quilts for gifts, to match my decor or just because it’s a challenge. Cricut has these adorable quilting kits and I was thrilled to be able to try one. This post is sponsored by Cricut and Riley Blake. Any opinions given are completely my own. For a complete list of disclosure rules, see the disclosures page.

Riley Blake Quilting Kit|Chambray Blues Blog|

The Riley Blake Daisey Days Throw size quilt was perfect for cuddling on cool summer evenings on the porch. I adore the Riley Blake fabrics, and was thrilled to get a kit with all the planning and thinking already done for me! This kit comes with the coordinating fabrics that you can use to make several different designs. My choice was the Spinning Wheels design, one that I have admired for a long time but never attempted. Each design is labeled with the quilting level of expertise required so it’s easy to make an educated choice and get the one that best suits your abilities. This Spinning Wheels design is for an Intermediate or Advance quilter, mostly because of the amount of seams that need to be matched to complete the pattern.

Cricut also makes cutting mats, rulers, rotary cutters and other sewing tools. Mine were in bad shape, and I was so excited to see them arrive in the mail!

Riley Blake Fabric for Spinning Wheels Quilt|Chambray Blues Blog|

The first step in the process is choosing a quilt kit in Cricut Design Space. I decided this would be best explained in a video tutorial, so here you go:



Here are the supplies needed for this project:

Riley Blake Daisey Days Throw Size Quilt Kit (affiliate link included for your convience)

•Rotary Cutter

•Cutting Mat

•PDF Sewing Directions, printed

•PDF Cutting Directions, printed

•Iron or Easy Press(affiliate link)

•Pressing mat or ironing board

Cricut Maker with Rotary Fabric Cutting Blade(affiliatelink)

•Large Fabric Grip cutting mat (pink) in 12″ x 24″ size

• Quilt backing (not included in the kit)

•Throw size polyester fiberfill quilt batting (not included in the kit)

•Sewing machine and thread

Directions for Preparing fabric to be cut:

1. Print the Spinning Wheels PDF cutting directions from the Cricut Design Space. Read through the directions.

2. Remove fabrics from the Riley Blake Quilting Kit, place them in the order to be cut according to directions.

3. Press fabrics with Easy Press (set on 196 degrees) or steam iron until smooth.

Riley Blake Quilt with Cricut|Chambrayblues blog|


My next tutorial will be on cutting the quilt pieces with your Cricut, so be sure to stop back for part 2 of this tutorial!

Don’t forget to Pin this post!


If you like this post, try these other ideas:

Super Simplicity Bow Tie with Cricut Maker

How to Make a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

You Make Patriotic Holiday Family T-Shirts

Sew a Pocket Square in 3 Easy Steps

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut – Part 3

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

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Men’s Thrifted Shirt Upcycle Hack in 7 Steps

Men’s Thrifted Shirt Upcycle Hack in 7 Steps

I adore the patchwork look of upscale designer clothing. This sewing hack uses a couple of thrift-ed men’s dress shirts and some fabric scraps to bring new feminine style!

Men’s Dress Shirt Up-cycle

Up-cycle hacks are all over the internet, and some of my favorites use men’s dress shirts. They are inexpensive, plentiful, and come in lots of great fabrics. I have been keeping this one on hand for a project for some time, I loved the orange and blue plaid colors but it was just too unfeminine for me to wear without feeling awkward. It also didn’t fit very well around the middle, which is no surprise as this is my biggest fit problem!

Men's Thrifted Shirt Restyle|Chambray Blues|
Photo from Soft Surroundings website

My inspiration came from this shirt from Soft Surroundings. My former workplace, I always loved seeing how their designers put fabrics together in new ways. The feminine look of the back of this shirt was what I loved about it.

Upcycled Men's Dress Shirt|chambraybluesblog|

You can easily make a men’s shirt into a feminine statement piece with these 7 steps. Here’s what you will need:


• 2 men’s cotton dress shirts with similar colors, works best of they are the same size (1 plaid, 1 stripe)

•1/2 yard of contrasting floral fabric


•ruler and fabric marker

•Sewing machine and matching thread

Restyled Mens shirt back|Chambraybluesblog|


Upcycled Men's Dress Shirt|chambraybluesblog|


Upcycled Men's Dress Shirt|chambraybluesblog|



  1. Remove the shirt back by cutting 1/2″ away from the armhole, yoke and side seams. Leave seams intact.


2. Use the piece you just removed as a pattern for cutting the contrasting floral fabric, adding 1/2″ to the top and side seams. Cut floral hem slightly shorter than the original piece, at your natural waist.

3. Cut the second shirt, under the armholes, across the front button placket and remove the back.

4. Pin top edges of floral fabric to the seam allowance just under the yoke. Stitch in place making a 1/2″ seam.

5. Sew sides of floral fabric to the back armhole, underarm and side of shirt. Break stitches at top corner as you sew, clip fabric as needed to get a square seam at shoulder.

6. Sew top of stripe fabric to the floral fabric, putting the button down placket at center back as pictured above. Sew side seams and press.

7. Finish side seams of shirt tails with 1/4″ rolled hem.

Mens Shirt Restyle|Chambray Blues Blog|
Pin it!


Don’t forget to Pin this post!

How to Make a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

Make an Upcycled Denim Hat from Old Jeans

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace Tutorial

How to Sew a Sunny Raincoat

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