Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Free Pattern Finds: Women's Blank Slate Blank T-Shirt Pattern


To celebrate the start of summer, I'm kicking off a new feature here at Sew Can Do that I'm pretty excited about.  I'm calling it my Free Pattern Finds.  It's a simple concept - I share details on free patterns I've found in my internet travels and add my experience trying them out.  No sponsored or biased reviews, no blog tour addition that's really just an advertorial to buy a pattern.  No secret agenda, just stuff to share.  Some will be recent releases I've discovered, like today's, others will be oldies, but goodies.  Either way these are patterns that don't cost a thing, so you can go grab 'em yourself for FREE!    



Today's inaugural freebie pattern find is the Blank Slate Blank T-Shirt Pattern.  When news of it pop up in my email a couple months back, I jumped on downloading it.  I've tried a lot of knit women's shirt patterns and had mixed results, but this one looked pretty flattering.  And heaven knows I needed to thin out my knit fabric stash - why not on something I could actually use?  


Feeling like a superstar for finally using this fabric for something I'll actually wear.

I must confess, a while ago I was kind of addicted to buying knit fabric.  It got to the point where I had loads piled up, but no idea was to make with it.  So my new focus has been making things to wear to use up my knit fabric hoard.  I've been really good about not buying a bunch more patterns or fabric too.  I almost don't recognize this sensible woman who's not binging at the craft supply store on a regular basis!

Pattern details:  It's just two pieces to sew together and finishing (or not) on the edges.  It's good for jersey & interlock, as well as heavier stretch fabrics like French terry, sweatshirt and sweater knit.  Sizes XXS-3X.  It's super simple to make, which is a big plus for the busy sewing ladies out there.  30 minutes - even for a beginner.


I used this multi-hued Famous Maker Chevron Knit Olive fabric I'd bought at JoAnn Stores last year.  It was inexpensive and a fairly lightweight, drape-y jersey.  I thought the scale of the print was perfect for a top, but I'd been procrastinating cutting into it.  Waiting for the "right" pattern.  I think it totally works with the Blank T-Shirt pattern - it's airy, but still has a feminine silhouette.  It looks more stylish than a typical t-shirt.  Can be casual or dressy depending on the fabric & accessories, which is nice. 



I hemmed mine with a twin needle, but I like that you could leave the sleeves and hem unfinished if using a knit that doesn't curl much.  I also like that the neckline hits at the right spot.  So often they're too wide, show bra straps, or gape/look weird.  

My only issue, if you could even call it an issue, is finishing the neckline.  This is always my picky spot of sewing tops for myself - often that's the giveaway that it's homemade because it doesn't lay right.  This pattern has two options: the usual fold edge under or using bias tape then folding that under, then stitch down.  I used the second method and the firmness of the woven tape made it stick straight up, away from the body.  I softened it by pressing it on a tailor's ham to give it more of an inward curve.  Hopefully that'll hold after it's washed again or I'll just have to press it that way before wearing.  I think next time I'd just fold the edge under and stitch or even consider making some bias tape with knit fabric to use instead.



All in all, I think this is a good pattern and love that it sews up quick.  Even though I have the skills to sew more intricate stuff, I'm just not into fiddly sewing these days.  The Blank T-Shirt pattern definitely gets a thumbs up in my book.  Got a freebie pattern find you love? Share it in the comments so we can all try it out!


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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summertime Craftastic Monday Link Party


I hope everyone had a lovely Father's Day weekend.  We enjoyed kicking back and having some grilling fun with my husband & dad.  Here in the U.S. this weekend really seems to kick off summer - it's just days away now!  Let's see what cool summertime stuff you've been working on.  Come link it up below!

Last week I shared some Fun & Breezy Pants I made with bamboo woven fabric and a twist on a basic pattern:


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Now let's see those clever Craftastic picks..

Beat the heat with this cool drink - a tequila sunrise slushies recipe from Honey and Birch:


Frau Tschi Tschi shared this free pattern for cute "stage hog" crochet amigurumi:


The Scrap Shoppe showed how to make this dimensional red, white and blue serving tray with resin:



Busy Being Jennifer shared her pretty all hearts quilt:


And Simply Summer Street had this striking garter stitch shawl:


If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news. 

 Want to be Featured?  
Remember to link back to the party somewhere.

I can't feature your link if you don't share the party in some way.

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   
Ready to link up your crafty creations?
 
Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).  Product reviews, plagiarized or sponsored posts for random items will be immediately deleted.  
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  Party pages are fine.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Promote your blog/shop for FREE:  Join in the Craftastic Facebook Mixer!

Give your YOUR site/Facebook page a little boost. Crafty blogs AND shops are welcome.  It takes just seconds and gives you a chance to get more page likes & followers.  It's a great way to discover new sites to love too.  You can even add crafty giveaways 


How It Works:
Head over to the Craftastic Mixer post on Sew Can Do's FB page.  Instead of a specific post, share your main blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link in the comments there.  It means even more exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!



   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Making the Perfect Summer Pants: Vintage Pattern + Bamboo Fabric


While summer is technically a week away, the hot weather temperatures are already showing up around here and testing the limits of our pre-summer wardrobes.  It's time to sew for the season and I've just found a great combo - bamboo fabric + vintage pattern revamp!



Recently, I'd been a bit frustrated that my little lady had outgrown the go-to pants patterns I had.  I've got loads for knit leggings and baggy pajama bottoms in her size, but none with the perfect rise and cut for everyday wear in wovens.  I'm really particular about fit for pants and wanted to get sewing instead of spending time drafting, tweaking & testing. Sometimes you just want to start making something, right?

Then, serendipitously, while I was sifting through patterns I don't use - to thin things out - and I stumbled on this vintage pattern my mom had given me years back when she was purging her stash.  I'd never noticed that it wasn't just overalls & a jumper dress before.  It had pants too!!  It only includes size 6, which up to now had been too big for her, but is now ideal.  It's weird how back in the day patterns were available in just a single size!  I have seen some available on Etsy in case you want to grab one too.  These classic designs are still in style with the right fabric choices:



For fabric I was going to use up some quilting cotton, but then found this bamboo twill eco fabric my sister had gifted me with over a year ago (FYI I did find it's still available here).  This stuff is SO much nicer than woven cotton.  It has a lightweight and silky hand to it.  Yet, while I loved how soft & lovely it felt, I'd had no idea what to do with it.  Until now.



This fabric is perfect for summer pants.  Its fluttery feel keeps things breezy and cool.  My daughter tried them on and instantly said "Oooo, these feel so soft!!" and started prancing around.



After basic hemming, per the pattern, I added four rows of shirring at the bottom of each leg to give them the harem style that seems to be a popular look right now and help them flutter a bit more.  Added practical bonus, it keeps bugs out when frolicking in the grass.



These were such a quick sew and I love how the fabric and fit are comfy and cool.  Some days covering the legs is needed, but you don't want to bake from trapped heat in jeans or some knits.  I also love that I used up some more of my stash to make a "bought from a catalog" look.  I'm going to try a few with cotton to see how they turn out and despite my stash busting goals, keep my eyes open for some more of this sort of fabric.  This mom's going to need some comfy, airy pants too;)




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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Craftastic Monday Link Party Time!


It's time to get Craftastic my friends!  I cannot wait to see what clever creations you've got to share.  Last week we had so many amazing projects linked up, I had to double my number of features.  There are loads of inspiring ideas to show this week!

Last week I shared my visit to an amazing quilt exhibit:

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Now let's see the lovely Craftastic picks..

Beat the heat with these tasty Father's Day popsicle cookies by Simply Sweets By Honeybee:


Jenny and Teddy shared this free pattern for an adorable crochet elephant hat:


Leroy Lime showed how to turn a pallet into a handy vertical herb garden:


Upcyclelina turned some old clothes into this fabulous "worry eater" plush and share the full tutorial so you can too:


Sadie Seasongoods wowed me with this ingenious idea of turning vintage doilies into cloche covers:


Threading My Way shared her progress on this amazing silhouette-themed quilt based on real photos.  Such a beautiful idea:


Patchouli Moon Studio had a fun telephone quilt.  I love the ric-rac cord:


And Carpe_diem showed how to turn some little socks into a beautiful gift bouquet - perfect for a summer shower gift:


If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news. 

 Want to be Featured?  
Remember to link back to the party somewhere.

I can't feature your link if you don't share the party in some way.

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   
Ready to link up your crafty creations?
 
Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).  Product reviews, plagiarized or sponsored posts for random items will be immediately deleted.  
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  Party pages are fine.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Promote your blog/shop for FREE:  Join in the Craftastic Facebook Mixer!

Give your YOUR site/Facebook page a little boost. Crafty blogs AND shops are welcome.  It takes just seconds and gives you a chance to get more page likes & followers.  It's a great way to discover new sites to love too.  You can even add crafty giveaways 


How It Works:
Head over to the Craftastic Mixer post on Sew Can Do's FB page.  Instead of a specific post, share your main blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link in the comments there.  It means even more exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!



   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Amazing Quilt Art: Touring the My Corner of the World Exhibit

SAQA Exhibition: My Corner of the World

I just got back from a mini break across the border in Canada and had to share one of the neat things we discovered - an awesome quilt art show! 

The Stratford Perth Museum is currently hosting a SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) exhibit called My Corner of the World.  We were actually going there to see some theatrical exhibits (costumes and props from some of the Stratford Festival's many productions), but this little exhibit drew us in once we saw it.


New Mexico Schoolhouse by Jennifer Day

Some ultra-talented quilt artists created pieces representing their "corners of the world". There were 80 quilts on display.  40 Canadian plus 40 international artists.  So many beautiful designs:

Hidden Line by Maya Chaimovich

I'm just an entry-level quilter, but can totally appreciate the work that goes into these.


detail of Hidden Line by Maya Chaimovich

The techniques and originality blew me away.


Fundy Flame Agate by Kate Madeloso
The styles and subjects were really diverse.


Fishing Weir in Midnight by Sandra Betts
And many had incredible details. This golden netting appears to be stitched by hand:


detail of Fishing Weir in Midnight by Sandra Betts
This quilt was really unique:


Texting at the Food Court by Kathleen Kastles
And then seeing that all the dark detailing and texture was stitching was inspiring too. Looking at them up close added a whole bonus level of appreciation.  


detail of Texting at the Food Court by Kathleen Kastles

If you're a quilt lover and can get to Ontario, head over to the Stratford Perth Museum.  This exhibit is a must-see!



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