Summer Day Top in Linen

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Two posts in two days!?! I think this just shows how enthusiastic I am about the Summer Day Top by Made Everyday. My first version in gingham is summer perfection, but this linen blend stripe with embroidery is my favorite thing to wear. 

The only trick with the border embroidery was making sure I cut the back first to leave adequate room for the lower hem. Then, I aligned the front pattern piece and marked the location of the border to make sure it would match when I stitched up the sides. 

 I scored this fabric when the linen blends were on sale at Joann Fabrics. If you love a good deal like I do, you will appreciate that it was regularily $20 per yard on sale for $7.99. Plus, I had a 20% off coupon. This was my first time sewing with a linen blend, and I am a huge fan. I went back to Joann's to buy another print very soon after. I find so much linen inspiration from Knee Socks and Goldilocks

I lengthened this top just a smidge more than my first and I think I prefer a little extra length with the additional drape.

Today is the last day of the introductory sale for the Summer Day Top. I think everyone's wardrobe could use one or two!

Summer Day Top in Gingham

Monday, July 16, 2018

These photos have been sitting on my desktop since pattern testing in June, so I am beyond excited to finally share them. Dana from Made Everyday just released her new Summer Day Top pattern. (I am happy to add another fellow Austin-ite to my pattern tester list.) This is one of those woven styles I will turn to again and again.  I already have, in fact, since I have two in rotation. Gingham and summer were meant for each other, so a gingham Summer Day Top was first on my list. 

The neckline is finished with bias binding; no guessing the length required as the the binding pieces are included in the pattern. The top version includes a subtle high in front, low in back hemline.

The style is a bit boxy in shape especially sewn in fabrics with less drape like this shirting. The shoulder is dropped with a short, cap, or cuffed sleeve. This is the short sleeve version. I have to give a shout out to Dana and her assistant, Susan, for a beautifully illustrated pattern. Kudos!

 I would be remiss if I didn't send you over to the Summer Day Top post at Made Everyday to check out the other variations including a peplum and tunic option. The pattern is on sale until 7/17, so snatch it up!

Sunglasses Case Sewing Tutorial

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

As the hot summer sun blazes down in Texas, I find myself reaching for my sunglasses more and more. To protect all of my favorite shades, I need sunglasses cases in my car, purse, pool bag, etc. The quilt-as-you-go method for sewing up a sunglasses case results in a padded sleeve perfect for cushioning those precious shades. For those non-quilters such as myself, quilt-as-you-go just means you are quilting and piecing all at once.

Quilt-As-You-Go Sunglasses Case Sewing Tutorial

The measurements provided result in a case that is 3.5" x 6.75". Most sunglasses will fit this case, but you may want to verify if you have oversized glasses. The Club Havana fabrics by Riley Blake have the perfect summer feel for sunglasses cases. 

Here's what to cut: (2) lining pieces 4.25"h x 7.5"w and (2) batting pieces 4.25"h x 7.5"w. For the exterior pieces, cut pieces 4.25"h with various widths. When you piece these widths together the total width needs to be greater than 7.5". For a symmetric look, cut pieces the same size for the front and back of the case. All seam allowances are 3/8" unless noted otherwise. 

Place an exterior piece on top of the batting aligning a raw edge at the 4.25" end. Quilt the fabric to the batting with seams at regular intervals. Here, I have stitched 1/2" lines. Stop your quilting lines with enough space for a 3/8" seam. 

Place the next exterior piece right sides together with the quilted fabric aligning the raw edges. Stitch through the fabric and batting with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Press the fabric toward the seam allowance. Continue quilting the fabric to the batting. I started my rows 1/4" from the seam to secure the seam allowance underneath. Trim any fabric that overhangs the batting so the resulting quilted piece 4.25" x 7.5". 

Place both lining pieces right sides together and stitch around both long sides and one short side. Leave an opening in the short side for turning. Place both exterior quilted pieces right sides together and stitch around three sides leaving one short end open.

Clip the corners in the lining and exterior pieces.

Turn the quilted exterior right side out. Slide the exterior inside the lining so that the right sides are facing. Finger press the seam allowances open. Pin around the opening. 

Stitch around the opening with a 3/8" seam allowance. 

Turn the case right sides out through the opening in the lining. Slip stitch the opening in the lining closed by hand. Then, push the lining inside the case. Optionally, topstitch around the opening.

Now think of all of the fabric scraps you can combine to make many more!! "The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!" Be sure to check out my favorite sunglasses at Blue Planet Eyewear where they donate corrective glasses for every purchase. Use coupon code Courtney20 for 20% off. 
** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**

Modkid Hailey Cover Up Part 2

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

After making the Hailey Cover Up for myself, I knew Avery would like one too. I am convinced the Hailey Dress makes the perfect summer cover up pattern. You might as well get the Hailey bundle so you can make one for yourself too!

I truly love the effect the shirred elastic has, but I know some machines struggle with elastic thread. The post over on the Modkid blog today shows an elastic casing alternative. 

Again, I reached into my stash for eyelet fabric. A cover up is a great way to use eyelet fabric without having to provide a lining.

On Avery, the straight size 8/9 dress length ends up tunic length which I find perfect for dashing back and forth to the pool. I would certainly lengthen this for an actual dress. 

What summer trends are you looking forward to sewing this year? As you can tell, I dove right into the poolside styles.

** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**

Squad Togs

Thursday, June 21, 2018


I am a bit in shock over two things: 1) I sewed a swimsuit. 2) Avery turned 10 this week! Double digits are here to stay. As you can probably tell, Avery grows in the vertical direction only. Ready-to-wear pants and one piece swimsuits seem to be the biggest challenge for us to find. I decided to swallow my nerves and try sewing a swimsuit.  

Avery and I selected the Boo! Designs Squad Togs pattern to try, and I am so glad we did. The pattern is a classic style that works great for swim team or any other water play. The best part about the pattern is the thorough instructions on blending sizes. Avery fit a size 7 in width on the size chart and a 12 in length. I followed the instructions exactly, and we ended up with a suit that fits like a glove. 

Avery has already fully tested the suit in the water!! The only thing I will change for the next one might be to add a touch more length in the arms. The suit is a bit challenging for her to get over her arms and shoulders on her own. When I asked in the Boo! Designs Facebook Group, Kristie reminded me that the swimwear elastic will likely stretch a tad after a couple of wears, so she may not continue to find it difficult to wiggle into. I'm sure we can all relate to shimmying into a swimsuit every now and then!

The fun gold heart swimwear knit is from Finch Fabrics. We both love the weight, colors, and stretch in this fabric. 

When I made my last sunglasses purchase from Blue Planet, I discovered they also sell kids sunglasses. You know I love the Visualize Change program that enables a purchase with a purpose, so Avery got a new pair of shades for her birthday. (Grab some for yourself or your kiddo for 20% off with code Courtney20.)

The Boo! Designs Squad Togs pattern also includes slicing / color blocking ideas, so it will be fun to continue to play with this pattern. 

I'm happy to report a successful check on my sewing bucket list. Do you have any swimwear sewing plans for the summer? I'd love other pattern recommendations with great sizing adjustment instructions.

** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**

Modkid Kyra Knit Dress and Tank

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Macrame is one of those fads that comes in and out of style. Well it's a hot style right now, and applying the craft to garments is all kinds of fun. That's why I think you will love the new Modkid Kyra Dress and Tank pattern. The macrame fringe is totally optional though. Opt for the contrast yoke only, and you have a completely different look. The Kyra is also available in teen sizing!

This photo shoot with Avery holds the record for the fewest photos needed to get just the right shots. I think it is because she felt so good in this dress that she couldn't help show it off. 

I went with solid fabrics for all three of my testing garments, but many testers used pretty prints that look equally good. Even the dress length only takes one yard of fabric for the size 8/9, so the Kyra pattern makes for a great scrap buster. This fabric is a rayon spandex from Joann Fabrics.

Isn't the macrame detail just fun!?!? Avery likes how is blows in the wind and lifts when she twirls.

You know a pattern is versatile when you can completely switch gears from a chic dress to a sporty tank. 

I've used a blue power mesh for a sheer look on the contrast yoke and neon lime liverpool knit from Finch Fabrics as the main fabric. Avery will be easy to spot on the volleyball court in this combo! If you notice the drag lines around the armscye, we made the adjustments during pre-testing, and as you can see from the dress version, the final is all smoothed out. 

 By the way, the Modkid Steffi Skeggings compliment the sporty style just right.

The Kyra tank version with the macrame fringe is a cool summer look.

Note the difference fabric types provide in the fringe style. The pattern instructions have you pull the fringe pieces taut before tying them off. With the cotton spandex here, the fabric curls up. With the rayon spandex in Avery's version the fringe laid straight. Both results add a fun twist. 
So, which of the four possible combinations of the Kyra Dress and Tank will you make? I vote ALL of them!!! Use coupon code KYRA40 for 40% off until 6/14 at midnight.
** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**

Modkid Hailey Misses Cover Up

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I am finally getting to the place where I enjoy sewing for myself. I am still rather intimidated by certain garments (umm... pants), but I am able to fill some voids in my wardrobe with things I will actually wear. Temps in Texas hit triple digits early this year, so a swim coverup will get tons of use as the girls and I make the walk down the block to our neighborhood pool. The Modkid Hailey Misses (affiliate link) pattern is the perfect easy-to-wear style for a coverup!

I went with the tunic length adding a couple inches for my height for the perfect balance between coverage and coolness.  

The only other Modkid Hailey Misses I made was during testing. I realized I needed to adjust for my lower bust apex by lengthening the bodice. Now, the shirring falls just under the bust line as it should. Shirring with elastic thread is a cinch. It gives the Hailey pattern a more fitted shape without the tightness an elastic casing might. I did a shirring tutorial over on the Modkid blog if you are looking for extra tips. 

The eyelet fabric is light and summery, just what I need in the heat. 

Binding the neckline in knit gives a soft finish. This binding method is another tutorial found on the Modkid blog. 

I'm pretty excited about my new sunglasses too. I recently discovered Blue Planet Eyewear has free shipping and returns. Since I already love the Blue Planet Visualize Change program which donates one pair of corrective glasses to those in need for every frame purchased, I’ve become an ambassador. So, with this link and code Courtney20 you can grab these great shades for 20% off!! I’m wearing the Andiz in crystal clear. The zebra wood temples and pink lenses really pop!

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