by on . No Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day! We have never really done much for Valentine’s Day, but I decided to make the kids coordinating shirts using this XO fabric that I purchased from Raspberry Creek Fabrics last year around this time. I only had one yard of the fabric so I had to get a little creative in order to make shirts for both kids.

XO Shirts

I knew that I wanted to make Owen a hoodie, so I decided on the Jolly Roger Raglan from Patterns for Pirates. After cutting his out, I didn’t have a lot of fabric left and Lillian didn’t truly care if I made her anything. But I looked through my patterns anyway and noticed the 11th Hour Gear shirt from New Horizons. I started out with just the pocket with the XO fabric, but lucked out that I could also fit the sleeves!

11th Hour Gear Shirt

XO 11th Hour Gear-8894

I will chat about the 11th Hour Gear pattern first since it’s new to me. When I first saw this pattern I thought it was a pajama pattern. And it is, but it’s also so much more. There are so many options, so with the right fabric, it doesn’t need to be pajamas. I think I would consider it more of a comfy clothes pattern. Which is perfect for both of my kids! I can’t blame them; I mean, who doesn’t love comfy clothes?

XO 11th Hour Gear-8881

This pocket is actually what drew me to this pattern in the first place. Along with all of the options….which include shorts, straight leg pants, and joggers, as well as a slim fit T-shirt with or without the neat looking pocket, long sleeve, short sleeve, or muscle tee/tank. I mean seriously, the options are endless. You could mix and match and probably make a week’s worth of outfits if you made them all with coordinating fabric!! Hmmmm…maybe that should be a goal of mine.

XO 11th Hour Gear-8918

It’s definitely a slim fitting shirt, but that would be necessary for pajamas. Lillian is super thin so this was perfect for her, but I need to learn to pay better attention to the length, because I feel that I could have lengthened this shirt a little for a better fit. It’s not too short, just not a lot of room for growing.

XO 11th Hour Gear-8908

The pattern was easy to follow overall. I did struggle at first understanding the pocket, but once I was actually just taking it one step at a time I got it. It also has you understitch, which I had never heard of before. But with a little google search, to help clarify exactly what that meant, it was easy peasy! The directions did explain, but I still wanted to look online to make sure I fully understood!

The Details

XO Jolly Roger Raglan-8990

I decided to try adding a few more details to these shirts than I normally do. I’m so glad that I did! First, I added red reverse cover stitching to Owen’s shirt. I was actually really nervous to do this since I had never tried before. But I practiced on some scraps so I could figure out how to get everything lined up and actually on the seam! It’s not 100% perfect, but I still love it!

XO 11th Hour Gear-8960

I also used reverse cover stitching on Lillian’s shirt for some extra details. But since I didn’t have a ton of the XO fabric, her shirt seemed a little bare in the front. So heat transfer vinyl (HTV) became my friend. I took an image of the fabric and converted to a SVG file so I could use the exact same X and O. I then cut it out of the HTV and applied to the shirt.

Jolly Roger Raglan

XO Jolly Roger Raglan-8999

I’ve talked about the Jolly Roger Raglan before in a Halloween post, which is kind of funny since this is also a holiday shirt. This time I used french terry so I decided to make it one size larger. Plus, the last one I made fit perfectly, and I wanted this to fit a little longer (if it isn’t stained after he wears it the first time! It can also be layered and fits more like a sweatshirt this way.

XO Jolly Roger Raglan-9052

Even though it’s XO fabric, I don’t feel that it can only be worn on Valentine’s Day. I’m not one to make things that can only be worn once! Love is always around, right? Not just on Valentine’s Day!

XO 11th Hour Gear-8982

So, tell me, what do you do for Valentine’s Day? Do you make your family special outfits? Do something special with your significant other? Ignore the day because it’s a “Hallmark” holiday?

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of New Horizons so I am compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.

by on . No Comments

Today I wanted to share with you my top 20 sewing supplies that I use with about every project.  I got the idea because my sister in law mentioned that she wanted a few sewing supplies for Christmas, but wasn’t sure where to start.  So I thought there are probably plenty of others out there that might also be a little lost with where to start.  You can also check out my Beginner’s Guide for a few tips and tricks.


I tend to buy most of my sewing supplies from either Wawak or Amazon.  It all depends on what I need and how quickly I need it.  My family tends to buy from Amazon so I also like to add items from there so they can be on my “wish list” and easy for them to get me for Christmas.  (some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links which means that, at no cost to you, I get a small percentage of the sale if you purchase after clicking)

So let’s get started!  I’m going to begin with necessary items that you will use with every kind of project and then list items that I feel are necessary if you want more professional looking items, followed by a few items that I love, but might not be necessary but definitely helpful, and last, but not least, items needed if you plan on using PDF patterns!  I’ll also mention why I love the products and what I use them for the most.

Necessary Items


1. Mara 100 Thread

This thread is an all purpose 100% polyester thread that can be used on most projects.  I honestly can’t think of a project that I’ve done that didn’t use this thread, unless it was within the first year of sewing.  They have about every color that you can imagine so you should be able to match about any color fabric.  I have a guide sheet for matching thread color to solid cotton lycra that Purpleseamstress and Peek-A-Boo sells.


2.  Stretch Needles

Next up is needles!  I prefer Schmetz needles, but I think Organ brand is decent as well and Wawak does carry both.  For knits, I prefer stretch needles in size 11 or 14.  My coverstitch machine definitely does better when I use a size 14, especially on neckbands or straps.  I do know that not all coverstitch machines can use regular sewing machine needles so be sure to check your manual.

3. Microtex Needles

I use these for sewing quilters cotton when I make bags or quilts (not many quilts have been made though).  They are especially great for topstitching, as they are super sharp and go through many layers of fabric easily.

4. Fabric

You definitely need fabric for any sewing project, but that is pretty obvious.  Depending on what you want to sew you will need a certain type of fabric.  I have really been enjoying using knits lately because I love sewing clothes for my myself and my family.  I still enjoy making bags, but they tend to take longer, and I love the practicality of sewing clothes.  To see where I buy different types of fabrics, check out my Where I Buy Supplies page.  It also has lists of other sewing notions and where I buy them.

5. Cutting Mat

I never use scissors to cut out my fabric, so I highly recommend getting the largest cutting mat that you can afford.  I have this 24 x 36 inch Fiskar self healing cutting mat.  There are other brands out there as well, I’ve just had great luck with this one.  I also like that it’s grey on both sides so it looks a little nicer if you leave it out in your sewing room.  Apparently, you can randomly wash it in the bath tub and lay flat to dry to help keep moisture in it so it continues to self heal.  I’ve never done that, and have not had any issues with mine.


6. Rotary Cutter

Mine is a little older but it’s very similar to the one I linked above.  I suggest getting a 45mm rotary cutter to start out with as it’s a little bigger and will cut most things.  If you plan on sewing a lot of baby clothes, you might want to get a 28mm because it will be easier to cut around small curves.  I have an Olfa 28mm rotary cutter that I don’t like as much as my Fiskar 45mm rotary cutter.  But I think that is because of the style of it.  It cuts well, it’s just not all that comfortable to hold.  So I suggest looking at a few different ones and maybe even try holding them to see if you like the feel.  I have this 45mm Comfort Loop Fiskar rotary cutter on my Christmas list this year.

I listed both the cutting mat and rotary cutter as necessary items because I could not make anything without them.  If you choose to not get them, then you will need a good pair of sewing scissors.  I find the cutting mat and rotary cutter much easier and more accurate than using scissors.  Gingher shears are always recommended in sewing groups.  I also have Fiskar brand and like them both.

Highly Recommended Items

7. Iron

I currently have a Rowenta Iron, but it’s actually my husband’s iron from college, so it’s at least 15 years old!  It still works great and based off of my experience, I would recommend a Rowenta.  But, I also know that brands change over time, so I can’t 100% say that the new ones are just as good as the old ones.  I do want to say that to make your projects look more professional, you will want to iron or press after almost every step.

8. Ironing Board

I don’t really have anything to say about an ironing board other than you need one if you want to iron anything.  I honestly rarely use my iron other than for sewing.  Every once in a while I’ll need to iron a shirt or pants, but not often.


9. Seam Ripper

I got a small seam ripper with my sewing machine, but I have to say, this one is much easier to use.  It fits better in my hand and overall has a better feel.  I think that most sewers? sewists? seamstresses? have a love/hate relationship with their seam ripper.  They don’t want to use it, but it’s almost inevitable that it will be used.  Luckily, with sewing, most stitching can be corrected because of a seam ripper.


10. Retractable Measuring Tape

You will really only need a retractable measuring tape if you decide to sew clothing.  It’s best used to get measurements such as waist, bust, hip, etc.  I don’t think there are many differences in them, but am not really sure.  I did recently see one that snaps together so that it’s easier for someone to get their own measurements, but I don’t have it, so I can’t tell you if it’s worth it or not.


11. Wonder Clips

Many still use pins, but I prefer wonder clips for most things.  They don’t puncture the fabric, and you don’t have to worry about kids touching them and poking themselves.  Plus, if you drop them on the floor, they are easy to find!  It’s nearly impossible to sew over them, so you will have less broken needles from sewing over pins.

Recommended Items


12. Gingher 4 inch Large Handle Scissors

I have two pairs of these so that I can keep one near my sewing machine and then one near my serger and coverstitch machines.  I use them for clipping the threads while at my machines.  I like that they are small but still have large finger openings so that they are easy to grab and put back down.  They are slightly more expensive since they have the large handles, but it’s worth it.  Here is the link for the smaller handle Gingher scissors, if you prefer those.


13. 1×6 Omnigrid Ruler

I have at least three of these…one near my sewing machine that I also use when at my ironing board, one at my cutting table, and one near my serger and coverstitch machines.  I use them the most for measuring a hem, finding where on my machine I need to line up the edge of my fabric, and making sure that the 1″ square on a pattern is accurate, but there are so many other times I need to measure small distances.


14. Air Erasable Fabric Marker

This marker is perfect for writing on fabric.  I use it anytime I need to mark the placement of pockets, mark the quarter points of a neckband, arm cuffs, or band.  This ink is purple so it won’t work on dark fabrics as well, but you can sometimes see it enough to make it work.  It will begin to disappear after a short amount of time, so I don’t recommend marking your fabric and not sewing it until the next day because your marks will probably be gone.  It will also go away if you get it wet. 


I also have some of these FriXion erasable pens and they work really well and don’t disappear until you use heat on them, but they also will sometimes leave a “ghost” line so be cautious with using them on fabric unless it’s within the seam allowance.

15. 6×24 Omnigrid Ruler

This is my most used Omnigrid ruler out of all of them, besides the 1×6.  It’s great for cutting any straight lines, including bag pattern pieces, neckbands, waistbands, or cuffs for sleeves.  I also use it to measure anything flat and to help line up pieces such as pockets.  As far as rulers, if you quilt or even sew mainly bags, you might want to get a few different sizes.  I think I got a pack of 3 or maybe even 6 different sizes one year for Christmas.  For sewing clothes, this isn’t used as often, but I do still use it.  Like I mentioned above, I will use it to get both pockets on a sweater in the same place on the fabric.  I’ll use it to cut out the rectangular pieces.  Especially since some patterns only include a cut chart for those.  This makes it super quick and easy to cut out.


16. Wonder Tape

You will love wonder tape once you start using it.  It’s basically a double sided tape, but will wash away once the item is washed.  I tend to use it for attaching zippers the most, but also use for hems and placing pockets, so that the pocket doesn’t shift while sewing.

PDF Sewing Pattern Necessary Items

17. Printer

I use a Brother (yes, they make more than just sewing machines!) laser printer, but really any printer would do.  I just recommend one that has color so it’s easier to see the different sizes when you are ready to cut out your pattern.  Color might not be needed as much if you aren’t making clothing. 18. Paper Just make sure that you have paper that is appropriate for your printer.  I have really only used PDF patterns, so I have used a lot of paper.


19. Scissors

The scissors that I’m talking about here are just regular scissors.  These should be made for paper and remember that your sewing scissors (if you get any) should only be used on fabric!  I got the Scotch Precision Scissors from Costco, but the link is to Amazon.

20. Scotch Tape

Tape is used to piece your pattern pieces together.  You can also use a glue stick, but so far, I find it easy enough to use tape.  This is another item that I purchase from Costco so that I rarely run out!

Well, besides my sewing machine, serger, and coverstitch machine, those are my 20 most used items in my sewing area.  Hopefully you found this list helpful!


by on . 2 Comments

I decided to once again join the Sewing Blue Blog Tour; which if you recall, is all about sewing for boys.  This time it’s the Boys in Pajamas tour organized by Made for Little Gents and sponsored by Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop.  As you have probably gathered by now from reading my posts, I really like Peek-A-Boo patterns.  They have so many basic patterns for both boys and girls, which is nice since I have one of each.  Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for your chance to win a $20 credit to Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop.  Don’t forget, they also sell fabric and not just patterns!

For the pajama tour, I decided to branch out from my normal Alex and Anna Winter PJs (other posts are winter pajamas and some Christmas jammies), and made the Comfy Cozy Robe instead (I received the pattern for free since Peek-A-Boo was sponsoring the tour).  This is the first time I have made this pattern and both kids love the robe.


I made a size 4/5 with a hood, technically for Owen, but it also fits Lillian.  It’s slightly big on Owen and slightly small on Lillian; go figure!  I used fleece fabric that I got from Hobby Lobby a few years ago, making it super warm, comfy, and cozy. (See what I did there??)  It was actually leftover fabric from the napmat that I made for Owen for daycare. (Here is the napmat mini tutorial I made for Lillian, unfortunately, I didn’t take pics of Owen’s, but it’s the same as Lillian’s, just with different fabric.)


So far, Owen has worn the robe around the house just to keep warm, as well as after his bath.  I think he had fun wearing it for the pictures and kept wanting me to take pictures of each page of his book.  So we have a lot of pictures where you can’t see his robe, but you can see the pages of Brown Bear.


As with other Peek-A-Boo patterns, this one was pretty easy to follow and sew.  The only confusing part was with attaching the hood.  I felt like if I took the normal seam allowance, that attaching the binding would then be off, so I just sewed the hood on with a minimal seam allowance and then attached the binding and it worked out just fine.


The other difficult part was attaching the pockets.  The thickness of the fleece caused the pressure foot to sort of push the whole pocket.  So I ended up using wash away wonder tape to attach and then sewed them on.  This way, they pretty much stuck where they needed to be with minimal shifting.


I also made Owen the Pajama Party Pants which is a free pattern if you sign up for the Peek-A-Boo newsletter or join their Facebook group.  It’s a gender neutral pajama pant pattern.  I made Lillian a pair a while back, but this is the first pair that I have made for Owen.  They are slightly baggier than I would like, but I decided to make a straight size 4 instead of grading for his measurements.  Note to self, don’t be lazy when making clothes, even if they are pajamas!!

Boys in Pajamas: Blog Tour sponsored by Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop, Hosted by Made for Little Gents

We’re all sewing up Peek-A-Boo Pattern’s pajamas, and there are sew many to choose from! See some new ideas every day by following along with the tour below: Fri. Nov. 2
Made for Little Gents (Intro to Tour)
Mon. Nov 5
Our Play Palace
Tues. Nov 6
Made for Little Gents
Wed. Nov 7
Phat Quarters Fabric
Thurs. Nov 8
Family of Makers
Fri. Nov 9
Elli & Nels in Stitches | Sewing Novice
Mon. Nov 12
My Sewing Roots | Momma Newey’s Makes
Tues. Nov 13
Manning the Machine | Custom Made by Laura
Wed. Nov 14
Sewing with D
Thurs. Nov 15
Seams Like Style | Ronda B. Handmade
Fri. Nov 16
Dreams and Stitches | Fils & Draps

Ready for the giveaway to Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop? Here you go! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop and Amazon so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.  I also received the Comfy Cozy Robe pattern for free for participating in the blog tour.

by on . No Comments

Well, I think I went a little crazy, because I signed up for another testing group, but this time it was for Love Notions.  Kelly, one of the designers, was part of Project Run and Play, and decided to make a pattern out of one of her creations.  I’m so glad she did, because the Navigator Pullover is a pretty amazing pattern!  AND….they plan on also making it into a women’s and men’s pattern, so keep your eyes open for those!  I know that Love Notions is hosting a retreat very soon (I’m so sad that I wasn’t able to go since it’s near where I used to live!) so I’m guessing the other two patterns won’t be released until sometime after that.


The Navigator Pullover is gender neutral, which I love because I can then use the same pattern for both Lillian and Owen.  SCORE!!  I have one planned for Lillian, but haven’t had a chance to make it yet.  I’m so slow at sewing that someone is always left behind.  I mean, we took pics of her bat shirt at the same time that we took these pics of Owen, so hopefully I can get a blog post about that shirt soon!  At least I got it made for her before Halloween.  I’m assuming you recall me mentioning that I was going to make her a shirt out of the same fabric that I used for Owen’s Halloween shirt?


This testing experience was similar to the last, but Kelly let us know right away that we were expected to sew one test and one final.  If we made more than one test, it was appreciated, but not necessary.  It was nice to know upfront what the expectation was since I tend to be a type A personality and worry about not meeting the requirements.  I think we went through 4 or 5 versions (many with minor changes), but because this pattern takes a little longer to make (for me at least) I was only able to make the first version and the final version.


Now a little about the pattern….it has a hood or collar option.  I have only made the hood version, as that is what I signed up for on the testing application.  I love that it’s three parts because I feel that it makes for a better fit.  It’s not hard at all to sew the hood together either; just three basic pieces.  The hood does have a lining and a finished seam at the bottom as well.  Actually, this was the hardest part of the whole pattern for me.  You use double fold bias tape (Kelly includes a video on how to sew the bias tape on) to cover the bottom of the hood seam.  My issue is getting it all lined up in order to have the stitching even on the outside and inside of the pullover.  If I ever figure out a trick, I will be sure to share with you!  Or if you have a trick to share, please leave a comment or email me!  The pattern also mentions sewing it by hand with a blind stitch, but honestly, I can’t stand hand sewing, so I will have to deal with not having a perfect binding.


The Navigator Pullover also has a half zipper which you also should not be intimated by.  Kelly has a great video, included in the tutorial, showing exactly how to sew in the zipper as well as a great tip on how to get the seam to line up.  (Did you see my Instagram post with the green fabric?  Yep, used her tip to get it pretty close to perfect!)  I suggest using wash away wonder tape when installing a zipper.  It truly helps to hold the zipper in place before sewing and makes for a less frustrating installation.  I use wash away wonder tape for a lot of different things actually.  You can also use a washable glue stick or pins/clips, but the wash away wonder tape is much easier and cleaner.  You can get it from Amazon or Wawak.


The Navigator Pullover also includes a banded bottom and cuffed sleeves, which make for an easier finish since there is no hemming.  The pocket goes all the way through (which I learned from the test group is a huge hit with 10 year olds!) which makes it kind of like one big pocket instead of two smaller ones.  Lots of room to store goodies!


Be sure to grab your copy of the Navigator Pullover and keep your eyes open for the hopefully soon to release adult versions. It’s on sale for $7 through October 23, 2018.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Love Notions and Amazon so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.

by on . 3 Comments

If you sew for any boys, then you should follow the many Sewing Blue Blog Tours organized by Made for Little Gents  that happen throughout the year.  I thought it would be fun to join The Magnificent Wizard Blog Tour since it’s all about Halloween sewing for boys.  Both kids already decided on store bought costumes so I decided on a fun bat fabric raglan for Owen.


I have sewn Halloween costumes a few times for the kids, but it’s one of those things that seems like a waste of money since they are only worn once or twice.  So now I’m basically leaving it up to them on what they want.  In 2015, I made them Jake and Cubby costumes from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, which you can see here.  I also made a trick or treat bag, technically for Lillian, but Owen also used it his first few years of trick or treating.  You can see the bag here, which also includes the dimensions that I used if you want to create one too!


Now on to this year’s project….the fabric I used on the raglan is from Raspberry Creek Fabrics’ Halloween line from last year, but they have a new line this year, so be sure to check it out!  When this fabric arrived, Owen immediately covered up with it and asked if it was his!  I know why though, the CLUB jersey from Raspberry Creek is SOOOOO soft.  I highly recommend it.  They have other great fabric options as well, but so far the CLUB jersey is my favorite.  Their french terry is super cozy too, but it’s more like a sweatshirt type fabric, which would have actually been great for this Jolly Roger Raglan.


The Patterns for Pirates’ Jolly Roger Raglan has been my go to raglan for Owen for awhile now.  This time, I decided to add the kangaroo pocket for a little added cuteness.  I did make Owen a short sleeve one according to his measurements for the first day of school and it fit perfectly (maybe slightly short, but I do have pretty skinny kids for their heights).  So since this is for cooler weather, and we aren’t quite there yet, I decided to size up to a size 5 so that is why it’s slightly big.  I just want it to fit longer.


Even though it’s technically a Halloween shirt, I don’t think it has to only be worn in October.  So fingers crossed that he doesn’t destroy it (aka stain the white) after his first time wearing it.  I’m sure all of you boy moms know exactly what I’m talking about!  Actually, I think Lillian is sometimes worse about ruining clothes than Owen.  Maybe it’s the age?


Anyway, I’m rambling, so let’s move on to the pattern details.  The Jolly Roger Raglan and add on pack are actually two separate patterns.  The Jolly Roger Raglan is the main shirt pattern and includes cuffed long sleeves, short sleeve, or 3/4 length sleeves, a traditional hem, curved hem, or banded hem, as well as elbow patches, and a triangle patch.  So even with just the basic pattern, you get plenty of options.  But, if you want a few extras including traditional hood (which is what I used), cross over funnel hood, funnel collar, or cowl neck, kangaroo or inseam pockets, as well as thumbhole cuffs and a ruffle hem, you will want to also purchase the add on pack.


You can mix and match basically all of the options to get exactly what you want. Raglans are such an easy sew.  I highly recommend them if you haven’t sewn with knits and want to get used to the stretchiness of the fabric.  Adding a hood instead of a neckband will make your first knit project a success!


Do you have any Halloween sewing planned?  For inspiration, be sure to check out what the other bloggers are making for the Magnificent Wizards Blog Tour.
Magnificent Wizards Blog Tour hosted by Made for Little Gents

Each link will be available the day of or after as posted below.

Fri. Sept. 28 | Made for Little Gents (Intro to Magnificent Wizards Blog Tour)

Mon. Oct. 1 | Angel Child Clothing

Tues. Oct. 2 | Made for Little Gents

Wed. Oct. 3 | Big Fly Notion

Thurs. Oct. 4 | Tenille’s Thread

Fri. Oct. 5 | Sewing Novice

Mon. Oct. 8 | Paisley Roots

Tues. Oct. 9 | Custom Made by Laura

Wed. Oct. 10 | Fée bricolo

Thurs. Oct. 17 | The Sewing Goatherd

Fri. Oct. 12 | Manning the Machine