Project Run and Play : A Dapper Captain

Project Run and Play A Dapper CaptainI’m so excited to be back for week two of Project Run and Play! This week is all about making an outfit that is not a costume that nods to our child’s favorite superhero or heroine, and let me tell you, that is not as easy as it sounds! There was much debate over what qualifies a hero as “super”, and again, what they might wear when not saving the world. So this week, my entry is focused on my son, his unique style, and his favorite hero, Steve Rogers who is better known as Captain America.

Please note: this is for a competition in which I am a competitor. I would so appreciate if you follow this link and scroll down to vote for me! Voting takes place on the Project Run and Play blog. Project Run and Play A Dapper Captain

Wallace is the kid who loves to look good all the time. It takes no parental prompting- he simply likes to don suspenders whenever he can or add a bowtie to his look. He loves his hair just so, and he needs to be clean at all times. So naturally, his version of the Captain, was going to have to be a dapper one, which isn’t a stretch for the gentleman hero. My other son is the complete opposite and does actually dress in full costume to go everywhere.Project Run and Play A Dapper Captain

We chose a blue gingham for his shirt, and spared no details. Its has all the characteristics of a professionally sewn shirt, from a collar with collar stand to a tower placket on the sleeves. The inside is finished with French seams. I used the Buttoned Up Buttoned Down Shirt from Oliver & S because their patterns are always so well done, and include all the details of high end ready to wear clothing. The buttons are pearl and they were purchased at Jones & Vandermeer. His bow tie was made with Liberty lawn. Project Run and Play A Dapper Captain

The pants are a light grey linen- we didn’t want to go full white for the pants. That wouldn’t last one day, even with my clean kid. I used the Art Museum Trousers pattern from Oliver & S for the pants. They feature welt pockets with a peek of the gingham fabric inside. The waistband facing also includes the gingham used in his shirt. The trousers are an easy wear with light linen, and fit nicely. My young captain was glad for belt loops to add in a belt! Project Run and Play A Dapper Captain

As a mom who dreads when my children want me to make anything character related because stores are so saturated with that kind of thing, I was glad for this weeks prompt to make regular clothing that our favorite superhero might wear! I know this outfit will get lots of mileage and can be worn most anywhere.

Remember to go vote! Visit this post, and once you make it to the bottom, there is a voting box with a box next to each entry. Vote for your favorite! You can only vote once. 

I hope to see you for week 3! Thank you!

-Meredith

Project Run and Play : Adventure in the Smokies

Adventure in the Smokies Project Run and PlayI am super privileged to be a contestant on this season of Project Run and Play! You can read my full post for the first week- the theme is “where I live”- right here, then hop over to their blog and vote for your favorite! We are each being judged on a single outfit, and we were encouraged to make a single garment that is well made, as opposed to many that aren’t so great, and since only one can be entered/judged, I chose to stick with one for this week! I’m so excited to be a part of this competition and am so looking forward to seeing all the great outfits from my fellow contestants! Good luck to all of us.

The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee is where we call home, and while there are innumerable pop culture references that hail from our great state from Elvis Presley, to Dolly Parton, to Taylor Swift, life here is all about the adventure of being out in nature, spotting wildlife like bears and deer, and enjoying the beautiful landscape of the mountains. I wanted to create an outfit that nodded to our simplistic lifestyle, while giving a nod to the very area we call home.Adventure in the Smokies Project Run and Play

This was no easy task! Every time I went searching for a Tennessee related tea towel, like the one I had envisioned in my head, I was handed an something with a big orange “T” for the Vols, which is the mascot for the University of Tennessee which is just minutes away. I felt as though the folks trying to help me were a little aghast that I wasn’t meaning to represent our local team, but I assured them I have copious amount of pride in the state of Tennessee. At last, I found what I was looking for at a local shop in Downtown Knoxville.

What began as a tea towel, adorned with a painterly image of Tennessee and its many landmarks, became the bodice for this dress. I carefully cut the space which showcased Knoxville and its sunsphere, Maryville, and the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

We visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park pretty much every weekend, and have done so since moving here a few years ago. We never tire of the changing colors, the mountainous landscape, or the wildlife! Its exciting every single time, traffic jams and all. I truly couldn’t think of a better tribute to this Tennessee and our beloved Smoky Mountains than this practical, but beautiful dress.

Wanting to nod to the vast green landscape, I chose a deep green poly crepe for the rest of the dress. The crepe also added a beautiful drape which is what I wanted in this simple silhouette. The dress features a Peter Pan collar, long puffed sleeves, and a curved bodice which are all very feminine and clean features that add detail to the dress. The back of the dress has a full length button closure with bronze buttons from Jones & Vandermeer, and the back bodice showcases the Tennessee state flag, along with our state bird, and other local flora and fauna. Of course, the dress has pockets because every girl needs pockets! I also made a bow with the green crepe as an accessory. It can be worn as a headband or tied around a pony tail, though my girl prefers her hair to be worn down.Adventure in the Smokies Project Run and Play

I used the Building Block Dressbodice as a starting point for this dress, and modified it quite a bit to fit my long and lean daughter. I love the Building Block Dress book, as it contains a basic dress pattern, but can be modified in hundreds of ways to make any number of garments from dresses, to blouses, to skirts. Its one of my most used books in my sewing library, and a great investment!

The collar, too, came from this book. The sleeve was modified to be quite full at the top, and the skirt was drafted by me. The bodice is fully lined with the crepe fabric. Adventure in the Smokies Project Run and Play

Please note: this post may contain Amazon affiliate links. This means that you get the very same low price, but Amazon will give me a small percentage of the sale which helps support my blog. I really appreciate it when you shop my links! 

Embroidered Supply Bag : A Janome Tutorial

I’m so excited to share today’s free project with you! I’ve written this tutorial in collaboration with Janome, and I used their spectacular combination machine, the Skyline S9 to create this project.Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

So what is it? Its an embroidered supply bag that’s perfect for back to school, but you can easily take the concepts and apply them to other projects, from various bag styles, to pillows, to framed artwork featuring your favorite quotes. I have used both the embroidery and sewing functions of the machine to make this bag.

Its an easy project you can do in an afternoon, and if you aren’t familiar with switching between functions on the machine, its good practice! Its much less intimidating that you might think!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • felt- at least 10 x 12″ to fit into the RE20a hoop which is 170x200mm of embroider-able space
  • stabilizing paper
  • fabric- two fat quarters for the exterior and bag lining
  • batting- two pieces at least 11×10″ and 11×8″
  • zipper 10″
  • coordinating thread
  • machine & cutting tools
  • optional- download this embroidery file with Booker T. Washington quote, or make your own in Artistic software

Begin with embroidery

To begin, download my file for this Booker T. Washington quote (you’ll need embroidery software to be able to open the .jef file), or create your own in the Artistic software. Transfer to a USB, or via wifi to the Skyline S9, or whatever embroidery machine you have.

Make sure your machine is set up with the proper plate and foot, and turn on the embroidery function. Open the file on your machine.

Prepare your hoop for embroidery. Use your stabilizing paper, then felt, and make sure it is taught within the RE20a hoop, which is the biggest hoop that comes with the Skyline S9. Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Make sure your needle is threaded, and press START, and watch your embroidery come to life. I love this part! Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Once it is complete, remove your hoop, trim your felt to 7×4″ and carefully remove that stabilizing paper away from the backside of the text. You can carefully trim the little threads between the letters if you want. Set aside. 

Prepare your machine for sewing

Close the embroidery arm, and switch out your plate for regular sewing. Swap out the embroidery foot for the walking foot. Make sure you engage the back of the walking foot by pressing the hook into the back after you have screwed it in place.

Cut your fabric and batting

You can either prepare your fabric as a single piece prior to cutting, or you can work with two pieces. I have worked with two separate sections, and you’ll see directions for this method throughout.

From your fabric, cut: 1 (11×10″) piece and 1 (11×8″) piece from both exterior and lining fabrics (you can totally cut them a little bigger if you need more of an allowance for your quilting)Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Baste and quilt your bag panels

Layer your lining, right side down, batting, and exterior right side up. You will have one quilt sandwich with the 11×10″ pieces and one with the 11×8″ pieces if you chose to do two separate sections like me. You can spray baste if you want, or pin in a couple places, but these are small pieces and you may not find this necessary.

Quilt in whatever way makes you happy through all three layers on both of your little quilt sandwiches. I used straight lines about 1/2″ apart. Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Trim your quilt sandwiches to 10.5×9.75″ and 10.5×7.75″ respectively.

Sew your embroidered felt to the bag front

Center that felt embroidery to your 10.5×7.75″ section, and use whatever stitch you like to sew it to the panel. The Skyline S9 has a ton of gorgeous appliqué stitches as well as many decorative stitches built right into the machine. Just remember to switch to the proper presser foot depending on the stitch you choose. I have used a simple straight stitch since felt does not fray, but get as creative as you like! Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Assemble your bag

We’re nearly there now! The first thing we’re going to do is attach the two bag panels along the bottom edge. Place your front and back panels right sides together (so that you can only see the lining sides) along the bottom edge, and sew a 1/4″ seam along that edge. Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Press that seam toward the back of the bag, and then sew a line of stitches 1/8″ from the edge so that you catch your seam. This will flatten that seam, and stabilize it. Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Now we will install the zipper. Switch out your walking foot the the zipper foot. Place your zipper right size DOWN onto the front of your bag along the top raw edge. The zipper teeth should be about 3.8″ away from the side of the bag, so that when you sew up the sides you won’t break your needle on the teeth. If your zipper is longer than the bag, don’t sweat it, I’ll tell you how to fix that issue. Just make sure the zipper beginning it about 3/8″ in from the side. Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Stitch 1/4″ from the raw edge using that zipper foot. Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Now fold your panel around, so that you can attach the other side of the zipper tape to the right side of the back panel.Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

It will most likely be helpful to close your zipper for most of the stitching here. When you come to the zipper pull, keep your needle down, but raise your presser foot so you can unzip it and keep stitching unencumbered by the bulk of the zipper pull. Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Ready to stitch up the sides? Fold your bag in half, right sides together. You will fold so that the bottom seam is right at the base, and the top is actually the back panel folded down a bit because the zipper opening will be on the front side of the bag. Keep your zipper open by several inches because you’ll have to turn your bag right side out through this opening after you’ve stitched up the sides. You can keep your sides pinned or clipped and remove them as your stitch. Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Stitch 1/4″ from the raw edge on the side, backstitching at the beginning and end. If your zipper teeth are within your seam allowance, stitch up to that point, backstitch, and then raise your presser foot and move your back just to the other side of the zipper teeth, backstitch and then finish stitching to the end of the seam. This will keep you from breaking your needle which you absolutely want to avoid! Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9Turn your back through the open zipper and give it a good press, and you are ready to fill it with goodies and put it to good use!Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

Bonus tip: You can totally stitch about 1″ from the bottom edge, then install grommets for use in a notebook- you may want to make the pack a little wider if you choose to do this!

Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9Janome embroidered bag tutorial skyline s9

I would absolutely love to see your project if you use this tutorial! Share it with me by tagging me @thefooshe on Instagram and by using the hashtag #oliviajanehandcrafted and #janomeproject

Please leave any questions you may have in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

-Meredith

A place to remember

I am BACK!!! Oh my goodness gracious. Its been an absolute whirlwind month, since I discovered my web host locked me out of my site. I was able to transfer to a new, much better host, and now I’m back up and running. Great big thanks to my techy dad for helping me out with the whole process, because nothing is more frustrating than feeling crippled by a lack of knowledge related to something you need to do!Cleveland Skyline Quilt

Remember when I made this quilt last year? That same client asked me to make a new rendition of the quilt for her best friend who just recently moved away from the Cleveland area, and just had a new baby. She asked me if I would be able to personalize the quilt with meaningful places and activities, along with her children’s names and birth dates.Cleveland Skyline Quilt

Of course, I was thrilled to take on a new challenge! I especially love adding embroidered elements to quilts- they add a level of personalization that makes it so extra special!Cleveland Skyline Quilt

I handquilted the quilt, but tried to keep the skyline free of those stitches since it stands on its own so very beautifully. And isn’t that star print the most perfect sky?Cleveland Skyline Quilt

My client’s friend loves jewel tones, and since that’s basically the theme of my life, I was tickled to be able to work with that palette. It wasn’t easy to capture the colors accurately at golden hour (and I didn’t- they look a bit too orange here), but the back of the quilt is a tone of purple that I now only think of as Porter purple because its what my client calls it- and since I have had the privilege of working with her for many years, I always call it that as well. Anyway, I thought it would be the perfect backing for the quilt because it would be a reminder of their friendship. Cleveland Skyline Quilt

I have said it time and again, but working on quilts for babies is such a special privilege. Really, making a custom quilt for any particular person in mind is a cool thing because its entirely unique, from the colors, to the individual fabrics, to the details like embroidered places or names. And what a thoughtful gift! I mean, I can hardly think of a more thoughtfully given gift that a quilt such as this. My client is just amazing at pulling together special places, moments, favorite colors, and other things that are unique to whomever she is giving these quilts to. They are always different and always so much fun to dream up and sew. Every time I get to do sewing like this, its a reminder to be thankful that I get to do what I love so much, all the while bringing in income to pay for school books, clothes, and all the things that make life run smoothly around here. Cleveland Skyline Quilt

Cleveland Skyline Quilt

I have so much to catch up on that I missed this past month! Tomorrow I have a brand spanking new tutorial that was meant for back to school, but will be perfect for anytime! I’ll meet you back here in the morning.

-Meredith

Chataigne Shorts

Remember when I told you about my garment sewing binge last week? Well it all started with a pair of shorts, and the realization that months of faithfully eating my anti-inflammatory diet had paid off. It only took a couple weeks for me to start feeling like a new person, but it wasn’t until a week or so ago that I realized I’d actually been losing inches, and back to feeling like my normal self which greatly encouraged this garment sewing explosion. Nothing better than sewing for a body I feel good to be in!Deer and Doe Chataigne Shorts in Liberty Denim

Anyway- since I tend to gain weight in my bottom half, I tend to shy away from sewing fitted bottoms because its just not that easy to fit a round behind and hefty hips. But upon realizing that I had slimmed down a bit, I felt I should dive right in and make myself the Deer & Doe Chataigne shorts. This brand designs patterns around curvy figures that tend to have a smaller waist and larger bottoms, so it didn’t feel like much of a gamble to skip any sort of muslin and go straight for my one and only cut of Liberty denim which I’ve been saving for like 5-6 years. Looking back, I’m just relieved it worked out because that wasn’t the greatest decision making on my part. Deer and Doe Chataigne Shorts in Liberty Denim

The shorts came together rather quickly- it took just a couple of hours from cutting to completion. Sewing bottoms does tend to go swiftly if you don’t have to do much altering because by nature, they tend to not have many pieces. These have a hidden zipper closure on the side which makes the whole process so much faster than inserting a center fly in the front.

The lines on these shorts are so well thought out. The V shaped band in the front is unexpected and slimming. The pleats make the flare seem very purposeful and hides generous hips in a lovely way. Hidden is not the right word, it just flatters them in a very pretty way. Deer and Doe Chataigne Shorts in Liberty Denim

There aren’t actually real pockets in the back, just a flap that is sewn on. Sure, I could have left them off, but I quite like them. Deer and Doe Chataigne Shorts in Liberty Denim

The bottom of the shorts have a band. In the other option for the shorts, there is a scalloped hem and a higher waistline. I don’t love the higher waist, but I would love to try the scalloped hem next time. I need to get my hands on some more Liberty denim or chambray! Deer and Doe Chataigne Shorts in Liberty Denim

I just *had* to add a colorful fabric in the side pockets because floral denim simply isn’t enough. I had some Tresco scraps that were perfect for my hidden pop of color! Deer and Doe Chataigne Shorts in Liberty Denim

I made a size 36, and I’m really pleased with the fit! I wouldn’t change or alter anything on my next pair. Deer and Doe Chataigne Shorts in Liberty Denim

I hope you’ll join me here on Monday! I have a brand new tutorial that’s perfect for back to school!

-Meredith