Wednesday, July 1, 2015

FYI: Introducing The Sew What Club

Have you heard about The Sew What Club? It's a site, shop and program dreamed up by Kelly of Sewing in No Man's Land to get deliver brand new, exclusive sewing patterns from your favorite designers every month. And I am excited to be a part of it! Along with many of your favorite designers/bloggers. In addition to designing exclusive patterns for Sew What Club members I'm also an affiliate, which means this post contains affiliate links, and if you click on one and subscribe I'll receive a small compensation.

The program launches today and Kelly has two fantastic children's patterns and one women's pattern ready for July. I sewed three dresses for my girls using her darling Lyon pattern. (The dress in jersey from Girl Charlee, the middle in a knit from Denver Fabrics, and the bottom in a heavy weight knit found on Etsy.) In two days! It's so quick! And especially comfy in jersey. I've got another in the works already.

There are 2 options for joining The Sew What Club. You can join the women's patterns or the children's patterns program. Or, of course, you can do both! Every month with the children's patterns option you will be sent two downloadable PDF patterns, one on the first of the month and one on the fifteenth. They will be from Kelly Crawford of Sewing In No Mans Land and from a featured guest designer--which is where I come in at least once in the next year, along with all these fantastic women. 

Take a look at the two July children's patterns, Annecy and Lyon, available exclusively through The Sew What Club

And then there is the women's pattern for July, Lille. Isn't it beautiful? I can't wait to make one. Casual or dressy, that's the question. It looks like such a flattering style.

If you have a goal to sew more for yourself this year (as I do), you may want to choose the women's subscription for The Sew What Club. Each month you will be sent an exclusive women's pattern created by Kelly or one of the guest designers.

To join you have two options: a low monthly price or a discounted annual price. You can find all the details on the new website.

Along with the monthly patterns, members will receive additional sewing project patterns in the monthly member newsletter. Members will also be able to participate in monthly social media events with prizes from fabric, pattern and crafting companies, all just for sewing up the month's pattern and sharing it on social media sites.

You can find all the detailed information on the The Sew What Club website. To celebrate the launch of the club membership rates will be discounted this week!

I don't know about you, bu I love have something fun and creative to look forward to every month. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sewing: Pom-Pom Trimmed Voile Scarf for WeAllSew (Child's Sewing Tutorial)

Are you hoping to teach your child to sew this summer? My mother taught me to sew and I love sewing with my daughter, Audrey. The trick is coming up with a project that is satisfying, while not too difficult. This Pom-Pom Trimmed Voile Scarf is just the thing! It's very simple to sew but with a beautiful light cotton voile, such as this Anna Maria Horner Little Folks Coloring Garden, it looks so impressive!

I've got a step-by-step tutorial for this pom-pom scarf project at the BERNINA WeAllSew blog today. If you haven't been to their blog lately you have to check it out--they've just done a really beautiful re-design.

This is a great project for gifting (don't you love helping your children make handmade gifts), and for borrowing from your little one when it's finished!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sewing: Easy Ruched Linen Maxi Dress (Tutorial)

I've decided this is the summer of the dress! For me anyway. I don't know why I haven't gone this direction previously--they are so easy to wear! I've always envied men and suits, because getting dressed well seems so easy. But really, wearing a dress is even easier: you just need shoes. And maybe a necklace if you are into accessorizing. (I got this gold one from Target.)

So I am happy to participate today in Melly Sews' 30 Days of Sundresses by sharing this simple tutorial for a ruched linen maxi dress. You can check out all the other Sundresses this month by visiting her blog, and don't miss entering her giveaway.

I've always loved linen, and I love it wrinkled! I purchased this pinstriped slub linen fabric from Jo-Ann last year and they still carry it, which is lucky for you, because it is beautiful! I really like using linen for this simple silhouette because it adds a bit of sophistication. It can be worn casual or dressy depending on how it's accessorized. And it's figure flattering while still being comfortable.

I was inspired to sew this dress after seeing this popular maxi dress pin on Pinterest and somewhere I saw some ruched shoulders, which I love.  Adds a little bit, and fun with the linen. I wanted to be able to wear this dress easily without a belt so I opted for an elastic "ruched" waist. I also added some topstitching, and generous hem, and finishing details on the inside so though this dress has a bohemian look, it's all tailored.

You can easily make this dress for yourself! Just take a few measurements and follow my tutorial below. Easy breezy!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cooking: Asian Marinated Steak Pasta Salad (Recipe)

You know me, I have a thing for pasta salads. Especially in the summer. Because they involve lots of good vegetable, they are an easy one-dish meal, and because it seems like you are eating well when you pull out the leftovers the next day or two.

This week I was craving steak so I decided to come up with a steak pasta salad with Asian flavors. It turned out so umami! I love it. This combination of marinated steak and vegetables is great in a green salad, or a pasta salad (same dressing), or you can throw a bunch of spinach in with the pasta salad to reduce the proportion of the noodles and have something in-between.

This steak marinade is the best! I altered a marinade recipe from my good friend JoAnn, who is a fantastic cook. This recipe is one you'll want to keep around for any grilled steak, whether you add it to a salad or eat it with something else on the side.

The pasta salad is great chilled so I recommend making it ahead or even the day before. You could also marinate the grilled steak and all the vegetables in the dressing overnight and then toss it with some greens for a green salad. The flavors are so deep and earthy, and with the steak, I think the men in your life would enjoy it too.  Marinated steak salad for Father's Day? Why not?

Click to view the recipe.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sewing: Tropical Maxi Lady Skater Dress

Predictably, our weather is changing from cooler than normal to warmer than I'd  like. So time to get serious about summer apparel. The past month of Me Made May (#mmmay15 and #memademay15) had me wearing more of the things I've sewn, and most of those are dresses. Dresses are so easy! And cool. Just take one off the hanger, put on some shoes and you are set. 

So I decided to sew another. This project had me revisiting the Lady Skater Dress pattern from Kitchy Coo. I first made one last summer and the camouflage, elbow sleeve maxi dress is one of my favorites!  

Given the rise in temperature I went for short sleeves. I thought about using the original skater skirt and lengthening it for this version, since I love the maxi length, but I chickened out and decided to stick with modifications I'd made the first time. So I sewed a gathered long skirt and added elongated patch pockets. 

 Pockets are key. Something to do with my hands.

The "Vintage Palm Screen" knit fabric is from Girl Charlee. I love the blue, and the tropical motif! The fabric is pretty lightweight, so to be sure it wasn't sheer I used a lightweight off-white knit of unknown origin as a self lining for the dress, bodice and sleeves. (I just cut out identical bodice, sleeve and skirt pieces and stacked them on the wrong side of the dress fabric as I was sewing.) Hopefully the dress will still be cool this summer. It was a bit of a gamble with that lining fabric.

But wait! Summer! I'm so happy it's here! Even if it's hot, I'm excited for swimming, hiking, some vacations and less-busy days. Hope you are too.

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