Friday, February 25, 2011

Laurie's Surprise Sewing Room

Today we have an extraordinary sewing room to share with you from one of our readers, Laurie Guidry. Lucky Laurie attended our February School of Art Fashion earlier this month, and when she returned home, she had a beautifully redecorated and organized sewing room! Drool over her space with us - it is sure to be a bustling hive of inspiration and creativity for Laurie from now on.

Laurie tells us:
When I went to School of Art Fashion in Huntsville, my niece and her mom, my sister-in-law, completely redecorated and organized my sewing room. What I had before was a jumbled mess of hand-me down furniture, stacks and stacks of fabric, boxes of mixed up laces and other trims. Add to that my patterns, my Sew Beautiful magazines and Martha Pullen books and what I had was one huge mess!!

When I got home, I felt like I was on one of those decorating TV shows and had won! I love my room. It is a beautiful soothing color and all of my fabrics folded and color sorted look like an amazing piece of art. My niece is very gifted in design and my sister-in-law is the organization queen. What a blessed month February was. A full week with all of my sewing family at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion, then to come home to such a beautiful sewing studio. It doesn't get much better than that!! I wonder if I go to Huntsville again this summer is the design & organization fairies will come and redo the rest of my home....probably not, but it's a fun thought.

Enjoy your gorgeous space, Laurie – and happy sewing!

Do you have a beautiful sewing room you'd like to share with us? Send your pictures to

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pattern Preview: Kari Mecca's "More Sewing with Whimsy" Ladies Pattern

Kari Mecca fans, listen up: the More Sewing with Whimsy companion pattern for women is here and available in the shop! We are super excited to share this new addition to the Sew Beautiful Pattern Collection. It is available in sizes 4-24 and includes both sleeved and sleeveless versions of a round yoke top, a sleeveless square yoke top and two "bottoms" patterns - one of which can be adapted for 4 different lengths, from shorts to long pants. (The pattern is also available in preteen sizes 10-16!)

If you love the look of Kari's Whimsy Stick trims, flowers and other embellishment techniques but have no children to sew for (or just want to use some whimsy on yourself!), this pattern is made for you. It reflects the signature style and design possibilities seen in the More Sewing with Whimsy book and the - but in an adult (or preteen) size.
All of the top patterns can also be made as dresses! We think they would be great for spring and summer in light cotton prints, maybe cinched at the waist with a ribbon or small belt.
Here are all of the the pattern options:

Snag your copy of the pattern in the store for $12.00. Don't forget to grab a set of Whimsy Sticks and a copy of More Sewing with Whimsy to add some Kari Mecca style to your new creations!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

I'm excited to announce that the winner of this week's giveaway contest is......

Libby Leatherwood!

Congratulations, Libby. You will receive a copy of Precious Baby Daygowns, Round Yoke Collection; a package of Floriani Heat N Sta Fusible Fleece; and a can of Sulky KK2000. Enjoy! Be on the lookout for an email from us so that we can get your mailing address and send your prize to you asap.

Thanks so much to everyone for their congratulations, compliments and contest entries!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Shannon's Elephant Diaper Stacker

I'm excited to share that there is a new Sew Beautiful baby on the way! I am 29 weeks pregnant with our first baby - a little girl. I have been having a blast planning her nursery and decided on a gray/yellow theme, with little elephants all over. Since my husband and I plan on having more children in the future, we are trying to keep things somewhat neutral so that if we end up with a little boy, reusing our nursery won't be an issue. I have been bargain shopping for the big things and sewing what I can to piece together a room I love, so picking out fabric and making my own accent pieces has been lots of fun for me.

One of my favorite projects so far has been this diaper stacker; I just love how it turned out and I was thrilled that we had a pattern on hand here at work I could use: the "Fancy Trims Diaper Stacker" from our book, Precious Baby Daygowns, Round Yoke Collection. I picked this pattern above many others I had seen because of its simple lines; I knew it would be easy to adapt to our nursery's style. (Below is a picture of the original diaper stacker from the book.)

And now for the giveaway! Since I had so much fun with this project, I want to give away a copy of the Precious Baby Daygowns, Round Yoke Collection book so you can make your own! I will throw in a package of Floriani Heat N Sta Fusible Fleece and a can of Sulky KK2000 as well, since I found both of these products to be extremely helpful when stitching this up. To enter, just leave a comment on this post -- and don't forget to include your email address so that I can contact the winner! Entries will remain open until this Wednesday, February 11, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. CST. Sorry, but the giveaway has ended!

The biggest changes I made are as follows:
  • The pattern called for 5 different fabrics, but I used only 2.
  • I did not use any decorative trims.
  • I did not piece the front top yoke piece as in the original; rather, I used one solid piece for both the front and back. I also omitted the ribbon rose and created my own elephant appliqué instead. (Let me know if any of you would be interested in having the elephant appliqué template and I will create one to share with you.)
  • I added lining fabric to the front, side and back panels, whereas the original instructions did not call for lining. (I snuck a peek at the actual original diaper stacker, and the fabrics used were just a bit thicker and more opaque than mine. I wanted the same or more stability for my version, so I just cut lining pieces to match the front, side and back panels and adhered them together with Sulky KK2000 during construction. The result was exactly what I wanted - nice firm seams and non-transparent panels!)
  • I did not use any water-soluble or invisible thread as called for in the instructions. Instead, I hand-whipped the back of every binding strip with my regular sewing thread.
  • I used a piece of cardboard covered with fabric for inside bottom instead of plastic canvas.
  • I made a mistake when cutting my front pocket pieces to size, so they are about one inch shorter than the instructions and the original call for - whoops! But the result is extremely similar and the pockets are still plenty large.

So with those adaptations in mind, here is an adjusted supplies list if you'd like to make a diaper stacker similar to mine:
And here are adjusted cutting instructions:

From Fabric A, cut the following:
  • Two front panels, 7"W x 21"L
  • One back panel, 14"W x 21"L
  • Two side panels, 10"W x 21"L
  • One bottom block, 14"W x 10"L
  • One scrap piece of fabric for elephant appliqué, about 6" square
  • One scrap piece to cover cardboard piece, at least 14"W x 11"L
From Fabric B, cut the following:
  • Two yoke blocks, 16"W x 10"L
  • Two pockets, 7"W x 9"L
  • Two center front bindings, 1-3/4"W x 21"L
  • Two bias strips for pockets, 1-3/4"W x 7"
  • Two bias strips for hanger opening, 1-1/2"W x 5"L
From Fusible Fleece, cut the following:
  • Two yoke blocks, 16"W x 10"L
From Lining Fabric, cut the following:
  • Two front panels, 7"W x 21"L
  • One back panel, 14"W x 21"L
  • Two side panels, 10"W x 21"L
  1. Because you will be using one piece of fabric for the front yoke rather than piecing the yoke together, you will omit steps 1-3 under the very first set of construction directions for the Yoke. Instead, you will first create the elephant appliqué following Steam a Seam 2 instructions. Iron the appliqué onto the center of your front yoke piece and stitch around the raw edges with a small zigzag. (I also stitched an ear shape with the same small zigzag.) Then, fuse the front yoke piece onto a piece of fusible fleece and continue on to step 4, quilting over the top of your appliqué. NOTE: You could also appliqué piece after quilting for a different look.
  2. Instead of stitching-in-the-ditch or using invisible thread, hand-whipstitch the back of all binding pieces.
  3. Before sewing the major panel pieces together, adhere the front, side and back panel pieces to their matching lining pieces with Sulky KK2000 and treat each as one piece.
  4. Instead of inserting plastic canvas into base as in step 20, trim cardboard base to size if needed and cover with fabric and secure on back with fabric glue (I used Fabri-Tac glue). Let dry and insert into bottom of diaper stacker.
  5. Omit the "Yoke Embellishment" section. Insert padded hanger to yoke and hang for use!
Again, I am giving away a copy of the Precious Baby Daygowns, Round Yoke Collection book, where you can find this patter, as well as a package of Floriani Heat N Sta Fusible Fleece and a can of Sulky KK2000 so that you can create your own sweet diaper stacker. TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY, just leave a comment on this post -- and don't forget to include your email address so that I can contact the winner! Entries will remain open until this Wednesday, February 11, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. CST. Sorry, but the giveaway has ended!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Judy's Embroidered Swirly Tree

I got the best surprise forwarded to me in my email inbox yesterday - SB reader Judy Gresham had sent us a picture of her version of my swirly tree embroidery from Issue #133! In my "Seasonal Swirls" article, we gave readers the hand embroidery template for this tree design (the original is pictured below). Judy put her own twist on the tree as a gift for her mother by adding a sweet red bird in the branches along with a partial poem by Whittier. Judy tells us:
I thought you might be interested in how I used your design. You will see I added a red bird (she loves birds and I thought it would make it pop the piece). I used overdyed yarn for my tree because I like the variations it provides and stitched on linen.
You can find the hand embroidery template for this tree on the pullout centerfold of Issue #133; back issues are available on our website. A machine embroidered version (pictured below) is also available on our website for purchase and download.
Judy, thank you so much for sharing your creation with us! It turned out beautifully.

Have you put your own twist on a project from SB? We want to see it! Send us pictures of your projects to