Perfect Pattern Parcel #4: an upcycled Maxwell Top of dapper foxes

Upcycled Fox button-up top for boys | Pattern from Perfect Pattern Parcel #4, The Maxwell Top made by a happy stitch Remember the sneaky pipe-smoking fox I tucked into the pocket of my shorts? Well, it is finally getting its moment in the sun with this dapper top for little J.  And…the verdict is he LOVES IT! Not that this is a big surprise, I mean who could resist this adorable stinking top?  It’s far too cute.  The pattern is the Maxwell Shirt and it is one of six patterns included in the latest Perfect Pattern Parcel #4. Upcycled Fox button-up top for boys | Pattern from Perfect Pattern Parcel #4, The Maxwell Top made by a happy stitch The shirt came together so easily and it is definitely now at the top of my list for button-up shirts for boys.  I’ve actually struggled with a few patterns attempting to make a nice button-up for the boys but this one is easy, simple and straightforward and fits well…it kind of makes me wonder why the others were such a challenge.  Maxwell Top is this mama’s dream.  The pattern includes lots of options for mixing and matching but I kept it pretty simple with just one pocket (and a bit of twill tape for detail. aw.) as well as snaps instead of buttons. Upcycled Fox button-up top for boys | Pattern from Perfect Pattern Parcel #4, The Maxwell Top made by a happy stitch The fabric used to be a grown-man’s shirt and it was hanging on a rack at Goodwill literally begging me to take it home and turn it into this very top.  (As with so many items at Goodwill, it’s hard not to wonder about how it came to be a shirt for grown-ups that someone owned and then donated.  There must be a story there, huh?) Upcycled Fox button-up top for boys | Pattern from Perfect Pattern Parcel #4, The Maxwell Top made by a happy stitch Finding this fabric is hands-down my best thrift shop fabric find ever.  In my brain, I was doing a victory dance the minute I spotted it. Good work Goodwill. Upcycled Fox button-up top for boys | Pattern from Perfect Pattern Parcel #4, The Maxwell Top made by a happy stitch The other patterns in this parcel are also stupendous for those of us that want to make things for boys! I was so excited when I saw what was included (jeans, vest, backpack, sweatshirts!) that I screamed.  We don’t start school here for another week and I’m planning on making as much as I can for back-to-school special clothes. As usual, the Perfect Pattern Parcel is a set-your-own price deal (for real! you decide what to pay!) but if you pay over $26 you get the bonus pattern, The Knight Hoodie, which is so super fantastic that it’s silly not to pay for it.  The value of this pack of patterns is $61 so it’s a steal! On top of that you can dedicate part of your payment to a charity that helps fund needy schools and any excess funds go straight to the charity as well. It’s a no-brainer if you have boys because good boy-oriented patterns are already so hard to find. And, it ends  September 5th, so jump on it.

Pattern Parcel #4

Buy Pattern Parcel #4

Parcel #4 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, August 22 casa crafty || Lulu & Celeste || Keep Calm and Carrion
Saturday, August 23 Max California || Amanda Rose
Sunday, August 24 little betty sews
Monday, August 25 Kadiddlehopper || Radiant Home Studio
Tuesday, August 26 La Pantigana || Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts || Friends Stitched Together
Wednesday, August 27 Make It Perfect || Modern Handmade || GYCT Designs
Thursday, August 28 Needle and Ted || Mae & K || Mimi’s Mom
Friday, August 29 Pienkel || Once Upon a Sewing Machine || Friends Stitched Together
Saturday, August 30 FABulous Home Sewn || Gray Skies || The Crazy Tailor
Sunday, August 31 Nine Stitches || Max California || Oliver’s Fancy || Friends Stitched Together
Monday, September 1 a happy stitch || lady and the gents || Our Family Four || Swoodson Says
Tuesday, September 2 verypurpleperson || Things for Boys || The Crazy Tailor
Wednesday, September 3 Our Family Four || Rebekah Sews || a happy stitch
Thursday, September 4 Sew a Straight Line || la inglesita || Made by Sara || Knot Sew Normal Friday, September 5 Knot Sew Normal || Gracious Threads || Sofilantjes || Max California
Disclosure: I received the parcel as a part of my participation in the inspiration tour but my opinions are my own, of course.  Also, I am entered into a lottery to win money for fabric every time you click on the pattern parcel links.  So, if you are inspired that would be so kind. :)

How To :: Make an Easy Workout Headband

Oh, this blog is sooo on an August schedule these days! I’m writing blog posts in my head all the time but, so far, I haven’t figured out how to convince little elves to turn all of that internal chatter into an actual conversation here. Boo.

How To- Make an Easy Workout Headband

That must mean it’s time for a kick in the butt.  For this reason, I’m going to teach you how to make the easiest ever workout headband.

As you may have gleaned, I am a runner.  Nothing serious, no super long distances; I’m not keeping track of my personal best time or working toward anything at all, really.  I run a steady ten minute mile and I try to run three or four times a week even if sometimes I only run a mile.  It clears my head and it keeps my happy.  When I am out running it’s my time, just for me, and I think better when I run so I often solve family or work problems.  Maybe this blasé attitude officially makes me a ‘jogger’, who knows? I don’t care.

Anyway, I had been running with the same stank-y headbands when I decided I needed an upgrade.  But, workout headbands can get weirdly pricy.  I saw one for $15! Say what?!  And, the cheap ones sometimes fall off.  So, I grabbed some excess jersey knit and devised this easy headband-making method.

Here we go:

+ Cut a strip of 2-way or 4-way stretchy (at least 25% stretch or more) knit jersey sized 4″ by 19″.

+ Fold it in half lengthwise and using your walking foot*, a jersey sewing needle and a tight zigzag stitch sew with a 3/8″ seam allowance along the length leaving 1/2″ unsewn at each end.

How To- Make an Easy Workout Headband

+ Turn the tube right sides out and align both short ends with each other, right-sides together.  Make sure not to twist the length of the band while you do this. (See how that extra 1/2″ at the end makes it smoother to join these together?)

How To- Make an Easy Workout Headband

+ Stitch (the same zigzag stitch) along the entire short end with a 3/8″ seam allowance.  This require awkwardly maneuvering the fabric by sewing a little, rearranging the fabric to be sewn and continuing on like that the whole length of the stitch.

How To- Make an Easy Workout Headband

+ Flip the bit you have just sewn inside the tube. Press the whole thing with an iron making sure to iron the raw edges inwards.

How To- Make an Easy Workout Headband

+ Using the same tight zigzag stitch, sew this opening closed by sewing only the open section of the seam.  It won’t be super pretty but you want the headband to stretch. Clip your threads, which I obviously forgot to do.  Oops!

How To- Make an Easy Workout Headband

+ Flip the seam to inside, put that sucker on your forehead and go workout!  You deserve it.

How To- Make an Easy Workout Headband

And, be sure to hashtag #sweatnsew because you earned it, chica!

* It also works well to sew jersey knit fabric using a teflon-coated foot or even place some scotch tape on the bottom of a standard machine foot, though a walking foot or teflon foot is preferable.

** For help determining the amount of stretch in your jersey knit, cut a 4″ by 4″ scrap and stretch it as much as possible, if it can stretch to 5″ it has 25% stretch; at 6″ it has 50% stretch; at 8″ long it has 100% stretch…you get the idea.

the colors of Ireland

red and pink flowers of Ireland

{the red and pinks}

It’s my birthday today.  Yay for 39!   To celebrate I’m going a bit off the sewing-and-making track and just sharing an explosion of color.

rainbow colors of ireland

{the rainbow}

Our visit to Ireland was full of the most intense colors and I love the way a vacation can open the senses.  You slow down enough to notice.

the colors of ireland | a happy stitch

thequietcolors | ireland by a happy stitch

{beauty is quiet}

Ireland’s near constant rain makes for an almost rainforest-like array of growth.  It was impossible not to be impressed and inspired.

the colors of ireland | a happy stitch

the neon green of Irish Moss | a happy stitch



sky | a happy stitch



The Craft Book that Changed my Life :: Guest Post

The Pattern that Changed My Life - Guest Post on While She Naps I’m so thrilled to be sharing about the book that changed my life, Bend The Rules Sewing by Amy Karol, over on Abby Glassenberg’s blog While She Naps.  Abby’s blog is always an honest, open conversation and I always admire her willingness to tackle big questions and take what she does as a crafter and a blogger seriously.  All summer long she’s been running a series asking bloggers about the patterns that changed their life.  The whole series is really wonderful and I’m so humbled Abby asked me to participate. I’ll be honest, as I started writing this guest post I got a little more vulnerable than I expected.  I got pretty deep into my feelings about teaching sewing and my whole approach…the how of how I teach.  This book really opened up a whole new world to me and putting that out into the ether turned out to be a wee bit raw but all-over great process. I hope you enjoy the post!

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