Posts Tagged ‘betz white’

The “So Many Tomatoes” Striped Modern Apron

The "So Many Tomatoes" Striped Modern Apron _ sewn by a happy stitch

Oh friends.  It is tomato season in New Jersey.  I know people scoff when they hear New Jersey’s slogan is the Garden State but that is for real.  The southern end of the state, especially, is full of farmland.  And when it come to tomatoes the slogan is for real for real.  You know the “Jersey tomato”? Well, my kitchen is swimming in these lovely, colorful, luscious golden globes.  We belong to a farm cooperative, Honeybrook Organic Farms, (the oldest Community Supported Agriculture programs in our state, actually).  Every year, around this time, we receive what feels like bushels of amazing tomatoes.  On top of that, my kids ALWAYS buy me a tomato plant at the school plant sale.  It’s just one plant but, man oh man, one tomato plant can really produce!? Either way you cut it, I am up to my ears in tomatoes and need to “can” them ASAP. (I don’t really know how to actually can tomatoes and am frankly terrified of botulism so I make freezer tomatoes).  I knew I was going to need a good, sturdy apron to tackle the tomato issue so when Betz White asked if I would review her Craftsy class, Easy Modern Apron, I jumped at the chance.  Thus was born my “So Many Tomatoes” Striped Modern Apron!  (more…)

Men’s Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern + Juxaposey llama Fabric]

Hi all! We are all back from our spring break, feeling fresh and revived.  It’s the perfect time for me to release my first free pattern. Eek! This whole thing started because I felt I was neglecting my husband, sewing-wise. Here is the deal, sewing for men can be difficult. It’s certainly harder than choosing what I want for myself or even my kids.  Plus, unless you are sewing for one of those Florida dudes in need of an endless supply of breezy, patterned shirts it’s also a little dull.  But…you know what isn’t dull? Boxer Shorts! Full of fun patterns and colors and easy to construct, men’s boxer shorts are basically the wild and crazy guy of a dude’s chest of drawers. So guys! Guess what? It’s time to bust out some awesome fabric and get cranking out boxer shorts!  I picked llamas and a fun print from Betz White’s new Juxtaposey line. In fact, Betz really is the inspiration for this whole project.  When she asked me to make something in her new line I knew it had to be boxer’s short for my dude. (more…)

Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts

Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts in four colors_ a happy stitch

There is something new hanging on the clothesline and it’s for dudes….boxers!  It has been a long time since I stitched something for my husband, K.  In fact, his handmade pajama pants are so well-worn they are nearly thread-bare at the waistband.  I just don’t sew for him very much and to be honest, I find it hard to sew for dudes.  What would I make? He wears t-shirts and neutral colored shorts for the most part. Not that exciting. If I could knit, I think I would have more options but as it is, I am limited.  So, when Betz White asked me if I wanted to play with her new fabric line, Dutch Treat, I decided it was time to make something for K.  Thankfully, I took one look at her charcoal and yellow print and saw boxer shorts written all over them.  Hence, the cheeky name Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts!  I made it my Project Sew It challenge for June to create a boxer shorts pattern that fits him. (more…)

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

My oldest son, C,  turned eight a few weeks ago and it was surprisingly emotional for me.  Well, ok, I got emotional after the dust cleared.  I do not mean that figuratively; there was dust everywhere because having twelve kids play soccer and run wild in our backyard kicked up an insane amount of dust. But, by the time the party balloons were sagging and the house was strewn with bits of colorful wrapping paper and squashed juice boxes I got emotional.  Eight.  It’s so big.  It’s so definitively big.  It seems to have marked a moment for me when I stopped and noticed that his babyhood, the babyhood that introduced me to motherhood, was receding into the background.  Without a doubt.  I can only see it faintly in the distance and much as I am thrilled about the person he is growing up to be it’s hard to see it go.

One of my gifts to him was this baby blanket teddy bear.  Admittedly, he’s too old for teddies.  I mean, he still sleeps with his very special teddy bear but he doesn’t ask for new ones.  It’s all beyblades, legos and Pokemon cards.  I made the bear anyway and I made his patches out of one of his baby blanket.  This baby blanket teddy bear was made to commemorate the moment, more than anything.

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

When I made the baby blanket polar bears for J, I knew that I would need to make one for C as well.  (And yes, they both had baby blankets with the same color and pattern! One in fleece, one in flannel.  Cute, huh?!)  The pattern for this bear is called Tagalong Teddy and it’s from the Betz White book Present Perfect but is also available for free (!) on Sew Mama Sew.  It was really easy to make, as is usually the case with Betz’s patterns, the instructions are clear and straightforward.  I also got to practice my embroidery…more practice than I wanted since I did a backward blanket stitch and had to REDO all of it.  Rookie mistake on my part.  Ugh. The white fabric is a soft, velour-like fabric that is super snuggly.

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

Perfect for a little bit of snuggling from this boy.  He’s so sweet, this eight year old of mine.  He’s private and camera shy and the most amazing big brother.  I keep telling him he would make a great teacher, he can be heartbreakingly helpful.  He’s also ridiculously funny, stoic and easily hurt and so thoughtfully aware of the world around him.  More and more I’m aware that those stories are now his and not mine to tell.

I do think that he likes his new bear.

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

Do see it? That tiny glimpse of babyhood?  It’s just barely there but I think I saw some. *sniff*

I’m also sharing another project on Betz’s blog today, be sure to check out my forest friends finger puppets! 

Betz White Sewing Collective :: Baby Blanket Polar Bears

Polar Bears made a Baby Blanket for the belly and ears! The perfect way to transform a special blanket into a special toy!  a happy stitch

Ever since I started blogging I’ve admired Betz White so I was over-the-moon when she asked me to be a part of her sewing collective this year (For real. Pinch me!).  My first project was making these polar bear stuffed animals. The details are all on Betz’s blog but what makes these guys super-extra-special is that I used baby blankets for the bellies and ears! Don’t miss the full post with more info on the Flurry and Fluffy pattern and the changes I made.

Polar Bears made a Baby Blanket for the belly and ears! The perfect way to transform a special blanket into a special toy! | a happy stitch

Disclosure: I was paid and given a free pattern but my opinions are always my own.

Glitz Blitz :: My Fabulous Leather and Gold Travel Bag

glitz blitz travel bag

Meet my fabulous Glitz Blitz Travel bag! It involved successfully putting in a shockingly good-looking metal zipper and sewing with leather.  Consider it true love.

It started a few weeks ago when the folks at Michael Miller emailed me wondering if I would be interested in receiving some of their Glitz fabric, making something and blogging about it.  I almost fell out of my chair.  Me?  Of course I said yes.   I was expecting to get a yard or so of fabric and was literally floored when a huge bag of fabric arrived the next day.

glitz selection

I’m really psyched about this fabric.  And, not just because they flattered me.  C’mon, It’s gold with pastel!  Shiny, awesome gold highlights…on chevron and tiny-dot ombre as well as fantastic bold polka dots.  What is not to love?  It’s just really exciting.  After much hemming and haw-ing (should I make a girly, ruffly dress for one of our little friends?  Or a necktie for the boys in mint and gold?!)  I decided to make a travel bag with the leather bottom.  It’s the same leather I used to make my necklace.  This glitz-y fabric was just begging to be paired with something neutral and quite honestly I wanted to make something for myself with this lovely stuff.

For Christmas I received a subscription to Creativebug, so I watched Betz White’s class on making a travel bag and used her pattern.  I was a little worried that it would be hard to work with the leather but it wasn’t.

leather stitches up close

A couple of things I learned about leather:  Always use a leather sewing needle and 100% polyester thread.  You CAN iron leather, just use a good pressing cloth, never iron directly on the leather or it will leave a shiny mark and make you sad.  You can even iron enough to adhere leather to interfacing, which was a delightful thing to discover.  Just don’t ever forget that pressing cloth.  I may need to raid the thrift shop of leather now.

mint green pocketI added an inside, elasticized pocket because it’s always nice to have extra pockets inside a glamourous travel bag.

zipper detail for glitz blitz travel bag

I was very pleased I managed to align the stripes well around the beautiful zipper.

It’s hard to tell the size of the bag so I included one of me holding it.  It’s a tiny thing, really, but just the right size for the very few fancy things I usually bring with me when I travel.  I’m not really a makeup girl in normal life but you know when you travel sometimes there are special occasions.

glitz blitz travel bag with leather bottom

I ended up making a second bag and I’m tempted to make a few more.  It always amazes me how quickly a 2nd or 3rd item come together.  Now that I know the joys of sewing with leather and gold, I’m feeling unstoppable.  (Taps fingertips together in the universal symbol of evil villain-esse).

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