A Gumdrop for the dogs!

Remember this pillow? Well, laminate was on sale at the lqs....
 And now I have 2 happy dogs!
The laminate was really easy to work with. For most of the piecing, I was working with the laminate sides together so I had no issues with the fabric feeding well. When needed, I used a special foot with a roller on it to help feed the fabric.
I made a lining for this bag, because I wanted to use the little styrofoam balls from bean bag chairs. I inserted the lining, filled it with beans, closed the lining, and zipped the laminate layer closed! I thought this would make it easier to add beans if these compress a bit, too.
One bit of warning-the ladies at my lqs mentioned that the laminate is a bit thin, so this wouldn't work well for pets with sharp nails.
I love this pillow! I think it looks great with the other fabrics in our living room and at night we often drag it into our room for the one of the dogs to curl up in!

(Oh, fabric is Heirloom and Loulouthi!)

My Sleepover Bag

A few years ago I made myself the Amy Butler Weekender Bag. It was not an easy project, and I think it sat in my closet for several months before I finished it. I've used it tons, but there are a few little things about it that I was never satisfied with. I always planned on making another one, until I found the Sleepover Bag pattern by Melly and Me. I love the whimsy of the Melly and Me patterns, and the bag looked pretty easy to construct. So into my stash the pattern went. ;)
Then at the end of last year we were getting ready to visit my parents for the holidays. It was after Christmas so all of my gifts were made, and I was itching to sew something for myself! I happened across the new Amy Butler Soul Blossoms line at the lqs, and decided I needed my new bag. In three days. (I needed it for the trip to my mom's, of course!) Yeah, I have these impulses a lot.
I had to include my new rainboots in the picture. My parents bought them for me for Christmas, and I think I've worn them every day since they arrived! Besides, they match my bag. :)

The pattern was really straightforward and easy to follow. All of the pieces are quilted before assembly, and everything fits together really well. The technique used to attach the lining results in no raw edges inside the bag, which is my kind of bag! The handles are made using 2 thicknesses of batting, giving them that poofy look that usually requires cording. The front of the bag has 2 pockets which close with magnetic snaps (and they are the perfect size for a phone charger!). And my most favorite part is the bottom corners!
I love how the corners are boxed out and used as a design detail. And it makes a great place for a label! (The bag ends lay better when the bag is full. I didn't stuff it quite enough for the photos but my clothes for a weekend trip fill it out just about perfectly!)

The pattern does not call for any interior pockets. I almost included a zipper pocket, but decided that I wouldn't use it. I visit my mom every few weeks, so I'm a "seasoned" weekend traveler. Inside my weekend bag I keep a toiletry case with most everything I need for a trip. Anything extra that I decide to pack goes in the toiletry bag as well, so I'm not sure what I'd put in a bag interior pocket.

I'm really happy with the bag, and I will definitely turn to this pattern again in the future.
P.S. I'm linking up to Sew Modern Monday over at Canoe Ridge Creations today!
P.P.S. I'm also linking up to Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story!
Joining the Linky Party for Travel Handmade!
Travel Handmade with The Sewing Summit

Little Quilty Things

Lately I've been craving some instant gratification.  So I made a few small quilty things...

Camera strap (2" x 23" finished):
(And yes, I broke into some more Heather Ross!  I'm going to create a brown camera bag with some HR accents, too.)

Phone Cozy:
OK, I know it seems like a silly thing to have.  But I drop things.  A lot.  The only downfall to keeping my phone in the cozy is that I have to turn the ringer up all of the way.  But it has stayed scratch free so far!
Fabric is Love by Amy Butler.

Ipod case:
At 6" wide and 4.5" tall, this little case is perfect for my nano, armband, and earbuds.  I added an inside zipper pocket for my earbuds, which also divides the interior into 2 sections.  I love that everything has it's place, and it's so nice to keep everything together!
Fabric is Love and Midwest Modern 2 by Amy Butler.
Oh, I left the batting out of this case to reduce bulk.  So I guess technically this one isn't quilty. ;)

The Anna Tunic

I love this dress!  I'm really glad I took a chance with this floral print, because I think it makes the entire dress.

Pattern: Amy Butler's Anna Tunic
Fabric: Amy Butler, Love line

Alterations:  After reading reviews, I took 1" off the bottom of the armscye to enlarge the opening.  I think I need to take another 1/2" off for comfort.  I omitted the lining, and I added 2" to the hem line by adding 1" to the pattern and sewing a 1" hem rather than a 2" hem.  Because I didn't line the dress, I had to finish the bottom edge of the armscye-I used bias binding.



And with a wider belt:

I don't love the belt from the pattern.  I actually like the shift style with no belt, or the wide white belt.

The pattern was easy to follow and had great instructions.  I might change the construction a bit next time.  And I think the neckline could use some alterations so that it isn't quite as high in the front.
I really like the flower detail, and the construction was very forgiving.  I wasn't going to include the flower, but it really adds to the dress!

Simplicity 2587

This was a project from last spring, but I think it's still worth a blog post. :)

Pattern: Simplicity 2587, view B
Fabric: Amy Butler, Midwest Modern 2 line

Alterations that I made: I sized down a LOT.  I think I went down 3 or 4 sizes, based on the pattern reviews.  I also did a rolled hem, which added about an inch of length to my dress.
Finally, I shortened the bias straps and tacked the bust line closed a bit so that it fits more comfortably.

If I were to sew this pattern again, I would omit all of the interfacing.  It made the fabric harder to work with, and the waist was a bit stiff until it was washed a few times.  I might also line the top-without lining a bra is an absolute must.


The pattern was very easy to follow, and the instructions provided plenty of detail.

I've considered taking up the hem.  I usually don't like a short hem on a dress that has a gathered waist, but the gathering on this dress isn't heavy enough to cause the poof that I want to avoid.