Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Eyeglass Case Tutorial with Printable Pattern

The idea for this project came purely from my own need, but I thought there might be some of you going through the same thing and looking for an eyeglass case.

I always had good eyesight up until few years ago (darn aging! My teen daughter often say, "Is there anything good about getting old??"), but I started needing glasses to see far and it seems to be getting worse. Because I am not used to carrying glasses around, I always forget to take them with me and I won't even think about them until I need to see the menu on the far away wall at the restaurant and such. Also, the glass case that came with my glasses was a big, bulky plastic case. I don't like carrying a big purse, and there is no way that that glass case will fit in my small purse... I just wanted a small, minimal fabric case to prevent scratches. After I did a few sketches, I came up with this design.

For the closure, I designed it so that you can just fold the tab inside, kind of like tucking the opening of a pillowcase when you are making the bed. If you prefer to add snap button or Velcro you could totally do that.

*You will need

1 - Outer fabric (8" x 9")
1 - Lining fabric (8" x 9")
1 - Interfacing (8" x 9") I used Pellon 809 Decor Bond. I like the stiffness.
Matching thread

*How to

1. Print PDF pattern and cut out the template.

2. Trace the template onto the fabrics and interfacing and cut them out. You can do this one by one, but I like to layer all three material together, trace and cut. This is not only a short cut, it is easier to ensure which side of the material is suppose to be put together. You can look at the picture below to see what I mean.
3. Fuse the interfacing on the the wrong side of the outer fabric.

4. Put all three layers together perfectly. Leaving a 3" opening in the bottom, sew all the way around. Cut and snip the corners for a cleaner finish.
5. Turn it inside out and press with an iron.
6. Top stitch the portion of the case.
7. Fold in half vertically. Use clips to keep them in place while you sew. Sew one side all the way to the other side.
8. Enjoy!
Here are the images of the case"open" and "closed"...
I got carried away and made more, thinking that this will make a great gift for my friends.
The thick interfacing gives just the right amount of stiffness without being bulky. This eyeglass case will definitely protect my glasses from scratches and easily fit in my purse which is exactly what I wanted. Happy sewing everyone!

Saturday, March 27, 2021

White Sapporo (Nova) Coat

Last fall, I was itching to sew some coats. I wanted to try something new and stretch my skills by sewing something other than skirts or dresses. A couple patterns that grabbed my attention were Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studio and Sapporo Coat (they recently changed the name to Nova Coat) by Papercut. I made a couple jackets in the fall using the tamarack jacket pattern. Except for the welt pocket, the rest of process was something with which I was already familiar.

Now, I wanted to try the Sapporo coat pattern. When I saw the coat online, not only did I like the design, but I loved the name too. My Oldest son was called to serve a mission in Sapporo Japan for our church last year; there is no correlation between the coat and my son's mission other than the name (I guess you can see how much I miss him), but it instantly became one of the "must make" items. Ha ha!

I put off making the Sapporo coat for a while even though I already had the material for it. I had other projects keeping me busy, and also I was a bit intimidated by the process of adding a liner to the coat. We had some warm days recently, but I knew we still had some cold days and nights that I could enjoy the coat before Spring comes in full swing. It is silly not trying to make it!

So that's what I did last week.

Last year I found the wool blend fabric at Fabric.com for an ideal price and decided to go with that. The velvet wool I was drooling over was $140.15 a yard... yeah, that is not going to happen for a first time coat maker like me. I am well pleased with how it turned out!

I LOVE the stand collar on this coat. Not only does it keep my neck warm, it makes me feel a little sophisticated.
The unique shaped pocket was not hard to make at all!
It was more work to add the lining, but it definitely gives the coat a professional finished look. I am just so happy that the colors of the wool and the liner match so well, even though I bought both of them online.
Before I made the coat, I read other people's posts, comments and reviews. Many people said that the coat is very baggy fitting, so I went a size down and I am glad I did. If you are looking for a generous fit coat especially around the arms, you will love this coat.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Floret Farm's Discovering Dahlias ~ Book Review

If there is one place and time you could go right now, where and when would you pick? I would say Floret flower Farm during the summer. I was given the chance to review celebrated farmer-florist and New York Times bestselling author Erin Benzakein's new book Discovering Dahlias and it was such a pleasure from the very first page. As you can tell from the title, this book all about Dahlias (her previous books were Cut Flower Garden and A Year in Flowers) and gives excellent advice for growing, harvesting and arranging Dahlias.

I think one of the reasons her book is set apart from the rest in the same genre are breath taking photos taken by her husband Chris Benzakein. I feel like his pictures not only showcase the beautiful flowers, but they tell a story. I wish I could stand in the middle of the flower field during the sunset and enjoy the luscious colors and fresh air. I am a visual person, so I really appreciated that her book is not just a "how to" book. I have never ever read a gardening/farming book cover to cover in the past like I did with Discovering Dahlias.

I had no idea that there were so many variety of sizes, forms, and colors if Dahlias. I am sad that I can't share all the pages with you, but it is so interesting to see the varieties. It's like looking at an encyclopedia for Dahlias!

Ok, I don't have a green thumb and I failed many times in the past and I wish I had the magic touch to grow anything. As I was reading her book, it made me realized that Erin also had a fair share of trial and errors, lots of learning and put in years of hard work. In the first part of her book, she shares some basic advice for how to grow and care Dahlias (of course with some great photos!). As I kept reading these pages, more and more my desire to try to grow dahlias in my backyard started to sprout within me. Maybe I could do this too?

Look at these gorgeous colors! They are truly the fruits of her labors.

Last but not least... this might be my most favorite part of this book: "Variety finder". Erin and her crew grew more than 800 varieties in her fields when they were working on this book, and they narrowed down their top picks to 360 dahlias to create this directory. They are arranged by color groups, timeless and classy white to dramatic and bold maroon/black. I love making flower arrangements and the dahlia is one of my favorite flowers to work with. I flipped through these pages many times just to see and imagine what it would like to make arrangement with them.

I HIGHLY recommend Discoverying Dahlias even if you are total beginner like me or an experienced gardener. The title of this book "Discovering Dahlias" perfectly fits and is truly genius, because that exactly what I felt I was doing.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Tamarack Jacket 2

A few weeks ago, I shared my "practice" Tamarack Jacket. As I mentioned in the last post, I had enough fabric to make one more jacket, so I decided to tweak a few things and make another Tamarack Jacket. I like the last one, but I think I like this one even more!

Here are the few things I did differently... I used fabric called Strawberry Field by Rifle Paper for welt pockets, cuffs and trims. I love the contrast.
I decided to go with view A this time, but changed the neckline to a V-shape. Also, I shortened the jacket by a couple inches.
I felt like the first one I made was a bit too big, so I took in the sides to make it slimmer.
The next time I make a Tamarack Jacket, I want to use the fabric I quilted instead of an already quilted one. This is such a versatile pattern, and I feel like the possibilities are endless. I am imagining what it would be like if I extended the length to my knees to make a long jacket. Wouldn't that be fun?

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Babylock Giveaway

I just wanted to let my readers know that Baby Lock is having a Dream Sewing Room Sweepstakes! You can enter for a chance to win either a Baby Lock Solaris 2 sewing and embroidery machine or a Venture multi-needle embroidery machine with a qualifying Koala studio, Madeira thread and Klassé needles. This is an amazing giveaway!! I have had a few different sewing machines in the past and after I used my first Baby Lock sewing machine, I loved it so much that there was no going back. I know whoever wins this giveaway is one luckiest sewest and will take their sewing adventure to the next level! You can enter to win at their website until 12/24/20. Don't miss this!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Neighbor's Christmas Gift (with Printable Tags!)

Every year, I love thinking about what to do for our neighbor's Christmas gift, making tags, putting on ribbons... I feel like I am working in my own Santa's workshop and that gives me a cheery feeling. I truly feel like I am surrounded by very nice neighbors, we have our neighborhood party, many people are looking out for each other, I know most people by their first name. I want to do something nice for my neighbors, but when you are working with a small budget and buying about 50 gifts, You really have to be creative. Last year, I did disinfecting wipes (I tend to lean towards practical gifts), and that would have been perfect for this year, but usually there is a limit on how many I can buy nowadays, so that idea went out the window.

One morning, I was looking at Pinterest while in bed searching for "Neighbor's Christmas gift ideas", "simple gifts" or "budget friendly gift ideas". I saw many things that had me thinking, "Hmmm... I have done that, that's over budget." Nothing popped out to me. I was thinking that 2020 was a hard year for most of us, but our neighbors have been such a silver lining in our lives. Then I had an "Ah-Ha!" moment! Silver lining... Aluminum foil!!! Yap, that's how my brain works.

I was super excited about this idea, and told Mr. TRH what I am going say on the tag which is:

"2020 was a very interesting year to say the least, but having neighbors like you is a silver lining as always. Have a very Merry Christmas!"

I was quite happy about this idea. It came from my heart, good tag line and budget friendly.(pat, pat...that is the sound me patting myself in the back) Mr. TRH was listening to me while busy getting ready for the day, then he said, "hum, that sounds good, and if 2021 doesn't improve, they can make tin foil hats." What??? who says that?... but then we laughed. So I decided to make the gift tag with both of our lines. We could all use some humor, right?

I created free printable gift tags if you have been looking for fun, budget friendly and practical neighbor's gifts. Simply click the picture and it will take you to the PDF. Enjoy! :)

Monday, December 7, 2020

Tamarack Jacket 1

I have been wanting to sew different things and stretch my skills. One of the items that I have been eyeing is jackets. I found several patterns online and this Tamarack Jacket is one of the jackets I have been dying to get my hands on. Using a hashtag, I was able to see other people's unique version of this jacket; it is so fun to see them. I had so many ideas floating in my mind, but there are a couple things that made me nervous just jumping right in.

First, I wasn't sure how this jacket would fit me. Second, I have never done welt pockets; I feel like that is a bit above my skill level. I would hate to spend so much time creating pieced and quilted material just to make something that is unwearable. So I decided to make a "practice jacket" with already quilted material. I was so lucky to find this fabric at Joann's for 30% off + 20% off my total purchase with a coupon!

Here is the welt pocket I was so afraid of... I had to read the instructions carefully, but it was so well written with diagrams that I was able to figure it out. I am pretty happy with the result.
For this jacket, I decided to go with view B, which is the style with snap buttons.
I followed the body measurement guide on the pattern and chose my size, but I felt like it fit a little on the baggy side. I think I can wear a thick sweater and still be ok. I love how this turned out, and guess what... I realized I have more material to make another jacket! Have you noticed that the title of this post is "Tamarack Jacket 1"? Yes, that means "2" is coming soon! :) I decided to change up a few things and came up with a different one. I can't wait to share it with you soon!
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