SEWN Magazine Feature

SEWN Magazine April 2021 Issue COver

I work hard at most everything I do but sometimes great things just happen and I don’t know how I am so blessed. Earlier this year I was reached out to by SEWN Magazine! If you haven’t seen them then check them out. They have a modern take on a sewing magazine and every issue is packed with great sewing information and features talented makers showing of their skills. So when I was asked to make something for them I jumped at it. The prompt was a shirt dress! I love dresses so this was great. I often use shirt dresses as dusters as you can see here in my Southwestern girl post about my southwestern style duster. However shirt dresses can also be glammed up so I decided to show both sides. The first version was this large floral print quilting cotton sure to wow as a casual day piece and the second was this sext black stretch chiffon that I didn’t even put bottoms on and cinched in with a belt I made and added sexy gladiator sandals. This is the version that is perfect for date night.

I have made plenty of dusters so I wanted to use pattern I had not used before. I decided quickly on Designer Stitch’s Sedona. Funny thing is the last time I was in a magazine it was in a Designer Stitch pattern. You can check that out here! I used to test her patterns and they are great so I had high hopes and they did not disappoint. Excellent drafting and instructions. She does the placket different than I have ever seen it done but when you take your time it comes out so nice and is easier than the other ways I have done it. You can find her patterns here and her Facebook group is here.

The print floral fabric is from one of my favorite fabric stores The Fabric Snob but it was a pre order a while ago so it is no longer available. Sorry but do check out their fabric because they have a lot of great stuff. I used their fabric for my floral suit I made earlier this year. You can see that here.

Vogue 1716
Vogue 1716

Next I want to highlight my wonderful photographer that I work with on a lot of my photo shoots including the SEWN Magazine shoot. You can find her on Instagram here and here. I will add a gallery of some other shoots she has helped me with. Check her out if you are looking for a photographer in the Fort Worth Texas area.

  • Simplicity 8526 Sewing Pattern
  • Vogue 1716 Sewing Pattern
  • Greenstyle Creations Patterns Sewing Patterns

If you want more info and a full review on the Designer Stitch Sedona Pattern you can find my Sewing Pattern Review here.

Until Next Time! Please follow me on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/lovelyforlife1 and https://www.facebook.com/Lovelyforlifedesigns

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Clear Stadium Bag with Free Pattern and SVG

Three Clear Stadium Bags

So COVID is coming to an end! Well, at least that is what I am hoping for. I think we all are hoping the world gets back to normal soon. That means concerts and sporting events. Some of the sports venues now require only clear bags so I thought in preparation I would make a cute clear stadium bag pattern for you. No, you don’t have to just use it for stadium events. The free clear stadium bag pattern will be perfect for so many events this summer. It is so fun!

Don’t let how cute this bag is fool you. It is so easy to make and I have made a video to walk you through the process. You can check out the video on how to make the bag here.

You can readily find the PVC plastic and other materials I used and I will link some that I used.

Another reason I love working with PVC vinyl is to use vinyl cut on my cutting machine to add monograms or other personalization.I have also provided you some details on what materials I used. Enter your email below to get access to this and all my other free files.

Until Next Time! Please follow me on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/lovelyforlife1 and https://www.facebook.com/Lovelyforlifedesigns

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My Little Round Coin Purse​

My grandmother gave me two little coin purses when I was little and I loved them. I kept all my treasures in them. It is such a sweet memory. I still have one of them and it makes me sad that I can’t find the other one. 

As an adult I always organize my bags with smaller bags by different categories. Makeup, sunglasses, charging cables, pens, etc. It especially comes in handy when I am traveling. One day I was playing around with the idea of another little bag to put things like coins, sweetener packets, and my face mask in and loved the simplicity of this little circle zip purse. I can use fun vinyls clear and embossed, cork or even leather. I also put vinyl cut with my Cricut on the back of some to label what is in each one. You could also add a monogram or add decoration by embroidering the back before you make them.

Don’t worry this little purse is a great one for a beginner sewist/bag maker. It is made in just a couple of steps. I  suggest getting a purse zipper sometimes called a #5 which is wider than the normal dressmaker’s zipper. You can find them on Amazon. I will link to the shop where I get almost all of my Purse Zippers in lengths versus individual zips.

There are two sizes included. You can use the pdf pattern file and cut it with scissors or a rotary cutter or you can use the SVG file and cut it with an electronic cutting machine such as a Cricut or Silhouette. You can make a batch on the large 24 inch cricut matt to sell or to gift to a bridal party or for Christmas gifts.

Here is what you will need:

  • Vinyl, Cork, or Thin Leather: Small 6X6 inches or Large 8X8 inches
  • Purse Zipper/ #5: Small 6 inches long or Larger 8 inches long

This will be great for gifts for mom, sisters, teachers for all sorts of holidays. You could also put vinyl or embroidery on the  Piece A size to customize it. There are so many options.

Until Next Time! Please follow me on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/lovelyforlife1 and https://www.facebook.com/Lovelyforlifedesigns

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    Can you use Quilting Cotton to make clothes? Yes you can!!

    McCalls 7937 The Fabric Snob

    I have heard so many people wonder if you can use quilting cotton to make clothes. I am here to tell you, YES you can!!! And it is so much fun. There are so many fun prints that will spice up your wardrobe. However, there are a few things to remember when using quilting cotton for clothing. I thought I would walk you through some and also share a printable you can save as a reference when you are preparing for a quilting cotton project. It will be linked below. I have made a lot of clothing from quilting cotton from a floral suit to dresses and pants. Here is a look at some of them. I also will share a sneaky tip for softening stiff fabric at the end….so keep reading.


    Width of Fabric

    The biggest challenge people seem to have is that they forget that most quilting cotton is made in narrow widths such as 44/45 inches wide instead of 54 inches wide like a lot of fashion fabric. Did you know that these wider widths are a relatively new thing? Just take a look at some vintage sewing patterns and you will see more narrow widths. For example, this Vogue 1027 pattern has pattern layouts and lengths for 35-inch wide fabric.

    You can still get 48-inch wide fabric from Great Britain and 40 or 42 inch wide Indian Silks. So this tells us that garments absolutely can be sewn with narrow-width quilting cottons. Here is a conversion chart for different fabric widths I found on SEW4Home.

    If you have a pattern that calls for 2 yards of 54-inch wide fabric you will easily know you need 2 yards of 44-45 inch fabric, the standard width for quilt cotton. 

    McCalls 7937 The Fabric Snob Quilting Cotton For clothing
    Pattern: McCalls 7937 Fabric:The Fabric Snob


    So we know we will need a longer length of fabric usually but another thing to think about is wide pattern pieces may not fit in the width. For example, wide skirts such as circle skirts will not fit. You will need to find a different style skirt or piece fabric together. This may not be a look you are going for or nap and grain may not make it plausible. Some patterns will not have a layout for these narrow fabrics so you will need to figure out how to lay them out yourself. I will tell you a secret… I never use the pattern layouts anyway. Most of the time you will use more fabric than needed as they don’t always lay out patterns in the most economical way. It may take you some practice on how to do this. If you want me to write about how I go about this please leave a comment below. 


    Quality Counts

    If you get quilting cotton at a store such as Walmart, and I’m not being a snob here, but it is gonna be of lesser quality of fabric than you would if you get it from a better quality fabric supplier. And this goes for all fabrics, not just cotton. When you are a new sewist you may not realize the difference but as you start to work with different fabrics you will start to recognize the quality of fabric. When I returned to sewing a few years ago I made the mistake of making a dress from Walmart quilting cotton. The dress was a fail because I did not make it long enough but also the fabric was of poor quality. It faded quickly, it did not feel good against my skin, it did not press well and its drape was not the best look for the dress. We will talk more about drape later. These fabrics are fine if you want to make a test or practice piece but you will want to move on to better quality quilting cotton.

    Quilting cotton for clothing
    Embarrassing Make With Poor Quality Quilting Cotton

    I regularly buy from quilting shops online. I used The Fabric Snobs quilting cotton to make the floral suit in my above example, and my most recent project highlighted in this post can be found here. The pattern is McCalls 7937. 

    McCalls 7937 The Fabric Snob Quilting Cotton for clothing
    Pattern: McCalls 7937 Fabric:The Fabric Snob


    Check the Drape

    For different projects, you will want a different drape. The drape is the way fabric lays against your body. You have fabrics that are fluid like chiffon, moderate like cotton, or voluminous like wool. Cotton usually classifies as a moderate drape however, different weights and quality cotton will have different drapes. I have noticed that cheaper cotton has a more stiff voluminous drape while higher quality has a more fluid drape. What you want or need will mostly depend on the project however, I would contend that for most everyday casual wear you will want less stiff cotton. For example, the dress that I used Walmart cotton on stuck out poorly at the seams instead of laying nicely down. Poor quality will only get worse after you wash it. It is easy to test the drape of the fabric place a piece of fabric on top of your arm or another surface to see how it looks when it falls. 


    Laundering and Shrinkage

    I am sure even if you are a new sewist by now you have been told plenty of times to launder fabric before you sew it. Some people do this to get out harmful chemicals from dyes and the manufacturing process but all should do this to be sure that the fabric shrinks before you make a garment that will later possibly shrink and no longer fit after all your hard work. I will admit for some knits I will skip this step. I know, “do as I say not as I do”, however quilting cotton is a critical step. Cotton can shrink from 2-7%. Imagine making a form-fitting bodice before washing it and having it shrink. You may no longer fit into it. I have had that happen to me and it is heartbreaking after spending so much time making something. When pre laundering quilting cotton I always try to make it shrink as much as possible so I will wash on warm or hot and dry it in the dryer. 

    McCalls 7937 The Fabric Snob
    Bag Pattern: The Posh Bracelet Bag(Find it on my Etsy shop) Pants Pattern: McCalls 7937 Fabric:The Fabric Snob


    Now and then you will fall in love with a fabric that is too stiff and is not laying as nice as you would like. When you pre-launder your fabric put a can of Coke a Cola in the wash cycle. Yes, I know odd but it works. It won’t stain the fabric or anything else but it will help loosen the fibers slightly. If you want it to soften more you can soak it in coke before putting it in the washer. 

    Coca-Cola


    The quilting cotton used on the outfit featured in this post is from The Fabric Snob and can be found here! For a full review of the pattern check out my post in pattern review here.


    See the link below for my Top Tips on Using Quilting Cotton for Sewing Clothing below.

    Until Next Time! Please follow me on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/lovelyforlife1 and https://www.facebook.com/Lovelyforlifedesigns

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      New to Sewing? How Do You Get Started Sewing?

      Are you new to sewing or have you been thinking about learning how to sew for years? You love the idea of making your own wardrobe pieces full of unique pieces, building up your basics, or making handbags that no one else has but you don’t know where or how to start. I love showing everyone my makes but I hear so many say they “wish” they could make things as I do. Well, I am here to tell you that you can!! Yes, there are some skills involved but when you get the basics you can make anything you want. So let’s get started building your skills.

      Recently I had a sewing day with my nieces and we had a lot of fun. One made some basketball shorts and the other a lovely dress. It was so fun to see them work and their makes come together. They were so proud at the end when they got to try on something that was just a few hours before was a piece of fabric.

      Sewing Tools
      If you are new to sewing or working with a new sewist be sure to have the proper tools. My nieces both had a great start to their sewing setup that Santa and their parents have started for them. They each had a machine and a sewing basket full of tools. My brother while he sometimes does not admit knows how to sew and grew up with my mom and grandmother sewing and knows the tools well. But I did notice a couple of things that would make their sewing journey easier and more productive. I figured I would outline the top ten sewing tools for new sewists as I am often asked about the basics to get started with sewing. You can find the list in my Sewing Freebie Library. You can get the password by following the link at the bottom of this post.

      Choose Beginner Patterns
      Next, pick the first patterns carefully. For a new sewist, I pick an elastic waist skirt, shorts or boxers, or a very simple knit dress. McCalls has a line of patterns to learn how to sew.

      Sewing Time
      Sewing takes time so give yourself plenty of it. Don’t rush to complete a project because you will make mistakes. Also as you are learning sew for a couple of hours and then take a break or come back to it the next day refreshed. Don’t wait until you get frustrated before you take a break..

      Space to Sew
      Sewing takes space. It takes space to spread the pattern out and cut it and cut fabric and sew it together. Give yourself a good amount of space. Kitchen tables work well to cut patterns and fabric. I have also worked on the floor before. While it is not ideal it will work. I still will use the floor every so often when I am making very large projects. Just make sure whatever surface or wherever you store your sewing is clean and dry.

      Patience My Friend
      The first step to work with a new sewist or to learn sewing yourself is to be patient. I always tell students that at the end of the day it’s just fabric. The world will not end if you make a mistake and we all will make mistakes. I have sewn for over 30 years and I still make mistakes. So be patient with yourself or the new sewist you are working with.

      Get my Top Ten Sewing Tools For New Sewists List Now!

      Until Next Time! Please follow me on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/lovelyforlife1 and https://www.facebook.com/Lovelyforlifedesigns

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        Southwestern Girl: Don’t be like the rest of them darling. -Grace Kelly

        Quilting Cotton For clothing

        Many don’t know not only am I a Texas girl I was born and lived as a young girl in New Mexico. While I moved away fairly young thanks to my dad being in the Army I went back during some summers and have gone back to vacation and visit family as an adult. New Mexico sometimes feels like two or three different states depending on where you go from the hot arid south to the mountains and ski resorts in the northern part of the state. It is a beautiful state full of heritage, vibrant people, and a particular style. There are beautiful adobe homes, native jewelry, and art. Of course, there is a strong Mexican influence as well. Mix that all together and it also comes out as a beautiful style, southwestern style. I am always drawn to the beautiful serape colors, especially Saltillo serape.

        “Colorful striped Mexican Saltillo blankets have long been prized for both their beauty and their high level of functionality. They go way back to the 1500s, the Aztecs were wearing colorful blankets created out of cotton and agave fibers, and dyed bright colors using the crushed fruits and insects. It was believed at the time that wearing bright colors both brought favors from the gods and kept evil spirits at bay. The blankets were originally woven in the town of Saltillo, in what is now the state of Coahuila. Saltillo blankets always feature a beautiful diamond shape in the center of the blanket that is woven like a tapestry–handpicking the warp and weaving in the colors in either silk or cotton. The blankets of a similar style which feature greys, browns, and tans came from the higher mountainous regions of Mexico where the colors were dependent on the natural wool fibers.” (1)

        So it is easy to see why I had to buy some of this quilting cotton serape style print fabric when I saw it. While it isn’t traditional Saltillo Serape it would make its use more versatile.

        Last summer I made shorts and two bags out of fabric from this same collection. I will include some pics and details of those.

        I started with this Serape pattern with hues of blue for my first make. I wanted this one to be a normal length button down shirt. I always struggle with button downs because they look boxier on me than I like.

        The first was a button-down using McCalls 6750. I had made a top out of this pattern for my mom last year and I loved the feminine version of a button-down top. It had a nice curve of the waist and hips and the collar is more feminine.

        I also loved that it was a simple large roll collar and did not need a collar stand. I can make a stand collar but it’s nice to have a cheat now and again. Overall it is a pretty easy make for collared shirt. For those wanting to get into wovens and collared shirts, this may be a good one to start with.

        But in the back of my head, I knew I wanted to make a wow piece from this lovely Serape inspired fabric that was a nod to my birth state and helped me show part of my Native American jewelry collection. For this it had to be a duster version!! I love the versatility of a duster and how it takes an outfit up a notch. I have made a few in the past including these two I made using New Look 6470.

        And then I made this duster from Simplicity 8177. I made this one with a Chinoiserie stencil pattern on the back. I will post a few in progress pics in a slide show. Dusters set off an outfit well. You can style the rest of your outfit fairly subdued and let them be the showpiece.

        I jazzed my serape inspired one up further by using black on the sleeves and the collar. I also added Thunderbird embroidery detail on the back yoke. “The Native Thunderbird Symbol represents power, protection, and strength. He is often seen as the most powerful of all spirits and can also transform into human form by opening his head up like a mask and taking his feathers off as if they were a mere blanket.” (2) I can always use a little more protection and strength!

        I decided for this piece I would skip the buttons. I never button any of my dusters so there was no need and also felt it would take away from the showpiece…. the fabric. The pattern is Simplicity 8546 and it very easy to make. The collar and collar stand application was straight forward and I didn’t have any issues.

        So what do you think of my Saltillo Serape inspired pieces? I love them!

        Unfortunately this fabric is not Native made but I do regularly support Native artisans with my jewelry collection. Here are a couple really good places I purchase my jewelry from if you are interested:

        Santa Fe Authentic directly works with artists and helps them bring their jewelry to the market. Nizhoni Traders is based in Arizona. They do live sales on Facebook every month. They ship very fast and the owner is very knowledgeable. I also want to say to do a lot of research. Unforntuatenly there are a lot of scams and mass produced and fake native artists out there. If you are going to wear Native inspired jewelry strive to buy authentic. While this fabric is not authentic I do strive to when I can and will be on the look out for a cotton fabric like this from an artist. If you know of someone please comment on this post. Below is a slide show of just a few of my beautiful Native pieces.

        If you want to read my full review on these patterns check out my posts on Pattern Review. McCalls 6750 and Simplicity 8546

        Until Next Time! Please follow me on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/lovelyforlife1 and https://www.facebook.com/Lovelyforlifedesigns

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        1: https://zinniafolkarts.com/blogs/news/mexican-textiles-101-the-saltillo-blanket-or-serape
        2:https://spiritsofthewestcoast.com/collections/the-thunderbird-symbol

        Floral Explosion: Vogue 1716

        Vogue 1716 Sewing Pattern

        If you have been into fashion in the last few years you may have seen a gorgeous Instagram influencer, Victoria Fox. Check her out here. She showcases some stunning outfits. Very classy looks that I can’t get enough of. Before I knew who she was a saw this picture on Pinterest and knew I wanted to make something like this. I later found two other looks of hers that were very similar.

        I love the traditional suit in such a bold feminine print. So I decided to make my version. I wanted mine a little more subtle but still have a big impact. When I saw this large floral Mega Garden After Nightfall from the Fabric Snob on a black field I knew it was what I wanted.

        I mean I am a sucker for large florals! Can you tell? Here is a slideshow of some of my floral creations!

        Now I just needed the perfect suit pattern. I wanted something traditional with not too many seams or embellishments. I also wanted a fitted pant and a jacket that would look similar to my inspiration with a belt. After reviewing line drawing after line drawing of suit patterns Vogue 1716 was it. It had the silhouette I was looking for and no embellishments. 

        Oddly I can’t say I was all that enthusiastic about this suit when I saw the cover picture on the pattern.


        I liked the sparkle but just was not sure about the fit. Unfortunately, sometimes the pictures deceive you. One of the reasons I do blog posts on patterns is so others that are thinking about making a pattern can see it in another way to see if they may want to make it. I also review them on PatternReview.com so check out my profile over there. Pattern Review Profile

        Overall this pattern was so nice and easy to make. My last suit was not as successful so you are always shy to jump back on the horse after a project does not go as great as you hoped. I am glad I jumped back on with this one.

        There were no big hiccups and it went together quickly. If you are looking for your first suit pattern, this may be it. I am planning to make more suits with this pattern. The pants are a quick make and feature a side zip which I love. Side zips keep your tummy area smoother. These pants fit just perfectly. The only change I made was my normal lengthening for my 6′ height.

        Here are some details from my Pattern Review on www.patternreview.com

        Pattern Description: Semi-fitted, double breasted blazer with matching tie belt, two-piece sleeve with working vent, welt pockets with flap. Fitted, contoured, waist cropped pants have invisible side zipper.


        Pattern Sizing:Semi-fitted it fits true to size
        Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!


        Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes!


        What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Very easy quick sew for a blazer.


        Fabric Used: Cotton


        Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Only lengthened the pants and the sleeves.


        Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes and I plan to!


        Conclusion: I really love this pattern! If you need a suit with this shape, make it!

        Let me know in the comments what you think of the suit!! Also add your email in the subscribe box below to be alerted when I drop new blog posts.

        Until Next Time! Please follow me on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/lovelyforlife1 and https://www.facebook.com/Lovelyforlifedesigns

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        Until Next Time! Please follow me on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/lovelyforlife1 and https://www.facebook.com/Lovelyforlifedesigns

        Lovely

        Until Next Time! Please follow me on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/lovelyforlife1 and https://www.facebook.com/Lovelyforlifedesigns

        Lovely