spider man lunchbox (and giveaway!)

as you know, right around Halloween, O got super mega obsessed with Spider Man.  barely a day has gone by that he hasn’t worn (or requested to wear) his hoodie – that superhero love that so many little guys seem to have has been awakened.

so when my new sponsor, Virginia of the lovely Gingercake Patterns, asked me if I’d join her holiday pattern tour, i thought there couldn’t be anything much more perfect than making this fella his own Spider Man lunch box!

spiderman lunchbox

this is Gingercake’s Love Your Lunch Box pattern.  Gingercake first came to my attention last year when Gail made this adorable one for her little gal.  it’s the perfect size to hold lunches for kids to carry, and i love the idea of customizing the fabrics to what your kid is into, since lunch boxes inevitably get gross and need to be replaced pretty regularly anyway.

spiderman lunchbox

in O’s case, what he’s into right now is spiders (and webs).

spiderman lunchbox

the “web” fabric is topo in navy from architextures by Carolyn Friedlander, one of my all time favorite fabric lines.  so cool, so versatile.  i think it’s is supposed to suggest elevation lines on a topographical map, but it works as a web too, right?  then i stuck a little spider appliqué on there.

spiderman lunchbox

the inside is a sturdy seersucker/ticking i’ve used a few times.  i thought it could be more washable than laminated cotton (either is suggested in the pattern).  it was clear and quick sew, though probably not a super beginner project just because it gets tricky sewing a gusset around tight curves, but no biggie if you’ve made some things.

spiderman lunchbox

he really does love it!  he even wanted to pack his own lunch, he was so excited.

spiderman lunchbox

and i’m pumped to have a go-to lunchbox pattern that i can make again a year from now with whatever his obsession is then.

spiderman lunchbox

> > >    : :  THE GIVEAWAY!  : :    < < <

would you like to win a Love Your Lunchbox pattern of your own?  it’s a great one to have for little gals or guys in your life, and not too hard to enlarge for adult lunches either, i wouldn’t think!  customize it up and it’s a fun gift to give for the holidays.

to enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite pattern over at Gingercake Pattern Shop  (there are such cute ones…you know i’ve got my eye on the Lucky the Elephant for Em).

giveaway is open until Friday, November 15 at 8pm Pacific Standard Time.  winner will be chosen at random, contacted by email, and will receive the PDF pattern from Gingercake.  one entry per person, void where prohibited by law.  

good luck and thanks for entering!

Gingercake Gifts Series

single feather pillow

Em’s school has its annual auction coming up, and while i have been mostly flying under the radar as far as my sewing knowledge goes (no requests to make the class quilt, phew!), i did decide to make something to donate to the silent auction (and earn fundraising credit) –  a feather pillow!

single feather pillow

the block pattern is from Anna Maria Horner’s feather bed quilt, and if it looks familiar, it’s because i already made one for Caila around Christmastime.  i had even saved a couple extra feather halves for this purpose.  this time, i went with just a single feather against yarn dyed black essex for a bolder statement.

single feather pillow

i quilted it with some red/blue/purple variegated thread (never used that before, kinda fun) and i hope it’s not too crazy looking for the school auction attendees because i want them to bid it up – you know, for the kids!  it closes with a zipper.

single feather pillow

the back is leaves and berries from hello pilgrim by lizzy house.  i only got a fat quarter but need more – it’s so pretty.

single feather pillow

i can’t remember how big the pillow is, sorry – sort of a lumbar size i guess?  i wanted to keep it – maybe if it doesn’t get many bids at the auction i’ll just buy it back.  😉

oh so here’s a confession – i rarely, like almost never, buy fabric online.  i’m spoiled to have four awesome fabric stores within about 20 minutes of my house that each serve a different purpose depending on what i need, PLUS a JoAnn, PLUS a little shop near work just in case i need a thread run on my lunch break.  i love being able to touch and see my fabric before buying it and have built good relationships with the gals at Bolt, especially.  but this local convenience does pose a bit of a problem with blogging, since none of the stores I shop at have much of a web shop presence (my first lovely fabric sponsor, Britex Fabrics, has amazing fashion fabrics online but not much in the way of quilting cottons, which i sew with often).

enter my newest sponsor, Pink Castle Fabrics.

pink castle fabrics

i reached out to them because i wanted a place to link to when i’m posting my projects so non-locals have a place to actually buy the fabric if you like it.  i browsed a few online shops before contacting Pink Castle.  i love their general shop aesthetic, and they stock almost all of my favorite designers, so i knew pretty quickly that they’d be a great fit.  want to go drool over some fabric/add to your stash?  here are my favorite lines that Pink Castle has in stock right now:

Lizzy House – Constellations

Carolyn Friedlander – Architextures

Rashida Coleman-Hale – Tsuru

Anyan – Cotorienne

Essex Yarn Dyed Linen

plus so much more!!  Brenda, the owner, has a really great eye.  Pink Castle is in the process of opening a storefront (in Michigan), which is very cool too.  oh and have you heard of Camp Stitchalot?  how fun does THAT look?!  anyway, i’m so happy to have them as a sponsor and i hope you’ll check them out.

now to pick out an outfit for the auction (it’s a “through the decades” theme and her class is assigned to the ’90s which i guess means the husband and i are supposed to dress like that for the event.  doc martens and plaid shirts?  not the fanciest decade ever…).

PS – film petit is coming!  

flocking bird silk shirt with sleeve tutorial

My next post as a member of the Britex Fabrics Guest Blogger Team is up today over on the Britex Blog, and I’m sewing with SILK!  This gorgeous navy and ivory flocking bird print was completely irresistible to me, and I was so excited to make a beautiful flowy top out of it for my sister Laura.  I’ve never sewn with silk before so this was quite a challenge – I had a lot of research to do before I started.  The result is completely worth the extra effort I think!

flocking bird silk shirt (sleeve tutorial)

I started with one of my favorite adult patterns, the Wiksten Tank.  As I’ve done before, I decided to add three quarter sleeves, which gives the shirt a bit more substance and slightly more formal look, while maintaining the ease of the pattern.

flocking bird silk shirt (sleeve tutorial)

Today I’ll show you my method for adding the sleeves.

First of all, if you’re working with silk, here are a few general tips I picked up.  You’ll want to sew with silk or cotton thread, using a microtex sharp needle, so make sure you have those.  Next, you’ll need to reflect all of your pattern pieces so you’re not cutting on the fold, but just a single layer of silk.

When you’re ready to cut, head over to my fellow Britex Guest Blogger Jen from Grainline Studio’s tutorial for cutting silk.  It worked amazingly well!  I cut between two layers of Swedish tracing paper with a rotary cutter and it was a frustration-free experience.

flocking bird silk shirt (sleeve tutorial)

Now, to create the sleeve pattern.

flocking bird silk shirt (sleeve tutorial)

1.  Lay your pattern on the right side of your tracing paper and trace around the armhole curve

2.  Lay your ruler down at a 90 degree angle to the pattern grain, mark a line as far as you’d like the sleeve (use another shirt of yours for length reference)

3.  This is what your pattern will look like so far

4.  I added a little extra loft to the shoulder curve to give myself room for a puff sleeve and to add a seam allowance.  Draw a slight S to finish the arm curve, then draw a slanted line to the same length as your top line, connecting them with a vertical line (the lighter curve is my original tracing, darker line is my final pattern)

flocking bird silk shirt (sleeve tutorial)

If you’ll be cutting silk, trace out your sleeve again with plenty of room to reflect the pattern so it’s just one piece.  If making this out of cotton, you can just use the pattern on the fold.   Cut notches where indicated to guide gathers (on your silk, mark these with chalk).

flocking bird silk shirt (sleeve tutorial)

Sew two rows of gathering stitches between your markings, then sew the long sleeve seams together.  I chose to serge each side of the seam allowance and press them open, as I thought french seams might be too bulky.  Set each sleeve in, gathering what’s needed to match the armhole opening and sewing inside the tube.  I then serged the seam allowances together to finish the armhole.

flocking bird silk shirt (sleeve tutorial)

Finish the tank per pattern instructions – for the silk, I used a baby hem and navy cotton batiste bias tape to finish the neckline.  You can either choose to hem the sleeve with a baby hem, or a wider one and thread some elastic through to hold it at your elbow.

flocking bird silk shirt (sleeve tutorial)

Enjoy your pretty new silk (or voile, or batiste, or vintage sheet, or rayon) shirt!  Thanks for modeling, Laura!!

Head over to the Britex Blog to see my post and leave some love over there if you’d like, and while you’re there be sure to peruse their sale section.  The drape and beauty of this silk just can’t be beat (it goes on sale Feb 1).

**Britex Fabrics is a sponsor of this blog and graciously provided the fabric for this project.**

social media friends and other stuff

i forgot to mention that monday i was over at The Train to Crazy for her Social Media Friends series – a great way to link up and build your social media following.

she’s featuring bloggers and their different types of social media pages each week with a linky party to join in, and mine was Facebook!  did you know that skirt as top has a Facebook page?  i try to link my blog posts over there as soon as i can, and sometimes there are film petit previews and other fun stuff too –  just hit like to follow.

taking a cue from Jessica and others, i wanted to share a quick WIP.  right now i seem to have a bunch of things in progress (which sometimes bugs me – too many WIPs get me twitchy).  but the most exciting thing i’m working on right now is next project for Britex – it’s sewing with SILK!  i thought this was a brilliant plan until i realized i’d never sewn with silk before and i had no idea what i was doing.  i’m taking my time and scouring the internet before i dive in and ruin some pretty fabric.


i’m finding some great tips from fellow Britex Guest Blogger Team member Jen from Grainline Studio – she made a gorgeous tassel scarf tutorial recently AND has a fantastic tip for cutting silk that totally works and saved me from a lot of cursing and drinking yesterday.

have a good weekend!

blank slates and teacher gifts

two things today.

first, i wanted to formally welcome my newest sponsor, Blank Slate Patterns! creator Melissa’s patterns first caught my eye when Sophie sewed this awesome piped chevron version of her basic blazer (major wow factor!). i also sewed her blazer pattern for Fantastic Mr. Fox, and currently have a second one cut out and ready to go (super excited about it, too). i was under a bit of a time crunch to get that film petit out and just blazed through the pattern without thinking much, so this time i’m going more slowly and really enjoying it!

Melissa’s full pattern lineup includes great boy basics like trousers, collared shirts, and t-shirts as well as beautiful dresses for the little gals with great classic style. her designs are clean “staple” type patterns, so they lend themselves nicely to customization through fabric selection and your own extra special details. she even has a couple of bag patterns for grown ups! check it all out at Blank Slate Patterns!

blank slate patterns

item number two is teacher gifts that i never posted about (see what i did there? blank slate? chalkboard? teacher gifts? anyway…). Em has a really great teacher and a wonderfully musical teacher’s assistant – she loves school and is learning TONS from these two ladies, which is so fun to see. i made gifts for both, of course!

for her main teacher, a “notebook paper tote.”

notebook tote

inspired by buzzmills, i thought it was pretty clever to make a bag for a teacher look like a lined piece of paper. i used the triple stitch function on my machine to add a red line up the side of some blue and white seersucker. the handle is blue chambray. i just made up the pattern as i went.

notebook tote

the bottom is boxed, there’s a pocket on the inside, and it’s lined with…cursive print!! i bought it off Anna in a stash-reduction sale and i think it was PERFECT for a teacher. it probably borders on TOO on the nose, but i think it stays on the side of playful rather than groan-worthy…hopefully.

coffee cozy

i also threw in a coffee cozy. it’s reversible and i’m thinking about a tutorial, if anyone’s interested.

open wide pouch

for the aide, i finally got off my duff and made one of Anna’s open wide pouches which i’d wanted to make forever, in a joel dewberry print with seersucker lining and magenta zipper. super fun tutorial, though i only had short zippers and had to make this one pretty small which made the boxed bottom trickier to maneuver.

open wide pouch and coffee cozy

she got a coffee cozy too.

have a happy monday!