learning to sew: tic tac toe roll up

Roll up cover

My second level of sewing classes started this week and in this series we are doing a machine AND a hand project in each class. I’ve been searching for a good machine practice project for a while and see paper mazes all the time on pinterest, but I just wasn’t sure I wanted my students sewing through paper on the machines. The original plan was for me to trace a “maze” onto some fabric, but after doing a little more research online I ran across this great project on the Sewing School website (home of the great Sewing School series of books). I took the idea of a tic tac toe bag and altered it some to meet my objectives. It turned out to be a great project and is an easy one for you to recreate at home.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

You need some muslin for the front (or any other solid light colored fabric) and some craft felt for the back.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Cut the muslin and the felt into 6×8 rectangles.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Using a ball point pen and a ruler, draw your lines to make your squares.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Set up your machine on the lines and using a straight stitch, sew from end to end.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Use a zig zag stitch to sew the muslin to the felt. Make sure to leave the top open for your pocket!

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Cut an 18″ length of ribbon, fold it in half and sew the folded end to the inside of the felt.Count out 4 buttons each of 2 different colors and throw them inside the pocket.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Roll it up from the bottom and wrap the ribbon around and tie it up.
Throw it in your backpack and have a quiet little game to play with a friend where ever you go!

After the girls were done sewing their little pouches they each received a “sewing machine driver’s license” that I found online. These were such a hit and we had a lot of fun celebrating!

Random Other Things…

If you grew up in church youth group in the 90’s you know all about the music of Rich Mullins. There is a movie out about his life and a coordinating album that is filled with covers from some great artists. In addition to Rich Mullins, you might also remember Sixpence None the Richer. Leigh Nash has an amazingly haunting voice and I never knew that she did her own album of hymns. It’s beautiful. So set up your sewing machine, have a listen and take a trip down youth group memory lane :)

throwback thursday {of the garment sewing kind}

On most Thursdays I go back through my blog archives and pull an old post that is a little dusty and needs to be blown off and cleaned up a little. This Thursday’s post is back from 2008, back when I could sew and dress my chick in whatever I wanted…six years later that isn’t happening. This is a Children’s Corner pattern that I wish they made bigger because I think I would love to sew it again.

flower/gingham front

The past few days I’ve been trying to finish up this outfit. The baby has been sick since Sunday, so time for sewing (or really much of anything) has come hard to find.

flower/gingham shirt

I made the shirt on Saturday before the baby got sick and really had so much fun sewing it, although I made some pretty silly mistakes! I spent some found time yesterday fixing those mistakes and finishing it up. The shirt is Macy by Children’s Corner.

flower/gingham pants

Today I made these little pants to go with it. They are just simple gaucho pants and I added the trim around the bottom.

flower/gingham shirt

I absolutely LOVE this outfit and can’t wait for the baby to be well enough to take her out and show it off!!

tipsy-tuesday {another pattern review: made by rae ruby top}

This summer one of my goals was to make some tank style tops for myself. I have long loved the patterns and styles of Rae at Made by Rae. I fell in love with the lines of her Ruby top and was excited to stitch up a few. After my day of fun trip to my favorite fabric store, I snatched up a few fabrics to put these together and when I got home I promptly got started.

Made by Rae ruby tops

Overall, this is a pretty simple and very well written pattern to put together. I love how it lends itself to so many different variations…not to mention that it can be a top or a dress. There’s a great flickr pool with all the different ways that people have put these together.

Made by Rae ruby tops

My biggest issue with this pattern was sizing and honestly it wasn’t the fault of the pattern, but just my tiny shoulders and bust. I tend to always sew a size up a little bit when I use a pattern for the first time (it’s always easier to take it in and you can’t ever add it back!). After posting the pics on instagram, Rae herself actually commented (how cool is that!?)and suggested making a size small for the yoke and a medium for the bottom…so I will definitely try that again.

Made by Rae ruby tops

After wearing both versions a few times and realizing that they were just too big in the shoulders, I did end up taking some the yoke apart at the shoulders and underarms and bringing it in some. I wore the lighter colored one a few weeks back with a belt and loved how it turned out.

I’m excited to try this pattern again and maybe even try the dress version. I do really think it’s one that I’ll keep and sew again and again, now that I have the sizing down. I highly recommend it!

pattern review {O + S badminton shirt}

Oliver and s badminton shirt

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any amount of time you will know that I’m a huge fan of Oliver + S patterns. I truly give these patterns all the credit for teaching me so much about sewing and pattern construction. I’ve sewn quite a few independent and boutique patterns over the years and I always come back to O+S because it’s almost always a no fail pattern.

I’ve made the coordinating badminton skort a few times and love how easily it comes together. It lends itself to so many easy adaptations and alterations, but I hadn’t had a chance to put theĀ  shirt together until this summer.

Oliver and s badminton shirt

The bird fabric is an organic by Birch and the grey trim fabric is from the Ed Emberly collection. Both were lovely to work with and I love how they came together.

Oliver and s badminton shirt

The little tie on the front was actually some trim I ordered years ago from the Netherlands and never used it for what I had originally intended. I think it was honestly the perfect way to top off this little shirt!

This is a great pattern and pretty easy to put together. It came together in an afternoon and the hardest part were the “sleeves”. The original pattern has a ruffle on the shoulders and my chick is very anti-ruffle so we opted to leave that part off. While it did save a step, had I realized we weren’t going to add the ruffle I would have probably altered how I constructed that shoulder seam a little better. I also added some length to the bottom of the shirt.

Oliver and s badminton shirt

The thing I love about Oliver + S is that no matter what you sew, you end up with a garment that 1. doesn’t necessarily look like your mom made it (you know what I mean) and 2. you have a garment that looks so complicated to construct, but yet it really isn’t.

I would say this is a great pattern for an advanced beginner.

throwback thursday {31 days}

It’s October and that means it’s time for the blog-worlds big hosting of 31 days of…
I’ve participated on and off through the years and both times it’s been a craft related adventure.


he first year time was back in 2011 where I attempted to do a project of some sort everyday. I’m telling you it was crazy stressful and I won’t be repeating that again. You can find all my attempts at projects here.

The second year was in 2012 when I decided to challenge myself to a different embroidery stitch every day. It’s probably been one of my most popular pins on pinterest and I learned a lot!


This year I am back joining in with the 31 dayers, but I’m not crafting with materials, but rather with words. I’ve reopened my journal/writing blog and I’m challenging myself to write everyday. Those writing muscles that used to be so loose and free are super tensed up and I’m ready to let loose.