Happy Things (+ a Freezer Paper Pattern Tutorial)

DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPYAfter a somewhat prolonged sewing slump, things are really cooking around here. We are moving and shaking at the Strzeszewski sewing studio (and by “we” I mean “I while my obstructionist dogs lie across my machine pedal or wherever else they can most easily trip me”).

What kind of moving and shaking has been going on, you ask? A garment was sewn and a Sew Together Bag  constructed. A quilt was planned and fabrics for it chosen.

Gold star earned.

Too much passive voice used.

Today, my happy thing is the garment sewn: a Fancy Tiger Sailor Top.  (The fabric you’re looking at is Canyon Wall in Canyon from Arizona by April Rhodes.)

Fancy Tiger Sailor Top

Fancy Tiger Sailor Top

Here’s to Fancy Tiger for this super fun, simple, and sweet blouse pattern.  I’m 5’7″ and made the medium size without altering anything–it fits great and is loose and comfy, but next time I think I’ll lengthen it an inch or so.  I was able to complete the whole thing in an afternoon/evening, including tracing my pattern onto freezer paper and cutting my pattern pieces.

Freezer Paper Tutorial | from Marta with Love

You guys know this trick, right?  Trace your pattern onto plain old freezer paper so you don’t EVER have to use the single-cell-wall-thick fairy wings they call pattern paper that shifts when you so much as think in its direction.  I also use it for PDF patterns that you have to print and tape together (meaning I print and assemble the pattern as normal, then trace it onto the freezer paper) because the freezer paper is just so much easier to work with and you can reuse it indefinitely.

freezer paper pattern tracing

All you do is lay your pattern underneath a piece of freezer paper and trace it (with all the markings!) onto the rough/papery side.  *You’ll notice in my picture above that I actually put the pattern itself on top of the freezer paper and traced it through the top (my marker bled right through) because the original pattern’s lines were too faint to see underneath the freezer paper.*

freezer paper pattern tracing

Then cut out all your pattern pieces, but don’t worry about precision at this point because you’ll cut on the lines the first time you actually cut your fabric for your project.  The only lines you have to cut accurately at this point are any sides that you’ll place on the fabric fold.

Now just press your pattern pieces–shiny side down and with steam turned off–onto your fabric according the pattern’s cutting diagrams.  Your pieces are now adhered to your fabric!

freezer paper pattern ironing

freezer paper pattern ironing

Lastly, cut out your pattern pieces with sublime ease, peel off the freezer paper (it comes off completely cleanly), and get sewing!  I’ve sewn a couple patterns where I’ve used the same freezer paper several times and it has yet to lose its stickiness.  It’s magical.

freezer paper pattern cutting

freezer paper pattern

And there you go. Feel free to email me or leave a comment with any questions.  Thanks for stopping by and have a super sweet day!

Sew Together Bag

Check one off the old sewing bucket list. I made a Sew Together Bag!

Sew Together Bag

I’ve always wanted to make one of these–and almost did a couple of years ago, except the funny thing about that story is that it ends with me lighting the bag on fire deconstructing an almost-finished project.  I got to the part where you attach the binding (one of the final steps), and somehow got mascara on my white binding (I DON’T EVEN KNOW).  I couldn’t get it off, so I did what any normal person would do and sliced it up into scraps.  Naturally.  (To answer your question, yes, I am aware I could have opted to rip the binding off instead but did not do so because I am a start-over-rather-than-rip-a-single-seam kind of sewist–or I was at 2 a.m. that night.  To each his own.)

Two years down the road and I finally tried again–took me a little while to recover, clearly.

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

This time around, no mishaps.  I had so much fun picking fabric and constructing this bag.  The only problem I have now is that I love it so much I’m too scared to use it.

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

That’s all from me for today. I’m off to go do some more making!

Forest Friends Baby Quilt

Oh, hello, little flannel burrito.

Forest Friends Flannel Baby Quilt

I know I speak for many quilters when I say baby quilts are my absolute favorite to sew.  They are always such happy little projects with happy little fabrics.  (And we’d all be lying if we said we don’t secretly hope the quilt we make will become “THE” BLANKIE.)

Forest Friends Flannel Baby Quilt

I used Cloud 9’s Forest Friends organic flannel for this one, which is DANG soft–enough to turn me into an organic flannel believer. It’s wonderful! I can’t adequately convey the softness without coming to your house and creepily making you rub your cheek against it, so I’ll leave you with this: if I were a baby snuggle-wrapped in this quilt, I’d be very pleased and never cry.

Forest Friends Flannel Baby Quilt

This quilt is extra special because it will be auctioned in a couple weeks by Caruso Family Charities, run by the family of one of my oldest and dearest friends, at their 2015 gala. Caruso Family Charities is a 501(c)3 Organization dedicated to supporting various family and children’s charities in my home state of Colorado. All their proceeds directly benefit families who have children living with cancer.

The Carusos are a truly beautiful family with the biggest hearts in the world. Their love is powerful and contagious and inspires the people around them to be better humans.

Forest Friends Flannel Baby Quilt

If you live in Colorado and are in the market for a super soft baby quilt, snag a ticket to the gala and place your bid! I’ll be there to say hello and creepily make you rub your cheek against it.

Forest Friends Flannel Baby Quilt

In the meantime, I’ll be working on an almost identical quilt for a friend’s baby–also from the Forest Friends collection but using the “boy” colorway (if we’re to use gender stereotypes). I’ll also be finishing knitting this BEAR of a cowl (pattern here) and hoping–yes, hoping–for just one more snowstorm so I can actually wear it before next winter. Too many tears have fallen during the making of this cowl for me to just pack it up.

Herringbone Cowl

More on that “adventure” later…

Happy weekend!

Colorfully restocked Etsy shop

You’ll notice a new (or, rather, re-emerged) button in my sidebar–the one for my Etsy shop!  That’s because I’ve just restocked it with a bunch of colorful scrap bundles.  I charge $1.25/ounce (a yard of fabric weighs about 5.25 ounces, so it prices out to about $6.60/yard).  Take a look if you’re interested and have a GREAT week!