Quick and easy sewing organization!

Today I want to share with you this simple and cheap way to store your sewing supplies! The other day I came across these IKEA spice racks ($3.99 each) on pinterest being used for children’s book shelves. I thought it would be a cute way to store my sewing books/patterns/magazines. Then my husband had the brilliant idea of hanging one of the shelves upside down so I could hang some of my tools off of the dowel while still using the top for storage.

To hang the shelf upside down just unscrew the metal plate on the back that the nail goes into, flip it upside down, and screw it back in. The shelf can easily be put together in 5 minutes. And this may sound odd, but I really love the screws that come with it. They have really deep sockets so the Allen wrench (also included) doesn’t come flying out every time you twist it.

Speaking of Allen wrenches, one time I got a flat by driving over railroad tracks and somehow getting an Allen wrench imbedded in my tire. Not sure how that happened… So please, when you’re done with your Allen wrench don’t throw it in the road… or off a train… ;)

A ten pack of these S-hooks only costs $0.99! And they’re the perfect size for hanging scissors, rotary cutters, etc. If you’re lucky enough to live near an IKEA, the spice racks and hooks can both be found in the kitchen storage area near the cabinet section. They also sell them online, but the shipping costs are pretty exorbitant.

I think these shelves would also look great stained or painted. If you put them up in your sewing room be sure to leave me a link! I’d love to see what ideas you all come up with!

<3 Lindsay

The Dunedin Shirt

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I’m a big fan of Deer & Doe, so I was super excited about the new (free!) pattern, the Plantain t-shirt. Serendipitously the pattern was released while my husband and I were on our honeymoon in New Zealand (more on that soon!). The day before we had been to The Fabric Store in Dunedin, but I was so overwhelmed by the sheer multitude of gorgeous apparel fabric that I couldn’t decide what to buy. The next morning this pattern was released and I knew I had to go back and get this black and white striped 100% merino wool knit.

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I sewed a size 34 with no alterations. The pattern comes with either short, 3/4, or long sleeves. I really like 3/4 length sleeves (because if I wear a long-sleeved shirt I always end up pushing the sleeves up anyway) so that’s what I went with.

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I like elbow patches in theory, but not always in practice, so I decided to go the subtle route and instead of using a different fabric to make them I just used vertical stripes instead of horizontal.

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The scoop neckline is really flattering and comfortable. It’s finished with a band, which I actually had no trouble getting to lay flat this time! Probably due to the fact that I…

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…finally got a serger (yay!) and this is the first garment I’ve sewn with it. I’ve always been kind of intimidated by sergers, but it actually only took about 30 minutes to figure out how to use it. I love the way the finished seam looks – so much neater!

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If you’ve never used a Deer & Doe pattern before you should definitely try this one out! Their instructions are very detailed and the fit is always excellent. Plus this pattern’s free, so you’ve got nothing to lose!

<3 Lindsay

The Cooper Backpack

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I’ve known about Colette Patterns since I first started sewing about 1 1/2 years ago. I’d considered buying some of their patterns before because I knew they were supposed to be both pretty and user-friendly, but there was never anything that I just had to have. Style-wise I’m more of a Deer & Doe girl.

However, I’m really excited about Walden, their new line of menswear and unisex patterns. When I saw the Cooper Backpack I knew my husband would love it. My first ever sewing project was making a backpack for him by sewing overall straps to an old ’50s boy scout bag. Said bag is in pretty bad shape after everyday use and a backpacking trip through Europe, so I thought a new backpack would be a great Christmas present!

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The green canvas and webbing were repurposed from an old army duffel bag we acquired somewhere. The tan canvas and blue ripstop lining came from the fabric store. And the hardware came from Colette’s Gifts for Crafters store. Unfortunately one of the metal slides for the straps was the wrong size, but I was quickly sent a replacement when I alerted them to the problem.

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I made self-fabric straps because I couldn’t find any webbing I liked locally and I didn’t want to wait for an online order. However, I really like the way the ended up looking, and I think I prefer the canvas straps to the webbing.

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I’d definitely recommend this pattern. It comes with three variations – backpack, messenger bag, and pannier. The instructions are excellent and have tons of illustrations, plus there are photo tutorials online. There are 8(!) roomy pockets, which my husband loves.
I may have to make a version for myself sometime soon…

Winter Shorts

I made these shorts from a pattern for pants in the US edition of BurdaStyle magazine. I got the fabric on sale… I think it’s some sort of wool blend.

They were super simple to make. One of the reasons I chose this pattern was because it has an invisible side zipper. I just haven’t been able to master the art of the fly zip. If you know of any good tutorials, let me know in the comments!

I like that these shorts don’t have pockets – just nice, clean lines.

Are you making any shorts this winter?

<3 Lindsay

Who says flannel shirts have to be plaid?

This is definitely not your lumberjack’s shirt.

I’ve decided my favorite things to sew are buttondown shirts. I know that’s kind of strange – most people seem to sew tons of pretty skirts and dresses. And I like to sew those things too, but there’s just something about taking a really rigid, standardized form as your base and altering the details in tiny ways to make the shirt unique that I love. This shirt is loosely based on a BurdaStyle pattern, but I’ve altered almost everything about it.

The collar is a self-drafted men’s shirt collar that I’ve slightly rounded the corners of. The pockets are also a down-sized version of pockets I drafted for a men’s shirt.

The contrast stitching looks brown, but is actually a dark olive green. I had to be so careful sewing, knowing that every little stitch would show!

This shirt is so soft/comfortable/warm! I could (and have been) living in it all winter.

<3 Lindsay