August 2016 archive

Happiness is Homemade Tote Bag

By Melissa LeRay Sewing Illustration Totebag

Welcome to my stop on the #sewillustrated blog tour!  The book Sew Illustrated is the unbelievably gorgeous collaboration between my dear friends Minki Kim and Kristin Esser.  For as long as I’ve been on Instagram I have admired Minki’s work and loved watching as her talent for sewing illustration grew more and more.  I was over the moon to learn that she and Kristin were writing a book and hoped that this would help me to add that charm to my own work!

I think there are so many new sewing books coming out lately, and though many of them are undeniably beautiful, rarely does it feel like we are seeing something NEW.  This book has so many new techniques, and I love that they’ve taken the time to really show us how to do it, step by step.

Sew Illustrated

For my project, I decided to combine two of the patterns in the book (The Long Handled (Libary) Bag and “Happiness is Homemade” from The Drawstring bag) and I am completely smitten with the final result.  IN LOVE.  This may be my most favorite make ever, and its all mine.  As I saw how this was evolving, I knew some of my favorite Liberty of London would be the perfect compliment.   {The Liberty is Claire Aude T, and the linen is Kaufman Wide Essex in Flax}

I took pics along the way of the entire process; I thought it would be fun to share it here…

Step one was printing the design onto Fabri-Solvy, a product that has revolutionized embroidery (I don’t say that lightly!)  It lets you print out designs onto water-soluble adhesive ::: this means no more tracing!  Then I began to fill in all the letters. sew illustrated tote bag

Once that was done, I washed off the fabri-solvy, and let it air dry: Sew Illustrated Totebag

Already looking pretty cute!  Next I created a patch with rounded edges, and sewed it down, adding a little tag flair. Sew Illustrated Totebag

Once that was done I added some hand-stitching around the patch’s edge, using my machine stitching line as a guide: Sew Illustrated Totebag

And finally, all sewn together!  I am so in love with this bag! Sew Illustrated Totebag

I can’t get over how much charm and character the sewing illustration added to this bag!  I love abandoning the perfect, and embracing the perfectly imperfect feel of it – what a breath of fresh air to feel that its not possible to make a mistake!

Be sure to catch the rest of the blog tour! Below is the full schedule, and also be sure to check out the #sewillustrated and #sewingillustration hashtags on Instagram!

August 15: C&T Publications
August 16: Amy at nanaCompany
August 17: Wynn at zakkaArt
August 18: Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane
August 19: Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar
August 20: Amy at chick chick sewing
August 21: Stacy at Stacy Olson
August 22: Debbie happy little cottage
August 23: Generation Q Magazine
August 24: Faith at Sarana Ave
August 25: Ayda at  cafenohut
August 26: Melissa at Oh, how sweet
August 27: Jemima at Tied with a Ribbon
August 28: Veronica at Vivid Felicity
August 29: Sharon at Lilabelle Lane Creations
August 30: Nadra at ellis & higgs
August 31: Kristyne at pretty by hand
September 1: Elnora on Instagram
September 2: Jennie at Clover and Violet
September 3: Auribuzz
September 4: Minki at Minki’s Work Table and Kristin at They Grow Up Too Fast

Sew Illustrated blog tour banner


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A Super Sweet Apple Farm Dress

By Melissa LeRay


Welcome to my stop on the Apple Farm blog hop, featuring the newest collection from Elea Lutz for Penny Rose // Riley Blake. This collection is so sweet with a classic and vintage feel.  It reminds me of my favorite time of year – the start of Fall when apples are in season and the leaves are starting to change color. There are 21 quilting weight cottons in the entire range, and three adorable knits.  I love the colors, and the yellow has such a perfect buttery tone! applefarm dress

It just so happens my oldest is starting kindergarten, and I thought the Green Fresh knit print was perfect choice for a first day of school dress! Those darling little apples and tiny florals absolutely stole my heart! For the pattern, I used the adorable Big Joey by Make It Perfect Patterns.  I first saw this made by the talented Gail of Probably Actually and I knew I had to make one as soon as I saw hers. apple farm dress

This knit is perfect for kids wear in that it is a 95% cotton/5% spandex print so it has great stretch AND great recovery.  It has an incredibly soft hand and I was so excited that Elise loved the fabric as much as I did. applefarm dress

Elise loved the dress and was so eager to wear it that I had to bribe her with a ring pop to take it off to save for the first day. apple farm dress

And the big front pocket was a huge hit – though I had to remind her to please try not to rip it off the dress in excitement. apple farm dress

As you can see, the knit has a great drape.  Making knit clothes for the girls is my preference, because they’re so comfortable to wear and easy to care for.  And I love not having to iron! apple farm dress

When I was planning out this dress, I had considered using a contrasting solid for the bindings, but I decided that it would feel less toddler/baby by having it all the single print – I am so smitten with the finished look! apple farm dress

I’d call this dress a hit! My only regret is that I don’t have an entire bolt! apple farm dress

Sedef also has a stop on the Apple Farm Blog Hop today, and tomorrow is Faith and Veronica. Be sure to head over to see what they’ve made!



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