ModCloth Gifts for Guys Collection and Summer kick Off


You may not know it, but ModCloth isn’t just for the ladies. They have an awesome selection of dude-approved goods, too!  With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to find a gift for dad in the Gifts for Guys collection. Don’t forget to mention the Free Express Shipping offer on US orders of $125 or more with code EXPRESS, making it the perfect time to  also stock up on some loot for yourself.

Here are a few of my favorite featured products:

Every Sizzle Day Beverage Sleeve from ModCloth Job Well Done Spatula from ModCloth Wrench Your Thirst Bottle Opener from ModCloth What’s Up Croc Bookends from ModCloth


It’s almost officially summer, which means the start of backyard BBQs, outdoor activities, and road trips. Their adorable Flair for Adventure jewelry collection, inspired by exploring the good ‘ol U.S. of A., is great for those that want to show off their wanderlust this summer. Grab your favorites from this curated collection of nostalgic treasures before they all get scooped up!

Midnight Train to Gorgeous Bracelet Set from ModCloth Interstate of Bliss Bracelet from ModCloth Arty in the USA Earring Set from ModCloth Drive-Ins and Moonlight Bracelet from ModCloth

Sewing 101: Tools of the Trade

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When I teach Sewing 101 at Joann’s the very first thing I cover are the tools of the trade. You can easily spend a small fortune on tools so I suggest starting with the basics and adding to your sewing basket as you find tools you know you need or want. The tools you need vary based on the type of sewing you do but the ones below are your all purpose tools.

Scissors

Scissors: Buy good ones and take care of them. Sharp tools are the key to enjoyable sewing. Cheap scissors will eat your fabric and make you miserable! Make sure you have a separate pair that you use for cutting paper, patterns and anything other than fabric.  I like Gingher because of the reliability. I can cut through 3-4 layers of heavy fabric and the cut is just as clean as if i was cutting through one layer. Bonus: If you stick to only cutting fabric with them you will never have to sharpen them!

Small craft scissors or  Snip-Eze  Embroidery Snips: I always keep a pair of small craft scissors or snips nearby when I am sewing. I find them much easier to use when clipping threads.

 Seam Ripper: This tool has a sharp edge and hook that snip through stitches to remove the.  Sadly sooner or later, you will make a mistake and this little gadget will become your best friend. You might want to have more than one on hand. I have a small one and a large one. These also do become dull and must be replaced.

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Pins and a pincushion: You will need regular pins for cotton fabric and ball point pins for knits.  I use the Grabbit Magnetic Pin Cushion. I have one by machines, one on my cutting table and one next to my ironing board. I love not having to worry about spilling my pins!

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Sewing machine needles: You’ll need extras for your machine since they will gradually become dull with use (remember, sharp is best!), and you’ll want to swap out your needles for various fabric weights. Larger number = thicker fabric. Here is great article by Sew Mama Sew on Sewing Machine Needles & How to Choose Them.

Hand sewing needles: Most sewing projects will require a little bit of hand finishing, like sewing on a button.

Tape Measure: Compact and flexible, it is a must no matter what type of sewing you are doing.

Water soluble pen and/or tailor’s chalk: I prefer Pilot FriXion Ball Erasable Gel Pens. They have a fine point, come in a variety of colors and best of all when you iron the marking instantly vanish.  When I can’t use my FriXion pen I use a chalk pen. * always test a scrap piece of fabric first*

Seam gauge: A short ruler with an adjustable flange, a seam gauge is typically used for measuring seams but it can double as a ruler. I often use mine when making adjustments on a paper pattern.

Steam iron: A good quality iron makes all the difference. You want it to be heavy, have several settings and make sure it has steam!

What are your essential sewing tools? Let me know in the comments!

Sewlosophy Serendipity Swing Coat and Beret

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 One of the things I do each morning is read through a few of my favorite sewing blogs. Working from home can get lonely and reading the blogs is a way to connect and I usually find some wonderful inspiration.  A few months ago while reading my Bloglovin list I noticed a call for pattern testers  from The Mother Huddle! Destri was launching a new pattern company – Sewlosophy Pattern Co. and wanted testers. I knew her readership was big and getting picked wasn’t very likely so you can imagine my excitement when I got the e-mail letting me know I was in!

As part of the pattern testing process, I received a free copy of the pattern for the swing coat and the beret. I received no other compensation and all opinions in this post are 100% mine. With that said I have nothing but praise for this collection. Destri thought of every detail. I often think ahead when I am sewing and no sooner than I would start to wonder about something Destri was answering it.

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I made the swing coat and beret in a size 8 for my niece. The coat was a little bit small for her but that is because she had grown since the last time I measured her, I forget how quickly they grow. Despite it being a little short in the arms my niece loved it, so much that I am making her one in a size 10 right now!

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The instructions were easy to follow and very detailed. My favorite part though has got to be the videos! That’s right videos are included to walk you through making each piece. The videos make such a difference even if you have been sewing for years.

The swing coat with a reversible design features sweet gathered raglan sleeves, a button closure at the yokes, and a 3/4 length cuffed sleeve adding to the relaxed style of the swing coat.  You can use a hook & eye closure or a faux button technique included in the tutorial too. This style has so many possibilities to suit your little one’s personal style you’ll be sewing it over and over!

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The beret is a quick project with the sweetest results.  Fully lined with a hidden elastic casing in the back, the hat can be worn reversible making it great for coordinating with different ensembles.

If you have a little girl that you sew for this set is a must! Right now you can use the code SEW10 for 10% all purchases until Monday June 2. So if they buy the bundle it will be 40% off. Want something even sweeter than that? How about the chance to win the complete set? Yep, Destri gave me a set to give-away on the blog!
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Learning to Sew: The Desire

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“I want to learn how to sew.”, “Someday I’ll learn to sew”, “there is no way I could learn how” or “I want to sew but I don’t have time”.  Have those words ever come out of your mouth or swirled around in your mind? If so stay tuned because I have been working on some blog post just for you!

I’ll give you a little background that will leave you saying if she can learn I can learn! I grew up with a mother that sewed and encouraged me to learn too. I would sit and watch her sew and on occasion I would make things for my dolls but it was usually with fabric scraps and tape. I had very little interest in using a sewing machine or hand needles. Fast forward a good bit and here I am with three kids one of which is a daughter that wants to learn to sew. I knew some basics but the thought of creating something from a pattern scared me. I called my mom up and asked her for help. I can just imagine the joy that gave her. She always told me one day you’ll wish you had sewed with me and paid attention! Ok, mom you were right. I wish I had paid attention but I didn’t. She brought over an old sewing machine that she was no longer using, some fabric, pins and thread. She then gave me a crash course in threading the machine and basic pattern reading and said have fun and practice. What??? You think I am kidding but no. My mom adores us but she knows I am a hands on person and do best figuring stuff out.

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At the time I thought ‘I’ll never get this” but I had to, my daughter was counting on me to help her make a dress and I was pretty certain a fairy godmother wasn’t going to pop out and do it for me.  Funny what we can do when our kids are counting on us. Somehow after reading a few sewing books we got the dress made. Keep in mind this was at least 17 years ago so there really weren’t that many, if any, blogs on sewing, Pinterest wasn’t around and Youtube sewing videos were nonexistent.  The dress was pretty sad looking but Sydney wore it and  because of that I was determined to get better. I started finding time to sew and within a few months I was making things that I wasn’t ashamed to be seen in public wearing.
Bib ApronAfter a few years of sewing on my moms 20 year old machine I got a new one and a serger. I started venturing out into home decor, more complicated clothing patterns and even started making my own patterns. Slowly I began having friends ask me to make thing for them and offering to pay me. Eventually I listed a few things on E-Bay and then set up the Hearts & Home website. I have also managed a Husqvarna Viking Sewing Center where I  taught customers how to use their machines, quilt and sew. I currently teach the adult and children’s sewing a quilting classes at a local Joann Fabrics store.

I tell you all of this simply so you know the biggest thing you need to have in order to learn to sew is a desire or a need. So, if you want to learn to sew, improve your sewing or pick up some tips to make your sewing time more productive while creating professional looking items stay tuned.



DIY Hair Accessory Round Up

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I have medium to long hair and although I like the length I  don’t like to have it touching my face, especially when I sewing. Yesterday I was digging around in the drawer I keep hair stuff in and realized I am in desperate need of some new ways to keep my hair back but still looking nice. I decided I would look around online for some ideas to make myself since I have an abundance of “stuff” that I am pretty sure I could make “something” with, here is what I found.

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Head Scarf

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DIY Jeweled Headband

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Leather Hair Tie

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 Bejewelled flower headband / diy project

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 Chanel Pearl Hairpins

 

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Soft & Comfy, Big Bow, 3-in-1 Headband {Tutorial}prez_headbands

After watching this video for a DIY Braided Leather Tassel Bracelet I am determined to braid some leather and make a headband out of it. Maybe something like this one only with leather.

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DIY pearl hair piece 

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 Bobby pins and old buttons 

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TWISTED PONY HOLDER TUTORIAL

If you are looking for more inspiration be sure to follow me on Pinterest and like me on  Facebook.

Replacing the Snaps on a Leather Vest

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For the last month or so my husband has been having a problem with the snaps on the leather vest he wears while riding his motorcycle. In windy conditions the vest was often forced open because the inner spring inside the snap was no longer secure. Can you imagine riding down the road with a piece of leather flapping behind you, not enjoyable.

We considered a few different options including just replacing the vest but finally settled on replacing the snaps. I wasn’t sure how hard it would be to remove the old snaps but considering a dry cleaner charges $25 per snap I figured we should give it shot! Not to mention the fact that Scott’s vest is full of patches and most have meaning behind them. We knew we could remove the patches but once you do they don’t look right when placed on another item. The other reason was his vest is worn in and comfortable, something that doesn’t happen overnight with leather.

buffaloThe first thing we had to do was locate the buttons. He has buffalo nickel buttons and he wanted to keep the same style. I found several places online to order them from including one that is local, Tandy Leather. We gave them a call and found out they keep those particular ones in stock, score! We also had to purchase a  punch set tool and anvil.

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Supplies and Tools Needed:

Snaps
Snap Tool and Anvil
3M Rubber Tape
Rubber Mallet
Drill with a metal drill bit

The video will  show you how to to remove the old snap and then how to replace it with new ones.  The steps are the same regardless of the snap style or what you are putting them on. If you are replacing them on light weight fabric you may find it easier to use the Dritz Heavy Duty Snap Fastener Plier Kit.

If you are unable to view the embedded video, you can click here to watch >> Replacing the Snaps on a Leather Vest << on YouTube.

Was replacing them the right choice? Well, the buttons were $3 each, we needed 4 and the punch tool and anvil was $6. For $18 dollars plus tax we were able to purchase everything needed, compare that to around $120-$200 for a new vest. It only took about 20 minutes for all 4 snaps and we learned something new. Oh, and Scott got to keep his broken in vest so yeah I would say it was worth it.

National Quilt Month Giveaway

QuiltsGivaway1March is national quilting month and while I haven’t shared much on my blog about it I have on Facebook and Pinterest. I had planned to kick March off with this giveaway and then Craftsy contacted me about hosting a class giveaway that doesn’t end until March 31. I was afraid that hosting two giveaways at one time would be too much and that readers may be turned off.

Of course I kept looking at the bag of goodies and like a kid with money in their pocket I became antsy and asked on Facebook if it seemed like overkill, the consensus was to go for it! So here we go!

The giveaway will run until April 2 and include: ( I am including links in case you want more information about each product)

Books/Magazines:
The Spring copy of Quilter’s World
Quick & Easy Quilts for kids by Connie Ewbank
Spring/Summer copy of Fresh Quilts
Issue four (current) Patchwork & Quilting magazine
Quilting From Little Things by Sarah Fielke

Tools:
Olfa Splash Rotary cutter
Olfa rotary blade
Dritz 1/2″ Bias Tape Maker
Clover 1/4″ Bias Tape Maker
Clover Mini Iron 2
Dritz Point Turner and Presser
Jaybird Quilts Hex N More

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Wedding Wows!

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Did you get engaged over Valentine’s Day? Congratulations! You simply have to go take a look at the unique wedding styles available at ModCloth. They have everything from fun wedding accessories and white dresses to something blue, the choices are endless. Check out some of my favorites:

1. Intricately Exquisite Tights from ModCloth – perfect for that bachelorette party
2. Wrapped in Romance Hair Chain from ModCloth – a dazzler for the rehearsal dinner
3. Aisle Be There Dress in Lily from ModCloth – vintage inspired GORGEOUS!
4. Sparkle an Interest Heel from ModCloth – beautiful, sparkly and affordable!

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Are you planning to make your own bouquet? ModCloth has an elegant yet simple bouquet picture tutorial on their blog.

Let me know what your favorites are and don’t forget to check out the ModCloth wedding style book for other cute ideas!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Save Up to 50% on All Craftsy Classes

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Don’t miss out on Craftsy‘s Endless Creativity Sale! Get ALL online classes at up to 50% off for a limited time only. You won’t see hundreds of classes with prices this low again. Hurry, Craftsy’s Endless Creativity Sale offer expires March 17 at midnight MT.

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Did you know that Hearts & Home is currently hosting a giveaway for a FREE Craftsy class of your choice?

Entering is easy simply click the text below!

 Enter to win a Craftsy class!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links