Otherwise entitled The Sistehood of the Floral Knit.

all together at mood1 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouse

In went like this–back in August or whenever it was that we Fabric Weekenders were spazzing out in the various corners of the fabric district, a group us were effectively getting our minds blown at the wonders of Mood.  I was perusing (that word decidedly lacks the upmost enthusiasm I was experiencing in that moment) the knit aisles when I spied this gorgeous knit with a delicious hand and drape. It was calling my name, and boy oh boy was I pickin’ up what it was putting down. (No surprise there though, right? It’s got that orange-y coral color that is like the national color of Mimdom).  Anyway, then Melissa, Merrick and Leanne wanted some too, and before you know it, it was a Thing. In the end I think there were 7 of us who all got one yard, and  then determined that we’d share a fun post about whatever we ended up making.  So that’s the gist–the story of the floral knit we all fell in love with. And not that it matters, but I was totally the first.mad mim mood fabric yoked blouse02 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouse

Ok, so my first project that I made from this was a basic pencil skirt that I love and wear often (scroll down to the bottom).   I had initially dreamed of blocking it out for a dress or something, but when push came to shove (right before Sewing Summit), I just wanted a go-to skirt that was classy and comfortable.  Practicality brings home another win.  But then we all started talking about the post yesterday, and last night the Project Runway Within sort of took over, and my scraps of the precious knit somehow landed the spotlight today.

mad mim mood fabric yoked blouse01 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouse

I squeaked this bad boy out! Not only did I have only a very small piece of the knit, but I literally used all but some shreds of that silk chiffon I found deep sea diving at Michael Levine Loft.  It ended up being pretty perfect, and I love how it turned out.  I started out with the Briar Tee as a block for the yoke, and the rest is just winged. Winged? Wung? Wung!! Now that’s funny.

mad mim mood fabric yoked blouse03 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouse

I love the buttons down the back, don’t you?mad mim mood fabric yoked blouse06 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouse

And here’s the pencil skirt!

mad mim mood fabric wiggle skirt 021 My Mood Fabric Make // a pencil skirt and yoked blouseNow go and check out what these amazing ladies did with it! I can’t wait to see  myself!

Jen . Merrick . Bethany . Melissa . Andrea . and Leanne‘s forthcoming!

 

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mad mim graphic African print sheath dress 04 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

A couple months ago African Premier contacted me about trying out some of their fabric. I hadn’t ever heard of them before, but when I clicked over I was like WHOA, cool prints. I spent like thirty minutes right then and there, and was so refreshed by the unique, bold, and graphic patterns.  You don’t see prints like that just anywhere.

mad mim graphic African print sheath dress 01 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

I picked out this wax print:

snice30806 a African Wax Print Sheath Dress

I am in love with how this dress turned out!! Don’t you think the simple sheath silhouette (Vogue 8766) makes this graphic print scream at the top of its lungs? Like for real. The fabric is somewhat stiff and good for more structured clothing, which is why I opted to not make a button-up, which is what I originally had planned. I also thought about doing a blazer (you’re thinking: she’s still talking about that, huh?) but in the end I wimped out because of all the matching required. Speaking of matching, can I direct your attention to the beautiful sunset? How about the sketchy photoshop job on the left sidewalk? (there was a big car) Anything to avert your expert scrutinizing eyes from that waistline! I spent so much time matching horizontal lines, but I straight up FAILED with the vertical ones. I just couldn’t get it to work! For one thing I cut out a size smaller on top, and because the darts in front are larger than the back’s, mathematically it just wasn’t happening. So give me a fat break and just sort squint around the middle section.  Also,  in the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t line this sucker. I know I know! I hate sloppy sewing, but I just got lazy, and that’s the honest truth. It happens to the best of us, mostly late at night.  But despite it’s imperfections, I really really love it, and the print just feels exotic and bold.  Made me feel like a tiger, and that’s no lie.

mad mim graphic African print sheath dress 05 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

 

Check out the seamless matching here on the sides!

mad mim graphic African print sheath dress 02 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

mad mim graphic African print sheath dress 03 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

Some other favorites from African Premiere‘s site: top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right. And also be sure to check out their laces, they have some gorgeous stuff there too–I especially love their premium voile laces and their polishing cottons. I think a dress or skirt out of any of those would be stunning. Also, take note of the amazing prices! That’s $20 for a SIX yard piece, which comes out to be just over $3 a yard! Hello budget bride’s maid dresses!

other prints i like1 African Wax Print Sheath Dress

SO, we found a house! In Springville! It’s a cute little house (not too little, but definitely not huge), and I think it’s going to be perfect for us for the next 5 years or so. I can’t wait to get into it, we’re set to close end of the month, and move in the beginning of December.  My head is positively SWIMMING with design ideas and furniture dreams, and now I’ve got to gear up for our second move in 6 months.  But it’s all so fun, and I am JAZZED (hands and all) to finally have our own place;  I have waited for years, all the while fantasizing about a time when I could paint and puncture walls whenever and wherever I please!

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I have at least half a dozen back-to-school outfits for Twinkle that I’ve photographed but haven’t posted. What can you do. Too little time, and too many other things to do.  We’re trying to buy a house as you may remember, and we found one and put an offer in (their asking price), and they countered at $4,000 OVER their asking price. Como se wha??We went back and forth and they wouldn’t come down, so we said peace out. So we’re still looking, and man oh man is that hour-and-fifteen-minute-commute-in-GOOD-traffic getting old as the hills.

mad mim gold polka banyan tee 04 Gold Polka Banyan Tee and Bow Band Leggings

This is one of those outfits that I make by the boatloads, but doesn’t always get blogged. It’s cute, functional and beloved by the wearer, but so simple that it doesn’t always make the I-HAVE-to-share-this-on-the-blog cut. Well here’s to go-to outfits and designs! This is Figgy’s Banyan tee, which is one of my all-time faves. It’s just so whimsical and comfy. It’s a great tee pattern too, I’ve made it without the handkerchief hem, and it’s got the perfect amount of swing.

mad mim gold polka banyan tee 01 Gold Polka Banyan Tee and Bow Band Leggings

The leggings are Ottobre, from issue 4/2012 #15. There are several leggings patterns throughout the all issues though, and they’re all wonderful.  I just love the little bow band at the bottom, it’s become my standard way of  finishing  leggings because it’s adorable and  fast and doesn’t require hemming.

mad mim gold polka banyan tee 03 Gold Polka Banyan Tee and Bow Band Leggings

mad mim gold polka banyan tee 02 Gold Polka Banyan Tee and Bow Band Leggings
Another thing I want to mention is how AWESOME it is not to be sewing my kid’s Halloween costumes this year. I know that Halloween is typically when the National Mom League dusts off their sewing skills to make their kid’s costume fantasies come true, and I’m usually right there with you. But I’ve gotta say, there is nothing so sweet as an off year, and that’s the truth. I got a real high off checking their costumes off my list in a matter of 5 minutes in the costume aisle at Target.  So there! Better make a note of the time I advocated buying over sewing!

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mad mim skipper top 05 The Skipper Top

Sad to say, but the third child really does get the fuzzy end of the lollypop sometimes. Although my little Tiny has commandeered much of time over the last two years, she has benefited very little from my sewing talents. She got priority numero one in a lot of things, but clothing wasn’t one of them, poor little Dear. This girl has been toddling around in rags, and that’s the honest truth. She has one halfway decent shirt (that’s not completely stained gray or completely to small), and nary a pair of leggings without some serious knee nastiness or holes. She’s a regular ragamuffin, and she doesn’t even know it. So as soon as I was done with Sewing Summit and back to school sewing for Twinkle and all the other sewing obligations I had, her wardrobe finally reached it’s rightful place at the top of my to-do list.  When Abbey emailed me about joining her Skipper Top pattern tour, I immediately agreed because it looked like a quick, comfortable, cute and customizeable staple for her. I love this shirt!! I’ve already made three versions of it for her, and know I’ll use it again and again. And it’s so fast! I can make it and a simple pair of leggings (like the ones she’s wearing, pattern from Ottobre), in under an hour for sure!

mad mim skipper top 04 The Skipper Top

After I had traced the pattern for this top, I looked down and this beautiful Marc Jacobs cotton from Mood was peeping out from my fabric storage at me. I only bought like a 1/3 of a yard of this beauty (and was planning to make something like this for myself with it), but after a quick mental mock up it seemed like a perfect little fall piece for Tiny. And I think I’ll still have enough (hopefully) for my project.

mad mim skipper top 02 The Skipper Top

The only changes I made were to flare out slightly the back piece in order to accommodate for the woven fabric, and I twisted the neck band piece because I’ve been into that lately (tutorial forthcoming!)

mad mim skipper top 03 The Skipper Top

mad mim skipper top 01 The Skipper Top
Adorable, right? Of course right. She was totally rocking it today, and now she has FOUR decent shirts, which makes me four shirts closer to being an adequate mom. This perfect little shirt may be my easy ticket to respectability!

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mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 06 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

One of the gems from my LA trip, was a dinky little wrist pin cushion I got at Golden Cutting and Sewing Supplies.  I just grabbed it last second before we were leaving, and it came to pass that it has been one of the handiest little thing! I love it! No more searching for you pins only to discover you left it at the cutting table, and then when you’re at your cutting table you have to go ALL THE WAY OVER to your sewing table to retrieve them again.  Back and forth, back and forth, the pin cushion fetching never ends.  It’s unreasonable. So at the risk of sounding ridiculous, I’ll say this sleek little sewing accessory has simplified my life significantly. PS I know it’s not sleek at all.

Which is why I decided to whip a few up for some friends! Besides the fact that mine is WAY cuter than the one I bought, it was a fun little project–my six year old made one along with me, and enjoyed the simple hand stitching.

Round up:

  • a couple different complimentary scraps of fabric (about 5″ square for the larger piece)
  • some stuffing
  • a bit of elastic
  • a bit of ribbon
  • a juice lid
  • a glue gun
  • and a needle and thread

Cut out your circles using this amazingly complex circle template. Gotta remember to copyright that masterpiece. You want to use your really spectacular fabric for the larger circle. mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 03 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Take your smaller circle and baste all around it with a needle and thread. Make sure you start with some really secure whip stitches, a simple knot isn’t sufficient. Cinch it up tight around your juice lid, whip stitch again, and then stitch across it several times to really secure that bad boy in there. *Note that my fabric shown here is melon colored on one side, and bubblegum on the other, just didn’t want you to be confused.

mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 04 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Cut a length of elastic that fits comfortably around your wrist with about an inch overlap. You want it snug, but don’t go crazy, eh? I don’t want anybody’s circulation to be cut off. Stitch together.

mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 01 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Now repeat the whole whip stitch, baste and cinch process with your larger circle. Stuff it within an inch of its life, and then whip stitch and cross secure several times. After I got to this point I continued to stuff it through the stitching til it was tight and firm just like my bum. HAH! You’ll have to do some adjusting to get a nice even flattened sphere. mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 02 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Now. Wrap your elastic (centered) around your juice lid, and then sandwhich it to your cushion. Secure by whip stitching around the whole thing (base fabric to cushion fabric). Go around twice if you like to reside on the safe side. 
mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 05 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Bust out your glue gun and carefully glue a pretty ribbon over the gap between cushion and base. Or not, this step is optional, but i think you’ll sleep better if you go ahead and do it, just saying.  
mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 07 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

Ta daaaaaa. Say that Miranda style just for me. mad mim wrist pin cushion diy 08 Time to Sew, Yo // The Wrist Pin Cushion

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mad mim color magnet masking tape bear 102 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet masking tape bear 103 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee
Nothing like a 15 minute project to get your heart pumping. This little bear tee is so simple that you can have it done while you wait for your oatmeal to cook. Okay okay, on the stovetop. But seriously, this is an easy technique using a cool cool product that I’m super excited to show you (my new fave for sure).

mad mim color magnet bear tee 01 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Grab some:

The skinny:

Draw or print (with a printer) a large design on some freezer paper. I used this big bear, which you’re welcome to as well, don’t mention it. A shortcut I always use is to cut a piece of freezer paper exactly 8.5 X 11, and then throw into the paper tray of your printer and print straight on it. Cut out the design with a utility knife, being careful to always pull your blade down. Iron that bad boy (shiny side down) onto your tee or what have you. You’re effectively masking off this design so you can now print or stencil over it.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 07 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Cut a long length of masking tape and stick to a cutting mat. With a rotary blade, cut down the center of it. You could also use a utility knife if you find yourself  rotary-bladeless. The goal is to have very thin cuts of tape.  Tape in a stripey pattern all over the the bear, cutting more tape as needed.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 06 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet bear tee 05 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Now for the cool juice. Here’s the 411 on Color Magnet. It’s a color attractant that when applied, dried, and then dyed, will magically attract more dye creating a completely permanent (won’t fade and creates no stiffness whatsoever) two-tone effect, which I really just can’t get enough of. I LOVE THIS STUFF! It comes in a pen with a foam pad tip as well, which is perfect for stenciling. Apply this stuff on your masked out bear, and allow to completely dry.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 03 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet bear tee 04 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Once dry, remove all tape and freezer paper, and then dye according to manufacturer instructions.  I used this Hanes Youth Beefy Tee, and fiber reactive dye in Chartreuse.  You’ll end up with something like this.

mad mim color magnet bear tee 02 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee
mad mim color magnet masking tape bear 101 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

mad mim color magnet bear tee 01 Masking Tape and Color Magnet Bear Tee

Fun, right? This masking technique also works really awesome with small scale pattern stencils (like this insane tribal stencil I recently made). I used this technique for my very own bear tee (pictures forthcoming), as well as a top using color magnet and this masking tape design, which is rad and I can’t wait to share.  

My little man Tito LOVED this shirt, but I’m sad to say, I lost it! Somehow or other, it didn’t make it home from Sewing Summit with me, (!!) which he and I are really bummed about. I also never got a picture of him in it, which is doubly unfortunate. Luckily it’s easy, and I can quickly do it again if it never surfaces.

PS. Sewing Summit was fantastic, and I’ll put together a recap post soon. My hand printing class was a blast!

Since I got home though a little over a week ago, I think I’ve spent more time in my bed than out of it, Ain’t No Lie, Baby Bye Bye Bye. Jeez Oh Man, I got so sick of lying down, and I was too sick to even hold up a book for half of it. I was just a-trembling and sweating and I’ll spare you the rest. I got REAAAL sick, the most severe case of strep I’ve even had. But I’m pretty much better now, and I think it’s done plowing through (and over) our family. My very first act as a semi-healthy adult (AFTER I cleaned up my house in a hazmat suit) was some late season canning, which like always, is rewarding but a crapload of work. I did Peach Pineapple Mint Jam, Raspberry Preserves, and Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa, all three recipes come from the Uh-MAZING book Canning for a New Generation.  My garden is just about done spewing forth good things to eat, and I think we’re about to lose the rest to frost anyway. Now all I have left are the grapes.  I’ve got literally bajillions of grapes that want juicing. I haven’t ever done them before, but I’ve heard it ain’t no thang. That’s one rumor I hope is true, because I am bushed!

 

 

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I spied this classic 80’s bed sheet at DI nearly a year ago, and was in love. It’s so undeniably late 80’s/early 90’s  (I mean it totally looks like that couch I grew up with), and yet? And yet I totally love it.  I mean, my last name ain’t Tribe for nothing. I decided to make it shine with Megan Nielsen’s Darling Ranges pattern, as I have long long wanted to give it a go, and was very much inspired by this look by Steven Alan.

mad mim Bed Sheet Darling Ranges 05 Darling Ranges Dress // 80s Bedsheet Edition

I did make some alterations to the Darling Ranges pattern, as my muslin (I made a muslin!) had some issues. I adjust the dart angle and position (still didn’t nail it as you can see), and angled the side seams WAY out (like 2 inches on each side!) because it was pulling the back piece forward and my side seams weren’t straight down. I removed the added width I now had by adding darts in the back. I also raised up the neckline by one button, and lengthened the hem.  Oh, and I cut a size up in the sleeve (as per several reviews I read), which fit perfectly. I also added a cuff, because the elastic sleeve wasn’t gonna fly with my thicker cotton and edgy (hah!) pattern.
mad mim Bed Sheet Darling Ranges 01 Darling Ranges Dress // 80s Bedsheet Edition

The real bonus of sewing with a sheet is that it’s so so soft from lots of washings. I try not to think about WHY it was washed so many times, and just focus on how dreamy it feels. This dress is so comfy, and that alone will qualify it for some guaranteed game time this Fall.  But really, I love it all around, and dig that it’s gonna dress up or down easily.

mad mim Bed Sheet Darling Ranges 03 Darling Ranges Dress // 80s Bedsheet Edition

mad mim Bed Sheet Darling Ranges 02 Darling Ranges Dress // 80s Bedsheet Edition
mad mim Bed Sheet Darling Ranges 04 Darling Ranges Dress // 80s Bedsheet Edition

I’m definitely going to make this dress again, especially now that I have adjusted the pattern to be just about perfect for my shape. It really is a great design.

I’m in Sewing Summit crunch time, and have about 2,387 projects to do before next week. I try not get stressed, but I can’t help it; house shopping, school starting, trying desperately to preserve the abundant fruits and vegetables from my garden, planning for my Sewing Summit class, AND take care of and feeding my family have sort of just sent me over the top, and I’ve been staying up way late. My body apparently needs more sleep that I’m giving it, because I got sick today which is a real bummer.  Hopefully I’ll bounce back soon, because really, I just have to bounce back soon. I need your tips on keeping your calm and dealing with stress! I am not a high stress person, but over the last couple years I’ve started really physically responding to stress like for instance I get lock jaw or get sick when things become hectic. It’s no fun, and I am really trying to deal with it better. I know everyone is different, but what works  for you?

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mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 02 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

New Fave, in the hood. I’ve been planning a floral blazer for Twinkle for like light years (almost as long as I’ve been planning a blazer for myself which still hasn’t materialized), and it took a whole week to tackle. It wasn’t easy folks, I really had to muscle through some sizing issues, and I can assure you my seam ripper got lots of game time. But zoo-ee-mama, how I do love it.

mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 06 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

Deets: I used this sweet sweet floral that I found at Michael Levine (I bought it at their storefront, but it’s on sale online!), and it ended up having great body for this project. The pattern is Kwik Sew K3697, with a few alterations. First of all, I chose a size that was really too big, and so I had to take everything in. BOO. In tailored sewing, that is a big fat pain in the arse. I added a fitted curve to the back and side seams, brought up the hem, and added a contrasting lining to the the sleeves, which is just a bomb little detail in my ‘umble opinion. But you know what is an even cooler detail? The tags. The first one is my token Mama Loves You tag, and then instead of sharpie-ing her name in like her school asks, I made her a custom name tag that I can only partially show you, cause I’m mysterious like that.  SO SWEET!! I had a mini-stroke making her name tag, I just really out did myself with that one. PS Melly has a really great blazer pattern that  would adorable in girl version as well, and I don’t think you’d have to make many (or any?) alterations.

mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 10 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 03 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 04 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

A couple more things. I totally ran out of fabric (sad!), and had to piece the inner front panels, AND (much like my first version of this pattern) I had to cut it off grain!! Oh the horror!!
mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 05 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First DayThe skirt is self-drafted (if you can call it that); it’s just a rectangle with a paper bag elastic waist, fake placket and rectangle pockets. Super easy, and she chose the triangle buttons which I think are pretty cute. The fabric is a heavy seer sucker that a neighbor gave me. 
mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 08 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

You know who is pretty cute? This girl. And her new glasses?? Adorable.  She loves this blazer–she’s been sporting it half-done around the house all week and asking me WHHHHHEN will it be done!!??!  Not for the first day of school, I’ll tell you that much. But now she’ll look fantastic for her second week of school, which is nearly as good. I actually don’t want to talk too much about her first day of first grade, because it was a sad day for me. I think I cried for an hour straight the night before, and swore up and down I was just going to home school her. The actual morning though, she was really really excited. I kept on asking if she wanted to stay home, and although she had mixed emotions, she was really pumped to go. After a week we’re already in a new groove, and she’s loving it.  I’m okay, but it is a really long day.  Anyone else have a hard time sending your kids off to school?  I was home schooled all growing up, so I think that makes it extra hard for me, although I know homeschool isn’t right for our family, at least not now.  I guess it’s just an end of a chapter and that’s always sad.

In other news, I’m SO excited for Sewing Summit, and things are crazy around here with preparations and trying to find a new house because WE’RE MOVING AGAIN. Allan just got a new job down South, so it looks like we’re going to be calling Utah county our home again. I’m excited, but have lots of mixed emotions to leave a lovely home and family near by.  I will have family near by down there as well, but it just feels like we didn’t get quite enough time here. But we’re hoping to actually BUY a house which is pretty fun and so grown-up. Lots of change on the horizon!
mad mim Floral Blazer and Striped Skirt 12 School Girl Floral Blazer, a Striped Skirt and Her First Day

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mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 07 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

Now, you all know pretty well by now that my love and loyalties lie with the rubber block and carving tool–I really really love me some stamp carving. BUT! Who can resist the clean, crisp lines of stenciling?? So clear! So sharp! Stenciling is like block printing’s perfect older sister who gets all A’s, and who is kinda OCD–She’s maybe a little less exciting, but you gotta appreciate that predictability! Handprinting, although not hard, does have a lot of variabilities that can affect the crispness of your results. Stenciling on the other hand, is so straight-forward; just keep in mind a few techniques, and you’re gonna come out a winner.

Steps for stellar stenciling:

  • Use good stenciling film. I’ve used everything from cardboard to contact paper, and although anything will work, a good quality stencil film that is transparent, thin, yet sturdy will make all the difference in getting good, clear prints. I do love using freezer paper, but it’s a one time deal, and can’t be reused. When I make a detailed stencil, I want to be able to use it again!
  • When cutting out, use a good, SHARP utility knife. Don’t waste your time with a dull one, you’ll end up cursing obscenities under your breath. If the blade isn’t sharp, you’ll have to pull too hard, and won’t be able to stay ‘in the lines’, which will be sad.
  • Always (try to) pull your knife downwards–you’ll have the most control that way.  Avoid sideways or upward cuts by continually rotating your design. Oh, and use a cutting mat!
  • Don’t load your brush/sponge with too much paint! When you first load, blot it out a couple of times on your paint tray before applying to your project.  Less paint over more passes prevents bleeding underneath your stencil.
  • Repositionable adhesive spray is your friend. It temporarily sticks your stencil to your printing surface so nothing seeps underneath, and then you can just peel it up, reposition, and use again.  I typically reapply every few passes.
  • Always make sure to have some scratch paper underneath your printing surface so your paint doesn’t bleed onto the other side!

This design was inspired by some doodles I did a few days ago when I was trying to draw flowers without any curved lines. I’ve got a thing for hard and soft together,  it’s just so bangarang. Anyway, I had just been reading the super awesome book A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight, and was all pumped up to turn my doodle into an all-over-print.  I’m so excited to do more with this, and actually, I’ve been scheming about how to flesh out a quote un quote collection of designs to go along with this.  What?! You heard me. Until then though, I’ll hook you up with the design template so you can make your own! Don’t mention it.

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 05 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 1302 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

To make these pretties (my favorite is the all-over-print), start by tracing the design onto the stencil film, and cutting it out with a (sharp!) utility knifemad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 12 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 02 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

Then prepare your printing surface. I used these  zippered, blank pillow covers and dyed them a soft Kilt Green (diluted the concentration to make it more subdued). Do as I say not as I did, and press your  printing surface  before printing (check out all Dharma’s blanks!)

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 06 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design templateDon’t forget to put scratch paper inbetween so nothing bleeds to the back!

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 01 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design templateNow using a stenciling brush or sponge, apply the fabric paint (I used Jacqurd Textile Color in Spruce), being careful not to pick up too much paint, eh? For a set pattern like the first pillow, it’s wise to mark out where you’ll print before hand. For the all over design, I packed in the stencil as many times as I could fit into the space, and then filled in the remaining spaces using sections of the stencil, no rhyme or reason. Sometimes I was filling in just the tiniest empty spaces, so for that I ripped the end off my sponge so I could print just a single flower or leaf or whatever without printing into the other parts of the design.

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 07b Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 10 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 101 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

Doh! My paper wasn’t butted up to the very edges and it bled through onto the back, so I turned that frown upside down by making it into a border. Bazinga.

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 09 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

Heat set your design with a quick pass of the iron, slap that baby over your pillow insert, and stand back and listen to the hallelujah chorus sing.

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 1304 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 1305 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design template

And what about that awesome ikat pillow, you ask? I got that gorgeous print at Michael Levine, and a 1/2 yard of that masterpiece gave me two amazing pillows! (similar drool-worthy ikats found here). mad mim stenciling angular flower pillow 11 Stenciling: Fresh Angles Pillows DIY + free design templateAnd just like that my couch is my favorite part of my living room. Pencil, stencil, paint and faint, I always like to say.

I have SO MANY juicy back to school specials to show you, so stay tuned. I’ll leak them slowly over the next few weeks as I get a chance to photograph them. Now (after I whip out a few funny tees for the boy), I’ll be turning my mind and creative energies towards getting all ready for Sewing Summit, which means more handprinting.  I’m on a hand printing rampage! Don’t be surprised when I instagram hand printed toilet paper, I’m just saying;)

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I have been wishing upon a star for the last five years that I could get my mitts on a tailor’s ham and sausage. I learned how to sew on a couple of these babies (way back in 4-H by my fantastic teacher Cami), and ever since I’ve fantasized about them–especially in those desperate moments of particularly difficult pressing fixes.  I don’t know why it’s taken me so long. One time I saw one in a thrift store;  it smelled like moth balls and was ugly as sin and even then I barely passed it up. I’ve just kept on sewing and fantastizing until I just couldn’t take it anymore.  That was like, last Tuesday, case your curious.
mad mim tailors ham and sausage 01 Tailors Ham and Sausage

Do you sew with a ham? It’s for pressing curved and hard-to-get-at seams, and anytime you can’t get your garment to lie flat. The ham is great for darts and princess seams, and the sausage is perfect to slide into a sleeve for that wily shoulder curve.  And wowee, are they fun to have and to hold. If nothing else, you’ll want one to canoodle with next time you settle down to watch your favorite movie.

mad mim tailors ham and sausage 03 Tailors Ham and Sausage
mad mim tailors ham and sausage 06 Tailors Ham and Sausage

I used Kristiann‘s pattern and tutorial, and packed those suckers with sawdust (that I got free from the nice fellows and Home Depot) within an inch their lives.  It was a messy and time consuming and a real good time. mad mim tailors ham and sausage 02 Tailors Ham and Sausage

Pretty jazzed about my new  meat. So tight, so firm, so heat-ready with it’s cotton and wool sides.  Like Katy so aptly put it: serious seamstresses use a ham. 
mad mim tailors ham and sausage 05 Tailors Ham and Sausage

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About a week before my bro-in-law’s wedding I asked the bride-to- be what I should put the kids in for the big day (I was a bride’s maid), and she said anything in the wedding colors would be fine. Well, don’t you know, I didn’t have single article of clothing for them in mint, coral or even grey and the words weren’t even out of her mouth before I knew I was gonna bust out a whole new ensemble. I could have whipped up a bow, or maybe a  sash, but why do that when you have some pretty swiss dot organza that the neighbor gave you just lying around and some dye, and a week!? I mean, I had to go the distance, and make a couple of fancy little dresses for my girlies and a bow tie for the little man (he always gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop, poor kid). I had plenty of time so it wasn’t a marathon or anything, but still. Silly me. At least it all turned out super cute, and you know, we all were matchy matchy which is weirdly fun sometimes.

mad mim wedding best 03 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

I used Ottobre  Spring 1/2013 #25 for the starting point of Twinkle’s dress, although I did make some basic changes to it (no button-up, short sleeves, no collar). I really like it because of the pretty princess seams. I also added the skinny and long ties from Ottobre Summer 3/2013 #17, and a little more fullness to the skirt.  mad mim wedding best 02 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy
mad mim wedding best 04 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

Bub got a little bow tie, and I threw him some handsome little white linen trouser shorts I made him for easter (and still haven’t blogged about). I used a real bow tie pattern I got from Miranda (something like this  I would just enlarge it 150% rather than 200%). Anyway, I make the two sides, tie the bow tie, and then add velcro or a safety pin the back.

mad mim wedding best 07 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

Girly Girl got Ottobre Summer 3/2012 #12, which is such a sweet little pattern–the fit is perfect.  It looks a little balloony in this picture, but it’s really just perfect, very sweet.

mad mim wedding best 05 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

And just look how close I matched the dye to my bride’s maid dress, I nailed that one. And I did it so ghetto too! I was just dumping in the color to the washer like a crazy woman.  Little green here, little yellow there, and boom. Perfecto.

mad mim wedding best 06 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

And I just had to throw this one in cause it’s sweet.

mad mim wedding best 08 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy

Ah, nothing like family sewing and that’s a fact.

IMAG0284 Wedding Best Matchy Matchy It was a lovely day, she was gorgeous, he was handsome, and it was great to see and be with Allan’s wonderful family. We’re so happy that Brittany has joined The Tribe! (Hehe, pun always intended).

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So I’m pretty sure I was certain from about 1990 to 2011 that swimsuit peplums were reserved for toddlers or Grandma’s.  It wasn’t til pretty recently that I spied this beauty and started to think that maybe I was mistaken.  This suit definitely still has an old-timey feel but I think the mini peplum adds a youthful flare to a 90’s special. Maybe? Puede ser?  I love the vintage swimwear trend, and the added coverage doesn’t hurt my feelings either.

mad mim printed peplum tank swimsuit 03 Printed Peplum Swimsuit

And I printed it! Didn’t see that one coming, did you? On a whim I decided to see if my leaching technique with discharge paste would work on my swim fabric, and I was kinda amazed to see it did! As you see it wasn’t as clear or bold a result, but I dig the sort of faded look, which ironically won’t fade because the color has been leached out.  It’s kinda crazy and maybe a little bit  hodge podge (still not sure about the stripes in back), but I do love it, I think it’s my favorite suit to date.

mad mim printed peplum tank swimsuit 02 Printed Peplum Swimsuit

mad mim printed peplum tank swimsuit 05 Printed Peplum Swimsuit

I started with a vintage gem of a pattern that I thrifted– Sew-Knit-N-Stretch #151 by Kerstin Martensson, who I’m a big fan of. It was a GREAT pattern, and I just lengthened through the trunk, added a waist seam, brought up the back and made it a V, and went up a size in the bottom. For chest support, I actually sewed in one of my old bras! Wasn’t sure it was gonna work, but it wasn’t super padded or absorbent and I figured it would be fine. I just positioned and pinned it in there, cut it off at the straps and sideseams, and then sandwhiched it between the lining and shell and zig zagged that sucker in.  No biggy.

mad mim printed peplum tank swimsuit 04 Printed Peplum Swimsuit

I seriously DO NOT go swimming enough to validate making another suit (I’ve only worn last summer’s a couple of times!), but I love swimwear because they’re pretty fast and super fun.  Don’t judge.

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      all the stuff (photos & tutorials etc) that you see around here is copyrighted by me (miriam tribe) for madmim.com. when using any of my stuff (photos & tutorials etc) for your stuff (blog, website or forum) please cite my website & work by linking back. thanks!