Jalie Tank | My Fabric Designs

If you find yourself sewing the same basic wardrobe pieces over and over, it’s fun to mix it up with fabric. Here’s a Jalie tank made with modern jersey from My Fabric Designs.

Jalie Tank Pattern With My Fabric Designs In Modern Jersey

My Fabric Designs is a custom printed fabric shop. There are 26 types of fabric to choose from, including quilting grade cottons, apparel fabrics galore, and home dec textiles. You can see the fabric choices here.

Jalie Tank in modern jersey from My Fabric Designs (Jalie 3245)

Next you upload your own design or choose from their selection. I chose this bright print called Tribal Sky.

My Fabric Designs uses a special ink jet printer to print directly onto fabric, or a sublimation heat transfer process. You can even print one yard at a time.

Jalie 3245 | Womens Tank Top in Modern Jersey

I took forever choosing my fabric type for my Jalie tank. There are performance knits, French Terry, everything an apparel sewist could want. I knew the modern jersey would be a fun challenge. It’s very thin, stretches like crazy, and has excellent recovery. It wouldn’t work for a fitted garment like leggings, because it stretches to the point of translucence. But it’s perfect for this top!

Jalie Tank sewn in modern jersey from My Fabric Designs

The rounded hem was tough to tackle. A split side seam with a longer back might have been an easier route, but I didn’t realize that until after cutting. I finally got it to all come together, but not without some serious help from friends on the MayenDesigns Facebook page. (Thanks, ya’ll!) I made a video if you’d like to see the properties of the modern jersey. It looks a little wonky here; but the fabric did relax into the stitches and it looks great.

Jalie Tank, Tribal Sky in modern jersey from My Fabric Designs

This is Jalie 3245 again, but it’s my first time making the tank version. I swung out the center front fold using my tutorial make a flowy top from a fitted pattern. Other than that, no changes. Zero complaints, as usual with Jalie patterns. I cut according to my bust size and the fit is just right.

Jalie 3245, Tribal Sky in modern jersey

That’s about it; I had an excellent experience with a fabric company I hadn’t had the opportunity to try before. I made a Jalie tank but mixed it up with a “trickier to work with” fabric and felt proud of myself afterwards, since I tend to get real comfortable just sticking to what I do well.

I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving! I’ll be helping my sister in law cook instead of hosting this year. I’m absolutely thrilled about that. I stress the hell out on Thanksgiving (keeping it real here) and I’m thankful to help chop celery and corral the kids instead. Tell me what you’re thankful for this week!

Big hugs to all :)

Posted in Pattern Review, Women's Clothing | Tagged , | 5 Comments
Farm Report: Fall 2015

Time for a quarterly farm report! Let’s see what’s new, what we’ve learned and if any plans have changed.

Hay Bales

Remember in my summer farm post that we irresponsibly let our dog get pregnant? Well, 4 of the largest puppies went after our chickens, and there were 8 fatalities. Our lesson was:

Spay And Neuter Your Pets!

It was a sad day. We invested time and money into the chickens, and I was pretty sure we wouldn’t get eggs for a while due to the stress. It messed up our chicken to rooster ratio; and roosters had to be culled.

Spay and Nueter Your Pets

My calm, docile roosters also became aggressive towards us for several days following the massacre. We donated all but one to a tamale maker. We have built an enormous kennel for the dogs. Now our dogs and chickens have to take turns roaming around.

A New Family Member

We homed all our accidental puppies, and kept one for Bella. Lil’ Missus looks just like her mama. (Ugly!) Homing dogs was way harder than I thought. We got Brownie and her puppy fixed, so we won’t have to worry about more accidents.

An Investment Pays Off!

Cuckoo Maran Egg

We’ve been getting eggs since September. Right on time, despite our rookie mistake with the dogs. The first ones were smallish; but with practice, our cuckoo marans are laying almost a dozen big, beautiful eggs daily. We’re coming out ahead of what we’re spending on feed since eggs are so high right now, but egg production should slow down soon.

New Toy

Hubby and his brother bought a used four wheeler. My nephews have two kid-sized ones, so it’s a lot of fun ripping around the property.

Four Wheelers

I’m working 3 clearings to make a really fun path for riding. It’s a lot easier trimming trees and hauling brush, because we can hook a trailer up to the quad. There is a nice natural path that just needs to be tidied up a bit. There will be lots of forks, twists, and turns so traffic laws will be in place when multiple quads are in use. I’ve actually been looking for traffic signs. Why not give the kids a head start for driving real trucks?


Bathroom Remodel

We remodeled the living room (which is actually a sun room addition) when we first moved in. Since then, Edson has painted our daughter’s room and is remodeling her bathroom. Her weird, shallow bathtub has been replaced with a modern shower. It’s a teeny wittle bathroom, but it’s a going to be a lot prettier now.

That leaves the dining sewing room, kitchen, laundry, pantry, and master bedroom firmly stuck in the 70’s. I’m not antsy to remodel at all.

Plans Change

We intend to build a house at the rear of the property. That’s a part of the reason why I don’t want to invest a lot in remodeling. But…renting this house a viable option that will pay half the mortgage, at least. Although I don’t want to share my space, I have to admit that it makes financial sense and we could really use some more manpower to keep up with the land. So since we’ll be in this house for a couple years, and probably rent it after that…I do think we need a few cosmetic updates. Sigh.

I also changed my mind about getting meat chickens this spring. Butchering chickens is a lot of work, and I can buy a whole chicken at the grocery store for less than an hour at minimum wage. I still want pigs, but just a couple for personal bacon. Ive learned it’s difficult to make money off livestock without a big operation and expensive equipment. Raising animals for meat doesn’t save money either. But you eat better, and give the animals a good life that they would not experience in most commercial operations.

I’m researching leasing the back half of my land for farming or livestock. I could make a little money and get some agricultural education if that works out. I’m not really sure where to start.

Nature Is Kicking My Butt

I’m losing the battle against the trees. We’ve already killed 2 chainsaws. Any reccomendations for a super heavy-duty chainsaw? Oh, all my pretty flower gardens got overgrown with weeds over the summer. I’m slowly working those in preparation for winter.

Overgrown Flower Beds

Lions And Tigers And…

Coyotes, oh my. A new housing edition to the East, overgrown jungle property adjoining a part of mine, and the sounds of prey animals have lured them to my farm. We’ve had 2 sightings just this week, dangerously close. They are very smart and hard to catch.

Chicken Coop

The plus side is I haven’t seen too many deer getting close. Remember, I’m still pissed at the entire deer population for eating up my pear harvest.

Fall Onions

My winter farm report might be more interesting. Maybe I’ll have some building plans to show you. I’m debating a small ranch style home or a classic farmhouse with a wrap around porch. It’s hard to find the smaller floor plan I need. More house = more cleaning, no thanks!


Posted in Country Living, Gardening | Tagged , | 3 Comments
How To Stiffen Hair Bows

This is really a gratuitous post, where I show you a few hair bows I’ve been making for my little cousin’s baby. Mackenzie is still in the oven, but when she enters this world we are prepared to decorate her head.

Check miss Mack’s bows, then scroll down to see how to stiffen hair bows with one awesome product.

Southwest Style Hair Bow in Coral and Teal with Gold Accents + How To Stiffen Hair Bows | SewsNBows

Christmas trees hair bow in lime and red | SewsNBows

Blush Pink Bow with Gold Chevron Accents, Shabby Floral Center and Pearl Strands + How To Stiffen Hair Bows | SewsNBows

How To Stiffen Hair Bows

How To Stiffen Hair Bows With One Awesome Product | SewsNBows

Can I tell you how much I hate floppy bows? Wimpy bows are a travesty, they really are. Meet my new best friend, clear acrylic spray.

(This is another one of those duh moments, like when I finally figured out how to flatten bottle caps.)

Use This To Stiffen Wimpy Hair Bows! Tips For Using Clear Acrylic Spray for Hair Bows

I used Krylon clear acrylic spray. There is an entire family of acrylic spray finishes. Gloss, matte, satin finish, uv protectant…I’d like to experiment with some of those but for now I can tell you that this is my secret weapon against sad bows.

Converse Hair Bow With Glitter Dot Center + How To Stiffen Hair Bows

I advise spraying the whole bow once your ribbons are put together, but before you add bottle caps or feathers. It really helps keep tulle stiff. Plus, it seals in glittery ribbon and glitter dots, like the bow center above. Hurray for no more sparkles falling off your hair bows!

OMG Designer Hair Bow + How To Stiffen Hair Bows | SewsNBows

If you need some of this in your life, I’d love it if you shopped my Amazon affiliate link. You won’t pay any extra. Anything you buy will send a few pennies my way, and I’d be much obliged :) That link will take you to a page of acrylic sprays to choose from.

(Rustoleum and Mod Podge have similar sprays and I haven’t tried them yet. I’m pretty sold on Krylon.)

How To Stiffen Hair Bows To Avoid Floppy Loopers | SewsNBows

Above is a hair bow pre-acrylic. Do you see how the striped loopers are flopping around? My bows are gonna behave, now.

Cowgirls Rule OTT Hair Bow | SewsNBows

I saved my favorite bow for last, this one says Cowgirls Rule. Never a truer statement, y’all.

Mackensie’s mom is my cousins daughter, and I think that would make me a technically third cousin which doesn’t sound very official to me. So I’m calling myself her aunt. Don’t you think?

Posted in Bows & Ribbon, Crafty, Holidays, Tutorial | Tagged , | 2 Comments
Make a Flowy Top From A Fitted Pattern

I have an awesome sewing cheat for you: how to make a flowy top from a fitted pattern. You’ll love this hack because it’s a real simple adjustment that really changes the look of your same ole’ patterns.

How To Make A Flowy Top From A Fitted Pattern | Sewing Tutorial By SewsNBows

This technique is technically a full abdomin adjustment “cheat” for knits. We are avoiding the slash and spread method though. And it’s not just for full tummies! Looser fitting, drapey garments are all over the runway, and it looks good on fluffy and willowy frames.

Jalie 3245

I tend to sew the same tried and true patterns over and over. This is also a fun way to mix up your favorite patterns with a little bohemian flair.

How To Make A Flowy Top From A Fitted Pattern

How To Make A Flowy Top From A Fitted Pattern

Place your front and back pattern pieces on fold,but rotate the bottom out one inch. This will give you 2″ of extra width on each piece, for a total of 4″.

Reshape your hem so that your center front doesn’t have a pointy edge. I’ve drawn mine in red to help you visualize what I did. That’s it. Easy, right?!

Jalie 3245 with adjustment for a flower fit


If you choose to swing the pattern pieces out more than an inch, pay attention to the side seam. Adding more width can shorten the side seam, so you may need to add length. Be sure to add equal length to the front and back piece.

The more you swing the pattern piece out, the more flowy your t-shirt will be. It will also create a slightly looser fit in the chest than you’re seeing in Bella’s top. I like to experiment with fabric for different garment looks.

Jalie 3245

I used Jalie 3245. I’ve sewn this pattern so many times I wrote a round up post showing how fabric type affects garment fit. Somebody in my house is almost always wearing one…we live in our raglan tees.

Jalie 3245

I sew I make the same patterns endlessly, and at least 75% of my knit fabric stash is stripes. Pardon the repetition! Do you have a favorite way to mix up a tried and true pattern?

Posted in Girl's Clothing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial, Tween Sewing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments
Free Dolman Tee Pattern For Dolls

Have you seen the free dolman tee pattern from Doll It Up? I sewed one up recently and thought you’d like it too.

Free Dolman Tee Pattern For 18" Dolls like American Girl

Free Dolman Tee Pattern for 18″ Dolls

I used scraps from Sofia’s Banyan Tee to make this top. The PDF pattern is available Doll It Up.

Tshirt, hoodie, jean shorts and sneakers on 18" American Girl

You really couldn’t ask for a faster doll pattern. This top sewed up in about 12 minutes.

Free Sewing Pattern For 18" Dolls

The neckband is folded under and stitched. The hem and sleeves are banded.

Free Dolman Tee sewing pattern from Doll It Up

Its perfect for scraps of fabric or old t-shirts. There are no closures since the neck opening is wide and the dolman sleeves slip easily over your dolls head. It fits lots of stuffed animals and dolls, although Baby Alive’s head is too big.

Striped Dolman Tee (free sewing pattern!)

Make sure your fabric has plefty of stretch. Anna provides tips for choosing fabric and excellent recommendations if you’re new to knits.

Zip hoodie, striped tee, shorts and sneakers for American Girl doll

I miss sewing for American Girl dolls! I keep thinking I’ll sew some things to sell, and never seem to get around to it. My niece asked me for some Barbie clothes so I made an ugly mermaid costume. I complained the whole time, although I would never tell my baby that. Barbie is just too tiny and my heart isn’t in it. I plan to buy Sofia an AG doll when she’s 5 or 6. Her Baby Alive has barely survived and her Barbies end up looking like the cast of the Walking Dead. I can’t see spending a lot yet but I’m counting the days until I can!

Posted in Pattern Review, Sewing For Dolls, Toys | Tagged , , | 1 Comment