The Holiday Cutout Dress: Perfect for Valentine’s Day Sewing

Holy cow you guys! It is almost February! Where did this month go? If you are like most seamstresses I know, you are now thinking about Valentine’s Day sewing. Maybe its because I’m married, but I love Valentine’s Day. There’s something about all the red and pink, the little hearts, the candy (ok maybe that’s the real reason I like Valentine’s Day.) If you are looking for the perfect dress that’s a quick sew for your little girl for Valentine’s Day, let me introduce you to the Holiday Cutout Dress & Top.

6 Cutouts in One Pattern

Holiday Cutout Dress & Top PDF Sewing Pattern - I love all those cutout options!

I think one of my favorite things about the Holiday Cutout Dress & Top is that it’s not only perfect for Valentine’s but it works for several different holidays during the year. Not only are their two length options, but there are 6 cutouts included in the pattern in various sizes. So you aren’t stuck thinking you can only use it one time a year. I love it when a patterns versatile!

The fabulous Nicola of Seaside Notions made Valentine’s Day versions for her girls last year and they turned out so adorable, that I wanted to share them with you. I mean seriously, can you handle the cuteness?

Valentine's Day Sewing - Holiday Cutout Dress & Top PDF Sewing Pattern with Heart Cutout

Valentine's Day Sewing - Holiday Cutout Dress & Top PDF Sewing Pattern with Heart Cutout

Valentine's Day Sewing - Holiday Cutout Dress & Top PDF Sewing Pattern with Heart Cutout

Valentine's Day Sewing - Holiday Cutout Dress & Top PDF Sewing Pattern with Heart Cutout

Valentine's Day Sewing - Holiday Cutout Dress & Top PDF Sewing Pattern with Heart Cutout

Valentine's Day Sewing - Holiday Cutout Dress & Top PDF Sewing Pattern with Heart Cutout

 

Precious, right? And I love that she chose fabric that would work for after Valentine’s Day too that way though could wear them outside the holiday.

Just for this weekend, The Holiday Cutout Dress & Top is on sale for on $5.00 through Monday! If you haven’t picked it up yet, you should grab it. And be sure and join our Facebook Group so you can show it off when you get it sewn up.  I can’t wait to see!

Also just because, I’m going to give away a free copy to someone.  Just enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to enter. Contest ends Monday at midnight. And if you happened to buy the pattern this weekend and win, you will get a full refund or another BSD pattern of your choice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

11 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make

My 3 year old has suddenly taken an interest in sewing. I got her a little wooden sewing machine for her birthday. She has been enjoying it so much that now she’s asking for a “big machine like mommy’s.” I decided to get a list together of some sewing projects for kids that she would love and I wanted to share that list with you.

11 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make - Great list of kids craft and diy sewing projects!

Before you read any further, PIN THIS POST!

11 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make

I wanted to find projects that would not only work for younger kids like my 3 year old, but would also be great for older children that are looking to start their first sewing project. The first item fits the bill perfectly:

sewing projects for kids

Sewing Activity Pages For Kids

If your child has never sewn anything before, this is the perfect place to start. These are printable pages that teach your child how to sew in a straight line, turn corners, and navigate curves.

sewing projects for kids

Felt Scrap Bracelets

If you are too nervous to hand over your machine to your child, this is the perfect project. All the sewing is done by hand, and it will use up some of those scraps you haven’t known what to do with. Plus, they are adorable! I can see these being great gifts that kids could make themselves.

sewing projects for kids

Simple Sew Fabric Letters

These letters are such a cute sewing project for kids that I am tempted to make them myself for my toddler! What little one wouldn’t love learning their letters and learning to sew at the same time?

sewing projects for kids

Felt Piggy Banks

My daughter is obsessed with change. It is a happy day when she finds a penny on the ground. You would think she won the lotto. These Felt Piggy Banks would be an easy project that she would love for all the loose change she finds.

sewing projects for kids

Easy Apron Tutorial

This is the perfect sewing project for kids that love to cook! And this basic apron is perfect for even the most basic beginner kid seamstress.

sewing projects for kids

Mesh Sport Bag

How about a sewing project for kids that is also practical. This mesh sports bag is not only good for, well, sports, but I can see it also being perfect for legos or other small toys.

sewing projects for kids

Wristlet Key Fob

While this project might need a little assistance from adults because of the crimping, this is still an easy sewing project for kids to make. Plus it can double up as a gift that kids can make for others which in my book is always a plus.

IMG_8898-1

Felt Super Hero Mask

If you have a little super hero in your life, this is the perfect project for them. And what super hero wouldn’t love a mask they made all by themselves?

sewing project for kids

Easy Tote Bag

This is another great tutorial made with kids in mind. And it looks like it would perfectly fit coloring books or books from the library.

sewing projects for kids

Bunny Hand Puppets

I love sewing projects that double as toys. These bunny hand puppets are not only adorable, but super easy for kids to make.

sewing projects for kids

Felt Clutch

Your child will be so proud when they sew this felt clutch! And the button details on the front are not only easy to sew, but super cute.

Did you like this list of easy sewing projects for kids? Which one is your favorite? Tell me in the comments.

Sell Clothes on Etsy: Featured Boutique SANSAHASH & Giveaway

Unless you’ve been living under a creative rock, you’ve probably heard of Etsy.  I’m willing to bet you’ve probably shopped there too.  Etsy specializes in getting people in touch with handmade artisans.  You can find anything like sewing patterns (see this shop for ones from yours truly) to hand carved wooden toys for children to adorable custom made clothes for you or your littles.  If you are a seamstress, in just a few minutes, you can sell clothes on Etsy that are hand made by you. There are a few Etsy boutiques that sell clothing made from Bella Sunshine Designs patterns, and I am super excited to introduce you to a fabulous one as our first Sell Clothes on Etsy boutique feature.

Sell Clothes on Etsy: Featured Boutique SANSAHASH

sell clothes on etsy sansahash

Mgeni is the owner behind SANSAHASH. Her sewing quality is as jaw dropping as is her ability to choose fabrics. I was so excited to sit down with her for an interview to learn more about her shop. Not only is this information useful for those looking to find a few adorable items for their daughter to wear, it is great info for those interested in starting their own Etsy shop.

What is your Shop Name:SANSAHASH
What is Your Shop Link? www.etsy.com/shop/sansahash
How Long Have You Been Selling on Etsy: I opened my Etsy shop on the 13th of August 2014! But the shop was not directly active until 6 months later! So technically I have been busy with it now for almost a year! 
What is Your Best Selling Item:Wow I do have a few but I must say The flower girl dress, Blake dress made from Neoprene was my best selling item last year! 
What is Your Favorite Thing to Make for Etsy:Making custom listing, chatting about fabric choices and options with my customers, designing the items together etc. I must say I enjoy the communication with my customers more. In this way I get to know what they like and dislike and make these changes to reflect my customers need!

What is your Best Tip for someone wanting to get started selling on Etsy:Start with lots of listings!! I did not know this when I started so it took a while to be discovered and to get sells! Maybe starts with at least 10 items. Also be unique! Unique sells on Etsy. Many shops on Etsy can sell similar designs but that one little unique touch from you will make a huge difference in sells! And last but not least just be you! 🙂 
Tell Me Your Funniest Etsy Story:Whenever I get orders there is that sound that makes like you get money and my daughter loved it she will stand up and we dance and sing ” we made money, we made money” she is so used to this everytime she heard it she dance and sing. 
Tell me one of your Favorite Customer Stories: I had fun working with this order! I had this customer who ordered one of my rompers for her daughter to wear to her favorite football game! So I had to add a football logo too. It came out really nice. Her mother was very happy to get it and her daughter wore it to their next game! Her brother then spilled cherry snocone on the white of the romper. That of course will not come out. So a week later after she got it she wanted me to make another for the next game that will be in two weeks because she loves it so much and everybody loves it too! And we managed to get it in time from The Netherlands to US!! lol
What is your most Challenging Thing About Running an Etsy Shop? To be discovered and To be successful! It is very easy to open an Etsy shop when you have your listings ready. It is hard to be discovered and of course to be successful. This is where hard work, time and persistence comes in! Uniqueness of your work and good relationship with the customers you have!! I find the last one is so equally important to be very successful!  one of my customers was so happy with my service she brought in 2 more customers!! So yes it is challenging!! But when you enjoy what you do It is definitely worth it. 
Favorite BSD Design you sell in your shop with a link:
At the moment I have listed 3. More are coming. I am already eyeing the Pintuck dress 😉
Gabriella’s Winter Coat:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/260476520/gabriellas-winter-coat?ref=shop_home_active_11
Adaline Dress & Tunic
Rebel Girl Party Dress

Anything additional to add?
Finding your niche is also very important on Etsy! Do what you good at and love what you do will get you discovered quickly!

Be sure and check out Mgeni’s shop SANSAHASH.  You won’t be disappointed.  Also, if you are looking to Sell Clothes on Etsy, sign up for a shop through this link and you can get 40 free listings (new shops only). Remember, any BSD patterns can be reproduced for sale on a small home production level.

Do You Want to Win a Handmade Rebel Girl Party Dress made by SANSAHASH?

 

Mgeni from SANSAHASH has generously donated a handmade Rebel Girl Party Dress to one lucky person! You can checkout the details of the item on her Etsy store through this link. Enter via the Rafflecopter below.  Contest ends on Saturday at midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Did you enjoy this series? What was your favorite thing you learned from Mgeni’s interview?  Let me know in the comments.  Also, if you are a boutique that sells clothing made from Bella Sunshine Designs patterns, contact me and let me know.  You could be our next featured boutique.
Serger book review

Sewing Book Review: The Complete Serger Handbook

While I’ve been sewing for decades, I’m pretty new to the serger world. I got my first serger, a Babylock Evolution, just over two years ago. I knew next to nothing about them except that they were sometimes a nightmare to thread and that they could cut your fabric and sew the edges at the same time. That pretty much sums up my serger knowledge. The first thing I did was order The Complete Serger Handbook by Chris James. I was so impressed with the quality of the material in this book that I wanted to do a sewing book review to share that info with all of you.

sewing book review

Sewing Book Review: The Complete Serger Handbook by Chris James

One of my favorite things about this book is the pictures! There are a ton of full color photographs that litter the book.  Many of the photos also include additional text overlays that label each item in the photo making it very clear what you are looking at.

This book offers chapters for those beginners that are new to serging such as what type of thread to use, the different types of stitches and their uses, and threading and tension issues.  It also includes more advance techniques such as serging with twill tape or elastic as well as using a flatlock to hem a garment. There is also an entire chapter on serging with knits with lots of tips that will make this sometimes challenging fabric a breeze. There are also several troubleshooting sections through the book with advice to help you if you have a common problem.

Overall, I liked this book a lot.  I refer to it anytime I have an issue while serging or if I’m looking to try a new-to-me finishing technique that I’ve never done before. It’s a great reference book to add to your library if are interested in exploring all the things your serger can do. The best thing about this book is it is not brand specific. No matter what brand of serger you have, you will find the information useful.

Did you enjoy this book review? Is there another book I should check out and leave a review on? Let me know in the comments. I’m addicted to sewing books, so I’m always looking to add something new to my library.

15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing

15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need To Quit Doing

Bad sewing habits. We all have them. I compiled a list of 15 bad sewing habits that you need to quit doing. Some of them I never commit. Some I am super guilty of doing all the time.  How will you stack up?

15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing

15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need To Quit Doing

1. Putting pins in your mouth

I have to admit, when my grandmother told me this as a kid, I used to give her all the eye rolls.  It wasn’t until I saw this story that I thought that maybe there had been some wisdom in her advice.

2. Not cleaning out your sewing machine

Did you know that your machine can catch on fire if you never clean it? It also can get so much lint build up that it simply stops working.  And that’s a bad sewing habit that will make you sad.

 

bad sewing habits

3. Using your sewing scissors on something other than fabric

Now an experienced seamstress will know better, but someone new to sewing may not.  Using your sewing scissors on anything other than fabric will dull them quickly.  And if you’ve ever tried to cut with dull scissors you will understand why you would want to protect that from happening with your life.

bad sewing habits

4. Not measuring your model often enough

While this is huge when sewing for children, it is equally important for adults.  If your child grew, or you add or lost a few pounds, your garment may not fit. This is a bad sewing habit that I am often guilty of due to pure laziness.

5. Not measuring your print square

This goes right up there with not measuring your model. As I talked about in this blog post, if your print square is off, it can cause major fit issues. And do yourself a favor and measure the square before you spend all the time taping the pages together.

6. Cutting on the same spot of your cutting mat over and over

This is a bad sewing habit that can cost you money!  While its tempting to always lay your fabric on a certain area and cut at the same place every time (especially when cutting the same size over and over), cutting in the same area can weaken your self-healing cutting mat and shorten it’s life.

bad sewing habits

7. Having bad posture while sewing

I’m the world’s worst at slumping while I am sewing. It can be a major pain in the back if you aren’t sitting properly with your elbows at right angles while you are sewing. This is especially true if you are working for several hours this way! Be sure to supply a nice comfy chair in your sewing room, have your machine at the proper height, and sit up straight.

8. Not using a fresh needle for each project

This is another thing my grandmother used to tell me that I thought was ridiculous, but I’ve noticed a huge change in my stitch quality since I’ve started doing it.  Plus, if you buy your needles in bulk from a place like Amazon, you won’t feel so guilty about changing your needles so often.

9. Not un-threading your machine properly

Did you know that the proper way to un-thread your machine is to clip the thread at the spool and then pull the cut thread from the needle end instead of just pulling it all through the machine when you take the spool off? Doing it the wrong way can mess up your tension disks on your machine. I must confess that this is a bad sewing habit that I do a lot. Pulling that spool out without clipping the thread first is just so darn easy!

bad sewing habits

10. Not taking your machine in for maintenance

This goes along with #2 and is especially important if you have a computerized machine.  There are plenty of great authorized repair shops out there that will give you excellent customer service and take great care of your baby.  Plus, it is often cheaper to maintain a sewing machine than it is to repair it once it’s been broken due to lack of maintenance.

11. Not laundering your fabric

Fabric, especially quilting cottons or knits, can shrink.  And sometimes they can shrink a lot!  Don’t put in all that time in effort to sew a beautiful garment only for it to not fit (or be horrible misshapen) after the first wash.  Always launder your fabric in the manner you plan to maintain it after the garment it sewn.

bad sewing habits

12. Not ironing your seams

Or not using your iron period! If you are sewing properly, you should spend more time at the ironing station than you do at the sewing machine. It seems tedious, but I promise, you will notice a huge change in the quality of your work if you break the bad sewing habit of not ironing!

13. Not following pattern directions

Of course as a pattern designer I’m going to suggest you read the pattern. Now that’s not to say that you might have a technique you prefer over the one offered in the pdf sewing pattern. But at minimum you should be reading through the instructions once. Because a quality pdf sewing pattern has been tested, the instructions might include something you didn’t think of if you decide to go off on your own. I will admit, this is a super bad sewing habit of mine!  I get in a sewing groove and often forget to read anything.

14. Procrastinating

We all do it. You are sewing your homemade Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve because you waited until the last possible second to get them done.  Procrastination can ruin the joy of sewing. Not to mention it can make you sloppy and make you commit other bad sewing habits because you are trying to rush. Always be sure to give yourself plenty of time to finish your projects.

bad sewing habits

15. Buying new materials before checking your stash

This has got to be my #1 bad sewing habit of all time!  I love buying fabric.  I mean, who doesn’t? But I can’t tell you how many times I have bought something only to come home and find out that I had a near identical fabric waiting in my stash to get a little love. So always check your stash first before buying new fabric. Unless of course the new fabric you find is to die for. Then buy it and please send me some too.

Ok, be honest! How many bad sewing habits do you have? Just one or two?  Do you do all of them?  I sure hope not!  Do you know of any other bad sewing habits that were not on the list?  Let me know of any others you thought of in the comments section!