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Baja Hoodies & a summer chevron tote

Wahoo! This is my first blog post as a doctoral candidate. Things have been quiet around this blog because I’ve been studying (and seriously stressing) over my doctoral qualifying exams and exam defense. After several panic attacks, nonsensical threats to my boyfriend that I was going to quit the program, and HOURS of studying, I passed my exams and defense. Now I just have to write my dissertation…

Although I haven’t been blogging, I have found some time to sew. Below are my latest projects: two Baja Hoodies and a summer chevron tote.

Baja Hoodies

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My niece and nephew turned three this month and I wanted to make them something cute for summer. After a bit of searching, I discovered many adorable little girl patterns both from indi designers and the big 4. Unfortunately, little boy patterns are not so plentiful and not nearly as cute. I was getting really discouraged when I discovered Blank Slate Patterns. Yay! Cuteness for little boys!

I purchased the Baja Hoodie pattern. A unisex pattern with simple construction, I envision the kiddos heading home from swim class in their coordinating hoodies.

The pattern is a downloadable pdf and has really clear instructions with photos to help you out along the way. This was my first time using bias tape and the photo instructions demystified the process. The pattern is considered intermediate due to the use of terrycloth. I agree this is not a good beginner project (unless you substitute cotton for terrycloth). Terrycloth fuzz covered my apartment (and my cat!) while I worked on these. In addition to making a mess, terrycloth is bulky and was tricky to work with. The fabric was too thick for me to use my walking foot, so sewing layers together was more difficult than it might otherwise have been. Many of my stitches across the bias tape aren’t as straight as I would like due to terrycloth misbehavior. Luckily, I doubt the kiddos will mind.

Front view- For the little man.

Front view- For the little man.

Back view

Back view

Front view- For the little lady.

Front view- For the little lady.

My favorite part of these hoodies is the label. I found these in a local knitting shop and couldn’t help myself. How cute are they?!

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Overall, I’m pleased with how they turned out. I don’t, however, think I will use terrycloth again for quite a while.

Chevron Tote bag

I’ve been using my monogram tote bag a lot this summer. It’s the perfect size for all my stuff (laptop, power cord, wallet, book or two, etc.). It has taken the wear in stride and still looks great, so I’ve been toying with making a second one in a more summery fabric.

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The pattern for the bag- New Look 0126

I found a great bold black and white chevron canvas print at Michael’s last week and couldn’t resist making the purchase. It appears Michael’s is stocking a very limited selection of sewing notions now. My local store has a wall of quilting rulers and rotary cutters in addition to a very limited selection of precut fabric. The canvas I purchased is sold in bundles precut to a yard for about $10. This isn’t a bad price for canvas and, with a 40% off coupon, was a pretty good deal. I then picked up some red ribbon, webbing, and lining fabric at JoAnn’s.

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The finished bag

Lining- red polka dot quilting cotton

Lining- red polka dot quilting cotton

This was a quick and satisfying make. I can’t wait to load it up with my stuff and head off to my “office” (aka. Starbucks around the corner) to work on my dissertation proposal!

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