A Tale of Three Pikas (Jalie 3679)

My sister put in a request for some Pikas.  Who doesn’t like to wear fun activewear when working out?  Working out for me isn’t something that I love to do…but it is more fun in my own stuff.  So, of course, I agreed.  Here are the finished Pikas.







Aren’t they fun???  She definitely likes color!  🙂  She lives several states away, but we did a call while I was at the fabric store, so she picked out the overlays.  I matched up the bras/strap fabrics with the overlays.  I think she is going to LOVE these.  All fabrics as far as I can recall are from Needle Nook Fabrics in Wichita. From a construction perspective, I made these exactly like the pattern says to.  My one tip is that when you get to the end and you’re topstiching your bra elastic up, start it from the center front (or center back).  I usually start things like that near a side seam, but then because it shows, you have to be really careful about getting them lined up.  I’m never really careful about anything…so starting somewhere else is smart for me! 🙂

Next up is going to be a Pika for my friend (I’m repurposing a goodwill t shirt) and I think I’ll make another for me at the same time while I have the pattern pulled out.

Happy sewing!

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The Bird Bag – Noodlehead’s Summer Madras Tote

I’ve found that it’s often those goofy, small projects that make me ridiculously happy.  Maybe it’s how minimal effort leads to a great finished item? Or maybe it’s that they tend to use cotton which is super simple to sew?  I’m not really sure, but the goofy, little projects tend to make my heart sing though!  The latest in this line of projects is Noodlehead’s Summer Madras Tote. I’m enrolled in a couple of continuing education classes right now (sign language and floral arranging) and I decided that I needed a bag to carry my books and things.   I looked around at some pattern options and decided on the Noodlehead’s Summer Madras Tote because:  it was the size I wanted, the pattern was simple…but not boring (thank you pocket binding!)…and to make it even better, it was FREE!!!      Here’s the end result…


Isn’t that fabric amazing?  It was a 1 yard remnant that I picked up at Joann’s about a year ago.  I was going to use it to make a pillow for on my deck, but I decided that this was an equally good use.  For the pocket binding, I just used a scrap from a dupioni wrap that I had from my brother’s wedding outfit.  I love how it shows the texture and just adds so much interest.  For the straps, I used the tutorial here from Emmaline Bags: Emmaline Bags Strap Tutorial.  I liked this one because it was simple and you didn’t need interfacing!  There’s really not a lot to say about this bag…to me, it’s the perfect size for library books and things like that and it’s been getting a ton of use.  There’s not a closure on the top…but that was ok with me.   It’s just a casual tote.

In process in the sewing room right now, I have a pair of the Sewaholic Thurlow pants in denim.  I need some comfy wear around the house jeans, and I’m thinking those are it.  After that, my sister requested that I make her some Jalie Pikas since she’s working out more.  I have her fabric ready to go…I just need to get the Thurlows done first.

As for the floral arranging class, here’s the product of my first night!  I’m hooked!  The instructor supplied the flowers and I wasn’t a huge fan of them due to both type and quality, but somehow, it still turned into a nice arrangement.  I’m planning to plant a cutting garden in my yard somewhere this year so I can make lots of arrangements.


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DIBY Cecelia – Crossover top

In case you haven’t heard about DIBY (Do it Better Yourself), it’s a happening site and facebook page where people are encouraged to be crafty and there are patterns for sale.  Who doesn’t love patterns?!   I made their Augusta Moto pant last year and enjoyed their method, and they just recently released the Cecelia, a cross over top.  The patterns are loaded with instructions, and you take several measurements to help you get the right size.  In the case of this top, I used my high bust, full bust, waist, high hip and hip, I think.  In keeping with my normal pear shape, I think I made a 2 at the shoulders, a 6 at the bust and an 8/10 a at the waist and hips.  Here’s the result….


Overall, I’m calling it a winner.  What I liked is that it stayed on my shoulders (a problem I’ve been worried about with tops like this), and it looks current.  I may take in the side seams just a bit more to give it a little bit of waist definition (and to tighten up the overlap a smidge), but really, as is….it’s ok.  I wore it out on Saturday and I felt good in it.  I might even make another one before I put it all away.  I might go for a little drapier fabric next time.   This is a good  top if you want to dip your toes in the DIBY patterns.  It was fast and was simple to put together.

Happy sewing!


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Hot Patterns Cote D’Azur #5? 6?

I decided to make some new work tops, so I pulled out my trusty HotPatterns Cote D’Azur pattern.  It has previously been blogged here and here…even with a countdown of what makes it so great!   I actually started two on this go around, but one made me mad enough to go in the trash, so only one was finished.

Let’s talk about the trashed one first…  I was making it out of the same fabric as this cote d’azur that was made  a couple of years ago.


That fabric is chintzy, difficult to work with and, overall just a real pain in the hiney.  When stitches don’t work, it’s nearly impossible to pull them out without causing chaos in the fabric.  If you look closely at the hem above, you can see that there were white marks…that’s what happen when you unstitch.  I had the top almost done (after fighting with it almost every step of the way), when I was hemming the sleeve and it got sucked down into my faceplate.  I tried to get it out gently…but there just wasn’t any of that, so I ended up ripping a hole in it.  Ugh.  At that point, I was done.  The finished top above never got much wear because somehow a hole appeared in it, right at center front, and then the color faded really quickly.  Since I figured this would fade quickly, I didn’t waste too many brain cells on pitching it.

Now, on to the good!  Here’s the finished top!


I had just enough ITY leftover from a dress to make this.  I was so happy! I was considering making the sleeves/neckband a different color, but I didn’t need to do that.  My neckband is pieced, but it’s ok and with that print no one will ever notice.  This top knocks it out of the park for me and I’m quite pleased with it.  I know it will get a lot of use in my wardrobe.  🙂

Next up, I’m considering one more work top to replace the trashed one, perhaps the boatneck from Jalie 2005.  I made one of those years ago, and unfortunately I forgot to add length so it was too short and didn’t get nearly as much wear as it deserved.  I have some magenta ITY type fabric that I think would work out well, so we’ll see.   I might work on it later tonight if I still have energy.

Happy Sewing!


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Kwik Sew 3963 – When a Bunny Becomes a Puppy

My grandson is turning 3 soon, so I wanted to get this little hat made for him for one of his birthday presents. This really turned out to be a fun little project.  I started making the bunny with some of the leftover fleece. Somehow, and I’m not sure how exactly, it ended up looking more like a floppy-eared puppy.  But…I’m not picky so we’re going with it.  A puppy it is!

This pattern makes the cutest little hat.   This is one of the projects where there’s nothing really difficult, but the end product is adorable.  For me, the hardest part was getting the face stitched on.  I chose to use a white fur that I had in the stash from some other project, and the pile on it made it especially difficult.  It’s hard to make markings on fur, let me tell you!  I wanted to use normal fleece, but the only white fleece I could find in my stash had been washed with some red (Oops!), so it has a pink tinge.  I didn’t want to use that…and I didn’t want to go out and buy new, so white fur it was.   All in all, this guy is cute.  I hope my grandson likes him!  If I were to make this again, I would probably use normal fleece for the whole thing.   You repeat the fabric in the ties, and I did choose to use all three, but my fur has a backing for a fur on it and that’s exposed.  I decided that my grandson wasn’t really going to care and just went with it.

Here’s the pattern cover…



And the finished hat….


We had some snow blow in last night, so I’m making this a snow day (err…I mean a “sew day.” ) :):)  Usually on Saturdays I’d run some errands and do some volunteer stuff, but it rained pretty hard last night first, then it transitioned to snow.  It’s still in the teens  out there, so I imagine a lot of the roads are still pretty slick.  Nothing wrong with staying in!

I haven’t exactly decided what I’m going to work on next.  I was contemplating fabrics for some more work tops the other night, but I might change my mind once I get down there.  🙂

Happy sewing!



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Jalie 2911 and Kwik Sew 3246

This post wraps up the last of the 2018 Jalie sewing!  I finished my last Jalie 2911 the other day.  It was cut well before Christmas, and I just had it sitting there waiting for me to find the time to stitch it together.  From start to finish, I can have one of these done in just a couple of hours.   It’s another hooded version and I used fleece bought recently from Needle Nook Fabrics in Wichita.


It looks very similar to the one that I made before Christmas, but the fleece is actually a little lighter.  Here’s the side by side.  Trust me…I can use two of these in my wardrobe! 🙂

Furry, soft, and oh so warm!  This is the type of top I live in.  I find that I don’t really wear the hood up that much, but I like having that extra warmth to bundle around my neck if I need it.  I have made the shawl collar version a time or two in the past, but far prefer the hood.

With the leftovers, I stitched up a Teddy Bear for my grandson.  My grandson will be 3 towards the end of January and I’ve been wanting to make him a Teddy Bear for some time now.  He’s at the age where soft and cuddly is good.  I used Kwik Sew 3246 again in the smaller version.


I made a bear for my niece a few years back from this pattern and it turned out super cute.  The pattern is a little fiddly.  Seam allowances are 1/4 inch, but I’ll tell you, a lot of mine ended up being closer to 3/8 and it worked out okay.  Sewing 1/4 inch Seam allowances on fluffy fabric is difficult.  If you’re making a bear for the first time, I’d recommend some nonfluffly fabric for your first go around.  I double stitched all seams to make sure it lasts. We gave him brown eyes to match my grandson’s, I used the tiniest bit of light brown fleece for his nose, and he got a brown grosgrain ribbon from my ribbon collection.  He’s the cutest bear ever!  🙂



Mr. Teddy Bear!

With that, I’m all caught up with my sewing projects!  I’ve been contemplating making my grandson a hat from this Kwik Sew pattern, but I need to get his headsize to make sure it’ll fit him.    The bunny is the one that I was learning toward. 🙂


And for those following along, I have decided to a RTW fast in 2019 again!    I enjoyed it, I learned a lot and I’d sooner sew than go shopping, so it’s a win/win!   There aren’t any major holes in my wardrobe right now, so I’ll just take it as it comes.

Happy Sewing!

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What I’ve been up to – Part 2 -Non Jalie Patterns

After the Jalie tour de force yesterday, it’s hard to imagine that I sewed anything else, but I did!  In no particular order, here are some of the other things from 2018.

Butterick 5997 – Someone had spoken very highly of this pattern on PR and I was looking for some easy wearing, woven tops to wear to work on Fridays.  We dress down on Fridays and I wanted something that would look good with jeans.    This pattern really fit the bill and I wore these tops through the spring, summer and fall.  I made the version with the pintucks from view D, but the sleeves from view A.  I made my usual adjustments on this and the fit was great.

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Hot Patterns 1203 – Kimono Blouson T:  Around that same time, I also made the Hotpatterns Kimono Blouson T out of some silk (!!!!) that I bought from Fabricmart Fabrics.  The top turned out ok, but it just doesn’t get a lot of wear.  It’s just a hair too short and with the silk being so sheer, I have to wear a tank under it.  I’ve found that I’m less likely to wear things where I have to think about layering too.  It’s a cute top though and it’s still in my closet, so maybe I’ll wear it more this year.  I did modify it so the tie is just on one side.  20180409_19525420180421_16300520180421_172852


Hot Patterns Metropolitan Verano Dress – HotPatterns 1138 –  I made a red top from this awhile back and loved it, but the neckline was just a little too low.  I was looking for some easy wearing dresses for work in the spring and decided to try this one again with a neckline adjustment.  On Hot Patterns, I have my adjustments down now and that makes things so much easier.   I wore this dress a lot through the summer, often with little flats.  I’m not a huge fan of this type of sleeve…but it’s ok enough. 20180501_20013420180503_071805

HotPatterns Palazzo Pants – HP 1190 – I made these for our vacation and I LOVE them.  I have fabric to make two more pairs but I just haven’t gotten around to it.  These are the perfect hang out around home pant.   Sometimes you just want comfort!  20180609_150846.jpg

Pamela’s Patterns  New Versatile Twin Set #108 – Early in the spring, I wanted to get some tanks down for work and I chose to start with this pattern.  I made a few samples and I have it down!  I love this tank….it’s just a nice one to wear under cardigans and is fast to sew.  20180303_132930.jpg20180303_13413420180306_170339.jpg

DIBY Moto Pant (DIBY= Do It Better Yourself!)  – This was a new to me pattern company this year. I found they had a moto pant and decided to try it out.  What makes this company different is that they have you take many measurements and then they instruct you how to grade your pattern between the sizes that you need.  I have always had large calves, so this system appealed to me…and it worked!  I can see this working for a garment with some stretch, but I wouldn’t try it for a woven.  During the course of this, I found that my calves are FIVE sizes larger than the rest of me.   But that’s ok b/c I sew!   I made my Jalie leggings after this and I just graded those calves up about 5 sizes.  Simple!  These pants are super cute and I need to make more.  I’m not a huge skinny jeans person, but their grading method worked marvelously for me.  I do need to remember to add a bit more at center back so they come up just a bit higher, but other than that, these are awesome.



Bravo Bra 2 – This is the only true bra that I made all year.   I’ve made the Bravo  Bra 2 before, but sadly, this one turned out a little bit.  I have lost a few lbs, so that could be what caused it.  I still wear it…but there’s some extra fabric in the cups.  My favorite bra pattern is the now Out of print Kwik Sew 2101.  It just works well for me and is the one that I prefer to grab.


McCalls 4926 – I decided to make this work pant early in the year.  This is a nice, solid pattern.  I am pleased with how the pants turned out and I’ve worn them throughout the year.  I’ve lost a little weight since I made them, so they’re a hair too big…but I still wear them. I stitched the lines down the front and I like how easy that makes them to wear.  I really never need to iron these pants..  🙂  20180210_20405920180904_134633-1.jpg

Burda 6829 – My husband had a work to do in the fall and I wanted to make a fancier dress for it (not fancy fancy, but a little fancier than I’d normally wear to work.)  I came across 6929 and decided it was perfect.  First, I made the purple version for his party, then I remade it in a sleeveless crushed velvet version for my holiday party.  This dress was perfect for these occasions and I highly recommend this one.  I had to do some adjustments for my broad shoulders and I also had to raise the neckline a little to where I’d be comfortable.  I LOVE these dresses and this pattern.


Butterick 6361 – I made this cute little pouch for myself in the spring. My old travel pouch was basically falling apart, so it was time for a new one.  I wish this had turned out a smidge larger…but I’ll just make another.  This was a good pattern.


And Finally – my husband’s friend had a baby this year!!!  I made a couple blankets and some burp cloths for them.  The parents love Star Wars, so I went with that along with some traditional baby stuff.  🙂  I’m sure their baby, Finn, will grow up loving Star Wars too.  The blanks are made from a self bound bias tutorial I found on the internet and the burp clothes are from a Kwik Sew pattern.


And that concludes what I’ve made in 2018!!!  There are probably a few things I missed, but those are the highlights.

I’m not sure where 2019 will go.  I have been thinking about doing a RTW fast…I did one a few years back (that’s why I started the blog!!!) and I enjoyed it.  I have so much fabric and patterns and I really do prefer my own clothes, so I may go for it.  I’ve got the day to think about it! 🙂   Shopping hasn’t ever been my thing!

Happy Sewing!



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What I’ve been up to – Part 1 – Jalie

There’s no doubt this last year has been a busy and good one.  I started a new job in January and I was also heavily involved in gardening and piano this year so that’s kept me away from the blog….but not from sewing!   I’ve found that I’ve spent most of it making things that I’ll actually wear…versus things I think I’ll wear then don’t.  If I was to sum up the year in a single word, it would be Jalie.  Jalie for me is without a doubt the most dependable company that creates sewing patterns for the life I lead.  Here’s a sample of the Jalies I’ve made.

Anne-Marie tanks – These are my favorite workout tops.  They fit really well and are super comfortable.  I didn’t know what to do with this crazy peacock print, but it works well in athletic clothes!   The blue is the flouncy version and the pink is the more straight version.


Pika Tanks – I thought I would like these more…I find the bra to be a little small on them making them a little more difficult to get on and off, plus the bra gets all screwed up in the wash and you have to figure out how to turn it right side out.  While that sounds like a complaint, compared to a store bought work out tank, I LOVE these.  I love how they skim the figure…I just like the Anne-Marie more. These are like a 9.5/10 vs a 10/10 for the Anne-Marie.  The last one with the hearts was for my sister.


Cora and the Clara legging – these look so similar that it’s hard to tell them apart in the pictures.  I think that’s the clara in the pic above with the pink Anne-Marie.  I love them both, depending on what I want.  I think I’ve made each 3 times or so.  (and I just got some more fabric to make some more).  I think the pictures below are of two of my Coras.   This shot on my deck shows how I did the reverse stitching where you serge on the outside and then top stitch down with a zig zag.   It’s really hard to get pictures of pants…so sorry!  This is a sewing blog…not a fashion blog!  🙂 Thank Goodness! 🙂


Valerie Rash Guard – I made this but didn’t actually need to wear it on my vacation!  Oh well…next one!  I like the blue stripe on the side and I really should have sized up a little more from the waist to my hips.   Not bad for a 1st try though.


Gigi Bikini – I liked it…but honestly, I prefer my favorite Kwik Sew one. This was a fun diversion…but probably not one I’ll make again in the near future.


Julia Camisole – I love this top!!  I made two and wore them to death over the summer.


Jalie 3024 Dresses  – I made one of these….loved it so much that I quickly made a few more.  I added some sleeves to it and this is the perfect summer dress. I love the flounce at the bottom.   I find these dresses to be super flattering on me for some reason that I have yet to figure out.


Jalie 3425 -Raglan Top –  I’ve made a few of these for my mom and sis.  I just bought some fabric a couple of days ago to finally make one for me.


Jalie 2909 – Work pants.  I actually made three pairs of these, but unfortunately I forgot to prewash the fabric for the first pair, so they shrunk up ridiculously after 1 wash.  The second two I made from Joann Fabrics Refined Ponte.  That fabric is gorgeous and I highly recommend it for this or similar patterns.   Pants are really difficult to photgraph.  I did use a contoured waistband borrowed from another pattern and on the green pair, I made it just a little less wide.




Jalie 2488 – Thermal Socks.  I saw several of these made up in the Jalie facebook group and just had to try it!  I love these…the tricky part is finding good fleece fabric with 4 way stretch.  These were made from scraps left over from years ago, and I also made a couple pairs to give away, but I forgot to take pictures of those.  I’ve got my eye out for more fabric like this.  You really want something thick and fleecy so the seams aren’t too noticeable.



Jalie 2911 – Finally, I’ve made a few versions of this in the last month or so (and I have one more cut out and ready to stitch.  I’ve lost count of how many of these I’ve made over the years!  The top one here is mine, then the middle is my sister’s and the one with the design is for my mom (but shhhhhhh – she doesn’t know that yet. 😉 )

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And that concludes the 2018 Jalie sewing!  I hope you enjoyed it.  Tomorrow I’ll do a tour of the patterns that I made that were not Jalie….and there were a few!

Happy Sewing!

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A few short projects

In this post Christmas sewing world, I’ve been focused on quick projects. 🙂  I get a  lot of joy out of making something and then using it right away.

First:  A hat and convertible mittens:


The hat is from Simplicity 2494, one that is likely long out of print.  I used View D here, but previously I had made view B and it was too big. This time I sized down to a small and it fits well.  I think this is a good basic hat pattern and if you were to take out the weaved contracts, it was be a really simple hat.  I would recommend sizing down though.


For the convertible mittens, I used McCalls 4681, a current in print pattern.

I’m kind of ambivalent on these mittens.  They were fiddly to make and they feel small on my hands at the wrist area.  I’m a little disappointed in this pattern.  I know there are some free tutorials on the internet, that I may try.

Following on that, I made the cutest little jewely purse.  This is from so-sew-easy, a site I had never really explored before.  So Sew Easy Pattern Store.  They had a 20 minute tutorial, it looked easy and fun so I figured why not!  It’s awesome and useful too!






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Just so you can understand the scale…

It has space for earrings, necklaces, rings, a zippered pocket and other pockets.  I think this is brilliant because I’m always throwing my jewelry in ziplocks or whatnot when I travel.  I liked that this has a place to store your rings too b/c I hate leaving those just sitting out on a hotel nightstand while I go work out or go to the pool.  I love this and it’s a huge winner!  If I need a little gift for someone, this would be PERFECT…and the nice thing about it is that you can really customize it to exactly what you want.  It went together in just a couple of hours too.   I used fabrics from my stash on this one, but it would be super fun to personalize it with special fabrics…you just need to remember to get a coordinating zipper and ribbon if you want to use that touch.

Next up is a vest from an old Burda Mag…I think it was from Oct 2012.


Cute, eh?  I love my old Burda stash!!!   It turned out slightly bigger than I’d like…I didn’t bother with a muslin…but it’s ok.  I like it.

Next up is going to be another similar vest…also from an old Burda mag.


I made a muslin of this yesterday and then I’m going to lengthen it by an inch, but then I think I’m good to go…  My sister gave me some of these seam allowance adder ruler things from etsy for Christmas and they’re a love!  She sent me the 3/8″ and I think I’m going to buy the 5/8″s. SA Curve.  Here’s a pic of them in action.  These definitely make Burda, and my other pattern magazines much easier to deal with.  I’ve used different methods to add the seam allowance in the past, but this is far preferred.


Speaking of Burdas…I’m going to head down to Needle Nook Fabrics here in a minute to pick up the latest…  The Jan and Feb seems to have some really awesome clothes in them!

I’m currently contemplating doing the RTW Fast again…I actually started this blog because of it.  I’m going to think about it.  The thing holding me back is that I’m starting a new job on January 8, and while I think my old stuff will be fine…I just don’t know yet.  But…I do have a ton of clothes in my wardrobe so I should be good to go.  We’ll see.  I have a few more days to decide!

Happy Sewing!

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Mermaids and Sharks! (Simplicity 8275)

Never in a million years did I ever consider that I might someday make a mermaid or shark blanket…but I did!!!  In fact, I made, not one, not two, not three, but FOUR mermaids and one shark.

Simplicity 8275 was just the pattern and it came with a matching doll sized pattern, so I made my two nieces a pair.


I swear I cut out sooooo many starfish….this blanket is adorable, but really….just skip the smallest size starfish in the pattern (or maybe only cut a few).   The pattern actually has three sizes of starfish in it, so don’t feel like you have to use the smallest one only!


Small and medium sized starfish and appliques. Round white ones are bubbles.

Here are the finished blankets.  I did add some ribbon trim to the top just to bling them up a little.


Let’s just say that between the starfish cutting and the sewing on, these blankets took far longer than I thought they would!  To sew them on, you first stitched around the outside edges, then you stitched lines in the center to make it look like a starfish.


Detail of some of my first starfish!

But…I’m not easily deterred, so next up was the shark for my 7 year old nephew.   I figured it had to be fast and easy after the mermaids and it was.  The shark is AMAZING. I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!  My nephew is about a half a foot taller than my oldest niece, so I did add some extra inches to the top of the blanket for him.   His shark turned out perfectly awesome.  I made it per the pattern except for the addition of the length, and I stitched down the facing at center front and center back.  The pattern has you just stitch the facing in the ditch on the side seams, but I didn’t think that held it well enough.

If you make this pattern, make sure that you cut out 4 sets of side fins.  My printed pattern only said to cut two.  The diagram showed 4.  Of course I didn’t realize it until I was trying to figure out how it went together and realized that I needed another side fin!  Luckily, I had enough scraps that I could make it work.  Cue the Jaws music!!


Amazing, right?!!! I love how the red peaks out!  For the rick rack, I used the jumbo simplicity stuff on a spool that you buy.  In my Joanns, it was back with the trims that have to be cut by the yard.  The spool had just enough to go around the  mouth.   I had about 6″ left over.  If I were making the adult one, I’d definitely get two spools.

Here’s to give a sense of how tall this is.  I added 7 inches on and I’m about 5’6″.


Help me!!!!!! The shark is eating me!!!!  This was before I stitched the facing down at CF and CB.

Both mermaids and sharks are amazing!  The mermaids are a lot of work…but you can make it easier on yourself by either skipping the appliques all together or maybe just putting a few on.   The shark is AWESOME!


Happy Sewing!

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