Oriole Bag – Sew Sweetness Pattern

I made my first official bag!!  Well, I tried making a round bag last summer and it didn’t turn out as nice as I had hoped, it is somewhere in the fix/improve pile!  However, after making this one, I now know what needs to be improved.


But this time around, I’ve completed my very first functional bag, the Oriole Bag by Sew Sweetness Patterns!!  Three reasons why you need to click on the link above and sew this bag:

  1. It’s a cute bag pattern!
  2. She has a complete video tutorial!
  3. AND…It’s a FREE pattern!!  It doesn’t get any better than that my friends…unless you have someone make it for you!


I really love this bag!  It is such an easy and enjoyable sew!  I thought that sewing with the foam was going to be tough, but it wasn’t it all.  The foam went through my Singer machine nice and smooth.


I found the black/gold/white fabric at Walmart.  Who would have thought that Walmart sells these cute pre-cut singles fabrics?  I came across them a couple months back, and then when I knew I wanted to sew this bag, I remembered there were some really cute prints in these pre-cut singles.  They each measure: 18″x 21″.  I originally purchased 3 of the pre-cut singles (to be on the safe side), but I only used 2 of them to make the size small Oriole Bag.  I’m thinking with the left over fabric that I could make a matching little wallet to go with this.  I used the left over black fabric from the Joy Jackets that I made earlier this year for the lining and the flap.  As an added touch to my Oriole Bag, I used a piece from one of my dads shirts for the inside pocket.  So essentially my saying on my sewing tags holds true – “handmade with helping hands” as my dad helped me with this one!

If I were to guess, I would say that you probably need 4 of the 18″ x 21″ pre-cut singles to make a small Oriole Bag for both the exterior and the lining.  I might need to try this out, because they have some really cute prints, perfect for bags!  They also have a website for inspiration projects with the pre-cut singles here.



For the strap, I needed to cut 3 pieces, instead of 2 like the pattern calls for, only because the fabric that I used was shorter than the strap measurements.  I was a little nervous to make an adjustable strap, as I thought it might be difficult.  It was so easy!  I’m still surprised as to how easy it was.  As long as you have the proper equipment, you are set!


If you know me, I’m a huge Vera Bradley fan!  I don’t even know how many Vera Bradley bags I have now!  So making this bag, with this cute fabric has me really excited to make more bags.  Essentially I could make a bag that looks similar to a Vera Bradley bag, minus the price tag!  This make has definitely given me the confidence to make more bags!  There are a couple of patterns by Sew Sweetness that I have my eyes set on next!  I also have versions of this bag already on my mind.  I’d love to use my embroidery machine and embroider something on the flap.  I would love to make a quilted one, similar to the Vera Bradley concept.  I’d like to make a faux leather one, and potentially change the location of the straps.  Those are some of the ideas floating around in my head at the moment.

I hope that you enjoyed reading about my experience sewing the Oriole Bag and I hope that I have inspired you to sew one as well!



“Dads hold our hands for a little while and hold our hearts forever.” — Author Unknown

Refashion & Reuse Sewing Challenge

This blog post will be a little different.  I will not be sharing a make that I’ve completed, I will be talking about a challenge that I want to set up for myself for the months to come.


I was visiting my mom a few weeks back, and I had seen she had a bag of old clothes that she was going to donate to goodwill.  They are clothes that are too big for her, something about it is wonky, or else she just simply won’t wear it again.

I decided to look through this bag, and instead of viewing the clothes as clothing items, I started to look at the contents of this bag a little differently – I seen fabric!  I pulled out a floral tank top, the fabric was beautiful and had me thinking of ways that I could use the fabric and make something that I would wear.

As we went through the bag, my mom told me what it was about that particular item why she was donating it.  We came across a couple tops that she loved, but they were too big for her.  So for those items, I’m going to try to take them in a bit for her so she can wear them.  For the other items, I’m going to challenge myself to reuse the fabric and make something useful and/or wearable!

This idea came to me a while back, I wanted to take my dads old sweatpants and reuse the material to make sweatpants/shorts for myself, but at this point I’m just not ready to take on that task.  I’m not ready both emotionally and confidently.  You see, I’m not confident in my ability just yet to refashion/reuse clothing, and with my dads sweatpants that’s all that’s left – so if I make a mistake, its not like I can go get more fabric (well I could, but the meaning behind those clothes would no longer be there).   This way, with my mom’s old clothes, I can gain the practice and confidence I need to tackle my dad’s sweatpants.

On top of my regular sewing, I’m going to challenge myself to refashion/reuse one article of clothing from that bag per month.  One item a month, that’s all!  I think I can do it!  I got this concept from the Sew Sanity Blog – she challenged herself to sew one project a week for a whole year!  She’s made some amazing pieces and is rocking the challenge she set for herself!

I believe, one a month is a great start.  I have looked through the bag, and I have decided on my first project.  It will be a basic black t-shirt.  This will be a great starting piece for a beginner like myself.  Pictured below are a couple more of the items in that bag!  So to my friends and family – you can join me…..or…..if you have any clothes you are getting rid of, please think of me, I would gladly take them off of your hands!




Thank you for taking the time to read about my next sewing adventure.  I hope that you will join me!


“Dad…Your life was a blessing your memory a treasure…You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure…” — Renee Wood

Knit Jumpsuit – See & Sew B6548

When I first started sewing garments, I started off with knit fabrics.  I later found out through instagram, that a lot of sewists avoid knits at first – as knits are supposed to be harder to sew with.  I figured sewing with knits would have been easier as you do not need to worry about fit as much as you would with a woven.

Over the last few months I have put knits off to the side and have been working a lot with wovens.  But, when I came across this jumpsuit – See & Sew B6548, I was really excited to sew it up and to work with knits again.  I had 2 colors in mind that I wanted to make using fabrics from my stash.

DSCF2268My body measurements fall under the size Medium, but after taking a closer look at the finished measurements, I decided to go with the small – similarly to the Butterick jumpsuit that I sewed for Fabricville.  However, with choosing the size small, I would need to do a FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) as the finished measurements were smaller than my measurements.  The picture to the left shows my new pattern piece with the full bust adjustment.  This is when I think tracing out a pattern is better than cutting out a pattern, just in case you make a mistake with the adjustments you can always trace a new piece.  Due to the FBA, I needed to find the new apex and waistline on the pattern piece – this is why you see all of my scribbled lines.  I used this video here to assist me in finding the new apex on the pattern piece.  When you slash and spread the pattern pieces as I have, you can see where the original “fold” line was, I increased that area by 3/8″.

As I started sewing this jumpsuit together on my Brother sewing machine, using my walking foot, I remembered why I had made the switch to wovens.  It wasn’t going so well, the fabric was not feeding through the walking foot and feed dogs evenly, causing my stitches to be uneven.  I unpicked it all, and started fresh on my Singer Futura machine, without a walking foot.  I have not invested in a walking foot for my Singer Futura just yet.  If you ask me now, in my opinion, knits are harder to sew with.  I especially find that knits are harder to hem.  This jumpsuit requires you to fold under the arm holes and the neckline and do a narrow hem.  Definitely not a fun task to do.  I tried my absolute best to keep the hems on this as straight and even as possible.



The pattern features front pleats, pockets and a back neck slitDSCF2253.  I believe the pattern calls for a button closure, but I decided to use the hook and eye closure.  The pattern comes in 2 length options; this length and a longer pant length.  I think for my next jumpsuit, I might even make the shorts just a touch shorter than these ones.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my first knit jumpsuit!  Jumpsuits are my favorite piece this summer!  What is your favorite piece to wear this summer?


“No matter how old she may be, sometimes a girl just needs her dad.” — Author Unknown