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Yardage-Saving Cutting Layout for the Noodlehead Cargo Duffle

2015 October 1

Ever since I made four more Noodlehead Cargo Duffles at Christmas last year I’ve been wanting to make some for my girls. They would be perfect for overnight stays at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. And how cute would it be to go on vacation with some too! I’ve recently been looking for the pattern yardage information and it reminded me that I meant to post this yardage-saving information earlier this year. Oops.

Moving on! When planning to make my family their Cargo Duffles, I wanted to do it as cost effectively as possible. When all the pieces were laid out, I noticed that the Cargo Duffle pattern yardage can be reduced quite a bit if you are careful! Of course, if you like having extra fabric around, Anna’s suggestions are just fine – and leave you room for error. Always a good way to go!

If you are looking to save fabric and use up some smaller cuts, the cutting layouts below work great and save you an entire yard of fabric. I would recommend that you are VERY careful when using the Exterior Main cutting layout (see below). It fits absolutely perfectly into a 1/2 yard cut. This leaves no room for error, or pre-washing/shrinking even! Make sure that whoever cuts your yardage is precise – and that the print is on-grain or not obvious – so if it is not straight it won’t look wrong when you make the bag.

Note: These cutting layouts do not include measurements. These are available in the free Cargo Duffle Pattern by Anna from NoodleheadAll other measurements in the pattern should be used as they are noted in the original Cargo Duffle Pattern. These layouts do not include the binding and canvas, interfacing etc.

Hope it helps! Let me know if you have any questions. One day I’ll make some for my girls… (I hope!)

Have you made an Overnight-Style Bag before? What is your favorite one?

Other useful Cargo Duffle related posts I’ve written are here:

Selfish Sewing Week – Fall 2015

2015 September 28

It’s your week, sew something for yourself!

Welcome to Selfish Sewing Week! I’ve sewn a lot more for myself lately, and it feels GOOD. The more I make, the simpler it is to figure out a good fit. It’s taken lots of time and I still end up with things I don’t wear, but, Good News! The more you sew for yourself the easier it gets!

I was over the moon to get asked to write about a Corporate-Themed sewing project on the Indiesew blog today. I know, I don’t have an office job – so you’ll have to click over and see why I chose that theme for my post! 

Indiesew and Imagine Gnats have put together another Selfish Sewing Week – permission to sew for you, and only you. Just in case you needed it! (Plus, as usual, there are lots of prizes to win!)

What do you use your Selfish Sewing time for? 

Citronille Pattern Challenge – Modèle No. 71: Jackie {pattern review}

2015 September 25

#citronillechallenge Courtesy of: Sew Mama Sew and Fiddlehead Artisan Supply

This coat was such an amazing experience to sew. A few weeks ago, my husband took our kids to a friend’s cottage for the entire weekend – lucky me! – and I was able to luxuriously putter my way through making this jacket. It was calming to hand-stitch the hems and the back of the collar, tea at hand! Listening to the quiet… or whatever podcast seemed good at the time… Back to real life… I finally finished the buttonholes yesterday, of course!

This jacket is part of the Citronille Pattern Challenge sponsored by Sew Mama Sew and Fiddlehead Artisan Supply. I received the women’s Jackie pattern for this challenge and the children’s Solveig pattern to use as I’d like (Yippee!). Citronille Patterns are designed by Astrid Le Provost who has made a gorgeous line of clothing patterns for Women, Teens and Children. Astrid is based in France, and as a result, most of the patterns have been available only in French, until now! Fiddlehead Artisan Supply has had many of them translated and is now providing them for sale.

(Whew, I have a lot to say about this pattern! If you’d like the review summary, you can find it at the end of the post!)

The original paper pattern (in French) comes with a translation of the instructions and a key for the pattern pieces and glossary words you may use. I have to admit, it took me a few minutes to sort out how to best use the translation and original text together. I found it helped to trace the pattern pieces in the correct sizes first, and write pattern notations on the traced pieces in English. That got me used to using the translation key and it was simple after that! Plus, as a bonus, working in French makes you feel amazing – very chic and whatever I imagine “European” feels like!

The Real Story (or: In the beginning…)

This all sounds peaceful and amazing I’m sure – but it didn’t start that way! When I received the pattern I mentally started to regret saying I would make the women’s jacket. I was afraid to mess it up, not sure of the fabric choices, not super-loving the design (based on the pattern cover drawing). I started coming up with ways to change the style, since I didn’t want to “waste time” making a garment I would never wear. To be honest, I even emailed Kristin at Sew Mama Sew to ask if I could lengthen the coat and add a tie. To which she said “Yes”, though I didn’t end up needing to do this in the end.

Of course, since I said I’d make it, I decided to make the best of it. First I measured the length of the jacket and found it to be longer than I pictured. Then I saw there were back darts and elbow darts – clues to a well designed pattern. I decided to wing it and just make the jacket as is. No major changes! (Changes are noted in the summary below.) In the end I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Seems it was not good to judge the pattern on it’s cover!

How It Sews

Since I had time I concentrated on following the instructions slowly and thoughtfully. My garment sewing practice is finally paying off! The hard-earned knowledge (read: so many things I can’t/don’t wear, multiples of muslins and used-up practice fabric) paired with the careful lines of the pattern, working together at last! I was so excited when I graded the pattern – everywhere between sizes 38 (bust) to 40 (arms, waist) to 44 (shoulders and hips) – and the “muslin” fit great! Crazy, but most patterns require that much change for my body type.

This pattern requires at least an intermediate knowledge of garment sewing – ie. The instructions are clearer if you are familiar with garment sewing. There are no directions for finishing seams or tips included, like we’ve been spoiled with from the many indie pattern makers. That said, they are amazing base patterns – they have simple lines that can be used as-is or altered by an experienced sewer to create many different styles. I love this and would like to make the Jackie again, only with lots of top stitching and patch pockets, and maybe a zipper instead of buttons.

Simplifying the Pattern

I mentioned that I hand stitched a lot on this pattern. I was determined to make it “as per the instructions” and it requires the collar and hems to be stitched by hand. In the future I think I would use top-stitching in many places to make the construction faster. It also helps the mark the seam allowance on the collar to avoid guessing where the corner is when sewing. Lastly, I (finally) figured out how to ease in a sleeve properly! Quick tip, when sewing the sleeve seam, put the larger side of the sleeve so it is touching the feed dogs – this side will feed through slightly faster and ease in the excess fabric better!

The Fabric

I bought “boring and simple” navy twill for this pattern, so I had to add a bit of fun! The owl print that I’ve been hoarding for a few years was the perfect match. Plus I used some scraps of Rashida Print bias tape, leftovers from my Alder skirt, since no one but you will see it anyhow! One other thing that was added is the twill ruler-print ribbon under the collar seam, it’s my favorite!

PATTERN REVIEW SUMMARY: Jackie, by Citronille Patterns

Outer Fabric: Navy Blue Twill (from Fabricland), Facing: Japanese Owl print (from Sew Sisters 2 yrs ago)

Here are a few things I love about it: 

  • The fit! The fit! I have just enough room in this jacket to fit a long sleeve sweater/blouse underneath (if needed) and still move comfortably. This jacket is my “wearable muslin” and it turned out great!
  • The collar was so easy to construct. This was one thing I was worried about before starting.
  • The french “feel”, so chic! The hand drawn pattern pieces and scripty handwriting add to the fun of creating the garment.
  • It’s a great length for layering. In these photos I’ve matched it with my Loominous Bess Top.

The fit & my alterations: 

  • The front facing lies right over the bust line and the bias binding ends up showing through the thin twill when I wear the jacket. I’d increase the width of the facing by about 1 1/2″ to avoid this in the future.
  • I might add 1 or 2 more inches to the hem. This will require adding back darts or a pleat or slit on the center back to allow it to fit properly.
Things I changed from the original pattern: 

  • Grading between sizes for a better fit to my body shape.
  • An extra button and buttonhole at the bottom of the jacket. There are only five buttons in the original pattern.

Things I might change next time:

  • More exciting fabric! This twill is plain and boring… would be nice to find a fun plaid or fun floral.
  • I already mentioned adding a front zipper. I think a metal one would look amazing.
  • I’d love to try adding ribbing to the bottom, sleeve hems and in place of the collar – more bomber jacket style.

You can hop over to Sew Mama Sew for a chance to win a Citronille pattern of your choice between September 28 and October 8! I’m in such good company on this challenge, please check out the projects created by the other challengers:

Michelle Morris of That Black Chic
Sherri Sylvester of thread riding hood
Tenille Brien of Tenille’s Thread
Maris Olsen of Sew Maris
Ari Green of Max California
Marisa of thirtynine
Sara Johansen of the Sara project
Natalie Strand of Vegetablog
Diane Reafsnyder of Gator Bunny
Jessica Wright of Willow & Stitch
Sara Homer of Now Try This
Kelly Donovan of Craftree

Sewing Smiles

2015 September 22

I recently finished a basket of smiles, 8 in total! I’m hoping you will be inspired today to help make some smiles too.

I’m so happy to be able to help raise awareness for ConKerr Cancer under their brand new name – Ryan’s Case for Smiles! I started making pillowcases for this great cause when my Sewcial group decided to use one of our monthly meetings to make some. This time around, I found enough fabric to make 8 pillowcases in my stash, it was simple to make some more. I got to choose some cute fabrics that will make a few kids smile, and I moved yardage off of my shelves. Maybe we should call it “De-Stashing for a Good Cause”?!

Kelsey, their western coordinator, contacted me about writing this post and has kindly written this introduction to “Case for Smiles”, background for how they got started.

Ryan’s Case for Smiles (formerly ConKerr Cancer) started when Cindy Kerr’s son was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and she began making pillowcases to brighten up his hospital room and to put a smile on his face. He loved it and so she began making pillowcases for other children on the Oncology Unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Photo provided by Ryan’s Case for Smiles

“I just wanted to send along a quick note of thanks. As a nurse I have the pleasure of handing out your beautiful pillowcases to my patients. I wish all of your volunteers could see the smiles of our patients and their parents and families. The color and softness of each pillowcase is as comforting for our kids as it is for us. Thank you!!  Your work makes a difference to the caregivers also!” ~ via Ryan’s Case for Smiles

School groups, sewing circles, church groups, and fabric stores have all pitched in and are making pillow cases to comfort children in hospitals around the world. Thousands of Ryan’s Case for Smiles volunteers in over 120 cities dedicate themselves to brightening children’s lives through the simple act of sewing a bright, cheery pillowcase. As a result of their love and generosity, Ryan’s Case for Smiles has delivered more than 1,000,000 pillowcases in just seven years to 330 hospitals across the globe.

Photo provided by Ryan’s Case for Smiles

“I’m not sure how a little thing like a pillowcase can make such a huge difference, but the pillowcase we received from you guys is one of the very few things that is able to bring our daughter comfort while she is in the hospital for treatment. It has been a soft place to lay her head for over 200 nights at the hospital over the past 3 years. Thank you for all you guys do!” ~ via Ryan’s Case for Smiles

Ryan’s Case for Smiles has made amazing progress towards our goal of making hospital stays as pleasant as possible for chronically ill children and their parents. A simple pillowcase means so much to a child while they’re in the hospital and away from home. It helps cheer them up, gives them something soft to snuggle, reminds them of the comforts of home, helps calm their fears and brightens up their hospital room. The pillowcase project has also fostered a spirit of community and volunteer service in communities across the world.

Unfortunately there are always new little patients who need our love and support, and we must continue our efforts to help brighten patients’ lives and raise awareness about childhood cancer and other childhood illnesses.

Photo provided by Ryan’s Case for Smiles

“I don’t know what it is about the pillowcases that you make, but they add a little bit of magic to our hospital rooms. Bright, fun, cheerful, uplifting magic.” ~ via Ryan’s Case for Smiles

It’s so amazing that they have made 1,000,000 pillowcases! Want to help make the next million?! 

Ryan’s Case for Smiles is always looking for donations of handmade pillowcases and new cotton fabrics to help make more pillowcases with. Information on how you can help Ryan’s Case for Smiles can be found at

How easy is it really?!

From experience, making a pillowcase is very simple. A few cuts and three straight lines of sewing – two if you count the corner as 1 line! I serged my raw edges, making it even faster. They have great instructions, or you can give or donate towards buying fabric if that is simpler.

There are so many ways to help out. I hope you can join us!

Easy Double Gauze Swaddle Blanket, with a Hood! {tutorial}

2015 September 17

Today we are using my new favorite fabric to sew for babies! Recently Sew Sisters Quilt Shop asked if I’d like to write a tutorial using their double gauze. Double Gauze you say? Oh, yes please! First on the list, a baby swaddle blanket – great for the cuteness factor. (P.S. Enter to win the double gauze you need to make this project!)

You can find the tutorial on the Sew Sisters blog –  Easy Double Gauze Swaddle Blanket Tutorial, with a Hood!

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop stocks Embrace Double Gauze (by Shannon Fabrics). It is perfectly light, breathable and it comes in lots of great colours and patterns! (I used Fun Dot Blue). Since double gauze swaddle blankets are really popular – for good reason! – it’s a great idea for a baby shower gift. Or swaddle your own babies for less than the store bought version.

This blanket uses only one metre of fabric and a few weekend hours. You’ll even have a large-ish scrap left over. What to do with the scraps, you say? Well, thanks for asking! How about making a matching doll size hooded swaddle blanket? It is the perfect gift for the older sibling. They can swaddle their “baby” and be just like a Mommy and Daddy!

Doll-Size Hooded Swaddle Blanket Tutorial

To make the doll-sized blanket, cut your fabric as indicated below. Follow all straight grain and sewing instructions in the baby sized tutorial here: Easy Double Gauze Swaddle Blanket Tutorial, with a Hood. This doll-size blanket will fit pretty well any doll about 9-14″ tall. (The doll pictured is 11″ tall.)

Cutting your fabric:

Be sure to cut both necessary pieces for this project along the straight grain, or at right angles to it (see link in the tutorial above). Both squares below fit within the scrap left over from the original baby blanket. Be sure to plan how best to fit them in before cutting!
  1. Pre-wash and press your fabric.
  2. Cut one 10″ square, this will be the hood.
  3. Cut one square for the blanket that is between 15-20″. This dimension depends on how large of a scrap you have left over.
Sewing the Doll-Size Blanket:
  1. Follow all instructions in the baby size blanket tutorial on the Sew Sisters Quilt Shop blog: Easy Double Gauze Swaddle Blanket Tutorial, with a Hood.
What are your favorite double-gauze tutorials?

Thanks for reading. Follow along and join me for “thread ride”!

Learning to Slow Down, a Sewing Lesson from my Kids.

2015 September 15

Looking though some of my photos today, I stumbled on these I took of my youngest in May. She had decided it was important to sew some clothes for the tiny teddy bear we picked up at the grocery store. I couldn’t resist posting them today. (While I’m getting over my head-cold-turned-chest-cold, argh!)

That afternoon in May was the day I decided she needed a sewing machine. Her attention to detail and dedication to hand sewing everything was so fun to see. Who knew a 4 year old could sit still for so long with fabric and a needle and thread! She seems to know how a flat piece of fabric will fit on a 3-dimensional object. And, while I “drafted” the skirt and serged the raw edges to make her life simpler, the sewing was all her. And she loves it!

Hand sewing has always seemed “the slow way” to me, because of that I have always shown my kids how to use a machine, since that’s what I would do! Turns out, maybe they are showing me that the slow way is better. I did relax and enjoy doing some visible mending on my jeans recently. I’m learning (slowly) as my kids grow up and are more self sufficient, that faster is not always better – and to take it easy when you can, not to stress about the little things so much.

I do have to stress, though – that I am NOT good at not stressing. That lesson is going to take me a long, long time! We ended up making a “dress” for teddy as well, a bit later on. And the task was met with the same dedication. Now, even though she has her own machine, she will still ask me if she can hand sew some things, a good reminder for me to let go and slow down!

What do you think? Do you enjoy hand sewing, or machine sewing better?

P.S. I would highly recommend seeing the Imagination Movers in concert if you are able. They were really well put together and so personable. (Not sponsored, we just love them!)

Winner, Winner and Winner!

2015 September 12

Catch up Saturday! I’m excited to let you know who won the last two giveaways and what you all chose as the name of the Janome Skyline S5 I’m using!

First up, the Bess Top Pattern Giveaway from Fabric Spark. My Bess Top made with Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous fabric has been in constant rotation over here, until I accidentally left it at my brother-in-laws last weekend. I’ll be getting it back tomorrow, thank goodness! Just in time to pair it with a nice fall sweater I think!

The winner of a paper copy of the Bess Top pattern from Fabric Spark is: Entry No. 394! Rebecca H. who said “What a darling top. I would love it in blue. I liked Katrina Roccella Imprint, the Add Night one.”

Next, the winner of the amazing (Merchant & Mills filled) Torn and Frayed, Revival Issue kit from Cannonball Collective. I just put another hole in my jeans and will be doing more visible mending soon to patch them up. You can buy the stand-alone kit on their site if you’d like too!

The winner of the Torn & Frayed kit from Cannonball Collective is: Entry No. 381! Elena W. who tells me she has a pair of jeans at home waiting for some mending, perfect!

Last, but not least… (drumroll please…)

I am pleased to introduce you to Bluebell!

Ok, so you’ve seen this Janome Skyline S5 already, but now she has a name, Yay! Thanks so much to everyone who voted, and especially the last minute folks on Facebook who helped break the tie! I am off to use the monogram letters on the machine to make her a nametag. I’ll post a photo on Instagram later today! (Find my Janome sponsorship info here, and the Skyline S5 review here)

Whew! I’m off to sew, sew, sew this weekend. Lots of fun stuff coming up. You can see sneak peeks on Instagram, along with photos of the pencil cases I talked about earlier this week!

Back to School Happiness and Destashing.

2015 September 9

Today’s project… (Yes, I know it’s late afternoon!) is to work with these fabrics to make a myriad of “pencil” cases for my oldest to take to school. Both girls started back again yesterday. Thankfully with lots of excitement, and they were still happy when they got home, Day 1 success. It’s pretty hard to believe that our oldest is in grade 3 this year!

Reminds me I should hold on tight, soon they will be graduating high school!

I’ve been reworking our office lately and am feeling the push to de-stash again. There’s just SO MUCH fabric! I’d love to sew all the things, but I know in reality (and from experience) that I can’t use up the giant bin or teeny tiny scraps, or all of the knit fabrics. Maybe one day soon you will see an Instagram de-stash happening… just as soon as I research how in the world to pull one off!

The little piles of fabric were made by my oldest. In an effort to let go of some of my favorites, I decided to give her open access to my smaller scrap shelf. It’s mostly full of fat quarter sized pieces that I’m sure I’d know what to do with if I was a quilter. The photo above is only the “good stuff”. I don’t even want to think about the “by colour” sorted baggies in the bin under my desk…. or the “smaller than small” pieces I’ve got put away!

Speaking of stashing fabric…. 

Public Service Annoucement/Fabric Enabler: Double Decker Fabric is back for a short while. This Canadian online shop is closing and all remaining stock must go! Get 40% off on all quilting cottons and amazing pricing on solids. Don’t miss out! (P.S. They ship within Canada and the US! P.P.S This is not a sponsored post, I love supporting Canadian and this is a great shop!)

(Oh, and note to the weatherman… rain for the first two days of school should not be allowed! “First Day of School” outfits and boots just don’t match!)

I’m Curious… If you are not a quilter, what do you do with your small scraps? 

The perfect name for my Janome is up to you!

2015 September 3

As promised! Please pick from these popular (at my house) sewing machine names for the Janome Skyline S5 I’m using. Thanks so much to everyone for your suggestions – it was so hard to narrow the list down to these 6 options. I even had to poll my family to decide!

Oooohhh I can’t wait to see what wins! (edit: the poll is closed, find the winner here)

Win a Torn & Frayed Visible Mending Kit!

2015 August 30

Today you can enter to win this Torn and Frayed Kit, the Revival Issue from Cannonball Collective!

I posted my experience with this subscription box a few weeks ago. I’ve been wearing my revived jeans everywhere since and love them so much more now! All of the box contents are still sitting in their tin box (less the Merchant and Mills, which are out for use!). They are waiting for the next mending job – and there will be one I’m sure!

A few days later I got an email from Cannonball Collective asking if I’d like to give one away. Eeek, YES! I love being able to share the fun with you! This kit is so much fun and is filled with super high quality sewing gear. Hello Merchant and Mills, Moco thread, Japanese fabric and more!

I mentioned before that the kit comes with $10 off cards towards the subscription and I want to give one to you! Cannonball Collective is mailing more to me and I’m sending them anywhere internationally! If you are ordering the kit please let me know so I can send you one. (I will update this post to let you know when they have been taken. The subscription is $95 US every quarter and Cannonball Collective ships internationally. Send emails to: sherri at threadridinghood dot com)

This giveaway is open to Canadian and US readers, from August 30 – September 6, 2015 at midnight EST. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, you can use your name and email address. There’s a “click to enter”, no social media login entry too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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