sewing, women

These are a few of my Favorite (sewing) Things


Welcome to Day 29 of the My Favorite (Sewing) Things Tour hosted by Sewing by Ti! I had a hard time deciding which favorites I would use for this tour! Even though children’s wear is my first love, I decided that, since this is the year of sewing for me — and because this tour will be sandwiched between two blogs of children’s clothes, I would make another Anza Dress from my current favorite women’s wear pattern company, Itch to Stitch*. And since favorite sewing things extends beyond patterns, I’ll also share a couple of my favorite *other* sewing things :).

Itch to Stitch Anza Dress

I made my first Anza Dress during testing a few months ago. For that test I bought two fabrics — a denim, and this cotton poplin. I really thought I would have gone and made this one the week following the test, but alas, it didn’t happen! So, even though we are going into Fall, I am going to proudly wear this summery dress these next few weeks and pretend that it’s not nearly September ;-).


I’m loving Itch to Stitch patterns for a couple of reasons: they’re professionally drafted, they’re easy to adjust (there are various lengthening and shortening lines on the pattern, as well as size blending instructions), and the instructions are clear with line drawings rather than photos and beautiful finishing techniques.


This dress is made from woven fabric. I first learned to sew with wovens and while I do enjoy knits too, I do love the stability of a sturdy cotton woven, even though it does mean less room for error!


The Anza Dress also comes in a jumpsuit version, which, admittedly I have been hesitant to try so far! After making this one though, I decided that this fabric in a shorts romper would look amazing!


Another thing I love about this dress, even though it does make it a bit of a time consuming sew, is the opportunity for top stitching. For this dress, I used a regular polyester thread for both the top stitching and the seaming, so I didn’t have to keep switching out the threads and needles like I did with my last one!!


What I do still want to do though, is find a belt to wear with it. It does have a drawstring but I love the look of a chunky belt!


And a shout out to my dad for taking these photos for me! My parents are visiting me from Australia this month, so I’m making the most of their stay ;-).


Fabric: Gertie’s Cotton Poplin (Tropical On Navy), JoAnn. Buttons: JoAnn

My other favorites!

Now onto the 10 things in my sewing room that I couldn’t do without (and in no particular order)!

  1. My Bernina sewing machine –  I have had my Bernina Aurora 430 for about 9 years now. This machine gives me consistently great stitching, and I especially love the knee lift lever. I just cannot sew without that feature! It also has a wide range of feet to give better sewing results in very specific applications.
  2. Quilt Basting Spray* – I actually do a lot of basting with this when I’m sewing garments! There is a worry of overspray, so you need to be careful (and also test before you do it), but this is what I use for patch pockets instead of pins. I also use it for basting down facings to ensure a completely flat surface for top stitching.
  3. Bamboo Point Turner* – This little gadget is awesome for getting perfectly square corners and I use mine a lot. Or at least, I used to use it a lot until I lost it somewhere in my mess creative explosion.
  4. Self Healing Mat* & Rotary Cutter* – I almost exclusively cut out all of my sewing patterns with my rotary cutter and a really large self healing mat. I also use a couple of clear quilting rulers for the straight cuts. So much easier than scissors! I weight all of my patterns down using large washers from the hardware store instead of pins.
  5. Simflex Expanding Sewing Gauge* – This tool is so helpful for marking buttonholes! Just mark the first and last one and use this gauge to evenly space the rest.
  6. Crayola Ultra Washable Markers* – No kidding! These are one of my favorites for making marks on my garments that I can still wash out! Since I don’t usually wash my clothes before my first wear though, I try to use them in inconspicuous places.
  7. In the areas that will be seen, I use Clover Chaco Chalk Liner* which provides a very nice smooth, thin line and can be brushed away.
  8. Ottobre Magazine – This magazine has so much inspiration for sewing children’s clothes – especially boys clothing! It can be a little intimidating at first since the patterns need to be traced out and the instructions do not have photo/diagram tutorials. But, if you have a little bit of confidence, they are certainly achievable! And if not, they are great eye candy! And they will make you yearn for a cover stitch machine, so consider yourself warned ;-).
  9. Oliver + S Patterns – these are the patterns that really taught me how to sew. I recommend them to anyone starting out! They are professionally drafted and written, will teach you how to sew correctly, and every time I sew one, I learn something new! If you have kids to sew for and want to take your sewing up a notch, definitely check them out!
  10. Thread Snips* – Last but not least!! I LOVE these and can’t believe it took me years to discover them! They make clipping off threads a breeze! Much quicker than scissors! I currently have 2 pairs of cheapies, but I would prefer a nicer pair so that I can easily snip fabric too.

Thanks for stopping by today! Let me know what’s on your list of favorites or if any of these are new to you!!

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the rest of the blog tour below!


Tuesday, August 1st: Intro, Tenille’s Thread | 2nd: Stitching At Night | 3rd: Sewing By Ti | 4th: Needles To Say | 5th: Very Blissful

Sunday, August 6th: The Fairy Dust Bin | 7th: Anne-Mari Sews | 8th: Sewing With Sarah | 9th: Thats Sew Lily | 10th: Stitching at Night | 11th: EYMM | 12th: Sew Sew Ilse

Sunday, August 13th: Lulu & Celeste | 14th: Seams Sew Lo | 15th: Tales From a Southern Stitching Mom | 16th: Stitching and Making | 17th: Creative Counselor | 18th: Ma Moose | 19th: Kainara Stitches

Sunday, August 20th: Embrace Everyday | 21st: She Who Sews | 22nd: Idle Sunshine | 23rd: My Heart Will Sew On | 24th: Lovely For Life | 25th: Margarita On the Ross | 26th: Anne-Mari Sews | Sunday, August 27th: Made By Melli | 28th: Adventures with Bubba and Bug | 29th: Auschick Sews ***You are here. 😀 | 30th: Me Made | 31st: Living in Twinado Alley

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