Easy DIY Tote Bag Tutorial

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Easy DIY tote bag | Anita Boeira and Squirelly Minds

Before this blog was a sewing blog, I was already sewing a ton, but mostly I was sewing tote bags and other little things. So two years ago, when my friend Tan asked for guest posts for her blog Squirelly Minds while she was out on vacation, I jumped at the chance of writing this post. See, the bag I’m sharing the how to on her blog was actually the first thing I ever sewed on my first ever sewing class. And yes, you can bet it’s easy. I wrote a super detailed post on her blog with pictures and step by steps. It almost looks overwhelming, but remember: I made that bag in my FIRST TIME EVER sewing anything. Like, I got to the class and just expected to sew with some scraps and figure out the machine, and I come out WITH A BAG. A BAG. That still gets ton of uses to today, three and a half years later.

If you’ve been inspired by all this sewing I’ve been making, why not start the same place I did? Go check out my post on Tan’s blog and start sewing! And yes, you can always leave me a note here or on social media if you need any help or if any instruction is not clear. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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On the Cutting Table #1

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On The Cutting Table August 2014 | Anita Boeira

Want a sneak peek on what I’m planning on sewing next? I love doing those kind of posts because it helps me thinking what I have on my pile, and to prioritize the few projects I want to do next. I rarely ever actually go through all of them in this order, but I still get most of them done within the month, because arbitrary deadlines are fun, right? Right now, I’m focusing on summer clothes and gifts. I am sewing two gifts (one that is a surprise, so I’m not showing it here, and the other that is not a surprise, so I will be sharing). For summer clothes, I’m concentrating on a few separates and a few dresses. I do need more separates than dresses, but I still love sewing dresses, especially those with big circle skirts and 50s vibe. Last load of laundry I had enough handmade items to do one load, so that means I’ve been wearing quite a few of my own creations every week, and that makes me so happy. I don’t think I’ll ever have a full wardrobe with only stuff I made, but moving forward, I want to make more than I buy. Anyway, I digress. Let’s go see what I have on the cutting table:

On The Cutting Table August 2014 | Anita Boeira

Project #1 – Belcarra Blouse
This pattern is awesome, and so easy and quick to put together, and you end up with a blouse that fits so well. I made a second Belcarra (you didn’t miss it, I never blogged about it) as a gift to a friend, in a really cute red vintage fabric. As soon as I was done sewing hers, I cut myself another in this cute navy and red print. It’s kind of shiny sometimes too!

On The Cutting Table August 2014 | Anita Boeira

Project #2 – Anna Dress with Circle Skirt
I have made 3 Anna dresses at this point (one, two, three), and my Anna dresses are some of my favorite to wear. I feel SO GOOD in them, they are flattering and cute. So I had a LOT of that navy and red fabric, so I cut myself another Anna. But this time, I’ll take Roisin’s (from Dolly Clackett) route and mix the bodice with a different skirt. Since I don’t own any other By Hand London patterns (my birthday is in a month, FYI, and I’d love a Georgia, Elisalex, or Charlotte) I can’t mix the bodice with one of their other dress bottoms, but I CAN mix it with a simple circle skirt from that New Look pattern I bought because of the shirt. Let’s see how that works out. It should save me some time on putting this dress together, since the Anna skirt had so much construction.

On The Cutting Table August 2014 | Anita Boeira

Project #3 – Mabel Skirt
I haven’t shared much about this here, but I’ve been trying to learn how to sew with knits. I took a class at the Fashionable Stitch store that was very good, and I learned a lot. I have been sewing some pajamas and other things on the side, experimenting with needles and stitches till I’m satisfied and ready to tackle a project that I’ll actually wear in public (I would have shared my latest pajama, if it wasn’t for the fact that I accidentally burned the lace trim I added… oops!). I got this blue ponte knit at A Fashionable Stitch on their end of season sale, and I think it will be perfect for a pencil skirt.

On The Cutting Table August 2014 | Anita Boeira

Project #4 - Butterick 6049
Full disclosure: this project has been on my cutting table for a while. I haven’t had the guts to cut into this fabric yet, because I can’t decide which view of this dress I want to make: B or C (the drawings, version A in the photo is too cartoony for day to day wear). I keep going back and forth: B looks more summery, but C has such a nice look to it. But with C I risk getting a bodice that looks to square on top, while Bodice B is probably more flattering to my body type. But then I wouldn’t be able to wear B to work, limiting how many wears I can get out of it… Sigh. So I can’t decide. And I love both versions on the pictures, but how to know if I’ll love it on me. And this fabric is pretty fabulous, isn’t it? It’s from Michael Miller’s Glitz collection, and I’ve seen plenty of little girl’s dresses made with it. And since I’m basically a giant toddler, of course I wanted a pretty dress with this fabric as well.

On The Cutting Table August 2014 | Anita Boeira

Project #5 – Butterick 6053
I finally found the perfect pattern for this fabric. This Butterick dress is cut in a lot of panels, so I’ll need to do some careful planning before I cut into it. But I think the quilting cotton weight of this fabric will work really well with this dress that needs a bit more structure. And I like the contrast waistband in the drawing, so I might do something like that. Actually, I think this dress I’ll need to plan on the line art first, to see where I want each part of the gradient to go! Whee, challenge!

On The Cutting Table August 2014 | Anita Boeira

Project #6 – Grumpy Cat T-Shirt Refashion
So I ordered this AWESOME grumpy cat shirt online, and when it came to choosing the size I had a Male/Female option. So I picked a Women’s extra large because I know the large fits me well, but I wanted this to be a little bit roomier so the print wouldn’t stretch. The price wasn’t cheap, but it’s a grumpy cat shirt, and I love grumpy cat (and I also have a collection of cats-of-the internet shirts)! I anxiously waited for its arrival, yelled in excitement when the package showed up, and almost cried when I tried it on. They sent me a Men’s extra large. And for the record, I wear XS on men sizes, so an extra large is just beyond huge for me. I was devastated. To return, I was going to have to pay for shipping, losing $10 on this. So instead, I’m just going to get another shirt that fits me well, and cut around it and sew it back together. Hopefully this grumpy cat shirt is large enough that I’ll be able to cut it all from this just the main fabric and completely lose the sleeves. Wish me luck!

Project #7 – Shhh secret gift. I’ll share it once the birthday is past :)

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Sewing Fail | McCalls 6930

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Just to keep this blog true, I’m here today to share a #Fail project. They happen. To everyone, even the super awesome experienced people out there who sew a ton, it happens to all of us, and it happened to me as well. Sigh. Not everything turns out perfect, I guess. See below:

Sewing Fail, McCalls 6930 | Sew Anita

Doesn’t look too bad like this, right? Anyway, I haven’t sewed a lot of pants/shorts in my brief sewing career, just 3 before this one. But I am not a big fan of wearing pants and shorts in general, so I was fine with it. But this summer, I realized that I had no shorts. At all. So it made sense I’d want to make one instead of buying, because all shorts that are longer than 3 inches tend to look like culottes on me. So I got this McCalls 6930 pattern a couple of weeks back, and took advantage of a sale on A Fashionable Stitch to get a couple of yards of a very cute fabric, perfect for a dressy pair of shorts. And as I started putting this together, I was pretty excited. First the darts were perfection, then I added the pockets and I was ready to cry victory. But when I pinned the back and front together the disaster started. I cut the shorts the right length, didn’t I? Why did it look so much shorter than the package picture? And what’s up with those legs, they could fit two of mine. And then the waistband went in and I just wanted to have it done, because I knew it wouldn’t look good. I had way too many problems with fit, that I don’t know a muslin would have helped me fix.

Sewing Fail, McCalls 6930 | Sew Anita

You can see the photos below, the shorts just have way too many issues on my body. You can see on the pictures that the biggest issue is all that extra fabric on my mid section. I feel like it’s just waiting for me to grow a beer gut. It’s just not right, and people that really know sewing and how to alter a pattern will probably know what’s wrong with it and how to fix it. I’ll probably have to figure it out myself if I’m going to try this pattern again (and I will, I have faith).

Sewing Fail, McCalls 6930 | Sew Anita

It’s not a complete loss, though. I won’t be wearing those shorts for work or the weekend, but turns out, they work fine for golfing. They are just the right kind of ugly that I associate with women’s golf shorts. See, I even took a picture so you can see how those shorts were made for the driving range:

Golf Shorts | Sew Anita

And I still have 3/4 of that pretty fabric, and I thought they could turn into part of something new. But not shorts. Maybe a skirt. Check out this detail shot to see how pretty this fabric is:

Fabric Close Up Shot | Sew Anita

How do you deal with a failed project? Laugh it out and keep going, or just get frustrated and toss it across the room? I’d say I’m a mix of both :)

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Blogroll | My Favorite Sewing Blogs

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Just for the record, this is officially becoming a sewing blog. Sewing is quickly replacing all of my other hobbies, so it’s not surprising that this blog is reflecting that as well. I still love to photograph, read, go on hikes, and travel, so this blog won’t always be 100% about sewing. It will always be 100% about me. But right now, 90% of my brain is on sewing, so you’ll have to bear with me there. If you love it as much as I do, reading about all the fun things people can make instead of buying, I made a list of my favorite sewing blogs (about 50% of the blogs I currently read are about sewing… Surprised?). I tried to narrow it down to 10, but I just couldn’t. I have 11 absolute favorites, and I couldn’t pick one and say “eh, maybe this one not so much” so you are stuck with a top 11 list.

Best of Roisin from Dolly Clackett | Anita Boeira

1. Dolly Clackett – Let’s just preface this with a lot of my favorite sewing blogs are in the UK. A LOT. And it was Dolly Clackett’s (not her real name) that introduced me to a bunch of those. She is one of my favorite bloggers out there, because she knows her style so well, and makes the craziest girly dresses out there. She is not afraid of prints and color, and whips up dresses as quick as I can finish a bag of pretzels. My absolute favorite dress she’s ever made, though, is one that’s not even within her style. It’s the Anna maxi dress with the split. I bought the pattern immediately after seeing her Anna. But she makes so many many many beautiful dresses (just scroll through her handmade wardrobe section). This is the wardrobe I aspire to own. One just like hers (and ps: check out her shoes too when you are looking at her makes—a Melissa fan like me). I’m going to try to choose just a few favorites, but get ready for a huge list: the Rachel Dress (*insert appreciative whistling sound here* a Anna and Charlotte mash up, and the reason why I need to own ALL By Hand London patterns), the parfait dress (which she doesn’t actually like), the Poppy Heather dress (that fabric! Swoons), and the Deanna dress (another Anna bodice, yes, I need to match my Anna bodice with different skirts).

Best of Lauren, from Lladybird | Anita Boeira

2. Lladybird – A close second for my favorite blogger, is Lauren’s Lladybird blog. Mostly, what I like about this lady’s blog is that she is just so darn mouthy. She does not mince words, and ends up being the most hilarious sewist blogger out there. Her projects are also beautiful, I really love her choice of fabrics and patterns. The only thing is, she’s probably a size 0, so it’s hard for me to gauge how a project would look on me by looking at them on her, but that’s life! She also shares a lot really great tutorials. She is a very experience sewer, so I’ve learned a lot following her tips. I’ll also have a hard time narrowing down my favorite projects she made, but here’s my attempt: the Crazy Paisley Hollyburn, the Vogue 1610 (both of those for the fabric choices, so pretty), the Lacey Georgia (hand of london scores again), a Sheer Anna Dress, the lakeside pajamas (that I still need to make), and the Tiger Lady Skater dress is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Best of Fiona, from Diary of a Chain Stitcher | Anita Boeira

3. Diary of a Chain Stitcher – I found this blog when I was browsing for Anna inspiration ideas. Fiona (how cute is her name?) has made quite a few beautiful Anna dresses (such as this one, this one, and THIS one). Another thing I love about her blog, she has extraordinary skill, but has not started sewing too long ago, kind of like me. She is a lot of inspiration. Another thing I love on her blog is that she does a monthly roundup of Indie Patterns, and I’ve found a lot of cool indie designers through her blog. Favorite projects: the Tania Culottes (on my to-sew pile, pattern purchased after seeing Fiona’s version) and her Flora dress.

Best of Tasia, from Sewaholic | Anita Boeira

4. Sewaholic – One of only three pattern makers who made this list. I’m not sure why, but pattern makers blogs in general are not as exciting to me as the ones from regular girls just making clothes! One of the exceptions is Tasia, from Sewaholic. I haven’t sewn a ton with her patterns, but I adore her blog. I like that she sounds just like one of us, and she makes clothes from a diversity of pattern makers. Her styling is also spot on, and I love the things she chooses to make. And she is also partly to blame for me now seriously considering making my own lingerie as well as clothes. What’s next: making my own shoes? Some stand out projects from Tasia: Brown and blue lingerie set, the gray quilted hollyburn, and the leopard anemone.

Best of Lizzie, from Cotton and Curls | Anita Boeira

5. Cotton & Curls – I haven’t read this blog a lot yet, and she just posts sporadically. But when she does, her projects are absolutely flawless, and so is her photography. I’d suggest this blog even for people who couldn’t care less about sewing, but that love a good fashion/daily outfit blog. It’s a pleasure to the eyes. Favorite projects: DIY Perpendicular Striped Skirt (what a fun twist on a simple knit pencil skirt!) and the DIY Modern Pleated Skirt (reminds me of my wedding dress).

Best of Anna, from Paunnet | Anita Boeira

6. Paunnet - Anna blogs from Italy, so she is a bilingual blogger just like me! Although, I haven’t blogged in two languages since Occupy the Wardrobe in 2012… It’s a lot of work, so I can definitely appreciate all the work she puts on her blog to make sure it reads in two languages. The clothes she makes are absolutely adorable. She has a pretty clear style, opting for neutral colors and prints (with a touch of color here and there), and a lot of fit and flare silhouettes. I really love her style, and I like seeing how patterns look on her because she has a body type more similar to mine, and also seems to like the same sort of clothes I do. So it’s perfect! Some of my favorite makes of her are: the heart cut out belladone dress (the styling is also impeccable), and her birthday anna dress (surprised?).

Best of Katie from What Keite Sews | Anita Boeira

7. What Katie Sews – This is one of the blogs I just recently started reading, mostly because I fell in love with her Crazy Diamonds Centauree dress. Like really, just look at that dress. Is this the real world? Isn’t this fabric the most brilliant fabric ever? I’m in love. I wish this was a dress I could actually buy at a store and have it too, exactly like that. Otherwise, the option is hunting the web for this fabric. Maybe I can do it. Maybe I should be doing that instead of blogging. Oh Katie, your crazy diamonds fabric is making me crazy! Okay, I stopped blogging and found the provenance of this fabric. It’s from Ikea. It’s not on the website, though, so I think the dream is over. And so is this tangent. Some other favorite projects:  the Celebration Anna (I love all Anna’s!)  and the Kitty Dress (do I need to even say why I like this one?).

Best of Kate, from See Kate Sew | Anita Boeira

8. See Kate Sew – Style wise, me and Kate wouldn’t agree on anything but colors. But other than that, Kate shares a plethora of tutorials and ideas of easy and fast projects. I have made a quilt duvet inspired by her triangle quilt, and used a pattern for a envelope clutch she shared (free) several times, especially to make gifts for friends. She does also have a line of patterns for children’s clothing and women’s clothing.

Best of Sunni, from A Fashionable Stitch | Anita Boeira

9. A Fashionable Stitch – Sunni actually owns a brick and mortar shop by the same name, and said store is just a 10 minute walk from my house. The best part about that, is that her shop carries a lot of very unique fashion fabric, and she also offers a bunch of classes. I was following her for a long time before realizing we were basically neighbors. She is super nice in person, by the way, and I swear I didn’t completely geeked out when I met her and said “you’reoneofmyfavoritebloggers” all in one breath. I kept my cool. Be proud of me. Sunni is super stylish, and she looks even better in person than she does in the pictures, and her style fits her perfectly. Some of my faves includes the coming up roses top, her invisible zipper tutorial is the best I have ever read (and my zippers look a thousand times better now), and this self drafted skirt she made has the best fabric ever (I know I say that a lot, but fabric is cool, friends).

Best of Sarah from Ohhh Lulu... | Anita Boeira

10. Ohhh Lulu… - Ohhh Lulu is also a super adorable Etsy shop. Well, two Etsy shops. She sells the most beautiful handmade lingerie on one shop, and patterns for you to make your own at home on the other. And then on her blog, she posts about shop updates and extra tutorials for the people that buy her patterns. I love how beautiful and whimsical the stuff she makes is, and this blog has made me seriously consider learning how to make my own lingerie. It doesn’t need a lot of fabric, and you could come up with so many cute fabric combinations, much cooler than store bought lingerie with “PINK” written on the butt (no offense, VS). Favorite projects: the Zooey Bikini pattern (I’m a sucker for anything with bows in it) and this pattern hack on how to add cups to one of her bra patterns.

Best of Tilly from Tilly & The Buttons | Anita Boeira

11. Tilly & The Buttons – Another sew adorable blog, and Tilly also makes patterns. She has a book out (in the UK, but I think you can order it internationally) with a lot of easy projects for someone learning how to sew, or even an advanced beginner like me could enjoy (I kind of really want to get the book just for the dress pattern). I like that her style is very minimalistic but with a vintage flair. It’s cute, and totally wearable. My favorite projects of her are: the Contrast Yoke Coco and the Moonrise Kingdom Jacket (check out that pink!).

What sewing blogs make your list of favorites? Any good ones I am missing?

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Anita Boeira is now Sew Anita

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New SIte | Anita Boeira

Hello! You might have noticed that things look a bit different around here today. That’s because I spent this past week coming up with a new brand for my blog and website! I felt it was time for a change, my latest blog redesign dates from early 2012, and at that time, it was just a small upgrade from the version I had been using since 2009. Yes, 5 years without a major rebrand, it was definitely time. I loved my old branding, the color scheme and all the little details that made it my home, but one thing bugged me: everything looked so tight and cramped in that 900 pixels columns. Oh, and another fun fact about the new website: Michael built it! I designed it on Photoshop, showed it to him, and he made it happen. This is not our first collaboration online, but this is definitely the biggest one. And let me say that it also saved me a lot of hours of frustration and yelling at the computer.

WHAT CHANGED: I expanded the size of my columns, and added as much white space as I could deal with. Which apparently is a lot. I also kept the same color scheme I loved so much: charcoal gray, light gray, golden yellow, and white, but with a lot less gray. A LOT less. I also kept the stars, and just evolved to a less computer generated image, to something more fluid. The fonts also changed! I loved my dear old Trebuchet from the last logo, but now I have two new ones! “Sew” is a script font called Wolf in the City (free download on dafont.com) and “Anita” is LeagueGothic (also a free download on fontsquirrel.com) – I tried some other script fonts but I just couldn’t: I’m too much of a sans-serif girl.

Sew Anita New Logo | Anita BoeiraAnd yes, the blog named also changed! It’s now “Sew Anita,” same as my Etsy Shop. I played with a few different ideas, but Sew Anita was the catchiest. But I want to make it clear that changing the name won’t mean this blog will be exclusively about sewing, I’ll continue to talk about all things I love, but since sewing has been a big part of my life right now, that’s probably what I’ll talk about the most. And I also got a new URL: sewanita.com. Don’t worry, if you’re coming from the old url (anitaboeira.net) it will still work, so no need to update your bookmarks!

The Sidebar also changed! I added links to my Etsy Shop (where I sell Baby Dresses) and to a new section on the website called My Handmade Wardrobe, where I’ll just put all the projects I completed, and you can always browse and see everything I made to wear. I’ve seen this section on a couple of other blogs, and was excited to add it to mine as well. And now we also have a Facebook page, so you can “like” me on Facebook and I’ll share more related content there!

And in case you already forgot what the old website looked like, here’s a screenshot:

Old Website | Anita Boeira

There’s still a few things that I’m working on, and testing is still happening, so if you see anything that is not working properly, please let me know on the comments! I’ll be so very grateful.

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Completed Project: Simplicity 1419 Dress

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Simplicity 1419 | Anita Boeira

Ta-da my latest completed sewing project! The Simplicity 1419 dress. It looked so adorable on the package, I had to have it. It went straight up to my to-do pile, where it ended up being held up by a couple of shirts (I need separates more than I need dresses) and hanged unfinished in my sewing room for almost a month. All it needed was a zipper, and since that’s my least favorite part of sewing, I didn’t rush to finish. But now it’s done, and I’m quite happy with it!

Simplicity 1419 | Anita Boeira

It was a very simple dress to make, so I took extra care with each step so the finishing would be perfect. Lately, I care more about doing a good job than finishing it as quick as possible, as frustrating as it ends up being. But when this dress is done and there’s not a single thing at fault with my work, I am happy. The only thing I wasn’t super happy about was the fit: it was a tiny bit large for me. The photo of the model on the pattern package is way more fitted. On the upside: this fabric is a thick cotton, so tighter would have been hell, but if I make this dress again, I might go down two sizes and use a fabric with a bit of stretch so it will look more fitted. As it is, I ended up with a beautiful dress that is also very comfortable. And even though I can start wearing it now (the AC in my office will guarantee I won’t be overheated in this), I think this dress will be something extra special in the winter.

Simplicity 1419 | Anita Boeira

The details in this dress are beautiful: the peter pan collar, the opening at the collar, and the pockets. Girls love pockets in dresses, did you know? And this fabric is a dream. I bought it a loooooong time ago, and my goal was to make a dress like this one from Jessica Quirk (from What I Wore blog), but after reading through the pattern instructions I didn’t think I wanted to tackle it yet. So the fabric sat on a pile for over a year, till this Simplicity 1419 came into my life. It was the perfect pattern to get this fabric off the pile and into the wardrobe. I really love how intricate and detailed it is, it might be hard to tell from the photos, but up close it is a thing of beauty.

Simplicity 1419 | Anita Boeira

The color is off the charts too. That blue and ecru, with a tiny bit of gray thrown in just cause. Such a dream to look at. I can’t wait to wear it!

Simplicity 1419 | Anita Boeira

And did I mention… POCKETS?

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Sewing Inspiration | Tropical Skirt and Top

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Sewing Inspiration: tropical print skirts and dresses | Anita Boeira1 | 2 | 3

It’s summer, and even though I’m not a fan of hot weather, I can’t help but be inspired by the other things that the hot weather can be reminiscent of: time spent at the beach, vacation, palm trees, and tropical everything.  And then I saw this awesome fabric from Michael Miller, the Tropical Madness Border Print, and knew it would look amazing as a skirt or dress.

Tropical Madness Border Print, by Michael Miller Fabrics | Anita Boeira

This print is very large and unique, and I think it looks beautiful in the dress above (sources: 1 & 2), but I think it would shine even more as a pleated midi skirt, like the third photo on my inspiration photo. You don’t want too much of that white showing if you are me, because if I am wearing something white, I will drop something on it. It’s an universal law or something.

M6842 and M6709 Skirts | Anita Boeira

For that skirt I would like to get a pattern already on my stash, and those two look like they would work the best with the print. The McCalls 6706 would probably be the best bet, but the McCalls 6842 has that really nice wide band on top which I also like. I’d love to add a bow like my inspiration photo #1, in a beautiful shade of green. Speaking of green, when I started planning this skirt, I thought I’d also have some fun and plan a top to go with it. If you’re the flat-belly type, a crop top that ends just at the edge of the waistband, or an inch higher would look amazing. If you’re more of the average-body-with-a-little-belly type, like me, then the crop top is really not the way to go, in my opinion. So a tucked in top with a very simple cut, like girl in inspiration photo #3, would be ideal!

GREEN_EYELET_FABRIC

But just because you are going with a simple cut, doesn’t mean the fabric needs to be simple! How cute is this Fancy Eyelet Kiwi? And since eyelet has a little transparency, a Cotton Voile in Light Green could be used to line it. I can’t decide on a pattern that would be perfect for this fabric, though! I like the Sorbett0, from Colette Patterns, but I’d have to add cap sleeves to it (I like sleeves). The Belcarra, from Sewaholic, is my favorite blouse pattern, but I don’t think the sleeves and cuffs would work with this fabric. So another possibility is using the same pattern I used for this shirt I did a few months ago (and wear a lot), but two green shirts with the same pattern? Seems a bit too much. Maybe I need to go to my fabric store and find some other patterns, or adapt a top from a dress. What do you guys think?

 

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Vogue Patterns Fall 2014

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Vogue just announced last night a bunch of new patterns for Fall 2014. Fall is not as exciting as Spring/Summer, so all patterns felt very bleh. But a few stood out, so I thought I’d make a quick pattern wishlist for next $5,99 sale!

Vogue Patterns Fall 2014 1408 | Anita Boeira

V1408 – At first glance this dress doesn’t look very exciting, but look at that line art! Imagine this as a fun color block, with bright colors. Winter doesn’t need to be so somber, Vogue! This would have been great in blues with a pop of orange and yellow, or grays with yellow accents. Just looks like it could be a pain to put all those little pieces together and matching. Another point in its favor, though, is that you only need about 3 yards of fabric total, including the accent pieces, and if you are a master at cutting (which I try to be), you could probably squeeze the accent pieces out of left over fabric you already have. Hmmm… the possibilities are endless.

Vogue Patterns Fall 2014 9031 | Anita Boeira

 

V9031 – This skirt is very similar in idea to the above dress. Different pieces and cuts. It’s embarrassingly similar to its sister brand’s McCall’s 6842 skirt, but this up the game a bit. It reminds me of a skirt I saw at Zara last year, and it could be beautiful in color blocking as well. Good possibilities here! I especially love View C.

Vogue Patterns Fall 2014 9030 | Anita Boeira

V9030 – This skirt is just pretty and simple. I probably have something very similar already in my stash, but Vogue sure does some nice presentation on the package. I want that outfit exactly as the model has it. I don’t care for the hi-lo version though, someone needs to tell all those pattern makers that hi-lo is not in anymore.

Vogue Patterns Fall 2014 1411 | Anita Boeira

V1411 – In general, I don’t very much care for pants patterns, but this one I had to do a double take, cause those pants are cool! I love the skinny version, even though the line drawing makes it look almost like work out pants, so thanks for the picture for a more accurate look! This one I wouldn’t color block, though! I know, surprised? But really, color blocked pants, no thank you. I like the example in the photo, the subtle print dark red, and then the stitching details. Really nice, and great for the work place. Just got keep my eyes open for a good fabric for those too. Note to self: add pockets.

So, that’s it for wishlist! What do you guys think? Any stand outs from the collection besides the ones I picked for my wishlist?

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#SundaySewing |A Sewing Room Tour

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Sewing Room Tour | Anita Boeira

Hello, hello, come on in. Don’t mind the mess. I thought today would be a great day to share what my sewing room looks like! I was away the past two weekends on a road trip (hope you checked my posts on Portland and Seattle already!). I have a dress that I almost finished before the trip just waiting to have a zipper put in, and I’ll be sharing it with you guys as soon as possible! In the meantime, let me take you on a tour of my sewing room.

A more accurate description would be a sewing loft. My sewing room sits just at the top of the stairs in the townhome we live in. It was a space that didn’t have much use before I started sewing, it just sat there, with that glass table, and I folded laundry on it once a week. When I started sewing, my machine was in the basement with my office, but as I grew in experience (and sewing supplies), I knew I needed to expand. My cutting table is still in the basement, unfortunately, but this is the room where the magic happens.

Sewing Room Tour | Anita Boeira

It’s not very big, as you can see, and it’s 90% contained on this half of the LOFT, so the other half can remain free for walking between the stairs and the master bedroom. The only exception is that I leave the fan on that side as well. It gets pretty hot up in the loft! Which might be a reason why my productivity in the summer declines, it’s just so much nicer to stay in the basement watching Netflix and keeping cool.

My machine is a Brother CS6000i, and I love it. It’s my second machine, the first was a very cheap Brother I acquired in the hopes of learning to sew and figuring it out if it was worth the investment getting a nicer machine. And clearly, it was. This one was a Christmas gift from Michael last year. I asked for a new one, he picked this model, and it works nicely! It’s much quieter than my last one, but apparently not quiet enough, because just yesterday a neighbor I don’t see very often asked me if what I was wearing was something I had made. Ooops, sounds like she might have listened to my machine hard at work! But just so everyone is clear, I don’t sew past 9pm, or earlier than 10am. Mostly, because I’m not entirely awake those other hours.

Sewing Room Tour | Anita Boeira

This glass desk used to be my dining room table (it sits 4) on my old apartment, but when Michael and I moved in together he had a nicer set, so this one was relegated to the loft. It’s not the best sewing table, because it’s round, but I had it, so that’s the one I’ll use till we move somewhere else. The top of the table is usually pure chaos, but I try to keep it clean when I’m not in the middle of a project. The machine shares its space with my laptop (to watch Netflix and YouTube sewing tutorials), a basket with the tools I need more often, a small garbage can, a lamp, and that cute little owl that absolutely loves acupuncture.

Sewing Room Tour | Anita Boeira

One thing I did buy new for this space was those shelves from Ikea. The Expedit line is our absolute favorite, and we have a bunch of those 2×2 through the house. You can see I’m not too much of a fabric hoarder (yet), because there’s only two cubes set aside for fabric (not counting the box of scraps). The pile #1 is mostly large left overs from previous projects, or a couple of fabrics that I haven’t found patterns for them. The pile #2 is fabric already matched with a pattern and waiting to be sewed (I don’t go in order). The rejects cube contains a box of projects that didn’t work out (can use the fabric for scraps later, or other experiments), and atop the box is a few patterns I kind of regret buying now that I have had more time and experience sewing. No idea what to do with them, but if you’re interested, let me know.

That patterns box above fabric pile #2 is actually a comic book box. I got the idea from the Colette Patterns blog, where she shared how she used those comic book boxes and comic book plastic slips to separate all her patterns. She has way more than I do, so she has several boxes, but all of mine fit comfortably in that one box, and there’s space to grow! Lucky for me Michael is a comic book reader, and was happy (I assume) to share. So far, he does have more comic books than I have patterns, but we’ll see how long this will last.

That mini ironing board is very crappy, but it comes in handy to have one so close to the sewing machine. I got it at Ikea (same with pretty much everything in this room) for less than ten bucks. It is in sore need of an upgrade, so I shall tackle this project sometime soon. Maybe put some of that batting scraps for good use.

Sewing Room Tour | Anita Boeira

And now just a closer look to my small collection of fashion and sewing books! Thanks to the internet, you can find a lot of info online, but having some of those books come in handy often. The Vogue Sewing book is just the best thing in the world, and I recommend it to any beginner sewer out there. It is full of explanations about everything you never thought you would need to know. I grab mine every time I need to figure out how to do something the pattern is asking for but I don’t understand, or when something goes wrong and I don’t know how to fix. The other two sewing books in that pile are the Colette Sewing Handbook, which I used to start learning how to sew clothes. It’s very beginner oriented, so I don’t really use it that much anymore, but I love the book and all the rich information inside. The sewing in a straight line was another great book I bought when I started learning. A few of my favorite projects in it are pillowcases and an easy gathered skirt. On top of the sewing books are some cute fashion books I have just for fun, topped by a little clear clutch and a stuffed whale (I call her Wally) I made a while ago. She also moonlights as a ham (it’s a sewing thing, look it up) when I need to do some tricky ironing. Always helpful.

And that’s it! That’s the end of the tour. Hope you enjoyed it, and expect more sewing projects soon!

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Nachos Quest: BBQ Nachos in Boise, ID

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MFT BBQ & Vegan, Boise ID, Nachos review | Anita Boeira

It’s been WAY too long since I blogged about my Nachos quest, over a year to be exact (blame it on the healthy lifestyle). If you’re new here, you might not have heard about my quest to find the best nachos I ever ate, and that pretty much sums it up: I go out, I eat nachos, I blog about them.

MFT BBQ & Vegan, Boise ID, Nachos review | Anita Boeira

The newest nachos I tried and am here to talk about are also the weirdest ones I ever had: BBQ nachos. The restaurant in question is the MFT in Boise, ID, that we decided to try after reading good reviews about it on Yelp. The MFT is, check this out, the “best BBQ and Vegan restaurant in Boise.” So, is it the best BBQ place in Boise and also the best Vegan, or is it the best BBQ AND Vegan? Because I’m pretty sure there are not many of those around, especially not in small Boise, ID. Nevertheless, it was intriguing, and we headed out there.

The restaurant is hard to find, but we hd been warned about that from the Yelp reviewers. The MFT is attached to the Rodeway Inn hotel, right next door to a big Sunshine Lounge sign that pretty much blinds you to anything else. It’s right under it, folks. As noted by other reviewers, the ambience is pretty shabby, and it’s a very hole in the wall place. The menu, though, is quite interesting. They have your usual appetizers and barbecue food, but then they throw you a curveball with a Bigfoot sandwich (which Mike ordered) that has meat and mac & cheese as filling. But if that wasn’t enough, the Broodwich might amuse you: it’s the Bigfoot, Monte Cristo style. Oh yeah.

MFT BBQ & Vegan, Boise ID, Bigfoot Sandwich | Anita Boeira

I ordered the nachos (of course) after briefly toying with the idea of ordering from the Vegan menu. Turned out the Spicy Spaghetti Squash item was a sandwich, while I expected spaghetti squash (which I love). I ordered the nachos with the tri-tip (for the non meat connoisseurs, myself included, that’s a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin subprimal cut) and everything on it. The everything had an interesting twist: BBQ sauce instead of salsa. My nachos arrived and it consisted of: tortilla chips, nacho cheese, tomatoes, black olives, jalapenos, tri tip, and BBQ sauce. You know my thoughts on nacho cheese (not a fan), so I’m always a little disappointed when I see it. But this one was good (maybe I need to rethink my nacho cheese opinions), not better than real melted cheese, but it worked very well with the meat and BBQ sauce. Michael and I very much enjoyed eating the nachos, but I wouldn’t put them on my top 5. I left the restaurant satisfied, but under the impression that I had just had the most redneck meal ever.

MFT BBQ & Vegan, Boise ID, Nachos review | Anita Boeira

MFT BBQ & Vegan
1115 N Curtis Rd - Boise, ID
Price: $ (full nachos $7, half $5, added pork is $3, added beef is $4)
Presentation: 4 out of 5
Taste: 4 out of 5
Restaurant Ambiance: 2 out of 5

MFT BBQ & Vegan, Boise ID, Nachos review | Anita Boeira

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