Rumi Tank Review

I’m a huge fan of racerback tops. I don’t know if I just have weird sloping shoulders or maybe the wrong bras, but any kind of spaghetti strap I wear, always falls down.  Over the years, its become pretty annoying having to constantly pull the straps back up.  I started to wear mainly racerback bras to combat my issue and then had to find new tank tops that would cover the new strap configuration.

So when Christine Haynes came out with the Rumi Tank pattern, I knew instantly, it was for me.  It’s designed for knits, has a classic versatile shape and is stash friendly. I can get a tank out of less than a yard and have made two tanks that out of pure scraps.  This pattern is a PDF with printing options for a personal printer and copy shop.  I decided to send this pattern to my local big box office supply store (because I had a coupon) for the first time.  Let me say, if given the option, I will always choose copy shop printing.  Taping PDF patterns is just not what I want to spend my time doing.

My first project was just the tank version and I used the Limestone Feel knit by Leah Duncan . I’m between a 6 and an 8 and also a B cup. From the waist up, I cut a 6 and then graded out to the 8 around the hip (to account for my larger rear) and used a 10 in length.

With a serger, the construction of the Rumi Tank was very quick.  However, I made sure to take the time to evenly distribute and pin the neck and armbands for a nice smooth finish. Although not necessary, I do top-stitch (with a ball-point needle!) around the neck and armholes for a professional look and to keep the seam allowance in place.

TIP: I like my garments to even be pretty on a hanger. So, I start and stop all my serging at inconspicuous spots…usually off to one side.

For my second Rumi project, I made the dress version. My family had spring break plans down on Florida and I could use a casual dress to throw over a bathing suit, if needed. April Rhodes’ Observer knit was perfect! I wore it to the beach and back.

Bonus – This dress can be worn with a jacket and layered over leggings.

I’ve made two more Rumi tanks to fill in my summer wardrobe. One with a navy and cream skinny stripe I got from a destash and then another in the same Observer knit because I love the print and color so much :) The ease and comfortability with these makes are awesome. I’ve been wearing them with jeans and skirts all summer long.

As we near the autumn and winter months, I plan on sewing a few more tanks and dresses. These will make nice layering pieces under my cocoon cardigans and with some fun tights.  All in all, I think this is a great beginner knit pattern. It’s also perfect if you are working on a handmade capsule. The silhouette is classic and you don’t have to deal with pesky falling straps!

 

Happy Sewing!

Cristy

 


This post may contain affiliate links.

Heritage and Arizona After Fabrics :: Portside Duffle

April Rhodes has done it again.  She has just dropped not one, but TWO new fabric collections with Art Gallery Fabrics.  Arizona After is a gorgeous extension of April’s inaugural Arizona line with some new prints and some recolored with soft dusty pink and blues along with some deep rust and mustard.  The color combos she puts together are always so striking.  Heritage fabrics consists of garment focused substrates…including the new RAYON.  With April’s clothing patterns, she has always been a designer who knows scale for the quilters and the garment sewist alike.  It’s the perfect collection for the me-made makers!

Beyond the fabrics, April’s inspiration for the collections is just so touching.  The way she talks about her family and memories of her father and grandmother is just pure love.  Truly awesome. I love how a lot of the designs were just a part of April’s everyday life and over time, have been permanently imprinted in her head.  To bring these images to life brings so much light to her eyes and it’s been amazing to witness it all. These fabrics are just gorgeous and I’m happy she’s shared them with all of us….because whoa, right?!?

When I was asked to make a bag for April’s Spring Quilt Market Booth, I (of course) agreed.  She has become a dear friend and I will always help her, as she has helped me in so many ways.  April asked me to make a larger duffle and suggested a quilt-as-you-go method for easy patchwork because with Market…comes some tight deadlines.  I got to immediate work, but quickly realized I had to Turn. It. Up.

All 14 quilt cottons in the Arizona After collection was used to make the Portside Duffle Bag by Grainline Studios.  It’s the perfect bag to showcase these fabrics with all that surface area.  I loved playing with all the color combos while mixing and even deconstructing, some of the prints.

Once I started to quilt with my walking-foot on the Soft and Stable, that texture just got me.  I knew I had to add more and more quilting…and change up the designs with each print. Then it dawned on me….ooooh, metallic thread would be A-mazing with this palette.  The gold really brings out the colors and I’m so happy with how it turned out. TIP: Cut a larger piece of soft and stable than the pattern requires. Quilt and then cut to size. Don’t forget to baste those edges!

Art Gallery’s textured denim in Canyon Sunset was the perfect complement to Arizona After and is a nice durable fabric for the bottom accent of the duffle bag.  On the inside, I used the Scattered Wood print and added an additional zip pocket…because we can always use some extra pockets.  I love the look of brass zippers and with the gold thread, this combo obviously had to happen.

For more texture and to turn this bag up another notch, I used hardware from ARmercantile combined with some leather from my sacred stash.  Guitar-inspired bag straps are popping up all-over the place and I just had to add that look to this duffle.  The added rivets bring out more of the brass and help round out the look.  Who says a quilted bag can’t be modern and on-trend?  I love being able to combine my love of quilting with my love of bag-making….and the gorgeous fabric definitely helps.  Thank you Arizona After for the inspo!

Make sure to check back on April’s blog and Instagram all throughout July for the up-to-date info on the Blog Tour.  Next up will be an Instagram loop on July 5th and I heard there maybe prizes involved ;)

Last, but not least, don’t forget to tag #heritagefabrics and #arizonaafterfabrics with all of your makes.  I can’t wait to see all of them!

Project Summary:

 

Fabric and pattern for the Arizona After + Heritage Blog Tour was provided.  There are affiliate links in the Project Summary.

 

 Observer Fabric Tour >> Quilted Envelope Clutches

ObserverBlogTour_Title

It’s here!  It’s here!  The Observer collection by April Rhodes for Art Gallery Fabrics has finally made it way to shops and I’m so happy to show you my projects on the #OBSERVERfabrictour.  In true fashion, April does not disappoint.  These designs come from her own eyes and what she has seen both physically and mentally.  My favorite print is Aerial View…mainly because it was inspired by Columbus, OH (where we both live) and just shows how little we are in such a big world…

Observer-Fabric-Tour

I was very fortunate to play with the early strike-offs for this line, and you can view my other projects in this previous post.

P1060647

I’m kicking the tour off with these fabulous oversized Envelope Clutches.  Ever since I had swatches of these fabrics in my studio, I was trying to think of what I wanted to make as a personal project.  These curry and sulfur colors mixed with sand and copper play SO well with the indigos, grey-blues and navy.  I fell head-over-heels with this palette and have plans for a dress in Overshot Gold.  With that in mind, I thought a trendy Envelope Clutch would be perfect in the Shard colorway.

P1060617

As a modern quilter, I continually try to show the rest of the world that patchwork and sewing are still “cool.”  Sound familiar, friends???  I thought combining the sophistication of (faux) leather with a simple block would be the perfect marriage of current Boho-Gypsy love and traditional quilting.

IMG_6780

This was initially going to be a one-off creation just for myself, but the sneak peeks on Instagram created such positive feedback, that I knew I HAD to write a pattern for all of you. EDIT:  Tutorial can now be found HERE. 

IMG_6770

Working with the envelope design, I used a simple half log-cabin pattern to work with the flap’s 90 degree angle.  I used a 2.5″ fussy-cut square from the Homespun Praxis and used various 5″ (or longer) x 1.5″ strips to make a 28″ panel.  The panel was then trimmed to 5.5″ wide.

IMG_6772

The pieced panel was then sewn onto a coordinating AGF Solid Smooth Denim with right sides together. They were turned out and pressed.  The results are clean even edges which are then top-stitched down onto the (faux) leather.  I used Gütermann upholstery thread which provides a nice raised look and slides well through the leather.  Washi tape was used as the quilting guidelines since pen and chalk can smear.  I followed the lines of the piecing  to create additional texture and add more design detail onto the clutch.

P1060621

This Envelope Clutch, although oversized to carry a lot of stuff, still needs the basic features of any bag.  The lining is made out of Treadle Tradition with a generous sized pocket using a 9″ metal zipper from Zip It Zippers.  Metal zippers add that extra professional look I just love.

P1060620

On the opposite side of the lining, I added simple slip pockets.  These are unlined, using leftover leather so there is no fraying.  They were sewn down with unfinished edges.  I just made sure one pocket was the proper size for my cell-phone…priorities, right? ;)

P1060649

Metal snaps were added and now I’m ready to hit the town with my chic boho clutch!

IMG_6880

Sewing through faux leather can be a challenge on many domestic machines.  So I wanted to come up with a similar style Envelope Clutch which is MUCH easier to sew.  This design is shown in Speck Stardust and utilizes some fusible fleece with just a single panel of raw-edge faux leather.  I love how this print color reminds me of a perfectly worn pair of jeans and the leather match my favorite fall booties.

P1060626

I wasn’t able to find upholstery thread to match this vinyl, so I used Gütermann Sew-All polyester.  This slides through the faux leather really well and still provides a great look and quilting texture.  I changed up this quilting design to make some fun cross-hatching.  ‘Slow and steady with the walking foot kept the lines straight and even.

P1060628

With this version, I added a wrist strap using hardware from Emmaline Bags and scraps of both the (faux) leather and Speck Stardust.  Using half fabric and half leather is easier to work with rather than trying to sew through multiple layers of leather.

P1060629

The D-ring was added to the front of the clutch rather than sewn into the side.  This provides the option to be hidden.  It also doubles as a spot to hook your keys.  The lining was made from Indigo Shadow Solid Smooth denim and I created the same zipper pocket one side and two slip pockets on the other.

P1060638

Ironically, this design also fits my laptop.  So with the fusible fleece, this Envelope Clutch can be used as a laptop cover.  The pockets are great for cords and small headphones.

P1060648

I know I’ll be rocking this clutch out on the town with the girls though….

What’s on your project list with Observer?

 

Make sure to stop by April’s blog to get the up-to-date schedule with 6 weeks full of dreamy inspiration.  The line-up of bloggers is quite impressive ;)  If you need even more ideas, head to Art Gallery Fabric’s Observer Lookbook….you might even recognize someone’s name in there ;)

#ObserverFabrics #ObserverFabricTour #ArtGalleryFabrics #WeAreFabrics

 

Sew On,

Cristy

Observer Fabrics Preview

ObserverPreviewTitle

Have you ever seen something out in the wild, and wondered how pretty it would be to freeze that shot and frame it forever?  It’s that moment that is just SO good, you take in that extra long gaze and lose yourself a little…  Well when you’re April Rhodes, you take that extra step into permanence and create Observer fabrics.  It’s a collection of patterns seen out in the world…through the eyes of Miss April, herself.

IMG_4615

It is such an honor to sew with an unreleased collection.  The initial reveal is always exciting, but I love to hear about the inspiration.  That’s why it’s so wonderful to work with April…as we collaborate together, I get to hear the story behind every pattern and every color.  With all of that information, it then allows me to dig a bit deeper in my design wheel well.

IMG_4716

I was immediately inspired by the Homespun print.  It is based off of April’s love of weaving and fiber arts.  The 24″ x 24″ (finished) quilt is paper-pieced  to make every angle and line as sharp as can be. It utilizes mainly 1.5″ strips, making it very scrap friendly.

IMG_4656

With Observer, the prints are either monochromatic or duotone and this quilt was designed to really show off the contrast by using the colorways, exclusively, in each quadrant.

IMG_4655

As you get closer to the fabrics, you can see the little hints of metallic (yaaas!)  With this collection, April incorporated silver which looks amazing against the deep blues.  It’s always hard to photograph metallic, but you can see it in Triangle Tokens and on the Speck Stardust.

IMG_4930

The background is Art Gallery Fabric’s Premium Linen Blend in Soft Sand.  It is such a great texture and color to make the design and colors pop.

IMG_4898

With so much negative space in the piecing, a random application of matchstick quilting was in order using Aurifil 2310. The areas were split into quadrants, like the quilt design, itself.

IMG_4899

The backing was pulled from April’s Wanderer collection.  Wandering Lands Mineral was the perfect print which really complimented all the tones in Observer and it shows off the quilting beautifully.

Stay tuned…this quilt pattern will be available closer to Observer‘s release in August!!!

 

IMG_4715

April asked if I would help make some baby leggings as well and how could I not?!?  Ya’ll know babies are my business and LOVE the opportunity to make itty bitty gear.  These leggings are made with Overshot Gold in knit and they are so amazingly soft.  The pattern for the pants are from My Childhood Treasures.

IMG_4711

I drafted a pattern for the hat from an old one I have.  Make it Love it has a great tutorial and pattern which is similar.

IMG_4657

As an added detail, I used the selvage from a woven print on the back of the leggings.  It’s a great way to make a little tag so you know the direction of your hand-made garments.

Aren’t these clothes just perfect for the little bohemian in your life?

 

IMG_4940

Last, but surely not least, is my mini quilt hoop (measuring about 2.5″ lengthwise.)  Making these quilt hoops has become one of my favorite projects and I cannot help myself when I have such amazing fabric laying around.  I love tiny (who doesn’t?) and love being able to use up every little scrap.

IMG_4943

Of course, I used Dandelyne hoops and chose an oval to make a piece based of the main quilt I designed at the top of the post.  A little gold embroidery thread made this hoop extra special and I love how it turned out.


I hope you enjoyed my little preview of Observer which is due out in August.  Make sure to check out the full collection here.

Do you have any plans for these fabrics?  Please let me know!  I have a few already planned….maybe an envelope clutch, dresses for my nieces, shirts for my boys, and dresses for myself….I could go on and on!

 

Happy Stitching, Friends!

Cristy

Bohemian Fringe Cross-Body Bag


BohoFringeBagTitle

If you haven’t noticed already, I’ve been really getting into bag-making.  I’ve used leather (both faux and real) and now I get to add some suede into the repertoire.  Ever since I got to play with Bound Fabrics for Spring Quilt Market, I’ve had my eye on this Macrame print.  I’ve been meaning  to make a bag with it ever since the line came out, but you know how selfish projects just get pushed to the side for others…  When Art Gallery Fabrics announced a Bound Fabric Bag Challenge, I knew it was my time to finally make my purse!

FullProfileFlat

I was inspired by a bag I saw in Banana Republic.  It had the fun fringe on the side and was a generous size for a mama-on-the-go.  The only thing it lacked was an interesting print to make it really pop.  April RhodesBound Fabrics were the perfect options for this style of bag.  She creates optimal Bohemian Chic designs.

FabricCloseUp

Initially, I wanted a lighter camel colored leather for the fringe and strap.  I stopped by Tandy Leather here in Columbus to see if they could help.  It turned out large pieces of suede were on sale that day and how could I beat $20 for the skin?  I could have easily spent way more on the idea I had in my head.  It’s good to be flexible and I am SO happy with the results!

InteriorZipper

For the construction of the bag, I use Pellon Thermolam and SF-101 to give some structure, but still allow for that slouchy-relaxed look that comes with Boho style.  For the interior, I used Diamond Cloth Cereus and added a nice big pocket with a brass zipper.  Although they are not as smooth as plastic zippers, I just cannot pass the opportunity of using a beautiful brass one.

InteriorPockets

On the other side of the interior, I added a small pocket for my smart phone and an extra pocket for all the other small knick-knacks I bury in my purses.  I’ve learned that I need the phone pocket most of all in bags….especially since I like these over-sized styles.  ‘Having this one tiny feature alleviates a lot of headaches trying to find my “life-line!”

HarwareCloseUp

All of the hardware is from Emmaline Bags and adding the rivets were not as difficult as I thought they would be.  It’s important to have a good leather punch and the right anvils for the job.  The guys at Tandy Leather helped me get set with the right supplies.

Like with my Cargo Duffle, I used Gutterman Top-Stitch thread to make my straps.  I just love that  professional look of the thicker thread.  It takes time to work out the tension, but worth it in the end!

CloseUpHanging

If you get the chance, can you please help me with the Bound Challenge?  You can head over to Art Gallery’s Pinterest board here.  If you “heart” my post, I will earn a point and then if you “re-pin” it, I will earn an additional point.  Please make sure you do so through Art Gallery’s board so the “hearts” and “re-pins” are recorded.  ***Update: Contest is over*** Thank you so much to all who voted!!!!

The prizes will help me keep a stock of fabric and notions so my projects and posts can keep coming to you :)  And you know I like to giveaway too…..

Crossing my fingers (and zippers!)

Cristy

***This post may contain affiliate links for which I may receive a small compensation upon your completed purchase. These help keep the site up and running.