August 27, 2010

Simplicity Pattern B5301 Review

A very good friend of mine just became a nurse. Yahoo!! No It's kinda funny, this was the friend of mine who couldn't stand blood back in the day.

Yea, she's a nurse, and a kick-a one at that. (I am pretty sure she's over the blood thing by now...)

What do you get for a new/just graduated nurse?? Well, you don't get them anything, you make them some hot-to-trot scrub tops!

Now, I am not one to just pull something like scrubs out of my butt without a pattern the first go round, or second, or third, for that matter. Thankfully there is a sale on patterns at almost all times at Joann's.

$1.99 for the Simplicity B5301.

(Photo courtesy of

So, of course I had to go buy some fabric for this... heaven forbid I use my stash... hehe.

I used butcher paper to transfer the pattern onto this time. I usually just use tissue paper for wrapping presents, but I knew I was going to make a couple of these. I stacked the fabric on the fold to cut out the fronts and backs, then just rearranged what was left to cut out the pockets, sleeves, and collar.

On to the actual review:

Pattern Description: This description is from the pattern envelope:

The V-neck scrub top features comfortable t-shirt ease, shirt sleeves, and styled pockets. The specially fitted sleeves allow more arm movement for a full-figured woman. The elastic waist pants with side seam pockets have been specially drafted to fit the correct waistline slant of a full-figured woman. Directions for a drawstring waistline are also included.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yea, it was a drawing, so it wasn't all cartoon-y (hehe), but it did look a lot like the drawing, the top doesn't have waist definition like the drawing though.

Written Instructions: The written instructions are very clear, easy to follow, and have ample amounts of photos.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how the pattern chose to instruct sewing the sleeves on. I like sewing a sleeve on before sewing the side seams.

Fabric Used: I just used woven cotton, the fabric that the pattern recommends.

Level Of Difficulty: I would say that this is a good beginner pattern. The collar is a little tricky, but it's more maneuvering of fabric than the actual pattern itself.  
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The only tip I have for the pattern is to sew the bottom pockets on about 1/2 inch above where it is marked on the pattern. I suggest this because the first one I assembled, the hem would have been sewn about 1/2 inch up into the actual pocket, no good.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yup, I would sew it again. I am making 3 of them. I would recommend this pattern.

Conclusion: This pattern is very well written, and even has instructions in it to alter it for common body shapes that the basic pattern was not drafted for, like a fuller bust, petite or tall sizes, and even pear shapes.

On a final note, I would just like to apologize to all nurses, you do some of the most important work and yet you wear clothing that makes you look very blob-ish. I am truly sorry, not that my typical jeans & t-shirt wardrobe is that much better...

August 16, 2010

The Brick Wall Quilt Pattern

It all started with a 3 pound cotton assortment from that contained much more browns than I was ready for. I had no idea what to do with them.

I was thinking about things outside that I like. I live in Dover, DE, so we have a pretty ample supply of very old buildings. Among my most favorites are brick buildings.

Hmm, lots of brown fabric, and a liking to bricks... not too tough, right?!

Next step, the drawing board:

I don't really sketch in any particular order, but the amount of fabric needed is almost always the last thing to be figured out.

Thanks to Wikipedia, the standard U.S. brick size is:  8" wide, 4" high, and 2 1/4" deep.

I went with that measurement and created this quilt.

Here's the tutorial:

- 16 Fat Quarters
- 3 yards backing fabric, or material cut/pieced to measure 48" by 68"
- batting measuring at least 48" by 68"
- 1/2 yard for binding

- 94 rectangles measuring 8 1/2" by 4 1/2"
- 16 squares measuring 4 1/2" by 4 1/2"
- 6 strips of binding, 2 1/2" wide by the width of fabric for the length

Sew 9 rows as follows: one 4 1/2" square, then three 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" rectangles, then one 4 1/2" square.

Sew 8 rows of six 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" rectangles.

You should now have 17 rows measuring 48" by 4 1/2".

Figure out the order you want the rows to be in, alternating the rows to stagger the blocks. I made sure that none of the blocks touched another block of the same fabric. Sew the rows together horizontally. Your top is done!

(This is not that great of a pic, but it got the true colors the best of the couple I took.)

Now, lay your backing right side down, lay the batting on top, then place the top on top of these 2 layers, pin all layers together, and quilt as desired. When I pin my quilt, I try to think about where I am going to quilt it so that I don't put the pins there. It goes a LOT faster if you aren't taking pins out every 5 seconds.

Attach binding, and your done. I recently found a GREAT tutorial for doing the binding, which is my absolute least favorite part of quilting. But, Rita over at Red Pepper Quilts has the right idea about binding!

Just look how great it turned out:

Edited to add: I would LOVE to see any blocks/projects you create with this pattern! Feel free to join & share in my Flickr group: Your Lyanna Jean Designs.  

Just a reminder, my patterns are for your personal use and enjoyment only. They have not been tested, so if you find an error feel free to let me know at lyannajeandesigns(at)gmail(dot)com.
Photobucket Keeping It Simple
The Girl Creative

August 12, 2010

Social Media Icons

Yesterday morning, I had no idea what the name for those cute little buttons that are usually all in a row on blogs that link you up to other social networking sites.

Well, they're called social media icons.

And, you can get some really awesome ones for FREE, that's right, free.

I picked my bottle cap ones up at Six Revisions, and I think they rock.

I love bottle caps, especially vintage ones. Once upon a time, I actually collected them.... Then I graduated from high school and went through a purging stage, I am still upset about some of the things I got rid of.

Either way, these babies were too fun for me to pass up. Now, I just need to get an awesome new header...

Here's a place to find more free social media icons.

August 9, 2010

I've Decided a Few Things

I think I am just not liking the blue varigated thread on my king sized quilt I'm making for my friend's wedding. Err. Time to take it out and start over with the quilting... fun times.

Right now I am working on a charity quilt for Anna Maria Horner's Rainbow Around the Block project. It's quite cute I think. A couple months ago I ordered a 3 pound cotton remnant assortment from, and I managed to get about 7 or 8 fat quarters that were various shades of brown. Now, I'm not too crazy about brown, but I decided to run with it. I actually bought a few more fat quarters to go along with these, and now I'm making them into a Brick Wall quilt. I'll put up the pattern once I've completed it, very simple though.

I also decided this week that I want to start making my own patterns. All too often I buy a pattern for something, spend lots of time cutting it all out and (mostly) following it's instructions (I've been sewing for about 20 years now, so I am pretty familiar with how most things are made). I guess the only reason I do it is because I've been somewhat lazy, or busy/overloaded... who knows. Then the article of clothing doesn't really fit right, and then the person it's made for just complains (no names, you know who you are, wink wink).

So, I ordered a few books this week from Amazon (love love that website). 

Here's what I'm getting:
I got Sew U because sometimes I just have issues with sewing finer knits, lets just stick with "issues". And, I noticed that Dana over at Made had it as one of her favorite books right now, and she's just a genius with knits!!

I promise I've been productive lately, I even did a project with knits that turned out pretty good. I'm just tired of my horrible photos all taken between 3 and 5 am with even more horrible lighting. I'm hoping to take a naptime this week and head outside to take some pics. Wish me luck...

August 6, 2010

Friday Find: Sew a Straight Line

In case you haven't heard, the lady behind Sew a Straight Line is pretty awesome. She has committed to challenge herself to step up her sewing skills by sewing through an old college sewing textbook.

I think that is awesome!! Maybe I should look around for a sewing textbook, I know I could use some up-ing of my skills ;)

She's got some pretty awesome tutorials too, like: Star Pin Cushion, Rolled Kitchen Towels, To Make a Fitted Diaper, and The Domesticated Skirt.

Mind you, this is just a few of her tutorials.

The best best thing about Sew a Straight Line, is that she has a post with link parties for each day of the week! How awesome is that?!

So, hop on over and check out Sew a Straight Line.

August 5, 2010


Needless to say, my first king has officially been put on hold for at least 1 week, and no more than 2!!

I have a yard sale/craft sale coming up this weekend, so I want to get a few things made up to have a bit more that just what's in my etsy shop.

(Some flowers my daughter is growing, pretty.)
My #3 kiddo is turning 3 the end of this month, and I want to get a banner made up, so I can finally have one...

Also, I have a few miscellaneous projects that I need to get a start on for the holidays, and birthdays.

You see, my kids birthdays fall in June, August, October, and December, so the second half of the year is all birthday and all holiday... fun times.

On another note, here's a pillow I made on Tuesday. I quite like it, I did a hidden zipper on one side, and I think I'm in love with how it turned out. I don't think I'll be doing too many envelope cases now.

It was so easy to cut it out and attach the trim, I just followed the pattern in the fabric. It matched up perfectly at the seams too!! Yay.
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