Sewn: Megan Nielsen's Briar Tee

Epps!! I've sewn my very first t-shirt!  I can't even believe it's taken me this long to branch out into sewing with knit fabric.  I mean, I've already had my sewing machine for almost two years now. Sheesh!

Why the long wait in tackling stretchy fabric?  Like most who are new to sewing, I wasn't sure that I'd have the skills to wrangle those pesky knits into the garments of my dreams. Knit fabrics sure seem like they'd be difficult to work with. I mean they're stretchy, and shifty and have a mind of their own sometimes. 

Anyways, I'm glad I decided give knits a try, because nothing compares to a great custom-made t-shirt for comfort and and style. And in the end, you know what??! Sewing with knits isn't so bad after all. 

Stretchy. fabric. fears. conquered. BAM! Bring it on! ;) 

The pattern I used is Megan Nielsen's Briar Tee.  It was my first time using one of Megan's patterns and I was pleased with her easy to follow directions and well designed pattern pieces.

This was a great first knit project for a beginner like myself.  It came together quickly which was soooooo nice.  Many of the projects I've tackled recently took months to finish (like, ahem, this dress), and while it can be fun to take on challenging projects, it is also easy to get burned out.  In contrast, I'm loving how quick and easy it was to make this simple t-shirt.  And if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I've already got some plans for a few more of these in the works.

Project Details:
Pattern: Megan Neilsen's Briar Tee
Size: Small, although next time I might try the extra small for a snugger fit.
Fabric: A cotton spandex blend from Girl Charlee. It's a thicker knit fabric, and my top feels like a lightweight sweatshirt. I figured a thick knit would more stable to work with for my first knitwear project.
Time: Just a couple hours total, but I spread it out over several days. It won't take you long, even if you're a beginner!
Skills: Wrangling knits (getting the fabric laid out for cutting was the hardest part for me); using a double needle; the zig zag stitch
Sewing Needles:  I used a ball point needle for the seams and a twin needle for the hems.  
For future projects: I'd like to try stabilizing the shoulder seams.
Helpful Resources: I found this great YouTube video by Sew Etcetera on sewing with a double needle really helpful. I also love this how-to post by Tilly and the Buttons on sewing knits on a regular sewing machine. Thank goodness for internet resources to help us newbies out!

I'm really excited that I've branched out into the world of sewing knits. It opens up a lot of possibilities for creating comfortable and wearable clothes.  I can't wait to see where this sewing-with-knits adventure takes me next.  Coming up, I've got some stripes on my sewing table.

P.S. Thanks to my sister Ali for giving me this pattern. I LOVE it, girl!

A Chair Makeover: Reveal!

Lately, I've been working to turn my ho-hum craft room into a creative space that suits my style. Instead of trying to overhaul my craft room all at once, I've decided to focus on little projects here and there so that I can enjoy the process of transformation.  It's been fun to see everything come together in its own time.  

My most recent project was taking a boring old thrifted chair and giving it a bit of personality.  Here's a peek into how this project unfolded. 

This what the sad little chair looked like before I decided to fix it up a bit:  

I had initially painted it this turquoise blue color, but wasn't happy about the color choice. (Ick!!) No worries, though, a little elbow grease one afternoon solved that mistake.

I ultimately decided to go with a deep hunter green color. I thought it would compliment my pale pink walls and also tone down the girly-ness of the pink paint a bit. Plus, since green and pink are complimentary, I thought they'd look great together.

Alright, here is how the transformation progressed... First things first, I had to sand down the chair and get rid of that awful turquoise paint.  This was definitely my least favorite part.  After sanding, and sanding, and sanding, my arms were tired and I was coated in a film of powdery paint dust, but I finally got the old paint stripped off. (Tip: Wear a mask to keep yourself from inhaling the paint particles that are sanded off.  The paint dust was everywhere and so gross.)

Next, a coat of white primer got the chair in tip top shape before I painted it green.

Finally, the fun part for me was updating the upholstery.  I took the seat off the chair. Then, I removed the staples by prying them up with a screwdriver.  Most of the staples just popped right out, but a few stubborn ones needed to be pulled out with a pair of pliers.

I left the same padding on the seat as was there before and just covered the seat with my new pretty fabric. Since my fabric had a noticeable pattern on it, I took great care to be sure I had the pattern lined up exactly how I wanted it to be on the seat.  A few staples around the edge hold the fabric in place:

I put the cushion back in place, and that was all there was to it!  Now, I have a fancy (almost as good as) new chair in my office space.

So there you go... take a seat  ;)

It was a lot of fun to be able to take a tired old piece of furniture I already had and turn it into a unique piece I truly love.  I really enjoy being able to update items I already have in my home rather than having to go out and buy new stuff all the time.  There's nothing quite like taking something old and making it shiny and new again.

Have you guys made any updates to your home lately?