The Fennel Fanny Pack | Disney & Universal

I’ve just returned from my trip to Disney Epcot and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. While the trip was fun, we were most excited to see our friends from Holland, who we haven’t seen since they visited in 2018. We had a great time catching up and sight seeing together!

Epcot, Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, Garden Festival April 2022

In preparation for my trip, the Fennel Fanny Pack was at the top of my list! I had been hoarding this canvas cat print for a few years now and knew it would be perfect for my fanny pack. Purrfectly paired with a gold stripe lining.

Sewing Therapy has a great youtube tutorial you can follow. My front pocket piece came out a little smaller with the way I sewed my zipper on. In the future, I would note to make these cuts slightly bigger and trim down after sewing the zipper on. Same advice for the top zipper piece. All in all, the bag was quick and relatively easy to sew up. I had to really think things through with my directional fabric and only needed the seam ripper once! I didn’t use stabilizer, as it is an optional addition, and found that my bag held its shape well with the canvas.

Sewing Therapy offers two different tutorials, one with bias binding, as the pattern suggests, and one with a drop in lining. I went with the binding method.

The pattern suggests using a traditional buckle clasp, but I was sewing this up last minute and couldn’t locate the hardware locally. Instead, I went with double D rings and double swivel clips. My local quilt shop had these in stock and I actually prefer how it turned out with this closure instead.

This fanny pack is on the smaller size and you might double check that your phone will fit comfortably inside. Mine had room to spare so it was perfect! While on my trip I kept my phone, a small bottle of hand sanitizer, travel bottle of Tylenol, my lip oil, and my card holder. Perfect for all the walking, eating, and drinking we did!

Here we are at Universal, in Jurassic Park, with my Fennel Fanny Pack!

2018 Finishes and 2019 Plans

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you had a joyous time entering the new year. Were you out celebrating or did you stay cozy indoors? We stayed cozy indoors and I was falling asleep by midnight! That’s okay though; I was eager to get to my 2019 plans!

My New Year’s Eve finish was my Winnie the Pooh cushion. It’s absolutely adorable! I’m so happy how it turned out. I purchased pre-cut pom-poms which only came in 2 yards. I didn’t calculate what I would need, but luckily 2 yards was just enough! I added sew on stabilizer to the back of my stitched piece after pressing the hoop wrinkles out, then basted my pom-poms on, then pinned my envelope backing on, and sewed at a 1/4″ all the way around. The cushion roughly measures 12″ H x 16″ L.

Here’s all of my 2018 Finishes!

Didn’t finish as much quilting as I had hoped. My #1 quilting goal is to finish my King size quilt commission. After that quilt is complete I hope to work on all my quilting wips until they are complete! Maybe start a new quilt, but most likely just focus on wips. I do have a rifle paper co. quilt commission that I’m excited to start on as well. I would also like to sew more garments in 2019. Mom and I took a skirt class just recently. You can see our finished skirts in the above gallery. I have a few patterns I’m eager to shop fabric for and get started!

I’m also starting a new cross stitch piece today! Where There are Bees by The Prairie Schooler. There’s another stitch along on instagram #averyprairieyearsal (a very prairie year SAL) The idea is start a new prairie schooler each month, but I’m altering it for myself. I will work on prairie schooler monthly, but not necessarily start something new. When one is complete, I can treat myself to a new prairie schooler pattern. For my SAL group here on the blog, I will be working on my Scarlet Quince Passion Flowers and Hummingbirds. So that covers two weeks out of each month. For the remaining weeks of each month, I will use my Decision Roulette app to randomly select a project from my wips!

In the garden, I’m excited to work on some flower beds along the front of the house and along the back yard shaded area. The front bed was prepped with cardboard and mulch in hopes to kill the grass and soften up the soil. In the back, mom and I planted an Oakleaf hydrangea and a hellebore plant in the fall. I want to continue this area and add a few more companion plants. There’s a lot of spring cleaning to be done in the garden and I look forward to getting my hands dirty!

That about covers my plans for 2019. I look forward to reading your plans and seeing all the creativity 2019 will bring us!

Esme Top {Fox Trot}

I’ve never sewn garments before and last year I spotted a tunic pattern at Joann’s while shopping for fabric. The Esme Top by Sew Liberated was the perfect pattern for my first attempt at garment sewing. While this pattern is suggested for advanced beginners, I thought why not!?

I held on to the pattern for many months before spotting the perfect cotton fabric at the International Quilt Show last year. Fox Trot by Dear Stella is the cutest fabric with little foxes, dainty greenery, and mini mushrooms. The fabric and pattern sat on my to-do pile for quite some time! I recently went with my mom to an Intro to Garment Sewing class where I learned some basics of pattern reading, pattern tracing, sizing, supplies and more. Mom definitely helped me get started! We traced the pattern on tracing paper and cut the fabric together. I’m a petite person and we went with the sizing that I measured…but in the end, I feel the finished top came out too big. A con about this pattern, there are no finished garment sizes listed. I took in the side seams during the construction, but the overall cut was already large. This did help some and I will not mind wearing it a little oversized (that’s stylish with some fall boots, right?), but I will definitely try this pattern again in a smaller size and a different fabric type.

Neko definitely approved of this cute cotton print…

neko approved fabric 2
neko approved fabric

I pre-washed my fabric and added a tricot stitch for the edges of the cut fabric pieces. After my first wear and washing the finished garment, I was not happy with the amount of fraying and trimming of threads that was needed. I want to try pinking shears next time. What is your experience with using pinking shears? Is there still fraying after washing? Sewing the yoke on was a breeze and adding the gathers was fun to do. I was able to complete the front, the back with neck facing, and attaching the two bodice pieces at the shoulders. Then I was at a standstill as I was challenged with putting the sleeves in. I could not get my sleeves to match the opening length. Mom came to visit me and showed me how to set a sleeve in. After that, I was then able to stitch the sides up (where I then took the size in 1 1/4″ on both sides). I had planned to make some ties from the same fabric to help with the fit, but I had trouble making them, so I passed and decided to just finish up. Gathering the base of the sleeves and adding the cuffs was fun to do and I love the look of the poofy sleeves. Added a rolled hem to the bottom of the bodice and I was done!

My finished top lived on my dressform for a few weeks before I bought the buttons for the finishing touch. These are not real button holes, but it was definitely an option to make. The bronze buttons I found were perfect and is my favorite part. Definitely a cute pattern and as I’ve mentioned, I want to try it again with a different fabric type. The cotton I used doesn’t drape as well as I think the pattern is meant to with the gatherings and such. I’m not happy with the cut of the back either. Not sure if smaller sizing and fabric would make me think differently…there’s just no shape to the back as you can see. The dressform is made of felt so it’s grabbing the top, which is giving it some shape. I’m very happy to have completed my first garment and looking forward to the next!

Esme Topbuttonsbuttons 3sleeveside view_esme top_2back view_esme top