4th of July off the shoulder ROMPER!

 

Okay, who else is dying in this heat? Because I know I sure am!

With that being said, it’s OFFICIALLY summer. So what’s easier to just throw on and go other than a romper? They are my go-to & we are so ready to share this one with you, just in time for the 4th of July!

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What you will need:

This ITY print

 Cynthia Rowley Pattern 8124

Elastic

You can even jazz it up with this necklace!

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For measurements, reference the back of the pattern:

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We also highly recommend these fabrics for this cozy romper:

In order: Shibori Bamboo Knit in RedShibori Bamboo Knit in Indigo, Robin Crepe, Pebble Crepe, Andrea Eyelet Liberty of London Anderson

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Here you will find a video that walks you through the whole process of creating this garment (hope the music puts you in the summer mood!) If you are a beginner, don’t worry, we have provided a simple walk through! If you are more advanced, we have accommodated you through the use of using your serger!

We want to see your final product!!! Tag us on Instagram or Facebook and hashtag #MLEVINECREATION for a chance to win some goodies!!

Cheetah Dress DIY

Okay, so I’m sharing a secret with you guys. This dress I’m about to show you, is my life.

Before I go any further just know you don’t have to be an experienced sewer to do this! Sewing comes with time and patience. But if you are an experienced sewer and would like to finish this dress off (the hem, neckline and sleeves then be my guest, but show me pics!)

I chose not to finish the edges, which sounds crazy- I know, but with the ITY that I used and the knits that I have used, its not necessary and I like it a little rough. And you heard right, I’ve done this DIY with Knits and ITY.. AKA I’ve made a TON, they are my absolute GO TO.

I’ve even thrown one together minutes before work… that’s actually how this all started. With that said, lets get started!

Step 1: Pick out a fabric. I LOVE my ITY (which I’m giving 2yrds away to a random special someone) I used 1.5 yards, but bought 2yrds to be safe.CHeetah.png

These are the two knits I have also used before (pictures with the dresses below)
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Step 2: Gather your tools

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Step 3: Pin the sleeve to your shirt IN, like so…unnamed-1.jpg

Step 4: Lay your fabric out, make sure you are “minding the grain” as my teacher has always told me (so that it stretches the correct way). I personally, lay my fabric out flat, then fold in each side according to how much fabric I need so that I have a solid middle piece remnant. You will then lay your shirt on top of the fabric down the center front. You can pin this down if your ITY is moving around too much.

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Step 5: Use your ruler to measure from your shoulder to the ground, this will be how long you want to cut your dress continually extending it as your t-shirt follows.

** I wanted this dress to be formfitting and a little bit edgy, so I followed the cut of my shirt, if you want it loose and non formfitting, add 2-3 inches as shown below, when doing this, you may want to add a piece of elastic to the back, if you don’t know how to do this, please comment and ill add the steps **

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Repeat steps 4 & 5: This will be your back, you should end up with TWO cuts that look the same, like this…

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Step 6: Who loves french seams?! Because I know I do!! To those who are unfamiliar, we are going to start by sewing the dress together as if you are actually wearing it. That means pattern print goes OUTWARD. Starting with the shoulders, we pin, then sew (I used a stretch stitch)unnamed-8.jpg

Sew the shoulders and the sides

Step 7: Trim your garment to 1/4″ from the seam like so

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Step 8: Now the magic happens! Flip the dress inside out and sew 1/2″ stitch unnamed-10.jpg

Sew the shoulders and the sides

AND THAT’S IT! I can’t stop making these nor do people stop giving me compliments on them. This in total takes me about 20 minutes (if that) to make.

Here’s how I wore (wear) it!

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We’re Backkkkk

HEY EVERYONE!!

We had a little off-time on here but now we are back in action! We have TONS of new stuff firing up and I can’t wait to share with you! In the meantime, I have a super fun and SUPER EASY DIY in store for you this week. This is the scrumptious fabric I will be using. (Giveaway of this fabric will happen to recreate my final product, comment below if you would like to be apart of the giveaway!)

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The project takes a whole 25 minutes, unless you are using a fabric that frays, they you will need to finish your edges. If you would like to prep for this project, you will need:

2 yrds fabric

Matching thread

6″ of 1/2″ elastic

Your favorite t-shirt 🙂

I’m sure you see where this is going…. Lets just say I made one last week and the next day went out and bought fabric to make FIVE more… IM OBSESSED.

STAY TUNED

Michael Levine’s Special Kona Cotton Solids Sale for Online Customers Only!

Now is a great time to shed some light on the ever popular Kona Cotton, a staple broadcloth material amongst quilters and crafters for it’s universal appeal and large spectrum of colors. This weekend we’ll be having a sale online on all of our Kona Cotton Solids, so we wanted to share some ideas and pictures.

In case you are unfamiliar with broadcloth, it is characterized by a dense weave, which lends itself to sturdiness and long term durability. So as you can imagine, quilters choose this material for its ability to hold up to many washings and time, as quilts are traditionally handed down through families and generations as long lasting heirlooms. Not to mention the fact that it is 100% Cotton. If you know me well enough by now, you know that I am a huge advocate of natural fibers, especially for worn or slept-in items. I think blankets qualify. Nobody likes waking up clammy or damp. A material like Kona Cotton will give you the vibrant colors and long-term durability, paired with the added benefit of being a breathable, natural fiber that will ensure a comfortable sleep.

There are a ton of online tutorials and quilt patterns if you’d like to try your hand at a Kona Cotton Quilt. The most elaborate designs use analogous colors to create dimensional and gradated patterns.  This one here is an interesting take on a classic chevron. I like the simple instructions drawn out on graph paper, very clear:

Another notable, somewhat retro, design using Kona Cotton can be seen here. Or the Shattered Rainbow,which is here. The possibilities are endless. Just do an online ‘image’ search for “Kona Cotton Quilt” and you’ll be overwhelmed by choices.

But you aren’t only limited to quilts with Kona Cottons, I imagine them working wonderfully in both children’s garments or women’s dresses and skirts. And as the examples show, Kona Cotton works great for making bows and other semi-rigid items. You can also use a Kona Cotton Solid for any of the components in our pillowcase blog or the potato bag blog. Here are a few photos of garments that could easily be replicated using Kona Cotton Solids as the main fabric or contrast:

    

Whatever you decide to do or make with the Kona Cotton, it’s bound to yield pleasing results, and this weekend is a great time to stock up during our Kona Cotton Solids Sale!

Look Who Visited Michael Levine’s – Marcy Tilton!

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of meeting long-time designer and sewing world celebrity Marcy Tilton. Although I didn’t realize at the moment ‘who’ she was, when Marcy handed me her business card the name rang very familiar… I later realized Marcy’s name was famous to me from her work with Vogue Patterns. Aside from designing patterns, Marcy blogs and hosts a variety of workshops, classes, and tours – among them an exciting trip to Paris’ left bank in May 2012, suitably called ‘Paris Tilton!’


What I love about Marcy’s patterns is that they are all any-age appropriate, and if you’ve got an eye for classic styling and cuts, you will appreciate them. We’ve just recently added a nice selection to www.LowPriceFabric.com.  My ‘Top 3’ favorite Marcy Tilton patterns are these:

This asymmetric top/jacket (appropriate for all ages, and would be cute lengthened as a trapeze coat-dress!):

These cropped trousers (suitable for any woven fabric and so easy to pair up – you could dress these up or down, night or day! Plus there are three style variations):

And this asymmetric urban jacket (with so many different fabric options, it’s easy to get excited about it!):

It’s always refreshing to meet creative people who have found success doing what they love and who are just as interested in others’ work as their own. Marcy was very kind and intrigued by our operations and endeavors here. I highly recommend reading Marcy’s dissertation on fabric shopping, full of practical tips, found here. I hope you will pay a visit to our section dedicated to Marcy’s patterns; I’m sure you’ll find one that strikes your fancy. And who knows, maybe one of you will end up meeting Marcy in Paris!

Michael Levine’s Sweetens the Deal: Low Price Valentine’s Crafting Supplies and Valentine’s Day Projects!

Valentine’s Day and the month of February is always the time of year that we reflect on love and the special people we’ve been blessed with in life. Although many people would argue that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday, that could be said for any holiday. The true values of a celebrated day are becoming more and more clouded by the commercial world. Crafting, however, and making gifts from your heart are a sure way to hold onto what’s real and meaningful on Valentine’s Day, and what is priceless and cannot be bought: LOVE.

I’d like to share a couple of projects I’ve come across or made myself, that are prime examples of a perfect Valentine. You don’t even have to make anything functional; throwing together some nice materials in an artistic way with a lovely sentiment attached is really all you need to show somebody your admiration.

The first idea comes from Designed by Jane, and was featured on my previous blog entry about felt:
I just think this is so adorable and every little stitch and detail shows dedication and time. You could very easily embroider a sweet message onto the back – and voilà! Love delivered! You can shop our collection of eco-friendly felt, perfect for a variety of holiday crafts, here.

My next suggestion is something for the kids. My mother always supervised the making of home-made valentines for us to distribute to our classmates. Heart shaped doilies, Valentine’s fabric, some lace trim, red and pink construction paper, pinking shears, a bottle of Fabri-tac, and perhaps a little glitter is all kids really need to get crafty and show some love to their classmates. When I think of store-bought Valentines, I think of that song “Can’t Buy Me Love.” There’s just so much more dedication and affection that come with home-made Valentines. Plus, kids will love crafting their own Valentines, it will keep them out of your hair for an hour or two, and every one is happy! These are just a few of the many Valentine’s items we at Michael Levine’s have just added to our online store, www.LowPriceFabric.com!

      
Another idea comes from my previous blog about Personalized Pillow Cases. It would be very easy to adapt this project and incorporate some of our Valentine’s Day Fabrics and possibly use some of our eyelet trims instead of piping. You could even tie it up for presentation with one of our decorative ribbons and top it off with an adorable Cupid Brooch:

      
One more thing for the kids – or anybody for that matter – is a simple ribbon bracelet accented with a ‘diamond’ heart charm. You could add a clasp and it’s done!
This last project – I cannot take credit for, but – is certainly worth highlighting, is this lovely Heart-Shaped Mailbox for Valentine’s Day deliveries. This is a great idea for kids or teachers who want a fancy little place to receive their Valentines.
Again, this project would be a nice use for many of our Valentine fabrics (some are priced as low as $4.00 a yard!), and you could always trade out the scalloped edge for some lace or eyelet trim!
      
So whatever your Valentine’s Day plans are, and whoever receives your affection on this special day of love, hopefully you’ll find a place in your heart for some good, old-fashioned meaningful home-made gifts! And if not, if Valentine’s Day just isn’t your thing, you can always show some love for Arizona, whose Centennial Celebration of Statehood is this February 14!



80/20 split

So 80% of the time I’m an employyee here at Michael Levine, but 20% of the time I am a shopper, crafter, and have even tried my hand at knitting. Before coming to work here I never would have called myself crafty, but being around all these amazing products day after day I found myself wanting to try my hand at a few things. The first thing I remember making were some really cute place mats out of oil cloth. No sewing required so it was a perfect first project for me. All I needed was pinking shears and the fabric. They turned out so cute and added a punch of color to my table. Once I had a baby around I found my focus shifted to baby items. Baby bibs, baby burp cloths, and baby blankets took me through the next few years. All my friends were so impressed when a one-of-a-kind baby bib or birp cloth was pulled out of my diaper bag. And a few years ago we brought yarn into the store. I love the look of the yarn and just had to give it a go. I will have to pull out the ones I did and post the pics. While I loved the results, I have to admit with 3 little kids and my low level of patience I didn’t make that many items. I do have a few great winter scarves and love wearing them.  We have recently got in these collars, some are plane, while some have more embellishing. I was going through my many fashion magazines and saw all these t-shirts with embellished neckline. My radar went up and I thought I can do this. For a few dollars and a nice Michael Star T-shirt I had mysel a really cute, not so everyday T-shirt. Here are a few pics of my personal projects that I really thought were simple and that I really use and wear…

Here is one of my latest projects. I have been into making jewlery. I made this great vintage feeling necklace awhile ago, and still love wearing it. It was so simple. We have chain here and of course a hugh selection of buttons. These are rhinestone balls that hang just perfect.

One day when I was working in the button department I met this shopper who had this amazing necklace on, one that would be perfect fot the “Black & Bling” party I was invited to. When I asked her about it & took a closer look I realized it was all buttons. She had just bought it a one of the big department stores. Again I thought I can make this for 1/2 the price. While we didn’t carry the exact button her necklace contained I found something similar that I liked. I love this necklace. While I use it as a special occasion piece I get compliments everytime I wear it.

I hope you feel inspired to try something new. While we may not still carry the exact products show in these pictures, we have so many newer, great options. Remember, even if your a novice like me, have fun and give it a go!