Pattern Review, Sewing

Woven Hudson Pants & A Secret Revealed

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a few different sewing bloggers (ladies that I interact with on a regular basis), and realized that none of them knew I had 6 children! I always thought I had made that clear, but it made me wonder how many of my readers were missing that important detail about me. I think it’s important for you to know this before I tell you…

I’m expecting baby #7! All of our other children were spaced less than 2 years apart. This time we have a 4 1/2 year gap between our youngest and the baby. It certainly makes life easier to have a 10 & 12-year old that can make meals and watch littles on the days when I have been exhausted. Everyone can get themselves dressed and to the bathroom. During other pregnancies, I’ve had 2-3 in diapers and young children in constant need of attention.

Based on previous experience, I knew I would lose my sewing motivation during the first trimester. So, what did I do? I pitched a guest post and two magazine articles so that I would have to sew on a deadline. Smart right? It seemed like a good idea until my nausea kicked in. I have spent several days in bed due to severe nausea that hasn’t let up for 10 weeks. That’s not uncommon for me, but I had forgotten how much it affects me after a four-year break.

Despite the morning sickness, I have managed to get my 3 projects done and even sewed a pair of woven Hudson Pants. (So, maybe my plan worked after all?) I’ve been planning to make some woven Hudson Pants for a while. They seemed the perfect transition pants for early pregnancy and postpartum.

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

I used the instructions from True Bias, making a larger size and adding some length to the bottom of the pants. My fabric is 4 0z. denim from Jo-Ann Fabrics. For my stretch Hudsons, I have been making a size 6. Kelly suggests sizing up 2-3 sizes for woven fabrics. I went up 3 (to a 12) to accommodate some of the extra pregnancy weight.

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

Though they fit, I think going up to a 14 would have been better. These are a tad tight in the rear and calves. I can see the seams pulling around the calves especially. I’d like to be able to pull them up and down over my calf, but the fit is too tight for that. Maybe using a stretch twill would help as well. I might also raise the back waist a couple of inches, leaving the front a little lower, like typical maternity pants. I plan to try again. I have been wearing these quite a bit and can definitely see myself wearing some in other colors.

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

Other than sizing up and adding 4″ to the bottom, I didn’t make any other major alterations. I think I did a little bit more topstitching in some places (side seams and faux fly). I used the denim for the waistband, which works well, but I really like Anna’s idea for a knit waistband on linen pants. I might do that next time. Maternity pants should be as comfortable as possible!

Finally, I thought I’d share a little glimpse of what goes on during a photo shoot with 6 kiddos…following this picture, I taught my little guy how to use the remote. He proceeded to take about 12 (really cute) pictures of himself pointing the remote at the camera, plus some with me and each of the other kids individually. 🙂

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio



Patterns, Sewing

Penfield Pocket Tote Testers

Monday, I released the Penfield Pocket Tote pattern. I’m grateful to the many testers who provided feedback on this pattern. It’s a volunteer job, and I so appreciate the time and effort these ladies put in to helping make this pattern the best it can be!

I have a few to share with you today. Each tote has a distinct personality. Hopefully their bags will inspire you to make your own Penfield Pocket Tote that reflects your personality.

The first tote was made by Carrie. She used waxed canvas for the exterior and leather for the straps. I really like that this bag is mostly neutral, with a pop of fun fabric on the pocket. The waxed canvas and leather will be extremely durable!

Penfield Pocket Tote | by Carrie | Radiant Home Studio

Margareth made this fun, but classic bag with faux leather and a vintage style fabric. The front pocket is a great place to display some of your favorite fabrics like Margareth did!

Penfield Pocket Tote | by Margareth | Radiant Home Studio

Chiaki made her tote with soft colors and linen. It’s not only beautiful, but the stitching on the straps and topstitching is perfect!

Penfield Pocket Tote | by Chiaki | Radiant Home Studio

Tammy used some bright, fun fabric paired with solid black. The vinyl accents on this tote are very classy. Tammy also tested the pattern using foam interfacing. Though it isn’t listed on the pattern instructions, foam will work well if you prefer a very structured tote.

Penfield Pocket Tote | by Tammy | Radiant Home Studio

Becki made her tote in coordinating canvas. She tested the bag without stabilizer for a more casual, slouchy look. This looks like it would be perfect for hauling groceries or library books!

Penfield Pocket Tote Testers | by Becki | Radiant Home Studio

And this floral and gingham tote was made by Colleen. I love the subtle exterior with the bright lining. The contrasting fabrics in Colleen’s lining really help to showcase the pockets.

Penfield Pocket Tote | by Colleen | Radiant Home Studio

As I said before, I’m thankful for all of their hard work! I hope their different bag styles get you thinking about what fabrics you would use and inspire you to make a Penfield Pocket Tote of your own!


Introducing the Penfield Pocket Tote

Happy Monday! I’ve been working on a new pattern, and today it is finally ready! Introducing the Penfield Pocket Tote

Penfield Pocket Tote | Radiant Home Studio

It’s an extra-large everyday tote, with lots of pockets, making it a versatile bag with room whatever you haul around.

I designed the Penfield Pocket Tote with clean, classic lines. It works for moms hauling baby gear, college-students hauling books, or even working women hauling their gear. This bag looks great in a variety of styles, whether casual or business.

Penfield Pocket Tote | Radiant Home Studio

Practical interior and exterior pockets provide plenty of space to organize your things. The snap closures and rivets add stylish, modern detail. I used waxed canvas (or you could try leather accents) for a upscale and durable tote.

The Penfield Pocket Tote pattern includes step-by-step illustrations and detailed instructions, along with supplemental photos. I’ve also included extra tips to help you achieve a professional looking finish. Each pattern piece is labeled with a letter and includes specific cutting instructions. Pattern pages are numbered and easy to assemble.

The Penfield Pocket Tote pattern contains actual pattern pieces, not just a list of rectangular measurements. The bag interior includes a divided elastic pocket, a small zipper pocket, a divided slip pocket with spaces for pens, and a magnetic snap closure. The bag exterior has two large pockets, one on the front and one on the back. The front also includes a small exterior pocket. Finished Dimensions are approx. 14.5″ x 16″ x 3.5″.

To see more details and purchase the pattern, check out the Penfield Pocket Tote in my shop!

Patterns, Sewing

How to Make a Waxed Canvas Retro Rucksack

I’m excited to finally share this new waxed canvas Retro Rucksack with you! I made this weeks ago, but didn’t have the time to photograph it and get the pattern updated until this week.

Waxed Canvas Retro Rucksack | Radiant Home Studio

Ever since I made a waxed canvas messenger bag for my husband, I knew I wanted to use some for my Retro Rucksack. If you haven’t used waxed canvas for bags before, I highly recommend it! The wax protects the fabric from dirt and moisture, so it’s perfect for bag bottoms. It has the look of beautifully aged leather when it is finished, and it continues to look great after use.

I have more information about how I use Otter Wax to coat my canvas in this post. I used about half of a large bar of wax for this bag. Different fabric absorbs more or less wax, so the amount can vary…but at least that gives you an idea.

I prefer to wax after I finish sewing. It saves wax because you aren’t waxing the parts that will be caught in the seam allowances. It also brings out the character of the bag as you rub the wax in and accentuate the folds of the fabric. And you can finish sewing the bag all in one sitting instead of waiting for waxed pieces to dry in between.

If waxing sounds like too much effort, you can also find pre-waxed canvas on Etsy.

Waxed Canvas Retro Rucksack | Radiant Home Studio

For this pattern, I made all of my straps and added the wax after doing all of the topstitching and pressing, but before sewing them into the bag. I waxed the bottom accent pieces and top strap band after completing the bag. If you aren’t planning to wax the whole bag, you can protect the other fabric by using masking tape or painters tape along the edges.

Retro Rucksack Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

A few months ago, I updated the Retro Rucksack pattern to include a roll top option in addition to the recessed zipper option. This version shows how the roll top looks. I’ve also updated the pattern listing with these new photos and I have included a preview of one of the pattern instruction pages. Check out the new pattern listing for more information!

Retro Rucksack Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Here, you can see how the strap converts from a backpack to shoulder strap. You can wear it as a backpack, or as a cross body style bag. And there’s actually a third option that I use, which is the short shoulder strap you get when you leave the strap adjusters in this position.

Retro Rucksack Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

I really love how this came together with the waxed canvas! I hope it inspires you to try sewing the Retro Rucksack or to use waxed canvas in your other bag projects!



North Pond Notebook Cover Tester Versions

The North Pond Notebook Cover is now available in my shop! I had a fabulous group of testers for this pattern and the finished product is better because of their hard work and great suggestions.

We made a few changes after testing, so if you notice inconsistencies in pocket sizes and buckle placement, just note that those sections have been clarified and updated. I also added an appendix with instructions for making size adjustments. My international testers had a harder time finding notebooks to fit their covers, so I wanted to clarify the best way to make modifications.

North Pond Notebook Cover Tester Versions | Radiant Home Studio

Carrie made this gorgeous small cover. I love how she has the sketchbook styled with sewing project ideas and has beautifully showcased this line of fabric!

North Pond Notebook Cover Tester Versions | Radiant Home Studio

This bright and modern cover, by Jamie, shows how you can make spaces for pens in the small pockets. Daryl made this fun coffee-themed notebook cover, which seems like it would make a great gift for a coffee-loving friend. And this beautiful floral journal cover, by Margareth, is perfect for Spring.

North Pond Notebook Cover Tester Versions | Radiant Home Studio

Neutral linen and polka dots! Both Jen and Chiaki made their notebook covers this classic combination.

North Pond Notebook Cover Tester Versions | Radiant Home Studio

Krista made this pretty, feminine notebook cover, with lovely topstitched detail on the strap. And Carrie made these 3 coordinating notebook covers as Easter gifts for her daughters!

North Pond Notebook Cover Tester Versions | Radiant Home Studio

Lynn bravely used pink vinyl and green glitter fabric for her notebook cover, and substituted a different type of buckle closure for style. Shelley made her notebook cover to showcase a fun conversational sewing print. And Keisha paired a pretty dark floral with a bright, solid pink for her lovely notebook cover.

North Pond Notebook Cover Tester Versions | Radiant Home Studio

Keri made this classic looking cover with pretty quilting cottons, and a buckle slider in place of a snap. This pattern is great for using what you have in your stash—just about any ring or buckle closure will work! Finally, another cover by Daryl in bright pastels.

Thank you again to all of my testers for your contributions and suggestions! I hope their notebook covers provide some creative inspiration as you think about what you want to make with your North Pond Notebook Cover pattern.

North Pond Notebook Cover Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

You can find the North Pond Notebook Cover pattern in my shop or on Etsy (best for international)…