Top Stitchers: "Hybrid"

Hey there! I'm Becca, blogger here at Free Notion and Top Stitcher "Chairman". I'm playing contestant today, too! You see - Bobbie's specialty is quilting. She makes BEAUTIFUL rag quilts, it's definitely her area of expertise. I, on the other hand, have made exactly 2 quilts. We both wanted to participate this season, but couldn't find matches for our respective talents! So I started thinking "well... what would it look like if a quilt challenge and an apparel challenge MERGED?" Thus, the "Hybrid" challenge was born:

Hybrids are mythical creatures that combine the physical attributes of multiple species. They commanded both fear and respect, as they were thought to possess the strongest characteristics of each species within them.
In this Hacker challenge, you will create sewing legend by combining the talents and techniques of two very different sewing worlds: Quilting and Apparel. Your entry must contain obvious elements of each world. (This challenge, by its design, requires the deconstruction, reconstruction, and creative talents of a Hacker.)

I am Bobbie from A Vision to Remember.  I reside in the big ol state of Idaho (yes I grew up on a potato farm, totally cliche, I know)  I blog over at A Vision to Remember All Things Handmade Blog  I also sell online at


When I first found out about the Top Stitchers Challenge, I thought "This sounds like fun".  Little did I know crazy fun, intimidating, challenging, and fun (did I mention Fun already?).  Once I found out all the guidelines, I started to wonder "what did I get myself into?!?" I have sewn clothes, but not much.  My girls love it when I whip out a cute little circle dress right before church.  Nothing complicated.  Quick. Simple. Cute.  That's it.  Ask me to make something more complicated than that and I probably would tell you Nope.  But when it comes to quilting, the more complicated and challenging it is, the better.  I have made a living out of sewing rag quilts and selling them in my online shop, even creating rag quilt patterns, so that others can learn to make these out of the box styles of rag quilts.  So when I was issued the challenge of incorporating 2 things that I love doing (one that I am pretty good at and the other, not so much). My inspiration for this dress came from Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Fox Quilt Pattern.  I have been seeing this quilt block pop up all over instagram and have been dying to try it out.  So I knew which quilt block I would give a go.  Next up for me was the hard part, figuring out how to incorporate it into clothing.  Wearable clothing at that!

After much searching and pondering what I could handle as far as making clothing, I remembered this dress that I had made a couple years ago.  It is a bustle top pattern by Sumo Sweet Stuff.  It was perfect.  It is cute ✓, it has a spot for the fox block ✓, and I can tackle it with my limited knowledge of clothing making ✓. Its all business in the front and party in the back.

Next up, no little girl outfit is complete without a cute headband, Right?  So La Bella Rose Boutique came to the rescue with the cute headband and flowers.  I then decided last minute that she really needed some ears.  Every Fox needs Pointy Ears!

Next up, I landed right back in my comfort zone.  Kinda.  I had to accessorize her just a bit more, so I made her the cute fox face zipper pouch clutch.  Rag Quilt Style I think she was more excited about having a purse than she was about her outfit.   I haven't had a ton of experience sewing with zippers, and I had just ordered these cute little lace zippers, so I gave it a try adding one onto her cute little clutch.

A few little side notes:  The white shirt came from Target. I didn't purchase the quilt block.  I couldn't find anywhere what size the finished block was to know if it would work for this dress.  So I just winged it.  It would have been a heck of a lot faster to just buy the pattern, but then I didn't know if the finished size would be right.  I didn't dare take the chance.  Plus, at 11 pm at night when I finally had a second to sit down and get this outfit going, I didn't want to take the time waiting for a reply.  Patience is definitely something I need to work on *wink, wink*  I used fabrics from Riley Blake Designs. They are all 100% cotton.  I hope you enjoyed my cute little girl and the outfit she is modeling.  She is all sass!  This was a fun challenge for me.  I enjoyed stretching myself and trying new techniques.  I don't normally participate in these types of challenges. They are way out of my comfort zone!  I didn't realize when I volunteered to be a part of Top Stitchers what it really entailed.  I don't think I would have asked to be a part, if I would have known.  But I am so glad that I did!  It has been an absolute joy!  I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I have! 

Hi, I'm Becca, and I'm a Jacket-o-holic. I have a SERIOUS love of jackets, and have my my fair share of them. (Like this one. Or this one. Or this one.. or this one.... WELL, you get the point.) So when Bobbie and I agreed on our "Hybrid" challenge, I knew immediately I wanted to find out what a quilt-jacket hybrid might look like. 

Before I had any plans at all, I cashed in my Skirt Fixation Challenge Create prize, a gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop. I bought this jelly roll IMMEDIATELY. Then clicked over to Pinterest to find my inspiration. It was risky, for sure, because the last time I bought fabric and then made up a plan, I ended up in a puddle of tears as my top stitcher season 1 deadline crashed upon me. Thankfully things went a little smoother this go around!

I found this incredible beaded jacket first, and this clean-lined, crop length one second. "SURE. I can do that with a Jelly Roll." And so I did:

Once I had my plan, I stuck to it. It made ALL the difference. That plan included modifying New Look 6302 - cropping the sleeves and adapting the pattern to incorporate super bulky french seams to hide allllllll the raw edges. I muslin'ed it it first (ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS do this!) then saved the muslin as my jacket backing. I spiced up the gray suede (yes, suede, I'm a glutton for punishment!) side panels with quilting details to emphasize the bust line and lines designed to narrow the waist. I echoed those details on the shoulders and sleeves. I bias-bound all remaining edges.

I wanted to showcase a couple of the piecing techniques I've learned. The first being flying geese, visible on the front diagonal, and the back top-center of the jacket. I used this technique to make them fast and uniform! Then, as an homage to my long lost love, an oh-so-perfect Patchwork Threads t-shirt, I pieced together a "Lemoyne Star" and appliqued it onto the Patterns for Pirates Layer Me Up t-shirt. 

How did I get the edges so perfect? The outside pieces of the block were sewn to squares of tear-away stabilizer. I stitched them, pressed them, starched them good, trimmed excess, then zig-zagged them onto the t-shirt. Tear the rest away, and voi-la! My very own graphic t! A perfect start to my summer capsule wardrobe :)

The capris have no quilting tie-in, but they are the jocole skinnies. I used my flat front tutorial and cut a yoga waistband for the back in lieu of an elastic casing. I've been wanting mint skinnies for a while, so I shamelessly used this assignment to bump them up the sew-list! 

I had so much fun this time around. I'm glad I signed up for another Top Stitcher challenge, and even more pleased to feel like I showcased my sewing (apparel AND quilting) skills this time! I appreciate your thoughts in the comments below :)  

Before you give your ratings, here's a quick refresher of the rules!

  • You will rate rate each challenger, and every category. Max of 5 stars, 5 is highest.
  • Challengers will receive an average score for each category, and an average score overall. (You can see an example hereNew to Season 2 - 50% of the vote will come from 3 Top Stitcher Alumnae who volunteered to judge this season's creations!
  • Your feedback helps each challenger recognize areas that they can improve their craft, and celebrate those areas that they already excel. 
  • As such, please submit your feedback for each contestant only once. Admittedly, I cannot enforce this, but the objective is for each contestant to receive a thoughtful rating, not skewed scores. 
  • It is SUPER DUPER NERVE-WRACKING to put work on display for others to judge, so let's remember to leave some love and encouragement for our challengers in the comments!
Rate Bobbie's Technique *
Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Rate Bobbie's Creativity *
Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Rate Bobbie's Presentation *
Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Rate Bobbie's Degree of Difficulty *
Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Rate Becca's Technique *
Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Rate Becca's Creativity *
Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Rate Becca's Presentation *
Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Rate Becca's Degree of Difficulty *
Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Leave some love! *
Let this week's challengers know what you liked best from each look!