Thursday, January 29, 2009

wall quilt

I wish I had a good camera because I love how this turned out.

This was really easy and a pretty inexpensive alternative to buying framed art. I used the same method as the crafty cork boards (w/o the lining and I stapled the fabric onto the canvas). I put it together with canvas that I bought at Michaels and then Anna Maria Horner's Drawing Room line of Home Dec fabric. I bought the fabric off of for a pretty good price and used coupons for the canvases. Did you know you can use Joanns coupons at Michaels? It took a couple of trips, but I bought all of the canvases at a discount. All-in-all the project cost about $55.

I was afraid my husband was going to hate it. He's very traditional (and opinionated) and it's a bit ecclectic (which is what I love), but he came home and helped me put it together. I was so surprised I almost cried. I love LOVE the way it turned out. It really brightens up the room and makes me smile.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

for the boy

If you've discovered our blog from Sew Mama Sew, then you've probably seen these PJ before here. They are pretty much the only thing I've ever made for Carson! There is nothing exciting about pajamas, but I wanted to share where you can get the pattern for the top as a free tutorial. I put them on him last night and he was SO excited. Who knew - he's only (almost) 2 and I figured he was never really paying attention to all of the stuff I was making for his sister. He had so much to say about the aliens and circles. Very cute.

BTW - thanks to those who took some of my stash off my hands. Now I have some money to go and buy more fabric ; ) There are still 3 yards left if any one is interested.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

**selling my stash**

I am addicted to buying fabric. I need to start only buying fabric if I know what I'm going to do with it! I was going through my stash today and found some yards I wouldn't mind getting rid of. Some of it was for a duvet cover that I never made and some is just impulse buys.

Since it's cheaper ($6 per yard!!) than what I paid for it here's the deal:

I have a paypal account, but you'll have to pay the fees (usually .35 cents plus 3%)

I can fit about 5 yards in a Flat Rate Envelope, which is $5.25. If you're outside of the U.S. I'll have to figure out shipping and let you know.

If you want to get some fabric, make a comment leaving your email address and I'll email you (check your spam).

Fabric comes from a smoke free pet free home.
Sandi Henderson Ginger Blossom Blush Stripe 1/2+ yard $3 **GONE**
Sandi Henderson Ginger Blossom
Water Lily 1 yard (left) **GONE**
Lei 2 yard **GONE**

Michael Miller "groovy" something or other (left) 1 yard **GONE**
Amy Butler Peony 2 yards **has been washed **GONE**
Amy Butler
Clematis white 2 yards **GONE**
Sweet Jasmine navy 2 yards **GONE**Alexander Henry
Apples and Pears 1 yard **GONE**
Mocca 1 yard **GONE**

Sunday, January 18, 2009

pattern review::Simplicity 3881

Here are the two skirts I actually finished. Beautiful 70 degree weather out here in California made it possible to wear a skirt without boots and a short-sleeved shirt to church today. I almost wore sandals. I could have worn sandals. But out of respect for those in more frigid parts of the country I wore regular dress shoes ; )

These skirts are from Simplicity 3881. I made views A (in blue) and view C (pink). Super easy pattern and nice to use when you don't have a lot of a couple different fabrics. In fact, the blue skirt fabric came from this previous disaster. I made the following changes:

*I lined the top piece. After I sewed the dart in the top fabric I used it as a pattern piece for the lining.

*I put in an invisible zipper instead of the one in the pattern. Mostly because I tried doing it the other way, but it didn't work - and I know how to do the invisible zipper so that's what I did.

*After sewing the flounce/ruffle I sewed that seam to the top piece of the skirt. Make sense?

*Because I lined the top piece I didn't finish the waist the way the instructions say (bias tape I think). You just sort of sew the two pieces together, flip them right side out, and top stitch.

If/when I make the skirt again I think I'd only do view A. The bottom part is a "flounce" instead of a ruffle. The ruffle feels sort of kid-ish to me - plus gathering is a pain. The flounce is fun to twirl in when dancing with the 4 year old too.

Oh! I have a questions for anyone who sews from sewing patterns from the big companies. How do you choose the RIGHT SIZE?? Let me tell you my process - according to the measurements on the back of the pattern my waist was a size 14. My hips a 12. Knowing that patterns run big I made a 10. It was too big so I made some adjustments to that skirt and then made the second skirt a size 8. I think I could make a size 6 next. I wear a size 0-2 at the Gap. Why!? Why!? is it SO difficult to pick the right size. I've heard making the size from the Ease shown on the actual pattern piece - which would have worked had I done that in the first place. I know this is the purpose of making a muslin. . . but it would be nice to at least get close to the right size.
Any thoughts? Anyone??

Monday, January 12, 2009

tutorial: nursing cover

As a crafty (and cheap) person, when I see something I love I wonder if I could make it myself. My sister-in-law is having a baby in the next couple of weeks and I thought I'd give her a nursing cover. Have you seen them online? She's a very stealth nurser actually (unlike me who practically has to get undressed in order to nurse), and probably doesn't need one of these, but they are easy to put in the diaper bag and are convenient while in public (and MUCH easier then trying to hold a blanket down with your chin while hoping said wiggly baby makes it to the right place and no one gets flashed). Here is a tutorial for my version of a nursing cover. It's VERY easy - like a big apron.


*36" x 30" piece of fabric (I didn't have a big enough piece, so I put another fabric with it so that the total size was right.
*2 D-rings
*Strap for D-rings is 4" by 6"
*Strap for length is 4" by however long you want.
*10" x 10" square of fabric for a pocket on the inside corner (handy for nursing pads/ binkies, etc).
*approx. 17" piece of plastic boning, maybe 1/2" wide. You can find it by the yard at Joanns. It's hard plastic that goes into corsets or lingerie. We want it curved so that mom can see baby.

Step 1a: Cut your fabric. If you have to use two pieces like me, sew them right sides together, and then sew the seam up towards the top piece on the wrong side.

Step 1b: Serge all sides of your large piece. If you don't have a serger you'll be rolling the hem later in a couple of steps.

Step 2: take the 10" x 10" square and fold it in half (wrong sides together) to make a triangle. Sew a line across the length of the folded edge.

Step 3: Pin triangle in the bottom corner of the wrong side of the fabric. Leave enough space for your rolled/serged hem to go over the edge of the triangle.

Step 4: Roll hem (or fold over if serged) on the bottom and sides.

Step 5: Make straps. Sew each one wrong side together lengthwise. Flip right-side out. On the longest strap tuck the ends into itself and sew across. On the short one thread the D-rings on and then sew across the strap close to the rings to keep them in place. Serge or Pink raw edge of strap.
Step 6: Put the straps on the fabric. With large piece wrong side up measure in 12 inches on each side. Make sure you've rolled your hem or folded it down if serged. This is where you'll place the outside edge of the straps. Pin them in place. On one side, sew from the edge of the large piece to over the edge of the first strap. Then, move over approx. 1 inch and sew to the other edge (going over the second strap) This makes a casing for the boning.

Step 7: To stabilize the straps and make it easier for the next step, sew a square at the bottom of each strap.

Step 8: Insert the boning. The boning has a curve in it so that it's easy for mom to view the baby. Make sure the curve makes the fabric stick out in the right direction (visualize mom wearing it and it sticking out AWAY from her). Slide it in until it hits the other strap. You may have to clip the boning to make it shorter. Sew the opening closed. I also sewed close to the top all the way across in hopes that the boning won't twist around when washed. Plus, it looks nice.
Viola: baby gift.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I was getting dressed for church on Sunday and realized that I needed a new skirt. So, this week I made two from this pattern. I'll post pictures eventually and do a little review and all, but - well, my husband is only home when it's dark outside and and my 4 year old is a little shaky with the camera. Plus, I can't find my camera.

In my mind I was planning on making 3 skirts. Not sure why 3. The third one I'm planning on making is from Stitch magazine - the one one the cover. The picture above is the insert from the magazine that has three "Full-scale skirt patterns" on it. I took the picture with my iPhone, so it's not great, but I think you get the idea. I've been sitting here for an hour trying to decipher how to pull one pattern from a two sided piece of paper with three different full sized skirts and five different sizes per skirt. Wow. I need some Advil. It makes me go cross-eyed. I'd love to finish it. I found some grey corduroy fabric from Joanns for only $2 a yard (it's 50% of clearance right now. . .)

If you didn't buy the magazine, but are interested in some free patterns, you can find them here.

Wish me luck! Picture of the others to follow. . .