Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Cheap Sewing Room Decor

I'm not really sure where this idea came from, but I like the idea of having a place on my sewing room wall to display some of my creations and to keep them from getting ruined while they are being finished. Remember, also, that since I am a visual person my projects get done lots faster if I can actually see them every time I go in my room!

Here is all I did: I bought a $9 wrought iron curtain rod (24"-48" long) and some decorative drapery rings (on clearance for $4) and had my darling husband hang them up.

Since I love fabric, I thought this would be a great way to display some pretty ones and also make my walls beautiful. I am pretty sure that I'm going to get a second rod on this same wall and use it to hang up clothing items I am working on.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Fabric

this is one of the new fabrics that I got this week. I love it. so many possibilities, but I definitely want to make something for L.

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Sweet Sorrow" Jacket

As in......
parting is such sweet sorrow.

I'm lamenting yet another project intended to enhance my own personal wardrobe. Sadly, this one slightly snug. Enough to be annoying. I blame it on my linebacker shoulders because my weight hasn't changed THAT much. It will be up for grabs in my shop soon (when I take some better photos. and it's so much cuter on). Until then, I am going to cry on my pillow. I hope it finds a good home.

I'm trying to decide if I want to sell this as a regular. It is so easy, easy, easy. We'll see.

{p.s. I purchased a new pattern and will be attempting this little lovely in a larger size. the neckline is just too pretty to pass up. maybe I will try it in wool this time. oh, and it closes with a snap}

Help me decide

the little red dress needs an update....something more. Which neckline do you like best? the first one I would take all the way around the neckline. The yoke looking one would probably just be the front.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fall foliage dress

I think I should call this my happy accident dress. I ran out of fabric to do what I originally intended for embellishments so I improvised. and I'd been wanting to try making some fabric yo-yos. So here's the result:

{this one is for my shop so buy it if you like}

Tree Skirt Skirt

O.K. this is a really clever idea that I can take absolutely no credit for. I was watching my friend Barb's daughter this morning for awhile and when she came over she had on this cutest little fleece snowman skirt. Never mind that it isn't that cold yet. This little girl is always dressing up and wants to wear dresses or skirts--ALWAYS!! Barb is so good to her and is always coming up with ways to accommodate her daughter's fashion requests.As I was checking out her skirt I realized that this was made out of a printed tree skirt--you know, the ones they use under Christmas trees. I looked closer at it and she just finished off the inner circle edge, that becomes the waist, and left the outer circle edge (the hem) unfinished. She closed it with two sets of skirt hooks so that it is sort of a mini wrap skirt.
You could also sew the "opening" of the tree skirt closed and put in an elastic waistband too if you preferred. But if this is just a play dress, there is definitely no need to be that fussy. I just thought it was genius--and think of all the cute styles you could find to make the 4 to 5 year old girl in your life happy. So thanks Barb, I hope you don't mind me sharing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Got Milk?? or Cookies??

Once people find out that you sew it can become a blessing or a curse in the fact that they start to think of you first when and if someone is getting rid of fabric from their deceased relative's stash. Sometimes you can get some really great fabric--and sometimes not. In the past I've been given some great vintage looking prints that I've used as aprons. However, I've also pitched a lot of fabric too (or just donated it to some charity).

Anyway, with that being said, what do you do with some pretty nice pieces of cow print fabric?! I've held onto this for a bit trying to come up with something fun with this fabric. I think my neighbor gave it to me from her grandma's stash, but I can't remember. Someone obviously had something in mind, because the fabric all coordinated. I thought about lining some bags with it--but it takes a certain kind of person to carry a "moo, moo" bag, I think.
Well, my little girls thought it would be fun to have pants out of the fabric. I specifically told them it had to be for pajamas. But they did turn out so cute and they are very happy. I just added a band of the contrasting hereford print and then once that was attached I topstitched a black satin ribbon over the seam all the way around the pant leg.

The next project: I also decided to make an apron with the hereford print. I lined it with the final "moo" print. I usually use 1/2" double fold bias tape at the top of the apron and for the straps. It is so easy to use. I have had this bandanna print bias tape for what seems like forever--just waiting for the right project. This seemed like an appropriate use for it--a little milkmaid apron.

And just to make it more "obnoxious" and interesting I added a little embroidered saying, "Got Cookies?" My kids think that means that every time I wear this apron I'll be making cookies. Nice thought, but doubtful....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fabric Garland

We have seen these fabric garlands all over the place, but when we were planning our summer party (that didn't happen) this was one of the decorations we were most excited about using.

Here is my "Cherry Party" themed garland! (The light yellow fabric has cherries on it!) I tried to make it more random--without a specific pattern to the triangles.

Since I've really no idea where to put it until next years party, I've decided to hang it in my sewing room until further notice. It makes me happy to go in there and see cheery things!

Leslie has been getting ready for her husband's birthday in October and made this masculine color-schemed garland for him.

The triangles on her garland are a bit bigger than the cherry one with each triangle measuring 7.5" wide and 9.25" long. ( The cherry ones measure 7" wide and 7" long finished.)

detail view

this shows her pattern repeating
Simple directions for your own Fabric Garland:
Cut a template to the desired size (fold a piece of paper in half to achieve symmetry).
Use a rotary cutter and quilters ruler to do mass cuttings faster.
Sew down two sides, leaving top open.
Turn right sides out and iron, make sure your triangles have a good point.
Lay triangles edge to edge inside the entire length of double fold bias tape (don't forget to pin!)
Sew and you're DONE!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Origami Wreaths

I pulled out the book I bought months and months ago and decided to try some things (the origami crane continues to ellude me).

I think this wreath has so many possibilities. It's very easy. I'm about to make a bunch for our Christmas decor (hang with velvet ribbons). All white to hang above the bed in our room, red prints for the living room. I'm going all out this year since last year was such a bust (baby was two weeks old and I was a mess).

This project can be as cheap (copy paper) or as expensive (scrapbook paper) as you like it to be. I decided I didn't like the papers included with the kit I bought. All the colors were just off enough to be ugly. So I experimented with some of my wrapping papers. This damask is one of them. My wreath uses squares that are (6.75") making the wreath 15" wide.

**I looked for the instructions online, but couldn't find any. Sorry! I wanted to post them. But there are lots of other wreath variations available.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Baby room makeover

After a couple close calls (eyeball) and one hit (temple) with the bird mobile I decided it has to go. As cute as it is...it's seriously dangerous. I don't know where it will end up, but for now it has been replaced by these chinese lanterns.

**the one on the left is much lower because I am trying to decide if I want to hang them at varying heights.

And I also added a few accessories to her room:

a white flannel blanket and butterfly pillow

detail view of blanket
maybe this isn't the smartest choice for a baby's room because L likes to pull on the fringe, but I don't care. That's why it is on the chair and not in her crib.

detail view of pillow
this is made out of wool felt. The back of the pillow is twill.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Magnetic Bulletin Board

I originally saw the idea for a magnetic bulletin board from Martha Stewart. I had planned on making it as is, but my plans changed slightly. I also looked at the framed bulletin board project from Martha and sort of did a combination of the two bulletin boards for my own. Emily and I had a good chuckle today as it seems that we are on the same wavelength with a number of our projects. This project you can do if you cannot find a magnetic board already assembled as she did.

Awhile ago one of my children, who shall remain unnamed, kicked off a shoe towards the shoe bin and instead of it landing where it was intended it hit one of the pictures hanging above the bin and busted the glass. Thank you very much. And this was a child that really should know better than to do that. I finally decided this week to replace the glass. I was just going to buy the replacement glass alone at Michael's; however, this week their frames and glass were on sale ($4) and cheaper than buying only the glass (about $6-7).

So with the new frame, glass removed and put into the old picture frame, I decided to turn it into a bulletin board, for said child who broke the glass in the first place. Basically I followed the instructions about buying a piece of sheet metal and put it into the frame after I covered it with two cute pieces of scrapbook paper. You could also use a piece of cute fabric--but I couldn't find anything in my stash that I thought this kid would like so I went with the scrapbook paper.

Sheet metal--(galvanized panning is what they called it) bought at my local Home Depot store in the ductwork section for $5.49 for a 16" X 36" piece. Check to make sure it really is magnetic. Hubby informed me that not all galvanized material is magnetic. The 16" x 36" piece would make 3 - 11 X 14 size boards. We cut it to size using tin snips. Mark the size you need with a permanent marker and straight edge before cutting.

Here's a little trick to help you before you spray paint your frame. On the back side of your frame pound in slightly a nail at each corner.
Then when you flip it to the right side it is raised up off your work surface and you can easily paint the sides without having to get your hands dirty.
Cut to size your galvanized panning and scrapbook papers. I used Elmer's Craft Bond Spray Adhesive. I sprayed the back of the blue denim paper and then smoothed it directly onto the metal. Then repeated the process with the floral paper. I had borrowed a friend's scallop cutter beforehand to make a wave on the floral piece. I like how it turned out.
Here's a little tip about the spray adhesive. Sometimes it it isn't always easy to get the spray off your hands, if you've accidently sprayed yourself, with just soap and water. This trick we got from Grandma J.--she taught it to us when we were refinishing some furniture. It takes off wood stain slick as can be if you get it on your hands. I tried it today as I got my hands sprayed slightly and it works for this too. Rub your hands with margarine really well before washing with soap and water and the stickiness (or stain) will come right off.

Finished project--I have plans to make some fun magnet buttons and will include them with the board. I think I will be saving this for a Christmas present for the kid. Total cost--$6

For another idea--this would be a good size if you wanted to display "framed" any of your children's artwork. With some nice magnets you could put their art projects in the "frame" and then change it as needed.
I used the remaining galvanized panning to make myself a magnetic board too. I bought a clearance (goof-up custom order) frame--16" X 24" at Jo-Ann's today for $10, a piece of foam board--I cut it to the size of the back of frame and put it all together. Total cost for this board--around $15. I'll have to attach something to hang it also. I may spray my frame red, but for now I am leaving it as is. I also haven't decided yet if I will be using it as my own inspiration board, or a message center in my kitchen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Inspiration Board

Another project that was started awhile back for me and recently finished: My Inspiration Board for my sewing room.

I bought this framed magnetic board from my local Roberts Craft store that measures 54" long by 30" high (on the outside edge). They are normally $60, but I used a 50% off coupon and only paid $30.

All I did was paint it black--EASY!
Then I had to get my sweet husband to hang it up for me--HARD!

After months of being propped up against my wall, my sweet husband finally hung it up!
Here it is on my sewing room wall!
I really, REALLY like it!
I am a visual person, so anytime I can see my ideas or inspirations I am a happy girl!

My favorite thing on the board would have to be these awesome magnets Leslie introduced me to. They are from a place called Amazing Magnets. Seriously, they are so cool!

The ones I bought are super tiny! You hardly notice them on the board, which is the main reason I love them. But, boy are they strong! But if you don't like tiny, they sell lots of different shapes and sizes!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cake Decorating Contest

Some friends of ours from church are having a friendly little fondant cake decorating contest with some of their friends locally and around the country. If you want to see the cakes, and some are pretty amazing, then click on Get Your Cake On. You can cast your vote too for the one you like best. The voting ends next Friday night at midnight. You may just be inspired too to try some fondant yourself.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Print your own

I just printed my Happy Halloween sign. You can to...or happy birthday, or your name, or whatever you want because this link has the whole alphabet. Sweet.

Ruffled Scarf

Leslie and I were talking about scarves today as she found a rather expensive one she likes at Anthropologie. We are trying to find a pattern close to that one she likes.

Last Winter or Spring I made this scarf from a pattern I got at one of my local Yarn shops. I tried it out for fun to see how it would look and to see how hard it would be. It wasn't that tough and definitely didn't take very long. I am mostly posting this so that Leslie can see how it turned out and see if it might be what she'd like in place of her Anthropologie scarf.
A similar pattern to the one I used can be found HERE. Currently I can't find the pattern I used for it. I'll have to look a little harder and then when I find it I'll post it.

More Black Apple dolls

Monday, September 8, 2008

Leslie's Lovely Apron

Remember when I gasped (literally) upon seeing this picture of Leslie lovely ruffled apron?! Well, that was because upon first glance I actually thought it was one apron, not 4! Oops! But the affect was what I was loving~the whole Americana patriotic look to it.
So, after voicing all this to Leslie, she was kind enough to give me her left over scraps from those pretty aprons. Here is what I came up with:
I am a simple girl after all and love all things Americana!
You can purchase one of these pretties for yourself or your daughter at Leslie's etsy shop. Yes, she makes a little girl version that is absolutely the cutest! My 6 year old, Miss K, was quite envious of the pink one when Leslie used her to model the apron for a photo shoot.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

National Sewing Month

I was at the fabric store today and there was a poster on the window saying that September is National Sewing Month. There is also a website dedicated to that event. I didn't look at it too much, but considering I am the Sew Girl of this group I should probably put my plug in for sewing.

Here is a quick little message from the National Sewing Organization and I agree wholeheartedly:

"September is a time to celebrate our passion with National Sewing Month, but we know the creative, therapeutic and calming effects of sewing are joys that we can celebrate throughout the entire year."

"Happy sewing!"

So hopefully you can be inspired to try a little (or not so little) sewing project and feel good about your accomplishment.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Very Cherry Pillowcase Dresses

Now that my kids are back in school, I am finally getting around to my summer projects. Sad, but true...

I had bought this cheery cherry print fabric clear back in the spring in anticipation of a summer party Leslie and I had in mind. But when my cherry tree froze our party didn't happen...and there sat my fabric!

In the meantime my friend, Stephanie, went on vacation with her family to Orlando and posted this picture with her girls wearing their cute Minnie Mouse inspired dresses. (I am sure they were a hit in Minnie-land! Notice how Miss E's purse matches her dress perfectly!)

Stephanie's cute dresses inspired me to try out the pattern for my own girls. Stephanie shared her source with me, and Susan (the source) was kind enough to let me link back to her tutorial so I could share it with you! I tell you, the blog world is full of fabulous women who make beautiful things. So, thanks ladies!

Here are my girls' cherry version! I am quite happy with how they turned out. Susan's tutorial was easy to follow, and the dress was easy to make. Of course, now that I've made it once, I'll probably make a bunch more next summer.

The great thing about these dresses is that the little girls won't outgrow them very easily. When they are too short to wear as a dress, they are really cute as a top, also. In all I made 3 matching dresses, one for each of my girls and a baby-size one for Cousin L who lives close by.

Variations: If you are the least bit leery about making your own bias tape, you can buy matching double fold bias tape instead, and Stephanie used grosgrain ribbon for her ties. For the contrasting band I cut the dresses 2" shorter for each of the girls and then cut a band of fabric 6" wide for the older girls' and 5" for L's small size. I folded the fabric in half and then sewed it on the bottom after sewing up the side seems of the dress.


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