Holiday Card ~ Bakers Twine Style

December 16th, 2009 § 10 comments § permalink

I am forever trying to think up new ideas for the bakers twine. Here’s one I came up with for our holiday card this year. I was inspired by the sewing/lacing cards I played with as a kid.

Card as recipient received it.

Card as recipient received it.

I punched all the holes with this.

Back of card. Taped twine down with japanese masking tape.

Back of card. Taped twine down with japanese masking tape.

Label reads: part craft ~  part puzzle  ~  all holiday cheer. I gave a url with a photo of the photo below.

Finished card.

Finished card.

Say Hello to My Little Friend

November 13th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

My felt arrived in the mail today at 1pm and by 3pm I had a new friend.

felt-mouse-sized

I learned a few things. I need to practice my stitches (a lot) and I prefer a more fluffy feel to the felt. After making this little guy I hand-washed all the felt so future projects will have a less “pressed” appearance.  All in all, I have to say I think I will be having lots of fun making holiday gifts out of felt this year.  So. Very. Satisfying.

I highly recommend the book and the felt.

Cashmere Sweater Reborn

November 4th, 2009 § 4 comments § permalink

I likey the cashmere. A lot. It’s soft. It’s lightweight. It keeps me snuggle-ly warm. Unfortunately styles change and I don’t feel pretty in some of my older sweaters, but I can’t ditch a friend that has taken care of me so well. Soooo, last Friday I tried to give new life to an old sweater friend. I’m sure someone with mad sewing skills could rock this project. This is the first buttonhole I’ve ever made so that would not be me.

Sweater in it's original state.

At first I thought I would unravel the sweater and re-use the yarn to knit a scarf. Um, apparently that’s not how cashmere sweaters work. The yarn is itty-bitty. They must have elves making these things.

sweater-scarf-3I cut two 6″ bands from the body of the sweater.

sweater-scarf-4– I opened up one side of each band
– Pinned the two pieces together
– Sewed around the perimeter with my sewing machine (straight stitch first, then again with a zig-zag so it wouldn’t unravel). I left an opening on one end to turn the scarf right side out.
– Tried it around my neck to gauge placement of buttonhole
– Eyeballed a buttonhole size and stitched the buttonhole

sweater-scarf-5I did a zig-zag top stitch on the ends to finish it off.

sweater-scarf-finishedFor someone who was winging it,  I think it turned out ok. I will definitely wear it this winter.

The whole project took less than an hour and cashmere sweaters can be had for cheap (less than $10!) on eBay. Look for sweaters in pretty colors but ugly styles. Don’t forget to check out the mens’ sweaters too (more “fabric” to work with).

BONUS: Did you know that you can wash cashmere in the washing machine? It’s true. Wash it in cold on delicate. Lay flat to dry.  There’s just no down side to this stuff.

Sew Hot Project

September 22nd, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

A little while back Jamie at City Chic Country Mouse asked if I could help her with some design layout for a new goody they would be offering in their etsy shop. A PDF pattern/instructions for their ever-darling oven mitt. I own one of these mitts and LOVE it! These make great hostess, holiday and shower gifts. Not the sewing type? You can buy a mitt (or two) already made in their shop.

Side Note: I was discussing the project with my family at the dinner table one night and my daughter suggested “Sew Hot Oven Mitt” for the name. Jamie decided to use it and made one little girl beyond happy. Thanks Jamie!

Lovely Fabric Goodies

July 28th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

I was poking around in my Google Analytics to see who has been poking around in my etsy shop and blog. I find this is a great way to make new discoveries. One such discovery is Down Home Amy. I fell hard for her style, fabric choices and illustrations. She a great knack for creating very useful things that have a ton of style. Click here to visit her website and here to visit her etsy shop.

Fabric Project 4 – Simple Skirts

July 3rd, 2009 § 3 comments § permalink

Here is my fourth and final projct from the Garage Sale Fabrics.

What really inspired me to buy the garage sale fabrics in the first place was this post on Le Blahg which linked to this post on Grosgrain Fabulous.  I mean really, a skirt (cute no less) that you can make in 20 minutes? That’s my kind of sewing project.

So, I tried it and below is the result. I’ve already worn it once, where I discovered that I should have used less elastic. (When I went to get up from the couch, my niece was sitting on the edge of my skirt. Hello undies!)

the 20-minute skirt via Grosgrain Fabulous

the 20-minute skirt via Grosgrain Fabulous

I wanted a skirt that was a less full and I remembered I had this pattern that I bought 2 years ago and never made. It says 2 hours to make on the pattern, but it takes less time. The fabric I used had some stretch to it. If I were to make it again, but use non-stretch fabric, I would make the next size up. I made the “C” version and shortened it a couple of inches.

Pattern for skirt #2

Pattern for skirt #2

Skirt made from 2-hour pattern

Skirt made from 2-hour pattern

Fabric Project 3 – Pillow Covers

July 2nd, 2009 § 5 comments § permalink

Here is the third project from the Garage Sale Fabric.

The two pillows below are from when I was in my country french phase. They’ve been living in my linen closet for about 4 years waiting to start their next life. Well, last Saturday was the day for them to be reborn.

Pillows sporting their old attire.

Pillows sporting their old attire.

Here they are in their new (garage sale) fabric. The middle pillow has been out of the closet for a couple of years now and is happy to have some company.

Same pillows (on ends) sporting their new duds.

Same pillows (on ends) sporting their new duds.

I covered them in the wide wale, light aqua corduroy. It’s so soft. Perfect for a couch pillow.

Below is the easiest way I know to make a pillow cover. There are only 2 seams!! (I do apologize for the  photos. I was figuring out how to make these as I was making them  and didn’t take any photos during the process.)

pillow-tutorial-1Place your pillow on your FLAT fabric (not folded as seen in the photo).
Add 1″ to the height (so 12″ high pillow = 13″ high fabric).
Cut your strip of fabric.
With pillow still on fabric strip, wrap the sides of the fabric strip so they overlap about 4″ and trim width if needed. (16″ wide pillow = approx. 40″ wide strip of fabric)

pillow-tutorial-2Remove pillow.
Fold the side edges over and stitch to finish the edges.
Place pillow on flat fabric and overlap/wrap finished edges so that the pillow is snug.
Pin at overlap edges at top.
Remove pillow and smooth cover so you can pin the bottom overlap.
Sew top and bottom seams. 1/2″ seams.

pillow-tutorial-3Turn case right side out.
Iron if necessary.

pillow-tutorial-4Put pillow in cover.

Fabric Project 2 – A Little Purse

July 1st, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Here is the second project from the Garage Sale Fabric.

After completing the kitchen cabinet curtains, there was one little piece of the buffalo check fabric left. Little Cat A spied the possibility of a purse in that little scrap of fabric. She went through some of my other fabric scraps and we came up with this.

Little Cat A's new purse

Little Cat A's new purse

We bought the iron-on patch at Maker Faire 2008. The tan linen square is secured with Stitch Witchery (my fave) because I sewed the sides of the purse together before I thought of attaching the pocket/decoration. Um, duh… The finish purse (not including straps) is approx 12″ x 12″.

Thrifty Side Note: Curtains from IKEA are one of the best deals going (especially if you can buy them on sale). A couple of years ago, I bought 2 pair of tan linen curtains and after cutting and hemming them to floor length, I have used the scraps for making pillow covers and recovering the seats of 2 chairs AND I still have some fabric left. You can also use them for tablecloths.

Fabric Project 1 – Kitchen Cabinet Curtains

June 30th, 2009 § 6 comments § permalink

Here is the first project I did with the Garage Sale Fabric.

Back Story: Nine years ago we remodeled our kitchen and got a screaming deal on some kitchen cabinets (someone had rejected them for their kitchen). Many of the upper cabinet door fronts were to supposed to have glass in them. Well, I don’t keep tidy cupboards, so I came up with a solution to hide the contents by making some curtains for those cupboards. Originally we painted the kitchen a dark gray/green color, then 3 years ago I repainted it  aqua/robin’s egg blue color, but I never got around to making new cupboard curtains to match. (Actually, I couldn’t find a fabric I liked at a price I liked.) Well, the buffalo check I scored at the garage sale ended up looking great.

Before shot of kitchen cabinets with old green fabric in them.

Before shot of kitchen cabinets with old green fabric in them.

After shot of cabinets with garage sale fabric in them.

After shot of cabinets with garage sale fabric in them.

Before close up.

Before close up.

After close up.

After close up.

Since I already had done all the measuring and “hardware” installation the first time around, all I had to do was lay the old curtains down on the new fabric, add a couple of inches for the casing, cut and sew.  I used itty-bitty cup hooks and some wooden dowels cut to size to secure the curtains.

Close up of cup hook and dowel I put the curtains on.

Close up of cup hook and dowel I put the curtains on.

I  sewed a zig-zag stitch on the vertical sides so the fabric wouldn’t unravel. I didn’t have enough fabric to have an actual finished edge.

$9 of Fabric – Hmm, What to Make?

June 29th, 2009 § 4 comments § permalink

Last Saturday I went to garage sales (again) and this time I scored some fabric. I ended up paying $9 for the fabric in the photos below.

3 yards of patterned fabric and 4 yards of cotton stretch fabric

3 yards of patterned fabric and 4 yards of cotton stretch fabric

4 yards wide wale corduroy and tablecloth

4 yards wide wale corduroy and 2.5 yard buffalo check

I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to make when I bought all this, but I went ahead and stopped by the fabric store on the way home and spent another $9 on thread and elastic.  I got home and started thinking and came up with quite a few ideas. I then spent the rest of Saturday (about 8 hours) making stuff. What stuff, you may wonder? Stay tuned. Each day this week I will reveal a project.

Disclaimer: I’m not a sewer (a person who sews, nor a waste-carrying pipe), but I have a sewing machine and determination, so the projects I do are very, very easy.

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