Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fabric Bowl

A long while back I digitized and made this fabric bowl. 

I don’t know where the file is now, but I remember how proud I was to be able to pull it off.  In my cleaning frenzy I came across it and thought to share.  I’ve made a number of these over the years, some with my embroidery machine, some with just my sewing machine. 
Quick and easy gifts! This is the original book I read on how to make them, it has great patterns and techniques.   I've been thinking of making the boxes out of this book as well.  hmmm....boxes may be a nice end of year teacher gift...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

1 down, 2 to go

Of my 3 kids who are in school, the youngest has officially started summer vacation today! WOOHOO!

I liked how the preshool teach bags turned out!  So much so that I think I'll be making something simular for the grade school teachers.

I'm diving into my stash to look for fabric!  My plan is not to buy any new fabric this summer. HA!  Let's see how well THAT goes!

I do really want to buy this:

I'm tired of folding and ironing my bias strips...
Hopefully this little machine will make it easier!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Almost done!

I’m so excited! I’m almost finished all the preschool teacher bags!

Check out the first one done:

And take a look at the inside:

Notice the label? I’m so thrilled my idea for them worked out!

OK. Three more to go and I get to call it a night!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wedding Gift

I love my embroidery machine!  Next to sewing, embroidery is one of my favorite modes of crafting! Towels are so much fun to embellish.  This was a wedding gift for a young couple.

I'm busy finishing the end of year teacher gifts.  I just made labels! Embroidered of course.  I'm even writing up a tutorial on how I did them!

Happy Victoria Day to all the Canadians out there!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

little ballerina embroidery

I just love little girl birthdays! This little ballerina was stitched a few years ago. The embroidery designs come from, great designs! I simply love them all!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A new bag!

As I was working on more end of school teacher gifts, I came across this fabric.

This is a tapestry pillow panel fabric I picked up years ago! I haven’t seen it since I made the preschool teachers totes out of it once upon a time, years ago when I first started sewing.

As I was staring at it I began to get an idea for a bag. I pulled out my freezer paper and began drawing. Then I just cut. I didn’t do a test. I didn’t think. I just cut.

The result:

I like this. I still need to line it, and maybe add some pockets to the lining, and attach the straps. Over all I’m happy enough to make another…and another…and another.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Drafted bag--sewn!

OK.  This is better.  Not huge, just right as an all around bag.  I still need to line it, but overall I like the shape.

It’s another test bag, but if the lining goes in OK, I may have to use it as a teacher bag.  Hopefully I can get them done today!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Drafting Patterns

I decided to make my own pattern.  I don't have any training in drafting patterns.  I'm self taught, so there very well might be an easier way to do this.  I'm a visual person.  If I can create what's in my head quickly, if I can figure out the problems before I start a project, then I'm a happy camper. 

My quick sketch, with approximate measurements:

Basically once you have an idea, rough measurements you can start to put together your paper bag! I know you're all wondering what I'm talking about so...

Pull out your pattern paper.

Yup, that's a Costco sized roll of freezer paper.  I picked it up years ago and use it for everything!  Craft project, paper drafting, freezing food!  It's a lot of bang for your buck! 

OK, now that we have our paper, let's get drafting:

All we are doing is transferring our sketch to the pattern paper, making it the size we want.  When that's done, cut out the pieces, tape them together and you have a paper bag!

Adjust the pattern as needed from here.  I'll need to make the handles longer, and maybe the bag a bit wider.  I did test out the space:

I think there is more than enough to tote things around. 

Years ago I posted this method on Craftster using blue painters tape.  I still like to use the blue tape better than any other kind, it just wasn't handy for putting this bag together.

Tomorrow:  the test sew!

And for Inspiration Thursday, how about some other sites that talk about pattern drafting?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Test Bag

URGH! I really love the way the market bag looks on the pattern picture, but HATE the way it sews up. And it is HUGE!

This is the test bag...and I am so glad I made one before cutting into the more expensive fabric!  It was a pain to put together, the instructions aren't the greatest...and while all these factors could be true only because I am sick, the bag is still HUGE!

I mean, let's face it, if I can hide behind this bag, then it is a truely large bag!

I spent some time making sketches and think I'll draft my own pattern.  Something without so many pieces, smaller and easier to put together.  As for this'll go on the pile of "to be completed someday" and when "someday" comes around I'll end up donating the whole pile!

I need to have 5 teacher gifts done by next Thursday. 

The countdown is on!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Inspiration Tuesday

I'm in full bag making mode! So how excited was I to see UHandbag post this pattern for free? VERY!

I've been thinking of making one of these for a while! Thanks for the tutorial Brassy Apple!

I love this little Origami drawstring purse! It would be the perfect bag for a little gift!

Technically not a purse, but how cute is this everything pouch? Samster Mommy—Great idea!

A Charming Handbag! Thanks Moda Bake Shop for all the fun stuff you post!

Want to rock your bag? Make it look like a guitar!

I really love this messenger bag, it's nice to have all the tutorial links in one place too!

I've decided to try the market tote, hope the first one turns out OK…I have many more sew!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tea Cup purse and Skirt

I'm slowly moving anything crafty off of my health blog to this site, so I apologize if you've seen this before!

We needed a gift for a girly girl birthday party, so I whipped up a twirly skirt and a little tea-cup purse! I am in love with the purse! The pattern is from Lark Book's Pretty Little Purses & Pouches, a fun book with some really cute ideas. The skirt is a simple rectangle with a band for the elastic at the top.

I really love that little purse!  In fact I think I may make a couple more in a larger size to have on hand!  Lot's of little girl parties coming up!

New Name

#3 told me today that she wanted to be called Juliet, because Juliet is such a pretty name!

"But your name is so pretty" I replied giving her different nicknames as we drove along.

When we go home, I noticed her in front of the mirror:

"hello ELLA" she smiled at herself "hello Ella" she repeated, trying the name on for size.

"That's my new name, mommy.  I like ELLA!"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

End of year teacher gifts

I'm sick.  I feel miserable.  But I just realized that in a few short weeks my kids are out of school and I need some teacher appreciation gifts.  5 for the preschool, 5 for the older kids.  Ouch!

So I've been debating making bags.  I really love this Market tote from McCall's:

While I don't have the pear/apple printed fabric I'm sure I have something appropriate in my stash!
I'm also liking the Shopping Bag In 3 Sizes:

Not sure which pattern will win in the end, but I think these types of bags are something anyone can use!
So I'm off to see what I have in my stash...let's see if I can rid myself of more fabric!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

missing quilt

I found a quilt. Pinned and half way quilted. Sitting in a crate, waiting to be finished….

It’s been there since the year 2000.

It was supposed to be a quilt for my first born who entered my life that year.

I’m working on it. I’ll get it done. I can’t believe I’ve left it this long…10 years. It may be a new record for me.

I can’t believe I forgot this quilt.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Covering up...

This sweat shirt has gone through two children, and survived. A few minor stains, but who cares?

The 4 yr old does. Go figure. So I opened my stash of hearts—a steal of a deal I got at a garage sale years ago:


 The woman who sold them was really into quilting. I got some great vintage craft patterns from her! She had two boxes of precut hearts and squares. I managed to pick them both up plus the patterns for a couple of bucks! Only thing is, I haven’t found much use for any of it! But in my quest to decrease my stash I’m trying.

I decided to pick a few hearts out and appliqué them onto the sweatshirt.

Hints (things I was too lazy to do this time around)

  • Use spray adhesive or a fusible bonding web to hold down the appliqué, unless you like it to bunch, move and give you a headache as you sew.
  • Test out your sewing machine stitch setting before starting or you may be stuck with a result you don’t care for.
The 4 yr old likes it enough to wear. Hopefully it gets passed down to her sister in decent shape. If not, the box of hearts will come out again.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Inspiration Tuesdays

Looking for a little inspiration? Today’s theme is “For the Kiddos!” The blogging community is has an abundance of ideas and tutorials to inspire even the most uninspired of us!

Check out the great tutorial for Toddler Yoga Pants! Now your little darling can be just like you!

Or how about an adorable itty-bitty-baby-dress?

Got a lot of fabric in your stash? How about this stash busting skirt?

Let’s not forget those boys! Adorable newsboy cap…now if we could only make it adult sized!

How about using your embroidery machine to patch those holey knees? Some great ideas over this way.

Quick and easy jammie kiddos could use some of these.
Sometimes I like to go a bit whimsical; these elf slippers definitely fit the bill!
Hope you feel a bit inspired to go out and create something!

Monday, May 10, 2010

More T's!

I've been trying for years to take pictures and keep track of the items I've sewn, embroidered, made, given away...I'm really bad at it.  So when I found these I just had to share!

I embroidered the t-shirts and made the bags for a birthday party a couple of years ago.  These were for boys of some new friends and I was at a loss as to what to give them, so I went with what I like!  And I really do like that dragon!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Great Gift!

I have the bestest hubby!  He got me these:

So I could make some stamped washer necklaces!  I'm excited to try them out!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cupcakes anyone?

Cupcakes anyone?

I've made a number of these felted sweater cupcakes using instruction from the book Warm Fuzzies: 30 Sweet Felted Projects.  It was fun!  My kids play with them all the time. 

Here are a couple of samples which sit by my computer...temptation without the calories!

I used 100% wool sweaters for the one above.  Felting them was a breeze!

The one beside was made from an acrylic sweater.  While it is fun and shiny, the material did not hold it's shape well.  Still turned out cute! 

Now if only there was a cherry on top!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Princess PJs

Ah, yes. The princess fabric. You may be seeing a lot of it grace these pages, there are still 5 yards left. I’ve made kiddie pajamas, lounge pants, adult pajamas from this fabric. Most recently I came across a pattern with no markings of any kind on it. I have no clue from what I traced it, nor if I ever made it before but it looked like it needed some kind of stretchy knit so I pulled out the princess fabric.

First, let me say it really did look better in the mirror. I even thought the top may be cute in the chocolate brown knit I have calling to me from the shelf. After seeing these pictures, not so much.

It’s really comfortable and I can move any which way, that’s a plus. However, if you notice on the back shot, the back bunches. I can’t feel it when I wear the top, but pictures don’t lie!

As you can see, I’m a bigger gal. Some patterns just aren’t meant for my body…but I wonder if I can get away with these new asymmetrical tops that are popping up everywhere. I like this Kwik Sew 3790. Just not sure if it would work on me...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Raggedy Ann & Andy Dress--8 years to complete

Flash back to 2002: A friend and I are browsing through the fabric at Joann’s when we stumble across some adorable Raggedy Ann & Andy fabric. Now, I’m not a huge fane of the Raggedies but my friend is. She’s pregnant and about to have a little girl, so I pick some up and make an adorable dress. All of a sudden, everywhere I go I see Raggedy fabric! It’s grown on me! I buy lots and lots and lots.

Flash forward to 2004: My oldest daughter is in preschool, the Valentine’s day party is coming up. How cute would that Valentine Raggedy fabric I picked up in ’02 be made into a dress!

Flash forward to 2010: while re-orging my sewing room I find this:

It’s the Daisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann & Andy Valentine dress I started in 2004! Thankfully, I have two more girls now who would love to wear this!

I’m going to finish this…uh…what were the instructions again…uh…where’s the other skirt panel? (deep breath) Ok. I can do this, the ties will become the back of the bodice

Elastic inserted to make it fit better.

Let’s get rid of the lace and turn the heart into a large pocket on the front.

Skirt will only have the boarder print on the front, but that’s ok…

And it only took 8 years.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dora bag

I thought we’d do a little flash back today! Back in 2007 I posted this project to Craftster as part of a challenge. My youngest was 18 months, and I was pregnant with my 4th child when I made it. Three years later the tote was still being carted around by my kiddos! Unfortunately it didn’t survive the 3 millionth game of tug of war! But it had a good life! Below is a rehash of my original post:
Here's the game I started with:

I carefully peeled the game off of its cardboard backing, dipped into my stash of fabric for some lime green denim and some black bias tape and started sewing away!

To make the strap, I used my handy dandy packing tape, taped the cards together and bound the edges to give it a bit more strength.

Now what to do with the 3 character holders? Since I was missing 1, I decided to use them as standoffs for the bottom of the bag. I drilled a hole through each one and put them in a line in the middle of the bottom of the bag. Boy, was I surprised that they worked! They do keep the bag off the ground.

Then I had these leftover pieces… from the spinner I made a pouch, from the left over cards a little key ring book, and the characters I just put inside loosely.

And at the end, I added a “Backpack” button: all done! TADA!