Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Teacher Appreciation 2011

There were a lot of these made:

Which got braided into these:

I tried my hand at these:

And learned that my hot glue turns yellow when dried…ah well:

All of the above to make these:

I LOVE these bags! I can only hope that the teachers loved them as much as I do! 

The pattern didn’t turn out exactly like I envisioned it; it needs a bit more tweaking before I share it with everyone—but the shape and overall size turned out great.

The inside only ended up with one pocket:

In the next version I may add a bit more in terms of pocket spaces…still a work in progress.

I had such a great time working on this pattern and all these bags! I’m planning a version for myself as well…and am thinking I need to start naming my patterns. Right now they are filed under: “teacher (insert year)”—not much fun and not easy to remember which one is which…

Overall, I’m glad I tried my hand at pattern making again—I learned a lot about drafting patterns for last year’s bags (here and here) and learned even more form this years (preschool teacher wristlets and totes)!

I hope all our teachers are enjoying their new bags!  Summer vacation officially starts today! 


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Laundry Bag

I lived at home during my post secondary education years.  There were 3 great universities within 30 minutes of my parents house so it made sense to live at home and save some cash.

Even though I never experienced dorm life, I remember the one complaint all my friends had was laundry.

Where to stash it, when to do it, how to do it… Strangely enough a lot of conversations centered around laundry and the laundry mat (and the cute guys who frequented the laundry mat—MissyM, you can erase that last sentence from your memory!)

I wasn’t much of a sewer back then, but I do remember making a laundry bag for a friend that held a 50 pound weight for a week and survived (yes there is a long story to go with that, but totally not appropriate for a “family friendly” blog!)
Anyway, back to the present…a friend of ours has boys (twins) heading off to college in September and when I was trying to figure out what to get for them laundry bags popped into my mind.

I’m not sure if these will hold 50 pounds, but I’m pleased with how they turned out.

Notice the mountain of laundry to fold?  That could be the real reason laundry bags came to mind!  To take pictures I stuffed them with pillows and towels…I really hope no stray sock ended up inside! (if it did--it's clean!  and would explain where those stray socks go)

I filled a basket with whatever laundry related items I could find in the travel section of Target…and then added Fabreze, which a friend of mine suggested.  After her dorm stories I’m sure she wished the product was available when she was in school!
I didn’t take the best pictures of my process while sewing these up, so I plan to make a “mini” bag to show you all how I put it all together…but that’s another post!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Poke-ball t-shirts

The party went off without any snags! All week I’ve been receiving reports from my kids on who wore their t-shirt to school!

I guess they like them!

Good--because I won’t be doing this project ever again!

It was a lot of t-shirts, and a bit of trial and error. Here’s how I started:
  • Cut out white and red circles—cut again in half
  • iron on double sided fusible interfacing
  • fold t-shirt in half down the front
  • center the half circles
  • iron, unfold, iron
  • applique

That was the hard way. I got smart by the third shirt. I ended up cutting all the circles, ironing the “ball” onto double sided fusible interfacing, appliqueing the inner ball THEN ironing it onto the t-shirt and appliqueing the outside.

The technique of folding the t-shirt down the middle helped in centering the pokeballs.

I’m still not a fan of appliqueing on knit…but it won’t stop me from doing it again in the future! There always seems to be a project that calls for knit on knit applique…unfortunately.

Only a few more major sewing project left before the school year ends for my older kids—then it’s on to sewing fun summer clothes for me, the kids, and maybe even Mr.G!






Thursday, June 9, 2011

Insanity is...

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, then label me insane!
I’m working on gift bags for Mr.A’s 9th birthday and decided to make poke ball t-shirts for the kids.
Appliqué poke balls.

Uh, yeah—insane.
Every time I  appliqué on t-shirts I mess up the first one because I don’t use enough stabilizer. EVERY FLIPPIN TIME!!! You would think I’d learn by now.

The good news is: I did prewash the appliqué fabric first…good news because the red turned my white pink:
3 shades of pink--and the red still ran after the 3rd wash!
Needless to say, the red and white quilting cotton didn't get used!  I switched to a red and a white knit, prewashed, no running color...but it's knit and...

Bad news, I messed up a t-shirt because I didn’t stabilize…ah well.  It got me thinking that there has to be an easier way.

Stitching the poke balls with my embroidery machine didn’t look bad, but I thought they were too small.

Instead I premade these:

I’ll use a double sided iron on and iron them to the t-shirts and then appliqué the outside…process to be blogged about after the party on Saturday…overall, the t-shirts turned out great!  After the first two where I put the poke ball upside down (DRAT!!!).  My older kids were really sweet about that: "just add a couple lines to the shirt and make it look like it's being thrown!"  Two party guests will be getting that explanation!

I’m working on goody bags right now—last count 19 kids.  Which means I’ll be making 20 goody bags, because every year I miss someone—even after counting and recounting.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunny weather slacker...

CRAP!  How is it Monday already???  How is it that I left goodie bags for Mr.A’s 9th b-day party till the last minute again???  At least he’s asked for an easy party—Pokémon themed again this year.
No I will not be making these again:
I will be making these again:

But instead of making a necklace, I think I’ll make each child a little draw string bag—large enough to hold their Pokémon cards—with the embroidered Poke balls hanging off the drawstring.

I will try the wristbands if I have time…right now I’m thinking each child coming is going to get a t-shirt.  Now I just have to work on whatever design is going on the t-shirt.
Oh--did I mention I have 20 (something) kids coming by?  Insane—that’s me. 

Or will be me if I put off the task of getting together the materials I need another minute…It must be the sunny weather turning me into a slacker. (It’s Seattle—we don’t see the sun that often!)  I haven't even started the 6 end of year teacher gifts for the elementary school teachers! Although I have pulled out the fabric.
I'll have to ignore the sunshine and warm my sewing chair for the next couple of it wrong to want rain again?  Just for a bit?  Sun can come back on Friday and stay the weekend.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Doodle wristlet

The doodle experiment #1 is done! (check out how it started here and here)

After making the teacher wristlets I realized I really needed more pockets on the inside…I debated adding a zippered pocket, but in the end just went the simplest route.

I really enjoyed the process…although next time I think I’ll add some color or sparkle or something.  For now, simple is good and this little wristlet turned out great!

(Just entered this in the Purse Week Contest!  So excited!  My first bloggy contest!)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Very Important Message

We interrupt our crafting to bring you this very important message...
In all seriousness, if you haven't seen or read the article: Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning go read it!

My family practically lives at the pool--all four of my kids swim, the oldest competitively.  With all the time I've spent around water before kids, and these days, I'm very sensitive to water safety--but sometimes a great article like this one will make me even more aware of the things I'm not always looking for.

Thank-you Mario Vittone for bringing the basics back to my attention.  I hope the information reaches everyone far and wide and helps save someone who "doesn't look" like they are drowning.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Doodle to fabric

I didn't think I would have a chance to play with doodling on fabric until the weekend!  Then a friend of mine called and asked if I could use some larger fabric scraps.


I am the depository for unused fabric with all my friends.  From my house unused scraps go to a church quilting group, and to preschool and elementary teachers for art use.

It all gets used by someone!

So I get the bundle:


Right away I'm seeing a summer tote out of the yellow and white check, a wristlet out of the flower print on the top (it's a heavy fabric) and all that white in the middle--doodle fabric!

With the help of my light box, I managed to get the basic shape from yesterdays doodle.  The fabric is thick and medium heavy--like lighter denim.  I'm planning a wristlet from it...and maybe it'll go into my etsy shop?  That's my next big endeavor.  I'm a bit nervous about the whole process, so for the next little while I'll just concentrate on having fun creating...and finishing the next round of teacher bags!  Six elementary teachers are on my list this year--what will I do when all four of my kids are in school??