Friday, December 18, 2009

Cozy toes!

The holiday sewing season is upon us. Heck the holidays themselves are almost upon us and I'm not really ready yet but I keep plugging away at it anyway. Somehow, I'm more behind this year than in other years. Oh well, I do what I can. I did manage to make up a bunch of different PJ bottoms for my kids using the pattern from Heather's Ross Weekend sewing book and I love how they turned out. Sadly, no pics of those as they got put to immediate use but judging by the amount of wear, they were a big hit. I still have a pair for myself on the to-do list - you know maybe one day when all my other projects are done.... a ha ha ha ha ha

Meanwhile, I have been dying to try out this boot slipper pattern from Favorite things. Don't they look awfully cozy on the cover?
So I whipped up a few pairs. My feet are always cold and these will be perfect for the mountains. Mine are lined with Minkee from Benartex. This is a super cuddly and soft fabric perfect for blankets and anyplace you want extra loft and warmth. A little Andalucia on the outside from my stash. I also made the most adorable pair for a friends new baby - they are so much cuter when you make them in size infant small. And of course, my daughter wanted a pair as well. I added some lightweight interfacing to the sides of hers to stiffen them up a bit - they were a bit too floppy for my taste in the larger sizes. I think the interfacing solved that problem.
IMG_9669 I thought that my pair needed a little extra padding to be more comfortable as a slipper rather than a sock - so I added 2 extra layers of batting to the sole of the next pair and they are more comfy that way. The only drawback to this pattern, for me, was that seam of the sole is on the inside of the slipper and you can feel that when you are wearing them. If you have sensitive feet like I apparently do, you might want to alter the way the sole is constructed, either by putting the seam on the outside and adding a little decorative stitching to cover the seam or by adding an insole to the inside so you can't feel the seam. I will have to do that on my next pair. Still they are cozy and warm and will be great for cold winter nights.

Happy Holidays and happy sewing!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tons 'o' Tees

Yup, that's right - Tons of tees - or tonnes - ok well not really, but a lot of them. I've been collecting knit fabrics for the last year - mostly because it is really hard to find good variety in quality cotton knits. So I snag them where I can and have now amassed a nice stash - too much of a stash really - time to get busy using some of them up. It was always my intention, after this blogpost, that I would just make up a bunch of tees for myself. Well that was in January and well, you know how it goes, spring and summer rolled around and other projects took priority and it just never happened. Now it's well into fall and almost winter again and I figured I'd better get them done soon or I'd be putting them on hold for another year ~ Plus that stash really needed a little denting. So I cut cut cut out a bunch of them using the Zoela pattern, then collected a bunch of grown-up embroidery to compliment the fabrics (harder than you might think really), then stitched them on and mass-sewed them all together. Now I should say that t-shirts whip up pretty quickly and it really shouldn't have taken as long as it did, but finally I managed to finish up the last one. And here they are - IMG_9628
ok there are only 4 but it still took me weeks to complete them all. I would really love to make a few more - do I need more tees? No! But the fun is in the designing after all.


And wouldn't you know it, whenever I'm having fun with the designing part, my dear daughter shows up and wants to help - this is her way of saying she wants to design some for herself - and of course she wants matching embroidery too - I have created a monster - a design monster that is. But that's cool! One of these days she is going to compete with me for sewing machine space. But in the meantime, here are some of her self-designed versions using the Farbenmix Drunter and Druber pattern:
Groovy DruberOwls on the line Druber

Some random t-shirt wisdom from me:
A serger isn't an absolute must, but it sure does make for nice sewing, so put it on your Christmas wish list!
Use wooly nylon in your loopers to give your seams a softer feel on the inside. I've noticed that there is less chance of unraveling with this stretchy fabric if you use the wooly.
Don't stretch the fabric as you are sewing the seam, this will help prevent puckering. One exception would be necklines where you might have to stretch a bit if you are easing in the neckline ribbing. You might have to adjust your feed dogs especially when you are sewing across the grain with ribbed cottons.
Go crazy and have fun! There are lots of new products out there to help embellish your tees. You can use Fold-over elastic (FOE) on the necklines/hemlines/sleeves in place of ribbing if you prefer - gives it a different look. There are also lots of embellished elastics you can use to apply to your edges. Consider picot edged elastic, or ruffled edge elastics to add a little flair to your tee at the neckline or on the sleeves. (Myrinda at Fabrichound always has a nice selection)
Use ballpoint needles - these are usually marked 90/14 BP or 80/12 BP
Don't sweat the knits! Check your anxiety at the door! It's easier than it looks/sounds - You can do this!
Practice on an old t-shirt first if you are still worried about it.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What happened to October?

Devilish Decor
I'm still stalled in October and it's already the middle of November??? Accck! The dreaded swine flu hit our house about a week before Halloween and I'm still playing catch-up. So before December hits, here's a look at our Halloween costumes from this year - I was really much to sick to pay much attention - thankfully the kids were able to get themselves ready and dear hubby was there to chauffeur them around. Luckily the costumes were done well before the pig and his friends showed up - or else they would've been trick-or-treating in their PJs or something.


Pippi's dress is in fact a Farbenmix VIDA done in a solid corduroy and embellished with patches and fake 'darned' holes. I have to say this is the easiest hemline I've ever done - just shredded the thing. The pocket was added later because, apparently, Pippi has to carry a monkey along with her everywhere. Umm okaaaay Pippi. Said monkey also needed a hat, shirt and tie - sigh - so the shirt was cobbled together using this handy doll shirt tute from thingsofcloth, and enlarged just a bit until I thought it would fit the monkey. I think at this point I was already a bit feverish because it took a couple tries to get the shirt the right size.
Dear Daughter and Hubby pitched in and finished up the hat with felt applied over a straw hat - I think - must've already checked-out at this point.

The nearly-headless reaper dude (err whatever that was supposed to be) was achieved using this handy dandy cape tute. Thank-you Vegbee! Enlarged just a bit because my son wanted it full-length and I didn't curve the hood piece because I knew he wanted it pointy - you know like a nearly-headless reaper dude should be - err yeah.

And there you have it - Halloween 2009. Phew. Ok now I'm a little behind, because I really wanted to have a few more things done before Christmas sewing set in. Oh well, it'll get done one way or the other. Or not ~ I refuse to stress over it because sewing is supposed to be fun.

'til next time, happy sewing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Simply Scrappy Belt tute

Here's a little tute to make a belt out of your scrap fabrics. These are for my daughter but they could easily be made larger for adult sizes.
Take your scraps of choice and sew them together to make a piece
the length of your belt plus about 6".
I used a belt that already fits for a guide. I also used a Charm Pack (Swanky from Moda) but you don't have to start with a charm pack any small scraps will do. You can even sew them together all wonky if you want to - it would look great that way.

Next you'll want press open the seam allowances.


Trim the strip into pieces that are close to the width of your belt plus 1/2". Mine is going to be about 1.25" wide so i'm cutting my strips to 1.75" wide.

Next I cut a strip of heavyweight fusible interfacing to 1.25" and ironed it onto the center of one strip. To the other strip I ironed on some heat-n-bond. When it's cool pull the backing off the heat-n-bond.


Then I sewed the 2 strips together, right sides facing. Trim the corners off the closed end.

Next turn the belt right-side out and press, then topstitch. Careful here - when you are pressing you are going to fuse the 2 sides of the belt together with the heat-n-bond that we put in between, so you might want to finger press it first so it aligns properly before you make it permanent with the iron


Next sew on the D-rings. You'll need 2 that match the width of your belt


Insert them on the unsewn end, fold over the end and stitch

Use your imagination to make different combos. You could also use ribbons to do the same thing.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween sewing!

Yes it's that time of year again, annual trips to the pumpkin patch, costume planning/sewing and lots and lots (too much really) of tempting little chocolate bars all over the place.

So in the spirit of the season, I crafted up a couple of Halloween shirts for the kids. These are both from Farbenmix. My daughter very much loves this style called Drunter and Druber from Traumschnitt which is german for under and over. Hers is the 'over' version done up in Pumpkin knit print and coordinating solid orange rib knit. She picked out the embroidery for this one (cat embroidery from Bunnycup embroidery)

The shirt in action!

Then the KleinFohr pattern for my son. He's 10 so this one is a little darker

Here there be monsters embroidery from Urban Threads.

And now we move onto the costumes. I have to come up with a brown cloak for the headless horseman? and a jumper for Pippi ~ Stay tuned!

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quick little revamp: Fall style


Ok you all saw my patio redo for the summer. Sadly the summer is gone and I thought I needed to make the patio look a little more autumnal. Gone are the comfy pillows ~ but lets face it, no one sits out there when it's 35F and raining. So I added the Fall cheer which doubles as Halloween cheer and just a couple of toss pillows on the swing - those are really more for color than anything else. Et Voila!


My daughter got in on the act and crafted up her own ghoulish decorations. IMG_9524

~Can't imagine where she got that crafty streak from?~

Yes that is a tennis ball and let me tell you the dog knows it too - it's all I can do to keep her from absconding with the spider/tennis ball creation every morning when she goes out the front door.

My first ever wonky quilt square turned throw pillow: IMG_9482
Turns out my wonky isn't really all that wonky after all - I think I should've cut things a little more crooked than I did - but live and learn right? It's still fine for the patio. Here's another little patchwork creation IMG_9483
all out of some leftover Moda charm packs I had from last year and a little coordinating Sandy Gervais. And no, I don't plan to have a stack of different holiday themed pillows. These are just covers over the already existing summer pillows. Now the burning question ~ will I do it again for Christmas? Well we'll just have to wait and see.

Cup of hot apple cider anyone?

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No I haven't fallen off the face of the planet!

I really and truly haven't but I did kind of skip September. Things have been crazy busy around here but some sewing did get done.

First off - A new Purse! The Sadie purse ~this is one of my favorite designs - modeled after a purse that I own and love to death, I can't even seem to keep one of these around long enough to call my own.

This one is up for sale in the Trilliumshoppe.
Yes that's Mezzanine fabric and some lime green ultrasuede. ~ And I have to give a big shout-out and a thank-you to Cynthia at Fabricworm for the totally awesome stack of Mezzanine yardage she sent me as a blog win many weeks ago. Love it! I put that Mezzanine to good use! yeah I'm kinda behind but totally thrilled about the fabric win. Thanks Fabricworm! If you get a chance check out her shop - she is stocking all kinds of Australian goodies that I can't seem to stop admiring.

I did finally manage to mail this tote bag off to my Mom as a gift, so now I can show it to you all. Drawing room tote
This one uses Drawing room fabric which is one of my all time favorites and works perfectly for this multi-tasker tote.

There are a few other things to show you but they will have to wait until next time.
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And the winner is......

This Midwest Modern multi-tasker tote goes to (drumroll please)Blogger
Cathy said...

Stunning....the colors and decor of your backyard are beautiful!!! Great project!! I love the tote pretty!

August 6, 2009 7:26 PM

brought to you by ~

True Random Number Generator 54 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congratulations to Cathy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Celebration: 100th blog post and Giveaway!

WOW summer is flying by. I hope you are enjoying your summer. I have been busy enjoying summer with my family and staying cool in a recent heat wave which has meant a little less sewing than usual. But things are back in swing now. I managed to complete the back patio renovation as mentioned in a previous post.

Et Voila! My updated patio set:

Amy Butler's Midwest Modern II was used for this set in 2 coordinating fabrics. I love the bright cheery colors for summer.

It's now August, and it's been about a year and a half since I started writing about my sewing adventures. This post marks the 100th post and I think a celebration is in order don't you?

I am giving away this Multi-tasker tote done up in Midwest Modern II. I have made several versions of this tote and having used it myself for the last couple months, I can say that this tote is very handy ~ Perfect size, lots of room but not too unwieldy and plenty of storage. It's the perfect anywhere bag.

You might recognize the fabric? I did have lots leftovers after all.

To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment on this post. The winner will be announced Aug 12th. Happy Sewing!