Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Circle Pouch

Last week my sister-in-law, Sarah, of BlueSusan Makes, blogged about these cute little coin/earbud pouches.  I knew I needed one, and she said they were fast, and she was right.

It took me longer to work up the energy to sit at my sewing machine this weekend then it did to actually sew this.  From start to finish you could whip one of these up in 30 minutes.

I did thought the pouches were a little smaller when I went to make my own, but I like the size they are.  It's perfect for carrying my little shuffle with earbuds.  These little pouches would be a fun gift to give to a teenager or friend with an iTunes gift card inside it.  Hence the reason why I took a perspective picture with a gift card.  (Sorry, Ducky's car wash is the only gift card I had on hand.  The picture would be better with an iTunes gift card, but I didn't have one!)

Also, I love this little pouch, but I will make one change when I make it again.  I will lengthen the tab considerably and make it more like a wristlet pouch.  I don't see myself put this on my key chain (in the tutorial you add a split ring in the tab).  I do see myself  slipping my wrist into a longer tab as I was heading out the door.  (I listen to audio books on my shuffle a lot while I'm driving or waiting in line at carpool.)

Next time I'll make the change.  I had the bright idea once the little pouch was all sewn together.  For now I'm just hopeful that I won't loss my shuffle so often since it has a cute little pouch!  If you want to make your own go HERE for the tutorial.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Welcome to my second trimester.

Weeks ago I started to make a baby present for a very special baby (not one of mine!).  It started with cutting out the main fabric for a bib.  The Children At Play fabric bib, there on the left.  I managed to cut out the main fabric one day before everything came to a screeching halt. That bib sat cut out for at least a week, if not two.  Every night I would be plagued with the thought I should walk out and finish it, but I literally couldn't find enough energy to walk out to the sewing garage, let alone sew once I arrived there.  

I was kind of sad.

All of a sudden, Wednesday of last week, I woke up and felt rested.  After sending the kids off to school I didn't feel like I was about to fall asleep again.  My body almost felt light.  I thought to myself, "should I walk out to the sewing garage?".  

This time I arrived, and started to sew too.  I kept sewing for the rest of the day because it felt so good to be doing something so "normal" again.

There is a super bib tutorial if you are interested, right HERE.  

Bib template is included as well as a few different applique template ideas.  

Bibs are so easy to make.  They take hardly any fabric.  I had everything I needed on hand to make these two.  Backing them in terry cloth is a super sweet idea.  I see many more bibs in my near future, don't you?!

Since I was on such a sewing roll, I decided to whip up a pair of Quick Change Trousers, to go with the gift.  Between Liz and I, we have made a bazillion of these pants.  If you can't tell by now, we are huge fans of the pattern.  Unlike Liz, I have never had a baby of my very own to model my creations in.  Every now and again a giftee will send back a picture of their baby in my QCT.  I always get a kick out of that!  

I had a great time using this Sarah Jane fabric from the Children at Play line.  Though I can imagine the print might be a bit much for such a little fella.  

For that reason I was anxious to line this pair with some tee shirts I found for $1 on clearance at Target!  This makes the inside super soft, should he sport the print-side-out.  And if they switch them to the solid color out, I hope that it's a versatile and useful pair of everyday pants.  I've been nervous about my idea to line a pair with knit, while using quilters cotton for the exterior.  I didn't know if I would find it difficult/frustrating to work with two totally different materials.  Happy to report there was no difference. Easy as can be!

My sewing didn't stop there.  After subbing for two days in a row, and managing to stay awake for three whole days in a row without naps, I really thought I was onto something!  On Saturday early morning I started a little dress for another new baby soon to arrive!

This little dress pattern comes out of the same Anna Maria Horner sewing book as the Quick Change Trousers.  For these two patterns alone, the book is worth having!  While the QCT are my favorite baby boy gift, this Cute as a Button dress is my favorite baby girl gift to give.  I've always been sad that the pattern only goes up to a 24 mos.  I can imagine my ladies would love a few of these.  I really should get brave enough to draft the pattern large enough for them!  I've made it enough times now that it shouldn't be so scary any more...

Have you seen the new Aneela Hoey  Walk in the Woods fabric that was recently released?  

When they had it in stock at my local shop, and all I needed was a 1/2 yard to make this dress, I simply couldn't pass it up.  

And there you have it.  As I enter my second trimester, it seems fitting that I was making baby presents!  I'm sure the baby stuff yet to come out of the sewing garage will come as no surprise to anyone.  I was just getting warmed up!

Still feeling good on Sunday, I finally helped my Ruby make herself a skirt to wear to school today.  I kept the sewing to a minimum, and we agreed I'd get to do the serging.  She was a happy and willing student who loved ironing just as much as sewing.  The hardest part of sewing lessons is honestly, letting them pick out their own fabric.  I'll post a picture of her in her new outfit later today.  She looks darling, but let's just say the fabric was not at the top of my wish list of what to make her a skirt out of :) 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Finally it's Friday!

The Italian is taking the day off tomorrow, so technically my weekend has begun.  Hallelujah!  It's been a rainy week, and while we totally needed the rain, I've felt a little cooped up.  I haven't really known what to do with myself, and sadly no real sewing got done.

However, I will celebrate that I got a *celebrate* banner finished and in the mail.  It's for a little girl, now a woman, who I used to babysit for.  She's getting married and my mom is hosting the bridal shower.  I thought my mom could use it to decorate for the shower, and then the bride-to-be could take it and use for all the many reasons she'll have to celebrate as a married woman.

Her colors are pink, pink, and pink.  I had to add in the black, per my mom's requests, so you can see the letters.  I agreed.  The fabrics all come from Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pips line.

I myself get to celebrate that the little park across the street is lined with huge redwoods.  Right across the street I have these gorgeous trees.  I should celebrate them more often.  Or a least just walk myself and the kiddos over there to run around them more often.

While my sewing room didn't see much action this week, I did manage to make a new pair of Quick Change Trousers for little baby Hank.  I didn't make them reversible which made them super quick, and I used an old shirt of the Italian's which gives them a little sentimental touch.

Knit can be a bit tricky to sew with, so using an old shirt helped with the hem.  

I just used the hem from the shirt as the hem for my pant legs.  Saved me on time and frustration.  

Baby Hank helped make these pants absolutely adorable.  They are just so-so without my chubby little baby and his sweet love handles.

I'm kind of at a loss for what I want to sew next.  I started dreaming up a possible Easter dress for Grace and seersucker pants for my boys.  We'll see if that happens next or if the wind (or hot air from the dryer in my laundry room/sewing room) blows me in a different direction.

Have a good weekend!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sewing Circle

Last week while doing FaceTime with my older brother and his family, I felt like I had reverted back to my childhood.  I mentioned that I was going to have some friends over for a sewing circle.  And like so many times when I was a little girl, Doug poked fun at me.  We all had a good laugh (I can laugh at myself a lot better now then I could as a child), and while maybe it sounds like a dorky thing to do, I had a blast.  I love sewing circle.  I can't wait to do it again.  (And like Doug should make fun of me, his own wife, Sarah aka Blue Susan, would have come to my sewing night if only we didn't live on opposite coasts!  Have you seen the cute little earbud/coin pouches she recently made?  I totally need to make one for my iPod shuffle. I lose it all the time, and I think it would help me keep track of it.  The darn thing is currently lost.  Boo hoo.)

First, and probably the most important part of sewing circle are the treats!  Ladies (and any gents that happen to follow MoM), you will want to try this.  I think I'm going to make it again tomorrow for Grace's teacher for teacher appreciation week.  If this treat ended up in your hand as a gift, you'd feel VERY appreciated.  You'll appreciate me for passing along the hot tip of a recipe.  Go HERE to get all the deets.  Oh, and if you live close by me, Safeway doesn't sell Chocolate Chex.  Go to Target!

Next up were my lady friends who came to sew, but sadly I didn't get one single shot of my sewing circle friends.  Next time!

Okay, so my first project of the night was to take a scrap from the chevron bags that I made, use fabric paint to monogram it, and then once the fabric paint was dry I was going to sew it into a throw pillow.  Everything was going sew well until I peeled off my freezer paper and discovered that my ironing skills were lacking and my paint bled.  Totally tragic.

Sadly, I didn't have enough scrap left to try it again.  Maybe I'll order some more chevron fabric, or maybe I'll just use another fabric.  Anyway, my medium is definitely fabric not fabric paint!  I still need some practice in that area.

Turtles are slow and sew were making my scrappy circle placemats!

While I was waiting for my letter B to dry, I worked on what I'm starting to feel like was the slowest moving project I've every done...my round scrappy placemats.

I was inspired by these round scrappy placemats, and looking at her placemats I should have a) used bigger squares, and b) made my circles bigger.

However, I have to say, even though my circle placemats are a bit small, I really love them.  They are colorful and bright.  I never intended for them to be used with my formal china, but rather I thought it would be fun to use them more as my everyday placemats.

 Grace and George used them for breakfast the morning after I finished them.  And, yes, George eats pasta for breakfast.  It's more nutritious then lots of things he asks to have for breakfast, so I go with it.

All of the scrappy circle placemats are made with primarily Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  Except for two that I used two different Amy Butler prints I had and then matched other fabrics to them.

The hardest part of these circular sweeties was the binding.  Most of the time when I finish and bind a quilt, if I'm making my own bias tape, I don't cut it on the bias.  When you cut fabric on the bias it takes up A LOT of fabric and you end up cutting down the diagonal center of your fabric making future projects with the fabric tricky (or nearly impossible).  Sew, normally when I make my own bias tape, I cheat, and I just cut 2 inch strips from selvedged edge to selvedged edge.  I tried that with the scrappy circle placemats.  Let me save you an enormous amount of time, should you decide to make these yourself, and let you in on a little secret: You should NOT do that!!  Use REAL BIAS TAPE!  If you don't want to make any, or if you are lazy like I was last week, then JoAnn's sells some.  I got really lucky when I went to JoAnn's that they actually had their bias tape well stocked.  Truly a surprise for them!

My binding might not be the most inspiring or aesthetically appealing, but at least my circles lay flat which is important.  With out the real bias tape they were rolling into themselves.  It was terrible.

As for the backs, I also used a variety of fabrics making these truly scrappy.

I chose to quilt these with a concentric circle, but if I had to do all over again I might just do straight lines.  I feel like you can see so many flaws in my quilting skills because the circles are so wonky.  Oh well.  Since the fine china won't be resting their precious selves on these, I'll be okay with them being slightly imperfect.

That wrapped up sewing circle.  I had every intention of making baby Hank some new Quick Change Trousers, but it didn't happen at sewing circle.  And darn, they still haven't been sewn.  Maybe I got this blog post done soon enough that I'll still have some energy to go and sit up at the sewing machine and work.  Maybe.

Have you joined a sewing circle or attended a sewing soiree (for all those out there that speak french like my co-blogger does. BTW, Annee, what's the french rooster called again?)?  If sew, do you all try to make the same thing or do you like to have a variety of projects going on??  I've done both, and I can't decide which is better.  Maybe people get more done if they are all working on the same thing?  Just something I was thinking about as I started thinking about when to host my next sewing circle.

No matter what way is best, I think we can, and should, all agree that the most important part to any party is the food.  Have you made your shopping list for the chocolate chex mix yet?!?!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A simple bag.

After I made the superhero birthday shirts and crowns, I thought it would be nice to make simple bags as gift bags that could double as a bag to play with. 

I monogrammed them to add a little personalized touch.

I had high hopes of writing a little tutorial/how-to so you could make your own simple bag, but I'm having writer's block.  Or blogging block?  The bags are very simple, so maybe a how-to is on it's way, but it's not happening tonight.  My baby just got his dream feed, so I need to get my head to bed to get some dreaming in before he wakes me up again.  (Crossing my fingers he doesn't wake up again until at least 5 a.m.!!!)

I also made 5 bags for a friend last week (or was it the week before). I used the Bow Bag Tutorial, but I omitted the bow and didn't line it.  I just finished all edges (even the ends of the straps) with my serger.   These bags were super simple, and my friend was super happy for my help.

I have a couple more things to share this week including my scrappy placemats that are finished.  Hope you're as excited as I am!!

Good night!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Birthday Crown Tutorial

We had a fun superhero birthday party to go to this weekend, so naturally I had to make my standard superhero birthday shirts.  Then I decided that the shirts needed some crowns to go with them.  My kids love using their birthday crowns when they dress up, and crowns are super easy to make.

If you want to make your own superhero birthday shirt, I created a template of the lightning bolt and circle that I use.  You would just need to make your own number.  For the template go HERE.

Now onto how to make your own birthday crowns!

Supplies you'll need:

-template found HERE
-10 inch piece of 3/4 or 1 inch elastic (10 inches works for a 2 to 5 year old give or take.)
- 15 x 3 1/2 inch piece of fabric

I made a superhero crowns, but of course you can make whatever kind of crown you'd like.  For Grace's last birthday, I didn't use the superhero emblem and just bought plastic gems at Michael's and glued them all over.  There are tons of possibilities with these!

First you'll make the elastic strap for the back.  

Fold your piece of fabric in half lengthwise and along the long edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Turn inside out and press moving the seam into the center.

Using a safety pin (or whatever your preferred method), slide your elastic through your fabric strap.  

Then baste stitch the elastic to fabric strap.

Next lay out the top layers of your crown.

You'll stack one large felt crown piece on the bottom, then a small felt crown piece on top, then your superhero emblem (if you're making a superhero crown), and then a letter or number.

Then I start sewing.  I sew my superhero emblem first.

Then the letter.

Then I stitch the small crown piece to large crown piece.

I then did some trimming to make the small piece more centered.  I would suggest using more pins (or just using pins) to keep your layers straight.  I got lazy because it was late at night.

Next you'll sew the second large crown piece to the back of the layers you've sewn together.  You'll also sew the elastic strap at the sides between the two large crown pieces.

The back of your crown will look like this.

The front will look like this.

And your superhero will look something like this.

***On a birthday note, but not a superhero birthday note, I made a template for my Lego Man birthday shirt should you want to attempt to make one yourself.  You can find the template in the Lego Man post HERE.

Next up will be the super simple birthday bags I whipped up for these birthday presents.  This tutorial only took me like 4 days to write, so maybe you'll see the bag tutorial this week or maybe next (or the week after).

And in other exciting sewing news, I just have to attach binding to my scrappy patchwork circle placemats.  Totally excited.  See you soon I hope!
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