Friday, December 31, 2010

A Table Runner

A week or so ago I was surfing crafty blogs.  I'm not sure what I was looking for, but like always I found something that I wanted to make.  This time I stumbled upon THIS table runner.  I liked the Heather Bailey fabrics, and even though Anna of Noodlehead calls it a Christmas table runner, I knew the same design could be used for an all purpose table runner.

I've had several fat quarters by Anna Maria Horner sitting in my stash, and I've been so afraid to cut them because I don't have much of each fabric and I think they are all so lovely.  I finally worked up the courage, and just went for it with this project.

I really like the finished look of my table runner.  Anna of Noodlehead did an embroidery stitch around each of her wonky stars, but I'm not sure I'm going to do the same.  Do you think it needs it??  I can't decide if it would be too much or not.  I'll keep you posted.  Also, I couldn't get Annee labels without gifting myself some as well!!

I used this tutorial to help me make the wonky stars.  This is really a very, very simple quilting project.  I was really surprised at how quickly each of the wonky stars came together.  I do think I need to work on making my stars wonkier, but for my first try I'm okay with the results!

Be sure to come back soon.  Once I took the plunge and cut into my Anna Maria Horner fat quarters, I haven't looked back.  Tonight I made another creation out of her beautiful fabrics.  I'm crossing my fingers it will be done tomorrow.  I'll keep you posted!!

In other news here at MOM West Coast, I had some *free* time yesterday, so I drove an hour to the best fabric shop that I've found in my area.  The prices aren't anything to brag about, but being able to touch and look at a yard of the fabrics that I see online was so much fun.  Of course I couldn't drive an hour to the store and an hour back and NOT make a purchase, so I bought...

A yard in each of these fabrics

and a 1/2 yard in these.

I only bought a 1/2 yd, because I'm just not sure what I'm going to do with them, but I knew I needed to have them in my stash.  I'm really loving the owl trend.  Can you tell??

I'm off to bed.  I was up until almost 1 a.m. finishing the binding on my table runner, so tonight is technically an early night.  Technically.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Apres Christmas...

So much sewing takes place in the month of December.  So much of it is meant to be kept a secret and shared with loved ones at Christmas.  Here are a few favorites that came out of the sewing room this past month...

These were the best last-minute teacher gifts!  Little coffee cup cozies, to go along with Starbucks gift-cards.  Loved the tutorial from House on Hill Road.  Loved that they took about 30 minutes or less to make!

Loved the excuse to finally get to make this sweet faux wrap dress from the Handmade Beginnings book from Anna Maria Horner.  Loved the chance to find another project for a little piece of my Tina Givens fairy fabric!

I love my letter "E" pillow.  I don't know if everyone feels the need for a letter pillow, but chances are high that if I draw your name for Christmas, it will occur to me that you should want a letter pillow :)

Though the Tuesday Morning pillow (a la Stitch magazine Winter 2009) is an investment of love and time, there is no denying that once all your pieces are cut out, putting it together is truly fun.  So many fabrics to mix and play with.  What's not to love?!

Loved finding the perfect project to use this random fabric I bought probably over two years ago in Korea!  I have loved the colors for so long, but what to do with it was the question.  Now I sort of think that all of my pillows should have this on the back.  And thanks to Liz, insisting that I open my Christmas gift well before Christmas, a few of the last projects to leave the sewing room, left with my very own "Made on Maple" design labels on them.  THANK YOU LIZ!!  

A total last minute idea.  It struck too late to arrive at it's destination in time to be loved this Christmas, but hopefully will be loved, next year :) So exciting to use 15 different fabrics to create this Christmas color scheme.  Do you love it when you can pull out 15 different fabrics to go into one project?!  I do!!! 

And one final gift to myself before packing up the Christmas decor, I couldn't resist adorning a red towel with a piece of my favorite Michael Miller Christmas fabric, and a ruffle.  Saw the idea over on Cluck, Cluck, Sew.  It was a super fast project, and therefore I didn't feel too bad keeping this one for myself!

There is one last present that needs to be discussed, but I'm going to wait until it arrives at it's destination first...

Are you all Christmased out?  Or are you sad to see it go?! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wrapping it up!

No pun intended in the title, but it does work.  I'm almost finished with my Christmas sewing.  Of course, I can always think of one or two more thing I could sew, but time is running out, and my company comes tomorrow.  I've never been so excited to see my mom!!!  I'm pregnant, and so tired I could sleep standing up, so I'm looking forward to having Grandma in town to entertain my munchkins!

I've told my mom not to check this blog until after Christmas, so I hope she listens.  I know I'm safe posting this tonight because she'll be on a plane early in the morning, and there's no way she checking blogs before she leaves.

Since Grace was born my mom has requested an ornament with my kids' pictures in them.  I don't have pictures of the first couple I made, but this picture was of the ornaments I gave her last year.

I didn't make her ornaments the year prior, so last year I had to make 2 ornaments per kid.

This year my mom requested ornaments yet again, and she asked for felt ones.  I think she liked last years which is nice, but I didn't want to do the exact same thing.  After seeing all the lovely Christmas decorations at Made on Maple East Coast, I decided to try the Anna Maria Holiday Hoots.  Annee's were so cute, and I thought a picture in the middle could work.

I think these turned out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.  I'm just a little sad that I don't have any hoots for my own Christmas tree.  I keep thinking that after Christmas is over and all my holiday sewing is finished, then I'll make a couple of things for next Christmas.  Something tells me as soon as Christmas is over, Christmas sewing is going to go the bottom of my sewing to do list!  I guess I'll keep dreaming...and go put myself to bed so I can dream under the covers!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

12 more days!

Sew Sister, crafters and readers of MOM, we are in the final countdown!!!  Only 12 more days until Christmas.  Last year I was like a machine and cranked out handmade gifts for everyone on my list.  This year I settled down a bit, and I've purchased most of my gifts.  I do find though for those people in my life who are hardest to shop for making them something seems like the way to go.

Keep reading and you'll find out more about the loud pants I'm wearing!

The first gift I sewed for Christmas was a Yoga Mat Carrier.  The idea seemed like the perfect gift for a friend on my list, and I had two sewing books that had patterns for the carrier.  I really thought this would be an easy thing to make.  Unfortunately it took me 3 days and lots of frustration.  The pattern I went with was from Joel Dewberry's Sewn Spaces.  The book has great ideas, but sadly the instructions lack some illustrations and directions.  In the end, I'm just happy the Yoga Mat Carrier looks as good as it does.

I do think the strap is a little tight, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that.  I'll keep you posted if I change anything.

Next up was a pair of Amy Butler pajama pants.  Annee made me a pair for Christmas last year.  I made a pair while with Annee in Korea, but still I had issues with these pants.  I won't get into it, and in the end these are a very simple project that turn out super cute.  It does require quite a bit of material, but the pajama pants I made are for a vertically challenged person like myself, so I only needed 2 yards.  Really I could have probably used less than 2 yards, but I made a cutting error to start the project off on the right foot, and I needed 2 whole yards.

I'm including the ever important profile picture.  This is for any Project Runway fans.  The profile is very important in fashion, or at least this is what Michael Kors, Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia have led me to believe!

Last up and probably my favorite creation of the past week was the Kirstin Shirt.  Annee made it this year for  Jane and Ruby's 5th birthday.  I've been wanting to try it ever since.  The finished product is darling, but kind of like the Joel Dewberry book, it lacks some illustrations.  I guess I'm just a very visual learner.  I worked it out last night (with the help of my trusty seam ripper), and Grace was able to wear it to church today which was my goal.

I love that this skirt has a flat panel front waistband and the gathered waistband in the back.  The big bow in front is also a definite plus!

The shirt and tights came from Target.  I'm sure I could have made a matching shirt, but I really think Grace's shirt matches her skirt perfectly.  Thank you Target!

That's all for tonight.  I'm not sure what is next up for my sewing room, but I do have some more presents that need to get made.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Decorating in bits and pieces.

It's been a slow start to December around here.  The 70 degree weather on December 1st threw us all for a loop, and it was hard to believe that Christmas was really coming. Our gloriously fragrant tree finally got decorated this week.  We pulled out the owls and birds that were handmade last year, and they hang on the tree as dear treasures already.

The handmade birds are mixed in with the Hallmark bird ornament series that start six years ago, which we only became aware of four years ago.  And those are mixed in with the hand sewn felt garland from a tutorial found on the Anna Maria blog.  Were it not so painfully time consuming, I'd start making a new strand to mix with the old strand so that it could go the whole length of the tree.  But that might be for another year.

Because already this year I decided we needed new Christmas pillows in the spirit of the Halloween pillows, with a flower petal pillow (as seen before made by Liz), reminisent of a poinsettia.

And a Christmas Tree Forest wall hanging that I saw last year on The Purl Bee Christmas craft round up, and have not been able to get out of my mind all year long.  This would be a project best suited to slow and steady progress.  Not the all out blitz that I approached it with.  Perhaps if you didn't think you needed to make it in a 36 hour span of time, you might more carefully pick out your greens, rather than just raid the scrap bin.  But whatever, it's a treasure now, and it will forever remind me of our first Christmas in North Carolina when the sudden urge to CREATE came on with a most powerful force.

 (please ignore the unpatched bit of wall where a flat screen TV hung for the previous owners)

And a little strand of Christmas tree garland.  This too was a tutorial I found this year on Sew, Mama, Sew.  For some reason, I don't love it right now.  But I hope as the season wears on, it will grow on me.

And that's it so far.  There are still decorations lining the floor of the attic, waiting to be noticed and placed somewhere.  But after the recent sewing marathon, I seem to be dragging, just a bit.  I hope to get to it all, before it's time to put it all away?!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gathered Clutches

And, I'm back!

In case you were wondering why Annee has been flying solo for a bit, my whole family had the stomach flu last week.  While most people were enjoying the Thanksgiving break, we were just trying to keep food down, relax, and get well.  I also did more laundry in a week then I normally do in a month.

Getting back to the sewing machine hasn't been my highest priority, and while I'm not planning on making all my Christmas gifts like I did last year, I still have some gifts I need to make.  So last night I found myself finally sewing gathered clutches that I cut out BEFORE we all got sick.

I've seen this tutorial a couple of times, and the finished product is so cute, so I knew I needed to try making them.  Sewing them is not hard.  Cutting them out takes for.ever.  In fact, I should have just made a paper template of all the pieces I had to cut, so next them the cutting will be slightly less labor intensive.  Live and learn.

I couldn't find the right size zippers at JoAnn's, so my zippers are a little smaller then tutorial asked for, and I kind of wish I could have found the right size.  I know I can buy a larger zipper and cut it down, but I've had some bad experiences with cutting off the end of a zipper and the zipper falling off, and I didn't want that to happen.

I liked the finished results and so did my little helpers...

Now I'm off to bed.  I did get a yoga mat carrier cut out, so I'm crossing my fingers that it gets finished before the weekend is over!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A little bitty sewing project.

Ever since I got the latest Anna Maria Horner sewing book, these pants have been on the "to do" list.  First obstacle, no baby to sew for.  Lucky for me, that doesn't stay the case for very long in my family!  There is almost always a new baby in the works :) 

I picked up a yard of this precious Japanese print when I was in Korea.  Japanese fabric has been all the rage for a while.  I wasn't sure I understood why.  But when I saw this bolt, I kind of understood.  And the longer I have had this piece in the stash, the more meaningful it becomes. 

Funnest part about these pants?  The little insert on the back side.  It gives you just one more chance to pick another favorite fabric to use. 

The giraffe was too cute not to notice, amidst all the other quintessential Japanese details,

So I made a matching giraffe shirt!  Perfect. 

Did I mention the pants are reversible?!  They are.  Thereby doubling the wardrobe options for your miniature person.  If only I had a little model. I hope this outfit greets the newest member of our family with all kinds of handmade love. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


A certain little girl at our house had a big Thanksgiving performance at school today.  She was to be dressed up in a brown paper sack vest, as a Native American.  We had a good time making the brown paper bag vest, but somehow, I just couldn't leave it at that.  I just felt the vest needed a cute tiered skirt to go with it:

The skirt was inspired by the 1/2 yard piece of Alexander Henry apples and pear fabric that I've been hanging onto in the stash for well over a year or two!  The super jumbo ric rac was such a fun addition to the hem.  I picked that up at the 1/2 price ribbon sale at Hobby Lobby while in Arizona.  I have to say, the part I am most "thankful" for is when a project comes together entirely with material and stuff had on hand.  Nothing additional needed to be purchased!  Even I am a little impressed when I can pull a skirt like this out of the fabric stash (starting at 10pm!). 

In case you have a little girl who wears a size 6, I'd be happy to pass along my dimensions for the three rectangles that I used for this skirt, just leave me a comment if you want my numbers.  If you don't have a soon-to-be 6 year old for whom you'd like to make a skirt and still want to make one, THIS remains my favorite tiered skirt tutorial and method of construction.  I don't have to figured out the math anymore, and I do think there might be more straight forward ways of getting the dimensions (remember you can always round up or down to simply).  But, I do know that when I have gone through the numbers carefully with my waist measurments, I have been happy with the fit and fullness of the final skirt product. 

Hope that helps.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The latest, but probably not the greatest...

I promised Liz that I'd have a sewing update by the end of the weekend.  I'm even a little impressed myself that it's not 10pm yet, and here I am.  but I'm not impressed with my pictures this time around.  And were I totally crazy, I'd wait to make this post, and re-take pictures in better lighting.  But did you know that it's Thanksgiving this week??  That means, it's time to be looking forwards, not backwards.  Here's what I made, even though the pictures are lame (not the model, just the pictures!):

Another Go-To Dress, but without the elastic empire waist. 

I tried a new applique technique this time around.  This is called a reverse applique.  I found a helpful tutorial HERE.

This is what it looks like inside the dress: 

So, you sew it to the dress on the inside, and then you cut the fabric away on the outside of the dress.  It was fun to try something new. 

 Speaking of trying new things, I made a pair of leggings to go with the dress:

I thought the green waist band was a cute addition.  I used the legging pattern from Lil Blue Boo, HERE.

The pattern was great.  I was worried about sizing.  I sewed the size 7/8.  My girls are almost 6, but we're definitely on the tall side.  As you can see, these leggings are none too big.  And Ruby was complaining about the fit as the day wore on.  I saw her a few times trying to pull them up.  So I'm not entierly satisfied wtih them yet.  But, I have a few ideas for improving the fit, and I'm sure I'm going to try to make them again.  They came together so quickly, that before I added the ruffle at the bottom, I was about to say it was the best pattern in the world!  Then I added the ruffle, and it kind of ruined the process for me.  I'm not sure that the ruffle was worth it.  I kind of hate the ruffle, but I'm trying to ignore that detail.  Hard to do though, they're so ruffly, and in-your-face!  Next time...(also, I kind of hate the green, also trying to ignore that.  Anyway, it doesn't have to be anyone's favorite anything.  It was just to get me warmed up and sewing again!)

So that's my big "come back" outfit.  It works like a charm every time, whenever I worry that perhaps my sewing days have come and gone, I always seem to get inspired by my little ladies.  Then suddenly I want to sew a whole closet full of clothes, all over again.  I hope I'm back for a while. 
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