Friday, May 28, 2010

My New Favorite Pillow

I've made several banners this week.  While I do enjoy the finished products, sometimes the process is like eating vegetables.  I love vegetables, but if you were to offer me some carrots or a chocolate chip cookie I can guarantee you I'd take the cookie. 

So my vegetables for the week included a *celebrate* banner,

a *welcome* banner, and a Happy Birthday banner.  Sorry no pic of the HB banner!

All the banners turned out lovely in my opinion, but none of them come close to my new creation.

I saw this pillow on Cluck.Cluck.Sew last week.  I knew I needed to have it, so I pushed it to the top of my Sewing To Do List.  It is my new favorite pillow.  It was very simple to prep, and sewing wasn't too bad.  Of course, I did a zipper closure on the back, and I added a rhinestone button as the center of my flower.  The fabric under the felt is a Michael Miller print, Mod Boxes.

The back is an Henry Alexander print called Zinnia.  I can't find it online at the moment.  Sorry.

Now I need to figure out what's going to get crossed off my list next....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Popover dress take two.

I loved this fabric combo so much, that I had to do a few more things with it, before I could let it rest...

Also, I had an idea with the Oliver & S Popover Dress that would involve a ruffle, but less ruffling than the whole hem of the dress.  Let me try to show it to you a little better:

In my opinion it is just the touch of "something" that was needed.  I contemplated whether the ruffle should have been in the contrast fabric as well.  And it could have been, probably.  But, I like a bit more subtly in my details, for now.  The other two changes/additions I made were; I finished the little strapes.  The little bows tied shut are cute, but I think it looks really nice finished as well.  Plus, it takes less fabric cut on the bias.  Rather than cutting the strap piece twice as long as it prints out, you get to cut it the length of the printed piece. 

Finally, rather than a ruffle trim on the hem, I just did a contrast band.  I added the band before I sewed the front and back pieces together.  You could do it after as well, but I liked doing it one piece at a time. 

Of course, the tiered skirt was a necessity: 

I took the measurements from an existing skirt that we have and love. 

Finally the onsie dress that I've been trying to figure out since before Liz was here!

I know, it doesn't seem like such a big deal, but this project wasn't simple.  The thing is, I wanted the little snap bottom piece to still be attatched:

It really seemed so clever to me to have a dress for your three month old that wouldn't find itself up around her arm pits as they are scrunched up in your arms.  Trust me on that one if you've never had a three month old little girl in a dress. 

But attaching that ruffled skirt piece to the intact onsie was way more tricky that I wish it was.  It became necessary to either pick it all apart because of little pintucks that occurred, or to add the little belt band.  The belt band was actually easier than ripping it apart!  Maybe there should be more to it.  Maybe the shirt should have something on it, or a bow or a flower.  But sometimes, enough is enough.  I'm calling this dress done.  It gets bonus points for being so cleverly attached to the snap bottom! 

Okay, now I only have six days left!  Let's see what else I can finish before we leave...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Not much.

I really don't have anything grand to show.  I spent more time out of my house this weekend then in my house, so to reward myself for all the time spent away, I used the little energy I had left in me to sew.  There may or may not have been an animated flick or two shown during my creative time tonight.  No damage done there, right??

I took Annee's advice and made the Popover Sundress from Oliver and S.  It's FREE.  Let me repeat.  It's FREE, so just popover to Oliver and S already and make your little girl, your niece, your friend's daughter a dress!  It is a very simple pattern, and at no point in time was I frustrated or confused.  I also followed in Annee's footsteps and added a ruffle at the bottom, and then I also threw in some rick rack on the yoke.  I'm pretty positive that Grace will get another Popover Dress.  

I did get some scallops cut for a banner or two that I need to make, but I've been up since 5:45 this morning, so my bed is calling my name.  I'm crossing my fingers that I get get to the banners tomorrow.  I've got to get the banners done so I can make another dress for Grace, make a pillow or two for some graduating seniors, another pillow for myself, a new bench cover, maybe a frock for myself, maybe a spring/summer table runner, and on and on and on...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

10 Days and Counting...

I'm trying to work hard to finish up all the lingering items that have been sitting in my sewing room.  I'm dreaming of a clean slate to start over new in America with.  I don't really want to take a vision home with me.  I want to clear the way for all new visions, having finished my Korean ones, while I was in Korea, if that makes any sense.  So, each day I'm trying to get a few more of those projects checked off the list:

The baby quilt from a while ago, this time going to George's second grade teacher who is having her first baby!

Finished the quilting and the binding, and really, I like the back, just as much as I like the front.

Birthday party outfit, finished just barely in time for the party!  These are all new fabrics from the Riley Blake label.  They've got a lot going on this spring!  I used the "Market Day Skirt" tutorial found on MADE over on our sidebar. 

I've really enjoyed staring at this pile of fabric thinking of possibilities.  Last night I used it for item #1:

A ruffled zipper pouch.

What will it be used for you ask?

How about for a secret stash of chocolate in coordinating colors?

But really, we gave it to our favorite pre-school teacher this morning since it was our last day of pre-school today.  I hope she enjoys it!  

Want to make one?  Here's the how-to:

But now I'm totally convinced that those same fabrics will make a really rad spring skirt.  I'm off to do about a thousand more hours of the gathering stitch.  I'm going to wish I saved a few of those chocolates for myself.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

For others.

Other than this simply delicious meal that I made for dinner tonight, I've been working hard getting things made for others.

A taggie for a newborn baby is a must,

Tonight I made three different kinds of rice krispie treats for our combined Young Men/Young Women activity tomorrow night.  Thank you Jenny from Picky Palate for this recipe and this one too.  As for the third rice krispie treat recipe - 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup karo syrup.  Melt on stovetop.  Add 8 cups rice krispies.  Press into 9 x 13 pan.  Melt one cup butterscotch and one cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and spread on top!

Lastly, I saw this cute pillow a couple of days ago.  I love the neutral color scheme Liz Stanley used for her pillow, but I needed a little more color for mine. Just a little.

I followed Liz's instructions, but I did add some interfacing to my bow and some top stitching.  I currently have this pillow sitting on my leather chair and I'm thinking I'm going to have a hard time giving it away.  I just might need to make another one of these!!

Of course I used House on Hill Road's Put a Zipper in Your Pillow tutorial for the back.  One of my all time favorites!  I almost think I could put a zipper on without the tutorial.  Almost.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It was raining today...

...and we don't have a car, so I sewed some more stuff.  Plus, we have only 12 days left!  I'm beginning to get serious about crossing things off of my list! 

Jane has not been so patient waiting for her tank dress to be done.  Please ignore the splash of water, things were rushed during the photo shoot :)  She wants it to have a flower on it, like Ruby's, but she also wanted to wear it today. 

Isn't it funny how a little project like this becomes the biggest thorn in your side.  Or maybe it's uniquely my problem because I'm often having to sew two of the same thing.  I'm excited about doing something once, but having to do it a second time is usually a lot less fun, and more work.  It needs the flower for sure.  It definitely looks a little plain right now.  Stay tuned for that...

Once I got the dress done, which felt like a "HAD" to do item, I got to sew something from the WANTED to sew list.  I have visions of new summer skirts twirling around in my head.  Here is the first one.  After spending far too long reading through online tutorials, I finally settled upon this one, from Grand Revival.  I love the design.  She has come up with a really great way of attatching the second tier of ruffles.  I loved the tutorial for that.  But beyond that, it's not a tutorial for everyone, that's for sure!  You have to read through it pretty carefully to understand the construction process.  And then, if you're a beginner, she totally leaves out the basic reminder steps about things like, finishing your seams, or ironing.  Since I'm not a beginner anymore, I remembered to do those things on my own.  But that's why I might only cautiously recommend this tutorial.  Also, sadly, she has it only sized for a size 5/6 skirt.  If anyone wants to try it, and needs help/recommendations on how to size it down or up, I could certainly let you know how to do that.

Next time around, I need to make mine longer (I would lengthen the top layer by an inch, and the bottom layer by at least 2).  This is a lesson I should definitely know by now.  My ladies are long!  Longer than your average 5/6 sized skirt.  Oh well, it's still super cute.  I'll try to get some red carpet pictures the next time it's worn. 

I've got ruffles on my mind.  I think we have more ruffled skirts in our future. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

At the end of the day...

When Jane picked out her packet of Anna Maria fabric, Ruby picked out this "Glam Garden" print by Josephine Kimbeling for Robert Kaufman (I'll let you have the fun of googling that one yourself).  I promised both the girls that if they would pick a fabric we both liked, I'd sew them each a new dress. 

Though I feel bad that it took me so long to get to this point, I'm happy to say I've now fully lived up to my side of the deal!  This cute little sundress is McCall's pattern M5836.  What I was most excited about was the fact that it only had 5 pieces to cut out!  I hate cutting!!  What I am least excited about, is that the size 4 is still a bit boxy.  Also, I put the pleates in as per the instructions, but now that I'm looking at it, I'm wondering if a simple gathring stitch wouldn't have been a bit cuter?  I know I'm being extra critical, but that's the way it always goes.  To fix the fit a bit, I did pull out the strapes and cut them off by about an inch and a half.  I liked the way that pulled the neckline up higher.  I would have Ruby model, but she's a bit under the weather right now.  What I do love is the ruffled bottom hem. That's why I decided to make the pattern after all.  All, in all, the pattern is useful.  Just be warned to make it smaller than you would imagine!  Other than that, I think this pattern does delivers a pretty excellent summer sundress! 

And finally, over on my own blog today, I'm having a little give away for a banner, that I learned how to make from our very own Banner Queen herself!  I'd love to give it to you, so if you're interested, head on over to the other blog and leave a comment.  Who doesn't have something to celebrate in life, and what better way to make it an occasion, than with a fabric banner!! 

Sunday, May 16, 2010


First item I was able to finally cross off of my mental To Do list were the Easter quilts.  I sewed the tops of them in record timing, but quilting and binding took me a while.  

Grace and George were running around while I was trying to take pictures of their quilts, can you tell??

I tried free motion quilting for the first time on these quilts.  I stippled around the circles, and inside the circles I made concentric circles.  My machine doesn't have a quilting program, so for help I read over this tutorial.  I'm really happy with these quilts, and it made my day today when George asked me to lay his quilt on the floor so he could play on it.  Maybe he loves his quilt as much as I do!

Friday night I finally finished the McCall M5694 Jumper that Annee made for her girls a while back.  I cut out all the pieces while I was in Korea and brought the instructions home with me to CA.  I discovered Friday night that I didn't transfer ANY of the markings from the pattern to my fabric which are kind of helpful in sewing everything all together.  And, I really do think there was a second sheet of instructions, but thankfully I've made a dress or two so I was able to figure things out.

Now back to my ever growing To Do List.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

While in Korea

It's hard to believe I've been home from The Convention for over a week now.  I have sewn stuff since I've been back, but I forgot to take a picture of the patchwork dish towels I made last night, and I'm half way done with the binding of George's Easter quilt.  

But, I did sew great things while in Korea which shouldn't be forgotten.

Grace and George got personalized aprons. I made Grace's apron while in Korea, and then I paid a nice Korean man to the do the embroidery for me.  The fabric is a Robert Kaufmann design and is delicious if you ask me.

Before Annee made me sew myself pajama pants, I made a 5 minute belt.  I'm totally not kidding that it only took 5 minutes.  Unfortunately I can't really tell you how to do it, because all of the supplies were purchased in the Dongdemoon Market in Seoul.  

I love this belt so much and I've already worn it, and I'm dreaming of more ways to put it to good use.

The last thing I made in the Korea Headquarters of MOM were my pajama pants from Amy Butler's In Stitches book.  This a really simple pattern as long as you get your size right!!  I had some alterations to do before this picture was taken.  The fabric is an owl print, so I call these my Night Owl Pants.

Now I must go put on my Night Owl pants and go to bed!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I've been totally missing from this space for far too long!  Of course, Liz came for six days and that was the happiest sewing I've done in a long time.  We spent a couple of days up in Seoul at the fabric market, but once we were back, every night was spent sewing side by side in my dining room.  It was bliss.  Before she got here, I did complete the twin sized quilt I was making for my sister:

My sister built her nursery around these fabrics, which are mostly Heather Bailey and a few Amy Butler prints.  But now little June needs to move up to her "big girl bed", so she needed a twin size quilt.  Sometimes the hardest part about a quilt is fabric selection.  Having the fabrics all picked out, it was fun to just get to think of the design and sew it up.  Now onto quilting and binding, and June will be all set!

Also, before Liz got here, I wanted to try my hand at a tee shirt dress.  I've seen lots of different varieties of these dresses.  I was especially excited to try the floral/ruffled embellishment that I'd seen a tutorial for. 

I think with the added flower and ruffle trim, it turned out just how I was hoping.  And seriously easy!  The pink tank top and coordinating fabric has been laying out for nearly three weeks now.  I better get back to work!

Once Liz arrived with all of her energy, I was motivated to get to work on my Oliver and S, "Ice Cream Dress" pattern. 

Though the pocket detail was taking me forever, I have to agree that once it was all said and done, they really do add the perfect touch. 

Jane picked out her own fabric.  Imagine how proud I was when we were at Happy Quilt together and she found the one and only packet of Anna Maria fabric that I've seen in a very long time!  That's my girl!!  Other than it being really important to transfer all the marks from the pattern pieces, this dress is really easy to sew.  Now I want to hurry and make a second one while the process is still fresh in my mind.

While Liz was here, we also both made pairs of the Amy Butler Lounge pants from her "In Stitches" book.  I've used the pattern countless times, but Liz never had, so I decided not to let her leave until she used one of my favorite patterns herself.  I didn't get her photos downloaded to my computer, so maybe she'll upload here soon.  It really is a great pattern!

With only three weeks left in Korea, I have a very long list of projects I want to finish before life begins to transit.  Wish me luck! 

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Convention

As founders and co-chairs of Made on Maple, we decided we needed an official board meeting.  And, of course, the best place for our official meeting was South Korea.  Since being in Korea we've bought lots and lots of fabric, we've eaten at every American restaurant we can find, and we've got more ideas rolling around in our brains then we know what to do with!

Stay tuned for some of our latest creations!
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