Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Need something to make...

Here's an idea:

I first saw this bag HERE (scroll down to the last picture).  (Now that I look at it again, I see I did make mine different with the little box pleat things at the bottom of the bag.  Making it flat would have saved me a bit of time, but I really liked the shape in the end.) The minute I saw it, I said to myself, "Self, you should make one of those bags.  You'll love it".  It's taken me until a few days ago to act on that impluse.  I bought the fabric from Ikea what feels like weeks ago.  It might in fact only have been two weeks ago.  I was not charmed by the quality or texture of the fabric when I first started working with it.  Ask Liz, I called her and made fun of how lame the fabric felt.  But after ironing it a bit (which I was afraid to do at first, not knowing what the stuff was made out of), it kind of softened up and started feeling less synthetic and plasticky.

It's a super simple bag.  I really should have been more thoughtful and taken pictures of the process.  I made the bow in the exact same manner as the green pillow I made what feels like yesterday ago. I think I'd like to make a promise, right here:  The next time I make something with this bow on it, I'll turn it into a tutorial.  

That was a big promise.  But I'm going to do it, only because the two things I've now made with this bow on it, have made my life happier.  I believe everyone's life should be happier.  So, when the fancy next strikes for more bow adorned items, get ready for my first ever tutorial!

The bag is now in the mail on it's way to make someone else happy.  But, I'll totally admit that before I mailed it, I sampled it one time, with the cutest teal colored dress that I wore last Sunday!   It was a colorful combo which made Sunday more of a joy!

In summary, the bow bag made my life happier, in so many ways.  Thank you.

(And, it only took two hours to make, because that's how much more of my book I was able to listen to before I was done making the bag.) 

But now, it's turning fall here in the South.  We need more long-sleeved dresses.  Andrea's Go-to-dress, certainly seems to be living up to it's name.  I keep "going to it".  Thanks Andrea.  This time I did lengthen it by exactly 4 inches.  I really like the length.  This way tights are optional if you have an unusually warm day in nearly November.  And, we'll probably get to keep wearing it next year too, with the added length.  So that's totally a bonus.  

So that's it.  That's my contribution to MOM from the East Coast.  But really, sewing inspiration, book recommendation, and a hot tip on a new dress for Sunday, all in one post?!...I think I've gone above and beyond, if I do say so myself.

XOX  Annee

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another Go To Dress

After seeing Annee's Go To Dress and the treasure of the FREE pattern for the darling knit dress.  Thank you Andrea!  I knew Grace needed one.  The only problem was that I only had quilter's cotton, and no cute knits!  Then earlier this week I was at JoAnn's and I found all of their knits were 50% off.  I took it as a sign that I needed to buy some knits.  After a quick call to my Sew Sister I determined how much yardage I would need and I was set.

Then last night I stayed up too late to make this cute dress, but I'd say it was worth it.  We had two birthday parties to attend today, and every girl needs a new party dress!!

I loved this pattern, but I would definitely add an inch or two to the length.  I serged the hem and just did a very narrow hem.  I have a feeling I'll be searching Etsy for some more knits for me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And one more...

I had to make one more 90 minute shirt.  I still haven't perfected this pattern, but I do think George looks perfect in it.  He loves his new shirts which is all that matters, right??

I've been tired the past couple of days.  I bought some knit to make a new dress for Grace.  I think it will be darling if I can just it done.  Crossing my fingers I'm not tired tomorrow night!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Whole lot of stuff!!

I've been rather busy this weekend.  Unfortunately blogger has been giving me a hard time with pictures (storage and uploading), so it's been tricky posting.  But the house is quiet, and I have about 30 minutes before preschool is over, so here I am!

First off, I made two more pillow.  These were actually make over a week ago, but I wanted to share them because I like them.  Sadly, they are not for my house.  I guess maybe it's not too sad since I probably have too many throw pillow already.  Sometimes when you get to the end of a project for someone else it's hard to let it go.  I made four pillows, the two below, two others that are exactly the same as two that I've posted already, so I'm not going to bore you with them!

Annee made one like this a while ago.  You can find it HERE.

This is another version of the picket fence pillow.  This time I did it in warm colors.

 Next up I had a baby shower to attend on Saturday night.  My friend Kristina is having a girl, and my philosophy with girl clothing is you can never have too much.  Just ask John and look at George's wardrobe.  John has asked on more than one occasion how many things I've sewn for Grace.  I haven't a clue, but I bought more fabric today to sew another dress for her, so obviously she doesn't have enough yet.  I love sewing for girls and baby girls are even better because they have not say in what they get to wear!!!  

I made another onesie dress.  There are no ruffles on the bum because I added the ruffle at the bottom, and of course I left the bottom of the onesie with the snaps on the dress.

Next I made a little skirt.  This is just the Lazy Day Skirt pattern, but I add a coordinating fabric to make the waistband and the bias tape hem.  I was going to embellish a t-shirt to go with it, but I found the one below at Target and decided that I couldn't make anything cuter and it matched so nicely, so I went with it!  Thank you Target.  I love you.

Do you like my clothesline??  I'm getting really crafty with the picture taking over here on MOM West Coast.

Next up I made two banners - a *celebrate* and a name one.  I didn't take pictures of either of them, so please use your imagination.

Lastly, I've been wanting to try Dana's 90 minute shirt tutorial for sometime now.  John was getting rid of a bunch of shirts, so I rummaged through them and pulled out all the knit ones that I thought would be cute on George.

I took this shirt yesterday afternoon

and made it into this shirt.

George loved it and for the most part I do too.  I think it's a little too tight, and the sleeves could definitely use some length, but for a first try I'd say it's pretty good.  The best part about this shirt for me was how happy it made George.  I really do sew a lot for Grace, and I don't think George cares, but he felt so special that he got a shirt.  He didn't want to take it off for bed last night, so it was his night shirt.  I have a couple more of John's old t-shirts, so I have a feeling in the next day or two George will get another shirt.  

Oh, and this tutorial did NOT take me 90 minutes.  Dana says that it only takes 90 minutes after you get the pattern figured out.  Figuring out the pattern alone probably took me 90 minutes.  Sewing the shirt was really fast though.  Maybe I'll time myself when I make another one.

That's all for now!!  I'd say that's enough for a couple of days wouldn't you???

Friday, October 15, 2010

Have me moved passed Halloween week?

I'm still stuck there...

I've been anxious to test out the latest Dana MADE circle skirt tutorial.  It seemed so simple, and I needed to know if it really was...

It mostly was easy.  It has the two inch wide elastic waist band.  You just do a stretch and pull method as you attach the skirt to the elastic.  I think having a serger makes this project more enjoyable.  

The fabric is from a Riley Blake line that Liz and I bought when she visited me in Korea six months ago!  The shirts I found when I pulled out my storage tote that was labled "fall decoration".  I think I bought them at a 75% Target after Halloween sale.  So probably I paid $.50 for them.  They aren't perfect, but they are festive. And it's true what Dana says about these skirts, I made both of them in an hour.  Making the pattern took a little extra time, but now I have a cute circle pattern piece to use again. 

The ladies loved them, and I think we'll get a lot of spooktacular wear out of them!  Happy Halloween. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Simple Curtain

Last week while I was busy sewing for Halloween, I was also working on some home decor.  My house is pretty maxed out for home decor at the moment, but I find sewing very relaxing, so I whipped up a little curtain for my neighbors.  The awesome ones that surprised me with Red Mango.

I first saw this style of curtain at Annee's house in Colorado.  She was inspired by a Pottery Barn curtain.  Then on one of my trips to my House in the South I discovered that my mom purchased these curtains for all her upstairs windows.  I knew I needed to get in on the action, and I now have two windows in my house with this very style of curtain.  They are so simple and so quick to make.

This is a tutorial of sorts.  I took a bunch of pictures, and I hope that it can help guide you through the simple process.  If you have any questions, please let me know!

After measuring the window, I added an extra inch to the width for seam allowances, and I added approximately 4 inches to the length for seam allowances (I usually use 1/2  inch allowances) and to make a hole for curtain rod.  I cut two rectangles out of this measurement.  One out of my curtain fabric and one out of muslin that will be my liner fabric.

Then you will need 5 ties approximately 2 inches wide and your length will vary based on how long you want them to be.  To make the ties you take two stripes of fabric and sew them right sides together on the length and then turn them inside out.

Here's a picture of all my fabric cut and prepped to be sewn together.  The ties complete in this picture.

On to assembling the curtain.  First you take one of your ties and position it horizontally on your rectangle.  Remember that the top of your curtain is going to be folded over about 3 inches.  It will look like this:

After I placed my horizontal tie, I evenly spaced out two more ties that will be sewn perpendicular to the horizontal tie.  

Pin everything like crazy and sew long both the top and bottom of the horizontal tie.

Next pin the last two ties to the top of the curtain lining them up with the two ties sewn into the horizontal tie.  See picture below.

Next layer muslin over everything, and pin like crazy again.  Also, I use safety pins to sew the ties in place while I'm sewing the muslin to the top of the curtain.

Sew all around the rectangle, but leave an opening at the top of the curtain to help you flip the curtain inside out.  Once you've sewn the muslin to the curtain top, pull the curtain through the hole!

It should look something like the picture below.  I tucked the ties that were sewn to the top of the curtain to the back.

Next you need to make the curtain rod whole.  Fold over the top of the curtain top to the back of the curtain approximately 3 inches (you can make this smaller if you'd like), and stitch in place.

Next close up the tie ends.  I just folded my tie ends inside the tie and top stitched it.

Then you hang up your new curtain!

Pretty easy, right?  I'm thinking I might make another one of these for my sewing space and use this quilting technique for the curtain front.  I've had this idea for a couple of weeks maybe months now.  I wonder when it will get pushed to the top of the to do list!  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Halloween Fabric Banner

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I would make a Halloween Banner.  It might, however, come as a surprise that I would make such a short one, but, alas, it is the end of a very busy sewing week.  I've sewn every night and I've been to bed way too late most nights.  Tonight I wanted to make a banner and a window treatment for a friend.  I was successful in making both, but the only way I was going to be successful was to make my banner short.  Thank goodness "Boo!" works for Halloween!!

If you are interested in making a Halloween Fabric Banner, I've made some updates to my tutorial on the side bar.  Or for your convenience, I'll link it HERE!  I even included another PDF file to share with you all.  It's the pattern for the scallops.   I hope you love PDF files as much as I do!!!

I'm signing off for the week!  I may or may not be all Halloweened out, but I'm taking a break from the sewing machine (and my kids, cleaning, cooking, and not getting enough sleep) for a couple of days.  The Italian and I are getting away to work on our tans for the weekend.  Don't hate me.

I'll have lots to share next week.  For now, good night from Made on Maple West Coast!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween Week Continues...

First of all, I must publicly thank Liz for figuring out how to embed PDF files into her posts.  I remain in awe of her technical skills, sewing skills, and sheer determination to get things done!  Often I tell her I just feel like I'm a guest blogger on her sewing blog! 

In honor of the PDF file, I had to make a festive halloween garland right away! 

And really, Liz did the hardest part for me.  I printed out my shapes, cut out 9 of each.  I went out to my sewing machine at 9:53am.  I was back inside my house at 9:58am.  That's my kind of sewing project!  The cutting took a bit longer, but Regis and Kelly were keeping me company for that part. 

The night before I made the garland, I called Liz and told her I might not be able to participate in Halloween week, because I was planning on being too tired this whole week!  She told me I should just walk out to my sewing room and stand there for a minute, and I might get energized.  So I hung up the phone with Liz and did just what she told me.  Walked myself out to the sewing garage, turned on some tunes and found my Halloween spirit!

I walked back in my house close to midnight, really happy I already had two orange linen pillows in the pillow collection.  They instantly dressed up my three new ones.  I set it all up and climbed into bed.  When the alarm went off entirely too early, I heard my George getting all excited about the new Halloween pillows on the couch.  As I came walking out of my room he said,

"Wow mom, you know how to make some really cool stuff."

I decided not to be grumpy anymore at that point in time.  He appreciated my contribution to Halloween week, maybe as much as Liz :) 

Happy Halloween!!

P.S.  Here were my tricks for keeping it simple, I didn't make the orange piping that I had originally envisioned. Which would have been awesome, but also would have added at LEAST an extra hour onto the project.  And, I went with the simple envelop fold back, so no closures involved.  Again, saved myself another hour!  Sometimes it's good to remember to keep a project simple enough to be able to enjoy in time for the upcoming holiday, this year, and not always think, "I'll make that really great NEXT year". 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Halloween: Simple Skirts and Shirt

Halloween is all about costumes and dressing up, but a little girls need day-to-day wear1  The Lazy Day Skirt free pattern came in very handy helping me make a couple of simple everyday wear Halloween skirts.

My friend Kim came over to learn how to make this orange one for her daughter,

and I made this one is for Grace.

The Lazy Day Skirt is so great because it is a simple pattern that can be embellished.  With these two skirts we added coordinating fabric to the main fabric as well as some rick rack.  Who doesn't love rick rack?

Of course Grace's skirt needed a matching shirt, and I thought a big candy corn would be sweet.  This shirt was done in less than 1/2 hour from start to finish.  I used my candy corn template and some felt.  It was easy and quick.  

And I think it will go nicely with Grace's new Halloween Skirt.  I can't wait for her to see her new shirt in the morning!  I'm am slightly nervous that she won't think her new shirt is fancy enough.  Maybe we'll have a conversation while eating real candy corn to help convince her that it is indeed sweet and fancy enough.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween Week: Party Garland

Halloween is my least favorite holiday, but my kids are totally excited about it, so I figured I better get on board.  After a board meeting via text messaging, Annee and I decided that this week will be Halloween Week!  We'll be sharing some ideas for Halloween decorating and of course some Halloween clothes.

Let the fun begin!

In addition to banners being one of my favorite things to hang in my house, I *heart* party garland.  I believe Annee tipped me off to it with Purl Bee's party garland, and then she share with us heart shaped party garland at Valentine's Day.  I knew for sure if I had party garland up for Halloween it would make me excited about the holiday!  So I present Halloween Party Garland.

I gathered orange, black and white felt,

cut them into pumpkins, bats, and ghosts using MY TEMPLATE,

recruited an assistant who came up with the pattern bat, pumpkins, ghosts, and sat and handed me the Halloween objects,

as I sewed them together one right after the other.

And there you have it.  Simple, easy, and so fun!  

Hope you're excited for Halloween Week!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sorry it took me so long...

I bought a bench on Craig's List on Monday.  I've actually been searching CL since arriving in North Carolina with a bench in mind.  I've found a few great things on there, but no bench.  Until Sunday night, then I found just what I had been looking for.  Of course, I love a good "BEFORE" and "AFTER" picture.  And here, I was so excited to get to the "AFTER" that by the time I took this picture, I had already ripped apart the cushion. 


The bench was in great shape, but ever since Liz's thrift store chair re-do (and she added Centsational Girl to our sidebar!) I've known that furniture painting was in my near future...


The seat cushion is what I was most scared of.  I didn't want it to look homemade.  The original one was a super boring tan corduroy, but I'll hand it over to the old cushion, it was beautifully made.

Lucky for me too, I got to seam rip the whole thing, and use the old pieces as my pattern pieces.  That surely helped my new cushion have such a nice fit, without me having to do any long division or multiplication with fractions!!

It's an old Riley Blake fabric that I had in the stash from Korea.  Have I mentioned I miss Happy Quilt lately?!  Sigh, I really do. 

I sanded the bench down.  Sprayed a can of primer on it.  Then followed up with 3 cans of semi-gloss black Krylon spray paint.  And it required no less than about six, maybe ten phone calls to Liz along the way.  Since she was the expert with her recent chair rescue under her belt. 

The success of it all is certainly not doing anything to help with my Craig's List addiction.  You never know what you might find on there...

Speaking of Craig's List "before" and "after", I've also been working on new throw pillows for my new-to-me couch from Craig's List.



Call me crazy, but I turned it white!  And NO, I did not upholster it myself.  My DIY skills only go so far.  Darin thinks we need to add color to it now.  So he pulled in the old pillows, and now I'm working on some new ones.

Starting with this little bow pillow, copied from Liz's that I've been coveting for quite some time now.

Liz has a bunch of links on her bow pillow post if you want more details.  I showed great restraint by NOT calling Liz ten times while I made this little number.  Although I had my phone in my hand more than once thinking it would be so much easier if someone just told me what to do next, rather than having to think for myself.  But, half the fun of sewing is figuring it out for yourself, right?!

And there you have it, a full report on my North Carolina Craig's List finds.  Can't wait to find my next new-to-me piece of furniture (but Darin can!).  
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