Friday, December 18, 2009

Sew Liberated Book GIVEAWAY!!!!

Sew Liberated Book GIVEAWAY!!!!
Go check it out. I'd love to win this book!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Apron

I signed up for a great swap on Swap Bot awhile back. My swap partner received her package so I can share what I made for her now. For this swap we had to make a half apron and the inspiration was peppermint candies – you know those red and white candy mints you get sometimes at restaurants. As soon as I signed up I knew that I could use some of the Christmas fabric I had left over from the Christmas apron I made for a swap awhile ago since it was red and white. It has snowflakes on it and every time I have one of those candy mints I think of snowflakes. I needed to find a striped fabric to go with it for the ruffle and waistband/ties. I looked at a few stores, but just couldn’t find the right stripe. I finally found this one – it reminds me of candycanes. With the narrow green stripe through the fabric I thought this added some richness to it.

I couldn’t find a tutorial on the web for exactly the apron I wanted to make and I didn't have a pattern so I winged it. I knew I wanted the ruffle to be full. Without pictures to show how I made this apron, directions would be little wordy. Of course I didn't even think to take pictures as I went along until I was almost done the apron. I may just have to come up with a tutorial in the New Year - I don't have time before Christmas.

Are you still working on your Christmas gifts too? I still have a pile of sewing to do, a few more gifts to purchase and everything to wrap. Oh and I haven't done any Christmas baking yet either!

Monday, December 7, 2009

We have a winner!

Thank you all so much for sharing your favourite part of the holidays with me. I started to respond to comments, but with a slow dial up connection (we don't live in an area that has access to high speed internet or cable) that is not going to be possible - it would take at least 4-5 days and I just don't have time right now. Please know that I do appreciate all of your comments. Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope I have some new regular readers.

In fairness to all the others who did tell me their favourite part of the holidays, there were a few people that did not answer the question, and they were removed from the draw. I used the random number thingy. The winner is baukje. Baukje I will email you today. Please contact me no later than 9 PM Eastern Standard Time with your full name and address and I will get your package sent off to you!

Sorry to all of those who did not win this one. I plan on doing at least one giveaway in the New Year - so check back again!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Aprons, Aprons

If you are here for the Giveaway Day, please feel free to check out the rest of my blog. The Giveaway Day post is in the next post below.

I recently participated in an apron swap. My partner has received her package so I can share this now. For this swap we could make a half or full apron and we could make requests - like a child's apron, full apron, half apron, certain colours etc. My partner wanted an apron for her son who likes bright blue or one for herself - not too girly. I wanted to make an apron for both my swap partner and her son. I'd never made a child's apron, but looked on the internet to see what sort of ideas I could find. I knew a full apron would probably be the best bet for a 5 year old. I made up my own pattern for this apron. I think it turned out perfectly. My 5 year old modelled it for me so I could see how it fit. All the fabric is from my stash. For the tie around the neck I decided to make it shorter and used velcro so it could be taken off quickly and easily. The tie around the waist is a regular tie.

For my swap partner I had some fabric in my stash that I thought would be perfect - not too girly but still pretty. I decided on a half apron for her. The apron pattern is from the Bend the Rules sewing book again. As I've gone along making aprons from this pattern, I've found a few shortcuts. I love the look of this style of apron.

Both my swap partner and her son really like their aprons. I hope they get a lot of use out of them!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giveaway Day!!!!!

Thanks to the ladies at Sew, Mama, Sew for organizing this whole Giveaway Day!

Sorry the picture isn't better. It's dark outside when I leave home to go to work and it's dark when I get home and to tell the truth I just decided when I got home tonight exactly what I was going to giveaway.

I'm giving away a half yard of the black fabric with the red, yellow and pink flowers on it and a fat quarter of the green fabric. The green is actually more of a lime green than it shows in the picture. The black fabric has been previously washed and dried in the dryer. The green fabric quarter has not been laundered. I wanted to throw some buttons in that went with the fabrics, so I sorted through my button collection. There is 1 red button and two yellow buttons to go with the black fabric. To go with the green fabric I found a cute blue flower button, a green heart, and 3 other blue buttons (2 small buttons and 1 larger one). I'm also giving away a little box of bobbins - there are 12 in the box. I'm also throwing in a little handmade something. I haven't decided what it is yet - so it will be a surprise.

This giveaway is open until December 6 at 9 pm eastern. I will randomly pick a winner shortly after. To enter, please leave a comment telling me your favourite thing about the holiday season. It could be a favourite recipe (please share - I like to try out new recipes), an activity etc. Please ensure you leave an email address so I can email you if you win. Any anonymous comments without an email address will not be entered. The winner will have until December 9th at 9 pm eastern to claim their prize. If the prize is unclaimed I will announce another winner. Good luck! And go check out the other giveaways at the Sew, Mama, Sew blog!

Edited to add - This Giveaway is open to international entries as well.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More Baby

These little onesies and blankets were made for my friend at work who had her baby 10 weeks early (I also gave her the diaper clutch). She was very lucky that her little guy has been able to breathe on his own right from the start and is really strong. He is doing very well and they are actually home now (3 weeks before her due date). Her baby shower was a month ago (I know I have a terrible timeliness problem with blogging my projects). Anyway I bought some onesies and had some owl fabric scraps and cut out one owl to applique on the onesie. The bird onesie I had some scraps and used them to make the birds, and the wings. I stitched the birds' legs on the onesie before appliquing on the birds. I didn't have that much fabric that went with green onesie and had no idea what to do for that one. I found the dotted fabric and knew I wanted to make an E applique for that onesie given that the baby's name starts with an E. I love these onseies. I know it will be awhile before he can wear them, but he is growing so quickly and doing so well.

Theses blankets I made using 1 metre of each of the flanellettes. I love nice cozy, soft blankies for babies. I just sewed them up right sides together and left an opening to turn them right side out. After turning them right side out I tucked in the open end and stitched all the way around the blanket. The blankets were really popular at the shower. I love making something for someone who really truely appreciates the thought and care that goes into each item.

I wish my friend and her new little family the best. Keep growing and thriving E!

VOTE FOR #7 Lawn Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

VOTE FOR #7 Lawn Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!
You can win this dress on Grossgrain! Vot for #7 on Shabby Apple. This dress is so cute!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Charm Design Bags and Totes $50 gift card GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Charm Design Bags and Totes $50 gift card GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!
Check out Grosgrain for a chance to win a $50 gift card at Charm Design. Wow there are some fabulous purses you can use your gift card for!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Addicted to Making Bags?

If you are a regular reader of my blog it comes as no surprise that I love bags. I love making bags. When I have a few minutes I find myself thinking about what bag I want to make next and envision the fabric(s) I would use or find for the bag. I have ton of tutorials I've found on the internet to try out for bags - small, medium and large. When I need a pick me up, I look at the patterns and tutorials I have or look for new bag patterns and tutorials. I also check out my stash or go shopping for new fabric for bags. (My fabric addiction is a whole other post!)

My daughter's friend had her birthday party and I made her a Buttercup Bag. I love this pattern and it's just the right size for taking shopping. My daughter selected this fabric that was on the clearance decorator/drapery fabric table at Fabricland. The gift was well received and all the girls at the birthday party have requested a bag for their birthdays.
My daughter loves this fabric and has hinted around that she would like a bag made out of this fabric. Maybe she'll get one for Christmas or her birthday, or maybe I'll just have to make her one just because. Either way it will be a surprise. I think she might be a bagaholic in the making!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tote Bag

I've been doing some swaps on Swap-Bot. This tote was made for one of the swaps. My swap partner likes blue. I thought this fabric was perfect for a tote. We had to include some items in the tote we thought our swap partner would like. I included some note cards, sticky notes, recipe cards and some scrapbooking items. I love tote bags and don't think you can ever have enough, especially handmade ones!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Applique Table Runner

I signed up for the Seasonal Celebrations - Fall Swap. You had to make a fall decoration for your swap partner and include your favourite fall recipe and some way that you welcome fall (a tradition, poem, song, etc.). I knew I wanted to make a fall table runner and had a few ideas. I really love the way this table runner turned out and I think I'm finally getting the hang of binding! I'll be making one of these for our home and maybe one for my mom too.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Is it too early for Christmas posts?

04I've been doing some swaps on Swap-Bot. One of the swaps was Chirstmas in July. These are some of the ornaments I made for this swap. I love felt ornaments.

The sewing thread spool is Santa's list. I put names on a piece of paper and hot glue gunned the list to the thread spool. Then I tied a Christmasy ribbon around the spool. I have a few more ornament swaps coming up and I've been thinking about what I want to do for these. One is for an angel and the other is for a snowman ornament.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grab 'N Go Diaper Clutch

I’ve started pattern testing for SewFun. The first pattern I tested is the ‘Grab ‘n Go Diaper Clutch’. The pattern and instructions are for the clutch and a changing pad. The changing pad folds up so you can tuck it in the clutch. Add a couple of diapers and a travel container of baby wipes and you're ready to go. I used some fabric and a button from my ever growing stash for this one. I’ll be giving this diaper clutch to a friend at work, as she is having a baby in December. I sure wish I had one when my kids were still in diapers. It would be so handy to just grab it on the way out the door and it looks pretty too. The pattern is available now at the Sew Fun website. Go check it out!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Doll Blanket for My Niece

A few weeks ago it was my niece's 2nd birthday. I always buy my niece and nephew a book and some clothes and one toy. She loves pink and horses. I had picked up a pair of pink rainboots at the local Hatley outlet for her. I'd also found some pj shorts that were pink with horses on them at the same store so I got her a size 2 and a size 3 so she has a pair for now and a pair for next summer. I also had an outfit for her for next summer. That took care of the clothes (all that for under $20 - I love bargains!). I looked at every store in the area for a cute stuffed horse but couldn't find one. I did find a My Little Pony baby. I was pretty sure she would like that so I got that for her. The only thing was her baby needed a blankie. I've had some charm sqaures for awhile and knew I wanted to make her a doll blanket. I just sewed the charms together and used some really soft pink minky that I had bought a year or so ago . I sewed them right sides together leaving an opening for turning. Once I'd turned it right sides out I top stitched around the edges. I decided to leave it and not quilt it since I was running out of time and the minky was quite hard to sew to the pieced top. Even while I was topstiching around the edges it was hard to keep it from slipping around.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Skirt

I decided I needed another skirt for summer. I knew I wanted an A-line skirt with a zipper (no elastic). So I went shopping for some fabric at a local quilting shop. I found the green patterned fabric and fell in love with it right away. I purchased 1 metre. After looking at the fabric several times over the course of a few days I realized I would want to have a solid strip of fabric at the bottom of my skirt because the brightness was a little much for me. I found some broadcloth and decided to use it. I decided not to buy a pattern and used a few tutorials I found on the web to get a clearer idea of how to go about this (mostly from Sew, Mama, Sew). It came together pretty fast and love this skirt! Please pardon the wrinkles - I had to wear this skirt the next day to work, I loved it that much.

And the best part is I still have some fabric left - not sure what I'll do with it, but I'm sure it will come to me!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another Birthday Cake

My youngest son turned 3 almost a month ago. As his birthday approached we started talking about what kind of cake he wanted. He kept saying "White cow cake."

Let me give you a little background - Last year I made him a cow cake for his 2nd birthday. I had to work the day of his birthday and had it ready the night before after everyone was in bed. I figured that way when I got home I would just have to get supper ready and not have to worry about getting the cake done. My mom was babysitting that day for us and around 4 pm he went to the fridge to get a drink and noticed his cake in the fridge on the bottom shelf. He sat on the floor with the fridge door open and kept saying "My cow cake."

So this year I made hime the same cake. He knows he can have other cakes. I offered to make a pig or goat or anyother farm animal or a construction cake or Bob the Builder or an ATV or a John Deere tractor cake. He said, "No. White cow cake." So that's what he got. I had enough cake batter left over to make some haybales for the cow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer Skirt

This skirt is perfect for summer. It's light weight and pretty. It can be worn to work, out for dinner (not that that happens much here anymore), shopping, around town etc. The fabric was purchased last year (or maybe the year before). It was a little see through so I lined it with a light pink broadcloth. I made up a pattern based on a few tutorials over at Sew, Mama, Sew. This skirt was cut out, sewn together, hemmed and completed in under an hour. I love fast skirts!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I signed up for a Celebrate Summer Swap that was on Inspired Mama Musings blog. We had to send a summer decoration, a recipe and share how we celebrate summer.

I made this apron from the Bend-the-Rules Sewing book (Another project from that book!) The fabric is some fabric I won from Sew, Mama, Sew. I'd been holding on to it waiting for the perfect project and this was it.

I also made my swap partner these appliqued tea towels. I used my flip-flop template from for one tea towel. For the other one I had some fabric that had various sized flowers on it and I cut out a bunch of the flowers and figured out placement. Then I sewed a line on the towel for each stem and appliqued the flowers on the towel. I decided I needed leaves for some of the stems and found some green paisley scraps in my scrap stash. I just drew up a leaf shape and cut the shapes out of the fabric and appliqued on the towel. I love these how these towels turned out. Now I need to make some for myself!

My partner for this swap made me the most beautiful cards. They are so pretty I just want keep them to look at! She also sent me some gorgeous fabric and a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan. It sounds yummy - now to trick the family into thinking it's something else so they will at least try it!

I really enjoyed this swap and there will be an Autumn round of this swap too.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Quilted Table Runner

I've been wanting to try quilting for a long time. I finally decided to get my courage up and decided a small project would be best. I found a tutorial for this table runner on the Moda Bakeshop blog. I have a ton of scrap fabric and some fabric squares from a swap and decided to use it rather than buy a charm pack for this. It went together pretty easily. The tutorial tells you can stipple or stitch in the ditch to quilt. I really love the look of stippling and wanted to try it, but I knew I would be better off to stitch in the ditch for my first project. Since I tend to want perfection in my projects I told myself that unless something went really wonky, I was not going to be ripping it out. I stuck to that too, even though the corners of my binding aren't quite right. I really like this table runner and it is on my kitchen table now. My kids have made quite a few comments about how much they like it - which must be true, because we all know how honest kids are.
I found the thick ric-rack at Fabricland and it was on sale for $0.50/metre. I bought lots of it in four different colours. I can 't wait to find other projects to add the ric-rack to. I just love the way it finishes off this project.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bags for Teachers

I made a bag this year for my daughter's teacher. She is young and stylish and very keen. She is a fabulous teacher and my daughter really learned a lot in her class - academically, socially and personally. The fabric for this bag is a screenprinted canvas. The lining fabric was from my stash. I stole 2 buttons from my daughter's button collection for this bag.

Our oldest son was in Junior Kindergarten this year and I made a bag for his teacher as well. She has a very structured classroom. Unfotunately he will not be in her class next school year. I am hoping that the new teacher will have a similar structure to her class. He loves school and can read quite a few words already. I never thought he would like school - he's never been interested in reading or sitting for very long to colour, but school made him interested in these things. He is quite shy and he has improved so much socially.
For his teacher's bag I used some fabric from my stash that I used for a handbag on a previous post. The yellow buttons are from my button bag. The pattern is the Buttercup Bag available on Made by Rae.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hobo Bag

My mom and dad went to Nashville for the CMT Music Festival yearlier this month. This year is their 40th wedding anniversary and it's something they've always wanted to do. I was planning to make this bag for Mother's Day, but just was too busy to get it done. I had it cut out a few weeks before Mother's Day. I sewed it up a few days before they left for their trip. I wanted my mom to have a stylish bag that would hold her things and still have room to stash a few things she might buy on her travels. I looked at a few tutorials on the web to get some ideas of what I wanted to do for this bag, but pretty much was confused. I knew how I wanted the bag to look, just didn't know how to go about doing it. It's not perfect, but my mom loved it (I think moms have to say they like things their kids give them though, don't you?).

The fabric for this bag is home decor weight. The outer fabric is Liz Clairbourne and the lining is a cotton canvas. Both of the these fabrics were on clearance for under $5 per metre.

This bag includes 2 inside pockets - a zippered pocket and a pocket for a cellphone and pen/small note pad etc. This was the first zippered pocket I've done. It ended up pretty bulky around the zipper closure. I think I just need more practice with that. I also used some cross stitch (maybe it's needlepoint? - I don't know I hate handsewing!) plastic in the bottom of the bag between the outer bag fabric and the lining. I was hoping it would give the bag a little stiffer bottom. It looked good with a few things in the bag. There are many things I would change if I make this bag again. I guess I should have made a muslin first, but I always feel that it's a waste of time to do that. I just want the pretty end result - I'm not very patient when it comes to sewing. Oh well my mom loved it and that's all that matters. But next time I may try a muslin first!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I joined Swap-Bot. I love swaps and really wanted to find more crafty/fabric/button/trim swaps. I've particiapted in a Buttons & Ribbons Swap and in a Charm Squares and Button Swap.

The third swap I did was a Square Pin Cushion. I used the Heather Bailey pattern on All People Quilt. It was pretty easy, except the directions call for you to use a doll maker's needle and pull the trim through the pin cushion with the needle. I couldn't get it to work so tacked the ric rack in place instead. When I sewed on the button I made sure a few stitches went through the ric rack to hold it in place.

I used some fabric scraps I had in my stash and some teeny tiny ric rack I got in a swap. The button is from my button bag. I think this is so cute and my partner's favourite colour is blue. I haven't received my pin cushion yet, but I'll post a picture when I receive it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Janomes

June is Sewing Machine Month over at Sew, Mama, Sew. They are celebrating by giving away some fabulous prizes - including a sewing machine. Also they are doing a Sewing Machine Meme. You can read all about my two machines below.

This is my regular sewing machine:

What brand and model do you have? Janome SW-2018E

How long have you had it? 20 years

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? I can't remember how much this machine cost, but it's not made anymore.

What types of things to you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? Handbags, mens/womens/childrens/tweens clothing, pillows, curtains, cushion covers, softies, toys, just started quilting

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? It really depends on how much time I have. I work full-time and am away for 10 hours of the day with travel time to and from work. Lately I’ve been sewing every night for at least 2-4 hours after the kids go to bed. I usually go in spurts of a few months of sewing and leave it for a few weeks. My machine is 20 years old and when I first started sewing I would make 3-4 garments a week.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I love my machine and am passionate. She does not have a name.

What features does your machine have that work well for you? There are a ton of stitches and a guide at the top of the machine that shows the various stitches and what tension/foot/stitch length and width to use. It has a drop in bobbin and that is so much easier to use. Also it came with a case so I can stick it in the closet or in a corner for a few weeks or months and not have to worry about little fingers touching or playing with it. I don't have a sewing room and no designated area I can set up as a sewing corner.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? No

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e. Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper? Got it from your Great Grandma? Etc.!)? This machine was a 17th birthday present from my parents. I had used my mom’s Kenmore but it kept breaking and was given a used White machine that kept acting up. My best friend and sewing buddy Nicki helped my mom pick it out, as she knew exactly what I would need. It was definitely a surprise!

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? I would recommend this machine to others. I love my machine. It’s reliable, durable and has lasted a long time.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? You need to know what you are going to use it for. Make a list of everything you know you want your machine to have and make dream list of what you might want the machine to have. Go to a knowledgeable dealer who answers your questions and lets you test drive the machines. Tell the dealer your price range and your show your list. Even if they don’t have something in your price range, they may have a sale coming up, or will keep you in mind if they get a trade-in. Make sure your dealer services the machines they sell. My dealer is great! One time the backstitch button stuck and he just fixed it right on the spot for me and didn’t charge me anything.

Do you have a dream machine? I would love to have a computerized machine. I would love to try machine embroidery. My Grandma had a trundle sewing machine. I would love to inherit that machine. Whenever I go to visit my Grandpa I always ogle it. Also now that I’ve almost finished my first quilted item (more on that later) I would like to have a long-arm quilting machine – hey it’s a dream!

This is my serger - I've wanted one forever and I finally go it:

What brand and model do you have? Janome 660D

How long have you had it? Since Christmas

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? It was on sale for $350 or $399

What types of things to you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? Handbags, mens/womens/childrens/tweens clothing, pillows, curtains, cushion covers, softies, toys, just started quilting

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? It really depends on how much time I have. I work full-time and am away for 10 hours of the day with travel time to and from work. Lately I’ve been sewing every night for at least 2-4 hours after the kids go to bed. I usually go in spurts of a few months of sewing and leave it for a few weeks.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I love my machine and am passionate. She does not have a name.

What features does your machine have that work well for you? I’m still learning what my machine can do. I went to round one of my machine lessons and should call my dealer for round two, but I really like playing with it.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? No, not that I've found yet.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e. Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper? Got it from your Great Grandma? Etc.!)? This machine was a Christmas gift from my husband and kids. My husband had said years ago that he would buy me a serger, but they were too expensive for us then. He mentioned it again last year and I went to the dealer on my lunch hour (a 10 minute walk from my work) and checked out what he had in stock.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? I would recommend this machine to others. I love my machine. So far it is reliable and durable

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Another Charming Handbag

Sunday was my S-I-L's birthday. I made another bag for her this year. This time the Charming Handbag from Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing book. I did cheat and made it at the same time as I made the other Charming Handbag. The fabric is Amy Butler that I got last year and have been saving for a special project. The blue ribbon is some from my stash and the button is from my button jar. I love buttons and this one I think really completed this bag. I don't really like yellow and tried several different buttons, but the yellow really finished this bag off. I almost kept the bag for myself, but then realized if I gave it to my S-I-L I would be finished her gift over a month before her birthday! I love this bag and I think she really loved it too.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Birthday Zippered Pouches

A few weeks ago we had my daughter's birthday party with her friends. She wanted something different in the loot bags. So I whipped up some zippered pouches. Since she decided she wanted to do this a few days before the party and didn't really like what I had on hand for fabric a quick trip to Wal-Mart found the perfect fabric for 11 and 12 year old girls. This is an outdoor fabric, but it worked perfectly for these pouches. The lining was scrap pink canvas that I had in my stash. Each zippered pouch has a different ribbon and a different coloured zipper. There was handsewing involved in these babies - that is so not my thing. Next time I make a zippered pouch I'm going to have to come up with a way that won't have me hand-sewing.

My daughter loves penquins and we made up a penquin invitation that I got on the web somewhere. She wanted a penquin cake too. Not too hard to do. I made a 13" x 9" rectangle cake and an 8" x 8" square cake. Once the cakes were completely cooled I rounded the top and bottom of the 13" x 9" cake. I cut the 8" x 8" cake on the diagonal to make the flippers/fins, rounding the edges to make it more realistic. Then I made some chocolate icing and put some concentrated black colouring in the icing to make it more black than brown. I also made up some white icing and put a little of the white icing in seperate bowl so I could make an orange beak and feet. First I put the white icing on the belly of the penquin then put the black on the rest of the penguin. Next I used the white icing again to make the whites of the eyes and put black icing in the centre of the whites of the eyes. Then came a triangle shape for the beak and some feet. This cake was a hit and her friends were amazed that I made this cake. Over the years I've done a butterfly cake, Spongebob cake, a beach cake, tractor cake, Spiderman web cake, cow cake, construction cake, Bob the Builder cake and plain old chocolate layer cakes. This was one of the easiest cakes I've made.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Free Applique Pattern

This is the appliqued t-shirt made for my daughter for Easter by me (t-shirt is purchased and the applique is done by me). She loves flip-flops and is starting to love other shoes too. The fabric is from some scraps left over from a beach bag I made a few years ago. The ribbon is from my stash/collection.

This t-shirt I wanted to give my daughter for Easter, but ran out of time to get it done. Last year for Easter she got a t-shirt with a guitar appliqued on it (by me), but it's too small now. She had hinted around that she would love another guitar t-shirt. The fabric is also from my scraps.

I have a pattern for both of these appliques that you can download here. For the flip-flops I appliqued the shoes to the t-shirt and then added the ribbon. There is a great tutorial over at the Sew, Mama, Sew blog if you are new to applique or need some tips and pointers.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Charming Handbag Swap

Charming Handbag from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules-Sewing book made for the BTRS Swap. The outside fabric is from my stash (I can't remember where it came from). The lining fabric is leftover from a dress made awhile ago. The pink button I convinced my daughter to part with from her button collection.

I love the look of this bag and it's the perfect size for going out and even to take to work. This little bag took about an hour to make, but the instructions were confusing in places. Luckily there are lots of pictures to help clarify the instructions. The handle I made is a bit longer than the instructions called for, but I wanted to make it long enough that you can throw it over your shoulder and not have to always carry it in your hand.

Part of the swap was to include something crafty - either handmade or some crafty supplies.

I decided to include 2 metres of pink velvet ribbon and some other ribbon from my notions stash - each spool has 18 inches of ribbon. Also included were 2 vintage buttons. The picture above is a little fuzzy, but it gives you the idea.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Another Giveaway Link

You have to check out this fabric giveaway! A fat quarter bundle in some fabulous fabrics! Go enter now!

Sunday Laundry Shirt Dress GIVEAWAY!!!!

Sunday Laundry Shirt Dress GIVEAWAY!!!!
Click on the link above to see the beautiful dress giveaway. This dress really makes me think summer!

Saturday, February 28, 2009


We've needed new pillows for our couch for over a year now. I loved our old pillows but they got holes in them and we all know what happens when kids are around and something has a hole it.

I knew we needed pillows with a zipper so the pillow covers could be removed and washed. The only thing is I always forgot to get the zippers while at the fabric store. So a few weekends ago I went to Wal-Mart specifically to get zippers. The closest fabric store that carries zippers is about 45 mintues away and Wal-Mart is just a 10 minute drive and luckily our local Wal-Mart is still carrying fabrics and crafts. I had this green square fabric for awhile and bought it specifically for the pillows. The fabric was on sale and I bought what was left on the bolt which gave me just enough for the pillows with a few scraps of it left. The pillows look good on the couch and have already had a lot of use, but I would really like to find a fabric that I love and that has more umph to it. But for now they'll do.

Monday, February 23, 2009

There's Still Time to Sign Up

You may have noticed (or not) the little button in my sidebar BTRS Swap. Well I've signed up for this round of swap fun. The project is the Charming Handbag. There is still time to sign up. Sign up deadline is February 28. Go here to get in on the fun!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pattern Review - Newlook 6496

Pattern Photo (View A):New Look Pattern Info
I've had this pattern for awhile and have made another view. A few weeks ago I bought some baby cord at Fabricland for $3/metre and knew I just had to use this pattern. The skirt was made last weekend and I had to wear it on Monday. It was a little cold here for a skirt, but I do have a long coat. The only problem was I don't have dressy winter boots, so I had to wear shoes. That was cold on the feet on the walk from the car to work, but it was worth it.

Fabric: Corduroy

Pattern Description: A-line skirt, 6 panels.

Pattern Sizing: 8-18 Newlook patterns tend to make up bigger than the indicated measurements on the back of the pattern envelope. I measured my waist and hips and cut a size smaller than I would need according to the measurements, as I have used this pattern before and found I had to take the finished skirt in a bit. Even with cutting a size smaller than I measure, I still needed to take in the skirt this time, so it wouldn't fall to the ground as I walked.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love that this pattern was easy to follow and had good descriptions and drawings to follow. What I don't like about the pattern is that the measurements on the back of the pattern envelope that you would use to help determine the size to cut aren't accurate. I would measure as a size 14, but I cut a size 12 and could easily have cut a size 8 instead.
Fabric Used: CorduroyPattern

Alterations or any design changes you made: I cut out View B, but did not use the band for view B, as I wanted the skirt to be a solid black. It was still too long for me and I had to cut another 4 inces off the bottom to have it come just below the knee.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. I plan to make one in a light cotton for the summer as well. I have made View D before and really like that skirt as well. I would recommend this pattern. A beginner could easily make this skirt, maybe not as a first project as there is a zipper. I would cut at least a size smaller than what you measure according to the measurements on the back of the pattern envelope.

Conclusion: An easy, quick to whip up skirt that looks great and is easy to wear.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Cards

My daughter is 11 and really wants to give her class Valentines, but she's not into Hannah Montana, Barbie, Bratz etc. so we decided to see what we could find for her on the web. The cutest owl Valentine cards and bookmarks ever can be found here . She is so happy with these cards for her class. She decided to give out the bookmarks to her closest friends too (discreetly).
Still looking for Valentine's Day ideas? There are lots of Valentine's Day crafts, cards etc. here

Friday, February 6, 2009

Pattern Review - Fleece Pullover

Project Photo:photo
Pattern Photo:Simplicity 3651
Simplicity Pattern Info
Pattern Rating:Highly Recommend

Fabric: Fleece

Pattern Description: Pullover for boys and men. Pattern has several options. There is a hood or just a collar, with velcro closures. Optional flap pocket on front. Elastic can be inserted on sleeve at cuff and on bottom or just have a regular hem.

Pattern Sizing: Boys' size S-L and Men's size S-XL. I made a Men's size L. To be sure I got the sizing correct I measured one of my husband's fleece pullovers at the chest, since I've never made a Men's pullover in any Simplicity pattern prior to this.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. I did make View A, but did not include the front flap pocket. The picture makes it look a little wonky since it's hung on a hanger, but when it is on it is straight.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. Between the pictures and the written directions, I was able to make this in about 3-hours. At the time I did not have a serger.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It was pretty easy to understand, however more clearly described instructions or more pictures would be good for a beginner.

Fabric Used: Polar Fleece. I used quite a thick polar fleece and without a serger the stitches sometimes skipped when the fabric was too thick.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made View A, but just left off the front flap pocket.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would definitely sew this again and am planning on making both of my boys a pullover in the camo fleece since I have a lot leftover. When they saw Daddy's sweater, they wanted one right away.
I would recommend this pattern. On the envelope it says easy-to-sew, which it was, however I would recommend this for the Advance Beginner as there is some twill tape to be added to the collar facing to stop chaffing. That step can be a bit intimidating for a beginner.

Conclusion: Love this pattern and with so many options it can be made over and over again with a different look acheived.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Funky PJ pants

Last week was my daughter's BFF's birthday, this weekend is her party. My daughter wanted me to make pj pants for her BFF for her birthday and asked me about this the beginning of December. We were at Fabricland a few weeks before Christmas when my daughter found the circle fabric and convinced me to buy it to make pj pants for her BFF. Of course I don't need any convincing to buy fabric, since I am so addicted to fabric and knew this would be perfect and it was on sale (the best!). BFF saw this fabric on my ironing board a week before Christmas when she was over and told my daughter she loved the fabric (which worked out perfectly because the fabric was bought specifically for her for pj pants). Of course BFF needed a shirt to go with the pj pants. The shirt was plain and purchased at Wal-Mart. I then appliqued the cupcake on it to go with the pj pants. We were at Old Navy two weeks ago and saw the cutest slippers - pigs, cows, sheep and rabbits on sale so we got BFF some pig slippers too. I also threw in the gift bag a stencil book and a note book both found at a toy outlet in Toronto in November for dirt cheap. I love picking up little things to have in my stash to add to a gift.
We went to Fabricland today - it's their Last Call sale and got a bunch of fabric. Instead of my usual - oh look this is so pretty and on sale for a great price I'll get it now and figure out later what I'll make - I bought with purpose and knew exactly what I was going to make with each fabric that I bought. Yeah for me! Now to get the time to make everything!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Whirl Into Winter Giveaway - Winner

The giveaway is now closed. The winner is KK. There will be another giveaway on this blog in the spring, so come on back! I may even have another giveaway before spring as this one has been so much fun!

There will be some sewing updates soon!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Handmade Christmas - Part 5

This is the last of the Handmade Christmas posts.

Below is a picture of the bag I made for my daughter's BFF.
The rainboots fabric is from Hancock's of Paduca, purchased on clearance a year and a half ago. The stripe fabric on the handles is also the lining of the bag and came from Hancock's of Paduca as well. The pink dots fabric on the inside of the handles was also used for the inside pockets and is left over from a top made for my daughter in the spring.

I received two amazing gifts this year. The first is a photo album my daughter made for me with pictures of the kids, friends, family. She worked really hard on it and is very proud of herself. At one point she didn't know if she would get it finished in time, but she made it! This is a gift I will treasure for a lifetime.

The other amazing gift I received was a Serger (Janome 660D). I had looked at it the beginning of December and it was on sale for half price. I talked to my husband about buying it, but decided to wait, as I really didn't have to have it. Well I was surprised to open the box on Christmas morning! Even though we agreed to handmade gifts this year, I think I can over look the rule breaking, given that I can use the serger to make gifts - right? I do feel badly though because I stuck to the handmade rule and didn't spend that much money, but did put a lot of myself, time and effort into the gifts made for him.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Handmade Christmas - Part 5

These are the pjs my daughter made for her brothers.

For the youngest.

For the oldest.
The tool fabric was purchased from Joanne's Fabrics. She sewed the pants together on her own, and I did the hem and the elastic casing as she is still nervous about having her stitching showing on the outside of garments. We were running out of time so the shirts were purchased at Wal-Mart and she made a freezer paper stencil to get the hammer and saw shape and used fabric paint to get the image on the shirt. We did the freezer paper stencil on t-shirts for her birthday party last spring and it was a hit with her friends. She kept this idea in mind for Christmas gifts. She did a great job and I think I've convinced her to really take the chance on doing the hemming and elastic casing for the next pair of pj pants she makes.

She also sewed 2 other pairs of pj pants for her cousins, but I forgot to take a picture.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Handmade Christmas - Part 4

The boys made each other these tractors for hanging on their bedroom wall. The tractors were purchased as a felt kit at Michael's for $1.50 each. I thought we would have to glue the tractors together, but they came as one piece which we glued onto a foam rectangle with a hot-glue gun for the background. The boys then cut around the glued on tractor. This was a very age (4 and 2) appropriate project. The boys told me where to put the glue and I used the glue gun given that the glue was very hot. They really enjoyed spending the one-on-one time with Mommy for this. My husband spent one-on-one time with the other boy so what they received from each other remained a surprise until Christmas morning. We used double sided foam stickies to stick the tractors to their bedroom walls after the gift opening on Christmas morning.

Our 4-year-old boy made this bulletin board for his sister.
The stripe fabric came from Fabricland. I think I picked it up in June on sale and didn't have a plan for it. The ribbons were purchased at Michael's for 60% off and there is still some leftover. I had a bulletin board kicking around here and used it. We hot-glue gunned batting on the top of the bulletin board, cut the fabric down to fit the bulletin board with a little extra overhang to keep the stripes straight. We then stretched the fabric around the bulletin board and staple-gunned the fabric in place. Then we determined the placement of the ribbons and staple-gunned those in place. This project didn't take very long and the 4-year-old was quite happy to use the staple-gun (closely supervised of course).

Our 2-year-old boy made this picture frame for his sister.

We glued the guitars on the top corners of the picture frame, then glued the buttons on. He chose the buttons and helped glue the buttons in place. I put a picture of the two boys in the frame for her. I erased the boys out of the picture before posting the picture of the picture frame as I don't want pictures of my kids on the internet.
I think there will be one or two more days of Handmade Christmas gifts to come.