Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas PJ's

Finally, a few minutes to blog after a few busy weeks. I had several sewing projects started which I finished up two days before Christmas. That is cutting it a little too close for me. Every year, since my daughters were very small, I have made them a new pair of pajamas to open and wear on Christmas Eve. I always have trouble finding just the right fabric but this year I think I got it right!

embroidered pajamas
Patternreview link

I went to Hancock's on Black Friday only to discover that all the flannel had juvenile designs on it. Now, I'm not opposed to a cute kitty print but it just can't look like a three year old. I was just about to give up when I spotted a bolt of solid red flannel. I have never made plain, solid PJ's for them before. I got it for about $2 a yard and bought the bolt. I also bought white piping because I had this image in my mind of tailored, monogrammed pajamas. I have used this discontinued Simplicity 5338 many times before so I stuck with what works. I was running out of time and running out of steam so I thought I would just leave off the monograms. Then, one of my daughters said, "Oh, I'm pretty sure they will be monogrammed". So, yep, they were monogrammed.

I purchased the interlocking monogram embroidery font from Herrington Design on Etsy for only $1.50!  I took a risk and embroidered the pockets without testing the design and it came out great.

Now, I know I should be on the lookout for fabric so I can start early on next year's PJ's but I'm sure I'll be writing the same story next year, and the year after, and the year after....

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Royal Visit

I had a delightful visit from Kate Middleton and Prince George today. Kate was sporting a new $3 hat, a $5 jacket from Goodwill, and a $7 dress from Old Navy.

Kate Middleton costume

I've decided that adult costumes are as much fun as the kid costumes. My daughter wanted to dress up as Kate Middleton for a Halloween party since she admires Kate's classic style. She found this easy hat tutorial on Youtube which was perfect for her Kate hat. We used navy felt which I interfaced to give it more body. I added the tulle and flower and we're done!

Kate Middleton copycat hat

She bought the dress last summer at Old Navy for $7 and the jacket was a recent $5 purchase from Goodwill. The copycat Kate ring was $12 at Kohl's.

Kate Middleton costume

She practiced her Kate wave, gathered up Prince George and headed off to the party. I hope she doesn't get spotted by the paparazzi!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Embroidery on Burlap

I've always loved burlap, even before it became a cool fabric for decorating. I always keep a few yards in my stash for covering blah lampshades or cutting a quick table runner with raveled edges. Lately, I have noticed a lot of embroidered burlap pillows items online, at local boutiques, etc.  I have an empty rocking chair on the front porch that needed a little something to perk it up. I already had a 20" pillow form and, of course, burlap in my stash. I hooped the burlap without stabilizer and added Solvy to the top. It might have worked okay without the Solvy but I added it anyway. This is the result. I'm pretty excited about it!

embroidered burlap pillow

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Painted Turtle Camp

A couple of years ago, the American Sewing Guild chose The Painted Turtle Camp for our national project. ASG members across the U.S. made 4,241 turtle pillows to be given to the seriously ill children who attend the camp. The original post can be found here. A few months ago, a wildfire damaged the camp and it had to be closed for the summer. It is in the process of making repairs and is in need of more turtle pillows. I pulled out my pattern, searched through my fabric stash and got busy sewing more turtle pillows for the campers. I love it when I have exactly what I need. I get to destash and help out a worthwhile cause.

turtle pillow

The face is embroidered so that the pillows will be safe for the little campers. The pillows will be stuffed later by the camp as they are needed.

turtle pillow

By the way, did you know that September is National Sewing Month? What are you sewing to celebrate?


Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Jacket For Me! McCalls 5191

Whew! What a busy summer. I have been sewing but haven't had time to photograph and blog about it. Remember my shopping bag full of fabric that I bought at Goodwill for about 15 cents per yard? I decided to try out a "jean" style jacket pattern with one of the sportswear weight fabrics. I always liked McCall's 5191 but when I finally decided to try it, it had been discontinued. I found it on Ebay for a few dollars and went to work on a new jacket.

McCalls 5191
Patternreview link

It's pretty simple sewing but with lots of details and topstitching. I made a straight size 8 but would probably shorten the sleeves just a bit next time around. I have them rolled up in these pics.

McCalls 5191

The jacket is unlined and I decided that I wanted every seam concealed. I made flat-felled seams everywhere that I possibly could and encased the sleeve seams and facings with bias binding.

McCalls 5191
Inside of front

Here are the links to my other completed Goodwill projects. I still have many yards left to sew!

Pillowcase dresses for charity
Skirt for my daughter
Hannah's first dress

Saturday, July 13, 2013

KwikSew 2866

Have you ever noticed that all the ready-to-wear basic summer tops are pretty much the same pattern? They might be rayon, silk, jersey knit and maybe they have lace inserts, different necklines, etc. but the basic silhouette is the same. I got a good deal on this KwikSew pattern on Ebay last year and just put it away and forgot about it. I got the urge to sew up a few quick tops for summer and decided to give it a try. It's great! If I had showed it to my daughter before sewing up a top for her, she would have probably rolled her eyes because the illustrations on the front are so basic.

Kwik Sew 2866

I used the medium size with view B neckline and added to the length. I also eliminated the back seam and my daughter can still easily slip it over her head.  The fabric is a polyester woven from Hancock Fabrics.

Kwik Sew 2866

I'm not a big fan of facings on this type of top so I cut a self-fabric bias binding to finish the neckline. I didn't cut off the seamline before adding the binding because she didn't want the neckline to be any larger.

Kwik Sew 2866

This was definitely a make-it-tonight wear-it-tomorrow project. Sarah loves it! I have already whipped up two more tops in rayon with this pattern which I'll share later.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kwik Sew 3612

I just wanted to share a fun little bag which my American Sewing Guild Neighborhood Group made a few weeks ago. This bag is made from 8 fat quarters (or 8 pieces 18"x18"). It makes a very roomy tote for carrying sewing or knitting projects, a trip to the beach, or shopping. For my tote, I used my stash of boxer short fabrics.

Kwik Sew 3612

Next, I plan to finish up a jacket from my Goodwill fabric stash and get it photographed. What have you been sewing this summer? Garments? Accessories? Gifts? 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hannah's First Dress!!

I always knew hoped this day would come! My 21 year old daughter asked me to teach her to sew! Of course, I stopped what I was doing and and told her to pick out a pattern and fabric. I had to get her started before she changed her mind.

Hannah wears a size 4 and I don't find very many patterns which come in size 4 but I did have Simplicity 2584 in my stash. She wanted to use my nice Anna Maria Horner cotton print but I convinced her to choose a less expensive fabric for her first dress. After digging through my goodwill bag, she came up with a cotton floral print that worked great for her first dress.

We kept it pretty simple. I helped her shorten the deep slit in the front but other than that one adjustment, she sewed up the size 4 and it fit perfectly.

Simplicity 2584

She even traced the pattern so that I could use it again for myself. She doesn't care much for basting or hand sewing. She likes to just pin and stitch. I can work with that for now.

She wore her new dress out tonight for dinner with friends. She was quite proud when she left all dressed up in a dress that she made herself. I was quite proud too!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Baby Gift Basket

Baby are such fun to sew for! I have a new great nephew and had lots of fun putting together a gift basket for him. I found the cutest fabrics for a baby gift at Whittle's Fabrics. (I went to the actual store in Chalybeate, Ky., not sure if they are available on the website) The tutorial for the structured fabric basket can be found at Sew4Home, one of my favorite websites for sewing project ideas.

Embroidered baby gift basket

I couldn't find cotton chenille or a good quality terrycloth for the burpcloth/towel. I bought a nice, soft towel and cut a generous size which can be used as a towel or to cover Mom and Dad's shoulder for burping. The appliques are from Planet Applique. I love their appliques, so well digitized and easy to embroider.

Embroidered burp cloth

Check out the little snap on the bib. I once bought these colored snaps in quantity from Snapsource when my girls were babies for all those little outfits that snapped in the crotch/leg area. I just happened to have a bright yellow that matched perfectly. Snapsource has a handy little tool to make attaching super easy.

Bib snap

I found a tutorial for this flannel-lined changing pad here.  It has a little pocket for diapers, wipes, etc. and fits in the diaper bag for travel.

baby changing pad

The changing pad fastens with a button and a ponytail rubber band. Be sure and use a flat button so that it doesn't poke baby!

The new mommy knits and sews beautifully and blogs about it here.  Check out all of her adorable baby blankets, sweaters, knitted toys, etc.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Goodwill Project #2 Simplicity 2125

Remember that 38 yards of fabric that I bought at Goodwill a few weeks ago? Well, I finally got around to photographing my second project from that find. I only had about 1 yard of this black/cream poly/cotton print fabric. I had Simplicity 2125 in my pattern stash because I liked the knit cardigan. I've never made the knit cardigan but the simple skirt is a pretty great pattern. I was able to easily modify it get a nice fit for my daughter.

Simplicity 2125
Patternreview link

Simplicity 2125

I sewed the front lining to the front at the waistline seam and back lining to back at waistline seam. Then I sewed the side seams in one continuous seam. This method makes it easy to make small adjustments in the waist and hips without picking out the waistline seam.

Simplicity 2125

This is the inside view of the little pleat in the back.

Inside view of the invisible zipper. I love invisible zippers!

invisible zipper lining

Okay, she's all done now. No more pictures.

Simplicity 2125

This little skirt cost about 15 cents for the print fabric and less than $5 for the zipper and lining which was on sale at Hancock Fabrics. So far I've made 3 pillowcase dresses for charity and this skirt with over 30 yards left to sew out of my $5.75 purchase. I do love a bargain!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another Simplicity 2599

I think I could make this top in my sleep now. My daughters love it! I had a couple yards of this floral polyester woven fabric, enough to make a top for each daughter.  It kinda reminds me of a Lily Pulitzer floral. I bought this cute, inexpensive fabric from Hancock Fabrics for about $4 per top.

Simplicity 2599
Patternreview link

I did my favorite little buttonhole stitch thread loop in the back.

buttonhole stitch thread loop

And here she is all dressed up and ready to go!

simplicity 2599

Simplicity 2599 was voted one of the top ten patterns of 2010 on Patternreview. I should probably buy another one in case I wear this one out!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Lyme Regis Scarf

My Lyme Regis Scarf is finally finished, blocked, and ready to wear. Since Spring has officially arrived, I'll be saving it for fall. I used all of the 212 yards of my handspun yarn with only 20 inches left over. I love the pattern from the Spring 2013 issue of Spin-Off and can't wait to spin more yarn to make another scarf.
lyme regis scarf
Ravelry link

lyme regis scarf
Ravelry Link
This is turning out to be my catch-up week. Finishing up knitting projects, hems, taking pics of projects, etc. I guess I don't have to finish one project before I start a new one, do I? Do you have a project that you hope to complete this week? 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Bunny Sachet

Just a short blog post to wish everyone a Happy Easter! The Easter Bunny was filling baskets for my daughters and didn't have anything handmade to put in them. I just can't let a holiday pass without a little handmade gift. I ran across these cute, and very quick, Easter bunny sachets. I sewed up a couple and filled them with lavender. Tutorial can be found here. Every time I think I need to get rid of all my little scraps of fabric, I run across an adorable little project like this.

easter bunny

Happy Easter from me and my two favorite people to sew for!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Handspun Scarf WIP

I'm blogging about knitting this week because I'm having a little problem with my sewing project model. She thinks it's too cold to step outside for a few pictures and I don't have good lighting inside. I think I might have to get a contract signed stating that if I spend my time sewing for her, she can pose for a few pictures. Oh well, it's supposed to be warmer this weekend.

I bought this hand-dyed fiber last spring at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival from YarnGeekFibers. It's blue faced Leicester wool and was very easy to spin into a 2-ply heavy worsted yarn. It has been in my yarn stash just waiting for the perfect project. The pattern is called Lyme Regis Scarf and can be found in the Spring 2013 issue of Spin-Off magazine.

2-ply blue-faced Leicester hand-dyed yarn

It has a twelve row easy lace pattern repeat running through the center of the scarf.

Lyme Regis Scarf handspun yarn
Ravelry link

I especially like the ruffle on the end. It is shown on the cover of the Spring 2013 Spin-Off worn as an ascot type scarf.

Lyme Regis Scarf handspun yarn

I plan to have a catch-up photo shoot this weekend for my sewing projects. Until then, I guess I'll just knit!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

My New Favorite Tracing Paper

I finally found it! I knew there had to be something available for tracing patterns that didn't cost more per yard than the fabric! I stop in Big Lots once in a while to buy $1 cookie mixes and ran across parchment paper for baking which was on sale for $2.30. I picked up a couple of rolls along with my cookie mixes. I needed to size down a basic skirt pattern for my daughter so I decided to try out the parchment paper. It worked great! Easy to see through, easy to write on, easy to fold up my new pattern when finished. I like to place my original pattern on my gridded cutting board so that it's easier to draw straight seam lines and grain lines when tracing or altering patterns.

I went back twice and bought several more rolls. Actually, I think I bought all they had. I think I'm pretty well set for patternmaking and tracing for a while.

And, guess what! It works pretty well for cookie baking too!

Don't you just love to find uses for things other than what they are intended for?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Goodwill Project #1

I thought I'd better get busy on that 38 yards of fabric I bought at Goodwill for $5.75. I mailed the two yards of ski fabric to duckbucket today. I can't wait to see what she makes with it. I used 2 1/3 yards of green cotton crinkle fabric to make 3 pillowcase dresses to send to Haiti. I used this pattern from Nancy's Notions which includes sizes small to extra large.

pillowcase dress charity

At 15 cents per yard, these dresses cost about 12 cents each for the fabric. After adding for the bias binding and elastic, I'm up to about $1.50 per dress!

pillowcase dress charity

Total Goodwill treasure                        38 yards

ski fabric sent to duckbucket                2

3 green cotton pillowcase dresses         2 1/3 

Remaining yards to sew                       33 2/3 yards

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Goodwill Giveaway

A couple of good friends from my high school and college days were in town last week to do a little "junking".  That's what they call shopping at the antique and consignment type shops. I went along to learn from the pros. They really know how to spot the good stuff. I found a Singer Featherweight sewing machine at an antique mall but I'm still thinking about that one. I need to do a little research on the value of Featherweights. I've always wanted to add one to my collection.

I noticed this bag of fabric at the Goodwill Store for $5.75. It looked like it had several yards of fabric in it, several of which I might be able to use.

I was amazed when I started pulling out fabric and measuring it. This half-full shopping bag had 38 yards of fabric in it! That's about 15 cents per yard. Both of my daughters have already picked out their favorite pieces and planned sewing projects for me.

I'd like to share part of my lucky find with a sewing friend. This 45" wide fabric is 2 yards in length and I believe the fiber content is rayon. It would make a nice blouse, perhaps a Sorbetto.

Leave a comment by Tuesday, February 19, at midnight. I'll choose a random winner from the comments and mail to any U.S. address. Let me know what you would create with this ski fabric or describe any sewing treasures you've found while "junking".

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stash Busting for Charity

So it's been a while since I blogged. I didn't realize how long. I really have been sewing. A LOT!  I just haven't had time to stop and write about sewing. I have another excuse also. I decided to catch up on Downton Abbey by watching the first season online. I couldn't stop. I've now watched Season 1, Season 2, and all but one show of Season 3. I'll sure miss watching it when I'm all finished.

I always do a little stash busting in January. I've been gathering up remnants which were about 1/2 to 5/8 yard to make these easy little girls skirts. No pattern is necessary. I use the width of the fabric which is usually 45", seam up the back, hem with a border or regular hem, and add elastic to the top. I really like the "paper bag" waist treatment for little girls. Check out this blog for inspiration.

Excuse the poor quality pics. I couldn't get good pictures in the dark house and it was too cold to go outside!


I gave the skirts to my sister to distribute at the school where she teaches. She told me about 3 sisters who love to wear skirts to school even on cold days but really need new ones. I bought some tights at WalMart to match so that they can wear their skirts right away and stay warm!