Craft Room: New storage!

There’s a corner of my office/sewing room that is getting a little Hoarder-y. I’ve finished a couple quilts lately and kind of thrown all the cut away batting/scraps on top of this bin. And then I bought some fleece and felt for doll construction and some wovens for scarves and some vintage table cloths and I think you’re getting the picture. That pile is getting CRAZY.

Hoarder corner

So we got this pretty dresser this weekend. It was brand new – possibly the 2nd brand new dresser I’ve ever bought in my life. I don’t know what came over me! But there we were, in the pretty princess little girls section of Rooms To Go, and the sparkly knobs were just calling my name.

It was right next to the Cinderella carriage bed with the sparkly netting. Do you know what I’m talking about?

So here it is (imagine angels singing):
New craft room storage

When I started the dresser search, I went to Goodwill first. They pretty much never have any good furniture at our Goodwill, but I wanted to try. So of course, they didn’t have any good furniture, but they did have a roll of home dec-weight pink and brown houndstooth fabric for $10! I can see the original Hancock’s tag inside that says it was originally $17+ a yard. There are at least 5 or 6 yards on this roll!!! SCORE! Who knows what I’ll use it for – at this price, I might use some of it as stabilizer! Who cares?!

So with my new houndstooth, I have the perfect canvas to make my own ironing board to top whatever dresser I find.

So we got the dreamy dresser, and I got some 3/4″ plywood at Home Depot cut to the right size and my handy staple gun out…

Ironing board

And 4 layers of cotton batting and one layer of insul-bright and one layer of bargain basement houndstooth later, and I have an AMAZE-BALLS new storage dresser and ironing board!

All done! Ironing board dresser

Can you tell I’m excited?

Handmade Holiday part 2

I finished up a few more gifts and sadly, forgot to take pictures of a bunch of them! Lots of pouchies for neighbor and teacher gifts, and of course, I didn’t take any pictures. But I used this super cute and simple pattern: The Pleated Zipper Pouch from SkipToMyLou.org

Then I bought a couple patterns from this super cute Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/dollsanddaydreams

I finished the Big Doll in about 4 hours! Just in time to be a gift for my 1 yr old cousin :) Here’s Kinley’s big doll – I think she loved her.

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We had a beautiful Christmas in Miami with lots of family. I hope your holiday – whatever you celebrate – was also wonderful!

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Handmade Holidays underway

Got a little sewing done this weekend. I’m finishing up the binding on baby Erik’s (my gorgeous new nephew) quilt – finished pictures coming soon on that – but here’s a little preview.

Baby Erik's quilt progress

Also made some ornaments for family members. I used the awesome pattern and tutorial by Elsie Marley posted here. Super cute and simple. The best part about her pattern is that she sews the gingerbread man down to a felt rectangle and THEN cuts him out! So much easier that cutting two gingerbread men and sewing them together around the bite marks. Very smart!

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And finally, I got to work on a zipper pouch – I needed a gift for a man…hope it’s manly enough! I used this super simple tutorial by terrabytefarm.com posted here. I’ve made quite a few box pouches, and they were all kind of a pain. This tutorial was super easy. The key is that the inside is unfinished. But since I’m not crazy about all those little threads and stuff, I think next time, I’ll add a 1/2 inch to the length on one side when cutting the fabric and do french seams. I also added a handle by jamming a little rectangle of fabric into my corners before I squared them off. I’ll definitely use that tutorial again!

Zipper pouch

Zipper pouch

I also made these pillow cases a few weeks ago for some ugly leather pillows we have. It’s funny, now we use those pillows all the time – it seems like someone is always putting one behind their back. I swear no one ever used them before. So that makes me happy!

Some new pillows for the tv room

Happy Handmade Halloween!

We had a great Halloween party with the neighbors. Flat-bed trailer with hay, Thriller on the stereo, at least 20 kids and 1000’s of pieces of candy!

Here’s this year’s handmade costume. I took an XS ladies’ sweat suit from Old Navy, cut it way down and embellished. Introducing the Lego Ninjago Green Ninja – a little before and after action!

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Hope your Halloween was awesome, too!

I also took this picture with my phone…no idea what happened, but it’s very creepy!
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Back to school…for a few weeks now.

We’re finally hitting a groove around here. My boy has been in first grade for a few weeks now – our schedules are starting to mellow out and become common place. I’ve been working out! (Seriously, this is big news.) Not just working out, but working out 4 days a week with some consistency. I’m also drinking body by vi shakes – on to week two starting Monday, and I’ve lost 5 pounds. We’re not taking it too seriously – a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch and then pretty much whatever we want for dinner. I know I should be doing a good, balanced meal for dinner, but we’re still working on that.

I’m sad to say that I didn’t sew a thing for about 4 months! And then, we had Meet the Teacher night and we found out that the new teacher is an Aggie – well, luckily, I already had some A&M fabric in my stash. The stash is SO out of control that there’s a chance I could sew something for any university in the country, but that’s a whole other topic. So anyway, we ventured to Walgreens – one of my favorite places to shop – and picked up everything our new teacher might need. An emergency kit, if you will. And I sewed her up a little pouch! My neighbor said I was buttering her up. To this, I’ll plead, “maybe.” But the teacher is adorable – her second year out of college, she seems to still be excited about her work and loving the kids, and I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. So here’s her Aggie emergency kit. I think she liked it :)

Teacher gift - first day

Teacher gift - first day!

pillow case dresses and matching t’s

I got to do some sewing this weekend (thanks, honey!). My neighbor has four of the cutest kids you’ve ever seen – two boys, two girls. She asked me if I could make them some coordinating outfits for a picture, and mentioned pillow case dresses she’s seen all over the interwebs.

I looked all around at the MANY pillow case dress tutorials (what did we ever do before the internet?) and found two that I kind of squashed together. For the basic shape/pattern size, I used this one from prudentbaby.com. For the arm holes and the ruffle, I used this one from CraftSnob.com.

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I actually ended up not doing the ruffle using her gathering technique, because I pulled too hard and snapped my thread mid-gather. So I ended up folding a quarter inch on my ruffle strip every two inches and pinning a lot.

I also went ahead and made my own tie string/double binding strip for all the dresses using 3″ by length-of-fabric (selvedge to selvedge) folding each long edge in, and folding the whole thing in half. This way, I could match my ruffle and tie strap without going to the fabric store. Not that that would be a hardship.

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I have seen another gathering technique where you lay a piece of thread down on the length of whatever you’re sewing, and then sew a zig zag over it, creating a kind of casing for your gathering thread – that’s worked better for me personally in the past. Also, I’ve seen sewing machines that come with a gathering foot! That would be awesome.

Anyway, for the two sweet boys, I made t-shirts with tie appliques in the matching chevron fabrom. I got the template fro the ties from here at CrapIveMade.com.

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The whole deal, including my rough draft Hello Kitty dress (below), took about 5 hours – most of which was ironing and stiching seams (arm holes, dress bottoms, ruffle strips, binding piece for bows.) The t-shirts took about 15 minutes total.

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Surfer Dude Quilt

Katie over at Katie’s Corner made this super cool Super Hero Quilt. So I started making my plan based on her photo.

Here are my initial sketches and measurements. I decided that I wanted the quilt to be about 60″x80″, and worked in from there.

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I knew I wanted to make one for each of my nephews with a surfer theme. Then, for the backs, I used their favorite team colors (FSU and UF). Here are the fabrics I picked out for the surfer side. I’ve been collecting surf-themed fabrics for a while, so I had everything I needed. I have some awesome hula girl fabric too, but I left that out because they’re still a little young.

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I pieced all the top and bottom strips, and next it was time to do the name applique. So I printed BIG letters in ‘mirror-image’ format on my printer.

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Then I traced them onto the paper side of Heat-n-Bond Lite. Then I cut each letter out and ironed the glue side to the back of my fabric. Then I cut them out from the fabric and peeled the paper backs off and glued them down to my kona khaki piece that would go into the quilt. I just kind of eye-balled the spacing.

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Then I just did a straight stitch around them about 1/4″ inside the edge. I tried a couple different stitches – zig zag, satin, but they didn’t look that great. The straight stitch looked great and was fast.

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And here’s the completed top!

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The backs are all done and Nathaniel’s is sandwiched. I’ll post some pics of the completed quilts soon. These were supposed to be Christmas gifts, but now they’re early January gifts :)

Deer Quilt Complete

This quilt was for my dad’s neighbor who helped build the screened-in porch. When I started it (about 5 months ago) I didn’t realize how Christmasy it was! Now I wish I had made the deer’s nose red. I hope he liked it!

It’s made from a pattern in Dare to Be Square Quilting by Boo Davis. The fabrics are mostly Kona solids with some random blue prints (Lizzy House, Jay McCarrol) and some random plaids. I also got a yard of the brown plaid print for the back from Joanns.

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Ouch! You hit me with your lightsaber!

light saber battle scar

That is a lightsaber strike…in case you didn’t know. This year, instead of making an Anakin suit from scratch, I got this super cool zombie looking dirty black fabric at Joann’s and reverse appliqued it to a cheap store bought suit. It worked out great! There were a bunch of other little Lukes, Anakins, Troopers, etc., but no one had lightsaber cuts in their suit at school :)

anakin

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Also, the house got in on the half-assed decorations action. Can you spot the mice?

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Super Boots!

We’re gearing up for Halloween around here. Instead of sewing a big costume this year, I decided to make a bunch of pieces. My kid loves costumes every day of the year, so better to have a little mix and match. Up first is super boots! They’re a little big, but I figure over pants and shoes, they’ll be fine. The Simplicity 5520 pattern was super easy to follow – we’re making the helmet and armor next. The shiny red fabric is something from the halloween shelf at Joann’s. It’s super silky and shiny. We got a bunch of colors (red, black, silver, gold) for the costume parts.

simplicity 5520

pattern pieces

super boots

supery

arghh