Archive for November, 2007

All That

So I just made myself some labels. I love them and think they turned out great:

My Homemade Labels!

I used my regular printer and some “Photo Fabric”. I designed my label using my Mac’s Printshop program, printed it out on the fabric sheet, peeled off the paper backing, rinsed in my kitchen sink and blotted dry. After ironing and cutting, they were ready to be sewn onto something.

Thinking I was *all that* and official-like, I whipped up a pair of pants and added my new label:

Looks *All That*, eh?

I thought- hey I’m getting pretty good, I’ll have these done and in the mail before Amai’s birthday- which would be rare for me! So as I was hurrying this morning trying to get it all done with the last step of pinking the ugly seam allowance on the cute cuff and then…

See...

Aaaaaaaaaargh! While pinking, I caught part of the leg and cut a d@#$ huge hole.

Augie saw me hanging my head with my sad face and came running over asking what happened. In an instant he made me feel better saying, “You can fix it Mommy. You can just add a patch or something. It’s not ruined. You can do it.”

Umm, yes it is and no, Mommy can’t fix it.

I guess I’m not *all that*.

But I do have my labels- and of course my beautiful boy.

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‘Tis Time

After working on the Cap tutorial, I wanted to work on something that didn’t take much thought. Since Thanksgiving was over, I thought it was the perfect time to start decorating:

Close-Up of fabric

I almost gave up on these because at first they looked very crooked and sloppy. I thought about changing my idea to something more like this, but Chris vetoed the idea claiming that “flags” belong on “Big Ford car lots”. We argued discussed the definition of a bunting which I guess will always be just a bird in this house. I returned to my stars and with a little stuffing and pinking, I finally got something that looked good enough to hang.

I also was able to do a little bit of shopping on Sunday. It was hard with all three kids in tow and one throwing up all over himself in the car. (Oh, how I hate getting puke out of a carseat’s cracks and crevices!) BUT, I managed to get some fun stuff:

Card Making Begins

I love Martha’s colors and splurged on some very cute punches. I even bought a stack of printed paper at Joann’s who had a sale for only $.10 a piece! Maybe all this will inspire me to actually send out Christmas cards this year… maybe…

The “Eddie Cap” Tutorial is Done!

Train Cap Revisited

Well folks, it took much longer than I wanted, but I was able to write and photo all the steps for this Cap. Some steps may be hard to figure out, but I tried to take a bunch of pictures to help with this.

So jump on over and take a look by clicking here or on the tab at the very top of my blog just below the Header image…

I Love

Kid drawing:

This is Darth Vader drawn by Augie last week. We’ve had it hung up in our entryway and I should take it down since it’s getting torn, but I can’t bare to take it down yet. Maybe just one more week…

New Christmas Fabric:

Christmas Stash

I found these last week and just got them all washed and ready for some sewing this weekend. Yay for the Holidays!

Ollie our Owl:

Meet Ollie

Don’t look too close since she was done in about an hour so is very sloppy, but I still love her. I made this using Moonstitches “Tutowlrial”. It’s a little funny to sew because there aren’t any dimensions or patterns to follow on her site, but she has great pictures of the sewing part. My owl stands about 6 inches tall and she’s fat, but that makes her easier to hug right?

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and spend many happy hours with family~

Copy-Cat Cap

I did it again- I went and copied another beloved object to try and improve on it. This time it was a train hat.

My boys have had these hats for several years now and when I washed one, I shrunk it so much that it didn’t fit either kid anymore. I thought this was a great excuse to take it apart, figure out how it’s made and replicate it. Sounds easy, huh? I also had an upcoming birthday for a little one who attends a French Immersion school. I thought that if I made the hat out of wool, it would be perfect for him. I was aiming for something sort-a like this little guy’s hat– (scroll down to view.)

I set off Friday night to make this thinking it would be pretty straight forward. And for the most part it was, but thank goodness I had the other, still together hat, to reference or else I don’t think I could of pulled it off:

Train Cap Revisited

I really, really love this cap and will be making more for the boys and one for Dad. Doesn’t Eddie need one for himself?

Eddie and the Cap

There are only 4 pieces and it takes very little fabric so I splurged with the more expensive wool knowing that I wanted to make more for my family. The hardest part of the whole thing was getting the right fit. I made Augie stay up way past his bedtime so that I could use his head for testing. I had used the small hat for my pattern pieces and it was for a 1st grader so I initially added 2 inches to all the pieces. Well that was overkill! In the end, I don’t think I had to add anything because the wool I used stretches more than the original canvas material. So after some trimming and many adjustments (thank goodness for basting stitches!), I got the fit I wanted and even let Augie go to bed. 😉

Honestly, don’t you think every kid needs one of these?!

(Please let me know if you’re interested in a tutorial and I’ll work on it!)

*Update- the “Eddie Cap” tutorial is done!  Please click on the tab at the very top of my blog just under the Header image.  Thanks for all the encouragement!

Making It

Chris and I’ve been known to make things rather than buy it. Some think it’s wonderful, but others think it’s just being cheap. Because of this, I’ve always felt a little unsure of myself when I give a handmade gift so I used to supplement it by buying a little something as well.

Recently and especially for this Christmas, I no longer have any hesitation. Mostly it’s due to my discovery of craft blogs. I love seeing what everyone else is making and how proud they are to be giving the gift which they created. This has squelched all misgivings I have about giving lots of handmade gifts for Christmas this year.

Do you see my Handmade Holiday’s button? Please check it out if you haven’t already. SewMamaSew has devoted the whole month to gift giving ideas and even great tutorials to go along with it. Cotton Spice is also doing something similar with Last Minute Gift Countdown. (You’ve *got* to check out the owls!) How could you go wrong? I’ve even read that many other blogers have taken the Buy Handmade pledge. I’m not sure I can totally commit to buying or getting *only* homemade, but I love hearing that others are willing.

So with all this spurring me on, I’ve already started my “To Make” Christmas list and went out the Depot yesterday for more supplies.

Here’s a little sample of what I’ve already whipped up ~

Cloth Grocery Totes for the family:

Cloth Grocery Bags

These were easy to sew and are a great size. Using my Aunt’s suggestions for the measurements and French seams, these look great and should work out well. I still have many more to make, but I just picked up some great fabric tonight so I can’t wait to whip up more.

Cloth Slippers for the kids:

Christmas Presents

I used Stardust shoes’ “revised” pattern and enlarged them enough to fit the kids’ feet. I had to trim down the pink ones because when I enlarged the pattern 130% to fit a 18 month old, they turned out to be way too wide. The train one is lined with fleece and the pink on is lined with minkie. I also did not use suede for the bottoms, but instead used the polka dot “sticky” fabric. I figure that they will likely grow out of them before I have to worry about the fabric wearing out. I have 4 more pairs to make, but it should go faster now that I have the kinks worked out.

My list of other gifts is still growing daily, but at least I will be crossing things off as well.

What will you be making this Holiday Season?

(Oh, and be sure to check out SewMamaSew on Monday, Nov 19th. My little creation will be featured again as a gift idea. How cool!)

For Fini

Fini had asked me several months ago to make her a bag just like one she already owned. She used this bag for everything including diapers, snacks, sippys and toys. Essentially it was her diaper bag, but it was smaller and more of a mini-messenger type bag. It was given to her while she was in nursing school by her brother-in-law who had just came back from Japan. He said that all the students were using these at the time. Well, leave it to the Japanese crafters to come up with a simple, easy to use, stylish bag!

So last week, I set off trying to duplicate it. And as usual when it comes to me trying to copy something without a pattern, it took me a while and I ran into several problems. Last night, I bit the bullet and finished it:

For Fini

The outside fabric is a beautiful, soft corduroy, but it was thin so I added some weight by fusing flannel interfacing. The original bag was thick blue canvas-type material that wasn’t lined or fused with anything. We had decided to line this bag with some cotton polka-dot fabric which I fused with the flannel as well. The two layers of flannel and fabric gives the bag some stiffness, but it’s still nice and soft.

Inside

I top-stitched around the edge of the bag, but it was a real pain going through all those layers. I finally switched to my walking foot (which I hate because it sounds like I’m using my old clunker again) and the stitches went in smoothly. I highly suggest getting a walking foot when sewing bags or anything thick, but they are spendy ($40 for my Janome). I kicked myself for not putting mine on earlier, but the kids were sleeping and I wanted it to stay that way.
For me, the hardest part of this bag was the backside:

Outside Pocket

The original bag, in it’s one layer simpleness, had this outside pocket which Fini really liked and wanted so I had to be sure it was right. The pocket had a somewhat water-proof lining which I thought was a great idea to keep things separated and if something spilled, the entire bag’s contents wouldn’t get wet as well. (Sippy cups DO leak, no?) All I had that would match was this red polka-dot oil cloth, but this was thicker than the stuff in the other bag so again, I made my bag thicker. Aaargh!

Figuring out how to sew the outside pocket together also threw me. I had sewn the outside form and the inside lining of the bag as usual in it’s two separate pieces. The difference in this bag was that on the outside form, there was the zipper panel with white polka-dot lining sewn together already. Also, on the inside form, the oil cloth was sewn onto the outside (to be inside pocket) back panel as well. Now getting these two forms together was a challenge to figure out. I’m sure I didn’t do it the right way, but in the end, I go it all together with the outside pocket stitched closed and separated, and the inside lining tacked down. Whew!

Me and the bag

It was a challenge and I learned alot. (#1- do not line a bag unless you have to!). I love the shape and size of the bag with it’s adjustable shoulder strap and oil cloth pocket. Although, now that I’m looking at this picture, I think it needs a little side pocket and a key thing-y.  I guess it’s not done yet.  Off I go…

(Fini- It’s coming… I promise!)