Monday, August 16, 2010

baby quilt gift

My husband needed a gift for a co-worker whose wife is about to have their first baby - a girl.

So, I made up my own simple design for this quilt top.  It didn't quite come out as I envisioned it (sigh.)  But, I like it nonetheless.  I should have used a third color for either the big squares, or the small pink squares.  Oh, well.  Live and learn, I guess.

I love how the black backing and the black blanket binding really made the top "pop!"

One of my other favorite features are the little buttons underneath some of the ties.  I think they're cute.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

mama's skirt (mccall's 5631)

I have been talking about the things I'm making for a care package to be sent to Texas for the arrival of my best friend's final baby.  The big sisters are getting paper-sewn notebooks with crayon rolls, the baby will be getting the rag tag baby quilt, and now for mom . . .

I believe every woman who has a baby needs something cute to wear.  Not necessarily home from the hospital, but when she gets back to her old shape (or close, anyway.)  My cute friend usually takes a mere six weeks to get back into her old jeans,--yes, you may all puke now--so by the time she's ready to take her baby out amongst people, she should look snazzy in this little number!

The final gift is for dad, and will not be sewn. (I know, you're disappointed.)  Dad is going to get a cd of lively music to keep him awake during the morning commute after the new baby has kept him up all night.

With three weeks until the due date, all these surprises will be sent off tomorrow . . . not a moment too soon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


More sewing is coming, I promise.  I  was getting my into a sewing groove when I had a bit of a delay while I dealt with this:

Ah, the joys of motherhood . . .

At least she's sorry.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

noodlehead gathered clutch

Anna at Noodlehead has an adorable gathered clutch that I've been wanting to make.  I love all of it . . . except for the part where you take the cute gathers you've created and mash them down and iron them, making them look like they've been sitting in the dryer too long.

I made the clutch, but I took a few liberties.  When it came to the part about ironing the gathers in place, and adding interfacing to the back, I ran a gathering stitch along the top and bottom of my gathered fabric, gathered it, and sewed it onto an additional piece of fabric with the interfacing attached to it.  That way, I could leave my gathers a little more puffy looking, which I love.

(I used leftover fabric from Rora's skirt, and scraps from a new project I just cut out.)

I think it's so adorable, and it has a card holder inside, which is nice so that I don't have to take my entire wallet with me, either. 

I'm curious . . . what do you think about the changes?  Do you like it better with the flat gathers, or the puffy ones?

Monday, August 9, 2010

planned spontaneity

Sometimes I dream of creating my own patterns; being spontaneous; taking scissors, fabric, and my sewing machine, and just creating; doing what just seems to come natural to Sarah.  I'll even say it right out loud . . . I'm jealous.  I was absolutely baffled that just months after learning to sew, Sarah had created her own little sundress.

I'm a planner.  I can't do much of anything without planning both a primary plan and a back-up plan.  I try to be easy-going and go with the flow, but only so long as it fits within my planned parameters.  I use patterns because they make me feel safe--as long as I measure, cut, and sew exactly, I can't mess it up (reads fail.)  Yes, I have issues, but we can talk about that later.

So, I planned to be more like Sarah . . .

I wanted to make a skirt for Rora.  I wanted it to have a flat top, a bubble hem, and maybe a gather somewhere in between.  I wanted buttons down the side and cute, flowing fabric.

I made a pattern: there were drawings, measurements, and more drawings.  (I guess I'm not all that good at spontaneity!)

Whether it was over-planned or not, I feel like it came out okay.  There are still things I want to do to tweak my pattern, but I'll probably use it again.

I feel proud of myself.  I stretched outside my comfort zone of using a pattern that someone else has perfected.  I feel like I just created my very first pattern!!

Just wait . . . this has created a monster.  There are more plans for spontaneity in the future!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

paper sewing

A women's organization that I belong to gave me a notebook at the beginning of the year.  It was a simple, college ruled notebook.  They instructed me to make it my own.  So, I did.  I covered it in cute paper, embellished it with my graveyard of scrapbooking stuff that I haven't used since I started using digital scrapbooking, and made it cute.  One of the "design elements" I used was to sew big, chunky stitches through the edge of the front cover to represent my love affair with sewing.

Unfortunately, I made the notebook a little too much my own, because just like everything else in my 4-child household, eventually it fell apart.  The flowers fell off, the glue didn't hold, and the cute paper began to peel . . . everywhere except where I had sewn through it!

And that inspired this little project:

My best friend is having her 5th and final child in a little over a month.  She lives in Texas, and I wanted to send her family a package with something for each member of the family to have when the new baby arrives.  I decided to capitalize on the Back to School sales and pick up notebooks and crayons.  The crayons will be housed in crayon rolls

For the notebooks, I traced around them onto fun scrapbook paper, glued it on, marked where I wanted the holes, and then sewed around the edges with thick thread/thin yarn.   It was a simple and fun little craft for the new baby's four older sisters!!
Stay tuned to find out what makes it into the package for Mom and Dad!!