dada pillows

3.30.2010


It was my husband's birthday a few weeks ago and I had been promising him FOREVER to replace his favorite pillow for him (yes, I took the old one and tossed it thinking I would whip him up a new one in no time).  It took me a while to come up with what I wanted to do.  He would have been happy with just a couple fabrics slapped together, but I thought and thought and thought some more about that darn pillow.  It had to be perfect, or so I thought. 


I ended up waiting until his actual birthday to make the first pillow.  Mistake.  It was so hard keeping the girls occupied while trying to come up with a cool design for the pillow.  I finished it just in time - and he loves it.  yay.


I had also planned on making a few more pillows to throw on the couch, so I finished the last two up last night.  Made me really happy to check that one off my list, I had been putting it off for long enough. 


I ended up making the big square pillow forms myself which was really fun, but the rectangular ones are small travel pillows.  I lined all but one pillow with muslin for a little more sturdiness (I love it!).  The first pillow I made using fusible fleece and quilted it with straight lines, but I prefer the other versions a little better.

happenings

3.28.2010

after a quick trip to the er last night, here's the damage:


lesson learned:  don't let your kids lean over the bathtub after they've taken a bath, may result in falling headfirst into the tub and 4 stitches

On the upside, Natalie was a real trooper.  In fact, when all was said and done, the er staff said she was their favorite patient all night and gave her this:


holy cow! a quilt donated from Project Linus.  I guess I'll be returning the favor and making a few blankies!

For more info on Project Linus and how you can donate visit projectlinus.org.

tutorial: recycled reusable sandwich bag

3.25.2010

If you're stopping in from Sew Much Ado, thanks!  And don't forget to see all the Go Green month projects on Abby's blog this month!


You'll need:

  • 1 pair men's khaki pants
  • 1/4 yard for lining, or find some scraps
  • (2) 8.5"w x 4" tall pieces of fabric for exterior accent
  • sew in velcro (3/4" wide)
  • thread

 Cutting the pieces:
Carefully cut the pieces from your khaki pants (you'll want to be sure to include the pocket lining when you cut), the pocket part of the pants will be the front of the bag and the opposite (plain part of khaki pants on the front side of the pant) will be the back.

Cut 2 pieces 8.5" x 8.5" from your pants (each pair of pants will yield two sandwich bags) and why not use the leg pieces for some drawstring backpacks while you're at it?!

Cut 2 pieces 8.5" x 8.5" from rip-stop nylon (if you want a water resistant lining), or just cotton will work too!

Sew on the accent fabric:


Iron down the long side a 1/4" on each piece.  Line up the fabric with the bottom of the bag, topstitch along top part of accent fabric.  Repeat for backside.



Sew the bag:


Place exterior pieces RIGHT sides together and sew along both sides and bottom. 


Repeat for lining fabric.


Turn lining piece right side out and place inside the exterior piece.


Sew around top of sandwich bag leaving a 2-3" opening for turning.  Turn right side out through hole.  Press.


Topstitch around entire opening of bag.

Sewing on the velcro:


Cut a strip of velcro approximately 5.5" long.  Pin in place on lining.  Sew around all four sides of velcro.  Repeat for other side of velcro.


If you want to add a special touch, replace the khaki pants pocket button with a pretty one.  You can even personalize them with a freezer paper stencil.  Another option would be to skip the accent exterior fabric and grab some fabric markers and let your kids decorate their own bags!

Slip in your sandwich, tuck in a little note, add a mint or piece of candy for after lunch and you're set!  Yum!


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happy spring!

3.23.2010


| our spring wreath |

We had a great time glueing on the moss!  Find the tutorial at Sew Much Ado from guest blogger The Magic Onions.  Thanks again Abby for another great wreath tutorial!

make up pouches

3.21.2010

As you all know, I love a good zipper project.  My aunt had asked me to make her a make up pouch to replace one of hers that had seen better days.  She's an avid sewer and gave me a few scraps to use (yeah, I know Mary, I can hear you laughing now about me using the word avid to describe your sewing). 


I ended up making two just because!  I find it easier to do a couple zipper projects at once because you'll be swapping to the zipper foot anyway.  For these pouches I used a combination of linens/quilting cottons and did a few quilting lines on each (they have quilt batting in the middle). 


I think these are so fun and functional.  As far as I know, I've pretty much given almost all the women I know a zippered make up pouch from me within the past year. In fact, I should probably keep track of that, can one ever have too many pouches?!  Do you have a favorite go-to project?

coffee cozy

3.19.2010

mmm, coffee. Actually, I love mochas. There's something about them - a special treat I don't get everyday. I can say that I loved this project. It was so fun putting together different scraps to make this coffee cozy. I used the tutorial by House on Hill Road. (tutorial is a downloadable PDF on her sidebar)


It was my sister-in-law's birthday on Saint Patrick's Day, and coincidence or not, her favorite color is green. Plus, she loves coffee. I'm so glad when I saw this post over at Hazelnuts - it reminded me that's what I wanted to make her for her birthday!


So as part of her present I made this cozy and got a gift card for her to Caribou Coffee.  And asked for a empty cup and lid when I bought the card.  I tucked the gift card inside the cup and put a little note on top saying 'Open me'.  Glad you like it Lydia!

necklace giveaway winner & a fabric bracelet

3.17.2010


and the winner of the Lisa Leonard necklace is...  #30


I'll be emailing you Kari so we can get your necklace right away!  :)
(ps I had to delete my original post giveaway because of a conflict with my blogher ads, don't worry I'm not trying to be shady by deleting the post)



I also thought I'd share this fabric bracelet I made as part of a gift.  I really need to work on my fabric selection on this kind of project - think, small prints.  I just don't use that many small prints for whatever reason!  I had gotten V & Co.'s Fabric Bracelet tutorial and gave it a whirl.  The fabric is Nicey Jane pocketbook.  I was hoping more of the green rather than the pink would show up, but I'll definitely be making more.

craft apple bag with Sew Mama Sew

3.16.2010


I'm excited to share with everyone my latest adventure:  a pattern review for Sew Mama, Sew's blog!  I'm really excited about this and had a fun time making Craft Apple's latest bag, the Knotted bag.  Check out my pattern review at Sew, Mama, Sew today here!

rocking chair redux

3.14.2010

I had the opportunity of recovering a cushion for an heirloom rocking chair for a new friend.  It was her husband's rocking chair as a boy, and they were now passing it on to their son (who's a cuter than cute 18 months).  The only problem was that the cover was pretty well used and outdated!  While they restored the rocker, I took my time and made a new cushion for the rocker plus a little extra something I just couldn't resist - a teeney boy pillow. 


I chose a great (and super durable) cotton denim chambray that I scored from fabric.com.  It's not listed anymore, but they do have some other intersting chambrays here.  I juse went off the dimensions of the old cushion and armrests and this is how it came out!  It'll be great for this little boy's room espeically since it's completely washable.  And you would have laughed if you saw me shoving this cushion through my machine - it was maxed out!


And get this!  I made my own pillow form.  It was actually pretty fun because I had Natalie help me stuff it.  This little cutie measures 10 x 10.  The pillow cover is linen and some Katie Jump Rope.  Perfect for a boy I'd say. 

this is how we roll

3.12.2010


this is what I do with my girls so I can sew  (just kidding - I don't need child protective services to call me).  But really, this is the kind of stuff they do for fun, coloring on eachother's faces and playing in boxes.


bizarre

pet bed

3.09.2010

And her first appearance on the blog....our Beagle Pepper!  Sorry if there aren't a lot of dog fans reading this, but I had a really fun opportunity pop up!


I've been volunteering for my local Humane Society, the Coulee Region Humane Society for almost five years now.  Each year they have a banquet that raises funds for yearly activities and supplies.  It's a really heart-warming event because they invite families who have adopted pets from the Humane Society and ask them to share their happy stories of how the pet changed their lives. 


I was able to donate this pet bed to their silent auction.  I had actually hoped to make a quilt, but just couldn't squeak out enough time to get one going.  I had seen a cool pet bed in a BHG magazine earlier this year, but couldn't bear to spend the $10 or whatever it is to actually buy the magazine.  Lucky for me this tutorial from Sew4Home showed up!


I stayed up way too late the night before the banquet making it, but I'm really please with how it came together.  The only difficulty I had was with the gusset section stretching and then not aligning with the top and bottom parts.  I had planned on this happening, so I started stitching at a point where I could take in some extra fabric if I need to (and I did).  If anyone has ever done a project similar to this, I'd love to hear if there's a good way of avoiding that problem. 

Anway, the bed raised a nice chunk of money and I was pleased to see the new pet bed owner walk away with a smile!


fold-over bag tutorial

3.05.2010

Thanks again Bloom for hosting my tutorial yesterday! I've really enjoyed so many of Bloom's topics since I first found their blog. I especially loved the post on handmade gifts for Christmas, it really helped reign me in and made me realize what was most important - spending time with my children.



Now before I get too sappy, here it is: the fold-over bag - a casual and fun spring bag!



Materials needed:
1/2 yard material for exterior (you'll need about 3/4 of a yard if you have a fabric with a directional print)
1/2 yard material for lining
scraps for pocket
double fold bias tape (I made my own, but it's really easy to pick some up at the store, too!)
about a 1/2 yard of medium weight fusible interfacing
2 yards of cotton webbing (1 1/2" wide)
(5) 3/8" grommets
the usual sewing tools: rotary cutter/mat, thread, pins, etc.

Let's get going!
Preparing your material:
First cut your exterior and lining fabrics to 14" wide by 22" tall (2 of exterior, 2 of lining). For the pocket, cut a piece of fabric 8.5" wide by 11" tall (iron on your fusible webbing to the wrong side of this pocket piece). You'll need to use a piece of bias tape approximately 8 3/4" long to use for the top of the pocket and about a 32" piece for the top edge of the bag. In both cases my bias tape wasn't actually bias tape (since we're not using it around any curves it isn't necessary) - it was cut straight across the grain.



For the inside pocket:
You can adjust this pocket size as you see fit, I wanted it to hold my two most important things - my keys and my cell phone. I also like a nice stiff pocket (that's why I'm using the interfacing - so if you don't care about that you can just omit it).


Fold each side in 1/2 inch and press, then fold entire piece wrong sides together in half and press again.


Attach bias tape to the top of the pocket. Tuck in each raw edge of bias tape on each end by folding it Wrong sides facing by 1/2". Next, take one piece of your lining and fuse on a scrap piece of interfacing to the wrong side. (This will help your pocket from ripping away from the lining if you get a little crazy digging in the pocket looking for your rigging cell phone.) I place the top of my pocket about 13" from the top of my bag opening.

Sew pocket in place along both sides and bottom (I'm showing the inside of the lining so you can see how I stitched the pocket in place). You may also choose to divide the pocket by sewing a single line of stitching down the pocket.


For the bag:


Next, take the two exterior pieces and place them right sides together. Pin. With a 1/2" seam allowance sew both sides and bottom of bag together, leaving the top open.

To make the boxed corners place your hand inside the bag corner and press together the two seams making a triangle.


Now measure 1 1/2" from the tip of that triangle and make a mark (I use a pin - but that's kind of a lazy and less precise way to make the line) perpendicular to the seam. Sew along that mark.

Trim tip off leaving a 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat for other corner.
Do the same steps above for the lining of the bag.


Assembling the bag:


Place lining into exterior of bag WRONG sides facing together. Align side seams and pin in place.


Take your bias tape and pin in place, aligning raw edges to the raw edges of the top of the bag. Start sewing along the fold about a 1/2" in, leaving a little tail unsewn (we'll take care of this in the next step).


Sew all the way around the top of the bag.


Now, fold in that little tail, that'll leave a nice finished edged when you flip the tape over.

Flip tape over and pin in place, sew close to edge. I had success sewing the bias tape on with the lining side up, but you may want to sew it with the exterior side up since that's the side that you'll be seeing most.


Fold over the top of the bag and press (you can fold it over however far looks good to you, I folded mine down about 6.5" from the top. Looking pretty spiffy now.
Attaching the strap:
I cut my cotton webbing about 49 inches long, but you can pin your strap on the bag and adjust it to fit how you like it. I wanted a cross-body type strap.

For an added punch of color (or pattern if you wish), take a few small pieces of scrap fabric and make them into double fold bias tape. Sew onto raw edges of cotton webbing - this will cover up the raw edges. My first bag I was able to tuck the webbing underneath to hide the raw edge, but the black webbing was pretty thick - so this was a nice alternative. Pin the strap in place centered on the side seams with a tail of it hanging about 4" down from the top of the fold. Mark where your grommets will be placed, cut the holes through all layers of the fabric, insert grommet, hammer into place (be sure to read the directions on the back of the grommet package for full directions). Place two grommets on each side of bag. {If you don't have grommets, or don't like the look, you can also just sew the straps in place, but it can get a little tricky}. Just be sure to make sure your straps aren't crossed and that they are parallel to the side seam when you go to insert your grommets.

Making front tab (this is mostly decorative, but it sort of functions as a pull tab for when you want to open the bag):


Take another piece of scrap fabric 2" wide by 6" long. Fold in long sides 1/4" and press. Fold tab in half with WRONG sides together and press. Tuck under the raw edge about 1/2" at the top and pin in place on bag with this end facing the top of the bag. Sew in place by topstitching all the way around the rectangle and making a square with your stitching where it meets the bag. Attach grommet.

You're done! This can be a really fun and functional bag. I used a home dec weight fabric from ikea for the exterior of this bag, but you could also use a regular quilting weight cotton. You might want to interface it with some medium weight interfacing if you choose to use a regular quilting cotton, unless you want a really 'slouchy' bag. Enjoy! Here's an alternate version I made using slightly different bag measurements, but the same concept:

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