thai noodle recipe

2.28.2011


Today I'm sharing a little recipe that my family enjoys over at The Southern Institute for Domestic Arts and Crafts for the series: Meals Kids Love.
Hop over and say hi to Jenny while you're there!

a simple project

2.25.2011

Sometimes I love it when Natalie comes up with ideas of what I should sew.  I think children in general are so much better at thinking 'outside the box' than adults.  Their minds just don't have any limits and I love that!

Natalie and I were talking about her many chapsticks and how we should go about keeping them close at hand and we came up with a little solution: a chapstick necklace (or you could call it a lanyard if you were making it for a little boy).

I had her pick out the fabrics she wanted from my scrap bins and I made a little loop of fabric of double fold bias tape (only it's not on the bias, but that's beside the point).  Then I sewed in a little key ring and clipped the chapstick on, now they're all set for moisturizing those pretty little lips.

 
  
Happy Friday everyone!  And hopefully next week I'll be able to squeeze in some time to whip up a tutorial on my scooter tray.  :)

baby pillow

2.23.2011


Here's the little something extra that I made to go with the log cabin baby quilt


I had been dreaming up this pillow long before I started making it. 


I love adding something personal to a project when I can.  Embroidering the sweet babe's name on the pillow seemed fitting. 


Hope you like it Amelia.  ♥

log cabin baby quilt

2.21.2011

I was itching to make another quilt.  One without much of a plan. 

{front}

I love log cabins, I think I could make a million more with all my scraps.


Anyway, I had my little stash of these super cute Sevenberry fabrics (purchased from a local shop that has since gone out of business, wah!) I'd been saving for too long.  They're just so perfect, calling out for a special baby quilt.


Luckily, our good friends had their 4th baby recently (a girl).  For me, that deserves a special prize in and of itself.  Don't you think?


This isn't my usual color palette, not that I know if I really have one, but it's different from a lot of other things I've made.  {Now I'm looking at my pictures and see where the colors came from - my backyard, tan and white and brown - wintery.} So I got a few fat quarters from my local shop, Basic Grey's Basics by Moda and a few others.

{back}

With the quilting I went for some organic lines and I love the texture it creates.


There's another component to this gift I just finished up, but that'll have to wait for another post.

Quilt measures 36" by 40".


Patterns by Figgy's Giveaway winners

2.20.2011


Pattern Giveaway Winners!

Amanda who said "I would love a pattern! I have only tried to work with knits a few times so far!"



Cat who said "Oh my gosh the Beach Bum Hoodie & Board Shorts pattern is adorable."


Kristianna who said "What cute patterns! I'm pretty new to working with knits but I'd love to win a pattern and give it a try."
 
 
And a huge thanks to Patterns by Figgy's for sharing your lovely patterns. 
 
If you weren't a winner today, here's the list of retailers who carry Patterns by Figgy's patterns



her tee for two and some knit tips

2.17.2011

Don't forget to stop by and enter the Patterns by Figgy's pattern giveaway!  It's open until Friday!

Well, Natalie did get her very own tee for two shirt.  I used the shirt pattern and the flutter sleeves.  She picked out this nice interlock knit by Patty Young that I had ordered from fabric.com.  They have a great selection of her knits here.




The sizing on the pattern is really great, I think it's right on the money.  I can't hardly wait to whip up a few boy ones for my nephew! 




And the best part is that this second round with the pattern went even quicker!  I think this shirt maybe took an hour to make. 




Now onto a few little things on knits.  I don't know why there's a lack of knit fabric sources online.  I've been asking around with not much luck actually.  I think fabric.com has about the largest selection of jersey knits (the one I used on emily's dress), but you do need to make sure you take a good look at fiber content and I have ordered a few weird ones.  Luckily fabric.com takes returns, I like that. 








  • I have ordered from Sewzanne's (lots of quality knits) before, but it doesn't seem like they have a lot of turnover in selection for whatever reason. 
  • I asked Toni from Make It Perfect and she suggested Crafty Mama's out of Australia, they also ship internationally - looks like I need to do some shopping there!
  • Hobby Lobby (pretty poor quality - at least at my local store) is also a good place to check if you have one nearby.
  • The other thing that Shelly (Patterns by Figgy's) mentioned was to check your local shops for knits.  So I did.  I don't have a joanns very close by (but I assume they also have a fairly descent selection).  But I do have a Hancock Fabrics.  I sifted through the WHOLE store and rounded up more than I expected! I found a section up front with some nice t-shirt knit and some ribbing, then I walked back to the clearance section and found a great selection of knits for 2.95 a yard! 
  • I make sure to look for knits made mostly with cotton.  If you can find any with a small % of spandex, it makes really nice waistband, etc.  Jersey knit, bamboo knit, t-shirt knit are all good words to look for when searching online for knits.
  • Oh, and I should mention that shopping the clearance sections of places like old navy and target are options as well.  Of course you'll want to pick out the largest sizes to get the most yardage from a tee or dress.
  • Update: a couple other shops suggested by readers, The Fabric Fairy and Girl Charlee 



[my score from my local hancock fabrics store]




A couple other notes on your first experience with knits:


  • be sure to use a ball point sewing machine needle
  • use polyester (or polyester blend) thread, using all cotton isn't a great idea since it won't stretch as much as poly.  I did sew Emily's dress with cotton thread, only because I didn't have another thread on hand that coordinated.




That's all I've got for now, hope that helps!  And feel free to leave any tips of your own for sewing with knits in the comments, believe me, I'm no expert, but I'm always glad to learn something new.

interview & giveaway with Patterns by Figgy's

2.15.2011

I'm really happy I had a chance to interview Patterns by Figgy's and they also graciously offered up some patterns for a giveaway as well!  Read on for the interview and giveaway.


How did Patterns by Figgy's get started?
Figgy’s got started from a simple idea that came from frustration. I know that sounds terrible doesn’t it? In 2008 I decided to take my sewing to another level by opening a little Etsy shop so I could stay at home but still help pay the bills. I frequented a wonderful fabric shop (“Sew to Speak” in Ohio) that carried adorable children’s patterns. The only issue was I could never use them to help create garments for my shop. So I began drafting my own patterns.

In 2009 I met a fabulous designer through Flickr, Karen LePage. She was not only a great designer but she was also a graphic designer and that’s what I needed. She took my pencil drawings and made them “pretty” (keeping it simple, it takes a lot more work than you think). As I got to know her more and more and realized how well we work together I quickly asked her to become my business partner. Thank goodness Karen said “yes”. Because of our teamwork Karen and I became an official company in 2010. The best part is that we shared a very important belief, which is that we wanted the seamsters that purchased our patterns to use them and create garments to sell at farmers markets and online venues.

Where can we buy quality knits?
I always suggest checking the locally owned fabric shops and talk to the shop owner about what you’re looking for and perhaps they’ll have just what you need.

If that’s not possible a few terrific online outlets are: “HARTS Fabric” has terrific fashion apparel knits and “Sew Mama Sew” always has a nice selection.


Do I need to have a serger?
There’s nothing like having a serger around the house. Cuts a lot of my time in half when constructing garments but if you’re not sewing five garments a day then your sewing machine will do the trick. It’s as simple as changing your stitch to a zig zag stitch, change the width to 1.0 and the length to 3.0. There are some terrific knit tutorials out on the web if you prefer to have a visual guide. We just added a new one to our blog that was part of the “Great Knit Experience” that Jen from “Stitch Simple” began last week.

I know I hinted at patterns for adults, and you do have a larger sizing of the tee for two pattern for kids that fits adult s/m, but are there any other plans in the works?

By popular demand we have also released the “Little Woo” in teen and Small/Medium adult sizes “(Big) Little Woo”. We’ve had some requests for the “Ofelia” pattern to be sized for teens/adults so that’s something we’re taking into consideration.

What's in store for your next pattern collection this spring?

The Spring line is my very favorite line since we began the business. We have a total of 3 patterns with a total of 6 garments coming out in May to be introduced at or a little before Quilt Market this coming Spring in Salt Lake City. We are offering both boy and girl patterns that have a vintage feel but with a modern twist.
We are working with an amazing fabric designer “Happy Zombie” who is with the Lecien fabric company. I wish I could share more and I will, just as soon as we can! We’ll also have a big announcement in regards the book we just finished for Wiley publishing next month. At that time we’ll actually get to tell everyone what it’s about!

___________________________________________

Thanks Shelly and Karen!  I'm really excited about all your upcoming business adventures, should be fun to see what's to come!


Now on to the giveaway:

There will be 3 winners selected to each win their choice of a Patterns by Figgy's pattern!  How fun is that?!

To Enter:
  • leave a comment!
  • one comment per person
  • leave your email address in your comment (so I can contact you when you win!)
  • three winners will pick their choice of pattern from Patterns by Figgy's
  • giveaway open until Friday, February 18th, 2011




vintage hankie pillow cover tutorial

2.13.2011

  guest posted on Elsie Marley with this tutorial a few weeks ago...

It's a sweet and simple project you can create in time for valentines day.  This would even be a great project for a beginner or for a child who's fairly comfortable using a sewing machine.

I thought of these pillows one day after I saw some of my vintage hankies.  Their colors were perfect for valentines day and I thought they would add a little bit of character to an empty chair or sofa.  My mom had given me a few of the hankies and I had collected a few from local estate sales.  If you're not sure where to get vintage hankies, I suggest looking at estate sales, etsy, or ebay.  They're usually in pretty good condition and will be durable enough to add to a pillow  After all, they were originally intended for nose blowing!

Now I'm sure there are some enthusiasts who would never do this to a prized vintage item, but for me I'd rather have them out on display where we can enjoy them more, instead of stashed in a drawer somewhere. 

Let's get started!

Materials:

1/2 yard linen or base fabric for making the pillow cover
1 vintage hankie (wash, iron, starch)
1/2 yard heat n bond lite (available at Joanns, even pre-packaged at walmart)
thread, sewing machine, pins, etc.


I'll give measurements for both a 16" pillow form, but of course feel free to adjust these as needed for your particular hankie/pillow form.

Cutting the pieces:
top 16" x 16"
for envelope back:
cut one piece 16" tall by 14" wide, and another 16" tall by 11" wide

Attaching hankie:


Apply heat n bond lite to the hankie using manufacturers directions.  Fuse hankie to pillow cover top, centering hankie. 


The next step can be potentially tricky, but you'll need to sew the hankie down to the pillow cover top as close to the hankie's edge as possible. 


Depending on how your particular hankie is shaped/hemmed, you might have to take it really slow and lift the presser foot and turn as you go.  You could alternately used heat n bond ultra (which requires no sewing to ensure the quality of the bond), however it will make the pillow more stiff, so I'll just leave that up to you!

Finishing the pillow:


Next you'll want to hem the edges of the envelope back opening.  Take one piece of envelope back and press the long side over by 1/2" towards the WRONG side of the fabric and again by another 1/2". 


Sew close to folded edge.  Do this for both envelope back pieces.



Then place the pillow cover top facing RIGHT side up, on top of that layer the larger back piece RIGHT side down on top, aligning raw edges.  Then place the smaller envelope back piece over that, also RIGHT side down.  Pin.  Sew around entire perimeter using a 1/2" seam allowance. 


Serge or use a zig zag stitch around edges to finish them off so they don't fray in the wash, clip corners.  Press.  Insert pillow form and enjoy!

be my vintage valentine?

2.13.2011

a little more valentine decorating


a few vintage valentines from an estate sale, taped onto a strings of ribbon


happy sunday!

last minute valentine projects

2.12.2011

In case you missed any of these that I shared, you still have time before Valentine's Day to whip up a few!



valentine window garland | vintage hankie pillow covers | love mail valentines

tee for two (for emily)

2.09.2011

I have succumbed to the world of knits.  Knits, you are now my friend, I am no longer scared of you.
 

So there, I'm finally getting used to knits bit by bit.  I think with each attempt I get more and more comfortable.  I can't even remember where I was reading, but one day I jumped on Patterns by Figgy's site and bought the super cute tee for two pattern.  Here's a link to where you can purchase the patterns.


For whatever reason I hadn't given the pattern much thought, and I know I've seen people using the pattern all over the place.  I'm so glad I looked at it more.  I didn't realize the pattern came with a dress option, long sleeve option, and different short sleeve options!  Holy moly, this pattern is loaded with goodness.  It's also awesome that the size range is 12 months to a 6/7, even better. 


I also love that there's no hemming, it's all raw edges on the sleeves and bottom and that the seams are raw edge exposed.  Nice and comfy.  Are they coming out in adult sizes soon?  I hope.


Anyway, my first trial was a little dress for Emily.  Simple, blue and soft.  She loves it.  I was thinking of doing some embellishing, but I think it's cute as it is, too.  Plus she's all about layering a dress over anything she wears these days.


I also got to chatting with Shelly, owner of Patterns by Figgy's, because I was pretty excited about the pattern, and she is really so nice.  So, just keep your eye out for some fun little surprises coming up soon!

and take a look at miss grumpy pants who was pouting on the bed because she didn't get a blue dress...patience my dear, patience!


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