Author: Mary

Just another crafty mom, trying to juggle family life with the desire to create.

Just Do It

I have a list of projects as long — or longer — than my arm, but I can’t seem to get going. After my big trace-and-cut fest the other day, I’ve done not much more than look at my stash and stack and think, “I really should do something about that.”

I did receive in the mail today two yards of a lovely Chez Ami polka dot to go with my chicken fabric. The only thing holding me back on that one is not being 100 percent certain what I’m going to do with all of this lovely stuff.

I really just need to decide and get started. Time’s a-wasting!

Wanting

I took this photo of DD back in February, when we were visiting her grandparents. It’s taken me until now to download it from my camera, edit it an upload it.

She was standing on a chair, staring out the window as her cousins — older, bigger — were playing outside. That look of wistful longing had to be saved. It was dark in the house and I was challenged to expose the shot without losing any detail. I think I did OK. The graininess is from my conversion; that needs to be fixed before I print (and this is definitely one to print).

I have been ignoring my camera for some time now. Life just gets in the way and I make excuses, blah blah blah. I miss it and need to get back in the routine of taking pictures at least weekly, if not more frequently.

It’s Expo-rific

 I bailed on hubby and the kids yesterday to hit up the Atlanta Sewing Expo. OK, “bailed” is probably the wrong word, since I took my oldest to his ham radio exam (he passed!) at 8:30 a.m., then went home and picked up child 2 of 3 to take him to Shabbat School and Temple by 10 before driving up to the civic center. A mom’s work is never done!

Anyway, I’ve never been to a sewing expo before but I figured it was pretty similar to the scrapbooking expos I’ve attended (it is). Sadly, I didn’t take any classes but really wish I had. I think that would have made the experience more better. ~_^ Still, I can’t complain. I had fun, saw lots of really cool quilts and even bought a few things.

I’m always impressed by how Sandi uses trims and embellishments on her outfits, so I made sure to cruise through the vendors who sold those types of items. Wow, so much stuff! I was, in fact, a little overwhelmed and ended up buying only a few vintage buttons and some cool geisha buttons. I really need some kind of embellishment tutorial to get me started/less intimdated. Oh, and I also bought a little bit of fabric (2 measely yards). I’d snap a few pics but that would involve hunting down my camera blah blah blah and I’m trying to cut pattern pieces while I’m working on this blog entry.

I was kind of meh about a lot of the fabric there. Tons of FQ and not lots of yardage, which is kind of pointless for someone who needs at least a yard for most things. I ended up driving to my favorite quilt shop and dropping a few greenbacks on some of the Flea Market Fancy fabrics. (They’ve since been put to use — maybe pics tomorrow!)

I also snagged the Amy Butler Cabo Halter pattern plus more of the duckegg wallpaper fabric so I can making a top to match my daughter’s dress. I’m going to give it a whirl with some cheapy fabric first, though, especially since there are darts AND a zipper involved. Wish me luck!

 ETA: I found a pic of the fabric I bought at the Expo. Isn’t it just too cute?! Now if I can only figure out what to do with it!

How To

Katie stopped by my blog recently (be sure to check hers out!) and I spotted some too cute patchwork quilted purses she’s made. (She recently went to a taping of the Martha show — color me jealous!) The discovery led me to Google for tutorials and I found a bunch of great sites for making purses — just what I need, since I’ve been winging it with mine. Sure, they look cute but I know the construction could be better.

Actually, it’s kind of nice to see that even though I’ve been just guessing at the way to sew a bag, I’m actually on the right track.

I’m really excited about Creative Little Daisy’s zipper tutorial. Woohoo! As I’ve admitted before, zippers are  just a real challenge for me (although Angela has done a wonderful job of helping me). Between the two sets of instructions I know have, I may actually attempt a zipper again.

Busy Bee

I was a sewing fiend this weekend. I managed to sew a purse and three outfits for DD. Not too shabby!

First off, the purse. I used Heather Ross fabric, Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries, I think it’s called. I love the fabric and I’m pretty happy with how the purse turned out. It’s the biggest purse I’ve made — I usually do toddler-sized versions — and it took a little more math than anticipated. The button closure was a sort of last-minute decision; I’m glad I added it. (That’s my KRZR peeking out of the pocket!)

Next up is a fun halter dress-top and jeans outfit. I adore this Michael Miller fabric. I bought it off eBay without knowing what I was going to do with it. When I saw the dress pattern on YCMT, I knew I’d found the perfect fit. My older son helped me decide the fabric placement and is the one who suggested doing ruffled jeans instead of pants. My fashion consultant!

It’s not quite finished. I need to do the top stitching of the dress and I think I’m going to make a newsboy hat to match, as well as a purse. I only bought two yards, so I need to plan well because I don’t have much left to work with. As it is, I had to cut the skirt for the dress twice because of a grievous serger miscalculation on my part.

I’ve never embellished overalls before and thought I’d give it a whirl. You know how they say “never say never”? Well, I’m pretty sure I mean it when I say I’ll never again attempt to do this. I think they’re super cute but definitely more of a hassle than I expected. More Michael Miller fabric, this time the Dandy Damask. I think the stripe is a Kaufman fabric; I’d have to go digging to be sure. It’s not a perfect match but I think it works. The dot was sort of a last-minute addition; the fabric was left over from another project and I thought it made for a cute accent.

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Now for my favorite! I found this gorgeous handkerchief fabric on SuperBuzzy and knew I wanted to make an apron something from it. I had no idea what fabric I’d put with it, what exactly I’d do with it or even which handkerchief I’d use. Three trips around the quilt shop before I stumbled on this ovals-on-pink fabric. I had thought I’d use another square for the apron but I thought the oval medallions were a perfect match. Another learning experience with this project, though: I measured my sweet daughter for the top but didn’t fit her during the sewing since she was sleeping. I ended up with a top that would fit her in maybe two years’ time! Out came the seam ripper and the rotary cutter. This one fits much better.

Hiccup

Right after I downloaded the pics of my latest sewing to my computer, the logic board failed. Again. That’s three times in 18 months and twice in the past six months — and the computer’s only two years old, IIRC.

I’m now the proud owner of a brand new MacBook, although I’m less excited about owning a new computer than I’ve ever been before since the circumstances are different. Now that I have my cable, I’ll attempt to move over the old stuff to the new ‘puter. Fingers crossed!

Sew ‘n Show

A productive weekend at the sewing machine, for sure! Two finished outfits (OK, mostly finished) and I’m happy with both.

I’m so pleased with how this turned out. When I bought the cherries fabric, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it (bad, I know). I ended up just doing a simple, three-tiered twirl skirt. The peasant top is from the latest Ottobre; I added a seam allowance plus a lot of length because I made the same top a couple of weeks ago and it was too short for my taste. The fabric is all from Joann’s; I think it cost maybe $6 for all of it. I think it will be the perfect set to usher in the spring weather we’re getting.

My new favorite outfit! I really love this set. (I do need a different tee for underneath the pinnie; I’m not too thrilled with the color and it’s too small.) The fabric for the pinnie came from Fabric Hound; I bought the pants fabric (Michael Miller) at my local quilt shop. Both pieces are from the spring ’06 Ottobre. I think the pinnie is a little wide; I probably could have skipped adding the seam allowance.

No outfit I sew is complete without relating my adventure. I woke up early Sunday morning to get in some work before everyone woke up. I’d cut out the pieces for the pinnie and pants the night before (I took the advice of Katherine at the quilt shop and listened to the Material Mama podcast while I worked. Good stuff!) so I thought I was ready to go. Wrong. The ribbon I thought I had for the top? Didn’t actually exist. The only ribbon I had was twice as wide as I needed. Thank goodness for stores that are open 24 hours, seven days a week, and have a craft department. I ended up using a different color than planned but I like how it looks.

Sew Much Fun

I’ve spent as much time as possible sewing this weekend and have two outfits to show for it! I’m quite pleased with how they turned out. I’m still appliquing flowers onto the pants of the second outfit but that will be finished in a day or two (I have stories to write and only so many hours in the day.

Check back tomorrow for pics! I’m hoping to have a cooperative model in the morning.