Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chloe's Messenger Bag

This is for an eight-year-old friend of mine who loves riding her bike all over town. She also likes purple! I promised her I'd make her a bag; 6 months later I fulfilled that promise :). This was made from Keyka Lou's messenger bag pattern. It's got a gathered-top pocket on both skinny sides and a large, deep pocket on front and back. Inside, there are two pen pockets and a pocket for a small notebook (or wallet, cell phone, etc.). I might make one for myself (ha ha ha ha--I have so much time now that I'm back in school).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rhebekka's "Bucket Bag"

This is a 'big sister' present for a 13-year-old friend of mine. She's been a huge blessing to me, especially when my boys were babies. She loves purple and black and is also very into music (she plays the guitar). This was a fun bag to work on; I followed Keyka Lou's Bucket Bag Pattern.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rebecca's Tote Bag

My other sister-in-law loves pink, so I thought this fabric was perfect for her!

Carrie's Tote Bag and Matching Laptop Sleeve

This is a my favorite bag (it's fabric I picked out 'cuz I liked it and Carrie claimed it, too! I have YET to make myself one). As you can see, everything coordinates :).

My Favorite Apron

My favorite apron comes from Lotta Jansdotter's book Simple Sewing. I've made almost a dozen of these aprons by now; they take me 2 hours from absolute start (cutting out fabric) to finish (final hand sewing). They're cute, comfy, and reversible.

Must... Keep... Sewing...

I don't know I enjoy sewing so much, but I get in these little phases where that's ALL I want to do. (Pay no attention to the mess behind me nor to my general physical appearance--the photo above was to send out to Carrie to show her my latest creation.). The bag above is the small size (yes!) "mail sack" from Sew Mama Sew's pattern shop--I can't find it listed anymore! I am continuing my quest to "use up the stash" and this bag is a great example of that.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Homemade Playdoh: Even Better Than the Real Thing

This IS better than the real thing and so far superior to the Dollar store variety that I can't express it.

Benefits to making your own playdoh:
  • cheaper
  • better
  • customizable colors
  • LOTS of one color (big help when you have several toddlers)
  • softer than regular Playdoh, but still holds its shape
Recipe is from First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos by Mary Ann Kohl (this is half of her recipe and it still makes quite a bit--maybe the equivalent of 6 regular Playdoh cans or so)

Have all supplies ready. This will take about 1/2 an hour, so do it during naptime when your kids aren't hanging on your pant legs and dying for their new activity.

  • 2 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/4 c. salt
  • 1 1/2 T. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 t. to 1 1/2 T. food coloring (smaller amount for pastel on up as you please... I like about 1 1/2 t.)
  • 5 T. oil
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
Heat water, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in 3 quart saucepan until hot (over medium low heat). Stir in oil and gradually stir in flour. Continue heating and stirring until mixture pulls away from sides of pan (depending on how hot your salt/water mixture is, this can take no time at all or several minutes). Remove from heat periodically and check: when you can pinch off part of the mixture and it's not sticky, it's done.

Turn dough out onto a surface like a cutting board and let it cool slightly. While still warm, knead until smooth.

Store in a ziploc bag!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Little Girl's Quilt

Four years ago, when my daughter was born, I bought some fabric that I knew would make a darling quilt for her when she moved to a "real" bed. Four years later (and a much simplified design), I finally made it. She loves it. The pillow shams really needed to be done because the quilt looked unfinished without them. I think it all turned out quite well. The ribbon pillow is from Sewing in No Time by Emma Hardy.

Aprons and Pot Holders

I have a housewarming party/shower to attend this coming weekend. What to make for the honoree? My favorite apron, of course! I whipped up six of them this past December, so creating another one went fairly quickly. I also tried my hand at some potholders--not as easy as they look, let me assure you! But, I think all turned out well. The girl has picked teal, taupe, white, and yellow for her kitchen colors. I didn't find fabric that incorporated the yellow, but this old-timey-kitchen themed fabric met the other requirements nicely! See aprons in this post. Pot holder pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing.

The T-Shirt Quilt

This t-shirt quilt is a LONG promised project: I coerced my husband into cleaning out his t-shirt drawer a few years ago, promising I'd turn those old t-shirts into a quilt. Several years later, I decided the time had come. I made it for his birthday (end of January) and I think it was a hit!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quick Table Runner

This table runner was very easy and quick to make. I originally made it for my sister Carrie, but she moved by Christmas to a new house with different dining room colors. So, it's now gracing my dining room table in this picture! Eventually it made it to Carrie's house. Made from pattern in Sewing in No Time by Emma Hardy.

Tea Cozies

I made two identical tea cozies (and matching finger mitt--not pictured) in 2009. They were fun projects. One of the recipients sent me a fat quarter of the Mary Engelbreit teapot fabric featured on the middle strip. What, she wondered, could we do with this great fabric? (Incidentally, this is my friend Megan who hosts Literaritea). I thought of this tea cozy pattern from Sewing in No Time by Emma Hardy. They turned out well.

Drawstring Bags

These charming bags were for two little girls down the street, one of whom had a birthday, and for my daughter. The bags are big enough to hold stuffed animals, a few books, and other necessities for a car ride somewhere or an overnight. I made them from the directions in Emma Hardy's Sewing in No Time. (a book I highly recommend) 2009 project

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Year's Goal 2010: Use it, Enjoy it, Love it!

My neighbor, Lisa, and I have a joint goal this year: "use up the stash." We both have accumulated a wide variety of fabric pieces/scraps/yards from various projects (both hoped for projects and finished projects that didn't use up the fabric).

So, as much as possible, I'm going to create with "what's on hand." I have a somewhat unfair advantage going in because I've already bought fabric for some planned projects this year. The rest, though, will come from the stash (which I plan to use with wild abandon, with no regard for future possibilities that could be made from said fabric....). I'm going to apply the same premise to other categories (food stuffs, arts and crafts supplies for the kids, etc.) because it's not doing us any good just sitting on the shelf.

We are going to love using up our "stuff!" Crayons, stickers, markers, paper of all kinds, fabric, ribbon, buttons, beads, felt, popsicle sticks, the list goes on.

My first project using up the stash: a portable changing pad that rolls up (with pocket for wipes) made out of 6-year-old fabric (the twins I made quilts for from this fabric when they were babies will be turning 7 this coming summer... why I kept 8 random 9-patch blocks, I don't know...). The first of many projects using up the "stash."

A "Long Twirly Skirt"

Per my daughter's request.... she loves it :). Since it's made of old drapery fabric, I keep hearing Captain Von Trapp say "my children have been running about Salzburg dressed in nothing but some old drapes!?" 2009 project

A First Toddler Purse

This was one of the first things I made early in 2009. I made it the same weekend I made the matching skirt with my friends.

3 Little Girls' Purses

My husband's cousin has twin girls and a younger daughter as well (all toddler/preschool age). (I feel lots of empathy for her!). At any rate, my mother-in-law commissioned me to make some purses for this crew. I wanted them to be similar, yet each unique. The youngest girl's purse has a short hand-strap. The twins' purses are to be worn cross-body style. All three are lined.

First Skirt

This is a simple girl's skirt that a young friend of mine (and her mother) and I made. We made two: one for my daughter and one for my young friend's younger sister (the skirts are matching). We used this tutorial. 2009 Project

Mom's Sunday School Tote Bag

My mom requested a tote bag to carry her Sunday School materials in (she teaches an elementary school aged class). She said she wore a lot of black, wanted the bag to be dark enough not to show dirt, and it needed to be moderately sized. Here is what I came up with! (She also wears a lot of turquoise/teal--hence my choice of contrasting ribbon.) It's all decorator fabric and lined, with stiff interfacing as well. The inside fabric is the same striped fabric as the top of the bag. The paisley fabric forms pockets (6 total). I got the basic pattern/idea from this. 2009 Project

Erin's "Mom Bag"

I'll be making more of these, but here is the first one... (I couldn't wait to take pictures, so I snapped these photos before I even cut off all the stray threads!). This bag is slightly bigger than a medium LLBean Tote.

It is fully lined with a contrasting pocket inside; the pocket is subdivided into 3 smaller pockets. The bottom is reinforced with duck cloth; the rest of the fabric is quilting cotton. There is some stiff batting in it as well. I made it for my sister-in-law, Erin. (2009)