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Saturday, April 12, 2014

June Bug Shirt and Maxi Skirt

My sweet niece Kali just had a birthday.  I love that I have nieces.  It gives me the opportunity to sew for little girls. Kali is a sweet little girl, and has always been called "June Bug" by the family. So this red and black polka dotted ITY knit, seemed like the perfect fabric for our little lady (bug).

I used my silhouette cameo to design a little personalized t-shirt.  I love heat transfer vinyl, and have several projects to show you.  In place of the dot above the "I" in her name, I added a little lady bug.  I didn't know for sure if an eight year old would be down with lady bugs, but she loved it.

On the back of the shirt's neckline I added the words June Bug.  

Kali is quite petite, and this knit maxi fit her perfectly. She was so excited to wear it. 

 I used some scraps from the knit, and made a sailor's knot headband for her.  It was my first attempt at the sailor's knot, and it was fun.  I can't wait to make one for myself.  I followed this Sailor's Knot video tutorial from youtube.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wide Elastic and Leather Belt

A local fabric store that I loved, for it's random collection of fabrics and notions, recently went out of business.  I tried stocking up on anything and everything that I thought I might want before they closed.  I'd been eyeing this wide (3 inch) striped elastic.  I loved the look, but didn't have the right skirt in mind. Then it hit me, it would make a perfect elastic belt.  

I dug through my leather scraps, and found some silver d rings, rivets, and a fastener.  With all of my materials gathered, it was just a matter of assembly.

Using my leather sewing needle, I stitched the leather to the ends of the elastic.

Then I punched some holes in some leather strips, added rivets, and attached the hardware to the belt.

 The belt is the perfect width for finishing off a maxi skirt.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Polka Lots Skirt

Maybe it is the subtle signs that Spring may be on it's way, but lately I've had a real hankering for new skirts.  I have some great fabric in my stash that is begging to turn into something beautiful.  This sheer overlay a-line skirt is something that has been in the plans for months.  I finally sat down and sewed it up.

I thought I had worked out all of the construction issues in my head, but unfortunately, my head hadn't done it's job.  The skirt was a bit of a bear to sew.  It seemed that for every seam I sewed, I had to unpick two.  It is finally finished however, and I'm relatively pleased with how it turned out.

The biggest challenge was the zipper.  Zippers aren't difficult, but with a sheer overlay I had to worry about how to insert the zipper, attach it to the lining, and make the visible seams look a little better.

It's not perfect, but I'm glad it's done, and I am 85% pleased with the results.  There are things that I'd still like to go back and edit, but I'm not so sure that it will be happening anytime soon. My sewing station is currently packed up, and my sewing table is the new work bench, as we remodel our bathroom.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

For The Home: Toy Box Cushion

If you remember, one of my New Year's Sewing Resolutions is to sew for my home.  I have been so proud of myself for all that I have done.  I'm up to about four or five projects.  They are just little things, but they make me feel better about my home.

We have a nice little starter home that we are outgrowing, but we don't have any immediate plans for moving into anything larger.  So, I've been trying to maximize our storage space, and find different ways to make our small space work for our growing family.  Minimizing clutter is difficult.  Kids have so many toys, and they are inevitably hauled out to the living room where most of the playing happens. In our cozy home, our living room is also where we entertain, and the first thing someone sees when they come into our home.  So, being able to put toys away quickly (as soon as there is a knock at the door), is a plus.

I picked up this white chest a couple of years ago while out thrifting.  It was in decent shape, but nothing beautiful.  From the beginning I'd planned on making a cushion for the top.  It was a way to add a bit more seating to our small space, while hiding away toys.

It took me a long time to get around to making the seat cushion.  It's not the most exciting thing to sew, but I am so pleased with the way it cleans up the room.  I purchased the foam at a local craft store that was going out of business.  It was 3.5" thick, so a perfect little cushion for any behind.  The herringbone fabric is the same that I used to recover the glider.  It is nice and neutral with a really subtle sheen.

Velcro became my best friend on this project.  I chose to use it both to attach the cushion to the chest, and as a closure on the back of the cushion (no photo, sorry).  I attached the rough side of the  sew on velcro to the material, to avoid snagging if it wasn't perfectly aligned.  I used a sticky back velcro for the chest.  

 Now we can store all of those toys with their brightly colored packages.  It really does make a big difference in the space.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Working Mom: Do Not Disturb

I work from home, and am glad that I am able to.  I am able to spend most of my time with my kids, and then squeeze work into our crazy day.  Unfortunately, working from home with kids is not easy.  Sometimes, in fact, it is nearly impossible. 

Because my kids are accustomed to me being at home, they always need me. When my husband has a day off, they still run to me first to tattle, for help them find their favorite monster truck, or to grab them a glass of water.  I love being able to help, but sometimes I wish that it was easier to work from home.

I found this chalk board door hanger on clearance at Wal-Mart. It isn't anything pretty, and I'd love to paint over it, but I was feeling pretty lazy.  So, I sat down at my computer, and whipped up a little design. Cut my vinyl with my silhouette, and then less than perfectly transferred the vinyl to the door hanger.

I don't have high hopes that it is going to make it easier to work from home, but fifteen uninterrupted minutes of work a day would be a beautiful thing. Now I just need to teach my two year old, and six month old how to read.

Do any of you work at home moms have any suggestions for creating more focused work time?  A schedule that works for you?  Quiet activities to entertain your kids while you get things done?  I'm all about refining my process, and would love to know what insights you have.

Lucky Necklace

I'm not one to get overly festive when it comes to holidays, but I must admit,  I can't wait for St. Patrick's Day. Perhaps it's the corned beef that is calling to me.

To show my St. Patty spirit, I made myself a lucky necklace.  

Chain, jump rings, closure, charms, pliers,  three minutes, and I was done.

A little lucky necklace that I can wear any day of the year.  I am lucky. I never win a giveaway or raffle, but I have been blessed with everything that I need.

Charms purchased here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

DIY Adjustable Elastic Suspenders

Recently my husband told me that I needed to have a baby girl so that I would stop accessorizing our boys.  I don't really think that there is anything wrong with accessorizing boys,  it is just a bit more limited.

I love suspenders, and couldn't resist making a pair for Clark out of this striped elastic that I found. I made them adjustable, and I made them large, that way he can wear them for a long time to come.

Do you want to make your own? Tutorial below the jump.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Bapron

I now have a six month old.  A solid food starting six month old.  He's an eager eater, though his dietary sensitivity has me approaching the whole situation with a bit of caution.  Having had to eliminate so many foods from my diet, I can only imagine that we are going to have some issues introducing certain foods down the line.  For now, apples and rice cereal haven't been too much of a problem.  One problem that inevitably presents itself when introducing solids is the mess.  Babies are messy, they knock the spoon with their eager helping hands, and pretty soon rice cereal is splattered all over them (and you).

When I first saw Jess's Bapron pattern, I knew it needed to be added to my collection.  It's one of those adorable and practical patterns.  A bib that covers the whole baby, without looking like you've draped them in a towel.

I decided that I'd need to make several.  So, I went through my stash of fabric, and sewed up several using the materials I had on hand.  It was a great stash buster, the perfect project for those small pieces of fabric that you can't part with.

This red rocket was left over from Clark's quilt...

and this vintage Three Little Kitten fabric was left from a receiving blanket I made for Gus. 

 So soft, so cute, and going to get so much use.

In addition to Gus' baprons, I knew I needed to make a larger version for my little artist Miles.  He loves to draw, color, and paint.  So, I added about five inches to the bottom of the largest pattern, and adjusted the pattern to be a more full coverage smock.

I added a pocket....

 ... and used up some prepackaged bias tape remnants.  

Now this fabric is three things that I really don't like:  
1) Poor Quality
2) Licensed characters
3) Primary colors (there are exceptions to this, but in general I don't love them).

So why would I purchase the fabric?  Well you see, I have this cute curly headed two year old that knows how to melt my heart.  He doesn't speak much, so when he asks for something, I feel like I need to reward him.  I suppose that when I'm sewing for others I should try to make it more about them, than it is about me. 

You can find Jess's Bapron pattern here, and while I'm sure you're already familiar with her site, she blogs here at Craftiness Is Not Optional.