Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thrift Store Finds

I did a little shopping the other day at my local thrift stores. I picked up a few lambswool sweaters. I washed them and felted them as soon as I got home. Now they are ready to go when I decide on a project for them. I like the way the lambswool feels even after it is felted it is still nice and soft. The pink sweater is lambswool and angora so it is fuzzy but still nice and soft.

I got these two denim dresses for $2.00 each. I think I will upcycle them into an apron and a couple of tote bags. I will save the buttons on the sunflower dress for another project. I like the birdhouse applique and the sunflower embroideries. I am sure I will be able to use them in an apron. I have some pink jumbo ric rac that would make cute trim if I made an apron using the chenille birdhouse somewhere. I have several ideas in my head about what to do with these two dresses. I have been seeing so many cute ideas while searching around on craft and sewing blogs I was in an upcycled mood.

This is a complete kit that I found at Goodwill for making what the kit calls a memory quilt. One of those quilts made out of your collection of t-shirts. Everything was included in the kit except the batting and the t-shirts. I didn't want a t-shirt quilt. So I had another idea. I had bought a couple of drapery samples packs several years ago at a discount home dec fabric store. I think I paid about $2.00 for 10 samples that were about 24 inches square. I have made several projects with them in the past. I started on a quilted throw today using my samples and some old crocheted doilies. The kit has tan minky fabric for the boarders and the backing. I got the kit for $8.00 and the tan color goes nicely with the old fashioned look of the samples and the vintage doilies.

In the bottom of the quilt kit box if found this adorable necklace. It looks like it has a dictionary page under a glass dome. With the words friendship on it. My daughter wanted to keep this so it is hers now. It was a lovely surprise to find.

Stash Manicure: Say Goodbye to July and Hello Giveaway!

Stash Manicure: Say Goodbye to July and Hello Giveaway! Check out this givaway. I love the Moda Charm pack solids. This is a nice site with good ideas for using your stash.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


A few weeks ago I bought a package of two Sewstylish magazines packaged together in a plastic bag from JoAnn Fabrics. A week or two later I bought another set of different issues at a different JoAnn's. One of the covers pictured one pattern:11outfits! I liked the looks of several ideas in the magazine so I decided to pick up the Simplicity pattern. I waited for four days when Simplicity patterns went on sale for $1.99. I was surprised when I couldn't find the pattern at the store. I decided maybe they hadn't released the pattern yet.

So this afternoon I was looking through my new magazines and saw an advertisement for a special Sewstylish issue to be release Jan 2009. At first I thought this must be a typo. But after looking through the other three I discovered that none of the magazines I just bought were current issues. They were from 2007 and 2008. Well that was why I couldn't find either of the two Simplicity Patterns I was hoping to buy. They have been discontinued.

I am not really disappointed about the old issues as they still have many good ideas in them. I am just a bit surprised because I have never seen anything but current issues of magazines on the stands at JoAnn Fabric's. I couldn't see the date on them because they were packaged together inside a plastic bag and a sticker saying Prepacked Set Issues not sold separately was covering up the date and bar code. I probably would not have noticed the date anyways. The good thing about this is I am pretty sure I did not already own any of the four magazines. I do buy a lot of sewing and craft magazines including Sewstylish. So I ended up with one issue of Quick Stuff To Sew and three Sewstylish winter 2007, fall 2007, and spring 2008. And I guess I don't keep up on current fashions because I didn't notice that the styles were three years old.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A gift for the cat.

I picked up Nicky Epstein Knitting A Kiss In Every Stitch a few weeks ago. This book has some adorable knitting projects that would make great gifts for family and friends. There are many darling hats for all ages from infants to teen and beyond. I want to try the Pampering Spa Cloths. They have a beautiful organic look to them. The sweet sock have a cute lace cuff that I would love to try. I love making socks but I get all happy making the first one and never get the second one finished. I have several sock projects in progress around this house I supose I should finish those before starting on another.

Well I spotted a project that would be quick to finish and I already had everything I needed in my stash. The Knitty Kitty Play Mat was something I knew my cat would love. Well my cat is kind of lazy and mostly sleeps so a play mat is not something she would play with. However I knew she would love to sleep on it. This mat is easy to knit and then it is felted in the washing machine to make it nice and thick. And Chloe my large cat does enjoy sleeping on it.

I thought she need something for this basket that she took over. I had used this basket for holding crafts at Bible School and had emptied it out and sat it on the floor. Chloe imediately decided to take a nap in it. Now it was covered in cat hair so it now belonged to her. I didn't really mind because it was an old stained basket not much use to me anymore. As you can see Chloe like her new mat.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A New Top

I have had this fabric in my stash for about a year. It is a swim suit knit that I purchased from the clearance table at Hancock's. I was never planning to make a swim suit from it. I have been in the mood to make knit shirts for a while now. This kind of knit is so easy to sew and knit tops are usually a very quick project to complete. I used Simplicity 2852. This pattern has six views. But really just two basic necklines with various sleeves and hem lengths. I used view C without the elastic at the hem.

This top was so easy and quick. I started cutting it out at 3:00pm and finished in time for a date I had at 6:00pm. That is my kind of project. I used my serger along with my regular sewing machine. Actually you don't really need a serger for most knits especially these real stable knits. You just have to know when to stretch and when to let the fabric relax while sewing. You should stretch a bit while sewing the side seams but the shoulder seams need a piece of twill tape to stabilize and keep it from stretching. For the hem I just did a top stitched hem on my sewing machine. The hem is another place where you don't want to stretch to much but just let the fabric feed trough the machine at a normal pace. However this knit springs back quickly. It was very hot when I wore this top but I was very comfortable in this lose fitting top.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quilted Table Runner

I bought this batch of quilt squares last week from Goodwill Online. There were eight of these quilt blocks. I added the blue, pink and yellow sashing strips and made a table runner out of four of them. I added the sashing strips because I didn't really like the yellow at the outside edge of the squares. So I tried the blue, pink and yellow dotted fabric I had in my stash. I thought it had a vintage look to it and it matched the other colors in the blocks. After adding the sashing strips I liked the look of the blocks much better.

The quilt blocks were hand sewn together. A few of them were a bit stretched out in the center but I was able to fix them by taking a few of the seams in just a bit. Since the blocks were already sewn together I decided to do a quick project with them. I had enough to make two table runners one for me and one to give away. So far I have only finished the one for me. It is actually quite long so I may make the next one with only three squares. I didn't want to hand quilt it so I used a quilting stitch on my machine. I used a dark pink embroidery thread to do the stitching because I thought it tied everything together.

I don't do much quilting I think because it always takes longer than I would like it to. I prefer garment sewing. I do enjoy picking out fabric combinations for quilts and seeing how everything looks together. But most quilts seem like they take forever to finish and that is the part I don't like. This is not the best sewing I have done but I like it and I like the vintage feel of it. Maybe the next one will turn out better.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Some crochet

I took a little break from sewing and did some crocheting. I love crochet I taught myself when I was about 13 from a Woman's Day magazine. Well a friends mom taught me how to do the chain stitch when I was younger. But I believe I would have been able to pick that up easily by the pictures. I followed the diagrams and read what all the abbreviations meant and very soon I was able to follow a pattern. Really crochet is a variation of the same stitch (the chain stitch).

I like using cotton wash cloths and hand towels. I like making them because they are quick to finish and you can try a new stitch and make something useful. This hand towel is not a new stitch or anything fancy. It is simply single crochet with a single crochet border. I added the scalloped edge because I just thought it needed a little something. I got the pattern for the towel and the dish cloth from an older book I have called Crocheted Gifts in a Weekend. The daisy dishcloth was what the book called a pot holder. I am going to use it as a dishcloth it is not thick just one layer and a good size for a dishcloth. The pattern for the bag was a freebie I picked up in the yarn aisle at Jo-Ann. You can probably find the pattern on their web site. I used Sugar and Cream yarn for everything. All was completed in a weekend just like the book said.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I made another bag.

I liked the Weekender Bag so much I decided to make another one. I had another decorator sample books of suede cloth samples. These samples were all about the same size so I was able to match up a six by three grid of rectangles. I used the double sided buttonhole stitch to add a decorative touch to the seams. It made it look like laced together leather. I like to find opportunities to use one of the 400 decorative stitches on my machine. Most of the time using a decorative stitch just makes projects look homemade but every once in a while it adds the perfect touch.

I had a piece of rust colored suede cloth that was just big enough to make the bottom, gussets and handle. I added some pockets to the inside of this bag. The lining and the rust suede were both salvaged from a drapery workroom. These would have been thrown away as scraps but they worked perfectly for my bag. I even used this ugly fabric someone gave me as the interfacing. I needed something to give the bag a bit more body and this was a great way to use this fabric that I would never use in a place where you could see it. This fabric was to ugly to even use for lining.

The plum colored zipper I had in my stash. It was a two way zipper which was nice. But for a bag the sliders were going the wrong way. I had to change the direction from opening from the sides to the middle to opening from the middle out to the sides. I just cut off the stops and moved one of the sliders to the other side. Since my zipper was longer than I needed I was able to keep the excess in the seam so I didn't need to find another stop to keep the slider from coming off the end. So here is another bag from almost free supplies. I think the only thing I bought was the zipper and some Peltex for the bottom. The zipper came in a grab bag of 30 zippers for $7.00. If I see a deal like that I will usually buy it because I only have to use 2 zippers to save and I always have a collection of zippers for small projects. Sometimes the zipper color is not that important. I actually put zippers in the inside pockets and I had none that matched. So I used one pink zipper and one cream zipper but I am the only one who will ever see this.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A New Bag

While I could have been doing many other things yesterday such as cleaning my house. I decided I wanted to make something. I started looking through my collection of books and found The Perfect Handmade Bag by Clare Young. I love making bags and I use them all the time. I have several around the house with UFO's in them or stuff that needs to be put away or yarn or fabric. Sometimes I put all the things I need for a particular project in a bag so it is all ready to get started. I am trying to remember to take my shopping bags into the store with me when I go. I usually have them in the car.

My latest bag is The Patchwork Weekender. I used what I had in my stash and was able to whip it up in just a few hours. I had this decorator fabric swatch book I think someone gave me a long time ago. I think it is from the 70's or 80's. According to my book Sew Retro that is retro fabric. All the strips were the same width but they were different lengths. I used every scrap of fabric and I had just enough to piece together the front and back of my bag. The bottom, side gussets and handles are made with a soft suede like decorator fabric. And there is a zipper closing the top.

This bag is quite large about 18' by 22'. It sort of reminds me of the old fashioned carpet bags. It is definitely big enough to carry what I may need for a weekend trip. I think I may use it for an all day shopping trip as well. The handles are so soft that it would be a delight to hold over my shoulder. And it will hold a lot of shopping.

I love making projects that are so quick to finish. And I had forgotten that I bought this book about a month ago. There are several more bags that I want to try. I think the Owl Pocket Bag is adorable. The Ruffle-Top Purse is so cute and feminine it would be perfect for summer. The Fold Up Shopper would be so handy to keep in my purse. And I love the idea of The Packaging Tote. Actually there are so many adorable bags in this book. And another great thing about this book is that every bag uses recycled materials or scraps.

I posted this on Tea Rose Home link party. There is a button on the side bar.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day

I found this adorable flag tutorial At Second Street. I wanted to get in the spirit of The Forth of July and I had everything I needed so I tried my hand at it. I used a piece of Styrofoam from a packing box that held a piano. I still had some left from making the hieroglyphics for VBS. The Styrofoam was about an inch and half thick so I covered the sides as well as the front with fabric. The tutorial used burlap. I had some cream colored burlap looking drapery fabric and I used that for the background. I found some blue and red cotton in my stash for the stripes and the blue background.

I already had a bottle of Mod Podge. I tend to call it Modge Podge and I really don't know why. My daughter and I had a long discussion about that because she always called Modge Podge too. I have actually never used Mod Podge before. My daughter had used it in art class. I plan to do some more Mod Podging as it was really fun and so easy.

I will probably leave this flag up in my family room because I like it and it goes with rest of the room. I am already thinking about what other kind of art I can make with Mod Podge.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New Book

I received my latest book Sew Retro the other day. I love all the retro sewing projects beginning in the 1800's and ending with projects from the 1980's. The book contains a good history of sewing and fashion as well as general history which is quite informative. Although I could have done without the feminist slant to it. There are many biographies of historic figures as well as current designers. Several projects I want to try are the Sweet Sewing Basket, The Flapper Apron, Tea party Tablecloth and The Handkerchief Bag. It has that spiral stay flat binding that is so helpful to keep the book flat while following a project instructions. As well as a pattern envelope in the back.