Monday, November 5, 2012

Enter to Win the Fabric for Life Sweepstakes

Enter to Win the Fabric for Life Sweepstakes: Share This Contest With Friends For More Chances To Win! Get 1 extra chance for every person you get to play through your link.. Share this EXACT link:

Wouldn't this be cool to win fabric for life.  I think I may already have enough fabric for three or four lifetimes.  But still it would be awesome.  Go to the link to enter.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Baby Gifts

It has been a while since I have had a chance to post something on my blog.  I have done a little bit of sewing but have not remembered to take any pictures.  I have had a couple of baby showers lately that I could make gifts for.  Baby gifts are fun to make.  I made a gift set for each shower.

 My initial idea was to make a cozy blanket.  I wanted it to be big enough to be usable past infancy.  I used snuggle flannel on one side and a soft ultra cuddle fleece for the other side.  The blanket is about 45 inches square.  The mom to be picked yellow, orange, and teal for her nursery.  This jungle print flannel was the closest I could come to those colors.  She knows she is having a boy.  The blanket is a simple project to make it was only complicated by the fact that the cuddle fleece is somewhat stretchy and the flannel is a woven fabric that does not stretch.  But I loved how soft and cozy the fleece was so I made it work.  I was able to use some of those hundreds of decorative stitches on my sewing machine to trim the edges with. 
 With some of the extra fabric I sewed two bibs and two burp cloths and a little tag blanket.  I have enough fabric to make one more tag blanket.  The tag blanket is about 13 inches square.  I used my stash of various ribbons and trims for the tags.  I wanted a lot of texture with the shinny satin ribbons and the taffeta ribbon and the bumpy grosgrain, even a few pieces of ric-rac.  I picked a different decorative stitch for each item.  I tried not to use to many satin stitches because they sew out so slow and they use a lot of thread.    The last blanket I made I trimmed it with a satin stitched leaf stitch and i had to change the bobbin three times before I finish sewing the blanket.  It looks better if you don't have to change the bobbin in the middle.
Look at this gift bag my daughter picked out.  Isn't it adorable and it almost has the same animals on it as the gifts I made. 

I made all these items out of two yards of flannel and one and a half yards of the cuddle fleece.  I purchased the fabrics at my local Jo-Ann fabrics.  I used thread  from my stash and two snaps from someones stash that I picked up at the auction.  A nice and easy to sew gift for a  sweet baby.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Vintage Apron

I had about a yard and a half of fabric leftover from the tie dyed bridesmaid dress and I was just dying to make something else with it. I thought an apron for the bride would be just the thing. After all I knew she would like it because she picked out the fabric.

I wanted to try one of my latest finds from the auction; this 1955 apron pattern. Aren't they all so cute. Each one only uses one yard of fabric even 35" or 36" fabric which was common in the 50's. My fabric was 45" and tie dyed which makes this project span a few decades. For some reason that makes me smile.

The apron itself was not an easy project as you would think an apron would be. The bias binding around the pockets and the top edge gave me fits. I am not that happy with the way it turned out but hey it is just an apron so all is good. The pattern had some tricky design details that I had to redo a few times. The picture looks like a simple design but the gathers at the side and the dart and the contrast waistband were more complicated than they appear. But I think it turned out nice overall. It is a good thing the person I made it for is quite small because this apron is tiny. The pattern claims one size but people must have all been tiny in the 50's or only tiny people wore aprons. That's why I modeled it on my mannequin. I would like to try the other two aprons in the pattern maybe I can figure out a way to enlarge them a bit as I don't have that tiny of a waist. Or I could just wait for Simplicity to reprint the pattern for different sizes.

Basket Lid Monogram

A few weeks ago I attended a county fair.  There were all kinds of businesses having free raffles and giving away things like pencils and pens and note pads and such.  Well this farm store was having a contest that I thought would be fun to try.  They gave away a basket lid like this.  The rules were to decorate it or find a unique use for it and bring it back to the store by Sept. 1.  All the entries will be judged at the store and there will be a first, second and third place.   First place = $75 gift card  Second place $50 gift card Third place $25 gift card.

My entry was turned in today.  I decided to use some of my buttons to create a monogram.  I enlarged a letter and printed it out for my pattern.  Then I just sewed the buttons on a piece of silk to fill it in completely.  I used some of my crocheted lace to give it a little more interest.  I cut a circle of foam core board to fit into the lid and I used three layers of batting to pad it out some.  Since the lid isn't perfectly round there were some spots where gaps appeared.  To make it look more finished and less like a basket lid I hot glued some ruffled eyelet around the edge.  And to finish it and fill in any more gaps I twisted a piece of this loose weave tan fabric over the eyelet and hot glued it in place.  I think it turned out pretty and I have been wanting to make a button monogram for a while now.  I wanted to tea dye the eyelet because it seemed a bit bright for the rest of more toned down vintage lace and buttons.  I didn't have time to do that and because this bright newer lace is at the back it works okay.  I tried some vintage lace that I had but that needed to have some starch to make it stand out and I didn't have any starch either.  This was definitely a project of use what you have.  Who knows maybe I will win a gift card.  I will let you know.

Bachelorett Accessories

This is my daughter modeling the accessories I made for her friends bachelorett party. I already had everything I needed in my stash except for the $2.00 plastic ti era. The veil is made by simply sewing a gathered piece of tulle the ti era. I suppose I could have glued it on but I had thread and needle handy and that seemed easier to me at the time. Hand sewing was the way to go here and it only took a few minutes.

For the sash I embroidered the words "Bride To Be" on a piece of white polyester using my trusty Bernina 200E. I haven't used the embroidery unit in a long time. So it was kind of nice to use that feature again. Made me want to think up something else to embroider. Then I just cut two long strips the width of the fabric, one with the embroidery and one plain. I sewed some gathered lace all around the edge and finished it off with a large snap at the end.

This is the kind of sewing I call down and dirty. Meaning it is not fussy and doesn't have to be perfect. It is just for fun, fun to sew and fun to wear for a fun night with the girls. I won't be going to the party but my daughter will tell me all about it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bridesmaid dress

Next week my daughter is going to be a bridesmaid in a friends wedding. The bride picked out the fabric for the dress and told all the bridesmaids they could pick out their own style of dress to sew. Fortunately my daughter has a mom who can sew quite well. However the fabric choice gave us quite a challenge. When we received the 2 and 1/2 yards of fabric in the mail we wondered how we were ever going to make a dress much less a bridesmaid dress with it. The fabric is a very large scale swirl tie dyed quilting cotton. And it has just about every color of the rainbow in it. The brides only request was that the dress be knee length and use this fabric. My daughters first thought was to use this fabric for the lining. She was allowed to pick a coordinating fabric to use with this main fabric. So we picked out this bright pink batik fabric.

For the pattern we chose McCall's 5094 view F. We used the tie dye fabric for the skirt and the straps with the bright pink for the bodice the waistband and the lower band on the skirt. The dress was very easy to put together which was a good thing because I didn't have a lot of time to make a complicated design.

This dress took about three hours to sew together except for the hem. But when my daughter tried it on the neck was to large so I had to make some alterations to get it to fit. I had to add some darts to the front and move the zipper in a bit at the back. Because of the way the dress was constructed the alterations took a bit of time because I had to unsew several parts to get to the area I needed to alter. If I had thought to do a bit more measuring before cutting out the pattern I could have cut the neckline smaller in the first place.

I think the dress turned out much better than I anticipated. And it does look adorable on my girl. But she has decided that she will only wear it for the wedding and will never wear it again. I guess that is the case with most bridesmaid dresses you never have an opportunity to wear them again. She does like the style of the dress if it were made with different fabric. Maybe we will try it with a fabric of her choice next time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Another tank top

I whipped up another tank top today. This time I used a tubular knit so the only seams needed were the shoulder seams. I only used a pattern as a guide to cut the armholes and the neckline. The fabric came in a batch of stuff I got at the auction so I am not sure what the fabric content is. It feels like it may be a cotton polyester blend. It does feel very soft and springs back to shape well.

I didn't want just a plain white tank top so I added a bit of embellishment to the front. I cut strips of the same knit and gathered them down the center to make ruffles. I actually cut them with a pair of scalloped scissors but you can't really tell once the strips were gathered. I sewed three strips at the front of my top before I hemmed the neck edge. After sewing them on I wanted something to decorate the centers. I first thought of some kind of narrow trim but I didn't have anything I liked. Then I decided this was a great place to use one of my over 400 decorative stitches on my sewing machine. I like to play with those stitches but there is hardly ever a place you can use them without looking a bit too homemade. I picked out a stitch that looks like a rosebud on a stem. I tested a few stitches out on a scrap. I like how this adds to my ruffles. I had to use some tearaway stabilizer under my fabric because the fabric wanted to get sucked down into the throat plate and get stuck.

I also got to use my new five thread serger I got at the auction a few months ago. I really haven't had a chance to play with this at all since I got it. I only tested it when I brought it home to see if it even worked. I came with the three row cover stitch set up. There was not an accessory box with it so I have to do a bit of research to see if I can find replacements of if the tools from my other sergers will work with this one. Mainly I need the tools that is used to replace the needles and move the position. Anyway I finished the armholes and the neckline and the hem with this three row cover stitch and the worked great. I think I have a piece of hot pink tubular knit in my stash somewhere and if I can find it I think I will make a pink tank top next.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


hop button

I found this pattern in a huge stash of sewing supplies I won at the auction for $2.00. I was intrigued because this pattern only has three pattern pieces for the whole look. The top is only one pattern piece with only shoulder seams and a seam down the back. I knew that had to be the easiest top ever to sew.

The pant-skirt as the pattern envelope calls them only has two pieces the main skirt piece and the waistband. So even though I was sceptical about the style I wanted to try them out too. I think they may be to old fashioned. I am not sure about them because even after making them and trying them on I kind of like them. Looks more like a skirt than pants so maybe I could wear them in public.

The top on the other hand I will definitely get some use out of. This will be perfect to wear to work. It is hot in the back room were I work but I must wear a jacket when I go out on the floor to fit people so I always wear something sleeveless under my jacket. I do plan on making this top again.
I think the original owner of this pattern had made the top many times too. But had never made the pant-skirt because those pieces were uncut. I had to make the pattern a bit larger because it wasn't in my size. I used a cut and spread method and added some extra paper to what would have been the side seams. The pattern didn't actually have side seams but large darts to give shape to the sides. I also had to do a bit of repair to the darts on the pattern because it had been used some much. They were perforated from a tracing wheel and tracing paper to the point that they were almost cut out completely. So I glued the piece to another paper with spray adhesive. I may trace it onto a piece of lightweight interfacing at some point. I wanted to see how it fit before I did anything else.
hop button

Aside from enlarging the size I did make the top about three inches longer. You can't tell the length because I have it tucked in the picture because I wanted you to be able to see the skirt better. I hits me about hip length. I made the skirt a inch and a half longer because the picture on the envelope looked quite short to me. I can always make it shorter if I want. But making things longer is not as easy to do.

The top is an easy make again project. It would have been even quicker and easier if I hadn't used the ruffled fabric. The ruffled fabric can be a bit tricky making sure all the ruffles are going in the right direction. Next time i may try it in a plain fabric and add some embellishments. This top is simple and just asking to be embellished. The pattern even shows an apple applique or a ribbon bow. I don't think I will be using the apple idea though. And I probably will not make the pants-skirt again even though it fit well and was super easy.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Brides Apron

So after deciding to make the camo apron for the groom I had to come up with something suitable for the bride. While I didn't want to make the bride a camouflaged apron, I did want it to kind of go together. I wanted hers to be more feminine but still in keeping with the nature theme. So I picked out this flower twill that has been in my stash so long I can't remember where it came from. The large eyelet ruffle was something that was given to me and the small eyelet ruffles around the pockets I have had in my stash for a very long time too. I used the same ripstop cotton in olive that I used on the grooms apron. I think using that same fabric on both aprons is just enough to coordinate them. His being tough and manly and hers pretty and girly.
This was a retro pattern from 1979. It is Simplicity 9209 and I made view 1. This pattern came from a box won at the auction. I am getting quite a collection of old apron patterns. This one took a bit longer to make than I anticipated. But still it was pretty easy to sew together. It was more time consuming because of all the bias trim around every edge. The pattern called for premade bias trim but I wanted to used the olive fabric to match the grooms apron. His had only a bit of bias used as ties and to finish the sides. But I already had some bias strips left over from cutting his out. I pretty much followed the pattern exactly except for making my own bias trim. I think it turned out adorable. I hope they will use their aprons and have fun cooking together.

Camouflaged Apron

I needed a wedding gift for some friends. They are a couple who have already established two homes and now merging into one home. So they really don't need the traditional wedding gifts. But I wanted to make then something personal. The man loves to be in the woods and wear camouflage clothes. Even a lot of his every day clothes are camo prints. They even talked about using that color scheme in their wedding. So for him I decided to make a camouflage barbecue apron. I am making her a more feminine apron with flowers and ruffles.
I used a McCall's patterns 2947. I got the patterns in one of the boxes of stuff I won at the auction. It was printed in 2000 so I am not sure if it is still in print. I used view H which is a very simple style of apron. Very easy to make. The fabric I used came from JoAnn Fabric it is a tree print camo. It wasn't in the clearance section nor was it on sale but I was able to use a coupon. The olive ripstop cotton I used for the pocket and the trim ties was from the clearance section and of course I bought it when the clearance was 50% off. The only changes I made to the pattern was to make the apron about 3 inches longer because the groom is very tall. I hope he likes it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

9 Square Dishtowels

My latest small sewing project was these embellished dishtowels. I wanted a quick creative project that didn't take a lot of brain power.
These didn't take long to make and I had everything on hand. I had a package of waffle weave dishtowels just waiting to be embellished. And somewhere in my stash I came across a box of vintage fabric squares. A few were already sewn into 9 patch blocks. I simply sewed the patches on my towels on point with my handy blanket stitch on my sewing machine. Quick and easy. Cute too! http://www.myrepurposedlife.netPhotobucket

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hanky Curtains

I picked up this premier issue of Vintage Style magazine the other day. The picture on the cover caught my eye. Curtains made out of an old sheet and some vintage hankies. I thought this would be a great use of some of my collection of vintage hankies. And I needed some new curtains for my kitchen. Even though I have a huge collection of hankies I always feel bad about cutting them up. This project was perfect because you don't cut the hankies but just apply them whole onto the background fabric. Instead of using a sheet I used part of a damask tablecloth I picked up a the auction. My tablecloth was not in perfect condition it had a few worn spots. So I didn't feel bad about using it for my curtains. The tablecloth has that pretty fagoting edge that I used as the bottom edge of my curtain. Notice the one round hanky. That is the only round hanky I have so I thought it added a cute surprise to my curtain.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Knitted Tea Towel

I like knitting simple useful projects like this tea towel. It is something I can finish fast and knit without having to think about it much. I got my idea for this from Page's Soft Cotton Knit Dishtowels . Her towels are much smaller than I wanted but I got the basic idea. I found a huge bag of cotton yarn for five dollars at my local Goodwill Store. It is South Maid Cotton 8. Most of it is white or ecru and a few peach and periwinkle skeins too. It is finer yarn than Page's towels used so I adapted the pattern to fit what I had. I used size 5 knitting needles and I cast on 70 stitches. My towel ended up about 14 inches by 18 inches.

I picked up these three vintage dishtowels a few weeks ago at the auction. They were among three boxes of household linens that I won for only $4.00. They are in really nice condition one has several stains but I may try a more aggressive washing to see if I can get them out. Or I may just use it as is. I patterned my knitted dishtowel after these. I have been having so much fun going to the auction and coming home with my new old goodies. I already completed another project with some other things from this buy. I will show this soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Aurelia Cardigan

Something I sewed up recently is this cardigan from Sew Liberated . This was a very quick and easy pattern to sew up. The pattern calls for knit fabric for the main part of the cardigan and then a woven lightweight fabric for the skirt and the ruffles. I wanted to use this grey and black flocked velvet knit for my jacket. I used a lightweight black knit for the skirt and ruffles. I cut the largest size and it fits but I would have liked it a bit larger. I think part of the problem is because my fabric wasn't quite as stretchy as it should have been. I like it for the most part and I have worn it several times. It is a very casual look. I think since I used such a dressy fabric it makes it look less casual. I will probably make it again in a stretchier fabric and I may cut it a bit bigger too. They show it belted on the pattern envelope. I tried it belted and it was ok but I didn't think the belt would stay in place because I don't have a defined waist. I wore it with a large pin at the front waist and that worked well. I also just wore it open and I liked that look too.

Thread Cabinet

I love this thread cabinet I picked up a few weeks ago at a local auction. I paid a bit more for it than I wanted but I knew I probably wouldn't see something like this that often. It is really good condition and it even had a collection of wooden spools of thread. The front glass panel lifts up so you can pick your thread color. And there is a hinged panel at the back for refilling. The two drawers at the bottom can store other miscellaneous notions. Now I must get my sewing room organized so I can display my new thread cabinet. The four jars of buttons on top are also a purchase from the auction. I always find buttons and sewing boxes there. I don't think I have ever been there when they didn't have at least one jar of buttons. I will be posting more of my cool finds.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ham Apron

I have been attending an auction most Thursday nights. They seem to have all kinds of things up for bid that I never knew I needed. Well a few weeks ago I won this stack of various fabric items such as feed sacks and money bags. Even a couple of vintage aprons. There were several fabric sacks that country hams come packaged in.

When I got my newly acquired goodies home those ham sacks were telling me they wanted to be an apron. My first thought was to sew two of them together down the folded edge because they already had that rounded shape for the hem of an apron. The fabric is rather thin even when doubled and I wanted a bit more body and durability. So I decided to cut off the serged edge and open the bag flat. I went through my stash and found what I needed to line the apron with and that cotton sateen gave it the weight it needed.

I wanted to used some ruffled lace and some trim to tie everything together. The burgundy cotton and the black and cream gingham worked well with the labels on the ham sack. And I had enough to do what I had in mind. Yay!! I used one entire ham sack for the skirt of the apron. For the bib I just cut out the name side of the bag. I like aprons with bibs as I need full coverage. I know that I will not limit my messes to just the bottom half. I am really happy with the way this apron turned out. I had a general idea of what I wanted and then I kind of adapted my idea to use what I had on hand. I love the results.

Somewhat Simple

The 36th AVENUE Photobucket