Cork Reindeer

10-corkIt’s that time again – time for Christmas Stocking Swap crafting! This is my 9th consecutive year participating in this swap and is by far my favorite to make items for. Not only does it get me in the mood to start sewing\crafting for my friends\family, it gives me a chance to make holiday themed items I might not otherwise have the chance to create (or even thought of)! A great case in point: this cork reindeer.

4 corks, hot glue (only because my E6000 disappeared, the hot glue seems to be holding well), tiny bells\beads, and a trip down the holiday isle at my craft store is all it took to make this little guy.  I think he’s pretty cute and I have enough materials to make one more (for myself).


Linky Thursday

A pretty little pumpkin pincushion that will get your sewing set for fall.

Get in the mood for Halloween – make a Monster Bag!

Win a (mystery) box full of sewing goodies.

If you need a quick bag that makes a statement, check out this Clean & Simple Clutch.

Soft and comfy bracelets that are easy to make.

Need a new look? This 3/4 crossover top\dress is the perfect solution.

If you don’t do Halloween decorating, try fall instead. This Vintage Pumpkin Pillow is a pretty way to spruce up a room.

I love these travel changing pads for baby!

Getting chilly? This toddler ear flap hat will keep their head warm.

A sweet little tiny tunic.

I have some pans that the handles get hot (they are metal and aren’t covered) so this pot holder for skillet handles are perfect!

Summer may be over, but it’s never too late for a big bag like this Nautical Tote.

Have a child that loves Build-a-Bear? Hate paying so much for ‘bear clothes’? Now you can make your own with this free tutorial.

A quick and easy Robin costume – a perfect complement to a Batman or stand alone!

The Anima

10-animaYou probably already know that I’m a big Papercut Patterns fan – so many of their (more casual) designs really call to me. On pattern that I never picked up from their last collection was the Anima Pant - so when they put their patterns on sale recently, I decided to order it. I determined that I wanted to stay away from bulky fabrics with this one (because I don’t want to look bulky when I wear it), I went with a two-tone jersey (almost a slubbed knit) for the pants themselves and black ribbed knit for contrasting waist and leg cuffs…. I thought I would look trendy. Instead, I decided that this Anima didn’t work for me – but they looked fantastic on my daughter!

As for the pattern itself, I had some issues:

  • The pattern has a mock fly. I don’t really see the need for this because it’s small and doesn’t really add anything to the design, IMHO. Next time, I’d leave this off.
  • I DETEST the waistband construction. They took a simple pant design and made it 10x more complicated than what it needed to be. Next time, I’m simplifying it to speed up the sewing process and make it look neater on the inside (because this version is a hot mess).*
  • The drawstring isn’t really necessary since there is elastic on the inside already. For this version, I made a ‘faux drawstring’ – I just laced it through the two front buttonholes and tied it.

* The current waistband is is constructed by attaching the waistband piece to the pants, then attaching the elastic to the other side of the waistband, folding over to the wrong side and top stitching it to the pant. If found that the 2″ elastic that this pattern calls for doesn’t have a lot of ‘give’ so folding it over and top stitching is pretty difficult. Instead, I think I would use a slightly smaller (1 1/2″) knit elastic that has more give and insert that into the waistband like a casing.

Pattern: PaperCut Pattern’s Anima Pant


Fabric: Two Tone Jersey & Black Rib Knit from Joann’s
(not pictured)

Total Cost:

Pattern….. $11.30
Fabric……. $17.22
Notions…. $2.99

Total Cost $31.51

Adventure Time Crafts

10-adventureMy favorite type of books are the ones that are packed with projects – I love having a variety of ‘themed’ titles on hand for when the mood strikes me to make something ‘specific’. After seeing Rachael talk about her latest book purchase, I knew I had to get it for myself, too:  Adventure Time Crafts: Flippin’ Adorable Stuff to Make from the Land of Ooo… a book filled with all sorts of fun Adventure Time themed items. This title has over 20 different projects inside that cover a wide variety of crafts and skill levels – from needle felting and sewing, to crocheting and perler beads (and shrink paper too!). Easton was excited to get started so we went with something that even he could do by himself, Perler  Bead Coasters.

Since we didn’t have any of the items on hand to make this project, we went to the craft store and purchased a giant bucket of perler beads (11,000) and a set of peg boards (with a coupon it came to about $13, and there looks to be enough to make all the coasters in the book, and then some) and went to work. It was a great time spent with my youngest and we were really impressed with our finished coasters! The downside? Because we went with the perler bucket, we spent a lot of time rooting for colors which wasn’t so much fun.

I’m looking forward to doing more projects from this book (the reversible Jake\Cake stuffie as well as the Finn\Fiona hat are next on my list) and highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan (or knows a fan) of the show!

Crafty Superstars

10-stacyEach week Cut Out and Keep features a “Craft Superstar” on their site… and this week it’s me!

Join me all week as I share some of my favorite sewing tutorials from my site. Today’s feature is the quick and easy Flounce Dress. It may be too chilly to wear this strapless style where you are, but pair it up with a cute cardigan and you’ve got a great transitional piece for fall!

Made one for yourself already? Be sure to share pictures of what you made and check back tomorrow to see what tutorial is featured next!

Linky Weekend

Apparently when my husband travels for work several weeks in a row, I lose track of time because I totally forgot yesterday was Thursday! That means today is Linky Weekend! Which one is your favorite?

You don’t even need Halloween fabric to create this cool Quilted Skull Pillow. (This witch silhouette is pretty awesome too).

This week I showed you a Minnie skirt that I made for my oldest, now you can make a full dress for your youngest!

Perfect for school or dressed up for the holidays: The Blinged-Out Raglan Tee.

I have always love quilts with houses (although I’ve never tried it). Learn how to make your own Art House version here.

If you’re in the market for a new project bag then you’ll definitely want to check out this Reversible Box Tote.

I think this cute little fish costume may be one of my favorites yet!

Getting chilly where you are? Keep your hands warm and your fingers free with this Wrist Warmer tutorial.

Got wool? Create a cuddly cat - perfect for Halloween or gift giving.

Enter to win a copy of Betz White’s book, Present Perfect, and nab a free apron pattern, too!

Are you a shopaholic? Then you need to make this bag. Not your style? How about a fun Boho style bag with side pockets? Then add a fun Bi-fold Wallet into the mix to make a complete set!

Shark week may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be one this Halloween. Learn how to transform a hoodie into a great-white look.

“Pimp my stroller” AKA as toy stroller makeover. I love this idea!

The Long Wait

10-hipsterI have decided that I’m not good with fabric pre-orders, I’m more of a “I need it right now” (or within the next few weeks) sort of person. This fabric took 6 months from the time I purchased it until it arrived at my doorstep. Yes, 6 months. I knew that it would take at least 3 months (still an eternity in my book) for it to arrive, but all sorts of delays, including poor strike-offs, manufacturer fabric shortage, slow overseas shipping, etc. drew out the production time even longer. The website that I ordered from is friendly and they do a great job keeping customers up to date on the status of the fabrics, but I’m not sure I could do this again… I’m more of an instant gratification person. With that said, I do love this print and I’m excited to put it to good use. I had ordered 2 yards (now I can’t remember why I wanted so much), so chances are you’ll see a lot of this in upcoming projects!

On the Good Ship

10-originalEver since my oldest was little, she had perfect little ringlet curls – so much so everyone called her Shirley Temple. So when it came to “Celebrity Day” at her school for spirit week, Taylor decided she would dress up just like her. After searching the web, she found a photo of Shirley in a cute plaid dress, over-sized collar, and bow… this was the look she was after.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of dresses out there that fit this look for adults (I decided that if I would have had the time, I would have looked around for some 1980′s patterns because I’m pretty sure these were in style at some point back then) so I settled on something that had a similar collar and enough of a ‘feel’ that we could pull this off (and a good price point because when I went to buy patterns, nothing was on sale…. isn’t that always the way?). Consequently, I settled on New Look 6299 and a “Homespun” cotton plaid.

10-shirleySince I was pressed for time (I had 2-3 days to have this one completed), I pretty much sewed this one as is, except for elongating the collar about 1″ (so that it was more pronounced like the inspiration photo) and adding the bow. To speed up sewing I took several shortcuts: First off, I did not shoot for pattern matching (I just went with ‘close enough’) and since working with this pattern, would never suggest using a plaid with this design because there are too many seams to attempt to line up. Secondly, I didn’t finish the seams. This was actually a huge mistake because the homespun cotton seems to fray more than a standard cotton. Thank goodness this is a costume and won’t be worn a lot. Lastly, I slapped that invisible zipper in without much thought. It’s actually not bad for the amount of time I spent on it, but it certainly is not my best work either. Once I was finished we decided to shorten the dress by 6″….. we discovered 6″ may have been too much in the back (after the fact, of course) so I added a bit of lace trim to the bottom (a great cover, plus added an additional 1″ to the bottom edge).  Once I was done, I quickly whipped up a bow and tacked it under the collar.

Finding ruffled socks was difficult (even in the costume sections), so I wound up making my own. I found ankle length, nylon socks (on clearance!) and tacked the same lace that is on the bottom edge of the skirt around the top edge. Paired up with a set of ‘character’ dance shoes, I think they complete the look!

Pattern: New Look 6299, View A

Fabric: Homespun cotton plaid from Joann’s

Total Cost:

Pattern….. $3.99
Fabric……. $11.88
Notions…. $5.49

Total Cost $21.36

Present Perfect: Falling Leaves Placemats

10-presentSometimes, coming up with hand-made gift ideas for the special people in your life can be a difficult task. Take the mystery out of what you can sew for graduations, weddings, Father’s\Mother’s Day, baby showers, and more with Betz White’s latest title, Present Perfect. This collection of sewing projects include something for everyone: cuddly toys for the little ones, beautiful and functional home decor, stylish accessories (think aprons, hats, and scarves), and her fabulously designed bags and pouches for both women and men. No matter what your skill level, beginner to expert, you’ll easily find a project inside to create.

As I gear up for autumn, I had the fantastic opportunity to sew up one of my favorite projects from the book: Falling Leaves Appliques Placemats.


I loved this project on so many levels. First off, it gave the opportunity to work with a wide variety of beautiful fabrics. It also allowed me to do something I don’t often have an excuse for – quilting. While I am generally a garment\bag sewer, I have been know to whip up a quilt or two. These placemats allowed me to do some fun stitching on a much smaller scale – not to mention the fact that my finished placemats brights up my table this fall.

10-leafThe sewing on this one is actually quite easy – I definitely think a beginner with some experience could stitch this one up without difficulty….. you don’t even have to know how to free motion quilt to do it. In fact, I didn’t even free motion quilt it! Yes, you heard me right, I ‘cheated’ and used a decorative stitch on my machine (a ‘faux hand stitching’ design) when I appliqued my designs. Then I went over my original stitching, creating a wavy, meandering line to give it that ‘free motion’ look. Other options would be to use a ‘blanket stitch’ or even a straight stitch to tack down you leaves. Easy!

10-coastersOf course, I couldn’t stop at creating just the placemats, I used the same design elements to make matching coasters, too! In fact, I liked this idea so much, I’m thinking that these would make great teacher gifts (paired with a mug, cider\cocoa\tea, stirring spoons, etc.) this Christmas or even teacher appreciation week.

Want to know more about the projects inside Present Perfect? Be sure to watch the video below and check out all the blog links for more projects, excerpts (don’t forget to grab your free apron pattern from Sew Mama Sew yesterday), and giveaways! Or you can buy your copy now directly from Interweave – now on sale for $19.88!

Happy Home
10/6: Sew Mama Sew – Make & Bake Apron
10/7: Stacy Sews – Falling Leaves Appliquéd Placemats
10/8: House on Hill Road – Hot Mitt House & Tea Towel Set
10/9: A Happy Stitch – Sweet Life Pillow

Memorable Moments
10/10: Sew Sweetness – Wool Courier Bag
10/13: Raspberry Sunshine – Gentlemen’s Travel Case
10/14: Pink Chalk Fabrics – Pasha Pleated Clutch
10/15: The Long Thread – Eye Candy Glasses Case
10/16: Made with Moxie – Cargo Tablet Sleeve
10/17: Bijou Lovely – Coffee Cash Coin Pouch

New + Little
10/20: Flax and Twine – Forest Friends Finger Puppets
10/21: Imagine Gnats – Bib, Rattle & Burp Baby Set

Mostly Circle Skirt

10-minnieThis Friday is my daughter’s Homecoming and that means one thing – Spirit Week! This year she knew each day’s theme well enough in advance to gather ideas as to what she wanted to do… including several projects for me to whip up.

One of the days is “Disney” themed. Because she doesn’t have a favorite character, she browsed Pinterest and came up with the idea to be a simple Minnie Mouse (skirt, black shirt and tights, ears) – with me ‘whipping up’ a skirt. Come to find out she wanted a circle skirt….. I found this out after I had purchased only 1 yard of 45″ fabric.  Determined to not go out and buy more material (we’ve already socked quite a bit of money into this week’s outfits), I set out to make a circle skirt with only 1 yard. Impossible? Not really. Perfect? Not really. Passable? Yes.

To create this skirt: I folded the material in half, and drew an arc from each end of the 36″ cut (I just winged it) – this is not going to be a perfect circle, it’s more of an egg shape…. it is, however, really close so that no one can tell. Next, I created an inner circle large enough for her to comfortable slip over her hips. I cut the 3″ elastic to a comfortable length, sewed the seam, and attached the skirt (and then hemmed). Overall, super easy – in fact, the planning (of how I was going to make 1 yard work) took longer than the actual sewing.  Whew! One day down, 4 to go!