Monthly Archives: July 2008

Linky Thursday

Ottobre Woman preview is up on the Wooly Thread. The pictures are too small to see the details, but I think I like the second top and the coat (not to mention the fabric in the first photo).
Starting tomorrow, You SEW Girl will be posting a month of tutorials. In the mean time, I’m bookmarking her Pyramid Purse Tutorial – these would make great gifts!
Two year’s ago I learned how to apply FOE (fold over elastic) and love it. Angry Chicken recently posted a great video tutorial on using this notion.
I couldn’t imagine doing this myself, but it’s an interesting concept – graffiti furniture (a.k.a magic markers on muslin).
A cute and easy wallet and coordinating checkbook cover. [link via Craft Gossip]
I’m currently working with Hoodie’s new collection of fabric, Morning Call, don’t they look gorgeous stacked up there? They would work perfectly for Craftster’s Happy Homemaker swap (yes, I’m thinking about doing this one!).
This Crafty Tool Belt is too cute – it’s almost like a pleated apron with a loop for your scissors! [link via Niki’s Ventures]
Craftzine’s free tutorial for a child size market bag.
Too bad Taylor is too old for dolls, otherwise I would make her one of these adorable Ruby dolls from One Red Robin’s free tutorial. I think I see one in my niece’s future…..
I’ve added another bag tutorial to my ‘must make list’ – Betsy Ross’ To Market purse. [link via label-free]

Learning Japanese

My Japanese craft book that I mentioned in yesterday’s post (ISBN978-4-8347-5630-2) arrived yesterday afternoon so I spent the evening looking at all the eye candy and attempting to figure out how to create some of the projects. I also did a bit of research and found several sites that that offer some simple (yet very helpful) translations:
My Little Mochi’s translation page is extremely helpful if you’re working with nuigurumi (stuffed animals).
Moving Hands’ translation blog entry contains a number of generic sewing terms.
A fantastic PDF for those of you interested in sewing clothing from Japanese magazines and books. It also includes a large glossary of fabrics, garments and their parts as well as miscellaneous sewing terminology.
Label-free has a series of posts devoted to Japanese Craft books including some basic sewing terms, determining your size, tracing a pattern, and determining what supplies you’ll need.
There are also several places that you can surf to find out more about some of the Japanese craft book and magazines that are available: Crafting Japanese, Crafting in Japanese on Flickr, and a very small Japanese Crafts group also on Flickr.

Japanese Craft

I’ve been giving some serious thought as to what kind of fabric I would like to use for some of my Amy Butler Little Stitches projects. One idea was to use some cute Japanese fabric (they always have fun themes like fairy tales and storybook characters) for a diaper bag. So while Easton was sleeping one afternoon, I spent time surfing sites like Superbuzzy, etsy, and eBay. While I didn’t buy any fabric, I did break down and purchase a new Japanese craft book – Fabric Toys to Make at Home (for ages 0-5).
It had some fabulous ideas for toys – the one that really got me was this one:

Plush toys that you ‘feed’! I couldn’t resist, I haven’t seen any patterns similar to this and thought it was a great idea. My other favorite:

Soft pull toys! Not only are you able to load them with items, but they look HUGE! I know it will be awhile before Easton will be able to use either one of these, but it gives me plenty of time to work on them. My book should be in the mail anytime this week (hopefully today) and I’m so excited to be able to check it out. Any other recommendations for Japanese craft books that I should know about (I think I’m hooked)?

Amy Butler’s Little Stitches For Little Ones

Let me start off by saying, when I found out that Amy Butler was writing a sewing for babies book, I was beyond excited. I had recently found out that I was pregnant and was envisioning all sorts of fabulous styles that I would be able to create for my newborn. So, when I saw that her website was selling the book (autographed) well before the anticipated release date (Little Stitches For Little Ones will be available at all retail locations in September, although it can be purchased at Amazon and in Amy’s shop now), I couldn’t help but buy one- immediately! My summary? In a nutshell, if I didn’t have a baby of my own right now, I’d have to borrow one (or encourage friends and family to expand their families) just so I could make some of the fabulous items out of Amy Butler’s latest book, Little Stitches.
Just as in her previous book, In Stitches, Little Stitches is spiral bound and contains sturdy paper patterns that are securely attached by an envelope in the front of the book. Additionally, there is a brief section on selecting fabrics for infants (which is important for comfort as well as style), how to take a baby’s measurements, and a glossary and techniques section which further illustrates methods used in the book (such as making and applying bias binding) . The rest of the book is devoted to the projects themselves.
Inside Little Stitches is 20 projects that are geared toward all levels of sewists – each project is labeled with a difficulty rating ranging from easiest (Brag Book,) to hardest (Quick Change Tabletop Set)… so there’s a little something for everyone inside. Most projects, however, are in the 2-4 difficulty range. These include some of my favorites: Kimono-Style PJs, Military Style Hat, The Everything Bag, Cheeky Monkey Laundry Bag, and Building Blocks with Take-Along Bag. Just as in her previous book and patterns, Amy’s instructions are written so that anyone can follow them – no technical language or jargon. They’re accompanied by lots of illustrations to help clarify steps and all patterns have a large photograph depicting the final product (so there’s lots of eye candy!).
Little Stitches is a beautiful book that encourages the sewer to create keepsake treasures for little ones – whether it be your own child or for someone else’s…making what Amy call’s ‘modern heirlooms’. I can’t wait to get started sewing up a few for my own children. Now if they would only nap so I could get some sewing done!

What Would We Do Without The Internet?

I have determined that I live in an un-crafty city. I am extremely thankful that I have a wonderful fabric shop that specializes in stretchknit material and if I am willing to drive an hour – one of the largest quilt shops in the country. However, when it comes to some other crafty ventures, things are tough to come by. Take yesterday, after a couple of hours searching several different stores (thankfully, Easton was very cooperative), I was unable to find citric acid for our bath bombs – I was barely able to find dead sea salts! Thank goodness for the internet – I was able to purchase several pounds (which should make plenty of bath bombs) for under $10 with shipping. While I was on the computer, I was also (finally) able to find my star material that I use for my superhero apron! I immediately ordered several yards so I should be set to make quite a few aprons in the very near future (can anyone say sweatshop?).
Now it’s time to have another cup of coffee, surf the net, and get to writing that book review for tomorrow’s post!

This Weekend

This week was full of activities – the last softball game of the season, a sports physical for the new school year, school supply shopping… All this made me realize, summer for us is just about over and in almost 3 weeks Taylor will be back in school. I think Taylor realized this too because she’s asked to do a number of crafty projects – the first one a purseclutch. As long as she’s still interested, we’ll be hanging out in the sewing room working on this together sometime this weekend. I also wanted to head out and get some supplies to make a few bath bombs. I figure this would be a good learning experience for both of us plus we are both addicted to bath products….
Also on my list for the weekend: 1) cleaning the house, 2) writing a review for Amy Butler’s Little Stitches, 3) Finishproof read my (upcoming) tutorials for The Sewing Republic website, and 4) cut out material for my next project.
What’s on your list for the weekend? Hopefully it’s finishing up a skirt for the latest sew along! Don’t forget your photo needs to be uploaded by July 31 for your chance to win!

Linky Thursday

Summer for the future Project Runway contestants – Fashion Design Camp.
I’m in love with these adorable stuffies – I may be ordering a few of these in the future.
A tutorial on how to make perfect curved patch pockets.
All this month, Making It Fun has had wonderful children’s projects using Michael Miller’s First Sight fabric – now here’s your chance to win a First Sight gift set.
Make sure you are cutting your patterns correctly. Here’s how.
Heather Bailey’s store is now open and taking (pre) orders. Yes, I already placed mine!
Tips and tricks learned at the latest ASG Conference.
Using painted bondaweb to create a coloured and textured background (gorgeous)! [link via Craft Gossip]
How to make your own pendant lamp shades.
If you haven’t tackled knits yet, has some good pointers to get you started.
Have a green project, stuffie, or original apron design? Here’s our chance to have your artwork published. [link via Whip Up]
Behind the scene look at Wendy Mullin (Built By Wendy)

Cannes Stripe Racerback

Sometimes a fabric calls to you – not just “buy me” but sometimes it screams what it needs to be made into. Such is the case the Cafe in Cannes Stripe Jersey – as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to make a sporty tank (I also thought the remnants would work perfectly as some sort of trim to a solid color shirt). This fabric purchase lead me to buy Jalie 2565 – and over the weekend, I finally brought my vision into fruition:

I had intended on lengthening the hem 2 inches, but I spent so much time lining up the stripes that I actually forgot to do this part – thankfully, it didn’t seem too short in this version to me! I also decided on using a solid black matte jersey remnant for the bindings on the neck and arm holes.
Overall, I’m thrilled with the results and the fit is wonderful (I’ve already worn it out). If I had to pick between Jalie 965 and this pattern, I’d definitely select 2565! If you’re interested in my Pattern Review of this top, you can read about it here.

Thank you!

Thank you so much to Lori from Girls in the Garden for nominating me for this award! I’ll skip the acceptance speech and will get the fun part – nominating 5 blogs for this award (this is the hard part since I have over 200 feeds in my Bloglines and I’m trying not to repeat any blogs that I’ve already seen with this award!):
assorted notions – There are a lot of garments that I would love to make, but sometimes never find the time to get to. Christina seems to make so many of the items on my wishlist – and beautifully!
Couture et Tricot – Tany has impeccable taste and her garments look gorgeous both inside and out!
Fehr Trade – I love Melissa’s creativity and style! She’s made some of the most amazing clothing from Ikea finds and my favorite, a duvet cover.
Stitches and Seams – Not only does Debbie share her personal projects (she’s prolific – I am amazed at how much she can sew in a week), but also lots of tips and tricks – with photos!
Susie Homemaker – Melissa and I have similar tastes in patterns and similar fitting issues (I’m not sure what her exact measurements are, but I suspect that they are very close to mine) so I often times I use her as my “clothing model” (if something looks works great for her, I’m more likely to sew it up and if it doesn’t work for her, I’ll bypass the pattern). She also makes adorable clothes for her kids.
Up tonight: A post about my completed Jalie Racerback tank!