Monthly Archives: November 2008

My Favorite Gift Pattern

A few weeks ago, I made my first box bag. I think it’s safe to say, I’m addicted to sewing them;

I made two University of Kansas bags for one of my friend’s two girls – the whole family are HUGE fans. I filled these with bubble baths.
Taylor has a teacher who adores everything Hello Kitty. I had originally purchased this material for my Stocking Swap partner, but changed theme’s mid swap – however, it worked perfectly for a box bag! The material I was working with was a bit smaller than what the pattern calls for, the finished design is much smaller than the rest. Fortunately, it was just big enough to fill with some fun Hello Kitty goodies found at the $1 bins at Target.
The gold box bag is made from brocade and is definitely one of my favorites yet. Although it’s the same size as the ‘originals’, I eliminated the handle which I think gives it a more cosmetic case look.
The last two bags are larger than the rest (I cut the fabrics 18″ x 14″). One is going to my mother who is still using the original cosmetic case that I made her 4 years ago and the other is for my sister-in-law. It’s just large enough to fit her gift inside.

A Budding Seamstress

Yesterday afternoon, I was in my sewing room cutting fabric when Taylor came in and said she felt like making something. I let her browse my books and we came up with a project – the clutch from Amy Karol’s Bend-the-Rules Sewing. I let her pick any fabric she wanted and I think she enjoyed sifting through my stash and remnants. She settled on a brown and green swirl and a coordinating ‘paint by number’ style bird print. A little while later, Taylor had this:

I’m so proud of her! Taylor did all the sewing herself with just a little direction from me and she turned out a great clutch. She was very pleased with the outcome and that it sewed up so quickly. Now if I could find more projects like this for her to work on, I may have another sewer in the house!

So Much Pink

In my effort to make more items for Christmas gifts this year, I decided to put together a ‘themed’ present for my niece. Since she made an adorable Snow White this year, I decided to go with a ‘princess’ theme:

I used a purchased denim tote and added an outside pocket (in princess fabric) that goes all the way around the bag then stuffed it with fun items like stickers and a giant pencil. Then I filled the rest of the bag up with the marker roll, a coloring book, a DIY princess pillowcase, “Grow a Princess”, etc. I contemplated lining the bag with the rest of the crownprincess material, but the tote is already so (full of) pink, I thought it might look like Pepto. Hopefully she likes the bag and goodies, but I’ll let you know the final results after she unwraps it!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US! Today I’ll be engaging in the three F’s – (eating lots of) Food, (having) Fun, and (Black) Friday shopping. I’m putting off Linky Thursday so I’ll have plenty of time for cooking. I’ll be back on Friday with some more Christmas gift project sewing. In the mean time, I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Brown Is The New Black

I’ve managed to resist Gorgeous Fabric‘s sales for awhile now, but the other night I caved. I wound up purchasing 4 fabrics, although I originally had much more in my cart. I wound up taking some out when I realized that browns are my new black After taking an ‘inventory’ of what I own, I discovered that much of my fallwinter wardrobe items are mostly black – since then, I’ve been trying to introduce more color into my sewing.

What did I pick up? An “art jersey” print that will undoubtedly become one of my Jalie top patterns, a burgundy houndstooth double knit, an animal print mesh that will become McCall 5713 (I have a RTW top with a very similar style and LOVE the way it looks on), and a solid brown jersey that coordinates with the mesh.
My fabric purchase also lead me to buy a pattern as well. When I first saw Hot Pattern’s Riviera Boulevard Cardigan-Jacket I knew at some point I was going to wind up making it – now that I ordered a doubleknit, I had a reason to buy it!
Have you taken advantage of any Thanksgiving sales yet?

Christmas In The Mail

I think this will be the last time I use parcel post. I mailed my Stocking Swap partner’s package last week and it still hasn’t arrived just arrived, while she mailed me mine on Saturday and it arrived…. yesterday!!! Just look at all the goodies inside:

Carrie created an adorable stocking and matching bear stuffie for Easton. She also included a set of Christmas Weeble Wabbles… Easton tasted tested them both out and likes them all!

Last year Carrie made Taylor a stocking, so this year she sewed her up an adorable Hello Kitty bag and two matching ornaments. She also made Taylor a beautiful headband that she didn’t take off until bedtime. Also included in the bag were several other goodies including nail art, fun pins, a Christmas Wish List, and holiday socks (no doubt she’ll wear those tomorrow).

I wasn’t left out of the swap package either. Carrie made me a cupcake pincushion – which is funny because I had originally planned to make the same one for her before I decided to make this one. She also sewed me up a gorgeous purse (I’m going to be transfering everything to it tonight), and sent a pretty Biltmore ornament and fun Pimp Stitch tree kit! Lastly, she made a magnetic Bingo Christmas Countdown. I think it should be a fun and different way to start off the holiday season. T

The Basics of Corset Building

I’ve long admired corsets. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they look fabulous on everyone who wears them. However, corsetry is one thing I have never tried. I recently received The Basics of Corset Building: A Handbook for Beginners and have spent the past week and a half pouring over it.
Linda Sparks, owner of Farthingales L.A., penned The Basics of Corset Building so that it covers everything a beginner would need in order to make their first corset. Her book discusses the tools and materials you need before you begin (everything from selecting your fabric to learning about types of steel), how to properly fit and alter your pattern (Linda recommends Laughing Moon’s Dore and Simplicity 9769), and how to construct and build your waist cincher (how to set grommets, how to work with boning, making a muslin). With a little knowledge behind me, I’m feeling more confident about making my own.
Looking for some celebrity’s who have been recently spotted wearing their corset? Just check out this article I wrote recently at Threadbanger.

Stitch Magazine Review

When I first saw an advertisement for Stitch in Quilting Arts’ Gifts, I was immediately intrigued. I have a great love for magazines (I don’t always have time to read books and I find it’s a great way to learn a few techniques, find out about new products andor websites, and have several sewing projects at my fingertips – especially when a last minute gift is called for) and just by reading the cover shot, I knew that the premiere issue was going to be great. After all, it had full sized patterns inside! I received this issue in the mail early this week and I’ve been spending my free time reading it from cover to cover….. and I LOVE IT!
Let me say, if you’ve visited the website for Stitch, it really doesn’t do this magazine justice. At the moment, there are only a few projects (and free patterns) listed and these are not (IMHO) some of the most impressive items included in the premiere issue. When I read this magazine I fell in love with the “Well-Suited Messenger Bag” (cleverly made from wool suiting and cotton shirting fabric), the “Techno Travel Roll” (a great way to store those cords when you’re on the go), the “Baby Wrap Jacket” (I may just fall in love with fleece again), the Chakala Quilt, the “Take-Along Tote”, not to mention the full size skirt patterns. However none of them appear on the site (but I hope to make a few of these items and show you my finished projects soon!). In addition to the 25 projects included in the magazine, there are also sections devoted to new tools,books, and websites, and general articles (this issue discussed ‘green sewing’ and included an interview with Natalie Channin), but this is only a small portion of the issue (about 1/3). I really hope that Stitch continues to concentrate on the great projects and not so much on the tips and techniques as I think that several other magazines have that part covered.
The bottom line: Stitch is an absolutely great first issue from Quilting Arts that makes you wish it was more than just a special publication (there are 3 more issues plan for next year Spring, Summer and Fall 2009). With all the failed magazines lately, I’m really hoping that Stitch is here to stay.

Linky Thursday And A Winner

Before I start off the Linky Thursday I want to announce the winner of the Jalie pants giveaway…. the random number generator selected CShelley! Please send me your mailing address and I’ll send off the pattern to you. Thanks to everyone for entering and for their pattern suggestions, I plan on using them to help build up my wardrobe! Now on to the links:
I was very excited when I started playing play my new game that Wonder Woman was a playable character! But I’m not the only one who loves this heroine, Diane von Furstenberg’s latest collection is inspired by her, PR’s former contest Jack Mackenroth sculpts Wonder Woman’s costume out of chocolate, and Beyonce wants to play her.
I got my Stitch magazine in the mail the other day and absolutely love it so far. Be prepared for a review this weekend.
Nicole Mallalieu is giving away one of her new hat patterns.
Celebrity DIY Style: One Shoulder Dresses.
Spoonflower”s first fabric of the week contest.
Need a cute apron for the holidays, but don’t have time to sew one up? Try winning one here.
Vickie Howell wants to celebrate her birthday with you where you could win one of 35 crafty titles!
Runway show makes adult diapers seem fashionable.
Embroidery Treasures is giving away a quilter’s tape measure this week.
Win some fabulous Dallas Etsy swag. Visit this post for details.
The Domestic Diva’s daughter is desperate need of a kidney transplant, if you’re interested in becoming a living donor you can more about it on her blog.
FutureGirl is giving away some of her most popular patterns including her seahorse and sea creatures.
Grosgrain’s custom camera strap giveaway.
It’s not sewing, but just as cute – Heather Bailey’s Flower Pinwheel Pattern.
Missed buying Jalie 2005 before it went out of print? It’s now available for download here. Want to win a Jalie of your own? Just be the 500th person to review one of their patterns on Pattern Review.