Monthly Archives: January 2009

Crafty Book Giveaway Week: Day 1

Welcome to a week of crafty book giveaways! Up for grabs today is Claire Garland’s Toys to Sew. This book is full of projects that will help you create dolls, clothes, and accessories (they even have a great, plush tea set). Patterns are included, but you’ll need a copier to enlarge most. If you’re interested in learning more about Toys to Sew, can read my review of it here.
Wanting to win this book? Leave a comment in this thread (one per person, please) by midnight (CST), Saturday, January 17 to be eligible. One winner will be drawn on Sunday, January 18 and announced on the site. Good luck and don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a new book giveaway!

Pattern Matching Too Late?

With the tracing and ‘test pieces’ out of the way, I started cutting into my Boulevard Jacket fabric – a beautiful houndstooth doubleknit from Gorgeous Fabrics. I was really excited to work this is material, but as I started I realized something – pattern matching! This jacket has lots of pieces (even the sleeve is two pieces) which means lots of matching the fabric print at all the seams. Unfortunately I realized this a bit late, so I’m hoping I don’t get some bizarre looking jacket once it’s all sewn up. I do have a good bit of material left over (thanks to creative pattern placement and Ann’s generous cuts) so hopefully I’ll be able to re-cut pieces that may be off too much. Bah, where was my mind when I started cutting this out?

Some Fabrics Aren’t Meant to Be Muslins

After an afternoon of tracing the Boulevard Jacket I’m happy to say that I’m ready to start cutting into my fabric. Before I start, I wanted to check the sleeve width around the bicep area. I had measured mine and made some adjustments to the pattern, but I was still worried. So I went to my fabric stash and pulled out the ugliest fabric I owned to make a quick muslin. I cut out the sleeves and started sewing attempted to sew them together – no matter what I did, changed stitches, re-thread the machine, new needle, etc. I kept getting skipped stitches. It was so bad that it wasn’t even zig-zagging, just making a straight stitch (I’ve never had that happen before)! So here’s where the rest of the material ended up:

In the trash. I’ve determined that some fabrics just aren’t meant to be muslins.

Linky Thursday

Win a one-of-a-kind plush skull from Lana Crooks!
I absolutely love BurdaStyle’s latest pattern, the Larissa.
Free half apron tutorial from the author, A Is for Apron. [link via WhipUp]
Glass fusing in your microwave! I’m going to have to eventually track this product down and test it out.
More information on CPSIA legislature, how it effects you, and what you can do about it.
Skilled in the ‘found art’ genre? Submit your work for a new book published by Lark!
Finally, a game just for crafters (for some great detail photos, check here)!
I’m going to have to remember this Stuffed Buche de Noel tutorial for next Christmas – it’s too cute not to be made!
Give your furry little friend a new toy – here’s a simple catnip mouse to keep them occupied.
Seriously, $975 for a sewing kit? This DIY version is so much less expensive.

First Project Of The New Year

I managed to put the finishing touches on my v-neck shirt – attaching the neckline and adding hems. While the fit is fine, the color is absolutely dreadful on me. I’ll wear it a few times, but I don’t see this making it beyond one season. I do plan on making this style again in the future, though – just in a different material.
Now to start tracing off the Boulevard Jacket. After a quick glace, this pattern has quite a few pieces so marking everything should take awhile (not to mention the cutting)!

Upcoming Giveaways

It happens several times a year – some internal cleaning clock goes off and I feel the sudden urge to organize, purge, and straighten rooms in the house. My latest target? My sewing room. Instead of finishing up my Jalie top (I have the V-neck to insert and hems to put in), I tackled my cutting table, bookshelves, desk, etc. (I still need to sort through stashed patterns). The result? A week-long book giveaway! That’s right, I’m de-cluttering some of my books (to make room for more!) and thought I would share with those that are interested in increasing their sewing library. So, mark your calendars – starting Sunday evening I’ll be giving away one new book (published within the past 2-3 years) each day for 7 days.
Now that my area is clean and no longer distracting me, I can get back to the business of sewing!


Do you hear that? It’s the whir of my sewing machine! Now that the holidays are over and everything has settled down around here, I’m able to sit in front of my machine and work on some projects. The first, the pincushion for my latest swap (so no peeking Kelly).

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Projects For The New Year

Things are finally slowing down around here which means that I can make my way back into the sewing room. In addition to my latest pincushion swap, I’m planning on completing a number of projects. I’ve started listing them on the sidebar, but here’s a breakdown of each one:
I’ve had the fabric for the v-neck version of Jalie 2805 sitting on my sewing table since before Christmas. I plan on working on this first so that it will become the first completed project of 2009.
My second project, Hot Pattern’s Riviera Boulevard Cardigan-Jacket. I purchased the fabric and the pattern in late November and am determined to complete this before 1) spring hits and the jacket starts looking too fall-ish and 2) houndstooth goes out of style! I’ve got the notions ready to go on this one as well so it’s looking like this may become the second completed project of the year.
Another project I’m anxious to work on is Hot Pattern’s Metropolitan Good Times Dress, Tunic & Top. Even though I don’t wear a lot of dresses, I’m really attracted to this design and have already purchased a lovely RPL knit to finish the look – it may even match some awesome tights that I picked up this fall.
Lastly, I’ll start my transition into spring sewing by whipping up a pair of slinky knit beach print pants. For now, I’m planning on using Kwik Sew 3165 (which is the same, heavily altered, pattern that I used in my pants class just a few weeks ago). However, I may look around for a pattern that has a more relaxedcasual look to it.
I’d love to know what everyone else is planning on working on to kick start their 2009 sewing!

A Few Updates

Wow those pincushion swaps on Craftster fill up fast! I had just signed up for the latest swap and it’s already full and partners announced. This time I’m crafting a pincushion for Kelly of refibered. Hopefully, I’ll have time this weekend to put some ideas to fabric and start sewing!
Speaking of fabric, you’ll never guess what arrived on my doorstep yesterday evening? My order from Crybabys Boutique – three weeks (we’re very close to a month now) after ordering and zero contact from the seller (even after sending 4 separate emails). The material is wonderful and exactly as described plus there was even an extra yard of material that I hadn’t ordered and Taylor loved (I’m still not sure if this was a ‘bonus’ or just a fluke, nothing was attached to my packing slip). I really wish she would have sent back some sort of email letting me know what was going on with my package so I would feel more comfortable placing an order in the future. Consequently, I’ll probably stick with the Fabric Fairy (which I have also recently placed an order with). Here’s a preview of my order:

You’ll notice that the headphone fabric appears in this order too. When I thought I wasn’t going to get my Crybaby package, I placed my order with the Fabric Fairy and put this in my cart (you can tell I really wanted this material). Once it arrives, I’ll have 5 yards of it – way too much for what I was planning! I may sell 2 yards of it sometime in the future if anyone is interested.
Lastly, I did a bit of notions shopping over the new year. Want to know what $25 will get you? Here’s a shot of my goodies:

After all the box bags that I made over Christmas, I completely depleted my stash of large zippers. Since Hancock fabrics had them 50% off I thought it was time to load up, plus pick up a few separating zippers for future hoodie projects (there’s some thread in there and a handful of buttons as well).

First Linky Thursday Of The New Year

Just what every fabric junkie needs – 2009’s fabric forecast!
A great way to kick start you new year by sewing up something for your home. The Sewing Republic has a new video tutorial out – napkins and matching hand towels!
The new Ottobre is about to be released – want to know what’s inside? Here’s a sneak preview (sorry no photos).
Don’t spend $19.95 on those draft dodgers you see on t.v., make your own instead.
Know a beginner who’s looking for a cute, quick project? Here’s a coin purse tutorial that might just fit the bill.
I think my new, favorite animal of the moment is the owl – check out these cute owl pillows and jingle owl ornament.
I think I need to start sewing more with leather, Nikki made this laptop sleeve with it and now I’m in love. Click here for the pattern.
Ready to ditch the sweaters already? Here’s a tutorial to turn yours into a purse [link via Whip Up] or turn yours into a (2 minute) hat!
Received a lot of holiday tins this year? Here’s how to turn yours into something you can keep out year round.
Have a Dr. Who fan in your household? Whip them up this awesome tissue box cozy. [link via Geek Crafts]
How to prevent puckers when setting a sleeve into an armhole.
Show everyone how much you love sewing. Make yourself a tape measure bracelet.
Looking for a free sewing tutorial or pattern? Check out Free Needle, it looks as if there are several hundred to choose from.
How to make a silk scarf. [link via Craft]