Monthly Archives: February 2009

Little Man

I’m still working on my project from yesterday (well, this entire week) so there’s really nothing exciting to show at the moment. If I get finished today, I’ve got a couple of side projects (as well as some housework) that I’d love to get to. One of them is Jackie Clark’s baby overall’s pattern. I’ve wanted to get to this for ages (I even have the fabrics ready to go) and with the cold weather returning, Easton could use the outfit. Speaking of Jackie, she has a new line of fabric out, Little Man and Me (adorable! I love the owl print) and a Cute Kid contest running on her site. Now off to get that machine whirring! What are your plans for the weekend?


Sometimes you just have to play…..
Bret’s been traveling most of the week and Taylor has had off of school since Tuesday so there hasn’t been much sewing going on. There has been lots of playing, however. In fact, last night we saw Coraline (I loved all the details in the movie and the 3D was amazing).
I have also been playing with fabric – lots of it. While I can’t show you what I’m working on, I can give you a sneak peek:

I also managed to head out to Hancock Fabrics and pick up a few supplies for the Echino bag as well as a few extras. One item that snuck into my bag? Leisure Art’s Tattoo Tees. I loved the fun vintage looking transfers included in the booklet and for 50% off, I couldn’t pass it up. Now to find some shirts to embellish!

Linky Thursday

Amy Butler has two, new free patterns up on her site.
Instructions for making a hanging photo collage.
Don’t forget to use your coupon code STACYSEWS at MyCraftivityShop to receive 30% off your entire order (even clearance). Offer good through 3/31/09.
The Weekend Designer has come up with another great runway style… the Ruffled Handbag.
I love this cute little pyramid purse. [link via Whip Up]
Enter for your chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Bake It Pretty.
These Crooked Coasters are so simple yet look fantastic!
Yes, I’m addicted to bags – my latest find, this cute hipster (waistfanny) pack. [link via Craft]
I wrote an article on BurdaStyle earlier in the week about the demise of craft magazines. jcaroline had a bit more information on the subject.
How to create the Shreaded Tee. [link via Unsung Designers]
Sometimes changing something as small as a lampshade can change the look of a room. Here’s how to restyle yours into something different.
A look at Williamsburg Fashion Weekend in Brooklyn.
I swear Grosgrain has some of the most amazing projects…. most up for grabs. This week, it’s an Anthropologie knock off cardi!
So coffee may not have much to do with sewing (unless you’re like me and need it to stay up late and sew) but Not Martha is giving away Starbucks Ready Brew to 10 lucky readers. If you’re a winner, you can dress up your mug by making one of these faux corrugated cardboard sleeves.
Carnegie Mellon is conducting a study on Crafting Communites and Projects. Find out how you can participate.

A cute little Japanese charm pack giveaway.

Cotton Time

It’s been awhile since I made the kids pose for pictures, but since yesterday was Fat Tuesday, I thought I would break out the beads and have some fun. Unfortunately, Easton didn’t care for the Mr. T look so I never got any with him smiling….
In other news, my package from Superbuzzy arrived. Not only did I purchase the material for my Echino Boston Bag, but I also picked up a matryoshka print and my first Cotton Time magazine.

I’ve been interested in purchasing this Japanese magazine for quite awhile, but wasn’t sure what I was going to get myself into (especially for the price), but when I saw an issue that I’ve been wanting, on sale, I couldn’t resist.

I was really surprised at how big Cotton Time was. Not only is it larger than a standard magazine, but it was much thicker than what I expected (with nice glossy pages too). There’s also plenty of pictures inside (so lots of eye candy, which is good considering I can’t read a lick of what’s going on) as well as lots of illustrations to help you create the projects inside. Speaking of, I was surprised at how many projects were included… I think I may have found a new magazine addiction!

Boatneck Alterations

Since the boatneck top is finished and I’m happy with the results, it’s time to start thinking how I can alter this top to look more like my inspiration garment.
First, I put on my finished top and marked off where I would like the upperlower bodice division:

Secondly, I transferred the markings to my original pattern pieces:

I retraced the pattern dividing the upper and lower bodice on both the front and back (making sure to add seam allowances) and made a test muslin:

From the test muslin (a horrid shiny, mylar lace that I picked up from, things look good so I think I’m ready to start cutting into my fabric.

Sew What! Bags

I know, I know, I need another bag book like I need a hole in the head, but as soon as I learned that there was going to be a Sew What! Bags, I immediately pre-ordered it from Amazon. After all, I thought Sew What! Skirts was great, so this one should be too. I anxiously awaited for my book to arrive and I have to say, I’ve not been disappointed! What’s so special about this bag book?
For starters, it has variety. Most of the bag books that I currently own typically focus on handbags with a tote thrown in here and there. Sew What! Bags has a little bit of everything for all sewing skill levels including eyeglass cases, tissue pouches, backpacks (drawstring bag worn on your back), messenger bags, and tool aprons. Yes, there’s tote bags included as well. In addition to these projects there’s also inspiration photos of how you can take the knowledge you’ve learned and turn them into something different (for example changing up an eyeglass pouch and making it a phone cozy).
Secondly, the photos of the finished projects make me want to sew up everything up. I know it sounds silly, but the fabrics Lexie Barnes’ uses for her bags are gorgeous. I even went on an online search for the Japanese Map print she used for the DJ Bag so that I could re-create the same adorable messenger.
The bottom line: I realize that most of the patterns in this book are not ‘Earth shatteringly’ different from what’s currently available in a variety of other books, commercial patterns, or even online tutorials. However, it does take some great patterns (not to mention display beautiful finished bags) and lump them into one place for easy access and instant inspiration. For $11.50 you can’t beat that in my book!

In The Mail

I was very excited when I opened my mailbox yesterday afternoon. Inside was my Bag of Talent Swap package from my partner:

I’m afraid the photo doesn’t do the bag justice – it’s absolutely gorgeous in person! My partner had adapted a pattern so that it has plenty of pockets for storage (here’s a shot of the inside of the bag when it’s open) and also included a matching covered notebook (with interior pockets) and cute s’more material. I love it! I think I’m going to get it ready for some outings this week with the kids – since Taylor is off almost all this week, I’m thinking we need to get out of the house and do some fun activities!

Echino Boston Bag – The Arrival

My Echino Boston Bag pattern arrived yesterday and I have to say I am so excited to get started! If you’ve been contemplating getting this pattern, but have held off because you were unsure of sewing in a foreign language, I want to put your mind at ease. Even if you don’t know Japanese, the illustrations should be enough to walk you through the bag’s construction. In fact, it looks to be (surprisingly) easy! The most difficult part is knowing how much fabric (I ordered WAY too much) and notions to purchase – between Superbuzzy and moving hand’s Japanese sewing and pattern translation I’ve come up with this list for those that are interested (these are approximations, you may be able to get by with less yardage if you play with pattern placement, etc):
Exterior Fabric: 1 1/2 yds of 43/44″ wide (110 cm x 130 cm)
InteriorLining Fabric: 1 1/4 yds of 43/44″ wide (110 x 100 cm)
Interfacing: 1 1/4 yds of 36″ wide (90 cm x 100cm)
1 20″ zipper (50 cm)
3 3/8 yards (3m) of piping
3 yards (2.6 m) of 1″ wide webbing


How many stitches do you think you take with your sewing machine in a year? This month celebrates my (loaner) Bernina 440QE‘s one year birthday and yesterday I discovered that I’ve sewn 360,000 stitches. One of my favorite features is that the machine reminds you to oil your machine every 180,000 stitches (at 2,000,000 it tells you to have your machine serviced, etc.) – I’ve done this twice, bringing me to my new total. I wonder what the average is?
After cleaning my machine(s), I decided that I would save pattern alterations for my boatneck top for the weekend and go with an instant gratification project instead:

I have a friend who’s birthday is coming up and thought I would make her a boxbag filled with goodies. I think I finally found the perfect interfacing too – a fusible heavyweight on exterior and lining. It really kept the shape, produced crisp lines, but really kept the bag feeling soft.
Lastly, I’ve decided I need to stop surfing the web. Last night, I found this – Yudu screen Printing Machine…. and I want one. Of course, I’d have to make a lot of shirts to make this thing pay off and I understand that the Yudu is quite large (where would I put it?), but I think it would be fun to play with! Anyone own one of these and would like to give me a review?

Linky Thursday

I caught the Martha Stewart show yesterday and watched them make this adorable felt Cherry Pie. Unless you’re more of a cake person, then try this tutorial!
Win the crafty book with the most memorable name – find out how you can get your hands on the Big Ass Book of Crafts by reading this post.
How to use Purse Tongue Locks. I’ve never seen these for sale before, but I would love to try them out!
True Up is holding a giveaway where you could win one of 3, $25 gift certificates to This and That of Japan. I’ve already picked out what I want if I would win (crossing my fingers).
Free 1/2 apron pattern from Selvedge magazine.
Even more pictures of the upcoming Ottobre Woman.
A little crafty Coraline info plus a link to child size knitting pattern to make a sweater just like hers!
Kwik Sew has launched a sewing forum on their site. I need more time in the day so I can hang out at all the sewing communities more!
Super easy, fluffy scarf tutorial.
Flower dot Lecien fabric giveaway at Bee Square Fabrics (by the way their Echino prints are 25% if you enter a coupon code during checkout).
Win a Crafty Chica-Fied Sewing Machine!
I love the new Hot Pattern‘s video’s on YouTube. The latest installment, Weekender Cabana T-Shirts (Part 1, 2, and 3).
Personalize your appliques.
Add an adjustable waist to kid’s pants. [link via Craft Gossip]
Love the Good Friends line from Anna Maria Horner? Here’s your chance to win some!
Can you believe this is a cake?