Monthly Archives: December 2009

Behind the Scenes

The New Year doesn’t just signal it’s time to take down the holiday decorations – it also means that it’s time to do a little site maintenance. While there aren’t any cosmetic changes in the works at the moment, there are some behind the scenes things that need to be done. Be sure to keep your eye out for the 2010 sidebar (can you believe we’re already a decade into 2000?) and some of the projects lined up for the new year that should be appearing very, very soon.

A Little Christmas Money

With Christmas money in hand, I went out and blew it all yesterday. Not only did I renew my subscription to Burda, but I also bought lots of fabrics – and the timing of Needle Nook‘s 25 Anniversary sale couldn’t have come at a better time!

I didn’t really realize it until recently, but I love black. The photo seems to prove it too because here’s what I brought home: A bit of white interlock and gray thermal – I plan on making some shirts for Easton and I figured I may need some at some point, two different types of stretch lace, both coordinating and in black – because I am determined to make more lingerie for myself, a fun polka-dot ITY (I’m thinking crossover top?), a very dark eggplant slinky for the Scarf-Collar top, a black and white novelty stretch – it’s difficult to see but it’s made mostly of ruffles…. not something I would usually go for, but this fabric really caught my eye, and some black slinky – not only does it feel good and is wrinkle free, but I always think it looks fabulous on anyone who wears it.
Now it’s time to hunker down and get to tracing. I’m looking forward to sewing some of these fabrics up soon and tackling a few that are waiting for me in my stash. Anyone else blow there Christmas money already?

One Last Gift

I couldn’t help myself, I needed to make one more ‘gift’ before Christmas – a toddler sized backpack for Easton:

I modeled this one after the “Polly Pocket” one that he had found in Taylor’s old toy stash. Unfortunately he won’t wear it, otherwise you could see how it’s the perfect size for a toddler – it’s just the right size to store some favorite toys, a small snack, and a movie or two for the DVD player. Since this is my first ‘trial run’ for this pattern, I still need to ‘work out the kinks’: determine the best interfacing (I used Peltex for this one, but would love to find something that holds it’s shape, but is easier to sew) and figure out how to finish the inside of the bag. Here’s how the inside looks at the moment:

Now that I’ve managed to sew for everyone else, I think it’s high time I do a little for myself! Hopefully, now that the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, I’ll find the time to make it into the sewing room this week!

Keeping Organized

Looking for a way to keep yourself organized for the new year? Why not try whipping up one of these handy Hanging Accessory Organizers just put up on The Sewing Republic‘s website?
Speaking of the Sewing Republic, I’m a bit behind on sewing up my Square Draped T-Shirt. I got caught up in sewing last minute gifts that I still haven’t put this one to the machine…. yet. I need to get a move on this because my new Jalie patterns should be arriving very soon and I’m anxious to get to sewing them up. That also means a fabric shopping trip is in order, I’m in desperate need of some solid shirtings – can you believe my stash has very little?

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday with friends and family! As for our house, the gifts are unwrapped, most of the treats are eaten (by the way no one like the Sasbo Burger Drops – think of sucking on a slightly sweet, smokey, somewhat beefy candy. Needless to say it started my gag reflex after a minute of sucking on it!), toys are assembled, and parts have already gone missing. Now it’s time to relax, read up on my Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Kit, and feast on some wonderful food!

Linky Thursday

If you’re still needing some stocking stuffers, try whipping up a pair of these trendy, spat style leg warmers. Adorable!
Win a copy of Melly & Me’s book, Kaleidoscope.
Get everything you need to paint on fabric with this Surface Design kit – here’s your chance to win your own set.
There’s still plenty of time to make some of these quick, felt trees for your holiday table [link via Craft] or this serged version that can be used as gift tags.
Win a $50 gift certificate to the Fabric Bar.
Make a festive, flower hair clip this holiday.
Have some leftover gingerbread? Try making some of these adorable mini gingerbread houses for your mug.
For my next birthday, I want this cake.
Remember those slippers I was wanting to make last month, but could never find a pattern? This pattern is fairly close to what I was looking for and might just work!

A Bit Behind

It’s already 1 o’clock here and I think that I may have the last of my Christmas “to do” list items finished – just in time too because they are predicting some winter weather for us starting this evening and I plan on avoiding heading outside once it does. This means, of course, that I’m a bit behind on today’s post. Stay tuned later today for my review of Tiwnkle Sews and very possible a new completed project! Now, I think I might head out to the kitchen and do some baking…. or take a nap!

One Yard Wonders

You know you have it, that one yard of fabric in your stash that you’re not quite sure what to do with. After all, it is a yard, what could you possibly make? One-Yard Wonders takes that question and turns it into 101 projects! These projects range from home decor, pet and children’s items, stuffies, bags, and simple tops and dresses. Yes, some of them are nothing new, after all, we’ve seen tons of apron patterns and tutorials on the internet, but there’s plenty of clever, novel items that should pique your interest – the ‘Good Hat Day’ hat, ‘Summer Nightie’, and ‘Mitered Square Blankie’ just to name a few! Most of the projects in the book are quick to whip up (most can easily be made in an afternoon) with many having full size patterns. Even though the items contained in One Yard Wonders have different authors, the book is very cohesive (same format and tone) and has great photography.
The Bottom Line: One-Yard Wonders is a great title for beginners or anyone looking for lots of quick and simple projects that can be easily sewn in a day or less. However, if you’re looking for new, novel ideas or detailed projects, you’ll be sorely disappointed in this book.

Impulse Sewing, Part 2

With Christmas only a few days away, I thought I had better get moving on sewing up the rest of Taylor’s loungewear set. Since the shorts are already complete, I only needed to decide on a top. Since I only had one yard of the “when pigs fly” knit, I decided on Jalie 2565, the racerback tank. I had just enough fabric for this pattern and wound up using the french terry from the shorts as the neck and arm bindings to make sure everything matched (I know it sounds thick, but it’s actually no thicker than a mid-weight interlock). This top sewed up so quickly and I love the finished results – let’s hope that Taylor thinks that this pajama set is as fun to wear as what I imagined! How is everyone else’s holiday sewing coming along?

I Love Patchwork And Sew Liberated

Interweave Press was fantastic enough to send me two books to preview – I Love Patchwork: 21 Irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew and Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist – two books that I’ve been anxious for their release. I Love Patchwork was written by i heart linen blogger, Rashida Coleman-Hale, and is devoted to the art of zakka – Japanese goods that are designed for your home. Typically these styles are simple and clean and generally have some sort of natural linen fabric incorporated into the project. This book not only perfectly captures the zakka spirit (in fact, I had to double check to make sure that this book wasn’t translated from an original Japanese version!), but dresses it up by adding a patchwork element. I found myself bookmarking projects for future reference – the patchwork ball, cosmetics pouch, pencil case, the little lamb sofeit, and fabric covered box (you can catch a sneak peak at some of these projects here). Even if you’ve never worked with linen or patchwork, there’s a good section of the book to guide you through the selection, care, and sewing process.
The Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of Japanese craft books, love to create for your home, or just love working with patchwork, I Love Patchwork: 21 Irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew is a definite ‘must have’ for your bookshelf.
Most people know Meg McElwee as the voice behind Sew Liberated and the creator of popular sewing patterns such as the Emmeline Apron (you can see my version here). Now we can add author to her list of activies as she recently penned Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist! So, what’s this book all about? Applique! All the projects in this book, which vary in time commitment and sewing difficulty, have some sort of applique element added to them. Even if you haven’t used this technique before, there’s a large section devoted to the subject to help you complete the projects – from preparing the applique, finishing the edges, stitching, and techniques (which I found very helpful as I rarely use applique to embellish items). The best part, of course, are the projects inside. My favorite, the bags. I realize that I am a total bag junkie, but I have fallen completely in love with the “Capture The Moment Camera Bag”. Other projects include a gorgeous floor pillow, baby carrier, apron, duvet cover, and sleep mask. Patterns are included in a handy little pouch in the back of the book.
The Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of Meg’s blog and patterns you’ll love Sew Liberated! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go look for some notions to make that bag!