Monthly Archives: December 2009

Upcoming Book Reviews

If you’re like me, one of the items on your Christmas list is a gift certificate to Amazon. I have an ever growing wish list which usually contains numerous sewing books. So, in an effort to help you decide what books you might what to pick up after the holidays, I’m going to be posting reviews of some of the latest releases that haven’t yet made it onto the site. In the mean time, be sure to browse some of the previous titles in the Book Review section.

Linky Thursday On Friday

I guess I’m not much of an entrepreneur. I can’t see sitting in front of a sewing machine for 13 hours and having it still be fun.
Because A Christmas Story is one of my favorite movies of all time. [link via Craft]
If you need a quick, yet stunning ornament for a work or school gift exchange, check out Betz White’s Felt Ogee. If you’re needing some wool felt to make a few of these, be sure to stop by C&T Publishing’s blog for a chance to win some!
Sewn is having their own version of the 12 days of Christmas. Stop by and enter each day for your chance to win some fantastic prizes!
Still need a few more gifts? How about mommydaughter aprons or this fun little Christmas number? [link via The Apronista]
Today is your last chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Brooklyn General Store.
Be sure to vote for your favorite(s) in Spoonflower’s latest contest, Children’s Clothing Pattern on a Single Yard. There are some outstanding entries!

Seeing that we’ve gone to a ‘toddler safe’ tree this year, I think these
Dragon Boat ornaments would definitely spruce up our little pine.
If you love The Fabric Fairy as much as what I do, you’ll want to enter their blog contest. Just leave a comment telling what your favorite handmade (either received or you made) gift is for your chance at a $10 gift certificate.
Good information on how to store your thread.
A cute bag with an amazingly easy tutorial. Perfect sewing for a last minute gift.

Meet Sheila

It appears that my cold is showing no signs of weakening (I’m getting tired of sneezing, coughing, blowing my nose, and being just plain run down). Consequently, I’m giving it a name, Sheila. I figure if it’s going to linger like an unwelcome guest, we might as well be on a first name basis. What does this mean? I just didn’t have the energy to post a Linky Thursday. I’m hoping that with enough medicine, Sheila will at least ‘take a nap’ so I can accomplish something for a couple of hours.
Even though I haven’t sewn anything in several days, I have been thinking about sewing. First off, I realized I will not be making Taylor’s Christmas dress this year – there’s just not going to be enough time. I had planned on using a lovely silk chiffon (with a matching lining fabric) that I had picked up from Sew Much, but I know that working with this material will make sewing slower and I don’t want to pressure myself to get it done. Secondly, Easton needs his own backpack. Sometime last week, he discovered Taylor’s old Polly Pocket sets (one came with a see-through backpack with pink piping and teal zipper and straps) and has been toting it around the house (along with his Little People fire station) this week. For now, I’m going to try out Blueprint’s free tutorial and pattern – it seems to use very little fabric (some fat quarters) and promises to sew up quickly (no zipper). Hopefully over Christmas break I’ll find some time to develop my own – I’d like to have one with a zipper so you’re able to see everything easily. Plus Easton has started unzipping his current backpack himself some (now if we can only get him to stop concentrating so much on ‘doing’ and more on talking) so a zipper shouldn’t limit his ability to open the bag himself too much.
So what has everyone else been working on?

Pretty Virus, But I Really Don’t Want One

With the change in seasons comes the inevitable, colds (the photo on the left is a cold virus – even though I think it looks cool, I really don’t want it invading my body). That’s exactly what I have at the moment and it’s really messing with my productivity – keeping up with the house, wrapping presents, and sewing. The most I’ve been able to do is rummage through my stash to find a coordinating yet contrasting piece of fabric that will work for the gussets in the Square Draped T-Shirt – so far, a lot of what I’m finding might make it look like I’ve got some sort of weird sweat stains going on. I’d like to avoid using the same material in this area since I think the gussets are part of what makes this shirt so different, so I may opt for a lighter shade of gray.
In other ‘sewing news’ did anyone check out the new designers for the upcoming season of Project Runway? Have you picked out your favorite yet (or better yet, possible drama queen)? By the way did anyone else think that Mila Hermanovski look really familiar, or was that just me?

Impulse Sewing

Aside from the pajama pants that I made the other day, it’s been awhile since I’ve sewn anything for Taylor. I thought that I would make a few items that I could put under the tree. One of her favorite things to wear around the house are knit shorts (it doesn’t matter the season, she wears them), so I thought I would start with that. I ‘shopped the stash’ and found a fun flying pigs print that I had picked up from The Fabric Fairy several months ago. The material itself was too thin to use as shorts so I decided to turn it into a tank and search around for something to use for the short. Yes, I just made more work for myself.
Surprisingly, I found a matching french terry that I had used for a pair of Burda track pants. So after some tracing (I used Kwik Sew 2489 minus the side slits), cutting and sewing, I had this:

Now onto planning for the tank!

Owl Love

Over the weekend, Taylor had a few friends spend the night. I figure that she needed something ‘new’ to wear and decided to whip up a quick pair of pajama bottoms, just for the occasion! I wound up using my TNT pattern (tried and true), McCall 3019, however, I made some major revisions. First, I lowered the rise by 2″. It sounds like a lot, but these pajamas are really too high for my taste so I knew that they would be for Taylor for sure. Since this cut into the placement of the pockets, I eliminated them all together (she wouldn’t use them anyway). The last change I made was shortening up the length – maybe shaving off 2 1/2-3 inches from the legs.
I searched the stash for a good fabric and found this adorable owl flannel from Joann’s… already washed (I believe I had gotten it last year and had intended on using it then)! The only down side to this material is that it’s short on width so you need extra yardage to make a pair – good thing I had bought 4-5 yards (now’s there’s plenty left over to make a set for myself).
I would like to say that this will be my last set of pajama pants for awhile, but I think I’m still in ‘lounge wear mode’ and will undoubtedly make more soon. I’m thinking Bel-Air might have to be next. Who’s with me?

Holiday Shrug

With just a few quiet hours to myself, I headed to the sewing room and look what I whipped up, my very own Slinky Shrug. This has to be one of the fastest, easiest projects that I’ve worked with in a long time. I used my serger (if you have one, I highly recommend using it with this particular project) for the entire shrug so it went together in a snap.
Initially, I was worried that the baby rib fabric wouldn’t look right with the glitter knit that I used, but I think, now that it’s together, it works well – it seems to break up some of the glitz going on. I believe this is going to make an absolutely fabulous holiday shrug. Too bad I’ve already done all my Christmas shopping, otherwise, everyone one my gift giving list would be getting shrugs – this project is too easy and fun to make!

Stocking Stuffers

There’s nothing better than getting goodies in the mail. I recently purchased some fun stocking stuffers from a href=””>J-Box, a Japanese online store that specializes in food, novelty items, shirts, etc., which arrived (minus the back-ordered itmes) yesterday! What brought me there? Japanese eraser clay kits. I’m fairly certain that at some point, someone like Sculpy had made eraser clay, but for the life of me, I couldn’t find it locally. While doing an online search, I stumbled across J-Box’s site with a large assortment of kits and thought I would pick up some other items as well (some Squeeze gum, wasabi Doritos, green apple Mentos (now out of stock), bento egg molds, and some Sakuma Drops). I can’t wait to try everything out Christmas day!
Guess what else will be arriving soon? New Jalie patterns! I had been watching the previews of what was up-and-coming in the Jalie line and had already made my list of what to buy: The Scarf-Collar Top and Men’s T-Shirts (I see myself getting a lot of mileage out of this pattern). I contemplated getting the Legging and Mini-Skirt pattern, but Taylor’s school, believe it or not, does not allow the girls to wear leggings so I just didn’t think I would ever use this pattern enough to justify it’s purchase.
Now it’s time to get back to sewing and possibly a bit more Christmas shopping! What is everyone else up to this weekend?


It’s not very often that Taylor makes comments about patterns, but when she does, it’s usually a hint that she wants me to make it for her. When I opened up The Sewing Republic‘s latest project, Bob Martin’s Cumberbelt, Taylor blurted out, “That’s so cool,” before I could even read more about it…. and I have to admit, it’s totally something she would wear. Hummm, I wonder if I have enough time to whip this one up and place under the tree for Christmas?

Linky Thursday

Feeling a little grinch-y this Christmas? Whip up an antler like Max’s using recycled sweaters.
Carry your water bottle in style – make yourself a stylish carrier in your favorite fabrics.
Win a box full of holiday goodies just by sharing your favorite holiday project!
Deck the Halls with crafty goodies for your chance to win a Crafty Chica gift basket, book and gift certificate.
One of my favorite online Etsy shops, This and That From Japan, has paired up with The Long Thread for a fabulous $25 gift certificate giveaway! Oh, the things I could make if I won!
A cute way to decorate your holiday table this Christmas.
Colette Patterns released 5 new patterns – and I think I have to have this coat.
BurdaStyle is giving away holiday goodies. Stop by each day for your chance to win something sewing related (books, gift certificates….).
If we didn’t have to make everything plastic on our tree this year, I might actually consider making a few terrarium ornaments – they look so fun!
After several failed attempts at gingerbread houses, I’ve given up on making them for the holidays. This looks like a much better alternative.
What was your favorite pattern of 2009? Stop by Pattern Review and select your favorites!
I love how sewing simple felt circles to a pillow can give it so much texture. You can use the same technique to create this Ruffly Felt Wreath.