Monthly Archives: January 2010

Sticker Shock

One of the books that I’ve been eagerly awaiting was Christopher Nejman’s Celebrity Bags. Over time, I had seen more and more photos of what was included in his latest release, which made me want it more. Today, is his official launch of the book and, the most important part, the cost….. I had sticker shock. I will admit, I have been ‘spoiled’ by Amazon and their low prices – I haven’t paid ‘retail’ for a book in ages. But, with braces to pay for, an 18% increase in our insurance costs (ouch), a new car that’s needed on the horizon (our ‘tank’ just isn’t holding out anymore), and the fact I just resubscribed to Burda and Ottobre this month, I just don’t think I can justify buying this book at the moment. I would love to know if anyone does purchase it, your thoughts as I will definitely be keeping it in mind in the future! By the way, what’s the most expensive book that you’ve ever sprung for?

Snow Day Activities

Exactly as predicted, I got nothing done yesterday – well, at least not in the sewing department! Oh sure, we baked cupcakes, played in the snow (and as you can tell in the picture, it was knee-deep on Easton in some places), drank hot chocolate, ate popcorn and watched some movies (about 30 minutes of each movie before Easton got bored with it). Not only did I end the day being extremely sore (between shoveling snow and pushing kids around on the sled), but I was exhausted…. and can you believe Easton never napped? I guess I don’t have to worry that he got hypothermia from the cold temperatures!
Today it’s off in my sewing room to tidy up and work on a few projects…. and then it’s back out in the snow. Taylor wants to take advantage of it before it all melts. Should I tell her we’re supposed to get more on Monday?

Snow Day Shirt

We’re having a snow day! I would love to say that this means I’m going to get a lot accomplished, but I know that we’ll be spending much of the day playing in the snow, making some baked goods (why does baking always sound good when it’s a snow day?), and no doubt, playing with MoonSand (this is Easton’s new favorite activity). I did manage to finish up Easton’s latest Jalie tee. I really love the way it turned out, except that it really needs some sort of design on the front. I went ahead and put it on him yesterday, but it’s a bit plain – I’ll be searching for a coordinating tattoo logoprint over the next couple of days and will keep you posted on this shirt’s new look. Anyone else having a snow day (or just playing hooky)?

Linky Thursday

It seems like everyone is selling those reusable totes anymore. Way back when, I bought one from Joann’s. Ever wonder how much can fit in it and how much weight it can hold? Apparently you can store a small toddler comfortably inside for an afternoon without breaking the straps or having the bottom fall out.
A new issue of Apronology is about ready to hit the newstands. Here’s your chance to win you own copy.
Ottobre shows you how to make their Garden Party Skirt.
I am completely enamored with this little puff pouch. I may have to make one. [link via Thimble]
I’m really not sure how Prilosec has anything to do with sponsorship, but here’s your chance to be sponsored for what you do. One hundred people will win $1,000 to go toward their passion.
I haven’t tried it (but I would love for someone to leave feedback if they have), but this clear starch alternative looks like a great way to tame hard to sew fabrics!
Got lots of stuff to carry? Make yourself a messenger bag.
Have a seamstress that you would like to acknowledge? Enter them in Sew New’s Sewing Idol competition where the winner will receive a whole truckload of prizes!
Make a pillowcase to make a difference in your community – the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.
If you’re watching the newest season of Project Runway, you’ve probably already decided who’ll win. Leave a comment on this thread with your prediction and if you’re correct, you’ll win a goodie box full of prizes.
I’ll never look at the party isle the same again (can anyone say new fabric resource?) – turn plastic table cloths into Valentine treat bags.
Win a copy of One Hour Craft!

Whats Your Process?

You wouldn’t think that one appointment in the morning would throw my whole day off, but apparently it has – what a late post this is for me! I did manage to ‘pull’ some fabrics for muslins, prototypes, and actual mock-ups of my future Sewing Republic projects. I managed to jot down some construction ‘notes’ (although one is almost finalized) and need to spend some time finalizing them – I have decided I need a new system of writing tutorials. Currently I hand write notes and steps as I think they should be followed, then I make a ‘mock-up’ following those notes that way I can determine what works, what doesn’t, and what needs clarification. Then I type the instructions with the changes, make a final project (taking photos, etc.), and then make a final draft of the project instructions (with any changes I may have made during the last mock up). So I guess this leads me to my question: For those of you who write tutorials, patterns, sewing instructions, or even just a quick write up for a friend who likes your designs, etc. what’s your process? It just seems like mine has too many steps…..


I won’t go so far as to say that I cleaned out my closet, so let’s just say that I stumbled across a shirt that really doesn’t fit anymore. It’s ages old so it’s out of style (since shirts are longer, this one looks way too short when you wear it), but it’s wonderfully soft, is a great color (I just love the darkish gray), and I just couldn’t bear to part with it. So instead of giving it way, I decided that I’m recycling it into something else….. a shirt for Easton. I intend on using Jalie 2918 and a fantastic ‘diaper cut’ print that I got from The Fabric Fairy awhile ago – just for the purpose of using it as shirt sleeves.
I went ahead and cut everything out and just barely eeked out enough fabric for both the shirt and sleeves. How close was it? I had to use the hem as neck ribbing. I wasn’t kidding that this shirt ran small!

Valentine’s Boxers

One thing I promised myself is that “if I’m going to make a gift for a holidayspecial event, I’m giving myself plenty of time to work on it.” I know we’re only one month into the new year, but so far, I’ve stuck with it (now about writing those Pattern Reviews……). Ta-Da, Taylor’s Valentine Boxers – well before the holiday! The only change I made to this version is that I lowered the rise by an inch. I don’t think she was crazy about the fit of the previous version I made (as evidence of her hiking them up under her armpits), so I altered the pattern a bit this time around. Overall, I like the way they turned out, however the fabric, even after washing, is still stiff. I’m hoping they soften after a few more cycles. The best part? These boxers look great with the shirt I just made!

Just A Peek

Just a little sneak peek as to what I’ve been working on over the weekend……. Once I tweek the instructions a bit, it’ll be ready to ship off to the folks at Bernina (look for it to go live on The Sewing Republic website sometime in the future). Now to hide this one from Taylor – I’m pretty sure she’d like to confiscate it.

Random Tidbits

What is your favorite part of sewing (besides the actual sewing itself?)? For me, it’s the planning (heaven knows it’s not the cutting!). I love being able to look through fabrics and imagine what they might become, I daydream about patterns and how I would sew them up, and sometimes I get answers to swap questionnaires that push me to think creatively. Right now I’m in planning heaven because I’ve been doing all three!
My latest Ottobre arrived and I really loved this issue. I found that there were several boy’s garments that I wanted to make that were dramatically different than styles I’ve currently seen – maybe it’s because Easton’s bigger now and can fit into more patterns. I’m hoping to make this sleeveless hoodie before spring…. I even think I have some fabric stashed that will work perfectly! My Burda also arrived yesterday and am very excited about this issue. In fact, my first top for spring is going to be this one. I can easily see it becoming the new ‘twist top’.
This past week, I also joined a Craftster swap – The Office Round 4. While partners for this swap won’t be assigned until Monday, I’m still brainstorming ideas. Speaking of brainstorming, I’ve been busy coming up with new projects and tutorials for another year at The Sewing Republic! Thanks to a conversation with a friend yesterday, I got the inspiration to make what I think will be a very fun and unique project to the site. I drafted a pattern last night and hope to test it out this afternoon.
Now it’s time to get ready and head out to Joann’s so that I can pick up some supplies – I need to take these ideas from paper and turn them into ‘real’ projects!

Boxer redux for 2010

Ever since Taylor was little, I’ve liked to do something special for her on Valentine’s Day. She’s now at the age where candies and toys just don’t cut it in the present department (alright candy does still work). So this year, I decided on making her a sleep set. I was thrilled that I found a perfect fabric that matched the lip stencil that I had used for myself several weeks ago (you can see the fabric print on the sidebar under the title, “Kwik Sew 2489 Boxers“) – this way I could make a set of comfy boxers and matching shirt (purchased). Instead of using the foil method, I used glitter instead (it’s supposed to hold up in the wash). After just a few minutes of work (and several hours of dry time) I wound up with the shirt on the left…… and I love it! Now it’s onto the boxers….. and deciding what Easton might like this year!