Monthly Archives: December 2010

Simply Sublime Gifts

I’m always skeptical when it comes to titles that say “High Style, Low Sew”, because it’s been my experience that something generally ‘suffers’ (quality, style, etc.). However, it doesn’t stop me from checking a book out. Recently, I bought Simply Sublime Gifts and I have to say, it’s a book that lives up to it’s name. I can honestly say, I love this book as most of the projects look quick to whip up, are adorable (and some very clever), and would make perfect gifts. While some of the projects aren’t new (for example there are instructions on how to make a ‘box bag’), the take on them is cute and unique (making ‘his’ and ‘her’ versions). There are also some great recycling projects as well such as the Wonder Bread apron (as seen on the cover) and oven mitts made from moving blankets! All projects are marked as to how difficulthow much time it will take to create – making this a perfect book for all skill levels. Simply Sublime Gifts is a great title to own if you’re looking for quick-to-whip-up holiday gifts, swap items, or just wanting to make a few fun items for yourself.
FYI: I’ll be making a few projects from this book in the coming weeks as I wrap up some of my holiday sewing!

It’s Begining To Look A Lot Like Christmas

The weekend came and went in a flash. Normally, I’m a blogging fool, but I spent my entire Saturday and Sunday preparing for Christmas: decorating the house, putting up the tree, and finishing my shopping – yes, my shopping is DONE! Consequently, the only sewing I managed to fit in finished up several Little Black Dress aprons. Even though I would have liked to have finished more, I’m thrilled I don’t have to hunt for gifts and fight the crowds.
Note: Instead of showing you my tree this year, I opted to post a photo of my ever growing collection of “Black Friday” snowglobes (this year’s was the only thing I had to have from shopping, LOL). If anyone has 2001 and would like to trade, I may have an extra of other years that we could swap!

Mini Stockings

Just in time for the holidays, my latest project for The Sewing Republic has gone live! These little mini-stockings are perfect for ‘wrapping up’ gift cards, decorating the tree, or make 24 of them for a hanging advent calendar (you could also enlarge the pattern for full size versions as well)! All stockings are lined and there are two cuff styles available, one with a contrasting fabric and the other with a faux fur trim. While the fur on this trim was fairly short and easy to work with, you may find longer styles more difficult. Here’s a few tips on working with fake fur:

  • Try cutting trim from the wrong side, making small snips and cutting only the backing. This will assure that you are not cutting the fur itself.
  • Keep in mind that fur has a nap – even trim. If you are making multiple stocking with the fur, be sure to keep them all running in the same direction.
  • After cutting shake your trim or brush away any loose fur. After sewing with faux fur, be sure to clean your machine. Even if you shake away the excess, there will be a large amount of lint left in your machine.
  • Before sewing, ‘comb’ the fur toward the center of the trim – away from seam allowances. This will help keep the fur from being sewn into the fabric. After sewing, free any fur from your seams by using a chopsitck or other blunt tool (for short hair, I use a thin metal dowel that came with my ‘turning tool kit’).
  • I prefer sewing faux fur with a zigzag stitch. This helps keep the seam slightly more ‘invisible’.

Linky Thursday

Learn how to make a faux fur, Peter Pan style collar (with cute little pom-poms too).
It may be too cold for a picnic, but it’s never too cold for a patchwork fleece Picnic Throw.
How did I miss this? Hot Patterns has a new free pattern download available at Fabric.comThe Cascade-Cozy Shrug. By the way, today’s deal of the day also happens to be 15% off all Hot Patterns collections.
A wonderful way to recycle a uniform.
Win a yard of Michael Miller fabric – read here for details, but hurry this one ends tomorrow!
Sometimes there are ‘trends’ in patterns – this month it appears it’s a Pocket Advent Calendar! Here’s a couple of tutorials to get you started: This one on Gwenny Penny and‘s version.
Win an ‘Elastic by the Yard’ Headband Kit!
Adorn your fireplace with stocking you’ve made from Denyse Schmit’s free pattern.
Thanksgiving may be over, but I still love these Autumn Napkin rings.
I’ve always wanted to do Christmas crackers. Instead of buying them, you can make your own versions – here’s how.
U-Handbag is turning 5! To celebrate Lisa is giving away TONS of freebies, check out how you can get yours.

Simple Times

Amazon must be thrilled with me lately because I have been ordering lots of books. I have so many that I still haven’t reviewed that I had a hard time decided what to start off with first – so I did a random draw (eenie, meenie…) and came up with Amy Sedaris’ Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. I loved her first book, I Like You (in fact, I started giving it as part of bridal shower gifts) that I thought her second one would be just as hilarious. Personally, I didn’t think this one was quite as funny even though it’s predominantly all ‘jokes’ (there were actual ‘usable’ recipes in I Like You), but if I didn’t have her previous works to compare with, I probably wouldn’t be making that statement. This book is very entertaining and laugh out loud funny (even Taylor enjoyed browsing through it), but don’t expect to find any ‘real’ crafting tips or projects unless a tuna can mobile for babies is your thing (I’ll keep my eye out for them on Craftastrophe and Regretsy) – it’s all parody. So, if you’re looking for a fun read based on ridiculous crafting I highly recommend Simple Times, otherwise, skip it… you won’t be missing anything.