Monthly Archives: October 2011

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas?

There may be only 54 days until Christmas, but I only have 30 more days to craft for my Christmas Stocking swap! Even though I’ve slowly worked on the ‘fillers’, I thought I had better get to the real ‘meat and potatoes’ of this swap and work on the stocking itself. My partner is a huge fan of owls so I decided to use a print she has indicated she liked and McCall 2991 (view F). I went with a solid for the cuff of the stocking, but it looked really bare so I opted to bring up some of the design by using a fusible webbing and cut out an owl (I embellished it some by adding a few rhinestones as well).

This was my first time working with this McCall stocking pattern and I think it may be my last. While the design is really cute, the stocking is not lined and is overall rather flimsy. I also wouldn’t recommend this pattern if you intend on actually filling it – it runs a bit on the small side (or maybe my stuffers are just too big).

Nice Save

If you remember earlier in the week, I started cutting out ‘personal’ organizers (basically, a waterproof organizer that you can store tampons, pads, liners and roll up and tie) – unfortunately, I wound up cutting not one, but three of them wrong. Instead of having a long, skinny roll, I cut a tall, fat one. Because I had used so much cotton laminate, I decided to salvage this project and just redraft the proportions. Consequently, my finished organizer is not as long as intended, has more tampon holders and only one large pocket, and ribbon ties instead of cotton laminate ones.

Considering how badly this almost was, I am pretty happy with the outcome. Unfortunately, I think the details are lost in the photo – the fabrics seem to really blend into together (which is also great for hiding mistakes!). Now should I give the Cloth Pad pattern a try?

Linky Thursday

Transform an over-sized hoodie into a fitted, asymmetrical design. Although, the name summs it up: sweatshirt liposuction.

Thinking ahead to Christmas? Make pajama pants for the whole family!

I know, another superhero mask tutorial. What makes this one so special? The awesome photography (seriously, I want to make this project just because of that cute kid at the beginning of the post). Have a girl? Stitch up one of these pretty little princess crowns.

Zipper broaches are out, zipper bracelets are in. I think I need at least one of these!

A very quick way to make a bib. Plus it’s over-sized and absorbent!

Snappy little coin purses don’t have to just be for change…

This ottoman slipcover may be no-sew, but it looks to be a good tutorial and can easily be sewn up to finish it off.

A cute way to keep your kitchen towel from slipping off the oven door.

A cute little messenger that comes in two sizes. I love the double button closure.

This mini witch hat is so cute, I need one full sized!

Oilcloth vs Cotton Laminates

Yesterday was my first day to really get to work with the new cotton laminates. Even though it’s gaining popularity, I think that a lot of people hesitate trying it because they’re unsure what to use it with or how it will perform so I thought today’s post might be a good opportunity to share some thoughts:

When most people think of waterproof material the image of rain slickers or grandma’s kitchen table cover comes to mind. Oilcloth is still available in many markets (it’s much easier to find online than in stores), but the way this material is produced is much different than the 30’s. Today’s oilcloth is a canvas coated vinyl – it is not food safe (so it’s not ideal if you’re looking to make sandwich wraps or snack bags), but when lined with a cotton or other ‘food safe fabric’ it makes a great lunch bag! I like to think of oilcloth as a temperamental fabric. You’ll need to carefully mark the material (even water soluble markers can soak through – ask me, I know!) with a pencil, fingerpress and avoid irons (it can melt the material, however, if you are really, really careful and use a low temperature setting and a presscloth, you might be able to get away with it), and never pin (or make a mistake, because pins will leave permanent holes in your fabric). Because oilcloth is so hefty, you’ll use a larger size needle and machine stitch, otherwise you risk shredding your material. On the upside, you never have to hem oilcloth! Other vinyls (like rain slicker material) behaves very similarly although you may have more difficulty running it through your machine because most have a rubbery backing.

Cotton laminates are a fairly new fabric. The base for this material is a cotton print covered in a BPA free vinyl. Not only does this make for a fabric with a great drape (so it’s less bulky than oilcloths) many of these are considered food safe (of course, always check with the manufacturer before using it around your food). Cotton laminates are also much more user friendly – not only can you iron on this material (always use a presscloth), but believe it or not, you can pin it as well. Yes, pins will leave little marks on your laminate, but they are so tiny, they aren’t really noticeable! The drawback to this fabric, is running it though your machine. I found that it sticks to the foot like crazy so you’ll either need a Teflon foot or use a bit of machine oil on foot to help it glide through.

Any more thoughts? Be sure to leave a comment below and share your tips, tricks, comments, or questions!


Since my test of the travel organizer turned out so well, I decided to try my hand at ‘personal organizers’ (tampons, pads, etc.). I thought I was on a roll with cutting until I realized… I did it wrong! Instead of making it long and skinny, it’s now short and fat. Consequently, I’m going to sit down and shave off a bit of top half to make it more to scale and also mess with the pockets so that everything fits and is even. Drat, I didn’t bargain for redrafting the pattern, but I used too much of the laminated cotton to waste it (it’s just too expensive to waste!). Now, it’s back to the drawing board!

Travel Organizer

With just a week away, I’ve sort of given up hope that my Halloween costume is going happen this year. Between injuries, illness, and travel for state competitions, there just hasn’t been enough time. Consequently, I’m moving on to something new and opted to make something for my Christmas Stocking swap… I figured if this project turned out well, I could make a few more for Christmas gifts. This weekend, I made a travel organizer!

I did make a few changes to this pattern. First off, even though the fabric is waterproof (more like a textured rainwear), it’s not a cotton laminate as suggested. Consequently, it’s a lot bulkier than what is intended, but thankfully, it was easy to sew. I also eliminated the magnetic snap with this one (because I didn’t have one on hand) and went with Velcro. Overall, I like the way it turned out and am anxious to see how the cotton laminate sews up – I suspect it might be a bit easier to work with!

Ahoy, Mickey

I really dislike having to change my serger thread so while I had black in my machine, I thought it was a good opportunity to finish up a quick shirt for Easton. I really loved this pirate themed Mickey shirt when I first spotted it at The Fabric Fairy so I snagged it up whenever it became available. After receiving it, I realized it’s a bit on the thin side – not the best material for pajamas, but perfect for a ,so I opted to use my favorite mensboys pattern, Jalie 2918. I used the double layered sleeved view of the pattern and a contrasting black interlock to complete the look. I like the way it turned out, but Easton insists it’s a pajama top and not something you wear to school – I guess I’m not the only one that thought it looked like it was destined for sleepwear!

Linky Thursday

This iron caddy is a great way to take your iron to class. Plus it looks great too!

Enter to win a cut and sew softie pattern from Spoonflower.

Keep your kid’s room clean with these fun Superhero Bins. The appliques would work perfectly for capes, too!

Create a cute fall bag and you might take home a new Bernina! Read here for all the details.

A great way to upcycle men’s flannels: He’s All Boy blanket.

Need a quick gift? Whip up a few of these Organizer Baskets.

If you’re like me, you have a lot of sewing magazines. Keep them looking good with these clever Magazine Files.

Have a helper in the kitchen? Sew up one of these adorable vintage aprons (too bad it’s only sized for 2-3T).

Perfect for stashing in your purse for when you decide to eat on the go: Fold-Up-and Snap Bib.

If only my son would nap, I might make one of these mats.

Perfect for Halloween: A skull t-shirt refashion.

For The Birds

I spent some time with my new fabrics and whipped up a new project for my Stocking Swap partner. What inspired me to make this particular pillow was a pin she had on Pinterest (if you haven’t joined, I highly recommend checking it out) for a vintage birdbird cages pillow cover. Since the material was vintage, I knew I could never find the exact print, so I headed over to to see what they had to offer. I was pleasantly surprised to find a Waverly home decor fabric that had a very similar look and feel (although the Waverly version has a much larger scale print than the vintage design, I was really hoping to fit more than one birdbirdcage on a pillow) – so I instantly bought it. I used my pillow slip cover tutorial at We All Sew for the pattern and I have to say, I think my partner will love it. It’s not exactly what she wanted, but it’s very close!

Glow In The Dark

Rounding out the last of the toddler pajamas is this fun skull print version. What makes it so fun? It glows in the dark! I had picked this print up last year from The Fabric Fairy (they still have it, although it’s now a ‘special order’) and LOVE it – not only is the print fun, but it glows very brightly! I was a bit of a risk using it (it gives Easton an excuse to stay up and something to look at), but everyone seems to like them.

With the pajama sweatshop finished, I’m now onto make a few swap items for my Christmas Stocking Swap partner. I’m excited about some of the projects and fabrics I’ve picked up!