Monthly Archives: November 2011

Leather Box Bags

We all know that I am a box bag making maniac. I think that they are just the perfect little pouch for just about anything – so why not make some for the guys this Christmas? For my latest version(s) I used a sturdy leather cow skin for the exterior and a tattoo print cotton (interfaced) for the interior. I am not going to lie, this was a tough one to sew. I’ve worked with this leather in the past, but combined with a hefty zipper and interfaced lining, I broke a lot of thread and needles (I did find that a leather 16/100 worked better, but still wound up breaking). The end result was worth it because I really, really like this design in leather – it’s definitely a textile I need to work more with. Now for the bad news. After struggling with all the ‘issues’ I had with this project, I have to make one more. Somehow when I was planning how many I needed, I inadvertently left someone off my list. Let’s hope this one goes better with a lot fewer problems!

Mini Me

From what I remember when Taylor was little, one of the ‘hot’ items for American Girl dolls were the outfits that match yours – especially around the holidays (I’m guessing this is still the case since these dolls are even more popular today). Since my niece is at the perfect age for this, I decided to make a matching Tinkerbell pj set using Simplicity 5276 and the remnants for her shirt and pants set. To get the look that was similar to my niece’s pajamas, I mixed-n-matched the pattern (view H for the top, view F for the pants). I was pleased that everything came together easily, although I did struggle with the neckband on the top – it was very hard to stretch it to fit properly (I think this is a problem with stretch of the fabric and not necessarily the pattern design). Now all she needs is a set of slippers. Any suggestions on where I could find those?


I’ll admit, a photo of a pair of plaid pajama pants isn’t that interesting. Although I can say that I managed to finish up Simplicity 5271! Overall, the pants came together very easily – I did skip the pocket on the side since I didn’t think it looked very ‘girly’ and because the matching doll outfit won’t have one either. By the way, I highly recommend working with this flannel – although it’s a bit on the thick side (I suspect that’s because it’s really designed for shirting and not loungewear) it will make a very cozy pair of loungepants.

Speaking of cozy, are you interested in keeping someone warm this winter? Looking for an excuse to stitch up a pair of mittens? Simplicity and OttLite are looking for knitters, crocheters, and sewers to donate a pair of mittens they’ve created. If you’re interested, hop over to their Mitten Commitment page for more information and where to send your set.

Linky Thursday

I love working with leather. This bag is so fabulous, everyone will think it’s designer.

Every child needs a playhouse – this one is not only cute, but is a free tutorial!

It’s a shame the weather has turned cold, otherwise I’d make one of these Asymmetrical Tank Tops this weekend.

Turn your jeans into skinny jeans.

Transform a very large man’s t-shirt into a cute ruffle skirt. Of course, t-shirts make fabulous (and fun) underwear, too.

Thinking about making a ‘spa’ gift basket this Christmas? Why not sew up one of these heating pads? I love that there are channels that hold the rice in place.

These coils may be my new favorite coasters.

Skip the tie dye. Use Sharpies.

If you love to make pajama pants for your children for Christmas, this tutorial will help speed up the construction process and a cute ruffle detail.

Looking for a cute horse plush you can customize? I stumbled across this little guy on Pinterest and the designer has shared her pattern and tutorial.

Tinkerbell Shirt

Believe it or not, the top on the right is a raglan – the design is just lost in the print! I managed to finish off the top to Simplicity 5271 last night and am fairly pleased with the end results. I made a few minor changes to this top: I added an extra 1″ to the bottom hem – just looking at it, it seemed short (the arms were longer than the hemline). I also used 1/2″ seam allowance – even though the jersey passed the ‘stretch test’, it’s not as stretchy as what I think of for sleepwear… no one likes a tight fitting shirt while they’re trying to sleep! Now it’s onto the pants – I’m really regretting not getting more of this material, I think it’s just too cute.

Cosmetic DIYs

Ever since I stumbled across the flavored lip gloss tutorial on Pinterest, I have been itching to try it. Not only is it simple to make, but the ‘ingredients’ are easy to come by. The problem? Finding those little pots to put them in! I looked locally, but couldn’t find any containers so I search online and found some pretty purplewhiteclear containers from this Etsy store. I love that I don’t have to come up with a lot of embellishment to make the pot look good – I think they might make cute Christmas gifts for the girls on Taylor’s cheer squad. While I was there I also picked up some sugar cookie fragrance oil for bath bombs. I have become addicted to using these after visiting Lush this summer… now if I can only figure out how to make layers of scents and colorglitter without having the bath bomb crack while it dries.

Did You Feel That?

Did anyone else feel that earthquake Saturday night? I know Kansas doesn’t get too may ground shaking events, but I have to say that was a dozy – our entire basement shifted back and forth… it was wild! Thankfully, as far as we can tell, we don’t have any damage – I’m not sure we could take much more after having a terrible hail storm (softball size) create holes in our roof, a microburst destroy our swingset, and me hitting a deer with my car all in one year! But enough with Mother Nature, let’s talk sewing! I hit the sales yesterday so that I could take advantage of the pattern sales. I picked up 2 patterns that I intend on using for my niece’s Christmas gifts: Simplicity 5271 (pajamas) and a matching set for her doll, 5276. As for the fabrics, I’m using a Tinkerbell jersey that I picked up awhile ago from The Fabric Fairy and a flannel shirting that I got from Joann’s (I found it extremely difficult to find pink plaid flannels). Normally, I would up a sidebar and pricing information on a project like this, but since it’s a gift I hate to put that up. I will say, I think I might have spent more on sewing it up than if I would have bought it, but I think it’ll be worth it in the end because not only will she have a new set of pjs, but her American Doll will to!


I am a little disappointed. I really haven’t done much sewing this week, although I did manage to go through my (ever growing) collection of sewing booksmagazines in a search for ‘the perfect clutch’ (for my Stocking Swap partner). This of course, means that I have several new projects that I’ve decided to make very, very soon! One of them was a travel tissue holder from Sew What! Bags – I thought this might make a nice addition to my partner’s package.

I got a little lazy when it came to the dimensions – I didn’t really want to grab the package of tissues and measure them so I used the same ones as the illustration… after cutting them, I knew that it was going to be way too big (roughly 6″x5″). In fact, it was so big, I managed to make 2 tissue holders from the same cuts of fabric! While I was at it, I decided to make a box bag. This time I lined the box bag with PUL to make the interior waterproof. I really like the way it turned out, I may have to do this from now on!

Linky Thursday

Looking for a sexy bustier to wear this holiday season? Try your hand at this tutorial – all you need is a well-fitting, strapless bra and a yard of jersey.

Store bought hair bands can be expensive – and there’s really not much to them! Learn how to make your own, make a few for yourself or give them away as stocking stuffers!

Does your little girl need a sweet dress for a party? This vintage holiday tutorial is absolutely precious!

Put yourself in the holiday mood by crocheting a set of elf slippers.

Transform a plastic milk crate into a cute fabric box.

What little girl doesn’t like to twirl? Make twirling even more fun by sewing her up a circle skirt.

Not only can you learn how to cut glass with a string (what a cool party trick), but recycle glass bottles into bar ware.

I’m not so sure how much I like the idea of using cork as a mousepad, but I like the end effect.

I can’t say I miss the diaper stage, but this free tutorial for cloth diapers are pretty cute.

Door Organizer

If you have a teenager, you know that most of them have ‘organizational’ problems. Their rooms are a mess, they’re always looking for ‘lost’ items, and they rush out the door for schoolpracticeworkfriends scrambling to find everything. Now there’s an easy way to keep all their ‘essentials’ together: a Door Organizer! My latest project up at WeAllSew keeps all your small items together as it hangs on the handle of your door. There are two front pockets (perfect for iPods, money, pens, and even a small set of keys) and a tab in the back that is large enough to hold envelopes, coupons, etc. Now there’s no excuse not to have everything handy!