Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 Year In Review

Last year I kept a journal of all the projects that I completed in one year. I really didn’t think that I could top what I did in 2010, but when I looked back at my notebook for this year, I was floored. I worked on 154 projects! Here’s some of the things I worked on:

16 WeAllSew projects. 10 of them were of my own design including the Billboard Messenger and Mug Rug patterns. I also drafted patternswinged it for 65 projects – 7 of them being various forms of Box Bags, 6 “Little Black Dress” aprons, 3 Candy Cauldrons (I like to make them as gift baskets), lots of baby goodies, and my very favorite tutorial of the year, The Corseted Skirt.

Blythe was a very lucky girl as she received 15 clothing items in her wardrobe. I didn’t count the numerous prototypes for a raglan shirt that I’ve been trying to draft and will eventually nail (I’ll publish a tutorialpattern when I do). Look for a few more items in 2012 as I finally feel comfortable sewing in miniature.

14 projects were from miscellaneous website tutorials. I found that if I had a good outcome, I made several of the same item. Some of my favorites were Plush Bunny Peeps, Casserole Carriers, and Fat Quarter Gift Bags.

I made 27 items from ‘Independent Designer’ patterns. Jamie Christina came out the winner with her Dalliance Glove and Mission Maxi designs, although I made just as many Personalized Name Pillows and Jalie garments this year as well. Rounding out this category were several Amy Butler bags and Hot Pattern tops (no doubt in 2012 I will be sewing up their Deceptively Skinny Patchwork Skirt).

I didn’t leave out the “Big Design” companies either. I made 13 different projects from their patterns as well. Apparently my favorite companies are Kwik Sew and McCall because most of my items came from these two.

I didn’t leave out my sewing books either. I searched through my project books and came up with 6 different projects. Two of my more heavily used titles included Sew What! Bags and Weekend Sewing.

Let’s not forget the 5 recons I worked on! I made several shirts for and article that appeared in AugSept issue Sew News, “It Takes Two” (blending two shirts into a completely new one) as well as several shirt-to-sleeper gifts for baby showers.

Whew! Even though just looking at this list made me tired, I’m ready for a new year of sewing… I even have a new notebook ready to go!

Linky Thursday

A simple wrap top that looks truly fabulous on. I wonder what I have in my stash to make this?

I have a confession, I have never worked with a purse frame (maybe a sewing resolution should be to finally try one), but this tutorial may finally break me down and sew with one!

It may be too late for Christmas, but this gift card holder is perfect handmade touch to a ‘store bought’ gift.

Did you get a Kindle for the holidays? Here’s a tutorial for making a case to protect it!

I’m feeling like this may be my year where I wear a lot of scarves. This Figure 8 scarf may be good to add to my
‘collection’.

If keeping neat and tidy is high on your list of new year’s resolutions, you may want to sew up one of these hamper liners – it’s a great way to stash dirty laundry while customizing it to match your decor.

It’s probably wrong that I’m jealous of this Barbie Apron tutorial – I want one!

If you have 20 minutes, you have time to stitch up a skirt.

If you’re already thinking ahead to summer, then you’ll definitely want to sew up one of these Sunbathing Companions.

I recently bought the most recent copy of Stitch magazine because of the pillow on the cover… if I would have seen this online tutorial first, I might not have bought it at all.

There’s no sewing involved, but these metal flowers are GORGEOUS (I feel the sudden urge to drink an Arizona Green Tea now)!

If your (grand)child got a bike this year, why not sew up a Bike Basket to go along with it? It seems a bit big, but it would definitely hold lots of stuff.

Have 1/2 yard of fabric, a fat quarter, and an hour of your time? Then you can make this apron!

Probably one of the nicest step stools that I’ve seen a tutorial for.

Shop ‘Till You Drop

My children had a hole burning in their pockets so we had to spend a majority of yesterday shopping with Christmas money (even the 3 year old was excited to shop). That, of course, dipped into my sewing time so all I accomplished was this:

Aside from sifting through the stash to find ‘the right fabrics’ for another pillow, I also traced and fused the lettering to the pillow. Just a side note, if your fingernails are recently clipped or broken off, it’s extremely difficult to peel the paper backing off of Wonder Under. I think I spent more time trying to remove it than what I did on the project already!

Today it’s time to applique the letters and attach the boarder. Since the pillow looks like it might be a little small (short names definitely make for a more squarish shape), I’ve decided to make a thicker boarder so the pillow doesn’t look so puny once it’s finished. What is everyone else working on?

Winding Up 2011

It’s not the holidays if someone isn’t sick or makes a trip to the emergency room…. that’s where I spent yesterday – in the ER with my mom. Thankfully, it was nothing too serious, just an allergic reaction (hives, swelling, eyes swollen shut) to something she probably had eaten before Christmas. Aside from that excitement, Christmas was wonderful – I even got a fabulous Wonder Woman mug, renewed my Burda Style
subscription, and bought myself a copy of the new Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders (among some other cool items)!

Now, believe it or not, I have one last gift to make – another name pillow for Taylor’s friend. These were a serious hit this year and Taylor thought it might be fun for her last gift exchange. It looks like this might be my last project of 2011.

So, with my next project set, what is everyone else up to? And what sorts of goodies did you all get this year?

Angry Bird

For the first time in ages, I made a large portion of our Christmas gifts – and I can say, as of yesterday, I’m done with the last of them! Whew! My final project was just ‘something fun’ for my mom who recently discovered Angry Birds… a plush red bird from Obsessively Stitching’s tutorial. Overall it was very easy to sew up and the instructions were pretty straightforward (there are also lots of photographs of construction that would help the beginner out). I did substitute felt for all the parts except the main body – I think that the beak would have looked better (softer and the stitches would have been less visible) if I would have used fleece, though.

With Christmas gifts finished and wrapped, it’s time to make some cookies, tidy up the house, and spend time with family. I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday – I can’t wait to hear what everyone got on Monday!

Linky Thursday

Probably the nicest set of ‘short pants’ that I’ve seen as a free tutorial: fully lined, hidden pockets, and a decorative hem!

I’m one of those people who like to give fun socks as stocking stuffers. This stegosarus set would be perfect for kids.

There is something about this Funky Bunny that makes me want to sew one up.

This quilt makes me just want to snuggle under it and read something fun!

A sleep mask with a Holly Golightly feel.

Every kid need some extras for their kitchen. These labels are a great way to recycle used spice cans.

A free zippered pouch tutorial that’s perfect for storing makeup… or gift giving!

If it’s freezing outside where you live, it might be time to start making some hand warmers. This heating pad might be nice to help you warm up once you’re inside!

Have a too big tee that needs some style and 20 minutes? Cinch it up!

I’m not a jewelry maker, but this is something I might consider making.

Shhh! Don’t tell some members of my family, but I paid for a cell phonecharger holder this Christmas. Now I see I could have made one.

One of the nicest nap mats I’ve seen – it would definitely make the other preschoolers jealous.

Stitch up a unique eyeglass case… with ribbons.

Keep your earbuds from getting tangled with this zipped earbud pouch tutorial.

Sushi Playset

My son made his Christmas list and apparently he’s sticking with it. Quite awhile ago, he noticed this sushi playset and mentioned it again just a few days ago. While it’s really cute it’s fairly expensive and really chunky (it seems like it would be hard to play with) so I decided I would make my own. Instead of coming up with my own pattern, I decided to use this one instead – it’s ‘plush’, realistically sized, and I had all the materials on hand. Here’s what I came up with:

Even though the pattern set includes a tray, bowl of soy, teapot and cups, and even an orchid, all I was interested in was the sushi pieces. I started off with the rolls… in the midst of sewing the second one, I regretted not buying the chunky wood set. I’ve got to admit, I really don’t like hand sewing and since that’s what all this set is I got really frustrated stitching it up. After sewing 4 pieces, a dollop of wasabi, and a few slices of ginger I called it quits. Fortunately they fit perfectly on the tray (whew, I didn’t have to make more) that I already had on hand. Now that it’s wrapped up, I’m happy with the end results and I think Easton will enjoy it too…. I’m just hoping he doesn’t ask me to make more!

It’s My Secret

On Christmas Eve, I always let the kids open a few presents – one of them being new pajamas. This year, instead of buying a set for Taylor (for whatever reason a majority of the sets weren’t pajamas, but yoga pants), I opted to buy 1/2 and make the other. Since the top was Victoria Secret Pink, I decided that the pants needed to ‘match’. I found this very fabulous cheetahheart french terry at Needle Nook Fabrics quite some time ago with the intention of making pajama pants at some point (don’t they scream Pink?). Unfortunately, I was way short on fabric to use the Kwik Sew pattern that I had intended, so I searched the stash for my standby, McCall 3019 (now out of print).

I made a few modifications to this pattern: omitted the pockets, shortened the waist by 2 1/2″ (believe it or not, it may still be too high), and added some lettering to the rear of the pajamas (the lettering came from Sis Boom’s Tommy Boxer). I’m really pleased with the way they turned out – let’s hope Taylor is too!

One More Pillow

I did it again this weekend, I made another name pillow. This one is for one of Taylor’s best friends (for a Christmas present) and I made one small change to the project – I added a pocket on the back of the pillow. I figured that we could slip a gift card in there as part of her gift and after she’s done using it, she can slide a journal, etc. into in pocket later on.

I have to say, these pillows are quite a bit of work (well, maybe only if the name is long), but I really enjoy making them. Maybe next year, I’ll have to make a bunch of Christmas themed pillows?

By the way, I thought I would point out that there is a new feature on the site: email subscriptions. I’ve had several inquiries about this so my wonderful husband has added it this weekend! If you’re interested in getting updates into your inbox, you can find the subscription link on the upper right hand side of the site, right under the search box.

Linky Friday

Need a Christmas gift, fast? Whip up this cute tasseled clutch – they’ll never know that you didn’t spend days working on it!

Once you’re done making your clutch, make a zippy wallet to go along with it!

I really wish there was a tutorial for a pair of these SnUGG boots in adult sizes. I’d so make myself a pair!

Looking for a way to keep your child’s toys neat and tidy and still know what’s inside? Stitch up some of these Peek-a-boo Toy Sacks and it will never be a mystery (they would also make for some interesting packaging this Christmas)!

I love making my kid’s t-shirts. They are so easy to sew and use very little fabric. Learn how to make one of your own (the down side to this pattern is that it’s only for size 12-18 months).

Still need to mark who get’s your handstitched gifts? Print out these pretty and fun gift tags – a great way to finish off your handmade holiday!

On of my favorite types of holiday parties are the ornament gift exchanges. If you’re still searching for just the right one, why not sew up a pretty felt Christas tree or a Matryoshka themed ornament?

Have a cold, but don’t have pockets or a purse to stash your tissues? Just add a handy strap to your tissue holder!

Do you have some fabulous fabric scraps, but don’t know how to use them? Make a quiet-time, busy book for your little one.

I’m going to admit it, this is a bit of a weird project, but it’s perfect for someone who always loses their grocery list (or shorten it up and give it children so they can help you shop): Coupon and Grocery Lanyard.