Monthly Archives: December 2013

More Lanyard Talk

12-lanyard Secret Santa gifts are always a challenge, especially when you have a tiny spending cap and are asked to “get creative”. In addition to some small purchases, we decided to have me stitch something up as a gift…. a lanyard! Since she is a HUGE K-State fan, I sought out grosgrain ribbon. You would think that living in Kansas would mean that it was easier to find, but I wound up having to purchase it from Etsy.

As far as construction goes, I used this quick tutorial, cotton webbing (instead of nylon), and new hardware that I bought from 3DPatternPaper (very, very nice quality and I love that the split ring is ‘flat’). I really love the way it turned out and am not thinking I need some Wonder Woman ribbon and start making some accessories for me!

Linky Thursday

Looking for a snuggly stocking stuffer? This owl is a perfect fit (plus it’s kid friendly so your children can help with it too)!

Even the Elf of the Shelf needs a place to sleep. Whip up a pint-sized sleeping bag and pillow with this fun tutorial.

These mini stockings are perfect for gift cards, party favors, or just to string together to make an advent wreath!

If you’re planning on sending out gift baskets this holiday, whip up a few of these pretty circle coasters to stuff inside – they’ll definitely be well received! (These place mats would be a fun addition, too).

Giving someone jewelry? Skip the boxes and give them their gift in a beautiful, drawstring bag.

Children love to decorate gingerbread houses, but it can get expensive, messy, and 99% of the time they eat all the candy. Now give them one they can keep decorating forever and it’s (real) candy free!

Scarves are a hot accessory this winter. Make it even better by adding ruffles.

If a new laptop is in your future, protect it in style with a quilted case.

Cold season is here! If you’re having to tote around tissue boxes, make them cheerier by personalizing them with fabric.

This ‘artist tote’ won’t just make the perfect present, it’ll keep the kids quiet while you’re on the go too!

Transform a plain gift bag into something with a bit of bling.

Whether you give this purse as a present or keep it for yourself for a holiday party, this bow clutch will definitely get attention!


12-rock My 5 year old has asked for some interesting items this year for Christmas: a backyard roller coaster, a live pony, and a campfire playset. While I can’t deliver the first two, I can make the last one (which is a good thing because the set he wants is expensive and back ordered until after Christmas)! The first order of business is making ‘rocks’… after a few prototypes I settled on a slightly oblong shape with two darts on each end. Darts are key to making a proper rock as you’ll need the shaping a dart gives to add volume to your finished design. The nice thing about this project is that it doesn’t matter if they’re not perfect, they’re rocks! Now that I have one behind me, I’m ready to make about a dozen more!

By the way, for those of you interested, the fabric is Stonehenge Metallic Iron Speckled Stone and it’s pretty awesome!


12-wreath2 You know all those fabulous ornament wreaths you see in stores (I posted a tutorial to one in last week’s Linky Thursday)? I finally decided to make one. Like any ‘Pinterest idea’, they never seem to turn out quite as fabulous as what the tutorials might lead you to believe. However, I think my version is an acceptable pass. Some things I learned along the way that they don’t seem to tell you:

Variety is the key. You need several sizes of ornaments to cover your wreath. This doesn’t just fill in the holes you’ll get, but it give the wreath some depth to.

It takes a lot of ornaments to cover a wreath. I purchased a large wreath and it took 76 large ornaments and 29 smallish ones to make what you see…. and I could still use a few small ones!

Think about how you’ll hang your wreath before you start. I had purchased a clear suction cup hanger to use with mine… and I struggled to find a spot to fit the hanger on once the ornaments were attached!

The most important thing? Don’t use a suction cup hanger. Eventually, it will fall down and destroy all your work. Maybe I should stick with sewing.


Punk the Halls

12-punk Punk Designs + Christmas + “Moonshine” = The ultimate gift for my brother-in-law this year. I made this little bag over the weekend and I have to admit, I love it. I stitched out the design on a black, cotton fabric and lined it with a flame material so that when it was tied off, it folded over and you could see the interior really well. I ‘winged’ the dimensions, but wanted it to be large enough that it could be used for something useful later on down the road and boxed out the corners so that it looks nice when it’s filled up.

Tattoo Christmas may be my favorite design pack from Urban Threads. I just bought it a month ago and have used it repeatedly! I did pick up a few more designs last week during their sale so I may try to squeeze in a few more embellished projects before the holiday (I would love to do a ton of these Merry Monsters for Easton’s class, but I think I might be over ambitious!)

Linky Thursday

I’m going to blame the holidays on my mix up… I actually thought TODAY was Thursday! So, it looks as if these links are a day late, but should be awesome enough to tide you over for the weekend!:

Bring a little Christmas into your sewing room by making a pretty peppermint pincushion.

Mini comforters are the perfect size for kids or dogs (and they look super snuggly)!

Skip the gift wrap and make reusable gift boxes instead. This round version is pretty and functional!

Who says twirl skirts are just for girls? Make your own circle skirt this holiday.

Turn fat quarters into a Christmas tree – prefect for holiday decorating!

Have you always wanted to try laminated fabric, but never put in into your shopping cart? Now here’s your chance to win a yard!

Looking for a quick gift for the budding baker in your life? This kid’s apron whips up in 10 minutes!

It’s not sewing, but I’m pretty sure that I want to make one of these ornament wreaths. This ornament tree would make a nice accompaniment.

Beautiful zippers are meant to be shown off. These lace zips (from Japan) look great on little bags.

Chances are the holidays bring extra guests to your house which means you’ll need more seating. Whip up a bunch of pretty floor cushions for the kids or just to sit on while chatting.

Great for traveling or when the kids need to be quiet: The crayon roll.

Easton is all about camping – even if it is indoors. This clever tutorial teaches you how to create a tent from a drying rack and is simply adorable! (You’ll need to translate the page for full instructions)

Finally, Handmade Gifts!

12-merry Honestly, I didn’t forget about today’s post! I finally settled on a few gifts for family members and headed out early this morning to get a jump on shopping. What did I decide on? Gift baskets (and a fun mason jar filled with ‘moonshine’ which is now considered any unaged whiskey. I think it must be ‘trendy’ because there was quite a large display in the liquor store). But because I can’t skip on putting a little something ‘handmade’, I decide to make some teatowls and giftbags! Since some gifts contain alcohol, I’ve opted for Urban Threads’ Eat Drink and be Merry design. I can’t wait to stitch these out and put everything together! Anyone else making some handmade items this year?

The Matching Top

12-shirt Sometimes, you just have to have a matching outfit. After stitching up my leggings, I decided that I needed some sort of toptunic to go with it. After searching through my pattern stash and decided on a (slightly) modified, hooded Jalie 3132 tunic. I’ve made this pattern several times before, however this time around I made the hood without strings, shortened the tunic by 2″ (it’s right in between the top and tunic size), and lengthened the sleeves so that they are long for winter. I have to say, this may be my most favorite version so far! I think this top coordinates well with the leggings without being too matchy-matchy and is super comfy and casual to wear around – although Easton insists that I’m in my pajamas when I wear it with my new leggings.

With that said, I think I’m going to have to make this pattern again very soon. About a month ago, I saw The Counselor and fell in love with Cameron Diaz’s wardrobe in the movie (and her nails were fabulous too) – specifically this dress (you can see the sketch in this article). Although the neckline isn’t as deep, I am thinking I can totally recreate this look with this pattern… and lots of studs!

Now for a breakdown of this shirt’s cost:
Pattern: Jalie 3132

Fabric: Charcoal Black Solid Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee

Total Cost:


Winter Leggings

12-leggingAs soon as I saw the Fair Isle print fabric at Girl Charlee, I knew I had to buy it so that they could become a cute pair of comfy leggings. Once it arrived, I debated which pattern to use: Kwik Sew 3636 (I had used this pattern years ago as part of a Halloween costume for Taylor) or McCall 6173. I went with the McCall pattern only because I could find my KwikSew in my stash… and I’m sort of wishing that I would have went with the other.

I know what you’re saying – it’s a legging pattern, how bad could it be? It’s honestly not that horrible. Our measurements (both Taylor and I wear the same size and she had claimed these too) put us into the “Medium” pattern range – while the fit is fine along the hipwaist area, the legs were baggy, especially around the lower thigh and knee area and a smidge in the calves (who needs baggy leggings, they’ll probably sag after a good wearing on their own without them starting out this way). I wound up shaving them down a few times to get the look I was after and then made the calves a bit snug in the end (some of that is due to the fabric as well since the material doesn’t have as much stretch and recovery as what I would like). All in all, the end look is cute, the pattern is so-so, and the fit is alright. Next time I attempt this I’ll go for the Kwik Sew and see what I wind up with. In the mean time, I’m going to work on making a top to go with my new leggings!

Pattern: McCall 6173

Fabric: Fair Isle cotton print from Girl Charlee

Total Cost:


Holiday No-Sew

12-fish I have to admit, I did very little sewing over the holiday weekend. I found myself spending much of my time cooking (in addition to all the turkey and fixings, I decided to ‘test out’ my recipes from my cooking class at home – I found them to be as tasty, but not a pretty as what the teacher had made), eating, shopping, and decorating for the holidays (the photo on the right is my latest crazy ornament). Now that we’re all back to the grind, I’m ready to settle back into some sewing (and make a few gifts too).

First up: A pair of ‘fun’ print leggings and some sort of tunic-like top (I’m undecided on what I want it to look like right now)! What’s on your sewing table this week?