Category Archives: Swaps

A Series of Unfortunate Events

The title of this blog post isn’t just the name of a movie, it also describes how my weekend of crafting went. I think it’s important to show the occasional ‘wadder’ because, let’s face it, even the most seasoned seamstress struggles with an occasional project. The first item up on my sewing table was a pair of booties from Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones (I had intended this to be part of my Spell My Name Swap package). Even though I’ve made this particular item numerous times over the past 4 years, somehow, I managed to bungle this one… just look at how large the sole is compared to the shoe! After double checking to be sure that I didn’t cut out the wrong size, I realized that the bootie itself was just too small. My only conclusion that I could come up with is that I ‘shrunk’ the material when I added the interfacing. Whatever the cause, it’s now in the trash. I am debating on trying again or making something else.

The other project that went awry is a Japanese eraser kit. This particular product has been sitting in our storage room for over a year because my oldest never took an interest in trying it. So out of boredom, my 4 year old and I decided to give it a whirl (after looking up the English instructions online). The premise is simple: roll a ball of clay, press and remove into the mold, boil your creation, then cool it off in cold water. Little do they tell you the clay sticks to the mold, doesn’t blend together well, and will fall apart if multiple pieces have to be put together and aren’t adequately smooshed together. As you can see, the final products don’t look like the ones on the box. The bottom line? If you like fun erasers, spring for the kind that are already made – they’re probably less expensive and look great. If you’re looking for an interesting activity to do with your children and they don’t mind how the end product looks, then definitely give it a whirl.

A is for…..

I’m on a roll making items for my latest swap. Today, it’s “A is for Absorbent Burp Cloths” Since my partner is expecting her first child, I’ve decided that her entire package would be something for the new mombaby. What’s a better present than some ‘designer’ burp cloths? They’re cute, absorbent, and best of all, easy to make. I chose two fabrics that she’s selected as potential baby room themes: Star Wars and OwlsWoodland. Now all this baby needs is a matching onesie….. guess what I’m making next?

Sleepy Eyes

I know what you’re going to say. You’re in another swap?

Partners were announced the other day for the Spell My name Swap and I was so motivated that I’ve already started on my first project: “R is for Restful Eye Pillow”. This is a simple little rectangle (a twill on the front and satin on the backside) that’s embellished with some ‘sleepy’ eyes. I filled it with rice so you can either heat it up in the microwave or chill it in the freezer. I debated adding a ‘relaxing’ essential oil fragrance to the rice, but nixed it in the end. My partner is pregnant and I didn’t want to trigger any sort of sensitivities to smell – it wouldn’t just scent the eye pillow, but potentially the whole package when I shipped it too. Now if I can just pry it away from the little guy – he’s enjoying it way too much (too bad it won’t relax him enough to nap).

Keep Calm And Add Sleeves

Last Friday I showed you the stencil…. today I’m showing off the shirt! When I started my swap shirt, I was fairly confident that I could refashion a tee, the stencil was the part I was concerned with. Consequently, I did the hardest part first (that way if I ‘messed up’, I could always go out and get a new shirt and start again) and saved the sewing for last. This was a fairly simple recon – removing the existing sleeves, tracing them off onto a new fabric, and then resewing. Normally, this wouldn’t be a long process, but I spent quit a bit of time trying to make sure the stripes matched and were lined up perfectly. I’m not sure that my partner will notice, but in the end, I will. So I think it was worth it!

Even though I’d love to somehow add some of my partner’s other themes into this shirt, I’m afraid I’ll ruin the cute shirt I already have…. so I’m stopping while I’m ahead. Now to pop this into the mail and send it off!

Keep Calm

Besides the Blythe swap that I entered, I also decided that I Needed A FunkyCool T-shirt, too. Even though partners were given quite awhile ago, I’ve been sitting, mulling over what I might make. I found that if the person I’m swapping with doesn’t have a Pinterest (or similar type site), it’s a lot more difficult narrowing down ideas because I’m not quite sure what their style might be. Initially, I thought I would try to take as many of their interests (we got 6) and mash them all into one design, but it got very complicated very quickly and I never could find all the supplies that I wanted to make the shirt look the way I wanted (I was trying to find those tiny shirt lights, apparently that fad is over). So, instead, I settled on using two… the first portion of the shirt is ‘sewing themed’ – as you can see I made a “Keep Calm and Sew On” stencil (I thought about using a screen print, but the image I wanted to make was actually larger than the size of the YUDU). For the crown, I used a special glue and gold foil then embellished it with rhinestones to give it even more ‘bling’. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out – not bad for freezer paper and craft knife!

Victorian Top Hat

Between the holidays and deadlines the original post I had in mind for today just didn’t happen (I’ll be doing a book review along with some fun products on Friday, now!). Instead, I thought I would share my last swap package item…. a hat for Blythe. This matches the Victorian style dress that I made for my partner and is the same design as the Gothic Blythe hat, but I like this version better. Why? I interfaced the heck out of it! I think it’s retained the shape better, doesn’t buckle under the weight of embellishment, and that tullefloral embellishment works well with the design. In fact, I like this version so much better than my original, I’m thinking I’m going to have to remake the Gothic Blythe hat later on this week.

It’s a (Blythe) Party

Since we’re on the topic of Bylthe this week, I should probably show you a second dress I worked on…. a nature party dress. This was a fabric style that my partner liked and I wasn’t really sure if I would care for it in the end, but now I want to keep it for myself! It’s adorable (can I have one in my size?). For the pattern, I used the party dress pattern from the Puchi Collective – I’ve used this particular style several times before and consistently get great results.

Santa Gift Bags

Probably one of the most heavily ‘pinned’ tutorials that I see on Pinterest is the Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial… even my Stocking Swap partner had it (hidden) in hers! So for my final project for this swap, I decided to make one (I figured it was a good way to ‘wrap’ up one of her items and if she chooses to she can ‘recycle it’ this Christmas. The other gift bag I intend on using to stash a teacher gift)! I decided to use a ‘tropical’ Santa print that was accidentally sent by Fabric.com (they told me to keep it and sent the correct fabric) – I wasn’t really sure how I would use this, but once I decided on the gift bag, I knew it might be the right fit. Now that they are sewn up, I realize that the scale of the print might have been too large. While one bag the Santa is pretty prominent, the other one he’s completely ‘lost’ (you can see a hand here and there and a reindeer or two, but that’s it), so the bag just looks ‘tropical.’ I’m guessing that this particular tutorial works best with smaller designs – oh well, live and learn.

So Charming

One thing I knew I wanted to make my Stocking Swap partner was a purse of some sort. She had some ‘inspiration’ purses in her Pinterest wish list, so I searched all morning and came up empty handed – you would have thought with all the bag books I own, that one design would have looked remotely similar! Instead I decided to come up with something completely different that I think she’ll like: The Charming Handbag from Bend-the-Rules Sewing in a fun skull print!

I have a first printing of this book so I should let you know that this particular pattern has some (rather important) information omitted: the sizes for the casing and handles have been omitted from the cutting information (you can find the corrections to the book here). Once I figured out what to cut, the rest of the bag was smooth sailing – in fact I really adore the way it turned out… I think that the skulls bring an unexpected twist to such a feminine shaped purse. I like it so much that I’m considering making one for myself, although I think it really needs some sort of magnetic closure because I’m prone to having things fall out of my purse.

Skulls & Owls

The deadline for my Christmas Stocking Swap is rapidly approaching – where did the time go? I thought I had better kick my sewing into high gear and make the last, few items before it was time to send. One thing my partner had put on her wishlist is some fun, embellished towels… so here’s what I came up with:

The towel on the left is a fun “Knitty Gritty Quilt Pirate” print (skulls with scissors, I love it!), the towel in the middle is purchased from Joann’s over Halloween, and the end is the owl print that I’ve used throughout this swap on a multi-colored towel (I was amazed at how the colors matched). It’s been awhile since I’ve done something like this so I’ve forgotten how simple to make and how cute they turn out in the end. I’m thinking that I’ve got enough kitchen towels that are wearing out that I may have to make a few for myself!