Sewing in 2015 Review

Several years ago I started keeping a notebook by my sewing machine and recorded the projects (and other information) that I worked on throughout the year. It’s always fun to go back through and see what I’ve accomplished and how many yards I’ve sewn up (the yardage sewing is new this year)! Here is a brief breakdown of what 2015 looked like:

  • I sewed 94 projects and 200 rice bags (yes, I was crazy) in 2015
  • I tend to sew “independent designers” more than “Big 4” patterns.
    • I used 4 “Big 4” patterns in 2015
    • The most used independent designer I use continues to be Jalie (15 patterns sewn). Although, this year I used Peek-a-Boo patterns just as often (15 patterns sewn as well).
    • Betz White (6 patterns) and Seamwork Magazine designs (5 patterns) also dominated my worktable as well. While I had a respectable 8 for self-drafted creations.
  • I sewed approximately 110 1/2 yards during the year.

In comparison, 2015 didn’t have as many completed projects as past years largely because my mom had spent so much of the year involved with surgeries (3) and I spent most of that time taking care of her needs. The thing that surprised me was the number of yards sewn…. I’m not sure what the average yardage is, but 110 1/2 seems smaller than what I expected.

So, there you have it! 2015 is officially wound up and I’m ready to see what 2016 has in store!

Backgammon Bag

bag1Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that 2016 brings you much happiness, joy, and fabric!

I am excited to kick off the first day of 2016 by showing off my latest creation, the Backgammon Bag! I tested out this pattern for Betz White (which is currently only available through the Bag of the Month Club) and absolutely loved working on this one. Because of my love for crazy prints, I went with a colorful sugar skull print for the body of the bag, but since it was so ‘busy’, I wound using a bit of black to break it up some – resulting in a very different bag than some of the other testers.

The bag has two exterior pockets, an adjustable strap, a flap with lock closure, and just the ‘right’ about of interfacing that the bag holds it’s shape well, but isn’t difficult to work with. My favorite part, though, is the ‘backgammon stripes’ which allowed me to fussy cut my prints and do a bit of piecing without the commitment of a quilt. I think I will eventually make a more traditional version, but in the mean time I’m getting quite a few compliments on the skulls so I’ll keep this style for awhile.

Edited to add: If you’re wondering how your fabrics might look when put together, Betz has designed a great coloring page so that your can easily plan out your design!

Linky Thursday

This shoe sachet tutorial is perfect timing because my oldest’s work shoes are in dire need of some… the fact that there’s a Sasquatch on it is bonus.

It takes just two pieces to make this tulip dress. It seems to whip up so fast that you might be able to make it in time for a NYE party!

Not only is this fabric tick-tack-toe board portable (it comes with it’s own carrying case), but it’s reusable for lots of gameplay!

If you’re lucky enough to have it still be sunny where you are, then you’ll probably want to make a sun glass case to store your sunnies. Don’t need a glass case? Try this smaller purse phone pouch instead.

Transform cute socks into an even cuter clasp pouch.

Not only will this tutorial teach you how to upcycle a sweater into a pair of boot socks, but will show you how to make a matching cowl as well!

Laundry is my nemesis. Maybe if I make a few of these extra large laundry baskets, I may be able to put off doing it for a few extra days.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the contents in your purse, be sure to check out this handy bag organizer.

These fold up tote is perfect for storing in the car or gift giving this holiday.

Christmas may be over, but it’s never too late to make a few ornaments for next year. These felt ice skates are perfect for next year’s tree or try it as a package decoration.

Does your little one need new gear for the cold? Whip up an adorable slouchy beanie using recycled shirt or sweater.

A fun way to change up the decorations in your home: Quilted & Piped Letters. This one is even no-sew.

Do you knit or know someone who does? This ultimate knitters tote looks like a definite ‘must-have’.

Hello 80s!

12-simplicityI am happy to say that as I enter 2016, I will not have any UFOs (un-finished objects)…. well, except one (alright two, but I plan on getting in the sewing room to finish that up tomorrow)…. Simplicity 1070. While I love the premise of this jacket and I adore the material, I just don’t love it on me.

You see it screams “Hello, ’80s” when I put this on…. all I need is a bottle of Aquanet and really big hair to pull this look off. If you can look past the horrible mirror selfie (all my photographers were gone), you can see that it is very oversized and the fabric (as much as I love it) make this jacket look dated (thinking back on it, I am pretty sure I had a boyfriend style jacket in a similar print when I was in middle school). Consequently, I think this project may have to be scrapped. Well, at least I’m starting off the new year with a clean slate!

Unwrapping the December Knit Fix

12-decknitfixI hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Around here there was lots of cooking\eating, game playing, and merriment…… although no sewing. I did, however, finally get to open my Girl Charlee December Knitfix (that has been sitting under the tree for over a week)!

Inside my bag (which is adorable, unfortunately, I cut a hole into it when I opened my package) was: brown coral Navajo on beige, black white big abstract lines (chevron), black stained glass jersey, Turq red festive emblems, white floral baroque paisley, blue black animal stripe.

Overall, not too bad of a bag.The Navajo print is probably my least favorite (the design and the colors aren’t what I usually work with), but if I can find the right coordinates, I think I can make a cute outfit. Out of all of them, the baroque (bottom center) is my favorite, but I still am unsure how I might use it…. chances are I’m just going to horde it for awhile. I think I might sneak away and stare at them all and see what pops into my head for patterns (I have quite a few new ones in cue, but just not enough time to get to them)… worst case scenario: I wind up with a few new scarves soon! What has everyone else been working on over the break?

 

Oh Christmas Tree

12-tree2Remember earlier in the month when I did a bit of (ceramic) painting? Well, my pieces were finally fired and ready to bring home.

While the tree looks pretty “traditional” (meh), I absolutely adore the base where I used a very cool ‘swirl’ technique (using shaving cream and paint). If I would have tried this sooner in my paint job, I think I would have done my entire tree this way. I also tried the same technique on the ornament in some Christmas themed colors… I think I prefer the bold colors of the base instead. When I brought it home, Easton helped me load it up with lights and we plugged it in – what a beautiful glow!

In other news, I have an abundance of fabric to unwrap for the holidays. There is a December Girl Charlee Knifix under the tree (I did a good job not unwrapping the contents, but will admit I peeked a little to see what was inside) and I have a fun HarleyQuinn\Joker themed knit and panel (a pre-order from KNITorious Fabric) arriving in the mail tomorrow (plus I ordered some bag hardware from Emmaline Bags so I’m set when the Bag of the Month Club starts).

One More Quick Gift

12-scarf2Since last week’s last minute gift sewing went so well, I decided I need to make at least one more scarf.

This time around I used a a pretty, knit print that I got from Elliott Berman Textiles ages ago. While I adore the print, the down side to using this fabric is that I only had one yard. So, after squaring up the material, I cut it in half and pieced it together to get the dimensions I needed. Fortunately the print is so busy that you can’t see the seam very well!

This one will be for my mom – who didn’t want an infinity scarf until she noticed everyone wearing them last week.

Better Blindfolds

12-mask2Easton’s Christmas party was Friday and one of the games we played was “Pin the Tail on Rudolph”. I tried this game last year and found that the blindfold (a bandanna) we used still let the kids ‘see’ where the nose was – especially if they cocked their head just right. So, this year I had a plan…. make better blindfolds!

I wound up using my Sleep Mask pattern as the basis for this project, but then decided (last minute) to make it more fun by adding some eyes to the outside of the mask (I selected “Flirty Eyes” from Urban Threads). I love the way it turned out, but Easton declared he wasn’t going to wear it because it was too girly…. so I wound up making a second blindfold in a holiday themed print – good thing these masks whip up so quickly (about 30 minutes)!

 

Last Minute Gifts

12-scarfThere is nothing like a little last minute holiday sewing…

Yesterday, before I went up to Easton’s school for his Christmas party, I decided to make a few last minute gifts for some of his ‘specials teachers’ (e.g. music). I had seen someone talking about making Infinity Scarves and thought that this would make a great present – so I found the dimensions that I needed to cut my fabric, grabbed the Green Botanical Spots fabric from my September KnitFix, and went to work. In 30 minutes (cutting time included) I had two great gifts, plus I found a use for the material I was still scratching my head over! Why didn’t I ever do this before? I may sift through my fabric stash today and make a few more…. for myself!

Linky Thursday

Just in case you missed yesterday’s post: My latest (free) project for WeAllSew is live! Stitch up a Letters to Santa Pillow for your family this year. While you’re at it, be sure to enter to win a Bernina’s Beauty Kit located at the bottom of the post (plus there’s 16 other day’s of free projects and prizes to be won on their website)!

Holiday party coming up? Bring your hostess a beverage in this pretty wine tote.

Furry friends get cold too. Stitch them up a fleece dog sweater for the winter weather.

Learn how to make a little reader library tote and enter tow in a copy of On The Go Bags.

New Christmas pajamas aren’t just for kids. This silky pj set for women would make a perfect selfish-sewing gift.

There’s still plenty of time for gift sewing. This Flat House would make little doll lover happy this holiday.

Bring a bit of winter into your kitchen with this fun snowman hot pad.

Dressing up for the holidays? Make your little boy\tween a new bow tie…. and don’t forget the men! Or turn two old ties into one great reversible tie!

Looking for a great gift for guys this holiday? Check out this travel shaving kit pattern.

A great way to use up scraps and perfect little gifts for everyone: Holiday Tissue Holders!

Get ready for spring decorating by making a few hydrangea pillows.

Pretty coin purses make great stocking stuffers – especially his metallic thread gem pouch.

Have a Minecraft fan in your home? Make a few of these Minecraft Plush to stash in a stocking.

These mouse slippers are so cute, I wish they came in my size.

Cold air has finally made it’s way here. Stitch up a pair of cozy (double layer) fleece mittens to keep little hands warm.

Make you your own Elf of the Shelf with this free plush pattern.