Tuesday, December 28, 2010

There Comes a Time...

... to lay a good ironing board cover to rest. It couldn't be put off any longer. It was so old and burnt up it had to go. The pad was so flat that when you ironed anything you would see the lines of the board in the fabric. The last straw was when I was working on the iron on transfers for the tie blanket in my last post, I accidentally ended up melting some sticky stuff on it. Sure, I could have just gone out and bought a new one ... but what fun would that be??

Some time ago I had done some browsing of some ironing board cover tutorials. In the end I decided to just figure it out myself. So I sat down and took it all apart. My husband has always been picked on by family (and yes, myself included) about how when he was little he would always take everything apart just to see how it worked. Then there's his famous quote he uses that I've always rolled my eyes at ... "I COULD MAKE IT CHEAPER THAN THAT!" YIKES! It's looking like he has rubbed off on me! I'm just waiting for the teasing to begin. Anyway ... back to the ironing board. I was glad that I did decide to take it apart because I learned how to make my new one without having to deal with any elastic! The old cover just had a tiny cord sewed inside the binding with the ends wound around a little "do-dad".

I started by taking the old fabric and using it to cut out the same size and shape from my new fabric. Then used some 1/4" double fold binding tape and sewed it around the edge with the tiny cord inside being super careful not to stitch over the cord. Was a bit worried my eyes would be permanently crossed after working with all that tiny stuff! X-) I used the actual board itself as a guide for size and shape to cut out a layer of batting and a layer of Insul-brite. Then I just layed out all the layers on the board and took the little "do-dad" and started twisting the cord around it so that it gathered and tightened the cover up underneath until it was a perfect fit!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Another Homemade Gift

My oldest son just recently finished up a great football season. It was actually his first year playing and his team went all the way and won their little "Superbowl". I decided for one of his Christmas gifts I would throw together another memento for him. Since I thought of this a little too close to Christmas I knew I had to pick a project that wouldn't take too long and so I decided on a fleece tie blanket. Used his team colors: black and gold. Then I just stuck on some pictures of him during the season! Hoping he likes it!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Man Purse

About this time five years ago my little family was gearing up for some big changes. We were moving to an island in the Caribbean where my husband would attend school. He was headed down there at the start of the new year and my son and I would join him at the beginning of the summer when the school year was over. With the upcoming time apart so close at hand it was a bit of a stressful holiday season. We were so busy sorting through all of our things and getting rid of most everything as we would be moving with only the things we could cram into our suitcases. So we decided for Christmas this year we would just make each other a small gift. I made for him a pillowcase that I ironed on some pictures of our little family. During our months apart he would be able to see us every night when he went to bed and every morning as he woke up. He made for me a little wooden jewelry box that he glued some charms to and added a way to have a little recorded message play when you opened the lid. So during our months apart I could hear his voice with a special message anytime I chose to. Such wonderful and special gifts! Five years and many changes later we have managed to keep this special tradition going .
This year is the first time I've really been able to make him something since I started sewing and was pretty excited about it. So I now present to you the man purse!

I'm a bit worried it may look too much like a purse. I actually used this wonderful TUTORIAL for a messenger style diaper bag. Ha! I just shrunk down the measurements a whole bunch to make it just big enough for carrying his ipad and maybe some papers and stethoscope and stuff to work. Also, whenever he opens the flap he gets a little peek at his family!

I used fleece on the inside so it would be nice and soft and wouldn't have to worry about scratching any screens. It has some little pen/pencil pockets on the sides. I even did the zipper pocket on the back! I was so proud! I've been avoiding any projects with zippers like the plague. I was quite scared of zippers but it turned out to be not as bad as I expected.

I'll be sure to update after Christmas with whether or not he liked it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just Call Me the Bag Lady

The reversible bags I made for my nieces turned out so nice that I decided to make a bunch more! I made the straps a bit longer but other than that kept it the same. Next time I may add some pockets or something. The one on the right is my favorite!

I also made a business card holder that I mentioned in my last post. This time I kept the measurements as listed in the tutorial instead of making it longer. It turned out pretty great. Instead of using it for business cards I stick my debit card, license and a few bucks in it for those quick trips when I don't feel like carrying a purse. It works perfectly!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's Girl Time

I live in a house full of boys and wouldn't trade 'em for the world. However, I have three beautiful nieces who I decided to make some Christmas gifts for and I couldn't be more excited to get a chance to play around with some girly stuff! I found a cute pattern for a reversible bag that I thought might be a good fit for the two older girls. It was super easy to make and turned out pretty good.

Now I'm just working on filling them up with matching accessories! For this wallet I actually used a tutorial for a business card holder but made it long to hold bills flat out. I added a little loop of elastic and still need to add a little button to the front so it can be closed.

On the top edges I added a decorative stitch I can now do
with my new sewing machine. I probably should have practiced with that first because it is a little bit crooked but not too bad. My husband always says some craziness about how its better when it has those little flaws because it makes it more special.
I'm still deciding what other accessories to add. I've got a couple in mind. Be on the lookout for the finished package!

For my youngest niece I picked out this cute butterfly fabric. My plans for her gift is to attempt a twirly skirt and a matching bag. Also I bought a simple white shirt to go with the skirt. I'm going to use the same fabric to do an applique butterfly or letter A for her name on the shirt. I'm very excited for this project and really hoping for it to be a success!

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Early Christmas Present

I picked out my own Christmas present this year. Decided it was time for a sewing machine upgrade. It's nothing too fancy but a big improvement from the one I had. The new one is computerized and has 70 built in stitches. It runs so smooth and has speed control and is just much easier (for me anyways) to get things nice and neat and precise. I'm thrilled with it.
My first project with my new machine was an advent calendar ... kind of. Sometime after the holidays I plan to take this project and fix it up. I have so many thoughts for more details on it. Since we were already a few days into December I had to just throw it together real quick so we could start using it. The background fabric is white with sparkly silver snowflakes and swirls. Very pretty up close! Then I cut out a christmas tree shape and added it. The red at the bottom is suppose to be "Santa's Bag" and it is a little pocket where I put 24 tree "ornaments". They are just little stick on foam shapes. So every morning when Isaac wakes up he takes one out and decorates the tree with it. So we know when Santa's bag is empty it's Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sew Many Projects, Sew Little Time!

I am almost done playing catch up. Very soon I will be able to just show off my current projects! Here are a few of the "quickies".

Our dog is the messiest drinker ever!! Or maybe all dogs are like that?? Well, I made this cute little placemat for her food and water dishes. It has a cute little bone pattern and blue fabric on the back. I just threw some quilt batting in between and got some quilting practice. I cut out a piece of clear vinyl the same size as the placemat and use that for the placemat to sit on. That way it keeps the water from soaking through to the floor and I can just snatch up the placemat and throw it in the washer when needed. However, it didn't come close to solving the problem of the messy drinking. I'm not sure why I thought maybe she would contain her drips to such a small area. Water still flies everywhere! At least she's eatin' and drinkin' in style I suppose.

Rarely while I'm browsing for fun sewing projects do I c ome across good ones for little boys. So when I found this tutorial http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2010/02/childs-tool-belt.html
I knew I had to make one for Isaac. It was super easy to throw together and he's had lots of fun using it not only for his tools but also for his little army guys and whatever else he can think to put in it.

I used this tutorial to make this cute little basket: http://ayumills.blogspot.com/2008/05/tutorial-fabric-basket.html It currently sits on the sewing table to be used as a place to throw scraps.

This last one is just a bag I threw together real quick that hangs from the side of my table right now. It has a short pocket on front and at the top a piece of boning to help it hang open better.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oh Baby!('s room)

Of course I had to make the baby bedding! The baby would be sharing a room with Isaac (my 3 yr old) so I needed a theme that was cute for a baby but not too "babyish" for Isaac. I decided I could make a sports theme work nicely. I did some browsing of all the sets you can buy in stores to try and get some ideas and thought that this color scheme worked well together. I didn't want to just pick blue for boy. I just used some iron-on transfer paper to add the picture I wanted and just sewed together some blocks and added a small border and ... Taa-daa!

I used the same thing for the crib skirt. Sewed the blocks together and added a small border on top and bottom. Also added some small but well spaced out pleats at the top just enough to give it that wavy look. I thought I was gonna go all out and even make a fitted sheet. However, I got a bit lazy at this point and found a cute one at target that went well with theme!
Then we have the diaper stacker. I think the material I used for that top rectangle was a bit too thin and maybe the single handle in the middle wasn't a great idea because it kind of pulls it funny. Overall it turned out pretty well. I plan to eventually add Connor's name to it.

At the moment Isaac's bed has some store bought sports theme bedding. They don't match my creations though! So I am working on the quilt for his bed as well as some other matching room decor. I'll be sure to add the pics when I get it all finished and set up!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oh Baby!

I mentioned in a previous post about some news recieved on New Year's Eve last year that had me a bit distracted. That news was that our little family was growing!! So once I made it to 20 weeks and found out I would be having BOY number 3, I decided it was time for some baby crafts!

I wanted to start with a diaper bag. So I searched and searched online for the right free pattern and found several that I really liked. However, since it was my first time making a bag I wanted something really simple. So I got the general idea of how to make a reversible bag and then kind of did my own thing. The corners are actually square, I just didn't push them out in this first picture. Beside it is a little case for a couple diapers and travel wipe case.

Considering this was my first bag, I think it turned out pretty good. Unfortunately, I have only used it once or twice. There are some flaws in it that frustrate me. It needs some kind of closure maybe and probably a heavier interfacing because when you put it on your arm whatever is inside pulls down in the middle and then you get some crazy gap going on. Also the pockets werent thought out well enough. They don't really hold what I want them too.

I have thought about eventually making these adjustments to the bag. However, recently I have been experimenting with some different bag patterns that I like a lot better. So now I'm leaning towards taking it all apart and using the fabric to start all over!

The next project I made is something you can find in stores with catchy names like "Hooter Hider" or "Udder Cover". It's a cute little nursing cover up with an adjustable strap, a little pocket at the bottom and a "peek hole" so you can see baby while nursing.

It was super easy to make. I just hemmed all the edges, made a little casing at the top and slipped in a piece of corset boning for the peek hole and added some D-rings to make the adjustable strap.

Sadly, this is another project that has not got a ton of use. It turned out perfect and I loved it. I just am not one of the brave women who can just whip it out in public and feed baby anywhere they are, whether the hooters are hidden or not. So when I am out and find that I HAVE to nurse, I go sit in the car to do it. So when we are sitting in the car it's just as easy to throw a blanket over us in case someone should walk by. However, right after little man was born we were going to football games for my oldest son and still had some hot and humid weather. During that time I did use my homemade hooter hider since it was much more lightweight and therefore cooler than a blanket.

Oh! One more thing before I end this post. If you happened to click on either of the last two pics, please pay no mind to my nasty ironing board with all the ugly burn marks and stuff! lol But if you did already notice it, rest assured it is on my crafty to do list. I will definitely be recovering my little ironing board before too long!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Paper Piecing Practice

Say that five times fast!

Here is a little pinwheel pattern that I printed so I could try my hand at paper piecing and I loved it! It all came out so nice and neat and was a piece of cake!
So now I have quite a few of these colorful pinwheels and not too sure what to do with them yet. The squares I have aren't enough to make even just a lap quilt. Maybe a quilted totebag or something?? I don't know.

Let's Try This Again ...

I started this blog with great intentions. Then I got a little surprise on New Year's Eve that had me a bit distracted for awhile. Now almost a whole year later I'm ready to try to start this back up. I have done a few projects here and there and just want to share what I have done and maybe even get some feedback and even more ideas!

So here are a few things I've been working on this past year:

Don't laugh too hard at this first one. I was getting tired of having to use the dining room table for sewing and didn't want to pay the big bucks to buy one right now. So ... the hubby and I made one. I got the idea from a blog I came across at some point. We just used an adjustable height folding table and added styrofoam built up to the height of the base of my sewing machine. Made the little rectangle in front of the machine removeable so I can change the bobbin and everything. We added some clear vinyl on top to make it nice and smooth so fabric slides over it nicely and Taa-Daa!! My very own sewing table. I know it looks pretty rough ...but I can work on the appearance. For right now though it serves it's purpose beautifully.
This next picture isn't very clear but it is 2 table runners I made. I thought they turned out really well considering I'm such a new sewer. I just knew those little squares weren't gonna line up right. However, I put it all together and just needed to add some binding to finish it when I realized it wasn't really long enough for my table and then I never finished them. One day I'll pull them back out and finish them though!