Saturday, December 28, 2013


Well, drafts are busted, anyway, with this draft buster:
It's made from a pattern in Betz White's Sewing Green book.

I liked all the little details, like the fungi:
And the snail:
And the log ends:
The leaves and things were glued on, so I don't know how I feel about that.  Hopefully they will withstand the test of time.

I had to enlarge the pattern pieces in the book by 200%, so I went to FedEx Office and they did it on their blueprint printer.  It cost a whopping 81 cents.  Nuts.  The last time I had to enlarge a pattern, I went to an actual blueprint place and it cost like $30.  Whaaaa?  So, yeah, I'll be going to the FedEx place for more pattern enlargement in the future.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Marbled Cards

Back in October I took a marbling class that was pretty awesome, but it left me with all these pieces of marbled paper.  I decided to chop them up and stick them to blank notecards to make up some notecard gift sets this Christmas.

Forgive the over saturation of color in the following photos.  They are more gently hued in real life.

Each set had five cards with five different marbled pieces:

And then I stamped the back of each one with my Japanese signature stamp. I used to use that thing every day for two years in Japan to mark the attendance sheet.

I had three cards left over and I kept them for myself, but I think I sent two of the empty envelopes off with the sets.  Oh well.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

For a Little Explorer

My nephew likes dinosaurs and digging for dinosaur bones, so my mom and I collaborated on his gift this year.  She got him a bunch of little explorer items, like binoculars and a compass and things, and I made this little vest.
I used the pattern from the Oliver + S: Little Things to Sew.  I swear, I'm going to make everything in this book to get my money's worth. 

I used a light green corduroy from my stash.  I also had this beautiful woven blue cotton that is just a dream to touch for the lining and pockets.  I was going to do matching corduroy pockets, but this turned out much better.  The bias binding along the armholes was a donation from my mother to my crafting stash.  Buttons were also a donation from my mudder...she wanted me to go with little compass buttons, but they seemed pretty delicate and said something like "handwash only!"

Changes...I added those little white potholder things so that my nephew could attach his binoculars, compass, or whatever else.  I also lined all the pockets instead of tidily folding one piece of fabric around the edges.  I also skipped the pocket flap on the back.
And then there were the button holes.  I hate them so much. I dread using that button hole foot every single time I need to do a button.  Blah.  I have to do like 800 tries on scrap fabric before I try on the real thing and even then it goes from decent:
To puke:
Blah.  It was the last one and the final thing to do on the vest, so....

PS...I stuck an old skeleton key in one of the pockets.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Felt Cookie Set

Following this tutorial at The Mother Huddle, I decided to make my niece a little felt cut out cookie set to go along with her little chicken apron.

The stitches are incredibly ugly.  Oh, well.  I was slightly pressed for time and I would have preferred a tidy blanket stitch, but whatever.  I also did the cookie itself in a little bit of a darker thread to indicate that it had been cooked.
I found the mini rolling pin at my local Ace hardware.
The yellow cookie cutter was in my drawer.  I was going to do a star, but I didn't like it.  I really liked the one in the tutorial, but given the pathetic state of the St. Paul roads, I did not feel like driving out to an antique store to find one.

I added a little foil cookie sheet to the set:

Don't forget to ice them:

And then I put everything together.  The only thing I didn't have was the spatula and I liked her idea with the little box, but I didn't have one and kept forgetting to look for one.
Ugh.  Blurry.

And I put one of those gift bags and gift tags to good use:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blast Off!

I finally finished those retro space age stockings that I've been working on for months.  Progress on them took a detour in September, but I was able to finish them early this month.  

My stupid fireplace doesn't have very well placed hooks, so this is what they look like hanging from it.

Here they are individually...the Robot:

It's my favorite:
The spaceship:
And the rocket:

The pattern said to fuse everything together and then stitch around the applique.  I stitched each piece individually.  As it turns out, I would've melted the felt had I fused everything, because I did not use 100% wool.  (I learned this when I tried to fuse the letters to save time.  Yup, nearly ruined everything with trying to cut corners!) Also contrary to the pattern instructions, I bedazzled the stockings and added little red bells at the toes.

The fourth pattern is a ray gun, so if the recipients have another kiddo, I can make that, but I'm not sure how they would feel about a gun stocking.  What would be the alternative?  A retro alien?  

Also, I have minor concerns about the placement of the hanging tabs.  I feel like I should've put them right on the side seam or closer to it.  Oh well...too late now.  They have been delivered and are now hanging in their new home.  Yay!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Owl Apron

Yes, another apron.  This one is for my three year old nephew.  I used Kwik Sew's K3247.
I did this pattern when I first started sewing, but I made it reversible, so adding the facing bit was new for me, so it deserved a photo:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

In Pillow Form...Finally

I finally took this:
And turned it into a pillow.  It would have been done months earlier, but I had the wrong size pillow form.  I had a 14x14 and it really needed a 16x16.
 With some silver shag fabric as the backing:
I love this fabric.  Seriously.  I want to marry it.   But, alas, the pillow is destined for a new home. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chicken Apron

I swear, patterns sometimes use the ugliest, plainest fabrics to showcase themselves.  I've had this pattern (Simplicity 3949) in my stash for ages and never made any of the aprons, because a.) the heart one is stupid and b.) the others just looked dull.  However, faced with the task of making a child-size apron this Christmas, I pulled it out and took a closer look.  

I really had to look at the lines of A and C in order to make a decision and since I am a seasoned apron maker, I went with A.  It had more opportunities for contrast, which, I think, really makes for a stellar apron.  

Tooting own horn?  Yes.

I mean, just look at cute:
Dog tail for scale.
That's some Alexander Henry fabric, I believe, with the chicken/egg/roosters and just some plain pink I had in my stash.  I had actually forgotten about the chicken fabric until this past Thanksgiving when I went and visited one of those I Spy blankets that I made last year. (I was actually visiting relatives with the added bonus of visiting the blanket!)  Once I saw that little square of chicken fabric, I knew that it needed to be this apron.  

I strategically placed the rooster front and center on the bib.  

As for the construction of it...all went according to plan, I believe.  There was a little confusion as to how the bib attached, but I just read the directions a few times and went for it.  And because this was child-sized, I didn't even mind the gathering bit.  I usually curse and cry and stab myself in the eye with the seam ripper a few times when gathering, but the trick is just to do small bits of gathering.  Much less stressful.

So this is now wrapped and will soon head South, which is what I'd prefer to be doing, especially with this frigid arctic air that's making Minnesota into a very, very, very cold place to be right now.  Balls, if I had them, would be frozen.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

30+ Days Late

Halloween.  When was that?  Oh, yeah, October.  I made a costume for my kid.  It was actually a long hard road with the costume and probably would've made mediocre blog content, but, again:  pregnant and lazy.  So, blah.

I wanted to make the Goodnight Moon bunny and ordered some of that minky fabric off of ebay.  It was totally the wrong color.  Still blue, but not turquoise.  I have not taken a photo.  You'll just have to take my word for it.  I didn't return it, but I should have.  Lies!  

Then I went with just bunny.  I found some purple faux fur at the fabric store and picked up a lot of that.  I went with Butterick 3238.
All of my calculations led me to believe that this would fit her.  It had a gazillion pattern pieces and faux purple fur went all over the craft room.  I accidentally cut out the wrong size hood.  I whipped up the body part while the kid was at the park and when she got back I put it on her only to discover that it was way too big.  You see, I had calculated her entire height instead of doing the base of neck.  It was like six inches too long. 

No picture of her in it, but this is what I made up.
It's an Easter hue, I know, but it would have worked just fine as a silly little Halloween costume.  

So then it was back to the cutting board.  I had made the smallest size on the last pattern, so there was no where else for me to go with that one.  I went back to my stash and picked out another kid costume.  There was another bunny on it, but I didn't have any more faux fur, so I had to improvise.
I went with the kitty.  So I scrounged through my fabric stash and found a faux leather cat fabric, some faux fur left over from this costume, a little bit of black fabric, and a variety of brown bias tape.  It worked.

She moves pretty fast, so these are the pictures I was able to snag.
For the tail, which you can sort of see in the above photo, I just cut out a tail shape in the faux fur and tacked it onto the back of the costume.  I did not see the point in sewing a tube of fabric, because turning that frustrates me to no end.  Also note that I was too lazy (or rushed, now that I think about it, because this was made the night before Halloween) to switch out my thread at the cuff.
So there you have it.  If I make up the hood on that purple costume (still in a heap on my craft room floor, so I better get to that before the cats shit on it), then she'll have a costume in the future.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Where did half of October and all of November go???  I was not doing much crafting due to a medical condition called pregnancy.  I was just too pooped to do anything.  I'm in the second trimester now, so I'm feeling better.  Plus I had to muster recently, because my niece and nephew both turn three this week.  I made some crayon rollups, which I have previously made here.

I made three each for the two birthday kiddos and one for another nephew.  So here they are:
I opted for the button closure this time around, because the kids are only three and four.