Monday, March 31, 2014

Mad Hatter

My niece needed some bigger hats, so I made her four for her birthday last week.  I made her a bunch of different styles last year, but it was the Oliver + S Bucket Hat that seemed to work the best for her.  I made a total of eight hats, four for her and four for my kid.  

I had a few mishaps with getting the brims to fit:
But by the end, I had figured out that I needed to really, really trim the seam allowances to get the two parts to fit together.  

I actually used up a lot of fabric on this project.  Awesome.  I even came up short on one hat, so I had to improvise:
It looked pretty plain, so I added a little embellishment:

I made this next one with the intention of having the blue on the outside and the strawberry as the lining, but the strawberry was pretty cute as an exterior.   These hats can be reversed, so either way works.  I tried to add some red ribbon (was an inch or two shy) and then some velvet ric rac, but that took too long to sew on.  In the end, it's just a plain hat:

This next one is a favorite.  I love that soft yellow lace trim:

And then there's the white polka dot hat with some fun trim:

I made the size up (Medium) that is supposed to fit 3-5 year olds, so hopefully this works.  

Friday, March 28, 2014


I mentioned earlier this month that I wanted to start to make a dent in my scrap fabric pile.  I saw a tutorial via pinterest for Happy Together's fabric alphabet and thought it would be a good way to use up some of those scraps.

Well, I don't think I made a dent, but I did use up some flannel for the backing.  I also used some saved batting that had been trimmed off of some quilts (quilt smegma?) and I put that in the middle, so I used up some of that, as well.

I ran out of blue flannel, so I had to make like five or six letters with some yellow calico flannel.  Oh well.  I still need to make one of these sets for my own kid.  She's playing with her cousin's birthday set.  

I tried to make a drawstring bag for their long term storage, but it was just a disaster.  First I mis-boxed the corners of the bag and then I tried to string it with rope, but the rope got all messed up.  And then one of the grommets popped off.  Blah!  I just gave up and used a holiday bag that they can either reuse for its original, intended purpose or they can keep the letters in it.  That's up to them.

Also, things that I learned during this project:

1.) Pinking shears are a bitch to work with.  I used them to cut through the three layers and it was miserable.  I really don't know why I bought them, but I thought they were what I'm supposed to have in my sewing box.  I rarely use them.

2.)  Fabric marking pens have disappearing ink.  I thought the ink disappeared with water, but apparently air will do it.  Useless.  I marked letters at the start of the month and most of the tracings vanished.  Grrrr.  The chalk tracings were intact, but the purple lines were gone.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


My friend sent Z a bag for her birthday:
So cute!
Fishy straps and lining.

She said that she used this tutorial.  Fun!  Thank you!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Most Useful Word

I think that the most useful word is "smegma."  If you don't know what this word means in real life, then you should google it.  It's a pretty gross thing, but it really is a very handy word.

We use it all the time.  When we lived in California we used it to describe palm trees that had not been know, with all the old, dead fronds layered under the green ones.  Palm smegma.  Now, when the plow comes through, it leaves a pile of snow at the bottom of the driveway and then we have to dig ourselves out...again.  Plow smegma.

After finishing two projects recently, I realized that I can also use it for my sewing.  Below is my sewing smegma:
Last time I was pregnant I left all this smegma all over the craft room for like 2 months after birth, because I was too swollen to get down and clean it up.  I haven't swollen that much yet, so it looks like I'll have to take some time and crawl around to collect it.

Oh, and I also have a serger smegma collection cup:

Anyway, pictures of the projects will come later in the week.  They are birthday gifts, so I have to pack them up and send them off.  They may be late.  (Sorry!)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

300,000 Stitch Tune Up

My sewing machine is currently screeching when the needle plunges into the fabric, much like a Psycho film.  Blah.  I don't know where to oil it, which is what I'm assuming it needs, but my manual says not to oil it.  Boo.  And then there are tension issues, problems with the quilting foot, and skipped stitches when I try to zigzag:
I'm assuming it needs a check up.  Its last one was about four years ago and I have since made tons of things, so I'm definitely overdue.  I've got about two projects to finish up this weekend and have begged for some time away from the kiddo in order to do this.  I could sew during her naptime, but that screeching is sort of unbearable and I don't want to wake her up.  

I'm going to drop the machine off at Treadle this week and it will take a week or two to get it back, so I've got to work on some hand sewing projects in the meantime.  Plus it will give me an excuse to keep my feet up.  I noticed some ankle swelling over the last few days.  Stupid pregnancy.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Curtain Fail

I finally got around to making some curtains for my craft room, but I really botched the hem.  It's all bubbly on the bottom.  Blah.
 I had to use the flash, because I took this photo at night.  Look at that bubble on the bottom....Ick.
I don't know what to do.  I'm thinking about unpicking it and sewing the lining with its own hem and then adding some lace to the bottom of the curtain fabric.  Maybe.  But I think the lace should be dyed or something.  

I lined it with some plain white.  I wasn't sure how much to get, but it was super cheap so I bought like 8 yards.  Way too much!  That's okay.  I'll use it, because I always need plain white for something.  In fact, I want to make the kiddo some cute pajamas, but I don't have enough of the kitty fabric, so I could maybe use the white to make up for that.  
So the curtains are up, but who know when I will get around to fixing that hem.  I really want to paint the room, because that puke pea green on the walls is the worst color.  I'm too big to paint at this point, so it will just have to wait.

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Potholders

Forgive the phone photos...I was lazy.  So I made some granola this weekend from this recipe.  It looks good, right?  Plus, I had chia seeds to use up.  I bought them from Trader Joe's because I was curious and then never found a reason to use them.  Anyway, this recipe had some odd ingredients, like buckwheat and coconut sugar, but I didn't make any substitutions.  

I always have problems with making granola.  The first problem is that it never clumps like the granola from the store.  What am I doing wrong??  I just can't tell.  I think I charred this granola a little, too, so then there's that.  But here's the other problem:  cost.  My husband spent a crapload of money at the store gathering all the ingredients.  I know I didn't use the entire bag of coconut sugar and if I were a really motivated person, then I'd try to do a cost breakdown of the entire process, but I'm not.  I'm just going to wonder whether it's cheaper to make or buy granola.  The stuff in the store is always more delicious than what I've tried to make, so that needs to get factored in to the equation.  Anyway, blah.

In other news, I made myself some new potholders.  Before these, I had two potholders, but they were crappy.  I found some of that silver ironing board fabric on sale at the craft store, so I picked up a little bit to give it a try as potholder backing.  

Here's a blurry photo of the potholder in action:

I need to add another layer of batting, I think.  It wasn't an intolerable heat for me, but I think my husband will need them to be a bit thicker.

And I know that fabric doesn't match my stupid kitchen with its green laminate countertops and seashell tile circa 1990, but those are the colors of my dream kitchen, so I thought I'd get a head start on the imaginary renovation with potholders.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Maternity Skirt

So this isn't actually marketed as a maternity skirt, but it has served me well through this pregnancy and my last.  It is Kwik Sew/Serge K3513.  I made it long before I was pregnant in a class for learning how to serge.  I don't remember any construction details, because this must have been four years ago, but it fits my non-pregnant and pregnant selves really well.  The bottom never got hemmed, but this stretch knit fabric is very forgiving and it doesn't seem to matter.  Also, I think I did View B.
And this was taken at the start of my third trimester.  That same night I caught the back of it on the baby gate and put a hole in it.  Bummer.  It's still wearable, but not in public.  I don't have any knits in my stash, so I haven't tried to make any others.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Tin

I found this tin at the thrift store for ninety-nine cents!  Score!  So has some metallic accents, but they don't come through in the photo.  It now houses my buttons sets.
And for my mom:  The bottom has Daher, Long Island 11101, Made in England.  I looked up Daher and found this link.  And here's a pinterest page with examples of these tins.  Mine shows up as a recipe box almost halfway down the page.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Prep Work

I've got a project going and did some cutting for it this weekend.  Time to sew!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Nursery Evolution: Shared Room

I'm not ready to give up my craft room.  We have three bedrooms and one is currently occupied with all my crafting junk.  So the girls are going to share.  

We finally got around to setting up Zelda's toddler bed and we rearranged the furniture to fit everything.  It's not an ideal situation, but it works for now.   Anyway, here are previous posts about what the nursery has looked like.

And here it is today:

This view is from the door.  The crib moved to the opposite wall, under the window.  I think we need to get some new windows this year and that one is a prime candidate.  (Not to mention the other window in the room, because it seems to be missing a screen.)

And here is the view from the closet:
The legs came off the Expedit bookcase around the time that Zelda started walking.  I was afraid she'd try to climb the thing.  Black Bear Rocker died before Zelda was even six months old, I think.  It's still in the garage, but in pieces.  Ugh.  I don't know if I should get it refinished or not.

Oh, that rug is new, by the way.  I sold the old monkey rug on craigslist and picked up this one on Overstock.  It's a lot thinner, but it's slightly bigger and it goes better with the room.

The view to the hallway.  (Ugh!  That yellow in the hallway is not that buttery in real life.  Ick!  I don't like that color anyway, but how do I paint giant ceilings?) 

And here's the view of the closet door and the new little bed:
The dresser used to be where the Expedit thing now is, but it needed to be moved for this room configuration.  

As for the transition to the toddler bed...well, she was super excited for it last night, but after 1.5 hours, she was still awake and fussy, so when I went to talk to her, she asked to be moved to the crib.  That's okay.  She took a three hour nap in it today and we're still waiting to see if she settles enough to spend tonight in it.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I have about two and a half months left until this baby is due, so I'm trying to do as much crafting as I can before that happens.  I also need to get as much crafting done before I go all swollen again, but I'm trying to drink a lot of water and eat a lot of bananas.  I've read that this helps with the water retention, but only time will tell.

So until these things hinder my good times, I'm going to work on cleaning up my craft room.  It was pretty clean the other day, but then I tossed things about looking for a new project and all is messed up again.

Another thing I'd like to do is make stuff out of the books I have.  I have so many sewing books, but I hardly ever use them.  This drives me nuts.

And then there's my scrap stash.  This thing is getting out of control.  I try to organize everything by color and I put them in those little bags that sheet sets come in.  Everything used to fit in that little trunk that my grandfather made for me, but the trunk runneth over.
So I don't know.  I need to come up with some creative ways to reduce this pile.  I worked on one thing this weekend, but it barely made a dent.  Blah.