Thursday, May 28, 2009


E has been talking a lot about backpacks lately (or as she calls them, "packbacks") so I thought I'd whip one up for her. I originally wanted to make either a bunny or a robot backpack since she's been obsessed with both lately, but I realized that they were going to require a bit more thought and planning. So instead, I came up with this monster backpack. The nice thing about monsters is no one cares if they look all wonky and ugly, haha! For instance, I misplaced one of the eyes I had cut, so I just snipped another out of a scrap from my pile. It doesn't get any better than that.

I made this out of fleece and felt and then stitched ribbon to some nylon webbing I had laying around for the straps. I think I may try and make a "nicer" one that'll be more finished-looking, and probably lined too.

Here's a shot of his 'mouth' with the flap up.

And E proudly wearing it with her boots.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The quilt...

is done! Hurrah! After much griping and the loss of maybe a pint or two of blood via a million little pinpricks, the quilt is finally finished! I have to say, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. But I'm also unlikely to ever try this again. I did get to test out this very clever little trick for making my own bias tape that I will definitely be utilizing more often. It's a bit labor-intensive and heavy on the ironing, but the end product is SO much nicer than store-bought binding!

Anyways, here are some pics of the finished product, as well as a bonus shot of E rolling around with it in her new "big girl" bed. I have to say, I'm really quite happy with how it turned out. I absolutely love the fabric. On the off chance that I ever lose my sanity and decide to make another one, I'm definitely sticking with the charm packs.

Next up, some crafting-for-hire in the form of another crayon roll and some crochet shapes. And I'm also working on making a little backpack for E.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Little things

I am on a sewing streak! I've got the top part of the quilt totally done. Now I just have to quilt it together with the back and the batting, which is the part I think I'm most intimidated by. Unfortunately, I just realized that I did not by the right color thread for the backing, so I'm losing out on some prime sewing time tonight while the hubs plays poker with his buddies. Dangit.

So instead, I'm digging through the crazy long list of tutes I have bookmarked and working through some of those. First up, this crayon roll tutorial. I've been dying to make this, and after last weekend's brunch debacle where E's crayons kept rolling off the table, this jumped to the top of the list. I must say, this thing was super fast and easy to make. And since it's relatively small, it's a nice way to use up some of the scrap pieces I have hanging around. I made a few modifications though.

First, I shortened it so it only holds 12 crayons instead of 16. Because really, my kid is 2 and she doesn't need 16 freaking crayons to color with while we're out. Honestly, she doesn't need 12 either, but I thought it would look funny to have a crayon roll that only holds like, 6 crayons. Basically, you can make it as long or as short as you want by figuring out 1" per crayon, plus your seam allowances (she uses 1/4" in the tutorial)

I also gave myself a wider seam allowance (1/2") on the sides so that I'd have a little more room for error, and also so when I topstitched, I wouldn't end up with too narrow slots on the ends. So I cut two pieces of 13"x5" fabric for the inside and outside, and then one piece 13"x6" and folded that in half lengthwise for the slots. I also decided to use some thin cotton batting instead of interfacing and basted that to the inside piece. E is rough on her crayons, not to mention things get banged around quite a bit inside my bag, so I figured the extra padding wouldn't hurt.

Here is the finished product!

E walked in the craft room just as I was finishing it up and when I told her it was for her, she said, "Oh Mommy! It's pretty!" Ah, that kid sure knows how to make my heart swell.

Here's where I'm at with the quilt too.

Next up, some more zipped pouches (in a couple different styles), and maybe a dress for E as well. And I have more diapers and such to make too, so probably lots of cutting.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

More weekend sewing

A friend and I ventured out to Fort Worth to check out this fabric store we'd heard about. I was a bit skeptical about taking an hour drive for fabric, but I have to say it was totally worth it! I didn't have anything particular in mind when I walked in, but one hour+ and $50+ later, I had the makings for a quilt!

Never mind that I've never made a quilt in my life. In fact, I'd previously said I'd NEVER take up quilting because I've always been intimidated by the precision required (read: cutting and sewing straight lines), not to mention all the steps to get a finished project. But of course, once I mentioned offhand to E something about making a blanket for her, she got very very excited. A little too excited - she was way too unfocused to express any kind of preference (shocking for a 2-year-old, right?), so I decided to pick on my own. Now if someone had told me before that you could buy the fabric already cut into squares, I would have been all over this years ago!! Cutting is easily my least favorite part of sewing.

So with about 4 "charm packs" of some gorgeous Moda fabric, I managed to get all this pieced together at my mommy sewing night last night!

I'm really excited, albeit still nervous about how it's going to turn out. I had originally had the bright idea to do sashing inbetween each row, but I'm thinking now that maybe I should keep it simple. Although I did already spend the money on the fabric, so I keep going back and forth on it. *sigh*

Last, but not least, I FINALLY got around to making a zipped lined pouch from this tutorial that I've been dying to try. If I'd had any idea it was going to be so easy, I would have done it ages ago! I see a lot of little makeup bag gifties in my future. Hee! This one is made with some leftover fabric to match the Amy Butler Birdie Sling I made a few weeks ago.

Scary new apparatus

I've been toying with the idea of a getting a serger on and off for some time now. Mostly, I'd dismissed it as an unnecessary luxury since I couldn't bring myself to spend the money on a decent one. Also, I've always been intimidated by how often I've heard they're not that easy to use. But as luck would have it, a cheap used one sort of fell into my lap, and after getting over my initial reticence (and some technical difficulties), I think I may be in love!

I'm still playing around with it and getting used to how it works, but I decided to start simple with some diapers and wipes. I must say, this is MUCH faster than turning and top-stitching, although I do still think that Tn'T looks more finished. But assuming I can figure out how to make a rolled hem, this will be super handy for doing a quick finish on the bottom of dresses, and I'm hoping to also figure out how to gather with it so I can make some twirly skirts for E. She loves to spin around in circles lately!

I suspect this will end up being a love/hate relationship as it looks like a bitch to thread (I'm hoping to never have to thread it from scratch EVER), and I'm also highly intimidated by the fact that blades are involved.

Anyways, here are the first few things I've made with it! The diapers still look a little rough, but I'm happy enough with them.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More bibs and the dino dress!

I am on a crazy sewing streak lately. I just can't rave enough about my new machine. It's really made sewing so much more fun! Nothing crazy exciting this week. More bibs, this time for one of E's little friends. Sorry the picture is sorta crappy - I had to rush to snap a quick one since the girls decided to put them on and wear them around the house.

I also whipped up this bib and burp cloth set for a friend who needed a shower gift. It's funny because I've had this flannel for a while, and I had been feeling sort of 'meh' about the print, at least in regards to making anything for E, but I think it was perfect for something for a little baby.

And last, but not least, I finally finished the dinosaur print sundress! I'm really happy with how it turned out. I managed to find some green grass-looking fabric to go with it, which I though would be apropos since at least some of the dinosaurs on there are herbivores. Hee!

And because I love this print so much, here's a close-up. I'm feeling really glad I bought extra now to make other stuff later.

The shirring went much much more smoothly this time around, partly because I did not cut it as wide, so it didn't have to be gathered quite so much, but also partly because I upped the tension so I didn't have to pull the threads at all! I also came up with a nice little trick to keep all the loose ends out of the way - Scotch tape! I taped all the ends to one side, which kept me from accidentally sewing over them, as well as kept them exactly in place when I stitched the knots down. And since it was off to the side, I never had to sew through it; I just pulled it off when I was done and trimmed the threads down.

And not to keep harping on my machine, but I have to say, having an overcast stitch makes all the difference in the world! Look how much neater and more professional the inside of the dress is. I don't know how I ever lived without it!

I spent this past weekend doing a major inventory and reorganization of my fabric stash. I managed to clean out a lot of odds and ends and get everything stored in a more efficient manner. Mostly, what this means is that I can actually see the top of my sewing table again! And hopefully, it'll stay that way from now on.


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