Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wherein I Post Really Crummy Photos of a Really Cute Skirt

(Pardon the pictures: getting her to stand still sometimes is like trying to herd cats)

Dad donated a few shirts to the cause recently, and I was able to eek out both a jumper and a skirt out of one of them. For the skirt, I used the suiting fabric I mentioned in the previous post. The bottom band is cut on the bias, from the shirt, so that the stripes are situated diagonally.

(jumper pictures to come, if I ever figure out what to do in lieu of buttons)

More Pants

Here are a few more pairs of pants from the big batch I made. This pair was made from a skirt that came from Rach. I used the existing hem (but of course!). This pair turned out to be my favorite.

This pair was made from a pair of my favorite pants. I couldn't bear to get rid of them, even though they were too big, so I was happy to put them to this use. The fabric is really nice and soft, so perfect for those chubby little baby legs!

Don't let the pictures fool you. The pants are not all discombobulated. (Do I get bonus points for using that word? ;) The pants are made from this old piece of suiting I have. I have used that fabric for several projects now and it just keeps lasting. The pockets and the tie applique are from a pinstriped jacket that Rach gave me. I can't wait to dress him up in this, with his little black wingtip shoes.

Here are a few of the things that I have made in the kitchen recently: Sweet and Sour Pickled Red Onions, Caramel Apple Jam, Okra Pickles, Pickled Jalapenos. I've had fun trying a lot new recipes this year, and I look forward to cracking open these jars come winter.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dopp Kit

I've been wanting to get some oil cloth since I first saw some in Austin a few years ago. For my birthday, my husband bought me some (hooray!!!) and so I decided to make a new toiletries bag for traveling. I used a tutorial that you can find here and spent this morning sewing it up. This was my first oil cloth experiement and it was a gigantic pain. It isn't malleable and I had to significantly manhandle it and actually snapped a needle in the process. However, I love how it turned out so it was all worth it in the end.

P.S. Mom...look at the zipper!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Infinity Dress

I finally made the infamous infinity dress. I needed a dress for Vegas and I needed something that would fold up small and not wrinkle which is what the top picture shows. After countless hours searching for answers and tutorials and examining every picture I came across to understand the process, I finally did it. It still needs a few minor adjustments but, for all intents and purposes it is ready to roll.
For my birthday my husband took me to G Street Fabric and I found this material which is a soft, black, 2-way stretch jersey and what was even better is I got it for $2.97 a yard on some huge sale. I looked into buying one of these dresses and I found that the range was between $100 and $350 which I thought was outrageous. I made mine for $10...Yo soy el ganador on this one!
Anyway, there are crazy ways to tie up this dress but I only showed 5 to give a hint of its versatility. I will be wearing a black birdcage veil with the dress but I haven't decided what kind of jewelry or plumage to wear. I am definitely leaning towards bright flowers though to offset the black.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Whatever Works: Sewing in Bulk

I am back on my bulk sewing kick again. I cut out 6 pairs of pants for my baby boy. (Technically he is probably a toddler now but I am not ready to call him that.) Anyway, he's a skinny little bean and pants literally fall right off of him. Sewing in bulk seems to work out nicely for me and lets me work more quickly. Whatever gets the job done, right?

For these pants, I am using a modified version of the Willow Wayfarer pattern I use for my daughter. It is specifically designed for skinny kids. I shortened the length quite a bit and they fit perfectly. This pair is made out of a nice Gap skirt that Rachel handed down to me. I wore it a few times but it wasn't really my style. The denim was still in perfect shape though, so I kept it. The skirt was enough for two pairs of pants! (More pictures to follow after I have another night to sew) The pockets were from scraps I had in my stash. Can't beat the price of these pants! :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mod Podge and Etching Paste

I've been saving a few pickle and pepper jars to refurbish and today I finally took the plunge. I love monograms so I decided to freehand 3 different "B" fonts as a preliminary experiment and etched them onto the glass. To unify the tops, I used Mod Podge and some funky paper I picked up in DC. This practice round was really fun and I think that it could open up an infinite number of crafty possibilities. The etching paste really makes me want to design something to etch onto the dome of my cake stand....hmmmmmm but what?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Art Box Redo

I had an art box that I used in college. While there was nothing wrong with it, I just haven't had the opportunity to use it in a long time. You know...three kids and all. :) My son is very much into farming and all that goes along with that, so for his birthday we got him a whole passel of farm-related figurines. I decided this would be the perfect time to give my old art box a new lease on life. I planned to spray paint it and add a few rub-ons (which I just discovered are pretty much awesome!). The problem was that I was painting it the night before his birthday and I ran out of spray paint. The bottom was still unpainted and not in nice enough shape to leave bare. So, what does a sleep-deprived mother do who is short on spray paint? Whip out the acrylic paints and modge podge of course! I painted a sky (boy, am I rusty) and used modge podge to slap down a paper prairie. I figured he could flip the box over and use this as a backdrop for his play. Well, fortunately the box was a big success. Basically, he has been playing with it ever since! I guess its true, necessity really is the mother of invention.

Birthday Apron

This is the apron of awesomeness that is complete with blue rick rack. Megan made this for me for my birthday and I just want to wear it constantly. The colors are so fun and happy and it looks almost like a little summer dress :) This is a testament that aprons DO NOT have to be boring and square!!!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dress and Shrug

Here is a dress I made for my daughter. The dress is made from corduroy and the shrug is made from this awesome fabric that I found at a yard sale a while ago. It is the same fabric I used to make the ill-fated but cute-while-it-lasted coat. Hopefully this one doesn't meet the same demise.

Birthday Cakes

Two of my kids had birthdays this weekend. My son found a picture in Family Fun magazine for a barn cake. He wanted it, plus it had to have a horse and a tractor and the pond on the side. He was very specific with his instructions, although we did move the pond over a little bit. The picture on the left is how I made the cake. After taking the picture I added ONE horse, and ONE duck. The picture on the right is after my son got done decorating it! I had to remind myself that it was his cake, as he stuck and repositioned each animal as he saw fit. The other cake was made for my daughter, who requested a princess cake, with 'pwinkles.' I thought it was cute, my husband thought it was creepy. :) She did not take to kindly to the candles, quickly looking like she might implode, so we had to 'help' blow out the candles.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Etsy Love - House Shoes

I love Etsy and I spend too much time browsing through all of the things that are offered on that site. With that said, I bought the fabric for these shoes from a vendor in Boston on Etsy. I loved the unique utility of the prints but didn't know what to do with them. The other day I was catching up on one of my favorite craft blogs and they had found this pattern for mary jane slippers from take a guess...a vendor on etsy. I promptly went after the pattern and sewed these up in no time. They take 2 fat quarters with a little left over and I used 2 vintage buttons from my Aunt's stash. They are bright and fun and make me smile when I look at them. Hooray for Etsy and all the crafty people that put their ideas and goods up for sale :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Birthday Sewing

I love having a cutie little niece to sew things for. Her birthday is coming up and I wanted to make her something as spunky, bright and fun as she is. I used a Valerie Wells design fabric that is a paisley print with birds and flowers, a pink vintage button and some ivory colored piping. The bag is the buttercup bag which I've also made here and here. I also used the tutorial for the L'il Cutie Pouch to make a matching coin purse which I also made here and here. I really like how the set turned out and I am amazed at what you can make out of a fat quarter!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Martha, Martha, Martha

I needed a particular cable this morning and went to grab it out of the drawer but I was confronted with a tangled mass of cords. I couldn't take the mess anymore so I pulled out a Martha Stewart tutorial that I found a long time ago and took care of the problem (I loaded the pictures in the wrong order...ooops!). All you need is an extra kitchen towel and 15 or less don't even really need to pin! Another bonus is that it's great for keeping things organized when traveling and it rolls up.
Stuffed with cords and cables and wires

There are 8 total pockets


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Maybe I Do Like Orange

Normally I am not a fan of orange, but when I saw this fabric I loved it. The fabric is from IKEA (which seriously, what is not to love about IKEA???) and was on clearance (which makes it all the more exciting!). Now I have myself a sassy shopping bag big enough to carry all three of my kids in. Well, maybe not quite that big, but it is nice and roomy.

Confessions from the Feather Your Nest Failure

I have failed the August Feather Your Nest challenge. Technically I have an excuse because my sewing machine was packed away due to home improvement. However, I was so looking forward to making some fun projects. Maybe this month. This project was finished a while ago but I had forgotten to take a picture of it. This is a drawing my son made, which I traced onto muslin and embroidered. I recycled the frame from one of those cheesy doctor's office-art pictures and sprayed it black.