Monday, April 22, 2013

Temporary Sewing 'Room'

 My husband and I recently relocated almost 2,000 miles to Texas (yesterday actually). We are temporarily in corporate housing while we search for a permanent place to stay which means that all of our stuff is in storage for a month. 
I can't go that long without my sewing machine so we used some precious car space and lugged one of my machines along for the ride. I chose one sewing project to bring with (I'll be making the Lonsdale Dress by Sewaholic Patterns), a few hand towels to embroider and a few patterns to trace for future projects to minimize the cargo space that it would take up.    
 When we got here, I was pleasantly surprised that the apartment we're in has a little desk nook that was perfect for a temporary sewing room. It was almost like the apartment knew I was coming and made a special room for me. My sewing area happens to be Henry's new favorite spot too.  
Also, in case you noticed, I crammed a few extra necessities into the car. For example, coasters that my sister/niece/nephews made, jam and pickled veggies that my sister canned, books I'm currently reading, multiple Goorin hats and of course my entire aromatherapy collection. If you're ever in corporate housing, I highly recommend bringing a few meaningful things with you to make it a little cozier and more personalized.   

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Racoon Backpack

I made this backpack for my youngest. The basic pattern is from Indie Tutes. A while back, I used the same tutorial for this backpack. With both backpacks, I have just added various animal details to the backpack. This time I used felt, and added a tail. That part makes me smile. And the kid loves it!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Feed Bag to Reusable Bag

For a while now, I have had this idea stuck on my head. I saw a similar one somewhere and have wanted to try it ever since. I used an empty feedbag and lined it with cotton. Next time, I will make it smaller. This one would make a great beach bag bag since it is so big. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Another Itty Bitty Baby Dress!

Here is another Itty Bitty Baby dress I made for the farm shop. I had just enough of the blue to make the dress, and I had the perfect solid fabric to match it. The flower is just a fabric yo-yo and felt leaves.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Another Heart Dress

Twirly Easter Dress

After all the sewing for the farm, I was happy to make a dress for my little girl. A while back, I had bought several yards of this Amy Butler fabric for a dress, but it wasn't quite what I was going for. It was, however, perfectly suited for an Easter dress. I used the same bodice I have been using, with the heart cutout, and used a circle skirt to add twirly-ness. 

The flower is just pinned on, because I am not quite happy with it. You can't tell, but I made her a matching headband. 

She didn't want to stand still, but can you blame her?

This is my favorite part: the rick rack!

Another Heart Dress

Here is one of my latest dresses for the farm shop. This one is a size 8 and hopefully someone will be happy to find a bigger size. I think they usually have smaller sizes for sale. I used the same idea for the top, with a heart cutout in the back. This time I used a circle skirt instead of the box-pleated skirt. There are pros and cons to the circle skirt. The cons being you have to do math, and the hem is a mile long. The pros are that I am married to an engineer who specializes in math, and there are no side seams to sew. And a circle skirt makes for a happy little girl who can twirl to her heart's content.

Ruffled Skirt

You'll never believe where I found the inspiration for this skirt......drumroll, please....Pinterest! Yeah, seems to be where I get a lot of ideas these days. I saw this skirt, which was pinned from this Etsy shop. She makes gorgeous skirts there, but I was not going to be paying $75+ for one. Being crafty can be sort of annoying sometimes. You see something you love, and you tell yourself 'I could make that!' and a lot of times, you never do. But I really loved this skirt and had to make it. I found just the right a-line skirt pattern and used that as a springboard. I had been saving this awesome herringbone-style fabric for just the right project, and I found some blue corduroy to go with it. The ruffles are about a zillion miles of hemmed and pleated strips. Let me tell you, $75 is a good price for the time put in making all the pleats! For the top layer, I used the same skirt pattern, but redrafted the front for the tulip shape. The buttons are these awesome vintage mother-of-pearl numbers with a little bit of carving on them. I added a side-lap zipper on the left side, which was a modern day feat of engineering since the corduroy later and the ruffled layer are sewn in such a way to be self facing...clear as mud?! I just made the thing up as I went along, basically. I really love how it turned out and if it weren't for all the darn pleats I would crank out another one right away. Maybe next time I'll be smart enough to take pictures before I get the skirt all creased up. Sheesh!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Crazy Quilt

My grandma had this beautiful crazy quilt hanging in her house. I always admired it and a few years ago, she gave it to me! The handwork is really amazing and detailed. There are all sorts of techniques that you don't really see anymore. I think we figured out (and I might have the story wrong...) that it was made by my great great grandmother. 

The flowers on this patch are embroidered and appliqued with some sort of velvet.

I think these are cattails. Notice how each side of the patch is edged with a different stitch! This quilt has a ton of different stitches in it.

A bigger view: you can see on the left side how a few of the patches are disintegrating. They are silk, and had tiny little oil paintings on them.

I love this one! The embroidery is with some sort of chenille thread, on red velvet.

And here is a closeup of one of the paintings.  For a long time I had this quilt stored away so it would stay safe, but I really wanted to enjoy it. I finally hung it up in our bedroom, away from sun and children. Every so often I will refold it so it doesn't get permanent creases. Hopefully someday I will have a big wall to hang it on, so I can see the whole thing!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Quilt Block

Long ago, in a land far away, California to be exact, I was a nerdy teenager who spent hours holed up in my room teaching myself how to quilt. At some point, I made this quilt block as an experiment and hand quilted it. I never finished the binding and it ended up in the bottom of my stash o' random quilt blocks. Recently I dug it out and finished it. I plan on using it in the middle of my table, under a vase of flowers, most likely dandelions and onion grass my kids picked in the yard. :)