Friday, February 20, 2015

Listen To The Fabric

 I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something crazy: fabric talks to me. Sort of. I just stare at it for awhile and figure out what the fabric needs to become. I love picking fabrics, putting unusual prints together, and making bold prints work on small projects. I would pretty much be terrible at production line type work, because I am not even sure what the finished product will look like until I'm done.
 Take this dress, for example. I cut out the outside a few weeks ago, but never quite decided what to line it with. Today I made my decision, but i still didn't know what it needed to give it a little extra pizazz. I sewed up the bodice and decided on.....rick rack! Don't be hatin'. I haven't used it in like...two weeks. Which is a very long time for me. This fabric has a bit of lavender which needed to be played up, and the rick rack fit the bill. On another dress, I might add piping or a flower or two. I just go with the flow, man....
 Then there's this bow tie! I love this fabric and it needed to be made into a bow tie. Not the most exciting project, and sadly I couldn't figure out how to add rick rack without making myself look like a crazy person. Oh, too late you say? ;)
What about you? Does fabric talk to you, or are you one of those super organized people who plans everything out before they start?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cigar Box Pen Roll

 I was recently asked if I was interested in a custom order for pen rolls. I love figuring out new projects so I said yes. The customer collects vintage fountain pens and wanted two pen rolls to keep them in.

Most of the pens were the same size, but a few were larger and needed to be accommodated. You can see the flap-less slots on the left. After creating the prototype I sewed up the pen rolls using a double stitch to make the stitching more decorative. I have a love-hate relationship with decorative (contrasting) stitching because if you do it right, it looks awesome. If you screw up, it's ten times more noticeable. I am happy to say I didn't screw up!

Each pen roll fits nicely inside the cigar box the customer provided. I lined the bottom of the box in charcoal gray felt, and now the pen collection has the perfect place to live!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NEWS FLASH! Ice Storm Leads To Sewing Bender

This winter in PA has been a real bust. Not much snow to speak of, but I think we are on our third ice storm. On Monday it was so slippery that I didn't think I would make it back up the hill from putting my kids on the bus. For each step I took, I slipped back two! For obvious reasons I decided to stay home and dig into my 'unfinished projects' pile. C'mon, you know you have one too. :) Here is what I managed to accomplish in a day (most of these projects had already been cut out and a few partially sewn).

It was a banner day! I finished 7 projects and got them listed in ye olde Etsy shop. I am slowly getting faster at listing but I must say it is not my favorite part of the process. Today, I wanted to keep my momentum but also accomplish other things. Hello, laundry! I had sewn the bodice to this dress yesterday, and was able to finish it today. I have had enough gathering for one day, thank-you-very-much.
What about you, trusty blog reader? What is in your 'unfinished projects' stash? Are you waiting for an ice storm to come along to give you motivation to finish them? :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Chalkboard Door DIY

Usually when I see a project with chalkboard paint, it elicits an involuntary eye roll. I mean really, it is almost as overdone as paint chip crafts. However, I decided to give in to the chalkboard call and paint a board on my door. For a while now, I have used this particular door as a hanging place for verses, encouraging words, and random quotes. After some highly scientific observation, I realized that after looking at the same stuff for a while you just stop reading it. Enter: the chalkboard! I can write our latest memory verse, draw a few pictures or whatever floats my inspirational boat. It is right by our dining table so we see it often. To make it, I just penciled in the lines using my quilting ruler, taped it off and sprayed it. Which is not recommended. The hinges have been painted approximately 57 times and I was unable to get it off the hinges. I used a giant foam board reflector to catch the over-spray but it wasn't entirely effective. Word to the wise: take the dang door off the hinges and bring it outside! I found I needed 3 coats to get a good surface. When I peeled away the tape, a few edges tore because I believe the door may also have 57 coats of paint on it. Yay for 60 year old houses. I just touched them up with a Sharpie, seasoned the chalkboard and it was done. It makes me happy, happy, happy!

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Ye olde blog has turned into quite the snooze fest lately. Oi! Rachel is busy in grad school and I am plugging away at keeping three kids alive and adding to the Etsy shop. And a few other things. I have had the opportunity to draw again and I LOVE it!! I forgot how much I love to draw. The picture above is of some quick sketches of jack rabbits. Jack rabbits!? For a while now I have had a painting idea rolling around in my head and now it is time to come out on paper. Otherwise my head will explode and that wouldn't be good at all. I have a few more sketches to make and then I will start painting! In other project news, I have been sewing dresses and tea wallets like a crazy person. Who knew that tea wallets would be a hot commodity.

Here are the latest ones:
And here are a few of the newest dresses. I now have this style dress up to a 2T!

I'm hoping to soon squeeze in a personal project....for myself! I have had the fabric forever to make this Anthro knock-off and I just need to get crackin'. Spring is coming, be it ever so slowly.