Monday, April 26, 2010

Quick Project: Ironing Board Cover

Oh how I love it when I finish a project that is both useful and beautiful! There really wasn't much to making this new cover for my ironing board. Last winter I accidentally ironed some Wonder Under onto the board, so every time I tried to iron something over that spot it got glued down.

Which didn't work too well.

This Alexander Henry print just makes me smile and smile and smile, so it was a natural choice to replace the old cover! I just pulled off the old fabric cover and used it as a pattern to cut my new piece. I even reused the drawstring cord that holds the cover tight.

Love it!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring Purse

I found my holy grail! ...And then turned it into a purse!
Turns out that amazing fabric I saw but couldn't find at the Sewing Expo was from a Kokka line called Echino... the design is called Birdsong. It's a railroaded print, which means that the design runs the width of the fabric:

I treated this amazing fabric like four different fabrics. The birds became the centerpiece of each side of the bag, framed by the dark green variegated leaves on either side. The aqua birds rose above it all at the top of the bag, and the lime green leaves provided the straps. I was able to make the bag with a yard of fabric, and some very careful, fussy cutting.
For the lining, I used another Echino fabric, called Tiger on the Flower. I like the little tiger hidden inside my purse - he looks up at me every time I dig for my keys.

The bag pattern is Sherbet, a Melly & Me design. Because the fabric I used was so stiff, and I was using it both inside and outside the bag, I skipped the fusible interfacing. I also haven't installed a magnetic closure yet, although I plan to.
Oh how I love it when a dream is fulfilled!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Holy mackerel, look at this haul! I'm 28 today, and I got to wake up early to go to a class. Boo.

But! I came home and my DH had cleaned the house and the sun was shining and I had a stack of presents on the table!

My MIL gave me this so cute vintage sewing shelf. See the cute little pegs for spools??

My sweetie pie gave me the little snippers (yay, no more fumbling for scissors when I'm sewing!) and the Regretsy book.

My dad and stepmom Janice (hi Janice!) gave me the 2 sewing books and the button book. Have I mentioned that for the last 6 months I've almost bought this button book every time I went to Pacific Fabrics? Yahoo for fulfilled wishes!!

Of course, I got lots of other exciting presents too, but these are the ones that pertain to making stuff (since this blog pertains to making stuff).

Now I'm going to watch Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, all of the Anne of Green Gables movies (hi again, Janice!), and then go stuff myself silly with sushi with some of my favorite people in the world.

Love you all!

Friday, April 23, 2010

An Earth Week Project (Sort Of)

In my classroom we play a lot of math games. One of the current favorites is a probability game called the Block-Drawing Game. The kids just love it - they play it every day, and they could play for hours. The only problem is that the Block-Drawing Game calls for a bag, and the paper bags we've been using are getting pretty trashed:

Since this week is Earth Week, I decided to make up some cloth bags to replace our sad, worn-out bags. They're a lot more durable, and will last a lot longer before needing replacement!

These are just simple bags, sewn from two 11" by 9" rectangles. Then I added quarter-inch-wide elastic in the mouths, to hold the bags closed and keep the kids from peeking in.

Do you want to play the Block-Drawing Game? Here are the rules!

You will need:

-Your beautiful new bag

-Small objects that are the same size and shape, but different colors. In my room we use Unifix cubes, but you could use superballs, beans, slips of paper, or whatever you've got laying around.

This is a 2-person game.

Person 1 chooses 5 objects, and notes their colors. For example, I picked 3 blues, 1 green, and 1 yellow.
Without looking into the bag, Person 2 draws one cube out of the bag, records the color on a piece of paper, puts a tally mark next to it, and replaces the cube. Person 2 continues drawing blocks and tallying the colors drawn, until he or she is ready to guess the contents of the bag. If the guess is right, then Person 2's score is the number of draws (so if she drew 6 times before guessing right, her score is 6).
Then switch jobs! Lowest score wins.
Have fun!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Gift from Across the Pond

Look what I got in the mail yesterday!!

...All the way from the U.K...

An adorable little present from Ali, of snipsnaphappy (go check it out, for photos that will make you drool!). A few weeks ago I sent Ali one of my fabric cocktail rings, and she sent me this!

Clearly, I got the better deal. :)

Just look at the adorable details on the back of this darling little doll!

She looks right at home to me. Ali, THANK YOU!!
...And what's her name? :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pattern Holder

I just wanted to show you the cute new pattern holder I just finished for my sewing room. It's a vintage mail sorter that was in pretty rough shape- the paint was unsalvageable, so I got it for relatively cheap.

I gave it a new coat of spray paint, then hot-glued pom-pom trim onto it to add a little pizzazz.

Aaahh... is there anything better than a project that turns out just right on a sunny spring day??

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Lovely Little Fruit Bowl

Sometimes I am just amazed at what you can find in thrift stores. Several months back I came across Vanessa Christenson's blog, V and Co. One of my favorite posts on her site was one where she made this adorable fruit bowl out of a couple of items she had around her house.

From then on, I kept my eyes peeled for pieces I could glue together to make something similar. Imagine my surprise Sunday when I found both exact items she used - the silver basket and the glass candle holder - at the same thrift store!! Seriously, go look at her version, then look at mine. They're the exact same! How weird is that?

So all I can guess is that either she lives near me and made a donation, or the thrift store fairies were on my side. Should you wish to make your own, it couldn't be easier. Here's how:

All you need is something that can work as a stand, something that can work as a bowl, and crazy glue. It's really fun going to Value Village and stacking various bowls and wine glasses, looking for that perfect combination.

I like this crazy glue that goes on like nail polish - so easy to use!

Press together to bond.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Button Tack Tutorial

Well, my fancy new bulletin board is looking so pretty that I just couldn't use plain old thumbtacks on it! So tonight I got crafty and made these button tacks to use, and they really add a nice touch! Here's a tutorial if you want to make your own. Look at me! I'm tutorial cuh-raazy!
To start, you'll need:
-thumb tacks
-hot glue gun
-embroidery thread
-ribbons, rick-rack, other embellishments (optional)
This is a nice way to showcase your fanciest buttons!
To start, sew a few stitches of embroidery thread through your buttons. To do this, thread a needle, but don't tie a knot. Start stitching back-to-front, but don't pull your thread all the way through - leave a tail hanging off the back of the button. Sew a few Xs through the button, then finish up with the needle on the back. Use the tail you left in the beginning to tie off the loose ends, then trim.
Hot-glue a thumb tack to the back of each button. Press the tack down hard, and watch it to make sure it dries flat - the tacks kind of wanted to tip sideways, which would have made my finished tacks look wonky.
While gluing, you can also add snippets of ribbon, rick-rack, or whatever to make even fancier button tacks!

Let cool and dry, and you're all done!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fabric Covers for Your Easter Baskets

I realize this tutorial is a bit last-minute, but I only finished this project myself moments ago! I like making Easter baskets for my family, but I only made it to the store this afternoon. Not surprisingly, the baskets were pretty picked over, and all that was left were the scraggly, el cheapo baskets.

Not to worry though! Here's a quick and super easy way to turn flimsy $1.99 baskets into personalized, homemade-ish baskets of goodness.

Here's what I started with:

My inspiration came from the fact that one of the baskets had this corny fabric cover on it, that was easily removed:

Take a moment to notice the seam allowance. On mine, it was 1/4" - you'll need to know this when you're sewing.

Once the cover was off, I picked apart all the seams:

So that I had three pieces, like this:

These pieces became my pattern pieces. Next, I pinned them to my fabric and cut new pieces:

I treated the lace on the originals like they were just part of the fabric, since I didn't want to add embellishments on my version (but wanted to keep the length).

I then sewed the pieces together exactly as they had been on the original, using that 1/4" seam allowance I noted earlier. I was happy to see that it fit my basket just right!

The last step was to sew on ribbons that I could use to tie the cover in place.

(You can see in this picture that I didn't exactly use my best sewing skills on this project. The point is QUICK though, right?? :) )

Now your basket is ready to fill with Easter goodies!

Baby Kitty just couldn't stay away from all those rolly eggs.

I made a second cover exactly as shown above, and used it to cover the outside of the other, smaller basket on the right (refer to the photo at the beginning of the tutorial to see the "before"). All you do is turn the cover right side out, set the basket inside, tuck the edges into the basket, and cover with Easter grass and goodies!

Happy Easter everybody!

A Pretty Little Bulletin Board

My first project for my sewing room is done! I wanted a bulletin board where I could tack up the patterns I'm working on, color swatches, inspiration photos, etc. Naturally, I couldn't use any old bulletin board, so I whipped this up using some of Amy Butler's Love collection I got at the Sewing Expo.

I started with a bulletin board I found at Goodwill. I think it's this one from Storables, although I paid much less for mine!

I sanded up the black frame, since it was pretty shiny and I wasn't sure the paint would stick to it. Then I put on several coats of ivory-colored acrylic paint. I didn't have to worry about keeping this neat, since I knew I'd be covering the cork part.

Next, I carefully measured the cork part. I cut a piece of my fabric to the exact size (or so I thought... more on that in a minute). I made sure to iron my fabric really really well before going any further!

Then, I masked off the wooden frame with blue tape and sprayed all of the cork with a good coat of spray adhesive. I laid my fabric down and smoothed out all the bubbles.
At this point, my plan needed some readjustment. I thought I'd be done after this step, but I should have known better. Despite my careful measurement, there were still weird gaps along the border of the fabric where the cork showed through. So I went to my handy-dandy ribbon jar (I don't have any photos of these last steps because I was kind of improvising).
I found a pink grosgrain that matched pretty well, and used fabric glue to glue the ribbon all along the inside of the frame. This covered the gaps up nicely.
Last, I glued 4 little green buttons in the corners, to cover up the places where I joined pieces of ribbon.

This board looks so great against my freshly-painted white walls. It's the focal point of the room at the moment, because it's so colorful. I'm planning to give it some little wall friends soon though!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sewing Room Finished

Hooray! The sewing room is functional (if not completely done). I still have a few more projects to go - a bulletin board for my inspiration wall, a fabric cover for the chair, curtains... but my Singer is plugged in and ready to go. Remember, I started with this:

Here are a few more images from my new favorite room in the house:

The perfect spot for a stormy day like today.