If there was a Slacker Auntie award, I would definitely receive it. I have a box of Easter goodies for my niece sitting on the dining room table, and I have yet to mail them. But before Easter is out of everyone’s mind, I just wanted to share the shirt I made for my sweet little E.
Lisanne had e-mailed me a link to this tutorial from Girl. Inspired. I thought it was such a cute (and relatively easy!) project and I just had to make one. So I did! This was my first time sewing on a appliqué and I was kind of impressed with myself because I did alright around all those curves!
Laura was very upset that the shirt was not for her, so I think I need to make another one. I also made a coordinating headband. My niece is 17 months old and probably will take it off immediately, but I couldn’t resist. I love when things are all matchy-matchy.
And yes, I know it still looks like the middle of winter out there in my yard. My forsythias look awful, the stupid deer ate all my tulips, and the trees are just barely (finally) developing buds. But that has nothing to do with anything, really.
So this will be on its way either today or tomorrow (the car seat is in the car Drew took to work — see? I am totally disorganized this month!). I hope she likes it!
Spring is in the air (finally!). That means it’s time to put away the le creuset braiser in favor of the grill, trade in my clogs for flip-flops, and switch out the wool for some delicious fabric. This week Joann’s has it’s “Daffodil Days” sale going on and the prices on fabric are so good! With 50% off their red-tag clearance fabric, I just could not resist going a little crazy. (And the week’s not over yet )
I do have projects in mind for most of this. With the blue and white fabric, I’m making a cover for Drew’s electric piano. With the blue and yellow polka-dot fabric, I’m making matching skirts for Lulu and her cousin. I’ll probably also make skirts from the other polka-dot fabric and maybe that patchwork fabric, too. (I should have bought more of that one — I love it.)
I’m not sure about the brown, yellow, and orange floral. Honestly, I don’t love it as much as in the store, but now I have two yards of it. Maybe it’ll make a cute pillowcase-type dress towards the fall? If nothing else, I can always make some kind of stuffed animal with it, I suppose. Might be cute for an owl.
What craft projects are you guys working on right now?
Today I decided I wanted to sew. I don’t know why today. Honestly, it was a poor choice of a day considering that Drew was at the office and I had, like, a zillion things to do. That point notwithstanding, I originally intended to sew myself up a new tank top using one of the patterns I bought a couple weeks ago. I unfolded it. And I looked at it. And something didn’t seem quite right. As it turned out, the pattern was for size 14 and up. (Same with another pattern I’d purchased — boo!) Currently I’m about an 8 top and a 10 bottom (thank you, three children, for spreading out my hips to ridiculous proportions). A size 14 would not fit no matter how I tried to make it.
So. Onto Plan B. Amy Karol’s 5 minute skirt. I’d purchased some wicked cheap clearance fabric ($1/yard) to try this out, that way if things didn’t go well, I wasn’t out that much. The pattern was easy to figure out, and after taping together four sections of newspaper I had it ready to trace onto my fabric. It seemed a little wide. Am I really that wide? Maybe I should seriously investigate curvatrim reviews. I was feeling rather… er… hourglass. But in the end it all came together quite nicely!
Of course, when you look at the head-on shot in my dirty closet mirror, you can see that the A-line does indeed make me look a bit wide.
Next time I make this (and yes, oh yes there will be a next time), I won’t make the angle quite so obtuse. And just for the record, when you set down to make a 5 minute skirt with a 10 month old and a 4 year old and some errands to run, it will take you closer to 5 hours. But hey — any project I can finish in a day is a good one in my book!
I’ve been on the lookout for a new coupon organizer. I hate using the plastic and paper ones because they never last and most of them are kind of ugly. For a while I used the binder system, but found it difficult to maintain. I just couldn’t be bothered slipping each coupon into its own individual slot. I do use coupons pretty much every time I shop, though, and pulling them out of a mailing envelope just wasn’t working for me.
I thought I could find a pattern for a coupon organizer that folds over the handle of the cart, but I didn’t have a lot of luck. I found this pattern, which I used as a starting point and I eventually came up with this design.
This is the front. As you can see I opted for a rounded flap. I used the curve of a dinner plate for my template. I sewed in a short length of elastic to use as a closure.
And here’s the back. I hand-sewed the button onto the organizer. To close it, bring the elastic around from the bottom. To attach it to the handle of your shopping cart, just bring it around from the top.
Another front view (image my dining room chair was a shopping cart):
And from the back:
I had a chance to try it out over the weekend. I used it once at CVS and once at Stop & Shop and I have to say that not only did I feel quite frugal and organized, but I also felt pretty stylish because I really like this fabric. Oh, one other thing. Instead of using fusible interfacing, I sandwiched a piece of cotton flannel between the inner and outer fabric. Because my bag tends to contain things like sippy cups and snacks, I wanted the organizer to be washable in case when it gets stained. This was a very quick and easy project.
Who is designing clothes out there and really… what are they thinking? Yesterday I was shopping for some new spring tops and a dress (or skirt and blouse) I can wear for Jake’s 1st Communion. Everything out there is either super ugly or the fit doesn’t even make sense. The fabrics are all really clingy. (Note to designers: in case you haven’t noticed, clingy fabrics do not flatter most of the American population. Please choose other material.) After throwing up my hands in disgust in the Kohl’s dressing room, I decided it was time I stopped complaining and did something about it.
I have a sewing machine. I have reasonable sewing skills. Maybe it’s time I just start making my own clothes. I doubt it will save me money, but at least I get to choose the fabrics and if something is made poorly, I can blame myself and probably fix it. And wouldn’t you know? Jo-Ann’s was having a three-day sale: Simplicity patterns were just 99 cents! So I picked out a few to start with:
Hopefully it won’t be too complicated. I’m also thinking of refashioning some of my jeans into capris. A have a bunch that are torn, ripped, frayed, and generally embarrassing to wear in public. I think I might lop them off of the bottom and hem them to calf-length.
Something has to be done because my t-shirts are threadbare and the (affordable) selections out there are pretty awful.
I also picked up a few toddler-sized patterns to make some cute outfits for Laura:
And the best part of it all was how much I saved:
Seven sewing patterns and a divided container for the boys’ Perler beads (also on sale) cost me only about $10 and I saved over $90! I figure that even if I make only one article of clothing from these patterns, they will have more than paid for themselves.
After several years of wanting a sewing machine, this year I used some of our tax refund to purchase one. Little did I know how much I would enjoy using it! I’ve used it for practical purposes as well as making some fun crafts. It was packed away during the months when we put on the addition to our house and I’ve not had a lot of time lately to sew, but it’s calling me and I have a file folder full of projects to try in 2010! In the meantime, here are a few things I made this year:
Did you know that September is National Sewing Month? Well, it is! And, fittingly, I’ve been sewing a lot lately. My latest projects came from my favorite book, “Bend the Rules Sewing” by Amy Karol (of Angry Chicken). After borrowing this book from the library a couple times, I deemed it a worthy purchase for my craft library. There are so many cute and easy projects in it. I decided to make the Scalloped Baby Blanket for my sister-in-law’s baby shower.
I originally bought this paisley fabric during the summer, intending to make myself a skirt. But I decided that, paired with a charming polka-dot print, it would be a great baby quilt that wasn’t “cutesy.” The pattern was very clear and overall it was not too difficult. Sewing all those scallops took patience, but it was worth it.
The worst part was sewing shut the two scallops left open to turn the blanket inside-out. You’re supposed to just top-stitch them closed, but I clipped the fabric too close for that and ended up hand-sewing them. It didn’t come out exactly as perfect as I wanted for a gift, but I was very proud of the end result. I just reminded myself that it’s not perfect, it’s handmade. All told, the project probably took me about 6 hours (including the bibs). I did it when I had chunks of time, though, so it’s hard to tell. I worked slowly because I didn’t want to rush my way around all those corners. I imagine the next one would go faster.
I made a couple matching baby bibs to round out the gift set. I love making bibs! Quick, easy, and fun. Plus I really am not fond of all the character bibs or babyish bibs that you always end up getting. They don’t take much fabric and they’re about as stylish as a bib can get!