Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another (cute) organizer

Found nice reversible placemats at Dillard's and whipped up another notepad organizer.
This version has ribbon "pocket" sewn along the bottom flap to hold cards or slips of paper. Note, top of notepad is covered with decorative paper to camouflage manufacturer's logo.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Office furniture for the home

If it looks like it was once used in a school, library, or a 1930-1950's era office, then I probably want it. Snagged this 6 drawer unit at an office supply salvage store and painted it metallic silver and topped it with glass.
Yay, 6 more drawers for my organizational compulsion!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cute bird tassel

made by Elizabeth.
Don't you think she should sell these on etsy?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Teach yourself how to embroider

This book is a great place to start. Kids Embroidery by Kristin Nicholas. It includes nice illustrations and comprehensive instructions. I found this book after attempting to use an "adult" book that skipped a couple crucial steps. ~~Frustrated,~~ I perused the children's section and found this gem. In no time at all, I was stitching and looking for big girl books!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Water bottle sling made from 2 neckties

Saw a necktie water bottle sling tutorial posted on the Internet and thought I would try it. Well, I tried to do it from memory and completely got it wrong but ended with my own different technique. Check out the Betz White link above or my tutorial below and make your own.

Place a water bottle down on two ties, as shown. Figure out how high you would like the tie to be on the bottle height. The bottle is more secure with a higher span.

Stitch a square base. I cut a square shape from a hard plastic expired gift card and inserted between the two ties to stabilize the base.

Straight stitch the 2 open sides. You won't be able to stitch all the way down the base so start a 1/4" from the bottom and stitch toward the broad tie points.

Here is photo after 1 side stitched. See those 2 interior flaps? Great place to stash sutff like cash or credit cards! Straight pins were slipping on the silk I used these paper binder clips.

Stitch the small necktie points to the large tie points.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How lovers of plaid can wile away the hours

For all of you tartan-philes:

Build your own plaid* in PhotoShop!

*Courtesy of Cicado Daydream.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A fabric store ha-ha

courtesy of my friend Mallys:

Mallys goes to Jo-Ann Fabric on Sunday for on-sale flannel. ($2.00/yd for solid. $2.99/yd for print.)

Mallys is bored. This always spells trouble--and garish clothing creations--in a fabric store.

Mallys selects a pajama pattern ($1.99 on sale). Mallys selects bright (no, I mean BRIGHT) orange flannel for pajama pants, to go with the bright orange flannel she's selected for a pajama shirt. Bright orange, with skulls and checkered flags, deeper orange flames, and almost-red lettering, reading "Bad to the Bone."

Mallys gets to the cutting counter and requests a yard of this, a couple yards of that, etc.

The Jo-Ann employees are chatty. Annoyingly chatty. I think it's in the employee handbook that they're required to ask you what you're making and to comment on how "cute" or how "pretty" it will be.

Not lying.

I heard her say to a woman who was purchasing yards of **JOHN DEERE TRACTOR PRINT FLEECE**, "Oh, that will be really pretty. That will be really cute."

Jo-Ann Employee: What are you making?

Mallys, dreading: Just some pajamas.

JAE: Oh, those will be really cute. Really cute. Like for a 9-12 year old boy, these would be great. What age are you making these pajamas for?

Mallys: The bored 39-year-old standing right in front of you.

JAE: Oh. Oh. Uh. . . . Oh. Uh. . . . Those will be really cute.

Last night, I sewed cat-print pajama shorts. I wish I could say they helped me sleep better. They helped me sleep funnier.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Onesies for Baby BooBoo

The anxiously awaited kid doesn't have a name yet because Eileen & Ernest want a surprise. So here's a few onesies for what THEY call BabyBooBoo.

Iron-on frog pattern from Dimensional Craft's Savvy Stitches kit called "Fun Things" with couched thread outline.

Monkey image from the same kit, above.

Sleeve detail with my favorite and super easy embellishment.

Run 1 strand of floss under the hem stitches

for a cute serpentine or almost rick-rack effect.

My first attempt at freezer paper stenciling. SO easy! And fun!

**Later edit: The arrow onesie has purple arrow pointing up, toward baby's face. Back arrow is brown, pointing to outlet.**

Fleur-de-lis stencil from same freezer paper stencil technique.

Sponged on with terra cotta color and topped with gold glittery paint.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reverse applique tutorial

on a baby onesie.
This is my first attempt!
Draw or trace desired image with water soluble pen.

Cut a piece of fabric larger than your image and
pin it to the underside of your drawn image.

Sew along your drawn lines.

I used a modified zig-zag stitch.

Trim fabric from back of image.

Trim fabric from top. Use small scissor,

cut carefully and SLOWLY!

Spritz the pen markings to remove blue lines.

It will look even better after laundering

because the knit edges will roll back.
T-shirt knit fabric would give more stretch

than the appliqued gingham.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stitch it

This week was the season premiere of the long awaited "Rescue Me". New guy Black Shawn told Lou that he was waiting for love. He then uttered the quote below to which Lou said, "Yeah, that's nice. I can just see that on a sampler."

The next ass I tap,
is the ass I marry.

Go to this handy online cross stitch caption maker for a freebie chart and stitch yours now.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

An angry letter to Wright's

Practically every time I purchase bias tape, I ask a clerk to explain the difference between the choices and most of the time I get home to unwrap the sealed package to find that the clerk was wrong. So I had HAD IT and fired off this missive to customer service representative at

Dear marketing or packaging dept.:
You must hate your customers.
Otherwise, why would you package your items with no explanation or graphic demonstrating the difference between double fold and single fold bias tape?
Why would your packaging feature an aging female wearing an unattractive blouse with no correlation to the enclosed product?
Does the blouse feature bias tape? No.
Does the old lady blouse have piping? Not that I can see.
Does the withering woman's top show lace? Nope.
Does the doddering dowager have hem facing on that tired rag?
What the heck, people?
Your inserts provide no further information.
Do you assume that your customers KNOW how to sew? Assume they don't.
How would a new sewing enthusiast know what hem facing is? Your package imparts nothing for explanation. There is an impressive underground growth of women out there that are teaching themselves to sew and your product is not an asset to learning.

And if you can believe it, the nice folks at Wright's responded.

Thank you for your comments and concerns. I will pass your suggestions along to the correct department where I am sure they will take it under advisement. If we can be of further assistance please feel free to contact us any time.

It was a generic response but and I almost felt bad that unloaded on them. Almost.
Their packaging is still retarded.

People give me stuff - baubles and beads

Shiny stuff! Caw, caw!

Thanks Virginia & Joan!

Friday, April 3, 2009

How to do custom for cheap

Here is how to mat and frame unusual sized items without paying out the ass for a custom frame.
Either use an existing frame or purchase a new one. Select a frame that is larger than your print. Select your mat and have it cut to fit the standard frame.
In other words, pay a little for a custom mat but save a lot by using a standard frame.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pull on this

Ceiling fan pulls:
Already had this silver fleur-de-lis replacement pull and wondered what to put on the other. See this little glass bottle stopper? There is a small hole drilled from side to side that a fine gauge wire would fit through - ta daaa - a ceiling fan pull from a piece of recycled junque!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring time skirt

Couldn't help myself, I made a skirt of the people give me stuff fabric bounty with pink vintage floral print accent band at the hem. Band was folded in half lengthwise, sewn onto bottom of skirt and then raw edge was serged.