August 13, 2014

Dropping in to say "hello"

I just wanted to drop in and tell all of the friends who I've made in blogland how much I miss all of you.  Life has gotten so busy and as you all know, blogging takes a lot of time and dedication.  Those of you who have been able to maintain a blog year after year amaze me.  The irony of it is that the thing blogging helped me discover that I love is the thing that takes me away from blogging...sewing!  

Since I'm here, I thought it'd be fun to show you my latest project. After one year of sewing I have been able to make my first dress!  It's the Cambie dress by Sewaholic.  

The dress is made from one fabric on the outside and then another fabric for the lining but I thought it'd be fun to use a different fabric for the waistband as well.  Here it is, a turquoise dress with a coral waistband.  The inside lining is a pretty lavender fabric.  I made two changes to the pattern.  1) It should have a sweetheart neckline, but I opted for a straight neckline 2) It should have pockets but I left them off since I thought it would be too bulky with pockets. I just love how it turned out and I'm excited to wear it to work tomorrow with a light peach cardigan.

Until next time, happy blogging and take care!


April 19, 2014

Wine crate shelf for fabric storage

As I've been sewing, I've been collecting a lot of fabric.  I've been looking for ways to store them and finally found the perfect solution when I visited Daniela's blog Frugal Ain't Cheap

When I saw this post, I knew it was exactly what I wanted! I have an obsessions with wine crates. I can't seem to get enough of them. I think one reason is because they remind me of France (even if they're not French wines), and another reason is because they're not easy to find so it always feels like an accomplishment when I can get my hands on one!  I also love the idea of re-purposing.
Source: Frugal Ain't Cheap

I went to Home Depot and bought the wood, screws, and stain.  

I cut the pieces myself with a jigsaw!  I usually have Mr. H cut the wood for me but he had to work all day and I didn't want to wait.  For my shelf, I wanted to be able to remove the crates so instead of screwing them to the posts, I created ledges for them to sit on. 

Here's what I used:
1) two 1"x2"x96" piece of wood for the legs, cut each one in half so there are four 48" long pieces
2) one 1"x2"x96" for the wine crate supports, cut to six 13" pieces
3) one 2"x2"x72" piece of wood for the back frame support, cut to three 21" pieces
4) twelve 1" screws for the crate supports
5) six 1 1/4" screws for the back supports
6) wood stain

Here it is assembled with the wine crates in it.

Here's what my fabric storage looked like before

And here it is now! I think it's only a matter of time before Shady makes herself at home in the wine crates, though.

March 22, 2014

Vests with flair!

I had been wanting to try making clothes that I could wear.  My friend had mentioned to me that she thought it would be cool if someone could make her a jacket that was conservative on the outside so she could wear it to work but had a fun inside lining that reflected the fun side of her personality. Kind of like her own little secret on the inside. I thought that idea was so fun!

Living in Colorado, I thought a fleece vest would be the perfect thing to start with. I went to the fabric store and spent quite a while looking for a fabric that would reflect my personality and found this pretty peacock fabric.  I love peacocks!  On the outside, I decided to go with a beige fleece.
 I didn't have a pattern so I used one of the fleece jackets that I already owned and created a pattern out of it, just without the sleeves.

Here is the finished product!  It was my first time installing a zipper.  I think it turned out really pretty!

Since then, I've made a few more, improving my skills with each one.  I added a hood to this one!

My friend requested one for her little girl who was turning 5.  I had never made one for a little girl before but I wanted to give it a try.  My favorite part of this vest are the little owls peeking out of the pockets!

I also made one for a Star Wars fan who was turning 3!

I've had so much fun making these vests and have decided to include the ones for women in my Etsy shop!  They're all made to order since the fabric selection reflects each woman's personal style.

February 8, 2014

Counselor kitty stuffed toy

Sometime last year I stumbled upon Child's Own Studio, a studio where Wendy Tsao creates soft toys from children's drawings.  I thought it was the neatest thing I ever saw so I decided to try to make a doll from a drawing by my friend's daughter.  You can read about that here if you missed it.  I had so much fun making that doll that I wanted to make more dolls.  I asked my friends if anyone had any drawings by their kids that they wanted me to try to make.  I asked for drawings from kids between 5-11.  I think any younger than 5 and they would not appreciate the concept of their drawing being made into a real toy and any older than 11 the drawings might start getting too intricate to recreate.

My friend Juli sent me this drawing by her daughter, Mercy, who was 8 years old.
Mercy's father is a counselor and he asked her to draw a picture of what she thought he did all day at work.  The cat is the counselor and the person on the floor thinks the cat is so hilarious that he fell on the floor laughing.  The cat is doing its best to look like a counselor by wearing glasses and a wig.

I was very excited to to make a cat wearing a wig! It was such a fun idea!  The two challenges I saw were making a wig that would come on and off and making glasses that a child would not lose.

I finally decided to use the nylon from a pair of pantyhose, sew brown yarn into and and use Velcro to allow it to be removable.  I needed to test fit the wig and my cat Shifty was more than happy to try it on for size. Or maybe she wasn't more than happy but she stayed still long enough for me to snap this picture.

For the glasses, I decided to make them out of felt and sew them onto the cat itself so they wouldn't be lost.  Here is the finished doll!
I find making dolls or stuffed animals from drawings to be challenging because there are no patterns or instructions to follow.  You just start and figure out what to do along the way.  It is so very rewarding, though, to make a child's idea come to life!


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