Friday, August 28, 2009

A few new things

Here are some things I did yesterday, while I was home sick again. I haven't felt good all week but at least it resulted in lots of sewing!

I made this little snap wallet to match my purse.

I'm in love with this and want to make one for myself. This one is for a dear friend.

My MIL bought me six new patterns yesterday because they were only 99 cents a piece!

The bag on the bottom left looks like it would be a good pattern for a diaper bag. My cousin is expecting in October so I think I might try to make that for her.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Purse Organizer

I couldn't stand it. I had to make something to go inside my purse that would keep all the clutter from settling at the bottom. I admit it--I'm addicted. When I'm not sewing, I'm planning my next project. *sigh*

Anyway, I found this tutorial today and just had to do it. Was really easy. I love it. Yes, those are tampons.

I've had so many people ask me if I'm taking orders yet. I don't know when I'm going to start because I still feel like I'm not as good as I should be. And I have no idea what to charge for stuff.

Anyway, here are the pictures.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Large Toile Bag

This is my latest creation. I used Simplicity Pattern #2750. It wasn't hard at all, just time-consuming. Took me two days to finish because cutting out the fabric wore me out. I did all the sewing this afternoon. I'm very pleased; just wish it had a pocket or something on the inside. I guess I can make some gadget holders and little wallet(s) to hold all my stuff. The fabric was leftover from when my mother-in-law made curtains. I love it. It's sturdy and lovely at the same time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pink Toile Headband

My mother-in-law gave me a bunch of fabric scraps the other day and there was a very small amount of this adorable pink toile...perfect for making this headband. I have an oddly-shaped head and have a hard time finding any that fit or that won't slide off the back of my head. So far, this hasn't slid off yet. However, the next one I make will be skinnier where the fabric meets the ponytail holder. The ponytail holder is really what makes this fit so well. That, and the fact that I measured my head's circumference. Haha. (21-1/2 inches)

If anyone wants one of these, they are so simple. Just send me your measurements and if you want a particular fabric, you don't have to have very much. My measurements were about 20 inches x 10 inches, to allow for some cutting and perfecting. Just let me know! Oh, and you'll need some coated ponytail holders...the kind without any metal on it.

Personalized Book Bag

Recently I purchased a canvas bag, with the intention of personalizing it. I wanted something to carry my Bible and various other items on Sundays. Without going into too many details, I'll try to explain my process.
I wanted a monogram in a celtic pattern, so I surfed the web for a font I liked, saved and printed it. Then I painstakingly cut out all the little spaces, to use as a stencil of sorts.

Here you see the blocks of color I laid on first for a smoother surface to work on. This is the side that has three pockets sewn on the side for those little things like keys, lip gloss and pens.
I blocked in the letters with black first, then laid the celtic knot pattern over them and traced with my brush tip. It was a long and detailed process but I took my time and enjoyed the intricacy of it.

On the opposite side, I added a celtic cross pattern in the same shades of brown, cream and black, using a larger pattern I cut from stiff paper. Since it was larger, I was able to use a pencil to trace around it, and that made it much easier.
When the base coat was dry, I added highlight and details. When all was dry, I heat set with an iron, being sure to use a thin cloth over the paint, so it wouldn't melt on to the iron, and smear across the bag. As I stated in an earlier post, I plan to study the construction of the bag, and recreate it with a different fabric.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Today, I finished a painting I did for a Christmas gift. I hope no one tells the recipient... I used a thin canvas purchased at Walmart, and simple acrylic craft paint.

I did look at the more expensive paints in Hobby Lobby yesterday and wished I could spend money to buy them. I haven't purchased tube paint in so many years, what was $2.00 is now $10.00 a tube. Maybe I can buy one tube at a time. I could just purchase primary colors and then mix any other I may need.

I also purchased a $3.00 canvas bag I am going to use for Sunday mornings. I will carry my Bible and other odds and ends, thus will not need to take a purse. I am also going to study the construction and try my hand at creating one from a different fabric. I'll post when I get it finished.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Coupon Holder

I've been working on this coupon organizer (PDF) for a few days. Cutting out the fabric and putting it together took awhile, but it wasn't hard at all. And I'm very pleased with the coordination of my fabric, which were scraps. However, working with bias tape is horrible. Even with that cool video tutorial, I couldn't get it to look right. The inside looks good, on the side I sewed it, but the underneath (which is the outside of the holder) looks awful. I can't figure out how to get it even.

I also added interfacing. The pattern didn't call for it but I felt that the holder would be flimsy, and it still is even with the interfacing. I wonder if cardboard or something similar would work well inside. I wish I was skilled enough to modify the pattern to make it without the bias tape. Maybe I can eventually.

Anyway, here at the pictures. My camera doesn't do well up-close and these were the best I could get.

Bias Tape Tutorial

Last night, I was working on a project that called for adding bias tape to the edges of the thing I was making. I bought some double-folded bias tape (whatever that is, right?) a few weeks ago and decided to attempt it. I failed horribly because I have no idea how to use it. There is a special trick to it apparently. I was about to give up on the project until I googled "Double-folded bias tape" and the first link was an instructional YouTube video titled, "No swearing bias tape method." Perfect.

Y''s hilarious and SO helpful. If you want to learn how to do it or just get a good laugh, check it out.

I can now finish my project (since that's all that is lacking) and hope to post pictures later this week since I don't have time to work on it again until Thursday.

P.S. Check out Mom's pillow pictures below if you haven't already. :)

Pillow Project

Since I don't have anything new to add in the sewing department, I thought I'd share a photo of the pillows I made back in June of this year. If I had known we would have this blog, I would have documented the process. Since I didn't, I will at least show you how they turned out.

The original pillows were the same color as the sofa on one side, and had a tapestry scene of leopards on the other. I've seen that fabric in stores, so you may know what it looked like.

I went to Material World in Hot Springs, and found this fabric for a very good price. I was very excited, not only because of the price, but because it had the exact green of my sofa in the pattern.

Later, I found a backing fabric that I liked at Walmart for about the same price. I wanted something neutral and the chenille worked for me. To recycle and reuse, I took the 9 year old packed stuffing out of the old pillows, painstakingly separated it, and used it to stuff the new pillows. So, the cost of stuffing was minimal. The total cost for four large pillows, one small decorative pillow and two standard pillow shams, was approximately $15.00.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another Camera Cozy

I guess I'm addicted to sewing. I did three projects this weekend. The second was turned out bad so it's not worth posting. I didn't finish it anyway. This is the third. It looks a lot better than the first one I did of this pattern and this time I cut it down to fit my Blackberry Curve.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Erin's Tea Wallet

When I saw this pattern, I knew I had to make it for Erin because she loves tea. So, I did it today. Yes, I still used the seam ripper a few times, but not nearly as many as I have in the past projects. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Erin bought me the fabric awhile back and the blue interior color was sort of hard to sew on. It's thin and sort of slick but I managed.

What do you think?

I used another hair band on this one instead of making a ribbon like the pattern suggests.

Painted Screen

This is a screen I painted a few years back, for a local hair dresser. My father created the wooden screen, and I painted it to order. In this photo, the panels are not connected yet, but it turned out pretty nice. I would love to do something like this again, but not out of solid wood. It was extremely heavy, but at least it would not be easily turned over. Alas, my dear father has gone to meet our Lord, so I don't have anyone at present, who could fashion a screen for me. I'd like one created out of a wooden frame covered with canvas. I haven't seen any to purchase, but would imagine if I did, they would be very expensive. It would be much less costly to create one from scratch I would think. Maybe I can figure something out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting Better

Pattern from here. I made this last night and will be giving it to of my youth kids on Wednesday night. She said she loved the fabric (which came from Mom's scrap pile) and wanted an "out-of-this-world" wallet. Well, it's not exactly out-of-this-world but she likes it and will hold her license, cards, and money. Again, MK put the snap on for me. What would I do without him?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Envelope Purse

I made an envelope purse today using this tutorial. It was SO easy!!! Really, if I can do it, anyone can. Mom gave me some scrap fabric over the weekend so I picked out two coordinating fabrics and used one for the liner and one for the exterior. The tutorial doesn't call for interfacing, but I chose to use that to give the bag a little stiffness. It's still a little flimsy, but for a simple project, it'll do.

I got to test out my sewing machine's zig-zag stitch for the first time. It's not the best job, but it's better than I expected. I'll get the hang of it eventually. This pic is of the interior before I sewed the pocket.
Finished product. It took me awhile to sew the button on but that was because I didn't have a lot of room to stick my hand in the pocket. I also did a zig-zag stitch on the exterior because that's what the picture in the tutorial showed.

This picture is blurry but I wanted you to see how large the bag is. That's a pack of hair bands inside and I used one as the elastic that hooks around the button to close it.

Here's a better shot. The stitching doesn't suck too bad! :) Not sure what I'm gonna use it for yet but maybe I can put coupons in it or put a few makeup items to stick in my purse or another bag. Who knows. It would be cool to use as a gift bag for a CD or something. What do you think?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday Home/Craft/DIY Miscellany

  • This article offers a great tip about not wasting time finishing books that you just can't get into. Clears clutter and saves precious time. Good thinking. While, I don't agree with "throwing the book out" as he suggests, I do suggest selling them online, putting them in a yard sale, swapping them, giving them away, or donating them to a library or library sale.

  • This is a totally cool idea for DIY shelving.

  • These "Don't Get Outta Bed" pants are pretty sweet (PDF download--you'll need Adobe Reader).

  • This Reversible Tank Top Beach Tote doesn't require sewing and is really cute. I have a Led Zepplin shirt that I bought last year online and it's too small. I think I might make it into this cute little bag.

  • This may be my weekend project. I have lots of hairbands that are brand new that I purchased right before I chopped off my hair. They will be perfect to use.

  • And now, for a couple of movie trailers that look kinda good.

    I've been wanting to read this book and now they're making a movie.
    The Time Traveler's Wife Trailer

    Who doesn't love a good Bruce Willis movie? This sci-fi, dystopic thriller looks pretty awesome.
    SURROGATES trailer in HD

    This mockumentary staring Michael Cera looks really cute.
    Paper Heart

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Per Your Request

I made this bag last night. Several of you knew I was doing it and asked me to post pictures. So, here they are. The pattern is from Simplicity New Look (#6574) and is the bag in the bottom left corner.

I have the hardest time reading patterns. The instructions seem to me as if they don't match the diagrams. And what they call the different sides always sound the same. I couldn't figure out which side was the bag front, the front facing, the bag back, and bag back facing. It all sounds the same to me!!! And what seems to take the longest with me is cutting, pinning, and figuring out the instructions. I spent FIVE hours on this bag last night. It should have taken maybe an hour and a half but I kept having to read Step 4 over and over and over.

The material I used is from a Waverly Home top sheet that I no longer have use for. I have always loved the pretty pattern of the material and decided that I wouldn't be wasting it if I created some "practice" projects. I had some white fabric that I used for the liner. The pattern said to use the same material inside and out, but I like contrasting liner f
abric and therefore used the white. The thread I have is kind of crappy. I don't know why but it seemed very fragile. I did have to use the seam ripper more times than I care to admit and it made it easy to take the thread out, but I don't know how well it will hold up.

Finished bag

I had a problem with the stitching on the handle because I had to sew it together on the inside and by the time I turned the bag right side out, I realized there was a problem but didn't feel like going back because I had already had enough problems. Does anyone know of a way to fix this?

The inside lining.

I think it's so cute! I just wish the handle was stitched better. Oh, and for some reason the front side of one of the handles and the back side of the same handle didn't end up the same width; so, they don't exactly match up. Oh, well. I guess it gives it character.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Project

This afternoon, I decided to attempt this camera carrier. Cute, right? Absolutely.

Well, what should have taken me maybe an hour turned into a three hour project. I had issues figuring out which side needed to go where. I tried to follow the directions but kept getting confused when I needed to sew the sides together. I probably turned the material inside out over 20 times. Plus, I didn't have any ribbon to use for closing the case, so I decided to use a snap. I couldn't figure out how to put the snap together, so I had to enlist the help of MK. He put it together for me. AND, the stitching is something to be desired.

So, here's the finished product. It is not at all as good as I wanted it to look. However, I finished it. I wasted a lot of time doing it, but it's done. I got really frustrated with myself for having so many problems. Maybe next time I'll do better.

Felt liner and outer fabric that I bought in the remant basket at Walmart.

As MK says, "It's not too bad. It serves its purpose." Haha.