Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sewin' again!

From bridal showers to weddings and fall cleaning to party hosting, the last few months have been fun, but busy. I'm definitely ready to get back into routine and squeeze in a little down time...namely sewing. Christmas is right around the corner, and I'm hoping to finish a couple aprons for gift-giving. They are actually almost finished, but now my serger decided to be cranky, so I think I need to bring it in for servicing. Blah. At least I was able to finish a custom order diaper bag, which didn't require any serging.

It was a custom order for a friend's sister. I hope she likes it! She seemed pretty flexible about the dimensions and details, so I kept it simple. It was fun sewing a diaper bag again. I haven't made one since before Sweet Pea was born, and that one was kind of complicated. Lots of measuring + mathematics = headache.

My goals for this month are to finish Peanut's quilt (remember that quilt I started MONTHS ago!), make a pinafore/apron for my niece, and finish a custom duvet cover. No, these things shouldn't take too long, but I tend to plug away at my sewing projects a little bit every couple days. So, it does take a little while. On top of that, I do like to sit down and relax with some knitting every few nights. My hands like to stay busy, so eventually everything will get finished :).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wedding Fun!

After weeks and months of preparation, my sister and her fiance got married last week. Congrats you two! While they honeymoon in a beautiful, sunny place, our little family is gradually getting things back to normal. I finally tackled a few custom sewing orders (sorry ladies...I appreciate you understanding the busy life of a young mama). I also decided to check in here and update y'all.

In late September I hosted a bridal shower for my sister. It was so much fun preparing and decorating for the party! I actually get a little giddy when I'm planning a party. I love thinking about all the little details from the menu to what candles I want to light. So fun!

A few months ago I discovered the website of Amy Atlas. Wow, she makes dessert tables look gorgeous! So, I got a some inspiration from her and set up a "Sweet Table" at the party. The theme was pink, brown, and cherry blossoms. It was fun planning a 'girlie' party.

I've seen cherry blossom cakes on Flickr, and I've always thought they were lovely. I was excited to use my sister's shower as an excuse to make one myself. My sister-in-law, a talented cake decorator, nicely allowed me to borrow her supplies and taught me how to make the blossoms. It was a fun project to tackle and I was so happy with how it turned out!

I also tackled chocolate-making for the first time. I used a mold called "Birds and Blossoms" and purchased melting wafers online. I didn't realize how simple choclate-making can be! I expected a big chocolate mess on my stove and in numerous pots and pans. But I was able to melt the chocolate in the microwave and used a spoon and toothpick to fill the molds - easy peasie!

I didn't take as many pictures at the wedding as I would have liked. The role of "Matron of Honor" and "Mama" kept me busy enough. My sister has amazing taste, and everything was lovely - you'll just have to take my word on that :). Everything was black and white damask with hints of burnt orange and gold - gorgeous!

One last minute sewing project was a jacket for my little Sweet Pea. I found a black and white dress at Old Navy that fit the wedding theme perfectly. The only down side with the dress was that it was a summer dress and had very small cap sleeves. It was much to cool for an October wedding. So last week I decided to whip up a cute little jacket for her to wear. I made a pattern from one of her dresses out of muslin. The jacket ended up being a little snug, but at least she's a baby and doesn't have to move around too much :). This isn't the greatest photo, but at least you can see most of the jacket and a bit of the dress.

We had a lovely day and I hope my sister and new brother enjoyed themselves too! Now on to some sewing projects. Next up is finishing a diaper bag as well as some aprons. I have a few aprons that will be ready just in time for Christmas gift giving, if you are interested in purchasing one or more just let me know. I'll post them as soon as they're finished! Stay tuned!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Judi is having ANOTHER giveaway! Go check it out here! I think all I've been blogging about lately has been giveaways :). One of these days I'll get back into a sewing groove, but right now I'm busy with my kiddies - one is being potty trained and the other is starting to crawl... I'm having a ton of fun, there just isn't much sewing happening. As the weather starts getting more chilly and crisp, I think the sewing itch will kick in soon enough. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another Giveaway!

Judi is having another great giveaway on her blog - this time it's for a lovely bundle of fabric. Just leave a comment on her blog to be entered.

Also, just a quick update from me: I'm plugging away at my sewing projects, but only a little bit every couple days. Life has gotten so busy the last couple weeks! We're in the middle of potty training Peanut and we're trying to squeeze in all kinds of fun in the sun before the summer ends. I'll have to post some "in progress" photos one of these days. I usually like to save photos for when I'm finished a project, but I don't know how many projects I'll actually finish this month... I just have a bunch on the go...

I'm hoping to get back into a more consistent sewing groove when the weather cools down. I get lots of inspiration in the summer, but don't actually find the time to sew things until the fall/winter. I have a little sketchbook next to my sewing machine that I doodle all my bag, quilt, and clothing designs. (There is also the odd sticky note on the night stand from "middle-of-the-night-should-be-sleeping" bursts of ideas. If I actually have a "hmmm...what should I sew?" moment, I just pull out my sketchbook for ideas. It's always fun to tackle a project that has been tossing around in my brain for a while and attempt to make it a reality. Fun, fun!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

:) :) :)

Check out the results here.

I'm just a little excited. :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

My take on the 'Throwdown' bag

I was recently visiting the Tiny Seamstress blog, when I noticed a friendly little competition. The challenge was to design a bag based on simple bag pattern brought to you by Tiffany of Tiny Seamstress Designs. As long as the basic bag and dimensions were the same, we have free rein. Fun! I'm always up for a great sewing challenge!

Here's what I came up with:

I've been considering making a bag for Peanut for some time. As he gets older (he's almost 3!!!), he's starting to walk on his own as opposed to constantly being harnessed in the stroller. Plus, he doesn't really need a diaper bag chuck full of stuff - a snack, a juice box, a couple diapers and he's good to go! He loves helping out and enjoys carrying things for me. Lately he's been carrying his own bag of books to the library, but all my totes are just too big for him. So, I thought it would be nice if he had a little backpack for our outings.

I decided to do a bit of quilting for his bag as well as applique his hand on the front. (He has a little obsession with tracing his hand lately, so I thought he would appreciate that detail :)) I also did a little stippling on the pieced part of the bag (my own recent obsession).

The back has two simple corduroy straps that are sewn to the top of the bag. I attached ties in the side seams of the bag and the ends of the straps to make a couple little bows. I did it because I thought it looked cute. Hopefully it's practical too. :) Also, this way we have the option of tying the two straps together for a single strap to go over his shoulder if he gets tired of the backpack.

He already loves his backpack and can't wait to try it out!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

An amazing giveaway!!!

Judi over at Green Fairy Quilts is having a stupendous giveaway to celebrate her 100th blog post. She is giving away four and maybe even five of her lovely products including a quilt pattern, quilted bag, and more!

The "nice" side of me wants to share this great news with everyone. The "naughty" side of me wants to selfishly keep this fabulous news to myself. Shocking, eh! Well, Judi was nice enough to throw in 5 entries to anyone who blogged about her giveaway, so I guess I feel better ;).

Also, take some time to read about the charity Judi and her husband have organized. I wish I had a quilt laying around to donate, but I can barely stay on top of my own sewing projects lately. Maybe as my piles of fabric scraps and little kiddos grow, I'll have the resources and time to donate to this worthy cause.

Go check it out!

Monday, June 22, 2009

what I've been up to the last couple months...

I've been just a little preoccupied with the latest addition to our family. Our precious baby girl arrived in late April, and we have been busy loving and cuddling her. She's our little Sweetie. So, that's why I haven't been blogging very much lately. My understandable (I think) and lovely excuse.

In the midst of the snuggling, I have been able to finish a few sewing projects. I haven't been able to make all of my ideas a reality, but I have the rest of her life to make little dresses and girly things, right? :)

I sewed up a pair of kimono-style pjs for Sweetie from Amy Butler's "Little Stitches" book. The blanket in the first photo is also from this book. There are some cute projects in there! I'm excited to sew some more projects from this book for Sweetie and also for baby gifts.

Before Sweetie arrived, in the midst of nesting I decided to give the car seat a good cleaning. Well, after much scrubbing, the car seat still didn't look 'great'. So, I decided to sew a carseat cover. I made a pattern by removing the existing cover and pinning muslin to it. I didn't line or quilt it with any other fabrics. It fits nicely over the existing cover and it comes off easily for washing. Bonus!

Here are a couple 'non-baby' projects:

I sewed an apron for my niece's birthday. I added a little gathered inset for fun - I had to do a little girly sewing :).

I also painted a tree in Peanut's room last week. Slowly, but surely, his room is coming together.

Yep, we're staying busy over here. But it's a good busy - it keeps me out of trouble ;).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Darling Daisies

Today I decided to take a break from my big sewing projects. I just needed a little project that I could start and finish within a couple of hours to get the creative juices flowing again. The best parts of sewing, for me, are the beginning and the end. I love finding inspiration, designing patterns and coordinating fabrics. I also love the satisfaction of finishing a project and using or enjoying it. The middle is where I get stuck. So, to break up the monotony I like to find quick projects that help keep me motivated to finish the larger, more tedious ones.

I recently found this tutorial online, and today seemed like a great day to make a couple fabric flowers. They brighten up my sewing area and just, plain make me smile :).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm back...and with a new diaper bag for me!

Yes, I'm still around :). However, I've been camera-less. I finished a custom order diaper bag several weeks ago as well as a pouch carrier for the new baby. I've decided to wait until I have the baby to post pictures of the carrier. It's hard to demonstrate proper "carrier technique" without an itty bitty :).

I've also been working on my son's quilt off and on. I really need to get moving on his quilt, though, because I'd really like him to be in his "big boy" bed before the baby arrives. He is currently sleeping in the baby room while his new room transforms from the office to a bedroom. It really wouldn't be the end of the world if we didn't move him into his new room until later, since the baby will be in our room for the first while. But with Peanut, I would often do night-time feedings in the baby room to let hubby sleep better. You're welcome, honey :). So, it would be nice to get everyone and everything organized and settled in the next couple weeks. Perhaps the nesting instinct will really kick in one of these days...

Anyways, here's the project I finished last week: a diaper bag for our new little blessing. I couldn't sleep one night, and this bag design worked it's way into my brain. I got up long enough to make some sketches and start thinking about fabric options. Since we don't know if the baby is a boy or a girl, I tried to come up with something neutral. I have to say, now that it's finished, it's a tad on the girly side. But if the baby is a boy I'll probably just take off the flower yo-yos on the front and call it good. Besides, I'm the one who has to carry it - that makes the girlishness ok, right?

It was definitely fun to make some baby items for myself the last couple months. After making so many custom orders for other babies, it's nice to look forward to using some items myself. Hopefully I'll get some ideas for improving my bag-making techniques as well. Sometimes I feel bad making custom orders when I myself haven't tried out the designs. Who knows, maybe there will be some new bag designs in the near future! :)

I also made a diaper changing kit very similar to a custom order from last month. I made it a little smaller and attached the change pad to the bag with snaps.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Little Diaper Bag That Could

This diaper bag was my first custom order of the new year. My friend wanted a smallish diaper bag that could fit a few diapers, a wipes container and two bottles/sippy cups. She also wanted to have a change pad. Initially the plan was to have the change pad attached to the bag in some way, but in the end we decided to make it detached. (I'm still mulling over the idea in my head, though. I may try to come up with a design that has a change pad that is attached but can be removed with a zipper, buttons or maybe snaps.) Hmmmm. But anyways, I digress, here's the bag we came up with:

My friend sent me a picture with an idea of what kind of bag she wanted. The front flap in the picture had a funky curve in it. I decided to make a curved flap and also added some embroidery since the flap drew attention to that part of the bag.

The back has a pocket for the change pad.

The change pad has a layer of clear vinyl to protect the fabric from baby messes.

This bag was so much fun to make! I'm also really liking the design. I may make one for myself. I'm also contemplating making a few for my Etsy shop.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sharing a Shangri La Giveaway!

Judi of Green Fairy Quilts is having a giveaway. Make that a lovely giveaway! She has a quilted bag as well as some gorgeous fabrics from the Shangri La line. So beautiful! Go check it out on her blog: http://greenfairyquilts.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A monkey for my little monkey

Peanut is growing up so fast! He's about ready to be moved into his 'big boy' room. *sniff* *sniff* The upside to this is that I'm having a blast planning projects for his new room. Too many ideas, actually :). I'll have to tackle the major ones now and get to the other ones over the next year or so.

This is just one of the many projects I hope to complete for his new room. I bought Amy Butler's "Little Stitches for Little Ones" last year, and ever since I saw the "Cheeky Monkey", I knew I had to make him a part of Peanut's new room. I'll be venturing out of the theme a bit (the quilt and most of the decor will be bug and nature related), but I couldn't resist adding this cute laundry bag.

The brown stripe fabric will be incorporated in the new quilt as well. I thought the chocolate brown would wash out Mr. Monkey, so I used it for the lining fabric instead. I also LOVE the blue diamond fabric for the outside fabric. I'm so glad I could put it to good use. The monkey is made out of micro-fleece, so he is cuddly and soft despite his inevitable home on the bedroom door. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Little Bit of Christmas in January

This evening I decided it was about time I updated my blog. I love reading about all the projects and happenings in blogland, but seem to put off posting about my own. Funny how that works. :)

After the rush of sewing orders in November and early December, my family and I enjoyed the holidays in a lovely (warm!!!) place. We had a marvelous time visiting family, and we also spent quite a lot of time relaxing and enjoying ourselves. The sun did it's work and has rejuvenated us for the new year.

Over the last several weeks I was able to finish knitting two sweaters for me, begin a sweater for our little one on the way, and start a purse. Yes, I'm attempting to knit a purse. I'm still trying to decide if I'll keep it or sell it. I think I'll wait until it's finished before I determine if it is even 'sell' worthy :). Pictures will follow when (a) I am satisfied with the blocking and fit & (b) I remember to ask my hubby to take a few pictures. No more taking photos in the mirror - I just can't get it to work!

One of the projects that has been in my 'to finish' pile is a Christmas quilt I started two years ago (yipes, I can't believe it was that long ago!). I bought it as a kit since I was new to quilting. I cut the fabric, stitched up the quilt top, but got nervous when it came to the actual quilting and binding. So, I put it off until I could take a class. Well, it was year before I took a binding class, but boy was it worth it! I pull those directions out every time I bind a quilt. I'm so nervous I'll cut a strip the wrong way or mix up a mitered corner.

I finished the class and even sewed up the binding, but once Christmas passed, I lost the motivation to hand-stitch the binding. Back on the 'to finish' pile it went. Even though we were away for Christmas this year, I was determined to finish my Christmas quilt. I almost took it with me on vacation so I could finish it and add a little Christmas decor to our rental condo. But I decided it was not worth the effort or expense (baggage is not so cheap on the plane these days!).

During our first full day back home I finished the quilt. My pregnant body was a bit annoyed that I spent one day traveling and the next rushing around the house like a mad person trying to recuperate from vacation. (Isn't it funny how we seem to need a day or two to recover from vacation???) In between tackling loads of laundry I tackled the quilt. By the end of the day it was complete and already part of the decor. (Did you notice my loverly bench?! Definitely a keeper. Sorry all you fans of the bench, I don't think I'll be parting with it anytime soon :))

[I took these photos this evening. Yes, that means my Christmas decorations are still up. Is that weird? Apparently I put off finishing quilts AND taking down holiday decor.]