Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Passing the time

At least once a month (but more often like a few times a month), Hubby has a meeting in the evening during the week.  I've usually used that night to take the kids to the library.  Last night was Meeting Night.  The thought of taking Lou to the library again made my head spin.  I'm still scarred from last time and I'm quite positive the Library Ladies are too.  What a disaster. :)

I decided then that Meeting Nights will become Work on a Crafty Project Night.  On my to-do list for last night was Pleated Headbands for my girls and a new ironing board cover for me.

While the kids were still awake, I tackled the clothes in their closet.  Ugh.  It's not a job for the faint of heart.  In my 7 yr olds mess, I found this shirt.
It had a smocked top and the rest of it was A-line "white" cotton.  There was a huge stain on the front of it so I never let her wear it, unless she snuck out the door without me noticing.  Apparently she never followed my instructions to toss it. :)

I had an ah-ha moment to put ruffles down the front and maybe get a little more life out of it.  If you know me well enough, you know I have a ton of ah-ha moments, but hardly ever follow thru with any of them.

Determined to accomplish something different I attacked the shirt.
Using the bottom line of the colorful zig zag on the top part of the shirt, I started adding a pink and white polka dot ruffle.  (needing to rip out the first attempt and start over.  Story of my life with projects like this.)

For the next ruffles, I dug thru my scrap bin and found other polka dots that were already cut 4" wide.  I sewed the strips together until it was longer than the width of the shirt I wanted to cover.  I then hemmed one edge and pinned it on, hand gathering it as I went.  I simply zig zagged it to the shirt, leaving a raw edge on top. (note the stain on the shirt in the picture.  hideous.)

  Yep, not very pretty, scientific or complex.  But since I have a history of not finishing projects like this, I didn't want to invest a lot of time or material into it.

Wonders never cease.  I actually finished it.  It's not perfect but it's done.  My 7 yr old hasn't seen it yet as I had run out of thread on my bobbin when I was about 6" from being completely done, so I finished it fully this morning. (I take that back, I still have strings to cut.)

When I held it up, it looked like it'll hang well when she wears it but I'm curious to see what it looks like when it's actually on her.

Now that I know I actually can do something like this, I just might try some skirts or something on the next Meeting Night. :)  Good one, right?!?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Patchwork Blanket

I was going on evening # 8 of being a single mother.  My nerves were fraying quickly.  A teething 15 month old, a cranky 5 yr old, a glum 10 yr old and everyone else in between.  Sensing we needed a distraction, we walked down to the neighborhood park to burn off some energy.  It had been a week of late nights and early mornings, so I tucked the kids in early.

Now what to do with myself?  Sit online browsing aimlessly?  Read my scary books and dream scary dreams?  Work in my craftroom?  I was feeling pretty lazy and a bit glum myself, but not yet ready to go to bed.

A few years back I had bought a bunch of already cut squares from an Etsy seller but never did much with them.  Earlier in the day, I had started sewing strips of fabric squares together, but was interrupted by boogers being smeared across my pant leg.

I looked at those strips that were already sewn, while it looked a bit overwhelming, I knew if I didn't do something with them right then, they'd sit for a few more years.

I started in on the rest of the stack, not bothering to see which squares I was sewing together.  Once I got started, it was so much fun.  Mindless, easy sewing.  The only thought involved was making sure the seams were sewn right.  In the back of my mind, I was remembering a quilt Kim had done.

Once the strips were done, I cut some strips of white cotton and sewed them between the printed fabric.

It helped the colors stand out.  I then zig zagged some of the strips, leaving some to do when the minky was attached.  All that zig zagging may have been overkill but sometimes overkill is a good thing.

At this point I debated between a border or no border.  I was worried a border would make it look too busy, plus it was extra time and fabric and I wanted to keep the price down.

The no border thinking won and I grabbed the nearest pink minky, which happened to be hot pink.

Those who have worked with minky know it can be finicky to work with.  As I was topstitching, I was worried I would have ripples on the backside, which is pretty common no matter how much you pin and how careful you are.

I was pretty impressed, I ended up with one little ripple.  Hardly noticeable.

The final product.  As I was sewing the squares together, part of me was wondering why I was even bothering to do it.  It seemed like it would be pretty ugly because some of the fabrics were not my style.  I do have to say, I like how it turned out.  If it doesn't sell in 4 months, I am keeping it.  Someone, somewhere will have a baby girl. :)

The listing can be found here.

Another view.

If I think of the time that went into this blanket, it was not "worth my time".  However, for how much fun it was and how it filled my evening it was worth every minute.  Sometimes I need that sort of project.  Who knows if/when I'll do more of these, although I do have some charm packs (bigger fabric squares) waiting to be used. :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fun with Zipper Pouches

I hate to admit this but in all the years that I've been sewing (which isn't that many), I've never taken the time to figure out how to do a zipper.

As my piles of fabric scraps grows, I knew I needed to figure it out.  So following an easy tutorial over at Skip to My Lou, I did it!  I had ordered up a set of 25 multicolored pack of zippers from zipit and had a blast digging thru my scraps.  Talk about addicting!! 
I did them all different sizes; from coin purse/credit card size up to a small cosmetic bag size.  It all depended on the size of the scrap and zipper.

These will all go into our church craft sale.  I do plan to add some to able mabel but am going to change up the design a bit. (tease, tease)  I am still waiting for the supplies I need to arrive.

In the meantime, I will keep working on the ones for the church sale since I know once my supplies come, it'll be hard to focus on the church ones.  (sad, but true. shame on me.)

The best part?!  My pile of scraps is still huge!!  I can a whole lot more zipper pouches! :)