Friday, December 17, 2010

My Crafty Christmas [9]

Originally I was going to make my nephy boxers because he needed underwear. I bought the pdf Louey pattern from Sis Boom, but I had no opportunity to purchase the necessary elastic (it requires 1.25 sport elastic or lingerie elastic, the place I went to buy it had neither on hand. Just empty pegs.). So I bought him some, but I didn't feel like that was enough. If I'd made him three pair, all the effort that goes into construction would make it a more substantial gift (at least in my opinion.). I finally decided to make him a fabric memory game (he's 5).

I made 8 fabric pairs, which is 16 tiles and a nice 4x4 grid. I originally made 18 pairs. The finishing just wasn't working out like I had envisioned ( basically I accidentally cut 2 pair too small! Yikes.) So 8 pairs it was ;D I'll use the rest for my Dulcie. I went with a ROYGBIV theme for the most part. Except I substituted the HR kelp for the Tula Pink snails.

And since I couldn't very well give them to him loose, I made a little lined zippered pouch. I made a patchwork detail on the back of the bag using a few of the fabrics that are actually in his set. I also painted the word 'memory' on the front with black Tulip fabric paint using the freezer paper method.
I hope he likes them. If he doesn't, maybe his 18 mo old sister will ;D

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Crafty Christmas [8]

The other day I was looking at the dress I made for my niece, and I decided it needed a little something extra. Something to accessorize with. A while back, my mom bought Dulcie some hair clips. You know the kind--it has like 12 to a card and cost around a dollar. My daughter, blessed as she is with a full luxe head of hair, hates to have anything in it. Even with light-to-no usage, some of the clips already had paint chipping off of them. And even though Dulcie doesn't like decoration in her hair, my niece does. So I thought I would pretty some up for her and make them match her dress (and this is something you can do, too!).

My Supplies:
1 (or a pair of) bendy type clip
fabric scraps
felt or batting (optional)
something to turn with
thread, needle, scissors (etc)
other decorative elements (ribbon, buttons, etc) optional

I took the clip and traced the general shape of the clip right-side down on the paper. After I had the general shape, I added a quarter inch seam allowance to my drawing. You'll want to make 3 copies of this shape.
You can kind of see this in the above image, but make a mark on two of the drawings where the bottom part of the clip meets with the body of the clip. One of the drawings with the line will be the underside of the clip cover, and the other will be to cover the rounded end underside. Before you cut, make sure you remember to add a quarter seam allowance (toward the rounded end for the body underside, and toward the point of the clip for the rounded end...if that makes sense.). Now cut out your pieces: 1 - whole body (label 1), 1 - 2/3rd body (cut off the rounded end including seam allowance and label as 2), and 1 - 1/3rd body (rounded end only including seam allowance and label 3)

Cut out 1 (or 2 in the case of making a pair) of all pieces. Press seam allowance of piece 2 and 3 toward the wrong side of the fabric. Top stitch down.
Sew(machine or hand) piece 1 to piece 2 right sides together. Trim carefully and notch fabric seam allowance being careful not to cut too close to your stitches to reduce bulk. Sew piece 3 to piece 1 right sides together. I found that it's easier not to stitch all the way to the end of the fabric on one end. Like go around from one side, but stop a little shy of the end, maybe about a quarter inch. Back stitch and notch fabric where needed. You may not what to trim the seam on the sides since you will need some of it to close up the unfinished end later. Carefully turn body and rounded end with tool of your choice. I used a narrow rounded-point chopstick--pretty much my go-to turning tool.

If you are adorning your clip with added elements, now is the time to do it. Also, if you are using batting or felt (I used felt just to give the fabric a little bit more body), cut a piece in the shape of the whole body with no seam allowance. Tack it to the top of your clip at a few key places at top, middle, and bottom. I used thread, but I imagine you could try hot glue. I haven't tried it, so I don't know how successful it would be. Trim edges to shape if necessary.

Insert opened clip into the new sleeve you've created. Inserting the rounded end can be a little tricky, which is why I didn't sew all the way to the end of the 3rd piece. If your clip has batting/felt attached, you may find it useful to use your turning tool (or something else) to help guide the clip body into the sleeve since the felt/batting may bunch during insertion. Once you have the end in, fold under the seam allowance of the unfinshed seam and hand stitch closed with your preferred stitch. I used whipstitch.Voila! And you have a new covered clip that matches whatever you wanted it to ;D

Monday, December 13, 2010

SMS - Giveaway Day (Week)

For the longest time I didn't participate in giveaways. I don't know why. Just a mental block. I think I just figured that if I wanted something enough...I'd just buy it. That was until I got deep into fabric and started drowning in it like any other addict LOL (can I get a fix, plsthnx)

I just started recently entering into giveaways, and Sew, Mama, Sew! is having a HUGE one. Apparently, they do this twice a year where they coordinate a huge event. This time around, I am taking part. It's so exciting! LOL.

One of the blogs I came across in my frenzied-giveaway-entering is Renovating Our Foursquare and they are giving away 2 yards of AMH fabric. 2 yards! That's an excellent amount to make a garment out a dress for Dulcie :D Or to horde under my bed like I do with my other Preciouses (I do feel like Golem of LotR fame when I talk about fabric.)

Another is the blog for Sweet Pea Fabrics on Etsy. I actually have purchased fabric from them before, and it was a great experience. I never noticed that they had a blog, though. I was tickled to see that they are participating in the giveaway as well! They're giving away 2 - 25 dollar gift certificates! Truly an exciting thing to try and win.

I'm realistic about this giveaway thing. I don't really expect to win anything, but if I did--that would be super sweet; wouldn't it?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Crafty Christmas [7]

My nephy is 13 going on 14 next month. There aren't many things I can make a boy in that age group. Not anything he'd really want, anyway, LOL! When he's older, like going off to college, he might appreciate a quilt, but not at 13. So I bought him a gift card, but I didn't want his gift to be impersonal. Everyone else is getting something made with my two hands, he deserves something, too. So I decided to make him a Christmas gift monster (for lack of anything better to call it, and since I don't actually [and never have] shopped at Anthropologie) by loosely following this tutorial from White Waxflower
My teeth are felt, and didn't really turn out like hers. But she didn't really say how she made her monster teeth (or what material they were made from). As I was sewing, my teeth shifted downward which left only the tiptops visible. I decided to leave it as is. Since I machine sewed this monster, I didn't really follow her directions. Since I used a machine, all I had to do was make/stuff the arms and layer it all together with the arms in against the belly and voila! It was done ;D Only one pass around the machine with a space left for turning at the bottom. I then top stitched that opening closed, but then used floss to make the bottom look more...homey (so that element is purely decorative). Oh, yeah, I did stuff and add the eyes before I closed it up ;D

I thought this was fun, and I wouldn't have thought to do this sort of project on my own. I used scraps from various projects that felt more boy-ish. This also brought to the front that I have very few gender neutral or masculine fabric selections in my stash. The arm backs are more of that red/brown/green Andalucia fabric that you see in the head/main body. When I was making this, I rediscovered how much I like that snail print by Tula Pink :D I will have to buy more before it's all gone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Crafty Christmas [6]

The quest to finish Christmas continues! The last 3 days I've been working on my MIL's present. She recently expressed to me that she needed new potholders. She didn't ask me to make her some. More she asked me if I thought her existing holders smelt like rancid oil and food, even after she just washed them. Then she expressed that she needed to replace them since they were obviously getting on in age. I took the initiative and made her a few to replace her old ones.
I used Fig & Plum designed by Fig tree Quilts for Moda. This is the same line I used to make a table runner for my mother last Christmas. I started with a layer cake, and I still have more than half of it left. I really do love the colorways in this particular range. It's very versatile and quietly elegant, but I find that to be true for many of Fig Tree's lines. I didn't take a picture of the backs, but I made sure that each backing was a color that was not really used in the front to pull the collection of potholders together (like the log cabin backing is blue).

The pot holders finished at 7" square. I used two layers of warm and natural cotton batting with 2 layers of white muslin for the sandwich (so it went front-muslin-batting-batting-muslin-backing). That was after I made one potholder that I decidedly HATED with only 1 layer of batting. It was way too thin, and the fabric didn't have enough contrast (The 3 fabrics I used were all of the same value and tone so the design was completely indistinct.). Like I've said before, I've been trying to use what I have, and I'm not particularly fond of the insul-stuff that people usually put in this kind of project. I don't like the crinkly-ness. So I used what I had ;D

In hindsight, I might have added another layer of batting. I'm really on the fence about that. I would also have swapped the fabric in the house block and used the green for the roof and the brown/stone color for the doorway/window. This was my first time making a house block or a log cabin. I liked making both.

Also, if I could do this over again, I would have bought a heavier duty needle. I was using a 90/14, but I managed to snap it in half when I stitched over the mitered corner of the binding. Oopsy. Thank goodness I had another needle handy ;D

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Crafty Christmas [5]

I've been trying to decide what *else* I should make for my sister and BIL. I decided on another home element, since that can be a combo gift. They LOVE Christmas. It's a huge thing for them. They both adore everything about Christmas, and having 3 children of varying ages (18 mo, 5, and 13) I'm sure adds to the excitement. After much thought and exploration, I decided on an advent calender. I'm using a tutorial/pattern from AllSorts, but with minor variations (as is to be expected, I'm sure, lol).
I've been trying to make things with what I have. Though I think the all white and red version of this is gorgeous, I only had red and green wool/acrylic-blend felt available to me (I had a fat quarter of each color, which was just enough to make 24 pockets!). I've been working on constructing these pockets at night when my daughter is asleep. I took these pictures yesterday morning, but last night I was able to number the first 8 pockets. I'm hoping to be done with these by Wednesday.

Even though I own felt, this is the first time I actually *made* something with it. I bought a bunch of fat quarters on sale with the idea I might use them one day. My stitching isn't the best for a couple of them. It took a few before I got into a rhythm with them. I still like how they look. There is something charming about something that looks a little rustic (*cough* read as homemade looking*cough*). I'm thinking of using some red gingham fabric as the sash the pockets hang from, but I'm not sure. I might end up using some plain white muslin, instead. I think it will depend on how busy these pockets look next to each other alternating in color. I want it to look fun and Christmas-y, not make people want to scratch their eyes out when they look at them ;D

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Crafty Christmas [4]

Oi, I have been busy. I decided to make my niece an art smock. I used this tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew! and one of my daughter's old shirts. I used my daughter as a model for the overall fit (except she refused to model for the camera!). I had issue with the arm holes. I'm a novice/beginner sewist. I don't really see why the arm holes have the added half inch to the pattern when the edge is covered by bias tape, not sewn (such as to a lining where you might need a seam allowance). I ended up cutting the arm hole back that half inch to give it a better fit after I cut all the panels out and tested it against my daughter.
The size I made is roughly 24 months/2 years old. I used nearly the whole pack of a 4 yard package of coral pink double fold bias tape. I also made a minor addition in adding a pocket for my niece to carry...I don't know, anything! I just thought a pocket would look nice and add some interest to the front. Oh, and for those who are wondering, the fabric selection is "County Fair" home decor weight fabric designed by Denyse Schmidt.