a few pattern reviews…

I went into vacation mode on etsy this past weekend which meant I went into sewing-like-mad mode this week. I had 3 days with the kids left in school to get a whole host of secret projects completed. I’m on day 3 right now and it’s looking grim that project 4 will get finished today…I digress.

Here’s a wrap up of this week’s projects so far and some pattern reviews to boot.

First up was a holiday/winter skirt for the chick. It’s the skirt part of the Gracie pattern by Portabellopixie.

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The pattern I’ve had in my stash before and I’ve made this particular skirt before and a couple of the dress versions too. Overall it’s a super easy pattern to follow. The pictures and directions are well done and easy enough for a seasoned beginner.

I tried something different this go around with making the gathers. I don’t have a ruffle foot so I’m always trying these tactics I see around the web for making perfect gathers. Alas, I’m still struggling.

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This time I took some cotton pearl thread that I had and sewed a zig zag stitch on top of it and pulled it to make the gathers. Actually I did prefer this method, until I put it on my serger to sew it and it all fell apart. For the second layer I attempted to do this again and instead of going straight to the serger I decided to sew a basting stitch on top of the gathers and then serge it. That helped some, but it still wasn’t perfect. For the top layer I just went back to sewing a basting stitch and pulling it. I do think for really long strips of ruffles I would totally do the string and zig zag because you don’t have to worry about your basting threads stripping out.

Here’s the finished skirt:

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The next project was a kindle case for the chick’s Christmas gift. I followed this tutorial on Riley Blake’s site and it was pretty darn simple.

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I used some zebra corduroy I had in my stash and some purple cotton for the inside. The button closure was from my stash of vintage buttons and it makes the whole case awesome. It did turn out just a little bit wider than I would have preferred. I would have rather had a more snug fit, but that’s something that could easily be rectified if I decided to make another case later. And honestly this is such a simple tutorial that even a young beginner could put it together with a little guidance.

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Yesterday I put the pedal to the metal and finished a pair of pajamas for the chick’s birthday. Today is pajama day and I knew she would want to wear them to school if I could get them done. The pattern was Oliver and S’ Sleepover pajamas. I’ve had this one marked for a while and bought it over Thanksgiving. I love it mostly because it’s pretty versatile as far as boys v. girls etc.

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The fabric is a flannel from Joanns that I bought like 6 yards of a while back. Some of it I used for the chick’s woodland party and then I knew I would do some pajamas out of it too. It’s super cute and they scored big with this print.

Oliver + S sleepover pjs

I love Oliver + S and Liesl writes what I think are truly the best patterns out there. I’ve grown as a seamstress and garment maker mostly because of how she puts a garment together. This is a very easy to read and follow pattern and honestly they go together really well. There were a few moments where I had to reread the directions and figure out how she was wanting the seams to be, but so much of that could be because I’m so rusty with garment making lately.

Oliver + S sleepover pjs

This is the first time I’ve done buttonholes on my new machine and man oh man; those buttonholes were well worth the debt I’m still paying off for it. Dang they are lovely.

My only complaint about this pattern is the sizing is way off. I did make a size up just because I would rather make them too big than too small. But I had to cut off like 5 inches on the length of the pants and they were still crazy long and my chick isn’t really that short. The same thing with the sleeves. They were crazy long. I could have totally gotten away with making a 6 instead of a 7. There was that much of a difference in sizing. But who cares…because they are totally cute and now she can wear them for longer anyhow!!

gifting time

It’s about this time of year that my list making goes into hyperdrive. Between the holiday markets I am doing for daisyeyes handmade, there is Christmas and before that my daughter’s birthday. My one and only goal this year with all the gift giving is to be insanely intentional and simple.

That said, my first gift purchase was for my daughter’s birthday. She is a tough one to buy for because her attention span is like nil. But, she does love animals and knowing and pondering the toys that she always tends to gravitate to helped me solidify this years major birthday investment. We are doing a woodland themed party and in the spirit of that theme I found the most amazing seller on etsy so I just had to share!

My girl loves to play with little animals, especially those by schleich. We have a fair amount of them floating around our house, but she didn’t really have anything to play with them on. I started researching some play mats and came across the shop SooSun on etsy.  She created the most amazing play mat and felted animals that I’ve ever seen!

Here is the mat and set in it’s entirety. It measures about 16×23 and honestly is the perfect size.

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We specifically asked for a family of badgers, some hedgehogs, a duo of foxes and owls for the tree. She gifted us with some little ducks for the pond. :)

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Then came something even better! My daughter and I recently finished up reading The Wind in the Willows. I realized that it would be so fun to have Mr. Toad, River Rat and Mr. Mole to play with her set. I couldn’t find a set anywhere, so I decided to go back to this shop and ask if she could make up a set for us. And she did! Aren’t they the cutest!

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Here’s hoping for many years of fun to come and an amazing gift to pass on from generation to the next. And check her out!

And as a teaser…check back in the weeks to come as I plan for this little woodland event!

introducing…

buckletoy announcement

featuring:
soft flannel front and felt back
a variety of buckles and clasps including:
2 differing sizes of side pinch clasps
magnetic clasp
overall buckle

and an I Spy window on the back filled with letters and sparkles.

Available to pre-order September 2013 in the shop.

a little chemistry experiment

A while back I was spending some time “etsy-gazing” and came across this amazing embroiderer who had taken a photograph, printed it on fabric and them embellished it with embroidery. It was the coolest thing and I added it to my long list of “things I want to try.”

I looked into the materials needed to try this out and finally had a chance to order them and tried them out this weekend. I was pretty hesitant to try something like this and just kept crossing my fingers that it would work!

printing on fabric experiement

I ordered the solutions from dharma trading company after doing a little research online. They aren’t cheap and honestly you use a ton of the Bubble Jet Set. One thing I did learn is that if I’m going to keep on doing this, it’s best to do a fairly large size lot of items instead of just a couple to make it really worthwhile. I digress.

Overall it was pretty simple. After cutting your fabric (I used 100 percent cotton muslin) to a little smaller than a sheet of paper, you pour the Bubble Jet Set 2000 into a container and and let the fabric soak for 5 minutes. After soaking, you take it out and let it hang dry. After it dries, you iron freezer paper onto the back side of the fabric and then load it into your printer. Then, after printing let it sit for at least 30 minutes before you wash it in the Rinse. Let it hang dry again and then peel off the freezer paper and voila!

printing on fabric experiment

I made labels to stitch onto the backs of my embroideries and then printed a couple of photos I am planning on embroidering onto. Easy peasy!

A facebook fan asked me about the washability of these after printing and I don’t know. I wasn’t planning on using these labels for items that would be washed, but it’s something that I plan on looking into.

I call this first chemistry experiment a success!! Now on to tie-dying a few shirts for the kiddos…

happy fourth of july!!

So, yesterday I decided that I needed to do a craft project. No worries about the fact that we were hosting 20 plus people for a block party that night. No, I needed to make a wreath.

Fourth of July wreath and front door

Here’s a glimpse at my festive front door! The pennant banner was out of my stock of these felt fourth of July banners that have been a hit in the shop! I’ve had these listed in more treasuries than I could have ever imagined. All I need now is some little flags for my pots on the front porch.

The wreath was the result of a huge stash of felt scraps I have hanging around my house!

Fourth of July wreath and front door

I wrapped a wreath form with strips of red and blue felt. Then I used my fun little Sizzix cutter to cut out some white flowers and then added some blue and red hand cut ones to top it off.

Fourth of July wreath and front door

The stars were out of my stash of Sizzix stars that were too small for my banners.

All in all, I’m crazy excited about it. I think it turned out so cute and can’t wait to make some more festive wreaths.

Happy Fourth everyone!

what I’ve been working on…

fourth of July banners

July 4th banners

setting up booths at local markets
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working out some “theme/character” capes for the markets and maybe something similar for etsy soon
Theme capes

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a few custom capes for a client
Custom cotton superhero capes

 

new pendants
Embroidered pendants

 

a new embroidery design

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and a work in progress for a client (4 little kiddos all in a row for one lucky grandmother)
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but today I’m off to the mountains to play in the creek with my 2 little kiddos!
Happy Monday!

learning to sew

children's embroidery kit: primary colors

Once upon a time I had a vision of these great little embroidery kit’s for kids. I would use my felt scraps and my sewing machine to create a eco-friendly, washable and reusable set of  sewing “cards”. They were pretty good sellers and as  whole I got some good feedback on them. But they were crazy labor intensive, I wasn’t too excited about the felt bag and I knew that I could make them a little easier for me to put together and a lot more fun.

 

I’m excited to finally share my new children’s learn to sew/embroider kits!

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They still come in two different versions: a girly pink and an anything goes blue. But now they come with a little tote style bag with these amazing hand drawn instructions that are sewn into the bag with a ribbon…so you will always have them with you. A huge thanks goes to my friend Caryn for her amazing drawing (and she has a super awesome blog that you need to check out!)

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Each starter kit comes with a tote bag with instructions, yarn, a blunt tip needle and a set of shape sewing cards.

 

children's embroidery kit

Each felt “card” is pre-basted and pre-punched for your child (or you!) to sew up through the holes and practice following a pattern and get the rhythm of up and down. The biggest hurdle for anyone learning to sew is merely achieving the up from the bottom and down through the top motion. These cards provide that practice in a fun and easy way.

 

In addition to the starter kits, there are two other add-on kits that can be ordered: a set of animals and a set of holiday themed cards.

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For now, these sets will only be available locally at the farmer’s market in Knoxville and the art market in Maryville. They will be available on etsy during my grand “reopening” at the end of July.