Saturday, November 20, 2010


I wanted you to see this because I need someone to share glitter with.... so, what say? Anyone wanna glitter some styrofoam trees with me?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

once upon a time....

...there was a boy whose mother never made him any clothes, because she was always sewing stuff for his younger sister. Then one day, she happened to be in Dollar Tree and noticed the bin of t-shirts. "Oh, it might be nice to applique something on one of these $1 t-shirts," she thought. She noticed that right beside the t-shirt bin, there were cute boxer shorts hanging up that not only were his size, but also matched a black t-shirt nicely. "I know just what I will applique on the front," she muttered to herself, remembering that she had the "boy silhouettes side" from the yard of Michael Miller Silhouette Kids fabric still left over. (The "girl silhouettes side" and diamond pattern were used for pants for.. well, you probably know who they were made for.)

So, she purchased the t-shirt and boxers and 20 or so other items and scurried home.

Iron Iron Iron
Whirr whirr whirr

The End.

Monday, November 8, 2010

ok you creative types, riddle me this

Do you ever get into a funk because you aren't able to create something?
Thankfully I have been able to sew quite a bit lately. In fact, I have several fun projects (dress for my youngest, pettiskirt of sorts for my oldest, a couple of easy quilts) and one or two "paying projects"; but do you ever feel the need to create something outside of your sewing room? Something that doesn't require a sewing machine?

Today I bought these leftover pumpkins that I thought would be cool to paint silhouettes on for my dining room (which has a silhouette theme). I wanted to hand paint "Thanks be to God" on the larger of the two pumpkins, but the letters all started going downhill and I just did not have the patience for it. Sadly, I crashed and burned. But my family took me back anyway.

I searched the arts and crafts store looking for either stencils or something that might improve the looks of these pumpkins. To no avail. As I type this, they have what was supposed to be a damask pattern plus a "splatter" effect all over them. Dear God, they look like hell. And while I still Praise God in all things, I am thinking even He is shaking his head and muttering "what in the wwwworld?!?!?!"

I shan't give up. In the meantime, I did finally create something good:
It is a pink feather, tinsel, and glass ornament wreath with shiny silver accents.
Hey, besides the fact that everyone in my family is still alive, it's the only thing salvageable about today.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

making use of a leotard

My youngest needed some "panty covers" to insure her modesty, so I cut the bottom half or so off a black leotard, added elastic - whammo!

But, the dilemma I had was what to do with the leftover top part. And then it dawned on me:

Gather a strip of Michael Miller's Silhouette Kids fabric and attach it for a neat blouse to wear this fall and winter with "yoga" pants or jeans.

for a weekend away

Perfect for a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and deodorant.... especially nice when there is actually a trip involved.

wordless tutorial

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

go, watch, now

Several months ago, while browsing blogs about crafts and sewing, I ran across mention of the movie Bright Star. The author of the post was inspired by the sewing genius of Fanny Brawne. I had never heard of the movie and did not know what it was about, but any movie that can inspire someone to sew... I had to see it.
Tonight was a night where nothing was so pressing that I couldn't take 2 hours and watch a movie on Netflix. Hubby had work to do, the four younger children were in bed, and my oldest was working on an essay for 10th grade Honor's Lit Class.
So, I plugged in the ear buds and sat down for 119 minutes of sheer beauty from the silver screen. The cinematography, the costumes, the actors.... all quite delicious!
Here are some pics I found from the movie:

Abbie Cornish as Fannie Brawne reads a letter from her beloved Keats while wearing an indigo hued linen dress lost in a field of blue flowers.

nyum nyum - Ben Whishaw as 19th century poet, John Keats

The different linens used in the film alone was enough to make my heart stop, but this triple pleated collar... sent me over the edge!

Friday, October 1, 2010


This is another peasant dress I made today using the Elizabeth Claire pattern, only I used a solid panel for the skirt rather than sewing strips. I also used elastic bobbin thread for the arms. The fabric came from Joann Fabrics and I am totally in love with the combination. The main fabric has little people making gingerbread houses and other sweets. Christmasy. The fabric I used for the sleeves remind me of peppermint swirls. I love the gold glittery dots on the chocolate brown bodice fabric. And that pink sash... oh! Scrumptious!

Tip: Did you know you can carefully singe the ends of ribbon with a lighter and it won't fray?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

for my little peasant girl

Recently, I purchased the "Elizabeth Claire" dress pattern from "Little Lizard King". It was emailed as a PDF and I printed off all the pages (which had written instructions and pictures to go along with each step). In a hormone-induced moment of OCD, I hole punched all the pages and put the pattern in a nice little bradded folder.

But honestly, the idea of making that dress has been burning a hole in my fabric stash until yesterday. I cut out all the pieces the night before and put most of the dress together while the wee ones were at school. Then, today, I finished by sewing the bodice and skirt together and decided to add the optional sash.

Because she is napping (of course) I will have to wait to try it on her, but I love how it turned out in two dimensions at least. The pattern gives options for short, 3/4, or long sleeves. This is the 3/4 done in a peasant style.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

clackety clack don't come back

My wonderful 20+ year old Kenmore machine has been getting louder and louder when I sew.

Finally, tonight, as I was putting together the bodice of the Alice in Wonderland costume, I decided I'd heard enough of its noisy shenanigans.
With screwdriver in hand, I removed the throat plate and found there to be a lot of lint built up around the (drop-in) bobbin housing. I removed it and blew the remaining bits from around the area.
Then, I lifted out the bobbin case and there was so much lint that I swear I could have knit a dead mouse from it all. If I knew how to knit, that is.

After all that cleaning, I put everything back together and now my machine is as quiet as can be!


Best of all? I just saved myself a $59 dollar trip to the sewing center!!
(money I could use on more fabric!)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

modesty at school

For those of you who know me, you know that I am like a skirt nazi when it comes to the length of school uniform skirts. Even though the young girls might not yet respect their bodies, I am an advocate for their modesty. I was inspired this morning by Acts 9:36 - the story of a woman, a seamstress, whose name was (in Aramaic) Tabitha (in Greek, her name was Dorcas).

I have had "drives" in the past... bring your skirts to school and I will lower the hem for free.... usually after their post Christmas growth spurt. But today I decided to make it a year-round ministry. Therefore, today I rejoice and pray for blessings upon the beginning of the Tabitha Ministry.

Sidenote: I do not believe in coincidence and today is no exception. Right after I emailed the school's administrative assistant telling her that I would like to offer this year-round ministry for any student K-8, four different people contacted me about sewing different projects for them for which I will be paid. I just happen to find that downright amazing!

my very first giveaway

To celebrate my upcoming 43rd birthday, I am hosting my very first giveaway.

The winner of this giveaway will receive this plastic lined flower sack made with damask quilters cotton in green and brown. It can hold about 2-3 cups of water or wet floral foam and an arrangement. (I stuck lime green Fuji mums in for one of the pictures.)

It would be really cute on the handle of a door, or hung on a nail as a special little surprise to visitors to your home. Where ever you need a little fabric/flower splash. Or you could give it away to a friend who just needs a little extra smile.

This flower sack is a mock-up for a friend who has a gardening store. I will make them (using home decor fabric) and sell them by the dozen, just in case you are also in the market. ;)

I have never hosted a giveaway before and I gotta tell you, it feels awkward. I will leave the giveaway open until my birthday - Sept 24th. At that time, I will collect all the names and get one of the kids to draw from a hat. Leave a comment and make sure you have a way for me to contact you (email).

what's under the needle....

I have two big projects that I am working on. The first is the t-shirt/memory quilt that I am making for the sister of a girl I made a quilt for last year. Yesterday I finally finished attaching the "framed" t-shirt panels.

This was like clearing a blockage, let me tell ya. One of the hardest/most intimidating projects I've worked on yet... well, besides the Munchkin costumes. Which leads me to the other project I am busy with....
an Alice in Wonderland costume, like the one "Char" from Crap I've Made made last year just before Halloween.

photo credit

This is for the daughter of a friend who will, of course, be Alice in Wonderland for Halloween. Betcha saw that one coming, huh?
There are also several different embroidery projects waiting in line. Alas, part of my computer software is being repaired and will hopefully be here at the end of the week. I am eager to get these projects done because everyone has been sooo patient. Mother's Morning out "scrubs", a set of towels which is to be a wedding gift, and a couple of backpacks are all waiting to get under the embroidery machine's needle.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

nap mat tutorial part 2

Step 8 - Time to attach pillowcase! With right sides together, pin top of mat to front, lower edge of pillowcase fabric, stitch in place.

Step 9 - Flip pillowcase fabric over and topstitch onto the back, top of mat.

Step 10 - Place the travel pillow inside pillowcase and fold up so you can start on the straps.

Step 11 - Cut straps 28" (I used nylon and singed the edges with a lighter to prevent fraying.), pin into place 5 " inside each edge. Figure out where you want your buttons/button holes to be and adjust strap accordingly before you sew it into place.

Step 12 - Mark where you want button hole to be and sew it. I used the "button hole steps 1-4" that are on my machine. Watch this if your machine does not have this option.

Step 13 - Figure out where you want them and sew on buttons.


All ready to go to school tomorrow!

nap mat tutorial part 1

Kindergarten Nap-Mat Tutorial

I realized about halfway into this project that I should be snapping pictures. So forgive the fact that the first few steps do not have pictures to go with them. The finished size of this nap mat is approximately 20 inches wide x 55.5 inches long. You are basically making a mini quilt and sewing on fabric for a pillow, plus straps.

Step 1 - Cut the fabric you want for your top fabric (here, the cookie fabric) about 20" x 44". I had to piece my fabric together, which actually worked out nicely later in the process when I was sewing the "fold lines". A happy accident.

Step 2 - Cut the quilt batting (I did double thickness) the same size and put the two together, smoothing out any wrinkles. The batting will "stick" to the fabric.

Step 3 - Cut the backing fabric (here, the black & white gingham) 22" x 46". Center the back fabric on the other side of the batting, basically making three layers (top, batting, backing). Turn in the edges of the backing fabric 1/2 " and then another 1/2", wrap around to front, covering the top fabric, pin, and sew.
Note: I know I do not miter the corners "correctly", in fact, true quilters who see this will probably want to stick me with pins for doing it this way, however, after pinning one side, when I turn the corner, I take the unfolded edge and the first turn is a 90 degree angle and then I fold it in again. That will not make sense until you get into the project and just play with the fabric a bit.

Step 4 - Cut out pillowcase fabric 22" x 23". If you only want one fabric layer, that is fine. I used two different fabrics here - the gingham and a brown swirly fabric. My brown swirly accent fabric was cut 17" x 23", the side edges were tucked under, centered, and sewn onto the main piece.
Step 5 - Turn left edge in 1/2" and another 1/2" and stitch. Do the same for the right edge. These edges will become the openings to slide your travel pillow in/out of.

Step 6 - Zig zag (or serge) top and bottom edges, then turn edge in 1/4" and stitch. These edges will be attached to the top of your mat (front and back) and will form the pillowcase. Set aside.

Step 7 - To sew "fold lines", measure up from the bottom approximately 10" and sew across the width of the mat. Fold on the line you made and sew another "fold line" just past where the bottom edge ends. Continue until you have only about 2 inches past all the folds.

Monday, August 2, 2010


fat quarter: the term given to a quarter of a yard of fabric that is cut as half of half a yard, to produce a "fatter" more square block of fabric rather than cutting the full width of fabric from the bolt. Dimensions are usually around 18" x 22" rather than 9" x 44"
definition from

The Fat Quarter Shop: a top-notch online business providing the customer with impeccable service and quality products. Communication is outstanding, shipping is fast, and I just wish you were here with me to delight in my first purchase. If you have never bought from them, I am convinced you won't be disappointed. Visit them at

Is that chocolate brown and blue not scrumptious together? This is a fat quarter bundle, which means there are a number of co-ordinating fabrics, in this set there are 11.

The line is called Aqua Spa by designer Rosemarie Lavin for Windham Fabrics.

click on square for link