Saturday, October 30, 2010

Christmas Open House!

Hope to see you there! I will have some all new Christmas dresses, as well as knot dresses and peasant dresses, bibs and burp cloths, tshirt-skirt sets, a few cute things for boys, hairbows, and a few picture frames. Most of my "old" inventory will be on sale!! So come by and get some bargains for Christmas, birthdays, or just because!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grown Up Dresses

Ok, so after begging and pleading my two- and four-year-olds to pleeeeease take pictures with my phone... their eager little hands snapped a couple of decent ones of me modeling the dresses. I made the blue and white one weeks ago, but never got around to wearing it until today. I threw the black one on for pics while I was in a modeling mood :)

Fun huh? I promise a tutorial for this soon!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zippy Pouch Tutorial {and Giveaway!!!!} {Giveaway CLOSED}

Remember the Zippy Pouch I showed off a few posts ago? How about a tutorial? Okay, great! Here are the instructions with pictures.

To make the Zippy Pouch, you will need:

*Scraps of two different fabrics (about 1/4 yard of each)
*Scissors or a Rotary Cutter
* Cutting Board or Ruler
*Sewing Machine
*9-inch zipper
*Fusible interfacing

Fabric cuts:
*Outside of bag: Two 8-inch by 10-inch pieces of fabric
*Lining: Two 8 x 10 pieces
* Strap: One 2.5-inch by 6 inch piece (longer (9-12 inches) if you want a wristlet handle, shorter (3-5 inches) if you just want to clip a key ring to it)
*Zipper End covers: Two 1.5x2.5 pieces in the contrasting fabric
*Interfacing: two 8x10 pieces, and one to fit the strap piece

1. Fuse the interfacing into the main fabric. Go ahead and fuse the strap piece too, and set it aside.

2. Fold the zipper end covers in half lengthwise (bring the short ends together) and press. The photo below shows the full size piece on top, and the folded piece on bottom.

Now, open it up and fold the ends in to the fold and press. (Basically, you are making a very short piece of binding/bias tape).

Insert the end of the zipper into the piece all the way to the fold. You may need to trim the end of the zipper some. Be sure to cover the little metal piece up enough that when you stitch over it you won't break your needle on it.

See? Nice and snug in there. Now, stitch very close to the edge of the cover, being careful not to hit that metal piece.

For the other end, repeat the process with the pressing and folding, but this time open the zipper (to get the zipper pull out of the way) and pin the zipper closed. Stitch the same way as before, very close to the edge, being careful to avoid the metal piece.

Here is your zipper after the ends are sewn on.

Now, take your main fabric and lay it on your surface. Place the zipper on it, right side down with the zipper pull on the left.

Then place your lining fabric on top, right side down, lining up the top edges neatly. Pin in place.

Stitch the entire length of the fabric, through the zipper ends, on the outside edge of the zipper. Turn the whole thing so the wrong sides of the fabrics are together, and press.

Next, lay your second main fabric piece on your surface, right side up. Lay the pressed piece we've been working on on top, main fabric down. Then lay your last peice of lining fabric on top, right side down. Pin all pieces together. Be sure your like fabrics are together-- lining to lining and main to main. Stitch in the same way as before - close to the zipper but not too close, on the outside edge. Hopefully this picture shows the stack well.

Once you stitch, you will have this:

Now it's time to make the handle. Fold your fabric lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch with a small seam allowance.

Turn the tube to the outside using a safety pin, loop turner, or this simple but ingenious trick.

Press the strap flat with the seam in the middle. Topstitch close to both edges if desired. (I did.)

Arrange the fabrics to that the like pieces are together now. Pin your strap near the zipper, in between the main fabric layers. Be sure the raw end of fabric match up and the strap goes toward the inside.

Also, pull the zipper end covers toward the lining fabric, which make the zipper itself fold toward the main fabric. Be sure to sew it like that. Stitch around the entire rectangle of fabric, leaving a 3-4 inch gap in the bottom of the lining for turning. Also, when sewing over the zipper ends, try to sew right next the them, and not through them. If you have to sew through them, it's okay too.

Almost finished! Clip the corners and turn the bag right side out. Press the lining, and sew the hole closed, stitching very close the the edge.

Stuff the lining inside the bag, and press the entire bag.. And there you go! Stuff some stuff inside and go show it off!

p.s. This is what your zipper ends should look like:

Nifty, huh?

Now, for my surprise! One lucky reader is going to WIN this bag! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post, telling me if you understood the instructions well enough to make a bag yourself! If there is anything I left out, feel free to tell me. I'm still working on my tutorials, and want to know if they are any good :-)

Also, for additional entries you can:
*become a follower of my blog
*become a fan on Facebook (or "like" me)
*post a blog post about the giveaway/tutorial on your blog and leave me the link in a comment
*post about the giveaway/tutorial on your Facebook status and tell me about it

Remember, leave a separate comment for every entry. Which means you can have up to five comments! If you are already a follower or fan, I still need you to leave a comment for each.

I'll randomly pick a winner on Monday, November 1st.. so you have until then to enter!

Go get busy!
I just added a little section to your right called Tutorials... I've got a couple up, with one new one coming in the next few days.

Also, when that new tutorial goes up, I'm going to post a giveaway! So get ready!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Crafty Fun-ness

When we have slow weekends -- meaning no birthday parties, outings, or other reasons to leave the house for lots of hours -- I love to get "me" time in my sewing room. If I don't have a pressing business deadline, the freedom I feel with a few hours with my sewing machine and stash of goodies is amazing! Special thanks to my amazing hubby who lets me use that time to create.

This weekend was one of those.. and I ended it with four items I am pretty proud of!

I'll start with the least impressive.. at least from the pictures.

Since I don't have an adult-sized mannequin, my bathroom door has to suffice for this one.. anyway. It's a maxi dress made from a fitted t-shirt from Old Navy, and stretchy jersey knit fabric. Cute, stylish, AND comfortable! Forgive me for not modeling... but I promise it is even cuter on!

It's actually very simple to make. I cut off the shirt just under my bust, gathered up 60 inches of skirt fabric, and sewed it on. For the belty thing, I cute the remaining part of the tshirt into one LONG strip and wrpped it around a bunch of times, tied it in a bow, and voila! Done. You can do this in smaller sizes for little girls too. Anyone want a tutorial for this?

Next, I tried a new pattern for a peasant dress. I used a pattern for this one, and there are lots of things I will change to make it my own. I added the pockets for my little collector, and she LOVES this dress.

Little sash in the back make it more fitted and less sack-dress-y.

Showing off her new pretty dress.. notice the pocket on the left.. It's already full of "little thlings."

I also threw together this peasant dress using a different pattern. Love how simple it is, and cute too! I added the pocket on this one, again, for my little collector. It's a snowflake fabric with accents of penguins and snowmen. Normaly, I'm not a character kind of person, but these were pretty nondescript and whimsical, so I went with it. She likes her "blue dress with penguins."

btw, you can really tell in the above picture that my mannequin has seen its better days. It was actually brown at one time, but then my kids happened, and it lost a leg. My cousin welded it back on and painted it almond for me. It still sits a little wonky, but it is whole again! The hem on the dress is not uneven, just the picture!

And now... my weekend masterpiece! I made myself a jacket out of flocked matte jersey.. which was a mistake I made when ordering fabric online. I was expecting STRETCHY material.. I got stretchy material.. perfect for making tailored pieces with a little stretch.. like this:

I used an exact pattern for this, with only a few deviations (aka messups) but thankfully they are all on the inside and no one is the wiser!

And no, it's not for sale, nor will I make any more, but you are welcome to borrow my pattern! ha!

Fun times!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Scrappy Wallet

So, I made a few little zipper pouches this week, and realized my big thick leather Fossil wallet wouldn't fit inside. I SO wanted to carry one with me this week, but until I had a smaller or more flexible place to put my essentials it would have to wait. So, I searched tutorials, gathered ideas, and made this:

I am loving the colors! I used the basic instructions from this tutorial, then added some extras that I needed - more card spaces and a larger space for bills.

IF I make any more of these, I will change a few other processes to make it even better, but... I have a new wallet! Woo!

I would be willing to do a tutorial of this wallet, if there is any interest. I just need to hear from you!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bold and Bright Crib Bedding

I just delivered this today.....

Delicious, huh? Oh, and it's FOR SALE! At Sparkles in Flint.

Tween Room

This project.... I worked on in stages for about 8 months. I finally got some pictures of it! Dreadful, disgraceful pictures taken with my iPhone, but pictures nonetheless. Others may have heard me refer to this project as "The Minky Room" or even "The biggest mistake I've ever made," or even "The project from HADES!!!!!" But the end result is great, huh?

*Just pretend, for one minute, that the photos are decent.*

The photo above is floor-to-ceiling reversible curtains with huge black tassel trim.. altogether weighing 22 pounds! Below is the view from the inside of the curtains into the room. In the background is the left bed with green/zebra curtains.

The curtains under the loft bed.. also reversible and quite heavy!

The reverse side of the loft bed curtains.. makes a cozy little homework nook/cave!

By far the most unique (and difficult!) thing in the room.. a valance for an arch-top window. *Pardon the blinding sunlight*

And a straight version of the same valance..

I was pleasantly surprised at how good it looked. All I saw were giant mounds of orange, lime, zebra, and pink minky all over my office for months, and never got to see the end product all at once. I'm pretty proud!

Oh yes, and don't EVER ask me to do this again with Minky. Ever. At all.
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