This tackle has been a very, very, very long time coming! Approximately four years ago, my husband’s grandma gave me some old clothes that had sentimental value to her, and asked me to make a quilt out of them. I had already made a couple of baby quilts, and I figured it couldn’t be too hard. I didn’t count on getting pregnant, having a miscarriage, getting pregnant again, and then moving across the state! All that stuff happened within six months of my starting the quilt, and it kept getting put away to finish later. Then, my sewing machine was packed away, too when my daughter was born. It didn’t see the light of day again until earlier this year! Now, I sew so much that I can’t believe I ever did without my sewing machine!

This spring, when I unpacked all the quilt pieces I’d cut (surprisingly, I managed to save every one, and even a few extras), I was astonished to realize that the quilt was more than half finished! In the midst of an early pregnancy and horrible morning sickness, the quilt had seemed impossible, like something I’d never in a million years be able to finish. I’m happy to say that wasn’t true! With a little help and advice from my mom about backing and binding, I was able to finish the quilt in time for our visit to my husband’s grandparents’ house last week! I was so thrilled, and my husband’s grandma was pretty flabbergasted, in a good way. I think she’d given up hope for the quilt to be finished, too. She’s the sweetest lady ever, and it felt so nice to be able to make her so happy! :) Here she is, opening the long-awaited quilt:

For today’s tackle, I made this sweet pink dress for my daughter. She is a pink fanatic, and as I mentioned previously, would even like me to dye her hair pink! This feels like a big tackle for me, because most of the sewing projects I make don’t use patterns. I haven’t used a real, honest-to-goodness, store-bought patterns since high-school. But, I wanted to make her a super-cute dress, and my mom had given me this pattern, so I tried it. I am so surprised by how good it looks! I didn’t even mess up in a way that made it unfixable (had a brain fart and sewed wrong sides together. Thank goodness for seam rippers!)!

My daughter is sleeping right now, or else I’d have action shots of her in the dress. I promise to post those tomorrow! It looks even cuter when she’s wearing it!

Last week, I spent way too much time on Craftster, but I found a really cool hoodie tutorial that I just had to try. It took me about three hours, total, which I spread out over a few days. I think it turned out very nicely, if I do say so myself! I found this oh-so-cute fabric at Wal-Mart for $2 a yard. Here’s a full-body shot:

My only complaint is that the fabric turned out to be quite thin, and since I was making a jacket, I wanted it to be fairly warm, so I had to double up the fabric. This caused me to run out of fabric at the very end, and I couldn’t make the hood quite a slarge as I wanted. Next time, I think I’ll try fleece or sweatshirt fleece. I promised my son I’d make him a hoodie some time soon!

Total cost: $6

For the hoodie tutorial I used, click here.

Months ago, I found this project on Craftster. I forgot about it, until recently. I had an old bedsheet made out of t-shirt material and needed to do something with it. I also wanted to try my hand at lettuce edging. I love the results! Here are some great shots of the dress. Don’t mind the sad face. My daughter was feeling a little melancholy because we had to let our new butterfly go free. Pictures of that tomorrow!

Here’s a closeup of the lettuce edge:

It took me about an hour to make the dress. I used thread that my  mom gave me, and an old sheet, as I mentioned before. Total cost: $0! It’s very soft and comfy, and my daughter loves it!

I’m not getting much sewing done lately because the air conditioner in my sewing room went kaput, and if you’ve ever been on the upper floor of an old house, in the summer, without a/c, you’ll understand why I’ve been staying away!!

I did venture up there last weekend, and sweated profusely while putting together this vintage-style apron, according to the directions in Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol, aka Angry Chicken.  I think it tuned out decently, considering it was my first try, and that I was getting pretty hot by the time I finished:

I apologize for the wacky photo; my two-year-old daughter took the picture! I got the fabric at Wal-Mart for $1 a yard, so the total cost for this apron was about $3, including thread and trim. Not bad, I say!

 

Other than that, I haven’t been creating much. I’ve been spending way too much time on Ebay, looking for vintage fabrics. It’s really disappointing. I can’t get enough fabric to make a skirt for a reasonable price!! If anyone knows of any resources for ultra-cheap fabric (I mean less than $3 a yard), please let me know!

Happy Friday!!

Yesterday, since it was a very rainy day, I decided to finish a handbag I’d previously started. Since I already had about 1/3 of the project completed, I whipped this baby up in about an hour. I LOVE it!! (It looks a bit funky here, because it’s hanging from a doorknob, but it’s so blasted difficult to take a picture of my own shoulder!)

It’s made out of an old skirt that my husband’s grandma wore as a young woman. Isn’t the fabric fantastic? I learned the basics of making a handbag when I made the Pleated Beauty Bag from Bend-the-Rules Sewing. So, for this bag I didn’t use a pattern. I just cut out a shape I thought would be nice and mae sure all the pieces were the same size. It was remarkably easy!

I lined and faced the bag with white cotton felt and put a cell phone-sized pocket on the inside. It’s just the right size for me!! Here’s the best part: Total Cost: $0!!

 

Some day soon, I might post a tutorial about making handbags, but I need to score some more fabulous fabric first. (Try saying that five times fast!) I think this may be the beginning of a new handbag fetish for me. And why not, when I can make them myself?!?

 

I found a tutorial that I am totally smitten with! It shows how to make a sweet toddler dress out of an adult’s button-up shirt. Click here for the original tutorial. By the way, if you haven’t discovered craftster, check it out! Tons of tutorials and networking among crafty people like us! :)

I made this dress as a practice run. I had an old button shirt I wore during high school. I never liked it much, but couldn’t part with it either. I knew I’d be able to make something out of it someday! I never knew that the something I made would be so darn cute, though! I was saving an cool blue button shirt to make an even sweeter dress to match my daughter’s eyes, but while my back was turned, making this dress, my son got creative with his scissors and cut that shirt up!! Oh well, such is the life of a sewin’ mama!

 All together, I spent about an hour on this dress. Total cost: ZERO DOLLARS!

The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to SewRecently, I bought Bend the Rules Sewing  (Potter Craft, 2007) by Amy Karol, and I’m in love! I plan to make quite a few of the projects in this great book! If you’re a beginning or intermediate sewer, I strongly recommend this book! Even if you’re an old pro, it might be worth taking a look at because there are some really cool and cute projects in here!

 

This week, I embarked on my first really big sewing project since high school! I made the Pleated Beauty Handbag from Bend the Rules Sewing. I’m really happy with the way it turned out, but now that it’s done I realize how big it is! Since I haven’t carried a purse in ages, and I no longer need a diaper bag, I don’t have enough stuff to fill it up! I guess I’ll have to make another bag.  Darn! (he he he)  ;)

I just finished a project that is my favorite thing I’ve ever made! It has huge sentimental value, as well as making my little artist feel important, and capturing a snapshot of this point of his develompent and creative journey. I got this idea from The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule, and even though I had never embroidered before, I simply HAD to try it! I love this book so much! Here’s the drawing that inspired the project (my son calls it a Day and Night Beast. Notice the sun and moon-shaped eyes!):

I taped the drawing onto my window and lightly traced it onto some muslin. SouleMama reccomends linen, but it’s so DARN expensive! I embroidered my interpretation of his drawing onto the muslin, and then I had him write the title, his name, and June 2008, so we will always remember what he called it, and when he made it. Here’s the finished project:

See why I love it??

This week, I made a pillow for my stepdad’s birthday. It seems a little dorky, but it refers to an inside, family joke. If you’ve never made a simple pillow, why not try it? It’s super easy (I made my first pillow when I was about 5 years old!), and it can even be accomplished without a sewing machine. Here’ how:

  1. Cut out two pieces of fabric, the same size. Each piece will be one side of the finished pillow.
  2. If you would like your pillow to be more than plain fabric, now is the time to embellish it. I used a freezer paper stencil to spell the words on my pillow, and then I stitched around the edge of the stencil by hand, for a nice finishing touch. Make sure you embellish the side of the pillow that will face out (the right side).
  3. Put your two pieces of fabric together, with the right sides facing each other. Pin in place, so you won’t end up with a funky, misshapen pillow.
  4. Sew a straight stich with your sewing machine, about 1/2 inch around all the edges of the pillow, or sew by hand, using a regular hand stitch. IMPORTANT: DO NOT SEW ALL THE WAY AROUND THE PILLOW! Leave an opening about four inches wide, so that you can stuff the pillow!
  5. Turn the pillow right side out. Press to make the edges look really nice.
  6. Stuff your pillow with cotton batting. Make the pillow rather firm, as the stuffing will soften over time, and you don’t want to end up with a flat pillow!
  7. Sew the opening closed by hand.
  8. It’s that simple! Enjoy!
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