Mar 222012

Back around the first of the year I heard about a group that was being formed with the goal in mind of sewing all the patterns from 1912’s La Mode Illustree.  This is in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  Not something to celebrate, but it was an important point in history as well as a time known for its fashion.

I know lots of folks have been into making vintage patterns.  I wasn’t one of them, but it sounded like an intriguing project.

The first pattern I received was this.


The pattern comes with pattern pieces in one size and very little by way of instructions.  However, as an experienced seamstress, I didn’t find it very difficult.

The most challenging part, only because it was so time consuming, was the pleated section on the bottom.  Of course, this is what gives it the flair of that particular era.


My pleats did not come out great because, well, I cheated.  I cut the hem off an old wedding gown, which was in the round and curved, instead of the straight (4.5 yard!) strip the pattern called for.  I learned this is a very aggravating way of doing pleats and won’t try it again.

It’s a basic princess seam garment with LOTS of lace trim.  I didn’t do the cutwork under the lace because if I ever wear this (which isn’t very likely) it will probably be as an outer garment, not a slip.


I thought the top was especially pretty and can see making it in a different fabric for a nightgown.

We were also given the option of trying our hand at millinery and making this hat… without directions.


Ummm, NO.

I haven’t a clue where to start.

I think I’ll go work on my tailored jacket instead.

Happy creating!



Mar 212012

I am late, late, late posting today’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday pic.  The site was down for a while, then not operating correctly for another while.  At the moment all seems to be well… I hope!

Anyhow, here’s what’s happening in my sewing room today. (Click on the photo for a larger version.)


Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may recognize both the jacket pattern and the green fabric.  They were meant to be made into a jacket to go with my Easter dress… from last year.

My, how time flies, lol.

I’d like to say it’ll be done in time for Easter this year, but I’m not that bold.  haha

On the bottom left is a clearance pack of K & Company goodies.  Joann’s had loads of K&Co.  yumminess, but I restrained myself and only got this one.

The round white things are pattern weights, another gift from my mil who sewed.  She gave me so many of my bestest sewing things.  Later today I’ll be using her Elna press to do a full fuse of the interfacing to the jacket fabric.


Here’s an old woyww photo showing the press.  Such a fantastic tool.

Speaking of fusible interfacing, the stuff I get at Joann’s usually shrinks.  Most irritating.  This is why I preshrunk my interfacing yesterday, and then will do a full fuse today before cutting out the pattern pieces that need interfacing.

Do you all find you need to do that?  Why or why not?  What fusibles do you use?

Happy Wowyw and Happy Creating!



Mar 182012

This is a fun, if rather tedious, technique Tim Holtz showed in his March tag of 2012. (Click on any pic to see a larger version.)


The first step is to cut up all those little bits of paper.  Think they’re small enough?  Cut ’em all some more… and probably more yet. Make sure you have tweezers… and patience.

12-tags-of-2012-mosaic-butterflies I found some chipboard butterflies and dragonflies that have been in my stash for ages.  I didn’t have any Wondertape, so I pulled apart my Xyron mini sticker maker (it’s never big enough for anything I want to use anyhow) and used the adhesive from that.


Tim used a grayish embossing powder to give the look of grout, but I decided I wanted more of a stained glass appearance so used black.  I’m liking it. 12-tags-of-2012-mosaic-dragonfly-close-up

Both card backgrounds were in my stash of technique experiments.  The green one involved inking over a heat embossed design.  The purple one used paint over a mask.  (Sorry I can’t be more specific than that!  It was quite some time ago.  I’m pretty sure both techniques can be found in one of Jennifer McGuire’s Thinking Inking classes.  Probably weeks two and three, embossing powders and paint dabbers.)


This would be interesting with larger paper scraps as a scrapbook page or card border, but I wouldn’t recommend it for covering too much surface.

K, done that!  Happy creating.  🙂

Mar 172012

Don’t these colors just make you drool?

May Arts issued a challenge to crafters to use these springtime ribbons in a project.  The colors are so yummy and juicy, how could I resist?

After approving my idea, May Arts sent me two yards of each of the above ribbons.


I decided to make scrapbook embellishments and did a layout with several photos from my granddaughter’s first year. (Click on any of the pics to see a bigger version.)

To make the border strips, I covered a 12″ x 6″ piece of scrap cardstock with adhesive, then applied the ribbons in diagonal stripes.  One edge was cut with the Scallops On The Edge Die.  The rest of the strips were cut with a rotary cutter.

You’ll have to use steel rule dies, a rotary cutter or sharp scissors to cut out this beribboned cardstock.  A regular paper trimmer or wafer thin dies won’t be able to handle it.


The flowers were made similarly by covering 5″ x 5.5″ cardstock with ribbon and then die cutting with the Tattered Florals Die.  I also cut leaves with the Tattered Leaves die and the banner with the Styled Labels Die.

The paper flowers might be by Prima, I’m not sure, but I know all the papers are from either My Mind’s Eye’s Everyday Tango paper pack or Die Cuts with a View’s Nana’s Kids paper stack.


Happy Creating!





Mar 132012

Well, here it is, Wednesday again. ‘Tis the time for us to share what we’ve got going on on our desks, hence the name What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Sorry that I haven’t shared anything since last week.  It’s not that I haven’t been busy, but that I’m currently in the middle of several projects.  I seem to have high hopes and keep underestimating the amount of time it’s going to take to do these things, ya know?

Anyhow, this is today’s desk.  (Click on the pic for a closer look.)


Last week I was working on faux dichroic, this week it’s faux opals.  I’m following directions from an old issue of Polymer Cafe, but I’m not thrilled with the results.  Some tweaking is definitely in order.

It’s a good thing I checked on my blog today, as I found ALL of my plug ins had just disappeared!  Where’d they go?  Why’d they go?  I haven’t a clue.  I’m just thankful I’m a fanatic about backups.

Let me know if you find anything weird or “off” on the site this week, something might have been missed in the restoration.

As I mentioned last week, I’m also working on a new Etsy shop for my art jewelry.  It should be ready real soon… I hope.  lol

Thanks so much to all of you who stop by every week and leave such kind comments.  Me-thinks I need to have a comment giveaway soon.  🙂

Have a great week and happy creating!

Mar 072012

Happy Wednesday!  Todays workdesk shows me in the middle of stringing several faux dichroic wire wrapped pendants.


I have big plans for totally renovating my Etsy shop this week, and these pendants will be some of the first new items added.  I’ll be sure to post close up photos soon.

In the top left corner you can just see a bit of this week’s chocolate (Trader Joe’s) peeking out.   Next to that is my trusty Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player.  I’m currently listening to “Going Postal” by Terry Pratchett.  Hysterical.

To the far right is my craft and sewing project to do list.  It is by no means exhaustive, and I’m always looking for the next new thing to add to it.  🙂

Sorry the pic is a bit blurry, the hands don’t want to be steady and I didn’t feel like getting out the tripod.  I WILL use a tripod for the close up photos, though.

Many thanks to all who stopped by the past couple of weeks; I know your time is valuable.  The list has grown so much, but  I’ll visit as many of you as I can.

Happy Creating!

Wondering why I’m posting a photo of my workdesk?  Today is that wonderful celebration of all things creative, crafty, messy (or neat), What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.


Mar 032012

When my 12″x12″ scrapbook paper pad collection started to get out of control, I decided it was time to do some organizing.


Having them on this towel holder is messy looking, but at least it makes good use of vertical space.

However, I had no idea what I had up there, and couldn’t tell which papers I wanted unless I pulled half of them down. (The pizza box is where I store completed scrapbook layouts before they go into an album.)

how-to-organize-scrapbook-paper-loose pages

The first step was to put all the loose papers into these folders, which are sorted by color or theme.  (Such as Winter/Christmas, Birthday/Celebration, Hearts & Flowers.)


Next, I used my P-Touch to make a label for each paper pad.  All but the last 1/2-inch of the label was stuck to some scrap white cardstock.  The remaining sticky 1/2-inch was stuck to the backing cardboard of its paper pad.


When closed, each paper pad has its own little hanging label.


And here is a close up of one section of paper pads.  No more guessing which is which.


Here is the whole thing, much neater and easier to search through.  And look!  Now there’s room for me to buy more paper.  🙂


Mar 022012

Here’s yet another garment made out of the raspberry knit. In case you’re wondering, NO, it is not yet warm enough around here to wear a short skirt and sleeveless top. This photo was taken last fall.


I’ve been meaning to review this pattern for some time now, but every time I thought to write the review, I came up with another piece of fabric from which to make another top.

This is the latest.  It’s an ITY knit from  I love the diagonal stripes.


A friend had a bag of fabric, and I managed to scrounge this pretty red sparkle knit.


Then there’s this navy blue.  I think I bought 15 yards for $1/yd when my local fabric store was going out of business.


These tops are all  made with knits, and all are the same size.  You might notice that the drape and stretch of each fabric really makes a big difference in how they hang (and fit.)

The raspberry fabric (top photo) was SO stretchy that I couldn’t comfortably wear it – unless I planned to not ever bend over that day.  Ooops.

So I made it into view C, with the loops gathering up a bit of the excess.

Here’s my review of the pattern.

Pattern Description: MISSES’ TOPS: Top A has front and back stitched pleats, front drape, lapped back and extended shoulder seams; top B has stitched front pleats and drape; top C has front drape and contrast loops.

Pattern Sizing: Xsm, Sm, Med – I made the small. On less stretchy fabrics I added 1/4-inch to each side seam.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes! Depending on how stiff or drapable your fabric is you will get slightly different looks. I only made view B/C. The very open back of view A makes me cold just to look at it.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Super duper easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love that I can make one of these tops in about an hour with less than a yard of fabric.

Fabric Used: I made this pattern four times, twice in cotton jersey, once in a glittery slub knit and once in an ITY.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: One of my cotton jersey fabrics was VERY stretchy, and ended up a bit too revealing for comfort, so I added the loops (view C) to gather up some of the excess fabric. My other cotton jersey was more stiff, and it turned out being a little snug. For the ITY I added 1/4-inch to each side seam so it would not be tight across my middle.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I’ve already made it four times, but I wouldn’t hesitate to make it again if the right fabric comes along.

Conclusion: This top is a great wardrobe staple. It can be worn on it’s own in nicer weather or can be layered under a jacket or sweater for cooler days.

Mar 012012


It’s only two months late, but I have managed to complete a project inspired by each of Tim Holtz’s 2011 12 Tags of Christmas.  Done is good!

(Click on any photo to see a larger image.)


On day 11 he gave us a video showing how to use Shrink Plastic in the Melting Pot with UTEE Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.


While it was highly entertaining to watch his video, it was even more fun to make my own pieces. I thought they would make wonderful little charms for a bracelet.


I used a whole bunch of different dies to cut the plastic, and also hand cut some purposely wonky hearts with scraps.

To make your own charms you’ll need to use a Crop-A-Dile or other hole punch to make a 1/4 -inch hole in each piece before shrinking.  This is so you can hang your charms with jump rings.  While the plastic is still a bit warm, use a an awl to poke the hole out.  This is easiest if you poke into something squishy, like an old mousepad.


It was hard to know from the start just which sizes were going to work out well for charms on a bracelet. That’s fine, because now I have a whole box of pieces that were either too large or too small that will be used on future projects.


I’d thought the birdcage and bird from the Caged Bird die would be cool, but the birdcage was a little too big.  I did use the bird though, he was just right.


The dress form from the Sewing Room Die was too big, but the thread spool was just perfect.

I also used the Tattered Florals Die, the Tattered Leaves die, as well as some older Sizzis dies.

All the pieces were colored on the back with alcohol inks, some got Snow Cap mixative on the back to create contrast.

This was a fun project, and I’m so happy to have completed a project with techniques from each of Tim’s 12 Tags. Now that he’s doing just one per month, it should be easy to keep up!

Happy creating. 🙂

Feb 282012

Happy Wednesday, all!

Those who have been following my blog for any amount of time know I’ve been determined to catch up with Tim’s 12 Tags series.  I only have one more to do from last Christmas’ tags, but as it’s the last day of the month, today I MUST complete the February tag.


Here is my workdesk, all set up and ready to get that project done.  Yes, on the very last day, but on time regardless.  😉

Actually, I pulled out all my supplies on Monday night right before I went to bed, thinking I’d be inspired and raring to go on Tuesday.  Nope, didn’t happen.

I did, however, go shopping; always a good thing to do when motivation is lacking.  ****grin****   Nothing too exciting, just some adhesive, beads and bits to finish some jewelry for my Etsy shop and some Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint on clearance.  (Are you kidding me?!  I love that stuff, how can they possibly be discontinuing it?)

Anyhow, that’s what my desk looks like this Wednesday.  Hopefully it will be a lot messier as the day goes on and I get some things accomplished.  🙂

If you’re wondering why in the world I’m posting a photo of my desk, well, you must not know about What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Get yourself over to Julia’s quick and check it out!

Happy creating!

******* Update 10:50 p.m. **********

Phew, what a day!  First thing today I worked on this card, then had to do major amounts of errands out and about in the snow.  When I got back I expected all this glitter to be dry, but it wasn’t.

Finally now, I’m ready to head to bed, and dry or not this card is getting posted.  I’ll be happy to welcome in March when I wake up.


This card will be for my granddaughter’s next birthday, when she’ll be four.  Hence, the four candles on the inside, and the utter abandonment of restraint in the use of glitter.  *****grin*****

I loved using this honeycomb paper, and am already considering other projects where it would work.  All you need is a symmetrical shape without important interior details.  Fun stuff!

If you want to know where the inspiration for this card came from, check out Tim Holtz’s 12 Tags of 2012.

Snow or not, spring is only 20 days away.  Woot!