Aug 232011
 

This scrapbook layout began with an assortment of photos, all of our new baby, but without any particular theme.

Whenever this happens to you there are a few approaches you can take.

  • Simply scrap the pictures, giving the names, the date and perhaps a brief comment about each.
  • Use the opportunity to recount a memory that you don’t have any photos of.
  • Study the pics and try to think of a unifying theme.  It often helps to leave the photos out where you can see them for a few days as you think about it.

Looking at these photos made me think of how blessed a baby is to have folks who just can’t wait to meet him and hold him, and how wonderful it is to be surrounded by love.

1988-05-surrounded-by-love-a-sbp

The “Surrounded” was stamped with a set by My Sentiments Exactly.  It looked rather flat and boring, so to give them some dimension and interest I went over the letters with Glossy Accents.

My handwriting is utterly horrible, but somehow I managed to get the “by” to look not that bad, lol.

The “LOVE” was done with the Sizzix Shadow Box dies and my Sizzix Big Shot.

Mounting stickers on squares of paper keeps them from getting lost on the page and gives them importance.

1988-05-surrounded-by-love-b-sbp

All the papers were edged with Distress inks, including Vintage Photo, Broken China, Faded jeans, Peeled Paint and Spiced Marmalade.

If you took my Distress Ink away, I don’t think I’d be able to scrapbook, lol.  They add just that perfect finishing touch.

1988-05-surrounded-by-love-ab-sbp

Happy creating!

 

Aug 202011
 

Hi everyone, I’m back!  Didja miss me?

What?  You didn’t notice I was gone?

Well, that’s ok too, lol.

It’s been a crazy week around here, I was off working all day every day except Thursday.   I spent all day Thursday steam cleaning all the downstairs carpets, my upholstered recliner AND my car.  Phew.

Today I hope to get everything back to rights in my sewing room, and maybe even do some crafting.  In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy this free pattern from Hot Patterns.

scarfblouse

Aug 152011
 

Last week I mentioned I’d be revising a review for Simplicity 2364.

I was not at all happy with the fit of this top the first time around, but with a little bit of effort managed to make this :

simplicity-2364-aqua

…out of this:

simplicity-2364-blue-shrug-top

Ah, much better.

Now that the fitting issues were solved, I made this:

simplicity-2364-raspberry

(Yup, still MORE of that raspberry fabric.)

For the updated review and a quick tip on how to make easy alterations to your patterns, check out Pattern Review – Simplicity 2364.

Happy creating!

Aug 122011
 

Sometimes the easiest things to do are the trickiest to explain.  I was asked to show how I did the simple cutwork on this dress:

mccalls-6199-and-6287-blue-dress

…From this pattern (McCall’s 6287):

It took no time at all when I made the dress, but when I tried to break it down for you, step-by-step?  That was another matter.

I suggest you find yourself a scrap of fabric and just follow along.  Once you’ve done it, you’ll say, “Oh!  That was easy.”

First you need to make parallel cuts in your fabric.  They can be any length and anywhere from 1″ to 1/2″ apart.  The pattern has them about 3/4″ apart.

simple-cutwork-step-1

Next you take two adjacent loops and twist them around one another.

simple-cutwork-step-2

Then you’ll wrap the second loop over the first and pull the next loop through .

simple-cutwork-step-3

Continue along, pulling the next loop through the loop you are holding.

simple-cutwork-step-4

simple-cutwork-step-5

Here’s what it will look like when you’re done:

simple-cutwork-completed

You can take some time to arrange the loops to your liking.  Here I’ve scooched all the loops closer to the center.

simple-cutwork-rearranged

And here are the pattern directions.  I’m not sure which are more clear, mine or theirs, lol.

how-to-do-cutwork

Seriously, though, grab some scrap fabric and try it out.  You’ll see what I mean, hard to explain, but easy to do.

I think this would be a fun way to transform a t-shirt.

Have a happy, creative weekend, all!

 

 

Aug 102011
 

Happy Wednesday, ya’ll!  Today is the day we not only share what’s on our workdesks, but also travel the world (virtually speaking) checking out the desks of creative folks from all over.  Join us at Julia’s to get started, it’s fascinating.

My desk today shows a mish-mosh of stuff.  At the bottom left is another version of Simplicity 2364 that I finished last night, this time in raspberry with the three-quarter length sleeves.  I think I’ve resolved the fitting issues I mentioned in my review of the pattern, and am ready to take apart the turquiose version and redo it.

I’ll amend the review when I done and be sure to let you know the results.

2011-08-10-whats-on-your-workdesk-wednesday-more raspberry-fabric

Have you noticed that this raspberry fabric keeps popping up?  Last June a local, family-owned fabric store that had been in business since 1919 finally had to close their doors.  It made me so sad, it almost felt like a death.

However, on the up side, I got some amazing deals on fabric.  I’d bought four yards of this lovely knit jersey for $1 per yard.   When I got it home I said to myself, “What!  Are you nuts?” and went back and bought the rest of the bolt.

So far I’ve gotten a dress and two tops out of it.  I’ve got a little over three yards left and am thinking of making this:

(Click on the photo to get the free pattern for yourself.)

Other things on my desk includes a Tim Holtz configuration I picked up at Michael’s yesterday.  Ever since I took a class with Tim last year and made this Christmas Configuration, I’ve been wanting to make another, this time with a sewing theme.  I’ve been digging through stuff left to me by my grandmother and mother-in-law (like the old thimbles) for special little goodies to fill it with. (I suspect the search for treasures will be just as much fun as actually making this project.)

Finally, are not those little donut charms the yummiest things you ever saw?  They’re polymer clay.  Wish I had time to do polymer clay…

Happy creating!

Aug 092011
 

Oh my, I just came across these and can’t stop giggling.

LOVE.

I will definitely be Wonder Woman for my next cookout.

superhero-aprons

Which would you be?

If not Superheros,then how about Princess Peach?

Or Alice In Wonderland?

Now I know what Gary’s getting next year for Father’s Day.

Mr. Incredible, indeed.  Bwahahaha.

For more chuckles and inspiration, check Bethany’s awesome creations.

Aug 082011
 

I wasn’t too sure about all the ruffly little flowers on this top, but I’m so glad I went ahead and added them.  If the top is still worth wearing once all this frouffiness goes out of style, well, I can just snip them off.  ***grin*** simplicity-2409

Anyhow, I’m really happy how this one came out.

simplicity-2409-top-with-beaded-flowers

Here’s a close up of the flowers:

simplicity-2409-top-with-beaded-flowers-close-up

And here’s my review of the pattern:

Pattern Description: Khaliah Ali collection
Misses top with 6 variations, front bodice has front neck yoke from shoulder to underbust, and bias cut cowl style collar at neckline, ruffled v-neck or 3d flower embellishment, side and sleeve front and back are cut as one with a back bodice, top is gathered onto a lower front and back bodice by means of elastic in casing within seam. Various sleeve options include long, long ruched with elastic, no sleeves, very short or short ruffled sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:10,12,14,16,18 (According to my measurements I should have made a 16. I made a 12 and it fits perfectly. This seems to be the way of things lately with Simplicity, McCall’s and Butterick patterns.  Rather annoying, I think.)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? The ones I followed were fine. I made some changes and went in my own direction in some areas, though.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Overall I really like this top. I wouldn’t mind if the neckline were just a tad higher. I’d like the skirt to be a little less full (less of the potential pregnant look.)

Fabric Used: Cotton jersey

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made view E with the view C neck ruffle.

After reading several other reviewer’s comments about not liking the bias tape finish, I decided to fully line this top and skip the bias tape altogether. I think this is a nicer looking finish, and it’s easier! (Keep in mind you’ll need additional fabric.)

To do this you just need to cut twice as many pieces as called for out of pattern piece #’s 1, 2, 3 and 4. First sew all the shoulder seams, then sew the lining pieces to the outer garment pieces at the underarm and neckline seams. Open out the side seams to sew the fronts and back together. Then carry on with the pattern directions.

Adding the Ruffled Flowers: If you decide to go with the ruffled flowers, I highly recommend you first pin them onto the garment and then (carefully) try it on. I found I preferred them to be clustered more closely together than shown on the pattern front.

Before I gathered each circle I went around the edges with a distressing tool to get the fraying started.  (I did the same on the neck ruffle.) For just a little something extra I added three seed beads to the center of each small flower and five seed beads to the center of each large flower.

Conclusion: Another really cute top!

Aug 052011
 

I was poking around at Costco the other day and saw this fantastic ruffled pillow.  It made me think of something you’d find at Pier One or Pottery Barn.

costco-ruffled-pillow_0

After a moment studying it, I said, “Hmmm, I could make that.”  And so I have, it took just a couple of hours.

ruffled-pillow

The Costco version was made out of a velour, I made mine out of polar fleece.  Whatever you use, you’ll want to choose a fabric that doesn’t ravel or fray.

This pillow doesn’t have any zippers or closures, but uses my favorite pillow technique of making overlapping flaps for the back.  Super quick and easy!

You will need:

  • 18″ pillow form
  • 1 3/8 yards 58″-60″ wide (or 2 yards 40″ wide) non-fraying fabric such as fleece
  • rotary cutter and ruler (helpful, but you can just use scissors)
  • sewing machine and matching thread

Step 1, Pillow Front and Back:

For your pillow front, cut a 16.5″ square. For the back, cut 2 pieces 16.5″ x 10.5″.

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-step-1-cut-front-and-back

Step 2, Cut Squares for Ruffles:

Cut the remaining fabric into 80-100 4″ squares.  This is where a rotary cutter and ruler come in handy.

Btw, I was using a piece of fleece that I had on hand and only had enough fabric to make 65 squares.  I wouldn’t have minded my pillow being more full, but I’m still pleased with it, so if you have to, just go with what you’ve got.  🙂

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-step-2-cut-squares

Step 3, Sew the Ruffles To the Pillow Front:

Pick up a 4″ square and gather the center in your fingers.

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-step-3-pinch-squares

Stitch this ruffle through the gathered center at the exact middle of your pillow front. Backstitch to secure.

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-step-3a-stitch-down-squares

Continue to stitch ruffles  in a row down the center of your pillow front.  I had rows of 8 ruffles, if you have 100 squares you can make rows of 10.  Just space them by eye, it doesn’t have to be exact.

Don’t stop to trim the thread tails between the ruffles until you are all done with each row.  This will save a lot of time and thread.

Here’s the first row:

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-step-3-b-first-row

Now go ahead and stitch a second row, with the ruffles facing in the opposite direction (Turned 90°.)  You’ll want this second row to be “crowding” the first row so that the cut edges of the ruffles are facing up, rather than lying flat.

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-step-3c-second-row

Now continue sewing down rows of ruffles, alternating directions.  Leave about 1″ clear all around the edge of your pillow front so we can sew it to the back later.

Here are all the rows stitched:

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-step-3d-all-rows

Step 4, Sew On the Pillow Back:

First you’ll need to take some time to pin all the ruffles out of the way of the seam allowance.

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-step-4-pinned-out-of-the-way

Now you can pin on one of your 16.5″ x 10.5″ pillow back pieces.

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-step-5-add-half-of-back

Now pin the other 16.5″ x 10.5″ to the other side (there will be a 4″ overlap in the center) and stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance around all four sides.

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-step-6-stitch-all-around

Turn right side out, insert your pillow form and voila, you are done!

ruffles-pillow-tutorial-completed

Isn’t that fun?  It’s very squishy and comfy to use, too.

Next I think I’ll use several bits of leftover pink and purple fleece for a wonderfully “girly” pillow for my granddaughter.

More ideas for this pillow:

  • Use a variety of brightly colored fabrics for a baby or child’s pillow
  • Use several shades of the same color for a rich appearance
  • Cut the ruffles with pinking shears or a pinking rotary blade

Here’s to a fun and creative weekend!