Monday, June 25, 2012

Rags and splinters

I have been successfully using very few paper towels for years now, and it has occurred to me that I should probably just give them up when we run out this time.  About a year ago, I bought some new dish towels.  My old ones were worn, and stained, and I was just tired of looking at them.  Plus my rag bin was small and didn't have very many "good" rags.

However, when I switched them all out, I realized, I had a LOT of rags.  I had no were to put them either, because my little bin for rags was just that, LITTLE.

I browsed Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule and found a cute idea for a rag bag.  However, I didn't want to use any of my fabric, it was too nice for a rag bag that is hidden in the closet, and I didn't want any thing frilly.  It needed to be sturdy.  My family can be a bit rough on things, and I want the kids to be able to grab things out of this bag without worrying they will rip something and I will have to find time to fix it.

So I made two bags.  One for little rags, and one for big rags (messes are different sizes you know).  For the big one I sewed two towels together.  Then I took an old towel that I hated, and cut it up to make handles.  Viola, it was done.  The smaller one was even easier.  I took one towel folded it in half, sewed up the sides, put on a handle, and I was done.

They might not be much to look at, but they do the job, and I have already told all of my loving family that I have given up on having a house that is nicely decorated.  I will live the rest of my life with random clutter and (at least for another year or so) most of my furniture and other non kid friendly items placed out of the way or in other odd places.  As an aside, the reason a lot of my furniture is not where it should be is little l likes to chew on wood.  I am sure that the paints and stains are not the best thing for a baby.  We hope that she will outgrow this, before she ends up with splinters in her gums. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Father's Day

My husband has been asking me to make him handkerchiefs.  I just find the idea gross.  I like being able to throw my snot away.  He however, doesn't.  Being the good environmental steward I try to be I decided Father's Day would be a good day to provide him with this.  Of course, I forgot about it until the Monday before, so I was a bit rushed. 

I used an old pillowcase.  Soft, but fraying around the edges a bit.  Then I embroidered, which I don't do, an M in a different color on each one, so that he wouldn't use the same one for more than one day. 

The result:

I made seven, but he used some before I could get the picture.  Forgetful me.  I think they turned out pretty nice and I go to practice mitering a hem.

Fun times!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


My daughter and I have decided to start making some of her clothes.  Fun times all around, but there are times when she won't be here, and I will want to fit something, or I will be too frustrated to get her to be still so I don't stick her with a pin. 

Of course, I bought a book.  I love books!  Sewing Clothes Kids Love, is a great book.  In it the Kinderquin is recomended.  Basically you have them dress in old clothes that you are okay with cutting.  Then you put duck tape (yes the silly colored kind works great and is not like duct tape) all over them.  You can use long or short sleeves.  Then you cut it off, carefully.  Stuff it, put a hanger in it and voila you are done. 

I think my daughter thought it would be more fun.  She did enjoy being wrapped up like a mummy, until I had to cut it off. 



Complete with hanger, and stuffing

Even shows the curve in her back. 
Hopefully, this will work.  I think it is a cute idea.  After I cut it off she liked it too. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Something just for me.

I decided it was my turn for something.  I checked out my book again, Stitch by Stitch, and chose the next piece of clothing in line learning wise.  The book if you go from front to back helps you to attain new skills with each project then put them altogether in the clothing section.  Unfortunately, the patterns aren't as big as I still am post little l, so I will need to keep losing weight to wear it. 

However, I did it!  I started about three weeks ago, and admittedly stopped a few times in between to make the easier items posted earlier.  I had to give myself a bit of a pep talk and remind myself that I can follow directions!  This weekend though, I was determined.  This wrap around skirt wasn't going to get me.  In the end it did and when I can finally wear it I will need to sit down with my mom or someone more experienced and find out if the pattern was wrong (I doubt it), or I just misread something (most likely).  Here is what I have:
See that tie on the right as you look at it?  It is supposed to be wrapped around and tied to the one by the buttons.  It is not long enough!

Modesty buttons as she called them.  You know, for those windy days when you really don't want everyone seeing your undergarments.  Buttons are some from my mom's collection.  They were 67 cents in the day. 

My most proud moment.  An on-seam pocket, it lays flat!  I know I cut the fabric backwards, but it is inside the pocket!  Who looks there? 
So, fifteen or so pounds and I will be flitting around town in my pretty little skirt!  I love it!  I will say that this skirt taught me a lot.  It taught me I can do this clothes sewing thing I am trying.  I am not perfect, and this is not easy....yet.  I need a lot of practice before I will consider myself good at gutter stitching!  I am sure there will be more sewing projects to come, but I think for a day or two I may start that knitting project I want done by the holidays. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let's go picnic....

Well, maybe no picnics here anytime soon.  It is too hot to be outside in my opinion. We have been taking comfort in our pool, and enjoying all the shade on our patio, but the temperature is moving up quick, and I hate being hot. 

However, I have been meaning to make this project for some time, so I just sat down and did it.  I took the idea and instructions from Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule.  I am finding that I am going to be doing more of the projects from this book than I originally thought, but more on that as they are completed. 

I wanted to make the beach blanket as she called it so I looked around.  I wanted it to be a bit thick, because often grass is damp here from being watered.  I didn't have an old yucky comforter so I hit the Goodwill.  Something I honestly am not a fan of.  However, I didn't want to spend a lot on something that would only be seen when the blanket was all rolled up.  I found a polyester nightmare, that is nice, and put a sheet on top that was a bit old and worn in, but not worn out like its fitted partner.  That was boring, and not what the book asked for, so I stitched some pretty fabrics in as random of a pattern as I am capable of, and this is what I got.

Yucky backing (it really isn't that bad) folded over cute top.

Sewn on tie that will never get lost and always be there to make this a nice portable package. 

The top, like I said, random is hard for me.  
I will admit to not following directions.  After the bias tape fiasco with L's quilt, I did the sew three sides, flip it right side out and finish the top method.  Bias tape was not an option.  It turned out pretty well.  The girls have already eaten atop its loveliness and declared it a success, and apparently a good stand in for a napkin. 

More to come!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Fun: Charmed!

Summer is going by quickly here.  The first week was a rough adjustment, but things are improving!

I have been busy sewing, but I have not had sole use of my computer, so have not posted lately.   L likes to watch shows and play her math games on my computer.  I like that she is being quiet while little l sleeps.

I made what the book called a charm pack skirt.  I did not have any charm packs, so I just used some fat quarters I had.  I love the skirt.  It looks great, and L loves to wear it. 

This is a front/back view.  Though there really is no front or back!  It was easy, and I learned to ruffle.  I like it so much I am going to make myself one, though I will probably make the squares bigger!  The pattern is from Stitch by Stitch by Deborah Moebes.  It is a great book, and I have been learning loads of basics. 

Stay tuned for more!