Saturday, October 31, 2009

Camera strap cover

Are we tired of this project yet?

It's just that I really wanted to include a lens cap pocket, but wasn't sure how to make it work since the cap my friend has is wider than the strap.

The solution was to gather the bottom of the pocket until it was the width of the strap and to sew an elastic casing on top.

I'm pretty pleased with the results. It's different than all the other strap covers I've seen. Hopefully it works well. I'm going to send this off to the friend who requested it on Monday. She's going to test it out for me. If the feedback is good, this will be in the store in plenty of time to make it onto your Christmas list!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Chef's Hat

As promised, here are pictures of the chef's hat, that goes with the apron (2 blog posts down.)
Isn't our mummy pumpkin adorable?
I got the pattern from, and to be honest, didn't expect it to come out so well. I did make one adjustment to the pattern. I added a thick interfacing to the bottom piece to help it keep its shape.
I kind of want one for myself.


Trick or Treat!

Last night was Trick or Treat in our neck of the woods so the Bug got another chance to sport her Dorothy dress, lovingly crafted by Aunt Michelle.

She was thrilled to put it on.
"This TWIRLS!!" she told me.
And she couldn't get enough of her ruby slippers.
My contribution to the sweet little ensemble? Hair ties.
O.k., so it's not much but I think it's the perfect little touch.
And check out those braids! Awesome right? I know it's not sewing, but I was pretty proud of myself--and the Bug. She sat very still, which can't be easy when you're two!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wash Day Apron (Special Order)

After seeing the Wash Day skirt my co-worker and friend, Jessica, asked if I could make an apron for her daughter for Christmas.
Never one to turn away a challenge, I said that I would.

And of course, inspired by my sister, I knew this apron had to be reversible. A girl, even a girl under six, needs to have wardrobe options after all.

I thought this apron needed an extra special sash so I tried my hand at a few pleats. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

I think I'll be making more of these little aprons. It turned out so fun and cute!
Merry Christmas Nora!
I hope this apron helps you get a lot of pretend laundry and ironing done!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Apron #3 - My first custom order

My neighbor co-worker, who gets to hear my daily rants about my sewing endeavors, decided she wanted to be a Halloween Baker for her Halloween Party this year. So she commissioned my sewing services to make an apron and a hat.
Last night I finished the apron, and thought I would share the pictures with you.
Grey bats on a black background with orange accent ties. This is a shot of the bodice of the full apron
Did you guess it was going to be reversible?
Second side features black spiders and their webs.

The other half - the skirt. I SEARCHED my local Vogue Store for just the right black lace - they had NOTHING I liked. I found the trim featured above, but the problem it had white and black sequence - they had nothing else, I asked. Removing the sequence took the most time for this project.
Finished project - Side I
Finished Project - Side II
I gave the apron to my co-worker this morning and she loved it! Yeah!
Now on to tonight's project - her matching (non reversible) Chef hat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Apron Listing

As promised, I have posted my first apron to Etsy for public purchase. I titled it from a similar pattern from this book, though the only thing I followed from the book's pattern was the scaloped bottom.The book does not call for a lace trim nor for the apron to be reversable. You may sense a reversable pattern theme with my apron work thus far. There is something about the option of picking the side you want to used based on the feel of your day, that really attracts me to the idea. I mean getting 2 in 1, always seems like the best option to me.If you agree, need an apron, and like what you see here; check out our Etsy shop for more pictures and your chance to make this little treat your own.


Friday, October 23, 2009


I have a very dear friend, her name is Holly. We met in college, and despite her transferring colleges and moving all over the country the past few years, she has made every effort to keep our friendship strong. I'd say with confidence that each of us knows the other one, almost too well.
I had recently bought some fabric from Hancock. With my order they sent a catalog, and in the catalog I discovered the perfect Holly fabric. I knew the moment I saw it, I had to get it and make her an apron to surprise her. So I ordered it and waited patiently (or not so patiently) for it to arrive. The night it arrived I went to work...
I had found this smock apron pattern online and adapted it a little bit, I added pockets, a ruffle, and I made it reversible.
This is my first attempted at free styling a pattern. I had some difficulty with the pattern online and the measurements, so I ended up just doing what looked right to me. I am still not sure how the online pattern connects in the back. I used some packing paper that was used by Amazon to package my sewing machine. It worked perfectly, the weight was right and it was easy to iron out the paper's wrinkles. I now wish I had more of this paper to make patterns from, I am sure I could buy it somewhere, but if I know I can get something for "free" I have a hard time paying for it.
I started by cutting out the main smock pieces, and then moved on to the pockets. I wanted each side to have a different feel, I really wanted to make it feel like 2 different aprons in one. So on one side I only had one square pocket with a little extra detailed fringe. While on the other side I placed two rounded pockets.
This is side #1, all fabric is from Timeless Treasures' "Timeless Apple Fashion Collection". This side features the "Orchard Owl" pattern, with pocket accents in the "Apple Tree" pattern, and the accent ruffle in the "Leaf Stem Stripe" pattern.
Here is a back shot of the apron, isn't it amazing? When I thought of the ruffle, I didn't know it would turn out so well. It is especially cute on. (I have made Holly promise to send pictures of her in it.)
And a close up of the pocket on side one.
Now on to side #2 - with the Apple Tree pattern taking main stage. All in all this was a pretty easy pattern, though because I was winging it, I ran into some logistical issues.
Now side #2 from the back. The problems came with the arm holes shape. In order to turn the apron right side out I couldn't sew the arm holes from the inside, but because of their shape it was difficult getting the proper seam allowance tucked under in order to make it look finished. I attempted various steps that all ended up in me ripping out seams in an effort to make this task easier, only in the end I had ended up back were I started.
A somewhat blurry shot of the square pocket.
Once the arm holes were done, I was finally on to the last step, the button and buttonhole. It should be noted that this is my first attempted at making a buttonhole since I was in eighth grade. I remember them being a little difficult, so I was a little apprehensive, but I was attempting it with my new machine, which was exciting. Above is a picture of the machine's buttonhole foot. Talk about easy! You place the button in the back of the foot and the machine automatically registers the size of the buttonhole. All I was left to do was push the foot.
I now firmly believe that had I had this sewing machine when I was in 4H I would have gotten more than an honorable mention badge (no offense to the machine I used.)
The moment I finished it, I packed it up and shipped it out to Holly. She received the package last night and called me immediately. She responded just as I knew she would, the moment I saw the material in the catalog. What a joy it is to surprise a dear friend with something you know they will cherish. And what a greater joy to have such a dear friend.
Now, with one apron under my belt, I started on one to put up on Etsy. Only a few stitches remain, so keep you eyes on our Etsy store, there will be a new edition soon.

~ Michelle

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reversible Camera Strap Cover (second attempt)

I've been working on this concept for a while now--a reversible camera strap cover--for a friend who has a serious photography hobby. I've seen these tutorials for camera strap covers all over the Internet but none are reversible, everything boxes you in to one fabric option. And that doesn't work for me because I like to have options.

The first time I tried this it turned out really cute but it wasn't functional. The tube made by the strap was too narrow and the fabric and interfacing were to bulky to make turning it to the other side a practical option.

So the Hubby suggested Velcro.
Go Hubby!! You rock.

Here's what I came up with:

The fabrics are from Urban Chicks, the 1974 collection, and I love how they go together. There is a Velcro strip all the way down the strap to make it easy to change your mind on a whim and there is a bit of fleece interfacing in between the layers for added comfort around your neck.

This was a fun project and I'm sure I'll be making more of them soon. Keep your eye on the Etsy shop for a chance to get your own, custom fit for your camera!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Girly Twirl Skirt

Some projects just get stuck in my head. This reversible twirl skirt is one of them. The Hubby was kind enough to watch the Bug for 45 minutes Friday while I finished this one up.
Thank you Honey, now I can sleep!

It doesn't get much more girly than this one with the sweet little pink roses and the dainty lace trimmed ruffle. Add to that the twirl factor and any little girl is sure to be crazy over this one.

Look! I even managed to get in on the Bug for a brief modeling session with the promise of it's supreme twirliness.

She could not, however, be bothered to change into a shirt to match OR to go somewhere with a better backdrop than our carpet and her Baby Einstien video. Sigh. I will take what I can get.

How is it these other kids fashion bloggers all have children who pose sweetly??

The other side is similar to the first but with a sweet pink and light green patchwork print on top and green and white trim on the ruffle.

It's two skirts in one! And the elastic waistband makes for a longer life. This little number should easily fit from 24 months to 3T, perhaps longer. Soon to be posted on the Etsy site if you want to get your hands on it!


Friday, October 16, 2009

A Little Birdie

It's been a busy week, not much sewing going on. But I did have some time last night during Survivor and The Office to start a little embroidery on the top of the baby quilt I'm working on.

I haven't ever embroidered anything before so I read up on stitches and technique a little before getting started. Thankfully, it seems like a pretty intuitive process. It was a lot like drawing, just with thread, so it was really fun for me.

I got two of these sweet little birdies done last night. I'm hoping to scatter a bunch of them all over so the sweet baby girl's big sisters can have fun playing "find the blue bird".

Oh, and I realize that you can see my guidelines (the turquoise) but those will come out in the wash, I promise!!

So I'm trucking along on this quilt project and feeling pretty good about where I'm at on it. Baby Girl is scheduled to arrive mid-December so I've still got plenty of time to wrap up the embroidery, machine quilt it and put on the binding. Heck if I get done with time to spare I might even hand quilt a little. I do love hand stitching so, it would be a shame not to do any.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Etsy Listing

I finally finished the linen dress. My original plan for this dress was to make if for myself so I could wear it to my cousins wedding (last August). However, I didn't look close enough to the pattern sizing before cutting the fabric, and thus ended up with the makings of a too-small-for-me linen dress. This of course did not leave me with enough of the natural linen, to make a second dress in my size. So, out of disappointment and regret, I but the cut pattern pieces aside. I recently picked it up again, because I knew it had to be made, I could NOT let this fabric go to waste, and in a studio apartment, there isn't much extra room for unfinished projects.

Now that it is all said and done, I am again kicking myself for not looking at the pattern sizing before cutting.
How can you not love this material?!? Perfect colors, perfect flora patterns, perfect LINEN!
In case you were wondering, my second zipper attempt was not as traumatic as the first. After a helpful suggestion from my sister to hand baste the zipper on before machine sewing (duh! why had I forgot that step?), the zipper really went on like a breeze. (Have I mentioned lately how much I adore my new sewing machine?)
And then to keep the seams from fraying I decided to add red bias tape to the inside seams...I absolutely LOVE hidden details like this.
Is it wrong to secretly hope this doesn't sell, in the off chance that someday it might fit me? Probably...
But in all honesty, I would be just as happy to see it off to someone who appreciates it and can wear it, so if you are interested, you can check it out at our Etsy store.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Turtle Dress

How cute is this little sweetie? She's modeling the little turtle appliqued dress that I made for her earlier this summer.

We had quite an ordeal getting it to fit. Originally the bodice was just a little too narrow for her to get her arms through. Her mom sent it back for me to fix. I took a deep breath, said a prayer and cut down the back. I turned the raw edges under, added a button loop and a button and it ended up looking really cute. It was a good fix. And now it fits!

I think this would look super cute this fall with a little long sleeved tee and some leggings under it. You can see already that it looks good with a pair of boots!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Cell Phone/ iPod/ Gaget Case

I have a new boss. She has a new phone. And she needed a stylish way to keep it on her because she's just not into the hip clip look. When she found out that I sew she commissioned me to help solve her problem.

Enter this cute little cell phone case. Inspired by this Moda Bake Shop tutorial and some other similar cases I found on Etsy I set to work.

Forgive the rotten photo quality and staging. I finished this puppy at 11 pm last night so I was lacking in both natural light and creative staging inspiration.
It's hard to tell from these photos (sorry!) but this fabric is a really soft, narrow corduroy in brown and a really bright robin's egg blue. Super cute.

It closes with a magnetic snap so there is no danger of losing your valuable electronics. There is a short strap so it can be carried as a wristlet, or you can attach the strap extension and wear it around your neck.

I have to say, both my boss and I were a little afraid the "around the neck" option might end up looking a little too much like rapper bling, which probably wouldn't go over well in the middle of nowhere Indiana, but it doesn't look that way at all. It is actually a really cute alternative for people who need to have their phone (or iPod) on them but don't want to look like a construction worker wearing it on their hip.

I have to admits, I thought I would just let the boss test drive this one before I made her actual case but she liked it so much that she's going to buy it! Not to worry though, I have a good deal more of this fabric so you may see one of these in the Etsy shop in the near future.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wash Day Skirt

Meet the Wash Day Skirt.
Soon to be added to the Etsy store.

I love this sweet vintage print from Robert Kaufman. These little dolls make doing laundry look fun! The plaid accent band at the hem and on the tops of the pockets is Mary Engelbreit and the fun flower print on the pockets is from a random fat quarter I picked up somewhere.

I want to try some new skirt styles but this basic elastic waisted twirl skirt is just so fun to make and embellish it may be a while before I try anything new. I love the little poofy pockets on this one. Just perfect for holding clothspins, or perhaps (more likely) sticks and stones and acorns.

This sweet little skirt is one of a kind and has a 20" waist so it should fit a girls size 4 or 5.


Monday, October 5, 2009

First project on to the next one.

I thought I would provide a photo essay of the making of the Dorothy costume: I used Simplicity Pattern 4024. For some reason, I found the skirt accent band very challenging. I don't know if I wasn't reading the instructions right, but it was not simple as the name brand suggests. Perhaps I am just not the best with an iron and straight lines. The point was to have a contrasting band across the bottom of the skirt, so they had the gingham on a diagonal. I ended up ripping this band off and using a smaller gingham print as the contrast, instead of a different diagonal.And now a shot with the top.
And the bloomers, without elastic.
And with...I am hoping these fit better than the last pair I made. I previously used this pattern to make a pair of bloomers to match a dress my sister made for The Bug. I shipped them off to my sister, and she informed me that they turned out humorously big. So this time, I cut the pattern down a size and used less elastic.
Finally the picture you have all been waiting for....drum roll is a picture of the finished project:
All it needs now is a hem. I think it looks good in pictures and will look nice on, assuming it fits (we will see next weekend.) I am generally very happy with it, but I did have many problems & frustrations along the way. When looking at it up close one will definitely notice the little things that make it homemade. For instance, I did have some difficulty aligning everything, especially with the zipper. I ripped that thing out multiple times and broke two needles attempting to get it perfect. In the end I settled for close to perfect, after all I am not sending this to 4H judging, and it is my first attempt.
I did learn from the experience, and am applying what I learned to my next project: Vogue Pattern V8469.
I had originally thought I would make the dress for me, but the sizing isn't quite right. So when it is done it will probably make its way to our Etsy site.
I will be really sad to see it go. I LOVE the material. It is linen, which it proving to be really easy to work with. I have taken it apart a few times, but I am pretty happy with its current state.
This is also my first attempt (IN YEARS) of working with lining. The one side is laying PERFECTLY, the other side not so much. I will probably tear it out tonight and try again. But I am learning, it is all part of the process!
~ Michelle