Colourful Placemats!

I finally finished my placemats and I am so happy with how they turned out. I wanted something bright and colourful for our dining room and I had a moda charm pack that I was just itching to use… out came these fun, bright placemats that will work with whatever colour we decide to paint the room!

It was my first time really doing piece work and while they are far from perfect I think they turned out well. I used my 1/4″ sewing foot which made it SO much easier. I also wanted a patterned white fabric to use and found a great white on white chevron in the ends bin at fabricland. I am kicking myself now for only buying a metre and not everything they had… I love this stuff but I am all out. Sad. I also wanted a single fabric foe the back that was fun and could work as it’s own mat. After searching fabric.com (a favourite pastime) I found these beautiful prints in Amy Butler’s Love line. They worked great. I love that you can see pops of the red and purple around the edge.

Can’t wait to have some friends over and break out the new mats!

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Falling in Love…

There are a few things I love about blogging….
1) it lets me share what I’m doing with friends, family and all the wonderful people who stumble across my  blog and like what they see
2) it makes me feel a little more accountable for finishing projects.. a little… I still have to work on that one!
and 3) it has introduced me to a world of new, wonderful bloggers that I now follow and feel inspired by.

I love waking up and getting my email notifications from the blogs I follow and yesterday was pretty fantastic for this Charley Harper, fabric loving girl… I discovered there is a Charley Harper fabric line through Birch Fabric. It was mentioned in passing on A Crafty Fox and it made my heart skip. No word of a lie! I was like a kid on Christmas eve just waiting to find out what it would be… and then today it was revealed in all its beautiful glory! The line will not be availble until September/October but you can bet I will be getting it. I am already planning out the projects, making sure each one will truly highlight the beauty that is Harper’s art.

One project that I definitely want to do is to make a dress. I fell in love with this dress after seeing it on New Girl this past year and I think it would be perfect for highlighing the fabric…. and would cost me less than $300 to make!

russian nesting dolls dress

 

(also, shopyourtv.com is a fantastic site! Discovered that one today too!)

I will definitely have to keep working on my sewing skills but I am fairly confident I will be able to do this by October! And now, here is the Charley Harper fabric in all its glory! Found at fabricworm.com (which also is a pretty wonderful site!). Here is a small selection of some of the fabric:

charley harper fabric 1 charley harper fabric 2

Love!

PS. I have been crazy busy sewing and I  promise to take photos and post them next week! It will be a sewing overload of cute baby things!

Finally crossed one off the list…

I love pattern books. While I am well aware that it is much cheaper to find patterns online and just purchase what you want as a PDF or download from a blog or follow a free tutorial, I still love books. The beautiful photos, glossy pages. They really are beautiful. A few years ago when I took sewing back up I purchased Amy Butler’s Style Stitches – 12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags. I love this book. It is filled with a wide variety of beautiful bags in gorgeous Amy Butler fabric. The best part, when I bought the book I felt as though I could make at least the first few (now I am pretty confident I could make all of them… and one day I just may!).

I fell in love with the second bag: The Reversable Everyday Shopper. It was big, bright, and looked like my kind of bag – one that could hold a lot of stuff! It also had a huge pocket on the inside and outside… and I do love pockets! But, like most of my pattern books, it sat on my shelf just waiting to be used, waiting for the time when I felt ready to try it, had the right material… all the usual excuses. Well, that time was now!

I picked up some fun and bright outdoor fabric (I like using outdoor fabric for big bags as it is sturdy and I love how water beads right off so it is great for the beach…. it also goes on sale quite a bit and because it is so wide you never need as much!). This bag used 1 3/4m of fabric – 3/4m of the main, and 1m of the coordinating fabric – and 3.5m of heavy weight iron-on interfacing (I am very happy I got it on super sale for $2/m!). So for materials the bag only cost about $25 +thread (white, all-purpose).

It was definitely an easy bag that I finished up in 3 short sessions and one longer one. The most time-consuming part was cutting everything out and attaching the interfacing. Once that was done, the bag practically sewed itself together. I am very happy with how it turned out and all I can say is that it is HUGE! HUGE! It will be prefect for everything I use it for!

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Fabric woes, a new machine and some corn bags!

I have been having some tension issues with my sewing machine lately and it came to a head Wednesday night. Nothing was working right and I was working on an order for cornhole bags for a friend. No matter what I did I could not get the seam to lay flat. It puckered and bunched and was just awful. So, like any 21st century sewer… to the internet!

What I found out was a little good news/bad news. Good news: found out what the main problem was – the material. Apparently broadcloth is just a pain in the butt to work with. I’ve worked with it before and noticed some puckering but never as much as this. So onto the bad news: a big part was the machine. Not in any way that I could put my finger on, but in the small, you know something is up and it’s just not working right.

Learning this I had two choices 1) spend $70 and get my machine serviced even though it really isn’t that old (less than a year) and should really last longer than that, or 2) pack it back up, as I kept all the packaging (looks like Dahl’s almost crazy-like need to keep all the boxes is rubbing off and has come in handy) and return it for credit and get a new machine.

Guess which option I chose! Returned and upgraded to a slightly ($15) better model. Well, I love it. And while not all the puckering is gone – curse you broadcloth – I did not get the urge to throw my machine out of the third story window last night while making the bags.

There are some pretty awesome features on his machine: start/stop and speed control for foot free sewing, automatic up/down button for the needle, lots of stitches and best of all it came with the two feet that I needed to get anyway – a walking foot and quilters foot. Definitely worth the extra $15.

So I guess the biggest thing I learned through all this… broadcloth is awful. Never buying it again. I’ll spend the extra money and get quilters cotton. But if anyone has tips for sewing with it, I still have lots I need to use up first as I’m not about to waste it!

Also, I will also say that the cornhole bags turned out great! They are usually done with duck canvas but of course the associates at my local fabricland looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if they had any… so I got shoe canvas instead. My friend wanted them in Manchester United (red and white) and FC Barcelona (blue and red) stripes. I made the outside stripes with broadcloth then attached them to the shoe canvas and stitched in the ditch between the stripes with heavy duty thread to reinforce them. They were then filled with whole kernal corn feed, which of course could only be purchased in a 53lbs bag and I only needed 16lbs! At least it’s cheap and now I can make myself some. I think they look fantastic. I’m shipping them out today and I hope she will like them as much as I do!

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Why yes, maybe I will try something new…

I have been doing a lot of sewing lately. Pretty much every night after H goes to bed I head up to the craft floor and continue working on a project or start something new. I have definitely seen improvement in skill over the last month or so from doing this, but even more so I’ve noticed a greater confidence in my ability.

With this new found confidence (however new and shaky it may be!) I think I would like to try my hand at making clothes. I love vintage dresses/style. If I was rich my entire wardrobe would come from modcloth, shabbyabble and pinupgirlclothing. Seriously love the look – but not in love with the price tag. For Christmas this year Dahl bought me a vintage sewing book that I found incredibly intimidating when I first looked through it…. now it doesn’t seem so daunting.

I think in the next few months I may givenit a go. I picked up a beautiful vintage-inspired pattern yesterday from fabricland and I have a few picked out from my book. Now to find the material and the courage!

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A little more for me…

Continuing with my one day trend of making things for myself I decided to make a bag… and not just any bag, a bag that I thought was pretty enough to warrent digging through the good fabric. We all have it… the super nice fabric we keep ‘saving’ for a special project that never happens and it just collects dust. Yup, that fabric!

The fabric I chose is a home decor weight print from Ikea purchased almost two years ago. Yup… been sitting on the shelf for awhile now. I chose a bring pink broad cloth for the lining and used a heavy weight interfacing to make it a little sturdier. I put in two interior pockets with three sections each so it will be easier to keep track of my little things. It is a good size bag that will easily fit all of mine and H’s things for trips out.

I am so happy with how it turned out! I finished it off with a fun black button that shines pink which is exactly what it needed! Best part… it was super easy, didn’t take too long and looks fantastic! I can definitely see myself making a few more of these as they make great gifts.

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(Pictures were taken before I added the button. Sorry!)

A little more for me…

Continuing with my one day trend of making things for myself I decided to make a bag… and not just any bag, a bag that I thought was pretty enough to warrent digging through the good fabric. We all have it… the super nice fabric we keep ‘saving’ for a special project that never happens and it just collects dust. Yup, that fabric!

The fabric I chose is a home decor weight print from Ikea purchased almost two years ago. Yup… been sitting on the shelf for awhile now. I chose a bring pink broad cloth for the lining and used a heavy weight interfacing to make it a little sturdier. I put in two interior pockets with three sections each so it will be easier to keep track of my little things. It is a good size bag that will easily fit all of mine and H’s things for trips out.

I am so happy with how it turned out! I finished it off with a fun black button that shines pink which is exactly what it needed! Best part… it was super easy, didn’t take too long and looks fantastic! I can definitely see myself making a few more of these as they make great gifts.

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(Pictures were taken before I added the button. Sorry!)

Something for me!

I usually have a project or two on the go (or five or six) at any given time… however they are mostly for other people. After finishing up the final few items I wanted done before launching ‘Sweet Beginnings’ I decided to make something for myself – Sweet Beginnings is my new facebook adventure where I’m selling handmade baby goods.

I decided to make myself a tea cozie. I love this cozie and have made it quite a few times for friends and family but I thought it was just about time for me to make one for myself. I used my favourite granny florals and I am very pleased with the result. I will be trying it out tomorrow as I enjoy a cup of earl grey.

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Sorry about the weird angle… it was the only way not to get a weird hand shadow!

Something for me!

I usually have a project or two on the go (or five or six) at any given time… however they are mostly for other people. After finishing up the final few items I wanted done before launching ‘Sweet Beginnings’ I decided to make something for myself – Sweet Beginnings is my new facebook adventure where I’m selling handmade baby goods.

I decided to make myself a tea cozie. I love this cozie and have made it quite a few times for friends and family but I thought it was just about time for me to make one for myself. I used my favourite granny florals and I am very pleased with the result. I will be trying it out tomorrow as I enjoy a cup of earl grey.

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Sorry about the weird angle… it was the only way not to get a weird hand shadow!

The fabric has arrived!

We ended up braving the snow and headed out to pick up my gabric package yesterday – granted, it warmed up so the roads were good!

I am so happy with everything! I washed it last night and tonight is crafty time! Loving my fleece!

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