back in black (with quasi-tutorial)

Black AppletonSo…hi! This dress has actually been done for awhile– I finished it in late April. It just took me forever to actually be able to set up the tripod and get a few pictures of it. Definitely not the best, since my camera insisted on using the flash since I was inside, but it’s better than nothing, right?

This is my second version of the Cashmerette Appleton dress, and I made a few modifications this time to work out some of the issues that I had with my first one. So here’s what I did:

    • Since chopping a couple of inches off the underlap left me feeling rather insecure about how much of me would stay covered if a strong breeze came up, I actually left that portion untrimmed. So both sides are the same width, and I feel so much better for it.
    • I added some flare to the skirt, to make it more A-line than straight. I was very happy with how this turned out, and will be keeping both of these modifications for any future versions I may make.


  • The big change was the sleeve! I’d originally plotted this as a piece for the “Sew Hot Right Now” challenge at The Monthly Stitch back in March, going for the cold shoulder trend in what I thought would be a more everyday wearable way. But, of course, I barely even got it started before the month was over. #becausehobbit

So then my goal was just to finish it before the beginning of May, so I could wear it to a concert. (I got gifted two tickets to the Philadelphia Orchestra, on May the 4th, to a concert full of John Williams music where he was actually conducting the last several pieces. Best. Star Wars Day. EVER.) I succeeded in that, at least!

Anyway, here’s how I did the sleeve. Sorry it’s not a full out tutorial. I thought about making a top and doing the sleeve like that again so I could do step by step photography, but considering I’ve been sewing the same fairly basic project for this entire month, I figured that my chances of actually finishing that this year were not looking so good. (Maybe I should have named this blog Sew Lento…)

Appleton sleeve hack 2 The bottom is my original sleeve, albeit the long-sleeved version. For this version, I traced off the short sleeve, split it in half, and added seam allowances to it (between the two middle red lines) so I could finish the edges well. I also did a little slash and spread pivot action on both halves of the sleeve, adding about 1″ in between at the bottom.

Appleton sleeve hack 3 For the band, I wanted it gathered in to fit my arm. I was lazy about it and just used the band from the short sleeved version of my trusty Renfrew tee. But if you wanted to try this modification and don’t have that pattern, it was about a difference of 5 1/2″ between the length of the band and the length of the lower edge of the sleeve, including those seam allowances.

And here’s a closeup of the sleeve. Appleton sleeve hack 1

For sewing it, I finished the edges on the long middle edges of each sleeve half, sewed them flat into the sleeveheads so that the finished edges met in the middle, sewed the underarm and side seams together, and then sewed the hem band on in the round, just like I normally would with the Renfrew sleeve to finish it nice and clean. I have this thing about solid colors, and black in particular, where I need it to have some cool detail or I just get bored. (Throwback to my college music major days where I was wearing black all the time, and always on the lookout for interesting sleeves.) So I’m really glad that this matched up with what I envisioned in my head!

I’ll leave you with an outtake– not the best angle on the sleeves, but this photobombing cutie was just irresistible!IMG_3795





Tutorial: Nursing dress adaptation with an invisible zipper

I was so pleased with how my last maternity/nursing maxi-dress turned out that I decided to make a second one. This time, I made a tutorial for how I did the zipper part, in case it helps any sewists who may be expecting in the future!

SuppliesYou’ll need:

  • A knit dress pattern with a seam under the bust. I’m also intending to wear this during the remainder of my third trimester, so I’m using the top of the Cake Tiramisu dress with the midriff band and skirt of the out-of-print Simplicity 3678, since I already adapted that skirt pattern both for extra belly room and a maxi length. But if you’re making this just to wear for nursing and have an idea of what size to do the waistband, the Tiramisu or Red Velvet dress would be a great option as is.
  • An invisible zipper that’s long enough to fit across your ribs from one side seam to the other. (A few extra inches probably won’t hurt. Mine was a 22″ length, and I ended up chopping off somewhere around 2″ at the end.)
  • Clear elastic
  • I used both an invisible zipper foot and a regular zipper foot to do this portion of the construction. 

Before beginning the zipper (these three steps were completed before I started taking pictures, and you can see the results in the first picture):

1. Sew the bodice pieces, including side seams. Depending on the pattern you choose, you may need to alter the order of construction. (Normally, the sleeve and side seams of the Tiramisu are sewn all at once after the front and back of the dress are constructed flat, but I went ahead and finished the sleeves/sewed the side seams together before taking this picture, since constructing the side seams around the zipper would be much more difficult than the other way around. It may take a little more effort to get the side seams to match up between pieces this way. For my current fitting needs, the big advantage to this was that I was able to put on the mostly-finished bodice and adjust the gathering and the overlap of the neckline to the larger bust size that I’m currently working with.Which meant that I was able to use my already-sized pattern from before I was pregnant as-is.)

2. Sew the midriff/waistband pieces together at the sides, or skirt pieces if your pattern does not have an extra band. Depending on the length of your dress, you might be able to do the waist and skirt pieces together. I’m only working with the midriff band for mine, since I’m doing a long skirt and don’t want the weight of it to distort things as I sew. (Plus it’s a lot easier to take pictures that way!)

3. Finish the lower edge of the bodice and the top edge of the waistband/skirt. I know knits don’t unravel, but it does add some stability to the edge. And since we’re working with stretchy fabric and a non-stretchy zipper, that is never a bad thing.

To add the zipper:

Front bodice w/ zipper1. Sew one long side of the zipper across the bottom of the bodice, as you normally would for the right side of a vertically-inserted invisible zipper. I started the teeth at the side seam on the left side, because I’m right-handed, but you could easily flip this around if you’re left-handed. I also brought some of the extra length past the right side seam and into the back, just to give myself a little more give for opening. I probably could have done this for the left seam as well to make the whole thing more centered, but I really don’t want to have to be reaching behind me with one hand while trying to wrangle a squirming baby with the other! Better to leave the zipper pull where I can more easily see it.

Front waistband w/ zipper2. Baste the other side of the zipper onto the waistband, being careful to align the top edge of the teeth with the correct side seam. Close the zipper, check to make sure both seams are lining up on either side of the zipper, and adjust if necessary. Once you’re satisfied with how the sides are lining up, stitch over the basting line. When opened, the two pieces will look kind of like this.

Back bodice/waistband3. Sew the back of the bodice and the back of the waistband together. I added clear elastic here, both to help support the weight of the maxi-skirt and to allow it to bounce back if I need to stretch the dress to get it on over my chest later. (I had to do two rows of stitching here–to get the seam closed as much as possible, I used my zipper foot on a longer stitch length. But my machine doesn’t have a stretch stitch, and I can’t zig-zag with my zipper foot, so I added a second row of a narrow zig-zag close by, just in case some of the straight stitches pop. I know it looks a little ripply when it’s flat on the table, but the other dress is like that too, and it’s not really noticeable when wearing.)

4. Shorten zipper if necessary, and press back seams up towards bodice.

5. Continue on with the dress from here– I still need to add the skirt pieces and hem it, but that’s it!

Zipper when closedWhen the zipper is closed, it looks like a normal seam, except for that pull tab…

Zipper when opened

…and then once you open it, easy breastfeeding access without having to stretch out your neckline!

Hopefully that was clear enough–let me know if I need to clarify anything! And for those of you who are moms that sew, I’d love to hear if you have any other nursing hacks you like to add into your clothes.

A basic little wallet (with tutorial!)

I honestly needed a new wallet pretty badly. My mom gave me this nice expensive leather one about 2 years ago for Christmas–but the cost definitely didn’t reflect the quality. The colorful print on the leather started wearing off almost immediately! Fast-forward to the beginning of this year–the pocket on the outside was rather stretched out of shape, due to the wallet having nowhere else to put my cards (and this wasn’t even counting rewards cards, this was just my basic credit/debit/drivers’ license type stuff!), and half of the wallet was floral print and half was worn-off grey. It was a mess. So, since the Stashbusting Sewalong theme for this month is “Itty Bits” anyway, I decided to make myself this new one. And since I was having trouble finding patterns online for basic, everyday wallets without coin purses (which I didn’t need, since I already had a separate one that my grandmother made for me several years ago), I decided to photograph the process as I went, in case anyone else wants something similar.

(Sorry the photo lighting isn’t better–this is the best I could fix it to, the fabric has a yellowish tint to it anyway, and I was making this in the evening while watching tv with my husband.)

IMG_1007What you’ll need: 
1. Fabric, cut to the following dimensions:

  • 4″x8″, for the wallet body- cut 4 (shown in tan Celtic print)
  • 4″x4.25″, for the card pockets- cut 6 (shown in tan music print)
  • strips for the binding, 1″ wide- you’ll need 2 that are 8″ long, and a third that’s at least 16″ long. (I didn’t measure this one, and just trimmed off the excess later. Shown in dark brown Celtic print)
  • 4.25″x4.5″, for the tab – cut 1. I cut mine to more of a triangular shape at the bottom to accommodate the print, so this is the longest length. (shown in tan Celtic print)

2. Interfacing- cut 2 4″x8″ pieces, and one that’s half the width of your tab.
3. Closure of your choice– I used a largeish snap, but a button, velcro or magnetic closures would also work.

Sewing note: All seam allowances are 1/4″.

Step 1:
Fuse the interfacing onto the back of two body pieces, and half of the tab.

IMG_1010 Step 2:

Fold the card pockets in half, wrong sides together and so you’re folding the longer side, and press. (Pockets will be about 2.25″x4″)

Step 3:
Lay the pockets out on one interfaced body piece, folded sides pointing towards middle. I placed the innermost pockets with the raw edge 1″ away from the short edge of the wallet body, the second one 1/2″ away, and the third lined up with the raw edge. As you lay each piece out, starting with the innermost one, baste the raw edge down. Only the stitching on the lowest pocket should show when all three are on. Repeat this with the other side.

IMG_1011This is what your pockets should look like!

Step 4: 
Take one un-interfaced body piece, lay it on the side without the pockets (wrong sides together), and baste around the raw edges.

IMG_1013Step 5: 
Fold tab in half, right sides together, and stitch around the long edge, stopping 1/4″ from the short edge, and whichever short edge you’re using as the closure end (here, it’s the pointed one). Trim/clip as necessary, turn, and press. Also tuck the raw end inside the open end so that it gives a nice clean edge, as shown.

*Note: I don’t have this illustrated, since I used a sew-on snap closure. But if you’re planning on using a magnetic closure, you’ll want to add that to the tab between steps 4 and 5, or if you’re planning on sewing on velcro, you’ll want to stitch that to the tab end before proceeding. If you use this method, also add the other side of the magnet/velcro to the remaining interfaced body piece in the appropriate spot after the following step.
IMG_1014Step 6:
Take the remaining interfaced body piece, center the tab on one shorter edge, with the folded-in end about 1.5″ from the edge. Stitch the folded end down, leaving the rest of the tab free. (I did a little box to give it more stability. Also, if you’re doing the velcro/magnet, make sure that the side you sewed it on is facing towards the body!)

Step 7 (not pictured):
Baste the remaining uninterfaced body piece to the back of the tab piece like you did in step 4, wrong sides together, folding tab out of the way to keep the end free.


Step 8:
Take one of the 1″x8″ strips, and line up a longer raw edge with one longer edge of the pocket piece, right sides together. Stitch. Repeat with tab piece. (Make sure you use the 1/4″ seam allowance, or you won’t have enough room for cards later!)


Step 9: 
Press the edging strips up away from body. Press raw edge under 1/4″. Repeat with tab piece.

IMG_1018 Step 10: 
Turn this folded edge to the inside so that it barely overlaps the stitching. Turn back to pocket side and “stitch in the ditch” (right on the seamline between the edging and other piece). Repeat with tab piece.

Step 11 (not illustrated):
Take the two body pieces and stack them on top of each other so that the tab and pocket sides are on the outside, and both finished edges are at the top. Baste around 3 edges, leaving the finished edge open and the tab free.

IMG_1019Step 12: 
Take the remaining longer strip, line up the edges with the raw edges on the tab side, and fold under any excess at the finished edges to make a nice clean edge. For the corners, I folded it at these 45-degree angles so that it looks square on the top. Stitch, breaking the stitching at the corners and refolding as necessary to keep the corners moving freely.
(Note: I found it helpful to pin the tab back out of the way so it wouldn’t get caught in this.)

IMG_1021Step 13: 
Press the raw edge of the strip away from the body, and the raw edge under, like you did in step 9. Fold this to the pocket side, turning over and stitching in the ditch on these 3 edges (see step 10). When done, the pocket side should look like this.

Step 14 (not illustrated):
If you did not already add a magnetic or velcro closure, sew a snap onto the tab side, fold the wallet in half and mark where the snap lands on the outside of the wallet, and sew the other half there. (Note: the snap is already attached in the picture in step 14.  You could also do a buttonhole (on the tab) and button here, but I’m lazy and don’t want to fumble with that every time I open my wallet!

And that’s it! It’s been working out well for me so far as far as function goes, and it was a nice, quick little scrapbusting project. I kind of wish it was more colorful, but I had more brown stuff that actually went together, so you work with what you have, right? This used less than a fat quarter for each of the 3 pieces, so it would be great for quilting cotton leftovers.

If you use this tutorial to make a wallet, please tell me in the comments! I’d love to see how yours turns out!

Summer scarf (with mini-tutorial!)

My new scarf!

Once upon a time, several years ago, I saw an article in Threads magazine about how to make a patternless skirt out of randomly sewn-together strips of fabric that the sewist would randomly pleat and stitch over to fit. I already had one piece of eligible fabric in my stash, thanks to one of the freebies passed on to me from my mother, who had in turn had this fabric passed on to her. So I went out to the store and got several 1- to 1 1/4-yard cuts so I could make this funky-looking thing for myself.

One thing led to another, and like so many of my planned sewing projects, it got pushed back because of other things that needed to be made sooner. After a few years, I lost interest in the project altogether. The original free cut got sent away in that lot of 30-something yards that I Freecycled last winter, and one of the pieces purchased met its maker (ba-dum ching) and became the lining to my laptop bag. So that left me with 2 or so random pieces of blue fabric where I liked the print, but there wasn’t enough yardage to do much. Including this beachy batik-looking chiffon number.

Fast-forward to the end of Me-Made-May this year, and my thought that I should make some warm-weather accessories that, you know, aren’t made of beads. The thought came to me to use that chiffon to make a scarf. I haven’t traditionally been much of a fashion scarf person, and I do loooooove me some funky beaded jewelry. But I’m also kind of famous among my circle of friends and family for getting cold ridiculously easily. This includes in the summer, when stores and restaurants and my fiance crank their ACs to insane levels and my body goes into thermal shock when stepping into that from the humid, high 80s-plus-degree weather that we’ve had pretty consistently all summer. Yeah, warm-weather layers are a good investment.

I’m really happy with how this one turned out, and it was pretty easy to make, albeit a little time-consuming. I don’t have a ton of pics of the process, but here’s how I did it:

Step 1: I trimmed the piece of fabric to a reasonable width, mainly to ditch the printed selvedges, and trimmed the ends to even it up some. It was cut rather crookedly, as you can see.

Step 2: I hand-stitched a narrow hem on both of the longer edges, leaving about 3″ unstitched at either end. This is why it took me all summer–when my carpal tunnel flareup that I’ve been fighting since July was at its worst, I couldn’t even do that. This could probably be done by machine or even serger, but I wanted the control. (And with a wedding dress to make, I probably needed the hand-sewing practice!)

Step 3: The most fun step: Those unstitched ends? I unraveled them. The full 3″. I’ll admit it, I sometimes have a destructive streak, and this was a good tv-watching activity. (My fiance was rather confused about what I was trying to do, which added to the fun!)

Step 4: The most tedious part: I hand-knotted all of that frayed fringey edge into this, to finish the ends and give it a more professional look. The really tedious thing about this is that the polyester chiffon is kind of slippery, and so they kept coming undone. I had to go back at the end and dab some fabric glue into all of the knots to make them permanent. So that’s what I spent my time after work doing.

And there you have it! I do wish this scarf was a little longer, because its length kind of limits my styling options. I may have to invest in some kind of scarf slide, like maybe this one. (I like that it doubles as a hair accessory, and I’m afraid a pin would leave some serious holes in this fabric.) So I may have to play around with this idea again sometime!

Friday Favorites, Episode 40

Ah, the big 4-0! Does this mean the series is getting old, I wonder?

Favorite Tutorials of the Week:
The Crafty Chica had a fun how-to for making a stitched paper dot lantern. I also really liked that she posted some alternate ideas for how to use the stitched paper dot technique! Craft: had a link to a tutorial for some lovely beaded flowers. The Long Thread featured a tutorial for some cute, simple fabric “crooked coasters”— they just look fun to make, since sewing in crooked lines is the entire point! And Dollar Store Crafts had a tutorial for a handbag made from a miniature rag rug! Crafting a Green World had two that I liked– one for a t-shirt covered corkboard, and one for upcycling boring greeting cards with fabric scraps. (It always makes me happy to find tutorials for fabric scrap projects that aren’t cutsey or kid-oriented, since I’m neither at this point in my life!) And last but certainly not least, Sharon over at Adventures from the Sewing Studio had a great tutorial for attaching collars to button-down shirts without getting a bump between the collar band and the main part of the shirt.

Favorite Projects:
I’m thinking I need to stop being so tutorial-oriented with this, and bring in a few more projects I see around the blogs that just deserve to be seen by more people! So with that in mind, I have two this week. The first is my favorite from Wardrobe Refashion for this week. Despite having been born in them, I hate the 80s and think it was one of the worst decades for music and (especially) fashion, ever. So I love it when people can take 80s ugliness like this stripey maternity muumuu thing, and turn it into something fun in a much better vintage sort of way (in this case, using a bodice pattern from the 60s, which was an exponentially better decade in both aforementioned categories.) Speaking of 60s music (maybe, anyway), I really loved Eileen’s concert journal–she took a thrifted vinyl 45 and an old music book and turned it into a scrapbook to fill with concert memorabilia and such.

Favorite Miscellaney:
This doesn’t really fit under tutorials. And this isn’t really something I’ve ever tried, beyond purposely saving stuff to throw in a scrapbook and writing out stuff for journaling while on vacation. But over at ScrapHappy, she’s started a mini-series about scrapbooking while traveling. Only one post so far, but I’m enjoying it. And who knows, at some point I might want to try the whole assembly-as-I-go thing!

Ok, that’s it for today. May end up with another post depending on how things go today, since the weekends seem to be my blog catch-up time!

Friday Favorites, Episode 34

It’s baaaaaaaaack! 2009 may only be about a week old, but already finding some good ideas cropping up.

1. First on the list is a post from SewStylish about “dressing for her DNA“. No, it has nothing to do with how tall you are, or hair color, or anything like that–more of a speculation of what she would wear if her wardrobe reflected her family background. So I wonder what would happen if my predominantly Anglo-Celtic mother’s side (which I admittedly take after far more in my looks) took on my dad’s Germanic, Pennsylvania Dutch side? (I think the Celts would win, given my fondness for things that look like they could come from a Renaissance Faire or a fantasy movie!) So I may give this a try at some point soon.

2. I’ve noticed a tendency in my sewing over the last year and a half or so– I’ve been slowing down. Not so much that I’m not sewing as that I’m putting a lot of time into things to try and get them really finished-looking and well-fitting. And I’m mostly ok with that, but sometimes I just want a fast project. So I liked this quick, one-seam skirt at (Bonus– I need all the patterndrafting practice I can get, if I ever want to successfully make one!)

3. I’m not a coffee person at all, really–I’m thoroughly addicted to tea. (I blame that aforementioned predominant Anglo-Celtic side.) But I still liked this coffee cup cozy from Whip Up. (Us tea-drinkers probably actually need it more, as all we’re usually given at the coffeeshops is a cup of boiling water with a tea bag dunked into it!) But it’s cute, would be easy to just toss into your bag, and projects that use up scraps are always good.

4. Got two things from Dollar Store Crafts this week. The first would be a great project to do with kids–how to make a knitting loom from stuff like popsicle sticks and toilet paper rolls. The second is a planter made from a bread pan–the person who made it used succulents like aloe plants, but since it’s made from a kitchen item anyway, I bet it would also make a really cute windowsill herb garden!

5. Last up for today– not a tutorial, but I love this idea at Oh Happy Day. She made her husband a “Leisure Book”, to give him one place to keep track of things like movies he wants to watch, bands to listen to, things like that. I’m definitely stealing this idea– I’m constantly losing my lists of that sort of stuff. Especially my bands and my books. And I have the dayplanner from the last couple of years that would be perfect to recycle into this– it has the binder rings, and the tab dividers. It’s just falling apart in my purse, but recovering it and keeping it near my compy would work great! (Found this one via

And now, I must go do some cleaning so I can work on my pajamas some more. Hoping to finish the machine work on the top before Cassie comes over for the Stargate Atlantis finale *sniff*/Chuck marathon/crafty evening. So that way I’ll have some handwork to do–that and some more embroidery, maybe. Of course, I’m more in the mood to deconstruct than sew…

Friday Favorites, Episode 33 (last one of 2008!)

It’s been a very quiet week for crafting here. I literally have not had a chance to do anything since last Saturday, other than put together a couple more necklaces for my mom’s stocking and a couple pairs of earrings for a Christmas gift. I guess I should take pictures of those. Oh, and I made earrings to go with that red and black necklace I made for Mom a week or so ago, because she let me borrow it back to wear with my pantsuit for the band concert and I needed earrings for it. (Using another leftover bead and some of my thrifted jar supplies to make myself a necklace, so I’ll still have something to go with it.)

But it’s been a crazy busy week– spent most of Sunday afternoon addressing invitations and planning Susannah’s bridal shower, Monday was an extra-long teaching day because of adding a new student, Tuesday also ran late and by the time I finished eating dinner and showering and all I just wasn’t up for it, Wednesday was the band concert (which went really well! Yay!), and then yesterday I had practice for my church’s Sunday and Christmas Eve services, which I’m playing with the music team for. And then tonight I’m going to a party, though I’m hoping to have some time to work on unpicking the hem of my latest refashion so I can make it look better. I’m getting so desperate for creative time, though, that when I had some dead time at work yesterday, I sat there sketching out craft ideas! (It’s not like I was slacking– it’s just the managers literally had nothing for me to work on at the moment, and I’d already cleaned the showroom. Ah, garden centers in winter.) I really hope I have time to do something tomorrow!

Anyway, on to Friday Favorites. I’ve decided to make this “episode” the last one of the year, since the last Friday is the 26th and by then I’m going to be in frantic costume mode in order to get things done before New Year’s Eve. So I’ll bring it back in about 2 weeks (I’m hosting a party on the 3rd, so between that and the party on the 31st, I’m going to have my hands full!) Anyway, I hope you’ve all been enjoying this feature, and hopefully I’ll find lots of fun stuff to share in 2009.

Also, I’m not finished with the backlog yet, but I’ve started sticking all the tutorial-type stuff that I’ve been bookmarking on my Wists page so they’re all in one place. Plus it has pictures.

Not surprisingly, almost everything is Christmas decorations this week.

Garlands: Dollar Store Crafts had a fun, colorful one of felt squares. Cheeky Magpie featured a rather intricate one of folded paper and (very carefully cut-out) stamped designs. And Whip Up linked to a paper chain link garland— not the construction-paper version we made in elementary school, for sure! Looks so time-consuming, but the Renaissance lover in me is all, “Ooh, paper chain-maille!” (Plus it would probably be a fun way to recycle junk mail or something.)

Cards and Wrapping: Speaking of junk mail, I thought the gift bag made from it at Recycled Crafts was a really clever idea! Going back to Cheeky Magpie, I couldn’t help but love her snowman cardsCalvin & Hobbes is pretty much my favorite comic strip ever, and his snowmen always amused me. And for her blogaversary, the writer of SewDelish has free Christmas printables that would be great for gift tags or scrapbook pages or whatever.

Ornaments: The medieval-looking cd cross ornaments over at Ecologue were just stunning. I love the look of these fabric star origami ornaments at Zen Crafting. And that they can have a billion different looks depending on what fabric you use. And that it’s great for scraps. Over at CraftStylish, they’re showing how to revamp (or “resparkle”, as they call it) those worn glass balls with charms and gems. Crafting a Green World had a nice kid-friendly ornament made from, of all things, recycled plastic ziplock bags (and some other on-hand stuff to decorate them with). And while not really an ornament, persay, I did like Creative Kismet‘s snowflake window.

Other: Which I suppose these would make good stocking stuffers or last-minute gifts. First one is these simple but cute bookmarks at Trail Mix. Over at Craft Apple, she made a bag from a cheap skirt found on the clearance rack. And Craft Leftovers had a free pattern for recycling sweater bits into some very cute armwarmers.

Ok, so that’s everything for this week. Er, year.

One more bloggy announcement… next post is my 300th. Going to try to do something special for it. Stay tuned.

Friday Favorites, Episode 32

This one’s almost entirely Christmas-oriented, so I’ll categorize like that. Funny how I can never seem to set this up the same way twice…


It seems I’m perpetually on the lookout for things that can be made with fabric scraps, and so of course I thought these “scrappy tree” ornaments from Dollar Store Crafts were really cute! And I like that they can fit a lot of different decor styles, depending on how the edges are finished and what sort of fabric is used. Whip Up had a tutorial for a vintage-looking fabric-covered ball that would also be a great use of scraps. This one’s not a tutorial, but I couldn’t pass up a mention of these metal ornaments by Creative Kismet because they’re so fun and colorful. And though technically not an ornament, Recycled Crafts featured an easy-to-make (though undoubtedly time-consuming) felt tree garland created by scrapbooking superstar Ali Edwards.

Other Decor!

Also on Recycled Crafts, they have a tree skirt made from a bridesmaid dress. If this past year is any indication, it seems I’m in process of becoming the next 27 Dresses girl, so this one might come in handy! Cheeky Magpie had a pattern for a paper cone that can be used either as a fillable decoration, or flipped over as a paper tree (which she put lights inside for a really neat effect!) ThreadBanger’s weekly DIY roundup featured wreaths of all different styles, made of everything from recycled fabric to ice to computer parts. Speaking of wreaths, Thimble had a small feature of different Christmas tutorials, of which my favorite was this paper wreath at the red thread. And sew it begins… featured a tutorial for an easy-to-make but complicated paper snowflake that’s a great large size for window or wall decorating. And going back to Creative Kismet, she had this great paper-cut winter wall art.

Miscellaneous goodies!

Over at Quality Time, there was a tutorial for a patchwork tissue holder that would make a great stocking stuffer (and use up more scraps!) I liked this cocktail dress at Fehr Trade— simple, but a great color. And Angry Chicken had a simple but good sweater reconstrutcion with a vintage vibe that would be good for more casual holiday gatherings.

My stuff:

I had some unexpected time off work yesterday, so I had time to go to Joann’s (where I got some fabric on sale because I’m weak.) And I also did some sewing– need a few finishing touches, but then two of my Christmas presents will be done. Hopefully will get those up tomorrow. No time tonight, since one of my friends is having her annual Christmas party/ornament exchange. I think I’m going to bring one of the poinsettia ornaments, so we’ll see what I come home with!

Friday Favorites, Episode 30

Happy day-after Thanksgiving!! Appropriately, most of my links this week are for Christmas stuff.

First off, even though I’m not buying anything today, I have a list of eco-friendly craft supplies, courtesy of Crafting a Green World. I’m kind of drooling over the bead collection. And wondering how my crochet friends would feel about yarn hand-spun from the seller’s wedding dress…

Some fun decorations at Dollar Store Crafts. The first is Christmas ornaments made from those little metal wrappers that tea lights come in, and the second is a recycled cd decorated to look like peppermint candy. Yum.

Ok, so this one’s not exactly Christmas-y. But I loved these “fairy lights” made from Christmas lights and recycled egg cartons at Whip Up. I’ll have to find an excuse to make those sometime…a party, perhaps? I also had to take note of their list of tutorials for baby crafts–I think I have a couple of years until the next wave of babies, since it seemed like half of the women I know and their sister had a baby this past year, but I’m always scrounging for ideas (and ways to avoid the headache that is Babies R’ Us!) so this should help.

Moving away from the holiday stuff– I really liked this Dresden petal handbag tutorial at Quality Time. Not only cute, but a great way to use up those pesky scraps. And, well, this one really isn’t crafty at all. But I also had to bookmark this list of music of interest at Angry Chicken. Because music feeds creativity, and I’m always looking for ideas of bands to hunt down at eMusic. Mmmmm, indie bands.

And with that, I am off for a night of movies and craftiness of the Christmas ornament variety with some of my friends. Ciao!

Bookworm award! (Oh yeah, and Friday Favorites, Episode 30…)

First order of business: Christine at and sew it begins… graciously bestowed a Bookworm Award on me.

The rules of this award are:
-pass this on to 5 friends

-Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56.
Write out the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that…

Closest book to me is Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice (started it just before Halloween, figured it was appropriate for the season, but this is proving to be a shockingly slow read for me!! Normally I’d have been done a book of this size by now! Anyway…

” ‘For what!’ Lestat grimaced, so that his face looked like a skull. ‘Taking me out of school!’ He threw up his hands and let out a terrible roar of desperation. ‘Damn him! Kill him!’ he said.”

On that cheery note… 😛
Since the book thing never gets old, even if you’ve done it before, I’m nominating Mom2Fur @ Sorta Frugal, Sharon @ Adventures From the Sewing Studio, Gwen @ After The Dress…, Christina @ Stina’s Stuff, and Antoinette @ Have fun!

And now, onto Friday Favorites! This week, it’s pretty much a case of Christmas or not.

Non-holiday favorites: Another tutorial list at Whip Up— picked this one because it had more clothes! And Dollar Store Crafts had a tutorial for a coin purse made from an old cassette tape– I like this better than the wallets!

Holiday favorites: Confessions of a Craft Addict had the cutest little trees! Sew, Mama, Sew! has been doing a series of gift ideas for various people, such as this post on gifts for bookworms. They also have a woodland ornament tutorial that looks like fun. Over at The Long Thread, there’s…bowling for elves? Well, they call it “skittles”, but it’s basically bowling. Back over to Whip Up, there’s a tutorial for a pocket advent calendar (using gum), and a gift card box (which will come in handy for the gift card white elephant my friends and I are having!

Ok, that wraps it up for today. As for the pantsuit, so far, on track. Though I haven’t started cutting yet, since I’m waiting for the tires on my car to get done!!