Monday, June 30, 2008

bringing sexy back

i think i will take a vacation from crafting this week. i laid ceramic tile in our kitchen yesterday, for nine hours straight, and my body hates me for it! the plus side is that it looks good, and puts us one step closer to completion after a year and a half of constant work. i should be able to finish the floor by the end of the holiday weekend. yay!

i am gearing up to make myself a couple of new nightgowns. don't worry, i won't be posting any boudoir portraits of myself - not on this site anyways! (just kidding!) i have this pretty cotton nightie i got when i was pregnant with my first. it was on the clearance rack at target for almost nothing, and it was a size xl. which, being pregnant, meant it was only too big in top. (and let's just be honest here - it would be too big in the top if it were a medium!) i wore this nightie through the second and third pregnancy too, and i am actually wearing it right now! it's way too big, the straps don't stay up and it's getting pretty ratty. i originally planned to take it up somehow, but it has smocking and embroidery and never seemed worth the effort.

so, as part of my "make me over, i'm a mom" campaign (which includes mandatory pedicures and buying clothes that aren't track suits), i need to upgrade my sleepwear. i found a few thin cottons in my stash that will be perfect for replacements. i am going to attempt to make a pattern from this one and modify it to fit me and my small boobies. and once i recover from the abuse i put my body through yesterday, i might be able to push the foot pedal on the sewing machine! owww. i didn't even know i had muscles in some of the places i hurt.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

our little princess

i made this tutu during naptime today. i bought the spools of tulle ages ago, and this was the trial run before i make one for a gift. it's a success! i would have liked to add more tulle or maybe ribbons to it. the waist band is only just covered, a few more would be nicer and mean that you can't see the elastic. our daughter declared "i look george-ous!" which makes it so worth it!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

bias bliss

i think for the summer napkin swap i will be using this tutorial. it seems like all i can think about now is using homemade bias tape on everything! i have some great black and white mini dot fabric to use. this time i will try this method, also in bend the rules sewing, where you stitch a tube and then cut your tape? it just seems to take me a long time to get mine made, so if this hurries the process that would be great!

i'm trying to plan out what i want to tackle next. my next project should be folding and taking stock of my stash. i'm not sure where i'll be storing it, though, so that makes it hard to get organized. excuses, i know! so for tonight, i will relax and bake an apple pie, and call it a day with some knitting. see you later!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

lazy days

how sad is it that i need to have a swap deadline to motivate me to work on a project? i've spent too much time today reading a celebrity magazine my MIL gave me yesterday! of course, i had already cleaned the house and van out before i began lounging, but still. i could be creating!

i did my first quilting project this weekend. i had some baby bibs cut out and ready to sew, and thought, hmm, why not give it a whirl? so i did. i just started stitching around in a swirly pattern. i'm sure i did it completely wrong! but after washing and drying it, i like the texture it gives. there's a great how-to here. i'm not crazy about how the free-form quilting looks on the sports print, but i love it on the stripes!

i didn't get the tutu made, but when we got to the party the birthday girl was already wearing one! so i was ok with it. it would have been a bit awkward had i showed up with my version, you know? but i have another one year old party next month, and i think i will try to make one for her. i have some pink and lavender tulle spools and the elastic just waiting to become a frothy party skirt!

Friday, June 20, 2008

i see stars

yay! here's my apron for the independence swap (only 5 days late, how pathetic!) another two-tone apron, this time i chose to use matching thread for the topstitching because as i mentioned, she asked for no holiday. if i were making this for me, i would have used a third fabric, a flag print with matching stars. and probably red thread. but i think it's pretty cool and would work, if not all year, at christmas too. what do you think? i sent it along with a handmade card using red paper and the star fabric, some flag print paper plates, red napkins, and "fireworks" skewers.

i decided to send the pink polka dot to the tornado relief project going on in missouri. lucy's apron angels. i think it's a sweet concept, sending a handmade apron to women who have lost homes or property in a storm. she said the community was meeting their needs for clothing, etc., and this is just a gesture of support, woman to woman. and i know how happy i am when i get an apron in the mail, so i want to spread the apron love around! if you're interested, let lucy know!

i am so proud of myself for the way all of these aprons have turned out! i finished all of the seams with what i believe is called a french seam, so the rough edges are enclosed? or in the state fair apron, i used bias tape to cover the inside seams. they have a much nicer finish to them, and now if i could just get my stitching even and straight, i think my projects would look really professional. i keep blaming my machine, but it's probably just lack of practice.


so jc picked the state fair apron, and it will be on it's way today! what a relief to keep crossing things off of my list. at naptime today i should be able to complete the independence apron, a cute navy blue & star print two-tone apron. she was pretty specific in her request - no holiday (?) and no country. hmm. i hope this one will be modern enough to fit the bill, and i am trying to minimize the red so that it can be worn all year instead of just july. it does have red dots around the stars, but they're tiny and don't stand out too much.

i am also hoping to get started on the tutu for tomorrow's party. i've never made one, but it looks pretty simple. i have a gift to give her in case i don't get finished, tying all of those knots could be time consuming! knowing me, i'll probably be finishing it on the drive to kc tomorrow! i did find my washcloth stash, so that's another thing off of my list. phew!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

decisions, decisions

i decided to let my swap partner choose her apron, either the blue branch print (that is awaiting it's pocket and ties), the polka dot two-tone apron, or the red fair print (in the next post, scroll down). that's sort of fun for me, to see which one she likes best! so have fun "shopping", jc!

this blue branch print has light green ties and pocket, and white bias trim. the green leaves have a red outline, white branches, and the grey-blue background has tiny specks in it. the photo's not very good (do i say that a lot? i need to improve my skills!) so it's hard to see.

i love the pink polka dots and i used bright pink thread for all the topstitching, which is really cute too. i made it using a fabulous video/tutorial on bernina's new site, the sewing republic. the author of the tute is handmade kate, her site is great, you should visit! there are other project ideas at the sewing republic, and they have added more each time i visit. cool stuff.

i am going to get all of the navy bias tape cut out tonight for my final apron of the week. it's going to be really cute, but my husband has asked me to lay off the sewing machine for the evening. he's trying to sleep and the noise was keeping him up. i'm actually the only one awake, which is prime crafting time for me, but he's just exhausted so i'll call it a night, and do some knitting while i watch a mighty heart.

i cannot wait to have a space to myself when we get our remodeling done! the dining table is just not working out! i have to work in short spurts of time, but i can't leave my things out because of our babies. we have a three year old, a two year old, and a soon to be nine month old. they all are very interested in the sewing machine. even the baby has crawled over and "helped" me by pushing on the foot pedal while i was sewing! luckily, no damage was done! so half of my time is spent dragging my supplies out of the laundry room. we should be done with the upstairs by the end of the summer, and i am so excited!

getting there...

state fair print (with pies, watermelons, popcorn, pickles, root beer, etc...), red & cream ticking, and red speckled bias trim & pocket. i love it! i haven't decided which swap this one is going to yet. i am afraid it's not picnic-y enough for the independence day swap, and i have another one i think i like better for abby's summer swap. back to the sewing machine, more to share later!

Monday, June 16, 2008

coffee break

i am running so far behind! i had hoped to mail my summer apron swap today, but i am still working on it! i have the pocket and ties to finish. i have changed my mind three times! on my independence day apron (due yesterday, people!). i have three, partially finished aprons and i can't decide which one she'd like best! one is a state fair print, more of a bbq theme, and the other two have stars and flags. i made a gazillion yards of red bias trim, but it only looks good with one of them, and i'm digging through my stash to find something suitable. i decided that i will sleep on it, and pick one in the morning to complete. i'm getting nowhere tonight! the kids have been crazy, i think we're fighting a flu bug and i'm hoping they are feeling more like themselves tomorrow.

of course, i also have a billion other irons in the fire... i want to make a tulle tutu for my husband's goddaughter, her first birthday is this weekend. i promised two crayon rolls for a friend's children, i have to make those tomorrow! and we have a wedding reception to attend saturday, and i wanted to wrap some dishcloths with their gift. only, i can't find the stash of completed cloths that is hiding somewhere! aack! back to work!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

here it is!

i finally finished my sassy apron. it's a week late, and i feel terrible about that, but i am so happy with it! she asked for a full, pink and brown or cupcake apron, and i just found myself intimidated about sewing for this person! (she's the sponsor for another apron swap i partcipate in) anyways, i wanted to make something really fantastic, but i kept changing my mind on what to do.

i made my own bias tape, a first for me. i did it by hand, but i do have a tape maker i need to figure out. i can see how making your own tapes could get addicting! i am looking at fabrics differently now. i also appliqued a cupcake to the pocket, and i left the edges raw so they would fray a bit. and i dyed a flour sack towel fucshia and appliqued more cupcakes onto it. i also knit her a matching dishcloth.

do you ever dye your clothes? i love to play with it from time to time, and i always dye whites or creams that are dingy and not cute on their own anymore. it doesn't always work, sometimes it's splotchy, but i figure, you're not out anything but a dingy shirt! so i had an adorable cotton eyelet gap dress of my daughter's, but it was a faded pink. i threw that in along with a cream cotton cardigan of hers, and the towel, and they came out the most beautiful color! here's a tip, when you're dying a shirt, throw in a pair of white socks and you'll have matching socks for your outfits. if you're into that sort of thing.

anyways, i copied the pattern from an apron i just received in the swap, isn't it darling? it's perfect for summer, lightweight and so cute. and get this, it's the first apron she's ever made. unbelieveable. thank you so much, teresa!


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