Monday, February 28, 2011

A Dress a Week

I've given myself a little goal of making one dress a week until baby girl arrives, sometime late in April. I know I will probably have TONS of time and energy to sew once I have a newborn and a two-year old here, but I figured I'd get a head start.

For my first go, I made Rae's Itty Bitty Baby Dress. Really simple pattern to follow, and of course, I love the piping around the middle. This is her first dress ever- she doesn't even own any store bought ones yet, so HA! I win.

I got the beautiful fabric from Sewn Studio down the street, who had their grand opening celebration this weekend. My mom was in town, so we got to go together and she won this book in a drawing. She's going to "share" it with me. (Translation: give it to me after she makes one bag.)

And here's a sneak peek of some AMH fabrics I got for more tiny dresses. I love it. 

(P.S. There's a new contest I might have to enter. We'll see.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

On the Interwebs

This week in making fun of hipsters: Hipster Ariel and Hipster Bingo. (I feel like it is becoming a little hipster to make fun of hipsters. Still funny.)

Every time I see a barn wedding, I kinda wish I had got married in a barn. I can't help it... no, that's not right, my wedding was perfect. But seriously, where were wedding blogs 5 years ago? I was still on dial-up back then. Not really. 

This is the best idea ever for my future toddler-bed-on-the-ground-in-rented-apartment-situation. Except I'd have to use starched fabric or vinyl instead of paint.

Scrambleds looking a little tired in the morning? 100 ways to cook an egg.

I'm thinking a lot about inspiration for someone's 2nd birthday present. These play rugs are pretty amazing.

If I were on top of things I would throw a classy Oscar party this weekend. Except, I don't really have a lot of friends who like to get dressed up for theme parties. And I don't either when I'm looking to be 45 weeks preggins (actually 32.) And I just remembered the show itself is really boring, I just like the dresses and the movies. And we don't actually have cable...

(But if you care who I think should win, which you probably don't, well, it should be the Social Network. There, I said it. I hate to admit it, but that movie was just really stinking well done and I might have kind of loved it. To be fair, I haven't seen The King's Speech yet, but I have seen the rest. And even though Natalie Portman will win best actress, it should be Jennifer Lawrence. Also, something is wrong if Christian Bale and Hailee Stanfield don't also win. I've spoken my peace, Academy.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Boppy Cover, slightly wonk.

Olivia inspired me to make my own boppy cover for this Bebe, using this basic tutorial. I used a couple fabrics from the Kumari Garden collection, and some nice teal piping.

I'm a big fan of the piping ever since I made a couple kid cushions. It did make this project take twice as long, but to me it's worth it.  

The only problem I ran into is that when I traced the boppy cushion for my pattern I might have added a little too much wiggle room. It still fits nice and snug in the middle-baby-insertion-zone, but it's just a little wavy and wonky around the outside. I could just take it in a little if not for the piping, but I'm still glad I added it. Tricksy.

Now that I've finished with the infant bedding and accessories, I'm ready to move on to dresses. Lots of precious girly dresses. I've accumulated quite a bookmark folder full of ideas, which I'll have to share with you soon.

...Buuuuut I'm feeling torn at the same time, because it is boy month, and someone in this house is turning 2 very soon, and I want to make him just about every toy that Made by Rae has shared just today. If only I required less sleep while growing this small human.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend Sewing for Bebee.

Just a quick preview of all the sewing I did this weekend for Baby Girl's room. It makes me feel a little better knowing I have at least a little something ready for her arrival (in 2 months!) Of course, this stuff probably won't be set up and ready until after she is born, but we are getting somehwhere. 

This is the changing pad cover, crib skirt in the dandelion fabric, and sheet in the white/mossy green fabric. Now I just need to make a boppy cover and send all the leftovers to my mom to make a quilt with.

She's also going to use a lot of this fun stuff:

Friday, February 18, 2011

On the Interwebs

Yeah, I know everyone does linkity-link posts on Fridays, but I want in. Let's face it, Friday is a throw away day blog-wise. So why don't I just recycle some of my interweb findings for you?

Might have to make one of these chalkboard wall calendars from black contact paper. Except, I'm pretty sure we would never be able to keep track of the chalk... and any attempt I make at household organization usually fails... Still a cute idea though.

In another life I would live in NYC and dress like this.

I don't eat nearly enough flank steak. This recipe shall remedy that.

Whether you were really excited about Arcade Fire winning the Grammy, or you had no worldly idea who they were, you WILL find this video funny... or a hipster will kill you. (Some language.)

I'm sure you know it's the time of year to go boy crazy again, but have you heard about Once Upon a Thread? Children's lit + children's clothes= I'm interested.

Project ReStyle
I've been thinking about mobiles lately. Kind of dig this geometric upcycled version.

I really love everything in this new Venice fabric collection.

And finally, if you like a little thoughtful reading, and you have ever wondered why the heck we do all this crafty blogging crap, this article was the best explanation for it I've found. It focuses on the power of online video at first, but it's really about the power of any online community focused on one interest to accelerate creativity and development. Whoa Jessica, Wired Magazine? I just came here for a tasty, fast-melting DIY morsel. Whatever dudes, it's a really good article.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sweater Swiffer

Today my kitchen floor DES-perately needed to be cleaned. You know, like I-can't-stand-this-one-more-day-disgusting. Armed with extraordinary motivation for such a hated task, I set out to gather my supplies and quickly realized that we were out of Swiffer pads.

So I went into my closet and grabbed this textured blue sweater that I knew I would never wear again. Then I made it into a swiffer, kind of like this. Took about 5 minutes.

Isn't it lovely and annoyingly color-coordinated? Worked like a charm. Sewing is handy.

That is all.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Double Potholder Tutorial

If you aren't completely sick of potholders by now, you might want to make this useful 2-handed version. Like I said, I am no genius for figuring this out, it's just a variation on Prudent Baby's prettty potholder. 

I particularly like it for holding onto the handles of the pots that I have just boiled pasta in as I take them over to the sink to drain... Or even handling pretty dishes of shrimp pasta from my husband's restaurant that aren't really hot just for a photo.  :)

Gather and cut supplies. You need:

One piece 24"x8" terry cloth. You could use an old bath or dish towel for this if you want.

Six pieces 5"x8"- 2 in the terry cloth, 2 quilt batting, and two in the pretty fabric you want to use. This top layer could be any manner of patchwork or piecing. Also, if you don't have batting lying around, don't sweat it, just use another layer of terry.

A package of double fold bias tape, I used 1/2 inch.

First quilt together the layers of your two outside pockets, terry on the bottom, them batting, then fabric. If you are doing an applique in your design, like I did with the fork and knife version, first do that on just the top layer. Then quilt it to the others. For that pink one, I stitched around the design on the fabric. Here, I just did lines about 5/8" apart.

Place your pocket pieces back on the long piece so you can figure out which edge you want facing in, which are the edges that need bias tape. This might not matter to your design, but for instance if you want to have a fork on the left and a knife on the right, you don't want to mess this up. Cut strips of bias tape about 8" long for these inner edges.

Now, if you don't know how to attach bias tape, I definitely could not explain it any better than Prudent Baby (have I mentioned I am bound to love them forever and ever now?) or MADE already have. Both make it really easy to understand. Go. Learn. Do.

Now you have bias tape on the inside edges of the pockets. Pin the corners back onto the long piece. The time has come to attach more bias tape all the way around the whole thing.

You can do the corners however you like, but I like them rounded. I've found that it's easier for me to leave them uncut like this, then pin the first side of the tape down in a curve.

Then I sew and then cut the corners after, so that all the layers are even with the edge of the tape. Stitch down the other side of the tape and you are done.

You can attach a loop in the very center on the top side if you want. Or you can bypass a loop altogether if you plan on hanging it over your oven handle like a regular dishtowel.

Have fun holding hot things with not only one hand, but TWO!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


So I woke up this morning to the best news ever. I was lying in bed and heard Hendrix stirring. This is the time I usually grab my phone just for a few minutes so the electric light can cure my initial grogginess. Of course, on this morning, I checked PB first, since I had thought the winners of the sewing machine contest would be posted yesterday and they were not. I'll admit, although I wasn't holding out much hope any more (there were almost 900 entries!), I was anxious to see who had won. As I scrolled through the ten finalists, I was thinking, "Oh my word, these are all so gorgeous, I totally didn't win." Then I got to the bottom, and there was my little blackbird. 

I immediately leapt up on my knees and shouted, "I won a sewing machine!"

Nick was pulled out of a deep slumber and immediately yelled, "Holy Sh#%! *$@!!" with a very wide-eyed look of terror on his face. It took him about 4 full minutes to recover. 

I just wanted to tell you that story because it makes me laugh. I love him.

Anyway, I guess I am gettting a new Brother PC-420 PRW Limited Edition Project Runway Sewing Machine in the mail sometime. It looks really awesome, and definitely better than my Singer. 

Congrats to Vanessa, the winner of the other machine, as well as all of the other ten finalists. Seriously, go look at all of them because they are amazing. I don't know how the judges made their decision, but any one of them could have won. 

These double potholders were my other two entries. I love actually using these in the kitchen (no, the bird will not get used). So come back tomorrow and I will share my easy tutorial for how to make these 2-handers, modified from Prudent Baby's basic potholder of course.

I can't believe it- thank you so so much PB ladies!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Funny Valentine

Do you ever make something that comes out so goofy looking it kind of becomes cute again? That's how I feel about this hippo-like valentine stuffie I made for H.

It's big enough to hug and has belting arms with velcro so it can hug you back. Well, that's mostly so I could hang it in various spots around the house today for Hendrix to find. The eyes are vintage buttons from my grandmother's collection, and you can't see in the picture too well, but the legs have Wizard of Oz characters on them, you know, because hippos love that movie. 

There's a pocket on the back for little Valentine's Day treasures for him to find each time. This morning when he woke up, the Vday Fairy Godhippo had brought a new little Cheetah. He's big into cheetahs lately. 

Maybe the Fairy Godhippo will visit every year? Who knows. I am so not into Vday, but I can definitely get into making it fun for the kids. I'm sure I will also have more fun with it when they are in school and we get to craft Valentines for the classmates. My mom thought it was a little crazy that I got Hendrix gifts and nothing for my actual Valentine. He's a server in a fancy schmancy restaurant, so Vday means one thing- busiest night of the year. He'll be making that money tonight and I'll probably be sewing up Baby Girl's crib bedding. We are romantic like that.

Most of the fabric I used was from a scrap exchange I did with Tara of SewTara. (By the way, I still don't think she has got my package yet and we sent them on the same day. She lives in Canada, so the Canadian postal service wins. So they have that and Justin Bibber going for them.) She sent me all these cute scraps, plus a lovely little pincushion she made. It was really fun to do a scrap exchange because everything I got is pretty different from the fabric I normally buy. I always love the Japanese prints and cutesy animal fabrics I see on the internet, but I just don't spend my money on them. Now I have some of my own. I'll have to figure out some more scrappy projects to use these up on.

Happy VDay!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Southern Artisan Chocolate

We got our little package of Olive & Sinclair chocolate bars yesterday, and I could not be more excited.

It's a small Nashville company started by good good friend's husband, who hand makes all the chocolate himself in a little chocolate factory. It looks amazing and tastes even more amazing. We got the salt & pepper, coffee, and Mexican style cinn-chili varieties. Oh. my. gracious.

Go here and watch how it's made and you practically won't be able to resist buying some. I think if you order today, you should even have it by V-day. AND you can go here for deal to get 2 free bars when you spend $15.

I'm not one for Valentine's Day tomfoolery, but I had to share this chocolate wonder with you. It's one of those secret treasures you will be glad someone told you about. You're welcome.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter Boredom Buster #5: Water Painting

The other night as I was trying to finish up my potholders, Hendrix wandered into the sewing room and found a paintbrush on the floor. First he tried to brush his teeth with it, then he wouldn't stop talking about painting. Then I remembered this post about a Buddha Board. I had never heard of it, but I've seen similar things that are made of a foamy material that gets dark with just water, then it dries and can be "painted" on over and over again. I thought maybe that would happen with this sheet of orange craft foam I had laying around.... Well, it didn't at all. The water just kind of stayed on the surface. BUT Hendrix still painted on it with water for a good 15-20 minutes! He loved it and even asked to do it again  a couple times the next day. Eventually, we may have to upgrade to a real buddha board type thing, but I was so tickled at how much he loved doing this. 

Of course, he did spill eventually, but not as quickly as I thought. No big deal, you only need a little water in the cup anyway. 

And if you have a chalkboard somewhere in your house, try water painting on that.

We are going to see the 40's this weekend! It's a heat wave.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Second Potholder Entry

I ended up getting 4 entries done in time for the sewing machine contest! It was really fun, and if nothing else, I got lots of bias tape practice. 

Nick and I had a fun photo shoot with all of them this afternoon during H's nap, and I really think the pictures will help me with style points. He is really talented. (He dabbles in wedding photography with Nathan at Fyrefly Photography.) And on a side note about Nick, he was a little worried that I painted a picture of him as a tyrant husband when I said he was going to "let me sew" all day Tuesday. Of course, that's not the case and he would be happy for me to sew anytime I want to, and I just meant that he had kindly offered to be completely in charge of Hendrix all day so that I was freed up, but I'm sure you knew that. Anyway, geeez, get out of my personal bizness. 

Here's my second potholder-

The embroidered piece is one of these linens I got at an antique market. Then I freezer-paper stenciled the bird (Put a Bird On It!) and quilted all the layers together. I'm a big fan of this one.

And here's the money shot for my first entry-

Much better than a phone picture, don't you think?

I have two more to show you later in the week, and there may or may not be a tutorial to go along with them. No promises from me, I can't even commit to a brand of toothpaste.