Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fancy skirt

Ok, another cheaterpants post.  I swear I am pulling it together.....just not yet.  So this was a nice long skirt that just needed a little work to make it perfect for the daughter.   No before photo, this is the aftershot.

It had this nice ricrac detail, and the design of the print alone doesn't allow me to cut it off at the bottom.  

And it is has a cotton liner so I decided to use that as a little peekaboo.

So I added these little zigzags over an elastic string to draw it up.

Since I couldn't shorten it from the bottom, I removed the waistband, chopped it off from the top and reattached the waistband.

To preserve the existing buttonhole, zipper and also to allow for future growth, I did not cut the waistband down to size but chose to just stitch a pinch in (is that a technical term?).  This way I can always unstitch that later when she grows.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I've been doing some closet cleaning to switch out the seasonal clothes....turns out that most of the daughter's clothes can be worn with a shirt underneath and cross seasons.  So as I am getting myself pulled together on my project list, I'm just sharing some past items I've sewn.  Here was a fairly easy outfit, she calls it her clownsuit.

The bottom edge of the top is a rolled hem using the serger.

The black fabric is a linen with embroidery on it.  It was a piece that I had left over from another project.  I used a rolled hem on the apron too.

The back is pieces of elastic inside thin channels sewn into the strip of fabric.  Those straps are from a belt that I picked up at the thriftstore.  Once I realized that I could use those for dress straps, I grabbed as many as I could.  I still see them  a lot but have forced myself to stop buying until I use up my stash.

The pants just have a rolled edge hem from the serger.  Actually, except for that elasticized back and attaching the straps and a topstitch on the front, I believe I used the serger exclusively

So yes this was a cheaterpants post, but she likes it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pants-leg Princess

Okay, I admit that this isn't the best picture but I am really pushing to post daily in the middle of  trying to get organized at home.  More on that in a minute.

This little top was made from the pants leg of a pair of large ladies capri jeans!  YES! This is the decorative bottom part....sleeves and a ruffle added.  So I have the other leg left over guessed it, a miniskirt!  She just wasn't wearing it that day.  Maybe I can show the entire outfit in another post.

So, back to my organizing situation.  When I said in the last post that I was a fabric hoarder, I wasn't exaggerating.  I have bins and bins and since I buy at thrift stores, I HAVE to buy it when I see that perfect piece or it will be gone tomorrow.  And I see fabric storage solutions on blogs, like file cabinets to hang fat quarters, cubbies, etc.  but my pieces are often items of clothing so nice folded squares aren't usually possible.  My other issue is, I want to be able to SEE it all.  I want to be able to view the stack, because I have so much that I forget what I have.  Pathetic, I know.  So here is my little secret that I am ashamed of.....bearing it all here.  I even pay for a storage unit full of bins of fabric.  OMG!

In my defense, I justified it that it was only temporary while I got my rooms organized and worked through some of the stash still at home.  Nice theory, not reality...I've had it for three months now.  It is just as I feared, out of sight, out of mind.  And I have NOT worked through my stash, I just keep buying more.  Also, in my defense, I do have a few pieces of furniture in there too, that I planned to bring home one piece at a time as I had time to repaint them. You know,  in between working full time, raising two kids, and all the sewing I plan to do.  Oh yeah, and I forgot the hubby.....and sleeping.

Regardless of my best intentions, it is crazy for me to pay good money to store items that I bought at the thrift store.  It defeats the purpose.  So my goal now is to get organized enough at home, to bring it all back....and then hide it.  I know, HIDE IT.  So before, I could store it in the attic, or under the bed, but I really wanted it IN my tiny sewing room so I could SEE it, think about it, plan new projects with it.  And then I'd come down to sew, sit staring at all my options for a while, get totally overwhelmed, and then sew nothing.  So I moved it to the storage unit so I could focus on the items I had left at home, get them done, and bring home one box at a time to do more.  But I keep running back to the storage unit because "I am going to work on that project next" and then that pile sits on my sewing room table and then I think of another one that need....I am slowly bringing it all back home anyway. And stacking it in the way, and accomplishing nothing.

So, I am organizing tonight, bringing it all back home by the end of the month, hiding it, and will TRULY work on one project at a time.  The rest will be in the attic until I can deal with it, one project at a time.  Out of sight, out of mind, but free.  I am posting a few pieces that I have immediate plans for....just a tease.  And a little accountability ploy for me.

This is a stretchy velour type with embroidery. Ii think this picture is showing the wrong side of the fabric.  I plan to make myself and my daughter matching capes with red trim.  This is my neighborhood chapter American Sewing Guild project for November.

This is a curtain panel that I plan to make into a shower curtain for my small downstairs bathroom.  I was waiting to repaint that room.  I think I'll go ahead and make it, maybe that will motivate the paint to put itself on the walls.

These gorgeous babies are nice long tab top curtain panels.  Notice the $20 price for 4 long panels, who can beat that?  And I might have paid less, if it was a 50% off day, who knows.  Anyway, I don't want tab top, so these will be transformed somehow, properly lined and made into curtains for the bedroom redo.

 This is my fabric choice for my second try on those kitchen cabinet curtains I previously posted about.  It is a gauzy but not sheer decorator weight fabric that I will make into the lower cabinet curtains and add a contract trim to the existing'll see.

This is my choice for the shower curtain in my master bath.  It is two curtain panels that I previous unstitched all the seams from for some project that I never completed....who knows.   They will be used somehow with a skirt turned topper (surprise) and these white on cream striped panels. 

This is a leather type fabric that I am covering a dresser top with and attaching with nailhead trim.

And this is the fabric I will use to make a couple of casserole covers that I mentioned in punch list post.

So there were a few teases.....I'd better get busy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Heart it, don't Hoard it.

I am a fabric hoarder.  There I said it.  I'm done with that now.  I own it and I doubt I can stop that beast, but I want to have as much output as input from now on.  I can't just keep storing fabric piles.

So I've been struggling a little lately.  Not that I don't have ideas, I just am a poor planner...take that back, I overplan.  I focus on the idea more than the preparing to launch the idea.  I have boxes and boxes of "ideas" that I picked up, but when it comes time to do it, I still need to pick out the pattern, or gather the supplies.

So I will revert back to my trusty list....and by publishing this one, I can't loose it. :)  This will be the most boring post ever - no photos.  But I do invite comments if you can throw me ideas or pattern sources for any of these.

A big part of starting this blog was to put some action to my common complaints.  One of those has been, "I have collected so much beautiful fabric and love to sew, so why do I have ANYTHING ugly in my house?  There is NO excuse."  Besides my home decor goals, even the most basic everyday items should be beautiful.

So I started creating a list of practical  items to sew room by room.  And the web is a great source to find FREE patterns for everyday type items.  And lots of these items could be embroidered with my embroidery machine as a labelling system.  I HAVE NO EXCUSE!

I've been seeing other bloggers publish their punch lists, so here it goes:


Fridge bulletin boards - done but need to repair with strong magnets, the darn hotglue idea is not working
crockpot carriers
casserole carriers
hand towel hangers
plastic bag holder
garbage can covers
microwave scarf
fridge scarf - done
fridge shelf liners - done
cloth grocery store bags - started, need to finish adding bottoms and straps
storage bag for handmixer and parts
storage bag for cookie cutters by holiday
storage bag for cooker press and parts
storage bag for food processor parts
lunch bags
hot pads
storage bag for garbage bags
storage bags for other misc. parts, lids, corn cob holders, steak knives, etc.

Dining room

Cloth napkins ( I have a ton of these...just need to start using - thrift stores always have a ton of these and most are obviously unused, probably bought for decor only)
Seasonal table cloths (finally now that the kids are older and won't pull the entire meal onto the floor)
Storage bag to hold extra cloth napkins
Storage bag to hold dirty napkins for washday
Storage bag to hold extra table cloths
Shoe basket liner
Chandelier shades - started but still two short, need to find that fabric to finish those
Recover chairs


Extra roll holders
toilet lid scarves
over door pockets to hold kids underwear, pyjamas
trim out nice towels
cabinet curtains - where needed
shower curtains  redo -  started, need to finish
storage bags for makeup
cloth storage baskets for medicine types, "cuts" "tummy" "aches" "flu"
laundry hamper liners and covers
gym toiletry bag
recover existing travel bags for jewelry and toiletries
cloth storage bags or baskets for cleaning products
hanging case for keeping CDs off counter
curling iron cover from hot pad
storage bag for hair tools
cloth storage baskets for products by type "hair" "skin" "perfume"

Scrapbook room

recover existing rolling carriers
travel storage bags for various tools by type "pens" "stamp ink", "embossers"
carrying bag for cutter
cloth cover for ugly albums

Sewing room

recover existing rolling carriers
travel storage bags for various tools by type "mini iron" "rulers" "scissors"
carrying bag for embroidery machine parts
storage bags with a photo slot for unfinished projects


closet door curtains
bed ruffles
new bedspreads
fabric headboards
Seasonal clothing storage bags "sweaters" "shorts"
Sheet storage bags "full" "twin" "king"
Cloth toy pickup baskets


vinyl lean to for bikes
grill cover from vinyl table cloth

Office at work

chair cover
cloth bulletin boards
gym bag
storage bags for items  "utensils" "coffee" "oatmeal"

OKAY, that should keep me busy for a while.  I'll repost in one month to show progress, even if the blog posts haven't caught up with the progress - boy am I optimistic.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

From bumper to bangin' blouse

Yep, you are looking at a baby bumper.  In a past life.  This blouse was made several years ago and is still around because the design made it so roomy.  It was made using a pattern from MODKID, and the skirt portion was once a baby bumper.  I snatch up good embroidery and appliqué anywhere I see it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bling on the machine!

At the Chantilly Sewing Expo there was a vendor that had painted her sewing machine and mentioned that she will be releasing a DVD to show how to do it.  It was so pretty and I think is an awesome idea... but only for someone that would be keeping their machine.  (and someone who can actually paint)  As a baby lock user, I have the option of trading up so I would be afraid that would disqualify the machine immediately.  What I've done below isn't even close to what she did to her's but I am really happy with it.  

Here is my attempt at some non-permanent bling....vinyl! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dollarstore night lights

Easy dollarstore night lights.  I just hot-glued a mixture of large and small clear flat stones to the simple glass vases and popped in an electric tea light.  TA DA!  The kids love them!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

yes, I even decorate the refrigerator

The latest project has been for the refrigerator.  Not sure why I actually had to Google it, but I could have sworn that refrigerator had a d in it....all these years.  I absolutely hate a cluttered refrigerator front, but I have to admit that mine has been since having kids.  As a way to contain and somewhat beautify the clutter, I've added these frames bulletin board to the front.  The bottom has a cork board behind it so that I can pin items to it.  The top one is just a tuck board.  This is the same fabric I used for the lampshades on the dining room chandelier....which is still in progress.  I've had this fabric through two or three moves now, over seven years I know.  I'm sure I found it in the remnant bin or at a thrift store at some point and have reused it over and over in various projects over the years.

This project was started weeks ago and has sat unfinished, guess why?  So first I didn't want to cut and piece together my cork squares for the lower frame, I wanted to wait and get a roll of cork and do it right.   I could have moved forward and just went back with the cork, but there was another problem.  After I went through all the trouble of hot gluing the magnetic strip to the back of the frame for extra support if the glue tape gave out, it turned out to be demagnetized.  I've had this huge magnet roll for years now waiting for the right project to come along and them bam!  it lost its magnetism.  I researched how to re-magnitize it but that might cost as much in supplies and effort and buying a new roll.  So I bought a new roll and guess what?  It turns out that my roll was not de-magnitized, just too weak (along with the new roll) to hold up the heavy frame.  After a trip back to the craft store, which did not have stronger magnets, I just hotglued the darn frames to the fridge!  Why didn't I think of that before?

 So while I was finally finishing up this project, so I could post it, I remembered something I saw on Pinterest, and added vinyl placemats inside the fridge for easy clean up......and beauty of course.

While I was at it, I sewed up a quick scarf for the fridge top.  Hey, why not go all the way?  Still need to paint that upper cabinet though....

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Jumper

You'll notice that I buy almost anything with embroidery on it.  This bluejean shirt is so cute for fall, totally not my style, but an excellent jumper for the daughter.

So off with the sleeves (save those of course for something else).  And under with the collar, just topstitching it down for a crew neck look.

Then I decided to remove that excess collar.  No need to serge or finish it since it will only ravel up to that finished edge.

Here it is  but I am not quite done with it.  I made the arm holes smaller and took in the waist at the same time with a pinch of fabric sown under each arm.  Still looks a little too plain.

It still looks like a too big jumper.  So I added some ties to each shoulder to draw them up and add a little pizzazz.  I also used a piece of ribbon to tie a decorative button on top of each existing button.  Yes I could have removed the old ones and sewn on the new, but that would have been more work.  

And here it is in all its fall glory!  Perfect for a day at Hershey Park!  I told you that I have been super busy at home....

Lesson can't just tie the decorative buttons on.  They must be sewn.  Notice the one already missing on that second button down?  By the end of the day, they had all come untied.  Second lesson learned. the tied ribbon to draw up the shoulders would be better if I had just added a piece of elastic right on the shoulder seam.  I'll go back and do that too.  See I'm not really perfect, everyone just thinks I am.