Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

November Birthdays

12 Nov

Two young family members have November birthdays and so I decided to make some handmade gifts.

First, the 3-year old wanted a bag to carry toys around in. After some consultation with my SIL, I decided to use some Heather Ross Far Far Away fabric and coordinating solids to make a bag with some fussy cut unicorns. I looked and didn’t find anything I liked as far as a pattern so I’m making it up as I go, though it’s heavily influenced by the QAYG Guild Bag (though with all different sizes). This is my first time doing QAYG and it’s definitely fun. I did a little (bad) FMQ on the unicorns and the wavy lines were done with the regular presser foot. Here are shots of both sides of the bag and both sides of the lining (the lining is inside out at the moment in preparation for assembly). The color is more true in the first one – oh, the perils of taking photos in my basement at night.




I’m very close to being done; I just need to make the strap and then the final bag assembly. But since Davy gave me a wicked cold and I’m still feeling crummy from a night tossing and turning I’m going to do the smart thing and finish it when I’m not exhausted and prone to making dumb mistakes.


The 8 year old is very into Harry Potter and requested a stuffed animal so I’m making an owl to look like Hedwig. The pattern is a free one called Obligatory Owl, and details of yarn etc are on my ravelry page. I just got the eyes yesterday so I still need to knit the beak, feet, and do the assembly but we’ll call this one 80% done.

Also, this guy is now less than a month from being 2! How time flies… (slightly blurry because I promised him a cookie if he’d pose for a photo and he was REALLY EXCITED about the cookie. Which he barely nibbled)



Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!

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Posted in Davy, knitting, Quilting


Dog friendly FO

07 Nov

So I finished this project a little over a month ago but never posted, so here it is. I made my dog Sammie a custom harness! He’s 12 and has had recurring neck/back problems, and the vet recommended a harness for walks. We’ve tried to purchase one but Sammie is kind of a funny size – long and skinny – so it’s hard to find something that fits him well. My mom’s much smaller toy poodle has a custom fabric harness and I used it to pattern out a harness for Sammie.


Then Gregg and I looked through my stash and debated fabric choices. I wanted to use a single cut for the harness (rather than piecing together something) which meant I needed a 1/2 yard. I mostly stash FQs and didn’t have any half yards that we really liked, so off to the fabric store we went. We really wanted something with a small scale print and a darker background, to hide dirt. But we found something so perfect we had to get it – Dr. Seuss fabric that had “Sam I Am” printed all over it. Problem – it was white! Solution – dye the fabric! So we got a packet of fabric dye and I overdyed it (along with some stained onesies and the liner fabric).


So here are the harness pieces – Kona Black, some random canvas-y fabric as the lining, and the overdyed Sam I Am fabric on the top. I used a fabric glue stick to attach some grosgrain ribbon to twill tape, and stuck that over the D ring (purchased at Home Depot in the hardware section) and sewed it down – I used my zipper foot which let me get really close to the D ring to secure it. I zigzagged the velcro down – I’m using the kind meant for cloth diapers since I know it has a good hold and holds up well to washing. Then I made some bias binding and attached that. I have a little bunching around the curves but for my first time making and working with bias binding and doing a completely machine-attached binding I think I did pretty good. I used heavy-duty thread for all the stitching – I used a topstitch needle and I think I had only one thread break, which is pretty good considering I was sewing through velcro plus multiple layers of fabric plus the binding.


And it fits him!  Sad to say this is the first thing I’ve ever made him (no, I’ve never knit or crocheted him a sweater) but I think this is something that will be useful. If it keeps us from having another several hundred dollar vet bill it’s definitely worth the effort!


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Posted in FO, sewing


Halloween 2014

03 Nov

I’ve been doing a lot of knitting lately but one thing I did make was a Halloween costume for Davy! He’s been really obsessed with horses lately (if we forget to put away the computer or ipad he will point to the screen and demand “Neigh!” videos). So I thought it would be adorable to dress him up as a cowboy. I am fully aware that next year, when he will be nearly 3, he might have his own opinions on costumes! I also know that homemade sometimes can cost more but I really love the look of it.


So luckily, I found an awesome tutorial for Cowboy chaps and vest. Looked totally doable! I scored when I went to buy fabric – I found two different costume faux suede microfiber fabrics in the remnants bin. The main fabric cost I think $6, and it has an awesome weathered look to it. So here is Davy modeling his costume!

Davy Halloween 2014

In addition to the vest and chaps, I made him a little belt (since he doesn’t actually own one) and I used some foam to make a belt-buckle with an illustration of a horse’s head on it.


Here is the entire ensemble, with purchased hat and bandana (the button shirt and jeans we already had, both hand-me-downs):

Davy Halloween 2014

And here is a rear view so you can see the fringe on the back of the vest and the star patch:

Davy Halloween 2014

My little cutie pie! It was really very easy to make and I’m so glad I did it. It’s a little big so I’m hoping it will do double-duty as an outfit for playing dress-up. He enjoys wearing the hat so that’s getting a lot of use already, and I’m glad we sprung for a slightly nicer hat instead of a pretend foam hat.

Trick-or-treating was a little overwhelming for him (all 3 houses we went to) but he enjoyed being all dressed up and handing out candy.

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Posted in Davy, FO, sewing


Stalled out

04 Aug

I haven’t posted about the Charity Baby Quilt because I have made exactly zero progress on it. I want to FMQ it, and I haven’t done it, and so I’ve decided to take a class at my LQS. So it is on hold until then.

In the meantime, I decided to start a new quilt project (So much for that “one project at a time” thing I was attempting). My MIL and FIL were visiting in June and my MIL bought me a jelly roll of Hubba Hubba as a hostess gift (yeah, she is awesome). So I decided to bust into that and see if I could size up the Modern Crosses pattern from Modern Log Cabin Quilting to use with the 2.5″ strips. I think it looks good, and if I did my math right I should come out of it with a nice large quilt – twin to full, depending on how many crosses I end up doing.

I spent a bunch of time cutting my center squares and strips out of my neutral fabric (Kona White) and getting them assembled into sets of 4.



Here is my first cross block:



And here are the first two together:



I’m pleased with how they are coming out so far. I definitely need to work on my precision and my 1/4″ seam but I think I am getting better, and hopefully the less-than-perfect parts won’t be noticeable once it is finished and quilted.


My favorite little helper – he picked up his sit & spin, carried it into the little space behind my sewing chair, sat on it and just happily spun around for awhile. Toddlers are so funny. And no, I don’t actually get quilting/sewing done while he is in the basement with me – at most I can do some pressing and cutting, but he is fascinated by my sewing machine and wants to push all the buttons and grab the knee lift and stick his hand under the needle. So the cover stays on and the machine stays off when he is around!


But he’s just so darn cute I don’t mind.

I’d hoped to get another post together on Wed but since that didn’t happen I’m linking this up with WIP Wednesday!

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Posted in Davy, Quilting, sewing


FO – Hexie Zip Bag

14 Jul

I finished my first English paper piecing project! I made some 2″ hexies, sewed them into strips, and appliquéd them onto fabric which I used to see a bag.
Hexie strip:



Finished bag:


I kind of winged the bag making using this tutorial as inspiration (basically used the instructions but not measurements). The hexies are all from the 30’s Playtime collection and the background is Kona white. Lining is random cheapo fabric from Joann’s. I did straight line quilting with my walking foot, going from point to point on the hexies. Thread used to quilt is Sulky 30 wt.

Incidentally, there is a huge difference in the feel between the premium quality fabric and bargain bin stuff.

Now on to the not so great stuff. I cut the EPP templates myself and they were not all the same so my hexies could be better/more uniform. Also, I used a fabric glue stick to attach the fabric to the paper templates. I had trouble removing them later and I found that since they were so tightly wrapped, it was a little unforgiving. Next time I think I will try thread basting.

I was rushing a bit on the quilting so there are some spots where the lines don’t intersect right.


I didn’t account for my seam allowances when I did the fabric ends on the zipper so it looks sloppy.

And I probably should have cut the lining fabric slightly smaller than my exterior panels because it lays kind of funny.

Still, I’m very happy with it overall, and I have already ordered precut 2″ paper templates for future EPP projects.

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Posted in quilting, sewing


WIP Wed – doll quilt time

09 Jul

I have only one in-progress project to show – I’m using an orphan block to make a doll quilt for a friend’s daughter.


I added some borders and now I just need to figure out what fabric will work for backing and quilt it. It’s kind of a win-win project – I get to practice some FMQ and friend’s daughter gets a doll quilt.

So the block is a rolling stone block – I used this tutorial from Lillian’s Stitches. I was originally thinking of making a couple and using fabric choices/placement to make them more flower-like, with the idea of making a table runner. But I ran out of time on that deadline, so the hexie bag was born instead. I’m still really slow at cutting/piecing/pressing and this one block took me forever.

I finished my hexie bag and so will hopefully have a FO post up once it is gifted to the intended recipient. I have some in-progress shots up on instagram (link in sidebar).

No progress on the charity quilt because my focus has been on finishing the hexie bag. I could have worked on it this morning but since my son wakes up anywhere from 530-730, I didn’t want to start anything I couldn’t stop in the middle of. Now I really need to do some quilting though! I’m trying to stick with just a few projects at a time so I’m forcing myself to finish this quilt before I start another one.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!


Throwback Thursday FO – Nature Explorer Bag

05 Jun

I’ve made a bunch of cool stuff over the years and since my crafting time is severely limited by my (awesome) toddler, I figured I would try to post my own Throwback Thursdays and write about projects that I’ve made in the past. So here we go!


Sewing project! I made this last March for my niece’s 4th birthday. Her mom mentioned that she is not especially into toys and would like some kind of purse or bag to carry around some dolls. Niece is also really into bugs and outdoorsy things. I found this bag linked on How About Orange, which sadly has recently stopped updating, but is still a great source of crafty ideas.

Nature Explorer Bag



Niece’s favorite color is purple, and she is really into mermaids, so I used a nice purple canvas for the exterior and found this great mermaid fabric for the interior. The cotton webbing for the strap was originally an off-white, but I used an iDye packet in Violet that I purchased at AC Moore to dye it purple. I originally overshot the color – it was a purplish black – but at the advice of the awesome Paula Burch I boiled it again to remove the dye and it ended up the perfect color. The bias tape is from Joanns, and the fabrics, cotton webbing, and D rings are all from


My only complaint about this pattern, honestly, is that I found the font it was in hard to read. That’s it. I thought it was a clear, sensible pattern. I did make a few modifications but I think the bag would be fine as written. My mods were to cut two pieces of lining fabric and sew them together (I wanted the mermaids all facing the same direction), I made the strap adjustable and I went ahead and sewed a closure on the bag.  I also had some fun with the pocket linings, fussy cutting out some mermaids to peek out at you.


The only difficulty I had was sewing through all those layers of canvas and honestly, I think that’s mostly because I had (at the time) a relatively inexpensive sewing machine. I used my walking foot and was just really persistent and it worked, though I did have to pull out the seam ripper quite a few times.

I would totally make this pattern again, and I’m kind of hoping Niece’s siblings might want their own bags (and hopefully Davy will be interested too when he gets older).

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Posted in sewing, tbt