Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chidori and Japanese print dopkit sized bags

I made a lot of bags and pouches this year!

Hedgehog n Honeybee pouches

I hope the recipients enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas purse

I can unveil this one because my friend, Char, couldn't wait until Christmas to open her gift. (!)

I got the pattern from Pochee Sewing magazine:

Someday I want to make that dress on the cover too.

Here is the magazine's version of the purse:

And here is my version:

The lining:

Made from Japanese cotton and Japanese "Bark" fabric (a nice heavyweight fabric with a lot of body). I finished the purse off with a sakura pearl button and fixed a loop to go over that for a closure.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Birthday Pillow & Pouch

My friend recently got a dark brown leather loveseat couch. When I saw it, I knew what she needed, a couple of accent cushions that could double as pillows for when she wants to take a nap.

Made with Japanese cotton/linen in a bee print.

I also made a handkerchief out of Japanese cotton fabric that is soft and hopefully absorbent. I embroidered it with the word, "snot." I packed it in a pouch that I made from a kit from Blissful that I got at the You Bazaar craft fair. The green zipper pull and bias tape trim were added by me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Amy Butler Birdie Cat Pattern

from her book, "Little Stitches for Little Ones"

It is made from corduroy, and has nothing that can come off. I oped to not put the contrasting feet on it. It is another part of the present for the gal that is getting the baby booties. Since a lot of people may be having babies in the next couple of years, I can get a lot of use from this book making gifts.

Martha Stewart Lamb from the 08 Holiday Issue

Thanks, Dixon, for the pattern!

I want to enlarge this a little more than the 200% that the magazine suggests. It is a little hard to sew and get it turned out at it's current size, and I think maybe 250% or even 300% would be a good size. It's a pretty slim lamb too. I might redraw the neck and chest to give it a tad more girth. I made this from a Gap wool skirt that I got at a yard sale for only $1.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Crazy about pouches

Several more zippered pouches have come off of the assembly line:

The flowered pouch has a grey nubuck lining. The green dotted pouch is made from laminated cotton and the lining is Michael Miller Dumb dots in brown and green. This would be great for cosmetics or travel!

Next we have the tall standing pouch made from Japanese cotton, chidori print:

Look at the cheery red dotted lining:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wedding Shower Gift

Another coworker is getting married this coming Saturday. Here, at the office, we put together a nice little lunch time tea party with tea sandwiches. I used the spool sewing bird softy pattern, but shrank it for this project. I made two birds in light purple (the bride-to-be's favorite color) silk. One is slightly larger than the other and they are ornaments for the bride and groom's first Christmas together.

Bitty Booties

Here are the bitty booties made with the pattern from Heather Bailey:

They are for a coworker who is going to have a baby girl.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Almost Pollini Dress - officially a bust.

I don't think I am going to make any more free Burda Style patterns. They always turn out too wide in the shoulders and back and I don't have enough patience to alter them. I prefer the japanese patterns. All I have to do on those is an fba and I'm good to go. Way easier, imo.

I picked up a few new Japanese pattern books recently:

I got this book on hats.

This book has a lot of nice dress patterns. The patterns are designed especially for kimono fabric which is only about 14" wide. I am kind of reluctant to cut up my kimono, but I won't use them otherwise.

For my birthday, my friend gave me Zakka Sewing. The three reviews on Amazon are not helpful. The book is a delight to look at, but in my opinion, not accessible for a beginner.

First off, you get this book, and unless you improvise, you really can't make anything from it right away. Why? Every pattern requires that it be enlarged 200-250% (depends on the pattern). Furthermore, there are no tips on enlarging the patterns. If you photocopy them, you need paper larger than 8.5x14. I was eager to make the squirrel teapot cozy on the cover, and I had to free hand most of the pattern using my french curve in order to get immediate gratification.

Next, the materials list for the teapot cozy says, "thick wool felt." Well, I used thick wool felt and after completeing the pattern as the book instructs, my cozy is floppy and won't stand up, nevermind that it doesn't fit on my teapot. I will need to improvise, use interfacing, and I think I will even add batting to insulate. That's all okay, but c'mon, for the hard earned $24.95 that my friend spent, I expect a little more! If the purpose of this book is to make Japanese style patterns more accessible to those who do not read Japanese, why do I feel like I get so much more from the Japanese craft mooks that give me full size patterns and excellent drawn instructions (though, admittedly I can read enough Japanese to help me along) for the same price?

And just because we need a pic:
My kayak at Courtright Reservoir last summer.

More craft items coming soon!

I can't show many of the things I have been working on, since a lot of the items are Christmas presents.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A craft fair and a crafting

Sunday, we went to the You Bazaar. It was my first nouveau craft fair, and although it was small (29-30 vendors), I liked that there wasn't an overwhelming number of visitors.

I picked up two zippered pouch kits from "Blissful" (check out her etsy shop).
It comes in a plastic pouch with some cut fabric, a zipper and some interfacing - oh and some instructions.

I did have a little issue with the instructions. They weren't easy for me to follow, and the photocopied pictures had been copied too many times to provide any assistance. I might suggest that Blissful try diagrams instead. I'm not trying to be too hard either - I like making things myself and she was one of the few vendors that had kits to do so. (Thank you.)

So what did I do? I disregarded the instructions and did my own thing. I added piping and a beaded pull to the zipper.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fresh picked strawberries, anyone?

made with fine wale red corduroy and green velvet. From Heather Bailey's pattern.

Red bird

I made this from the spool sewing bird softy pattern.

fine wale red corduroy

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

fruit production!

Have I gotten a little carried away? No, I don't think so! I've been making fruit. It's productive! I can give all of my friends a little fruit!

I shrank the Heather Bailey, "Fresh Picked" pattern just a bit..and made a persimmon out of the tomato pattern.

I think they'll look nice for a fall cornucopia.

Super K got me a special gift of some felt from Daiso. The felt is made in Korea, and it is so soft! I may make some strawberries, but also should think of some other options for it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

finished projects

Last week I got my Heather Bailey "fresh Picked" pincushion pattern and I started making fruit right away. On Heather Bailey's site she shows a few examples made from velveteen, and also offers a kit. I tried to find velveteen, but couldn't at any stores around here. Maybe it is more of a Christmas item? So, I settled on felt. I also got some wool roving and made a few pieces of my own felt. I made a mottled red felt for the apple, and a berry purple felt for one strawberry. That was a lot of fun, but also a little too expensive.

-notice that I staggered the yellow seeds. I personally think this is a little more pleasing than straight lines.

The other fruit is made from felt off of the shelf (basic polyester). I got some golden orange heathered felt and plan to make persimmons out of the tomato pattern, for a fall fruit bowl.

In other project news, I finished my Camisole & One-piece top and wore it with a black t-shirt underneath and black pants.

It was comfortable. I had material left over and decided to make another sew-U a-line skirt. This time I made the waist smaller and this skirt fits a lot better than the first edition.

What's next?

I think I'll be trying out the "Almost Pollini Dress" pattern from Ale-B on the Burda Style website. I plan to use my new kokka fabric and I will alter the pattern so that the yoke fits at my waist. I'll also have to do an fba. I also plan to make elbow length sleeves.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer top from "Camisole & One Piece"

This top is from the Japanese pattern book camisole and one piece. I had to completely seam rip the first incarnation because it was too big around the chest. It looked terrible, even though I had already altered the pattern for my American frame.

On the mannequin, this doesn't look half bad (haven't hemmed or sewn the side seams yet) - but I'm not certain this is a look I should sport.

sorry for the mini hiatus!

I reupholstered a chair last week. I can't even show the before picture because the previous cushion was non existent.
I used Better Homes & Garden upholstery fabric, and a polyester fill cushion instead of foam.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekender bag #2

Will I ever make this bag again?!? Oh, after this, I sure don't know.

Weekender bag #2:
-exterior and lining: Michael Miller dumb dots laminated cotton

-pocket lining, trim & handles: Moda laminated cotton

-special additions: brown webbing attached to sides with u-ring to attach shoulder straps.

I've got to stop choosing fabrics that are really hard to work with. It gets discouraging fast. I also had to experiment with needles. In the end, the #16 seemed to work the best. The Moda fabric was easy to sew through compared to the Michael Miller. I have enough of the Moda left over for a coordinating make-up bag or something.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

had to scrap the jacket!

It was just TOO frustrating! I couldn't iron in any creases, I had to sew all the seams flat, and I just gave up. I don't have all that much time, and I'd rather work with a fabric that lends itself better to a project like this. I did save my lining, and still plan to make this. The Hikaru pattern is really cute.

So I'll leave you with a photo of my small Japanese Maple tree collection on a fine day in late spring:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

wip - Burda Style Hikaru jacket

I'm making this in a brown water repellent shell that I purchased at the same time as some softshell. I didn't know what it would be like. It is 2-layer, one an impervious membrane, so it has to be lined. I chose a pink, cream and brown stripe cotton for the lining.

This fabric is really hard to work with and can't be ironed. I got burned out after only a short time. =/

Sew U skirt in Amy Butler fabric

Amy Butler Lotus Tunic v.2 all done

I am not very good at pressing clothes! eeek.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Crochet creatures cont'd

This is from Roxycraft patterns:

I'm also working on the Heather Ross slipper pattern from Home Companion magazine. I'm using scraps of ultrasuede from my weekender project. At first I was rushing along, but realized that if I want to make them nicely, I needed to step back and think about the process. I might have a few tips...I'm also altering the pattern slightly as I have a wider foot that the pattern foot.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I used the Weekender bag!

...on an actual weekend getaway! I packed slippers, an extra pair of shoes, enough clothes for four days, a blow dryer, my quart sized ziploc bag, an extra jacket, and an slr camera. wowee. Now all I want to do is to make another in a different pattern! It was great. No problems at all, and I was amazed at all that fit in there. Light and easy to hoist into the overhead, I was pleased with my creation.

Another makes: a crochet bunny and small pal

Friday, May 9, 2008

Lotus Tunic update

neckline is done, and I think I did better this time.

I still have to make the bias binding and hem the lining and dress. Wouldn't this be pretty for a spring gathering with a pretty hat? I kind of like not having the contrast upper bodice pieces, especially with a busy pattern like this.

Here you can see how much smoother I got the pivoted corners:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lotus Tunic v 2 update

I finally got the lining sewn. (I've been super busy!) Tonight I plan to attach it at the neck and sleeves, and I'll have pics!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Garden power

I worked in the garden instead of sewing.

Friday, May 2, 2008

sleepy friday

I bought some pima cotton from England for my lining at Satin Moon fabrics. While I was there, I met a group of ladies, mostly from the great lakes region, who were on a fabric store tour. That was interesting! It was not so good for the meter (it was ticking away as I waited in the cutting line), but everything turned out okay in the end.

I cut the pieces for the lining, and put the back darts in. Hopefully Sunday I'll have some time to start sewing it together.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday afternoon crafting

Earlier this week I saw a very old Heather Bailey post for a pear shaped pin cushion. Oh, I really liked it. After an unsuccessful morning working on the lotus tunic lining (had to be completely scrapped) I decided to try and make my own pear shaped pin cushion. Well, apparently I am pincushion impeared...because what I got is maybe a tomato persimmon hybrid. That's okay though.

Weekender bag finishing touches

I finally put the finishing touches on my weekender bag. I closed up the bottom insert (which was really the last thing I had left to do). Then I got the lovely idea to put on a zipper pull.

After that, another lightbulb went off and I added a piece of ultrasuede with my initials. Voila! The bag is mine.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I got some light yellow (again, apologies for the dark pic) fabric at Joann's for only $1 a yard. Made in the USA too! I think it goes well with the Amy Butler grey and yellow martini fabric. maybe a skirt and top?

Lotus Tunic v.2

I pieced it all together and changed the pattern. I added an inch in length around the waist, and added some room around the bust. I don't know why the picture on the muslin shows the front darts looking funny, as it doesn't look like that in real life.
I put in an invisible zipper. I plan to make this a dress, rather than a tunic.

the lighting is really dark, sorry!