Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What does a sewer want for Christmas? Anything to do with sewing. Here are some ideas:

Vintage sewing books or patterns
I got this in Lincoln, NE at an antique store for $8. I love the illustrations.
These aren't old books, but talk about old fabrics.

Antique sewing implements
This is a sad iron, heated on the stove. I'll use it for a bookend. Other ideas include antique buttons, thimbles, needle books. Search on eBay under "vintage sewing lot" and you'll get a lot of hits for buttons, lace, patterns, etc. Wrap it in a basket with neat ribbon and it's an instant hit.

Gift Certificates at sewing stores (Joann's, Hancock, local quilt stores)

Boring for you, but if you your sewing friend can spend hours in one of these stores, this will go over huge!


If you know what they like to make (baby blankets, apparel, quilts) then you can pick a pattern, fabric, and notions (zippers, thread, and stuff) that they'll need to finish. Also, many quilt stores offer kits to make quilts and blankets.

This is the best gift! Give sewing time-take the kids, preferrably over lunch-so your sewing friend can sew! Tell her she MUST sew during this time and not do laundry or clean bathrooms.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My girls are obsessed with High School Musical. They've only seen it twice, but after the first viewing they knew they HAD to be Wildcat (hence the WC) cheerleaders. I was never a cheerleader (I know, hard to believe!) so I'm living through them. Here's my three little cheerleaders for Halloween.

Showing off the moves:

I made the costumes out of garbadine and used a costume pattern. The letters were iron on and everything bought, of course, on discount from Joann's. They were pretty simple, although I made four skirts, uh, one apparently just for practice. The skirts were pleated with white insets, so the topstitching was a little tricky.

Grandma came to visit-and my Halloween costume-red hair!

I should be off the hook until after Christmas, right?

Monday, November 12, 2007

So, I really try not to brag but this blog is NOT trying today.

JJ and I went to Las Vegas for the Maroon5 show in the Pearl Theater in The Palms Casino and Resort. The show was awesome (as is my face in this photo!)

Me and James Valentine (guitar)
Us and Adam Levine (vocals and guitar)
Us and Mickey Madden (bass)
Me and Matt Flynn (drums)
Jesse Carmichael (keyboard) disappeared so I didn't get a pic.

We also spotted other celebs, but didn't get photos. We saw Huey Lewis and David Spade. But the most exciting personally was meeting the main actors from Chuck.

Here we are with Joshua Gomez (Morgan) and Zachary Levi (Chuck). I think I freaked them out when I said, "Uh, my brother is in Maroon5 so I'm not, like, a psycho" which my sister assured me is a way to make people think that you really ARE a psycho. So, my point in telling them that was 1) to brag 2) to give myself some non-psycho credibility and 3) to give them something to tell the boys in M5 if they meet (see, not psycho, nice!) I was pretty excited because husband and I really like the show.

We got to spend some time with James and hang out as a family in his suite. We had a late dinner and checked out the view.
So, how was your weekend?
(I couldn't resist, but I'll return now to my "humble" self!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I made a cute purse.

I love the prequilted, doublesided fabric available today. I used a Sewing For Dummies pattern, but adapted it without a lining for use with the doublesided fabric.

I cut a strip of the brown fabric and inserted it on the turquoise fabric.

The wooden rings were bought at Joann's as was the fabric-when on sale of course!

I need pockets, but now it's just one big open space, but was fast and I like it.

I used a magnetic snap . Those things are pretty easy to install, but seem floppy to me. I put a piece of cardboard in it to prevent the fabric from ripping when pulled open. I saw on another blog that if you treat the opening like a buttonhole and use stabilizer, then the opening won't tear with repeated use. Good idea-I just read it AFTER I made the purse!

I'd be happy to make one for you for ONE MILLION DOLLARS! You can have mine when I get sick of it!

TEASER: Check back for the Halloween costumes I've made for the girls. Go, team!

Monday, October 01, 2007

I've finished! I took too much time doing this project, but it was for the children! These pillows are in my daughter's elementary school media center. The librarian and I picked out the fabric (Calico Corners) and types of pillows to sew. I designed the embroidery and sewed everything.
This is how it all looks together:

Just in case you want to know:
The polka dot cushions are 24" square. The mitered pillows are 16" square. The striped pillows are about 12" X 16" (if I remember correctly). The embroidered pillows are about 12" square. I fused, then sewed, black grosgrain ribbon to add black to the stripes. The black piping was also made out of black grosgrain. The polka dot cushions have self piping. Comment if you want to know how to make any of these, otherwise I won't bore you with the details.
Denim Skirt

Okay, you asked for it! Here's how to change a pair of jeans into a cute skirt.

Find some jeans (sneak them when your child isn't looking or she'll throw a hissy fit because
you're "ruining" her stuff). These have some cute embroidery on the bottom.

Cut off the legs.

Cut apart the legs at the seams. Cut out the seams completely.

Cut apart the upper inside seam of the jeans. Cut so the bulky seam is in the front.
Pin the leg part in the V formed by cutting apart the legs.

Pin in the back too.

Sew. I did a topstitch. (Basically, just a double stitch about 3/8 inch apart.)

Trim underneath about 1/4 inch from the seam.

Cut along bottom evenly. Stitch along edge. I did a decorative little sunburst in maroon thread that coordinated with the existing embroidery.

Easy! You really should try this (your six year old will warm up to her destroyed jeans and will eventually wear it!)

I'd love to see your results!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My crazies. This is what keeps me busy when I'm not sewing!
When the baby is too quiet:

Stickers from Uncle James:
Take a close look-those are bubbles!

Don't let the cute smile fool you!But I wouldn't change it for anything!

So I got a call from my friend, Jill. Check out her blog. She asked about iron-on clothing labels, and since I'm the Sewing Friend, I found out where you can get some custom labels for a great price.

The first site I visited has your basic
One Line Label
printed name on white background. But it does give pointers on where to use your labels: Label Uses
I love this picture! The website is

The next site I thought worthy of checking out is Stuck on You:
I can't figure out how to capture their website pics, so check it out. It is very child-specific and cutesy. They have round iron on labels in addition to other traditional rectangular ones. They also carry a ton of kid-related products including ID wristbands, party invitations and temp tatoos, and personalized stickers and pencils. Very cute icons.

The king of them all (featured in O Magazine and Martha Stewart Weddings) is Name Maker. They make very cool, relatively inexpensive labels. You can get WOVEN as opposed to PRINTED labels. Even the cool woven ones can be made iron-on.

Clothing Labels 100%  Woven -Design Your Own

These are some of my favorites:

Style 36

The selection is great and the website is easy to use. So now all I need to do is figure out what I'd print on them?

I'm thinking I'd like to get some for gifts or when I begin my sewing empire. The Sewing Friend, MADE by Valentine, any suggestions?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

This all happened while I was driving by the Joann's in Draper.

A car, mauve Subaru Legacy wagon, had a vanity plate stating "4RDOGS" with a license plate cover that said, "Doin' it Doggy-Style." The woman driving was a plain-looking middle-aged woman who I now imagined "doin' it doggy style." Thanks, lady.

A sweaty, young man ran by with a chest strap heart rate monitor on. It looked like he was wearing a bra, but I could still see his boobies. Put a shirt on man!

For some reason, I was listening to a song about a worm on X96. The girls were singing along to the Twelve Dancing Princesses they were watching on DVD, and I was thinking about Owen Wilson's suicide attempt. Then the song Float On came on.
"Don't worry even if things end up a bit too heavy..."

There are apparently too many people in my head at the moment.

A study done by the American Home Sewing Association found that 95 percent of sewers (15 expert and 15 novice) experienced a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure after sewing.

I came home and sewed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Okay, I'm first to admit this is a bit cheesey, but hey, that's me! My brother, famous brother, flew us to a party in LA in May. So, to thank him, I sewed some tea towels with different kinds of guitars. Really, what else do you get someone who has everything?
Well, sister, he didn't have this:

This is my favorite one-the double guitar:

Now, tell me that's not cute! I hope his housekeeper appreciates them!

Well, my daughter lost a tooth, her first. So, of course she needed a tooth pillow. She and I designed it together. She was very specific about the look of the fairy-black curly hair, big basket for the teeth, etc. She also wanted to include a note every time the fairy came to visit, so we did:

Seriously cute, don't you think?

Embroidery can be a fun, quick, and satisfying project. You can frame them, make a pillow, use as a quilt square, use on a card or for scrapbooking. I enjoy a little hand sewing now and then.