Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dorothy's Fleece Jacket

In my last post, I showed you the purses that I had made my childhood neighbor, Dorothy. I thought it would be fitting to show you the jacket that I made her as well.

Since I knew that she would probably be saddened by the sudden change in her living situation and she would most likely be much chillier since she had moved to Wisconsin, I thought a nice fleece jacket would be a good winter gift. When I saw this paisley print, it spoke to me and what it said was "Dorothy".

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dorothy's Purses

I recently realized that I couldn't remember ever giving my childhood neighbor Dorothy a gift for either Christmas or her birthday. I may have given her something way back when, but I felt guilty that I have been making things for other people and that I had neglected to make her anything. That being said, I decided to find out what she would like in a handmade, one of a kind purse. After basically being left to my own devices with only the requirement of several pockets and a keychain holder, I went to work searching my sizable fabric stash for some Dorothy-worthy fabric. The following purse is what I came up with.

The large shoulder strap is actually a recycled belt and the smaller white handles are recycled yokes from the hubby's suspenders that he wore at our wedding. I thought the butterfly and floral print screamed Dorothy. She seemed to really enjoy it as well. So much so that one of her only remaining family members commissioned another purse to give to her for Christmas. I just finished it and it will be in the mail today. Here it is.

It came out a little more Barbie than I initially intended but I think she will still enjoy it. It's a sort of french print for the main part of the bag. I found this fabulous bedazzled chiffon remnant and I just had to use it on something, so that is what is on the outer part of the exterior pockets. The interior of the pockets are lined in the same grey canvas material as the handles. The interior of the purse itself is a sort of tweed grey that I thought might help tone down the pink on the exterior. It doesn't have the plethora of pockets on the inside like her first purse but maybe she can take this special occasions like bingo so that she can carry back all of her winnings.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

December Giveaway Winner - Update!!

Originally, the winner of the Sew Mama Sew's December Giveaway Day prize was Karen Linton based on my first random number generation. Unfortunately, I was unable to make contact (either through email or via my blog) with her before the 14th, which was Sew Mama Sew's deadline for sending out the prize, so I had to choose another winner. 

The final winner of the prize is Mary Pichotta!!!

Congratulations Mary, I will be sending you this cute little cow as soon as you can contact me back and let me know where I should send him.

If you read this Karen, please contact me and there may be another framed piece in my collection that I can offer you.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

It appears that Sew Mama Sew is having another giveaway day and I couldn't help but join in again since I had so much fun during the last giveaway I had in May. This time, I will be giving away this adorable cow jumping over the moon that i stitched on star patterned flannel.

The size of the frame is 8" x 10".

He would make a great addition to a child's room, or anyone's room really.

The giveaway will be from 3 December until 5PM, Pacific time on 7 December. I will pick a winner randomly and will post the winner by 9 December. I will also email the winner to confirm a mailing address where I can send this cute little guy to. I will ship him out by 14 December, so he should get to the lucky winner in time for Christmas. I will also be able to ship internationally.

So how can you get a chance to win this adorable little guy?

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post!

If you would like to check out the other fantastic items that others are giving away, you can find the Sew Mama Sew link here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Silver Smithing Class

I took the hubby to a silver smithing class the other day at The Bead Place, which is an awesome bead and yarn store in Fairview Heights, IL. The class was taught by Ruth Leech.

I was a little afraid that he wouldn't have a good time during the class, but it involved playing with metal, tools and a small torch, so he had a great time. I did too, though the torch was a bit intimidating, even if it was a small torch. We used the torch to solder a decorative bezel onto a silver blank so that we could frame a cabochon onto it. It doesn't sound very involved, but there is a lot of precision and patience required. Especially when you're trying to get the little bits of solder to stay still when you're trying to melt it with the torch. I think we both did pretty good though. First is my cabochon, which has a girlier bezel on it. Apparently girlier doesn't mean easier to work with because those fine little designs on the bezel were kind of a pain to get lined up.

 Next up is the hubby's finished piece, which has a manlier touch to it that I really like.

 I can't really decide which one I like best. I think I like the time we got to spend with Ruth learning how to make these pieces. Now I just need to buy a bunch of soldering tools and get cooking.

If you would like to visit Ruth's website to check on future classes she will be teaching or on craft shows she will be attending, you can go to or

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Burberry Plaid Fleece Jacket

I know I've been a terrible blogger lately and I hope this post helps to make up for it. I've been busy at work and working on projects such as my fantastic new fleece jacket that I recently finished.

Everyone seems to be making those fleece no sew tie blankets lately. There is nothing wrong with these blankets, but I just don't have the patience for them. When I saw this fleece material, my first thought, instead of a blanket, was to make it into a pea or trench style jacket. It reminded me of burberry print with the large plaids on it. I could have gone with a black liner, but I thought the dark grey felt a little less formal and a lot more fun.

I especially love the buttons. I added the little tab on the back for looks. I don't necessarily like a belt, but I like the idea of a belt so I thought this little bit on the back would work for that.

Like my purses, I had to add extra pockets since I seem to love pockets. Each side has an exterior pocket lined in grey and an interior welt sort of pocket, also lined in grey.

I may still tweak the sleeves a little, since they're bigger than I would like, but other than that, I LOVE this jacket. It's fabulously warm and other than the frustration I had with matching up the plaids, the pattern was a breeze to use.

I promise I will post more of my latest projects. In fact, the hubby and I just got done taking a silversmithing class tonight, so I am anxious to share my creation with all of you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Featured on Sew Mama Sew

My bicycle panniers tutorial has just been featured on Sew Mama Sew's Gifts for Outdoor Adventurers posting!

Make sure to check out this listing and other fantastic gift ideas from Sew Mama Sew's various gift listings.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fleece Sock Tutorial

So I finally finished my next tutorial. I made a bunch of these socks for myself and my mother last year based on a free online pattern provided by Studio Cherie on Sew Mama Sew.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Christmas Stockings and Baby Booties

I just finished a total of 7 Christmas stockings this morning. Ironically, we don't really decorate for Christmas, but I began making these stockings based on a request from a friend of mine. She likes vintage style materials and wanted me to make them with any vintage fabric that I had on hand. She also wanted them to be monogrammed with "mom", "dad", "grandma", and her daughter's name. It seemed like a win-win situation to me. I get to use up some of my cool vintage fabric in my ever expanding fabric stash, and she gets some handmade heirloom Christmas decorations that I hope she and her family will enjoy for many years to come.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Motorcycle Inspired Purse

Sorry for the absence over the last few weeks. I was busy traveling 5,227 miles...and getting married. I'll post more about the big day later. Right now I wanted to share my latest purse creation with you all.

Following the idea of my motorcycle inspired vest upgrade, I thought I should have a purse to go with that vest. During our 5,000+ mile trip out west, we stopped at several Harley Davidson motorcycle dealerships to pick up poker chips in memory of our trip. While we were at these dealerships, I perused the women's clothing and accessories sections and I saw several, very expensive purses that I thought were cute in their construction, but not in their price tags. So I thought I could try to recreate the essence of these purses.

I used the same template that I used on the lace insert of my vest to create a burlesque type of orange and fishnet inset zippered pocket. Here are some closeup shots of the pocket section.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Simplicity Dress Pattern 2404

So in an effort to whittle down my ever expanding stash of fabric (I'm sure many of you can relate), I decided to try to make a dress using the Simplicity Dress Pattern 2404.

I had some purple, cotton jersey knit material that has been sitting in my stash for quite a while and I figured it was about time to do something with it. So here is what I came up with.

I used a cream colored zipper on the back to add some interest and also because it was one of the few zippers of that length that I had in my zipper stash and I didn't want to have to go out and buy anything for this stash busting project. I really like the neckline on it. It's very 60s chic. The best part is that because it is jersey knit, it's really comfortable to wear. Now I just need an excuse to wear it somewhere.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sewing Area Spice Rack Storage Solution

While I was at that fabulous garage sale where I found my new bread maker, I was told that if I returned after 1 p.m., all of the remaining items would be free. How could I pass that offer up? When I returned, I found one of those spinning spice rack storage containers. You know, the ones that have 47 little glass bottles of spices that you maybe only ever use 3 of when you cook? This container, thankfully, had a bag full of empty glass containers just begging to be used in my sewing area. I was more than happy to oblige and I brought them home.

Unfortunately when I got it home and began taking the glass containers out of the bag, I found that there were actually 5 containers missing. That was alright though, I found a solution to fix that. I just put my most commonly used large spools of thread in those spaces.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Garage Sale Bread Maker

What you first need to understand, is that I pretty much grew up garaging. Yes, I fully realize that garage is not a verb....that is, it is not a verb to those people who do not partake in the sometimes full contact sport of going to garage sales. I remember hearing garaging war stories from my mother about how I was going to garage sales while I was still in the womb. That is how deeply rooted garaging is for me. That being said, I've been slacking since I left home so long ago. Especially this summer with the ridiculous temperatures that we've had. I just couldn't bring myself to drag myself from sale to sale in triple digit temps. It was beautifully mild out this morning and there just so happened to be a large annual sale at a local church, so I gave in to my garaging nature and went to see what they had. I've found that sales where they are held in a large building, like a church or a school, seem to have the best selections. It's like going to the equivalent of 5 sales in one fail swoop.

I was lucky enough to find a sweet deal on a cross stitch lap stand ($2) and an even sweeter deal on a breadmaker ($5). The breadmaker was the exact same brand and style as the one we have at home, so I figured that even if it didn't work, at least I would be able to get a replacement mixer basket and little mixing paddle out of the deal.

Luckily, the breadmaker works like a champ! It actually looks cleaner than our other one, so I think my mom might be receiving our old one very soon.

Check out the fabulous walnut-cinnamon rolls we made with the new bread maker. Warning: the following images may make you drool and/or want to go out and buy a bread maker of your own.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lace Motorcycle Logo Vest

We are planning a trip this fall to the Tail of the Dragon, which is an 11 mile stretch of US 129 that is supposed to be very high on the average motorcyclist's bucket list. It runs along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, and we figure that it will be a nice honeymoon idea.

In anticipation of this biker journey/honeymoon, I felt that I needed a little something extra for my wardrobe. Earlier this summer, I had found a very nice Eddie Bauer denim vest at a garage sale for about $1. I picked it up with this very upgrade in mind. 

I printed out the general outline of a popular motorcycle company's logo in a size that would fit nicely on the back of the vest. Then I used my handy little chalk pen to transfer the logo onto the vest. I just outlined the logo with the chalk pen, then I flipped the logo (chalk side down) onto the vest where I wanted it and rubbed the back of the paper to transfer the chalk. I then went over the few spots that didn't transfer completely.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sewing Area Tackle Box Storage Solution

Everyone seemed to really enjoy my last post concerning one of my storage solutions for my sewing area, so I thought I would share another of my repurposed storage solutions.

This one is courtesy of the Plano Molding Outlet store in Plano, Illinois where I was able to find this tackle storage box for about $15, if I remember correctly. That is at least half of what one of these storage boxes would cost in a retail store. As soon as I saw it, I knew that I could use it to organize all of the little bits and pieces that would otherwise be strewn about my sewing desk haphazardly.