Sunday, November 29, 2009

(Sock) Monkeying around

Thanksgiving weekend absolutely flew by.  Which is surprising, really, seeing as I was awake for about 20 out of 24 hours for at least three of the Black Friday weekend days. 

A few days before Thanksgiving, though, I went to a birthday party for a extra special (and extra cute) little boy that was turning one!

His mom mentioned an Ugly Doll a few weeks before his birthday, so I gave softie making a try and made a pseudo-Ugly Doll out of two fat quarters and embroidered his face.  I just realized that I didn't take pictures of his backside, but it was bright yellow with the alphabet (in all the other bright colors) floating around. 

I also trimmed some bathroom towels with the cutest sock monkey print that I found (on sale!) at a local quilt shop.  I bought a half yard and the towels didn't even require half of it.  I'm afraid the full effect is a bit marred, as I discovered that there were exactly zero angles at which my towel bar could be photographed that did not include a view of the toilet,  So, here they are IN my shower.  Not pictured: me, huddling under the shower head hoping that the water didn't spontaneously turn on (no, it's never done that before, and yes, I realize how unlikely it was) and soak me, the camera and the towels.

Now I need to find another kiddie-friendly project to use up the rest of it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cubed Drawstring Pouch: Tutorial

Better late than never, right?  Right.

To get started with this pouch, you'll need:
6 squares of fabric measuring 5".  I used charm squares, so they were precut
1 16" by 5" rectangle
1 strip trim (I used cotton lace) 16"
1 5" square interfacing
2 22" strips drawstring cord (I used suede lace) (not pictured)

Plus, the usual suspects: scissors/rotary cutter, thread, pins, sewing machine

Assumptions:  1/4" seam, unless noted.  Clip all seams after stitching.  That I was getting antsy and forgot to photo some steps. 

1.  Arrange 4 squares to make the sides of the pouch.  With right sides together sew squares together to form 1 long strip.

2.  Fold strip in half lenghtwise and sew the raw 5" sides together. 

Flipped right side out (but you don't need to flip it yet) it will look like this.

3. If you're using fusible interfacing, fuse it to the wrong side of your bottom square now.  If you're using sew-in, baste it now.

4. Right sides together, pin the bottom square, matching corners, to the sides of the pouch.  Use a lot of pins if you need to keep it in line.

5.  With the sides facing up (if they don't flop down, fold them toward the middle), sew around all four edges of the pouch bottom.  Pivot at each corner with the needle still in to sew all of the edges.  You may have to "flip" your pouch side under your needle to keep sewing aftter turning.  That's OK.  You also might want to backstitch at the corners for strength.

6.  Flip right side out.

7.  Take long rectangle (lining) and fold in half, right sides together, with the two short raw edges lined up.  Sew raw edges.

8.  Pin inside bottom, right sides together, to the lining sides just as you did the outer sides and sew (just as you did the outside).  Leave about a two inch opening on one edge for turning.

9.  Cut 8 2" strips of your trim (to be used as the drawstring casing) and fold in half to  make 1" loops.

10.  Put the pouch outer inside of the pouch lining (make sure right sides are facing) matching up the side seams.  As you match them up, pin the casing strips in between the two layers.  The loop with be facing down and the raw edges will line up with the raw edges of your pouch.  Put the casing strips at each side seam, and halfway (2.25") between each seam.

11.  Sew around the entire top of pouch, backstitching over the casing strips for stability.

12.  Pull the pouch through the hole you left for turning, poking out the corners. 

13.  Using a slip stitch or with a scant 1/8" seam on your machine sew the hole closed.

14.  Push the lining into the pouch, and press the top even.

15.  Topstitch 1/8" from the edge of the pouch. 

16.  Cut the 2 22" drawstring cords

17.  Weave the cords through the casing and tie the ends together.  Begin weaving your second cord into the casing strips you tied your first cord off at.  You want the tied edges to be on opposite sides of the pouch.  (Note:  These might shift as you use them, just adjust them as you like)

18.  Cinch up the drawstring to close the pouch.

19.  Admire.  Use.  Repeat.

If you have trouble or if you make a pouch and want to share it email me!

Like the pouch but want to save the time of making it?  I've got a few in my shop

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sneak peek

I've been a woman obssessed! 

I've made a whole bunch of these in the past few days, and I know it's late, but I've got a tutorial coming, hopefully by Monday.  I just need to crop the pictures and put them in order.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Table covers: part deux

Last week I finished up the tablecloths that I had been putting off for about a month.

Today I finished a table runner that I've been putting off far longer.  I made a basket liner for my mom (she calls is a bun warmer.  hee hee!) and had a ton of material left over.  She's been asking for a table runner for a long time, so I decided to use the leftovers to make one.

Reversible, even.

I tried to find a tutorial on the Internet to save myself too many mathematical calculations, but everything I found was too short to drape over the ends of the table, so I was forced to try and multiply on my own.  I decided to wimp out, basically, and cut one side into equal 6.5" strips, and then cut 4 10" strips for the other side and used the scraps from the first side to make up the difference.  I used fusible interfacing on one side because I wanted the ends to drape nicely over the end of the table.  The fabric was also very light, so I wanted to minimize the seethroughness.

The real brain tease, though, was measuring the bias tape that I used to bind it.  I used a super neat tutorial I found on Fabritopia's blog and crossed my fingers.  I used my last square of fabric to make the bias tape and as I was binding it I started to sweat because I didn't want to have:
a.) to seam rip the whole damn runner
b.) to run to Jo-Ann and buy two packages of bias tape, delaying the finish even longer
c.) wasted all that time chasing my fingers with an iron to make the tape to begin with.

Luckily, with three whopping inches to spare, I had enough.

She better like it.  I hope she likes it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm not sure this even counts as sewing

I've acually been putting the project off for a long time, and the only excuse I have is I didn't want to cut and iron such a big square.

My mom is hosting Thanksgiving this year, which involves seating more people than her kitchen table will allow, so the plan is to put card tables in the family room and eat there.  Today, about a month after the fabric was purchased, I finished the tablecloths for the card tables.

Care for a mini tutorial? 

I cheated when determining the size of the tablecloth.  I had one huge piece of fabric (3 yards?  I said it had been a long time since it was purchased!), so I folded it selvedge to selvedge, cut off any frays or shrinkage from washing/drying and measured.  It was 51". 

Then I cut the other raw edge to measure 51", too, so I had two giant squares.

Fold and press a double 1/2" seam all the way around, pinning as you go.

Sew 1/4" hem around the whole tablecloth, and then another 1/4" away from the original hem. 

Press the whole thing, then throw it on the table. 


Monday, November 9, 2009


I noticed a huge spike in views this past weekend, and tracked them to a Brazilian blog linking to my coasters tutorial.

I love how our things can travel around the craftblogosphere and be seen by so many people we'd never get to share them with otherwise.

Of course, I can't speak Portugese, so her commenters could have been all "eff this girl and her stinkin' coasters" and I would be none the wiser, but, I'd much rather hope they're putting the tutorial to good use!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Instead of supporting sweatshops...

...I've become one.

So.  Long time no blog.  I've actually been in a sewing frenzy the past few days, however, there are next to no finished objects I can show the internet as most of them have been gifts, and inquiring minds want to peek at the blog and ruin their surprises.  Which, really, is too bad, because I'm really digging some of the projects.

What I can show you are these patchwork bags, because even if they do end up as surprises, even I don't know who they're for yet.  I'd say that means I'm not ruining much.

I'm loving making these bags with so many different prints.  Isn't it fun to see how totally different colors and prints can look so neat together?

I picked up some Rouenneries last week, so as soon as I stop feverishly working on things for other people, I plan on making something for ME, ME, ME!

Monday, November 2, 2009


My vacation is over. 

I took a few days off and went to visit a friend in San Francisco.  I came back and it was cold, dreary and daylight savings time, which means I now both leave for work and drive home from work in the dark.  Seasonal Affective Disorder, here I come!

I at least managed to snag a few treats while I was there.  Yes, that includes chocolate, and no, it's not still around to photograph.

I've got itty bitty fingers, so I love when I'm able to find funky rings like these that actually fit me.  The one with the orange stone actually fits on my ring fingers, not just my middle and pointer.  Whoo!

I found these at a street shop.  There was a bucket of them, fabric pieces about 6"x7".  Each is printed with what looks like it might be Buddhist script.  I'm not really sure what they're for, or what I want to do with them, but they were too interesting to pass up.

I've got a few things on my To Make List this week, I'll show them as they come about.  For now I need to get some laundry done, get some food made and think about missing vacation.