Small Fall Tote

My grandmother’s birthday just passed this week, so I thought it would be nice to make her a little something. She’s pretty incredible in many ways. She has raised up an awesome family of 6 children, 12 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. She’s probably changed more diapers in her lifetime than anyone could count, and she puts her family above everything.

She has traveled the world, yet is very modest and humble. She deserves to have anything she would ever desire, yet follows a budget and is very practical being careful not to consume beyond her needs. That is the best way to sum up my thoughts of Grandmom in a few short sentences.

I made her a little fall tote for her grocery trips that I think she will enjoy.

I’m really not sure if she reads my blog, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she had it bookmarked… she’s more tech savvy than your average grandmom! (If you see this before Wednesday Gram, sorry for ruining the surprise!)

I took it apart after I finished it the first time and made some adjustments. I really liked how the colors in the flowers complimented the stripes, so I decided to fold them over to show them off a little bit. I also threw in a magnetic snap. Now that it’s “done”, I really wish I had added a pocket as well. I guess you’re never fully satisfied with your own work!

I Love Fabric… Duh!

I had a little fun with a dollar store picture frame, some glamor shots of my fav baby girls, fabric, ribbon, & beads last night.

I thought about buying a few small pretty picture frames for them, but I really wasn’t sure what sizes I had. I decided to just grab a cheapie frame and dress it up.

I also had another quick little project I whipped up today. Someone (I will not point fingers) left my folding chair outside for an evening and decided to use it as a stepping stool a few times. Needless to say, it got pretty gross looking.

I figured if I was going to spend the time to recover it, I may as well have fun with it and do something funky. I sprayed the chair with blue rustoleum paint and covered the chair pads with canvas. This look was actually inspired by a little cupcake shop I was in, and I plan to incorporate it into my sewing room some how.

I don’t think anyone will be quick to step on that pretty little thing, nor put it outside for that matter :) Ironically, I found an ironing board cover and some decorative boxes that match on clearance in Michael’s, so I sprayed my old ironing board with the leftover blue rustoleum.

My husband caught me in action. I also embellished the boxes with blue ribbon.

I can’t wait until we get our house. I’m going to have so much fun decorating my crafting / sewing room!

Converting the Bride

My God Daughter Aaliyah wanted a very specific “dark bride” costume, which was extremely overpriced. Having made the Bowser costume for her little brother, I didn’t hesitate to offer to make her a special costume too.

Cute, but $88 for a halloween costume? No way! Rather than measuring her and starting with a pattern from scratch, my aunt got a white dress at TJ Max for $30 and I told her I would embellish it.

I got a little carried away with the “embellishments”. It pretty much looks like a different dress now, but it’s not too far off from the one she wanted.

This was much easier than Bowser since I was able to pretty much cut the dress apart, add some fabric, and sew it back together. The best part about it is the tulle, lace, & ribbon for converting the dress only cost me about $15. So Aaliyah gets her costume for half the price :)

Halloween Costumes

My little cousin needed some help with his Halloween costumes this year, as he had his heart set on being Bowser from the Nintendo game. Unfortunately for him, that’s not a costume you can easily get your hands on. Fortunately for him, his much older cousin has a little sewing talent :)

There is no pattern for the bowser costume, specifically, so I had to get extra creative with this one. With a little googling, youtubing, and input from my friends via facebook, here’s what I came up with.

And the better news, my measurements were accurate… it fits!

My aunt had previously asked me to make the baby a trick-or treat bag with a specific phrase on it to go with his “inmate” costume. I whipped this one up first, actually. I just haven’t had much time to blog.

The embroidery machine was the highlight of this project. I really had no clue what the final product would look like. I just started pulling materials from my scrap fabric bin and went for it.

Get it, he was incarcerated for stealing their hearts. So cute!

Aprons

I bought a book of apron patterns a while back and I finally got around to coordinating some fabrics to make myself one.

I taught my sister in law how to sew this week, and I let her borrow my extra sewing machine so she can get some practice in. I planned to teach her with the apron, but she liked the one with the defined chest. I laughed when she picked it and said I’d sew the chest portion for her. She had me cracking up, at one point she said “Couldn’t we had started with a cloth napkin or something?!”

She volunteered to model a picture of the finished product for me, so in my opinion, that gives me permission to post them on my blog ;) We decided aprons don’t get ironed, so don’t mind the fold.

She has a keen eye for colors and decor, so I can’t wait to see what she makes once she gets the hang of that sewing machine! I haven’t made my apron yet, but I will post pics when I get around to it.

Memory Bear

I finally made my first memory bear today. My sister’s friend recently lost her father and I thought it would be something she may like to have, so I had my sister ask her for two of his shirts.

I’ve had plenty of practice with this teddy bear pattern now, so I felt totally comfortable making the actual bear, but I did take a lot of extra care in placing and cutting the patterns. Working with the stripes can be a little challenging too when cutting a pattern from a limited amount of fabric.

I planned to embroider “Pops” onto the foot, because she told me that was their nickname for him. I thought it may get lost in the stripes, and I found a piece of maroon crafter’s felt which I thought would match perfectly.

I love the way it turned out and am glad she now has this keepsake and memory of her father. Also, if you’re reading this because you’re a sewer, I used the Simplicity 5461 pattern.

Lace Embellished Shorts

I try to make the things that I come across on pinterest that inspire me. Today, I was organizing my fabric and found a strip of lace. Right away, I thought about a pair of lace embellished shorts I had re-pinned on pinterest the other day. I put the lace aside and as soon as I was done organizing the rest of my fabric, I pinned the lace to an old cheap pair of jean shorts to see how it would look.

They’re not exactly like the pair I found, which I still plan to make, but I liked it so I went with it.

I went with a hem stitch to try to keep the fabric in tact and hopefully minimize the fraying over time.

They don’t look amazing with a sundress tied up into a tank top, but I think they will definitely be cute with a plain tank top or tee.

Teddy Bears

A few months ago, I mentioned that I wanted to find a teddy bear pattern to make memory bears, and my aunt picked up the simplicity 5461 pattern for me. It’s one of only a few patterns that has the memory bear look.

Before I make my first memory bear, I’ve been getting some practice in. I want to make all of my mistakes with craft fabric first before I go cutting up a loved ones clothes. I decided to make my first bear for my co-workers daughter, Sami, who is 5 years old and is currently battling Leukemia.

The next two bears are for my best friend’s daughter and my niece. I haven’t stitched the eyes and nose on the big bear yet. I cut them from felt to size them up, but am still trying to think of a better alternative. Unfortunately, using button eyes on a teddy bear for a baby is a bad idea! I’d also like to add a bow around it’s neck. I refrained from embroidering their names on the feet, although I had originally planned to. It would have been too busy with the fabric I used.

Last week, my niece was playing with the small bear which I had already finished. She was holding it under her arm and dragging it on the ground as she stumbled across the room. I felt bad taking it back from her, but I decided I would make her the same one with the larger teddy bear pattern. I’m giving the bear’s to the girls on Saturday at Ariela’s first birthday party. I can’t wait to see her try to lug that thing around with her. Hey look at it this way, she is just learning to walk and will have a nice cushion to break her fall!

I summarized how I made the hat in my last post and included a link to the template if you’re interested. I also just did a quick Google search for a blog with a good example of the teddy bear making process, and what do you know, here’s a┬ávery accurate tutorial using the same pattern!

1st Birthday Hat

My niece turns 1 on Saturday, so I had my sister send me a pic of the dress she will be wearing so I could make her a little hat to wear with it. I thought the pink may be difficult to match, so I went with the green & white polka-dots to match the cupcake wrapper.

I printed this template on card stock, cut it out, traced it onto Heat’n Bond light fusible interfacing, and cut that out as well. If you’re doing embroidery work, you’re better off embroidering on a large piece of fabric first, and then place your card stock over the embroidered fabric accordingly, trace and cut out the fabric. I’m pointing these things out, because these are mistake’s I made!

It was really easy using the fusible interfacing to bond the fabric to the card stock, and it worked much better than I had imagined it would. In my first attempt, I used fabric glue which was messy and left too many wrinkles in the fabric. Glue, fabric, & paper are not a good combination!

If you don’t have an embroidery machine, you can order similar items on etsy. If you’re like me and prefer to find an alternative and make it yourself, try the fabric pen with stencils technique and maybe some felt or hand stitched embellishments.

I did use glue for the white feather trim, but gluing the feather to fabric with clear fabric glue worked out well. I’m working on a matching teddy bear for her too, so I’ll try to post that at some point this week.

Oh, one last thing. My dad turns 50 the same day, and when I showed him the hat, he asked me if he was getting one too. Just for that, I may have to make one for him as a joke!