Reusable Gift Bags

gift bag 2After reading this post from my friend Julie (I’m beginning to think that everything from China is dipped in lead, just for fun), I decided the reusable gift wrap was the way to go. I have such a large supply of fabric, some that I have had forever and this is a super way to start using it up. I needed to wrap some coloring/painting books for a party that we went to yesterday.

I found this fun retro TV fabric in mygift bag 1 stash and cut it to size and pressed down the top edge (where the drawstring would go). I made two button holes, sewed the sides and bottom together, and sewed to channel for the drawstring. For the string I used a piece of bias tape, another sewing notion I have a large supply of, sewn together, threaded through the channel and then I added beads to the ends and knotted them.

I don’t really think that the 7 year old that received this was very impressed, but I think his Mother liked it. The great thing is that it can be reused in so many ways: gift wrap, toy storage, project storage, overnight bag, lunch bag, etc. and I know that is isn’t going to be toxic or end up in the landfill. I guess I should start making some for Christmas, I just need to figure out some standard sizes to start with and then I can always make specialty sizes later.


The Bag of Scraps

I have been having pretty busy weekends and that has kept me from going to yard sales and, as we all know, I really don’t need anymore stuff, but I did manage to make it to one last weekend.  Of course I came home with several bags of treasures (mostly kids clothes), but my most interesting find was a bag of scraps.  It was a large brown paper grocery bag filled with little bits of leftover fabric for a dollar!!!, I wanted it because on the top was a fat quarter of Star Wars fabric, I didn’t even look at what else was in there.  Once I started going through the bag I realized that most of the scraps were really small, so small that even I throw them away, but I really wanted to use them, the fabrics were all quality designer cottons and they were so colorful. 

I sorted out the larger pieces and decided to make quilted fabric.  I used four different sized shapes for my pieces:  a 1 1/2” square, a 2 1/2” square, a 1 1/2” by 2 1/2” rectangle, and a 2 3/4” triangle.  I cut out a large stack of these shapes and started sewing and pressing them, the goal was to not have any matching fabric touching and to not make myself crazy matching seams.scrap quiltSuccess, now what should I make with the patchwork fabric?  I have a ton of scraps, I could make quite a bit of this stuff, any suggestions?


Cupcake Purse Samples

Everyone needs a cupcake purse, right?  After seeing crocheted cupcake purses on Ravelry I just had to make my own.  I started out with the basic pattern (this pattern is for a cradle purse, I just skipped all the interior elements and made a plain purse) and added an extra fuchsia frill around the middle.  cupcake purse 1 I really like how the bottom part looks, the front and back post double crochet really mimics a knitted look, but is sooooo much faster.  The bottom did seem a little wimpy though and once it’s filled with girly stuff it doesn’t stand up as nice, hmmmm, I guess I’ll make another one and add some more frills, oh and beads too!cupcake purse 2 I made two bottoms for this one and added plastic canvas in between the layers to make a nice sturdy bottom that would stand up and help the cupcake keep its shapes.  I added pony beads to my yarn before I started to crochet and then crocheted them into the “frosting” at regular intervals.  I also did more single crochet through the back loop only to allow me to add extra frills around the center and at the top.  This is exactly what I going for, now who needs a cupcake purse?


To Shower or Blog

I have to say that lately the choice has been shower, ah, life with a new baby.  He is adorable, but very high maintenance.  I have managed to finish a few projects here and there.  I have also learned to knit over him while he nurses and sleeps, so it’s not too bad.  I really need to learn to type efficiently with one hand.

I finally found the perfect turquoise buttons for my kitchen towels and got them sewed on.  I covered a button with gingham for the remaining one.  The white one is my favorite.hanging towels 1I also found the large vintage fork and spoon that I had been looking for and hopefully once it stops raining I’ll get to work on them a bit.  They have monkeys on the handles, and while I normally love monkeys, for this project they need to go.  I have been trying to come up with a way to reshape the handles, I’m thinking paper mache, but I’m not quite sure.  If you have any ideas let me know.

What a productive day for me, a shower and a blog post and maybe when Daddy gets home I’ll get to do a little sewing.


Fabric Journal Cover

I am a huge fan of Teesha Moore, her visual journals are just stunning to look at and her techniques really appeal to me.  Her blog (Teesha’s Circus) is filled will inspiring eye candy and how to videos. 

In April she shared four video tutorials on making fabric journals that quickly went to the top of my must craft list.  Here’s a link to the first video, but you should definitely browse her entire blog!  I made my pillows and put together a traveling embroidery kit.  I took this with me to the hospital when I had little bun and it has also been to the park and on a play date.  I have really enjoyed working on the individual pillows, it very meditativefabric journal 3Here is the outside, I have finished the embroidery/quilting, but I may go back and add beads or sequins or other embellishments.  It was hard for me to let go of my super neat and matchy matchy obsessions (it is still pretty matchy matchy).fabric journal 4The inside is a mess, and while I like it the messiness of the stitches makes me a little uncomfortable.fabric journal 2I also did some shisha (mirror) embroidery on some of the pillows.  I have been wanting to try this tutorial for a looooooonnnnggg time.fabric journals 1It was easy and addictive, I will be using this technique again!

I still need to add the pages, but I’m not sure I’m done embellishing the cover yet and I also want to add some type of closure.  What are your favorite inspiring sites?, I’d love some new inspiration!


A Simple Little Shrug

I am going to count this as a nursing top since I have made it especially for that reason, but really this little shrug is for everyone.  I have several nursing camis and I plan to get a few more, so I will definitely need a top layer to wear over them.  I am also super busty to start off with and add the extra “fluffyness” of breastfeeding and it really isn’t decent for me to be out in public with just a cami on and the chill of air conditioning makes it even more obscene.shrug before green

I already owned these two shirts, the green was thrifted for a dollar a few years ago and I really like it, it’s soft, light weight, and green, although not much to look at on a hanger!  shrug before peachThe peach top I have had for years and although I like the color a lot the style is all wrong and it has only been worn a few times.   The sleeves are kind of short with a weird bell shape that gets into everything and is hard to roll up.  While normally I really like the empire waist style the waist line is too high and when I pull it down to the correct position it just doesn’t look right.

I used this tutorial on craftster as my guide.  shrug after green The green shirt was cut exactly like the instructions and it turned out great (Boobzilla, my duct tape dress form, is a little deformed, so please excuse her lopsidedness, this shrug is really cute on a real person).  I will definitely be wearing this one a lot! 

On the peach shirt I had to start with the seam ripper, removing the elastic at the bust, unpicking the neck facing (I should have cut this off, but I wanted to salvage as much of the fabric as I could, after trying to work with the facing I ended up just cutting it off), and taking out the topstitching on the side slits so they could be sewn up.  shrug after peach The front turned out fine and I like that there are more gathers (this shirt was longer than the green one), but I am still struggling to find a way to “fix” the sleeves.  I have tried making them narrower, which really didn’t look right at all, and gathering along the seam to make the 3/4 length, but that didn’t do it for me either.  I am taking suggestions, I may end up just cutting them off.

This tutorial was super simple and the results are really cute.  The styling makes it easy to lift the bottom edge for nursing while still providing some upper bust coverage (really it is a fun shrug that would work for anyone) and the light weight knit fabric will be comfortable on most warm days and provide a little sun protection for my fair skin!  I think I will get a lot or wear out of the green top and hopefully I will be able to get the sleeves to work on the peach one.


Welcome to the World

I am excited to announce that the Little Bun has finally decided to make his appearance.cocoon 2Meet Wyndham Ash, born Friday and weighing almost nine pounds.  These photos were taken at the hospital by Charley’s Angel Photography.  They offer their photos on a copyright free CD, which is awesome!cocoon

I am really glad that I made this cocoon for him, it really made the photos cute.  He also seemed to like being in it and it was easy to put on and take off (the center slit really is what made it so easy).

Today is our first full day home and I am so happy that he’s finally here!  I will only be posting a couple of times a week for the next few weeks while we all adjust to our newest family member, but I’m sure I’ll be back crafting full time soon.