YearofHandmade

An eclectic mix of handmade gifts, sewing inspiration, reviews, books, needlework, crafts, homeschooling, baking, and recipes

Finished Reading Pillow February 2, 2010

Yesterday’s mail brought with it the organic cotton fiberfil I have been waiting for…and I finished my Reading Pillow! Gift two sewn and given.  R. thoroughly enjoyed putting it to good use as soon as it was finished.  We will be taking a trip to Washington D.C. for her birthday this spring, ha ha most kids want a party but she wanted to go to the White House and to some museums (she is so my daughter!), so this pillow will be perfect for holding her book on the long car ride (how do kids read in the car and NOT get sick???)  We have never been to D.C. and are really excited about it.  We will be staying with my Aunt and Uncle and my Mom will be flying out with my Niece from California.  Do you think nine is to old to wear a birthday crown?  I love the crowns over at Frontier Dreams…I can see her now, a little birthday princess wondering the halls of the Smithsonian.

This completes gift 2 (not for any special occasion, it is a “just because” gift). My dining room is less one project…only six more W.I.P to go, all awaiting thread.  I dream of some day having my own sewing room with a wall filled with thread and another with fabric…

Have a great day!

Happy sewing,

Colette

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Twirly Girl January 26, 2010

I have almost completely finished the Sew Liberated reading pillow for R. and I am completely in love with it!  I just have to stuff it and ladder stitch the opening (I got plenty of practice with this stitch on those sweets mats!) and she can use it.  My organic cotton fiberfil should be here any day…I ordered it in bulk from Modern Organic Fabrics Etsy Shop, as I will need it for R.’s Semi-Fantastic Mr Fox doll (btw…the kit from birdandlittlebird showed up and the fabric is so lovely!)

Why is it I am so amazed every time my project turns out like it is supposed to?  I think it is from years of frustrated sewing with horrible patterns and directions!  I really can’t tell you enough how much I love Meg’s Sew Liberated patterns!  The “Reading Pillow” is the second pattern of hers I have tried, the first was the “Twirly Skirt”.

I had originally bought the skirt pattern and the fancy fabric (which was a pain in the tush and I will NEVER work with again!!!) in October to make R. a skirt to wear in her (former) schools strings ensemble concert, because they had to wear black skirts and white blouses.  Poor thing though, when we pulled her out to homeschool they wouldn’t allow her to play violin in the concert (and she was doing a duet!) and so the pattern and fabric were just waiting in my craft armoire for an ocassion to be sewn up.

Fast forward to December…for homeschooling we were reading “Little House in the Big Woods”…the night before my friend Aimee’s annual Christmas party R. remembers the pattern and fabric and asks me to please “whip up” the skirt for her to wear.  “Uhm, excuse me love, but I cannot possibly whip it up for you in just one day.”  “But Ma (in Little House in the Big Woods) made Laura a dress in one night AND she hand-sewed it…I think you can whip one up with a machine!”  It was on, ha ha, “Ma” was certainly not going to one up me (my daughter so knows how to work me!)

Later that night I cut my fabric pieces and then the next morning sewed them together and voila, R. had her fancy twirly skirt to wear to the party.  She looked so pretty and kept twirling all night (and got lots of compliments on her skirt!)

I love this Twirly Skirt pattern and will definitely make several this spring (when it ever warms up around here) and this time use either cotton voile, double gauze, or maybe (most definitely) a Heather Ross cotton print.  I do have to say, I think this pattern runs a bit big.  I made the size 8 (after debating between the 6 and 8 ~ guess I should have gone with measurements instead of size) and fortunately tried the elastic around her waist before sewing and was able to cut off quite a bit.  As you can see, it was also a bit too long.  This spring I will first try sewing up a size 6.  Other than the sizing issue I had (on my part I am sure), the pattern worked up perfectly.

So my next pattern of hers to work up will be the “Schoolhouse Tunic”.  Just saving up to get the Amy Butler Fabric I want…I need 3 yards!  And of course, I want to make so many projects from Meg’s new book!  I am thinking I need a new duvet cover this spring and she has the sweetest one in it!

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Making Piping January 24, 2010

Do you have any sewing techniques that you are terrified to try?  For me, the big one was making piping.  Why was I so afraid of making piping do you ask?  Well it involved the scary task of cutting strips on the bias and using the zipper foot attachment for my sewing machine (the instructions in my Viking manual look so complicated) and I have never ever ever done either before.  Not to fear my friends, it was a piece of cake!  Ha, ha can you tell I was nervous by all of the pins in my fabric?

I am making a “Reading Pillow” (from a Sew Liberated pattern) for my daughter R.  I can picture her now…curled up on her purple bean bag in her book nook, using her reading pillow to hold that big heavy Hans Christian Anderson fairytale book, and reading away for hours…all the while I merrily sew away on my machine (undisturbed of course!) the two gifts I need to make next week.  A Mom is allowed to dream isn’t she?

We picked out two beautiful Heather Ross coordinating fabrics from her Medocino collection and purchased it from fabricworm‘s Etsy shop.  The fabric (pictured above) is “swim class” in sunset and will be used for the piping and accent pockets, and the main pillow fabric (below) is “underwater sisters” in fuchsia.  I can’t tell you how much I love her fabrics.  Not only are they colorful and whimsical, but they are incredibly soft, wash well, and are actually printed straight!

Also pictured here is my new Clover mini iron!  I’ve had my eye on it for a while (especially since I keep burning myself with my big iron!) but have been waiting for my $10 rewards certificate from A.C. Moore to purchase it.  It was $32.99 and I used a 40% off coupon on top of the $10 certificate so it ended up costing only $10.  I love a great deal!  I am going to be doing some appliqued gifts next week and thought it would be quite a luxury to use the mini iron on them.

Back to sewing … I will post a picture when the reading pillow is finished.

Happy crafting!