Three Things I Learned From an Experienced Sewer


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

1. There is a tread-cutter built in to my sewing machine. Who would have thought? Not me of course.

2. You can swap out the needles on the machine fairly easily and the needle that was in my sewing machine was a bit too heavy for the fabric I was using. Now I have a new, smaller, better one. Yeah!

3. Those dreaded thread jams that kept happening to me are because my sewing machine is sensitive or picky or something and doesn't like reverse stitching. It wasn't just me!

Oh wait. There are FIVE things you might learn from an experienced sewer-person.

4. There is a way quicker way to iron seam allowances than the way I was doing it. Duh. Why didn't I think of that?

5. If you cut the seam allowances with little notches on curved edges they will look nicer when you pull your fabric inside out.

The Great Fabric Search


Monday, December 28, 2009

Riley Blake's Cream Bloom Vine and Polka Dot Punch from the bloom and grow line of designer fabrics by My Mind's Eye. I found them by looking at this site:

The Great Fabric Search


Even more cute fabrics here:

The Great Fabric Search


Since our little town only has one fabric store, Fabricland (boooooo), I am on a mission to find cute fabrics online. Check out these sweet, sweet fabrics at

New Book


This is the book that I got for Christmas. It is soooo adorable! Many of the little dudes are made out of socks and old sweaters. When Alex isn't looking I'm going to cut up some of his shirts. Hee hee, don't tell him!

Making an Abnormally Long, Floppy Doll


I had my first doll-making adventure this weekend.

Things that went well:

- I created my very own doll pattern
- I used all of my mom's old fabric scraps to make her
- I found some twine in a box upstairs and used it for hair (and it looks cute!)
- I made a little heart-shaped mouth out of thread freehand

Things that went not-so-well:
- trying to sew a circle for the head with the sewing machine (um, hard)
- stuffing the body evenly (why is that snow-fluff stuff so darn lumpy?)
- I sewed the head and body separately and then joined them together (head doesn't stay up)
- the doll has no hair on the back of her poor, bald head
- when I drew the pattern everything looked in proportion (forgot to take into account that the body would puff out)

All in all, I'd have to say that although she is abnormally long, floppy, and lumpy.... she's still kinda cute.

Must Have Item


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

For some reason I must have this. It is the cutest sewing-thingy holder I have ever seen.

Next Project: Bench Cushion


Saturday, December 19, 2009

We have a teeny little bench in our newly renovated front entryway that is bare and definitely needs a cushion. I'm going to use the same yellow/white fabric but the cushion will be very thin. Maybe with buttons. My inspiration is this pic from the Pottery Barn website.

Project Two: The Second Cushion


Hmmmmm. The first cushion turned out pretty well. So I was really hoping that cushion #2 would be perfection. Ummmm, not really. Here are the things that have contributed to the non-perfect cushion:

List of Reasons Why Cushion #2 Isn't Perfect

1. The fabric on the edges doesn't match up like on the first one. How could I have possibly done it on the first try, and then not the second!?!?!?
2. I squished the crap out of the pillow form this time (to prevent the fabric from ripping) when I was stuffing it. Now the cushion is flatter than the first one! Why oh why did I squish so hard!?!?!?!
3. I got Alex to help me squish the pillow form. Little did I know that he had sticky peanut butter fingers and got a dollop of greasy peanut butter on my pretty yellow fabric. Noooooooooooooo!
4. When I was slipstitching the opening shut this time, the fabric was puckering a little bit. I eventually figured out what I was doing wrong..... so only a few centimeters of an edge ended up a little wonky.

The good news is that I didn't waste any fabric, I didn't rip any fabric, and I didn't spend hours upon hours trying to decode the sewing machine manual. I'm telling myself it will be okay. I am reminding myself that this is only Project #2. Onwards and upwards! (Is that even a saying?)

See? More smushed than the first one. :)

Crafty Book Christmas Wishlist


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pretty please, Santa, will you buy these books for me???

Even though I have only ever sewed a cushion, and maybe a button (or was that a dream?), I will do my best to learn. I promise, Santa.

Sewing Lessons - Best News Ever


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My friend's mom has agreed to give me (and my friend) sewing lessons. She is a master sewer/quilter person. I'm so excited! I have no idea what to expect. I'm kinda nervous actually.... we'll see how the first lesson goes!

Project One: The Cushion


Sunday, December 6, 2009

I told the lady at the fabric store that I would need to get some extra fabric. Just in case I messed up. She was so sweet! She said, "Oh, you won't mess up."

Lesson One: Don't cut a huge chunk of fabric without measuring twice. I told the lady I would need extra.

First, I cut out the fabric squares. I borrowed Alex's metal square to make sure the fabric was all lined up and perfect. Then I made the first cut. Ooops. Refer to lesson one. How on earth did I cut a square two full inches smaller than I was supposed to?

Next, I pinned everything together. So far so good. Good thing I kept those pins that my Mom got me when I was a little kid.

Then I had to go upstairs and dig out my trusty sewing machine that my Mom also bought me years ago. It took me about an hour to figure out how to wind the bobbin. Who named all the parts of the sewing machine!?!?!?!??!? Why are there so many parts!?!?!?

Lesson Two: When trying to wind the bobbin (whatever that means, I'm still not sure), make sure to lift up the little metal piece on the top of the sewing machine that holds the thread in place.

I kept pressing the pedal down and the thread-thing kept flying off the top of the machine. I tried it about 5 times before Alex said, "I think you need to pull that metal thing up." Oh. Duh.

After a few practice runs, I sewed. I sewed, and it worked! I left a fairly large hole in the side of the cover to mush the cushion through.

Lesson Three: Don't get all frustrated (swearing and frothing at the mouth) when the pillow form won't fit in the hole. The fabric will rip. Be patient. Stay calm.

Finally, I needed a way to sew the cushion closed. Apparently people do some sort of a "slipstitch." My trusty book called Sewing 101 really didn't describe it very well so I resorted to You Tube. Five videos later, I was ready. I slipstitched. I finished the cushion.

All in all, project one was a success. I learned three very important lessons that I will try my very best to remember when I make the matching cushion later today.

Everything layed out the night before. Psyching myself up to actually sew something.

The final product. Not too bad if I do say so myself.

My first time slipstitching. The fabric even kind of lines up!

And it wouldn't be my project if I didn't leave a huge mess behind. :)

Brand-Spankin' New Blog


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Inspiration. I could totally make one of these. Maybe.

This brand-spankin' new blog has come to be for several reasons. In no particular order these reasons include:

Reason #1. Um, blogging is fun.
Reason #2. I have an adoption blog but usually only write about adoption-y things.
Reason #3. I have a huge, long adoption wait coming up and need a productive way to help pass the time.
Reason #4. I've always wanted to be crafty.
Reason #5. I'm very jealous of people who are already crafty.
Reason #6. I always want to spend oodles of money on crafty things.
Reason #7. It's winter and if I spend any more time watching t.v. my butt will be permanently flat.
Reason #8. I live in a fairly small city with, how do I explain this, absolutely NO selection of cute things. If I want cute things, I may as well just start making them myself. Well, trying to anyway.

Stay tuned for Project One: The Cushion that I tackled this morning.
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