Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

Finally finished! Whew! I feel like I’ve been off the grid for weeks working on this stuff. We’re 3/4 through the projects, taking a small break before finishing up with the boys’ room. I’ll post more pics of that when finished. for now, here are a few shots of  Gill’s room and I’ll do some floor shots soon too. I should also put up some night shots so you can see how soft and lovely the branches and white lights look in the dark. It’s a yummy space! Hopefully these will excuse my long absence. They aren’t really in any sort of order and I don’t think there’s much in the way of explanation needed. A few things were Pinterest inspired, of course, some my own ideas. I’m really pleased with the results and thankful that Gillian is too. She’s not always an easy one to please, so I’m glad she likes it. I think I might like it even more than her though. I like to just go and sit in there and pretend I’m a little girl again.

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My own idea! Not an idea from Pinterest! It’s amazing how excited I was to make something that I came up with on my own after months of pinning and making, pinning and making (not sure I’m sticking to my “make one for every ten pins” rule). I was led to wonder then if Pinterest is really a conductor of creativity, or an hinderance. Am I spending so much time and thought on pulling together other people’s ideas that I can’t think up anything on my own,  or do these ideas foster in me my own desire to create, improvise, and discover, stimulating my creative hemisphere to the point of spontaneously birthing out something all mine? The other day I saw ON Pinterest a quote that someone had pinned, “You were born an original, don’t die a copy,” and I couldn’t help but comment that a quote like that on a website for sharing/stealing/whatever you call it other people’s ideas and inspirations is sort of a contradiction. Please note that none of this is a complaint. I love my Pinterest and will go right on pinning, using, making, revising and all of that. I was just musing about it. Any thoughts on that my fellow pinners?

ANYWAY . . . . here’s my idea. Which, by the way, if you search for on previously mentioned website, you will probably find twenty other versions of the exact same thing, so DON’T.  I want to go on thinking my idea is really special.

I went to the wedding of some friends Saturday and was rushing at the last minute to pull together my outfit. I ended up in something that needed just a little more oomph but I was clean out of time. I had these old strips of lace lying around here in my scraps basket. They’re the outer lace trim from a round table cloth. Think something like this.  So at the last minute I cut some strips of it to fit my wrists and I tucked it in my sleeves, pinned and ran out the door. I really enjoyed the steampunk sort of feel it gave to my outfit and decided to turn them into permanent accessories. Here’s what I did. Actually, it was sooooo easy, so I’m mostly just going to post pictures . . . I think they pretty much show how they came together.

Cut scraps of lace about 7.5 inches plus an inch for a seam allowance.


Cut a pannel of scrap fabric and pinned along bottom edge. This is mainly to give the hem something to hang on to and to keep the lace from itching my wrists. Am I the only person with sensitive wrists? In hindsight I should have hemmed that top edge of the pannel too, because it will probably start to unravel, but I didn’t think about it until it was already sewn to the lace.
Ready for fasteners and embellishments–be still my heart, I get to use some buttons! This was simultaneously the most difficult and the most enjoyable part. Have I mentioned that I love buttons?
Sew on fasteners. I don’t care for hooks and eyes very much, but it’s all I had and I was too impatient to learn how to do the cloth button hooks. These are working quite well, but I’m definitely doing another pair with cloth button hooks next.
Up close view of the vintage buttony goodness . . . and . . .
Ta Da!

Super fun!


I couldn’t help but check out others on Pinterest to see what was out there. I know, do as I say, not as I do. Here are a couple I thought were just too pretty to not share.



So pretty and a little sexy

Takes a little more talent











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Yay! I finished the skirt! It only took two more attempts to get the waistband right. Oy! I had quite a time getting any pictures too because Miss Gillian doesn’t want to have her picture taken, doesn’t really want to wear a shirt that matches the skirt, and doesn’t want to have her hair combed either. In fact, she refuses to twirl. How can you not twirl in a twirly skirt? How can a child possibly resist the overwhelming NEED to twirl in such a twirly skirt? Sigh. Sometimes I wonder why  I even bother.  Finally, after much coaxing, I managed to get a sweater on her and a couple of smiles, only if I would promise to be sure and post a picture of her shoes and the one of her being silly.

Isn’t it funny how we (supposedly out of love) do things for our children and when they don’t show what we consider to be the appropriate appreciation, we become angry? If I’m doing this to make her happy, couldn’t I control my own feelings if she’s not jazzed about it? Getting angry at her for not twirling certainly isn’t going to make her happy. So do I stop making her stuff? Do I try to get more input? Do I give it to someone else if she doesn’t like it? (Heck no! I’d be too afraid of anyone else seeing my inside seams!) I think for my next project I’ll work on something for one of the boys. Maybe if someone else gets the fruits of my (grueling) labor she’ll be a little more cooperative.

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I’ve been dying to get some new posts up with pictures of all the projects I’ve recently been inspired to undertake. The problem is, that sadly, my actual skills are far eclipsed by my inspiration and enthusiasm, so most of the things I’ve been working on have turned out a horrible mess and I’ve either had to set it a side for a moment of less frustration, or scrap the project all together. Those stinking rogue stitches that just don’t want to stay in a straight line!!! Right now it’s a skirt for Gillian made out of an old circular table cloth my dad gave me. Antiqued fabric, lace trim, the stuff a crafter’s dreams are made of. Alas, I made it too big. It’s going to be another evening with the seam ripper. Andy’s been trying to gently remind me that I’ve got to practice if I want to be any good at it. Sigh. He mentioned some old proverb about taking something like 3000 photos before you ever get your first good shot. Please tell me I’m not going to have to rip out 3000 seams before I make my first descent skirt–Gillian will be in college (and probably not want to wear skirts made by mom). SOooooo, that’s why I don’t have any pictures, just gripes, and gripes are depressing, so I’m going to go make nice with my seam ripper and keep at it.

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As if I could have been disappointed! A fabulous date night, so many choices, so much inspiration. Between Greenville’s second anual Indie Craft Parade and my newest source of inspiration, Pinterest, (click link at your own risk) which, interestingly enough seems to have captivated many of my friends all at the same time, my brain is overflowing with ideas of things to make, repurpose and plan for, along with the motivation needed to do much of it. I’m loving it!  Loving the constant intake of creative ideas, inspiring images and creative beauty. Loving getting things done! I’ve got several items that I’ve put together thanks to all this inspiration, as well as three projects already in progress! First I’ll show you  some of this year’s craft parade treasures, then I”ll move to a few of the things I’ve been working on.  Just like last year, there were so many talented artists, among which were several of my friends, so it was hard to choose where to spend my little stash of birthday cash.


Hand-Knit head wrap by Soft Spoken. The dreads are in love!

Red Riding Hood-a Fairy Tale print by Cory Godby, undoubtedly one of my favorite local artists.

Terrarium done by Erin Tilson, who happens to be one of my friends-love buying handmade from friends!!!

This link is for her personal blog, but she’s working on a website for these gorgeous little babies right now. These would make charming Christmas gifts, so stay tuned to her blog to see when her new site launches.

An oh so fabulous market bag-forgot who I got this one from! oops!

A hedgehog pincushion, whom I have affectionately named Caesar. Well, I call him a hedgehog, she calls him a porcupine. Whatever.  He’s from Once Again Sam.

I also purchased a sweet little summer dress from Sew She Sews.

There were a few other little purchases, but that’s where the bulk of my moola went. Could have spent soooooo much more.

On To My Recent Creations

As I said, I’ve  got “make stuff” fever and I just hope it doesn’t stop. A few days before the craft parade we moved the recliner out of the bedroom and my “nursing nook” turned into a”craft corner.” I’m really enjoying it, and it does help to have a sweet little space of my own to work in.



If you look to the left you’ll see a basket overflowing with stretch knit shirts. After running across this cute little number on Pinterest, I decided that I could do that for myself with all those t-shirts I wasn’t wearing. I thought that working with a bigger garment for the first time would be easier for learning. Small pieces can be so frustrating! I’ll make one for Gill later.

So here’s my pile of shirts:

Two shirts that I like the cut of, but both of which have untreatable stains (a hazard of mommy-hood):


After so much cutting up and stitching back together that I was beginning to feel a bit like the Dr. Frankenstien of textiles, this was my end result.

I think I learned a lot on this first project. You’d see that if I let you close enough to look at the inside seam, but that’s probably not going to happen any time soon! I’m learning things about design and placement of certain colors and fabrics, noticing for instance that if you attach a ribbon that has no stretch to a stretch knit, well, it won’t stretch anymore. Duh! Sometimes you have to make dumb mistakes, right? So I’m looking forward to taking that green shirt and making another, hopefully with less mistakes. 🙂

Also Made a circle skirt  for Gilly and a couple of headbands that I’m in LOVE with. It’s wonderful to put to use some of those lovely old buttons and laces I got from Grandma Hazel.



That’s it for now! I’m going to try to slash up a couple more t-shirts! Find me on Pinterest if you want to see some more of the lovelies that are inspiring me right now!

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I was thinking of my Grandma Hazel a lot tonight. I don’t talk about her much and I don’t get to see her very often. She’s pretty sick these days and it’s hard for us to have conversations, mostly because she can’t hear very well anymore and whenever I’m with her my three kidlets are too and they cause a lot of noise pollution. 🙂

I have a lot of good memories of Grandma Hazel though. We used to visit her a lot when she lived in Phoenix and I remember how much she liked to snuggle and I liked the slightly raspy, squeeky sound of her laugh. I remember how she used to always make me chocolate pies because they were my favorite and the way she cried EVERY time we left, even if we were coming back a week later. She was really silly sometimes (just like mom!) and used to tell Grandpa to “shut your mouth before I hit you in the snot box!” when we were playing games. She was always giving little presents and nobody’s ever called me “Bethy” in quite the same way she did. Nowadays, she calls Gillian “Bethy” by mistake a lot. It’s sweet and sad at the same time.

It’s hard to watch someone you love get old, especially someone who was so spunky and full of life like Grandma.

I was thinking of her as I rummaged through her sewing desk in search of sewing machine lightbulbs. The search quickly turned into the discovery of a delightful treasure trove of vintage buttons, threads, laces, ribbons and trims. Mom offered to let me take whatever I thought I could use and I could hardly contain myself. My mind started whirring with ideas of the things I could make and the presents I could adorn with them. I couldn’t help but think of my grandma, getting excited and scheming up someday creations over some of the very same things. Then the answer to mom’s question from my previous post came to me. This desire to create things, to repurpose things, to adorn those I love with little works of my own hands came from grandma Hazel! I don’t recall ever in my childhood being identified with her by characteristics either physical or behavioral. It was always Grandma Bea that I looked like or acted like.it’s pretty true-I am a lot like my Grandma Bea, but I love that I’ve found something about me that will help me to always remember my Grandma Hazel, and that now, whenever I’m sitting at my sewing machine bringing new use to some old garment, making doll clothes for Gillian’s baby dolls, or coming up with something entirely new, I can thank her for passing on to me such a rewarding and enjoyable trait.

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I’m such a novice when it comes to sewing. It’s really sad sometimes that I spend just as much time seam ripping and messing with the sewing machine as I do actually putting something together. Even though I love doing it, I wouldn’t say that I’m a seamstress by heart. My skill is far from natural if you could even classify it as such. I’m more of a dabbler. The greatest pleasure for me really comes from the sense of satisfaction at the end. I can get terribly distraught during the process. For this reason, I enjoy reconstruction more than starting from scratch. This probably points to my laziness because I get to skip out on a lot of time consuming steps, such as interfacing and putting in zippers.

At any rate, I’m always quite pleased with myself when I can step away from the machine with something that is actually usable and isn’t going to be thrown out in frustrated disgust half way through the project.

Here are my two projects from last night:

The first is so simple it’s almost embarrassing. I had a lovely vintage kitchen towel (rescued from Grandma Bea’s things) that had sweet little tulips and some pretty hand stitched lace along the bottom. One side was stained badly with some ugly spots, but the other side was quite lovely. I simply cut the towel in half, hemmed up the top and attached a sweet lace ribbon to make a tie. Now it’s an apron for a sweet little chef’s helper. I also salvaged the other length of lace from the stained half of the towel and will surely have a chance to use it on another project.

The second was a little more complicated, but really looks more impressive than it is. I had this huge spaghetti strap nursing top that I wore when I had Eliot. One of the straps broke and rather than just fixing the strap and taking it in (which would have been simply to . . . uh, simple), I decided to reconstruct it into a skirt for Gill. It already had elastic across one side of the top, so no need to add a zipper. Just a couple of stitches on the sides and some gathering in the back and she’s got a knee length skirt with a bit of a train and a bustle in the back. I’m sort of amazed that it fits her perfectly. I did no measuring at all! Of course I didn’t think to take a picture of the thing before I started the re-construction, but here’s a picture of me wearing it in the hospital so you can see the change. Although it’s all bunched up and you can hardly see it because the baby boy’s a little distracting. 🙂 I just wanted to have proof that it was a shirt at one time.

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I also took some size 18mo. pants out for Eliot and tried to turn them into shorts. That sort of turned into a bit of disaster. You’d think that would be easy enough. Too bad I don’t know enough about my sewing machine to figure out how to sew over the seam in thick denim without breaking my needle. 😦 They came out still too long anyway. Oh well. Two successes out of three isn’t too bad for someone who got a ‘B-‘ in sewing class. (I actually think the ‘B-‘ was because Mrs. Hill didn’t like me after I unthreaded her serger–I was just trying to help!–but that’s another story).

So there’s my craft blog! As much as I’d love to be posting new and exciting creations weekly, along with tutorials and giveaways (oh, and ADS!), ya’ll know that’s not really going to happen.

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