Monday, June 30, 2008

kitty cat applique

I was feeling the need to appliqué something cute, so I came up with this kitty cat for a simple little tunic dress for my girls. The older one can wear it as a tunic, and it works nicely for a dress on the younger one. I love it when things pull double duty.
Here's the appliqué pattern for you. Just right click on the picture of the cat above and save it to your computer. You can download and print this out at whatever size you like. I did mine pretty big. Print it out once for the overall outline, then once again to cut out the nose, eyes and collar. Then one more time to cut out the irises, if you don't want to freehand those.

I applied Heat N Bond to the back of the overall cat outline fabric (follow their instructions). Then the rest of the features are in wool felt, with a button on the collar.

Lay the main cat body down on the fabric, and iron it down according to the Heat N Bond instructions. Use a satin stitch on your machine to sew it down all around. Then secure the collar, nose, and eyes on with dots of glue, and satin stitch around those too. I glued both parts of the eyes down at the same time, and just switched thread when I was stitching them down. I used a button for the collar tag, but you could also use a bead or an oversized sequin.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Molly Monkey pattern tester?

Hey, everybody. This post brought to you by the magic of scheduling, because I'm not even at home on my computer. I am in the technology desert that is my mom's house until Saturday.

I have not forgotten my promise to publish the pattern for Molly Monkey. I've been working on it off and on, and it is mostly finished, but I am loathe to post it for fear of mistakes or problems with the instructions.

Thing is, I am also loathe to make another Molly Monkey doll myself just to test things, and I'm not sure I'd be the best tester anyway. It's like proofreading your own copy, you tend to look over mistakes because your brain knew what you intended to write.

I know it is a long shot, but is there anyone out there who would like to take a crack at making a Molly Monkey doll from my new pattern and letting me know what questions or problems you have? Leave me a comment or send me an email. thanks!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

vintage paper dolls

cut out some vintage paper doll fun from Agence eureka for your little cutie(s) and play. link via whip up.

check out the rest of this site. I don't read french, but I'm in love with all the vintage book images here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

free pattern resource

Do you guys know about Burdastyle? It is a site to upload your own original patterns, and also you can download other's patterns, and a lot of them are free.

You can not only view pictures of the pattern creator's finished product, but view pictures and tips from others who have sewn the pattern.

To indulge my hobby of free pattern grubbing, I like to troll through once in a while to see what's new. I confess to downloading a bunch of patterns, but I have yet to try one.

This free Jennifer blouse caught my eye.

Friday, June 20, 2008

the great 5x5 exchange

try this with a friend! I am. Each month (or whatever time interval you want), mail five 5x5 squares cut from your fabric stash to your friend, and have your friend do the same for you. At the end of 5 exchanges, you'll both have 25 charm squares with which to do something cool. Good idea to take a picture or keep a log of the fabrics you've sent, if you have swiss cheese for brains, like me.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

make your own dress form

If you have a very good friend, and two rolls of duct tape, and some time, you can make your own custom dress form.

I recently sewed myself a 'simple' shirt, but was so frustrated with the resulting fit because my body does not fall in the average zone (I have wide shoulders and a short waist). I was talking this over with a sewing guru friend, Laura, and she mentioned this duct tape method. It is certainly low-cost and possibly even more effective than an expensive professional dress form.

So, this past weekend, Robyn and I researched this method and tried it out. You basically have your friend wrap you snugly from booty to neck in layers of duct tape (between laughing fits) while you wear only a long t-shirt and your usual undergarments. Here is a great link from Threads outlining several methods, including this duct tape method. And this is the one we used.

I still have to stuff and finish my dress form, but it looks woefully accurate so far. :-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Saw this gem while surfing around the craft blog scene, lmnop, an online magazine dedicated to "hip, stylish parents and their children".

Best thing? It's free and downloadable.

Monday, June 16, 2008


During Robyn's oh so brief weekend visit, we also packed in a trip to Anthropologie at Lenox Square Mall. This was about an hour's drive from my house. That might sound crazy, but living in Atlanta's sprawling metro area, everything is about an hour away from everybody, so it is no big deal.

It was every bit as wonderful as we hoped, and I wished I had a million disposable dollars with which to purchase everything they had. It took a long while to soak in the modern-vintage looking textiles, the tempting displays of porcelain hardware and dishes, the museum-worthy paper cutout art installations that hung from the ceiling, the drunk-with-color placemats, aprons and linens, the stunning pillows lampshades and bed linens, the eclectic and perfect decor items, and of course, the beautiful and unique clothes. I just love that place, can you tell?

I purchased two placemats that I hope to convert into some fresh couch pillows. My couch has been complaining about having the same ol' pillows for the last few years.

I also got a round napkin that has the sweetest scalloped edge and flower print. I must think of a creative way to make this into something.

My favorite score was the two nicely banged up wooden birds I've already hung on my wall. I really love them, and they fill the smallish space on my wall that needed a little something and a shot of color. And they will look better still with my new paint color, a fresh pear green, once I get around to doing it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

fabric happiness

This is some of the fabric I've picked up recently, mostly on my trip to Huntsville. Did I neeeed it? Nope. Do I have a specific project to use it on? Nope. Do I have a severe self control problem? Yep. My mom was tut tutting me as I piled it on the checkout table. She pointed out when she was sewing she never got to buy all that fabric just willy nilly and we must be rich. Not rich, just out of control. :-)

Mostly I bought it to make the girls some cute clothes which I can vaguely see in my head. I really love the balls and jacks fabric, thought it might make something cool for moi too. Also I now have the burning and urgent desire to quilt something, so this fabric will help there too.

The white with the green mulitcolor floral print is actually a set of thrifted cotton sheets bought at Mom's local treasure trove, Asbury Thrift Store. I feel free to experiment with that, since the cost was minimal.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

hot. as. fire.

So Robyn and I braved the waves of flame-like heat to attend the Indie Craft Experience at Centennial Olympic Park this past weekend. I slathered myself with SPF 50. And I still got sunburned. We spent 20 precious craft-buying dollars on various beverages. Did I mention it was hot?

Despite the heat, we had a blast, and it was so cool to see so many friendly and talented (if a bit wilted) crafters all in one spot. We got lots of swag, like sewing and decor mags, mod podge, and paint (and a free swag bag!) and made some really great purchases, not to mention garnering a boatload of creative inspiration.

One of the more entertaining things we did was donate $5 to charities and in turn got to stencil our own T-shirts (in the top photo, it's the blue bird holding scissors on the olive t-shirt). That was surprisingly fun, and I'm really tempted to go out and buy some fabric paint and try out those freezer paper stencils I read so much about.

I bought a really cool necklace from SuperCute (see in photo above), and Robyn got some great jewelry I was appropriately jealous of and plan to haunt Etsy for soon.

We also both got a year's subscription to Craft mag, which I'll be so happy to see in the mail.

We also had a Threadbangers sighting. I had been chatting with these two affable folks in their tent and signing up for their Janome sewing machine raffle, before clueing in that these are the stars of the Threadheads videos I've seen on the Craft blog.

We plan to go next year, but Robyn did hint gently to the organizers that a less lethal month might be preferable.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

cup running over

I had the pleasure of a quick visit from my bosom friend, Robyn, over the weekend. We went to the Indie Craft Experience on last Saturday, which I will blog about soon, but first I have to make you all insanely jealous with the cool cool cool gifts she brought me from Paris and Louisiana because she loves me! Oh joy!

My gifts included the latest issue of Marie Claire Idees, straight from Paris, which came with a smaller book on jams and jellies, tre yummy. I have Babel Fish ready for translation... Also from Paris, a Japanese Girls Style Book with the most adorable children's clothing, patterns included. I cannot wait to try one of them out! A little intimidated by the instructions in Japanese, but the illustrations seem to be really detailed, so this may not be a problem.

Last but not least in the slightest, this beeyoootiful velvet jacket that we both tried on in this wonderful store called Arigato in her home town of Mandeville, LA. She ended up getting one to travel to Paris with, and after much waffling I decided against it, a fashion error that I have since regretted. So my sweet friend surprised me with it. Can't wait for velvet wearing season.

Monday, June 9, 2008

sister shadowbox

Here's the completed project from a previous post. I got the quote from Catherine Killigrew, of whom I know nothing but that I like the quote. This is going in my girls' room, but it is special to me too, since I have four sisters I love very much.

I was smiling as I was researching sayings about sisters, because I've lived some of them. Especially this one:

"If your sister is in a tearing hurry to go out and cannot catch your eye, she's wearing your best sweater." ~Pam Brown

Saturday, June 7, 2008

on my desk

this thing has been in my head a while. A little shadowbox for my mantel that has layered paper and fabric a la A Little Hut. I'd like to make the clothes actually hanging on a thread clothesline with tiny toothpick simulated clothespins. Clothes will be out of fabric and paper. In the background I have this gorgeous green blue fabric for the sky and I'd like little red birds hanging by threads and clouds of batting. And some pinked grass at the bottom. I can't wait to make it.

I checked out the shadowboxes at Hobby Lobby and Joann. What in the world? They want like $24 for an 8x10 box. Yikes. I went to (angels singing) Ikea after that and bought a bunch that I liked better anyway for $10 a piece. I love those frugal Swedes.

Friday, June 6, 2008

havin' fun

A little idea I had to showcase the two corn husk dolls I bought at JazzFest a while back. It makes me happy to sit in a pile of fabric and try stuff out. This will be finished soon, I'll post a picture of the completed project.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

matryoshka doll remix

I love matryoshka dolls. Even though I now realize I've been mispronouncing the name for an embarrassing amount of time. Don't you hate those moments? Ma-TROshka. Not Ma-tree-oh-shka. sigh.

Anyhoo, I have several sets but my favorite one is from our trip to Sitka, AK. She is done all up in most unusual colors, all my favorites: apple greens, oranges and blues. It makes me happy to look at her and all her babies lined up in a row.

Whilst meandering around the internet, I found two unusual takes on the matryoshka doll I'd like to try, one is a set made entirely of paper at Canon's Creative Park that you can download and print on your inkjet, and another is a sweet and simple free pattern by Maize Hutton for making a set from felt.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

make a kleenex holder

I finally tried a tutorial I've been meaning to get to, a cloth kleenex holder. I have really enjoyed having a lace kleenex holder given to me by my bosom friend, Robyn, from Brugge, Belgium. It is pristine and white (er...was pristine and white before living in my purse for months) and a whooole lot more aesthetically pleasing than the crinkly plastic wrap that purse-sized kleenexes come in.

I need about ten of these things, because I have to have kleenexes on me at all times. I decided to share the joy with my mom back on Mother's Day. Bella Dia's tutorial is actually for a Puffs pack of tissues, so I had to modify her measurements to fit my Kleenex packs, but it was the same steps for the rest.

I also added an overlap, a bias trim for contrast, and a button closure.

Monday, June 2, 2008

spool's bird pattern

image from Spool Sewing

I've been so intrigued by birdhouses lately. I yearn to make a fabric birdhouse and hang it somewhere in my home.

I saw this link to Spool's bird mobile and free bird pattern on Craft Mag's blog and fell in love. I must now make some totally cool fabric birds to live in my future fabric birdhouse.