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Monday, January 14, 2013

Giveaway Winners!

First of all - thanks to everyone who entered the double giveaway! It was fun reading about your resolutions, and seeing so many people interested in the two lots.  I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of bloggers who are just learning knitting or wanting to add to their collection.

Now, onto the winners!  They were chosen by random number from the submissions entered for each giveaway.

 First, for the two knitting books, the winner is...

Andrea B from four square walls

The winner of the Vogue sewing patterns is...

Ladies, I'll be emailing you to get your details.

Thanks again to all that entered and stay tuned as I'm going through my vintage pattern collection and hope to stir up another giveaway soon.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The 'Back to Baby' Nursing Cover

Yup, it's baby stuff again.

I can't wait to be able to make clothes - mainly dresses - to wear, but I do like all of these mini projects. They're so fast and easy and are a great way to go through your stash... I highly recommend things like the burp cloths or this nursing cover if you need a gift for a preggers friend.

Nothing to see here...
Anyways.  I was looking for more stash busting, fast projects, and found this awesome tutorial from Clover and Violet.  Actually, I found quite a few tutorials on nursing covers, but I liked the shape of hers the best.  Keep in mind that I have actually yet to have used a nursing cover, but the design of this one was pretty cute and seemed fast.  I did make some mods due to laziness and lack of being able to find some of the right materials.

The Facts

Fabric: Leftover solid grey cotton and polka dot cotton from previous dresses.  Free dolla!
Pattern: None, just Clover and Violet's tutorial.
Notions: 2 D-Rings. They called for sliding straps but I could not, for the life of me, find them at JoAnn's.  They had kind of similar notions but not what they recommended. I was pretty surprised as my JoAnn's generally carries most of what I need and it didn't look like they were out of it... just that they didn't carry them. Oh well, the D-Rings worked.  Oh, and some boning, again, already had on hand from a previous project.
Time to Complete: Maybe an hour? Super fast!
Total cost: About $2 for the D-Rings, but the pack came with two sets so I can make another one.

So I don't have a lot to write about the pattern as it was pretty straight-forward.  I decided to use a grey with pink polka-dots for the top piece, and solid grey for the base.  I omitted the pocket. After talking to a friend who uses a nursing cover regularly, she said if I used it for anything it would be a pacifier... she actually recommended putting a towel or other washcloth attached to the inside but for the purposes of this project, I just left it basic.

Also, I did not do the folded over finish. I used my serger to finish all of the seams which made it a lot faster and easier to complete.  I'm pretty lazy.

To keep the boning in place - which, btw, I used 14" instead of the recommended 12" because I'm bustier and thought that would make it easier to see baby - I just used a little heart decorative stitch from my machine.

Oh, and lastly, I omitted the second set of straps she uses in the back.  The cover provides good coverage and didn't seem to want to flap open on the sides.  I'm sure with a moving baby I may regret that decision, but I figured that I could shift the cover over slightly if needed.  The cover already is pretty wide so I'm not that concerned.

And there you have it!  Another quick project and less fabric hanging out around my house.

I was shocked they let me sit in 'their' chair.

Monday, January 07, 2013

The 'Back At It' Bag

Now, on to more complicated things.

Determined not to let my sewing skills be spent solely on patternless burp cloths - as fun as they are to make - I pulled out the mother of all UFOs.  But wait... can it be called a UFO if I've never even started it?

I've had all of the materials to make the Amy Butler Sophia Carry-all for maybe a year and a half now? Maybe even closer to two years?  One of the first things I ever made from a pattern was an Amy Butler bag and I always thought I'd make another.  I picked up this pattern so long ago and had gradually collected all of the materials for it.  However, I lacked the motivation to do it.  I was so frustrated by this that at some point I actually put everything on top of my sewing drawer caddy.  Thinking that would motivate me to complete it.  Yeah, I think it sat on top of that caddy collecting dust for a year.

So, on New Year's Eve, I decided that I was going to do something about it.  

As I began the project I was excited to see that it only had a few pattern pieces.  Then I realized I had to cut each piece a zillion times. I need the main fabric, the lining fabric, a fleece lining, AND interfacing. UGH!  The prep-work on projects is one of my least favorite things and half way through I almost thought about calling it quits and naming this 'the project that would never be.'  But I stuck through it. 

After a few hours I was actually able to start putting the pattern together and that's when I realized it was actually going to be fun.  The bag assembly was really straightforward and pretty neat.  The hardest part was lining up the pieces on the base to attach it - between the cording that was already attached and making sure everything was lined up and tucked away as it should be, I probably spent a good hour on that step.  But once it was done you were left with a complete bag. On the outside.  You then had to repeat almost everything for the inside lining.  But it wasn't so bad - there was no cording to deal with or handles to get in the way.

I only made minor changes to the pattern.  Having made an Amy Butler bag before, I thought the pockets would be way too big.  In my last bag, I would constantly lose things inside because the pockets took over half of the inner bag and would meld together.  With this bag, I decided to only do a pocket on one side and I stitched the pocket down the middle so it wouldn't just be a bottomless pit.  I could actually put a cell phone in there and find it again when I needed it.

Oh, and with my pattern cutting frustrations, there was of course a minor error.  I forgot that the exterior fabric had a pattern printed in one direction so I ended up cutting a piece out upside-down.  Instead of chucking it, I decided to just use it was lining.  That way I wasn't wasting any fabric and no one would know unless they peeked in my purse.  This left more of the lining fabric as scraps which would be an issue as I'm stash busting, but as we learned, I do enjoy making burp cloths and wash cloths.  So I'll be happy to use that scrap fabric for one of those projects instead.  Thrifty, eh?


The Facts

Fabric: About 3 yards of fabric. I think they were both Michael Miller? I don't remember the price as I bought them so long ago.  Also interfacing and scrap flannel fabric. Oh and a piece of hard quilters plastic for the base of the bag.
Pattern: Amy Butler Sophia Carry All
Year: Contemporary
Notions: Zipper
Time to complete: 6 hours? The bulk of the time was spent cutting out the pieces.
First used: Haven't used it yet.  May use it as a diaper bag as it's large enough, or just a regular purse.
Total cost: Priceless? Just to be done with it!

So ultimately I got rid of a project that I've had for ages.  About three yards of fabric used up, Interfacing and notions put to good use.  I'm excited to have not only finally completed this project, but to continue on my path of stash-busting.  I have some more little projects coming up, and I need to pick up more terry type material to make more burp cloths and possible changing mats.  A lovely reader told me that 8 burp cloths would definitely not be enough and I only have the changing mats that have come with my diaper bags.  So I'm happy to go through some more of the tons of fabric that I have lying around.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

A Simple Project: Burp Cloths from Fabric Scraps

After tackling the #@%$#%@ bassinet cover, I decided to do some smaller projects that would involve stash busting and actually trying out something from Pinterest.  As you can imagine, I have a 'board' of items for Poppyseed.  I thought I'd start small and try my hand at burp cloths.  I have tons of fabric in increments under a yard - fat quarters that I liked or scraps from garments I've made, so I decided to start with that.  I did have to pick up some 'absorbent' material for the base of the burp cloths, but generally everything else was already from my collection.

I found a few burp cloth tutorials, but I liked the version from Made the best.  It was for burp cloth gift sets.  It was perfect for the fabrics that I had lying around and was so easy to do.  This might become a go-to gift item for the future.  Aside from the prep (mainly washing and pressing the fabrics), I got to the point where it only took about 10-15 minutes per cloth.  More on the shorter side if I did them production-line style.

I picked up a yard of terry cloth fabric, on sale at JoAnn's (again, using the rest of my Christmas gift card).  I had four different prints and had enough terry cloth to make 8 burp cloths (2 in each print) and some washcloths with the leftovers.

I cut the fabric into 10x18 pieces (approx, some where slightly smaller depending on what I had on hand).  I smoothed them out, right sides together, with corresponding terry cloth pieces then pinned them in place.  I then stitched them close to the edge, leaving an opening to flip them.  After trimming the corners, I flipped the pieces, once again smoothing and pinning in place.  I then top stitched the cloths, closing up the opening in the process.  I also did as the tutorial recommended and stitched two lines through the cloth, to act as folding lines.  Fold the burp cloth in thirds and voila!

As I mentioned, I made 8 burp cloths - 2 in each pattern.  I absolutely love how they turned out!

I also had a little extra terry cloth so I cut them into four pieces, about 10x6 each.  I also had a tiny bit of leftover gingham from the bassinet cover so I cut it into corresponding pieces.  I had exactly enough to make four washcloths.  I just serged the edges and voila!  All four took maybe 5 minutes to make.


I'm loving these little crafts!  I might try to make my own nursing cover next.  I have my eyes on yet another tutorial from Pinterest.  I think I have enough of a scrap fabric left, and I have some boning on hand... so we'll see!  My back aches a little from working over the sewing table so much, but I think it may also be partially because I haven't been used to doing that in a while.

I actually wouldn't mind making more of the burp cloths, maybe next time with a softer fabric than the terry?  But to be honest, I don't know how many you need and 8 seems like a good amount.  We'll see - I might find some other tutorials for little projects for my shelf of scrap fabrics.

Oh, and when I'm not working on the sewing machine, I have been stitching away on a cross-stitch project.  A Christmas stocking for Poppyseed.  I've been working on it since the beginning of December and am trying to get as much done before he arrives.  I would love to have it finished by then, but we'll see.  Otherwise, he may not get it till his 5th Christmas ;)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Long Awaited Giveaway... Ready, Set, Go!

As promised (and promised, and promised), I have a giveaway for my loyal readers!  You have two options: knitting or sewing.  Feel free to enter for both, you just have to state it in the comments.

So, what's up for grabs?

The set of Stitch N' Bitch books - the Knitters Handbook and Son of... (patterns for guys)

I've noticed a lot of my blogger friends have taken up knitting and thought this would be a fun item for their library.  It includes basics on knitting and some fun patterns.


A set of Vogue patterns. In particular, V8648, V1208, and Vintage Vogue V1136.  All are size EE (sewing pattern sizes 14 -20/22)

To enter: Leave a comment on this post about which set you'd prefer (or either), and one of your New Year's resolutions.  If your profile does not have a link to your email, please also leave a way to contact you.  The giveaway will close on Friday, January 11th and is open to all readers that follow through Google Friend Connect, Facebook or RSS feed.

*Note, this giveaway is not sponsored by Stitch N' Bitch or Vogue patterns, but are new items from my personal collection.

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