Apr 112013

Back at Easter, I tried to get together a variety of things for the kids’ egg hunt, since last year I filled their eggs with only like three different things, and it seemed a little boring when they were opening their eggs up. One of the things I made were wallets (using Modest Maven’s tutorial) since then I could put coins, dollar bills, and coupons for goodies in their eggs.

I modified it a little by replacing one of the card slot thingies with just a plain velcroed pocket for coins. It made the corners of that side of the wallet a little difficult to topstitch through, and I could have avoided that by just adding velcro to the back of the card pocket, but I thought it was nice to have a cute panel of fabric, especially since the kids don’t have many cards to put in those pockets.
wallet, interior

The kids also got bunnies. (There are a bunch of them because I also made some for my little cousins’ Easter presents.) I had a lot of fun browsing Etsy bunny patterns until I eventually found Zooguu’s pattern, which I think has a really cute ball shape. (Oops! I turned their ears up to show the different fabrics I used underneath, but I didn’t manage to catch them in the picture.)

Cosmo super duper likes having his names on things now, so I stamped the kids’ names on their bunnies’ ears.
bunny ears

The pattern was nice and easy, so I almost didn’t mind being a factory with all the bunnies. And it’s fun when I get a lot of use out of one pattern!
bunny tummy

Apr 042013

Dinky project attack!

Item 1
My brother-in-law is studying Russian for a year, so I made him a pillow cover with Russian phrases stenciled on it for his birthday (I cut the stencils out of freezer paper). I found this wonderful forum where people are willing to do free translations, so I asked how to say, “tummy tight. purple cup.” That was because my niece had recently had a sore tummy, so my sister gave her some flat ginger ale in a purple cup. She liked it so much, that afterwards she kept saying that to try to get more yummies. 😀
tummy tight. purple cup.

On the back, I put a normal proverb, “East or West, home is best,” and my brother-in-law recognized it, yay!
East or West, home is best.

I used House on Hill Road’s tutorial to put a zipper flap on the pillow case. It took me a while to understand what was going on, but once I did, it was neat! I like that now I can put nice closures on pillows without having to stock up on invisible zippers, which I don’t normally use.
Russian pillow, zipper flap

Item 2
Cosmo was asking for a star since he was good, so I used Wild Olive’s star template from her Rainbow Road Coffee Cuff project to make him a wand. It only cost me a dollar or so for the whole thing since I just had to get a dowel from Lowe’s, and I managed to make it in the half hour I had before picking him up from preschool. (Amazing for me, cause I’m slooow.) I still have two thirds of the dowel left rolling around my kitchen counter — no one’s needed more wands, yet!
star wand

Item 3
Cosmo had a field trip to an aquaponics place, and since they were going to do fish paintings, he was supposed to bring a big shirt to use as an art smock. I’ve been keeping my eye on art smock tutorials, though, so I wanted to make him one, but now that it was time, I didn’t want to use nice materials for something that’s meant to get messy. Scroogey Yazoo strikes again! Serendipitously, I stumbled upon one dollar shopping bags at TJ Maxx, and used one to make an easy, super cheapie art smock.
art smock, untied

All I did was:

  1. Chop off the edges and the handles
  2. Cut a hole in the bottom of the bag
  3. Resewed the bottom, since the seams unraveled a bit after I cut the hole
  4. Melted the ends of the handles with a match (too lazy to fish out the fray check from my notions box)
  5. Sewed the handles back on for waist ties

And voila — one dollar art smock! Which Cosmo didn’t end up using, because the aquaponics people didn’t give the chaperones any time to put them on! Anyhoo, here’s Cosmo using his model posing skillz.
art smock, model pose

Jan 242013

I had fun sewing a bunch of little things over the holiday weekend, but my brain was totally broken!

First, I made my cousin his zippered kleenex cases. I was all proud of myself for thinking of stamping his initials on the twill tab… but his initials are KF, not KW! Doh!!!
KF's zippered kleenex cases

Then I made a munster for my little cousin. That went fine — I made her the purple one, and the green one is actually Sunshine’s Christmas present that I hadn’t taken a picture of before. (Sunshine’s does have a big mistake, though: the tutorial tells you to put the zipper pocket fabric the wrong way up initially [it should be right side down], and I hadn’t sewn in months, so I didn’t remember that it was wrong til too late.)

After that, I made a bunch of mini pleated pouches.
mini pleated pouches

I bought the pattern and a bunch of pearl snaps on Michelle’s $5 Fridays and thought it would be cute to use the snaps on some of the pouches. But I wasted at least four snaps because I kept installing them wrong! Quite a while ago, I treated myself to a prong snap installation kit:
snap installation kit
… and somehow got it into my head that I was supposed to use the long metal bit to pound in the socket part of the snap. Well, that widened and ruined the snaps I tried to put into my pleated pouches. (What am I supposed to use that metal bit for, anyway?) After some dithering about whether to buy snap pliers, I finally remembered my original snap installation tool: the unbeatable empty thread spool. That worked perfectly! So, note to myself: these are the best snap tools evar:
best snap tools

Finally, I made my mom a mouse pincushion. I had mentioned that I’d finally found crushed walnut shells at the pet store, and my mom said she’d like a pin-sharpening pincushion. Amazingly, I didn’t make any mistakes on this one! 😀
mouse pincushion

And that was my very fun, broken brain, holiday weekend sewing!

Jan 092013

I made tooth fairy elephant pillows for part of my little cousins’ Christmas presents this year, really because it gave me an excuse to get Melody Miller’s cute (but not cheap) pattern. (Actually, I conned my sister into buying it for me… heh!)

elephant tooth fairy pillows, front

Overall, I like this pattern; it’s just a little different from what I’m used to. For instance, there are a bunch of pattern pieces (like the main elephant shape) where you were supposed to keep the outside frame part and discard the inside piece. After going through the instructions, I understood why she made that choice, but I still found those pattern pieces to be floppy and annoying to use and store, so I ended up reprinting them so that I could keep the normal inner pieces.

An awesome thing about this pattern is that it includes a page of cute little cards addressed to the Tooth Fairy that you can print out to give along with the pillow!

elephant tooth fairy pillows, backs

Mar 022012

I did manage to get most of the favors made for Sunshine’s dim sum party, one set of which were hexie pencil cases for the kiddos.

These came out a lot larger than I had expected (again, even though the pattern clearly says how big they’ll be 😀 ) — they could probably fit two boxes of colored pencils! I was too lazy to iron them into submission, and I also didn’t hand-sew some parts like the pattern recommends. I think I was supposed to leave the two hexagon sides that have zippers unsewn, turn the pencil case right side out, and then blind stitch the hexagons to the zipper panel, but instead I just went zip! over all four layers with my sewing machine, and it turned out well enough for me. Besides, they were for kids, so it’s better to be sturdy, right? :>

I was totally stoked that I scored those Heather Ross fabrics when Little Miss Shabby was doing a big destash — recently, my niece has been catching tadpoles, raising them to be teeny frogs, and then letting them go. She almost always has one or two in a little tank outside, so I wanted to make her something with tadpoles. 🙂

Jan 092012

I had a really short attention span this weekend, so I didn’t want to work on my quilt (even though it’s just a baby quilt). First, I made Keyka Lou‘s recently discontinued pixie handbag (which I got when it was on sale, woot). I used the really cute Hideaway deer fabric inside, but didn’t get a good picture.

And it happened again: even though the pattern clearly says that the small version is 10″ wide, I failed to accurately imagine what it would look like, and I was surprised when I was done and it was tiny. >_< This was for my friend who teaches Japanese — I saw her on Saturday to help her with her website. She’s offering Skype lessons now, if anyone’s interested. :}

On Sunday, in order to procrastinate again on Dawnybear’s quilt and my two bee blocks, I made coasters for my friend’s birthday. All of the patterns are from Wild Olive; I think they’re so cute! My printer is broken (and also, I’m lazy), so I opened them up on the computer that’s attached to the tv, zoomed out of the pattern until it was small enough for the coaster, and traced it right off the screen.

Ever since I was a kid and up until last month, when I’d embroider things, I’d put my needle down through the fabric, pull the thread all the way through, bring my needle up through the fabric (having to take extra time to poke around to find where I wanted my needle to come up), and pull the thread all the way through, which made embroidery take forever. But last month, I finally realized that when all I’m doing is backstitching, I can put my needle down and up through the fabric, and then pull the thread through, and it’s so much faster! Dohhhhhh!

While I was closing up the coasters, Cosmo spied the ladybug print on my handsewing bag and said he wanted it. I asked if he wanted me to make him a ladybug bag, and he said yes. Heh, heh, heh…

Now, when Cosmo doesn’t understand a question that’s asked of him, he answers “yes” anyway, but I do think he might like this — when I finished the last set of zip bags, as soon as he saw them, he took the purple one and put his trains in it. When I tried to empty the bag out so I could close up the inside, he got upset and made me put all the trains back in. So hopefully he’ll like this one since I think it’ll be cute seeing him carrying it around!

Last night, I was so sad when I realized that I’d taken so long getting around to taking a picture of the quilt I wanted to use for Quilter in the Gap’s Finish-Along that I’d missed the linky party. Pooooo! I consoled myself later with some shopping therapy — I buy my own prizes!

I’m linking to Canoe Ridge Creation’s Sew Modern Monday since it’s Monday and I’ve finished thingies. 🙂
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Aug 092011

My high school friend is back in town, and I wanted to make her daughter something. I tried to make a quilt but couldn’t finish it in time, so made a toy bucket (from this tutorial) instead. Voila!
toy bucket
This is the third one I’ve made, and even though it felt like it was going really quickly, it’s five hours later! That seems kind of long for a toy bucket, doesn’t it? 😀