Oct 212013
 

After a month I’ve finally finished making a diaper bag for my sister’s third-baby-present. That’s what I get for not buying a pattern.
ish diaper bag

I made the diaper bag she’s currently using a couple of years ago when I didn’t know much about making bags (the crossbody strap isn’t adjustable!), so I wanted her to have a nicer one. I couldn’t find a pattern to buy that I liked, so I looked for a real bag to copy and landed on Petunia Pickle Bottom’s Wistful Weekender. I know, I’m such a meanie! I use my sewing abilities for evil.
ish - snap tab

Anyway, I spent a couple of days making pattern pieces out of butcher paper. Then I was going to be good and make a test bag out of the small cuts of the Jessica Jones canvas I already had… but partway through sewing it together, I knew I’d never want to make a second one, so my sister was going to get this funny version. On to features!
ish - zipper top

There are three ribbon loopies for keys/binkies/other dangly things — one each for the exterior pockets and one in the bag.
ish - binky loop

The snap tabs on the ends allow the bag to kind of cinch up smallerhugish or open up to gargantuanhuge.
ish - snap tab open

There are ten interior pockets: four gathered pockets (two on each end), four regular patch pockets (two on each long side), and two zippered pockets. It’s pocketastic in there!
ish - inside pockets and binky fob

After a ton of overthinking, I put in the separating zipper flappies that the original has. I got the zipper from zipperstop, sewed each side into 3″ wide flaps, sewed the flaps to the interior fabric, and then covered the raw edges with cotton tape. It took less time than I had spent thinking about it.
ish - zipper flap

I wanted to give the bottom a little support without making it too heavy, so after assembling the exterior, I sewed a plastic cutting board (cut down to the curvy shape) between two pieces of heavy sew-in interfacing, and then sewed that whole sandwich to the bottom of the bag. It’s oooookay… it strikes the right balance between structure and weight for me, but it is still pretty bendy.
ish - bottom

I did a ton of top-stitching — I sewed two lines outside of every seam, including the seams in the lining. I was so pleased with myself… until I realized (after finishing the exterior and lining) that I’d left myself no way to turn the bag.
ish - inside stitching

As it happens, I wouldn’t have been able to do the turny-right-side-out way anyway because of the way I made the pattern pieces. Fortunately, the quilt binding-ey finish doesn’t look too crazy. But that’s not what I have pictures of — here’s more proof of top-stitching!
ish - stitching

Also, piping! The actual making of piping doesn’t bother me, but the amount of fabric I have to cut up to make it does. I can’t argue that piping doesn’t make bags look better, though, so I put on. I didn’t cut the piping fabric on the bias, but I think that actually would have worked out okay if I hadn’t also been double dumb and used twine that was not thick enough for the cording instead of the actual good piping cording that I have but still chose not to use. guh.
ish - piping

Last of all, I made a regular old adjustable cross-body strap that can hook onto the metal rings for the shoulder straps. I dithered a ton about whether to make dedicated stroller straps, but decided they weren’t necessary — Mr. Yazoo forgets that we even have them on our bag and just uses the cross-body strap to hang it over the stroller.
ish - crossbody strap

I initially made the strap waaaaaaay too long and had to cut it down twice so it would be short enough for my sister, who’s almost as tall as me. (hehehehehehe! Just kidding, we’re the same height.)
ish - crossbody with yazoo scale

The bag is supposed to be 17″ wide x 12″ high x 13″ deep, but it sure feels huge. You can put a baby in it!
ish - glowbug scale

Or you could be a normal person and not get arrested for carrying your baby in a bag.
ish - shoulder straps with yazoo scale

Jul 252013
 

Just in time for his first birthday this weekend, I finished the quilt meant for my nephew’s actual birth! It was my July ALYoF goal and also one of my strategies for stretching my crafting money (finishing wips to stave off starting quite so many new projects).
monsterz fussy fairytales

It’s made using Kate Conklin’s Fussy Fairytales pattern. I remember that I was amazed at the neat way she has you cut fabric, but now I can’t actually remember anything about it. Hah! Since this was supposed to be a special event quilt (and also because I was more spendy then), I bought a fat quarter bundle of Monsterz just for it, and I just love the funny little ghosty guys!
monsterz fussy fairytales parachute block

I’ve been wanting to baste differently in order to save on buying spray baste (plus, the last time I spray basted, I got a blister on my finger. How ridiculous is that!), and Blair Stocker at wise craft happened to have recently posted about how she bastes with regular pins and craft foam as stoppers. It’s so awesome!
pin basting

I basted my quilt on the dining table without using clamps (I read someone else saying that the weight of the quilt hanging off the edges is enough to keep things taut; plus, I’m lazy) and it was so easy! I normally haaate basting, but this time I actually enjoyed myself. The bent sewing pins went in much, much more easily than basting safety pins, so there was no struggling with dull points, jabbing holes into the table, and ending up with great big holes in the quilt top. I also felt quite thrifty because I pulled my old, bent pins out and used those first. After those were used up, it was fun but weird to bend perfectly good straight pins!
haha bent pin

It only took half a sheet of the 6mm craft foam to stop all the pins, so that was nice and cheap, too. I never got jabbed while I was quilting the quilt, even though a couple of foam squares fell off their pins because I’d stuck them in off-center. I had fun making a temporary pincushion for my basting pins and foam bits — it looks even crazier than a normal pin cushion since the pins are bending every which way!
new basting pincushion

I finally got to try out a fancy (for me) straight-line quilting pattern! This is the pattern I wanted to use for the Full Swing quilt, but wasn’t able to mark off properly. This quilt’s small, so I was able to use my hera marker and the dining table to mark the lines. Yay! I made the lines a non-fancy inch apart so the quilt would stay squishy.
fussy fairytales back

I machine bound the quilt, and you can really see in the unevenness that I don’t like to pin in advance. Oops!fussy fairytales binding

It is now the portion of the post where I shamelessly put up pictures of my kids because there happens to be a quilt under them. Oh, oh! My excuse is that I haven’t yet figured out how to take good pictures at my parents’ house (direct sun is too bright, shade from the house is too dark, and I haven’t figured out where there’s diffused light), but I seem to have an easier time fixing pictures with a person in them. Babies are better than blank paper for white balancing?
monsterz fussy fairytales glowbug

monsterz fussy fairytales sunshine

monsterz fussy fairytales come on now

Mar 232013
 

I’m usually too much of a scrooge to want to make baby clothes (they use so much fabric! and babies can only wear them for a little while!), but generous bloggy people have been sharing free patterns for them, and I got sucked in.

When Rae released the 0-3 month size of her Little Geranium dress, I was all, I’m going to have a 0-3 month sized baby! Glowbug was too little for it when she was born, and then this week I noticed that she was finally the right size for it. She’ll probably fit it for two weeks, heh.
little geranium

My little niece turned two, and I made her a Prudent Baby snappy shirt, but I was worried about it fitting until I realized that I have a two year old that I can test it out on. Double heh! (I had to bribe him with M&Ms, though.)
snappy shirt

Dec 162011
 

I wanted to make my mom a library book bag and I liked Echinops and Aster’s spa bag, so I made this.


The pattern makes a cute bag! I tried to coordinate the exterior with the book fabric, since my mom seemed to like it when she saw it in my bag, and I bought the interior fabric especially for her.


I was a dork, though, and only vaguely tried to compare the dimensions to a pile of books before I started, and it’s kind of too small for a pile of library books! Doh.

In other news, I made a tomte for Dawnybear’s present. Two Christmas presents, dun!

Dec 072011
 

This past weekend, we were invited to Mr. Yazoo’s sister’s friend’s son’s first birthday party. :> I’ve been feeling a bit of a pinch since I went kind of crazy with the after-Thanksgiving sales, so I made a superfast quilt (two days!) to go along with a little bit of money for our present.

It’s 40″x50″ because that was the size batting I had left over from my tree pants. I also used more of the same flannel as my dad’s quilt and I pin basted (as opposed to spray basting), so I felt very thrifty. Maybe I should be embarrassed that I’m so thrilled about saving money on a present…

Since the quilt was so simple, I tried to spruce it up a little with more stamping.

I was in a rush, so I machine bound the quilt. It was my first time! I used Crazy Mom Quilts’s terrific method of attaching the binding to the back, first. This way, the front looked tidy and the back wasn’t too bad!


Please excuse my tasteless glee over saving money — I do have a point! :} I was super happy because, using yazoomath, I saved us $60 by making this quilt. Then right after I finished it, I found out about a fantastic sale at Drygoods Design and spent over half of that! >_< But how could I not? It's 40% off your fabric order $40+ with code HOLIDAY40 (through 12/14) PLUS free shipping! Please to enjoy. :)

Nov 282011
 

On Thanksgiving morning, I woke up and realized that I didn’t have a holiday outfit for Sunshine. Whoops! Poor second baby! So Mr. Yazoo wrangled the kiddos while I made this:


I totally copied the google turkey. :} Oh, and I almost misspelled “daddy!” See?


On Saturday, I finished my Piece Bee With You block. I used Katy’s tip to use one of the templates to cut out all the pieces with a half inch margin, which was awesome. I was able to chain piece my four quadrants!


My dad-in-law made me an extension table a little while ago, which I love using, especially when piecing stuff like this. I put a light under it and was able to see through the foundation paper pretty handily!

(The lower left corner isn’t broken — larger projects were getting caught on it, so I asked my dad-in-law to make it less corner-ey.)

I made my signature block using my new copy of Modern Blocks. (I was a little disappointed when I saw some slightly old-fashioned looking fabrics used for the sample blocks — I’m not very good at imagining things in different fabric combos so I love samples that use fabric I already like — but overall I think this book is fantastic!) It’s just a leeeetle too big, but hopefully Alisha won’t mind!
circlesiggy

Oct 312011
 

… or The Reason My Bee Block Is Going To Be Two Days Late, Sorry Charlotte!

I’ve been so focused on working on Christmas things that Halloween stuff slipped my mind. I had planned to have both the kids wear old costumes, but then it was October 29th and I couldn’t find the monster body for Sunshine’s outfit. Whoops! Instead of buying a costume I wasn’t really excited about (why do the stores with the super cute baby costumes only stock them in August?!), I made a bapron like this one.

This is a superhero bapron, so he’s got both his secret identity business attire and his cape. Bizness in the front and party in the back!

I amazed myself again by taking alllll night to make what should be a super fast little project. I’m still really slow when I have to applique things — it took me forever to draw the N that I ended up using, and then I cut it out of fabric four times: first I forgot to flip it and then it was backwards; second I drew a different N, cut it out, then decided I didn’t like it; third I realized that the icy blue fabric I was using was too light, and fourth I cut out the dark blue one correctly. I also made too much bias binding really slowly.

But Captain Sunshine’s ready to tag along with Cosmo and T tonight!

Sep 292011
 

Mr. Yazoo has a couple of really nice t-shirts that he’s never going to wear because they’re not his style, so since I had won a copy of Growing Up Sew Liberated (which has a lot of knit fabric projects) from Sew Mama Sew, I made Sunshine a pair of the bubble pants in the 12-18 month size. (He’s seven months old, but I like his clothes to last. :D ) I was shocked when I pulled out the pattern sheets — they’re HUGE! I used almost all of Mr. Yazoo’s t-shirt for them, and I didn’t even have enough to make the lining! That’s okay, though, since it’s never winter here and my little heatball kids don’t need multiple layers of clothes.

I guess the pants don’t look so huge in this picture. The elastic cuffs are awesome. But wait! Cosmo fits them, too! O_o

When he was walking around later, he looked like he was wearing those guy harem pants I was seeing a while ago. Hehehe.

It was awesome how easy these pants were to sew. They were so enormous that I didn’t worry about seam allowances, and Gracie Lou Freebush and I happily serged away. Then since I didn’t have a lining to form the elastic casings, I sewed on the extra little orange bits.

My dad offered some t-shirts so I could make more. Now I just have to reclaim my pattern pieces from Cosmo — he found them the next day and used them for coloring paper. :D

Craft Book Month at Craft Buds

Sep 222011
 

First up, a needle book for my sewing machine needles!

Up til now, I had an unnervingly disorganized storage system for my machine needles; it was something like:

  • Used, weird-sized, non-jeans needles were in the same tiny tupperware as my filled bobbins
  • Jeans needles, both used and new, were in the little paper package I bought them in
  • Old standard needles for foundation piecing were in one paper package
  • Brand-new standard needles were in a different paper package
  • My current used-but-not-old-enough-to-use-for-foundation-piecing needle always got put back in my machine so I knew where it was

Then since I wanted to make a sock skellington and so was going to open up a package of ball point needles, I neurotically needed to make a machine needle book to organize everything, first. Aheh.

I used two charms that I got from Hoosier Toni in Stitchery Dickory Dock’s Feeling Fussy Modern Fabric Swap. At first, I just wanted to keep them whole since the prints are so cute, but then I scolded myself that I must be bold! Must cut fabric! Thus, the super duper exciting exterior you see above.

I sewed pieces of ziploc bag on the inside to make pockets into which I could slip scraps of paper for keeping track of what needles were on which page. And then the part of me that is ever so slightly OCD breathed a sigh of relief. Machine needles organized, yay!

Next, a couple more baby squishies and a ribbon blankie for Mr. Yazoo’s expecting cousin. This time, I’m making tags for them so that his cousin knows they’re machine washable and such. I think it’s really cute when I receive Etsy stuff with nice wrapping and tags and things, but I’m too cheap to really put any money into making my own; this one’s made out of a Jamba Juice paper bag. (I haven’t put tags on the other two because I can’t remember what the baby’s name is going to be — the big squishie is for baby’s older brother.)

Finally, thank you to Crafty Staci, who sent me a super cute tea cup cozy thingoo since I was one of the winners of her giveaway! By this point, Cosmo was really antsy and kept grabbing things I was trying to take pictures of, so this is the best picture I could get of the cup cozy. :D

Aug 132011
 

My sister and I were shopping for her mother-in-law’s birthday present the other day, and I offered to make her a present out of Dawnybear’s footprint. Then we realized that we should make three of these, so that my sister and parents could have ones, too. :)
footprint potholder for Stacy
I used Sugar Pop scraps and bicycles because my mom said she liked the bicycles. I used too much bicycle fabric on this next one, though!
footprint potholder for Jill
The potholders have two layers of the InsulBrite that my sister sneakily had paid for when we went to the store for her friends’ ribbon blankies’ supplies.
footprint potholder for Mom
I practiced my free-motion quilting on the backs, but only drew one picture for each because I was running out of time before my family was going to wake up. For my mom’s potholder, I made a flower like the one she draws for Cosmo when they’re playing crayons. :)
footprint potholder for Mom - the back
My stitches were really tiny and I had a hard time moving the fabric around, so I followed The Free Motion Quilting Project’s awesome instructions for modifying your fmq foot, and it was so much easier! Then I followed one of their neat patterns to make this daisy for my sister’s mother-in-law.
footprint potholder for Jill - the back
Finally, I drew hearts on my sister’s potholder because she likes hearts. I definitely need more practice on making hearts and text!
footprint potholder for Stacy - the back

I’m linking to the August Bloggers’ Dinner Party. Thanks, Lindsay Sews, for hosting it this month!

Bloggers' Dinner Party