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Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Fall Applique Dish Towel

First of all, I don’t even know if I spelt applique right. Second of all, this was supposed to be a super easy one hour project. Lesson learned, don’t have your first ever attempt at appliqueing be a mother effing maple leaf.

Moving on.

Kim over at Newlywoodwards is hosting a cute idea for the next few weeks. The idea is to motivate you to attempt some new projects before the holidays.

This week’s challenge is dare to be thankful; Take some time making your own DIY Thanksgiving project. Homemade thank you cards, a banner, or something completely unique. After we got a cute little halloween dishtowel in our neighborhood boo basket, I thought I could probably whip some of those up for a couple other holidays. Figured this was the week to try it out!

One trip to JoAnn’s left me with all the goods. In the remnant bin (PAUSE: have you all seen the remnant bin? I’m never paying full price for fabric again. Crazy awesome cheap deals. Moving on) I found some great fall colored fabric, for about $2 a piece. PERFECT.

Polka dots are always a winner in my book, and the red was a great rich color. Then I made mistake number 1. I involved my ridiculous husband. I asked “what fallish type of thing should I put on the table?” After he said that an orange tie-dyed looking turkey would be neat, I steered him in a more manageable direction. He suggested a leaf and off we went. I found a maple leaf image and blew her up in powerpoint.
Cut it out, pin on to the fabric. Cut the shape out. (IE. Spend too much time cutting around little corners. Then jack up the picture because you don’t know how to use your camera well yet)
I used a smidge of this craft glue to hold the leaf in place before sewing. Super cheap, works like a charm.
I used a flour sack from JoAnn’s as my “washcloth”. It’s nice and thin, and by the way, CHEAP. Here it is before the project lost all hope and I put the pedal to the metal. (The sewing pedal that is….haha. Tough crowd. Anywayz….)
Straight stitch the bottom ruffle on. Then a little zig-zag action around the leaf.
TaDa!!!!
Looks pretty good from far away! A nice touch of fall in my otherwise very non-seasonal kitchen.
If any of you actually know how to do this, don’t judge. It’ll only get better from here. See you in a few weeks when I attempt a Christmas Tree, a reindeer, or some other crazy difficult shape!

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Baby Taggie Blanket

I’m very lucky to be surrounded by friends who have recently added to their families. Babies are everywhere, and I LOVE seeing my friends become mothers. For those of us who haven’t yet crossed that bridge; the baby aisles at Target can get a little overwhelming! 


Recently a friend of mine told me about these adorable “Taggie” blankets. She mentioned that she bought hers from a shop online for over $30.

I realized that I could very easily make one of these bad boys on my own. Luckily; there are also tons of easy tutorials online. I used this one and thought it was incredibly simple!

Here’s the general details. (Use the link above for WAY more details and pictures)

I had two great fabrics leftover from the baby snuggies I’d made earlier this year. 


A soft, pink, nubby chenille; paired with a blue/pink paisley patterned flannel. Soooooo soft and a pretty cute, but modern look. I cut 1 square of each, measuring 13″ down each side (leaving room for a 1/2″ inseam on each side.)

Next, attach your ribbon “taggies”. I chose a black/white polka dot because that’s all I had on-hand supposedly stimulating for little baby eyes. 

Cut six pieces of ribbon to 6″ long. My ribbon was 3/4″ thick which worked well. Loop the ribbon over, and pin it to the soft/good side of 1 piece of your fabric. Loops should face towards the middle of the fabric, open edges towards the outside(follow the step-by-step above for better pictures/instructions). I only did ribbon “tags” on two sides only, so that the other two were open. 

Stitch the other piece of fabric on top (good side to good side, on top of the ribbon pieces) and flip it inside out. Here’s the finished product!

Another shot with the fabric/ribbon contrast:
Tomorrow night, one of my favorite baby-mommas is coming over for Glee, tacos, and wine. We’ve been planning this ever since we heard Britney Spears was the musical inspiration for the night. I’ll get to meet her little one, Olivia, for the first time! Can’t wait to see what she thinks!
I’ll share this around with the parties over on the side!

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Remember this sneak peak at a sewing project?

Get ready cats; I’ve got a fun one to share today. This bad boy was just a snapshot of this awesome project I’ve been working on. You may remember, I’m a bridesmaid in just a few weeks for my dear friend Kathleen. Her first bridal shower was a couple weeks back, and she always gives me crap about being the most domestic of our friends. Little did she know I’d take that to heart and give her something hand-made as a gift! Here’s the big reveal………

Something every newlywed needs; her own apron! It matches her wedding colors (teel/brown) perfectly and she was really excited about it. I got lots of facebook messages about how excited she is to learn to cook with this!
I can’t say I’ve made any of these before but it was a pretty easy project. I took an existing apron I had and laid it down as a pattern. The aqua is actually home decor fabric, but it’s nice and durable which will work great! I had some polka-dot scraps that matched perfectly; they became a nice little ruffle on the bottom, and also a pocket in front.
I had to try it on just to make sure this bad boy would work!

I want one now! I only wish I’d had time to monogram her new name on the front. Hmmm…….an idea for next time!

Linking up to all the regular blog parties!

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We moved into our house in December, and right away our laundry room became an awesome yellow color. It’s a little bright for some, but this area gets lots of sunlight and it makes me want to rip my eyeballs out a little less than usual when doing laundry. Here’s how it’s looked for the last few months.



This is standing from the doorway. We’ve got a nice little nook for the washer/dryer, and then the right-side is where we store shoes. The utility sink was a last-minute addition that I’m SO glad we went with.


So far the only remotely decorative thing I’ve done is grab these cute little bins from Home Goods. I grabbed them before choosing the paint and loved the grey/yellow/white stripe combo. Eventually over the washer/dryer area it would be great to have cabinets, but for now the baskets jazz up our builder-basic white wire shelf nicely.


This weekend I finally finished up some curtains for this room! I was lucky enough to find fabric at JoAnn’s that matched the bins pretty well! Here’s the updated picture with the new valance on the windows.


Here’s a zoomed in photo of the actual valance & fabric.

I LOVE it! With the faux-wood blinds I thought doing full drapes would be a little heavy in this room. I’m so glad I went with the valance only; seems perfect for a bright laundry room!
Next up for this room will hopefully be lockers using the awesome plans from Knock off Wood! We’ve got about 5 feet of space along the right-hand side that I think would be perfect for them! Linking this guy up to the usual offenders below! Also, stop by Kellys Korner to see more laundry rooms!
 Sumo Sweet Stuff 

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Recently for my birthday, my lovely husband splurged and bought me us a DSLR camera! A Canon Rebel has entered our lives and holy cow: it produces AMAZING pictures! I’m hoping to find a reasonably-priced workshop to really learn the ins and outs of this bad boy but for now? I’m shooting solely on automatic. 

One thing I’ve noticed around blog-land are these adorable padded camera straps.
Granted the Rebel comes with a wonderfully boring black strap. It’s a little scratchy and uncomfortable when you have it slung around your neck all day. Tidy Mom had an awesome tutorial that made the process so easy! (That’s her awesome version above). I saw that these bad-boys are selling on Etsy for $16-$21 each. I figured; I can definitley tackle this. I must admit, the first attempt I made it too narrow and it wouldn’t fit back over the strap. Don’t worry, round two went much better. Here’s the finished product!
Not bad for a girl who learned how to sew 4 months ago!
And my cost breakdown?
Less than $2.65!! (I used some 40% off coupons at JoAnn fabrics, but even without it would have been under $6.00
I found some other versions that include a little sleeve for the lens-cap, that’s my next mission. I always set it down and forget where I put it! I can still make at least 2 more out of this fabric, then I found a bunch of Nebraska Cornhusker fabric that is BEGGING me to be creative with it. I think September-December I’ll look pretty snazzy with a “Go Big Red” camera strap. 
I have to admit; I’m pretty proud of myself for continuing to tackle these little sewing projects. I love being able to personalize my own things! Plus, why in the world would I ever pay full-price for anything when in the back of my head I’m always thinking…..”Someone’s probably blogged about how to do this yourself…..” While I’m not your girl to get the “how-to” from; I can hopefully give you some confidence to attempt it yourself! I’m going to link this bad-boy up to every DIY party I can find; so hopefully some wannabe sewers will attempt their own project. Thanks Tidy Mom for the AWESOME, easy, step-by-step instructions!

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When we moved into our new house, we immediately set up 2 guest bedrooms. This is a bit of a must considering both sides of our family live out of town, and we frequently have out of town guests. There was an extra bedroom upstairs, and since my husband has taken over the entire lower-level of our home, I decided that I could jump all over this small 12×12 piece of heaven upstairs and make it my own. For Christmas, I got an awesome sewing machine that I set up on a real trashy card table that we had in the garage. It worked great, except for when I tried to sew faster than 3 stiches per minute. The entire table shook, resulting in crooked lines, broken needles, and pierced appendages. (not really, but the dramatic effect is a nice addition here)

I have big plans for this room, which will eventually be my little getaway in the house. The first thing to cross off the list was a new workspace. I checked out this one, but just wasn’t ready for such a big DIY project.

The concept was great though. Area on the right for sewing, plenty of storage on the left for supplies, stationery, etc. I did a little searching online and found the Ikea Expedit bookshelf/Desk combo.

The desk was only $50, and the bookshelf attachment was $69.99. It is surprisingly sturdy, and has TONS of storage. I put it together in about an hour, and it was really a simple solution. The bookshelf and desk are 2 separate pieces, so I know I’ll always have a spot for the bookshelf in my home somewhere! I actually purchased the 8-box shelf (instead of the 16 box shown above) just because I wasn’t sure I’d need all the space that the larger one offered.

Here’s a little before/after of the new workspace.

The workspace up close….

You might remember the cloth bins from awhile ago, I posted about them here. They were $2.50 a few months ago in the Target $1 spot.  They currently hold all the different fabric and the drawers on the left are perfect for all the other supplies. I love that there’s a spot for everything, makes cleaning up a breeze! Also much sturdier operation than the old card table.
Next up for this room?
– Twin Bed
– Curtains
– Fun Chair/Ottoman for reading corner
– Pegboard/Bulletin Board to keep ideas and supplies above desk
My SUPER creative best friend Nikkee is coming down next weekend, and this is one of the projects I’m hoping to tackle while she’s here. I know she’ll have some amazing ideas to spruce up this space. It’s a work in progress but I already love being in there which is a great improvement!

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This Christmas I developed a very important relationship with this guy:



My Nebraska Cornhusker snuggie is a constant in my life; right up there with Diet Mountain Dew and the Real Housewives reality franchises. Recently two JoAnn fabrics nearby decided to close their doors and combine into one mega-store. At that time they also had everything at 75% off! I picked up a few patterns for $1 each. Included in my new stash? I can now make my own snuggies :o) Any friends and family out there? Act surprised for the next five years at Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, etc. You are getting a snuggie. 


I digress.


I also picked up a little baby snuggie since everyone I know has a bun in the oven. I thought this would be a cool way to personalize some baby gifts, and my boss is the first recipient! She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last Thursday and has unknowingly become my test subject. So, here is the big reveal; my first sewing project with an actual pattern!!! I give you? The baby snuggie!

It’s lined with pink chenille and the outside is a sweet flannel print. There were two options, one with legs and one that was more of a gown. I chose the legs because then it can easily still work with a carseat buckle or while baby is sitting in a shopping cart.
It opens up and then the arms swaddle over and snap shut. Pretty handy for our sometimes unpredictable Minnesota weather. I’ve got some extra fabric leftover still so I’m thinking I may whip up some matching pajama pants for the momma. Why not right? I’m a frickin sewing master by now! With this project I’ve now tackled darts, lining, and snaps. Oooo slow down killer!
Don’t worry, my love affair with the seam-ripper is still present. The lining was a bit tough and during the first attempt I sewed the legs inside out which was sweet. After redoing the whole thing I feel pretty good about it though. Oh yeah; and I busted my first needle on my machine. SWEET!
I’ll be dropping it off next week when I’m back from vacay, but hopefully she’ll approve!
I’m gonna feature this guy over here:

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