Category Archives: Sewing

Carrot Patch!

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Soooooo . . . have you made your fabric carrots yet? I went a little crazy with mine! Now that I have enough to completely fill the tray, it looks like a little veggie patch! Find some orange and green remnants to mix and match, go to this tutorial at Clare’s Craftroom, and you, too, can have a garden growing on your dining room table! ♥

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Veggies!

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Our lovely daughter-in-law Mary Ann is a registered dietician turned physician’s assistant and sports a fun “Periodic Table of the Vegetables” poster in her kitchen. On a trip to Jo-Ann to buy a foam cushion for the toy box bench, I spotted this “Farmer’s Market” fabric—perfect for a decorative cushion for the kitchen window seat. The cat promptly nestled beside it for a nap . . . and Mary Ann loves it, too! ♥ Veggie Pillow

New Home Pillows

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Our Georgia family recently moved and needed some new pillow décor. First, we made a bench seat cushion for baby Josh’s toy box (handmade by his Uncle Jeff!). Josh’s room is morphing into a travel theme—don’t you just LOVE this map fabric his mommy picked out? We had enough for a square pillow to pose on the rocking chair, too. Then we made some floral and solid-with-button-a-la-mode pillows for the purple sofa in the living room. Mary Ann purchased the fabrics at Curtain Call in Augusta, Georgia. ♥  P.S. Now I want a purple sofa!

BenchPurple

 

Nook Tote Bag

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On a recent visit, our eight-year-old granddaughter Miranda and I raided her mom’s fabric stash and put our heads together to design and sew a tote for her Nook e-reader—a colorful, lined bag with shoulder length handles and shabby chic roses for a-la-mode. What a fun project with a fun sewing buddy! ♥

Nook Bag

Peeps Garland!

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peeps-garland

I recently hung the Peeps garland I made last spring (out of felt, not the candy!). Here are the super-simple directions:

(1) Draw a simple bunny shape or find a free template online.

(2) Make the bunnies from felt, fabric scraps, construction paper, or scrapbook paper.

(3) Add the eye and nose dots with fabric paint, permanent marker, or embroidered French knots.

(4) Attach the bunnies to ric-rac, ribbon, rope, string, or twine using glue or hand or machine stitching.

You’ll soon have a cheery pop of color for your spring décor. Have fun! ♥

Bunny Basket

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I was so happy when I got out my spring decorations and found a bunch of these left over from last spring’s bunny sewing bonanza that I promptly plopped them into a basket to display in the living room. You can find the pattern and tutorial from Angie on The Little Fabric Blog. And they’re so quick and easy that you can even make a whole Bag o’ Bunnies for a special little one in your life. Now . . . hop to it! ♥

BunnyBasket

Fabric Carrots!

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Who knew that carrots could be THIS cute? I made this springy tray of rabbit food from orange and green remnants using  this tutorial at Clare’s Craft Room. I’m pretty sure that a few of them will end up in Easter baskets, too! ♥

FabricCarrots

An Invitation from The Renegade Seamstress

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easy-diy-refashion-tutorials2I know that you . . . like me . . . are all HUGE fans of Beth, the Renegade Seamstress.

Besides her inspiring blog full of “real” projects that any of us can try, Beth also sponsored Refashion Runway, is a weekly contributor to eHow, and has a book coming out this fall that I can’t WAIT to read!

Now Beth has been asked to teach a live web seminar on March 31 for BurdaStyle and has invited all of us to participate!

“Refashion: Inspiration and Projects to Revamp and Recycle Your Wardrobe”

Read Beth’s post about the seminar HERE and click HERE to see the course description and register.

I know it will be amazing . . . congratulations, Beth! ♥

Tyler’s Tooth Fairy Pillow

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I love to make tooth fairy pillows from well-loved baby or toddler clothes! To transform the Disney World hoodie that Tyler chose, I simply cut it into a square, embroidered a tooth on one pocket and a dollar sign on the other, and stitched and stuffed. So easy! Now he’s eagerly waiting for that first loose tooth! ♥  P.S. Click here for another hoodie tooth fairy pillow and here and here for two more designs.

Tyler'sToothFairyPillow

Sweater Teddy Bears

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ZhenyaSweatersLast fall I shared my first sweater teddy bear, made from one of my mom-in-law’s special sweaters. One of the conversations in the comments (with the fun Evgenia of Being Zhenya) went like this:

I love it! Can I have it, pretty please?

If you have a favorite old sweater, you can send it to me and I’ll make you a bear! (I owe you a present anyway after winning one of your giveaways!) Shoot me an email if you decide to go for it!

Really really? And you don’t owe me anything! Let me see if I can find a sweater!

Yes, really! It’ll be fun!

Eventually, Evgenia got a chance to send a couple of sweaters, and I got to work. The large bear is from the same pattern I used before (McCall’s Crafts 703) and the smaller one is from Claire’s cute (and FREE!) Mr. Ted pattern on Craft Schmaft. After a bit of embroidery and button, ric-rac, and flower a-la-mode, they’re all ready to put in the mail to my bloggy pal. I hope you love them, Evgenia! ♥

Zhenya's Bears

One-Hour Apron

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What do you make on a winter day and you have a free hour? A SPRING apron, of course! The tutorial is from this post by Jona Giammalva on her blog Stop Staring & Start Sewing, and the fun fabrics are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. P.S. Click here and here for two other aprons I’ve made with this easy peasy pattern! ♥

SpringApron

What Can You Make With a (comfybutunflattering) Dress?

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Blue DressIt’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted a What Can You Make With A . . .? project, but I have one today! The inspiration was this blue dress. It was soft, swingy, and SO comfortable, with pockets in the side skirt seams, perfect with a black cardigan for chilly days . . . and what’s not to love about polka dots? But my mirror (and an “honest” family member) told me that this was not my best look and added more than a few pounds to my curves. So, out came the scissors.

  • The skirt is PERFECT as . . . a skirt! And I still get to enjoy the lovely color, fabric, and pockets. I simply cut it off a little above the empire waist, nipped and tucked here and there, and used the top of the cut-off piece to make a waistband. I love wearing it with my black pullover sweater, tights, and boots.
  • You’ve already seen the laptop case I made with the sleeves and neck elastic. I LOVE it and use it every day. It’s especially fun when someone asks where I got it!
  • That left just some bits and pieces, so I cut them into strips, twisted and stitched them into a flower, and used it for a-la-mode on a fun spring pillow I stitched up with some bird fabric from my stash. (Spring WILL come, right???)

Ahhhhh . . . much better! ♥

Skirt

Bird Pillow

Upcycled Padded Mini-Laptop Case

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I have a cool new mini-laptop/tablet that’s super-easy to tote around, but I wanted to give it a little protection before adding it to my backpack on my way to the airport last week. I have a dress that I just turned into a skirt, so I decided to use the dress’s top for this project. I started with the elastic-ruffled sleeves, padded them with quilt batting, and folded and stitched them to size. Then I stitched the elastic ruffle from the neckline diagonally along the front, leaving it loose at the sides and back so I can pull it around the case to hold the laptop inside. A fabric flower from my stash made the perfect a-la-mode for traveling in style. ♥

Computer Bag

A Quote I Love . . .

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When I saw a touching layout designed by Ellie on My Little Bunny Cupcake, I knew I’d found the perfect quote to put on my card when I give a fabric flower to a friend: Just living isn’t enough . . . one must also have freedom, sunshine, and a little flowerThank you, Ellie and Hans Christian Andersen! ♥  P.S. My dress form is wearing my scarf crocheted by our bloggy friend Tamara. Isn’t it just lovely?

Fabric Flowers w Quote

Toy Car Wallet

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1For Tyler-the-matchbox-car-lovin’-kid’s birthday, I stitched up a car wallet . . . plus (surprise! surprise!) a pillow with the leftover fabric. I read TONS of tutorials for the wallet and ended up using bits of several of them. My version has four pockets, a road, a Velcro closure, an elastic band (aka stretchy headband cut to size) to hold it all together, and the birthday boy’s initials embroidered on the front. Here are my favorite links in case you’d like to make one for a small person you love! ♥

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Birthday Party!

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It’s birthday party time again in our family! Five-year-old Tyler chose Disney Planes for the theme. I had fun searching out a yard of DP fabric (found it on ebay and got it in two days!) to use for bunting and then sewing a big pile of red goodie bags for Tyler to fill with treasures and send home with his friends. Now for some cake and ice cream! ♥

Bunting and Bags

A Fun Project for a Fun Bloggy Friend!

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This Christmas I had the opportunity to help Darilyn of Thehighnotedotnet surprise her brother-in-law with a Kansas State University guy apron to wear while serving as the family chef. (See the tutorial tutorial here at The Purl Bee.) She was sweet enough to write a lovely blog post about it, complete with photos, that truly put a smile on my face. If you haven’t had a chance to visit Darilyn’s blog, please check out her creative projects! She also has a My Fave DIY’s page and an Etsy shop specializing in items made with vintage sheet music, like these paper Christmas trees that I used while making my snowflake garland last winter. Thank you, Darilyn! ♥

K-State Apron

The Fabric Forest

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Another favorite Christmas decoration at our house is the “fabric forest” I made last winter. I enjoyed getting these colorful little trees back out to display on top of the china hutch again! You can make the trees any size, and they’re a great way to use up some remnants that might not work for other projects. For a step-by-step photo tutorial, click here. ♥

Forest

Sweater Teddy Bear

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I had a sentimental sweater from a beloved family member that always seemed to say “teddy bear,” so I decided to give it a go! I have a hand-me-down pattern that was a perfect fit for the sweater front and back (McCall’s Crafts 703), but otherwise I probably would have sketched my own. The eyes only required a bit of embroidery on two of the knit-in designs. Then, since the McCall’s pattern was faceless, I used Claire’s cute (and FREE!) softie pattern on Craft Schmaft to figure out the snout. After stitching and stuffing, the squeezable, huggable Teddy is in the arms of a sweet little one. Plus, I still have the sleeves and a few smaller remnants left for new projects . . . we’ll see what those bits say! ♥

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Her Team, His Team

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Once upon a time, a Pennsylvania girl married a Kansas boy . . . and now they’re living happily ever after in Georgia. But they still need their own aprons!

  • You’ve seen my girly apron before . . . here, here, here, and here. (The last link has info about the original pattern and tutorial.)
  • I found the manly barbecue apron tutorial here at The Purl Bee. It was super easy and fun to make, too.

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Mr. Men and Little Miss Books

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When my boys were little, they loved Mr. Men books. My first-graders loved them, too. Now my grandchildren love them! The stories are odd and quaint and preachy, but the characters are totally loveable . . . and we can all relate to their funny foibles. After Mr. Men Books became so popular, the author/illustrator Roger Hargreaves also started writing Little Miss books. Imagine how excited I was to find Mr. Men fabric at Fabric.com! I ordered a yard to make a drawstring gift bag for a set of Little Miss books for an upcoming birthday girl (there’s even a birthday book in the set!) and had enough for a pillow, too. Oh, and this drawstring bag was so much fun! I’ve made dozens of these bags in my life, but never with this super-cool design by Jona of Stop Staring & Start Sewing. Thank you, Jona! ♥

BooksBag and Pillow

Christmas Anny Bag

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I bought the fun Anny Bag pattern from my blogging friend Anny of It’s Sew Anny, and I decided to make my first one using Christmasy remnants. Although the pattern calls for ruffles on both sides, I left the back unruffled to show off this fun print. The pattern has fabric measurements for two different sizes, and the lined bag has a flat base and two large inside pockets. It was REALLY fun to sew, and I’ll definitely be making more! Check out the Anny Bag and Anny’s other great bag patterns at the It’s Sew Anny Etsy Shop . . . thank you, Anny! ♥

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Zibergirl Sews . . . and sews . . .

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I won the CUTEST business card holder in a recent giveaway by Barbara of Zibergirl Sews! (Click here for a tutorial if you’d like to make your own!) If you followed Season 1 of Refashion Runway on The Renegade Seamstress, you’ve already met Barbara! You can also see an amazing gallery of her sewing projects here. Thank you, Barbara . . . and keep inspiring us with those fabulous creations! ♥

Gift!

Music Lover’s Gift Basket

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I love making a gift basket for the silent auction at the Arts and Crafts Mission Market at my church every November, which this year will benefit the Downtown Daycare Center here in Wichita, KS. This time I decided on a music theme.

  • First, I made an embroidered pillow and a music-note-fabric half apron with fabric flower a-la-mode. (Click here for the apron tutorial from Jona of Stop Staring & Start Sewing).
  • Next, I added a framed music saying (which you can get here for FREE from the lovelyn Darilyn of TheHighNotedotNet) and a package of vintage music Christmas tree confetti from Darilyn’s Etsy shop.
  • I finished if off with a blank journal and coffee cup cozy for idea-gathering and a small vintage hymnal.

Click here for gift baskets from the past few years. It’s my secret ambition to go into the gift basket business someday! (Dave, you didn’t see that, right???)  ♥

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Superheroes in Tutus for Real!

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A couple of weeks ago I showed you the tutus and tops I made for Ally and Kira, and you made me promise to post a photo of them in costume. Here they are with their mom! (I have many amazing daughters-in-law, including Catwoman!) Click here for a link to the tutututorial. ♥

Girls

Chevron Halloween Pillow

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Even though I named my blog for pillows, I haven’t made many lately, have I? But here is my latest cushiony creation concocted from scraps of last year’s Halloween pillows, a fun black and white remnant for the back, and some of my grandma’s mismatched black buttons. I knew I wanted to do a chevron design, and I found a perfect tutorial from Nicole at Modern Handcraft. Thank you, Nicole . . . and have a fun Halloween, everyone! ♥  P.S. The other one is a sweater pillow from my earliest blogging days . . . it’s the softest, coziest cushion in my  house, and I love getting it out when autumn arrives!

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A Quilt Mystery: Part 2

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In September, I told you about the lovely but mysterious 1927 quilt top we found among my husband Dave’s parents’ belongings. You can read about it and see photos here. Thanks to Dave’s cousin Betsy and some considerate and determined librarians, I’ve found a home for it! Here are the latest updates:

  • Betsy and her parents recognized some of the names and thought the quilt top originated in a small town called Quinter, Kansas, where Betsy’s mother was born. (Betsy’s mother is Dave’s dad’s sister.)
  • I contacted the library in Quinter, sent a photo of the quilt top and a list of all the names on it, and asked if they could confirm that these were community families and perhaps find out what the “HHC” on the bottom right quilt block stands for.
  • The librarians found several of the names in old high school yearbooks. They also found old news articles about a quilting club called the Helping Hands Club. We were on the right track!
  • One of the librarians tracked down the granddaughter of Helen Martin, a woman who created one of the quilt squares. I’ll put a photo of Mrs. Martin’s handiwork below. Don’t you love how she embroidered her name? And we even have a spider web for Halloween week!
  • I’ve contacted the granddaughter, and not only does she want the quilt top, she has all the minutes of all the Helping Hand Club meetings in her possession! So she is going to research them to try to answer our remaining questions: (1) What was the occasion for creating the quilt top? (2) Why wasn’t the quilt ever finished? (3) How did the quilt top end up with someone who has ties to the community but isn’t represented on any of the squares?

So . . . watch for “A Quilt Mystery: Part 3″ . . . coming soon! ♥

Helen Martin

Cookie Cutter Hostess Gift

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Do you need a hostess gift idea? Does your hostess love to bake?

1. Stitch a simple drawstring bag.

2. Embroider the word “Cookies” on one side.

3. Fill it with fun or seasonal cookie cutters.

Don’t be surprised if you hear some oohs and aahs! ♥

Cookie Cutter Bag

Shocker Apron

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No, it’s not the Halloween kind of shocker . . . it’s the Wichita State University Shockers (as in a shock of wheat . . . click here to see our mascot, Wu Shock!). I had some fabric left over from the WSU apron I made for the fundraiser silent auction, so I made a half apron for one of my friends who is a huge fan and follower of WSU’s volleyball and basketball teams. The “Shockers” logo on the pocket is snipped from the same t-shirt that I used to get the Wu Shock for the bib of the original apron. The tutorial is from this post on Jona Giammalva’s amazingingly inspirational blog Stop Staring & Start Sewing, and the black/yellow fabrics are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. Here is the finished apron blowing in the Kansas wind! ♥

Apron

From “Eeek!” to “Ahhh . . .”

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Eeek!!!I really love cardigans. I have quite a few way too many! While we were packing for our recent trip, I was folding my turquoise cardigan to put in my suitcase, and I saw this pull on the back. I have no idea how or when it appeared, but I was bummed. However, by the time we got home, I knew just how to fix it! Lucky for me, the pull was perfectly centered, so I handstitched a bit of crocheted cotton lace over it and added three “sister” (but not triplet) blue buttons into the lace designs. Now my cardigan is way cuter than it was before . . . so this Eeek!!! turned out JUST right! ♥

Ahhh

Superheroes in Tutus

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Ally and Kira found some adorable “superhero in tutu” photos while checking out Halloween costume ideas on Pinterest, and of course I said, “Let’s make some!” The girls decided on Batman and Robin, so first we poured over illustrations of the real characters to figure out our colors and designs. For our versions, their mom first bought appropriately-colored tank tops. I found logos on Bing Images, which I traced onto fabric, cut out, and appliqued onto the fronts of the tanks. Next, I made short capes (so they won’t get in the way of the tutus), ruffled them at the tops, and attached them from shoulder to shoulder along the backs of the tanks. Then I studied dozens of cut-and-tie and sewn tutu tutorials (tutututorials???), and I decided on this this lovely version from Rachael Rabbit. Now all the girls will have to do is add simple black masks, tights, and boots . . . plus long-sleeved t-shirts for warmth (black for Batman and green for Robin, which their mom has ready to go). Here are the finished pieces . . . I can’t wait to see them on my little superheroes! ♥

BatmanRobin

Candy Corn Dress

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I had some bits of orange and yellow jersey, so I stitched them into a ruffled skirt, added color-coordinated ric-rac, and attached it to a new white baby t-shirt for a cutie in our family! The a-la-mode is a strip of “treat” fabric from last year’s Halloween pillows twisted, coiled, and stitched into a flower and centered with an orange button. Happy candy corn season! ♥

Dress

Thomas the Train Birthday Party

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PillowWe got to fly to Florida for our grandson’s second birthday this weekend. What fun!

His mommy asked me to make some Thomas the Train bunting for the party, and of course I said yes!

The fabrics I chose (all from Fabric.Com) were:

  • Who’s That Train panel
  • Who’s That Train Word Blender in grey
  • Who’s That Train Symbol in red

I had enough left to make a tablecloth for the gift table and . . . no surprise here . . . a pillow for Ryan’s room. ♥

BuntingTablecloth

What can you make with a sentimental dress?

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DRESSFor my two year blog anniversary,  I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world who you would like to have as next-door neighbors. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came from around the world! The blogger with the most nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some new treasures and return. This year’s winner was Staci of Crafty Staci, who decided to send her going-away dress from her wedding 22 years ago! She said, “It’s been stored under my bed ever since.  I’d love to have it made into some things I could actually have out to enjoy, and red is still my favorite color, so that’s what I’ll be shipping to you.” I was so excited, and when this exquisite handmade dress arrived, my mind started spinning! So . . .today is the reveal! Here we go!

(1) I always like to start with a pillow, and the bodice of this dress was the perfect size to make a pillow cover for a 12 x 16 cushion. After detaching it from the skirt and shoulder straps and removing the boning, I traced and embroidered the logo from Staci’s blog and Etsy shop. Next, I put the pillow inside and nipped and tucked and pinned until I had a perfect fit, then took in the seams and stitched across the bottom. (The zipper is still in the back, just shortened a bit.) To fill in the armholes at the top, I made a lining with a coordinating floral fabric that could peek out at the corners, checked the fit again, pinned, then stitched the top closed. Then all I had to do was trim the seams, turn, press, and zip the pillow inside.  I love that I got to showcase the lovely lace on both the front and back of the pillow!

PILLOW

(2) Next, I wanted to use part of the still-gathered skirt to make something to wear and decided on an apron! I found my inspiration on page 40 of my A is for Apron book by Nathalie Mornu which had a short skirt over a longer one. I used pieces from several different apron patterns along with some of my own ideas and two fun fabrics from my stash, and it came together perfectly.  Here it is blowing in the wind on photo shoot day!

APRON

(3) When I saw the size and shape of the shoulder straps, I immediately thought of a bow clutch–one strap for the bag and one for the bow. However, this project turned out to be a little more challenging! I opened up one of the straps for the bag, made a lining from a coordinating fabric in my stash, and attempted to put in a zipper. Since the bottom was already closed up, that was a total fail! So I carefully removed the crooked zipper and simply blanket stitched the top and lining together, then added a button hole and vintage button for the closure. Next, I opened up the side seams and handstitched the other shoulder strap in on both sides, being careful not to catch the lining since I probably should have done this step first! (Since both pieces are padded, the seam was too thick for my machine.) Finally, I used another strip of the lining fabric to cinch the middle of the outer piece to form the bow. So . . . it’s not as perfect as I had envisioned . . . but maybe it will be cute for an evening event where the lights are low??? ♥

BAG

(4) The next step was to trim the hem from the skirt. With it, I made three of those fun  “twist, coil, and stitch” flowers. I had a straw wreath and some red and green ribbon in my craft stash, so I wrapped the wreath, added green vintage buttons to the flowers, stitched the flowers onto the wreath, and added a coordinating green ribbon for hanging.

WREATH

(5) Last but not least, I decided to make something kind of artsy and festive with a remaining piece of skirt fabric. I cut it into one-inch strips and made a pom-pom, then I hung it from ribbon on a gold wooden frame from my stash. I hope it will inspire the idea of “celebrating the everyday” as Staci lives her very creative life with her loved family and friends.

FRAME

Thank you for being our good neighbor, dear Staci . . . and your package is in the mail! ♥

ALL

Crafty Staci

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If you followed the Good Neighbor Award, you know that Crafty Staci is the giveaway winner . . . a “What Can You Make With” redo of a loved but no-longer-worn garment. I received her choice in the mail last week—so beautiful! I’ll save that photo for the reveal, but today I want to share the gift Staci sweetly included. She makes lots of adorable coffee cup sleeves (as well as fun camera accessories!) to sell in her Etsy shop, and she sent me this fun pencil sleeve. It’s perfect for my “real” job, and I just love it! She even has a new bat sleeve for Halloween! Plus, Staci’s packaging is so tasteful and professional, including printed sleeve holders and lovely fabric tags. Thank you, Staci, and I’ll be starting on  your project very soon! ♥

PackagePencil

“Runs With . . . Scissors”

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I found a cute brown and pink “saying” t-shirt for $1 at the crafter’s sale and just had to buy it to make into a pillow for a fun-loving scrapbooker I know! One of my handmade flowers covers up a small bleach spot on the fabric and adds a bit of a-la-mode. Easy peasy! ♥

Scrapbooking Pillow

I Won Some Patterns!

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When the lovely Simona of Sewing Adventures in the Attick decided to downsize her pattern collection, she hosted a giveaway . . . and I won two! I can’t wait to try them out!  If you haven’t met Simona yet, please click below to read about:

Thank you, Simona!  ♥

SundressCoat

The Good Neighbor Awards and Giveaway Winner!

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Good Neighbor AwardTHANK YOU for helping me celebrate my second blog anniversary with another amazing outpouring of nominations for the Good Neighbor Award! For every blogger listed below, an avid reader (or more than one!) took time out of her busy schedule to send me an email telling me how much she would love to have you for a neighbor and why. Isn’t that just the most lovely compliment?

  1. First, I’ll share the comments, in no particular order.
  2. Then I’ll list the blogs that were nominated in ABC order. (Be sure to click on the links to find some new friends!)
  3. Finally, I’ll announce who got the most nominations and wins the giveaway. Here we go!
  • Living next door to this blogger would be great. She could help me with my photography skills and I know I would learn so much from her.  She is such a sweet person and I feel a kindred spirit with this lovely lady.
  • She’s my twin but she doesn’t know it . . . we must have been separated at birth!
  • She’s so stinkin’ funny!!!
  • Her home sounds like quilt heaven. Imagine being able to visit any time I’d like!
  • Because of her, I can’t throw ANYTHING away without first pondering how to reuse it in a creative new way.
  • I would like to have her as my next door neighbor to have a cup of tea together because she is so friendly and cheerful.
  • I love the ideas she has for different crafts, plus she just sounds like the kind of person who would make a great neighbor.
  • She’s Wonder Woman in disguise!
  • Her tips make my life easier.
  • She makes me look forward to getting older because she has so dang much fun!
  • Her patterns and tutorials inspire me, teach me, and stretch my limits.
  • Her DIYs are to DIE for!
  • I so admire how she balances her family, job, and creative pursuits. I hope to be able to do that someday, too!
  • She’s SO sweet! What’s not to like???
  • Her cards and paper crafts are a delight to the eyes.
  • I’ve learned so much about how to make my home more company-ready and hospitable from her, something that’s very important to me.
  • Her OOTDs are so inspiring! I’d love to be able to recreate something similar from my own closet. If she lived next door, she could help me!
  • Her blog is WAY better than Pinterest!
  • I love, love, LOVE the jewelry she designs and sells! It would be so much fun to watch her in action!
  • She has given me lots of good advice, both knowingly and unknowingly. I just love the way she thinks things through.
  • She’s so creative, yet so humble . . . I can’t imagine a nicer neighbor to have.
  • She was one of the very first supporters when I joined the blogging world and has been a super bloggy friend. Even though we live in different countries, I feel that we are close friends and close neighbours. I am always inspired by each one of her posts. She always leaves me thinking a bit more deeply about the simple things in life.
  • She’s REAL! And not many people are real these days.
  • Her sense of humor never fails to brighten my day.
  • She always takes wonderful photography and it would be so neat if she was my neighbor and could teach me how to take better photos!
  • She makes me laugh every day.
  • I would love for her to drop in for a cup of tea and show me her latest ideas. I would like to tell her some kids’ craft ideas of my own and she could use them in her own work.
  • Her gentle, loving personality comes through her art.
  • I want her craft room! Please, please, please move next door and help me!
  • Her blog is many things to many people (crafty, witty, funny, sweet and always, always kind and caring).  I never would have dreamed that a woman I met through blogging would one day become one of my dearest friends.
  • I wish she lived next door for a hundred reasons:  we have an amazing ‘kindred spirit’ connection. If she lived next door we would share walks, talks and cups of tea.  We would craft together, visit antique shops, eat falafels and be there for each other (as we are now) through thick and thin.
  • She makes me laugh. She makes me smile.  She loves animals and children and shows her care through words and deeds.  I would be one lucky woman to have her living next door.
  • Her life seems to be a lot like mine was 15 years or so ago, when the youngest kid was just starting school and the oldest was starting the teenaged years. I’d love to have her next door so I could say every morning “You’re doing a great job! They’ll be fine!”
  • I love how she weaves her faith in God into her everyday life. It’s hard to do that without being preachy, but she nails it.
  • She’s always nice and encouraging and seems like a fun person to be around.
  • She has a variety on her blog but what I would love to learn from her is paper piercing. She has done some amazing birds and I have bought one of her cushions, so beautifully made.  Very inspiring and very creative.
  • I’ve learned so much from her about how to promote my business through my blog.
  • Her recipes are so amazing that I just want to lick my computer screen. If she lived next door, I’d always leave my window open so I could enjoy the good smells coming from her kitchen.
  • They make me laugh!!! They need to move to my neighborhood so we can go shopping together.
  • She could check my patterns and find the errors! (That’s selfish, I know . . . LOL!)
  • She has a great blog full of wonderful craft projects to do with your children.  They are inexpensive and fun projects that promote lots of creative play. She would be fantastic to have as a neighbour, endless ideas for me!
  • She cares for the world and everyone in it. I admire that.
  • There are actually two ladies that I would like to have as neighbors. They are both so generous with their time and talents. I look forward to their posts. They lift my spirits and make me laugh. They are also wonderful at teaching their particular craft.
  • She’s so open about sharing the ups and downs of her life . . . I need someone like that next door!
  • She helps me so much over at my blog. When I get stuck with how to do things, she just writes me a lovely clear instruction and I am away. She is kind, generous with her time, has a terrific sense of humour and talented at crochet! I wish she lived nearby.
  • Her writing voice is so witty. I’ve learned a lot about writing AND life from her!
  • I’m so much more organized since I’ve “met” her through her blog. If she lived next door, I’d hire her to help me get my whole house in ship-shape.
  • I never heard of “refashioning” until I read her blog. Now I see it everywhere, but hers are the best of the best! I’d so love to learn from her.
  • I want her to move next door so I can see her collections and so we can go thrifting together. What fun we’d have!
  • I’d invite her over for coffee and get her advice on redoing my living room . . . or kitchen . . . or family room . . .
  • Her tablescapes never cease to amaze me. They make me want to entertain every night just so I can create such prettiness!
  • She could teach me to crochet and make me laugh!
  • She helps me keep things in perspective. I need a next door neighbor just like her!
  • She ALWAYS “likes” and comments on my blog posts. That means SO much to me!
  • Her refashions are beyond words! Maybe, just maybe, she could teach me to do that!
  • It is one of many grandparenting blogs I read, but it is above and beyond because of her exceptional photography, quilting, decorating, gardening, shopping skills, and it is an all around fun blog. She has a great sense of humor and I could picture myself sharing a cup of coffee and dessert with her and enjoying the conversation immensely.
  • Where do I begin? I use her recipes! I try her decorating ideas! I pin her crafts! She simply inspires me with each and every post. How wonderful it would be to have her as my next-door neighbor!

Blondies BEARista

Boomdeeadda

Crafty Staci

Crafty Sorcha

Crochet with Tamara

Curtain Queen Creates

DaniellaJoe’s Blog

Diary of a MadMama

Easy Crafts for Children

Empty Nest Feathers

Factotum of Arts

Fashion and Fun After Fifty

Gardening Nirvana

Grab a Coffee

Grandparents Plus 2

Green Door Hospitality

Homespun

Horsemark Cards

House of 34

Images by T. Dashfield

It’s Sew Anny

J.E. Creations

Jewels for All

LCs Cottage

Lightly Crunchy

Lili and Mums

Made with Hugs and Kisses

Memories-Keepsakes-Gifts

Neaten Your Nest

Nice Piece of Work

Now at Home Mom

North Story

On the Upcycle

Pride in Photos

Projects by Mtetar

P.S. I Love Soap Co.

Rainbow Junkie Corner

Second Hand Roses

Spilled Cookies

Stacy Sews and Schools

Swistle

The Adored Home

The Frugal Crafter

The Little Room of Rachell

The Original Thread

The REmissionary

The Renegade Seamstress

The Thinking Closet

Time with Thea

Treadlemusic

Vicky Myers Creations

Winter Owls

Please pick up your button above to display on your blog (if you wish). Nothing is required. I just want you to know that you’ve made a big impression on someone (or many someones!) and that we’re all grateful you’re sharing your life with us. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand . . . the blog with the MOST nominations is . . . Crafty Staci! Click here to read about your prize, Staci, and if you choose to accept it, please email me and I’ll send you my mailing address to get the ball rolling. CONGRATULATIONS! ♥

Three more days until the awards and giveaway . . . and some free books!

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It has been SO much fun to get SO many email nominations for the Good Neighbor Award this week! I’ll be posting the results this Sunday, September 22, so you still have time to send me the names of your favorite neighborly bloggers! Click here for details . . . and remember that the blog with the MOST nominations wins a prize like the one below! (Click here for a description . . . all made from last year’s winner’s beautiful but no-longer-needed sundress!) Also, I got an email from author/blogger Geraldine Hartman of Veggies, Yarns & Tails and she is offering Kindle versions of ALL of her books for FREE this Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to check them out! (Remember . . . you don’t have to own a Kindle–you can download the app here for your smartphone, tablet, or PC.)  Thank you, Geraldine! ♥

Prize Collage

Nancy Drew Tote Bags

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Nancy DrewRemember my “Get a Clue with Nancy Drew” coasters? When I bought the charm pack, I also bought a yard each of two different Nancy Drew fabrics to make lined tote bags for a couple of cutie-patootie girls in my family . . .  and fill with their first sets of Nancy Drew books!

I used a tutorial from Quick Stuff to Sew (Volume IV), a publication of Craftstylish.com, for the totes (like this one, minus the stripes). I hope there will soon be two new Nancy Drew fans in the world! ♥

  • Book 1: The Secret of the Old Clock
  • Book 2: The Hidden Staircase
  • Book 3: The Bungalow Mystery
  • Book 4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn
  • Book 5: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
  • Book 6: The Secret of Red Gate Farm

Bag

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Go, Team, Go!

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Framed Print

I got my undergraduate degree at Wichita State University here in Wichita, KS where Dave and I now live. WSU has a huge basketball following, which grew even larger when the Shockers went to the Final Four last year! So I decided to make a WSU apron for a youth group silent auction fundraiser this fall. I love how it turned out! Then I made aprons for the other two state favorites–the Kansas University Jayhawks and the Kansas State University Wildcats. Fingers crossed that they raise lots of money!   P.S. Both black/yellow fabrics and the three ruffle fabrics on the purple apron are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. All other fabrics are from Jo-Ann. ♥

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The Mini-Screen Bag

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Clear back in January I posted about the Mini-Screen Bag pattern I bought from Sew Michelle.  I finally found the perfect spot of time to make it!  It was really fun, and I learned some new-to-me techniques, such as making and inserting piping and making zipper tabs.  The pattern uses screen (which is why it’s see-through!) and two coordinating fabrics. And did I say that it’s REALLY fun to make??? :)  You can find the pattern here along with other bags, totes, purses, and notebook covers.  And . . . Michelle even has some F-R-E-E patterns for us on her TUTORIALS page!  Thank you, Michelle! ♥

The Mini-Screen

Thread Shelf

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BowlWhen I did my spring cleaning this year, I found a few forgotten treasures in the closet. One was a “miniatures” shelf that we used in our last house.

When I saw this post, I knew just what to do with it!  Even though Mandy re-purposed a cutlery tray instead, the idea worked perfectly.

All the leftover spools are still on their kabobs in a bowl.  (I have a LOT of hand-me-down spools of thread . . . lucky me!)

I love the fun shots of color in my sewing room! ♥

Shelf

A Quilt Mystery!

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My mom-in-law had a quilt top among passed-down items tucked away in her home. When we helped her move to a smaller apartment, I asked her about it and she didn’t remember ever seeing it before. So I put it in a safe place and decided to try to solve the mystery someday. The time has come! The quilt has twelve muslin squares with embroidered names/designs and one square that says “HHC” (Happy Homemaker’s Club???) and the year 1927. First, I took a photo and checked with other family members to see if any of them recognized it or any of the names on it. Even though none of the names are relatives, I do have a lead as to a community where it may have originated so I’ll be starting there. My hope is that I can return it home, either to a quilt club or library, where it can be displayed—or the beautifully-embroidered squares can be detached and given to individual families–and, hopefully, find out the occasion for its creation, why the project was abandoned, and how it ended up where it did. Yes, I FINALLY get to carry out my fantasy of being Nancy Drew when I grow up! I’ll keep you posted! ♥

Quilt Tope

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New FREE Book You’ll Want to Grab This Weekend!

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Do you follow Awesome Sauce and Asshattery? If you haven’t discovered it yet, please pay Sheri a visit soon! Her creative projects and fun-loving writing style are guaranteed to inspire you and make you smile. Sheri has also written TWO books now! I previously reviewed the first one, Life on the Zig Zag, which is now available in a Kindle version. And Sheri is offering the second book in her “Confessions of a Refashionista” series called Bewitched Bedsheets FREE from Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1! It’s on Kindle, too . . . but remember that you can read Kindle books on any PC or tablet with the free Kindle App. I can’t wait! Click HERE for complete details and worldwide links, and thank you from all of us, Sheri! ♥

Bewitched Bedsheets

Sweater Cuff Gift Card Pouches

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I have a super-lightweight coral cardigan that I made even more summery by cutting and hemming the sleeves to 3/4 length. You may have some cuffs lying around from your altering/refashioning projects, too! To turn them into pouches, simply stitch the ends, sew on buttons and cording loops, and fold them over . . . perfect for presenting a gift card or jewelry gift to someone special! ♥

Pockets

Caterpillar Onesie

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My dear nephew and his beautiful wife are expecting their first baby in November, and I wanted to make a little handmade gift for them. Then I found the PERFECT project by Sarah at Diddle Dumpling . . . a button caterpillar onesie to go with The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book. I just love it! And this will be extra special because all the buttons belonged to my grandmother . . . the new baby’s great-great-grandmother! Awwwww . . . ♥

Onesie

New Purse and Tote

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Tulip Bag PatternI bought this purse pattern from my talented bloggy friend Laura at LC’s Cottage Etsy shop and couldn’t wait to try it!

The pattern comes in four different sizes and has very clear directions. It was perfect for my first try at sewing a real purse!

This project was really fun to make and I plan to try it again . . . although maybe with fabric that doesn’t need matched next time. :)

The purse has a large outside pocket and two smaller ones inside, and I used one of my grandmother’s vintage buttons for the closure.

Since I had some fabric left over, I designed a little tote with the patterned fabric on the bottom, inside, and handles and some vintage bead a-la-mode. ♥

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Freezer Pop Holder Redo (and Hostess Gift!)

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In this post I told how to make freezer pop holders from 4 x 4 fleece squares. One of my wise commenters said that when she made them, she was going to leave them open at the top AND bottom so kids could slide them up the freezer pops as they ate. Well, I had lots of testers at our family get-together, and she was absolutely right! So I refashioned them by snipping off the bottom seam and blanket-stitching it like the top. Ahhhhhh . . . much better! Oh, and freezer pops and a little pouch of holders in a fun gift bag make a perfect summer hostess gift for families with little ones! ♥

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