Sunday, January 31, 2010

Playing Dress Up

Today my little sister, Lynette, came over.  She's introducing a new spring line of her clothing.  She owns her own little tailoring business, and designs clothing on the side.  She is very talented.  Of course you hate to model your own stuff, so she came over and had me try to make her dresses look appealing.  We had a lot of fun.  It was pretty much like playing dress up again, except we are adults,  less feather boas, and our heels actually fit us.
We both felt so awkward trying to pose.  But it was fun.  She's planning to reveal each piece, so you can see them on her blog the next couple of days.  Some are so great, I wish I could have kept them.  One in particular, look for it--cream, 50s inspired, with a green sash.  I felt like Jackie Kennedy wearing it.  All of her designs are beautiful, comfortable, and cover you up in all the right places.  I don't know her plan to make a bunch to sell, or take custom orders, she'll probably explain all that on her blog.  So the good shots will be on her blog, a few mess ups/ silly ones are here. 

Napolean Dynamite 80s boots with a formal and plywood backdrop-boo-yah!

The truck shot is actually for the jeans.  Yes, Lynette designs and makes custom jeans. Our brothers love them.  I'm still waiting for mine.  These jeans are Top Gun, thus the 80s hair and my Aviator jacket.
This last one popped up and Lynette and I both started laughing.  I was mainly laughing at the swooped hair and the sky.  It was too bad the jeans look so bad with the awkward crotch and waist, and what were we thinking, an upshot is never flattering.  I think of all the bad shots, this one was our favorite and made us laugh the most.  The hair almost makes me think Maverick may just walk by any second...and my jacket is an actual airforce issued Aviator overstock I bought from a military surplus store.  I was showing my 14-year-old nephew my purchase and pointed to a pocket on the shoulder, and said: "What are all these pen pockets for on the sleeve?" like a bimbo.  He pointed out they were far too short and wide for pens...those were for bullets.  Oh.  Thanks.

So look for better photos of Lynette's awesome designs shortly! 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fashionable T-Shirt for Moms

Many have asked if I'll be selling these nursing shirts.
This was a commisioned piece to use as a prototype for manufacturing.
If you would like more information on purchasing shirts made in the future based on this design, email:
A friend commissioned me to make sure a shirt she's been wanting to make nursing more convenient.  She described what she wanted, so using her shirt that fit well as a pattern, I made a new t-shirt out of pink knit she picked out.

To make it accessible for breast-feeding, there are snaps along the empire seam, and up to the sleeve seam. 

To add a little feminine touch, and to better conceal the fact there is an open empire seam, she wanted a row of knit flowers, this tutorial she saw on Tea Rose Home.  Rather than hand sewing the individual circles into flowers, I folded the 3 circles into quarters, then used the machine to sew the bottoms, saving a little time.  I did have to sew each flower on individually.  I like how the sleeves have a little puff to them. 
Hope it works for her!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Love Is Blind Quilt

My youngest brother, Herschel has a corneal disease, and is legally blind.  The Utah Foundation for the Blind asked my mom to make and donate a quilt for an upcoming benefit dinner.  The theme of the night is "Love is Blind" and they will auction the quilt.

She designed the quilt, obviously with their theme being the theme of her quilt.  Each heart represents a blind or visually imparied person in Utah.  Yes, my mom counted all these hearts to make sure each person has their place on the quilt. I should ask her which one is my brother.
I helped with this project, but it's mainly my mom's.  I helped her with the painting of the text, her first freezer paper experience.  And we got it all hand quilted yesterday.  One of the first times the quilting frames went up and down the same day.
She appliqued each heart on, which took her an entire day just doing that.  So hopefully someone will pay big bucks for this quilt at the auction and the blind kids can get some funds.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Baby Idea Books

This project was first inspired by my little sister's art.  She made a couple lines of stationary, and I for some reason, found a couple images from her "Invention" pack on my computer.  I wanted to make something with the images, and I'm really into freezer paper stenciling.  Her telephone piece made me think of making a little booklet for telephone messages. 
From there, I thought of using scraps and fabric paint to make a small notebook.  I ended up making three from her invention series, Gramophone, Microscope, and Telephone.

So these little Mini Notebooks were born.
1. Cut rectangles from scraps, an outside and a lining for each book.  I also cut a rectangle of fusible interfacing, about 5" x 8-9".

2. Print out/ trace the images on freezer paper, iron paper onto fabric, and paint.
3. Iron the interfacing to the lining.
3. Sew the lining to the exterior, right sides together, leaving 2-3 inches unsewn.
4. Snip corners, turn rectangle right side out through 2" hole. 
5. Top stitch around the rectangle, sewing hole shut.

6. Measure paper and cut to fit inside book, I used regular copy paper

7. Using denim needle on your sewing machine, "bind" books together, sewing down through the paper. I made two rows.

On the gramophone, I added a button and elastic closure.

The elastic is actually a tiny hair elastic, making things easy.

Just stitch your elastic to the right side of the exterior back half, with the elastic looping onto the fabric, not hanging off the edge. When you flip the cover right-side-out, the elastic will hang out of the seam.

Sew button on.

I thought these ended up cute, unique, quick & easy project, and a good way to use scraps.  I thought they would make a great little gift for someone, because you could personalize them so easily with the image you choose to paint on the front.  I liked how each was a different object, but as a group they somewhat relate being older inventions.
Because they have the inventions on them, I thought these particular little notebooks would be great to fill with your Best Ideas.  I love little journals, and was always interested on the history channel or school to see the sketchbooks of great geniuses.  Like DaVinci's little drawings and plans.  So these can hold someone else's great ideas.

I would have loved to have great linen paper to fill them with rather than copy paper.
I would have loved to put button closures on all of them.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Capri Sun Tote

I saw this website on the box of Capri Suns: where they buy your empty trash to recycle it into different products.  I saw a Capri Sun pencil case and backpack.  I thought it was a pretty cool idea, and I love making something great out of trash, so I've been saving my son's empty Capri Suns to make my own little pencil case.

I thought of making a whole tutorial, but there are good pencil case tutorials already out there, and I'll show you how I made my trash into "fabric". Then you can use them for whichever pencil case you like the best.
Here's just a few tutorial to choose from.

First I cut of the top and one side, rinsed it out, and cut through the bottom.  I chose to just cut off the bottom of the pouch, so I could use the whole pouch front, rather than cutting it short.

For my pouch I needed a total of 5 Capri Suns. 
2 for each side
1 cut in half for the bottom

I sewed them right sides together, using 1/4" seam allowance. 

At this point I had a front and a back and the bottom.  But the other side that wasn't sewn, had the lip of the pouch sticking up.  So I laid the front of the pouch flat, folding the lip on the plain silver "back" of the pouch.  I zig-zagged each lip down, making the 4 sections one flat piece.

Rather than lining my pencil case, I just basted lining to each piece.  So I cut a piece of red flannel the same size of each Capri Sun strip.  I sewed the red on the back, guiding right on the edge of the Capri Sun package.

 So you can use the Capri Sun's like a very stiff fabric in your favorite pencil case tutorial.  I even serged it later for mine and it was just fine. 

Kind of fun way to recycle potential land fill waste, and have a sturdy little tote!
I've been thinking of all the other uses you could find for empty Capri Sun pouches.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Toddler House Shoe Winner! selected comment #6.
You won!

Email me so we can get your personalized item painted!...if you want anything painted

ps the next giveaway is the tepee!
just the fabric shell, winner will have to provide the poles

Toadstool School Bag

I made an owl school bag first, but in order to make a tutorial, I had to make another one. 

I designed this tote for a friend that is a 5th grade teacher, but these would also be great as a diaper bag, airport carry-on, or anything else where you need a huge tote to carry all your junk.

So I decided to go with red/white/toadstool on this one.  It's basically the exact same as the brown owl bag, except the handle is narrower through the holes, so this tote bunches up easier...oh and the fact it has 3 toadstools rather than an owl on it. 

This tote is upcycled from a red ribbed blanket.  The white bottom half of the handles are canvas, and the lining is the same as the owl bag.

The toadstools seem more appropriate for spring, but everything was snow covered lately, except this little patch of dead leaves under the makeshift bridge between our yard and the next door neighbors.  So my attempt where a real toadstool should be.

I'm using this tote as a gift...however out of season it may be.

School Bag Tutorial

For those that loved the owl school bag enough to try it out for themselves, here are instructions to make your own.  I hope it all makes sense, if you have questions or I did a poor job of explaining anything, I'm happy to try to help, just email me:  I would also love to see your project when your done!
I made the red toadstool tote for this tutorial.  The only things that are different if you want to make the owl instead are given at the points that vary from the red.  So follow along, the owl differences will come along as needed.

First off, here are some ideas that could make the project easier if you want:
-DON'T MAKE HANDLES, BUY THEM: you can buy the nylon strapping by the yard.  Usually it's around $1-2 / yd and there are a variety of patterns, widths, and colors.  I find it near the ribbon by the yard.  You would just weave it through tote body, sew the ends together, and save quite a few steps.
-SKIP THE STRAP and BUTTON: the tote is large enough and deep enough, you probably don't NEED a strap to keep it closed.  mainly for looks, you could just leave it off
**I'm sure you may find tricks or short cuts to make the process better, easier.  Please let me know if you did anything to improve my instructions!

Also, this tutorial is for personal use only.  I ask that you respect my design and the time to put this tutorial together and only use the totes you will make for yourself, family and friends, not for commercial use/ profit.  Thanks!


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