Monday, May 30, 2011

Our family has had a tragic loss this week, my husband's father suddenly died due to heart failure.  We're obviously with family this week in preparation for his funeral.
Grief is difficult to deal with, but our faith helps us get through and realize how blessed we are to have had all the years with him.  
His two younger sons both had babies on the same day, and we were able to bless them together.
My husband and Ellie are on the left.

So I hope everyone has a good memorial day remembering lost loved ones.
It will be good to have some projects to work on after this week to help cope.  Work is good for grief.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The thief was caught!  In reality, a much less exciting success, but I received this email from the google team in response to my complaint I filed.

Thank you for your note.

In accordance with the DMCA, we have completed processing your
infringement complaint and the content in question no longer appears on
the following URL(s):

Please let us know if we can assist you further.
If anyone else has had their conent blatantly stolen and reposted as someone else's idea, go here to file a formal complaint, and I've been surprised google removed her post so fast.
In this crazy niche of the internet known as crafting blogs, it's not surprising to see ideas reproduced or tweaked.  Hopefully most of us give credit to the other bloggers when we have been inspired by or actually used their tutorial. That's kind of what it's all about to me, sharing ideas and getting ideas for free with other crafty, creative people out there.

But there are of course losers that just steal your idea.  
But what's worse is when they blatantly steal your idea in an attempt to profit financially from it.
Like this blog called In the Garden with Mary. I received an email from Jenna at Sew Happy Geek telling me this Mary had totally ripped off my lattice decor pillow tutorial.  I'd give the link to this Mary's thieving blog, but "Mary" will just delete any negative comments and probably love all the traffic, so I'd say just stay away from In the Garden with Mary, none of her ideas are original and apparently most come from Craft Gossip anyway.  
  Jenna's tutorial was also plagiarized on this lame garden blog and this is how she feels about it.  

My lattice tutorial was copied exactly, obviously removing my name/ signature from the bottom, but all the text and every photos were posted with no reference to me.  

There's not much you can do, I've filed a formal complaint to try to get Google to delete the Mary Garden blog, as Jenna did also.  "Mary" doesn't have her info to contact her directly and all negative comments are deleted each day.

So basically my point is I'll have to break down and first figure out how to add watermarks to my photos, and second thank Jenna for keeping her eye out and letting me know my work had been stolen and anyone else who's been plagiarized to let each other know, and just keep filing these formal complaints.

I have mixed feelings on this.  Obviously kind of ticked and mad someone would be so lame to just steal other's ideas and post it on a blog to try to make money.  I post my idea, steps, and photos as a free offering to anyone who would be interested, so I gave it away essentially and you can't follow everything you throw on your blog....I just hope I won't let a little blog stealing bug me enough to ruin my day....

....because I'm actually on vacation visiting family and have been having a lot of fun, like this big mud fight with my nieces and nephew. 
 I guess in reality it's just a blog and there's more important things in my life that could be stolen. 

On a positive note, this chubby girl is starting to smile but this is the best I could catch.

So thanks for tolerating my venting, and I'm off to google "Making a Watermark in Photoshop Elements".

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Refashion: Cardigan and Shorts

I don't do that much clothing refashioning.  I don't know why, it's usually easy and cost effective.
Probably  a big reason is the fact I hate shopping for clothes, and I never look in the clothes at the thrift store.
I'm don't mind wearing used clothing, but I don't buy thrifted clothing because I'm just too cheap.  It kills me how expensive used second-hand clothing can be.  In my mind used clothing that has been worn, should be $2.00 tops.  Used t-shirts should be less than a dollar.  I could go on about thrift stores with rip-off prices, but I will move on to the project at hand.

I'm starting off with the pants.  I was killing time in an Old Navy and they had a huge rack of clearance pants for $6.00 a pair.  I found these grey pants that were way too short.  Pants are usually too short.  But I thought they were worth $6.00 to cut off into shorts because usually shorts are also too short for where they should be.  So basically I just cut off the legs and hemmed them for a pair of bermuda shorts. 

 Typical bermuda inseams are 12", but I measured mine to be 15" long and drew a chalk line where I wanted the pants to end.  Then I added a 2" hem strip and sliced the rest off.  
To hem the legs, I ironed each pant leg on the fold/ chalk line then top stitched the hem.
Easy to get a $6 pair of shorts.

The next item was making a cardigan out of a lime green sweater I've had for a while.
I rarely wore the sweater because it also seemed too short.
So I cut down the center of the sweater front.  Next I sewed twill tape on the right sides of the sweater, right along the raw sweater edge. Then I folded the twill tape under and top stitched it in place.  This created a finished edge, and the twill tape minimized distorting and stretching the sweater, and provided thick backing for the buttons and button holes.

Then I just sewed a row of buttons on one side, the button holes on the other.  I rarely button cardigans, so to be honest, I only cut a few button holes in the middle of the placket.  So the majority are just decorative buttons really.

So quick easy ways you probably already knew to get something old out of the closet and make a cheap pair of shorts. 
 My hair has grown out to fit in pig tails now.  I can't wait until it's long enough to be an actual pony tail again.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wedding Dresses

My best friend got married this past week.
We were assigned to be roommates as freshman in college and have been close ever since.
For her wedding, I was the maid of honor and so I made Ellie a little dress to match the flower girls even though she just sat in the audience with her dad and no one probably noticed her matching.

I received this grey layered dress from Baby Gap from my sister in law as a gift, and I thought it was so cute.  It came with a little black wrap sweater.  The wedding colors were red and black so I decided to use the black sweater and make a red layered ruffle dress...last minute the day before I had to drive to the wedding.

As Ellaria is porking out, the little grey dress won't fit too much longer, so I made the red dress a size or two larger to hopefully last to work as a little Christmas dress too.

To make the bodice lined, I just cut two of each piece and made two separate bodices, sewing the side and shoulder seams.  Then put them right sides together and sewed them together up one back, around the neckline, then down the other back side.  Since the bottom is open, you can flip the bodice right sides out.
I used velcro to close the back, just like her christening dress.

Because I was kind of in a last minute rush, I didn't finish the arms because she would be wearing a sweater.  So they're just trash and serged for now.

The Baby Gap grey dress had cool non-fray tulle for the skirt.  But I just got 1 yard of red chiffon and cut strips 8", 6" and 4" wide and the width of the fabric, then folded them in half and serged them together.  This way the ruffle layers are folded and top-stitched to the underskirt, but I didn't have to hem the chiffon.  
**My serger is super old, but if I had a nice newer serger I would have probably just serged a rolled hem instead of having the folded ruffle layers. 

So with the little sweater and the red satin flower headband, it completed the outfit. 

I ended up being so busy at the wedding, I only got a few shots of her in her dress at the actual event.

Just for fun I wanted to show you my friend's wedding dress because my mom made it.  Years ago my mom gave Molly a certificate that she'd make her wedding dress, and she ended up redeeming her coupon and had Sheila sew the dress she designed.  I'm pretty sure she loved it because she took 3 or 4 dresses each with a different element she liked and put them together in her custom dress.
Here's a bridal shot she sent me:
You can kind of see the laced back and petal sleeves.

And all the bridesmaids the morning of the wedding in the freezing rain.  I've never been so cold in May!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rustic X Benches {Pottery Barn Knock Off}

I've been sewing a lot and needed to switch things up with a few warm days we had last week.
I've been wanting to build a bench for the foot of our bed for some time, and finally got around to building it.

While I was at it, I made a second bench for my friend as a wedding gift.

I bought my wood from Home Depot and each bench cost $18.00. 

The plans were straight forward except for the angles to cut on the diagonal "x" pieces.  I had to recruit my husband to figure out the geometry for the angled cuts to fit properly.  (Geometry was the lowest grade I've ever received, I stink at it)
I also was excited because my parents got my husband a Kreg Jig for his birthday last month.  He opened the box and I squealed "a Kreg jig!!!"  He looked at me and asked: "what is this?"  So maybe his gift was more for myself, but it is awesome.  

I used oil based primer, then painted my bench ivory from a $1.00 can of Oops paint I used to paint my sewing entry table.  Then some polyurethane to seal it.
For my friend's bench I used oil based primer, then exterior white paint, and a coat of exterior polyurethane so her bench could be indoor or outdoor.

So it works great at the end of our sleigh bed.  The empty frame above the headboard isn't trendy decor, but I actually have been wanting to finish a painting to go in the frame.  But I've changed my mind and something else is going on that wall when I get around to it.

Overall a nice little bench.  However, I was glad I had plenty of wood filler to conceal my imperfections as a beginner builder.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Fox That Wore Green Sneakers

I'm excited about this little costume.  I actually have other things I should have been sewing but once I got the idea in my head, I put the other projects on hold.  The project planning is my favorite part of the whole process.
Lately my little guy has been really interested in dressing up, wearing his old Halloween costumes.  I made this Max the Wolf  {Where The Wild Things Are} when he was 18 months.
So it's too small and made out of fleece, so hot for summer play (it snowed all day yesterday, so summer isn't here, but thinking ahead).
He loves the wolf the best mainly because the tail.  So we've been talking about other animals that have tails to make and narrowed it down to fox and skunk, but went with the fox.  I still think a beaver with the big flat latticed tail would be cute too, but the rest of the beaver is kind of blah.  Anyway....

So our little red fox.  I looked at pictures of actual foxes to get ideas, and decided to go with a red fox.
I just used clearance broadcloth fabric I had.  So it should be a lot cooler than fleece for the summer months.

Most of the photos of actual animals showed foxes having black legs and the tips of their ears.  So I got excited thinking I would try to mimic the actual coloring.  I used Rit black dye on the ears, forearms and lower legs of the costume.  After three rounds of the fabric soaking over 30 min each time, I gave up and decided my fabric just didn't have enough natural fiber in it to hold the color to get the ends really black.  But they're darker at least..

He loves the fox and once again, his favorite part is the tail.  He was excited as we were making it, and I let him stuff his tail with the Polyfil.

Foxes do have big ears, but when it was all done, the ears ended up being a little too big I think,

Being a fox didn't hold him back from getting dirty...

or riding his bike, although he did take care to make sure the tail was "up" so it wouldn't drag in the tires.  He was off to check out the neighbor's Hot Wheels motorized fire truck they busted out today.   
This costume was kind of for no reason (I've got big plans for Halloween already brewing), but it was fun to make, mainly because he was so excited and following the process along with me.  It will be sad when he grows up and his mom making him things is lame.  But for now it's kind of magical I think.

If you have a little fox who needs a tail of their own, I just use a pair of footed pajamas for a pattern and a hood from a jacket (you can tell the hood is a little big).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Master Sprocket Pillow

Here's the final part of my master bedding, sorry if you're sick of pillows.  This is the last pillow post for a while most likely...and I have something super awesome to show you next.  At least I think it's a really great project, so cute I emailed a photo to my mom early because I couldn't wait until she saw it on the blog.
But for now, the last piece of my bedding:
Part 4: Sprocket Accent Pillow

I made one of these for the baby bedding a few weeks ago HERE.
Pattern and tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew HERE.
I wanted this pillow to have more muted colors, since the design is pretty bold.  

I added the blue piping along the edge, and I like the look other than the fact it made the circle a little wonky in some places. 

So the master bedding is all done for now. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pillow Shams

This isn't a tutorial, but just explains how I made the pillow shams.  It's kind of a sloppy version, but works and who's to know except you?
Basically it's just a big envelope pillow cover. But you sew around the rectangle 2.5" from the finished seam edge to make the sham border.

So to make a large pillow cover, I measured 5" larger (than a normal pillow cover) in each direction  when I cut the rectangles.
You hem the two edges of the back pieces, then sew the front and overlapped back pieces right sides together.

At this point you'll have a typical envelope pillow cover, just too big for your pillow.  Press the seam to lay nice and flat, then sew another rectangle, 2.5" from the seam edge.   So now your pillow cover fits your pillow and has the border...
 ...BUT you do have these unsightly openings where the envelope overlap/ seam is in the sham border on the back.  But these little gaps didn't seem that big of a deal for me, so I went with the quick and easy way.

The next pillow isn't a big deal, but I just hate normal pillowcases with the one end open.  It seems the pillow falls out, or gets twisted weird.  So while I was at it, I made new envelope pillowcases for our bigger pillows we sleep on.  Rather than buy fabric, I just bought a white twin flat sheet from Walmart for $4.00.

For these pillows I cut an 18" wide vertical strip off of one side of the sheet.  Then I was able to use the thick top hem of the sheet as a back envelope piece, then save the thin hem at the bottom of the sheet for the other envelope back piece.  The pillow front I used from the middle section of the strip.

For the 2 king sized pillowcases, it used just over half the sheet, so I have plenty of extra white sheet for other projects.  But the best part is our pillows can't fall out of the pillowcases anymore!


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