I love necklaces. I could live without earrings, I usually forget to wear the rings I own, and I have yet to find a bracelet that sits nicely on my small wrists, but an outfit seems incomplete without a necklace.
And I own many of them.
For the longest time they were folded, rolled, and stacked several necklaces deep in one of four little jewellery boxes that I own. It kept them out of sight, but often made it impossible to grab the right one in a hurry. What I really needed was a hanging necklace organizer.
I removed the glass and since the print was glued to sturdy cardboard, decided to reuse it as the backing for the organizer.
I covered the entire thing in Mod Podge and stuck down the fabric.
I then folded in the corners, using a little of the Mod Podge to make them stick, and then folded down the sides over the back, to keep the fabric in place.
After putting it back into the frame, I was ready to add hangers.
To create the hangers, I hot-glued small plain buttons to the surface, and then covered them with larger, prettier, buttons from my stash. (Due to the shallowness of the frame, I couldn’t use nails or push pins without having them poke too far through, but I think the buttons were a fun solution!)
Then I hung it on the wall and filled it with necklaces! Isn’t it pretty?Read More
This weekend I had the opportunity to stretch my sewing muscles, while at the same time doing some very necessary planning for my business.
The past seven weeks I have been involved in the Right Brain Business Plan Course and have loved this unconventional, visual, and creative way of diving into business planning. (Check out the website if you’d like to know more.)
After spending weeks in working through the steps of business planning, the final step is to bring everything together in a format that resonates with you. (and artistic entrepreneurs have done everything from accordion books to mobiles to altered books.) And just in case you are wondering….no, this is not the type of plan you take with you to the bank! (although that is covered in the course as well.)
I had completely planned to put everything into a scrapbook-type format, and even bought a blank book to house it all, but at the last minute I changed my mind.
I am a sewer, after all.
So I started planning a book made out of fabric, instead of paper, that would incorporate all the elements in a way true to my business. I discovered this page for inspiration and then I just let the rest develop out of my own imagination!
Using felt for a base, I put to use my rusty embroidery and hand-sewing skills, and incorporated recycled fabric pieces, quilt cast-offs, and buttons and ribbon from my stash.
I love that feeling of trying something for the first time, that stretching and growing that happens when your brain has to solve new problems and think about materials in different ways.
All of the business elements are tied in or placed in pockets, so that they can be changed and updated as my business grows.
I think this is the perfect housing for my business plan, as well as a fun new way to experiment with sewing and fabrics. I can definitely see myself making fabric books or journals again!
How do you like to challenge yourself? What new skill are you learning, or wishing you could learn?Read More
I’ve made it through another week of the sewing challenge! And I was the winner this week, too! This was one of the hardest weeks yet as other commitments kept me out of the sewing room, but I still managed to use 10 yards of fabric! (Were you able to guess which projects were mine? Or perhaps you just recognize my deck and kitchen floor, which always seem to be the backdrop for my sewing photos! )
First up for a kite-flying theme – a kite, of course! I used this tutorial with a few modifications. The red and yellow quilt squares were found in my grandmother’s scrap bin (which is now my scrap bin), and were leftovers from a quilt she made for one of my cousins. I used scraps from other projects to fill in the gaps and I love how bright and colourful it is. In keeping with the colourful theme I sewed together all of my bias-binding scraps to bind the outside. The kite is strengthened with wood dowel and I tied some grosgrain ribbon on the end.
I’m not sure how well it will fly – but it’s pretty to look at!
Next came this “springy” fleece vest. The idea came from “Sew What! Fleece” but I learned from my last attempt at vest-making and added a much deeper neck-curve at the front, curves on the sides, added a proper hood, and lined the whole thing. The hood lining is the only thing I saved from the failed project I mentioned last week (a beautiful Ottobre coat that ended up a size too small…) and I love the blue and green together. This vest reminds me just how far I have come as a seamstress – I lined it, added lined pockets, changed the hood, and put in a zipper without a pattern or instructions. The mere idea would have freaked me out only a short year ago.
And finally, I created a kite-inspired picnic quilt! This started as a completely different kind of quilt altogether, but it just wasn’t working the way I though it should, so at the last minute (6 hours before I had to submit my photos!) I scrapped it and started all over again. The quilt is backed with a heavy wool fabric, which gives it a beautiful weight that I think will be perfect for laying on the ground. The quilt is a good size (60 x 72) which leaves lots of room for the picnic basket, cooler, and stretching out with a good book. The kite is appliqued, the skite tring is hand-embroidered, and the quilt is tied together (which I don’t normally do, but I thought it was fitting for a picnic quilt.) I am really happy with the way it turned out and can’t wait for the warm weather to come so we can test it out! Not bad for an evening’s work….
So now it is on to week 5. This week is a pattern show down. All the contestants have been given a copy of the same pattern and we have a week to make it our own. Time to put all my new sewing skills to the test! Thanks for all of your votes and support!Read More
I’ve always been a little competitive (some might say more than a little) and that side of me is certainly in full bloom right now as I work through this fabric challenge.
With the theme of “Extra Ordinary” I set myself the goal of aiming to use up the most fabric this week. And…..
I did it! 16 and 3/4 of a yard in one week.
The best part is the new skills I am learning as I challenge myself to try new things, as well as a sewing to-do list that is getting shorter, and an overwhelming fabric stash that is starting to get smaller. One of my overflowing boxes is only half full now, woohoo!
I took the theme “Extra Ordinary” and made some very ordinary items (with extraordinary touches here and there!) Here is what I made this week:
I recovered my ironing board! So no more pictures of a stained an ugly blue cover! I also took pictures so I could write a tutorial for this. Everyone deserves a designer ironing board!
A tablecloth for the picnic table.
I love, love, love, the bright yellow fabric for a summer cloth, but it wasn’t quite long enough so I sewed the bright pink on either end. Now it’s ready for lunch and dinner al fresco once the weather warms up.
I then made a tablecloth and some new placemats for the kitchen. We have a clear glass table and I am loving the tablecloth as a way to keep the fingerprints from accumulating!
One Yard Wonders became my inspiration for using up some single yards of fabric with these two office organizers and a car trash bag. The funny-looking thing on the left is a firewood tote, from this tutorial.
Here is the wood tote with the dowel handles installed.
The inside is made from pieces of old jeans.
I discovered recently how to use the lettering function on my grandmother’s old sewing machine. This came in very handy for the labels on the organizer pockets. Love it!
Finally, I took some blue shirt fabrics and turned them into a circle skirt. This was my first ever circle skirt, and I based it loosely on an idea from this post. I made my own bias tape for the bottom (and to think I used to think making bias tape was hard!) and I love the way the dark blue sets off the lighter blue fabrics.
This skirt is so fun to twirl in!
On to week three! This week the theme is “Puddle Jumping.” With all the rain we’ve been having, I think it will be a good fit! I’m off to sew!Read More
Thank you all so much for your encouraging comments about my shop. I feel blessed to know you all, even if it is only through the words we type on our screens. Yesterday I even made my first sale!! The shop has already opened some creative doors for me and started some projects that I am really excited about. I can’t wait to see what will happen next!
I have also been squeezing in some time to work on a few more clothing items for myself. I got really brave and attempted another Ottobre pattern in a knit. This is the Lana dress from the Autumn/Winter 2010 issue, paired with a store-bought shirt.
Once again I found the extra work in the Ottobre patterns to be worth the effort. I did have to look up an online tutorial for pintucks, and had the extra hurdle that none of my marking pens would write on this dark, stretchy fabric (I used pins to mark the tucks) but I am really pleased with how this turned out.
I have also fallen in love with cotton voile. I have been eyeing Anna Maria Horner’s voile fabrics for a while, but found them to be cost prohibitive until Sew, Mama, Sew had a big sale before Christmas. I bought 1/2 yard of “Maybe Sixpense” from Anna Maria’s Innocent Crush line and made a scarf by folding the fabric in half and stitching around the edges (easy peasy). I love this fabric! It is so soft and silky, and I think it is the perfect complement to this dress.Read More