Thursday, February 20, 2014

Christmas stockings (yes, I know it's February....)

I have a friend with a husband and six kids, and I thought it'd be fun to make her family a new set of Christmas stockings for Christmas.  Yes, I realize we're past Christmas 2013, which is what these were intended for.  Oops - my bad.  The saving grace is that they have no idea these were coming, and they'll be plenty early for use in 2014!

I used my trusty StudioCherie Burlap Christmas Stocking pattern - minus the burlap.  (Remember, I won this pattern as a prize for participating in a PatternReview contest?  It's totally worth the $2.50 it costs - I've now used this 15 times over, and I would happily have paid for it.)  I've been collecting fabrics for this for months.  I used the same brown linen blend for the main fabric as I did for my family's stockings.  And I used different fabric prints to reflect each person's interests for the cuffs and backs.  These stockings are monogrammed, using a free font.  (I like the uppercase letters in this font, too, but I thought that lower case would be kind of cool.)  The monograms and the piping are made from the recipients' favorite colors.

And here's what the backs look like!  The Bears fabric was from my stash - I think it came from WM 5+ years ago.  The book spines and golf fabrics are from Nancy's Notions, the tennis shoes fabric is from HF, the photography fabric is from JAF, the cars fabric was from a thrift store, and the tattoo and zoo animals fabrics are from a local quilt store.

I hope that they like these and use them for years!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Jumping on the bandwagon....

I've discovered the joys of ribbon.  Sigh....some ribbon is just way too cool, and then I'm not really sure what to do with all of it.  I make key fobs with some, and I put some on an Ava Knot dress for my niece, but a girl really needs some more options!  Especially when there are minimums for ordering ribbon from the coop, and sometimes you really only needed maybe a yard, but now what do you do with the other four?

Enter the Izzy top from Climbing the Willow.  This is a free pattern, complete with tutorial, and it is now available in sizes from 18m to 12 years.  People have been going crazy over it, and there are about a gazillion pics posted in one of my FB sewing groups - which is how I heard about it.  And when I saw the first photo, I thought, "That'd be great for a ribbon trim!"  

I had bought some lavender hearts ribbon, specifically intending to make my niece a dress for Valentine's Day.  Something appropriate and cute, but not necessarily screaming holiday.  And when I saw this pattern, I thought that might be even better, considering that it's winter, and this would work great for layering.

Since this was my first try, and my niece is not readily available for sizing, I went with the 2T (she's 2) for the "Valentine's Day" top.  Both fabrics are from the keepsake calico section at JAF.  I wanted a nice purple to go with the ribbon, but I couldn't really match the colors close enough, so I decided that separating them with a coordinating color might work well.  And if you click on the photo, you might be able to see that there are heart outlines in the pink fabric.  I thought it turned out really nice!

My sister-in-law loves horses, so when I saw this horse ribbon, I had to buy it.  I decided to make a second top in the 3T size (I cut both out at once), in case the 2T was snug - this one could be worn longer.  So I took the ribbon with me to JAF and walked around holding it up to fabrics, until I found a nice brown print that went well with the ribbon. :)  I really liked how it turned out, and I hope my niece loves it.

This was a relatively quick and definitely easy sew, and I would definitely recommend it.  I'm hoping to hear back that my sister-in-law likes the tops - if so, once I hear back on sizing, I'd be happy to make a few more.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Several new boxers

Yep, of course I made more boxers!  It seems to be what I do. :)  The first pair was a gift for my dad for his birthday.  I used most of the rest of the chili pepper fabric from the thrift store - I think there's enough left for a few hanging towels, but that's it.

And my husband got two lengths of fabric rolled up in his stocking Christmas morning, because I had run out of time and hadn't made the boxers yet. Oops....I had seen the fall Peanuts fabric on sale at JAF and knew he'd like it, and I saw the Boris & Natasha fabric on clearance at Nancy's Notions.  (As a kid, I loved Rocky & Bullwinkle, and I used to say that if I ever found a Boris & Natasha tie, I'd buy it for my dad.  So when I saw this fabric, I had to have it for my husband.)  Then I got the Christmas Peanuts fabric at the local quilt store, during their New Year's Day sale.  So I stitched these all up at once.  He doesn't know about the Christmas pair yet, though - I think I'll save those for his birthday.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New pillowcases - my DH was horrified

So I went into JAF early in January, and I was specifically only going to find two fabrics and buy them in small amounts - needed two more prints for Thing 2's Minecraft wall hanging that I have promised him (and so far not even cut the squares for....).  Yeah, so I walked into a sale on flannel and abruptly decided that I HAD to have some hilarious new pillowcases on my bed - you know, to add some brightness and cheer.  And I also discovered that red tag fabrics were 50% off, so I added two fabrics for boxers and one for PJs - all for gifts....But I digress....Pillowcases!

Blue is my favorite color, and orange is one of DH's.  So our pillowcases are clearly marked with ownership, and they add humor and cheer to the room, and OMG!  Flannel pillowcases feel so nice when I tuck my hand under my pillow - why have I not made these much earlier for myself???  And did I mention that these went from "Fabric In" to "Fabric Out" in less than two weeks?  I thought that was pretty good, considering that I tend to prewash my flannel 3 times before using it.  I hadn't been sure if I could railroad the print, so I got 2.5 yards of the monsters....since I could railroad it, I ended up getting 3 pillowcases out of this!  (Third one obviously not pictured - I used green for the trim, and it went into my gift stash.)

Oh, yeah - and DH hates them....I may have to just make him a beer pillowcase to soothe his ruffled feathers.